instant gramming

December 31, 2009

i dun fell off... my bike

riding my bike in the fresh powder we got last night wouldn't have been a big deal had I decided to ride my knobby-tired mountain bike. instead, i went with my skinny and smooth-tired Surly. All was well on the bike path until after crossing a street, I ramped up to the bike path and proceeded to slide into the wooden bollard like I was stealing third base. It was actually a pretty graceful slide into the horizontal position, cushioned by a pillow of unadulterated snow. I ended up fish-tailing for the continuation of the ride. I've never been so glad to finally be at work.

Anyway, I'm not super pumped about the ride home this evening. Other than that, I was really warm on my ride in which is always a positive thing.

December 30, 2009

i dun fell off

computer crashed over a week ago at home. lots of holiday traveling has kept me away from the office, so no computer access for me. it's helped curb my ebay habit at the very least. it's also helped me realize i don't need to check email and blogs so frequently--let's see if i can get any work done today and tomorrow...

i had a great vacation, hanging out with family, eating lots of food, especially sweets and beer... movies: The Hangover (classic), Role Models (super great), 500 Days of Summer (meh), and soon, PaperHeart (?).

2010 is rollin up fast--no resolutions, just hopes for a healthy wife and baby. Maybe less computer. Finish the basement before Baby Girl arrives.... awesome garden that produces all summer long. Less sleep. A tattoo. And no Ebay. Did I just say that? No Ebay. Wowie. Less Ebay, meaning not checking it everyday.  Hey, it's not 2010 yet. I still have some time to amend my resolutions...  Oh, and at least 800 miles on my bike.

December 22, 2009


What C is afraid of:

What I am afraid of:
It's not that either of us want the other thing, but both scenarios have come up in conversation between us. C made a good point that we will be our child's role models and will try to set her (them?) on the path we think is right from the start... I may have fallen a little farther from the tree, but I turned out to be more than alright, I think. Anyway, I thought this would make a pretty funny juxtaposition. Yeah, that's the Lunachicks on the top. Ha

Baby bumps

Baby girl has been punching and kicking and otherwise ramming C from the inside like crazy lately. After a post-dinner bite of some Godiva dark chocolate almond bark--which may not have anything to do with this--baby girl was just flailing around. It was fun to feel and even watch.

Sometimes Alden--our dog--wants to lay across C's lap and I hope someday soon he'll feel those little bumps too and notice...

We've been driving ourselves nuts trying to think of names...

December 17, 2009

play: push bike

this is a long way off, but looks like a lot of fun for a kid to have: "designed to teach kids from the ages of 2 to 5 to ride a bike without ever using training wheels." (seen at

December 16, 2009

Fat beats, great presents

Text message from C this morning, after her doctor appointment: "Heartaeat 150 but our baby is fat!"

Translation: "The baby's heartbeat is 150 bpm; according to the measurements from our last ultra-sound, the baby appears to be larger (and heavier) than expected! Yikes!"

The good news is the doctor said C's belly... and uterus?... appear to be the right size and in the right place, respectively...

More good news, we keep getting amazing presents from people and the feeling is just so awesome. Pictures to come!

December 15, 2009

Quote: Bike/ city planning

In Copenhagen they make cycling easier for people through city planning, but here we prefer to make cycling easier by quite literally trying to take the effort out of cycling. However, it doesn't take an Einstein to figure out that crappy streets are still crappy streets regardless of how much electrical assistance you have, and even someone who can't spell "nonplussed" surely realizes that getting hit by an SUV will suck... Bike Snob NYC

December 13, 2009

Belly bumps, names

The baby is starting to kick more and we've even been able to see quick, little bumps through C's belly. Pretty crazy. This morning I was spooning C and had my hand on her belly. Every time I felt a kick, I'd give a couple weak squeezes. C said I was tickling the baby. Pretty funny and pretty awesome too.

Not much is new. Just trying to comb through every possible girl name. Looking for inspiration on TV, in magazines, in movies, in baby name books... I'd like to say we have a short list of favorite names, but even that handful of names is a long way away from commitment. I'll start worrying about not having a name when she's born and we get stuck calling her "Babe."

December 7, 2009

Mommy's little monster

After visiting the "doctor" (ultrasound technician)--who was great, by the way--C and I celebrated with lunch and a milkshake at Arby's, then a mini shopping spree at Once Upon A Child. Basically a thrift store for babies. Having combed through the "girls" section, we poked around in what the "boys" get and C pulled out this hidden treasure. A Misfits onesie for 12-18 month-olds. See that price? $1.50. No joke. I was so pumped. In fact, when we first found out we were pregnant, I envisioned our kid in a Misfits shirt.


everything is good in the hood

December 5, 2009

Updates: belly, food, doctor

I'm bummed I haven't been updating much. Time is flying almost as fast as C's belly is growing. She looks great, like, absolutely beautiful. Unfortunately she doesn't see it that way. It doesn't help that her boobs are apparently still growing. And she doesn't feel awesome all the time--sleeping is more often than not pretty uncomfortable on her spine and hips--but just yesterday she was saying she feels so much better than she did in the first trimester. Her "taste" has not only returned to normal, she is actually craving healthy foods. Last night was the second time she made these really awesome meatballs in kale and pasta. Freaking amazing. And she's craving kale! This particular meal might be my favorite meal she's ever cooked and it's out of her "Feed Your Belly" pregnancy book. She's been working out more, especially at the gym. It's good because it compels me to go too and I need to exercise just as much as she does.

Anyway, things are going swimmingly. They baby gets roudy at least once almost every night, kicking like a riotous mosher in the pit. Monday is our big, important ultrasound where we will hopefully learn the sex of our little buddy. Unfortunately it is across the city, unlike our doctor who is about a mile away, and, as far as I understand, this technician won't even be able to tell us anything substantial about the baby's health/condition--we'll have to wait until we see our doctor next, the following week.

I can't believe Christmas is almost here. I really need to start getting some stuff done in the basement... Crap.

