Sunday, July 13, 2008

Jay: Are We There Yet?

I haven’t figured out yet exactly how to modify .htaccess to make permalinks to posts on this blog redirect to the same posts in the eeblog folder.  While I’m waiting for guru help - at least, I think I have former colleagues who may know the answer offhand and can cut me to the chase - I will probably go ahead and setup a new blog with WordPress, pointing prominently to the old blog and overlapping several recent posts.  That gets it done, and worst case I may be able to do the same with the other blog I need to work on, just to get it started, knowing the redirection is possible and just tricky.

I just hate to see any links broken.  Certainly not for long, even if it’s for the same of Google.

I also have a small client site update to do with static pages, which I am about to start so I can have it done and billed by Monday.  That ought to get me a check by the end of the week, even if it’s small.

I’m going to regret being awake now, but apparently it was a bad idea to drink seven mugs of coffee during the course of Saturday.  I was able to do very little on this with the kids, so hey, I can be a zombie for them and muddle through.

03:19 AM | BloggingGeekeryKids • (0) CommentsPermalink

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Jay: Still Working On It

It was a rough night and has been somewhat of a rough morning.  And here’s Henry to stop me again!  Despite having his sisters for entertainment.

You may see less of a blip than I thought, if the migration works as I expect.  Stay tuned…

08:58 AM | BloggingGeekeryKids • (0) CommentsPermalink

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Jay: Little Devil

I needed a post with a picture so I can test messing with the RSS feed, and these were good ones.  This is why the VCR and DVD player are now on top of the TV.  This one he pointed defiantly, but he also does a full fledged “talk to the hand” as he did to me in the bath tonight.  He is so incorrigible.

07:18 PM | BloggingGeekeryKidsPictures • (0) CommentsPermalink

Jay: Artificial Colors!

I managed to get a solid experiment in today to get an idea whether Henry reacts to artificial colors, which was the most logical reason he’d react to Kool-Aid and, ultimately, Country Time.  This would apparently be far from unheard of.

There is a Kool-Aid flavor, which happens to be an especially good one, that has no color at all.  They use that as a marketing coolness factor.  Maybe there are other clear flavors, but the one we’ve had is kiwi watermelon, and we had another packet.  I decided to make that the next one I made and to give the baby some, after reading the ingredients.


No.  Reaction.  Period.

If anything, he’s having an unusually calm day, except the runny nose in the morning from the diesel trains and/or honeysuckle or other growing things and/or wood smoke last night and/or dust.  He barely even got itchy as he tends to when he was ready to sleep again.  The itch sensation can cross and be confused with pain or unhappiness/discomfort, so he’ll itch, for instance, in response to tooth pain, gas pain, or emotional distress.

All he has had today has been a couple Club crackers, a piece of toast, and the clear Kool-Aid.  He’s napping at the time I’d have offered him more to eat.

He drank a large quantity, too.  When he steals Kool-Aid from the sisters, it can be little more than a sip to set him off, usually pretty quickly.  It’s gotten to where we infer he’s gotten it by his reaction.  I managed to keep theirs completely away from him, as they had the tail end of berry flavored blue Kool-Aid.

In a way, it’s onerous knowing that he reacts to at least two or three colors, but it’s also a relief to know and to be able to screen accordingly.

01:46 PM | Food & CookingKidsMedical • (0) CommentsPermalink

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Jay: Recruiter

So I spent $28 we don’t have for gas to go meet with a recruiter for 15 minutes yesterday, throwing in a stop for Sadie’s birth certificate on the way.  It was kind of an obligatory thing they do because they promise their client companies that they have personally met and screened the prospects.  It mainly consisted of a get to know you slightly better and discuss what want to do.  Which, as I told him, is part of my problem, but the obvious option of project management sounds good to me.  He could get me DBA (database administrator) work with SQL Server if I were more qualified.  That’s a case of probably could, but wouldn’t be what they really want.  Trouble with me is my tremulous “probably could” is probably more capable than half the people who assertively put themselves forth as such.

I have no idea whether he’ll really come up with anything for me, and it’s got to be just one basket.  Today I need to start invoking my plan weeks in the brewing for which now it may be too late, which includes begging for work here and to a mailing list of contacts*, begging for help with the gas & electric bill, and holding a fundraising CotC most of which would also go to the gas & electric so it doesn’t get turned off before I have more income.  All of this was supposed to go hand in hand and happen a while ago, though originally I hadn’t thought of having people send money straight to the utility and the emphasis was one fundraising CotC and hello, need work.

