Some Videos Worth Mentioning

I am trying to figure out the whole embedding video into wordpress, which is slightly more complex than it really should be, what with all the massive content that is out there. Rather than give a long winded blog post which I don’t have time to write and you might not have time to read, I am going to simply give you a couple of video’s!


Hunter Hogg Snow 2012 from Timothy Hogg on Vimeo.

Yosemite HD from Project Yosemite on Vimeo.

…trying to get back in the saddle

Well, thus far, 2012 has been chaos– managable chaos, but I am looking forward to next week– the first real work week in 2012 for Lili and I… Nothing makes you miss work like a nice long vacation followed by 3 snow days… but that is how I am feeling.  You get things started slowly and then BAM, everything comes to a slow crawl again as people are “working from home”, which means they take a long time to answer email and get focused… which is fine, but I was fresh off of three weeks of vacation, time where I spent thinking of new projects and new ways we can do things– not to mention that a new year always brings a new freshness to everything a person does, from work to home.. and I feel that motivation draining by the day… but I love SNOW.. I really do– and it’s really perfect here in Seattle, where we get it for a couple of days on average and if you want more, well there is always the mountains, which are less than an hour away…

..and then, then there is Elliott.  It’s hard to keep up with!  He is almost four months old now!  Crazy how fast all of it goes by, every couple of days I notice something new that he is doing– it is slight changes, but things you want to document, things you want to think yeah, he is doing that now… He is smiling almost all the time now and he smiles at things I say– even when he is grumpy or crying.  I think the biggest thing about him now is the way he stands– not by himself, but when you bring him up to stand, he does it and kind of locks his legs together and is very stable– not stable to where I would want to test him (he is only three months old!!), but you can certainly tell that he wants to stand.  He also loves to look around, especially at new things.  I am just so happy of where he is at right now.  I must admit, I didn’t think I was going to be a big fan of the newborn–>toddler stage, but the whole process of having a baby, from birth to now– it’s nothing but a constant reward that keeps on giving.  When Elliott was born, I was aside myself and I thought, well, this will change– but it hasn’t– I still can’t believe that we have such a beautiful baby, a baby whose disposition is just so pleasant that I am laughing and smiling so much– when he is happy we are happy.

That being said, it’s really difficult to think about much else than him and I think that is why I was so energized to get back into the swing of things with work and a schedule– because we really need it.  We need to know a schedule– it is really a major factor is parenting.  Keeping a schedule with virtually everything is recommended, sleeping, eating, daycare, etc– all of it, if followed, makes for a happy baby, which, in turn, makes for happy Hogg’s.  Keeping a schedule, on the other hand, is tough work– very tough and it can cause alot of tension.  It’s easy to get behind on things with everything that a day throws at you.  Most of my life, everything was optional, therefore a schedule was optional.  For the most part, the only thing that governs anything is a job.  If you have to start at a certain time, you have to leave at a certain time– which means that everything before that moment when you HAVE to leave the house is basically up to you– sleep in, skip breakfast.  Eat breakfast, skip a shower, etc.  With a little one, prep time is triple what it used to be.  You have to share duties with your significant other– she showers, you feed the baby, you shower, she gets the bags ready and puts the baby in the outfit of the day– which 3 out of 5 days, he will go potty in right bfore you head out– especially if you are late.  It is the rule of the gods and us mortals must simply rise to the challenge.  I don’t miss the single life at all– but that is because I gave it a fair shake.  18 years of being a kid, 18 years of the wierdness of moving through life on your own and now, 18 years of looking after someone else, ensuring that everyday of their life is what they want out of it.

