Weekend!

My co-worker/team lead and his wife welcomed a child into the world yesterday. (The phrasing of this is always fraught. “My co-worker had a baby” has a handful of problems, “my co-worker and his wife had a baby” compounds the problems in the guise of trying to help.)

His team showed up at the hospital at lunch to visit prior to the arrival and we brought him a sandwich and her an Orange Julius and we wished everybody well and got back to work and we texted back and forth until he texted us that the labor had really begun in earnest and, an hour later, we got the text that the baby had arrived and was pretty indignant about it.

That night, I picked Maribou up from work and we drove to the hospital and saw the baby. The baby had ceased to be indignant, by this point. The baby was in full “I’ve kinda had a rough couple of hours so I think I’ll nap” mode. It was a little bigger than a football and something very strange happened when I looked at it. The front of my brain was saying “oh, it’s a tiny human!” and the back of my brain was saying “Okay. If something goes down, this is the thing that you need to die defending.”

In the front of my brain, it was 2018. In the back of my brain, it was 30,000 BC.

In preparation for this auspicious day, we thought that we needed a couple of stuffed animals. The main rule we had for the baby was that we knew that babies don’t start seeing colors until about 3 months old (or so Bausch and Lomb tells us) so we said that we had to get a black and white stuffed animal. If you want a black and white stuffed animal, there are only but so many to choose from. There is the skunk. There is the penguin. There is the badger. There is the Holstein cow.

We went with the cow. We figured that this would have the added bonus of providing entertainment for people visiting the baby. Pick up the small stuffed animal. Shove into baby’s face. Say “MOOOOOOOOOOOOOO”.

But the new arrival also has a big sister, so we figured that we should get an appropriate gift for her as well. We found a yard-long Holstein cow. This way, we figured, the big sister could be told “Hey, this cow is a big sister to the baby cow!” and moral lessons could be imparted like that and when some guest grabs the little cow and shoves it into the baby’s face and yells some animal noises, the dad could pick up the big sister cow and shove it into the guest’s face and yell “HOW DO YOU LIKE IT? MOOOOO! MOOOOOO! MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!”

We told the happy parents that we were going to be running errands this weekend so if they needed us to pick up some pop or pizza or stuff from Costco for them while we were out and about to let us know because, I imagine, they’ve had one heck of a week.

So… what’s on your docket?

(Image is “Play” by Clare Briggs. Used with permission of the Briggs estate.)


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Jaybird is Birdmojo on Xbox Live and Jaybirdmojo on Playstation's network. He's been playing consoles since the Atari 2600 and it was Zork that taught him how to touch-type. If you've got a song for Wednesday, a commercial for Saturday, a recommendation for Tuesday, an essay for Monday, or, heck, just a handful a questions, fire off an email to AskJaybird-at-gmail.com

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29 thoughts on “Weekend!

  1. I’m starting a six-week mental health leave at 5 pm today.

    Really struggling with feeling like my worth is not merely instrumental, and thus will not disappear if I’m not actively helping people every day. (This is not the fault of my people now, but more the fault of being raised under that expectation and living it out in my relationships with my parents for most of my life. I’m sure both of my parents, even my awful dad, would object to that characterization, but their day-in day-out behavior spoke a lot louder than their occasional claims to the contrary.)

    Sorry, that was dark.

    Um. We have gaming on Saturday. I’m going to call my sister tonight. I think we’ll be doing a number of the-madness-of-the-school-year-is-over-and-we-should-take-care-of-this type of chores.

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    • If you don’t mind me asking, and if you know, where do you fall on the Myers-Briggs? I’m curious because it has been a recent obsession of mine and I have been reading a lot about how the different types interact with each other and comparing that to my own world.

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      • Oh, I don’t mind at all. We actually talk about it on the site pretty often though it’s been a while (Most of the folks on the site are usually INTJ’s with a substantial showing of INTP’s, the rest of us are underrepresented :D).

        I’m XNFP (exact split extrovert/introvert) and have been at least half a dozen times through the use of several different instruments / question sets over the years, including a full official one, semi-professional 40 question variants, “pick five animals and we’ll tell you your Myers Briggs type”.dumb little quizzes, etc. (I also, every time, run high N, high P, F only a noodge or so more than T.) I find that between the INFP and ENFP descriptors, I’m pretty well captured, at least me-as-I-usually-am-when-introverted and me-as-I-usually-am-when-extroverted are. I’m pretty much the archetype of my score, as far as I can tell. And identifiable as such by close friends without priming, too.

        The only time it came out differently was when I did one right after leaving my previous (highly stressful) job when I came out ESFJ, was surprised, thought about it, and then realized I was thinking about my work persona at the old job b/c I was taking said test at work (at the new job) as part of a retreat. Took it again right away (yeah yeah, that’s not how you’re supposed to…) thinking only about non-work situations, came out I-to-the-max-NTP, and said to myself “huh, I think maybe at this new job I can be more myself…” and set about letting the leash off my work self accordingly (to good results). Took a test again a few years later, was right back to the usual X(strong)N(mild)F(strong)P again. :)

        If you don’t mind sharing I’d be curious to hear both about your type and some of what you’ve been thinking about the interactions as they reflect on your own world.