December 1, 2009

Thanksgiving 09

Thanksgiving break was great. Lots of family--actually entire families coming together and eating a lot of food. What was most special was coming home with a couple inherited items: a couple of wool Pendleton shirts from my dad that were given as gifts to him by my paternal grandmother and a Bible that has all of my maternal grandfather's notes and highlighted passages in it. The story behind the Bible is my grandpa had one Bible and wrote in it and used different colored highlighters to mark passages. Since there was only one original, my aunt bought Bibles of the same version and replicated all of the highlights in the same colors and all of the notes in the margins so the children and grandchildren could each have a copy. Also, my aunt scanned a bunch of pages that had extensive writing and at least one loose page that is a list of blessings for Thanksgiving from years ago. One line reads "My Home and Family that keeps me loving and looking for the Truth, the Good, and the Beautiful".

November 24, 2009

play inspiration

this tee-pee idea comes from a dad blog, Pacing the Panic Room, that I started following when his wife was around 25 weeks pregnant. Check out the maternity series -- really rad photo documentation of the belly-growing process. I hope to build super cool things like this for our baby, despite the fact that currently she likes to hide from me when I try to feel her kicking. she'll learn to like me, I know it

fun with music

this has me excited about the endless creativity, curiosity, and energy of young kids

Think I Got A Beat - Hi-tek

November 22, 2009

20 weeks

Today marks the beginning of the 20th week of C's pregnancy. I can't believe we are (she is) this far along. She did remind me that we were clueless for the first month--but 16 weeks has cruised. 20 more weeks seems like an eternity and a blink at the same time.

C had asked that I organize something special for today, and I failed, unsurprisingly. I'm not good at it. I honestly put some thought into it: get a hotel for a weekend getaway--something of which I couldn't see us taking much advantage... that's pretty much where I stopped. I am really good at knowing what she doesn't like, but come up short when it comes to knowing what she does want. We ended up going to Cleveland to visit C's family, which we had sort of been planning in light of Thanksgiving with my family next week, and it was a really good time, as usual. Papa is in a rehab center, so we've been anxious to pay him and Nanny a visit. C's mom cooked us a pre-Thanksgiving meal last night and it was awesome.

So, after getting home, we did some chores around the house, and a clean house always makes us both feel good.  I did convince her to let me pick up some food from a restaurant downtown she really likes, and stopped to pick up a bouquet of small hot-pink roses from the grocery store. 20-freakin-weeks! It deserves a lot more celebration than what I managed to pull together.

I wish I didn't suck so much at being romantic and surprising and whatever. There's no excuse, I am just bad at it.
(P.S. Coincidentally, today is also Alden's 2nd birthday!)

November 20, 2009

sex vs gender

The other night I was out with 2 co-workers and they were asking about how the pregnancy was going. I mentioned we had hoped to have an ultrasound "to find out the gender of the baby" then quickly corrected myself to say "the sex of the baby." They both looked at me, sort of dumbfounded that I would replace "gender" with "sex" saying "they mean the same thing."

I am not well versed on the subject, but to me, the word "sex" refers to genitalia; and as I understand it "gender" is a social construct that polarizes "male" (or masculine) and "female" (or feminine).

Now, I'm not trying to get too semantically deep.  A lot of time I want to be a manly man that is masculine. But a lot of times I feel insecure or whatever because I'm not so much. I'm sensitive, and I cry, and I can sew, and don't know half the rules of football, and hate baseball, and so on and so forth...

Anyways, for our baby I'm aiming to stress gender-neutrality to a certain degree. I don't have a problem with having a boy that gets obsessed with football or a girl that likes pink, or vice versa.

I've not done much to research any prevailing thought or philosophies or insights or the like, but feel pretty confident that what I think makes sense...


November 18, 2009

Skateboarding, Biking

I'm sure I've said something similar before, but I just realized:

I feel about bikes now as I felt about skateboarding in junior high.

I riffle through bike blogs, virtual page after page, from my office, like I did with skateboard magazines at school--trying to wring out every drop of information about the style, the culture, the best tips, the top gear.

I admire pictures of bikes like I had ogled over skateboard deck graphics from the latest CCS catalog.

I envy the commuters, tourers, messengers, and freestylers artfully photographed alone in a crowded city street; in a pack climbing a curvy mountain road drenched in the light of the rising sun...

I live vicariously through the stories and articles and epic photographic essays from behind my desk, both then and now, waiting, impatiently, to get back on the wheels that allow me to connect to my surroundings, but also brake free from the alternatives that are so pedestrian...

November 16, 2009

Earth to baby

I just tried making contact with the baby. Without a clever bone in my body, I said a few boring things into C's belly, then laid my head on it with both of my hands pressed into the rest of the available space on her skin. I kissed it then informed C that the baby was sleeping.

Apparently the baby can hear what's going on in the real world, so maybe we'll make a habit of talking to the baby. I suggested we start reading to it (which might be the only way to get me to read a book)

C has a doctor appointment tomorrow... more to come

November 13, 2009

words to learn to live by

To get thine ends, lay bashfulness aside; Who fears to ask, doth teach to be deny'd.
Robert Herrick English lyric poet (1591 - 1674)

November 12, 2009

surly sets sail

the surly cross check made its maiden voyage this week, in the condition shown here, without handlebar tape and with poorly adjusted brakes.

Today the tires are significantly dirtier and the brakes (after a lot of agonizing) are perhaps a little better adjusted. On the first trip the handlebars weren't tight enough, and today I found out the right brake lever wasn't tight enough. But I haven't crashed, so that's positive. The bike is rad for sure. With a bunch of upgrades (including Ritchey handlebars, Vittoria tires, Thomson seatpost, Cinelli cork handlebar tape, and FSA crank arms) I've still managed to build up the Cross Check for about $300 less than the MSRP for one that's all stock...

