Sunday, June 03, 2001

No Title 2

What to say, what to say So, I started to think. Dangerous? Maybe. But I started to think about our baby in Kyndall's belly.

Right now, and for the past like 8 or so weeks, a little physically perfect, human replica is unilaterally being constructed in Kyndall's baby foundry, using her unique DNA blueprints generated from culmination of her mother's and mine.

At such an early stage in life (usually 5.5 weeks), the heart begins to beat and the circulation system, in concert with her mother's, begins to actually provide and regulate it's blood flow.

Not impressed yet? Now, we can actually register the presence of brain activity. Presto! Suddenly, this little person has a self-regulating autonomic system, an interactive nervous system to feed back environmental stimuli, and the developing cognitive array to recognize and eventually interpret perception patterns.

This is the interesting part. Now that the heart and the brain are in gear, the question is asked: "Does she understand me when I talk to her?" My sister is absolutely positive that she convinced her babies of the ideal date for delivery and they complied. Many psychologists encourage you to talk to, sing to or play music for babies in the womb.

Quick note: we do not know the gender of or baby. I use the female pronoun because everyone should choose a gender in his or her language instead of using a non-specific pronoun or grouping. So, there you go.

So, that's weird, huh? I can understand that stress in Kyndall could translate into a chemical change in the baby. I understand that if she gets sick, a shared blood system would encounter the same issues. But the kid can hear me talking? That's going to be a rough road to go down.

Might as well get started, I suppose. "Hello little baby, please don't squish your mom's bladder right now, movies aren't cheap to see and this is the good part!" or how about, "Hello little baby, your due date is three days past the cut-off tax savings date. I'll buy you ice cream if you come a week early!" or how about "Okay, when I start tickling her feet, you start with her tummy!"

I could see the benefits. After all, when I am swimming and go underwater, I have no problem at all hearing the people on the surface. What! That's not true! And along came skepticism. But, hey, that's not fun, is it? So, just in case - "Hello little baby, we love you."

5/30/01 Time for a tea party Well, I am in Boston this week for business. Traveling used to be fun. When I was just out of college, I consulted to Sprint PCS and traveled each week for months. I made it to all parts of the country. It was a great time. Today though, married and older, I prefer not traveling without my family - and even then, rarely, especially for business.

It's a long plane trip from Denver to Boston. The weather was unimpressive, and the guy sitting beside me had more to talk about than I wanted to hear. Boston is pretty. Actually, the whole Northeast is a pretty place. It's so lush and old. Oh, did I mention the mosquitoes?

Finally, we got the Neon back from Phil Long Chrysler in Denver. We took it back the same day for them to fix two significant problems they caused (we took it to another dealer to check their work). It's just amazing how difficult it is to deal with this organization; they are a blemish on the Chrysler five-star name.

I have to eat while I am traveling. I don't know what people do who travel all the time. There's nothing like going to a nice restaurant when your company is paying, getting an outside table, pulling up a comfy chair and sitting all alone. Heaven forbid if you didn't bring a newspaper or something with you to read - you just sit there, staring out the window, watching a TV if there is one, or gawking at your neighboring tables. The food's good, but it's not the best time to have.

This hotel actually has broadband Internet connectivity right in the room. Pretty savvy, I must admit. I like good hotels because of the good service. That's why I am so sick of Phil Long Chrysler in Denver. Sheesh!

Have you ever heard of the big dig? Interstate 95 is a main artery up and down the eastern coast, especially the northeastern coasts. Currently it runs through the heart of Boston, but is in desperate need of widening. This would only further the aggravation of the quaintness in old town already suffering from the existing highway - so the city elected to submerge the entire highway, widened to 6 lanes completely under Boston as it passes the city. Amazing. Naturally, of course, it is over budget and behind schedule - but they have come to far to turn back, and soon, it will be amazing, not just an annoying traffic menace.

As it turns out, we were wrong. We had some quick head math and we figured that Kyndall was due just about December 30th. We went to the doctor this week. She got the crystal ball out and presto! We're actually due on the 3rd of January. That's nice and all, but I am thinking about the tax write-off here! Come on!

