Monday, January 30, 2006

Alastair just peed on me. Actually, he peed on everything within a 3' radius, which happened to include me. Mostly he peed on a baby-wipe, but not before he hit the changing table, his crib, the floor, a box, the rocking chair, and me. With this, I have now passed the essential rite of passage of fatherhood. Oh joy.

Boy logged several hours of sleep last night, too, so we both got a fair amount, ourselves.


I got my fancy aluminum racing pedals in the other day, and promptly installed them. Funny enough, just adding a pedal cover to the brake pedal was one of the most difficult things I've done to the car. Drilling through steel isn't easy when there's no clearance issue, but doing so at an angle, on an object that moves by its very nature, is no walk in the park. The bit squirmed all around, and I had an ugly hole when I was done. The pedal spent 2 days crooked before I went out with the Dremel and tidied it up. Now they are (mostly) straight and look great.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

My Secret Weapon...

in the war against sleeplessness is caffeine. Why fight the nocturnal cycle of my 5-day-old, when I can join him in his late-night wakefulness? Amanda has already logged 3+ hours of sleep tonight, minus two periods of feeding. Me? It's almost 2am, near the end of Alastair's normal freak-out period, and the first twinges of sleepyness are just setting in. Rock out; I may just join him in getting drowsy enough to sleep tonight.

I sucked down a homemade mocha at about 9pm tonight, curled up with a good book, and set Alastair to swinging in his motorized swing-chair at midnight. Amazingly, he slept for an hour and a half. Hopefully we'll coax a bit more sleep out of him.

I just realized I haven't posted any pictures of the boy:

Thursday, January 26, 2006

No Sleep Til Brooklyn

Yeah, last night was rough. Whooee. Alastair got his first bedtime story, and was sleeping soundly on my chest, when I figured he was ready for the bed. Immediately upon placing him there, he let me have it: full-tilt wail for about 3 hours. Wuh. We changed him, we fed him, we rocked him, we even got frustrated with him (not that that ever helps, but hey, it's what we did), and finally we resorted to the tried & true pacifier: instant sleep.

Then today, we got him up for his first trip to the pediatrician, who poked him in the leg with a needle and froze him near to death with a stethoscope, and after that it was off to LabCorp for another bilirubin test (which entailed another dreadful poke with a needle).

It's been a long day. Hopefully he'll be too zonked to freak out tonight.

As an aside (hopefully these entries will be well preserved when he's a teenager), he has thoroughly wet himself several times today. Not being content with merely filling a diaper, he has found a way to pee that completely avoids filling the diaper, but rather soaks his entire back-side. That boy's a mystery. But I love him more than I ever thought possible, so it doesn't bother me to pick him up by a wet onesy.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

We're all fine here, thank you. How are you?

Momma and baby came home today. The kitties weren't thrilled, but as expected, Vivienne wants to be relatively near the baby, and Lucy hasn't been seen since we walked in the door.

He's eating--and pooping--well, gets good sleep (so far), and scares the bejeezus out of us. Just the same, he makes me about the proudest guy in the world.

I love my little boy. I love my darling Amanda, too, but she already knows that. :)

Monday, January 23, 2006


Thanks to everyone for your well-wishes, your visits, calls, gifts, and offers of support. It's truly inspiring to realize the love that friends and family can share. You guys rock.

We've just completed a very exhausting Day One, and Alastair finally began to suckle at about 11pm. Amanda got some drugs and should be fast asleep when I get back to the hospital.

There may be no new posts tomorrow, but really you've already read the magic words that had us all biting our nails with anticipation: mother and child are alive and well. Oh yeah, and dad didn't faint or throw up. :)

Sunday, January 22, 2006

And Introducing...

Alastair Paul Ramsey Amos was brought into this world at 7:50am today, weighing 7 pounds, 12 ounces. He's lovely, and his mother is the biggest badass I've ever known. No pain relief until after the delivery, and only local anesthetic, at that.

