metawidget: A platypus looking pensive. (Default)
It's been a busy midwinter for and around me. Everyone in the household
has taken a turn or two being sick -- gastro, conjunctivitis, cold and/or
flu... I took my first sick day in a while and I'm glad I didn't try to go
in that day.

it gets better )

I guess all this entry is missing is a beer review at this point. Maybe
next entry -- I have been drinking enjoyable beer from time to time lately!
metawidget: Oscar and Vivien on a couch (Oscar 2.25 years, Vivien 4 mos) (kids)
Woo! Two kids with a pediatrician! It's like we have universal health care for kids or something in Quebec.

Also, I managed to beat the top-ranked player at Scrabble yesterday — most memorable plays were "WEES" (I wasn't sure it took an "S") and "MATUREd" across a triple and emptying my rack.

ETA: Our dishwasher is also working thanks to some help from [personal profile] dianora, and I replaced our toilet flapper (I think the term "univesal flapper" has a nice ring to it). Yay, fixed things!
metawidget: Person sitting cross-legged from the rear, in black and white with noise and scratches (body)
It has been forever since I did a good/blah entry. Life is pretty good, really. Way back when, I did these every 20 entries, so that there would always be one on the first page of my entries. Maybe I'll get back up to that pace again.

  • We're within a payment of being done with the mortgage — we lucked out on interest rates and help and nice stable professional employment, and now we're looking at owning our place outright. It feels good.
  • Everyone here (human and cat) is currently pretty healthy (even my leg is feeling progressively better)!
  • Both kids are learning fun and exciting new skills.
  • I feel like I'm doing pretty well on my year list, including the long-term stuff.
  • Taxes are more or less done, and look to be in good shape: a refund but not a gigantic one.
  • I took my wedding band to the ring shop, and now it fits (my fingers have gotten more slender since 2008) and it got a complimentary shine as well.
  • I'm happily married to one awesome and beautiful person, and happily dating another.
  • Less than two months of parental leave left. Work will be kind of exciting, but the transition back could be rough.
  • World Vision keeps sending increasingly over-the-top fundraising pules. We got a great big envelope containing an bubble envelope containing a spoon and a measuring tape that they would like us to mail back to them (with a donation) for them to ship to Africa. I gave to World Vision in honour of my Christian relatives who are fans of them. Next in-honour donation will be to MSF or the Canadian Red Cross — close enough in the useful stuff they do, and at least their fundraising stuff is flat.
  • Feeling a bit sciatic-y, a little creaky in the knees and occasionally elsewhere, I think due to moving over winter footing with kids and groceries and stuff. I hope it clears up with better conditions.
  • There are always cool things I'd like to do, and don't make time for. Getting one or both kids to sleep and/or securing babysitting makes this one a little harder.
metawidget: Person sitting cross-legged from the rear, in black and white with noise and scratches (body)
The past week has been a gastro roller-coaster around here: lots of puke, lots of washing clothes on hot, lots of soda crackers. Last week, Elizabeth had a rough Tuesday and Wednesday, and Oscar had a couple of puking incidents. On Monday, Elizabeth was the only person standing and she stood in the gap, chasing toddler puke and changing sheets and being generally vertical. Our friend-and-neighbour Marc came by with a supply drop of soda crackers, juice and jello to tide us over Monday evening, and by Tuesday morning I was better, Oscar was a little fragile but basically okay, Vivien was better and Elizabeth was not 100% but close.

Today, we're basically back up and running: check-up doctor's appointment for Vivien and supper out with friends this evening. Yay, back in the swing of things!
metawidget: Oscar around one month, with Pixel. (oscar and pixel)
Took Pixel to the vet for what I hope was her last follow-up related to her cornea issues for some time. She's healed pretty well, but her eyelid muscles on the left side seem to be a little wonked and tight from all the adventures. Probable result: she'll be a little funny-looking but lovable cat from here on in, with a slight predisposition to further eye problems. Still, for now, I think she's got a clean bill of health.
metawidget: A plastic wind-up teeth thing with a googly eye. (chatter)
On August 2 at 8:52 PM, Vivien Kaye Hortop came into the world at the Gatineau hospital. She is small but fierce: 2120 grams and was 47 cm long at birth, she arrived with a yell and set to feeding quickly thereafter. Vivien and Elizabeth are still at the hospital for observation of Vivien, but mother and daughter are in fine shape and we hope to have everyone back home in the days to come.

