Thursday, June 27, 2002

I Fought the Law - Nothing illustrates the moral corruption of liberalism more than the recent decision [since stayed] by the liberal 9th Circuit Court of Appeals declaring the Pledge of Allegiance unconstitutional. It is a monumentally stupid ruling by jurists who believe in making up laws as they feel fit, much like the Florida Supreme Court’s rulings in Bush vs. Gore [2000]. I will comment no further, other than to say that I have already violated the spirit of Judge Alfred T. Goodwin’s ruling by having my son Russell recite the Pledge . Russell adds his own commentary on the court’s ruling here.

Our baby boy Russell has now been with us for two weeks. You can view some new photos here.

Wednesday, June 26, 2002

News Flash: Pope is Catholic, Lives in Vatican - The latest headline in today's San Francisco Chronicle reads, "Gay Male Couples Prefer Cities, Study Finds, But Lesbian Pairs Favor Smaller Towns". Besides stating the obvious about gay men, researchers try to explain why lesbian couples prefer smaller communities--in particular, college towns--but they're off the mark in their reasoning.

" For one thing, gay men earn more than gay women, so they can afford to live in cities," said researcher Gary Gates of the Urban Institute of the University of Maryland. "Another issue is that female couples have a somewhat greater likelihood to have children and so might be more attracted to less urban environments, less expensive environments like college towns," he said.

The real reason why lesbians live in college towns is because many liberal arts colleges are bulking up their curriculum (re:dumbing down) on idiosyncratic subjects such as women's studies, feminism and gay & lesbian culture. Someone therefore has to teach this crap to our children, so colleges have been recruiting lesbians and feminists as faculty members to promote their liberal agenda in the classroom.

Here are some examples of courses given at Yale University for which students can receive college credit: "Gender and the Politics of Resistance: Feminism, Capitalism and the Third World." "Gender and Technology." "Feminist Perspectives on Literature." "Lesbian and Gay Theater Performance." "The Literature of AIDS." "Contemporary Lesbian and Gay Arts and Culture." "Constructing Lesbian Identities."

Now isn't it obvious?

Monday, June 24, 2002

Eureka! - I finally figured out how to get the Diaper Genie to correctly encase each used diaper in fresh-smelling plastic wrap. Insert the diaper midway into the maw of the device, letting it be gripped by the plastic "teeth" inside but being careful not to push it completely past the point of no resistance. Tip of the day: read the directions first.

Worth a Thousand Words - I cannot sleep. Therefore, I've decided to post more photos of Russell Chen here.

Sunday, June 23, 2002

Your Coffee's Papers, Please- What is it about coffee that turns Berkeley liberals into the Coffee Gestapo? Back in April, I first reported on the Marxist Berkeley City Council's discussions on banning the reuse of paper coffee cup sleeves at its many coffee houses. Now, Berkeley residents will be voting in November on a ballot initiative to ban the sale of coffee that isn’t certified "fair-trade, organic, or shade-grown".

Although the proposed ordinance would apply only to single-servings of coffee sold at coffee houses, don’t be surprised if Berkeley’s communist-Stalinist-liberal government eventually bans the consumption of politically-incorrect coffee in the privacy of the home. Wouldn’t it be ironic if Berkeley residents of the future come to fear a midnight knock on the door from the coffee police?

SF Coffee Cops at Work - Taking its cue from Berkeley, the San Francisco Police Department remains busy enforcing its own laws governing the sale and consumption of coffee. This past weekend, SF cops closed down several bars that were open late for viewing of the World Cup tournament. Their crime? Serving coffee past 2 AM without a "cabaret" permit.

Friday, June 21, 2002

Don't Try This At Home - I'm happy to report that I've lost 10 pounds since the baby was born last week--that's more than the weight of the baby since he was born! I'm down to 180 pounds. I think the weight loss is due primarily to my lack of sleep. I'm getting only 2-3 hours each night, with perhaps an hour during the day at naptime. Maybe by the time I get back to work I can get to my ultra-slim 160 pound figure. That's what I weighed when I first moved out to California back in 1997.

Thursday, June 20, 2002

Diapergate - I am a cheapskate. I am also an environmentalist. These typically discrete personal traits have fused together in me, resulting in behavior that characterizes the way I live and conduct myself. Some examples:

Yesterday, I had to mail some bills and send Russell’s baby pictures to my folks back home. So I walked ten minutes or so to the nearest postal mail box to send the letters on their merry way. In California, this is abnormal behavior. A typical Californian would have driven to the mail box. This was once brilliantly illustrated in a movie called LA Story, starring Steve Martin.

On the way back home, an Isuzu Trooper (15 City/19 Highway MPG) with a single occupant drove past me. It was emblazoned with Greenpeace, "Think Globally Act Locally" and "Save Our Planet" bumper stickers—not to mention the ubiquitous Gore-Lieberman sticker. I gave the driver a dirty look, and then thought about the gasoline money I had saved by not driving to the mail box.

Later that night, Jenny and I had a discussion about the cost of raising Russell—to be specific, the cost of his diapers. At 25 cents apiece and at the current run rate of 8 diapers a day, we will be spending about $750 on diapers over the next year. I brought up the possibility of subscribing to a cloth diaper service, which my own parents had done back in the Stone Age when I was a toddler. Not only would this be an environmentally-sounder choice, but I pointed out that we would spending only 23 cents per diaper—a potential savings of $50 per year.

Needless to say, Jenny was not pleased with my suggestion. The idea of putting a less comfortable (re:less absorbent), used cotton diaper on Russell’s sensitive behind was abhorrent to Jenny. She also pointed out that the diaper service would only pick-up and deliver diapers once a week, leaving us with up to one week’s worth of smelly poop-filled and peed-upon diapers around the house. No Diaper Genie's with the diaper service. With this point, I conceded to Jenny and consented to three years of disposable diapers.

