tag:blog.amjith.com,2013:/posts Brain Spill 2021-03-28T17:56:30Z tag:blog.amjith.com,2013:Post/1669628 2021-03-23T03:29:34Z 2021-03-28T17:56:30Z Michelangelo

Tonight we read Calvin and Hobbes for bedtime. After I read the comic strip above, I tried to explain a little about Michelangelo. 

Me: Remember, Michelangelo, we saw the statues he made when we went to Italy?

Sempi: Yeah.

Me: He's a great sculptor. Do you guys remember the David statue?

Vian: I know who Michelangelo is, he's a TURTLE!

o_O

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tag:blog.amjith.com,2013:Post/1662615 2021-03-08T20:00:03Z 2021-03-08T20:00:04Z Musings of an 8 year old

Vian was playing with his stuffed animals.

Vian: Watch my deer. It can do a somersault backwards.

Sempi: (thinks for a bit, turns to me)... if you call a flip a somersault, do you call a backward flip a wintersugar

Me: What a terribly missed opportunity. They just call it a reverse somersault, those unimaginative linguists.

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tag:blog.amjith.com,2013:Post/1662612 2021-03-07T23:42:21Z 2021-03-07T23:42:21Z Bug not a Feature

We are having dinner. Sempi is eating enthusiastically and suddenly cried out, "AAARGH!".

Me: What happened?

Sempi: I accidentally bit my tongue while chewing.

Me: I'm sorry Sempi, that must be quite painful.

Vian who is listening to all this plays around with the food in his mouth and suddenly declares:

Vian: You can actually bite your tongue anytime you want, not just on accident.

Me: That's.... that's not a feature Vian, it's a bug.

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tag:blog.amjith.com,2013:Post/1662051 2021-03-06T04:58:10Z 2021-03-20T19:31:34Z Not a Dinosaur

I'm reading a bedtime story to the kids. There's a picture of a Pterosaur in one of the pages.

Vian: That is not even a dinosaur.

I am quite proud that he know that Pterosaurs are not Dinosaurs.

Me: Oh, what are they?

Vian: They're just grown-up chickens in the sky.

Sempi: Argh! They're called Pterosaur, Vian. Ugh!

Vian likes taunting his brother, so he repeats his flying chicken theory one more time for good measure.


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tag:blog.amjith.com,2013:Post/1643691 2021-01-22T21:08:31Z 2021-02-26T02:30:05Z Nose Beard

I like giving and receiving kisses from Vian (my 4yo son). Recently, Vian complained that my beard was prickly. Obviously, I'm now clean shaven (no more goatee). 

On the nights I put him down for bedtime, he usually gets quite sleepy while I lay down with him. Occasionally he would run his hands on my cheeks and say "Amma?" (mom). That's gotta be the highest praise for shaving.

Today during lunch, he is sitting in my lap and munching on his pasta. He casually looks up and remarks, 

"Your beard is getting bigger and your nose beard is getting big too". 

Time to trim my nose hair.

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tag:blog.amjith.com,2013:Post/1632226 2020-12-26T18:54:09Z 2020-12-26T18:57:53Z Nevermind

Vian (4yo) and Yoshi are snuggled up in the office couch with a cozy blanket around them, playing a game on iPad. Vian turns to me and says,

Vian: Appa, can you get me something to eat? 

Me: Come with me, let's find something for you. 

Vian: But I'm too comfy. You get me something.

Me: Ok, but you have to eat whatever I get. 

Vian: Nevvvermind....

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tag:blog.amjith.com,2013:Post/1630463 2020-12-21T22:24:17Z 2020-12-21T22:24:17Z Groovin'

Vian (4yo) runs into my home office and threatens to slice me. He strikes a pose with a hand on his hip, legs wide apart and a  foam sword in one hand. 

I turn on my music which plays an upbeat song on the speakers. His tiny legs start moving to the melody and pretty soon he's shaking his hip and bobbing his head. 

The kid can't control himself when it comes to music. I've taught him well. 

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tag:blog.amjith.com,2013:Post/1630177 2020-12-21T04:16:55Z 2020-12-22T04:58:29Z Tricking a Couple of Kids

Both kids insisted that they want to get ready for bed last.

I told Vian (4yo) in secret that we're going to trick Sempi (8yo). He should floss and brush but not do MiPaste (a Fluoride paste). Then after I get Sempi ready we can do MiPaste, Vian would be the last to get ready.

