estro: little blue imp (Default)
( Jun. 15th, 2021 12:01 am)
I am still pretty peeved about the external events that led to my friends-locking most of my back entries, but not enough to lock most of my current posts. That being said, If I know you, I will probably return add you. If you have an interesting journal, I may return add-you. If I don't know you, but should, comment here and I will consider it. :}

On my friends-list or no, rational or reasonably thought-provoking responses to any of my open posts are welcome. Being civil is a requirement.

(Really, my open content isn't that interesting or incriminating of any party than myself. To make drama out of it requires incredibly immature ass-hattery. Given this, I am sure all the other parties involved truly deserve each other.)

Will continue to read LJ as I don't want to lose the folks who are staying. Will keep this cross-posting for some time longer for much the same reason.
About two weeks ago the sprog had surgery on his hand to remove the spare, dangly, not quite a finger nubbin (write error) and separate the webbed fingers (family trait). The full arm cast is really inconvenient, though after a few days he pretty much acclimated to it. (That first day though, so much pathos as he had to learn to navigate things like playing with legos one handed)

Acclimated might be an understatement. That he has decided that having a full arm cast is more or less irrelevant to most activities is probably closer to accurate. Earlier this week he wanted to ride his bike. "Little dude, you have a cast on, I don't think that is going to work." "I have a hand!" We vetoed it anyway.

We did take him to circus class today because he really loves it. There was a small set of things he couldn't do because of the cast but somersaults and swinging from the trapeze were not in it.

estro: little blue imp (Default)
( Apr. 17th, 2017 09:58 pm)
Three or four years ago around this time, Michael and I did a day trip to Yosemite from his then-home in Folsom. At that point it had probably been a decade since I had done any springtime driving outside of the urban bay area and I had forgotten that the California landscape actually turns green during for a brief window in spring.

The weekend before last I got another reminder as we took a trip to introduce the sprog to the snow. After all the rain we’ve had (and are still having) the only parts of the scenery that were not bogglingly green were instead brilliant yellow (mostly mustard), orange (mostly poppies), or blue (mostly lupine). And those flowers aren’t even part of the superbloom that is slowly working its way up the state.

Excluding the part of the trip that involved snow, it was a wonderful weekend getaway, even with everything being slightly soggy: Lots of time spent in playgrounds in twee former mining towns and looking for historic markers. (The quaint bed and breakfast/boutique towns normally aren’t my thing, but all of Calaveras county hams up the frog motif so I am instead kinda endeared.)

The part of the trip that had snow, at most 4 hours of it, were not quire so delightful: we learned that Torben doesn’t like snow. Really, absolutely hates snow. First we stopped by Big Trees State Park with the intent of wearing him out so he would nap in the car during the hour drive to a snow park. Normally around now Big Trees is below the snowline and open for hikes. This year all but a short loop were still closed and it was beginning to snow when we got there. There was already an inch or so accumulated when we got out of the car. Torben was not impressed: not only was it cold, this wet white stuff was getting all over his new snow-boots and sticking to his mittens. Despite this early sign of displeasure, we decided to double down and take him up to 6700 feet where not only was the snow really coming down, but it is deep enough to stick around well into the summer. (Yay! While the drought is not undone (due to the severe damage we have done to the central valley's water table) this is sorely needed).

At the snow park we were outside for at most 15 minutes; all of it misery for the child. Michael was sure that the fun of sledding would overcome Torben's unhappiness of being bundled up and forced into a world of cold mushy stuff so we gave it a try (it was a reasonable expectation). He towed Torben up a short, gentle hill (with said sprog laying on his back in the sled, arms in the air like a dead bug, and whimpering the whole way), sat him up and asked him if he wanted to sled down to mommy. At this point Torben started crying. Michael talked to him a bit more and he stopped crying, resigned to his sledding fate. Michael gave him a gentle push and he came flying down the hill on the sled, whizzing past me into a snowdrift… and then the tears really began. He was on his back, covered in snow, and had no real mobility. I ran over picked him up, dusted him off, and started the comforting as Michael ran down the hill. Michael then carried him back to the car, apologizing the whole way. Once in the car and out of the bulky snowsuit (he insisted the new boots had to be put back on though) Torben calmed down and was back to cheerful once he was assured that we were going to leave the snow.

