Monday, May 29, 2006

I took a swing at liking Here's my short list of what it needs: keyboard navigation (I don't use the message preview view), to check my mail for real (I thought it was quiet afternoon, until I launched Thunderbird), a junk filter that works (and moves junk from inbox), and not to download and index all of my sub-folders (I know how to search existing folders! it's been sorted!).

And then I went back to Thunderbird, all of my new mail showed up, all of my junk mail vanished, and the navigation was easy. *happy sigh* Sure, is prettier, but basic functionality trumps that.

Sleeping and Eating

Well, studies say sleeping peaks at 6 months and drops again by 9 months, especially in the breastfed ... and I think we're living (and not sleeping) proof. I thought we were on our way to sleeping through the night a while ago, almost sleeping through the night, but somewhere along the way, we took a scenic detour. I hope we get back on the main road soon! I don't think Karston has seen the sleep chart that suggests he should be sleeping more at night.

My theory is that sleeping through the night might have more to do with weight than age. Karston's skinny, he wakes up in the middle of the night saying he's hungry, and then he eats like he's starving. Hmm, that's not too hard to figure out! I wish we could get him to eat more during the day. I've seen recommendations that he should be eating six small meals during the day, and we're lucky if we can get him to take five in one day (four is more common). (Sometimes it's listed as three meals and three snacks.) If he would eat more, he could weigh more, and (according to my theory that could be pure hogwash) then he could sleep through more of the night. Such a vicious circle! Just eat! Just sleep!


Friday, May 26, 2006

Still Not Mine

When I was pregnant, I made sure everything that went in my body was good for the baby, and I exercised faithfully (and morning sickness reminded me). At the time, I thought I would get my body back for my use, at least mostly, after delivery. Last night set me straight: my body is still not mine. I had a perfectly normal, pretty nice dinner last night. However, later in the evening I had an upset stomach. Since it was late and I didn't want to take the time to sort out why, I took two Advil, to handle anything on the muscle side, and a bicarb, to settle my stomach. Actually, I did that Tuesday night too, for the same kind of stomach ache. Anyway, when I went to bed at 11 PM after a couple of hours of trying and failing to get the baby to bed on his own, I noticed my neck itched at the hairline. I didn't think anything of it, and I scratched. And I went to sleep.

I woke up this morning at 3 AM when Karston made his first squeak for food. I went to the bathroom first, and I noticed I itched, well, everywhere. Sure enough, hives everywhere! I have no idea what triggered an allergic reaction since the only thing I know that gives me hives is cigarette smoke. (Actually, that's what concerns me. I don't know what triggered it, so I don't know when it will happen again.) Karston fell asleep again, and I stayed up to research what antihistamines are compatible with breast feeding. It's not a long list. There are scientific reviews at Kelly Mom and at Mothering Magazine. Based on what I had in the house and no specific contraindications (unlike my other already-in-the-house choices) here, I took two chlorpheniramine. I was headed for my breast pump since it would take about 20 minutes to take effect, but then Karston woke up so I let him nurse for 20 minutes instead. Unfortunately the pediatrician's office said to pump-and-dump after that antihistamine, but I needed it to get through the rest of the night. I was getting mighty uncomfortable, and those two pills brought it down to bearable.

But my body is still not mine when I have to worry about how to treat a fluke like an outrageous case of hives! And the itchies are kicking in again ... *sigh*

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Network Setup Tricks

I picked up a refurbished D-Link DWL-G710 wireless range extender because our wireless signal gets weak on the far side of the house from the router. (The middle of our house is a 12-inch thick solid wall that's not kind to wireless signals.) Setting it up was easy (OK, I do work in Networking). I read the Amazon review by Ken in MO, and winged it. I plugged the provided Ethernet cable into my laptop, and into the DWL-G710. I set my IP address to with netmask and gateway (doesn't actually matter) I went to in my web browser, and answered the Wizard questions. Then I clicked on Network and set a static IP address that actually worked, and set my laptop back to regular DHCP. I made sure I could ping the new address, I unplugged it, and I moved it to its final location. Seems to work with very little effort! Yay!

