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December 04, 2004

Sorry for the long silence

It's been a hectic week.

I was sick over the weekend which carried into Monday. The medicine I'm on has made constructing coherent entries all but impossible so rather than subject you to something that reads like a puzzle I held off.

Tuesday had a backlog of work that was bad. Then I had two days of offsite all day training on Wednesday and Thursday with homework each night.

To top it all off yours truly had 3 wisdom teeth removed on Friday. (With a local instead of being put to sleep. I had to pick up Jack from daycare.) I'm on a heavy dose of Vicodin and am pretty tired.

I know these seem like lousy reasons to regular readers and for that I'm sorry. Part of the equation of operating a blog is that you keep your readers informed. If there is any ill will please know I'm feeling twice as guilty as you are annoyed.


Posted by Jim at 08:20 AM | Comments (0)

December 09, 2004



I wanted to give you the rundown on some things and try to keep you up to date.

A.) Last night I made Jack laugh harder than he ever had before. It was wonderful to behold. Fabulous Babe came over to see what I was doing because Two Foot Small kept going for over 10 minutes. It's the first interaction with Jack in the last week that really lifted the cloud over my head. The more he carried on the better I felt. The power of children is a remarkable thing and should never be underestimated.

B.) Jack's favorite phrase right now is "Ma Ma" which Fabulous Babe swears he doesn't know what it means. I think this is a complete load of bull and remain certain she's training him behind my back

C.) We sold the Accord. We're now down to just 3 cars. It was hard to see the car go: I got my first kiss from my wife walking her to it. She on the other hand was simply glad to see the cashiers check. Can you see the differences between us?

D.) My health. The wisdom teeth came out fine but I've been experiencing a lot of pain with one of the sockets. My Hydrocodone has been helping but the Ibuprofen doesn't really seem to do very much for it. I've had a sore throat from the whole mess and at the same time been dealing with some other unpleasant personal issues. The result? I've been receiving comments at work along the lines of "You really look awful," or my personal favorite, "What happened to you?"

E.) Holiday plans still seem to be holding firm on a voortrek to Illinois and Kentucky. I'll update you as we get closer.

F.) I'm curently working with/bribing cyberguru Dan of the hosting service that this website resides with to upgrade the current version of Movabletype that I am using. The newer offers better control over the sort of ugly spam that I am receiving in comments. To be honest the almost daily deletion of 50+ comments involving enlargement, gambling or other things has been sapping most of my energy to work on the site. If an upgrade will help that problem with a plugin then I can get back to some quality writing.

G.) Fabulous Babe has begun talking about publishing this work of mine. I have mixed thoughts. I'm concerned there isn't enough demand. I'm also worried that at this point the material is a bit thin for a full volume. If anything I would hope this website would lead to my writing somehere else professionally on a regular basis. Being as there is no shortage of wordy parents on the internet the competition may be a bit stiffer than I would like.

In the end I ask you to bear with me. My schedule will be back up to speed soon enough and pictures of our greatest accomplishment will once again appear.


The wife of a good friend of mine suffered a pulmonary embolism the other day. He and their two young sons spent three hellish days trying to come to terms with what was happening. She's ok but for the next 6 months will be self injecting herself with blood thinner twice a day. It seems impossible to imagine what would have happened if things had gone differently but this Christmas I know that anything I would want pales in comparison to the hopes and prayers of a father and two small children from a few short days ago.



Posted by Jim at 12:01 AM | Comments (0)

December 12, 2004

Please forgive me

I had one of those moments today. One of those brief instances where you get caught up in a song and it changes everything.

I recently got a copy of the latest KMTT Sampler. This is a CD with acoustic tracks by artists from their "Mountain Lounge" where all proceeds go to the Wilderness Society. (Our local station does something similar but handles the distribution like a pack of feces flinging monkeys.) I was playing it in the house this morning and heard David Gray's live version of "Please Forgive Me".

As the song played I picked up Jack and began singing the song to him. He kept smiling and looking at me like I was as mad as a hatter but the more I sang the more he seemed to enjoy it.

