Face

My mom texted us yesterday saying that there was some furniture available if we wanted to come take a look at it, so after a workout at the YMCA we drove over to my Great Grandpa’s house. When we arrived, we spotted my grandma wearing something ridiculous while spraying bug spray on the back of the house. See below:

Despite the hilarity at my (probably alient) grandmother’s fashion, we had to go around the front of the house due to the chemicals. No problem.

On the way up the porch, Thing 1 was running full blast, tripped, and landed face-first on the corner of the first cement porch step. I didn’t see it, but the sound isn’t something I’d like to ever hear again. Then she started crying, but it was a new cry we hadn’t heard before. I ran over and we looked for wounds, and at first we couldn’t find anything, but we did spot some blood.

Then she wiped her hair away from her forehead and I saw her cut, and told Naomi we were going to the ER. It was pretty gnarly, guys.

So I handed Thing 2 to mom, said we’d text to figure out how to get back together later, then hopped in the car, turned on the Moana soundtrack, and proceeded to the hospital as fast/safe as possible. 

Thing 1 was pretty off. She wasn’t talking, kept moaning, and was having trouble staying awake. Turns out she didn’t have a concussion, but the PA told us lots of kids her age deal with severe pain by feeling tired, so that was a kindness.

Anyway, when we finally got a room, the PA came in and said she’d definitely have to do stitches. They put a numbing paste on her wound, and came back 20 minutes later to do the actual stitches. Apparently the numbing paste didn’t take fully so they had to do some local anesthetic, which, you know, sucks. Kiddo started screaming. Then the first stitch started, which freaked her out, it dropped out of the PA’s hand and hooked briefly into her cheek. So, that hurt, and she started to melt down.

We ended up having to wrap her in a blanket and hold her down.

I’m gonna skip ahead for a second here, then get back to the “holding her down part.” She took the stitches like a champ. The first one was scary for her and she was screaming but the 2nd through 5th she calmed down and just winced because of the work being done so close to her eye. 

However, holding down my daughter, who’s terrified and screaming “mommy I don’t want to do this” is, you know, like super-duper not my favorite thing I’ve ever done. It’s one thing that she’s got a gaping wound on her face. It’s another thing that she’s gotta get sewed up. It’s another thing that she’s scared. But it’s entirely another thing that I felt like I had to do it, no matter how scared she was, and I couldn’t calm her down, or help.

Granted, holding her down did help, but she didn’t know that. 

Anyway, she’s dancing around to “Total Eclipse of the Heart” now, so I think we’re back to normal. Honestly she handled the whole thing significantly better than I would ever have expected. I think she’s a lot tougher than I expected. Pretty sure this weekend gave us a taste of how she’s gonna handle some things in the future, and she’s gonna be a force to be reckoned with.

Also, she’s gonna sing Bonnie Tyler over and over until you give in and give her what she wants. It’s brutal.

All Power to Forward Lasers

Sometimes I get to the point where I have so much going on that I mentally shut down some things. It’s like in Star Trek when they say things like “divert power from life support to main lasers” and then shoot at the Klingons. In fact it’s basically exactly that. Literally.

In the process of “being busy” I’ve discovered that at some point I totally became my dad. Mostly in the “does a lot of music/sound things at church” capacity. This weekend I’m playing keyboards for the Sunday service, which is something I remember him doing regularly, and tonight/tomorrow I’m running sound for a wedding, which (again) is something I remember him frequently doing.

I’m a bit nervous about playing keys though. I’ve never played as many “lead” sorts of parts as I am this week, and keyboard is definitely not my primary instrument. In fact, one song I’m cheating by transposing the Minilogue, but I really didn’t want to try to play a Moog-ish bassline in Bb, so…

ESQ-1 and Minilogue – good mix of sounds for sure.

In other news, the kids have been a bit of a struggle the last two weeks. It’s wearing on Naomi and I a bit, for sure. Thing 1 is trying to control her little world as much as she can and so far hasn’t learned how to handle her anxiety particularly well, which ends with her going into screamcry mode if she doesn’t get to say “bye” to someone, for example. Thing 2 basically wants to disassemble the house and cries if I don’t let him.

Seriously. I laid down to watch some Clifford with the kiddos yesterday and I dozed off for a few minutes. I woke up to the sound of plates clanking. Thing 2 was sitting in the sink playing with soap. I mean, I want to think he was trying to help with dishes (he is, after all, a very helpful and kindhearted kid) but in reality I think he liked the sound a fork made when he hit it on a soap-covered plate. He’s like a tiny kitchen-ninja.

