Diary of a geek

February 2014
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Andrew Pollock


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Friday, 28 February 2014

Day 31, Coochiemudlo Island to Melbourne in one day

Wow, today was pretty crazy in terms of the travel we managed to pack into one day.

This morning, Zoe woke up at about 5:30am and jumped into bed with me for a snuggle and another half hour nap. After that we got up. Zoe had been eyeing off the egg cups in the house, and so I'd wanted to do soft-boiled eggs for breakfast. So we doused ourselves in mosquito repellent and raided the chicken coop.

I don't think I've ever cooked soft-boiled eggs in my entire adult life, and today wasn't an exception. They came out hard-boiled. Zoe still ate them anyway, she just couldn't do the toast soldier thing. I need to buy some egg cups for home and we can try again. I hear the Thermomix can do boiled eggs.

After breakfast and a shower, I got stuck into packing up and cleaning the house, and Zoe watched TV. At 8am she turned off the TV and declared she wanted to play in the yard. It was nice to see that she wanted to do something more than just veg out in front of the TV, without prompting.

I had us all packed up by about 8:30am and we were only 5 minutes from where the barge docked, so we drove over to the other end of the island to take a look at the place at high tide. It was quite different from the two days before in the afternoon at low tide. The stick that we'd walked out to was barely above the waterline.

Then we drove back to wait in the queue for the barge. The barge journey back was uneventful and we made it back home by 10am, which was about the time I was expecting, and rendezvoused with my girlfriend, and did a fast unpack and repack. We then headed to the airport, arriving comfortably with enough time to check our luggage and get some lunch to take onto the plane.

Zoe was great for the flight down. She watched Brave on the in-flight WiFi entertainment on my phone, and got to fit the whole movie in before we landed, but this meant she skipped a nap.

By the time we got to Melbourne Airport, she was in the post-tired manic state, but we weren't in any particular rush, so we had a very roundabout trip to baggage claim, and then after we'd acquired some Myki cards, caught a taxi to our accommodation in South Melbourne.

After we'd unpacked and settled in, and I'd gotten some supplies from the local convenience store, we caught a tram into Bourke Street to go to Chinatown for dinner, after checking out the view from the observation deck on the 28th floor.

We found a great dumpling place, and Zoe really enjoyed the pork dumpling and noodle soup that I ordered for her. She kept alternating between eating the noodles with her training chopsticks and the broth with one of the big spoons. She was getting really over-tired and over-stimulated by this point, so it was quite a bit of cat-herding to get to Chinatown, and more so getting back to a tram to come back.

We got home, Zoe had a quick shower and went to bed without a peep. Her room is nice and dark, so I'm hoping that she'll have a bit of a sleep in tomorrow. (Wishful thinking).

I'm really quite pleased with how smoothly today's travel went. Everything went off without a hitch.

[03:16] [life] [permalink]

Thursday, 27 February 2014

Day 30, A full day on Coochie

Last night went pretty well. Once I got Zoe to sleep, she slept well, with only a brief wake up around 2am. Any mosquito bites she sustained didn't seem to give her any grief. She woke this morning at 6am. It makes me think the blackout curtains at home aren't really contributing to her sleeping in.

We had a lazy start to the day. Zoe watched some TV after breakfast, and after I had a shower, fed some bread crusts to the chickens and then we played with the box of dress up costumes for a little while.

After that, we jumped on the bike and went down to check out the trademark of Quirky Cottages, a bunch of converted rail cars and "zoo". There were chickens, geese, guinea pigs, a sheep and a donkey. The rail cars weren't anything much to phone home about (much like the Cow House). In fact the whole affair looked a bit dilapidated.

Then we continued on the bike down to the local playground, where Zoe had a swing for a bit. We walked over to the jetty and watched the passenger ferry arrive, and then bought a loaf of bread at the store and biked back to the house.

It was too early to have lunch, so we just pottered around in the yard. We inspected the chicken coop, and Zoe played on the swings and swung from the rope swing. We tried and failed to catch a chicken, because Zoe wanted me to pick one up.

We had lunch, and then Zoe had some fabulous self-directed imaginative play indoors with the various props the house had to offer, while I put my feet up. Then she declared she wanted to take a nap anyway.

After her nap, I wanted to go back to the beach. I'd gotten myself all organised so that we could try and jump on the bike as soon as possible once Zoe woke up, but there was the requisite amount of stuffing around. I'd put Zoe's water shoes on, so she could ride in the trailer in her swim gear ready to go, but she had a mosquito bite on her foot that was giving her grief, so I cut my losses, and took the water shoes off and put her sandals back on, and promptly left the water shoes behind. We got all the way to the beach before I realised, and so we had to go back and get them.

Once we finally made it back to the beach, I chose a different location than yesterday, just so we would not have any memories of the mud crab incident to deal with. It turned out to be a good choice, because we had a fabulous time exploring.

The tide was even lower than yesterday, and the water was a bit silty, so we didn't do much paddling around in it, instead we explored the rock pools.

We found some tiny (1 centimetre and smaller) hermit crabs. These didn't seem to freak Zoe out, and she was even prepared to hold them. We saw some really small mud crabs. Once we were still for a little while heaps of soldier crabs started coming out, right near us. That was pretty cool.

On the walk back to the bike, I found a crab claw on the beach, so Zoe got to take that as souvenir. I showed her how the claw opened and closed. I think we'll have to eat a crab in the near future, just so she can get a good look at one up close.

I most liked how as the excursion progressed, Zoe became more and more confident with the rocks and the tide pools. Initially she was apprehensive of everything, but starting with the soldier crabs, she'd become more and more comfortable with everything. I'd poke at stuff, she'd poke at stuff. It finished with her being comfortable wandering off to explore on her own.

We got home, Zoe had a shower and then I made dinner while she watched TV. We read some stories and so far bedtime appears to have gone pretty smoothly, which is good. I'm feeling quite exhausted. Tomorrow morning we have to pack everything up and be on the 9am barge out of here so we can race home, and repack to fly down to Melbourne for the weekend.

[02:38] [life] [permalink]

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Day 29, Coochiemudlo Island and The Cow House

I thought it might be a good idea for Zoe to do something out of the ordinary while Sarah was away, to help pass the time, so I booked The Cow House, one of the Quirky Cottages on Coochiemudlo Island for a couple of nights. I'm thinking it'll be a fun goal to work our way around all of the islands in Moreton Bay eventually, and Coochie is an easy 20 minute barge journey from Victoria Point, so it seemed like as good a starting point as any.

