Friday, September 25, 2009

Learning all sorts of things

Did you know that the Alphabet Song and Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star have the same tune? I don't know how many times I've sung both of those, but I never realized it before.

Sleep, I hardly know thee

I can see why new parent turn into "walking zombies." The first few days, Squeakaboo slept great. Last night, we went to bed at 1 AM, she fed until 2:30 or 3, and she woke up again at 5. Hopefully I can get a nappy-time this afternoon.

Unrelated, I was listening to talk radio last night driving home from the vet's when one of the hosts said (the context might be wrong, but the phrasing is right): "And from a janitor for the TSA we got the download on the situation..."

"Download"? I guess it is the digital age now...

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Ups and downs

BYU lost.

On the other hand, my two-year-old retirement account is in the black for the first time ever, thanks to the strong market over the past week.

In the grand scheme of things, I probably came out ahead.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

It's a minionette!

A new recruit has joined the Drek & Child World Domination Organization! It's a girl; 7 pounds, 4 ounces, 22.5 inches long, born at 2:09 AM on 9/17/09. No name yet.

Helpful hint #1: Men: take off your wedding ring during labor. This will prevent an imprint of it from being permanently embedded on the fingers to both sides.

Child twittered updates during labor. Actually, she had me do the updates, which is why one of them said, "Ho0-ah!"

A side effect of this was that my technologically-inclined cousin was one of the first to know Child was having her baby (from the Twitter stream), and posted it on Facebook, where my sister saw it and mentioned it to my mother later that morning.

Helpful hint #2: Make sure your mother doesn't hear about your new baby third-hand.

In our defense, we were planning to actually call people later that morning after we had woken up. Anyway, probably because of her distressing lateness in hearing the news, my mom rushed up to Draper to say hi and see her new granddaughter.

Child's parents visited later that afternoon. They were good enough to bring a few essentials, and it was actually Child's mom's birthday so she and her granddaughter share the same birthday now!

Mother and daughter are doing great and did great during the delivery as well. Active labor was only about four hours long, which was nice.

Helpful hint #3: Don't complain about how much your hand hurts when your wife squeezes it during a contraction.

Also during that day, Child's best friend Kestrel stopped by, also bringing an essential or two. She's actually been really great, coming by several times to check up on Child, bring little gifts, and generally support Child. A real life-saver.

Later that evening, Child's sister and brother-in-law came by and brought dinner with them, which was great. A lady from church had also brought dinner (meatloaf for carnivorous me, and zucchini soup for vegetarian Child) which we tucked away in the fridge.

My sister and brother-in-law were also came down from Idaho to buy a minivan, so they stopped by and saw the Kid also. I took the Kid outside so we could check out their new minivan, and on the way back inside I saw our next-door neighbor. We live in the end unit of a townhome and she lives right next to us, so Child and I were worried that we may have kept her awake during the birth. (Oh yeah, we did a water birth at home.) I showed her the kid and apologized for any noise, but she claimed she didn't hear a thing. Not sure I believe her.

Speaking of the water birth at home, Child had an uphill battle to convince me it was a better idea than the hospital. I'm very sciency and Child is very alternative, so we clash occasionally over things like that. Once Child changed tactics and pointed out that not only would I have free acccess to a refrigerator during the birth, but that a midwife would cost less than a third of our insurance maternity deductible, I was sold.

In retrospect she was totally right; the home birth went great, everything was relaxed (as much as could be during a birth), and having a midwife and assistant giving Child their undivided attention was great. Child had a much better experience then I imagine she would have had in a hospital, and the Kid probably did too.

Helpful hint #4: don't suggest to your wife that you might go play Frisbee the day after your daughter is born.

On day two (today), Child and Kid went outside for a brief bit o' sunshine. It was Child's furthest venture since the Kid was born. Child's a little sore (can't imagine why) so she's mostly been staying in bed while I've been running food and dishes between the upstairs and downstairs.

I did a quick back-of-the-envelope calculation: given that there are 14 stairs, and I've made a trip upstairs or downstairs on average every 10 minutes for the past two days, that means I've walked about ten billion stairs in the last 48 hours. Oh, my suffering. Can anything compare?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Football Rankings

I'm not a huge football fan, but I enjoy following BYU football. It seems like one of the recurring debates in college football (and probably most sports) is about the best way to rank teams.

If A beats B by 10 points, and the next week B turns around and beats A by 10 points, who is better?

If A beats B, and B beats C, and C beats A, who is better?

Anyway, it's only two weeks into the football season, but we can already start to compare teams with each other. BYU has only played two teams (Oklahoma and Tulane), but those teams have each played one other team, and those teams have each played one other, etc. Our network begins to come together.

If we take all the connections we can make and look strictly at the scores, we can come up with an initial ranking. It doesn't tell us much, because if BYU beats Oklahoma by 1 point and Utah beats Utah State by 18, Utah might look better strictly based on the score, but it really depends on how Oklahoma compares to Utah State.

As the network starts to fill out (e.g. as Oklahoma is eventually connected to Utah State) I think the numbers will make more sense, but just for kicks here's my own top 25 rankings after two weeks:

Florida: 40.8 (same)
California: 39 (same)
Nebraska: 37.5 (same)
Texas: 35 (same)
Brigham Young: 33.2 (same)
Iowa: 32
Cincinnati: 32 (same)
Oklahoma: 32 (same)
Texas Tech: 31
UCLA: 30.3
Boise State: 29.4 (same)
Alabama: 29.3 (same)
USC: 27.4 (same)
Boston College: 27
Auburn: 26.3
Tennessee: 25.3
Ohio State: 24 (same)
Duke: 23.7
Houston: 23.5 (same)
LSU: 22.8 (same)
Kentucky: 22.6
Pittsburgh: 22
Penn State: 22 (same)
Michigan: 21.8 (same)
Georgia Tech: 21

The numbers are the average points they beat other teams by (directly, or indirectly through intermediate teams). If it says "(same)" afterwards, then it was also on the AP top 25 rankings (although not necessarily at the same rank).

