Friday, December 29, 2006

Answering the call

First, allow me to apologize for taking the geek-factor up so high with the last post. Honestly, talking about Battlestar Galactica and Star Trek in the same post... what was I thinking?!?

My goal for this post is to drop the GF (geek-factor) back down into the single digits and instead go for a personal feel that won't cause anyone's eyes to glaze over. Unless, of course, your eyes glaze over at the thought of reading personal stories, in which case, go ahead and glaze...

Apparently, anyone out there who knows or keeps up with the blogging culture (also known as the "blogosphere" for those who like their buzzwords. Woops, geek-factor rising, move on!) knows about tagging, whereby someone answers five questions on their blog and then picks some number (five seeming logical, but it's not always the case) of other blogs to "tag". Those other bloggers then have to answer the same questions and tag others, and so on, and so on. I said "apparently" at the beginning because while I have seen people answering questions on their blogs before, I have never been "tagged" before now. Or if I have, I was completely ignorant of it and probably seemed rude and uncaring. Alas, ignorance and neglect can sometimes express themselves in the same manner...

All that to say, my friend Ben over at Procrastination Station tagged me recently. Lest he think I am still completely clueless, I have been doing my homework on this whole subculture, and am ready to rise to the challenge. Without further ado, then...

Five Things You May Not Know About Me:

Monday, December 18, 2006

No more addictions!

Anyone else out there hooked on (the new) Battlestar Galactica?

Amy and I have been watching since a re-run of the mini-series a few years ago, and we've seen all of the first two and a half seasons. While I can't say I like every aspect of the show, I have gotten caught up in the flow of the story and the idea that it is going somewhere. In the meantime, I enjoy the gritty, fallen nature of the personalities and problems encountered. I don't necessarily agree with or endorse how they handle themselves or their issues, but I appreciate a take on space fiction that doesn't assume a utopian human condition *cough*ST:TNG*cough*. Even some of the "good guys" are down-right distasteful at times.

At any rate, as Amy and I were watching the most recent episode, we again promised each other that this would be the last TV show we let ourselves get hooked on to the point that we go out of our way to watch it. I think the only other show we've fallen into like this was Alias, and by the time we discovered that, the first four seasons were available on DVD so we could rent them. We had to be dragged through the fifth season week by week along with all the other viewers, and when it was over we decided we were not going to take any more recommendations to voluntarily get hooked on shows like 24, Lost, or so many others. It seems many of our friends and family love these and other shows, but we just can't take it anymore. Either we'll be strung along from week to week as it is broadcast, or we will rent the DVD's and lose sleep and productivity in other areas of our lives until we finish them. What can I say... we're weak. We can handle the occasional episode of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition or Dancing with the Stars, but enough of the stories that suck you in and won't let you go. It's bad enough that it takes months to get anywhere. Worse still when you get to the end and discover you don't really like the destination (Alias...)

So we're giving the boot to TV series. Actually, we don't even have an antenna or cable of any sort hooked up to our TV, so Battlestar Galactica is the *only* TV show we watch, and we do that by downloading the episodes. (We had a subscription TV service that allowed us to watch the SciFi channel back when the series started, so when we dropped that and went back to not having any signal, we found other ways of getting our fix by renting or downloading the episodes.) I don't know when or how Battlestar Galactica will end, but I'm saying it here for all to read and remember - When Galactica ends, NO MORE! I've got too many books to read to get hooked on more TV.

Unless anyone has a recommendation.

NO, forget I said that!

Monday, November 27, 2006

Make room for baby!

That title could actually be interpreted in several ways. Amy's beginning to "show" in what I keep telling her is a very attractive way (I'm sure all the husbands and fathers out there will back me up on that) as her body makes room for a quickly growing little boy. Oh, did I fail to mention that? We found out last Tuesday that our second child will be a little boy! We're very excited for Sydney to have a little brother, and her awareness of what is going on is very cute. She knows and will tell you that Mommy has a baby in her tummy, and then she'll tell you that she has one in her tummy too. I'm guessing this is natural. Every daughter wants to be just like Mommy, after all. She's not quite so certain when you ask her if she's ready to have a little brother, though, as that word is still new to her and I don't think she is quite sure what it means yet. She may never be sure...

