Nothing personal, pal. It’s just business

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He should do this more often
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I fully admit, sometimes I can be rather irrational. I even toyed with naming my blog “Irrational Dad”, and I may still do that. “Who’s Your Daddy”… I may as well be named “John Smith” for the amount of originality in that title. I didn’t come here today to discuss titles with you, though.

Sarah was gone all day yesterday. Her sister is ill, blah blah blah. Read yesterday’s post if you don’t know the background. Well, Sarah called me around, I don’t know, 6ish to tel me that they were heading to the hospital because her sis wasn’t doing so well.

Oh hey, look, a tangent. Mind if I jump on it? I love all of Sarah’s sisters (3 of them) as if they are my own sisters. Heck, I consider them my own sisters. It breaks my heart that she’s hurting, and I sincerely wish her the best. I’ll be giving her a giant hug tomorrow.

*jumps off the tangent*

So, Sarah’s at the hospital and will be on her way home soon. Fine by me, no problem, take your time.

She got home around 8p or so. After giving Sarah her X’s and O’s, I scooped Tyler up to give him some lovins too. He responded by screaming.

After a bit, I read him “The Alphabet Book”, by Dr. Seuss, and “I Know an Old Lady”. Tyler still had wide eyes, so I sang the alphabet song to him, forwards and backwards (yes, I am that good. Sarah asked how the heck I did that, the first time she heard me. I don’t care if you can say the alphabet backwards, you have to sing it to the tune of “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star”), and then read him some farm book. I dressed him in his jammies, and carried him upstairs.

I put Tyler in his crib and told him that I love him forever and ever… And he screamed. I gave him his paci and he calmed down and closed his eyes. Upon crossing my left foot over the threshold between his room and freedom… errr… I mean the hallway, he spit the paci out and screamed.

He continued to scream at me while I held him, quietly shushing him and telling him it’s time to make his night-nights come. He continued to scream while I walked with him, swayed him, and rocked him. That’s about the time where I became “irrational dad”. I started wondering why Tyler doesn’t like me, if he’ll ever learn to love me, and what I did to make him feel that way towards me. I can’t be the only person to have ever felt that. At least, I hope I’m not the only one.

The logical part of me (94%, according to some bloodwork I got back in March) tells me that I’m being, well, irrational. I know that he’s used to being put to bed by Sarah. I know that he prefers to fall asleep at the boob, although we *try* to discourage that. BUT… Irrational dad is screaming at me, telling me I’m a horrible father, and he’s quite convincing.

Tyler finally fell asleep, so I put him in his crib. I headed downstairs so that Sarah and I could watch a couple episodes of Dexter (awesome, albeit a little dark, show. We’re halfway thru season 1). About 10 minutes in, something caught my eye. I looked over towards the coffee table to see what moved. Nothing. Must’ve been my imagination. But, wait, I see it again! The arch of lights on the baby monitor flickered. Just the first light. I watched the monitor with suspenseful anticipation, as if it was going to sprout legs and start dancing any moment now.

“Please Lord, let it just be a fart.”

As if on cue, all 6 lights sprang to life. The flickering lights, a perfect visual compliment to the cries that seemed to be originating from the upper level. Watson, my dear friend, I do believe that our guest has awakened. The word that formed across my lips starts with an “s” and rhymes with “hit”. On I trudged my way up the stairs, I mumbled something about my son hating me.

I put my hand on Tyler’s chest. After telling him he was safe and that his mommy and daddy were still here, he closed his eyes and fell asleep.

About 10 minutes later, something caught my eye. A glimmer of red light. Do you see where this is going? Sarah said she’d go up. A few minutes later, she brought him downstairs and put him to the boob. He ate very lazily, then fell asleep.

FOR 7 HOURS. Is it considered bad form to call one’s own son a jerk? I’m pretty sure he did that on purpose, just to spite me.

Lying around

Tyler, doin’ his thing
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I planned on downloading pictures off the camera today and getting them online. That will, apparently, not be happening. Sarah’s sister is dealing with some health concerns, so Sarah and Tyler went up to visit and provide some love and support. Don’t worry, folks, she’ll be fine. She’s just in a lot of pain. I say “just” as if it’s no big deal, and I don’t intend for that. She hurts, but she’s not dying. Anyway, Sarah has the camera, so no pictures for you.

The lack of a camera motivated me to load up the videos that are in the “Videos – Raw” folder of my computer, edit them, and re-save them in the “Videos” folder. A few days ago, Sarah took a vid of Tyler lying around and doing, well…. nothing really. It’s 4 minutes long, and there’s nothing really going on, but feel free to watch it if you’ve got some time to kill. I’m telling you though, he’s just lying around. It’s not nearly as exciting as Chris chasing battling geese or anything like that. I have also just realized that I’m not entirely sure when to use “lie”, “lay”, “laying”, or “lying”, as in “He’s laying down” or “He’s lying down”. I found this online, but my brain is in lazy mode today, so I’ve bookmarked it for later use. I hate misspelling words, and I hate using the wrong words (they’re, their, there – your, you’re – to, too, two), so I’ll get it figured out.

I also spent some time getting the colors on my YouTube channel to match up with my BlogSpot, MySpace, and Twitter. I haven’t delved into SmugMug yet, because I’d actually have to upgrade my account ($$) to be given the ability to customize it. Facebook doesn’t allow that kind of stuff, so I’ve done just about all I can do to make my network mesh.

