Tuesday, August 29, 2006

114. Happy Freaking Blogiversary.

Apparently, none of you remembered my blogiversary yesterday because you all hate me. I was waiting around all day for somebody to write a comment, post well wishes, and yadda yadda yadda, but no one did. So I figured when I got home there was going to be a surprise party waiting or something. Nothing. Thanks people.

Anyway In honor of my one year blogiversary. I had something real special planned for you. In fact, it's the same real special thing I talked about in post number one hundred (#100). It's still not ready, but it will be soon I promise. It requires some technical skill and acumen to pull off which I just don't have, so be patient, it's coming.

Anyway as I muse and look back on this year I remind myself I have written little of substance and even less of intelligence. And I say, "GOOD!" That's the point. And despite the bitter, sarcastic tone of the first paragraph of this post, I thank you all for reading and I hope I can continue to be your first and only source of interweb stupidity.

Peace, out.

Friday, August 25, 2006

113. Cross, My Heart.

A woman was jaywalking today. She went diagonally across the intersection making cars wait for her. She took her own sweet time about it without even a half-hearted apology wave to the people in cars who were waiting for her to clear the intersection so they could go through. She sickened me.

So it should come as no surprise that when she asked me for directions to [a place] I told her I didn’t know even though I did. I wasn’t feeling very kind at the moment and if she doesn’t care to cross the street when the ‘walk’ signal is lit—especially when there are cars waiting for her—I don’t really care to help her find where she’s going.

And furthermore, if she doesn’t even know where she’s going, why is she in such a hurry to jaywalk? Also, who is she to tell me my socks don’t work with my outfit? (She didn’t ask it, but I could see it in her scorn-filled eyes.) If I were a pioneer, I would have denied her passage across the plains. ‘No west for the rear-y,’ I say.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

112. A Bringing Home a Baby Bumble Bee

OK, my regulars are probably wondering a lot about the birth of the first mate. It’s been over a week and I still haven’t given you more details. That’s because the little guy has been in the hospital until yesterday where apparently they know how to take care of babies better than we do.

It all started about two weeks ago when I got some bad food at Applebee’s. I was on a business trip and spent a day trying not to crap my pants and three (3) days trying to recover from it while still making my sales calls. When I got home that Friday (the fourth (4th) of August) I was spent. I took the following Monday and Tuesday as sick days. I even went to the doctor to make sure I wasn’t going to lose my gall bladder or anything like that. He told me I was fine and admonished me to drink plenty of…YADDA YADDA YADDA. He didn’t even check for a collapsed lung like I asked him to.

Anyway, by Wednesday the ninth (9th) of August, I had decided to go back to work. My wife Limpy had a doctor’s appointment to do a routine ultrasound that morning which I would have been to, but I didn’t want to lose any more sick days. Also, the ultrasound was just a precaution to make sure the first mate was developing well late into the term. Then I remembered I had a dentist appointment that morning, so I arrived at work around ten o’clock (10:00). Keep in mind as I go on that our due date was September ninth (9th) so the baby wasn’t even supposed to arrive for four (4) weeks.

No sooner did I arrive at work than my wife Limpy called to tell me the ultrasound didn’t look great so she was going over to the hospital for more tests. I determined it would be best to go over there, because I didn’t want to be absent if anything important was going to happen. I went home, changed my clothes grabbed the hospital bag my wife Limpy packed, and headed to the hospital.

By the time I arrived they had decided it was necessary to either go for a caesarian section or induce labor because he was under too much stress. My wife Limpy and I had wanted to go with a natural birth, so we allowed them to start inducing her. They started with very minute amounts of medication to induce her, but every time she had a contraction, more stress was added to the first mate. So we started to prep my wife Limpy for surgery. Meanwhile, all our friends and family knew she was in the hospital undergoing tests so they kept calling to see if they found anything yet.

So we lied to them. We didn’t want anyone to know we were going to have a baby that day so we just told everyone we were still undergoing tests and that we would let them know what the results were, and that we would know in a couple of hours. Meanwhile, I was being fitted for a clean-room suit so I could attend my wife Limpy in the O.R. Then they took her away from me so they could administer loads and loads of drugs and anesthesia and I was left alone with my thoughts and to prepare myself to become a father.

