Sunday, April 9, 2017

Better living through multiple choice

In honor of Megatron's birthday, because I haven't told the story in a while, and to see who's paying attention… Can you guess which of the three is the real reason why we call her that?

A) you have to be really careful with kids identities online these days. The codename is a way we can share stories without anybody who doesn't really know her being able to come take her from a school or playground. It's not as if you can sign out Megatron from a daycare.

B) most of the time she is pretty awesome, but when she transforms she is a total source of destruction... So we nicknamed her after the biggest baddest bad guy on the transformers. 

C) it was actually just a stupid joke that kind of stuck. We honestly had no idea what to call her until literally the day she was born, and I had been joking for years that our child would be Megatron Hezekiah Gerber because I'm an unreformed 80s nostalgia bug and TheMrs does a lot with the church so the middle name should be something archaic.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

I'm sure the cat would be the first to go anyway

The Mrs. is getting a much deserved afternoon out, and I am chilling with Megatron for the day.

I suspect that she thinks I am pretty doomed without mama being around… every time I try to give her a little food, she is very careful about handing it back to me and making sure that I eat too.

I think she is concerned that without a positive influence we might resort to cannibalism.

How do you say in toddler "I promise there's enough Cheerios and cheese sticks for us to make it through lo these hours of turmoil"? 😝

Sent from my iPhone

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Also, political prisoners are made to watch Ghost Dad on a loop

Apparently China will not permit the new Ghostbusters movie to be shown in its theaters, as its censorship rules include blocking anything seen to promote "cults" or "superstition"... Probably a good idea, as you know what those sorts of films can lead to...

Friday, July 1, 2016

The four stages of fatherhood.

1. No, Megatron, don't eat your hairbrush. A hairbrush is not a toy.
2. Ok ok you can play with the hairbrush but just the handle. Stay away from the bristles.
3. Whatever, it's not like it'll hurt you. Do whatever you want with the hairbrush.
4. Quick! Where's Megatron's hairbrush toy? We need it to distract her as we go buy her a new hairbrush.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

The first step is admitting you have a problem

An anonymous person has posted a few times in comments asking where I am on the 2016 republican race, though I've been negligent in keeping this blog going, I'll stoke even a little interest.

A longtime friend from the political sphere made the point, mostly seriously, that a lot of us are going through the famous "stages of grief." Apparently this is known as the Kübler-Ross model, that when dealing with death there's Denial, then Anger, Bargaining, Depression and ultimately Acceptance.

Naturally with any psychological theory like that, apparently there's controversy, amended theories, counterproposals, misappropriations... But I'm getting astray.

If anything, I was in denial on Trump like many for far longer than there was any actual logical thread to cling to. Indeed, that there are STILL articles positing a convention floor delegate revolt shows some out there are still not accepting of the cards dealt.

In my own special way I'm in denial as well. I know as undisputed fact that Trump won 66 of 67 counties in Florida in the primary. But I have such trouble believing it to be the case that a large chunk of my brain greets this fact in a whiny Luke voice... "No, that's not true! That's impossible!" Actually I like that analogy even more now that I see it, because I feel like we've picked Vader as our father AND had a limb cut off.

Along the way I had all the expected cliche glib lines. "Tomorrow I'm gonna wake up and someone will say 'Hah hah we sure got you! Okay your REAL final choices are Jeb, Chris Christie, Rand Paul, John Kasich or Carly Fiorina'." I was one of those ones who kept pointing back at history. "At this point Fred Thompson was ahead in the polls. Or Rick Perry. It's not as if Giuliani lasted..."

None of this answers the question on the table, of course. Will I get behind him? Have I moved to acceptance?

At this time, I really don't see that happening. I suppose if he were to bring along on the ticket someone who is a rock-ribbed libertarian style conservative, and somehow morphed into a real CEO looking to bring business acumen to government management, and stop being WWE Hall of Famer Trump... I just don't now. I'm certainly not the only person who is looking at some of the minor party alternatives to see who more closely aligns with my personal convictions.

In a future post I will take a shot at breaking down the "if you don't vote for Trump you are putting Hilary in office" fallacy.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

The secret is I pooped.

Because I'm Republican, because I watched every single episode of 24, and because I have a supremely dorky sense of humor...

Whenever we are giving Megatron a bath and it comes to pouring the water over her head, I will take a moment to shout at her WHERE'S THE BOMB???"

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Not that anybody asked....

