Category: Blog

Gun Play

This morning Liam picked up a toy wooden block, with a toy screw in it, and shot me.

It was decidedly not a gun and couldn’t hurt me, but I just wasn’t going to let this slide. So I picked up a toy c-clamp(also decidedly not a gun) and shot him back.

This went on for a couple of minutes, each of us pew-pewing each other(some with more amount of spittle than others) until it escalated.

Liam picked up a toy plane and shot me with all the guns available on that plane. Sure, it was a commercial air liner, but one that was apparently armed to the teeth.

I held my own for some time, pew-pewing him back(with less spittle) and he escalated further. Picking up pretty much a copy of the first toy plane(also apparently armed to the teeth) he tried to end this conflict once and for all.

Again, I held my own, but I knew the end was near. Until I noticed he had dropped his wooden block, so I grabbed it and was now armed in both hands. I felt sure I was going to end this, properly, with myself being the victor!

Little did I realize that these two planes, once combined in a single assault, had the the ultimate “I stole all your power” power. I had no chance.

With one loud PEW, it was all over. All my power had been stolen. The end was near. Like the WWE, I tried a couple of times at retaliation, but every assault was met with another “I stole all your power” attack.

As I lie there, guns across my chest, I was thinking that daddy was going to have to find a different game where he had a chance of winning.

Haven’t found that game yet…

Linux fun

Almost 5 years ago, for a wedding present, I got Tara a nice little 10″ netbook from Dell.

Time hasn’t been kind to it, and with Windows running on it, it never really lived up to expectations. She liked it and all, but wasn’t able to do all the things that she wanted it to do. It was great for surfing and email, and that was about it.
So over the years we got other laptops, and for her birthday last year we got her a nice little tablet. So the little laptop kinda went into “the corner” and wasn’t used at all.
I noticed it there the other day and decided that maybe Linux would be a good fit. Tara didn’t have any problem with that as she wasn’t using it at all, so I downloaded Mint Liunux and popped it on.
Works like a dream. Boots/wakes up super fast, runs as well as ever(online flash movies kill it though) and works as well as I thought a little netbook would run.
There’s plenty of hard drive space left as I haven’t loaded it up with a ton of applications or stuff, I’m just playing as I go to see what’s available these days.
Turns out most things are available, in one form or another. I have dropbox, keepass, a comic reader and even Steam. I’m sure I can’t play most of the games that I have for Steam Linux, but a few should work nicely(like Duke Nukem, but I need a seperate mouse for it).
Anyway, it’s early days yet but I think it’ll be a nice little toy. It’s like a tablet for me without costing me anything extra, and it does almost all the things that I would want it to do anyway.

Ch Ch Ch Changes…

July was a bit of a stressful month, and for Liam it really showed.

I mean, the poor kid had his whole world turned around and he just didn’t know how to cope. It started the first week of July. Normally he would have gone to his grandparents on Mondays, three days of day care, then Dad day on Friday.

We changed that to a new daycare system completely, in the same school he would have gone to in the fall, for the full five days a week. WE knew that there might be some problems with this, the same sort of problems that he had when he first started daycare. And in one sense we were right. In another, it took a turn that we didn’t really expect. Tantrums. Blood curdling, mind bending tantrums. Daily. And they started after the first couple of days there. And he was really impossible to console. It just required him to be removed from the situation and then to calm down. And of course they would start at the drop of a hat. It really didn’t matter what happens. One day it was because I got to the front door before him. Another was that he wasn’t able to close the garage door. Or that I got a different cart at the home reno store. It really didn’t matter what would start it, but when it started, there was nothing you could do other than walk him out and set him down somewhere to calm down.

And this went on daily. One a day, sometimes two. This wasn’t out little boy, this was someone else entirely.

The real breaking point was in the last week of July. Tara had taken the day off to help me with some flooring, and Liam started first thing. We decided that was that and we would have to change some things back to the way they were. We were lucky that a private daycare person still had a spot available and it was someone that he knew. She agreed to take him the next day, and he’s been there ever since. And it has helped with the tantrums. There’s not gone mind you, but more sporadic and not daily. That breaking day we also found out that he was sad because, in his own words, that they were leaving him alone. We knew that he wouldn’t get the same level of personal care that he used to get, but we didn’t really think that he would be left to his own devices.

As mentioned, he’s going better now. I’m starting to suspect that we might keep him in daycare for now and possibly skip the whole JK thing. That’s all up in the air at the moment. Mind you, with JK, it might be more structured. Then again, maybe it won’t matter.

I would just like to keep my little guy, the one I know, the one that’s happy most of the time, and keep him that way.

I know I can’t protect him from everything, but if I can at least not screw up his head too much this early on, then I’ll take that at least.

