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Olive at 6 weeks

Okay, 6 weeks and 3 days.


  • When she lifts her eyebrows (what she has of then) she gets forehead wrinkles.
  • Her forehead wrinkles are mostly on top of her head. Had her forehead not grown already then the wrinkles would be fully atop her head.
  • Nicole noticed the forehead wrinkle thing comes from my dad.
  • Even though she is gaining weight her hands still look more like they are in normal proportion to her arms.
  • She is over 8 pounds now and I expect her to hit 9 by around Wednesday.
  • She is strong. Since about week 4 she’s been able to push up into a stand on my lap nearly vertical. Her balance and coordination isn’t very good. We just need her arms to catch up now.


Shortly after my last post Olive developed reflux. It started with a gurgling noise in her throat that we now know is silent reflux. So she got her first hospital visit since these things seem to have to happen on the weekend. After a bunch of tests to make sure it wasn’t an infection and waiting for her blood oxygen to get out of the slightly low range the doctors all decided it was reflux. I also learned that on some babies a phlebotomist can draw blood from the arm like on an adult.

So now we give her Zantac which doesn’t stop the reflux, but makes it less painful. She’s not even minding the bitter mint flavor as much. We also started having to feed her more often but less with each feeding and keeping her elevated for 20 minutes after each feeding to let gravity help keep things down. I get a lot more early morning web browsing done now.

The hardest part is when Nicole will only do for comforting. On those days I come home from work to relieve Nicole and there is very little relief I can provide.


12 days a father

On August 11 Olive was born. She was due today, the 23rd, but for a number of reasons she had to come early. Despite being over 38 weeks gestational age she was small at 5 pounds 11 ounces, putting her in the 5th percentile for weight. However she is in the 75th percentile in length. She’s starting to gain some body fat, regaining her birth weight in a week and going strong. Nicole is recovering faster than expected too!

The only problem with her size has been with diapers and clothes. The compostable diapers the diapers the hospital used were too big so we switched to the newborn size we had Those were too big too. At this point they fit and it’s nice not having to wonder if something is going to come out the side. All of the clothes, even the 5-8 pound clothes tend to be very baggy on her. Some of them are starting to fit but I think having enough bod to fill out the clothes will make her too long to fit in other ways.

Going into this I figured the early weeks were just a process. Figure out what’s needed for feeding, cleaning, and sleeping and the rest will take care of itself until she became more interactive. That’s still true, but now I see that in some ways she is pretty interactive right now. She’s also often a sleepy lump, like right now with her laying on me like a frog. She’s happy, I’m happy.

Some things I’ve learned so far:

  • Beware the projectile poop
  • Girls can make a fountain with their diaper off too
  • The lack of sleep isn’t as bad as I thought it would be as we learn the patterns and wants and needs of the little one.
  • Baby limbs don’t really move randomly, but follow instructions like “move right” and get a “stop” when they get to something interesting
  • When she gets startled her arms spring out and her fingers open wide and it looks like she’s throwing up gang signs. I need to try getting video of that.
  • I think she’s great!


    Welcome to my month

    Now that it’s basically over, welcome to my month! Only a few people knew it was my month and I should have been telling people about it, but I got busy and I didn’t really know how to word it. This is my month because it is APS Awareness Month.

    APS is Antiphospholipid Antibody Syndrome but you can refer to it as antiphospho-what? It’s also known as Antiphospholipid Syndrome, Hughes Syndrome, and Sticky Blood in the UK which makes it sound like something you’re likely to find in a horror movie. So what is it? It’s not Lupus! It’s a rare disease where your body makes antibodies that attack the phospholipids in your body. So the phospholipids in your blood cells get hit and the blood cells no longer have a nice smooth surface that can slip past one another. The blood cells catch on to one another, eventually forming a clot and once you get to the clots you face all the risks associated with clots.

    As you might have guess by now, it is the cause for my two blood clots and as a result I am set to be on blood thinners until a way to fix it is figured out. There is no known way to fix the problem, and they don’t know what causes the problem. About all it seems that is known (at least to the end user) is that it isn’t a genetic condition which means I didn’t get it from my parents and I haven’t passed it on to Olive. If you look at every other blood metric my blood is fantastic, it’s just under attack. I don’t know whether I have primary or secondary APS. Primary means it’s all I have and secondary means I have something like Lupus as the primary. I wasn’t tested for that because I would have to go off blood thinners to test for that and it wouldn’t change my treatment of being on blood thinners. The doctor didn’t seem to think I have Lupus though so I’m going with primary.

