Saturday, October 30, 2004


A quiet Saturday morning

It's 6:30 AM and I must be lonely (oops, channeled Matchbox Twenty there for a second. Let's try this again.)

Take two.

It's 6:30 AM. Aidan's still asleep, I'm wide awake. Figured I'll do up a quick post and rip a few more CDs. This latest run will put me over 2,000 songs, for those who find such information interesting.

All signs point to Aaron coming home on Thursday. Christine is spending the weekend at the hospital so that they can get into the night feeding routine and I am bottle-feeding him whenever I'm there so he gets used to the idea that Daddy is the bottle supplier. Aaron cracked 6 lbs. on Thursday and looks really good. Next hump is the two months after he comes home, during which he has to be almost quarantined until he starts getting all of his shots. There will definitely be some MAJOR schedule juggling to keep Aidan on a normal routine. Oh, well. It's all VERY much worth it.

One last comment on the baseball season. The Yankees last won the World Series in 2000, their third in a row. Since then, the winners have been Anaheim, Arizona, Florida and Boston. Anyone know what those four winners have in common?

2001 - Anaheim beats the Yankees in the ALDS
2002 - Arizona beats the Yankees (on a cheap hit) in the Series
2003 - Florida beats the Yankees in the Series
2004 - Boston beats the Yankees in the ALCS

So, despite what the Yankee-bashers are saying, the road to the World Series ALWAYS runs through the House That Ruth Built.

In news that should come as a surprise to no one, Carlos Delgado was among the first players to file for free agency yesterday.

So, Halloween is tomorrow. Bust out the candy. Aidan has a very cool dog costume he'll be wearing. He thinks he's Wags the Dog from the Wiggles, so who are we to argue with him. We're taking a little pumpkin costume into the hospital Sunday and dressing Aaron in it, which should be good for a smile. Aidan's hyped about doing the candy collection run tomorrow.

Speaking of The Wiggles, my sister and I are packing Aidan and her three kids in her minivan for a trip to T.O. next Saturday to see those four moptops from Down Under. Well, I survived Bear In The Big Blue House Live, so hopefully I'll come out of this alive. At least we're not sitting in the floor seats, which should help some. But they better have large video walls so the kids can see what's going on. Having said that, I think I just spent $48 a ticket so my kid can watch a big-screen TV.

Treehouse TV here in Canada (Nick Jr. in the U.S.) just released two Max and Ruby DVDs, which I picked up for the kids. Does anyone else out there with Treehouse-aged kids find them addicted to this show? A couple of people I work with say their kids are hooked, like Aidan is. I do not get the deal with this show, but it freezes Aidan whenever it comes on. The DVD comes with a "replay" feature, whereby it counts off 10 seconds after ending and, if nothing is done, it will replay. Great for Aidan, torture for his parents. Thankfully, I can tune out the TV. Christine's still learning that trick.

Quick plug here for The Hunt, Austin's developing entry in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). This is young Austin's entry in the annual event and he is providing readers with an opportunity to walk alongside him as he develops his work, which I think is pretty cool.

Springsteen song just came on ("Racing In The Street", a personal favorite). Made me think of picture I saw yesterday of Bruce with the Great Waffler (John Kerry). There's been a summer-long tour with some very big-name acts (Dave Matthews, R.E.M., Springsteen, etc.) who are using the tour to promote Kerry. I find myself often wondering though, whether this is really more an anti-Bush statement as opposed to a pro-Kerry statement. That's a pretty fine line, but a significant one. It's also kinda sad if that's the case, since they are not choosing the alternative based on the strengths of Kerry, but rather their anger/disappointment with Bush. Once again, I find myself concerned with the fact that we are SO willing to grant celebrities such huge platforms to promote their cause celebres and that people actually listen to them. All I think is that I'm disappointed that some of the great musicians of my youth (Springsteen, Mellencamp, etc.) have decided that they feel they need to be about more than the music.