The actual intent of the title, though, was a reflection on all the household activity we have seen since Thanksgiving. Since Thursday, we have:

  • moved the kitchen table and chairs to a sibling's home for use until we have room again (in some yet-to-be-determined future house),
  • moved the dining room table into the breakfast area and covered it for use as our main table,
  • moved the desk and office furniture (along with three computers and hundreds of cords and cables) to what used to be the dining room,
  • installed two new ceiling fans with light fixtures in Sydney's current and future rooms,
  • run new electrical, phone, and ethernet wiring in the attic for all the changes, and
  • purchased a new toilet.

Oh, that last part doesn't have anything to do with the second child. It's just a coincidence that the master bathroom's toilet tank cracked open last week. What a surprise that was! We decided to replace the whole thing rather than trying to track down a replacement tank for the old high-volume/low-efficacy toilet we have had for years. The new toilet is supposed to "just work", though I won't be trying to flush two dozen golf balls or two hundred feet of toilet paper to validate the manufacturer's claims. Sydney, on the other hand, might just...

Anyway, it has been busy, and I owe many thanks to Amy for helping when I would let her as well as some well-timed back-rubs and to my father-in-law for the use of some of the necessary tools and his serving as a sounding board and advisor on the electrical work I had to do. It's nice to get a second opinion before cutting into the house's electrical system and having a reasonable confidence that my changes won't burn the house down...

Now we just have to repaint the old office and set up the new furniture that will be coming in the next few weeks and months to make it Sydney's new room. Oh, and move all of the books from the shelves in that closet to other locations yet to be determined. But hey, having gotten as much done this weekend as we did, I can actually believe we could be done well before the baby arrives and needs Sydney's old room for his nursery!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Sydney’s Halloween costume

We're a bit late getting photos transferred from the camera and posted, but here is a Halloween photo of Sydney dressed up as a butterfly. The costume was lovingly created by Amy and Memere:


Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Wrong approach?

Just stumbled across this CNN story about Jesus dolls being refused as a donation to a toy drive. I can't really say I'm surprised at the refusal by the Marine Reserves' program. In addition to the reasons listed regarding giving toys to children of other faiths, what happens if you give it to someone who considers it idolatry? Not to say I agree, but there was certainly plenty of heated talk of "graven images" when Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ" came out a while back, and I would think this could hit a sore spot even in the homes of some Christians.

But all is not lost. All they have to do is sew little leather jackets, give them tattoos and donate them as Colin Farrell dolls. Am I the only one who sees the likeness???

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

An end to the trip that wouldn’t end (?!)

That title may seem impossible, but so should my story, so I'll let it pass...

When we last saw our tired traveler (i.e.- me), it was 11:30pm and he was stuck in San Antonio for the night with no help from the airline except a toll-free number to call. Since security wanted us out of the gate area, I went to a pay phone by the ticket counters and called said toll-free number to ask how I was going to get to Point B from what would by now be about point D.

After a few minutes of typing and searching, the agent on the phone told me that my flight was scheduled to continue from San Antonio at 6:10am and arrive in Dallas at 7:00. While this seemed perfectly logical, it was also the kind of information that would have been nice for them to share with us before we got off the plane since it basically meant we didn't have time to find a hotel and get any meaningful rest before heading back to the airport in time to wait in what would surely be a monstrous line at the ticket counter and the security checkpoint.

By the time I claimed my bag (actually a small backpack with a few cosmetic items they don't allow on aircraft anymore and the previously mentioned church clothes) and found a seat by the American Airlines ticket counter, it was pushing midnight. Getting a rental car seemed impractical given how tired I was. I didn't think I'd survive the drive. I heard a great many people on the phone looking for hotel rooms and apparently having success. I decided against this, though, for the timing considerations mentioned above.

After settling in to a chair and attempting to get comfortable, I saw a ticket agent arrive at the American desk and start helping people figure out connections, etc. Some number of people later, someone walked by and told those of us seated nearby that they were providing hotel rooms after all. By that time it was past 12:30, and I still decided to stay put.

