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Life is never boring...

Life has been trying real hard to keep me on my toes. We were sad when we had to put our beloved dog Bacchus to sleep on July 22. He was just over 11.5 years old. Of course with a daughter, two other dogs, a cat, and two kittens, we didn't have time to really wallow in grief and sarrow. Of course we cried, but quickly had to get on with life.

We just celebrated our daughters first birthday, which means that we have somehow missed an entire year! I'm glad I took pictures, because I sure don't remember most of it. Of course life just keeps going on without stopping...

My father-in-law is currently in town visiting for the birthday party, and at the end of the week he's getting married. This may not sound strange on the surface, but when you consider that most of the guests are going to be from my mother-in-laws side of the family, and that I'm supposed to be performing the ceremony, it gets just about the right amount of strangeness to be part of our life right now.

I guess I better get a little sleep, and hopefully we can teach the little girl how to walk well enough over the next couple days so she can be the flower girl for her grandfathers wedding.

New ride

Well, this has been an interesting couple weeks.

It all started when I realized that my nice reliable 1999 Honda Shadow 750 ACE Deluxe was getting close to 39k miles on it, and I figured it was about time to finally replace the bearings in the rear wheel. I ordered the parts (about $60 worth) and waited for them to come in. Last Thursday I picked up the bearings and dust seals and looked forward to a little wrenching on the weekend. On Saturday morning (after pulling the back tire off the motorcycle), I discovered that I didn't have a bearing removal tool needed to get the old bearings out, so off I went to visit a few different shops looking for the tool I needed. Long story short, no-one carries the tool (in retrospect, there are a couple friends that I could have called for help). Of course one truly evil shop had a 2005 Honda VTX 1300R sitting out front with full windshield and lowers, saddlebags, chrome engine guards, and only 3134 miles. The salesman quickly pointed out that if I traded in my 750, I wouldn't need to worry about changing the bearings. At this point I basically stuck my fingers in my ears and walked aways saying "La la la la.. I can't hear you!" On Sunday I put the rear tire back together, wiped up any signs of oil leaks, and went back to the evil shop to look at the VTX again (with Joy and the baby following in the car)... and ended out coming home with the VTX (really upsetting an older guy who had been sitting there all morning waiting for his wife to show up before buying the bike for himself).

After driving the 750 for about 7 years, it's taking a little work to get used to something as big and heavy as the VTX, although I will be more comfortable making longer trips on the VTX than I was on the 750. I figure by this weekend, I'll be comfortable enough to give people rides.


Ayla has this strange way of letting us know that she is hitting one of her milestones in development. When she started mimicking sounds, I used simple words like "hi", "hello", and "Ayla" that could be made without forcing her into complicated mouth positions (reminder, she is only 3 months old). When Joy was dropping her off at daycare one morning, Ayla looked up and clearly said "Ayla", which shocked Joy and the daycare worker. The shocking part was that this was the first time she had clearly made an 'L' sound, and she hadn't been prompted to say it either. Ayla has since incorporated her name into her normal vocabulary, and it can often be heard in the middle of cries or general babbling.

The most recent milestone she revealed to us was rolling over. She's been able to turn herself over with some effort since 3 weeks, but it always seemed like a coincidence.. although a highly repeatable one. On Friday, she decided to show us that she can roll over on purpose. Starting from her back, she tucks her arm against her side, then uses her foot to push herself over onto her stomache. After doing this quickly a few times to make sure we got the point, she then pushed with her arm and continued in the same direction onto her back again.

I figure that since she is trying to do so well, I would try teaching her how to play the drums. Do you think that 3 months is too early?

The poor baby doesn't know what home is

We're finally home again! Our little Ayla is now 3.5 weeks old, and she's already traveled more miles than I did the first couple years of my life.

While walking around the shop at the Jelly Belly factory in Illinois, we were stopped my a mother who had to ask Ayla's age. When we told her that she was only 2.5 weeks old, she was amazed that Joy was up and walking around so much after giving birth... at this point I couldn't help it and also informed her that we had just flown in from Phoenix 2 days earlier. The look on her face was priceless!

I finally managed to get the pictures from the trip uploaded, and now I think it's time to get a little rest before heading full force into tomorrow.

I really need to contact HR over at ASU to schedule orientation and other random tasks that need to be done since I'm supposed to start work in a week.

I think I need a few weeks of down time to rest at some point.. but I don't see them any time soon.

Ultrasound from 2007-07-14


Ultrasound from 2007-07-14
"Ultrasound from 2007-07-14" on Google Video
Video of the 3D/4D ultrasound taken on July 14, 2007. Baby Ayla was MUCH more cooperative with us on this day, and we now have a good idea how she will look.

Ultrasound from 2007-06-16


Ultrasound from 2007-06-16
"Ultrasound from 2007-06-16" on Google Video
Video of the 3D/4D ultrasound taken on June 16, 2007. Baby Ayla wasn't very cooporative on this day, as she insisted on putting her hands in front of her face.