Gotta go. Mister Man is up. Before I go, I want to share the lyrics I'm listening to right now, because they are really hitting home this morning (more so than usual):

Where are the nails that pierced His hands?
Well the nails have turned to rust
But behold the Man
He is risen and He reigns
In the hearts of His children rising up in His name
Where are the thorns that drew His blood?
Well the thorns have turned to dust
But not so the love
He has given and it remains
In the hearts of His children who will love
While the nations rage

(While The Nations Rage, Rich Mullins)


Wednesday, October 27, 2004


Been a while.........

I really haven't had a whole lot of time to post of late, but have been accumulating lots to say.

To start with, Aaron is doing very well. Hopefully today he'll be out of his incubator and into a cradle. He's rapidly closing in on 6 lbs. and is off caffeine, so he's coming along well. Please keep on praying for him and all of us.

Well, the Yankees pulled off one of the greatest collapses of all time and THE greatest post-season collapse ever. Now Boston's on a 7-game winning streak and one win away from their first title in 86 years. Somebody had better find out who put the Sominex in the Cardinals' Gatorade and wake them up. They've looked pretty lethargic in the last two games after a very spirited Game 1 tilt.

Memo to Brian Cashman: Kevin Brown and Javier Vazquez are NOT as good as Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte (healthy or hurt). Vazquez had better get himself righted in 2005 or he could wind up being a bust of Whitsonian size.

GREAT Bull Durham moment in Game 6 of the Yankees-Sox series. After Bernie Williams crushed a Bronson Arroyo pitch into the right field seats, Fox replayed Arroyo (a rookie) shaking off veteran catcher Jason Varitek's signs not once, but TWICE. Made me think of the classic scene where Nuke shrugs off Crash twice and the following sequence occurs:

Crash (to hitter): That SOB is shaking me off. Fastball, and when you speak of me, speak nicely.

Crash gives the sign for Nuke's fastball, which the hitter promptly crushes to right. After Crash admonishes the hitter for admiring his shot, he visits Nuke on the mound.

Nuke: Man, he hit that like he knew what I was going to throw to him.

Crash: He did. I told him.

Substitute Varitek for Crash and Arroyo for Nuke and there you go.

Now that the playoffs are (for me) over, it's time to catch up on the mountain of shows I have been taping. I really like the dynamic of CSI:NY, even though I have only seen the first two eps and taped over the 3rd. I have the 4th to watch and will likely watch ep 5 tonight. Gary Sinise is the real deal, almost as believable in his role as Petersen in Vegas and Caruso in Miami. I also appreciate the fact that the tone of NY is as different from its siblings as Miami is from Vegas.

As for Vegas, it appears this year is all about Catherine Willows (played by Marg Helgenberger). Her role has been much larger than Grissom's and I have read that she will be attempting to land the Day Shift supervisor role somewhere along the way this season. The writers have actually been setting this up this season and it makes sense, since the night shift is way overloaded now that Greg is out of the lab. Plus, it appears that Catherine and Warrick might be getting a bit buddy-buddy, which I'm not sold on since I like these shows better when the personal stuff is kept out. Stick to procedure, that's why I watch anyways.

Final TV note. If you haven't yet, check out Medical Investigation on NBC. Excusing the cruddy title and occasional blatant style rips from CSI and ER, this show has gotten consistently better week to week. Neal McDonough is awesome as the lead doctor, I like the supporting cast and, what's best, the causes of the illnesses they are investigating are, more often than not, environmental rather than through human malice. That helps keep things a little more upbeat. I suspect it won't live beyond one season, but it's good to have it around (even if it's a short visit).

Man, I'm so punchy lately. I had a lot of other stuff to cover that I seem to have forgotten. Mental clarity lately is only good between 6AM and 11AM. After that, it steadily and rapidly declines until I'm mental mush by 8PM. Guess I need more sleep and some changes to the 'ol diet. Like any of that'll happen.

Oh well, I guess that's it then. Until we meet again.

Sunday, October 17, 2004


LOTS to cover

Aidan and I are pretty tired, so we're taking a day off. In fact, the little man's still asleep at 9:45. Of course, the fact he was up between 4:30 and 7 AM might have something to do with that.

