Wednesday, December 9, 2009

One shot should do.



I don't drink to get drunk (usually). I usually drink with a purpose other then that. Using it as a muscle relaxant or to mush my mind a little bit so that I don't focus on all the crappy stressful things that have happened at work (or home, who knows).

Does any one just drink alcohol because it's a beverage? Why not just drink juice or milk instead.

Someday, when Niamonster is old enough to understand, I think I'll sit down with her and mention that sometimes the reason daddy has a beer IS BECAUSE OF YOU!

Did I hear a nomination for the "World's Worst Dad" award in back? Oh, no... that was DCFS.

Yeah, yeah. Don't play me out like I'm the bad guy. I'm just saying what we all do. Whether you like your beers or your fru frus, I bet if you have kids you've tossed at least one swig down the gullet to erase the painful ringing in your ear from the crying or whining.

Cheers... here's to you!



Winter is upon us up here in Wisconsin. I have no reason to complain about it. These United States allow me the opportunity to roam among the 50 where I please without care of visas or passports. It's my own dumb butt that has stayed planted here.

So instead of complaining... I say... bring it!



I'm installing Windows XP on a VPC and I just saw the "When you insert a floppy, ZIP Disk..." Ha! Awesome.

In computer land, the floppy will be to Niamonster what the 8Track was to me, and the ZIPDisk will be like what the BETA video format was. What's a type writer?

Christ's sake. I have to stop there. I really am getting old, aren't I?



2 weeks until Christmas. Think that's on my mind at all?

It's not.



I'm going to slowly start blogging here again. I've missed it. I've missed the release and forcing me to be creative. I miss people reading my blog and commenting.

I do still read all of yours.... On my phone.... On the pooper.

You're welcome for that.


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Not All Posts Have to Be Long

Pffffffft. You call those Jazz Hands?

I'm really just passing time right now while I get over the fact that what I've been working on is still "in discussion".

Ah, the life of a software developer. Expected to go forth and produce the most amazing piece of software to the exact needs for all clients and managers everywhere and to meet and exceed all expectations.

Oh... and get it done before the due date and make sure it contains all of the specifications. You know, those specifications THAT HAVEN'T EVEN BEEN DECIDED ON YET!

Oh yeah. It's that awesome.



Beep Beep Beep Beep

I've been pondering a "plan B" lately. You know, the "if I wasn't doing this, what would I want to do?" question that we all ask ourselves. I'm a software engineer and I really do love computers and knowing the ins and outs of software development, but really... sometimes the stress is just way more then it should be.

I realize that a lot of this stress is self induced while I try to maintain a day job and start up my own business and making sure that I'm a good family man. So would plan B even offer any relief?

Ponder. Ponder. Ponder.



Day Care

Isabella has 99% decided that she is going to head back into the work force. I can tell she's being super strong about the change, but being her husband I know that internally she's conflicted with the goods and the bads. Just because the "goods" may outweigh the "bads" doesn't make the bads any easier to handle.

I'm proud of her decision - and I told her that the decision was all hers. It's not like we need it financially, but I can also tell that she's starting to get a little stir crazy and wanting to feel more apart of the financial success of this family - as well as furthering her knowledge and expertise in a field that she enjoys. Sewing can only offer so much "success" feeling. There is something to be said about working for a company where you are treated in a way that let's you know you are contributing to the success of the organization.

I think she misses that. I'm glad and proud that she's doing what she thinks is best for her.

This... however... has introduced us to the world of day care. Since "B", our best friend, godmother, nanny - watched Niamonster when Isabella worked part time at the beginning, and then Isabella being a stay at home mom - we've never had to look around for day care options. But we feel that Niamonster is old enough to start hanging out on her own (well... supervised but not by us) and expanding her social skills without mommy and daddy to always cling to.

We'll see how this goes.



Sucker!

I am pretty excited that this means that Niamonster will be all mine in the morning. Sure, it's great having Isabella around all the time, but having her as a SAHM means that daddy doesn't get much one on one time. With this new situation I'll be getting up with the kiddo, dressing her for the day, driving her to and picking her up from the day care. Hearing all the stories about how good (or bad) she was and what they did during the day.

Oh yeah. So awesome.



I will for sure keep all posted on how things are going with the day care/work/dad is awesome things in life.



Day Care Yay! / or / Day Care Nay.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

I Really Freaking Like...


This post is inspired by some homemade french fries that I made tonight which made my mouth do a happy dance.

I thought pick a few things which I really really like...

Starting with:

I really like my family. There are so many times when we are hanging out and laughing where I almost go into a third person mode and think to myself, "wow... I have the coolest family in the world". It's still really weird to say "family" and associate it with my wife, my child, and myself - instead of thinking of "family" with me as a child. (I have so many more things to write on this subject, but now is not the time.)

I really like Fresh Prince of Bel-Aire. To this day I'll still flip it on and laugh my butt off. There is just something about a young Will Smith cracking off the one liners within the confines of a campy sitcom.

I really like complex nerdy problems which revolve around networking issues or programming and then solving them and throwing my hands high up into the air and yelping "I'm a Genius!". Although, sometimes I get really crabby when the problem draws itself out.

I really like music. All kinds of music. I'll try anything and am of the belief that you can find a music for every situation. This leads me to also loving to create music (though it's been a real dry spell lately). Music invigorates me, drives me, and LOVES to get stuck in my head.

I really like hanging out on porches with friends and doing nothing but talking. This is often times made better with a beer or with tea. I'm really simple when it comes to entertainment and conversation and friends is complete rapture for me.



I really like bumpits. ....
Yeah - ok, that's a lie. I'm sure I'd have this indescribable feeling to rip it out of someones hair if I ever came across one.

I really like Red Robin's Bacon Avocado burger. Isabella and I have discovered our new Red Robin and have come to realize that the food there is way better and the prices way cheaper then the Applebees where we used to go. Ever since ordering the bacon Avocado burger I just can't bring myself to order anything else.

I really like fried food. I know it's not good for you and it would make any health conscious person cringe, but the taste... it's sooooo goood.



Top 3 Things You Really Like.
Ready.
Go.



