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Archive for September, 2007

Podcasts

September 27, 2007 By: nooccar Category: Reviews, Technology, Work

Wow. Guess what I did? Something new for me. I know I know, I like to hear myself talk, and I do it all day long everyday of my life, but now I have another way to talk to people. I am podcasting! Now, you may say, "Devon, why are you adding one more thing to your schedule?" Or "Are you crazy? No one cares." And while the second comment may be true, the first I can address. At my community college job I’ve joined a faculty professional learning community that addresses the use of new and emerging technologies in education. Right up my alley! At our last meeting the facilitators challenged us all to choose a new medium with which are not comfortable to play with this year. I’ve been thinking of podcasting since summer time, and I’ve always listened to podcast but I’ve always been afraid of committing to publishing my own. Maybe because I sound like Kermit the Frog when I talk, or because I know if I start one I cannot just drop it. Well I finally did it. I bit the big one. Borrowed what may turn out to be a decent mic (great to know the IT people!) and recorded the other night. Now I am use to listening to podcasts between 25-45 minutes, and I figured 15 minutes would be a good goal. I wrote an outline first of talking points, and I sat down and began. I recorded about 18 minutes worth and then began editing. I worked for about 45 minutes taking out "um"s and pauses, and I still wasn’t finished when it was time to go to sleep. I will finish editing the podcast this weekend (thank God for fall breaks!) and I’ll post it on iTunes University where we’ll have a space through the community college. My colleague also began podcasting but she uses a service called gabcast, which records a phone call to an 800 number as the podcast then publishes it online for you. They are shorter, including the "um"s and are a little less clear, but it’s great to have these tools to use to get your thoughts down quickly and easily. Look for me on iTunes, and I will share my feed when I am ready!

Who’s this monster?

September 22, 2007 By: nooccar Category: Claire, Parenthood

People mention the terrible twos and roll their eyes and talk about how hard it is, but OH MY GOD! Did someone steal my daughter and replace her with the SPAWN OF SATAN!? The ladies at daycare tell me that my daughter there is a different child than the one at home. I really didn’t know what to make of that until Emma came to visit. I wondered who this little monster was in a Claire costume. She wanted to skreech, scream and freak out. She only had a time out about every nanosecond while Emma visited, and I know it wasn’t all her fault, but still. When I returned to daycare with her a few days into the visit, I realized what they meant when they said she acted differently with other children.

On top of those relationships, on Wednesday poop began to shoot from her butt. It wasn’t a pretty sight at all (nor was it a pretty smell.)  We tried to go with Emma’s parents to the mall, but after two trips to the very nearest bathroom we could find, we left. The only reason she made it Thursday at daycare was because she didn’t poop until the afternoon. At the doctor’s that afternoon, she said the diarrhea was "going around" but she did notice that Claire had a hole in her eardrum. And yes, they said it matter-of-factly just like that. A hole. Yes. In. Her. Eardrum.

I guess the tube came out, but the drum didn’t heal yet. Another test revealed that Claire is not hearing from her right ear, but the doc wasn’t too worried. She asked us to get over to the ENT MD asap, but she also said it wasn’t unheard of. So now we got a half hearing, butt exploding little monster on our hands, and her momma wanted to throttle both of us today. Can you blame her?

Parent Teacher Meeting

September 19, 2007 By: nooccar Category: Parenthood

I’d love to say I was the teacher today in the Parent/Teacher Meeting I had to attend, but today I wasn’t . I was the parent. I’ll admit. My daughter is biting. I won’t say she’s a biter, because I honestly think she learned it. Learned it at day care. Now if she bites again, she gets kicked out of day care for two weeks (can you say "suspended"?). So Donna and I met with the directors today, and it was a little odd for me. A bit bitter sweet, but I am glad Donna was there. As a teacher at the school where the day care is, it helps when my wife (who is not an employee) is present as well. They listened to our ideas and we heard their opinions. I don’t know if she will try to bite again and I don’t know if we will have to figure out how to juggle Claire not being at school (if she does get kicked out) but I do know we all had good ideas of how to make daycare better. Unfortunately this will not be my last parent teacher meeting. Of course I know that during my next one I will sit on the other side of the table.

