Friday, June 26, 2009

The One You Don't Want To Read If You Don't Want To Know Bosco's Sex!

Good evening and welcome to another exciting post of “It’s the Great Fobian Baby Blog, Charlie Brown!”. We’ve given our studio announcer, Mr. Jack Barry, the week off and out of respect to the late, great Ed McMahon, opted for a soft opening tonight instead. So, no guitar chords, no cymbal crashes, no faded rainbow-hued curtains, and of course, no mock-practice golf swings. It’s just me your host and future Dad-to-be, Rob with my amazing wife, Jasmine and of course, the legend we call Bosco, coming to you very much live, high in the air, from the set of the “51st State Studios”. As always, we’ve got a great post for you tonight…TV’s greatest private investigator (NEVER P.I., except in the opening credits!) Tom Selleck is here, we’ll have a review of this week’s OB visit, a Father’s Day wrap-up, in case you missed it in tonight’s title we have the announcement of Bosco’s sex and much, much more. A very special welcome to our three newest followers: “Brian”, “jack.blevins” and “Tony”. Unfortunately, if you’re expecting any swag, we blew it all out last week, but once again, welcome! As always, thank you to ALL of our followers and anonymous readers for letting us come into your computers each week. Don’t go away…we’ll be right back!

Tonight’s post is brought to you by: Westinghouse, The Home Depot, Ultrasound Associates, Physicians for Women, Children’s Medical Associates, Geritol,, Eastman-Kodak, National Geographic, Nabisco Oreo Cookies, Alfa Romeo Automobiles, International Auto Parts in Charlottesville, VA, Rita’s Water Ice and Custard, Silver Diner Restaurants, Castrol Motor Oil, Graco Pack ‘n Play, Babee-Tenda Cribs, Sports Illustrated, Bubba Burgers, Disney’s “Tarzan”, Budweiser Select and finally, Boog Powell’s BBQ Restaurant at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Disclaimer: And by “brought to you by” we mean that we did not receive ANY compensation for mentioning these products and or companies. This is merely a feeble comedic attempt to whet your reading appetite for what is to come.

We begin with a moment of silence tonight for the aforementioned Mr. Ed McMahon as well as actress Farrah Fawcett, entertainer Michael Jackson, Mr. John Houghtaling, and those killed in the Metro derailment on June 22nd in Washington, DC.


You already know the story of Ed McMahon, however I wanted to be sure and acknowledge his service during World War II as a fighter pilot with the United States Marine Corps. He was also a test pilot and flight instructor. In 1952, he was sent to Korea to fly OE-1 Bird Dogs (as seen in the film “Bat-21”) on air tactical control and artillery spotting missions. After the war, he remained in the Marine Reserves and retired with the rank of Colonel in 1966 and later commissioned as a Brigadier General in the California Air National Guard.

Although she was not permitted to grace my bedroom wall, Farrah Fawcett did so in over one-million others, if the sales figures are correct. The last few months of her life were very inspirational and showed a side of a public figure that we seldom see. She appeared weak, and yet was never stronger. And she was married to my childhood hero, the Six-Million-Dollar-Man…

You also know the story of Michael Jackson…let’s not forget following the illness and death of Ryan White, Jackson spoke out publicly to raise awareness of AIDS and HIV at a time when it was very controversial to do so. He did impactful charity work with his unlikely best friend, Hollywood legend, Elizabeth Taylor and even asked the Clinton Administration during their Inaugural Gala for increased financial support for AIDS and HIV charities and research. That moonwalk thing was pretty sick, too…I still can’t do it.

You don’t know the story of John Houghtaling, but I’m sure many of you “felt” the impact of his inventions on multiple occasions. In 1958, Mr. Houghtaling invented a machine that would change the hospitality business forever. From the time he invented it, until the mid-70’s you could drop $0.25 in a bedside box and as Mr. Houghtaling himself coined (lol!), “It quickly takes you into the land of tingling, relaxation and ease.” To be accurate, Mr. Houghtaling didn’t invent the vibrating bed, merely perfected it by personally testing out 300 motors in his bed at home so that the motor didn’t shake the whole bed, but merely created a gentle, vibrating sensation through the bed frame and springs. Those of you in the loss-prevention industry might be interested to know that malfeasance killed the vibrating bed as coins were often pilfered from the bedside boxes before they could be collected by the proprietors. In 1976, this lead Mr. Houghtaling to patent a device that would read a magnetic strip on a card negating the need for coins. The strip reader was ahead of its time, and his son said in his obituary this week that he never made any money from it. As with Ed McMahon, I would be re-miss if I didn’t also mention Mr. Houghtaling’s military service. Perhaps his most remarkable achievement in life was having flown 20 missions as a gunner in a B-17 bomber during World War II. Yet another of our “Greatest Generation” who gave so much and shall give no more…

Bosco had another exciting week! This is now week 20, so we are at the halfway mark. Jasmine and I just can’t believe how time is flying by. In some ways, it still seems like yesterday when we were filled with anxiety at our IUI visit to the Muasher Clinic. And yet in other ways, given how much we’ve done and has happened to and for us, week 1 seems so long ago, too! We began week 20 with a visit to the inimitable offices of Physicians for Women and the world-class Bosco care of Dr. Salgado. After a short drive and a short elevator ride we were once again checking in at the doctor’s office when I noticed…THE SIGN. Upon reading it, my first thought was, “I hope Jasmine doesn’t see THE SIGN!”…which of course, she did. THE SIGN said, “If you park in the shopping center next door, you will be towed!”

