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Tag: Kids/Family

Washington DC for an 18 year old

Calling people with experience in Washington DC! My eldest son, Ethan, is entering his first year of college at American University. He is new to Washington DC, new to college, new to life outside the nest. Although his major will be political science, he is interested in a little bit of everything. If you are in the DC area and are willing to let him treat you to lunch and pick your brain, please let me know. If you can introduce to him to anyone in politics, that is a bonus. Also, if you know of good social groups for…

London Trip 2018

My youngest son and I just returned from visiting London for a week. Here are a few thoughts and highlights: Money Apparently, everyone in London takes credit card. We didn’t find one thing that required cash. Next time, I won’t bother with Pounds and instead just use Mastercard on my Google Pay phone. One interesting thing is that they don’t take your credit card to a central POS system. They all bring the system as a handheld device to the table. I liked the system as it doesn’t let my card leave the table. Also, a note on the money…

Two Ukulele Songs

Cute 4 year old My son Matthew at 4 years old Clearly, 4 years old is your maximum cuteness level.

Rockband 2 – Jared 8yrs old

This is The Trees by Rush on Rockband 2 with Jared (8 yrs old) on drums.  Expert mode means that he is required to hit the drums exactly the same frequency as the real drummer Neil Peart.  He doesn’t get it perfect at all (89% accuracy), but still I am really impressed. He is just getting better and better. Soon, I will have a video of Ethan playing ukulele, which he is becoming pretty good at. Still very excited for Rock Band 3.

Ethan – School President

A non-UX post.  One of my kids, Ethan, ran for Student Body President of his elementary school.  He was up against a dozen other kids.  I don’t know the vote tallies, but I will just assume it was a victorious landslide!  (Why not?) He said, when he heard the news that he won, it hit him in the chest and he couldn’t breathe.  He didn’t stop smiling for 2 days.  I did help him out a bit with the poster and the speech, but the key decisions were all his.  I don’t want to do his work for him, but…

Kids are Exhausting

With Katie on the roadtrip with Ethan, that leaves me alone with the other 2.  Man, they are flat out exhausting.  It’s one thing after another.  Drive here, pick up that thing, drop off that other thing, feed, clean, drive to that other thing, rinse, repeat.  How the hell does Katie do this each day?  I’ve been doing it for about 24 hours and I am ready to quit. I have to give props out there to all the stay at home parents.  I don’t think I am cut out for it.  Thank goodness I have UX.  Otherwise, I would…

The UX of my Lake Tahoe Trip

The last 5 days I have been on a family trip to Lake Tahoe.  We stayed in a cabin with about 15 other people.  Some of them were family, some of them were friends of family. When going on a trip, what you are really buying are interesting memories.  You want to remember specific things and have great stories to tell.  Without great stories, trips are useless. (To me anyway) The River Rafting Story We rented a few rafts to go down the Truckee river.  It’s the only river that flows out of Lake Tahoe.  Ethan, Jared, Matthew and I…

Ethan’s Art (3rd Grade)

I had referenced this piece of art in a previous post.  I scanned it in. It’s a little hard to tell, but the layers are made out of tissue paper.  There is a third wave of waves that is faint in the picture.  It looks best on a window with natural light coming through.  Anyway, I am proud of him and this piece captured my imagination.  (Click to see higher res)

Tom & Jerry

The kids really like Spongebob Squarepants.  I find it pretty funny and I tolerate it.  It’s something “we both like”.  However, in general, we watch and don’t make any sounds. The kids love Tom & Jerry.  I can’t stand it, never could.  It’s just slapstick.  However, when the kids watch it, they laugh OUT LOUD every couple of minutes.  It’s quite disturbing.  It is very much like the Simpson‘s kids watching Itchy and Scratchy.  It’s just the mouse beating up on the cat.  It’s not funny.  Yet they laugh and laugh and laugh. I don’t love this lesson, although I…

My Family is Sick

All three kids are coughing with a fever.  What’s up with that?  It’s like a germ factory in here!  Next, Katie will get sick.  For some reason, it rarely affects me.  When I was a kid, I had to fake being sick the night before and then follow through in the morning.  That way my dad would let me stay home.  I was a great actor.  These contortions were required because I almost never got a fever.  It’s that hearty immune system from my grandfather that keeps me healthy. Maybe I could make some analogy to an application.  Like if…