Lake Havasu

September 16, 2007 By: nooccar Category: Leisure

We spent the last three days with our friends Ryan & Laura in Lake Havasu City. Saturday Ryan & I went with his dad out fishing for Stripers and then the girls came out to swim and play. We were pretty good on the whole sun screen thing until we took the scenic ride back under the London Bridge (yes, the real one) back to the docks. We all got sunburned and it was hard to sleep last night. Now we’re all back in Phoenix, and they are staying the week with us.

Jailbird

September 09, 2007 By: nooccar Category: Friends, Pittsburgh

People look at me strangely when I say I have a friend who’s a bank robber. I think he’d prefer "reformed" bank robber, and since he can pretty much read this blog tomorrow (and learn what a blog is, since he’s been away for years) I think I’ll call him that – RBR. Sounds like Reebber, but not. Yes, he robbed a bank, and it’s a long story that’s for elsewhere. I will just say that I hope I never ever know what it’s like to get out of jail after so many years. I can’t believe he’s never experienced Web 2.0. No one text messaged when he was arrested, and Google was nothing. This whole blog thing wasn’t around really (yes, people like Wil were blogging but the rest of us weren’t). Anyway, he gets out tomorrow. In the morning. About 7 hours probably. Who knows. I wonder how he’s getting to his next destination. It’ll be odd going home for Christmas and seeing him. As far as I know, Donna and I are the only people who visited him while he was there, so this’ll be interesting. I hope he never goes back there, and I am looking forward to seeing him in December.

How do you do it?

September 04, 2007 By: nooccar Category: Parenthood

I remember last year and I didn’t do a lot at work, and I ever gave up several responsibilities. This year I knew it was time to take the next step. Change is coming at work, and if I don’t ride that wave, I will get drowned, choking on the saltwater. I took that step and many more, and I actually learned how to say no this year. Not to everything, but the camel backbreaking straw became a respectful no. My boss was ok with that, and I still have my toaster and Members Only jacket. I only know work, and I think that stems from my father. He is a workaholic, and always has been. He likes to go out to dinner, and he likes to spend money. I learned all of these bad habits from him. I need to give back to my family more, and making money isn’t enough. Picking up more and more work isn’t enough. Sitting here in front of my computer every night from scarfing dinner to my wife turning off the television to go to bed after 10pm is NOT enough. I am starting to realize some of these things, it’s a hard uphill journey for me, and I will try.

mama’s got a brand new ride

September 02, 2007 By: turtlegirl Category: Adams

Devon and I have known that we would be buying a new car this year since realizing that the Chevy’s registration was due in September.  We’ve researched cars all summer, investigated the physical specs on vehicles that piqued our interest, received pre-approval on a loan, and called the babysitter.  That means we’ve approached the dreaded day – going to the dealer.  Now this concept is not fun under any circumstances, but it is even more unfortunate when compounded with 110 degree heat. 
So, we arrive at Big Two Toyota and are greeted by "Griffin" as we exit our car.  Please note that I feel that the name "Griffin" deserves to be showcased in quotation marks…
Devon and I are guided to a bright blue, used Rav4, which I recognize from my online research.  I check it against my notes and indeed it is the first truck on the list.  We get the keys, check it out, take it for a spin – OK, two spins, Devon drives it over the curb toward the showroom, I freak out, we park, go inside, talk numbers for two hours, wait one and half hours for the finance people, sign tons of papers, clean out the Chevy, and leave in our new truck – six hours later.

There’s the truck!

September 02, 2007 By: nooccar Category: Donna


P9026329.JPG, originally uploaded by nooccar.

