Tuesday, January 29

The Dog, the Cat, the Wife, My Lungs

The Dog: knows something is going on. Rachel wakes up each morning with the dog sniffing her very pregnant belly. When he gets in trouble and yelled at by me, he trots over to Rachel and hides/protects her. He's become very protective of his chair. He's been barking at the slightest noise from outside, especially drunk Koreans passing our building at three in the morning. Right now: he's asleep in his chair, on his blanket. If I were to try removing the blanket to then cover him, I would lose a hand.

The Cat:
has been climbing up my ass. He also knows something is up. He's been crying for food. Crying to get into the bathroom. Crying to get out of the bathroom. Crying for water. Crying to get in my lap. Crying for no reason. Lately he's been digging his claws into my arm when I'm not paying attention to him and waking me each morning by clawing at Rachel's suitcase. Right now: he's asleep on the bed, and being somewhat smarter than the dog, is actually under the blankets.

The Wife: is on a short fuse. She's feeling very pregnant and is having trouble sleeping. Gandalf must be practicing karate or playing 9 Ball in there- either way, she can't get comfortable at night. She is sick of Korean food, sometimes, but doesn't want anything specifically American. We had pizza yesterday and that seemed to make her happy. Right now: she's downstairs at the school, teaching Charley when to use the articles "a" and "an". Let's hope he picks it up quickly lest his head is bitten off.

My Lungs: are feeling much better now. I haven't had a cigarette for 8 days. After smoking for 17 or 18 years, I thought it would be impossible to quit. I'm not out of the weeds yet: I keep a pack of NosmoQ's around to help when I get the craving and I'm going to skip the weekly poker matches for a little while, just to avoid the temptation. My boy will be here in just a few weeks and I want to be done with the habit before he arrives. Right now: Man, I would kill for a cigarette.

So, between the insane pets, the pregnant wife and the nicotine fits, it's been a tough couple of weeks. It's all okay, though. Because that's my boy:

Click that beautiful face to see the full-size picture.

Sunday, January 27

So Much to Learn

I came across a great post at coolstuff.com showing some "safe handling tips" for new parents. Here are some of the highlights:

Man, that's a lot to take in.

From the post:

...the pictures seem to be from a book by David and Kelly Sopp. All credits go to them, for the marvelous book! If you like it, you can buy it on Amazon, as it would make a great gift: CLICK HERE.

Tuesday, January 15

My Favorite Dream

Here's the latest from one of my new favorite webcomics, We the Robots. Be sure to visit the site and maybe click through the archives. Good stuff!

(Click the image for the big beautiful version.)

BTW: I'm still enjoying chatting with my peeps over in the Plugoo chat box. I did, however, move the chat box below the fireworks picture. So just scroll down to get a hold of me through the i-tube. Keep the yammer coming!

Monday, January 14

Goose Egg

Come on, people. In a post, a few days ago, I asked for ideas for baby names... and received ZERO response. Nada. Zilch. Jack squat.

Alright. This baby is not going to name himself. If we don't get some feedback, he's going to be called Gandalf and Rachel's mom is going to kill us.

In other bairn-related news...

This weekend, we visited the clinic for a check-up and found out all is well with mother and child. Another sonogram for the baby book! If any of the Western community here in town has a scanner, we'd love to scan and post some of the in-utero pics of our pride and joy. Or if any of you know of a Korean version of Kinko's, that would be great. Until I get these pics scanned, let me just tell you, we have a 3D shot of the kid and he's a cutie! (In lieu of a baby pic, here's a picture of Mokpo Harbor that Rachel snapped last year.)

Thanks to the few of you who have used the Plugoo chat box over there to the left of this post. I've enjoyed talking to you! It's nice to know this humble little 'blog has a dedicated reader or two.

Listening to: Beck - [Stray Blues #05] Lemonade [foobar2000 v0.9.3.1]
via FoxyTunes

Friday, January 11

Ill Communication

For those of you who cannot get enough Dave in your diet...

Look over there in the sidebar for the box that says, "Talk to Dave!" See it? Okay: now enter a nickname and type something in the appropriate fields. Good. Now hit enter and and the magic of the intranets will transport the words right into my brain (assuming said brain is awake and logged in). I'll just as magically respond with words of wisdom and/or despair. Voila!

It's like television, only you can see much further!
If you want to add this neat little widget to your blog, be sure to visit the folks at Plugoo.

Monday, January 7

What, Me Worry?

At my core, I am an optimist.

In a month, I will be thirty-six years old. In two months, I will be a father. Sometime this summer, Rachel and I have to decide if we will remain in Korea for a third year, move to another country where she teaches ESL and I play stay-at-home dad, or return to the U.S. It's a lot to consider in a short span of time.

Maybe we'll stay in Korea and watch as the Republicans steal another election and the United States begins continues to disintegrate under the heel of corporate political influence. Maybe the Democrats will win and, emboldened by a perception of weakness in America, terrorists will strike again and again within our borders. Maybe a third-party candidate will rise from the stink of Nader's failure to... ha-ha, just kidding.

At my core, I am an optimist. I have read too much science fiction to be anything else. Asimov's Foundation and the 30,000 year sweep of psychohistory, Roddenberry's Federation of Planets, Heinlein's long-lived residents of Tertius led by Lazarus Long: these are the shining examples of mankind's destiny where the only problems are The Mule, the Trouble with Tribbles, and finding Time Enough for Love.

The smudge on my rose-colored glasses can be found in other science-fiction: 1984 and Fahrenheit 451 are the two best known examples of Dystopian futures. There are thousands more in short story and novel forms. All carry a central message: man will destroy himself. For all the invasions from Mars, killer comets, solar events, for every galactic calamity to befall the Earth, there is always a character who sells out the human race on some scale, large or small, for personal and usual temporary gain.

I say again: at my core, I am an optimist. But, I am disappointed in people. I see the potential in our human race. I see the wonder-filled futures our greatest minds have imagined. And I see us pissing it all away... just in time for my boy to grow up in a world that has failed.

Thursday, January 3

The Difference a Day Makes

After several days of snow and sleet, Mokpo is finally seeing some sunshine. Though we're happy the sun is out (seen below, it is actually setting over Mt. Yudal), Rachel really wanted to see a foot of snow on the ground so she could have a day off.

All is well with us here in southern South Korea. Last year was among the strangest of my life, full of both joy and grief. Here's hoping 2008 is twice as happy and only half as sad.

In other news, Rachel and I have finally reached our wit's ends trying to come up with a name for Baby St. John. Leave a comment (click "Comments" below) if you have any suggestions. Remember these few guidelines:

1. The baby's middle name will be "Allen", so the first name must work with that.
2. The first name must have at least two syllables so we can effectively yell it across the neighborhood at dinner time.
3. No made-up, yuppie, ghetto or hippie names. For example: Soda, Skyler, Synomius, and Starshine are all out of the running.
That's it. If you have an idea, please feel free to share. If you suggest the name we choose, there might even be a cash award.