Thursday, December 18, 2008

Tomahawk Chopped

You are looking over the menu at a ritzy restaurant when the waiter greets the table and describes the specials of the evening. The specials follow a familiar formula: a rare ingredient from some strange place is prepared in a spectacular method then finished with a sauce that only a CIA (Culinary Institue of America) operative can comprehend.

For example:
"Tonight, the chef has put aside all of his obligations in order to prepare something very special. He starts with rare Carlsbad Cavern sea scallops. These are authoritatively grilled over an endangered redwood fire. They are finished in the oven, the very same oven that was used by Hansel and Gretel. The chef will top the scallops with a sauce that is so difficult to prepare and so mercurial that I dare not even speak its name. It's really really good. Highly recommended."

It sounds so good that the rest of the menu looks shabby and unpalatable. You have been sold on the special. You must have it. There is just one small detail missing: a price.

You know it can't be cheap. Redwood firewood doesn't just grow on trees. Carlsbad Cavern scallops are notoriously hard to procure. Everyone wants to eat special food. But at what cost?
Do you ask the price of the special, thus appearing to be cheap? Or, do you follow your gut, order it, and hope for the best.

Last night at Eddie V's restaurant in Austin, I ordered the special. Oh what a special it was: a 30 ounce dry-aged prime tomahawk ribeye with one foot of 'frenched' rib bone goodness. This was a manly, ostentatious steak. I chuckled at my coworkers' 4 ounce portions of fish. My tomahawk steak was the envy of the table. Until the bill arrived, that is.

The receipt took my breath away: Tomahawk steak $65.95. I felt like Ralphie after he almost shot his eye out. I felt like a thousand shoes were flying through the air toward my head. This wasn't good.

Doubts and second-guesses crossed my mind. Why hadn't I just ordered the regular ribeye? How much does a rib bone cost, anyway? And, most of all, why didn't I just ask the waiter one simple question, "how much?"

Please note, this picture isn't me. It's just some random guy with a tomahawk steak:

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Happy Wednesday

Cheers, everyone!
Happy Baby

Monday, December 15, 2008

I've Never...

I just realized that I've never owned a leather jacket. How can I have gone through my entire life of 30+ winters without this coat staple?

I could claim to be defending our bovine friends who would probably be more comfortable in their own skins. This would be disingenuous, as I love me some ribeye steak crusted in salt and seared to medium rare.

I've also never owned a bird or fish, but I have eaten plenty. I think they make better food than pets. The opposite goes for pigs (ehem, Carter).

I've never owned a car that has only two doors. What a brilliant idea that is! "So, it's like a 4-door car with a few improvements. First, the door will be heavy and difficult to open. Second, it will swing out and absolutely obliterate the car parked next to you on a regular basis. Finally, anyone who wishes to enter or exit the backseat must perform gyrations and unflattering contortions that are probably illegal in the state of Utah."

I've never owned a school class ring. I can just put on one of my ugly school t-shirts if I want to show my allegiance. Is there a hidden purpose to these things besides earning a rate of return for the shareholders of Jostens? The best I can come with is that the ring is helpful when punching someone.

Does anyone in the audience care to share an I've Never Owned story? Was this posting complete garbage?

Sieber Family Christmas Road Show

We're coming soon to a city near you!

12/19 (afternoon) - San Marcos, TX
12/19 (evening) - Georgetown, TX
12/20 to 12/22 - Holly Lake Ranch, TX
12/23 to 12/28 - Dallas, TX
12/29 - back home in Round Rock

There are too many Christmas celebrations and friend gatherings scheduled on the calendar to count. We'll be hauling a half-wild, half-sedated Corgidor, a happy baby in his car-seat, and a car full of presents and holiday cheer. Here's hoping that all bodily fluids and functions are minimal and/or safely contained.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Lyrics to Clown Lullaby

Go to sleep, Go to sleep.
Or the clowns will eat you.
They'll drive up here.
They'll find your crib
In their overstuffed clown car!