Quickly, Jasmine turned to me and suggested we move D’Artagnan since he was left in the aforementioned tow-away zone. It was a few moments before our appointment, so I had to quickly formulate how to avoid going down to move D’Artagnan while also convincing Jasmine that he wouldn’t be towed. “Yeah…I’ll just buy a slurpee or something from one of the stores in the shopping center when we go back down…we’re good.” Then THE VOICE came from behind the receptionist’s desk.

"If you park in the shopping center next door, you will be towed”, the receptionist politely said, as if I HADN’T read the sign.

"Really? I can’t just buy a slurpee or something on the way down?”, I said amusing myself and not the receptionist, and most definitely not Jasmine.

"If you park in the shopping center next door, you will be towed.” she repeated, as if I didn’t understand English…

I was thoroughly entertained, but Jasmine stated firmly, “Rob, dude-buddy, can you please be a husband and move the car?”

"Sure..see you in a bit.” And I made for the elevator. Fortunately, the shopping center is literally right next door to the doctor’s office, but I couldn’t use the driveway 20 feet from where we parked because it was being blocked by a delivery truck, so I had to go out onto Seminary Road, work the square of lights around the I-395 interchange and come in the backside of the doctor’s office. I quickly found a spot in the garage and made my way to the lobby. When I got to the lobby, I noticed lots of people waiting for the elevator and the up button was being repeatedly pressed, but not lighting. I wasn’t sure if this meant the light was simply not lighting or if the button was broken so, the elevator wouldn’t know to stop there. I mean, we had just ridden it up 15 minutes ago; it couldn’t have JUST broken, could it? Not wanting to wait around and find out and possibly miss Bosco’s appointment, I ran for the stairs taking them two at a time like Barry Allen and then like Clinton Portis, I stared at my thighs in horror as I watched my breakaway speed leach from my body in real time, at about the second landing.

Did I mention the doctor’s office is on the…ELEVENTH FLOOR!?!?!? And there were TWO flights of stairs per floor?!?!?

I muscled on and arrived at the 11th floor in mere “hours” before brutally crashing into the door and learning that for “security reasons” the 11th floor door is to remain locked at ALL times. If anyone who works in the building security industry can explain why a stairwell door would be locked from the inside when the building itself is open, I’m all ears. Retreating back to the 10th floor, I waited a few moments for the elevator and quickly arrived at the 11th floor.
You know that sound that old cars make in the winter when they are warming up and if you touch the accelerator pedal the least little bit they sound like they are going to explode? Yeah, I didn’t sound quite as good as that. I think the receptionist thought I was the one having the baby. Apparently, there’s this thing called “cardio-vascular exercise” that has just started sweeping the nation. I gotta’ get on that train! After Jasmine wiped the concern off her face, we went in to see Dr. Salgado.

And we are pleased to report that Bosco got good marks, yet again! The baby’s pulse was a strong 148 bpm and has a nice John Bonham kick-bass thump to it and is no longer a swish-swish. We set our next appointment for the end of July, but not before Dr. Salgado gave us a written order for a 20 week ultrasound sonogram, just on the other side of the I-395 interchange at The Monticello apartment building office suites.

So, on Wednesday of this week we visited Ultrasound Associates and after a 45 minute delay, we were seen by a very talented sonographist who was equal parts Keith Emerson and German Kriegsmarine U-Boot sonar specialist. She took all of the images that you see here. And there can be NO QUESTION Bosco is our child. In order to get pictures of all of Bosco’s systems, the sonographist needed lots of different angels. Things were going very smoothly until it was time to see Bosco’s heart. This is a tricky angle because the sensor has to “shoot through” the side of the baby in order to see all four chambers of the heart. Bosco it seems had turned, (Jasmine believes in indignation after the privates were photographed…) uncooperatively placing the spine between the heart and the sensor and the sonographist wasn’t satisfied with the shot she was getting. So, she asked us if we wanted to wait for a few moments in the lobby or come back another time. We elected to wait and after a few minutes, we “took the submarine down and raised the periscope” and looked again. This time, she got what she felt were good views of Bosco’s heart. We also listened to Bosco’s heart again as we had done earlier in the week and it was running at an equally strong 146 bpm.

Science is an incredible thing for those of you who might be new around here. The quality of the images is simply stunning; unfortunately the scanned prints here really don’t do the video images justice. We saw Disney’s “Tarzan” again over the weekend, which contained the song lyric, “For one so small, you seem so strong.” (which we also coincidentally heard while in the waiting room at Ultrasound Associates!) And this expresses my thoughts perfectly. It was life-changing to see Bosco in Jasmine’s womb being very active and moving around right before my eyes! In summary, I think it’s eugenics at its finest what with Jasmine’s immense brain and my immense skull, the two I think will make for very good companions in Bosco. We hope you enjoy viewing these pictures as much as we had seeing them taken.

Bumper sticker seen on a rusty, pick-up seen on the way home: “If you can’t feed them, don’t breed them!” Should I mention the truck had West Virginia license plates?

Although we didn’t have as much control in the timing of Bosco’s conception as other families have with their children, I was pleased that we conceived Bosco while Jasmine and I could each celebrate a Mother’s Day and Father’s Day respectively with Bosco in-utero. It’s been hard seeing 9 of these holidays go by since we’ve been married. While we’re fortunate that we can celebrate our own fathers’ and mothers’ holidays, we began to wonder if we’d ever celebrate our own parenthood.

