Louis is growing

Louis playing

It's about time I gave an update on our son Louis. He's doing great, putting on 200 grams a week for the last two weeks and growing 3cm since his birth. All that growth requires a lot of food, which means Holly has been getting very interrupted sleep as he likes to eat at night and sleep through the day.

When he's awake, he's getting more and more interactive, exploring his environment and developing his senses. The changes we see day-to-day are quite amazing, and it's quite exciting observing it.

We've taken a load of photos since we've been home, so check them out.

Welcome Louis Anthony Rumble

Louis and Holly straight after birth

After a long and quite painful birth, Holly delivered our son Louis Anthony Rumble on Thursday 30th September 2009 at 22:53. He was 2.7kg (5lb 15oz), 48cm and all the bits in the right places. And absolutely gorgeous!

Yesterday morning he had a little episode soon after we got into our post natal room. Holly woke me up saying he was a funny colour and sure enough, he was what I'd describe as aubergine. I pressed the emergency button they have in all the post natal rooms and cavalry arrived and took over, reviving the little fella. He's been in the neo natal ward for observation and, all going well, will be back with us today. Apparently these blue episodes aren't uncommon in the first 24 hours, particularly when they come early (3 weeks and a few days early).

Holly's pretty exhausted and sore, but is doing very well. Louis being in the neo natal ward has actually given us both a little bit of time to catch up on much needed sleep. We'll need it in the weeks ahead!

Holly and Louis will probably be in hospital for a bit yet, particularly as Holly needs to slowly step down the blood pressure meds under observation. It'll give us time to learn the rhythms and needs of the new addition to the family, and to get the breast feeding thing right.

Thanks for all the wishes being sent from all corners of the globe! We're absolutely thrilled at our beautiful little boy, and can't wait to bring him home.

Rollercoaster ride: birth imminent

Holly, very pregnant, 23rd September 2009

Holly and I have had a bit of a rollercoaster ride the last six days. On Friday she woke up with a headache in the early hours that stayed with her until it was time to get up for work. On her visit to the midwives at the RPA Birth Centre the previous day, her blood pressure had been a little high and she'd been told to look out for the symptoms of pre-eclampsia. A call to the birth centre and the midwives told her to come on in.

When we got there, sure enough her BP was high and we rested for a while in one of the birth rooms. After some hours, we were moved up to a room in the post natal room, Holly's headache hadn't improved and tests showed some signs of pre-eclampsia. The cure for pre-eclampsia is to deliver the baby, which meant a slightly early baby: 35 weeks, which means most of the development is done, so not too bad.

As it turns out we've spent the last six days waiting around with Holly being closely monitored and eventually stabilising. Her BP is stable and at a level to satisfy the doctors, the various blood tests have yo-yoed a bit so that yesterday one went up when it had been falling. Holly's got no headache and seems to have got used to the zonking effect of the BP medication. Last night we even went to our already-planned "Natural Birth" class, though our birth is now unlikely to be particularly natural.

The constant expectation that it was all gonna kick off fairly soon has been pretty taxing, and now that Holly's feeling good she's getting antsy about being in hospital all this time. One doctor even suggested she might be able to come home this morning, though subsequent blood tests seem to have put the kibosh on that.

So we watch and wait. The course of pre-eclampsia is usually a downward progression until the doctors insist on inducing birth. The longer we can safely put that off, the more our little Shlomo will get to cook inside. It's highly likely we'll have a baby by the end of the week: both an exciting and a somewhat terrifying prospect.

Thanks for all the support we've received from friends and family. Apologies for any of you who've wanted to visit that it hasn't been possible. Holly's pretty knackered from the drugs she's on, so I've been keeping her pretty quiet.

I'll be updating progress on Twitter at twitter.com/shermozle. Note you don't need to sign up to Twitter to read this: you just have to bookmark that page and go to it when you want updates.

Eulogy for Anthony Rumble: 1972-2009

Anthony Edwin Rumble

Below is the eulogy I gave for Anthony at his funeral yesterday. It outlines his life, and his achievments. I have had many comments from my family that they didn't know he had achieved so much, and that many of these things they were hearing for the first time.

