Tuesday, April 08, 2008
Jay: Happy Birthday
To my young friend Dana Lewis, who gave me a preview of the kids, especially, I’d say, Valerie.
Jay: Happy Birthday
Jay: Happy Birthday
To blogger Tibi Puiu.
Monday, April 07, 2008
In case I don’t get time to post in the morning, I do have a couple birthdays to post later, and will presumably have an interview experience to mention retrospectively. I’m due in Needham at 10:00 AM for one, where I should also get to see the former colleague who has been responsible for getting me two interviews so far.
The truck is gassed up. It’s about 38 miles each way, which is expensive these days. It’s momentum, anyway. Temporary or not, I feel good about it.
I also have at least one tiny bit of client work expected next week. A little grocery money, anyway. Speaking of which, tomorrow I need to stop on the way home for Benadryl for Henry. He needs some most days. At least today we confirmed he is bothered significantly by the bath. Even Valerie seems to have been affected by it. Either there’s residue or growth that’s not obvious and hits hard, or something about the water itself, or something about the tub itself. In retrospect, this started when he started bathing in the big tub.
Tonight no soap was used while he was in there, and the temperature was reasonable. He went in there fine. He came out as rashy as he ever gets, which is in proportion to the length of time. It seems worst where he most touches the tub, counting that he gets on his belly and crawls/swims around. The thing is, his very worst spots are where his face gets washed regularly, usually with just a damp cloth - water with no soap, plastic, rubber, etc., and a cloth that shouldn’t hurt him that gets laundered in detergent we have no evidence hurts him, as it shouldn’t.
Further experimentation will follow, obviously, including no baths some days, either at all or going in the shower with one of us instead, and the cleaning to end all cleanings.
It remains clear that he handles bananas badly. It remains clear that something happened that was most likely related to dairy - probably a specific package of cheese and its histamines - or eggs, and was more topical than internal. It’s unlikely now that either Deb eating eggs or him eating raw pears was a factor recently. It’s unlikely he was bothered by anything he might have ingested in trace amounts yesterday. It’s clear that washing his hands with Dial was bad. It’s clear that he reacts either chemically, texturally, or both to some of the screen printing on my T-shirts. He can eat rice, oatmeal, apples, butternut, carrots, and unofficially peanut butter and raisins with no apparent issue. He’ll probably get to eat sweet potato tomorrow, as I made extra tonight to save for the purpose. That’s likely to be fine, too. But you can see how confusing it would be to feed something, then have him broken out in rash in the evening… after a bath.
Stay tuned for another exciting episode of As the Rash Reddens…
Jay: An Adventure
I tend to get to Friday and say “gee, I didn’t get X, Y or Z done, but hey, I have all weekend and can plow through it.” Then I get to Monday and wonder what the hell happened. It’s like that, and all I can say is I maybe didn’t go backward, so that’s relief.
Henry and I went to grandma’s house for dinner and birthday cake for me and my mother, which was fun. He seems to like my older brother, of all people, though he was friendly, or at least not freaking out, in general.
My information conveyed Saturday about what he can eat, centered on absolutely no dairy yet, didn’t filter through to prevent the butternut squash from being mashed with butter before it hit the table. The mashing part being kind of bad too, as it renders it something he can’t pick up himself. That left him able to eat chicken. And the puffed rice I brought. In practice he ate a pile of the chicken, a little rice, a pea or two, and a bunch of the puffed rice. The chicken was cooked in rice with chicken broth, green pepper chunks, and whatever flavoring. At some point it had gotten a little margarine, which was the only concern. The peas had some kind of buttery sauce, apparently one of those frozen packages, which included pearl onions. He stole a couple of them and some of the rice from my plate, after which I gave him a bit more of the rice.
I hung out there quite a while, because he ended up sleeping like a log in the car seat, up on the dining room table. He’s slept a few minutes of the ride there, after staring at me like I was betraying him for making him sleepy. On the way home he didn’t sleep. In both cases, he seemed to enjoy the ride and change of scenery.
It doesn’t seem like food bothered him. However, he got rashy after his bath. It’s increasingly apparent he is either sensitive to Dove’s sensitive skin variant, or something in the tub bothers him through contact, which would be less of a surprise.