Jan 1, 2009

What a day.  We started off by learning to GeoCache.  It’s basically an international treasure hunt using GPS, a website and hiding treasure around the world.  Believe me when I say, there is a secret geocache within a few miles of you.  There are 3 within a half-mile of me.  It’s loads of fun and gets you outdoors.  Unfortunately, we screwed up three times in a row and couldn’t find the treasure.  We need to get better at this. Then we went down to San Jose to the tech museum to see the Da Vinci exhibit.  I loved it.  Da…

Twas the Night Before Solstice 2008

Twas the night before Solstice and in the Lipka hut, we are wrapping and cleaning and cooking it up. We have a big day tomorrow and lots to prepare, but I have time for a quick blog post, … maybe, if I dare. It’s been an up and down year with some good and some lame, Let’s remember some of them, that’ll be a fun game. Marketo Lead Management was launched a year ago, It’s the best product I’ve worked on since the mighty Hotkoko. I had responsibilities a plenty and the customers are loud, but for right now, my…

Happy Halloween!

2008: Sumo Wrestler (Picture to Come) 2007: Gorilla.  Matthew was my monkey boy. 2006: Wizard. I scared the heck out of Matthew. He freaked. 2005: Jared apparently was a John looking for a hooker in a bar. Ahh, I was Superman! 2004: Superman. Wow, I wore it two years in a row? Katie is an angel! 2003: Ethan dressed up as Hugh Hefner. Happy Halloween! Lesson: Dressing up for Halloween is part of the American experience. If you aren’t dressed up, then the terrorists win!

A Terrible Accident

A truck was coming down the hill near Molly Stone’s.  The brakes failed.  The truck couldn’t slow down.  It careened helplessly into the Molly Stones parking lot.  All of my family has been in that exact spot a hundred times.  We walk across the parking lot with just a quick glance for cars.  We weren’t there yesterday. The truck hit a mother and son.  The son was killed instantly and the mother is in critical condition. The boy was on Ethan’s little league team.  His father was the coach.  The boy is in 4th grade in the same school as…

The UX of the San Mateo County Fair

This weekend is just me and the boys.  It is not terribly hard, but we are watching way more TV than usual.  I am tired and my brain doesn’t work as well.  Katie feels this every day. 🙁 We went to the San Mateo County Fair on Friday.  It was pretty lame.  I remember seeing television shows about County Fairs in the Midwest where everyone in town was there.  There were contests for the biggest pumpkin and the prettiest cow.  There were games and rides and all sort of Americana fun.  I got a very different vibe from this Fair. …

Matthew Drivers License

They give these out at Matthew’s preschool for passing a tricycle test. Great smile. He saw it and said, “I’m wearing my monkey shirt there.” Pretty good for a 4 year old.

Memories and Technology

Back when I had more hair.  Jared looks so happy.  Time flies. I got a new scanner, the CanoScan 4400F.  So far, it’s pretty impressive.  I am scanning Katie and my wedding album.  Ahh memories and new technology.  What more can I ask for?

Matthew and Katie

This is EXACTLY how Katie and Matthew interact. Except replace Lois with Katie.

The UX of 36

I turned 36 yesterday.  The day started off rough with a huge mistake I made and some scrambling to fix it.  It kept going with details and a million things to deal with.  I got a bunch done.  Some good product management candidates coming in next week. Then we went to dinner at BenniHanna‘s in Burlingame.  I had gone to Hibachi restaurants every year for my birthday.  It is one of my favorite memories.  The food is so sumptuous, the taste of ginger is so wonderful and the entertainment of the chef cooking right in front of you is awesome. …

Dan in Real Life

Katie and I just finished watching Dan In Real Life.  We liked the movie very much.  It was a little formulaic,  but the direction, acting and writing were good enough to overcome the formula.  The story had a big family on a yearly reunion as the backdrop.  It reminded me alot of my own family and Katie. The paralels were really weird actually.  If Katie had actually met my brother Dan in a bookstore after meeting me and they fell in love and I ended up with some hottie, then it would have been EXACTLY the same.  But alas, Lindy…

The Makers Faire

The boys and I attended the Markers Faire last weekend.  We first went in the morning and then had to leave for little league practice.  Then we biked back without Matthew to spend time before Katie had to go to the Opera.  Both times, we forgot the camera.  Ugh!  How lame are we.  Here are some pictures from other people. The boys loved it.  There were tons of things for them to get excited about.  Giant Statues on Fire.  People riding giant cupcakes.  Solar powered vehicles.  This statue was just awesome to be near.  Man-eating robots. A giant-sized Mousetrap game. …

Opposite Day

Matthew asks, “Is today opposite day?” I answered, “If it was opposite day, I would have to answer NO, which is the opposite of the truth.  If it was not opposite day, I would just say the truth and answer NO.  So my answer to you is, No, it is not opposite day.” He blinks his eyes twice and walks away.  Oh well.

