The future is NOW.

It’s been a long day at the office. Nobody really likes working on a Saturday, but sometimes in order for you to get to enjoy things like Memorial Day off, you’ve got to just suck it up and put in the hours.

There are certain things which makes it easier, of course. Especially in my admittedly-unique case. Things like the fact that I get to work from anywhere I want to on my company-provided, state of the art, Mac Book Air, which my in-no-way-scientifically-tested-or-tested-at-all observations tell me actually weighs less than my iPad.

In this case, circumstances dictate that I am working from the passenger seat of my hybrid Toyota Camry, traveling at [redacted] miles per hour down the I-25 going from Colorado to Arizona. My connectivity is being provided by a MiFi “Jetpack” (Automatticians will giggle at this) from Verizon which gives me 4G speed which sometimes really does what the commercials say and surpasses that of the ethernet waiting for me at home.

So to sum up, while I am having to work on a Saturday, I’m doing it in close company with my family, in a car getting up to 40 miles per gallon, with truly wireless Internet of incredible speeds, on a laptop which weighs like 2 pounds.

How ISN’T this science fiction?


Yep. We’re moving.

I figured I should probably write a proper explanation of the admittedly VERY sudden announcement that Charming and I are moving out of state from Arizona to Colorado.

First, I’m sure if you really think about it, this isn’t all THAT sudden. I spent a good portion of my childhood and early adulthood in Littleton (a suburb of Denver), Castle Rock, and Colorado Springs (basically the I-25 corridor). Plus, Charming has hated Arizona for as long as she’s lived here. And when I say hated, I mean HAAAAATED. The desert, the heat, the lack of seasons, the politics. You name it.

So we’ve been kindof thinking about moving for a while now. As in “since we’ve known each other.” I usually just smiled and nodded, because I mostly like Arizona. I moved back from Scotland to it. Voluntarily. I love the stark beauty. I put up with the heat and the politics. And I ADORE my family, even if they drive me insane sometimes (love you guys!).

But then things changed. As I think all of you guys know, about 6 months ago I left and started working for Automattic, Inc which is a distributed company. Automattic allows me to work anywhere in the world as long as I have an active and robust internet connection. This just naturally fueled the talks of us moving elsewhere. And THEN of course, the Little Cap’n came along, and suddenly we were thinking about him. What kind of environment do we want to raise him in? What quality of schools? I’ve never had to think along those lines before, but they make you think much more differently!

Side note: Another random bonus of working with Automattic is the travel. They will fly you all over the place for meetups. The first such one came about three weeks ago, when Automattic had a meetup in Santa Fe, New Mexico. That was so close for me (and I don’t fly well) that I decided to drive, and since I was driving I brought Charming and the Cap’n along with me. After that week-long meetup was over, we decided to continued on to Colorado to stay at my grandmother’s house in Littleton rather than return to the heat of Arizona, and that was just it for Charming. She well and truly fell in love with the place and we decided to do some house hunting.

Much like my decision to go to graduate school in Glasgow, one thing just came together after another. On a lark I decided to check if I could get funding, I could (and it was a great rate). On a lark, we decided to look for a realtor. We found a great one. On a lark, we decided to look for houses. The very first one we looked at we fell in love with. We looked at 14 more and we still went back to that first one. On a lark we put in an offer, and it was (eventually) accepted.

And so, we are now home owners in the state of Colorado. We’ll be moving in late July, early August.

Here are some photos which will give you an idea of what we’re looking forward to:

Horrifying Observation of the Day

Summer’s Eve, a product which will always be synonymous with douching (hey, funny story: Did you know if you do a Google Image search for “douchebags,” you don’t get a single hit for anything having to do with the actual product douches? It’s all what you would imagine) has apparently gotten a whole new product line going.

They’re now shilling body wash, an advertisement for which just came up while Charming and I were watching telly. I LOLed and she wryly offered: “Can you believe that their new tagline is ‘Hail to the V?!'”

I did not, in fact, believe it. Surely they couldn’t be that . . . forgive me . . . ballsy.

But sure enough.

Yes. This is meant to horrify you. Don't pretend it didn't work.

Yes. This is meant to horrify you.
Don’t pretend it didn’t work.

So. There’s that.

I’m just going to leave you with an idea. Can you imagine someone coming out with a product which says “Hail to the P” and getting away with it?

I mean other than Maxim Magazine. That doesn’t count. For anything. Ever.


