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Welcome to the world Jack Ichiro Clarke!
Yes, that's right, the little man is
here - arrived at 7:45 p.m., July 24,
grams (about 8 pounds 13 ounces).
Baby and Mom are doing fine, Dad is
a little shaken up though.
Everything went great, no problems at all.
Karen did it 100% natural, no drugs at all
-- what a trouper eh? She's pretty tough.
We cut it a bit close though. I came home
from work at 3:30 pm after I called home
to check on Karen. We left the house at 4:20,
arrived at the birth clinic at 5:00 pm, and
had the baby at 7:45 pm.
The clinic and staff (all Japanese) are absolutely
stellar. Karen and I get to stay there for
five days after the birth. Our room is like
a Japanese style hotel room; the food's great;
the staff very kind and understanding; and
they have midwives on staff that are teaching
Karen everything from baby-care to breast
feeding. To top it all off, 75% of the cost
is covered by Japanese National Health insurance
-- Japan is certainly a very civilized place.
Thanks to all of you who voted in the baby
name survey, we had almost 200 responses.
In the end it was neck and neck between 'Dexter'
and 'Jack', but I guess that 'Jack' won the
day. Don't worry all you Dexter fans though,
that name might get a second chance with
baby number two.
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Well, the baby finally arrived yesterday
and she's big, healthy, and...okay, I'm just
kidding Mom -- I said I'd call you when 'the
big moment' arrives, didn't I? Stop worrying.
No, no baby yet. Karen and I are still
wild and crazy childless couple --
being nine months pregnant kind of
your options, if you know what I mean.
"What's that Honey? Sure we can rent
two movies tonight, what the hell, you only
live once, right?"
On Saturday Karen and I surprised everyone
by showing up at Amanda's going-away party -- see today's pictures.
The choice of venue, a dimly lit, sequestered
garden patio restaurant on the grounds of
what appeared to be an old, noble family
manor, once again demonstrated Amanda's cultured
taste. This taste is no doubt a result of
the endless hours of refinement afforded
by her chosen vocation of full-time 'lady
Amanda is going back to school in the U.S.
(Harvard I think -- ooh la la) to continue
her graduate studies, and we miss her already.
I'm definitely going to try to stay in touch
with Amanda because not only is she wonderful
company and a fine conversationalist, but
because I also have no doubt that she will
one day be very rich...
--> --> [Flash to the future: March
Mike, sweaty from walking, stands in front
of Amanda's manor door in downtown Boston.
It's raining and he's soaked. Swallowing
hard, he raises his hand and rings the buzzer.
The door opens slowly, warm light pours out
on to the street like butter on a muffin,
and far back in the house he can hear Jazz
music pulsing gracefully, doo-doo-whan-whan-dooooo. There must be a dinner party going on.
Mike looks up to see who answered the door,
and who should it be but none other than
Ted Kennedy. He's obviously had one too many
after dinner schnapps.
There's an awkward moment. The two men, one
a famous Senator, the other a street-wise
and hungry computer programmer, lock eyes.
After a moment, Kennedy looks down his nose
at Mike and says in that strained Bostonian
"What can I do for you young man?"
"I've come to see Amanda, is she home?"
Mike replies in a scrapping, hesitant tone.
"I'm her old friend Mike Clarke, from
Tokyo, tell her I've come to talk to her
about my new business idea, tell her that
it'll only take a minute."
"Maybe now's not a good time,"
Kennedy manages to say in between schnapps
burps, scratching his stomach and looking
back over his shoulder, "Why don't you
try talking to her secretary instead."
"But, I've tried that already,"
Mike replies, yet more desperation in his
voice. "I've tried that already and
all that I get is..."
Suddenly, from behind Senator Kennedy,
voice can be heard, "Ted, who's
at the door?"
"Some bum who says he knows you from
Amanda's face appears over Kenndy's shoulder.
She looks down the stoop at Mike, at first
she can't place him, and then the penny drops
and a sweet smile of recognition waltzes
it way across her face.
"Oh yeah, Mark, right?" she says,
"How you doing, it's been a long time."
"Oh, great Amanda," Mike blurts
back just a little too quickly, "I'm
so glad you remember me, I've got so much
that I want to talk to you about. I've written
this computer program that I think is going
to revolutionize the face of business. All
I need is a little help, and, well oh gosh
Amanda, I'm just so glad you remember me.
Remember all the good times we had going
out in Tokyo together?"
"Sure I remember you Mark," she
says, her eyes narrowing, "I remember
you. You were the guy who was always saying
such condescending things about me on that
website, Hunkabutta, calling me a 'lady of
leisure' and crap like that, sure I remember
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Big Hunkabutta site news!
The new galleries are finished. Check them out. Most of the
pictures are just from my regular daily postings,
so some of you old Hunkabutta hands might
recognize some of them from way back, however,
I did sneak in a few new ones here and there.
Above are a couple of old pictures
very first gallery reprocessed, and
picture of a sushi chef.
In other news, the baby's still not here
yet, but Karen is feeling early contractions,
so, birthage is imminent!
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All I can think about lately is the baby
-- the little booties, the tiny futon mat,
the mysterious balms and liquids that have
accumulated on our shelves in preparation
for the little guy's arrival. The doctor
says that he or she could come at any time
Karen has decided to take up walking in order
to speed up the onset of labour. Last night,
after I got home from work, we walked around
the neighbourhood for more than an hour.
We were the only ones on the road. I never
realized before how crappy and industrial
our neighbourhood really is. Oh well, I guess
it's still better than watching T.V. in my
parent's basement back in Mississauga, Ontario.
Hopefully the baby is photogenic, because
you know he or she is going to be plastered
all over hunkabutta once it arrives on the
Wish us luck...