Wednesday, April 30, 2008
We put Relia to bed about 9p and ourselves about 10p. It was my night and before we turned out the lights the FP Gal said a little prayer that we would get some easy sleep. Sadly that wasn't the case.
First time up was about 11p. I tried rocking her and putting her back in her crib. Not popular! There was screaming and howling and under the breath cursing. Relia was unhappy, too. We tried a bottle and that didn't work. Well, she ate a good 6 oz. but it didn't make her sleepy. Finally I brought her downstairs and let her sleep on my chest while I watched TV.
About 1230a back to bed. Next time I woke was about 3a, she was crying again and the FP Gal was getting up to help her. We caved and she came to bed with us.
Shortly after that it became clear to me that I was feverish. The first clue was a very surreal dream I had where I was frantically debating constitutional law with rabbits. (When I told the FP Gal about this in the morning she said that rabbits are noted for their legal skills. Maybe but it was more the 'frantic' part that convinced me.) The second clue is that the bed kept alternating between 40 degrees and 140. Finally about 430a I gave up and went downstairs to watch a movie. Back up at 630a to crawl into bed and salvage some of the night.
Somewhere in there I called into work and discovered that they didn't need me today, so that was nice. After Relia went to daycare I came home and crashed for a good three hours. There is nothing like a big bed all to yourself when you're not feeling well. (Well, kind of to myself as I woke up and was framed by a kitty along my leg.) After a shower I felt vaguely human. Sometimes that's all you can ask for.
After a low energy day and more sleep I feel better. Man, I'm dreading tonight though.
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Monday, April 28, 2008
The easiest path is that of least resistance. What we've been doing is bringing her to bed with us. She lays down next to a warm body and a beating heart and she sleeps. Relia is big enough now that she's not really in danger of being crushed and she lays between us so she's not going over the side either. The real problem is that we're training her to only sleep on those terms. (The other problem is that she's becoming a bed hog. All 18 lbs of her.)
It's our fault of course, probably mostly mine. My plea is that at 2a it's incredibly easier to look for a quick fix solution than it is to hold the long view. Mea maxima culpa.
Last night was a victory of sorts. She was up at 1a and 2a and each time I picked her up and rocked her to sleep in my arms. Then I put her down and hoped that she'd sleep. The second time it worked and she slept the rest of the night.
The downside? This morning the FP Gal woke and noticed that we were alone. We talked briefly and couldn't hear her through the speaker. I'm sure we both were afraid that something terrible had happened. I asked the FP Gal to check on her, "in case she climbed out the window or something". No fear, she was fine, just sleeping.
Sometimes this isn't so easy.
Sunday, April 27, 2008
Saturday, April 26, 2008
This was a pretty cold winter. Also longer than usual. And it doesn't seem to want to leave.
Wonder what the weather was like in Kauai today?
When they had the 17th pick, I was hoping that they'd pick up a QB or a DE. Now that their first pick is in the second round, 47th overall, the emphasis changes. They have some definite needs (QB, WR, DE O-line depth), they can afford to take a best-player-available approach.
It wouldn't bother me if they traded up a bit and got Brian Brohm or Chad Henne. Other than that, I probably won't know the names at all. In the end, I'll have to trust that the Vikes have some idea of what they're doing. After last year, I think I can do that.
Friday, April 25, 2008
Thursday, April 24, 2008
This is probably my favorite piece of Shakespeare, Sonnet 130
My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun;I've got Sting to thank for leading me to this. It's a beautiful poem that talks about how conventional beauty isn't everything. Or at least the habit of grouping beauty into certain small categories is a bad idea. A universal and timeless lesson.
Coral is far more red than her lips' red;
If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun;
If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.
I have seen roses damask'd, red and white,
But no such roses see I in her cheeks;
And in some perfumes is there more delight
Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.
I love to hear her speak, yet well I know
That music hath a far more pleasing sound;
I grant I never saw a goddess go;
My mistress, when she walks, treads on the ground:
And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare
As any she belied with false compare.
- Babies don't come with a snooze alarm. If you try and politely explain that you'd like nine more minutes of sleep they don't understand. Believe me.
- Imagine you're feeding a baby some sweet potatoes. You've got some on a spoon and it's heading towards her mouth. Then she starts to make a sneezy face. Pull the spoon away quickly, trust me.
- Relia doesn't care to bounce to INXS. She needs a band with a more reliable driving beat. Oingo Boingo works fine for this. So does Adam Ant.
- One should never underestimate the number of hands that a baby suddenly has when you're trying to change a blowout diaper. I'm convinced that Vishnu was present for some brief time earlier.