So I packed the car up this morning, and after my 8am chiropractic adjustment, we set out. I'd initially thought the barge left at 9:40am, but I was relieved discover it was 10:40am. That extra hour up my sleeve made things much less hectic. It was a 40 minute drive from home to Victoria Point, and we arrived with enough time for Zoe to have a quick play in a nearby playground before we had to drive onto the barge.

The house is nothing to phone home about. In fact the mobile coverage is so patchy, phoning home would be rather difficult. It's an old two bedroom fibro shack, with a painted concrete floor. It's been nicely painted in cow print and themed extremely bovinely. Zoe loved it. There were stuffed cows everywhere. She even found some cow slippers. There's chickens running around loose outside. My biggest beef with the place is the fly screens aren't intact, and there are plenty of mosquitoes about. I'm going to have keep Zoe lathered in mosquito repellent or we're going to have a bad time.

There is a good supply of kids' dress up costumes, and Zoe's been prancing around the house in a pink princess dress any time she gets the opportunity.

I brought the bike and bike trailer with me (which ended up making packing the car more of a challenge). After Zoe's nap, we went for an explore around the island by bike. There was no road around the outside of the island, so we followed the main road along the width of the island, and reached the other side in about 5 minutes. The tide was out, so we decided to return back to the house to get our swim gear and come back and have a bit of a splash around in the water.

We biked back in our swim gear. I'd bought Zoe a pair of water shoes so we didn't have to worry about what we were walking on, and I wore my snorkeling boots. The tide was out, but it looked like it was coming back in. We walked out to a big pole that was in the water marking some rocks and then started walking back again. Zoe was a bit standoffish about rocks in the water, and generally a bit apprehensive of anything strange along the way.

I spotted a mud crab in really shallow water by the shore, and brought Zoe over to see it. It had half buried itself in the sand, so I nudged it with my boot and it came out with its claws out, and Zoe completely freaked out when it started walking in her direction and she gave the most bloodcurdling scream I've ever heard her make (way worse than when she had her last vaccinations) and she climbed up my leg like a rat up a rope.

That was the end of that. She wasn't very interested in walking along the beach lest we run into any more crabs, so we biked back to our side of the island, had an ice cream and returned to the house so Zoe could have a shower and I could start dinner.

Zoe's sleeping in a king sized bed tonight, so we'll see how that works out. Bedtime has been a little bit interesting because of the change of surroundings, and there's been a lot of pining for Mummy. Hard to say if it's because of the nap today or the different sleeping arrangements.

[02:30] [life] [permalink]

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Day 28, Kindergarten, Taxes and a smattering of appointments

Today was yet another busy day.

Zoe seems to have taken to waking up at around 5:30am instead of her normal 6:00am (or a bit later when I'm really lucky). Not sure what that's all about. I did get her to go back to bed until about 6:55am, and then she was happy to just come and snuggle in bed with me for a bit instead of play games on her Nexus 7.

After that we had a leisurely start to day, making porridge with strawberries in the Thermomix, and then biked to Kindergarten. Somehow it still managed to be 8:45am by the time we got there. I was expecting it would be closer to 8:30am. Drop off looked like it was going to be clingy, but then she just waved me off, so that was nice.

I had an appointment at the podiatrist at 11:40am, and that was back near Kindergarten, but further away from home, so I had this grand plan of cycling over there, and then twiddling my thumbs for a bit before Kindergarten pickup. That left me with only a couple of hours at home to work on my taxes before I had to leave again. I managed to make those couple of hours productive though, so that was good.

I biked to the podiatrist, had my appointment, and then it was 1pm and I still needed lunch, so I decided to grab some at a cafe near the Kindergarten. I chilled out there for a while catching up on social media on my phone, and then headed over to the Kindergarten, but was still quite early, so I just hung out on one of the couches they have out by the front door, out of sight of the kids.

The Kindergarten has an A-frame whiteboard out the front that they use to broadcast messages to parents at drop off and pick up time. One of the teachers came out to write something on it while I was sitting out there, and another parent reacted rather negatively to it as it was being written, so I had to go see it for myself. Apparently a child had a suspected gastro bug (he'd thrown up a couple of times). It was interesting observing the reactions of a few mothers as they trickled in for pick up. It's been a while since a gastro bug has gone through the household, so I guess the news didn't evoke a particularly powerful reaction in me. I'm going with the "suspected" and that hopefully Zoe didn't come into contact with patient zero. I guess time will tell. I certainly hope she doesn't come down with anything between now and Sunday, with all the travel we're doing.

I had an accident report to sign today. Apparently a large wooden block hit Zoe in the head while they were packing up a tower they'd made. She had a bit of a lump on her head, but otherwise seemed fine.

Zoe had a nap today, of unknown length, but woke up naturally as I entered the room. She took a fair while to get going though, and was grumpy and uncooperative getting on the bike. I ended up having to do it the "hard way" and we had a fabulous ride back with her doing a tired cry all the way. All the way until we passed a playground, when she snapped out of it and declared she wanted to have a play.

I'd booked myself in for a haircut at 3pm, and a make up swim class at 4:45pm (to cover our absence this Saturday due to our Melbourne trip) so playing in the playground seemed like the perfect way to fill the gap. It was even on the way to swim class. So after I had my haircut, we popped home, grabbed her swim gear, and biked back to the playground for a bit.

Then we went to swim class. This was her third one at her new level, and her progress continues to go very well. It's really exciting watching her.

Zoe took her time leaving the pool, so we didn't get home until after 5:30pm and I hadn't started dinner yet. I whipped it up while Zoe watched some TV, and I managed to recoup all of the lost time after dinner and still get Zoe to bed at a reasonable hour.

Bedtime itself went nice and smoothly. I used the canned goodnight video I asked Sarah to make for the first time tonight, and it was well received and I think defused any potential issues. I'm hoping she'll sleep well tonight, as her mosquito bites don't seem to be actively giving her trouble any more.

[02:59] [life] [permalink]

Sprained ankle, part 3

My right ankle has never been quite right ever since I sprained it in 2008. The ankle is always a bit enlarged, sometimes more so after running.

With all the running I've been doing back in Brisbane, I had this niggling concern in the back of my head that I might be doing myself some long term damage, so last year I packed myself off to see a physiotherapist that was within walking distance of home.

He declared that I had blown out two of the ligaments in my foot from the sprain, and that my calf was compensating for it a bit. The swelling was just scar tissue. He gave me a bunch of exercises to do, and I had some electrotherapy on my calf for a few weeks and I went on my way. I think I'm supposed to do the exercises every time before I run, but that hasn't happened. It's hard enough to make the time to run, without having to prepend a bunch of exercises as well.

