December 03, 2002
Alexander Benjamin at Four Months

Alexander In AirplanesWe took Alexander in for his four month checkup yesterday morning. The doctor says he's healthy and growing at a healthy rate. He's ahead of the curve at "transferring" objects from one hand to the other, but he's not rolling over as much as other four-month-olds tend to do. In other words, he's developing fine motor control faster than course motor control.

He's also now in the 75th to 90th percentile range for height, weight, and skull size. He's a little over 16 pounds, which means we should be able to continue using his current car seat for a few more months. We were worried he'd outgrow it (the max is 20 pounds) before he turned a year old. That still seems likely, but at least we won't have to rush out to buy a new car seat *right this minute.*

You see, the law says that any child under one year old has to be in a rear-facing car seat. Most rear-facing car seats are only rated for children up to twenty pounds. If Alexander weighs more than twenty pounds before he turns a year old, we'll end up having to buy him one more car seat than we would have had to, otherwise. It's funny how many things like this you have to be aware of once you have a baby in the house.

Anyway, the big event at the doctor's office yesterday was another round of innoculation shots for the kid. He needed FOUR shots. Ouch! He was not happy about that.

Otherwise, life continues to move forward with our little one. He's not crawling yet, but he is starting to scoot around the room by pushing with his feet while he's lying on his back. So far, his favorite places to go are under the tables and chairs in the living room. A whole new world for him. :-)

Posted by at 10:42 AM in the following Department(s): The Boys | Comments (0)
 December 07, 2002
A Sad Day in E-Tail-land

I'm so bummed. is no more. It has been swallowed up by former competitor I already have a wish list at, and it was completely different from my wish list at CDNow. [sigh] Now I'll have to recreate my wish list from CDNow on Life is so hard.

My own desire for you all to go out and buy me gifts aside, I am disheartened by the way my favorite unprofitable companies unite to form bigger, clumsier unprofitable companies. CDNow had some wonderful innovations in user interface that made searching for albums and songs much more pleasant than the UI on it's brand new "partnered" site., likewise, enjoys a number of great UI breakthroughs... that simply don't translate well to their music store. Sadly, the advantages of CDNow's UI are lost, and we are left with one dominant e-tailer of music CDs on the web. Well, okay, Barnes & Noble also sells music, so there is a Pepsi to's Coke. But, still. What's life without Dr Pepper?

Sad days, indeed.

Mourners should feel free to spend money buying me stuff from my wish list at

Posted by at 12:07 AM in the following Department(s): Tidbits | Comments (3)
 December 09, 2002
Shameless Commercial Plug

Warning! Warning! Blatant commercial plug here!

If you're at a loss for gift giving this holiday season, allow me to recommend the gift of a magnifying mirror from The Mirror Place. Quality mirrors are a great gift. After all, how many people do you know who *don't* use a mirror? And not only does The Mirror Place carry a fine selection of high quality mirrors, but they also ship quickly for the holidays. They are also one of my favoritest clients. :-)

In fact, if you place an order with them for over $50 worth of merchandise, you are eligible for 10% off the price of your order by simply saying "I'm a close personal friend of Allan's" to the person who takes your order (if you call) or type it into the comments field (if you order online). This discount is valid for any order placed in 2002.

Do your part to keep America strong. Buy from The Mirror Place this holiday season.

Posted by at 03:34 PM in the following Department(s): Tidbits | Comments (0)
A Joke I Saw...

I like this one.

There are 10 kinds of people in the world. Those who understand binary, and those who don't.

Posted by at 03:51 PM in the following Department(s): Humor | Comments (0)
 December 14, 2002
Diet Another Day

On the morning of Friday the 13th, I had the pleasure of undergoing some rather urgent oral surgery. I'll spare you the gruesome the details, other than to say it was a "gum graft" to transplant some of the gum material from my upper palette to the front of my lower jaw where my gums had sustained a nasty injury.

Now, I say I had "the pleasure" of having this surgery done because, quite frankly, I'm glad I had the opportunity to have it done. Dental surgery is much less unpleasant these days than it was when I was younger, and I consider myself fortunate to have this sudden problem addressed with such a quick and relatively painless procedure. Perhaps its the echoes of Thanksgiving Day still rolling around in my head, but I'm not taking such things for granted.

