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Sunday, June 25, 2006


Now that there are two, I have to refer to them "kidS". It feels a bit weird but I guess we will have to get used to that.

Here are some pictures taken on Friday when RyanC met AidanC for the first time. RyanC was pointing at AidanC initially and then eventually he warmed up to the little baby.

On Saturday mommy and baby came home! RyanC wanted to see baby in the crib initially.
Later he seemed annoyed when we held the baby instead of him. Maybe he was jealous but he was a little fussy for the rest of the day. Grandpa calmed him down by giving him candies.

Last night baby AidanC woke up every hour. He was a hungry little baby! RyanC woke up in a good mood since he was happily playing with grandpa and uncle, who returned from his military duty in Korea yesterday afternoon. It will be interesting to see how we all cope when aunty and grandma comes over in July to visit.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Baby AidanC

Baby AidanC finally arrived after a long wait for the labor process to start! We are all tired so I'm going to continue to slack off on blog update...

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Team Celebration

I was telling CherkyB via IM about our informal team celebration and he said "you should blog about that"... Since I usually take da blog meister's advice, I immediately started this post. Please note that even though this title might be awfully similar to JohnnyB's "Team Building vs. Beer" first post, it is not from the same event. (Greetings to JohnnyB in case he stumbles into this dreck!)

Yesterday we had an impromptu team celebration at this restaurant/bar to take a break from being done with our committed milestone. It seems kind of silly to take a break from being done but oh well.. free food & drinks are always welcome! Hence, even though I was supposed to be alert and on-call in case wife calls about labor, I attempted to round up some people to go for the freebies.

Normally you would think that people would be jumping at the opportunity to be DONE and celebrate. However, I encountered quite a few indifferent people that needed some prodding encouragement to join us. A group of people were standing around and chatting about "going home early!" until I reminded them of the free drinks/food. TG even lamented about feeling bad for taking a break from working on a project that isn't even approved. ARGH! What happened to these people's natural attraction for free food/drinks?! Something must be wrong with us... but let's not dwell on that since free food/drinks were waiting at a restaurant/bar a few miles away...

As TG, SS, and I walked into the 2nd level of the bar where we had reserved most of the space for our celebration, one customer (sitting right in front of the bartender) blurted "What is this? Geeks are us?!" and the other customer replied "Yepp!". That was our "three engineers walked into the bar" story and the beginning of our celebration... (and I didn't even hear them first hand as TG was the one that heard them clearly).

One good thing about impromptu team celebration is that there is not much time to plan for anything but food and drinks by the organizers. We did not have to listen to speeches and we did not have to have team building events where we compete with each other for the sake of making it a great place to work. All we did was to chat, eat and drink about the past 2 years of down-and-upside-down excitements. Oh, and there were a lot of drinks. The waitresses were friendly and helpful as they walked among the geeks. When one asks for a beer, they bring a filled-up glass AND a full pitcher too -- what service! When one declines for beer, they ask if we want shots instead! What a celebration!

False Alarm?

It is starting to look like we had a false alarm earlier regarding imminent delivery -- maybe saying this will cause it to really happen. We have everything packed and ready to go. Hmm.. I better make sure to get the infant child-seat.

This delay did cause some inconvenience as people at work attempted to send me home on Friday - they did not believe me when I said said my wife told me to go back to work and that she will call me when she is ready.

The upside of this slight delay is that I have had time to write-up the credit dispute letter (for credit card company) with Dell's surprising charges that were added after order confirmation. I am still thinking about submitting a complaint against FTC -- especially since I found the following line in the order confirmation:
If you paid by Dell Preferred Account or credit card, a charge for the amount above was submitted to your card issuer and will be charged when your system or item ships.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

The Waiting Game

I woke up from my nap not hearing any sound. I started thinking that maybe wife went to deliver the baby without me - hmm, that would be something. Then I heard door close and RyanC's piercing cry echoed through the house. Ahhh, she was putting RyanC to bed...

It appears that wife's labor is progressing slowly. In some ways, it's probably good that we are at home. Yet I am too paranoid to think that the baby's gonna pop out before we can get to the hospital... I will go read a book or something...

Too exhausted

Last night I got home past midnight after a long day of work. As I was trying to sleep at 2am, wife said "I am having painful contractions". My response was:
Honey, can you please go drink more water and relax? I am really exhausted now...
She was nice and considerate and left the bedroom to drink water and relax -- while measuring the contractions... I slept through the night...

Just when everything was fine and dandy today at work, I see this from email from wife declaring to our relatives that the doctor said to get ready to have baby tonight... Hmm... is the baby really going to come out two weeks earlier than expected? I am now waiting at home to find out...

Fortunately my checklist is short:
Camera Batteries - charged.
VideoCam Battery - charging...
Wife - seems okay at this time
RyanC - happy still

*YAWN* I am tired. Maybe I will go take a nap now....

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Lightning Strikes

Found out today from our next-door neighbor that the neighbor 3 houses down was hit by lightning the other day when we all heard a loud boom associated with lightning. Our neighbor saw the blinding white flash since he happened to be looking out the window at that time.

That house lost 3 TVs with that lightning hit but the PC was okay.... one was a big screen... OUCH.

We got lucky since our house is the highest house (due to its position on the sloped hill and the fact that our immediate neighbors have one-story houses instead of two) near where lightning striked. We could have lost our 50" TV, 3 PCs and 1 notebook...

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Car Window

We got lucky and fixed wife's car window after it's been stuck in wide-open position in the past few years. It turns out that the window was jammed and pushing it out of the wide-open setting (requiring opening the side-panel etc) caused it to work again. We didn't put the side panel back in tightly afterwards though... oh well... this saves some moneyfor now...