Here are the lyrics:

"Please forgive me
If I act alittle strange
For I know not what I do.
Feels like lightning running through my veins
Everytime I look at you
Everytime I look at you

Help me out here
All my words are falling short
And there's so much I want to say
Want to tell you just how good it feels
When you look at me that way
When you look at me that way

Throw a stone and watch the ripples flow
Moving out across the bay
Like a stone I fall into your eyes
Deep into some mystery
Deep into that mystery

I got half a mind to scream out loud
I got half a mind to die
So I won't ever have to lose you girl
Won't ever have to say goodbye
I won't ever have to lie
Won't ever have to say goodbye

Yeah na na na na
Yeah na na na na

Please forgive me
If I act alittle strange
For I know not what I do
It's like my head is filled with lightning girl
Everytime I look at you
Everytime I look at you
Everytime I look at you
Everytime I look at you"

(Copyright David Gray.)

Yes I know I'm silly. Yes I know I'm the emotional, sappy one. In that moment everything else that I have been dealing with dropped away and I found a song that, with a bit of tinkering, expresses how much I love my son.

Posted by Jim at 09:42 PM | Comments (0)

So we had a Christmas party...

Every year since we moved here we've had a Christmas party. Really it's an open house where we lay out the food and drink and just have friends and co-workers over.

I usually end up making sure the visiting munchkins don't kill themselves and Fabulous Babe falls into her natural role as hostess with the mostess. It's fun and provides plenty of stories for the cold winter months ahead. (The party also sends my wife into baking mode which is why I'm scarfing down sugar cookies at the rate of one a minute as I write this.)

We had a great turnout last night with no major mishaps. (The kids were a little hard on my model railroad but it goes with the territory.)

As I was a bit busy the photos are fewer than I would have liked but here goes:


That's Wonder Woman holding Jack. The great news is that my line last year about "Tag, you're it!" seemed to have worked. They're expecting in a few months and we couldn't be happier. I decided against showing the picture where Jack is staring at her chest with a hungry look in his eye.


Here's a picture you didn't see last year. Fabulous Babe holding a glass of Merlot. How can you tell she's a mom? Check out the pacifier on the arm of the sofa.


Mr. Racetrack put me up to this. No, we don't feed Jack Guiness. I was making Black and Tans last night and we had some empty cans. Considering how Jack likes to wake up in the middle of the night sometimes this might be an answer. Nah....


We have several neighbors with those light up Buck, Doe and fawn decorations. For years I've wanted to play a prank with one and in a moment of weakness I fell pray to the temptation. Alas the light up nativity in the background compelled me to simply take the picture and then return the buck to his less amorous state. (I even nailed the stakes back into the ground.) My apologies to all for a moment of weakness.

I suppose I am getting better though. Two years ago I switched this sign on as the party ended as a tribute to a running joke with our old neighbors in Seattle:


Perhaps I'm hopeless. It was funny however to see people turning around to wave goodbye from the driveway and collapse with laughter. Maybe it's that what I lack in Christmas light quantity I simply try to make up for in humor. No matter. I'm still living it down.


This is FB and Jack this morning none the worse for wear after the party.

Thanks to everyone that came. Look forward to next year when you can eat, drink and be merry at the sight of us trying to keep up with Jack walking.


Posted by Jim at 10:05 PM | Comments (0)

After you have a baby be prepared...



"Why is there what appears to be a red haired rat on the floor of our shower?"

I then received a long lecture about how hair growth returns to normal a few months after you have a baby and that excess hair gradually falls out.

Be warned.

Posted by Jim at 11:02 PM

New Coat...

Since we've lived here I have been surviving the winters with my Seattle winter coat. A coat whose best use is that of keeping out the rain, not the balmy -40 we can get here occasionally.

Fabulous Babe got herself a new Parka last year. Since it's been well over 5 years since I got one we had decided that this year it was my turn: My new coat.

Already it's a thousand times better. I believe it was Amelia Earhart that once wrote about being so excited about a new leather jacket that she slept in it. I well understand the feeling.

I felt odd transferring all of my gear to the new coat but my old friend will stay in the closet a few more years. No trips to Goodwill just yet.

Posted by Jim at 11:17 PM

December 15, 2004

Christmas preparations

Our house has become a twisted version of what was once a divided Germany.

Fabulous Babe’s territory is the spare bedroom. I am now forbidden to enter or come near it. She came home the other night after getting her haircut and rushed upstairs clutching a bag which vanished into the “no-Jim-land” before I could discern the contents. She tends to stockpile them in there and I play along by not peeking. With such security measures I expect East German border guards and a wall at the door.

On the other hand yours truly, representing the larger, free wheeling, democratic West Germany tend to disperse her presents throughout the house. (Heating ducts, the trunk of the Miata, etc.) Gradually they’re wrapped and then show up under the tree one by one. We don’t need borders or secret present police on my side of the border. I do have to remember where I put something that I bought a few weeks ago but otherwise all is well.

