Saturday, December 30, 2006
Thursday, December 28, 2006
The most wonderful Christmas gift of all was, of course, the health and happiness of my family (and friends!!!). But these flautas came in a close second…
It was sad that my sisters and my brother did not come out to Christmas this year. It was strange to be the only one at home for the holiday. But this sadness and strangeness was tempered quite a bit because I did not have to fight with them over the flautas or the guacamole…
I declare this to be my favorite meal of all time.
Thursday, December 21, 2006
Google has finally pulled blogger.com out of beta. What does this mean for us? Nothing! But maybe we can switch? The new blogger does have sweet stuff like comment feeds (which we have due to my email hack, here), and other stuff…
Of course, I will have to upgrade Paper Lantern so that it can handle GData feeds…
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
It is a free download and it's super cool.
satellite imaging from all the way out in space right into your own backyard.
I recently used it to get the exact coordinated for the center of the field at the FCBarcelona stadium and then I built a collection around the pic and the info.
you can zoom all over the world and see all kinds of amazing detail.
Monday, December 18, 2006
My living wall goes up in spring -- so exciting!! 40' tall by 16' wide -- I will send pics when it goes up. Here are links to Patrick, so you can start to get an idea of what vertical gardens are all about:
Check out these gorgeous photos!! Incredible!!
Sunday, December 17, 2006
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
Jarret (left) and Richard have gone to the birds! This photo was taken by my sister during a recent outing to the zoo with Kaenen, The World's Cutest Nephew!. Richard, having dressed appropriately, has obviously done this before.
Thursday, December 07, 2006
So I have spend the last couple of days attending the Internet Identity Workshop out in California. I won’t bore y’all with any of the details, but I will say that the conference was amazing…
Anyhow, the conference was held in the Computer History Museum. At the end of the conference (today) we got to take a guided tour…
The tour was incredible. The museum has a fantastic collection of computers, from the venerable PDP-1 to amazing and beautiful Cray-1. Of course, they also have a great collection of micro-computers and personal computers, including one my first boxes, the Atari 800...
It was just so cool to see the the computing machines, from the abacus, to the slide-rule, to the gargantuan vacumn tube machines, to the big ass Cray super-computers…
Also, it is amazing to think that my Dad’s first job title was “computer”. He literally “computed” all day long with a slide-rule!
Anyhow, the Computer History Museum is definitely worth a visit if you are ever in the Bay Area.
Monday, December 04, 2006
Friday, December 01, 2006
Oh, Antonio of round and ruddy cheek,
How could I have guessed before you came
That there would be such simple pleasure
In being your one and only "Mama,"
A word you say from deep within your chest
So that it sounds like a sacred Buddhist chant:
I treasure the sound of your voice
Filled with irrespressible jubiliance
Over things I forgot to notice long ago.
"Ball!" you exclaim, never tiring of its
Infinite roundness and unfailing bounce
Against the world's hard surfaces,
Although you have not yet come to
Understand its lesson of resilience
In the face of your own tumbles.
But my favorite times are when we
Laugh together over some silly sound
Or a face I make to get a smile.
Once we start to laugh, it's hard to stop.
It's a contagious itch, and I love
To hear the sound of your laughter
Coming from deep within your belly:
The sincerest utterance of joy I have
Oh, Antonio, of fine and flaxen hair.
I press my nose against your sweet
Toussled head and am filled with an
Aroma as full of new promise as a
Spring morning, and I close my eyes
To think again of your laugh - a
Raucous, robust sound that bursts,
Unrestrained from deep within you.
I live for that laugh. I dance to its
Cadence and timbre in my ear; and
When you throw your arms around
My neck and kiss my cheek, I know
How very lucky I am.
I love your wildness. You are the
Spark that rekindles my interest in
The world anew each day. It simply
Isn't true that we humans are better
Off the more we know. You are the
Proof that the greatest joys of life
Lie in the simplest of pleasures,
Those things that have been here
All along right under our noses:
Ball, mama, cookie, tree, car, daddy,
What more does anyone need, really?
