Monday, February 23, 2009

All the Brothers Now

Top o' the morning to ya, ye dogs! Your humble correspondent's brains are a bit sloshed around from his late night hockey game, so if any of this is nonsensical gibberish, just cook up your own witty copy to fill in the gaps.

Cap'n Jack sailed over to the east side of Port of Houston to attend the Fifth Ward Church of Christ last night. It's your standard swap deal where they come to Memorial CofC one week, and we go over there the next. I can honestly tell you, I have heard no finer congre-singing probably in my entire life (including Harding U Chapel where everyone is heavily caffeinated). My brothers and sisters at 5W can sing. They do not mess around, which is very much appreciated by this blog. Jack LOVED it. About halfway through "Amen" he looks at me with this look that asks, "Where ARE we?! I thought I just came from here!"

Signal flags of thanks are ordered on display this week for the Top Brass and our friends Nick and Teresa (and Lyla) who all showed up at Home Port 2.0 recently. As Melanie's Uncle (and my official Main Man) Kenni would say, Habatcha!

The Skip graduated to Pumpkin 101 this week, and everything is spattered with orange material. Everything. First Mate Belle is now re-registering as an Orange Belton.


Monday, February 16, 2009

Cry Hard With a Vengeance

Happy Tuesday, my People! I think your correspondent experienced the first real fear about Jack growing up. The night before last, I was just stunned that the child is 7 months old. It seems like only a few weeks ago I was pulling into Shipley's for a quick doughnut as Melanie agonized in pain out in the car. After I hit Starbuck's for a java jolt. Ah, the memories.

Anyway, I felt the time just ticking by and it was frighteningly tangible. Yeah, so I still have impatient thoughts of wanting so much to see what kind of man this little drooling person will become, maybe even long after they box yours truly up in the macabre giftwrap. But those thoughts now are tempered with the fear of him growing up - no, not him growing up, that's not it. Fear of these days being gone. Me and the missus had ye olde Counting Crows on the ship's phonograph last night and there's a certain line about "hold[ing] on to these moments as they pass." Right.

I assume all the moms are nodding, since they understand the subject only too well. But remember, coming from the dad side of things on this, it's customary to just laugh this off as the mom-folk getting too sentimental. It's kind of an eye roll and go about fixing the car kind of thing (we dad-folk do that a lot if you didn't know). But it hit me like a truck that night and I don't know why. Melanie says I need to watch more ESPN. Prolly so.

And now for the update on our illustrious hero and captain:

Facing the Feared Tigress of the Far North
Jack went to see Dr. P, our ship's doctor for something like his 6 or 7 month checkup (lost count, sorry). I think there was an injection involved. Yawn. I know this will come as a shock, but it was discovered that the kid is one tall drink of water. Or "long", depending on which axis you're tape-measuring on. Measurements as recorded by The Tigress are:

17 1/2 lbs (1 1/4 stone), 45th percentile
28 1/4 inches long, 95th percentile
43 3/4 cm (17.2 inches) head circumference, 25th percentile

I don't even know why I bother to list the meaningless head circumference thing. At least I hope it's meaningless or the kid's got sparse room for brains. Might take after his father on that one.

You Mean HE'S In Charge?!
Old dad got to babysit twice (!) this week, one while Her Majesty sauntered on down to the beauty parlor/salon/stylist place, and the other while she got her teeth whittled on by the dentista. Not a great time for either Jackbaby or El Comodoro, I can tell you. There was yelling. And teething pain. And spitting up. And multiple nap refusals. And crying. And I'm not even going to go into what Jack was doing.

FLASH! Latest Parental RevelationThe skipper has moved on to bananas this week. He loves bananas. Loves 'em. He'll gobble them as fast as you can pile them in his little cheeks. I heard one time that bananas are an ideal food, because they taste about the same coming up as they do going down. But let me assure you, that is patently false. There is nothing, NOTHING worse than banana spit up smell. NOTHING. The ship smells like a Burmese POW camp. It's plain bana-nasty.

Yippee Kai-Yay, English Setter!
We have mined COMEDY GOLD on the baby riding dog front. Behold! What makes it funny is that this has never been attempted before. Ever! By the way, I'm not sure who was more worried in this one. And this is probably admissible as evidence in both child endangerment and SPCA suits, but I'm posting it anyway.

And I've found my new favorite family pic (see above). A nice one, even though the chillrun were not on task. At all.

Monday, February 9, 2009

One tooth! AH AH AH! TWO teeth! AH AH AH!

The Captain couldn't be satisfied with just one tooth aboard. There had to be two. And the crew is suffering for it.

A few nights back, the skipper decided to be present at EVERY night watch aboard, for a total of FIVE. If he couldn't sleep, why should we? Going back towards newborn territory is not what the crew expected or is currently capable of. We've grown soft. So soft, in fact, that we considered looking the kid over for a return address.

When a less than restful night is over, happy Jack is up smiling and... screaming. Not really an angry scream, but more of a DID I MENTION MY TEETH HURT? kind of yell. It's nice. And not irritating at all.