Today I also might want to run to storage for a while.  It’s paid through the 16th, so there are 3 more days on which I can go inventory it and remove stuff before it gets overlocked pending being able to pay for it.  Or clean it out completely and put the stuff somewhere else pending sale of whatever can and should be sold.

Anyway, if the recruiter gets me work, I can expect it to pay in the 60-100k range, sounds like most likely around 80k.  I’ll believe it when I see it, but it’d be nice to be in that kind of turnaround territory.

* I tend to assume most people already know my situation - needing work, if not the about to be homeless part - but recently one of the former colleagues I am closest to, to the point of being in the group of friends I get together with periodically, chastised me because he had no idea.  So apparently I have to advertise heavily.

06:26 AM | BloggingBusinessJob HuntingKidsMassachusettsMoney • (0) CommentsPermalink

Monday, July 07, 2008

Jay: Not the Post I’d Planned

Have to go meet a recruiter today.  The kids are crazy.

Sadie woke crying in wee hours with apparently a sinus headache.  Which happened to Valerie 24 hours before, though she’s prone to headaches and it may not have been sinus.

Henry a little while ago drank a substantial amount of Valerie’s coffee and has gone all puffy and squinty-eyed and a little rashy, but he’s also been miserable, as has Deb. and for that matter me.  People burning?  No!  Something blooming around the corner, smells like maybe honeysuckle, so strong it can be hard to sleep.

So we’re not sure how much is the coffee and how much is that.  The coffee is about 1 part coffee, some sugar and dry creamer, and 5 parts cold water.  He’s had black coffee with sugar before and not blown up, but the non-dairy creamer has dairy in it, along with whatever else, so who knows.  At least it’s not almost pure milk as it would have been before we realized Val had a problem with the milk.

Anyway, I have to go get ready to go to the Stoughton town hall for Sadie’s birth certificate to sign up for RomneyCommunistCare and decriminalize ourselves in the eyes of the state, then the recruiter in Burlington.  And other errands.

09:53 AM | BloggingFood & CookingJob HuntingKidsMassachusettsMedicalMoneyNewsHealth CarePoliticsStupidity • (0) CommentsPermalink

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Jay: True Names

We’ve been holding out.  You may think we have kids named Sadie, Valerie and Henry, but really their names are:

12:01 PM | HumorKids • (2) CommentsPermalink

Jay: So Last Night…

Henry got mild hives and redness on his torso from eating or dripping on himself at supper...???

Which is to say he had nothing that didn’t appear on the list I posted as a food he’s been fine with, perhaps with minimal reservations.

And he wasn’t itchy to speak of, though he’d had a recent dose of Tylenol, which helps with itching.

I’ve decided to blame that on the peas.  Specifically, juice (residual water they cooked in) from the peas, as an external action, which I have suspected before, from peas and from other things, like corn and sweet potatoes.

I’m also inclined to eliminate the lemonade completely for a while, which means we need to get some pure lime juice, or limes to produce same, and make him limeade with nothing but water, lime and sugar in it, as his only alternative to water.  Well, unless we have him drink rice milk.

I might feed him a snack of just the handful of remaining peas sometime today and watch carefully.  After the benadryl I apparently have to give him because he woke up miserable and maybe was worsened by lemonade has time to wear off.  I’ve been typing most of this while he stands holding onto my leg, crying piteously and wanting to continue being held All Day Long.

This is so frustrating.

He’s in the living room with Sadie, post-benadryl, and I realized I had more.

Supper for him last night was plain spaghetti, ingredients: wheat; leftover frozen peas; bread, ingredients: wheat, water, salt, sugar, yeast, Crisco; baked chicken, ingredients: chicken and a few seasonings on the outside, including salt, garlic powder, rosemary, savory, sage, celery, nutmeg, mostly in absurdly tiny amounts.  That was it, except I think he was drinking water at the time.

He had a big red welt on his chest where he’d have leaned on the tray, bumps lower on his belly, heaviest near the diaper line where stuff might collect, and milder bumps on his back where it contacted the chair.

I rubbed pure Ivory dish soap on his upper arm to test, no reaction, which means it’s not likely a reaction to having cleaned the chair and tray and maybe left residue.

At least part of it seemed as much about contact as about ingestion.  It was virtually gone after splashing in the tub immediately after supper.

