At exactly 7:56AM Friday (9/24) morning, Matilda Sheehy Renaut was born at the DC Developing Families Center in Northeast.
I know I haven't done much posting to this blog recently. Or, really, any. But I've been busy with other projects, and the now two kids, and all of that. I'd like to get back to blogging at some point, so I'm keeping this alive, but I make no promises.
Anyway, Matilda. Another great experience at the birth center. The wife's labor was incredibly quick - first contraction was only about five hours before the baby was born.
I'm still getting used to the fact that I have two little girls. Matilda looks JUST like Adelina did at this age except for her chin. Adelina's was a little more like mine. We're curious if they'll end up looking the same as they get older. My little brother and I could have been twins up to age one or so, and now look very different.
It's very convenient to have another girl at the same time of year - she'll be the same size as her sister in the same year/season, so we should be set for hand-me-down clothes.
I'm taking more time off work this time. I took all of last week and all of this week. I'll go back after the Columbus Day holiday next Monday. It's been cool to spend time with the family, and now we should be a little more settled in to the change before I have to go back to work and leave the wife alone at home.
And, in case you're wondering, it's still crazy, being a dad. And both of my girls are amazing.
I still can't believe it. Our Verizon cell phone bill was $19 lower than last month. The guy who called me was actually telling the truth. Verizon actually called me and lowered my bill.
Maybe other companies struggling through the economy these days could take a page out of Verizon's book. Like Citigroup - instead of adding new fees, maybe try actually helping you customers. Credit cards, like cell phone companies, are largely interchangeable. It's pretty simple for me to switch to AT&T or to another credit card company. If Citi adds a fee to my card, I'll close the card immediately. But now Verizon has actually given me a reason to stay with them. AT&T, meanwhile, is forcing smart phone owners to buy a data plan in the name of better customer satisfaction.
And I'll probably spend more money with Verizon soon - when they have a phone with a data plan that meets my requirements, I'll upgrade, and there's another $30 a month or whatever it is.
Anyway, thanks, Verizon. This is one of the coolest things a company has ever proactively done for me.
I'm always a little uncomfortable calling a place without any tables to speak of a "restaurant", but that's not the point, here. I got lunch from the Uptowner, the new sandwich place just north of Columbia Heights Metro. I got a club wrap and a bag of BBQ soy chips. It was kind of expensive - about $9 - but the food was good. They have some vegetarian options, which is rare, and the guy behind the counter was quite pleasant.
The layout is a little funny - you order in one room, and go next door to pick it up. I didn't immediately see next door, and was worried that the sandwiches were going to be pre-wrapped and shipped from somewhere, but they're made fresh next door.
Anyway, I'll go back at some point. I apologize to Julia's Empanadas, where I planned to go, but the construction makes it very difficult to actually get to Julia's. Maybe next time.
I've been sitting here trying to think how this could be a scam, and I don't think it can be. Verizon Wireless just called me, offering a plan review. I was skeptical, but figured I might as well listen. He told me that they could drop 150 minutes from each phone on our plan, and save us $10 a month. We don't use all our minutes, so that was fine. It doesn't renew our contract, it doesn't give us fewer text messages, it doesn't change anything. Just fewer minutes, cheaper plan.
And the guy was obviously from Verizon, because he knew what my plan was, could see my usage, and didn't ask me for any information.
Has this happened to anyone else? I think I'm still in shock. Unless I'm missing something, this was just fantastic, proactive customer service from Verizon. And our contract is up - we can jump to another carrier whenever we want. I assume that's why they called. Maybe the competition is finally strong enough that it makes sense to go after current customers instead of just trying for new ones.
Anyway, this sure makes me more inclined to stick with them while I wait for them to jump on the Google Android bandwagon.
I think I posted a while back that I'm going to see Nine Inch Nails next week. I've been a fan ever since I saw the video for Head Like a Hole on MTV a million years ago, but I've never been to a show. This is their last tour "for a while", which maybe means forever, so I just bought tickets.
