Part Two

December 4, 2007

I meant to write all this stuff last year, but never really got around to it.  But this is the story of what happened after Zachary was born.

Once again, this part is really long…. And mostly just me wanting to keep track of it, before I forget….

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It was one year ago today…

November 21, 2007

This time…. one year ago…

Most important day in my life?  Kindof weird to say that.  And I may be too self-absorbed, self-important, to really say that about a day where I was mostly in a supporting role.

Most significant day in my life?  Yes.  For the simple reason, that on this day in 2006, I became a father.  For the rest of my life, I have that title.  Even if I dismiss it (no plans to ever).  Even if he, one day, dismisses it (hope I’m never that big of a jerk).  It is still true, I am a father, now.  All other designations (high school graduate, husband, home-owner, licensed driver, Grand Cardinal of the Black Priesthood of Ancient Mu) are so much more situational, cultural, or temporary.  Being a father is cultural, social, but also it is biological.  And you just can’t argue with biology.  Well, not successfully.

(This one got a bit long… skip if you want, or if you’ve heard it already)


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Unsafe

June 19, 2007

Life as I know it has ended….

… yet again

My son has started crawling.

Well, that’s not putting the entire correct spin on it.  My son has started crawling, rolling from his back to his stomach, pulling himself up to a standing position, grabbing everything that seems interesting from places he couldn’t get to before, and in the process causing himself pain.

Two weeks ago, Zachary was mostly immobile.  You put him in a place, and he stayed in that place, within a two foot circle around him.  But now he is a path of destruction that cannot be stopped, and doesn’t understand the word “No” yet. 

Yesterday he fell on his head twice.  The first occurred before I got home, so I’m shakey on the details.  The second occurred on my watch.  I placed him on the changing table tying the straps around him, and I went to fill up his bathtub.  Now, I knew that there would come a day soon, that Zachary would no longer be safe on the changing table without one of us watching him. But I was hoping for the sign of the changing table pad lifting up or some other thing.  This was not to be….

As I was heading back to his room to check on him, I heard the sound of 20 pounds hitting the floor, immediately followed by Zack crying.  Now, as this was his second fall from the changing table, I wasn’t too worried in general.  Don’t get me wrong, when he seemed sluggish to pick up his little rubber duckies in the bathtub, which he always does, I started to think about brain damage… but once out of the tub he was back to his normal self. 

However, my years of experience did help me.  Suzanne read the Pediatricians Parents Reference Book over the symptoms of concussions.  Me, having watched football and hockey for years now, knew the basic signs, I mean just watching Eric Lindros after getting nailed by Scott Stevens gave me enough information as to what I would expect from a true concussion. 

So the world is now unsafe.  The next weekend that Suzanne works, I fully expect to nap on the couch watching him, only to find Zack playing with the circular saw, holding the bottle of Draino up to his mouth, and watching porn on the television.


Zack Sleeping (11/26/06)

November 26, 2006

Zack Sleeping (11/26/06), originally uploaded by rjschwabe.

There’s a lot of stories to come, but, I just want to post a picture right now.

Cheers, Rob


Buying a Car 2006

November 15, 2006

(Oh boy, this is a long post folks, but it may actually be fairly funny rather than my silly Video Game posts)

As an intro to this blog entry. Two weeks ago, I was involved in a car accident. Was my fault: I was driving on Route 1, and I looked over to see about traffic on the right, and suddenly the cars in front of me were in a dead stop. I slammed on my brakes, but it was too late. I rear-ended the Nissan Pathfinder in front of me. My car went under the rear of the Pathfinder, totally crunching the front part of my car. I was not hurt. The person who I hit was taken away in an ambulance, due to pain. The cop said that they were probably just shaken up, as I only was going maybe 15-20 MPH when I hit the car, as my air bag didn’t deploy.

Now, my car was not ‘destroyed’ (in fact I even started the engine after the accident), but it was totalled by my insurance company, which is what I wanted. The car was useful to me, but I had no affection for it, and as my wife and I were planning on buying a car in 2007, I’d rather take the cash and buy early than have them repair the car and get less value for a 13 year old, body repaired car.

Now, onto the point of this blog entry.

