Wednesday, October 31, 2007

You know that whole fertility thing? The thing where Christie and I were told we couldn't get pregnant without significant surgery?

Well, surprise! It was to us, at least. Still is, really.

Now, it's early. Much earlier than most folks tell people, but my audience for this blog is mostly family and friends, many of whom we've already told. More than that, though, this blog is where I write through what's on my mind, and what's on my mind now is pretty much just that one thing, and if I can't write about that one thing, then this blog is going to get pretty fucking useless (too late, I know).

So, expect a few more links to daddy blogs and pictures of cool baby gear. Also the occasional cool nursery. And expect many, many self-indulgent posts in which I will pretend to be the first man ever in the history of the world to have a pregnant wife, and share my insights as though they were actually interesting. Should be a good time for all.

More to come. Much, much more.

Oh, and if you know me in real life, and you see me staring vacantly off into space, now you know what I'm probably thinking about.
I have a sort of a rhetorical question. Why is it that the racially paranoid right wing of the Republican Party are so freaked out by the prospect of hordes of people in the third world coming to our shores in search of economic prosperity, but they refuse to fund family planning in third world countries? Seems like a no-brainer to me, given their expressed feelings on the matter.

There's a larger issue, here. Emigration to the US, particularly illegal immigration, is generally tied to problems in the home country. But foreign aid is bad.

I've never met a conservative that actually wanted to see people go without health insurance, but they object to policies which guarantee health care for everyone.

They oppose abortion, but don't want to fund Planned Parenthood, which prevents many times more abortions than it provides, not to mention the prenatal care they also make available.

I guess they're just not results-oriented.
A Kansas City mechanic is working on a Hummer Hybrid that gets 60 MPG and has twice the horsepower.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Some things you know from experience, and some things you just know. I'm not saying which one this is.
Today is one of those days where nothing quite works the way it's supposed to, everything takes longer than I'd like, and my brain has nothing particularly useful to contribute. Even getting it to participate in basic problem solving seems to involve thumbscrews and chocolate. So why am I telling you this? If I'm so incapable of being interesting, why post it to the blog and share the boredom?

Hmmm. No good answer to that one. But I'm posting it anyway, because I haven't posted in a while and because I'm stuck waiting for another damn query to finish its slow, slow work. Sorry. It's a war between me and my brain, and you're just in the way.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Over the years, I've had issues with Christopher Hitchens, but he's written a damn fine piece about a young soldier killed in Iraq who had been inspired to go there by Hitchens' own writings: A Death in the Family: Politics & Power
Apartment Therapy has a post up on talented artist Lori Nix. She makes miniature dioramas, then photographs them as if they were landscapes. It's weird and hard to explain, but the results are very cool.

Lori and I actually went to college together, but didn't really know each other, except this one time my girlfriend pretty much totally dumped me for her, and there was much drama, but that's sort of what college is for, and besides, I really, really needed to get out of that relationship, so really she did me a favor.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The verdict is in, and I have a partially torn ligament on the side of my foot. The more I move it, the slower it heals, and I move it every time I take a step, so I get to wear a boot to immobilize the joint for a couple of weeks.

Good fun.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Ah, Tivo, how I've missed you. Can you forgive me for straying?

Never Mind

After two months with the IPtv, we're going back to cable, and to Tivo. The guy from Mediacom is coming this afternoon. Why?

Reason one:
Principle. And money. The principle of money, perhaps. They sold me on this system based on price. We were supposed to get three DVRs and it was supposed to cost only a bit more than we were paying for cable, and significantly less than we were paying for cable and phone combined. Read the fine print, though, and it turned out to be the same cost exactly. Oh, and only one DVR, plus two set-top boxes. The best part of that, though is that the set top box actually IS a DVR, it's just that the DVR functionality is turned off on two of the boxes. So I was paying more than I was promised for less than I was promised. Which pisses me off, I will admit.

Reason two: The DVR. The remote was weak, and needed to be pointed EXACTLY at the cable box to work, and the volume controls could only move up a single step at a time. Very annoying. And the operating system for these things is actually Windows CE, which means that when it crashes (which happens more often each week we have the system), it takes almost 20 minutes to restart. Our Tivo crashed exactly three times in the years I've owned it. And the interface is clunky. And the DVR depends on a network connection to work, so that when the cable signal went out, or the network was down, I couldn't watch shows that I'd recorded. WTF?

Reason three: Service. The movies they have On Demand almost all suck. It's mostly horror films, actually, and not good ones. What, exactly, is the reasoning behind that? And the PPV? It's all wrestling. Even the porn is wrestling, if you can believe that. Naked Ladies of Wrestling or some such thing. Who, exactly, does that appeal to? Nobody in our house. I hope. And the one channel that's totally worth having cable for? CW. Which blacks out for some reason on Tuesday nights, when we really want to watch Reaper and Beauty and the Geek. I mean, yeah, Beauty and the Geek is a juggernaut, but Reaper is a new show, and it's a Kevin Smith thing, so it's practically canceled already! Centurytel, if Reaper gets canceled because Christie and I haven't been able to watch it yet, I'm totally blaming you!

Although, to be fair, CW also seems to have trouble coming in on Wednesdays for Next Top Model, which is equally annoying. Especially as the gym thinks their clients would rather watch Bill O'Reilly or Dog the Bounty Hunter than America's Next Top Model. Silly gym.

Reason four: Lifestyle. Lately, the "recorded shows" list has felt like a to-do list. Yeah, I still escape to TVland on a pretty regular basis, but we have other, better things to be doing. Like playing with the Wii. Or, um, well, I'm sure there's something. Actually, I've been watching a ton of TV lately because I'm supposed to be keeping my foot up, but I'm really not that happy about it. I'd rather do something interactive or even, if possible, productive.

All of which leads me to make this announcement: We're getting rid of our land line. There's just no point in spending $30 a month on the three or four phone calls we make each month. That comes out to about ten bucks a call, which is a bit on the ridiculous side when pretty much everyone calls our cell phones anyway.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

If you're a die-hard hater of government, I doubt this will change your mind, but read this anyway. It's a typical day in the life of a typical person, through the lens of what government has done for them.
Once again, I find myself writing a blog post, updating you about the stupid things I do to myself. Wow, deja vu, huh?

So, the foot. It's not broken, but the x-ray does show some swelling apparently. But it still hurts, so I've made an appointment with a podiatrist at my old friend, the Orthopaedic Clinic at University Hospital. I seem to spend a lot of time there, don't I?

Last year it was my finger, before that it was plantar warts. Now it's a fucked up foot. Grr. Apparently there something in my lifestyle that is hard on the extremities.

Until I know what, if anything, I can do about this, I'm basically having to keep my feet up except when it's absolutely necessary. Particularly at night, after a long day at work. Which means no mowing the lawn, limited housework, and no gym, all of which are things I do to alleviate stress. This is very frustrating. And boring. I'm thinking of starting up a Netflix account again just to have something to watch on TV while I do my medically necessary sitting on my ass.
xkcd has a naming suggestion for Ella's hypothetical future sibling.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Krugman hits one out of the park:
"Sometimes it seems that the only way to make sense of the Bush administration is to imagine that it’s a vast experiment concocted by mad political scientists who want to see what happens if a nation systematically ignores everything we’ve learned over the past few centuries about how to make a modern government work."
RIP Harry Lee, La. Sheriff.