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Sunday, July 31, 2011

IT'S A ...........




Well, we had an induction scheduled for July 29th, but apparently our little guy had other plans. At four o’clock in the afternoon on the 28th labor kicked in, and by eight o’clock he was born.  He’s perfect. I really wanted to post a picture here, but then I heard that blog pictures get picked up by Google Images and I’m feeling a tad over-protective at the moment. That said, I am very aware that Google Images currently has 400 million (almost exactly) images of “babies” so I really should lighten up. I’m sure I will in the next day or so, and then I’ll come back and post a picture.

But, since I’m a writer I’m going to take this opportunity to dazzle you all with my ability to paint a gorgeous picture of my child with words. It will be so vivid that you will all experience, in awesome wonder, just how cute my baby boy is. It will be as if he’s sitting beside you, sleeping … or pooping, since those are the two things he does really well.

Ready? Okay. *rubs hands together* Imagine a baby monkey with almost no hair, and without a tail. Done! Cute, right?

Thanks for all the comments on the previous post, I read them all and really appreciated the well wishes. I’ll reply to them in the next day or so once I get tired of just staring at my son.

Oh, I almost forgot, we named him Isaiah. 

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Life lesson #1: How to talk to a pregnant woman



I’ve decided that when I think of a life lesson I’ll one day teach my child, I’ll jot them down on this blog under the incredibly original heading: LIFE LESSONS. They'll not be in any chronological order. I'll just jot them down as I think of them. 

*Rubs hands together* Okay, time for lesson number one. For the past nine months (and seven days) I’ve had front row seats to my wife’s pregnancy. I have reached the conclusion that there is one LIFE LESSON that has not been taught to enough people (men and women). That lesson is: What NOT to say to a pregnant woman.

So here you go. If you feel the urge to utter any one of these comments, resist it!

1.. You. Are. Huge!

2.. You look like you’re ready to pop.

3.. That shirt is sure working hard.

4. You’re really “busting” out of your shirt. (First of all, it’s creepy that you’re staring at her chest. Second, it’s doubly creepy that you mention it.)

5.. You look like you don’t get much sleep.

6.. You know you’re not really eating for two, right?

7.. I didn’t get any stretch marks when I had my baby. (You know what, just avoid any “stretch mark” related comment in general)

8.. Are you sure you don’t have twins in there?

9.. Hi, big momma.

10.. When I was in labor … [insert story of unimaginable pain and horror]

11.. That baby is going to be huge!

“Thank you, Steve,” you say. “That’s a good list and I appreciate the information. But now I’m afraid of pregnant women. Do you happen to know if they’re like bees? Can they smell fear?”

Good question. The answer is, probably. But don’t worry. Although pregnant women can be as frightening as rabid hyenas, I have the solution. One phrase that will work 99% of the time. Commit it to memory and use it often. Not only will you avoid offending someone, but you’ll also avoid having that woman’s husband plot your death for leaving him to clean up your mess.

Ready? Here it is.

“WOW, YOU LOOK AMAZING.”

It works in every situation, can be employed when you’re alone or in a group, and is unlikely to offend … Except in that 1% of the time when hormones have made it so anything you say is the wrong thing. In that case the best I can suggest is that you do what you would do in any emergency: Stop. Drop. And roll. It's a long shot, but it just might work.

*Dusts off hands* There you go. The world is a safer better place now that fewer pregnant women will be offended. If any of you have suggestions for comments that should be added to the list, please put them in the comment section.

Tomorrow is induction day, folks, so If you don’t hear from me for a while, it means I’m changing diapers. 


Friday, July 22, 2011

In Which I Laugh at the Homeless


WAIT!!! Before you reach for that unsubscribe button and leave my blog forever, give me a chance to explain … still there? Okay. Good. *Ahem* Yesterday I laughed at a homeless guy.

“Right,” you say. “Thanks for the explanation, Steve. I’ll be leaving now. Best of luck surviving the lightening that’s about to strike you down. Toodeloo.”  (Yes, I said “Toodeloo.” I imagine the people who read my blog to be from the UK in the 1950’s).

I didn’t have a camera when I spotted the gentleman who inspired this post, but I did find a picture online of another homeless fellow who employed the exact same methods:



After finding that one I had to don my magic internet goggles and look for more. As it turns out, the streets are ripe with wit. I'd probably give money to these guys just for being original.







Friday, July 15, 2011

Books to Movies: One of these Things is Not Like the Other One …

One of the world’s great debates (right next to all that existential mumbo jumbo) revolves around whether it’s better to read the book before watching the movie, or watch the movie before reading the book. BUT what if the book and movie are so drastically different that it’s impossible for one to spoil the experience of the other? Have you ever experienced such an event?

“No,” you say. “It’s not possible, Steve. Books and movies aren't that different. Stop asking us these crazy questions.”

Crazy? Oh, I think not.

Allow me to introduce, JUMPER, by Steven Gould.



For those of you who aren’t familiar with the book, it’s a story about a young man named David Rice who discovers he has the ability to transport, or “Jump” instantly from one location to another, anywhere around the globe. Chaos ensues.

I watched the movie a few years ago when it first came out and loved it. Then recently I read the book and loved it too. BUT the two are not the same. In fact, I imagine 20th Century Fox considering the purchase of the movie rights and saying, “Hmm, I love the Jumping aspect of this book, but I’m not crazy about the rest.”

