Tuesday, December 27, 2005


At 3:00 am my wife anounced to me that she was having contractions; I bolted upright in bed and began timing them, they were four minutes apart. Considering the speed at which our daughter came into the world when she was born, (about 186,000 mps) we figured that this was it, that this pregnancy would end as quickly.

We called our support people who had to drive in from out of town; after that, as we predicted, her contractions slowed down to point that she was having mild contractions, that she could feel, once an hour.

Later, after the support people showed up, the midwife wanted my wife to have her blood pressure checked. So, at about one o'clock we went to the hospital to have it checked. The midwife said that if it was high we would have her induced. After about two hours and three different blood tests, it was judged that my wife and baby were fine and the labor was normal. We were sent home.

Now, the wife is racked with guilt that we called our friends at o'dark thirty and asked one to drive for two-and-a- half hours, the other for an hour and a-half; she is frustrated that we had too ask my mom to change her flight, so she could stay and very frustrated that the baby is still inside her and not outside her where I can share the burden.

So, we are stalled right now but enjoying the company of friends, who care enough to give up their time to watch the baby and sit with my wife. I am equally grateful to my mom, who is the dedicated grandmother to thirteen grandkids for staying for an extra few days.

Everything and everybody is ready except the Baby.

Sunday, December 18, 2005


A couple of the other Dad Bloggers have posted either their favorite albums or albums that changed their lives. I like this idea so, I will give it a go.

1) Diver Down by Van Halen
I actually bought this on vinyl at the Grand Central store down the street. I loved Eddie Van Halen's guitar playing, they were my favorite band during my early teens. I owned it just as much for the music as to impress my friends.

2) Erasure- I can't remember the name of the album, but my buying it and liking it was nothing short of controversial amongst my neighborhood friends, who approved of my two album Van halen collection. Going from rock to synth-pop reflected a change which I thought of, at the time, as sophistication. From there I started to listen to Depeche Mode, Yaz, New Order etc.

3) The Cure- The Head on the Door. I heard this album in it's entirety on a local SLC radio station. I was home alone and it was late; for some reason the radio was not getting great reception so, I listened to it through the static. The next day I had to ride the bus all the way downtown to find it because the local K-mart did not carry obscure bands like the Cure.
Though I still liked synth bands, from this point my tastes started to get darker.

4) The Mission U.K.- Children This band was formed by the guitarist for the Sisters of Mercy. The lyrics, I can't recall that well but the music comes from the Led Zepplin book of rock music (Houses of the Holy) This is not surprising, their producer was John Paul Jones.

5) Bauhaus- Press the Eject and Give me the Tape. I bought this because of the song Kick In the Eye. I was a senior in high school, it was 1989, I went to a school that was filled with suburban red necks. The school was fairly cliqueish, though the stoners, metal heads and the little group of prog rock kids all hung out together, so the cowboys couldn't intimidate us. Still, I was pretty angry and listening to this really seemed to calm me down. This album has "Bela Legosi's Dead" possibly the campiest song ever written and a rocking version of "Ziggy Stardust." (My wife insists that Ziggy Stardust is supposed to be a ballad. Yes, if it is part of the Ziggy Stardust Album. I think it works just as well sped up with more distortion)

6) The Waterboys-Fishermans Blues. This is filled with great songs, "Bang on the ear" to Riding in a strange Boat. It really represents the first time I listened to any music that included un- plugged instruments and songs that could possibly be classified as country. It really was the Mandolin on some of the songs that did it.

7) Cowboy Junkies- Black Eyed Man. My girlfriend and I had been together for about three years and had come to a point where it was time to split up. I bought this album because I had heard "Murder in the Trailer Park" and liked the imagery; little did I know, when I bought it, how dark some of their other songs were and how much Margo Timmins voice would sustain me over the hundreds of miles that I would drive after the break up. Also worth mentioning other albums that contributed to my soundtrack at this point, were: Nine Inch Nails - Pretty Hate Machine and Downward Spiral; The Jesus and Mary Chain- Psycho Candy; Screaming Tree's- Uncle Anesthesia and Pearl Jam-Ten.

