Archived news items from January 2004
Since this is old news, some links may be broken.
newer old news from February 2004
In the last two weeks, I've had my car's oil cap come loose (probably because Wal-Mart's employees didn't put it on right) and spray oil all over the inside of my engine and my alternator fail (probably).
I'm driving a reasonably-priced rental car, which is nice but not as nice as it'll be when my own car gets out of the shop all fixed and stuff.
I played Karaoke Revolution a few times and was soundly beaten by, among others, several small children.
I also have been using the heck out of my drum machine, and really enjoying it.
Today was a seriously big day for music for me. I personally performed no less than thirteen songs: six for morning worship, four for our evening 40 Days of Purpose rally, and three as part of a skit during that rally, including one which I wrote last night.
I was at church from 7:30 A.M. to about 6:45 P.M., and didn't get home until a little after eight. It was a good day, but boy, am I drained!
Recently got two CDs: MagentaMantaLoveTree by DigHayZoose (another band I'd had on bootleg cassette), and Patty Griffin's debut album, Living With Ghosts. And I've been so busy I haven't had a chance to sit down and listen to either of them, though I'd heard them before buying.
I watched Pirates of Silicon Valley five times on Thursday and Friday, and that script is horrible. Noah Wyle and Anthony Michael Hall totally save the movie by nailing their portrayals of Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, respectively.
Also watched Pirates of the Carribean, which was very good. I've liked Johnny Depp since Edward Scissorhands.
Anyway, more has happened in the last couple of weeks, but I'd rather catch up on sleep this evening than catch up on the web page. So there.
Well, it's a new year, so I feel like thanking my faithful readers. Looking back through my server logs for the last few months, it looks like I'm averaging about 25 hits per day to this news page. Of course, my ever-popular article Introduction to Compressed Audio with Ogg Vorbis is still responsible for the lion's share of traffic to this site, garnering about 40 hits per day on it's own.
Again, if I didn't have readers, there'd be less reason for me to write, so thanks for giving this site a raison d'être.
I got up early to lead worship for (and also to just attend) a men's breakfast at the church this morning at 7:30. This gave me a much earlier than usual start on a Saturday, even considering that I didn't leave church until nearly ten.
I did some shopping, but mostly did listening, lyric-gathering and editing of two albums to put on my jukebox at school: The Crow and The Matrix soundtracks. Most of my time was spent trying to track down and correct lyrics for the Crow album, which is pretty good. After everything, it turns out that only two songs contained cursing, and I was able to edit them fairly easily, so they're now up.
I then finally got a chance to sit down and finish the last two chapters of Watchmen that my brother had given me for Christmas, and it was excellent. I highly recommend checking it out if you get a chance, even if you're not normally a reader of "comic books".
I should mention that picked up a couple of albums off eBay, and they arrived yesterday:
Let's just say my personal experience has been that copying music for a friend (at least on cassette) seems to increase music sales, despite what the RIAA might like you to believe.
And now I plan to watch Lilo and Stitch, which I've never seen and have borrowed from a friend, while my pot of beans is cooking. And then I'll get to bed nice and early, which helps for getting up on time on Sunday morning.
I was in Austin through Christmas Eve, and led worship for our church service that evening. Then, already packed, I left for East Texas, getting to my parents' house in Palestine before midnight.
The next morning, we opened presents, and my parents had given me a ton of stuff:
I had bought Mom the Firefly DVD set, and Dad the Concert for George DVD, which was pretty good.
Dad also bought me a cool remote-controlled truck (which worked well once we put the batteries in correctly) and a balsa glider with rubber-band-powered propeller, with the expectation that Paul and Julie and Logan and I would all be there together on their large property to play with them (he got one of each for Paul, too). But since at that time Julie was too pregnant to travel, it didn't pan out.
Then we all took off to Longview to celebrate Christmas with Paul and Julie. We took separate cars, since I was planning to spend a couple of days there, while Mom and Dad were just going to spend the afternoon.
There we opened more presents, including a huge, huge stack for Paul. He got tons of video games, some wireless controllers, a Monty Python DVD set of his own, and even more. Logan also got a ton of toys.
I gave Paul the Dreamcast game Bangai-O widely-regarded but not super easy to find in the U.S. He gave me the superb Watchmen graphic novel, which I'm very much enjoying reading. And I gave Julie the first season of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit on DVD.
Dad also gave us some more stocking stuffers, including a laser pointer (which is something I've never owned, believe it or not) and some "astronaut" meals (Paul's was "ice cream", mine is a "cheese pizza").