I have placed the slideshow that also played at the funeral online. You can view just the images (use the "Slideshow" button in the top-right ot view full-screen) or view it with the accompanying music (click "Full" to go full screen).

Before I begin I'd like to thank all those who have provided help and support to our family at this difficult time. The friends and family have been out in force with emotional and material support that is quite humbling and demonstrates the love there is for Anthony and his family. We thank you for all the kind words, flowers, support, meals and other help we've been given.

Anthony was born on 16th April 1972 to Chris and Ray Rumble in Port Macquarie hospital after a 49 1/2 hour marathon labour. He was a good baby and would sleep until he was due for his feed, which was handy as both his parents worked long hours, often tag-teaming child minding duties.

Early on Anthony showed many of the traits he displayed throughout his life. His knowledge ranged far and wide, and he didn't mind telling you what he knew. As fact. He was easy prey for the ribbing and stirring of his uncles and aunts, taking their gags hook, line and sinker. During his childhood he was very fond of animals: our pet dogs Buttons and Scamper, his aviary full of budgies and quails, and the Robinson family duck.

Anthony took an early interest in technology. Our first computer, a Dick Smith Wizzard, was purchased in 1982 and Anthony was immediately hooked. When we purchased the BASIC programming cartridge, he went to town writing software. Our games of "shop" with Kristy, Janelle, Susan and Kathryn had Anthony holding our money in computerised accounts at his bank, using software he'd written himself. Later on he wrote a database programme, modestly using his initials in the name: AERBase. Bear in mind, this was a ten year old who had taught himself programming and seen the necessity of a generic data storage mechanism. Anthony continued with newer computers, inheriting the computers that had outrgrown their usefulness in the family businesses.

When it came time to go to high school, Anthony went off to St Patricks College boarding school in Goulburn. I won't say he loved his time in Goulburn, not being the archetypal sporty type the school usually required, but he did well academically, studying four unit maths and getting time on any of the computers he could find around the place. At one point he was effectively administering the school library's multi-user computer network, saving the school thousands in expensive consulting fees.

After school Anthony went to Newcastle University to study Computer Science, briefly. He quickly got frustrated with ivory tower academics lecturing without recourse to the real world. In those days computer science courses taught lots of theory, with little reference to what was actually happening outside academia. He scored a couple of jobs for small engineering firms in Sydney, before landing a job he could really sink his teeth into at Netcomm, a manufacturer of modems.

It was around the end of Anthony's time at school that we bought our first modem. A modem allows you to connect computers to other computers through a phone line, but this primitive model worked at the blistering speed of 300 bits per second, about 40,000 times slower than the Internet connection in my home today. We started calling bulletin boards, which were computer meeting places that you could use to exchange messages and, in some cases, talk in real time to other people. Eventually discovered one of the more popular boards in Sydney, Active Fun Entertainment, which at the time sported five lines allowing five different people to talk to each other in real time. Quite a revelation. The main difference with this board was its social aspect, and it is here that Anthony met some of his closest friends.

One of the groups who frequented Active, and its many social events, ran another bulletin board called Arcadia. This group shared a quirky sense of humour and a plethora of obscure in jokes. Anthony was rapidly accepted into the group, and made lifelong friendships. I see a bunch of Arcadians present today, and I know a few couldn't make it today. Thank you for the kindness and companionship you showed to Anthony.

Soon after discovering Active, Anthony installed some software into the core of the bulletin board to allow people to play a real-time, multiplayer game. It was while installing and integrating this system that Anthony wowed Grant Parnell with his technical skills. Grant and Anthony became close friends, and eventually business partners. We're extremely fortunate to have Grant with us today, as he was scheduled for major surgery last Friday, but it has been rescheduled.

The Linux community has much to remember of Anthony. He was one of the early users of Linux in Australia, with his interest in Minix coinciding with that of a certain Finnish programmer. I remember him rushing in to tell me about a new operating system he'd found, which promised to be more useful than Minix. I was a bit bewildered, wondering how something that took so long to boot and seemed to crash constantly could be of any use. While going through his things, I stumbled on ancient floppy disks for Linux v0.12, the second ever release of the Linux operating system.

