Tag Archives: Stephen King

Removing Bumps

From Family 2012

We’ve been busy! A lot has happened and we’ve been horrible about sharing. So here we go.

First of all, Rochelle and I have declared a holy war on bumps. My mom referred to it as a bump removing quest. If that’s the case, we’re about done with the quest. If we remove any more bumps, our bodies will soon cease to resemble humanoid figures.

First, Rochelle, being a red-haired, fair-skinned lady, had some moles removed to be on the safe side (we’re looking to confirm nothing is cancerous). We’re still waiting for the results, but we don’t feel there is much to be worried about.

Band-aids to the rescue!

While she was there, the doctor offered to remove a mole on her nose that protruded out a little. While not entirely unsightly, she decided it couldn’t hurt to be gone with it. So now she proudly wears a Band-aid where her bump used to be.

Just before she went to see her doctor about the moles, I decided to get my bump removed. Mine was a large cyst on the back of my head, in the right-hand hemisphere. It was about the size of a small marble melted into my skull, though it was obviously soft tissue.

The surgeon who would perform the surgery was wonderful. She reminded me of a good friend of ours; a certain lady living in Colorado with several children who has an imposing figure and a warm personality. We love her and her family dearly, and it was nice having a surgeon who commanded the same level of trust and warmth, especially since she would be the first person to ever cut me open.

The bump on the back of my head had become a long running joke among my coworkers. It quickly became known as “the bump” and it was said to be responsible for my oft appreciated intelligence and problem solving capabilities. Before I went in for the surgery one of my coworkers had me promise to ensure the surgeon would not remove the contents of the bump if it resembled a brain.

I shared this with the surgeon, and she promised that she would leave it alone if it looked like a brain. I saw it afterward, and it definitely did not look like a brain.

My battle wound. It's got medical super-glue on it.

Anyhow, the wound is just now beginning to feel sore, but I am glad to have my first surgery over with. I have a pretty intense irrational fear of needles, and that has been a huge barrier to me getting work like this done. It doesn’t mean I’ll be jumping under the knife for any little issue that needs resolving, but it does mean that I might be more willing to consider surgery now that I’ve had my insides messed with.

Books We are Reading

Brian

Sadly I’ve been on a bit of a reading-break. I’ve slowly been making my way through The Eyes of the Dragon by Stephen King with Micah for his bedtime stories, but I’m stuck at 35% of the way through the final book of the Hunger Games trilogy. I really don’t have a good excuse for not reading, and I’ll probably finish that soon. My next reading project is the Harry Potter series, since that came out in ebook format recently and we went ahead and purchased it for my Kindle. I’ll probably read it to Micah for his bedtime story, and work on shorter Kindle Singles and other free items from my collection in my personal reading time.

Rochelle

Rochelle is currently on the Children of the Mind, the final book of the Ender Saga. She had read the first and third books in the series before, but never all of them together. The whole four book series was on sale for about $15 not long ago, so we got them. That’s a great series. Once she finishes the final book she plans on going to the library to get more books (she took a vacation from using the library, but she wants to get back into it).

How the Kids Are

Micah

From Family 2012

Probably some of the biggest news this time comes from Micah. A few weeks ago I learned that ThinkGeek was going to host an event at their headquarters just an hour from our house.

If you’re not familiar with ThinkGeek, they are an awesome Internet-based vendor that caters to the nerdiest, geekiest crowd out there. They specialize in all things science fiction, bacon, ninja, games, science, technology, and anything else you might be able to geek out over.

So when they posted an application to come out and visit them, I immediately registered. It was going to be a pizza and a movie night, along with a raffle for some prizes, and an opportunity to help them get rid of 33 old eMac computers they once used for their customer service representatives. I thought it could be kind of neat to get one of the eMacs for Micah. Then, in the application, I saw that they would allow you to bring one guest, and that the event was supposed to be kid friendly (“geeklings welcome,” they said).

Rochelle doesn’t know this, but here’s how it played out in my head. She was on the phone. My first thought was to bring her with me, since we do everything together and I knew she liked ThinkGeek. But since she was on the phone and I wanted to submit my application quickly (this is a very popular company, and I knew there would instantly be hundreds of applications), I didn’t have time to ask her if she had any plans for the night of the event. I waited for a minute, but it was apparent she wasn’t going to get off the phone any time soon.

I thought about bringing Sophie, since she’s young and easy-going in public, but I knew the event would go late into the evening, and I thought she might get bored or cranky. Then I thought about how often I saw Micah reading through the ThinkGeek catalog. He did it frequently, often talking about the products in there. I knew he’d love to visit their headquarters, and so I decided to just list him as my guest.

I didn’t think I’d really get selected anyway.

