The Gravley Life

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Fatherhood and some amateur photography

It's common knowledge that parents love to share pictures, stories, newborn intestinal information, and just about anything else having to do with their children. I am no different. No, I will not sit idly by while my friends actually request pictures and not post some rockin' pictures of my baby boy. Sure as heckfire, I'll even throw in some pictures of Betsy's sister and her girls and even a couple of our nursery - just so those with kids can compare and those without can snicker.

Bets and I are doing well with James. Next Monday, he starts at Betsy's preschool. It's seems like yesterday he was born, but it will actually have been six weeks and they say that's an ok time to bring him in. Bets will be right across the hall from him all day, so she'll be able to have that connection constantly, otherwise it wouldn't have happened. I wish we could have her stay home with him, but bills is bills, and they keep on coming.

I also wanted to share an analogy that being a father is kind of like getting your driver's license, in a couple of ways. You have a whole new perception on reality and life, but also, life is much like it was before, even though your day-to-day routine is very different. I'm not saying I expected to turn into a relentlessly self-improving boulangerie owner from Belgium with low grade narcolepsy and a penchant for buggery, but I was expecting more change and not as much magic. I got less change and more magic, and I like that very much.

Pictures of James
Seconds later, he said, "Electrostatic speakers..."
Sleeping James and our cat Bud.
James tries to understand cold weather.
Kirsten, Betsy's sister, holds James.
Little does he know...
...he's on the menu for tonight's dinner(bath, actually).
"The closeup"

Kirsten, Melissa (3yrs), and Sonny (2yrs)
Nice hooded towel poncho thing for Sonny.
Melissa's hooded towel poncho thing.
Aww...isn't that nice.

Our nursery
Camera 1
Camera 2

Monday, January 09, 2006

James is such a noob

"Welcome back," I say to myself. You've probably noticed that I took a little respite from my blog. The longer I had put off posting, the more spectacular I dreaded my next post should be. However, as you can probably already tell, I gave up on that dream. It just wasn't meant to be, and you are left having to suffer my "B"-team writing.

First up: baby update. I got James' social security card in the mail yesterday. He's officially a member of our fair country. I'll try to post some picture of him later on, as I don't have on me, but he's got a little baby acne and he's bald on top with a ring of hair a la Carl Reiner. Nevertheless, he's adorable and a very well-mannered baby. We are really lucky to have him. But enough of that...

Just when I think I'm disenchanted with video games, I'm lured back in.

I watch and follow an online video series called Pure Pwnage ( I consider this to be the most creative and sincere video project on the Internet. The humor is raw and quickly became a quotable part of my vocabulary, especially when my brother is involved. Some knowledge of the gaming community is needed to wholly appreciate it, but it also stands on it's own two legs if you're a noob (someone who is new to it).

During these episode 8, the protaganist, Jeremy, plays a game of high stakes computer games against an opponent for $25.000. They're playing "Counter Strike: Source" which is packaged in with Half Life 2. I bought this game just for the novelty factor, expecting to play it a little and lose interest like all my other games, but it has gripped me. I first played through the entire HL2 single player game, which was incredible, but I really got hooked with CS:source.

Counter-Strike is basically a game where you either play on the terrorist team, who tries to plant a bomb in one of two locations on a map. Or you play on the counter-terrorist team, who tries to kill all of the terrorists before they get the bomb to explode. The concept is simple. The allure to this is how incredibly realistic the action is. Your techniques for how you move, which weapons you choose, your style of hiding versus advancing, walking silently or charging, and even making sure you don't knock over bottles to alert your enemy all have a direct very direct effect on your survival.

Dan and I love to play this game together. We played together on my parent new computers many times and last night played a game over the internet for the first time. The great part about playing with him is that we are always on the same team fighting against the others. It's a genuinely fun experience for me, and I hope it doesn't grow old for me or my brother anytime soon.

Here are a few shots of the game. Click to enlarge.