Have you noticed the new design of the site here? I know there's a new baby tab on the top, but that's the small of it. The photos section has a complete re-design. I think it is much better - and know for sure it much faster and a lighter load on the server. And, while I was at it, I updated the photos, too - I was amazed at just how many I had available for you guys to see. Just amazing. It's like our whole life since we're married chronicled to frightening detail.

That brings up an interesting conversation. Is it a good idea to put so much information so easily available on the Internet? Trust me, this is a conversation I have had before - if not many times before.

Here's an example. I was home one weekend about two years ago and bumped into a guy I knew from high school. I was choked to remember his name, but he knew me and asked me about all sorts of things he could not have known about, except he follows my life through my web site regularly. In a brief moment of fear - surely akin to the feeling Hollywood people feel when they are stalked - I stepped back, but eventually embraced the fact that I did not have to explain my life to this guy, he already knew what I had been doing, who my fiance was and where I worked. In a weird way, it was refreshing.

He's probably reading this now, saying to himself, "What? He didn't remember my name?!"

Now, I know what you are thinking. I have thought it, too. What about people you don't know? Here's an example. I have two sites, really. I have this site and a site with technical samples and demos of the work I do - but they are, or at least used to be, part of each other: a link from one would go to the other, and so forth. It's still like that a little. But I get this email from this guy one day, he writes,

"Dear Jerry. I appreciate the time you spend making these samples available. It is useful for me to see these techniques. I also noticed how happy you and your wife seem to be, especially the picture of you two playing in the snow. I stared at that picture for a few minutes, and it really started to cheer me up. I live in Canada; so far away from a town I rarely see people. It was refreshing to see your smiles. Thanks for the code, and the smile."

The truth is, the email was not really that cleverly written - I spiced it up to keep things moving, and also because my own memory is not photographic. I especially liked the part about the code and a smile, like the Coke and a smile marketing campaign! Nonetheless, the spirit of the email is identical. So, how dare that guy check out my site, huh? Well, let's think about it for a second.

When Kyndall and I got married, the first thing we did (post-honeymoon) was to move away. This was rough on both of us. For me, it was a snappy separation from the friends I had come to really enjoy in Kansas City and my family nearby. For Kyndall, her family is so involved with each other's lives that it was difficult for similar reason. The web site was the way we could easily involve the people no longer around us in our immediate lives. It was perfect.

You can tell by looking at the photo count that no other year had nearly as many photos as did the year we were first married and moved to Virginia, 1999. What showed up on the web site was inevitably reiterated from people we would talk to on the phone later. People could actually keep up with what was happening in our lives in a somewhat common way, even if we did not get a chance to spend evenings just hanging around their house.

Now that we have moved to Denver, the formula seems to still apply. Only now we get to interact with the people from Kansas City and the people we left behind in Virginia. The web links our lives to the people from our past. It's bizarre, but undeniable. It's worth the occasional stranger checking out our lives - I hope they see a Christian family.

So, the site has gone through many changes. I am ever conscious that people are viewing the site, and not just any people, but the people I know--so many improvements over the years, in fact, that at nearly every step along the way, this web site has helped me land jobs. It's a sampling of the latest technologies that make my life easier and show off my skills in my field.

There is a personal nature to this site, I admit. So, in an effort to enforce some nominal security, I have made some subtle changes. For example, the site cannot be spidered by a web search engine. This page will never return on google or altavista or any other engine. I have also limited browsers to IE5+. Stray visitors are either enamored with the site or shunned away from lack of support.

Nonetheless, it's a lot of work. You might not imagine it, but it is. When I first started to get my site together just out of college, I was anxious to have more information than anyone would ever be able to use - and I did, but even that mountain of work was only a fraction of what is available on this site today. From lists of knowledge, explanations of things, photographs, samples and demos, even a calendar - the data provided from this site frightens even me. Most of the site is setup to be auto-pilot, now - in anticipation of a baby.

This web site has even become a place where I like to go. Shoot, I find myself typing in more often than I would ever imagine: everyone's birthday and anniversary, a picture history of my life for the past 6 years. It's just great. Plus I use my own samples.

But enough about me, now let's talk about me.

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