Surprisingly, the AP poll and I had 15 of the 25 teams in common, although all this really tells me is that my method isn't totally flawed. I'd still trust the AP poll over my technique because they're taking (most likely) better things into account than I am, but I'll be interested to see how we compare once more games are played.

AP ranking:

1 Florida
2 Texas
4 Alabama
5 Mississippi
5 Penn State
7 Brigham Young
8 California
10 Boise State
11 Ohio State
12 Oklahoma
13 Virginia Tech
14 Georgia Tech
15 TCU
16 Oklahoma State
17 Cincinnati
18 Utah
19 Nebraska
20 Miami (FL)
21 Houston
22 Kansas
23 Georgia
24 North Carolina
25 Michigan

Monday, September 14, 2009


I finally looked up what my blood type meant. I'm AB+, which means I belong to an elite group of "Bloodies" to which only 3.4% of Americans belong. We are universal recipients, or the bankers of the transfusion world, happy to rake in the "red gold" from anyone, while stingy and particular about who we doll it back out to.

Ah, it feels good to find out I'm part of exclusive club which I had no control over joining and couldn't leave if I wanted.

Friday, September 11, 2009


Most people have a friend or friends who play World of Warcraft or similar computer games for hours a day. My last semester in college, I had roommates who would play every evening late into the night, and resume play the next morning. I would shake my head and think "They're on the computer way too much," and I'd try to convince them to come out to club meetings or sport activities with me.

After talking with Child today, I really started to realize how many things in our lives are simply a matter of opinion, or motivation, or goal. I thought my roommates spent too much time on the computer--but Child probably thinks I spend too much time on the computer. And I know my mother would in turn think that Child spends too much time on the computer. Going on, I've no doubt that the Amish think ANY time on the computer is too much.

It really is just a matter of interests and motivation.

Child and I come from two very different backgrounds. Child's mother did everything, from cooking to cleaning to laundry. Child was never allowed to cook, much less encouraged to.

My siblings and I, on the other hand, had regularly assigned meals to make. We had a large enough family that us children made most breakfasts (oatmeal, scrambled eggs, or pancakes), and we regularly helped with laundry and all the other usual household chores.

So I get into college life and I'm more than happy to spend $1.50 on a loaf of bread rather than making it from scratch. Which I did at home. Regularly. It takes hours. I evolved laziness to an art form, or per the point I'm trying to make, I assumed a different set of values. I valued time and convenience over superior taste and healthiness of food.

Moving on, I get married. I take my college values into married life and do my best to avoid "work." Why use five dishes to make a meal when you can eat straight from the pot and get away with three? Why vacuum every day when you can vacuum every other day and your visitors are none the wiser? Why start a large chair-refinishing project when you moved away from home to get away from that?

This resulted in an interesting disconnect between Child and I. Child thought I didn't make meals because I didn't know how, while I simply valued my time over an elaborate meal. She thought I didn't do laundry because I didn't know how, while I was simply...well, lazy.

Ironically, at the same time she thought I didn't know how to do laundry, I was secretly thinking I'd be better at doing laundry then her, just because she never did laundry growing up while I did it all the time. I was smart enough not to say anything because then I'd end up doing the laundry, but that was where we stood.

So after some long discussions with Child today, where I clarified that I was lazy because I valued my time over most other things, and where she clarified that I better stop being lazy, I realized that there's really no "right" or "wrong" values (unless you're talking about religion or ethics). However, making a marriage work requires that you at least understand your partner's values. If you don't, you won't understand what makes them tick and it will cause a lot of problems.

Intermountain Healthcare

My brother-in-law IM'd me yesterday. He recently quit his job to start his own business and is in the process of looking for health insurance. I told him Child and I used Intermountain Healthcare and that it was pretty decent for health insurance.

Apparently Obama thinks so too. In his speech to the nation about healthcare, he singled out IHC. "We have long known that some places, like the Intermountain Healthcare in Utah...offer high-quality care at cost below average," Obama said.

When questioned about it, one of the VPs from IHC said, "I think that in Utah, that the providers here often do the right thing in spite of the fact that it's not what is financially rewarded. And around the country, that's less true than it is here."

Interesting. It's kinda nice to know we have a good health insurance company. Even if they have a crazy-high deductible for maternity: $6,500, which doesn't cover the cost of a hospital birth unless something goes wrong. As a matter-of-fact, that was partly what convinced Child and me to do a home birth.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Great Day

Yesterday was a great day. I just have to post about how great it was. It started off with Frisbee in the morning, under a cool, cloudy sky. Our team worked together really well and we kept the edge over the other team most of the game.

Afterwards, I went to a writing meeting and got some good comments on my submission.

After that, Child and I ate sushi with an old friend.

After that, I came home and took a nap, then watched the BYU-Oklahoma game on, where BYU pulled off a stunning victory.

Doesn't get much better than that.

(Oh, and Child and I also watched the latest Psych episode on -- great show.)

Saturday, September 05, 2009

BYU WON!!! Yes, that deserves three exclamation points!

22-something point underdogs and we beat Oklahoma, 14-13!