I’m crap with secrets. Fabulous Babe’s Birthday surprise took every ounce of energy for me not to blow. Christmas usually results in FB getting a string of small gifts leading up to a few on Christmas Day. So far she’s received a few KMTT CD’s that I ordered from Seattle and a bauble I’ll wait to describe. I still have a few things left so next week should see a few smiles.

I have a member of Fabulous Babe’s family for Secret Santa. I have no idea what I am going to get this person. Last year I got her father in the name draw and bought him that Far Side complete collection that weighed 18 pounds. (Which I swear had nothing to do with his hospital stay.) The person whose name I have this year I don’t know what to get. I thought about bidding on a 25 year collection of moist towelettes from Kentucky Fried Chicken on Ebay as a gag but I doubt they would get the joke. Same goes for an autographed copy of the script for “Cannonball Run” that I found. *sigh*

A Canadian friend of ours, the King of the Zulaks, has already received a great Christmas present: He and his wife just had their second daughter. The King is the fellow that sent Jack the Toronto Maple Leaf outfit that I’m afraid he has already outgrown. I can only imagine what his daughters are going to be like in pee wee hockey. (Hopefully nothing like his brother whose motto as goalie was “If you come into my crease you will pay a terrible price.”)

Jack’s Christmas list is pretty short. He’s not asking for much at this point. His only real want, hair on the side of his head, seems to be coming along nicely. He’s refusing to eat cereal so far and makes sure that we realize how little he wants to do with it when we try. Formula is disappearing at a furious rate and I’m debating just arranging for 55 gallon drums of the powder.

My grandfather had to have his eye surgery re-scheduled which means that when we are in Kentucky the chances of him actually being able to see Jack are slim. It’s heartbreaking, annoying, etc. I realize he’ll be able to hold Jack and feel him but the sight of your first great-grandchild is something that no-one should ever be denied. Jack’s blessed with having four great-grandparents alive right now. I pray he gets to know all of them before they’re gone but know the odds are long.

I usually have a hard time with this time of year. (Long story.) With some of the things going on for me right now it’s harder than usual. The nice thing is that Jack takes some of that edge off. He and I were alone last night while Fabulous Babe went to a wine tasting. (She needed a night off.) Jack demonstrated his windmill arm motion to great effect and I got him to laugh and carry on for most of the evening. We played and sang and when I finally put him to bed he fussed for only a few minutes before beginning to snore. (He gets that from his mother.) Before I went to bed I checked on him one last time and as he lay there with his arms above his head, tucked into his sleep sack, soggy froggy in hand, I wondered how we were ever so lucky to have him.

Posted by Jim at 11:41 PM | Comments (0)

December 17, 2004

Typical Morning

Let me share with you one of the great injustices I suffer.

Here's a picture of Jack the other day:


Notice the happy go lucky look on his face? More importantly notice that Jack is wearing an easy to get into, few snaps, footies included outfit. (Roots outfit courtesy of Mrs. Canadian Hotness.)

The problem? When Fabulous Babe dresses the boy those are the outfits she always grabs. This leaves me with multi-piece, snaps up the back, loops and hooks, Velcro nightmares that are a pain in the @$$.


This is how I usually start out with Jack in the morning. He?s happy, ready for a new diaper, and about to go through nine kinds of hell because yours truly has to try and squeeze him into some outfit that has 3 layers and requires me to bend him like a pretzel.


Here?s stage one complete. I had to wait for him to stop frowning to take the picture. Long sleeves at 5 months are like some sort of infant version of a Rubiks cube.


Jumping forward you now can witness Jack as he is ready to leave in the morning. No, he?s not gone through another growth spurt. His snow suit is just a bit to big for him. (Making him resemble a stranded starfish.) I prefer to call this ?Iron Maiden? as it does a great job of keeping him from moving around very much. (His containment is as much a matter of your safety as his.) It?s a riot to watch as his arms and feet flail when he moves around.


Finally we have Jack arriving in the hands of Mrs. Dawn?s Day Spa for the Small and Troublesome. To say this woman has patience is an understatement. I?ve never seen her flustered or raise her voice and we are lucky to have her for Jack?s daycare.

Notice of course that Jack is still bewildered by the outfit that I had to dress him in. Suspenders. Ugh.

Posted by Jim at 07:48 AM | Comments (0)

December 19, 2004

So this is Christmas...