Vian bought into the idea and he brushed first with a mischievous glee. The plan worked like a charm, Sempi was happy that he was brushing after Vian and Vian was happy that he didn't do his MiPaste until after Sempi brushed, thus he was the last to get ready for bed.

I emerged the victor. 

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tag:blog.amjith.com,2013:Post/1625676 2020-12-08T06:19:53Z 2020-12-08T06:19:53Z Computers and Memory

When Sempi and I go on walks, we occasionally discuss something we both find interesting. 

Today during our walk today, I told Sempi memory is a tricky thing. If we have to remember a sequence of numbers some of them are really easy but others are hard. 

For example, we can easily remember 1,2,3,4,5,6,7. We can also remember 7,6,5,4,3,2,1 but it is quite hard for us to remember a random sequence like 3,4,2,5,1,7,6. For a computer remembering 1,2,3,4,5,6,7 takes the same effort as remember a random sequence like 3,4,2,5,1,7,6.

His response was, if you write down the numbers on a paper, you won't have to remember them at all. That's what the computers do. They write them down in a file so they can retrieve it later. That's why it is the same effort for them to remember a random sequence as well as a regular sequence. 

I thought that was a pretty clever analogy. 

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tag:blog.amjith.com,2013:Post/1609649 2020-10-29T00:24:09Z 2020-10-29T00:24:10Z Orange?

Sempi declared that he found a word that rhymes with Orange, the color Orange. He thought they had different spelling, after I corrected him the following conversation ensued.

Me: The color orange and the fruit orange have the same spelling. The meaning differs based on the context. For example, when you say my car is orange it means the car's color is orange, it doesn't mean the car is a fruit.

Sempi: Oooh! You can say that my car is related to orange, because a car can be a lemon.

Previously

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tag:blog.amjith.com,2013:Post/1545152 2020-05-16T03:57:12Z 2020-10-23T10:19:35Z 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. 

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tag:blog.amjith.com,2013:Post/1545150 2020-05-16T03:53:29Z 2020-12-21T22:16:46Z 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.


Previously

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tag:blog.amjith.com,2013:Post/1522237 2020-03-21T02:07:14Z 2020-03-27T21:53:57Z 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.

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tag:blog.amjith.com,2013:Post/1515448 2020-03-02T05:56:32Z 2020-06-01T01:58:16Z !!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. :)


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tag:blog.amjith.com,2013:Post/1511501 2020-02-20T06:04:53Z 2020-02-21T15:51:36Z 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!

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tag:blog.amjith.com,2013:Post/1505576 2020-02-02T19:06:27Z 2020-02-02T19:06:28Z Elevenses

One of my favorite items is sourdough toast with butter. This morning I decided to spread some jam on the toast as a treat. Vian enjoyed it quite a bit and came back for a second helping.

Vian: Appa can you make me a loaf of jam?

Me: You mean a slice, not a loaf.

Vian: Oh, can I have a slice of jam?

Me: Yes! Btw, it's a slice of bread with jam.

Vian: Ok. (licking his finger distractedly).

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tag:blog.amjith.com,2013:Post/1488707 2019-12-13T18:19:17Z 2020-10-03T13:42:06Z Creative Insult

Imagine a chubby 3 yr old with stubby legs and a cute smile. That's Vian. Vian can be a charming little kid when he chooses.

This morning I was helping him use the restroom. After he washed his hands I offered him a towel to dry himself. He refused the offer and decides to wipe his hands on his shirt. I told him with a hint of frustration that he should use a towel and not wipe his hands on his shirt. He turns around, looks me in the eye and says:

"No I won't, you fuzzy little mammal" and walks away while I stand there dumbfounded.

I'm lucky to say that I was present when a new insult was birthed into this world.

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tag:blog.amjith.com,2013:Post/1484300 2019-12-01T21:16:21Z 2020-02-21T15:52:17Z Kids vs Adults

It is raining in San Jose, there are little puddles of water on the sidewalk.

I'm walking with Vian in our neighborhood. I notice a small puddle and step over it to make sure I don't get my shoes wet. 

Vian walks right through the puddle. Stops. Turns around and jumps in the puddle for good measure and then runs over to hold my fingers as we proceed with our walk.

Wet shoes are a small price to pay for the joy of jumping in puddles. It is wonderful being a kid.

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tag:blog.amjith.com,2013:Post/1465008 2019-10-11T22:30:42Z 2019-11-29T04:01:02Z The Floss!

Dancing is in my blood.

Yoshi decides that the kids need to learn how to dance properly(?). So she starts teaching them "The Floss". Not to be outdone by her, I decide to show the kids how to do the Floss correctly.

