Glorious Seven Hours of Sleep

So I'm in a hotel in San Francisco, a probably formerly hard-bitten hotel, but actually rather nice if bijou. The room is big enough for a bed and to walk around said bed. The hotel, the Mosser, has gone through many renovations in the several years I've annually stayed here, and it just gets better and better (and more expensive, but that's how that works). Last year, the elevator was being replaced, so I got a great room rate and some nice exercise walking to, I believe, the 7th floor a couple times a day. No big whoop.

With no baby in the room with me--despite hearing some phantom baby noises at night--I had trouble getting to sleep, of course. It was too quiet, the room, punctuated by loud outside noises and people clomping through the hall. I'm sure they were walking, but the hotel is still creaky despite modernization. It's not noisy, though. Earplugs helped create enough white noise to get me to sleep.

Seven hours later, I wake, alert. That's 30 to 60 minutes more than a usual night's sleep most recent days, so it's somewhat luxurious. I wouldn't have minded sleeping closer to 8, but then I'd be all messed up when I returned to Seattle. And I had a single, marvelous beer last night, which probably curtailed sleep.

In a few hours, I'll be hanging on Steve Jobs's every word--or rather, taking furious notes, and composing a newspaper story as I go.

Mac Unfurled

I'm off to Macworld Expo later today, the big yearly event at  which this year 50,000 Mac aficionados, dealers,  manufacturers' reps, developers, and others are expected to pass through and around. The keynote address marks the start of the trade-show event (the conference part actually starts earlier), with Steve Jobs unveiling thee latest  surprises from Cupertino.

Macworld is billed as a gathering of the "Mac faithful," but that's not really accurate. There are zealots and fanboys and happy users, of course, but it's really a gathering of the "Mac committed"--those people who, for themselves, their businesses, and their employers, continue to deploy and expand the use  of Macintosh computers. There's often a lot of cynicism at the events, so it's more like "family" than "faithful."

This is the first Macworld in a few years that I'm actually quite excited to attend. Trade shows are often a slog, and Macworld is better than many in that regard. The amount of noise and flash on the floor is pretty minimal compared to other shows I've attended.

But for me, family and working man that I am, I am always balancing the loss of time at home  and the loss of working hours against the value of traveling. Last year's Macworld made it clear that there was enough to see that I couldn't simply read about or talk to a vendor about later that I'm truly interested in seeing what Apple and other companies have to offer this year.

My advance coverage of what might logically be announced by Apple at the show is in today's Seattle Times. While I mentioned some of the  rumors and buzz, I tried to focus on what's likely based on previous experience. On Wednesday, you'll see my coverage of the keynote address. I'll probably be posting some blog entries to the Times's Tech Tracks blog (via my editor). And then on Saturday, the regular Practical Mac column will round up the week.

Tooth Fairly

Two banner events today, following a lousy night.

Rex woke at midnight for climbing practice this morning. He wants to pull himself up now all the time when he's out and about, and he's getting darned good at it. Surprisingly so. He's starting to "cruise," where he takes steps while holding himself up. Slick! (Improvements in crawling and the desire to stand happened after all the grandparents visited. As previously remarked with Ben's development, older relatives appearing must spark an evolutionarily competitive neuronic trigger--"Feed me if my parents die as I am o so clever!")

But midnight cruising, not so good for adults on the street or infinks in their cribs. He spent 30 minutes wandering around in the crib, and then started wailing. It took until 2 am before he was settled again, and then he slept until just about 5.30. We managed to slip in another cat nap or two, Lynn and I, so we weren't totally wasted, but this was among the worst nights.

This morning, I swore I felt a tooth. It wasn't exactly toothlike, but seemed like it was a little sharp. Lynn couldn't find it. Tonight in the bath, a tooth, a palpable tooth! Lower middle (incisor?). He seemed very pleased when we found it. That probably explains the midnight alertness.

The other big event was tandem bathing! Lynn got a "bath ring," a kind of suction cup chair for Rex, and the boys took their baths together. Lynn made Ben a bathrobe to help mark the change in routine, which for him has been for years now: bath, books, bed. Ben and Rex seemed equally delighted.

It's a brand new day--and I'm hoping a long and quiet night.