Friday, February 13, 2009

Death of a Web Site; Birth of a Thing

Back in the days of yore, when American Bison freely roamed the Great Plains and Internet access was dial-up only, we had a family Web page on America Online. Nothing fancy, but it served as a way to keep our friends updated on our adventures following our move to a strange land called Texas.

I maintained it fairly regularly for about three years until the nearly simultaneous arrival of Thing 2 and the onset of Thing 1's autoimmune disease overwhelmed my free time and patience. For six years after, it sat idle and abandoned like a zillion similar sites other people set up back in a time when the closest thing to iTunes was the squawking ping of the modem mating call.

This past Halloween, AOL killed that site along with its entire free "Hometown AOL" Web hosting service. I'm sure the ironic timing was lost on them but it was an understandable death.

People move on. Priorities change. Technology improves (or, in the case of Word 2007, it grows more annoying). Blogger's days will also eventually be numbered, I'm certain.

But before the site went black, I downloaded all its content. I hadn't seen much of it in years and I was surprised that it wasn't nearly as embarrassing as I thought would be. Nor was it as good. Eh, life is one continuous re-write, is it not?

Therefore, to mark this weekend's anniversary of My Love's squeezing Thing 1 out from between her marathoner's thighs, I bring you -- from the archives -- my blow-by-blow account of that blessed birth -- as written by myself nine years ago with some slight clarification and enhancement for today's sophisticated tastes:

Feb. 5, 2000 - Baby due. Baby no show. An entire bag of Reduced Fat Oreos disappears from the cupboard.

Feb. 8, 2000 - My Love's doctor says not to worry. If no baby by Feb. 15, they will induce that day. After the appointment, we go for Mexican food. Much salsa is consumed.

Feb. 14, 2000 - Valentine's Day. Still no baby. Inducement scheduled for 8 a.m. tomorrow. Our Whitman Sampler is low on vanilla creams.

Feb. 15, 2000
Approx. 1:15 a.m. - My Love's water breaks. Hey, no one tells her when she's going to have a baby!

1:30 a.m. - My Love's wakes me and tells me the news. After asking her if she's sure for the 20th time, we decide to go to the hospital.

2:30 a.m. - On the road to the hospital, My Love predicts a six- to eight-hour labor. "I'm going to make this mind over matter," she says.

3 a.m. - We arrive at hospital and check in. My Love asks for, and receives, Labor Room 1 because it has a jacuzzi. (Ed. note: Not sure why. Water birth wasn't part of the plan. I didn't bring my trunks either.) My Love starts having contractions.

8 a.m. - The epidural is administered. My Love's language again becomes printable in a family newspaper.

10 a.m. - I go for breakfast at the hospital cafe. Western omelet, toast and coffee. Mmmmmm.

Good signs appear while reading the newspaper: Horoscope for today's birthday, according to Joyce Jillson in The Dallas Morning News: "It's a year of self-expression. Your need for expansion takes over, and you may move into a bigger place ... Your best signs for romance are a Taurus or Libra."

I am a Taurus. My Love is a Libra. Oooh, veeeeeery scaaaaaary stuff kids!

The News' "People in the News" column notes that also born on this day was Mick Avory, original drummer for The Kinks.

Video: "Tired of Waiting for You," The Kinks

11:30 a.m. - We settle in for a viewing of the Jimmy Stewart classic "Harvey," which includes this dialogue:

Doctor -- Uh, trauma. Spelled t-r-a-u-m-a. It means shock. There's nothing unusual about it. There's the "birth trauma" - the shock of being born...

Elwood P. Dowd -- That's the one we never get over.

1:15 p.m. - I go for lunch: chicken salad, pretzels and cranberry juice. Mmmm. (Ed. note: Around this time My Love had her 10th cup of ice chips. Sometimes, it's good to be me.)

4 p.m. - Now that we've finished watching "Oprah," time for My Love to start pushing. My role is to hold up one of her legs and count 10 aloud during the pushes, which is a good thing because the nurse keeps forgetting the count.

4:58 p.m. - Out pops baby Thing 1.


  1. What a chuckle - I'm sure it was before the "enhancements as well, haha. Your writing is great, your wit is priceless. Have a lovely Valentine's day with your love and things. Suzen

  2. I love that you were able to run down to the cafeteria and have breakfast AND lunch. A western omelet (excellent choice) and a beautiful daughter isn't a shabby way to spend a day.

    Happy Valentine's Day, and happy birthday to Thing 1!

  3. Wonderful recounting! I also have an old website that currently still exists, but it really is too much trouble to FTP new HTML or Java into it and, frankly, blogging is much more fun!
    Happy Valentines Dyas to all!

  4. Ah, those were the days. Hospitals can be so much fun. Love that you found a way to incorporate the Kinks into your happy day.

  5. happy birthday!

    I'm glad to hear people move on. Right now I'm kinda stuck.

    Have a great weekend. :)

  6. I love the juxtaposition of Thing 1's birth story (with pushing and popping out included) with the picture of Thing 2 being eaten/regurgitated by the shark. Ahh, the cycle of life!

    Happy Valentine's Day! Happy birthday Thing 1!!!

  7. You're such a reliable source of funny. It's good to know you've been Uncool for so long... and still funny. Gives me hope, really.

    Quite frankly, I expected to hear a little more Smiths ("I wanna be sedated") than Kinks... but I'll take what I can get.

    Have a great weekend and a fun Valentine/birthday celebration!

    ;) - Julia

  8. ...and what did you have for dinner??

    what a chubby bubby baby!

  9. Boy, your wife would hate mine. She was just badda-bing, badda-boom, both times. I didn't have time for any of that fun stuff.

    I guess she'd hate her almost as much as she hated you and your Western omelet, I'll bet.

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  11. Hallmark should make cards to offer condolences for the death of someone's website.


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