Thursday, February 26, 2009


Evan still won't say "Mommy" or "Daddy," but "cookie" has definitely worked its way into his limited vocabulary. 'Nilla Wafers are the item of choice, but the kid has yet to meet a cookie he didn't like. So the other day, Kari was cooking dinner when she noticed something... Evan wasn't in sight and wasn't making any noise. She peeked into the pantry to see what he was up to and immediately ran to get the camera when she saw this:


It should be noted that outside the frame of the picture, there's a Triscuit box that has been opened and discarded. It seems he went for more than one yellow box, but was disappointed with what he found inside the first one.

More Bumps and Bruises

Yeah, stitches weren't the only battle scar of Evan's recent adventures. About a month ago he was walking on an aggregate sidewalk with a toy in each hand. He tripped over something (or nothing) and, not wanting to let go of either toy, did a face-plant on the rocks. Poor guy can't catch a break!

Perhaps the most unfortunate thing (or fortunate, depending on how you look at it) is that he healed up before we could get any good pictures! This is the best one we got before the scab started clearing up.


I was somehow fortunate enough as a child to never mar my body enough to require stitches. In fact, I've only had stitches once in my entire life, and that was during surgery (so I was asleep when I got them). So imagine my surprise when Kari called me the other day as I was driving home from work:

me: "Hello?"
Kari: "Where are you?"
me: "Coming down the hill... about 30 seconds away. Why?"
Kari (in a surprisingly calm voice): "Uh, I think we might need to go to the emergency room."
[pause, as I wait for details that don't come]
me: "OK, I'm walking in the back door now."

I figured it wasn't anything horribly serious, as she was way too calm on the phone, but I was understandably nervous as I walked in to find Kari and Evan in the kitchen. Kari was holding a bloody towel, and Evan had blood all over his head. Yikes! Kari immediately thrust him into my hands and began preparing a diaper bag so we could head out to the hospital.

It's at this point in the story that I should probably point out my attire. I'm not one to spend a ton of money on clothes, as I tend to ruin anything nice that I get. But a few months ago, we hit up a department store that was going out of business, and I found a really nice bright green cashmere sweater. Regular price: $400. Sale price: $75. Yeah, that's still an expensive sweater, but I wear sweaters to work nearly every day during the winter, and I'm a sucker for cashmere.... I'll let you guess which sweater I was wearing that day.

So here I am trying to hold a remarkably calm, yet bloody child, trying not to get blood everywhere (especially on myself), and trying to slow Kari down enough to find out what on earth had happened. It turns out, Evan was up in the incredibly super-duper baby-proofed play room. You know, the one room in the house with all of his toys and nothing that's supposed to be able to hurt him. Kari was up there with him, playing with a toy drum. Evan stood up and tripped over something, landing face-first on this stupid little plastic drum that seemingly should have collapsed under any sort of tangible force. The drum, however, did not collapse, and Evan caught the edge of it right on that bone in the corner of his eyebrow. Stitches would definitely be required.

The night continued in spectacular fashion, as we then got stuck in traffic behind a wreck between our house and the interstate. After turning around and navigating some back roads (thankfully Evan had stopped crying), we finally made it to the emergency room, in time to discover that nearly every other child in Williamson county had also done something to require stitches on this fine evening. Three hours later (and an hour and a half past Evan's normal bedtime), we finally got him stitched up and taken home.

Never Fear!

One of the things I said in my first post was that I hadn't started a blog before now because I didn't want to start one and then abandon it. Well, here it is 3 weeks later, and I haven't made a second post. I've set out to start one a few times, but I've never finished anything worthy of sharing. Tonight, however, Kari is out running an errand and Evan is upstairs in bed, so I'm going to take a rare moment for myself and crank out a couple of posts that I've been chewing on. I'm not normally one to forsake quality over quantity, but I think I'll make an exception tonight :)

Saturday, February 7, 2009

More Beer!

As I mentioned in my first post, one of my hobbies is brewing my own beer. Unfortunately, I haven't gotten to actually brew much lately, as I have changed jobs, moved to a new house, and started preparing for a new baby, all in the last eight months! So now that things are calming down a bit (relatively, anyway), I finally took some time three weeks ago to do another five-gallon batch. Since I'm still fairly new at this (and because I'm more than a little rusty), I'm still sticking with the basics... that means brewing from extract rather than whole grains, and in this case, using a pre-packaged kit rather than trying to craft my own recipe. If that sounds like cheating to those of you who are unfamiliar with brewing, let me assure you it's not! There's still a lot of work involved, and by simplifying certain steps in the brew process, you go a long way toward making sure all of your hard work doesn't result in five gallons of beer that no one wants to drink :)

Every time I brew another batch, people inevitably ask me how it turned out. The answer is that we'll have to find out later, because "brew day" is just the first step in a long process. One of the most frustrating things about brewing beer is that it takes a lot of time, and you don't really know how well it's going to turn out until the end.