This isn’t a rant. I’m not angry about the big bad movie company changing the author’s story. Like I said above, I loved both versions. If I had to pick which I liked the best, I’d give the trophy to the book, but it would be a close race.

I know most movies deviate from their book counterparts to some degree (*Cough* Harry Potter *cough*). But if you know any books that are completely (or at least significantly) different from the movie versions, leave a comment below.

Oh, and FWIW, I highly recommend reading JUMPER. Steven Gould is a wonderful story teller.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Google Loves Me!



First: I know I’ve been incommunicado for the better part of a week, but no, the baby hasn’t come yet. I’ve been silent for a number of reasons, not the least of which being that I spent the last week living in the wilderness foraging for berries and trying not to get eaten by bears … okay, there might have been cabins in this “wilderness” and I may have foraged for berries in the produce aisle of the grocery store a few kilometers away, but there was a bear. And it wanted to eat me (probably).

Back to the topic de jour: Google Love

When I started blogging earlier this year, I noticed a little icon in my address bar called “Google PageRank.” Being the dutiful blogger that I am, I looked it up and discovered that PageRank is basically a ranking of how important Google thinks your webpage is. Mine was 0/10.

Zero? Really, Google? Zero?

A zero ranking is like telling me my site isn’t important enough for Google to even acknowledge its existence. It’s like asking the girl you’ve liked since second grade to prom and her replying with “Do you go to this school?” *sobs at memory of high school*

Well, folks, all that changed. Google and I are officially going steady (my wife doesn’t mind). I opened blogger yesterday and,wham, my ranking had changed from 0/10  to 1/10. I have no idea by what criteria Google makes these changes, but I like to believe it’s based entirely on the individual blogger’s HOT FACTOR (I've been working out). Now that Google and I are dating, I should warn you that my PageRank will soon be in the double digits. 

I expect congratulatory messages and envelopes filled with cash, or else you won't be invited to the wedding!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

THE LIE REVEALED


Thanks to everyone who participated in the “CAN YOU FIND THE LIE” post (which I just linked even though it’s posted right below this one :P). I was quite impressed with some of the answers ... especially the ones that were thinking outside of the box. Well done. Unfortunately I'm not nearly as clever as you give me credit for. With twenty guesses, there were only four people who guessed correctly. The winners are listed below, and I've linked their blogs to their names. Well done, you guys. 

I'm not one to drag something out, so *drum roll* the LIE in the, "Can You Find The Lie" post was: #3 (I Was Attacked by Ninjas in a Ninja Village). As for the rest of them: All true. You don't believe me, do you? I sense your skepticism (and honestly, I don't blame you).  But here, I'll show you.

1. My name is Steven Whibley: TRUE.

2. I’ve been chased by a caveman: TRUE. In Turkey there’s a place called Cappadocia where people do indeed live in caves. Many of those caves have running water and electricity (many don’t), but they are caves nonetheless. There are thousands of uninhabited caves around the area and, one day while my wife and I explored a few, we accidentally stumbled into a cave that was occupied. The Caveman didn’t like having strangers wander in to his house. He chased us off.

3. I’ve been attacked by ninjas in a ninja village: FALSE. There are several ninja villages in Japan, and I was fortunate enough to visit one while I was there. At one point I did walk into a house within the village and ninjas fell from the rafters, popped up from the floor, rolled out of hidden wall compartments. It was like a ninja flash-mob, only with less dancing and singing.  That said, NONE OF THEM ATTACKED. Whew!

4. I traveled from Guatemala to Mexico with a group of illegal immigrants: TRUE. We didn’t know we were traveling with illegals until heavily armed Mexican authorities drove up (after we crossed from Guatemala to Mexico on a ramshackle boat), demanded to see documents and then sent everyone back to Guatemala. We (and I think 3 others) were permitted to stay since we had passports. It was the first time I’d ever had an assault rifle pointed at my chest (though not the last time).  

5. I’ve spent more than one night sleeping on a bench in a train station in a foreign country: TRUE. Not a very interesting story, but a true one.

6. I’ve eaten grasshoppers, centipedes, and a soup that contained several live fish: TRUE. Grasshoppers and centipedes are no big thing; lots of places have those critters on their menus. But here’s a link (LINK 1 and LINK 2  - neither of the links are great, but you'll get the idea ) to the live fish soup which, at least so far, I’ve only seen in Japan.   

7. I’ve swam with schools of full grown sharks and stingrays: TRUE. If you get the chance I highly recommend the experience. Location: Shark-Ray Alley, Ambergris Caye, Belize.

8. I’ve been attacked by a troop of monkeys: TRUE. To be fair, it was mostly my wife that got attacked, but when I came to help her they turned on me too. Location: Monkey Forest, Ubud, Indonesia.

9. I’ve had Dengue Fever: TRUE. Caught it in Malaysia. Very nasty illness, also called “Bone Break Fever.” I went from 175 lbs to 140 lbs ... No, I don't recommend dengue fever as a weight loss method. 

10. I snuck into the main temple at Angkor Wat(Cambodia): TRUE. It’s harder than you think considering how big it is. It was my experiences in Cambodia that inspired the plot for the book my Agent is going to be shopping around.

So there you have it. K. Turley, Nina Powers, Alex Cavanaugh, and JeffO guessed that the lie was my “Ninja attack” story, and so you four have earned yourself 10 points. As luck would have it, they’re worth double today, since it’s the day after Canada Day!  Don’t spend it all in one place.