Main > Joel's February 2005 News


Monday, February 28th 2005

So far, we've survived today's Noreaster winter storm. I hope tomorrow's commute isn't bad. Tonight, our "Infant Care" class at the hospital was not cancelled, so we braved the wintry conditions to get there by 7:30pm. However, no one else showed up, so it was just us and the nurse. Still, we learned how to change diapers, bathe Junior, and watched a video.

Thanks to Tivo, my Season Pass turned up a whole slew of Farscape episodes from a marathon today that I knew nothing about. What a nice surprise.

Two interesting articles today to share:

  • MobilePC magazine has put together their definitive list of The Top 100 Gadgets of All Time. Yes, of all time. Not a bad list, either, stretching even back to the 1800's.
  • Thought "phishing" scams were bad? Guess what's even worse, and on the horizon -- "pharming". Trust me, it's much more insidious.

That's it for me today. I'll be MIA tomorrow night, as I'll be up to my elbows in unpacking my new computer. What fun I shall have!

Sunday, February 27th 2005

../PG/Family/02122005_024.jpg (56861 bytes)
Baby shower pictures
../PG/Friends/02262005_005.jpg (71441 bytes)
Sandhya & Vijay's party
../PG/Misc/02272005_001.jpg (41756 bytes)
Guess what she did while we put an entire crib together?

This weekend is now coming to a close. Friday night can also be referred to as "Sci Fi nite" as I had a lot of shows to watch, much to my wife's chagrin. On Saturday, we put the crib together, and then we went to Sandhya & Vijay's home for a get-together, Italian-style. Lots of Italian food, and as Sandhya put it, "a carb-friendly" buffet. Well, at least I ate well. We got home around 2:30am, and slept around 3:30am.

Today, we didn't make it to church, which I figured would happen. We had brunch at the local IHOP, and I finally published the long-awaited baby shower pics. I had heard that Meena aunty back in Bangalore has been waiting to see these pictures, so here you go, you beautiful woman you.

Finally, I'm semi-done with picture editing. In the evening, we took a bunch of stuff over to the in-laws' place for storage, and installed the carseat for Junior. Full weekend, by my book.

Num wrote the following in my blog. Normally, I'd delete it, but I'll leave it up, just to show she's a bitter, bitter, pregnant woman.

I'm Joel. I put a crib together and installed a car seat. I'm done with baby preparations.

Funny girl. Bitter, but funny. For the record, I do help out. There is one individual who doesn't help out around here. I'll give you one black furry guess.

According to the UPS site, my PC's delivery date has been rescheduled to March 1st. However, we've got this stupid Noreaster winter storm coming in tomorrow, so I don't know if it's going to affect the delivery. What wonderful timing. Argh. Speaking of the storm, we're supposed to attend another class at the hospital tomorrow night, but I doubt it's going to happen. Can I call in sick for work ahead of time? No? Just checking.

We just picked up the latest Turbotax Fed and State editions. I've got my eye on a potential tax refund, so I'll start working on the tax preparations this week.

Finally, some good news. I don't know if the regular readers remember, but when I converted to iTunes last November, I noticed that I lost a whole bunch of songs. Late last week, I thought we had lost the baby shower and other photos, and through some hunting, I found them in an obscure folder on the hard drive after my PC crashed last week (I think it was after all the moving to/from the LAN party.) Anyway, during my file hunt, I found over 170 of my missing MP3's. Where? In the freakin' Recycle Bin.

Unbelievable. This is great news, because I don't know what I would have done without my Cyndi Lauper music files.

Thursday, February 24th 2005

I'm not usually up early enough to write anything -- usually I'm running late, and bolting out the door in order to catch my train. However, it's 7:35am, and I think I should take advantage of this opportunity.

../PG/Misc/02232005_001.jpg (51397 bytes)
Num's birthday dinner

Last night, we went out to dinner to the Ivy Inn in Hasbrouck Heights to celebrate Num's birthday. We're in "Super Saver Mode", trying to watch expenses, but sometimes you gotta treat yourselves once in a while. Especially for your pregnant wife's birthday, right? Considering that we haven't gone to dinner by ourselves since last Oct/Nov, I think we can let this one slip by.

As you may notice, I've been very irregular..... with my postings (get your mind out of the gutter). I've just been really tired. Too tired. I'm not even sure why. I'm just exhausted after work. Wonder if life is always going to be like this? Wonder if it's going to get significantly worse in about 4 weeks?!?!

Eh, we'll deal with it. Though, I can already sense the receding hairline.

