Mr. and Mrs. Josh Janicek sent out this Press Release tonight:

Christine and I couldn’t be happier for them. We’ve known for a little while now that they were expecting, and we’re really glad we can finally talk about it. But, we want you to go to their website to read about their news yourself:

Go to: http://www.janicek.com/

Average Rating: 5 out of 5 based on 266 user reviews.

I’m sitting in my office today, with the windows open, and the air conditioner turned off… finally, it feels like fall.

After another scorcher yesterday:

It’s nice and cool today:

And while the forecast calls for rain, I haven’t seen a drop, and it’s a wonderful day to be in Austin.

Average Rating: 4.8 out of 5 based on 226 user reviews.

I think I remember someone telling me that fall started last week.

Since when is it acceptable for it to be 101°F after 8 p.m. in the fall?

friggin' hot

Yes, Josh, it’s friggin’ hot.

Average Rating: 4.8 out of 5 based on 266 user reviews.

Jack turned ten months old on Friday, this past week. Christine and I figured we should write up a little note about all of the things he’s learned how to do recently, so here’s a list for you:

  1. Jack knows the difference between “Ma-ma” and “Da-da” now. He calls us by our names most of the time now… he’s getting so smart.
  2. Jack can now wave and say bye-bye when waving. In fact, on Friday, when I walked out to the office at lunch time, Jack said “Bye-bye, Da” while waving at me through the window in the dining room.
  3. We have a couple of little cow toys for Jack, and when he sees his cow toys, and wants them, he’ll crawl over to them and say “Boooooo” which we think means “Mooooo”.
  4. When we say quack “quack”, he quickly crawls over to his basket full of animals and pulls all of the stuffed ducks out.
  5. When we’re playing with him, and Christine acts like a doggy (which is funny in its own right), and gets down on ‘all fours’ says “ruff-ruff” he crawls over to his big stuffed dog toy and pulls on it. So we know he knows what a dog is, and what dog sounds like.
  6. Jack is getting closer and closer to walking on his own. He can now walk around with our help, but he can also do it when he’s only holding onto one hand. He’s still a little unstable with only one hand holding him, but he can do it, and it’s fun for him, as long as he’s not tired.
  7. Jack is pretty much eating solid food as much as he can. We’ve been experimenting with different things, and he loves steak, pepperoni, salami, watermelon (he really loves watermelon), corn, peas. He doesn’t like chicken all that much (well, at least not 4 nights in a row)…
  8. He also empties his little bucket full of plastic shapes, and then tries to put his toys back in it (versus just emptying it last week).
  9. He figured out how to open the cabinets in the kitchen, and can now climb up into the dishwasher while we’re filling it… time to get those little kitchen cabinet safety lock things (I thought we wouldn’t get those, but it’s a lot of work to keep any eye on him all the time).
  10. He now throws his little lamb (that he sleeps with) out of his crib when he wakes up from his naps and in the morning. That’s how we know when he’s really awake… if the lamb is on the floor when we peek in on him, he’s awake.

Getting bigger all the time, and so smart…

added later:

  1. Jack totally enjoys watching college and NFL football games with his Dad on the couch, as long as we flip over to his baby Einstein DVDs during the halftime breaks.

Average Rating: 4.8 out of 5 based on 272 user reviews.

Here’s a few video clips we shot of Jack’s first tour around the front yard in his little red wagon (we’re going to get a lot of fun outta’ that there wagon!)

You need to download Quicktime 7 to watch this movie folks. I’ve changed the encoding settings on how I encode movies, because the new codecs from Apple really make a movie look sooo much better… sorry, you’re gonna have to upgrade folks. Macintosh users click here, and Windows users click here. Download Quicktime 7, install it, and come back here to watch the movie:

Rolling in the Wagon

Bonus points for anyone that leaves a comment with the name of the singer of the song the movie is set to.

Average Rating: 4.5 out of 5 based on 258 user reviews.

One of my old co-workers from my Bestfares.com days just had a good looking little boy: Jordan Hayhurst.

Jordan was born 4 weeks early, because his mom’s blood pressure was getting out of whack, so, they induced her this week, and the result is Jordan.

I’m really happy for Roy and Dondi. Congrats guys!

Average Rating: 4.4 out of 5 based on 268 user reviews.

Grandma Engler gave Jack a little red wagon earlier this summer.

I finally got around to putting it together last weekend… and oh, my, gosh… Jack loves riding around in it:

The Little Red Wagon
Click the image for more…

Up the street, down the street, over the hill and around the corner… it doesn’t matter where we go, as long as we go in his little red wagon…

Average Rating: 4.6 out of 5 based on 236 user reviews.

