Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Taking Rest For Granted

posted by John Blanco @ 11:19 AM


Luckily, at the end of last week, I got some time to rest and relax. With our big project done, finally, I could spend my nights gaming and spending time with Michele.

But with another week comes more work. :-) More extra work this week, plus Michele has signed us up for CPR classes which means we will spending a FULL DAY in baby classes on the 11th.

In other news, our driveway is completely iced over and a lost cause. There is nothing I can do. Our roof drips freezing water whenever things start to melt, so we'll make no progress until we get a nice consecutive amount of warm days...WHICH AIN'T THIS WEEK.


The time draws near. The baby shower is over. Michele has left her job, and we're getting close to baby time. Technically, it could happen any...moment! The baby is passed that magic time-frame and once March 1st hits, we're right in baby due time. Holy geez! :-)


Right now, I'm not reading anything. My next book will likely be on baby sign language so I can start learning it along with Michele. In games, I am still working on Final Fantasy III -- I'm in the 17th hour. We're also working on Super Mario Sunshine, but I haven't gotten too much time to play with that yet.

This weekend, two baby classes. And on Sunday, the Super Bowl. GO BEARS! C'mon Cedric Benson, so it for your namesake and win it! ;-)

Monday, January 29, 2007

Zelda: Twilight Princess -- SOLVED!

posted by John Blanco @ 4:56 PM


It took us 50 hours of gameplay, but it's done! And what a game! We are very proud to have played and solved it. :-)

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Baby Shower Pics!!!

posted by John Blanco @ 7:15 PM


Today was Cedric's baby shower! :-) Michele's first as the guest of honor and my first...period.

Our friends, Amanda and Jackie, hosted the event at Michele's parents' house. I'd brought over my Wii and put a whole slew of pictures and music on it and ran the slideshow. Several of us had fun watching while we waited for other family and friends to come over. We also had fun with Amanda's 5-month-old, Isabelle. :-)

After the arrivals, we started up with some 12-player WarioWare. This is a new Wii game and the original reason for bringing it over. It was frantic mini-game action and everyone had a blast for a couple rounds. Amanda also started up our first game: We each wore pins and were not allowed to say the word 'baby'. If you did and someone called you out. you had to give your pin to that person.

In the saddest thing ever,immediately when she announced the game and I was in the kitchen getting some veggies in me, I said aloud as I walked back in to the living room, "I'm so excited, my first baby shower game ever!" Shannon, the only other married-into-the-Ross-family member nabbed me and within 3 seconds I had already lost. :-(

I would win two more later though. Poor Michele, however, lost ALL THREE of her pins while opening gifts -- which was the next thing.

We got so much good stuff, everyone did a wonderful job! :-) Her parents went to town. I think they got just about everything, haha. Our friends Mobat and Athena got us a beautiful Winnie the Pooh blanket that had the name "Cedric Shea" inscribed on it. Humorously, I didn't even know about the name inscription until after the shower -- I had been too busy filming to see it. :-)

Chris and Theresa from New York sent us a pair of baby slings. One for the skip, and one to hold the baby in front. Very nice!

Andy and Corinne got us a couple things, one being a Denver Broncos baby blanket. Sch-weet. :-)

We also got great stuff from Chris and Shannon and Kevin. Thanks everyone!!

We then played game #2. Picking out safety pins out of a bowl of rice. I actually failed to get any within 30 seconds my first try. Mercifully, I begged to try again later and got 4. Corinne was the clear champ -- she got 10! The next highest was indeed 4! GEEEESH!

Afterwards, we went back upstairs for cake and then played Wii Sports. Michele's mom got really into it, actually winning the bowling competition. Maybe we'll get them one for her birthday! ;-)

The rest of the pics are of me and Michele without our hosts. Thanks for the wonderful event!!

Friday, January 26, 2007

Glllluggg, glug...

posted by John Blanco @ 11:49 PM


Oh my god, 6 hours of Zelda just now to get past The Heavens. Glad that's over...that was a frickin' nightmare.

Party Time!

posted by John Blanco @ 6:29 PM


Friday night! Dinner at Lone Star! Tomorrow at 1 PM is our first ever baby shower! Playing Zelda for right now! Got the new Nintendo Power! Neutopia for TG-16 coming to Virtual Console! Got gifts from Chris and Theresa in the mail! Theresa's an aunt again after her sister gave birth earlier today! Wii News Channel is online and is frickin' AWESOME!

