Sunday, October 12, 2008

Diary of the last five days.


One of my best friends is moving away.
Drive to his house to say goodbye, return sunglasses.
Glasses returned; given a speaker for rock shed, manly side hug.
Truck won't start, extending awkward goodbye.
Jumper cables.
Drive to truck repair place.
Sad, stoic.


Hitch ride to work.
Think about L.L. Bean.
Learn truck repair is expensive.
I don't want to think about L.L. Bean.
Have good idea involving mannequins.
Truck is ready.
Hitch ride to truck, ride truck home.
My daughters like to pretend I'm a horse.
Bedtime stories.
Talk with Erin until we're too tired and should be sleeping.
Erin tells me there's two Africa-related events she wants us to go to this weekend.
I'm not 100% into that plan, but have no good reason.
We both fall asleep, kind of grumpy.


Five in the morning.
Erin lying on floor in pain.
Erin pacing the house in pain.
I head to the computer.
Google: appendix.
Google: kidneys.
Learn kidney stones cause you to pace in pain.
Erin paces past the computer in pain.
Google: south austin hospitals
Dark outside, neighbor runs through lawn to come watch the girls.
Six in the morning; emergency room.
Pain medication.
Momentary relief.
CAT scan.
Must leave wife here to check on girls at home.
Remember girls have school today, thankfully.
This is my first time driving the girls to school.
Robin tells me I'm doing it wrong.
Drop Lucy off at little playground.
Drop Robin off at big playground.
One of the teachers has a fat green caterpillar, hanging from a stick.
Drive back to hospital, call work on the way.
Back at Hospital.
Cat Scan results.
Kidney stone.
Wife rests.
Wait for doctor.
Overhear horrible emergency room conversation snippets:
"I couldn't get my finger out of my neck."
"Well, sometimes you have to laugh because you can't cry anymore."
Loud beeping.
Wife asleep.
A man curses his foot.
The doctor arrives.
The kidney stone is on the borderline of being too large.
Recommends operation, tomorrow.
Time to get the girls from school, leave wife again.
Pick up Robin.
Pick up Lucy.
"Lucy's not feeling well, she soiled her clothes."
"We're having her sit on the toilet in case it happens again."
Lucy sitting on tiny toilet next to the teacher's assistant.
Sees me, smiles: No diaper, no pants.
Drive girls home.
Feed them lunch; Word Girl is a rerun.
Lucy has another dirty diaper.
Take them to neighbor's house.
Drive to hospital.
Erin moved into her own room.
Sit next to her while she sleeps.
Surgery tomorrow AM.
Drive home.
Put girls to bed.
Fall asleep, dream about missing the surgery several times.


Talk to wife on phone, surgery happening soon.
Take kids next door to neighbors again, they've bought them donuts.
"We're here!" yells Robin.
"Donuts!" yells Lucy.
Forgot My Little Pony DVD.
Go back home, find it, go back next door.
Kiss girls goodbye, neighbor hands me a kolache.
I learn what a kolache is.
Eat kolache as I drive to the hospital.
Wife in surgery.
Wait in room.
Doctor calls my cell, all went well.
Hour passes.
Wife comes back into room, looking tired but happy.
Stay with her while she rests.
She orders cheeseburger, she didn't eat yesterday.
Cheeseburger looks good.
Time to get girls.
Kiss wife, drive home.
Get cheeseburger on the way.
Pick up girls, put them in car.
Promise of going to library to get new books in the process of being fulfilled.
Road to library is out.
Take detour.
At Library finally; getting kids out of car.
Cell phone vibrates in pocket.
Erin to be discharged from hospital soon, come get her.
Try to put kids back in car.
Rebellion ensues.
In library, quickly and frantically picking children's books.
Lucy yelling in library.
Robin punching keyboard in library.
Accidentally check out one about Henry David Thoreau.
$10.50 in library fines.
How many minutes have passed?
Who writes a children's book about Thoreau?
Erin calls, waiting outside hospital.
Packing kids in car quickly; dropping library books.
Forgot to fasten Robin into car seat: "Daddy, I can move!"
Lucy: "I don't wanna go to the hospital"
Fasten Robin into car seat.
Crank car again, driving fast.
Forgot about construction detour.
Take detour.
Erin waiting outside hospital.
PIck her up, she's doing much better but uncomfortable.
Go home, take a nap.
Sleep like a dead man.
Wake up groggy.
Wife doing great, ready to attend first of the weekend's two Africa-related events.
Argue about wife's recent surgery vs. going to event.
Wife wins, promises to stay seated and not move around.
Africa event 1: Meet friends in Ethiopian adoption group at restaurant with playground.
Erin forgot to take off hospital bracelets. Surprised looks.
Have great time on playground.
Kisses from Robin and Lucy in return for spinning them in the air.
Drive home.
Sleep hard.