November 11, 2009

Sticky Buns

Email from C:
I think the baby loves sticky buns!  I have read online that the baby will kick more/be more active about 1/2 hour after eating sugar and it's doing the same thing it was doing last night after my sticky bun! Maybe that means at least I don't normally eat a lot of sugar

November 10, 2009

Judo kick

I think I just felt the baby kick - no lie!
Oh yeah - here are the wool socks:

November 6, 2009


Sent by my dad, to me and C both:

Having a child is surely the most beautifully irrational act that two people in love can commit. Bill Cosby

destroyer will kill

Can't remember why I thought of this, but I revisited this link to a bunch of photos I uploaded about 6 years ago to a graffiti website called "Robots Will Kill": DESTRO

Good memories about my shitty skills and some fun times spent alone trying to get good and dreams about getting down with big writers


dont worry about critiquing this art, positively or negatively, it was a hot minute ago

November 5, 2009

Wool, Gender...

I've had good intentions to write a post that included a photo of the first present I bought for our expected buddy: two pairs of merino wool baby booties, colored orange and green--as gender neutral as I could get...

I'm obsessed with wool and it's inherent ability to keep animals (including human animals) warm and dry... Anyway, they are kinda cute, and despite all the reviews that complained about them being too small, I bought them anyway. They were on sale too...
All is well around here. C hasn't been burdened by nausea so much, but did learn that peanut butter granola for breakfast will make her puke her brains out a few hours later... wooops.

Not much else to report. Trying to get an ultra sound scheduled before Thanksgiving, at which point we hope to find out the sex of the baby. I haven't put a lot of thought into it beyond being anxious to know and to start narrowing down baby names, or at least rule a few out. It seems pretty hip these days to not find out and be super gender neutral about stuff, but I don't see any harm in knowing. I don't plan on forcing football on a boy, or Barbie Dolls on a girl. No matter what I plan on impressing our child with punk rock, skateboards, bikes, and gardening... I do have some slight concerns about a future baby shower and receiving gifts that are all pink or all blue...
Oh, and C was looking on a Chinese Gender Calendar or something, and determined that, based on the month of conception, our baby will be a girl... weird...

November 4, 2009

The religion of environmentalism

On an NPR-broadcast BBC news program yesterday I learned about a British guy who is suing his former employer for philosophical discrimination, based on the legal precedent of religious discrimination. The philosophy in question was centered around Climate Change and his relatively radical environmentalist ethics. Now, I don't know his whole ordeal, and I can't say I support his legal actions, but I was intrigued to think of environmentalist philosophy as a spiritual/religious ethic. The plaintiff said "my belief is underpinned by moral and ethical values comparable to many of the world's is crucially underpinned by ...overwhelming scientific evidence..."

One listener ("J.R." of Boston) responded to the story to criticize this guy's actions saying environmentalism was in no way similar to any of the world's faith-based "religions" which rely on faith in the unknown, whereas Climate Change has a scientific basis. [This is the best I could do to transcribe what was said:] "Religion is based on blind belief that notions established by others are purported to be the word of a higher being and that your own well-being will be enhanced by following and making offerings to those bringing you the Word. Climate Change is based on scientific evidence. How we are causing damage, how to avoid doing so, and the consequences of not making changes are not a matter of faith..." That is a terrible comparison. I can agree that religion is faith-based, but to deny a spirituality grounded by science is sad. And having to follow and make offerings to the ones bringing (i.e. interpreting) the Word? That statement really narrows it down to the blind leading the blind. [I'm not attacking religion here, but the choices of words used to describe Religion in such a myopic way.]

My thoughts? How cool it is that the ethics of environmentalism have a proof-driven, scientific basis! And it could be argued that there is plenty of unscientific faith and sublime wonderment in nature and environmentalism. For example, compassion toward animals is purely an ethical thing. A stance against pollution is comparable to a stance against murder or, more generally, a stance against Evil.  I love the thought of environmentalism as a spiritual, religious movement. It makes perfect sense. Everything one does to benefit the environment is a religious act; going on a hike (or a bike ride) is a pilgrimage...

A BBC article on the story can be found here

The radio "programme" that includes the quotes above can be heard
here (at ~14 minutes)

October 31, 2009

Dumpstering pumpkins, trick or treating

Today we set off on a walk to go buy some last minute pumpkins from the Boy Scout sale that's been going on for the past month a few blocks away. Turns out that some genius decided that selling pumpkins on the (beautiful, sunny Saturday) morning of Halloween was a bad idea so we turned the corner to find an empty parking lot. We did, however, notice a bunch of cardboard boxes stacked next to an unsuspecting dumpster in that same parking lot. On further investigation we found a shit ton of perfectly good pumpkins packed away and destined for the trash. Seconds later an SUV pulls up as we are peering into one of the boxes full of squash. A woman and her daughter got out. Quickly I asked "Are you all in charge here?" I can't remember the woman's response but it was basically like "No, we're here to save these trashed pumpkins too." It was marvelous. Dumpster diving for perfect pumpkins. We ended up taking 3: a large, medium, and small pumpkin--as much as we could fit into our backpack.
It was awesome.
C carved a rad "spooky tree" in the medium size pumpkin, and I broke a knife trying to carve into the thickest, gray-colored pumpkin. I saved some seeds to bake later

Passing out candy is always a mixed bag of feelings. There are cute kids and I feel bad about giving them teeth-rotting sweets. Then there are the kids that show up not dressed up in any way, not even pretending, with their parents following in their SUV, and I just wish I had some shit to give them. Then there is the group of teenagers with skateboards and I make fun of them by guessing what they are dressed up as: "Ryan Sheckler?" is my most common guess. I overheard one kid of one group of teens say "I wish I had a blunt." I said loudly "Who's talking about blunts?" Half of that group decided not to come over for candy. A year or two ago, one stupid girl held out a pillow case with a lit cigarette balanced between her fingers. I wanted to throttle her. Go home you stupid teenager that is wasting my time and candy.

Anyway, I'm not such a grump. One group of teens was really funny and actually had funny costumes and I made fun of their costumes and they were cool about it and were just out to have fun and get some candy without being douchebags. Thanks.

That's all I got. Happy Halloween!

