Tuesday, July 31, 2007


Apparently our DirecTV receiver has died on us. It happened over the weekend. Once we realized we weren't gonna get any TV reception, we rolled through our Netflix DVDs we had at home: Weeds (season 1), The Machinist, and Children of Men. We don't get Showtime so we don't watch Weeds usually, but I had heard it was good and it turned out "they" were right! It's a funny show. The Machinist was also good. It's kinda in the same vein as Memento, which I loved. Christian Bale is the protagonist, and he dropped a bunch of weight for this movie. Boy, does he look unbelievably freakish. I'd recommend that one.

Children of Men was not nearly as good as I had hoped it would be. I really wanted to like it, but in the end it left me cold. I usually go for the whole dystopian future kind of sci-fi movie, but this one was a little too serious. Pretentious maybe. It was well done, ie, it looked good, but I was just left thinking "eh".

But as for not having any TV, it's been kinda nice. We miss it when we're feeding Jane, for example, and would usually be watching something while she sucks down her bottle. But it's nice to not have to search and search for something -- anything -- to watch. Plus being able to listen to music or just read is nice. Liz might have a slightly different opinion since she's at home all day w/ Jane, but I think she mostly agrees. We have missed episodes of shows that we regularly watch, like Flight of the Conchords (awesome!), but they'll replay them, I'm sure. At least we didn't miss any Sopranos or the Wire!

DirecTV is shipping us a new receiver for free, which is nice. It's a DirecTV DVR, not a Tivo receiver, which is what we had before. So I'm a little wary of the non-Tivo, but I'm sure it'll be fine. Heck, it's free.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Rock n Romp

Last Sat afternoon, we took Jane to the Rock n Romp at McGinty's in SS. RnR is a semi-regular event where local DC indie rock bands play at kid-friendly volume for kids and parents alike. Lately, it seems that most of the RnRs take place at McGinty's. My buddy James's band, J. Forte and the Secret Pop Band played this time around -- which is why we went -- as well as Greenland.

We got there at 3pm and chatted with James at the bar for a bit. There was a pretty good sized crowd there of kids and parents -- mostly bigger kids around ages 2 through maybe 5 (I dunno, not the greatest judge of kids' ages). The Secret Pop Band played first chugging through their indie pop -- good stuff! Some friends and my brother and sister in law joined us with their kids, too. Seemed like some kids were into it while others were definitely not into it. Jane ended up getting hungry after the Secret Pop Band played, so we split. I think it's a great idea to do that for parents and kids, but maybe next time we go will be when Jane's a bit older. We're so eager to start doing kid stuff that we just couldn't wait...

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

No Birchmere here

Apparently, as is being reported by several of the Silver Spring blogs, the deal to bring a second Birchmere here to SS is dead. I find this to be disappointing on one hand since I think it would be a feather in SS's hat to have the Birchmere here. However, I can't say that I'd go to see many shows there. In my whole life of living in this area, I have only been to the original one in Alexandria once. But you know, maybe I would go more often if it was close by. Plus I'd guess I now fit more into their demographic since I'm an oldster. Maybe I'd enjoy some nice quiet acoustic folk or bluegrass or blues. It would be easy on my ears... Eh, I don't really see that happening.

As for the rumor that the county wants a comedy club, I say I'd rather have the Birchmere. As little as I would go to the Birchmere, I would go to a comedy club less. But I guess other people would go more often to a comedy club. The county wants a tennant that generates more revenue than the Birchmere is what it sounds like it comes down to. I hope they bring in something good, but odds are I won't be spending much time at anything they bring in. This town does need some more decent bars, tho, that's for sure. But I say that about most places I live in, visit, read about, see on TV. You get the idea.

Here are a coupla links to posts from SS blogs:
Silver Spring Singular
Silver Spring Penguin

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Should I stay or should I go?

The update on the job situation is I decided to reapply to several of the new positions at work. I figured this was the best thing to do for several reasons. First, I only applied for positions that if I got them would be promotions and would give me good experience and broaden my skills. Second, if I don't get offers for any of the positions I've applied for I can still take the package. So I reckon either way, I land pretty well. It was *very* tempting to just opt out and bail, but I decided that in terms of my future "career" (whatever that is), I'd put myself in a better position by trying to boost my experience. We'll see what happens...

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Reality Check

A little update on life in general: got a lot going on at the moment. It is beyond great to have Jane here now, and she's getting so big. We're all adjusting to each other I think, and the past 9 weeks have not been without their challenges and stressed out periods. But I guess that's probably just life w/ a newborn. Once Jane started gaining weight in earnest, we thought "well, we should be good to go -- hurdle hurdled." Jane sez, "not so fast." She's been showing some signs of acid reflux altho the doc says that it's not full blown. Whether it is reflux (I'm not completely convinced) or whether it's just garden variety gas, the bottom line is she has periods of extreme fussiness/discomfort where she will not sleep or let us lay her down. But on the plus side, Jane's way more alert now and her expressions are very funny sometimes. I say "we" have to deal w/ her fussiness, but it's actually Liz who is bearing the brunt of the cranky baby. I feel badly about it, but I gots to go to work.

Speaking of work, there's a bunch of stuff going on. Causing a bit of stress. Big decisions to make. My department's management just announced a big re-org/realignment/whatever on Tuesday. What it comes down to is whether I want to stay or whether I want to take a severance package. The packages are pretty generous, but I've got this life situation now -- baby! -- that doesn't allow me to be too cavalier about what I do. So I'm not sure whether to roll the dice and take the package or stay at the company. Oh yea, I gotta decide before midnight this coming Tuesday. Ugh.

And I'm putting some pressure on myself to get a car very soon. I currently have an old two seater (Miata), and that just ain't gonna work out w/ aforementioned life situation -- baby! We're looking at small SUVs, but I think I'm going w/ a Honda CRV, most likely a used one. There seem to be a lot of features and it gets pretty decent mileage. We're looking at the CRV type cars because we also need room for Lucy in the back. The drop dead deadline for the car purchase is mid August when Liz goes back to work. At that point I've got to have the ability to put Jane in my car. I'll be a little sad to get rid of my car, but all things must pass. I've had it for 11 years, and it has been great to me.

So, that's the update at the moment. I'm sure there are other things that need getting done (our yard is turning into a weed species showcase), but for now I'm only doing the important stuff. In fact I barely made time to write this.


Apparently, there are many stories of people getting struck by lightning while using their iPods... that's a little scary. According to the article, if there's lightning even close by, there's a chance the devices could become receptors because they're made of metal.

Experts warn of lightning-strike injuries with iPods

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Jane at 8 weeks

Here are some pix of Jane in the weeks between 4 and 8 weeks old. She turned 8 weeks on July 4 and rang it in at Rehoboth listening to fireworks (she was inside). While I was looking at some of the pictures at the beginning of the slideshow, it's clear how old they are because she's already gotten much bigger than that. Seems like she literally changes every few days... maybe I've said that before. I'll probably say it again. Anyway, she has really put on weight compared w/ 4 weeks ago, and we're really happy about that. So far the consensus seems to be that she looks most like me. I can see that, but I think Jane is showing more of Liz as she gets older. You be the judge!

Also, as you'll be able to tell, I have discovered the super close up feature on my camera. There are a lot of close up shots. A lot. So, please enjoy...

View slideshow

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Rock History + Maps!!

What could be better?? I can't think of any better combination than rock history and the new street view Google maps. It caught my eye, anyway... I've already sent the link to pretty much everybody (all 3 people) who reads this blog, but I thought I'd post it anyway.

Sixty-Second Rock and Roll Tour at rollingstone.com