Friday, 29 November 2013


Enjoying the new weather shield on her stroller while maintaining a coolness factor of 10.

Tuesday, 26 November 2013


Just some random cuteness so we can all move past the unpleasantness of the moustache.

Monday, 25 November 2013


I REALLY hesitated to post this.  But, ach, what the hell?  If you can't laugh at yourself...


THIS year was going to be different!  THIS year I was going to tough it out.  And for just over three weeks I let the hair on my upper lip grow unmolested.  And the results were... less than epic.  At least people recognized it as a moustache.  But, through mutual agreement with my wife, I terminated the project yesterday, just one week from completing the month.  As it grew I couldn't keep my lower lip from riding up over my face to just confirm that what I had done was actually still there.  And Jen was not a fan.  No, not in the least.  So I shaved yesterday.  At least I can say I grew a moustache now and I'm pretty confident it won't happen again.  Next year I'll just donate to cancer research.

Hangover III

Good God this is a terrible movie.

Yes, the first one was hilarious.  But the second one was definitely not.  It is beyond all logic that a third was made.

For some reason the writer/director really latched on to the Ken Jeong character.  From a bit part in the first one, to an expanded supporting role in the second, we now have Chow as one of the main characters.  He's not funny.  Nothing he does is funny.  He's surrounded by similarly unfunny people but I'm not sure why leaping naked out of the trunk of a car got him rewarded with so much additional screen time in the sequels.


Stand and Deliver

The evening after Paige showed off her sitting up trick, Jen was drawing her bath, I was in the bedroom getting changed, and Paige was in her crib.  After getting changed, I wandered into the nursery to check and see how the little one was doing.  And there she was, little paws wrapped tightly around the slats of the crib and standing up!  Not stable at all but she looked like she was ready to Jackie Chan her way right over the top of the crib.

I yelled for Jen to come witness this and she made it just in time to see Paige topple over to her side.  It was remarkable.  And we got the crib lowered to its lowest point just in case she got any ideas.

Friday, 22 November 2013

Sit Ups

Updated non-potato pic of Paige with her new sitting up accomplishment.  So proud!


Not sure if I'm going to get in trouble for this but my wife has a blankie.  A pink quilted thing that is indispensable for her good night's sleep.  Clashes with every piece of fabric and furniture in our bedroom so it remains hidden until sleepy time and immediately gets hidden again in the morning.

When I was first introduced to blankie, I must admit I was less than gentlemanly.  Blankie would often go missing, find itself in compromising positions, be held for ransom.  But Jen's devotion to it was cute and I eventually let the humourous pranks go in favour of the occasional, good-natured ribbing.

That's the back story on blankie.  This morning at 2:00 a.m. I woke up with a coughing fit.  I'm on the tail end of a cold and currently in coughing phase.  The CPAP machine wasn't helping.  It didn't feel like the coughing was going to stop so I decided to take my things downstairs and ride it out on the couch.

I was grabbing some clothes for the morning from my dresser when Jen groggily asked what was going on.  I told her I was going to take my coughing fit downstairs for the rest of the night.  Then she comes back with "Do you want blankie?".

It was one of the sweetest things she's said to me.  I declined the offer and told her to get some rest before Paige woke up again.  My wife is utterly adorable.

Sit, Good Girl!

Jen says Paige successfully sat up all by herself this morning!  Sadly, the moment was not captured on video.  Instead we have this cute pic that Jen apparently took with a potato instead of her phone.

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Going Forward

Paige's first trip in the stroller facing forwards.


Google did some interesting things with those last photos.  I logged on this morning and got an alert that Google had "auto-awesomed" some of my photos.  The results:

Can't seem to manually control the photos that are included though so I added the rest through an online gif maker.

Friday, 15 November 2013


Made our first visit to Listowel last night.  It's actually closer than Stratford and although it's a fair bit smaller it does have a Walmart.  And we needed some stuff so we thought we'd check it out.  It's an odd feeling to head even further North to go shopping but I must say I was quite pleased with the experience.  It's, without a doubt, the calmest shopping experience I have ever had at a Walmart.  I didn't get bumped by anybody else's shopping cart and didn't have a single person blocking an aisle with their cart.  That's all I'm asking for really.  Looking forward to exploring more of Listowel on our next excursion.

Oh, and Paige seemed to enjoy her Walmart visit as well:


The little goober does like to roam around.  This was the view on the baby monitor at 4:30 this morning:

She had jammed herself up into the corner and got her leg out between the slats and resting on the bumper.  Looks like the sprawled out end to a wild night of drinking.  She did manage to extract herself so we're less worried that she might bear trap herself into the crib sides.

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Monday, 11 November 2013


When I got my latest blood pressure medication, I signed up to be part of a clinical trial.  Nothing major, they snipped some of hair at the start, I go back in 4 weeks to get more hair snipped, and then after 12 more weeks some more hair.  Answer some questionnaires and we're done.

Additionally, the drug company sends out a CD with relaxation techniques to half the study's participants.  The goal being to determine the difference in results in just taking the drug versus taking the drug and incorporating the relaxation techniques.