EDIT: THE HORRORS NEVER FUCKING END! Charming just found this in one of the random chick magazines she reads:

"A clean beaver always finds more wood"

“A clean beaver
~ always ~
finds more wood”

It’s an advert for Playtex “Fresh and Sexy Intimate Wipes.”

I’m going to rush out and buy some right now.

An open letter to Banner Thunderbird (and the entire Banner Network)

To the employees of Banner Thunderbird (and the Banner Network):

I had a rough night recently. No, not the sleepless nights since my son, Malcolm was born. Those have been just as bad as everyone said they would be, but they were expected! No, I’m talking about the night before he joined us. December 30th, 2012.

You see, I’m not much of a one for waiting. Inigo Montoya and I are cut from the same cloth. I’m given to pacing and not being able to sleep. Especially when I’m facing great big huge events. Like, you know, the scheduled induction of my first (and possibly only . . . my wife and I aren’t young!) child. And believe it or not, my wife is even worse!

So given the fact that for over two weeks we had the date of December 31st circled on the calendar as THE date (at 3 am, no less! Someone out there is truly sadistic!), when the night in question came, we were both nervous wrecks.

Like good patients we did what we were supposed to and called about an hour and a half before we were supposed to head in . . .

. . . and were faced with utter shock.

Our appointment wasn’t going to happen. There weren’t any beds available for us at Banner Estrella. They didn’t know when there would be and that we should sit by the phone and wait.

I admit, this was a bit upsetting for me. I’ve worked in customer service for nearly a decade and “Don’t call us, we’ll call you; but I’m not going to give you an inkling of when” was one of the worst lines I’d ever heard. So I called back. I was polite. So was the lady on the other end. I asked for a ballpark. She couldn’t give it to me. OK, is it going to be today? No. Is it going to be tomorrow? Probably not. What about the next day? Maybe. Ooookaaaayyy. This has been going on a while if you’re that backed up, yah? Yes. Then why weren’t we told about it? Well, we sometimes get caught up. We couldn’t just CALL everyone on the roster for weeks.

We hung up with each other. My wife cried. I wrote an angry email to my aunt who used to be involved in such things. We tried to sleep.

The next morning, we called my wife’s OB/Gyn office and told our sob story and asked if there was any way we could get in ANYWHERE. At this point we just wanted to meet our son. It was his birthday!!

And this is where you beautiful people come in.

I don’t know who, precisely, could be said to have come through for us. If it was the wonderful Julie at Desert West OB/Gyn or someone in admitting at Banner Thunderbird, but you did. Someone found us a bed. We were called back and asked how quickly we could get there. We live in FAAAAARRRR East Mesa and had never made it in under 60 minutes. I made it in 50, including getting dressed and grabbing the “having a baby” bags.

And let me tell you, from the moment we walked in the front door, every single experience we had at Thunderbird was hands down FIRST RATE. Remember how I work in customer service? I do it for a living and have been paid pretty OK to advise on just how to give great customer service. I feel like I should direct people to YOU.

We had a friendly admission person who got us right through the process. Both of our LND nurses were so first rate I want to invite them to family BBQs (I’m talking to you, Abbey and Ann!) . . . in fact, even though we didn’t deal with the others as much, the entirety of the LND staff were all SO warm and welcoming I hardly knew what to do!

And please keep in mind that this was before Malcolm was a bit of a miniature celebrity. Before he was the first Banner baby of 2013! At this point he was just some potential boy that hopefully was going to come in before midnight (because Daddy needed that tax deduction!). This is just how amazingly they seem to treat EVERYONE.

Once the wee child had come screaming into the world, we were given fantastic treatment by the folks over in Post-Partum as well. Queenie especially was . . . queen-like; though it does everyone else such a disservice to not mention them all individually. It is my own failing that I was too overwhelmed by the moment to remember everyone’s name!

The long and short of it is that despite being born myself in a hospital that was to become a Banner hospital (Mesa Lutheran, which became Banner Mesa), and having had all of my nieces, nephews, and second cousins born in Banner hospitals . . . I was ready to give up on the network. I was so frustrated and angered by my experiences that I was ready to find alternatives going forward. Don’t get me wrong, I know that there is a lot which goes in to treating people. I know that there are decisions which have to be made about levels of care vs. something so small as “customer service” . . . But in this day and age where competition is everywhere, where every organization is trying to get more out of the same number of customers, and where even places like hospitals are thinking of themselves more and more like businesses and corporations rather than simple places of healing . . . then that tiny little thing “customer service” cannot be tiny. It has to be EVERYTHING!