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
I had a yearly-checkup last week. They did the usual poking and prodding and cough-inducing. Also, they took a bunch of my precious blood.
I got the results of my blood-work today. Everything is ok, but the results indicate that I am “borderline anemic”. WTF? I suppose this explains my chronic fatigue…
Monday, November 27, 2006
D and i had a nice hill country getaway this long Thanksgiving weekend thing. First we popped in to Buda for turkey-eating and family-seeing. Then, after some time bumming around Austin (in the fancy new second street district, where a Ducati dealership recently opened), we headed west.
We found this kooky little guest cabins in Lakeway, and stayed there from Friday to Sunday. 'Character' is the word that springs to mind when considering the pink-dominated color scheme and plethora of south american knick knacks. Included in said knick-knacks was 'tour guide Jesus', shown here pointing out the location of the stove.
The set starts here.
Friday, November 24, 2006
One interesting point he makes is that each of us contains approx 600,000 atoms that were once part of shakespeare, or jesus, or buddha, or picaso!
How's that for enlightenment?
Thursday, November 23, 2006
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
So I'm looking for ways to keep busy this winter -- I found a philosophy class at the local university on "metaphysics and eastern studies" -- sounds intriguing.
Also am volunteering to work for the nature conservancy to help preserve endangered species in local parks.
I hope to take a few yoga classes this winter, if I can make the early 9:30 class and get Antonio to daycare in time.
And, Antonio and I are going to storytime at the local library and work-outs with other 2-year-olds (a necessity for a boy with boundless energy) on the jungle gyms at Gymboree...
Looking forward to seeing the first snowfall, since I think this year Antonio will be able to really tear it up out there on the sled, since last year he was still getting his bearings on the whole walking thing.
We had a wonderful time in Texas -- one of these days I will set up a Flickr account and put all our recent pics up there, but for now, here's one of my little cowboy:
Monday, November 20, 2006
She stood up and "surfed" several times. Making her dream a reality.
my first movie with both my children
actually - adolfo's first movie didn't work out too well - madagascar's scene set ups and changes were way too fast for a 3.5 year old to really get into and the gags were not made for kids - so the movie was cut short when adolfo became too bored with it and we took off early - i left feeling that we wouldn't be really missing anything
but this is not a review of madagascar
this is a review of Flushed Away
and the experience was MUCH MUCH different
firstly - he recognized the teeth of the characters as similar to those of chicken run and wallace and gromit - secondly - the characters were great - the action sequences were timed just right - they were long enough so that he was able to wrap his mind around what was taking place but short enough not too bore him - he could quickly tell who was the bad guy and who was the good guy - and throughout the movie he would point out what was desirable behavior and what was not acceptable - the main thing i didn't approve of was the few incidents when "idiot" and "stupid" was spoken - i was pleased that adolfo recognized that these were bad words - but am kind of worried about the intrigue this might cause
at the same time - the story line was good, funny and refreshing - it was filled with intelligent humor and i knew it would be with the opening sequence in the house - the talking army doll referring to "...weapons of mass destruction..." and "...terrorist..." was hilarious - i particularly enjoyed the singing slugs and the imaginative way the city was built - there was also the sad portrayal of americans as naive texans - and the finding nemo reference "Have you see my dad?" had me laughing out loud - and the kids laughed too
adolfo was sufficiently entertained without being talked down to - and i enjoyed the whole thing
there are a lot of people criticizing this movie and aardman for making a cgi movie instead of sticking to his thing - now i totally love claymation and all that - but in reality - cgi is the latest form of animation and there is no reason for a respected artist to not explore a new medium - i'm glad aardman tried this out - i was not disappointed in anything about the movie, the story line was great, the effects were wonderful and the characters memorable
i will buy this disk
Sunday, November 19, 2006
Friday, November 17, 2006
Holy smokes. I caught Jamie Lidell last year out at the Parish, but his set suffered from technical difficulties. Not so last night. He banged out beats and sang the soulful kind of Soul and made the floor feel the crowd tremble and the crowd feel the floor tremble and oh my gosh it was a fantastic show.