It's always hard to say goodbye

Today was hard. We had to say goodbye to Anteros, one of our beloved cats.. one of our family. Last weekend he got sick, but seemed to be getting better, then started showing signs that something was wrong. We finally took him to the vet yesterday, and the blood tests showed that there were problems with his kidneys.. really bad problems. Besides the hard choice that we made today, the other would be to spend a lot of money to put him on IV fluid for a couple days and then retest him to see if he might respond to treatment. That treatment would have been a special diet and giving him fluids 2 to 3 times a week for the rest of his life. Basically having him on the cat version of kidney dialysis. As the morning went on, we could tell he wasn't doing well, and any treatment would have just prolonged his suffering, so we said goodbye.

blogs, podcasts, comics... what would I do?

For a long time now, I've wondered what subject matter I would use if I were to start a regular blog, or perhaps do an audio or video podcast. My life isn't really that interesting, and I'm not an expert at anything interesting. I can administer Linux machines, I write Ruby (mostly Ruby on Rails) applications, and I sit around in attire fitting for a person working from home. I like riding my motorcycle, but recently it's been more to get me to a clients site to fix a computer problem than just to take off and ride. I haven't visited a skate park in a few years, and my bike has had flat tires for even longer.

I just can't think of anything that would hold interest for more than 5 minutes.

I've also had the idea that perhaps I should try doing an online comic strip. I enjoy drawing, but my skills in that area have grown stagnant, not to mention that fact that I'm not sure what my subject matter should be. I could always base it on myself, with plenty of fiction tossed in to keep it interesting.

No matter what I did, I have a feeling that I would need others to help in the creative content department.

Does anyone have any ideas on what I should do?

Guess I'm not that old yet...

These results were obtained inside my noisy computer room. In a less electronic filled environment, I would probably do even better.

You are about 20 years old
The teen repellent will no longer foil you, but you can still hear some pretty high tones.

The highest pitched ultrasonic mosquito ringtone that I can hear is 16.7kHz
Find out which ringtones you can hear!

I had almost forgotten what pain felt like

While resting on the table in urgent care yesterday, I realized that it has been about 20 years since the last time I had to get an injury stitched up for doing something stupid. Last time, while a freshman in high school, I managed to cut open a gash in the back of my leg when I fell off my bicycle. This time I was playing in the garage with power tools.

Joy was sleeping on the couch, so I planned on going to the Sun Dragon fighter practice by myself on the motorcycle. The motorcycle was covered in sawdust from random projects, so I decided to do a quick cleaning with the shop vac. At this point I decided I needed an accessories rack to organize the attachments for the shop vac. After pulling the motorcycle out of the garage, I got to work looking for suitable materials.

I found a board I had salvaged from an old couch, and some dowel that could be cut into pegs, and came up with a plan. I would cut some 45 degree holes in the board, put pegs in the middle of them, then mount the board to the wall. This sounded like a quick half hour project, so I might as well get started.

I marked the general location for all the holes, then got started on making the jig to help with drilling all the holes. I determined that a 1.5” forstner bit would be perfect, so I chucked it up in the drill press. I grabbed a scrap 2x4 and used the band saw to rip one corner to 45 degrees, and clamped it to the drill press, along with another short block to hold the board in place. Everything was looking good. All I had to do was drill out all the 1.5” holes, switch bits, then drill the holes for the pegs.

The first hole went in fairly well, being careful not to make too aggressive of a cut. The second hole was causing problems right from the start. Due to the angle of the cut, and the bit I was using, it wanted to move the board more than just cut into it. I was using the first hole to help hold the board in place, so when the drill bit really caught the wood, it pulled the board (and my fingers) sideways.

I knew something had smacked my finger, but didn't know exactly what had happened. I somehow instinctively shut off the drill press and headed inside. My hand was clenched into a fist, but I was happy to note that I didn't see any blood, and everything I could see looked fine. I headed into the bathroom to rinse off my hand and see what (if any) damage had occurred. As the warm water cascaded over my hand, I slowly opened my fist and watched as the water turned pink. I slowly turned my hand over and looked at the jagged cut going across the tip of my left index finger, and it didn't look pretty.

I called Joy and asked her to get some gauze and tape to wrap my finger, and that I should probably have it looked at. We got the finger dried and taped up before the shock set in and then I had to sit down on the floor for a few minutes so I wouldn't end out falling and causing more injuries. A few minutes later, I was back up and grabbing the keys to the motorcycle in order to pull it back in the garage before we left.

Eventually we ended out at the urgent care facility where they poured iodine over a very open wound, and eventually set to work putting a few very loose stitches in my finger to hold it in approximately the right shape. Apparently there is some flesh missing, so the doctor couldn't just stitch it up normally.

Three hours after the initial act of stupidity that started all this, I was back home and preparing to go out and visit with friends for the evening.

Unfortunately, that quick little "half hour" project will have to wait for a while until I can get back to completing it. My guess is that I might be able to hold out till next weekend before going back to the drill press and try again.