Monday, July 27, 2009

Meaningful Monday - A Night with ShankRabbit


Greetings everyone. It has been a time since my eyes have last gazed upon the tan and blue theme of this blogging system spewing forth words of intended wisdom that more then likely fail into humorous tid bits which, if we were in second grade, you could use against me in a silly little chant as you picked me last for the kickball team.

(ooh... that brought back bad memories)



I have my little snifter of brandy (actually it's rum, but saying a snifter of rum sounds like I'm a cheap, Dale lovin', dogs under the porch kind of..... oh... wait... I am.)... I have my little styrofoam cup of rum, sitting in the new location of my office, and feeling the need to let words dribble from my mind onto the keyboard in front of me.

Join me, will you, as you meld your mind with mine for a briefest of moments through these words.



I haven't been myself lately, and if you're any sort of once a month reader of this blog, you already know that when I'm not "myself" I usually shy away from mediums which allow me to express myself.

Most of the times it's not even that I need to ignore this blog, it's just that I don't know how to elaborate on the thoughts in my head since they're all so relatively new to me.

I can't really apologize for not writing more often as of late, because really I think it would be better that you say, "Where is ShankRabbit" instead of, "Ugh... Shut up!" Believe me, I'm an extremes kind of guy. It's one or the other... (think they call that bi-polar).

(I'm not really.)



So, in the awkward tone that usually presents itself when you meet up with someone you haven't seen in a while, allow me to ask the question I'm sure many of you would ask...

"What's new?"

New Locations for Everything

Most recent, my beautiful wife, Isabella (oh totally check out her blog), decided that we wanted to move a couch (futon to be exact) to a different location in the house. Well... what the heck... if we're going to move a couch, why not rearrange the whole dang house.

So... Niamonster's room is now upstairs in what once was the TV room, the TV room has been moved downstairs and has merged with the Living Room, the dining room is no more and is now a sitting area, our office room is now Isabella's work room (sewing and computer), and Niamonster's room is now my office / studio.

Stressful Job

This is a big reason that I haven't been blogging much. I actually, for the first time in my life, found someone that I struggle to get along with.

I've been called a chameleon before, someone who blends in with his surroundings to get along with people. Some people call it fake, I call it meeting people where they are. Chances are it's going to be harder to get someone to meet you where you are at, so it's best just to meet them on their turf instead.

I have nerdy friends, I have artsy friends, I have friends who go and get drunk every weekend, I have older friends with 3 grown children, and I have younger friends who haven't even graduated college yet.

But there is this guy who I am forced to work with now, who is seriously impossible to get along with. And whether it's because we work in two different offices, or whether I'm threatening to him, I just can't get myself to meet him at his level.

Probably because it seems his level is always changing. Oiy.

Budding Job

Pixel 73 is apparently taking off. We landed out first bigger contract not too long ago and I've been hauling butt to get things done. This is good news and bad news. Good news that the company that I want to someday take into a full time business is taking off, bad news because it requires lots of time.

Isabella and I have it worked out pretty well, although some nights, where I have to go to a client meeting, I can we working for 14-18 hours. Oooh wee that can be fun.

Drama Queen

We knew she would get there. We feared the day that her personalization of my genetic disposition would start showing itself through physical interaction.

Niamonster is becoming Miss Drama. If you've been through this stage then you know. The limit testing, the whining, the indecision of whether you want me there or not, the whining, the... whining...

did I mention the whining?

We're also reaching the age where she understands, on a very high level, the difference between right and wrong. With that knowledge comes the need for some stern talking tos if she's being sassy.

I don't like giving stern talking tos. I'm probably really not going to like full on discipline when she gets older even more.



So... that's what I've been up to lately. I'm going to try to get back on the good foot and obtain my regular posting schedule again.


I'll be honest... I did miss you.


Monday, June 29, 2009

Meaningful Monday - Relaxed

I never really realized how much stress and pressure I store in my upper shoulders. Don't get me wrong, I always knew it was there just not to the extent of which was presented to me this past Saturday.

This is the story of my first professional massage.




My wife has always wanted me to go in for a professional massage. I think it has a lot to do with the fact that I ask her all the time for back rubs, but due to her weak wrists and dislocated, goofy-assed, double jointed thumbs - the amount of pressure she puts on my muscles is akin to a house fly inadvertently changing its course into my shoulder blade. (ok, that was a stretch, but overexaggeration to prove a point)

She finally found a really good deal where it was 50% off at a ritzy little Spa in downtown Milwaukee, and immediately called one if for me.

Well, given that it was my first massage I started pondering all the cliche things that could or should happen at a massage from what I've:
  • Seen on TV.
  • Read in articles
  • Heard from my sister-in-law (a professional massage therapist)
The Biggest Fear

Ladies, not all men are giant pigs. I tend to think I'm one of the kind that isn't a pig. Thus, my first and ultimate fear was the dreaded boner.

Yeah. Lying naked on a warm table with someone rubbing oil all over you while massaging your muscles... you can see how the fear would arise. It started bringing back fears of high-school where the bell would ring and I'd be sporting the semi. But at least in high-school you have the good old binder over the crotch trick to fix that, at a massage you have nothing but a flimsy little sheet. Hell, even jeans in high school helped.

Then, what if she's attractive... or worse... hot?! Then what?!

"Oh no oh no... maybe this massage thing is a bad idea."
No. No... I was being irrational. I'll be fine.

The Day Arrives.

So I get there and first of all can't find the front desk... so I wander until this gentle looking lady finds me. She looks like a massage therapist and is talking to me like she's been expecting me. I think to myself, well if my assumptions are correct you will be my massage therapist and I am in no way attracted to you.

We walk to the hidden front desk together and I check in. We walk back downstairs and she hands me a clipboard with waivers and information which I need to fill out.

After she hands it to me she says, "Enjoy your time with us. Nikki should be right with you."

... um... shit... you apparently aren't going to be my therapist.

"Ok... ok... it's cool... you won't find Nikki hot either... just fill out the info. Name - oh... this one is easy... Address - cool, another easy one..."

