I've had my cell phone for a couple of years now. I've had the number even longer, about 10 years.
One afternoon, I was leaving work. I don't get a signal at my desk so I shut off the phone during the day to save the battery. When I get out to the parking lot, I turn it on and it plays catch up with any calls/voicemails/text messages I missed during the day. My phone chimes, I have a text message.
"Hey, what are you guys doing tonight?"
My phone doesn't recognize the phone number or it would've put someone's name on the header corresponding to an entry in the address book. I don't recognize the phone number either. So I reply.
"Mark," a few minutes later.
I know a Mark. He's very social, looking for things to do with friends so I text back.
"[Mrs. Lock] out of town. Home alone."
I get the reply.
"Who's [Mrs. Lock]?"
So I know there's a crossed wire somewhere. I text back,
"Don't know you. Sorry."
That's the end of it. No responding texts.
The next day, I get up, check my phone. There's a missed call. From the same mystery number that text me yesterday. There's no voicemail, so I blow it off.
That night, I'm sitting at my computer. It's about 11:30p. I've got my cell next to me and it rings. It's the same phone number from the strange text messages. I answer.
"Hello?" Long pause. "Hello? Who is this," I ask.
"Mark," the caller replies.
"How can I help you Mark?"
I hear the phone pull away from the speaker's mouth as he says "What the f-?" Disconnect.
I go back to the computer. Maybe 30 minutes later, it's after midnight now, I get a text. It's from you-DONT-know-who.
"Are you upstairs?" it reads.
At this point, my mental wheels start turning. I am indeed upstairs. But this guy has mistaken me for someone else. I look around and remembered I opened the curtains and windows fully to cool the room off. It's dark outside. I can't see anything but people could see in if there's anyone standing out there.
I text back. "I don't know you."
He texts back. "I'm downstairs."
Oh crap! I fly up out of my chair, I start turning on all the lights, in the hallway. I fly down the stairs, turn on the entry hall light, more hallway lights, living room, dining room, kitchen. I'm checking all the locks on the doors. They are still locked. There can't be anyone in my house. This guy must have the wrong number I think to myself despite being a little freaked out at the moment.
I hear some noises outside so I open the back door and step out onto the porch. There is a party going on a few doors down. It's very typical coming from that house though. If they weren't noisy late at night, I'd know something is wrong. I listen for any other noises, movements in the dark. There is nothing.
I come back inside, close the door. Lock it. Decide to go to bed. I take my cell phone with me but since this guy is a night owl, I don't want his calls waking me up. So I silence the ringer.
Finally I get to sleep after the adrenaline leaves my system. I get up the next morning and the first thing I do is look at my phone. No missed calls. No text messages.
I recounted the whole story to my wife over the phone. She mentioned she sold her old cell phone in a garage sale the day before and I could be getting messages from that. It's possible although the area code she sold the phone in does not match the one calling me. I decide to do nothing.
Later that day I get one more message from Mystery Mark. It says "Want to play vball at vic?" Sounds harmless. Not very stalker-like. I ignore that one and that's the last I've heard from them.
Took the family to the State Fair last night. We go every year but for the first time, this year, we went by train. Daughter Lock loves trains. Big fan of Thomas the Tank Engine (most kids her age seem to be). This was her first time on one after talking about them incessantly. I think she was a bit surprised people could actually climb inside and use it as transportation.
Once we got to the fair, Daughter Lock had another first. She rode a roller coaster. A year ago this time, she was apprehensive about a carousel ride we took together. That nervous look in her eyes as the plastic horse went round and round, up and down. This year, she's really showing her maturity. She saw the roller coaster and demanded she "ride the caterpillar." We tried to talk her out of it but she was insistent. I went and bought a couple of tickets, one for me one for her and we went on the caterpillar roller coaster. She loved it. I told her to raise her arms when we went around as is coaster tradition and she did it. She did a bit of friendly screaming as we roared down the track at 30 mph.
After it was over, I asked if she wanted to go again. She said,
"No. It's too scary." But she said it with a smile.
On the train ride back, she zonked out in the seat, exhausted from trying new things.
My oldest child is three years old. It's a very interesting age for a parent to observe. It's when she is most like a person but also when she is very demanding. And these aren't demands that make sense or a essential to survival to a fellow human being. Three-year-olds want the DUMBEST things! And if they don't get it, you are certainly going to hear about it.
I think I've said this before here, but kids are text book cases for severe bouts of OCD.
My theory on this is that the world is just beginning to make sense to them. There might be some order after all to this crazy environment, which is quite a shock to them. Out of the womb, everything is chaos, always has been and they're ok with that.
As adults, we despise chaos. We spend our whole life getting things in order despite the laws of entropy and the universe.