And let it be known to the whole interweb that my wife Limpy didn’t give birth, it was taken from her. Not that we mind, but we simply weren’t ready.

In the O.R., I was impressed by a few things. One (1) was the businesslike manner in which they worked. My normally friendly and personable doctor was quiet and concentrated. I was happy. I wouldn’t want a guy with a knife hovering over my wife Limpy to get too relaxed about the whole affair. Another was the contact paper they pasted to her stomach. To help prevent any cross contamination, they stuck a large sheet of sticky cellophane to her stomach. After that, I didn’t look toward the abdominal area as they made the incision and performed the surgery.

When they pulled the first mate out, he started crying immediately. In fact, I was surprised he started crying so vigorously because they told us his lungs might not be all the way developed since he came so early. I was torn between keeping my wife Limpy company and taking some photos of the baby. They were so far apart. In the end, I decided it was more forgivable to get film on the kid so I could share him with her sooner. So I took a few photos, then I went back to show them to her. Then I took a few more and showed her those photos as well.

I was taken with the baby to the nursery while they finished the sutures and cleaning. It was quite alarming how they began tugging, pulling, flicking and startling the first mate. I mean, I knew it was going to happen, but babies just seem too fragile to be prodded.

When they finished the surgery, I helped the nurse wheel my wife Limpy into the room she would be staying in for the next four (4) days. The first mate was in the nursery under lights and my wife Limpy was beginning her recovery.


Later on, the first mate still hadn’t seen his mother except briefly in the O.R. The nurses were nice enough to let me wheel him over to her room so they could spend some time bonding. He was so small and fragile and beautiful. He and his mother got to spend some time together—which fortunately was before the pain medication wore off so she was able to enjoy him.

Earlier that day, the doctors had told us the first mate might have one of a bunch of temporary problems until he got big enough to take care of his vitals. Things he was going to have to do before they let him leave the hospital included breathing on his own, eating by mouth, keeping his temperature stable, gaining constant weight, changing his own diaper—that kind of stuff.

Breathing on his own, check. Keeping his temperature steady, needs improvement. Eating by mouth, needs improvement. Gaining weight, needs improvement. Despite his list of requirements, he was in very good shape and seemed to overcome one of said requirements every day. By Sunday, my wife Limpy was ready to be released from the hospital, with the thought that the first mate would soon follow her.

Sunday night was very hard for us both because we had to come home; the insurance only pays ninety-six (96) hours for the mother for a C section, so we were forced to leave the first mate to his own devices in the level two (2) nursery. The following days were spent going to and from the hospital so we could feed the first mate. Fortunately, everything was going well, we were getting adequate rest thanks to a rental breast pump and the milk we were able to leave at the hospital nightly for his midnight feedings. We were sad to leave him there; the dream is to bring the baby home immediately, so it was a little bit disappointing to leave him there. It ended up being the best thing though, because we were able to make sure my wife Limpy was recovered and rested without the added stress of taking care of the baby.

Sunday, Monday and Tuesday showed great improvements in weight gain and temperature regulation and the doctors told us they were optimistic he would come home within the week. By Tuesday, he was up over his birth weight.

Wednesday morning, we arrived at the hospital to find they had added oxygen to the first mate’s probes, prods and other taped-to-the-skin items. Apparently some time in the night his oxygen saturation dipped low and the nurses were unable to get it up without oxygen. So they taped the tubes to his face and shoved them up his nose. Two reasons why this is problematic include that one (1)) he had just had the feeding tube removed from his face two days earlier and the red spot was just disappearing, and two (2)) he likes to pull the tubes off his face. Nevertheless, we’re glad they could make sure he still has an adequate supply of oxygen to the brain.

Wednesday night, they hinted they would probably send us home with the first mate the next day. We all know doctors don’t usually say anything very positive unless they are sure ‘positive’ is the only possible outcome of the culmination of the events. Two things we still had to do: one (1)) we had to return the car seat we had purchased because it was unsafe; no matter how tight you cinched it into the car, it was still removable by hand. In a rear end collision, the first mate (car seat and all) would have been thrown violently against the seat back. And two (2)), we still had to get a few supplies, because we were not done shopping for all the things we would need to get ready for bringing him home.