Go to sleep, Go to sleep,
Or Bozo will get you.
He's got pies.
He's got a scary face,
And he's on his way now!

Go to sleep. Go to Sleep,
or Chuckles will get you.
You'll join the circus,
Become a sideshow,
and grow up a Sooner fan!

Copyright 2008 - Chris Sieber - Republication of this original work is discouraged. Author is not liable for emotional trauma or nightmares that result from singing this to children.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The End of Wall Street

We live in interesting times. Wall Street is in disarray. The financial industry has required massive government intervention just to keep the essential moving parts of our economy from melting down. Detroit is holding up a cardboard sign that says "Will work for food. Disabled veteran American company. God Bless"

How did we get to this point? We know that sub-prime lending played a key role. We know that decling home prices struck a match to the sub-prime powder keg. But how do you make the leap from a $14,000 a year strawberry picker buying a million dollar house to the collapse of Lehman Brothers? This article helps explain a lot.

The End of Wall Street Article

The ignominous cameo by Lomas Financial was particularly amusing. My own dear dad worked for Lomas back in the day. Le brilliant!

‘The Lomas Financial Corp. is a perfectly hedged financial institution: It
loses money in every conceivable interest-rate environment.’

My New Found Respect for C-Section Mamas

After having four small incisions and a couple of pointless organs removed, I now have had a taste of what it is like to be a C-Section Mama. I know my pain is no where near that of someone who had a full incision and a baby pulled out of their womb, but a taste of that is enough for me to know I don't care to experience that. Soon after we had Michael, Christopher and I were already talking about when we were going to have our next child. He was beautiful, the birth went awesome, my swollen feet were gone, and I was healing like a champ! Our family was taking short walks within a day or two! The good things about giving birth completely out weighed the negatives and the pain. I was over taking the pain killers in a couple of days! I knew that C-Section Mamas had it worse, but I really had no idea.

Now that I've had this minor surgery, I find it hard to get in and out of bed, walk up and down stairs, and to position my son for feeding where he is not going to kick me directly in the stomach! I'm still taking pain killers on a pretty regular basis and I'm having a very hard time being dependent upon others to help with these small daily tasks. C-section mamas have it hard and I have an even greater respect for those ladies who had major surgery and are still capable of being awesome mommies to their newborns!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Worst 5 Lullabies

One of the best things about parenting a precious baby is singing ridiculous songs and lullabies. Watching Michael's little eyes close and hearing the contented baby sighs makes singing goofy songs a wonderful experience. Here are some of lullabies I have composed for my boy:

"Go to Sleep, Go to Sleep, or the Clowns Will Eat You"
"The Itsy Bitsy Spider Laid Eggs in Your Brain"
"Rockabye Baby in the Ford Pinto"
"Sugarplums and Thousands of Tarantulas"
"Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Imploding, Life-Obliterating Supernova"

My personal favorite is the one about the clowns. Here's hoping that my baby doesn't really understand what I am singing, or we'll probably end up with a resentful, goth teenager.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

No Guts, No Glory, No More Worry

In about six hours from now, I will be one appendix lighter and possibly minus a gallbladder too. Although losing this horrific pain in my side will be much relief, it is a bit scary as this is my first time to ever have surgery. I didn't think that any pain could be worse than that of 20 hours of labor, 12 of which were without an epidural, but I had yet to experience a cyst in my appendix. During labor, I had at least a 3 minute reprieve from the pain, that appendix, it doesn't really let up, no breaks, no short amount of time to start the laundry, change a diaper, nothing! There is really no known reason for humans to have an appendix. It's an organ that is easily disposed of and now only requires out patient surgery to remove.

Sorry, Shannon. I removed the photo of a removed appendix. It was a little edgey. We love you.

Christopher and I really don't have words to say how much we appreciate the nurse practitioner that we saw starting at 9:00 this morning. She set us up to illegally bring Michael into the Ultrasound office, get lab work STAT, spent her lunch break setting us up with a very good surgeon, and then as she hadn't done enough, still took the time to call us this evening and made sure that we were taken care of. I'm amazed that in the hustle and bustle of her very busy schedule, that she took the time to treat me like I was her only patient today. It feels good to be a recipient of that type of kindness. I was reminded of the kind of person that I should strive to be.

