Adventures in Fatherhood: A Diary of My Second Daughter’s Birth

Or, how everyone in the world loves Enya

Note – We recently celebrated my second daughter’s birthday; I figured that it made sense to clean-up and port over this running diary of my daughter’s birth. This post was one of the most read items on my old site.

Originally posted March 4, 2007


8:40 AM –  My wife and I are on the way to the hospital. In an effort to make small talk, I mention my dislike of hospitals. Wifey (who’s already in a bad mood) turns to me and initiates the following exchange:

Wife – “We need to talk about this complaining of yours.”

Me – “What complaining? I just said that I didn’t like hospitals.”

Wife – “Look. you just need to stop because your part in the day is pretty insignificant compared to mine.”

Me – “Since it’s so insignificant, how ‘bout I drop you off at the curb and you can have the baby yourself.”

Ok, I didn’t say the last part. Instead, I drove in silence the rest of the way to the hospital. Great start to the morning.

10:00 AM – We’re situated in the room. The wife has to use the restroom, so I take the opportunity to let my parents know that we’re at the hospital. Unfortunately, I have to leave the delivery area to get a signal. When I return, I get the third degree from a nurse because I don’t have a visitor’s badge. Continue reading “Adventures in Fatherhood: A Diary of My Second Daughter’s Birth”

Fitness Gear Review: Jaybird Bluebud X with Comply Tips

The Comply tips take a solid pair of Bluetooth earbuds from good to really good. A great steal if you can find them on sale… just avoid Jaybird’s customer service.

My Rating:

a6so[1]As I’ve varied my workouts, I’ve found myself hampered by my wired earbuds. While they served their purpose, they always seems to get caught on a machine – even when I snaked my earbud wire through my shirt (and forget jumping rope or doing stretching/yoga with them). Still, I refused to replace them; I just couldn’t see myself plopping down $100+ for a Bluetooth pair.

Unfortunately, I was forced into a decision when my workout earbuds stopped. I originally planned to purchase a better, wired earbud, but after some research, decided on a wireless pair.

I really wanted the soon-to-be-released Kaona buds, but couldn’t wait for the first batch (scheduled to be delivered in April 2016). Plus, I really struggled with the idea of dropping $150 for my first pair of wireless buds.

Given that, after reading a few reviews online, I decided to go with the first iteration of Jaybird’s Bluebud X earbuds. Walmart had them on sale for $80, so I considered it a steal.

Continue reading “Fitness Gear Review: Jaybird Bluebud X with Comply Tips”

Ten Songs from 2015 that you should be listening to: #1 The Internet’s For The World

theinternetband-640x360[1]I keep saying that I want to make a list of the best intro verses in Hip-hop and R&B; verses that grab you from the jump1. Whenever I get to that list, Syd tha Kyd’s first bars on ‘For the World” will definitely be on it: “Cigarettes and sex on your breath, I guess/It’s cool, I’m the same, the way we kiss.” Syd, Matt Martians, and the rest of the band don’t waste time getting into the groove of this song – there’s no wasted intros or spoken verse.

Ego Death is The Internet’s most complete album yet. On this LP, The Internet is now a full band, giving the album a full and complete sound. The new additions don’t take away from the quirkiness of their first releases, instead, it makes most of the tracks feel structured and fully thought out. Syd’s also gone another level as a writer and singer. She’s still as transparent and intimate, but has more confidence in her vocal abilities.

I love just about every track on this album (it’s my favorite album of 2015); the James Fauntleroy-assisted “For The World” barely beats out “Gabby” as my favorite track. I’m still not sure what “For The World” is about: it’s part love song, part Natural Born Killers, part protest song, and all groove (and a great groove at that).

The Internet’s For The World (featuring James Fauntleroy)

Using Amazon CloudFront to speed up my site

Hare-and-Tortoise-300x156[1]For the first few months of it’s existence, this website was slow. I wasn’t sure what the problem was; I thought that maybe I needed more compute (the site is running on a t2.micro EC2 instance). Fortunately, before I switched instance sizes, I did some reading online.

The most helpful site -found here – lists 15 steps to improve performance. After making many of the recommended changes, I found that the largest impact was due to enabling a Content Delivery Network (CDN) and using caching.

I used W3 Total Cache for my cache changes. For my CDN, I used Amazon CloudFront. CloudFront was easy to set-up. Though W3 Total Cache has an option for enabling CDN, I used the WP Offload plugin (as it was already enabled to access my AWS account).

And, just like that, my response times went from 5-8 seconds to 1-3.




Ten Songs from 2015 that you should be listening to: #2 Kendrick Lamar’s For Sale? (Interlude)

kendrick-lamar[1]What’s been said about Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly has most assuredly already been said: Complex. Ambitious. Avant-garde. There are days when I can listen to it on end; other days, the weight of it makes me turn to something else.

There is one track, however, that I can ALWAYS listen to: Kendrick’s “For Sale? (Interlude)”.

Lucy is all the [things] that I was thinking of that I know can be detrimental to not only me but the people around me, and still be tempted by them. That’s some scary s–t. It’s like looking at a bullet inside of a gun, knowing you can kill yourself with it, but you’re still picking it up and playing with it.
– Kendrick Lamar, as quoted in the Guardian

When I was in college, I struggled to make it to Sunday service. Part laziness, part distance – it just wasn’t a priority for me. That being said, there were days that I needed a word from God. When I was in those moods, I didn’t turn to typical gospel or Christian hymns – I put on John Coltrane’s Love Supreme. His ode to his higher power spoke to me (and still does) in a way that no gospel recording ever has.

Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly isn’t a Love Supreme, but “For Sale?”, speaks to me in a similar way. A morality play in verse, “For Sale?” tells of the temptations of “Lucy” (short for Lucifer) and the promises of material things and the fight to stay true to yourself. Its a struggle I believe we all face and I love Kendrick for being so transparent about it.

“Alright” and “These Walls” rightly get called out as great cuts on To Pimp a Butterfly; I just want “For Sale?” to get it’s requisite shine too.

Kendrick Lamar – For Sale? (Interlude)