Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Peanut Butter (Slight Return)

As you may or may not know, Claire was on soy nut butter sandwiches last year because of peanut allergies in the classroom. This year, no such restriction on peanut products, but she announced that she didn't actually like peanut butter anymore. This has been a sticking point in a variety of contexts, most of them involving us wanting to offer her peanut butter or being somewhere where a PB & J would have been a lifesaver in terms of mood.

Last night, Claire was trying celery filled with various things, which of course was a disaster because the foods were touching each other (see below). So Carmen (bless her) suggested that Claire just treat the celery as a spoon of sorts - a yummy stuff delivery mechanism - until all the good stuff was licked out of the middle, at which point it could revert to food and be eaten. Snack saved.

And more to the point, Claire ate all the peanut butter ones, and none of the soy nut butter ones. Ha HA!

These are the things that sustain me, in the dark moments. Peanut butter back on the list.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Will you stop touching me?!?!

Not actually a back-seat problem for us, having only one kid. (If it does start happening, as Cosby says, we'll have a different set of problems.) Rather, this relates to a different aspect of Claire's life - her food. She doesn't like her foods to touch. When they touch, she doesn't eat them. Because they're touching. With the possible exception of soy nut butter and jelly sandwiches, she doesn't eat things that are touching.

Have I said touch and its various derivatives enough?

That is why she positively lost her mind when she saw the lunch container from Klip It. It has three compartments, one for a sandwich, and two for crackers/veggies/whatever. Fits right into her lunchbox. It's a win-win, really - none of her food touches, and we're not using eight million ziplocks to ensure the non-touchingness.

I sound like an AM radio commercial, but I've been looking for a bento-style container for her lunch sack for a while now. There's an easy solution, so long as you don't already own a lunch sack, which we do. So this was a coup of epic proportions. The closest I had come was a hecka-elaborate thing that was originally constructed for diabetics or something, and that was way to complicated to fiddle with on a daily basis.

Test run tomorrow. Rawk!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Fridge Frittata

We're heading out for Danielle's wedding this week and the fridge was full of delectables from a week's worth of cooking lunches and whatnot at home (part of the New Austerity, but also capitalizing on the freaking incredible abundance at the Farmer's Market right now...). So what else but an Everything Frittata? Stuff it included:

  • Beet greens, most of the stem removed and chopped up a bit
  • leftover home-roasted peppers, already chopped but chopped a bit smaller (no long strips, more of a 1/2" dice)
  • heirloom tomatoes from that crazy guy at Farmer's Market who has like 27 varieties in one booth, diced
  • small amount of leftover BBQ chicken, diced small (practically minced)
  • two knobs of pepper jack and cheddar cheese, shredded
  • Truckload of eggs
  • Salt and Pepper

    It was enough to make two with my handy dandy frittata pans. (Note that these are totally unnecessary. Using a regular fry pan you just stir more aggressively before allowing the frittata to set, then finish the top half under the broiler.) We ate half/two thirds of one and had a discussion about how to save the rest. The end result is that we froze pieces in three separate quart-sized freezer bags. I will report back when we actually crack one open (probably next week), but I'm told by the innernets that souffles of various types have held up nicely under similar treatment.

    Had a lovely little new potato along with, and lots of salsa and sour cream. Yummers. This is not the first but the latest in a variety of new cooking thingies I've been doing. Massively inspired by Cook with Jamie, Jamie Oliver's latest and an amazing love song to the art and craft of cooking.

    I have a lot to say about Neal Stephenson but I'm waiting to finish the book.

    Now playing: Diana Krall - You're Looking At Me
    via FoxyTunes

  • Friday, September 12, 2008

    Timbers Dominate, Lose 2-1: The Story of the Season

    A spectacular cross, ball into the net, and a dominating performance in the first half. Then two (literally, two) chances for Charlotte, and they converted on both. The core truth of this season is the absence of that kind of game-changing power up front. We're not making plays. We don't convert like that. Not that we didn't have the opportunity - we were seriously all over them, even down to ten men.

    We're left hoping for some serious voodoo math to make the post-season, at which point we will travel everywhere.

