Archive for February, 2010|Monthly archive page

Decimation Diet

In Uncategorized on February 28, 2010 at 10:00 am

The Roman army once used a practice known as decimation to discipline units refusing to follow orders.  Cruel and effective, the technique involved killing one randomly chosen soldier in ten.  My wife challenged me to a mass reduction duel in early February.  The challenge?   Lose 10% by June 1.  As part of my battle to save the English language from its speakers, I would like to reclaim the word “decimation” by using it to mean a reduction by 1/10th rather than as a synonym for “obliterated”.  I would like to still exist at the end of this challenge, I would just like a little less of me.  It is now the last day of February, and I am happy to report that the decimation diet is working.

We are finding that when challenged to not eat so damn much we turn to smaller quantities of higher quality foods than what we would normally eat.  Instead of a box of macaroni and cheese, I might eat cottage cheese and an apple.  Rather than eating an entire frozen pizza in one sitting, I might eat three slices and a salad.  Instead of ordering a double quarter pounder super sized value meal, I might just duct tape a two pound dumbell to my spare tire, bypassing the entire digestive process.  Speaking of spare tires, mine is no longer a cushy Michelin Man but is now more like the skinny donut hidden in the floor of a late ’80s hatchback.

A side benefit of providing a better example to our children is in effect as well.  Our boy has been a moderately picky eater and we have often commented on how he does not like many fruits and vegetables, but I have noticed him taking more interest and trying nibbles when he catches me munching on a stalk of celery or contact juggling an orange.  I have to admit it is a little creepy to see an open bag of M&M’s slowly decay on the counter over the course of a week rather than be gobbled up as an afterthought, but perhaps the lingering candy is being decimated in solidarity with our mass reduction goals rather than being obliterated.


In Uncategorized on February 26, 2010 at 4:09 pm

Fragile In Time

In Uncategorized on February 10, 2010 at 2:13 pm

Have you ever joked about that “new baby smell”?  Well Julia still has it, and it turns out that the new baby smell is not only real, but useful.  It has been reported that the phenomenon is caused by pheromones excreted by infants, and that men are more attuned to them than women.  This mysterious mechanism is apparently designed to overcome the agressive and potentially dangerous urges of the male and allow the young to grow old and strong enough to someday borrow the car.  Now every time I hear a story about some jerk who hurts or kills a baby that will not stop crying I will wonder if the guy had a cold.  Perhaps Breathe-Right nasal strips ought to be prescribed to fathers of colicky babies.

Baby Julia is now practicing her smiles every day and loves it when I play guitar and sing for her.  She enjoys prolonged eye contact even more than her mother, loves to kick and coo during bathtime, and stares at her ceiling fan friend going ’round and ’round much as Baby Boots (Dylan) did just a few years ago.  At nearly three months of age, Julia retains her olive complexion, slate blue eyes, surprising shock of dark hair, and still has furry hair on the backs of her cute little ears.

One of my favorite things to do with baby is to give her a bath then put her in a cute new outfit.  Baby clothes are different than regular clothes, and not only in size. Snaps are to be found on the sides and backs of shirts as well as at the crotch of onesies, but that does not fully explain the difference either.  The fundamental difference is that baby clothes are fragile in time.

We were given an enormous bag of gently used clothes from my summer friend Duane as well as many outfits from neighbors, friends, and family. There is no way that Julia will wear each item before she outgrows them, at least in part because favorites emerge.  Most of the clothes will be given to my brothers who are both expecting baby girls shortly (we are in the midst of a Brandon baby boom). Other baby stuff will find its way to local thrift stores, but a few pieces will be put away as keepsakes and saved for the far off possibility of grandchildren.