We still felt like horrible parents. Ah well, lesson learned; we will wait a few years before we try again.
Though slower than the BigAssCruiser (which was not exactly a performance vehicle, either) Torben is also happy with this one. Michael enjoys riding it more than I do, but some of that may just be because my two wheeled biking habits are much more engrained.

After a few loops of the a pedestrian path and local parking lot we took it on its maiden voyage to the bike store. As almost every connection is quick-release, U and cable locks were an almost urgent first purchase. A second (and far less practical purchase) may be POV wheel lights as I am really hoping that one of the next East Bay Bike Party Rides will follow a sufficiently nearby route. (It is a very tight fit through our front door and it does fit in one of the building elevators without having to remove is still enormous and I have doubts about it ever taking it on BART).

video snippets behind cut )
New bike (well, trike) finally showed up! The apartment is full of parts as we get ready to assemble it. This is not a process that is made easier by a very excited toddler wanting to be helpful.

I am thoroughly delighted that they used Van Moof's package labeling idea though there was enough bubble wrap on the outside that it probably didn't make a difference.

Okay, back to reading instructions for assembly.
estro: little blue imp (lil imp icon)
( Mar. 14th, 2017 09:58 pm)
Pretty much every pie-day I am surprised to rediscover that the pies I prefer to both make and eat are generally not everyone else's favorite variety. While yes, this means more pie for me, it also means I don't get as many sharing warm num-nums from the lemon chess pie as I would have had I made a pecan pie (I had duck-eggs, making a custard-based pie was not optional).

Heh, I also have to hide the slight disappointment I feel for my coworkers when they get really excited about something like a chocolate pudding pie. (I miss my French former coworker who would bring this amazing dark chocolate tortes and then call out people for their plebeian tastes when the banana & 'Nilla pie disappeared first. He pretty much said what I was thinking, except in an amazingly twee accent.)
I am having doubts we are ever going get Torben out of our bed. While this is fine now, and I find it comforting, it is going to be notably problematic in about 5 months (we have a back-up model due in July). We have a king bed, but since toddlers are like cats in their ability to take up most of the bed I am not sure there will be room for all of us.

We have made attempts to convince him he wants his own "big-boy" bed but he's really not having it. We have gone to Ikea to have him pick out a bed; the little bugger even happily played "night-night" in all of them, but didn't want any of them as his own. We have even tried working the competitive angle with pointing out all of his age-mates who sleep on their own. I don't know that pity or scorn are in his emotional lexicon yet, but his non-verbal responses read as some toddlery version of "what chumps".

He goes to bed relatively easily in strange places (camping, motels, in his wagon while hanging out late at a local friend's house) so a trivial change like a new bed should be no problem...but his reliably staying asleep for longer durations or getting him calmed again after a night-terror seems to require his being able to touch one of us. And he is very opposed to the idea.

Ah well. At least while he still sleeps with us we can continue to procrastinate on a bunch of childproofing stuff.

*he drools pretty much constantly while awake. This doesn't appear to be a developmental or physiological issue, and he will "swallow his slobber" if you remind him, but he soaks through shirts constantly.
estro: little blue imp (lil imp icon)
( Jan. 23rd, 2017 10:49 pm)
So maybe getting a toddler a cheap bubble blower to keep him entertained while being schlepped around in a wagon for the Women's March on Saturday wasn't entirely well thought out. The sprog ended up drenched in bubble solution and only managed to hold it at the correct angle to produce bubbles intermittently. I think I need to make a mount for the wagon for next time; either that or spring for a better bubble blowing mechanism.

On the other hand, he enjoyed people watching, clapped every time one of the cheer roars came about, and got kisses from almost every dog we met. Also, a lady gave him a fleece pink-pussy-hat which he wore all weekend.
...hasn't tried to catch up on two months of posts.

In early October half my company got laid off after an internal board-level coup. I still have anger over this.

In the end of October I got mugged. The biggest side-effect of which is data-loss (my frustration with the various cloud services "helpfulness" in merging data means I hadn't recently backed up my phone to anything other than my work laptop... which was also stolen. Oops.) So, if you think I have your address and phone number, you may be incorrect. If you would like me to have this info (giving me an address results in a chance at an illegible holiday card) please email me: estro at the domain name

Heh, shortly before the mugging I discovered I accidentally had collected a sizeable collection of dog and cat butt pictures (I only realized this when I went to look for a non-personal image to attach to an email and those were all I could find. I am not actually a BOFH type IT person... but developers occasionally earned a fuzzy butt pic for their issues. I have some regrets that this carefully curated collection is lost.
estro: little blue imp (lil imp icon)
( Sep. 6th, 2016 05:34 pm)
...maybe if I keep it in short little thoughts I will get them out instead of hoping to get a long form exploration of any one thing and then just not doing it.