    I dunno, it's disappointing. We have such a solid midfield and (normally) effective backs. We just need to put the ball in the net.

    Thanks, though, to Dietrich for the opportunity to hang out. Next year!

    Thursday, September 11, 2008

    Articulating KlatchPDX

    This has been percolating for a while, and after attending the inaugural Refresh Portland talk last night (and btw, go give Tyler Sticka all your money - dude is sharp), and some tweets/chats back and forth about the loss of OSCON, I thought I'd write out the manifesto.

    What's a klatch?

    Specifically, a kaffeeklatsch? It's German for, essentially, sip 'n' bitch. The idea is similar to a salon, with a little less emphasis on a topic. In my case, I just like the sound of the word. Salon sounds somewhat pretentious, and anyway Creative Commons has that particular "geeky gathering" definition space locked up. KlatchPDX could be a periodic uncon or perhaps a Shizzup, with loosely defined topic sets and the expectation that you come ready to pony up a relevant take on a topic or topics included in the evening's roster.

    Why do it?

    I'm not sure - I feel like we're missing the chance to get people with different backgrounds and experiences into a room for talks about stuff that matters. Even more, I feel strongly that cool chats are at least as useful as cool talks. There's also the potential to record these and provide some additional shoutouts to the PDX tech/creative community.

    How often?

    Once a month? Yeah? More?

    You are an evil genius, what can I do to help?

    Obviously, we should meet for coffee and discuss. :P Leave a comment and let's figure out a time.
    Now playing: MC Frontalot - I Hate Your Blog
    via FoxyTunes

    Saturday, September 6, 2008

    Unpacking InVerge '08

    InVerge is in the books, and there were a lot of amazing presentations and takeaways - and an equal amount of space for critique and comment. Everyone's a critic, of course, but in this case I think that my (thoroughly informal) polling of audience and presenters, the Twitterstream, and Eric's chats with people at the W + K reception, all combine to give me some standing to make some points about the conference as a whole.

    Crack open for meaning and discard the shills

    I'm not alone in my belief that the Big Names at the conference were there to hawk products, position themselves as vendors for the potential customers in the audience, or both. Disney was easily the worst offender, delivering (badly) a scripted tour of crackforkids.com, er, excuse me, "Disney immersive media properties." The toy czar sounded like the worst kind of mercenary for the entire presentation, and his minder (a VP?), while less robotic, had even less interesting things to say. They unclenched a lot during the Q & A, and I'll revisit the value of that in a moment.

    Others (dome entertainment guy, Tony Uphoff from TechWeb, etc.) were in the "I did this!" camp; an interesting "convergence" technology was introduced/talked about, pretty pictures were shown, with no unpacking or deeper discussion, and overall I think the audience was neither blown away nor likely to buy. I was looking forward to the Nike+ guy (cancelled due to illness) but I fear that the presentation would have been no better. I can't begrudge their right to be there - everyone's presentation was germane to the subject - but none of it qualifies as "thought leadership."

    Contrast that with the academicians from USC and MIT, who both got into the meaning behind "I did this!" and also pushed the standard "oooooh, interaction!" rhetoric into a place where ideas happened.

    My point is this - if you're a suit, you sit on a panel and get asked questions. This allows you to unbutton (the Disney guys said pretty smart stuff in the Q & A) and also limits your ability to bombard us with pitches. This includes, in my opinion, media (as opposed to thought) leaders like Mr. Uphoff. I'm sure he's really good at speaking off the cuff. Hell, have him moderate. He's more than capable of that.

    So instead of a full day devoted to commercials, you give two hours - one to dome guy/Verizon guy/"look at our cool app" people, one to the Fortune 50s. And yes, we are honored that you're here. We just don't want to hear rewarmed investor relations horseshit.

