Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Because it's Right... and Because it's Tactically Sound

A few days ago, an NBA player of no particular note came out as gay...

Which, really, should also be of no particular note.

But then ESPN decided to put a moronic bigot (whose name I won't mention and whose video I won't bother linking to here... why publicize idiots like this) to discuss the issue... and predictably he spouted moronic bigotry all over the screen, and made it an even BIGGER spectacle...

Now, the intarwebs are full of folks reacting against the reaction against the reaction against etc... etc...

They're caught up in the noise, and not the issue.

I try not to do that... and to smack it down when I can.

I take issue with the way issues surrounding homosexuality in public life are covered by the media, and often with the strategy and tactics employed by activists... but I believe in, and work for equal rights and equal protection for homosexuals (and before anyone gets offended by my use of a single word... you're an idiot... YOU are part of the problem... because you are offended stupidly by nothing, and not working towards a real solution).

Chris Kluwe, NFL Punter, wrote a post in support of the gay community in HuffPo yesterday... I normally don't link to them, but I think this is a rational and correct position, reasonably well put...

Really, my position and reasoning are simple...

I speak in support of equal treatment for homosexuals, not because I am one, but because it is the right thing to do.

Because I believe in equal rights and treatment for EVERYONE.

Whether I approve of them or not.

Further, I do so, because anything which can be used against those you disapprove of... can also be used against those you DO approve of...

...or YOU.

Oh, but he is a precocious one...

Yes, despite all reports to the contrary, I am still alive.

I've just been... occupied. Occupied with recovery, and occupied with precious baby boy.

Turns out in many ways mini-Chris is, well, mini-Chris. Almost a carbon copy from head to toe, and in many ways in personality as well.

Baby boy is very, very precocious. We knew he'd be more physically mature than normal (early ultrasounds showed more bone development earlier than normal, and he was VERY physically active in the womb) and we knew he'd have a higher metabolism than normal due to how much I had to eat just to stop losing weight.

We didn't expect him to come out with far more head control than normal. We didn't expect him to almost be able to support his weight on his legs already. We didn't expect him to almost be able to roll over from birth. He's very physically precocious.

He's also mentally precocious; when he's awake he's fully awake and alert and he spends all of his time focused on what's going on around him. And make no mistake, he is focused and taking it all in. He's also extremely calm while he's doing it.

He's an extremely calm baby overall. He only cries when there's a reason; he's either hungry or there's some other easy-to-determine discomfort.

He also fusses and cries when he's not being suitably engaged. He wants to look around, he wants to move around, he wants to examine everything in and out of his field of view.

Therein lies the problem. He knows for a fact there's a lot of stuff in the world that he can't see or interact with, and he can't keep his head upright and still, sit, stand, crawl, or walk yet. He needs someone to hold him upright while he looks at the world and make sure he doesn't hurt his neck. If he's awake and not being fed, he wants to be upright, moving, and taking in the world. He can stand the bouncy seat for about 20 minutes, the swing for a little longer, but they don't move and he wants to be moving.

This would be mostly fine and manageable, if it weren't for another trait he inherited from his father: baby boy doesn't seem to believe in sleep.

Most 1-month-olds sleep for 15-16 hours a day. He sleeps for 11. Blessedly 8 of those hours are in 2 4-hour intervals at night. However, the other 3 hours consist of very short daytime naps.

It's not that he doesn't need the sleep. He's overtired and cranky by the end of the day. The problem is that he's intentionally keeping himself awake. If he's being held or cuddled he'll stay asleep longer but if we keep that up too long that causes its own issues.

So we're working on sleep training, and getting him into a sleep and nap schedule of sorts. Right now he's fussing and letting me know I had no right to put him down for a nap instead of either cuddling him or keeping him occupied. He's a bit opinionated and stubborn.

Just like someone else we know.

And we shall call him mini-Chris...


Monday, April 29, 2013

Random Musing about Being a Libertarian

Being a libertarian on facebook can be very fun sometimes...

You get to make your conservative friends heads pop when you like a marijuana legalization graphic, and your liberal friends heads pop when you like an anti-redistribution of wealth graphic; all within five minutes.

Of course the flip side, is that "both" sides "hate" you, and piss you off... well, most of the time really...

Things that are good

A birthday party, with great friends and loved ones, that starts Friday night, and ends Sunday night; with a nice steak and creme brulee.

A 150 mile motorcycle ride on a gorgeous (but VERY windy) day, through some of the prettiest country, IN this country, with a beautiful woman on the back.

Stopping off in the middle for a beer with a beautiful woman.