Had dinner on Friday with my K-thru-12 Grand Saline amigo Stephen and his wonderful wife Jennifer (who runs a righteous blog). I think we figured it had been 12 or 13 years since we'd last seen each other. I'm amazed at how much water has gone under the bridge since then, and also how people that got along years ago still do. Anyway, Stephen pitched a few whole beeves on the barbie with the aid of a hydraulic pulley used for yanking motors and we dined in some major style (thanks, guys!). The non-observant crew yammered away without looking at their hourglasses until a quarter to eleven o'clock. Jack? Still playing and wide-world-of-sports awake. I think we doused the lamps and finally got him off to sleep in his cabin at midnight. Ouch.

Jack is rolling over at-will now (flipping like a pancake is a better description). He can frequently be found 6 or 8 feet from where we left him sucking on the brand-new hardwood floor (mmm... oak!) and making all kinds of inappropriate noises. He just started pulling his knees up under him, and yours truly has been ordered by Her Majesty to begin childproofing operations on Home Port 2.0 before he goes mobile. Yes, I now have to ensure that little fingers can't get into electrical outlets (or, say, put screwdrivers in them for instance) and that they have no access to all sorts of scary poisonous and way-more-caustic-than-necessary chemicals that abound in the ship's stores. On second thought, this will probably protect me as much as my boy. Frightening.

Will post pictures when I'm able. E.C. fell out of his hammock late this morning and no uploading got done.

Sunday, February 1, 2009


If you didn't see the bookwormy mid-week post, go check that out here, if only to get your money's worth.
A shocking and unexpected development here at CJMP over the weekend: Our crack reporting staff has uncovered the transcript of an interview conducted in early 2009 between David Frost and our very own Captain Jack. Evidently the 1977 Nixon interviews were just a warmup for bigger and better things. I present the few pages we found to you raw and unedited:
FROST: Hello, good evening, and welcome.
JACK: Who are you talking to? It's just us and the tape recorder. And, um, thanks, glad to be here. And it's morning. And where's that applause coming from?
FROST: Why didn't you burn the tapes?
JACK: I'm sorry?
FROST: Ah, I must have switched notes... apologies, Captain. What do you think of life so far? You're frankly very new at it.
JACK: It's not bad, and I've been fairly pleased with my brief experience here. There's not much to do but sleep, and eat, and play a bit. And I think the help could be better. But as I can't walk yet, I'll have to make do till then.
FROST: You mean your parents?
JACK: Yes. They're certainly nice, but the food lately has been really suspect, and I just don't know really what their qualifications are. What experience...
FROST: To be raising...
JACK: Right--In raising me, and again, the food--making the food choices. I can't believe I got the standard milk and yellow squash of all things last week and puréed carrots yesterday. It's just odd. I'd like a nice steak au poivre or something similar. Let me be clear, at least the sugar content of the carrots was higher than the squash, which was nice. Oh, there's talk aboard ship of developing a new line of cosmetics targeted specifically at privateers like myself, since after I rubbed the carrots all over my face and arms...
FROST: But Captain, it's been argued very strongly in the press of late that you only have one tooth, and therefore meat would be out of the...
JACK: ...and on my clothes...
FROST: But the tooth, Captain...
JACK: It's an individual rights issue, isn't it? If I can't enjoy self-determination here then perhaps this isn't the place for me. I don't question your dinner...
FROST: You're six months old!
JACK: Not seeing your point, David.
FROST: (Shaking head) All right then, what have you been occupying yourself with lately? You've virtually shut out most of the press by revoking the majority of press passes on board your vessel.
JACK: Right. Well, the crew was getting distracted by the wall-to-wall interview schedule, and I found some ninny from The Sun using my glass to spy on the Jolie-Pitt yacht that was moored next to us at Marseilles. That was really the last straw. But to your question, I have found time to relax with my old Dad. We watched the Superbowl XLIII cliffhanger yesterday with the new satellite dish we installed at Home Port 2.0. Re-installed, rather.
FROST: So you enjoy sport, do you?
JACK: Sports. What's with you people dropping of the "s" on that word? And yes, I've been known to watch a down or two of football or a bit of hockey, when the schedule permits.
FROST: Ah, soccer as you Americans call it. And you mentioned your schedule?
JACK: No, American football, with helmets and... it's like rugby but without the... nevermind. And yes, my nap schedule occasionally gets in the way of things. But not often!
FROST: I notice you haven't mentioned your illustrious mother.
JACK: Oh, her? I've about ground that woman into a fine powder. She waits on me hand and foot. Sometimes, I'll refuse to nap, and make absolutely sure she can't rest, and just when I think she's getting to the end of her rope...
FROST: Yes? Please go on, Captain.
JACK: It's a bit embarrassing, but I wait until she's just about had it, and... well, I spit up right down her shirt.
FROST: That's horrible. Some might even say evil. And you do this deliberately?
JACK: Well, yes. I mean, it's all in good fun, isn't it? And it's certainly more entertaining than plastering old dad's shirt, because he'll just spend the rest of the evening 25 feet away from me--well out of my range.
FROST: Captain, so you're saying that in a sense there are certain situations, and spitting up is one of them, where the Captain can decide that it's in the best interests of the crew, and do something evil.
JACK: You're misinterpreting the...
FROST: Am I? If...
JACK: Well, I'm saying that when the Captain does it, that means that it is not evil. It's cute.