Babies, Byakhee, and Zombies

11 Sep 2011
Posted by jcfiala

So, being a Father has continued being fun. And it really is, mostly. Rose is a 'quiet' child, which doesn't mean that she doesn't have those times when she's screaming her lungs out, but does mean that there are nice, long stretches of time when she sleeps.

When we're lucky, she sleeps during the nighttime.

Happily, my wife Tammy is being very generous and mostly lets me sleep through the night unless it's a really bad night and she needs another man on deck to handle the baby while she gets some rest, which happily doesn't happen that often. Otherwise it's feedings - mostly Tammy's responsibility, since we're breastfeeding - diaper changes, and so on. Diaper changing is mostly pretty easy, although occasionally you run into a problem with her deciding to go while you're changing her... whoops!

This is why they sell the diapers by the crate. I figure the small sizes of diapers are for when you've got an emergency on the go, or something, and just need to get a diaper, just like when you go by the convenience store and lay down an astronomical amount for four eggs, or for milk.

She's growing really well, and we can feel her progress as we pick her up or as we try to fit her into her clothes. She's stretching some of the newborn sized outfits now, so I won't be surprised when we move on to the next stage, the '0-3 months' sizes. If you haven't looked, really young kids clothes are sized by age.

Back in May, I talked to the folks at Sourceforge about becoming a project admin for Byakhee, an old free character creator for the Call of Cthulhu RPG, and then ended up doing almost nothing with it. The program had been created and updated by David Harvey for a number of years, and then he'd mostly dropped off the face of the earth - undoubtedly he's got other interests now. In any case, before he disappeared he'd moved the code onto sourceforge and set it up as an open source project.

The original code is Microsoft C++, a language I'm not vary familiar with, although from exposure with Java, C, and other C-descended languages I can get by in it. The problem is that the version then available for download (3.01, I think), it didn't actually work on Windows 7.

Happily, I've got a copy of Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 Professional that I got at (of all things) Drupalcamp LA two years ago. Basically, Microsoft was a sponsor of Drupalcamp LA, and as such had a couple of sessions where they presented on things. I (and about four other people) showed up for one of these sessions, at the end of which they handed out copies of Visual Studio. I cranked it up, and happily it held me by the hand and showed me where in the code it couldn't work, and I was able to use the error messages and some googling to update the code to the point where it now works.

Unfortunately, I don't know how much further I can take it. The code is generally pretty good, but I'm just not interested in learning enough in how to do things to add new things to it. Also, there's people who want to use it with Macs, and I don't think there's any reasonable way to do that. So, I want to rewrite it in Python. After some investigation, I think I'm going to use the 2.7 version - there's a os-independent windowing system ( ) which I want to use that wants 2.7, and it seems that's the version that Macs are more likely to use.

One of the things I've found myself doing is holding Rose when Tammy needs to sleep. Friday night was a really heavy night for that. I found that if I sit down, with pacifier at hand, I can cradle Rose until she goes to sleep, and then hold her while she sleeps. (If we set her down to sleep too quickly, she starts to cry.) So, I sit back and watch trashy anime that Tammy doesn't want to see. Starting Friday, I started watching 'High School of the Dead'. Basically, it's the zombie apocalypse, and a bunch of high schoolers are trying to fight their way to safety. Really, only the first two episodes involve a high school, but the name still works. It's really trashy - there's lots of gratuitous death scenes, 'kill me before I turn into a zombie' scenes, and tons of shots of the various girls' breasts and panties. Lots, and lots... let's just say they could use the same opening credits if they ever made a XXX-rated parody of the series.

But, you know, trashy guilty pleasures are still a pleasure, and when you're holding onto a baby at 3am so she'll fall asleep, you need something simple and easy to follow, and this sure fits the bill.