I spent a lot of the day reading on my kindle and eating a ton of M&Ms. I can't say it was a productive day, but I will say it was relaxing.

A new oven arrived yesterday and was installed. It's still a little weird to see a black modern oven as opposed to the old yellow one that looked like it belonged on the set of Mad Men.

But at least now we can stop using the toaster oven, which is what we've been using since the 11th when the oven died.

I guess I should be glad it died in January and not right after the baby was born. That'd have been annoying and stressful to wait several weeks for a new one, all because we have a non-standard sized oven spot.

So a small little package arrived in the mail today. And in it was a whole lot of awesome! My friend Kati made the most adorable things for the little one arriving soon.

  • Tiny Chuck Taylor All-Stars (that have freaking laces and tongues!).
  • An adorable button hoodie. And he's going to be born in the winter so this is definitely going to get some use to keep him warm. Adorable!
  • And a Jayne hat, which is a pretty iconic hat that one of the Firefly characters (Jayne) wears. 
I cant even. I'm so excited to put these on the little one when he is born. These are A-M-A-Z-I-N-G.

I don't have a photo for today, but I did eat a lot of cookies. And I love this picture. So there you go!

Adam and Comfort are coming over for some comic-themed TV viewing. There are a lot of TV shows on these days based on comics. A lot.

The cat has recently taken to laying on the stairs. He's like a little orange speed bump, lying in wait to trip people.

I met my friend Lori for breakfast this morning and she had some more things she wanted to give us. She's the one who gave us all the baby clothes a few months ago, which was already a super nice gesture in and of itself.

This time she presented me with a big box of books and dvds, a diaper caddie and more. So in addition to being set on clothes, we're pretty well stocked up on books and dvds now!

My brother and parents came out today to visit with us one last time before the baby is born. Chris showed Jeff Watch Dogs, which he was instantly better than me at (of course). He always did pick video games up faster than me.
Chris also showed my parents a game he invented a few months back called Toad and Flies. The game pieces are 3D printed and Chris says his inspiration for the game was Logo, which is a programming language he played with as a kid.

They also brought with them some quilts my aunts made for the baby, as well as some stuffed animals.

This kid already has a gazillion things and he's not even born yet. He is set for the next 12 months on a lot of stuff. I swear.

I met an old co-worker and friend Deanne for lunch downtown this afternoon. We worked together for a few years before she left last year to find something closer to home (she lives in Lansing). Since she was in town for the day it was great to catch up and have lunch with her.

Plus she surprised me with baby stuff. She'd already given me a baby book last year and now a cute onesie, a baby chair, and a nice mug to keep my tea warm (I'm told you'll forget your drink all over the place once the baby is born so this is cut down on the need to microwave constantly).

Chris used to have a weekly game night years ago, before I met him. Dan, Adam and Jeff all played HeroClix. And before that when he was in his 20s he used to play Warhammer with his friend Chris. So he has a lot of different props and figures for various tabletop gaming.

This evening Chris set up a pretty basic board with some giant blocks and old Warhammer pieces to try out the Infinity rule set.

I've never really played true tabletop games, so some of the aspects were a little confusing at first, but after things started to get going it was interesting. Measuring out with a ruler how far your character can move is a...tedious. But I suppose if you were used to it it wouldn't seem like much of a big deal. I think it would be easier to just have a pre-drawn grid of 1" squares.

Dan and Chris both said this was a faster paced game than Warhammer since you can potentially take a turn (a reaction, basically) when someone else makes a move. It almost seems like the difference between a turn-based RPG and an action RPG in video games.

Next we'll have to try out Warmachine, which Dan is interested in.

I actually didn't do much today. I pretty much just caught up on the news (via Chris) on the Microsoft presentation today. He has more information over on his blog.

We watched the Michigan State of the State and then later the State of the Union address and played some bingo. Since both speeches are pretty formulaic and generic on a lot of stuff, it's fun to liven it up with a game.

Leki has been especially cuddly the last few days, settling on me right when I get home. I used to pick him up and carry him with me through the house when I got home from work but as I've gotten bigger it's a little less comfortable to do. I suspect he's missing that.

He's going to be really annoyed at sharing my lap in another month or so with a baby. Poor guy.

Leki has been pretty cuddly this weekend and at night, but since Chris and I have been moving around in the house and were gone for awhile, he's given up for the evening and crawled into his tower.

He has used this tower more since we put it int our bedroom then the 5 previous years he had it combined. I had no idea that moving it to another room like that would prompt him to use it so much. I'm glad he's enjoying it.

We still have a ways to go, but we wanted to get everything prepared ahead of time in case something happens and I'm bed ridden or go into labor early. So I packed a hospital bag, we washed a bunch of baby clothes and organized it, and cleaned up the baby room. Progress!

Chris picked up Boyhood from Redbox to watch today. It was ok. I wasn't really interested to watch it in the first place, but it was better than I thought. The most interesting part was watching the actors age, which I'm thinking is part of the novelty of the movie.

I was messing around on my phone and realized I have the Baby Crying Detector. I completely forgot this silly application Samsung included on the Galaxy S5. I'm sure we'll play with it a little bit, although we do have a regular audio monitor already.

Chris has been doing most of the grocery shopping the last several months, so I don't have to pop into Meijer nearly as often. But to get out of the house this evening after work we did a quick run and picked things up.