Another handful of people later, someone mentioned that our flight was no longer at 6:10, but at 9:20! I tried unsuccessfully to get on an earlier flight which by that point was booked solid, but the three hour delay changed the whole sleeping-in-a-chair picture by enough to make me want a bed to sleep in, so I got in line and got a voucher that said it was good for one hotel room for one night plus taxes. After waiting for a shuttle, getting to the hotel, and waiting in line at the reception desk, it was just passing 2:00 in the morning. Then the manager on duty at the hotel informed those of us waiting for a room that there had been some miscommunication with American Airlines. When the airline called for rooms, they were apparently told by the hotel that there would be a $47 charge for each room, and American Airlines told them that the passengers would be paying that charge. So, what exactly is the purpose of this printed voucher for a hotel room?

I decided to go ahead and plunk down the money for a room rather than try to get back to the airport or sleep in the hotel lobby, which I'm sure they would not have appreciated. By the time I got an email off to my co-workers telling them I would be very, very late the next day, I climbed into bed at 2:30. Four hours later, I rolled out of bed feeling like the object of a cruel joke and headed back to the airport.

Sure enough, the lines were long and people were short-tempered, but I made it to the gate in time to wait for my flight. We ended up taking off not at 9:20, but at something approaching 10:20, and finally touched down in Dallas near 11am. My in-laws had, by that point, made three well-intentioned but fruitless trips to the airport due to the total inability of American Airlines' information systems to deal with such a messed up flight in a timely fashion as well as my inability to call from the plane. They generously made one more trip for me and deposited me, tired and grumpy, at home.

Fortunately, my return flight to Nashville the following Friday was perfectly uneventful and on time. Otherwise I might be in a padded room by now. I'm certain that is not the worst travel story ever, but it is the worst mess I've ever been part of, especially given that in theory it was a non-stop, 2 hour flight...

Feel free to share your travel nightmares in the comments!

Thursday, November 9, 2006

The trip that wouldn’t end…

Recently I decided to take a page out of my brother-in-law's playbook (probably a bad sign right there) and help Amy and Sydney drive to see friends in Tennessee. I would fly back home for the week, and then fly back out to meet them and help drive home. Amy and Sydney would stay in Tennessee for the week, but I could not take time of from work, so that was the bright idea we came up with.

We left last Friday afternoon and drove as far as Memphis before stopping for the night. We then drove the rest of the way to her friend's house on Saturday. All in all it was not too bad a trip, despite getting a late start and hitting rush-hour squarely in the brake lights. (Envision getting 10 miles in an hour and fifteen minutes.)

I was tired from the drive to Tennessee on Friday and Saturday as well as the excitement of seeing friends and keeping up with a sleep-deprived Sydney. As a result, I was glad to get on the plane and settle in for the trip back home from Nashville. It is a quick 2-hour hop from Nashville to DFW, and I was traveling lightly with just my laptop, the clothes I had worn to church that morning and then changed out of, and a few cosmetic items I didn't have duplicates of at home like my toothbrush and deodorant. Everything else, including the rest of my clothing for the trip and even my contact solution, I left with Amy so I could be baggage free.

A little over an hour into the flight, we started banking significantly. From previous experience I knew it was not a good sign. Sure enough, the captain came over the PA system and explained that we were going to have to hold for a while because storms were surrounding the airport and there was only one narrow corridor for planes to approach. Traffic was stacking up and it would be a while.

About half an hour later, the captain explained that we had used up the fuel we had for holding, and we would be diverting to Austin to refuel. Again from previous experience, I knew this meant at least another hour delay. Since our flight had been scheduled to arrive at 9pm before the half hour holding pattern, this all of a sudden meant my father-in-law who had offered to pick me up was going to have a late night. Sure enough, about an hour later we (and 10 other American Airlines aircraft) had been refuled by the folks in Austin and we took off again headed for Dallas. About 15 minutes later, the captain announced that due to all of the diversions, traffic was really stacked up and we were again having to hold short until we could be squeezed in. Another round of groans, and another half-hour of circling. We were then cleared to proceed to DFW only to be told 5 minutes later that another line of storms was shutting DFW down for at least an hour. This time we diverted to San Antonio!

Once on the ground in San Antonio at about 11:15pm, the *engage sarcasm* OH-so-helpful ground personnel *end sarcasm* told us four things. First, the crew had passed their allowed duty time, and was being forced to get some rest before going anywyere. That I can understand, if not gladly. Second, there was "a convention" in town and they were not able to find any hotel rooms for us. In the entire city. Of San Antonio. This is not a small town we're talking about here! I'm highly skeptical. Third, airport security was making it clear that we had to clear out beyond the security checkpoint and could not stay in the terminal area. Fourth, they handed us a little slip of paper with several paragraphs of information and an 800 number to call "in the morning" to see about being re-ticketed. I don't know what the slip of paper said, because it was entirely in Spanish...

