Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Good day

In order of importance:

1. The Yankees reminded everyone today why they have their rep. Kevin Brown proves he deserves to start. Jorge Posada . . . wow. Three run shots from both sides of the plate...what more can anyone want? (oh yeah--for A-Rod's and Jeter's bats to come alive)

2. Finally some content on B A T M A N B E G I N S! Is that the Batmobile or the world's smallest tank?

3. My eldest had his first T-Ball practice today. Early reports are that he loved it. Can't wait to talk about it with him tomorrow....

The Few, the Proud, the Re-Readable

There are a few select authors that I can say that I've read everything they've written (or at least published). As of last week, Robert Crais just joined the likes of Douglas Adams, Christopher Buckley, Aaron Elkins, and a few others I can't think of at the moment.

Robert Crais started off writing cool, Robert B. Parker-ish detective novels. Lots of action, lots of wise cracks, deadly & enigmatic sidekick, etc. Unlike Parker, over time Crais didn't get lighter on the action and drama--'tho the wise cracks did become scarce (but in a fitting way due to the subject matter). The plots became more intricate, the characters better... I'm a little worried that the last two Elvis Cole novels have been a bit too serious, a bit too intense--I can't help but think of Dennis Lehane's Kenzie and Gennaro series (which isn't bad, just not where the series was originally headed, I thought). That doesn't mean that I don't have every intention of running down to a bookstore the instant the next book, The Forgotten Man comes out in August (*cough*birthdaygiftidea*cough*).

His two stand-alone novels, Demoltion Angel and Hostage (which I've talked about here before), both blew me away, particularly the former. Good to see that he's not a one-trick pony--even if that one trick is particularly great.

And so far, he stands up to a re-reading. What more could anyone ask for?


My reading's been heavy on fiction lately, and my writing (other than this blog and my weekly exhortation) has been pretty non-existant lately. I really need to read something theological--get my brain moving again.

Tuesday, March 30, 2004

trying to find the bright side...

At least no one can accuse the Yankees of buying success . . . they still actually have to show up and play. 8-3 to the DEVIL RAYS?!?!?!


I need to drop this whole baseball thing and get into something less depressing, like, I dunno, alcoholism...

Monday, March 29, 2004

Quick Shots

» The First Episode of The Adventures of Seinfeld & Superman, "Uniform," was posted today. Not the most favorable look at Superman--almost more Tick than Supes (didn't help w/Wharburton's voice). But all in all, a good, fun way to spend 4 minutes (or 15 on dial up).

» The War on Mel Gibson by Gary North. Is this really necessary, Gary?

» I was sure there was a third item, but it's slipped my mind, atm. Oh well, back to not writing an article on the diaconate.....

Friday, March 26, 2004

for the record....

I know it's not supposed to be "oo" in the subject header immediately following this, but for some reason, my seroes show up that way.

major w00tage

I have, for the first time, real, truly good news about my son. The BIG BAD II? We're 99% sure he doesn't have it!!!!!!!

There's still one more test blood test that needs to be finished. But they got the results on the urine test yesterday--the geneticist has never heard of anyone passing it and failing the other (which does lead one to question why they do the next test....)

Our pediatrician actually called us herself rather than having a staff do it . . . she was so excited. BTW, you know you're spending too much time with a doc when she calls and says "Hi, it's Janette"

Turns out the BIG BAD would've messed up the whole transplant thing, too (thankfully no one mentioned that fact 'til it was moot)


Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Very Pre-K Education

Now, I've caught a little flack for bringing this up in the presence of medical professionals . . .but I really think it's cool to see. I'm not complaining at all (I think they believe me when I tell them that).

I've seen my 3 week old learn something. I know, on some level, they're learning things: how to eat, how to move the head, how to focus the eyes, etc. But I've never witnessed something like this with the other three chill'uns.

When a nurse or phlebotomist puts that rubber tourniquet on his arm--he knows he's going to get a needle poked into him, and he starts freaking out.

I'll grant you, it's not a pleasant thing for him to have learned--but it's cool for me to see his mind at work.

Plot Complication

Okay, in addition to the kidney stuff there's this other thing soooo BAD and sooo bleepin' complicated we've not been talking a lot about it.

