Thursday, March 27, 2008

Oh Hello Dad

We learned to hold a baby in Lamaze class over nine years ago -- always support the neck.

Does this position make Bucky look fat?

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

So Long, Canon A300

I'm one of those people that get attached to my "stuff" (you can imagine I'm a pack rat too, but we are not going there today). It takes me a great deal of effort to replace my gadgets, usually only when they quit on me.

My first digital camera was a Canon A300, bought almost five years ago when I celebrated my first anniversary at BEA Systems. It's been acting funny lately, and I'm getting rather tired of having to take pictures in small resolution in order to fit more than 10 pictures before the memory card is filled up. The 1"x1" LCD is taxing on my eyes.

Here is my new toy, my forth Canon (yeah, solid brand royalty there).

Canon PowerShot SD750, 7.1 mega pixel, 3X optical zoom. 3" LCD. One piece titanium body, practically indestructible. Long lasting rechargeable lithium battery with a full day on power. The total size is less than half of A300.

I added a pack of two 2GB memory cards (total 4GB), enough for over 4,000 high res pictures or close to an hour of video.

Costco is selling SD750 at $169, and 4GB memory cards $40, but Amazon is offering the camera with 2GB card at $180, free shipping, that's a great catch.

The very last picture from the old Canon A300.

Friday, March 21, 2008

House Expansion

Now that I've successfully filled up my house with yarn, we had a patio cover installed to create some outdoor space. Would also help blocking rain from coming into the kitchen on stormy days, which we had quite a few this winter. We chose a color that matches the trim of the house, and the cover looks like it's always been there.

Not sure what this will do to the rose bush right under the kitchen window yet. It's now pruned back for the winter, so only time will tell.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Other People's Dogs

My husband and I have been involved in various online communities since the early days of web. When Trinket joined us in 1995, naturally we reached out to the online dog communities. One such group was Terrier-L, which consisted owners of various terrier breeds from all of the world. Geordie, a black Scottie, belonged to Linda in Canada. Geordie was couple of months older than Trinket, much more mischievous, and sometimes Linda wrote to the group and asked if anyone had a shotgun. Linda's humorous writing of Geordie's antics accompanied us through out the years. Many group members consider Geordie part of the families. Geordie passed away on Monday. On a happier note, this video has been passed around in different groups. Keep your dogs away from the computer when you watch it, and if they see it, don't blame me if they want the machine.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Dickinson Pullover

Raglan style cable sweater with a comfortable fit. Started in January, and was going very fast until it got interrupted first by the baby vest, then the hat(s), and now the snuggle. Front is done, but the decrease is not quite right so I might have to rip out a few inches. One of the sleeves is almost done. Can you tell the second set of cables is not as wide as the first set? I'm not ripping it out.

Pattern: Dickinson Pullover by Kathy Zimmerman, Interweave Knits Fall 2007

Yarn: yellow worsted weight wool from knitswap, a very long time ago

Needle: Size 6

Monday, March 17, 2008

Last Minute Jaques Cousteau hat

My beloved ordered this hat for our trip to Tahoe in February, exactly a week before we headed out. We found a free pattern on Ravelry that we both thought would work. Then I knitted, ripped, knitted some more, ripped some more. Casted off around Sacramento (about an hour away from the snow), so he had a hat to wear and not catch a cold when they played, but it was a tad small. Final version was finished the night before we headed back. All in all, I knitted more than three hats in less than a week.

Pattern: Jacques Cousteau Hat, heavily modified on number of stitches, ribbing, decrease, but the idea is the same
Yarn: Paton's Classic Wool, black
Needles: size 6
Size: about 22"

Mitered Squares Doggie Snuggle

The Dogs on Thursday group is running Snuggle Project for the months of March and April. A Snuggle is a doggie blanket, usually made for dogs in shelters waiting to be adopted.

