Rick Glos Life in Portland, Oregon.

Camping - Indian Creek - Washington

6. August 2013 11:55 by Rick Glos in Camping, Life

Went camping for the first time in Washington on the SE side of Mt. Rainier with our friends Matt and his friends Ron and Jen at Indian Creek.  Matt brought his daughter Sydney (2yr) and Ron/Jen brought Lilly (3yr 3mo).  Max is now 2yr 9mo and had great fun with his balance bike and exclaimed many times that, “I love camping”.

Camp sites were nice and spacious under the large trees with a good distance between each site so you didn't feel crowded.  Water access is not so good since there's not really a beach but a muddy shoreline, but it was cool to check it out at dusk to watch the bats eat insects.  We walked over to the resort next door which does have good water access and a rocky beach area.  A boat, motorized or not, would add good activities during the day.  Should’ve brought my bike to check out the trails and ride around the campground.  No showers or bathrooms, just pit toilets and water spigots.  Camp host was very nice.  Fire ban for August meant no campfire or charcoal grilling; a real bummer and will keep me from camping their again – had to cook on camp stove.  All in all a good campground besides the fire ban.

Sadly, I did a poor job of taking pictures and video.

Max and his 2 friends.

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Max with the lake in the background.

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Max - from crib to toddler bed

15. March 2013 13:27 by Rick Glos in

Last night we adjusted Max’s sleeping from a crib to a toddler bed.  Our primary motive was safety.  Lately we had caught him hanging on the bar from the outside of the crib, who knows what was next.

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The bed comes with an optional side rail.  He did very well and didn’t even try to get out of the bed last night.  He was very chatty and talking about it in the morning when we woke him up and he got himself out of bed.

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We purchased this DaVinci Crib in Dec of 2010 (over 3 yrs ago) off Amazon.  Max is now 2 yrs and 4 months and we’re pleased with the $199 we spent on it.  Apparently with this Conversion Rail Kit, it can convert into a full/twin bed for another $75.

Starting Preschool

8. October 2012 11:28 by Rick Glos in

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Max had a big week last week when he started pre-school.  He’s in a Montessori school.  They phased him in over the week.  We went with him for an hour on Monday, then 2 hours on Tuesday, Wednesday we left him there for 3 hours, same on Thursday and by Friday it was his first day (about 6 hours) all by himself. 

The prior week, his teacher came to our house to visit for an hour on Thursday to get to know Max on his turf which I thought was a nice concept as well.  Then on Friday we went in for 30 minutes at the end of the day after most of the kids were gone so he could get a feel for the classroom.  Heidi’s mom will still be helping us out from time to time during vacations, school closings, etc, and so the four of us all went.  Here he is using the magnifying glass to look at a sunflower.

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Here Max is using the screwdriver with his teacher Megan on his first day (1 hour only with us with him).

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I think he’ll do well there and start working on his socialization skills.  It’s been a great almost 2 years and I’m really going to miss having him at home.  When I would come upstairs from working to grab a snack, bio, or lunch, he’d hear the basement door open, yell, “Papa!” and come running towards me.  I was able to see a lot of really great things during these last two years and I’m really going to miss knowing that if I want to see him was right upstairs.  I’m going to miss you buddy…

Compounding that is that Heidi’s mother who was watching him will no longer be here each week and that is going to suck as well.  She helped not only with Max but did loads of dishes, laundry, yard work, etc.  All kinds off stuff Mom’s do.  I had forgotten how nice that was haha!

On the positive side, I’ll be picking Max up everyday at 3 PM and we’ll be riding the bike.  He loves that and had a great time with me on Friday.  His spatial awareness is amazing.  He can be 2-3 blocks from home and recognize where he is.  I know this because he’ll start saying, “More bike. (pause) More. More.”, and maybe throw in a whimper or two because he knows were about to reach home and stop.  Our first ride was along busy Capital Highway but I think I can find a back roads way so we can talk, stop and look at stuff, hit the park if we want to, etc.

Baby Monitor, Wireless IP Camera, Surveillance, etc

5. October 2012 11:59 by Rick Glos in

I recently was reminded when someone asked me about what we used for a baby monitor for Max and would I still buy one?

I purchased an IP Camera (it’s name is a mouthful - LTS Wireless+RJ45 640x480 IP Camera with 30 IR LEDs and MicroSD Card Recording) at the end of summer before Max was born (Aug 2010).

