I Have Good News (and Bittersweet News) -or- How I Became A Dad

There is one place I never thought Traveler Bill would ever go. That place is Parenthood.

First, lets take a step back. I set up this page on June 20th as a place where I could document (probably in fits and starts if my history is anything) our baby’s progress and achievements. I never thought I would be a father, a dad, but here we are, in my 44th year and I’m looking forward to my first child being born.

What a difference a month makes.

I joined Jenelle for the 12 week ultrasound at Weill Cornell Medical Center on Monday the 29th of July. We were finally looking to broadcast our news. I actually had gotten into trouble on Sunday because I had posted a link to some “Be A Better Dad” site on Facebook. Jenelle had me delete it as she still hadn’t told a bunch of people in Australia. Thank goodness she had.

Jenelle didn’t see anything strange with the ultrasound. The heart was visible and beating like a champ, I thought I saw something odd with the head but what do I know. The tech excused herself and came back with a doctor…and bad news.

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Merry Crest-mas

Leading up to this past Christmas Traveler Nell started trying to lower expectations on a “Family Gift” she had ordered that was above and beyond the $10 limit we had set for our personal gift exchange.  (In fairness I also went over that limit by $30+)

Well our last day at in the Manhattan offices of Traveler Bill Industries before the Christmas break and there was no sign of the “Family Gift” before she left for Two Travelers Plaza.  I had to work late and lucky I did as a call came in from the mail-room saying a package had come in for Traveler Nell and would I like to pick it up for her.  I knew it was the “Family Gift” and I tried to ignore all information but did notice the package had come from Ireland.

I waited until I got home to surprise Traveler Nell with the news that her gift had indeed made it to NYC in time.  We opened it right away and Nell presented me with a set of Cleary and Blevins family crests from Irish Nation.

Today I finally got around to putting them up on the walls.

Here they are on the wall.
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Here is the Cleary Family Crest
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And the Blevins Family Crest
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Here they are from a different perspective.
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An Apple a Day…

PC’s have been my computer since my first home personal computer in 1999. Then I met Traveler Nell. Since them I have gone from a generic .mp3 player to an iPod. From Treo’s and Blackberrys to iPhone4s and 5s. And now from PC to Macs.

Let me back up a bit. About three years ago I replaced my desktop computer with a reasonably priced HP laptop from PC Richards and Sons on 23rd Street in NYC. It has performed adequately since then although it has to be tethered to a cord due to a documented battery issue with the model I have, thereby negating the portability aspect of the laptop. But lately it has been sluggish and I am certain it is not long for this world. Rather than buy me a new computer, as explained in Traveler Nell’s blog last night, I would be taking her year-old MacBook and she would upgrade slightly as she uses her computer far more than I use mine.

I wasn’t expecting a seamless transition, but it wasn’t supposed to go like this. I get Nellie’s new MacBookPro home (I am taking her immaculately cared for 2011 model) and Nellie noticed something right away. See if you can catch it in the video below.

Apple Exchange from Traveler Bill on Vimeo.

In the greater scheme of things this is not a tragedy. We are still going to get a nifty piece of upgraded aluminum (or aluminium for those inclined toward the British spelling of words) that will be Streets Ahead of the pc (which now means Piece of Crap) I currently use.

Nellie Loves Drama: NYPD Edition

Nobody, and I mean nobody loves “Drama” more than my beloved Traveler Nell. And by drama I mean something that involved Flashing Lights and the occasional Siren. I mentioned this in my post from last week Fire Truck Drama. Typically though it presents itself either when we are not together, or it is out of our way. (And when I say our I really mean my. Nellie would walk well out of her way to see what was going on when flashing lights are involved.)

So how did fortune favor us as we were walking to the subway together last Monday, as we turned the corner at West Street and Rector Street, but a NYPC squad car, lights ablaze, behind a car. And not just any car, but a Bentley.

Now When I started this post I knew that Bentleys were luxury vehicles. What I was not prepared for what that the car we saw getting a ticket was worth between $296,000 and $350,000. That said, according to Cars.com, in the NYC area that model goes from $289,000 up to $377,000!!!

NYPD Drama from Traveler Bill on Vimeo.

Note: You will hear me talking in the video, but not Traveler Nell. Fortunately I COULD hear her. That is how I avoided the dog dirt on the sidewalk. Listen for me to exclaim “Poos!” and you will know precisely when that occurred.

New York Via Melbourne

New York Via Melbourne. That is the title of Traveler Nell’s Blog. I, on the other hand am a New Yorker via a location MUCH closer. A couple months ago she told me that she read found a website where we could get silkscreen prints of Melbourne, New York AND Albany! The company says that these prints fit nicely into the RIBBA frames.

Here are the prints in their frames.
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You will notice the colors of the prints. This was a point of contention at the start of the process. I was in favor of using primary colors for our respective home towns with the corresponding secondary color for our current home town. Nell preferred to use primary colours. In the end I won out.

Now in researching this project Traveler Nell found a blog that described the difficulties in lining them up perfectly. Maybe I am a picture hanging savant, but I found not such difficulties. Here they are individually on the wall.

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Melbourne

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Albany

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New York

All I ended up using was a tape measure, a yard stick, a level, a pencil (or as Traveler Nell refers to it, a gray lead!) and a hammer. I think I did a pretty nifty job.

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On the wall.

Here they are all lined up using the iPhone panorama function.
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A blast from the past.

Traveler Nell has reached into my past and dragged out a fond recollection. When we first move to Upstate New York from Detroit we lived in a motel while the construction on our house was being finished. That motel was right across the street from a McDonalds.

Early on there was a promotion Where you order a kids meal maybe and you got a seasonal theme melamine plate. I know for certain that back then we had the “Winter” plate and maybe “Autumn” but not a full set.