One of my neighbours works for my FootDr, so I asked her if they did video run gait analysis, because I was interested in seeing if there was anything I could do to improve my running gait. They did, and so I finally got around to making an appointment for today.

The appointment wasn't as interesting as the one I had in the US, in that there was no fluoroscopy, just manual examination, but there was the video run gait analysis on the treadmill, which was not something I've had before.

I was pleased that my running shoes (New Balance 940's) were deemed correct for my situation. The guy at Sports Basement obviously did a good job of fitting them to me. I was advised to refresh the shoes, though, so I lashed out on a pair of 940 v2's today. My health insurance also paid pretty generously for orthotics, so I'm going to get a pair for them to add to the ankle stability.

The results of the run gait analysis were that, surprise surprise, I am rolling inwards a bit more on my right ankle than my left. Interestingly, my left calf was bigger than my right one, so I was advised to stick with the physiotherapy exercises (yay).

So with the orthotics, new shoes, and forcing myself to do my physiotherapy exercises, I'm pretty satisfied that my continued running isn't likely to do too much damage to my body. The podiatrist concurred that because I'm currently pain free, everything should be good. I just had to live with the fact that my right ankle is going to always be a bit swollen.

[02:57] [life] [permalink]

Monday, 24 February 2014

Day 27, Kindergarten, Debian, Hawthorne Road

I realised yesterday morning that I will have biked up Hawthorne Road at least once a day for 5 days in a row by tomorrow (unless it happens to rain).

It's not a bad hill, really, it has a sort of a stair-step gradient. There's a short, gentle incline, just to get your heart going, then there's a flat bit, to recover, then there's a less friendly incline, which is both more unfriendly and longer. Then you get to the top, gasping for breath, before there's a short decline and usually a red traffic light.

This morning I had the bright idea of leaving the bike trailer at Kindergarten, so it made the journey home much more pleasant, as was the aforementioned climb up Hawthorne Road in the afternoon.

I spent the day doing Debian stuff, but unfortunately didn't result in a package upload to show for it. Library packages are tricky, and I'm far from experienced or competent at maintaining them.

Zoe didn't nap today at Kindergarten, and wasn't too worse for wear for it.

When we got home, Zoe wanted to make a crown for Mummy like the one she made at Playgroup last week. Unfortunately we didn't really have any good crown-sized paper, so I made a little crown out of some surplus Letter-sized paper, and then Zoe decided to do some painting. The painting devolved into a lot of hand painting of her cardboard box rocket, inside and out. We managed to keep the mess to a minimum.

After we cleaned up, Zoe watched a bit of TV, and my girlfriend came over and together we all made a vegetable stir fry for dinner. After dinner we walked down to the Hawthorne Garage to get some unwanted cardboard fruit boxes, to help with packing for our two night trip to Coochiemudlo Island later this week.

Bedtime went pretty smoothly. Zoe managed to get a bunch of insect bites yesterday, which was the cause of a 4am wake up this morning. They're still giving her grief, so I'm expecting some sort of disturbance overnight tonight.

[04:07] [life] [permalink]

Sunday, 23 February 2014

My thoughts on the Ozobot Kickstarter campaign

I'm not an avid Kickstarter follower (if I were, I'd have gone broke long ago). I tend to wind up backing campaigns that come to my attention via other means (in other words, they're in the process of going viral). That said, I've backed plenty of campaigns over the years, and so I'd like to think I have a little bit of familiarity with how they usually operate.

When Ozobot came to my attention, I found it unusual, because they were pre-promoting their Kickstarter campaign before it opened. To me, this looked like a case of them trying to build hype prior to the campaign opening, which was a new one to me. The whole thing seemed incredibly slick, and I was surprised they were "only" seeking $100K.

The product looked like it'd be something cool for Zoe to play with, so I decided to back it anyway. Then all the updates started flowing in about how well it was being received at various trade shows and whatnot. Yet the amount of dollars flowing into the Kickstarter campaign didn't seem to be reflecting the external hype. I was watching the campaign's dashboard with great interest, because as time marched on, it was looking more and more likely that it wasn't going to make its funding target. This seemed highly unusual to me, given the slickness of the product and purported external interest in it.

And then they pulled the plug on the campaign. Purportedly because they were pursuing equity funding instead. They admitted they'd also read the writing on the wall and it was unlikely they were going to make their funding target. I haven't followed other campaigns to see how much of a last minute funding "pop" they have. Usually I've found they've closed at many multiples of their original target, and hit their target well in advance of their deadline, when they're ridiculously popular. My interpretation of Ozobot's campaign, from a funding perspective, is that Kickstarters gave it a big fat "MEH", which surprised me somewhat.

Then the question comes up: was the Kickstarter campaign a ruse all along? Was it just a new way of pitching for venture capital? The videos seemed pretty slick. The product seemed already complete, and $100K didn't seem like enough to take it to manufacturing.

It'll be interesting to see what becomes of Ozobot now.

[15:56] [tech] [permalink]

Friday, 21 February 2014

Day 24, Rhythmic gymnastics, BJJ, lunch with the great grandparents, Science Friday

Wowsers, today was a pretty full, but laid back day.

Zoe has this small wrist-sized ring with a bunch of different coloured long ribbons on it that she got from a birthday party a while ago. She plays with it every now and then, and uses it to torment Smudge. This morning she was dancing around with it, and it made me think of rhythmic gymnastics, so using my trusty Chromecast, I dug up some Youtube coverage from the 2012 Olympics.

Zoe loved the sparkly costumes and the routines. The first video alternated between ball and hoop routines. Zoe went out and rummaged around her craft drawers and came back with a styrofoam ball and was using her crown from yesterday as a hoop. It kept her occupied for about an hour. I watched the first three competitors with her and she continued to watch it while I had a shower. I see a hula hoop in her future.

We biked over to her Brazilian Jiu Jitsu class and had another really good class. I think Zoe's really enjoying the mix of gymnastics-style activities and game play. She also got to tackle me today, which she thoroughly enjoyed. The instructor suggested we might like to try out one of the 4-7 year old proper martial arts classes, so we'll try that in the coming weeks. We biked home the scenic way again and picked up a few additional supplies for lunch.

When we got home, Zoe went off and played with some of her toys on her own. It's great that she's getting more independent and self-directed like that.

I'd invited Zoe's great-grandparents (on her mother's side) over for lunch today. I think it's wonderful that Zoe has great-grandparents who are still alive and able to be in her life. We had a nice lunch and they wanted to see the kinetic sand I'd blogged about, so we got that out after lunch for a play. Then Zoe wanted to watch some more rhythmic gymnastics with them, so we did that for a bit.