With our upcoming journey to the homelands we decided this weekend to lay low and do some of the prep work: cleaning, laundry, etc. The usual “What do we take?” formula has been compounded by the Jack factor to the point of my wanting to rent a U-Haul. I’m already thinking about wearing one set of clothes and simply taking 5 pairs of underwear and socks to save room. If space is a real premium I’ll just go commando.

The house will be well served. We’re having a house sitter in the form of the reliable teenager from next door. He’s looking to Halo 2 his brains out on the tv in the basement. (It doesn’t hurt that he stays up all night and sleeps all day.) Between him and the periodic visit from the Racetracks the two cats, Aida and Tosca, should be fine.

Since he didn’t have his operation and can’t read this I’ll let you in on a secret: I’ve built a computer for my grandfather for Christmas. It will replace the piece of crap that he bought 8 years ago from those vultures that prey on the elderly known as the Home Shopping Network. I’m finishing loading the software up this week but so far so good. Hopefully he’ll get some use out of it.

For the family Secret Santa I think I've found something no one else would ever think of: an autographed copy of Dirk Benedict's autobiography: "Confessions of a Kamikaze Cowboy". That's right, the same actor who portrayed "Starbuck" on "Battlestar Galactica" and "The Face" on the "A-Team". (Actually the content is anything but humorous. It's about his beating cancer and is in it's second printing.) None the less a gift sure to delight the recipient. Hey, it was either that or the frightening adult sized Aquaman Underoos I found.

Saturday night ended up being our Christmas celebration. Over dinner Fabulous Babe asked if I wanted my gift early due to its needing “prep” work. Not sensing a trap I agreed but said she had to take the rest of hers as well. Jack must have wondered what the heck was going on as she scurried off to the spare bedroom and I headed for the basement. A few minutes later we were squared off like gunfighters.

Fabulous Babe always does pretty well for Christmas. (She has a hookup line straight to the Claus.) I plan this stuff out way in advance and try to sketch out ideas for gifts that will match who she is. I actually end up making a chart with some “areas of interest” that officially makes me a mushy softy. (Big surprise.) I’ll quit babbling. Here’s what I got Fabulous Babe:

CD’s: Since we used to live in Seattle I ran down copies of the KMTT Mountain acoustic samplers for her. I got her this years edition and a few we didn’t have. (I only need to find number’s 2, 3, 4 and 5 and we will have all of them.) I also got her the new Alison Krauss and Union Station which fills the Bluegrass quotient for a while. The last was that damn Shania Twain Greatest Hits CD that I lost until I remembered Sunday that I had hidden it in the glove compartment of my car.

Eating way too much at McDonalds during the last Monopoly game and some horse trading with co-workers landed me a pile of “Best Buy Bucks” that I had been hoarding. Between those and the rebate I picked up a second Tivo for our bedroom for next to nothing. Now Fabulous Babe can catch up on “Survivor” and any flavor of “CSI” she wants from the comfort of our bed.

Since there’s no room for a wine cellar in the basement anymore I tried to go the next best route and got honey bunch a wine fridge. It’s the size of a dorm fridge but will keep more than enough wine chilled for our needs. There might be room for some beer in it but I won’t get my hopes up.

Usually I try to buy some sort of unusual jewelry. (Utopia in Redmond, WA is highly recommended.) This year I wanted to try to get something that brought Jack into the occasion.

The trend in this area of the country is for mothers to have “motherhood” bracelets. One for each kid or one that is just loaded with charms that have some sort of significant meaning. (The “Queen Bee” charm is the most highly sought since Mom’s rule the roost.) Every one that I looked at struck me as being tacky and the sort of trendy doodad that will one day be regarded in the same vein as mood rings. Even the nice Italian models that I spent time pouring over left me cold.

Resigned that I wasn’t seeing anything I liked I decided to fall back on the classics. I began looking at Faberge, Cartier, Bulgari, etc., trying to find something that was nice but wouldn’t break the bank. That’s when I discovered this:

Nifty Bracelet for Fabulous Babe.

(Oops! Hit "US" for country and then try the link again so it will work.)

It’s from the Tiffany 1837 collection. It’s simple and elegant. It goes with everything that I could think of that Fabulous Babe wears. On the flip side it would be a subtle, understated, reminder of her unique position in the world as Jack’s mother, something that wouldn’t be obvious to everyone. It’s intimate and personal. After the holiday rush we’re sending it off to be engraved on the inside with Jack’s name, birthdate and time.

That’s it. She made me promise not to go overboard this year.