    Know your audience

    People who escaped the "buy me" trap (Renny Gleeson, Karl Long) were still aiming low in terms of audience expectation. Eric mentioned early on in day one that he'd never seen a more Twitter-headed audience (and he should know). So the "survey of the landscape" talks are never going to be more than preaching to the choir. I thought they both did an admirable job of surveying that landscape, but seriously, push the envelope. I'm harping on "thought leaders," but it's on the front page of the InVerge web site - it is the point of the conference. If you're going to lead on content and strategic thought around Web 2.0 then you for damn sure better have some thought leaders available. Both Renny and Karl should come back, using Josh Green's or Scott Kveton's speeches as the bar over which they must leap.

    We should be having great discourses about the future of this Intertron thing. The Simulacrum is forever shattered! The audience is not passive! For god's sake, get cracking.

    Amatoor theatricals

    The partnership with Portland Center Stage is awesome! Push that envelope a bit more and consider some actual stagecraft discussions mixed in with the rest. I think there's a real opportunity to open the discourse to the arts within the InVerge conference. And no, it's not better placed in Cre8con, it belongs in both and for different reasons. The MC got it - and I bet he knows who to talk to to get behind/beneath the surface of our newfangledness and find the narrative thread.

    This is all "new" only in the sense that the medium has changed. Shame on Karl Long, for example, for not talking about the weddings-by-telegraph, some of which ended bitterly when the bride and groom (who had never seen one another) discovered that they had entered a mixed-race marriage at a time when that was really, REALLY not okay. The artistic/historical perspective would bring needed context to the flux that's occurring at an individual level.

    In sum
    Push harder. Less nonsense, more provocation. And, in case it's not clear, THANK YOU SO MUCH for putting it on. This isn't "I won't attend again," this is "When I come next year I hope the preceding has occurred."

    Wednesday, September 3, 2008

    Chrome Sweet Chrome

    I had the good fortune to have scheduled a coffee date with Marshall Kirkpatrick long before Labor Day and a certain leak of a certain comic. So he arrived all in a flurry trying to get RWW ready for the beta launch of Chrome.

    This gave me a chance to help out (splee!) but also to be right there at the launch. I have XP installed as a virtual machine on my Macbook, so I hopped over to the other OS and downloaded.

    Initial impressions on my end are in line with pretty much everybody else - it's wicked fast, the interface is intuitive, and (with some minor hang-ups regarding plug-ins working correctly) there aren't really any buggy bits that I could find. Though not a power user, I did open my standard 10-tab Firefox start page, and then tacked on as many rich media sources as I could think of. It really seemed to handle them all effectively.

    I'll wait for the Mac version before I really test on it, but so far the outlook is good.

    Monday, September 1, 2008

    Labor Day 2008

    Poor grandpa ended up with all the sticks and no s'mores...
    Labor Day 2008

    Kickin' it old skool - no marshmellow required.
    Labor Day 2008

    Nom nom nom.
    Labor Day 2008

    Peeling the crispy outside off the marshmellow.
    Labor Day 2008

    Sugar shock.
    Labor Day 2008

    "That's an excellent s'more." "I know, I'm such a badass."
    Labor Day 2008

    Braving smoke in the face to get melty marshmellows.
    Labor Day 2008

    Justin demonstrates proper marchmellow torching technique.
    Labor Day 2008

    Labor Day 2008

    Top of Justin's head. :P
    Labor Day 2008

    An expidition through uncharted hiking trails...
    Labor Day 2008

    Jessica at riverside.
    Labor Day 2008

    Justin's turn to ham it up.
    Labor Day 2008

    Hamming for the camera.
    Labor Day 2008

    Chillin' on the rock.
    Labor Day 2008

    Carmen & Kathryn
    Labor Day 2008

    Jessica checking for crawdads.
    Labor Day 2008

    All up in the river's face.
    Labor Day 2008

    Checking out something awesome.
    Labor Day 2008

    Confab at the riverbed
    Labor Day 2008

    Making a triangle
    Labor Day 2008

    Boy with stick.
    Labor Day 2008

    Justin digging in the riverbed
    Labor Day 2008

    Karate chop!
    Labor Day 2008

    Andy and Claire - on the way back from the falls.
    Labor Day 2008

    Susan Creek Falls - as low as anyone's ever seen it.
    Labor Day 2008

    Andy and Claire on Susan Creek Falls Trail
    Posted via Pixelpipe.