And by short I mean maybe I should use a cut tag )
I am not normally gleeful about things that cause our toddler meltdowns when he's told he can't have or do... but he really likes bike-rides, so I am. I now ride to daycare with him a few days a week, leaving the bike seat and his helmet there as I continue on to work. The gent brings the seat & helmet home when he picks Torben up from daycare. The first day, Torben had a fit because he got put in a a car-seat rather than on a bike even though he could see that his helmet & seat were right there! The second time he insisted on wearing his helmet from daycare to the car, then from the car to the apartment. Since then he has gotten better at acceptance, but still occasionally lets his ire be known.

The downside to this whole thing is that the bike seat that I purchased 8 months ago based on reviews and ratings (and was described as universal fit) does not actually work with any standard US style road bike. I mean, yes it fits on my bike, but the bike is then close to unrideable. Finally, last month, rather than solve this problem by getting a different bikeseat I just got a new bike: an oversized beach cruiser.

Alas, beach cruisers are not performance vehicles. This isn't a problem on the flat, sedate, mostly bike-lane'd route to daycare, but it is a frustration on the rest of my commute. Downtown San Francisco is a mess of construction sites on top of the usual congestion. Even where there are bike lanes I feel like the awkward little old lady in a land yacht doing 45 on the freeway and annoying all of the regular road-bike commuters. The Oakland end isn't great either if I take the ferry (a longer but much nicer trip) I have to ride through the port of Oakland just as all the big-rigs are queueing up for the morning.

Ah well. The kid loves going on bike rides and the bike means I am more likely to get to work at a reasonable time. Woohoo!
This afternoon the sprog was far more mellow turning into outright lethargy. Oh, hey look, he also has a high fever! I suspect a sinus infection as he has been extraordinarily snotty* today as well as having started getting eye boogers.

Bleh. I was so looking forward to finally taking him on a bike ride tomorrow (I finally caved and got a extra large beach-cruiser as that seems to be the only way to have a bike be ridable with a stem mounted baby seat.)

Totally unrelatedly, the RavenMaster of the Tower of London posts delightful videos on his twitter feed:

*"Snakes and snails and puppy dog tails" is a lie. Really, little boys are made of snot & drool.
I am offering many thanks to all & whichever relevant powers-that-be for having all these frustrations in series rather than on top of one another, but it has gotten to the point that I am kinda wondering what problem is going to arise next.

Since the last whiny post:

Yesterday I finally came down with the stomach bug Torben had (I had been boggling that I had escaped given how much of his drool I must ingest). Fortunately, despite a slightly queasy stomach, I was only inflicted with tail end of the problem.

More eventfully, on Wednesday I got rear-ended on the way from dropping Torben off at day-care. I am fine and the gent's car is also relatively unscathed. The other car? Not so much: Front end was crunched and both airbags went off. As the person who was rear ended I am not at fault but I feel some guilt that my deciding to stop at a crosswalk to let a cyclist cross resulted in a much shittier situation for the person who rear-ended me: loss of a vehicle that is likely a requirement for managing work/family needs (the car was long enough in the tooth that insurance payments probably won't cover a replacement, and those insurance rates are likely to go up). By comparison, my day: No-one minded my being late for work (ok, ok, as usual) and my boss and I decided that our weekly one on one should be over cocktails since the conference rooms were all booked.

Yesterday I finally came down with the stomach bug Torben had (I had been boggling that I had escaped given how much of his drool I must ingest). Fortunately, despite a slightly queasy stomach, I was only inflicted with tail end of the problem.
That isn't entirely true, but last time I came home from a week in New Orleans I had bronchitis and this time I seem to have the flu. Fortunately the gent hasn't gotten it, and the sprog has had his shots so his made-of-snottedness is just normal toddler cold-stuffs. Also, importantly, [ profile] iridium & her roommate don't seem to have it, because that would be an awful parting gift to delightful hosts.


As I was writing the above a week ago, while Michael was off to pick up Torben from daycare, Michael called me to tell me that Torben had just puked all over and was really lethargic. Child's first stomach bug. Needless to say, the past week has been an unfun learning experience as I got over the tail end of my flu while our toddler spent several days vomiting frequently.

