Eliza & Juliet riding their bikes

Eliza riding her bike by herself for the first time. Note the pedals are strapped to her feet to help and the pedals arms are fixed – no lazy coasting on this bike. The bike has really improved her strength since we got it.

And little Juliet loves chasing her around on her little trike. She is almost up to to a big girls bike too.

Eliza gets her new bike

After two weeks of repainting Eliza’s new bike from white and blue, to flamingo pink and yellow. Eliza gets to see her new bike put together for the first time and take a ride.

(This video was taken back in late 2013 – just starting to catch up with actually doing stuff with them)

Baby Juliet and Fiona.

This time for sure – a catch up

So it’s been a while. Again. The last 4 years have been a blur and every time I think of writing a bit I think about the massive post I would have to write to catch everyone up so the next little one made sense.

This is not that post. Probably.

The last 4-5 month I’ve been rediscovering WordPress, both for future work and personal reasons. Been a lot of fun.

Personally and professionally the last four years have seen a lot of changes – as most four years would. To try and summarise in some kind of order.

  • Discovered Eliza has Cerebral Palsy just before she turned two. Legs are moderately effected with no other obvious issues. Today she can walk unassisted, has Botox treatment 3-4 times a year, and will be looking into further surgical options in 2014.
  • Travelled to Hobart, Tasmania in mid 2011 to see Fiona’s brother get married. Got caught up with the volcanic ash problem that grounded planes for a week.
  • Announced we we expecting our second baby in June 2011.
  • August 2011, moved to Dubbo. Fiona’s mother and gran still here, better work opportunities for both of us.
  • Fiona starts working at Dubbo Base Hospital as midwife.
  • Jan 16, 2012 – Juliet Ava Quinn arrives. A few days late, but otherwise a great if not nervous pregnancy. She is almost two now and a bundle of energy. Mobile very early, but the vocabulary hasn’t been as fast as Eliza which is not unusual.
  • Late 2011 – Late 2012. Apart from Juliet, a pretty crappy year. Went to way too many funerals and said goodbye to some good friends (Gran, Lizzie, Sam & Agusta, Darren, and even our dog Jhett). Work wasn’t great for Fiona or myself, but at the end of the year we finished on a positive step with Fiona moving into a Community Nurse position.
  • 2013 has been a good year. Nothing fantastic, but going forward, and so far no one has died. Well lots have died, but nothing we have had to suit up for.
  • Eliza has just finished her second year of childcare, Juliet her first. Ideally Eliza might have started earlier, Juliet later, but here we are. Both love going to school (usually) and with Fiona matching her work days with them, we all have a bit more organised time.
  • Eliza has gotten a bike made for her by TAD and getting good riding it. We had a lot of fun turning it from white and blue into pink and yellow. Will post a video soon.
  • Dubbo has been great. Made lots of new friends, work has been good, plenty of old friends have visited, and overall we are pretty happy.

Well ok that’s pretty much covers it and brings most things up to date. Really do hope I post more – have been working out how to use YouTube to post all the great videos we have been getting of the kids.

See you soon.

The new Michael Quinn Family website – update complete.

This is now the “family” website for Michael Quinn and his… family.

I’ve had this blog URL for many years and never really been sure what to do with it. Do I use it for posts about my family, or use it as a general blog for anything I want to go on about?

Obviously there is different audiences for both – direct family members just want to hear about Eliza, and not necessarily about the latest widget. Other friends might want to see what I am interested in – but could care less about what Eliza did last night that was sooooo funny. I know – bloody “Breeders”.

So during my work-break over Xmas 2009, I decided to split things up – the bleeding obvious after years of indecision. This blog – MichaelQuinn.com.au will be particularly directed at friends and family who just want to keep up with what myself, Fiona, Eliza and Jhett are up to. My new blog – MichaelQ.com.au will be my “personal” daily blog for whatever stuff happens to come along. I’ve also set up Down Under Geek as my tech blog – it’s been around for a while too but hopefully I’ll be using it a bit more in 2010. We’ll see.

As you can see I’ve changed the look of this site. Had a lot of fun the last week or so updating my skills with WordPress sites. After sifting thru themes I had bookmarked over the last couple of years, I ended up looking at about 40 of them and those were quickly shrunk down to a list of about 10 I’m using across about 6 sites.

I like the simplicity of this one, though I have modded it quite a bit. Added the FlickRrss feed you see on the left of the homepage, changed the navigation and a few bits down the bottom. Still would like to work on it a bit more but for now I’m done playing and its time to actually write stuff.

Hope you like the site – check out some of the others too.

All the best for 2010

Eliza Quinn arrives

First the great news. Fiona and I had our first baby last week – 20th May, 2009. She is called Eliza Scarlett Quinn. More on why later.

She arrived 2 months premature. 30 weeks and 5 days. But she has been an amazingly strong little thing so far – was only on direct assisted breathing for 48 hours or so, and was breathing just air by herself after a few days. She will be in her incubator for a few more weeks and wont be home until around her original due date of July 23. But we go to the hospital several times a day to see / feed / care for her.

She is awesome.

