At work, we added new solar panels to test our ability to power motors with a reasonable return on investment. Here you see the powerhouse (circa 1941) and the solar panels (circa 2009). For those of you who know the Merck site, spot what's wrong with this picture.
I'm traveling to Europe this week. Specifically I'm going to Ireland and France. At the same time, Beth and Noah are headed to Texas for the week to enjoy warmer weather and have some company. Here is a map of my ongoing adventures.
For anyone who is unfamiliar, flying is governed by a Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) and particular the Federal Aviation Regulations (FAR. One specific regulation which all pilots learn early on in their aviation careers is FAR 91 (general operating rules for all pilots). An important sub-part of FAR 91 is 119, which deals with minimum safe altitudes. Minimum safe altitudes are important because the airplanes and the earth don't play well together except in the safe landing configuration.
If you are interested, here is a link to FAR 91.119. I think the language is pretty clear.
I get to see a lot of interesting and cool stuff on a day to day basis as I have the best job in the world. As a pilot however, I get kind of mad when I see other pilots doing stupid things. These two facts collided at work today. So take a look at this guy (or girl - don't know either way), who I filmed (with my trusty iPhone) out of my office window at work today. (The video does have sound).
In case you are wondering, there is no landing strip (or anything like it, near my plant. Finally, take my word for it, the distance between the plane and the ground was much less than the 500 ft prescribed.
Today was a better day. Very little time spent with Merck and most of the time spent with Noah. I guess the other good thing is that Beth will be home tomorrow.
Noah didn't start the day well. He was up at 5.30am - which meant I was too.
We did start the day with visitors in our yard while we were having breakfast.
He was so hungry that he ate at breakfast like I do and as a result he got the hiccups.
He slept for about an hour and then woke up when my shower mirror came off the wall and crashed to the ground. Shortly after that these guys came:
and helped clean up all the mess I've made in the yard recently and in the basement while setting up shop. By the time that was all done it was time to go to Little Gym in Charlottesville.
I had a good time with him there and although he got tired we still played alot. He loves anything physical.
Though I think the thing he loves more is anything that is to do with rhythm or music and that can make noise.
He loved the mirrors, but the iPhone was more interesting.
The best thing about Little Gym was the new baby who was there. His name was Noah too. He was born 10/18/08 (vs 10/20/08 for our Noah). His mum was from NC (like Beth) and his Dad was from ... guess where...yep, Australia. Freaky.
After Little Gym we went to Panera for lunch. I had a Turkey Sandwich, Noah had Formula and Blueberries and Apples.
I discovered on the way home that even opening the car window on a very tired baby doesn't stop them from sleeping.
The afternoon was spent with Dad and Noah bonding. Dad was doing household tasks and Noah was exploring his environment further than ever. He caused me to put away a bunch of stuff that I hadn't thought about and showed me that he'd discovered stairs. (Yes mum, they are your flip flops that you left out and that he threw on the stairs for you).
Diane came around for dinner and by that time Noah was so tired that he went to bed without a bath. Tomorrow Beth comes home. She's making great progress on her work piece but I really can't wait to be back together as a family again.
Well, right now I feel like the worst dad in the world. Noah's asleep but only after serious comforting. After all, I just let him get his first injury where blood came out. I still have his blood and boogers all over my shirt as I write this. More in a minute.
All-in-all, the day was boring and uneventful. It rained for most of the day. The good news, from my point of view is that Merck only took three hours out of my vacation today.
That aside, we had an okay day. Noah got up about the same time as I did (which was 7am) and he'd managed to overflow his diaper with brown stuff.
Beth had asserted that he would start doing all sorts of cool stuff while she was gone, today he pulled up onto his feet for the first time. I didn't catch the actual event on video but I did get the aftermath.
We stayed at home together all day and when Merck wasn't demanding my time, we played together (sometimes even when Merck was demanding my time).
Did I mention that it rained most of the day?
Helen the amazing baby sitter came for 4 hours today and I had intended on mowing the lawn but this happened:
Those are Level 3 echo returns over Earlysville. Suffice it to say, I wasn't mowing. So instead of that, I continued to work on Beth's shop: Beth's Shop Part 2. On the other hand, Chicken wanted to play in the rain.
So, later in the day, after her class, Beth called. She and I have been having an ongoing debate about whether Noah really misses her. So, I video recorded their phone conversation. After seeing this, I dare you to tell me that he doesn't recognize or miss her. Go ahead, comment if you do.
So, right after that, I took a phone call from the Physical Therapy place that he has to go see. While I was on the phone, he crawled right up to a book case in the kitchen and grabbed a crystal vase that was in the lower shelf. He pulled it right out and down. It didn't break but it does weigh 18lbs (i weighed it) and he pulled it right on top of his hand.
He screamed for 15 minutes hysterically. One of his fingers is all swollen and it bled.
His tears, boogers and blood are all over my shirt.
I feel terrible. I let him down.