Mine is made with acrylic yarn from my charity stash, two strands of worsted weight yarns held together on size 11 needles. Each square is about 10" x 10". There will be 12 squares when I'm done. The blanket will be donated to either pug rescue or Humane Society.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Why Children Should Be Paid for Good Grades

1. A child works hard and earns good scores 2. Scores are collected, and in the case of standardized testing, reported as part of the school performance 3. The child's school gets a good rating 4. More people flock to your neighborhood because of this good school 5. Bidding wars happen when there is a house on the market because every parent wants his kids go to this school 6. Real estate goes up 7. Your asset goes up 8. You are rich, thanks to your child's good grades (Henry got paid with ice cream for earning an E+ on Math this week.)

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Trinket and his bumps

First, a picture of Trinket only a mother would take and love. (that's his butt and back legs flipped over, if you don't recongnize it)

This is the better end.

Trinket had mast cell tumor when he was about three years old. The vet removed a few bumps in surgery, with one of them being first degree (lowest) cancer. Dr. Larson was very confident that she got it all. In the past ten years, Trinket has grown quite a few bumps and lumps, on the skin or in the muscles. Dr. Larson always looked at them in his annual check up and told us every time that they are either fat deposit or cysts.

In the last few months, we started hearing some wheezing sound in Trinket's breath, and he seems to cough and gag more than he did before. I suspect there is blockage in his airways, or lungs. We are hesitating to have him evaluated:

1. Trinket and his littermates were neutered/spayed at a few weeks old so the rescue group could adopt them out. Five puppies went into the surgery, only three woke up. We've always tried to keep him from having to go under.

2. Trinket is perfectly happy with himself. He's playful, loves to eat, sleep, snuggle, go for his nightly walks. His quality of life can't be better than what it is today.

3. Trinket is a very private character, a two-people dog, well, maybe two and half, he can tolerate his human brother after living together for nine years. He never got along with Dr. Larson, despite her life saving skills. A regular check up requires days of recovery. Having her poke around or stick a tube in his throat would be everyone's nightmare.

4. I'm happy to see my first born content with his life at thirteen years old. Extensive diagnoses and treatments may lengthen his time with us, but it would be the life as a patient.

Dog people, what would you do?

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Playful Bucky

Bucky has this little game he plays. When he knows he has your attention, he picks a toy, waves it in front of you, but as soon as you reach out to grab it, he turns and runs. Thus making you chase him.

Here he is, waving the squeky dog he got from our Dogs on Thursday Christmas gift exchange buddies, JackJack and Abigail (and their mom Natalie).

Where should I go next?

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

The Irony of Solar Power

Some of you might remember that I drive a classic Prius (second year). I'm all for clean energy, or saving energy for that matter. Last year I seriously thought about investing in a solar company freshly opened in my town (which by the way, has recently been crowned Los Idiotas by my talented friend Zelda), until it turned out they only do installations. The solar panels used in sunny California are made by a subsidiary of Cypress Semiconductor, SunPower. SunPower was in the news recently. The CEO was featured in San Jose Mercury News Business section in an interview about how well the company is doing and all that. This renewed my interest in this wonderful plentiful renewable energy. SunPower makes solar panels that are installed on commercial or residential buildings. The uniform looking, stylish black panels sit on the roof, convert solar energy into electricity. The initial investment could be high, but the energy is clean, there is no harmful by product, and you get to have a PG&E bill a fraction of what you pay now. Sounds like a perfect win-win situation. One of the main materials used in solar cells is silicon. SunPower has recently signed not one but two deals to import silicon from -- guess who: Saudi Arabia Read more about it here. Using the logic of this VP of Communications at SunPower, Saudi's know Americans will do anything for energy, they know how to do business (aka, manipulate) these silly Americans, then we should go on and keep them happy. Cause they'll get what they want (US dollars), and we'll get what we think we want (clean energy?). World peace. Let's not even think about all the sand in Sahara desert and all those folks that can use a few dollars there.