- For five years I've gotten by with sight in just one eye and haven't found a single limitation. Until now. Feeding a baby is kind of tough. She's firmly in that area where my depth perception is ruined and she acts unpredictably. Doesn't mean that I can't do it, just that it's messier.
- We're going off to the MOA to hunt some sharks. Wish us luck!
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
In this decade, the combinations that made the most starts at defensive end have been as follows: 2001-Stalin Colinet and Talance Sawyer. 2002-Kenny Mixon and Lance Johnstone. 2003-Kevin Williams (out of position) and Mixon. 2004-Mixon and Kenechi Udeze. 2005-Darrion Scott and Erasmus James. 2006-Scott and Udeze. 2007-Ray Edwards and Udeze.Wow, that's cover-your-eyes awful. Let's hope this works out for the best.
So there you have it. A fun little tip for everyone.
7. Get out of the car, get onto the bike.
Gun is to machete as car is to bike. Cars are noisy and consume resources you can't always count on having. They're large and can't maneuver easily through blocked roadways. Most only work well where there are roads. Pack an air pump with your machete and you have permanent transportation.
Monday, April 21, 2008
Sometime the next year few years I saw 'Field of Dreams' and found out that my team had thrown a World Series. It hurt. Even though it happened some 70 years earlier, I felt bad that my team had ever done something so disgraceful.
(For those of you non-sports fans still reading this post, that is a real live honest peek into a sports fan's mind. Laugh at us if you will but please, try to be understanding.)
I mention this because word has now come out that the White Sox might not have been the first team to throw a World Series. In fact, they might have gotten the idea from the Cubs of 1918.
Now, it cannot be said for certain that gamblers got to the '18 Cubs. But Eddie Cicotte, pitcher and one of the eight White Sox outcasts from the '19 World Series, did say in a newly found affidavit he gave to the 1920 Cook County grand jury that the Cubs influenced the Black Sox.My advice to Cubs fans? Deny it. Fight against it. Don't let people ever believe that it actually happened. Your heritage is at stake! Don't roll over and be slandered. Show some strength and keep your pride intact.
Ninety years is a long time, but trust me, it's not long enough.
Sunday, April 20, 2008
Relia and I went for a walk around the neighborhood today and gave the FP Gal a chance to rearrange the furniture. She needs to do this every few weeks or she goes stir crazy. It was a nice walk but I think our little baby was a little sun-touched by the end of it. She got a good nap afterwards though!
Another sure sign of nice weather, the ice cream truck has started going up and down our street once an hour. The crystal clear tones of 'La Cucaracha' are even now floating through our open windows. Who doesn't want to listen to that song more often? The FP Gal won't let me drop spikes for his tires. I'm thinking that paintball shots to the windshield might give a clear message but she won't let me do that either. Any suggestions?
The cats are also enjoying the nice weather. They've spent most of the afternoon out on the front porch, laying in various sunbeams. We've also (finally) opened up some windows for them. If there is reincarnation, I hope to come back as a housecat with a kindly owner. Doesn't that seem like the best life?
Seriously, this month or so is my favorite of Minnesota's weather. It's truly a blessing.
Saturday, April 19, 2008
The book details a household of slaves. They start with a very good and caring owner who has fallen into debt. To discharge that debt he agrees to sell a pair of slaves, one of which is a young boy. The boy's mother can't bear the thought of being split up so she runs away with him, up north to freedom.
Meanwhile the other slave, Uncle Tom, is sold and eventually sold again to Simon Legree. Uncle Tom refuses to whip a fellow slave and is savagely beaten. His faith in God wavers but a deathbed vision renews that faith.
This book is an argument and it hammers that argument home. Stowe especially argues that slavery is destroying black families. She argues that slaves are people with their own dignity and deserve to be treated that way. The most noble character in the book is Uncle Tom and he's clearly a positive force.
It's clearly an important book and a great one in theme if not as captivating in writing as others. A true American classic.
Maybe someday I'll rent the movie and watch the Demi Moore trio.
Friday, April 18, 2008
Thursday, April 17, 2008
Ok, ok we get the bit. Move on for petesake. Come up with a new theme. It's been thirty years already (maybe just three). In any case, just stop it.
Well today she decided that she wouldn't skip it after all. She's crawling over to my desk right now. The knees are still not quite working right but she's moving forward and with obvious purpose. I shot some video of the very first time but I'll need the FP Gal's help to get it up.
Man, this is exciting and scary at the same time.