Anyone still not catching Battlestar Galactica? Well, Sci Fi is now posting deleted scenes and such online. Furthermore, they've posted the entire premiere episode of the series, "33", uncut and commercial-free. Actually, I have to say it's been my favorite episode so far. If you have RealPlayer, and an hour to spare, catch it sometime. I think it's been a great show, and the ratings have been through the roof. I've even seen it mentioned on TV Guide's Hot List, so finally some Sci Fi is getting respect. According to SyFy Portal, NBC has ordered up a 20-episode 2nd season to start this summer. Yeah, baby!


Snow? What's up with that? If you aren't from the NY/NJ area, then you're missing all the fun. It's almost March, and we're still getting snowstorms. I stayed late in the office tonight until 7:30pm, and by the time I headed out to Penn Station, the snow was falling pretty heavy. If tonight wasn't bad enough, I heard there's an even bigger storm on the horizon, arriving sometime Sunday or Monday. Yeah, really.

Wasn't Krispy Kreme the be all and end all recently? A darling on Wall Street? Weren't people were extolling the tastebud-related wonders of their doughnuts? Less than 2 years ago, their stock was trading at nearly $50 a share. Now? $5.36. The low-carb trend really killed them. Get ready for the bad news: federal prosecuters have opened a criminal probe, possibly related to the current investigation by the SEC. The SEC is investigating them too? Why? Possibly cooking the books. You know, during PwC training when I first started working for them, I remember spending a whole afternoon learning about what "cooking the books" (a.k.a. false accounting practices to make your company look better than it was), and how big a deal it was. Still, it wasn't being considered a normal occurrence. Now, it seems like it's in the news every day. Oye.

I think I am crabbier these days. Maybe it's the stress after all. I think when the good weather finally arrives, and I get some quality cycling time on the open road, that'll help me out in unimaginable ways. Getting a new computer and blasting some bad guys wouldn't hurt either.

Monday, February 21st 2005

../PG/Friends/02192005_008.jpg (45106 bytes)
LAN party this weekend

There should be a 3-day weekend every week. On Saturday, we had our most recent LAN party at Doug's new place up in Tuxedo NY. I was a little depressed, because my computer, which has been pretty pokey compared to everyone else, was especially troublesome. After arriving around 11am, I wasn't successfully participating until a little after 4pm. Firewall problems, slow performance, etc. This is the first time it was this bad. I mean, Pete in Oregon, and Adrian in Hong Kong, were in each game 10 minutes before I actually finished loading each mission and was in. 10 minutes. That's pretty bad. I didn't feel it, but Num thought I was awfully crabby when I got home after the whole day's activities.

../PG/Misc/02212005_002.jpg (30778 bytes)
My new LCD monitor

So, after lots of discussion, and finding out that Dell is running a 30% Presidents' Day sale + free shipping promotion, we ordered a new computer for me. Look, this computer has been great for the past 4 years, but it's time for something better. The new PC should ship at the end of this week, and it'll be here sometime next week. My favorite part? The 19" LCD monitor.

../PG/Misc/02212005_001.jpg (41814 bytes)
Num, Missy, and some new baby gifts

On Sunday, we had church, and went to our various parents' homes to show off the wedding DVD. It's pretty decent for the most part. We were worried that it would be horrible, but it's fine. Now we never have to deal with our wedding photographer ever again. In the meantime, we're still sorting the baby shower gifts, which are arriving about every other day. In the following picture, Missy is even helping with the "Ooooohs, ahhhhhhs." Last night, we fell asleep around 7pm, and I didn't get up until 9am today. What is that, like, 14 hours of sleep. Damn, I must have been tired.

On Monday, we had lunch with my in-laws, then grocery shopping at BJ's, and interviewing a prospective choice for a pediatrician. Tomorrow? Back to work.

Thursday, February 17th 2005

"Nothing much going on." The age-old sign that a blog is nearing the end of its life. Is that why I've been absent?

Yeah, right. I wish I had nothing going on around here, and it's only going to get worse. This place is still a mess, things to do every night, expenses up the wazoo, work is piling up at..... work. Stress, stress, stress. And damn, that cat wants to play every night. She's extremely anxious these days, and we're not even sure why. Our suspicion is that she knows something is "up". That's the only explanation we've got.

../PG/Misc/02172005_003.jpg (26736 bytes)
Santiago Calatrava's $35 million townhome cubes in the sky

I'm very glad tomorrow is Friday, as it means the 3-day weekend is almost at hand. I'm looking forward to chilling out a bit. I could use it.

