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Tuesday, February 24th
It's that time of year again where I try to meet that intersection between balancing full-time stay-at-home fatherhood and a load of part-time work - without causing some kind of collision somewhere.  Since I'm deep into my part-time teaching gig right now, we haven't been doing much but focus on that for the past few weeks.  Sorry for the lack of posts lately.  Lecturing for three, four or seven hours a day is exhausting.  But I only have about a week left and then I'll wrap up my material for the semester; at least until the next class starts in August.  I really do enjoy teaching but it's pretty intense at times.

So of course, if a little bit of part-time work is plenty, why not take on more?  Makes perfect sense in my world.  I've lined up another work opportunity that will hopefully provide some stimulating diversion (the money won't hurt) and yet still keep things in balance around here.  I've been hired as a Field Educator for a company that sells a special medical device for critically ill patients.  I don't have to do any sales; I just go out and train doctors, nurses and paramedics after the hospital or agency has chosen the device.  It could involve some light travel but the majority of the training will be around the Bay Area.

What is the device?  It's a drill.  For drilling into bones.  People's bones.  Now you may wonder why in the heck we'd ever need to drill into people's bones.   Sometimes when patients are critically ill, it becomes extremely difficult to start an intravenous line.  Without an IV, you can't administer fluids, blood or medications.  You're screwed.  Research has shown that the blood supply in the bone marrow is just as good as in the veins.  So inserting a catheter into the bone can be life saving.  This new bone drill is often faster and cheaper than fiddling around with IV lines.  And the pain level is not any higher than it is to start an IV line.  Watch.  It's not as bad as you think.  It's natural to feel the heebie-jeebies but realize that these are used when the shit's hitting the fan - and they save lives.

These aren't quite like the drills my dad used to sell in his hardware store!


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Tuesday, February 17th
As our computers get loaded down with more and more masses of content, we're all waiting longer and longer for things to load / appear / arrive on our screen.  So computer developers are at least trying to make the tired old "hour glass" a little more entertaining.  Check this out.


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Monday, February 16th
Fifteen years ago tonight, John and I agreed to meet - for the first time - at a local pub for one beer.  One beer only was the deal.  That way if one or the other of us turned out to be a weirdo, there would be no problem keeping the meeting short and sweet.  We were both nervous beyond imagination.  After all, we didn't have any experience with meeting up with ... uh, a boy before.  Here we were in our late 20's and finally coming to terms with the cards we'd been dealt. 

We ended up having three beers, talking for hours and we've been together ever since.  Finding each other was a remarkable blessing.  I don't think either of us ever expected to find another person who was, well, normal.  After all, our stereotypes at that time were probably no different than anyone else's: gay people are all effeminate, sports hating and wore outlandish girlie-looking clothing.  That just goes to show how little we knew about people who are gay.  Drinking beer together in the bar that night was a life altering moment.  Little did we know then.  And thank God it happened. 

So we celebrated our anniversary tonight.  We stayed home, made one of our favorite meals and enjoyed a great bottle of wine.  A good time to remind ourselves how lucky we are to have found each other. 

 

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Sunday, February 15th
After several weeks of being stubborn and unwilling to say pretty much anything (except "no" of course), Caden has suddenly started to talk.  Every day seems to bring an attempt at a new word.  It's pretty fun.  His favorite word this week?  "Thank you."  And he's even using it effectively.  Nice to see the glimmer of manners here and there.   

 



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Friday, February 13th
My favorite part of the day.  And apparently LuLu's too.
 



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Wednesday, February 11th
John and I had an opportunity to go out of town for a couple of days without Caden.  We stayed in Napa for a couple nights and went wine tasting Sunday and Monday.  Before we had kids, we told ourselves that we weren't going to let it change our lives very much and if we needed to lug along kids on our adventures and travels, well, then they'd just have to come with us.  I guess wine tasting has to be an exception though. 

Napa is so amazing right now with all of the mustard blooming.  It grows wild throughout the wine country and is used as a cover crop to detract pests and improve the quality of soil for the vines.  If you've never seen it, you'd be amazed how beautiful it is.  Oh, and the wine was pretty good too.  Of course, I can't think of a time when we've ever complained that it was bad.  We hit a few good wineries; the map of our itinerary looks like a bad rash.

 

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Saturday, February 7th
Caden has had a knack lately for finding things in our house we never knew were there.  And part of me thinks he's got some kind of cooperative arrangement going on with the cats.  We've always suspected the cats have a secret stash somewhere in the house where they hide away small items they pilfer during the night.  Over the holidays, they squirrel away small pieces of Christmas candy and then the stuff slowly reappears in the following months.  Every morning we wake up to a new piece of chocolate waiting for us on the floor, kind of like a hotel maid leaving mints on your pillow.  Maybe they were feeling guilty or just running out of space but one morning we got up to find seven of our missing Chapsticks scattered around our bed.  But now they seem to be in cahoots with Caden and are clearly sharing their booty with him.  Several times over the last week I've found him eating a piece of chocolate (usually foil and all).  It typically gets very quiet in the house first which is a dead giveaway that someone is up to something somewhere.

Yesterday things got too quiet for our own good and I went upstairs to find them all eating a whole roll of BreathSavers.  Caden had about three of them in his mouth and one of the cats was licking several more of them.  They probably made him a deal: you open the package and we'll share them with you.  Who knows where they came from; I haven't seen BreathSavers around this house in months.

Let's just say that Caden has some fine breath this week!  But Marge still has cat breath.

 

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Thursday, February 5th
It's that time of year again and I'm back to teaching part-time.  Every Fall and Spring I teach at the paramedic school in Santa Cruz.  It's a great way to stay connected with my career while still meeting my primary obligations of stay-at-home fatherhood.  This new class of students is so much better than the last batch.  I hate to criticize them but you know how David Letterman sometimes complains about "last night's audience?"  That's kind of how I feel about the Fall class.  Except for a few really marvelous students, they were practically comatose.  I did everything I could think of to get them interacting and participating.  I'm a really interactive instructor so it was tough going.  And I was getting worried that maybe a new generation of twenty-something's were coming through with lobotomized personalities or something (too much texting or TMZ?).  But things seem back to normal again with this new class, thank goodness.  And they even laugh at one or two of my jokes.

 

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Tuesday, February 3rd
If only they knew then, in 1981, that it was going to put them on the verge of becoming obsolete decades later; they probably wouldn't have thought it to be so cool.
 



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Monday, February 2nd
Ever since we gave up our 49er tickets after the York Family effectively decimated the team, we haven't really followed much football around here.  Thank God for hockey I guess.  But we still watched the Superbowl on Sunday.  We went over to my parents house and Caden had a great time.  It still fascinates me how much he gets into watching sports.  Grandpa made him his own specially outfitted popcorn box, which allowed him to devour it even faster. 







 

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