After they left, I swapped over to rhythmic gymnastics with the ribbon and clubs. The ribbon is my personal favourite one to watch, and I think Zoe enjoyed it too, because she immediately started waving her ribbons all over the place.

I trialled skipping her nap today, and instead called watching the gymnastics "quiet time".

After quiet time, we did our Science Friday activity, which was messing around with conductive play dough. Zoe had about as much fun just messing around with the play dough as she did running electricity through it, and enjoyed mushing the non-conductive white play dough in with the conductive blue play dough. We did a few experiments, notably one with three LEDs in series, and then shorting the play dough at either end of the series to see what it did to the lights. She enjoyed wearing her lab coat and safety glasses.

I'd wanted to do bottle rockets today, because we'd built a cardboard box rocket earlier in the week, and that seemed like a good theme to stick with, but I was ill-prepared, and it was too hot anyway. I want to do Diet Coke and Mentos and reuse the Coke bottles for the bottle rockets, so that'll have to be in a few weeks' time.

I prepped dinner on and off while Zoe played with the play dough, so it was all ready to pop in the oven nice and early.

After I cleaned up the mess from the play dough, we played with her coloured peg board game for a bit, and then she wanted to see how the sofa bed folded out, so we did that I used it as an opportunity to give it a thorough vacuuming. After that she watched a bit more TV while dinner was in the oven.

After dinner, we walked down to the Hawthorne Garage for a babyccino. Zoe had to pat every dog that crossed our path.

Zoe didn't seem too worse for wear for having dropped her nap (which was to be expected, it's only a recent phenomenon for her to nap at home), but she was showing signs of possibly coming down with a cold (being a bit sniffy, without having obvious signs of a runny nose) so I put her to bed about half an hour early. She went down pretty easily, which was a pleasant change. I did miss the 2 hour opportunity to get things done during the day though. C'est la vie.

The thing I liked most today is Zoe's independently going and playing with toys that she's had for ages, but not really shown much interest in. She's had this Melissa and Doug board with interchangeable sheets with animals on them and a bunch of different colour octagonal plastic pegs that you're supposed to match the coloured pegs to whatever colours are on the sheet you put on the board. We did that this afternoon, and this morning she played a lace up game where you thread shoelaces through some thick cardboard outlines of animals. I think she got both for Christmas in 2012.

[02:01] [life] [permalink]

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Day 23, Playgroup and swimming and some more taxes

Today was a pretty good day. I've found that I quite enjoyed it. Zoe woke up a bit early, around 5:30am. She decided that despite the ridiculous heat, she wanted porridge for breakfast, with cherries in it, so we pitted the cherries and threw it all into the Thermomix to cook while she got dressed.

After breakfast and the obligatory bit of TV, we biked over to Playgroup. Zoe's got a few toys that she's taken a liking to, and immediately sought them out. She also seems to really enjoy just running the length of the hall after Playgroup is all done and everything has been packed away and most of the kids are gone. Today the craft activity was making paper crowns, and she wanted to that immediately upon arrival. After we got home, while I was preparing lunch, she blinged it up a bit more with some stuff from home.

She took a 2 hour nap after lunch, and I did some more work on my taxes, and then, because it was still stupidly hot, we biked over to Colmslie pool for a swim.

Zoe's swimming progress continues in leaps and bounds. She's had one lesson at her new level, and she's started with a kickboard and is doing strokes, so I borrowed a kickboard from the pool, and she did really well with it. We also just fooled around with the kickboard a bit. I took it to the bottom of the pool and launched it out of the water with its own buoyancy, and Zoe tried standing on it under water like a skateboard. The sinkies were also popular again.

We grabbed a few things for dinner from the Hawthorne Garage on the way home, and I managed to get Zoe to bed a little bit early. I thought I was going to have a smooth bedtime, but unfortunately, as is a common occurrence at the moment, after lights out, she started crying for her mother. It took about 15 minutes to get her from near-hysterical to calm and drowsy.

I'm starting to think I might need to either shorten or eliminate the afternoon naps. One of her complaints recently has been that she's had trouble sleeping at bedtime. That said, she still seems to get to sleep relatively quickly once she gets into the right frame of mind.

[02:00] [life] [permalink]

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Day 22, Kindergarten, cleaning and Officeworks outing

Today was my "clean the house" day. I also had a chiropractic adjustment first thing, and a massage before lunch.

I biked to Kindergarten to pick up Zoe, and found her holding court with a bunch of her classmates, giving a show and tell session about the Cinderella snow globe and echidna plush toy she'd taken to Kindergarten. The kids were taking turns to raise their hand and ask questions. I was out of earshot, so I couldn't really make out what was being said, but it all looked very cute from where I was standing. She didn't have a nap today.

Sarah's going down to Tasmania until early next month, hiking, and so I've got Zoe for the next 12 nights. This is the longest she will have been away from her mother by quite a significant amount. On top of this, she's been doing rather poorly at bedtime with me the last few nights I've had her. I wanted to try and minimise the emotional impact for both of us as much as possible, so I wanted to make an Advent-style calendar to count down the number of sleeps until Mummy got back.

After we got home from Kindergarten, we drove over to Officeworks to pick up some bits and pieces. It ended up being quite a long outing because it took a while for me to figure out how to convince the self-service photo printing kiosk to actually print photos.

Zoe parked herself in the kid's colouring area, and she was quite happy there while I went looking for a few things, but after a while wandered off to find me and we spent some time looking for each other. I was pretty impressed with how well she went looking for me. She didn't freak out, and was just wandering around the store looking for me. We had a talk about staying put. Then we called grandma from the carpark to wish her a happy birthday before we headed home.

That ended up being quite a lengthy outing, and I started dinner as soon as we got home. Bedtime actually went quite smoothly tonight for a change. No idea if the poster or the lack of a nap helped or not.

[02:22] [life] [permalink]

Monday, 17 February 2014

Day 21, Kindergarten, taxes, haircuts and more rocket bling

Sarah had her training course again today, so she dropped Zoe around to me to take to Kindergarten. She apparently had a disrupted night's sleep and was a bit emotional this morning. She wasn't cooperative, so we ended up having to drive to Kindergarten instead of take the bike.

Drop off itself went pretty well. She just wanted to sit in a teacher's lap, and was otherwise fine.

I'm still working through the long tail of document collation for my tax return. I spent most of the day sorting through poorly filed papers. I ended up refiling a bunch of them.

I biked to Kindergarten for pickup. My preferred route seems to take me about 13 minutes, door to door. Zoe was still napping today, but woke up pretty well.

