Mounting Excitement

I was thinking about going and figuring out the bash command for mounting a disk named “Excitement” and using that for a title, but no one besides Monocular Ben or Phoenix would get it, and I don’t think they look at this site. So it’s not worth it. I think the command is something like “mount -sv -L Excitement”

Anyway, it’s December 5th, and Chilkat is scheduled for February 13th. That’s essentially nine weeks away, and I’m typing this with ceiling particles (drywall dust and insulation) up to my elbows because I’m trying to install a support for the ceiling fan we want in the nursery. KrisDi and D are out shopping. I won’t be surprised if they come back with paint and decorations for the nursery.

As this post’s title suggests, I’m becoming more and more excited, and I’m also becoming more and more scared (and anxious). I think KrisDi’s going to be a fabulous mom — at least until the kid reaches a not so cute phase or stops letting her play dress up (no, I don’t really think these things will impact KrisDi’s momming, it’s just funny to pretend it will). There are certain things about me that I know are problems (my temper, my extremely low tolerance for minor annoyances, long list of other things…) that I need to control. I think as long as I stay aware of these things, I’ll be a good dad. I hope so. I intend to be. One of my co-workers (my old boss) told me something no one else has told me about parenting, which rings of truth: You will find out things you don’t like about yourself, because you’ll see it in your children. I suspect that I will also discover things that I do like about myself through the same route.

I’ve read a couple interesting books lately. Downtown Owl by Chuck Klosterman is a book about life in Owl, a fictional small town in North Dakota. This book has three main characters and basically no story — just day to day life in small town North Dakota with one main event: A serious blizzard. One character is a high school student, one is an old man, and one is a 20-something girl from Milwaukee who just moved to Owl to teach. I thought the dialog sucked. Some of the things in the small town environment were pretty well spot on, some were way off (a cop is simply referred to as a cop — in small town ND, everyone is known by name). The part that made me think was that I had never really considered what it’s like to actually be an adult living in North Dakota — especially in the same small town where you were raised with all of the same people who were raised with you.

I also read A Canticle for Leibowitz, by Walter M. Miller. I thought this was a really good, really interesting book. The premise is nuclear war mostly destroys civilization, and then humans finish it off by blaming the “intelligentsia” for the nuclear war and systematically ridding the world of teachers, engineers, scientists, technicians, burning books, and embracing “simpleton” as a positive title. A Catholic order is started by an electronics technician named Leibowitz with the purpose of preserving books and publications until such time as human culture could use them again. The book divides into three sections. First, about 600 years after the nuclear war; there is basically no scientific knowledge at this point. This is a sort of sad and silly section. Then, several centuries after that, people are just becoming knowledgeable enough to make use of the Leibowitzian documents; scientific progress is on the order of basic physics and math. This section is sort of sad and bitter tasting. Then, several centuries after that, technology has surpassed the pre-nuclear war period. This section is bitter tasting and painful.

I’m discovering that my brain is much better at multiplexing. To me, this means having many things going on simultaneously and being able to switch quickly and effectively between them. Primarily, this is at work. I find myself doing this with books now: I’m currently reading Starship Troopers at work on breaks, A People’s History of the United States at home as a chore book, The Gathering Storm as a fun book at home but interspersing chapters from The Simple Guide to Having a Baby at KrisDi’s request, and The Prince and the Pauper on my phone when I find myself stuck somewhere with nothing to do. I don’t think I would have been able to maintain all these story lines very easily a few years ago. It’s kind of neat.

I’ll try to post again in a couple days and put up some pictures. I’ve been pretty bad about it. Work has been crazy, we’ve had visitors and holidays and “snow emergencies” (although I dutifully scoff at the conditions that this area considers an emergency). I’ve been taking a C++ programming class at night (finished last Thursday).

Posted by snaotheus


Monocle Ben does read your blog, and I think you’ll be a great dad!

Canticle for leibowitz – been trying to read that one for like 10 years. I think ibwas too young before but maybe I’ll give it a second shot now!


You’re going to be a fabulous dad, honey! And I can’t believe it’s getting so close – eek!!!

I would love to see your OMG it’s only 9 weeks state of mind, but I second Krisdi’s assessment of your parenting ability.
As for the books, I am intrigued by Canticle for Leibowitz. I rejected it a couple months ago when I was at the bookstore looking for something to get for the ride home from ND, but maybe I’ll get a library copy and check it out.
Congrats on figuring out how to read multiple books at once. 😀

You will be a great dad, and KrisDi will be a great mom. Your impatience is generally directed at grown-ups, who should know better than to act stuipdly, or at Things Behaving Badly. Once you have that baby in arms, you will be completely overwhelmed with its miraculousness and fall so deeply in love with it that your life is forever divided into Before and After. That will give you a good six to nine months, maybe a year, before you want to strangle it for something. Most of the trouble it will cause will be related to the fact that it’s young, inexperienced, and struggling to learn about its world. You’re not likely to have temper tantrums about that.

Yes, you’ll see things you don’t like about yourself; but that also gives you an opportunity to address them. The baby will install buttons in both of you that it will push for the rest of its life (ask me how I know). You’ll make mistakes, and you’ll yell at it when you shouldn’t, and you’ll be unfair sometimes, but it’s important to remember that it takes a continuous pattern of bad parenting to seriously damage a child. It took me a while to learn this; I was terrified that I’d make one mistake and Ruin the Baby. If a baby knows it’s loved and feels secure and cared for, it takes quite a bit to damage its little self.

Of course, I’m assuming that you won’t beat it with sticks three days after it’s born. Sticks aren’t so good for babies. 🙂

I’m excited as all heck, too. 🙂

As for Canticle. . . it’s pretty depressing, but we see some of that anti-education theme today. Teaching creationism in schools. . . voting for somebody you could have a beer with. . . having contempt for people who are intelligent, articulate and thoughtful. . . shall I go on?

R, there is no doubt you will make a fine “Dad” and not just a “Father”. Chilkat is fortunate to have the two of you as (his/her) parents. I am so excited for you guys and looking forward to watching you discover your own “Wisconsin Rat Traps” and other misadventures!

Get ready the fun is about to begin!


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