These are the two vegetables that we had with dinner the other night. I’m pretty sure our kids are totally unfamiliar with their proper names. But who cares? They both taste yummy with a little cheese sauce. Fortunately, they’re both still to young to understand why I thought ‘You want a little head?’ (and variations thereof) is so funny.
A while back, I wrote about some annoying behavior with iTunes regarding podcasts. I’ve worked around that problem by adding my podcasts to playlists and syncing them as playlists instead of via the Podcasts sync screen.
This means that syncing podcasts to my iPod is not as automatic as it was before, but I don’t mind managing a couple of playlists by hand. It also solves another minor problem: a couple of the podcasts that I subscribe to consist of very short recordings. I can listen to several of those during one commute. The problem is that if I play them via the Podcasts menu on my iPod, at the end of each one, I have to navigate from the top level menu back down to the podcast and play the next one. Not a great idea when I’m driving at 70 mph. But, if I add all of them to a playlist and play that, my iPod will just play one podcast after another.
Update January 11, 2007: Please see Apple’s intended solution to this problem.
At the beginning of the month, I blogged about Austin’s new toll expressways and their effect on my commute. Now that we’ve lived with them for almost a month, I’m having other thoughts.
Pflugerville has long been one of Austin’s lesser known suburbs, and our subdivision is on the outskirts of Pflugerville. Now, all of a sudden, we have two expressways leading directly to Pflugerville, and more precisely, to our neighborhood’s front door. A month ago, we would have been loath to go into Austin, or even nearby Round Rock, without a really good reason. Now, Round Rock has the closest shopping and running into Austin is largely not a big deal.
On top of all this is the feeling of impending
doom development. Since we’re at the intersection of two freeways, I think our area is about to become the new retail hub. In a couple of years, it will look nothing like it does today. Strange.
I’ve had a very predictable evening routine for the last several years. After dinner, get Samuel ready for bed. Then, at around 8:30 or so, I spent an hour or more on his second bed, usually with my laptop, because he would only go to sleep with someone in the room with him. After 60-90 minutes, when I was sure he was sound asleep, I’d slip out, maybe watch TV for 30 minutes and then retire myself at 10 p.m. or a little later.
A couple of months ago, we finally sought help on Samuel’s sleep problems (the bedtime routine and the fact that he rarely stayed in his room the full night). Over the last few weeks, he started to sleep all night in his bed, but he was still resistant to going to sleep alone. He wanted to do so, but was still afraid. Then, week before last at bedtime, Katie asked him again, and this time he said that he would try it. He’s gone to bed by himself almost every night since! He spent two nights over Thanksgiving weekend with his Uncle Jim, and he slept by himself in the gust room there. That was a very big accomplishment.
So, now I have my evenings again. Since Katie usually goes to sleep by 9:00 or so, it’s nice to have time again with her again. But in addition to that, I have time to myself to do whatever I want. I’m still adjusting. So far, I’ve watched quite a bit of TV. But now that I’m getting tired of TV, I’m starting to pick up my former activities: I’ve been thinking about getting my needlepoint out again and I’m thinking about some personal programming projects.
Yesterday, we started discussing what craft we would do for Christmas gifts. One thing led to another and the next thing I knew, the kids and I were at Home Depot. We made a home portrait studio out of a 6′ x 6′ upright PVC frame, a 9′x12′ dropcloth, and some clamp-on lights.
We set up our portrait studio in front of a big window for as much indirect natural light as possible, and we did two photo shoots over the weekend.
The result is the Xenadog Unleashed 2007 calendar that we have published on lulu.com. Get your copy now hot off the press!
November 1 marks the opening of the toll freeways in red on the map below. Although I’m fundamentally against the idea of toll roads, now that they’re a fact, I’m sure we’ll take advantage of them. If I choose to pay for it, my commute should go from 35+ minutes to around 15 minutes. I’ll get on Hwy 45 about 1/2 mile from my house and exit Mopac (Loop 1) in front of my office.
Officials are saying that tolls will average $.10-.12 per mile, and I estimate that I’ll have 10 miles of toll roads eacy way, so I’m calculating a cost of $40/month for saving that 30-40 minutes per day. Time is indeed money, so this seems like a good buy to me.
Click on the map image to see a larger version. The map is taken from here.
I’m generally a very tidy person. I like to think that I don’t organize for its own sake (Katie’s opinion would differ), but I definitely like to know where to find things. Even when I leave things out, I tend to leave them in the same place. Conversely, it drives me insane that Katie leaves the portable telephone wherever she was when she ended her last phone call.
But after reading Jason Levine’s post about his new workbench, it dawned on me that my workbench is definitely the exception to my general tidiness.
As you can see from the photo, I just pile stuff on my workbench. Every few weeks, I go out and put everything away, but then I let it pile up again. The photo above is about in the middle of this cycle. It’ll get a little worse before I get around to cleaning it off again.
I’m not really sure why my workbench is so messy. I suspect it’s because I just don’t have enough room to organize everything well in the garage. I’m thinking now that maybe I should rearrange the garage to make more storage space for tools and such. Unfortunately, that has to be a relatively low priority home improvement project. I’ve got several other more important tasks on my honey-do list.
Maybe I’ll find some better organization alternatives when the new Ikea opens in the next couple of months.