Also, I got to say the Kid Koala put on an amazing set too. 3 turntables and no headphones? WHAT? He is like the robotech master of djs. He played “his mom’s favorite song”, Moon River and made all those notes feel sweet sixteen.
Also, I am visiting Boston for the first time. Its a whole nuther thing out here…
Monday, November 13, 2006
Adolfo has taken some pretty spectacular photos. It seems that i was wrong about poopoo-ing the Fischer-Price digital camera for toddlers. This is a public apology. It performs quite well in bright and reasonably bright situations.
I suggest you check the photos out.
Sunday, November 12, 2006
Friday, November 10, 2006
Saturday, November 04, 2006
I'm also going to try and whip together a homemade bbq sauce.
For those of you who don't know, we are having a little get together today, Paola's one month birthday/anniversary/ whateveryoucallit. Stop by if you get a chance. We'll be here all day and i'd love to get a game of chess on with someone ... anyone.
One month! Woohoo!
Thursday, November 02, 2006
we never knew until these past couple of weeks
paola has infant acid reflux
Gastroesophageal Reflux (GER)
the meds to treat this cost 150.00 more or less
so i purchased only 2 pills for 14.00 until i find out what my insurance will cover
she's asleep now
after some maalox
that's why killy and i have not really been around lately
Saturday, October 28, 2006
Thursday, October 26, 2006
Sunday, October 22, 2006
"Recently, we had a garage sale and your little man wanted these," she explained. You can read the note she left him in one of the lunchboxes here. That's far better than me retelling it.
I find it amazing that he is already making trails into other people's lives, however small, as his own person.
Friday, October 20, 2006
Recently, i began a new flash project for Dr. C - it came to me late and i spent the first day trying to figure out how to approach the project - do i do it all xml-ly and cool? Do i construct it author-time? Uncertainty gripped me. It wasn't until the next day that i finally started putting the pieces together in flash - mocking up menus (i ganked the look of the access wayfinding 'dot' although not nearly as expertly) etc...
I have a tumultuous problem solving process. It's like a hurricane of uncertainty, fear and doubt inside of me, so when i came upon this cool problem solving chart i thought there may be some hope for me. Some process that i can follow to help me overcome the whirlwind of emotions that paralyze me at the very thought of doing/making decisions/etc...
Anyone else have problems with this?
p.s. - cool link:
View your flickr photos fullscreen in safari!
Thursday, October 19, 2006
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
The web sure brings us some outrageous stuff.
Sunday, October 15, 2006
Saturday morning i woke up, showered the sleep off my body and met the Katz guys at UH for a soccer game. The UH field was chosen after Rodrigo lightly twisted his ankle and a few others had taken some nasty spills on the field on Fairview, which we had moved to after having gotten kicked off the fields on Stella Link. I went into the game strong, with two solid goals, but lost my energy after 30 mins or so. The last 15 minutes i was useless. I passed as soon as the ball was given to me.
From there i sped home and picked up Adolfo IV for his 10:00 soccer game at the YMCA. We showed up right before halftime. It's a good thing he isn't really enthusiastic about playing or else i would have felt pretty bad about that. The problem is, he only wants to play soccer with his daddy. When he tried to play with the kids, he gets angry at them for taking his ball away and at his worst, throws a crying fit on the practice field. At the last practice (wednesday) i had to hold his hand while we were on the field in order to get him to follow the crowd of running little people that ran after the ball. It was positive, i think; he was laughing and enjoying himself.
When we got to the game, the ref blew the halftime whistle and while the rest of the kids ran in for a break, adolfo and i practiced together out near one of the goals. He kicked it in the goal and yelled GOAL! and threw him in the air (he loves that). When the kids ran back onto the field coach Ron Charle put Adolfo in. He had a good two minutes - he even managed to get his foot on the ball, but after a bit he just walked back towards his daddy on the sidelines. I wasn't going to let him get away with that so we played together there on the sidelines, until he just wanted to sit and watch the other kids play.