Speaking of the older brother, we had a funny conversation that almost got his head bitten off.
He was telling me I might have to take just any job to support the family, doing something I don’t like. He compared his guitar playing with my using computers. He could have spent all his time playing guitar for the past 20 years, but that wouldn’t have made money, which in his case comes from working on cars. So I’ve wasted all that time “playing” with computers, and may have to accept that now I will have to just do “something” for work.
This would be like telling him he’s been wasting his time “playing” with fixing cars for decades, and instead of finding work fixing cars, he ought to get a “real job” even if he hates it. Too funny.
I left it at “good thing my work and hobby are the same” and “what do you think I’ve been doing for a living since 1992.” Probably did a decent job on the “you’ve got to be kidding tone” and the silent “you dork” trailing clause.
Anyway, it’s insanely late already. I rousted the girls from bed before they were ready this morning, in hopes of resetting their clocks so we’re not fighting with them at 10 PM about actually Getting In Bed and Staying There. This seems to have resulted in a cranky Valerie. Oh wait, she’s unchanged. Never mind. Off to the races…
Sunday, April 06, 2008
Jay: Dial Soap
Can apparently be added to the sensitivity list for Henry. Washing his hands with it made him identifiably rashy in the contact area.
And we’ve been washing our hands with it and then touching him.
Jay: No Birthdays Today
Well, not in my calendar. Surely there are some, somewhere, for someone.
Today I am going to attempt to take Henry to my grandmother’s with me. Valerie had a recent turn. Sadie refuses to learn to use the big toilet, even though she’s getting too big for the potty, and we’re requiring her to do that before she goes visiting where that’ll be the only option. He can eat regular food, for limited values of same, so it’s his turn. This is the obligatory one for birthday cake for me and my mother, since ours were on Thursday. I need to get moving soon, as it’s starting to be late.
Ah, I hear kids.
Speaking of which, Sadie thought not being able to drive our new car until we “pay tax on it” (registration) was about the craziest thing she’d ever heard.
Saturday, April 05, 2008
It seems we have to clarify the possibility that Henry is allergic/sensitive to raw pear, if mildly, and not with apparent oral symptoms, just rash. Including clarifying whether that carries over to cooked pear, which it might if the relation is more of a latex allergy cross-reaction versus a birch pollen allergy cross-reaction. Banana would fall under the former. And if there were a severe enough latex allergy, we’d have seen more signs, so it may be more of a convenient categorization than anything full-blown.
And this could have nothing to do with raw pear, but instead have to do with dust and places he’s sat or crawled today.
Speaking of which, he made the girls look like amateurs in the “destructo” department today,
I have a second desk, which Sadie is at in this picture. On it I have the posts and a single shelf of one of those heavy duty plastic storage shelving units. It’s pretty stable (or was), and allows me to have a couple monitors on the desk, with the shelf above them. On the shelf are a pair of interruptible power supplies, answering machine, a couple milk crates with stuff in them, and on top of those some speakers and a computer not actually plugged in (apparently it’s catching, because at this point in my typing Valerie cam up behind me and knocked the shelf down worse than he did, except missing the opportunity to hurl a computer several feet). It’s been this way for approaching a year.
While Deb was outside with the girls playing in the yard, he was on my lap, and while I wasn’t looking managed to partially collapse the shelf. Partially, because I caught it, at the price of letting him drop to the floor beside the chair. The extra computer, one with source code from the old business, software of theoretical merit that is unlikely to get finished or used, but could potentially, went over me and landed on my desk, against the monitor. That’s several feet, at an angle through the air. No idea how I didn’t get hurt. The woofer part of the speakers fell, detached, and just missed Henry’s head when it thudded to the floor. I just realized minutes ago the answering machine was on the floor, upside-down, with the power unplugged, and had just put it back before Valerie struck. A container of tools also landed on the floor and broke.
So a seven month old baby, who’s just a tad strong, managed to collapse what had been stable, and untouched by the girls, since before he was born. Then Valerie apparently noted it was different enough to get curious and pull a leg until it collapsed again. Go, kids!