He's asleep now and okay - movement in his hand and the bleeding has stopped.
I know it's a small thing but I still am sad.
So not a lot to write today.
Not because it wasn't a good day, it was. The problem was that Merck took up a heck of a lot of the day - about 5 hours in total. I know I'm paid well and I love my job but I definitely feel like it encroached today more than it should have. It was capped off by a conversation with my boss where he told me that I should get umbrella insurance because given how far out on the edge I am and how hard I push, it's only a matter of time before I get sued
My little man slept through the entire night and woke at 7.30. I was up at 6.30 so had a good hour before he got up.I used the hour to begin my journey of programming again. I used to be good, but like many things I've done, it's fallen to the wayside. This time I'm getting acquainted with Objective C in order to write iPhone and Mac apps. I have to say, I prefer the Mac development environment to anything I've used on Windoze, UNIX or DOS.
Noah woke up happy. Here's proof.
He asked me then to watch some TV and being the softer of the two parents I said yes. At least I put something educational on and he watched Science Guy George!
He slept for a good two hours after that and I almost had to get him up to go to Kindermusic. We went to the one that was here:
Noah had a great time, though I think just being with 2 other kids was enough (it wasn't well attended and I was the only dad). Of course, my polite little boy went for all the toys, no matter who had them.
He has a fascination for bells.
He did however make me proud. The instructor brought out this tunnel and the other two kids there, both older than him required a great deal of coaxing to get in there - Not Noah - straight in and then chasing everyone else out.
We spent the afternoon at home with naps and then him helping me on conference calls. One new discovery was that he now loves his teething biscuits. He chewed on two of them for 1/2hr each.
I didn't get it on video but I did manage to get a voice recording of the joy that it brought (thanks again to my trusty iPhone).
No real progress after that. We played a bit and then he went to bed. While making dinner, I did get to see this beautiful dragonfly (it's on the end of the garden tool).
A good day, but not an excellent day.
I miss my wife.
I am mad at Merck today.
I guess technically the day started at 12.30am. The little boy who has been sleeping so perfectly decided that this was a good time to wake up. What did he say? Na-Na-Na-Na-Na in a very plaintful voice. The reason this is so important is that I have been hypothesizing that Na-Na is his word for "mum". (Beth doesn't buy it). Anyway, I think the evidence is now weighing more heavily in my favor as he clearly called out for mum (he was already missing her). He did this again at 1.15am.
He got me out of bed at about 6.30am - I wish I had voice recorded it but I was too sleepy. Changed diapers and then downstairs for breakfast.
(oh, by the way, did I mention that the dog vomited in it's crate during the night too??)
When I got downstairs I realized it had been raining over night and that it was nice and foggy outside.
We ate breakfast at the same time with both of us having cereal. Guess who's was who's?
Noah was certainly ready!
After that, dad decided on an early morning errand run. I had to pick up a few things at the plant, so a quick stop at Starbucks (venti, non-fat, 2 splenda cappuccino) and then over to Elkton for a small bit. While I was there, Noah decided he wanted to impart his wisdom to a group of "inclusion partners" so he got a chance to have his say. Please note mum that he is NOT in pajamas!
We weren't there for long before going back home for a nap. The weather was so beautiful I had to take a snapshot of the conditions to record it. This snapshot is from Weatherbug Elite which is one of my favorite iPhone apps.
Noah went to sleep pretty well after eating again and I've finally sat down to write my first iPhone app.
After his nap, he woke in a good mood and really wanted to eat pretty badly.
So after formula, carrots and yogurt he played with Maggie while I tried to make an appointment for his Physical Therapy. According to the evil pediatrician, he has "torticolis" and needs to be treated. During this time (always while you're busy), a fight broke out. Noah clearly aggravated Maggie and for the first time, Maggie lashed out, leaving a scratch on Noahs face (no skin broken). Anyway, dad freaked out and weighed into the fight on Noah's side. Maggie lost - with extreme prejudice. No photos to post of that one.
I have to say I was totally freaked. I was supposed to protect our little boy for Beth and day 2 he's been attacked by a dog. Seriously.
So then I decided to run errands - tried to call my wife but she was in an industrial environment and couldn't answer the phone. So, I calmed my nerves with a protein shake from Tropical Smoothie Hut, although I subsequently realized that while I got 60g of protein I also got 810 calories - oops.
When I got home I decided I needed to attend to everyones needs, including Maggies and so took them all for a walk in our street. My little boy has become a little man and can now hold on to his handbar in the walking stroller.
He nearly fell asleep while we were walking so it was clearly time for dinner and bed. Winter Squash and more formula were on the menu. We had a quick bath (well he did - I still stink) and then he went to sleep in about 10 minutes.
I miss my wife. I know that staying at home as a mum is very hard. I get that. I think what I missed so far is that "getting anything done" is purely optional at the discretion of the children. I also have worked out that when you're solely responsible for someone's well-being and something goes wrong, it's scary.