Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Meanwhile, From the Prize Box

Remember how you used to have days in class where the teacher would do a review session for an upcoming test, and he'd pass out small prizes for the right answer? You know, like pencils, stickers, bookmarks and the like?

You thought I was talking about elementary school .

Nope. This happens in adult world, too, folks. Your wildest dreams have come true!

Mr. Dude's right answer during the SharePoint training seminar earned him some swag:



Tacky? Or awesome? 


[Side Note: I don't even dare ask Mr. Dude what the question was. Otherwise I'll suddenly discover that he's rattled off about all things SharePoint for an hour and I'll know more about it than the general population. I know better than that, folks!]

No, Seriously. What About Second Breakfast?

Little Guy turned one earlier this month, and my family made the trek all the way from sunny CA to celebrate with us.

They took the opportunity to give him some ... um ... appropriate gifts.

One sister, for example, created these:

It's what happens when you have access to the interwebs, a printer, and iron-on patches. So now my kid can go around proclaiming on his shirt what his general M.O. of life seems to be:
"But what about second breakfast?"

The other sister gave him what I call the "maniacal bumblebee" and what Mr. Dude has proclaimed one of the most awesome toys ever.

Want to see their ad for it? Watch the overly cheerful video. And then wonder if the video editor lost some hair while working on that project. Auntie's "Operation: Bug the Momma, Please the Nephew" is a complete success, y'all. Because Little Guy LOVES it.

[We have a dichotomy in our parenting philosophies, by the way. Mr. Dude thinks that loud, noisy toys make childhood more fun. I, on the other hand, am the one at home all day with Little Guy, so I hear that noisy toy a LOT. And I think a kid needs to learn to be entertained without all the flashing lights and sounds. But hey, he loves leafing through his board books and playing with blocks, so we'll call it good.]

I'm just worried about what's gonna happen when Mr. Dude gets around to building that DOS Pentium II off-line machine that our kids will get to use.

Too. Many. Flashing. Lights! Aaaaaauuuugggghhhh!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

But What About Second Breakfast?

Or in my case today, what about a second cup of tea?

There have been a lot of second "cuppas" this past week as both I and this blog fell off the face of the earth. That's what happens when you've got one very sick Little Guy who decided that a fever meant lots of snuggling with momma and sleeping. I took to calling him a "Clingy Monkey". But at least he was a cute clingy monkey.

So, we're back. He's back to causing mischief, I'm back to writing, and Mr. Dude is the same as he ever was.

Well, except for today, when his company sent him to a SharePoint training this week instead of his normal work routine.

Know what he's most excited about?

Free, unlimited Mountain Dew.

You know, the kind of soda he used to drink during multiple weekends of playing waaaaaaay too much Halo in high school. He claims it's how he stayed out of trouble.

[I'm guessing his mom is grateful her couch got a little beat up by crowds of teenage boys working their way through endless levels of video games on the "Legendary" difficulty, rather than have her son get mixed in with the wrong crowd. I wonder if they thought to buy stock in Mountain Dew since they were probably single-handedly keeping the profit margin high?]

But back to real life outside of Mr. Dude's nostalgia trip today ...

I'm back on "PAX Duty" since he's out of WiFi. And back to real life chores after spending most of my weekend doing this:

Ever seen Meryl Streep's amazing performance in Julie and Julia? Holy cow. The movie is based on a mix of this book and the blog of a gal named Julie who learned to cook by working her way through Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking. I'm wondering if anyone can read this book without getting drool all over their face and not getting up at least three times to go scour the kitchen for something, anything that could be even a fraction as tasty as all the food she describes in her book.

The mug, by the way, is full of Earl Grey. Hot. Make it so. [Yeah, that was a Star Trek reference. I know.] Because every good book needs a good mug or glass of something yummy to accompany it. One friend suggested that I have a good glass of wine, some fantastic crusty French bread and a really creamy Brie to savor while I read. I agreed, but I was fresh out of all three. And too glued to the book to go to the grocery store. So I settled for the tea. Much more British than French, but still tasty.

