Vi with one hand

Using the vi editor with one hand is like, well, using the vi editor for the first time. Ella and I were editing map files and she fell asleep in my right arm. I had to change a few values still, so I was able to replace individual characters, but trying to remember some commands that were all done by my right hand was difficult.

First map with MapServer

I’m taking a Web GIS course this term which will focus on using open source GIS tools such as MapServer, QuantumGIS and other goodies. Today was our first lab, which was mostly clerical stuff: accounts, file management, etc. The final product was a simple map made from a Quantum GIS export. Nothing fancy by any means. It’s basically a Hello World using the real world. I’m getting excited about the prospects though.

edit: the map is of landslides in the Portland area in 1996 during the big floods. I don’t know how to label yet – we were just setting up the server, etc. Soon…

NoPo ride

Joe crossing the St. Johns Bridge
Joe and I rode from his house off N. Peninsular out to Kelly Point, then back to St. John’s, across the bridge, through northwest Portland, then north on Interstate and Greeley back to his place for a 24 mile outing yesterday. The weather was ideal, the wind non-existant, and the pirate danger moderate. This was also the last segment of the 40 mile loop I had not completed.

Starting at his house, we rode through the neighborhood to N. Portsmouth, then got on the 40 mile loop trail. From there, we headed out past Smith & Bybee lakes towards the end of the “loop.” We’re planning on doing the STP next year so we schemed about training schedules and test rides. The loop may provide an excellent test if done in full at some point, maybe even two days in a row, but in opposite directions.

From Kelley Point, we followed Lombard and a few other streets to end up underneath the St. John’s bridge, where we heard cannon shots and saw a convention of pirates. Most of their clothes were polyester, so I doubt they were real pirates, but they were none-the-less intimidating. We stopped by the first tower on the bridge to look down on the convention and watch some cannon-shooting, organized dancing, and what looked like a puppet show. We could also see Mt. Rainier, Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Adams, and Mt. Hood from the bridge, though the view to downtown was somewhat obscured by smog.
Joe and St. Johns
From the bridge, we rode into NW Portland on HWY 30, crossed the broadway bridge, and followed Interstate (passing a handful of tempting pubs) to the Polish Festival. We stopped briefly to see if we could spot Scott but did not have much luck. We finished the ride by taking Greeley back to his place, completing a 24ish mile loop in just over 2 hours. We both agreed that we could not have ridden another 24 that day, let alone 100. And 100 the next day. Better plan on training some more.

It was a very pleasant ride though and relatively flat. The stretch along Hwy 30 is really unpleasant and would be very intimidating for riders not comfortable crossing railroad tracks at angles. Still, it was a very fun ride. I just need to figure out this knee pain thing.

Lotsa digits

Ella turned 1 month old yesterday, I turn 28 today, Barley turns 5 today, and all 4 generations of Freeds met two days ago. My grandfather Harry (Grandpa Duck) and aunt Liz came down to meet Ella. Ella is his first great-grandaughter. We took the opportunity to snap a few photos with Grandpa Duck, including this of 4 generations of Freeds.
Four Generations of Freed
Ella didn’t get the excitement, but I suspect she did get the Freed hands (Michelle and I are still in disagreement over this).

Back in the saddle

I’ve officially returned to work after a month off for paternity leave. While I’m enthused about being able to take a month off, it hardly seems like enough. Ella is just getting to the point where she’s going to be smiling and we’re getting our “routines” down pretty well. I think Michelle is also a little concerned about not having me around to hold Ella when she wants to accomplish tasks that require two hands or exclude holding a baby.

Luckily, I still have a fair amount of sick/vacation time I can use, so I’ll be taking 1 day a week off until Thanksgiving. Michelle is convinced I’ll still work this extra day, but I’m certain I’ll need the time for classwork instead. This is going to get interesting.

Canoe the slough

This past weekend was the last non-weekend-weekend I get on my paternity leave. From here on out, I’ll be splitting my weekends up with actual work. Lame.

