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Do people still post in LiveJournal? I know my wife still visits it, to talk to other teachers in her teacher community. Has LiveJournal become outdated by the quick and easy Twitter/FaceBook status updates? Why take the time to write out a lengthy report of a day/week/months events, when you can write about what happened just seconds later in 240 characters or less? FaceBook's notes are like journal entries. And to top it all off, FaceBook is free... LiveJournal still charges you for extra pictures, extra features... it is an antiquated business model, and I think they had best start looking in new directions or they will become a thing of the past very quickly. Like, as soon as my pro account expires.

On that same note, what of my website? wildalphin.com? I have updated it even less than LiveJournal! And it is meant to be a website about me... why can't I maintain the things of my life?

Blah.

Back to Facebook.

Katie Leaves Indiana

Katie Leaves Indiana
Katie Leaves Indiana,
originally uploaded by wdalphin.
Katie plays on the painted tarmac of an elementary school playground, hopping from state to state on a large-scale map of the United States. Behind her is Indiana, and up ahead is Tennessee and West Virginia. Her feet hover over Kentucky. Is she taking off or about to land?

It was a cloudy, wet October morning. My brother Jack's birthday. We had gone for a walk, collecting sticks along the way. Katie thought we were heading toward the pond, but that was in the other direction. This small playground served as a better location for running and jumping, hopping, skipping, climbing and bouncing.

Katie looks up in pigtails!

Katie looks up in pigtails!
Katie looks up in pigtails!,
originally uploaded by wdalphin.
I wish we were able to get Katie in pigtails... the only time she's willing to wear them is when the lady at daycare puts her in them. :( She is absolutely adorable in pigtails.

Katie and the Watering Can

Katie and the Watering CanKatie's pretty face
Katie and the Watering Can,
originally uploaded by wdalphin.
I don't really have anything to write, I just wanted to share this. Photoshop CS4's vibrance slider is pretty amazing. It helped bring the true colors out in this shot where the bright sun had kinda faded everything slightly.

I just have to keep myself from getting carried away with the damned thing.

Pictures of Katie!

Because this is all I do with my life now...

Katie smilesNo get me wet!Katie wet
Katie's a STAR!IMG_0060Katie thoroughly soaked

She's back!

Katie is tired of the camera
Katie is tired of the camera,
originally uploaded by wdalphin.
Katie and Melissa returned home Saturday night. Katie fells asleep on the ride from the airport and didn't even wake up when we got home and I had to unstrap her from her carseat and carry her inside through brightly lit hallways. Sunday morning, we went to the park, where she got excited by a couple mothers blowing bubbles, but when they offered to blow bubbles for her to chase, she covered her face with my leg. So we went to Target before we went home, where she picked out a Thomas the tank engine auto bubble blower (because bubble sticks give her trouble and get her hands all slimey). She's still learning how to use it, but she can make it work with some effort. This photo was taken after lunch (chickens and fries and mustard as she puts it), when she returned to the porch for more bubble-blowing. At bed time, she wanted her bubble blower in bed with her, but I said absolutely not. That thing leaks way too easily.

How to get paid for buying a soda

I went to our office soda machine with $1.75 in quarters to buy myself an iced tea.  When I got there, I inserted a dollar bill instead, opting to save most of the quarters.  The sodas cost $1.35 though, so I still needed to use two.  I popped in one, and started to insert the other when I noticed that the first had not been recognized.  I looked in the slot and the quarter was just hanging out right inside the slot.  So I tried to use the second quarter to push in the first, and ended up with both quarters gone in and not recognized by the machine.  I noticed a little old lady standing beside me, waiting her turn, so I pulled the latch to get my money back.  4 quarters spilled out of the change holder-- the dollar bill I had inserted first.  "It ate my quarters" I told the lady, but she seemed disinterested.  She had two dollar bills, so I stood aside and watched as she got herself a Pepsi, told me thank you and went on her way.  While waiting, I noticed a coin stop the fridge beside the machine, so I picked it up once she'd left.  I now had one quarter back, but since I only had one dollar bill left in my wallet and a pocket full of quarters I now knew would not go in the machine, I contemplated my next move.

