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wickline (135)

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Journal of wickline (135)

Saturday January 07, 2006
12:08 PM

So, You Want to Visit and/or Hold Ellie

Laura and I are zombies. We have not had enough sleep and so cannot think properly. Whenever we hold or look at Ellie, our brains turn to emotional mush and we just think warm fuzzy formless thoughts.

We have trouble remembering to take care of ourselves. It just doesn't occur to us to offer to hand Ellie to someone else. However, if you ask to hold Ellie, we'll be happy to let you share the joy we feel holding her. You just have to ask, because we won't think of it.

We're first time parents, so you'll want to wash up to relieve our anxiety. If you want to use a finger as a pacifier, please use Purell (we have plenty around) to sanitize the digit and put the nail side on her toungue to avoid scratching up the more delicate roof of her mouth.

If you want to visit, please just tell us. We're too brain-fried to be thinking up lists of everyone in town who may want to drop by and call folks. However, we'd be over-joyed to see you. Please just call and let us know you'd like to stop by. Suggest a couple of times. If we're changing diapers, sleeping, or whatever, we may not get to the phone as you call, but we'll return your call and most likely let you know that your suggested time is fine. If we have a doctor's appointment or something, we'll throw other times your way. We want you to visit!

If you're out of town, we want you to visit even more! Why? Well, because that means you'll be staying the night. In addition to your wonderful company, we may be able to get a bonus bit of baby-sitting. Just watching Ellie while we go on a walk together for half an hour would be a special treat.

Just as we're bad about inviting local folks to drop in, we're also bad about inviting out of town folks for longer stays. If you're intersted in swinging by, please let us know. We'd love to have you here!

(more Ellie info)

11:49 AM

You Will Forget

I had heard in the past that there was an evolutionarily fortunate mild amnesia associated with labor. If women remembered how much labor hurt, they'd only ever have one child.

This may be true. I don't know.

I do know that sleep deprivation adversely affects memory, and labor is often followed by sleep deprivation for both the new mother and her partner. If you're going to be in labor soon, get in the habit of writting things down.

We live within walking distance of our hospital. Each of the nights we stayed there, I ran home to run a few errands and fetch a few things we wanted to have. Each time, I had a written list of things to do. Each time I did everything on the list. Each time, I later realized that I'd neglected to write something down, and so I had forgotten it.

A few days post-partum, I still needed lists. If I was getting seven things from the store, I'll forget most of them if they were not written down. It's now almost a week after Ellie's birth, and I'd probably only forget one thing.

In the first four days, you can only remember to do two things. One is the thing you're actually doing. The other is the one you're saying over and over in your head so you don't forget to do it next. If someone interupts you, then you may forget both of those! Sleep deprivation is nasty.

You'll also find that you can only do one thing at once. Normally, you may be able to talk on the phone and hear someone else in the room saying something relevant as you talk. You may even be able to tidy up a room with your free hand at the same time. That won't work anymore. If someone is trying to talk to you while you're on the phone, you may not even hear them. If you do, you'll surely loose track of what the person on the other end is saying. You can only do one thing at a time that requires any brain power. If you try to tidy up the room while you're on the phone, you'll end up walking aimlessly carrying the first thing you picked up because you won't be able to think about where it belongs while talking.

Do not expect too much of yourself at the outset. Laura and I were lucky enough to have folks staying with us to help out when we left the hospital. I'm sure things would have been even worse without this help. We'd certainly have got less sleep, which would have prolonged and worsened the condition.

You will forget things. Make lists.

You won't be able to multi-task. Add things to lists and do them later.

Good luck!

(more Ellie info)

10:32 AM

The Proper Care and Feeding of New Parents

Ellie is our first child. She's currently six days and almost fifteen hours old. We're feeling much more competent as parents today than we did just a few days. I'm optimitstic that our confidence will continue to grow.

Those first few days are quite rough, though. As I've expressed it to so many folks over the phone, "We don't know how to take care of Ellie, but we remember to try. We know how to take care of ourselves, but we forget to try."

We've been blessed with good company during our early days, and I highly reccomend the same to anyone looking at having their first child (and probably even subsequent children, though I know less about that).

As a first time parent, you'll probably be spending 48 post-partum hours in the hospital (the max most insurance policies cover) so that you can soak up free advice from six shifts of nurses and a couple of lactation consultants. Free advice is good! Hopefully you'll let the nursing staff watch your infant between feedings at night so that you can get a pinch of sleep. However, it will be just two to three hours between feedings, and you'll be so excited that sleep will not come readily. You may not get much, and what you do get will be interupted.

