31 July 2008

How I track my fitness walking

Since I started my fitness training this week (and that includes fitness walking, or what I sometimes call power walking), I thought I'd share what I use to track my walks.

About.com: Walking
is a great resource for walking for fitness or sport. I like keeping track of my distances and times with a handy spreadsheet that they have. You can download it or any of the logging tools they have on their Track Your Walks page.

It's easy for me to track my time. I usually just use the clock or timer on my cell phone. How do I know how far I've walked? I used to drive my car along the route, but that doesn't always work if you cut through parks. Now I like to use MapMyRun. It's integrated with GoogleMaps. You can plot and save different runs. And you can switch between map and satellite view, which is helpful for plotting the course that cuts through a park.

Photo by vortistic and used via the Creative Commons Attribution License.

30 July 2008

Boston, 2006

Time for another photo flashback...

Me near the Tadpole Playground in the Boston Commons, 13 November 2006.

29 July 2008

New bloggers

There are a couple of new bloggers out there that I wanted to shout out and recognize:

Dig, Grow, Compost Blog from my friend Jean, formerly of Austin, and now in Louisiana. If you are into gardening, check out her blog.

Memorias and Memories from blogger user rocky, who also happens to be my mom.

Welcome aboard!

"Young Woman at her Weblog, after Seurat", by Mike Licht, and used via the Creative Commons Attribution License.

28 July 2008

Getting back into the fitness habit

Before I was pregnant with BabyBoy, I was in the best shape of my life. I could do a decent 10k (fitness walking, not running) and I was regularly going to the gym to do weights. Even while I was pregnant, I kept some of the routine up, though, obviously not to the same level. Well, now that BabyBoy is 6 months, I have decided that I need to get back into the fitness habit again. I went to the gym for the first time in a couple of months this morning. I got there bright and early at 5:30 a.m. I feel a little sore and a little tired, but it is a good feeling, not only physically, but mentally as well. Wish me luck or encourage my consistency, however you want to think of it.

Photo courtesy of flickr user midiman and used via the Creative Commons Attribution License.

27 July 2008

Busy weekend for BabyBoy

This was a busy weekend for me! On Saturday, Grandma from San Antonio dropped by to visit me on her way to Temple. She spoon-fed me squash and we got to play a little bit before she had to leave. And today, my Mommy's cousins, also from Temple and Richardson, came by to visit us. We got to play on the floor and chat. I am really happy to have met them. I can't wait to tell everyone at school all about it! Hope you have a great week!

25 July 2008

Whew! It's the end of the week!

I've survived my first week back at work with my new job (it's been great!). BabyBoy also started going full time at daycare again. We are both pretty tired now. He even fell asleep at the dinner table!

22 July 2008


This afternoon, I participated in a medical study for a product called Milkscreen, which tests the level of alcohol in breast milk. So, as a participant, I got to drink and pump, and then dip the test strip. They also did breathalyzer tests as well. It was cool, not only for the drinks and snacks, but fun to chat with other breastfeeding moms. And I got some cool stuff as compensation.

21 July 2008

People I know in recent news

A couple of people I know have made appearances in the media.

First, today was my first day at my new job at Phurnace Software. And in today's Tech Monday section of the Austin American-Statesman was an article about Phurnace's venture backing and an interview with our CEO Larry Warnock. (I had a good first day at work, by the way.)

Second, a musician buddy of mine from my rock 'n' roll days, Neil Curran, was also in the American-Statesman a few days ago. This article was promoting his second appearance on TLC's Flip This House. I knew Neil back when he was in the Dead End Cruisers and I was in Stretford. I watched the special hour-long show, Flip This House: Diary of a Flip, last Saturday night, and it was pretty good. If you can catch a re-run, you should. Interesting side-note: Neil's new band, The Score, has 3 out of 4 Dead End Cruisers, and the fourth guy was the bass player from Stretford.

19 July 2008

Book review: F is for Fugitive

F is for Fugitive is another Kinsey Millhone mystery by Sue Grafton. Kinsey, the tough, wise-cracking private investigator, must search for a killer in the murder of Jean Timberlake that happened 17 years ago in order to clear Bailey Fowler's name. During her quest, 3 other people are murdered as well.

I thought this was a much better installment than the last Grafton book I read, D is for Deadbeat. There were plenty of twists and turns, and the revelation was quite thrilling. A good page turner this was. I thought I had guessed whodunnit, but I didn't get it until right before Kinsey did. Overall, I'd give this an 8 out of 10.

18 July 2008

New floatie

We got BabyBoy a floatie for the pool and he took a test drive this morning.

17 July 2008

Desert Willow

Taken this morning in our backyard.

16 July 2008

Work in progress

Today I did the first coat of paint on the lower cabinets. D worked on the doors and drawers outside.

15 July 2008

Summer days

Just a few things to update. My new job starts next Monday, so I feel like my summer is winding down. I'm trying to fit in a few more things this week, like taking BabyBoy to the pool this morning. He did well. We actually stayed in the water for 45 minutes, an improvement over last week.

This afternoon, I finally started priming my kitchen cabinets for painting. I say finally, because I took the doors off the cabinets about 4 years ago. I figure BabyBoy will be crawling soon, so, I need to finish what I started long ago and get these cabinets done! Please add your encouragement to the comments area so I can accomplish this before he is mobile!

Speaking of BabyBoy, we finally found a vegetable that he likes to eat. He didn't like sweet potatoes nor green beans, but he does like peas. He also likes apples, but the pediatrician prefers we stick to vegetables first. I'm just happy that he likes something green.