The hairdresser I take Zoe to does free fringe trims in between haircuts, so we dropped in there on the way home to get a fringe trim. They have a little fenced off children's play area in the corner, and she always likes to have a play. We probably spent 15 minutes there after the fringe trim. I had to use some creative imaginative play to encourage her to leave (Cowie called to ask her to come home and give her a cuddle). Before she left, she had to pack all her toys away again, which I was very impressed by.

Once we got home, I was able to use the box rocket as a TV diversion again, and we made a steering wheel for it, and she put more bling on the outside, and also used some water colours to paint it. The water colours didn't work terribly well on the cardboard.

After that, we drilled the hole in the base for the second clothes line I made and glued the pole into it, and then Zoe watched a little bit of TV. Sarah finished her course early today. I'm just waiting for my girlfriend to get here and we're going to hang out with my cousin who is having round four of chemotherapy today, and drive her home afterwards.

[22:45] [life] [permalink]

Day 20, Kindergarten, rocket building

Today was another Kindergarten day. Zoe was complaining about being sweaty before we even left the house this morning, so I gave her the choice of going by car or by bike, and she chose car, which was fine by me. It's been stinking hot the last few days. Summer is going out with a bang.

Drop off went pretty smoothly. It was another morning where she was happy to have me hang out with her for a little bit, and then I was allowed to leave without any issues.

I decided to use this Monday as a Debian day as planned. I mostly ran into a snag with my email setup, but I did manage to do some bug triage and upload one package.

It had been hot all day, and I was feeling sapped by it, so I picked up Zoe in the car as well. I was surprised to find she wasn't asleep and hadn't had a nap at all. She seemed in good spirits despite this. Megan's Dad has quit his job, so I don't need to pick her up any more on Mondays and Wednesdays. We dropped by the post office to check my PO box on the way home. Zoe enjoyed peering through the mailbox into the post office.

Today's TV diversion was to build a rocket ship out of one of the big moving boxes I've kept aside from the move back. Zoe had great fun blinging up the inside and outside with various craft "gems", and drew a bunch of aliens on the outside. I could have quite easily strung this out until Sarah arrived to pick her up, but I let her watch a little bit of TV right at the end.

It was a pretty good afternoon. I liked how Zoe ran with the rocket ship idea and added her own embellishments all by herself.

After Sarah picked up Zoe I went for a run. I'd intended to do 10km, but the heat took it out of me, and I lacked the willpower, so I stopped at 5km. After that I had the sweatiest yoga class yet.

[04:33] [life] [permalink]

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Crypto is hard, let's go shopping

(Or "Today's yak shaving exercise")

I'm trying to get back into some Debian work today, which involved trying to send an email from my laptop, relayed through daedalus, which is in a colo facility.

Then I started shaving my yak.

daedalus rejected the email, because the relay attempt wasn't authenticated. It wasn't authenticated because Exim on my laptop wasn't happy about the Diffie-Hellman parameters Sendmail on daedalus was advertising, and had failed STARTTLS, and like a sensible person, I only allow encrypted authentication. Along the way, I figured I'd need to address the fact that the host certificate has expired long ago (truth is, I probably just needed to fix the Diffie-Hellman parameters file), but my whole CA certificate expired over a year ago.

I couldn't find the encrypted USB key with my CA on it, so I decided to cut my losses and start from scratch. It's good to see OpenSSL hasn't got any more user friendly with time. I futzed around and generated a new CA key and certificate, a new CSR for Sendmail, signed it, did the appropriate sacrifices, and confirmed that STARTTLS now worked using OpenSSL s_client.

Still couldn't send an email. Still had some bleating in the Exim logs:

2014-02-17 11:29:26 1WFD1M-00086p-KI TLS error on connection to daedalus.andrew.net.au [] (gnutls_handshake): The Diffie-Hellman prime sent by the server is not acceptable (not long enough).

Back on daedalus, /etc/mail/tls/sendmail-common.prm has been an empty file since time immemorial. I managed to find something in Google's cache suggesting I should put something in it with

openssl dhparam -out /etc/mail/tls/sendmail-common.prm -2 1024

I initially went for 4096 bits, because it must be better, right? I'm still waiting for the key generation to come back, while I'm writing this. At least it warned me in advance it was going to take a long time. How thoughtful. What would be more thoughtful was verifying the write permission to the file before the long operation so it could fail fast, rather. Sigh. I ended up giving up on 4096 and sticking with 1024, because I was getting old waiting.

Yak shaved, I can send mail from my laptop now.

[19:37] [tech] [permalink]

Friday, 14 February 2014

Day 17, Dentist, Goldie Blox, Yum Cha and more Kinetic Sand

Today was another busy day. Zoe had a check up at her dentist first thing this morning. This dentist was such a good find, and although it's a trek (it's over an hour round trip for a 15 minute appointment) I think it's well worth it to instill a positive view of dentists into Zoe, and it's all covered by insurance, so really the only expense is time and petrol.

After we got home, Zoe was a bit sick of being in the car, and wanted to watch TV. I'm trying to restrict TV to just the late afternoon, while I'm preparing dinner, so I thought this was a good opportunity to break out the Goldie Blox set that I haven't introduced her to yet.

That went pretty well, but Mum and Dad (aka Grandma and Grandpa) arrived early for lunch, so we didn't finish working our way through the book. I think it was more of a hit than Robot Turtles is at the moment.

We all jumped in the car, and drove down to Bulimba, and caught the cross river ferry over to the CityGlider bus and had Yum Cha for lunch. That went pretty well, and we returned the same way.

Zoe had a little play in the park at Bulimba with her grandparents while I popped over to the florist, and then we came home and Zoe gave them a demonstration of the kinetic sand and then Grandma and Grandpa went home and I managed to convince Zoe to take a late nap.

We didn't get much of an opportunity for something Science Friday-related today, with all of the other activities. Zoe didn't wake up from her nap until close to 5pm, just after my girlfriend arrived for dinner. Zoe watched a bit of TV and then the three of us walked down to collect pizza for dinner, and that was pretty much how the evening ended. I let Zoe stay up a little bit later, because she'd napped so late.

[04:44] [life] [permalink]

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Day 16, BJJ, wood working and kinetic sand

It's been quite a busy, varied day today. Lot's of fun as usual.

Zoe has a dentist appointment tomorrow morning, so we went to the Thursday offering of her Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu class instead, and skipped Playgroup.

We biked over extra early this morning, to make sure we were on time. There were two other kids in the class today, a 3 year old boy and a 2 and a half year old girl. The class went really well.

