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Jul. 1st, 2016 @ 11:04 pm To Sandy With Baby
Current Mood: awakeawake
Tomorrow, we're heading off to Sandy Island Camp. The first time I was there, I was two years old, so I guess this is really a generational thing now. Which makes me antsy, I'm not the biggest fan of getting caught up in tradition.

Other things that are different this year: I'll be driving up in a rented car with Julie and Erica, since there's not room for the three of us to travel with mom and dad (they're taking Melissa and Elliott). And it won't be my usual break from the digital realm. I'm bringing my phone this year, since that's my best camera.

I packed far more books than I can hope to read in a week of free time, and it's a small fraction of the books in my queue. But some reading will be good. I'm sure I'll be able to get a break from looking after the kid (Melissa in particular seems thrilled to be getting some quality time with her niece).

This week marked the end of second quarter at work, which meant time to look back at my goals for the past three months. I'm pretty pleased with how things are going. Things have been pretty focused and productive, even with a new routine.
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Jun. 26th, 2016 @ 09:25 pm A Few Games at the Start of Summer
Current Mood: cheerfulcheerful
The last few weeks have been some mix of busy and quiet, but we did have the time to get dinner with Hannah and Mark and family (our neighbors), met with Cousin Lilah one weekend afternoon, went to The Buttery's annual birthday party. I arranged for a new house-cleaner and (with help from Julie) continued to make progress on the remaining vestiges of post-move storage cleaning.

Last weekend, I played through Read Only Memories, a cyberpunk point-and-click game. While the puzzles will seem pretty simple to fans of the genre, I thought the story and aesthetic was great (the sound design is brilliant). Really captured the colorful side of cyberpunk. Well worthwhile!

Xave's Chuubo's game continues to be fun.

The Steam summer sale is this weekend, so I now have plenty of indie-game distractions to occupy my copious spare time.

This week, my family will be in town. Week after, we'll be away at Sandy Island Camp!

Eristic improvements: Not quite crawling (very soon), eating with a spoon (rice cereal!), discovering gravity (fetch with parents, every baby's favorite game), paying more attention when we read to her.
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Jun. 18th, 2016 @ 02:32 pm The Turn of the Election Season
Current Mood: tiredtired
Tags: , , ,
I am tired, busy, etc. I miss winter already.

It seems that the primary election season, more brutal than 2008, is finally (all but) over. (At least, I hope that e.g the weekend of July 18 isn't too interesting.) Sanders supporters, so full of predictions that Sanders would definitely win California but maybe not by enough, proved too full of wishful thinking even at that. Now we are in the extreme bitterness phase, with talk of stolen elections and pointed unimaginativeness about what obstacles their favored candidate might have faced in the general election had he prevailed. There's nothing more painful than a narrow loss. But I hope Sanders supporters will not forget that there are more elected positions than President. If they can still succeed in getting the sort of Congress that would pass the sort of policy they favor, what's Hillary Clinton going to do, veto it?

Meanwhile, on the other side of the aisle, there's lots of (albeit sometimes very reluctant) falling in line behind perspective nominee Donald Trump. There's still some rumbling about replacing Trump at convention. But with the "contested convention" option out of that way, this only leaves "blatant shenanigans". I see how that might be technically possible if Trump's delegate selection was so poor that there's a majority of Cruz delegates once you count Trump delegates that are secret Cruz supporters. If you have a majority of the delegates (most especially a majority of the rules committee), you can do whatever you want. But Trump's had a few uncontested primaries with nothing to focus on but delegate selection, so his collection of delegates can't be that bad at this point, can they? Plus that route would be even more suicidal for the GOP than the other available alternatives.

Not to say that the DNC is in any better shape. This election we'll find out whether it's worse for an American political party to have an outsider populist candidate win their presidential primary or almost win.