Last month, I set up a Belkin Wireless 802.11g Router for my hubby's office. There were two tricks (or pitfalls!) that I learned. The first is that I can't set up a new Belkin router downstream of our existing Belkin router at home. This seems like a stupid design addition, but if the new router were not connected to the cable modem, if the new router were getting an RFC 1918 private IP address, it wouldn't save any of my configuration changes!!! Why should it care that it's getting a private IP address from DHCP? It could reach the Internet! And why would you ever have a mode where no changes can be saved? I had about given up setting up that router in advance when I learned that it needed to have a routable (not private) IP address. The second is that while WPA2 works for Mac OS X (my platform), I had to back down to regular WPA for Windows XP (hubby's platform).

Last year, I bought a GigaFast EE171-PR USB print server because it was pretty cheap and also supported SNMP. Since I use SNMP all the time at work, I was very curious about that aspect! (It came in handy one day when my cable modem went out, and I was writing an SNMP script for work. I switched to the print server as my test SNMP target, and kept right on working.) If I were starting over from scratch, since mine actually came with the IP interface enabled, I would see if I could manage it through the web interface. I would set my IP address to with a netmask of and a gateway (doesn't exist so it doesn't matter) of I would see if or answered a ping. Whichever one answered (I forget which one I used on my laptop, and which one was on the print server!), I would go there in my web browser and see if I could do the setup. As it was, since I had read the IP interface was disabled by default, I used Windows (ugh!) and a manual install of PS_Admin. In PS_Admin, I could discover and configure the print server; I skipped the configuration options that weren't IP. Initially I had it set to pure DHCP, but that meant the printer might get a new IP address after a power failure, so I finally set it to a static address for my home network.

Dekor Fixed!

I was bummed about our dead Diaper Dekor, and I was thinking about a Diaper Champ instead. But just in case, I went to the manufacturer, Regal Lager and sent email ("the flap died with less than a year of use"). They shipped me a replacement part immediately, it showed up much sooner than I would have expected, and the bedroom smells so much better now. Whew! So now I'm happy with our Dekor again: it works, it's easy, refills last a long time, and it will be functional even after diapering days are over. again

Software: 2.0.7

Well, I have made it longer than 24 hours (a first!) with, but it still has some serious shortcomings! First, I can't stand not having a keyboard way to move from one message to the next unread message. I like 'n' in Thunderbird! All good mail clients can do this! Productivity software can't be click-happy or else it slows you down, and that's not very productive. And second, it's just not doing the right thing with Junk Mail. It marks it as Junk, but about half the time, it doesn't move it to the Junk folder. That means I have to see the junk, and that makes me want to run back to Thunderbird. Plus I finally have Thunderbird's Address Book set up perfectly now.

On the other hand, I love the iPhoto integration that I just saw on a photo my mother sent me. I love the Smart Mailbox I made for Unread Messages so I can clear the distractions out of my screen.

I guess it boils down to this trichotomy. I feel like I'm using a Mac (in a good way!) when I use Apple's Mail. I feel like my mail client is doing right by me and my productivity when I use Thunderbird (although some of Mail's Rules are nicer!). And I feel like I'm using a full-featured email client when I use Mulberry. Since Thunderbird gets the most time on my screen, I guess you can tell what I care about the most: less time on email, more time for me!

I'm still going to try a little longer with Apple's Mail. I guess it's time to look at plugins to get it to behave for me.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

UMAX Astra 1220S

Hardware: UMAX Astra 1220S, PowerMac G4 tower with Apple's SCSI card

Software: OS X 10.3.9, Image Capture (part of OS X)

My mother has my old scanner, a UMAX Astra 1220S (I don't plan on buying another UMAX given their non-support of OS X, and I'm happy with my HP ScanJet 5470C). I wanted her scanner to work in OS X so she doesn't have to boot to OS 9 anymore. (For a while, she said scans were working under Classic, but now they're not. It's not a problem I want to troubleshoot. Plus she'd rather use OS X exclusively too!)

My first attempt was dig around until I found a copy of MagicScan 5.1 for OS X. It's not supposed to work with low-end scanners (although the pre-X version does!), and it's not supposed to work with anything newer than OS X 10.2.6. Well, I thought I'd try anyway, but it failed because I didn't have a supported scanner (well, not officially, but I used to use MagicScan!). So I used HexEdit to change "PowerLook 2100XL" to "Astra 1220S" just in case, but then it said

Application Launch Failure

The application "MagicScan" could not be launched because of a shared library error: "<magicscan><><><>"

so that trick didn't work either. On to the second attempt!