But I digress. In this case, as a direct result of the wonderful people of Banner Thunderbird, I WILL absolutely be coming back; and may even be willing to make that ridiculous drive some more, just so that we can continue to get treatment right there at Thunderbird!

I cannot possibly thank you all enough, and I know that my wife feels the same. Mal does too, I’m sure!

Yours most sincerely,

~Daniel “Ash” Rhodes

This is me, writing a post

SOMEONE, who will remain nameless, is a bit bossy. As such, in order to secure ice cream, I’m complying and writing a post. And look! Several entire sentences that in no way contain a swear word. I know, right? I DO totally also deserve sprinkles. And whipped cream. Also a cookie.

We’re now slightly more than 24 hours from L&D Day. If I told you I wasn’t freaking out now, you’d know I was lying because you also already know that I spent several hours yesterday arranging coins. Not just by numerical value, but also so that when I wrapped them they were all facing the same direction. Yeah. Avoidance IS a beautiful thing! But sometimes, we just need to control what we can. Especially when faced with the Great Unknown.

A Baby.

A baby that we don’t just have to give birth to, but that we also have to then bring home from the hospital and care for EVEN WHEN IT REFUSES TO SLEEP. Forever. FOREVER, EVER.

Seriously, what good are you people if you don’t stop me from making silly decisions like that?

Truth be told though, I’m excited. I’m ready to meet the little guy who’s spent the last several months using my liver as a punching bag. A little guy who already likes to wake up at 2:30 in the morning, is excited by the sound of James Bond, car chases, and Flogging Molly. It’s funny to think how much we already know about someone we’ve never even met. It’s sort of like internet dating, really. He seems to be fairly reasonable about things like sleep and eating his vegetables (a trait he clearly gets from my side), and utterly unreasonable about things like chocolate ice cream (absolutely DOES NOT get that from my side!). He likes fiddle music and the sound of people singing. The sound of typing lulls him to sleep and he almost certainly will think that he’s part cat thanks to Polly’s insistance on helping me cook him.

But all of these things, these intangible traits just leaves more questions. Will he like to read? Will he be able to carry a tune? Will he want to wear a bow tie on his first day of Kindergarten?

I can’t wait to find out.


Marriage.  It really is the true test of all things compromise.

It’s that time in your life when you learn to give of yourself for the sake of something greater rather than indulging in that thing or activity or small pettiness which, sure would give you endless satisfaction in the short term, but would cause damage to the institution which you are building for the ages.

It means not going up to that incredibly taut-looking twenty-something and saying something which might get you slapped, but then again might get you access to her . . . *ahem* . . . might make you best friends, and instead you just file away what could have been in your mental image vault.  Right there towards the back next to pictures of Christina Hendricks doing jumping jacks.

It means not correcting your wife when she moans the name “Eric the Viking” in bed.  Because even though YOU know that the correct term is “Eric Northman,” not just because it’s the name on the stupid show she’s been forcing you to watch; but also because it’s way more historically correct, since unlike someone else apparently, YOU know that calling someone “Eric the Viking” is like calling someone “Bob-the-smelly-raping-honorless-pirate,” and was likely to get said person spitted (and not in the way she was clearly hoping for at the moment) . . . you let it go.  Because saying something would kill the mood.

It ALSO means doing things like driving all over creation for BabyDoc appointments.  A lot.  Three times a week.

And when I say “All over creation,” please examine the map that I used Google Maps to create below for illumination:


Note:  Only slightly exaggerated for amusement factor.

So we live way out on the farthest eastern edge of Mesa, AZ.  The BabyDoc’s office is out in Avondale, by the new Cardinal’s stadium.  Readers in Arizona realize that this is nearly 50 miles of driving through something like 4 different cities, including one major downtown Metropolis.  And we get to do this three times a week right now.  Why?  Oh, just to check to make sure the baby is still moving.  No, really.  They want to keep checking in because Charming is “of advanced age” for mothers (over 35, but you didn’t hear it from me), and that means there’s more risk.

I’m all for mitigating risk, but if there’s all that risk, why don’t we mitigate it by, oh, I don’t know, inducing the baby?  If he’s in so much fucking danger let’s GET HIM OUT OF THERE.  This does not seem to be rocket surgery.

So what was I saying?  Oh yeah, compromise.  So despite the fact that A) this place is crazy far and B) the BabyDoc is just crazy crazy, Charming just loves her.  So we keep going.  Because marriage is about compromise.  Or something like that.

I’m going back to my vault.  It’s safer in there.  And there are boobs.