The recent massacre at a gay nightclub in Orlando seems to have pushed all sorts of politics into overdrive, with Trump really, really doubling down on his anti-Muslim rhetoric. (The immediate aftermath of some terrible crime is really not the best time for making good political decisions, but I see why people who feel they are politically thwarted feel that they need to capitalize on the moment. It should go without saying that people whose politics I agree with are right to put political pragmatism ahead of concerns about propriety or rash action, and people whose politics I disagree with are "politicizing tragedy" out of sheer bloody-minded opportunism.) Obama's cogent response to this of course did not get as much media attention as Trump's trumpery, but he's right to point out that mere repetition of the phrase "radical Islamic terror" 1) doesn't really help fight terrorists 2) plays into the ISIS narrative that this is a war against Islam in general and that they represent Islam in general 3) makes Muslims worry that it's prelude to a government crackdown on Muslims in general, especially when a major party's presidential candidate is overtly in support of just that.
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Jun. 4th, 2016 @ 11:31 am Eris BCLC
Current Mood: calmcalm
Tags: , , , , ,
Last few weeks both work and home have been good, but very busy. I haven't had the wherewithal to get in more cooking. I need to get to baby-proofing the house quite soon. I caught a brutal but brief cold and am just now almost fully recovered.

One of the reasons things have been so tiring is that the kid is eating a lot. Her usual is ~800 ml at daycare between 8AM, plus morning, afternoon, and evening feedings. So over a liter a day, maybe closer to 1.5L. Obviously this is a lot of work for Julie, but it's enough to keep me busy, too, with the logistics of washing and packing bottles and pumping supplies. The doctor advised Julie to pump before feeding the kid to increase milk production. We joke that Erica is now a Board Certified Lactation Consultant (while Erica's patented massage technique is effective, Julie wishes it was a little gentler).

Last weekend, we went to the Ingress event in Brooklyn on Satuday, and helped our team secure a victory. Then we spent the rest of the long weekend visiting family and friends.

This weekend, we're in Jupiter, Florida, visiting Julie's sister. Her parents are visiting as well. So Erica is getting a lot of quality time with extended family (our niece, Emilia, is super-excited to see her younger cousin).

Posted via m.livejournal.com.

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May. 22nd, 2016 @ 03:25 pm A Bit Ground Down
Current Mood: exhaustedexhausted
I feel pretty wrecked this week. I've gotten into a vicious cycle of being too tired to get things done efficiently / staying up late to get things done. So this last week has been rougher than when I first got back to work. Summer has also arrived to help prod me onto an early schedule with warmer nights and brighter mornings. So my internal clock has me waking up at ten-to-seven whether or not I managed to get to bed at ten (my ideal) or midnight (perhaps closer to this week's usual).

I end up of two minds whenever I have free time: Desperate to get in some unstructured relaxation, but also not wanting to be stuck in the house.

At least work has been very productive. I'm on the verge of getting the initial phase of a significant project completed.

I also got in a little cooking this weekend. The Saturday farmer's market in Union Square has started up again, and I got some fiddleheads and radishes and fancy smoked fish.

We're going to NYC next weekend, attending the Ingress live event in Brooklyn. This weekend is quiet.

Eristic improvements: Kid is making more dramatic tongue gestures, is generally more vocal (especially when hungry or tired, which is another thing that's grinding me down), fights sleep a bit harder. Not quite ready for those crawling preliminaries, but it's clear that she's working at it, with some frustration.
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May. 8th, 2016 @ 10:32 am WFD (Working from Disney)
Current Mood: cheerfulcheerful
Tuesday-Thursday last week I was in Orlando for a "fun offsite", a reward to the broader Google Flights team (including the Zurich and Mountain View parts of that team) for a job well done. We stayed at the Disney hotel on the grounds of the Animal Kingdom park. Tuesday evening was dinner and an airboat ride at Wild Florida, the boat ride was fun, we got to observe alligators skulking in the reeds and hold one of the park's little alligators for a souvenir photo. On Wednesday, I went on a tour of Kennedy Space Center (pretty interesting, the space shuttle was really an impressive thing to see in person) and caught the evening fireworks show at Epcot. On Thursday, I went to Universal Orlando and rode a couple of their famous motion-simulator rides before heading for the airport for the journey home. I spent most of the time in the main park, but did duck out to the Harry Potter mini-theme-park in Islands of Adventure (Universal is keen to point out that they have tradmarked basically every word in the description of that attraction). It was charming, and the central motion-simulator ride alternated between "in front of a panoramic screen" and "moving through a tunnel stage set" segments in a way that was pretty neat, though a lot of backstage elements were clearly visible on the stage segments (intentionally to tone down those segments for the kids?).