As a final note, television is beginning to sicken me.  It feels like as a culture, we are just losing it.  The final straw is happening right now, while I watch Lili’s show, Project Runway– but this one is a tribute to Ms. Piggy, who, last time I checked… is.a.puppet.  You have these people who have designed something for a muppet and all of these people are acting like this this thing is real.  Watching these designs march down the runway and watching people with these serious looks on what is a total farce is just going beyond the absurd for me.  When you mix this with the current absurdity of the local news outlets making their rounds in this “snopocalypse” that we have a brewing here in Seattle, it makes me think of throwing this overly large television into the snopocalypse.. Project Runway, I can accept– this reality TV is fluff.  No harm, no foul.  News media, on the other hand, is much different.  The news has been a constant over the last three days– daytime shows, cancelled to bring breaking news– hoards of reporters on the streets, giving the up to the moment reporting as the storm comes and goes– and then when the storm calms, lets go to the weather man and see what is coming next… which I think is fine, if they were a constant news reporting agency.  The fact that snow gets this kind of response in Seattle and NOTHING else does– well, it says a lot for us here.  All of us.  All of us because we, as a people, allow this kind of thing to happen.  Weather is a easy thing to report– it comes, it goes and it is totally unpredictable.  Causalities and calamity and mayhem (thanks Allstate) are all at bay and it’s no one’s fault.  No terrorists, no political will.. just a little mother nature.  God only knows what these people would do when Mt. Rainier erupts… “The King5 Yellowjackets reporting from Paradise here on Mt. Rainier…”

Thanks for listening…

Germany Part Deux

This trip has been slightly exhausting and slightly over-relaxing.  I am looking so forward to our life getting back to normalcy when Lili and the baby are safely back in Seattle on the 13th.  I am leaving to head back in just a couple of days and will be spending most of this next weekend trying to sleep away the jetlag and get ready to start the new year off at my job.

Don’t get me wrong– I have enjoyed this trip, but it is exhausting to spend several weeks in a country where English is not the first or perhaps even second language — and to have a newborn baby crossing into toddler hood at the same time– it is a taxing experience.  Add to that the amount of travelling we have been doing while here — and the wierd weather– it is the warmest they have seen it in the north in years– literally nearly 50 degrees in January near the Danish border… and we brought the type of clothes one would wear whilst touring Russia.  Which also makes our baggage a little interesting.  I think we are going to have to bring back an extra bag or three with us with all of the things that Elliott got from his grandparents and the rest of the family.

Christmas and New Years are certainly done much differently here in the Germanland that at home in the states– or maybe it is more micro than that– perhaps these families, my German families, do things so differently than the Hogg/Smith clan does them– but either way, the cultural change is a swift current– one that grips you and at time pulls you under as your own traditions play an undercurrent against it– which is better, cooler, more unique, easier to adapt to?

One thing is for certain– the Germans have new years as a celebration hands down.  Who can top Berliner Donuts at the Stroke of midnight (that’s Jelly Donut to you, Americanishe), a giant schweet pretzel seen below…







This is just a picture from the web– the real one was cut into at the stroke of midnight.  When Martyna asked me what we do in America to celebrate the New Year, all I could come up with is, oh, we get drunk and watch fireworks.  The Germans– they not only watch fireworks, but they blow shit up– there do not appear to be any fireworks done by the cities– none that I have seen– but now that I write this, Lili will correct me I am sure… but they aren’t really needed because the people blow up so many fireworks that literally at 4am, it is still smoky outside from all of the munitons fired throughout the night.  I didn’t record any of it this year because we were too busy drinking Sekt, bourbon, eating donuts and bretzels and blowing.shit.up.

Elliott, of course, slept right through the whole thing, like a baby.  He had been quite grumpy for the last couple of days– I think that the travelling had really gotten to him.  Even though he is only three months, I think we all like to have a little consistency is our lives– even when you are a little bean like he is.   But we owed it to this fine family that Lili has to let all of them see the baby-boo and spend some time with him.  I wish that they could spend more time with him, but Susie and Uwe as the grandparents have gotten plenty of Elliott time in– since he was born, they have seen him for a total of 6 weeks– and since he is three months old, that makes it about 50% of the time that they have been able to spend time with him.  I think it is very good for everyone involved.  Family is important and I think that I have missed having a family like this for some years– most of my family is dead or doesn’t care what is going on– which, to some extent, is fine too– it’s a double edged sword– if you have too much family that is close, you never have any free time and if you have family that doesn’t talk or keep in touch than maybe you have too much time– but either way, life is what it is and you have to just enjoy it while you can– I can tell you first hand that watching Elliott grow this fast– it goes by so fast that now I can see why people in my family haven’t spoken in 10 years– time slips away if you dont watch it.

Ok, enough of that– I have included some pictures of the family and of the trip because they are special to us, so I hope you enjoy them.  I will try to write again as I have time before I head back to the states on Friday– my flight got bumped a day!

Happy New Year to everyone!