Ashley Richards

It’s a girl!

September 4th, 2010 Posted in Family

So it’s sugar and spice and everything nice. Today we went to Som Visao for our 3-D ultrasound to find out what we pretty much already knew – we’re having a baby girl! (Our hunches were good.) She was moving around and keeping her legs crossed throughout most of it, making it a bit difficult to figure out if she was a she. But in the end the tech was able to figure it out…just not in 3-D. We did see that she likes to suck her thumb, the umbilical chord and her foot. So it looks like we’ll have to invest in some pacifiers.

Here’s one of the better still picture of her.

3D Ultrasound Still

And here’s a short clip of the video.

And for those curious as to where we’re registered….I can’t find what I want in one place.  And I’m sure we’ll be adding more to them over the coming weeks.

And I’m more than willing to beg, borrow or steal any baby girl clothes and gear anyone wants to part with.

Half way there

August 29th, 2010 Posted in Uncategorized

No this isn’t a Bon Jovi reference. I’m more than halfway through the pregnancy now and each day brings something. Mainly the little one is now kicking harder every once in a while and the tummy is getting bigger and bigger. And every so often there’s a minor panic that I will have to go through labour in December.

Sorry no belly pics yet. They’re trapped on the SLR.

The nesting instinct is kicking in, but right now the room is Brendon’s office and we still need to find out if it’ll be a boy or girl. That will happen next weekend. So instead of buying furnishings Im buying clothes.

Today we stopped into baby Gap after tea (yeah I can finally stomach tea again). And oh I’m in trouble if it’s a girl. The boy clothes are cute, but Gap has an American in Paris line this year that is way too chic and cute. I may be buying pieces for next fall. But as I was fawning over the clothes, Brendon was laughing at me. He was getting a kick out of me being the typical girl and said that it was like I was dressing a doll.

In the end I got the cutest little white faux shearling lined fleece sack with a hood with little tiny bear ears. I expect I’ll get a bit of use out of it the winter. And I got a discount which made it even better. Too bad I didn’t know the sex yet otherwise I could have gotten the discount on more stuff. Oh well maybe next time.

Oh, by the way, I’m pregnant

July 8th, 2010 Posted in Family

So after two years of trying, two miscarriages, loads of doctors, drugs and peeing on hundreds of sticks…we’re going to have a baby. Yay!

So to answer the top 10 questions that usually come up:

  1. When are you due? Christmas week
  2. How far along are you? As of today, 16.5 weeks – or 4 months and a bit.
  3. Is it a boy or girl? Dunno, might find out at the end of July. If we do, I’m sure you’ll hear about it.
  4. Have you picked out names? If we have, we’re not telling. I don’t want to hear that you knew someone that became a criminal that had that name. If we like the name, we like it, and you just have to deal with your hang-ups about the name.
  5. How much weight have you gained? If you are not currently pregnant yourself, trying to get pregnant or knew the answer to that question before I got pregnant – not telling you. How’d you like it if I asked you every week you look slightly bloated – how much did you gain? (yes, it’s a touchy subject.)
  6. How do you feel? Hot, tired, achy, nauseous – the usual pregnancy stuff. But it’s a good thing and I’m not complaining.
  7. Hospital, homebirth, midwife, GP, ob/gyn? I plan to deliver in a hospital with an ob/gyn.
  8. So Christmas baby…Christmas name? Combined birthday & Christmas gifts? No and no.
  9. Have you felt the baby yet? I dunno…it could have been gas. When it’s your first you typically can’t tell the difference and don’t really feel the baby until later.
  10. Can I touch your belly? Ask Brendon. He might get jealous.

So as you can see, part of the reason I haven’t posted on here in ages is because the only thing worth talking about to me was the whole trying to get pregnant thing. And it is trying in both senses of the word. And recounting the whole process in a public forum is boring and depressing for everyone. So I stayed away from it. Now that I have happier things to say, I’ll hopefully get back into posting more.

Black History of Vancouver

February 16th, 2010 Posted in Uncategorized

So when I moved to Vancouver from the New York area, the thing that struck me was – where are all the black people  (same thought when we moved to Mountain View, CA by the way)?  You go to Seattle and you see black people, but for some reason the black population here is super small. It’s not like it’s lily white here either. There are loads of other ethnicities – Chinese, Japanese, Indian, Persian. And pretty much everyone gets along really well and everyone celebrates each others’ holidays – as long as it involves food.  So it might be a surprise to some that Vancouver does have a black history and should talk more about it.

Brendon’s reading Vancouver Special by Charles Demers and reading out the interesting and funny bits to me as he gets to them. (It makes for a lot of interruption because there’s so much good stuff in it.)  According to Charles, there’s a hidden black history in Vancouver and no real reason why it’s not talked about. Did you know that Joe Fortes was a black Barbadan? Or that Jimmy Hendricks’ family lived in the West End? It makes me wonder just how much more of Vancouver’s black history is hidden. Do they talk about it each February in school and I don’t know about it since I didn’t go to school here?  (February is Black History Month in the U.S. case you didn’t know.)

I have some reading to do…

Because the stakes are so small…

January 12th, 2010 Posted in Uncategorized

Reading some of the Vancouver blogs today there seems to be a little mudslinging going on over some personal squabble between two people that wound up online. Right now there seems to be only one side of the story out there, but from what it says it looks like both sides need to walk in each other shoes. But why do I bring this up?

