Sunday, December 25, 2005

beginnings abound

A merry Christmas to all. We got our Christmas miracle this morning by Max having his first solid night's sleep in days, combined with Sydney sleeping in really late - she came in to our room and woke us up at 9:40 AM! She was filled with wonder as she discovered the gifts brought by Santa, for whom she toiled last night making gingerbread cookies. It was a joy to watch how she relished each moment with each gift, not merely wondering what was coming next, but savoring the present (no pun intended).

Our friend Marie came over with waffle iron and batter and we had a relaxing bruch, with the new JBL iPod dock that Michele gave me providing the audio output for the morning.

After a leisurely day I had intended to take Syd out to visit a friend of ours from church who just this week went into hospice care. As I made calls to find the best time to visit I learned that PJ passed away this morning at 11:40. Phyllis-Jean Flowers led a wonderful and full life, and was a lay-leader present when Sydney was baptized. And while I know that hospice care means that someone can pass at any time, this came as a shock. Our pastor was withher just 2 days ago and didn't think that she would go so quickly. I'm still shocked.

At the same time, our faith community rejoices in and prays for our newest arrival, Shane Ragan-Plowman, who was born 3 months early (yes, early) at 1 lb. 14.5 oz. We hear that the prognosis is good, but details are tough to come by, and we all stand by ready to help however we can. Shane's big brother, Trenton, has been spending a good amount of time with friends while Shiela spends time at the hospital with Lisa. Birth is still such a miracle and a mystery.

My folks will be here soon for a few days which we hope will bring more rest and stability. Peace to all...

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Real wrestling fans still cry

It's still real to him, dammit!
click here

Aslan fans go gangsta!

This is a link to a hilarious clip from SNL this past weekend.
click here

Sunday, December 18, 2005

More Holiday Music

A friend's daughter has a bitchin' holiday take-off of the White Stripes, plus a cooler than cool tribute to The Dead Milkmen. Kris is one of the people who, though I rarely talk with or see, makes my life better. That and he and his family gave my little girl her own copy of "Where The Wild Things Are". What more can I ask? Our Syds rock!

click here

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

runt's rant riles righteously

My buddy Marko has been posting a series called, "a rant by a runt about the american church". It's great reading and food for thought. One of the things I really like about Marko's writing is the way he embraces the things that we so often villify (mystery, doubt, etc... as wonderful gifts from God.

Examle: "our faith should be chock-full of mystery! we see through a glass dimly. we strive to understand (we should) and we strive to see (we should), but we’ll only understand and see a percentage of the grand mysteries of god and the universe. this is not only a biological limitation of being human — it’s a great and loving gift from god! if overly-simplified answers rob us the opportunity for growth and faith, overly-simplified systems (filled with simplified answers) are like a band of robbers."

For more of Marko's series click here

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Is this real?

Much as it feels like I'm reading The Onion, it is, in fact, The Washington Post. This kind of "controversy" reminds me of the words of an acquaintence here in Nashville who advised me to "always watch the local news thinking it's a sitcom."
click here

Monday, December 05, 2005

National Beard Registry

Got tipped off to this by my friends Davy & Pete, who are the first two you get when you search for Nashville, TN.
click here
With a goatee I can't really participate - can't go all the way like may of these fellows. I wonder how long it will take until this is co-opted for women who will beard for their gay friends. Til then, enjoy!

I think I need another new CD

Just heard the podcast from kcrw of a british soul singer named Lewis Taylor - fantastic stuff!
click here
Most likely I'll have to stop by Grimey's New And Pre-Loved Music, Nashville's greatest record store, and get a copy. Sign up for the email list and get a reminder of what enthusiastic record store peope can do for your discovery of new music. Started barely 5 years ago when Mike, "Grimey" Grimes basically put his own record collection on sale, Grimey's was recently listed in Rolling Stone as one of the Top 10 record stores in the nation.

Hairy, bug and honey-eating wild man in non-accessible location seeks felllow freaks

Yesterday my pastor began our study of the book of Mark, and as usual did a quick profile of everyone's favorite crazy prophet, John the Baptizer. She made the point that there is generally one major difference between the original nutty "repent for the kingdom is near" guy and most self-appointed prophets we're used to seeing on street corners, TBN or myriad other high-profile, easy access outlets: John was in the wilderness! People had to go out of their way to hear him. No, "let's get the word on the airwaves, into cyberspace and pro-actively go after people to preach at / to."

No, the Baptizer set up shop in an inconvenient spot (though likely in proximity to locuss and wild honey) and defied the real estate maxim that importance rests in location, location, location. He did his thing and one by one, poeple noticed. I hesitate to use this example, but I will. He was like the gourmet Mexican popsicle shop around the corner from my house in Nashvillle, where tomorrow (they're closed Sunday and Monday), a couple hundred people will disregard the 30 degree temperature, find a small shop in an odd building with no sign, and drop $2.25 + tax for a popsicle. It may chocolate wasabi or rice. It may be creamy lime or tamarind. It may be avocado or cucumber-chili. If it's my daughter it will likely be either green tea or chai tea (nice tastes for a 3 year old!).

