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  1. Now I Am 2

    March 20, 2014 by Daniel

    I can’t believe we’re here already (I know, I know, I’m probably going to say this every year). My boy is now two years old.
    He’s gone from this
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    To this
    IMG_0368

    In a Year?! At his birthday last year he was juuuust about walking around.

    He left ‘babydom’ and hit full toddler around the end of Summer 2013. Now it’s March and he’s 2 we’re into proper sentences, he sleeps in his own room – for pretty much most of the night. We’re well into potty training – he’s mostly there but has the odd off day.
    We think that’s he’s very aware of the imminent arrival of a brother or sister. I’m sure he’s going to make a great brother. Recently both Kate and I have been a bit under the weather and he’s been very caring toward us, asking if we are OK.

    We’re going to the Zoo for the day and having a party with his friends and family on Saturday – it’s going to be a train theme – He adores Chuggington (although it’s fast being eclipsed by Pixar’s Cars or Planes depending on his mood).


  2. Big Boy Bed

    March 19, 2014 by Daniel

    Found this post from January which hadn’t been published…

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    We’ve been sorting out George’s room and last night put together a bed we’ve got that is length adjustable (handy). We wanted to move him out of our bed so that when the new baby comes he won’t feel that the two things are linked.
    We did try putting him in a cot a couple of times a long while back but it never worked out. At the time it just felt unnecessary, he wouldn’t settle in it and it was difficult getting him to sleep in there in the first place.
    Now that I put him to sleep it makes things a little simpler, last night trying it for the first time he was quite excited so whilst I was trying to read to him he wasn’t paying much attention. More interested in playing with a turtle we have that projects stars onto the ceiling.
    Kate I think is conflicted about the whole thing. On the one hand I think she feels he’s ready for it and it’s something that she wants him to be OK with before the new baby arrives. She definitely missed cosleeping though.
    And George? I think he did really well actually. I was sure he’d be fine after he’d gone to sleep but I wasn’t sure what would happen in the second half of the night. We left the monitor on next to Kate to better hear him and I woke about 5.50 hearing him saying Mummy. He got out of bed and was on the landing looking at the nightlight I’d put there for this very purpose. He wanted to go to the toilet and after that he came in with us. By then we were pretty much all awake, I (try to) get up for work anyway at 6.30ish so that’s pretty much sleeping through!
    He was doing a fair bit of gymnastics whilst asleep and I think he ended up pointing the wrong way and not under a cover so his feet were a bit cold. But all in all, I think it went really well.
    Onto tonight!


  3. Baby 2 Scan 2

    January 10, 2014 by Daniel

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  4. Baby Nisbet #2

    November 12, 2013 by Daniel

    Now for some lovely news. Kate and I are having another Baby.

    12scan
    We went for the 12 week scan yesterday afternoon. Our friend Jenny looked after George for the afternoon and he had a whale of a time by the sounds of it with her and her son. It was odd dropping him off really, kind of a sign how old he his already, that we’re at the point now where it feels ok to do that (we’ve still only done it less than a handful of times and it was the first time Jen had had him for so long).
    We did know that we wanted at least one more child, people at work have asked me already how I feel about a third – let’s wait for a bit on that one!
    1457579_10100970827995325_854200687_n
    We had been cautious this time around about telling people early. I don’t want to go into it much but it’s best to wait really I think. It was again an amazing experience seeing the baby though. I don’t remember George moving around as much $NEWNISBETNAME, it was incredible!

    It really does make it more real. It’s taken me a bit longer this time round I think, maybe George is a big distraction on that front and you don’t have time to think about things like that. It’ll be interesting to see George as a big brother, I’m sure he’ll handle it brilliantly – if the way he treats our cat is anything to go by!

    We’ll find out the sex in January, due date is late May.


  5. Email Server

    August 21, 2013 by Daniel

    People who read this may or may not know that my job is an Email Sysadmin. I’ve had my personal Email on GMail since they introduced it and I always though it was pretty neat. It worked great, pretty much always up and had all the cool features as well as being fast. And hey, it was Google, you could trust them – after all their motto was “Don’t Be Evil”.

    And then the Snowden/Prism stuff happened.

    It got me thinking, hey this is my job and my personal stuff. This is something I care about and I’m trusting it to people I don’t know. It’s not like I’m even paying them to do it, why would they have my interests at heart. In fact the only way they can afford to run the service for me is by it making it easier to target ads at me and how do you think they do that?