8)Jerry Garcia, David Grisman-Shady Grove. This was the first Folk album in my collection. I attended my first Blue Grass concert with my Gilfriend and her parents, (we went to see Hot Rize)- it was 1990- My girlfriend and I were the only people there who were wearing all black. I loved the whole show, they were wearing suits, all their instruments were acoustic and some of the songs had the same speed as a Ramones song, and some were as dark as a Cure song. From that point on, I listened to the blugrass show on the local public radio station, KRCL. I bought the album six years after I became a fan of Folk music.

It was David Grismans handling of the Mandolin that motivated me to buy it. It is a great album because they played so many old folk tunes, I remember listening to it constantly in the car, at home and at work. It represented a change because it was the first time I had willingly bought, an album that had Jerry Garcia on it; it totally changed my perception of him as a musician.(he had been dead two years by then. May he rest in peace) To me he stopped being this dried up musician from another generation but an actual musician.

9) The Submersians-Save the Cave Train. This album was significant to me for several reasons, it is the first album I own that is strictly instrumental (Surf). I used to pop it into my CD player after work on cold, snowy days, turn up the volume and roll my window down. In my car, I would imagine that I was walking along west cliff in Santa Cruz, watching the waves and the surfers. Also it is the only album that my friend Jessica plays guitar on and features the "hit" song Cape Lugosi a surf version of a popular Goth song. Surf music is straight ahead rock, no lyrics to mess up your head, just guitar riffs and drumming.

10) Last but not least Woody Guthrie- This Land is Your Land (the Asch Recordings). I bought this because of Woody Guthries straight forward guitar playing, his lack of rythm and ability to carry a tune and mainly to get a history lesson. He was a critic of the rich and powerful, politicians and the unpatriotic. Many of the songs on this album were written during the Dust Bowl (Do-Rei-Mi) and has three different versions of This Land is Your Land one inclding a lyric that was not taught to us in Elementary school " There was a sign there/that say's private property/ on the backside it didn't say nothin'/ that side was made for you and me."

I could go on and on, there are so many more I could talk about, that ten is plenty. There are many bands that I have liked for years but never got around to buying or listening to their music, until recently. For example, I always thought that the Beatles were a bit over rated until I heard the White Album, and Abbey Road; the Clash, I did not get into them until recently, they are probably the best band to come out of the British Punk scene. May Joe Strummer rest in peace.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Sometimes a great notion.

So, I had this well written, intelligent and witty posting about a current affair. I was in the middle of polishing it up to post for my adoring public, when...well how can I put this... reality, in the form of a neked two year old, came over and peeed on the floor. Then climbed up on my lap, jumped up and down then deleted everything I had written.

Now, instead of ground breaking opinion about current events, here is a blog about being a stay at home parent.

If you want to win that pulitzer or wow people with your writing, find a child free environment (Daddeeee I waant mmmy big girl pannnt....dadeeee uuuuaaaahhhh)

If only I had figured that out before I had kids.

Sunday, December 11, 2005


The Toddler has reached that critical stage that all two-year-olds reach; the why stage. Her response to almost anything is why. She informed me, yesterday, that she would like an apple. I told her that I was very sorry to deny her request but I could not give her one. She, of course asked why. I told her that we did not have any apples. Well, if you have not guessed her next question, then you must have started reading in the middle of the paragraph. (it's ok i do it all the time) Yes, she asked why.

Wel,l I did the only logical thing in this situation, I said nothing. Rather than explain to her that we haven't been to the store to buy them, I thought it best to leave it there. My explaination to her question would have only lead to more why's and eventually I would have to explain evolution to her. Honestly, all questions lead to that or to the big bang theory, so it has to stop somwhere; why not where I can prove the answer?

All toddlers do this. When the Boy, who is nine, he did not just ask why, he would ask " but why daddy?" It was as if he was grappling with the deep questions of humanity.
I would get sucked in time and time again, to thinking he did want me to explain the theory of evolution or where God came from etc. But no it really was just a toddler ploy; he had figured out that why is as powerful as no, with a few extra words why is even more powerful.

My daughter does seem to be more practical than her brother though, she does not mess around with philosophy. If I tell her no, she may ask why but will not wait for the answer at all. She will try to get the thing herself, she pulls her high chair to the counter climb up and grab what she wants, and hold on to it while I wrestle it away.

