Archive for January, 2006

Video Selection #2: Sugar Water

Tuesday, January 31st, 2006

Since there was some interest in yesterday’s pointer to “Remind Me,” I’ll follow that up with four more posts this weekmonth with my favorite music videos. For today’s entry, my absolute favorite music video of all time (currently, at least) is “Sugar Water” (Quicktime) by Cibo Matto.

Its director is Michel Gondry, and there are a few notes about his experience of making that video.

I’ve watched this video perhaps fifty times, and it’s so dense that I still discover new things. The timing is exquisite. It also inspired me to write a short story which I’ll post here at some point.

Ferberizing

Tuesday, January 31st, 2006

I wrote this post in the general chit-chat area of the TiVo Community forum a week or so ago (it’s a good forum, lots of knowledgeable and opinionated people). I’m too exhausted to write more about Ferberizing at the moment. He’s just stopped crying and I have a few hours of sleep debt to work off, so I’ll let you just chew on that one for a bit. Perhaps some of my friends who are also parents can comment here about their own experiences with either the Ferber or Attachment approaches.

Today’s Video Selection: Remind Me

Monday, January 30th, 2006

“Remind Me” by Röyksopp (video by H5, a French graphic studio/collective)

I first saw this video with Kimi and Bryan at a Res show in S.F. at the Exploratorium a few years ago, and it’s stayed with me for a while. I woke up this morning with the song in my head so I tracked down the video while Sammy was napping. Hopefully one of these two links will still be around a few years from now:

Quicktime
or
Media Player

(The first link is less cluttered, has no ads, and is uncensored, but the second link has better sound and can play full-screen.)

My brother and sister live in Saint Ralph

Saturday, January 28th, 2006

It was a rainy Saturday morning when Kimi, Sammy and I headed up to San Rafael to see my youngest brother Harry and my sister Joanna’s new apartment in San Rafael.

Their new apartment is basically empty — in his room, Harry has only a bed (a futon, on the floor), a TV, and a computer desk with his computer; all his clothes, books, CDs and other things were tucked into his closet. Joanna has four or five sitars and little else. The overall impression is stark. But the apartment’s spacious, the location is great, and they have a large beautiful creek right outside.

Kimi and I have so much stuff; part of me is envious that they are so unburdened. But of course it’s also nice to be able to sit down at a table when you want to eat, and I am a packrat because I like having my games and books and CDs and other junk around.

A bit later, my brother and sister-in-law Rob and Kelly arrived, and we went downtown to Rafter’s, a brew-pub, and I thought the food was very good (I had the clam chowder and a grilled chicken salad; Kimi and Jo split a pizza with shrimp and mango).

Harry showed us around his company’s office (Mind Control Software), and it had the great energy of a small startup — board games everywhere, ping-pong table, walls covered in interesting stuff. But it’s basically one giant bullpen for 30 people, and I can’t imagine getting work done in that environment.

Back at their apartment we tried out Carcassonne: The Discovery, which I’ll review separately at some point. In short, I think it has some interesting mechanics but overall the tile balance seems off.

Then it was off to Kyrie’s for her 29th birthday party. A long and busy day for Sammy but he performed like a champ.

Of course, Harry blogs as well (and in fact his blog is really the inspiration that got me started), so here’s Harry’s version of the same event.

Sammy the Jumper

Friday, January 27th, 2006

Sammy in his Johnny Jumper; some early morning calisthenics

Asena

Thursday, January 26th, 2006

Kimi, Sammy and I drove up to the island of Alameda this evening to meet up with an old friend of Kimi’s from Oregon, Chris C., who was in town for a class.

We ate at Asena, and it was delicious, a very good restaurant. Kimi had chicken with filo, Chris had the Mahi Mahi special, and I had pasta with crab meat.

Well worth the drive.

Boys love trucks

Wednesday, January 25th, 2006

Kyrie had an errand to run, so Sammy and I babysat Kyrie’s twins, Jack and Andy, for a couple of hours today. (They’re now about 2 1/2 years old.) We had a busy day planned (our agenda mostly being going to the park, where we had mandatory action items to accomplish in the areas of swinging, sliding and running around), but the boys were mainly distracted by “bobos.”

It took me a little bit of questioning to work out that a “bobo” is a bulldozer. The city is doing some work on the pipes under a street near us, and there were all kinds of earth movers and dirt trucks and water trucks and caterpillar trucks and “worker men” (a favorite Jack and Andy term) digging up and moving dirt. The boys were 100% fascinated. (Sammy less so.) At first, Jack and Andy were content to watch from the front window of our house, but then it quickly became clear that a closer view was required. So we sat on the sidewalk and watched for a while.

A looooong while.

I wish I had taken pictures. Gotta remember to take more pictures, and make this more of a picture blog.