So that's what I geeked out on this weekend. Mr. Dude may be writing PowerShell scripts for this and that, continually locking down our network, and waiting for PAX Prime tickets to go on sale. I'm learning how to cook all sorts of tasty things.

C'mon. 'Fess up. What hobbies did you do instead of chores this weekend?

Monday, April 14, 2014

Stalking PAX Prime

Last night, I was all settled in for a lovely semi-marathon of BBC's London Hospital. Little Guy was down for the count. The house was reasonably clean. And Mr. Dude was out with friends to watch the new Captain America movie.

[As an aside, I was supposed to go to that movie, too, but we couldn't get a babysitter in time. So I couldn't watch the latest iteration in a never-ending parade of superhero/comic book-based movies. Oh darn.]

And then I get this text message:

Grammatical errors aside [because I'm one of those annoying people who try to make sure even my text messages have proper capitalization, punctuation, etc.], this pretty much sums up my weekend. 

Stalking PAX Prime tickets. 

Mr. Dude [who really is listed in my phone as "Yours Truly" ... and who chose a ridiculous profile picture based on a meme] knows that historically, PAX Prime tickets are announced very soon after PAX East in Boston has concluded. 

So the man who has a Twitter handle and never uses it turned on notifications for @Official_Pax a week ago to be sure he could rush to a computer at a moment's notice to get one of the coveted 4 Day Passes. Since PAX East was this weekend, there's been a tweet every. freakin'. 30. seconds.  

That's a lot of notifications on his phone, people. 

And a lot of times for my heart to start racing, waiting to hear him yell out, "To the interwebs!" 

And a lot of times of not knowing when I'm going to have to drop everything [except for maybe the 1 year old Little Guy ... I love my husband, but I draw the line there] to run to my computer and basically live out this scene: 

Key Difference that Mr. Dude would like you to note: They're trying to get into Comicon in San Diego. Not PAX. 

I actually offered [!!!] to go to Emerald City Comicon last month and he refused. 

"That's for a bunch of nerds, Stephanie."
Riiiiiiiiigggggghhhhhhttttt ... 

[Updated: Apparently I should use the interwebs for some of my proofreading. You know, so that I can discover that it's spelled "Comicon" instead of "ComiCon" ... like I tried to do the first time around.] 

Friday, April 11, 2014

Nerd Status Panic Attack

In the world of baseball, going 2/3 in a game is a great batting average.

In the world of being almost a nerd, going 2/3 means I haven't gone over the edge. Yet.

But oh man, did I get a scare.

Scrolling through my FB newsfeed ... saw a post by Mr. Sulu George Takei that a friend shared ... and almost had a heart attack.


Or at least I thought I did.

The ways of the force? Easy, that is. Star Wars.

The One Ring? You mean the One Ring to Rule Them all? LOTR. Duh.

Muggles? Wow. Talk about a reference out of left field. They brought in Puddleglum from The Silver Chair? Random, but okay.

Except NOT okay because I know EXACTLY who they're talking about and so according to the totally legit authority of the some(e)cards meme, that makes me a full-fledged nerd!!!


Oh wait.

That said "muggles". Not "marshwiggles".

[Insert my quick Google search here.]

Oooooh. Those are from Harry Potter.

Never read the books. Only seen clips of the movies when other people have had them on in the room.

Never mind. I'm not a complete nerd.


Thursday, April 10, 2014

Dating Windows XP

Found some more treasures at the consignment shop for Little Guy, just in time for the M's home opener on Tuesday:

Does this Giants' fan get bonus points for buying M's gear for our son? I mean, seriously.
[Mr. Dude asked me to wear M's gear to the game, and I think I almost laughed in his face. I reassured him that I love him. A lot. And then I reminded him that this is baseball we're talking about. I only wear black and orange, no matter who is playing or who my husband is cheering for. The "leaving and cleaving" may apply to my family, but it does not apply to my baseball team. Just sayin'.]
Also, I'm claiming bonus points for the R2D2 and C3PO shirt. Because what nerd's kid's wardrobe is complete without something from Star Wars?