You'll leave the hospital still high on new baby smell. When you get home, you'll spend your time either trying to take care of your child's needs or just holding her in your arms and smiling at her wonderful self.

This is where good company comes in. You're going to forget to make food for yourself. In a perfect world, someone would put food in front of you and offer to hold your child while you eat. Maybe someone will be making tons of extra food and filling up your freezer and fridge with tupperware and caserole pans and zip lock baggies full of meals you can reheat later. Perhaps someone will offer to hold your child while you get a shower, or while you and your spouse catch some quality time (most likely a nap at this point) together.

We were very fortunate to be surrounded by good company doing all of those things for us in our first days. It made a huge difference!

If you're going to be a first-time parent, try to get at least one person (in addition to your spouse) to come help you out in this fashion at the outset. You'll be quite glad you did!

(more Ellie info)

Friday January 06, 2006
02:33 AM

Photos of Ellie

The inital upload of Ellie's first five days will be available for a little while longer. Snag any photos from there that you want. I'm currently uploading two new iPhoto exports and plan to maintain just two exports from now on.

One export will contain all photos with family and friends. I won't attempt to filter that feed, other than to remove photos after they're a few months old. That way you can download any photos with you that you want. The other export will be a montage of everything as of the upload date, but will be filtered to contain only a subset of the recent photos and a gradually diminishing quantity of the older photos. The half-life for older photos will depend primarily on how often I get around to updating these exports.

In both cases, the thumbnails are small but the actually images are very, very large. This is so that they'll print nicer. You may not want to click on the thumbnails if you're behind a slow connection.

Here's the two exports, last updated 2006 Jan 26: You and Ellie and also Ellie's First 25 Days.

UPDATE: new montage 2006_07_09

Oh, and a new development... Some of the photos look like they'd make decent desktop images. On the mac, I prefer dark backgrounds on the right side of the screen, so that my icons have a stronger contrast with the desktop. On the pc, I prefer dark backgrounds on the left hand side for the same reason. I'm going to start collecting photos that look like good desktop images, and mirror them as needed to have them work on either platform. If you would like an Ellie desktop image on your PC, use these images. If you would like an Ellie deskop image on your mac, use these ones. If you want on one linux, then pick whichever fits the way you arrange your desktop.

The hospital has a service which took a few photos of Ellie too. The sweater, blanket, and hat were all hand-made by Laura. So was the baby ;) You can save these links if you just want jpgs: (1 2 3 4 ). They'll let you order prints of those photos to be mailed to you, if you'd like.

(more Ellie info)

Wednesday January 04, 2006
07:33 AM

links for Ellie fans

I'll use this journal entry to point folks to where to find Ellie info. If you want to send folks here, please use this URL <> as it will always point to an appropriate resource even if I stop using this journal.

You can find all entries in this journal at (entries in reverse chronological order). Just a few lines below is a table of contents to all Ellie-relevant journalings. I'll add entries as I think about writing them. I'll turn the text into a link when I get around to doing the actual typing.

For those of you hip to Firefox's live bookmarks and RSS agregators, feel free to use this RSS feed:;content_type=rss

Table of Contents
Preface to These Journal Entries
Table of Contents (the very post you're currently reading)
Labor and Delivery in Bullet Points
How Long Since Ellie Was Born?
Photos of Ellie
The Proper Care and Feeding of New Parents
Things We'd Do Differently
You Will Forget
So, You Want to Visit and/or Hold Ellie
Get Sleep!
Ellie's One Week Birthday
How are the Cats?
Ellie's Unbirthday
Suff Without Which We Could Not Live

07:17 AM

Ellie's birth in brief bullet points

I'm sleep deprived and may well get some times/stats wrong here. Correct me if you spot any errors (those of you who would know)

contractions started around 2am Saturday Dec 31st 2005

started timing contractions around 4am

14 contractions in 30 minutes

to hospital on advice of Jana (our friend and doula)

admitted around 5:45am to the last available room with 3cm dilation and full effacement, baby at -1 station

Laura labored without medication under increasingly longer and stronger contractions which rushed her to 7cm dilation by 9:30am. Doctor expected we would be pushing within an hour or so at that (very rapid!) rate of dilation.