    So there you go, now all of you reading are aware of APS and I’ve done my part… very late. If you like you can ask me questions or find more information at the APS Foundation site.


    Tuesday Media Roundup #45

    Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution – So far it’s been an interesting look at what kids are fed in school. And seeing the food people consume for a given period of time in one pile is an effective tool he uses to show people how they are eating poorly.

    Jericho – I haven’t seen a western this clean since the 80s. The clothes were clean, the buildings were clean. Even when the characters were dirty, their dirt looked clean. It almost seems like this was meant to be a made for tv movie. The movie itself started out okay but the second half it fell apart. By the end it just wasn’t making much sense at all. He’s waiting for the train and they make him miss it but nothing comes of that. Then he finally meets up with who he needs to meet up with, they look at each other, and that’s it. Not satisfying at all.

    Resurrecting the Champ – Good movie, good cast! It tells a good story about what defines you as a person. It doesn’t seem to be the typical Samuel L Jackson role but he’s still great. Why isn’t Josh Hartnett in more movies?

    How the Garcia Girls Spent Their Summer – Three generations trying to find their hookup. All three stories are interesting. The grandmother’s story is interesting because it’s almost shown like a silent movie. The mother’s story is an adapting to a changing world story. The daughter’s story is a story of the first time. I liked it and surprisingly it didn’t feel long despite being over two hours.

    Obsessed – It’s entertaining despite being fairly predictable and the main character acting really stupid for the first half of the movie. Any number of early conversations to HR and the temp hiring people would have put an end to this movie. Ali Larter is good as the crazy though.

    Not Easily Broken – Pretty good marriage drama. Not everything ties together that well surrounding the core drama, but the core drama is well done.

    Gospel Hill – This movie is good for the characters and their history. The multiple plot elements don’t all get explained, but that doesn’t really detract from the appreciation of the characters. It’s like there was a good chunk that ended up on the cutting room floor.

    100 Feet – A ghost story with an interesting premise and some surprisingly intense scenes. There is one scene towards the end that goes to the gratuitous level of violence and it makes itself apparent pretty quickly if you want to look away; it quickly oes on longer than previous ghostly encounters. The writer/director is responsible for writing The Hitcher and that remains his best movie, but this one is still pretty good.

    Traitor – An interesting story about an American moderate muslim getting involved with extremist muslims. Both the military and government response and his conflicts cover a lot of ground.

    The Man in the Moon – Reese Witherspoon’s first movie and she’s even good then.

    Iris – A joyful and heartbreaking story, and at times, very harsh. Alzheimer’s movies are the biggest horror movies to me.

    Always – I finally saw this! It was as good as everyone told me it was. Definitely has Spielberg written all over it, but that’s a good thing.

    Whip It – A fairly typical teen rebellion story but set in a roller derby backdrop. It’s pretty much fun from beginning to end and who doesn’t like roller derby? They don’t explain most of the rules as it goes along, but some of the action isn’t edited together as well as it could be. It seems out of sequence at times.

    Across the Universe – Beatles songs taken and applied to a more serious story than was originally meant, but it’s still a decent story. Some of the imagery is fantastic. Between this and Titus the director seems to really like militaristic musical numbers and I think those are the strongest parts of the movie. It’s also fun for Beatles fans who like spotting Beatles references and other references to their era.

    Good Luck Chuck – Dane Cook one of the weakest leading male characters I’ve ever seen. He’s the romantic one woman type, but he jumps into having sex with hundred of women at the slightest of urgings from his friend. He makes weak protestations and whines and keeps doing it. The penguins are cute too.

    Homegrown – Movies with the paranoia of those new to crime are generally entertaining and this one, while not great, is just that. The cast is great. The surprise came at the end when there is a small convoy through town and the town was Felton. Not all of it was filmed in Santa Cruz county but a lot was. I cou;dn’t tell before because it was all woods.

    Dou fo sin (Flash Point) – Good action scenes, but otherwise forgettable. The dubbing was distractingly horrible.

    Meet the Browns – I’m not understanding why this is a 3/10 in the imdb. Did too many white people see it? I thought it was funny for most of it, It did get a little heavy handed with the end, but that’s hardly a reason for a 3.

    Perfect Opposites – The story of a guy who has his head up his ass about relationships until he loses the woman he loves and has to figure things out. I thought the part of them getting settled in LA was good. Most movies show people moving to a new area and everything just works. You don’t often see the troubles people have in new places in movies.

