Yo Gabba Gabba in Seattle

Team Smith partied with DJ Lance Rock and the entire Yo Gabba Gabba gang at the Seattle Paramount Theater back on November 12th. We all had a blast with quality fun and great music enjoyable by all ages.

Yo Gabba Gabba Yo Gabba Gabba Yo Gabba Gabba OwenFall2011_1010763

I was impressed with how well produced and coordinated everything seemed and the variety of topics and audience participation activities. Accordingly, I highly recommend Yo Gabba Gabba Live to any family lucky enough to have the YGG come to town for a visit.

Yo Gabba Gabba Yo Gabba Gabba

Moving to Windows Phone Engineering

It has been 3 months since my last post. Mostly this is due to TB and I moving to less frequent Owen updates—which reminds me we still need to post a 2 1/4 year photo. We have also fallen victim to the Facebook craze which most our family and friends use to keep up with our latest goings-on.

However, it is also due to my recent move to the Windows Phone Division from the Developer Division. Good thing I began my switch to Windows Phone when it debuted last year, eh?

I spent my entire 13 years at Microsoft in DevDiv working on a litany of platforms and tools developers have used to build consumer and enterprise applications for mostly desktop computers and servers. Now, I am off doing pretty much the same thing, building application platforms, but this time targeting mobile devices. Phones are obviously an exciting place to be with all the buzz and tremendous growth surrounding iOS and Android. Having worked on several seminal products—including Visual J++, ASP.NET 1.0 and Silverlight 1.0—I am accustomed to being the underdog in the highly-charged race to woo developers to nascent technology. Perhaps I will start a series on what I think makes Windows Phone special having spent the last few years as an iPhone devotee. Stay tuned…

In other news, Owen started playing soccer in Arena Sports Lil’ Kickers. He’s in the Thumpers (2-3 year old) group where they mostly run around, kick stuff, and learn to follow the coach’s instructions. It is really funny watching him develop and a good way to get the family outdoors each Saturday morning.

Owen’s First Soccer Practice

The Essence of Alpha

Sixteen years ago I became a member of the Rho Nu Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. At that time, most of the gentlemen featured in the short clip below were in preschool. While almost two decades separate our respective pledge experiences, watching this video brought back so many of the powerful emotions that made and make Alpha dear to me. Coincidentally, if you ask a Man of Alpha why he pledged or what the fraternity means to him, chances are he will struggle mightily to find the right words to convey its essence.

Spring 2011 – Beta Gamma Chapter from John Ledbetter on Vimeo.

Alpha is more than the pledging, the stepping, the strolling, the chanting, the signs, the gear, the partying, the debauchery, the brotherhood, the service, the academics, the secrets, the history. Yet, it is all those, too. I share this video because it captures the essence of Alpha better than I can and does so with no words. Now you know.

In the process of preparing to write this post I realized it is quite conceivable that, in sixteen years, Owen could be that skinny kid, standing with his line brothers in the rain, Alpha Phi Alpha emblazoned on his chest. How powerful would that be?

Owen at 2 Years

We have a two-year-old. Wow!

Owen has had several major developments this month with his independence and maturity being the recurring theme. First, he refuses to sit in his high chair preferring a barstool at the kitchen island, instead. Second, he thinks he is too old to wear a bib though the messes he creates suggest otherwise. Third, he walks down the stairs without holding onto the railing. Also, he started calling TB and me by our first names. Lastly, he is starting to speak in 3- and 4-word sentences.

It has been amazing watching our little guy grow and we hope you have enjoyed following his development through his second year. The Owen picture posts will be fewer and farther between from this point forward. Getting him to sit stationary is nearly impossible and I imagine it will only get more difficult—well, at least until he is 25.

Owen at 2 years

Here is the headshot.

Owen at 2 years