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Consoling a baby takes a Nook

November 8, 2012 Leave a comment

Something I remember with my first child is that he would be up late at night, would not be falling asleep, and I would be getting impatient. Something which has changed with our second is that we now have a Nook Simple Touch. The baby wants to be held and to be walked around. So I will hold the baby in one arm, hold the Nook in the other and ace around that floor. While I may not be getting sleep, the time sure does seem to be going by a lot faster and I am not getting impatient with the baby being up late at night. I don’t think that this would really work with a paper book because it’d be a struggle to hold the book open just right, and turning a page would be impossible. I love the Nook.

Categories: Health and wellness

Standing in the cold for a hot lunch

January 24, 2012 Leave a comment

Yesterday my work cafeteria began a remodeling project. So to provide food the company brings in some food trucks. It is kind of nice to have the novelty of the food trucks, but I’m sure the novelty is going to wear off. It’s January right now, and standing outside in the cold, waiting for an order, isn’t much fun. Can’t eat in the cold either, so no more big group discussions at lunch.

Categories: Health and wellness

Before the first steps

December 15, 2011 Leave a comment

This week my first child is eleven weeks old. It is amazing the amount of “firsts” that a person has. When a baby is born they can’t really do much beyond flail around and hope that something edible/suckable is placed into their mouths when they are hungry. While my child can stand (with assistance) he doesn’t have any mobility (yet). A few weeks ago we purchased some wrist rattles for him. They are soft balls, dressed up like an animal’s head, with a velcro wrist straps. This allows them to be attached to the baby, allowing the baby to create rattling sounds by shaking their arms. No hand coordination required. My son has yet to catch on with idea that shaking his arm to make noise might be fun. At the moment he’s just too oblivious to the concept of “things” and how his hands might be able to control/manipulate said “things”. This generally results in him hitting himself in the face with a rattle, should we try to get him to hold one.

The other night was a first though, he seemed to be actually playing with one of these wrist rattles. It wasn’t strapped to his wrist though; we were able to get him to grab onto it and he held onto it. He wasn’t shaking it around, rattling it and making noise, but he wasn’t disinterested in the rattle either. He’d look at the object in his hand and then work it towards his mouth. Not always successfully, but frequently enough. He’s then lick it, or try to gnaw on it, and then look at it again. It was very interesting to be holding him while he went through this process. He did it for about twenty minutes. It felt like the first time he was discovering something and we were witnessing it. It was certainly the first time he was doing anything which could be described as “playing”. Up until now he hasn’t played before! While baby’s first steps are a major accomplishment that my wife and I have yet to enjoy, watching his first playing made us feel quite proud.

Categories: Health and wellness

Off Label Markeing is Snake Oil Sales

November 10, 2011 Leave a comment

Recently the drug company GlaxoSmithKlein filed a suit in court challenging the constitutionality of the FDA’s labeling and misbranding regulations. Currently the US Food and Drug Administration regulations make it illegal for drug companies to market aspects of drugs for which they are not approved. For example, a drug company produces an FDA approved drug, but when the salesmen are making the sales pitch for the drug they advertise it doing more than what the FDA approved for. The situation the FDA is prohibiting is they don’t want to approve a drug for one thing (let’s say muscle relaxant) and then have to company turn around and advertise it for another thing (let’s say curing AIDs).

GlaxoSmithKlein claims that the FDA is infringing on their freedom of speech by not allowing them to market their drugs however they want. If doctors can prescribe drugs for symptoms the drugs aren’t approved for (which currently is legal), why shouldn’t the drug companies be allowed to sell the drugs for “off label uses”? The reason is because that’s the same thing as snake oil sales! Metaphorically a snake oil sales man is a grifter who is selling a harmless product as being a magical product and then gets out-of-town before anyone realises that the drug doesn’t do what they purchased it for (I recommend reading the Wikipedia entry on Snake Oil, it’s quite informative). When town citizens realize that they’ve been grifted they form a lynch mob to get the grifting salesman. Currently we as US citizens get to avoid this scenario because of the FDA regulations.

I for one don’t want to have to worry about the true purposes of drugs sold in the US. I like the idea that the drug makers have to keep to statistically provable effects of their drugs. While I’m not a big fan of big pharmaceutical companies I certainly don’t want to see them turning into snake oil salesmen. Freedom of speech is the principle that we can speak freely about the shortcomings of our government, not that companies should be allowed to make statiscally incorrect statements about their products. Should off label marketing become legal it would result in a class of grifters with too much influence in high places for us citizens to lynch.

