Baby Boom

This month has been a baby boom in my little circle of family and friends. Interestingly, there were two births so far, and both have been girls. The last baby in my circle of family and friends was also a girl. There is an old wife’s tale that a boom in the birth of baby boys foretells an upcoming war and that a boom in the birth of baby girls foretells a period of peace. So I very much hope that is true and that this country and the rest of the world is due for a long period of peace and perhaps even prosperity.

My brother’s son and daughter-in-law just gave birth to a little girl. She was born over a month premature but seems to be doing OK. She only weighed a bit over 4 pounds at birth. that is really very tiny and I hope that she can gain weight and stay healthy enough to go home with her parents very soon. It is odd to think of my younger brother as a grandfather already. He is 10 years younger than me and yet he beat me to that milepost of grandfather-dom.

The other baby girl is was just born to a good friend of mine who immigrated here with his beautiful wife from Russia several years ago. This couple is very hardworking and serious about embracing America and our culture. They both adopted Americanized first names and they’ve named their new daughter Elizabeth. I did not know that Elizabeth was a name familiar to Russians, but there is a Russian spelling for this name and they plan to call her Liz. She was born right on time and is a healthy weight, although I have to admit that the announcement came in with her weight as kg and I had to find a metric conversion tool on the internet to figure out that her birthweight was just under 7 pounds.

To Catch a Thief

For the past couple of weeks we’ve had a puzzling series of events in one of our districts. Someone has been stealing our product from the stores, sometime in the wee hours of the morning between when we deliver it and when the store personnel arrive to take it inside. For many customers we place the product in a discretely placed black box, off to the side of the store entrance. Although the box can be locked, most merchants prefer to not lock it, as the fact that the product is not all that expensive and the black box keeps it out of sight, therefore out of mind. Plus there is a lot of police presence in this area and this kind of thing just doesn’t happen here.

But someone familiar with our system has been taking advantage of the unlocked boxes and raiding the boxes. For at least 2 weeks. They are smart enough to not take from the same store every morning – they switch out their target at random, and there are about a dozen from which to choose.

We finally caught on when one of the store managers saw a man getting into a large black Suburban parked in front of their black box. He had been standing in front of the black box and the manager thought he might have been delivering the product, although she had never seen this man before and didn’t recognize his car. It wasn’t until he sped off and she went to retrieve the product and found it missing that she realized she had almost caught the thief red-handed.

So now I am on the lookout for a tall white man with short dark hair who drives a black Suburban between 4:30 and 5:00 each morning. When I catch him, there will be drama, as I intend to have him arrested and prosecuted, and if he is who I think he is, I intend to have him lose his job, as well.

Get Your Car Loan Before Car Shopping

Eventually the only cure for a bucket of bolts is to retire the old Nelly and get a new car. The problem with getting a new car is figuring out how to pay for it. After all these years, I have figured out some of the better ways to do that.

When I have a good idea what type of vehicle I want to get and what the ballpark purchase price might be, I shop around for the car loan before I ever step foot on the dealer’s lot. It strengthens your negotiating position to have your financing arranged before haggling with the dealership. I used to go to my bank and the big finance companies to shop for a new car loan, but they have gotten harder and harder to deal with over the years.

The Pledge

Haven’t heard a peep out of the TV or any ads or buzz anywhere about this movie called, “The Pledge.” It stars the kids from Beverly Hills 90210, Luke Perry, all grown up and weathered-looking, as a cowboy and sheriff out for revenge. The bad guys killed his wife and son and he tracks him down. There are some turns of events and he ends up in a small town helping a beautiful woman and her son against the land grabbing town’s bigshot, who hires – surprise! – the same bad guy that the sheriff conveniently happens to be hunting.

It was a small budget film that felt like it might have been made for TV. The acting was good although everyone but Luke Perry was small time, and Luke isn’t a big attraction anymore – it was hard to get past the Beverly Hills association. But there was no sex, limited violence, and a fresh take on western cowboy shoot em ups that today’s kids just might embrace.

Family Photos

The kids came home from their first day of school full of chatter and excitement about their new classes, their new teachers, and all the friends they haven’t seen over the summer. They brought a pile of paperwork that needs to be filled out and signed and sent back in, often with a check attached. One of the things I wanted to see right away was the school calendar with all the holidays and vacation dates. Sorry to say, here it is August and I’m already thinking about December and Christmas vacation.