Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter!

We celebrated by having lunch at our house with a bunch of friends.  Thanks to Nancy and John for cooking up the yummy ham.

We're just about ready to start enjoying the warm weather.  Janny was knocked out by a cold early in the week.  Then Clara got it.  She spent most of the day Friday sitting on the couch staring out the window.  On Saturday, I really knew how she felt.  After sleeping for 10 hours at night, I took a 2 hour morning nap, 2 hour afternoon nap, and an hour evening nap.  Is part of getting older that colds/flus get worse?  Thankfully, I'm feeling much better today.
Last weekend before the big snowstorm, we were working on our garden.  In addition to removing  several big roots (we're hoping for a big yield this year!), I unearthed a big pinkish rock.  The internet told me that it's likely rose quartz.  No big money gained from the discovery (I was thinking giant pink diamond!), but supposedly there's some metaphysical healing bonus.  Alas, we could have used some physical-physical healing this week.

One of the perks for accepting a job at Wolfram (have I mentioned the other ones?  Free tea and hot chocolate, a discount card to some local businesses, a 6th floor window office (okay, cube) with a view of Assembly Hall, a mug) is that one gets a copy of A New Kind of Science by Dr. Wolfram.  Instead of using it as my monitor height adjuster, I decided to take it home and read it a little.  The big hypothesis of the book is that the universe is governed by a set of simple computational rules.  This idea is quite challenging to my engineering trained mind.  We like to have our equations and simplifications/approximations.  With Wolfram's rules, there is no shortcut to finding the solution.  One must compute the solution obtained by following the rules.  Is he right?  Hopefully, we'll find out soon.

I'm still enjoying the job.  This week I started my officially assigned topic of image processing.  When I start to get a handle on it, I'll show some really cool stuff.  For now, charcoal!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Janny is 2!

Our youngest kid, Janny, is 2 years old today.  We started our celebration last night with our across the street neighbors.  We had brownie cupcakes with pink yogurt frosting.  Yum (but a little hard to remove from the paper wrappers).  Tonight, we opened Janny's present from Grandparents K, a huge dollhouse.  Janny and Clara greatly enjoyed it.
Janny is an independent person, but even introverts invite friends for tea sometimes.

Recently, Clara was chasing Janny around the house shouting, "Are you my sister?"
Janny:  "NOOOOO!"
Clara:  "Yes you are!"

And so it goes.
Miss Tonya made a toy salad for Janny's birthday present.  All the kids had a blast with it.  Janny wouldn't let go of the carrots.
Maybe tomorrow Janny will open her present from daddy, a turkey baster and a pack of red funnels.  She loves to play with water (just like Clara used to and still does).  I'm hoping that my $4 gift gets much use.

I'm a little ashamed to confess a primary reason that I haven't been writing much lately.  We've been watching too many tv shows.  On our list now:  American Pickers (or just Frank and Mike), Suits / Psyche, and Survivor.  Plus, I've been watching Illinois basketball occasionally.  Sometimes we'll watch the Daily Show.

While I'm confessing, here's one more:  I bought another bike this week.  It should fit the girls from ages 9ish to 13ish.  So now I almost have their whole lives covered.  Maybe it's time to work on a new project for them?

We have one more regular season basketball game.  We were destroyed by the first place team this week, but again we were without our superstar (though it wouldn't have mattered much).  I think we'll end up in 4th place out of 8.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

still wintering

Jill is turning into superwoman.  In addition to taking care of our girls during working hours, she watches another 2 year old once a week, tutors a grad student and some high school students 3 afternoons a week, and cooks extra food for dinners twice a week for our college student friends and neighbors.

Our Bible study group lost the only couple younger than us last year to graduation, but we have a lead on a new couple.  Here is the current crew.

Lately, moost of the 'what a cute girl!' comments from strangers have been directed at Janny (before that, Clara was the focus.  Before that it was Jill, though if a guy said so I would have socked him).

Being the slow on the uptake guy that I am, it took quite a while to understand.  Mind you, Janny is adorable right now, as I'm well aware.  Clara is as well, but she is now shy around strangers which does not translate into cuteness.  Janny is still young enough to look them in the eye and turn on her charm.

 Winter is dragging on here, so we've had to plan more indoor activities.  Good friends bring some much needed cheer.
It feels like the weather has been really terrible for weeks.  But only once did I have an icicle hanging off my rear fender. I'm really looking forward to spring.
Our church basketball team is now in 3rd place (out of 8), though we were crushed in our last game by the 2nd place team.  We were missing our superstar, so maybe we'll give them a better game in the playoffs.  About once per game, I make a good play.