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
If you go to the official Internal Revenue Service site on the Internet (www.irs.gov) and start poking around among the thousands and thousands of forms, instructions, bulletins, etc., you would be amazed at the range of deduction options. For example, according to IRS Rev. Proc. 2006-50, certain individuals recognized by the Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission may deduct up to $10,000 for whaling expenses. Could this deduction apply to you? Think about it! I, personally, have done many things that I later could not remember; being a recognized Eskimo whaler would not be the weirdest of these. So go ahead! Find an empty box on your 1040 form and write ''Harpoons -- $9,990.'' (Don't claim the full $10,000, because that might arouse IRS suspicion.)
The employee reaction is the real wildcard. We saw what happened last summer with unhappy pilots causing delays and cancellations. No telling what this summer will bring. Let's hope that management learned their lesson and delay jerking the unions until after the heavy travel season.
"This summer should be like any summer, unpleasant and ugly. Stay home," said Michael Boyd, an airline analyst based near Denver. It could be worse if the unions at Northwest or other airlines take out frustrations with proposed deals while on the job.
There have been two major mergers while I've been an agent. American bought TWA and everything went smoothly with that. The long term effect has been mostly centered on St Louis, TWA's major hub. There is still some direct service out of there but most routes connect through Chicago.
The other merger was US Air (the company with a Greek looking logo) buying America West. Of the major airlines they were 1 and 1A in terms of difficult to deal with. Joining forces hasn't really helped that. Still, no major disruptions.
I've had a few people ask me what will happen with Sun Country. We don't book them very often because they're not well set up for business travel. It sounds like they're aware of the problems in front of them, especially high fuel cost. That's a good sign. The worst thing an airline can do is ignore it's problems and hope they go away.
If you're worried about your vacation this summer you might want to take out some travel insurance. Another good tip is to try and avoid flying at the end of the month when pilots start hitting their maximum hour allowances. Also, show up early for those flights. If you've got an assigned seat it will be much harder to kick your butt off of the plane.
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Relia, dear, the sooner you get big enough to help your daddy pick out your clothes, the better.
UPDATE: The FP Gal is thinking Gr animals.
Monday, April 14, 2008
- That whole thing with AA last week? It was the FAA's fault. Hope the airline doesn't suffer too badly. Speaking of airlines, it looks like hometown NWA is on the way out. Talk about the end of an era.
- The FP Gal just asked me if we're down to two airlines for the country then. When (if) the merger goes through we'll be down to five big ones (UA, AA, US, DL and CO), six medium ones (WN, FL, AS, F9, YX and B6) and about three dozen small ones. Each size serves it's own purpose and it's anyone's guess what the field will look like in 2018. I'm guessing fewer big ones and more medium. The look of Europe has changed tremendously and here's a good article if that interests you.
- Bonus points to anyone that can translate all of the airline codes above. There are some that might even be challenging for our resident air traffic controller.
- Non airline stuff? Guess what Relia went to day care in today. Pajamas! My defense is that I couldn't find a shirt that would fit her.
- Speaking or Relia, she had an interesting encounter with Ozzie the other morning. He was sitting on the stool in the kitchen watching what was going on and I was holding her nearby. I brought her close so they could interact and I could show her how to pet him. She grabbed hold of the skin on the top of his head and just held on. Poor guy was getting all bug eyed and everything but he didn't snarl or swipe at her. He's a very understanding cat.
- Just for the heck of it, here's more Selma Hayek.
- Tonight should be the last cold night. At least that's what my coworkers are telling me. Man, it seems like this winter has been going forever. Let's turn that corner and enjoy some spring.
- That's all.
Sunday, April 13, 2008
The FP Gal and I went walking at the MOA this morning. No big surprise there, as we do that most Sunday mornings. I think she felt a little guilty that we never walk outdoors with her but the calendar has really made that difficult for us. As soon as it's warm out we'll fix that. We go walking in our neighborhood most nice evenings in the summer.
Tonight I mentioned that in a couple of weeks we'll be able to go walking down at St Anthony Main. That was one of the places that I fell in love with when I first moved up to the Cities thirteen years ago. Thirteen years! That doesn't seem possible, it really doesn't. The math says it is; I moved up here in May of '95. I've lived somewhere in the Cities for all but thirteen months since then (roughly the calendar year of '97).
The picture there is from October of '03. I've got a very strong memory of walking down to the bridge during the first heavy snowfall of '95. There were huge flakes drifting down from the dark heavy sky and into the turbulent waters Some year I'll make it down there again and take some pictures during the same type of snowfall. Until then it will live only in my brain, I guess.
