12/26/09 - So...I'm going to let this picture make the announcement

For those that don't understand the picture and the t-shirt (Jessica and Greg), Cristi is pregnant with our second child. As of now, that is the only news we have. We don't know when we are due, the sex, or anything at all. We go on Wednesday for our first appointment, we might have more news then. If Cristi had to guess, we are looking at some time in August.


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12/21/09 - I ran out of blog posts...

A couple of months ago, I had scheduled multiple blog posts to appear every Saturday. I thought I had them through December, but apparently I was incorrect.

Instead of Saturday, here is this week's update. This past weekend was my baby brother's wedding. I'm not sure what I'm supposed to say about it. As a guy, it was a day where I got dressed up in tuxedo, posed for a few pictures, decorated the groom's car and then went home. A female on the other hand, might say that that day was beautiful, magnificent and all that stuff. As the brother, it was good day with only minimal conflict (that I was aware of) between families, which I think is common in ALL weddings.

Makenna came so close to actually walking down the aisle this time, but she took two or three steps and froze. For abot 2 seconds I thought she might keep going, but she turned around and started crying. As discussed, I once again walked down the aisle and escorted her, along with the other flower girl who also decided to just stay at the end of the aisle. I guess things could have gone worse, but they definitely could have gone better.

I've been playing a crap ton of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 recently and just yesterday leveled up to Prestige 1. Those that play the game, know what that means. Those that don't play, just know that I'm awesome.

We recently had our roof replaced, and with insurance and discounts, we got the whole thing for free, and actually made around 2 dollars or something due to a miscalculation on the part of the roofing company. The roof looks great (I guess, I couldn't tell you if a roof looked bad), but they did something with out satellite which has resulted in us losing our locals in HD and ESPN comes in and out. We've already called once, and they did fix it to where we could get our locals in standard, but that caused us to lose ESPN sometimes. I absolutely dread calling them back and am beginning to wonder if it is worth it to not have HD locals just so I don't have to deal with them. Along the same lines, I've been documenting my frustrations with Dish for quite some time and I thought I had it sorted out. They had agreed to 10 months of $10 credits after everything was sorted out. That worked great for about 5 months, then the credits disappeared. Sadly, their customer service is so bad, it would take more time to call them and get it straightened out than that $50 is worth.

Christmas is coming up, and I've got all my shopping done except for one very, very good friend of mine and my dog. We know we are getting my dog a new bed, but I have no idea what to get one of my favorite people in the world, how horrible is that?

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12/12/09 - My wife does her research, and it's interesting.

Since getting pregnant with Makenna, my wife has really found her calling (at least I feel like she has). She typically spends a majority of her free time researching things regarding natural living, from natural child birth to home remedies. Since my wife (as any female) loves to talk, she shares most of this information with me whenever she gets a chance. I'm not going to say I'm not interested, but it's not on the top of my priority list. I'm pretty sure my wife knows this, and I'm hoping that by her reading this she isn't finding out for the first time.

In the process of her discussing these things with me, I've learned quite a bit. At first, when Cristi said she was going to have a natural child birth, I just shrugged it off and figured that she would be like everyone else where she "tried" to go natural then gave in after her first labor pains and got the medicine. I figured she had seen something that made it sound like a good idea and she went with.

Boy was I wrong, she researched all the medical, physical and emotional benefits and shared lots of good information with me. We went to a natural birthing class and I learned tons. Pretty soon, I was on board with her decision completely, and she went through with it. I could not be more pleased with the results.

After giving birth, breastfeeding became one of her favorite topics. I've read study after study (although I can't currently provide sources, Cristi can provide this at a moment's notice) explaining the medical benefits and she made a good argument for why breastfeeding is such a good idea. Although I was a bit reluctant to continue the breast feeding even after 6 months, the research showed that the ONLY negative to breastfeeding later in life is the rest of American society looking down on this. I was fine that Makenna nursed until she was almost 20 months old, I see nothing wrong with it at all and am very grateful that my wife spent the time to finding out how good it was for her. Notice I mentioned American society specifically; the entire world is light years ahead of where our culture is in regards to childbirth/newborns/infants.

