My almost 3-year-old son has been getting out of bed every night for the past 2 weeks. We think he gets scared. With a newborn, it's a bit hard.
So we asked some friends for advice.
We noticed slight differences between what our female friends told us versus what our male friends told us.
Samples of advice are below. Can you pick which group of advice is from female friends and which is from our male friends?
Group 1's advice:
1. Your son just needs reassurance that he is safe and that you love him! This happened to us too, you will get through it.
2. Silently walk him back to bed, sit with him a while, and things should be back to normal soon. We're totally here for you if you need help!
3. Give him a toy if he can get through the night without getting out of bed! Can I bring you food during the day or anything to help?
Group 2's advice:
1. Just lock the door.
2. Buy earplugs.
3. Stay in a hotel.
Time to gripe about the Clippercard program that Caltrain rolled out last year.
I've taken the Caltrain to work for about 5 years. 45 miles each way, twice a day, on average about 4 days a week. About 2,000 rides over that time.
I pay for Caltrain with a monthly pass. My company pays for 25% of my fare, and they use a company called Wageworks to help coordinate payroll deductions for my fares. Up until January 2011, the monthly pass purchase process involved only 2 steps: open the envelope with my monthly pass when it arrives, and then immediately stick it in my wallet. Easy! The first time setup process was also quite simple: Tell Wageworks that I want a monthly pass online. Easy. So over those 5 years of riding, I spent maybe 15 minutes of time dealing with tickets for Caltrain.
That all changed in January 2011 when Caltrain switched to the Clippercard. Paper passes now replaced with an electronic card. In 13 months since the transition occurred, I have had to contact Clippercard customer service 8 times to get charges removed from my account or to just figure out what the F was going on.
I think that some stinky product and marketing decisions are at the root of the reason why I've had so much trouble. So I'm writing about it.
My main gripe: Clippercard/Caltrain migrated from a process that required you to take your pass out of your mail and put it in your wallet before your first ride of a month, to a process that requires you to remember to tag on and tag off on your first ride of the month that's loaded with confusing nuances. Huge step backward in usability with no benefits to offset.
1: To activate your monthly pass, on your first ride of the month you must tag on at your departure station. If you forget to tag on, you can't just jump off at the next stop and tag on unless its in the same fare zone. The train that I ride stops only 1 or 2 times in any zone, so this is hard. Example situation: I forgot to tag on once in 2011. I went to a familiar faced conductor who had checked my ticket no less than 500 times in the last 5 years and explained my situation. His answer: "Exit the train at the next station and buy a ticket". Seriously? I'm a paying customer for 5 years with no incidents, Caltrain migrates to some messed up system for tickets and I have to buy another ticket?
2. If you forget to tag off, you get billed an extra $20 for what Caltrain considers to be a one-way fare. That's $20 on top of the $150 monthly fee. I've done this at least 5 times. Now, I have calendar alerts set up on my phone to force me to remember to tag on and off.
3. Once you've forgotten to tag off once and bitten the bullet on that extra charge, your monthly billing cycle with Wageworks gets totally screwed up. Wageworks transfers the exact amount of the monthly fare to Clippercard every month. Once Clippercard charges you an extra $20 for not tagging off, you're stuck with a negative balance that sucks funds from your next monthly charge. And then you can't buy the monthly pass automatically. Sadly, the way you find out that this happened and you don't have a monthly pass is... when you're scanning your Clippercard on the first day of the month. Which means that you can't get on the train without buying another f'ing one-way pass which costs you another $15. There is no way to add extra money to your Wageworks deduction, so I canceled my Wageworks account for now to try and get the balance of my Clippercard back into shape.
4. Monthly pass fees are based on how far you travel. I travel between Zone 1 (22nd Street) and Zone 3 (Mountain View). This means that you can't use your monthly pass to go to Zone 2 on the first day of the month because you can't tag off in the right zone. It may seem like an edge case to you, except that freaking SFO is in Zone 2 and the majority of monthly passes are Zone 1 to 3. So when I tried to use my pass to go to SFO on the first day of the month once - you guessed it - extra $20 charge to get off at a station that's 50% closer than the monthly fare I bought! Another example of the folly of tagging off: Last month, our train stopped somewhere in the middle of Zone 2 because of an electrical problem. They let us off about a mile from the nearest station. A friend and I decided to take a cab to work because we had to make a 9AM meeting. With no way to tag off on the first day of the month... I realized I had yet another customer service call on my hands. We couldn't have even walked the mile back to the nearest station and tagged off there because it was freaking Zone 2! And now the kicker: I called Clippercard to get them to refund the one-way fare I got charged with for this. They did, but they said it would take 5 days to take effect. In the meantime, that means that I've got a Clippercard with a negative balance which means I can't freaking activate my monthly pass.
