My great-grandfather was John Keelty.  We called him “Pop”.  He had three daughters and so no one in his family carried the Keelty name until I was born and my parents named me Stephen Todd Keelty.

When my great-grandfather died I (as the last of his line to carry the name “Keelty”) was given his war medals.  He fought in both world wars, and received 5 medals for his service.

Today is Remembrance Day, and so I took the medals out, showed them to Ruby, explained what each medal was for.  Ruby’s full name is Ruby Joan Keelty.

Selling My Camera Gear

I’m parting with all my old camera equipment (it’s up on ebay right now). This is the last of the gear from my photography days at Microsoft — when I was flush with spending money and I didn’t meet a lens I didn’t like. I already went through and sold the majority of it last year so that I could buy a new digital body, but now I’m selling the rest — my four favorite lenses, the body, and the flash.

Two days ago, I was trying to take pictures of Ruby and struggling with the incredibly slow focusing of the Pentax system. I was missing shots, switching back and forth between manual and autofocus, and generally spending too much time fighting the camera instead of taking pictures. We’re already using our lower-quality camera way more often than the fancy SLR because it’s so much easier to use. But that night was the last straw.

So, I’m auctioning it all off. I’ll use the proceeds to buy a new system — whether it’ll be a new SLR or a souped-up point-and-shoot, I’m not sure.

Ruby’s 2nd Hallowe’en

Ruby had a good time.  She loved her costume and walked from house to house like a pro.  She quickly figured out that it was all about the candy, even though she’s never really had any candy before.  “Trick or Treat” is still a mouthful for her, but at least she said please, thank you, and the occasional “meow”.  Occasionally she’d try to wander into people’s houses after they’d given her a treat.

She had one peanut butter cup when we got home, and she was definitely in the mood for more, but we’re holding her to one per day. And tomorrow, it won’t be so close to bedtime.

Steve’s Rules For Hallowe’en

  • Carving silhouetted pictures into a pumpkin is lame. Pumpkins should be faces.
  • Costumes which place a head on top of your head are not allowed.
  • Costumes which are not really costumes but instead just a big bag of walking product placement are not allowed. If you want to be a Power Ranger, then be one — not a walking billboard for the Power Rangers.
  • If you don’t say trick or treat, you don’t get any candy.
  • If you I ask for a trick and you can’t do a trick, then no candy for you.
  • You must say thank you.
  • If you want people to knock on your door, be clear about it. Lights on, pumpkins lit, the whole nine yards. When we went out with Ruby we hummed and hawed at half a dozen doors.

Steve “No Bluesname” Leroux

Kate and I listen to Preachin’ The Blues every Sunday morning on KEXP. It is our favorite of their specialty shows, and provides some relaxed, bluesy background to our relaxed Sunday mornings. Our weekends are not complete with out it.
Right now we’re listening to a song by Eddie “Cleanhead” Vincent. Blues players have awesome nicknames. I wish I had a blues nickname.

How the mighty have fallen

The NHL playoffs may be all-consuming up in Canada, but to get a sense of how far hockey has dropped off the radar here in the US, let me present the lineup for the channel that is showing the majority of the games:

  • 4:00pm: major indoor soccer league
  • 6:30pm: professional bull riding
  • 8:00pm: NHL playoff hockey
  • 11:00pm: professional bull riding

We Are Fabulous

Everywhere we go, people point us out.  At the mall and the market and the grocery store, they stop in their tracks, elbow their friends, smile in our direction, laugh with delight.  Everyone loves us.


Actually, since people don’t point and whisper when I’m alone (unless it’s behind my back), I’ll have to give most of the credit to Ruby.  She is a pretty freaking cute baby to begin with, and when she’s riding joey-style in my sling, with just her big head and the odd arm poking out… well, we can’t be beat.

For the most part, I ignore the adoration.  Part of me is just plain anti-social, but most of me wants to send a message.  It is perfectly normal for a ruggedly handsome man to be walking around the grocery store in the middle of the day with an adorable baby.  We are just doing our thing.  We’re not showing off, and this certainly isn’t a rare exception while we give Mom a much-needed day off. This is just our ordinary, fabulous life.

However, and despite my brusque demeanor, let me just say to all our passing fans: I’m glad we make you smile.  I think Ruby’s cute, too, and I can’t stop staring at her either.