I’m very big on “firsts”. Needless to say, this Father’s Day was an exceptionally good Father’s Day. In part because it was the first and in part because I have someone like Jasmine to help me celebrate and make it a special day. As has become the custom in our family whenever someone has a day to celebrate, the day started with presents in bed. I received a very nice Italian-designed, navy-blue polo (my favorite color), a onesie for Bosco which is white with red pinstripes that reads “Daddy’s Team” and finally an early-reader Golden Book which shows and tells about lots of different fathers and the fun things they do with their kids. I have taken to reading to Bosco nightly and I’m sure this will become one of our regular favorites. Next, it was off to breakfast at another favorite, our local Silver Diner in Springfield. I had old school pancakes, salsiccia, scrambled eggs and an iced tea. After returning home, I called my brother and we shared mutual Father’s Day greetings. I then set about moving Jasmine’s dresser, which was my Grandmother’s, as well as finally hanging the accompanying mirror. All of this is to make room for a Graco Pack ‘n Play which will serve as a place for Bosco to sleep in the first few weeks. (Bosco’s Babee-Tenda crib is too large to move in and out of the nursery.) Jasmine also spoke with her parents. We gave Papa Fran an autographed Boog Powell baseball bat and he was calling to say it was a great surprise and that he hoped in the dark of night it would not get mistaken for a tool to assist with the homeland defense. I later spoke with my in-laws directly and they again re-iterated what a treasure they had received.

Additionally, I also honored the tradition of Father’s Day with a phone call to my own father. For his gift, I made him a lamp out of a Castrol oil container. This is not just any Castrol oil container, mind you. For those of you familiar with, “The Great Fobian Father and Son Alfa-Romeo Adventure of 2007” you might recall we had to top off the car’s oil upon learning the owner could not be bothered to secure the oil cap. This Castrol oil container’s contents likely made, or kept, the trip a reality. The lamp is also festooned with an after-market Alfa-Romeo hood badge as well as a plaque reading, “If it’s not giving you trouble, it’s not an Alfa!”

For those of you NOT familiar with “The Great Fobian Father and Son Alfa-Romeo Adventure of 2007”, I hope you’ll be able to read the novelization soon wherever you buy books and who knows? Maybe even see the story played out on the big screen wherever you see movies. In the meantime, just ask me or my father at the next cocktail party you see us at for the original and genuine story.

In tribute to the notorious unreliability of Alfa-Romeos and the heat and humidity of an August sun in the Old Dominion State, the lamp arrived to my father needing…sigh…more work. The oil container which forms the stem of the lamp had become unglued from the base in shipping so, he is looking at ways to refasten the two pieces together. Polyethylene, which is what the container is made of, is VERY hard to adhere to anything. He has assured me, if he can’t glue it with another adhesive, he’ll install two L-Brackets on the back side of the lamp instead. Needless to say, we here at the “51st State Studios” are anxiously awaiting word and are expecting a “State of the Lamp Address” forthwith. If it is not posted directly on the blog, we’ll pass it along second-hand.

Later in the afternoon of that first Father’s Day Sunday, my Mom called and I was able to invite her to custard. What’s custard, you ask? It is to ice cream as Jaguars are to Alfa-Romeos. Rita’s Water Ice and Custard out of Trevose, Pennsylvania has expanded into the Washington, DC market and there is now a stand at the Landmark Plaza at I-395 and Duke Street/Little River Turnpike. I am also hearing from the “Dairy Godmother Mafia” that THEIR custard is the prize of our area. Now, I’m not saying that we’re approaching the “Kopp’s-Gilles Wars of Milwaukee” but competition is always a good thing. And as I’m sure my father would say, “Well, it all depends on what part of town you’re from…” as to where the best custard is and as I’m sure my Grandfather would say, “There is no custard war in Milwaukee. Gilles is the best, my boy…” I’ll save judgment until we can actually get down to The Dairy Godmother. Heck, maybe we’ll let Bosco make the final decision…

Father’s Day finally drew to a close with some of my favorite things. Fresh, cold beer, fresh, grilled Bubba Burgers and fresh, fast NASCAR road racing from Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, California. Let’s give it up for 5:00PM EST green flags! Congrats to Casey Kahne for his first career NASCAR road racing win. Don’t miss the “Loud Pedal Circus” this week as they’re headed to the New Hampshire International Speedway, or simply “Loudoun”. New Hampshire’s motto is, “Live Free or Die!” and I have it on the best authority from my New England network that they take that motto VERY seriously there.

Ok, it’s time for “The Rundown” which will be a review and comment on current events and sports not previously covered. The hate mail errrrr…I mean, “constructive criticism mail” came regarding last week’s post so, I’m going to try and keep “The Rundown” separate from the Bosco news. As you can see, THIS week I did a SUPERB job of that….And to a certain member of the Nevada State Bar Association, I was reminded by my Aunt this week in an unrelated reference that upon writing one of his compositions, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was called to the court in Vienna and told his masterpiece had “too many notes”. To which, Mozart replied that the composition would stand as it contained not one note too many, nor one too few.
And now, this week’s Rundown…My condolences to Brian Collins late of KXXV television in Waco, TX whose contract was not renewed this week. Brian’s first telecast when he was but a 19 year old college freshman filling in became an overnight Internet sensation and was later dubbed in academic communications circles as “The Collins Incident”. In case you missed it, here’s the link:

It's very important that you should know that it was also the teleprompter operator’s first night on the job AND Brian’s notes were NOT in the proper order, which explains his performance. I read an article recently where he said he is still proud of the fact that while it was a disaster, he did not give up and saw it through. And really? Is there a better catch phrase than, “BOOM GOES THE DYNAMITE!”? I know I’ll be using it on Bosco’s diaper changes!