Summary: Welcome to San Antonio! We have no place for you to go, but you sure as shootin' can't stay here! Call us in the morning and we'll see what we can do to get you where you wanted to go. Goodnight!

I'm getting worked up writing this, so I think I'll have to keep you waiting for the rest of the story. Rest assured, though, it gets better. Or perhaps I should say worse...

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Ain’t fatherhood grand?

This weekend, Amy and I went to Fredericksburg to celebrate our eighth anniversary, and Sydney went to her Memere and Papa's house. She had a great time going to a high school football game and watching her aunt Maddie in the marching band and seeing all of the friends and relatives that were in and around the house for various events. On our way back to the metroplex, I called to see how things were going and Memere handed the phone to Sydney for a few seconds. Hearing her voice made me realize how much I was missing her, and I couldn't wait to see her. Unfortunately, we weren't going to get back until late, so Sydney was spending Sunday night at Memere and Papa's.

The next morning, Amy and I were going to drive together to pick up Sydney, and then Amy was going to drop me off at my office. Several urgent pages from the office interrupted that plan, and I got dropped off before Amy picked up Sydney. I was bummed I wouldn't get to see Sydney until after work, so Amy dropped back by my office with Sydney a short while later. As I walked out of the building and down the walk to where Amy and Sydney were waiting, Sydney saw me and started running towards me and laughing gleefully. We ran to meet each other and I scooped her up and gave her hugs while she put her head on my shoulder and tried to tell me all about her weekend.

Those few minutes were so awesome I can't put it into words! It more than offset the rest of what was not a great day (as evidenced by the early pages). I wouldn't trade being Sydney's daddy for all the world!

Friday, October 6, 2006

Ridiculous legislation

While I'm in my cynical mode (see the post below about junk food in schools) let me just say that the decision by the Flower Mound town council to pass an ordinance requiring prepayment for all fuel sales is just plain silly.

What to do with snack food?

For a while now, we've been hearing about schools starting to crack down on junk food and snacks available to kids. In the (worthwhile) cause of combatting childhood obesity, many schools and their suppliers have removed soft drinks and started stocking water, unsweetened fruit juice, milk, and other healthier drinks. Now, according to a new agreement reached in New York, snacks will be banned according to several formulae based on fat and sugar content. Gone are the days of getting a Coke and a Snickers out of the vending machine for lunch.

Wednesday, October 4, 2006

Call me Gadget Man

For the last three years I have had a great pda/cell phone in my Treo 600. There have been several models since the 600, but mine did all I needed it to, and still does. One of the biggest updates in recent models, though, has seen the battery become a removable item that is easily replaced. Not so the 600.

Tuesday, October 3, 2006

Daddy, Jesus?

Sometimes you just can't say no...

Yesterday I took Sydney to her grandmother's house for the day. As we were getting out of the car, Sydney held up a little book (more of a booklet, really) called "The Miracles of Jesus" and asked me if she could take it with her. I said "Oh, you want to take your book about Jesus? Of course!" I showed it to her Memere (pronounced Meh-may) and explained that Sydney had wanted to bring it along. Diane (aka Memere) thought that was great, and proceeded to read it with Sydney during the day. When I arrived to pick Sydney up at the end of the day, I had her in the car and strapped in to her seat when she looked at me and said "Daddy, Jesus?"

Several possible responses flashed through my head, because I didn't want to walk all the way back down the driveway to the house and go searching for the book, wherever it might be. Despite the inconvenience, though, I did end up going back and spending a good five minutes looking around the house until we found it. I just couldn't bring myself to tell Sydney "We're leaving Jesus at Memere's today."

Thursday, September 21, 2006


To follow up on my last post, I can finally join the ranks of iPod owners! My iPod arrived today from FreePay, and I can safely say that I have no plans to try to get a freebie like this again. Here's a photo of the new arrival. IMG_6520.JPG

My sincere thanks to the five friends and family members who were willing to go out on a limb to help with this. I know it seemed at times like I had dragged you into something that was a pipe dream, and I apologize.