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        • That is very interesting to hear. I’m most fascinated by the folks that really fit their descriptions. Do you feel like your type factors into some of the issues you are experiencing? My wife is an ISFJ and I’ve started to realize how that affects her parenting choices especially.

          I am an ENTJ by most tests, though recently I re-tested as an ESTJ (very similar but the latter has less leadership tendencies). You’ll know from the way I have handled OT discussions behind the scene, my type is pretty over-bearing but I think the ESTJ might be more accurate because it’s not really that I want to be the CEO, but I just want to control things because I crave order and structure.

          My wife’s type is considered a ‘challenging opposite’ for mine and the older we get, the more it seems to come out. I’ve been so curious lately because I am always trying to proactively stay ahead of potential marital issues because um, I really like being married to her. I also think understanding my type helps me develop better as a professional.

          We have one daughter who is also challenging, without getting into too much, and my wife’s type as The Defender and my MIL type as The Consul might possibly be the worst types for creating the boundaries my daughter needs. So I’m trying to figure out how to nudge my wife in that direction without doing my normal problem-solving routine. She also has a social science background, so she understands this stuff pretty well, but her type takes a LONG time to make decisions, which is not always possible when dealing with a challenging 20-year-old.

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          • “Do you feel like your type factors into some of the issues you are experiencing?”

            Given that most of my issues stem from my first 14 years of life, no not really. I do think my type was affected by my birth order within a severely dysfunctional family, and largely (especially the F and P parts) formed very clearly as an opposing reaction to my childhood abuse…. so more in that direction than the other, if that makes sense? I suspect that in a more normal family I would’ve come out pretty firmly XNTP, but people are (luckily) flexible, especially as kids, and my sibs needed an advocate and a caregiver… whereas I needed to be able to dream to cope. I guess in that sense it does feed in, insofar as I can see that the copy mechanisms I developed as personality traits in order to survive (literally at times, survive) are not necessarily best adapted to the kind of life I want now? I’d like to maybe feel like I have more voluntary range w/in all of those traits… OR to just get over it and accept myself more the way I am already :D. Given that I don’t have children it makes my life a bit easier … I’m not worried so much about impacts on others as I would be as a parent.

            Jay’s an INTP so when I’m doing well we get along really really well and easily … when I’m literally in crisis (which I’m not most of the time), or if I feel backed up against a wall or controlled, I get, if anything, more S and more F myself – so against my usual more laidback and equally fuzzy-minded type – which can cause some clashes for us. (oversimplifying a bit obviously)

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            • I think it’s an interesting point that obviously the test is based on self-perception. For a long time i was an ENTJ when I took the test but I have shifted towards ESTJ as i have mellowed out a tiny bit. Basically, ENTJs are often managers, leaders, etc. That’s not really an interest of mine, but I often feel compelled to take the lead because of my need for structure and organization. I use leadership to impose those things and as soon as I feel the ship back on course, I move back to a support role.

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  2. We have a new-ish puppy that will be 4-months old next week. Because I’m an elitist snob, and I wanted another hunting dog to fill the void left by my dear labroador’s departure in January, we settled on a full-bred Brittany. Our lab was also full-bred but not from an ‘official’ kennel so we had carte blanche on the naming. He was from the B litter (i.e. the 2nd litter with this pair) and so we wanted to use a B word. We also wanted to reference my Irish roots and his given name of Murphy. And finally, my wife referred to him as ‘the king’ because he was the center of our household for the first few months. So we settled on Blessed High King Murphy which was intentionally a bit tongue-in-cheek and suited him well.

    The new pup is from a much more serious kennel with numerous breeding pairs and long pedigrees. We were politely ‘asked’ to include the kennel name in the pedigree which we were happy to do because the owner was a lovely person and it seemed like a reasonable concession. At the same time (and here’s the tie-in to your OP) we wanted to also honor our pitbull mix, since she has really done the heavy-lifting on dealing with the little guy’s puppy exuberance. She also doesn’t qualify for an AKC registration, but she is a princess in our minds. So, after much consideration we came up with a way to satisfy all obligations. Boomer’s pedigree papers will read QuarterCircleDs Josie’s Boomer Boy.

    *whew*

    Movies this weekend (Avengers, Solo, Deadpool) and a trip to the track to celebrate my mother’s 70th birthday with the entire family. We also bought an electric (lithium battery) lawn mower and I am anxious to take it for its maiden voyage.

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    • Boomer is a fine name for a dog, as is Josie.

      All the dog breeders I’ve ever known have been upstanding folks, lovely as you say, who are dedicated to making healthy, happy, solid temperament, (and in the case of working dogs) highly talented pups who will go to loving homes that will help the dogs reach their dogly potential in whatever ways. I know there are a lot of cruddy elitist aesthetically-obsessed (as opposed to aesthetically-motivated which is fine) or purely financially-motivated breeders out there, but have never personally met any – they tend to have loud enough tells that they’re easy enough to avoid.

