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Wednesday, March 11th, 2009
3:54 pm - Danny Update

Danny fixes his seat
Originally uploaded by larrykang
So, I've been missing a camera charger for a while which explains some of the lack of photos. I've also misplaced my keys which are last seen in this photo.

In any case, I was pleased to see Danny create this combo chair - it lets him see the screen at eye level and I think he enjoys the kimchi squat position in general. He hasn't actually used it yet for potty purposes in this position, which I think is a good thing. For those of you who have not seen the movie Idiocracy, I recommend it - it's a silly movie but has great moments and lines ("Welcome to Costco. I love you").

The other big development is Danny use of more multi word phrases. The most popular one is "please apa go".

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Tuesday, February 3rd, 2009
8:24 pm - Danny's 5 lb workout

Danny's 5 lb workout
Originally uploaded by larrykang

Wow. It's been a while since I posted something.

Sometimes I get lucky and capture a great moment or first with Danny. I really need to carry around the camera more often and post things up to share. This is uneditted and I'm pleased with how it starts and ends perfectly with the victory pose and plumber's butt.

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Sunday, August 3rd, 2008
5:01 pm - Danny at the Zoo

Danny at the Zoo
Originally uploaded by larrykang
How to visit the Zoo in NYC

1) Wait for a beautiful non-humid day (like today). If not - spend more time with the refrigerated penguins.
2) Go early on Sunday - free parking is around near the SE corner of the park (where the zoo is). By 11:30 AM and you're okay.
3) Going early also helps you avoid some lines and see the early feedings at 10:30 and 11:30. $8 per adult - cash only.
4) Pack drinks and snacks. (Or pay at the park). Pack some animal feed for the petting zoo too (or pay 50c for a tiny handful).
5) Go home and watch Dreamworks animated "Madagascar" - since there are no lions or zebras in the real Central Park zoo.

Other notes: The Stokke was pretty rocking as a stroller but the zoo is pretty friendly to any stroller except for one staircase near the polar bears. Best animals were the sea lions and polar bears. Feeding zoo at childrens' zoo was also very safe and fun.

Other things to do which we did: Summerstage, cool playgrounds and sprinklers

Other things to do which we didn't: Carousel (middle of park at 64th), FAO Schwartz, Apple Store, Serendipity (60th & 3rd ave)

Things to avoid: Thoth (who I ran into), souvenir stands, pay photographs, and sketch artists.

We'll probably join as members next year. Definitely a worthwhile and easy trip. It took just 7 minutes to get home from the park!

Next zoo trip - the big one in the Bronx!

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Thursday, November 22nd, 2007
8:58 am - Happy Thanksgiving!
Turkey #2 is in the oven now and I'm looking forward to a busy Thanksgiving. It's Danny's first Thanksgiving and it's been a good stretch (3-9 months) since some relatives have seen him. We have a lot to be thankful for (last night a gas explosion just down the street caused 200 people to evacuate) and hope everyone can have a wonderful day no matter what hurdles come their way.

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Monday, March 5th, 2007
6:26 pm - Danny Sneezes

Nothing too exciting, but it's cute.

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Wednesday, February 28th, 2007
9:26 am - Bumbo's first booboo

Danny 2 months at Beth Israel
Originally uploaded by larrykang.
"Life is pain. Anyone who says differently is selling something."

Danny had his two month doctor's visit yesterday and with it came four shots and a dose of rotovirus vaccine.

Somewhat surprising was Danny's reaction to the series of shots. He didn't shed a tear and just wound up crying and turning red for just a few seconds after his 3rd and 4th shot. I'm incredibly glad that so far Danny has used crying as a brief means of communicating requests rather than expressing long bouts of sadness.

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Thursday, February 15th, 2007
2:34 pm - Valentine's Dinner Meatloaf

Valentine's Meatloaf
Originally uploaded by larrykang.
I came up with this idea Tuesday based on what was in the fridge. I paired it with mashed potatoes and mixed greens. Along with a great syrah from Calistoga (August Briggs 2002). Dessert was a chocolate-banana shake.

We were planning to watch a nice movie but watched some DVR and then *sigh* I fell asleep til 2 AM.