I've been trying to figure out a good term for iPod owners. Anyone have any suggestions? I propose iDiots...

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Coming Soon: Rollin’s iPod

In January I decided to try out one of those Freebie sites that claims to give away free iPods. I would normally not have trusted something like that, but it came personally endorsed by someone I respect. In the end I decided to sign up as a referral for that person to help them get one, and then worked to get five more referrals to get an iPod of my own. At the same time I started converting much of my CD collection to a digital format in hopes of soon having said iPod.

Many moons (and updates you may have read about) later, I was about to give up on the whole thing.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Bunder (Sydney-speak for Thunder)

Amy and I have always loved thunderstorms. Maybe it's the promise of rain, particularly in the summer when things are dry. Maybe it's the display of the raw power of God's creation. Whatever the reason, we love to go out on the front porch to watch and listen as they approach.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Photos from Alaska

I have added photos to the site from our cruise in August. The album is a combination of the best photos from our camera and Mom's camera, and hopefully will convey the beauty of God's creation. The weather was cloudy and cool, which was a wonderful change from the triple-digit hot that Texas was getting then. To see them on this site, you can go to our photo albums. I also uploaded them to my Shutterfly collection in case you experience problems with the first link or want to order prints (Mom).

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Nothing short of a miracle

I don't know of a dramatic way to build up to this in writing, so I'll just say it:

Thursday, August 31, 2006

New Look!

I can already hear the oooh's and aaah's coming from people who frequent this site (all three of you!). I've been thinking of freshening up the place for a while, but never had the impetus to actually do it. Those two black and white photos you see of Sydney provided the stimulus needed. We had a professional photographer (and friend) take photos of Sydney when she turned two, and they turned out superbly! The two shown at the top and left of the site are two of our favorites, and we decided that in order to do them justice, we needed to change up the look of the site.

They were taken by a photographer named Debbie Klawetter, and we highly recommend her. She took these (and many others you may have seen if you've been to our house recently) at the Dallas Arboretum. Both the black and whites and the color shots are beautiful and did a great job of capturing Sydney's personality in fun ways. I'll be adding a link to her site soon, but in the meantime, she has given me the okay to post her phone number along with permission to use these two photos:

Debbie Klawetter Photography, 972-675-9959

She designed a few collages for us in addition to the "regular" prints she did, and if you are ever in our home, make sure we show them to you!

On a side note, I was hoping to combine the transition to the new style with a move to WordPress, but gave up on being able to do that in a timely fashion. This was more important, so WordPress will have to wait. I think I first downloaded Wordpress in early 2004 but never got far enough to cut over. I downloaded it again a few months ago and toyed with it, but didn't have time to do it justice. Hopefully it won't take another two years to make the change for real!

Please leave us feedback on what you think. If you have any problems with the new look in your browser, let me know that too. I checked it in IE, Firefox, Opera, and Netscape, but every browser is different, so it's possible I missed something.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Blame it on Adam

Cover Art I'd like to take a moment to announce and recommend a newly published book written by a friend of mine. Blame It On Adam ( written by my friend, Mitchell Fix, came out earlier this month and is available through several online booksellers, including and Barnes & Noble.

I have yet to get an official copy of the book, but I had the chance to read it before it was published and I look forward to reading it again. It is a fictional work set in the very real fallen world of terrorism and nuclear weapons. It centers on twin brothers separated at birth (no, it wasn't a mix-up at the hospital...) who go their separate ways but end up in the middle of the conflict together. I recommend it for fans of the Tom-Clancy-Dale-Brown-esque genre (techno-thriller?) like yours truly.

Congratulations Mitchell!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Oh, the weather outside is…

I mentioned previously that we are preparing for a cruise in Alaska. Sydney continues to be very excited by it, and her parents are too. To get a feel for what things might be like when our trip rolls around, I checked The Weather Channel today to see what the weather is like. For those of you in Texas, read on only if you don't despair easily...

Monday, July 24, 2006

What Sydney looks forward to

I have no idea if this is normal or not, but when Sydney wakes up, whether in the morning or from her nap, she immediately starts talking. Usually loudly. And the things she says are quite a treat.

