Romey's Ramblings

Random musings of Jeromey Balderrama

August 4, 2014
by Romey
0 comments

Clara’s Birthday Serenade

On Clara’s actual first birthday, we actually took her out for Mac & Cheese at REd Robin for dinner. Clara got her first birthday serenade. It’s funny watching the look on her face fade to general unease to what’s happening behind her.

August 3, 2014
by Romey
0 comments

Why I haven’t written: Part 2–Clara’s First Birthday

CFB02

The weekend after returning from our SOB trip was the celebration of Clara’s first birthday.  I used to think it was funny to spend all of this time and energy to plan a party that your kid won’t ever remember, but sure enough when Clara’s first rolled around we wouldn’t have it any other way.  We decided to plan a party around her favorite song, “Old McDonald”, going with the farm theme.  Bethany put a ton of work into the party with features like a fruit stand, goodie bags with cowboy hats and bandanas.

CFB04

CFB01

We had a lot of fun putting together some mementos like her “year of firsts” chart, as well as a picture from each month of her life.

CFB03

Clara had her first taste of something sweet at her party, devouring her Little Piggy cake that her mom made for her. When we set the cake in front of her, she didn’t quite know what to do with it at first.  After giving her a little dollop of the frosting, she went to down and devoured it with both hands.

CFB06

We also featured a piñata at her party, but Clara’s first inclination was to ride it.

CFB07

After two rounds of kids hitting it, the piñata finally broke open and gave way all of it’s candy.

CFB05

Thank you to everyone who helped make Clara’s day so special!

August 2, 2014
by Romey
0 comments

Why I haven’t written: Part One–Summer of Balderramas

SOB01

As a justification to you (but mainly to myself) as to why I haven’t posted all summer, I wanted to share of some of the cool stuff that kept me away from blogging.  Up first is our SOB trip – Summer of Balderramas.

Our family is trying to get on the pattern of setting up a reunion vacation every 3-4 years.  We did the first one in Breckenridge, CO back in 2011.  This year we put one together in Daytona Florida for a week in June.  We had a bit of a smaller turnout compared to the last one, but we actually had different family members come out to this trip and had an awesome time.  At one point, there were 18 of us all together.  As with all vacations as of late, we once again booked a VRBO house that sat right on the beach.  The shot below was taken from our back yard on a wooden walkway.  This house was amongst of group of five others that were right on the beach.  Neighboring them were groups of hi-rise buildings with condos, hotels, restaurants and shops.  It was really neat to think that we were occupying the same footprint as a hi-rise with hundreds of people.  During the day folks would drive their cars onto the beach, which then became pretty funny when they got stuck in the sand – similar to folks getting stuck in the slush out here.  For the most part though we had the area right in front of the house to ourselves.  Every day I had Zac Brown Band’s “Toes” playing in my head.

SOB09

We couldn’t fathom going to Florida and not going to Disney World, so we had that in our agenda.  Given that we were traveling children that were 1 and 2, we didn’t think the lines and 48”+ height requirements of Magic Kingdom would have been best for two little ones that were likely going to skip naps, so we opted for Epcot.  There was plenty for them to see and interact with, as well as letting the grown ups do the “Beers Around the World” crawl by drinking in each country of the lagoon.  The girls spent the morning doing a breakfast with the Disney Princesses, and Clara got lipstick on her cheek with a kiss from Snow White.  We did a couple of low-key rides which were on par with “It’s A Small World”.  Clara also loved seeing all of the musical features as well, as the Taiko Drumming.

SOB04

SOB07

SOB08

Epcot definitely wore her out though.  She took a mini-nap in the USA part of the lagoon, but she stayed up through the fireworks show, easily making this her longest day ever.

Later in the week we drove across the state to visit Clara’s Great Grandparents, enjoying a great lunch with them. Clara loved exploring all of the cool things they had.

SOB03

The rest of our trip was spent hanging out at the beach house, drinking a lot of beer, eating raw oysters and clams, playing games and staying low key.  Clara was a champ during her first plane ride, staying sane through most of the 4 hour flights.  The trip home turned out to be pretty rough, as weather shut down DIA and forced us to stop in Amarillo for a refuel, making our trip home interesting. All-in-all: this was a fantastic vacation.

August 1, 2014
by Romey
0 comments

I’m baaaaaaack!

Two pages in the calendar have turned since the last time I posted. It eats at me. I love to write and share my thoughts, but I also love other things like my family, working (or at least the benefits of working), and drumming – things that make the days go by pretty quickly. The next thing you know, two months have passed and there are numerous trips, events (like Baby Girl turning one), and reactions that I’ve failed to capture. Well no more.

This month, I’m going to set a goal of posting at least once per day, even if it’s me writing with my thumb on my phone (like tonight). I’m going you get back into the blogging groove, dammit. So if you’re still out there, subscribing and reading me: thank you, and stay tuned!

May 29, 2014
by Romey
1 Comment

Feedly v Craigslist 3–Maybe RSS is the problem

Well Feedly and Craigslist are at it again: broken now for another month.  I’ve tempered my whining because I’ve been using Newsblur, where Craigslist still (mostly) works.  Once again, all communication on this is dead silent, with no blog post, acknowledgement or answered Tweets – until early this week, when I took to Twitter to whine about it again after Newblur’s polling temporarily broke.

To their credit, Feedly did respond and engaged me in a conversation, of which can be found here.  However there hasn’t been any other movement on any front and I’ve pretty much resigned myself to the fact that Craigslist feeds in Feedly probably won’t ever work again.

I would say that Craigslist bears most of the blame.  Taking Feedly at their word, for them to cut their polling down by a factor of 10 and yet still get blocked doesn’t make any sense.  Craigslist feeds still work with other readers such as Newsblur (which did come back later that night), and the Old Reader.  Craigslist is squarely blocking Feedly.  Craiglist can complain about being inundated, but they never pulled these tactics when Google Reader was the 800 pound RSS gorilla.  This smells like a pistol-whipping of Feedly. What makes things worse is that Craigslist doesn’t make it easy to lodge a complain or raise this as an issue.  I don’t understand how an internet company doesn’t act in their best interests to drive traffic (in this case, 2.5 million hits) to their site.  Craigslist has history of being jerks with RSS, as they went from having a full-text feed to a summary feed and required users to click into their site to view virtually any post.

Feedly isn’t blameless either.  They’ve been deathly silent, despite people bringing up the issue on their blog (commenting on the “we fixed it” post) and tweeting at them. Feedly also does have some options at their disposal to decrease their Craigslist load (such as not allowing subscribes for search feeds, or making Craigslist a Premium feature) – but they don’t want to go that route, opting for a scenario where no one can access Craigslist feeds through Feedly. Unless there’s some super-secret plan to counter this that is not being shared, Feedly is simply ignoring this issue.

Ultimately maybe RSS is to blame. Despite being a great solution to syndicate large quantities of content, it doesn’t seem to have any kind of following. Craigslist is visited by millions of people, but virtually no one complains about this efficient consumption method being shut off.  I’m coming to grips with the fact that despite a few savvy geeks who treasure this functionality – no one really cares about this issue. Either people enjoy going to a static web site and manually tracking posts that interest them, or they simply defer to a catered information source like Twitter of Facebook and let other people choose on their behalf.

Regardless, this inaction on both sides frustrates me, to the point where I’m canceling my Feedly Pro subscription. I only wish there was a way to vent my frustration to Craigslist, but they don’t care – and there unfortunately isn’t a better source to find bands that need drummers out there.

I just miss Google Reader, and long for a time when RSS was respected.