    Pathology – Med students gone wrong. I like the idea of it. I mean who would better know how to kill people than people who have studied how the body works? It doesn’t fall apart at the end, but it does stumble shortly before the end. There is an explosion that isn’t explained that conveniently gets rid of some characters. Aside from that it’s a decent thriller.

    Scenes of a Sexual Nature – Intertwined relationship conversations in a park in one afternoon. Most of the characters don’t interact between scenes but there are a few that provide the connection. Most of them are fairly amusing but a the same time not very memorable.


    Intermittent hot water no more

    Short version: The on-demand water heater is working again.

    Long version:
    For most of the winter the on-demand water heater wasn’t paying attention to our demands. Sometimes it would take several tries to get hot water, sometimes it would come right away, sometimes it would never come. It seemed to work better with the cover off and seemed like it might be tied to the temperature outside (it’s an outside mounted unit).

    We had a plumber that works on Takagi water heaters come out to try and figure out what was wrong. Various searches on-line turned up some people with similar problems but with no answers. The blink code from the heater itself indicated one of three things and I never purchased the remote temperature unit because I never saw a need to change the temperature once it was set. It turns out it’s more useful to let it tell you specific error codes. The plumber tore apart the unit and found everything looked good, even the heat exchanger which is usually the part that causes intermittent problems with hard water deposits.

    The plumber called the Takagi support people. They conferred and the plumber came back another day (no extra charge) and he checked some more things and then called the Takagi guy and did some more things with him on the phone. Still no answers. The plumber called back a few days later saying there had been more conversations with the Takagi guy and they came to the conclusion that it was probably a little internal spinning part that was frozen with hard water deposits and that it needed to be flushed. I was skeptical because the gas was flowing and a spark could be seen which means everything is starting up normally, it just wasn’t actually igniting.

    The plumber gave me the Takagi guy’s phone number and after telling him everything and saying I disagreed with the stuck part theory because it wouldn’t be so reliably related to temperature and it wouldn’t be affected by the front cover being off. The Takagi guy said I needed to check the spark by pulling off the ignition wire and holding it an inch from the manifold. I should see a nice blue spark but instead I saw nothing. At about 1/4″ I saw a weak orange spark. Takagi guy said the problem was the ignition wire and that I should try cutting an inch off the end and reattaching the connector. When I did that I realized the connector was glued on and wasn’t going to be reconnected. I jammed the end on to the terminal and sure enough it was more reliable, even without the normal connector on there. Unfortunately the cable was glued into the igniter as well so I needed a new igniter and cable. It was out of warranty so it was $42 including shipping and handling. The installation took five minutes and the new one has a cable that isn’t glued in which will be helpful if this happens in the future.


    Watching critter

    Some of you know that Nicole is pregnant. The rest of you now know that Nicole is pregnant. I finally finished setting up a page for various critter (we’re calling it critter for now) related items. So if you like gray moving dots (not like Pong) this is the page for you!

    Critter’s page



    Tuesday Media Roundup #44


    Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box – I’ve finally finished up the second Professor Layton game. I liked the setting and feel of this game better than the first one. The animation for the cut-scenes are both increased in amount and in quality. I think there are a few cases of poor wording of the puzzles. It’s probably because I just finished the first game, but for the most part the puzzles felt easier than the first game. Also there are more hint coins in this game so there’s no worry on running out of ways to get hints if you need them. I did run into a problem assembling the camera as it apparently needs to be assembled in a particular order an not just with all the pieces in the right place as the instructions indicated. Also if you miss a certain puzzle you will not be able to complete the tea puzzles. Luckily after the game you can go back and complete anything you missed.

    Wii Sports Resort –  I mostly wanted this to try out the gyroscopic attachment to the Wii remote and it works as advertised. It does a great job of 1:1 motion between what you do and what happens on screen. I’ve only tried a few of the games so far but they are all well done. The frisbee game was challenging at first but soon enough I was throwing as I would a regular frisbee. I look forward to the other games and seeing what else will take advantage of this device.


    Alice – I wasn’t that impressed with SyFy’s Tin Man take on The Wizard of Oz, but for some reason I thought Alice looked promising, and for the most part it delivered. Large unpopulated cities, while looking cool don’t really fit with how it should be, but everything else ended up being a fairly interesting take on the Wonderland stories. It makes me wonder how much it has in common with the upcoming Alice in Wonderland which also appears to take place in a future Wonderland, based on the trailer.  