A new voice speaks, "Hi, Ben? I'm Nikki"

OH COME THE "F" ON, REALLY?!!! REALLY CRUEL WORLD?!

Yup. She's hot. Ok... to be fair... she's way cute but not as cute as my wife. And I'm really not just saying that to cover my ass. Isabella saw her and agreed. (We kinda have that open relationship, talk about everything, sort of marriage.) But still, ugly therapist is easier then hot therapist for ANYONE, not just guys... (cough cough) ladies.

So we walk back to my "personal suite", she shows me the shower area. Ooooh. Kohler insane, blast you from all angles, 1 million gallons/second, kind of shower. I'll be sure to enjoy that after the massage.

She says, "I'll step out for a second and you can undress to whatever level you're comfortable with." then appends, "naked is perfectly okay." (oh gee thanks for adding that cause I didn't know.)

Whatever, buck or go home. So buck I went and slid under the sheets. Then... massage time. I'd say it took about 1.32 seconds and there was no possible way I had any reason to worry about my winky going camping in the bay. Hiking perhaps, but no tents would be pitched. It was just too dang relaxing to even be worried about, what now seems like, such a trivial matter.

She did ask when the last time I had a massage... being... never. To which she responded, "I can tell, you're so tense. I don't know how you survive like this you poor thing." Yeah - lets not read into that. (Though I wouldn't be a guy if I didn't.)

60 minutes and a whole lot of deep tissue massage and time was up.

Steam vegetables anyone? Perhaps a steamed ShankRabbit?

I enter the bathroom and turn on the shower. Yes, it really is water from all angles and it is hella-nice. I'm standing and enjoying the complete drowning in water, when I notice a little silver panel on the wall. A little digital readout that was off... and three silver buttons... one bigger one and two smaller ones.

You know the red button syndrome that some people have. The one where even though the button is big, giant, and red, and says "Do not push"... you push it anyway? Oh yeah, that's me.

There were no labels and I HAD to know what it did. So i pushed the big button. The digital display sprang to life and start flashing numbers from 19 to 109 and bouncing all around in between.

But nothing happened. "Hrm. Hope that wasn't the self-destruct. That'd be embarrassing." Which of course Phineas and Ferb quotes pop into my head with "In hindsight, I question the logistics of including a self-destruct button in the first place."

I walk back under the torrential downpour of water when, 5 seconds later, I hear this insane hissy whoooshy noise from the site of the wall. Oooooh... little silver boxy = sauna.

Sweet!

Well... it was sweet until it started getting a little too steamy. And too hot. And the little silver boxy thing no longer responded to touching. Those little red numbers changing in no discernible pattern... oooh annoying. I liken the experience to trying to see through glasses when they're all fogged up... only - my glasses were off my head and on the counter.

"I hope that thing turns off."

It eventually did... AFTER I was out of the shower and pruned up like a... well... a prune, I guess.

Up and Out.

Upon leaving my "personal suite", I walked back upstairs with Nikki... you remember Nikki... that hot massage therapist... so that I could pay.

Remember the 50% off? Me thinky there was a computer error. Cause what I paid for was NOT 50% off.

But I didn't care. I paid it. I left. It was money very well spent.

Isabella's first comment was, "wow... you look like you were just sleeping for 5 weeks straight.

Mmmm... definitely need to go back.



does anyone else laugh at the word therapist? because it looks like the rapist. Nikki, professional the rapist? yes please.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

This would be an interesting movie...


Braveheart, Film Score
by: Horner, James
on: Star Trek: The Wrath of Kahn

Album Cover: Titanic



What if, Pandora... what if?

Monday, June 22, 2009

Meaningful Monday - My head is swimming.


so cliche

I'm starting this post on Monday so it still counts, even though I'll probably finish it after midnight. I think the starting of it counts.



Planning.

Life is a bitch. You hear it all the time and yet no one really takes it to heart until the events in life happen to take a stroll past your house at 3am and start throwing eggs and toilet paper in a trivial and juvenile action that, in the end, doesn't really hurt your life - it just messes it up for a small time.

No, don't worry, that was purely a metaphor.

I'm writing this post standing in my basement on my workbench as half of my servers are cracked open and awaiting the installation of their new operating systems, servers, and development systems. Why am I standing down here at 11pm while everyone else is asleep?

Because, as a business, we just landed our first large contract and have been told multiple times that, "if this goes well, we'll be coming back to you again and again." Needless to say they really like our style, but of course words only mean so much in the business world and they are using this first project as a proof of everything I've been talking about.

It's a little nerve wracking.

I'm also in an interesting situation because my 5 year plan had always been to take Pixel 73 LLC to the point where I didn't have to go into work anymore. Where I could just stay home, run my business happily, code what I want to code, and do things my way in the business world. No more answering to the higher ups because I would be my own.

Shazzam - how about this thought wrench.

Of course, on top of the clients I already have, I get this client who also drops another potential project in my lap and basically says, "if we get this, we'll need you full time."

Whoa... wait a sec... that's not five years from now. That's 5 months from now. What the...

See? It's not destroying my life, it's the just wet soggy toilet paper hanging from the limbs of my lifestyle trees.

So I ponder.

I'm playing out all of the thoughts in my head. Wanting to be comfortable financially, but still wanting to pursue my dream. And of course, until contracts are signed, this is all just mind-slobber.

Love to hate to love

I have such a love/hate relationship with tough decisions. I hate them because I wish someone would show me 5 years in the future based on each decision. I love them because making the tough decisions makes me a better person... a better dad... a better husband.



Oh life... you traitorous whore, you.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Fatherhood Friday - She wins.


What's happenin' blog readers? How was your week? Mmhm? Yeah? Good.

I think today is a special Friday because it's the Fatherhood Friday before Father's Day. The day that is all about me.

Wait. What's this crap? You don't know what Fatherhood Friday is? BEHOLD! Check out Dad-Blogs. Neat dudes doing dude stuff and writing about it. (Girls are totally allowed too).



She Was Right

I hate being wrong. Hate it more then hate itself. However, I've noticed that with less sleep, more work, and more responsibility my cache isn't as big as it used to be. Because of this I've noticed that I tend to be wrong a lot more then I used to. It's a small price to pay for mental efficiency in a mentally hazardous environment.