Very strange.

08:27 AM | Food & CookingKidsMedical • (1) CommentsPermalink

Friday, July 04, 2008

Jay: Henry the Lab Rat

It’s official: Henry is allergic to dairy. 

Not “sensitive,” as with the very clear salicylates thing, but break out in hives and stuff allergic at small exposure, depending which thing it is exactly.  He ate a lot of butter without it being obvious, but cheese that shouldn’t have histamines to speak of, and baby yogurt with whole milk and no flavoring, both in nothing quantities, made him rapidly and unambiguously react.  Especially the yogurt, after a day re-isolated from any dairy. 

We’d given Sadie the yogurt, after she begged for it, and since we were already 99% sure of the allergy, so we would have not fed even a little of it to him as planned.  Then Valerie had to have some too.  He got into the residue of Valerie’s a while later, and voila.  I’m glad I didn’t let him taste even a smidge of baked sweet potato, so there could be no second guessing.  Plus the reaction to too much of that would be different.

The good thing is that it’s sufficiently mild that a trace in some random food is not a major concern, and it’s something that tends to fade.

The bad thing is how hard it will be to keep him from getting his hands on bits of it, as happened tonight, when he’s not supposed to have it.  If the girls were still drinking milk, we’d have to stop.

Poor kid.  He just adored butter on his rice and toast.

Guess we can move on to the next test, after he’s had a couple days to recover.  Not even sure what the next test will be.  I don’t remember if we’d planned past the dairy, or were itching to try something else.  Probably a good idea to rule in more of the obviously no problem stuff, like barley, just to expand the yes list.  The guidance out there on what’s high in salicylates has been reliable so far, but individuals vary.  I don’t want to try eggs or peanut butter/peanuts until a year old or more.  Ditto any other nuts.

I’m relieved all the grains except corn-as-grain have been fine so far.  Corn-as-vegetable seems okay in limited quantities (which is the story with a lot of things).  He can have crackers, bread, cookies, etc. that don’t have other offending ingredients.  He can have any of the primary, non-smoked or spiced meats (won’t even try ham, sausage or hot dogs for a long time) so far.  He can have iceberg lettuce, as implied by the salicylates guides and it not being a common allergen.

Actually, I tried to do a list last week that I then forgot to take to my grandmother’s with me.  Foods Henry has eaten successfully and can have, or can/should be able to have if limited in this first list:

Canned pears in heavy syrup
Peeled ripe pears
Golden delicious apple (peeled)
Lemon in Country Time lemonade
Pinto beans
Black beans
Iceberg lettuce
White potatoes (peeled)
Green beans
Sweet corn
White sugar
Soy oil
Cottonseed oil
Rice milk
Brown sugar
Corn syrup (seems OK as ingredient in foods)
Potato chips, unflavored
Oat O cereal
Standard pasta that doesn’t contain corn as “whole wheat” pasta does
Keebler Club crackers and presumably anything similarly limited to OK ingredients
Wal-Mart store brand vanilla wafer cookies
Rice cakes (unflavored)
Bread that doesn’t contain dairy, usually served as toast
Flour tortillas

Can’t have, or must be really limited, based on experience:

Bananas (apparent allergy, not salicylates)
Pear juice
Apple juice
Grape juice
Any flavor Kool-Aid brand drink mix
Most apples
Sweet potato (probably OK if limited)
Dairy, notably cheese, milk, yogurt even plain (allergy, not salicylates, apparently caused the infamous ambulance ride)
Corn meal or flour, including corn tortilla chips specifically
Popcorn (seemed OK to have a small bit but not in quantity) (unbuttered)

Herbs, spices and other remarks

There are a mess of herbs and spices considered high in salicylates, many of which he has had in limited quantity derived from flavoring foods, to no ill effect that was clear.  I got the impression sometime early in this that black pepper especially bothered him, and perhaps red, so I avoid black and limit or avoid red in anything he might eat.  He can eat garlic and onion and salt freely.  Sometimes I cook him something plain alongside our spiced, or remove some plain or lightly seasoned and then finish.  For instance, we might have chili, while he has a burger or some steak.  I might spice beans for chili or burritos, but pull some plain after they are cooked, which he can eat for a couple days, then spice the rest.  When I made garlic and rosemary (and salt) fries recently, he ate them with us and was fine.  Thought they were awesome.  If a piece of meat is heavily spiced on the outside, I might give him only inner parts.  I’ve been worrying some about spices, but not a lot due to quantities involved, just holding back some.

