October 2007

Buzz Lightyear, Butterfly, and Jacko.





Here it is, in full color!  The lowdown on Shana’s Birthday Beach Party. 

img_8386.JPG       We laid down an ‘ocean floor’ in the basement, after clearing out everything else, so we had a huge space to ‘swim’ in!  The kids loved it, running around in circles saying ,”swim swim, swim swim!”  Vanilla loved it too, and the balloon ribbons too! 


 The girls started out the party in their dresses… (and yes, every one of the 4 girls had at least one tooth missing!)


But soon changed into Shana’s swimming suits!  Good thing she has four! 

 We played “musical beach towel”, where the girls ran around the beach towel while the music played, then

  had to jump onto the towel when the music stopped!  It got smaller and smaller until we all dissolved into giggles. 

  We also played “Pin the coconut on the Palm Tree!” 

And of course, opened up the gifts! 


The pièce de résistance, the Sandcastle Cake!  Nate, of course, was the chef and cake decorateur extraordinaire.

Shana said to me, “Mom, that was the best birthday party ever!” 

police-car-lightsweb.jpgApparently if you’re on the phone with the HealthLink nurse and you mention “shortness of breath” and “chest pain,” you get transferred immediately to EMS.  And EMS doesn’t ask you if you’re okay, they ask for your address and could you please unlock your front door in case you’re unconscious when the paramedics arrive.  Two minutes later (this is 1am) there’s a firetruck and an ambulance at your door, a crowd of people in your living room, and a dozen wires from your chest and legs to their portable EKG.

I’d called HealthLink thinking I may have pneumonia and wondering if I should wait until after Thanksgiving to go see my doctor or whether I should go to emergency.  They just got a little sidetracked with the chest pain business.  So after the paramedics decided my heart was fine I took advantage of the situation to get a ride to the hospital.  But even there the chest pain played in my favour, as I got a bed immediately.  Their tests also showed my heart was fine, x-rays showed my lungs were okay too, but blood tests show I’m “definitely fighting some kind of infection.” 

The doctor said it may be what he called “atypical pneumonia,” but that it was likely viral so all I could do is get lots of rest and expect it to hang around another few weeks.  He prescribed a short dose of antibiotics just in case, because that’s what doctors do the cough has been going on for three weeks already.

I took a cab home at 4 am and when the kids woke up in the morning they had no idea all the excitement they’d missed.

Woohoo!  I just got the green light from GEO-SLOPE to do a corporate blog.  I’ll be blogging about GeoStudio from a non-engineer’s perspective, showing tips and tricks on how to make the most of our software.  Download our free Student Edition, read Grokking GeoStudio, get yourself a coffee and a geotechnical PhD, and you’ll be building dams in your back yard before you can say “factor of safety”.

Why, I hear you ask, would GEO-SLOPE want me, a non-engineer, to write a blog aimed at engineers?

  • To show the UI side of the software.  Engineers tend to talk about engineering problems, but it’s obvious from watching and talking with our customers at workshops and conferences that there are lots of hidden features that would let them use it more smoothly if only they knew what to click.  Sure they’re all described in the online help, but who reads a manual?!
  • To show our human side.  A blog is a great place to show that there are real people behind the cold corporate facade.
  • To experiment with blogging.  We may decide to do more in this area, but we’re just getting our feet wet.  We need to figure out how comfortable we are with this medium, and learn by experience whether we prefer an “unofficial” vs an “official” blog, how much control or freedom we want the blogger to have (can I talk about upcoming features? can I talk about a competitor? can I say bad things about our software?), and so on.
  • To provide quality external links to our web site.  A web site will tend to show up higher in search results if other sites are linking to it.

Our October newsletter will be going out next week to around 36000 addresses with a link to Grokking GeoStudio, so we’ll quickly see if this is something people like or not.