Last day of school

Today was the last day of the school year for my kids. All the parents and kids from the lower grades got together at Jackson Park and we had a big get together, then folks came over to our house for some food and drinks. The kids were up past 11pm! We told them they need to sleep in till at least 8 tomorrow.


This evening I’m quite tired, and the feeling is putting a big dent in my assertion that I’m sleepless elite. I feel as though I could go to bed now and sleep for about 12 hours.

Saturday Miscellanea

My Beeminder threatens me with the loss of five bucks if I don’t blog today, so here I am.

This morning I noticed that if I’m well fed and well rested, things that would otherwise bug me (like kids making messes and not cleaning them up) don’t really seem like a big deal. The obvious answer should be that I should always be well fed and well rested, but is that really the best way to go? Maybe I should be hungry and irritable, so I get more done.

Tonight we’re going to see Star Trek Into Darkness. I hope it’s good.

Language learning

So, I’ve been studying French and Japanese lately. I’d stick with Japanese alone, but I wanted to try out Duolingo, and it only has French, Spanish, German, Portuguese, and Italian. Unfortunately, I don’t seem to have enough time to really learn quickly. If I devoted a few hours a day, I might get up to speed faster, but right now, I’m only doing minutes a day. I don’t think that’s sufficient.

Not sure how to get into a rhythm of spending the appropriate amount of time on learning. My job takes up most of my day, and once I’ve put the kids to bed, I’m often tired. I don’t blame myself for vegging out a little after kid bedtime. It seems to be really hard to stop myself. At some point, I have to kick that and get back on task, but then it gets quite late.

Ideally, I’d short circuit all that by getting up really early, and doing my learning tasks while I was still fresh, but I still haven’t managed to hack my sleep schedule like that.

Maker Faire weekend

We had a really good Maker Faire weekend. It started out kind of slow, but in the end, I thought it was perhaps the best one so far. One thing that was really great was our evolving ability to leave the kids on their own in certain, semi-supervised environments. We left JH (almost 8) in the cardboard city for a while, and he seemed to do very well. Sunny (almost 6) is still not old enough to be left without adult supervision, even for just a few minutes, so she spent most of her time with her Mom. Nevertheless, she seemed amenable to going wherever Sara wanted to go.

JH really wanted to do interactive projects like the cardboard city, underwater vessel making, Roblox, or Legos. I don’t blame him. Unfortunately, his desires conflicted somewhat with my desires to see less interactive presentations on food, space, history, and technology.

The presentations I saw today were my favorite. I was really inspired by Nicole Easterday’s presentation on cheesemaking. I’d love to take one of her classes some time. I also saw a really good presentation by Steve Ford, Green Coffee Buyer for Ritual Roasters, from whom we buy most of our coffee for home brewing. At Ritual, they use the Hario V60 for their drip coffee, and it’s a really inexpensive way to brew coffee. I’m curious to get one and try it. I was surprised to learn that they brew their coffee at a high temperature, approximately 200 degrees Fahrenheit, which was higher than I had thought coffee should be brewed.

Not inspired to blog

One of the problems of setting myself a goal to blog regularly is that that reminder sneaks up on me, and here I am, with 25 minutes to write a blog post or I owe Beeminder five bucks. And that’s not going to work, so here I am writing.

I’ve been working on some front end stuff at work — nothing fancy, but it has a few things that move around on the page, and it’s definitely a learning experience for me. I like doing front end work. I like having something to show off.

I’ve also been volunteering on this mentorship with a middle schooler. We’re working on a web-based text adventure game. I chose a web based game because I know how to do Web pages. One thing that was really enlightening for me was thinking about how to do navigation. I realized that by creating a navigation system, we basically create a model of the world. Not only that, but games like Minecraft, text-based adventures, and real-life navigation like GPS all use the same principles.

Dad day with JH

Today, Sunny had a special day with her Mom, so JH got to have a special day with me as well. We got started a little late, but then we made our way on BART to Alameda, where there was supposed to be a cafe with race cars. I was pleasantly surprised to find a street fair going on in Alameda, where the race car cafe was supposed to be. JH saw these bubbles filled with air, floating on a giant kiddie pool, and he wanted to try them. I told him to wait till we did the race cars first.

When we got to the cafe, I found that it was closed, so, disappointed, we went back to the bubbles. But I looked to the left, and there were the race cars! So JH decided he wanted to do the race cars first. He loved them, and he did six runs. Then he got in one of these bubbles, which supposedly have 30 minutes worth of air. He seemed to have a great time on those as well. Finally, he did a rock climbing wall, and then he went back to the race cars once more.

We tried to take the ferry back, but due to a scheduling mix-up, we got halfway to the ferry terminal, then realized we wouldn’t make it, so, rather than wait for an hour and a half, we took BART back to the city.

Not exactly imfarakat

I’ve resolved to cook dinner twice a week, and tonight I wanted to make imfarakat (we pronounce it “imfadakee”), a Syrian dish made with eggs and onions. Then I found a recipe for a Syrian Omelette that I wanted to try, so I picked up some ingredients at the grocery store.

I decided to make fried potatoes, too. I didn’t read the Syrian Omelette recipe very well, and I decided I’d add green beans to the recipe (my Mom usually makes it with green beans). The green beans I had were frozen, so I added those. When it came time to cook the omelettes, I realized that I had made a mistake. The recipe called for cooking little pancakes in oil, in a big skillet. Unfortunately, I was already using the big skillet for fried potatoes. The pancakes wouldn’t hold together, and the green beans weren’t thawing, so I decided to throw the whole mix into the pan and cook it like a big scramble.

It actually turned out quite tasty. Weird, but tasty. Both the kids liked it, even Sunny (~6), who doesn’t like onions.


I am sleepless elite

For years now, ever since my kids were born, I have been getting by on four to six hours of sleep a night. Occasionally, I’ll splurge and get 7 or 8, but that’s the exception rather than the rule. I feel as though there’s something wrong about getting away with 4-6 hours a night, like it’s cheating to get away with it.

I’m not tired, and I’m not usually grumpy. I don’t feel as though I’m about to nod off at any minute. I don’t seem to be getting stupider and stupider every day.

Until recently, I used to have a pretty strong coffee habit, so I thought it was caffeine that was keeping me from getting 7-8 hours a night. But a couple months ago, I cut back to one, maybe two cups a day, which seems totally normal, so that must not be it.

This morning I woke up after about six hours, and I felt pretty grumpy, so I was having doubts. But after a meal, I felt better; I guess I was just hungry. I asked Sara, my wife, if I was one of those who don’t need as much sleep as most, and she said, “Definitely.”

Hookslide show

Tonight I went to the Hookslide show at Club Fox.

I have other things to say, but I’ll say them later.