Monday, April 30, 2012

2012 Big Spring Swap

Wednesday afternoon from 1pm to 3pm some friends are hosting a "Big Spring Swap" in Sladden Park, a few blocks west of the Rose Garden.

(In case of inclement weather the location will move to June's house which is one block away--if necessary my cell phone can help friends who read this find the house.)

Bring clothing, books, household items, seeds, plants, toys, shoes--anything folks need to thin out for Spring!

Bring only items you want to give away freely.  No one will be keeping track of trades/points or anything like that.  Whatever is left over will be taken to a local charity.  (If anyone wants to itemize their leftovers for a tax deduction, they can take theirs back or join the drop-off crew.)

Maybe see you there!

UPDATE: Yes, the location is moved to June's house.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Spring Break 2012 - Cold and Colds

Whew.  No real blogging in over a month!

Last we really had personal news it was March 19th and Gallant was at his nine-month checkup.  At the doctor's office both boys caught RSV, what should be called "the other common cold", which has going around Oregon a bit later than usual that Winter.

(Tangentially, note the fascinating math in that graph from this website.  The visually intuitive blue line would be the number of positive test results, not the percent positive.  There could be high positive results on day with many, many tests ordered even if the percent positive was not maximal.)

Well, RSV has an incubation time of two or three days.  So it was the Wednesday of the week before Spring break when the boys became terribly congested and tired.  Poor little Gallant had never needed to breathe through his mouth before, which was incredibly upsetting while trying to relax and fall asleep.  He could not breathe well while nursing, or drinking from a bottle, or even when sucking on a finger in an attempt to relax after frustration while drinking.   Each time we put him to bed took about an hour.  So then my wife and I are also exhausted.

Well, two boys with colds at the same time is bad.  But not too bad.  Right?

Then our neighborhood suffered the worst freak snow storm of recent years.

(Our Picasa album has more snow photos.)

Wednesday night trees fell all over town.  Five thousand people were without electricity.  Our couple-blocks was among the last to have electricity restored since comparatively few homes were in our group.  Our power was out because Smiley's friend had two trees fall on his house.

We heat the house with wood anyway.  And our wood stove allowed us to boil water.  So for two days we enjoyed hot tea and ate a lot of fruit and oatmeal.  The boys continued to get worse; that weekend seemed like a B-grade horror movie named Invasion of the Mucus Lords.

That Friday Gallant did get his fourth tooth: his upper left front central incisor.

The boys suffered from RSV a bit more than two weeks.  Then some relief when 24 hours after the fever is gone and they are not contagious--we could have play dates again!  But coughing can last two more weeks.  It's a nasty virus.

So that explains most of my lack of blogging.  What a month! 

The silver lining was that Gallant was so exhausted, and having trouble falling asleep anyway, that he learned to fall asleep (and stay asleep) unswaddled.  In comparison, his brother outgrew the swaddle at nine months merely because he was so incredibly active.

Friday, April 27, 2012

My Poetry Now Online

For over a year my Picture Poems from 2001 have been dormant in an unmentioned Picasa album, waiting for when I had time and energy to put them online with appropriate formatting and commentary.

As Aragorn would not say, Today is that day!

I also shared some poems from my high school and college years.  You can use this link or click the "poetry" box in my top menu.

(I was praying earlier this week and clearly heard God say to finally get around to this chore.  So I wonder which blog reader will find something in the poems timely--or perhaps someone stranger directed my way by a search engine.)

Now I am inspired to go compose more poems.  Especially in praise of my wife, who has not been heralded in verse as much as she deserves.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012


Smiley and Gallant have both been sick for two weeks with a bad cold.  They probably caught it at the doctor's office for Gallant's nine month checkup.

The cold started as a bad sinus attack.  The weekend of March 23rd was like a bad B-move named Invasion of the Mucus Lords.  Poor little Gallant was especially miserable because he had never before had to breathe only through his mouth.  His nose was too clogged and runny to breathe well, nurse well, drink well from a bottle, or even suck on my pinky to soothe himself.  Putting him to sleep took about an hour each time, several times per day.

Last week the colds shifted to become chest colds.  Smiley got really tired.  Both boys coughed a lot.  Gallant still has some sinus drip but is no longer all clogged up.

On Monday we took both boys to the doctor again.

Gallant had two ear infections.  He started taking pink Amoxicillin liquid twice a day.  He is doing much better.  His appetite has returned and I am now wiping his nose only a few times each day.

Smiley had no noticeable congestion in ears, nose, or lungs when the pediatrician examined him.  But he had suddenly developed a 104 degree fever that day.  So his doctor ordered two x-rays to be taken, to make sure his lungs were clear.  (Most colds start with a fever which goes away.  A late-appearing fever often means pneumonia.)

His lungs are clear.  And he has x-rays.  He received paper copies, which he loves.  He knows about x-rays from his alphabet puzzles and from the Curious George Visits the Doctor book and film, and the Curious George Has a Cold film.  Now he has x-rays of himself!

Those Curious George story were favorites in February.  He became so enthralled by thinking about people's insides that he even made a gingerbread boy to try to draw his own idea of where inside parts are.

I helped draw some of those lines, but most are his own work.  The yellow lines show "where the breathing goes".  The red lines in its chest are its heart(s?).  The blue lines are its lungs.  I can't remember what the green lines supposedly were.

Please pray we are all healthy by Friday!  This weekend has both Pesach seders and Smiley's birthday party.  We do not want to have to cancel those plans!

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

One Page Dungeon Contest 2012

In past years I mentioned the annual One Page Dungeon Contest.

For the 2012 One Page Dungeon Contest I finally have a submission of my own!

My RPG's website now has an adventure called The Hermit Alchemist Tower.  That web page is a bit more than one page, so I trimmed the text and reformatted it as a one page PDF file.


In my mind the adventure is nothing special to write home about.  But this contest submission is the "public debut" of my map design acrostic.  I expect that aspect of the adventure is what will catch the eye and cause my entry to stand out.