Saturday, April 12, 2008
The most interesting thing so far is that the two teams that were predicted to run away with the division have started very badly. The Tigers are only 2-9 while the Indians are 4-7 with only two of those wins in the last nine games. The season is a full 162 games long but the way teams start really does tell us something about how the season will go. Teams that are more than three games back at the end of April rarely make the playoffs.
It feels good to have daily baseball games back. Kind of feels like summer might eventually make it here. I've got highlights going on the TV and it's nice to see some homeruns and some good defensive plays. Good stuff.
Anyway, to sum up, pajamas have feet. Got it.
Friday, April 11, 2008
- When we started this adventure in day care, my first concern was that she had clothes on. Period. Delivering naked babies is frowned on or something.
- That got upgraded to 'warm enough' clothes when winter started six months ago (and I'm pretty sure that the Minnesota tourism board won't want to lift that sentence from this blog).
- She goes every other day so at some point I also decided to try and make sure she doesn't wear the same outfit there twice in a row. I think I've accomplished this but I'm not very certain.
- Now I need to figure out the difference between night and day clothes. Yeah, good luck with that!
- I foresee some training in my future. Training in little girl clothes. Can't wait for that. (Honestly, isn't there some football on somewhere?)
Thursday, April 10, 2008
Seriously, is he now the least decisive person in the country? Just go away already! Take a cruise and get away from the phone. Alternately, would someone offer him an analyst job somewhere so he can waffle over whether or not he wants to come in to work there and leave the rest of us alone. Hamlet had less trouble making up his mind!
On the other hand I've decided to give in and embrace our eternal winter. If it lasts a only few more months then we can go out with Relia and make her very first snowman. Maybe even sledding. (Don't worry grandmas, we'll be careful with her.) Besides, I never did get any good icicle pictures this year.
So bring it on, King Boreas, bring it on.
Wednesday, April 09, 2008
- When I got into work today, we were already being killed because of AA's canceled flights. Not fun. The passengers were (mostly) reasonable but the hold time to get into AA was ridiculous, usually somewhere around an hour. That's a long time to listen to someone's hold music. I ended the day with a call in (total res time around 55 min) and the agent on the other end was less than incompetent. They might have just pulled her off the street.
- The worst hold music? For a long wait there is no airline worse than United. I like Gershwin and I like 'Rhapsody in Blue' but there's a limit. Try listening to this over and over for the next hour. You'll want to punch somebody.
- The best hold music? Air France has some moody atmospheric stuff that I like. Unfortunately they feel the need to break in every 45 seconds or so and tell me that they still care about you. Not so good. Even worse, it's not recorded by some sexy French girl.
- Here's a tip to people that operate phone systems all over the world, every time you break in the caller thinks that a real live person has picked up. A recorded message dashes that hope and just reminds them that they're on hold. Just give us music, please. A prerecorded message that repeats at regular intervals doesn't ever really say 'caring'.
- Southwest has some of the best hold stuff. They don't have music, instead they go with hokey little five second commercials. Example: "Don't you think you should change the phone to the other ear now? (Pause.) There, doesn't that feel better." It matches their homey, easygoing style.
- The strangest combination of airline/music was a lengthy call I once placed to Air Mexico. I was braced for mariachi and instead I got...a mix of Motown and pure Funk. Someone, somewhere within their airline has good taste in music and/or a good sense of humor.
- That's it!
Tuesday, April 08, 2008
She really wanted to be held, which is nice and sweet but makes it hard to, you know, do anything. I tried putting her in the bouncer and she didn't react well. Then tried her next to her standing toy and that did the trick. Now she's over there smiling at me like she couldn't be happier. Very sweet. Life looks good today.
Why yes, I did sleep the whole night through. Why do you ask?
Sunday, April 06, 2008
By golly, I think spring just might be here.
Saturday, April 05, 2008
The FP Gal read the label and it suggests that each one should only be used for three months. I can't help but think that that's nonsense. Use them until they disappear. The FP Gal noted that it's kind of a race to see if you can keep one for more than three months anyway. She now has a theory that they simply disappear once the warranty expires.
After Austin we were off to Rochester to see my aunt and uncle. It was very nice to see them. Uncle Jerry made steaks, Aunt Janet made potatoes and Relia made noise. Lots of it as her fussy factor is turned up high.
That's not really her fault. She's fighting a cold right now with heavy coughing. This means she wakes herself up constantly. The last couple of nights featured very few good hours of sleep. For her, I mean, but functionally for either the FP Gal or myself too.