He seems to have issues with some flavors or preservatives or colors, as evident especially with the Kool-Aid.  He has had a couple tastes of Jell-O and seemed fine, but it was little, and I hesitate to declare him safe for that, or safe if it’s X flavor.  Lemonade is a good one because lemons and even more so limes should be safe for him.  Well, lemon is moderate, same as a red delicious apple, peeled, or mango (which I didn’t test on him when we had one, as he had other issues at the time), but most fruits are high or very high.

It’s probable he’s having some environmental sensitivities unrelated to food.  Nothing so unambiguous that you can put him near a feather pillow and he sickens, take it away and he clears, or touch him to screen printing on a shirt and he breaks out and itches, or whatever.  Since an allergy to banana, which is possible enough we’ll test with caution, but something else may have been happening when he seemed to react to banana, can be related to a latex allergy, and since he obviously has hay fever, not much would be surprising.

While we haven’t officially given him peanut butter, initially because he’s young for it and ultimately because he has too much trouble to risk it yet, he’s clearly gotten good tastes of it a couple times from his sister and had no overt reaction.  We’re hopeful.  We might have to disown him if he were fully allergic to that.

That’s a much bigger update than I’d intended.  There are some veggies he can try sooner rather than later, but most fruits will be off-limits, especially dried or in jams or as juices.  If there is a banana allergy, that sucks because it’s one of the safest fruits he could eat otherwise.  And he loves it enough after all this time to ask for it by name.  I want to have him try summer squash.  Cauliflower should be very safe.  Asparagus should be safe.  Beets should be safe.  Fresh, not pickled.  Nothing pickled.  Caution with things canned.  We never eat it, but cabbage should be one of his safest foods.  He should be able to have pure maple syrup, which we are out of long since.  I’d tend not to give him the stuff that’s flavored corn syrup.  Corn syrup is the only thing listed as “high” under baking supplies, and one of only a couple things that isn’t listed as “negligible.”

07:44 PM | Food & CookingKidsMedical • (0) CommentsPermalink

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Jay: First Fireworks

I walked with Sadie to the fireworks last night, thinking about it being remembered as her first, and the whole event of walking to the center of town and the crowds of people and carnival stuff being etched in her memory.

The fireworks were excellent, and as in your face close as it gets.  However, while she was awed by them initially, she didn’t like the sound.  About halfway through, the noise became too much, and she plastered herself to me, only peripherally able to see them, and then cried through the big finale.  After which she completely composed herself as if nothing had happened, got up, and led me out of there.

It’s funny she had absolutely zero interest in checking out the carnival area, let alone going on the rides.  I told her maybe next year, if we’re still here, and if we have more money - which we’d have to because we couldn’t possibly have less - maybe we could check out the carnival too.

She practically ran the whole way there, around a mile or so, but was droopy on the way back.  Didn’t want to be carried, though, and made it the whole way.  I’d stuck little LED flashlights in my pocket.  They were originally extensions of miniature first aid kits I put in the cars and briefcase, but a while back they became hers and Valerie’s.  I’d recently found and put them up.  Had she been more intrigued by the light toys vendors were selling, I could bring hers out, but she was just momentarily intrigued.  So I brought hers out on the way home, for her to carry and shine if needed.  She was delighted, and it was an inspired bit of planning.  I used the other one in the couple dark stretches without street lights, or to get her attention.  And to show her how shadows worked.

It was very cool.  I wasn’t sure about it, but I’m very glad we went.

04:34 PM | Kids • (2) CommentsPermalink

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Jay: Butter

Henry tried butter yesterday, twice, with no ill effects we could detect.  He thought rice with butter on it was just amazing.

This following Deb having started eating butter and general foods that contain milk proteins, without apparent problems for him in the nursing department.

Next up, relaxing about things that contain dairy, maybe a taste of cheese that isn’t cheddar or heavily aged/veined/fermented and more subject either to salicylates or histamines, and maybe a little milk sometime, a taste to see what really happens without flavors and colors.

To be able to have mashed potatoes again would be cool.  Ditto when he has the chance to eat squash that’s already been mashed and buttered.

08:42 AM | Food & CookingKidsMedical • (1) CommentsPermalink

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Deb: No no no no no!

