Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The pics

Ladies and gentlemen, I present Camille Roberts.
She was born at 9:01AM. Paula pushed for a grand total of 10 minutes, so she came really fast once we started working on her. While she was descending, we knew she'd be long because her feet were still kicking Paula in the ribs! Wild, wild stuff.
You can compare Lydia to Camille by clicking here.

Here she is in all her newborn glory.

Look at that weight! The nurse asked if I wanted to guess the dimensions. I said 8 1/2 lbs and 21 inches. I was guessing large, but 8lbs 10oz was really surprising to both Paula and I. 11oz and 2 inches bigger than her big sister!

Mother and daughter shortly after Camille's bath - about an hour after she was born. Both are doing very well.

This one eye open is about the most we've seen of her big brown eyes. She's a sleeper, very much the opposite of Lydia who was very, very alert for the first few hours.

Another sleeping shot from this afternoon. She's been sleeping so soundly that we have to lean our ears down every once in a while to make sure she's breathing! It's wild.

Look at all that hair! No wonder Paula had heartburn day in and out. Camille's hair is darker and thicker than Lydia's; her back, shoulders and thighs are covered with it - our little Hobbit!

Here we go...

I was sleeping comfortably on the couch in the bonus room a few hours ago. I've been sleeping there recently due to Paula's pregnancy, as she is up and down and uncomfortable all during the night. She's very sensitive to my needs and stresses out about waking me up, so this seemed logical. (Just wanted to lay that out so no rumors of domestic issues arose)
Anyway, I'm sleeping when at 1:44 AM I am awoken by my laboring wife. She'd been having sharp contractions for about 45 minutes and was wondering what we should do. I had no idea. But, we winged it. I did my best to be supportive, encouraging and upbeat for the next half hour. We timed contractions and breathed and all that jazz.
I was instructed to call the doctor at 2:15. I knew it was serious because she wasn't laughing at my jokes and I'm a very funny guy. The doctor told us to come in. I gave Bridgette a call and she was all sorts of giddy to come over and sleep at our house w/ Lydia as we went to the hospital.
We arrived at 3:15, checked into Labor and Delivery #3, and found that Paula was at a 5. This was big news as just Monday at noon she was at a 2, which was the same as her Friday appointment. Also it was a first for us because Lydia was forced to come into this world 9 days late and Paula was at a 1. An hour later Paula advanced to a 7 and was 90+ effaced.
So, here we are, at almost 6am on Tuesday, November 24, 2009, awaiting the arrival of daughter number 2. Paula is resting comfortably, I am sitting here looking out the window at the lights of cars driving by. There's a lot that is going to happen in the world today and very few people out there will know that a little girl is being born - another little girl will soon be a big sister, and a dad will once more wonder how it is possible to fall so instantly in love with another human being.
It's so little - the birth of one child - but it is everything, if only to us.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Dang it

So, I've been wanting to do this big post about the summer projects I did, and have been wanting to for a while. I took the day off today (my 6th personal day this year) for a dentist appointment and had some time to post. Well, I did. And it took forever. And it's on Paula's blog.

Dang it.

Here's the link. Enjoy.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Some health care thoughts

There was a survey done by Investors Business Daily of physicians regarding the current health care reform proposals from Congress and the White House. I found it very interesting.

I found most interesting that almost half (45%) of the physicians surveyed said they would consider just up and quitting their profession if Congress passed the current proposals. There were an estimated 800,000 physicians practicing medicine in 2006. That means about 360,000 physicians would consider quitting.
There are probably a hundred issues that will arise if that happens. Here's a couple I gathered from the article and just by thinking this out
  • I'm not very good at math, but it seems to me that adding 47,000,000 people to the health care system to a system with a full slate of 800,000 is going to be tough in the first place - about one physician to every 60 people. If half the doctors bail - deciding the trade-off of a decade of education, crazy hours and tremendous debt - that will bump up the ratio to 120 citizens to every physician. I have a hard time believing that this type of system will provide better, cheaper health care than the current system provides.
  • Another stat that increases the discrepancy between physician and patient: Between 2003 to 2006 the number of active physicians in the U.S. grew by just 0.8% a year, while the population has been growing at 1% a year. If patients are being added faster than doctors...
  • A recent study found steadily declining enrollment in medical schools since 1980. The study found that, just with current patient demand, the U.S. will have 159,000 fewer doctors than it needs by 2025. If as many as say they'll back out do back out, that number jumps to over 500,000.
  • One of the biggest ways - according to the President and Senator Baucus (writer of the Senate proposal) - this $1,000,000,000,000 is through an increase in taxes on the wealthy. Aside from the immorality of this, there are going to be 360,000 less people to foot the bill if these physicians jump ship.
Anyway check out the article and decide for yourself.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Spectacular September Saturday