When we left the dealership, we were given a care package. We each got Toyota hats, keychains, and coffee cups. I told Donna that’s the most expensive pink hat I’ve ever seen (and no there’s no diamonds!)

Beep Beep – Devon’s perspective

September 02, 2007 By: nooccar Category: Adams

In 1999 when I signed my first contract we drove straight to the car dealership with no idea of how to buy a car. After several hours we walked out with a 1996 Chevy Cavalier. We were charged too much, but we liked our little car and it did well for us. Last year Donna and I began to take Claire to daycare in our 4Runner that was originally "Donna’s new truck". She always bugged me good-naturedly about "stealing" her truck when I began to drive Claire to daycare in the truck.

We got to a point where the car didn’t like to go as much, and it’s needed a bit of work here and there this last year. Don’t get me wrong, it still zoomed zoomed. But it was time. We spent a day this summer looking at Toyotas, but we knew the whole day we weren’t quite ready. Financially we pretty much set up, but we just didn’t know what we wanted. We knew we wanted another Toyota. I was partial to another 4Runner or maybe a Matrix, but then Donna set her sights on a Rav4. We’d seen them before, but we weren’t sure about the size.

Yesterday we called our credit union, got our financing squared away, and called our babysitter. We also researched on-line, and Donna wrote down several Rav4s while I looked at 4Runners (she had already vetoed Matrixes, as she wanted a truck.)

The first car was at a new Toyota dealership that I drive passed every single day on my way to work. So we decided to begin there. By 10AM we were at the dealership. We got out of the car as the dealer walked up. We told him our price range and that we were looking primarily at RAV4s. He walked us over to a 2003 Nordic blue 4Runner, and when he ran to get the key Donna realized it was the first car she’d seen the day before. We drove the car up and down the freeway, and Donna was really embarrassed when I drove up over the curb to see how it handled the bumps. I think it took a full 10 minutes before we were pretty sure we were buying the first one we saw, and another few minutes to be ok with buying the first one we saw.

Yes, about 15 minutes. Ok, so I don’t actually know where the rest of our day went. I know about 2.5 hours went into haggling with our dealer (haggling that I couldn’t even wrap my mind around), then another hour went to waiting for the finance guy (even though we were pre-approved.) Then we worked with the guy while they detailed Donna’s new truck.

When we got our Cavalier, I know we got screwed on the money, and when we bought our 4Runner, I think we got a helluva deal. This time I felt like we all compromised and did well. I just don’t know when Chandler, AZ was moved into the Bermuda Triangle. Seven hours and several thousand dollars, we stopped at Chipotle and headed home to rescue the babysitter.

Cheez-it Boogie

September 01, 2007 By: nooccar Category: Claire

The other afternoon I had to drop Claire off at Donna’s work because I had an evening meeting. When we got to work, we had a few minutes before it was 5pm so Claire & I sat in the car.  I decided to see just how much of a frickin’ genius my kid was. In about two minutes, I taught Claire that boogies came out of her nose, and I also taught her that that’s where boogies lived. She picked it up immediately, and the proud father paraded her into this office (where I’ve only been one other time) so Claire could show EVERYONE in the audience how smart she was. It went off without a hitch. I had a good laugh & Donna rolled her eyes.

Now today I ran out to wash the car. When I came home Claire was sitting there with a Cheez-it sticking out of her nose. She was grinning from ear to ear, and Donna was chuckling. She said Claire had thought of it herself, and Donna gave her permission to do it only one more time — when I came home. We had a good laugh, and then she popped it into her mouth and ate it. Twenty minutes later, while playing, Claire sneezed and suddenly began to freak out. When we were able to push the hair out of her face, we found a huge went, soggy Cheez-it stuck to her cheek. I picked it off, and Donna grabbed Claire. She immediately started excavating her nose, looking for more Cheez-it boogies! We didn’t find anymore. I sat there laughing until I realized I was still holding her Cheez-it boogie dripping in my hand.


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