We biked home the scenic way again, and grabbed a BBQ chicken for lunch along the way. The box of kinetic sand that I'd ordered was sitting on the doorstep. That still left us with about 45 minutes to kill before lunch, so I thought I'd start on making a second miniature clothes line with Zoe.

Bunnings were selling these little kids safety sets at half price because they were a deleted product, and the set came with proper fitting eye protection, hearing protection and some gloves. The gloves are currently too big, but the glasses and hearing protection is great.

I introduced her to the power drill and the hand saw. She liked drilling, and marking, but mostly was happy just watching. We managed to make most of the top of the clothes line before lunch, and then I whipped up some chicken quesadillas for lunch.

We had a few disruptions during quiet time, so Zoe didn't nap. After quiet time, we did a mix of cleaning up the house a bit, some more wood working, and some self-directed play.

After that, Zoe's friend Mackensie and her little sister came over for a play date after her Kindergarten class. She goes to the same Kindergarten as Zoe, but in the second half of the week.

Mackensie's mum brought me a coffee, and we had some afternoon tea, and then I busted out the kinetic sand. It was a real hit with all the girls, as well as the adults. A very good product. That kept them occupied for a while.

Zoe had found a Wallace and Gromit DVD while we were cleaning up, and she hasn't watched it for a while, so she was very keen to watch it. I told her she could watch it after Mackensie went home, and so we've kicked back on the couch to watch that while we wait for Sarah to arrive.

[23:05] [life] [permalink]

Day 15, Wet 'n' Wild

I'm reserving the Wednesdays that Zoe doesn't have Kindergarten for longer excursions. Yesterday, we used it to go to Wet 'n' Wild.

Zoe loves the place. She's been asking to go since last week. We've been three times now, the first time with friends, and twice by ourselves. I bought discounted VIP Passes for Zoe and I last year when they became available, so it makes going to Seaworld, Wet 'n' Wild or Movie World a no-brainer.

So far Zoe's been to Seaworld twice too, once with me and once with Sarah. I'm saving Movie World for when it's too cold to go to Wet 'n' Wild any more.

I've shifted my weekly chiropractic adjustment to 8am to help keep the day clear. Zoe came with me for that, and then we jumped in the car and headed down, running a couple of errands along the way, since the theme park doesn't open until 10am. We got there a little before it opened, so I used the extra time to apply sunscreen to Zoe and get her changed, and we got into the park pretty quickly.

Zoe's only currently tall enough for Buccaneer Bay, the kid's play area, which is a shallow pool with a bunch of small slides in it, the giant wave pool, and Calypso Beach, which just involves floating around on an inflatable tube.

We started, as usual, at Bucanneer Bay, then moved onto the wave pool for a bit, and then had some lunch and then lazed around at Calypso Beach.

This was the first time we'd been in the wave pool for a wave cycle. I hadn't realised that they did it on a cycle. Last time and this time, when we jumped in, it was right at the end of a cycle, and it takes a while before they start it up again. Zoe thought jumping over the waves was pretty cool.

This time at Calypso Beach, Zoe was quite confident fooling around in a kids tube by herself. She also figured out the water was only 0.8m deep, and was happy standing up and spinning around in her tube. We did about 3 laps of the course there.

My cousin lives about 12 minutes from Wet 'n' Wild, and we usually drop in to visit her and her four kids on the way back. We've often stayed the night for a sleepover when it's a weekend.

We hung out at their place for a little while afterwards, and then headed home. Zoe had a good nap in the car on the way home, and we were home slightly late for Sarah to pick her up.

[22:21] [life] [permalink]

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Day 14, Kindergarten and a make up swim class

Zoe woke up pretty early today, at around 5:30am. I also officially became a Xoogler at some point overnight. I used this transition as the opportunity to move from my Nexus 4 to my Nexus 5, so I could have a clean start on a phone that had never had work credentials on it.

I started that process before breakfast, and mostly had a usable phone by the time we biked to Kindergarten. Zoe was a bit more like her usual clingy self at drop off today, so I spent a bit longer getting her settled.

I got home and pretty much spent the rest of the day sorting out my phone. I can say many good things about Android, but seamless device migration isn't one of them. I'll probably factory reset my Nexus 4 tomorrow.

I biked back to Kindergarten to pick up Zoe, and sure enough, she was fast asleep again. It turned out that she'd gone down about 30 minutes later today, so she was deeply asleep, and didn't take too kindly to being woken up. She was very sad, and it took forever just to leave the Kindergarten. We were well and truly the last ones out.

Then she saw Megan having a trial tennis lesson at the tennis courts on the way to the bike, and wanted to do that too, and we burned some more time, while I tried to talk her out of that.

Zoe had a make up swim class today to cover the one she'd missed on Saturday when she went down to Canberra with Sarah. That was at 3:15pm. We were a tad late for it.

Weekday swim classes are much quieter than the weekend ones, so I used the opportunity to talk to one of the swim school staff about progressing Zoe to the next level. They conducted an assessment on the spot, and graduated her! She's moving from "Platypus" to "Octopus", starting next week. The class time options were pretty crappy though, something like 11:45am on Saturday, or a late afternoon weekday. We've opted for a weekday class after Kindergarten for the rest of this quarter and will try and get an earlier Saturday class next quarter. There's a reasonable gap between the end of Kindergarten and the start of swim class, so I'll have to figure out how best to use that time. I might make our library visit in between, even though it means a bit of back and forth. The upside is Saturday mornings are now wide open.

We had a celebratory ice cream when we got home from swim class, and went out for a babyccino after dinner. I think it's important to celebrate achievements.

I managed to get Zoe to bed slightly early tonight in light of her reduced nap time, but she just woke up briefly at 10:30pm. She seems to be particularly sensitive to mosquitoes, and has a bite on her forehead, right at the hairline, and it was giving her some grief. I gave her some antihistamine and she's gone back to bed fairly easily. Fingers crossed she sleeps okay for the rest of the night.

[04:54] [life] [permalink]

Monday, 10 February 2014

Day 13, early start, Kindergarten and messing around with a hot glue gun

I had an early start today. I set my alarm for 5:30am, and finally got going a bit after 6am, and knocked out a 10km run. It was my first 10km in about a month. It wasn't pretty, but I was looking for accomplishment, not achievement.

Sarah's doing a work training course that had an early start, so she asked me if she could drop Zoe to me early and have me take care of Kindergarten drop off for her. Zoe arrived at around 8am, and I put some sunscreen on her and we jumped on the bike.

