Monday, December 31, 2007

My Son the Prankster

I can already tell that my son will be the family prankster. He's not even out the womb yet, and he's already pulling stuff on his folks.

Saturday afternoon we were getting ready for my cousin's wedding when Olivia noticed none of her shoes fit anymore. She eventually found a pair of sandals that she could squeeze on and we headed off to the wedding. On the way, she contacted her health care professionals to inquire about her swollen appendages. About the same time we made it to the church, they told her she'd better get to the hospital to be checked out. So, she said hi/bye to the bride and we left before the ceremony even started.

At the hospital, they hooked her up to all the monitors and took some blood. While we waited for the test results, we learned that what Olivia thought were cramps were really contractions. What's more, they were somewhat strong and minutes apart. "Holy cow!" I thought, "This kid's gonna come on his own and 2 days before the end of the tax season!" The test results soon came back showing that Liv was fine. The Dr. didn't think there was any risk and the contractions were irregular enough that she sent us home about 3 or 4 hours after we got there. I was still very optimistic though. I thought for sure we'd be back in less than 24 hours and have that little rascal out of there.

Alas, here it is Monday the 31st and Nathan has yet to show his face. I can see his chubby little baby face right now, laughing hysterically at the prank pulled on his unwitting folks. He's still managed to torment his mother with contractions for 2 days, but nothing's moving. I can tell he's going to be quite the little stinker. So now we just wait for Thursday when we'll pry him out of there. I see that he'll be a formidable opponent to match wits with. It's go time, Nate. Let's get it on! T-minus 3 days and counting. I'll try to post his pictures by Friday sometime.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

All I Ever Needed to Know about Electronics Repair, I Learned in Kindergarten

A funny thing happened to me today. The CD/DVD drive on my computer has been acting funny for some time, and finally today it decided to quit opening all together. A DVD drive is pretty useless if you can't put a disk in it, so I figured I had nothing to lose by tearing into it and trying to find the problem. I somehow managed to get it out of the computer and get the guts out of it without breaking anything or injuring myself. Of course, once inside I saw nothing obviously wrong. So I blew the dust out of it, put it back together, and crossed my fingers that a good cleaning was all it needed. I got the computer all plugged back in, fired it up, and hit the eject button. It worked!!! ..... once. That's right, it opened once, closed once, and that was all she wrote.

So, I spent the next 5 minutes with a steak knife trying to find the proper combination of prying and button pushing to get the sucker open again. Eventually, I found that the necessary procedure included one push of the eject button followed immediately by a firm one finger smack right in the "DVD" emblem on the front of the CD tray. It then occurred to me that all I ever needed to know about electronics repair, I learned in kindergarten. I've been smacking electronic devices ever since I was a kid watching Bugs Bunny on a 13 inch black and white TV with rabbit ears. So, thanks are in order to dad for teaching me at an early age the fundamentals of electronics repair. He taught me that most electrical gizmos need to be reminded who's the boss from time to time. It's surprising how a quick sucker punch will make most of them fall in line instantly. Even if it doesn't, I still feel better after taking some aggression out. I guess the moral of the story is that sometimes even the most complicated of problems often has a simple solution. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Thursday, December 20, 2007

The Beginning of the End

Another trip to the baby Dr. today and now Nathan's days in the womb are numbered.... literally. 14 to be exact. The Dr. said that if he's not out by Jan. 3rd, she's going to induce labor. He's a little too comfy in there and since we want to meet him before it's time to send him off to kindergarten, we may have to force mother nature's hand a little. So, it looks like mom's birthday present will be a grandchild. It's not a 42" plasma screen HDTV, but it'll have to do. It also looks like dad has become the front-runner to win the umbillical cord for his guess in the birthing pool. He guessed Jan. 3rd at 2am. The contest isn't over yet though. Nate could still decide to make things interesting any time between now and the 3rd.

What I don't understand is why she couldn't induce him on the 31st. (Yes, I did have the gall to ask the Dr. if she could induce during the 2007 tax year.) He's been in there for 9 months. What difference is 3 more days of quality time with his mother really going to make? I wouldn't even call it quality time. Olivia's always fighting him and poking at him through her belly. I can't imagine it's very much fun for either of them. Is that what they teach you in med school, how to read a calendar? C'mon, I have to start buying diapers by the gross here pretty soon. Can't you slide your scale a couple days and get me a tax break here, doc? Ugh.