My wife and I went car shopping this weekend. We had decided before that since we have an offspring on order (wait 8-9 months for delivery, some shipping and handling charges do apply, not valid in Las Vegas, New Orleans or the Island of Samoa), that a ‘family vehicle’ is in order. By a family vehicle, we really mean a car that can handle (potentially) 2 car seats, and other stuff.

Now like most god-fearing, anti-communist, love the environment but don’t tell me what to do, middle-class American familiies, we hate minivans. But, I’m not so sure this means that I want to be a contributor to the purchase of a pseudo-offroading vehicle (my wife already owns a Chevy Blazer but that was purchased prior to our merger and acquisition).

So, we had a bunch of cars that we wanted to see in person to determine if they had the size we were looking for. Now, we are kindof between the real price groups for cars. We want more than the entry level, but not quite all the way to the higher-priced luxury vehicles.

So, we go to a fairly well-known car dealer in lower Bucks County. One of those that has like 10 different car brands at one MEGA LOCATION (but next thing you know, on Action News, there’s the reporter, “Blogs like “The Blog from Room Five” have been slandering local businesses, and finally one car dealership decided to take action with a law suit). There happen to be several brands we are looking for there, so we begin our journey there.

The salesgirl who greets us is about 22 years old, piercings all over both ears, and isn’t really a master of communication. A lot of “Ya know”, and “Like”, and “And stuff” in her conversations with us. We ask her about this one car, and she has no clue other than, “Ya know, I’ve been thinking about getting one of these, cause I’m having another baby in a few months. I just found out that I was pregnant five months after the birth of my first son. When are you guys due?”

THUNK

(no not really, she was married and a perfectly productive member of society, but still FIVE MONTHS AFTER?)

THUNK

(look at all my little miracles)

So, first off, she’s supposed to take us to the Service Deparment for our vehicle. Aparently Uber-Autoworld has dictated that everyone who comes in gets a visit to the Service Department. And she doesn’t know how to get to the Service Department.

She works there, and doesn’t know how to get to the service department.

Okay, this is a huuuuge place. Like 20 acres big, maybe more. There are at least three service departments depending on the vehicle type. So, it’s not like it was in back of the building and she couldn’t find it. But still…. This is her job…

Now, we finally get to driving the car around the ‘test track’. (Don’t get excited, it was not a car with a great engine, and better ‘test tracks’ around a mall at night). And she telling us the exciting features of the car, by READING THE SALES STICKER ON THE CAR.

So to recap, she’s unprofessional in her dress and language, she has no idea where buildings are located, and she doesn’t know anything about the car she is selling, AND isn’t good enough of a liar to bullshit her way through without both Suzanne and I picking up on it.

And the icing on the cake, which wasn’t her fault, is her insistance on trying to give us finance information, because “How can you really judge this against other cars unless you know what your payments are going to be?” Ummmmm, how about from the sticker price of the car and a calculator. Now this is straight out of the Selling Car handbook by this dealership. They said to their trainees, “Don’t let them leave without working out their monthly payments”. But still we had to get out of there.

Place #2 was much better. A Toyota dealership nearby, that I went to once before. The salesman was professional and knew his stuff perfectly. However, as we drove up, we saw 4-5 salesmen (not a woman in sight) standing out front. Every single one of them wore a white shirt, neck tie, and black slacks.

Now after complaining about the dress of the salesgirl, it may seem hypocritical to complain about the uniformity of the salesmen at this place. But, there is something to individuality. I mean they looked professional, but so do the waitstaff at Olive Garden. Without the flair that is.

(Oh, and remember, next Saturday is Casual Saturday. So you know, if you want to you can go ahead and just wear a white shirt and black slacks, without a jacket.)

Finally, on Monday night we go to place #3. It is a miserable day/night. Pouring rain outside. We decide to go to a dealership in New Jersey. Now, we arrive at 7:30 PM, and they close at 9:00 PM. However, they were still open, and supposedly still there to sell cars.

We go in the dealership to look at the car that is in the showroom. The guy who approaches us says, “So, why are you folks here tonight?”

I should have told him that we were here to do our laundry, and wondered what the cars were doing here in the middle of the floor.

(Here’s your sign.)

We then go over to the car we are somewhat interested in, and he proceeds to tell us….

nothing

Total silence from this winner. He had the personality of a wet sponge. He told us nothing about the engine. Nothing about the car. And didn’t even offer to take us out for a test drive, work out pricing, or anything. We asked for a brochure and we left without him trying to sell us the car, take one for a drive, or getting our information.

