Now Showing: All-Singing, All-Bowling Andrew

A couple of cute clips from this weekend…Andrew has started singing. He’s pretty good with the ABCs song and a couple other standards, as you’ll see here (WMV, 6.3MB) or here (QuickTime, 8.1MB). On Sunday afternoon we went bowling (candlepin, of course) with some friends. This turned out to be far less disasterous than you might imagine, since the alley has bumpers they put up over the gutters for the pipsqueaks. Andrew enjoyed himself immensely, though his desire to throw the ball “himself” meant that we ended up with a few that lost steam about halfway down the alley. Here’s a clip of one of his more successful, mommy-assisted tosses: (WMV, 1.8MB) (QuickTime, 2.3 MB)

Pictures from Dad’s retirement

I’ve finally had a chance to put up the pictures from Dad’s retirement back in February, they’re available here. Clicking on one of the thumbnail images will take you to a full-size version.
If anybody has suggestions for captioning, please email me or post a comment.

Feed me, I’m yours

I finally downloaded an RSS aggregator today; I was just spending too much time cruising tech websites trying to keep up with news. I must say that I’ve really been missing out. The one I picked, JNN, probably isn’t best-of-breed but it’s charming in a slightly broken way. Having all of the articles from a bunch of websites available in a single view is really a time-saver.
Now that I’m aggregating XML feeds, I find myself back in standards hell – evidently there are no fewer than three formats for content feeds – RSS, RDF and Atom. If you count all the various 0.9x iterations of RSS, there are even more. I’m not sure how many of these JNN supports at the moment, but it evidently doesn’t like’s RSS 2.0 feed.
As Tannenbaum wrote in his classic Computer Networks book (which I have yet to read):

The nice thing about standards is that there are so many to choose from. And if you really don’t like all the standards you just have to wait another year until the one arises you are looking for.

That was true back in 1988 when Tannenbaum wrote it, and it’s true today. I haven’t had a chance to sort out the advantages and disadvantages of each kind of feed yet, so I can’t comment on which I think is better. I don’t think any of them are going to go away anytime soon, so I probably don’t need to hurry with that evaluation.

Commute: Milton to Fort Point

This week, for the first time in nearly three years, I rode my bike to work. Back in May of 2001 when our offices were in the North End of Boston, I met a co-worker at his house in Dorchester and did the ride. The weather was miserable – steady rain and wind – and I was overweight and out of shape (no excuse, considering all the free time I remember having before becoming a dad). The distance was close to 15 miles one way, which is not a trivial ride. Fast forward to last Monday: my opportunities to commute by bike have shrunk to one day a week, when I don’t have to shuttle Andrew to day care. Our offices are now a couple miles closer to the house and my body is in much better condition. The weather, however, wasn’t so different. No good reason not to give it another shot.

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As a matter of fact, it is my first day on the new feet

Last night I went for my first run with the orthotics. I probably went a little bit further than I should have – 4.5 miles or thereabouts – but I was feeling good. The knee felt loads better, and in fact felt totally normal until about the 25th minute. I was running an out-and-back course that is mostly downhill on the outbound leg. After I turned for home and started uphill, I felt a few twinges in my knee. Still, it felt a whole lot closer to normal than it did last week before I went to see the orthopedist. The knee was a little stiff when I woke up this morning but as I sit here, it’s feeling pretty good.
By the time I got home, though, my dogs were barking. I had developed some serious hotspots on both arches, just behind the balls of my feet. Neither one raised a blister (yet) but I definitely have some footwear issues to sort out.