The idea was using our home network, we could look at the crib without the baby monitor, closed-network restrictions.  Like being able to look at the screen with any IP device that can surf the web – your phone in your backyard, the kitchen on your laptop, your living room on your TV, your bedroom on your TV, etc.  It has worked flawlessly and we still use it to this day every day.

It’s mounted just above his crib pointed right down at it.

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We use it right when he goes to bed to see, “Is he falling asleep?”, “Is he standing in his crib because he just pooped his pants?” to when we get up in the morning to see if he is awake yet and during naps to know when he’s done sleeping.

Here’s our view from the couch in our living room.

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For a non-technical user I’d say this specific device itself would be moderate to difficult to setup – you’d need to know how to enter an IP address, find it on your network, play with a few settings, etc.

At the time, we got it for $180 and now I see it’s down to $157.  It has both wireless and wired.  We ended up sticking with wired because I was having issues with the unit staying connected via wireless.

We’ve thought about getting another one.  Would I buy it again?  If I had to go back in time, yes.  But are there better options 2 years later?

I found this guy after a bit of research on Amazon - 900+ 4.5 star reviews, $90 price tag, and some great photo’s from users implementations.  It has a mouthful of a name as well - Foscam FI8910W Wireless/Wired Pan & Tilt IP/Network Camera with IR-Cut Filter for True Color Images - 8 Meter Night Vision and 3.6mm Lens (67° Viewing Angle) - Black.

I like that you can pan and tilt remotely.  With ours you have to do it manually – although we only needed to move it during initial setup since we have it focused on his bed.  Although as he gets older, it might be nice to see, “What’s he doing in his room?”

One additional suggestion; turn off the audio – we had it on to start with but found it annoying because you’d wake up ever time your child sighs or mumbles in their sleep and Max seemed to make a lot of noise.

In any case, I can’t recommend getting an IP Camera enough.

Cutting the cord with cable

9. September 2012 09:30 by Rick Glos in

Last week we canceled cable.  Too expensive with prices at $250 a month.  Sure we started off like most people with a special offer package around $99 bucks a month with all the channels.  Eventually the special offer expires.  You call to cancel and they extend the offer another 6 months.  This continues over the course of a few years.  Eventually you call and they aren’t extending the offer.  Like an addict, you have become hooked on some shows on premium channels (like Inside the NFL on Showtime, Game of Thrones on HBO, etc) and channels in the sports lineup like NFL RedZone – NFL with zero commercials.

Stepping back and looking back I can see how it happens but it has gone too far and even if they did extend the offer again, I am growing tired of calling back each 6 months when the offer falls away and having this large cable bill.

I do wonder if they really need to charge that much.  While I might feel taken advantage of, its still my choice.  So voting with our dollar and cancelling is all we can do.

On the positive side we have been greatly enjoying the Windows Media Center PC I built driving the TV in the living room.  Watching movies from the file server, listening to music, looking at pictures and home video, etc, and the wife acceptance factor is very high with this.

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The case makes it look just like a component in a home theater system.

I’ve ordered a TV Tuner card and HD antenna so we can watch and record TV over the air.  This will be an interesting next project.

Eating dirt

27. February 2012 14:15 by Rick Glos in

Mmm…. dirt!

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Mushin – without mind

1. February 2012 08:49 by Rick Glos in

From wikipedia

Mushin is a mental state into which very highly trained martial artists are said to enter during combat. They also practice this mental state during everyday activities. The term is shortened from mushin no shin, a Zen expression meaning the mind without mind and is also referred to as the state of "no-mindness". That is, a mind not fixed or occupied by thought or emotion and thus open to everything. It is somewhat analogous to flow experienced by artists deeply in a creative process.

Mushin is achieved when a person's mind is free from thoughts of anger, fear, or ego during combat or everyday life. There is an absence of discursive thought and judgment, so the person is totally free to act and react towards an opponent without hesitation and without disturbance from such thoughts. At this point, a person relies not on what they think should be the next move, but what is their trained natural reaction or what is felt intuitively. It is not a state of relaxed, near-sleepfulness, however. The mind could be said to be working at a very high speed, but with no intentions, plans or direction.

I found this video interesting and not because we should be awed at Ronaldo, but rather practicing at something so that it becomes part of your subconscious.  It goes by many names, '”being in the zone”, “having no-mind”, etc.  This “sharpening of your saw” can apply to your personal world (World of Tanks) or your professional (better coding techniques).

Picture dump

20. January 2012 07:15 by Rick Glos in

How can one baby get so messy eating Italian?

