Monday, July 31, 2006

Welcome Ilar Ila Lorraine Enslen

And in this corner, weighing in at 7 lbs 2 ounces, the lean, the mean, the "No Pain, No Gain" Ila Lorraine! Welcome, earthling, to our planet on July 29th, 10:57 am EST. Pictures forthcoming (if she's cute). Update: Oh, she's cute!

Saturday, July 29, 2006

You Are Invited to a House Warming Party

Sometimes, when holding my little son, he is passing gas. Giggles and phrases like "ahhh .... how cute ..." usually sound from all those who hear him. Funny, that doesn't happen when I toot my own horn.

Although this post isn't about Nathaniel, it is about gas. I know what you are thinking ... "Not about Nathaniel? Don't you love your own son?" Well I mentioned him so I got him covered.

House closing was scheduled for Friday 11am. We made all the arrangements at work and home to be there. At 10am, I receive a call saying that we need to move the closing to later in the afternoon. So we rearrangeme our schedules and set a final walk through at 2:30 pm and closing at 3:30pm.

On the way up to the house, I jokingly say " Wouldn't it be funny (funny ironic in the sense of everything we have already gone through with the house) if the house sprung a gas leak and blew up and there was nothing left but ashes when we got there?"

Well, when we walked through the house, Jenny said that she needed to show us something. She takes us to the master bedroom, there is a huge section of the wall ripped out. Turns out that a nail struck a gas line and there had been a gas leak.

The gas leak has been patched and house was finally closed. During the closing, we demanded that we own the movie rights to this house building drama!!!

Friday, July 28, 2006


Definition of peaceful: untroubled by conflict, agitation, or commotion. See attached photo for example.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Finger Food

Mommy has been sending daily pictures of Nathaniel to me via email. Getting these are the highlight of my day!

You've Come A Long Way

The little grey image in the bottom left was Nathaniel's first baby picture. That was 10 months ago. Now he has been with us 12 days. Amazing.

Monday, July 24, 2006

The Unfinished Post

All swaddled up and no where to go.

Awesome birthday present!

Papum and grandbaby Nathaniel.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

I'm Considering a New Do

If I have one more sleepless bout trying to get Nathaniel to fall back asleep, I may consider getting this haircut to survive my countless meetings at work.

Monday, July 17, 2006

The Thinker The Sleeper

Little Nathaniel is the absolute joy of our long as we can figure out what he wants when he fires up his tiny pair of lungs. Actually, he has been sleeping for the past 3 hours 55 minutes....thanks to M&M Gram (also known as Miracle and Magical Gram, his maternal grandmother) She just has the magical touch of soothing him. All his sleeping is making his parents very very happy!

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Quick Fix

I had to run to my in-laws to get a quick internet fix and show off my little boy. I got to eat, shower, and run back to the hospital.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Welcome Nathaniel McKay Loden

While Nate is at the hospital with Raquelle and Nate Jr, suffering www withdrawal, Papa Loden is clicking the keys to let you join in our celebration of the arrival of Nathaniel McKay. What a stunningly handsome lad, long and lanky at 21 and a half inches, weighing in at 8 lbs 8 ozs, that makes him a keeper! Quiet and reserved, he cried a little when he was born but then hushed right up and began to check out his new environment. Eyes opened and following any movement around him, he is the spitting image of his Dad and Mom (both of which are doing just fine). The nurses tried to get him to cry again (for a lung check) but he passed on the opportunity (when his dad acted that way, we called it stubbornness). It's easy to see that he is happy to check things out, and, not wanting to sleep, he is surprisingly alert. If I could just figure out how to post a picture....

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Ignorance Alert #1 "Ice Can Sink"

Before you take someone up on a bet that they can make ice sink in a glass of water, read the following:

Ice can sink.

Now go ahead with the bet if you want to lose your money. Basically, you buy "heavy water", the stuff used in nuclear reactors and Uncle Earl's annual bath. It has special gravity boosting particles called carbs that make them sink. While it makes for a neat albeit pricey party effect at $15 bucks a cube, drinking it is not advised. Think glowing pee.

Nerves of Rusty Tin

So yesterday was my wife's due date. And I was a wreck. I was calling her every hour from work. "Are you ok?" How do you feel?" "Is he ready for little league?" Then during our monthly 2 hour meeting, I was text messaging her, "You can call me on my cell phone." "Now, I'm in my office." Then it was, "I'm on my way home ..." It felt like waiting for a judge to come down with your sentence ... oh wait most of you don't know what that's like. It was a rollercoaster ride ... fun right ... except you weren't on the ride ... it was going on in your stomach!

