Saturday, June 30, 2007

Another Walk (with art)

In an unsuccessful attempt to get LB to fall asleep this afternoon, I took him on a walk around my Father-in-law's neighborhood, near LaFortune park. Here he is through the little window on the stroller.

On the return leg of our journey, we passed a yard with this beautifully executed chainsaw sculpture out front.

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Posted: 30 Jun 2007 12:00 AM CDT

  • Threadbared
    It's like the fashion version of James Lileks' Interior Desecrations. Snark and vintage clothing. What's not to love?
  • What Not to Knit
    Knitting is a noble craft, but some people reach the point where they ought to take a break, but they decide to go on and, say, knit a lion costume for the dog.
  • What Not to Crochet
    Crochet is a noble craft, but some people reach the point where they ought to take a break, but they decide to go on and, say, crochet a coral reef complete with sea anemones.

Friday, June 29, 2007

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All four of us (well, five if you count the fetus) went walking in the post-rain humidity tonight. 30 minutes.

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Posted: 29 Jun 2007 12:00 AM CDT

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Baby Pictures (sort of)

Well, Tiny Sibling had hir first pictures taken yesterday. Sie was a little angel, holding still and posing nicely. Here's three of the better shots:

Showing off an already striking profile!

A face-forward shot showing off the fashionable "skullhead" look all the cool kids are sporting.

And a little wave goodbye!

The little one is about 13 weeks now. Due date is around December 29. No knowing the sex yet. That's a couple of months away. I got to hear the heartbeat for the first time (Kim heard it last week in the doctor's office) and I saw the little thing fluttering away. Sie's a strong one, I tell ya! Can't wait to meet hir.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Last night the Tulsa Central library played host to two local musical acts. This was a bonus concert tied in with their long-running Tuesday Tunes series, but whereas most Tuesday Tunes performances take place over lunchtime, this was an evening show.

The first performer was Wendy Nichol (pronounced like "Nicole". It's her middle name.) She did a vocal/acoustic guitar set backed up by percussionist Josh on djembe and maraca, and another guy playing bass. Her songs were well-executed, but pretty forgettable, though I did like "This Is For All the Girls".

After a long set-break, GHOSTS took the stage. They are quite a different band than Wendy's little combo. They could use about half a dozen roadies to help them set up their array of equipment, but once they hit, they were great!

They came on in white Tyvek jumpsuits (the drummer with a red hood and a black cloth covering his face) to the sounds of a prerecorded intro worthy of Pink Floyd or Zeppelin. If there's anything GHOSTS lack, it ain't hubris. They played the first few tunes with Garrett on keyboard, Matt on bass, and Shane on drums. After a bit, Garrett took the bass and Matt switched to guitar. Except for one song, Garrett sang lead in an Elvis Costello croon. These guys can really play their instruments, and they are tight, at least when the electronics are working.

Stylistically, GHOSTS was all over the map, from a weepy ballad called "I'm Sorry", to the psychedelic "Sea Organ" to full-on rock anthems. Here's a video clip from one of them:

It was all, quite frankly, pretty weird, but in a very good way. They announced one song as being about "a suicidal clown working in the children's burn ward of a hospital". That's when most of the parents left, but I stayed, and both boys had a great time. In fact, here's BB rockin' out to their final number:

You can barely see LB's little hands waving "like he just don't care" from down in the stroller. They loved it!

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I'm in ur TGIFRIDAY'S eatin'ur sammiches!

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Posted: 26 Jun 2007 12:00 AM CDT

  • willshetterly: today's reading on class
    Will (one of my favorite authors) has some commentary on a recent article discussing MySpace and Facebook, and how the users of each are beginning to split along class and subculture lines. MySpace being more "alternative" and "underclass" than Facebook.

Monday, June 25, 2007

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Powerball is over 100 million, so I walked up to the Shell station to try my luck. We'll see what happens on Wednesday's drawing. 30 minutes.

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Posted: 25 Jun 2007 12:00 AM GMT-06:00

Sunday, June 24, 2007

New site to geek out over

Mashable pointed me to a fun social site called It lets you create simple lists and share them with friends. May not seem like much, but on one of my favorite communities (the EschwaBBS) there's an entire forum devoted to listmaking. Here's my first effort!

The boys and I took a spin around the neighborhood last night. I'm not sure why my post didn't go through. Anyway, it was about 45 minutes.

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I has a spork! (Yep, that's right. I just lolbabied my own kid, and I'm not ashamed at all!)

Saturday, June 23, 2007

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Many of you have no doubt wondered about the interview I was stressing over earlier this week. It ended up not happening, but there are some other opportunities on the horizon.

Books read in May

I'm sorry it took me so long to get this put together. There's been a lot on my plate this month.

