Archive for January, 2006

Rich in Spirit

Monday, January 30th, 2006

According to the genius who devised the calculator below, the economic value of this blog is $0.00. I’m not in this for the equity, so my feelings aren’t hurt. Of course, if this monkey ever gives me a negative assessment, I would have to take off my gloves and set him straight.

Someone else I know has a blog that’s work over $16,000, though. (Yes, you, B). A blog that I visit from time to time about HIPAA health privacy law goes for over $11,000 on the theoretical blog market, while a certain employee benefits law blog, of all subjects, would set you back over 34 Gs. To the C. family in OR, I’m afraid you’re right with me at the $0.00 level.

I think that blogs are valued by the number of links to other sites and the level of traffic, but I’m not sure. I really don’t have the faintest idea.

I don’t think my blog is ever going to be a high net worth site. But I’m going to keep this little box in the margin on the side so that I can be amused in case the blog valuation powers that be ever grace me with an appraisal above nil.

My blog is worth $0.00.
How much is your blog worth?

New Things

Monday, January 30th, 2006

Proving the age old adage that Absence Makes The Baby Roll Over, Emma rolled over for the first time on her first ever overnight at Grandma and Grandpa’s house last week. She’s doing a lovely job of sitting up, as a matter of fact, too. Come to think of it, it’s been quite a week all around. She also ate squash and peas for the first time, and seemed to enjoy the latter over the former.


Friday, January 27th, 2006

Morning treat 1

Originally uploaded by celestialpilgrim.


A word adults use to cover up the fact that they like to eat cupcakes on the way to work.

Just A Statistic

Wednesday, January 25th, 2006

OK, I admit it. I’m a sucker for pop-astrology, and more than willing to believe that much of the behavior of anyone I know is driven primarily by his or her particular sun-sign. That little bit of (arguable) irrationality aside, I like to think of myself as an independent spirit, and certainly not as a predictable type, or as one governed by mean trends.

But all that’s been blown to “H-E-double toothpicks,” as we say in Wisconsin, after yesterday.

Yesterday was January 24, 2006. And do you know what they say about January 24ths, in general? I didn’t, until last night, when I caught a report of a study (click here) that claims that on January 24ths, people are the most depressed than on any other day of the year.

And how did the scientist conducting the study figure this out? By using a very precise formula, of course. Here’s a quote:

Dr. Cliff Arnall’s calculations show that misery peaks on Monday. Arnall, who specializes in seasonal disorders at the University of Cardiff, Wales, created a formula that takes into account numerous feelings to devise peoples’ lowest point.

The model is: [W + (D-d)] x TQ/M x NA

The equation is broken down into seven variables: (W) weather, (D) debt, (d) monthly salary, (T) time since Christmas, (Q) time since failed quit attempt, (M) low motivational levels and (NA) the need to take action.

Hmmmmmm. So – ya’ got that everyone? It’s a simple matter of computing the Weather plus the sum of Debt minus monthly pay multiplied by the product of time since Christmas [does this work if you’re Jewish?] and time since failed attempt to quit [does it matter what?], divided by the product of low motivational levels and the need to take action.

Of Course! And here I thought everyone at work was acting sluggish just because we’ve hardly had any sunlight and everyone has S.A.D.

But, OK, now I see – mood can instead be predicted, apparently, by a nuanced calculation of the above-listed factors that causes, as the scientist puts it, ‘reality’ to kick in:

while days technically get longer after Dec. 21, cyclonic weather systems take hold in January, bringing low, dark clouds . . . . Meanwhile, the majority of people break their healthy resolutions six to seven days into the new year, and even the hangers-on have fallen off the wagon, torn off the nicotine patches and eaten the fridge empty by the third week. Any residual dregs of holiday cheer and family fun have kicked the bucket by Jan. 24.‚ÄúFollowing the initial thrill of New Year’s celebrations and changing over a new leaf, reality starts to sink in,‚Äù Arnall said. ‚ÄúThe realization coincides with the dark clouds rolling in and the obligation to pay off Christmas credit card bills.

That’s all well and good. But look at what the article goes on to say next:

The formula was devised to help a travel company “analyze when people book holidays and holiday trends,” said Alex Kennedy, spokesperson for Porter Novelli, a London-based PR agency. It seems that people are most likely to buy a ticket to paradise when they feel like hell. (Emphasis mine).

Well, I’ll be damned.

Do you know what I did yesterday – before I heard about this study, mind you – I bought two tickets to paradise. Or, to be more precise, to a week-long vacation on an Alaskan cruise for later this year. It’s something we’ve been wanting to do for over a year, and I just finally booked it yesterday. It’s not that we should really be spending money this way now, suddenly, as opposed to any earlier time. It’s just that I really want to go. And that I really wanted to book it yesterday.

