September 06, 2008
Another thousand words

August 2008 marks the first time I've gone an entire calendar month without posting to my blog.

For both of my readers out there, please accept my humble apologies. Much has been going on at Casa Rousselle (and at Business Rousselle, Magic Cafe Rousselle, etc., etc.).

Allow me to get the ball rolling again with a little photo I snapped about a month ago. I call this thousand word essay, "Andrew at rest, August 2008." In this one, he was still shy of reaching three months old. He's already grown considerably since then.

Andrew at rest, August 2008.

More soon,

--Allan

Posted by at 01:47 AM in the following Department(s): The Boys | Comments (0)
 September 07, 2008
News regarding Swordplay

Here's an update on the status of two of my short stories that I'd mentioned here previously:

According to Locus Magazine, the Denise Little anthology Swordplay is scheduled to be published by DAW Books in June of 2009. My short story, "Last Man Standing" is slated to be included, along with several excellent pieces by other authors I've had the chance to read.

No word yet on when The Trouble With Heroes (which will include my short story, "If I Did It") will hit the shelves, but I've been told that the Table of Contents is close to being finalized, so it will probably be published a few months after Swordplay.

Meanwhile, I need to get back to work on my novel....

Posted by at 02:33 AM in the following Department(s): Writing | Comments (1)
 September 08, 2008
The difference a month makes

I've been so busy these past few weeks that I haven't had time (until this past Friday) to format any of the photos I've taken this summer to be posted to my site.

And we've already reached the point when I need to take more photos to show you what they look like now! It's amazing how quickly these guys are growing up, both physically as well as emotionally and intellectually.

My three sons. In early July. Here's a shot of the boys taken early in July (back when our futon couch covers were still nominally white, as decorated by Alex and Nolan).

In the two months since then, Nolan (he's the three-year-old -- our middle child, for those of you who are as bad at keeping names straight as I generally am) has found his voice. It turns out he can talk up a storm when Alex isn't around to do the talking for him. He has also started showing more affection for his baby brother, and is asserting himself on a regular basis. Nolan's big accomplishment was entering the realm of the potty-trained just *days* before he started pre-school.

Alexander, our six-year-old and the "big brother" of the three, has been practicing pulling out all of the toys with Nolan and then not putting any of them away. Okay, that's not really new. But, he learned to play chess this summer, and attended chess camp taught by a former Russian and American champion at a local Boys and Girls club. He's also begun training for "team gymnastics". He's surprisingly good at both the chess and the gymnastics, and he has announced that he plans to become a world champion at both. The recent Beijing Olympics certainly captured his attention.

He also attended one week of day camp at the local Museum of Flight, along with one of his best buddies in the neighborhood. Alex and Nolan both enjoy a love of airplanes and flying, and I'm so glad that they'll be able to share this love with their paternal grandfather, who is an avid pilot. (I will also note that their grandmother earned her pilot's license this summer, as well -- congratulations, mom!)


My three sons. In early August.As for Andrew, who is currently a scant three-and-a-half months old, well... he's a champion eater, sleeper, and pooper. He smiles all the time, and it's always a beautiful revelation when he does. He came up with a proof for Fermat's Last Theorem a few days ago, and I didn't have the heart to tell him that Andrew Wiles beat him to the punch thirteen years ago.

After Alex and Nolan managed to thoroughly destroy the futon covers (we don't dare replace those couches with real furniture until the kids are a little older), we replaced them with black, which makes for some striking photographs. This second photo was taken one month after the snapshot above. Notice how much they've all grown. Especially their hair. Eeek!

Paulette has told me this story, and I only partially believed it until it happened to me recently, that people have asked her (and now, me) if Alex and Nolan are twins. Usually, but not always, they are sitting down when the question is posed. In case you can't tell from looking at the photos, Nolan is the one in the blue airplane shirt, while Alex is wearing red. (In the top photo, Nolan is wearing the alligator pajama top.)

It's been another month since then, and another round of haircuts (except for Andrew). I should make a point of taking another photo soon. Yee-ha.

Posted by at 01:59 AM in the following Department(s): The Boys | Comments (1)
 September 09, 2008
Whose story is it, anyway?

Another star athlete takes the field.As I write this, our son Nolan is three years old. He is a middle child, with three years separating him from his older brother, Alexander, and there's another three between him and baby brother Andrew. He has just started pre-school, and is racing past the milestones that all three-year-olds approach at around this time: potty training, independence, asserting his personal preferences, etc., etc.

This is not his story.

Oh, sure, I posted that picture of him playing on the school playground because it's a darn fine photo, and it shows off his enthusiasm as well as his beauty. But, more to the point, I posted it because I like it. I took the photo, and I'm proud of the way I captured him. And I'm proud of him. This is my blog, and even when I'm writing about my kids, or politics, or pop culture... I'm writing about me. The photos here are not just about the subjects of the photos; they are also about the photographer.

