Thursday, February 21, 2008

Happy Birthday, Fred

The first promise I made to you was twelve years ago, today.
I held you, marveling at your strength--just born, but already pushing, testing.
I pulled you close, and whispered in your ear:
"I will fight bears for you."
Bears are in short supply, but there are other dangers out there.
We will face them without fear.
We will have fun facing them
And, too soon, you will face them alone.
But that's okay. You're strong.
But if you ever come across any bears, you know where to find me.
I love you, Frederick Arthur.

Happy Birthday



Sunday, February 17, 2008

Happy Birthday, Zoe

The first decade of your life has been a very eventful one for me.
But through everything that has happened, one thing has remained constant.
From the first moment I held you in my arms,from the instant that I first breathed your name,
I knew that I loved you.
You have brought me joy.You have made me proud.You have made me re-examine my perspective on things.
You're just so nice to be around. at quiet times,And at silly times.
You know how to move forward. And you're not afraid to fall on
At the end of the day--at the end of every day--I thank God for you.

Happy Tenth Birthday.

I love you,



Thursday, February 14, 2008

I've Been Busy

I'm really not a 'things' guy. Really. I'm not.

But you couldn't tell that from what I've purchased recently.

Some of the stuff was long overdue. Take, for example this microwave. 1.4 cubic feet interior. I get home around 6:30 pm most nights. I don't want to spend the evening at the stove. It's the first microwave I've ever purchased. The one it replaced was a much smaller 1982 JCPenney model. Yes, JCPenney. It was a Christmas gift from my brother. I think it served me well. I think I needed a new one.

Same thing with this vacuum cleaner. I had repaired the old one so many times it was mostly duct tape and carpet fibers. I sat down and did some research. I listed everything I wanted in a vacuum cleaner: bagless, attachments, HEPA filter, lightweight. Everything was over $200. This one had everything I wanted with the exception of weight. $75. Sold.

I already told you about the car. Did I tell you it has a name? Barry. Because it's black. Blackbarry--get it? We had to name it, because whenever my daughter says 'Impala,' it sounds like she's saying 'Aunt Paula,' which can be confusing, because we don't drive around town in Aunt Paula. She gets much worse gas mileage.

The car wasn't the only wheels I've purchased. I also picked up this bike for $150. Actually, the bike (a 24-speed hybrid) was covered with bags, pumps, lights, and other geegaws that in and of themselves probably cost $150. So I bought $150 worth of saddlebags, with a $300 bike thrown in. Man, I love guys who buy a whole bunch of stuff before they decide whether or not they like it.

Then there's this bad boy. If there was one real extravagence in my recent shopping spree, it's this one. It's made by Berkline, and it retails for $1350. It's a recliner couch. Most recliner couches I've seen have three seat cushions, and the middle secton doesn't recline. This one is full sized, but only has two sections. so two people can spread out quite gloriously on this thing. In fact, three can, too, if one person doesn't mind sitting in the middle. And I don't. My kids like to snuggle with me and watch movies, and this is the most snugglable couch I've ever sat in. Oceans of comfort. And a really interesting color. I replicated it as best I could (I love Photoshop) up there. It's pretty accurate. A rich, copper color. A custom color, in fact. Special ordered. Not by me, though. By someone who decided that they didn't like it after all. For $700, it's a great color.

But the really important purchas is sitting right next to me. A Dual 2.5 GHz Power PC G5, with 6GB SDRAM, 750GB storage, loaded with tons--tons--of editing software. Yes, I know the quad-core Intels are faster, and I'm glad. Because if they weren't I wouldn't have been able to afford this one.

Or this 24" HD monitor:

Or these speakers:
This color printer would have been out of the question, as well.
This video capture card? Not a chance.

And then I realized that there's going to be times when I'll be on the computer and the kids won't be able to do any work on it. So there's this used iBook I found...
And of course, I'll need to network to share resources...
But that's it. Really. No more.

Everything I bought was well-thought-out and logical. And yet I feel like an extravagent fool. I'm not used to good things happening. I keep forgetting there's no other shoe to drop.

Time for me to be grateful for this bounty, and to put it all to good use.

Especially that couch.

I'm back.