Straight to True North

Farewell Great Aunt Wanda

Grandma and Wanda
I found out that my grandma’s sister passed on tonight. Great Aunt Wanda Yinger was almost like another grandma to me because she lived across the field from Grandma and Grandpa Hill’s house, and we saw her and Great Uncle John quite often growing up. We would sometimes walk across the field with cousins and climb through their fence and play over at the Yinger’s place. They had a wooden box with water and live crawdads in it. We always liked to go peek at the odd creatures. Dad told me that when Uncle John opened the lid to get some for their fishing trip, he’d wave his hand across the top and say, “Can I have a volunteer?” The unlucky crawdads would raise their claws.

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52,000 Words for 1 Year

Faces in Places

One of the sessions at a web conference last week talked about how our brains are pattern recognizers. One of the strongest patterns I’m sure our brain recognizes are faces, which would explain why there is a Flickr pool dedicated to pictures of faces in places.

52,000 Words for 1 Year

The Cost of Choice

New Kenmore Washer

One of the things I’ve learned in my design work that while it might seem instinctual to always give more choices to an opportunity, giving too many options actually is counterproductive. While I don’t lament the passing of our old washer that no longer finished its cycles without human intervention or our dryer that needed 1.6 cycles to dry our clothes, my first reaction to the “wealth” of cleaning and drying options on our new washer and dryer pair was “Hmm… cool buttons, but lots of cool buttons.”

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52,000 Words for 1 Year

From the Side

Violet's ProfileI wouldn’t have guessed it when she was first born, but now, Violet looks very similar to me when I was a baby. As I look at her profile, she has my lower lip that sticks out. She’ll probably be an under-bite like her daddy.

She started crawling last week and I haven’t gotten use to her being semi-mobile. She reaches out with her arms and pulls her body along. She hasn’t quite figured out to lift her hips and use her legs to propel her, but it’ll only be a matter of time.

I get a wonderful smile from her when I come home from work. If she’s really excited, she’ll throw her arms up and down like she’s doing a breast stroke. Speaking of arms throwing, she’s figured out to clap her hands. She misses hand contact often, but we know what she’s trying to do.

I love that she is a cuddler. I will always have fond memories of holding her to my chest and rocking her to sleep—either in our dark bedroom at night or in the middle of a noise Chinese restaurant during late-afternoon dim sum.

52,000 Words for 1 Year

Resistance is Futile… You Will Be Assimilated

ResistanceFour years ago, I purchased my first bluetooth headset, thinking it’s the future. The problem with being on the cutting edge of technology is sometimes you get ostracized. Granted, bluetooth headsets have the most annoying and unconventional user interface design (why blink annoyingly at everyone else and the user can’t see it?!), wearing one of these was not a statement of “coolness.”

On one occasion, as I was preparing to leave a meeting, I slipped my bluetooth headset on and two of my colleagues teased me of being borg. I was slightly embarrassed and after that, I only put the headset on after I got in my car.

At long last, with the new law requiring hands-free devices for talking while driving, I see people with bluetooth headsets everywhere. Now, we are all borg—borg with annoying blue blinking lights.


Sweet Tomatoes

52,000 Words for 1 Year

I Love You

David and Jennilyn