Before I get into the relatively meaningless stuff, here's an update on Aaron. First the good news: he's eating and growing like a champ. He has taken to nursing really well. His first feed each day is in the 55ml range (almost 2 oz.). Subsequent feeds are in the mid-30s, because he tires faster. To give an idea of how much he's taking in, his regular feeds (non-nursed) are 42ml. He's sitting just under 4lbs. 13 oz. as of 8 PM last night, so 5 lbs. is just around the corner.

The not-so-good: All of the feeding progress looks to have taxed him in other development aspects. Aaron has had a lot of problems with "swings" in his breathing. Swings occur when his oxygen saturation rate dips below 90% or his heart rate falls below 100 beats per minute. 99% of the time he corrects himself. However, after a particularly rough run last night, the nurse decided to put him back on oxygen assistance. There was a noticeable improvement in his breathing and colour this morning. It's important for us to remember that, despite all of the great progress made thus far, Aaron is still only 34 weeks gestational age and didn't get the benefit of steroid injection in-utero that Aidan received. So, please keep on praying. Only God has kept us going so far and only God can continue the work. My confidence that Aaron will do fine is far too fragile when left in the hands of human doctors and nurses. Knowing God is in control and that His will will be done gives me unshakeable confidence and peace.

Now, onto the trivial stuff:

From Canoe:

Ontario moves to ban pit bulls. And it's about time, says I. I have read a number of stories in the past about people who have "docile" pit bulls. Then I read even more about these psychotic dogs suddenly turning and attacking whoever is in their way. Personally, I think these are the ugliest creatures and I can honestly say that I am genuinely afraid of them. We don't have any in our neighborhood but, if we did, I would be making sure that my family gave the house a wide berth and, if I ever saw it off its leash, I would be on the phone to Animal Control so fast. It's always a shame when legislation this extreme is needed, but, in order to deal with the growing problem (and believe me, every time a person is attacked by one these things, the hue and cry will grow louder), it's best to simply outlaw the breed, giving Animal Control and the police full power over the situation. Unfortunately, I see a court battle brewing over this. I kind of think this could play out like Gun Control, as people make claims that their dog isn't causing a problem for others and it is in the house to protect the family, which they have a right to do. Could be very interesting.

From CNN-SI:

Yankees embarrass Red Sox. 19-8? In game 3 of the ALCS? A game the Red Sox NEEDED to win? This was interesting for three innings, as evidenced by the box score below:

BOX SCORE 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
New York Yankees (3-0) 3 0 3 5 2 0 4 0 2 19 22 1
Boston Red Sox (0-3) 0 4 2 0 0 0 2 0 0 8 15 0

6-6 after 3. Arroyo and Brown both sucked, bring on the bullpens. Torre hands the ball to Javier Vazquez, who he has no intention of using as a starter in this series. Vazquez gets tagged for the 2 runs in the 3rd but the shuts down the Sox until the 7th, when Varitek got him for a 2-run bomb in garbage time. Meanwhile, Terry Francona pulls a world-class brainfart in the 4th and gives the ball to Tim Wakefield for 3 1/3 innings. At that point, the Yankees were already in double digits and things were getting ridiculous. Wakefield was tagged for one run in the 4th, the 2 runs in the 6th and the first 2 runs in the 7th. So, in what was already looking like a lost cause, Francona flushed his likely 4th game starter and left himself with VERY limited options for Game 5, should it happen.

See, Francona does not have Curt Schilling because of a bad ankle and, at best, he might be available for Game 7. Under normal circumstances, Schilling would have started Game 5 on normal rest, Game 4 on short rest. Without him, Francona has to start Derek Lowe (his worst starter this season) today in the do-or-die Game 4. Then, he has to bring Pedro on Monday in Game 5. Pedro's start will be on normal rest (4 days). Thanks to the rainout, Game 6 is on Thursday, meaning either Arroyo again (on 3 days rest) or Wakefield (assuming he doesn't wind up coming out of the pen again). The Yankees have much easier decisions (Hernandez today, Mussina tomorrow on normal rest, Lieber on normal rest in Game 6 and Brown in game 7), plus they now have a 3-0 lead over a demoralized Red Sox team. I like the Yankees' chances of wrapping things up today.