It was a lot of fun, and I enjoyed the extra time to socialize with my colleagues, especially some of the colleagues I see less frequently. I never did make it to Disney World proper ("the MK", as everyone in the immediate vicinity seems to refer to it). I'll have to be back some time (and with family) to visit the house of mouse.

(I did still manage to get a little work done this week. Things are moving along.)

Last weekend, Julie's mom came up to visit us and the kid and provide Julie with some extra hands while I was out of town. Was good to see her, and always fun to have grandparents get some time with the kid.

This weekend, my mom is visiting. Since it's Mother's Day, I'm taking my mom and Julie to the Mother's Day brunch at Bergamot.

Eristic improvements: Rolling over, trying (but failing) to get legs under her. I assume as soon as she can get onto arms and knees, she'll be off like a rocket, though.
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May. 1st, 2016 @ 06:28 pm L33t Links: Unbacklog Edition
Current Mood: tiredtired
Needless to say, I should post about interesting things I find more frequently instead of fishing through my backlog for an entire year.

Technology and Mathematics

The new way of passing the Turing test is to have humans pretend to be AI.

Who Was Ramanujan - Stephen Wolfram (of Mathematica and Wolfram Alpha fame) tells the story of one of an unlikely mathematician (and the subject of a recent biopic). Really interesting stuff.

Urbanism and Transit

How Japanese zoning laws avoid many of the problems of US zoning.

Navigating NYC with a guidebook from 1899.

How to save the MBTA $100M a year: Fix paratransit, subcontract bus maintenance, cut administration.

On state-level funding of urban mass-transit, and why this is about rural-urban political conflict.

An old post with an interesting idea for modifying urban development proposal contests.

"Nations aren't the proper unit of macroeconomic analysis; cities are."

The king of the frequent fliers.

Food and Medicine

Why almost all eggnog sold in the US violates FDA regulations, and why that's not technically illegal.

Why the cure for scurvy was widely known in Europe in the 1700s, but not known by polar explorers in the early 1900s.

An amusing post on pharma company sneakiness, with a great post title.

More Recent Politics

Why Sanders Trails Clinton Among Minority Voters: It has a lot to do with Obama.

Why didn't Bernie Sanders raise any money for the DNC? Short version: Clinton is there to do it for him.

What Would a Trump Victory Tell Us About the Republican Party? The article proposes several possibilities about what pundits and politicians may have gotten wrong in underestimating the chances of a Trump victory. Very interesting to look back at this January post a few months later.

The Smug Style in American Liberalism: Accurately characterized on Reddit as Vox Voxsplains Itself.
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Slacker Revolt
Apr. 24th, 2016 @ 04:34 pm Four Cups of Milk
Current Mood: tiredtired
I'm back in Cleveland for the start of Passover with Julie and Eris to visit my parents and siblings. It's been a while since I last celebrated Passover with my immediate family, not since I left for college in 2004. Introducing the kid to a lot of new people. She seems to be having a good time.

It's been a terribly tiring week, especially since the baby's sleep cycle seems to have been a bit disrupted by the unfamiliar environment and all the excitement.

Last weekend, Julie and I managed to see April and the Extraordinary World with some friends. It's a French animated feature by the same studio that did the adaptation of Persepolis, with a fascinating steampunk-played-straight setting and a more typical mad-science-and-zany-action steampunk plot. (Though it would be kind of interesting to see a story that played that setting all the way serious.) Overall, I recommend it, was a lot of fun.

Developmental milestones for the kid: Trying to roll over (but not quite succeeding), lifting self onto forearms. She's working on those mobility upgrades.
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Apr. 13th, 2016 @ 10:59 pm Hello, Internet!
Current Mood: productiveproductive
So I haven't really posted about my life since last week. The weekend was at least a little relaxing: My cousin Lilah visited us, had a nice Saturday brunch, ArtsUnion had a kids dance party in Union Square, I've been playing Life is Strange.