What else? Oooh, a few months ago, Time magazine had an article on architects trying to do new-and-exciting building designs. Most of them didn't get created, because they were too radical, but at least they gave others ideas. One of the radical ideas for the South Street Seaport was this nutty tower of expensive townhomes made entirely of cubes.

Well, this far-fetched concept has been approved for lower Manhattan. What's neat about it is that the design calls for one cube's roof to become the outdoor garden for the cube above. Check out the picture to see for yourself. I do love architecture.

Ex-Star Trek child actor, and still an aspiring actor, Wil Wheaton will be on an upcoming episode of CSI as "Crazy Walter". I admit not being a big fan of the Wesley Crusher, child-know-it-all on Star Trek: The Next Generation back in the late 80's, early 90's, but I have nothing against the actor. In a "Where Are They Now?" moment, he's happily married, living in California, and trying to be a serious actor. Good for him.

../PG/Misc/02172005_002.jpg (82804 bytes)
../PG/Misc/02172005_001.jpg (41543 bytes)
Wil & his wife Anne
Wil as "Crazy Walter"

Sunday, February 13th 2005

Long story short -- Work has been busy, and I've had the flu. Hmm, a summary of the week in nine words.

I think I'm over the hump. I'm still NyQuiling every night, and Sudafed during the day. I stayed in most of the weekend, except for Saturday's baby shower. It went off well, and not as painful as I thought it would be [pictures later this week, I promise.]

However, we forgot to distribute the favors to everyone amid the hustle and bustle. Sorry, Anju. We'll get that out to everyone.... somehow. Gladly, we actually have just about every necessity we need.

In other news....

  • My friend Mike sent me this link to a whole mess of Star Wars Episode 3 movie photos. Trust me, you've probably never seen them.
  • I first mentioned Mark Jen, of ninetyninezeros blog fame, on January 30th. Since then, he got recently fired from Google, over his blog. Next job I take, I am not mentioning this website. [However, Num typed in joel ipe in Google, and this site does come up first. Time for Plan B: change my name to Mr. Pilkington.]
  • On Saturday, I'm driving up to Doug's new place to participate in one more LAN party before Junior arrives. After that, no more fragging for a while.
  • My buddy Vib has been telling me about this Indian comedian named Russell Peters. He just sent me a clip of his stand-up performance in Canada or wherever. It's long, but sit down & enjoy yourself (hmmm, that's how wifey & I got into this mess.)
  • We finished our birthing classes last week. Can't believe the baby arrives in just 5 weeks. Whoa. We still have two classes left: baby shower (last minute baby prep class, and another on breastfeeding. Woohoo. [grumble, grumble]

We've got a crib arriving in a week, so we've been cleaning up around here. I did a number on the bedroom, and it's almost liveable. Num has been working on the hall closet, so we can put a bathtub and other unsightly baby-related items in there.

I like calling Missy "The Sleeper." Why? Because I like to warn/announce that "The Sleeper has awakened." It's also funny that "The Sleeper" is only 7 lbs.

Tuesday, February 8th 2005

I finally checked out the recent issue of InStyle magazine, regarding the Celebrity Weddings feature I wrote about Feb 1st. They actually do mention Bishop John P. Croneberger. Ha ha! This means that the Ipes officially reside forever in "Cool Town". Yeah, that's right. It's a real place.

Monday, February 7th 2005

I've gotta get my sleep cycles organized. I'm forcing myself to be in bed by 11pm. So far, it worked Sunday night, as I was in the office bright & early Monday morning by 7:15am. Now, I just have to keep the streak of one day alive.

Today wasn't very spectacular. Had an impromptu lunch with Gary & Kristen today. That was a nice surprise. In the evening, Num & I attended the 1st of 3 childbirth classes at Clara Maass. Suffice it to say, she's already a little scared. I don't blame her.

Sunday, February 6th 2005

And tomorrow is Monday. These weekends are going by faster and faster.

Yes, I had Indian food for lunch on Friday. In the evening, I met Doug & Kathy at the Rodeo Bar, where Tom, Sudeep, and others were also meeting. When Doug, Kathy, and I finished dinner, I just grabbed my stuff, and moved over to the next table to join Tom and company. That's what I call excellent planning.

