My Little Surfer Girl

This morning I was trying to keep Ella entertained while packing a lunch and finishing up some chores, so I tried singing to her. That usually works. What came to my mind? The Beach Boys. I know… I was a little surprised too. But somehow I remember the lyrics, which is mildly embarassing to admit. The only song lyrics I can recall with any reliability are from my childhood. Ella seemed to enjoy it though, especially the high-pitched “Surfer Girl” stuff.


Ella is now 7 months old. She’s on the verge of becoming mobile, eating foods, and is just a constant source of amazement to us. She’s completely in love with her mom right now, and when I’m holding her, she’s like a little compass, always spinning to point at Michelle. I’m not sure how she’s changed so much in so little time, but it has been quite a journey watching her make so many firsts, then to simply add those firsts to her repertoire like she’d always been able to roll over, manipulate toys, eat food, pull hair out by the roots.

My last final exam is today then I’ll be done with classes. Just in time to childproof.

Big day at the vet

Barley rests upYesterday Barley had a mast cell tumor removed from his right ear. The procedure required that he be anesthetized, so he also got his teeth clean and nails trimmed. He’s still a bit groggy this morning, but last night he was a big, helpless dope. The vet did a nice job of removing the tumor without leaving a permanent hole in his ear (on of his cutest and softest parts), but we’ll have to wait to see how it heals.

Tigger also received some news. He’s in renal failure and has hyperthyroid. I made some comment about testing positive for evil, but it turns out they don’t screen for that unless you request it. Bets are now on as to how long he’ll last, but we’re pretty sure he’s been in this state of shutdown for roughly 2 years, so in maybe another 2 he’ll be hittin’ the ol’ dusty trail.

Baby in the trailer

I’ve been trying to find some positive, er, complimentary evidence that a baby can go in a bike trailer before 1 year of age, and I’ve been having a hard time of it. There are a few examples of folks who started taking their children in bike trailers at young ages (2+ months), but I can’t find anyone who will say when it is safe to take them riding. Manufacturers play it safe and say 1 year with a helmet, and our pediatrician said to check with the manufacturer.

I was starting to give up hope when I found a carrier down at REI that had a baby accessory for their trailer that said it was for 3+ month olds. I got really excited so I looked up the manufacturer and found a couple places in the brochure that list age/weight limits for some of the accessories. Woohoo!

Then, in the FAQ, I found this line dealing with what age children can use these trailers. “At 12 months cycling with a properly fitted helmet can begin.” Turns out the 3 month old can only go on gentle strolls and walks. Dang. I suppose I should just be patient.


So out of no where, i feel like someone rolled a mossy brick in lawn clippings then hit me in the face with it. I’m not used to allergies. I guess it’s time to get me some generic claratin.


Imran Hague has put together a set of libraries that work with US Census data and make it available to view in Google Earth. The project, gCensus, looks like a great start and will hopefully lead to greater use of the Census’ already excellent resource.

I couldn’t agree with Imran more about improving access to this data. Now, about displaying raw data with choropleth maps….

Your e-mail will be… back?

Myrealbox, my mail host for the last 5 years has been down for the last week. It appears that they’ve just placed an announcement about the problem notifying us that service should be back soon. Really confidence inspiring. Hopefully they really are saving all incoming e-mail with plans to deliver it once service returns. Looks like I didn’t bail soon enough.

Now, if only Gmail supported IMAP.

Mapping Hip-hop

A cultural geographer visited my digital atlas class a while back and shared some excellent maps of cultural phenomena, highlighting the variety of ways to use maps, but also in the variety of ways the people look at place. Some of the maps he shared showed regional nomenclature for things like pop (Soda, Coke, Soda pop, etc) and what people said where. Same with sandwiches (Subs, hoagies, po’ boys, grinders, heros, etc).

He also showed a map of hip-hop. I haven’t been able to find out the author or where it’s from, but it’s a fascinating look at music and culture. There are of course some glaring problems with it, but without knowing the cartographer’s intentions, we can’t really know exactly what his point was; or why certain things are emphasized and others not.

Map of Hip-hop

Click on the image to view the full-sized version. What problems do you notice? What would you change?

A couple more firsts

Ella Asleep on the maxElla had a couple more firsts yesterday. During the day, with my mom, she participated in her first train/car collision. No, neither my mom nor Ella were driving, they were on the Max when a car pulled in front of it. The max was apparently going full speed when the car turned in front of it. The driver yelled, the vehicles collided, the max came to a stop, and Ella remained asleep, even while response vehicles arrived.

Later that day, she committed her first party foul. While at a going-away party for one of Michelle’s co-workers, Ella grasped a full glass of beer that I thought was just out of her reach and pulled it towards her. And me. And it all spilled in to my lap. She seemed to enjoy the response, which could mean bad things.