This week work is very busy, but I'm making some progress on stuff that I was a bit stuck on before I left for leave. So that's good.

I found out that CGP Grey (whose very interesting YouTube channel I've been watching for some time) has two podcasts, Hello Internet, a general discussion podcast in collaboration with the creator of Numberphile, and Cortex, a podcast on productivity and creative work in collaboration with prolific podcaster Myke Hurley. Enjoying both a lot, enough that I'm working my way through the archives.

Today I took a vacation day, but it was less leisure and more working on household tasks. Though I did take a nice stroll on the way to daycare pickup and enjoyed the beautiful weather.

New developments for the kid this week: Laughter (still infrequent, I think Lilah was the first to elicit that reaction), mimicry (maybe? probably a little, though not totally sure, but she does sometimes seem to imitate e.g. sticking out tongue), sucking on thumb (a bit more awareness of fingers generally).

(Also, I've been at Google for five years as of today. Can't believe it's been that long already!)
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Apr. 9th, 2016 @ 09:48 pm Beyond the Matrix
Current Mood: quixoticquixotic
This short story by kihou, based partially on the Nobilis spin-off tabletop RPG Beyond the Wall got me really wanting to play a similar spin-off of that game, even though the game itself doesn't fully exist yet.

I wanted to try to flesh out a bit how that would work. Note that the text below copies much of the text of the posts about Beyond the Wall wholesale, with minor modifications, in order to show that it's just that system, applied to a somewhat different setting. All I'm adding are minor tweaks to fit the setting, a bit of flavor, and some examples. All credit to Elaine "OJ" Wang who created Beyond the Wall, Jenna Moran, who created Nobilis, and the Wachowskis and everyone else who created The Matrix. (Basically, I think this is fair use, but hopefully everyone whose creative work I'm creating this derivative work based on will either think that this is awesome or at least not worth objecting to.) Somewhat obviously, I'm both twisting the system a bit to fit this setting and twisting the setting a bit to enhance the congruence. This probably only works for those a bit familiar with The Matrix (probably a lot of you) and Nobilis (probably far fewer), but I think it ends up being pretty amusing/compelling.

(For those not familiar with Nobilis, the necessary context is this: Nobillis has antagonists called the Excrucians, who believe reality is a lie and seek to destroy it. Beyond the Wall has those characters as protagonists instead. For those not familiar with The Matrix, the necessary context is that the protagonists are similarly trying to destroy what most of humanity would consider to be reality.)

Read more...Collapse )
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Apr. 6th, 2016 @ 02:33 pm New Routine
Current Mood: cheerfulcheerful
Tags: , , ,
Back to work, back to the real world and the new routine of work/life balance! So far so good. Have been trying to get to bed at 10 (actual performance: 12:20, 10, 11...) and waking up at 7AM. Daycare drop off by 8AM, pick-up at 5PM. Back to working out three times a week as well, and Julie and I have both done some home cooking.

Eris seems to be enjoying daycare. Fortunately, she's not shy, and it's a bit too early developmentally for her to be experiencing separation anxiety. As long as she gets care and attention (and milk!), she's a happy customer.

The kid has discovered some new vocalizations (mainly a gross-but-cute gurgly coo) and her hands (less "sucking on thumb", more "trying to gnaw on entire fist").

After returning to work, I was close to the limit on earned vacation time, so I'm taking a few extra days off early on. Today is a little mid-week mini-staycation. Going to catch up on some chores and take a nap.
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Apr. 1st, 2016 @ 06:14 pm Political Commentary That Is Not About Trump
Current Mood: contemplativecontemplative
There are a few stories I've really wanted to comment on that I haven't gotten around to, so time for a post while I still have a moment to write.

Long post belowCollapse )
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Jon Stewart
Mar. 31st, 2016 @ 01:21 pm Delayed Luggage
Current Mood: cheerfulcheerful
Back home, and back in the pattern of "too busy to write during the day, too tired to write in the evening".