Saturday was just a day of errands, with little fun involved. Dropping off Indian DVDs in Teaneck that my in-laws rented for my Mom to watch as she recovers after surgery. Checking out Babywear in Clifton NJ for price comparison shopping. The only activity that I considered useful was attending a "Maternity Tea" session at the hospital where we're giving birth. We have a series of classes this month scheduled at the hospital. "Maternity Tea" involved no tea, but explained about the labor/delivery options at Clara Maass Medical Center, and included a tour of the Maternity ward. The highlight would be complete ineptitude in handling my soda bottle. I spilled it twice at the hospital.

On Sunday, they had the big farewell party for our Rector Pam Bakal. Today was her last Sunday service until she returns in May -- she's going on sabbatical to Hong Kong and India. We'll miss her. We were so impressed with her as our pre-marital counselor from the Episcopal church, we joined her church. In the afternoon, we checked out both Costco and BJ's. Our BJ's membership is up, so we wanted to see which was the better deal. This took us 2.5 hours. After many calculations, Num has decided that, based on our shopping list, BJ's is better by under $5. Well, now we know.

Birthing class Mon-Wed evening. I gotta get outta work by 4pm sharp if I'm going to be home in time for the 6pm classes.

Friday, February 4th 2005

Had to get up early today to pick up my trenchcoat from the cleaners, before I go to work. Can't believe it's snowing. Last night after work, Num and I went to her parents' house for dinner. They had guests from out-of-town visiting from Houston. Her parents already bought the stroller, and it was sitting in the living room! One less thing for us to buy.

I'm tentatively going out for Indian food for lunch with some of my coworkers today. In the evening, I'm doublebooked -- meeting with Doug for dinner, and dinner/drinks with my friend Tom and a few of his friends. I should get a secretary. Wish that damn cat would learn shorthand.

It's the end of an era: on Wednesday, the latest Star Trek series was cancelled after only 4 years. Since ratings have been such a problem for the last two series, parent Viacom is going to put all-things-Star Trek on hiatus for the foreseeable future, in order to drum up interest. A Star Trek show has been on continuously since The Next Generation premiered in 1987. What will I do now? At least I have my Stargate and Battlestar: Galactica to keep me warm at nights.

Wednesday, February 2nd 2005

Last night at Penn Station on my way home, my trenchcoat got caught on a stair railing, and now I have serious ventilation in my coat. I dropped it off at the cleaners for tailoring, but in the meantime I'm using my little black jacket, and carrying my suit jacket (can't wear both) back and forth to the office. So far, it's inconvenient, and I'm cold. Work faster, Mr. Tailor!

Did you hear about the corporate jet that crashed at a little airport in NJ? That's Teterboro Airport, and it's five minutes from my in-laws, and maybe 15 minutes from us. Skidded across Route 46, and nobody was killed. That I find very lucky. I also learned that this little airport around here is one of the busiest little airports in the nation. Hmmm!

../PG/Misc/02022005_003.jpg (29881 bytes)
../PG/Misc/02022005_002.jpg (23483 bytes)
Corporate jet crash @ Teterboro Airport
../PG/Misc/02022005_004.jpg (22957 bytes)
Frozen waste falling from the sky: a sign of the apocalypse?

Speaking of air travel, be wary of falling objects. In Massachusetts, frozen waste from a jet’s toilet smashed onto a woman’s car last week, crushing part of the roof and shattering the windshield. Luckily, no one was in it at the time, but that's just good timing. Still, very gross.

../PG/Misc/02022005_001.jpg (27417 bytes)
Special Ops Cody has been captured! Send in the Pound Puppies!

Oh, those mischievious terrorists in Iraq. What will those kids do next? Turns out that U.S. soldier "John Adam", captured by the Al Muhjahadeen Brigade, is really Special Ops Cody, a toy. My current understanding is that it's not likely some kid in Madison, Wisconsin, didn't do this as a hoax -- this was on an Islamic website, and that toy by Dragon Models USA is only distributed in Iraq to U.S. soldiers stationed there. Are the terrorists getting desperate? Some kid in Iraq did this? I just don't get it.

In support of people fighting for their rights, I support Bob Rieger fight to own a strip club. He's been waging a two-year battle in South Dakota against the ominous group Citizens Against Nude Juicebars and Pornography. Go Bob. All the teenagers and lonely men in South Dakota, and the rest of the world, are behind you 100%.

Our first birthing class was resheduled from tonight to next week Mon-Wed evenings. Lamaze classes. I never pictured myself in one. I mean, not never, but it's such a sitcom/TV Land kinda thing.

Finally, I think I'll start cleaning up my language on this site. No reason in particular. And in a totally unrelated topic, a big hello to Meena Auntie, who I just found out has been reading my website from all the way in Bangalore, India. I miss my achapums! [Yes, I know I probably massacred the spelling on that one.]