October 30, 2009

Effing A, Cotton. Effing Aaaaaaaaaaa

So, the internets have been pretty boring recently. And as I am getting amped on my morning brew, I am compelled to lay out my strategy for piecing together this new bike sooner than later... Here goes

So far I have the frame and fork, the insides sprayed with J.P. Weigle's Framesaver, and a bunch of parts that have been cluttering up my drafting table for a month

First thing's first: I need handlebars (Ritchey Logic Pro Biomax II - bam!).
Secondly, and maybe more pressing than handlebars, I need the steering column on my fork cut down. Problem? Yeah, I can't do it, and I don't understand how to figure out the right size... I kinda do, but it's like ordering a custom suit online in a way that you pray you got the size right the first time.
Ok, so I get the fork cut (and star nut pressed into the fork), then I can officially set up the frameset, including headset (Cane Creek S1) and stem. It's practically an intact bike at this point.
Am I on "four" yet? I want different tires (looking at white 28c Vittoria Randonneurs to replace the chunky treaded 32c's I have). I might need these tires before I get the fork cut cause the bike shop owner suggested having me "get on the bike" to see how it fits before cutting it down. "What bike?" It's a frame right now. So maybe I need to make it look like a bike (wheels, tires, crankset, pedals, seatpost, saddle...) before it is one? Nah.
Five: Now I get to put all the small parts on: derailleurs, cables, crankset, etc. I get to spend an obnoxious amount of time painting grease on all the tiny screws to repel water. I'm pretty sure I need a few replacement parts like a bit of cable housing that I messed up, maybe a new crankarm bolt that I think is stripped...
Six: I'm still up in the air about pedals. Clips (toe cages & straps) or clipless?  The price isn't too different between the two choices. I'm leaning towards getting some clipless pedals but I'm not convinced my regular 1.5mile commute will accommodate the hassle. On the other hand, soft-soled skate shoes get chewed up by the pedals pretty easily... Eff. Thoughts?
Seventh place goes to hooking up my brakes and shifters. That's probably gonna be a pain in the ass
Eight, wrap handlebars (the tan Cinelli cork tape I bought should look pretty dope)
Niner: figure out how to install my Nitto Mark's Rack on the front without tripping up the cable of the cantilever brakes. Don't worry if that doesn't make any sense to you. I've got a couple ideas and will probably post pictures if it ends up working out. I hope it does, cause it's a dope front rack that I got dirt cheap.
Ten? There has to be a ten. Ride it? Ok
Ch-ch-check it out: (by Mike Giant)

October 28, 2009


C's stomach has generally been feeling better during the day, but sleep has been rough on her and her back is really starting to suffer. Not sure if it mostly the fault of our mattress, or if it is purely the result of her growing belly. Anyways, we are seriously considering getting a new mattress--about which I know nothing...

I actually slept really well last night, and felt more awake this morning than I have in a while. It was probably because I had made coffee last night and set the delay brew for 6:45 this morning...

Speaking of coffee, I've been selfishly enjoying my caffeinated brew daily, while C has managed to keep away from it usually. We both know it's not very good for the baby, but understand that small amounts of caffeine wont hurt (apparently it's okay to drink wine???), but might boost C's spirits/mood/feelings/patience/energy at times.
I'll mention I've been having a lot of premonitions that the baby is a girl...

October 26, 2009

Workin out

It's been really hard for C to get motivated to exercise since being pregnant. As little as I can understand what she has to deal with, it makes total sense that trying to go on a run or lifting weights, or whatever, would seem impossible.

Over the weekend C found a couple pre-natal workout and yoga DVDs. We ended up getting Kathy Smith's "Pregnancy Workout" (Classic edition). I can't find a date on this obviously re-issued video, but these film stills will give you a great idea of what we found.

At the end of the workout, the pregnant ladies are found in a line with Ray-Bans or side-ways baseball caps and start rapping, 80's-style, about being pregnant. Check it out:

I don't think this is really going to get C working out, but it did afford some good laughs... Back to the drawing board


Yesterday I saw a kid--"kid" but probably not much younger than I--skating in the street directly in front of our house. After maybe 20 minutes, realizing the kid was planning on staying there, I put on a long sleeve shirt, my skate shoes, and grabbed my board. Mind you, it's been well over a year since I actually skated beyond cruising down the street to pick up pizza. Maybe even two years. Damn.

Anyway, I went out and introduced myself to this kid, Joey, who just moved in to the apartments across the street. He was really pretty good. It took me a while to warm up and my goal was to finally land an ollie over the traffic cone that was out there. I finally landed it a few times, after a lot of frustration. I was trying all kinds of 180s and just reclaiming some comfort on my board. We didn't talk a lot, just talked a little about ourselves and talked about how we were old and skateboarding wasn't as easy as it used to be... ha

I was out there hardly 30 minutes before I was exhausted and had to call it quits. Joey was real cool and I'm sure I'll be skating with him soon. But seriously, my entire body hurts today. It hurts to walk, it hurts to sit, it hurts to turn, it hurts to think...But there's something wholly satisfying about these aches that makes me excited about feeling better soon and getting back out on my board, even if it is only in front of my house. Maybe I'll try to build a fun-box from some scrap wood I have for the next time I want to mess around...
Currently listening to a playlist of Jackie Mitto music on

October 21, 2009


Doctor appointment today. Not sure what went down while I was sipping coffee over Fit Pregnancy magazine, but I got called back to hear the baby's heartbeat. 140 bpm, I think, plus a few "kicks."

Next step, trying to get the H1N1 vaccine.

October 18, 2009

Sleep, Body

Some quick updates (in no particular order):
C has had a little trouble sleeping due to the fact she can't sleep on her stomach and, apparently, shouldn't sleep on her back either. Yesterday afternoon I spied on her sleeping on the couch, slumped over on her knees in the "fetal" position so that the weight of her upper body was resting on her shoulders/face. Pretty cute. I was tempted to take a picture but figured that wouldn't make her happy and that this was honestly a subconscious attempt to rest in a new position without suffocating the bambino.
C has been complaining a little about her sore back. It's probably a pretty normal ache but she reminded me that she had been diagnosed with scoliosis which could be a serious concern in some cases... Keeping an eye on that.
Without going into too much detail, C had a rude awakening at Victoria's Secret recently when she realized she had jumped to yet another bra size. Let me just say it involves two letters and that some women would pay money to have this size chest. For C, it was mildly funny, slightly dumbfounding, but more depressing than anything.
We have a doctor appointment this week so hopefully we'll have a solid update then!