Brown Girl in the Ring - This is a marvelous future-fantasy novel I picked up for my "Genre Fiction: Fantasy" class at the library. It features elements of the Obeah/Voudon religion in a dystopian Toronto where the city center has been cut off from the suburbs and left to rot.
Harry Potter and the Sorceror's Stone *
Fantastic Four: Books of Doom - mildly interesting "origin of Doctor Doom" story with forgettable art and storytelling.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets *
Monster Island I received an advance copy of Monster Planet (see below) to review for an upcoming issue of Library Journal. I thought it would be good to read the first two books first. All three are available online at the author's website, so I whipped through this one quickly. It's a pretty good zombie novel with an interesting twist. Anyone who died in a situation where their brain continued to receive oxygen until their reanimation is a zombie, but with the intellect of a human being. These uber-zombies have power over their fellow ghouls. Very enjoyable story
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban *
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire *
Monster Nation [abandoned] - This was quite different from Monster Island, so much so that I stopped reading after the first six chapters or so. Island is a relatively straightforward narrative, while Nation is disjointed, jumping all over the map (quite literally) to follow something like a dozen different stories at once. I didn't have enough patience to put up with it.
River Horse [abandoned] - For many years I've been praising William Least Heat Moon's Blue Highways as one of the best books I've ever read. His second book, Prairyerth is different, but equally interesting. This is his third, and I've planned to read it for at least five years. When I finally got around to it, I was disappointed. There's a certain arrogance here that I didn't see in the first two. What a shame.
Rape of the A*P*E* [abandoned] - I gave up on this one not because I didn't like it, but because it was on Interlibrary Loan, and I didn't want to keep it too long. Allan Sherman was a novelty musician of the 1960s, best known for the song "Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah". Rape was a book he published in 1973 detailing the view from the front lines of the sexual revolution (the A*P*E* of the title stands for "American Puritan Ethic"). It was amusing, and surprisingly, not as dated as I expected.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix *
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince *
Washed Out Bridges and Other Disasters - This was a little palate-cleanser, a collection of Doonesbury comic strips covering a parody of The Bridges of Madison County and other topics.
Monster Planet - My official review of this should be in the June 1 issue of Library Journal. Just as Nation differed from Island, Planet is distinct from the other two. The world's uber-zombies (now called liches) have begun to band together in factions, with humans caught in the middle. This book read more like a spy novel, with lots of "who's on whose side?" intrigue. It was good, but lacked the breakneck pacing of Island.
Knitting with Balls - I'm a guy who knits, so it was exciting for me to see a book about knitting for guys. Unfortunately, it wasn't a very good book. Introductory explanation was limited, and the project instructions use abbreviations that aren't defined elsewhere in the text.
The Yiddish Policemen's Union - One of the best novels I've read in awhile. I'm a fan of Michael Chabon's work anyway, and this book just confirmed my good opinion.
Birth of Coffee, The - This is a beautifully photographed "coffee-table" book chronicling the places around the earth where coffee comes from. The photos are printed by a method that uses actual coffee to tint the paper. When I read this, though, I had recently seen the Independent Lens documentary Black Gold, and I was keenly aware of the story of poverty, exploitation and greed that the book (sponsored in part by Folgers) wasn't telling.

Read in May: 17. Read in Jan-May 2007: 60

*As you can see, I re-read the first six Harry Potter novels this month, preparing myself for the new one coming out in July. I doubt I could say anything that hasn't already been said about them at this point. They're great!

Friday, June 22, 2007

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Posted: 22 Jun 2007 12:00 AM CDT

Thursday, June 21, 2007

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Posted: 21 Jun 2007 12:00 AM CDT

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

I have an interview tomorrow and my suit looks like I should be in a Talking Heads video. Guess I'll be wearing just a shirt and tie!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

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Kim had her first OB appointment for the new baby this morning. LB was getting fussy while we waited for the lab work, so he and I took a quick spin around Utica Square and environs. 30 minutes.

Monday, June 18, 2007

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Posted: 17 Jun 2007 12:00 AM CDT

Sunday, June 17, 2007

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I may be the only dad in America to ask for knitting needles for Father's Day, but I did, and here they are. My first set of DPNs, partway through the third row of stockinette with Baby Soft yarn. Fun! I'm hoping to make my first pair of socks soon.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Out of left field

I went to my doctor yesterday. I've been having some lower back pain, which I attributed to my muscles getting used to my new frame-size. Just in the last few days, though, I was noticing something else. Across my left shoulder I was experiencing a strange sensation ranging from tingling and numbness to a burning that was almost, but not quite, pain. It was odd enough that I wanted to get it looked at. I was thinking that there might be a pinched nerve somewhere, or that it might be a repetative strain injury of some kind.

Nope. I've got shingles. Luckily it's a mild case, and I caught it pretty early, so it should be pretty treatable. I'm on giant antiviral horsepills (Valtrex. I'm afraid somebody will see them and think I have herpes.) and it should go away once I finish with those.

If you don't know, shingles is a disease that is caused by the same virus that causes chicken pox in children. The virus stays in the body for life, and will sometimes flare up in adulthood by attacking the nervous system. In my case, it's attacking one of the major nerves (called dermatomes) that leaves the spinal column and runs along the ribs out toward my left arm. There's a very good overview at Wikipedia. Many people experience quite intense pain with shingles. I seem to have gotten off lucky in that respect!

