Massive Acidfree updates

After nearly 2 weeks of coding and testing, I am happy to release some major updates in the Acidfree code base. The changes really are very subtle from a user's perspective, but are quite intrusive considering the code size. The code base is about 2500 lines of code and nearly 1000 of those lines were changed. But it was definitely for the better — better video handling, better image manipulation, better mime-type handling.

Please try it out and let me know what you think. Submit bugs and feature requests if something is not right. Submit patches if you want. I want to make sure Acidfree is done The Right Way™, so by all means, take it for a spin and give it feedback.

Mr. Mover and Miss Chatterbox

I suppose both Nicole and Nathan could be accused of either crime, but titles were not meant to tell the whole story. So go ahead and imagine the really long title and we will skip onto the details of the news.

rolly-polly boy
rolly-polly boy
Nathan has made great strides since I wrote last. The photo album tells a better and more active tale than my ramblings here. He rolled over for the first time from back to front on 7 Sept 2005. Then just yesterday he rolled from front to back. Many many times. And unfortunately for us, he doesn't roll back and forth, but across the room. So he is officially mobile. It certainly does seem to make him a lot happier when we put him down because he is in control of his destiny.
But now it means we have to chase him across the room with a burp cloth to be sure he doesn't empty his lunch at each spot he is on his belly rolling across the floor. We also got him a bouncer because that is one of his favorite sports. Since our house only has a few cased doorways on the main floor we went with the free standing Jumperoo from Fisher-Price. Other than being a bit noisy when he jumps, he sure loves it.

Acidfree albums

Acidfree is the 4th generation of a brainchild of Darren Hart, Bret Gundersen, and mine as we sought to create a cool webpage that our families could use as a communication hub. The original photo albums looked about the same, but were so integrated into the website that it was a bit of work to extract them and insert them into my own young website. The code was, frankly, not my best work ever. But I was young, inexperienced in web development, php, and user interfaces so my shortcomings can be overlooked for this first generation. The important point is that I got better.

If he can do it, so can I

I read about George Washington Carver once and the determination that he had. As a kid, he saw some beautiful paintings in a mansion he visited and thought to himself, "I have two hands. If he can do it, so can I." So he made paints out of crushed flowers and berries and painted on anything he could find. People in the area were surprised to find paintings on rocks and boards, etc. Determination is an amazing driving force.

handful of nathan
handful of nathan
One of our neighbors has a daughter about 9 months younger than Nicole. On the wall in their living room, they have a picture of the dad holding their little daughter standing in his hand. She must have been about 3 or 4 months old at the time. He took advantage of the reflex babies have to stretch their legs out when something presses on the bottom of their feet. I was sad that we had missed the opportunity with Nicole, so when Nathan was born, I was determined to get a picture of him standing in my hand. And I did!

Same great look, new great content manager

The sign said 'Under new managment' and I was skeptical. But it did still look like the same web page that I had grown to love over the past few years. So I thought, 'What the heck, I'll give it a try.' And what a booming success it has been ever since.

This is just to say that I have spent hours and hours learning about the drupal architecture, designing a good photo album for drupal and implementing acidfree photo albums for drupal. I think I did it The Right Wayâ„¢ so I am hoping that I can eventually get it into the drupal contribution modules page. Unfortunately for me, there are already several competing albums (all of which are weaksauce IMNSHO), so it may be difficult for me to convince them that my albums really are as cool as I think they are.

Rest and relaxation at the beach

A week at the beach could really do just about anybody good. I am not a real water lover by default since my skin is rather dry, but I still love a good beach trip. Me, Lauren, Nicole, Nathan, Lauren's mom and Lauren's sister all went to Cannon Beach, OR, and spent six days doing nearly nothing at all. For all you who have never heard of Cannon Beach, it is a quaint little town about six miles south of Seaside, OR. Mostly just a tourist attraction, but it is small, quiet and very relaxing.

Because we have two small children, between naptimes and feedings, we didn't actually get a lot of time to do things around the town. We did manage to find time to ride the fun-cycles, visit Haystack Rock, build sand castles, and wade in the ocean. We also had time to take a lot of pictures.

Personality shines through

I have written recently about how smart Nicole is, so I won't do that this time. This time, it is about how silly she is. Like most kids, she was never very fond of the 'infant suction bulb.' And with good reason. The times we use it for Nicole are probably over since she can (if not reluctantly) blow her nose. But Nathan is a different story; the little congested hedgepig percolates instead of breathing. So we use the 'booger sucker' on him on a fairly regular basis. Nicole has been around while we have used it and knows what it is called. Being a little bit tongue-tied, she once called it a 'sooger bucker' and got a laugh out of her parents. Now, that is what she calls it as her own little private joke.

www.mauery.com got a face lift

At the family reunion, I got a lot of feedback on this website. I was surprised by the number of people besides myself that actually visit this site (Google and the other web bots don't count.) To make a long story short, the feedback was to the tune of, "wouldn't it be nice if there was a place that all of us could post news and pictures to share with each other?" So thus the new and improved Mauery Family Website.

There are lots of features that I think would be really cool to have added, but I am not really sure when I will find the time. Currently, a read-only photo album and posting news (and now news with inline pictures) is available, but I will probably still be poking and tuning that until I am completely satisfied. I am open to other feature requests if anyone has any.

Sleeping like a champ

Nathan slept 9 1/2 hours last night. That is more sleep than I got — even on less fuel. Since his stomach is the size of a walnut or something, he obviously can't eat that much, but he got enough food (despite all the air he swallowed and refused to give up) to sleep for his longest night sleep yet.

I don't really remember how long Nicole was sleeping at this point, but so far, both of our kids have been very willing to give us long stretches of sleep very early on. I hope they both keep it up.

Smiles and giggles

two cute smiles
two cute smiles
Nathan and Nicole are turning out to be quite the little duo. Nicole absolutely loves Nathan and probably can't wait until he can play with her. Until then, she is content to be Mama's little helper and to share all her toys with him. When I say share, I really mean pile in his lap. But so far, Nicole is the only one who can really make Nathan smile.

Today is the day we will designate as the first day that Nathan smiled of his own free will (i.e. not because of a well timed release of pressure.) Nicole would get up in his face and make cute little giggly girl noises and he would smile back at her.

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