The boy on the other hand is a born negotiator. He figured out at an early age that with some things, he can make me change my mind by convincing me that: 1) he will share with me 2) it is good for him. 3) I don't let him do it so, he should be able to (that ploy never works)

We have explained to him that if he is going to try to negotiate like an adult, then he needs to act more adult and use the proper language and methods. Then he will be free to negotiate that second glass of root beer, or extra ice cream.

No two kids are alike, even if they are in the same family.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

I'm Dead

Well heck; I googled my name, clicked on images and found this headstone.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

My wife is in the final month of pregnancy with our third and final child. She has high blood pressure, so she has had to spend most the last month in bed, after she comes home from work. This has been more than a little difficult for both of us. (I understand fully that what I am going through is nothing compared to what she is going through and I will never experience anything as uncomfrotable as a pregnancy.)

She goes to bed around seven o'clock, most of the time she takes the two-year-old to bed with her, which gives me a bit of a break. It is good to get a bit of a breather but most of the time I spend my evening trying to catch up on the housework. I don't get to see her, we have not spent any time together in the evening for months. s0, I get a bit bored and inevitably I spend a lot of time reading blogs, and other stuff on the internet.

My sob story is that I am just a little bit lonely these days.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

A Tale of Hero Worship.

The toddler threw up a few minutes ago, a Her brother set her up on the couch with a bowl. His instructions to her were, "If you are going to puke, puke in the bowl." Now the two-year-old is running around the house coughing into the bowl and proclaiming "Kyle told me to puke in the bowl."

Friday, November 04, 2005


Hey, I was serious about hearing from a non-liberal or from anyone for that matter. there must be someone who can give me a good reason for cutting Medicare, farm subsidies and student loans instead of raising taxes on the "rich"

Terrible Twos

My little girl is about 2 and half now and has pushed me to the brink of admitting, that the "Terrible Twos" as a stage, is real. I don't remember the boy going through a stage like this, sure, he had his moments but mostly he was a mellow dude.

What the girl does, is follow me around the house and tug at my pants, tries to rustle me to the ground and is constantly asking to be held . Are these bad things? You ask (sorry to put words in your mouth) Even now while I am writing this all important blog, she is crawling all over me.
Clearly, she is starting to realize that she is a separate person and not physically part of her mom and me.

The other behavior she is exhibiting is the one where she gets into things that I don't want her to get into and thinks it's a game when I tell her not to. This is much more irritating than the above behavior.

The real problem is that I do not interact with her enough, I need to adjust instead of expect her to "behave". Yes, it is true that when the house needs cleaning, I have to put her on hold but when what I am doing is not at all important I should give my time to her instead.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Not a Cute Kid Story

So, I have posted a couple of cute kid stories; now it is time for something less important, Politics. I could give my own opinions, they are many, more or less informed, almost exclusively informed by what I think is right. I won't go into that right now because it would be too long and maybe a bit boring. I have been perplexed by "Conservatives" since 1994 and Republicans since 1985, so I have some questions.

1. What does Conservative Mean?

2.What is wrong with having a welfare program for the working class?

3.Why is it okay to give huge tax breaks to corporations?

4.Why not give tax breaks to the middle class?

These are the only questions I could think up just now, I am running on two brain cells at the moment and one of them is trying to take care of an eight month baby. (too much coffee, not enough sleep and food.)

I am serious about these questions...really, now I need to find one to answer them.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Two Year Old Talk

Me: Do you know why people have kid's Ruthie?

TYO: Yes!

Me: Why?

TYO: Because Mommies have kids.

Me to Toddler: Is Mommy you?

Ruthie: Yes!

When my son was four my dear wife asked him a similar question. The question was, are you and your dad the same person? Without missing a beat his reply was yes.

(Maybe that is why they get so frustrated when we don't do what they want.)

Monday, October 17, 2005

Okay, Okay, here is a cute kid story.