Let's go Nate. Make your daddy proud and your momma relieved. Wiggle your skinny little butt out of there next week while your Aunt Shauna and Uncle Tom are here to shower you with whatever kind of spoiling aunts and uncles do. Everybody wins here, Nate! Move towards the light!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Nathan the Giant

So I took Olivia to the baby Dr. today and get this... doc thinks we're going to have a long baby. Imagine that! She based her conclusion on how low his head was riding and the fact that his bony butt is practically suffocating Olivia since it's so far up under her ribs. I'm officially starting a pool to guess the arrival and size of the Teeny Little Super Guy. My guess is 7lb 12oz, 23" long, on January 2nd at 3:30 in the morning during an ice storm. I'm basing my time of arrival guess on the fact that he's been such a problem child so far. Why would he change now? I can't wait until he gets here so I can spank him for being so mean to his mother for the last 9 months. Just kidding. Feel free to respond to this post with your bets on his size and arrival date. You don't need to be as specific as I was. Just weight, length, and date will be sufficient. The winner's prize will be the shriveled up piece of umbilical cord that falls off his belly button after a couple weeks. :) Here's our most recent picture of Nathan...
The doctor said that things are starting to move along with Liv, so we are definitely in the home stretch now. We are both way past being ready to get this over with. Then I can get elbow deep in the endless parade of poopy diapers. T-minus 3 weeks and counting.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Maybe Al Gore Was Right

When I was a kid, it used to snow. Sometimes a lot. Now I'm approaching 30 and I realize that it doesn't snow anymore, it ices. I mean, it still snows sometimes, but now it seems that we're just as likely to get an ice storm as a snow storm. Like last night...
There's a little snow under there, but most of that is ice. Just for some perspective, I can usually walk underneath that tree that's scraping the ground. What's more, the forecast is calling for more freezing rain tonight, tomorrow, and Wednesday. Here's a shot of our skating rink, er, driveway...

I went out this afternoon to remove the 1/4 inch of ice coating my state truck so I wouldn't have to do it at 6am tomorrow. It was all I could do to walk 30 feet out to the truck without falling on my @$$. After a couple buckets of hot water and 30 minutes of scraping I had it cleared off enough to drive, thus ensuring that we will receive another coating of ice overnight undoubtedly. We had another big ice storm or two similar to this last year as well. So I'm left thinking, what's going on here? I mean, I can deal with snow. Just sweep or shovel it away, dig out the car, and move on. This ice is crazy though. It's an ordeal just to get the car door to open, let alone getting everything scraped off enough to drive.

I found myself pondering why ice is taking center stage now and snow seems to be a novelty. My only thought is that it's too cold to rain, but too warm to snow. Maybe Al Gore and his global warming nuts are on to something. Or not. I don't think I'm ready to throw in with that crowd yet. Maybe the earth is getting warmer, but I find it a bit far-fetched to think we little humans could cause it. And if things are warming up, I find it even more ludicrous to believe that we little humans could slow or stop it. Mother nature will adjust the thermostat as she sees fit. Remember the ice age? Anyway, I'm not entirely sure I even have a point to make here. I guess my point is ice sucks. There's something we can all agree on.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Oz for the 21st Century

I've never really been a fan of the Wizard of Oz. It always seemed a little too cutesy wootsy for me. No, scratch that. It seems downright dopey to me. I know it's supposed to be a classic, but a lot of the movies deemed classic by critics are worthless. I understand it was made in the 50's or whatever, and I'll cut it some slack because entertainment from that era was a bit simpler. Now that it's the new millennium, enter the Sci-Fi Channel. They just aired a mini-series named Tinman, that's loosely based on the Wizard.Normally I wouldn't even give something like this a second glance, but I noticed it had Neal McDonough starring as the Tinman. I've liked the stuff I've seen him in before (Band of Brothers, Minority Report, White Dwarf), so Olivia and I decided we'd give it a shot.

I'd be lying if I said I was completely blown away by this mini-series. However, I didn't hate it. I was actually impressed with the imagination that went into turning a smarmy musical into a sci-fi epic. (I use the term epic to describe the length, not necessarily the movie's historical impact.) As I said, Tinman is loosely based on the Wizard of Oz. The characters have different names, but similar traits. The plot strays from the yellow brick road after the first hour or two and winds up in totally uncharted territory when compared to the original. My favorite changes: The Wizard is a doped up old coot played by Richard Dreyfuss (think "What About Bob" after he goes nuts), the "scarecrow" character is really Nightcrawler from X2, and best of all, NO SINGING! Oh yeah, and Todo is a 60 year old overweight black man.

I'm not going to suggest that everyone make a special effort to see this mini-series. However, if you're a sci-fi geek like I can be at times, you might find it at least somewhat interesting. If the Wizard of Oz had never existed and this was thrown out there today, it would be just another mini-series made by the Sci-Fi Channel. But, it's a huge improvement over the original and I think that's what I like about it. It's very original, yet still draws nostalgia from its predecessor. If you like quirky sci-fi stuff, check it out. If not, take a pass. I think it's still airing on Sci-Fi from time to time, and if not it's on One more thing... Hat's off once again to the Sci-Fi Channel for thinking outside the box and putting something other than cop dramas, lawyer shows, sit-coms, and reality show garbage on tv.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Racecar vs. Deer

I need to get me a car like this. I don't think the video is doctored because the camera follows the deer. I think the shape and speed of the car account for the unbelievable result.