Instead of merely picking up and putting stuff back, I decided to incorporate that into the much pending office rearranging project. Which I then had to drop to make supper and stuff, so I was just on the verge of getting back to it, while trying to keep Valerie from trashing stuff I can’t replace that scattered onto the floor. I’m the keeper of photos of former colleagues, with pictures of a large number of them from 1995 through 1998. They got scattered by the shelf falling.
They wonder why I get cranky and yell at them.
Okay, I need to clean up, see if the monitor that’s off and won’t turn on was killed by Valerie or just came unplugged, fix or swap Sadie’s bed, make Valerie’s bed, get them to bed for the night, and so forth.
Jay: Overheard Last Night
Deb: “Want me to make you a bath?”
Henry: “Make me bath bath.”
Jay: Happy Birthday
To blogger Lorie Byrd,
Jay: Happy Birthday
To blogger Mary Katharine Ham, who is 28 today.
Friday, April 04, 2008
Jay: Birthday and Many Things
So yesterday was my birthday. And that of a lot of other people, now up to a total of seven on that day in my calendar. That may be the largest number on one day. (Pauses to check, because he’s such a geek, finds that it’s tied with July 28, but no other day has more than five so far.)
It would have pretty much sucked - well, it did - apart from getting a car, and a substantial donation.
My left knee, and to some degree my thigh, have been killing me beyond all reason. It may or may not be connected to gout, which had been quiet recently until today, when I seem to have a minor touch of it in my right foot. Nothing like it was. The knees have bothered me before, over the years, and can be sort of twisted easily, or hurt by kneeling on a hard surface, or standing in place too long (I tend to need to sit, or move around extensively, after sufficiently long food prep, for instance). This has been unusual, and tough to keep away because of the kids and the need for activity that stresses it.
Ironically, sitting in this chair tends to bother it, while taking a walk tends to help it. Stairs? Excruciating, once it’s flared up, bordering on impossible.
That was making me extra cranky. Part of today it was better, but we have kids and stuff. They are pretty much a guarantee I can’t take it easy on the thing, and Valerie managed to add a bit of back to the mix yesterday by doing a backward somersault off my lap and being prevented from landing on her head.
Speaking of Valerie, she needs to learn to tell us when she’s bleeding, rather than being fascinated by the artistic possibilities. Keeping a bandage on would be good, too, once Dr. Dad has ruined her fun.
So yeah, a car. My aunt got this silver/gray 1994 Buick Century with 86k miles on it in 2003 at a good price. She drove it to 174k miles, replaced it yesterday, and brought it to us.
She seriously downplayed its condition and overstated its degree of foibles, I think. It’s beautiful, body looking at least as good as he one on the ill-fated van of the same model year. The foibles are things like a fan blade on the AC being broken, so you have to turn it off and back on strategically. I seldom use AC, even in a vehicle that has it. The trunk apparently can leak some in heavy rain. There can be a little trick to opening the rear doors. There are rear doors! And room for three carseats, of which they left an extra, a spare of my mother’s, in the car. It uses a quart between oil changes, and she keeps it to 65 on the highway. We’d mainly use it on local roads, very limited driving to places we’d need to go together.
The trick now is to be able to afford to register it. That’s a tough one. My aunt is getting the form to declare it a gift and save us the sales tax, so that will help.
I’ve always been particularly fond of my mother’s sister, who is only 17 years older than me, but this is just amazing and a huge surprise.
Anyway, I parked it where we’d been parking the truck, moving the truck up into the main part of the driveway. We’d been using two spots deep in the driveway, then hogging a third, spare spot with the Sentra. That wasn’t considered a favorable spot due to the mulberries, and really neither is at least one of the others.
Today I got home from dropping off a trickle of rent to the landlord, ran into the gal upstairs, and she had moved her car so we could have our other space back, having seen that we got a second car. The very same day, they swapped his truck for something better, very nice. Funny how things synchronize that way.
I was amazed, as I figured we’d lost that spot fair and square. The spot we’d hogged with the old Sentra has a trailer in it now, which works out perfectly. They can be funny sometimes, in their youthfulness, but once again, the people upstairs are great.
