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July, 2009

  1. A Guide for New Parents by New Parents . . . a work in progress Vol. 1

    July 30, 2009 by Nate and Michelle

    As we set out on the adventure of parenting, we realize that there are many things we wish we’d known before. This first installment includes a few tidbits to keep in mind as you care for your new baby.

    1. When your baby is small, and the diaper slightly big, ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS do up the onesie. Forgetting to do this may result in the diaper sliding down, causing a mess on the blanket, and/or Daddy’s lap.

    2. When trying out a “vented” bottle, never try to change out the nipple for a different flow while it is still full of milk. The instructions do not warn against this, but our couch, floor, pathway to the kitchen, and (of course) Daddy’s lap will testify that in the absence of said vent, the milk will make a speedy exit. When combined with the discovery of #1, this can be disastrous.

    3. Squirts of varying natures. Just be grateful that they happen after you apply the diaper rash cream.

    4. It is not unusual to go through 3 diapers in 1 minute. See #3.

    5. You may think you have too many blankets and/or onesies or both. You don’t. Especially when only a few onesies can actually hold up the diaper (see #1). Oh, and you can never have too many burp cloths either. The end.

    Stay tuned for our next installment of A Guide for New Parents by New Parents.


  2. Refills are Free, Big Spender

    July 13, 2009 by Ryan

    I apologize if this post isn’t up to the usual quality of coherency to which you are accustomed. I’ll blame it on being dehydrated.

    I entered the fast food restaurant this evening, hot, tired, and slightly sunburned.

    I won’t name the establishment that “I’m thinking” about, but you can probably guess. It doesn’t matter; they are almost all guilty of this anyway.

    Waiting for a family member’s bathroom break to conclude before ordering, I sat down at a table. I should probably have been thinking about what I wanted to order, but I was too worn-out to spend brain cells on that sort of thinking just yet; I’d figure that out when I got to the counter.

    As it happened, a combination of events unfolded before me, at just the wrong time, to combine with my tired state and to have an overall effect of annoying me.

    I watched another customer rise from his table. In his hand was a paper cup that was fairly small. In fact, as I looked closer, I noticed this paper cup was not intended for holding a drink, but instead for holding a side order of popcorn chicken. It was even a little bit smaller than a “kid’s meal” drink cup, if that is possible.

    And I watched him fill it up with water at the drink machine.

    Meanwhile, at another location somewhere near the front counter of the restaurant, a kind employee was informing a different customer that she could call the number printed on the bottom of the receipt, to take a customer satisfaction survey. A bit of less relevant detail, and I promise that I am NOT making this up: She told the customer that she hoped they would give good “5” ratings, as the store manager really wants to improve their “C.S.I.” I hope that was internal jargon that meant “Customer Service Index” rather than “Crime Scene Investigation,” but I digress.

    When these two unrelated events collided in my drained brain, I realized that in just a few minutes, I would be the buffoon carrying the smallest paper cup in the store to the drink machine, filling it with the top capacity of two ice cubes and a thimbleful of water. And that I would have to make numerous trips to the drink dispenser, pressing that little “water” tab next to the lemonade tap, over and over, until I could satisfy my quench during my meal.

    And I wondered to myself, when I take that telephone survey, how will they ask about that experience?

    Did you order a soft drink with your meal? Press 1 for yes, or 2 for no.

    Did you know that the refills are free, you big spender? Press 1 for yes, or 2 for no.

    But why, when I order water, do they insist on finding the smallest cup in the building and offering it to me? I was hot, I was tired, and I was just as thirsty as the next customer!

    Do they assume that all water drinkers are on a diet, and therefore need less to drink?

    Is it a mark of shame, to carry the smallest cup through the dining room? Is it to make an example of me before the other paying customers, to show them what will happen if they give up their high-calorie soda-drinking habits?

    Is it so that the minimum wage employees, who care less, can keep a careful watch out for anyone illegitimately filling that cup-of-shame with Mountain Dew? Thus making it a “loss-prevention” mechanism to prevent the caffeine from dispensing to the wrong customers?

    If so, why not make a special cup with bright colors on it; print across it “I am a cheapskate! I asked for water!” Perhaps using a special electronic sensor and radio frequency technology, the drink vending machine can sense when the cup approaches an incorrect faucet, and ring a bell or sound an alarm? Or why not just issue a special triangle pointed hat, to be placed on the head of every water-drinking customer, to more easily identify them (by which I mean me and that other guy)?

    Is that what it will take to get me the larger cup, so that I can drink a tall glass of ice water with my food?

    What do they think they are proving?! And at what cost of annoyance to the customer?!

    And when I finish my meal, can I redeem my water cup for a small order of popcorn chicken? No, wait, better not do that… I’ll just get thirsty again.

    So I don’t understand this annoying trend of issuing a diminutive drinking device to customers who wish not to inflict upon their bodies drinks other than (mostly) natural, (almost) clean, (kinda) pure water.

    I tell you, it’s enough to drive a man to drink! I’ll take a large Sprite!


  3. You’ve Got a Friend in Me

    July 4, 2009 by Ryan

    About mid-May, following my experience with the tremor, I brought home a gift for my four-month old girl. I picked out a “Wheezy” plush doll (from Toy Story 2), a black and white penguin, with yellow feet and beak, and a small red bow tie. As he does in the movie, this stuffed animal has a squeaker inside, so when you squeeze the toy it squawks back. The size, colors, and sound were just right for her young enjoyment, and she has taken quickly to the toy. She can easily grab his wings to hold him, and sometimes enjoys putting his beak into her mouth.

    A little more than a month later, she was at Disneyland. Upon exiting the Toy Story ride, there are numerous movie related merchandise available to purchase. Imagine the look on her face as her young eyes saw an entire shelf full of Wheezy dolls on display. Though she couldn’t speak it, one could see the little wheels turning in her head as she tried to process the sight of so many of her favorite doll – row after row, stacked deep on the shelves.

    …to there.”]What's the point of prolonging the inevitable? We're all just one stitch away from here...to there (points to yard sale).

    His squeaker works, too!