When I left here for California in 2004, no one was really blogging. If you were, then it was like being employee #5 at Google. Of course as this blogging thing took off you’d earn more and more readership, your stock would go up and then you’d become “rich and famous” online. (At least in your topic area.) Easy to do then when there’s not much competition in what would become the blogosphere.

Fast forward to today. A lot of Vancouver bloggers are just that – bloggers about Vancouver. Maybe they talk about a particular scene, but they confine it to their city. Their topic area is fairly small. And so the number of people that know them is a lot smaller than, say, Daily Kos. Well, a few Vancouver bloggers that I’ve met seem to have an inflated sense of their place in this world. After meeting them, I’ve stopped following them or trying to talk to them. For some reason, the meeting was just as warm as if they were a movie star in a bathroom stall and I was trying to get an autograph.

They have a nice little following and attention in Vancouver. I don’t deny that takes dedication to your blog. But if anyone is honest, Vancouver is really just a big small town. Everyone knows everyone else. Everyone knows everyone else’s business. And if you’re an expert in something…most likely you’re the only one in town that’s the expert.  But they’re not the “rich and famous” of the blogosphere. They’re the popular kids of Vancouver. And well…like in any small town the popular kids can get a little bitchy.

And looking at today’s blogging gossip, I’m not surprised this is happening but I was reminded of a quote that is frequently attributed to Henry Kissinger:

“University politics are vicious precisely because the stakes are so small.”

Long time no post

October 20th, 2009 Posted in Uncategorized

This is a very long overdue post. I didn’t realize until last week that I haven’t posted here for nearly a year.

Three old books, studio shot

Well, last week I went to BookCamp Vancouver. It was good to be around people who’s lives don’t revolve around technology and social media. I felt like the overarching theme in the conversations had to do with how publishers can remain relevant when anyone can produce their own book and what do digital formats mean for copyright. Bascially, if someone had been at a newspaper conference 5 to 6 years ago you’d probably be hearing similar things about blogging.

I don’t have crystal ball. Maybe the publishing industry will go the same way as newpaper industry. Who knows. But as long as publishers are looking for ways to adapt, experiment and figure out how to take advantage of digital format – and learn from the newspaper industry – they might be okay.

The Facebook Cut Direct

December 9th, 2008 Posted in Tech

It seems that Facebook has brought back the social pressure of having to acknowledge people that you barely know or haven’t spoken to in years and didn’t hang out with all that much back then. What do you do if someone that you were acquainted with 10 or more years ago tries to connect to you and you know that if you rejected them it would cause a flurry of email and IM gossip of how bitchy you are? There doesn’t seem to be any guidelines out there. An old friend and I were chatting about it this evening, how it’s all a little weird, and forces you to say you’re “friends” with people because you don’t want to be mean. But I really just want a little privacy. 

The Victorians had a name for the act of ignoring people you know. (I basically majored in Victorian literature, so that’s why I know it.) It’s the cut direct, and I’m not sure why we ever got rid of the phrase.

THE “CUT DIRECT” – For one person to look directly at another and not acknowledge the other’s bow is such a breach of civility that only an unforgivable misdemeanor can warrant the rebuke. Nor without the gravest cause may a lady “cut” a gentleman. But there are no circumstances under which a gentleman may “cut” any woman who, even by courtesy, can be called a lady. On the other hand, one must not confuse absent-mindedness, or a forgetful memory with an intentional “cut.” Anyone who is preoccupied is apt to pass others without being aware of them, and without the least want of friendly regard. Others who have bad memories forget even those by whom they were much attracted. This does not excuse the bad memory, but it explains the seeming rudeness. A “cut” is very different. It is a direct stare of blank refusal, and is not only insulting to its victim but embarrassing to every witness. Happily it is practically unknown in polite society.

4. Salutations of Courtesy. Post, Emily. 1922. Etiquette

So basically today’s equivalent of the cut direct, or cut, is not accepting a friend request, LinkedIn invite or even an IM request. Facebook does have the ability for you to add them to your “friends” list and limit what they can see. It’s not super well known since I’ve talked to a number of people this past month who didn’t even know it existed – and really wished they had before.

But for the other services out there….it’s not like I can add you to my IM list and select when only you or the group you belong to can see when I am online. Ultimately everyone becomes a victim or perpetrator of the cut direct. I don’t think the Emily Post people have any guidelines on how to deal with this. And there needs to be some little handbook on this. Anyone know of one?

I voted!

October 28th, 2008 Posted in Stuff

I finally got my ballot in the mail today. I got to vote for President and NO on 8! Hopefully I’ll be able to get it back to San Jose by 8pm on Nov 4.

Funny thing is that they give you an “I voted” sticker. I’ll proudly wear mine around Vancouver next Tuesday.

Iz in your tea cup writin ur blogs

October 5th, 2008 Posted in Business, Fun, Writing

This weekend I “soft launched” Ch.ai. It’s a tea blog. Basically I drink so much tea, find so many little tid bits related to tea, that I could fill a whole blog talking about it. And I don’t put it all here otherwise it would become rather clear just how crazy I am when it comes to tea. I don’t claim to be an expert on it. I’ll leave that to the professionals that go to Asia, India, Sri Lanka and Africa to source the tea, but I hope to entertain other tea lovers with my finds.

There are about a dozen posts over on my tea blog – stuff that I’ve been bookmarking for a while now.I’m slowly getting through it all.

So remember: Tea solves all.

Flickr Photo Download: Ra Tea