So Henry, aided by his newly acquired two front teeth, has learned to say no.  Henry, stop pulling the books off the shelves. NO!  Henry, stop! NO!  I’m serious! NO!

Henry, want chicken for supper? NO! Beans? NO! Pears? ~silence~

10 months old.

09:41 AM | Kids • (1) CommentsPermalink

Monday, June 30, 2008

Jay: I Keep Forgetting

That I haven’t posted anything else today.  I’ve thought of it a few times and meant to, but nope, still the same birthday post.  Nothing about needing to examine and update my resume for a recruiter I talked with today.  Nothing about the need to raise money rapidly for one more major hurdle or still risk being being homeless (and we may have two vehicles now, but the car still isn’t as good as the van would have been for that).  No pictures from the ones pending.  Nothing about trying dairy with Henry to see what happens, starting with Deb, then him if he doesn’t react to that.  I think the dairy thing may have been a red herring, between the cheese being histamines and the milk containing strawberry syrup, which is more suspect than it might be since we know he can’t drink any Kool-Aid flavors due to something in them.  We’re also not convinced beyond a doubt about bananas, which also don’t fit the primary issue and which he loves enough to have begged for by name today.  Which doubles as practice of his mastery of the “n” sound.  As in “no.”

All the quickie items have gone elsewhere, where I can post more easily.  And not even all of those there could have been.

Sadly, it feels like it should be 4:00 and I have several hours ahead, so it’s shocking to see it turning 9:00.  The girls are fighting on my office floor, while Henry cheers them on gleefully.  Guess I should break it up, but it’s kind of funny.

07:45 PM | BloggingCarsJob HuntingKidsMedicalMoneyTotally Random • (0) CommentsPermalink

Friday, June 27, 2008

Jay: One for Caltechgirl

01:06 PM | KidsPictures • (1) CommentsPermalink

Jay: On The Agenda

Herding kids per usual.

Making beans to supplement leftovers.  I love cooking two nights and then having two nights of the leftovers making it easier.

Dealing with bureaucracy.

(Pause for literally hours to do aforementioned herding and post a couple items that were easier or whatnot...)

Nursing my hand that’s too sore to want to use the mouse and isn’t so thrilled about typing.

Work on composing and preparing a bleg, of it can be called that, for work, in context of explaining what we have in mind and why, subject to possible change or serious traditional offers considered, depending how serious and what happens with Deb’s career.

Work on the same basic thing to mass quantities of contacts, some of whom may not know even peripherally about the situation, and many of whom would be well aware my abilities.

The usual dishes and cleaning and organizing.

Work on a more traditional bleg on the possibility there might be any additional sympathy when I explain the next major hurdle we have to get past in order not to be completely screwed.  The PayPal button is still here, in any event, and won’t stop being useful for a long time, or appreciated ever.

Look at the washing machine, which seems to be acting up, and try to find the info for the service plan we paid for, if needed.

Test our electric usage to see if something is draining excess power, including the possibility that something not in our apartment or on our cellar outlet might be tapping it.

Clean the office.  Still.  Again.

Clean the bedroom.

Go through our stuff to purge/segregate/organize for sale more of it.

Run the car before the battery has a chance to fade out again.

Find a plate holder for the front of the car without spending any money, since there is none to spend.  Don’t want to drive it too much with the front plate sitting in on the dashboard.

Backup some pictures.

Reorganize some site hosting stuff.

Post ad info regarding our sites, maybe try to sell more to existing accounts, and pimp that further in any event.

Put together a “back from hiatus” fundraising Carnival of the Capitalists edition, speaking of raising money and advertising.  A couple people donated to us a while back and mentioned it as a thanks or hoping for return of CotC, so it’s partly for them, but also both to let people put their money where their interest is, and help me determine whether that site should remain ad-free or ad-limited, or whether I should load it up or seek sponsorship more vigorously.  In any event, that’s been part of my plan for trying to raise about $3000 in the next six weeks, some of which would be needed no matter how much I can make conventionally.

Update my LinkedIn profile and my resume and extend some of that to other networking-oriented sites.  Update the business site to reflect what I actually intend, until such time as someone makes me a serious enough offer to back off of that.

Probably a slew of other things I’m forgetting or that are trivial or that are implicit.

12:58 PM | BloggingBusinessCarsGeekeryJob HuntingKidsMassachusettsMedicalMoneyTotally Random • (1) CommentsPermalink
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