I digress.

The day of said home game where Little Guy sported his Griffey gear, Mr. Dude and I were filling out paperwork at the doctor's office for the [insert trumpet fanfare here] one year appointment.
Me: What's the date today?
Mr. Dude: The 8th. Do you know how I know it's the 8th?
Me: Because it's our dating anniversary?
Mr. Dude: No. And yes! But today is the day that Windows XP support ends.
Me: And you know that more than you know that it's our dating anniversary?
Mr. Dude: Hey, I had to live and breathe that deadline! 
In all fairness, our dating anniversary is something more like a three day stretch, because it took one day for him to ask me to be his girlfriend, one day for me to think about it, and a third day for me to say "yes". April 8th is the day I said "yes". So sometimes I have a hard time remembering which one we celebrate [answer: we kinda, sorta celebrate all three].

And in all fairness, his massive project at work as a "Sharepoint Farmer" [as he calls himself] has been to migrate everything on their servers to a new OS so that everyone and their mom couldn't hack into the system. So the countdown to April 8, 2014, has been on his work desktop for the last couple of years.

Oh, widgets. What did we ever do without you?

Even so, the ordinals in his head for April 8th events went something like

[Windows XP end-of-support, M's Opening Day, 8 year dating anniversary, SQUIRREL!, Little Guy's appointment].

If he's not careful, I'll start calling him Szalinski.

[And he'd like you to know that he's proud I'd even use a reference from a 90's movie.]

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Awkward Family Photos and Verbal Analogies, SAT-Style

[We interrupt this broadcast to bring you this important bulletin: Today is "Family Harmonica Day".]

The Awkward Family Photo calendar said so.

"Why on earth", you ask, "do you have an Awkward Family Photo calendar?!?!"

Good question.

Have you ever heard of "photo-bombing"? Usually, it's a practice where someone jumps into another's scene while a photo is being taken, without the primary subjects noticing. Benedict Cumberbatch and squirrels alike have been known to take up the hobby.

At our house, it's what happens when you ask friends to babysit whilst you attend a wedding, and they see fit to grace our walls with said calendar's presence, without you noticing until after they had left for the night. In this case, the calendar literally "photo-bombed" our wall.

Fortunately, it's turned out to be quite the useful calendar with so many helpful holidays written in. Today is "Family Harmonica Day", and "Dress Like a Hobbit" comes later this month. And then there are other important occasions such as "Polyester Jumpsuit Day" and "Family Sweater Day". If you haven't gotten your harmonica on yet, though, you'll want to hurry. The day is almost done!

Know how Mr. Dude and I are celebrating this year's "Family Harmonica Day"? We're sitting side by side working on our respective computers while Little Guy sleeps. Ah, the life of a nerd and his wife. He's doing PowerShell scripting for work and I just finished up a freelance gig wherein I kinda-sorta-not-really played the part of a web developer.

Actually I was migrating content from one website to another, which really just means I was a glorified copy-and-paste wizard. But a wizard nonetheless, mind you. I'm working on getting my staff and a horse as cool as Shadowfax.


What's that you say? You're surprised that I dove into the world of web development?

Me, too. Sometimes these things just land in my lap and I take them - always good to learn new skills and earn a bit of extra cash, right?

Mr. Dude, however, was more focused on the fact that I was uploading content into a WordPress site.
Mr. Dude: "That's not web development, Stephanie!"
Me: "Well, you're just doing PowerShell. That's not really programming."
Mr. Dude: "Yes it is!"
Me: "Then working with WordPress sites is web development. So there."
Very sophisticated arguing, I tell you. But a valid point, unless of course you agree that
HTML : WordPress :: C++ : PowerShell

If that's true, then WordPress really is nothing like "true" web development, whatever that means. I'm still accepting the title of "Copy and Paste Wizard", though.  

Happy "Family Harmonica Day"!