Sunday, December 31, 2006

Aunt Brandy came over for a bit and we both realized that we really haven't been out of the house since Friday. Well, maybe there's an escape from these four walls planned for tomorrow. We'll see..... The LW and I watched an interesing little film called Night And Fog. Not something to watch on a full stomach nor is it something to reinforce any semblance of faith in humanity.

Ahh, the dangers of sending the LW and Auntie Melissa to the video store. I still kid the LW about Morvern Callar...with good reason.

I ran over to Shakespeare's Sister and found this. May the sleeping giant that is the populace of this country shake off it's amnesia in the coming year and wrest our collective fate from the warmongering draft-dodgers that only serve themselves.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Organized things today. Papers tossed and shredded. The LW took a HUGE nap and caught up on some sleep that was lost due to yet-to-be-seen teeth.

Saw footage of the lines to get up the mountain today. What a mess. Glad that we beat that rush by going yesterday. If you didn't get included on the email list for the photos, shoot me an email and I'll send it.

Watched the movie 39 steps tonight. Hitchcock was good with a camera.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Last week was great, up until the point at which we knew that VitalCheck and "Brown" weren't goint to come through with CP's birth certificate. Evidently "Next Day Air" means "whenever" in BrownSpeak. Everything was pretty much planned out for a run to Kino Bay....and then it wasn't. We ran over to the Garbe home to break the bad news and then headed home.

Auntie Melissa was supposed to have gone with us, so we just had her over for the xmas time stuff. Of course she's a complete stinker and bought us a gift. She walked out of her apartment with a burnt red/orange colored chimnea. It's really cool and we can't wait to fire it up. She got some things for CP as well, but all she really needs is a box and a spoon.

CP really loves playing with Melissa and it was good to get to visit with her. She and the LW made some sugar cookies and just goofed off all weekend. We went over to Oma's house on xmas day afternoon and visited with her and George's gang. Oma had all kinds of great things cooked and we had a great time. She sent us home with a whole salmon that was flown in from Washington. Sweet! It was pretty funny that in August of last year, that salmon was the thing that sent me to get the EPT and sent the LW face down at the porcelain altar.

We remarked this morning about where 2005 and 2006 went.

On the day after xmas, we were sitting around wondering what to do. We had played around with the idea of going to IKEA, but figured that it would just be a complete mess. At around 10am or so, I called it. We were going. The LW and I began measuring the room and fumbling through the catalog. We settled on some things and called Enterprise. They had a minivan for the same prices that Orbitz spit out, so we snagged it. We were off to Phoenix by 1:00 or so. Melissa had never made the trip there and we listened to her CDs all the way there. There was still plenty of parking space left in the lot when we got there....odd. We made it in and began wandering. Melissa was a bit taken aback just as we were on our first foray into the store. So..much..stuff. It was funny to watch Melissa go into one room, write things down, then cross them off at the next room. We did the same thing on our first trip there. Classic. We made it through and found everything that we went for...and then some. The tricky part was getting it all in the minivan. Melissa helped pack it in and soon we were off for On The Border on Ray. The LW got a gift card there from the contracting company that she works for. All of us had a big dinner and drinks - it cost us $10. CP had her packed lunchbox dinner and a boob for dessert.

The next day was the unloading and building. It took all day and part of last night. Everything in the living room has now been spun around and organized. 1 Expedit 72" cube and 2 Expedit 58" rectangles allowed us to put up some of our books. We replaced our old desk with a red Alve desk/bureau unit that is really great and has tamed some business clutter. The bike rack has been moved to the west wall and the wall behind the stove is clear. The LW is anxious to put up my photography work that's been shelved for years. It was a good adventure and my back hurts. One massage comin' up!

On the motorcycling front, I got my row assignment for the upcoming race in Phoenix on the 7th. We'll see how things shape up in the 30+ C class. This could be a tough run since the last race really showed that I'm in pretty poor shape when it comes to wrestling a 250lb motorcycle through deep sand. That may get fixed soon.

CP is cranky and teething again. We look forward to some upper teeth soon. The bottom teeth are really sharp now.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Off to work today at noon. This leaves the wife to watch the baby, but I really couldn't turn the chance of it down. I was referred by a wonderful client and it'll be fun. Whether it's the season, the office, or my increased evening availability, business is good right now. It doesn't hurt that this is the time of year for cyclists around here. It was really slow as I ramped back into it after CP came along. It's really hard not to tie personal happiness to work or at least a job well done.

