Thursday, January 20, 2005

Alex' Ears...

Got back late last night from another 3 days in Olde England...

The Eurostar was wonderful as always but it's a long and tiring 3 days...

The teachers are on strike here in France today and so Alex stayed home with me all day. She spent most of the morning doing her homework and some additional punishment that her teacher had given her (write 100 times "I will listen and I will not whistle in class").

After lunch I took her to La Défense to finally get her ear's pierced. This was her belated birthday present as she had a bad cold on the day of her birthday and we didn't want to take the risk of piercing her ears while she was sick.

Alex's EarringsShe picked out the most expensive pair of earrings they offer for piercing and was all giggly. But she was very, very frightened when she sat down in the chair. She cried even before she got pierced. She cried for a bit afterwards as well. We joked around but she definitely did not enjoy the experience. In the end though she is very pleased and proud of the result.

I'm just glad that part is over with... now to just disinfect 'em twice a day for the next 6 weeks!

Saturday, January 08, 2005

A small step forward...

Yet another Saturday of doing chores...

We have ordered new beds for Jessica and Alex and it's time to start preparations even though the beds themselves will not arrive for another few weeks.


I spent a good portion of the day dismantling Alex' mezzanine and putting all the pieces neatly away in the basement.


Alex and Desney then spent the rest of the day cleaning and getting the room ready for Alex to sleep in her new layout. Her new bed will hopefully go just where the mattress is.

The evening however was special. I started cleaning the mussels for dinner at about 18:00 which was unfortunately way too late to start. They took forever! The special event was Robbie coming over for dinner. The family hasn't seen him since last December and I hadn't seen him since we went out the La Villette Jazz Festival quite some time ago. It was great to see him and he had a great time checking out the house and the kids. We didn't get to sit down for dinner until after 20:30 after going through all the Champagne with a long apéritif. Dinner went well and afterwards Robbie and I sat around in the living room listening to jazz and shmoozing. I could have stayed there all night... however there are 3 other people living in the house... I put Robbie in a cab around half past midnight and off he went...

We're now starting the countdown to Super Bowl Sunday Night (06/02/2005) also known as our annual glorious guy's night out!

Friday, January 07, 2005

Friday Night & Shrek 2

Another Friday night kicking back just the four of us in front of the television.

Shrek 2Pizza, as is often the case, thanks to Pizza Hut down the road and wine thanks to the Maison de Fleurie. This evening we watched the newly released DVD of Shrek 2. Alexandra and I had already seen it in the cinema and adored watching it again. Jessica had also seen it in the cinema, with her friends, and enjoyed watching it again. Desney was not overjoyed.

But a thoroughly enjoyable evening kicking back...

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Sticks and Stones

It started off as yet another day... programming all morning... clients desperately trying to contact me while I was desperately trying to concentrate.

Then comes the phone call:

Monsieur Erb ?


This is the nurse from the Honoré de Balzac School...

It's about your daughter Jessica

At this point I spend one of those absolutely awful 10 to 15 second pregnant pause periods of all of the worst possibilites know to man (and some heretowith unknown)...

She has hurt her thumb (Whew!) It has swollen quite a bit and she can not move it. I think you should get an x-ray done.

After taking a few deep breaths I tell her I will be right there.

So that's how I spent most of the afternoon. Took a cab, picked her up from school, went to the emergency room of our hospital with a good hands and fingers department (Hôpital de Perpétuel Secour) which (unfortunately) we actually know quite well having been there before for both Jessica and Desney. After an hour filling out papers and waiting on queues we got her x-ray and then waited another hour to see a doctor. The doctor pronounced she had broken her thumb, in 2 places, and then proceeded to wrap her thumb and wrist in a sort of pseudo-cast. It's a special sort of bandage with built-in resin which dries after about 15 minutes. I was quite impressed. We didn't get out of there until about 16:00.

Got home to find out there were at least 2 relatively serious professional emergencies going on: 1 client in London had a laptop which would no longer boot (Unrecognisable hard disk) and another in Switzerland could not connect to the Internet. I solved the Swiss problem with a phone call and a bit of telemaintenance. The laptop however is going to be a challenge as the hard disk is dead but the client had done some work over the weekend which he had not yet backed up and which I need to recover.

To end the day Jessica decided to take a shower in "our" bathroom so as to be near Desney while she was making dinner. Jessica dropped the shower head and broke it. I didn't find out until much later. I was actually surprised by how severely such a minor incident affected me and by the time I went to sleep I was thoroughly pissed off that my shower had been "wounded"...

Holidays Over

Finally finished and sent out the announcement for the online version of the Holiday Newsletters (2003 & 2004) today.

Also finally finished all of my holiday cards this evening. The kids signed the remaining few and tomorrow morning it's off to the post office to send them...

I am actually quite pleased with the online Family page and I spent quite some time updating our Family Photo Albums on Yahoo so everyone can see bigger versions of our pictures...

I solved a couple of programming problems with my ACDB project and I feel as though the day was quite productive...

Monday, January 03, 2005

Holiday Cards...

Desney had bought me the full 10th season of Friends and I had spent most of the holidays watching. Tonight I finally watched the final episode. Standard American TV fare but it definitely made me laugh... as always.

While I watched Friends I worked on my holiday cards. I basically finished filling them all out by midnight. Now I just have to do the address labels tomorrow morning and get the others sign to the groups cards tomorrow during the day...

Sunday, January 02, 2005

The Day After New Year's

Today I have spent almost the entire day, after waking up rather late, finishing the 2003 Family Newsletter and working on the Family Web Site. I reorganised the site and cleaned up the folders. The reason the newsletter took so long was that I wanted to put to use the style sheet functions I had learned in my recent online course. I therefore designed the newsletter using nothing but style sheets, with a different style for display and for printing, and then redesigned the opening page with style sheets as well.

The end result is on our family page at:

Saturday, January 01, 2005

Test Blog from EMail

This is a test blog message sent via e-mail.

Just to see if this thing works… and how…

Another year...

Starting the new year with a new concept: Blog.

Woke up reasonably early yesterday morning and took the métro in to town (17ème) to get the seafood for the evening meal. Ended up spending a fortune on 4 dozen oysters, a couple of dozen of really big shrimp and 4 live lobsters (2.5 kg). This was the first time that a fishmonger actually had the lobsters in an aquarium. That should have given me an indication as to the price before I got started.

Got the food home and then spent a good portion of the day programming and then working on the 2003 family newsletter. A year late... but better late than never...

New Year Meal

We had an absolutely wonderful meal, just the 4 of us, and absolutely every bottle of wine was wonderful. We started with an Ehrhart Gewurztraminer (Herrenweg - not Grand Cru) which was perfect with the oysters and shrimp. For the grilled lobster we opened a Moreau-Naudet Chablis Grand Cru Valmur 1996. What a pleasant surprise. A truly special bottle: complex and well-balanced in all aspects. Truly delicious and long. Ended the evening with a sort of Tarte Tatin and a small bottle of Château Le Fagé Monbazillac Grande Réserve 1998. Another delicious surpise as this was nice and long in the mouth without the sherry aftertaste their wines tend to get after a few years. Overall a delicious evening.

We finished the evening playing Euro Monopoly in front of the television and celebrated the New Year together yelling and screaming out the door as people walked bye. We called whoever we could on the phone to wish them the same.