I ended up doing a lot of dishes and cleaning. I took Valerie on errands with me, to the post office, Benny’s, the bank, and Stop & Shop, where her bladder almost made it through the entire lengthy trek. I was threatening to make myself birthday brownies, with a mix on hand, but never did get around to it.
That would have been no fun for Deb. On the off chance stuff bad for the baby translates into breast milk, she’s been off the likely suspects, bringing them back until it’s just eggs and dairy. She ate a single egg, in a sandwich with ham. He got rashy the next day. It’s back off eggs long enough to let him clear up and test it again. It could have been random environmental, or something stray he ate courtesy of the girls. He also tried pear, and while there’s room to wonder, that’s one of the least likely problem foods. I’ll give him more this weekend and see, maybe.
I did splurge on flour tortillas, so we had chicken burritos for supper. That was popular. He’s had seasoned chicken since we started reintroducing stuff, but I cooked a little chicken by itself for Henry, just salt and a little pepper. He loves chicken.
For that I pulled out a tiny frying pan I never use, big enough to fry a single egg, and now I want to use it again and own more like it. It’s stainless steel with a thick copper bottom. Yeah, I needed more oil than I am used to using, because the second I turned on the burner, it seemed, the pan was sizzling hot and the meat wanted to stick to it. But oh, it cooked so nice. I think I’m in love.
And hey, the non-stick pans are starting to lose their mojo. They end up with a spot in the center, where the heat focuses, that the coating loses its ungrip. Once that gets serious, you may as well have a traditional pan. The really bad one is Deb’s deep frying pan with a glass cover, which gets used constantly. I wouldn’t mind having more than one of those, including a larger version, if I were outfitting the kitchen more completely.
Today was better. Overnight was weird, in that I was up most of the night, but during that time the knee was better, after a couple hours of sleep. The very best thing for it is to lay down a certain way on the bed. I can coddle it some laying on, say, the floor, but the bed is better, and then sleeping while it rests is better still. It got worse again as the day progressed, but it does that. While it may be nauseating at times today, last night I experienced a revelation of understanding how someone can pass out in response to pain.
Ibuprofen is shooting up the “must buy some” list.
I have an interview Tuesday in Needham. That’s a Good Thing. Same former colleague who landed me the main interview Monday got me another, but this time it’s his own employer, for a 2 - 3 month contract supporting a new software rollout. Beyond that there hasn’t been much activity, besides a ton of additions in LinkedIn and correspondence stemming from that, including with my last manager from VB support, who was awesome.
I did up the root of elhide.com to be a resume links and simple supporting text page, to give it the shortest possible URL without setting up a new domain. Plus elhide.com is more memorable than, say, gphmo.com. Which stems from when I was going to setup a new business as “Geek Practitioners.” The HMO in this case, besides a play on the medical theme, stood for “home, mobile, office.”
Still have to do a blogging-oriented resume. Still have to retrofit the blogs with “hire me” sidebar sections prominent. Still working on the odds and ends side work, but that’s going a little slower than expected.
Anyway, off to bed, I guess. Wanted to do a post for the day and talk about the birthday and the car and such. Got delayed and now it’s after midnight, but oh well.
Thursday, April 03, 2008
Jay: Happy Birthday
To blogger Imelda Bettinger, who is apparently 34 today.
It seems I share with a ton of people.
Deb: I just get so *confused* sometimes.
I mean, there was the whole Bear Stearns thing, and then I saw an article this morning about how they’re making plans to try to bail out homeowners in trouble, and I just gotta ask: when do *we* get a turn? I mean, we looked at house prices, we looked at our bank account, and we laughed and rented because really? Wasn’t going to happen. Now, we’ve got credit troubles of our own, because there’s only so many bad turns your financial journey can take before it all goes to hell, but we’re not part of a recognizable electoral market segment. So as far as I can tell, that means that it’s on us to pay for keeping the people who *are* part of one happy.
And people wonder why I make little scoffing noises every time someone starts raphsodizing about the wonders of democracy.
Jay: Happy Birthday
To blogger Sheila Scarborough, who was apparently born the same year as me, not just the same day, much like Eddie Murphy.