Yodelling Llama

April 20, 2012

Observations on Day 7 (about Day 5).

Filed under: Baby — Chris @ 6:39 am

You know you’ve entered a new era in your life when the best laugh you get during the day is when your five-day old son starts screaming uncontrollably because he can’t stop pissing in his own mouth because he doesn’t have the muscle control to stop the stream of urine from flowing; doesn’t have the motor control to readjust his head, so the golden shower hits a different part of his body or, better yet, misses him entirely; and doesn’t have the sense to close his mouth.

April 16, 2012

Observations on Day 4.

Filed under: Baby — Chris @ 4:19 pm

Day four of being a father. A few more stray observations:

  • I’ve decided to rechristen my pinkie finger “gym mat.” Because when Tommy suckles my pinkie, he gets very little sustenance. And because I’m a big Doris Grau fan.
  • Nipple shields and breast shields are completely different things. Also, fuck the Rite-Aid in Lacey for carrying neither.
  • My new favorite radio station is 93.9 FM. Which I believe is a Portland, Oregon-based station that almost, but not quite, completely doesn’t come in. And therefore is mostly static, with the occasionally identifiable intentional sound bleeding through.
  • Heather recommended, and let me borrow, a couple of Miracle Blankets. Holy shit these things are amazing. Little fella kept keeping himself awake (and ready to feed continuously) by scratching his face, made possible by my ineptness when it comes to swaddling with a traditional receiving blanket. Miracle Blanket though? Easy as fuck to swaddle effectively.

April 15, 2012

Observations on Day 3.

Filed under: Baby — Chris @ 6:59 am

Had a son recently. First one. A few stray observations came to mind throughout the first 72 hours or so:

  • The birthing classes, “What to Expect” books, and other parents completely failed to crib from Sea World’s orca show, with its “you may get wet” warning, in advising me. Consequently, I had no change of clothes at the hospital. D did. So did T, who wasn’t even born yet. But I was stuck with what I had worn to work that day. For more than the usual number of hours. With bits of projectile vomit to keep me company.
  • Also, the birthing class’s indication that “it is never too late to ask for drugs” is sort of bullshit. Nurses will twist the arms of pregnant women with a couple of hours worth of “you’re so close, you’re almost there, so we shouldn’t wake the anesthesiologist.” Hmm..
  • The primary reason to keep a man about your life after you’ve been knocked up–well, biologically speaking–is that he doesn’t smell like food. On several occasions now, T has tongued the world with urgency, tried to swallow his fist, and generally acted as if he was hungry, only to promptly fall asleep unlatched with a nipple near his mouth. But when D tried to put him back down to sleep, he’d go right back to indicating he expected snack time to begin in the near future. Only when I tossed the little blighter back in the bassinet did it become clear that he’s just like his poppy: inclined to gorge in the presence of tasty morsels, even in the absence of hunger. Take away the lactating boob smell, and Bob’s your uncle.

I suspect more observations will be forthcoming, but I smell fresh feces emanating from across the room that I must investigate.

April 14, 2012

Thomas Asher Taylor has entered the building.

Filed under: Baby — Chris @ 6:57 am

If you’d care to meet him, drop by the house. Calling before you come, naturally. For those with a shade more distance to travel before the meet, pictures are available over on Shutterfly.

February 1, 2012

Minke’s feathery friend.

Filed under: Personal — Chris @ 6:05 pm

Minke, my feline mastress, brought home a friend this morning. In her mouth. I noticed her dart in through the dog door (that came with the house) with something dark and fluttery. Which squirmed out of her grasp and went under the couch, just out of reach. Minke did her best to coax her new friend to come out and play. But it was not to be. After several attempts, I locked her in the bedroom, then moved the couch.

What does one do with a broken bird? Cast it out into the cold to be preyed upon by other neighborhood cats? Throw it into a burlap sack, tie it off with chains, and go down to the Sound? Grab a shovel? Leave it on the floor inside to let Minke finish it off? Call the veterinarian?

January 18, 2012


Filed under: Law — Chris @ 11:03 am

I considered doing a little research and regaling you with Congress’s latest foray into expanding certain intellectual property rights at the expense of other, more important rights (e.g. speech), but instead I’ve just decided to link to Seth Freilich’s very good explanation/critique “The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and The Protect IP Act (PIPA) Explained. With Profanity” over on Pajiba instead.

December 18, 2011

Olympia fermentation.

Filed under: Food & Drink,Olympia — Chris @ 4:59 pm

As a home brewer, I’m fascinated by the fermentation. And Olympia appears to have a respectably large home brew culture, supporting two beer- and wine-making supply shops (Rocky Top on the Westside, and Healthcrafts on the East). And, well, Olympia as a town has a long-standing beermaking history on a commercial scale, what with Olympia Brewing Company‘s long shadow.