    So they only answer for me was to go back to how Email was originally intended to work. To run it for yourself, to check things yourself. Not part of some massive anonymous cloud system that exists across borders. – I fully understand why people don’t do these things for themselves, they are relatively fiddly and Gmail is **free!**

    But it’s about principle.
    So I went about trying to find a good place for my server to be. As I mentioned earlier, this is my job but I think it’s not a great idea to mix business with pleasure. Yes I could simply route my own mail to my Work mailbox. Job done. But if I ever left or it was frowned upon it would make things trickier so divest myself from it. So I thought about the people in small part of the Internet that I know about it. I used to work in one of Manchester’s largest Datacentres so I thought about those days and who I used to get on well with. Bytemark stood out. I always got on well with them, they always looked like the knew exactly what they were talking about and I thought, yeah I trust them. They have a great standing in the community and I know that if I wanted, I could go and touch the machine that my VPS was hosted on if I wanted (* not actually sure if this is true but I reckon I’ve a good chance).

    So onto the build of the mail server.

    Symbiosis
    Bytemark’s VPS’s offer a distro they’ve knocked up called Symbiosis. In the reading of the manual for this I though hey that seems really simple. It works great ‘out of the box’, but I can still get to the bits I want to fiddle with, beats using a CPanel for ultra configurability.
    Things can be as simple as firing up an SCP client, logging in and creating files to get mailboxes set up and configured. You can switch on spamscoring and virus checking just by creating the relevant config files (yes, just files, it’s already set up, just watching out for relevant files to enable it or not).
    MySQL, Apache, Exim, Dovecot and the rest of your favourite are all already there waiting for you. So you can get going with it really quickly. It’s all preconfigured to do backups and updates. It’s really not much work, which is good for a server you just want to leave going really.

    MX Records
    Let’s think through the DNS for a bit. It’s a good idea to have redundancy on this so if you can basically just duplicate what you’ve done with one mailserver on the other. I haven’t, because I’m cheap. But what you could do is team up with a friend you trust who wants to do it as well and just relay mail for each other. It should happen often if you set one with a higher priority MX. I’ve not actually done this myself ( a- hadn’t though of it til now b- not enough friends) what i’ve actually got at the moment is a fall back lower priority mx record of Google. Yeah, I know – what a hypocrite! But it’s probably temporary until I can make some friends plus it was already set up to work on my domain.

    Weaning off the Big G
    It was always going to be a little tricky to wean all the way off the big G because I had several mailboxes on my domain over at Google Apps that I wanted to leave there and still have mail delivered onto Gmail. All this principle and privacy is fine for me to worry about, but I’m not so sure if my wife feels the same way when it comes to putting up with SquirrelMail for a webmail interface (I’m pretty much IMAP only so I don’t care).
    So what I did was set up a forwarding rule on my VPS for those mailboxes and they get sent on to a subdomain of mine that I set up in my Google Apps account as a domain alias. It’s all completely transparent to the user (no complaints yet anyway), they get another layer of spam filtering and I get lovely log files I can trawl through if needs be (don’t get those hosted at Google!).

    Encryption
    Here’s a big conundrum. The now infamous ‘NSA Proof your email in 2 hours‘ blog post is mostly about making sure the filestore is encrypted. Symbiosis does a great job of doing all the secure TLS transmission of mail, a self signed X509 cert is there for you already (feel free to add your own if you like, I’ve not bothered for £££ reasons). So things in the interwebtubes are more often than not all nicely encrypted already so you don’t have to worry too much about the NSA tapping the wires. At the moment I figure, they’ve got to get to the physical box to read my filestore. I’m the only one with root access (not even Bytemark), so they’d need to bruteforce that to get in without my knowing.
    So it’s probably something I might look at again in future because I am super paranoid (**it’s not that I have something to hide, it’s that they could look without asking me). His instructions are all for postfix anyways and I like exim.
    For TLS encryption testing you can verify it with this tool.

    IPv6
    Another of my personal internet crusades is the take up of IPv6. It’s a chicken and egg problem and I really like that Bytemark are out in front on it. Your VPS comes with both 4 & 6 addresses, no extra work needed. You just makes sure you add a AAAA record for your MX to point at (Along with an ‘A’ record dur, we’re not quite ready for 6 only yet!). You can use Freenet6 to test your set up.


  6. AP Dads

    June 3, 2013 by Daniel

    I’ve been a bit proactive with the AP Dad theme I mentioned before. I’ve started a Facebook group and I’ve started a blog. Let’s see where this goes. I’m pretty positive, I’ve had some good feedback from Dad’s who’ve wanted to connect with other AP Dads.


  7. Being an AP Dad

    May 24, 2013 by Daniel

    I think the problem most people have with AP is how it is for the Dad. I say suck it up. The length of time that things might be strained for is merely a few years, what’s a few years? (I know, some of you may now have a raised eyebrow) But seriously, as a couple I think we have a very strong relationship – yes having a baby has changed our relationship a lot and it’s an adjustment that I have sometimes felt she has taken better to than I have. But my needs happen to be on the lowest priority at the moment and to be honest, that’s absolutely right. I can fend for myself, my child cannot. I am grateful for any snatched kiss or hug I can get, but I am safe in the knowledge there will be many more.

