• I did tell you that I have to handle a lot of stuff in June, right? Especially birthdays?

    Nathan's birthday is the latest. This weekend we had our monthly family get-together, where we celebrated Nathan's birthday, Tatiana's birthday, and Father's Day. For Nathan's birthday, we all went in together and purchased the parts to upgrade his computer. Luckily, NewEgg had a cheap motherboard + CPU combo just in time.

    I'm doing the work now. I'm copying his drives onto a backup, just in case. The new motherboard only handles two of those obsolete PATA drives, so I'll have to crush both of his current ones onto a single drive. Luckily, he's got lots of free space.

    When it's all done, he'll have a 3.0GHz Athlon64 with 1.5GB of memory (partly shared with an onboard nVidia chipset). He wanted to play Uru; this should do that with plenty of guts to spare for whatever he wants to play for the next two years!

    Happy Birthday, Nathan!

  • Yes, Tatiana had her 13th birthday on Friday the 13th. We set up a "Spooky Sleepover" for her party: a dozen girls dressed in "spooky" costumes. We had witches, black cats, a ninja, and a Titanic victim.

    We played Murder in the Dark, had a scavenger hunt, and ate lots of snacks and pizza.

    Happy Birthday, Tatiana!

  • As you can see, June is a busy time for me. There are multiple family and friend birthdays, not to mention the last week of school. Things are crazy!

    Jim is an avid Star Trek fan. He has a picture of the crew on a refrigerator magnet; when his little boy saw them, he said, "Look! It's Daddy's Wiggles!" (Here's a link to The Wiggles for anyone who hasn't been around young children in the past three years.) So Jim decided to have a Science Fiction costume party for his 40th.

    I love sci-fi and anime, but I've never cosplayed. I briefly toyed with dressing up the whole family as The Wiggles, then decided to try to stay on-theme. Melissa and I were going to go as The Fly, but we didn't know how to make the bug mask. We considered several other things, and thought we'd have to be lame and go without costumes because we were running out of time. But then Eri had a brainstorm.

    We went as The Magic School Bus.

    No, there are no pictures.

    Continue reading "Happy 40th Birthday, Jim"

  • My high school friend Valerie had her 40th birthday today. Yesterday, for her party, she rented a skating rink.

    That was a blast from the past. There was music from the 80's that we all remembered. We skated, we ate, we had a load of fun.

    Kayla learned to skate, and by the end of the party she was doing okay. One of her falls involved smacking her chin on the step. That left a mark.

    Tatiana only fell once, and Melissa fell two or three times. Even Eri fell once. I managed to get away unscathed, although I had a couple of close calls.

    Maybe this is the exercise activity I've been looking for. I'm sure sore today.

    Happy Birthday, Val!

  • To cap off our busy day, we enlisted our good friends for last-minute babysitting and went to Tatiana's award ceremony. Many of the students received awards, including national recognition.

    Tatiana received several mathematics awards. Okay, 18th place in the Florida Math League isn't as good as last year's 2nd place, but it's still plenty impressive! Figure that out in terms of percentages, and you're talking about the top 1% of the top 1%.

    But the big achievement, for which she received a small trophy, was two years of straight A report cards. Congratulations, Tatiana!