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Tuesday, February 13th, 2007
9:51 am - What's for dinner?
Love foods from the Today show.

So a pine nut basil pesto with a banana chocolate shake should do the trick.

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6:21 am - Larry @ Home
I'm officially a stay at home dad now. Roberta went back to school yesterday. So far, it's alright and well within the range I was hoping for. Danny is sleeping most of the night and I'm finding a good stretch of sleep in the early evening to early AM. It may not be the best schedule, but I think it will maximize baby care, time with Roberta and rest for everyone. Read more...Collapse )

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Wednesday, January 31st, 2007
6:21 am - Danny Tracker 2000
Want to see what our baby is up to? No, it's not a webcam (but we have one of those for Skype video), but a handy database with nifty reports of the life and times of Danny West.

Not all the data is publically viewable, but believe me, this software is fantastic. Especially for tracking bottle inventory and as we begin to push his sleep patterns.

Some people seemed concerned about calling or ringing the doorbell for fear of waking the baby (or maybe they subconciously meant fear of waking one of us). We never had that problem but this also gives people a headsup on what the house is up to before stopping by.

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Tuesday, January 30th, 2007
1:27 pm - New Vista
Microsoft's new Windows officially came out for consumers yesterday. I've been on it for a week and enjoying it's look and speed, but now with the official rollout, I've been getting the final updates and options. Now I have a PC with security, fast search, cool visuals and widgets.. I mean gadgets. So, I essentially have a Mac OS X now.

As a sign of the times, Hold Em Poker is the new game included with the Ultimate edition. I was half expecting Sodoku. Microsoft is always evolutionary, but they always seem a step slow.

In another life, I would have been at a launch event or something, but it's much more relaxed to be at home doing all this with Danny boy (aka the next techie) sleeping nearby. I'm still debating whether I'm going to give him some version of Unix (Ubuntu), but it looks like he will grow up a Windows boy until he wants to stretch.

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Monday, January 15th, 2007
11:52 pm - Danny & Dog

Originally uploaded by larrykang.
As expected, the center of the Kang world is little Danny boy. But, it doesn't mean that we've forgotten about the world outside.

So far, we've made it to two restaurants, and I've gone to two Frim Frams. Roberta is not as free yet, but I've entertained company with four dinners (including a 4 bone prime rib and an 8 hour Cuban pork roast). Our home is moving towards organization, but it's been a priority for me to provide home cooked meals. Homemade from scratch including broths. I was planning on baking by this point but the warm weather and my limits dropped that whimsy.

The most notable feat may be that we left Danny alone with his Aunt Betty for 2 hours. Roberta had an doubly unscheduled medical event (an complication that was supposed to lead to a home nurse visit but due to slow system issues required another office visit) and it was much easier to leave Danny behind. I was hoping he'd sleep the entire time, but lately he's been cluster feeding, requiring long stretches of active baby care. Danny's weight gain is ahead of track though so I am content to not crunch the numbers yet for maximum efficiency.

Our beagle, Pecola is back with us for good, though I feel we still neglect her needs. Luckily, Phoebe cat (also less pampered) has recently taken up the slack and they played some tag.

Much thanks to everyone for support, cards, gifts and well wishes! Raising a newborn is a big endeavor and we've been fortunate to have great support during the past difficulties. The greatest help has come from the internet though with its knowledge base and expert communities.

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Monday, January 8th, 2007
8:01 pm - Car seats and reviews
The other day, the evening news had a usual "tune in for this story or your loved one will die". Apparently, a number of infant car seats are inadequate at 35 mph speeds and though passing federal standards (30 mph) some are even real failures at that level. By inadequate I mean "the car seats twisted violently or flew off their bases, in one case hurling a test dummy 30 feet across the lab". Now, the testing for cars in general is done at 35 (frontal crash) and 38 mph (side crash) and CR is recommending gov't changes to a uniform standard (which should be an easy systems improvement).

What irked me is that the websites: Consumer Reports and CBS did not have the info up until after the broadcast. I knew something was up when the previously top ranked Britax Companion and the entire ranking had been removed from the CR website when checking earlier that week - while the car seat review page still had the convertible and booster car seats prominently up).