The couple hundred people are determined to get these popsicles. My family in Chicago comes to visit almost exclusively for the popsicles (that and seeing my kids - my wife and I are like chopped liver). Same with my in-laws who live in southern California - home to Mexican popsicles, but can't find anything like these.

But I digress. The Baptizer offered a unique and bone-shakingly honest, direct message of God's movement. While the convenient, accessible religious leaders of the day were at the established churches, John attracted those who just knew that there was another way. Who knew how wrecked they were and how in need of grace and mercy they were, and who were willing to pack up for a few days, find someone to take care of the house and anmals and go hear a wild guy in the wild.

My friend Mark Oestricher has been blogging about the quirks of the American "pop-church". For info
click here
Anyway, I'm thankful to have found my own versions of JOhn The Baptizer in my life and hope to find more.

O'Reilly & AFA made me agree with the Puritans (!?)

Interesting piece about the commercialization of Christmas and the way it's morphed to the consumer season it is today. I still believe there's middle ground for a more sacred acknowledgement of the holiday, but the way that O'Reilly, the American Family Association (please!), etc... have made the retail industry the center of the "battle for Christmas" is disgusting. What a chance there is for Christian people to make the celebration of the incarnation an opportunity to be a blessing to all the world: to make Christmas about serving the least among us, to offer mercy, compassion, grace, medicine, food, companionship and comfort. And where does the emphasis go? Target said "happy holidays, waahhh!!"

click here

On a different note, somehow this alll reminds me of the Saturday Night Live Weekend Update years ago, where Dennis Miller announced, "Kenny G has released a brand new Christmas album. Happpy birthday Jesus. I hope you like crap."

Friday, December 02, 2005

If Jacob knew it could lead to this ...

click here
... perhaps he would have rethought taking on God. Particularly puzzling are the following:
- first image where the wrestlers seem to be wearing half costumes - one is halvsies across and other up and down.
- confederate flag butt tights
- lavender tights with hearts on the butt and matching knee pads

Future music for "now" kids

So I'll have to wait until February, but this looks like a welcome addition to the increasingly cool world of kids / family music.

Sufjan, Broken Social Scene to Appear on Kiddie Comp
Kati Llewellyn reports:
Watch out, Kidz Bop, you've got some serious competition. The Canadian record label Paper Bag (home of Deadly Snakes, Controller.Controller, etc.) has put together a compilation entitled See You on the Moon!: Songs for Kids of All Ages, designed to bring children and parents together in the name of good music. Big kids contributing brand new tracks include Sufjan Stevens, Broken Social Scene, Mark Kozelek, Alan Sparhawk, and Junior Boys. Finally, something to replace that creepy "Float On" cover!

All of the songs are originals written exclusively for the project, except for the Sufjan and Broken Social Scene tracks, which are both covers. Mr. Illinoise tackles the Christian ditty "Friendly Beasts" (hey, it's never too early to get ‘em hooked on Bible study), while BSS do "Puff the Magic Dragon". We were going to make a joke about Dave Newfeld's pot possession arrest here, but that's just mean.

See You on the Moon! is scheduled for a North American release in Februrary of next year, and possibly in Europe soon after. A second album with another set of artists is already in the works, hopefully forcing VeggieTales out of business. We'll see you on the light side of the moon!


01 Alan Sparhawk: "Be Nice to People With Lice"
02 Great Lake Swimmers: "See You on the Moon!"
03 Sufjan Stevens: "The Friendly Beasts"
04 Apostle of Hustle (feat. The Husky's): "24 Robbers"
05 Junior Boys: "Max"
06 Broken Social Scene: "Puff the Magic Dragon"
07 FemBots: "Under the Bed"
08 Glissandro 70: "Voices Are Your Best Friend"
09 Mark Kozelek: "Leo and Luna"
10 Detective Kalita: "Baby Brother"
11 Hot Chip: "I Can't Wake Up"
12 Kid Koala (feat. Lederhosen Lucil): "Fruit Belt"
13 Montag: "Bonne Nuit Etienne"
14 Rosie Thomas: "Faith's Silver Elephant"

* Paper Bag Records:

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Cyborg Name Generator

Since I was posting about printing out appliances yesterday I thought this went right along with the theme.

D.A.V.E.P.A.L.M.E.R.: Digital Artificial Variant Engineered for Potential Assassination, Logical Mathematics and Efficient Repair

Cyborg Name Generator

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Epson Sumatra?