Oh, and there’s also the completely unfiltered commentary you get from an “innocent” mind. For example, my daughter drew the below photo of our family watching last month’s solar eclipse. It’s adorable and I love it. Except…

She apparently thinks I’m huge. At least I have arms though.

Parenting is a lot different than I thought it’d be. I don’t sleep as well as I used to, but I knew that going in, so that was expected. The parts I didn’t expect center around things like dinner time, where it’s basically a Catholic wedding of a meal where I end up sitting down, then standing back up to get something like 47 times in half an hour. Then you run into the conundrum of “ok, if I give them their food first, they’ll be quiet, but then by the time I get my food, they’re ‘done’ and want down.”

Good news, though, I managed to hit Diamond rank in competitive Rocket League. Seems dumb, but it’s an achievement I’m proud of.

Spork in the Road

Back when I was 24 I was like “the year I’m 25, that’ll be the year everything changes.” That year, we bought the VW, and if you don’t know about how that ended…read this. This was also the year I bought a fedora. On purpose. I think you can judge for yourself how that went.

I just don’t even know.

Back when I was 29 I was all “the year I turn 30, everything will change.” That year, we wrapped up Shine Like Stars, so I guess I was kinda right, but not in the good way. I also got creative with my facial hair, then immediately decided I didn’t want to drive semi trucks for a living.

Another thing I did when I was 30.

So, all things considered, I suppose the year I turned 32 isn’t too late to get some productive stuff done, all things considered.

To be fair, lots of big things have happened in the last few decade, lots of things that were major influences on my life. Switching to music school led me down a path that resulted in a life that’s dramatically different than it would have been otherwise. And I hear you saying “but Seth, you didn’t finish music school.”

Solid burn, dude.

Anyway, all that’s to say that I’m well along a path right now that’s going to likely lead to another major shift in life. I’m not sure exactly how it will manifest, but I really think that 2017 is going to end up being one of those fork-in-the-road years where I could’ve just coasted, but didn’t. Sure, I would’ve probably been like really good at Rocket League, but I’m still like, okay at it, so it’s not a total loss.

Oh also, it’s looking increasingly like I’m gonna get to work on another collaborative album this year. We have some stuff brewing at City Life that should be pretty great. I’m really looking forward to that project.

I also want to point out, though, that I clearly peaked back in grade school…

California

I flew out to California last week to spend some time with my cousin Ryan. He recently moved to the LA area after taking a job at SpaceX. So, obviously, he and I have basically nothing in common.

As near as I can remember, I hadn’t flown since my sister and I took our trip to LA, so it’d been a solid 7 years since I’d been in a decent airplane. I forgot how much I loved it, even in coach.

So, let’s get to the highlights:

Day 1

Santa Monica beach

I arrived at LAX and was impressed at how quickly I retreated into my introvert shell. Way. Too. Many. People. Ryan picked me up and we made our way to his apartment where I settled in, met the cats, and we ate dinner. After that we went out exploring, ended up at Santa Monica beach, walked around the pier a bit, then ate at a Hummus Bar (yep, it was exactly as awesome as you think), and then ended up at a place called The Yard House.

Around 1am I remembered that there’s a 2 hour time difference and I should probably get some sleep, like, stat. I fell asleep mid-sentence talking to Ryan about how sometimes I snore. He made fun of me the next day for it.

Day 2

USS Iowa

I slept in until about 10:30am. LA time. It was like college all over again. We sort of milled around until we were all sufficiently awake and ready to leave the apartment. After a few errands, we wound up at the USS Iowa museum. In case you’re unfamiliar, the USS Iowa is one of four Battleships the US operated since WWII.

It’s humongous. 

We spent a few hours exploring the ship before heading out for boba.

In the evening we arrived at SpaceX for my tour. We were there nearly 3 hours. We hadn’t eaten yet, but that somehow didn’t bother me, being that I was surrounded by rockets and spaceships.

I went to bed somewhat euphoric.

Day 3

F-20 Tigershark

For lunch, we hit up Little Tokyo. One might assume it’s a tiny little piece of Japan in the middle of LA, but it’s really more like a conglomeration of shops designed to appeal to that one weeaboo friend you have (lookin’ at you, Landon.)