I went to Mac OS X Hints and found a tip that worked! I downloaded OS X TWAIN SANE software. I installed the binary packages for libusb 0.1.12, SANE backend 1.0.17-cvs 2006-02-07, TWAIN SANE interface 1.7, and SANE Preference Pane 0.4 in that order. Then I rebooted because this SCSI scanner has to be on when the computer boots, or it's not seen.

I opened SANE in System Preferences after the reboot to configure it. I disabled all of the drivers except umax because that driver supports my scanner, and then I hit the Configure button. I made the UMAX configuration look like this:

# Options for the umax backend

# define scsi queueing depth

option scsi-maxqueue 2

# define scsi buffer size in bytes

option scsi-buffer-size-min 65536

option scsi-buffer-size-max 262144

# define scan lines that shall be read in one block

option scan-lines 100

option preview-lines 20

# define how to handle bad sense codes

# 0 = handle as device busy

# 1 = handle as ok

# 2 = handle as i/o error

# 3 = ignore bad error code - continue sense handler,

option handle-bad-sense-error 0

# define if a request sense command shall be executed

option execute-request-sense 0

# define if the preview bit shall be set when scanning in rgb mode

#option force-preview-bit-rgb 0

# define if slow speed flag shall be set


# -1 = automatically set by driver - if known

# 0 = disabled

# 1 = enabled

#option slow-speed 0

# define if care-about-smeraring flag shall be set


# -1 = automatically set by driver - if known

# 0 = disabled

# 1 = enabled

#option care-about-smearing 0

# define if the calibration shall be done for selected scanarea or for each ccd pixel

# -1 = automatically set by driver - if known

# 0 = disabled

# 1 = enabled

#option calibration-full-ccd 1

# define if an offset of the calculate calibration with has to be used

# -99999 = auto

#option calibration-width-offset -99999

# define the number of pixels that is used for calibration

# -1 = disabled

# 0 = not set

# 1 = 1 byte/pixel,

# 2 = 2 bytes/pixel

#option calibration-bytes-pixel -1

# define if scanner uses the same exposure times for red, green and blue

# -1 = automatically set by driver - if known

# 0 = disabled (own selection for red, green and blue)

# 1 = enabled (same values for red, green and blue)

#options exposure-time-rgb-bind 0

# define if shading data shall be inverted befor sending it back to the scanner

# -1 = automatically set by driver - if known

# 0 = disabled

# 1 = enabled

#option invert-shading-data 0

# define if the scanner supports lamp control commands

# 0 = automatically set by driver - if known

# 1 = enabled

#option lamp-control-available 0

# define how 16 bit gamma data is padded

# -1 = automatically set by driver - if known

# 0 = gamma data is msb padded

# 1 = gamma data is lsb padded

#option gamma-lsb-padded 0

# define connection type of following devices

# 1 = scsi

# 2 = usb

option connection-type 1

# linux device identification:

#scsi vendor model type bus channel id lun

scsi UMAX * Scanner * * 4 1

#scsi UMAX * Scanner

#scsi LinoHell JADE

#scsi LinoHell Office

#scsi LinoHell Office2

#scsi LinoHell SAPHIR2

#scsi LinoHell SAPHIR3

#scsi Linotype SAPHIR4

#scsi LinoHell OPAL2

#scsi HDM LS4H1S

#scsi Nikon AX-110

#scsi Nikon AX-210

#scsi KYE ColorPage-HR5

#scsi EPSON Perfection600

#scsi ESCORT "Galleria 600S"

#scsi TriGem PowerScanII

# Umax Astra 2200 via USB:

# usb vendor product

#usb 0x1606 0x0230

# scsi device list

option connection-type 1


# usb device list

#option connection-type 2


I uncommented lines that seemed to apply, and I commented out the USB lines that don't apply to a SCSI scanner.

I have this scanner set to SCSI ID 4 using the dial on the back by the power plug. In Apple System Profiler, it shows up at 4 on every possible LUN! I vaguely remember from SCSIprobe in pre-OS-X days that the external bus on this card was LUN 1, so that's why I added the line scsi UMAX * Scanner * * 4 1 so the SANE software wouldn't get confused. Do the right thing for your SCSI!