The Houston-St.Louis series is shaping up to be all that and a bag of chips. Good win by the Astros yesterday to close the gap to 2-1. This one should go at least 6 and possibly 7. It's so far much more compelling than the ALCS.

Again, from CANOE:

U.S. citizens doing cross-border shopping for flu shots.

As I stated in my Health Care Post last week, this is EXACTLY the kind of thing I would be concerned about. Apparently, there is a shortage of flu vaccine in the U.S. As a result (quoted from the CANOE article):

There have been reports already of Americans turning to Canada in search of flu shots. Worried seniors from northern Maine have called to book times at a flu shot clinic in St. Stephen, N.B., later this month.

Every shot that one of these seniors comes up here and buys is one less that is available for a Canadian taxpayer, who paid to have these shots created. I find it hard to believe that there is actually a clinic in Canada designed to cash in on the flu vaccination. Of course, this being an election, trust John Kerry to make political hay out of this by saying:

(Kerry) soon returned to the attack, calling the shortage of flu vaccine another example of how the Bush administration deals with problems facing the nation.

"This story is a demonstration of this administration, how they deal with everything," Kerry said. "Because of the failure of judgment, failure to act, we have a shortfall of 48 million flu shots."

He claimed the administration received three warnings since 2001 that the vaccine system was vulnerable to shortages, but ignored them. His campaign is rolling out a new ad on the crisis.

Source: CNN

Um, it's called the Centers for Disease Control. I believe they are tasked with ensuring that there is sufficient vaccinations to go around. With all that President is responsible for, there's a little something called delegation. Also, I believe (someone correct me if I'm wrong) that the CDC is not run by political appointees, so if they screw it up, there's not a whole lot the Prez can do about it.

By the way, if you want a laugh, check out the CNN article documenting yesterday's stops on the campaign trail and check out the picture of Kerry with a shotgun. I'm sure all the Democrats supporting gun control will absolutely love him.

OK, that's enough. Have a good one and I'll provide more updates on Aaron as I get them. Enjoy this fall Sunday.

GO YANKEES GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, October 14, 2004


Something for the 24 fans......

A visit to Fox TV's 24 site reveals the following:

24 will return Sunday, January 9 with a 2-hour premiere and then move to its new timeslot beginning Monday, January 10. Sunday's ep will start at 8 (following the NFC wild card game). Monday eps will start at 9.

Also, according to earlier Fox press releases, there will be no skips in the schedule, meaning 24 will air over 22 consecutive weeks (including the first three hours in week 1).

Can't wait!


Politics, politics, politics

So, I visited Political Compass, which Jason Silver referred me to. After taking the quiz, I appear to be ever so slightly LEFT of centre. I am a bit more to the right of the Pope. Take it as you will.

During Thanksgiving dinner Monday, my brother-in-law Duane (a much wiser and thoughtful man than I am) and I got into a discussion of U.S. politics, much to the disappointment of my mother and wife. I have been really struggling of late to clarify my thinking around George Bush's platform and relished the opportunity to discuss these things with Duane, who puts a great deal of thought into these issues. You see, I don't normally pay a whole lot of attention to the U.S. elections, but since I finished school and have changed my weekly reading from Sports Illustrated and Entertainment Weekly to Business Week and Fortune, I am much more attuned to things political. I also now think that, based on the issues and how polarizing they have proven to be, this may be the most important Presidential election in many, many years.

After a great deal of thinking, I have come to the conclusion that George W. Bush may be one of the most proactive Presidents in recent history. Despite the fact that this is an election year, Bush has continued to lay the groundwork for his second term of office. The Bush administration is laying out the plans for the Ownership society, the next phase of the war on Terror and their social agenda and, I think I finally understand where he wants to go.