I got my CD in the mail a few weeks ago and patiently listened to the sections on breathing techniques and meditation.  Pretty straightforward stuff.  But I got distracted before I finished the section on muscle relaxation techniques.  Finally decided I'd catch up on it this morning by listening to it on the way in to work.

The soothing voice explained the goals of the technique and gently instructed me on how to begin with some deep breathing.  Then I was instructed to make a fist with my left hand and raise it to my shoulder while breathing in.  Then relax the fist and lower the hand while exhaling.  What the hell, I thought, I'll play along.  So I followed the instructions while driving with the other hand.

The calming voice proceeded to tell me to continue on with my right hand.  Switched hands on the steering wheel and did as I was told.  The process of tensing and relaxing was repeated with my shoulders, then neck, then jaw, then forehead.  And then the soothing voice told me to squeeze my eyes shut for 5 seconds.  And I did this.  While driving.  Until a voice in my head politely asked, "WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING?!?".

At which point I opened my eyes and turned off the CD.  That was enough relaxation for today.

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Dump Run

Had my first visit to the Perth East landfill facility.  "Facility" is probably too fancy a term.  What we have here is a big mound of dirt and a little Mennonite dude (LMD) in a shack directing people to which side of the mound of dirt to dump their trash on.

We were definitely spoiled in Kitchener.  THAT was a facility.  Drive up bins, hazardous waste drop offs, oil recycling, and proper scales.  The Perth East approach is a little more rural.  The LMD takes a gander at what you're dropping off and then guesstimates a charge.  They don't charge much, which is good, but as I was slopping through the mud to dump my load on the dirt pile I couldn't help but remember fondly the paved surfaces and segregated bins of the K-W landfill.  I wonder what my landfill designing little sister would make of this place.

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Nerd High

My Samsung Nexus S has been a great phone for almost 3 years.  Solid, dependable, and infinitely customizable.  It has been dropped on concrete, asphalt, and gravel with just a few nicks in the bezel to show for it.  It even survived a quick dunk in the toilet.  It has far exceeded expectations.  But it's getting old.

Official support from Google stopped a few years ago and custom ROM's have been the only way to keep it up to date.  And with each revision to Android the phone was less optimized.  It lags and stutters and crashes when you see new phones that fly through the same maneuvers.  So I've been jonesing for a new phone most of this year

Every time it crashed, "I need a new phone".

Every time it dropped a call, "I need a new phone".

Every time I had to reboot it, "I need a new phone".

Finally, on my birthday, my darling wife handed me a wad of bills and said "Will you please shut up about your fucking phone?"

And I knew which phone I wanted, the latest in the Nexus line, the LG made Nexus 5.  Only problem, it hadn't been officially announced yet and wasn't for sale.  But the rumours and leaks showed impressive specs and a $350 price tag that would make it the best deal in the technoverse.  And, if the rumours were true, I'd only have to wait a couple weeks to buy it.

Sure enough, October 31 the Nexus 5 was released with little fanfare to the Google Play Store.  And I was right in there.  I had one in my shopping cart.  But I hesitated.  I knew I'd need a new SIM card so I'd have to wait for it to be delivered and then take it to a Koodo dealer and swap SIM's.  Then I wavered on whether to get the 16GB or 32GB models and as I switched models in and out of my shopping cart I let it slip through my fingers and the store was sold out of all models while I was dawdling.

Well, poop.  So I'd have to wait a bit more.  Other rumours indicated that retail locations were receiving inventory and that November 8 would be when sales would start outside of the Google Play Store.  So I waited.  Constantly hitting refresh on the Future Shop Nexus 5 web page.  Waiting for that "Coming Soon" to change to a "Shop Now!".

While waiting, other rumours popped up indicating that retail locations would be selling the phone for $500 compared to the Google Play price of $350.  This was a carrier move to get people to sign up for contracts and it made me sick but I was still going to justify the purchase by using the $150 Koodo tab to knock that $500 price down to the same $350 I would have paid on the Play Store.

Finally, November 8 was here.  I was up and checking the web site at 5:00 a.m.  Sure enough, the Nexus 5 was available for sale and reservable for in-store pick-up.  Better yet, it looked like the rumours were wrong as the price showed the phone as $0 on a Koodo $300 Tab.  Meaning they were valuing the phone at $300 which is $50 cheaper than from Google!  Score!

I reserved the phone and waited patiently for lunch time.  As soon as 11:30 hit I was out the door and tearing down the road to Kitchener.  I strode confidently into Future Shop, trying very hard not to look down my nose at all the poor saps who were not about to purchase a Nexus 5.

Customer support got my phone out of the reservation locker and escorted me over to the mobile area where they would handle the Koodo account set-up.  He mentioned that they had only got TWO phones into inventory for today and I was fortunate to get my reservation in so early.  I was quite pleased with myself as I sat down at the service bar and patiently waited for buddy to explain all about the Koodo account changes and what a fantastic deal it is to spend $10 a month on insurance for your phone.