I had one of the smoothest drop offs I've had since we've been back in Australia. Megan was already there, and after we got settled, the two girls started building with some large wooden blocks, and Zoe pretty much gave me a hug and a kiss and sent me on my way. She didn't require any handing off to a teacher, wasn't clingy or anything. It was wonderful to see.

Today was supposed to be my Debian day, but I've got something like 3 tax returns to do for two different countries, so I got stuck into collating records instead. After lunch I allowed myself to get sidetracked with trying to figure out the Google Drive API, because I'm trying to directly scan documents to Google Drive.

Then it was time to do the Kindergarten pick up. Both girls were fast asleep when I got there. I tried rousing Zoe without much success, so I went to try and wake up Megan. She was also pretty heavily sleeping, so I left her with one of the teachers to try and wake her up and returned to Zoe. She took a lot of work to wake up, but woke up happy.

I was expecting a couple of packages today, and the first one was being delivered by Australia Post as we got home, so that was pretty good timing. The second one was delivered while we were home, so that worked out pretty well.

For this afternoon's activity with the girls, I thought we'd make peg dolls. I've been stockpiling craft materials for almost as long as I've been back in Australia. I bought the big IKEA EXPEDIT 5 x 5 shelf, and have the bottom two rows set up as Zoe-accessible craft materials, reminiscent of the "bin wall" that the TechShop had. I've been getting stuff from Riot!, but I've also found that there's lots of good stuff to be had for cheap from Overflow.

So today's activity I think came from Riot! It was your bog standard wooden clothes pin, but the kit included a conical wooden "sleeve" that I guess was supposed to be a "dress". I thought I'd take things to the next level by hot-gluing a styrofoam ball on the top of the peg, and then hot-gluing eyes and a pom-pom nose on. The girls decided on their own to glue orange cellophane for hair, and got me to draw on eyebrows and a mouth. I had a couple of sheets of felt, so I cut holes in the middle of them and used the conical wooden sleeve to hold the felt dress in place. Pipe cleaners made the arms and they were finished. The girls seemed to enjoy making and playing with them.

It was the first time I've used the hot glue gun, and I wasn't sure how it was going to go. I explained to the girls that the tip was hot and to stay away from it, and let them use it under close supervision. Unfortunately Zoe learned the hard way that the glue is also very hot after it's been applied to the surface that it's going to be used on. Hot glue was definitely the way to go for a quick project where we didn't want to be sitting around waiting for PVA glue to dry.

After that, the girls watched a DVD for a little while and then Megan's Dad arrived to pick her up.

I started dinner a bit late, I should have started it while the girls were watching TV, so we didn't sit down to eat until later than usual. Bedtime went pretty smoothly, but also ran a bit late. Here's hoping Zoe sleeps well tonight.

[04:15] [life] [permalink]

Thursday, 06 February 2014

Day 11, Short day, BJJ again and Science Friday prep

Today was a short day. Sarah is going down to Canberra for the weekend with Zoe, and wanted to pick her up after her Brazilian Jiu Jitsu class.

We got away a bit late on the bike and got to the class maybe 5 minutes late, but it was just us anyway, so it was all good. I know now it's best to make sure we're out the door no later than 9am.

The class was just as good as last time, and Sarah arrived halfway through to watch, so she got to see it for herself.

I biked home the scenic way again, but made a slight wrong turn somewhere, so I popped out further up Wynnum Road than I wanted to be, and so had to backtrack a bit to cross it.

After I got home, I decided to pop out to Jaycar again and get some more bits and pieces and do some grocery shopping.

I'd made some conductive play dough on Wednesday afternoon while Megan was here, and the girls just used it as standard play dough. Today I made some non-conductive play dough to go with it, and tested it all out. At Jaycar I bought a battery pack and some banana clips, so I soldered everything together and it works nicely. We can just jam the banana clips into the appropriate bits of play dough and make LEDs light up. I bought a bunch of LEDs from Jaycar as well. So we should be all set for next Friday.

After that I spent the rest of the afternoon tinkering around with my electronics project. There's nothing like learning by trial and error.

[22:47] [life] [permalink]

Day 10, Playgroup again

I was bracing myself for a rough night, but Zoe slept through until almost 6am.

Today was playgroup again, so we just took a slow start to the day and headed out on the bike a bit after 9am.

There was a mix of new faces and people from last week. I packed a lunchbox this time instead of relying on the snack collection in my "Dad Bag" backpack.

We worked on trying to approach other girls to get them to play. Unfortunately they're all that little bit younger and more shy, so we haven't had a huge success. Zoe's been pretty happy just playing with the various toys and playing with me. Parachute time was a big hit again.

I think there were about 25 adults there (I was the only Dad this week), with many with multiple children. The youngest baby I saw was a 7 week old.

Zoe had been asking me what a honeydew was, so after Playgroup we dropped by the Hawthorne Garage and grabbed half a honeydew and a couple of tomatoes and I made some fritters for lunch with leftover corned beef from dinner the other night. Zoe wasn't too impressed with them. I think she didn't like the diced tomato. She declared that the honeydew was just like rockmelon.

We read a story in the hammock and she went down pretty easily for nap after that.

I'd just started doing the dishes when my mate Steve gave me a call. He was in the area, and he dropped in. That worked out well, because I'd been meaning to pick his brain about my little electronics project. We geeked it up for a bit.

Zoe's mini lab coat arrived in the mail, and when she finally woke up after 3pm, I asked her if she wanted to go out to Bunnings to get a pair of kids-sized safety glasses, but she said she wanted to do something "fun" instead. When I asked her what she wanted to do, she initially wanted to go to Wet and Wild, but that's an all day outing and we're going next Wednesday, so she settled on going to Colmslie pool again instead.

So we quickly got organised and jumped on the bike and biked over to the pool. We started out in the kid's play area, which had a couple of small slides and some fountains and whatnot, and then we gravitated over to the 50 metre pool, where Zoe practised her diving for a bit and generally quite confidently navigated the 1.5m deep end of the pool. It was good, because at least I could just stand up instead of tread water while she practised diving in off the blocks.

We had a post-swim ice cream and biked home, and then I whipped up dinner and it was bathtime and bedtime.

I'm going to have to start tracking my weekly kilometres with Zoe on the bike, because I think it'll be a reasonable distance.

[04:09] [life] [permalink]

Wednesday, 05 February 2014

Day 9, Kindergarten and cleaning

Another busy day today.

I saw my girlfriend off in the morning, and then got stuck into cleaning the bathrooms. I ducked out to Jaycar to have another attempt at getting components.

Got home, did some more cleaning, and had my chiropractic adjustment.