Ethan’s email from school

Ethan is learning a poem for talent show and is so coachable on it. I love it. Apparently, he gets his own email in his classroom. He responded to Katie from his classroom. dear Mom, I love you more!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! UMMMM o yeah I’ put on sunscreen.Mom I want to play with big kids to challenge myself but they would not let me play so lifted them up but that does always work.They won’t let me play because I’m smaller. Talk to me about it love Ethan How cute is that? I have great kids.

Jets

The Jets have made some great free agency moves.  My general philosophy is that a team lives and dies on the line.  O-line got improved with Alan Faneca.  I expect D’Brick and Mangold to improve dramatically with Faneca in between them.  They need his veteran presence.  This will lead to Thomas Jones (RB) to having a break-out season running behind these guys.  In fact, he gets another great blocker with Tony Richardson as Full back. Jones must feel like he is the luckiest guy in the world.  I am predicting a 1500+ year season.  I also expect QB Clemens to…

Germ Factory

Anyone interested in getting the flu?  Well, come on down!  You are the next contestant in, “The Virus is Right”!  First it was Jared, then it was Katie, now its Matthew.  All with high fevers and flu-like symptoms.  Cough and fatigue mostly.  I am trying to avoid getting too close to any of them.  It’s hard when you have five in a house.  I am just hoping to avoid it all. Kids are regular germ factories.  They pick up germs from other kids at school.  Then they bring it home and pass it to us.  You know, I was wondering. …

The most important thing in Life

I was discussing with Katie about Ethan and how he is so hard on himself.  He is nearly a perfectionist and works really hard.  I am so proud of him.  However, he has incredibly low self-esteem.  I wonder where he gets this from? (cough!Katie!cough!)  I need to instill in him some of the Lipka confidence.  If we combine my self-confidence and imagination with Katie’s work ethic, Ethan can achieve anything. The most important thing in life is Believing in Yourself.  You have to wake up with you every morning and look you in the eye in the mirror.  You have…

Potty Story

Matthew is going to the potty by himself these days.  He still needs help wiping his butt though.  The other night, we hear his regular yoddle, “Mooooommmm, I’m Dooooonnnnne!”  I went in to help him.  The first thing he does is hand me a whisk. He says, “Thank you daddy, I don’t need this anymore. That caught my attention.  Why does he have a whisk and what did he need it for in here??  Then I saw his face.  It was covered in a brown substance, all over his mouth and shirt.  I looked in slow motion at the whisk,…

Favorite Present and other stuff

At dinner, Jared likes to pick a “theme” that we can talk about.  I asked the family, “What was your favorite present ever?”  Jared looked at me and thought.  Finally, he said, “George Washington!”  It took me a minute to get it. Matthew had the Croup this weekend.  Katie felt compelled to bring him to the hospital at 3 in the morning.  They didn’t do anything.  He doesn’t have RAD.  We should give away the nebulizer to someone who really needs it. We also bought a tree in Half Moon Bay at Santa’s Tree Farm.   The place is ok. …

Too Many hats!

Marketo is starting to launch into beta, bringing on a few customers at a time.  It’s a stressful time for all as there is so much left to do and so many details.  I really appreciate how good Katie was at this sort of thing.  Keeping track of a million details.  She kicks ass.  Meanwhile, I am wearing alot of hats and trying to keep my head on straight. Christmas is right around the corner.  We have no tree, no presents, no decorations, no nothing.  We are way behind.  We were thinking about the Wii for the kids, but they…

The sneaky minds of 3-year old boys

Katie and I were in bed talking after a long day.  The door was not shut all the way, just most of the way.  We had a light on and were chatting.  I heard the pitter-patter of little footsteps (Matthew) come down the hall.  I mentioned it to Katie.  The funny thing was that he did not enter out room.  He walked up to the door and stopped. So we kept talking.  All the while, I heard his breathing outside the door.  He wouldn’t come in.   After about 10 minutes, I said to Katie, “You know, Matthew is outside the…