During this period, we learned that the baby was tollerant of very few positions and her heart rate would plummet in most positions. Laura's bag of waters was ruptured so that they could apply a scalp monitor to her in order to have close continuous monitoring of this issue. We were advised at multiple points that a C-section might be required.

by 10:00am, the contractions were much, much worse but examinaion showed that we were still at 7cm. With the unusually rapid progression through labor, Lara had not had much time to acclimate to the contractions' severity. Also, C-sections can be done in much less time with a spinal tube already in place. We opted for an epidural.

the epidural was perfect. Laura could feel her legs, move them somewhat (once the initial boulus had worn off a bit), feel when contractions were occuring (but not feel their pain), feel when to push, and that she was pushing. The pain relief was uniform and very welcome.

a couple of hours after the epidural, we were still stalled at 7cm, and her contractions were actually slowing down. We opted for pitocin to get things moving again.

by 2:00 pm, we were close enough to 10cm that they had Laura do a couple of practice pushes to see if she would be able to push at that dilation and through the epidural. She could, so we started pushing.

All through this, we were still seeing concerning heart rate decelerations. Once Laura had pushed for a while, we were advised that a C-section was no longer likely, but that forceps or vaccume extraction might be required to accelerate delivery if things worsened. At the very end, they were ready to try these options, but Laura asked for a couple more pushes and threw every once of her reserve into the effort and delivered our daughter with a total of 75 minutes of pushing.

During delivery, we learned that the umbilical cord had been wrapped around her neck twice. Whenever a position change or pushing pressed her chin down toward her chest, the cord would be compressed cutting off her umbilical blood supply. This explained the decells we were worrying about all through labor. Laura cut the cord (yes, I'm squeamish).

She was born 4:21pm Sat Dec 31st 2005 7 pounds, 5.6 ounces, 19 inches long, 13.5 inches head circumference (and zero cone-head due to Laura's much relaxin-relaxed pelvis!), and 13.25 inches chest circumference. We had not yet picked her name.

(more Ellie info)

05:49 AM

Elizabeth "Ellie" Rose Wickline

I've been a very inconstant journal writer here. I think that may be about to change. Our first daughter was born 4:21 in the afternoon of the last day of last year. I've been absolutely horrible about keeping up with my email. Now that Ellie is here, I'm sure I'll only get worse.

I'm going to start filling this space with the sort of baby tales I'd be copy/pasting into several emails if I were still on top of my inbox. When I advertise this journal to folks, they'll be able to tune in and comment at will.

I'm also going to be talking to myself. There's tons of stuff I'd like to remember the next time around, and sleep deprivation is murder on memory formation. Who knows... maybe someone else will find some handy nugget of info/experience/opinion in this stuff.

I am not going to worry much about typos and such. As I "type" this, it's 2:30am, I'm sitting in the dark living room in which my visiting mother in law is asleep. I'm in our nursing chair with an automan next to me on the left. Ellie in propped up on that automan in her boppy (ask google). My left hand is keeping her sleeping peacefully. My laptop is on my left knee, and one of our cats (Puck) is on my right knee. I'm hunting and pecking keystrokes with my right hand. In this sort of situation, I don't think that it's worth the time to worry about typos!

Anyhow, the content of this journal is likely to be strictly personal (or at least primarily so) from here on out. Please stay tuned if you want to read about Ellie. If you're looking for some text about symbol table slip-ups, or job postings, please avert your gaze.

OK, we are looking to fill five more new positions. Send me your resume so I can get the refferal bonus to help feed Ellie! What I've written about these positions in the past still applies, except that we're using svn more than cvs these days. Read more in this journal entry:

(more Ellie info)

Wednesday May 18, 2005
09:48 PM

Call me Ovid. Rentrak is hiring again

OK, I'm not Ovid, but Curtis did keep the perl public at large apraised of Rentrak job opportunities while he was working here. Now that he's gone and we happen to have some openings, I figure I'll post the banners this time.

Curtis has some very honest comments scattered in his journalling if you wanted to research before jumping.

I started working at Rentrak a couple of weeks before Curtis. He and I worked together for somewhere around a month before he moved over to a different area on the same floor. The positions I'm plugging are not in the same area he worked in for the majority of his stay with Rentrak. We're the "research and development" group. We get to create new systems and then when they start making tons of money we fork off a support staff to maintain them.

I'd say that our area practices pair programming much more consistently (and without any issues of folks falling asleep ;). We're more gung-ho about refactoring since we have multiple systems to develop and we don't want to repeat ourselves.

If you like test-driven development, pair programming, fun people, 40 hour work weeks, your choice of platform/editor for developing (although we have tons of cool tools hooked up for vim or emacs users), then send me your resume.

        m-s-w-rtk-resumes-2005 [at] wickline [dot] org

and I'll ensure that it gets in the right hands.