    Black in America 2 – More great stories about the subject matter! I didn’t get to see the first Black in America, but I really liked Hispanic in America and this is right up there with it.


    Another free preview weekend means I get a lot more movies to watch, good and bad. There’s a lot of bad this time so I’ll put the better ones first. I have to start writing these before I have so many piled up.

    • The good:


    Herbie Hancock: Possibilities – This a documentary about the making of the Herbie Hancock album by the same name. It’s a collaboration with a number of artists and all of them are shown in their collaboration. I learned about several artists I’ll be looking into from this which is better than I was expecting going in.

    Bottle Shock – I’m not sure how accurate the portrayal of the characters are but I think the events are probably about how they happened. The characters to make for a fun ride through the rise of Napa though. You dont have to be a wine afficionado to enjoy this movie.

    Le Placard – A fine film! I don’t normally expect a straight up comedy to come from France, but this one really delivers.

    Black Irish – It’s good, but I wasn’t expecting something this heavy. This movie is pretty heavy on the drama but not in a bad way and doesn’t go down the rode of the morose.

    Sweet and Lowdown – Great mockumentary about a fictional guitar player. The music is good and the humor is played perfectly.

    CJ7 – A mostly non-kung-fu Stephen Chow movie, but I still like it. File this mostly under heart-warming family film. I look forward to the sequel.

    The Anniversary Party – A small group of actors getting together to make their own movie can often go wrong, but in this case it all came out right. I guess there’s nothing else to say other than I really got into the characters.

    • The okay:


    The Bachelor –  It’s mostly pretty silly in the premise but the it starts to get fun when Brooke Shields’ character enters the scene. I’m glad it referenced Brewster’s Millions because that’s what I was thinking this was goign to be like early on. Seeing a couple hundred brides running around is pretty fun.

    Blood: The Last Vampire – Live action anime! Apparently it isn’t as good as the original anime, but it was still entertaining enough. I probably wouldn’t seek it out, but if you like anime vampire/martial arts/demon movies you’ll probably find this entertaining.

    A Wake in Providence – A second tier family reunion type movie. It’s entertaining but not as good as other examples of the genre.

    Paul Blart: Mall Cop – I was skeptical that this was a movie worthy of how much money it made. The first 30 minutes weren’t that exciting, but then it turned into a fairly decent comedy version of Die Hard. Yeah it would be better to watch Die Hard, but this wasn’t that bad.

    Fired Up! – This stated off with kind of a Ferris Bueller feel. The main characters could improvise a plan and get out of any situation. After the first 15 minutes the only thing left is what you see in the trailer. Their ability to hatch plans and execute them on the fly vanishes, killing the best thing this movie had going.

    The International – Thriller and international banking don’t seem like they would go together and really it ends up more of a commentary about the far reaches of the banking system and why it is untouchable.

    The Breed – This movie was a little confused. It tried to present a Brazil-like future, but that was completely unrelated to most of the movie both in content and in style. I like the idea behind the movie and it plays well except for about 10 minutes in the last third which seems to come out of nowhere. The movie gets back on track but there’s defeinitely a “what the hell is going on” section.

    The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle – Bullwinkle and the narrator seemed fine, but Rocky seemed a little flat, despite being in 3D. I think the silliness stayed true to the cartoon including a heavy dose of meta-fiction. Overall I think it was a successful live-action version of the cartoon, but I don’t think the public wanted a live-action version of the cartoon. I enjoyed it though.

    Bart Got a Room – Good prom flick and William H. Macy is funny as the dad. It made me think this is what would happen if John Hughes were to make a less-funny indie film.

    Confessions of a Shopaholic – I give props to this movie for pointing out the difference between cost and value right up front. It also does a good job presenting people’s problems with credit cards. It’s all wrapped in an entertaining film, though I suspect the economic advice will not be applied by most people.

    Step Brothers – I’m not really sure why this works, but it does. I think the only part that doesn’t work for me is the school yard bullies, but that’s a small enough part that it doesn’t really detract. 

    Sunshine Cleaning – I enjoyed it, but I don’t think I’d watch it again despite Alan Arkin being in it. I’ll watch him in anything.

    Wrongfully Accused – It’s Airplane comedy and it’s pretty close to that original feel. I’ll credit that to the writer/director working with the Zucker/Abrahams team in the past. It’s pretty funny and I might consider it again if I were in the mood for a Fugitive parody.