In order to enjoy the weekend, Joe, Scott and I borrowed my dad’s boats and went for a canoe trip on the Columbia Slough, entering at Kelly Point. The slough, which enters the Willamette just upstream from the confluence of the Columbia River and Willamette, is lovely and gross at the same time. The proximity to industrial uses and landfills has not made it the cleanest, but it’s still a lovely place for a paddle.
Joe and Scott at the mouth of the Columbia Slough
Before heading up the slough, we paddled out to the Willamette to check out the view of the big water and see some of the other users. Just south of the slough is a large grain silo where misc. grains (wheat, I assume) are loaded from box car into silo, then into tankers and shipped away. North is Kelly Point Park and lots of folks come to fish from the beach.

As we paddled up the slough, we encountered a number of folks fishing. This of course was in contrast to my suggestion to Joe and Scott not to get wet if they could avoid it, and not to touch their orifices if they did get wet. Once we got up stream a ways, there were actually signs hidden in the overgrowth of cottonwoods that warned that you shouldn’t swim, fish, or drink from the water.
Fork in the Slough
This picture is of us heading back towards the mouth of the slough. To the right of the canoe is a dormant and capped landfill. On the same bank as the landfill was a teen fisherman trying his hand at carp fishing. We were puzzled by this – maybe he didn’t get the memo about the bio-accumulative property of heavy metals and other toxic materials in fish, or maybe he was hungry enough that it didn’t matter. They were the largest carp I’d seen in Oregon.

I like the slough – partly because I enjoy birds. We were treated to close encounters with some great blue herons, kingfishers, ouzels, sand pipers, and a beaver. They hadn’t received the memo either.

Afterwards we rallied with others at Concordia from some tasty brews and food. Ah, summer.

In this corner, weighing 8 lbs, 2 oz

Ella's Face at 2 weeksMichelle and I took Ella to her 2 week checkup today and were shocked when she tipped the scales to 8 lbs, 2oz. We’re going to have to stop calling her piglet though, despite the cuteness of her truffle-sniffing tendencies come feeding time.

The rest of the appointment was great. Ella is doing well. She lost her umbilical stump yesterday somewhere in the back yard. We can’t find it, which is a little disappointing. I don’t think we’d do anything with it, but it’s like a missing nuclear warhead – you’d sleep better knowing where it is. We’re hoping it didn’t become part of Barley’s diet. And we’re hoping it’s not going to end up in our pocket lint next week. She didn’t seem to notice though, which is good.

After the checkup, we stopped by 5th Quadrant so Michelle could have a C-note. Sadly, they were out. We found substitutes and had a beer and fries while enjoying the afternoon sun. We’ve noticed that like us, there are tons of new and recent parents who have refused to give up their old lives and are simply bringing kids with them to their old haunts. Some are clandestine (like us with Ella in the sling… who never cries), and others who have the procession of carriers, toys, and baby tackle that slows you down.

So far we’ve remained light packers; ninja parents. We’re able to leave the house in less than 7 minutes with the baby, which I think is pretty good. I’m still working with Michelle. Her times with the car seat are still abysmal. We’ll get her up to speed though – you never when we’ll need to – I dunno – jump in the car and flee the city. Or maybe get to Babysaurus.

2 weeks

Ella is 2 weeks old today. She’s healthy, happy, and occasionally lets us sleep. Amazingly, we’ve already taken her out to dinner 3 times (Slings are awesome), she’s accompanied us on errands, and she seems to travel quite well as long as she’s eaten and been changed. The first two weeks have gone like a dream and its sad to think about having to go back to work in only 2 more weeks.

Kathy, Michelle’s mom, stayed with us for most of the two weeks and was an incredible help in finding routine, keeping peace and keeping things clean. We’ve been blessed to have an incredible support mechanism in our friends and family both in active assistance and in space. As it turns out, not sleeping doesn’t help with getting things done and being healthy.

For Ella’s birthday, Michelle and I planted a trident maple in the back yard. It will be named Ella, of course. Barley’s 5th birthday is also less than a month away, so we got him a crimson oak tree. What better way to attract the squirrels?