It’s My ReBirthday!

Ralph Parlett may have said it best when he wrote, “Real birthdays are not annual affairs. Real birthdays are the days when we have a new birth.”

Today, July 27th, marks an anniversary for me – its been one year since my RNY gastric bypass surgery. Many others who’ve had this procedure refer to the day of surgery as a “rebirthday” and considering how life-changing that day was for me, I think that’s fitting. I owe a great deal to all of you who’ve been so supportive and complimentary about my progress over the past months – having my own little cheerleading squad sure made a big difference!!

I’ve gotten a bit lax about posting progress pics, so here’s a “before & after” style update…

July 2004 - Before RNY gastric bypass surgery July 2005 - 106 lbs lighter and fit to be tied!

Cowbell Tipping

I've Gotta Have More Cowbell!

The tipping point seems to have certainly arrived for the lowly, underrated cowbell thanks to the skit featuring Christopher Walken & Will Farrell that aired on Saturday Night Live five years ago. The classic skit parodied a VH1 "Behind the Music" episode showing the fictitious genesis of Blue Öyster Cult’s "Don’t Fear the Reaper." I’ve always been a big fan of Christopher Walken, and you can’t help but love his straight-faced delivery during this skit, but Will Farrell definitely steals the show.

"Gotta Have More Cowbell" T-shirts are all over eBay, Wired magazine July 05 issue showcased the skit’s timeline to critical mass, and there’s even a website, The Cowbell Project, that’s obsessively devoted to cataloging every rock song that features the cowbell — and even a few that don’t but should.

Read up on the entire scoop on the SNL skit over on Wikipedia or click here to view a Google Video clip of the entire parody.

And if you decide you’ve just "gotta have more cowbell" of your very own, grab a copy of the SNL: The Very Best of Will Farrell DVD.

Morning Ride

Here are a couple of pictures from our morning bike ride. It was a great morning to ride, the wind was calm and it was only 75° (the high today will be 96°)! We received friendly greetings from people throughout the neighborhood and saw a few garage sales along the way. I noticed some bikes at the garage sales if anyone wants to join us. 🙂

Dede on her new beach cruiser bike Rob chillin' and hydratin'

27 Days ’til Sophie

Clems’ fiance, Sophie, will be arriving in the U.S. in 27 days!!! I’ve chatted with her on MSN Messenger and talked with her on the phone several times and feel like I already know her. It will be exciting to finally meet her in person!!! Time to start cleaning that apartment bud!!!

Sophie - Clems' bride to be

"Baby Bubba’s" 15 Minutes of Fame

Once again, we’ve been remiss… Steve B. scolded me for not posting any of Dylan’s pictures that he has been sending for over a year now. In our defense, I explained to him that we do not post pictures of children on our website without the parents specifically saying that it is okay. He granted me full permission so… without further ado, I would like to present Dylan “Baby Bubba” in his first blog post!

Dylan B. finally gets his much-deserved 15 minutes of fame

Russia Revisited

Brad and Marsha’s first trip to Russia was back in March and they were expecting to only have to wait about a month to finalize their adoption process. So after four months of waiting patiently, they leave tomorrow for their second trip to Tomsk, but this time they will get to bring Alexander home. Hopefully everything will go as scheduled and they will be back in two weeks. We are all excited about meeting their new son.

A Little Courtesy

Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Life be not so short but that there is always time for courtesy.”

But I’ve been remiss. Heather S. has been very supportive of our blog and yet I haven’t posted a reciprocal link over to her personal diary-style weblog, Blog, Blah, Blah. It’s not that I didn’t mean to do so already – in fact, I thought I had – but well, I just forgot. And that just ain’t right. So go check out Heather’s blog!

Happy Birthday, MP3!!

Newborns wearing headphones listen to classical music in a hospital maternity ward in Kosice, eastern Slovakia to help them adapt better to life after birth.  Photo Copyright: Frantisek Ivan

On July 14th, the name "MP3" celebrates its tenth anniversary!!   On this day back in 1995, the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS in Erlangen, Germany decided upon the filename extension ".MP3" for their new audio coding technology.   Soon MP3 became the generally accepted acronym for the ISO standard IS 11172-3 "MPEG Audio Layer 3" designed to greatly reduce the amount of data (10:1 compression is common) required to represent audio, yet still sound like a faithful reproduction of the original uncompressed audio to most listeners.

As mentioned in my Digital Music Project blog post back in February, we’re big fans of digital music, so happy birthday, MP3.   Rock on!