Baby is bitchy as hell today. Liz and I are both frazzled.
Be sure to take a couple minutes and check out the Xmas train spread for this year. I know, you just wanna look at the baby, but do it anyway. I think it was our best ever.
Christmas pictures are going online now. Invites will be emailed shortly. I trust Elizabeth will forward invites to wherever I miss, as usual.
Chloe turns 6 months old today!
The baby can finally roll over. She's been doing it for a week now, actually.
Today is Elizabeth's birthday!
Check it: ))(((())()()))))

Thanks for the keyboard!
Christmas is very long and very difficult on the other side.
NORAD just reported that Santa hit Jersey. Hope all the good boys there were in bed!
Been tough to watch Elizabeth do all of her holiday baking by hand ;]
Santa just arrived at Cape Canaveral. BG made it to bed with just 15 minutes to spare!

NORAD Tracks Santa

Just a reminder that Santa has already began his voyage. Here's a link to the NORAD site:

http://www.noradsanta.org/en/index.html

More Santa tech

How Santa executes landings in bad weather at the North Pole:

http://www.wired.com/autopia/2009/12/thanks-to-instrument-approach-santa-can-land-in-bad-weather/
BG squealed with delight when she got up and found Diane's new stuffed doggie on the couch this morning.
In case anyone hadn't noticed yet, Steam is doing its annual holiday sale on everything. You girls will probably want to check the "Indie" category.
Oooo! The PS1 version of Wing Commander IV just showed up on PSN for $6.
The baby seems back to her usual bouncing, upside down self this morning.
Chloe seems to have hacked into Mom's email in order to send ecards. Gonna have to warn Mom to change her password.

How & Why NORAD tracks Santa

It all began with a call on the "red phone" from a little kid. Amazing article:



http://news.cnet.com/8301-13772_3-10418101-52.html
Everybody loves a baby in a Santa hat. I don't think its possible to spread more Xmas joy than taking a baby to the grocery store with that little red & white cap.

See Norway by Train. From Your Laptop.

http://www.wired.com/autopia/2009/12/bergensnanen-free-download/

The Norwegian broadcasting company does it again! I love these people and their embrace of the future.
The baby's sick. 3hr screaming fits striking at random. Took her to the doctor, but that was useless. We're between insurance plans too, so $65 out the window. Seems like some kind of stomach trouble.
Love those new pop top aluminium cans, but can't they get these things to stack right?
Last night was actually a lot of fun. Kat and her boyfriend visited, Elizabeth made pizza, and we played some Rock Band. Been quite a while since I had a full 4 piece band together. Even Chloe throttled back on her 4 day streak of teething terror.

I think that hour nap in the afternoon helped me out too.
Just sneezed and scared the crap out if the baby, causing her to cry.
The AC may not be as bad as I thought. Turning up the fan speed [usually on low] seemed to help. It also may be might just need a recharge according to my research.
The baby's a total nutjob all week. She's frantic & teething. Don't have time to write much.
The baby is trying really hard to crawl today. Never seen her quite so determined.

VZ Media Manager Update

This might be what's new. Still have not found official readme.

Also coming up with version 1.7 is bidirectional side-loading of devices. What the frak is that? Verizon FiOS already lets you browse media (videos, music and photos) from computers on your home network; now you'll be able to browse media on devices attached to those computers via USB ? portable media players, cameras, phones or whatever. There's no software to install, no delay; just plug them in and they'll show up in your FiOS Media Manager menu.

Babies should not watch TV

American Acadamy of Pediatrics recommends no TV for children under the age of 2 and only 1/2 hour for kids over 2. Period. Anything else is an excuse. I'm sick of debating this point. There are mountains of research on this topic; More than most other things I look into. Am I gonna follow this? Nope, but I'm sick of arguing the point. Its not okay to watch together. Its not okay to watch a little. NO TV. Get it? Do I need to print out the studies?

eBook on sale this morning

Newegg has the Jetbook lite on sale for $117 for AM Shell Shocker. Linky.
New pics added to Chloe @ 6mos album
Try getting me on Google chat before MS messenger. The Google window pops up, but IM does not
Oh, and teething. Lots of baby teething pains.

Too Much Drama

I'm not up to being social right now. Between the hollidays, court case, and latest kid drama, I'm kinda... socialed out.
Fed the baby oatmeal on my own today. Not as hard as Elizabeth makes it look ;]

Shopping List Update

Need to add cotton balls to shopping list

Hot Deal Today Only

Photoworks is offering their mugs with personalized photos for $5 with free shipping after applying coupon code 5DOLLARMUG

Slappy the Clue-by-4

Repost from 11/4. Don't make me keep posting it:

Ya know, its kinda funny to have to explain myself when its just Mom, Liz, and Brandon here, but... whatever.

Just like how most of what I say should be taken with a wink and a smile, so it is with my writing as well.

Newegg has a 1.5TB external Western Digital drive for $90!