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Making faces at the camera too eh?  Future actor?  Or maybe just a hambone…

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Between XMas and New Years, I drove my car instead of rode the bicycle so I could take Max along.  He’s checking out the free book rack at the Meals on Wheels center while we wait for the coolers of food to be ready.

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On Sunday of this week, we got some snowfall outside but it melted in a couple of hours.

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Then we got additional snow on Tuesday and it stuck around all day but was melted by Wednesday.

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Max and I used the opportunity to go play in the snow his first time and then I helped him build his first snowman.

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He got bored of the snowman and walked over to the other side of the driveway where he could play with the lavender bush and get muddy.

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Birthdays 2011

5. December 2011 17:23 by Rick Glos in

Forty and One.  Both are milestones.  Feels the same as 38 or 39 to me.  I stopped counting years ago and at times found myself asking, “How old am I again?”  I still feel the same feelings and think the same childish thoughts, I’m just better at managing it and acting like an adult, as I’m sure most everyone else.

This is also a big one for Max.  Well, not for him so much as everyone else.  He’s not going to remember any of it.  So really, it’s for the adults. 

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My father flew out from Illinois for a week to celebrate the birthdays.  He had asked me what I wanted for my birthday.  At this point in my life, I really don’t need any more ‘stuff’.  The ‘stuff’ I really want now, is expensive – I’ll buy that for myself.  Thinking back, I can’t recall what I ‘received’ for my 35th birthday or for Christmas in 1989.  What I can remember though is the 3 summers we went to GenCon, or the trip I took to Mexico, etc.  So really I guess what I really want is memories.  Just come out here and hang with me.  And that’s what he did.

It just happened to coincide with the November 2011 PDXLAN which was taking place the weekend right after he flew in.  So after his flight arrived late Thursday night (12 midnight sheesh!), we hung out Friday until PDXLAN started that evening.

Here we are gaming at the LAN next to each other.

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Three days of adventure.  I feel pretty lucky to be able to do this with my pops.  I hope I am able to pass along and share this bond with my son.

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Max had a blast devouring his carrot cakelet. 

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He also got this cool trike from grandma and grandpa.  With the wagon and walker wagon, he’s quite the Radio Flyer groupie.

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I was also impressed with the hand knit stacking blocks his great-grandmother made him.  Very cool.

Soaking in WW2 stuff

I mentioned my passion for WW2 things before.  It was great fun going to the Evergreen Aviation museum with my pops.  We had three generations of Glos boys posing in front of the ME 262 they have on display.

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They have a nice selection of tanks sitting out behind the museum.  They are unmarked.  There’s 2 T34’s, a T55, and a PT76.  We’ve been playing T59’s in a game called World of Tanks so it was great to see some of these tanks up close.

One of the T34’s, with the old man for size reference.

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The T55.

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Not bad for armor for an air and space museum.

The ME 262 was a surprise.

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The had quite a collection of WW2 aircraft which we both drooled over.

The classic P51 Mustang.

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The Hellcat.

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The Corsair.

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The Spitfire.

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The BF 109.

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The P 38 Lightning.

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The P-40 Warhawk.

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They also had a B-17 which we were able to take a tour inside.

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Amazing little factoid.  The safest place in the plane?  The belly ball turret (~5% casualty rate).  The least safe?  The waist gunners (~25% casualty rate).

Lots of other aircraft there as well.  Looking forward to going back with my son so I can play… I mean, he can play in the waterpark.

It was sad to see my old man fly back home but it was a good memory I can look back on.  We need to do this more often.

Halloween 2011

3. November 2011 15:58 by Rick Glos in

Max Halloween 2011

Max had his first Halloween.  We took him over to Multnomah Village for their Halloween street thing.  It was ok.  Really just an excuse for businesses to do marketing.  The sidewalks were so packed I felt like I was waiting in line for a roller coaster ride.  He’s not going to remember anything so this was really more for us than for him.  He did look really cute in his pumpkin outfit Heidi got him at the resale shop for $6.

We took some shots.

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Echoes Halloween Soundscape

I heard this song on the Echoes Halloween Soundscape and I couldn’t get it out of my head.  Heidi has mentioned I like melancholy music and I certainly do.  Another song to purchase off Amazon MP3, Anna Ternheim - Terrified.

I’m in  a video

I’ve been doing the Meals on Two Wheels for Loaves and Fishes now for 2 1/2 years.  They called me to do a small part in a video for the Willamette Week Give Guide for 2011.  So I got to ride my bike for another good cause.  The whole video is here and I have a small spot at 0:33.