As a dyed-in-the-wool, true-blue BYU fan, I am ecstatic about what I saw on Saturday night against #3 Oklahoma. OU’s (deservedly) highly touted QB didn’t play the 2nd half, and as Bronco acknowledged, that’s a big deal. More on that later. What I saw from BYU that I haven’t seen in the past in big games was:

  1. Big Defense Stands
  2. Poise when playing from behind

One thing that’s always frustrated me about my favorite team was the seeming inability to take on a bigger, better equipped team and give them a game. That didn’t happen this time. Unlike last year, Max Hall stepped it up when the game was on the line (9/10 passing on the final drive, including key 3rd and 4th down conversions) and it has come to my attention that he called all the plays on that final drive. It was all very Manning-esque.

Another reason to be happy about this win is because it’s not like BYU played a perfect game and managed a 1-point win – they were sloppy at times, like any team is in Week 1. And, with all the injuries they had (yes, BYU was playing hurt, too) they are only going to get better with time.

Now for why I’m miffed. I have spent the past couple of days scouring the internet and the TV for some acknowledgement that BYU beat OU. I’ve found two articles that give the Cougars any credit: one by Mr. Pat Forde from ESPN and one on Rivals.com.Everyone else is hanging BYU’s win on a missing Sam Bradford and other OU mistakes. Well, the facts are stubborn things and I’ve gathered a couple of them to illustrate that BYU didn’t have any advantage in the game that allowed them to win – they just won.

OU: Four new offensive linemen
BYU: Four new offensive linemen (returning lineman playing with broken finger, other projected starter out for season with torn rotator cuff)

OU: Missing All-American TE; did not play
BYU: Missing 2-time 1000 yard RB; did not play

OU: Lost starting QB, 2nd to last play of 1st half
BYU: Lost starting LB mid-way through 1st quarter

OU: Replacing top two WR
BYU: Replacing top three WR

OU: Returning 9 starters on defense, including entire front 7
BYU: Returning 6 starters on defense (2 DL, 2 LB, 2 DB)

OU: Returning two 1,000 rushers, Heisman Trophy winner (for ½ the game)
BYU: Returning 2nd team all MWC QB, TE w/ 1,000 yd receiving

OU: Approx 60,000 fans in attendance
BYU: Approx 15,000 fans in attendance

OU: Norman, OK to Dallas, TX = 200 miles
BYU: Provo, UT to Dallas, TX = 1450 miles

OU: Penalties – 12/93
BYU: Penalties – 10/87

OU: Turnovers – 2
BYU: Turnovers – 4

OU: Offense: 158 yds w/ Bradford; 103 w/out Bradford
BYU: Average starting position for offense in 2nd half: Own 15 yard line

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Motor of the world, football and cheaters

I just finished reading Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand.

The book's a little over a thousand pages. I hadn't read a book from cover to cover for a while, and at first the task seemed a bit daunting, but as I read I couldn't put it down. Ten days later Paula was returning the book to the library. A lot of people have heard of the book, but it seems the number of pages have deterred many from reading it. I'm not going to do a book report here, but I highly recommend it for a read.
A couple things that stood out to me: first, the book was published in 1958, though Rand began writing in 1948. Despite being over 50 years old, I found myself amazed at the accuracy in defining the attitudes that are prevalent in our society and that I feel and sending it in a downward spiral. Second, there was a lot of talk about money and people who make money. One thing I noticed throughout my life and never understood was why those with money feel a need to apologize for their wealth and those who are poor seem to wear it as a badge of accomplishment. Am I alone in noticing this?
Even in high school, people would apologize for coming from wealth. Unless the money was obtained though some nefarious means, people should never have to apologize for making money. And I think the only reason people should brag about their poverty is if they were able to rise above it.
Finally, I'm going to be using the words 'looter' and 'moocher' a lot more than I did in the past. These two words were used repeatedly in Atlas Shrugged and the applications were apropos.