Anthony spent much of the early years of Linux distributing the software to others in Australia. He had an Internet account, a rare thing at the time, and so was able to keep up-to-date with the latest developments. People would post or hand-deliver floppies for him to copy, and eventually he set up a bulletin board to allow people to download it. Soon enough he helped found the Sydney chapter of the Australian Public Access Network Association (APANA), which was at the time one of the only ways ordinary Australians could get Internet access outside universities and a few big companies. His APANA node, lsupoz, was one of the first in Sydney and at one point was the hub for the Sydney network, running from the front room of our parents' house.

Later on, Anthony set up a business distributing Linux software and merchandise around Australia with his wife Laura. They got Linux into thousands of sites, distributing CDs and propaganda by mail order and at conferences.

With the dawning of the Internet explosion in public consciousness, Anthony scored a job with one of the early Internet Service Providers in Australia, Microplex. Here he learned many key skills in networking and business, and was fortunate to meet another close friend, Matt Perkins, who would later be Anthony's best man.

Anthony was next headhunted to work on an ambitious project by a large multinational stationery supplier with ambitions to control the entire market in Australia. Corporate Express wanted to move most of their transactions onto the Internet, which at the time was a radical idea. Anthony rose to the challenge, building an innovative online ordering system with a front-end simple enough to be used by the secretaries and admin staff ordering stationery in Australian businesses, government and academia. Soon enough, it was Australia's most successful e-commerce site, turning over many millions of dollars in orders every month. The technology Anthony developed handled the massive load with ease, and the project won a special commendation by the Australian Information Industry Association.

While still working at Corporate Express, Anthony met a young university student named Laura, and shortly afterwards they married in a big ceremony and party. While the marriage ended some years later, there were very happy times as Anthony and Laura built up a business and a family in their home in Croydon. Anthony and Laura set up a business distributing Linux software and merchandise, Everything Linux. This developed a sophisticated stock-management and online ordering system to handle mail orders.

Abigail Rumble was born late in 2000. Anthony doted on Abi, his beautiful daughter, and loved her dearly. After Anthony and Laura separated, they shared custody and he continued Abigail's involvement with cub scouts, which she loves. Under his parents' rearing, Abigail has developed into a beautiful, intelligent and loving young girl, who was the centre of Anthony's life.

The last few years of Anthony's life have not been perfect. He struggled with epilepsy, which was diagnosed about six years ago. The drugs used to control it have many negative side effects including mood disorders, memory loss and aphasia, and the doctors attempted to adjust the dosage to minimise these effects while keeping him safe from the dangers of epilepsy. During this time, his friend, business partner and flatmate Grant was an enormous support to Anthony. More recently things appeared to be looking up for Anthony, with his drug regime seeming to stabilize and cause fewer of the bad side effects. His epilespy seemed well controlled and his mood was good.

Anthony joined a support group after his divorce, Parents Without Partners and soon became heavily involved with the organisation. They gave him excellent support and improved his outlook enormously. He also took up Ceroc, a modern jive partner dance style, and was incredibly proud of his dancing ability. At one of the PWP functions, he met and gradually wooed his partner Rosetta. Rosetta and her family welcomed him into their lives and made him very happy, enjoying dancing and tons of blended family activities.

A few weeks ago Anthony took possession of his new flat in Belmore, and had just finished unpacking his posessions. It was a lovely place and I hadn't even had a chance to visit it myself when I got the phone call last Saturday and rushed over. Anthony's elderly Greek neighbours have told us about the impression he had already made, helping them with odd jobs around the place and always being friendly and polite.

Looking around here today, I see that Anthony was loved far beyond his own immediate family. He'll be missed by all his friends and relatives, but especially by his mother Chris, father Ray, brothers Charlie and Simon, partner Rosetta and her children Jeffrey, Matthew and Catherine, and by his daughter Abigail. We'll miss you Anthony.