A word on WordPress

Hopefully all of you blogger-types running WordPress have taken note of yesterday’s announcement that version 2.5 has finally been released. I’ve already been running the release candidates since they announced them, so there isn’t a huge change for me on my blogs since the upgrade today (and you, dear readers, will pretty much notice no changes). But I will admit that the interface changes on the admin side are starting to grow on me. It’s not some breathtakingly gorgeous design, but the layout makes more and more sense to me as I use it and seems to be a real improvement over the somewhat cumbersome layout that preceded.

Interestingly, they also redesigned the main WordPress page to mimic some of the design from the new system. It certainly seems more inviting to me. And while I found myself poking around to see what else had changed, this line from the about page popped out at me:

WordPress started in 2003 with a single bit of code to enhance the typography of everyday writing and with fewer users than you can count on your fingers and toes.

I wonder if they realize they’re referring to me? Although this blog has never risen above the “self-absorbed, Internet journal and commentary” site that it started as, I take a little bit of pride in the fact that, with all of the choices I had before me, I picked the one that became the biggest. Even in the olden days of early 2003, the idea of a dynamic system using PHP and MySQL made sense to me. Coupled with an insistence that it be open source, b2 ended up initially powering this site. But development on that was already at a standstill.

That’s why when Matt announced the first release of WordPress (b2 named successor), it was only a matter of 2 days before version 0.70 was running here. Sometimes I get a little sad that I was such an early adopter, but never took advantage of that to get involved. Oh well, I never expected this site to be anything more than a way to communicate with family and friends, so it should come as no surprise that’s all it remains.

Anywho, I just wanted to point out the upgrade for those interested, and to send a “Thank You” to the WordPress team. They helped provide an outlet for my “creativity”… for better or for worse…

I felt her move

I think there’s something incredibly awesome about the fact that I never felt a baby move until it was my own. Well, you know, while it was still not quite finished. Undoubtedly my dear readers are clamoring for some updates on this whole baby-making project, so here’s a little view for y’all:

The Woman's expanding abdomen

Maybe I’m just the sappiest guy around, but that’s beautiful. It’s amazing just how much delight I get out of rubbing her belly and talking to our unborn child. And the fact that I’ve actually felt her move… wow. Doesn’t it weird anyone else out that we grow our children this way? I mean, it seems natural and unnatural at the same time. Does that make any sense?

Regardless, The Woman is wearing this pregnancy quite wonderfully:

The Woman in all of her pregnant glory

Ain’t she beautiful?

In honor of this relationshippy post, I’m going to toss in that relationship meme that was floating around – after the break:
Continue reading “I felt her move”

In like Schwinn

With the pseudo-encouragement of seeing friends sign up, I finally took the plunge yesterday and registered for the Five Boro Bike Tour (or Bike New York, as we lazily refer to it). This will be my second time on this 42 mile trek, although the first in about 7 years – which puts me clearly on the opposite side of 30.

I still have to figure out if my current bicycle is up to snuff, or if a new purchase is in my future. I also still have to test my theory that me being slim has absolutely nothing to do with whether or not I am in shape. At least I’ve got 38 days left to worry about it train for it.

Since The Woman is growing ever-larger, she will be unable to accompany our rag-tag group of immature amateur cyclists. However I plan on strapping my camera to my back/handlebars/helmet/face/whatever in order to take photos along the way that will never be shared be immediately posted that night for all to enjoy. Wish me luck or, better yet, join in the humiliation fun!

The tax man cometh

After doing our taxes last year, I was so excited by the big return (no doubt going to pay a bill) that it never occurred to me that I was ignoring all of the investments The Woman sold. So when I found some paperwork months later that pointed this out… well… let’s just say that a panic attack was narrowly avoided. But a funny thing happened when that information was entered into the tax software – it said the freakin’ man still owed me more money.

How could this be? After pouring over the original and modified returns it eventually became clear that you should be wary of using an online service for doing your taxes. The website never properly transferred all of our wonderful home ownership type deductions over – and they more than adequately canceled out the rediscovered income. But as I struggled to find all of the paperwork and eventually formatted and reinstalled computers, actually filing the modifications kept getting put off.

Fast forward to this month. Shortly before we leave for vacation a nice letter from the IRS made it’s way to us: In case you didn’t notice, you forgot about a crapload of money so, PAY US FOUR GRAND OR WE TAKE YOUR FIRST BORN! Just kidding about that – it was under $4,000.

