Great Expectations

Meet Miss Ainsleigh Brynn, The Newest Member Of Our Family

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The End Of The World

Ainsleigh Brynn Hopkins
5 March 2007 --- 16 September 2007.
Daddy's tiny angel, returned to Heaven all too soon.

Sunday, June 24, 2007


At long last, I've processed a bunch of pictures and uploaded them to the Flickr page.  There are a lot more pictures, and in higher resolution, available via my WinkFlash account.  Why two accounts? Simple: WinkFlash doesn't enforce a disk or upload quota, which I like.  But Flickr doesn't require visitors to join to see pictures, which I also like.  So for now I'm maintaining both pages.  If you're interested in the extra high-res pictures, let me know and I'll help you get set up over there. 

Thursday, April 05, 2007


My computer problems solved, I've got a lot more pictures up over at the Flickr page.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

A Couple Of Very Quick Points

1.  I think my WinXP install, now in continuous use for ~20 months, is dead.  I'm not sure of this; there are a few more tricks I can use to try to bring it back to life. But the prognosis is, shall we say, Not Good.

2.  In response I've learned how to do the resizing from the Linux command line.  Tonight I'm planning on copying all the pictures from my laptop to my work computer and resizing them remotely.

3.  Because anything that can be done from the command line can be automated with a shell script, I expect to have all of the pictures resized within about fifteen minutes of getting home tonight.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Missing Pictures

I'm working on the pictures, I really am.  Before I post pictures, though, I need to process them in several ways.  First, I need to look at all the pictures and choose the ones worth keeping.   I then sort the pictures into folders with descriptive names.  Within each folder, I look at each picture and give it a descriptive name in place of its camera-assigned serial number.  Today, I remember the context for each picture; for instance, I can differentiate the pictures taken at St. Mark's and at Primary Children's.  In ten years, I may not be able to  do this.  Thus, if I'm going to relay all the information in these photos to my adult daughter thirty years in the future, I've got to make the relevant annotations now.  Anyhow, once the photos are sorted and named I have to make a "network size" copy of each one that I can upload to Flickr without killing my disk allotment or your bandwidth.  Then lastly I've got to upload and caption them all, and post a ping here at GE/BQ letting y'all know that they're up.

Unfortunately we've been, ahem, a little busy lately.  What's more, my computer isn't really cooperating.  When I open a folder of pictures, Windows Explorer wants to render a thumbnail of every file inside it.  Because I've got a whole lot of pictures in each folder, this is a little more than my computer can handle.  Consequently, WE crashes every few minutes as I try to sort and rename the pictures.  To circumvent this problem I've developed a hybrid approach by which I look at the pictures with Firefox (which sensibly just displays the filenames as html links) and rename and sort them from the command line.  This is cumbersome and extremely annoying, not least because I know virtually nothing about the allegedly obsolete DOS command line language, and thus have to have a third window open to a DOS cheat sheet.  Anyway, be assured that I am working (slowly) on this and I do hope to have a bunch of pictures up soon.

Friday, March 23, 2007


The echo from yesterday afternoon shows Ainsleigh's ductus all but
closed; there's just the barest squirt of blood flow through it, and
they think it's on a trajectory that will have it completely closed
over the next few days. As it has closed, not only has the aortic
coarctation not gotten any worse, but it has actually vanished
completely. Blood flow through her aorta is now entirely normal.

This wasn't really supposed to happen; I'm inclined to use the word
"miracle" myself, but won't hold you to this description. What we do
know is that the inside of her aorta, just below the junction with her
left subclavian artery, had a clearly visible obstruction on Friday,
Sunday, and Tuesday that was clearly not present on Thursday. Call
that whatever you want.

Anyway, soon after the echo our cardiologist pronounced Ainsleigh
healthy and ready to come home. After some paperwork and infant CPR
training, we left the hospital at about 6:15 yesterday afternoon. By
7:00 we had our daughter at home --- still two days before she was
technically "due" to be born. We have some follow up to do with
cardiology (she's still got those septal defects, for instance), but
she appears to be healthy and happy to be at home.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

The Hardest Part

A technician is going to echo Ainsleigh's heart again today. When she's done, she'll write a report. Then a pediatric cardiologist is going to read the report and examine the images from the echo and decide whether he thinks the ductus is still open and whether he believes that the coarctation is a problem.  If the latter remains unclear, he may consult a few other cardiologists.  When he's got a Final Answer, he'll report the answer to a neonatologist, who will report it to a nurse practitioner, who will report it to Ainsleigh's bedside nurse, who will report it to Sarah, who in turn will call and report it to me.  Whatever the results are, I think I can handle it.  But the waiting for information to trickle all the way down to me is simply excruciating.