Now, maybe he was a manager who doesn’t sell cars, and is merely there to be a jerk to the employees.

(PUT THAT COFFEE DOWN. Coffee is for closers.)

I mean, I don’t want to go back to the era of slick-backed, old-boy, car dealers, who you feel you have to shower in pure alcohol to remove the stench off of them. The type who would say, “Do you need to check with your husband before you make a decision like this?”

But is total incompetence the reverse. Our waitress the other night at the Michael Tavern, who told us all about how good the Country Ribs special was that night, was a better at selling than two of the idiots we dealt with. And she didn’t even need to sell us on the food, as you don’t enter a restaurant just to browse and walk out.

I’ll let you know when it gets worse.


Cheers,

Rob


Queen of Wands

October 30, 2006

Queen of Wands, originally uploaded by rjschwabe.

Well, as long as there’s a precedence for this hair sort of thing. And it kindof ties into my current thoughts about the ponytail.

Anyway, this was taken from: http://www.queenofwands.net/d/20061023.html

Rob


What I Want

October 9, 2006

Okay, not that I think I have general readers, cause few people other than Brother Zonker, has ever piped up and replied to any of my posts, which is fine. These thoughts are primarily private posts that I don’t mind an anonymous public (and Zonker) reading.

But in case you don’t know, my wife and I are expecting a child in the very near future. We know that it is a boy, and are 99.9% sure about the name, so that’s kindof cool.

So, of course, the general question you get from people. Did you want a boy. Are you happy that it’s a boy. etc.

Look, I’m glad that it’s a boy. I kindof wanted a girl first. Yes, that assumes that we will have more than one kid, and that we will want more than one kid.

I am happy that my last name is going to go further. There are plenty out there who share my name, as my grandfather was one of like 9 brothers. But, from the union of Paul and Estelle (my grandparents), there was only one child, Bob. And from the union of Bob and Pat, there was only one child, Robert, which is me.

I’m probably most ecstatic about the fact that this child is going to be my first known blood relative. I am adopted, and have never felt the need to go find my birth parents. (As one person, who knows my parents said to me once, “Rob, given the intensity of your parents, I can understand why you don’t want to add to that.”) I’ve never been able to look at another human being and had someone say that I have their ears, eyes, chin, nose, skin, cough, allergies, or penis size.

I don’t believe that a blood relationship is stronger than others. It’s just more of something that I am curious about.

However, the question is asked. What do you want your son to be/like/do? (aside from healthy, which goes without saying). Let’s throw a few of these out there, for what traits I want my son to have (eventually):

* I want my son to enjoy reading. I don’t care what he reads, but I hope he enjoys it.

* I hope my son is either book smart, street smart, mechanically smart, or smart with people/relationships.

* I hope my son learns how to sleep on his back.

* I hope my son’s first word is not a curse word.

* I hope my son does not inherit his father’s dry skin; however, I’m willing to sacrifice this for straight teeth.

* I hope my son enjoys drinking water.

* I hope my son has the curiosity to try almost everything once. And the strength and fortitude to avoid habits and true addictions.

* I would like my son to be a fan of the local sports teams, especially the Philadelphia Eagles. I hope he learns how it is like to be a true loyal fan. And I will ensure that he is not a fan of the Dallas Cowboys.

* I know my son will like music that I dislike and disapprove of. I hope that he is as willing to experience the music of his parents, as I will be of his.

* I hope my son enjoys going to school, even if it’s only because he wants to get away from his family. (That was always my main reason)

* I want my son to enjoy moments of quiet solitude. Be able to take a ride in a car without a DVD Player. And go to a restaurant without bringing along a GameBoy.

* I want my son to have his father’s enjoyment of trying things new, getting lost, and being creative. However, I would like him to have more planning than his father.

* I want my son to value self-awareness, like his father does. But unlike me, I want him to be proactive in changing those things he dislikes.

* I want my son to question his place in the universe without the fear that would keep him up late at night.

* I want my son to be able to tell a joke.

* I want my son to be able to sing a song.

* I want my son to hate my guts on Friday, but be able to laugh and have a great time with me on Saturday.

Cheers,

Robert