Congratulations to my childhood hero, Steve Yzerman for his induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame this week. He won three Stanley Cups as a player with the Detroit Red Wings, was the youngest ever participant in an NHL All-Star Game as a rookie at age 18, was the youngest NHL captain ever in 1986 at age 21 and served as captain for 20 seasons (the longest captaincy streak by any player when he retired in 2006), he is the sixth leading scorer in NHL history and finally, my two favorite Yzerman stats: he played his whole career with one team AND he wore #19 in honor of Paul Henderson.

Begrudging congratulations also to Brett Hull for his induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame this week. “The Golden Brett” joins his father, “The Golden Jet” Bobby Hull as the first father and son to make it into the Hockey Hall of Fame. I say begrudgingly because (say it with me Western New York), “It was STILL no goal, Brett!”

We’ll miss former Red Wing and Soviet sensation, Sergei Federov playing for the Washington Capitals again next season. After two years in Washington, the Capitals announced he is off to his native Russia to play in the Elite League and close out what is also a Hall of Fame career.

Props to Red Wings defenseman and hockey legend, Chris Chelios who wants to play another season, but it likely won’t be in Detroit. Chris’ birthday? January 25th…1962!

From the “Legal File” from our home offices in Henderson, Nevada…So, rapper Chris Brown gets probation for beating up his girlfriend, singer Rihanna? Mike Vick gets 23 months for his crimes? But Lee Crider gets 3 years for stealing Sheryl Crow’s, roided-up ex-boyfriend’s bicycle valued at $10,000?

Condolences to people who have enjoyed Kodachrome slide film for 74 years. Kodak announced this week that they are discontinuing Kodachrome and expect supplies to last until early fall. What? They didn’t consult with my father who is no doubt single handedly liquidating the remaining film stocks personally? Dwayne’s Photo in Parsons, KS is the only photo finishing shop in the land that can still process Kodachrome and has said they will continue to do so through 2010. No word yet from Paul Simon if a new song on the death of the iconic slide film is in the works. Kodak has also announced they will host an online gallery of the best user submitted Kodachrome pics, here’s your link:

Does anyone find it odd that Kodak claims consumer preference for digital photography killed Kodachrome and yet, they are “hosting” an “online gallery” of Kodachrome pics? It’s just not the same without Dad cursing over the slide projector from the back of the darkened dining room…sorry, Dad.

The most famous Kodachrome images are of Ms. Sharbat Gula, an Afghan girl first photographed in 1986 by Steve McCurry with National Geographic and then again in 2002. You know the photos, now you get to know, as Paul Harvey might say, “…the REST of the story…”. Here’s your link:

I read in Sports Illustrated recently where epic (thanks, Jim Rome!) New England Patriots quarterback, Tom Brady wants to play another 10 years and maybe beyond his 41st birthday. Too bad this would make him the second oldest active player behind Brett Favre. Seriously, Brett…Geritol called…they want their PILLS back!

Nice to see epic (thanks, again Jim Rome!) shortstop, Ozzie Smith still getting it done…we saw him shagging grounders in an in-studio segment where he was teaching right hand throwing viewers to take groundballs from their left instep. Who knew? I mean besides Hall of Fame, Gold Glove shortstops? By taking it at your left instep your hips are already turned TOWARD the direction of your throw AND you get the blocking benefit of your foot should the ball get through your glove. Are you listening Buckner?!?!?!?! Sorry, Tony P….By the way, Ozzie Smith’s birthday? December 26th…1954!

Before we go, here’s a special message from actor Tom Selleck on the importance of fathers involving themselves in their daughters lives with special thanks to Clan Rosewall for the link:

And finally, a sign that the apocalypse is upon us…Strawberry Oreos? Seriously?!?!? Oreos are cookies that are comprised of two chocolate cookies with vanilla cream in the middle. THAT’S IT! THAT’S THE LIST! Senator Strawberry? I served with Oreo. I know Oreo. Oreo is a friend of mine. Senator Strawberry, you’re no Oreo! Of course, Strawberry would probably respond, “That was really uncalled for, Rob.” To which I would have to fire back, “You’re the one making the comparison, Senator Strawberry!”

Well, boys and girls, we’ve reached the end of tonight’s post. I mean, assuming you “drank from the firehose” and got this far, of course! (Thanks, Tony P!) From all of us here at the “51st State Studios”, good night and remember…Please keep safe and eat your green vegetables! As a programming note, the studio will unfortunately be “dark” next week so that we may crimp additional tinfoil onto our hats. Thanks for stopping by; we’re glad you’re here. If you enjoyed yourself, tell all your friends and send them OUR link. If you didn’t enjoy yourself, tell Jasmine. We…are…OUT OF HERE!

(Jasmine from the other room…) Did you remember to tell them it’s a boy?

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Hardest Post

And now! Live from the “51st State Studios” in Alexandria, Virginia…It’s the grrrrrrrrrrrrreat Fobian family baby blog, Charlie Brown! With your host and future Dad…let’s give it up for Rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrob!

(faded, patched rainbow hued polyester curtains part…)

Good evening to you one and all and welcome, welcome to another fine edition of our blog. How about that great introduction from our new studio announcer, game show great Jack Barry, eh? Jack’s under an open ended contract, with lots of vacation clauses, so I would expect we’ll have some guest announcers from time to time. As always, we have another top shelf post for you! Despite rumors to the contrary from last week’s post we actually DO have Pearl Jam for you this week (sort of…) as well as Apple Martin’s favorite band, Coldplay (also sort of…). Please stick around and as a recommendation from the home offices in Dulles, Virginia, one of our followers had great success reading our blog with the TV show “Deadliest Catch” on in the background. So fire up your barbie, find some shrimp and we’ll be rrrrrrrrrrrright back!