There's this screening that Idaho (and 8 other states) do at birth, and they send off the results to this national lab. The lab thinks some stuff is strange, orders another batch of tests, the thing they were worried about was this thing called MCAD (hereafter called the BIG BAD--where basically his body wouldn't be able to convert most fats to . . . whatever it is we convert stored fat to. Today we got the results on the second batch of tests, which rules out the BIG BAD, but opens the possibility of something pretty much like it, but rarer: the BIG BAD II. Not sure how long we'll be waiting on those results (am guessing a week).

Now, we'd done a bunch of research on the the BIG BAD (and by "we", I mean my wife), so according to our doc, we probably know more about it than most people in Idaho (not an distinction I ever wanted). Now she's gone off and done a bunch on the BIG BAD II--which our doc had never heard of before . . . ack. This second batch of research has not done her a lot of good. In fact, I'd go so far as to say it's done her ill. She's really getting worried, and fretting, and all sorts of other things along those lines. She is now banned from medical research until we get these results (or I'm going to put a dozen new passwords on my machine). She's been doing so well, hope this stuff doesn't shake her too much.

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

What's goin' on up there?

I've listened to this song, "When You Dream" by the band BNL about a billion times. Really didn't ever pay too much attention to the lyrics 'til tonight.

With life just begun, my sleeping new son
has eyes that roll back in his head
They flutter and dart, he slows down his heart
and pictures a world past his bed
It's hard to believe
As I watch you breathe
Your mind drifts and weaves

When you dream,
what do you dream about?
When you dream,
what do you dream about?
Do you dream about
music or mathematics
or planets too far for the eye?
Do you dream about
Jesus or quantum mechanics
or angels who sing lullabies?

From there it just goes on in this vein with references to reincarnation (or at least some sort of pre-existence) . . .but it helped me focus something that'd been running through my mind for the last few days: how much does he realize is going on?

He's getting blood drawn for the umpteenth time in his 20 days today. And they're having a hard time getting a good draw, so they're prodding and prodding. Each time they retarget the needle, he yells out, then settles down and tries to nap. It's like he's getting used to all this nonsense. Which on the one hand is good--he's got a lot more to come. But on the other hand, it's just sad.

All he knows in this life so far is pain--at least just from the medical types doing their work--who knows what he feels like inside, I'm guessing not good--and the voices and blurry shapes that keep coming and say they're taking care of him keep bringing him to the people who hurt him. Does he know that? Does he think about that? What's going on behind those blue eyes?

Does he know that it's for his own good that we take him there? Does he know that these people are just trying to help him? Does he know how hard it is for us to watch him go through it? Does he care?

I've had more than one person say that what he's going through isn't "fair." I'm not sure about fairness--actually, I'm pretty sure fairness doesn't enter into the equation. But, I know it's sad, I know it's not good to be him right now. I do hope that changes.

Monday, March 22, 2004

Power in the Blood

dunno who this is by, but too funny:

There is Power in the Blood; from the Arminian Hymnal

Would you be free from the bur - den of sin?
There's pow'r in free will, pow'r in free will;
Would you o'er e - vil a vic - to - ry win?
There's won - der - ful pow'r in free will.

There is pow'r, pow'r, Wonder working power
In the free will of man;
There is pow'r, pow'r, Wonder working power
In the au - to - no - mous free will of man.

Would you be free from your pas - ion and pride?
There's pow'r in free will, pow'r in free will;
Come for a cleans - ing to Cal - va - ry's tide;
There's won - der - ful pow'r in free will.

There is pow'r, pow'r, Wonder working power
In the free will of man;
There is pow'r, pow'r, Wonder working power
In the au - to - no - mous free will of man.

Would you be whit - er, much whit - er than snow?
There's pow'r in free will, pow'r in free will;
Sin stains are lost in its life giving flow;
There's won - der - ful pow'r in free will.

There is pow'r, pow'r, Wonder working power
In the free will of man;
There is pow'r, pow'r, Wonder working power
In the au - to - no - mous free will of man.

Would you do ser - vice for Je - sus your King?
There's pow'r in free will, pow'r in free will;
Would you live dai - ly his prais - es to sing?
There's won - der - ful pow'r in free will.

There is pow'r, pow'r, Wonder working power
In the free will of man;
There is pow'r, pow'r, Wonder working power
In the au - to - no - mous free will of man.

