Happy Spring…

Happy Vernal Equinox, everyone! As always, I’m please to celebrate a legitimate astronomical event because, well, it actually happens. Plus, up here in Minnesota, the first day of Spring is most definitely a cause for celebration, even if there is still snow on the ground and a storm is sure to dump more sometime in April.
Here are some fun tidbits about the Equinox. Gotta dig any holiday or event that includes history, math, and astronomy, right?

The length of day and night may not be equal on the vernal equinox, but that doesn’t make the first day of spring any less special.

The fall and spring equinoxes, for starters, are the only two times during the year when the sun rises due east and sets due west, according to Alan MacRobert, a senior editor with Sky & Telescope magazine.

The equinoxes are also the only days of the year when a person standing on the Equator can see the sun passing directly overhead.

On the Northern Hemisphere’s vernal equinox day, a person at the North Pole would see the sun skimming across the horizon, beginning six months of uninterrupted daylight.

A person at the South Pole would also see the sun skim the horizon, but it would signal the start of six months of darkness.

(Found via mental_floss Blog.)

Come and Gone…

A whole year passed since my daughter was born. My parents came out this past weekend to join us in celebrating, and the Lass rewarded them with lots of smiles and even five new steps. It was a grand visit for sure. I think they enjoyed sitting back and just being with the grandkids. This was good, because I apparently had a bout of food poisoning to get over (it’s a week later now, and I finally am feeling more like myself).
My dad and I did a number of little projects around the house. He always has good ideas for solving the problems I have. I still need to complete putting chicken wire in the basement ceiling to keep the cats out. But at least some holes have been patched, doorstops installed, and a baby gate blocking the stairs. The Lass is really enjoying having more room to roam.

It still is astounding how much faster life travels when you are older. I think kids really make a difference with that too. As a parent, a big chunk of your life is lived for them, but time does flow right past, even while you’re not concentrating on yourself. And rather than celestial events to use as markers, you use your children’s events.

A year ago, my daughter was born. It was a little warm, but it snowed and got slushy. She held my finger so tight while she was wheeled to the nursery to have blood drawn and tests done (all standard stuff). My wife and I hadn’t settled on a name quite yet since after being born, she didn’t fit the ones we had thought of originally.

Then life kept moving. She’s gone from nothing to a smiling, babbling, nearly walking kid with a sense of humor. Just a year. But it also feels like so much more than a year, as if it was a different life entirely when my son was still in daycare and Mommy was home with the baby.

Now I have a new life to handle. The Lass up and about, and will be more and more. Toddling is coming. Meanwhile, the Lad is moving up and out. Riding a bike and skateboard will be happening shortly. High chances of handling crappy neighbors will probably follow. I hope that this summer he can find a kid or two nearby that can fulfill the needs for a friend that I cannot (and frankly should not).

Evidence I’m a Twit – 2009-03-15

  • I love the manila envelopes that close with winding a string. #
  • Any recommendations for a good Google Calendar add-on for Firefox? #
  • I need to keep a small stock of flossers in my desk drawer. #
  • iChat or Adium? Which is better? Which is more discreet? #
  • Finally got the new modem and faster internet up and running. Now, what gigabit router should I get? Last linksys sucked greatly. #
  • I feel like Cleveland in a bathtub. #
  • No, no, no, No, NO, NO, NOOO! #
  • I think I need to make a Tequila, Vodka, and Jäger cocktail the size of an oil drum and down it in the next 15 minutes. #
  • Binder Clips FTW! #
  • Who wants to bring me a burrito? Taco Truck preferred, Chipotle accepted. #
  • Vote because my daughter is cute! http://tr.im/hd5D #
  • Congrats everyone, you get to vote again! Every hour if you want! http://tr.im/hd5D #
  • Is anyone else having trouble with Google Calendar right now? One of my three calendars won’t load. #
  • Congrats everyone, you get to vote again! Every hour if you want! http://tr.im/hd5D #
  • VOTE! Already voted? VOTE AGAIN! http://tr.im/hedd #
  • I’ve been pouring drinks at a bowling alley with middle schoolers. #
  • Day 4 of this class and I still need to hold the teacher’s hand. So much for getting the other 10 things done that I needed to. #
  • Slamming head on desk to commence on 3, 2, 1… #
  • Did I just say, ‘Aight’? Really? #
  • Best part of my day so far? Fixing a Euphonium. #
  • Have Bari, will travel. #
  • I’m gutting my first PowerBook today. It’s sweet stuff. #
  • I’m ordering a new router. Here’s hoping it’ll kick more ass than the linksys. #
  • May I please just close my eyes and shut down for 20 minutes? I could really use a siesta. #
  • My eyes aren’t working right now. That’s not good, is it? #
  • I really don’t feel well. This hasn’t been the best of weeks. #
  • 5 teeth and 4 steps today! #

Totally Twitterpated…

I dig Twitter. Over the past couple of weeks, it seems that the main-stream media have finally picked up on it. They’ve also brought up how inane and stupid it is. Oh, and incredibly self-serving and narcissistic (like blogs surely aren’t, of course). Another reason I dig it.
Why like Twitter? Mostly because of the simplistic idiocy of it all. In that sense, it definitely follows my most common train of thought. I will ponder for minutes on how to turn a word or phrase into a pun, for example.

The premise is simplicity. I am a big advocate of simplicity. While being quite capable of handling complex ideas and programs, I think that the best use of technology is when it is easy enough to use that the technology itself disappears and the objective is the only thing in sight.

For Twitter, I use a small program called Twitterific on my MacBook or just text message. I can quick flip to either, send a small message out to the world, and my friends and followers will catch it and respond at their leisure. In fact, in addition to all the nifty little applications and add-ons for Twitter, a brilliant site called CurseBird has been created.

Better than that, I like Twitter as a social networking tool. Sure it’s just short messages. But a question can be really quick to throw out and suddenly the world is available to answer. Nothing fancy, just quick and easy. Or let folks know about a contest? Piece of cake. (Vote for Emily!)

I never cared for MySpace or Facebook. Too much upkeep, too much stuff I don’t care that much about. Bulletin with a survey? Well, at least I’m not getting them emailed to me anymore. 25 Things about you? Pieces of flare? Commenting and tagging picture after picture? All things I don’t do much of at all. If you’re going to give out information about yourself, start a real blog and force yourself to coherently write. And it’s the most irritating when a MySpace message is the best way to get a hold of someone. We all know you have an email, it’s your login for goodness’ sake!

Oh, and aside, I’ve set up my Facebook status to update with whatever I happen to Twitter. If you want a response to whatever you say on that, you’ll have to get to Twitterin’!

Rock The Vote!

From my wife:

Hey everyone! Emily is entered into the Star Tribune’s cutest baby contest. The winner is decided by user voting and I need some help!! The voting is only open for 1 day for each of the 10 voting rounds so I need everyone I can get to vote for Emily. If you click on the link below you can register to vote. Emily’s picture is below in case you don’t go right to her page. She is on the very first page.

Thank you!!!

http://startribune.upickem.net/engine/Details.aspx?PageType=VOTING&ContestID=5242&SubmissionID=543077&IncrementNumber=2#SubmissionDisplay

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Addition: It appears you can vote every hour, so please do so if you’re inclined!