Any listicle, BuzzFeed piece, or similar "oh-so-deep" piece about Florida seems to invariably throw out one FL distinguishing factor that keeps coming up. It's usually something like "OMFG PUBLIX SUBS!!!1! Amirite? If Heaven doesn't have Publix subs, I don't think I wanna go."

Confession time. I think Publix subs are fine, but they don't seem to be anything special. They certainly seem to use fresh quality ingredients like Boar's Head meats (if you'll pay extra) and good bread. So it's probably better than Subway.

But it's a sandwich. Can you really not find any other places around you that use quality ingredients and make a sufficiently above-average quality sub?

Hell, for that matter, Publix sells everything they put on subs... but I don't hear anyone say "I bought some good meat and good bread and WOW I had a mouthspolsion from what I made!!!!!"

Which makes me think that some of the Publix tingly sensation is a Starbuckian collective communal decision to like something.

Monday, December 21, 2015

I call him Ted Ginn Junior Junior.

I've come to the conclusion that fantasy football teams are a little like pets. Nobody really wants to hear anything about yours, they just want an excuse to talk about their own.

Factor in the apparent importance of picking just the right wacky name and the requirement of only basic maintenance... 😺

Friday, December 18, 2015

Random thought: I hope people unfriend me today

It's my birthday. And, with any luck, some people will mark the awesomeness by unfriending me on Facebook.

Okay I could just leave that there, but lemme eesplain. I have about 950 friends on Facebook. So that includes "Guy I Must Have Met At Some Political Event A Couple of Years Ago", "Son Of Someone Who Went To My Church But They Moved Away But They Still Kinda Know Me Because They Knew My Wife's Family", "Girl Who Went To My High School But Was A Couple Of Years Behind Me, I Think", etc.

Obviously I don't interact with all these people all the time. So, often Facebook pops up with the helpful reminder that it's Juan Gonzalez's birthday, and it's when I reflect that I never really talk to Juan Gonzalez, I'm not 100% sure who they are, and I'd likely not recognize them if they walked in the room.

So, I unfriend people on their birthday. If it's someone I figure likely won't mind much. So. maybe a few people will see me as "Guy I worked with like four jobs ago" and drop me today. Adios, kinda-sorta amigos!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

The best writing tip I ever received

In college I had an opportunity to write for a University publication primarily directed to boosters. I was given a pretty solid writing tip, and I've found it useful throughout the years as a way to keep articles interesting.

There's a natural tendency to try to load up information about your article's subject right up front and just get it all out of the way. Subconsciously, I think there's an idea you're being helpful. This is especially true when writing about a specific person or place. A typical early sentence might be:

The event honored John Thompson, a 26-year-old native of St. Petersburg, is a botanist by trade and an avid cricket fan. 

The problem is that having said just about all you have to say about John in that one line, further sentences often fall prey to the monotonous said Thompson or Thompson added etc.

Instead, don't put any of that description --- or as little as possible --- up front. You can (either mentally or literally) make a list of the subject's characteristics and use them as synonyms for the subject's name as you're writing. If you write clearly and consistently you won't even need to reintroduce the subject over and over again. Being a profile piece, it will be clear you're still speaking about the same entity.

John Thompson was recognized at the event for his accomplishments in the field over the past year.

The St. Petersburg native was joined by his mother, father, and two brothers at the event. "It's a pleasure to receive such an honor in the field I've come to love," said the botanist, "it's been a wonderful opportunity."

Have you seen good examples of this?

Friday, October 9, 2015

In which I meet 2014 Bradley

2015 me: Hey, apparently I've come back in time exactly one year to chat with you/me briefly.

2014 me: That's amazing. What's that little device you're holding, is that what brought you here?

2015 me: yeah. It's a plot device.

2014: that's a really thin plot device.

2015: yeah, flimsy too.

2014: you look really tired.

2015: we don't get much sleep anymore. The nights are just filled with waking up at all hours, the crying, the constant whining and always needing to be in the bed with us...

2014: Megatron is really that bad, huh?

2015: what? Oh, no she's golden. It's the cat. He's still a pain.

2014: oh... Umm... Good? Hey, which stocks should I buy, 2015 me?

2015: Dude, you know we don't pay attention to stuff like that.

2014: cool. Well... Go Dolphins, right?

Sent from my iPhone

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Poll: What's Trump up to?

What do you think, in his heart, really is motivating Donald Trump's run for president?