While I was pretty sure they weren’t taking everything into account, it was still disconcerting. And it became even more disconcerting when I noticed things on their paperwork that I had no knowledge of. Crap! Tax prison, here I come!

After weeks of sorting out missing papers, mixed up numbers, and software installation (it’s really awesome that TaxCut wouldn’t open my federal return because it also contained a state return which it wouldn’t let me install since it thought it already was…) I finally figured it all out. And tomorrow, not only do I get to tell the freakin’ man that I don’t owe them anything, but I also get to tell them that they owe me money!

I’m not sure how I managed to miss reporting several thousand dollars of income and still come out several hundred dollars ahead of the game. Perhaps I should start offering to do other people’s taxes?

Bed: Free to a good home

So, we have to clear some room for this baby thing. There’s a full size bed in what’s to become the nursery and have been advised that it’s too big for our incoming roommate. I didn’t realize just how much we’d have to adjust – next thing you know people will be telling me I can’t stay out drinking all night or blasting my music whenever I want… what a drag!

If any of you out there can use a full size, we’d be pretty happy to have you come and take this off our hands. It’s a thick mattress with a box spring and a basic frame. Don’t worry if you can’t take it right away, but definitely let me know if you can use it (otherwise we’ll put it on Craigslist or sneak it into a neighbor’s house or something).

I’ll be sure to keep you guys apprised of any other cool stuff that we’ll be ditching to make our home baby-ready. You know, like my authentic 15th century sword display or hazardous material of the world collection.

How to win me over…

If you’re a waitress, and you see me looking over a menu indecisively, and you’re about to offer me a special that includes the words “three meat” and “wrapped in bacon”, just stop. Turn around. Go back to the kitchen and get me one. Don’t waste our time pretending that I might order the scallop and shrimp combo or something as trivial as a hamburger. You put together 3 different animals and then still felt the need to wrap it in bacon – that is what I call dedication to my satisfaction.

This message has been brought to you by the brilliant staff of Nicky Fischer’s who served me a three meat meatloaf… you guessed it… wrapped in bacon. Genius.

The Woman and I were down that way Saturday night to see the Pat Metheny Trio at the Keswick Theatre. I’m not going to tell you about the show, because I already posted about it on my other blog. Remember that one? I’ve actually been posting to it (despite my lengthy, vacation-driven absence on both sites) – and that includes some cool concert info that I recently discovered. Ha ha! Now you have to check it out or you’ll never know what it is!

Laughter: My only medicine

I just spent like an hour laughing my ass off. I’m talking deep guffaws. The kind that rock your belly and make you miss half of the dialogue going on. And the sad part? I was watching Two and a Half Men followed by The New Adventures of Old Christine. Seriously, just follow that up with According to Jim and my night would be complete.

I can laugh at just about anything. Even when I know it’s crap. The Woman has found me rolling on the ground while watching a movie and I’ll admit outright that it’s terrible. And like I said, these aren’t little chuckles, they’re full on cackles.

It’s not like doctor visits are common for me, so I’m relying on the old adage that laughter is the best medicine. That’s also why having a baby should be good for me. From what I’ve learned on America’s Funniest Home Videos, those little guys are sources of non-stop amusement.

Slight rant…

No matter where I go on vacation… no matter whether I have a blast or just an OK time… no matter how much I miss my home… Once I get back in my car it takes about 2-3 minutes max to begin hating New Jersey again. This state sucks the life out of me that much.

Oh, and what’s with all of my chattering friends? I leave for a week and come back to 130+ posts to read – and that doesn’t even include the rest of my blogroll…

No fear of flying

What is it with the state of New Jersey? Does it try to make travel so difficult for fear of people never returning once they see what life elsewhere is like? For the second trip in a row, we were stuck trying to make our way to an off airport at 5 in the morning in the middle of a monsoon. At least this time I managed not to completely soak my foot. But we did, once again, have to make multiple U-turns to reach the lot thanks to the wonderful signage of this great state.

Thankfully we reached Florida just in time to hit a monsoon down here. I can’t really complain, because we’ve almost always had very good luck with weather on vacations. And quite frankly, we’ve been too exhausted to do anything on day one but a bit of shopping and crapload of sushi-eating.

I seem to have at least a small fear of travel. It’s not the method of travel. Heck, I watched the exciting video of that crosswind landing over in Germany just yesterday, and yet I still have absolutely no qualms with handing over my sense of safety to the pilots. Instead, I seem to have a fear of leaving my home for any real length of time. I am way too much of a homebody. But for this week I have full confidence that Shadow will be able to take care of everything in our absence…