27 June 2010

Heart Attack Casserole

Late last night I made homemade pot pies for the first time. The chicken livers at the market looked good yesterday. So I bought a bunch, with some fatty beef, potatoes, carrots, onions, sherry and salt. The crust was made of pate brisee, basically a ton of butter and flour rolled out into a pie shape.

We ate them for breakfast this morning. I'm quite proud of the results for the first time making pot pies. Its tasty and actually resembles a pot pie (a couple of them with little Anpanman faces on top to please the girls.) Now, however, I'm stuffed and want to just curl up and go back sleep.


25 June 2010


I just lived through 45 straight minutes of a little girl screaming in my ear. She wanted to go on the swing instead of taking a bath.

A Mother of a Bean


I changed my job last week. As of Monday I'm focusing on a narrow area of what I was doing. The one thing that keeps me at Adobe so long, 18 years next month, is that whenever I ask to change my responsibilities and can provide a convincing case the change has happened. Sometimes very quickly, like this time. I agreed to it last Wednesday and by Monday it was so. The change is needed and welcomed from everyone to whom I speak.

I'm totally relieved on so many levels. Work for me didn't become any easier. It just changed to what I wanted to do. I lead a small team in a mission critical area for a short duration (at least the truly intense part is short duration.) Its a great team with whom I'm proud to work. And its a team who has fought against having their product shipped overseas and won. They were part of my organization already. There are some process issues to address. The initial situation will have me working too hard for the next month or two; but, then we should be good to slide back out of overdrive. I'm *not* giving up my personal life or family at all and will keep good hours, with the data to measure it and be sure. :)

The change also allows me to grow in the direction I'm looking to grow. My passion at work hasn't changed, its still the Creative Suite. Yet I can see the pinpoint focus of the product itself (as opposed to the tools that form its content) and it strangely interests me. What I'll be doing is focusing on the business needs (as opposed to the engineering needs) of the business model solution. It sounds and is very specific; but, that's one of the main areas of growth. The other area is in process improvement. I've talked here before about efforts in those areas and they are still proceeding nicely, though under a different guise. I'm still pushing but now all I have to do is ensure our team projects are at the forefront of the effort.

More Alex!

20 June 2010

When Twins Are Easier

The girls have been playing with each other without our intervention for about 20 minutes now. I'm nearly done with a cup of coffee and set up my new electric razor, which is now charging in the corner. Nice.

First Haircut

The girls had their first haircut today. They quietly sat and let the person cut their hair. I was really impressed. Afterwards we went to the Cupertino library to look at their giant fish tank as a reward for the girls.

I'll get some pictures up when I get a chance. We didn't get any good pictures today after the hair cut.

Also, Alisa is wearing pig tails now. Her hair is finally thick enough.

Lastly, Leia's verbal skills are rapidly increasing now. She's still a bit behind Alisa in this regard; but, she now regularly sings songs and speaks clearly enough that I can understand her more than 50% of the time.

To tide you over until we get a picture of the girls post-hair cut, here's some dancing at last Thursday's outdoor concert.

P1030976Everybody wants to dance with Daddy.

13 June 2010

Big Girl's Swing

Something I forgot to mention: since their second birthday both girls have been swinging on the normal swing instead of always using the baby swing. They still prefer the baby swing because we go all out in pushing them up high; but, they are so proud of themselves when they swing in the normal swing.

Also, Leia is very proud of herself for taking a shower instead of a bath. She even held the shower head when she was cleaned.

Big Changes This Week

I've been pretty lax on the posting. There's still lots of changes with the girls going on. This weekend I noticed their speech dramatically improved. I can understand about 90% of what Alisa says and over 50% of what Leia says now. Granted, I listen to them talk every day and a random stranger will have a much harder time; but, I'm happy with their progress. The fact that they can ask for whatever it is they want is a HUGE benefit.

Their sentences are quite complex now. They can carry one two-three sentence conversations regularly. Alisa has five or six colors down cold, as well as much of the alphabet in English and Japanese. Leia, on the other hand, is the imaginative one. She is never at a loss for something to do regardless of what is going on.

Lastly, I was shocked at Alisa's dinner tonight. I fixed tomyo (a type of pea green, very fibrous), flounder, ankimo and rice. Ankimo is the liver of the monkfish. It is very much like foie gras, and tastes wonderful if you like that sort of thing. I expected to eat the entire ankimo myself and very little fish, since the girls usually eat lots of fish and not even Hirono is a big fan of ankimo. I stewed it in a shallow mixture of fish stock, dark soy sauce, rice vinegar and water. After all was said and done, I ended up getting two bites of ankimo. Alisa ate the rest, over 1/4 pound. Imagine eating 1/4 pound of foie gras. Its overwhelming. Alisa was going for the scraps she liked it so much.

03 June 2010


Second birthday today. We made it. Lot's of great fun going to the zoo.

Now back to work.