Along the same lines, being in the medical field, she has started researching vaccines. H1N1 vaccine was recently all the rage, as well as just the common flu vaccine. Once again, I don't have sources for this information other than my wife (who I completely trust when it comes to medical information, she should have been a doctor). But apparently, of individuals who receive the flu shot, 7% of people still get the flu. Those who don't take the flu shot, 9% of those individuals get the flu. That's only a 2% reduction in your change of getting the flu. Factor in all the adverse side effects of the flu shot, and I don't see how a trained medical individual can recommend this process.

Here's what amazes me. The things I have mentioned are all things that go against the current thought process of the medical community. Natural childbirth is almost considered taboo in America, especially states such as Arkansas that does not recognize home birth or birth without the aid of a doctor present as coverable by insurance. Vaccines are being pushed by the medical community everywhere you go. Forumla use is pushed on new parents before they even leave the hospital after giving birth. Yet, in each of these situations, the commonly accepted procedure is not the best for those involved.

There are other things as well. Home birth in and of itself for example. Show me one piece of research that shows where a hospital birth, on average is safer for mother and child and I will eat my shorts. Yes, every once in a while there will be a complication with a birth, but without going into too much, the complication is usually a result of medical intervention when it was not even necessary. Even still, the odds of complications are much lower than you would imagine. Remember, people have been giving birth for thousands of years (millions depending on your creation/evolution beliefs) and it seems to me that the human race is still multiplying just fine.

Circumcision has been a hot topic for us as of late. Think about it, can you name one medical reason why a boy less than 12 hours old should have his penis basically mutilated? I think I'll save the rest of this for another post.

Wow, once I started typing this up, it started to get away from me. Apparently, subconciously, these things really mean more to me than I realized. I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that my wife has these views based on sound research; yet, even some of her peers in the medical field refuse to listen to the information that is available to them. My point is this, just because society says that something is right, doesn't make it so.

I'm just glad my wife has the desire to research these things, because without her, I'd be in the dark.


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12/5/09 - Car History...1997 Chevy Tahoe (green)

The next entry in my Car History series is a 1997 green 2-door Chevy Tahoe. I don't think I have any pictures of this truck. I'm not sure if I never took any, or if I just don't know where they are. Here are a couple of pictures to give you an idea of what a 2-door tahoe looks like.

This truck was purchased not long after the red Sierra was totalled. I remember buying it at Car Wars which is held I think every year at War Memorial Stadium. The same guy that sold me the red truck (and my parent's explorer) was able to find the 2 door tahoe I had always dreamed of. I bought it on the spot, I don't think I even test drove it.

A few things that happened with this truck:

1) I installed the stereo system in this truck as well. I took this one a step further though as I tore out the interior and ran cable under the carpet so I could install my disc changer in the console between the front two seats. I also added a toggle switch that would allow me to turn my sub woofers on and off depending on what mood I was in. Sometimes, I just didn't feel like having a headache after driving. I also had straight pipes on this truck...you can imagine how loud it was.

2) After getting everything installed, my truck was broken into and they stole the deck and disc changer. The cool thing about this is that insurance paid for everything but my $100 deductible. Since my stuff was pretty old, I got upgraded equipment for a very small price tag. At the end of the day, I was happy. The downside is that the day my truck was broken into, I went to a friend's house that night to help him with his homework (if he reads this blog, he knows who I'm talking about). While I was there, it started raining. I thought nothing of it until I went to leave and realized that my seats were soaked. Since one window had been broken during the theft, I rolled the other down. That sucked pretty bad because my seats were cloth. Luckily, it never molded or stunk the truck up, I just had to drive on a wet, cold seat.

