Letters to Holly

Thursday, October 28

New Baby Plateau

Your Nephew had his checkup.

He is in the 75th percentile of length, weighs just under 15 pounds, and is in the 55th percentile for head size. The last one surprised us. I suspect 12 of his pounds are skull. He got a second round of vaccinations, but he won't be considered fully immunized until the third round in two months. The doctor suggested we both get flu shots and warned he's still vulnerable to the local whooping cough. The doctor said he forgets how young the deputy is because he's so big. He's long but apparently lean.

My Mom is driving up Friday to spend the day with us and help babysit while we both visit the doctor. This weekend is quickly becoming packed. We only just yesterday put up Halloween decorations and cracked open the bags of candy to fill the official candy cauldron.

Amid the big push for early voting comes this caveat: Late surprises can make you regret that vote. A local sheriff candidate has been revealed to have legal decisions against him regarding bad checks for his various businesses. There's a bill in the NC legislature that would prohibit felons from acting in law enforcement, doubling the interest of this disclosure. The local paper did a bang-up job putting the article together, and the candidate is in a full defensive mode. It's both a shame and a relief the news came out this close to the elections. Imagine if no one knew about it until after he won.

Picture of the Day
Ray Bradbury is a bad motherfucker.

Wednesday, October 27

An Odd Wake-Up

You know the sitcom/movie cliche of baby monitors picking up conversations from other homes? It's real. I awoke to the sounds of a conversation in the bedroom with me, and that sort of thing always wakes me up. It wasn't the alarm clock -- that plays a John Williams orchestration CD. Our two-channel receiver unit locked into some other machine starting around 7:oo this morning. I called in Your Sister, who was diapering the deputy (my new album title), and we decided the state trooper next door had his walkie on. We couldn't tell if his family heard any sounds from our nursery, and it's unlikely our bedroom receiver was broadcasting. It's not engineered to, but, still, we will now shut that off when we repair to the boudoir. The baby
s across the hall. We should hear him without it.

I bought a drain repair kit during my lunch break, but I didn't use it at home. I instead took the broken plug rod from Your Sister's sink and cobbled together a fix using an X-Acto knife and the plastic ball seal from the first repair try. After 15 minutes of whittling, the ball seal allowed the old rod to control the plug, and the sink is now fixed. I'll keep the new repair kit in case my work falls apart.

Your Nephew spent the day with Your Parents and did not go to bed quietly. He seemed to have a fit of colic -- more likely indigestion -- and eventually crashed into sleep for ten hours. He has his four-month check-up today. It's been that much time since you and I hovered over Your Sister as she spat out a deductible. That weekend is both a haze and perfectly preserved in my head. Also? World Cup.

We're replacing the living room carpet within the next few weeks. We've had enough of a dirty carpet peppered with carpet-cleaning blobs.

Picture of the Day
A choice image rerun.

Tuesday, October 26

Sink Surgeon

I am the Hawkeye Pierce of sink repair.

I smooched the wife and petted the boy and went straight to the bathroom to show the sink who's boss. In return, it showed me a downright foul sleeve of goop that coated the drain. Monstrous. Inhuman. I dragged the whole thing out in one piece, a faded mix of toothpaste, hair, and failed drain-cleaning product.

I saw the plug control rod was rotted and rusted to the point it couldn't move the plug anymore. It has a ball seal to block the pipe where it connects to the drain. That ball plug had to be moved back along the rod, thus allowing a decent length to move the plug.

It looks like this:

The ball seals is right at the red dot on the above pivot rod location. I used pliers and a vice to twist the ball back along the rod and reassembled the lever contraption. The sink works just fine now.

I looked at Your Sister's and discovered that her lever plug has a ball seal with a plastic rod to move the plug. That rod broke, and I'll need to get a sturdier rod/ball combination to move her drain plug. I'll stop by a hardware store today to find one, and I might be able to fix her sink too. That's gotta improve our property value by at least $5.

The boy is intentionally reaching for objects now, and he is much more verbal.

Picture of the Day
This weekend saw the annual Wonder Woman Day held in Oregon and New Jersey. Auctions for art such as this raise money for abused women.

Monday, October 25

Repairs Needed

I discovered last night that my sink no longer worked. The push/pull that hinges the drain plug was moving, but the plug wasn't. It was jammed in the drain, backing up the water. I let it be, and hoped the water would eventually seep down the pipe and relieve any pressure keeping the plug down. I awoke this morning to the same amount of water. The push/pull connects to the drain via an access screw, and I removed that to jimmy the plug. What I found was a blockage of crud. I can't tell if the crud had eaten away at the plug connection and broken it, but I was able to remove the plug. I cleaned off the various parts and set them to dry. I'll attempt sink surgery tonight. This very thing happens all the time to Your Sister's sink, and she blames it on heavy use. I've replaced the plug mechanism a few years back. I think the design might be bad. She currently uses a rubber stopper for her sink, but I want to fix mine properly.

My Saturday morning run was a deadweight slog. My legs had no zip. I forced my way through the downtown route so I could claim to have run a 5k distance in preparation of this weekend's race. The next day, I carried the deputy in his new carrier and wore the diaper bag at the same time during our grocery shopping. I figured that was a good follow-up workout. I didn't dare complain about the weight to Your Sister, who carried this guy around for much longer than 45 minutes. I had hoped to buyyd up for the race, but the person I asked is at home with whooping cough. It's officially in our county. We think the deputy was vaccinated for that during his two-month checkup. We'll ask Wednesday at his four-month.

I started a guest comic for Comics From Space. I was asked about doing one about two months back, and it's due in mid-November. The pencils are done, and I'll ink it in between feeding and changing the deputy. I used my phone to stream Pandora for him Friday night to lull him to sleep.

We have chosen one of my costumes for next year's DragonCon: The Stig from Top Gear. We'll spread out the cost for it during the next year, and we can use her bike helmet.

Picture of the Day
A fantastic convention photo.