In a perfect world, my Clippercard would be proof enough that I paid, and there would be no tagging on or off. Conductor would see that I'm a monthly pass holder. In fact, they actually CAN see that on their scanners. So why the F do I have to tag on and off? Despite the 100 curses I've placed on Clippercard, the root of the problem here may actually be with Caltrain's pricing system. Caltrain charges everyone based on how far they travel. Even monthly pass holders. Travel between Zone 1 and 3 costs more than travel between Zone 1 and 2. To make sure that you're not buying a monthly pass to travel fewer zones than you're actually travelling, Caltrain and/or Clippercard make you tag on in your departure zone and off in your arrival zone. If they just charged one price for all monthly passes, there would be no need to tag on or off ever. You either have a valid pass or you do not, and conductors can see that when they scan your card.
So if I've thought this out right, the root of the problem is Caltrain's pricing system. Would save me and many others a lot of time if you just charged 1 price for a monthly, and I'd pay more for the convenience of not having to call customer service 8 times.
Caltrain: This mess could get cleared up with some attention by someone whose focused on improving the experience. I volunteer myself to help (selfishly!)
Bubba Smith died last week.
I read the article, looked at the photo, and for the first time in years I remembered that I met him once.
I saw Police Academy in the theater way back when, and of course I remembered Hightower.
Fast forward to 1999. I was living in Santa Monica, trying out a new life in a new place after living in Texas my whole life and quitting my job as a CPA at Ernst & Young.
I worked out at 24 hour fitness club on Ocean Park. One day I was doing some low rows and a big guy next to me asked if that amount of weight hurt my back. I told him that it didn't, that I was so focused on form that it actually felt great on my back. He looked a little familiar.
A few weeks later, after a particularly painful set of tricep pushdowns I turned to walk out of the gym and almost walked into the chest of that same guy. He was big, black and in his 50's. He looked at me and in a deep voice told me "let me show you how that's done". And he did. Very politely. We talked a bit about triceps and back exercises and exercise in general. And we alternated sets on a few other exercises. I thought he looked familiar but didn't know for sure who he was.
I told him I was from Texas. He said he was too, from Beaumont. I told him I went to Texas A&M undergrad. He laughed and said that they wouldn't let him play at Texas or Texas A&M because he was black, so he went to Michigan State. I asked if he played football, he smiled and said yes and let me know that he was a #1 pick. And we talked for a while. Super friendly guy, did not act famous for 1 second. When I finally left, I shook hands with him, thanked him for the workout advice, and introduced myself. He smiled, thanked me and told me his name was Bubba.
Then I realized who he was.
I never saw him again after that.
I'm sad to hear that he passed away!
Man this was a pain in the A. I'm writing it down here so that I can reference this again. Hopefully some others can benefit.
To set up this printserver on a Mac, here is what you do:
1) First you need to get the IP address of the damn thing. The only way I could get it is to plug the piece of crap into my router, and then check my router's DHCP Clients table (under "status" then "local network"). Copy down that IP address.
2) While it is still plugged into the router, log into the printserver using the IP address you just found
3) Now you need to get this dang printserver to talk to your router wirelessly. First, change the printserver password to something not generic
4) Enable the print server's mac address in your mac filter on your router (if you have one)
5) configure the printserver to use your routers SSID.
6) Set the printserver to use a fixed IP address.
7) Set the subnet mask = to what your router uses
8) Set the gateway = to your router's IP address (probably 192.168.something.something)
9) Unplug the printserver from the router, then log into the printserver's IP address wirelessly via your computer to confirm that the fucker works.
10) If it does, bring the stupid thing back to the printer and plug it into the printer
11) Now you need to set up the printer on your computer. These next steps are a complete clusterfuck of confusion but they work.
12) Under system preferences, select print and fax. Unlock the lock, then click the plus sign to add a printer. Select "Line Printer something"
13) Address = IP address of the printserver
14) Queue = L1
15) Name = L1
16) In the drop down choose your printer and model. If you're like me your printer is old as shit so just get as close as you can.
