Nothing and Everything


Keeping twins in sync

Filed under: Daily Stuff — kevenker @ 8:37 am

The hardest part of having twins in keeping them in sync. We are at the stage where both twins are still not sleeping through the night. I know, 8 months old (as of tomorrow) and still not sleeping through the night. As you can imagine, after 8 months, this is no longer remotely fun. We are failures.

Even more annoying is that they are not even eating much when they wake up. An ounce, maybe two. It used to be that they would slurp down 6, 7, even 8 ounces at night when they awoke. Now it appears it’s not hunger.

The other night I thinking about this issue and I realized that, truth be told, ONE baby almost always sleeps through the night. Both of them are not. So we’re trying to figure out how to get both of them to sleep though the night at the same time.

Most advice boils down to letting them cry it out. Sometimes they just need to learn to fall asleep and self-soothe on their own. You can’t keep coming into the room and rescuing them from sleeplessness. Of course, that advice doesn’t work as well with twins because when one cries enough, the other one wakes up and then you have two crying babies to deal with instead of one.

At the moment, we have them in separate rooms so if one wakes up and cries, he/she doesn’t wake up the other one.



Sharing a moment

Filed under: Daily Stuff — kevenker @ 3:47 pm

The other day, Kamryn, our baby girl, grabbed my thumb. This is not terribly unusual in itself these days – she’s 5-1/2 months old so tends to grab a lot of things.

However, there was something strange about the grip. It felt different somehow. In a way more firm. I was doing something at the time – I don’t remember exactly what, but I wasn’t looking at her at the time. I looked at her and she really looked at me. Or perhaps into me. For a brief moment, we both saw each other in a very deep and powerful way. I felt a strong surge of love for her well up in me.

I told her I loved her and she relaxed her grip on my thumb and she went back to being a baby.


Babies and starting to post again

Filed under: Daily Stuff — kevenker @ 9:47 am

This blog is going to take a bit of a turn. I had been posting items related to technical and social issues, but, what the heck, I have it and now I have 2 wonderful 5 month old babies (not to mention amazing wife!) — things changed a lot since I last posted 3 years ago!! So I will be devoting more time to that and not so much on technical issues. Not that I’ve been blazing a hot trail in that department anyway, so not much of a loss.

It’s hard to believe it has been a bit over 5 months (it was 5 months 11/5). It’s amazing how fast they grow and change. I look at pictures of them when they were a month old and barely recognize them! Back then, you had to be super aware and careful of their head. You hear about needing to hold up their head but until you hold a tiny 0-day old baby and feel the massive weight of their head in relation to the rest of their body, you don’t really fully understand it.

Now of course, they are holding their head up by themselves and Karsten (the boy) is close to crawling. He can roll himself onto his belly and, with some effort and luck, roll himself back. I watched him last night on his belly on the floor. He was downstairs on hardwood which was his mobility downfall as the cloth of his jumper prevented him really getting traction. His legs were making the correct motion for movement so I’m sure he would have made some, albeit slow progress had there been more traction.

More to come.


Civilization Starter Kit

Filed under: Daily Stuff — kevenker @ 5:38 am

I heard this on the radio a while back. Very interesting idea. A guy named Marcin Jakubowski is developing a “Civilization Starter Kit”. 50 plans for all the needed machines to have a nice civilization. Her’s the TED talk:

Here’s his website:


Salt is bad for you! No wait, too little salt is bad for you! No wait! …

Filed under: Health — kevenker @ 3:24 pm

This was sent to be by a friend.

Once again, we don’t really know what the truth is. There are people who think that too much salt is bad for you. Yet, there are no long term studies that actually demonstrate that! In fact, there is some evidence that low-salt diets are just as bad as high-salt diets. So don’t worry about eating too much salt or too little because the inverse of what you’re doing will probably be what kills you.


