IMR: 1998: March: 15 -- Sunday, 11:52 a.m.
Our Apartment, Makiki, Hawai`i
Katie's sleeping. Jen's at her computer, taking a trip down memory lane. Dana Carey is on TV. Life is good.

We're waiting for mom to call. She spent the weekend with the kids at band camp, and we'll be giving her a ride home... as we're heading out there anyway for our weekly visit with her, uncle Todd, great-grandma Henderson... and let's not forget the Free Laundry Machine.

Katie just got her daily bath. Not only does she not fuss, she seems to like the water. After the scrubbing and shampoo, I just hold her head up and let her lay back and float. She kicks, swings her arms in the water and smiles at mom and dad contentedly.

What a perfect baby.

Yesterday was the week's top adventure. Jen, after a particularly long night of frequent feedings, was totally exhausted by the time the sun came up. I took a squirming and grunting Katie into the living room and tried to entertain her with nose pokes and kissy noises.

After a while, I could sense she was winding up for a good hollering fit. So I tiptoed around the apartment, unfolding the stroller and packing the diaper bag, and with barely a sound rolled Katie out into the bright Makiki morning.

At first I figured we'd just check out Makiki District Park, which we can see from our building. It was nice, albeit a little dry and lacking in shade, and I walked past some other proud parents with strollers.

A tour of the park only took fifteen minutes, though, and I figured Jen needed more sleep than that. So we rolled onto Ke`eaumoku and headed makai.

I had to make a stop in a church parking lot to change a diaper, but otherwise it was a pleasant walk. Katie was mesmerized by the sound of traffic as we walked over the freeway, and didn't seem to mind the many bumps from the badly cracked sidewalk.

We hit Beretania. By that point I figured it was more than a stroll, it was a full-on walk. So I just kept going.

We crossed Young, then King, and the next thing I knew, I was two blocks from Ala Moana. By that point, though, I was getting a little warm and more than a little hungry. So I turned back... stopping to pick up breakfast at McDonald's.

If there's any crowd that goes the most bonkers over a baby, it's the senior citizens that gather for senior coffee at Ronald's house. Even the cashiers were squealing. Guesses were 4-to-1 that dear Katie was a boy, though, further demonstrating that pink hats and shirts should be a permanent part of her wardrobe.

As I headed back out onto the street, Katie started crying. And she cried and cried and cried. At every corner, I stopped to calm her down, but the moment we started rolling again, she was back at it.

I practically ran all the way back.

Fortunately, as I started pushing her up the hill to our building, she passed out. When I got back to the apartment, exhausted, Jen woke up, rested but confused. She didn't even know we had gone out. Katie gave us half an hour to enjoy our McBreakfast before demanding her own meal.

It was a slow, lazy Saturday. After dark, we made a quick trip to Jen's store to pick up her paycheck, and picked up a video too.

Of course, since Jen did the picking, it was a Keanu Reeves flick: "Devil's Advocate."

Perhaps because I was expecting to slog through the worst movie ever made, I was pleasantly surprised. It was a dorky premise, but I guess if you can suspend rational thought for a little while, it works.

I moved to my new office at the press on Friday.

As JoAnn, my previous supervisor, is relocating to run the Production Department, I was moved into the office of the ever-mirthful Wanda, the press' sole computer specialist.

I had the pleasure of lugging my overworked Centris 650 and 17-inch monitor halfway down the hill, unplugging a nightmare of wires and switching network hubs in the process. Everyone in the Journals Department bid me a fond farewell, making me promise to bring Katie by before summer.

I like my new afternoon home. Wanda's office looks like the office of an overworked computer guru should, stacked high with gutted PC towers, random network cards, software boxes and foot-tall coaxial tumbleweeds. She kept warning me that it was a bit messy, but frankly, it feels like home.

As an added plus, Wanda likes the AC cranked up all the way. She also encouraged me to bring in music to play, her only request being "no rap or country."

My first job as webmaster and assistant network administrator was to get my computer and two others in the room (a PowerMac and a 486) hooked up to a 10BT ethernet hub. The coolest part was making my own network cable.

I made both 4- and 8-pin Ethernet cable -- cutting it open, stripping the little wires inside, putting them in the right order (depending on what it was going to be plugged into) and clamping a plug on the end. By my fourth plug, I had the pattern memorized.

For 8-pin cable, it's white/orange, orange, white/green, blue, white/blue, green, white/brown and brown... unless it's the data jack end, in which case it's white/brown, white/green, white/orange, blue, white/blue, orange, green and brown.

Then there's 4-pin cable, which has its own wire order, but more importantly, you have to skip the fourth and fifth pins in the jack... a task that takes more manual dexterity than you'd think.

After the network box was blinking happily, we spent the rest of the afternoon trying to track down some sort of bottleneck elsewhere on the network. My guess was that there was something wrong with the 8-pin data cable connecting one of our hubs to the server in the next building, but since I had to leave, I won't know for sure until Monday.

What fun!

Although my pay won't increase with my increased duties (not that I could be paid much more without being a grad student), I consider it a worthwhile opportunity to learn about this kind of stuff. Right now, I can only say I'll be helping to maintain a cross-platform Novell network. What that actually entails is the Next Big Adventure.

Well, cable-running and staple-gunning will probably play a large part.

Who knows? Maybe with a year or so of hands-on tweaking, I'll be able to get myself one of those neat licenses. Whatever good it'll do alongside a journalism degree.

A few words, if I may, about a few words from sponsors.

Firstly, doesn't the new commercial for that new Van Halen album look like it should end with the "image is nothing, taste is everything" punchline? The excerpted music video looks so bad, I couldn't believe it was serious.

And speaking of clear, carbonated beverages, what's with the new 7-Up? Forget "the crisp new taste," guys. Just come out and say, "Tastes more like Sprite."

Finally, does anyone know why they re-dubbed that great "meat and cheese" Jack in the Box ad? It sounds unnatural, badly enunciated, and now, mis-timed. I don't know why it bothers me so much, but it does.


© Ryan Kawailani Ozawa · E-Mail: · Created: 15 March 1998 · Last Modified: 19 March 1998