A Quick Read While…

Posted in Uncategorized on 13 December 08 by mikevc

I am currently reading one of those quick, one night books that really hits things on the head.  It is called Perfect From Now On: How Indie Rock Saved My Life ( yes, that is a reference to the Built to Spill album and song of the same title) by John Sellers.  I mention this not only because I am truly enjoying this memoir of another mid-thirties music obsessed dork, but I have stumbled upon some great lines.  And I share two about the joys and dangers of mixing loud music and the solitude of a car:

“I will always possess the gene that makes guys turn their vehicle into Neal Peart’s ninety-nine-piece drum kit whenever Rush’s “Tom Sawyer” comes on.”

“I’ve been blasting music in cars for nearly two decades now and these moments of total submission still deliver the same wonderful rush.  It’s like being on a narcotic…If traffic cops ticketed for DWR–driving while rocking–my license would have been revoked years ago.”

Driving while rocking, as Sellers puts it, is one of my great joys in life.  He however fears the scorn of potential drivers and worries that they might assume the worst (Creed).  Whenever I see someone has noticed my rocking ways, I usually give them an ironic point and continue confidently in my dorky ways.  It works wonders if you need to merge over a lane: folks are so embarrassed for (or scared of?) me  they either slow down or speed up so as not to have to look at the fool in that car.  Some folks just don’t understand the need to rock.

New Pictures

Posted in Uncategorized on 8 September 08 by mikevc

Also, there are a number of new pictures of the boys over at my flickr site.

Dead Car – Painful Back

Posted in Uncategorized on 8 September 08 by mikevc

Have not posted in a while.  Reasons include the death of my car and the need to buy a new one.  It turns out buying a new car is very stressful–for me at least.  We have debated the idea of living with only one car as a family but given our jobs it seems a bit unlikely–maybe not.  We shall see.

Also, my back has been in constant pain for the past few weeks.  I am hoping things improve.  I have been to the doctor once but think I shall be returning soon if things don’t get better.

The main reason I haven’t blogged is that I am doing constant updates on Twitter.  So, if you haven’t joined yet, I encourage you to go to Twitter.com and follow me.  My name there is mikevc.   To make it easy, here you go:


New Pictures on flickr

Posted in boys, family on 13 July 08 by mikevc

I have uploaded some new pictures on flickr from the playground that Letitia helped build with the Kool-Aid Man and Reverand Run.  You can watch this little video on it.  Jeff found it and noticed that L. was in at at 0:47.  You can also see her sitting down talking to Cayce behind Reverads Run’s left shoulder at 0:12-0:14.  Anyway,  we went there Saturday and played and swam in the pool next to it.  We also have some grainy pics from the party at the Dairy Ashford Roller Rink, one of mine and my siblings haunts when we were J and T’s age.

New Twitter Account

Posted in web fun, web tools on 11 July 08 by mikevc

Because of the impending demise of Twitter, I decided I better take full advantage of it while it is around. For a year or so I have been using Twitter as “mvancamp” to keep my staff informed of what I was up to and where I was at at all times with a widget on my work blog (Blogger). I have decided to create another account under “mikevc” for more personal Twittering. Ain’t that exciting? I would love to throw a widget up on this here blog but am having trouble getting it to jive w/ WordPress.  Any suggestions?

Death of Blogging at the Hands of Twitter? Followed by Death of Twitter.

Posted in Uncategorized on 11 July 08 by mikevc

It seems I am not alone in Twittering taking over and eclipsing my blogging; thus the lack of posts.  There were many conversations at ALA about how Twitter is killing the personal (read: self-absorbed, self-important, self-…) blog.  Also, predictions that Twitter will be outdated and irrelevant by the end of 2008.

What’s next?

California Trip

Posted in baseball, library stuff, rambling on 3 July 08 by mikevc

I spent the most of the last week in Anaheim, CA for the big annual library conference. The conference was a lot of fun. I attended some excellent sessions and made some important contacts with colleagues and vendors. My favorite program was one featuring Dan Ariely, the author of Predictably Irrational, a fascinating book that looks at why people make seemingly irrational choices over and over again.

In addition to the conference I did manage to get in some side activities. I did not go to Disneyland but did make it to Downtown Disney, where I bought some Pirates of the Caribbean stuff for Tobe and Jonah. That was enough Disney for me. My brief Disney experience did convince me that the boys would love the whole thing and am finally thinking–against my better judgment–that we will plan a trip to either Disneyworld or -land in the next couple of years.