October 15, 2009

Quote: Come Alive

Ask not what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive... then go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive. - Howard Thurman

October 13, 2009

Bike camping result

So, the bike camping trip worked out - mostly. 8 of us set out from downtown Columbus and, after about 70+ miles, 4 pizzas, and some beer, made a fire and (after losing one rider) crammed ourselves into a tent for a crappy night's sleep. Unfortunately I woke up with allergic conjunctivitis--the result of campfire, sleeping in my contacts, dirt, etc.--and convinced C to drive 70 miles to pick my sorry ass up.

So I made it half way - which is more than 3 times longer than the longest distance I had ever ridden. The best part was I met some really cool people.

Random notes from the trip: Bloody Mary's at Jimmy V's to start the trip; 3 of the guys were wearing jeans and boxer shorts (it can be done!); at least 2 water bottles were filled with liquor; Evan and Matt rode a racing tandem that, among many other things, carried a football; one accident sent the two ladies down on the bike path, resulting in one knee scrape and stopped us long enough to discover an abandoned kitten that we hauled half of a mile to a gas station where we fed it tuna and milk and left it with the attendant; big hills on the last 5 miles; head-wind for most of the entire ride; Ha-Ha Pizza and BYOB; outstanding beer selection at BP; front light burnt out on the 2-mile ride back to camp =  terrifying... High of about 58-degrees; low of about 40. Stayed warm with long-sleeve wool shirt under short-sleeve wool cycling jersey, padded bike shorts under synthetic thermal underwear, and thin wool cycling socks...

more later?

October 9, 2009

Visiting family, Health, House, Work

It's been a hot minute since any update. As this is a journal of sorts, I owe it to myself to check in.

Well. Things have been good. Mostly quiet. C's nausea seems to be subtly waning away into nothingness.

We were at a family function over the weekend and everyone there knew the news of our pregnancy--which was nice because we could talk freely about it. The moms were able to share stories and were curious to hear about C's experience.

Just before that event we had stopped by C's cousins' house to visit them and their 2-week old daughter. How freaking small! Like, freakishly tiny. I was blown away--like, I had never seen a newborn before. It was the first time I got a little freaked out, like, "This is gonna be us in 6 months!" A new piece of furniture that it seems we don't yet have the space for. We were able to share our good news with them and they were happy for us.

I need to get my butt to work and finish our basement--finish the drywall, add some flooring, and get a bathroom installed down there. After that we can start on a baby's room...
Fears about H1N1/"Swine Flu" are rising and I'm trying to keep optimistic about everything. So many things can go wrong between now and forever that I just can't let those fears dwell in my head space.
C and I got in a little argument yesterday about my job and the pressure to work "above and beyond" as a non-exempt yet supposedly "highly-compensated" salaried employee at a fledgling company (this means I'm expected to work over 40 hours a week without over-time pay). I believe any other job in the same line of work will come with similar demands/expectations. The alternative? Quit and become a stay-at-home dad. Maybe get a part-time job. I agree that we could probably take the cut in total income... Is it possible? Would it work? Not yet comfortable with the idea of quitting my job, but can see that it would suck to leave the baby every day in the hands of strangers I'm paying to do what a parent should be doing.

September 23, 2009


A waist is a terrible thing to mind. -Jane Caminos


I keep reminding C that she's supposed to be gaining weight. I can understand that it's frustrating, but when she complains she always sounds surprised.

Doctor Visit 2

This morning C went to the doctor. I wasn't there, but a part of me feels like I should have been. More than that, I wish I would have been there. She got to hear the baby's heart beat via sonogram. 160 beats per minute. According to Wikipedia, during strenuous exercise, an adult's pulse ranges from 150-200 bpm. I think this means it's running a marathon inside C's belly.

I've made chocolate chip (Fiber One, just-add-water) pancakes after dinner for the past two nights which I agree is a good dessert option.

During last week, C seemed to be a little more emotional than usual; asking me nearly every waking hour if I loved her.

C: "Do you love me?"
Me: "Mos def" or "No doubt."

It was a pretty nice exercise and I haven't gotten annoyed like I would if it were anything else. I started trying to beat her to the punch once in a while to ask if she loved me. She would jokingly pause to think about it.

The numerous weeks of constant nausea have really been getting C down. Hopefully that subsides soon and we can really get into enjoying this pregnancy (as much as one couple can).

September 17, 2009

Vacation: Part II

Vacation: Part I

Hello from South Carolina. We've been on vacation in Myrtle Beach for 5 days now. We left Saturday evening, stayed in a hotel near the Virginia-West Virginia border, and arrived on Sunday afternoon. Things have been relatively great: C's nausea has been pretty low, she's been sleeping relatively well, and nothing has been terrible. Ha. That doesn't sound like a good report, but honestly it is. We're having fun with my family, the weather has been awesome, and above all we are really enjoying ourselves. Early on, C joked that feeling good on this trip was a sign that she needed to quit work. I think there is some truth in that, no doubt.

We've been keeping the trip pretty low key. We did take one risky adventure: horseback riding. We signed a waiver that warned pregnant women should not risk riding horses. Just like all other warnings, it's never clear if they mean women of all stages of pregnancy or not. According to... the internet... its acceptable to ride a horse during the first, if not also the second trimester. The risk comes with falling or getting kicked. So, we wore helmets to be safe. No joke.

Other than that I over-packed groceries for the trip. Multigrain Cheerios, Fiber Plus pancake mix, wheat bread, pitas, trail mix, bananas, caffiene-free soda, ginger ale, granola bars, chips, protein drink, V8 juice, popcorn... We haven't touched half that stuff, but a few of those things have been very handy to curb morning sickness--especially handfuls of the Cheerios in the morning.

So far so good.