Liz and Taggart showed up while i was napping off my soccer game. What a pleasant surprise that was. It felt wonderfully normal. Adolfo was running around the backyard pretending to be Samurai Jack and Paola was, again, asleep. Infants are so easy.
What happened the rest of Saturday escapes me at the moment, prolly because i was really happy with how Sunday turned out. I woke up around 8, ironed shirts for both adolfo and i and we went to church. I hadn't been to church in awhile. It was oddly comforting - I guess cause i spent a good portion of my childhood in church with my mother finding particular comfort and support from it. We were heavily involved. I was a star altar boy (of course i was), an usher when i came of age, and eventually president of the youth group. My mother was a coach for the girls softball team for a number of years, she eventually became a reader, and then an euchaistic minister. She also happened to meet my step-father, Bob, there who was also a familiar face around the church. He was a member of the Knights of Columbus, and did all the BBQ-ing for various church functions, and i believe had a hand in the Bingo at St. Mark's before it went away. Sitting in the pews with Adolfo fidgetting next to me i indulged myself in these memories.
Back in the car Amber&Adolph called for a breakfast meet-up. We met at El Rey just down the street from their place. (Mental note: i'll be spending more money there). They looked great. Amber has such a wonderfully bright, freckly, smily face. Sitting there i realized i really had missed adolph. I'm looking forward to hanging out.
We managed to hang at his place just long enough for carol to feed Paola and Adolfo to run up and down the stairs a few times. We got back home just in time to take carol's parents to church for the spanish mass; for me to build a contraption to take holga type pics with my D80; and for us to be here for a visit from Sara Cress who brought us yummy homemade blueberry muffins.
It was a good weekend.
I finally made it down to Richmond to see my sister Susan and my new nephew Christopher (Dutch). I took the train. It was a about a 2 hour trip through some beautiful country…
We had a great time visiting the National Folk Festival and eating good eats and going to the park and just doing family stuff. It sure is nice to live close to my sister…
I put some footage of the trip up on youtube
Saturday, October 14, 2006
Thursday, October 12, 2006
Saturday, October 07, 2006
Friday, October 06, 2006
Adolfo Fidel Chavez IV (Big Brother) and Paola Isabel Chavez (Little Sister)
Originally uploaded by killy.
i wasn't sure what to expect
but again was dealing with a strange sense of
what's the appropriate word
loss is not it
but something similar
something sad and private
when i checked in
killy was gnawingly nervous and excited - my mother was dutiful - my mother-in-law was electric with anticipation
and there i was - sort of forlorn and sort of reverential (???)
in any case
and taken through every step of registration, admission and prepping quickly and without any problems
the anesthesiologist was very nice - talkative, not overly friendly nor inapporpriately personal - simply a genuinely nice guy - competent, knowledgeable and warm - and quite tall too - he and killy started talking camera - my nurse was named poppy - and she looked like one too - teeny, delicate and sweet with the most straightforward gaze i've come across - it made me aware of how much her surgery mask hides from view - and it made me wonder if with that strong gaze she could see the mysterious sadness i felt - maybe she could tell me what it was
i was splayed flat on a table bed
killy was placed to my right amid wires and guages and beeping machines
i couldn't feel a thing
everyone was smiling
so was i
it was my auto-response to strange situations - try to make everyone comfortable - smiling ensures everyone that i am ok and do not require any special attention
i took a personality test once - my main color was yellow in conflict - i tend to become friendlier in difficult situations in order to avoid conflict
so there i was - smiling a bright yellow smile - trying clearly toidentify and place each and every emotion that was ricocheting all around inside of me
anesthesiologist told killy - twice - stand up stand up and look
he pulled down the blue curtain and killy stood up
he had a full view of the doctors actually pulling her out of me
and he got those shots too
and then i heard her
and all i could see was blue and killy's chin under his camera
and tears welled up in my eyes
then killy was sitting again and i looked over at him - he was crying too - soft deep personal sobs - almost not even there they were so quiet
then killy whispered
the curtain was pulled down lower - i stretched my neck to look aover the top
and there she was
they let me look at her
and i couldn't see anymore
there were too many tears
i was aware of an emptiness
i held her while they sewed me up
when adolfo came into the room later - he was wearing his school uniform - i'd made careful arrangments for mamalynda to be the one holding paola so that adolfo wouldn't freak out - i didn't know what to expect
he walked straight towards her in his grandmother's lap - he didn't even notice i was in the room - he approached her and said something like
there's paola my little sister isn't she beautiful
and he rubbed her head
all my sad feelings disappeared
here is my son holding his little sister and here is my beautiful daughter - together in this world
everything is complete
Wednesday, October 04, 2006
I was right! Babies are hardwired for screaming!