As I start to get into the groove, Vian runs over and turns the light off, just as Yoshi remarks "Yeah, nobody needs to see that".

Tough crowd!

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tag:blog.amjith.com,2013:Post/1463555 2019-10-07T02:15:10Z 2020-04-04T01:53:45Z Examples are Awesome

There are two things I look for whenever I check out an Opensource project or library that I want to use.

1. Screenshots (A picture is worth a thousand words).

2. Examples (Don't tell me what to do, show me how to do it).

Having a fully working example (or many examples) helps me shape my thought process.

Here are a few projects that are excellent examples of this.

1. https://github.com/prompt-toolkit/python-prompt-toolkit

A CLI framework for building rich command line interfaces. The project comes with a collection of small self-sufficient examples that showcase every feature available in the framework and a nice little tutorial.

2. https://github.com/coleifer/peewee

A small ORM for Python that ships with multiple web projects to showcase how to use the ORM effectively. I'm always overwhelmed by SqlAlchemy's documentation site. PeeWee is a breath of fresh air with a clear purpose and succinct documentation.

3. https://github.com/coleifer/huey

An asynchronous task queue for Python that is simpler than Celery and more featureful than RQ. This project also ships with an awesome set of examples that show how to integrate the task queue with Django, Flask or standalone use case.

The beauty of these examples is that they're self-documenting and show us how the different pieces in the library work with each other as well as external code outside of their library such as Flask, Django, Asyncio etc.

Examples save the users hours of sifting through documentation to piece together how to use a library.

Please include examples in your project.

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tag:blog.amjith.com,2013:Post/1460959 2019-09-29T21:28:43Z 2019-09-29T21:28:44Z Tattling

Vian: Amma, the roomba is not cleaning anything.

Yoshi: Let me check.

She finds lego pieces and strings blocking the Roomba wheels.

Yoshi: Thank you, Vian. You're right it wasn't picking up anything.

Me: Vian, did you just tattle on Roomba to your mother?


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tag:blog.amjith.com,2013:Post/1452671 2019-09-07T04:32:05Z 2019-09-07T04:32:05Z Monkey Bar

Sempi is a big fan of Leonardo Da Vinci. Ever since we got back from Italy he's been talking about the various inventions of Leonardo.

Earlier today he was playing in the park after school. Apparently, he fell down from the monkey bars trying to do something brave. Yoshi took him to the ER and the doctors announced he has a small fracture and put his arm in a sling.

He's quite despondent about the whole ordeal and told me that he wished he hadn't tried that special monkey bar maneuver. I reassured him that his sling is a badge of honor, it is a sign of bravery, it shows that he is someone who pushes the boundaries.

Me: Do you know who else is the kind of person who pushed boundaries?

Sempi: Who?

Me: Leonardo. I bet he wore a sling many times in his life.

Sempi: Yeah. But he probably knew how to use a monkey bar though.

Me: LOL!!

I have to agree with him on that one.

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tag:blog.amjith.com,2013:Post/1444517 2019-08-14T02:31:58Z 2019-08-14T09:48:55Z Captain Underpants - Potty Adventures - 2

When we were in Italy, we visited the Ufizzi museum and saw a lot of old world statues. There was one statue of a warrior holding a shield in his hand. I told the kids that it is Captain Italy who happens to be the cousin of Captain America. Obviously, neither of them believed me and Sempi groaned at my lame joke.

Recently Vian started potty training. He's proud of wearing his underwear and strikes a pose every now and then.

Me: Vian you look like Captain Underpants.

Vian: No Appa. I'm like Captain Italy, remember.

Me: Haha. Was Captain Italy wearing underpants?

Vian: No Appa. Captain Italy was wearing his penis.

Of course, I forgot that the statue was naked. All the statues were naked.

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tag:blog.amjith.com,2013:Post/1441157 2019-08-04T20:09:33Z 2019-08-04T20:09:34Z Sorry!?
Vian and I are playing legos. I accidentally drop a lego piece from the table, we both bend down to get it and bonk our heads.

Me: I am sorry, Vian.
Vian: (rubbing his head) No appa, I am sorry.
Me: I guess we're both sorry. :)
Vian: No appa. I AM SAD, SO I AM SORRY (loudly).
Me: Ok. Ok you're sorry.


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tag:blog.amjith.com,2013:Post/1440632 2019-08-03T05:53:37Z 2019-08-03T05:53:37Z Potty Training Adventures - I

Vian is 3 years old which is the minimum age required in this family to be eligible for big boy underwear. So naturally, we started potty training him this week.