This morning (this is according to Amy, as I was still trying to regain consciousness) she woke up and started with "Going Azhaka!" This is her way of saying we are going to Alaska.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

My iPod has been approved and ordered!

For those following my attempt for a free iPod, I have been approved!

That means all of my referrals were officially credited and I have placed the order for the iPod. The company says it usually takes 7-10 days to process and ship, though many folks have reported it taking longer. That's not surprising considering I started this process in January!

I'll post again when I hear more...

Sunday, July 9, 2006

Recent Trips

I have finally (after being told at church this morning that my content was getting stale...) taken the time to upload photos from our recent trips to Indianapolis and Alaska. The albums are in our Shutterfly collections for your enjoyment. Below are some highlights and noteworthy photos from the trips.

Monday, June 12, 2006

We’re still alive…

Has it really been a month since my last meager-entry-that-could-hardly-be-considered-a-post? Where does the time go?

We've been busy with: 1) a trip to Indianapolis (by way of St. Louis) to see family, 2) a family wedding, and 3) Sydney. That third one is the most work....

Thursday, May 11, 2006

iPod update… or not

Well, 8 weeks and three customer service inquiries after mailing in the approval request form to get my iPod, I have been told that my form (for which I have a signed return receipt) was never received and that I need to send another.

Patience is a virtue. Patience is a virtue. Patience is a... are we theeere yet?

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

I, for one, welcome our new robotic overlords…

Have you been thinking that this site seemed a bit "artificial" lately? Were my storites written as if by an automaton? Well, here's why: We are all actually robots, cleverly given human names, but finally exposed by the Cyborg Name Decoder. The truth is out there...

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

One light short of an intersection

Okay, that title is humorous, but I would have great respect for the guy in this story if he had built this himself or been more careful in its use. Instead he bought if off of eBay and used it so much that traffic engineers got suspicious and were able to identify him. Perhaps the designer of this device is a bit more judicious and is still out there?

Seriously, I'm not condoning this illegal behavior, but my inner-tinkerer has to applaud the ingenuity reflected in someone designing and building this device to take advantage of the system. I do wonder how many more are out there, and whether that extremely short green light this morning was caused by someone going the other direction with one of these puppies in his or her car...

Thursday, April 13, 2006

iPod update

For those of you interested in my progress towards getting a free iPod, I have the referrals I need and am waiting for FreePay to approve my referrals and let me order the iPod. The approval process apparently takes a while and gives them time to verify that the people who signed up are real-live people and not figments of my (or anyone else's) imagination, and that they don't in any way break the Terms of Service (like signing up multiple people in one household.) It has been several weeks now since I sent the approval request in, so I'm hoping it will not be much longer. I'll post another update when I hear more.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Best Job in America!

Yep, you heard right! According to this Money Magazine study, I have the best job in America!

Where does your job rank?

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

New Banner

Hopefully you have noticed the site's new banner. Sydney and Dad were hanging out Saturday morning and Sydney wanted to wear Dad's "at". She was having such a great time hiding under the hat and putting it on and taking it off that Dad grabbed the camera and started snapping. The shots above are some of the best.

Once I saw the finished shots, I decided it was time to replace the old banner since it had been almost a year since we took those pictures. If anyone still wants to see the old banner, I have it below.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Rollin’s famous Counter-top Pancakes

Well, Mark has posted some of his thoughts about our trip to St. Louis, so I suppose it's time for me to tell the tale of the pancakes. As a teaser, you know it's a good story when Mark asks (before things were even cleaned up) how long I will be upset about someting before it becomes a story we can laugh about. Actually, it was more like "How long before we can tease you about this?"...


As many of you know, I have been a private pilot for years. This may surprise people who have only known me for a short while, however, as I have not flown in nearly three years. I have been a partner in a flying club based in Denton for the entirety of my flying hobby, but recently an offer came up to buy everyone out of the club and sell the plane to an individual. I had been trying to sell my share of the club for a while, as my free time has been on a downward spiral for years. As a result, this was welcome news to me.

Wednesday, March 1, 2006

First anniversary of Gotcha Day

As hard as it seems to believe, it has been one year since we first saw and held Sydney in Nanchang!

Thursday, February 23, 2006


I'm smart enough to recognize that I'm completely ignorant of quantum mechanics and quantum computing. That said, I'm apparently even more ignorant than I thought. Read this article on a quantum computer that does not run to see what I mean...