One morning about a month ago after I had finished my shower and went to turn off the water, something broke. I turned the faucet and turned but the water kept gushing out. I sent Alpha out to get a screwdriver, a wrench and to turn the water off. Has anyone else done plumbing in the nude? well I have. I took the handle off, unscrewed the stem and found that one of the washers was stripped.
Later on, after Ruthie and I came home from dropping the boy off at school and going to the hardware store with supplies to fix the faucet,I found out just how traumatized Ruthie was from the faucet being disassembled. She went straight into the bathroom, grabbed the wrench and tried to put the faucet handles back on.
After finding that she was not able to fix it, she started to cry; not a "things are really bad here dad" cry but a " things aren't bad yet dad, but if you don't come in here and help me soon things will get bad. Especially since I can't handle having shower parts all over the bathroom floor" kind of cry.

As I sat there on the edge of the tub and put the faucet stem back together, Ruthanne continued to help by handing me screwdrivers, faucet parts, wrenches, rubber ducks and she even kept me hydrated. (Toddlers are really capable of so much.)
She was very glad that, when I was finished, the floor was finally clean but she kept telling me that she wanted to do it. It's time to get this girl into a small engine repair of plumbing class.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

So, I haven't posted anything in at least a month; too long to have kept anyone remotely interested in my opinions, rants or humor. To add to this I have billed myself as a stay at home dad and I have not written any cute stories about my daughter; nothing... nothing about poop, funny things she has said, what she won't eat and what she will.

My excuse... well, the first that comes to mind is there are plenty of Mom's doing all of the above, and the second is that I am so intoxicated from being with my child that I cannot muster enough sobriety to actually write about her. It's true folks who needs drugs when you have a toddler running around?

They are humorous, playful, energetic and more abstract than Dali on acid, and all you childless folks who wonder why your friends who have kids have no motivation wait until you have a two year old child nuzzle your neck first thing in the morning and say "daddy."

It happened to me this morning and I almost did not make it out the door.

So much for not writing cute kid stories.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Let's eat the Middle Class.

One of our country's long time hot button issues poor blacks was revealed again when hurricane katrina ripped the lid off the poor black neighborhoods in New Orleans. We heard politicians and activists accusing the Republican president of not caring about Black people/poor people/poor black people. I don't think that that is at all true. The president and his posse care deeply about "the poor' the destitute, infact he cares so much about them that he and his powerful elite buddies who control the country and the world want more people to be poor and desperate. If enough people are poor, uneducated and desperate they will do anything for money.

Let's face it the whole reason that so many of U.S.'s former sweat shop type jobs have gone to the least industrialized countries has to do with keeping labor costs low. Workers in this country don't want to work demanding jobs for little pay, which makes it difficult for the managers and owners to afford their two or three homes, yacht and French au pare.

If jobs get taken away what happens is you create a desperate class of people who will do anything for money; like rob the struggling middle class, sell drugs, rob banks, go to prison and make license plates or instead of prison; work at wal-mart for $5.00 an hour and hope they don't cut of your Medicaid.

What to do with the middle class? The Corporations who run this country really do need the middle class, someone has to stand guard over the starving class in order to keep the really rich safe.

Monday, August 08, 2005

I hated him.

I hated him. I did not know him, which made it easier for me to hate him.

He had that look of a early eighties preppie: Marco Polo shirt with a turned up collar, Khaki shorts, round glasses, bangs covering his forehead and hair closely cut on the sides and back of his head. He looked like he could be my age, 30 something.

My two kids and I were in line at the grocery store; eight year old son running around asking me kid questions, asking for ice cream and juice; my ten month-old daughter sitting on my arm cooing and laughing at her older brothers antics.

I barely took notice of the guy at first; he was one person ahead of me and was having his groceries checked by the clerk. His phone rang and that was when I noticed him.

My bitterness toward humanity or rather humanities use of technology increased with the wide spread use of phones. I remember when I was helping out at the counter of a bakery where I worked as a baker. A customer whom I was about to help just had to answer his phone when it rang. I quickly deferred to the customer behind him. The first customer stopped his important conversation in order to ask me why I had the gall to pass him up. I told him that it was clear that he was busy with his phone conversation. And that I would help him when he was done. He did not like my answer or my attitude and insisted that I help him. I insisted that he hang up the phone first. He walked out in a huff.

This young guy at the grocery store was not inconveniencing anyone really; I despise the action of answering a phone when you are engaged in a transaction, I find it impolite. As he spoke I began to despise him for his lifestyle. It was Friday and clearly a friend had called him to find out if he was doing anything that evening. He said he was on his way to some friends, a married couple, maybe even with kids to make dinner. I found myself in a quandary. Here I was hating this guy because of his looks and hating him because he had to answer the phone while in line at the grocery store but liking him for what I assumed were his plans for the evening. I wish I had a single friend who would come over and make dinner for me and the kids. I continued to hate him because I secretly liked him.