17) Click add
18) Now it gets worse. Click on the printer you just added and then click "info"
19) Under "name" replace what's in there and type in the printserver IP addres
20) Under location replace what's there with IP_192.168.something.somethingP1
Replace "something with the numbers from your printserver IP address.
Print a test page and make sure the damn thing works. Man this seriously sucked.
ATM design has changed for the better recently.
The old ATM flow:
The new flow on Bank Of America ATMs:
I love a bunch of the healthcare bill features. But I don't know where the cost savings are. We already need another bill to start paying people to be healthy.
Our son is 10 months old now, and he sleeps about 12 hours a night generally without waking up. I've talked to a few friends who are having sleepless night because of sleepless children. So I'm writing down what we did to get our son to sleep through the night.
I think every baby is a little different so this may not work for everyone.
I think the most important step is to have a system. When you're up at 3AM trying to get baby to stop crying, generally all rules go out the window. But that's when you need rules the most. So think about what your rules are, talk about them and then religiously stick to them.
Our specific steps to getting baby to sleep through the night:
1) Track number of feedings per day, time of each feeding and volume of food at each feeding. You need to know exactly where you stand so that you can start to shape the schedule into something sustainable. We tracked our feedings on paper and then transferred that data to excel once or twice a week. You could start doing this right after birth.
2) With data in hand, look for places where you could consolidate 2 feedings into 1. Specifically: eliminate snacking. If your baby expects a little snack every hour of the day then she'll do the same at night. Don't cut down your babies total volume of food - just combine some feedings together.
3) Once you're baby is 3-ish months old, you're now entering a period when you can start to normalize nighttime feedings. If baby is waking at 10PM, 2AM and 5AM to eat, goal number 1 is to get rid of that 2AM feeding. To eliminate that feeding (again, without cutting down on total volume), we went cold turkey one night. We made sure he ate well at the 10PM feeding. And we managed his crying with the methods in Step #4. It was hard to do but soon enough, the 2AM feeding was gone. Next went the 5AM feeding using same process. Once we eliminated a feeding, we religiously enforced it. Only once did we cave when he was just ridiculously hungry (and we could tell that he was from the tone of his cries).
4) Crying. At night when he would wake up crying (maybe expecting that 2AM feeding), we stopped responding immediately to the cry. We would wait 5 minutes, then go in and put his soother in his mouth and immediately leave. If he started crying immediately again, we’d wait 10 minutes then go back in. And then 15 minutes. Never once did we get past the 10 minute mark. This got it into his head that he couldn’t just cry and get us in the room no matter what. It's really important to distinguish cries that are asking for attention versus cries of fear or genuine distress. Anytime we hear a genuine distress cry we are with him in 1 second, no waiting. But 99% of cries are not that, so waiting to respond to the regular "hey, i want something" cries made a huge difference. This was one of our most critical steps in getting him to sleep through the night. Once we stopped responding to every cry right when it happened, we both started getting multiple more hours of uninterrupted sleep per night. And surprisingly, baby slept better too and woke up less often.
5) We moved him out of our room into his own room around 3 months.
6) We bought a video monitor that lets us keep an eye on him from afar without us walking into his room and potentially waking him. This also made moving him out of our room possible.
7) We got him a little blue dragon thing that makes music and shines a nice little light when you squeeze it. Every time we put him in his crib to sleep, we squeeze the dragon to associate that music with time for sleep.
8) We put him on a hard core schedule. 7PM comes and whether he is sleepy or not he is going to bed. For waking time, we generally do not fetch him before 6:30AM. For morning wake time, he has learned to play in his crib for a while and patiently wait for us.
9) For about 3 months, I gave him a "dream feed" around 10 or 11PM. He had been asleep for a few hours at that point. I’d pick him up while he was still sleeping, get a bottle in his mouth and let him eat however much he wanted. I made sure I got a good burp out of him before setting him down. Usually I fed him 3-4 ounces but sometimes way more if he had a light eating day, and sometimes just 1 ounce. We just stopped doing this last week after a week of eating just an ounce at the night feeding. I recommend cutting out the pre-midnight feeding last. Work on the 2AM first, then the 5AM.
10) Stressing this point again: don't let cutting back on # of feedings make a significant dent in total food intake in a day. Babies can east 20%+ of their body weight per day - tiny changes can make a big difference in their weight gain.
11) We do not rock him to sleep nor do we let him fall asleep in our arms. He gets sleepy in our arms then we put him in the crib and leave the room.
I hope this helps someone!
I'm a product manager in the Bay Area that loves music, family, great food and cool products.