(cymbals crash, electric guitar chords blast, Rob tries to hit an imaginary golf ball on the tee with an imaginary club…and looks like a rusty gate…curtains close)

Much respect to the late great Johnny Carson for letting me horribly steal his golf swing and curtains. Conan’s good, Jay was better but the ONLY person who should ever host “The Tonight Show” is Johnny Carson. I have many fond memories of watching Johnny when I was but a lad. It’s still hard to believe he hasn’t done “The Tonight Show” in over 17 years. But the world, she keeps a-spinnin’…

Our blog’s content hopper has just filed for its own zipcode so climb up on my virtual knee and let’s get right to it…A bit of explanation about today’s title is in order. When I was a freshman in college, I enjoyed participating in the university’s communications program, specifically the radio station. We used to keep Saturday nights from midnight to 2AM open on the program schedule. If we had someone available to take the shift, great… if not, we pulled the pin, and threw “The Big Red Switch” and turned the station over to an autopilot easy listening station, which I’m certain had more listeners than our own campus-made programming.

From time-to-time we would get random students in the station office with the gleeful yet dreaded, “I’d like to do my own radio show…” usually followed by the sounds of their own uncontrollable giggling. It was as if they had been sitting in their dorm room with the drapes pulled and the lights off doing intros for songs on the local FM stations before summoning up the courage to come in and profess their life-long radio dreams.

From there they would meet with either the program director or his assistant and they would ask them a few questions to gauge the feasibility of putting the potential broadcast grenade into our service. Without fail, the discussion would typically end with the infamous, “Well, let’s see…slots on the station are REALLY tight right now, but we do have an opening this Saturday from midnight to 2AM. Are you interested?” The person would either: say yes (and then freeze for a second when they realized they just pressed the detonator on their social life), or they would say no (because they saw the imaginary detonator for themselves).

Nearly all the new talent would come in for their first show and do REALLY well. Then, virtually 99% of the new talent would come in before their SECOND show and say something like, “I had a GREAT time doing a show last week, but I can’t really come up with enough material for another show…” The program director would usually respond with, “Radio is a tough business and it’s definitely not for everyone. Are you sure you don’t want to come back and just introduce and spin records, and read our PSA’s? I can give you a song playlist and have your vinyl pulled when you get here…” (Note: This was the late 80’s. The use of the word playlist here means a WRITTEN list of songs and the numeric sorting code of the record so you could pull them from the shelves as you played each one. No iPods in those days boys and girls!)

“No thank you, I just wanted to come by and tell you I wasn’t coming back this week…”

“That’s too bad…really”, the program director would say, “I had to fight real hard to get you that spot. Is there someone else on your hall maybe that’s interested?” And the cycle would repeat itself. The point is, everyone has one GREAT radio show or one GREAT blog post, the challenge is coming back and duplicating your efforts. Of course, I have conveniently pre-empted this with my brash “content- hopper-zipcode” remark, so we’ll see I guess. As a reminder, your comments are ALWAYS welcome. It is after all, YOUR blog…I’m just living in it…

In reading over last week’s blog in preparation for this week, I realized that an egregious (thanks for the word, Jazz…) error took place. I forgot to mention the in-utero name for the baby! When Jasmine was in-utero she went by “Bosco” and we have elected to use this name, too. For those of you that were unaware of this, we (which is to say, I…) sincerely apologize. When Jasmine was Bosco she even had her own transport. Some of you may remember my in-laws’ “Bosco Bus”. For the uninitiated, Bosco Bus was a VW Westie Pop-Top Bus. Best of all, it was painted gastro-intestinal errrr…chocolate brown with matching scotch-plaid interior. The Germans have never been much for attractive vehicles, just well engineered ones. Those VW buses also weren’t much for performance. In fact, they wouldn’t pass ANYTHING--except the gas station, of course. I’m pretty sure the VW bus actually MADE gasoline as it burned it. That’s why they don’t make them anymore…Not to mention, there was never a better interview vehicle, right Papa Fran?

Some additional history on Bosco (thanks Dad!)…There was a John Bosco of Italy who is a saint of the Catholic Church and possible Alfa Romeo owner and/or driver (more on that next week...). He is also known as Don Bosco. He founded the Salesian Order of Teaching Priests. There was a Don Bosco High School in Milwaukee, Wisconsin from 1945 – 1972, when it merged with another high school. The 50’s brought us a chocolate drink mix called Bosco (like Hershey’s or Nestle’s) which sponsored several children’s shows. Also, you may remember the character B.A. Baracus from the A-Team, and you guessed it, the B stands for Bosco, really. It wasn’t until we decided on Bosco as a temporary name that I found this out myself. I always thought B.A. meant “Bad A**”. B.A. was played by Mr. T whose real name is Laurence Tureaud, fools! If I missed any Bosco trivia, please as always, send it to our comments section…

But I digress! The first of many no doubt…moving on…

I’d like to take this opportunity to acknowledge and give much respect to our first round of 9 official followers. Thank you “AGrammy”, “jmd”, “andrew.martin”, “ice doctor”, “Chandria Slaughter”, “GLouise”, “Olivia Schramm”, “Chrissy”, and “Broccoli”! You are now all officially “THE NINE”. I know there are many of you also reading the blog regularly that in some cases share living space and or computers with “THE NINE”. And also there are many of you out there reading anonymously. Thank you all very much for letting us come into your computers each week.

Also, special recognition to our weekly prize winners “jmd”, “Tony P.” and “AGrammy”. Congratulations to “jmd” for posting the first comment! “jmd” has won an ALL expenses paid trip to newly re-discovered “Joe’s Place Pizza and Pasta” at their previously hidden franchise located in Vienna, Virginia. If you can find a better pizza and pasta buffet for less than $7.95 in the DC area, Mama mia, BUY IT and let us know! And by ALL expenses paid trip we mean inclusive of local ground transportation, lodging and of course, Joe’s!