The conversation continued he then told the friend that he was to busy on Saturday with work but would love to get together with the friend on Sunday. They made plans to go hiking in the Marin headlands and possibly have a picnic. I hated him even more.

The guy is clearly single and has no kids. He has a good job with enough flexibility to go out with his friends. The friend with whom he was making plans wanted to go for a hike and not sit around in a bar or a coffee shop. I imagined the person to be a woman, that’s what I would have wanted, about twenty-five and good looking of course wanting to get out with this guy. He liked her enough to do something with her that would facilitate getting to know her better. Exactly the kind of dating I did and do with my wife.

He paid and left while still on the phone I did not get to hear the rest of the his conversation but I heard enough to guess the out come, I did not get to see the kind of car he drove but I guessed it was either a late model Volvo sedan, one of those new Volkswagen bugs or a jetta. His CD case contained the Style council, the Jam, Joy Division and maybe even the pixies.

What bothered me was his flexibility, I wanted back the flexibility he clearly had and the money to not worry how it is spent; of course when you don't have kids to worry about you don't need much to get by. I also wanted desperately for him to be an Asshole so I would not feel guilty about hating him.

Sunday, August 07, 2005


I was in my car driving my dear son to school one day, when traffic stopped. Is this something worth writing about? traffic in the Bay Area is almost always stopped.
True so true.

In the five minutes that we were at a complete standstill I noticed the view in my rearview mirror. The grill of a yellow Hummer...just sitting there with everybody else, all 7 billion tons of gas guzzling expense. Next to me was a Porsche, about as expensive but not as impractical.

My thoughts turned to the amount of money we spend on these hunks of metal, how much time we spend earning the money to pay for them and how much time we spend sitting on freeways while our engines are running, spewing chemicals in the air that we can not breathe; Whew.

Wait, there is more, I hope I haven't completely lost the one person who is reading this. With my very rudimentary understanding of the origins of physics and other related sciences, I started thinking about the "visionaries" like Leonardo Da Vinci, Isaac newton etc. How much time they must have spent discovering... the things they discovered... all the other Science oriented folks, who helped bring about the human races ability to produce a big hunk of metal that has more power than most of them could imagine; sitting there, just sitting there, in traffic barely moving.

What a Waste!

Thursday, June 09, 2005

How I learned.

When my wife went back to work after my daughter was three month's old; I was naively looking forward to being at home all day..with the baby. I knew that I would get all kinds of things accomplished, house projects, I would write War and Peace, My daughter and I would go on all kinds of outings to the zoo, museums, and for the first time in years I could go hang out at the local coffee shop.

Mostly I stayed home and played video games. Oh, and I took care of my daughter who really did nothing but sleep, eat, poop and cry. This went on for about three months, by then My six month old daughter was insanely bored. She would sit despondently looking at her toys then at me and back again. Then an idea bubble appeared over my head. " play with her." I got down on the floor and started to play. "Wow...Ruthanne You are no longer a blob vaguely resembling a frog any more." (it's true she looked like a frog when she was born, so did her older brother.)

Now she is two and we have a blast with eachother. Today we spent good portion of the day coloring. I draw something she colors over it , she dictates which crayons I get to use and the amount of time that I get to use them. (She has learned from mommy that it is better that I don't think.) Also she will spontaneously erupt into expressive dance routines, when she first started this habit she would only do it when she heard a banjo, now she does with all the music we listen to.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Crime and Punishment.

Living in Oakland has its merit's and its drawbacks. One of its drawbacks, besides lack of suitable funding for Oaklands schools, is the amount of petty crime. (burglary and muggings etc.) Not funding Schools is a greivous offense much worse than any petty crime and probably leads to it.

Before I get so deep into a tangent that will be difficult to wheedle my way out of I will stick to my original subject which has something to do with Gated communities.

