Sep 302008

Fall is fully here and as it gets dark early now I can see the stars right after supper instead of waiting till the wee hours.

Tonight we had our now-traditional family walking of the dog and then the girls played on the swings until it was too dark to see them from the deck. A. declined to join us. He seems to want to be alone an awful lot lately, which worries me. J. says it’s just what pre-teen boys do, which would be easier to accept if she had ever had one before now:).

But what I enjoy about all my children is watching them become their own people, and they are all doing that at an accelerated rate.

In two days J. and I celebrate our 15th anniversary. Still feel like a kid with kids most of the time. And so happy to be who we are.

Mar 082008

Blizzard! Now this is called a blizzard. In my day, it was called ‘winter’. Such weather sissies here in Central Ohio!

Yesterday while I was sunning myself in Lansing, it started snowing in Columbus. By the time I got back home, it was getting dark and the snow was piling up. This is not normally a problem, as I kind of like being snowed in. It limits my options to the degree that I can actually pick something to do and do it. But there are some mitigating circumstances making this weekend storm a bit more of a challenge.

First off, I am an idiot. Due to a combination of vendor malfeasance and personal pride, I let our propane supply dwindle to nothing. So yesterday morning the heat and hot water stopped. I called and patched things up with the supplier and arranged for delivery – which will take place in 5-8 days. Soooo, it’s space-heater time again in the Horn household. We just have one, so on the way home yesterday I stopped to pick up a couple more. I stopped at three places. All out of space heaters. Just like a third-world country (which is another blog rant all in itself, which I will get to someday).

At home I found that N. had a fever of 102 and G. was not keeping food down. More challenge! So everyone slept in our room, and we managed to keep the temperature up just fine despite the cat’s constant opening and not closing of the door.

This morning, everything is peachy. N’s fever is gone, G. now has it but is feeling OK. We made a big bacon and eggs breakfast and lots of coffee and hot chocolate, and as long as the power stays on it looks like we’ll get by just fine. Of course, now that I write that the power will no doubt go out.

Wherever you are, we hope you keep warm and close!

Update: Pictures are available here

Jan 112008

A clear dry weekend day in Central Ohio in January? Impossible! But true! We jumped on the opportunity to get out of the house and out in to nature.

Alum Creek State Park stretches from Kilborne at the north end down to Lewis Center at it’s southern end, which is capped with a large dam that holds the Alum Creek reservoir. We live off to the side of the northern end of this reservoir. It’s so close that sometimes we forget that we practically live in a state park.

On this particular day we started with a stop at the beverage drive-thru for some cans of pop and the Wendy’s drive-thru for some burgers. We had a lovely picnic lunch and then set out on the trails near the park office.

The trails were wide and well-marked, but obviously had done without any recent clearing. There were lots of felled trees and even a couple of felled signs. This just added to the adventure for the kids. The trail led to waters-edge of the big reservoir, where we spent time inspecting shells and plant life. We came across some impressive mosses and fungi.

The kids had a real good time walking through the woods and around the pond. N. is particularly excited by nature and she made sure to collect specimens everywhere we went. She also insisted that everyone use the walking sticks she found for each of us.

After the trails we went to the play area at the south end of the reservoir. We got some more great pictures of the kids and Mom, A. and G. got another bunch of exercise walking up the hundred or so steps to the top of the dam and back. N. and I took the opportunity to warm up the van while waiting for them to return.

All in all it was a very delightful outing, one which I hope we get to repeat soon.

Pictures are available here.

Dec 262007

AKA So Long LJ and thanks for all the friends

Well, it’s been a year since I started posting on LJ. It started with a post about my New Years resolutions for 2007. To recap:

1: Drink lots and lots of coffee (inspired by Seattle)
2: Drink wine frequently, but moderately (inspired by medical research)
3: Blog (inspired by )
4: Learn to play drums (inspired by )

How did I do? Well, 1-3 were totally hit. Number 4 I haven’t started on. But tells me there is still time. He’s comin’ over for a late visit this evening, maybe I can get a crash course.

There was one other thing I promised myself in 2007 – no buying new media. I largely honored this promise, using the services of the local libraries and those fabulous Swedes at the Pirate Bay to supplant my need for shiny discs in shrinkwrap. We did end up buying a few movies/games for the kids (Flash Gordon and Barbarella, those are kids movies right?).

Onward to 2008. Man, this decade is flying by. I almost wrote ‘flaying’, which is not particularly unapt a description. Seems there has been lots of change, and lots the same. The web has finally turned out as Microsoft’s worst nightmare – a platform that renders the OS largely irrelevant. They held it up for almost ten years, the bastards. Just like they did with Unix. But we’re free now. Barring a government mandate that all citizens use Microsoft software protocols and technologies, their ship has sailed. Now we just have to keep a keen eye on Apple to see that they don’t try to get away with the same shit.

Now about that web platform, specifically as it pertains to social networking and personal journalling/blogging. 2007 saw a lot of growth and action in that area. It’s rapidly expanding popularity attracted some serious investments and some nefarious attempts at cash-in. It continues to evolve so rapidly that I’m not really comfortable relying on any one site or meme. A large percentage of social network participants seem to feel the same way, flitting from site to site, posting on multiple networks. One-way instant messaging (like Twitter) plus a blog/forum seems to be a very common combination these days.

I embrace that combination, but I’m also looking for more sense of control. So for 2008 I’m moving my blogging off-network. Well, off LiveJournal anyway. I’m setting up a place to journal on my own site, complete with forums and whatnot. I’m hoping to be able to tie in to Open ID to make it easy for members of LJ and other forums to correspond with my journal. And I’m hoping that the foaf project and it’s use of emerging network technologies like the Semantic Web and RDF will make it easier for everyone to publish anywhere they want and still be found and referenced by a community of friends and followers without the need to be bound to any particular social network.

So, even though I’m leaving LJ (at least as a journaller) my New Years resolution for 2008 is:

1: More networking, done more openly.

Hope to see y’all out there!