Monday, February 28, 2005

Blogging About Children

Ayelet Waldman decided to end her BLOG. She appeared in a late January New York Times article about parents who BLOG about their children. When I finally visited her web page, I was surprised to read "The End."

In the article, she said: "Fundamentally children resent being placed at the heart of their parents' expression, and yet I still do it." Another parental blogger, Molly Jong-Fast, said "There comes that inevitable moment when parents who write about their children need to choose between their writing and their children's privacy and honor."

These words gave me pause. I used to write an online diary about my daughter Mia. And even though I've stopped, I still regularly post pictures of Mia. Now, after reading that article, I sometimes wonder if I should stop my picture site as well. I used to joke that I'd stop posting the pictures as soon as Mia herself asked me. The punchline was that this would happen around the time she was old enough to date.

So what I think I'll do is post fewer pictures for the upcoming year. And next year, when she goes to kindergarten, maybe I'll bow out from the picture site too.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Essential Software

My wife and I just bought a new computer from Dell. It took Jenn only minutes before she asked "Where's WinZip?" Here are the programs that I downloaded so that the new computer could be as helpful as the old one.

  • WinZip

    How in the world is this not even installed with this new PC? My registration key for WinZip dates back to 1997!

  • PuTTY

    I can't compute without a good terminal client. A terminal client allows me to access my UNIX machines, where I do nearly all of my professional and recreational computing. I have a registration for SecureCRT from VanDyke Software but PuTTY is free and quite fully-featured.

  • Firefox

    What? Did you expect me to use Internet Explorer? Firefox is light and safe. It blocks pop ups. It has tabbed browsing. It has a whole bevy of cool plug-ins that make web programming much easier.

  • TightVNC

    To access our old computer to migrate files off of it, I just plugged it into our router. Then from my new PC I ran the TightVNC client to access the TightVNC server running on my old PC. This software allowed us to run our old PC without a monitor!

    I am still impressed with this technology. When I learned about it a few years ago, I thought it was amazingly cool. Now, it's not only cool, it's useful too.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Rhapsody in Blue

George Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue was first performed on this day, February 12, 1924. I found my DVD of the Woody Allen movie Manhattan, and listened to this lovely piece of music.

I first heard Rhapsody in Blue when I was a kid. It was the signature music in those television commercials for United Airlines. When I saw Woody Allen's movie for the first time (on VHS), his use of this music to score the opening and the ending of his movie verges on sublime. The way he slowly pans through beautiful Manhattan using that clarinet "smear", and then rushes through the details of that big beautiful city with the full orchestra booming is for me one the most thrilling opening sequences in all of movies.

And Woody calls on it again at the end, Isaac and Tracy in an apartment lobby, a departure imminent. She needs to catch a plane. Full circle, don't you think?

Sunday, February 6, 2005

Patriots Win Superbowl

Super Bowl XXXIX was a back-and-forth affair that had me frustrated and nervous all the way to the end. My muscles were taut from playacting the runs, fakes, tackles and throws. Every snap had me holding my breath. I paced and shadow boxed after every play. The New England Patriots were seven point favorites going into tonight's game: why couldn't they make it an easy one for the fans? I'll tell you why. The Philadelphia Eagles didn't want to be walked over. They wanted to climb the mountain, and knock off the reigning champions.

Fourth quarter. Philly controlled the ball and the clock, but they were down by ten. Down after down after first down after first down, and then they finally get a touch down, cutting the lead to three. With 1:48 left in the game, Pats needed to play mistake-free. They needed to keep the ball. They needed to eat up the clock. But it was three and out, and I was back to biting my fingernails.

The punt by Josh Miller was a master stroke, pinning the Eagles to their four yard line. Three futile throws by Donovan McNabb. And on his last throw, the Patriots' Rodney Harrison intercepted the ball with nine seconds remaining! Tom Brady takes the knee and it's over.

The Patriots are the Super Bowl champions again. Again! And Again! I've had the pleasure of blogging about their two previous Super Bowl victories on this BLOG. And you know what? Winning doesn't get boring!

Tuesday, February 1, 2005

Jenn's Birthday

It's my wife's birthday today. Happy Birthday, Jenn. I Love You! (It's OK to say that on a BLOG, right?)