We've been continuing to grow since before I was hired about two years ago. These are new positions as we're about to fork off half of our RnD group to support a maturing product.


Sunday December 19, 2004
07:02 PM

a colorful waste of time

It's Pudge's fault, no it's Aristotle's fault. OK, I guess it's really my own fault. I spent a silly amount of time getting the hilight script to handle nested parens in a fashion which didn't bug me...

I'll be curious to hear if it handles all of Aristotle's favorite test cases too.


#!/usr/bin/perl -wnp
use strict;
use Term::ANSIColor;
use Getopt::Std;
use constant ENTIRE_MATCH => 0;
    getopts( 'c:' ) && @ARGV or die <<"    END_USAGE";
usage: $0 [ -c color ] pattern [ file... ] [ < input ]
    You can use capturing parens in your pattern.
    If you provide multiple atrributes via the -c option,
    the first will be used to color the portion matching
    the pattern, the second will color the portion matching
    the first capturing parens, the third will color the
    portion matching the second capturing parens, etc.
    Extra colors will be ignored. Extra parens will be
    colored the same as the non-captured matching text.
    % cat notes.txt
financial notes...
\$25 I owed to "bob smith" on 20041211 explanation: brewfest  # some meta data here
\$1 I paid to "sally johnson" on 20041212 explanation: sodas  # some meta data here
\$25 I paid to "bob smith" on 20041213 explanation: cash      # some meta data here
\$1 I recd from "sally johnson" on 20041215
\$42 I paid to "" on 200412157 explanation: top secret xmass
other notes...
\$100_000_000_000 might be nice to have, eh?
I wonder what I'm doing on tuesday next week.
I like pie.
    % $0  \\
    -c'cyan,  bold, red,   green, yellow,       magenta,    blue,  white on_red, bold    '  \\
       '\\\$\\d+ (I (?:(owed)|(paid)|(recd)) \\S+) "([^"]*)" on (\\d+) *(explanation: (.+))?#?'  \\
       < notes.txt
    # yes the above looks ugly, but it prints out a tidy usage example
    @COLOR = split /,/, our $opt_c || 'bold red';
    $REGULAR_EXPRESSION = qr/@{[ shift ]}/;
s{ $REGULAR_EXPRESSION }{  paint_match( ENTIRE_MATCH )  }gsex;
sub init_match_info {
    return unless $. > ( $LINE_NUMBER || 0 );
    $LINE_NUMBER = $.;
    @START       = @-;
    @END         = @+;
    @PROCESSED   = ();
sub paint_match {
    my $match = shift;
    return $_ if $match > $NUM_MATCHES;
    my( $result, $cursor ) = ( '', $START[ $match ] );
    for my $nested_match (  $match + 1  ..  $NUM_MATCHES  ) {
        next if empty( $nested_match ) || $PROCESSED[ $nested_match ];;
        last unless match_x_contains_match_y( $match, $nested_match );
        $result .= paint_substr(  $cursor,  $START[ $nested_match ],  $match  );
        $result .= paint_match(  $nested_match  );
        $cursor = $END[ $#PROCESSED ];
    $result .= paint_substr(  $cursor,  $END[ $match ],  $match  );
    $PROCESSED[ $match ]++;
    return $result;
sub paint_substr {
    my( $start, $end, $match ) = @_;
    return '' unless $end > $start;
    return colored(  substr( $_, $start, $end - $start ),  colors_for_match( $match )  );
sub empty{  ! $END[ shift() ]  }
sub match_x_contains_match_y {
    my( $x, $y ) = @_;
        ! empty( $x )
        $END[ $x ] > $START[ $y ]
        $START[ $x ] <= $END[ $y ]
sub colors_for_match {
    my $match = shift;
    return $COLOR[ ENTIRE_MATCH ]
        if (  $match == ENTIRE_MATCH  or  ! $COLOR[ $match ]  );
    return map {
        match_x_contains_match_y( $_, $match)  ? $COLOR[ $_ ]  : ();
    } ENTIRE_MATCH .. $match;

Tuesday September 28, 2004
06:55 PM

Thanks Ingy, Autrijus, and Damian!

At OSCON I was salivating over a couple modules Damian used in his presentations. In a presentation on better interfaces, he indicated that those juicy tidbits would one day make it to CPAN.

Today is that day!

(or maybe yesterday was... whatever)