Category Archives: uncategorized

Mal: Eleven Months Old

Hurray! This pic was only 6 days late. I might even be on a trajectory of taking his 1 year photo on is actual birthday! (Ha. Ha. Suuuurreee.)

Mal 11 months

(Previous odd months)

Mal 9 months

mal 7 months

mal 5 months

mal 3 months

mal 1 month

(Dakota at 11 months)


Mal: Six Months Old

Boom. Only 6 days late. 🙂

mal 6 months

mal 5 months

Mal 4 months

mal 3 months

mal 2 months

mal 1 month

I gotta work on my color balancing skills.

(Compare to Dakota at 6 months.)


Coming Soon…

I’m setting a goal for myself to produce two blog posts per week from now until the end of the year. I’ve jotted down some ideas and I think it should be totally doable, I just need to commit to it. Some of the potential posts should be pretty easy… Like for instance this post totally counts as one of the two for this week. 🙂 But I don’t just want to post cute pictures of Dakota all the time, (too easy!) so I need to get cracking on some of these projects I’ve been talking about but never actually doing.

Since Dakota is almost crawling we need to get a lot of things picked up and stored away, so I really need to get moving on some of the built-in storage I’ve been planning… At the top of the list is a bench for the foot of our bed, because the bed frame down there actually has some exposed wood that probably wouldn’t be considered baby safe.

foot of the bed

We currently have an old ottoman stuffed halfway under there because Loki needs the help so he can get up on the bed. We’ll make sure the bench is low enough for him to jump onto. 🙂

We’re also planning a built-in banquette for the corner behind the dining table, it’s the only way to fit seating all the way around our table, and I refuse to downgrade to a smaller table. And since it’ll be there anyway, the banquette will have some hidden storage too.

dining table space

The banquette would provide seating under the window and also on the back wall.

The other thing I’ve been contemplating is some sort of storage under the window in the living room. I know the room is a bit small to begin with, but under the window is kind of a dead space right now that just accumulates extra blankets and PS3 controllers and such, so maybe a narrow hinge-top bench that fits between the couch and the wall and runs under the window? I could almost just re-use the plans for the foot-of-the-bed bench!

under the window

So what are the chances I can get any of these projects done by the end of the year? 😉

New Toy

We finally pulled the trigger on a table saw. it has wheels, so I guess technically it’s “compact”, but it’s still too wide to fit through any normal-sized doors. So to get it to the side patio (our preferred working area) we have to open the main garage door and cart it across the grass and around back. Hm. Maybe we should clean out the garage and set up a work space there…

Even being super cautious and triple-checking everything before each cut, we had all the pieces for our bed frame cut in about an hour. Woohoo!

Standing Desk

After a few years at a desk job, something happened that I didn’t think was possible: I got tired of sitting. I have a nice little cubicle and all, but I felt like I was developing a permanent bent shape from the amount of time I was spending in the chair. Here’s how my desk used to look:

Lucky me my company is really supportive of new and interesting things, so I got a lot of help setting up a standing workstation. Iteration one was just stacks and stacks of books. Here’s how it looked:

After a week or so, I added even more books under the monitors and some books under the keyboard as well. I rocked that setup for about a month. Once I was confident that it wasn’t just a phase I was going through, the IT guys with the tools came in and raised the entire desk:

It turns out that attaching the horizontal surface on the highest available setting on the cubicle walls ended up being perfect standing height. They found a monitor attachment for me that clamps onto the back of the desk and allows me to vary the height of the screens. I love the extra desk space it opens up underneath the monitors. And raising the desk opened up some extra storage space underneath it as well.

I thought I might get tired of standing, but really my back and legs just feel so much happier now. I pace around a lot more when I’m thinking about a problem, and I find that I walk around and talk with my officemates a bit more rather than just always sending emails. (My boss tells me this is a good thing.) The bottoms of my feet get tired by the end of the day, even with my comfy shoes, so I’m thinking of getting one of those gel mats to stand on. Even when I was really sore from running around all weekend, it felt great to be able to stand and shift and walk about when my legs were feeling stiff.

The only thing that remains really is to get a counter-height chair or stool just in case I sprain an ankle or something and really do need to sit for a while.

Sorry the pictures are kinda boring. They differences would probably be more clear if I was in the picture too or something. At least I remembered to take pictures at all…

Worst “Before and After” Ever?

Our garage has been full of random stuff–pretty much the last few loads we brought after finally cleaning out the old place–for a month now. We’ve finally reached an organizational point on the inside of the house that I felt comfortable taking a swat at organizing the garage. Here’s how it looked when we started:

There’s still a ton of stuff without a permanent place to live, but we made a lot of progress. We made a decent pile of stuff to donate and recycle. We cleared a path to the stack of plywood on the righthand side, and we organized most of the tools onto the shelf on the left. There’s even room on the left to actually start working on making our bed frame, and I’m really hoping to at least start cutting the plywood sometime this month. (Shooting for the stars, that’s me…)

but then I went to take the “after” picture.