Then I had my exit interview for work via video conference, and did some administrivia while I still had my work computer.

Then the guy from Pack & Send came to take all the work equipment away. Now I feel very disconnected.

Had some lunch, did more cleaning. Mum and Dad came around to go with me for pick up today, so they could see the new Kindergarten.

Zoe was again fast asleep at pick up, and the kids who were awake were all in the other room eating birthday cake, so we let Zoe wake up as gently as possible and then collected Megan and squeezed everyone into the car and headed home.

Zoe and Megan had a great time playing with each other again, and Megan's Dad picked her up at about 4:30pm and I started on dinner.

We all had dinner and then Mum and Dad headed off, and I gave Zoe a bath and put her to bed. She was a bit emotional at bedtime, so it took a while to get her settled. Here's hoping she sleeps okay tonight.

[02:06] [life] [permalink]

Tuesday, 04 February 2014

Day 8, another Kindergarten day

Yesterday was pretty crazy busy. I woke up a little bit late because I didn't have Zoe, and decided to head down to Jaycar to grab some components and other bits and pieces for my little spontaneous electronics project.

I got home from Jaycar and fiddled around for a bit, and then biked down to Bulimba to get a ferry across to a bus so I could get into the city for lunch with my accountant.

I ate my fill of sashimi while discussing the best corporate structure for my endeavours this year.

Lunch ran a bit long, and it was going to be tight trying to bus it back to the ferry to retrieve my bike, so I decided to cab it back to Bulimba. I retrieved my bike and raced home and jumped in the car. It was just going to be too tight to bike over there.

It probably worked out for the best, because I got to the Kindergarten and Zoe was fast asleep still. She took quite a lot of effort to wake. I think they'd only got her down for a nap not long before. I eventually roused her, but she was very groggy and a little bit sad about the whole thing. I think she would have been a sad panda if she'd had to then get on the bike.

I asked her if she wanted to make some play dough or go swimming when we got home, and she chose swimming. I asked her if she wanted to bike or drive, and she wanted to drive. We took the new pool noodle that I picked up the other week and headed down to Colmslie Pool

The pool was pretty busy with a lot of after school swim squads, but there was still enough room for Zoe to play around. Her sinkies were very popular and were "borrowed" extensively, and she really enjoyed riding the pool noodle like a horse.

We got home and Sarah was waiting to pick up Zoe and I headed off for a massage, and then my girlfriend came over for dinner.

[13:35] [life] [permalink]

Monday, 03 February 2014

Yep, I'm still a geek

I did some soldering tonight, and it felt good.

I haven't really done much soldering since I built my cat water bowl monitor, and that's going back to the last decade.

My apartment building has an intercom-triggered release to the common front door, and the latch has been sticking a bit lately. It stuck today when Megan's Dad came to pick her up, and it stuck when Sarah came to pick up Zoe. It's annoying to have to trek all the way downstairs to let them in and then walk back up again. I decided I'd try and look into what the problem was today after everyone left.

A visual inspection of the latch showed nothing obvious, and no one else was home to push the door unlock button for me while I was at the front door, so I decided to have a look at how it worked from within my apartment.

I pulled the intercom phone off the wall and identified the two wires that got shorted when you pressed the unlock button, and shorted them by hand with a wire, and sure enough, I could hear the door solenoid releasing.

I was thinking to myself, "if only there was a way to trigger this with my phone". I have a RaspberryPi and an Arduino board at my disposal, but I didn't really want to risk frying either of them. Then I remembered that I had a BoArduino that I'd bought at the Maker Faire years ago, but never assembled. I figured it'd make a good sacrificial lamb.

So I rummaged around and found it, and busted out the 240v soldering iron I bought recently, but haven't used yet, and set about slapping it together. Man, it was fun. I had it half built before yoga, and finished it off when I got home. It even worked first go. I felt such a sense of accomplishment.

The problem is, my general electronics fu is so weak, I'm not sure where to go from here, and my multimeter needs a new battery. I think the voltage on the wire for the intercom is higher than the BoArduino likes. I'd naively thought I could just connect the two wires of interest, one to ground and the other to one of the digital I/O pins, and have the BoArduino act as a switch, but that's not working. If I wire it one way, it unlocks the door instantly, even with the board powered off, and if I wire it the other way, it seems to half power up the board just using the power of the intercom system. So I'm obviously doing something wrong.

My plan is to just have the BoArduino simulate pressing the button for 5 seconds at a time, every 10 seconds or so. Then I can be downstairs wiggling the latch to see what's up with it.

Or I could just place a maintenance request with the Body Corporate.

At least I had fun assembling the BoArduino, and now I have a spare one. It was nice to be able to go from problem to idea to execution in one night, even if the execution failed.

[05:46] [geek] [permalink]

Day 7, Kindergarten again

Today was a pretty quiet day, because Zoe had Kindergarten again. Nominally, I'm supposed to be doing Debian stuff today, but I had some work presentations I wanted to watch while I still had the chance, so I mostly watched them for four hours while blowing the cobwebs out of my development environment.

Zoe slept well last night and slept in a little bit to a whopping 6:30am. We got out the door at about 8:05am and by the time I'd got the bike trailer on the bike and made it to Kindergarten it was about 8:30am. Drop off went pretty smoothly.

I decided to go for a run after I got back home, so I banged out 5km. My running fitness has been a bit off of late, partially because of the heat, and partially because I just haven't been doing it enough. I need to get back up to 10km as soon as possible so I can try increasing the distance.

Both of Megan's parents work, and so I'm helping them out with picking her up on Mondays and Wednesdays. Today was the day of doing that. It was certainly an interesting experience having to wrangle two kids instead of one. Megan's a good kid, so it was no trouble.

To kill time, we went to the car wash, where I bought the girls babyccinos while we waited, and then we headed into the Valley so I could check my post office box.

After we got home, I attempted to do something I'd seen on Mister Maker. He basically squirted some PVA glue, some paint and some detergent into a cup and then mixed it all up and then blew into it with a straw until the bubbles rose over the top of the cup and pressed down on it with some paper. I used bubble mix instead of detergent because I figured it would have to be as good, but only Zoe's cup really worked as intended.

Then, despite much discussion about it, Zoe decided to suck on the straw instead of blow it and so I had to race her off to the bathroom to rinse her mouth out.

After that the girls played a bit more on their own, then Zoe wanted to watch TV but Megan didn't, so we painted a butterfly together and then Megan's Dad arrived to pick her up, and Sarah arrived not long after that.

I killed some time doing a spontaneous electronics project before yoga and that was my day.

[05:25] [life] [permalink]