Thursday, June 30, 2005

Lai Genome Project

karyotype_46Drum roll please...

We're having a GIRL!!!

This morning we went in for Mary's 20 week ultrasound and found out in no uncertain terms that our third child will indeed be a girl! We are incredibly excited, especially in light of the Lai family history of having children of only one gender or the other, but never both - and we were well on our way to having all boys (though we love them both beyond imagination!).

This brings me to my family gender theory (the Lai Genome Project)...

My eldest sister, Elsie, has three lovely girls. My next eldest sister, Marj, has three equally lovely boys. And while my brother Paul has managed one boy and one girl thus far, he has Tsao family genetics on his side. As far as the Lai genome is concerned, it's strictly one gender per family. Until now.

It appears that the key variable in the equation is the gender of the individual Lai family member contributing to the chromosomal makeup of the child. The two Lai females (my sisters) have either three girls or three boys. I, a Lai male, will now have two boys and one girl. My father, obviously a Lai male, has managed both boys and girls.

This leads to two deductions in my family gender theory: 1) Lai sperm, whether X or Y, show no signs of power struggles - neither one dominates nor is a better swimmer/impregnator than the other; and 2) Lai eggs cooperatively choose early on in their life cycle which chromosome (be it X or Y) they will accept into their domain.

Now the final proof for the Lai Genome Project lies in newlywed brother Joey...

Monday, June 27, 2005

Apples & Oranges: a comparison

apples          oranges
Who says you can't compare the two?

Thursday, June 23, 2005

California Wildfires Information

18144780PHOTO CREDIT: A plane pulls out of a ridge after dropping fire retardant on a blaze that destroyed numerous homes in Morongo Valley. (Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times / June 23, 2005)

The birth of our second child, Jackson, reminded us all too clearly about the climate and terrain of Southern California - this is wildfire country! Three days after J's birth, the wildfires of 2003 sparked numerous blazes throughout the region, including right here in San Diego. There was no part of the county that wasn't clouded by smoke; the look and smell of it was everywhere.

So here are some important websites for us Californians as summer is now upon us and we enter the fire season:

- California Department of Forestry & Fire Protection (CDF) has a page detailing current major incidents going on in the state at CDF Major Incidents.

- National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC).

- USDA Forest Service's Active Fire Map; a really good place to get a visual idea for major fire incidents nationwide.

Let's pray for a safe season for minimal harm human life.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Dad's Day Friday - Streetside San Diego (local NBC)

dgo-streetsidewithk-120x90-30366-05272005-669So an email went out from Kimberly King, the NBC 7/39 host of "Streetside San Diego" that tapes right outside Horton Plaza in downtown, to our dad's group inviting us to come down to be part of the live audience for Friday's show in celebration of Father's Day weekend. One of the dads and his 7 month old (Sean & Sierra) made it down and deftly schmoozed their way into a live camera shot and mini-interview, while Nolan, Jackson, and I tried to beat the heat of the blazing sun on the nearby plaza steps.

In the end, both Nolan and Jackson primarily hung out in a dry kiddie pool the show used to demonstrate fly fishing. Jackson did make a very brief and very distant appearance when they did a House of Blues food bit (Jackson could just be seen being hoisted onto my shoulders).

From what I could gather, live 'streetside' TV a la the Today Show is a lot less spectacular when you're actually there. Lots of milling around, waiting for something to happen, watching producers and production assistants doing the same. Then a cameraman points his equipment someone's way and all of a sudden there's excitement - out of thin air! Amazing.

The saving grace for me and and boys making the trip out there, we thought, would be the "Concert on the Plaza." Cool. We can sit and listen to a band (Saucy Monky)header-smlogo-planes play and just chill out. Of course the sun was blazing and it was way too hot for chilling; what happened to June gloom? Turns out, the band never actually played a full song. Mostly they played for 20-30 seconds at a time whenever they went to or came back from commercial. Concert in the plaza?! What's up with that? (Addendum: I got a note from Annmarie, one of Saucy Monky's pair of singer/songwriter/guitarist/frontwomen, mentioning that they actually did play an hour-long show from noon till 1pm... too bad the boys and I missed out; they sounded good.)

Regardless, we couldn't be faulted for not trying! Yet another adventure in fatherhood...

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Boys of Summer - Scioscia v. Robinson

Round One goes to Washington Nationals manager Frank Robinson for not only calling out Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim set-up man for pine tar on his glove but coming from behind to win the game as well.

angel.0615.mb.6(PHOTO CREDIT: Managers Frank Robinson and Mike Scioscia are restrained by umpires Tim Tschida and Dale Scott after Brendan Donnelly’s ejection Tuesday. Photo by Matt A. Brown, Orange County Register)

How sweet it is when baseball in all its glory once again shows us how, in the words of the late former baseball commissioner Bartlett Giamatti, "it's designed to break your heart." It's a game full of life's lessons, victories, heartbreaks, and frustrations. Last night's interleague game played in Anaheim was one full of mind games, tactics, payback, and inside information.

How in the world could Robinson know that Brendan Donnelly was sporting a pine tar-loaded glove? (Pine tar being an illegal substance that is used for altering a baseball so it does all manner of screwy things on its way toward the batter.) All suspicions point to National Jose Guillen, who played for the Angels last summer and was suspended by manager Scioscia toward the end of the season for a little tiff they had when he was replaced for a pinch runner. All suscipicions point to payback.

And what incredible payback it was! When Donnelly was tossed from the game (and now faces a suspension from Major League Baseball), the Angels were ahead 3-1 in the seventh inning. Once the inning was over without further incident, Scioscia decided the turn his own hand and called for the umpires to examine the Nationals' pitcher, who ended up having to shorten the leather ties on his glove with scissors, no biggie. Then in the top of the eighth, against the reliever who came in to relieve the tossed Donnelly, Guillen came up to bat with one man on base and proceeded to smack it over the left field wall to tie the game. In a victory trot around the bases, showered with boos from the Angel faithful, Guillen paid payback for payback and got the rare chance to "stick it to the man," the man, in this case, being former manager Scioscia.

The Nationals went on to score twice more in the eighth and once more in the ninth to seal a 6-3 comeback victory over the Angels.

Baseball, it's too much game!