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January 22, 2005


Well, lets see. I have an aching groin. All three kids are just recovering from being really sick. Claudine is on call at the hospital all weekend. So what else could happen? Let's try a winter storm that's supposed to drop between 8 and 15 inches of snow on the area. I'm not supposed to do anything strenuous. So now I have to decide whether hauling a snowblower up and down the driveway counts as strenuous.

Posted by aellis at 01:47 PM | Comments (1)

January 21, 2005


I am less of a man today than I was yesterday. I have been "snipped". A few hours ago, I experienced.... the vasectomy. I am no longer able to have children. Well, that's not exactly true - even though the sperm conduits have been severed, I still have some swimmers swimming around inside me.

The doctor who performed the operation is a friend of ours. His wife and Claudine were residents together. They are very close friends and have, oddly enough, delivered each other's children. Now, I can't mirror that situation and recipricate by giving this guy a vasectomy, but I have fixed his computers before so there ya go. However fixing his computers did not involve him dropping his pants and climbing bareassed into some stirrups - so he still has me at kind of a disadvantage.

Once I was in the freezing cold metal stirrups (see, it's not just women who get to complain about that sort of thing), it was very odd to just lie there (lay?) and have my genitals cut into while discussing the real estate market. The doctor and his wife (another doctor) are looking to buy a house in the nearby area and we talked about some of the homes they've looked at. While he was shoving needles into my scrotum. Actually it was nice to have something to talk about with someone I knew rather than having my .....

Hold on. I have to apply an ice pack.

.....Ok... brrrrr, I'm back.

Anyway, I was nice to have a friend to talk to while I was undergoing the procedure. The process never really hurt, but it was uncomfortable once or twice. Mainly the tugging. I would elaborate on the tugging, but the less said about the tugging, the better. But before I left, I did get to see the two little sections of my "tubes" that got cut out.

So now I am recovering. Which includes 10 minutes of ice pack every hour today. Applied directly to the scrotum. Fun. I'm supposed to stay off my feet for the next couple of days or so. And since Claudine is on call this weekend, it means the kids have to start putting themselves to bed. And getting their own meals. And MY meals, come to think of it. Is it so wrong to have a 9 year old operating the stove without parental supervision?

I'm not supposed to do any strenuous activity for a week or so. So I can't work out or run. And I'm not supposed to (ahem) ejaculate for about 10 days. So just what the hell am I going to do then? Sit around, watch DVD's, eat a lot, play computer games, surf the web?

Um, ok. If it's doctor's orders, I guess I can do that.

Posted by aellis at 01:20 PM | Comments (0)

January 18, 2005

Thinning the Herd

Just before she fell, she had called out to a friend, "Watch to see what I can still do,"


Posted by aellis at 01:47 PM | Comments (0)

Non-Productivity, Take II

Well, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day thing worked itself out until next year - Jake is back to school today. But Annabel is home again today. Her fever broke sometime last night and hasn't come back yet. Which is good. But she still didn't sleep well and is kind tired and cranky still. Which is bad.

For me, Christmas shopping always involves picking up one or two little gifts for myself. Stuff I wouldn't buy ordinarily except that I am already buying something for someone else and my wallet is already open. One of those things this year was a DVD of Max Fleischer Superman cartoons. Besides being a Superman fan, I love the old animation of these cartoons. Although since these were made in the 1940s, there are some content in here that would be considered racist today. Much like those Looney Tunes featuring Daffy Duck fighting Hitler. In fact, one of the episodes on this DVD is called The Japoteurs. Ha ha.... See the phrase "Japanese Sabateurs" couldn't possibly convey the outrage in this cartoon - they have to hit you over the head with "Japoteurs". Subtle? Hmmm, no.



The Voice over on this shot calls him "the amazing stranger from another planet".


Look at how intricate the background of this shot is. It's not *just* Lois, but a really dark and ominous scene.


Some run-of-the-mill 1940's racism. Note Coke-Bottle glasses and the really bad teeth. But aside from that, it's a really cool shot. I like the angle from behind and beneath the angry General.


More happy stereotyping. Gigantic bad teeth in this one. But don't worry, Superman will make short work of this evil caricature.

Posted by aellis at 12:03 PM | Comments (0)

January 17, 2005

Not a Productive Day

Although there are a great many things positive about working from home, one of the big negatives is that when schools have holidays or kids get sick, then *you* are the one to be home with them. Because, see, you're already home.

Today is Martin Luther King, Jr Day. As such, Jake's school is closed. So Jake is home with me today. Jake is pretty self sufficient - he can usually entertain himself pretty well during the day. He usually gets bored at near the end of these type of holidays. Which is fine because it actually makes him long to go back to school the next day. And when I say "these types of holidays", I mean the type of holiday where governments and schools take the day off, but no one else really does.

All this would be fine except for the fact that Annabel is home sick today also. Annie has been kinda sick on and off starting on Friday. Vomiting has been kept to a minimum. Basically just twice. Both while she was sleeping. How do you throw up and keep sleeping? She wakes up about an hour later crying about how something is on her pillow. And of course, everything is on her pillow. And blankets. And sheets. And wall even. Once on Friday night and once on Saturday night. Strip off the sodden jammies. Wipe down the kid. Stick her in a quiet, dark place while we turn on all the lights and make her bed hospitable again.