I just found out today that Jane's Addiction, the worst band in the history of the Universe, is actually going on after Nine Inch Nails. This is the best news ever. Now, I don't know if there are Jane's Addiction songs that don't suck - the only ones I know are the few that got on the radio back when I was actually listening to the radio. But the ones I know are truly and amazingly awful. Sorry if you're a fan, but that just means you have bad taste in music. It's really your fault.
In any event, I'm pretty excited.
The wife has been going a little crazy on eBay lately. If she was spending more than $5 at a time, I'd probably intervene, but she's just buying clothes for our daughter, and she's barely spending anything, so I figure it's not a problem. I'll be keeping an eye on her, though.
Whenever someone mentions eBay, I invariably get an urge to buy something, because you can buy pretty much anything there. And every time I look at eBay, I end up searching for a nice Triumph TR6 in good condition for a reasonable price.
I'm going to own one someday. I'm going to get some money together, buy one, get a one-way plane ticket to wherever it is, and drive it home. It will be glorious. I'll do it when the weather's nice so I don't have to put the top up.
I was reading this movie review, and had no idea who Harold Faltermeyer was. So, I did what any normal person would do, and Googled him. His wikipedia page offers up a serving of the English language that just made my day.
[The theme from Top Gun and the theme from Beverly Hills Cop are] both often imitated, highly influential instrumental hits that to some extent practically redefined action film scoring in the '80s
Read that fragment a few times and just bask in its glory.
A friend once told me that, when considering two more or less equal candidates for a job opening, you should choose the one with a better commute.
Oh, right. Today my commute involved tiptoeing past my daughter's room, hoping not to wake her, and sitting down at the table to get to work. There's, like, a blizzard, or something, going on out there. I have no meetings, and no one is really expecting me in the office, so I'm staying put. Daycare is opening three hours late, and since the snow is still coming down hard, they may not open at all. So I may have to watch her this afternoon anyway.
If you're going in to work today, or going out anywhere, be careful.
We're always looking for new places to stop for coffee during the kid's morning nap - about two hours after she gets up in the morning, she'll usually sleep for an hour and a half or two if you stick her in her stroller and walk her around for a while. This weekend, we tried two new places.
Saturday morning we went to Locolat Cafe at 18th and Florida NW. I guess this is considered Adams Morgan, but I'm not entirely sure. We had brunch - the wife tried the savory waffles, which were great, and I had a turkey and cheese on croissant, which was also very good. The coffee was good, if expensive. And because they forgot to charge us for an item and had to run the credit card twice, they gave us a little chocolate-covered meringue.
As an aside, it is almost always good business to give away something small when you've inconvenienced your customer. It was barely an inconvenience at all, but when the cashier (I believe she's actually the manager and wife of the chef) says, in effect, "I messed up, let me make it up to you", I will be back.
Sunday, we went to Cafe 1612. We were planning to go to Love Cafe, but they don't open until ten, and the kid needed her nap before that. 1612 was good, but it shares a building (but not any walls, apparently) with a gym. It's a little strange to eat brunch while watching the girl fold towels at the counter. But the service was good, the food was good, and the coffee was not only good but reasonably priced.
The music there was a little funny - it was an oldies station that didn't really fit the decor of the place.
We've now got quite a list of places to go and get coffee. Heller's is probably my favorite because of their egg and cheese bagels, but it's always nice to have variety.
I got a call a few minutes ago from my credit card company, which at one time was First USA. I think it still is. Anyway, the CSR told me that someone had tried to make a charge on my card, and it looked like fraud. Sure enough, I didn't recognize the charge. I finished with her without giving any information - never give out information, even your home address, to someone who calls you. You have no idea who they really are, even if your caller ID tells you it's the person you think it is.
I called the number on the back of my card, and sure enough, the first call was legitimate. I suspected it was - she knew about two real charges I made yesterday and one this morning - but I'm glad I checked.
A few more minutes and the card is on hold and my new card is on the way. It's a bit of a nuisance, but I'm really impressed with the service. It is mildly annoying that my online account access is disabled until the new card is activated, so I can't check to make sure there weren't other bad charges, and I can't go back and make sure I remember any regular bills that get paid on the card, but in a few days I'll have my new card and I'll be able to get back in.
It's always nice to be pleasantly surprised by your credit card company. Too bad it doesn't happen more often.