Tuesday, November 30, 2004


It's late, the baby won't go to sleep, and I've done all the other quizzes everyone else has put up, so with nothing left to do, I've done one of my own...


Friday, November 26, 2004


He's here.

After 9 months, he's finally here.

Connor was born this afternoon, at 5.30pm. We arrived at the hospital at 9.30, and after two different attempts to induce him, a drip was inserted at 2pm and BANG! Game on! A three and a half hour labour is quick, but even so, it was long enough. In the end he arrived quite easily (relatively speaking).

He weighs 3.430kg, or 7lb 9oz in the ancient tongue, is 50 centimetres long, and has a head circumference of 34.5 centimetres. He has my feet, the poor sod, but lacks my distinguished webbed toes or wibbly right earlobe, and he is (and I may be biased here) perfect.

Believe it or not after the last 9 months, but the birth itself went just about as perfectly as a birth can go. Lyn was able to deliver naturally, with only one shot of painkillers to help her over a small rough patch. By the end of it we were tired, teary, deeply in love with each other and our baby boy, and so relieved it was all we could do not to burst into tears at every opportunity.

The main thing is that both Lyn and Connor are healthy and safe. The medical staff at KEMH are aware of our history (and my previous experience), so they're taking extra precautions over everything. A little frustrating at times, but deeply reassuring.

There's probably more, but I'm still just absolutely twizzled at the moment.

He's here. Healthy, safe, and beautiful.

Friday, November 19, 2004


Spoke too soon: Lyn ended up back at the hospital yesterday. We were booked in for an ultrasound, but Lyn was in so much pain the radiographer rang up to the ward with the intention of getting Lyn induced. So we went up, and we waited, and we waited... after a couple of hours a doctor came by and said, yes, an induction might be a good idea but it's not my decision to make. I'll go and get the ward specialist. It's her decision.

So we waited, and we waited. After another few hours the ward specialist mosied by (maybe she was on a tricky back 9 or something all afternoon) and said yes, an induction might be a good idea, but it's not mydecision to make, especially as it was now evening time (we'd arrived at the hospital at 11.30am, but apparently irony isn't allowed on ward after dinner). The team that's been looking after you is on in the morning, so I'll keep you in here overnight and they can decide.

So Lyn was consigned to a ward for the evening, along with another 3 patients who also hadn't got any sleep in the last 8 months. She's given enough medication so that she wakes up on more than one occasion hallucinating, and everybody's happy. Except Lyn and I, of course, but at King Edward Memorial Hospital the patient doesn't count if you're a doctor and have something better to do. Like your nails or hair. Or finding someone to pass a buck to.

I arrive back at the hospital at 7.30 this morning. The doctor comes round at 7.45. His first words are "What are you back here for this time?"

This does not bode well. At least it wouldn't bode well, if we were given any boding time. Without waiting for an answer to his question he proceeds to tell us that he's not inducing anybody until 38 weeks, and Lyn's problem is she just can't handle pain. You can see the physiotherapist and the psychiatrist, he declares, and sweeps out. Probably had a tricky front 9 to confront or something.

I shan't go into the problems getting a wheelchair so we could leave. Suffice it to say that Lyn cannot walk from our bedroom to our toilet, less than 10 feet away, without assistance. If you understand this at the first attempt, you're overqualified to work at KEMH. We did not stay for the physio, much less the psychiatrist. We have a perfectly good chiropractor, who knows and understands us (and who we were able to get into see with but a phone call), and the last time Lyn saw the hospital Physio she needed a wheelchair. Which was a bitch to get our hands on this morning. See how it all fits together? Unlike Lyn's pelvis, which nobody at the hospital seems to give a rat's arse about. Her pain is physical, not a matter of coming to terms with it psychologically. It needs relief, not "coping strategies". We've got more coping strategies than a citizen of Baghdad. They're not working, which is why Lyn's in pain. See how it all fits together?

I have a couple of friends who are doctors (such as the frabjous Chris Lawson, the best hard SF writer Australia has seen in years, if ever) and I know all doctors are not uncaring, self-absorbed hacks. But the ones at KEMH are.