I read this article today about the future of 3-D printing and was just blown away by where things are heading, not to mention thinking it's got to be kind of cool to say that you work at the Center For Bits and Atoms. And to think, this coming fom an English / Theology double major. Go figure. Here's a preview and a link:

Imagine that your coffee maker breaks just before you're about to host a brunch. You go online and click on the model you want to buy. But you don't have to wait for it to be shipped; instead, a machine on your desk kicks into operation. Inside a glass chamber, a nozzle spits out the electronics, chassis, motor and other components, layer by layer. An hour later, you snap together a few parts and the brewing begins.

click here

Monday, November 28, 2005

Sucker-punched by a (not quite) three year old

A few nights back I was putting Sydney, who turns 3 today, to bed. I was in the middle of Dr. Seus's "Fox In Sox" when she tired of my mangled tongue-twisting reading attempts, interrupting me to say, "God came to, um, ... she came to get me."
I asked, "who came to get you Syd?"
"God did. She came to get me. It's scary when God wants to fix you."
BLAMMO! I was almost too floored to hear that from her to respond in any way, but I figured it was worth asking her some more questions about this.
"Why is it scary when God wants to fix you?"
"Because you're different."
BOFFO! This kid of mine just sucker-punched me again! What's going on inside that little noggin? I merely repeated, "because you're different than you were before God wanted to fix you?"
"Yeah. Um, I was two before and now I'm three and I'm bigger."

To think that even at (almost) three years old, my little girl has a sense of what most people (myself included if I'm honest) try to ignore, run from and disparage in others is a humbling thing indeed.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Where I've been

Got these cool little things from a friend's blog.
I like maps. And while I'm more a blue stater, I realize that this is a non-partisan tool ... or is it?!

create your own visited countries map

create your own visited states map
or check out these Google Hacks.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Extreme food coloring and biology for a toddler

As Sydney planned to visit Max and Michele in the hospital she wanted to bring a present (or "treasure" as she's been saying since her stint as a pirate at a birthday party - see below). She picked out a wonderful princess cupcake, bedecked in hot pink frosting. After presenting it to her little brother she set out to de-frost the princess, revealing an anatomically robust doll underneath, and turning her mouth an electric shade of pink (This was, in a way, a follow up to her experience with electric blue ice cream in August at my parents' house. If the food stains her face, she loves it). She also made note of the parts she'd uncovered in a proud way.

That leads me to part two of today's post: biology. Yesterday morning Max was resting on my chest while Michele was getting ready to face the day. He started the whimpering sounds of a hungry child, and I called out to Michele that she'd be needed soon. Sydney, who was sitting with us, asked why Max was crying, and I told her that he was hungry and needed Mommy to feed him. She replied, ever so earnestly, "Daddy, you can feed Max with milk from your booobies." I told her that I couldn't (despite my having missed working out the past 10 days), and that daddies weren't equippped to handle that kind of task. She looked very puzzled and a bit distraught. She then volunteered herself for the task, which, while sweet and generous, led me to a further lesson in biology. I never thought I'd have to get into that discussion so early on. We'll have to see if she makes mention of it to her pre-school class today. It would be just our luck to be "that family" at a school where we're already the "wacky" parents! Rock on, Syd!
And now I present a picture of Max sleeping on my boobies.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Home At Last!

Everyone came home on Tuesday, Oct. 18 after five days and four nights of hospital glory. The extra time there was great, particularly for Michele, as the hospital staff was tremendous in taking care of everyone and getting Michele rested up. Two nights into it Max has been sleeping well, which I shouldn't commit to type! Sydney has been great, though mostly trying to act as though things were the same. We'll be sure to get her to the park and Las Paletas for her favorite popsicles (Green Tea flavored) and off to play with friends. Enough typing - here are photos. Enjoy!

Friday, October 14, 2005

He's here!

At 3:09 PM today Maxwell Alan Palmer finally joined us. He came in at 7 lb. 12.5 oz and 20" long. He's healthy, has eaten, burped and taken care of other sundry tasks. When Sydney first saw him in the nursery her comment was, "where's his passy?" I think she'll be a good sister.

Michele was, as usual, the hero and champion of the process. After a smooth inducing early this morning she progressed very quickly and we thought that we might have Max by noon or a little after. That was not to be, as over 2 hours of intense pushing produced no Max, and no movement from Max. On the advice of our amazing doctor, and with much thoughtful consideration, we opted to go with a C-Section.

And while that had never been near the list, much less the top of said list, we needed to get this little man birthed. It turned out that the cord was wrapped around his neck twice, which could have contributed to the trouble getting him out. By the time I could snap out of the initial shock of hearing "we've got a cord wrapped times two", our doctor was holding Max up over the surgical curtain for us to see and hear; he has very healthy lungs.

Gotta run now as we move to a recovery room. More to come. Thanks one and all for thoughts, prayers, calls and emails.

Contractions at work

This is a shot of the contraction and heartbeat printout that is right next to Michele's bed. Max has a strong and steady heartbeat and all is well. We're just waiting for things to heat up. Thanksfully Michele is getting some rest and I'm glomming on to some wi-fi - who knew?

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

The joys of piracy

Syd is best summed up this way: A Barbie in one hand and a monster truck in the other. This day she was attending a pirate themed birthday party, replete with her black Ramones "Rock & Roll Pre-School" t-shirt. She found the hat and a new accessory was introduced to the wardrobe.