Saturday, March 20, 2004

Quote of the Moment

My former pastor passed along this nugget from John Owen to me yesterday:

"There is in heaven a special, a personal regard of all that come unto God by Christ, as if their names were there recorded. Christ remembers them as effectually as if He presented them by name to His Father in His intercession. Their names are written in the Lamb's book, that was slain, that was sacrificed, and he that was sacrificed is the same who intercedes. He knows who are His (2 Tim. 2:19) and how; he knows them by name, John 10:3; and as He knows, so He presents, so he intercedes for them. Those who come unto God by Him, may have as much assurance of the comfort and advantage of His intercession, as if they heard Him in heaven interceding for them by name."

Friday, March 19, 2004

quick post


Thursday, March 18, 2004

More on the Kidney Patient

Well, we met with the nephrologist (kidney guy) today--he's a good guy, think we'll enjoy working with him (granted, I'd enjoy never needing to work with him a lot more . . .but anyway). First he goes over the chronology (no notes) to make sure he's got it right--he did, which puts him on the right foot with us.
Then he talks a little bit about hypoplasia (that's our word for the day) basically it's any organ that's structurally/architecturally (his words) correct, but too small. Then he says, "There's no use beating around the bush...we're heading towards a transplant." We'd been preparing ourselves for that word since Machen had been re-admitted to the hospital, but hearing it wasn't that fun.
Basically what's gonna happen is over the next couple of months he's going to get better, then he's going to level off, then he's going to get much, much worse. Depending on age/etc when things get bad, we'll probably start home dialysis. And sometime after he's two and he's grown enough he'll get a previously owned, perfectly fine kidney.
It's good to live in a day and age where we have all sorts of machines with flashing lights and funky chemicals that can be put in bodies to strengthen them, and doctors can do this kind of thing.
It's not like I imagined it'd be--I figured I'd be a wreck, but knowing that every bit of this has been worked out from pre-Day 1, and that the Lord is overseeing it all--it's grim, but not devastating (now, will I be able to say that tomorrow? or the day he goes under the knife? too soon to say)

In the meantime, he's doing better--awake and alert a lot more than he has been. We're all getting in a little play-time now.

Monday, March 15, 2004


Haven't said anything in awhile. Been thinking of stuff to blog. Just haven't gotten around to it. Would like to thank all of those who've read this stuff about the boy and have been praying.

One thing I've found lately, having a son who has a "chronic illness"--you sure learn how to take things One Day at a Time (without the Christy Lane!). Jesus knew what he was saying (not too surprising) when He said that each day has enough trouble of it's own.

Wednesday, March 10, 2004


Earlier I said that Spader had saved The Practice. There is one huge problem, tho. . . . they've taken the excellent Steve Harris and Michael Badalucco--and the pretty good Camryn Manheim (not to mention the tolerable Jessica Capshaw) and put them in the background, as supporting cast . . . blech. Long-time fans have spent years developing a relationship w/these characters, and what do we have to show for it?

Veggie Rocks!

Veggie Rocks!

1. VeggieTales Theme Song, Rebecca St. James
2. I Love My Lips, Stevenson
3. Promised Land, Sanctus Real
4. In the Belly of the Whale, Newsboys
5. The Water Buffalo Song, Superchic[k]
6. I'm So Blue, Paul Colman
7. The Hairbrush Song (live), Audio Adrenaline
8. The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything, relient K
9. I Can Be Your Friend, The O.C. Supertones
10. His Cheeseburger, TAIT
11. Stand, Skillet

This is gonna be great. :)

On the lighter side...

Got a little caught up on my TV viewing last night. I kept up with my normal videotaping schedule just 'cuz I knew I'd need an escape from reality, finally found the time yesterday.

1. NYPD Blue . . . okay episode. I totally understand the reasons Esai Morales left the show--too little to do. But he knew that going in, didn't he? Heck, they gave him more than they ever gave James McDaniel. But, COME ON! EDDIE GIBSON??? Just don't get this. Comic relief for a few episodes, yeah. But . . . a whole season and change? Bocho et al. better know what they're doing. Sure, things turned out with Schroeder and Gosselaar, so they probably do. But Gibson's pushing it.

