Christmas Tree Costume

Christmas Tree Costume
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Lynn turned Ben into a Christmas tree for Halloween, and he loved it! He greeted trick-or-treaters at the door at the Warner household in West Hartford, Connecticut. We missed a kids' parade on Saturday due to TWO INCHES of rain.

Ben pulled a fast one during his nap today. He managed to get out of a zip-up sleep sack, remove his pants, socks, and diaper, and escape his pack-and-play. We are still not sure how. And he managed to not make a mess of the diaper. (The other day he removed all his clothes and a poopy diaper without making a mess.) In fact, when I heard him banging around in the room he's sleeping in, it looked like he was trying to put on a new diaper. That would be a neat trick.

Ben Sequitors

Ben's versions of non sequitors. In the bath the other night, Ben stops playing with toys and says, unusually clearly, to Lynn and I, "Most people have trains."

Lynn recounts: He noticed that the yogurt container he was eating from had maple leaves on it - we usually call it maple syrup yogurt. I asked "where do we get maple syrup?" Ben said "on waffles."

More to come as I recall them.

Recovering WEB GEEK License Plate

Miata1My friends Dori and Tom had their vanity license plate stolen yesterday from their car while it was parked in their hometown of Healdsburg. I hate the idea that someone would see the plate, crouch down, and use a key or a screwdriver (they happened to be carrying?) to remove the plate. Nonetheless, we know this plate was stolen to be shown off. If you see the plate, tell the thief to return it--no consequences. Otherwise...well, it's pretty hard to hide, innit? 

Obey Your Mother In Law (But Control Her, Too)

My column in yesterday's Seattle Times is about a familiar familial problem: providing technical support. Now, while it's possible to offer suggestions by phone, and a little in-person consulting, all of us who have more technical ability than any other family member (or friend) has found themselves asking someone to read off menu names, and then performing audio body English--willing them to click the thing you're trying to tell them to click.

I discovered that Timbuktu Pro, remote-control computer software, coupled with Skype, is a reasonable, albeit expensive solution for long-distance tech support. The expense is high--a two-user license is $180 to $200 depending on platforms. But once you have Skype and Timbuktu Pro installed on both machines (yours and the supportee), you can literally seize control of that foreign machine and show the other person what to do, or accomplish the task for them.

I've been calling it the mother-in-law solution because it solves the remote tech support problems we've had trying to give advice to Lynn's mom, and my officemate Jeff has already done the magic to help his mother-in-law.

Digital Photography without a Laptop

My officemate, compadre, and colleague Jeff Carlson and I wrote an article for Macworld on how you could travel close to home or thousands of miles away, take piles of digital pictures, and not lug a laptop along. Jeff went to South Africa last year, and I've traveled so many tens of thousands of miles in the last decade--less so in recent years. We focused on storage and backups, figuring that a big chunk of the issue is not losing images you've taken after you've taken.