Congrats to Carol, Killy, L'il Killy and the various and sundry grandpeople on the timely arrival of Paola Isabel Chavez, all happy and hairy!
i slept fitfully this morning - i 'd like to say that it was the anticipation that kept me tossing and turning at three o'clock in the morning - but it was something less exciting and more torturous - i was plagued by indigestion and reflux again - but then this has become a nightly (daily) ritual for the last 3 weeks - i'd almost forgotten about this - the best part of my pregnancies - it's the part when modesty is a forgotten and impractical concept and all you can do for comfort is stroll around scratching your belly in the glorious familiarity of your own skin - regardless of who is around - it's a good thing you all stayed away
but now - in the romantic and soft misty morning - killy hovering like a nectar intoxicated drone is going over the final checklist - diaper bag, overnight bag, magic marker - my mother and father quietly bickering back and forth about the health pros and cons of oatmeal (translate: mucho popo in the coco) - and paola - roiling around in my belly, silently screaming for food - it is becoming all too real
her bedroom is ready and waiting - killy did a beautiful job and now it's fully stocked (lots of adolfo inspired clothing) - finished up some last minute shopping for the room last night - had to change the lightbulbs and get a bassinet sheet and a couple of other things i can't remember - but it's all there - in it's peaceful pink and yellow - waiting
i'm so tired - and so excited - and worried
will my beautiful boy suffer at all - will i neglect him to care for her - will he grow to hate her because she has taken me away from him
how do i address these things if they come up
she will buy him a bike and will present it to him upon her arrival - he will have a gift for her - a project that his grandmother will help him to realize - when he first lays eyes on her, she will be in his grandmother's arms - he and i will continue our nightly bathtime/reading/prayer ritual which will become our time
i hope it doesn't break his heart
killy buzzes by
so what songs will paola inspire?
here's adolfo's list
- popo in the coco
- baby's got the hiccups, hiccups, hiccups
- baby, baby
we have a camera, a video camera and all sorts of other goodies to capture fleeting accomplishments
she'll fill a book - just like adolfo
next question - do we spend 45.00 for adolfo's pre-k yearbook?
Tuesday, October 03, 2006
I'll use that one for Paola's birth.
Adolfo came home wth a smiley face on his conduct sheet. We walked home together today, just he and i. We watched for cars as we walked down Georgi Ln, and crushed leaves beneath our feet on the sidewalks. He picked up lost acorns and said hi to the neighbors. I wish i could do that more often...
Yesterday, Adolfo comes home from school with a 'sad face' on his conduct report and i take him for a talking walk. We walk to the end of the street and i ask him what he did today. He is coy about it - talks softly. I let him get it out and then get on my knees and explain what he did wrong and what he did right. I tell him what not to do and why he shouldn't. I explain his punishment and he sighs heavily like his mother.
I slept in Paola's room last night. It was cool, clean, and inviting. The crib is swollen with pink linens and the changing table is fully stocked with all the familiar supplies. We are prepared for the usual, but as i'm lying there i can't shake the feeling that i am forgetting something; something important. In the dark i realize that i haven't been touching her belly as much as i did with adolfo. I didn't play the guitar nearly as much as i did when adolfo was in carol's belly. I haven't read to her. I haven't spent the time considering what i would do when she was born, I've taken it for granted that i am ready for what she has to dish out.