Congratulations also go out to “Tony P.” for having the subjectively BEST comment post of the week! “Tony P.” wins a six pack of Natti light beer, or whatever domestically brewed beer is cheaper, his choice. Natti light…if you’re drinking beer, you’re not drinking Natti light! And yes, my “Bill Simmons Online Publishing Degree” shingle hangs proudly, right below my rec-league ice hockey trophy. As I said last week, what I lack in quality I more than make up for in quantity.

And a final congratulations to “AGrammy” who has won a golden movie ticket to the cinema of her choice in honor of becoming our first follower!

Well, this week was another really action packed week. It started with me locking all of my keys in our basement storage area at 11PM, then realizing in horror that we only had one key to the storage area. I actually did consider for a moment calling our building’s emergency line, but then thought the better of it and waited until morning when I could get a spare from the management office. This also meant I had to wake my sleeping pregnant wife by calling her on the cell phone to let her know she had to buzz me up when I reached the vestibule intercom. She of course wanted to know why I was calling home in the middle of the night on my cell phone when that is where I was supposed to be in the first place. You haven’t had insomnia until you’ve locked your keys in an inaccessible area overnight, I’ll tell you that! And yes, I’ve had multiple copies made since this incident.

I’m also beginning to wonder if everything one needs to learn about parenting can be learned at Harris Teeter…I saw a toddler giving his Mother the hand-sign for the word “more” because he was hungry. Stupidly, I said, “WOW! Your deaf toddler can sign really well!” After I picked myself up off the cold linoleum floor, she said, “Actually…children can learn to sign very quickly in their development…” Who knew? I mean besides informed people…

In yet another sign that a baby is upon us…Our beloved 2003 Saturn Vue “D’Artagnan” now has a broken CD player. Jasmine says it will ONLY play Disney CDs. I’ve looked it up, but there are no service bulletins on this. I guess even D’Artagnan knows he’ll be hauling a baby around soon. Sorry Papa Fran but rest assured, I received a notice from Saturn this week about ceiling mounted automatic noise-cancelling ear plugs. Jasmine finds this paragraph suspicious since when I picked her up from a conference today, the Disney CDs were still playing without her in the car.

BUSINESS AND FINANCIAL NEWS DIGRESSION WARNING! Speaking of Saturn, it was announced this week that Captain of Industry and auto racing impresario Roger Penske will buy Saturn from General Motors. The deal will be closed in the third quarter. Penske has stated that he only wants his company to handle dealership relations and distribution and NOT manufacturing. He is currently seeking a manufacturing partner. The early money is on Tata Motors of Mumbai, India. Tata stole…I mean “acquired” my beloved Jaguar also recently and is currently the nineteenth largest automobile manufacturer. Speaking of money…In my view, Saturn stock is a definite buy right now (or upon divestiture from GM). Penske is one of the most underrated moguls in the world. Everything he touches turns into a success. Just ask Rick Mears…but don’t take my word for it, DO YOUR HOMEWORK!

In the home improvement department, our manse took a great step forward this week towards accommodating our first baby. Wait a TIC!…I am finally receiving an in-utero transmission from an old soup can and some bailing wire which I rigged up for Bosco. “THANK YOU GREAT AUNT MARY K AND GREAT AUNT LEANNE FOR HELPING TO PAINT MY NURSERY THIS WEEK!” We have some pictures here, but since I can’t take good photos, the color really doesn’t come through very well. Apparently, you need balanced light to take a good picture…again, who knew? Besides good-photo-taker-read-his-camera-manual-guy, I mean…
Several years ago I took Jasmine to the beach for her birthday and the hotel we stayed in was painted sage with white trim. The calming effect of this color was extremely powerful to me. Of course, it may have been the 24 hour room service, ocean view and club-floor access, but I’m not sure…I always thought I’d like to have a room that color and now I do. Or Bosco does at least. Jasmine is still waiting for the 24 hour room service and ocean view.

Since Jasmine suffers from asthma, we looked into VOC free paints which would have no “out gas emissions”. We settled on a brand called Freshaire. As LeAnne will attest, the color went on well and indeed, no smell! Freshaire and other paints like them do come with some negatives. Freshaire is only sold by the gallon (we only needed one for Bosco’s suite), and it sells for 20% more than the other non-VOC free brands. Also, although we ended up loving the color on the walls even more than the sample, the Freshaire palette is much more limited than other non-VOC free brands. Jasmine picked non-Freshaire colors first and then we matched her favorites to the eventual Freshaire winner which is called “Northern Pear Tree”. It matches very well with the Pergo flooring, crib and the crib’s pachydermed mobile. I apologize that the photos do not show a completed nursery yet, but I ran into some hardware problems with the A/C access panel and am still working to solve them. So, it’s good bye “Man Land” errr…..I mean, “Guest Room” and hello nursery! Thanks again MaryK and LeAnne, it wouldn’t have gotten done without you, nor done as well without your guidance and labor.

Overheard this week at our Silver Diner: “Meatloaf is only supposed to be on the menu NOT the jukebox!” For those of you scoring at home, Silver Diner (a local 50’s retro-themed chrome diner) started celebrating their 20th anniversary this week. As part of the celebration they have re-tooled their jukebox with selections from the 70’s and 80’s to include the aforementioned Mr. Loaf’s “Paradise By The Dashboard Light”. The writers of this blog give the move, two gravy-covered thumbs up.