He craves attention, and this is how to get regular doses of it, on the biggest stage.
He legitimately feels his ideas, positions and experience make him well suited to run the country.
As a favor to his friends, the Clintons, he is deliberately being divisive in the GOP primary.
He's doing it on his own to make a mockery of the system, a sort of "Colbert Report" character.
He's just a man that needs challenges, and this is the next big challenge for him.
He thinks it will help his brand and make him more money in the long run.
He's so frustrated by the candidates he can't sit still and feels compelled to run.
Something else?
Poll Maker

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Please sir, k'n I have some more?

Anybody know where I can buy language CDs that'll train up Megatron so that when she starts talking it's with a British accent?

Preferably a 19th century Dickensian street urchin / ruffian one if possible.

I think that'd make TheMrs. ever-so-pleased.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Be Kind. Rewind.

I know that I am both a borderline hoarder and a sentimentalist... But also I can't be the only person who feels sad at the prospect of tossing out my Blockbuster membership card.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

But Megatron was Japanese

A lot of people say "Megatron" looks like me.

Which is a good thing, since I hear about 1 in 5 people born today is Chinese. So we're fairly lucky she's not 😝

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Because you can't spell babies without BS

Whether it's from sitcoms and movies (always a great place to get medical knowledge), classes, or just "the ether", one way or another it seems there were a lot of things I was told to expect with a baby that, at least 3 1/2 months into Project Megatron, ain't happened yet.

* "Expect poopapalooza. Your life is just gonna become a world of poop. You'll wonder how so much poop could come out of one little body!"

Umm... Most days, the baby doesn't poop at all. When she does, it's once, MAYBE twice. Maybe this changes when they're on solids? For now, it's certainly a pile of diapers, but not much to do with doodoo.

* "You'll be able to distinguish her different cries in no time!"

This is half-true. She has a very whimpery, tired half-cry when she's tired. She has an ALARM!!!! scream when she's in pain or scared. But other than these extremes... Guessing whether she's hungry or needs to be changed or just bored really depends mainly on knowing how long it's been since the last whatever.

* "You'll forget all the pain of childbirth once you see her little face."

Granted, I'm a little unqualified to opine one this one, what with being mainly a non-innocent bystander. That said, if you forget the pain of that, I'm gonna go ahead and say it's because you got some really strong narcotics as part of the process, not because your littlun came out with handfuls of Magic Forgety Love Dust.

* "Be ready to call the pediatrician a million times. With the silliest questions!"

I kinda feel like this is a leftover from the days before smartphones and "Dr. Google." Again, granted that's not the best place to get your medical advice, but it does help for a lot of quick "how concerned should I be that..." kind of questions.

It also helps to have an OBGYN sister with two boys already. If you have that as an option I highly recommend it.

* "The booger removal squeezie thing will be your new best friend! Get five and keep them everywhere!"

Ummm... Megatron has not yet had a cold (for which I am thankful), so this hasn't yet come up even once.

* "You'll be counting those little fingers and toes a hundred times at first."

What? Just... No. They told me she was healthy, I checked, and that was it.

* "During that last few months get ready because your wife might be really... YOU KNOW... winkwink"

What, tired? Uncomfortable? Concerned about the coming pain and also how life is going to change forever? Cuz... all that seemed pretty reasonable.

* "Even if you have trouble settling on a name, you'll know the right one the moment you see her."

We had a list of about 5 that worked for either of us. I finally picked one. But even a few months in I can't really say she's obviously not one of the other names. Or even what a Baby X or Baby Y looks like.

* "You'll be wrapped around her finger instantly."

I don't think I really fully understood the difference between a newborn and an older infant. Infants have personalities, recognize Daddy, can be distracted by things... Now after three months she'll laugh and smile... But a newborn doesn't really DO anything or INTERACT.

Relationships are built upon shared experiences. It'll come, but it might not be right out of the gate. At first, it's mainly about keeping her alive and unharmed, adjusting to your new reality.

* "Be ready to be welcomed into the great big universal club... the commiseration of parents, they'll wink at you and say Yup! Been there, pardner!"

Sorry, but it's absolutely human nature to divide into camps... Team Us and Team Them. And some people are just judgmental by nature. So there's a lot of sub-sub-subgroupings.

There aren't really moms, there are breastfeeding moms, formula moms, supplementing moms, cloth diaper moms, disposable diaper moms, all-natural everything moms, BabyWise moms...

