Comic: Found Photos

This is Pi Day #022

The key to a good selfie is to just stay focused and don’t be negative.

To be fair, I think the Girl is going through a phase when she is LESS likely than me to post a bad photo of herself online. But in reality, it’s become clear that she has two sets of friends: those who social and those who don’t.

The day is inevitably coming when she doesn’t just ask, she begs for permission to sign up for an insta-snap-twit-book-latest-fad account. I can still hide behind the “you gotta be 13” user agreement rules for a while, but then again: so many friends who social!

C’mon fellow parents.

Blog: Blueberry Pi Day

The best part about working on a blossoming project like “This is Pi Day” is that with a moderate amount of success, lots of interested readers, and a modest amount of user participation, is that I can try new things and (a) have more than just myself and a few family and friends enjoy it and (b) not worry about breaking something that is going to cost me money or a job.

This is just a web comic with a few hundred readers after all.

But as to point “a” the modest success of This is Pi Day has encouraged me to rehash part of an idea from a project or two back. I do this all the time: start some project, write some code, draw some pictures, churn out some copy, and then if it sticks (which it usually doesn’t) I work until it burns out my interest and move along. At the end I’m left with a few lessons learned, some archived content and occasional some technical assets.

In the last couple weeks I’ve dug out some old code I wrote about year and a half ago and re-purposed it for a version 2 of This is Pi Day’s website.

Unfaked News

See, eighteen months ago I had this idea about writing an interactive “news explainer” website for kids. It would take important news, simplify it down for (in essence) the person readers of this comic know as “The Girl” and anyone else and… voila? I started to hit a solid stride and then… well… the whole USA election meets fake news meets controversial media debate started, and so I dropped my efforts like a hot potato.

Even so, I’d written a pretty slick little custom content management system: basically a web site app with user accounts and point collection and interactive games and all sorts of full (and half) developed features.

And what do you know? It took about five hours of effort to retool it to work with my comics. So, officially I’m treating it like an alternate-beta-experimental side version of This is Pi Day, but… you never know. A little more development work, some content migration, and… maybe a brand new way to enjoy This is Pi Day.

Check it out at

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3.1415926… ?

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We regularly celebrate at the great circle of math, science and technology culture. This is Pi Day has been calculated as the product of one geeky dad, one curious kid, and an irrational volume of corny dad jokes.

This is Practicing (Part 3)

This is Pi Day #021.c

You can tune a piano but you can’t tuna fish.

Oddly enough, this comic comes out on “opposite day” in our musical household. Circumstances being what they are, The Girl will being accompanying her dad to HIS music lesson tonight to make sure he is the one practicing.

I asked her if she wanted to sit in, maybe jam a bit on the piano (there is one in the studio even though we only occasionally use it for tuning my violin) but her response was as expected: “No. I’ll just wait for you in the lobby…” pause… “Can I bring my iPad?”

I guess the apple don’t fall too far from the old tree after all.

This is Practicing (Part 1)

This is Pi Day #021.a

Fatherhood is like playing the piano. It looks easy until you try it.

I may be stumbling along trying to learn to play the piano, but like the all good parents of a ten year old, we’ve put the Girl in piano lessons. She’s been at it for six years.

…which means six years of practice.

…which means six years of forcing her to practice.

What is it with kids and musical instruments? Do any of them actually WANT to learn to play these things?

When she was really young this had meant hovering over her as she tapped each key, played each note. But nowadays it usually entails reminding her… and then giving her some privacy to get it done. That doesn’t necessarily mean it happens without a bit of coercing. And either way, I’m never quite sure what my role is in this little practicing game until the last note is played each night… and even then I’m just glad it’s done.