Simple Life

The power of being present

Last week while I was traveling I talked to my very upset daughter using FaceTime. I don't know what caused her to be upset only that she was. Within a few minutes she was smiling and talking to me before going to bed and it was great. Tonight I was reminded, however, just how hollow those 'victories' can be. Coming home from daycare she wanted some 'daddy' time. She came into my office and crawled up on my lap. There we sat. She lying on my chest resting her head on my shoulder and me slightly reclined in my office chair. Nothing needed to be said. There was nothing to be done. Just being present. Life is filled with simple things that make us who we are.

Getting ready for Drupalchix

In the days and weeks before the arrival of our newest addition to the family we're getting ready to have folks come stay at the house. One of the things we've traditionally resisted is having a "Guest Room". Frankly paying rent on a room and keeping it up just for the few nights a year it would be used has never made much sense to me. When somebody drops by we have a very nice airbed that does a reasonable job.

This time, however, things are a little different. The folks will be in town and staying a little longer than normal so something a little better would be handy. We considered going out to find a futon mattress to make for a more regular bed.

The problem always came back to the same old discussion of what to do when we weren't having guests. So we placed a call to the local furniture rental shop and viola. Days later a brand new bed and bed frame arrived and was setup. It couldn't have been simpler. For less than the cost of one night in a hotel room we now have a very nice queen sized bed in the "guest room". The best part is in a month or 6-weeks we simply call and have it taken away.

Gmail as lifesaver

For several years I've been a big user of Google Apps. All my email routes to Google's servers and with the great IMAP functionality I've considered myself fortunate not to need to run email servers much anymore.

A few weeks ago I moved from using the powerful Apple Mail and MailActOn combination to using the Google web interface. While I still sync up with IMAP every day or so and will continue to use Mail both for offline access (though this seems to be coming along in Gmail) and some advanced features like integration with iLife and other apps, Gmail has a few features that Apple Mail can't match.

One of the big features is an addition to the labs tab in Gmail which provides a seemingly simple "Send & Archive" button.


Goodbye 2008, Hello 2009

Here we have the obligatory last post of 2008. The lists of things that changed this year could fill volumes. Waiting for the fireworks last year, in a house with no blinds on the windows, we were just getting started on the new adventure. Quite an adventure it has been too.

Starting a new Drupal consultancy at the beginning of the year. Getting more involved in the Drupal community and wrapping up the winter with a visit to Boston for my first Drupalcon. Even a few months in Drupalcon was a chance to renew friendships and make many new friends.

After a winter of travel and coming home to Idaho we came home and got down to work. Several projects cranked out and lots of Drupaling later it came time for a summer of travel. From Oregon to Maryland the trips were great. Once again it seemed everywhere I landed the topic of conversation was Drupal. One of the highlights was spending hours manning the Drupal booth at OSCON with Kieran, who would soon become a colleague at Acquia though that wasn't to come till a little later.

A perfect gift

In general we're quite fortunate. We don't have much to want for. We manage to keep things simple and while we have more stuff than we should we're in the culling process. However one area of frustration has persisted. In the list of life's many needs popcorn is writ large with permanent marker. The problem is finding a reasonable way to make popcorn that doesn't destroy the environment along the way. And the added benefit would be to cut off those wonderful preservatives that are used to embalm pre-packaged popcorn.

Saturday morning in the fall

Osprey in flightAutumn is one of my favorite times of year. Actually truth be told I love most of the seasons, each for their own beauty and grandeur. Mornings that start with a deep chill and transform into crisp days filled with color are hard to beat. Beyond the inherent beauty the promise of winter's coming is inescapable. Skiing, ice skating and building snow forts are just around the corner while the days grow short.

Fall Cleanup

Spring cleaning in my mind gets overbilled. Sure spring days are sometimes warmer than their cousins in the fall, but the days of fall just beg for a good cleanup. Getting the house in order and ready for the longer nights of winter where the family will be inside more of the waking day is but one of the advantages. Fall cleanups, with the holidays and gift-giving around the corner also provide a great opportunity to assess what the family's needs are. With these ideas fresh in mind one is much less likely to run out and get a gift for a family member that isn't needed.


Subscribe to Simple Life