We now have a freezer in the garage. It’s bittersweet, really. See… I was really looking forward to building the automatic-thermostat-heater thing. I was slightly disheartened when I saw that I wasn’t the first person to come up with the idea. It was made worse when I went to Sears (I know) and found a Kenmore for $179 that can be used in “unheated spaces”. I bought it and felt a little empty on the inside. I really wanted to build that thing. I’ve been trying to think of another application it would work for, so that I can build it anyway.

Lastly, I’d like to create an “About Me” page here at Blogspot/Blogger, but can’t figure out how? Anyone here know how? My thought would be to just create a new post and link to that. I’m fine with that, but I’d like it to NOT show up on my listing of blog posts. Ugh… nvm

The Deep Freeze

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A family-self-portrait
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Sarah desperately wants a deep freezer. It turns out that (breast) milk takes up quite a bit of space in a freezer. We’ve got a side-by-side fridge. I honestly couldn’t tell you if freezers are bigger in those or the ones where the freezer is on top. I can tell you that our freezer *seems* a heck-of-a-lot smaller. It’s at the point where we are both scared to open our freezer, for fear that we may be buried in a heap of frozen milk bags.

She used to drop subtle hints about us needing a deep freezer (chest freezer). Now, she’s becoming more – uhhh – clear on her desires for one.

Before Tyler was born, she would say, “I hope the freezer is big enough to store a bunch of milk.”

I would respond with, “Oh yeah… Plenty of room.”

Then it became, “The freezer’s filling up with milk. We’re gonna have to figure something out, sometime.”

A couple days ago, I said, “Yay! Fable II is coming out soon for the Xbox360.”

She responded with, “We need a freezer.”

Today, Sarah called me to say “good morning”. I was driving down to Indianapolis for business. I drove by something that caught my eye.

“It probably won’t be a long day today, because my sales rep has my power tools. I’ll have to hook up with him on Wednesd-oooooooooooooooo.”

Sarah said, “What? What’s going on?”

Completely, 100% joking, I said, “Oh, I just saw a dune buggy for sale, but there was no price on it.”

“No. We need a freezer.”

Subtle? No. Tactful? Nope. My fault? Likely. After all, I’ve told Sarah that, because I am a member of the male populous, and because my primary fuel is testosterone, hints and sublety do not compute. If you want something, just say it. I guess that’s what she’s doing, eh? Or maybe she is *somehow* hinting that she wants a new pair of shoes. Women make no sense to me.

There’s no room for a freezer in our kitchen. The basement leaks like a sieve, so it can’t go down there, due to the likelihood of flooding when it rains. This leaves the garage.

Allow me to clarify. This leaves our uninsulated garage. Our too-hot-in-the-summer, too-cold-in-the-winter garage. I worried, because I figured that the hot weather would wreak havok on a freezer. It would appear, thank you very much to Google, that COLD weather is what’s bad. When it gets very cold, the compressor can’t start, but it still tries to. Also, the oil collects at the bottom and gets very thick, and thus, doesn’t circulate well at all. As a result, the starter and/or compressor tend to burn up and require replacement. A lot.

I could just get a freezer that is designed for unheated spaces. They only cost an additional $1,500. 2 things immediately come to mind, which leads to a 3rd thought:

1) They exist
2) We’re not getting one, because they cost too much

Which leads to

3) I bet I can modify one of the cheap $200 models to work in my garage.

After a little more googling/brainstorming, here’s what I’m thinking. If the main concern is the compressor getting too cold, I need some type of automated timer with a heater. I can get something called a foil-coil or drain trough heater. I can wrap that around the compressor. To automate it, I can get a defrost module/thermostat from an appliance repair shop. I’ll set it for 40º – 50º fahrenheit (minimal operating temperature), and place the actual thermostat on the compressor.

The theory is this. During the winter, if the metal on the compressor drops below 40º, the defrost module kicks the foil-coil on and keeps the compressor above it’s minimal operating temperature.

Wiring will be a little tricky. I don’t want the compressor trying to start while the foil-coil is running. Basically, when the thermostat hits 40º, I need to divert the 110vAC away from the starter/compressor and to the foil-coil. A relay should take care of that. Then when the thermostat senses that we’re back up to operating temperature, it’ll kick off and send power back to the starter to fire up the compressor. EDIT: This is exactly what I’m talking about!!!

Am I missing anything here, aside from the obvious danger of burning down my garage? Sarah would be fine with the risks involved. To Sarah, her need for a freezer outranks my need for a garage. I can see it now.

Scene: It’s a cold winter afternoon. Fade to the kitchen. Joe is looking out the window. The room is illuminated with dancing orange and yellow lights. A firetruck siren screams in the backgound. A single tear escapes and begins its journey down a face that is devoid of all color.

“Sarah, the freezer caught fire and burned down the garage. Everything’s gone.”

The tear hangs precariously from his jaw, threatening to break free of its hold. A slideshow of images flash across Joe’s mind. A bike, a car, tools, old photos, his son’s red wagon. His heart feels heavier and heavier. As the images continue to splash his memory, the tear falls. He shifts his gaze to Sarah. She returns his stare. Joe can see, with only a fleeting moment of relief, that his despair is echoed in her.

She says, slowly and quietly, “Is the milk ok?”

Fade to black…. aaaaannnnnd end scene.