Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Little Things Forgotten

I thought I remembered Karston's infancy, but Cale reminds of some tiny details that I forgot. Finger lint! His tight grip on fabric allows him to get quite the build-up of lint between his fingers, on his palms, and sometimes between his toes.

Not that I needed to remember finger lint, neck cheese, angry face, and 10 diaper changes a day!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Diaper Wipes

I thought we were going through a lot of diaper changes and diaper wipes. In fact, we went through an entire tub of wipes in a fraction over eight days. Wow!

We're using Member's Mark (Sam's Club) wipes at home right now, but the previous case of wipes and the travel wipes are Huggies. What Member's Mark and Pampers wipes have over homemade wipes from paper towels and Huggies is durability and one-handed use. I've put my finger through a Huggies wipe (twice yesterday in fact) and same for wet paper towels. I have scrubbed a carpet spot with a Pampers wipe, and similar with Member's Mark. Both of those also dispense one at a time readily for easy use with one free hand, while the former two often require two hands. So I'd choose the two better brands of wipes, or homemade wipes made from soft diaper flannel not from paper towels.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

iPod tilde

I like my iPod touch as a handheld web browser using WiFi. Yes, it's expensive for that niche when you could probably use the slower Nintenndo DS Browser or other applications, but then you have an iPod for music, podcasts, or (my favorite) video podcasts.

However, I hit a stumbling block for a minute when I couldn't find the tilde on the soft keyboard. Then I agreed, tilde (~) should not be used in Web addresses. Luckily I remembered %7E on my own, and I know that is URL encoding. You could use an online URL encode/decode page, a self-contained page that can be saved for offline URL encoding and decoding, sample JavaScript to write your own, or these excellent shell scripts called urlencode and urldecode.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Dining Out

I read this article, 16 Secrets the Restaurant Industry Doesn't Want You to Know, and my favorite line is

Not being able to tell what's natural and what's enhanced has always been a problem for us at Hooters.

The information was also interesting. I didn't know that fast food is generally lower-calorie than a sit-down restaurant meal! Scary. I've never eaten out much, but as I've gotten older (or is it fussier and healthier about what I cook at home?), I can't eat out much because I get an upset stomach and often sprue. We had lunch at a very friendly restaurant Wednesday, and my stomach revolted at the very normal restaurant food. There's an episode of Married with Children where Al tells Peg that people who eat healthy food and exercise all the time are extinct like dinosaurs. If I had to live on that food, I'd be extinct!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Recycle Dryer Lint

Wow, ideas to use dryer lint including firestarter, paper mache, and clay for sculpture. I thought I knew how to cover my recycling bases, but just look what I was missing. I could see using dryer lint as a layer for potted plants, though.


I really wanted to take a shower during Cale's afternoon nap, but he woke up every time I stopped touching him, he woke up to cry. So I took a nap with him; I needed a nap too. Karston knows he's not supposed to wake Cale, so we found him asleep in the doorway so he could watch.

Just a few minutes after we all got up, it started to hail! with lightning! The hail came down so heavily so quickly that it clogged a gutter downspout by the sunroom. We're all still on the sunroom couch watching the nature show. We could gauge the intensity of the rain by the height of the upward spray (spray-back) from the clogged downspout. What a show! Good time to stay home, to stay in, and not to grill dinner.

Friday, April 18, 2008


For someone who often explains the ills of dehydration, I sure pulled a dumb one today. When I got home this evening and changed my pants, I realized that I had not adjusted my pants since I got ready for work this morning. Meaning I haven't been to the bathroom (even now; Cale's nursing) in more than 13 hours (and counting). I drank a lot of tea at lunch, but I ran some errands and sweated a lot too. I bet this explains why Cale has tried to nurse so much this evening. So I am trying to fill up on water now ...

Let's not do this dehydration anymore.

Ice Cream Truck

Until this afternoon, I had never eaten ice cream served from an ice cream truck. We stopped by the Harris Teeter grocery store on our way home, and they were scooping free ice cream from a truck on a hot day (over 80 degrees!). Yum! We had a very short date-picnic with ice cream in the shade of a tree right there in the parking lot. Fun!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Last of the 1s

This morning, I put the last size 1 diaper on Cale, and he's on to the 1-2 size. We're going up a partial size just because we can buy 1-2's by the case at Sam's Club (convenience). It's difficult to tell the difference between the sizes. In fact, the big difference is that the decorative band is wider! It's also minutely wider and taller. (We're using Pampers Swaddlers this time, what we liked best last time. The Huggies size 1s are distinctly smaller, though.)

