Sunday, July 26, 2009

Weekly update

Jake's doing so well that it doesn't feel right to say he's recuperat-ing. It feels like he's recuperat-ed. He had a surprise pool party early in the week, and has been swimming a couple of times. Today we rented a cabana at the Four Seasons Hotel pool and hung out for a few hours.

My Mom has been in town all weekend, so he had a chance to spend some time with her. Yesterday we went to another Yu Gi Oh tournament, where he won his first round match, lost his second, and got knocked out in the quarterfinals (although it was very close). He's been talking Yu Gi Oh non-stop. He looks and feels good. I'll post some pictures tomorrow (the camera's memory card isn't compatible with the laptop that lives on the couch, an I'm too lazy to hook up a usb cable tonight).

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Why is today different than all other days?

Riding home from work today, I rode through dozens of gnat storms. Did anybody notice that today is an especially gnat-filled day?   

Monday, July 20, 2009

Experimental voicemail

Since I already have his car picked out for when he's 16 (1988 Volvo Diesel Wagon), I signed up for a new Google Voice number (786-379-JAKE) so I can pass it on when he gets his own phone. Until he's ready, I'll use it as my number. If you call that number, it's supposed to forward to my other numbers. If it goes to voice mail, it sends you an email with the recorded message and emails a transcribed message. Cool.

Funny windows issue

I just backed up my hard drive and noticed this issue.

First day of the new regime

We now do the weekly clinic on Mondays. Today was Jake's first day with a non-catheter blood draw, so I went to the hospital with Jen and Jake so he could sit on my lap. He'd been worried about this for days, but it went very well. Jen had pre-treated his arm with the anesthetic cream, and the phlebotomist did a great job. The fact that the first one went well will make our lives much easier, because he won't be worried about it for future visits. No blood test results yet.

Consumer plug - Bought an Acer H213H 21.5" LCD monitor for 160.00 at BJ's Warehouse club yesterday. If your computer can put out a 1920x1200 signal, it's awesome. It also has an HDMI input so you can use it as a small TV.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Tournament Recap

Jake had a great time at his Yu Gi Oh tournament. I was really worried about it, because (1) I didn't know how he would deal with losing; and (2) I didn't know how well he would do.

He lost his first round pairing to a 17 year old kid in a tiebreaker round. He lost the first duel, won the second, and barely lost the tiebreaker. The whole tournament had to stop because Jake's round took much longer than the others, and they had to wait for a winner. The fact that it took a long time was attributable to the closeness of the duels, not Jake's age or relative inexperience.

Jake lost his second round fairly quickly to a 16 year old who had a deck Jake hadn't seen before.

He was in very good spirits, and had no problem losing. He was also a good winner in the duel he won. It was neat to see him talking about Yu Gi Oh issues with the older players.

It looks like we'll be doing this every Saturday afternoon. He's now officially registered in the national ranking system.

That's Jake in the yellow shirt.

We're going to a Romanian restaurant this evening ("Transylvania"), so that should be fun.

Saturday, July 18, 2009


Jake is doing great.  The catheter spot is sore, but he otherwise feels great.  Today he is entered in his first real Yu gi Oh tournament.  They have a tournament at the local card store.  He'd always known about the tournaments, and this week he decided that he wanted to enter.  The owner suggested  that he just watch and learn, and asked one of the kids to show him what to do.  Right now he's beating the kid who is supposed to show him the ropes.

Jen and I are going to try adult date night again tonight.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Out of surgery

We're in the recovery room and Jake is slowly coming around. He feels groggy but good. He's got a band-aid where his catheter was.

He fought-off the anesthesia as long as he could. He tried holding his eyes open with his fingers, and he still can't figure out why that didn't work. As an educated consumer, he asked the doctor (right before falling asleep) how many times she'd done this procedure before.

The last time?

Jake has surgery today to remove his port catheter. We need to get there by 7:30, and they hope to have him on the table by 8:30. It's a general anesthesia procedure, so he'll need some time to recover. However, we don't expect to be admitted to the hospital, and presume that we can take him home in the afternoon. The recuperation is a week (or two), and then he can take real baths, go swimming, ride the mechanical bull, wrestle gators, etc.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Jen and friends

We had some friends come over Friday evening. That's Susan (middle) and Michaela. I hadn't yet figured out how to use the fill-light on the new camera.
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Jake and dad

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An overstuffed SUV

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The boys hanging out

Jake (on the ground) with Remy (with the ball) and Michael.
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Home at last

We came home on Friday evening. For the last two days, Jake has had all-day play dates with some of his friends. Yesterday I took the boys to the Yu Gi Oh card store, for pizza, and to Dairy Queen. It was great to have a normal Dad day. Today the boys are playing on the computers -- one computer has Youtube playing and they are doing computer art on the other one.

Pics to come later today.

Jen and I had a chance to go out for a quick anniversary dinner last night while Jake was at his friend's house.

It's taking some time for Jake and Jen to get out of their Gainesville routine and back into our Miami routine. Part of the problem is going from our empty and efficient Gainesville apartment to our full and cluttered house. We spent Friday evening trying to throw away all the expired food to make room for new food. It is nice being able to box up all the weird kidney food.