For a child, order it's something new and they're very bad at it, amateurs. So they don't know what's important and what's not important. They could take the time to sit down, draw an outline of what's necessary and discard what isn't. Unfortunately, it's rare for someone so young to reach this level of reasoning (maybe that's a good thing for development reasons) so it's just easier to demand it for everything in their life. Shoot now, ask questions later...MUCH later. YEARS later! Maybe never as is the case for many adults.
If you leave the room, my daughter yells out, "I'll be back." She will continue to yell this until you acknowledge her. And you can't just acknowledge it with a nod or something affirmative. You have to repeat the phrase verbatim. This means the following phrases are unacceptable:
"Yup" "Yes" "Ok" "I'll be back in a minute." "I will be back." "I'll be right back." "I'll be back, Daughter." "Daddy will be right back." "I'm not going anywhere." "Hush." "Ok that's enough!" "Do you want to go to your room?" "Stop crying." "Ok you don't have to go to your room, just stop crying." "And quit asking that. Ok fine! I'LL BE BACK!"
And you better say it loud, because she is repeating the phrase every half a second. If she doesn't hear you, the cycle continues until she does. Same format for "Good night" "Going bye bye?" "You hungry?" "Carry me"
Other evidence of OCD in children, when my daughter goes to bed, she usually takes a few toys. Each night it's different toys but when she falls asleep, I take the toys out of her bed. In the morning. when she wakes up, nay before she is completely awake, still rubbing her eyes and yawning, she will ask where toys x, y and z are! Imagine how obsessive you have to be to think of the items you carried to bed a day ago and can perform total recall of its inventory after sleeping all night?
I don't think it's her daily schedule that makes her this way. She doesn't have a strict schedule per se. She goes to bed at varying times (it is every night, just random hours), eats at varying times, takes baths at varying times. I can't imagine how demanding she'd be if we did have her on such a schedule.
So there's the good stuff too. Memory like a computer.
Her maternal grandfather has a ring tone on his phone that's the Jenny song (867-5309, for a good time, for a good time caaaaaaaallll). She loves this ring tone, breaks into song as soon as his phone rings.
Weeks later we were at Jimmy Johns getting a bite to eat when the Jenny song came on over the sound system. The chorus hadn't even started, just the beginning of the song with the first verse and my daughter started bopping her head to the music. She blurted out the word "Grandpa" and then did the sign language sign for Grandpa. That's a neat trick.
Another time, we were watching the movie Gone Baby Gone with Casey Affleck. I tell her the names of the movies I am watching. She repeated the title a few times during the show, but for the most part played with her toys while I watched the movie.
Several weeks later, I'm watching The Assassination of Jesse James starring who other than Casey Affleck as Robert Ford, James' assassin. He's dressed in 19th century clothes, has a ragged black hat on. My daughter, playing with her toys in front of the TV takes one look at the screen, looks back to her toys and says "Gone Baby Gone."
So she knows and remembers stranger's faces she's only seen once. Color me impressed.
Now if we can just get her to pee in something other than her diaper.
My daughter is 3 now. Her ever-growing vocabulary is increasingly entertaining.
Chocolate is "Chlockate" Kool-Aid is "Kloo Aid" Toilet paper is "Paper toilet" Licorice is "Lickerkish"
It's hard not to use her version of the words, but we have to try if we want her to learn the correct way to say things. Sometimes we think it's cute, other times, our brain has tricked us into thinking it's the correct pronunciation.
I also know her vocabulary is getting better because she is making up words. I've seen her point to an object in the room, then say the name of that object. Then say something unintelligible about it. It's not the usual 3 year old struggling to say the correct word. She obviously is making up a word and she will continue to call it different things, laughing at each verbal creation.
2008 political warfare is in full swing. It's basically down to McCain on the Republican side while Obama and Clinton duke it out on the Democrat side. The two parties can have each other and with any luck, they'll destroy each other. Being a Republican or a Democrat is like being the member of an exclusive club. Some poeple take this club very seriously to the point that they feel it's country vs. country and they're at war.
To me, being a member of one of the two major parties is like being in the sewers. One group decides the left side of the crap creek is the place to be while the other group defends the other side. They're so caught up in defending their spot in the sewers, they don't realize that the better option would be to GET OUT OF THE SEWERS! They run the danger of not really focusing on the issues so much as how are they going to beat the other guy. Both parties are liars, both parties are hypocrites but it doesn't matter because they're at war and they can't let the other guy win. This sounds eerily much like religious warfare to me. They don't really know why they're fighting, they just know it's been that way for years. No need to stop and question things for themselves now.
I need to check my Jeep's horoscope. Bad week for it. Bad mojo or something for my nine year old vehicle.