We’d like to take a moment of silence this week for Stephen Tyrone Johns, a security guard who was killed in the line of duty last week at the United States Holocaust Museum. If you are protected by security guards, please thank them. Your car’s battery that needs a jump after work on the coldest night of the year or your very life may depend on it. We’re also taking a moment of silence this week for Norman Brinker. Mr. Brinker developed several revolutionary concepts in the restaurant industry to include: founding Steak and Ale (the first, full service yet casual chain of restaurants) where he introduced the salad bar, and the novel waiter introduction, “Hi, my name is _____, and I’ll be your waiter tonight.” Also, his ad campaign at Burger King which took direct aim at McDonald’s and started “The Burger War”, and finally, his third wife was Nancy Goodman whose sister was Susan G. Komen. I can hear my father saying, “Well, hello to you. My name is _____, and I’ll be your customer tonight…” ;)


Congratulations to The Pittsburgh Penguins for knocking off my hometown Detroit Red Wings 2-1 on Saturday night at Joe Louis Arena to win Lord Stanley’s Cup, 4 games to 3. After Detroit won game 5 by a score of 5-0, I thought for sure with two chances to close out the series they would, but it was Pittsburgh who would win Games 6 AND 7. Sidney Crosby becomes the youngest captain to win the Cup at age 21. With all due respect, may it be his last. I was disappointed to see that Crosby failed to shake hands with all of the Red Wings’ players, after the series ended as is hockey’s grand tradition. Most notably, he did not shake hands with Wings’ captain Niklas Lidstrom who could be seen in the background patiently waiting. Why was he waiting? Because NBC didn’t want to miss their big, post-game interview with Crosby and grabbed him before he went through the handshake line. As my Father said, his teammates should really just have grabbed him and told the reporter, “We’ve got something to do first…” And what’s with the Penguins’ PR department trying to spin this by saying “no one respect’s hockey’s traditions more than Sidney Crosby.” Really? I don’t see how that’s possible, when he didn’t shake all of his opponents’ hands.

Congratulations to NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Mark Martin, the old man of the circuit winning at Michigan International Speedway on Sunday! This is his third victory this season and he jumped 5 spots Sunday and is now eighth in the standings. He is the best driver to never have won a championship and was trying to retire not too long ago. Will this finally be the year? The “Loud Pedal Circus” goes to Sonoma, California this week for hot road racing action at Infineon Raceway! Even if you’re not a NASCAR fan, I recommend you tune in and give it a try as the cars will be turning left AND right this week! If you miss it, they also race August 9th at historic Watkins Glen International, also a road course. Jenn and Patrick, how far are you from Sonoma and/or Fontana? I smell road….errrr, air-trip! And yes Dad, I know stock cars weren’t really designed to run competitively on road courses…

Hang on, Jazz is yelling from the other room…Oh yeah, back to the baby. In health news…..Overall, we are all doing well. Jasmine continues to experience infrequent mild fatigue especially if she doesn’t eat. So, we have been working together to monitor that, so that she is eating smaller meals more frequently throughout the day. She has been feeling the baby beginning to kick this week, however I have been unable to personally substantiate that, but can’t wait to feel Bosco myself. Our next appointment with the OB is next Tuesday which will be our 20th week check-up. We are also anticipating the scheduling of a Level 2 sonogram in the near future. This is an enhanced resolution sonogram which should tell the doctors a great deal more about the baby’s development and (we are hoping) the baby’s sex. Once again, we WILL be announcing the sex here on the blog so, please look for well marked warnings in advance of that announcement.

In this tough economy, for those of you looking for a nice freebie, Babies R Us is giving out one free BAP free baby bottle with each new baby registry while at Buy Buy Baby you can score a comp pack of grape scented (I’m SO not making this up…) “booger wipes”!

At the top of our show, I mentioned visits from Pearl Jam and Coldplay and now, HE’RE THEY ARE! Sort of…Mike McCready, Pearl Jam guitarist, suffers from Crohn’s Disease and has become an outspoken advocate for Restroom Access Laws (near and dear to pregnant families, also) in the band’s hometown of Seattle, Washington which has caused me to take an interest as well. For more information on this important issue, check out this link which also contains footage of Mike on a local Seattle TV show being interviewed:

And NOW! It’s Coldplay! (again, sort of…) While waiting for Jazz in the dentist’s office this week, I read a short article that Coldplay released a new live album last month called “LeftRightLeftRightLeft”. The best part is…IT’S FREE! Just go to, click on the butterfly on the top of the page, give them your email address and it’s yours.

Well that’s all for this week! Happy Father’s Day to all of the Dad’s out there and everyone, please keep the comments, support and of course, the love coming and we hope that you all keep safe and eat your green vegetables! Tune in next week where you’ll read about the next OB visit, the tackiest lamp ever made by man and a new feature called “The Rundown”! Thanks again for stopping by, we’re glad you’re here. Whew, I did it! “The Hardest Post” is done!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Is This Thing On?

Wow! Wow! Wow!...thank you so much for that great applause! A warm welcome to you all, and thank you for tuning in. We’ve got a really great show for you tonight! Will Ferrell is here to talk about his new movie, “Land of the Lost”…Jeff Ament, Stone Gossard, Mike McCready, Matt Cameron and of course, Eddie Vedder better known as Pearl Jam are here to rock…so stick around!