Don't go there. Find a manger, or a dumpster, or a burnt out car. Anywhere else would be better.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004


Lyn's back home, she's okay (although quite tired), and everything's back to normal.

You know: normal for us.

Monday, November 15, 2004


Interesting times indeed. The more alert amongst you will remember that I agreed to play a bit part in The Angriest Video Store Clerk In The World TV pilot. Shooting was yesterday, which necessitated getting up at 5am to be in North Perth at 6 so I could be shuttled out to the shoot.

So Luscious, Erin, and I roll out of bed at the appointed hour and bundle ourselves into the car for the 45 minute drive to drop me off. Halfway there I notice that the Luscious One isn't looking so well. By the time we're 15 minutes away from our destination I'm so concerned I turn the car around and head home. I ring the Clerk guys and let them know I won't be there, and Lyn heads back to bed for a couple of hours sleep, which seems to do the trick.

The boys have Tae-Kwan-Do in the afternoon, and by the time they're ready to be dropped off Lyn's looking bad again, so I take her down to the maternity hospital for a checkup. We're there for two hours, and it gets serious enough that we organise for the kids to be taken care of by rellies while the nice doctor shoves Lyn full of drips and nausea relief medication. Eventually she improves. We're allowed to leave, and God speed all who sail in us. We head off to get the kids sorted and get on with our evening plans (more down below).

By 7.30 this morning we're back in the hospital. Four and a half hours of tests later, Lyn is full enough of drugs to fall asleep (By which I mean actual sleep, not the doze off-roll over-jerk awake in pain-lie awake for ages-doze off routine she's been in these last 8 months). I decide to leave, because she needs the sleep and if I have to watch her lying there for one more moment without knowing what's going on I'm going to climb the nearest water tower and see how many I can take out before they get me. I do, however, promise to return later with a change of clothes and Erin. Lyn's happy to see the back of me, I think. Obsessively brooding hairy guys probably aren't conducive to the resting process.

The day proceeds to get better: I don't speed. I never speed. I mean, never. People have commented on it. I'm a hairy guy from the Mullet Suburbs. I should speed. And yet I don't. It's an indication of my state of mind, or perhaps just my luck, that I get pinged by a Multanova on the way home. Twice.

Waiting for me in the letterbox is the coroner's report on the cause of Sharon's death. (For those maintaining an interest in that particular matter, the pre-trial conference, which was scheduled for November 5, has been pushed back to January 18. I was originally assured that the whole thing would be over in July of this year. Sharon, you might recall, died in December. 2001. FTL does not stand for Faster Than Litigation...)

When I return to the hospital, just after 5pm, Lyn's looking a lot better. She's eating, which is a vast improvement on the rest of the day. But they're keeping her in overnight, for observation. And they still don't know what the problem is. By this stage she's been throwing up and other delightful things on a regular basis for over 13 hours. When it's time to leave she bursts into uncontrolled crying, and it's all I can do not to lift her out of bed and carry her down to the car. I settle for overcompensating by letting Erin stay up late to watch cartoons. At least I don't encounter any Multanovas on the way home.

It's some ungodly hour of the evening now. I should go to bed: Erin will be up early as usual, and will undoubtedly be cranky due to the late night. But I can't get over how big the bed looks. All we've been told about Lyn's condition is that it's likely to be something viral, and I'll get a ring in the morning when it's time to come pick Lyn up.

I'll be there already.

I've been told, by people who have had them (and by Luscious herself, who's had more than one) that pregnancy is usually a wonderful, beautiful thing. It's a miracle, a blessed event that helps bring a family together in ways no other event can.

Personally, I've never wanted anything to be over more badly in my life.


My brother Scott spent the weekend on the Gold Coast at a seminar for his work. Pretty damn cool, if you ask me: I work for myself, and my boss is a tightarse when it comes to sending me places.

I picked him up from the airport last night, after dropping Cassie at her grandparents' and Lyn & Erin at home.

