Still catching up

The weather here today (and, in reality, most of this week) has been pretty lousy; it’s pelting down rain and the wind is blowing right now. We’re trying to make the best of it by getting caught up on stuff that just seems to have been overtaken or lost in the scramble these past couple of months.

Li watching one of Ian's soccer matches (Spring 2009)
Li watching one of Ian's soccer matches (Spring 2009)

I was going through some pictures our friend John took during the course of the soccer season; pictures of most of our team and quite a few of Li. He got quite a few really good ones; here are a couple.

This picture of Li has to have been taken on one of the few halfway decent days on which we had matches, given what she’s wearing and given that her hair isn’t streaming out behind her from the wind. Until the final two weeks of the season, most of the matches were played in some combination of extreme wind, rain, or snow.

Ian on the ball (Spring 2009)
Ian on the ball (Spring 2009)

Given the generally lousy weather we saw all season — I can remember only two practice sessions all season that I was there in shorts without warmups — it was somewhat fitting that we closed our season out on the Sunday morning of Memorial Day weekend with an early match under grey skies and light showers at the State Cup tournament. The exception to that was a local tournament a week ahead of State Cup, where we did get to play in relatively warm weather and under sunny skies. This picture of Ian is one of the few John got where the players aren’t all wearing at least one layer under their uniforms.

I’m headed for DC for most of this next week, and as much as I like DC, I’m not looking forward to being gone.

Soccer is done; life returns…

Our spring soccer season wrapped up this past week with the State Cup tournament in Pocatello over Memorial Day weekend and with our end of the season party on a weekday evening. Life feels like it is slowly returning to normal, and as is usually the case by the end of the season, it is with a mixture of sadness and relief that I view this passing.

Our friend John got some really good pix of both Li from the windswept steppes of the soccer pitches in eastern Idaho this spring — we had almost uniformly lousy weather for the season until the final couple of weeks — and of Ian playing. I’ll post a few of those in the next few days as I begin to get caught up on stuff around here.

It has been nice to have evenings back, so that I get a little more time with family and dinner has seen a welcome return to our schedule. Ian and I spent some time yesterday working on stuff in the garage — long overdue, in a couple cases — and we’re enjoying a weekend with Deb’s folks visiting, playing a bit of pinochle with them, and watching them get reacquainted with Li.

I’ve been doing a little reading, working on and almost done with Neal Stephenson’s “Snow Crash”, and just starting “Getting Things Done” (for obvious reasons). I did manage to squeeze in a couple of other books over the season but aside from Alex Garland’s “The Tesseract”, none struck me as extraordinary.

On the subject of “Getting Things Done”, if you’re a follower of GTD or have tried it and found it didn’t help, I’d like to hear from you; post a comment… I’m curious to hear your opinions and experiences with it. I’m just starting to factor some of its ideas into how I try to keep track of everything I’m supposed to be doing…

Geek Shorts

A few miscellaneous short geek items:

  • I’ve been looking at Arch Linux lately as a possible distro to try for a bit, and took the plunge last night on an older Dell Latitude laptop. I’m still partway through the installation even as I write this (in the middle of installing the GNOME desktop, actually). The basic OS install went smoothly, but I got stuck for a bit trying to get the nVidia video drivers configured; got past that hump and it’s plugging away at this point. More to come on that… if it looks like it will be worth hanging on to. It’s a bleeding edge rolling release distribution, meaning they don’t release new versions every x months with no updates to new versions of the applications (generally only minor patches and security updates are made available) between releases; their model feeds updates to apps as they become available, as as long as one periodically updates stuff, they are always current and there’s no need to re-install a version of the OS every six months or so. Maybe better, maybe not, but different. Part of what has impressed me is the level of polish on the documentation available for the distro, particularly for someone looking at it as a potential new user (see their beginner’s guide as a good example).
  • Being restricted to the touchpad on a laptop is slow and painful; my mouse is dangling off the back of the in-progress Arch box at the moment. Note to self: buy a second USB mouse to have hanging around for times like these.
  • Speaking of Linux, Wednesday’s xkcd Web comic strip struck a chord with me, having watched Ian over the past few years. See for yourself.
  • Speaking of Ian and geek stuff, today marks his 16th birthday. Happy Birthday, Ian!
  • I finished re-reading William Gibson’s Count Zero a week or so ago and I’m part way through Neuromancer right now; I keep forgetting how much I like his writing. And having gone back and started rereading these two classics of the cyberpunk genre, I am amazed at how often I find references to things from them.

A couple more firsts

A couple more firsts — not necessarily momentous like steps or words — but firsts, nonetheless. We went to Salt Lake City over the weekend to see Real Salt Lake play the Columbus Crew, so Li saw her first MLS match. While there, Li had her first experience with Indian food when we had dinner at Star of India in downtown SLC. She actually didn’t like as much of it as I might have thought, given her preference for flavorful and spicy food, but there were a couple of things she really enjoyed (mango kulfi, for one, but that wasn’t a surprise!). We spent a couple hours at the Tracy Aviary there, too, and she was fascinated with some of the birds.

Li is talking a bit more, too, which is a bit more momentous. Her vocabulary includes “up” with a sort of soft “p” on the end that is really cute, along with “duck”, “doggie”, “kitty” (hmmm, a theme here?). She loves to make animal sounds and does a hilarious “meh” for a goat complete with the appropriate little waver in there, and she’s working “moo”, “woof”, “oink”, “quack”, and we even heard a soft “cock-a-doodle-doo” once. She’s also got “ba-ba”, “this”, and an occasional “ma-ma”. We haven’t heard “een” (for Ian) for awhile, but it is there, too. We’ve also taught her a few signs to help (she has “juice”, “hungry”, “change”, “bath”, “book”, “more”) and she definitely has “yes” and “no”, although we see the “no” much more frequently.

And, last for this post but not least, Ian finished Driver’s Ed last night. Consider yourself warned.

(Non-)Traditional Gifts

Ian and LiThe traditional gift for marking a twentieth wedding anniversary is china, and I find it very fitting as Deb and I celebrate our twentieth wedding anniversary today that we have been given a gift that fits that tradition in a very non-traditional way in our daughter Li. What better gift of China could one possibly hope for?

Happy twentieth anniversary, Deb! I believe we have in fact been given three incredible gifts: our son Ian, our daughter Li, and each other. How richly  we are blessed. I love you more than I will ever be able to convey in words here…