I won't be so cruel, and will list the Baby Trend Flex-Loc and the Graco SnugRide with EPS as the two out of twelve that passed CR's testing. I was proud to see public reviews on Amazon and Target.com quickly inform other consumers of this info.

Unfortunately, these car seats are hard to obtain, unavailable or backordered at many places. I currently have a Britax Roundabout, a top rated convertible car seat - built like a tank but impossible to ferry around - and was delaying the infant seat purchase due to the weirdness on CR's site (e.g. the formerly top ranked high end Britax Companion is now NOT suitable). I ordered mine from TinyRide.com which so far has been a good company which doubles the warranty on parts and has been responsive to my inquiries as well as prompt in their website info.

At some point I will write about the mess that Babies R Us is in. But, let me just warn you not to drop down your guard with that store. They are not anywhere close to being baby professionals and are geared only for profit via traditional marketing and sales.

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7:46 pm - Danny is 16 days old
Soon, his age will be measured in months, and then fractions of a year, and one day he'll be like me and forget or make up numbers like 42.

More Danny photos on Flickr.

In Korean culture, when you are born your age is one as you're in your first year (or it counts the 10 months inside the womb). And everyone gains a birth year at new year's. So, Danny is now in his second year or a whopping two in Korean age. This bodes well for later in our age and rules based culture.

While attending Junior high in Seoul, I remember explaining that in America that you are not one (1) until a full year has passed. When someone exclaimed "what? are you then zero when you are born?", it took me a second to realize that no, you're not zero, just that you're one day old or one hour old etc.

I've had recurrent problems with Flickr's still beta uploader, and switched over to the closer to primetime 3rd party Juploader. If this fails, I'm off to try the Flock browser.

Lastly, I'd like to celebrate Danny's birthdate as December 25th, for a variety of reasons but we'll see how that works out. Regardless, he will be receiving a lot of birthday candles and cake on Christmas Day for the next ten years as per the tradition of holiday Kang family gatherings. So, at least de facto he will be celebrating a portion of his birthday that way. Surrounded by family isn't that bad of a way to go, even if you have to share it with Jesus and the spirits of Christmas. More on this subject later.

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Friday, December 29th, 2006
3:31 pm - Back on Flickr.com

Daniel West - Day 5
Originally uploaded by larrykang.
After my hiatus from poker in April due to Roberta's pregancy, I've pulled out the Canon and renewed my Flickr Pro account. Enjoy these photos of Daniel West on Flickr. Also, photos on Aunt Betty's Picasa gallery, and Grandpa's gallery at klenger.net.

I also realized yesterday a possible subconscious reason for continuing my Halloween mustache of late. All my significant pastors have wielded the 'stache. Perhaps this is me saying I'm grown up now. All I can say is that for all my continual thinking and analysis, it was surprising to not make this correlation before. Most obviously, Ken West. He was my closest recent "pastor", and Daniel West's namesake. Ken passed two years ago on Dec 22nd and I would be most proud to see his joyful spirit in Daniel.

In any case, the mustache is staying for a while, despite earlier plans to shave it with the baby arrival. Complications at delivery changed my plan and personal grooming outside of handwashing has been low on the priorities. At this point Daniel does not seem to notice it, but my window for shaving is closing.

current mood: indescribable

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2:44 pm - In the Safe zone
Just got home from the doctor's office (11-2:30 PM affair) and some very brief shopping at Babies R Us. I have time now to share some fresh thoughts from today. As background, we had a difficult delivery and recovery due to a range of systems lapses with poor decisions made without regard to the whole picture. After leaving the hospital (due to standard insurance reasons - 3 nights for a C-section, 2 for a vaginal delivery), I switched from duola (really the masculine servant duolo) mode to "father" emergency mode. I'm normally quite happy go lucky, but in crisis situations I bring out another self for when things need to be done.

I'm not going to talk about the delivery and birth yet as I cannot give it justice until much further expert review. I just realize now what all those recent mother/authors were talking about. I knew how difficult it would be for solitary mothers, but it's a whole world of realization when you go through it as a educated and prepared team and still find yourself humbled.

