the further adventures of

Mike Pirnat

a leaf on the wind

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No Business Like Snow Business

You Don't Say
Originally uploaded by mikepirnat.

March 1 was strangely mild; I laughed derisively when the weather lady declared that it was "coming in like a lamb" for once. Silly, silly woman. As a recent fortune cookie told me, "the lion, when hunting, does not roar." And that's what our small handful of balmy days were--that nice peaceful time before the lion pounces and tears you limb from limb.

So, after a Tuesday ice storm that had my car out of commission all day (plow didn't come before work, I got my car stuck in the ice and snow, and did some underbelly damage in its extraction, Liz was paying close enough attention that she was able to stock up on food and supplies before the whole state got socked on Friday. Her efforts made sure that once I was home from work on Friday, we could just hole up in the house and watch the snow come down, and down, and down down down, burying our yard and turning the neighborhood into an icy moonscape.

We entertained Claire. We had cocoa. I played a ton of Mass Effect. We watched a couple ski down the street. And still the snow kept falling, and falling.

Finally, on Sunday, the weather broke, our plow guy cleared out our driveway, and we emerged into the sunny day to explore the new world.

I shot a bunch of photos on Saturday and Sunday, including some great shots of Claire.

While I enjoyed having an excuse to wear my Jayne hat, I think it's safe to say we're all looking forward to spring.

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I haven't been posting much lately because I've either been too busy to write anything or too not-busy to have anything worth writing about. So here's a quick recap of what I've been up to, in more or less random order.

I'm thinking of moving our blogs to private hosting on WebFaction, partly because I like WordPress, and partly because the sale of LiveJournal to SUP makes me uneasy about paying LJ any more of my money. I've been hacking on a Python program to crawl my journal and re-emit it as a WordPress XML export file, suitable for slurping up into WP with just a few clicks, and it's pretty much done. I just have a few decisions to make (should I keep userpics attached to all my exported entries?) and then I think it'll be time to pull the trigger.

At work, we've wrapped up our first big run of cafeteria-free lunches (58 straight lunches, of which we had a repeat-free streak of 56 lunches before hitting some of our "greatest hits" before the end of the year). Naturally, we're blogging it so that we remember where we've gone.

Claire continues to grow and change. Having just passed the 100-day mark, she can now sit in her Bumbo chair, enjoys standing practice, and is really excited about grabbing her toes. I continue to shoot and post tons of cute photos.

We've been doing weekly videoconferences with my parents instead of phone calls. They get to see Claire, and Claire gets to stare at my screen and be confused. Plus my parents get to be the envy of all other long-distance grandparents that they know, who are in awe of their "technical savvy." So, kudos to iChat for making it stupidly easy.

I am in love with Rock Band and want to marry it. If that's not possible, I'd settle for going over to my friend's place to play it on a regular basis. (Turns out that after a couple beers, I am pretty decent on vocals--scary!)

Egad. I have almost 8 GB of music (over four days' worth!) in my "new and unrated" playlist needing review. When am I going to have time for that?

Last night we watched Paprika, the latest film from anime director Satoshi Kon. I'm utterly blown away by it. The coolest thing I've seen in a long time. It's a little bit Dreamscape, a little bit Ghost in the Shell. Good, good stuff.

Not sure if it's the kid (probably) or what, but I've fallen off the deep end of the Christmas season and am starting to scare Liz with my sunny holiday cheer. Usually I'm pretty down on the consumerism and not too hip to whatever religiosity seeps through the month-long shopping orgy of December, but this year things are different. I'm giggling as I wrap presents for Liz and Claire, and--much to Liz's annoyance--bouncing off the walls waiting for the big day to arrive. Is it Christmas yet? Is it Christmas yet? IS IT CHRISTMAS YET???

Speaking of Christmas, I'm happy that I managed to get the annual card produced and out the door relatively on-time. One of these years, I'm going to have inspiration and time in November so that I can get full-bleed, professional printing done, but I'll take what little victories I can get. I may post the images or a PDF at some point if I get motivated enough. (Here's your opportunity to convince me...)

Finally, if it's at all possible, I'd like to be your personal penguin.

Okay, enough of this foolishness. Time to go be Dad for awhile. Cheers!

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I got a note yesterday that two of my photos have been shortlisted for inclusion on Schmap's upcoming guide to New York City.

The selections kind of surprised me. One is from the super-cruddy RAZR v3 camera, and the other was in incredibly awful light with no flash and got converted to black and white and mangled quite a bit in an attempt to salvage it. I definitely have better photos of New York, so I guess these must have looked creative or something. I guess it helps that they are at restaurants, which probably don't get as much photographic attention as the obvious big landmarks and tourist attractions do.

I gave Schmap the okay--what the heck, right?

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AGI Hack Day: Mission Accomplished!

Hackers Only
Originally uploaded by aaronoliver3000.

Once upon a time, some Python developers here at AG Interactive said, "Gosh, we should totally do one of those fancy Hack Day things." And they went unto their manager, who said, "What excellent timing, I think we should totally do one of those fancy Hack Day things too. Let's make it happen." And so they did. And it was good.

