Joke by a 7yo

I am kind of a celebrity at home for making really bad dad jokes. 

Me: What does Darth Vader have for breakfast? 

Kids: Um. What?

Me: Dark Toast!

---

Sempi (7yo) decided that he's going to try his hand. 

Sempi: Why does Darth Baker make cookies in space?

Me: Um. Why? 

Sempi: Because they go well with the Milky Way. 

I'm impressed by his ability to make up a joke on the spot. 

Conversations with a 4yo

I'm trying to work at home and Vian (4yo) is playing in the office next to me. He requests me to play with him. I took a break and told him that I'd draw with him. He insisted that I should play legos. So we made a compromise that we would draw then play legos. 

After what seemed like a good amount of drawing vehicles for a while, I told him that it is time for me to get back to work.

Vian: But you said you would play with me. 

Me: Oh yeah I forgot. 

Vian: Remember, you said we would draw and then play legos?

Me: Yes, I remember now. You should be a lawyer when you grow up Vian. 

Vian: Nah. I'm going to be batman when I grow up. 

As long as he has realistic goals, I'm cool with that.

Strongest Family Member

I'm playing with Vian and Sempi. Vian comes at me swinging a plastic sword. I stop it with my hand and hold onto it, to prevent further assault.

Vian: Appa is the strongest in the family.

Sempi: No, Amma is the strongest.

Vian: But Appa is bigger.

Sempi: He is bigger but Amma has more muscles. So she's stronger.

I've got nothing to say, that's just the truth.

!!con west

I had the pleasure of attending !!con west last weekend. I met a lot of incredible people and listened to talks that rekindled my joy in programming.

I took out my trusty Stabilo point 88 and started taking notes. The person sitting next to me complimented my choice of pen. I got very excited that someone recognized the pen and shared my interest in stationery. She then proceeded to show me her stationery collection from Japan (tiny scissors, a permanent marker, multicolor highlighter, and a twist top eraser). It was awesome! There is an indescribable joy in finding out that someone else shares your weird and quirky interests.

I got caught up with Thomas (author of Curtsies and a fellow lover of awesome CLIs). He gave me a demo of ObservableHQ which was very cool.

I met Aaron Wood who gave an engaging and entertaining talk about ancient Greek mathematics. I had a strange feeling that I knew him from somewhere else. Turns out he went to the University of Utah (my alma mater) and we both worked as math tutors in the same department nearly 13 years ago. What a small world.

There were a ton of interesting talks at the conference. Here's a synopsis of the ones I remember.

Wolf, Goat, and Cabbage In Two Styles!!

A brief showcase of two very different languages (!?) to solve the logic puzzle of transporting a Wolf, Goat, and Cabbage across a river.

The Ancient Greeks And Their Restless Cattle

A wonderfully hilarious talk about mathematics during the era of Archimedes and how it was solved with modern techniques before and after computers. Aaron did a great job of explaining the math behind Pell's equation and walked us through the history of various attempts at a solution and finally showed an implementation of the solution in Ruby. I would highly recommend this talk.

Plotty Bird - Making Modern Games on Retro Pen Plotters!

Pen plotters are old school printers that literally used a robotic hand to draw diagrams on paper. Wesley managed to purchase one of them and hacked it to enough to start printing delightful things. They then proceeded to implement flappy bird that could be played by the pen plotter. They had brought with them a real pen plotter for us to play with and it was quite a bit of fun. There was one statement that Wesley made during the talk that resonated with me. We used to do programming because it was fun and pointless. Now that I'm paid to write programs it doesn't seem fun anymore. We should go back to doing more programming for pointless fun.

Packages, but in 3D!

I had no idea that packaging for snacks is an art. There are books written about how to fold paper/cardboard to make a specific style of packaging. Tiffany wanted to try out some of the designs from these books. So she built an image to svg converter which then feeds the SVG to a packaging cutter (sort of like a laser cutter) to try out some of the packaging designs from the book. It is now a standalone program on the web.

All in all, I had a wonderful time at the conference and I can't wait for the next one. :)


Treat Others How You Want To Be Treated

Vian (3yo) is in the bathtub and I'm trying to get him to come out. Sempi (7yo) is already out and changing his clothes. I am losing my patience with Vian and he is losing his patience with this toy that he's trying balance on the rim of the bathtub.

After pleading with him for a while, I lost my patience and stormed out and turned off one of the lights in the bathroom. Although this didn't plunge the bathroom in darkness, this did darken the room just enough to cause Vian to yell and scream. Suddenly who comes running but Sempi. He asked in a compassionate tone "Vian are you ok? Is there anything I can do to help you?".

Clearly ashamed by my actions, I went back to the bathroom and got Vian out of the bathtub. I told Sempi that I'm proud of his actions and I wish I could learn from him. Sempi said in a serious voice, I could teach you. Here's his teaching:

Sometimes when things don't go according to your plan, you'll be tempted to do something bad to hurt the other person. But the way to control that is to remember that you should always treat others how you want to be treated.

He said the best way to practice this is to go to someplace new that I've never been to. In a new place, things won't go exactly as planned and I'll find myself often frustrated or angry. That's when I could practice being nice and not mean to everyone. He offered to go with me, so he can be there to support me.

I am speechless. My son is awesome!