    Separation Anxiety
    This seems to come and go. He can react quite strongly to Mum leaving the room but I think it depends on what he’s doing at the time. If he doesn’t notice her leave then it can be fine. Sometimes he reacts to us hugging and suppose feels he’s missing out on his own Mum time.

    Bath & Playtime
    I try to take the chances I can get to play with him. I’m off at work all day so don’t get to do as much as his Mum does but when I’m there I try to get involved. She can get some other things done but keeping him away from where she is can prove difficult sometimes!


  8. AP Fathering

    April 2, 2013 by Daniel

    So apparently it’s quite difficult to find blogs written by Dad’s of Attachment Parenting families. Kate thought she’d found one the other day and he went on to write a horrible post about images of children on the Internet that put her right off it. I’m not saying I’ll be blogging regularly about it, but I may well start a category on it and try to write what I think about it a little.
    Good Friday I was off work (woop) and so got to spend my Day with Kate and George and we went along to one of her new ‘Tuesday Mum’s as Kate calls them’s house. There were about 5 Mum’s each with around 2 kids each and it was really lovely. I can see why Kate likes this group so much and it’s really nice to be able to talk honestly about the way you see things parenting wise. I think that Kate feels having that in common enables them to speak honestly about all manner of things as well.
    So to AP-Dadding – I think I’ll get into it in a future post. It’s really taking us by storm at the moment but provides as many questions and answers.


  9. Now I Am One

    March 22, 2013 by Daniel

    iPad George
    Just got back from two days off work celebrating George’s First Birthday. We’re having a little party for him on Saturday but we wanted him to have a special day on his actual birthday too. So we went up to Blackpool to

    Sea World there and then to Jungle Jim’s in the tower after lunch. It was a fantastic day.
    Kate and I can’t believe he’s been here a year already. It’s gone so quick. I have to say it’s been an amazing ride so far.
    I certainly don’t think we’ve done it the easy way, but we’ve decided that doesn’t matter to us. We would rather that it’s difficult and good for him than easy and not. We have made choices that put him first and we are proud to do so. We’ve never done dummy’s, we are using reusable nappies, the Buggy has been unused for months now. Kate is still breastfeeding him and will continue to do so until he’s not interested any more. He’s still co-sleeping with us, generally we all sleep better for it. Kate has also found a group of AP friendly women she finds very supportive which I’m very glad for as I think it’s a hard task being a stay at home Mum so she’s always got someone to turn to when I’m at work.
    I realised yesterday whilst we were at a soft play place in Bury that being at work I miss out on a lot. Kate understands his personality and his preferences so well and I need to work on catching up on that a bit. But I had a great time playing with him at home in the morning whilst Kate was baking his birthday cake for Saturday (I have provided home brew beer, fingers crossed!).
    George is concentrating hard on his walking at the moment which is a joy to see and his vocabulary is coming on well.
    Still I think his favourite thing in the world is the Cat (apart from perhaps Mummy & Daddy). He loves to point out where the cat is.


  10. homebrew

    March 4, 2013 by Daniel

    751005-5For Christmas Kate bought me everything I needed from Balihoo to get started with making my own beer. It’s something I’ve always been keen on trying but have never quite got started with. I finally found time this past weekend to start my first brew – and it was quite a learning curve!
    I hadn’t really done much research beforehand and now having looked into i’m even more bewildered. I followed the instructions on kit as best as I can and so we’ll see what happens. Fingers crossed it should be ready for George’s first birthday and i’ll have some willing testers.
    There’s lots of things I think i’ve done wrong though, so much room for improvement!
    I had a few questions about hyrometers which @CheSha knowledgeably helped me out with. I may have been a bit hasty putting in the yeast – didn’t manage to get a reading off beforehand so the on I get is probably not that much use (or it might be I don’t know!). My other doubt at the moment is I didn’t put the airlock on the lid of my fermenter bucket, mostly down to the fact I didn’t know what it was at the time. I might stick it on this evening but I don’t think it’ll make much difference at this point.
    So Wednesday evening i’ll be at the end of fermentation. Then’ll I’ll transfer into the pressure barrel and add the sugar I think according to the fairly vague instructions I’ve got. I’ll move it all from the baby’s room where it is at the moment (we don’t use the room very much as he still sleeps with us and it’s nicely warm in there) to the pantry in the kitchen which is nice and cool.
    Looking forward to trying it! I might try and borrow a capper from someone so I can bring some samples into work.