My niece joined the family on July 12th, 2010. This special young lady's mother is my younger sister, which in classic Chinese culture makes me her Jiu Jiu (舅舅) -- thus the title of this blog. Here I intend to semi-regularly post reflections, thoughts, stories, and assorted whathaveyous pertaining to our trip to China, adoption in general, and (mostly) watching my niece grow up. Since the web is a very public place, I will attempt to maintain my family's privacy while telling the story... but I invite you to follow the blog and come along for the adventure!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015


Yes, I know I have a lot of catching up to do, but right now I've just got time for a coupla quickies... all related to changes.

Pipsqueakisms: The cuteness of using a "bang" and a "screwter" to put together furniture may be gone, but Miri's moved from one-word Pipsqueakisms to entire statements. For example, the other day she marched up to Grandma with a puzzled expression on her face and introduced her latest question with, "Grandma, I'm perplexed. That means I'm confused."

Photography: Well, it finally happened -- my 50th Birthday Present, Traveled to China and Back, Frequently Used and Carefully Handled Lumix DMC-TZ5 slipped out the (unnoticed) open zipper of its case on my belt under just the right set of conditions.  I was distracted and didn't feel its weight shift; I was transferring some papers from one hand to another so neither was open to attempt a catch; I had just stepped off the relatively soft dirt of a park path onto a solid concrete slab; aaand it landed (with a sickening thud) at just the right angle to not (obviously) break the lens or body but to turn the big metal ring at the base of the lens from circle to oval.  Aside from a bad tummyache the rest of the day (despite the happy presence of several rarely-seen family members from Florida), the result is that until repairs -- if possible -- have been effected, the next few posts will feature the last photos taken with my old friend. The silver lining is that I'd been getting concerned over the behavior (Dude, you mean the occasional lack of behavior!) on the part of the zoom control and had been wondering about repair or replacement, so I'd already done some research... so once the last of the July 16th photos are posted, you'll be seeing photos from a brand-new Lumix DMC-ZS40, which is kinda like my old friend on steroids. Stay tuned, I'm expecting to do a little better but there's a learning curve...!

And as long as I'm talking about learning curves, one more change...

Blogging: No, I'm not going to stop. (Okay, who just said, "Darn it!"?!?) You're not likely to notice much of a difference here, but another old mechano-digital friend is also approaching a life change. My good ol' MacBook Pro (which, like my camera, helped document the China trip and has produced a couple of videos about it since then) is really showing its age... As in, "You need to update from Snow Leopard to Yosemite, but first you need to have the battery serviced and replaced, and as long as you're doing that you might want those wonky diagnostics from the logic board checked out, along with maybe checking on all the wear on the Firewire port..."  The result is that I'm cleaning up the hard drive on this old-timer but will shortly be blogging from a brand-new MacBook Pro... assuming I can ever get used to all the changes in MacOS since Snow Leopard's glory days... Gaah, I hate learning curves! (For those of you concerned about recycling old computer equipment, my plan is to have as much of the servicing done as I can afford, then give this laptop to AJ to replace her generation-older model that the cats have torn a couple of keys off & that's warped strangely so it doesn't quite close all the way any more... or maybe get a good tough case and let Miri learn how to use a keyboard... we'll see.)

Anyway, those are some of the changes affecting how I document the family's adventures (and occasionally even get some work done)... But now it's almost 4:30 in the morning and I haven't gotten to bed yet so I'll save all my catching up for the next few posts.

Wan an!

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