Wednesday, January 30, 2008

A bad case of the shirts...

Two weeks ago I found myself at the baby shower of one of Emily's friends at work. This is a great example of my level of love and commitment in our relationship, because no guy ever, ever wants to be at a baby shower. It's akin to admitting you wear panties.

I do not wear panties.

During a particular lull in the activities (wait, baby showers are one big lull*), and after seeing slogans on the baby shirts, I decided any slogan I could write would blow away the ones I'd seen so far.

So I set out writing my own phrases for Sparky's shirts:
  • Hung like a second grader.
  • Powder THIS!
  • Anheuser Busch baby. Born-on date: April 6, 2008.
  • Nursing is NOT a tag team sport. Back off.
  • My other stroller has a Hemi.
  • Dang I love me some booby.
  • Come back to my crib. I have a great mobile.
  • Down to two naps a day.
  • Total Diaper Filler.
  • Piss me off and I will kick your ass.
  • You can't change me. (On second thought, you probably can)
  • In touch with my toddler side.
  • Dad's my wing-man.
  • That totally chaps my ass.
  • This is your brain on Enfamil. Any questions?
  • Your buggy has a bitchin' paint job.
  • Wanna peek under my quilt?
  • Swaddle THIS!
  • Nipple chapper.
  • Beets are evil.
  • Social instability, from the inner cities of the US to Sub-Saharan Africa is both a cause of, and a result of, the proliferation of small arms. And speaking of small arms, have you seen THESE???
I will need to get some iron-on printer paper.

*Actually it was one of the better showers because there were no games like "name the candy bar," or "taste the baby food." We opened gifts, ate some mini tacos and it was over.

Blogarage Sale items 2 - 5

Second item - FREE.

Samsung DirecTV tuner. It's a few years old, and picks up the main satellites. Nothing hi-def or fancy, but if you need a spare receiver, this is it. Comes with manual, remote, etc.


Third item - FREE. (STATUS, GONE)

An HP Deskjet 5440. A simple printer, nothing fancy. You'll need to download the driver software, but that's no big deal.


Fourth item - $50 or best reasonable offer.

A Sony photo printer. It prints various sized photos directly from a data card, but you'll need to connect it to your computer so you can view the photos prior to printing. It's professional quality printing.

I purchased it with my camera a few years ago and it's never been used. I never even plugged it in.


Fifth item - $75 or best reasonable offer.

An HP PSC 2510 photosmart all-in-one printer. It has a built-in fax, scanner, photo-quality printer, etc. Used regularly for about a year... but no high volume work. It still works like new.

The first person to claim the free stuff gets it, just email me through the link on my profile in the right column. Otherwise, email me an offer for the other stuff and I'll get back to you.

All freight charges must be paid by you, but USPS is cheap. If I know you, we can arrange to meet at a bar during happy hour to exchange said item.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Thoughts during my drive home

I think I've had a pretty good life. Not in the same way Bill Gates or Ron Jeremy have, but I've managed to pack a lot in. (Ron Jeremy joke - click the link if you don't get it)

Don't misunderstand, I've had plenty of hard times... but the quality of your life isn't defined by how easy it is. Good means a positive net result, even from negative events.

Henry David Thoreau said "How vain it is to sit down to write when you've never stood up to live." While my life is a work in progress, I have plenty to write about already. Some things I've learned:
  • Be careful about who you marry. In fact, unless you find someone so great you just can't help yourself... by all means HELP YOURSELF. Having said that, we're checking on banquet halls and facilities for the ceremony. Do as I say, not as I do.
  • You are a product of your past and the events of your life. There's no getting around it, so it's best to just accept it. That's why they make Zoloft.
  • If you're doing okay in life, it's okay to take credit for it. Nothing is free, everything takes hard work and there are no exceptions to that rule. Unless you're Paris Hilton.
  • Pets are cool, unless they shit on your bed or shed on your couch. I've had few better friends than my cat, Kramer... and he's done both. I don't even like cats, and fully believe they will someday arrive by the millions in spaceships to take over the Earth. Kramer will be the Darth Vader of that movement... but he's still pretty cool.
  • I miss the feeling, when I was a kid, of hearing "David! Time for dinner!" I was always hungry by then, and on the way in, it was fun to try to guess what would be on the table. My modern-day equivalent to that experience is Emily yelling down the stairs to me, "Dave, which restaurant are we going to tonight?"*
  • You can't smile while you're wiping. I've mentioned it here before and all my friends agree. They've tried.
  • I can hold a piece of my son's clothing or one of his stuffed animals (he's scheduled to arrive in April) and feel like I'm holding him. Same with my daughter. It's a connection that comes with parenthood. Kids feel that same connection when they hold their parents' wallet.
  • There is nothing more soothing than sitting at a piano, playing. I suspect the same is true of an acoustic guitar, although all I can play is "Smoke on the Water" on one string. Both instruments feel really personal and emotional to me. It's why I like Jackson Browne and Billy Joel.
  • Music might be the quintessential emotional connection that bonds us all. If you doubt that, listen to "These Days" by Jackson Browne, "Waitin' On a Sunny Day" by Springsteen or "Go Down Easy" by Fogelberg.
  • 4:00 am is a great time to write Things I've Learned lists on my blog.