Dexter as dad

I’ve been behind on watching Dexter so I’ve been trying to catch up.
Watching yesterday reminded me how different Dexter and I are in terms of fatherhood. Sure, one of us is a fictional character, but other than that we do have our parenting differences.
He’s off all day at work, and then doesn’t even blink if be has to run out again to do some serial killer stuff. Just leaves his son with the nanny. Doesn’t even blink I tell you. I couldn’t do that, just leave after having no seen Liam all day.
I mean, the character of Dexter is supposed to be all about providing for his family, he certainly mentions it enough, but Harrison just seems to be a convenient plot point when needed. There doesn’t seem to be any consistence there.
Anyway, it’s these odd things that I see on TV these days.
I think fatherhood has distorted my ‘suspension of disbelief’ somewhat.
I mean, really, Fireman Sam, that while town should have been destroyed sometime ago….

Lunch Time Demos: Orcs Must Die

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When I downloaded this game I really didn’t read the description. I find that true with most apps/games that I grab. I skim, I look at the pictures and since it’s free I download it regardless.

With this demo I thought I was getting a pretty standard FPS, but what I actually got was an FPS Tower Defense. And I’m not even upset about it Smile

Here’s the description from the site:

Orcs Must Die! challenges players to defend fortresses under siege. With a wide variety of traps and weapons to choose from, Orcs Must Die! dares players to find the best ways to hack, launch, flatten, gibletize, and incinerate an endless army of filthy orcs and their vile allies.

When the game loads there’s not much of a tutorial going on. There’s a screen saying how to move(standard WASD there) and some other keys that I forget. Then you pretty much jump right into it. The first thing it tells you to do is open your spell book and choose your weapons and traps. And then you choose where to plop down your first set up traps, and then you start killing orcs.

It’s really that easy.

Of course you only start out with so much money but as you kill orcs you get more money. There’s also breaks in-between the waves so that you can setup more traps. And you can always set traps as you’re killing orcs, as long as you have money. The first wave doesn’t start until you say so, so you have that extra amount of time to lay things down or at least look around to see what the map is like.

Like other Tower Defense games, the orcs start on one side, the the portal is on the other. And you’re in the middle with your stuff. Initially you only start with two weapons; crossbow and sword. I never used the sword only because it was close range and, well, I started to die pretty quick. The crossbow also has a secondary attack of stunning groups of orcs. I wonder if the sword had a secondary attack?

Graphics wise, it was pretty good. But the screen shots tell it better than I would.

The writing was also a treat. Very much on the light side with quips such as “The orcs always break down the door, we should really look into that”. But it wasn’t bogged down in it with the main hero saying things all the time that might start to get annoying. In fact, the only time I really noticed was when the orcs were getting further along than they should. So it’s informational as well.

The demo only had three levels, but gave I think enough of a hook to make you want to buy the rest of the game.

It’s currently $15 on Steam and if you have the extra cash, I would recommend it. If not, there’s always the Demo Smile

Habits (mostly Bad)

We all have them. Good, bad, productive or not, we all have some habits we like and some that we don’t.

I’m of the impression that I have more bad than good, but that could just be my perspective.

What got me thinking of this today was washing dishes. When I have to manually wash dishes, I’m the guy that leaves the water running so that I can wash and rinse quickly. If I have just a few things to wash then it doesn’t make sense(to me) to fill up a sink then use more water to rinse. And, if I was doing it properly, I’d save water in the long run. If I was doing it properly.

I don’t.

I have the water shooting out of that faucet at full force, all the time. That’s not the right way to do it. But, as I’ve been doing it that way since, well, forever, that’s how I start out. It’s not until I’m about half-way done that I think to lower the output to a more reasonable level. And this happens every day.

But I am thinking of the amount of water that I’m wasting and doing something about it. And slowly but surely, day by day, I turn the water down to a more reasonable level sooner and sooner in the course of washing dishes. And one day, soon I hope, I’ll start that way.

Then, knowing me, for no reason, blast it back up again. But until then, I’m working to break this habit.

Yes, that’s another bad habit; rambling. But it’s what makes me me, so I’m less likely to change that.

Productivity. That’s also a bad habit. I know that there are a lot of things that I need to do or get done, but I’m unlikely to do them unless prompted. Sadly, this is both true in work and home life.

Again, I’m trying to resolve this. I’m making more use of my iPhone for this. Scheduling reminders for various work tasks is a good start. This way both my laptop and phone beep at me at certain times of day to remind me to do something. I just hope that it doesn’t get to the point where I see these all the time and start to ignore them. But that’s part of the process I guess. Doing things on time.

Changing topics half way through writing. That’s another one. But much like rambling, that’s just not gonna change.

I wonder how many of these bad habits come down to just being forgetful or absent minded(is there a difference)? I suspect that if I had a better memory(either through training or otherwise) then I would have less bad habits.

