Martha's baby shower



Seems like only last year we were having a wedding shower for Martha. Oh, hey, wait, it was only last year! Boy, they sure didn't wait long, did they? Today, Katie hosted a baby shower for Martha. This shower, however, we let the boys come, too, for a brunch baby shower. We had crepes and scones and cinnamon rolls and cupcakes and fruit and, oh boy, lots of other food.

For the record, if you ever want to make crepes, you need to beg, borrow or steal Katie's family recipe for crepe batter. The one I brought from the Joy of Cooking totally PALES in comparison to her family recipe. Wow. Pales. Not even eggs from Andy's chickens could overcome that recipe deficit, and those eggs are AMAZING.


I have to say, once again, I find myself incredibly luckly to have the amazing friends I have. Martha, for one, was incredibly good natured about both the "Mother to Be" sash we insisted she wear and the readings of the how-crude-can-you-be mad-libs we filled in. Well, some of us filled in. Pickett "filled in" five sheets, while five of us socialized (to be read as "five people filled in the mad-libs and added Pickett's name to the top of the page). Katie announced the game was to be as crude as possible, so we all had the challenge of out-smutting Keith. We failed, mostly because Keith managed to merge smut with crude with appropriate humour. It's the humour that gets you every time.


Shirley and Doyle also revealed to us that they are house hunting. I threw my suggestion they buy the house down the street from us that's for sale. It's the same exact layout as our house, facing east instead of west. It's relatively inexpensive (not really, but within their price range). It's horribly far away from work for Doyle, but really close for Shirley. Best of all, built in neighborhood friends!

And that suggestion opened up all sorts of opportunities for fun. Why don't we move up to Redwood City instead (find two houses on one block and we'd consider it, I countered, and poof, Doyle did, countering my counter)? Why don't I just go knocking from door to door, trying to meet my current neighbors (because most of them are older than 65 and none of them play ultimate?)?

We also talked about why you shouldn't buy a house for the mature apple tree in the backyard - because you can change anything about your house except for the location, mature apple trees can be planted in your yard for about $500, but you can't change the location.

Mark's advice there is sound, which is why my bribing Doyle and Shirley with apples and pomegranates and lemons and walnuts and pumpkins and future year avocados to move into the house down the street totally failed.

Right. That's the only reason, too.


The ONE person who doesn't need it



The ONE person in the world who DOESN'T need a bullhorn, has one here at work today.



One year with Doyle


It's been one year since I started working at Doyle's company with him. One year, and five projects later, I'm still working with him. Not all of the projects have been smooth projects, and not all of the projects have been with Doyle. I've had two projects I've done completely independently of him, initially feeling guilty that I was assigned the COOL! NEW! project while Doyle was assigned the fix this site or upgrade that project or work on this long slow project that needs to get done but no one really wants to do projects.

Hungry for Obama dinner


Last night, Shirley and I hosted a "Hungry for Obama" dinner. Think "grassroots fundraising meets communal dinner" and you have the basic idea of the HfO dinners. A host invites people over and feeds them. The guests donate to the Obama campaign, then pledge to host their own dinner, sort of a viral fundraising concept.

Shirley came over around 5, and we started: Shirley as the lead chef and I as her sous.

Now, I know my kitchen is small. Someday soon, I'd like to fix that by opening up the wall between the kitchen and the livingroom and pushing out the front door to the front of the house where it belongs and not the porch cave that it's in now. That someday comes closer every time something else fails in that room. The lights burnt out a month ago, prompting a livingroom light to be moved into the kitchen. The dishwasher started making horrible noises a week ago. The broiler on the oven failed years ago. A few other problems keep growing. At some point, I'm just going to insist that the kitchen be fixed and be fixed NOW. I warned Kris that it would happen, so he's a least somewhat prepared for it.


Unfortunately, that kitchen remodel hasn't happened yet, and Shirley and I did the small kitchen dance. The small kitchen dance with lots of countertop rearranging.

Shirley had planned on eight tapas dishes. She was quite organized with the whole dinner, bringing over food items (three bags and a box) and some bowls and the like. She didn't bring much equipment ("I know your kitchen is well stocked," she commented), but the spices she had covered.

Shirley had written down the recipes, by hand, which means you know she reviewed each and every line of the recipe.

The food was amazing. Shirley made a potato and egg Spanish omelette (yum!), a lentil stew, hot hot hot salsa to go with some pita breads, amazing shrimp, croistinis, meatballs, cucumber yogurt dip, and an orange and onion fruit salad. The food was, of course, fabulous.

Well, except the croisitinis. They didn't exactly turn out well. As Shirley said, "What's a dinner party without a disaster?"

Chris was helping out in the kitchen, because, you know, two chefs in a small kitchen isn't enough, you need THREE chefs in a small kitchen to do the small-kitchen ballet. I think he was cooking meatballs, but it might have been the omelette, when we all started smelling a burning smell. We checked the burners, as one had been turned on incorrectly earlier in the cooking process, and we wondered if that was it. No, wasn't it, what was it?




Of course, that whole "what's a dinner party without a disaster?" question wasn't quite done with us yet. While everyone was happily eating, I stepped into the kitchen to do a little clean up.

And walked straight into a puddle that reached to the fridge.

What the?

