Sunday, August 24, 2008

Bad Cable

It's an obvious statement, but when you're troubleshooting, always verify that your cable is good.

I've been wondering why my Treo wouldn't sync recently. First it was a rare problem, and now it's rare when it does sync. I didn't associate this at first, but sometimes it hasn't charged when I plug it in (oddly enough, it does sync some of those times). However, this seems like the cable is going bad.

Whew! That's an easier problem to solve!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Kids and Basketball

Basketball applies to parenting! With one child and two parents, the adults can double-team the child, or at least eat and sleep in shifts. Speaking from experience, the transition to two children is a huge change! Now the adults have to switch to man-to-man defense instead. Eating and sleeping may suffer. I'm sure three children rocks the boat again, as you shift to a desperate, out-numbered (but you've still got the size advantage, at least for the early years) zone defense.

How To Compile

I'm sure everyone with Unix experience has their own cherished best practice to compile software from source. I'll try to tone down the soapbox.

What set me off was a TidBITS article on DNS (at work, we compiled that patch as soon as it came out). I was ready to yell at my computer screen! They got it right about the need to patch right away, but wrong on how to do it well.

The very basic process to compile from source is:



make install # as root

Well, I like to log the results of those three commands; if it fails to build, I've got something to study later without worrying about my scroll buffer. I also like the visual feedback of how the compile is going, so I also want to see the output as well as logging it to a file. The reason why make install is its own step is so that you can follow the principle of least privilege. My method does all of those things.

./configure | tee configure.out

make | tee make.out

sudo make install | tee make-install.out

Feel free to choose your own file names, or switch to root instead of using sudo (potentially more secure, but longer). However you do it, just keep in mind that logging and least privilege are Good Things.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Green Poop

Cale hasn't had a green poop since two days after I quit eating dairy. Interesting! That makes allergic colitis sound likely. I had to research green poop, of course. The green poop generally means that the intestines are emptying faster than usual yellow. That could be excessive drool from teething (we've seen that recently) or an intestinal virus (hope not!). Green frothy points to foremilk/hindmilk imbalance, for instance if the baby nurses too frequently. Cale would, given the chance! Green could mean too much iron, which wouldn't be hard with my diet.

Between the mucous and the return to yellow once I was dairy-free, I can agree with allergic colitis. I haven't decided if I'm brave enough to try the other test: does green come back with dairy? It would make the experiment much more valid, but at the expense of a very sad baby. That's a very high cost!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Aha: Devil's Food Cake

I remembered reading about baking powder and baking soda, and enjoying this tidbit:

Baking soda causes reddening of cocoa powder when baked, hence the name Devil's Food Cake.

Now we know how the cake got its name!

(I try to avoid baking powder, even Rumford, as it always tastes metallic to me when the baked good cools, and often before then as well. I'm not the only one, though. I'm going to see if Bakewell is sufficiently less metallic. Making my own baking powder helps.)

Baby Feeding Guide

Here we go, a baby feeding guide. Don't know why I couldn't find this this weekend when I looked, but here it is. We've already started with thicker rice cereal than that, and Cale likes it. He acts like he would happily take more breast milk if I could make more. He's right on target gaining weight (shucks, 80th percentile; I'd be worried if he weren't breastfed), but he's also the weight Karston was when he was 9 months old. Karston had other calorie sources then! Certainly Cale seems to appreciate more calories. He's fascinated when we eat, and he really goes after the spoon.

On the other hand, he has only pooped once since we started rice cereal this weekend, so maybe that's why you're supposed to mix it thinner than we've done so far. Let his digestive tract adjust?


So I've been having a conversation about ADD, and Amy showed me a quick adult ADD screening quiz. (What's funny here is that my web search turned up the longer quiz first, and I thought to myself, Gah, too long, where's the short quiz?)

I mean, there's childhood ADHD to explain why I couldn't even walk calmly as a kid (too boring) and took 2 hours to fall asleep that usually changes into adult ADD (I thought I was calmer because I'm exhausted with children). I'm not sure there's a difference between attention deficit and multi-tasking, except that the second is a real asset at work. I think I would write it off as modern life favors multi-tasking, except that I also have incredible focus at times. It's really productive. And honestly, skittering from one topic to the next, even at work, generally isn't all that productive. It's kinda fun to whack-a-mole on my email, but at the end of the day ... the more productive days are when I follow my checklist of what to do (or have focus). So while I haven't internalized it, it sure does make personality sense.