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Archive for July, 2006

Nice Dreams

Sunday, July 30th, 2006

Nice Dreams While the cover art may be enough to make junior cower in fear from his teddy bear, these Lullaby Renditions of Radiohead songs might actually be really nice to listen to.

There are MP3 clips on the site, and while they all seem a little alien and disconcerting to me, a kid might just follow along with a nice melody as a baby, and only later think about slitting his wrists. Ha ha, I kid about youth suicide, but actually I would be interested to hear this whole album…might be just creepy enough to lull me to sleep.

- Zac

My C.I.A. Guy

Thursday, July 27th, 2006

My friend Lee and I have both had C.I.A. guys in our lives. Lee’s was particularly persistant: he lived on the same street as Lee in Ypsi, and when Lee would come out of his apartment, the guy would just be standing there. Lee would go to work and when he went out to smoke, he’d see his C.I.A. guy on the opposite corner smoking.

CSMOne particularly fateful day we were discussing our C.I.A. guys on our way to the pizza place for lunch. I was trying to convince him that he was actually that guy’s C.I.A. guy, following him home and to work and everything. All of the sudden his C.I.A. guy came into the pizza shop behind us. Lee whispered “See, that guy followed us in here, how could I know that he would be coming here if I was following him?” when the guy walked past us to the counter and said “Yeah, I called in an order a half-hour ago?” That was just further proof to me that Lee had this guy’s phone bugged and that’s why he knew that his C.I.A. guy would be coming to NYPD Pizza at that time.

At that point I moved on to the possibility that his C.I.A. guy was actually him from the future, burdened with some vital piece of information and he knew that they would both be in the pizza place that day. I tried like hell to convince him to walk over to his C.I.A. guy and say “I know who you are and why you are here. I am ready for whatever information you have to give me.” but Lee wasn’t having any of it. I also tried to get him to start keeping a log of where he was at every moment so that if he did need to contact his younger self in the future, he’s already have a record of where he would be. He may in fact be doing this today.

I started noticing my C.I.A. guy in college, always riding around Eastern’s campus on his ten-speed bike: black shorts, black shirt, white socks pulled all the way up, Bruce Jenner haircut, 70s-style glasses, nondescript white sneakers. I’d see him at least once a week between classes. He looked so out of place, almost like guy in the background on Three’s Company…maybe in the Regal Beagle…on a bike somehow. I distinctly remember thinking as I was about to graduate “Well, at least I won’t have to keep seeing that guy all the time.”

C.I.A. GuyAfter school I moved to East Lansing for a couple years and I know I saw him a couple times in those years. Part of me wants to say I saw him there, but that just seems crazy. We got married (PJ and I, not my C.I.A. guy) and moved back to Ann Arbor in 1997, and I started seeing him regularly then. Always on the bike, never interacting with me, just staring. In front of my house, at work when I worked downtown (I don’t think he’s tracked down our new office yet), just staring, and always there.

What does this have to do with kids and babies and what-not? Get this: I stopped seeing him so much this year and recently figured out why. He is now following my wife and my unborn child. She sees him all the time, when she’s coming to and from work, outside the house, downtown. I was just dropping her off at work and on our way we got stopped at a light. He was directly across form us on the bike. Staring. The light turned green and we proceeded, but not before staring right at us as he went by.

There is obviously a logical explanation: He is probably either a Terminator, or Kyle Reese coming back from the future to protect our unborn John Conner…we just have to figure out which one (or kill him just to be safe…the jury’s still out on that one).

Smear a Dirty Diaper All Over It If You Have To

Wednesday, July 26th, 2006

Friday night the Tobey three met tragedy after a visit to the infamous Ann Arbor Art Fair. Some good-for-nothing low-life street-urchin motherfucker swiped our diaper bag out of our stroller while Jackie was paying for some junk and I was holding/entertaining/soothing Oscar.

