Alexandria at 12 weeks, plus a road trip

Sorry it’s been a while since I posted anything! It’s been busy with a baby ya know!

Earlier last week Jen and Alexandria and I made our way out to Hurricane Ridge, in the Olympic National Park. Here’s Jen in front of the Olympic mountain range:


Alexandria is much more aware of things around her now… she is interacting with toys etc. and it’s been fun to watch her learn about her environment. Here you can see her in her stroller, checking out the frog that was hanging above her head:


We went for a walk around the area, which has some spectacular views. From this vantage point you can see across the Strait of Juan de Fuca (the water inlet that connects the Pacific Ocean to Puget Sound) to Victoria in Canada (Victoria is the town – mostly white along the water’s edge – on the far side of the water):


We even had a fairly close encounter with a deer:



Here’s a shot of Jen & Alexandria with the mountains behind them.


Happy 12 weeks little baby!

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Alexandria is 1 month old

Last Sunday on July 1st, Alexandria turned 4 weeks old. She celebrated by getting a bath and then having her picture taken. Actually it was many pictures – man is it hard to take a picture of someone who can’t sit up on their own 🙂

Anyway, here she is, 1 month old, celebrating like only a baby can:


Happy 1 month-aversary, Alexandria!

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First bath!

At 2.5 weeks old, Alexandria got her first bath. We were pleased that she was calm and happy for the whole thing.

We made sure to get the bathroom up to a comfortable temperature (lighting a few candles in the room always does the trick), and we used a floating thermometer (designed for kids/babies) to check that the water was right around body temperature. Alexandria does not like to be cold and we didn’t want to make her first bath an unpleasant shock.

Although we could have washed her in a sink (she’s still not even 7lbs yet), we chose to wash her in the infant/baby bathtub we have, as it gave us more room to maneuver around her.

She spent about 10 minutes in the water, happily letting us wash and clean her. It was a bit of a shock to realize this was the very first bath of her life, and first time we were able to wash her hair thoroughly!

I like this action shot of Jen and I washing Alexandria: the camera caught her attention even as we worked busily to get her clean & keep her comfortable:

As any parent will likely tell you, anything that keeps your child happy and clean is a good thing, and we agree. Here’s Alexandria after she was dried off and dressed up for the day:

For the record: she stayed clean for another ~2 minutes before she burped up a little on herself.

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Alexandria is here!

Welcome Alexandria! Here’s a teaser picture for you…

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Just because I’m a geek…

Do you use Gmail? You’ve probably seen their logon screen (they typically make you log on with your password every few weeks from even a trusted computer). At the side it has a little counter: how much storage they’re using to store email etc. online. It looks like this:



Well the geek in me wondered, what’s with that little counter (showing 7645.52… MB in the screenshot)? Is that a real number? Is it meaningful? Is it random? Does it change?

I started writing it down every time I saw the page – meaning about every two weeks. Just jotted it down and moved on. After a few months, I had some data points, so I graphed them out, and they chart like this:



This is based on the real numbers they displayed between late August and early November.

So at least we know the numbers aren’t random. Are they meaningful? No idea. My gut says that these #s probably shouldn’t really be on a straight line if they reflect real usage. I’d expect to see some variance. But that is one straight. Adding a computed trend line shows the exact same line. Crazy.

My guess? They just calculate a number based on an algorithm. But I’ll keep writing down the #s just to see if they change – maybe they ‘true up’ once a year based on real data. Once again proving, I’m a geek.

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Just how are Sounders FC doing this season?

Sadly, my wife and I chose to give up our great season tickets this year – we had seats just a few rows from the field and right behind the home dugout, but the frequency of games and the lack of good transportation options to and from games drove us away this year.

It’s not too bad; we’ve been watching games from local bars and from home and so I feel like we’re still involved in the team – we’re just not going to as many games at the stadium this year. (We’ll be down in Portland for the Sounders FC v Timbers game btw, in case any of you will be down there too).

In any event, I had wondered how this season for Sounders FC compared to the previous two. It felt like things weren’t going as well this year as previous years, especially after our slow start (0-2-2). So, I looked up how Sounders FC fared throughout each season so far and charted it out. And behold!


This chart shows the team’s progress through the first 18 games, or roughly first half of their season.

Much to my surprise, Sounders FC are actually doing better now than at this point in previous seasons. One thing to note, this season the regular season has expanded to 34 games instead of 30, but you can see that overall, once the team got past their first 4 games, they really started to go on a tear.

Given that both of the first two seasons in MLS, Sounders FC qualified for the playoffs, it’s hard to imagine (barring another round of injuries or some other disaster) that they won’t make it again. Makes you feel a bit sorry for Toronto FC, in their 5th year in the MLS and they still haven’t qualified for the playoffs yet.

Congratulations to Sounders FC for their season so far: on record pace for wins in the regular season, qualified for the CONCACAF Champions League for the second year in a row, and advancing through the US Open Cup competition as well!

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Music collection part 3

Yes, I’m still at it. I last blogged about this about a year ago: I’ve been upgrading my music collection from old WMA file format files to MP3s.

It’s taking longer than expected. Here’s where my music collection is now: 5711 files (over 34GB). Most (all but about a thousand files) are now in MP3 format.

Percentage-wise, less than 15% of my collection remains to be converted. Of course it’s this last 15% that’s the hardest: the one-off songs, the rarities and live versions that I don’t quite know where they came from. It’s not like I can just slap in a bunch of CDs and convert them and be done with it. I’ve been doing a lot of searching online for rare versions to see where I can buy them. Sadly, it’s pretty tough (aka impossible) to track some of these down, but I’ll do what I can so I can finally be rid of WMA files.

Of course this causes other problems: my 32GB iPhone no longer has enough room for all my music (far from it, given that I have several GB of apps on the phone too).

But I’ve also found a lot of great music lately, from a variety of sources. An example of some of the stuff that’s new in my collection over the past few months:

  • Rilo Kiley
  • Jonsi
  • The Decemberists
  • Julian Plenti
  • Elbow

Plus I’ve added a bunch of old classics to my collection, by folks like Nik Kershaw, Hot Chocolate and ‘Tennessee’ Ernie Ford (that’s the ‘80’s, the ’70s and the ‘50’s right there).

Unlike last time, when I thought I might be done in 6 months, this time I’m wise enough to realize that this will probably take a lot longer – but it’s certainly been a fun journey so far. And the best part? My music sounds better everywhere: in the Phatbox in my car, from my phone and piped around my house. Sweet Note.

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