At Claire’s first doctor’s visit after coming home, the doctor identified a blocked tear duct in one eye.  Before panic set in, the doctor calmly explained that all this would mean is that occassionally you’ll find her with an eye glued shut with goop.  Not to worry, as she grows it will take care of itself.  And in truth, the worst of it seems to make her resemble a pirate.  That combined with the guttoral growling really sells it. 
But, until then, The Blaggart Captain Baby Pants sails these oceans.
Next weekend, I’m thinking about taping a stuffed parrot to her shoulder and coloring a beard on her face.  Do you think that counts as child abuse?  Because, I’m not sure what the rules are about coloring on your child outside of halloween.

She’s Not At All Like A Tiny Evil Villain, My Cousin, That Is

My cousin Joanna is in Haiti.  Cuba, with it’s impressive medical program, has had a number of doctors head over to Haiti to provide some assistance in the near to middle term future.  Joanna, as one of their med students, applied for a leave of absence for up to a year and caught a ride to Haiti to help out.
On the one hand, I’m continually impressed with her ability to create or identify opportunities and then capitalize on them.  On the other hand, you know, I was considering going myself.  And now, well, I’d just be a copy cat.  Thanks Joanna.  Thanks a lot for your selfless charitable service.
Here’s some of the photos she sent back our way:

Related, but not specifically to my cousin.  I was having a conversation with a person about their experience dealing with groups in aid situations.  They remarked that in some cases it can be quite challenging to translate assistance to the ground.  In one instance, they noted that their group was tasked by a large aid group to provide assistance to a party because another large aid group didn’t have mechanisms in place to award aid to individuals without email or fax capabilities.  Just reflect on that for a few moments.
My thoughts, back in late January or early February, were as follows:
That sort of problem seems to be very wide spread. Before East Timor became independent but after the violence, there was a deluge of assistance. The international community got very frustrated because new officials kept asking for project based funding on a bilateral relationship case by case basis rather than using the steadily growing donor nation sponsored bank account. The problem was that no one had taught them how to use what was essentially accounting software and the paperwork system created and run by the internationals before they turned the reigns over. Somehow their request for explanation kept getting lost in the gears of organizational interaction until the new officials eventually opted to create their own method.

These examples seem to dovetail at the moment in Haiti. Which is to be expected. Though they also appear to be attempting to explicitly address them. Which is a pleasant surprise.

The international community appears to be having a problem translating supply into service because of infrastructure and organizational limitiations and challenges. They also seem concerned that in the fog of relief aid (and I use that phrase deliberately, because the phenomenon are very similar) they might wind up with projects being performed in triplicate. Or, not getting done at all because everyone believes the other is going to do it.

Their effort to minimize the noise and increase the signal is evident from time to time. Which led to a really neat moment on CNN where the Haitian ambassador to the US went into the studio and on live television pressed the reporters on the ground for contact information for any of the haitian government particularly the president. More than this, he pressed the reporters for on the ground information about whether or not the roads would be passable for aid delivery trucks. It was at once very clever and very revealing about the actual state of communication in Haiti.

Haiti aside, the aid community is a very interesting ecosystem to have evolved techno-facilitator groups to be absolutely necessary for the continued existence of the two main species.

She’s Like A Tiny Evil Villain

This morning, when I told Danielle that I believe Claire’s newfound love for spitting affectionately in our faces was the cause of our current disease, she said "She’s like a tiny evil villain."  And then she said "And she slept all night in her crib and only ate once."  So, I’m not really sure which comment to take at face value.
But, I can say this.  Tiny Evil Villains will be the name of my next band.
That’s definitely a Tiny Evil Villain hat. 


Danielle and I are both sick.  Claire is happy as a clam.  To be honest, I’ve never really understood that expression.  Don’t the clams dance off to be eaten by two morons in a children’s tale?  It must be a generation thing.  I don’t know.  All I do know was that a Chuck and Walt combination made for a very weird children’s film.
Either way, if this disease should claim us, I’ll be sure to update the blog.  This is where Danielle and I got engaged.  Three points to anyone who can deduce it from the picture.  Although, the picture was taken as we visited this spot after getting married.  The other picture is of a birds nest that I must assume, given the property value, was constructed by a person on this driftwood and anchored in place to authenticate the lake.  I like to think, though, that a bird made it.  But, then it left.  And a little mouse lives there now.  Yeah.


I Take That

You know, some things Claire asks for real nicely like.  And for other things, well she just takes them.  Like, for example, my spot on the couch.  If it isn’t the dog in my spot, it’s Claire.  I’m starting to think that it is not, in fact, my spot on the couch.
And, if I ask Can I has that?  She says, as the kids are saying these days, "Bite my butt."
And roars at me.  The nerve.  She’s so cute.

What Year Is It?

The last thing I remember was going to Best Buy to get a video game.  The next thing I know, I’m sitting on a throne of redbull cans in my pajamas with a week old beard.  So, whoops.
In my absence:
The cat blitzed the guest bedroom and claimed the terrirory in the name of Lacesia (the name loses a bit in translaton).
A light bulb failed spectacularly.
Claire wore fun hats around and learned to stop being afraid and love the bear.  In the photo above, she started over the covers with the bear at her head.  Pretty cool.
And while I was hyptonized by the game I got really excited over what I thought was butterscotch pudding.  Until I opened the plastic container and discovered homemade sweet potato baby food.
Blog postings to continue as normal.