Well, I have to give Isabella some big props because she pretty much made me go to the doctor yesterday... and... wouldn't you know it - I have bronchitis.


Apparently it's bronchitis season. (Like flu season, or deer season... only for shit in my lungs.) And this year has been a fun one with the doctor saying how this kind tends to come back. Well, wouldn't you know that earlier this year I had the exact same symptoms as I did this time.

So I guess my bronchitis came back for round two. Only this time I'm going to take it down to China-town with some Azithromycin. 5 days of hard core bacteria killing...

... and 5 days of the Hershey-squirts.

Damn you side effects.



I need a vacation. I need to unplug from the constant blast of coding that happens to flow from my fingers every day and every night. It's my own fault for having the aspiration of owning my own business and living completely and comfortably from that business someday - so that requires a lot of time spent at the computer at night.

This also leads to some pretty late nights since I don't want to be working when I'm at home and Niamonster is awake. So (obviously coming full circle here), you can see why I've been getting sick more.

I beat myself up, but it's already starting to pay off. Lots of big things in the works and just started a new deal with a new company that will finally boost us to where we need to be.




To all my dads out there - Happy Father's Day on Sunday.








.....

......... huh... just kinda seems like a really abrupt end to my post... no closure really... just - "goodbye".

... kinda akward, huh.


...so...

kthxbai!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Wacky Wednesday - Healthy Living (cough cough)


I'm done.

I'm done with being sick more then I should be. I can't decide if it's the child or if it's the job or if it's the fact that I had pneumonia once. I try eating healthy and exercises and I still get sick WAY more then I used to.

It's annoying and it's ALWAYS respiratory.

Bastard little green phlegmballs.



Isabella and I started a financial planning class tonight. 13 weeks of instruction to get our asses in gear for making sure Niamonster (and perhaps some future children) are set when growing up.

Believe me, we'll instill in them the virtues of making a living for themselves, but I also don't think you can expect a teenager to be able to pay thousands of dollars for college when they can't even keep money in their checking account.

I'm sure you'll hear more about this in the future with both of our blogs.



I asked my wife last night if I needed tickets to the gun show. She was trying to flex for me. It'd be even funnier for you if you knew how scrawny she was.



Finally -

Interesting stuff going on in Teh... uh... you know that one place that just had elections. (Don't want some crazy ass coming over to my blog and censoring me... or.. whatever they're doing.)

I guess I never really understood riots and destroying things to make a point. I mean... you're not really making much of a point at all.

What goes through your head?

"This election was rigged! Quick! Everyone throw bricks through the windows of local stores!"

Cause... that's going to accomplish a lot. Irony sure would set in if the store owner was two blocks down throwing bricks into someone else's window.

I'd hate to be a police-person in that state. Get up in the morning knowing you're going to have to get crap thrown at you all day. I mean - I don't agree with what's going on over there at all, but you have to be somewhat sympathetic to the police officers. Could you imagine waking up in the morning knowing full well that you were probably going to get rocks and bricks thrown at you while people try to rip you off your bike so they can burn it. Just because your jacket says "Police".

I don't think violence is the answer, but if someone threw a brick at me, you bet your ass I'd crack them in the head with a billy club.

Just sayin'...



Hope your Wednesday is full of happy, billy club-free moments!



Friday, June 12, 2009

Fatherhood Friday - Hello End of the Week... so soon?

Fatherhood Friday at Dad Blogs
Hi Kids.

Welcome to another edition of Fatherhood Friday.



So it's official. As of Monday of this week at 12:14pm I am officially MINI free. Eh - it's kinda sad, but that sadness faded pretty dang quick when I saw how many 0's I had to write down on my deposit slip.

oooh... that's nice.

So we've started paying off credit cards and other stupid bills that we've had (oh... the bills). We're a one car family now and the more I think about it, the more it makes perfect sense. Things would be a whole lot different if Isabella had a daytime job (not that being a stay at home mom isn't a job), but she can take me to work every morning and it gives us a good chance to just talk for 15 minutes.

So many times you find yourself focusing on your child's needs and playing with her (or him) that you just forget to sit and talk.

Fatherhood = selling stuff and spending quality time together.




My wife and I watch some odd TV sometimes and one of the odd little shows we came across was Tori and Dean... if you haven't watched this show: do it.

It's Tori Spelling and Dean McDermott, and you know something? Yeah... they're actors but they're such normal people. What's more is that Isabella and I are very VERY like them. If you ever are curious as to what our household is like - watch this show.

I could talk about it and describe it, but you should just go watch it. It's on Oxygen.

Fatherhood = knowing that all dads go through the same stuff.



I'm not sure who came up with the phrase "Terrible 2's" but they're full of shit. It starts way before the age of 2.

Oh yeah - Niamonster has started throwing cute little temper tantrums and while I'm sure it'll be cute for the next couple of weeks, I'm pretty sure I'm going to start flipping my crab about it.

She's has this little thing where she'll just walk over to the rug on our kitchen floor in this sick little whiney fashion and just fall to the floor whenever she doesn't get what she wants.

Neat. Can't wait till it gets worse.

Fatherhood = patience.



Speaking of selling the MINI, one of the biggest things for Isabella and I that always bothered us was that we never had enough money to give lots to charity. My dad works for a company that deals with people who are severly developmentally disabled (an amazing organization: Bethesda Lutheran Home and Services), Isabella and I have a huge heart for Maryville Academy since Isabella stayed there for a while given certain things happening in her life.... plus there are other churches and little charities we just want to give to.

Well... now that we have a little more padding in our bank it's been really nice to have that available.

So - today some fellow online friends made mention of another blogger who has fallen on some series of unfortunate events. Well, the friends got together and collaborated a little fund to help the family out in their time of need.

Yes! Our first "random" charity. Yay!

Fatherhood = Charity and giving selflessly.



Finally, and the biggest part of being a father -

I had to go play business tonight and head out with some SVP/VP type people and schmooze. However, that meant coming home late and Niamonster was already asleep.

