Category Archives: Family

Sleeping Through the Night

My baby daughter is finally sleeping through the night now. The first night would have been September 13th, but my wife had to get up to change her diaper at about 5:30 AM. So that one doesn’t count.

On September 14th, however, neither of us had to get up! The little one went to bed about 11 PM and stayed in the bed until about 6 AM when my wife and I had to get up to get ready for work. Mind you, we had to put her pacifier back in her mouth during the night when she would start wiggling which woke us up, but we did not have to get up out of the bed until morning came.

What a sweet thing it is to stay in the bed through the night!

Name Tags in Picasa

Alvin Trusty posted about Picasa Name Tags on his blog called Alvin’s Educational Technology Blog. Well, I was in a position to take a look having just gotten some photos of my daughter uploaded and organized in Picasa as a Web Album.

Now, you have to turn this feature on in your Settings. After this, a button will appear on the right-hand side of the page. Click it to start processing your photos for faces. It took about 3-4 minutes to process about 175 photos I had uploaded. I’ve got to say my results were mixed. Different lighting situations that the photos were taken under seems to throw off the face matching. But that’s OK! It did match most of the faces correctly and I found that the first suggestion of a face it wasn’t sure about was always correct.

My biggest complaint had to do with the face of my daughter. She’s about 2 months old and the program didn’t match her face that well, but what can you expect from a brand new technology and photos of a newborn going back to her birth? It also matched a pacifier she happened to have in her mouth as a face!

Clearly the technology isn’t perfected, but it’s still one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen and it worked well enough for me to identify the faces it couldn’t very quickly. (A quick word of advice: when adding people to pictures remember to position the frame over the person’s face BEFORE selecting the person’s name. If you need to delete the outline click the X in the People section on the right-hand side of the screen. You have to click X once to remove the name and a second time to remove the frame.) Google continues to push the limits of what’s possible. I am quite impressed with this new feat. It’s definitely a feature I plan to leave on.

[Update!] The Picasa 3 Beta is out! They’ve probably included this new technology in the new version!

YouTube Video: Picasa Web Albums: Introducing name tags

The Best Day

Today, my wife gave me a big surprise. She called me at work after school (I teach High School) sounding really sweet. She was already on her way to pick me up before we got off the phone. I had no clue what was in store.

Well, since it was our 2 year and 4 month anniversary, she wanted to do something special and romantic. So, we talked a bit and decided to go on a date and dine out at Makoto’s in Boone. That’s about an hour drive for us, so we had plenty of time to talk and share. About halfway there, she pulled into the Exxon station in Banner Elk at the TyneCastle shopping center. She pulled out an anniversary card and a small gift wrapped in green frog paper. I opened the box first and found a pregnancy test wrapped up in a plastic bag. It had two pink lines. I looked up at her face and saw the most beautiful, humble smile I have ever seen on her lovely face. And I leaned over and kissed her.

I opened the card next and read it aloud. I was going to be a daddy and my wife had made the occasion of telling me so special. She said she did a triple take when the test results appeared. It took her a while to decide how to tell me, but I think she did a spectacular job. And the setting was beautiful. It was a misty evening with light rain giving all the tree trunks a beautiful, dark wet look that contrasted with the fall foliage. I tell you the scenery was breathtaking! Even with the rain and the mist, the trees glowed with color. It was the most beautiful place for a most beautiful revelation and I will always treasure that memory.

Well, after a little while I went into the store to get her a caffeine-free drink and a Slim Jim beef jerky – if they had them. They didn’t so I returned with a Sierra Mist Free and drove to Makoto’s. We had a dinner of sesame chicken and water and afterwards I drove us home. Coming down the mountains, we got to enjoy the colors of the leaves one more time before night fell.

And now I’m writing this post. I hope you get to experience this in your own life. I expect I’ll be writing more now that I’ve broken the ice and have something worth telling. At least for me, this is something worth telling and I figure there are people out there who will enjoy it with me too.