I live in a relatively middle class/working class neighborhood which is fairly safe and is borderd by neighborhoods that are not as "safe." With the recent influx of new residents who can better afford the high prices of this area a "neigborhood action team" was formed to organize the residents to fight petty crime. We have a very effective email group that has been used to track some burgleries and has led to the arrest of suspected burglars.

Someone, yesterday, posted an e-mail observing the recent spate of burgleries and police activity, ( which we get a lot of, due to the street in our neighborhood being used by people who the police are persuing) the poster suggested, jokingly, that we should turn our neighborhood into a gated community. This comment of course set someone off, which is inevitable when posting to a large group of people.

In reply, the pissed off poster basically said "Hey, you are living in Oakland." That is not all the emailer said of course, I am leaving most of the content out. From this email it seemed that the sender was a bit upset about all the newcomers trying to change the neighborhood, and longtime residents being priced out of a place that has been home for many years. The sender also said that the new residents should get used to all the crime and if it is a gated community they want, than they should move to one.

I have been living in Oakland for almost six years now and when I first moved here I was aware of Oakland's reputation as crime central. Coming from the relatively safe back water of Salt Lake City I was convinced that the second I walked out of my apartment onto the street I would be, mugged/carjacked/my apartment would be broken into/hit by a stray bullet intended for someone else. In the time I have lived here nothing like that has happened, though the bakery I worked at in North Berkeley did get robbed by the same guy twice, nothing has happened to me personally or my family.

I don't feel that paranoid now, though I do play it safe I don't park my car on the street, I do make sure my windows are locked when I leave the house. There is a level of accpetance and I do expect that at some point I will come home to find it has been broken into. I know that some long time residents do just accept the amount of crime and are reluctant to report it when it happens to them, for various reasons. Why should I and my new neighbors accept it?

Monday, May 23, 2005

Just trying to relax.

Last Friday I went into same day surgery to have part of my intestine tucked back into it's proper place and restrained. ( bad intestine! bad!) The downside of this is that for a few days I would be in pain and I would have to spend a lot of time laying down. The upside of this is that I would have to take lots of pain pills and spend a lot of time laying down. For me this meant no cooking dinner, no diaper changing, and having my wife (who is in the first tri-mester of her second pregnancy. Which means, for those who don't know, about two months of fatigue and nausea.) wait on me.

That fantasy lasted for the first two days. On Sunday I spent the day at my friends house on their couch playing computer Games while their kids played with my daughter Ruthanne. Today possibly to get back at me for spending so much time lazing around, my wife became too sick to go to work and too ill to do anything for herself. So, we are both home and both pathetic. Apparently I am suffering less than her because she is talking about what she doesn't want me to do if she dies before the pregnancy is over. Her only request is that I don't move to Salt Lake City (my hometown) and raise our... if she is dead then that would be my daughter... Daughter in the land of Zion as a non-Mormon with a chip on her shoulder.

Lets face it if you are a non-Mormon in Utah the chances that you have a chip on your shoulder are pretty good. It is hard not to be a minority anywhere and not have issues about not being in the majority so, it is only natural that non-Mormons find something to complain about. The issue that I remember hearing the most complaints about is the lack of places to drink alcohol, lack of good alcohol to drink and all the laws in place to keep it that way. This is such a non issue, I don't even want to talk about it. Besides I live in Oakland California now where it is easier to buy booze than it is to find a gallon of Milk.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Hey why not Blog.

I have given in to the current Blog trend and have created my own. Though I don't plan to write strictly about politics I am not sure that it can be avoided, I am sure that one more writer blah blahing about politics won't hurt and I am sure the politicians will Love the attention.

I am a full time parent I currently do not have a paying job. I won't go on, and on ,and on about how difficult this job is or how cute my kids are but that will surely be some of my content.

I do try to stay informed of the hi jinks of our political leaders. I could not vote if I didn't stay informed, this is pretty easy because I don't watch Fox. ( I don't own a TV. Why watch tv when I get get even more useless information on the internet.) I listen to NPR to get a somewhat liberal veiw of things then listen to Pacifica for the ultra left www.kpfa.org. I like to believe that I get a fairly balanced look at what is going on.

I have never voted for a Republican, call it genetic, my grandfather had a name for the party that represents big business, Damnrepublicans. Yes it is one word. He lived in Utah so I am sure that he said it every morning while reading the paper, I never knew the man but he managed to influence me.