Next Phase

Oct. 31st, 2008 11:58 pm
notmatt: (Default)
Well, I am officially unemployed. That's right neither of the baby's parents have jobs! I'm off the next two weeks before I start at APL. Returned the last book to the library, packed up my last box of stuff, loaded it onto my (own personal) office chair and wheeled it out to the car.

We hired a maid service to come in and give the place a good cleaning. They did a fantastic job an so fast! My aunt Susie is coming down tomorrow, basically to take care of David while we pack. Monday, the movers arrive and pack the rest of our stuff. Tuesday, they load it onto the truck, we hand the keys over to the landlady, and head up to SF. Wednesday we fly out to Dulles, and stay with my parents that night. Thursday, we drive up to Columbia, move into our temporary apartment, and start visiting houses.

Despite the weather, we had a lot of trick-or-treaters. David was a banana, but of course he's too little to go out after candy.
notmatt: (Default)
Copy this sentence into your livejournal if you're in a heterosexual marriage, and you don't want it "protected" by the bigots who think that gay marriage hurts it somehow.

Actually, I already voted No on Prop. 8. CA has early voting. I went in a week ago. Paper ballots with a straightforward marking system; you draw a line to make an arrow pointing to your selection. Even an idiot can figure it out, which means that nearly one third of all voters will get it right.


Oct. 6th, 2008 10:54 am
notmatt: (Enceladus)
Totally slipped my mind with all else going on, but MESSENGER made its second flyby of Mercury this morning.

Orbit insertion is still over two years away.

Note that this mission is managed by APL, where I'm moving to. Maybe I'll get to get in on it.
notmatt: (Default)
OK, a bit late.

This weekend we made an emergency trip to Yosemite. We've been here two years and hadn't made it out yet. Fortunately it was the off season. While the falls were largely dried up, so were the tourists. That meant I was able to hop on the Intarwebs and get us a reservation at a Bed & Breakfast for the very next night. David wasn't thrilled about being in the car so much, though.

Why the rush? We'd been here so long and never made it. We kept saying we'll go next week. But now we're about out of time. APL came through with the funding. I got a very good offer last week, so we're off to Maryland! Of course this is all pending my successfully passing a drug test, but since I've never done any that shouldn't be an issue. (Although I do spend a lot of time on the UCSC campus. That might be an overdose all by itself.)

I'm planning to work here through the end of October, and move out to Columbia the first week of November. Any advice on housing will be appreciated. They're paying for the move and a month of temporary housing while we look. They also offered us a house-hunting trip, but we'd just as soon not haul the boy cross-country more than necessary. We're not planning on buying just yet (not that we could get a loan anyway), so a month ought to be enough time to find a rental. At least we'll have a chance to check it out before signing a lease this time.

David did have his first plane trip already. We went to Detroit the weekend before last for his Great-Grandpa's 90th birthday party. I'm really glad we did, because he's not going to make it to 91 )
notmatt: (coffee)
Little baby David is 2 months old today. Yay! He has alert and happy periods in the mornings now. His great-aunt, great-uncle, great-grandmonther, and great-grand-stepfather came by for a visit yesterday. He's now met ... 9 of his relatives apart from his parents. And next weekend we're taking him to Michigan for his great-grandfather's 90th birthday. He'll get to meet ... 16 more there.

More pictures up here: under 2nd month and 3rd month.

I'll leave you with this one:

random post

Sep. 5th, 2008 11:33 pm
notmatt: (Default)
Hola amigos. I know it's been a while since I rapped at ya, but it's been crazy round here lately.

Little David's almost 8 weeks now, and bulking up nicely. His alert-and-happy periods seem to be getting more common, which is nice. We've got room-darkening shades up in his room so he doesn't awaken at dawn automatically. The first month we had a steady stream of visitors. My mother-in-law was here for the first three weeks, and my father-in-law for the last of those three. Then my aunt came down for a day. Then my parents were here for a week. Then my mother-in-law came back with her mother for a week. We finally had a couple weeks to ourselves, just the three of us. Next weekend my aunt and uncle, grandmother and step-grandfather will be here. The weekend after that, we're off to Michigan to visit my grandfather and other relations up that way (Dad's family; he's the only one who left the state).

I've been reading to him at bedtime. Well really reading to Kate, which she rocks him to sleep since David can't really understand the words yet. We've done all the A.A. Milne books and we've started on a Dr. Seuss collection. Kate had never read "The 500 hats of Bartholomew Cubbins" before. And her experience with Pooh was limited to the Disney version, so it was educational for everyone. The Disney version just isn't right. Eeyore should not be smiling. Although I'd forgotten how mean he is in the books.

I've been trying to make meals ahead and freeze or whatever. Got the Best Make-ahead Recipe from the America's Test Kitchen. It's pretty good, but we are ending up with plenty of leftovers. Been having some issues with fruits. At one point I made a mango salsa to go with a pork tenderloin. It was great, but it almost seems like a waste as these were easily the best mangoes I've ever had. And that pork lasted for five meals and became three different dishes.

