Monday, September 17, 2012

My little space heater

From my unpublished archive, March 26, 2011.

My precious little (8.5 lb) computer has been overheating and underperforming for the last few weeks1. So much that I can't even keep my hand flat on the bottom for more than a few seconds. This is not normal.

A while back, I replaced my laptop fan because the old one was dying. I'm still quite proud of myself2, 3 for parlaying a $50 investment into another year or two of my computer's life. But since the symptoms have recurred, I either accept that I fixed it wrong, or I take apart my entire computer.

So, after taking apart my computer, I found a very innocuous explanation for the overheating: dust. The exhaust vent was clogged by dust. One twist-tie cleaning later, I put my computer to the test by wireless streaming the Fellowship of the Ring full-screen on Netflix.4

Frodo and I are happy to report, the problem is solved.

1 Footnote Mad Lib: Kind of like an old __[noun]__ of mine.
2 Ask me about it sometime.
3 No, really. Do.
4 If your computer can handle that with no problems, then it's not six years old, and part of me doesn't want to speak to you, but does want to get to know your computer better.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

It tastes like purple

I prefer married life, on the whole, over single life. There are aspects of single life that I miss (I used to do things with my other friends), and you won't hear me extolling the joys of parenthood while spending an hour getting my son back to sleep at 3AM, but I wouldn't go back.

Think of my life as a puzzle1. The things that made single life good were lots of little puzzle pieces, and they were mostly in place, but they left gaps. My marriage is one large piece, and it displaced many of those little pieces, but left far fewer gaps overall. I like this better.

One of the joys of our particular marriage proceeds from our differences. Specifically, my wife hates anything artificially grape flavored, whereas I think it's the greatest thing since banana Laffy Taffy2. This means that anytime I see a grape Welch's fruit snack sitting on top of an otherwise consumed bag3, I can eat it merrily and without repercussions4.

Married life is good.

1 I know my wife does.
2 She says my cheap tastes make me more loveable.
3 She says this phrasing makes her sound like a goat. It was badly worded, but there's no way I'm changing it now.
4 Calories don't count when it came from my wife's bag of fruit snacks.

Monday, September 3, 2012


NOTE: This post is 2 months old, but I still wanted to post it. Let's pretend that time travel is somehow the reason it's outdated.

People and books say to "sleep when your baby does" for your first child. They never say what to do if your baby doesn't sleep.

Our colicky baby sleeps an average of 9 hours a day, in a combination of 15-30 minute spurts and the occasional glorious hour (for which he usually needs to be held). Babies his age normally sleep for 16 hours, and my wife would be perfectly content getting ten herself, so although I try to let her sleep in the early hours of the evening, at the end of the day1, everyone in the house is sleep deprived.

Sleep deprivation is considered an "inhuman and degrading treatment" by the European Court of Human Rights. And we know how those Europeans value their sleep, not to mention their vacation days.

All this means radical changes in how we spend our time, compared to the years BB (Before Baby).

Our entire lives are tentative plans that change when our son goes from sleeping to screaming in five seconds flat. We barely get to read, because that requires free hands. We haven't played the Wii at all, and that only requires 5 minute increments. We rarely manage to get in an entire movie, or even TV show together without bouncing on the yoga ball with him the entire time. I never hang out with my friends, which isn't a change, but it's a shame nonetheless.

We also don't cook anything complex (i.e. requiring two hands to prepare). I read this post at The Simple Dollar, and marveled at the idea that people with children have time to make their own lasagna. Either it gets significantly easier, or their kids didn't have colic.

Epilogue: Two months later, it has gotten a little better, but only in that we are less sleep deprived. What time we have won back from colic has been budgeted back into sleep.

Hold on, I think he just started teething a few months early. Gotta go.

1 Please note my correct everyday usage of this otherwise trite business saying.