The sprog is now mostly fine again, but has gained a pickiness about food that is part punch-shyness earned over 3 days of puking regularly and part arbitrary objections as he has learned to express opinions and wants about food.

All of the things I had wanted to write about New Orleans and Mardis Gras have been washed away in floods of regurgitated orange Pedialyte. <sigh>
estro: little blue imp (lil imp icon)


( Feb. 15th, 2016 09:54 pm)
Since 10/31/15:

List new to me recipes (and a handful of made up as I go recipes):

  • Alphabet soup, a kludge. Used tiny chuncks of tofu marinated in veggie oyster sauce, soy, and miso as the protein element. The rest was the standard veggie broth with kale ribbons, misc tubers, onions, and a bell pepper.

  • Mushroom broccoli quinoa casserole Also known as looking up recipes on the internet based on what needs to be used before it expires. While it is essentially a mac & cheese with quinoa instead of mac, it was sufficiently tasty to repeat as a single dish dinner.

  • Beet, kale, and quinoa salad from Thug Kitchen.

  • Tartine's pumpkin pie

  • Ermine icing with bourbon. This was a kludge that didn't go so well. It was tasty, but I suspect I didn't get the boiled milk part thick enough.

  • ( A buttermilk pound cake) from Bake it Like You Mean It

  • Butterscotch pie - First Prize Pies (This one had a brisket spilled in it, so did not get to experience it as a pie).

  • Butterscotch Pie with Marshmallow Thyme Meringue - Homemade Decadence

  • Ginger Pennies - Rose's Christmas Cookies

  • Brownies - Tartine

  • Jumble - Roses Christmas Cookies>
  • Bourbon Spike Russian Tea

  • Chicken Cacciatore - Art of the slow cooker

  • jerk chicken

  • cranberry sauce

  • blackberry lemon ginger
estro: little blue imp (lil imp icon)
( Dec. 12th, 2015 01:39 pm)
My bar for humor may be really low but there seems to be a GoRuck Tough event going on in the same space as this Ingress event. And the two GoRuck teams are also dressed in either green or blue. I nearly cried with laughter watching the folks with cell phones crowding the park outside get chase out by a screaming boot-camp like mob charging in and doing weight lifts.
We managed to keep a little human alive for a full year! (And counting).

The list of things we haven't managed to do is a bit longer. It includes things like: mop more than once every few months, enable me to get to work on time more than once a week, ever have all of the clean laundry put away, make it to the climbing gym I pay membership for and is across the street from our apartment complex <sigh>, etc. etc.

This year has included visits from [ profile] elkor and [ profile] iridium, a few camping trips, and one attempt at taking Torben kayaking (which, to be fair, was kinda baby torture: Strap him into a PFD which he doesn't like wearing, make him sit still when he would rather be climbing about, and occasionally drip cold water on his head).

This year has also, included one ER trip for the gent (diabetic sugar crash in the middle of the night), one for Torben (only croup, but still), and two hospital stays for the gent's mother. The most recent of which started last night (and thus we have cancelled our cocktails & cake plan for tonight. I feel a bit guilty about how butt-hurt I am for not getting to make a fancy cake for Torben's first birthday.)

He has been walking for about two months and I have stopped trying to document his at least one per weekend injuries as his coordination doesn't quite match his intents. He doesn't have any words yet, but his barbaric yop game is strong (you may have to click through for the video).
Google manages to piss me off so often by making various odious a requirement for using the tools that I like. Frequently ruining some amount of that tool's utility to me (likely after having killed the market such that I can't even pay for a tool that works the way I want it to).

But then they go and do something really really cool,
like mapping the climbing route up El Capitan. and other adventures.
estro: little blue imp (lil imp icon)
( May. 18th, 2015 07:50 pm)
I am putting this here so I can close the damned tab*: Excellent lemon ricotta pancake recipe

This I am posting for the all of you (as I have it in an actual paper cookbook):Brown Sugar Kitchen's cornmeal waffles

Ages ago I was doing thrice a year posts listing all of the new recipes I had tried. Part of me wants to return to that documenting; part of me is sheepish about publicly displaying just how often I make sweets. (That being said, I now have an ice-cream maker so my meringue game has gotten really good).

*Sadly, over a decade's worth of unsorted and unsearchable bookmarks made a tagged LJ post the more reliable option for saving links.



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