OK, too much at once... :-) I'll post tomorrow with pics from the shower.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Breathe Again!

posted by John Blanco @ 9:08 PM


The last week has been a blur of mayhem. In one breath, I have tried to manage my side projects, which faces heated deadlines, with the rest of my life.

Luckily, I have made it out alive...and enjoyed a nice evening of Zelda, DDR, vacuuming, fetching the mail, and soon...shaving! ;-)

Lots of fun upcoming, too...

Saturday is our baby shower!!! Michele'd friends, Jackie and Amanda, are hosting it at her parents' house. I'll be bringing over the Wii for some WarioWare action, which is my attempt to define the ultimate baby shower game. :-) It'll be co-ed, so gotta keep the testosterone satiated, right?

February has lots of highlights as well. February 6th will mark the end of our credit card debt, as we'll make our last payment on it then. PARTY TIME! We'll be headed into baby season without having to lay down our extra bucks on American Express. ;-) February 14th is Valentine's Day, which we'll enjoy at Cheesecake Factory. Where else??

Mid-February-ish is when we get our new car. Looking forward to it! The Honda CR-V in all its I'm-not-a-tiny-red-sled glory. Also in February is our friends' wedding, Aaron and Adrian. ADRON WEDDING 2007!

Smattered around are more baby classes. So far, I've attended 2 Daddy Bootcamps and a Birthing class. We have 3 more Birthing classes, an infant massage class, and a breastfeeding class -- in addition to pre-natal appointments (I don't attend all of them) and centering classes.

Who woulda think having a baby could be such hard work?! ;-)

Oh, and if anybody runs into Mobat, let him know he's a thug for going on a Zelda marathon and beating us to the ending! He's so insecure. *sigh*

Sunday, January 21, 2007

AC Christmas 2007!

posted by John Blanco @ 7:26 AM


Last night was our fourth AC Christmas (out of 6 overall). As usual, our freinds made the most amazing gifts! I will show the gifts pertaining to Michele and I here. :-)

First, I was given the gift request for "Peace." I had a feeling this was coming from Jenny and John, our two newest members. The reason being that 4 years ago Adriana's mom asked for "World Peace" and was given a voodoo doll which was quite cute, incidentally. Sure enough, it *was* Jenny and John!

What I made for them was a choose-your-own-adventure book featuring all the members of Adventure Club. The goal was to solve world peace. :-) It's 59 pages long and took me quite a while to make and edit. I was happy to give it to them as there is a lot of background info on the AC members for them to read about..hehehe..

Definitely one of my proudest gifts of all the AC's.

Next, I was to receive a gift. I had asked for "A sculpture to remember the Adventure Club by." As I will likely miss several AC's over the next while due to little baby Cedric, I thought it was a fitting gift.

Cinnamon received my request, and she made the coolest little picture box. It's near impossible to provide a picture of (her sister will give it a try with her super-powered camera equipment), but I can explain it. Inside is a scene of two AC'ers frollicking at Castlewood Canyon (site of several AC events). One is smelling flowers, the other is about to hurl a snowball.

Very cool!

Michele also had a fun night, and her gift was very popular. The gift request she received was "A picture of all my AC friends." She hand drew a picture of all of us who were attending the AC Xmas event (the whole AC) -- in ANIME style. :-) The request was made by Blair, who was also celebrating his first AC Christmas, though he's been around for a couple of seasons. Her picture made several laps around the room as people tried to identify themselves. :-)

Next up, she was to receive her gift. She had asked "To know the ending to Lost." Sure enough, Aaron provided! He not only wrote up a complete summary of the last 1.5 seasons (assuming it ends next year), but provided a summary of the first two seasons and made a story revolving around how he acquired it. (i.e., he's a private dick on assignment, breaks into ABC by telling the security guard he is Anthony Edwards -- see the resemblance?)


Oh, what a night!

Friday, January 19, 2007

Clean Up, Aisle #3!

posted by John Blanco @ 8:49 AM


Good work, Dems. :-)

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Car Shopping

posted by John Blanco @ 6:38 AM


One of the finer points of having a first child is the realization that you need a bigger car. Michele and I learned this when we first tried to put the car seat into my VW Golf.

Not Happening.

This week, we began our search for a new car. Originally, the plan was to get something used but recent. We've trended towards looking exclusively for a new car, though.