September 10, 2009

Wild Things, Gonz

"The Gonz never ceases to amaze. His entire existence is an ode to human beings’ limitless potential to create their own fun."

That quote, and the video preceeding it, was nabbed from this website: we love you so - where the wild things are

this is the info about the site:
In October 2009 Spike Jonze’s feature film rendition of Maurice Sendak’s classic story Where The Wild Things Are will hit movie theaters worldwide. The film represents years of work from hundreds of different artists, writers, photographers, musicians, actors, and creators of all degrees. This place has been established to help shed some light on many of the small influences that have converged to make this massive project a reality.

Simply put, this a place to learn about things we think are great and to share with you the things those things helped make. Wild Things indeed… And also probably a lot of other randoms things that catch our eye along the way.

We hope you like it.

We love you so.

maybe you will be as surprised as me to see how many posts are about skateboarding

September 9, 2009

FuzziBunz contest

Ok, so, if you don't know me, you don't know that I'm a sucker for contests. Well I am and this post is my raffle ticket of sorts.

Since C and I have starting thinking about starting a family I've been following this blog, Pacing the Panic Room, of an amazing photographer who started a blog about having his first child.

Well, long story short, this guy, Ryan, set up a contest for a young family to win some cloth diapers and I'm all over it. The company that hooked him up is Fuzzibunz. I'm super pumped about cloth diapers, and this company has got some rad innovation. Anyways, the thought of starting to provide this early for the little seed that is growing in C's belly is exciting enough.

Check out PTPR if you are interested in the contest details or want some more insights about FuzziBunz and cloth diapers.

Good Life Go!

September 7, 2009


C has always worried about her weight and now the unsurprising gain is no exception. Periodically she checks in to make sure I will still love her despite "not doing anything" or "getting fat." It drives me nuts. But I guess it doesn't hurt to be so reassuring. I am making it my mission to make sure the fridge and cabinets are stocked with plenty of easy and healthy options. I haven't argued with the requests for Burger King or Wendy's or Skyline--though C has even admitted that some of those particular cravings weren't worth satisfying. Black bean sandwiches from Skyline have been coming pretty constant and despite the fact we've had them three days in a row, the guys that make them still can't figure out "light cheese."

We haven't been thinking about the baby much. All of our attention has been focused on nausea and food recently. We've sort of forgotten about the little grape-sized person.

September 2, 2009

Sharing the news

On a walk with Ald, C asked when I was going to tell my dad and stepmom. I decided to do it right then, but couldn't figure out how to divulge our secret creatively. C said we should tell them to get on their computer and go to my (other) blog,, and then tell them to change the "y" to a "d". It was perfect. My stepmom picked up on it right away: "You're a 'dad'?!" After maybe as many as 20 seconds all I could hear out of Dad was, "Shit!" They were both super pumped to realize the news. For most of the conversation, C and I had our heads pressed together to share the speaker of the phone. They were really happy for us and sent lots of love and blessings, even to "Prince Alden".

Telling our parents has been really exciting and fun and very encouraging. While everything has been so secretive lately, this is has been a huge relief and such a positive reinforcement.

 Today I got this text from C: "Super puke in hallway and men's bathroom... 10:45 is my doom time!"
I am realizing that morning sickness is to be pretty standard for a while now, as it has been. I'll try to keep discussion of that pretty minimal and will be thrilled to write about the end of it.

2 years

C and I celebrated our 2 year anniversary last night. It was pretty low key and simple, but it turned out so much nicer than I expected. We dropped Aldy the Pup off at J's house and went to a favorite Greek restaurant downtown. Dinner was really good, if not great, and peaceful as the place was surprisingly not busy. After that we walked over to visit our brother-in-law, M, who was working at a nearby restaurant, so he could get a piece of our celebration. We hung out with J and the dogs for a while longer then made it home to finish the evening watching some of our "stories" and eating ice cream. Bam. Easy does it. Two years down.

I guess I can't really say that it seems like our wedding was yesterday, but the time has gone quickly, and my love and attraction to C is as fresh as it was the first day I met her. I regret not doing more, because I really think C deserves the world, but life has been busy for us both and we were both ready to enjoy the evening despite anything.

In case you were wondering, if I were to have gotten a gift, it should have been something of cotton.

August 31, 2009

Not too much is new: C has continued to be fighting a cough, which has been compounded by an increasingly sore throat, as well as intermittent nausea. It seems like the nausea is generally getting better--or at least, more infrequent.

I'm hearing more reports about how pregnant women really really need to get vaccinated for Swine Flu--but then they say shots wont be available until October. WTF? I don't get it.

I'm trying to make sure C gets a regular flu shot as soon as she can.

Also, got HUGE news from my sister-in-law and her husband (a.k.a. "J&M")... more on that much later.

Sewing machine

Yesterday I pulled out the sewing machine my mother-in-law gave us and attempted to sew up the blown-out crotch of my favorite work pants. Like all the other things I do so infrequently, I had to reteach myself how to do what I wanted to do: thread a bobbin (?); re-thread the machine; then figure out how to use it. After maybe an hour, I had completely sewn up the 1-inch hole. Bam!

Pumped on my success, I trimmed a couple hedges around the house, and weeded some garden beds. Bam!

I went on a quick bike ride to pick up some lunch--bam!--and even went on a short run--bambam! We even walked our dog, twice! SUPER BAM!

I don't think any of that really happened in the order I just described, but needless to say we got some stuff done.
The weather is getting breezy around here and it seems like Summer is getting ready to pack up and head south. A new season is always a little bit exciting, but I'm not thrilled for Summer to end.

August 27, 2009


As few as two days ago, C developed a dry cough that seems only to be a problem in the middle of the night. I don't believe it's really part of a cold, but for as persistent as it has been, I have no clue. The only real concern I have about it is the loss of sleep from which both of us are starting to suffer. A couple varieties of cough-drops are scattered throughout the house and in various bags. Hopefully she'll take my advice and take some honey on bread or in warm water.

Anyway, not much is new. She threw up yesterday but I feel like the discomfort that comes with the coughing has kept her complaints about nausea to a minimum.