I wonder what Al Gore thinks about Huggies Supreme and Ultratrims?

Tuesday, June 18, 2002

Jerry Brown's Oakland - I like the job that Oakland major Jerry Brown is doing, even though he is a Democrat. I ran into him last year at Oakland Airport during one of my last jaunts to Las Vegas. I identifed myself as an Oakland resident, shook his hand and said, "Taxes are too high, do something about it." To which he replied, "I agree with you, and I'm working on it".

I like him even more after reading George Will's column in the Washington Post. I know he's delivering much of what he's promised, because he's pissed off the Democratic Party bosses in the city. Charter schools, urban renewal (led by the private sector) and more police on the city streets are some the things he's accomplished as mayor. Will even compares Brown to Reagan--the similarities are striking--but stops short of calling him "Reaganesque".

But I just love Brown's response at neighborhood meeting to a question about whether "gentrification" would threaten "diversity" downtown.

"There is no diversity there now. You have a concentrated, homogenous population -- the elderly, parolees, people in drug rehab, from mental hospitals, transients. This is not the vibrant civic culture some might have in mind."

Now that's Reaganesque.

Monday, June 17, 2002

Photos, Please - Due to overwhelming demand, I have posted photographs of Russell Chen and his mother Jenny at my alternate website, which you may view by clicking here. And for your information, his full name is Russell Baw-Jue Chen. The middle name is Chinese for "Swiftest Horse"--he was born in the Year of the Horse, after all.

Father Knows Best - On my first official Father's Day as a father (scary, huh?), my son Russell "Reagan" Chen gave me the greatest gift of all: his first bowel movement. Jenny and I had been eagerly awaiting this moment since we left the hospital last week on Thursday. As an extra added bonus, a stream of urine shot up into the air from Russell's little wee-wee as Jenny was changing the diaper containing his first poop. That diaper then became the first object that we inserted into the notorious Diaper Genie, a dubious household device that turns dirty diapers into something resembling sausage links in order to hide their smell. But when Jenny opened the top of the device to insert another used diaper, I could clearly discern the odor of the previous occupant. I wonder why we have this device when we could just use a garbage can with a lid or empty the garbage can on a daily basis. Can any fathers out there explain this to me?

Wednesday, June 12, 2002

The Eaglet Has Landed - This morning, Jenny gave birth to Russell "Reagan" Chen at Alta Bates Hospital in Berkeley (yes, that Berkeley), California. The hospital staff started the labor process on Monday at 8AM by giving her an IV with pitocin, a chemical that induces labor. Thirty-nine hours later, Jenny’s cervix dilated to the required 10 cm for her to begin pushing the baby out. Luckily for Jenny, she received anesthetic at around the 4 cm mark, so the pain was bearable for most of her labor.

At 11PM on Tuesday, Jenny began pushing the baby out with the assistance of a nurse and yours truly. She pushed and pushed to the point where the baby’s head reached the top of her pubic bone, where the baby could seemingly go no further despite Jenny’s best efforts. I could see the top of the baby’s head from the opening of her vagina, a mixture of matted hair and bloody discharge. At this point, the baby’s head was only 3-5 cm from reaching the finish line. The pain was beginning to affect Jenny, so she pushed the "panic button" that injected her with more painkiller before beginning the final push.

Shortly after 1AM on Wednesday, the attending obstetrician arrived along with a SWAT team of delivery nurses and they decided to use an interesting pump device for the final hurdle of the baby’s journey. The pump resembled a bathroom plunger, only smaller, with a hand-operated vacuum pump at the end. Within minutes, the baby’s head popped out of Jenny, then his shoulders and torso, and finally his legs. His skin color ranged from beet-red to lily white, depending on what part of his body was getting squeezed by Jenny’s body cavity. But following God’s plan, he didn’t take a breath or utter a sound until I took the surgical scissors from the obstretician’s hand and cut the umbilical cords with two quick snips.

The baby was enormous, weighing in at a staggering 4.4 kg (9.75 lbs) and measuring 55 cm (22 in) in length. No doubt, Jenny’s gestational diabetes had much to do with the baby’s hugeness. Even the placenta was gigantic—it was almost as big as a baby itself and was at least 50% larger than the specimen bowl used to hold it. If food is love, then this was definitely one of the most-loved newborns I’ve ever seen. The nurses said that he was as large as a one-month-old baby.

I’m very proud of Jenny and the baby that she carried for all of these months. I’m not sure who he looks like, but I’ll be sure to post some pictures shortly so that you can judge for yourself. Mother and son are doing well. Jenny’s breasts have already began producing colostrum (pre-milk) and the baby has latched onto her nipples without any problem. He’s a real cutie pie—he smiles after he’s had enough to eat. Right now, I could use some sleep, which I’m sure I’ll be needing plenty of once the baby comes home tomorrow.

Thanks for listening.

Tuesday, June 04, 2002

Let’s Get Ready to Rumble - At her weekly check-up, Jenny's obstetrician told her that the baby is now full-term and could come out at any minute. The baby weighs 3.8 kg and is 54 cm long (that’s 8 ½ lbs and 22” long), and he’s in the 85% percentile in terms of size for newborns. The baby’s hugeness is due in part to the gestational diabetes that Jenny developed during her pregnancy. With the high sugar levels in Jenny’s blood, the baby received an extra dose of calories while in the womb and has grown to above average size.

As a result of the baby’s size, the doctor would like the baby to come out before his official June 15th due date. If Jenny hasn’t given birth by Sunday, then we will go to the hospital on Monday, June 10, and her obstetrician will induce labor that morning. At this moment, Jenny and I are ready to be parents for the first time. The only thing we haven’t decided is a name for the baby