Our trip back home went well, except the carseat (which also serves as the top half of our stroller) failed to make the connection and arrived on a later flight. It all got sorted out, though. They delivered the seat to our house the next day, and gave us a loaner carseat for the interim (which made the trip home from the airport much easier). BA's agent in Boston was much nicer than their agent in Manchester, and pointed me to the correct place for filing a claim for the earlier damage as well. Unfortunately, the site for that says "within seven days", so I'll see if anything comes of it. In the meantime, I've ordered a replacement canopy, which will hopefully be here in not too long, and a lightweight sun-shade, which I'll try to use for future travel.

I had one moment in the hotel, holding Eris, where I just suddenly really felt the love. And it was sort of a surreal experience, similar to how the birth was a surreal experience, feeling that at that particular moment. It was like the stork had knocked at the hotel-room window with a follow-up delivery or something like that.

The Sunday after we returned was spent with cousins from both sides of the family (by coincidence, all of our New York cousins were in town).

This week, Julie is back to work, and I'm enjoying a week as a stay-at-home parent. Next week, I also return to work, and Eris starts daycare. I think she'll enjoy it.

The developmental milestones continue, the latest being that Eris has realized that objects can be interacted with (as in grabbed and moved), though she's not completely sure about how yet. So been getting in a lot of time playing with colorful spinny toys and grabbable rattles.

Eris has also been sleeping more at night and staying up more during the day. She seems to fight sleep a bit every time naptime rolls around now. So much to do, so little time!
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Mar. 23rd, 2016 @ 03:23 pm Hello Little Girl
Trip so far has been pretty fun. While Julie is conference-going, I'm getting a lot of quality time with the kid.

Generally I'm sticking close to the hotel, and don't really have the desire to wander far. I've been doing a bit of sight-seeing nearby, and Eris has even been awake for some of it. We went to the Liverpool Museum for a bit and she had her first ride on a Ferris wheel (the Wheel of Liverpool is just outside of our hotel). But mostly we've been the mobile nap squad. Sightseeing aside, the daily routine has involved a lot of washing bottles and fetching ice and hanging out in pubs and coffee shops. It's pretty relaxing.

The kid has not been getting in any long (five or six hour) blocks of sleep on this trip. Hopefully she'll be quick to get back to that when she's back home. Hard to say how much of that is jetlag per se versus just an unfamiliar environment and a lot more bottle-feeding during the day, but she hasn't just been sleeping the long block four hours later. Don't know if that's a good or bad sign.

On the plus side, things are going well on the bottle-feeding front, so that makes me feel less anxious about upcoming daycare. We've now verified that Eris will eat previously-frozen milk, so all that freezering won't be for nothing. And she'll eat comfortably enough now, especially sitting up. She really likes to bottle feed sitting up in the stroller, and does well enough with it now that I don't have to take her out to burp her, which is great because she likes being in the stroller much more than the transitions into and out of it.

(Post title is a reference to this very apropos to Liverpool tourism recent news story.)
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Mar. 20th, 2016 @ 11:18 pm Baby Jetlag Adventures
Current Mood: exhaustedexhausted
I really enjoyed my dad's visit last week. Was very fun to catch up with some family friends and extended family. And he seemed to get along very well with his first grandchild.

This week, Julie, Eris, and I are in Liverpool for a conference that Julie's speaking at. The trip so far has been largely all right, but filled with minor disasters. On the flight from London to Manchester, the canopy for our stroller was lost in transport, the scaffolding was damaged and the cloth part of the canopy was missing entirely. (Strangely, BA's representative at the baggage claim was not only completely unhelpful about the situation, they also seemed completely unsympathetic.) When we ordered dinner at a pub this evening, it took over an hour for our food to arrive after our order was misplaced. The AC adapter for Julie's breast-pump was destroyed (and the circuit-breaker for our hotel room tripped) when it was plugged in using a plug adapter that was not also a voltage-converter. (Fortunately, the pump can also take batteries, though I'll look into whether the AC adapter can be hastily replaced.)

Eris has been quite cranky today, though travelling with a baby could certainly be much worse. Hopefully her budding circadian rhythms have not been completely destroyed. I honestly have no idea what impact the sudden change in time-zone is likely to have on someone that age.