1. Complete the transition of Iraq to a freer-thinking, Democratic society. This may actually be the goal for Iran and North Korea as well. If Iraq can be transitioned to a society supporting free elections, freedom of religion, women's rights, etc. then the U.S. will be able to prove to the international community that they were right about effecting regime change. This will give them some very strong diplomacy cards to use in attempting to bring Iran and North Korea to heel, particularly in regards to their nuclear programs. I also think that an Iraq who is more a part of the larger global community will help the U.S. reduce its dependency on Saudi Arabia for oil. This tends to get me thinking that the U.S., which is concerned about the fact that Saudi Arabia is a primo terrorist breeding ground, will also try to lever the Saudis into reducing their support of terror groups. The Saudi royal family will have significantly less power at the table, since there will be less U.S. dependence on their main export, their vast oil supplies. A second Bush term will allow for the activities in Iraq to be brought to a controlled end, with a properly planned extraction of U.S. troops and a smoother transition to U.N. peacekeepers and non-U.S. contractors.

2. Introduce fully the concept of the Ownership Society. In order to reduce the presence of Government in areas such as health care, education and retirement pensions, Bush wants to introduce tax-sheltered savings and investment programs. The average worker will be able to shunt pre-tax earnings into these accounts and use them for the accounts' specific purposes. For the younger generation (I still include myself in that group), this is a great idea. They will have the opportunity to create their own "stores of wealth" to be used for specific purposes while reducing their reliance on the government to provide certain basic societal needs. This will allow the government to focus their funding on more under-privileged parts of society, for whom the Ownership concept is less feasible. Also, the accounts can be used as collateral for mortgages, allowing more and more people to buy homes.

3. Push forward Bush's social agenda. This is one of the least-talked about aspects of this election but, in my mind, could be the most important long-term. According to an article from Business Week:

The acrimony will only intensify when the next Supreme Court justice retires. Although the issue has received little attention so far in this year's Presidential campaign, the winner could be in a position to fill as many as four seats. That puts some of the most explosive policy issues in contemporary America up for grabs in this year's election. If the conservative wing of the court, led by Justices William H. Rehnquist, Antonin Scalia, and Clarence Thomas, gains one vote, it's entirely plausible that affirmative action could be outlawed, states could further limit the availability of abortion, and the new McCain-Feingold campaign-finance restrictions could be overturned. On the other hand, if a new liberal justice joins Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen G. Breyer, it would probably become harder to impose the death penalty, and some environmental regulation could be strengthened.

(Apologies for not providing a direct link to the whole article. It's only available in the Subscriber's section of the website.)

This, to my thinking, is a HUGE issue. Especially considering the highly charged social issues (gay marriage, partial-birth abortion, stem-cell research, etc.) that the next Administration will have to deal with. While Bush is seeking a Constitutional amendment on gay marriage, he may also be able to (with the selection of a few new conservative judges), reopen Roe v. Wade and put tighter controls on abortion. He would also be able to seek greater control over the courts, who he feels are drifting much too far into areas of social legislation that Bush feels would be better left to the federal and state governments.

Now, there are a number of things that will impact his plans, including (but not limited to):

Baby boomers who were encouraged to consume, not save, believing that their companies and their government would be there to cover for them in retirement. Medicare/Medicaid and pensions will have to be funded/fixed in the next 4 years so that everything is ready for when the largest share of the boomers hit retirement between 2006-2010. This will NOT be cheap.

Not only introducing a freer Iraq, but one that raises the standard of living for ALL. One of the deepest recruitment pools for terrorists is poor, uneducated young men who swallow the terrorist credo that, with this gun, you can glorify Allah and gain all that the great Satan (U.S./Israel) is keeping you from having. It is crucial that infrastructure development happen that will lead to jobs for all who wish them. And the companies seeking to put a shingle out in Iraq MUST be carefully vetted to ensure they are not simply fronts diverting resources to terror groups. This will likely extend the Iraq timeline and require greater statesmanship from Bush, since he will need assistance from other countries and the U.N. to accomplish this. He has already started this.

Other areas, such as homeland security, offshoring, maintaining economic stability at home and who knows what all else, will also have an impact on the next 4 years. But at least Bush has a plan in place. He seems to have a clear idea of where the U.S. needs to go in the immediate and longer-term future. All I've heard from Kerry is a desire to unwind all of this and increase the presence of government in all areas from trade to medical services to education and beyond. All this while giving the people the "freedom to be who they are born to be and to do what they want".

In summary, this is an important election. It's not a time for voters to opt for "change for change's sake". It may sound like hyperbole, but I think that this election will set U.S. policy for the next decade and the social agenda for possibly longer. I will be riveted to the TV on November 2.