My head would be spinning, but perhaps it's more effective not to spin. Maybe my head won't spin, but I'll still get the resulting confusion...

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Funny Sydney-isms

Two quick stories about Sydney and how she floors me on a regular basis, followed by two funny photos to compare.

The Old St. Louie Scope-Out

For those not in the know, the Mark and Susan Peck family (of the infamous wandering Peck clan) recently pulled up stakes and moved to St. Louis. Not ones to let family members leave without keeping close tabs on them, the Bredenberg family (of the Bumblyburg Bredenberg clan) headed north (and east) to scope out the new digs and make sure they were adjusting well. We took along a U.N. weapons inspector, er, I mean favored aunt to make sure things were on the up-and-up. Here's what we found...

Saturday, February 11, 2006


Amy and I are officially DTC! Before you let your imagination run wild trying to invent terms that DTC might represent, let me explain that it stands for "Dossier To China". It means just what it sounds like - all of the paperwork we have been assembling and fine-tuning for the last six months has been translated and sent to the Chinese Center for Adoption Affairs (CCAA)! It will take them some amount of time to log it in, at which point we will have our official LID (Logged In Date, don't you love all of these acronyms?). That technically can't be until March 2nd (12 months after we adopted Sydney), but they will at least have the paperwork in their hands when it rolls around. Needless to say, this is a big milestone in the adoption process, and the one that starts the countdown on the waiting process. We're delighted to have everything out of our hands, though the waiting is arguably more difficult in some ways than the paperchasing.

The wait between now and when we get the "Referral" could be as short as 6 months or as long as 8 or 9, depending on the workload of the CCAA. In the coming months, as groups who were DTC before us begin to get their referrals, we will get a better feel for how long it is taking the CCAA. I'll post more in the coming months about how it looks. Thanks for all of your prayers and support.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Free iPod? Can it be?

Want a free iPod?

No, this is not a pop-under ad touting a too-good-to-be-true-free-iPod-scam, and yes, I was extremely skeptical myself until I did some research.

Quick catch-up

I had hoped to post photos, etc, but that will have to wait. I have been asked about how things went in Austin and how the car is doing, so here is a quick summary...

Friday, January 6, 2006

I-171H in hand!

Yesterday, we got the I-171H from the USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services), meaning we have been officially approved by the US government to adopt another wee one!

We'll drive to Austin next week to have the Secretary of State's office certify our documents (we had to wait for the I-171H to arrive so it can be certified too), and then they all go to the PRC Consulate in Houston. Assuming all goes well with those steps, our Dossier will be headed to our agency's office in Colorado for translation within a couple of weeks. Our goal is to have everything translated and ready to be sent to China by March 2nd - the first anniversary of our adoption of Sydney! The Chinese Center for Adoption Affairs will not allow us to log in our paperwork prior to that anniversary, so that has become our target.

Speaking of driving, our Passat is still lingering at the body shop. Why, you ask? Because the repairs are still going on? NO! Because the other party's insurance company waited until our car was ready (last week) to inform us that the amount of coverage carried by the other driver was the minimum legal limit, and it won't cover all of the damages! So now we're having to open an under-insured motorist claim with our insurance company (2 months after the fact...) and scramble to get them involved so we can get the body shop paid off and get the car back. I was really hoping to post an "after" picture to complement the "before" shots I showed back in November, but it will have to wait. I'm hoping we have it back by Tuesday so we can drive it to Austin. Otherwise we'll have to take the pickup we're working on buying from my parents ("Honey, I think I hear it drinking fuel!") or the Integra ("Honey, I can't hear anything over the road noise!"). Ah well, at least either of those would distract us from the sound of 50,000 college students celebrating some game or other that happened the other day. I guess we'll have to let Sydney wear the rotted orange, er, burnt orange t-shirt that her uncle gave her for Christmas. Maybe that will buy us safe passage through town...

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and a happy New Year's Day. We've had a touch of the ick going around the family, but it was so minor in comparison to the trials of others that I hesitate to even mention it. In spite of it all, Sydney is still learning and growing. And, hey, she has learned how to blow her nose into a tissue! (I never thought I would be rejoicing at such a thing.)

Thanks for including this site in your new year, and stay tuned for more reports on the adoption front!