But, today's visit verified my optimism from yesterday when I relaxed a good deal of control. Roberta and baby Danny are resting peacefully and I am snacking on some uber high-calorie homemade ice cream made with freshly ground cappuccino and fortified chocolate Quik.Read more...Collapse )

current mood: awake

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Friday, December 1st, 2006
9:57 am - Happy Honda Days

New Green Tea CR-V
Originally uploaded by larrykang.
We got a new car. Not the Element as I was planning for a while, but a more domestic 2007 CR-V aimed at "cool moms". Very happy with the purchase, options and price. Being rated #1 by IIHS for safety is a plus too. It took more than a few hours of research and work to get here.Collapse )

I used carbuyingtips.com and Consumer Reports as my main sources and ordered a two car price reports (with differing info on the hidden factory holdback). After picking the car, I joined a Honda SUV forum and got an idea of selling prices and some future DIY projects lined up. Visited a dealership for a test drive and then waited for the right time to make offers.

With Costco reduced financing from Capital One. After getting a few quotes over the phone and online I went into the closest local dealership and argued for a deal based on my quotes, end-of-the-month and my flexibility in waiting. I got back a lot of standard negotiation tactics and some misinformation but was able to sign a deal in an hour for $1240 off MSRP. Most people in NYC are paying MSRP or $250-400 off. The salesmen claim that people are paying over MSRP on the model and I'm sure there are a few buyers doing so.

I haven't seen anyone get a better deal online yet, but there is a dealership in MA (Boch the 2nd largest in the country) that someone reported getting a quote at invoice mid-month. I'm skeptical. At least I'm not in the Seattle area where people are lucky to get MSRP and many are paying $1-$2K above sticker!

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Friday, November 17th, 2006
9:45 pm - Ruth Brown is dead
"Ruth Brown, the gutsy rhythm-and-blues singer whose career extended to acting and crusading for musicians’ rights, died on Friday in Las Vegas. She was 78 and lived in Las Vegas." from the NY Times.

After becoming the acknowledged queen of R&B (to where R&B was synonymous with Ruth Brown) in the 50's with songs like "Teardrops from My Eyes", "Mama He Treats Your Daughter Mean” and “5-10-15 Hours”. In her later years, she returned to the forefront with a Grammy award and Tony for Best Actress in 1989's Broadway musical, Black and Blue (where Frankie Manning also won a Tony for choreography). She was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993, as the Queen Mother of the Blues. Groundbreaking rapper Rakim is a surviving nephew.

I never got a chance to hear her though I DJ her music. So, I'll be putting Hairspray on Netflix to finally see (where she plays Motormouth Maybelle).

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Thursday, November 16th, 2006
6:06 pm - 9 months pregnant

Roberta on the Couch
Originally uploaded by larrykang.
Eli took some great photos for us and we're in the final stretch aka the soon to be "get out! get out!" stage.

The baby shower is next week and I got a checklist of what you should have on hand before your baby arrives from Consumer Reports. I'll continue to expand on this later with my buying guide notes since others may find it useful. Read more...Collapse )

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Tuesday, November 7th, 2006
4:42 pm - Election Day

RollingStone Oct 19th Cover
Originally uploaded by larrykang.
I voted. At the public school my child will most likely attend.

Again my vote is symbolic and means very little with no seriously contested races. Not even any ballot issues to vote for.

Meanwhile, I'm looking forward to the live coverage tonight by John Stewart (Daily Show) and Stephen Colbert. These mid-term elections actually mean something for once with a significant potential for change - back to a democratic (small d) two party government with checks on the executive branch. *sigh* It's annoying how little issues grab so much attention at election time while the system is corrupted.

I can't do such a large issue justice in a post, but here's an article: The Worst Congress Ever. Nothing new here just even more and more of the worst part of politics - a corrupt congress that does nothing and isn't even doing the motions of democracy. If the Democrats take back the House (and possibly even the Senate), then we'll at least hear another voice and some auditing even if we continue to get no new legislation and late budgets (hopefully without huge deficits).

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