Sunday, March 11, 2007

Two New Family Members...

Been a busy top off a busy workweek.

I've been having to stretch some mental muscles I haven't used for a while. I'm getting into shape with the special project work I've had to do, but I haven't been fun to be around at work.

Fortunately, I don't have to unusually bring my work the girls have been spared...although I am staying up a bit later at night watching an anime or late night move to decompress.

Anyway...we have two new "family members" in the Valca home.

Somehow they ended up being very related...

This weekend I decided it was time to do some more clothing upgrades.

Emboldened at my success at finding jeans that fit me...I next decided to tackle my "undergarments" drawers.

I can't speak for other men, but generally I don't give much notice to my unmentionables. As long as they are clean (easy for me since I do the laundry in our household) and the elastic isn't frayed I don't give them much thought. I'm not sure when I made my last man-wear I took it as a good sign that it has been too long.

My tube-socks were going a bit thin in the heels, my "drawers" looked a bit tired, and my undershirts were getting a bit out of shape. So I bravely decided to clean my dresser out and make room for the new.

A visit to the nearby clothing department store ended up costing more than I expected. Lavie and Alvis were inspired by my "refreshing" purge and decided to do the same. Who knew we could buy that much in undergarments?

Still on my shopping "high," we split up after loading up the trunk. The Girls went to a pet store and I ducked into the blue and yellow electronics store to grab a set of composite video the set I had on the DVD player had a flaky plug and could drop the reds at any given moment.

New Child #1

Going in alone to one of those blue and yellow electronics stores is always a dangerous proposition. It took me a while to find the reasonably priced composite cables in amongst all the ungodly high-priced ones. Finally I did. On my way to the cashier...however, I got sidetracked.

Somehow a iPod Shuffle caught my eye and begged me to bring it home.

So I did.

I have a big 4G 40Gig iPod that I haven't managed to make a dent on yet. So why my own Shuffle? Well...both the Girls have a 1G Shuffle and seem to like them. I really liked the small size and portability. The 4G iPod is large and heavy and I'm in fear of dropping it. Nor does it seem like a good item to bring on a run.

The new Shuffle is tiny-tiny and very light. It's almost like it doesn't exist. I got the 1Gig version and packed it full with over 380 of my Japanese anime soundtracks and a few podcasts. Now, many of those songs are short 1-2 minute music tracks from the anime series, but still that's a bunch of songs. The clip is cool, but several times I sent it flying across the room onto the carpet when it shot out of my fingers due to the sharp angle and strong spring. And the mini-dock for it is kawaii!

I didn't even consider getting the iPod Nano...price-wise for how I intended to use it, it didn't fit my needs. The Shuffle was perfect. Simple and practical.

So I walked out of the store...feeling guilty and fearing I would have to justify my impulse purchase to Lavie when my cell phone was Alvis...from the pet store....she had a "begging" tone to her voice..

Do you see were this is going? If so, you might be a parent...

New Child #2

Alvis was found to be standing in front of the hamster cages with her lip out better than I have ever seen her. She was so serious and so ready to gear up for a public begging and pleading match.

Now, in all fairness. Alvis has been doing her homework on hamsters for many years. Lavie and I had a few as newlyweds. Alvis had also been saving money for one as well, although we hadn't made a decision yet.

"It's a Dalmatian hamster!" (Which means that it is just a standard hamster that had an odd coat coloring...thus the pet store could jack up the price at least double than for a "golden" coated one.)

With dearest daughter beginning to put forth a case summary to rival the best delivery by Raymond Burr in Ironside or Perry Mason...Lavie silently grinning at me, and Dad's one impulse purchase guiltily hidden behind me in a yellow bag...I did what any strong-willed father would do in this situation...

I caved before Alvis could even get her tears worked up.

So for about the price of a 2nd iPod Shuffle...we came out of the pet store geared up for hamster.

While I haven't named my iPod Shuffle yet, the hamster's name is Polka-dot.

I must have done the right thing, as Lavie didn't say a word about the Shuffle.

Tech meets Hamster

I did have to "rig" the wheel a bit. It had a nasty bit of wobble to it. Besides being noisy, the wobble would also eventually lead to the comic ejection of the hamster from the wheel.

I used a old floppy disk shell to make a "shim washer" placed behind the wheel to stop the wobble.

It was a pretty funny scene. Polka-Dot was running around the living room floor in a plastic ball, I was seated on the carpet with a torn-apart floppy disk case, and was drilling a 1/4 inch hole in the center of one of the sides with my super-big power-drill so I could slide it over the spindle for the hamster wheel.

Lavie was just laughing as the hamster kept running into me. The plastic side of the floppy was just thick enough to make a nice shim and allowed me to trim it down to size (to avoid late-night nibbles) with a pair of scissors. Worked like a charm.

"Run silent, Run fast"...our new hamster's motto....

We spent the rest of Sunday tossing out the drawers from our drawers to make room for the new ones. Even Alvis got in on the act and emptied out her closet and dressers of "too small" clothing.

Not a bad weekend...

Mischief managed.


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