So I was surprised to see that we were accepted just a few days later. I didn’t tell Micah though, I wanted it to be a surprise.

The weekend before the ThinkGeek visit Micah and Rochelle went to a scouting event while I took Sophie out to the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum’s Udvar-Hazy center (more on that below). Sophie really enjoyed the alone time with her dad, and we had a great time. So it was only fitting that Micah got the next weekend with me.

All I told Micah about the event before we went was that it was an extremely unique opportunity, and that out of hundreds of applicants (I didn’t know the exact figure) we were one of only twenty applications to get accepted. In all, there would be just over forty people there. Micah speculated that there must have been a thousand applicants, but that figure seemed a little high to me.

When we pulled up and he saw the ThinkGeek sign in the window of the office building, he said he got so happy he almost cried. He is known for being melodramatic and exaggerating things, but I could tell he was pretty excited.

I didn’t get any photos, but you should have seen him roaming around with the tour group, looking at all of the things he had seen in the catalogs, and marveling at all of the geekiness.

Then we got to the room full of eMacs, and I told him we got to take one home for him. I was the first one in to get a good keyboard and mouse from the box (with a power cord, of course), then I handed those to him to carry and I heaved an eMac into my arms. The nice tour guide lady (@Stephonee) held the door for us and we took it straight out to the car.

Micah thought the movie was infinitely more humorous than any of the other 42 invitees, he spilled soda on himself, he accidentally poured ground red pepper on one of his slices of pizza, and he didn’t get too upset when we didn’t win anything from the raffle (we still got a free computer). He even got to ask one of the ThinkGeek employees how the company got started (you’ll have to ask him about that yourself sometime).

Oh, and at the end we were informed that there had indeed been about a thousand applications for the event. So yeah, Micah was right.

The next day we set up his computer. He has been extremely pleased with it. We are not going to allow the machine on the Internet (for a vast variety of reasons), so I’m transporting downloaded .dmg files (disk images to install Mac software) on a thumb drive to install on his system) from our family desktop, and anything he wants to print will be transferred to the family computer since he won’t have a printer either. He’s got lots of homework helping software, in addition to some fun creativity software, and even a couple of games. I keep my eye open for more free software all the time. Since it’s an older system it’s not hard to find free stuff.

If you know of anything fun we could put on an older Power PC chipset running OS X 10.5 (Leopard), please let us know!

Oh, and a few weeks ago he also learned to ride a bike finally. I spent a couple hours helping him balance and get a feel for how it moved, then after mulling it over in his head for a couple of weeks he went out and tried it on his own and was able to do it almost as though he had never needed lessons. He picked it up pretty quickly.

Sophie

From Family 2012

Like I said earlier, Sophie and I got to go to the Udvar-Hazy center together. It was a lot of fun. It was the first Saturday after shuttle Discovery had been moved in, so there were a ton of people lined up to see her. We got there an hour before they opened the doors. Sophie was excited to see the shuttle, and when we got home she started playing more with a toy shuttle I had picked up a long time ago and given to her.

A couple of quick¬†anecdotes about Sophie: Lately Sophie has taken to making up cute little songs about just about anything. She’ll just randomly burst into song about things that she hears or thinks of. It’s really cute, but sometimes it’s a little creepy. Last night Rochelle was giving me an update about a little girl who had gone missing in the local area. Rochelle said, “they found her, she had drowned in the lake.” Behind us we hear Sophie burst into song, “Drowned in the lake, drowned in the lake. Drowned in the lake, drowned in the lake!” It was a sweet voice singing a pretty melody, but my goodness… What strange things she sings about!

She’s also been a little obsessed with using death, dead, killed, and other similar ideas in her play and everyday communication. At a children’s play-place tonight she and a much younger little girl were playing. Sophie had removed her socks before the other little girl arrived so that she could climb up the plastic slide easier. But with the younger girl I didn’t want Sophie going up while the little girl came down. That could have been bad. So I called Sophie over to me (sitting just a few feet from the father of the little girl) and asked, “Sophie, what do you think would happen if that little girl came down the slide while you were climbing up it?”

Sophie responded, “I could bonk my head, then I would fall over, and I will be dead.”

The father next to me was quite amused, especially since Sophie always delivers lines about death with a mixture of deadpan humor, frankness, and sweetness.

Not a whole lot more to say about that silly girl. She’s obviously been cute and silly the whole time since our last update, but we’ve been pretty busy, and the numbing medicine is really starting to wear off, leaving my scalp in pain and creating an intense distraction that is making writing quite difficult.

Until Later

We try to keep this blog from going so long without updates, but I’ve long since decided that making promises about the frequency of posts is a futile endeavor.

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