Nathan Alter lives in Albuquerque with his wife and kids. He currently develops in C#/.NET, but is learning all the time and has enjoyed computers since programming in Basic on an Atari 400 as a teenager. He started blogging in 1999.
My Uncle David has passed away. He was a good example of following your dreams. Over time, he was an announcer for a circus and a travelling horse show with his professional presentation and voice abilities. But he loved doing magic shows, so he made every effort to stick with that in the end. We got to see him a couple of times in recent years and he’d love to do magic tricks for the kids. But he was also a reminder of how fleeting life is. This month, he had some testing done and found out he had cancer. It was very aggressive and he was soon gone. We’ll miss him.
For winter exercise, we got Everybody Dance. It’s a Playstation game where you hold light bulb controllers and mimic dance moves on a camera. It has the embarrassing option to record your dancing and upload it so that others can see it. (From what I hear, Just Dance 3 is a better alternative for kids, without risque videos and songs.) Anyway, it accomplishes the goal of getting some exercise nicely. It teaches you more than Dance Dance Revolution did, since you’re not just stomping in a square pattern…not to say that I actually look like I’m dancing. Here‘s a video of Mia and Sean.
Sean (who’s 7): I think I would only cry on my next shot if it’s an egg.
Me: What do you mean?
Sean: Last time, it really hurt and it was an egg bandaid.
Me: Do you really think it was the egg bandaid that hurt you?
Sean: Well, the egg bandaid was probably after the worst shot and the sausage bandaid after the second worst shot.
Me: Oh, so you think it was really the shot that hurt you?
Sean: I don’t think anyone can really answer that question.
Our uncles visited us and my Uncle David put on a magic show in our living room. (That doesn’t happen every day.) Sean and Sarah loved it, as did everyone else. He’s pretty funny and does the tricks well.
Friday evening, we took the kids to a special event at the zoo’s reptile house where we got to take a tour into the areas behind the exhibits where they prepare reptile food with vitamins and so on. They keep new reptiles in quarantine for a little while until they’re sure they don’t have any disease. They had a large chameleon with three large lamps pointing at it. It seemed pretty happy right in the middle of the lights. (The chameleons drop dead rather easily, they said.) They had a refrigerator full of anti-venom for various kinds of snakes. This supply is pretty expensive to keep in stock, apparently. They’ve only had one bite in about 40 years, which is a pretty good record. A cobra in quarantine behind glass flared its hood at Sean. He did not think to do the karate kid cobra dance. The guy who gave the tour has something like 14 snakes and several at the zoo have been in his collection.
Saturday, we helped a friend take some loads of grass to the dump. The piles of grass had begun composting and steaming underneath, which was interesting to see. It turns kinda white under there and smells like elephants. The area where it was resting will probably have some very good soil now.
We played a game of Shoots and Ladders with Sean and Mia last night. Mia enjoyed tapping her piece on the board. I was thinking that we need a good board game that Sean could play. Shoots and Ladders is so random. Lego Creationary is looking good.
Sean got up strangely early this morning and showed me that he’d lost his first tooth. I asked to see it and he had to go up and search around his bed a while before he found it. You apparently lose 20 teeth as a kid, including the 2 premolars behind the canine. That’s more than I remembered.
We figured out how Mia unlocks Vanessa’s cell phone. She opens the slider keyboard and then closes it. Brilliant! I think I got her hooked on cellphones already by putting The Presets – My People on there. She loves to hold the phone and dance to it.
We ended up camping at Red Canyon in the Manzano mountains last weekend, since Jemez was closed due to fires. It was a nice time. Walmart tents are made mainly to catch the zipper. I am now an expert at unsticking zippers. Pull the stuck cloth from the zipper as you pull it back and forth. It only took us about 2 hours to set up the tent. Yeah, we’re not handy. Lessons learned: Get your tent on level ground, clear the ground of ALL sharp/pointy sticks, pillows are nice.
Mia’s somehow figured out how to unlock Vanessa’s phone…which is quite a feat for a 1-year-old. We’re not sure how she figured it out, but she’s called someone, tried to sign into AIM, and possibly other stuff.
Well, we’re off to the Jemez area for some camping this weekend. We’ve actually convinced Vanessa to come along, which is apparently no small feat!
Vanessa is feeling the crowding of doing home school with 2 kids around. Her computer desk is in the living room, which probably isn’t too convenient. (Mine is in our closet.) So, she has bigger house fever. Thus, we begin the long process of preparing the house to sell. I think we’d be trading location for size. We’re at a pretty sweet location near the mountains right now. We’d possibly be moving into the sea of houses on the west side of Albuquerque. If you look at Google maps west of the river, it’s just a sea of brown houses.
We must have some kinda city ordinance that declares brown as the official city color or something. Anyway, we begin to clean in a way we never have before. We’re pulling out sharp metal objects to clean up encrusted plumbing and so on.
I got a cold from the kids. I would like to be frozen until a cure is found. (yes yes, just kidding.) The worst symptom seems to be my desire to whine. A vocals session of Rock Band with visiting cousins the other day did not help my throat any.
For our 8th anniversary, we went to the new east-side Sadie’s on Eubank. So tasty, it’s my favorite Albuquerque restaurant. (For years, there’s only been one in Albuquerque way over on the west side.) The enchiladas are covered nicely in chile and cheese. The salsa and everything else is quite spicy, cause they ain’t afraid. Sopapillas are perfectly soft. It is to cry! I’ve had eight great years with my perfect match in Vanessa…and look forward to more!