2. The Practice. Excellent, excellent, excellent episode. James Spader has saved this show.

3. Alias The language I want to use to describe this episode would violate my conscience and lose me most of my readers . . . Lauren Reed is finally something more than a plot complication to keep the Sydney/Vaugh love story fresh. I absolutely loved the Sydney POV/Lauren POV take on the ep . . . the yin and yang thing they did with the car chases . . . Marshall strung out on new-child-induced-lack-of-sleep/caffeine, Arvin's "revelation" (or new deception) . . . fantastic, fantastic, fantastic. This is just what I needed!

Tuesday, March 09, 2004


He's home!!!

Best I've felt in days. Yeah, there's no real diagnosis/prognosis/pickyournosis yet. It's still a serious problem--he'll likely not have a large appetite ever (which will be nice when he's 15!). He probably won't grow as big as his brothers. Etc. Etc.

I don't care.

He's alive. That's enough.

there but for the grace of God . . .

Y'know that phrase "there but for the grace of God go I?" Well, here a little tale of my past few days, that I'm calling "there for the grace of God go I."

Tuesday I was happy to announce to my friends and family about the birth of my son: God was very kind to us: all ten fingers and all ten toes present and accounted for. The little tyke weighed in at a mere 8 lbs. 14 oz. and measures 21 inches long.

(somewhat sarcastically I now note, I didn't bother to count kidneys that day)

Friday we go in for the checkup and circumcision. He's down to 7 lbs 11 oz (later that day in the hospital he's at 7 lbs 6 oz], very jaundiced and um, well. Can't remember the technical term for this, but the hole where "pee pee" is supposed to come out? Well, it's not exactly in the right place and it's bigger than it should be. They usually can't find this 'til they start the circumcision, and that's true this time, so they stitch him back up and when he's about one, they'll use the foreskin to do a little reconstructive surgery (that was the plan on Friday anyway, before the rest . . . who knows now).

So anyway, they admit him to get some light therapy for the jaundice and an IV to get the weight back up. Being thorough, they take a blood sample and YIKES! kidney-related stuff is off the charts . . . So we get an ultrasound. 1 kidney is covered with cysts and very small. The other looks fine, but isn't doing the job.

Fast forward to today. The light therapy did it's job, as did the IV. The kidney stuff is better, but far from great. We may be talking dialysis in years to come. We may be talking transplant. The doc (who's a greater blessing than I could've imagined) had a good talk with my wife tonight. Said it's not a life or death issue, it's a quality of life issue. Which frankly at this point in time is enough for me. Looks like he gets to come home tomorrow, which is a huge relief. We'll see the specialist in a week and a half and start to plan out the next few years... :)

Anyhow, the last few days have seen tests of faith, and my report card could look better. But by the grace of God, I'm getting better at simply trusting Him. God's grace is richer to me, the prayers of the saints mean more to me now than before . . . because of the grace of God, I went there.

Thursday, March 04, 2004

Birth, etc.

Well, as I mentioned on Monday, my wife had our third son on Tuesday. It was a fairly event-less delivery. It was very quick, that's for sure. Anyhow, we then had a relaxing 24 hours just hanging around at the hospital. Anyhow, everyone's home now, and doing great.

I finished my novel Tuesday night (Wonder Boys by Michael Chabon . . . not recommended), so I was pretty bored Wednesday morning--wife was sleeping, as was the boy. No cable in the hospital, so I was trying to find Regis interesting...which wasn't working too well when the nurse came in, asked if they could take some pictures of him to use for advertising--billboards, website, newpaper ads, etc. "Sure, why not?"

So the boy and I spent an hour with the hospital's PR gal using her really nice digital camera to take photos of one of the more photogenic nurses and him. The took a few of me, too. And got some quotes from me to maybe use in a newspaper ad . . ."the involved dad's perspective."

In the end, they went with another couple of kids for the billboards--I think a nice Aryan 4 yr old girl posing with an Aryan mom and baby. . . But they burned a CD of the 40 or so pictures they took of him for me, and he might get in the papers.

On the plus side, I guess that means his 15 minutes might come when he'll be old enough to appreciate it.

Just for fun, here's one of the pics off the CD (I'm sure none of the pics with yours truly will be used in advertising)


Just got word that the Idaho educatin laws mentioned on 2/26 have been defeated--one on the House floor, the other in committee. Yay!

Must read

Michelle Malkin: The new face of the lawless left.

Monday, March 01, 2004

A few hours to go...

Get to hold my 3rd son/4th child tomorrow.