I'm very, very pleased to report that our first-ever AGI Hack Day was a smashing success. Roughly fifty people, divided into fourteen self-organized teams, spent 24 hours putting together prototypes of whatever great ideas came to mind, covering ground from new product ideas to deeply geeky internal architecture improvements, and then presented their work in three-minute demos similar to the PyCon lightning talks. Prizes were awarded today in the "fun" categories ("Funniest Hack," "Hacker's Choice," etc.); a forthcoming second round of demos for our senior team will yield the big winners.

Hack Day has definitely been a big score for our culture. The atmosphere has been so alive and vibrant, with a hum of excitement and activity, a certain je na sais quois of Cool Stuff In Progress. It's been fun just to be around it. One very good choice that we made was to open up the event to non-developers, so that our talented system admins, UI gurus, product managers, and even QA folks were able to jump in and come up with great ideas. A few adventurous souls liveblogged their experiences, and photos have been appearing on Flickr (including some excellent late-night Guitar Hero shred-nanagins).

The response from the company has been very positive, so I think we can look forward to many more excellent AGI Hack Day events in the future.

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The Story of Fourteen and Thirty-Two

Originally uploaded by mikepirnat.
I threw out a couple of numbers in the original announcement that seemed somewhat off, and a few curious folks wanted to know what the scoop was. So, finally, I'm stealing a few minutes to explain the mysterious, divergent numbers.

Thirty-two hours is the time that elapsed between Liz's water breaking on Sunday the Ninth and the baby arriving on Monday the Tenth. The short version is that, once we got to the hospital, the on-call doc didn't want to get things revved up right away (probably she didn't want to have to come in for late night activities on a Sunday), so we got delayed a bit by the JV squad, and by late Sunday night the contractions had stopped (probably because of the level of "comfort" afforded by being planted in a hospital bed for twelve hours and told not to go anywhere).

Our regular OB, however, was eager to get the show on the road (trying to head off chances of infection), so the induction process was started at Eight AM on Monday, and we had a lovely, screaming baby by Ten o'clock that night--thus the fourteen hour measurement, and my use of phrases like "once it got rolling for real."

One other temporal measurement of mild interest is twenty-five minutes, the time that elapsed between the 6.5 and almost-10 centimeter measurements, during which the opportunity for Liz to have any painkillers whatsoever vanished.

Yes, that's right--Liz pushed out our whopper of a little girl, in a furious and intense labor, without any happy drugs.

Have I mentioned that I'm in awe of my wife?

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Being Dad

Snuggle Buddies
Originally uploaded by mikepirnat. pretty great. It's safe to say that I'm hopelessly head-over-heels nuts about my daughter.

There are lots of great photos from the past couple of days as we've adjusted to life with Claire (and Claire has adjusted to life with us), but I only had time to upload this and a couple others: another shot of the two of us snuggling, and--more importantly--the cats' curiosity beginning to win out over their fear.

Clearly, I need a new LiveJournal icon...

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What The--?!?

I Are Curiosity!
Originally uploaded by mikepirnat.
We're home!

The cats are astoundingly curious, not even interested in their favorite toys. Valentine in particular is hypnotically fascinated by the wriggling little pink thing that keeps making soft kitten noises. Julia is suddenly developing a whole new vocabulary of her own, emitting tiny, questioning tones nearly identical to those of her new sister.

For now, it's time to rest, and settle into our new routine, and then we'll see what life has in store for us.

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Where the River Meets the Sea

Where the River Meets the Sea
Originally uploaded by mikepirnat.
Since I can't hit LiveJournal from inside the hospital's China-style firewall, cross-posting from Flickr will have to suffice. Here's a shot of Claire on Tuesday morning, just twelve hours old and starting to figure out who this Mom person is.

I have no doubt that she'll eventually start wondering who the dork with the funny camera thing glued to his face is, and how she can extract money from him to fuel her trips to the mall.

The theme song for today is re-appropriated from a reading we used at our wedding; the most important bits of it are:

“Do you love me, John?” she asked. “You know I love you, darling,” he replied. “I love you more than tongue can tell. You are the light of my life, my sun, moon and stars. You are my everything. Without you I have no reason for being.”

“How much do I love you? Count the stars in the sky. Measure the waters of the oceans with a teaspoon. Number the grains of sand on the sea shore. Impossible, you say?”

“Yes, and it is just as impossible for me to say how much I love you.”

“My love for you is higher than the heavens, deeper than Hades, and broader than the earth. It has no limits, no bounds. Everything must have an ending except my love for you.”

Yeah. That about sums it up.

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Hello, Claire

Hello, Claire
Originally uploaded by mikepirnat.

After a 32-hour adventure, we welcomed Claire Margaret Pirnat into the world at 9:57 PM on Monday, September 10. She's nine pounds, six ounces, and nineteen inches long. Labor itself was a brisk 14 hours once it got rolling for real.

Mom and baby are doing well and getting to know one another. Meanwhile, Dad is busy taking photos when not completely overwhelmed with joy.

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Come Sit by Me

Come Sit by Me
Originally uploaded by mikepirnat.
I had to bring some work from my whiteboard home today to finish up after an appointment, so, being in a hurry, I nabbed a shot of it with my not-very-awesome cell phone camera. This gave me the excuse necessary to finally dump several months of photos off of the phone and send some to Flickr.

This shot's of adorable little statues that frolic around the Cleveland Public Library.

Other highlights include a timid panda, a golden pig, a whole new world of DIY, the lamest pinball game ever, Darth Maul's bad day, and various Transformers-related offfice shenanigans, of the plastic and plush kinds.

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