The batch I've got going right now is a Russian Imperial Stout, and it's looking pretty fantastic so far. It's black as night, and has just enough hop bitterness to give it some balance. It's been setting in secondary fermentation for a little over two weeks now, and should be ready for bottles in another week or so. After that, it'll have to carbonate for another two weeks, at which point it will be drinkable. Given another month or two to condition, however, and it should be fantastic!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Intro (25 Random Things About Me)

I recently got tagged on one of those Facebook notes that says something like, "list 25 random things about yourself and post it on your notes page," and after finishing, I decided I also had the makings of a decent first blog post. So here are my 25 things:

1) I count steps every time I go up or down them. There are three up to my front door, four up from my garage, four down into my bonus room, sixteen up the back stairs, eleven (landing) then five up my front stairs, and six off my deck, though I only count five of them because the last one is really short. Back when I worked on the 28th floor of the queen building in Atlanta, we had a fire drill one day. There were 638 steps.

2) I once got stuck in an elevator that free-fell about a story and a half before the emergency brake stopped us. To this day, I still get a tiny bit nervous if there's an extended period of time between when an elevator stops and when the doors open.

3) Public restrooms with only one light bother me (especially in gas stations and fast food restaurants). I have this unfounded fear that the bulb will blow and leave me in the dark in some dirty, crappy public restroom.

4) I have a borderline unhealthy obsession with the NFL. I follow every coaching change, every trade, and every free agent signing. I can give detailed explanations of how the salary cap works and why contracts are structured the way they are. And given the opportunity, I'd watch the NFL draft from start to finish every year. I am also fascinated with sports statistics and how they correlate to the real game, to the point that I write my own software in order to prepare for fantasy football drafts.

5) I don't understand how anyone who's married or has children could doubt the existence of God. It's not within my abilities as a human to love my son as much as I do. That goes double for how much I love my wife.

6) I have a soft spot in my heart for campy 1970's and 80's slasher movies, and in its own special way, I think that Halloween 4 is the best of the genre.

7) I love to quote movies, and I miss my Atlanta friends who actually get the references.

8) I feel guilty if I have to hire someone to do something that I know how to do myself.

9) I firmly believe that the order in which ingredients are put on a sandwich affects the way it tastes.

10) I am father to the cutest son who ever lived. I will also be father to the cutest daughter who ever lived come late May/early June.

11) I hate driving cars with automatic transmissions. There's just something satisfying about rowing your own gears.

12) I enjoy making my own beer, and I can't understand why so many American craft brewers insist on ruining everything they make with copious amounts of Cascade hops.

13) I have been to the International Towing and Recovery Hall of Fame and Museum. You read that correctly. Not only is there a tow truck museum, there's also a tow truck driver hall of fame.

14) Some day, I will own a Porsche 911. One of the late 1980's turbos with the whale tail would be especially sweet.

15) Any proper vacation involves a good book, an extra-dry martini, and at least one trip to the hot tub.

16) I have two very large cats named Chloe and Otis. I love dogs, but for me right now, I think cats make better pets. There's something to be said about a pet that is affectionate, but that can also be ignored. (Of course, there's also something to be said for a pet that knows how to poop outside.)

17) I detest fluorescent lights, to the point that I almost considered my employment at Lithonia Lighting to be a moral compromise. I really can't stand the cold and lifeless spectrum of light that they provide.

18) My friend Jeff and I once drove two hours just to eat a cheeseburger. It was totally worth it.

19) The smell of a banana makes me sick to my stomach.

20) My wife used to be an awesome account manager, but now she's an even better mom.

21) My favorite dessert is what most people call "seconds."

22) As a young child, I once drank some bleach that I thought was lemonade. I haven't liked lemonade since.

23) I'm a fairly adventurous eater, and I'll try most things at least once, but I'm totally done with fish. I've tried various types of fish at varying degrees of freshness (up to and including, "I caught it a couple of hours ago"), cooked in a variety of ways, and it's always terrible. Regardless of what anyone tries to convince me of beforehand, it always tastes "fishy." I mean, it's right there in the name. By definition, fish tastes "fishy." So stop asking me to try it. I'm seriously never eating it again.

24) I became a Christian when I was sixteen, and while I know I'll never fully understand or comprehend the magnitude of the sacrifice made on that cross, I never thought the reality of that message could bowl me over again like it did that first time. But this year I sat in the Easter Sunday service holding my own 6-month-old son, and it was almost too much to handle. I can't imagine willingly sacrificing him for anything or anyone... especially someone as wretched and unappreciative as me.

25) I've contemplated starting a blog since before the word was even invented, but haven't gotten around to it for several reasons:
- I don't want to look back in ten years and see my name on one of several million abandoned blogs.
- I put a lot of time and thought into anything that I write, and I'm not sure that the effort will be well-spent on a blog that will probably have a readership of less than twelve people.
- I've always assumed that I would host my own blog, and I've never gotten around to setting a machine up for that purpose.
- I say to myself at least once a week, "if I had a blog, I'd write about that..." yet none of those moments have inspired me to actually start one.