You never know.

Blog Clients

So once gain I’m playing around with blog clients.

I was using MS Live Writer, but since I’m upgrading the work lappy to Windows 7(woo!) I tried it in 7…and it’s kinda ass. Also, for some reason, some of the plugins don’t seem to be installing, or if they install, they’re not working.

Also, it’s not really that portable. I would need a seperate install and config per computer. And since I could either blog from the couch or the basement, it would be nice to be able to plop it in dropbox and run it from there.

I want to say that it’s amazing that there’s not more offline blogging software, but I suspect it’s a bit of a niche market that really didn’t grow. In fact, of the ones I’ve found, very few have been updated in the last few years. LiveWriter being the exception.

Initially I tried Zoundry Raven. It’s got a good interface, saves posts offline, and allows for a portable install. It also, nativly, allows to post to more than one blog at a time. This requires a plugin for LiveWriter. So I setup the wordpress and LJ account, and start blogging. And publish. And LJ doesn’t get published to.

Hmm

Try again, same problem.

Now, there are two servers that LJ can publish from, so I try both, and they just give different errors.

Arg.

But really, who reads LJ anymore? Just in case, I’m now trying BlogDesk. It seems to be ok, and with a little tweeking, I have it running from dropbox properly. It does all the things Raven did, and seems to be lighter and faster.

Don’t know yet if it’ll publish to LJ, this post will be the test.

UPDATE: Nope, for some reason it’s not. I suspect it has something to do with the age of the client and I’m sure the LJ API has been updated since, well, 2006 😉

UPDATE AGAIN: Since I started writing this, I’ve tried a couple others.

w.blogger has the benifit of having a portable version, so I can just unzip it and pop it into Dropbox. Howeve,r like the rest, it hasn’t been updated in ages. The current version being released in 2007. It does allow(in theory) to post to both WP and LJ, although I haven’t tried it yet for LJ. The wizard to add accounts is nice, and while it should allow to publish to more than one account, you have to switch back and forth between them instead of a single option. There is a tool to publish to more than one account, but it assumes that the multiple accounts are of the same blog software. For instance two WP accounts or two LJ accounts, not one of each.

And lastly(for now anyway) there’s ScribeFireNext, which is browser based. Once again, it will allow to publish to more than one account, just not at the same time. Mind you, switching back and forth between accounts is much easier than w.blogger. Also, it’s still being worked on and has updates this month 🙂 So it should actually work with LJ if I need it to. It will import the blog settings based on the URL of the blog, so that’s helpful as well. It’s one annoying feature so far is it seems to pop up ‘ads’ every now and then on the side panel. But otherwise, it works nicely. And I suppose I could install it to a portable version of FF….

So yea, new(to me) blog tools. I just didn’t like the default one for WordPress.

That, and offline writing makes life a little easier.

Christmas with the Fullers

Last night Tara and I were up pretty late just getting some last minute things done. This included wrapping gifts and making things for tonights dinner. Liam was being extra fussy, and actually needed two car rides to get settled. I suspect we’ve started a bad habit, but tonight he’s not going for one, and he’s quiet at the moment.

We finally rolled into bed at 2am, and Tara got me up at 4 to take over for her. Liam wasn’t too bad and I think I power napped for a little while, so I wasn’t feeling too bad. Then, at 7:30, he started just just smile at me, and I got a second wind 🙂 Tara came down at 8 and I napped until 9. After a wee breakfast, we packed it all up and went to my brothers for 10.

Thank god he had coffee on, but I only managed to get 2 ‘normal’ sized cups down. Not really enough. Which makes me think I drink too much or rely on it too much. Anway.

Matt and Vanessa had already had their boys open a bunch of gifts and we walked into the middle of them playing and generally entertaining themselves. This gave the adults time to have coffee and some snacks before diving into the other presents.
What we’ve been doing for the past few years is picking names for one gift, and then splitting the money that you would normally spend between a gift and charitable donation. With the bulk of it being the donation.

After this was all done we packed up and headed home to finish off all the things we didn’t get done. Turkey and whatnot. We were bagged though and it was a struggle just to stay awake. I was lucky enough to get an extra hour this afternoon, but Tara wasn’t so lucky. So, that’s why, while I’m writing this, she’s snoozing up stairs. Then she’ll tag me out. Boxing day will be official sleep day 🙂

My parents were able to join us this year and it was a nice little Fuller Christmas dinner. I really liked this as I’ll be away at Christmas for the first time next year, so it was nice to spend that extra little time with them.

And now I’m waiting on Tara to tag me out, watching the little man as he sleeps. Sooner or later he’s going to figure out what this whole Christmas thing is all about, and I’m going to love to see it through his eyes.

Hope everyone had a good Christmas this year, and I hope that 2011 brings something special.