Amanda is recovering well, and I'm going back to the hospital to be with her soon.

It's been a long day, and it's only 12:19pm.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

It's time

We're heading to the hospital. Contractions have been on-going and intensifying since about 3pm. Wish us luck!

Herbal Tea kind of day

It's warm outside, but you wouldn't know to look out the window. The ground is wet, and it's January, after all. Everything has that cold and bitter look. So it's a great day to sit around, suffer with cabin fever, and drink warm beverages.

Amanda says the warm beverages feel really good right now, as she's experiencing some light cramping. Her belly is as hard as an over-inflated soccer ball.

I feel like a soldier waiting for the enemy to advance on my position. The anticipation is driving us batty.

Friday, January 20, 2006


No dilation, but 50% effaced! The wheels are finally in motion... Stay tuned for more details.

Braxton and Hicks were assholes

Last night, around 9pm, Amanda said she was feeling funny. She said she felt differently from how she'd felt throughout the pregnancy, and couldn't quite describe it, except to compare it mildly with PMS feelings. I suggested that we should go for a walk, since that's supposed to lend insight into whether you're actually in labor.

We went for a long walk, during which she said she still felt a little funny, but the feeling did not intensify, and seems to have mostly abated overnight.

Assessment: Braxton-Hicks contractions. I.e., false-labor.

She has a 2pm ultra-sound and doctor's appointment today, and has taken her bags just in case the doctor wants to admit her.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Words are funny

First, there's nothing new from Alastair. It's winter, and he's warm. Would you go outside naked in winter if you didn't have to?

Anyway, I love language. I am a pedant, a grammarian, and I am terribly annoying about it. One of the more curious aspects of the English language is our vast collection of nouns to describe disparate multitudes. I was researching an antiquated word today and came across an amusing list of nouns of multitude:

bevy, a company of roe deer, larks, or quail
cast, the number of hawks or falcons cast off at one time, usually a pair
cete, a company of badgers
covert, a flock of coots
covey, a family of grouse, partridges, or other game birds
drift, a drove or herd, especially of hogs
exaltation, a flight of larks
fall, a family of woodcock in flight
flight, a flock of birds in flight
gaggle, a flock of geese
gam, a school of whales, or a social congregation of whalers, especially at sea
kennel, a number of hounds or dogs housed in one place or under the same ownership
kindle, a brood or litter, especially of kittens
litter, the total number of offspring produced at a single birth by a multiparous mammal
murder, a flock of crows
muster, a flock of peacocks
nide, a brood of pheasants
pod, a small herd of seals or whales
pride, a company of lions
rout, a company of people or animals in movement, especially knights or wolves
school, a congregation of fish, or aquatic mammals such as dolphins or porpoises
shrewdness, a company of apes
skein, a flight of wildfowl, especially geese
skulk, a congregation of vermin, especially foxes, or of thieves
sloth, a company of bears
sord, a flight of mallards
sounder, a herd of wild boar
stable, a number of horses housed in one place or under the same ownership
swarm, a colony of insects, such as ants, bees, or wasps, especially when migrating to a new nest or hive
troop, a number of animals, birds, or people, especially when on the move
warren, the inhabitants, such as rabbits, of a warren
watch, a flock of nightingales
wisp, a flock of birds, especially of snipe

Sadly, I need to get on a conference call with a shrewdness.

For a good time, go here: Wow.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

3 Bells of the Forenoon Watch, and All's Clear

Nothing new to report on the baby front.

OK, whatever you're doing, stop it right now and go buy the book Master and Commander. This is some of the best literature I've ever encountered. I'm on the 5th book right now, Desolation Island, and I can plainly state that Patrick O'Brian was a master word-smith.

His stories are told in the language of the time (early 19th century), he does not dumb-down the naval speech, and there's subtext everywhere. Humor is infused, but so subtly that you can easily miss it.

If you enjoyed the movie, you'll love the books, but you'll be absolutely stunned at how subdued the movie was. The men of a 19th century warship suffered under conditions that we would consider less than sub-human, and did so willingly.