It was a good time, and then Mom and Dad drove back to Palestine, while I stayed and played video games with Paul.
The next day we saw Return of the King, as I mentioned, and Julie had a baby. I was at the hospital until nearly 3:30 that night, and came back to their duplex to sleep. I spent most of the next day at the hospital, but started to get fairly useless once there were enough other family members around to help take care of Logan.
So after spending an hour or two trying to get back into the duplex to retrieve my forgotten toiletries bag, I headed back for Palestine a bit after dark.
The next couple of days consisted of sleeping late and lazily watching movies. I helped my Mom put away the Christmas tree, but otherwise not much of note happened.
Movies we watched:
as well as the previously-mentioned
I got back to Austin on Monday evening, and have mostly just run errands and slept more and gotten a haircut since then.
I still haven't graded the CS-3 exams, which I'll need to do ASAP since school starts back on Monday.
First things first: the photos. These were taken by my dad on December 27, so Owen was one day old. Here he is in the hospital bassinet, being monitored for some routine thing:
Next are photos showing Paul holding his son while older son Logan (a little over 13 months old) looks on, along with one that proves I was there as well.
Now to the story of Owen's birth, which is more exciting than my previous update had mentioned.
Julie had given birth to Logan three weeks early, but he was still nearly seven pounds. So when she started having contractions over a month before her due date for Owen, none of us were surprised. She was way too early to have a full-term baby then, so the doctors gave her a prescription for something to stop the contractions, which she was supposed to take as needed until a certain date.
So basically she was frequently having contractions for over a month. When they got harder, she'd take the medication, but mostly she just dealt with it.
Then about two weeks ago (on December 15th), she was having serious enough contractions to go to the hospital. However, she didn't dilate enough and was there for several hours, so they sent her home. (Since she was still technically three weeks or so before her due date, they wouldn't induce or anything.)
So then she was home for another couple of weeks, with more and more frequent contractions.
Then, on Christmas Day, I visited Longview to see them for a couple of days. The day after, Paul and I went to go see Lord of the Rings (which was quite good), while Julie stayed home (and also went shopping) with Logan. When we finally got home from the long movie, Julie said, "Paul, eat some dinner quickly, and then we're going to the hospital."
So, we rushed off to the emergency room, where we were admitted and tne spent another hour or two under observation. They put an intra-uterine monitor on Owen to keep tabs on his heart rate. Finally, she'd dilated enough and the baby's vitals were excellent several checks in a row, so they decided to keep her for sure and to go ahead with the epidural.
Paul and I then went down to his car to retrieve the rest of their overnight gear (pillows and a CD player and such), expecting to settle in for several hours of labor.
When we got back up to the room, one of the other folks from the waiting room said to Paul, "Honey, the nurse was looking for you. Your wife is having a cesarean."
And he said, "What?!?" We'd been gone maybe five or ten minutes.
It turns out when they sat her up to do the epidural, the baby's heart rate had plummeted to around 40 beats per minute, which is way below the normal 120-160 range. (Below 100 bpm is considered cause for concern.)
So the doctor decided immediately: "We've got to get this baby out of here, and fast." They immediately put her under (before Julie even knew if it was her or the baby that was in trouble), did a rush prep of the abdomen, and did a "stat" C-section, with a vertical incision on the abdomen. The baby was out in minutes, perhaps before we even got up from the parking lot.
It was quite some time before we were able to find out all these details and exactly why the cesarean section was done, but in talking to the doctor, he said that Owen's vitals had been so low that the extra five or ten minutes to do a "normal" C-section might have resulted in Owen's death.
Owen was out way before Julie, who was still asleep for nearly an hour after the operation was over. And she was heavily drugged for a day or so for pain, but now she's home and fine and Owen looks great and is in perfect health.
She's got a good-sized abdominal opening that's having to heal, so she's not allow to lift anything heavy (which unfortunately includes Logan), but overall everyone is doing very well.
Okay, enough for now. More on the rest of vacation in a little bit.
Actually late Friday night....
I've been back in Austin for several days, but haven't made time to update the web page yet. But it's late, and I want some sleep, so I'll do it tomorrow.
I have pictures of Owen.
I spent five hours today recording a version of Chris Tomlin's "Famous One" using my newish drum machine and Audacity so my praise team members can practice it better for Sunday.
Anyway, sometime tomorrow I'll update about what I did all break, my Christmas haul, the movies I saw, and other such stuff.
archive index (for dates back to January 1998)