Powershell pretty print XmlElement

Filed under: Programming — kevenker @ 6:37 pm

There are a number of ways to pretty print XmlDocument objects in Powershell. However, I was running low on luck finding an easy way to print an XmlElement. The library at looked promising but there’s an install, so I begged off.

But then I had a thought. The .NET XElement object in System.Xml.Linq has a very nice .ToString() function that prints out exactly what I was looking for. Output is indented and everything!

So then it was merely a matter of converting the XmlElement to an XElement object and calling .ToString()!

One trick is that you need to import the System.Xml.Linq library before you can use XElement.

# if you want a specific version, use the Load() and not LoadWithPartialName()
#$xlinq = [Reflection.Assembly]::Load("System.Xml.Linq, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=b77a5c561934e089") 
$xlinq = [Reflection.Assembly]::LoadWithPartialName("System.Xml.Linq")

function Print-XmlElement 
    $xElem = [System.Xml.Linq.XElement]::Load($xmlElem.CreateNavigator().ReadSubtree())

DONE! And copy/paste deployable to boot!

Powershell command to list certificates on remote machine

Filed under: Programming — kevenker @ 12:11 pm

psexec \\server -u domain\alias -p password cmd /c echo. ^| powershell gci ‘cert:CurrentUser\My’

One gotcha. psexec and powershell don’t play nice together. If you have powershell remoting enabled, then you could use that instead. Our servers don’t have it enabled uniformly.

I found a fix/workaround on that solved the issue. That’s what the “echo. ^|” is all about. The powershell stdin needs some input or the command will hang until you manually hit the enter key. The “echo.” simulates that. The “^|” is the escaped pipe character so you don’t have to enclose the whole line in quotes, and thereby get into powershell quoting hell trying to figure out the right combination of `” and \” and what-have-you.

You can of course change the cert: path to whatever you have access to to view other certificates as needed.


Is red meat bad for you?

Filed under: Health — Tags: , , — kevenker @ 9:41 am

There was a study recently from Harvard with appears to conclusively point towards a diet heavy in red meat being bad for you. Example article:


HOWEVER… there is apparently more to this story as Gary Taubes (author of Why We Get Fat and Good Calories, Bad Calories) explains in this post:

Finally, one point that is almost never mentioned anywhere is the quality of the meat consumed. Is the meat from a diabetic, unhealthy cow (i.e. your standard corn-finished industrial farm produced beef with a terrible Omega-3:6 ratio) or from a healthy cow that ate only grass (with an Omega 3:6 ratio on par with wild salmon and lots of CLA)?



Powershell command to get the size of a folder

Filed under: Programming — kevenker @ 2:40 pm

Got the basic of this from

The only real change is that I made it callable from the CMD-line and not have to run in Powershell. I did that mostly because of the environment I needed to run it in was not native Powershell unfortunately.

powershell "$colItems = (Get-ChildItem %temp% -recurse | Measure-Object -property length -sum) ; \"{0:N2}\" -f ($colItems.sum / 1MB) + \" MB\" "


Powershell script to delete a certificate

Filed under: Programming — kevenker @ 2:21 pm

This is just a quick little script to delete a certificate using powershell. It’s not as flexible as one might want it to be but should get you started. Plus, it could be optimized a bit, but it gets the job done! 🙂

You’ll notice the line:

new-object System.Security.Cryptography.X509Certificates.X509Store "My","CurrentUser"

The “My” is the StoreName (AddressBook, AuthRoot, CertificateAuthority, Disallowed, My, Root, TrustedPeople, TrustedPublisher). See for more info.

“CurrentUser” is the StoreLocation with “CurrentUser” or “LocalMachine” the only two options at present. See for more info.


write-host "`nCertificate search pattern = '$certPattern'"
$store = new-object System.Security.Cryptography.X509Certificates.X509Store "My","CurrentUser"
$certs = $store.Certificates
foreach ($cert in $certs)
    if ($cert -like $certPattern)
        write-host "Deleting: "$cert.Thumbprint $cert.Subject
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