We are grateful to the midwives at the Maison de naissance de l'Outaouais and the nurses and doctors on the third floor at the Gatineau hospital, whose expertise and kindness have been invaluable in the past days and months. We are also grateful to Marna Nightingale for taking Oscar on short notice during the birth and taking care of him for considerably longer than she may have had in mind at the outset while the situation evolved.
metawidget: [garblegarblescript] Political! Science! for Amusement! [pictures of John A. Macdonald with swirly eyes] (science)

So, Monday after I left for work, Oscar managed to face-plant into the dresser upstairs, tooth-first. Elizabeth brought him in to our dentist office, who is just across the street from work, and a nice dentist and technician took a look at the damage and decided that the (90-degree-tilted) tooth would need pulling. I got to hold Oscar (due to slightly less flappability with respect to other people's blood than Elizabeth, i guess). After a little bit of futzing around with topical anaesthetic, the dentist went for the quick approach and plucked the tooth out with gloved fingers. Oscar was highly disconcerted for a few minutes, and I was a little woozy from watching, but by the time we'd walked a few blocks to get some air and acquire some lunch, Oscar was almost back to normal.

Here's Oscar with seven teeth, down from eight:

Oscar with a gap front tooth and fingers in his mouth

Elizabeth and I were planning on having a date night on Monday, but having had surprise dentist dealings, we decided to put it off by a few days. In the end, we left Oscar with [personal profile] random and [personal profile] fairestcat Friday night, and went into Little Italy for supper, beer and creamy desserts. Pub Italia is tasty, gloriously decorated and very busy on a Friday — we had a nice meal, some good eavesdropping and a little walk in the chilly autumn air. Some couple time was really nice. Yesterday, Elizabeth's cousin came by for supper and I fired up the Turkish grill (now safely on a pad of a few inches of gravel in a dug hole) and grilled veggie burgers in an attempt to extend summer into September. It was the first time I really got to meet her, as meeting anyone at your own wedding never counts. She seems nice and fun — she had a daughter at 18, and one thing she mentioned struck us both: her daughter will probably be out of the house by the time she's 36, and she mused about "starting again" with another kid. It's unlikely we consider having another kid when Oscar is likely launched and I'm 48.

This week, I'm off to the Washington, D.C. area for a couple of days to attend a short course on disclosure control. It'll be my first time in the U.S. since 2004. I got a fresh passport, I'm partly packed, and I'm looking forward to my more-or-less-annual work-related trip. My mission is more or less to get the big picture and soak up best practices at the course, and meet other people working in the field. I'll try and explore a little bit, too: [personal profile] fairestcat suggests wandering in the National Mall, and if some fellow guardians of respondent privacy in released data decide to see something cool in the evening, I'll probably see what they're excited about.

Even when I'm not on the road, work is pretty stimulating lately — building and disclosure vetting small-geography cancer incidence tables, welcoming new people, agitating to get the computer infrastructure set up to do record linkage better, trying to prepare to help teach a one-day course in November. Part time — the reduced time and the paperwork — is a bit stressful, but for now it gives Elizabeth a bunch of margin to work, take on new students, and have shorter days holed up with Oscar on a regular basis.

metawidget: close-up of freewheel of a bicycle (bicycle)
[personal profile] con_girl and [ profile] foms dropped by after cyclist-spotting today, and in addition to being good company on a lazy Saturday afternoon, I think it was [personal profile] con_girl that suggested that if anything would get a cat to drink fluids voluntarily, tuna water was a pretty reliable choice. Pixel snarfed it down in about 30 seconds, and ate some tuna as well, and is keeping it all down so far. Noisette got some of the leftovers, too. I hope a feeding or two like that, plus the freedom from the cone, will kick-start kitty systems and get us a smoothly-recovering cat.
metawidget: Oscar around one month, with Pixel. (oscar and pixel)
Pixel only seems to like treats at the moment, so she is getting mass quantities of them. Talked with the vet this morning: we're going to take off the cone collar and see if she's nice to her stitches; the collar may have been cramping her style enough that she went off food. We have a kitty buffet set out for her, and she's looking a little more interested in it. Also, I now have our vet's cell number if we need it.

Mum update

May. 20th, 2011 12:08 pm
metawidget: a basket of vegetables: summer and winter squash, zucchini, tomatoes. (food)
Talked to Mum this morning on the phone; she's been out surveying the garden for the first time since the surgery, and has her support network of CLSC nurse, friends and family swinging through to help out and take care of her and of home. She sounds a lot less tired than last time we talked, and pretty happy. Owen's planning on making it out on Monday, and I'm hoping to get out there before I go back to work at the end of the month.
metawidget: Oscar around one month, with Pixel. (oscar and pixel)
So, Pixel went in for corrective eyelid surgery on Tuesday to keep some ingrown hairs from scratching up her cornea. Since then, she hasn't been eating or drinking a whole lot. We've tried tempting her with wet food and cat treats, and she eats dainty little portions of those, and seems a little offended by the water bowl. She's acting a little extra-clingy and low energy, too, like sick cat. A few more hours of this, and I guess it's time to call the vet.
metawidget: A platypus looking pensive. (Default)
I called Chantal around lunch, and she was just trying to find parking so she could give Mum a lift home. Seeing she was trying to find parking when I called, that's all I know for now, but I'm guessing it's part of good health news.

