Aug 2, 2006

Words you never want to hear, example 142:
“Mommy, pee pee just shot out my butt!”

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The Brown Stuff

Jul 23, 2006

Occasionally, a practical joke goes awry.

I spent the better part of a week placing a fake turd in various locations within my sister’s home during my recent vacation there. It’s a lot of fun. You should try it. They found it on their living room. It greeted them when they opened their fridge and peered into their microwave. That little piece of poo got around.

But the normal reaction to its visitation might need some work. It spends a lot of time roaming the Wootton household and the schtick has been honed to near perfection.

“Oh SHIT!,” you exclaim.

“What’s wrong? What happened?” is the reply.

In response, you simply display your brown discovery.

Why isn’t this perfect? When your youngest child, still far from his second birthday, comes upon the plastic sausage, picks it up, and proceeds to march around the house. Proudly, he announces his catch with every passing step.

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Jun 14, 2006

Humour doesn’t need translation.

Two things: I’d love to get a poster of that train for my son’s bedroom. I’ll never look at corn quite the same way again.

I’m fairly certain my wife is familiar with this feeling. I can’t say I’m immune myself.

Thanks to the internet, classic commercials never die.

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Not His Best Day

May 23, 2006

When the wife and I brought Chase home from the hospital, we felt a lot of things. We felt tired. We felt worried. I’ve talked about our concerns. There’s nothing like the scars of a fresh surgery to amplify those feelings. The doctor told us that the surgery went fine. We felt hopeful — at least we tried.

The following week didn’t reinforce the doctor’s statements. Certainly, the little tike was doing better this time around. His wounds were healing at a fast rate. He looked better, a result that surely included two parents with adjusted expectations. His recovery was worlds quicker. After about an hour of entering the house, he wanted out of our arms so that he could hold a full audience with his toys. Two parents had little heart attacks as his tiny steps broke into a full run.

These were rather wonderful things but it was easy to temper our enthusiasm. His eyelid appeared to droop. It didn’t look much better. In fact, it didn’t look much different at all.

This was an emotional fact to confront so I didn’t. I rationalized. He’s healing. It’s still swollen. He doesn’t know it’s fixed. He doesn’t know what to do with it.

As the next or so week passed, the wife and I witnessed flashes of hope. Occasionally, both of his two eyes would appear completely open. He looked up at my wife without the need for me to qualify the experience. The little boy appeared to be progressing but still we worried. His follow-up appointment was scheduled. We feared the results.

ChaseI’m quite happy to report that . The surgery was a success. He’s not done with this problem in his lifetime but he’s done with it now. That’s a timeframe I can live with.

Things are looking up because, more and more, he demonstrates the ability to do just that. He looks up. Things aren’t yet perfect but they are very much improving.

So, today was not his best day. I’m convinced of it. That day is yet to come.

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Open Letters

May 19, 2006

By way of CNet, I came across some excellent advice for the top dogs of the coporate world. Mrs. Slim also had some good advice for us peons.

Due to some recent events, the item with a #2 next to it in each list applies to me, in a rather positive way in both accounts. Just sayin’.

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May 4, 2006

There are few things in the world I’d like to do less than subject my youngest child to a second eye surgery. That is, however, exactly what I’ll be doing tomorrow morning. I’ll be worrying. I’ll be pacing. And my little one will spend a second morning sleeping soundly on an operating table, oblivious to the pain and discomfort that awaits him when he wakes.

The concept is difficult for me. The surgery itself fraught with uncertainty, filled with much more mystery than I first anticipated. 6 months ago the wife and I went through a similar process. We wondered if we were doing the right thing. We worried that we choose a bad course of action or rushed to action. The consequences weren’t something you could read off a handy list. How well will he sleep? Will the scars forever haunt him?

All those concerns remain. This time, however, we’ve added something significant to our thoughts: will it work?

I hope so. I’ll certainly be praying to that effect.

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Predicting E3

May 3, 2006

E3 is an interesting beast. The flurry of news that spews from gaming’s little trade show piles a virtual mountain of information on my computer desk from which I’m unlikely to emerge with any action resembling haste. With both Nintendo and Sony poised to chat about their new entries in the console war and Microsoft out to prove that the 360 won’t be a just stopgap until the PS3 arrives, it’ll be a fun, and rather interesting, week.

While some this week will be spent poring over the slowly leaking pre-release news, I thought I’d take the lull in activity to register a few predictions, some risky, some decidedly not. I’ll revisit these later and see how I did.