Friday, July 07, 2006

A Pirate's Booty

Recent renovations in the golf course at my in-laws has uncovered a treasure beyond compare to a"prone-to-slice a putt right into a lake" like myself. The serendipitous situation: The country club drained a golf ball swallowing lake and relocated the sludge at the bottom into a field. Walking through this dried dirt is like walking through a mine field, except it was lacking the awful explosions and flying body parts. There was so many golf balls every where you looked. We filled a bucket (a smaller not pictured bucket), cleaned them, and will promptly lose the majority of them at the Back 9 on Saturday. Rescued from one body of water only to be back in it again.

Monday, July 03, 2006

The Claw Machine's Worst Nightmare

We've all seen them. Sitting there looking so innocent, in the corner of a local Super-Mega Grocery / Pharmacy / Dental Checkup Center. Its native environment is any large mall, but can be found in any town with more than one traffic light and a McHeart Attack McDonalds. They're so famous they're "in-famous" :

The claw machine.

These insidious devices serve but one evil purpose against mankind. Deprive us of every quarter within a 5 mile radius. A twenty-five cent black hole. Bottomless pits for every two bits. And reports are surfacing that some of these malignant machines are now accepting dollar bills. And not even giving change back, but forcing the unsuspecting thrill-seeker to rage against the underpowered gripping action of the crudely fashioned robot hand on two or four (if you're lucky) turns. Such callousness, such barbaric cruelty, oh, the inhumanity!

But one has emerged from the countless faceless victims to near super-hero status.

My mother.

Armed with a $10 roll of quarters, nerves of steel, tried and true patience (matched only by indigenous tribes of the Amazon Basin that lay down on ant beds and suffer thousands of bites without flinching a muscle), and a Hefty trashbag, she strikes down injustice with the teddy bears of mercy.

Once, she approached a Claw Machine that was in the process of cleaning out this man's wallet. He was trying to win a stuffed toy for his child, whose eyes were fixated on the countless treasures above him. The dad was being abused, with no more quarters, and running short on dollar bills, he feared he may not be able to help his own flesh and blood. My mother politely stepped up, and with his permission into the batter's box. Her eyes darted around, moving systematically to each animal, calculating angles of attack, determining extraction coefficients (if an animal is packed in tightly relative to its neighbors, it has a high extraction coefficient), and settling on the most likely candidate. With one quarter, rapid reflexes and perfect timing, a toy found its way into the outstretched arms of the beaming child. The shocked, humble, grateful face of the stranger was payment enough, as my mother refused compensation from the nearly broke man.

When my mother isn't performing mercy missions, she is scouting out her Claw Machines like a lion stalking a wounded wildebeest. She knows which Claws will grip with any useable force. She knows which Claws will let you lower them half way rather than falling as far as they can and then closing. She knows which Claws close all the way, allowing her to aim the Claw's metallic digits for the loop that is commonly found on stuff animals. She also has to take into account the rotation of the Claw as it spirals toward the imprisoned masses. If I hadn't seen her save an incarcerated stuff animal by hooking that loop I would have never believed it. I have also witnessed first hand the rescue of two stuffed animals (serving a life sentence) in one Claw grab.

By far, the most daring prison break I had the privledge of viewing was when my mother discovered a Claw that allowed the operator to lower it in stages. As long as you didn't go to the lowest point, the Claw would not close and you would have 30 seconds of operation time. She positioned the Claw about midway down, and used the joystick to rock the Claw Gripper back and forth. She began to knock the caged creatures right into the exit bin, freeing 3 or 4 per quarter. Crowds gathered and cheered to see the escape artist working her magic. The firstfruits of her labor would go to any children watching, and the rest would fill the Hefty bag.

In Vegas, while card counting isn't illegal, if caught doing it, will get you labelled as a persona-non-grata and blacklisted from every casino. My mother was so good at cleaning out one local Claw Machine, that the man who refills Claw Machines for a living waited out of sight by his recently filled Machine to find out who was emptying it out. He probably suspected foul play, until he saw her close in, and begin cleaning out the Machine with just a roll of quarters. He approached her, dying to meet the legend who had stuck it to the Man (who designed such a diabolical device). Let's hope it wasn't to blacklist her from all future Claw Machines ...

By the way, her latest catch was this officially licensed Red Sox Bear. Little Nate Jr. Nathaniel is gonna love it!

Saturday, July 01, 2006


Added so I can update my profile with a picture.

Pimp My Wheelchair

All we need to do is add hydralics and ground effects for a kickin' ride. Maybe Jonah and Leon can take it off some sweet jumps. Thanks for everyone that helped with my move. You guys kick some serious boot-ee.