Lucy yells "Yoo Hoo" from crib.
Lucy wants pancakes.
Robin wants waffles. And chewing gum.
Chewing gum denied.
Erin in bed, eats pancakes too.
Erin gets up, gives Robin chewing gum.
Robin shows me the chewing gum.
Take girls to church so Erin can rest more.
Lucy yells "IT'S ME!" when she sees her Sunday school teacher.
Robin is shy.
Target on the way home for water and orange juice.
Home: Erin in pain again.
Lots of pain.
Call doctor, put on hold.
Lucy breaks her spoon.
Robin needs more milk.
Erin in pain.
Operator says doctor will call me back soon.
Robin wants more ketchup.
Lucy wants more ketchup.
Wipe ketchup off hands, put girls to bed.
Doctor calls back, tells us what to do for Erin.
Erin does it, feels better instantly.
Clean up before babysitter comes over, second Africa event occurs in 2 hours.
Erin dresses for church, a local church is hosting an choir made up of African orphans.
Babysitter arrives.
Erin has pain again, can't go, asks me to go alone.
I don't want to go.
She says please, she thinks it will be good for me.
Her pain is not bad, she just needs to rest.
Drive to nearby church alone.
See neighbor who cared for my girls.
African children run onto the stage.
I don't see any adults with them.
Children dance and sing.
Boy from Uganda talks about watching his parents die from AIDS.
He sings a beautiful song, smiling.
Girl from Nepal is sweet.
15 million orphans in Africa.
40 million by 2010.
Only 15% of Christians in America surveyed think we should do something about it.
The children sing and dance loudly, louder than the room full of white people.
I decide I am one of the 15 percenters.
White people clap like white people.
Children finish, run through the pews hugging elderly unsuspecting Methodists.
America is rich but poor.
I forgot to bring a checkbook.
CD table takes visa, I buy Erin a CD and a DVD, and grab a sponsorship form.
Erin was right, again. It was good for me.
Drive home.
Read books to girls.
Put girls to bed very late, 9pm.
Robin still awake, 9:45 pm.
Read her a book in the dark.
She gives me a kiss.
Type overlong blog entry in difficult to read, short sentences.
Go to bed.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Wes Whitener's Reservations

Hello and thanks for taking the time to meet with me today.

The TV show proposal I'd like for you to consider producing is entitled: Wes Whitener's Reservations. It would be a travel show, but the twist is this: The guy featured on the show is not very world wise and would actually prefer not to travel. In fact, he kind of hates it. He doesn't like nice wine, he's a bit shy and awkward when meeting new people, and he would prefer to go see a movie than to engage in outdoor adventures of any kind.

The excitement and humor would come in seeing this skeptical traveler attempt to eat various exotic dishes, repel off the side of mountains, hanglide, run into celebrities at nice hotels, etc, all while mildly complaining, reacting awkwardly, and not really knowing which fork to hold or how to swim, etc. He would need some sidekicks along who are actually good at outdoor sports and enjoy that kind of thing to egg him on and convince him to actually cliff dive, or whatever. Kind of the Ricky Gervais podcast model where two dudes mock an awkward guy as they go.

I think it will be a hit. Thanks for your consideration.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Gold: Worth it?

So, I had a long discussion last night with friends about the whole economy thing. We started talking about how the price of gold vs. the dollar has gone up. Someone made the point that paper money is meaningless without gold to back it up.

This got me to thinking: Does gold REALLY have any intrinsic value over paper? I know it's a precious mineral. But I would suggest that it's only precious because we attribute value to it, just like we do with paper money. The mineral itself, while shiny, is basically useless unless you like gold jewelry or teeth. Sure, there's not a lot of gold out there, making it more valuable to people who already like gold, but shear scarceness does not making something valuable. There's not a lot of copies of The Outfield's "Play Deep" album out there anymore, but that doesn't mean it's instantly worth anything at all to human beings who come in contact with it.

The way I see it, if you're stranded in the desert with no food or water for days and find a piece of gold, I don't think you're going to be that thrilled. You might say to yourself, "I wish this was a gold cup of water or a golden plate of pancakes", but otherwise it's not much use to you. In fact, it's so heavy it might actually be a detriment, since you have a lot of trekking across the desert to do.

I guess all I'm saying is, in and of itself, gold isn't all that great. If everything were to collapse economically and we entered some Mad Max state of being (as CNN would seem to prefer), I really don't think Ft. Knox is going to be the first place that gets broken into. It would be pretty safe. Maybe keep an eye on your Targets or your Home Depots. But the gold will probably be fine. In fact, the following things would be of more value than gold in a post-apocalyptic, back-to-the-basics world; solely because they are useful. Here, ladies and gentlemen, are your future (more reliable) forms of currency:

Duct tape
Rubber Bands
Bungee Cords
Solar Powered Cars
Solar Powered Scooters
Solar Powered Calculators
Books from the humor section (especially if it's a bleak future)
Hand Crank LL Bean Flashlights
Leathermen tools and/or forks
Dustpans (could also double as shield)
Can openers
Roman Candles

I think this is a pretty complete list. All items represented here are actually more valuable than gold, if we're really talking long term. I suggest we switch to one of those now, maybe Duct Tape, just to ensure the ACTUAL value of the dollar. But I'm no economist.