I think that's it for now. I'll think of more. What BabieS BS did you experience with your little bundle of Your Mileage May Vary?

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Dreamed that I was out somewhere driving but also looking up at a very starry sky... and occasionally between the stars I saw fireworks. Not big local fireworks but tiny bursts of color, like when you see a fireworks display from 40 miles away. I remembered thinking I should probably focus on either driving or the cool effect in the night sky.

Then I "woke up" to a campaign room with a colleague and two other people where we were involved with a simulated campaign. And since I had talked in my sleep about how cool and creative the dream was I had to explain to them what it was.

Then I "woke up" from that one and chuckled because I was in a car with Sarah going across the MacArthur causeway and explaining how real the dream within a dream had seemed, but that is completely invented two people in it and didn't realize we didn't actually have all the backstory and shared experience I felt for them... When someone yanked her and some other people out of the car into the median.

I went after them to rescue her, and eventually she got free but I was still being held prisoner by a quack doctor who made me get his book about his health cure onto shelves at Mount Sinai hospital, and to endorse their making it available.

It was clearly "traveling medicine man" style stuff, it said something about Jack Daniels on the label and may have tasted a bit like Dr Pepper. But some very old and handicapped people were wheeled into my little holding area and showed they took it and could walk around some for a little bit. But somehow I also knew that out there it might be causing people forced to try it to collapse and get violently sick. I didn't take it when they wanted me to try it. Sarah was ok because she came to sit with me in the dungeon freely. And when the earth shook I thought that might be my chance to go see if a way out of my dungeon had opened, and if I got caught I could always just say I was looking to see if there's been any damage.

That's the last part I remember... And this was all in maybe an hour, tops.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Okay Detlef Schrempf what next?

Waze has a new option where you can choose to get GPS directions from Vlade Divac.

Was that something people were clamoring for?

Was Manute Bol busy?

I feel like Vlade Divac knocked on their office door one day and said "Here. I had a little time so I recorded every turn and direction for you." and they just kinda said they'd take it to be polite.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Walter Koenig from Star Trek

Very interesting Q&A with Walter Koenig, "Chekov" from Star Trek.

I asked him about the Russian accent --- whether he had to work on it or if he just turned it on.

He said he went out and got a book, and his father was Russian, so he did have to work on it a little.

He said he's always regretted though that he doesn't feel he nailed the "melody", the tonation and singing nature of Russians speaking English.

Not as much of a surprise, he said he enjoyed working with George, Nichelle, James, Leonard.... not much love for William Shatner.

I did think it interesting, when asked about how they all get along since Leonard Nimoy passed. He said it depends... Then he said "I hope to never speak to George [Takei] again."

Wonder what the backstory is there.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Some additional thoughts from Billy Dee Williams Q&A

He doesn't think about ethnicity in characters. He wants characters that are unique from Billy Dee Williams and leaves race discussions to other people.

He says if he could have been in any film it would have been A Streetcar Named Desire.


His grandkids calls him "Grandpa Calrissian"

He was legitimately injured by a squib in the pit of Sarlacc scene. Busted up his toe. He said Harrison Ford kept going with it.

He was always impressed by the sets on batman and the craftsmanship. Thinks the people behind the scenes should get more credit.

Influenced by Rudolph Valentino and Marlon Brando.

"Did you keep anything from the set?" "No. I should have kept the cape." Says the cape was a big part of the character.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

My solemn vow

I hereby pledge not to give Megatron's age out in weird amounts that require extensive mathing.

"Oh she's 21 months!"

"Crap ok... 12 months in a year so that's 9 left over, but we're only seven months into the year so that means really it was November three years ago? Or December? Does this month count as a month?"

I'll stick to reasonable fractions of years or just say when she was born and leave it at that

Friday, June 12, 2015

Did you mean to say Rindfleischetikettierungsüberwachungsaufgabenübertragungsgesetz?

Random thought... If you type in German does iPhone still helpfully suggest other similar words you may be about to use?

Three suggestions and each one is something like schwarzswinehundfluffenveldt? It seems that'd take most of der screen ja?

The answer to the one and only question

No, not 42.

This is all I ever get to say to anyone anymore.

I'm sleeping okay. When things "go right", we give Megatron a bottle and put her down by about 10 pm. She can sleep till 3 am or even 4 am, TheMrs feeds her (I'm helping out as needed). This feeding & changing is generally 45 mins - 1 hr. Then when I get up for work around 6:40 am hopefully she's still asleep.