So back in the car where Relia treated us to two full hours of crying and wailing. About half way home I moved to the backseat so I could try and keep a pacifier in her at all times. It didn't help. In fact, nothing I tried worked. So there was just wailing and wailing and wailing.
Until we almost got home. She finally collapsed during the last five minutes and fell deeply asleep. At that same exact moment, the FP Gal came down with something. She fought the last bit of travel while trying to keep from getting sick in the car. There was some drama as some jerk in a van decided that it was good to drive 40MPH in a 55 zone. If the FP Gal was armed, they wouldn't have made it to their destination. (Hours later and they still might not have. Honestly, try and drive somewhere close to the speed limit people. It's not that tough. The other cars were doing it without any problem.) We got home and she jammed the car in a spot and ran for the house. Not good times.
Relia? She's sleeping right now but I don't have any confidence that it will last. She's just bidding her time. Sooner or later one of those coughs will be too hard for her to ignore it. The pacifier will fly too far for her to reach. And then it begins again...
Friday, April 04, 2008
An interesting list but what caught my eye was something else. A quick glance and I accidentally matched up some taglines with the wrong movie. I think it actually improves some of them. Here's 11-20, kind of.
1. In space no one can hear you scream. Alien (1979)
2. Houston, we have a problem. Apollo 13 (1995)
3. They’re back. Poltergeist II (1986)
4. We are not alone. Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)
5. Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water. Jaws 2 (1978)
11. An epic of miniature proportions. Poltergeist (1982)
12. They’re here. Monsters, Inc. (2001)
13. You won’t believe your eye. An American Werewolf in Paris (1997)
14. Things are about to get a little hairy. There’s Something About Mary (1998)
15. Love is in the hair. Apocalypse Now (1979)
16. The horror...the horror. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
17. The ultimate trip. Jurassic Park (1993)
18. An adventure 65 million years in the making. Bonnie and Clyde (1967)
19. They’re young...they’re in love...and they kill people. Psycho (1998)
20. The classic story about a boy and his mother. Saving Private Ryan (1998)
1 Then Ceiling Cat spoked all them werds:
2 I iz Ceiling Cat An I iz Top Cat, An I broughted u out of hawt lend wit no cheezbrgrs for hard werk at all
3 No can has other ceiling cat!! U gotz other Ceiling Cat, I shoot yous wit mah lazer eyes.
4 If u try be Ceiling Cat of any of mai creayshunz up in floaty skai, down in erth or in watr or I shoot yous wit mah lazer eyes.5 If u think faek Ceiling Cat iz Ceiling Cat, I mek u ded An ur kittens ded An if yur kittenz have kittenz, dey be ded too, for being stupid.6 If not I wuv u An all ur lotz uf kittenz!
7 U sez Ceiling Cat bad, I shoot yous wit mah lazer eyes, cuz I dun liek it. Srsly.
8 Remembur caturday An keep holy.9 U werk 6 dais An finish werk, K?10 Caturday, u no werk. U An all ur peepz go wrship me. And, if yu beez gudd, I maks it so yu can stays home and do alla stuffs yu wanted tu doos.11 I maded heavenz An erth An see An the stuff that does teh funney hoppey stuffz in An on it - so I make it holy cuz I no werk.
12 Bez u good to papa An mama so u has long lief.
13 U no maek peepz ded! Srsly!
14 U no maek sexxes wit other gurlz or menz than ur wief (so no awsum treesum alowed!).
15 U no taek stuffs for free if not getz for free.
16 U no tell bad stuff about ur neibor.
17 U no wantz neibor stuff! No wief, no gurlz, no menz, no animulz, NO BUKKITZ! DEY NOT UR BUKKITZ, K? dey da LOLrus' bukkits.
I'll tell them that this was a time when we really did have too much time on our hands.
Thursday, April 03, 2008
Wednesday, April 02, 2008
I think there were two major reasons behind this. Planes aren't flying at such full capacity this year. Whether that is because they've added flights or have fewer overall passengers I don't know but it helps out quite a bit. The second reason is that the airlines have become much more proactive about calling passengers whose flights have been canceled.
There is a third reason. Passengers have become much better about finding weather forecasts and avoiding the bad storms. We've regularly had people move flights up a few hours just to make sure they get 'there' and that helps.
In any case, this year was much easier than last. Thanks.
Tuesday, April 01, 2008
She has been doing this for awhile but her confidence level is growing by leaps and bounds. Tonight she pulled away from me and stood on her own for a few seconds. This was new to me but the FP Gal says she's done it before (the baby, not the mama).
I've long heard the phrase that you have to learn to crawl before you learn to walk. I'm not so sure that that'll be true in our case.