I walked into her room to just see my little girl... and she must have known it was me because she propped her little head up... looked into my eyes... gave me the cutest little tired smile... and layed back down.

Uuuuuuh.... I think my heart just melted....

Friday, June 5, 2009

It's a quick post in the neighborhood.


My wife is on her way to picking me up. I realize it's early but my head hurts and today is going to be the only nice day this weekend.

It's a quick Fatherhood Friday.
WHAT? You don't know what Fatherhood Friday is?! The get your butt over to Dad-Blogs and check it out.




Fatherhood is:
  • Leaving work early to spend time with your family.
  • Sneaking into your child's room at night to stand over their crib and watch them sleep.
  • Calling out "Dance" and immediately dropping everything to shake your booty.
  • Crying when you inadvertently injure your child.
  • Cuddling up to your wife when she needs you.
  • Staying up late to finish work after everyone else goes to bed.
  • Be willing to give up everything for your family.
  • Love them more then yourself.

Those are some of the things fatherhood is to me.

What about you?



Thursday, June 4, 2009

Wackey Wedhursday - What?


Happy Wedhursday

Why? Why Wedhursday? Because I started writing this post yesterday and am finishing it today... that's why. So to my online posting persona I am actually transcending the space time continuum and spanning my existence over a time frame which includes both Wednesday and Thursday. 

And you thought you were just reading a weirdo's blog. 



Straight up now tell me do you really wanna love me forever (oh oh oh)



Now that you have that song stuck in your head... Let's continue and talk about something gross. 

Girl

Nope. Not my daughter. Not some random female. But... that. Call it whatever you want... Aunt Flo, Periodicals, Girl... all the same thing. Well, with the onslaught of Niamonster, Isabella hasn't had to deal with it in the first person, and I haven't had to deal with it in the third person in a very long time. 

Isabella got preggo sometime in July of 07. From July of 07 until March of 09 we really hadn't had to deal with it. 

Well... she's back. Can't say I really missed her. 

Though, for all you guys out there... dealing with the hormonal crazies from pregnancy gives a whole new "gentler" light on the girly-crazies. They just don't seem so crazy anymore. 



New Domain!

Being the dork that I am, I have an entire business class network setup in our house. Domain controllers, DNS servers, routers, switches, etc. You'd think I ran a small business out of my home or something.

Well, with the glorious purchase of 2 new dual 2.6ghz Xeon servers I decided it was time to re-setup the domain since I kinda botched the first one. (Single name domains aren't very friendly)

So I stayed up till 2am last night switching things over from my old server to the new ones, and by the time I went to bed I had gotten rid of the B**** domain (starred cause it's my last name... and let's be honest you know I don't write real names here) and started up the tarkus.shankrabbit.com domain. Tarkus meaning "wisdom" in Estonian. 

Why Estonian?

Because I'm weird, that's why.



My daughter has taken a liking to dirt. Isabella already wrote about it so you should head over there and read up somes. 



This weekend can't come soon enough. I'm bushed. 



Finally, I know I haven't mentioned it much - but Busy-Dad-E, I should be finishing up the song this weekend. You know... the song you won... so long ago. 

I haven't forgotten. 

I never do. 

Monday, June 1, 2009

In like Flynn




Hi Everybody!


Miss me?




Dogs.

I used to be a dog lover. When Isabella and I started get serious she had a wonderful dog named Aria. She was a beautiful Great Dane, German Shepherd mix. Oh yeah... big doggy. I became very fond of this dog while Isabella and I were dating. ( I almost wrote, "while we were dating" except that sounded like Ari and I were dating...) Ari became very fond of me as well. 

Well... Isabella and I were still finding ourselves and becoming little professionals and were about to get married. Our lifestyle just didn't support having a big giant dog. Especially a dog that needed big open spaces and all we could afford her was a small apartment. We loved her so much that we realized we had to do what was best for her, so we put her up for adoption. 

One. of the. Hardest. Days. Ever. 

There are still days I miss Ari. I know my missing Ari will never come to that of Jen's.

However, that's not the point of this section. The real point is: We just aren't a dog family anymore.

My brother (the middle one, not the one with the blog... he's the eldest... I'm the baby.), married a woman from the Czech Republic. (no... not Czechoslovakia... that's long gone and you'll piss off any Czech native if you say that... trust me, I've had a bruised arm from it). Her brother got married last week and they went to her home to be with him for it. 



They have two dogs, Dante and Capri. Both English Cocker-Spaniels. You can imagine what it would cost to kennel 2 dogs for 8 days. ~$25 a day x 2 dogs x 8 days and you've got about $400. Well, given the times with the economy and the availability of us, they asked if we could dog sit for those days instead. 

Sure. Why not?

I like dogs, right? 

It's been interesting. I feel bad cause my voice has been raised a few more times then I would have liked it. I don't yell, but it is louder. And I feel terrible because Niamonster is so not used to hearing my louder stern voice unless she is doing something drunken monkey like. It's also been interesting because the dogs pee more the Niamonster does, which means getting up at 4am again. 

Then there are the hardwood floors and the barking while Niamonster is trying to sleep. 

I wish we would have had a video tape running the other night. Jen and I were eating upstairs and Niamonster was acting like a complete numbnuts and crawling all over everything. So the dogs are trying to snatch food away from us, Niamonster is crawling behind the couch, then knocking lamps over, then the dogs are chasing her, Isabella and I were trying to get a hold of everyone with bar-b-que sauce dripping down our hands.... oiy... it was a mess.

It's been fun being able to help my brother and sister out and fun watching the dogs... but man... we just aren't dog people anymore.



I can't begin to tell you how many times I wrote "dong" while writing this. Heh... dong watching.


Friday, May 22, 2009

Fatherhood Friday - Parents are helpless.

Happy Fatherhood Friday all my fellow dads and mom. Let us raise our hands in the air and let the world smell our pits because we all know we shower less now that we have kids. 

What's that? You don't know what Fatherhood Friday is all about? Then head your butt over to Dad-Blogs and check it out. (Girls are allowed in this fort.)

You. As a Parent. Are helpless. 