Soon after that i fell asleep. I didn't come to any conclusions - i'm still not sure if we are ready, but i know for sure we were just as jittery when adolfo's birth neared - i was full of regrets (i didn't have a home for him) and full of uncertainty ...
Yesterday, we bought batteries for this super-ultra-cool toy. He loved it. He was shrieking with laughter in the backyard. Shrieking. Laughing. It was a sound like i'd never heard as potent as his first shrieks of birth. I watched him from inside and then ran out to join him with my camera.
Friday, September 29, 2006
Saturday, September 23, 2006
Friday, September 22, 2006
I can't remember the last time i took a photo that i saw; a photo pulled out of my head rather than sucked out of the world in front of me. Regardless, here is the first one in a long time. It didn't come immediately, but it did come. I pulled the lights out of the garage and dragged it to the backyard intending to make sure they still worked by taking a few shots of adolfo in back (which i did). The bag was covered with dust and discarded spider webs. I was embarassed of myself for having let such valuable equipment sit for so long. It's still out, set up and surrounding my desk.
It was windy as if it were spring so the lights kept tilting and spinning around until i placed a log on the stands for stability (mental note: sandbags). I took a few shots of adolfo and came back inside. Digital photography is still very much an exposure challenge. It was nice to flex my exposure muscle balancing sunlight and strobe and otherwise (as in this shot with the ambient light much darker than it acutally was - the shot was taken at around 2:30 or 3.)
I'm interested to hear what you guys think. I've already gotten some pretty strong critiques from Pablo and Adolph.
On a related note: Taggart: Could you send me epson printing-related links that would be nice. As well as some digital photography resources (RAW workflow, etc...), please. I've fallen somewhat behind.
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
i found my wedding ring
my long lost wedding ring is found again!
and just in time for our 5th wedding anniversary...
does anyone remember what gift that's supposed to be?
whatever it is, in our house it's a camera and a blanket
Monday, September 18, 2006
The day he arrived in Baghdad, he met with Thomas C. Foley, the CPA official in charge of privatizing state-owned enterprises. (Foley, a major Republican Party donor, went to Harvard Business School with President Bush.) Hallen was shocked to learn that Foley wanted him to take charge of reopening the stock exchange.
“Are you sure?” Hallen said to Foley. “I don’t have a finance background.”
Sunday, September 17, 2006
Yesterday I went down to Mark Warner’s farm near Fredericksburg to attend his “almost annual” Pig Roast. Joining me there were about 5000 other people.
The farm is really beautiful. I did not get a chance to explore the whole place, but I did get some shots of the goats and horses and such. There were also several huge cows that looked really delicious but my normally irresisttable mooing did not attract them. I think that they must have been foreign cows.
Anyhow the dude also grows grapes on the farm and wine is produced from the grapes so I suppose the farm could also be described as a vineyard.
The most spectacular thing about the place is the river that the land overlooks. I pulled up a chair and sat and listened to the wind bothering the leaves and watched the lazy river roll by and my mind and spirit were soothed and I finally got over that traumatic experience I had back in january when I was stranded on an island with bunch of kids from england and we ate nothing but roast pig for months and months and I liked it at first but then I got sick of roast pig and swore I would never eat it again…
I ate lots of food and this encouraged me to actually socialize a bit, which I am glad for because I had been kicked out of the petting zoo for bothering the goats and there was not much else for me to do.
I had some great conversations. Most of them ended with something like “I am going to get in line for more food” or “I think that there are only 240 hot dogs left. I am going to get another one before they run out”.
Anyhow, it was a good time. I really enjoyed being out in the country. Rural Virginia is so very beautiful.
Saturday, September 16, 2006
Friday, September 15, 2006
yep - today is the grand man's birthday -
appropriately enough - it's also this grand machine's birthday - i can't imagine that this piece of information was the reason our best bud ended up being a tank gunner - i am more inclined to believe Star Wars had something to do with that.
In any case
HAPPY BIRTHDAY BIG GUY!
we all love you!