Amazing stuff, absolutely amazing.


So I went out and did some testing of my "new" brakes yesterday, and I can't wait for the weather to get good enough to re-install the Wilwoods. The brakes are still strong, but nothing compared to what I've been on for the last 9 months. Copied below is my entry on the matter at

Yesterday I put my stock calipers back on, along with a pair of lightly used Brembo rotors, Axxis Ultimate front pads, stainless lines, brass caliper-bushings, and new fluid.
Today, I went out to see what kind of difference this would make to my stopping distances. I had been told to expect these changes to make about 80% of the force of a BBK, but I can't say that I'm sold. This setup will stay on the car for the winter months, but will probably never see competition. I'd rather stay in STX and stop quickly than compete in STS and nail the cones.

Previous test data:
Avon M500 215/50WR16, SSR Comp 16x7, Wilwood 12.2" BBK: 128.5' (-0.98G)
Kumho MX 215/45YR17, SSR GT-7 17x7.5, Wilwood 12.2" BBK & Axxis Ultimate rear pads: 115.5' (-1.11G)
Today's test:
Kumho MX 215/40YR17, Kosei K1-TS 17x7, stock calipers, brass bushings, stainless lines, Axxis Ultimate front & rear pads, Brembo front rotors: 130.8' (-0.97G)

I did another pass, remembering that the second stop is generally better. It didn't hold, this time, as I only managed 133'. Granted, I had just bedded-in the pads, and was starting to feel the tiniest bit of fade, but not 15' worth.
Also, it doesn't seem that the brass bushings do anything. At all. Maybe I'm just spoiled by the Wilwoods, but the brakes feel mushy, slow to respond, and have nowhere near the bite. I'd be willing to bet these fall slightly closer to the stock setup than to a BBK in terms of stopping power.
Finally, the last thing to note is the heat: the right-front rotor was hot enough to warm my face from over 2 feet away when I got home. That ain't right.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

2 Days Overdue

Alastair Paul Ramsey Amos is now two days overdue. Amanda went in for a check-up this morning, and they performed an ultra-sound (revealing that he's in the right position, has dropped, and weighs about 8 lbs.) and a non-stress test, checking his heart-rate. He's fine; she's fine, but there's no dilation, so we're in a bit of a holding pattern.

The room is now 90% ready. There's a rocking chair that Amanda's dad is staining for us, and once that's done, the room will be fully prepped.


However, since we're in a holding pattern, I figured this weekend was as good as any for some long-overdue car work. I put my "stock" brakes back on yesterday, along with my new Alta end-links. By stock, I mean that the calipers are stock. Everything else is after-market, from the rotors and pads to the fluid, caliper-bushings, and lines. I hope to get out and do some braking tests soon, but I'm anticipating results somewhat similar to the Wilwoods.

There's a new clacking sound, but I can't tell if that's the end-links or the brass bushings on the brakes.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

I'm such a geek

So today I'm wearing my newest piece of nerd paraphernalia: a Motorola HS 850 Bluetooth Headset for my LG 8100 cell phone. Wow. The possibilities...

I've had all of two conversations on the thing, but I'm very impressed. Other than the slightly uncomfortable feeling of something bopping against my cheek, it's really freakin' awesome. I can voice-dial, people sound crisp and clear, and I no longer have to mash the phone into my ear to hear over background noise. What's more, I'm free to type with both hands (or continue whatever other activity had my attention prior to the call). It's very light, and will probably sit on my ear on the drive home today.

That's how exciting my life is...

OK, that's a lie: I'll (potentially) be a dad this weekend. Amanda is officially due on Sunday, and we can't wait to meet Alastair. The little dude's been on my mind non-stop for weeks, and the anticipation is killing me. Heaven help us if he's two weeks late.

His room was principally ready on Saturday, and then the crazy women at church held yet another shower, so now we're back into chaos. It'll get there.