Today, I went through a drive thru to get some breakfast. It was a bit chilly out. I unzipped the window and folded it down (Soft top Jeeps have the soft windows that are zipped) but it snapped the complete length across the middle. I broke my plastic window. That's a chilly ride.
And yesterday, I was driving around with my windshield wipers extended since we had a lot of ice in the area. As I was driving along, I watched the passenger side wiper fall off the arm, hit the hood and slide off onto the road. You should see my windshield. I can see out my side of it, but the other side is covered in salt.
Wonder how long it will be before I get around to fixing either one of these things? Seven years ago, I ran over the metal bar that weighs down and connects the back window. That's never been replaced and all of the elements have invaded the back of my Jeep behind the back seat for the last seven years.
My son had his second and hopefully final surgery in his very young life to treat his Hirschsprung's.
Here was the surgery schedule on Monday, February 11.
9a: Got to the hopsital. They seated us in an OR waiting room to have doctors come visit us.
9:30: The anesthesiologist paid us a visit. Went over the procedure and asked if we had questions.
10: The surgeon stopped in. Went over procedure, asked if we had questions. Told us the procedure would take about 3 hours. We were also getting him circumcised. Which is like pulling teeth (pulling something) at this hospital. Out of all the time we spent there and all the visits since he was born, we had to keep bringing it up as something we wanted done and they never seemed to remember the last time we brought it up.
10:30: Finally, nurse came to pick up our son and to deliver him to surgery. We left the OR and went to the larger waiting room.
11:15: The OR waiting room nurse told us the procedure began officially. Circumcision would be done first, then the recision and the sealing of the ostomy. We received hourly updates on his progress.
2:50: Surgery is ended. He's on his way to recovery. 3h and 35 minutes.
4:20: We paid our son a visit in recovery. He was out like a light.
He was in recovery for at least another hour or so but not because of his condition but rather, they didn't have a room ready for him yet.
Doctor said the earliest he could go home would be Wednesday but it'd be more like Thursday or Friday realistically. We were there until Saturday. Mom stayed with him the whole time, bunked up in his room, sleeping in a recliner.
We're glad to have him home and have one less hole in his body.
Picked up a little toy called the Apple iTouch. I'm very impressed with it. I'd been wanting one for awhile, thought they looked neat ever since the iPhone was released last fall. They were just a tad pricey for me. When Apple released the 32 Gb version of the iPhone/iTouch, prices went down. And since I picked it up at our favorite wholesale retailer, Costco, that was another $30 off the price. Not bad.
So this is the first post from my 8 Gb iTouch. I really like the device. It's too bad the only real way to interface with it is through iTunes. Ugh.
And the hits keep coming. Not a good year for our pets.
Our proud bunny, Bunner is in a better place today. Over the past couple of months, his appetite started to wane. The usual diet was a B.A. carrot (one guess what B.A. stands for) in the morning with a scoop of Oxbow pellets and a handful of hay. In the evening, he got another scoop of pellets and another handful of hay. On occassion, we'd swap his carrot for an apple or lettuce. But he didn't like normal lettuce. He had to have Romaine lettuce or nothing. Lately though, I've only had to feed him in the morning. Also, he was doing this thing where he had his back to us. He'd stare out the back of his cage at the wall and wouldn't face the door unless he was eating.
Over the weekend, he was struggling to stand sometimes. Had trouble getting up.
On Monday, he was lying down and not getting up. And he completely quit eating. His food just sat there. I'd see him pull himself around with his front paws, but his back paws weren't moving. We figured he had a stroke.
We scheduled an appointment with the vet to take a look at him and probably do the thing that we think has to be done. The average rabbit lives about 4 years. Ours little Bunner, was 15 and change.
When we got him to the vet, the vet said she has seen a lot of rabbits, but there were no standard procedures for one his age. She'd never seen one this old. She suspected that our rabbit had kidney failure and the pain from it is what was preventing him from standing up. Not a stroke. She said, there's not much we could do other than prolonging his life a little bit longer with treatment and probably some sort of dialysis, but we don't put our animal through that, if the diagnosis is chronic and the quality of life is degraded during treatment, it's not good for them. It's not good for anyone. The vet also noticed, with an exam, a mass on his chest.
So we made the decision. We said our goodbyes. We've asked the vet to have him cremated. We even picked out a little urn for him. He'll probably go on the fireplace mantel next to our cat.
Fifteen years. He was fun on Easter. He looked like the Cadbury Bunny too. He'd hop around the yard. He had a favorite corner he'd dug a hole into and he'd go back there and sleep. Occasionally, we get wild bunnies in the yard. You could tell, these scrawny wild rabbits didn't know what to think of our Bunner.