      Congrats on the new(ish) addition.

      How long has Josie been part of the family?

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      • Josie has been with us for almost 6 years. Honestly, if it wasn’t for the hunting thing, I’d never get a pure-bred again. We’ve been so happy with our little rescue pup and from a health perspective, they are much more hardy in general. But when you like to hunt with dogs, and you see what careful breeding produces in the field, you suddenly find yourself writing painfully large checks and traveling long distances to get the right dog.

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        • I can imagine – both the swearing off for pets and the knowing how much goes into a hunting dog. (As you know all our cats have been rescues – though with cats you run into ex-feral and every year on the streets is a year off their kidney’s working… our ex-feral kitten is amazingly hardy though, once I got him through that rough first year of life he’s been glowing with health ever since). Think my perspective is a bit skewed on breeders, tbh, the ones I know all do stuff like “get a PhD in genetics” and “start a prison training program to help rescues be disability helper dogs”… or they breed hunters that are also family pets, and excel at both … so you can imagine health and temperament are a big piece of their focus.

          Pit mixes are, for my money, the loveliest dogs I know (odds-wise at least) … have fallen in love with about half-a-dozen of them who just don’t happen to live at our house, but at a loved one’s house (one of whom I told the other day “every great dog has someone who loves them best – your someone, me, just doesn’t live in your house” – to hilarity and agreement from her owner) … but any rescue can be a gem, for sure.

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          • I agree on the breeder thing. My experience has been positive both times. Our lab came from a couple that just really loved their male and female labs and let them have a few litters together before getting them fixed. They were pets first and hunters second, and while Murphy turned out to be a decent hunter, he was a joy at home. Absolutely the best family dog you could ask for.

            Boomer was bred as a hunter first, so I will probably actually have to work harder to make him a good member of the family. I do a lot of bonding activities with him like just walking around the backyard and encouraging him to play follow-the-leader with me and then stopping periodically to get down on his level and show him things and talking to him in a friendly but excited way. I basically want him to think, “Dad is the guy that takes me on cool adventures.” I am also a big believer in sleeping with dogs when possible. We enforce a no-dogs-in-the-bed rule at night, but welcome them with us for naps and in the morning on the weekends when we are lounging around. We also always let them in the bed with us during reading time in the evenings. They get sleepy and snuggle up to us. There’s a lot of science that shows sleeping together is how dogs bond so I want to encourage that.

            I was certainly nervous about keeping a pit mix due to bad propaganda when we got Josie but she has been a great ambassador for her breed. Boomer has fallen in love with a beautiful gray pitbull in his puppy class and we couldn’t be happier.

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          • I’ll second the beauty of pit mixes. My beloved pit/basset rescue that we lost a few months ago was the joy of the family and very good/protective with the kids. Short, stocky, and solid muscle he was quite the handsome boy. The three Pyrenees/shepherd pups we are working up are promising but very different personality wise. They are from the same litter purposefully breed by friends of ours and will no doubt keep us busy.

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      • I have been researching battery-powered models for a couple of years, sort of waiting for the technology to improve a bit. I finally felt like it was good enough to make the jump. After doing a ton of comparisons on models, we chose the Kobalt 80V. It seems to be the highest powered model on the market and the reviews were very good. I like that it has a traditional metal body for durability and it will increase blade speed on its own if you hit thicker stuff. I took it for a quick test run last night and it was comfortable to use. Real test will be our backyard this weekend. The constant dog-fertilizing makes it a thick carpet.

        I recently read a statistic that due to emissions controls on cars and none on small engines, mowing your lawn for 1 hour is the equivalent of driving 250 miles. That absolutely floored me. I don’t plan to go back. I also have a Black & Decker battery powered weed eater that I love. Very light, does everything I need it to do and my wife even likes it. Bonus is that the batteries swap with my drill so I have extras for big projects.

        In general, battery powered tools have come a long way. All the major companies have extensive lines and companies like Hitachi, Milwaukee and DeWalt have really embraced the technology. I follow a guy on Instagram that runs a post-frame business and they almost exclusively use battery-powered tools.

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        • Cool, thanks
          All m cordless tools are Milwaukee, mostly from my days as a field tech, so I tend to stick with one brand. I was getting to the point of wiring up my own with 4 18v batteries in parallel, but this should take care of it.

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  3. ESPERECO SKRIBONTA KOMENTOJ TIE, TROVANTA KIEL JXAJBIRDO FORIGAS TION EL LA LOKA CXAR “Oh my god, it’s him again, and I don’t have time to explain him to my bridge buddies and my universalist congregation members.”

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  4. Metro Denver is suddenly in full-on summer — record high on Thursday, tied the record yesterday, fell a couple degrees short of the record today (which would have been a record high for the month of May as well). The sprinkler system is not ready for full-on summer.

    Okay, have to admit that Denver is still in the mode of setting new records, both high and low, because of moving the official weather station from Stapleton out to DIA. Even that much farther out from the foothills changes the weather extremes by a couple of degrees.

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