Microsoft will announce a bigger hard drive for the Xbox 360

This move will largely be a response to Sony’s announcement of a 60 GB hard drive for the PS3. How big? 100 is a nice round number. This rumor has the size correct. The price, however, is another matter.

Sony will not announce a price for the Playstation 3

Some will say it’ll be a wonderful surprise for later. Others would say that we really don’t want to know. We only know it’s going to be expensive. That will have to be enough for now.

A number within a single dollar of $500 is rather likely to show up on a sign near you. Expect them to hold this news until late summer. Expect them to sell every one of the 1 or 2 million machines that they produce this year, regardless of the price tag found on the box.

Microsoft will announce a price drop …. for the original Xbox

Microsoft won’t, however, announce a price drop for the suddenly price competitive Xbox 360. Why ignore the improved offspring in favor of its parent? Simple economics.

The 360 doesn’t need to shed pennies at the moment. The timing is all wrong. I count 6 months between now and the likely November release of its real competitor. The pressure continues to mount to establish a convincing lead in terms of hardware sales. That remains more of a supply than a price issue heading into the summer months. Microsoft could have a $100 price advantage when Sony finally enters the market. Don’t expect Microsoft to play with price tags until Sony finally lays its cards on the table. Even then, no promises are likely to be made.

On the other hand, the original Xbox isn’t faring so well. It’s quickly finding itself without many friends. Third-party support is quickly drying up, reflecting a lack of support from its first part developer. Microsoft began to ignore their giant black box late last year. Everyone else is about to do the same. They only need to clear the warehouse.

Sony will make you believe that Live was their idea

Sony won’t talk about Xbox Live. They are likely to deny its existence entirely. Their press conference will, however, inspire quite a bit a deja vu. Sony will outline a set of features that do more than just mimic the online capabilities currently available on Microsoft’s circle infested machine. You’ll add PlayBuddies to some type of registry. You’ll add up PlayPoints, earned from each PS3 game, to form an ultimate PlayScore.

Remember folks, their idea. All. Along.

Nintendo will be the talk to the show

Somewhere between the blaring videos of Sony’s promises and hubbub that should accompany Microsoft’s first round of real software for the next generation, you’ll find Nintendo’s tiny box. It’ll be different. It’ll have that fancy remote we’ve heard so much about. Most importantly, it’ll be unique. Unique is exactly what you want to be in a room full of jaded journalists who’ve spent a lifetime playing the same old thing. How the hell do you play with the damn thing anyway?

Nintendo might have no clue how to name the damn thing but don’t be surprised if the press is just snapping at their heels, for good or bad. I’m guessing it’ll be the former.

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Counting to Three

Apr 18, 2006

The wife and I have been discussing the possibility of a third child lately. It’s not what you think. We aren’t actually planning for an expansion to our family. But, let’s just say that a third bundle of joy was a possibility — a possibility that a couple of trips to the drugstore helped eliminate.

These types of discussions change a bit when the planning portion of a planned family is briefly taken from your grasp. Memories come flooding back. A little child rests in your arms. The alarm clock becomes a useless device, unneeded when the late morning hours start before the sun rises. Diapers get a bit smaller and bottles again rest inside the fridge.

Emotions you had forgotten stop by to say hello. A little fear, a little longing, and a good mixture of both play a part. Economic ramifications spring to mind and time allows you to consider what more family would mean to your current family.

And then you find out it’s a false alarm. That’s a good thing. I think.

I don’t know if we’ll ever be ready to count to three. There’s a good chance it’ll be never. But, I suppose, you never know.

I wanted to congratulate my friends Jason and Tina on their recent announcement. Good luck you two. The wife and I wish you guys the best.

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Apr 18, 2006

You might notice that things are looking a bit different around here. After getting a little bit hamstrung by comment spam and quite annoyed at the mechanisms available to me to deal with it, I recently abandoned Movable Type for WordPress. In other words, the software behind this thing changed. For most folks, this means that things are a little prettier. For me, it means I can spend a little more time blogging and a little less time watching the spam counter grow. All signs point to this being a permanent change.

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I’m a few hours in.

If you thought Top Spin was a great game, you’ll find a lot to like in Top Spin 2. If you thought Virtua Tennis was perfect, you’ll find that Top Spin 2 has stolen even more from its inspiration this time around.

Mostly, this means things are a bit harder. Positioning is more important, both to make contact and to effectively return the ball. You can now hit things out. A deft touch is now an advantage and a skill. The career mode is deeper, longer, and more interesting.

So, it’s better, a good bit better than number 1. But, it still doesn’t support doubles play with 4 separate machines. That latter fact is disappointing. I’ll have to whip my friends one person at a time.

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