Tuesday, July 31, 2007


I'm on Internet Video!

This is rather funny and embarrassing to me, but Quest has made a bunch of videos of me for marketing purposes. Here's the first example: http://www.quest.com/landing/?ID=1043

Take a look and let me know what you think.

Best regards,



Friday, July 27, 2007


Happy 6th Birthday, Katie Jo

Katie Jo came into this world a bit differently than the other three kids. I'd always been rather grossed out by the whole childbirth ordeal - placentas and amniotic fluid are just not my thing. So I was always scared to death of the whole process. I can even recall with the Lamaz class I took with the kids mom that they asked all the dads and partners what they feared. My response? "All the gross stuff."

However, somewhere down the line I matured to the point that when our Ob/Gyn asked if I wanted to participate in the delivery I said yes. So with Katie, I actually delivered this child!
Of course, the doctor was right over my shoulder giving me directions and reassurances every step of the way. I have to tell you, it was one of the most dramatic and wonderful experiences of my life. All of that "gross stuff" was still there. But some how it magically disappeared in the wonder of moment in delivering that beautiful little baby.
Another story that's kind'a funny about Katie's birth that's worth sharing is how she got her name. Her mom and I had been looking through name books and the like, trying to figure out one we liked. When Kelly suggested "Katie Jo", I said "Great, Katherine Josephine! That way her middle name could be after my mom's middle name of Josephine."
Kelly said "No, not Katherine Josephine, Katie Jo." And that's how it's written on the birth certificate.

Happy 6th Birthday, my big brown-eyed, wild-haired baby!

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Friday, July 20, 2007


The Real Reason Emily Needed Braces

Braces are not cheap! I was hoping because their mom and I had good teeth that our kids wouldn't need braces themselves. But it turns out that teeth go crooked for a lot of different reasons. In Emily's case, she was a "tongue thruster" which meant that she pushed out with her tongue against her teeth enough to cause them to develop an overbite.

As you can see in this picture, our teeth look great! :^)




Monday, July 16, 2007


Emily Turns 14!

I'm astounded at how fast my Emily Kay is growing up. She's getting to be such a grown up lady these days.

Let's see now - she was born on July 16, 1993 at Huntsville Hospital. Dr Aulds was our Ob/Gyn at the time. As I recall it was Kelly's easiest delivery of the bunch. Kelly had her epideral fairly early and was comfortable. The family was all milling about and she was getting tired, so the nurse herded everyone out under the pretense of them getting lunch. But it was really so Kelly could rest. The nurse asked how she was doing and she said, "Good, except for a dull pain here" and she pointed in the region of her bladder.

"Oh my, I forgot to put in your catheter," said the nurse. "Let me do that now."

So she got the gear to do the procedure, pulled back the sheet over Kelly and gasped.

"Don't breath! Don't push! Don't do anything!" She was frantic. I took a peak "down below" and, sure enough, Emily was crowning. The nurse was on the intercom paging the doctor in a near panic.

"Oh my Lord, Kelly, the baby is right there!" I said.

The doctor came in a few moments later with a look on his face that seemed to say "You interrupted something really important. This had better not be a false alarm." But that expression melted away when he examined Kelly.

"OK, on the next contraction, PUSH!" he said, sitting down between Kelly's legs like a baseball catcher. The nurse was busy bustling carts and stuff around to within an arms length of the doctor.

A minute or two later, Kelly pushed - and out came Emily - our beautiful gift from heaven.
I hate to admit it, but I can't quite remember the details of her size or weight. I think she was a bit over 7 lbs and around 20 inches long. But again, I'm not to clear on the details. But she was very beautiful and very sweet. She slept well (still does, often until noon or later) and was a good eater. And, perhaps sweetest of all to me, she knew my voice and would turn towards me anytime she heard me speak.
I love you, Em! Happy 14th Birthday!


Sunday, July 15, 2007


A day in Windsor...

I come to enjoy travel less and less over the years. But at least I'm managing to go to more enjoyable places. Today, I'm in England as I will be throughout the week. Quest Software keeps a beautiful office in Maidenhead, which is just a short car ride away from the majestic Windsor Castle, part-time home of Queen Elizabeth II of England.

The picture at right is taken inside the castle and shows the mote & bailey that surrounds the inner keep in the background. It's decorated with lush gardens and tinkling waterfalls.

Windsor is also home to Eton College, the all-boys prep school for the creme de la creme of English high society. It costs 25,000 pounds per year to send your boy there, and there's no quantity discount. Some families have four boys in attendance at a time - a whopping 100,000 pounds sterling per year - not to mention all the other expenses due for such a top-tier education. Eton is right on the Thames river and evidently started in late medieval times as a village for loading and unloading river cargo. "Eton" is an old English term for "a ton", harkening back to the days when the boatmen would yell out how much cargo they needed to load or unload.

Windsor itself has tons of neat little things to see and do, and way too much for me to show all of the pictures I'd taken. One picture I can't help but post is of the old Martin Cross House. It was built in 1660 of untreated, undried lumber. Consequently, it sagged badly when the lumber eventually dried. However, the house is sound and hosts a very nice little tea room today. Only in England!


Tuesday, July 10, 2007

More Gems from the Vault

As part of the divorce agreement with Kelly, I have a major piece of work ahead. I'm slowly going through and cleaning up all of the photos that Dylan scanned. Most of the scans ended up having two to four photos saved in a single image file. So it's going to take a lot of work to get them all broken out into separate files. Considering that there are 10's of thousands of photos, you can imagine the work ahead.

Here's a pic of me and Emily just after she was born. Even though it's mid-summer and I have one of my best tans ever, you can see that she was a shade or two darker than I was. She had the most beautiful little red, rose-bud lips and large sparkling brown eyes - a real angel! She definitely showed her Italian heritage from day one.

Seeing this picture, I'm reminded of the time Kelly had taken new-born Emily to the mall in Huntsville, where another young woman approached her.

"My baby's daddy is black too!" said the woman.

Kelly just stared at her. "Her father isn't black. He's half-Italian." Kelly replied. Kelly looked down at Emily's dark coloring and just laughed!

At first, I really dreaded this project. I knew that I'd have a lot of sentimental emotions to deal with. However, it's pictures like the one below of my and Dylan that have left me feeling surprisingly good. I still have a lot of difficulty getting through this - lots of tears. On the other hand, I look at these pictures and see the happiness of my children and know that I have done well.




Monday, July 09, 2007


An old favorite

I saw this eons ago and forgot all about it until my musician friends, Kevin and Lara Lay, forwarded this to me. It's called "All the Great Operas in 10 Minutes" and it's quite funny, especially if you don't like opera that much. I'd long been a fan of classical music (of all sorts from medieval music, madrigals, and most all periods of classical music except for the 20th century atonal works). Anyway, I made several attempts to try to like opera and always failed. I hate it - still do. So if you're in the same boat as me, you'll get a kick out of this video.


Best regards,



Sunday, July 08, 2007


Dylan had worked hard for me all last week to get all of my old photographs into digital format. He'd been scanning full time, even overtime, late into the night for the whole week. I still have a lot of work to do in cleaning up all of the photos. But there are lots of rewarding finds throughout. Like this one (above).
I remember that photo - taken at a dump of a hotel called the Blue Horizon down in Ft Walton Beach, FL. It wasn't a great hotel, but it was great for what we could afford. Dylan was on his way to 2 years old and Emily hadn't been born yet. And we both had great tans! We had such a great time...


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