The geekiest birthday party EVAR!

What a fantastic birthday dinner and party!  Lauria cooked three different kinds of quiche for my birthday, from full-fat traditional quiche to a crustless non-fat healthy version, with a low-fat alternative quiche in the middle.  Unfortunately, I did not get pictures before we consumed them!  I tried each one, and they were all great.  We did kick around the idea of chopped jalapeños in the non-fat version next time.

The cake was great, a chocolate Ramone's Vellutini overdose.  It was so perfect to just use my @GregGehr on the cake too!  (1st and 2nd pic)

We were drinking a very pleasant California white wine, out of @Lauria's  new pre-chilled Fire and Light wine goblets, very nice (third pic).  

My presents were like mana from geek heaven.  I got the first two seasons of The Big Bang Theory, a bottle of some of the finest Nagori Sake, a R Crumb Blues calendar, tickets for an evening of Zappa plays Zappa with my daughter, and a coupon for an evening of babysitting that is worth it's weight in gold several times over. (4th pic)

We realized that every person at the party had an active twitter account.  However, we had no time to actually tweet during the party, we were too busy with Mario Kart and Katamari Forever on the big screen.  Still, I liked Joe's t-shirt, it was so appropriate (5th pic).

Thanks to @Lauria and @JoeEphemeral for the wonderful evening, and to @vurayav and @ifipaan for helping me have a great birthday!

Ifipaan's Halloween

Here are a few shots from Ifipaan's Halloween adventures.  Ifipaan and I dropped Mom off at the HSU library to study, and then went to Arcata, and "trick or treated" the plaza merchants.  We had a very nice time.  It rained the hour before we went, and the hour after we left, but no rain the entire time we walked around!  After an hour or so of extorting candy under the threat of "tricks" from local businesses, we stopped at Mazzottis and each had a frosty beverage.  Ifipaan had milk, I had Eye of the Hawk.  

In the first picture, below, you see my favorite Marxist dressed as a Marx brother (too too funny), holding Ifipaan.  The second pic is Groucho's wife (in mask), with our friend Dot behind her.  The third and fourth pics are pretty self-explanatory, just us circling the Plaza looking for new businesses to extort.   Ifipaan is stuffing their face with a Brio sugar cookie in the last pic.

Ifipaan ended up with quite the Elmo bucket full of candy.  After well over a half dozen pieces of candy consumed, then birthday cake and cookies at my party later, Ifipaan was on a sugar high the likes of which we had not seen in quite a while.  At one point, they repeated an old family joke, by looking at me and saying "Daddy, I'm vibrating" (and Ifipaan was too!).

Today is a good day...

Today is a good day. At least it is starting that way. Lately (as all my family, as well as Twitter, Facebook, and meatspace friends can tell you, with tears streaming down their face, and sincere requests for someone to please make me stop talking about it), we have been involved with potty-training our 3yr old son, Logan. It has been a rocky road, (and I ain't talkin' ice-cream either)!
He has got the going "number one" part pretty well figured out. The "number two" part, well, that has been tougher, a lot tougher. We have been trying to be patient, and use positive reinforcements. We were considering purchasing stock in the Mars Corp, makers of the "potty-training success reward of choice" among parents everywhere - M&M's! Then, I researched Mars, Inc, and found out some less than appetizing information about the corporation, including information suggesting that it is a privately held, family owned company that I should be boycotting, not patronizing or investing in. Oh well, I am going to pretend I did not read any of that till after the potty training is over... (yes I have principles, and yes I am compromising them, unless YOU are gonna come potty train this kid, shut up and let me continue). :)
Ok, back to the "good day" part of this post.
Last night my wife and I both stayed up after Logan went to sleep (a rare occurrence by itself), and played video games. I was playing an old copy of Dungeon Siege on my Macbook Pro (and dreaming of the future release of the new Diablo 3), while my wife played Katamari on my daughter's iPhone which we borrowed for the day. (more on why we had Lauria's iPhone in my next post). We both finally remembered our age, and collapsed into bed around 2am.
The next morning, around 7am, our son bounces out of his bed, and into ours, happily trying to wake us up, it is time to "play". We both wave blearily at his room and tell him to go play by himself for a few minutes (I only thought "on the freeway", I did NOT say it), and fall back into a half-awake, half-comatose state of exhaustion caused by trying to pretend we had the video game playing stamina of WoW-addicted teenagers the night before.
I hear cars and trains and lots of friendly "play" sounds as I drift in and out of sleep, then, all of a sudden, I am wide awake. It is silent. Quite as a church. No cars crashing, no "Thomas the Train" chugging on the track, nothing. My heart leaps in my throat. It is NEVER good when the 3 yr old is totally silent, total lack of sound is a harbinger of doom.
I go in Logan's bedroom, nothing, he is not there! I go in the kitchen, not there either. Not in the front room, not in the hall. Then I look in the bathroom. There is Logan. Sitting on the custom handcrafted redwood "bear" potty chair made by his godfather. He has pulled down his PJ's, removed his nighttime pull-up, put it in the diaper pail, sat down on the potty, and made a "number two" that appears, frankly, too big to have actually come from his little body. Totally unprompted. No help. No encouragement. No adults at all. I am beginning to think that we are a barrier to the training process. I am hereby putting Logan in charge of his own potty training from now on. I am just in charge of dispensing the guilt-ridden rewards for performance.
Today is a good day.

North Coast Music Together

Recently, my child, Jay (age 3) and I went to a demo class for “North Coast Music Together” (NCMT), a “community of families sharing songs, instrument play, rhythm chants, and movement in a relaxed, playful and non-performance-based setting”.  It is for infants through toddlers, along with active parent participation.

This is the second attempt at a formal “music appreciation” class for my musically interested kid.  Our first attempt was at the HSU Music Academy.  

I also know one of the instructors, I assisted Jose on some of the technical design and installation aspects of the Digital Pathways video project for youth in Humboldt County.  He exudes the same boundless energy teaching 3yr olds that he does creating innovative Workforce Investment Act projects.

We start classes in the upcoming fall session.