Even in the few months where I have stopped shopping the store has moved products around and made it harder to find things. I couldn't find raisins. Seriously. It would be awesome if they would stop moving stuff around and getting rid of any variety of food. I'd prefer to go back to shopping at Family Fare if it wasn't so much more expensive for every day items.

Adam and Comfort came over to watch the latest episode of Agent Carter. Hooray!

The roads are clearing but it's still chilly out. It is January, after all.

We've been having some issues with our oven today, so I ended up baking a batch of cookies in our toaster oven. Only 4 fit in a pan at a time, so it took awhile, but it works in a pinch!

We had a birthing class and hospital tour today. 5 hours long. I can't even imagine spreading this across multiple weeks. It would have just dragged on forever.

A lot of it was stuff I'd already read, but the tour of the hospital was good, since I'm completely unfamiliar with the building.

Chris shot some video so I snagged a still from it. At this point I was just ready to eat lunch.
I was able to snag a piece of piece and then eat a clementine I'd brought to the class. So huzzah for food.

Leki had his yearly checkup today. He's never happy to go, but he was much better behaved than he's ever been before. And he's lost 2lbs. He still needs to lose weight, but I was pretty sure he'd packed on some pounds, not lost them. So hooray!

There's a winter weather advisory in effect. We're supposed to get 6 to 10 inches from late afternoon through midnight. And it really is snowing quite a bit.
But that didn't stop Dan or Adam from coming over to play some Lord of the Rings: The Card Game. Dan really does have an awesome game on his hands, so even though it's the second time we've played it together, I am still really impressed. It takes a bit to set everything up, but it's fun once it gets going.

And it's really fun to hear Chris mispronounce some of the character names.

It's still chilly out, so I ventured into the skywalk with a co-worker today for a break at lunch. I can't sit cooped up indoors all day, especially now that I'm hungry all the time.

Adam and Comfort came over this evening to watch the 2 hour premiere of the Agent Carter mini-series.

It's cold out there.

 When I first moved out to Grand Rapids in 2004, I brought with me a large stuffed dog (this FAO Schwartz's Patrick the Pup - medium size). The dog had been stuffed into my trunk on top of boxes and up against the light bulb in the trunk.

Unbeknownst to me at the time, I was slowly burning a hole in the dogs ear while I unloaded boxes and the light bulb burned away at the fabric. It always kind of looked a little like a cigar burn, but I never got around to actually fixing it. My old dog Vash loved this stuffed animal and Leki loves it too. So there was always someone who didn't seem to mind the burn, even though it looked terrible.

However, since we're going to have a little one this year I decided it was time to clean up the dog and fix the ear. Sure he won't be able to play with the stuffed dog at first, but it's living in that room at the moment so I might as well make it look pretty.
So I took some fabric that I bought awhile back that matches the cat's tower (for future repairs) and sewed a little patch on both sides of the ears.
In retrospect I suppose this was a miss opportunity to stick some sort of button that lights up or plays music in the patch, but I suppose if I really wanted to, I could tear a few stitches out and shove something in there.

Anyway, at least now it doesn't look like someone tried to set the dog's ear on fire.

several months ago the HP TouchPad stopped working. We bought it back during the fire sale in 2011, so it's had a decent run, but for a device that was 90% of the time plugged in and used as a kitchen tablet (for recipes, etc), it feels like the device should have lasted longer.

Turns out there are a slew of posts from 2012 and 2013 where people started having issues powering the device on It wouldn't charge, or if it got too low, the device wouldn't power on and you had to do all sorts of weird tricks (button presses, charging on a lower power charger, etc). Or it would the file system was corrupt and preventing it from booting.

Chris tried all of the various charging and button mashing suggestions last year in an attempt to revive the device, and I repeated some of those yesterday, including the overnight lower power charge at 1A instead of 2A. Nothing.

So I decided to pop the case open and have a look. Taking the whole thing apart was kind of a nightmare to get to the battery. You unplug everything, including microphone, camera, wifi antenna, etc just so that you can pull up the housing to get to the underside and unplug the battery. This device was seriously more frustrating than it needed to be to take apart.

I did confirm 100% that the battery is dead and didn't take a single charge in the last 20 hours. Since it was possible the device was stuck in a boot loop (and thus appeared to be dead) I wanted to rule out that it was indeed the battery.

And it is.

Now to decide if it's worth investing $30 in a battery to maybe fix the problem or just give up. It is entirely possible that there's an issue with the motherboard preventing charging or it could just be the battery needs to be replaced.

A few months ago the power on an external hard drive case I had didn't seem to work. Rather than just toss the whole thing, I dismantled it and plugged the drive directly into my PC.

Well, this morning when I went to back up files on my other external drive I had a few issues. Rather than mess around with it I just tore open the casting and plugged it directly into my PC.

It's pretty convenient that I have a SATA bay on the top of my case I can just plug a drive directly into. Worlds easier than opening up the case and plugging it in directly that way.

It's been a pretty quiet day. We slept in, I played a bunch of Dragon Age, then took a nap, then played more Dragon Age. In the afternoon we started to get more snow flurries. A little less snow than last year, but I'm ok with that.

Although apparently in 2011 there wasn't much snow either. And I played a lot of video games as well. I'm sensing a trend here...