More annoyingly, I let some peaches go to waste. Our neighbors gave us a bag of peaches last week and I thanked them and put them aside, planning to make a cobbler later on. I even had the topping made leftover from another purpose. Today, when I peeked at them, they were all moldy. Grr. Argh.

Well that'll have to do for now. Post's long enough as it is.

Home again

Jul. 18th, 2008 02:46 pm
notmatt: (Default)
Today Kate and David were discharged together, and we got settled in at home. David's bad protein levels are way down, indicating we staved off the infection before it became problematic. His pediatrician said he was fine to come home, but he wants to see him again on Monday. He's chowing down at the moment.

On an unrelated note, a circuit breaker was tripped in the nursery/office room and the computer there is dead. It was plugged into a surge protector, but this apparently had no effect. Everything of consequence was backed up onto on external drive which survived, so this is merely annoying. There's a light on the power supply that keeps flashing. Possibly swapping it out would fix it. But it may actually be time for a new machine; that one's five years old and has other health issues.

Pics are at for now.


Jul. 16th, 2008 01:52 pm
notmatt: (Default)
Well, we hit a bit of a snag. Due to the extremely long time between water breaking and delivery, little David appears to have got some kind of infection. He appears healthy, but his blood test showed some signs of fighting an infection. So he went to the NICU yesterday to start a regimen of antibiotics. We still get to see him plenty, though. We have access to the NICU 22 hours a day, besides which they've taken to wheeling him out to our room for feeding and bonding. We probably have him with us almost half the time. He's nursing and everything, although we're supplementing with formula until the actual milk comes in (we're still on colostrum) tomorrow or Friday.

This is largely precautionary. His vitals are all good and he nurses well. The pediatrician is not particularly worried about his health and thinks we'll all be able to leave the hospital together on Friday. Needless to say, I'm still worried. The silver lining is that we got a decent amount of sleep last night. They wheeled him in every 2-3 hours, and when he was done eating I wheeled him back and we went back to sleep. I was still a zombie last night though.

His grandma arrived yesterday to help us out and that's been great. I was able to come home for a few hours to get a shower and shave and nap and catch up on emails, and do some laundry. I'm heading back pretty soon. Thank you all for your support.
notmatt: (Default)
David Christopher Roberts was born at 10:39 AM PDT on Monday, 14 July 2008 by Cesarean Section after 31 hours of labor. At birth, David was 7 pounds, 6.3 ounces, and 20.25 inches long. Baby, mother, and father are doing fine, but exhausted.

The delivery took place at Dominican Hospital in Santa Cruz, where we will be until probably Thursday. We have cell phone reception, but no email/internet access there; I popped out briefly to make the announcement.
notmatt: (Default)
We're off to Dominican Hospital. Kate's water broke in the early hours this morning, but as she hadn't gone into labor we were advised not to go in right away. There have been a few contractions, but not very strong ones. We're going in now to try and get things moving. Catch you on the flipside.


Jul. 4th, 2008 11:33 pm
notmatt: (Default)
Nothing like making you feel like a lazy bastard like getting up, hopping in the car and hearing "... markets closed down 1.2% today ..." Obviously this is the European markets, because Wall Street's closed on the 4th, but still.

Accomplished very little today. Very little all week in fact. Between a canceled doctor's appt., dentist's appt., the rescheduled doctor's appt., and a holiday, I probably put in half time this week. I kept bringing stuff home to work on, but did very little of it. I've begun playing "Professor Layton and the Curious Village" on the DS. It's a series of brain-teaser type puzzles loosely held together by a murder investigation. I like it.

Today involved acquiring donuts, rewiring the entertainment system, playing DS, anime, exercise, and grilling. We have discovered the Corralitos market in Corralitos (of all places). The place that the Summit fire almost burned. They make like 25 kinds of sausages, fresh or smoked. It's a 15 minute drive, but we have no excuse to get meat anywhere else from now on.

Fireworks consisted of watching the Travel Channel's coverage of the show on the D.C. mall. Fireworks are banned this year due to the stupid amounts of wildfires. Signs have been put up warning that violators are subject to citation or arrest. From the sounds I'm hearing, this has had no effect. I'm thinking crucifixion is an appropriate punishment for the first violation. Too lenient?

There is a factor of 1/2 missing from my code somewhere, at least according to the physics. Problem is that my code reproduces the analytical solutions as-is. I can only think I've got that factor of 1/2 stuck in somewhere else and it cancels out. I think it was Paul Tackley who said the best you can hope for is an even number of bugs. I'm confident my results are correct, but it's still annoying.

D minus 15. Plus or minus.


Jun. 23rd, 2008 12:24 am
notmatt: (Enchiladas Enceladus)
I'm in Santa Barbara now for the CIDER workshop. Was a bit nervous about coming at all what with the fire, and the 36-week pregnant wife, but a colleague really wanted me to come. The fire's contained now, and since I traveled by car, I can return at a moment's notice if need be (assuming 1 moment = 4 hours). This is a 7-week workshop, but I'm only here for the first week for obvious reasons. They're putting us up in some apartments that are used for student housing during the school year. Furnished, minimally equipped, but better for a long stay than a hotel. Each apt. is designed to house four undergrads, but there's no more than two of us in each. And this week, most of us are the only occupant of our respective apt. And free wireless.

