Sunday, February 01, 2009

Happy 2009!

It's been a while since we've done one of these year-end wrap-up things, but so much has been going on, I figure we're due (never mind that it's already February). So, let's see, where to begin?

The short version: I've been exploring and creating in the world of Web art and technology, Christina has been diving deeper into her role as techno-pagan urban homesteader, and Caitlyn is growing up fast! We are blessed to be part of a number of a thriving communities, from the many wonderful people in our local neighborhood to the international network of ideas we call the Web.

I'm managing a small team now (still in the Seadragon group in Microsoft Live Labs), and together we've released several projects: Seadragon Ajax gives you smooth zooming on the web in pure JavaScript. Seadragon Mobile for iPhone is able to seamlessly serve up hundreds of huge images over the air. Infinite Canvas allows you to create and view comics unconstrained by page boundaries. I also helped put together this year's Photosynth release, and of course we've got exciting things in store for 2009! You can keep up to date on my Seadragon adventures with the blog Dragonosticism.

I've been keeping myself busy outside of work as well, creating and releasing a JavaScript version of the Figure Ground puzzle game from Heaven & Earth, and Gimme Shiny, a dynamic slideshow of popular images on the web (also done in JavaScript). I'm still posting random bits to Thoughtsam, though no longer everyday.

Christina's year has mostly been about food. She's taken up regular bread making (nearly one loaf per week), yogurt making and the occasional cheese making, with ambitions of her own homemade cheddar in 2009. The garden gave us several quarts of peas and nearly 30 lbs of potatoes, and it taught us that corn and shelling beans are best gotten from the farmers' market. She also put up 70 lbs of tomatoes, 20 lbs of peaches, 18 lbs of raspberries, 11 pints of applesauce, and a dozen half-pints each of dried tomatoes and bell peppers.

Christina continues with her usual web design antics. New projects this year include intentional and recycled jewelry from PeaceLoveEarth, Peruvian inspired sweaters from Inca Textiles, poems and images from Veita Jo Hampton, and a promotional site for elder care mediator Marcia Haber, as well as all the usuals from previous years.

She's also doing more sewing this year, exploring sewing clothes (shirts, dresses, hats, shoes (!)) as well as non-disposable sandwich and lunch bags, a self-designed laptop sleeve, and the usual assortment of quilts. Sadly, the pictures of these items have yet to be taken in most cases; maybe she'll get to that sometime this year.

In the Major Life Events department, we saw the passing of Christina's father this fall. His decline over the last 17 years due to fronto-temporal dementia has been brutally slow and painful for Christina's family, so the closure of this chapter is a time of both grief and relief. Christina occasionally blogs about her grieving process (as well as many other topics) on her website.

Caitlyn is 3.5 and is enthusiastic about her first year in preschool. She's learning to write (she's pretty reliable about writing "mama" and "papa") and can tell you the letters in her name, even if she wants prompting when it comes to writing them. She's also attending a circus class where she's learning to walk on a tightwire, balance on a globe, climb a rope, and do "seat drops" on the trampoline. Caitlyn loves her books and her various projects (folding, cutting, gluing, glitter, painting, writing, coloring), as well as animals, storytelling, yoga, helping around the house, Legos, the "little computer", and going on "adventureders".

You can see photos of her (that we don't seem to update very often) on her site. I've also started collecting her quotes on my Twitter stream (as has Christina); hopefully we'll add that to her site one of these days.

We have, of course, continued to explore the wonderful world of music. This year's best are collected in our Tunes 08 playlist.

So that's us, how about you? What have you been up to?

Best wishes for the new year!


UPDATE: Sadly, Photosynth (mentioned above) no longer exists. For the curious, here's a blog post on the history of the project: What Happened To


Thanks for the update, Ian! Sounds like your life is even busier than mine! :)
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