Mum update

May. 13th, 2011 08:35 pm
metawidget: A platypus looking pensive. (Default)
I talked to Mum this morning, she's sounding a bit tired, but doing okay. She's had a transfusion due to some blood pressure issues, but is still in the step-down unit. If all goes well, she'll be in a more relaxed hospital room tonight or tomorrow, and home by sometime next week.
metawidget: A platypus looking pensive. (Default)
Mum is, to quote my dad, out of "intensive intensive" care and into "mellow intensive" care and back on normal (well, hospital) food. Things are looking good!

Mum update

May. 9th, 2011 09:09 pm
metawidget: A platypus looking pensive. (Default)
My mum discovered she had angina late last week, and went into the hospital in Montreal on Thursday. We went down for Mother's Day in a hospital room on Sunday — she was pretty positive and still looked really healthy. They decided to keep her for bypass surgery, and today she had her surgery and is now in recovery, with my dad and sister keeping her company. The really scary stuff is past, and she should be out before next week.
metawidget: Oscar around one month, with Pixel. (oscar and pixel)
Oscar is six months old today! He's inch-worming around on all fours, grabbing everything, and a bit sniffly these days, as am I. In a couple of weeks, the birthing centre is having their semi-annual potluck, and we get to show him off to many of the awesome people who helped out through his gestation and delivery.

Pixel had some sedation dentistry done on Tuesday to remove a bunch of tartar. She seemed a little stoned when we got her back, but now she's back to normal except her breath is a lot less horrifying. She does have some residual gingivitis and conjunctivitis (her eye was what go all this vetting started), so she's on pills and eye drops for about two weeks to try and clear those up. Sweet and suggestible cat that she is, she still comes when I squeak at her for eye drops and a chance at cat treats with hidden pills (for now, drops are QID, pills are BID).
metawidget: A platypus looking pensive. (Default)
1. What did you do in 2010 that you'd never done before?
Fathered a child (well, I guess some salient bits were done in 2009), grew peas, built a hardwood floor, drafted a will, published a statistics paper, took a train in business class, drove a pickup truck.
thirty-seven more )

H1N1 away

Dec. 6th, 2009 05:01 pm
metawidget: A platypus looking pensive. (Default)
I got my H1N1 shot today, it was so fast — the longest part was the waiting afterward (15 minutes to make sure nothing untoward happens), followed by walking between the various desks one must check in at, followed by removing my coat, and then actually getting the shot. They guy who administered it felt like a real pro. No side effects yet, maybe I'm part of the lucky fraction of vaccinated individuals. I didn't get any last year, if that boosts my chances.

I hope this is all a bit overblown and there won't be a third peak, but if there is, I'm 70% or so ready!
metawidget: A platypus looking pensive. (Default)
Barney Frank paraphrases Godwin's Law with panache.

Barney Frank is my new favourite American politician; I checked his Wikipedia page to make sure he wasn't having an isolated moment of clarity, and I'd be happy to have him as my MP: he seems like a socially progressive civil-liberties hard-liner who has come up with more good one-liners than his most recent one, and who seems able to work with Republicans (when they're not completely insane) on projects that line up with his values. His voice and attitude remind me a little of Jean Chrétien.
metawidget: A platypus looking pensive. (Default)
I'm on the sidewalk, soaking up wifi vibes from Petit Chicago. We went there last night for a drink, the beer there is pretty good, and cheap on Tuesdays. It's a little grey, with a nice breeze out here.

Two policemen with funny hats just walked by. They're without a contract (and have been for a while) out here, but they haven't given up on the somewhat sketchy area around Place #1. Good on them.

Things are coming together: thesis is progressing (and ratio of stuff that falls under "know it, did it, just have to write it" as opposed to "don't know it, have to figure it out, beat it into submission, then write it" is nice, considering that I have to be done by the fall); we have appliances coming, Verdun stuff arranged for moving, paint colours almost picked and several nice people offering to help us lug what stuff we have at Hull Place #1 to Hull Place #2..

I look forward to taking a break from writing to illustrate some stuff. Maybe I'll give my recently-downloaded copy of Inkscape a spin. I know I'll be hammering away at GraphViz, which is a very cool free program for drawing stuff connected to other stuff: OmniGraffle for poor people who like editing text files and dislike making layout decisions. Seeing that I'm using LATEX for the text, it's a logical choice for graph drawing.

In other news, I had a nasty cold before that seems to be going away.


metawidget: A platypus looking pensive. (Default)
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