And I think it's why we panic so much about our children. Apparently panic is an appropriate replacement for not being able to control our little beings. Try as we might to be the "cool and laid back" parents that you see in the movies, every little step in the wrong direction, or bonk on the heads leaves our little hearts to go, "OHAGHNODON'TGETHURT!".

It's the heart strings that are fused to that little miniature flesh-bag. No matter what goes on in life you never want them to feel pain, never want them to struggle, never want them to fail. But of course the only way to learn and get better at something IS by failing. 

Some people take it way too far.

You know those people - the "build a fence around my kid" kind of parents. They're usually really judgemental too. Niamonster was toddling around Target the other day. She slipped and landed on her butt, let out a little cry of frustration, and got back up. I looked up and saw a lady glaring at me like, "how could you let your child fall?".

Really lady? Really? Pecker off.

I can only imagine it gets worse.

Niamonster is only 1 right now so what do I have to worry about? Her falling on her butt... bonking the enormously large bobbly head into things... falling down stairs... etc.

But what about when she's a teenager? Creepy guys on the internet? Creepy guys on the streets? Stupid boyfriends trying to smooze her pants off? Broken hearts? Good grades? Personal image?

Oiy... I'm worried about how much I'm going to worry.

How do I relax?

Well... my faith helps. Raising her to make smart decisions will help. I want to be able to trust her 100% as she grows up. That's easier said then done because I'm not going to be with her all the time as she gets older. Where do I draw the line between trust and smart parenting? Can you full trust a 14 year old?

For now... she can bump.

I'll let her fall. I'll let her bump her fat little melon. When she gets older will I still allow her to get bumps and bruises so she can grow and learn? 



Is it just me or is parenthood just filled with hypothetical questions that can't be answered until the situation happens?

(jesus being a parent is so damn fun)


Thursday, May 21, 2009

Introducing BabyK

This is a special Thursday post. 

I'd like you all to meet:

BabyK
Born May19th.
7lbs. 4oz.
22in long.

Is a perfect mash of her dad and mom.


That bink-bink is normal size. She's that small.


Isabella holding BabyK


That is all.


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Wacky Wednesday (Insert Number Here) - Babies, Phones, and Poopy Butts

It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood, a beautiful day in the neighborhood... won't you be mine?

Chicken In Pants.

Think that's actually a title to something I'm going write here? You're wrong. Simply... Chickenpants.

Guess who had their baby!

BabyK is officially here and healthy. After around 36 hours of labory stuff that women do when having babies, our bestest friends are now our bestest family. Born yesterday at 10:30ish PM, 7lbs 4oz, 22in long. Isabella and I are headed over there to lay eyes on their beautiful daughter. 



Poopy Butts

My daughter loves to potty on the toilet. Yes, we realize she's only one, but she derives such enjoyment from sitting on the big people's potty and dropper her load off in there as opposed to her diaper. Because seriously, who would want to walk around with pants full of poopies? 

Not me. 

So the first thing you have to think about is the awkwardness that comes from encouraging your child while she's taking a deuce. Isabella and I are very open about our human bodies, but one thing we have always taken as "personal time" is pooping. Doors closed, no one is allowed in, don't talk to me until I'm out. Being in the bathroom when someone is pooping is weird... even in public settings. 

However, this paradigm hits a wall when it comes to Niamonster because I'm not just going to leave her sit there by herself. She'd fall in and probably start playing around. (gross). While we're holding her there, Isabella and I usually look around elsewhere to give Niamonster some sort of privacy while she does her deed. 

Still pretty awkward though. 

The setup is usually that Isabella is the holder while I walk in and out offering words of encouragement. The other day I was tasked to do the holding and realized that I had never done it before. This all hit me like a truck when it was time to wipe her little booty while sitting in front of her. 

Hrm. How does one do this without getting poop everywhere?

I'm not sure how "one" would do it... or how I would do it for that matter - because I got poop everywhere. 

I'm such a nard.



New Phone!

Isabella and I have been with Verizon for... um... 6?5?7? ... well a long time. Anyway, they always call when our contract is up to encourage us to get new phones. So... with the current deals circulating around we decided to finally bite and ditch our old flippy small screened phones for the newest, hottest, and not Apple owned smart phone. (I'll write someday about my aversion to Apple products. If their products were at least half as good as their fanboys proclaim them as, I'd be all over them.)

BAM! The new BlackBerry 9530 - also known as the Storm.

Now, one thing I have learned is that Verizon is very... hrm... "selective" about what operating system they will support on their phones. For that reason, if you do get a BlackBerry from Verizon you'll be running an OS that is about 4 releases old. 

The OS that our Storms came with was painfully slow. (Which you'll read all about if you've ever read a review on this phone.) That's ridiculous, I told myself, that I should run an older OS when there are much faster and better OSes out there. 

Thank God for CrackBerry.com

Both Isabella and I are running BETA/Hybrid versions of the OS and the difference is night and day. The phone itself is really powerful, why not have a decently designed OS to go with it?



Tough to work when you just want to be home.



Monday, May 18, 2009

Meaningful Monday - It's a great day for a baby!



I'm really starting to hate how fast time really flies lately. I know that is a cliche statement and I know that everyone who has a kid says it... but there is also scientific research that shows that as you get older your brain trains itself to manage time differently. Thus, time flies, because our old ass brains don't want to deal with the day to day crap anymore. 

Remember being young and an hour felt like forever?

Life. They're about to have it.

Isabella and I have these two people in our lives who we are uncomfortable classifying as "best friends". That's kind of an insult to the way we feel towards each other. They're more like an extension to our family. For the fun of this blog (and since no one has a real name here) we'll call them Aunty B and Uncle White Brows. Yes... they truly are an aunt and uncle (as well as the god-parents) to Niamonster. I can't even begin to tell you how lucky Niamonster is to have them in her life. 

Well... almost 9 some months ago, Aunty B and Uncle WB came over and, after taking 6 pregnancy tests (accuracy through large sample size... and no... I'm not kidding it was 6 in one night), told us they were going to have a little cousin for Niamonster.  

I can't even begin to tell you the emotions felt that night. As a guy it's one of those times where if you were alone you would have... uh... gotten a spec of dust in your eye.

BAM

9 months later. They're in the hospital and, comparing to the past months, are moment away from being new parents. 

Just like that... I'm going to have a little "niece". Baby M. (or Baby K depending if you shorten it or not).

I can't wait to see her grow up and to see and learn various parenting techniques (cause God knows I'm not the greatest at it)... share stories about babies... having Niamonster and BabyK play around together... have BabyK teach Niamonster how to surf, and to chillax, and throw up the octave on both hands, and to not be such a priss. I'm excited for Niamonster to show BabyK the appropriate way to write lists....... (such a legacy I'll leave).

Now... if we could just get her to come out. 


Thursday, May 14, 2009

What the heck is up with my posting schedule?

This week... it has been crazy and overwhelming. My apologies for the crazy post schedule especially if you've become very used to my MWF schedule. Next week I'll get things back on track. 

In the mean time I'll quick throw this up. 

If you comment Anonymously, you deserve to be talked to in a snarky and sarcastic tone.

Yup, that's right. And it's exactly why I don't allow anonymous comments on my blog, because I only like being a little bitch on rare occasions and usually on someone else's blog. (I should say I just delete Anonymous posts, unless they're signed with a name.)

In steps Anon over on my beautiful (and sexy) wife's blog.


Now, why was I a snarky ass? 3 reasons.
  1. The post had nothing to do with Celiac disease.
  2. Anonymous
  3. Ignorance. 
Put those three together and you've just turned me into a snarky butthead. 

I hate ignorance.

I'm super ok with "not knowing", but talking to me like you do know... when you know you don't - I have no tolerance for it. It is a quick way to tell a lot about someone's personality. 

Have fun reading... and while you're at it - maybe you'd like to leave a snarky comment for Anon as well. Not that they'll ever come back to her blog to read it - but still... what a great outlet for snarkiness. 

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Tuesday Tears



My heart aches.
(June 23, 2008 - May 11, 2009)

I don't care what you believe in... pray, meditate, think about this family. 

They need it.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Fatherhood Friday - It's the way she laughs

What is it about the laughter? How could anyone have a bad day when a toddler pops open that half-toothy/half-gummy grin and starts giggling like all of the giggles are going away tomorrow?

I know I can't have a bad day with that. 

Happy Fatherhood Friday to all the awesome dads out there. The dads who spend time with their children and make a huge effort to be a giant part of their lives. The dads who treat their wives (or husbands) with respect so that their little ones learn what true love is through observing your actions. 

Here is my nod, fist pump, or hug (yes, I'm a total hugger) to you. Because at the end of a long week - you deserve it. 


Let's talk about...
The baby itch.

I see where it comes from. I'm not saying I'm condoning or even thinking about it right now. All I'm saying is that I am starting to understand why so many couples have kids so close together. 

Niamonster is 1 year old now.

(Total aside that has nothing to do with this... have I even ranted about how I hate telling people months past a year old? I don't tell you that I'm 320 months old. I want to give you her age... not a math problem.)

Uh... Oh yeah so Niamonster is 1 year old and since turning that blessed year old she has decided that she wants to drink almost all liquids out of a straw, she wants to walk, she wants to talk with big people words, and she wants to feed herself. 

Try to do any of this for her and you have just cursed yourself with a little girl's temper tantrum. Gee... I have no idea where this "do it yourself and don't help me" mentality came from...

... it must have been her mom.

She's so grown up.

She's a toddler now. She's less like the little cute adorable cuddly mooshy goo-poosh... and more like a whiny screaming scratching howler monkey. Still really cute, but you've got to catch her first.

You get really used to having that little ball of foof just hanging out in her little rocker chair as she tries to reach up and swat at the little hanging toys. Remember the good old days when you used to cheer when she pulled the ring and the song played. Now you can't get her to stop pressing those *** **** buttons on that ******* Winnie the Pooh train!! 

There in lies my "enlightening" as to why so many parents have multiple children so close in age. You WANT that cute little baby back. Having a baby means constant needs, love, attention, love, cuddling, needs, and love. 

Having a toddler means, "hey.. no...come back here, please love me STOP SQUIRMING AWAY! I'm just trying to hold you. Where are you going now?... AGH! NO! Don't touch... what? what did you just baby-say to me? Are you cussing me out? I may not be able to understand your words but I sure know when I'm getting cusse... don't put that in your mouth... yes I'm talking about that. I can still see it in your hand. Yes, that piece of paper... I see it... don't put that... no... don't d... AGH! Stop crawling away you're going to choke on it... ugh... ISABELLA!!!!"

Still not going to have one so soon.

For as big as a pain as she can be (grumble grumble miss independent)... I still love every single minute that I spend with her... I mean... Come on... this is awesome!


Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Wacky Wednesday... uh... 12? - Socially crazy

From my Monday post I'm sure you all know the story behind selling my 2005 MINI Cooper S. 

Well, seeing as how this is "Wacky Wednesday", let's talk about how wacky my brother has gotten about it. 

First, I should give you the background that he is a big Marketing dork. It has always been a running joke about him being in marketing. 

You see... I'm a developer. I write the code, architect the application, design the flows, the UIs, the "sexy bits". I create the product that makes the money. Developers generally have a distain for Marketing folk because they swoop in like vultures, take your product and slut it out to the world using phrases like, "We did this... " or "We created that..."... almost as if they were any part of the sometimes months-long process to create kick ass applications. It's prentious. You didn't do shit.

Unfortunately, they're a necessity since most developers, myself included, aren't the most "socially apt" people around. So... (sigh) I guess without them the product wouldn't get sold... as much.

I mean no offence to people in marketing... I have nothing against you - we do need you... it's... it's... aw nevermind.

Anyway (wow I totally busted off on a rant there... sorry), so - my brother has been looking for an outlet to do some social networking experimentation and he was enlightened by me selling Claire. He wanted to take selling Claire under his wing as an experiment to see what kind of craze he could create (if any at all).

He wanted something kitchy and viral. So he decided on the "man loses last shred of bachelorhood... blah blah blah" and created the theme "MINI Cooper vs Mini Van". Odd you think? Somewhat... I agree. Seeing as how it's all crap - because selling the MINI was my decision.

