Friday, September 22, 2006

The T-Bone is Revived

I finally got the T-Bone put back together tonight. It's been in the box since RAGBRAI.

I took it out of the box Tuesday, to discover that the imbeciles at my former favorite airline, Southwest, mashed the box so bad that they bent both disk brake rotors.

On the same trip, me flying home from Chicago, they sent my panniers to Boston, and blamed it on the TSA. Southwest is taking a big nosedive in competence.

The T-Bone is so cool. In addition to new rotors, I got a new heavy duty, indestructable Wipperman Connex stainless steel chain. You gotta love Speedgoat. The parts I ordered, even the obscure Rohloff rotor, were here in two days.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Happy home with Max and Monkey

After spending quite some time hanging on The Boob, Max spent a nice long while sleeping on my lap this evening. I discovered if you sit Max on Monkey, Monkey's breathing and warmth settles Max right down.

Here is one with me in it.

I am in need of a shower because I rode my bike home from work with a bonus lap around BWI. This is the first time I've ridden my bike since I got back from RAGBRAI six weeks ago. Some dude named Scott put out an invitation on Bentrider to do a lap around BWI, and Steve and I took him up on it.

I got to check out Steve's way cool new Velokraft VK-HI. I took it on a spin around the parking lot at the BWI observation area. This bike has basically the same geometry as my T-Bone, but it's carbon. It weighs 21 lbs, which is 7 less than the T-Bone when it's set up for speed. My Royale is about 23 lbs. If you took off the Dual Drive hub and the Rotor cranks, it would be in the same ballpark as the VK-HI, but not as fast due to the 20" wheels limiting the top gear.

I had a tough time with the steering on the VK-HI. I'm not sure I can deal with the handlebars that high. I am very envious of this bike, and I think it could be outrageously fast once the steering is sorted out.

Here is a picture from Sunday after I got home from cleaning stuff out at Fleet St. (reality: watching the Ravens at the Gin Mill). Max and I look just alike.

Max went to the pediatrician today. He is supposed to be back to his birth weight of 6 lbs 1.2 oz when he is two weeks old. Today he is 10 days old and 6 lbs even, which is just fine. He also is an inch taller and his head is 1 cm bigger around. However, The Boob confessed that she was giving Max formula when Max was still hungry and she was tapped out, and now she has to go to the Lactation Consultant.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Max Update - He's so cute.

We took Max out on an excursion to Babies R Us yesterday.

I had a lot of trepidation about this. Taking Max out was kind of inconsiderate and thoughtless. It seems Di, who has just become pregnant with twins, and her mother wanted to see Max, so we met them at the baby store. It was not nice of us to raise their expectations so. There is no possible way another baby could be as cute as Max, and we are just setting Di up for a big letdown.

Max and I hang out and bond in the mornings while Debra catches up on her sleep. I drink my coffee and fire up some bluegrass music on Internet radio. Max likes bluegrass. Then we sit and discuss the our plans for the day.

Max will go " ack , " and I'll say, "No, The Boob is upstairs getting some sleep." Then he will zonk out.

"The Boob"

When it's just us guys, we refer to Debra as "The Boob".

I discovered why Max always screams his head off when you take his pants off to change him. It's because The Boob whacks his nads around with the baby wipe. I had to explain to her what she was doing there. Fathers are important.

Max also got some presents in the mail from some of his tasteful but ornery friends. All presents included squeaky toys. This is a recipe for conflict. There was a duck bib with an embedded squeaky toy. I see Monkey dragging him along the floor by his bib, squeaking the squeaky toy as Max bounces along behind. Then there is the other present which is a squeaky plush elephant doll and a "Monkey Business" T-shirt. Monkey likes Max. He gives him a kiss every time he's sitting on my lap.

Here's today's montage. He is nine days old.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Max Comes Home

Today Max comes home. It's goodbye to the plastic tub at the hospital.

He looks so tiny in the infant car seat.

Here he is all bundled away in the back of the MINI. That's my blanket he's wrapped in. From when I was a baby. My sister Mandy brought it when she came out to visit a month ago. I unwrapped it, and thought "I've seen this before, I think." She said she found it packed away in some boxes, and she found a picture of me as an infant lying on it.


Here's Max Fussbucket Roth coming home for the first time. He was hungry.

