Monthly Archives: April 2006

Papa

Last Friday morning my Papa, Ralph Peter Quitadamo, passed away. He had been suffering for a while with Progressive Supranuclear Palsy; an Alzheimers-like brain disease.

We had the wake on Sunday night and the Funeral on Monday morning. My uncle Rich gave a wonderful eulogy and the National Guard performed a couple tear jerking ceremonies in honor of Papa, a career Guardsman. You can read his obituary at the funeral home’s website here.

There’s no good in dwelling on the sadness, however, so here are some pictures to remember him by (I only wish I had some old pics scanned…they’re so much better!):

ppp|Papa and Rebecca

Papa and Rebecca

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ppp|Papa and his siblings

Papa and his siblings

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ppp|Papa and Ainsley

Papa and Ainsley

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ppp|Papa and Grammy

Papa and Grammy

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ppp|Papa and Grammy at our wedding

Papa and Grammy at our wedding

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Prepare yourself for a shock

So, over the last few months you’ve all heard about Peter’s new technological acquisitions. He has been very happy with his new toys and has been spending time tweaking them to his liking.

“What about you, Bec?” You might ask. “What have you gotten lately?”

Well, I have indeed made a few techy purchases of my own. The first is a pretty little piece of metal called the 30gig Video iPod. See it here:

ppp|30g iPod|ppp

I am pretty enamored with it. It is shiny and little and has a color screen. Not only does it play music, but I can watch videos and look at pictures on it! Doesn’t get better than that!

I was also a little concerned about my picture taking abilities once the baby comes along. Peter’s camera is great, but it is hardly the kind of camera you pull out at a moment’s notice to take a snapshot of little BabyWood schmering squash all over the table… So we went looking for a “point and shoot” digital camera. Here’s what we found:

ppp|Canon A530|ppp

[edit] It is a Cannon Powershot A530. It has a few little issues: the flash recycle time is kind of slow, the screen is a little grainy… but it works for my purposes and was definately in my price range (ie. cheap).

I’m still figuring out how to take good pictures with it, but I’m planning on reading the manual and practicing. Never fear. I’m glad to have an easy to use camera and look forward to capturing many many precious moments 😉

Don’t think for a moment, though, that I’ve completely jumped to the geeky side… Peter was trying to convince me to get a new cell phone tonight…I told him that I was still plenty happy with the phone I have. Yes. The one he bought in 2000 and gave me when he grew tired of it. I like its size, shape, etc. and it still works like a charm. Why fix what isn’t broken?

Daddy Shower

On Saturday, Jeremy came down to Beverly to throw me what I’ll call a “Daddy Shower”. It was just me and Jeremy, but we had a good time. We went out for breakfast at Michelle’s Place, a restaurant a few blocks away from our apartment. I’d never been there before, but it’s a place that I’ve heard about from Art and James, who live fairly close to the restaurant. The breakfast was pretty good… not as good as Parker’s Maple Barn or the Red Cottage, but still very good. (Incidentally, James happened to be there when we arrived. :-))

In addition to breakfast, Jeremy gave me a gift bag with some stuff for the baby from him and Angela, but geared towards Daddy, in the spirit of the Geeky Onesies. There was a bib hand-stitched by Angela with “Live Long and Feed Me” in the classic Star Trek font, a bunch of diapers custom labeled with funny sayings, a book of fun games to play with the baby, and a “Baby Geek” picture frame. Fun stuff. 🙂

He Was A Good Dog

ppp|Kirsten and Beaux

Kirsten and Beaux

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Beaux, 1992-2006

Beaux wasn’t doing so well on Wednesday night. He had starting having some severe seizures around supper time, so my dad took him to the vet. They gave him some valium to control the seizures, and kept him overnight for observation. The vet said that the seizures were probably brought on by a metabolic problem or a tumor, both possibilities for a 14-year-old dog. If the valium therapy worked, they would have recommended a treatment plan. Unfortunately, after he came off of the valium, his seizures started up again. So today at 1 p.m., dad took him to be euthanized.

It’s a sad day for everyone in our family. Beaux has been with us for so long, and he has kept my parents company at home since Kirsten and I have moved away. I would have been about 13 years old when Kirsten got him as a project for 4-H… we couldn’t have known what an impression he would make on all of us. Kirsten trained him and took him to shows at the fair as part of 4-H, and though he was never the most well-heeled dog, he did pretty well and we were proud of him and of Kirsten’s work with him. Beaux was very loyal and friendly, and very protective of his family. Being a corgi-terrier mix, he had an incredible herding instinct, and he would always follow us upstairs to keep watch when we went to sleep. We loved him even during his mischevious moments, like one evening when dad and I were down in the basement, and Beaux just ran right down and peed on the floor right in front of us. We actually had a pretty good laugh about it at the time. After I left for college, I didn’t have as much chance to see him, but every time I’ve come home to visit since then, he’d be there wagging his tail, full of energy, and happy to see me.

In his later years, he’s had his share of problems… from ear infections to arthritis to other disorders, mom and dad have taken care of him the best they can, but it’s been tough. I think he has probably been suffering for a while, but God bless him for hanging on as long as he did and staying with mom and dad.