Most importantly, I was able to add two more MLB stadiums to my list as I work to attend a game in all the stadiums. On Friday night, I drove into LA to watch the Dodgers. It took me 2.5 hours to go roughly 30 minutes. I was very impressed with the stadium; Chavez Ravine is the perfect place for a stadium. I also realized it was the oldest stadium I had ever been to a game in. It was cool to think of all the players who had played there. I was less impressed with the experience. It might have been that the Dodgers were playing the Angels but it was a decidedly different experience for me from any game I have attended in the past. There must have been 30 or 40 fights throughout the course of the game. There was either a guard or LAPD in practically every section and I must have seen at least 50 people escorted from the game. The majority of the audience seemed to have no interest in the game. They were more interested in hitting beach balls in the air (and at each other) and screaming obscenities at anyone wearing Angels gear. They seemed oblivious to the fact that an actual game–featuring the team they were ostensibly cheering for–was taking place in front of them. And, all this, while the Dodgers played a great game and were in control from the beginning. I was sitting by three groups, all of whom left the game early for fear of their own safety.

The game I went to at Angels Stadium was a completely different experience. It is clear the franchise works hard to make games a family event, which is not how I would describe an outing to a Dodgers game. They have family values in their shops where folks can purchase hats for $7 and t-shirts for $10, which are unheard of prices in my experience-even for souvenirs from a minor league game. On top of this, there are family sections where no one can drink alcohol. Also, the exact same hot dog I paid $6 for at Dodgers Stadium was only $3 at Angels Stadium. The Angels were playing the Athletics, which though not geographically as proximate as the Angels-Dodgers rivalry should be even more heated when you consider the Angels and As are currently fighting for the top spot in the AL West. There were a few minor jeers at the many folks in green and yellow but nothing that seemed as dangerous or truly hate-filled as what I saw in LA. The game itself was not particularly spectacular but–as with all games–enjoyable nonetheless as the Angels fell to the A’s with a score of 1-6.

Overall, my trip to CA was a lot of fun but I really missed my family. I could never have a job that involved constant travel. I am glad to be home and out of the land of the palm tree and Carl’s, Jr.

Izzy Doing Fine

Posted in boys, dog, family on 3 July 08 by mikevc

I realized I left this hanging.  Izzy is doing great.  She is fully recovered and is a mischievous little puppy.  I think we caught it early enough that we were able to stop the Parvo in its tracks.  She seemed to be completely better on the third day.  We had been bracing for a miserable week.  We were even able to stop the IV treatments early she did so well.  So, she is doing great healthwise.  Now, we need to work on the jumping on people–especially the boys.  She was so excited to see everyone when we woke up this morning that she knocked Tobe over and scared him a bit.  Oh well, we much prefer that to where she was a couple of weeks ago.

Izzy Update

Posted in family, Izzy on 21 June 08 by mikevc

Not wanting to jinx anything, I will be cautious in saying that things seem to be looking up for Iz. When I woke up this morning and came into the kitchen, she scurried off of the couch and came to me. She had hardly moved from her spot of the sofa for two days. On top of that, I noticed her food was gone, which would be the first food she had eaten in a while. It might have been eaten by the cat. Letitia and I (mostly Letitia-I just held the bag) gave her the first home IV today (she had already gotten one at the vet). After this, she again got tired and lay down for quite a while.

Several hours later, she got up and was somewhat hyper–for a sick dog at least. She went into the kitchen and drank her water, which she hadn’t done either–we had been giving her water via a syringe. Then, she went to the backdoor and went outside. She stayed out there for a while running around. I brought her inside and she still ran around exploring the house for the first time. I asked her if she wanted to take a walk and she rushed to the door with me. We walked (or, she walked me) for quite a ways. We went all the way to Jonah’s school and back (several blocks). Even though it started to rain, she didn’t want to go home; she still wanted to run around. Once she got home, she played fetch for half an hour with an old stuffed animal of Tobe’s (Boots from Dora the Explorer) with the boys and I. I don’t want to be overly optimistic but she did not look or act like a dog with a 50% chance at survival.

Since then she has eaten half a bowl of her special food and has not vomited since returning from the vet. So, she is resting quietly now. And, we hope that things are definitely looking up for her.

New Pup = Sick

Posted in dog, food on 20 June 08 by mikevc

As some readers of this blog know, I got a new dog for father’s day.  When we got her home she was much calmer than when we met her the day before at the local SPCA.  We thought it was just her recovering slowly from her surgery.  On the second day she was a bit more lively and played with the boys and I.  After that, she again got very lethargic.  Yesterday, she went to the vet for her first visit and seemed fine.  By last night, she barely moved off of the sofa and began vomiting.  Letitia took her to the vet immediately this morning.  It turns out she has Parvo (canine parvovirus).

She obviously got it at the SPCA where we got her from.  One of the options was to return her to the SPCA but that would definitely mean they would have put her down.  Instead, we are treating her at home with an IV and antibiotics from the vet, where she also got an injection to slow the vomitting.  We hope it works.  She is really sick.  Between yesterday’s visit to the vet and today, she lost 2 pounds (which is 10% of her body weight).   She barely moves right now.  The vet said there was a 70% chance that she will recover and we should know within a few days or a week.

So, we all have our fingers crossed.  We were going to post pictures of her here and to flickr but haven’t taken pictures and don’t really feel up to it now.  Here’s hoping that a week from now, we will be able to post some great shots of a healthy and happy pup.