A week ago, I was in charge of putting Jack to bed, and in the process, I got too much moisturizer on my hands… I didn’t have anywhere to wipe it off, so I decided to give Jack a hairdo.

And, oh my… was it funny:

Greasy Hairdo

Click the photo to see more…

Average Rating: 4.9 out of 5 based on 268 user reviews.

On September 9th, Christine, Jack and I boarded a plane headed for Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Christine’s Father’s mother, and Jack’s great-grandmother, Oma, was turning 90 years old this year on September 10th, so her family planned a surprise 90th birthday party with all of the children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren in attendance.

We arrived in Tulsa on Friday morning, around 10:30 in the morning… got our rental car, and headed out for our hotel. We were staying at the Doubletree that happens to be about 5 blocks from Ben and Gale Overton’s (Gale is Frank’s sister) house, where most of the festivities for the weekend were taking place.

After checking in, we ate lunch, and I worked a few hours, while Christine and Jack headed to a park to play. Jack took a nap, and then we all headed over to Ben and Gale’s house and just hung out for a few hours.

On Saturday morning, we got up early, and Mary went to breakfast with us (Jack loved eating breakfast with his Grandmother) at the hotel breakfast buffet. Then after a nap, we all headed over to the Overton’s again, where the rest of the family was gathered to wish Oma a happy birthday. Jack had lots of fun playing with his Uncle Mike and Steven and letting his cousin Elizabeth walk him around the house.

While the family was singing Oma happy birthday, Jack was playing with the balloons in the room, while sitting on my shoulders. He was having a blast.

Jack got to meet more of his extended family, and even got to meet his long distance cousin, Benjamin. Benjamin is Angela’s (Ben and Gale’s youngest daughter) son. He’s such a good little boy… he was so quick to share his toys with Jack and enjoyed playing with him in the living room on the floor… Too bad Benjamin and his family live on Long Island, because I know those two would love to see each other as often as they could.

After the birthday party, we headed back to the hotel with Mary, and she put Jack to sleep while the kids headed to a sushi restaurant for dinner, and then to the bar to enjoy ourselves with a few of Christopher’s (Elizabeth’s brother) friends.

Mary and Frank ended up sleeping in our hotel room for the night, thankfully giving Christine and I a night, and a morning, off from taking care of Jack… so, we maybe partied a little too hard with our cousins, but it was fun… lots of fun.

On Sunday morning, we all headed back over to the Overton’s house to play a little more before we said our goodbyes. We got one more photo of Jack and Benjamin, and then headed to the airport.

We almost missed our flight, but Southwest was great, and made sure we got to it in time (we weren’t late or anything, but getting gas, turning in the car, finding the ticket counter, changing a diaper, and the like… all take time).

Jack enjoyed playing with the napkins, plastic cups and tray tables on the flights home.

All in all, this was one of the best trips I’ve ever had to Tulsa (thank God we didn’t have to drive… Spencer (Lisa’s husband – Lisa is Ben and Gale’s oldest daughter) had to drive from Austin because he did miss his flight).

Click here to go through all of the photos from Tulsa

Average Rating: 4.7 out of 5 based on 258 user reviews.

My buddy Josh is hilarious. If you’re up for an early morning laugh, read his lastest post: I don’t know Jack about where I live. Too damned funny… thanks bud.

Average Rating: 4.7 out of 5 based on 228 user reviews.

Last night, for dessert, we fed Jack some watermelon (he had Pesto Chicken and brocolli for dinner).

Instead of cutting up his watermelon like we usually do, we handed him a big ol’ piece of it, rind and all… and he did great eating it…

Too cute:

Average Rating: 5 out of 5 based on 257 user reviews.

I flew to Washington, D.C. last night, so that I could visit a new potential client that asked us to come see them on short notice.

So, last night I checked into the hotel around 10:00 p.m., and I checked my email.

I had an email from Mauricio Zuazua (who I’ve written about before). Mauricio had just returned from spending the summer in Brazil on a consulting gig, and was letting us know that he’d finally settled in D.C. with his long-time girlfriend Kristina.

So, I shot him back an email, and told him to call me, so we could get together for lunch today, if it worked out.

Turns out he doesn’t start work until next week, so he had time to come meet me.

Mauricio picked me up at the client’s office… we dropped my co-worker off at the airport (his flight was leaving earlier than mine) and we headed off to find somewhere to eat.

We enjoyed each other’s company for about an hour at a Japanese steak house that had a sushi buffet… mmmmm… sushi!

It was too cool to be in the same town as Mauricio even if only for a little while…

Anyways, we chatted about many things: life, liberty and the pursuit of Brazilian women happiness. We also promised to try and see each other at least every 3-6 months… and to stay in touch.