While the procedure itself was relatively painless, the recovery is a bit uncomfortable. Talking is uncomfortable (and if you know me, you know what a drag that must be), and eating is even more so. The periodontist prescribed sleep, milk shakes to wash down the pain medication, and restful activity for a day or two while I get over the worst of it. "Watch a movie at home," she said. "Definitely don't go to work if you can at all avoid it."

Well, I work from home. And as it so happens, I had a major deadline for one of my projects on Friday. While I found it necessary to avoid talking on the phone on Friday (as a part of my job), other work still had to be attended to. So, other than the prescribed milkshake and meds, plus a soft dinner (pasta in creme sauce), I didn't really follow doctor's orders. I worked long hours, got to bed by around 1 in the morning, and then got up at 5 in the morning in order to prepare for an annual meeting that I very much wanted to be a part of.

There is a short list of what I am advised to eat while I'm recovering, and three of the eight listed items are ice cream. I'm not kidding. Here's the menu:

1) Broth and soup
2) Baby foods (no thank you!)
3) Milk Shakes (ice cream number one)
4) Custards (ice cream number two)
5) Eggs
6) Ice Cream (ahem)
7) Chopped or ground meats (how finely chopped?)
8) Puddings

I was also told that overcooked pasta might work out well, but that I should also eat sauces or soups lukewarm for the first couple days, as warmer foods would expand the blood vessels, which could lead to bleeding, yadda, yadda, yadda.

The doctor says I must eat. "Maintaining an adequate diet after surgery is essential," says my little instruction booklet they gave me. After a couple of days, I'll start reintroducing real food. In the meantime, though, ice cream can get a little boring after a while.

After my meeting this morning (which lasted until two in the afternoon, or so), I finally had a chance to rest. I was to meet Paulette and Alexander at the home of friends, but I wasn't up to it. I napped. I ate lukewarm soup. And then, finally, I followed the other advice of my periodontist and went to see a movie.

The cool thing about getting lost in a film is that it's possible to forget one's physical ailments. In this case, I even managed to stop constantly feeling for the stitches in my mouth with my tongue.

The movie I went to see was Die Another Day.

It had possibly the darkest montage at the beginning of any James Bond film. In fact, it was thematically about as dark as any Bond film has ever managed. There were some cool stunts, and the absolute best fight sequences were the fencing scenes throughout the movie. One of the babes in the film ("Mirand Frost") was perfectly cast, and the other ("Jinx") was a decent choice, as well. The plot was the most outlandish we've seen since Brosnon took over the series, and many of the special effects were downright awful. Bond's escape from the glacier looked more fake than footage from a video game would have. But the fight scenes were fun, as I mentioned, and there were unusually nice touches with the permanent cast (Q, Moneypenny, M).

How's this for outrageous: North Korea has enough money to develop a super weapon that nobody in the West suspects. A weapon that works flawlessly the first time. Oh, and the bad North Koreans drive cars that are as well equipped as Bond's. It's hard enough to imagine that Britain still has any sort of real espionage capabilities as it is, let alone trying to imagine North Korea as a military superpower.

Having had a nap, some food, and a distracting movie, I'm feeling much better. It was just what the doctor ordered.

Posted by at 09:56 PM in the following Department(s): Books/Movies/Music , Gingiva Graft , Tidbits | Comments (0)
 December 31, 2002
Where'd it all go?

The engine I use to maintain this site (Movable Type) has a setting to only show the most recent entries on the front page of the site. I have it set to only display entries from the past two weeks. I got a call today from an avid reader. "Hey, your site is broken! All the text is gone!"

Turns out that I haven't written anything here in, well, two weeks.

We had a fun (but busy!) holiday, followed by me taking a quick trip across the country to visit with some friends, and now Paulette and I are making personal and professional plans for 2003. I'll post more soon, including pictures. In the meantime, Alexander is upstairs crying right now, so I have to keep this short.

Happy New Year!

Posted by at 11:38 AM in the following Department(s): | Comments (0)

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On Oct 6, Megan said:
"Follow up from Megan Ok,about 4 weeks out..." on entry: Update: How go the gums?.

On Sep 17, Megan said:
"Hello, I had Alloderm graft canine to canine ..." on entry: Update: How go the gums?.

On Jul 15, traci said:
"Will be having a gum graph in about 2 weeks a..." on entry: Update: How go the gums?.

On May 21, Kris said:
"I forgot to mention that I got a terrible sin..." on entry: Update: How go the gums?.

On May 21, Kris said:
"This is in response to the question about bru..." on entry: Update: How go the gums?.

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