Monday, December 25, 2006

and So This is Christmas...

First of all, if toy makers are going to sell you something that comes with a million separate pieces, the least they could do is provide a container to hold them when not in use. I'm talking to you, Playdoh set with 50 individual cookie cutters.

I shouldn't complain...we got it free at the doctor's office. Note to self, schedule the children a doctor's appointment the last day possible before Christmas. We went in just for a TB test update for Xiao Miao, and they gave both her and Owen a present. Very nice, very unexpected. The office is in the new OHSU Center for Health and Healing, which is located on the waterfront where the tram lands. The waiting room is essentially the entire side of the building - not just a little room - so you feel like you are relaxing at home with the Stumptown Coffee you got at the Daily Cafe in the lobby, rather than sitting next to a million coughing kids in a cramped room waiting to get poked and prodded. The windows overlook the tram landing, and the exam rooms we have been in overlook the river. Pretty nice - makes up for the traffic nightmare getting to the building itself.

Snapped this picture in the bathroom at the doctor's office...

...which explains why the water is brown, but really now, reclaimed or not, do you need to tell people not to drink out of the toilet?

Christmas with two kids was less frenzied than I anticipated...though the house looks like an homage to Nick Jr. Xiao Miao doesn't say much (that we can understand), but she can now say "Go Diego Go!" She just tried to undo whatever Owen was doing with his Rescue Center, and he got mad and sat down in front of her to tell her off...but when he started in on her she leaned forward and hugged him, and they are now rolling around giggling together.

Dok got a Kill-a-Watt and is diligently testing how much electricity things use, making note of it in a spreadsheet.

A decision to try out some old fashioned cocktails led us to spend the kid's college fund at the liquor store. I highly recommend the French 75 (You can give me whaever just pass the Courvoisier). We also decided that Entenmann's donuts are the way to go Christmas morning, though this French Toast Christmas Tree is sure cute.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

You Know You Live In Estacada When...

...the most popular thing at the liquor store is the shot glass that looks like a shotgun casing. These two guys next to us were very excited about it, and the clerk said that it was the last one, and they'd sold about 100 of them.

We were there spending almost $200 for holiday cheer. New Years is almost here...Tony, where are you? :)

Friday, December 15, 2006

Dok 2, TAC 0

When the "construction company" finished our addition, they put metal chimney caps up, which blew off into the front yard at the first sign of wind. Derek put them back up this Fall, and after a strong October storm and last nights 70 mph winds, they managed to hold. In your face, you cheatin' bastards!

In other news, Xiao Miao brought with her her own brand of Christmas present - Chickenpox. You know who has never had chickenpox? Me. or Derek. or Owen. Should be a fun time over the next few weeks.

We have found that she has a fondness for candy canes.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Scrobbled, Not Stirred

Derek's a winner!!

The music service Rhapsody held a contest where people could submit programs they have written against the Rhapsody API (a programming interface). Derek had already written a program for himself (which he had released to the public, including source code (and has gotten rave reviews thus far)) involving Rhapsody and his Last.fm account, so he modified it a bit and entered it into the contest. Guess what? He got second prize overall!

I'll let the article explain more about it:

Second Prize goes to Derek Atlansky for Rhapsody Scrobbler. This application monitors Rhapsody usage (either directly from the Rhapsody jukebox or by tapping into the user’s listening history feed) and submits the results to AudioScrobbler. The monitored results are then directly published to the user’s Last FM profile. Our judges ranked Rhapsody Scrobbler as the top entry for a solution to an existing problem. Derek just won a Sansa Rhapsody e200R and a one-year subscription to Rhapsody To Go.

Derek Atlansky wrote Rhapsody Scrobbler to monitor Rhapsody for played tracks and submit them to AudioScrobbler. This allows Rhapsody tracks to be included in a user’s Last.fm profile. Rhapsody Scrobbler is configured to monitor the Rhapsody jukebox or the Rhapsody listening history feeds. Each track that is played is automatically submitted to Las.fm and those submissions then appear in the user’s Last.fm profile. Rhapsody Scrobbler can be configured on one machine (for example a Windows machine) and monitor web account usage from another machine (Windows, Mac or Linux). Derek included some fine controls to coordinate the use of AudioScrobbler with Rhapsody playback and usage. You can see Derek’s work at http://www.atlansky.com/dev/rhapsodyscrobbler.html

Hooray for Derek!! :D Now I get to inherit his IRiver and ditch my buggy little Rio Carbon.

Friday, December 01, 2006

We Are Home!

Yay! Derek and I have been awake for about 32 hours now... we tried to nap some this afternoon, but it wasn't working too well. Owen managed to sleep almost all day, so we'll see if he will be up all night. Xiao Miao only slept a little today, and had a pretty average nap, so she actually went to bed about 8:30 pm. She alternated between having fits on the airplane (both while awake and asleep) and being a silly silly girl (kissing the little tv screens on the back of the seats). We had 3 seats in a row of 4 in the middle of the plane, and the flight was not full so we got to spread across the whole row, which was so great. When we arrived we had to go through immigration for her. When the officer said "Congratulations, and welcome to the United States!" another adopting family that was waiting clapped for her. It was pretty funny.

She adjusted okay to the house - the dogs are the major obstacle. Since it took her 3 trips to the play room at the White Swan to be able to touch the crawling Tigger doll, I'm not surprised. I mean, the dogs are taller than she is, that would be intimidating! But when the dogs weren't in her way she ran around the house, checking things out.

Here is where she fell asleep right after lunch - her first meal in the U.S.!

Hockey girl!

Thanks to everyone for reading along and commenting - we were only able to get onto Blogger (where you blog for blogspot) in China, but they blocked it so we couldn't see our actual blog, or read the comments. Couple that with the fact that 3/4 of the sites were in Chinese characters so you had to try to remember which button was to sign in, and which was to upload, etc, we are lucky we managed to get anything up! It has been so fun going back and reading all the comments. :)

It is good to be home!

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