We ate some sushi and then drove through what appeared to be the thunderdome of LA on our way to the California Science Center. This might be the coolest science museum I’ve been to, not just because the Space Shuttle Endeavour is there, but because the exhibits as a whole were all incredible. Also it was free. Add $2 if you want to see the Endeavour.

At night I introduced my cousin and his wife to Rick and Morty. We were up quite late binge watching episodes.

Day 4

Manhattan Beach

On the final day of the trip, we went to lunch with some friends, walked around Manhattan Beach, and spent a little time in the actual water. We wanted to go swimming but we hadn’t brought our suits, so we ran home then completely failed to find a beach with parking available for under $30.

So, we did what any reasonable people would do, we ate dinner and went back to the Yard House and had long talks about space, science, programming, our futures, and whether or not Rick C137 is the Rickest Rick.

Day 5

I flew home.

Full Photo Album Here

One Year of Weather

For the last year now, I’ve been saving weather data every afternoon to a spreadsheet with the help of IFTTT. I had no plans for this other than to just store the data and see what it looked like. And, full disclosure, there’s nothing groundbreaking about it. After all, it’s only a single year of data, there’s really nothing new or groundbreaking to get out of it.

However, the charts are cool, so I figured I’d share them.

…updated for pedantry

 

This is the high/low temperatures in Wichita for the last 365 days plus a few extra, because I’m too lazy to remove four extra days or so. Interestingly enough it’s hardly been over 100F the last year, but it also has not been below 1F. I also didn’t realize how consistent summer tends to be and how hectic late-winter and early-spring tend to be with the temperature swings. 

Not-surprisingly, it’s sunny over half the time in Kansas. In fact, it’s probably significantly more than half because most “thunderstorm” days are actually sunny until it storms, then sunny again afterward, and many of the windy days would still be considered “sunny”. Also, this data seemed to not be super reliable at whether it was a stormy day or not. There were some days when a storm was 20 miles from Wichita and it’d report “thunderstorms”, and other days it definitely stormed and it reported “sunny” or “cloudy.” Overall, though this is a good rough guideline for the weather.

This data groups “partly sunny” and “partly cloudy” days into “sunny”/”cloudy” respectively, for a bit more clarity.

In what I believe to be the single time in my life I’ve actually found a polar chart to be useful, this chart shows us that, as we already knew, the wind in Kansas is almost always from the south, however, I had no idea how much more often it’s due south, or actually even how often it’s from the southeast. It’s weird to me that all the primary cardinal directions are pretty low except south itself, while the others are higher than I expected. Wind is weird.

Anyway, data is beautiful and if you read this far, I’m proud of you. Here’s the link to the actual spreadsheet (which is still going, btw) if you want to check it out for yourself. The data ingested also includes humidity and wind speeds, among other things. It’s pretty cool. 

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Keyboards are basically the computers of music, right?

I’m not gonna say “I’ve been too busy to blog” because that’d be lying. The truth is much more real, more raw, and more than I cared to admit before. 

I didn’t want to.

That’s it. Nothing special. I just sort of didn’t care. I’d think to myself “Seth, you should blog sometime soon” and I’d go “…or I could go play Rocket League.”

So here we are, two months later and what do I have to show for it? 

Focus

I’m starting to find my focus. I’m annoyed it took me until well into my thirties to understand how to wrangle my focus and stay on-task, so I fully plan on trying to teach it to my kids so they don’t deal with the same regrets I do today. 

Anyway, the focus is primarily on two things right now. Music and development. I’m finding that those are two areas I’m pretty passionate about, and both areas that I feel a). minor frustration that I’m not at the level I’d like to be, and b). a drive to hit the level I want to be at, with regards to skill.

So, to that end, I’ve been writing a ton more music this year. I’m mostly trying to get music written for our church, but also just practicing legitimate piano and such.

On the other end of things, I’ve been spending a lot more time trying to just keep learning development things. I started a deep dive into AWS this week and wrote an Alexa skill for the observatory. I tried to write an update and have failed miserably so far, but nonetheless the original skill got accepted and published, so there.

That other thing

So yeah I’m also working on another thing. I’m not really ready to like, openly talk about it, but it’s taking up a ton of time and something I’ve always wanted to do. It’s started as a side project but it’s getting more traction now and like, there are lawyers and investors and lots and lots of late nights.

Extrapolate from that what you will.

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