There's only eight of us here so far. We all met up in one of the other apartments, and it turns out we all knew most of the other participants already. We arranged to take it in turns to cook for the whole lot. Looks like I'm on for Wednesday. Problem is cooking vessels. Each apartment has the same small skillet and pot. So, unlimited numbers of small implements, but no large ones. Might want to pick up some foil.

Tomorrow we head onto the UCSB campus, where they have supposedly supplied each of us with an office and computing facilities. This may actually be a nicer work environment than my actual job.
notmatt: (Default)
And now we're getting a thunderstorm. Bloody brilliant. But at least it's cooled things off a bit.
notmatt: (Default)
Could people please stop trying to burn me down? At Memorial Day there was the Summit Fire in the mountains just a few miles north of Watsonville. Burned about 4000 acres. Then last week was the Martin Fire 10 miles to the west of Santa Cruz. Burned "only" 1000 acres, but a lot more people were displaced. Today, some assmunch DELIBERATELY set fires next to Highway 1 just west of Watsonville. At 1000 acres so far. Highway 1 was shut down, and it is NOT easy to find alternate ways between Santa Cruz and Watsonville while staying seaward of the highway. I managed it, but everyone else had the same idea. I left work at 4:00 shortly after I heard, but did not get home until 6:30. By the time I got home of course, Highway 1 was reopened southbound. The huge pall of smoke from the fires drifted east and settled over the town. Lovely. We're not expected to have to evacuate. We live on the east side of town, and they already have it 50% contained. But there's a lot of people who lost their homes. I suspect that if they catch the guy who set the fires, he's not going to make it to trial.

Did I mention we also had a record high of 105 today?

It's bloody hard to get between SC and W'ville if Highway 1 is closed. We're planning to deliver at Dominican hospital in Santa Cruz. I don't know what to do if some other fsckknuckle sets a fire when Kate goes into labor. Take 129 East to Gilroy, 101 North to San Jose and 17 South to Santa Cruz? That's a 2 hour drive with good traffic. There is a hospital in Watsonville, but I've heard it's preferable to pull your own head off rather than go there. And anyways, it's been evacuated.

And oh yes, Kate was supposed to see the midwife today, but couldn't get into Santa Cruz. And may be getting a sinus infection, and now won't be able to get anything for it until Monday. Rargh!


Jun. 20th, 2008 01:41 pm
notmatt: (Enceladus)
A couple weeks ago I was interviewed by a reporter for Astrobiology magazine about my Enceladus work. The article is here. Did a pretty good job of getting things right and not quoting me out of context, but 8 am is not the best time of day for me to talk to the press. If anyone's interested in the actual paper this article was based on, it is here.
notmatt: (Default)
Did I mention that my parents are truly awesome? They came out a couple of weeks ago, bought us a bunch of baby stuff, and did chores 'round the house while [ profile] kathleenroberts and I were at work. I think they have an Absolute Cleanliness Field. You blink and my father's folded the laundry. Turn around and the counters are clean. I certainly can't complain about that. And it takes so little to make them happy. A martini and the local produce and cheeses will do it. We took them to the Castroville Artichoke Festival. Guess what we ate there? (Hint: not matzo ball soup).

They'll be coming out again in August to help with the baby. So many people I know can't stand their parents, but I seem to have lucked out.
notmatt: (eeyore)
Well, the fire's been contained. Looks like our town won't burn after all. Hooray firefighters! Boo the guy who was burning trash up there that started this thing.

In unrelated news, I saw a flyer today from the "Campus Sustainability Council" adverstising that they will hold a beach bonfire. *facepalm*


May. 22nd, 2008 09:13 am
notmatt: (Default)
There's a wildfire burning up the mountains a few miles north of town. Watsonville's not being threatened or evacuated (yet), but I think I'll still be taking the important documents and such in to work with me just in case.
notmatt: (Enceladus)
Yay, cashes! My re-appointment finally came through. Good to know I won't suddenly become unemployed and uninsured when [ profile] kathleenroberts is 8.5 months pregnant. I wasn't expecting any problems, but now I have the official letter from the dean.

Well, back at it. In the midst of writing a grant proposal to NASA. I believe Francis still has 2-3 years worth of funding left for me, but this would be my own money. Plus it gives me practice writing proposals at a time when failure is not catastrophic.


Apr. 25th, 2008 11:34 am
notmatt: (Default)
Got a message this morning informing me that my appointment would be ending 30 June 2008, and that they had no paperwork for a reappointment. I know (because I had to sign off on it) that my supervisor had filed that paperwork months ago.

As it turns out, they did have the paperwork. It had just been mis-filed. Everything's on track for the reappointment. That's good, because I don't need my health benefits to stop when my wife is 37 weeks along. I'm still hoping APL comes up with the money to hire me, but this gives me another year of breathing room. And I haven't said "no" to DLR yet, but I need to make a decision on that soon.


notmatt: (Default)

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