Thursday morning, true to their word, the doctors sent us home with the first mate. We had to rent an oxygen tank from Praxair and a monitor for his heart and lungs, but he was finally coming home.

So here we sit in our house after two days of having the first mate in his brilliantly decorated room. I’m sorry it took so long to get details to any of you; I’ve been trying to take care of a recovering new mother and a newborn, but I hope it was worth the wait. I’m also sorry for the length of this post, but I wanted to let you all know exactly what happened and why it crept up on us all of a sudden like that.

We’re home; we’re happy; we’re changing diapers.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

111. Just Sit Right Back and You'll Hear a Tale.

The First Mate has arrived. Yesterday, my wife Limpy went in for some tests and we learned it was most healthful to deliver the baby immediately. (He’s about a month early.) He was born at 5:04 pm MDT at four (4) lbs, six (6) oz. He’s doing great especially since he came a bit early, but we’re in the hospital for a few days while they make sure he’s strong enough to get by. I’ll give you more details later, but this is the only picture you will ever get (unless you know us in real life in which case, just email me if you want me to send you more photos. Posted by Picasa

Friday, August 04, 2006

110. And Furthermore...

And while I’m at it, I might as well complain about two more things that were wrong with my hotel.

Fourth (4th) complaint/comment. The toilet paper is too far away from the toilet to reach with both hands. ‘No problem,’ I thought, ‘I’ll just take advantage of Newton’s laws and grab the paper and pull real fast.’ Not so simple. The toilet paper doesn’t rip easily. When I do the grab-and-yank, I end up sending the toilet paper roll into hyperdrive and it unrolls until at least ten feet of TP are coiled up on the floor. I thought I might be too slow to take care of Newton’s laws until I actually tried to tear the TP using both hands. It doesn’t tear along the serrations. It just doesn’t. So there’s one more complaint. And another:

Fifth (5th) complaint/comment. Apparently, this hotel thinks enough of their guests that they provide them with oatmeal-enriched exfoliating bath soap. I don’t know if you exfoliate like I do, but I have never done it with oatmeal. I was intrigued. Apparently, they actually put ground up oat bran right there in the soap. It’s kinda cool because as the soap wears down, the exfoliation commences. OR…it would be kinda cool if the oat bran wasn’t sharp enough to draw blood. Nothing says skin care like a good laceration.

And just for good measure, I need to say this about the 2006 Impala rental I'm driving. No cupholders. None. nobody needs the seventeen (17) cupholders the Dodge Caravan was touting, but would it hurt to put even one in there? I'm just sayin'...

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

109. Either the Sleep Number Bed Lies, or I’m Chubby

I usually don’t call out products or business by name in this blog, especially if I’m going to complain about them, but this time I have to. Mind you (and you will mind), I have no REAL complaints with the products and/or services in this entry, but the names have to be said. Sorry, legitimate businesses.

First (1st) complaint/comment. On Monday, I enjoyed dinner with a friend and his wife. (We’ll call him Mark E Mark and her the Funky Bunch.) I had not seen them in a couple of years, and it was good to catch up. I left dinner to their choice; they chose Applebee’s. In the course of ordering, I asked them what would be good to eat there. The Funky Bunch answered by asking if they don’t have Applebee’ses in Provo to which I responded that they do, I have just never been to it. Mark E Mark indicated that everything was pretty much good to eat there, and that they don’t have any preferences. Then he asked why it matters. I explained that I hate to go to a new restaurant and dislike the food. It’s not fair to a restaurant to rate the whole thing on your first experience, but how can you go back if your only experience has been poor. That’s a one-hundred percent (100%) failure rate.

To my everlasting delight, the food was great. Monday I ate it, but Tuesday I was barfing all day. (OK I didn’t actually go President-Bush-on-the-Japanese-Prime-Minister, but I felt like crap.) I can’t blame it on Applebee’s, it’s more likely I got sick at the greasy burger joint from my last post. RrrrAHeeee! However, true to my previous statement, I have to lump Applebee’s into my horrible digestive day. I will never go back to Applebee’s and I most violently reject the idea of going back to the greasy burger joint—not because they done me wrong inside, but because I can’t help but associate the two with my horrible day of barf.

