Happy 4th of July to everyone. I spent the day celebrating by doing 4 hours of yard work in brutal heat. It took me a while to recover from that, so I did not get that much else done today.
I had settled on Drupal a while ago as the content management system for this site redesign, but since I am going to be investing much time and energy on it, I thought I would check on some alternatives. Well, if you want to check out all of the possible CMS choices, then I recommend this http://www.cmsmatrix.org/.
I am currently working on a new approach to this website. I plan on keeping what I call a day journal (daily web news), but I want to add stories, I want to add more structured content, and I want to add some private material (see Getting Things Done).
I never really considered myself to be a “blogger”; I just used blogging software to create my “web presence”. So I am currently exploring alternatives to WordPress. The end result is likely to be considerable change to this website.
I have tried several times in the last couple of months to at least post my plans for an update to this site. Somehow, the posting mechanism broke. I’m guessing my hosted service updated the php version on my account. Upgrading to the latest version of WordPress appears to have fixed the problems. This was a risky move, because the upgrade could have corrupted my database (I did backup the database first).< ?p>
I’m keeping my fingers crossed; I hope I can finally post.
We are planning to take advantage of my day off tomorrow and go camping for 2 full days and nights. I was going to pack everything but the food this evening, but Cortney has to wash some of the kids clothes this evening. So I’m going to get a good night’s sleep instead.
I took Sean to the doctor this morning to get his staples out. Apparently, Cortney had a tough time when Sean had his staples put in, so she wanted me to take him to get them out. I coached Sean on what to expect, and except for having his hair pulled, he got through it without any problems.
In other news, I’m starting to feel better after a few days on antibiotics. My sinuses have cleared up, and I have much more energy now.
We went on our first family camping trip this weekend. Many of Cortney’s friends go camping in trailers, and so Cortney has been interested in camping for a while.
We did not rent a trailer, but instead bought a tent. It’s a nice two-room tent, but of course a tent doesn’t have a bathroom. Our camping trip was to Lake Pleasant. Two of Cortney’s friends went with campers, but we had a separate place complete with a ramada and fire pit. We also had bathroom facilities a short walk away. Having friends nearby with campers was handy, as we used their cooking grills to cook meals. So, we picked a nice spot for our first camping trip.
Getting all of our gear together and into the car turned out to be quite an ordeal. Even though the campsite was only a half hour away from our house, we barely had time to get the tent set up and bedding put together before it turned dark. The results were worth it. I spend time with the kids (and our friend’s kids) by the fire pit, and we toasted marshmallows. Cortney socialized with her friends during “happy hour”.
We learned our first camping lesson that evening. The temperatures reached the low 50’s, and a tent doesn’t provide any heat. The kids and I made it through the night ok, but Cortney soon left to go home to get warmer blankets. She came back with a down comforter. And Cortney wasn’t the only one cold — Princess joined me in the middle of the night, shivering from the cold.
We had a good time that day. It gradually warmed up, and it was nice for Cortney and I to relax with adult company, while the kids explored the lake area.
That evening, things did not go well. After it turned dark, the kids started playing hide and seek. Sean accidentally ran into the big hitch hanging down from their trailer (a 5th wheel trailer). He busted the top of his head open. One of our friend’s drove Cortney and Sean to the hospital, while I stayed with Ethan.
A short time later, Ethan broke the glo stick he was playing with. He looked like he came out of a Predator movie with glow in the dark blood all over him. The result would have been comical, but he managed to get some of it in his eye. He was scared from the discomfit, and by the time his eye was washed out, quite tired as well. He wanted to sleep right after this, and I let him.
Ethan, Princess and I spent the night in the tent. It was quite a windy night, and it was good to see that the tent held up in the wind. Ethan watched Princess while I packed up and took the tent down.
When we came home, Sean was in good spirits. I found ought that he received three staples on his head. But Cortney wasn’t discouraged, she made reservations for a trip in April.
We finished the second half of Sean’s birthday celebration today. We had a party at Pump It Up for Sean’s friends and school mates. We didn’t get nearly as many kids as we invited, but we still had a good enough turn out for Sean to have fun. I think Sean had the most fun when he got to sit on the blow up “throne”, where he was served soda and cake, and then opened presents.
Sean turned eight today. We went to dinner at Sweet Tomatoes, and my parents and grandmother joined us. Afterwards, we all had cake, and then Sean opened presents. All of them work pokemon related, which pleased Sean.
I know I haven’t written in a while. There are really two reasons for that.
The first is that good writing takes work. One of my goals in writing this journal was to improve my writing skills. It has, to some extent. But good writing that is witty and entertaining is still hard.
The second reason is that life as a middle-aged father can be tough. I like to keep a positive tone here, and I don’t always have pleasant things to write about.
I’m surprised more adults aren’t playing Pokemon. The game on the DS is one of the best computer games I’ve played, on any platform. My theory is that Pokemon has such a steep learning curve for most adults that they avoid it for fear of embarrassment. I suppose the steep learning curve is true for kids as well (including Sean), but I guess they don’t mind if they can’t grasp all of the concepts.
That’s one of the major reasons I haven’t written much lately. It all started out innocently enough. Sean was struggling with the DS game, and wasn’t doing well enough to advance his Pokemon so that we could transfer them to the Wii. I stepped in to help out a bit, and I ended up getting hooked.
Last week was a busy week and I needed time to relax this weekend. Which I did. As usual, we finished the week with a nice dinner at my parent’s house.
Yesterday was actually a good day, with a hiking outing and dinner at my parents. But when I tried writing about it, I decided the writing was just too banal, so I gave up.
I guess today, it’s still banal, but I least I’m acknowledging it. And it contrast, today wasn’t so nice. The commute to work was in a steady rain, and very unpleasant. And this evening is devoted to preparing for the cleaners tomorrow.
It was cloudy and damp today, but a little bit of drizzle did not stop us from going to the park. Sean had fun riding his bike down the grassy hill. Cortney and I exercised Princess by having her run back and forth between us. I was amazed at how long she continued to run even though it was obvious she was tired.
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