Two blog memes - Fives and a Seven

My friend sernin on LiveJournal posted these two, and I thought they sounded like fun. I don't usually do these, but I'll have a go:

What were you doing 10 years ago?
In the summer of 1997 I was preparing for my third and final year of teaching high school. I was in Polo, Missouri. I was a couple of months away from my first wedding anniversary. I also had a summer job at Suzie Q's ice cream shop in downtown Polo.

What were you doing 1 year ago?
Last summer... You know, I honestly can't remember a single thing that happened to me last summer. That's pretty sad.

Five snacks you enjoy:
1. Raw walnuts
2. Raisins
3. My mom's incredible crack-like snack mix
4. Hershey's Special Dark Miniatures
5. Snickers

Five songs that you know all the lyrics:
1. Piano Man (Billy Joel)
2. My Conviction (Hair)
3. Oh Holy Night (traditional hymn)
4. Down In It (NIN)
5. Particle Man (They Might Be Giants)

Five things you would do if you were a millionaire:
1. Get my family and our close friends out of debt
2. Buy plug-in hybrid vehicles
3. Donate to INCOG (organization that builds bike/walk trails in the Tulsa area)
4. Donate to political organizations that promote sustainability, walkability, and other environmental causes
5. Take a sabbatical and travel

Five bad habits:
1. Nose-picking
2. Procrastination
3. Overspending
4. Overcommitment
5. Self-centeredness

Five things you like doing:
1. Reading in a quiet room
2. Tickling my sons
3. Helping people find answers to their questions
4. Telling jokes
5. Knitting

Five things you would never wear again:
1. Shredded jeans with bike shorts underneath
2. Button-down shirt with a brooch at the collar
3. An earring made of a tiny plastic baby doll
4. Jams
5. Plaid shorts with combat boots

Five favorite toys:
1. Duncan Freehand yo-yo
2. Hoberman Sphere
3. Seagate 6.0GB pocket hard drive
4. Henry's Micro Diabolo
5. The minds of my friends and co-workers

Seven Random Facts About Yourself

1. I am incredibly insecure about relationships. I constantly question if the people who say they like me really do, and I'm always afraid that I'm too needy and I drive people away. It's like every day is 6th grade, from now until the end of my life.

2. I know a little bit about a lot of things, but I feel really stupid about big things I think I ought to know about, like history and philosophy. I try to read books like The Name of the Rose or Lempriere's Dictionary and come out feeling inadequate and dull because I don't understand what the authors seem to take for granted.

3. Although I believe I could write a novel, I also know that I don't have the discipline to do the work necessary to actually write it.

4. I have lost nearly 50 pounds in the last two months, and I feel incredibly guilty because it seemed so easy.

5. I sing and speak in church not for the glory of God, but for the pleasure of being told how good I sound.

6. I'm red/green colorblind.

7. At heart, I'm basically a hippie without the drugs.

That kinda turned into 7 Secret Confessions>, didn't it? Oh, well. So it goes.

Friday, June 15, 2007

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Posted: 15 Jun 2007 12:00 AM CDT

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

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Friends, Romans, countrymen: lend me your toys!

Monday, June 11, 2007

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Hooray! Skinny pants! In a whirlwind hour-and-a-half shopping spree this afternoon I tracked down two pair of chinos and a pair of jeans and spent just shy of $40. It's a strange experience. For the first time in my life I'm trying on clothes to see if they fit, not just to see if they're big enough.

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Posted: 11 Jun 2007 12:00 AM GMT-06:00

Sunday, June 10, 2007

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I walked 40 minutes around the neighborhood with both boys tonight.

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Posted: 09 Jun 2007 12:00 AM CDT

Saturday, June 09, 2007

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BB and I made a literal"milk run"to the store this morning, and then I mowed the lawn front and back. Pretty productive start to a Saturday morning.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Last night I attended a concert by the Council Oak Men's Chorale at the Central library. It was an amazing performance including sacred music, spirituals, Broadway tunes and popular favorites.

30 minute walk to the credit union today. My parents sent of some Father's Day money so I can go buy skinny pants. Yay!

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

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Got a haircut today. I asked for something to match my skinny face, and I think she did a good job. Afterwards I did a short walk and a little window shopping, picked up a salad for lunch, and headed back to work. 20 minutes.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

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In lieu of a walk, I did the strength and flexibility workout from the You book tonight. This first time it took a lot longer than the stated 20 minutes, but it felt good.

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Posted: 05 Jun 2007 12:00 AM CDT

Saturday, June 02, 2007

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Tonight's walk took me to the drugstore and the burger shop. Mommy-to-be had a craving. Total walking time was about an hour. I also measured my waist for the first time since starting this process. Just under 39 inches. The ideal circumference for me is 36, so I have a ways to go, but I'm below the 40"danger mark. I wish I'd measured back when I started, so I knew my progress.

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Posted: 02 Jun 2007 12:00 AM CDT

Friday, June 01, 2007

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Posted: 01 Jun 2007 12:00 AM CDT

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BB trying out a well-loved climbing tree at the park.

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Score! The TV I picked up in somebody's trash looks like it's repairable for about $70. Not bad!