As is the case lately, long rant. If you stayed to the end, thanks.

Monday, October 11, 2004


Sad Day in Hollywood

Christopher Reeve, star of the Superman films, died Sunday at age 52. He will be remembered by me not for his movies (of which I liked many), but for his courage in continuing to be effective in film and politics despite a crippling spinal cord injury. Here is his obituary.


Health Care

So I'm on the GO Train home on Friday. After a 5-minute delay leaving Union Station, we are stopped for 15 minutes outside Burlington. During the stop, we are informed by the conductor that a freight train is in front of us and a VIA train is on the other track heading in the opposite direction. As a result, the GO passengers (as usual) had to wait for the VIA train to pass before we could get moving. This is always the case, I've noticed. When GO and VIA have to decide who goes first, VIA always wins. This despite the fact that VIA is less travelled. You see, people pay more for VIA and, as such, receive preferential treatment.

Made me think of health care. I will warn you that there is a strong likelihood that I will update this post over time.

Today's Canadian system, screwed up though it may be, promises "equal access" to basic health care for everyone. Basically, if you need a doctor, as long as you've got a health card, you get a doctor. Specialized services (dentistry, glasses, prescription drugs, etc.) are excluded and must be paid out-of-pocket. Many companies' benefit packages help offset this cost.

There are problems (long waits, over/undercrowding, underpaid doctors and nurses fleeing to the U.S. and elsewhere) but the system does work in emergency situations. It is not that often you hear of a person with a life-threatening illness/injury being denied access to the care they need.

There is a growing faction within the country that feels this system is broken and we should create a second tier of services whereby those who wish to pay for services can do so. This will allow them to avoid long wait times, get better quality services and so on. This is simply free-market logic at work. Some of the offshoot changes will likely include:

Insurance companies will create a new category of service for these folks which will allow them coverage (minus a deductible) for these "preferred" services. These services will, of course, come with higher premiums.

Hospitals will privatize and bill for every pill, apparatus and procedure used. They will also start charging doctors for their office space, which doctors will be able to recoup through being able to charge for services rendered.

Doctors will be able to "opt out" of public service and start charging the moment you book an appointment (like dentists today).

This whole argument is like my GO train story earlier. The vast majority of commuters today use GO because it does the job, despite the occasional delay. GO trains also are not very comfortable, but commuters adapt. GO is also considerably cheaper than VIA. However, because VIA commuters pay extra, they receive a number of perks (rapid express service, snack/beverage carts, preference over other rail traffic). This in spite of the fact that the masses prefer the cheaper GO system. Yes, we're occasionally late arriving and we're not travelling in high style, but we learn to live with it.

If the Pandora's box of national privatized health care is opened, it won't stop with specific services. I suspect that the wealthy, insurance companies and doctors (to name a few interested parties) will want to see private cancer clinics, private children's hospitals, private GP's, pretty much everything. The government may try to keep a lid on things, limiting the services that can be privatized while keeping a second, publicly-available tier for those who cannot afford specialized services. However, I suspect that the challenges to the legislation will hit the courts/ lobbying circles fast and furious.

Once it starts, the bigger problem will be who works in each circle. The private sector will draw many of "the best and brightest" who, right or wrong, will seek to cash in on their exceptional skills. Free Market, caveat emptor. The public sector will be populated with overworked, underpaid, less-capable medical professionals. In short, it will be a 20-20 situation: The most-qualified 20% of physicians will be serving the 20% of the country willing to pay for services, while the remaining 80% of the population will be served by the lower 80% of physicians. That's a kinda "doomsday" scenario, but it could happen.

I think of this from the perspective of my kids. Had I been faced with the prospect of choosing whether or not I would send my preemies to a top-tier facility (which I would pay for) or a second-tier facility (paid for by the government), I would have felt that I had no choice. I would want the best care for my kids and would have paid likely upwards of $20,000 per child to have them cared for at the tier 1 level. Thankfully, I didn't have to make that choice. Just as thankfully, I have been blessed with the financial wherewithal to afford the choice. But many haven't. And if anyone thinks that such critical services as children's health would NEVER go two-tier, they're dreaming.

