Personal

Personal website switcharoonie

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Since 2000 I've owned the mc-kenna.com domain. I've used it for various purposes over the years. One hope I had for the domain was that my family would be able to or interested in collaborating on it. It didn't work out that way and I ended up using it as my personal blog. That didn't quite sit right with me as I wanted the domain to be used by others, so along the way I picked up damienmckenna.com with a goal to make it my personal blog. Eight years later I've finally moved my personal blog from mc-kenna.com to damienmckenna.com, so I don't feel guilty anymore about publishing under my name.

I also plan to write more here, so lets see how this goes.

Ringing in the new year with a sick child on my lap

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I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m ringing in the New Year sitting up on my bed with an ill child asleep on my lap, and I couldn’t be happier. Well, maybe I could, but you know what I mean.

And “happy” is the wrong word. I have a very strong paternal urge to care for sick children, especially our own, so when one of our children is ill there’s nowhere I’d rather be than there taking care of them.

We spent most of the past two weeks with someone ill. First it was our eldest, who grew 3/4rs of an inch over the space of three weeks and then had some mono-like symptoms for a few days but ultimately was fine after some rest. Then our middlest and awesomewife both came down with lethargy and some sinus congestion at roughly the same time, followed quickly by our youngest. Jump to yesterday and our youngest was jumping around feeling back to normal while the other two still had some residual coughing, so I was expecting that today everyone was going to wake up and be right as rain. Our hearts sank quite a bit when at about 6 this morning our youngest started a croupy cough in his sleep - this bug wasn’t quite done with him yet, and we were in for another few days of ickiness until he was fully recovered. We then changed our plan for New Years’ Eve to skip going to the Bangor Library’s festivities (with special indoor mini-golf?) and instead having a mostly quiet evening in.

At bedtime he went down to sleep really quickly, but within half an hour awesomewife sat up in bed with him on her lap. Half an hour later again, and I’ve traded places with her, she’s now doing some final nighttime things and I’m writing this.

I’m anticipating 2019 being a good year for us. We have some exciting plans for the year, I’ll be sure to keep you posted.

I do hope you and yours have a very Happy New Year. I appreciate you taking the time to read this, and look forward to meeting up at some point throughout the year, or at the very least talking on the phone or online.

We're staying for Hurricane Irma

Hurricane Irma prep for our back porch

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Today I spent hours cutting up 6'-by-8' wooden fences to make them fit and then set them up to cover the 4' tall windows on our back porch; with the wind expected to hit our house from that direction, those single-paned windows were the house's main structural weakness. Meanwhile Jen and the kids got a bunch of things ready indoors.
It's also worth noting that we have a cement brick house with almost all of the main windows rated to be able to cope with hurricane-force winds. Oh, and the roof was replaced this past March. So the house is in good shape.


With (Hurricane) Irma threatening a visit, we were looking all week trying to work out what to do. Should we bail at the first sign of it heading inland, or just hold on and wait through it?
We decided to wait until this evening if we were going to bail; with South Florida doing an official evacuation I was already hearing on Tuesday from coworkers in Atlanta that hotels were filling up. By the time we decided a hotel room might be worthwhile the closest we could find to accept us (with our pets) was in Virginia, 750 miles away; this would be 750 miles of bumper-to-bumper traffic which would balloon its normal 12 hour drive into 20 or 24 hours. At night. With two adults, three kids, three cats and a dog. This meant just running to a hotel wasn't such an easy decision.
Anyway, on Thursday evening the 5pm weather update suggested 90mph winds with gusts to 115mph because the eye was estimated to walk right over us. This obviously scared us quite a bit. But we didn't want to panic, especially when the alternative was the possible 24 hour, 750 mile drive.
The 11pm weather update had the storm starting to move west, which would save us from the full strength of the storm, and then this morning (Friday) the estimates put the eye fifty-ish miles west, leaving us with bare tropical storm winds.
So we're staying. We have a load of supplies, a BBQ grill to cook food if we loose power (which we expect to) and plenty of water. And a bunch of books to read. We'll be fine.

Three positive things, day sixty three

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Back on a normal schedule again, today was the first work day of my week, and Tuesday.

The first positive thing was something that happened with #awewsomewife when she took Aidan to his apple-picking job. There were so many apples on the ground that she went from walking around with Kian to helping Aidan pick apples. She also asked Kian to help, and he'd walk around, see an apple and then say "apple - peekabo, I found you!" I wish I could have seen it, but it was quite the story :)

The second positive thing was Liam and Kian doing their "I'm Batman!" / "I'm Groo!" duet at lunchtime - it helped perk the day's mood up a bit.

The third positive thing was.. being Tuesday - my ukulele class of course :) Tonight we focused a little bit on some tunes that the instructor's hoping to have us join him in playing at a local community event ran by a local church this weekend; I'm not sure we'll be going, but it was good practice.

Three positive things, day sixty two

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Today was Labor Day, a Federal holiday in the US.

The first positive thing was going for a hike with the whole family. While I wrote about it earlier, I didn't mention the funniest thing that happened. At one point, about 1/3rd of the way up the hill, we arrived at a pond and took a break to look at the fish & skip some stones. Liam threw a small rock into the lake, because he doesn't quite know how to skip stones yet, when out of nowhere a black labrador came running over and jumped into the pond right in front of us, splashing water all over us! The dog's human came over and was very apologetic, but we just had to laugh, it was too funny :) I only got splashed a little bit, and Kian was on my back so wasn't splashed at all, but the other three did get a good splashing. Thankfully it was a fairly warm day so everyone dried off after an hour or two.

The second thing was going to a petting zoo / farm just down the road from the hill we hiked, and seeing the largest bovine I'd ever seen. This guy, named Carlos, stood six foot tall at his back - the same height as me! I asked a worker there how heavy he was, and he explained that he was over 2,500 lbs - they used a measuring tape and a formula to guess his weight, but he'd gotten so large that the tape was about 2 - 2 1/2 feet too short to go around him anymore! He was huge and amazing. He'd stick his head out through the gap / window in the wall and rub his head against the side by way of asking for some hay, so I had to oblige :) There were a bunch of other animals there, including an incredibly friendly smaller cow, and we all had a lovely time.

The third positive thing was finally catching up on posting my Three Positive Things for the past week, and uploading some photos from our adventures today :)

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