Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Troy's Baptism: The Ceremony

 Troy's baptism was held at St. Mark's Church on Discovery Street in San Marcos on June 20, 2010. With a group of other children, he was wetted down and held up to applause. Being non-Christian, I am rarely in a church so most of the events are a mystery to me. Plus, the entire ceremony was in Spanish so I only understood a fraction of what was said.
 After the ceremony, the parents, god-parents and the children baptized came onstage for a photo-op. That is Manuel and Irene (back row, top left) with Lucy, Troy and David smack in the center. It looks like an open door has attracted Troy's attention.
 The minister then came by for some sort of ritual touching of the head...
 ...and when Troy figured out he was being touched....
 ...he ducked!
 Here is appears to say "what was THAT?"...and I'm not sure what David is doing!

 Troy playing with his mother Lucy...
 ...followed by some sort of candle ritual...

 And to wrap it up, there was a group photo of the parents, child, and god-parents. Notice Troy staring at the minister!
And one final shot before the ceremony ended. The following videos were actually taken before the ceremony, but I left them for the end of the post in case you wanted to skip them:

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Troy's Baptism: After the Ceremony

 After the ceremony, we all began filing out of the church. I took the opportunity to snap a few photos.
 Here is Troy in his full Baptism outfit. He almost looks like a 15th century Christian painting, you know one of those that had a name like "Madonna and child". Only nowadays, Madonna is up in Beverly Hills, not San Marcos.
 A poignant expression.
 A smile just for grandpa.

 And then we step outside and BAM! the sunlight hits his eyes. I know how you feel, little guy!

 But it's not long before the camera catches his curiousity and he starts to open his eyes wider.
 This photo really doesn't look like Troy. I'm not sure who did the switcheroo, but I'm pretty sure this is the baby from that 15th century painting.

What say we head on over to your Baptism celebration, eh Troy?

Troy's Baptism Celebration

 There was a celebration held at Manuel and Irene's house for Troy's baptism, complete with a cake and lunch! It was a very nice afternoon and we all enjoyed it very much.
 Troy is such a good little boy, even when he is completely worn out from all the activities.

 He'll hang on to the very end and not complain at all. At least, not around his grandparents. I hear tell he does let his parents know how he's feeling. :-)

 Here is Irene and Manuel preparing the cake.

 We're still pretty new to Lucy's side of the family, so I'm not going to try and list everyone in the photos for fear I might get a name wrong here and there...but here are the wonderful people who attended.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Troy Crawls!

Here is the first video I took of Troy crawling. The video was taken June 6, 2010 when Troy was 7.5 months old.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Picking a Wireless Thermostat

 My wife had an unfortunate mishap with our upstairs thermostat the other day which left it inoperable. Normally I would put this on my to-do list (have you tried todoist ? it really helps me!) and get to it eventually, but we are heading into summer and it will be needed soon.

So I started to research what to replace it with. And actually, since we have separate upstairs and downstairs thermostat, I would be buying two (to keep them the same - I don't want to learn two systems!). My first inclination was to buy the one with the easiest interface. I am always frustrated with the confusing controls, so I'll pay extra for one that is easy to use. Also, I'm a big fan of thermostats that can turn on the a/c or the heater WITHOUT flipping a switch. I mean, the thermostat should know if it's too hot or too cold, right?

But not far into my research, I stumbled across wireless thermostats on I was instantly intrigued....for a few reasons. This post is a summary of the types of wireless thermostats that are on the market right now, and why you may want to choose one type over the other. Read on...

Is your thermostat located in a bad spot? Is your house too cold because your thermostat is located in the sun, or too hot because your thermostat is located in a cold draft? We have that problem with our upstairs. We have an open floor plan and the coolness from the downstairs wafts upward and keeps the upstairs thermstat thinking it is cool upstairs, while actually the bedrooms are baking in the sun. Not a good thing. Well, a company called Venstar offers a solution. Replace the thermostat with a receiver that takes signals from a portable thermostat. Place the portable thermostat on a table in the room you will be in and like magic that room will become the measure of comfort! We'll place the portable thermostat in our bedroom to ensure we stay comfortable all night long. We now have the Venstar on order and should receive it next week. All I'll have to do is replace the broken thermostat with the receiver and place the new portable thermostat on our nightstand.

This is the only thermostat I could find on the market like this, but I did find other wireless thermostats for other uses. You may want to consider them for your situation.
  Honeywell offers a wireless thermostat also. It is designed for use in homes that currently do not have central air, but the owner wants to add it. The Honeywell unit allows a/c to be added without running wires in the wall to the appropriate location for a thermostat. Install a receiver on a wall close to the a/c unit and run a short wire from the receiver to the a/c unit. Then, mount the thermostat in a good location in the house. The thermostat will communicate wirelessly to the receiver. Optionally, a remote control thermostat can be added to this setup. This is a great solution for homes that are not pre-wired for air conditioning, and no doubt helps Honeywell sell more air conditioning units!

 A third type of wireless thermostats on the market right now, and the most common type, are called IP wireless thermostats. These thermostats are wired to the a/c unit just like a typical thermostat, but they can be set and monitored from your computer. The communication between your computer and the thermostat is wireless IP, thus the name.
We went with the Venstar (see the first photo) since it solves our upstairs temperature problem, while the IP wireless thermostats would not. I might have considered the Honeywell solution had the installation guide been clear about how to place the receiver where a thermostat used to be, but the installation guide only talked about wiring the receiver directly to an a/c unit - I didn't want to go there at all.

But what I really wanted - and would have bought - is something I could not find anywhere: basically a combination of the three solutions. I would like the freedom to place my thermostat anywhere, the ability to have my receiver use existing wiring in my house, and the ability to monitor and set my remote thermostat from my computer or actually anywhere on the internet. I would have paid good money for something that did all of that. So here is the opportunity, you entrepeneurs. You build it, I'll buy it.