I politely declined the extended warranty and asked that we wrap this up as I had to get back to work.  That's when buddy finds out they made a huge mistake on the web site pricing.  As he's punching in the details for my purchase, it's telling him it actually is a $500 phone and I'm supposed to be coughing up $200 to take the phone home with a $300 Tab.  I politely declined to pay that $200 and pointed out the information that was on their web site when I reserved the phone.  They were really good about it and right away assured me that I was going to be leaving the store with my new Nexus 5 and without having paid a cent.

But they had to figure out how to handle the $200 price difference on their end and, honestly, it was quite entertaining to watch them struggle with the accounting of it.  They got it done though and, as promised, I walked out the door with my gorgeous new phone and didn't even have to pull out my debit card.  The way the Tab works I will ultimately pay just over $100 for this phone over the next 18 months but it is still the sweetest gadget deal I have ever come across.

When I got back to work, I checked the Future Shop web page again and, sure enough, they had corrected the pricing on the phone.  There was a lot of angst spent over this little chunk of glass and plastic in the last week and a half but the payoff yesterday was so worth it.

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Parade o' Peanuts

"What is this thing?"

"What are you people doing to me?!?"

"I didn't do it."

We can tell she's going to be an avid reader by the way she consumes books.

The "I-just-pooped-and-I'm-wearing-white" face.

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Meal Time

"Yes, I do believe some milk would hit the spot."



Twelve people in a meeting this morning, 2 people yelling at each other over the right way to bring in nuts and bolts to build kits, 10 people sitting with their heads in their hands waiting for it all to be over.  I was one of the 10.  Meetings like that just wipe the passion right out of you.

Monday, 4 November 2013


Jen and I both use the same Dropbox account to upload pictures from our phones.  It really brightens my day to hop on Dropbox while at work and see some new treasures have been added.  For example:

Sunday, 3 November 2013


Jen got the notion of introducing Paige to body painting yesterday.  The adorable results are chronicled below:


I... I don't know.  Here's another one whose trailer had me thinking... maybe.  And the reviews torched it.  By all accounts it was terrible.  But that first impression still had its hooks in me.  So I watched.  And the reviews were accurate.  This is a terrible movie.  It's just a rehash of Men In Black but with ghosts instead of aliens and a goofball cowboy Jeff Bridges instead of a humourless professional Tommy Lee Jones.

Compared to Pacific Rim, RIPD is without question the worse movie.  And yet it disappointed me far less.  If it came down to it, I might even watch RIPD again given the complete and utter absence of anything else on TV.  Meh.


Saturday morning and I once again get the call to dress our daughter.  I was tempted to repeat the Sens outfit from last week but that would have gotten some rolled eyes for sure.  Instead I put together this ensemble:

Jen couldn't stop laughing for about 5 minutes.  I admit, the pants were a lot shorter than I figured and trying to compensate with the long socks was not advisable.  But it turns out that Jen was more flummoxed by the combination of purple pants and the red heart than the length of the pants.  Whatever.  She might look like a 16th century French nobleman but she's still adorable.

Standard Time

Time for my semi-annual bitching about daylight savings time.  It hit home pretty hard this morning.  I woke up this morning and looked at my bedside clock.  4:00 in the morning.  That's fine during the week but no way am I getting out of bed at 4:00 a.m. on a Sunday.  I drifted off eventually and opened my eyes again an hour later.  5:00 a.m.  Man, that's still too early.  I stared at the clock for another 15 minutes and finally said, enough.  I got out of bed, grabbed my phone, and turned to quietly slip from the room.

And that's when I saw the clock on the dresser.  This clock, unlike my bedside clock, automatically adjusts for daylight savings time.  The correct time at that point was 4:15.  God damnit.

Things were already in motion.  I couldn't go back to bed.  Once again, I cursed the insanity that is the institution of daylight savings time and went downstairs for a coffee.  It's been a long day.

Friday, 1 November 2013


Paige's first Halloween!  Our first Halloween in Milverton!  For the first time in a long time, I was actually looking forward to handing out candy.  We really didn't know what to expect for traffic in our new neighbourhoud.  Our street in Kitchener was a zoo and you basically stood at the door and threw candy at the stream of kids going by.  I expected things were going to be a little quieter in Milverton so I only bought a couple bags of candy and figured we might have a few left over for mom and dad out of the 140 pieces.

Twelve kids showed up last night.  Twelve.  Yah, Halloween not such a big deal in Milverton.  Jen had to run to the store quick around 6:00 and she said there was nobody out on the streets and 90% of the houses were dark.  We're not sure but we suspect the Mennonite population aren't big fans of the Halloween traditions.

When it became obvious that supply wasn't going to be an issue the kids were overjoyed that I was letting them take handfuls of chocolate bars out of our candy bucket.  And, despite the weather, it looked like the parents that were out were having fun too.

And because of the weather and the fact that she really doesn't know what's going on, we didn't take Paige out trick or treating.  We did get her dressed up in all 3 outfits that she had ready to go.  Next year, she'll have a blast.