CP is doing well and is happy today. Her nap schedule is back to normal, but will get upset again in the morning when we head out to Kino Bay, Sonora, Mexico. 6 hours in the car sleeping will make her an interesting tot this weekend. We'll be taking Auntie Melissa along with us and that'll be great. She's a good egg.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Bad dreams last night for CP and she didn't even wake from it during a diaper change. I had to work to get her out of it and it took about 45 minutes for the LW and I to get her settled down and back to sleep. This was about 3am or so. The LW worked on a proposal letter that may net some funding for the gardens - the bad thing is, she was up until about 1am. It'll be interesting to see what comes of this grant stuff. It'll get a garden going at a home for men here in town. I tried to get something going on it last year, but I had to back out as the time for planting passed. I just got a little busy with a little person. The guy that runs the home is nice, but when I talked to him recently, well, let's just say he wasn't really full of holiday cheer.

Yesterday was a rough work day for the LW. Some things going wrong with spurrious XML code here and there. It's all settled now and we're enjoying the quiet of our chilly afternoon. Oma Darlene dropped by to visit CP and drop off some paperwork. CP enjoyed her brief visit. Auntie Melissa called a little bit ago and said that she's been called back for a 2nd interview of sorts after the first of the year. We hope that she gets this one and will be an employee of the U. Healthcare is not really a good place to be these days, unless you've got your own practice and drive a Porsche, that is.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

CP was up at the baby butt crack of dawn this morning and the LW let me "sleep" until almost 8am. There's just something about the little food processor we have that defies sleep though. I woke up to a house filled with the smell of cinnamon apples. CP's appetite has increased lately and she can put away half of a banana as a light snack. She really puts those two teeth to good use. She's been enjoying the stuffed animal that we bought a few weeks back. It's a monkey and we call him "Cheeky". Since we don't bring him out all of the time, he gets a huge response and it's pretty funny to watch.

We hope to catch a concert this coming week by the Sons Of Orpheus. Our friend Pete sings in the group and is quite a character. I've only met a few people in their late 80's who have as much spark and life as he does. He just got back from a trip to China and I heard that he had more than 7 performances in a little over a week.

Tonight we're off for a party in honor of Aunt Brandy's upcoming birthday. It should be fun and there should be some other small people there. That's the only bit of planning that we have to work around today and that's rather nice.

The LW asked me the other day about an idea: What if we spent all of the money that we were thinking of spending on "stuff" and instead put it into making our house as self-sufficient as it can be in the next few years? I think that it's a grand plan. She was nursing the idea that she should get me an expensive digital SLR camera so that I could take pics like I did when we were in Arkansas. That's almost $1000 to start with right there. I hope that this plan will bear fruit.....tangelos and Meyer lemons. We'll get the cistern finished soon and go from there. I think that we'll increase the garden, plant fruit tree or two, change the herb garden to add grass and fencing for chickens, and add a grape arbor. It should be interesting. I'm hoping that I can probably make enough from selling the diesel to cover alot of this. We'll see.

Yesterday the negatives and contact sheet came back from Centric Photo. Some of them came out ok and some of them will take work to make prints from. All of them are good to see though. There is a B&W shot or two of the LW when CP was getting close to arrival and I'm glad to know that those photos will be around for 100 years. Where will all of my digital photos be? I hope to print out some of them soon and send them to the grandparents. I was able to do this when Olivia first came into the world, but have not done it since. There's nothing like having an 8x10 or larger photo in your hands that you can touch and look at without batteries or electricity.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

I got some time to get out and play with the BioDiesel Datsun project this past weekend. Al from up in Washington sent me a great wiring harness that was salvaged from another Diesel 720 that has A/C. I ripped the dash off and got into in on Sunday. By the end of the afternoon, the old harness was out and the "new" harness was installed into the engine bay, with a few connectors that remain to be sorted out. The crack-monkey that owned this truck had it wired together with electrical tape. Red Green would scoffed at the job this guy did though. It was a mess. I hope to finish it up this coming weekend, but it really showed my hands a thing or two. I guess in my current line of work, my hands have gone all soft and every little knick and ding really left a mark.

CP is doing well. She's sleeping right now and it's pleasantly quiet in the house. The LW is clicking away at the laptop in the background. There are some new photos posted in the flickr badge on the right, so check them out.

