A week and a half later

They say adjusting to life with a new baby is hard and mainly due to lack of sleep.  Well, the lack of sleep bit is definitely right, but thanks to many helping hands the transition is going a little bit smoother.  We actually have clean dishes, clean clothes, home cooked food, and can keep our eyes open for most of the day.

Nicholas has been doing great if getting up a bit more frequently than Mommy or Daddy are used to in the middle of the night.  Before he was born, we expected him to be a big baby since we were both over 9 lbs at birth, so we were surprised with his long and lean frame.  In fact, his Grandma T even got him a preemie outfit that he has worn a couple times.  But over the course of the week, he got his first bath, lost his umbilical cord, and is starting to round out a bit.  He has also christened Jennifer into the ranks of motherhood by managing to leak all kinds of bodily fluids onto her and her clothes during diaper changes and feedings. :)   He is a pretty awesome kid and it will be fun for more of the family to meet him.


We’re headed home

Everything’s looking good for both Jennifer and Nicholas, and we’re convinced we’ll get twice as much sleep at home as at the hospital (where doctors, nurses, foodservice folks, and even birth certificate clerks are waking us up even if Niko is not).

So we’re headed out. Here are the two who are doing all the work dressed and ready to go:


Happy zeroth birthday!

Around 6:30 last night, Jennifer was experiencing what seemed to be increasingly serious contractions and suggested that we begin to make our way to the hospital. We wrapped up dinner (turned out she didn’t have much of an appetite by the time food was ready), and then headed up the hill to OHSU around 8:30pm. By 10:30pm, in between contraction-induced grimaces, a resident physician under the supervision of Jennifer’s regular doctor was convinced that Jennifer was definitely in active labor and admitted her to the hospital.

We transferred to a delivery room, moved quickly through full dilation with a well-timed epidural right around where Jennifer started to get belligerent from the pain, and by 2:30am were in the final stages of delivery. At 5:17am, Nicholas Steven Blomquist was born, weighing exactly 7lbs and measuring 21 inches in length.

Having pulled the first non-puzzle-related all-nighter in recent memory, Jennifer and I are absolutely exhausted, but everyone is in good spirits and doing well.

We have been very impressed with the entire OHSU staff, and would like to thank all the nurses, residents, and doctors that have made this experience good so far.

Favorite t-shirt series: Windows Genuine Advantage

20090803-1As it often goes, I managed to get really busy with things other than my blog, and I began to neglect my favorite t-shirt series. The good news is that I had my wife help me take a bunch of t-shirt photos this morning, so I’ll be able to queue up enough to hold us over for a few months.

Today’s shirt is another Microsoft shirt. It’s actually one of my most-worn t-shirts of all time. For some reason I just like wearing it. I think it’s because it goes over well both with my colleagues from my days at Microsoft (“more free swag—wonder where he got it”) as well as with the crowds that don’t tend to like Microsoft so much (“his intent must be irony, right?”). For example, it went over quite well as a humor piece the day I wore it to Open Source Bridge a couple months ago.

The story of how I got it is even a little entertaining. When the Windows Genuine Advantage campaign launched back in the Windows XP days, their marketing team asked for stories on how Windows Genuine Advantage helped me in exchange for a t-shirt. I knew I wanted the t-shirt, but I couldn’t think of any times it actually helped with anything, but despite that I dusted off my creative writing pencil and scribbled up a few sentences. It arrived in inter-office mail a week or two later, and I’ve worn it proudly ever since.

Favorite t-shirt series: “the blibbet”

Microsoft is a really old company as tech companies go, and they’re on the third revision of their logo. Much earlier, the logo had a crazy capital-O that was, for some reason, called “the blibbet”. I scored a $7 clearance t-shirt that has the old Microsoft logo on it, complete with blibbet. The 1s and 0s that comprise the majority of the shirt are both confusing and boring, but at least I now own a wearable blibbet.


Killer robot star-collecting puzzle-game!

If you’re a fan of “transport puzzles” like Sokoban or Atomix, or possibly even some of the robot puzzles in Sierra’s classic Dr. Brain series, you might love one of my recent online discoveries: RoboZZle. (You may be prompted to install Silverlight in order to play, but it’s safe, easy, and well worth the download.)

Solving the puzzles is sorta like programming a computer, so those of you with a mathematical or computer science bent will be more likely to enjoy it, but the programming environment is so simple (only “go forward”, “turn right 90 degrees”, “turn left 90 degrees”, and “only do this if the robot’s on a ____ colored square”).

So check it out, and let me know if you find any particular favorite puzzles. I had fun with one called “Tetris”, and I haven’t solved it yet, but I like the idea behind “Reflection”. (Both of those two are by the same author.)

An antidote to lock-in in the cloud?

I’ve mentioned before that one thing that moderates my natural inclination to go gaga over cloud-based hosting for web applications is that there is, so far, no clean way exists to switch providers. Both Google and Amazon[1] argue that there are theoretical ways to abandon them for a competitor today, but for most business decision makers theoretical doesn’t count when the alternative is tight vendor lock-in.

C1_EAST_200x200 The cloud lock-in problem cannot be considered solved until there are multiple viable alternative cloud hosting providers that have essentially zero barrier to switching amongst the set.

To that end, Sun Microsystems announced their Open Cloud Platform today at their CommunityOne East developer event in New York. (Best technical overview: the walk-through on their wiki)

While this launch still only solves the problem in theory and not in practice, I give them reasonable odds that theirs will be the standard API that gets broadly adopted first by making a credible (if for no other reason than Tim Bray’s active involvement) and public effort to create open standards around managing machines, networks, images, deployment, storage, clustering, backups, and all other common aspects of managing a cloud hosting environment.

Come on Amazon, Google, and Microsoft, you should get involved in some kind of cloud standardization effort, even if not this one!


[1] The only comment I can find from Microsoft regarding Azure lock-in is that they appear to have, in the time since yesterday’s Live Search cache snapshot, removed “or lock-in” from the “Low Risk… without worrying about operational constraints or lock-in” on the official Azure Services Platform page.

Shizzow featured on ProgrammableWeb

My Portland-area friends at Shizzow just got written up on ProgrammableWeb. They’ve just completed their big public launch, and will be lurking about at SXSW. If you’re going to be there, look up their whereabouts on their app, wander by, and say hello.

Videos posted from GC Summit 2009

Curtis Chen of Team Snout has posted his recordings of the talks given at Game Control Summit 2009.

Favorite t-shirt series: Pi aren’t square


Pi aren’t square, they’re awesome! Better than awesome—pimp, even! You can get this yourself an instance of this t-shirt and many other hilarious shirts from T-Shirt Hell. (WARNING: If you’re easily offended, you seriously don’t even want to look—they’re as irreverent as it gets.)

There are not many of their shirts that I, personally, would be caught wearing in public. But if you’re braver than I am, I’ll (seriously) buy you a coffee if I see you in public in any of their shirts other than this one.