But I’ve often wondered why, with the exception of the upwardly mobile Fish, Olympia doesn’t really have much in the way of small scale beer manufacturers. I’m starting to suspect the reason is our local brewers are, well, interested in fermenting other things.

Take, for example, Magic Kombucha, which makes a tasty beverage by letting a fungal mat have its way with sweet tea. Or OlyKraut, which uses fermentation to transform cabbage and other vegetables.

So perhaps trying to capture alcohol as the primary goal of fermentation is no longer so obvious, at least not to my fellow Olympians. Perhaps the reason why there are so few brewpubs and taprooms in the South Sound is the friends of fungus and yeast have developed a taste for bitters other than beer.

December 11, 2011

Medical insurance vs. grocery store pharmacy.

Filed under: Politics — Chris @ 8:42 pm

I need to find another pharmacy. Or else I need to stop having medical insurance. Or perhaps I need to find a more cost-sensitive dermatologist.

Went to Fred Meyer last week to fill a prescription. Antibiotic. Was told they needed some sort of approval before they could fill the prescription. Had to contact my doctor. Come back in a few days.

So I went back a few days later. By now, I’d run out of the free samples. Was told, well, that the medication is pretty expensive, and apparently my insurance didn’t cover it, so the doctor gave me a coupon of some sort. And I didn’t have the coupon with me. So I should probably come back.

A few days later, I go back. Different pharmacy tech.

“Can I help you?”

“Yeah. I have a prescription to pick up.”

“Name and date of birth?”


“Ah. There’s a problem. We need prior authorization.”

“So you didn’t get the prescription order from the doctor?”

“No, we got that. We need authorization from the insurance company.”

“No, you see the prescription isn’t covered by insurance.”

“Are you sure? It’s really expensive. And usually covered.”

“I spoke with the doctor about this. She said it isn’t covered.”

“Isn’t she even going to try?”


“Oh, it says here you have a coupon.”

“I do.” I hand it to her.

“It says here that you can’t use this coupon if you don’t have medical insurance.”

“I have medical insurance. It just doesn’t cover this medication. If it did cover this medication, I wouldn’t need the coupon, now would it?”

“Perhaps I could prescribe you a different medication that does the same thing but is covered by your insurance.”

“Wait, you’re a doctor?”

“No. Just a pharmacy technician. What I meant was you could ask your doctor to prescribe something different. After all, this particular medicine is very expensive.”

“So you said. Just how expensive?”

“I can’t tell you. You should go talk to your doctor again about your insurance covering this medication. Or perhaps a different medicine.”

At this point, I walk away. Before I start throwing things at this person, or setting fire to the grocery store.

Question: who is at fault? Is this my fault, for being so meek? The pharmacist’s fault, for being so stupid? The doctor’s fault, for prescribing an expensive medicine that my insurance doesn’t cover? Or the insurance company’s fault for bloating beyond the insurance industry into medical rationing?

November 30, 2011


Filed under: Olympia — Chris @ 8:10 pm

Last week, a storm took our beloved flowering plum. Cracked her down the middle, exposing years of rot. Nearly fell on the house, actually, held up by sheer force of personality (and later a synthetic rope) until the tree removal guys could hack her to pieces. Good thing we were in Colorado during the dismantling; I’m not sure I could have taken it.

Now we’re staring at a vacant spot in our front yard, with odd spray paint marks on the stump and lawn, meant to signify the location of underground utilities and gnome burrows, intermingled with still-unraked red leaves. Soon, too, even those last traces of the plum will be gone. And we’ll have to consider what constitutes “too soon” for a replacement.

What is the proper mourning period for a tree?

-den names.

Filed under: Language — Chris @ 7:51 pm

After reviewing the most popular baby names of last year, I’ve come to a conclusion: I abhor names that contain a “-den” suffix. Especially those with a “ayden” construction. No, more than that. I tend to think people who give their child names like “Jayden” and “Ayden” and “Brayden” and “Hayden” (all top-100 names in 2010) as child abusers who ought to have their children taken away. Or at least forced to take a class about putting milk in the refrigerator (or, barring that, placed in a cool wet sack).

I’m not sure what it is about that suffix, but it grates on me more than other terrible name parts. I’m not a big fan of many name types–especially ones that are “former” nicknames, and those that re-purpose places–but the “-den” signifier bring out the worst in me. Rage. Or at least punchiness. Drown-the-little-bastards impulses.

Maybe I should go see a psychiatrist who pronounces the “p” in his profession.

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