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Two More!
by Jon on Friday, January 3, 2014 file under: Commentary

We've been so excited to have Micah and Kiera home this past week. They were born just before Christmas, giving us an awesome Christmas present - of course, it meant Kortney and I were stuck in the hospital most of Christmas day.

These guys have not made it easy on us so far. Kortney was extremely sick during the first three months of the pregnancy. She was so dehydrated that she had to be on home IV for several weeks. Our parents both came up to Seattle to help her and Caleb.

Along the way we moved back down to Arizona. Kortney did pretty well for about 3 months, but as the babes grew it became harder and harder on her - by the end she had nearly 12lbs of baby inside of her.

The Thursday before the kids were born I had to go to the ER for some intense abdominal pain. They diagnosed it, gave me some medication, and sent me on my way. A few days later we were back in the same hospital for the birth, which only had a few complications.

When I was finally able to settle down that night my abdominal pain returned, and I had a nurse wheel me back down to the ER. I was admitted shortly after and spent the next several days in another wing of the hospital. Caleb came to visit me every day, and we had fun playing Gooey Louie and watching (terrible, new) Tom & jerry cartoons. After recovering from some minor surgery and watching way to much terrible reality TV, I was finally released and got to spend the last night in the hospital with Kortney and the twins.

We got out in the evening on Christmas and had a low key day. The next day we closed on our house - the closing had to be postponed due to the whole entire family in the hospital on drugs which may or may not make signatures on contracts binding.

The next week involved us just trying to keep up. Ensuring that a three year-old is getting all of the attention he needs and that two newborns are fed, clean, and safe has been a lot of effort.

Things were getting too simple though. We had decided that Kortney's car was too small to lug around all of the kids and their gear, so we eventually made it over to the Subaru dealership and replaced her car with a new-to-us Forester. That's a whole ongoing ball of wax, but at least everyone fits inside without too much effort.

After nearly two weeks, Micah and Kiera are doing really well. It's amazing to watch these new little humans grow and neat to see all of the things they can do instinctively. They are fearfully and wonderfully made. Hopefully we can start getting enough sleep to appreciate these things ☺.

Along the way Kortney's parents have been a huge help with child care, assistance packing, a temporary place to stay, and lots of food. This would be much harder without all of their help.

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Switching… Again
by Jon on Wednesday, January 26, 2011 file under: Commentary

In the Apple community the verb switching has meant various things in the last decade. Seven years ago if you would have heard the term switching in the context of Apple, you'd have thought about getting rid of your PC and getting a Mac. Four years ago the same term signified Apple's transition from PowerPC processors in their computers, workstations, and servers to Intel processors more commonly found in Windows computers and low cost servers. But at the beginning of 2011, switching takes on a third meaning, at least in the US. And from a customer perspective it has less to do with the relationship with Apple and themselves, but instead introduces a new third party choice of network operator: Verizon.

I'll be up front, Kortney and I are planning to have Verizon iPhones on February 10th. We may not port our number over immediately due to a vacation in the middle of February, but we'll be ready to switch as soon as possible.

I've read almost deafening cries about why this is a dumb idea: the iPhone 5 is right around the corner, Verizon's network is slower, you can't use data while on a call, etc. Guess what: none of those things matter for some people. I'll address each of these claims in order.

Apple has released new phone hardware like clockwork every year since the first iPhone was released. Undoubtedly, Apple will release their fifth revision iPhone in June with a dual core processor, longer battery life, and world mode radios. Is that stopping people from buying iPhones on AT&T or other networks now? Of course not. Sometimes you just need a new phone. In my case, I'll be replacing my long in the tooth 3G and Kortney's Sony Ericsson feature phone. Based on the resale values of current used iPhone 4s, I imagine that we'll be able to "upgrade" to the iPhone 5 if we choose for a modest upgrade fee. But when it comes down to it, the iPhone 4 is available now (or at least soon), and the iPhone 5 and its feature list is only known to Apple and perhaps its suppliers.

Verizon's peak network speed is admittedly slower than AT&Ts with one major difference: Verizon provides reasonable service in the major metropolitan areas I frequent. I don't care if I can theoretically download at 1.5 Mbps on AT&T, I can actually download at >500 Kbps on Verizon. I recently did a speed test on my phone while in downtown Seattle. I averaged 536 Kbps. That's right around what Verizon is offering. I guess I won't notice any slowdown.

No Signal in Downtown Seattle

I'll concede the last point, I won't be able to use data while on a call. That isn't much different from my AT&T experience, however, where I often cannot make a call... or get on a data network. It will actually be an improvement over my current situation, as I'll be able to reliably talk on the phone or use the internet. I consider that an upgrade, despite the annoying limitation.

For over two years, we've dealt with atrocious service with AT&T in the Phoenix and Seattle Metro areas. AT&T has failed to provide reliable service, despite collecting thousands of dollars from me and each of the millions of other smartphone users on their network. Like the switch from PC to Mac, or PowerPC to Intel, the switch to Verizon looks to usher in a welcome improvement in my connected lifestyle.

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Mr. Moore... please shut up.
by Jon on Tuesday, November 9, 2004 file under: Commentary

Michael Moore has opened his mouth again, and as always, little constructive has come out. I'm not going to post a link to his site, because I don't care to give him the extra hits, but he posted a letter on his site about 4 days ago with 17 reasons ultra-liberals shouldn't kill themselves.

Even in my limited knowledge of the political system, I can refute several of them. If you are not in the demographic of people Michael Moore outright and unfoundedly bashes, pigeonholes, or generalizes, remember that sooner or later he'll include you as the "bad guy" in one of his "nation-wide statistics". Funny, I (or anyone I know for that matter) never get asked how the country is doing.

Read more for my take on some of his points.

Read the rest of "Mr. Moore... please shut up."

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This is what we do.
by Jon on Tuesday, September 28, 2004 file under: Commentary

I was driving home from work the other day and was stuck behind a plumbing van. It seemed to be a local service, they had all the normal things you'd expect to see on a for-hire van, company name (which escapes me), logo (which also escapes me), phone number (as you guessed, escapes me), and their company tagline (which has been burned into my brain): "We put a new bathtub over your old one."

I laughed to myself and thought, how could a company possibly get a marketing slogan like "We put a new bathtub over your old one"? Any company with any sense of how to massage it's potential customers would woo it with a vague but intriguing phrase like, "Give your bathroom a face lift" or "Bathroom renovation done right" or "New Bathtub, No hassle" or any other multitude of phrases that gets the customer interested in how this company can serve them. "We put a new bathtub over your old one," however, doesn't attempt to lead potential customers on, or make grand statements about how much better your life will be with their service, it simply says what they do, and nothing more.

Read the rest of "This is what we do."

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What if I didn't buy Star Wars on Tuesday?
by Jon on Friday, September 17, 2004 file under: Commentary

I was thinking how great it will be to buy Star Wars on DVD on Tuesday, the thought that keeps creeping back into my head, and that I've told many people before: the DVDs coming out on Tuesday are not the Star Wars' from my childhood. In fact, they're not even the Star Wars' from 1997. Beyond the massive reconstruction (Skycaptain style reconstruction), of these movies, George Lucas has told AP that he thinks anyone still pining for the original Star Wars is a moron. Well, George, today this moron is not quick to give you my money.

But what will that do?

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