Baby Update

The baby and Nam are fine.
He is 2,500 grams of red-faced crying glory. I put my hand on his head and he immediately stopped and went to sleep.
Life is good.
Thanks for all your prayers!

The Baby Cometh

Just a quick notice: Nam’s water has broken.
I am sitting in a VIP post-op room by myself, as I am not allowed in the maternity ward. This hospital has a strange policy of not allowing husbands into the delivery rooms. It’s a policy we came asking about just yesterday in anticipation of the baby’s target date of May 11. It’s this policy that started us planning on checking out hospitals in the big city of Khon Kaen, an hour away.
We were going to go this weekend, when a doctor we saw before is on duty. Hell, we were talking about going today after lunch. Then her water broke. I threw the go-bags in the trunk, helped her in the car, and we were off. On the way to the hospital I told her we had plenty of time to get to Khon Kaen if she wanted to do it there, but that’s not what she wanted so we are here at Mahasarakham Hospital.
My son is positioned buttocks-first, so there really is no choice for a first-time mother, he will have to be delivered by Caesarean (linguistic note: they call it a “Caesar” here). When we got here, Nam was dilated 1cm. That was around 90 minutes ago. It is maddening to not be in the loop here. However, there is an upside for us. Nam has many friends here, bith nurses and doctors. One of them has promised to get me in to see her in about ten minutes (14:30). So I’ m sitting here cooly describing what has happened to this point, but actually feeling quite anxious about my wife and her upcoming procedure, scheduled for 6:00PM. The reason they are waiting so long, apparently, is that they have to wait for lunch to digest.
There, now you know everything that I do. I will update as things happen, but will post this when I go home to pick up some things later this afternoon. It will reside on my desktop as an rtf file until then.
Oh, by the way, I am so glad we decided to eat at home today instead of going out as planned.
UPDATE: I’m picking up a very weak wifi signal around here. I’m going to go look for it.

Move, RDF

This is a test post.
My rdf feed was hosed for over a month before I noticed. Sorry.

Scenes from a University Van

From our road trip to Pattaya a couple weeks ago.
If you love frogs, you probably shouldn’t read the latter half of this post, but I’m not hiding it in the extended entry, either. Do or do not, there is no try, as it were.
(as always, click on any photo to open a larger version in a pop-up window)
This post goes out to my brother Adam, who definitely might be man enough to eat skewered frogs after a few beers (although we did it sober here). The one I pulled apart in the tissue shown above was pregnant, so the blurry black and white dots are eggs. Actually, the pregnant frogs were more expensive than the non-preggers (30 Baht/stick vs. 20 Baht/stick).
I’m going to preempt any “the trees are screaming” complaints at this time by pointing out that this is normal fare for hunters and gatherers, which many of the indigents here are.
I will also go on record that these frogs do not taste like chicken. They do not taste too bad, though… That is, they don’t really taste of anything, really – it tastes like you are eating a rich, fatty protein, if that makes any sense. Maybe like a roasted shishamo, but not as delicious. I will admit that it took a bit of courage to eat one. After all, it was the same kind of frog I found in my shoe a while ago (called un-an in Thai).

F*ck Songkran

So we’re in the middle of the Songkran holiday period that marks the Thai New Year. The reason I feel so strongly about this holiday, which is also called the “water festival” in English, is that in typical third-world fashion, safety is being totally sacrificed for alcohol-fueled shits ‘n giggles.
Apparently the current state of affairs is a perversion of the old tradition of pouring water over the hands of elders to wash away bad luck (just as we experienced during our wedding here). What I mean by “current state of affairs” is roads lined with drunken idiots (and all of their children, brothers, and sisters, also drunk) who throw water, talcum powder, and sometimes ice at passing vehicles and unfortunate pedestrians. Of course, the other half of this is roving pickups (remember 2/3 of the cars in this regions are pick-ups) loaded with passengers and tubs of water stopping suddenly for water fights. Motorbikes seem to be everyone’s favorite target, so they swerve suddenly to avoid getting drenched. Hell, I myself almost took out a couple dumbasses on the highway driving back from Khon Kaen a few days ago, and the holiday hadn’t even officially started yet! Anyways, that’s why we have a death toll of 180 and 2,500 reported accidents a few days into the celebrations: Drunk idiots on the street and in moving vehicles.
I guess another way to see this is from the Darwinistic perspective – wankers will be wankers, and some unlucky wankers die wanking. If it weren’t for all of the children being injured and killed every year due to their idiotic parents and friends, maybe Songkran wouldn’t so bad after all.

Hey Bulldog

Beatles studio footage is rarer than one might think… The guitar section in this song is awesome.