Now he's sleeping next to me in my chair. He wakes up now and again and waves his arms around.

Another Max Birthday Collage

Max is about 12 hours old here.

He got a new hat every day. This one was made by a 97 year old lady volunteer. Max is trying hard to get his arms out. He likes to wave his arms around.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Hello Max!

Max was born 8 September 2006, at 6:06 am.
He weighs 6 pounds and 1.2 ounces.
He is 19 1/4 inches long.

Here he is! Age 10 minutes.

Doesn't he look happy sitting under the pizza light? He was stretching out and all content like he was lying on the beach. I imagine what a state of nirvana he must be in, all warm and not a care in the world. He's not even bothered with the concept of a "care".

Here we all are. Debra looks pretty good all things considered, I'd say. The contractions started around midnight Monday. She was in labor until Friday morning. She got the epidural Thursday about 9:00 pm. Max was delivered via Cesaerean, because of "failure to progress".

Max is very expressive. These pictures are after his first feeding, when he was about two hours old.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

End of Summer Video Goldmine

In honor of the official Labor Day End Of Summer Weekend, here's a couple links to thematically appropriate videos on youtube:

1. Blotto - I Want to Be a Lifeguard. god I love the Internet. Sarge, Bowtie, Cheese and the rest. It used to be bands worked hard on their videos. If you look close, you will see there are no leaves on the trees in the background. That's because they filmed it in February at Lake George, NY. I saw Blotto. They did "I'm Turning into a Heavy Metal Head" and Sarge bit the head off a Cabbage Patch Kid. I was working for Coleco at the time. It was great.

2. The Slickee Boys - When I Go to the Beach. Ha ha haha ha.

You can't go believing people when they say 80's music was cheesy. What do they know. The lead singer for the Slickee Boys performed at our wedding. I just asked Debra, and she's never heard of the Slickee Boys. Hahahahaha.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Country Living Update - Happy Birthday to me, and Purging Neutrality

We are settling in at our new country home. The arrival of Max is imminent. While there is an enormous amount of unpacking left to do, and mountains of junk remaining at our old place in Fells Point, there have been two big accomplishments in the last couple weeks.

First, I got my birthday present from Debra:

It's my very own Troy-Bilt rotor tiller, with counter-rotating tines. I've already staked out the garden. As soon as I find where I can get a big pile of aged manure, I'm going to have at it. I also have to either convince Debra it's no big deal to carry a load of manure in the back of her Element (I'll put down a blue tarp. Jeez.) or get a hitch put on it.

It's looking like I'll be buying a hitch.

The other accomplishment is I got rid of the last roomfull of horrid wall-to-wall carpeting in the house. When we bought it, the whole house except the kitchen was wall-to-wall carpet. The color was "neutral". I loathe neutral colors. Nothing says "I don't really live here" like neutral colors. The very first thing we did upon taking possession of this house was to rip the neutral carpets out and put in hardwood floors. This took a couple weeks for the floor material to come, and to be installed, and to be finished.

But there was one room we decided not to put in the wood floor, and to put down carpet tiles. We got fancy artistic tiles called "Interface Flor" from the quite expensive but environmentally proper Blue House place down the street from our old house. I kind of see this place as the death of Fells Point. It used to be there were mom and pop antique (junk) shops all over Fells Point. Mom and Pop decamped for Perry Hall as soon as they could sell out for the big bucks, and now we have Blue House. You won't be finding any used vinyl LPs or 1970s silk shirts or pulp porn paperbacks at Blue House.

Anyway, this Interface Flor (learn how to spell, you think you're Ikea or something?) stuff has a little web tool where you can lay out the design of your floor. I spent a lot of time messing with this. I decided my favorite designs were of the "crazy patchwork" variety. Most of my designs appalled Debra. When I went down and ordered it myself, there was much consternation in the household. "Couldn't you just get a few shades of green?".

Today I installed it. Debra's father was visiting. They are both very disturbed by the floor, er I mean flor. Debra eventually reached "It's not as bad as I thought."

I love it.

Here's the newly installed flor [sic].

Here is what it looks like looking in from the screened porch.

And here is with furniture added, looking in from the side door towards the kitchen. Debra's cookbooks will go in the bookcase.

And here is the Noble Hound curled up in my chair waiting for me to come and sit down with him. Isn't this cozy?