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September 2006

Family Locator

We signed up for the Family Locator service from our cell provider (see link above for more info).

The map shown is where Brandy and I are right now. (I’m the one in Seattle, she’s the one in Bellevue.)

Kinda cool. It only works with my phone and Brandy’s phone though, not Amy’s. So I guess that means Amy will be getting the upgraded cellphone she has wanted for awhile now, even though she has yet to prove she can keep hers charged and with her for more than a week straight. :-)

Of course, it is all restricted and you explicitly have to log in and push a button to find the location of one of the phones on the plan (or set it automatic times for it to check, but in a limited fashion.) Of course what I would LIKE is a system where it would automatically check my location once every minute or two, would save all those data points (or the last 24 hours worth or whatever) and then put the resulting plot on a map that I could automatically expose on my website either live or refreshed every X minutes or whatever.

But it doesn’t quite do that. Now, might it be possible to use this along with some external automation to try to do something like that? Maybe. But it is probably beyond my current skill set, and would take me quite a while to figure out. Quite a while that I don’t really have.

Oh well.

But this will prove quite useful as Amy is rapidly approaching teenagerdom… :-)

The First Day of Middle School

A little over two hours ago we dropped Amy off for the first day of 6th grade, the first day of middle school. She has been very excited for weeks. Last night it kind of got the better of her and she was practically making herself sick with all the tension. She even did what was started as a mock collapse and ended up as a real one, with her falling over and bonking her head nicely.

In the end, she ended up falling asleep curled up between me and Brandy. On the last night before a brand new exciting school started, a nice reassuing place was just what was needed.

This morning, we walked in, she collected a name tag and planner in the front lobby, then we went and founf the sixth grade lounge and lockers. Her eyes were wide and the whole experience was obviously pretty overwhelming.

A couple weekends ago we went to a “meet your new class” picnic and she already has become good friends with one girl in her class. She wasn’t there yet though. So when we left Amy still hadn’t quite connected and was still sort of, um, well, terrified. :-) But excited.

By now she will have met up with her friend and the others she met at the picnic and the first couple of hours of getting to know your classmates and how to get around the school will be complete. There may actually already be some real learning happening already too, although I expect the first day will mostly be about learning the school and the people and how things work rather than new academic material.

I’ll be eager to hear how the first day went once it is over. We are prepared for a negative first day, cause that sometimes happens. But this should be good. The whole sixth grade is just 20 kids. With 10 kids per class (and several class changes a day). There should be lots of personal attention and lots of ability for things to adapt as needed to interests and abilities.

You could also see a lot of excitement on the faces of the RETURNING kids. They seem to like it there. As Brandy and I were leaving once kid was coming in (looked like maybe 7th or 8th grade) and she leaped down the stairs smiling and exclaiming “I’m back!!!”. With all luck, a year from now that is how Amy will be feeling.

The school gives off a very good positive vibe. So far we’ve liked everything we’ve seen and everybody we’ve met including both faculty and other parents.

We’ll see if at the end of today we have a happy excited Amy, or a grumpy sad angry Amy. You never can tell with those pre-teen hormones raging. :-)