For me? She totally surprised me this year: An iPod and the wireless doohickey for my car. To quote Squirrel Bottom: “W00T!” (It means “Yea!” or “Woo hoo!” in english.) After coveting hers since March I no longer have iPod envy. It’s just perfect. (Fabulous Babe rightfully shot me a nasty look when I, the thoughtless dolt, verbally debated upgrading from 20 to 40 Gig.) It’s already brimming with 11.5 Gig of music after some efforts tonight and will come in handy on the trip.

What about Jack you ask? Santa doesn’t visit children early. You'll have to wait.

Posted by Jim at 10:34 PM | Comments (0)

December 20, 2004

Zamboni.. of Death!

If you live anywhere near an ice rink you’re undoubtedly familiar with that wonderful creation of Frank J. Zamboni, the Zamboni. (For those of you from warmer climes, this is the goofy looking vehicle that comes out and resurfaces the ice.) How can you not get excited when you see one? All of us who know of Zamboni’s have visions of kids riding them between periods and waving to people with flags. The cheerful guys that drive them seem to be on top of the world. They’re just cool machines and a testimony to American ingenuity.

That being said the next time you see one you may want to duck.

It seems that a Zamboni exploded in Duluth late Sunday night, starting a fire and destroying the ice arena. 30 guys, on hand for a broomball game, lost their personal belongings as the whole place burned to the ground.

Here’s a link to the story: Zamboni Eruption.

Understatement of the week: the guy whose helmet was hit with shrapnel, “It did its job, I guess.” There’s also a great quote from the Zamboni driver who speculates it was the Propane tanks that power the Zamboni that caused the explosion.

It’s a sham folks. Don’t believe it.

What we have here is a peek into the seamy and deadly world of Zamboni racing. Investigators will no doubt find that this particular Zamboni was rigged with all the gear that you can imagine: neon, racing slicks, NOS, etc. In the underground world of Zamboni racing it’s a realm of shadow figures and cut corners, all in an attempt to get a Zamboni from the factory top end of 3 mph to 7 mph and beyond. (No one has yet to break the 15 mph barrier and survive unscathed.) This culture lives in garages during the day and thrives on the ice late, late at night in arenas and halls.

Few people know that the movie “The Fast and the Furious” was going to be called “The Frost and the Freezer” but audiences outside of communities with hockey rinks didn’t test well. (Vin Diesel did look awfully sharp on the Zamboni that had been outfitted for his role however.) Studio executives felt that mass exposure to such an outlaw community wasn’t good and shelved it.

The next time you’re at a rink remember this when you see that all too familiar machine on the ice moving towards you. Realize that at night, after the rink is empty, that Zamboni might be engaged in activities that no one, not even Frank himself, could have ever imagined.

After all, the same machine you watch might be pulling a wheelie in just a few hours. I'm beginning to have doubts about pee-wee hockey and Jack...

Posted by Jim at 12:55 AM | Comments (0)

Watching Trains go by...

Jack's 5 months old right now. In a few more months he'll be standing in his crib by himself. When I was that age my parents used to find me standing and staring out the window at trains going buy in back of the apartment. (No doubt I was gnawing on lead paint the whole time.) It must have thrown a switch because I've enjoyed model trains my whole life.

I have no idea if Jack will like this stuff or not as he grows older. Let's just say I hope so. Otherwise things like this...


Are just going to go to waste.

(That's O-gauge for those of you who are wondering. Twice the size of HO. The engines are, back to front, two Challengers, a Y-3B and a Veranda. Apologies for the goobing. I'll stop now.)

Posted by Jim at 11:01 PM | Comments (0)

From bottle to spoon

After a few experiments previously we sat Jack in the highchair on Saturday night to gave solid food try. The cereal, as before, was a bust. (Jack deciding it was better worn than ingested.) Mixing it with the bananas however got us the look best summed up as: “What is this stuff?”

The first few minutes were a disaster as the food was pouring out as fast as it was going in. (Fabulous Babe did most of the work while I videotaped the moment.) Finally when we abandoned the cereal and went to straight bananas we had our first success. Jack began moving his mouth in a weird fashion and then, heaven forbid, swallowed. We cheered and Jack, excited by our reaction, threw his arms and began grinning.

He ate about 5 more spoonfuls in total and then decided that he had enough of the game. (His bib was completely covered in food.) To the two of us it was a huge success, another one of those milestone moments that come with the territory.