Today marks the beginning of the college football season. I love college football and am thrilled to be able to spend some time watching it. I was fortunate to marry a SEC woman - a woman who understands and appreciates the sanctity of a Saturday afternoon and evening. Paula provides not only guilt-free watching of as many football games as I can get a hold of, but encourages this. She even goes shopping on Friday or Saturday morning to pick up snack food for me to enjoy while watching. Incredible.

Colin Cowherd (ESPN Radio personality) was talking about Alex Rodriguez a while ago and said that it wasn't a big deal that A-Rod took PED's because it's a game, and that it wasn't like Enron or anything. I got to thinking about that and gotta disagree. A-Rod, in my opinion, is a cheating tool. Here's the deal - baseball isn't a game at that level: it's a business. And A-Rod cheated and lied his way to the top of his industry. A-Rod cheated on his wife. A-Rod has cheated in the two major aspects of his life - his work and his relationships. What else is there to judge the character of a man on?
Then you got Rick Pitino having an affair, paying $3000 for an abortion, and getting blackmailed for it.
Then you have another of John Calipari's NCAA basketball final four appearances being voided out. Two schools, two NCAA Final Four banners taken down.
Then you have Mark Sanford and Eliot Spitzer cheating on their wives.
Here's the deal: all these guys are liars. They are liars because they all apologized. None of these punks are sorry about what they did. They'd do it again if given the chance. And I don't know about the rest of you, but the first time I was pulled over for speeding wasn't the first time I sped; the first time I got in trouble for swearing wasn't the first time I swore; the first time I got busted for being somewhere other than where I said I'd be wasn't the first time I was somewhere other than where I said I'd be.
Bottom line, these guys are apologizing they got caught. That's all. That makes the liars on top of cheaters. That makes them bums. Throw the bums out.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Who is John Galt?

Then  you will see the rise of the men of the double standard - the men who live by force, yet count on those who live by trade to create the value of their looted money - the men who are the hitchhikers of virtue. In a moral society, these are the criminals, and the statutes are written to protect you against them. But when a society establishes criminals-by-right and looters-by-law - men who use force to seize the wealth of disarmed victims - then money becomes its creators' avenger. Such looters believe it safe to rob defenseless men, once they've passed a law to disarm them. But their loot becomes the magnet for other looters, who get it from them as they got it. Then the race goes, not to the ablest at production, but to those most ruthless at brutality. When force is the standard, the murderer wins over the pickpocket. And then that society vanishes, in a spread of ruins and slaughter.
Do you wish to know whether that day is coming? Watch money. Money is the barometer of a societies virtue. When you see that trading is done, not by consent, but by compulsion - when you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing - when you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors - when you see that men get richer by graft and by pull than by work, and your laws don't protect you against them, but protect them against you - when you see corruption being regarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice - you may know that your society is doomed. Money is so noble a medium that it does not compete with guns and it does not make terms with brutality. It will not permit a country to survive as half-property, half-loot.
~Francisco d'Anconia~

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

It's free money...