Tuesday, February 1st 2005

../PG/Misc/02012005_008.jpg (80899 bytes)
Email from Mike: one married guy to another
../PG/Misc/02012005_007.jpg (36450 bytes)
Supernanny on ABC

So, it's Tuesday. Sigh. Each day seems to go fast, but Friday seems so far off. Is it the weekend yet? My evenings have been spent trying to catch up on Tivo. I have all these episodes of L&O: SVU, Battlestar: Galatica, Star Trek: Enterprise, Stargate Atlantis, and PBS specials just waiting for me, and they're taking up all the space that could be devoted for new episodes of Cops, Justice League Unlimited, South Park, and Gilmore Girls (for Num). Have I traded in the stress of trying to be home to watch tv, in order to struggle to find the time to watch all that I have recorded?

I am proud to announce that we've cancelled our Tivo Season Pass to Joey. Sorry, Matt LeBlanc, but as my Mom likes to say, "This dog don't hunt." Okay, she's never said that, but the show simply isn't funny. Here's one new show that we're watching -- Supernanny. Tonight, we watched the Orms face a losing battle with their 3 sons. Frightening. Still, the British nanny flew in, taught some interesting parenting skills, and she basically cut the crap. I can't believe she did it. Anyway, I'll watch what happens next week.

We finished watching our Tivo'd Along Came Polly on HBO tonight. Umm, eh, poop.

We're not buying a new car anytime soon, unless I take some great job in NJ, and we need two cars. In the meantime, we're using my Accord until it breaks down and then some. Still, I really want to talk about my "dream next car" -- if we were shopping for a new car, and I could something sporty-yet-luxurious. I used to fantasize about BMWs, because the handling and the styling were classic. However, I don't like the new styling they're rolling out. The 3-series wasn't roomy enough for us (and we're not big people), so that leaves us the grownup 5-series. Maybe it's me, but it just looks like this big fat thing. So, without any real purpose, I check out the new cars. Acura TL, Nissan Maxima, BMW 3 or 5, Audi 4 or 6, etc. We don't even know if we'll stick with a sedan, or move on to a SUV like the Nissan Pathfinder. Still, one can dream. Looking at the new Audi A6, I kinda like the new grille, and the cool features, and you can configure it for mid-$40K. Hmm, $40-plus thousand dollars. Keep dreaming, boy.

../PG/Misc/02012005_001.jpg (33812 bytes)
../PG/Misc/02012005_002.jpg (32655 bytes)
../PG/Misc/02012005_003.jpg (31074 bytes)
The old BMW 3-series: a classic
Rear shot of the old 3-series
The new 5-series: blah
../PG/Misc/02012005_004.jpg (33944 bytes)
../PG/Misc/02012005_005.jpg (32798 bytes)
../PG/Misc/02012005_006.jpg (24056 bytes)
The new Audi A6: I like it
Ooooh, nice interior
../PG/Misc/02012005_010.jpg (45072 bytes)
Narain Karthikeyan

I know Indians like speed (that would explain India's dangerous roads), but now we've got our own Formula 1 race car driver -- 28-year old Narain Karthikeyan. He's been dubbed the "Fastest Indian in the World". Good for him! Make me, Teena, and the NYC cab drivers proud.

Funniest thing. Namita was watching this InStyle Celebrity Weddings special on ABC, and they featured recent weddings for Mariska Hargitay, Star Jones, Mira Sorvino, etc. Now speaking of Mira Sorvino, Num tells me that she thinks the priest who married them looks like Bishop Croneberger who married us. I figure, ha ha, he's an old white man, they must all look alike. She's already told her sister Anju (who was also married by Bishop Croneberger). Anju sees the footage, and thinks it's Bishop Croneberger too.

../PG/Family/09272003_008.jpg (23404 bytes)
../PG/Misc/02012005_009.jpg (43916 bytes)
Bishop Croneberger @ our wedding
Bishop Croneberger at Mira Sorvino's wedding?

Of course, being the good stand-by-your-wife husband that I am, I tell her she's nuts. Mira Sorvino's wedding was on the Isle of Capri somewhere in the Mediterranean Ocean near Italy. I watch it anyway, and you know what? I think it's Bishop Croneberger! Turns out, Mira Sorvino is orginally from Northern NJ, and she had her childhood and current priests present to marry her. Num thinks it's cool, because now we're like 2 or 3 degrees of separation from most of Hollywood.

I can live with that.