We've test driven five vehicles -- all of them ones we've had our eye on (in order):

  • Jeep Compass
  • Jeep Liberty
  • Kia Sportage
  • Honda CR-V
  • Toyota RAV4

As expected, Michele and I have had our differences. :-)

The Kia Sportage surprised me in how well it looked and felt. It also has a great warranty. However, I really fell in love with the Toyota RAV4 which provided the best drive and power for the money (in just a 4-cyl engine).

Michele originally loves the Jeep Compass, which is the best price, but the Honda CR-V won her over.

Overall, I'm torn. A Jeep Compass would keep our cost down, but it felt more like a car and it had a pretty cheap looking interior. The RAV4 was my favorite overall, but the color choices available to us are so bad that even I'm hesitant (tan interior? please!).

The Honda seems to present the best package overall. Now we also must decide between 4x2 or 4x4. We'd like to keep our cost lower with a 4x2, but all wheel drive for less than $1,500 more is enticing for those ski trips we want to take. :-)

Oh, decisions....decisions. Anyone have any input?

Friday, January 12, 2007

5 Years!

posted by John Blanco @ 6:39 PM


5 years ago today, Michele and I had our first date. :-) Wow. 5 years ago?! WHOA!

We'd met through Matchmaker, a site that now looks nothing like it did back then. :-) A friend of mine at the time, Kristin, had showed the site to me on New Year's Eve 2001 and I went on the site a few days later and I found Michele's profile.

For our first date, I decided to take her to the Denver Dumb Friend's League. DDFL is a well-managed animal shelter, and happens to be where I adopted Cimbi from. :-) We looked at the puppy's and kitty's and Michele liked it. Afterwards, we caught a movie (The Shipping News -- talk about dated!) and went out to dinner. I tried to take her to Spinnaker's, but the place closed down! We walked the length of the mall, too. :-) When we'd seen it was closed down, we tried to go the Rainforest Cafe and that had closed down, too.

So, we went downtown and eventually settled on Pizza Calore near Writer's Square. Back then, I had a case of anxiety disorder which I was fighting, so I BARELY touched my meal. :-) I did take it home and Michele and I played Crazy Taxi on THE SEGA DREAMCAST (talk about dated!) while I ate some of my leftovers.

It's now 5 years later. :-) We enjoyed our little anniversary at Red Lobster, Michele's favorite restaurant. Sadly, she couldn't have any lobster because she's 7 months pregnant. :-) But, we still enjoyed wonderful food and then we spent some time at Barnes N Noble before driving home in the snow flurries.

Happy Anniversary, Yog!!!!


Tomorrow morning, I go to my first real parenting class. It's called Daddy Bootcamp. :-) It should be a lot of fun (dads are generally whimsical about the whole process), and it will last 3 hours. Afterwards, Michele and I will enjoy the weekend inside from the snow.


Here's to another 5 years!

Thursday, January 11, 2007


posted by John Blanco @ 2:28 PM


WHOOOOO! Hillary, Obama, Edwards, Biden, Dodd, Dean, Boxer, the rest of the Democrats...and maybe even Al Gore are...


The 2008 Democratic National Convention will be in Denver, Colorado! WAHOOOO!!!!

Whew, What a Week! (Ode to Jackie)

posted by John Blanco @ 6:50 AM


Wow, I'm gonna need some sleep this weekend. Wait! That's the climax!

This week has been a rough one. Lots to do, and trying to find the time to do it all. I've been simultaneously working on my AC project, working on side projects, and adventuring in Zelda. Of course, I haven't been able to play any Zelda in days now.

My father-in-law also underwent surgery on Tuesday, so we've been visiting him. He'll be in the hospital for about 10 days. He looks good, though!

On top of that, I am starting to attend more pre-natal visits and my "daddy classes" begin Saturday. The next several weekends will include two classes a week as well, including breathing and birthing classes!

Whew. Well, I hope to finish some of my side project in the next few days...surviving this bad snow that's coming our way along with it. Gonna be a struggle -- let's do it!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Coyer Gone!

posted by John Blanco @ 6:19 PM


Will I get my wish? Larry Coyer was fired as Defensive Coordinator of the Denver Broncos. My wish has been that Jim Mora Jr. be brought in as I love the guy. It's still a long shot, but the job opening now exists. :-)

In other Bronco news, we drove by the club where Darrent Williams left before being shot. It turns out that indeed, as Michele and I thought, it's the same little building I interviewed for a job at! Weird.