Traveling for work isn’t so bad, if you can mix some personal time into it.

Average Rating: 4.6 out of 5 based on 217 user reviews.

Here’s a few links to some of the more recent photo galleries I haven’t linked to yet:

Average Rating: 4.7 out of 5 based on 243 user reviews.

This past weekend, I sort of helped Raymond reprogram his sprinkler controller for his yard’s sprinkler system.

I’ve been thinking about mine for a few months now, as it quit working at the beginning of the summer for some reason.

The system at our house must be 25 years old, at least… It was an old Weathermatic RM Series sprinkler controller:

The problem I was having was that the sprinkler system worked very sporadically. Zone 2 would work all the time in manual mode, Zone 1 seemed to only work before 7 a.m. and Zone 3 would only come on after 6 p.m. The timer and automatic controls were worthless, and none of the zones would shut off after 30 minutes like they were supposed to.

My solution for most of the summer was to just turn it off, and to water the yard by hand, or with a sprinkler I attached to the end of a hose or two.

So, now that I’ve lost some grass from the insane 100° months we’ve had this summer, I finally decided it was time to fix the problem last weekend.

I looked at the manual. No help… the manual told me a little about the wiring, but was no help on the servicing side (too bad I didn’t know there was a service manual available online a week ago).

So, I thought about just replacing the controller. I have no idea where the valves for the zones are, so troubleshooting those didn’t sound like an easy task, and besides, they worked, when I could get them to come on… so the problem had to be in the controller.

I took it off the wall last weekend, and looked at the wires… It was a big jumble of wires, none of them the right color, and also not labeled. The 25 year old wire coming from the yard had all weathered to be the same color, and none of it had any markings…

So I asked Raymond about it, and he agreed, I should replace the controller.

Christine and I stopped at Home Depot on the way home from the lakehouse on Saturday, and she drove Jack around the parking lot (he was sleeping) while I ran in and bought a $50 RainBird PC 506 Sprinkler controller (it looked simple to operate and was under the $50 limit I’d set for myself – besides Raymond had a RainBird controller, so it had to be a good brand, right?)

When we got home, I pulled the old one off the wall (after I disconnected it from the power) and nearly dropped it on my foot. That think weighed a ton. I deposited it in the trash, then tried to figure out the wires coming out of the wall.

No help.

I connected the wires, in what I thought was the right order, connected the power to the new controller, and made it cycle through one cycle of all the zones.

I blew a fuse on zone 2.

So, I disconnected that wire, and started cycling through all of the zones… and guess what?

It worked.

So, I arranged the zone wires like I wanted them, powered it up, set the schedule, and watched my sprinkler system run through a quick 1-minute-each-zone test cycle, and then stood back and admired my handi-work.

But there was a problem. I have one wire left over that’s not connected to anything:

I have no idea what that wire is for, but it seems to not be needed… maybe I have a 4th zone I don’t know about? I’ll leave that job for another day.

Hopefully now I’ll have greener grass in a few weeks without any more work.

Average Rating: 4.9 out of 5 based on 250 user reviews.

Jack is too cute, and I just have to share this story, and capture it for future recollection.

This morning, right before I sat down with Jack to feed him some peaches, I made a pot of coffee. While I was making the coffee, I gave Jack a few Gerber puffs.

Prior to Jack having a tooth, he would gum the puffs in the back of his mouth, moving them from side to side with his tounge, before they finally dissolved in his mouth to be replaced deftly by his hands with another puff.

This morning, with the addition of a tooth in his mouth, Jack is now experimenting with new ways to eat.

On his third or fourth puff, I noticed Jack was putting the puff in his mouth, about half-way, holding it there with his hand, and sucking and blowing on the puff. As I got closer, I realized that he was actually trying to chew the puff with his one tooth.

It’s almost as if he was trying to figure out what the new sharp object jutting out of his lower jaw was for. As if he’s thinking:

I’ve got this tooth in my mouth, now what can I use it for?

There’s got to be a rhyme and reason for this tooth…

Let’s try chewing…

It was pretty cute, and as he finished his jar of peaches, I gave him a few more puffs. At this point he was kind of tired, so he wasn’t actually eating the puffs, rather, he’d place one half-in/half-out of his mouth, munch on it a bit, and it would inevitably fall out of his mouth, before getting stuck on his chin, only to be replaced with another doomed puff.

At the end of his meal, he had two puffs sticking to his chin, four on his lap, and three on his legs. Wesley made short order of the seven that weren’t on his chin. Those two are a great team when it comes to cleaning up after a meal.

Average Rating: 4.6 out of 5 based on 228 user reviews.