Surprisingly*... Coors new beer "Batch 19, a pre-prohibition style American Lager"... Especially since it was a $2 domestic draft in the biker bar we stopped at.

Simple things...

*When I say surprisingly... I really mean it. I HATE Coors... I'd rather drink Bud Light... and I'd rather drink straight ghost pepper hot sauce than Bud Light... but this stuff was quite good. 

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Old enough to know better...

...and young enough to do it anyway.

Today happens to be my birthday.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Patriots Day

No... this isn't about the bombing.

The bombing wasn't actually ON Patriots day, it was on Patriots Day "Observed".

Patriots day is April 19th.

The first was on April 19th 1775, the day of the battles at Lexington and Concord, and the true commencement of the American Revolutionary war (NOT July 4th 1776 as so many historically ignorant public school children... and the adults they grow up to be... think).

My younger brother Rob... Robert Emmet Dinsmore... was born on the 204th Patriots Day, April 19th, 1979.

He would have been 34 last Friday. He died two years ago, January 9th, 2011.

I didn't post this last week, because of the bombings. Out of respect for those who died and were injured (some of whom I knew, or were friends of friends... It's a big city... but it's a small town, especially when you've got a lot of friends and family in law enforcement).

Really... I've had a bad week... and I was just thinking about family, and loved ones... and it's been a few days... I figured now was the time to post this.

I love him... I miss him... no matter how many problems we had... and we DEFINITELY had... but he was still my brother.

It's like punctuation for us...

When I tell people that I'm Boston Irish, and the word "fuck" is like punctuation to us... This is the kind of thing I'm talking about.

Boston... this is OUR FUCKING CITY.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Total Tire Fail

70 mph catastrophic carcass failure on US95 heading home from friends. I was lucky and didn't lose it, and was able to make it to the shoulder OK.

Unfortunately, my OEM jack broke, and my rescue jack is sitting in my garage because I need to clean it after using it to free a friend from deep mud a couple weeks back.

Oh and I've got a 101 degree fever, and I'm sick to my stomach (got sick this evening while visiting).

AAA is on the way right now.

Update: Yay... the spare tire was stuck up in the well and couldn't be freed on the side of the road, so they had to get a flatbed out to haul me home. Ended up not getting to sleep 'til after 3, then  was so sick and exhausted, I slept 'til 1:30 pm.

There may be some front end damage here as well... That's great... don't really have the money for that... OR for a new tire (tires for this beast are INCREDIBLY expensive).

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Boston Born, Boston Bred

I'm still not ready to comment on the bombings... but I do have something to say...

Boston born, Boston bred
When I bleed, it's blue white and red
When I die I'll die Boston dead

Baby Boy Picture Update

Thinking... Thinking... hmmm... I think I want... how about... Boobs... yes, definitely boobs.

A great family friend made BabyBoy this beautiful blanket. He loves it... and that's one of my old t-shirts that he loves sleeping on as well.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

My Fortune at Dinner Just Now

Seriously... I just had a great second interview with a great local company this morning... I interviewed with their CEO and CFO for 2.5 hours.. I think I'm getting an offer next week.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Not Commenting on Boston Attack yet

I'm from Boston. I have friends and family who were running the marathon. I have more friends and family who are first responders in Boston. I have more friends and family who work in the area.

I will not be commenting on this until I know my friends and family are all safe.

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Alright, so, good news has settled in, now the bad news.

So... I didn't want this to "compete for the headline" with our happy news, our son...

But now that he's home, and healthy, and things are going OK... it's time to say there's some bad news too.

So... the first bad news is kinda old news...

It turns out, that when I fell on the ice back in February, I broke my wrist (multiple stress fractures in the bone ends surrounding the joint), ruptured a tendon, and had some additional nerve damage.

... and it isn't healing right.

Lotta pain here. Has been since that night... should have been healing... isn't... probably because I've been sick, and the aftereffects of the endocrine cancer and... all that stuff...

I might be able to get it fixed, with proper orthopedic care, which we can't afford right now... And it might just get better on it's own. I'm doing what I can to help and support that, the right exercises etc... This isn't exactly my first severe musculoskeletal injury. I have a history of "crippling" injuries, that I've come back from... not perfectly fine, but still capable.

We'll see...

Second bad news... also kinda old news... we're in serious trouble moneywise... that's life... I've got some great prospects, but nobody is pulling the trigger. I've interviewed for a bunch of jobs, and they either went to internal candidates, or they just held off hiring... I could get another consulting gig today if I wanted 100% travel, but I've got a newborn, and I've been sick... that's not gonna work. Now, with the baby coming early, all the baby stuff, all the medical bills... Yeah...