We may have a GO transit-style system of health care in Canada. There may be waits, overcrowding, stress and the occasional mistake. But they (much more often than not) get it right and everyone, regardless of social status, gets a fair chance at the best treatment this country can offer. As a Christian, I believe that those with less than me should not be considered lesser people for it. It would be nice if I could change Christian to person, but sadly, some folks (Christians included) believe that they should be allowed to move to the front of the line just by waving some cash around.

This is a kind of unstructured rant, but I intend to go back to it and tweak it as I read it and get feedback from others. Thanks for staying with it to the end.


Weird coincidence

Headlines atop Friday's Globe and Mail and Toronto Star (Austin's personal favorite newspaper (HA!)):

"Back from the Brink"

The Star actually changed the headline for their online version. Check the print versions out, though. They're exactly the same.

Go see for yourself. I don't ever recall two newspapers printing the same headline for the same story.

Thursday, October 07, 2004



We have had an awesome week. Well, other than the fact I've been sick since Monday and haven't been able to visit my little peanut in the hospital since then.

Aaron is doing so well. He's up to 4lbs. 5oz. as of last night and is off all of his tubes and IV's. He continues to be on a heart/O2 monitor, but they take him off it whenever he's out for a cuddle. Best of all, he's NURSING. The nurses let Christine try Aaron on breast on Monday and he took 4 cc's. As of yesterday, he's up to 15 cc's before tiring. Things are looking real good for an end-of-October trip home.

We had a great family visit last Sunday as we brought Aidan to the NICU to see his little brother. He was so cool, wanting to hold Aaron and giving him a kiss on his head. We got some great family pictures, which I'll try to remember to upload this week and put up on the blog for a couple of days.

We have also been blessed with a great network of support. My boss has approved my working from home two days a week until Aaron comes home, we received wonderful cards and gifts from both Christine's and my workplaces. We've also received a number of cards and gifts as well as some choice meals from our families, our Church family and our friends. Even better, the meals usually wind up taking two days to eat. Good friends of ours, Bruce and Lynn Thomas, brought us a terrific dinner of stew and crusty rolls with a great dessert called an Apple Nest (flaky pastry around a centre of sliced apples covered in applesauce, then drizzled with thick caramel and covered in icing sugar. DROOL!).

As was the case with Aidan, we have felt so comforted by God's hand, as He has surrounded us with so many people providing for our physical needs and so many more praying for and encouraging us. I was astonished to think that there are 5 churches praying for our little family (Philpott, West Highland, FRWY, Grace in Oakville, Park/Brant in Burlington) as well as small groups. How can we worry when so many are supporting us and when God is right there with us all the way?

Please keep praying for us. If you want a specific list of prayer needs, here's a few:

** My health and that Christine would not catch the bug I have and Aidan seems to be starting.
** Aaron has a number of things that still have to be monitored, including:
***** Some swelling around one of his kidneys that may require a procedure when he's a few months older. We will have to see a pediatric nephrologist.
***** A small hole in his heart that is very common in preemies and usually heals itself. Another echocardiogram will be taken before discharge to check on this.
***** Some "gaps" in the plates of his skull that were identified on a head ultrasound. These have to knit together properly to ensure proper brain growth. Again, this is apparently common in preemies and should correct itself, but another ultrasound will be needed.
** Strength and energy for Christine and I to make it through each day.
** That Aidan will adjust well to life as a big brother.

There you go. Thanks for all the encouragement and prayers. Please keep it coming.

Brian, Christine, Aidan and Aaron.

Friday, October 01, 2004


Fun sites to visit

Jason Silver pointed me to a great site called MoronMouth. This site may not be everyone's cup of latte but, since I work for a bank, I see the hilarity in these conversations.

I also encourage folks to visit 40 Days. This is a site created by Jason through which the folks at Philpott are sharing their experiences as we move together through the 40 Days of Purpose. Unfortunately for Christine and I, we are unable to dive deep into this thanks to the blessing of Aaron's early arrival, but the experience thus far seems very positive for the church as a whole.