Monday, October 08, 2007

Blogs about the baby, Tickets, tolls

Well, I've been meaning to do this for quite some time. I've made my name more anonymous, now... and now christopher's posts get his own blog. So... if you want to see his posts, Send me an e-mail (mraiford at google mail service, This is mostly for protection of my wife and son. People you don't want finding things on the internet tend to find things on the internet.


On to my blog post subjects today, Tickets and Tolls.

We went to an event at a local city, and it was hot. I wanted to get a couple drinks for us, so went to one of the many concession stands and attempted to order. "That'll be 5 tickets, please!"

... Excuse me? Tickets? Why do I need tickets? I'm sure there's a nice marketese explanation as to why I need tickets: "To better serve our guests and make it more convenient for them"

Right .... In the end it winds up being a hassle, since I have to wait in line for tickets, when I found an empty concession stand just seconds ago. I think they do it in hopes that you don't try to cash them back at the end of the day. Oh well, at least the drinks were more affordable than the Balloon Festival.. eesh .. $5 for a cup of lemonade from powdered drink mix.

Tolls. Recently, not too long after adding tolling a previously toll-free road, the state's legislature decided it wasn't getting enough money from the most expensive toll road in our area (It used to be free). They needed to make the other tolled route more expensive as well. I'd love to see them actually use these tolls to help alleviate the traffic problem in our area instead of building even more toll roads.

The sad thing is, one toll plaza is virtually unavoidable. In order to skip that one, I'd have to take a circuitous route that involves plenty of extra drive time and quite a bit of back tracking for good measure. Fine. I'll go through that one. But I'm avoiding toll roads whenever possible, even though the tolled route (the one that was always tolled, never free) was the most efficient route.

Thursday, September 06, 2007


I'm finally feeling normal again. What a relief!

For the past several days I've felt rather ill. Some kind of cold, or flu-like thing. I always relish feeling better after a minor illness like this. I feel as of I could take over the world.

Being sick, and having a baby in the house is an odd thing. For one, you can't just build a bubble around the child; it's just not practical. You don't want to get your child sick, but at the same time you need to take care of the baby and make sure he's fed, entertained, and clean. Entertaining baby is usually easy, but becomes a chore when all you want to do is sleep, and find some way of clearing your sinuses. I sympathize with my wife, who has had the brunt of taking care of the baby since I've been sick.

Interestingly, while my wife is now showing signs of the flu of doom, baby is just as well as can be. Odd, I figured it was a sure thing that he would get it. I'll count my blessings for that one.

Yesterday I realized we ran out of daytime cold medicine, so I figured I'd grab one of those 2-dose sample packs at the convenience store on the way to work. They didn't have anything I needed, so I headed to the local 24-hour drugstore. They have what I'm looking for, but it boasts "Now psuedoephedrine free". Fine, I'll go to the pharmacy counter and inquire about the real stuff. They have Nyquil with the real stuff, but not Dayquil. So, I grab a pack of the lesser stuff. The new decongestant isn't nearly as effective as the original kind, and I'm willing to sign a log book that will be examined by the DEA just to get the most effective medication.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007


We decided long ago that over the labor day weekend we would go up to Oklahoma City to visit my grandmother. This was our first time traveling with the baby, so this will be an interesting experiment. The way up wasn't too bad, and we had a rather nice visit. One of my aunts also arrived, and brought KFC for dinner. We had dinner then headed home. The way back was a bit more challenging as it was getting late, and the baby was entering his trademark fussy time of the day, which meant most of the trip home was punctuated with crying, and constant discussion as to whether we stop now or wait. He quieted, we waited. We passed one potential stopping area, and he'd start up again.

I also, on a wild lark decided to try stopping at one of those scenic turnouts. Now I understand why my dad never stopped at one when I begged him to. It was rather boring and the scenery was nothing to write home about. I took pictures anyway. We stopped at the Texas visitors center at around dusk and got a couple nice pictures, though, which sort of made up for it.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

How to get people to vote your way

There's an ad spot airing right now which urges you to contact congress or face gas shortages like the 1970's. This law sounds bad right? What does it amount to? Stricter controls on the pricing of gasoline. As I have blogged about multiple times the petroleum companies are getting filthy rich while the rest of us are having to pay exorbitant prices for gasoline. They use varied excuses ranging everywhere from an imminent hurricane about to hit the shore (which never materialized), taxes (Yes, taxes have jumped sharply in a few days has been one of their excuses), changeover from winter to summer formula, and various others. The list goes on.

This latest ad makes the idea of price control, lower fuel tax and holding the petroleum industry accountable sound like a bad thing. This is an industry that keeps bringing in record profits. Don't listen to the ad, vote with your mind, not with your fears. This is also the industry that artificially adjusts supply, while demand remains virtually constant using a variety of excuses. Supply goes down, prices go up.

The petroleum industry is a cartel. For more examples of what a cartel can do for you, I suggest you visit your local jewlery store. Those shiny transparent things? They aren't so rare. Industrial diamonds are cheap, but the cartel would have you believe the diamond is a rare thing, and demand a high price. Not so, you see, they control the supply ...

Friday, August 31, 2007

They banned tag!

Remember the game of tag? Someone would be tagged, they would be "it", and run after someone else to tag them and make them it. Apparently, this is a bad thing now. It's considered chasing and harassing to some. My God. I remember when I was a kid we would play tag. I always wound up as being "it" it always annoyed me, because I wasn't a very fast runner. Yes -- I would get pulled into the game without really wanting to participate, but the furthest thing from my mind was to complain that I was being chased and harassed.

It seems our general inflated sense of entitlement is rubbing off on our kids. How sad.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Blog about Blogging

Lately, I've been trying to catch up on posts about my son, Christopher. Recalling the various trials and tribulations of raising baby has been quite a chore. I forget many things, then remember them long after I've made the monthly update post.

I've decided to take a new approach to blogging: Write ideas and events down as they occur. Later compile them into a new post. I need a process for keeping all of these memories somewhere before they fade away into oblivion. Another thing I need to do is find some way of relaying things with more frequency than just once per month. So, in between all of that there will be intermediate posts that will not necessarily be about him, but about life in general. Ideas and topics that come to me. And a means of putting those scraps into the blog, then fleshing them out when I have time.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

An observation ...

On several occasions I've seen these things placed in the seat portion of the grocery cart. It seems people these days are becoming more and more germophobic. Seriously, they put these on their carts to keep their precious little spawn away from any and all germs.

What they're really setting their child up for is being seriously ill later on. A child who is not exposed to at least some illness-causing agents will not be able to build any immunity. Using something like this really is a disservice to your child1,2.

My belief? These parents fall into one of 2 categories: Those who are true germophobes who's cleaning-product shelf looks that of a hospital ward in charge of taking care of immunocompromised patients, and those who just simply don't want a sick, whiny kid with a runny nose, they also have similar shelves in their homes, sanitizer at every sink, and will generally sneer at you, should you get too near their precious child.

I don't quite understand this culture of needing to raise your child in a perfectly sanitized pristine environment. And FYI, those covers are likely to be even more of a breeding ground for dangerous bacteria than the smooth plastic and metal of a shopping cart.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

New life...

... and apparently new blogger.

Well, after a long hiatus, which seems to happen frequently with me, I decided to make an entry. We have a baby on the way, and I couldn't be happier.

What to do? So many things we will need, so much thought about this new life. I'm both excited and terrified. It was cool to see him (yes, its a boy!) on the ultrasound, and was just completely amazed.

Not much has been happening on other fronts.