Being home on a normal schedule allowed me to get in an 8 mile run yesterday and a 55 mile ride today.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Happy Anniversary

Today is our 14th wedding anniversary. It seems like just yesterday . . . that I finished paying for the wedding. We hope to have an actual adult night out (with a babysitter and everything) on Saturday.

I'll be driving back to Gainesville in the afternoon (in my big pimpin' Toyota Yaris rental), and we should be driving back to Miami tomorrow.

Jake is tentatively scheduled to have his catheter removed next Thursday at Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital in Fort Lauderdale. We hope that he won't have to be admitted for an overnight stay to recover from that procedure. Once that's done, he can take real baths, swim, go skydiving, practice bullfighting, etc.

I thought we'd be done with big medical expenses, but I have to go to the orthodontist next week and I may need braces. I'd been proud of my ability to handle stress, but I've been grinding my teeth (or so I thought). It turns out my jaw is now misaligned to one side. Could be stress, could be the physical beatings I take when somebody in the car sees a punchbug.

Got the new camera body in the mail, so once I finish reading the 300 page manual I can post higher-resolution pictures that you won't be able to notice because blogger compresses everything.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

We really are leaving

Jake's creatinine is .8 - same as it's been and will be. That's good enough for us to say that we're getting out (because we'll be long gone by the time that results come back on Friday).

I haven't decided whether to continue the post-return updates on this blog, or whether to start a new one for a new chapter. "Jacob's Bar Mitzvah Blog"? "Larry's Mid-life Crisis Blog"? "Jen's American Idol Analysis Blog"? The possibilities are endless.

I'm in a mediation all day. I haven't watched the Tour today, but am looking forward to it later. Go Lance! My fantasy Tour team is already in the toilet.

This week's schedule

Things are hectic, but good. The plan was to drive up on Thursday night, take the family back to Fernandina Beach on Friday, and drive back to Miami with the family on Sunday night. Our Gainesville lease expires on Tuesday, so we need to get out of town.

However, I just received an Order setting a federal trial for Monday morning, so I need to work this weekend. Now the plan is to drive up to Gainesville Thursday evening, pack up the apartment, and drive back on Friday morning. I'll need to buy a beaded seatcover to keep my butt from going numb. I can reuse it when I drive a cab on weekends. At least the family will be back in Miami for the weekend.

I just ordered my first digital SLR camera (Pentax, so I can use all my lenses), so I may start linking to family photos posted on Picasaweb (or Flickr, or Snapfish, or Kodak Gallery, or something like that).

Jake's doing well. No test results yet from yesterday's clinic visit. Jen's doing well, too. Last night was another Melting Pot visit with Lauren, so all the dirty clothes probably smell like Melting Pot.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Today's Ceramic painting

Just for archival accuracy, this picture is from today and the other pictures are from yesterday. We needed to make sure that we killed enough time, so we made sure to emphasize need for multiple coats of paint. Jen has a real knack for painting, which is surprising given her shaky-hand tendencies.
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Trip to the ceramic studio x2

We're having a very nice weekend in Fernandina Beach. Yesterday it was over 100 degrees, so we needed to play inside during the day. We ended up going to paint your own ceramic studio in "downtown" Fernandina Beach with Jen's brother Frank and Jake's two cousins Mia (the younger one) and Dory (the older one). They had a lot of fun. It was a little cooler today, but it was still too hot to do much during the day. We decided to do the same thing as yesterday, and it was still fun. The ceramic studio is about half the price of what they charge in Miami (which means that we ended up buying twice as much stuff), but they don't sell artisan cupcakes here. Like all southern resort towns, a downtown trip usually involves a fudge purchase. I'm still on my diet, but it's hard.

I ran yesterday and biked today. The mornings have been beautiful, as long as you get inside by 9:30.
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Thursday, July 2, 2009

7/2 Update

I’m back in the Fort Lauderdale Airport waiting for a flight back to Jacksonville. Jake had his clinic today, and his creatinine level was .92. In other words, he’s where he’s been. The docs want us to stay “just one more week”, so we’re planning to go home next weekend. We’re stowing away all long weekend at the in-laws' house on Fernandina Beach (just like the last two weekends), and Jake’s cousins will also be there.

Somebody asked what creatinine levels mean. Creatinine is the flotsam (or jetsam, if you’re on a crazy exercise routine) that floats around in your blood as a result of the normal process of muscle breakdown. It is normally fished out by the kidneys. If the levels are too high, that means your kidneys aren’t filtering well. The typical level for “men” is .7 to 1.2. I don’t know what the typical level is for “very young and very skinny men”.

I had anticipated that the family would be coming home this weekend, so I made a bunch of work appointments for the upcoming week and RSVP’d “no” for my firm’s annual retreat on Tuesday at a country club in Scarsdale. Oh well. Since this is my last bachelor weekend, I have to wean myself off my “Lord of the Flies” lifestyle. I had a tub of hummus for dinner last night, because that’s what was left in the refrigerator. [I think it was hummus, but it could have been really old cream cheese.] Either way, it was low carb.

The nation should be able to rebound from the sorrow of Billy Mays’ untimely death last week, because the news is now out that Kevin Jonas is engaged. I hope the ceremony is soon, because he and I took vows to wear our promise rings until he got married, and my finger is turning green.