Yes, that’s really the “after” shot. In my defense, that pile of stuff front and center is the donate/recycle pile. And we didn’t bother to move the mattress, washer/dryer, or table since we’re going to be craigslisting those things. And we cleaned a lot of stuff out of the back of the garage, which you can’t really tell from the pictures. But in the end, yes, the garage is still a mess.

Moving day

Long day, made manageable barely by Pradeep and Dave being superhuman and amazing. I managed to snap some pics after Pradeep had to leave…

Loki was pretty exhausted from constantly running in and out as we moved things.

That refrigerator (dubbed “The Behemoth”) was the toughest to move. Unfortunately, it picked up some ugly scratches and scrapes. It already had some dings since it was an outlet buy, so we aren’t too upset. It fits perfectly in the space though!

The dining table is a bit too big for the space, so we’re going to see about putting in built-in benches along the wall so it can cozy up more tightly and leave room to walk by. Mainly I included this picture because of the awesome camera flash effect on Loki’s eyes.

We had originally bought this inexpensive rug for the dining room in the place we were renting. It didn’t look very good though, and with a new puppy needing potty training, we just rolled it up and never looked at it again. I had been planning to sell it on Craigslist, but we unrolled it to see what size rug we’d want to get for the living room. It turns out that I like it a whole lot exactly as it is. Yay. It’s sisal so it should hold up pretty well… The picture doesn’t really do it justice.

Action shots

Dave works more efficiently I guess, so he has time to take pictures…

Car Trouble

So this past weekend we drove to the Club Regionals tournament in Corvallis, Oregon. We didn’t do all that well, but that’s not what this post is about. This post is about my faithful 2002 Honda Civic EX four door manual transmission.

This car survived my college years driving to and from numerous tournaments in Georgia and the Carolinas. It also survived our 3-day cross-country trip from Virginia to California with us, two cats, and a trunk full of books and computer equipment. It has most recently survived getting it’s passenger-side doors severely dented by another car whose driver probably needed glasses or a brain or something. We have yet to get that fixed, as the doors still open and close fine and are still water-tight, not that it rains much anyway. Oh, and the car just hit 65,000 miles. yes, we took it in for the 60,000 mile inspection.

Getting back to my tale, we were rather far along on our trip to Corvallis, somewhere in northern California or perhaps southern Oregon, when we noticed a rather disturbing grinding/scraping noise coming from somewhere near the front of the car whenever the brakes were used. Thankfully there was little traffic and the trip was almost entirely interstate driving. However, by the time we reached our hotel the scraping noise was quite pronounced and even carried on for a bit after the brakes were released.

We queried our mechanically-minded teammates and they figured it was the brake pads, and possibly also the rotors depending on how bad it was. So we called an auto shop to see what the turn-around would be to get it fixed. They seemed to think it would be pretty straightforward, so in the morning before our Sunday games I dropped the car off. They called about an hour later to say it was indeed just the brake pads, with no real damage to the rotors, but they also added that the alignment was pretty bad and the tires were completely bald, down to the secondary rubber on two of them. I knew the alignment had been off for a while, and the car was still on its first set of tires, so I agreed to them going ahead and fixing the alignment as well, and replacing the tires.

Dave pointed out that the tire price was probably a bit of a rip-off, but we picked the car up after our games were done with no hassle at all, and now it’s (hopefully) as good as new. We had a pleasant and uneventful ride home, and are only out $500 for the entire car-fix ordeal, when I was really afraid it’d be a lot worse. Plus we weren’t inconvenienced at all as the car place was only a mile from the fields where we were playing. All in all I’m pleased to say that the crisis was averted and the car is doing quite well.

First Dance

Well, we made up some moves… we practiced a little… I guess we were too self-conscious to grab a music player and go find some open space to really really practice though. And we were too busy in the week leading up to the wedding to even get a quick refresher in, all we did was during the actual reception dinner we had a whispered conversation where we reviewed the order or the steps.

We had sort of agreed to just sway at the beginning rather than doing the waltz 3-step, and in the video it looks a bit silly. Actually it kinda fits what we were going for, which was to look like noobs at the opening and then start doing cool stuff later in the dance. The viennese (the part where we go in a circle) was a bit of a mess, and definitely suffered the most from lack of practice. But we managed to keep going in some form or another. The lift at the end was a major victory, I had major concerns about my dress falling apart…

All in all it was fun, but I wish we could have looked even more suave.