Friday, June 09, 2006

You betcha

My horoscope from excite.com (quoted without permission):
"There's no need to work toward a goal every day. Some days, it's okay to just enjoy the beauty and wonder that's all around you. Work and relationship concerns can wait for tomorrow. Today you deserve to take it easy and look for the flatter land -- you can climb that mountain some other day! Remember, you're in control. Don't let your life get taken over by goals and deadlines. Avoid controversy and answer every appealing invitation with a 'you betcha!' and a smile."

Interesting enough, work deadlines have been consuming my time everyday recently. So I looked around to enjoy the beauty and wonder around me -- they are all sleeping, exhausted from full-day of chores/play. I am in control.... you bethca!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006


RyanC was really happy today when he woke up. He giggled and laughed with mommy, daddy and grandpa. We don't know why. He behaved so well that grandpa declared "He was so good that he did not even cry today!" - 06/06/06.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Picture Day

Went to car-show but got turned away at the gate since my friend and I were too cheap to pay $15/person for the last-hour of the car-show. So we headed to CSU's outdoor flower garden to take some pictures.

These flowers look like faces staring back....

Hungry butterfly... it was busy feeding all over the garden.

For dinner, my father in-law cooked fatty pork & pig-feet for dinner. Yumm~~~

Fresh oranges.. pre-juice form...

RyanC practicing Kung-Fu...

The training continues....

Saturday, June 03, 2006

DIY Project

A few days ago my wife called me at work to tell me that the top of oven-top Kenmore microwave melted. I was confused until I got home and saw the white circular plastic piece (center-top of microwave) with plasticle -- oil was dripping from the melted plastic. WOW! I didn't know microwave could melt its own plastic parts.

I pulled the plastic piece off and found out that oil had somehow accumulated on top and the microwave must have heated up the oil and then eventually melted the plastic. That oil looks and smells like cooking grease so it probably accumulated in the past 5 years. We briefly discussed buying a new microwave or calling in a repairman but then the cheap side of me thought that it would be economical for me to fix it myself... after all, it shouldn't cost more than $10 to buy that piece of circular plastic... so I naively thought.

Well, it turns out that this piece is called a Microwave inlet-cover and the cheapest I could find on-line was $41.05 + shipping from AppliancePartsPros! Yikes! It even has a yellow piece that doesn't seem to exist in our Kenmore microwave. I called up the customer support to see if it comes installation instruction -- and I was told that due to the high-wattage danger of working with microwave, they recommend having professionals perform fixes so they do not provide installation instructions with parts! HUH? I then decided to take a risk and ordered the part anyways -- figuring that I should be able to stick 4 plastic screws to secure a circular plastic piece in place.

The partquickly arrived (much faster than the Dell camera/lens and the credit card charge did not include surprising tax charges) within 2 days. In fact, it came in on the same day when the camera lens arrived (ordered more than a month earlier). I had to put off the installation since it was more important to check out the much-awaited lens to whine/complain about how out-of-focus it was and how Dell overcharged my credit card.

Tonight I finally got around to installing the plastic cover after cleaning microwave and wiping off some of the grease accumulated in the inet. The first thing I noticed was that I had to choose either the yellow cover or the white cover -- but not both (screws aren't long enough). I picked the white one. However, that's when real work started. I found out that the plastic push-in screws would drop off due to gravity working on the cover. This meant I had to scrap off the sealant left-over and re-apply new ones to cause the cover to stick to the top! Not being the most handyman around, I found a flat-head screw-driver and started scraping/digging. It took me 30 minutes to get that gunk off the top of the microwave. It took me another 15 minutes to squeeze enough of the sealant onto the plastic cover. It was pretty much a done deal after that... I felt like a pro.

I was too chicken to turn on the microwave tonight. We will find out if it still works tomorrow.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Lens & SurpriseTax & BYOB

Finally got my Sigma 30mm 1.4 lens on Thursday. I got home early to check out the lens and the pictures were fuzzy in most cases. What a major disappointment! After performing a more thorough focus tests, it turns out that the lens front-focuses (known problem) so I will either have to send it in to Sigma service for calibration or I will have to get a different lens. My decision is somewhat complicated by Dell's recent charges to my credit card.

Dell is starting to really piss me off. I used to favor Dell but I am no longer sure. More than one month after I placed orders for the lens and camera, Dell just charged my credit card for the purchase and additional $$ for state tax. This means I could have gotten the camera for cheaper and had shorter wait from another vendor instead. The annoying part is that my order confirmations clearly indicates there's no state tax and I only found out about the additional charge by checking my credit-card statements. When I contacted Dell about this surprising tax charge, the customer service rep was telling me that the Terms of Service says customer is responsible for paying taxes and that I can contact IVR department about this issue. Of course I am responsible for paying taxes but I don't see why I have to pay taxes whey the order confirmation clearly indicated no taxes are due. I am still debating whether I should continue to deal with Dell. I am thinking about just disputing these additional charges with credit card company and let them handle this mess instead... what a pain!

Tonight I went to a co-worker's unwarming party after dinner. It's a party to celebrate him moving out of rental house. Interesting enough, the party is not held at the new house he bought but it's held at another co-worker's place...

The invitation said BYOB so I brought my own baby.

RyanC was shy at first so he clung to me closely. He then warmed up to the place and started playing with XBOX controllers & plastic cups near the keg. RyanC also stuffed his mouth with little cheese crackers -- as if he's been starving at home!

Well, tomorrow we are supposed to go to Denver early so here is the end of today's dreck.