Vomiting seems to have abated Sunday (except an isolated incident which I'd rather not talk about). Oh alright, I'll talk about it. It is deeply embarassing and disgusting. Since Sunday morning, Annie has these big burps which aren't always burps but sometimes a little food comes up to visit the teeth and possibly escape the mouth altogether. She just lets us know when this happens and wipe it up quickly and that's that. Well, Sunday afternoon, Annie is in the basement watching TV with Jake. Annie is eating some tortilla chips with nacho cheese. Just the thing for a 2 1/2 years old with a delicate stomach, yes? Jake brings Annie upstairs because Annie is complaining that there is some cheese on her hand and she wants someone to wash her hands. I am parked on the couch watching the Colts/Patriot game. I look at her hands and there is only a little bit of cheese on one of her hands. Being the lazy parent that I am, I quickly scan the room for something to wipe her hands with. Seeing nothing, I look at the two tiny specks of perfectly normal looking nacho cheese on her hand and quickly make up my mind. I just lick those two little spots of cheese off her hand - nothing I hadn't done before with these kids. Annabel just looks at me for a minute. Looks at me as if I were insane. And says:

Annabel: "I frew up"

Alan:".....wha? Oh, you feel like you are going to throw up?"

Annabel: "No. (raising her freshly licked hand) I frew up!"





Much spitting did commence. But basically all I could do was laugh. It was just so disgusting and stupid on my part. I can understand if you don't want to come and read this blog anymore.

Anyway. Last night Annabel got a pretty high fever in the night and didn't sleep much at all. And, of course, neither did we. She was in no condition to go to school today so home she stayed. So I'm trying to get some work done in between giving medicine, getting blankies, and changing The Amanda Show DVDs.

Hopefully things Annie's condition will improve tomorrow. I know Jake's Martin Luther King, Jr Day situation will improve by tomorrow.

Posted by aellis at 01:41 PM | Comments (0)

January 15, 2005



Stinkin' Jets. Waahhhhh.

Posted by aellis at 11:29 PM | Comments (0)

January 07, 2005

That takes balls

Doug Mientkiewicz, backup 1st baseman for the Red Sox, is holding onto the baseball that recorded the final out in the World Series. He says it's his, but the Red Sox want it back.

I'm kind of split on this issue. Mientkiewicz comes across as an ass (alliteration, anyone?) based on the quotes in the linked article. But the issue of on the field ownership isn't really defined as far as I know. Who's to say it *isn't* his. It is kind of an unexplored area. There's already been some long drawn out court cases on ownership of baseballs that have left the field and entered the stands. But this one is kind of weird.

But I'd like to think that the *right* thing to do is to give the ball to the Red Sox or the Hall of Fame. But I don't think he's going to do the right thing. Baseball is already so mercenary with the way free agents jump from team to team. Mientkiewicz (besides having an unpronounceable last name) joined the team mid-season and was only used as a defensive utility play. Something he wasn't happy about. There are some guys who are concerned with the good of the game. They can see that they are part of a bigger whole that makes up "Baseball". Some guys can't. I'm putting Minky in the "Can't" category.

Posted by aellis at 04:29 PM | Comments (0)

Bad! Bad Exercise Monkey!

So I ran again today. This was my first attempt at running since the big gastric blowout to open the year 2005. (Gastric blowout sounds like something disgusting, but I was referring to this. Although Gastric Blowout would make a good name for a band). The shocking thing about this run was that it was a really good run.

I've been trying to keep a routine of running 3 miles every other day. I have no delusions that I will be an Olympic marathoner - I just want to try to stay in shape as I approach my twilight years. Forty-one is quite old you know. I don't always stick to that schedule but I'm pretty close. Some times if the weather is really bad, I'll stay inside and ride the stationary bike for 30 minutes. But the holidays had caused me to slack a just a tad.

I have no explanation for why this run was so much better than I've ever done before. There was a tailwind for parts of the run, but since I run a lap around my block, there was a headwind for the same amounts of time. By the way, I gotta get a new route to run. Because I run 6 laps around my block (which is an exact 1/2 mile around - convenient), I pass in front of my house at the end of every lap. Which leads to me arguing with myself whether to quit at the end of each lap.

What I need to do is run a mile and 1/2 in one direction and then turn back around to come home.

Since I've started this running jag, I've been a proud member of the sub 10 minute mile club over 3 miles. Which is really nothing to be proud of, but that's where I find myself. But today I got eversoclose to a 9 minute mile. I could definately run a 9 minute mile if I were just running 1 mile - perhaps even an sub 8 minute mile. But I could never keep that pace up for 3 miles. I've never really timed what my best mile time would be. I would do that, but I have a feeling that I would spend the rest of the day passed out on the couch.

So to sum up: Unmotivated to run today. Felt lousy doing it. Ran really well. You figure it out.

Posted by aellis at 03:02 PM | Comments (0)

January 06, 2005

Poor Bill Gates

Bill experienced the blue screen of death while giving keynote speech at the International Consumer Electronics Show. Hee.

Posted by aellis at 05:47 PM | Comments (0)

January 04, 2005

New Year's Wrap-Up

So 2004 is now gone. Bye-bye 2004.

We had an incredibly calm, relaxing New Year's Eve/Day. A calm New Year's Eve is a good alternative every once in a while. We packed up the kids and a bunch of food and headed for Claudine's brother's house for the evening. Bill and Pam have two girls of their own. So 9 of us closed the doors and settled in with lots of food and alcohol. And let me tell you those two little girls can really put away the alcohol. They put my kid's drinking habits to shame.

Ok, maybe I'm kidding. A little. But we all ate a lot of really bad-for-you, yummy food. I was basically a slug, laying on the couch, only raising my hulking carcass occasionally to grab more brisket and make another Scotch and Coke. Since we were sleeping over I drank as much as I wanted until I was so wasted that I could barely stand up.

Ok, maybe I'm kidding. A little. The next day, many more family members came over to Bill and Pam's house to join us in our grazing. Much more food and alcohol was brought. And consumed. Most of it by me. Or so it felt. Football was watched. Kids were well-behaved. Much merriment was had by all. You can't start a year much better than that.

Posted by aellis at 02:51 PM | Comments (0)