He's come a long way since Monday and it is going very well. He does get frustrated by the inconvenience of having to stop playing just to empty his bladder. This morning he declared "I need to wear diapers or else I'm not going to eat anymore!".

A hunger strike! I guess reading all those books about Gandhi is having an effect on him. 

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tag:blog.amjith.com,2013:Post/1403053 2019-04-28T23:35:32Z 2019-04-28T23:37:02Z Punch Line

I sometimes share clean adult jokes that are too clever for a 2 year old to grasp. Sometimes it is fun to see the confused look on his face when he sees me cracking up on my own jokes. Yes, I laugh at my own jokes, moving on.

We're hanging out at a coffee shop and I start with the setup for a great joke.

Me: Vian, did you know that humans eat more bananas than monkeys?

Vian: What? They eat monkeys?

Me: LOL!! Way to ruin the punchline man.


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tag:blog.amjith.com,2013:Post/1403048 2019-04-28T23:30:25Z 2019-04-28T23:30:25Z Conversations with a 2 yo

We are at the dining table. I take out the croissant from the bag and place it on a plate in front of Vian.

Vian: Appa, what kind of "cossant" is it?

Me: It's a plain croissant, Vian.

Vian: No. It's a bum-bum "cossant".

Me: Huh?

Vian: Look it (pointing to his misshapen croissant that looks like a butt).

You win this round, Vian.

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tag:blog.amjith.com,2013:Post/1388600 2019-03-22T03:10:56Z 2019-03-22T03:10:57Z Good people

Sempi and I read bedtime books together and discuss the story before he goes to sleep.

The story we read had a mention of illegal drugs. Apparently he didn't know what drugs were. So we discussed what drugs were and how some bad guys can sell drugs to victims and why it is illegal.

Suddenly Sempi drops this nugget of wisdom.

People are always born to be strong and good. No one is born to be weak or evil.

Friends who know me well, know that I strongly believe "people are generally good". I guess that belief is a genetic trait.

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tag:blog.amjith.com,2013:Post/1376914 2019-02-22T03:49:53Z 2019-04-06T04:59:12Z Got Problems?

Sempi (my 6yo son) and I have this tradition of sharing our problems and asking each other's opinion on how to solve it. We do this while we walk to his school. We've been doing this since he was 3. Here's an example from Portland.

Me: When I bike to work, I have to wait a long time for the elevator.

Sempi (3yo): You should just build a ramp to your 28th floor, so you can just bike all the way up.

Me: Alrighty then.

Back to present day, I was discussing a problem with him about my work.

Me: I have this big presentation coming up and I'm nervous.

Sempi: Why?

Me: There's going to be VPs and an Executive attending this presentation. So I'm anxious about it.

(Sempi thinks for a while)

Sempi: There is a fire pole at the playground and I get nervous about going down that pole. What helps me is, I don't think about it, I just do it. So you should do the same. Don't think about it, just do it.

Me: Whoa! You know that's actually pretty good advice.

I'm happy to report that I took his advice and I kicked butt.

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tag:blog.amjith.com,2013:Post/1372621 2019-02-10T21:48:00Z 2019-04-28T20:44:28Z Relatives

Some nights I read a book about Gandhi to Sempi for bedtime. There is an incident in Gandhi's life when he's thrown out of a first-class coach in South Africa because he is not white. I told Sempi that it was an injustice and it doesn't happen anymore.  He listened intently and nodded approvingly. The next night I'm reading a comic about superheros and he asks me, "How come everyone in Justice League is white?".

I stuttered to come up with an answer at that moment, cursing myself for introducing him to the concept of race.

Since then he's asked me to read the Gandhi book many times and we talk about the struggles, non-violence and civil disobedience.

Recently, his elementary school teacher did a fantastic job of introducing the struggles of Martin Luther King Jr. He was excited to learn about MLK and how he learned some of the techniques from Gandhi and Thoreau. So naturally, we bought a new bedtime book about MLK.

One night we had this exchange.

Sempi: Appa, how did the first person came into existence.

Me: (I was gearing up to talk about evolution, Adam and Genesis).

Sempi: Appa, if there was a single person in the beginning, then we all came from that person.

Me: (excitedly) That's true. Everyone in the world is related. You're probably related to Ms. Cochran (his elementary shcool teacher).

Sempi: (giggles) Hehe. It also means that Martin Luther King could be my relative. Hehe.

Me: Absolutely!! You know MLK and Gandhi were probably your great great grandfathers.


That's my son. :D

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