So riddle me this, Batman: at what point does a story (or a photo, or whatever have you) cease to be mine to post? I've commented on this dilemma previously, but it's becoming increasingly relevant now. For example, I've noted before that you don't see me mention certain family members here because they prefer to keep any details about themselves private. But when their details are also my details, and I want to go public... where is it appropriate to draw the line?

While that's already a bit of an issue with regard to adult friends and relatives, what about the people in my life for whom I currently make those decisions, but who will eventually be making their own? I have devoted an entire section of my website to each of my three sons... but what happens as they get older, and assume more responsibility for their own image?

When Andrew reaches the age where most of his friends have relatively unfettered access to the internet, how much of his life's story is it fair for me to have posted online? When Nolan starts dating, how easy should it be for his prospective paramours to discover the details of his potty training? Am I exposing Alex to teasing down the road in high school because today, while he is six, I broadcast that my son wants to compete in the Olympics?

When I was in high school, I was simultaneously an extrovert and shy. "Shy?" you ask. "Is that possible?" Well, what I mean is, I was shy when it came to romance. I was never very forward when it came to girls, and I always kept any budding romances pretty much to myself. Sure enough, when given the chance to meet one of my girlfriends, what did my mom do? Pull out the old photo albums and show pictures of me from prehistoric times. A regular Cringeosaurus.

But this is different. I've been keeping a blog for all these years as a means of keeping in touch with old friends and new; a way to let y'all know how things are going in my life, for those who might find it interesting. This is *my* story (and, for all that, it's only the part of my story that I currently choose to broadcast... and it's highly edited, at that). My story necessarily includes the fact that I have three brilliant, beautiful, athletic boys. (And I'm not biased in any way about them.)

At what point, though, do I back off from sharing stories here that include them? If one of them faces a particularly challenging problem that is of concern to me, at what point do I say, "One of my children..." instead of saying, "Alex...". At what point do I stop sharing publicly the photos I take of them? (And, instead, I save them somewhere, only to be hauled out at family reunions or when new significant others are introduced?)

I love my boys.

They are growing so fast.

How long can I hold onto them? And how long can I share my experience of them with you?

Posted by at 11:24 PM in the following Department(s): Essays , The Boys | Comments (2)
 September 10, 2008
The Large Hadron Collider

The Large Hadron Collider went live in Europe today. It has caused a great many technophobes to worry that it would destroy the entire planet by creating mini-black holes that would then crush the world.

If you're interested in a brief summary of the concern that some of these protesters have put forth, you can read one at Skeptoid.com (which is a great site and podcast, by the way).

Anyway, to address the concerns of these individuals, a website has been set up to monitor the status of the LHC with regard to the destruction of our planet. You can find it here: http://www.hasthelhcdestroyedtheearth.com/.

Thanks to Luke McGuff for the tip. Oh, and Luke reminds us to "Hit refresh for up-to-the-second updates."

[Update!!!

Here's a webcam that shows how things are going at the LHC: http://www.cyriak.co.uk/lhc/lhc-webcams.html.]

Posted by at 11:25 AM in the following Department(s): Technology | Comments (1)
 September 15, 2008
Supah... Geeenius

I have an iTunes question for y'all.

I have just recently upgraded my copy of iTunes to version 8, which includes a new feature called "Genius Sidebar." The idea is that iTunes will compare the contents of your music library with the contents of other iTunes users' music library to assemble a recommended playlist on the basis of what you got and how other people who have what you got group their music. This new feature will also make recommendations as to new music you might like on the basis of what you have and what ratings you've given.

In order to offer this wonderful new feature, iTunes must send the list of your music library's contents to iTunes central, where all the crunching can be done in order to put together these recommendations and playlists.

I'm tempted to try this technology. However...

I used to work in radio, so I have a *ton* of CDs in my collection which had been given to me as promotional spiffs. (Record companies send several copies of each CD to radio stations, in the hopes that the djs will take one for themselves to listen to in the car, become attached to, and then become more likely to play their particular artists, etc.) My collection is so large, I can't imagine that it wouldn't set off red flags as me being a collector of dubious legality. (I'm legit! I'm legit! But who wants to have to prove it? Just like I pay my taxes every year, but have no desire to be audited by the IRS... I just don't want to have to deal with the RIAA under any circumstances, even with me being legal.)

The "more info" page regarding the Genius Sidebar says that your music library information is sent to Apple "anonymously". So, here's my question for all y'all who are more technically aware than I am: can I trust that by allowing Apple to know my iTunes music library's contents that this information won't someday be used to make me a "person of interest" to the RIAA -- the scariest organization in the United States after the IRS and Homeland Security?

For the time being, I have the Genius Sidebar turned off. I don't know how smart it would be to consult a Genius if that genius is really a spook working for those evil minions at the RIAA.

Posted by at 03:45 PM in the following Department(s): Technology | Comments (2)

Copyright (c)1998 - 2010 by Allan Rousselle. All rights reserved, all wrongs reversed, all reservations righted, all right, already.
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The author. January, 2010.
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