Then, following the directions, I ran sane-find-scanner that saw the Astra on 8 LUNs and my sleeping ScanJet. Next I tried scanimage -L and saw more about the Astra.

So finally it was time to launch Image Capture and scan a page. Hey! It works!

Monday, May 22, 2006

Dead Dekor

Well, that explains the smell! The last time we had a bad smell from the Diaper Dekor Plus, a diaper had snuck inside the pail but outside the bag. This time, one of the inner door flaps stays down. Whoops! The mechanical engineer hubby took it apart, pronounced it quite dead (hidden spring and all), and we're thinking about a replacement.

Friday, May 5, 2006

The Return of Peanut Butter

I couldn't eat peanuts or peanut products while pregnant (I wasn't alone). However, I still couldn't eat peanuts after delivery, so I decided that I probably couldn't eat foods that weren't good for my breast-fed baby because he's not supposed to eat peanuts yet. (That theory about not eating what's not good for Baby may still hold.) The problem is that I do like peanut butter. Every once in a while, I'll try a peanut butter sandwich, and remember why I don't do this as often.

Anyway, I saw Smucker's Reduced Fat Natural Peanut Butter at the store, and I wanted to try it. It will separate, and it does need refrigeration. Most peanut butter has a remarkable amount of sugar and chemical stabilizers in it, especially compared to ground peanuts. If you grew up on peanut butter with added sugar and other things, I'm sure this Smucker's tastes odd and a little bland, but I thought it tasted pretty good. Best of all, it didn't upset my stomach! I can eat peanut butter again! Hurrah! This doesn't entirely shoot down my don't-eat-what-Baby-can't-eat theory, because regular peanut butter has a lot more in it than just peanuts, most of which doesn't sound the healthiest.

Thursday, May 4, 2006

Tenth Month


He worked on cruising this month! He takes about 3 steps along furniture. He loves to stand, usually with support (both from adult supervision and from his hand grabbing something), but sometimes he'll stand without any support for up to 20 seconds. He'll stand at LeapFrog and cruise from end to end, and he'll also turn around. Karston even learned to steady himself (while jumping silly) in Jumperoo! He has a couple of common phrases now. He says Hey Dada when he's happy (Daddy should be proud! even though he's said it while nursing too), Momomomom when he's getting fussy (hey!), and Ish when he's exerting himself.


We moved on to size 3 diapers this month now that he's solidly above 17 pounds. We tried size 3 diapers back at 16 pounds since previous diaper sizes were best at the low end of the range, but size 3 were too big then. He still wears 9-12 month onesies and rompers. Clothing that doesn't go on over his head is easier ... setting him down to dress works best.


He's back to nursing more, I think for comfort not for calories. He ate more food at the start and end of this month, with a big dip in appetite in the middle. His sharp new teeth can make that ... umm ... less than pleasant for me. In fact, I have scabs for the first time since the first month (not nearly as bad as then, though).


Well, he got two new teeth this month. That means he wants comfort, he wants to cuddle, but he doesn't want to sleep. However, if he cries himself to sleep in 10 minutes, he usually doesn't wake up as often at night which makes the crying much easier to take. If he really gets to crying though, he'll never sleep, and then we'll never sleep (for up three hours, ugh). Plus he can really fight off the afternoon nap sometimes. We don't swaddle him anymore because he fights it.


Passing 16 pounds meant the end of Baby Bjorn: it was a wonderful baby carrier while it lasted, but he's awfully heavy to hang off the front like that. The baby backpack has been wonderful, but when he stands on tiptoes, he's really close to falling out. He got a Jumperoo that's been great for burning off extra energy. The Intellitainer back in business if he stands around it, not trapped in the bucket. Also, we used the bigger baby bathtub for over a month. So he's really bigger now.


He says a street fair so fun, and stairs are so funny. We have plane tickets for June, so more travel coming.


I'd like to sleep. Some days it's tough to go in to work, and I'm glad I like what I do enough that it energizes me so that I can usually overcome it. Today I fell asleep for 20 minutes while trying to get him down for his afternoon nap. I was zonked out!

Total weight loss: down 10 pounds (from conception weight) and still holding.