In New York, the government shelled out a couple hundred million dollars for people on welfare or food stamps in order to assist with back to school costs - $200 a kid. This is what someone said about it:
"It's free money!" said Alecia Rumph, 26, who waited in a Morris Park, Bronx, line 300 people deep for the cash to buy uniforms and book bags for her two kids. "Thank God for Obama. He's looking out for us."
There are nearly as many things wrong in this sentence as there are words. Free money doesn’t exist – someone has to foot the bill. It’s great when the footing is done by people who chose to give of their resources to help a person, but money given by the government is taken by compulsory means. The tax-paying citizens footed the bill, Alecia, it didn’t come from a magic money tree growing at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
And God has nothing to do with government setting up programs to give you someone else’s money.
I’m not going to talk about food stamps, Medicaid, etc…if anyone isn’t familiar with my thoughts on that, go through the archives in May 2008 and you can catch up. Rather I would just speak from my life experience concerning self-reliance and encourage people to embrace this philosophy over the freeloading mantra that has grown so prevalent.
I grew up in a large family on a small income. Much of our school shopping was from the JC Penney’s reject department – the left foot was a size 8, the right a size 7; one pant leg longer than the other; missing buttons and zippers; faded patches on t-shirts. We had grown a garden to feed ourselves and cold cereal was a stocking stuffer because it was too expensive the rest of the year. My mother had to hot glue her 1980’s classes through the early 90’s because new ones couldn’t be afforded.
This isn’t a pity party, and I won’t lie and say I enjoyed it – I’d of preferred cold cereal to hot.
I started working 40+ hour weeks the summer between my 7th and 8th grade year in killing noxious weeds in the oil fields of Wyoming and had a manual labor job every summer until I graduated from high school to earn money for my school clothes, for college and for missionary service.
This isn’t bragging, and I won’t lie and say I enjoyed it – I’d of preferred to not work.
What I will say is I learned self-reliance.
I learned though all people are born with certain rights, one of them is not getting what you want and sometimes it’s not even getting what you need. I’ve learned it isn’t anyone else’s responsibility to help me buy things or have children or pay for my medicine. I’ve learned that when times get tough and help is needed (we all will need it, in one way or another) parents and family will welcome with open arms if there’s enough humility to ask.
And I’ve learned that God should be thanked for giving us the ability to work, to sacrifice and be self-reliant, not for helping ourselves to other people’s money.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Excuse me while I shift my paradigm

So I spent some time recently doing some blog strolling ? different from trolling, because the blogs I looked at are all people I know/am related to ? and made an important discovery. Maybe it isn?t so much a discovery as a wake up call.
First, I?m pretty much the only guy I know who keeps a blog. Sure, it could be argued I don?t keep a blog as the postings have been so few and far between over the past year, but for argument?s sake we?ll say I do.
Second, a lot of people I know are genuinely happy people. The posts I read were positive, upbeat, optimistic and authentic by people I know all have struggles of one kind or another in their lives ? they?re either going thru school and are poor as dirt, have health problems, fight the good fight of raising a family in less than impressive times, etc?
I started the day at 5am, having gone to bed earlier in the morning (not a typo) after taping and painting for about 6 hours; my attitude was not prime. But after perusing afore mentioned posts, a sense of peace and happiness settled upon me and has since changed my outlook on the day.
Happiness is truly contagious.
My revelation is that people need to know I?m happy and that I make the choice to be happy even though life isn?t the vacation I sometimes wish it would be. I?m not one of those people who is always smiling, so it?s not about being fake or having one of those perm-a-grins; it?s simply acknowledging there are things and people to be happy about and until I am a quadriplegic laying alone in a some hospital bed with nothing but MSNBC and The Real Housewives of Whatever-City/County/State-They-Come-Up-With-Next on the tube, there will always be a reason to choose to be happy.
So, let the following be known:
Today is a good day
I?m stoked to take my first time off of the year over the next 3 working days
My lawn ? tilled under, seeded and worked from scratch ? is green and looking good
Lydia is awesome and makes me laugh every day
I?m excited to have another little girl in our house
I?ve repainted the entire house in less than 2 weeks and it looks GOOD
?A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have? ~ Gerald Ford
And if I could extrapolate these personal results, it would seem that putting our best face forward ? despite any issues, problems, etc actively occurring in our lives ? positively impacts the lives of others. And when it seems we are about to drown in troubles not of our doing or wallowing in the filth of our own self-pity, there are those around who, purposely or unknowingly, lift us up. All we need to do is look.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

For your listening pleasure

Paula showed me this the other night and I really liked it, so I thought I'd share it with everyone else. She and/or Natalie stumbled onto it in one of the 300 or so blogs they troll.
I really like Coldplay and all I know about Taylor Swift is she's a country singer who dated a Jonas brother, but the arrangement is cool if you enjoy the piano and cello.