Six beach towels, four hand towels and a lot of sponge wringing later, I discovered the source of the leak. A pipe under the sink had burst.

I turned off all of the water generating sources, which included the dishwasher which was running, and the faucet which wasn't. I mopped up the mess as best I could, and was about to leave the kitchen with everything from under the sink sitting on the countertops when Chris walked into the kitchen. After I told him what happened, he asked me for duct tape. Several pieces later and I didn't have to immediately worry about the kitchen flooding.

Yay Chris!

Of course, that's one more disaster in the kitchen, which leads Kris and I just one more step on our way to a desperately needing a new kitchen.

First day!


Today's my first day working at Doyle's company. Warren suggested last night that the org chart for the company be rewritten so that Doyle is my direct boss. Although the concept is quite humourous, I prefer Doyle's suggestion of "put all the Drupal developers in one department, THEN put me over you."

Doyle suggested we carpool to his work this morning. Since I wasn't sure what the various parking protocols were, what the office hours were, and how I was going to get into the building to work, I enthusiatically said yes.

Starting at a new company always has issues, whether it's for a new full-time job or for a new contracting position. Today was no expection to that "issues" rule. However, having someone who I could talk to, and ask what was up, having Doyle just right there, oh, my, made starting the new job so much easier than I was expecting.

On the way home, Doyle asked me, "So, how was your first day?"

It was good, so I told him so. I also told him how much I LOVED that I could just turn to someone and start asking technical questions, and he immediately knew not only what I was talking about, but could converse with me intelligently about the task at hand, and offer suggestions.

He turned to me and exclaimed, "I KNOW!" It took me a few moments to realize that he, too, was missing having someone with the same expertise and experience as he had.

I smiled. I hadn't realized just how much I had missed working with Doyle.

Doyle, Ninja style


Balancing act


Yeah, so, that tightrope of nylon webbing/straps... some of Mischief were more brave than others. In particular, Doyle and Mark.

And maybe Andy.

I know Shirley tried, too, but I don't have any pictures of her attempts. Being the lightest of those who attempted to walk the tightrope, Shirley appeared the most graceful of the bunch.

I'm just glad that no one fell off and hit the 2' rock that was only a meter from the rope/webbing/strap.

Sold the S2000


Sold the S2000 today. All official and all. Check in hand. Check deposited. Doyle's car now.

I'm going to miss that car.

Tofu House


Yeah, so, Doyle invited Kris and I out to dinner. Since we closed the office, I haven't seen him much. Which sucks, actually, as he's a really good companion, coworker and friend. He's been inviting us to events, we just haven't been going.

So, when he invited us out, even if I didn't want to go to the main event, I still wanted to go to dinner with Doyle and Shwu.

The plan was go to the Tofu House. When we arrived, Kris was immediately suspicious. We had eaten here years ago. The food was both awful and potentially very dangerous for Kris, as the soup items were made with fish broth. I vaguely recall being unable to eat my dish as the first bite burned my tongue, both with fire heat and fire hot.

After confirming the broth wasn't fish broth (plain water!), we decided to stay.

All I can say is that it was a REALLY good thing we had Shirley, Steffi, Jimmy and that Asian half of Doyle with us. Kris and I were some of the few non-Asian people in the restaurant and BY FAR the whitest. You know, the white people who can't eat spice? Yeah, that's me.

I thought about trying the "no spice" option, but I did want SOME flavor in my tofu, since I wasn't ordering a meat dish. I was entertained by the menu somewhat by still being able to sound out the Korean letters and words, even if I don't know what the hell I'm saying.

Note to self: really learn a language, okay? This half-ass knowledge of German, Korean and Spanish really sucks. Learn more than English already.

The meal ended up being just simply delicious. I'm not sure that Steffi and Jimmy knew about my current picture taking habits, but at least Doyle and Shirley were nonplussed (which, used here in the colloquial way, means "unperturbed," which is the exact opposite of the original "so surprised they don't know how to react" definition of the word - ah languages, always evolving).

I doubt Kris and I will seek the restaurant out again, but I'll definitely stop by with other friends.



Working alone is going to take some adjusting. Some readjusting is more like it. I haven't worked by myself, telecommuting, on a regular basis for over five years now, no, six years. Telecommuting, sure, here and there, consulting, yes. But I've had Mike and Doyle to work with for the last three years, and VA before that. It's been many years, and many friends ago, since then. I feel older, wiser, and, oddly enough, less interested in embracing the singular lifestyle than I used to be.

Never one to consider myself a social person, I've tended away from the big groups and large parties. Yet, if these past few years have shown me anything, it's the amazing group of people who are in my life, the friends I've made and, holy crap, the friends I've managed to keep. Guy once told me how he selected his friends: they're the people who make him a better person, make him happy. If I look around at all the people in my life, the friends I have around me now, I have to say, I'm doing pretty well, because these are incredible around me, every one of them making me a better person.

Not really where I intended to go with this. I was going to spend 20 minutes complaining about how, now that I don't work with Doyle, I have no exposure to any good music stations and have no idea where to start looking. I just listened to Doyle's music at work, bought the 5% I liked and brought it home to Kris, who then thought I was a music maven with all my song goodies. Now, I'm music-less and have no idea where to start to look for the good stuff...

Instead, I'll just wallow in the goodness of the amazing people around me, and fall asleep smiling.