Photo by flickr user Faeryan and used by the Creative Commons Attribution License.

14 July 2008

Book review: Everyday Scripting with Ruby

Everyday Scripting with Ruby (for Teams, Testers, and You)
, by Brian Marick, is a good introduction to the Ruby language. Marick has a good conversational style that is not too cutesy like some other instructional texts I've read. The book is very textbook in that it develops everything step-by-step. It is geared toward the reader with very little knowledge of programming or scripting.

I also like how the scripts and projects that are developed are actually useful scripts to a software tester: an uninstaller checker, a script to gauge the amount of churn in a source control system, a website scraper script that extracts and data and reformats it to CSV, and a watchdog script. Interspersed between the chapters pertaining to the projects are chapters that go more in depth to the concepts that are presented in the project chapters. For example, in the discussion of CSV files, Hashes are introduced. In the following chapter, Marick shows all kinds of things that one can do with a Hash that was not covered.

Marick also introduces quite well the concept and practice of test driven development in his discuss of Test::Unit. He demonstrates the thought process of writing the basic script assuming Ruby provides everything, then writing tests for methods that need to be constructed, and then scripting the methods themselves.

I have finished reading the book but I am still working the exercises. The publisher's website has discussion and errata that have been very helpful.

This book is definitely a good way to get started in Ruby. I've definitely gotten interested in the language because of it, and I can't wait to start honing my skills more. 9 out 10.

13 July 2008

Angels and Mickey

D and BabyBoy wearing their Anaheim souvenir t-shirts from Abuela and Grandpa in California.

12 July 2008

Sippy cup

Not liking the sippy cup at first (even after we took the no-spill valve out)...

...but eventually deciding to try it out.

11 July 2008

Getting our feet wet

Today we took BabyBoy to the public pool for the first time. All in all, I think he enjoyed the water. But I think we were only in the kiddie pool for about 15 minutes. And then he got tired, so we went home. I can't wait to try it again.

10 July 2008

Pancakes for dinner

Sometimes you just gotta do it. D satisfied my whim.

08 July 2008

First vegetable

Tonight at dinner we offered BabyBoy his first vegetable after he ate some rice cereal. He took a few spoonfuls of sweet potato (pureed baby food, of course), and then decided he did not like it. The look on his face was priceless. I wish I had caught it on camera.

Photo by Carl E. Lewis and used by Creative Commons Attribution License.

07 July 2008

My first Ruby script: finding duplicate photo files

I've started on the large task of organizing my digital photo files. My disorganization stems from a couple of things. First, when I began using a digital camera, I used iPhoto. I don't really use it now. But I've noticed that iPhoto makes some duplicate files. Second, I think I have duplicate files from backups and from migrating from old machines to new ones. Compounded with the fact that most of the files begin with DSCN or DCP, it is a mess. So, to help me get started, I thought I would write a script that would create a report of any duplicate files and their locations. Also, since I'm about one third of the way through the Everyday Scripting with Ruby by Brian Marick, I know just enough to be dangerous. After a couple of evenings of blundering my way through this, I finally have my first Ruby script.

To call this script, you can pass in a list of directories, or it will default to the current directory.

06 July 2008


I have started using a nice Mac OS X text editor called TextMate, and so far am liking it very well. I'm working with the 30 day trial before deciding whether or not I want to buy it. It comes with support for many languages. I like that you can execute shell commands from within TextMate itself, saving time from flipping back and forth between applications. I also like the collapsible code blocks. This was a feature I loved about QAPartner/SilkTest, and it is nice to see that here.

One thing that did take me a while to figure out was how to get TextMate to recognize environment variables. It turned out that I had no .bash_profile configured in my home directory, and TextMate sources this before it runs a script. So, in my case, I needed for TextMate to find Subversion. I created the following .bash_profile in my home directory:

[ -f /etc/profile ] && . /etc/profile
[ -f ~/.bashrc ] && . ~/.bashrc

export PATH="/opt/subversion/bin:$HOME/bin:/opt/local/bin:$PATH"

After restarting TextMate, I was able to call svn from within my Ruby scripts inside of TextMate.

05 July 2008

Second tooth

While we were busy being sick with the stomach flu a few days ago, my son was busy cutting his second tooth. We finally got a chance to take a photo of that today.

04 July 2008

Happy 4th of July

Today we went to a 4th of July parade in my neighborhood.

03 July 2008

Baby babbles

My son is getting very expressive in his vocalizations. I tried to capture a few of them. Both are about a minute long. Here he is before bath time. He's starting to get a little tired:

And here he is after bath, on the changing table:

By the way, I'm still new to the embedded flash mp3 player idea. This player I'm using on this post was the first that seemed really simple. So, if anyone can suggest a good player, please leave me a comment. Thanks!

02 July 2008

Roly-poly time

Hi. I'm new here to this world. Literally. I'm giving my mommy a blogging break today. That stomach bug I gave my parents was quite vicious. It was so bad yesterday, they asked my super-duper friend J to watch me for the afternoon at his house. I had a great time. I got to do tummy time, which is now officially called roly-poly time, because I'm so good now at rolling over both ways. This is a picture of me showing how good I am at this. I also got to play with neighbor W. I took a nap in the car and then I woke up at Luby's which was strange. Then I started getting cranky just in time for my bath and bed time. Mommies were feeling much better and glad to have me home. Thanks J for being such a great friend to us. We love you.