Very sad. He was actually shot at the intersection of Speer and 11th, right where I used to live for a few years when I was living in Denver. I could see that intersection a block away from my window. :-/

Bush and Abramoff have met. Here is the photo.

posted by John Blanco @ 5:20 AM


From CREW:

Once again, as if we didn't already know, Bush lied to our faces.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

There's That Chess Again

posted by John Blanco @ 9:33 AM


It definitely wasn't one of my resolutions, but since the new year I've been playing chess again. Just casual. I've been playing on Red Hot Pawn as usual, but this time I've also been playing blitz chess on uChess, which is a sort of sister site.

Still having fun. I might change up my normal routine and just focus on one opening/defense at a time...and perhaps just study endings since you can those in shorter time spurts. No time or interesting in studying complex opening and middlegame theory. Cedric will see to that. ;-)

Just finished my AC gift as well. Still some work to do, but the real work is over. Gonna try to really finish things up today while I watch the playoff games. Yesterday's games were just amazing, with the grand finale being Tony Romo bobbling a likely game winning field goal snap. Amazing.

Kansas City had apparently sold their souls to get to the playoffs, but the Lord taketh away once they go there. No Seattle is on a second life. :-)

Friday, January 05, 2007

Please Say I'm Not Trapped Again?

posted by John Blanco @ 6:39 AM


Snow is coming down. Can't get out of driveway again. OMG. OMG!!!1!!!!! I HATE YOU SNOW!!!!

I'd take a pic, but you wouldn't be able to distinguish between the old snow and the new snow. :-(

Update: Good God! The snow hasn't let up. Close to 8-9 inches now.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

My Thoughts on the Darrent Williams Tragedy

posted by John Blanco @ 7:42 AM


What should be the first happy new year's days have been a bit dampened for me. I didn't know Darrent personally, but as a passionate Broncos fan he still felt something like family to me.

I'd only seen him one time, in person, and that was New Year's Eve at the Broncos-49ers game -- the same night he was killed. He made some great plays during the game, one defensively to block a touchdown catch (he was our starting cornerback opposite Champ Bailey) and a long punt return to mid-field (he was our starting punt returner).

When I woke up New Year's Morning, I was shocked to see the news. It was surreal. And soon after, it also jogged an old memory.

In June, 1993, I was 16 years old when I learned that my favorite basketball player -- nay, favorite ATHELETE entirely -- Drazen Petrovic was killed. It was in Europe, on the famous Autobahn, when it happened. I'll never forget, I was fixing a late night dinner in the kitchen and my mom was sleeping on the couch in the living room. I had AM 760 on in New York and the quarter-hourly 10-second update came on: "Drazen Petrovic was killed in a car accident on the Autobahn highway."

I went into complete shock. I turned the stove off and I slumped to the ground. All i could do was stare blankly ahead of me. After about 5 minutes, my brother came upstairs from his bedroom and said:

"John? Did you hear about Petrovic?"

I think I just numbly said "yeah" and continued to stare. At about that point my brother managed to make two completely insensitive remarks back-to-back.

"The Nets weren't gonna resign him anyway, he was gonna be gone no matter what. Did you hear the Giants got Michael Brooks?"

So, apparently, having my hero die was OK because he wasn't going to be a Net anyway? Scary.

When my mom overheard what my brother said about Petrovic she asked what happened, and my brother told her he was killed in a car accident. My mom, obviously concerned, called for me...I don't really remember what happened after that.

I took the next day off from school. Even friends knew why I had as they'd seen me in school with my Petrovic jersey on. It was entirely surreal -- much like the Darrent Williams murder.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Glenn and Danielle Engaged!

posted by John Blanco @ 7:48 AM


On what is becoming a very up and down morning this morning (see below), there is some great news from NY. One of my best friends growing up, Glenn, is now engaged to his girlfriend, Danielle. :-)

We just met her for the first time on our last trip to NY and she's great. CONGRATS TO YOU BOTH! I have no details yet, but no doubt that suave Glenn popped the question perhaps right on the 0 count? :-)


Darrent Williams Murdered! :-(

posted by John Blanco @ 7:42 AM


Holy shit. Waking up this morning to news that Broncos CB Darrent Williams was shot dead last night...the early morning hours of New Year's Day. Just hours after our devastating loss to the 49ers.

Literally 8 or so hours after the game. I'm in a shock right now. This is so