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What's Alex been up to?

Hmm, it's a long time since I've posted on here!

This is possibly due to Bethany. She's five months old now, and still being delightful, and also somewhat challenging. Rachael's been making a number of posts about Bethany on her baby filter, so I've not had much more to say. I have been taking quite a few photos of Bethany, however; we upload them to Picasa Web Albums about every two or three weeks.

So, what else have I been doing?

  • Designing Magic cards! As I mentioned a few months ago, I've been designing a custom set of Magic: the Gathering cards, which I've called Sienira's Facets. I've played one draft game with them so far. I have a few tweaks I want to make, and then I want to play some theme decks from the set.

  • Writing a webapp! Because when I was designing Sienira's Facets, I found myself wanting a database with a combination of features that didn't seem to exist. So like any programmer would, I decided to make one myself.

    So my site Multiverse has been live for a few weeks now. It's been fun creating a webapp that other people use, and fun to see how it's inspired friends to start designing their own cardsets.

  • Learning Ruby On Rails! When I decided I wanted to create the above-mentioned web database, I wondered what language to write it in. I didn't really know any languages suitable for web programming on this scale. I decided to learn a web platform. Since robhu and Chris Howlett had shown me a little Ruby, and it looked fun and powerful, I plumped for Ruby On Rails.

    While it's certainly not been plain sailing all the way, I've been mostly rather impressed by the power and ease of use of Rails, and the ease of deployment to a hosting site called Heroku. I'll be making a follow-up post about the nice things about it and a few difficulties I encountered.

  • Playing board games! We resumed GamesEvening a couple of months ago, and it's been great to have people over once a week. It's really helped avoid the feeling of social isolation that can easily happen with a new baby: going out anywhere with her is a complicated undertaking and also not an option after her bedtime, but it's not really practical to have a babysitter at the stage Bethany's at, so one of us (usually Rachael) has to stay in in the evenings. So having people come over to ours is a great way for us both to get some social contact.

  • Playing computer games! I have found a little time to play some computer games. Mainly Starcraft II, which I really enjoy playing in a team with friends, chatting on headsets over Skype to coordinate our tactics. I've been startled by how sociable an activity this has turned out to be: it's really good fun cooperating and coordinating with friends, and then chatting through how badly the games went afterwards.

    I've played a few other games too. I've started another Dwarf Fortress, and at the moment I'm enjoying a little indie game called Recettear where you see the stereotypical RPG item shop from the proprietor's point of view :)

  • Teaching kids at church! Having had a few months' break after the birth, I'm back on the rota for the Eden children's work. I do very much enjoy teaching them – they're ages 8-11, which is the age range that I get on with best, and they're a great bunch of kids.

    I also did a "children's talk" last Sunday, which is a short talk given to the whole congregation but specifically addressed at the kids. This was the third one I've given. The theme was "The glory of God in creation", so I went to town with images of the Great Barrier Reef, the biggest trees in the world, galactic superstructure filaments and the intricacy of a single leaf, interspersed with repeated off-hand comments "God made that". It went down very well.

  • Playing with Bethany! Just in case the above suggests that I'm not interacting with my daughter, I guess I should point out that's not the case. Although during the week I don't get much time with Bethany, with her bedtime so close to when I get home from work. I get a little time in the morning, though I'm usually quite sleepy from having been up till 2am rocking her back to sleep after her 1am feed; and I get a little time in the evening, doing parts of her bedtime routine. But I do look forward to the weekends, because they're when I get to spend a bit more time with her.

    Of course, when it actually comes to a weekend day, it's fun taking care of Bethany for a little while, and then I quickly get exhausted and find myself looking forward to her next nap! I have the utmost admiration for Rachael, taking care of Bethany all day during the week.


Posted via m.livejournal.com.

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
cartesiandaemon
Dec. 1st, 2010 10:15 am (UTC)
a short talk given to the whole congregation but specifically addressed at the kids. This was the third one I've given. The theme was "The glory of God in creation", so I went to town with images of the Great Barrier Reef, the biggest trees in the world, galactic superstructure filaments and the intricacy of a single leaf

That's awesome.

I want to play some theme decks from the set.

Do you know which decks you'd like to see?
ex_robhu
Dec. 1st, 2010 11:03 am (UTC)
I'm curious - why didn't you go the Django route?
alextfish
Dec. 1st, 2010 11:32 am (UTC)
I looked around for summaries and comparisons of a few different web frameworks. I didn't have particularly strong feelings one way or the other. There were many that all looked capable. I do like Python, a lot, but I was also interested in Ruby. I think possibly what may have swung it is that I was thinking of deploying on toothycat.net, and Chris already has a RoR app running on toothycat.net, so I knew it was possible. (I ended up deploying on Heroku because of how smooth the integration with Git was, and because that way I wouldn't have to trouble toothycat so much.)
eswald.wordpress.com
Dec. 2nd, 2010 10:01 pm (UTC)
Impressive
I've had a hard time accomplishing anything lately. Granted, we have three new kids instead of just one...
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )