Friday, 28 June 2013

Smiles Everybody. Smiles!

It might just be gas but it's still pretty darn cute!


This right here represents the moments that are most precious to us right now.  So peaceful.  So quiet.

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Tuna Fail Sandwich

Dear God, there's not even any solace in my beloved tuna fish sandwich.  They put MAYO on instead of MUSTARD!  MAYO with tuna salad.  That is ridiculously redundant.  I've had just about enough of this day.

Core Competencies

John Deere was a big fan of buzz words.  They loved justifying or dismissing projects based on the defined ``Core Competencies`` of the factory.  There were always exceptions.  John Deere loved exceptions almost as much as buzz words.  At the factory I worked at,  these Core Competencies were always welding and assembly.  I may be forgetting some but those two stick in my mind as being repeated quite a bit.

I often find myself trying to apply the corporate mindset to where I currently work.  I`d have to say that our Core Competency here is shrugging.  Vacant stares are up there too.  Yah, I`d have to go with vacant stares and shrugging as our Core Competencies.

Yay Work!

Oh, I see it's Pass The Buck Day today!  Super.  I see your lazy, half-assed approach to work and raise you a full work day of browsing cat videos on the internet.  I am all in, bitches.

I'm predicting some lottery ticket purchases today.


This is one of my faves

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Phase III: Complete

Behold the latest in kitty hydration technology!

Yah, so it's a little rough looking but all the key features are there.  Integrated drinking trough, hidden valving, minimal space for Rocky's head to get under the water stream.  It's all there.  And the cats hate it.  Timmay used it once.  Rocky just wants to sit in the sink.  The problem could be that there's still a little fibreglass resin odour coming off of it.  Or that our cats are jerks who don't appreciate all the hard work I put into this thing. We'll give it a couple weeks but I think putting a bowl of fresh water on the counter will be the least aggravating solution.



Maxin and relaxin.

And her "Tough Girl" pose.

Monday, 24 June 2013


Dear lord, Ray Emery is going to get a Stanley Cup ring.  He's the Rob Johnson of the NHL.

And Gary Bettman is so incredibly happy that he didn't have to present the cup in a Canadian city. Twerp.


Legroom is getting a little tight in the bassinet.

Friday, 21 June 2013


Google's spam filter has pretty much given up, it looks like.  Spam comments on this blog started popping up like crazy a couple months ago.  I turned comment moderation on so I could stem the flow before they got on the site but my continuous "Mark as spam" work has done nothing to improve the filter.  So now there are captchas that have to be filled out before comments get published.  Sorry about that but the moderating thing was getting old.  Way to go spammers, you've ruined it for everybody!


So we had our initial appointment with our Nurse Practitioner last night.  I can't describe what a relief it was to finally find some form of healthcare supervision after months of frustrating calls to area doctors.  We went in as a family and went through each of our medical histories.  The nurse was great, Jen and I both really liked her.

Paige was, naturally, the center of attention but there was a lot of story telling with all my blood pressure drama over the last couple months.  I was quick to pull out my spreadsheet and graph and showed exactly where my progress seemed to have stalled with Paige's arrival.  Not blaming Paige, just explaining why things got put on hold for a bit for the sake of helping out with Paige.

She seemed appreciative of my data tracking and sympathetic that the last 4 weeks had altered priorities a bit but also reminded me that long-term success meant I had to get back on track now. So she wheeled over her blood pressure machine to verify where I was at.

And it was bad.  I was crushed.  I was practically babbling as I pulled out my spreadsheet again and pointed to recent measurements and traced trendlines from the graph.  I quoted the nephrologist who had told me that measurements taken at clinics and doctor's offices were typically skewed and home measurements were best.  She nodded through it all but still took two more measurements which were better but not great.

I was pissed.  It was almost like I was back at square one when I was going to the walk-in clinic and dealing with skeptical people who glared at me over my blood pressure results while I limply held out my spreadsheet to defend myself.  So I have to go back in a week and bring my home machine to validate all that data once again.  

Was not happy.  Then she asked about blood work.  I felt I had had enough blood work.  She asked about cholesterol and my mood picked up a bit as I relayed the fact that the blood work from the Renal Clinic had shown that my bad cholesterol levels were within the recommended range for people at risk for heart disease.  Ha!  Take that!

So she goes to the computer and pulls up my blood work from the hospital and proceeds to shit all over my good cholesterol feelings.  From her perspective, the results were "okay", but there was definitely room for improvement.  Really?  You can't just give me this one thing?  You can't just say "Yah you have frightening blood pressure levels but, hey, good job on the cholesterol!".  No, I'm an asshole because my blood isn't absolutely pristine.


I was fairly grumpy as we left but it's pretty hard to throw a pity party when Paige is around.  She's just so darn cute.  And she's what it's all about.  We're signed up, we're on track, Paige will have all the proper medical supervision she needs.  I will have to put up with some further bullshit with this stupid blood pressure but it's all so we have the most time together possible as a happy, healthy family.


My cousin sent us a sheep skin to soothe baby Paige.  And the ultra soft texture has seen Paige through some more tempestuous moments.

Unfortunately, it has also proven popular with two other members of our household..

Thursday, 20 June 2013


Is that a boob coming to feed me?  That better be a boob!

Wednesday, 19 June 2013


Wee Paige really does seem to like her play mat.  Still trying to work things out.  The hippopotamus is usually her favourite but it was apparently boring her at this point in time.

Sleep II: The Sleepening

Did my second sleep study last night.  The first one was to identify that, yes, I have sleep apnea and should go get a machine.  Now that I've been using the machine for a couple weeks without major issue, it's time to dial in the pressure that will get me the most benefit from the machine.

The second sleep study is mandatory if you want to get the government subsidy that pays for 3/4 of the machine.  So as much as I hated the first sleep study, I had to suck it up and head back to the sleep clinic for Round 2.

And it actually started out much better than last time.  There were fewer surveys to fill out and the tech was very efficient at her job of getting the sensors pasted to my head.  No nonsense, let's just get this done.  Super.

The rooms weren't as stifling hot as last time and I was fairly tired by lights-out so I didn't have any problems getting to sleep.  The problem came a few hours later when I was awoken to the sensation of somebody putting the business end of a leaf blower up to my face.

I should mention that the machine at the sleep clinic wasn't the machine I have at home.  I brought in my own mask but the air and humidity was being controlled by their machine.  The tech was going to be adjusting the pressure remotely through the night and monitor my reaction in order to find the sweet spot.

So apparently the tech decided at one point to dial it up to 11.  It was nuts.  I could barely exhale.  And my mask was leaking around my nose sending blasts of air across my eyes.  It took a few minutes to relax and try and adjust my mask.  As I stopped clenching everything to resist the airflow, I could feel the air pressure expand everything and it was actually easier to exhale somehow.  I guess it felt more like I'd expect it to if the point was to have enough air pressure to keep my airway open.

I wrestled with these new sensations for about half an hour and somehow got back to sleep.  I really want this to work and even though it was a shock to the system, that higher pressure setting did seem to be working in a way that my machine at home wasn't.

But I still have to wait a month to get any update on my own machine's setting.  So wait and see I guess.  Hopefully it's my last sleep study for quite a while.

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Total Concentration

I'm assuming this photo was taken during the most epic of poos.

Monday, 17 June 2013

Me Day!

My very first Father's Day!  Gotta say, felt pretty proud of myself.  I know Jen did all the hard work and continues to be Parent #1, but for one day it was nice to stick out my chest and say "Yah!  I'm a dad!".  

My morning was spent with some one-on-one time with Paige while mommy caught up on sleep.  We did her one month review, detailing her achievements to that point, noting areas for improvement, and identifying goals for the upcoming month.  Overall, we agreed that she had Met Expectations but   if she focused on maximizing night time sleeping while minimizing poop overflow, she could easily achieve an Exceeds Expectations.

Mommy rejoined us for lunch and we watched some very terrible television.  At one point we turned on Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters.  There's an entirely inappropriate movie to watch with your infant daughter.  And just a horribly bad movie.  What was Jeremy Renner thinking?  It seemed like everybody involved knew they were making a ridiculous movie but still kind of wanted to make a serious one at the same time.  Very reminiscent of Van Helsing and a little bit of the Brothers Grimm.  The difference being I will watch Van Helsing or the Brothers Grimm on any given Sunday afternoon.  It will be a pretty desperate day if I ever watch Hansel & Gretel again.

A very relaxed day but special nonetheless.  Proud of my little family and proud to be the dad.


Our first road trip with Paige!  And what better destination than Lobsterfest!  A sometimes annual celebration of boiling things alive, cracking their bodies open, drenching their insides with butter, and generally making a huge mess.

Paige made the two hour trip like a champ.  And with some grandparents at hand, I was able to really dig into the lobster and ribs while Jen broke her 9 month long Caesar salad fast.  AND we got to catch up with some good friends.  Grandparents are great.  

So, as long as there's a decent feeding area around, we're comfortable expanding our traveling range to a 100-200 km radius.  Many thanks to Evil Dewar and The Robickles for co-producing such a great dinner.  It was good to get out and show off our own co-production.

Thursday, 13 June 2013


Moving On

Need to get some nerd stuff out of the way.  My yahoo e-mail address has been my main personal inbox for about 7 years.  Up until recently it has been extremely dependable and an excellent resource with a quick search function.  I've always been baffled by people (dad) who cling to Outlook as their e-mail portal when there's this cloud service that is accessible anywhere and on any device with an internet connection.

Hotmail always seemed a little clunky although the latest rebranding looks a lot better.  I have several Gmail accounts but that interface was just jarring to me.  I don't want my email interface to look like a google search result page.  Things just seemed to get lost in the sea of white.  But Gmail has made some UI improvements lately too that make it a lot friendlier to my eye.

The reason I'm looking at alternatives is because Yahoo's mobile apps have become increasingly unreliable.  I'm getting partial messages and sometimes no messages.  Very frustrating.  So I decided it's time to move on.

I've got so much tied into Google with this blog, and my phone, and my new tablet, the decision was pretty straightforward.  Gmail it is.  I'll still get all the mail that was sent to my yahoo address but don't be surprised when my replies end up being from my gmail address.

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Cutes Patoots

One More Thing

We are very fortunate to have such generous family and friends.  We received so many gifts before Paige showed up that it was inconceivable that we were lacking anything that would give comfort to our bundle of joy.  Inconceivable.

But the last couple nights showed us we were missing one item.  Something that would get Paige to sleep just a few minutes more between feedings.  The bassinet that came with the play pen seems to be her favourite now but that means mommy has to sleep on the couch.  The play pen can't come upstairs because then we lose our "baby processing" center on the main floor.

We needed something that matched the bassinet in comfort and position but was portable.  We did some googling, factored in a Sears gift card we had been gifted, and headed out to Sears.

The pictures on the web site were misleading.  There was nothing there that had the right reclining angle we were looking for.  Google had shown other places that had contenders.  One of those places was Walmart.  And there was a Walmart near the Sears.  Just on the other end of the mall.

So, two of my favourite things in the whole wide world.  The mall and Walmart.  I don't know why these two locations spawn such inconsiderate jackholes.  These places are filled with people who exhibit zero awareness of how their actions affect the people around them.  I hate these places.

But we made it to the Walmart and they didn't have the model we were looking for.  So back through the mall to get back to the truck.  I was close to having a seizure by the time I got out of there.  Checking my blood pressure at that moment would have been an interesting experiment.

But we weren't done.  I'd survived the mall but showed that the model we were after was in stock at the Walmert SUPERCENTER near our house.  Fuck.  Here we go.

We found what we were after, Paige test drove a couple models without leaving any poop on the display units, and gave her stamp of approval to a rocking sleepy thing.  I gritted my teeth and headed to the check out.

And this is going to sound hypocritical as I'm out shopping with my own family, but why would anyone think that going to Walmart with your family of six would be a good idea?  Three kids under the age of 6 and, I'm guessing, grandma in tow as well.  That's just chaos.  You're inflicting your chaos on everybody else.  Not everybody needs to be in the checkout line.  Are the kids going to be paying for their own items?  There appears to be enough adult supervision that they could be herded outside.  But no, having them together so they can all scream about the candy and gum their parents won't buy for them is a much better idea.

That won't be us!  We're going to do parenting right damnit!

Anyways, we got Paige's new sleep thingy home and I got it assembled while Jen dealt with the latest (and greatest) poop tsunami.  And she seems to really like it.  She slept great last night which meant Jen slept great.  So I guess it was all worth it.

Tuesday, 11 June 2013


So, yah, back to work.  I was pretty anxious going in.  I mean, shit seems to fall apart if I take ONE day off, let alone three weeks.  But, surprisingly, everything is relatively cool.  A couple voice mails, a load of not too dramatic e-mails, and I was good to go.  I'd left my main project in the hands of others and things progressed reasonably well in my absence.  So I come back to a pretty clean slate and that was a tremendous load off my mind.

Back at home is another story. Peanut decided now was a perfect time to shorten up her sleep intervals.  And this just puts more of the load on Jen.  My window to sub in and give her some relief has been drastically shortened.  But this too shall pass.  Hopefully sooner than later.

Sunday, 9 June 2013


Last day before going back to work.  I don't wanna go!  Crap.  No choice I guess.  It has been an amazing three weeks.  Even with the odd sleep schedules and all the poop, I wish it could go on for just a bit longer.  But the lottery tickets didn't come through so it's back to work I go!
And for those who have been on the edge of their seats wondering when the family stickers would be updated on the back of the truck...

Saturday, 8 June 2013


Forgot to mention that I picked up my anti-snoring machine this week.  I've got 30 days to try it out.  I started out with a mask that just covered my nose.  The first night wasn't great.  I lasted 4 hours and tore it off.  The next couple nights went fine.  Can't say I noticed any remarkable difference in the mornings.  But then I wasn't really feeling tired before.

Thursday night I'd had enough of the nasal mask.  A bit of congestion and my air supply is restricted.  You try breathing through your mouth and then all the pressurized air from your nose is shooting out your mouth and you wake up.  I traded in for the full face mask yesterday and Friday night went much better.

There's a bit more fussing around at night and in the morning and I feel like I'm in some sort of experiment every night but if it helps get my blood pressure down it will be worth it.   I still have to go back to the sleep clinic for another sleep over so they can fine tune my pressure setting but at least I know that I can make it through the night with all the gear strapped to my head.

Friday, 7 June 2013


A question was posed on a recent podcast: Are there any movies you have NOT liked on initial viewing but then changed your opinion on later viewings?  A couple movies came to mind.  Both Napoleon Dynamite and Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy were complete misses for me on the first take.  They stuck with me though and I've watched both several times since those first impressions.

But the biggest turnaround was Shutter Island, which I watched again last night.  This was a movie that came packaged with the knowledge that a M. Night Shyamalan-type twist was waiting for you at the end.  And when it came, it was a big "meh".  The ending wasn't something that really "clicked" the rest of the movie into a different focus.

Movies that really accomplished that trick well were The Sixth Sense and The Others.  Compared to those standouts, Shutter Island's reveal seemed kind of muted and lacked the impact of the other films.  But watching it again and knowing the full context, the impact can be felt in the subtle and telling performances of the entire cast.  A great movie on second, third, and fourth viewings.

Thursday, 6 June 2013


I had the honor of bringing Paige on her first trip to the LCBO. It was a magical moment.  For me anyways. She mostly slept.  As I brought my bottle up to the counter, the cashier peered into Paige's carrier and made an appropriate "awww".

Then she said "Ooh, and she looks brand new too!".

To which I replied, "Yup, she's fresh out of the box".

Fresh out of the box.

As soon as I said it, I realized that I could have chosen a better phrase.   The cashier didn't say anything but I was still relieved when Paige broke the awkwardness of the moment with some fussing.

Wednesday, 5 June 2013


Some more poses from our fashionista.


For the first two weeks of Paige's life, interpreting her demands was pretty straight forward. Paige cries, she's hungry.  Plug in boob, problem solved.  But the last couple days she's discovered she can express her discontent on all sorts of issues.  Unfortunately we haven't figured out how the "I'm hungry" cry is different than the "that Radiohead song is really annoying" cry.  It can be frustrating but I'm sure we'll get all the communication issues worked out soon enough.

