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    Fat of the Land

    My friend Dennis called it "sympathy fat." It's the weight a husband piles on during the months of his wife's pregnancy. Perhaps it's a convenient excuse we husbands like to fall back on, but there does seem to be something to the idea. During the latter months of Katie's pregnancy this summer, my visits to the Swamisalami Yoga Studio (great place for yoga with an excellent American instructor) became less frequent and then non-existent. As a result, I began to balloon. Now before you start saying that I'm passing the blame for my own laziness on to my wife and child...I'll say, yeah, you are probably right and this whole "sympathy fat" thing is a sham.

    I have tried alternate forms of exercise--the Pinot Noir cork-pull and the seated baby press, to name just two--with mixed results. Tonight, tired of hearing me complain about the lack of exercise for which I had only myself to blame, my wife shuttled me over to the Energym (get it? that's "energy" and "gym" working together) fitness center in the Xindian Carrefour building and signed me up. It's about as far as the incense and chanting of my last workout experience as one can get, but it is conveniently close to home. So no excuses. It's back to the treadmill and weight bench for me. Reports to follow.


    Anyone who knows me also knows that I like my wine. I have long been pushing RT Mart as the place to score inexpensive vino. There was a time when good wine was hard to come by in Taiwan, and wine lovers paid a premium for every bottle. Now the delightful liquid has become much easier to procure. The locals for the most part have come to appreciate good wine, and have stopped pouring it over ice cubes...mostly.

    RT Mart recently received a huge shipment of French wine, most of it for around or under NT$200. Being a California boy, I'm not all that familiar with French wineries and labels. I know they pretty much perfected the art of wine making, but I have had my hands more than full sampling the best my home state has to offer. Well, the Frenchies have still got it. Two of the better bottlings I picked up recently were a 2005 Chateau Source De La Marine Costieres De Nimes and a 2004 Bourgogne Pinot Noir. The latter was the best of the pair, and I feel a bit guilty to admit that I used a glass of it to flavor a pot beef stew I cooked up tonight. At least the stew was delicious.

    I have been sending out lots of photos of young Josh to friends and family. Some have commented that the poor boy never seems to be smiling. It's not that he doesn't smile, I just find some of his other expressions more amusing. Ok, so here is a smiley one. Come to think of it, that's pretty amusing too. Well, it's about time for my beloved Pompey to kick off against Newcastle. C'mon Pompey.


    Second day and the elements are slowly falling into place. I chose the name because pangolins are 1) indigenous to Taiwan 2) weird in an unsettling and alien way--sort of like the platypus 3) not that many people have heard of them. I have since had second thoughts because of reasons two and three, and the fact that I can't find any good pangolin pics. A friend, Bob Anderson, who has a deft hand with a drawing pencil, sketched a few anthropomorphic pangolins for me about three years ago, but I seem to have lost them. The one currently gracing the page comes by way of the Merriam Webster site. I hope they don't sue.

    The joys and wonders of fatherhood are being realized on a daily basis. And it is the simple things, like waking from an afternoon nap and finding you son sleeping next to you, that brings it all into sharp focus. It's hard to avoid the cliches about parenthood's life changing aspects. That would seem rather self-evident. At 38, I thought I was a bit past the time for dramatic change. Surprise.


    Patience, people. This will be the first post after a long, long hiatus from blogging. Actually, my last attempt was a complete missfire, so it is not exactly accurate to say this is my second venture--but it sounds so much better that way.

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