I had a discussion about mortality with my brother this morning. It's a tough thing for most folks to grapple and digest. We talked about ~2060 or sooner and how we'd both be pushing up daisies eventually. I think that people have tried to deal with this issue for eons and that it led them to wonder - "is this all there is"? For the LW and I, staunch materialists (body only, this is it), the answer is yes. We're a cosmic oddity, we'll have our time, then we'll pass right back into the cosmic dust from which we came just like plants. This is our one shot in this long continuum of births and deaths on this rock. Our ancestors broke into dualism (body & spirit) as a way to explain away the evidence of what happens when you assume room temperature and answer the question of why, it opened the door to all kinds of speculation. Who's right? What makes my spirit any more than the spirit of a tree or another form of life? Ahhh there's the rub.... Who draws the lines here? Rhetoric, wars, and early indoctrination of children (Sunday school) have been used to answer this question in one way or another for years with no end in sight.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

The LW and I heard this story on Morning Edition. Kohn discussed being given little information other than some interesting theories and lots of information about surgeries for carpal tunnel. To give him credit, he did note toward the end of the story, that he had been told that it could be referred pain. I wish that I could contact him and let him know that he's probably close to hitting the nail on the head there. Travell & Simons will show him what he's looking for. Maybe he'll find his way to someone who does trigger point work.

We switched back to NPR from the am radio side where we stood all that we could listen to of our blatherer in cheif dodging questions about his failed staying of the course with no compass. Nowhere in his speechifying was any time given to what happens when you back the lighter of two dark horses in an ugly fight, have the CIA train and arm them, then abandon them when you're done. Nothing about rampant fundamentalism among our "allies" either. Nothing about this whole mess still being blowback from the overthrow of Mossadegh! Thanks BP!

Nice.....just stay on Kaptain Karl's message Dubya.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

I'm sore. 40+ miles on a dirt bike in my first desert race and the 3rd time I've been on a bike in 15 months or so. This pain isn't just your average, "ooohh, that's a sore spot" kind of pain either. As long as I don't really move much, everything's fine, but when flexion or extension are involved, things get ugly. It's referred to as DOMS - Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness. I pretty much blew through every one of the suggested preventative measures for DOMS.

The first lap of the race was pretty rough. The guys on my minute were faster than me in the washes. The race started out in a wash that had a good bit of gravel in it, which was good. It went through some nice sections of trail, then turned into what's sometimes referred to as "sugar sand". This was not so good. Throw in some whoops that were the size of VW bugs and it was a recipe for a good helmet fire, you know, where you have to dive off of the bike head first to put it out. I did this a few times. The first couple of times, I used a tree or a creosote bush to break my fall. After this, I was thoroughly beaten and then it got interesting. They sent us into a narrow wash section that was about 6-10 feet wide. It was full of rather large rocks. Anyway, I made it back to the finish and I've never been happier to see 20 miles on the odometer in my life.

I didn't really think that I'd go back out for a 2nd lap, but Eric and Joe wouldn't let me DNF. I thought about it for a bit, then decided to go back out and finish. We had about 30 minutes to rest between the two 20-mile laps- I ate a snack and juiced up with some Cytomax.

I learned some things from the first time around and was able to use them on the second lap. Don't get me wrong, I still got smoked here, but I changed the way I approached things a bit. The first time around, I was running the little XR in a gear that was too high most of the time. This didn't really help much because the throttle response was sluggish (putting it nicely). On this lap, I ran it in a lower gear and revved it out. This helped with throttle response and made it so that I rarely had to use the brakes. Just like riding the ATCs with no brakes that Jason and I learned on. (Yeah, and dad said that motorcycles were too dangerous) The sand wash and whoops were considerably easier this time around and I was able to negotiate most things....except a hill where two guys stalled in front of me. I wasn't racing for money, so I just sat and waited it out. It was ugly, but I made it up on my run at it and got the thumbs up from the guy behind me. I did have to take a break though. After that hill, I got back into my own little groove and had fun. It was a beautiful day, the dust wasn't too bad most of the time, and I proved to myself that I could do it. It's the longest I've ridden since the Colorado trip a couple of years ago.

I camped again on Saturday night because the thought of driving home from Wickenburg was more than I could safely accomplish. I loaded everything up and settled in around the campfire for a bit. It was nice to hear the different things that had happened to the others and to hear about their experiences. Everyone had a good time and there were no really serious injuries.

I got up this morning and headed for home just after sunrise. It was a beautiful drive out by Lake Pleasant. When I got here, the LW was nowhere to be found, so I walked back into CP's room. There she was, in her crib watching the mobile. She smiled when I asked, "where's the beautiful baby...?". It was the best! 2 days away from CP and the LW and I couldn't wait to see and hold them both.

My folks sent my camera cable out, so look for some new additions on the flickr spot soon. I'll try to get a link to the main cache of photos once I get them posted to the yahoo account as well. I have some videos too for all of you on high-speed. I'll put links in the blog.

Life is good.