Verizon Response re: DMCA notices

Not official, but the best summary I've seen so far:

"Dont forget. For Verizon, this is really not a change. Verizon is not monitoring your usage. They are not tracking anything. All that is happening is that the RIAA notifies Verizon that there is a violator using a Verizon IP address. The RIAA will send a warning letter to Verizon and then Verizon will forward that letter to the offender. BUT will NOT share the offenders information with the RIAA. They have been doing this for years. The only change is in the test market, is that they are sending a more strongly worded letter. And all the threats of cancelation and other "penalties" that the RIAA wants included have been removed because Verizon does not want to play the roll of "Internet Monitor". It is too expensive to monitor and manage this type of system and none of the ISP's want to fork out the money to do so. The RIAA wants ISP's to start booting customers off the networks for infringements and Verizon and the other ISP's are not willing to do this, so Verizon offered the compromise to send a more "strongly worded" letter. Nothing is changing. This has already been happening since the demise of the original Napster."
Gotta yell at Liz for putting baby clothes that were too small on the changing table. It was a miracle I got the baby's fat ass into those pants, but it sure isn't going to say there.
Tylenol given@ 10
It does now appear that Verizon is sending DMCA violation letters on behalf of the MPAA as well as the RIAA. Verizon has stated that they will not be revealing user's information to these organizations and there is currently no threat of disconnection for repeat offenders.
BGs been up with teething pains since 4AM. Liz took the bullet on this one.
I can NOT get the baby put to bed anymore. Elizabeth can practically drop her into bed from 3 stories high and be fine, but she just will not stay asleep for me these days.
Added pics to Chloe@6mo.s album. Now with Xmas Snuggley action! Specially taken for Mom :}
Secret Thanksgiving went perfectly. Turkey: perfect. Easiest smoking/grilling ever. Sides: perfect. Homemade cherry pie: perfect. Even BG was great today [and mercifully slept through all of dinner].

So nice for things to right. Been a long, long time.
The turkey smoking began at 6AM today. Thing are going surprisingly smooth. Did as much setup work as possible last night. It was a miracle the thing lit on the first try. The real trick is to keep it going for 10-12hrs tho. Never fight with a charcoal smoker. SO not worth it.
BG's sick. Nothing serious. Just a cold.
Okay, so maybe I've cut back, rather than cut out, the swearing
Another thing to consider: Most people have 9 months to come to terms with having a baby. I had 1 day notice and have been a parent for less than 5 months. And not just a normal parent, but the full-tilt stay at home kind. I also have to live with the fact that she's being taken away. I think about a lot of stuff, but this is one scenario that has never even crossed my mind. It certainly calls for a lot of soul searching. When your closest point of reference is '3 Men and a Baby' your some deep shit.

Maybe I should be on the lookout for gangsters...
I don't get the "flying fig" colloquialism [thank god for spell check]. I mean, wouldn't a flying fig be extremely valuable?

Thanksgiving Epilogue

So let's touch on the Thanksgiving rant-a-thon briefly while I listen to the baby snoring on the monitor.

We run a full service blog here at Da Toad's Pad. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll roll your eyes. Who am I addressing? No one, usually [or perhaps everyone]. I usually keep and internal monologue going. This is simply an extension of that. I've never really cared about my public image, and certainly don't give a flying fig now. Sometimes I'm deep, sometimes I'm funny, usually I'm just a tech obsessed geek. This is just me, take it or leave it. At least you know where I stand. The only concession I've made has been to cut out the swearing because of Brandon.

Do I want to talk about it? Meh, not really. I feel like I already have. Your free to ask tho. I think I responded to Mom's direct query on The new Prisoner series with "I think I've said everything I need to say". I don't mean offense. It just takes while to put these blog posts down [especially with the little knee bouncer] that it can feel like I've already discussed something ad nauseum.

Seems like a good time to point out a feature you may not be aware of: At the bottom of both the blog entries as well as the news, there is a link that will take you to older posts.
New baby pics are up and added to new album "Chloe at 6months". Link added to sidebar. Sarah took the Thanksgiving pictures, so we will probably never see them.
How much does Gamestop suck this week? Let's take a look at their latest deal:

Shop at Gamestop and get a coupon for $5 off of $25 at PAYLESS SHOES!
After all my bitchinng about the baby, I find myself hoping I have her through Xmas. Of course, even if I did have Xmas, I wouldn't. The kids would be here and I'd get pushed to the sidelines.

Lose/Lose situation...
Somebody REALLY doesn't want to take a nap today. Hint: Its not me.
Don't know if this is a new low, but newegg now has a 1.5TB drive for $90! Pure awesome!
Babies and thunderstorms just don't mix. Kinda shocked this hasn't come up before.
I heard the cat throw up, but can't seem to find it. These are the times that try men's souls...
My shoulders and knees are killing me. The baby is getting heavy. We were up 3-5AM last night.
Read an article on what reviewers complained about in the latest Prince of Persia game. Seems that if your a hero whose a whiney asshat people still hate you.

...bad news for Granpop ;}
I think its dog tired because dogs used to work. Cats never did.

Dog Tired

Don't expect much here today. BG was up 2:30-4:30 AM.

Don't understand the expression "dog tired". "Cat tired" seems more appropriate.