My next move was to bang the palm of my hand against the machine's coin area.  A jingle, and out popped a Canadian quarter and a nickel.  "These aren't even mine," I muttered to myself, then pocketed them and banged the machine again.  Two dimes and four quarters spilled out with a jangle.  I picked them up, looked in the coin slot, and twisted the change return latch.  Two more nickels and my two quarters spilled out into the coin holder.  So, from the look of it, some doofus had tried to use a Canadian quarter in the machine, clogged it up, and proceeded to insert the whole $1.35 of their soda into the machine before leaving in frustration.  I'd even wager that they ditched their last quarter on top of the fridge in disgust.  Using the nickels and dimes (and NOT the Canadian quarter), I bought myself an Iced Tea and walked back to my computer with a pocket full of quarters.

Thank you, dumb person, wherever you are, for the free drink.

Builderbot Builds a Rabbit Cage

Builderbot Builds a Rabbit Cage
Builderbot Builds a Rabbit Cage,
originally uploaded by wdalphin.
Here's a cartoon I drew while at work, waiting for an application to install. Normally I just doodle, but I drew these two robots really quick and decided they had a story or two to tell.

Katie stomps off

Katie stomps off
Katie stomps off,
originally uploaded by wdalphin.
This is my current new favorite photo of Katie, taken this past week during our trip to Mountain View for a small family reunion. She had been down at the dock, throwing sticks and snail shells into the lake and watching them float on the waves, when we decided it was time to come back close to the camp and away from the water. She got mad, and I got out my camera. When she saw me point it at her, she stormed over to make me stop taking photos (she hates being photographed when she's unhappy). You can really see the emotion in her eyes... deep sorrow at her playtime being interrupted, and a hint of anger at daddy for photographing her. "No photos, Daddy!" she says when she sees me pull out my phone nowadays.

There are more photos from the trip available for all to see at http://www.flickr.com/photos/wdalphin/sets/72157620881239147/

A rainy 4th of July

We travelled to Mountain View for the 4th, Melissa, Katie and I. Driving up after work in my new blue Ford Fusion, pausing in West Lebanon to dine on KFC-brand chicken, we reached our destination around 1 in the morning. My parents were up, awaiting our arrival. We were exhausted, and collapsed into bed, Katie struggling and crying in the provided crib until she too sank into a peaceful slumber, too tired to cry anymore.

We awoke the next morning to my sister and nephews arrival from their prospective cabin. They had arrived soon after we had, making the trip from Maine in much the same time. Katie immediately retook a liking to Duncan, acting shy at first until he went with her down to the beach and helped her throw sticks in the water. We had to nearly drag her away an hour later, she enjoyed being there so much.

My brother George and his wife Annie arrived late in the day, making the group complete. The weather was gray and off-again, on-again rainy. We spent more time indoors than out, but truthfully, I enjoyed the comeradery more than the scenery. When we could go outside, it was very buggy, and we expended great amounts of energy trying to wave off various insects that wanted to taste our blood and our flesh.

Several trips were made out to the store or my parents' house in Whippleville for supplies. My father took George and I to rummage through his years' worth of suits, shirts and pants, of which we each took a good number with gratitude. On one afternoon of light rain, I endeavored to take Katie to a nearby park to let her run around and expend days' worth of pent-up energy. Duncan and my mother came along and provided support.

The 4th of July was rainy, but we tried to make the most of it by having a party with grilled meats, vegetarian chili, watermelon and a variety of chips and side dishes. Katie spent most of the time running from person to person, asking them each to read her the same story, Whose Baby Is That? I attempted to lighten the mood by altering the story to be Whose Booty Is That? my job as jester complete.

Sunday, each group packed up to head home. The weather was the finest it had been all week, and Melissa suggested we stay a bit longer, to let Katie enjoy it before she got jammed into a car for six hours. We passed a good deal of time on the dock, looking out at the water, throwing sticks in and watching them drift back, and then playing in a canoe on the hill down to the water. Hugs and kisses were finally given, along with parting graces, and we made our journey back home. Since then, Katie has pined for the beautiful lake, the fun-filled beach, her cousin Duncan and her dear grandma, both of whom gave her so much wonderful attention and love.

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