    The Rookie – Yay, I love baseball movies! It doesn’t seem like this story could actually happen, but yet it did. I think it has a little too much of a feel of destiny to it, but it’s still a good story.

    Strictly Business – This falls in the average comedy range. It’s interesting watching it now though since the gangster as the dominant black character hadn’t yet emerged.

    My Faraway Bride – It’s kind of a middle of the road cross-cultural romantic comedy. It probably would have been better had it not been based on how the writer met the lead actress. The fish out of water/rich-poor/you-us marriage conflict film has been done much better any number of times, but this is an entertaining enough way to pass time. Bonus points for being short.

    Happy-Go-Lucky – For the first two thirds I think the main character has to be one of the most irritating characters I’ve seen in a movie. Thankfully events happen to tone it down and as a whole I think the movie ends up being pretty good. I’d rank it about the same level as other Mike Leigh movies.

    Standard Time – I like song standards so I was pretty happy with this from that aspect alone. Andrew McCarthy makes any scene he is in better than it would have been otherwise. The ones without him aren’t bad, but his stand out. I have to give it credit for going through with a wedding scene unlike any other I can recall.

    The New Guy – Not the fish out of water comedy I was expecting, but a rise of the little guy comedy instead. It’s fairly funny, but not consistently. I like the casting and it all sure beats a flaming marshmallow to your eye.

    • Stop reading here:


    Bob the Butler – Tom Greene isn’t as obnoxious as he generally is in this movie which makes this an average entertaining movie. Not the kind you go out and try to see, but the kind where there’s nothing else on tv and this comes on and you feel like being lazy.

    Stealing Harvard – A silly premise, which is fine, with a lackluster execution. The movie only really hits where it needs to be right before the end which is just enough to make it okay.

    Lucky 13 – In some ways it’s similar to Bart Got a Room in that the main character gets advice from everyone before figuring out what they need to do to be happy, but it’s not nearly as good. I think the ending is appropriate though.

    Sugar & Spice – A cheer leading version of The Usual Suspects. It seems like this should be an easy sell but it ends up being fairly forgettable. Maybe if it had gone more along the Point Break lines with multiple robberies that would help, or even more training. Instead it feels mostly like a discussion of heist movies.

    Wet Hot American Summer – Could this be the least funny summer camp movie ever? It might be. By the end I don’t even think the actors cared anymore.

    Beverly Hills Chihuahua –   The worst movie of the bunch. Good thing I was able to work on code while this played or I might have gone insane. I do have a theory that this actually started out as a script for a rich white girl who gets stuck in Mexico, but that was too generic so they changed the story to be with dogs. Aside from the occasional dog references, and since the dogs talk, there is nothing preventing this from being made with an all human cast. Except then you wouldn’t get people to watch it because there are dogs in it.


    An upgrade and a cake attempt

    Having successfully upgraded the CPU on my computer it was time to move on to phase two of the upgrade. So I put in the Kingston SSD Boot Drive and popped in the Windows 7 upgrade install. Since I was upgrading from XP I knew I would have to do a complete install and I have to say that was the easiest and fastest Windows install I’ve ever done. Beginning to end was done in 20 minutes and that includes it waiting for me to come back into the room to enter the machine and user name. I even managed to install almost all of my applications.

    I’ve been running XP in the classic (old) UI so I wasn’t sure how well I’d get along with the latest Windows UI but it all seems to have a nice logical flow so far. I’m fairly impressed with the whole experience. Now if only Windows had the equivalent of Spaces on MacOSX.

    On the cake front I tried to make Cranberry Obsession Snow Cake. It’s a cake I wanted to try making last year but the blood clot got in my way, and then cranberries weren’t in the store. So finally I’ve done it and it isn’t as ugly as most of my cakes are. I think it’s ugly on the inside, or certainly not as pretty as the picture. How is it? I don’t know yet. It felt like a serious effort to make so it will have to really blow me away to make me want to make it again. It’s almost time to take it out of the fridge so the co-workers can try it out though.


    Daily battle

    “Everyday is a battlefield, but if you fight with anger, you’re the problem. If you fight with joy, you’re disillusioned.” – Carlos Santana in Herbie Hancock: Possibilities


    A little faster on the uptake

    This year it only took ten hours into the new year to realize I need to update the mail filters to reflect that the new year isn’t in the future anymore and I shouldn’t be rejecting those e-mails.

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