Almost Birthday

October has been busy and has mostly flown by. Emily is crawling, Sarah is about to get her driver’s license, and Erin is probably running for a political office. Late nights are a gamble between if I want time to myself or should I get some sleep.

In that time I’ve been playing a new racing game and am rediscovering my interest in going outdoors.  I’m not actually going outdoors yet but it seems like something less impossible now that Emily has begun to move on her own.

In about a year she’ll be able to walk on the gravel path very easily and Sarah will probably be running six minute miles.  I’m realizing how much my hobbies have morphed around my flexibility.  Right now there is none so I spend lots of time around a TV and computer doing things that don’t require long blocks of time.

I’m 35 in about a week and it makes no difference to me.  There’s a new proper Mario game (don’t ask why I say proper, the explanation is too nerdy) coming out in a few days – the first in over seven years.  I’d like to take Sarah to go and buy it with me.

Happy Halloween!

Ten Years

Ten years ago this website turned into a blog and I’ve been updating it ever since.  In the last ten years my then girlfriend, now wife has become a doctor and two little kids have appeared in my house.  I don’t intend to stop the site nor will I ever put advertisements on it.

Thanks for coming by.

A blog post about a single light bulb

In 2005 I moved from California to Minnesota.  My job gave me a few hundred dollars to refurnish my new tiny apartment.  I could have bought one real wood table or furnished a whole twenty-something’s apartment with the crap at Ikea.  I had no choice.

After the first move (to New York), I lost most of the furniture and after the second move, only lamp remained.  The lamp itself is as simple as it gets so it surviving was only impressive because it was branded Ikea.

But that’s all the tease.  The real story is the light bulb I bought for that lamp.  LED lamps were pretty new at the time and when I saw one that said it’d last ten years, I naturally thought it was a good deal.  I can’t remember what I spent on it but it was the best thing I’ve ever purchased at an Ikea.

It’s very tiny and put out very little light which made it so useful.  The last six months, this has been on non-stop overnight as a night light to help getting Emily from her crib/fed/changed without waking her with bright light.  This has been perfect.

But it’s 2017.  This bulb was used nightly for twelve years.  It was the bulb we left on when we were out of the house or on vacation because it barely got warm and would give the illusion of us being home.  It banged around in three states two moving trucks, and four homes.

Last week it died.  I honestly never thought it would.  I figured it was so dim and so low power that it would be something I’d leave in my will.  But no, it actually died.

I hate Ikea.  That’s blasphemy to say around some people but I really do.  Their cute marketing doesn’t outweigh their business issues.  Politics aside, they branded a very, very good light bulb.

I took a photo and don’t even want to throw it away but I will after this post.  This soldier deserves its parade.  Thank you, dim Ikea LED bulb.  You’ve been one of the best and most reliable things I’ve ever purchased.

More Dogs

Remember the old dog post?

Sarah started preschool today so I thought it’d be worth seeing what dog she now is.  I also wanted to include Emily’s first.

Even in a less happy photo it was the same.

Emily is definitely eager to prey on small animals.

Sarah surprisingly didn’t change.  I had to rotate the photo because it was having trouble finding the sideways face.

Declaring War

We’re nearly at the end of July and for a month I’ve been out launching frogs with a pool net almost every night.

But that’s not where this story starts.

Man is an apex predator.  With technology, the apex-est predator there is.  We not only can kill an animal, we can wipe out a whole species and salt the land making sure that nothing even remotely like you can flourish in the future.

And man needs his sleep.

I live in a noisy house.  I have a toddler with endless energy, a noisy six-month-old baby, and a “loud sleeping” wife.  My house isn’t large and mostly tiled so sound waves just bounce around until they hit my ears.  It’s never quiet.

In May, the red spotted toad (above) started to crawl out of its hiding places and curse Tucson with its screams.  Frogs ribbit, right?  WRONG.  This frog screams.  All night long.

Now this is the first year that the pool chemicals have been “excellent” (because I’m no longer in charge of them), so I know it isn’t too far off either end of the pH scale.  Maybe the frogs can sense this and it doesn’t burn their skin.

These frogs are loud.  The pool is about twenty feet from my bed and I’m only separated by a single window/wall.  Within twenty feet, I have at least three of these awful animals singing to me.

Alone they will scream for 40-50 seconds, stop for about ten, then start screaming again.  When there are others, you’ll hear different pitches in their voices and like the Benedictine Monks, it never ends.

That is until July.  In July I declared war on these awful creatures.

They start up around 9PM but really get going around 11PM and will go until 4AM if you let them.  I can hear many others in the dry river behind our house. It’s only wet after it rains, and only for a few hours or a day at most.

They’ll climb the wall and hang out by the pool.  If they were quiet then they could have all the fun they wanted.  But they aren’t.  And I want those kids off my lawn.

I have a pool leaf net that is about eight feet long.  I can easily reach the other side of the pool from a single spot.  I finally went out there one night and caught them one by one and gently dropped them on the other side of the fence.

But they were back in less than a half hour.  It was my fault.  I was nice.

I slowly tossed them a bit farther every time hoping that they wouldn’t find their way back.  After about four days, seeing the same few frogs and new ones all the time, I stopped being nice.

I’ve started launching them as far as I can as if I’m using a lacrosse stick.  My strategy is to scare them into the water where they’re easier to catch in the netting.  Then I slowly lift them to not scare them and whip it as hard as I can into the dry riverbed.

I’ll normally go out there around 11PM, midnight, and maybe 1AM.  Usually by then they won’t try to come back until the next day.

By now I have launched at least 100 and only been (temporarily) outsmarted once.  One frog thought it’d be smart to climb up into the rocks beside the pool.  He was right, but I came out about 30 minutes later and taught him how to fly.

I work with my next door neighbor and he’s thanked me for my efforts.  These frogs are a menace.

I can’t do anything about the sounds happening within my house, but at least I can show a bunch of two-ounce desert frogs to fear a pool-net-wielding man in underwear.