Oh, sorry about that…I got the baby blog mixed up with my script drafts for “The Tonight Show”…But seriously, Conan is right. Although we don’t expect Will Ferrell or Pearl Jam, Jasmine and I would like to thank all of you for stopping by the blog and reading. Jasmine also reminds me that the REAL reason we’re starting the blog today is because she recently received a VERY sad email from a childhood friend (you know who you are!) wondering about the lack of our promised blog. We trust that our whimsical irreverence for things reverent and carefully crafted reverence for things irreverent will encourage you to return. On the occasions where our mad skills are NOT facilitating your return, please let us know by leaving posts of your own, unless of course said posts violate galactic order 954.1…

Initially, I thought it was important to point out that I would be using a different font then Jasmine so it would be easier for all of you to follow along at home but then I was informed that all entries will contain a signature making fonts a moot point. Then I remembered that we’re just going to keep things really simple. Jasmine’s entries will be short-winded, coherent, well-put and will be highlighted with proper punctuation, grammar and spelling. Mine will not.

In preparation for “It’s The Great Fobian Baby Blog, Charlie Brown!”, I read several blogs and thought it would be important to start with something like, “What This Blog Will And Won’t Be..” You know, a chirp like…

“This blog will NOT be a place where we can all come together as a community and grow….the 60’s called….they want their PATHOS back!”

Because at the end of the day, the pathos of the 60’s was a very beautiful thing (I’m told…) that is still missed by many people, myself included…Mom? Are you listening? I’m really, really sorry about my recent movie referral of “A Mighty Wind”. It IS hard to see the things we love roasted for purposes of entertainment. It WAS a special time. It was YOUR time. Long live folk music and down with the haters I say!

Ok, after all of those false starts I’m finally ready… make one more! I was born in 1971…..kidding, kidding……

It occurs to me that there might be many of you in our studio audience that are not up to speed on “how we got here”. So, in the fashion of Sports Center, here’s the wrap-up…brought to you by my hometown, the City of Detroit, Michigan! First in hockey, last in making cars that people want to buy…yeah, yeah ok, that Chevrolet Volt is kinda’ cool, but it’s STILL a GM product so, it won’t hold the road. And the 2010 Chevrolet Camaro? With all due respect (which means I get to say what I want now…) the state of New Jersey called…they want their car back. Seriously…

Jasmine and I were married May 20, 2000 and a good time was had by all, despite rain during the “opening laps”. But Reverend Gonia consulted with his “Boss” at “race control” and the green flag flew throughout the remainder of the day. And in 9 years, we’ve never had so much as a caution flag. Almost from the day Jasmine and I started talking over the “Interweb” with our “shoeboxes” and “copper wires” we talked about how much we enjoyed kids. After we met and spent more time together, this grew to discussions and musings of having children of own someday. At the same time, we also thought it was mutually important for us to live and grow inside the framework of married life before having our children.

A few years went by before we decided to naturally conceive our first child and then, to our exasperating surprise…NOTHING HAPPENED. And then, all of a sudden, when we were least expecting it…NOTHING HAPPENED. So, after “nothing happened” enough, Jasmine encouraged me to speak with my then current physician, Dr. Mark Paster about our infertility. When I did, he did not hesitate in recommending us to the all-world services at the Muasher Center for Infertility and IVF in nearby Fairfax, Virginia near Fairfax Hospital. Dr. Suheil Muasher is the owner, operator and rear-tire changer of the center and we could not have been in better hands.

Shockingly to us, an overwhelming number of couples experience infertility and likely always have. The difference now is, of course, that the field of medicine can in most cases do something about it. After a series of tests Dr. Muasher informed us that while all of the results looked great, he simply could not tell us why we could not conceive naturally. And again, this circumstance is also common.

But before we could be saddened about our conception prospects, Dr. Muasher slowly walked us through an EXACTING step-by-step process of how he was going to help us. In simplified form, Jasmine would (unlike Manny Ramirez of the Los Angeles Dodgers) take a series of prescribed hormones and then at the appropriate time, Dr. Muasher would perform an IUI procedure. He said he would try this cycle three times and if there was no success and we still wanted a baby (which we would), we could consider an IVF procedure.

In short, the man is a genius. Although he cautioned us about getting our expectations up, as the hormone “cocktail” might need the full three months before either taking effect or being adjusted to the proper dose, we were successful on the VERY FIRST IUI!

Fast forwarding…I am pleased to announce that we are now beginning our 18th week of pregnancy. Bosco (as we have named the baby in-utero…) is currently about 5.5 inches and 5 oz. (the weight of a chicken breast). However, I’m not sure if that’s KFC Grilled, Extra Crispy or Original Recipe. Most importantly, Bosco’s health is great as is Jasmine’s and our OB Center is hoping for a “boring pregnancy”. Oh, and that noise you hear? No, that’s not Bosco just yet. That’s Jasmine knocking on every piece of wood in the house…Bosco’s due date is currently November 14th, however there is a plus or minus of 14 days on that. As they used to say on the advertisements of certain 80’s tv shows, we’re anticipating a very special Thanksgiving and overall holiday season this year.

Some of you have asked not to be informed of Bosco’s sex in advance of arrival so, fair warning, if we are able to find out, that will likely be posted on this blog so you may want to read the archived version after Bosco arrives or get your baby news from us offline.

Current events for this week include waiting for our week 20 appointment on June 23rd where we are hoping to get a better picture of Bosco and the painting of Bosco’s nursery with critical assistance being provided by Aunts Mary K and LeAnne this weekend. As Senator Clinton would say, it indeed takes a whole village.

In closing, I would like to apologize to all of you for the delay in getting this blog started. Like Sally waiting with Linus for the Great Pumpkin, I know many of you have been anxious for the “It’s The Great Fobian Baby Blog, Charlie Brown!” to begin and now at long last, it has. The countdown’s at zero, it’s time to go racin’! Thank you for your patience, and thank you for joining our family on what will be an exciting journey. As Tiger Williams might say, “Buckle your chinstrap, rookie.”