Music Lessons for Dad?!

Arianna and I have taken to practicing together, something we haven’t done for a while. I am making more time for this recently. Here she is teaching me how to play notes(because I only learned chords, not how to play individual notes like she can) so I can play what she can play. She has fun practicing this way. You parents out there are supposed to wink and say “hey, that’s a cool trick, dad”

“No, Daddy, this is the third string, not that one!”

Notice we’re both wearing Spurs shirts. They beat the Pistons last week, GO SPURS!!!

Coming up for air

Well, it has been a long time since our last post, at least, a long time in “blog years”. I am plenty busy running the family, but we are surviving and adapting. I have lots to post here, and I’ll get to it someday. Be prepared to read things we did as long ago as Christmas!

News from Cyndi, in case you haven’t heard already: she got a 5.0(straight A’s) in January. At MIT. After basically cramming a semester’s worth of work into one month. Clearly, she went to the right school! We talk every night before going to bed, and I can assure you she is working hard and long into the night on all her homework, because after I say goodnight and tuck myself in, she goes back to work. Obviously, this ethic has paid off so far. I am very proud of her.

The boys played at church again on Sunday for Youth Sabbath, and I played a couple of tunes with them when I was not running the sound system. Both boys did fantastic. Adam put a lot of effort into a drum arrangement for a song he learned at Rock and Roll camp last summer, and he collaborated with Aaron the week before church so that they were ‘on the same page’, then added the vocal part and me on guitar about one hour before church started. Aaron once again amazed me with new ways to play the Our Father, and he got tapped to learn a new song and play it right before church started. In a few minutes, he had it nailed and by the time he did it for the church, he was adding decorations and passing tones. I was beaming at him from the sound console! The boys have come a long way since learning these instruments at the beginning of 2008. Both of them are quite skilled, and just as important, confident and enjoying themselves.

Afterwards, two of the youth group came over to record a CD on my equipment. Although we only did two songs, it was a lot of work. Some tracks were laid down perfectly, some tracks took more than one take, and we “punched-in” a few things to clean up a few mistakes. Aaron got his first gig as “studio musician” when he was tapped to add a bass track to one of the songs to fatten it up. The CD sound great, so I plan to post it on our website soon.

Oh, and Arianna had a guest over at the same time. Oh, and we made cookies, chili and chicken at the same time. Oh, and we had a CD release party for dinner while we burned the discs. Oh, and we totally cleaned the kitchen before and after the party. All this on a Sunday…

That’s all for now, time to go back under water…

Baking cookies

Last night, we were watching a movie, and someone(either dad or Adam), felt like eating cookies. Dad said “Thank you, Adam, you can go bake cookies.” but we all ended up helping (and Adam ended up helping the least). I got “all purpose” flour all over my black sweater, so I got out some aprons. Arianna decided to wear the one she got from aunt Starla. We also broke out some cookie dough from the freezer and made a few chocolate mint cookies. The first seven white chocolate chip cookies were abnormally large, so they squished into each other while in the oven. Then, just because we’re hernandi, we decided to use the last of the dough to make a “monster” cookie. Yum!

Survived January!

I made it through “boot camp”!  It was a ton of work.  In one month we managed to complete 1 full credit course (Human Side of Technology Management) 2 half courses (Probability and Statistics, Intro to Systems Architecture), 3 design challenges and not much sleep.  Despite the sleep deprivation,  I really like the program and the people. 

Justyna and Vadim have been very gracious in sharing their home with me.  I haven’t seen them very much because they are usually asleep by the time I’ve been getting back.  Their dog Milky Way makes sure I feel loved.  Sometimes a bit too loved

This coming weekend I am moving into a dorm on campus – Sidney Pacific.  It’s a newer dorm, opened in 2002.  It has many common areas, and is the location of many community activities and social events. Tonight there is a “welcome back” chocolate feast for all MIT grad students.  My kind of place.  My roommate is in the Health Science and Technology program.  We’ve both been busy, so I haven’t met her yet.  

Tomorrow I start classes again.  I have a very full schedule.  Two reasons – there are some classes only offered in the spring, and I’m only here for one spring semester.  (That’s the plan, at least.)  Also,  if I get more classes done in the spring,  I can leave myself more time later for working on my thesis.  So I’m going to try it. 

In case you want to know exactly how crazy I am, here is my course list: 
Engineering Risk Benefit Analysis
Systems Optimization
Technology Strategy
Disruptive Technologies:  Predator or Prey?
Special Seminar in Management: User-Centered Innovation in the Internet Age
Product Design and Development
Thesis Seminar (to meet potential thesis advisors)

This is why they compare MIT to a firehose.  Speaking of which:

Compliments of the gallery of hacks at the MIT Stata Center.