Until now…

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Traveler Nell got me the full set of of eBay. She thought at first I was disappointed but I was actually a little overwhelmed. I was really transported back to the age of 8, wishing I had them all but happy to have the one I did.

Here they are.

SPRING

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SUMMER

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AUTUMN

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WINTER

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Seriously, how stupid is Bic Mac to put handcuffs on a snow Hamburglar?

9021-Oh nuts – or – God is my 90210-Pilot

As many of you know I am shortly to wed my dearest Director of IT, Traveler Nell.  Also, you are certainly cognizant that some couples engage in behavior that the bachelor Traveler Bill would never consider, and perhaps even deride.  Examples of this are baby talk, dressing similarly and – most shamefully – taking part in a weekly viewing of a show that your betrothed grew up loving that you never watched…and writing a weekly rundown of the series episode by episode.  Traveler Nell, a few years younger than me grew up watching a plethora of shows I either never saw, or watched long ago.  Some of the former are Saved By the Bell, Degrassi Junior High, Beverly Hills 90210, Wonder Years, Dawson’s Creek and most odiously Full House.

You have to have figured out which show will be the object of our attention.  But how did I find myself in this position?  I am a regular listener to the BS Report podcast.  Bill Simmons is the very popular (Boston) Sports Guy columnist on ESPN.com.  His terrific columns occasionally reference 90210 so this past September second (9-02-10) he and ESPN Fantasy Guru Matthew Berry published a two part, podcast entirely dedicated to the original 90210.  I insisted that Nellie listen to the entire two hours while we drove upstate that next weekend.  We had a good time (Simmons and Berry were quite entertaining) but it lead to the following challenge from Nellie:  Watch every episode of Beverly Hills 90210 and write a he said/she said review/recap to be published on line.  Gauntlet Thrown: Challenge Accepted. (Check out Traveler Nell’s recap of the Pilot here) Continue reading

His Biggest Fan

Last night Traveler Nell and I make our annual pilgrimage to the American Australian Association‘s Benefit Gala at Cipriani’s (this year at their 42nd Street location.)  It was a very good time with a very nice meal and pretty good entertainment.

The Torpedo meets Travelers Bill and Nell

The Torpedo meets Travelers Bill and Nell

We also met Australian Olympic Swimming Legend, Ian “The Thorpedo” Thorpe, or Thorpie as everyone called him.  One thing that struck me is that swimmers back in 2000 must have been tiny as I always recalled him towering over everyone.  In person however, he isn’t much taller than I.  He is an exceptionally gracious man who accommodated an inordinate number of photo requests.  As you can see to the left of this paragraph, one of these requests came from the principal of Traveler Bill Industries.

Also regarding Mr. Thorpe, Traveler Nell was able to keep my past Michael Phelps comments to herself.  (Unlike this past February when she told Phoenix Cardinal punter Bennie Graham how I “barracked for the Steelers!”)  As an aside is it me or does it look like someone is holding a Muppet up between Traveler Nell and me?

Finally, Traveler Nell had her photograph taken with two of the stars of Fox’s breakout hit, Glee who were on hand to introduce fellow co-star Amber Riley’s terrific performance, as well as with Rosanna Scotto of Fox5 Good Day New York morning program.   Check out the embedded video for Rosanna’s recounting of the evening which starts at the 1:22 mark. There are some errors in her recollection, for instance it is the “American Australian Association” not the “Australian American Foundation.”  Also, at the 2:28 mark she tells an anecdote with a couple mistakes, ie: it is JENelle not JOHNelle and the guy with her is her fiance, not her husband.  Everything else in that portion was correct.

NOTICE: Australian viewers with gentle sensibilities should stop listening immediately after the previous anecdote!  Don’t say you weren’t warned!

I'll NOT Have What She's Having.

Every now and then Traveler Nell and I like to pain the town red, or at least a robust shade of pink.  So when an old friend of hers came to town for an art gallery opening we decided to take the opportunity to eat out for a change.

Traveler Nell in front of the Famous Katz's Deli

Traveler Nell in front of the Famous Katz's Deli

The place we decided on was the famous Katz’s Delicatessan.  For those of you who are not aware, this is the restaurant from When Harry Met Sally… in which Meg Ryan’s Sally appreciated her meal inordinately.

Now I have dined at Katz’s thrice previously.  Once when wandering alone in my early days in New York City.  The second time with my father in 2000 on the occasion of his first visit to Traveler Bill Towers.  The last time was with a friend in 2007, right before I entered the hospital for my surgery to continue my  gradual transformation into a Human/Bovine/Cyborg Amalgam.

But Nellie has never eaten at Katz’s.  She told me that once before she went there but upon witnessing the scene inside, she turned right around and opted for the Yonah Schimmel’s Knishery down the block on Houston St.  If you’ve never been to Katz’s you might not be prepared for the chaos that is the cutter lines.  We decided to each get a corned beef sandwich (I opted to get mustard on mine) and share a matzo ball soup.  Nellie secured a table while I waited in line, so I dropped off our sandwiches and headed to get our drinks.

What I saw when I returned leveled me like a McGill University student slugged me in the stomach.  Traveler Nell has put, NAY smothered her corned beef sandwich in ketchup…ketchup! I thought I have reconciled Traveler Bill’s Yankee sensibility with Traveler Nell’s Aussie nuttiness.

And I have.

I would no sooner desecrate a delicious corned beef sandwich with, as she says, tomato sauce.  But as long as she doesn’t foist such an abomination on my palate, I am perfectly happy to let her ruin her meal if it makes her happy.

We’re like a regular Joan Wilder novel.

How an Australian ruins a sandwich

How an Australian ruins a sandwich