Second (2nd) complaint/comment I put the ‘Rad Son’ in Radisson. This Radisson hotel I’m staying at (whose website I would link, but their site is down) is one of the nicest I’ve ever been to. I’ve been to nice hotels, but I’m not one to spend a lot of money for a place where I can turn off the lights and shut my eyes, so it’s rare I stay in a hotel this nice.

A few glaring problems with the property though: A) The shower has a strange penchant for making night-to-day type changes in temperature without warning. I feel like I’m back at the SUU dorms, only there is no two (2) second warning signal like a pressure change just before the water changes to blistering hot. AND the water can change to ice cold just seconds later without even telling me. B) The front door is broken—DARN those automatic door fairies. C) The sleep number bed which I will tell you about in ‘Third (3rd) complaint/comment.’ D) This hotel used to be a Hilton property—until about three years ago.

Now as I mentioned before, the hotel is very nice. When I say very nice I mean the surfaces—the floors, the furniture, the walls—everything looks and feels beautiful and luxurious, but inside the surfaces, everything is messed up—the plumbing, the electrical (which keeps flickering for some reason)—you might say the fa├žade is beautiful, but the interior is rotten. And that’s why Hilton sold the property; the world didn’t have room enough to give two-bit Paris such an apt competitor named Hilton.

Third (3rd) complaint/comment. If you’ve ever listened to the radio, or spoken to someone who has listened to the radio, or watched ‘Gilligan’s Island,’ you know about the Sleep Number bed. Why? Because every radio show host/DJ/board operator/producer/songwriter/radio station custodian/traffic reporter has received a free sleep number bed in exchange for their kind comments on the radio. It’s actually a very good marketing strategy by Select Comfort—or it would be if the bed wasn’t such a dirty rotten liar.

The bed has a control that allows you to set the firmness of the mattress by pushing an up arrow or a down arrow. It also shows you on a display a number that corresponds to the firmness—one hundred (100) being firm and zero (0) being the softest. In other words and to make an analogy, Percy Pearl would be a zero (0), Rachel Ray would be a fifty (50) and Jack Lalanne would be a one hundred (100) if they were reincarnated as Sleep Number Beds. It all works with air pressure and it’s supposed to be the best sleep surface in the world because you are supposed to be able to adjust it to your liking.

For me it lies. When I lie on the bed in all my corpulent masculinity, I bottom out at the Sleep Number mark around thirty (30). I’m not saying it for effect either, when the sleep number reaches thirty (30) my back rests on the box spring underneath the mattress. Those of you who know me know well enough that I’m not so big I should bottom out a Sleep Number bed when said bed should have room to get even softer. Maybe it’s made only for a person of diminutive size—I bet it is, because the short, skinnies wanted to get back at the world for car airbags which only work correctly for big people. Maybe Willie Wonka owns the Select Comfort factory too and he has no big people to test the bed. Also, when I bottom out at thirty and then hold the up arrow to increase the firmness, the firmness number shouldn’t drop to 25 like mine did.

Anyway, if the bed is supposed to bottom out at thirty (30), why not just call that a zero (0) and prorate the rest of the scale? I feel I’m being cheated. What if my Sleep Number is fifteen (15) but I’ll never know it because once I reach the thirty (30) mark, I might as well be sleeping on the box spring anyway. And another thing, when you adjust the firmness toward the firmer end, it doesn’t feel like a mattress getting firmer, it feels more like laying on a canvas getting pulled tighter and tighter. At least it has a good feature: when you drop the firmness to the bottom (or thirty (30)), there’s no way you’re going to roll of the bed in the middle of the night and bonk yer noggin’, it’s nigh impossible to get off the bed when it’s completely deflated. A sleep number bed would be perfect for children—they wouldn’t roll off the bed and they’re small just like Oompa Loompas.

So those are my product-specific complaints for the year. Maybe Applebee’s deserves another chance. Maybe Hilton sold the property so they could build a better in the same area. Maybe I’m too big for the Sleep Number bed, but I do know this: any opinions to the contrary of those stated above are those of liars, the intellectually dishonest or stupid people…