Introducing… Kimi

Wednesday, January 25th, 2006

Zeigen Inc. introduces its first contributor: My wife, Kimi. (Drumroll, please!) I’ve shown her the blogging ropes and given her her own username to publish blog entries. Let’s see what happens. :)

Paternity leave

Wednesday, January 25th, 2006

Starting January 16, I’ve been on paternity leave from TiVo. I’ll be Mr. Mom aka the househusband (as friends have so hilariously entitled me) until the day after Valentine’s day (which is also Kimi’s birthday and the second anniversary of our engagement).

Kimi took her maternity leave starting September 1 (which turned out to be two weeks before Sammy was born instead of the month we expected) and she returned to work the same day I started my paternity leave.

The paternity leave is paid, thanks to the Paid Family Leave Act (PDF description of the law), so I’m not using up my vacation. Which is nice.

So as I write this, I’m mid-way through the second week of being Sammy’s full-time caretaker. I tell people when they ask that it’s the hardest job I’ve ever had. Here’s a snippet of some notes I was taking from the first evening and second day:

11:47 PM 1/16/2006
Shrieking and fussiness, wouldn’t nurse, later wouldn’t take bottle, finally wore himself out and went to sleep around 12:30 with pacifier

3:21 AM 1/17/2006
Woke with wet diaper, didn’t seem hungry, I put him in bouncy chair, was cooing and chatty and a little fussy. Pacifier at 3:29 and that didn’t work; Kimi fed him for a long time and I put him down a bit after 4.

Various waking up times after that; he slept with mommy for a while around 5.

Woke up for good at 8:17

We read the baby book, bounced.

Wet diaper through clothes, so we changed.

Bounced while I took a shower.

He seemed to want a bottle around 9:30 but was very fussy and shrieked. After being rocked, he went down for a nap around 9:45.

Woke up around 10:40. Finished bottle. Wet diaper.

11:19 AM: Playing in living room, read three books. Then to the exer-saucer as I did the dishes and boiled clean his bottles.

12:30 – 12:54 PM Tried to feed him a bottle of breast milk; he was ok for the first bit, then spit up most of it, then was fussy and screaming, but finally settled down, drank 2 ounces then conked out.

1:22 PM He awoke. Finished bottle by 1:40.

Play.

Nap/new bottle between 3 to 5.

Kimi home at 5, took Sammy then fed him at 6:30.

Bath at 7pm.

Fed him again 7:30 (snack)

Bed at 7:45.

Fed him again 8:10.

That’s quite a day. Kimi gets home around 5 or 5:30 or 6, and she usually misses him so much that she spends most of the evening being the primary caregiver. Certainly gives me new appreciation for what she went through.

Things are quite a bit better at night now that we’ve begun Ferberizing (more on that in a later post). I expect to talk more about Sammy and the paternity leave in future posts.

Why start a blog now? That’s so 2001.

Tuesday, January 24th, 2006

I resolved to start a blog this year.

In a sense, my personal site has had a blog since 1995: The news page dates back to 1995, and there are a handful of posi-web entries that are blog-like as well, dating from 1996 to 1999. (And there was my mood page too.) But I never really maintained those sections very well.

As I get older, I seem to get busier, and I find I have less and less time to write. By forcing myself to carve out part of the day to record my experiences, I hope to keep my friends and family up to date on what’s going on, and create an archive of activities, rambling thoughts, random pictures, and half-baked rants.

2005 was the most eventful year of my life; Kimi and I were married in April after getting engaged 2/14/04, and the main highlight was Sammy being born in September. Kimi and I also managed to stay in Tulum for our honeymoon and sneak off to Maui in November. As I think about some of those experiences, while it’s true that we do have some pictures, the clarity of my memories are fading with time. I would have liked to have recorded my reactions and thoughts about those meaningful and life-changing times closer to when they happened.

So, I resolved to start a blog this year.

I do worry about the audience. In some sense, it’s a bit intimidating knowing that potential readers could include:

  • random strangers
  • TiVo customers
  • friends of friends
  • co-workers (even possibly my employees and my bosses)
  • friends from high school, college, Berkeley, Impact, poker, Burning Man, antiweb, kibology, etc.
  • parents
  • my brothers and sister and sisters-in-law
  • my wife, and
  • (when he can read) my son

When the audience is that wide-ranging, how can I write honestly about a bad day at work, or an exciting but secret new project I’m working on, or a fight with Kimi? The answer is that I probably cannot. So instead of being a confessional, this blog will probably stay on the surface a bit. But even if I do nothing more than force myself to write about the things that happen, it means I can look back on this, years from now (presuming I pay my ISP and that California doesn’t sink into the ocean), and re-experience the events.

I resolved to start a blog this year. And now you’re soaking in it.