So I give up. My actions are all predictable and governed by the laws of a universe of barely tangible equations. I’m a lemming, an unknowing conformist, a plaything of the gods. I might as well just give up on the concept of free will, and – what the heck – on moral responsibility while I’m at it.

But at least I’m going to enjoy me some glaciers. There’s nothing you can do to stop that, Dr. Arnell. And I’m going to sign up for the whale watching trip that “guarantees” some whale sightings, too.

So there!

Mary Poppins was right!

Wednesday, January 25th, 2006

And so is my mother-in-law… Many thanks to my ‘mommy tipster’ who recommended squirting the medicing in via a plastic syringe so that the baby would swallow it before she knew what had happened. I’m still a novice, though, and Emma clamps down her gums and jaw when she sees that thing coming. Maybe someday I’ll be ready for such advanced techniques. But that’s the big leagues, and we’re still in the minors. In the meantime, though, I’m happy to report, we’ve found a way to hit a home run.

My mother-in-law is a nurse practitioner, and she also babysits Emma sometimes during the week. Since Emma’s had her cold, she’s been getting thorough physical exams from Grandma on those days. When I got the report a few days ago that Emma’s eardrum still appeared bright red, despite her being on antibiotics for a couple of days, I mentioned that I was having a hard time getting the medicine into her.

And then she suggested it: Applesauce.

So simple. So elegant. Why didn’t I think of it? Turns out – that the extra amount of sweetness in just a tiny amount of applesauce is enough to sneak that funny tasting stuff past the normally active gatekeeper that is my baby’s mouth. Just a spoonful of unsweetened fruit mush really does help the medicine to go down!

And so, morning and night, we’ve been eating little servings of pink, unusual smelling applesauce at my house.

And Grandma tells me today that the redness of the eardrum is “resolving.” We’re officially on the mend!!!

New Post Coming Soon . . .

Monday, January 23rd, 2006

Steroids in the Oatmeal

Saturday, January 21st, 2006

Well, who knew that it would come to this. This morning, I fed my daughter steroid-laden oatmeal! And she ate it! Now that Emma’s been prescribed some antibiotics (pink fluid) for her ear infection and a steroid (syrup), for five days, to help with breathing and for the bronchitis, Paul and I are finding ourselves challenged to get these various strange-tasing things into her body. We’ve found that we can get a few drops at a time of the pink stuff in, by mouth, if we’re patient. But she has no tolerance for the steroid fluid. So I disguised it in a little of her oatmeal cereal today, and it worked like magic! Now if it were only this easy to give pills to cats . . .

Diagnosis: Dang!

Friday, January 20th, 2006

Dang! Emma has had a lingering cold since just after the New Year. Finally, today (on her third trip to the Doctor this month), she was diagnosed with Bronchitis and an Ear Infection! So now she will take two kinds of medicine, and we’ll continue to use the nebulizer treatment on her three times day, which helps her to breathe. I know – three trips to the Dr. sounds like a lot, but this baby has not been feeling well…

Other parents in Wisconsin tell me that these Winter months are the ‘sick months’ and that I should just get used to it. Just seems like a bummer for a five month old to have bronchitis! Anyway, at least she’s getting treated for it now, which should help her feel better soon.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Wednesday, January 18th, 2006

OK – it’s been quite some time since I’ve done any writing that wasn’t intended to meet the various requirements of the Internal Revenue Code, ERISA (the Employee Retirement Income Security Act), or any of another of other codifications of federal law that govern employee benefits matters. SO, any readers out there are going to have to bear with me as I await the return of my muse (and as I slowly learn to get more high tech on my blogging capabilities. I’m hoping to figure out how to do hyperlinks, soon, but I’m not there yet – or maybe I am…) .

In the meantime, I can start with a humble offer of
a brief summary of some of our activities today. Paul
learned today that he recieved an “A” in his Federal
Income Tax class in law school. He earns a big
thumbs up from me AND from a generic woman I
found online for that! (I did not get an “A” in that class, and wish I’d paid more attention in that one back then, since I work with tax issues most of my days now).

He also went to the doctor today, and had to wear those funny eye shields for a while. He even met with a professor while wearning those, which he said was a little strange. I believe him.

When we got home, we put Emma in her highchair and fed her some Rice Cereal, which she got all over her face. I wanted to take a picture, but Paul assured me that this one from about a month ago, would suffice to document the concept. And I suppose it does.

Reviews of this blog so far….

Monday, January 16th, 2006