I dunno... there's still some great prospects, I've got a very promising interview on Thursday... We'll see...

The really painful stuff though... the hardest stuff...

Wash is gone... he's been gone a couple months now, we've had to accept, he's just gone... and that's... A member of our family has disappeared... is gone.

And then... just as we were bringing the newest member of our family home...

Eva jumped the fence, and ran out into the road... and under the wheels of a truck.

She died instantly...

So, we lost another member of our family...

And yeah... that REALLY hurts...

But, at least we've got a new member of the family to have some joy over... A LOT of joy... Thank God for that.

Sunday, April 07, 2013

Holy crap... a place I've been to is on Bar Rescue right now

Kid Chileens Badass BBQ Steakhouse, in Black Canyon City AZ.

Been there a few times... and saw it go WAY downhill over the years... This ought to be interesting.

Thursday, April 04, 2013

Baby Boy Byrne - First Day, First Week

Baby Boy Byrne is 7 days old now... and settling in reasonably well. He's still a bit jaundiced, but nowhere near as bad as a few days ago.

We finally had a day without visiting docs today. We're going back in to the docs on Tuesday, but for now everything seems OK.

 I've got a lot of pics from his first few days, most of which I'm not going to bother posting, but I thought I'd post some pics from the delivery and recovery room, and from today. 

This one is just for my dad... he knows why:


I'm so damned big, and he's so damned small...

Though actually, they mismeasured him as 18" on birth, we remeasured him at the pediatrician the next day, and he was 19.25" (he's a squirmy little guy, and there was just one nurse trying to measure him. The next day we held him in fully extended position and didn't let him move).

And he's got a hell of a grasp on him (and DAMN big hands for a newborn):


Big Fingers, Little Fingers:

We're thinking his nickname is going to be CV (Charlie Victor), since I'm Chris, my dad is Christy, and he's Chris the Fifth... but we might as well nickname him bigfoot:

And now some pics from today.

He seems to like being in daddies arms... I calm him down pretty well:

Though he is probably the least fussy, quietest baby I've ever seen. He doesn't even bug the cat (and yes, before you warn us about cats and babies, we know, and are taking appropriate precautions):

The cat seems to like him... So do the dogs. Zoe is sleeping next to him on the couch here:

And although I know he can't focus well yet... I tell you he's a curious little guy, constantly looking around with those big eyes:

Oh and yeah... he's a redhead. Right now he's got a mix of red, brown, and blonde hair; and it looks like he's probably going to settle down to a slightly lighter and redder hair than me (more the color of my beard, which is a lighter red mixed with blonde and brown; than the color on my head, which is dark brown red).

I'll be honest... I'm worried. We're in a bad situation financially... I'm heading into middle age with a newborn, and I've got a pretty sketchy medical history.

Yeah, we've got two other kids, but they're 9 and 11... I guess at least I'll still be in prime earning years when he hits college... God knows how much college will cost at that point.

Back to nicer thoughts, I'm still getting questions about how to help us out, send us money to help with expenses, or get us baby stuff.

Coming three weeks early, we had to spend a few hundred dollars in money we really couldn't afford on stuff people had said they would be giving us (and never came through with), just to take him home.

Honestly, right now what we need most is money. We're paying for everything out of pocket... and you wouldn't believe how expensive that is... But in terms of baby stuff, we've kept the registries reasonably updated.

Baby boy Byrne has three registries established for him:

Babies 'r' Us registry number 48762442

Target Baby Registry

Amazon Baby Registry

However, as we are paying all costs out of pocket, donations would also be much appreciated:

 PayPal Donation Link
I will say again, to everyone, thank you all for your kindness and support and... everything you all do for us... I can't tell you how important it has been.

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

More pictures and updates later... for right now, our baby is sick

We woke up this morning and he looked damn near dyed in yellow. Ayup, jaundice. Unfortunately, it happens in something like 60% of premature babies. He's in the Docs with Mel right now. I'm at home because the infection I've been fighting for weeks now (and last week seemed almost completely better) seems to have relapsed... either that, or it's just stress, or exhaustion... Bills are killing us right now... God DAMN this is expensive (and paying out of pocket entirely... sucks...). Thanks to everyone who has helped out, really it's been great... We're already supplementing the breast feeding with formula and vitamin D drops, so we may need to take him in for daily phototherapy for a few days. He's going to be fine I'm sure... but it's never great being in this situation.