Posted by Jim at 11:23 PM | Comments (0)

December 22, 2004

More morning prep pictures

When I woke Jack up this morning he was pretty chatty and in a great mood. As I was dressing him he was grinning from ear to ear and carrying on. Figuring it was another Kodak moment in the making I grabbed the camera:


?You, in the ducky sleeper! Against the wall!?

I think Jack looks a lot like his cousin, Number Two Billy Goat, in this picture. (His forehead is also impossibly large.) It must be the camera or the angle but I don?t think this picture really captures him very well.


Being Mr. Sly, Jack shot me this look as I was sorting out the bag I take with him to the Day Spa. I managed to get the picture before he promptly turned away. He must be camera shy like dad.)


It was -4 this morning when I got up, -20 to you metric types, and that was without the wind. SOP demands the Immobilizer to prevent our child from being devoured by Yetis. Usually I lay Two Foot Small out on the kitchen island which makes placing him in the outfit a lot easier. Here you can see his ?I?m so coy!? look.


Doesn?t he look terrified? Jack?s wedged in the carseat, strapped in, hood down. No wonder he looks bewildered. (Wouldn?t you if 20 minutes after you woke up you were in this state?) Sometimes he flaps his arms and legs a little which just makes the whole thing all that more melodramatic. The last step in getting ready to go outside is a blanket over the carseat to block the wind for the 15 feet I have to take him between the car and the door.

Usually when I get him in the door at Mrs. Dawn's Day Spa I strip him out of the gear asap. Then I give him a big hug and he "gives" me some kisses which brings a huge smile to his face. It's his reward for putting up with the whole mess and makes me feel a bit better for having put him through it.

Posted by Jim at 08:02 AM | Comments (0)

Christmas Prep Work

You say what? A winter storm moving into an area I'm supposed to be driving my wife and child through in a few days? Lovely.

Nag dabbit.

While I have plenty of faith in Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky’s local equivalents they aren't MNDOT. (The Minnesota Department of Transportation which is pronounced “Minn dot”.) MNDOT deals with ice storms, anywhere from 1-14 inches of snow a day and the occasional deer that needs to be plowed off to the side of the road.

Fabulous Babe has been pulling everything together for Jack and I’ve been sorting out the other stuff. Taking a 5 month old on the road gives a new meaning to “Logistics and Supply” and I’m thinking keeping the U.S. Army in Iraq supplied might be easier. There are bags of stuff positioned to be loaded and I haven’t even packed yet.

As I type this I’m uploading a few more CD’s for my new iPod. How can I hit the road without the “Best of Billy Idol” or Rush’s “Moving Pictures” on board? Madness I tell you. It’s like leaving the house without the seminal White Zombie work “Astrocreep 2000” which just isn’t proper form. It’s an interesting pile that includes Chris Issac, The Clash, The New Radicals, Cecilia Bartoli, Garbage, Louis Prima, Matthew Sweet, The Coors, Frank Sinatra, Guns and Roses, Martin Denny and the Valley Girl Soundtrack. Hey, that reminds me: If you have some of my CD's would you mind returning them? I have a few strays I'm missing.

We’re still planning on arriving and surprising my Grandmother at church on Sunday. Sunday night will be my get together with old friends which should be very pleasant, as long as they all get along and play nice. If you’re reading this and haven’t heard from my Brother and Lillypad please give them a call.

I’ll try to blog from the road but make no promises. (Not sure what kind of connection we’ll have.) I would have taken our laptop but since Fabulous Babe dropped it the trusty thing doesn’t want to charge unless it’s in the docking station. (I think my wife broke a pin in the power plug receptacle which means a new motherboard.) Still it would have been handy. It would have given me an excuse to get the new 2005 version of Streets and Trips that now ships with a nifty GPS doohickey. Then I could use my cell to tell the Indiana State Patrol exactly where the snow bank is that we’re stuck in.

I did get my haircut tonight which had been driving me nuts. Since we're going to be seeing people I had them use a "1" on the clippers instead of my usual "no guard" for the sides and back. I always enjoy it when they ask about my ears because the reply always gets a chuckle: "Whitewall 'em please."

We're running behind on shipping Christmas presents out. Odds are it won't happen tomorrow so I'll just say that some of you will be seeing later arrivals than we would prefer. Please accept my apologies.

Posted by Jim at 10:09 PM | Comments (0)

December 31, 2004

Someone went to visit Santa...


Back from the trip. 4 days of driving. Ugh.

Go have a safe New Years Eve and look for big updates as soon as I work off the drive.

Best to all of you,


Posted by Jim at 06:12 PM | Comments (0)