I'm headed back to bed now, I have to be up again by 8. It sucks to be in demand! ;)

*Em's a wicked-amazing cook, but we never seem to have time.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Blogarage Sale, item number one

Edit: SOLD!

As we move, store and generally clean things up around here, we've stumbled across a lot of "stuff" we'll need to either sell or give away. Over the next week here on The Window, I'll be featuring those things, and allowing you to either claim it for free (first come, first serve), buy it at the price stated, or make an offer.

All of the stuff is in great condition. We just don't need it. Some of the stuff I forgot I had.

Here's the first item, free to the first person who claims it:

A Panasonic cordless phone and answering system, with three digital mail boxes, the base station with handset, plus four extra handsets to use throughout your home. It's a digital system so there's no static at all. (FM! - Bad Steely Dan reference) All the handsets broadcast back to the base station, so only one phone outlet is necessary.

It's about 7 years old, but was used for about 1 year. You MAY need or want to replace the rechargable batteries in the handsets (I'm not sure if storage causes the batteries to go bad) and you'll need to download a manual for it, although it's very intuitive and easy to use. If you want it and are out of the area, you'll need only to send me a paid postage label - Fed Ex, USPS, whatever.

If you have questions, email me via my profile page.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Archaeological find

Em and I cleaned out and reorganized our kitchen today, and found these:

What the hell are they? Anyone know? They were at a level in the drawer that dates them back to around 1999 or 2000. I'm betting on Blogarita or Fantastagirl, but whoever answers first wins them. Good luck.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Happy Anniversary

Two years ago, I was introduced to the most amazing person I've ever met.

Em accepts me for who I am, knows me better than anyone ever has, and shows me who she is, unabashed and unashamed, every day. I think those are the most precious gifts that could ever be given to another human being.

Thanks honey. I love you.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Is there supposed to be scum on top of the jelly?

It's almost midnight and I'm sitting in the kitchen eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. The cold milk is helping me swallow every grapey, peanuty glob and I'm wondering why I can't sleep.

Then I realized it's because the news is almost all BAD.

Some of the events going on right now:
A former Michigan Republican congressman is indicted on obstruction of justice charges and money laundering for a terrorist ring.

A CIA official authorized the destruction in 2005 of videotapes documenting harsh interrogation of detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

The White House, under intense scrutiny, has admitted to destroying emails as part of a "data recycling" procedure, during the period of time when the US went to war with Iraq and US CIA operative Valerie Plame was outed.

The housing market is in a depression. The real estate bubble that was only casually considered a possibility a few years ago has finally burst. In some markets, houses selling three years ago for 400,000 are being sold for barely half that. The sub-prime interest loans issued to risky borrowers for the past several years are being foreclosed upon. People are losing their homes because they can't pay their mortgage.

Eddie Murphy and his new wife (of TWO weeks) have announced their split.

O J Simpson, mistakenly (in my opinion) exonerated of murder charges in the 90's (thereby living on borrowed time) has now violated the terms of his bail in a memorabilia heist... where he, at gunpoint, tried to "take back" prized heirlooms of his career from an alleged thief. He's back in jail for contacting one of the plaintiffs and THREATENING them.

It was announced today that Ike Turner died of a cocaine overdose.
No wonder I can't freakin' sleep. The world is spinning out of control. The US has a bad political reputation which continues to worsen, Buckwheat can't stay married and Ike not only abused Tina, but also his own proboscis. (I met him in the 90's at a party in Memphis and he was a real dick... um, God rest his soul)


OK, I'm finished with my PBJ. I'm going back to bed. The headlines have GOT to be better tomorrow.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Daddy's nose, Mommy's... everything else

Here's a new ultrasound picture of Sparky:

He really does have my nose. His little mouth looks like a Cabbage Patch Kid. It was great to visit with him yesterday. He was given a clean bill of health by the doctor, and he's just a little bigger than average. (both Mom and I are taller than average)

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Click Pop Tick Sssssshhhhhht

Quote from an article I just read:

"With Apple,, NetFlix and Microsoft pushing downloadable movies and cable and phone companies peddling a plethora of on-demand, high-definition content, the day is coming when the stacks of plain vanilla DVDs that clutter many home entertainment centers will go the way of the CD collection."
Look at the last few words, and tell me how old you feel.

Prior to the Day I Bought My First CD Player, my Saturday mornings had always consisted of grabbing my Rolling Stone magazine, a coffee and my Walkman with a mix tape and scouring the 45 section at Streetside Records for new singles. I would spend hours there, talking to the "experts" who worked in the store and going over the charts and reviews in RS. It was quite an experience, and one of my favorite memories of youth. (by youth I mean anywhere from age 16 to 25)

The advent of the CD somehow changed the experience. I don't know exactly how, but it took away the innocence or something. I'm not sure what that means, but I think it probably has more to do with MY moment in time.

I bought my first CD player in September 1986, at a price of around $500. I bought it in a record store, which had committed only a tiny corner to this new technology. There were only maybe a thousand titles available at the time.