What, you might ask, has this crazy brother done?

I'm tempted to almost call this "too much". But he's running the experiment... I'm just a pawn. Then again... as of right now 389 Twitter followers aren't lying about the potential "viruality" of this.

So... want to take part in the "joke"/"experiment"? Join up on those groups/blogs/twitters and make yourself known. 

I do just want to say that most of you, since following me, have gotten a good sense of what I'm about - I do hope you notice that a lot of this is quite farcical. 



My wife glues her fingers together on a regular basis. I'm starting to get concerned.



Finally - Cuteness overload. My daughter and her first time with sand.


Monday, May 4, 2009

Meaningful Monday - Happy Tears... Really

I once had a baby and people called me a freak.

Yup. That's right. People told me I was a freak when I told them I had a baby. This baby came into my life in March 2005. My first new car. A 2005 MINI Cooper S. I named her Claire. 

I remember being quite timid about the whole process. I was fresh out of college and I landed a very nice job straight out. I wasn't tied down to any sort of girlfriend or stuck to any responsibility. It was just me. I was making plenty of money and I wanted my dream car. 

I asked my father to join me in this process because he was, and still is, the one guy I look up to for everything in life. I remember sitting at the dealership and picking out options skipping over some just because they would be "nice to have" but not necessary. 

My dad stopped me as I skipped over the upgraded stereo system. 

"Son, this is your dream car. Make it yours."

So I did. Every little thing about her was exactly what I wanted. At the time it was well within my budget and fit my lifestyle to a T.

April 05

I started chatting more with the most amazing girl in the world. She loved Claire as much as I did and we spent countless hours simply driving around and purposely getting lost. My wife, at the time, lived in Chicago so Claire and I spent many nights driving back and forth between our cities. Things got more and more serious with Isabella and I until eventually...

"It's a huge get together for MINI Owners"

Along came MINIs on the Dragon (or MOTD). MOTD is an extended weekend where MINI owners from all over the country gather at Deals Gap, TN at a road called the Tail of the Dragon. 311 curves in 11 miles... and we're not talking about your sissy curves either. MINIs, known for their amazing handling, tear up the dragon like it's nothing. 

Isabella and I planned a trip in 2006 to head down to MOTD and chum it up with a lot of MINI owners that we had met online. 

Little did she know that the purpose of me wanting to go to MOTD had nothing to do with MINIs. 


On May 5th, 2006, I got down on one knee and asked her to stay by my side forever. (You can read even more about it here.)

We went back the next year and got to know even more cool people, and hooked up with the Milwaukee MINIs too.

I would spend lots of free time thinking of little home-brew things I could do to her. Connecting an aftermarket amplifier without rewiring the whole car, hooking up an AUX input without buying the expensive add-on, even doing tests with different air diverter designs. 

I also spent lots of extra money on her too. Upgraded engine bits, new brake systems, etc. When I wasn't spending money on Isabella or necessities - it usually went to the Claire fund. 

I had always told people that I was going to hang on to her until she pooped out, which with as ridiculously anal I was about keeping her clean and in good healthy shape - was going to be a long time. 

funny how my plans aren't always what's best.

April 19, 2008

My life got flipped upside down. Everything that I was came to a sudden halt and I no longer cared about me, it was all about her. 

I'm not talking about Claire anymore... I'm talking about her.

My baby. My actual baby. There was no purchasing agreement. There was no picking out my options. There was just her big blue eyes struggling to stay open while getting used to a world that was so bright. 

My money. My life. My Everything. Is Yours.

Suddenly I was finding myself enthused about something totally different. I was (and still am) constantly excited about being a father. Constantly trying to find new ways to better myself and connecting with people that have similar interests in being good dads. I went from North American Motoring to Dad-Blogs. I went from Helix Minisports to Baby's-R-Us. 

Suddenly there was no longer a Claire fund, it was replaced with the Niamonster fund. 

So why am I paying for you anymore.

It hit me a month ago and I've been thinking about it ever since. Isabella and I don't live outside of our means... we live right at them. Rarely is there a month where we are socking away savings. And that's bad. 

It especially hit me with Isabella's latest "unknown" with her medical condition. (If you read her blog... which you should... you know what I'm talking about.) I was thinking about what would happen if suddenly we had huge medical bills or some other act of unknown that would hit us with a big financial burden?

While pondering finances I looked out my window and into the garage... and I saw Claire. I have a weird love for that car... but not as much love as I have for my family. 

I knew it was time to let go.

I had to say goodbye. It made absolutely no sense to pay as much as I am a month for that car loan when it is nothing more then a machine that gets me to and from work (and the occasional date night). There are so many things that I want to save for... and buy right now for my family. I want a big fat down payment on a house... I want a car seat that works better for Niamonster... I want to look at my finances every month and not have to "juggle" sometimes. I want another kid sometime in the not so distant future.

Niamonster deserves it. 

The quickest and best way is to sell Claire. 

You know it's best. You feel it's best. It still sucks.

Wussy mode engaged. This weekend wasn't easy. I spent a lot of the nice hours of the day washing and waxing her to a super shine. Cleaning her interior twice over. Making sure everything is in tip top shape. I took pictures. I wrote up a description. 

I held Isabella's hand, said a little prayer to the big guy upstairs and clicked "Publish".



The Moral of the Story is...

I guess I wrote this for 3 reasons. (I need a list to make me feel better.)
  1. Therapy - I know that sometimes talking or writing about a difficult thing makes coping and coming to terms with it easier. So you just subjected yourself to my therapy session - you're like my shrink only you just did it for free.
  2. Moral - It's not a sacrifice if it's something you want to do. There is no need to hang on to past things if you know that it's only going to impede the better future things. I always have to remind myself that I'm only 26. I often times forget that and think that I'm way older.
  3. Know anyone who wants to buy an awesome car? (You knew it was coming.)

I'd do anything for this family.

And if selling what was once my passion means good things for my family - then I'd do it a million times over. 

This is my passion. This is my life.


What else could I ever want?