This is yet another adventure that Christopher and I vowed to have together 2 1/2 years ago, not necessarily the type of adventure that I had in mind when I made that vow, but it works.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Venice in December

Isn't it loverly?

Link to more pictures. They seem to handle floods better than we do. Check out the pastry shop that is still serving customers who are wading through water in the store.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Shout out to our lone commentor...

In reading through the blog, I've noticed a trend, our beloved Sarah is the only person who comments. I just recently found out that Aunt Kathy reads often as does my old robotics mentor, Jason in London. I know there are more of you out there and we appreciate that you even care to visit our site occasionally to see what is going on in our lives, but Sarah, she takes it a step further. Not only is she on call 24/7 to answer any questions I have about mommyhood, she takes time from her busy day as a mommy herself to comment. Sarah. Check out her blog, she's a great writer!

Marginally Useful News

We are knee deep in baby lately, but that's not all that has been going on lately.

The Economy:
I stopped the bleeding in my 401k by reallocating my stock funds. The damage has been done though. I might end up a 79 year-old door greeter at Walmart, and Michael may have to attend Barber College (if we can afford that). In all seriousness, we're doing great, and we hope that this Auburn offense-esque economy shows some improvement soon.

King of Pizza:
A couple weekends ago, our friend Chris, aka Big Chompy, crushed the competition in a runaway victory in the Homeslice Pizza extreme pizza eating contest. Friends and family from all over Texas overran the place and did some serious ruckusing for Chris.

Shannon and I collaborated on posters for the cheering section. Here are a few favorites:

"Chris causes global food shortages"
"Don't eat me, Bro! (said by a cartoon pizza slice)"
"No Justice, No Pizza!"
"Chris Bankrupts Buffets"

Michael and Austin, Chompy's biggest little fans, showed their support in stunning customized "ThreePeat" onesies featuring a photo of Chris at the end of an eating contest.

It was a great day, and we are all very proud of Chris for winning yet again. Actually, we care about getting the best New York style pizza in Austin for free for another year!

Thanksgiving Highlights:
We hosted Thanksgiving dinner at our house in Round Rock, then hustled into town to watch the Longhorns crush the poor defenseless Aggies. We played an awesome Screenball game in Plano. GSK, my friends. Michael also made his first visit to the Sants. We capped off the weekend with dinner at Clay and Sarah's place in China Springs. There was another baby summit between Mad Dog (Michael) and the Moose (Austin), but talks were tense as there seemed to be some fussiness in the air. In conclusion, Roll Tide and the BCS and OU can kiss my grits.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

A Day in the Life

I'm not sure what time it is, but it's quiet and dark. Even that strange furry creature that licks my head is asleep and not barking for once. Those barks get me every time, and my hands fly up in the air. Stupid Moro reflex.
I'm so bored, and kicking my legs is just not that entertaining any more. I'm really jonesing for my pacifier right now. The stupid thing is sitting on my chest. I try to pick it up, but my arms flail around like Philip Fulmer at an all-you-can eat donut buffet.

I've had enough. It's time to fire up the vocal cords. What does a baby have to do to get a little bit of service in this joint?
"Wah. Wah. Wah. WAAH. Waaaaarrgh! Waaaaargh!"
The two giant faces seem to have heard me. I can hear something like, "Can you check on the baby? No, can you do it this time? I'm so tired….." Anyway, here comes mom-face.

My pacifier is back in my mouth. Ah, sweet relief. Doh! It fell out.
"Wah. Wah. Wah. WAAH. Waaaaarrgh! Waaaaargh!"
Ok, it's back in again. I've got magic powers. I just scrunch up my face and scream, and the pacifier is summoned to my mouth. Turning red seems to help.

Should I sleep or should I experiment further with my new screaming powers? My pacifier just fell out again. That settles it. A baby's gotta do what a baby's gotta do. WAAAAAA……..