May I never get this old

November 2, 2011 Leave a comment

The other day I was picking up a prescription from the Group Health Medical Center in Bellevue when I saw something which both entertained and frightened me. In between the stairwell and the pharmacy are three elevator shafts; two on one wall and the third on the opposite wall. As I’m passing between the elevators, on my way to the stairwell, there is an elderly couple. I can see on the light on the elevator request panel that they have requested for an elevator going down. One of the elevator shafts has an open door and next to it the up arrow is lit.

The lady announces “This one’s going up” proceeds into the elevator car and starts repeatedly pressing what looks like to be one of the lower floors. I presume she is thinking that for the first time ever, by pressing a lot of times she can convince an upwards headed elevator to go down. The husband shuffles over to the request panel and presses the already lit down request button; I presume to inform the elevators that it sent a car going in the wrong direction. In the time it takes him to shuffle over to the wall to press the down button again the upwards elevator doors have shut with his wife in them.

There are a couple of ways this played out; I don’t know how I left the scene at this point. It’s possible that the husband got on the down elevator when it arrived, thinking that the logical place to meet up with his wife would be on the floor where they were headed. Or he would stand there and wait for her to return to that floor. I can see the wife riding the elevator all the way up and then all of the way back down again. I can also see her getting off on every floor to see if her husband had made it to that floor searching for her, and then if she doesn’t find him on the floor she thinks he should be on frantically doing it all over again. Either way I’m sure it made for an adventure for them.

I hope that I never get so old as to walk into an elevator car that I know is going up, when I want to go down.

Categories: Health and wellness

I actually aged more than a day in a day

August 17, 2011 Leave a comment

Right now I am twenty-nine years old. Throughout my life people have asked if I feel older; say for example on a birthday or a graduation. Anytime I have been asked this I respond in the negative. I never “feel” like I’m a year older on my birthday. The reason is probably due to perspective and it’s hard to quantifiabley feel a day older (because it’s only been a day since I’ve become this age). But that changed this week.

My wife is pregnant and the baby is due in a month. For the last five years I’ve been driving a 2006 Chevy Cobalt Coupe. The car salesman sold it to me because “this is a good car for a bachelor”. When someone first saw my car they would say “that’s a good car for a bachelor”. Cobalt’s aren’t high-end cars by any means, but they do have a sporty look to them. But with a baby on the way a coupe isn’t going to cut it. The family needs a sedan for the baby. While it is physically possible to get a baby car seat in and out of the two-door Cobalt, it is more difficult than what it has to be.

So this week we purchased a used 2008 sedan. On our way home from the dealership I was thinking about how driving the new car felt different from my old car… and I felt old. A mere day earlier I was driving a “good car for a bachelor” and now I wasn’t, and it aged me. I actually aged more than a day in a day.

Categories: Health and wellness

Men and Women are Different

November 3, 2010 3 comments

I have an announcement to make. I’m sure it will surprise many of you. Contrary to progressive belief Men and Women are different. Now that you’ve recovered from that shocking revelation let me explain some new found evidence I have for this crazy hypothesis.

Something that bothers Amanda is that I’ll say that I’m hungry and she’ll ask me what I want to eat and I’m okay with eating anything. She finds it very frustrating that I’m not craving something specific. Last night I asked about dinner and she said that she wasn’t hungry and that I’d have to have dinner by myself. She prepares a rice based dish for me and while I’m eating she’s eating out of my dish. I find this odd because she said she wasn’t hungry. Right about as we finish my dinner she says that the Indian food we had at the Royal India is what she’s hungry for. I find this odd because she said a few minutes ago that she wasn’t hungry; I inquire further and this is how she explains it. Her stomach will give a little signal to her brain that she’s hungry. Her brain then goes through the list of everything that she can think she might be hungry for. If nothing feels like it can satisfy her hunger she’s not hungry anymore. Now that she’s figured out something she’d like to eat, she is hungry. I’ve never had anyone say anything like that before, it’s rather novel. I then explain to her that when I’m hungry there’s a sharp poking pain stabbing in my stomach up towards my diaphragm and all I want to do is to consume anything that can get past my tongue, just so I can make the pain stop. Amanda finds this to be very odd.

Today at work I was talking to my coworkers James and Liz. I’m recounting this experience and right as I’m explaining Amanda’s point of view Liz acknowledges with an understanding “Okay”, and at the same time James says “Weird”. I think I’ve stumbled across a bit of novel information.

So there we have it. Due to the way that women can suppress their hunger and men cannot; Men and Women are different.

Categories: Health and wellness