3) This truck nearly caused me to kill my middle brother. I had it in the garage working on something. I don't remember what it was, but I remember I was under the hood and I had my back doors opened. My brother was in the process of cleaning his truck (Pathfinder at the time, which my dad currently drives) in the driveway. He was using the vaccuum cleaner and instead of moving the vaccuum, he attempted to back his truck up closer to the garage. He hit the gas hard and wound up slamming into the back of my truck and jacked up the rear door. It still closed and was rainproof, but there was a serious dent. I was pissed beyond belief. Ask him about it sometime, he will explain the level of anger and complete violence in my eyes at that moment.

4) The ending of this truck was on a trip back from Branson, MO. It was a rainy weekend if I recall correctly. At the very least it had rained most of the day between Branson and Little Rock. I should have seen this all coming and pulled over, but I didn't. Here are the events on my way home.

- About 30 minutes out of Branson, I passed an overturned semi that had traffic at a crawl. It appeared that accident had happened probably 45 minutes before I got to that point.

- About half way home, I passed another accident where two vehicles had collided head on. As I was passing this accident, emergency vehicles were just pulling up, so I estimate that I missed this accident by about 10 to 15 minutes.

- About 10 minutes from Conway, I passed another accident, only this one happened in my rear view mirror as I was passing an intersection. You see how this progressed...I should have known.

- Sure enough, as I got to Conway, I came to a stop at a stop light, looked in my rear view and saw an old 60's or 70's model Ford in my rear view...moving fast...and not slowing down...and getting very close very quick.

Of all my accidents, this is the only one that I was ever injured in. On impact, I was looking in my rear view mirror with my head kind of tilted to the side. The hit resulted in my head going forward and hitting the steering wheel. I don't think I went unconscious at that point, but I got out of the truck and checked on the other vehicles. The Ford had pushed me into the car in front of me and them into the next car. Everyone was okay, and the next thing I remember is the cops pulling up and me doubled over. Regardless of whether or not I blacked out for a period of time, I had a pretty good mark on the side of my head.

Of all my wrecks, this was one of my favorites and here is why. As I mentioned, this was an older Ford. It was an older F-350 (I think), and it was built like a tank. I was moving at probably about 40-45 miles an hour when it hit me. The result of the collision left the Ford's drivetrain and other major parts lying in the middle of the road. It was not driveable and all the king's horses and all the king's men couldn't have put it back together again. On the other hand, I drove home. Granted, the frame was bent in the wreck, but it was still very driveable. This is one more reason I'm a chevy truck guy for life.

Although I had this truck for a while, it is the last vehicle that I would ever total (knock on wood). Also, although I do have memories of this truck, none of them really stick out other than the final days of owning it. I would also decide that the stereo system was no longer needed. I had the insurance include that in the final check I received from them.

My next truck would be very similar (it was the same truck, different color) but it would have a lot more personality.


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12/2/09 - Items up for sale

First off, I've got an XBOX 360 with a 20GB hard drive, one wireless controller and headset. Of course, all the cables come with it including the power cable and brick plus component cables or composite if you prefer. It will actually come with one game Trials HD that was downloaded from the marketplace and is stored on the hard drive. It has a 90 day warranty from the manufacturer as this is a new system from Microsoft after I had to get my last console repaired. If you have any questions, you can call me at 501-412-7634. Would like to sell for $175 OBO. It is located in Sherwood, AR.

I also have a 1995 Kawasaki Bayou that I would like to sell. It's been very well used but runs amazing. There is some damage to the four wheeler during an accident several years ago, but other than appearing to lean slightly, I've noticed no problems. Recently had several hundred dollars of routine maintenance work just to make sure it's in peak condition. Would like to basically break even at $700. For more details or a test drive, give me a call at 501-412-7634. This item is also located in Sherwood, AR and can be delivered around the central Arkansas area at no extra charge.


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