I never thought I could get this choked up about losing a pet, but I am. We’re all going to miss you, Beaux. You were a good dog.

For more photos of Beaux, see my photo tribute. If anyone has more photos of him, I would be happy to put them up.

If you were friends or family of Beaux, please leave us a comment to share your thoughts and memories of his life.

Showered with Love

The first weekend in April I was honored to attend a baby shower thrown for me by my Auntie Susie.

It was a wonderful day. The weather cooperated and it was a sunny, warm Sunday. There were tons of delicious goodies and the house was full of fantastic people.

Our apartment is now full of sweet little baby things. Green frogs and yellow duckies were the order of the day. Our little baby is now blessed with lots of summer outfits, blankets, brightly colored toys, a pack-n-play, crib, stroller, baby back pack, and tons and tons of bath products (some of which I’d like to use myself!). It has been so fun going through all the gifts and they just make us more excited about bringing this baby home.

I’d like to say, however, that even without a single gift to unwrap this shower would have been perfect. I am constantly surprised and honored by how loved Peter and I are… and now the baby is. There are so many people in our lives that love and support us, and having so many of them in one room is almost overwhelming. Our baby is so fortunate to be anticipated by all of our family and friends.

Thank you to everyone who has supported us thus far. We can’t wait for BabyWood to meet each and every one of you!

[all of the pictures from the day are found here]

mini Computer, Max capability

To follow up on a comment Angela had left on my original post about the mini, here’s a run-down on the capabilities of the Mac mini, in no particular order:

ppp|The Tower|ppp

  • Yup, that’s our “tower”.
  • The mini itself is six inches wide, six inches deep, and two inches tall. The whole machine can sit on one of my outstretched hands. In the picture above, it is sitting on top of a matching drive enclosure called the miniStack. the miniStack has the same width and depth as the mini, but is just one and a half inches tall.
  • You can read Apple’s official spiel on the mini here.
  • It contains a slot-loading “SuperDrive”, which is an optical drive that can read, write, and rewrite both CDs and DVDs. It can even write and rewrite dual-layer DVDs at up to 8x speed. Just stick your disc into the front, and it pulls it right in!
  • It has two RAM slots. Each one can take up to a 1 GB DDR2 PC2-5300 SDRAM. It came installed with two 256 MB RAM chips for a total of 512 MB, but I upgraded it to two 1 GB RAM chips for a total of 2 GB of RAM. The machine was very fast with just 512 MB, but it did take an extra second or two to switch between applications when running a lot of applications. With 2 GB you can switch apps instantaneously. If you don’t feel comfortable working inside of a computer and possibly voiding your warranty, have Apple do the upgrade for you. If, like me, you are comfortable working in computers, it might be worth it. Yes, even though I goofed up the first time, I wouldn’t hesitate to make the same decision again (this time with the benefit of a lesson learned).
  • It has a 1.66 GHz Intel Core Duo processor (also known as a dual core processor). To put it simply, dual core means that the computer can perform two separate tasks at the same time, each one running at 1.66 GHz. It’s actually more complicated than that, but I can give you the more complicated answer another time. 🙂 Compare that to our old Mac, which had only a single core 450 MHz processor. Just one of the two cores in the mini is almost four times faster than that.
  • It came with an 80 GB internal hard drive, but that was barely big enough to hold our existing collection of movies, music, and photos. Rather than order it with a larger hard drive (the internal hard drives spin at 5400 RPM and thus are a bit slow), we ordered an external drive enclosure called a miniStack. This sits neatly under the mini and lets you add an additional hard drive. We ordered it with a 320 GB hard drive, so we’ll have plenty of room for baby photos and videos. 🙂
  • The mini comes with Apple’s excellent iLife ’06 software package. I won’t take up your time by telling you everything it does, but suffice to say, it lets you do some very cool stuff with photos, video, music, and more. Be on the lookout for more cool creations from the Wood Family thanks to iLife ’06. 🙂 Don’t take my word for it… head over and take the tour.

So that’s a little blurb on what’s cool about the mini. I’m really enjoying it, and I’m excited about the creative possibilities it holds. It’s so much easier to put together movies and edit photos when you have a blazingly fast computer to work with.

Drama King

Just to clarify a bit from my last post, I’d say that my interpretation of the situation was rather over-dramatized. In the grand scheme of things, it really was no big deal. The computer was completely usable with the IR receiver broken, we didn’t lose any data, and though I lost a bit of pride, I’ve mostly gained it back since successfully completing the repair. There was no household crisis, Becky didn’t yell at me for breaking the computer, it was pretty much 100% me being very hard on myself.

Thank you all for your concern. 🙂

Oh, and Mr. Anonymous, I would be more inclined to approve your mean-spirited comment if you would leave a valid email address. Then again, maybe not.

A Humbling Learning Experience

I recently blogged about the new Mac mini Core Duo that we purchased on Saturday, March 18. Well, up until now, I haven’t really given you the whole truth. I wanted to wait until the story had ended in a way that I found satisfactory before I told the whole thing. Kind of selfish of me, I know, but hey… it’s our blog and we’ll write how we want to. Anyway, it’s pretty embarassing and humbling, but I need to get it out there for everyone to hear:

I broke our brand new Mac. Continue reading