After a very long day and too much excitement, I have my second wind now. But I really need to rush off to bed if I want to be awake and alert during the rest of the trip.
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Mar. 15th, 2016 @ 11:19 pm This Week's Recipe: Pasta Puttanesca
My dad is visiting this week, and I wanted to get in a little home cooking. Easy pasta recipes are a staple of cooking for parents, so I figured I'd better have some of Julie's favorites figured out before we return to work.

This week's recipe was based on the recipe for Spaghetti alla Puttanesca in Diane Seed's The Top One Hundred Pasta Sauces (in the "Garlic, Olive Oil, Chili" chapter).

Pasta Puttanesca

Choices and substitutions: Instead of spaghetti, I used a package of whole-wheat fusilli. The instructions on the package were somewhat strange, calling for cooking the pound of pasta in five quarts of water with a quarter-cup of salt, which struck me as an unnecessarily huge amount of water and an absurd-seeming ratio of salt. I didn't use nearly that much water, or nearly that proportion of salt, though I did still salt the water pretty heavily. I also cooked the pasta in the sauce for two minutes at the end, per the suggestion on the pasta package.

How it turned out: It was a hit, but anyone who didn't like their pasta quite salty would have been displeased. For those that like their pasta dishes less salty, I would suggest not salting the water and reducing the amount of capers and anchovies (or leaving those out entirely). Cooking the pasta in the sauce would probably be a bad idea for long, thin pasta like spaghetti, but worked very well for the fusilli.
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Mar. 14th, 2016 @ 12:51 am Parental Glossary
Current Mood: amusedamused
Tags: , , ,
As a parent, there are some words and phrases I've found myself using more often. Here are a few of them:

Hygiene - Restoring the baby's environmental containment to normal operating parameters.

Containment failure - At the very least, the baby needs a change of clothes.

Good end / bad end - Ranked based on whether a noise emanating from that end is likely to cause us more work in the immediate future, e.g. "Did that noise come from the kid's good end?"

Discombobulated - Efforts to fix whatever is causing discomfort are impeded by just how uncomfortable the kid is (e.g. she's too tired to eat or too hungry to sleep or too generally or just needs to calm down before she can feed properly).

Hangry - That baby-carrier ride had better come with food, or else. The emotion that leads the kid to try wildly ineffective nipple-seeking techniques like head-butting whichever parent is in range or wildly thrashing her head from side to side.

#badmom ("Hashtag Badmom") - Running joke about whether one thing or another would lead us (or, society being what it is, Julie in particular) to be judged unworthy by this generations' parenthood commentators.

Crankster - "Nice day you're having. Would be a shame if some inconsolable crying were to happen to it."

Working on something - Reason why the kid is making funny faces or otherwise acting uncomfortable, generally the "something" is a challenging bit of digestion.

Babingress - Taking the kid for a stroll around town while playing my favorite mobile territory-capturing game.

Adventure mode - In a hold that allows for an excellent view of whatever interesting thing is in sight. In the last week or two, the kid has started to really like this sort of hold.

Little bear - The kid, when she is full of determination (mind the claws!) but also cuteness.

The cutest barnacle - The kid, when she really wants to be close.
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Mar. 12th, 2016 @ 12:25 am This Week's Recipe: London Broil
Current Mood: satisfiedsatisfied
I've been thinking about making London broil for a while, since it's something I like, and you can get a really good price on it at Market Basket. Plus my brother reminded me again when he mentioned having that for a birthday dinner. My birthday's not for a while, so just have to cook it myself. While I've been trying to cook more from cookbooks, this time I fell back on my old standby of "do a Google search for the name of the food, and choose one of the first recipies that comes up".

London broil (in America, anyways, in Canada it's something totally different and it's not really a thing in actual London, or so says Wikipedia) is a large, tougher steak, turned into portions of tender steak by marinating, broiling (or grilling), and cutting into thin strips diagonally across the grain.