She does have her own domain already at elizaquinn.com.au – but nothing is there yet. Soon.

I have started to post a few pictures of her on my FlickR site – flickr.com/photos/michaelquinn/ Not a lot so far but I am going through lots of them and doing a bit of a crash course on iPhoto 09. More soon.

Fiona is doing great – no problems at all. Dad is getting over the shock of it happening way before he was ready – but expects it won’t be the last time that happens.

Anyway. Will write more on it soon….

As always – big plans to blog more blah blah blah. Please follow me at twitter.com/michaelq Most of my ramblings come out there for now.

Shine on.

MQ @ Facebook

Well after setting up with Twitter a couple of weeks ago (184 posts and counting), I somehow ended up finally opening a Facebook account.

Had a lot of fun with it so far – definitely the big time sucking vortex it has the reputation for.  But after a couple of days finding friends and playing around with some widgets, its not so addictive.

Add me as a friend.

MQ @ Twitter

Last week I decided to check out Twitter. Twitter lets you post small messages (140 chr max – SMS length) and then anyone who is “following” you, automatically – and often instantly – gets these messages. Whenever someone you are following posts and update – you get the message in your “follow feed”.

You can find / follow me here on Twitter – twitter.com/michaelq

I’ve heard about Twitter for around a year or more. It sounds a bit silly but once I tried it I really liked it. I find it a lot easier to throw up a quick Twitter on “what I am doing now” than compose a blog entry for some reason.

4 years of Blog – 17 entries give or take.
1 week of Twitter – 70+ entries and counting.

I’ve also found a lot of people using it in the same way. By following people who I normally read their blog or follow their website, I’m seeing a lot more small and interesting messages flowing through during the day. It’s like the little details to the big post at the end of the week.

I’ve posted my personal Twitter feed here on the site – the last 5 entries are listed at the top of the column on the right. At the bottom of the column I’ve got my feed which includes all the people I am following and comments etc – last 20 entries for that one.

Quick plug. Normally you can just go to your Twitter page to read / post Tweets. A great desktop application I’ve found is Twitterific which pops up when you have new tweets to read and also lets you make a post from it too. It’s normally free – an ad pops up now and then which you can pay $14.95 to get rid of. I’m trying to work out how to pay $15 for it and keep the ads as some have been useful and certainly not a pain.

A million small steps back to writing, and photos on FlickR

It’s been almost 3 years since I did any real blogging on this website. I’m hoping that’s about to change.

Last couple of years I’ve been so busy with one thing or another – work, life, whatever else came along.

So I thought it was time to get back into writing more for myself – both here and on my other blogs like Down Under Geek and 360Mac. I’d like to be doing a bit more writing in one form or another. Jerry Pournelle says you need to write a Million Words before you can be a writer. He seems a smart man – no idea how to count them though.

Recently I’ve been going through all my old photos on my FlickR account. Nearly all of them had bad titles – usually the default image name off the camera like DC32453.jpg. Plus the tags were all a bit wrong, the descriptions weren’t very descriptive, needed to set up collections and sets. 3 years down the track I didn’t need all of the wedding photos on there anymore. So I went through and deleted most of them. Still lots on there from the wedding – but a better sample now.

Today I also added some new pics – hope to be doing that on a regular basis. We have lots of great photos on the iMac, need to share them. Put up a few today from the Wentworth Show, and a nice one of Fiona and Kellie we took last year.

Gotta (re)start somewhere. This seems a good place.


Sydney / Batboys weekend wrapup

Been back from Sydney / Bathurst a little over a week now.  Been flat out unpacking the rest of the house, setting up broadband, catching up with work and other things.  I’ve been a bit slack on this blog but I’ve been updating some of the others – Batboys, MacSwitch and Down Under Geek.

Batboys was a great weekend.  I’ve talked about it a lot on the Batboys website so I’ll direct you there is you want to read more.  We had about 15 guys show up, had a great couple of days, and I can’t wait for the next one.
The other great thing I got to do in Bathurst was catch up with an old friend from high school – Judith Segedin – now Judith Wilde.  I had caught the XPT from Sydney to Bathurst on Friday morning – still a great trip: the scenery in the Blue Mountains was beautiful but after 3 1/2 hours I was ready to get off.  Judith picked me up at the train station with her little girl.  We spent the day together at her place and went out for lunch at Zigglers.  In the afternoon we picked up her boy from school and then later in the day, Heather Fillery came round and we spent some time with her.
It was great to catch up with Judith and spend some great quality time together.  She was kind enough to let me spend a few hours with her again on Sunday while I waited for the XPT to take me back to Sydney.  I got to catch up with her husband Lindsay who is a great guy.  Thanks for the great weekend Judith.
There are a couple of pics of Judith on my moblog.
Got back to Sydney Sunday night at went to the Hard Rock Cafe with Gus.  Good to spend a bit of time with him although as he was in jury duty all day it was a bit frustrating to have him away all day.
After a week away it was great to get home again on Monday night.  Missed Fiona and Jhett very much.  Probably the first time Fiona and I have really been apart in two years and it wasn’t much fun.  But the break was great and I really enjoyed my time away.