Last night I found her looking at baby products online. A pack'n-play/bassinet combo? Car-seats too. I wasn't too surprised at the price of those things and wouldn't hesitate to spend more money on better quality... gear. I'm a gear-head in my own right, so I guess that's no surprise, to myself.

August 25, 2009

First doctor visit!

Today I was supposed to travel to Cincinnati for work with Mark and two colleagues from the company that contracted us. Last Friday was the day I realized that this work trip and C's first big appointment with the doctor were going to conflict. My stomach hit the floor at that staff meeting. Not knowing how to broach the subject--as we've decided to keep the news a secret--I kept my mouth shut. As the weekend went on I started questioning whether I should mention everything to Mark in an effort to stay in town and go to the appointment. Sunday night I decided I would approach Mark and try to avoid Cincy. Yesterday afternoon, when I got back to the office from the field, I went into Mark's office and asked if he had a moment to talk as I shut the door behind me. I could tell he was instantly panicked as I never appear so serious. I knew he thought I was preparing to tell him I was quitting. I teared up as I started with "I didn't want to tell you like this..." and broke the news that C was pregnant. What I meant was that I wanted to tell him later on down the road, when the pregnancy was more certain, and we could be enjoying a beer at the bar. I was really emotional--which made me quite embarrassed--but to let the flood of excitement about the baby and stress about work pour out got to me. Long story short, Mark was super supportive and at one point said, "There are definitely things more important than work." I could barely believe how supportive he was--but then again, I know Mark is a big family man and while he appears to be a workaholic, he definitely does everything he can for his family and so would understand why this first visit to the doctor would be so important.
So, today we were able to wake up slower than usual to prepare for our first exam. The doctor seems really cool and I was thrilled to witness the first ultrasound that showed a little bean with a heartbeat. C seemed pretty annoyed that I made such a deal about being there, but hopefully, deep down, she was relieved that I was nearby and so excited. Everything is still so early, but today's visit calmed the biggest fears we've faced so far, to let room for a whole new round of concerns to settle in.
We left the office with a couple photos of our blueberry sized embryo and treated ourselves to second-breakfast at Panera. Awesome.
Good life go!

August 23 (Sunday)

Got home from our trip to Cincy. First time visiting Mom's new house. Just before Uncle David Phillippi's wedding, we told Mom our news that we were expecting. She screamed and kept saying "Are you serious!" She was super excited which made me feel really good. She was really pumped and was excited to talk about it for the rest of the time we were hanging out.
At the wedding, Abbie subtly called C out for being pregnant by aggressively inquiring about why C wasn't drinking alcohol. I guess she started asking how C was feeling in the mornings, devilishly prying for information. C played it off, proving that she never liked alcohol in the first place, and saying she'd been feeling well in the morning. I guess Abbie dropped it after that. Heh.
We were out pretty late--got back to Mom's around midnight. C was able to sleep in pretty well and was still exhausted all day. She's been bummed about the overwhelming tiredness, but I am not surprised and have tried to encourage her to sleep as much as possible.
Home now and picking up pizza for dinner. I've been trying to be really accomodating to C's appetite--which isn't unusual--but it seems like maybe she's even more pickey than usual. It's only complicated because she tries to make me decide and I feel like she should be the one calling those shots. Long story short, deciding about food has been a sloppy dance around options and indecision. This is the only thing that has annoyed me, and it's really not a big issue. Oh well. She hasn't been complaining much about nausea today which is great news. Hopefully this keeps up.

August 21 (Friday): Part II

Just got a text message from C: "So sick. I don't understand how to deal with this and have any sort of normal life.."
What a bummer. I wish I could do something to make her feel better. The least I can do, I realize, is to do anything she asks to help her feel as comfortable as possible. And to do it without complaint.
One thing I forgot to add earlier is that I'm nervous about being home this weekend, around my parents and siblings, and to not tell them. It's really a bit premature to go spreading the news, and although I'm super excited and want my family to be excited, I just don't want to jump the gun. C has her first doctor's appointment on Tuesday (Aug 25), so we'll hopefully know a lot more by then. If only the appointment was before our trip to Cincy...

August 21 (Friday)

Talking to C on Google Chat. She threw up for the first time today. Not every day has been so terrible, but today's nausea has been the worst apparently. Not sure what would make her feel better. Feeding her lots of bread and ginger-filled things. I think we've done as much as we can. We've managed to get to the gym a few nights this week for some exercise, and have been taking Alden on at least one walk per day. I think getting out has been keeping her mind off the sickness.
We're going to Cincy this weekend--uncle's wedding--and I'm worried it's just not going to be any fun to be around a lot of people--especially since we're trying to keep it a secret, mostly.

August 16 (Sunday)

C's Bday. She's feeling sick again--as she has been for the past 3 or 4 days. Just straight nauseated. Trying home remedies like ginger ale mixed with lemonade. Apparently Canada Dry Ginger Ale doesn't have real ginger in it--just "natural flavors" and "caramel color" so I picked up some Reed's Original Ginger Brew from the grocery store's Natural Food section. Bread has seemed to work to settle C's stomach too.
I've been feeling really guilty about the nausea she's been experiencing and all the discomfort that will be weighing her down over the next 9 months, not to mention the trauma of child birth. I'm just counting on there being truth in all the good stories you hear about pregnancy and bonding with the baby growing inside. Hopefully this period of "morning sickness" passes quickly.

August 9 (Sunday): "Try to make him black!"

Went to the gym.
A young dark skinned kid overheard me telling my name to the girl behind the desk.
"Strong. You should name your son Goliath" he said.
I replied, "You think that's cool, my wife's last name is Love."
Later, on our way out, as we were walking down the stairs, we heard the kid holler up the stairway, "Love-strong!"
As we walked by I said, "We're trying to come up with baby names. What do you think?"
"Jordan" (patting both hands on his chest)
C: "Is that your name?"
(We get further down the hall)
"Try to make him black!" he hollers while the girl behind counter gasps in embarrassment

Lots of laughter

August 8 (Saturday)

Getting prepared to go to Yellow Springs with Gary, Sue, Mike, and Jess. We reveal to J & M that we're expecting--I held out the pregnancy test stick for them to read--C thought that was gross.