Now... You have to think of something else to ask when you see me 😏

Friday, April 24, 2015

An open letter to Koala Baby Changing Tables

To the company responsible for Koala brand Baby Changing Tables,

Your product appears to be defective.

I placed Megatron on it, left her there for a minute, picked her up... still the same baby.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Megatron week one

It's now been one week since "Megatron" joined us. I want to get some thoughts out for posterity, and hopefully some things more interesting than just "She's cute, we're tired."

- We're SO appreciative of the time, insights, and support provided by my sistah, the doctah. She made a beeline over here when the contractions started heavy and stayed right by our side... basically sleeping in a chair for a night, meeting us at the hospital, talking with all the doctors and nurses and answering every possible question.

She even saved us from an underinformed pharamacist, whose misinformation would have made TheMrs's recovery much more challenging. She was also there when we had to make a tough decision on just how the kiddo would join us, and through all the best and the worst of the first stages. :) Our moms have been great as well... the only way TheMrs has been able to get some extra catnaps whilst the kiddo is well taken care of.

- We didn't expect her to be over 10 pounds. Or to be 22 inches long. Or to be born with a full head of hair! I'm clinging to the notion that a bigger baby has a headstart on the stages of growth. We'll see if that holds up.

- SwaddleMe was a great idea. I'm really glad someone came up with it, and it's come in handy.

- We took a few classes on things like diapering, nursing, how to be a good dad, etc. We've also solicited advice from family, and read a few books. Has it made everything super-smooth and made it easy-peasy? Of course not. But hopefully it has served us a couple of ways... not making some of the dumber mistakes, understanding why things happen, developing a sense of what's "normal" for newborns that hopefully lessens after a little time, and other things in that category. Hopefully it's at least braced us a bit.

- TheMrs is doing really well so far, handling the new reality like a pro and taking good care of "Megatron". I'm trying to help out where I can along the way... little chores here and there, holding the kiddo long enough for breaks/getting things done, etc. It will be especially challenging once I head back to regular work, but for now it's been doable.

Onward and upward!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Better living through Night Court Season 15

I'm sure I learned pretty much everything I need to know about the childbirth process from the most informative source ever... 80s and early 90s sitcoms.

Let's see...

* At some point she has to shout "YOU DID THIS TO ME!!!" That's usually right before the last push.

* I have to wear a (tear away) long-sleeved dress shirt so she can rip one sleeve off.

* For some reason I will be sent to go boil water.

* one of the nurses must be heavy-set, black, and not about to take no sass, sugar.

* we have to take as many taxicabs as possible the mile or so from here to the hospital because that's where the baby is usually born. That or in a broken elevator, with a nervous man in a dark business suit.

That pretty much covers it, right?

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Kiddo Klass

Class covers important issues including:

* how to sit in the waiting room smoking cigars whilst all the nasty business is being taken care of

* do you tip the doctor?

* how old does a baby have to be to bring you your slippers?

Monday, March 9, 2015

No more crack before bed

I dreamed that I was having a conversation with a couple of random people walking down the street about how the new Colorado Rockies (MLB) owner is pretty out there... That he's the only one where none of his players are in the union because he doesn't believe in it, so when the looming baseball strike comes they may still be playing.

Also, about how he's been a very vocal voice for legalization of marijuana and wants to allow it throughout his stadium at home games.

I said that like it or not, MLB said they wanted a different and challenging kinda new owner for that team, and here it is.

Mind you, I don't think any of the above is the least bit true, and I have absolutely no idea who the owner or owners of the Colorado Rockies are. Or why I'd be thinking of them in the first place.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Hey, would you remind repeating the last 5 minutes of your conversation for me?

Don't be this guy.

You're at an event and you walk up to a small group chatting, and clearly catch the END of a story.

"He'll never go back to THAT store again, lemme tell ya!!!"

Do NOT say "Hey! Who won't go back to that store? Wait, what store? Why won't he go back? Tell me!"

Let the moment go. Hell, you've actually lucked out, the story's probably over, you can even if you really want to try to join in moving forward.

Everyone who needs to understand the details of the anecdote clearly got it. "Hello. Can you summarize the key points of everything you just said to all these people for me?" is at best awkward and in practice kinda rude.

Add in that even casual storytelling has thematic elements --- a sense of timing, buildup, humor, etc... asking to have it Cliff Noted for you will never read you into the experience.

You missed the train. Get the next train.