Choices and substitutions: The recipe I used calls for grilling, but mentions that broiling can be substituted, which is what I did. Cooked under the broiler on high on the top rack in the topmost position for about five minutes (the recipe called for 8-10 minutes per side, but the cut of meat I used was a little smaller). I thought that might have been a bit too intense since some of the drippings were starting to smoke, so I lowered the top rack one notch for the other side, adding an oven-safe meat thermometer after flipping the meat. Kept a close eye on the thermometer until it read about 140°F (perhaps a little less), then let stand and sliced as usual.

Carved London Broil

I served it with potatoes (microwaved with olive oil, salt, and basil) and baby broccoli (steamed with lemon). Dead simple.

London Broil Dinner

How it turned out: This one was simple, but very good. The marinade was pretty middle-of-the-road, but easy to make and used all stuff that I already had on hand. The other dishes were things that would be hard to mess up, even if I got the timing a little off, which meant I could devote all my focus to the broiler. With the marinade done in advance, cooking London broil took only about half-an-hour and didn't require much technique. But it did require about 20 minutes without any significant interruptions.
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Mar. 11th, 2016 @ 01:03 am Interactive Mode
Current Mood: productiveproductive
One thing left out of last week's post: We had our two-month pediatrician visit. Erica was 12 lbs. 4 oz. and generally in good health. She got her first round of inoculations. Next visit is at the four-month mark.

The visit with Julie's family was very good. Enjoyed spending time with everyone, and we had fun taking the baby for her first swim in the hotel pool (Julie's family suggested that, and Julie got swim diapers and a swimsuit for Erica at short notice). Erica seemed to enjoy the swim.

The kid has become suddenly much more interactive in the past few days. She's figured out how to smile, and seems much more aware of the details of her environment. Eris demands entertainment!

I ended up supervising the kid this afternoon due to a last-minute schedule conflict, so I had to bring her to my trainer session. I was worried that she'd be unhappy and I'd have to miss my workout, but she watched me exercise from her seat and seemed cheerful the whole time. (Mostly she stayed put, but I did hold her in front of me while doing some walking lunges as I warmed up, making good on my joke about incorporating the baby into my workout routine.) It sure did keep me focused; I was thinking I might have to duck out at any moment, and I was sure if I slowed down Eris would get bored and start to complain.

The return to work looms large. I've set up a brief meeting with my new boss so that we can discuss work a bit before my return. (I mentioned off-hand earlier that one of the managers on my project left. That wasn't my boss, but it did lead to a bit of a reorg where some of my previous manager's direct reports (including me) became indirect reports. My new manager will be a team lead who I was working very closely with already, so it seems like a sensible change to me, given the circumstances.)

Next week, my dad will be visiting Boston. The week after that, heading to the UK for Julie's conference. I still should write more frequently. Keeping busy as always.
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Mar. 5th, 2016 @ 11:03 am The New Aunts and Uncles
Current Mood: awakeawake
Tags: , ,
Last weekend, my sister, Melissa, and her fiance, Elliott, came to visit. Melissa's always been the one in my family most enthusiastic about children, so introducing her to the new niece was a lot of fun. Was very nice to have the opportunity to spend some more time with both of them before the wedding this summer. Hopefully we weren't too grumpy, we were both pretty tired that weekend.

This week I got to spend some time watching the kid alone / feeding her with a bottle, which was a mixed bag. Still trying to find the best techniques for bottle-feeding. Eris will eat enthusiastically, but complains both about positions where she can't eat particularly fast and positions where she eats really fast and is uncomfortable as a result. The solution seems to take time out for burps every ounce or so, but I'm not as in the groove as I'd like.

Eris has been a little more fussy in the evenings this week, but that's more than made up for by the other exiting new development: In the past few days she's started sleeping through the night. Well, more accurately, the part of the night from when we actually get to sleep until around dawn, she's getting in a five- or six- or six-and-a-half-hour block every night, not just all three to four. Makes a big difference.

This weekend, all of Julie's family is in town for the trip delayed due to weather from February. Which means that Eris gets to meet the whole set of aunts and uncles (Kristin and Jimmy (along with their daughter), Sean and Morgan). And it's really cool to see Emilia interact with her new cousin (Emilia seems really excited about that, too!). Emilia's grown so much and continues to be a rather amazingly friendly and conscientious kid.
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