Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Opening Night

It's been a long off-season and tonight the Blazers are back in action after reaching the playoffs for the first time in 5 years last year. They had 54 wins in 08-09 and they are going have less this year because of a tougher schedule, even though they will be a better team. Portland is no longer emerging, youth isn't an excuse anymore and the championship window is open. The expectation is that they will make a run at winning the Western Conference since they are the best team in the West to challenge the LA Lakers.

The key to the season is going to be chemistry. They have the depth (their second unit could start for 1/3 of the teams in the league), coach, and foundational pieces (Roy, Oden, & Aldridge - photo above) to make a deep run in the playoffs. It all depends on if the team put personal accomplishments aside for the good of the whole (click here for more).

At the end of the season, everyone will be disappointed if there is another first round playoff exit. With the championship window open they only have a few (3-4) years to make it all the way. Teams climbing the ladder only get 1 or 2 shots at winning it all. This year will be a good test to see if they can go deep into the playoffs and whether they will really be contenders. It will be fun to watch and I can't wait for that championship parade..... soon, very soon.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

A Good Weekend



Elisa picking out her pumpkin.


We went to the Farmers Market in Fayetteville on Saturday morning.
Elisa kept picking up this tomato and I'd ask her to put it back. This process was repeated about six times before the guy said she could have it. She liked eating as much as she enjoyed holding it.



At one point I looked at Elisa in the stroller and her bunny was gone. She had dropped him somewhere. We started walking back retracing our steps and found him sitting right here waiting and enjoying the view.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Nike's 10K


Today was The Human Race 10k. This was the second year of this event and the whole idea seemed cool to me. Joining with a million other people around the world, all running on the same day at the same distance. Participants use Nike+ iPod kits and digitally upload their run times to Nike's website to verify completion. I recognize that the whole endeavor is a marketing scheme for Nike, but it was motivating for me to keep running. That's one big accountability group.

Shockingly, Siloam Springs wasn't one the 3 locations in the US that had organized races, so I had to run alone. Although most of the run went well I fell into a hole with about 2 miles from the end. There was a family standing in the trail blocking the path. A whole package kind of family: Grandma, Mom, Dad, Dog, 2 kids and they were all just standing there looking at the leaves. Since I was coming up behind them I figured I would just run by on the side in the grass. On my second step off the trail my right foot fell into a really deep skinny hole that was completely covered by leaves (I don't know how my shoe even fit into it since the opening wasn't that big). I'm really thankful and surprised that I didn't break my foot since the hole was deep enough that it came to 6 inches under my knee. I've never fallen while running before and it happened so quick. I was just running along then all of the sudden my leg disappeared and I was on the ground. All in all it was just a lot of fun to be apart of something on a global scale (99 countries were represented) while living in good ol' Siloam Springs.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

In Depth Analysis

The following is Elisa's commentary on Football while watching a highlight on ESPN:

"Ball!

running

FALL DOWN!"

Friday, October 16, 2009

Milestone

Today, Elisa put her shoes on completely by herself. Then after her nap she did it again. They aren't just slip ons either, they have a Velcro strap. I don't know if it's just because there is a new baby here, but she has seemed so much bigger this week. Definitely a little girl now.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Weight



Today was Jonathan's one week check up. No worries about getting back to birth weight. He gained six ounces. He's weighing in at 9 pounds 10 ounces.



Health Care

Throughout the national debate about health care reform I've had mixed feeling about the whole thing. Having read a number articles from various newspapers and magazines have all been about the same. I've been craving a more nuanced view on the whole subject. I found it while perusing the November edition of Popular Mechanics.

I found the following interview with Dean Kamen. He is the inventor responsible for the Segway and a mobile dialysis machine to name a few. Here is the segment of the interview pertaining to healthcare (click here for the full article):

PM: What’s your opinion of the debate over healthcare?

DK: I’m very worried that the entire debate is misguided. I mean the whole supposition: “We have a crisis in healthcare.” Our healthcare system is developing incredible devices to improve the quality of people’s lives. We’re developing pharmaceuticals that alleviate the need for surgery. We’re making the surgeries that are necessary ever less invasive. If we have a crisis, it’s the embarrassment of riches.

PM: But how about rising costs and concerns about healthcare being rationed?

DK: Each side of this debate has created the boogeyman and monsters like “We don’t want to let this program come into existence because that will mean rationing.” Well, I hate to tell you the news, but as soon as medicine started being able to do incredible things that are very expensive, we started rationing. The reason 100 years ago everyone could afford their healthcare is because healthcare was a doctor giving you some elixir and telling you, you’ll be fine.Of course we ration today.

PM: So what’s the answer?

DK: The way to ration less is to make more good technical solutions. Diabetes alone, if you include all of the long-term, insidious consequences, is responsible for about 30 percent of the federal reimbursement for healthcare. But what if tomorrow we could wipe out diabetes? I’m sure in 1920 if you asked actuaries to say what percentage of our GDP are we going to spend taking care of people with polio, they’d say: “They’ll sit in iron-lung machines their whole lives with three people watching over them. We can’t support them all.” But what did it actually cost to deal with polio? Oh, $2 apiece. We gave them the Salk vaccine.

If you want to sit here today and project forward these horrific costs of treating everybody and you want to assume we are not going to make therapies and cures better, simpler and cheaper, well, you know what? We might actually get to that being the situation—if we stop investing in technology, if we stop believing that the future ought to be better than the past. I think this debate shows a fundamental lack of vision, a lack of understanding of what’s possible.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Jonathan Gregory Brock

His name is Jonathan Gregory...It came right down to the final hour of being in the hospital, but Carolyn & I came to a decision we both really like. Jonathan means God has given or gracious. We've been home for about 24 hours now. It's fun watching Elisa's fascination with the baby and it's great getting everybody rested again. Carolyn seems to be doing great and was able to get some decent, albeit short, sleep last night.

For the record, it was much harder to pick a name for a boy name than for a girl.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

First Look





It's a Boy!

Our son was born this afternoon at 3:00. He is healthy and Carolyn did great. He weighed in at 9 pounds 4 ounces & 20 inches long. Everyone is happy and healthy. I'm picking up Elisa to go meet him right now. His name is still undecided......

Check back for pictures soon.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

The Time Has Finally Come

Although the wait hasn't felt nearly as long this time (to me...I can't say the same for Carolyn), our second child should be here sometime tomorrow. Carolyn & I are heading into the hospital early in the morning to be induced.

We've had a good week, especially since my Mom got here on Sunday night. She got here later than planned because she was selected for a more intense search through security and missed her flight. When Elisa woke up in the morning to find her in the living room she got really excited. She has been in a great mood and loves playing with Grammy. Carolyn & I are thankful that Elisa can sleep in her own bed and be at home with Grammy to take care of her while we are in the hospital.

I'll post pictures and news as soon as I get a chance. Please appreciate your prayers as we go through labor and the adjustment to a family of four.

Friday, October 02, 2009

October 7th

Unless he comes naturally, Carolyn & I will head to the hospital early Wednesday morning or her to be induced. The Dr. said he expects Carolyn to go into labor before then, but we should have a baby by Wednesday night if not.