Not enough to get a free four day trip: the firm held a couple of raffles for attendees, and the clever bugger managed to win himself a deep fryer and an $1800 digital video camera!

Lucky lucky jammy lucky jammy jammy lucky.........

Wednesday, November 10, 2004


Finally, the move is over, and the cheap-ass, slack as crap, less-brain-cells-than-a-PE-teacher removalists have crawled back under their rock. Hey, they managed to break my computer desk and the Indian pipe Luscious bought me for my birthday last year, so I figure I have shooting rights. This pack of morons had tricks like double-packing the cutlery but not wasting a single piece of paper on wrapping my flat-screen computer monitor, so you know we're not dealing with the deep end of the gene pool here. And they ripped us off, the bastards.

Lucky I'm not bitter about it or anything.

Anyway, we've turned the living room into a big library with a couch and TV, the cable's been connected (spent most of yesterday watching Invader Zim, and Batman:The Animated Series, and Johnny Bravo, and I Am Weasel and Catdog, and... well, you get the idea), the patio guy's working out a quote for hard-roofing the patio, the curtain people are coming later this week... it's all go.

Want to extend a big "Youse is a legend moit" to Sheldon, who came over way early on Saturday morning and worked like a Trojan to help us unpack, and Chesh & Calli who came round a bit later and helped with the mammoth task of emptying the house of a million boxes.


Watched Troy the other night for the first time. Would have thought it impossible to turn The Iliad into a boring pile of crap, but there you go. Never underestimate the powers of Wolfgang Petersen and Brad Pitt when it comes to stinky-toilet cinematic experiences.


It's my birthday on Thursday. Luscious and the kids couldn't wait that long to give me my prezzies.

The kids got me a watch. To understand how excited I was by this you have to have been with me when I've taken my phone out for the umpty-thousandth time to check what time it is. I'm a constant time-checker. It's a sickness. Hey, it could be worse. I could work in IT.

Anyway, this watch is beautiful, a magnificent analog (Call me old-fashioned; I prefer hands) in silver and gold. It's far too beautiful to belong on my hairy old wrist.

And Luscious, well, what can I say. A weird and wonderful statue (the present, I swear!) made from nuts, bolts and screws, of two robot-type people wearing glasses and playing soccer. Very hard to describe, but it's odd, disturbing, and impossible to look at without finding something to comment about. In other words, perfect :)

I'm a lucky guy with a great family. And yes, this is an utterly diabetes-inducing post, but hey, it's my birthday :) Well, in two days, but you know...


Everybody in Perth SF is waiting to see the Angriest Video Store Clerk TV show. Creative force Grant Watson emailed me today and asked me if I wanted a bit part as a light-bulb worshipping Siberian Yak Herder.

How can a guy say no to an offer like that? :)

Thursday, November 04, 2004


Every now and again I have one of those moments where laughing and drinking mix together in an explosive way.

Luscious and I have been watching The Practice recently, mainly due to James Spader's fantastic performances: they've given him all the lines I like to refer to as "Groucho lines". Now they've added William Shatner to the mix, and frankly, it's hilarious. Last night, however, it reached a moment of true comic genius.

To whit: Shatner takes Spader out shooting. He explains to Spader that to help you concentrate, you shout out the name of someone you hate as you pull the trigger, then proceeds to demonstrate, shouting out "Clinton! Bin Laden! Saddam!". Then it's Spader's turn, and we get this exchange--

SPADER: Mother! (shoots, misses clay pigeon by the proverbial country mile.)
SHATNER: I'm sorry, did you just shout 'mother'?
SPADER: (Deader than the deadest deadpan ever deadpanned) I only meant to scare her.

The coke was coming out my nose, out my ears, out my eyes...


The movers are coming this afternoon to pack everything away, and we don't get the phone connected until early next week, so I'll be offline for a few days. I'll leave with you this quote, aimed in my direction earlier this week. A friend discussing my current level of 'fame':

"I knew him when he was just a folk singer. Actually, I knew him when he was just a folk talker..."

See you next week.