Love Story (Taylor Swift) meets Viva La Vida (Coldplay) arranged by Jon Schmidt from Matthew McLelland on Vimeo.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

To quiet my sister

So I haven't been blogging much. I recently had a coworker call my blog pathetic or something like that because of the limited posting going on; he recommended I just shut it down and put it out of its misery. He has a point. That decision is pending.
As you all know from Paula's post, we are expecting child #2. I'm looking forward to it - should make for an interesting holiday season. The baby is due the weekend before Thanksgiving - the 21st. Given Lydia going over almost 10 days before we forced her out, I'm anticipating a Thanksgiving Day birth. Paula was adamant about not having a holiday baby, so the irony would be off the charts; of course, I predicted the reason for Paula's extreme duress w/ this pregnancy was that she was having twins. That turned out to be a poor prediction, much like experts with the Sugar Bowl this year.
The question has been posed to me: would you like a boy or girl? I'd like to have a boy before it's all said and done - that's for sure. So, in a way I want a boy just to make sure we get one. From a short-term economical perspective, it would be better to have a girl since we have a bunch of girl stuff; however, in the long-term a boy will be significantly less expensive. I feel much less responsibility to assist any sons I have w/ their higher education - no sense of obligation, really - but I do with my daughter(s). Then there is the whole wedding thing. I'd prefer not to foot the bill any more than I have to.
From an emotional standpoint, a boy would be beneficial. I've become (emotionally) soft since Lydia was born. If women living together can, through some form of chemical osmosis that I don't understand or feel like researching, end up on the same cycle then you can only imagine how being the only man in a house of three girls will mess with me. Pretty soon I'll be crying during Oprah.
Anyway, there's a quick rundown of my thoughts w/ the second on the way. Now to address the subject line.
Rachell is leaving comments about how I don't post any pictures of Lydia. I pose the following: do you know any man who has a blog and posts pictures of his kid? Not a family blog, but an individual man? That being said, I don't feel too guilty about it. Actually, I don't feel any guilt. But to keep the snarky comments to a minimum, here are some of Lydia Pics in no particular order and without any commentary. Since a picture says a thousand words...

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Pork everywhere!

I had a revelation while attempting to play basketball over Thanksgiving – I am fat. And out of shape. And fat.

This wasn’t so much a revelation as a culmination: the inverse ratio of diminishing jaw-line to increasing waistline was a fair indicator; it seemed my gut was expanding faster than the federal government. But it wasn’t until trying to run up and down a court that the painful and embarrassing reality filled every fiber of my being…particularly my atrophied lungs.

Fortunately this basketball game was in Wyoming, so my buddy Nick was there and he is in excellent shape thanks to a little something called P90X. This is one of those workout programs you see advertised late at night, sandwiched between infomercials promising riches by selling your old nail clippings and how to get more hair – and women – by strapping a cat to your head; I was skeptical.

But Nick’s diamond-stamped triceps and his ability to run up and down the court like a gazelle across the Serengeti was proof enough for me that this was something that I needed to do. Along comes Christmas and with it P90X – 12 DVD’s that would act as the harbinger of death for my gelatinous body.

Well, I’m on week three (technically Week 4, but Week 1 was such a mess that I decided to scrap it) of the program and this is what I’ve discovered so far: first, P90X is code for ‘welcome to hell’; second, I was much farther down the road to blobness than I anticipated; third, P90X is awesome.

Anyway, there’s my endorsement for the program. Definitely something that will work you over, but something that is enjoyable and that produces results. I’m not going to hit the beach anytime soon, but my reps have increased each week and there is even a certain level of enjoyment as my body is abused by Tony Horton.


Everyone give a hand to the federal government for strapping us and our children with nearly $2 trillion (2,000,000,000,000). Really excited about this, the total bill between TARP and the “stimulus” is going to end up being nearly $10 trillion (9,700,000,000,000). No big deal – just going to cost my daughter and her family nearly 80% of their gross income to make up the difference. Thank goodness for Big Brother taking care of us all.

I wonder if there’s any administration in history that has done so much to hurt our nation so quickly after coming into office. I haven’t the time or the energy to talk about it all, so I’m going to provide some links and you all can check it out.

Links that should make you think:

Universal healthcare is on its way

Play now, pay later

Breaking down the cost

Stimulus 101

Tax cuts don't work? Please...