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Passing Environment Variables to sudo

Aha! I can pass environment variables to sudo!

sudo env ARCHFLAGS='-arch ppc' python setup.py install

Or, more to the point,


Postpartum Recovery: The Second Two Weeks

After the first two weeks postpartum, a mother wakes up and realize that she's going to make it, she's going to bounce back after all. At least, that's how I've felt two weeks after both boys. With Karston's colic, I didn't know when I would feel better (and the lochia was still heavy so I was beat from more than just sleeplessness), but I could tell it would happen. Since Cale generally lets me sleep (and the lochia is very light now), I feel better now. I don't have a lot of extra energy, but I can do some activities.

I learned that Cale needs to have cluster feeding in order to sleep for more than two hours at a time. So although I never thought I'd miss the incessant demands of cluster feeding, now I get anxious about my nighttime sleep if he doesn't want extra nursing in the evening. So there can be a silver lining to cluster feeding. Cale can sleep longer than Karston did for two main reasons: he weighs more (born 1.5 pounds heavier!) so he has more staying-asleep power, and he doesn't have my lactose intolerance causing colic.

The second two-weeks-post-partum is sooo much easier (the third and fourth weeks)! Especially when the second child sleeps at night and doesn't have colic.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Taste Test: Peanut Butter Wafer Candy Bar

Last week, I presented the next candy bar taste test to my usual three judges. This time we compared a Butterfinger candy bar to a Slimfast Peanut Butter Crunch snack bar.

Aside #1: You would think that a Slimfast "snack bar" would be better nutritionally than a regular candy bar, but they're remarkably close. The skeptic in me had to check, and I was slightly surprised. The Slimfast has slightly less fat and sugar, but the major difference is that it comes in a smaller serving size; it's one-third the size of a King Size Butterfinger.

specsSlimfast(2 Slimfast bars)Butterfinger(1/2 Butterfinger bar)
serving size28g(56g)60g(30g)
- saturated fat2g(4g)6g(3g)
- sugar12g(24g)29g(14.5g)

The Butterfinger had a slightly more desirable texture and didn't stick to my teeth as much, but the only way to tell the difference was to sample both at the same time. If we had tried these at different times, we're not sure we would notice.

Aside #2: I refuse to buy Nestle products, at least once I know they're made by Nestle. So I have to admit that the Butterfinger sample was part of the Toddler's Halloween haul (I didn't buy it), and its age may have contributed to its drier texture.

So although the Butterfinger won the taste test, it only won by a very slim margin. In favor of the Slimfast Peanut Butter Crunch, it does not have visible orange dye in the crunchy wafers (who needs more dye in their diet?), it comes in portion-controlled sizes, and oh it's not made by Nestle.

What I'll actually buy was determined before the taste test, but it's nice to know that I'm not missing out on taste. In addition, (one-half to) one Slimfast bar is enough to cure my craving, so I don't need or want the larger Butterfinger bar.

Taste Test: Mint Chocolate Candy Bar

Several months ago, I noticed a new flavor of 3 Musketeers at the store: mint! I had to try it. This taste test had the usual three of us for dinner (me, Daddy, and Mimi).

We compared 3 Musketeers Mint to York Peppermint Pattie. Both have a mint filling covered with dark chocolate, although one is a bar and the other is a pattie. The verdict is that we preferred the 3 Musketeers for general noshing because the mint flavor of the York Peppermint Patty was overpowering (then again, that is their brand identity). The 3 Musketeers bar was also fluffier, but that's part of their identity.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Remote Control of VNC

Yesterday I needed to quit a graphical application running on my Linux laptop at work, and I couldn't find it in a process listing. Whoops! Time for remote control! Although I had turned on VNC ("Remote Desktop" in RHEL Linux), apparently I forgot the password. So I started with how to control the gnome vino-server from the command line and moved on to how to change the vino password from the command line. I used the online base64 encoder to put the known password in with gconftool. Pretty cool!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Flaxseed Oil Experiment Revisited

The point to The Flaxseed Oil Experiment was to improve my hip bursitis, and it wasn't a success. My bursitis might be a little better. Maybe. However, my wrists feel better! I've always been prone to wrist tendinitis, so I avoid weight-bearing positions with bent wrists (push-ups are too excruciating on my wrists!). Ever since I doubled my flaxseed oil intake, I've been able to do exercises that put weight on bent wrists! So the experiment has some success, just not on the front where I wanted it.