These new "discs" were shiny and you could see a rainbow in them. Oooooh! At that time I may or may not have been consuming recreational pharmaceuticals, so the entire experience may have freaked me out. I might have said something like "Whoa! You can see into the future in these!" Or, more likely, "Whoa! Where do you drop the needle?"

For the younger reader, 'dropping the needle' isn't a drug reference, it's a turntable reference.
Having just paid $500 for the CD player, I could only afford two CDs that day. Slippery When Wet by Bon Jovi and Yesterday Once More by The Carpenters. Ah, diversity! The clerk gave me this really odd look. Screw you, clerk!

I remember racing home, hooking up the player and popping in Bon Jovi. The clarity was simply amazing. I sat and listened to those CDs for the rest of the day and invited several friends to come check it out.

I clung to the old vinyl technology as long as I could, until singles were being released on those little baby discs and 45s disappeared. I remember the time I changed apartments and decided I didn't have space in the new place for my turntable. I may or may not have cried that day, but I'm a little teary writing this.

Fast forward>> (kids, that's a cassette reference, which is a whole different ancient technology) to 23 years later, when CDs are yesterday's news and even DVDs are becoming obscolete. I can understand why old people finally surrender and stop trying to keep up.

I've managed to change with the times. I have a pretty large mp3 collection (about 3,000 titles) and a kick-ass iPod. I listen to podcasts and watch TV shows on it.

Still, recently I purchased a nice turntable so I can pull out the vinyl now and then. It's really quite a treat to hear the pops and clicks. The music feels warmer and it takes me to a place where I'm wearing a Walkman, drinking coffee and reading my Rolling Stone.

Anybody got any recreational pharmaceuticals?

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Sunday speculations...

I stepped outside this morning and thought I had slept four months. It's 70 degrees in St. Louis on January sixth.

Which means a bunch of friends will be hanging on the patio today, BBQ-ing ribs and burgers and drinking margaritas. We might as well take advantage of the nice weather while it's here... in a few days, it will be back into the 20's.

By the way, we'll set new records today and tomorrow, when it will reach almost 75.


Last week while out of town, my HP laptop farted, then died.

Normally, people don't die when we fart, but computers are apparently quite different regarding passing gas. Obviously a file became corrupted and it wouldn't boot... so I had to do a destructive reload and lost all my onboard data.

Thankfully, I was able to transfer the hard-drives to an outboard chassis temporarily, offload the data I needed (which included years of collected music, over $1,500 investment) and then reloaded. It pays to know your way around a computer.

Advice to you - if you own an HP, get an extended warranty. After the crash, I purchased a two-year "accident policy" for it. For a nominal fee, if I spill water on the keyboard, run over it with my Hummer or put it in the oven ("accidentally," of course) they will send me a new one. No matter what happens, it's covered. I like those kinds of policies...


I've had it with taxes.

That's why Mike Huckabee is an appealing candidate to me. I don't agree with all of his social policies, but he proposes abolishing the IRS and imposing a flat, consumption-based "Fair Tax." Basically a federal sales tax, you are charged a 23 percent tax at the cash register, but you keep 100 percent of your paycheck.

Then every month, based on your income level, you are issued a "refund" check. If you are considered at the poverty level, you will receive a 100 percent refund.

The great thing about this system is, everyone pays. Prostitutes, drug dealers, illegal immigrants... when you buy something, you pay taxes. Imagine how that would be...

This especially appeals to me, because I am a corporation. I have to file quarterly returns, pay DOUBLE the social security, and make monthly tax payments to the IRS. It is an incredible expense, even just to pay my accountant. A "regular guy" has no chance of understanding the intricate, convoluted beaurocracy that is the IRS.


Why can't there be a breakfast delivery service?

Pizza and Chinese food... that's pretty much all you can get delivered. I wonder why.

Whoops, I forgot "Meals on Wheels," but I believe there is an age requirement...

This morning we were faced with a lack of milk and a desire for breakfast food that required milk. A quick phone call to the Bob Evans for the Ranch Hand Platter delivered to our house would have been the perfect solution.

But HELL no. We ended up with fried eggs, bacon and toast.


Usually the latest movie or play you see, based on being the freshest in your mind, seems like the best you've ever seen.

Last night we went to the Fox Theater and saw Wicked... and I believe it will stand the test of time for me.

The performances were phenomenal, especially those of Glinda and Elphaba. (the Wicked Witch of the West) I got a little verklempt a few times... so did Dr. Mike, that big pansy.

Preceded by a huge ribeye and some wine at Morton's, it was a fun evening. It's always nice to dress up a little and go out on the town.


It's possible that the HD DVD vs. Blu Ray standoff is over.

Warner Brothers has announced they will endorse Bluray, and make their library available exclusively in that format. That leaves Paramount and Universal the lone standouts among major studios that support HD DVD.

I've been waiting for someone to blink. Unlike the Beta vs. VHS battle of the 80's, the more expensive version appears to have taken the lead now. We'll see if it holds... but this development is huge. I would advise refraining from purchasing an HD DVD player for the time being.