Posted in Misc


When you work in an office there are certain things you can’t really get away with doing during the work day, even if they’re completely harmless and don’t affect your work.  But since I work at home now with nobody to silently judge me, there are a few little things I do to take advantage of the situation.  Like I can do a quick workout in the morning and then turn around and start working immediately, only taking a break to shower a little later.  Or on that same note I can take a quick break and do some push-ups by my desk at any time.  You get weird looks doing that in a cube farm…and the floors are also generally gross.

But one thing that I’ve started doing recently is getting back into juggling.  I learned to juggle when I was a kid, thanks to the book Juggling For a Complete Klutz, which was a gift from my brother Mark.  I’ve taken it semi-seriously off and on over the years, but haven’t really touched it in a while.  But since there’s nobody around to watch me now, I’ve started juggling while waiting for tests to run or software to compile.  It’s just a couple minutes at a time that would otherwise be wasted, and it’s a great distraction.  And it pairs really well with my standing desk, since I’m already up and ready to move.

I have a few sets of juggling balls, but the ones I’m using now are 1lb each.  They’re called “exer-balls”, and they’re a nice light workout.  Nothing intense, but I can feel it in my shoulders when I’ve been doing it for a while.  Imagine shaking a bottle of salad dressing…not hard, right?  But imagine shaking it constantly for 10 minutes.

I also have a set of 5 balls (regular weight), and I need to find where they are.  I’ve never really been able to get the 5-ball pattern down, but now is as good a time for me to work on it as any.  I just watched a YouTube video on how to juggle 5 (because that’s how I learn to do anything these days), and it has a few steps to work through with 3 balls to prepare for the move to 5.  At the moment I’m working on getting the height of my tosses a little higher to accomodate the extra balls…I can juggle 3 pretty much forever at any reasonable height, but my tosses aren’t quite consistent so I end up reaching just a little too far.  Easy to keep up with when there are just 3, but if I want to do 5 I need to be able to keep my hands closer to the same spot every time.

Oh, and I almost forgot to mention…I’m juggling with 3 1-pound balls while standing in front of my computer.  I have to be consistent, or else one of them is going to smash through my monitor.  Oof.

Written with WordPress for iOS


Posted in Misc


One thing I didn’t expect when I started this blog (just a couple months ago) was to have any readers outside my family.  I said in my first post that I wasn’t really keeping this private, but I wasn’t advertising it either.  But the blogging community, especially the one internal to, is pretty friendly, and once I started following a few other sites they started following me too.

One of those is The Monkey’s Jungle, a site by a homeschooling mother.  I don’t know if I’ve got the fortitude to home school my kids, but I love the idea of it, so I started following her, and she followed me back.  That’s largely irrelevant, but she graciously passed on a couple of awards to me last week!  It’s no Pulitzer, but I’m happy to say that I’m now the proud winner of the Versatile and Creative Blogger Awards.

The gist of these is that you pass them around between bloggers with a list of questions to answer as a way to get to know each other and help build content.  I’m not really big on filling out surveys of myself for public consumption, but in the spirit of things here are my responses.  I’m going to refrain from passing it on right now, since I’m still figuring my way around the blogosphere, but I’ll keep it in mind for the future.

Continue reading “Awards!”

Posted in Family, Misc

The Martian

Tonight daycare did a “Parents’ Night Out”, where they kept the kids for a couple extra hours.  So Jen and I took the chance to go see The Martian.  It was really good.  I’m no expert, but the science behind it all seemed pretty reasonable until the very end.  I won’t give anything away, but the whole “Iron Man” thing really bugged me as unrealistic.  But overall a very good movie.  Plenty of tense moments mixed with a lot of Matt Damon just being a goofball talking to himself.

We saw it at the Springfield Town Center, and this was the first time we’ve gone there.  The seats all recline with foot rests.  It’s like watching a movie in a La-z-boy.  Outstanding.

During the movie I got a call from daycare saying that Valentina was running a slight fever and was a little fussy, but we didn’t need to pick her up yet.  So we called back after we left the theater and they said she was okay, so we went ahead and finished our date night by going to dinner at Saratoga Pizzeria, a little Italian/Greek place near our house.  It’s nothing special, but the sauce on their pizza is fantastic.

And of course afterward we went and got the girls.  V was really fussy, but mostly because she hadn’t really napped much.  She passed out pretty quickly once we got home.

Posted in Misc

iOS Blues

I just got a new iPad (refurbished) so I can test the WordPress app for iOS.  It’s really hard to get used to…I’m so accustomed to Android, everything here is new and different and scary.  I really miss the always-available ‘back’ button.  Not having that makes it difficult to navigate through iOS apps.  I know there’s usually a back button at the upper left of every screen, but that’s so far out of my way as I’m holding the device.  I also miss being able to organize my home screens to remove infrequently used apps, and to place the icons where I want rather than automatically shifting them all to fill the screen from the top down.

But I do really like the fingerprint reader, I’m glad Android is finally catching up there.  The screen is also fantastic.  Now I just need to get a case for it so I don’t freak out if the kids ever get their hands on it.

Posted in Misc


I forgot to mention yesterday, but there was a fairly significant casualty at the Grand Meetup.  Since last December I’ve been studying Danish via Duolingo, and I had a 292 day streak of practicing every day.  There’s a power-up you can buy using the in-app currency called Lingots which gives you a “Streak Freeze” and lets you miss a single day without penalty, and I’ve used that a few times, but for the most part I’ve actually done it every day.

Except I somehow missed both Saturday and Sunday this past weekend.  Sunday was an unusual day, and I was completely off my schedule, but I have no idea how I managed to miss Saturday.

No sense beating myself up, though.  What’s done is done, and I’m just going to have to start over.  I’ll get back up there eventually.

This was much more impressive a few days ago
Posted in Misc

Second Post!

Back to writing on my real phone, vs the emulator.  I could’ve just edited the last post, but I wanted to mention a couple other things.

I plan on trying to post something every day.  I know that won’t happen, but you never know until you try.

I don’t plan on advertising this blog outside of close friends and family.  I’m not trying to keep it private, but I don’t want to feel like I need to write anything special.

And finally, here is a picture of my kids, as promised…one of the few I can find of both of them without at least one looking upset.  Although it is really blurry.


Posted in Misc

First Post!

So it’s been a month since I started work at Automattic, the company behind, and I figure it’s about time I actually started a blog of my own.

I was originally thinking of starting a coffee blog, since roasting coffee is my latest hobby, but I had trouble getting the motivation to start it.  So instead I’m just going to start with a default site and fill it with anything at all…which is kind of the idea behind blogging to begin with.

I’ll still post about coffee, but mostly I’m guessing this will be pictures of my kids.  So Mom, you can follow me here instead of being upset that I’m not on Facebook.

I started the post mentioning that I work at Automattic.  My job there is software testing, focusing mostly on writing automated tests.  And at the moment, one of my first projects is beefing up the testing of the WordPress mobile apps.  So I’m going to try and do most of my posting from the app, which means you can expect more short entries as opposed to long rambling ones like this.

But just because I’m a huge nerd, at the moment I’m writing this post from the Android app running inside the emulator, so I can still use my real keyboard.  Feel free to mock me in the comments below.