August 7 (Friday)

Took another pregnancy test, to be sure.

Still "Pregnant"

August 2 (Sunday): Big news

Returned home from a weekend in Cleveland. We had celebrated Nanny & Papa's 60th wedding anniversary, as well as Terry's 23rd birthday which brought lots of family in from out of town, plus multiple dogs, the fire pit, and beer.
C hadn't been feeling well and was feeling really curious about her body and her truant period. She wasn't sure about anything but knew she wasn't feeling right. To be honest, she didn't look different at all but I trust that she knows her body well. Between the highway and home we stopped to pick up a late lunch (Noodles & Company) and a pregnancy test. We both figured what the result would be - negative - and that it would ease our minds (hers especially). Just having the box of tests was nerve-wrecking but C wanted to wait. It was as if we already knew the answer - negative - and would just do it later, as if it were a load of laundry or something. After lunch, C decided to get it over with. Nonchalant, I went downstairs to cut some drywall. Moments later I heard a panicked "David!" as if a spider had just jumped out of the sink upstairs. I bounded up the steps because I realized there was a bit of excitement in her voice. She explained that even though the instructions said the digital result was expected to appear in 3 minutes, it showed up freakishly instantaneously as if the unanticipated answer was unmistakable. An answer we were both surprised to see: "Pregnant." Well, sort of surprised. I mean, for the past couple of months we were "not not trying" and had even put a little thought into when was a biologically correct time to conceive. I was even strategizing what days I would ride my bike to work so as to keep my little navy of sperm afloat (side note: people started noticing I was driving more and were getting inquisitive; I tried to play coy)... There was at least a little bit of effort.

August 21, 2009

Work, dirt

While it seems like I have more complaints about my job than one should, days like today make up for the bad ones, a hundred times over. Most of my day were spent establishing a prairie garden outside of the big wall-to-wall/floor-to-ceiling window that is the back side of our office. Alongside our intern, I turned over sod, loaded dirt from my house (stockpiled from our patio construction) in two trips, unloaded the dirt, spread it out, then planted a few preliminary plants. While we were loading dirt into the truck I was also able to let Aldy run free in the backyard and do his business. With the addition of some more flowers, we'll have a pretty impressive prairie garden blossoming below our bird feeder, to provide more food and habitat for native wildlife. It reminded me how inspiring my boss can be and how nice it has been to work for a small company that allows me to work on such cool projects.

July 20, 2009

B-day, Patio, Photos

(I apparently didn't take photos of the most complicated steps: leveling the sand...)
We owe you big, DanS'mores

July 2, 2009

Health Is Stealth

My 26th birthday is coming up and I'm trying to crank out a few life-errands before that day hits. Not sure why, but I figure that I've come to the point where I have to start acting like an adult that takes care of himself. Also, I like setting deadlines so if I complete something simple I feel like I'm one step ahead of myself.

Last year I went to the dentist. Twice, even. That was pretty cool until my health insurance mucked everything up. I went to an eye doctor who pointed out my eyes have gone rogue and prefer to not stay in place for long periods of time.

Today I became a new patient at a nearby Family Practice. Is that what it's called? A doctor. I saw a doctor. For as nervous as I was, it was a pretty underwhelming experience. I really like filling out questionnaires, so that was fun. I also enjoy answering questions to which I know the answer. It was gratifying to be reassured that my blood pressure and pulse were in good places. The best news was that my moles, although plentiful and eye-catching, were of no serious concern. Sweet. Other than that, nothing. I guess I was hoping for some sort of receipt to show that I was completely healthy, like you'd get after a 120 point inspection on your car. I mean, the doctor didn't draw blood and perform all sorts of tests. No x-rays. No "Turn your head and cough." Not even a wooden stick down my throat to look at anything there either--and that's gotta be the simplest thing to look at. Just one tetanus shot and I was out the door. Check.

One step closer to being a responsible and healthy adult. Next up is a car inspection. That, or starting a retirement account for myself...

June 30, 2009


A salesman came to our house today to demonstrate a water purifying system. The whole experience was estimated to last up to an hour, according to the guy who set it up and promised us a $20 gift card to Home Depot. We were 2 hours deep into this pitch before the guy even started talking about the cost... He had a lot to prove. Unfortunately for him, a lot of it relied on us being average, "hygienic" Americans. One part of our discussion sounded something not much unlike this:

Salesman: How much do you spend on groceries each week?
C: ...$75 a week?
Man: Ok [punching numbers into calculator]. 25% of that budget should be how much you spend on your "cleaning bill"... $18 per week...$80 each month
C & D: [confused looks]
C: Umm...
D: Noo...
C: We don't spend that much. Maybe... $10 each month.
D: Yeah. Ten...
Man: [puzzled] Oh, that includes your soaps, shampoos, bathroom and household cleaners, laundry detergent...?
C & D: [smirking]
D: We use a lot less of that stuff than the average household. We don't do a lot of laundry.
C: I don't wash my hair.
Man: [look of concern and abject horror] You don't wash your hair? It's because you don't like the feeling of the hard water--
C: No, I think it's 'cause I just don't care.
Man: [trying to save this] That's okay. We're all different.
The actual conversation was a lot funnier because it was longer and involved us fumbling over a padded description of our lifestyle, while he was trying to keep the ball rolling about his point about saving money. According to their literature, the average household spends $12-15/week on their "cleaning bill." I think we agreed that we spent $10 a month on cleaning products... I'm still convinced that is a liberal estimation...

I don't know if I should spend some time giving an explanation of our unusual/atypical habits. I guarantee this lifestyle would (will?) change dramatically if (when?!) a baby joins up and completes our nuclear family unit. Until then, we will wear most of our clothes multiple times before a wash, and showers will be on an as-needed basis.

June 29, 2009

garden, mud hole

tomatoeshot peppersyellow squashzucchchamomilezinniapurple coneflowersalvia...?hydrangeadaylilypatiopool party