We made a police report primarily to up the Tree Town’s crime stats. But the next day fortunately and shockingly the cops called us to report they’d recovered out bag. I picked it up and found it completely intact. Not a blemish on it. Not a thing missing. The theory is the crook picked it up assuming it was a purse–it’s a nondescript, black nylon bag–opened it, realized it was full of baby stuff and not cash and dropped it.

So here’s the moral: Don’t go to the fucking Art Fair. No, actually here’s the real moral: Make sure your diaper bag looks like a diaper bag. Get something covered in pictures of Elmo riding Winnie the Pooh over to Kermit the Frog’s house, and no one will ever ever steal your diaper bag. Ever. At that point you could put the goddamn Hope Diamond in it and drop it in the middle of a street in Tijuana, come back in a month and find it still sitting there.

- Matt

Pfft. I know a genuine Panaphonics when I see it. And look, there’s Magnetbox and Sorny!

Tuesday, July 25th, 2006

I knew from day one that my kid was going to need his own stereo. However, my affinity for high quality warm audio and today’s modern “Boom Boxes” (as the kids are calling them nowadays) don’t really see eye to eye. I also knew that we wanted a portable unit that we could take to the hospital to play soothing music on during the magic hour, and not have to deal with wires and stringing stereo cables off to seperate speakers all over the delivery room.

I journeyed around to all of the big box stores and even some stereo shoppes in our area and decided one thing: All plastic-encased boomboxes sound pretty lousy, no matter how many “Mega BASS” ports they add. Sorny

The one I liked the best and ended up buying was the Sony ZSSN10PS PSYC CD Boombox which I found at Sears. It has the best sound out of all of the ones that I tried (which ain’t saying a whole lot, but still, it does an impressive job for what it is working with).

There were basically several functions I thought were key for a nursery boombox:

Sleep Timer: so we can set it to shut off after the little tyke nods off.

All-In-One Design: One unit with a handle on the top…no seperate speakers or anything.

Decent Sound: If this is gonna be my kid’s first introduction to Rubber Soul on a regular basis, It should at least sound listenable.

Quiet Playback: I don’t want the thing to sound like a 747 taking off when the CD drive spins up.

This unit also has some stuff that I was interested in but were not dealbreakers:

Line-In: So I can run a cable from my laptop and use that unit as the speakers if need be.

A Customizable EQ: It comes with Rock, Jazz, and Classical EQ settings, but also allows you to tweak the five bands of EQ into a custom setting of your own devising.

The ability to play MP3 discs and ATRAC3/ATRAC3plus files: So basically you can load 490 songs onto a CDR and this machine will play them (with varying degrees of shuffle). I have not goofed around with this aspect, but you know I will.

The only thing that I wished it had was a volume knob (this only has volume buttons), but PJ really turned me around on this one, saying that this way the kid can’t make one swipe at it and crank the volume up to 11 damaging his golden ears, so maybe buttons are the way to go.

So overall, I’m very happy with the purchase. It sounds pretty good…not too tinny or plastic-coated, and the option to shut off the fakey bass effect is there, so overall I’d recommend this unit to audiophiles who are willing to make some sacrifices in sound for the convenience of having a self-contained unit.

See the Sony site Here:

- Zac

Yee-Gads! Thank God I’m a Dude.

Monday, July 24th, 2006

Reading this New York Metro profile of the New York mothers that frequent UrbanBaby.com’s message boards makes me think several things:

  1. My wife is a total champ.
  2. I am going to be a decent dad.
  3. The forums we’ve got here (supportive, friendly, helpful) have the right vibe (though though they are under-utilized).
  4. Nearly everyone else on the planet can rot in hell:

And there are some very mean women out therewomen who will accuse a woman whose child has died of making the whole thing up, women who will attack another womans childs name until she posts back that shes crying.

Bleh…glad I’m a dude.

Make Way for New Life!

Monday, July 24th, 2006

Make Way for New Life!Here is the first act of a previously unreleased (NSFW, really) Ren & Stimpy cartoon where Stimpy discovers heis Pregnant.

Morning sickness, food cravings, big boobs and water breaking (complete with goldfish inside) all ensue.

- Zac