Kitty Waterer: Phase III

One of the things I wanted to do while I was off work was push the Kitty Waterer project forward to a pre-production prototype.  Something a little more water resistant and finished looking.  Fibreglass is a medium I don't have a lot of experience with but it is definitely something I want to get more familiar with as I see myself doing more fibreglass prototype components at work when I tend to think in sheetmetal terms.  So this was my opportunity to get some practice in.

The first step was to disassemble the old prototype and get a base form together with the old MDF platform and using 1/2" foam to build up the features I needed:

Next came the Bondo.  This was a bit of a disaster.  I thought Bondo worked pretty much like drywall compound.  Lay it on thick and then sand down to a smooth surface.  The thing I didn't realize was that Bondo sets up MUCH faster than drywall compound and it is MUCH harder.  This means you have to work quickly and very smoothly.  My first coat was a disaster.  I spent a lot of time sanding.  Second coat went better.  I should have gone for a third but I'd had enough.  This was the end of the second coat sanding:

It was what it was.  I wasn't going to spend my entire last week fine tuning this thing.  On to the fibreglass!  And that went better than the Bondo.  But not by much.  I ended up with a lot of wrinkles and frayed spots that could have been avoided with a little more planning and cutting the sheets to size.  I also thought two layers would do the job.  I should have gone for five.  Here's the end result:

I was hoping to save the form but the I hadn't really put down any release agent before laying down the fibreglass.  I ended up melting out the foam with acetone.  THAT'S cool.  But the structure is just too flimsy. I'll try mounting the hardware tomorrow but I'm not expecting it to work.  Like I said, I should have gone way thicker or, what I'm likely going to do, leave the MDF base and just wrap the whole thing with fibreglass to waterproof it.

A learning experience to be sure.  Won't likely have another application at home any time soon but I'll know what NOT to do when it comes to trying this at work.

Poor Pittsburgh

Apparently the CBC feels that the Pittsburgh Penguins losing the first two games of their series with the Boston Bruins warrants an emotional video recap accompanied by the heart rendering tune of Karma Police as performed by Radiohead.  Jesus, they lost two games, they didn't die in a bus crash.  A bit heavy handed there CBC.

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Whatcha Thinkin' Bout?

I don't know,  baby stuff.


Oh dear god, it's everywhere!  All up her back!  Contain!  Contain!  Wipes and new diaper ready just start cleaning this up.  Oh god she's not done!  She got me again!  Sweet jesus it's a poop fountain!  More wipes!  Just try and catch most of it.  Maybe form a poop dam with the wipes.  Keep it all in one spot at least.  Heads up!  Another wave!  Jesus we have a breach in the dam.  IT'S ON MY ARM!!!  Oh god it's on me!!!  Focus man!  Baby is clean, get her to a clean site, get poop off arm, get new diaper cinched in.  The source has been plugged.  Process the rest of the contaminated site.  Good Lord I need a drink.


When will the NHL figure out that the modern game of hockey has no requirement for the no-talent goons like Patrice Bergeron and Evgeni Malkin?!?  Fight, fight, fight that's all they do!


One of the many fantastic onesies that came out of the baby shower!

Saturday, 1 June 2013


Had my eye on this one for quite a while.  I've been furious with the lack of support on the blackberry playbook and I've been jonesing for a lot of the features I have on my phone but in a tablet format. 
I focused on this Samsung Galaxy Note 8 mainly because of the stylus.  The ability to edit images and graphics directly on the screen is something I've wanted for quite a while and makes this a legitimate business expense.
So far I've been very impressed.  I've downloaded the Autodesk Sketchbook Pro and Adobe Photoshop Touch apps and I'm amazed at the graphics editing capability I have in this little unit.
It's the first tablet I've used that can, legitimately,  be described as a work device.  Sure I loaded angry birds on it too but I think it has a real shot as a productivity tool.  Not just for my side business but at my day job too 
As for my old playbook?  Well, I'm sure Paige will enjoy it when the  time comes.