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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Howie's LiveJournal:

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Saturday, November 29th, 2008
8:33 pm
It's a sad end. From James convincing me to start a livejournal to posting about his wedding festival. It has been a great way to keep up with people, but hasn't worked very well lately. There are so many other sites out there competing for members - facebook, blogger, and myspace just to name a few. And we're all so busy. Posting gets pushed back till tomorrow and next week and sometime later. Till now my friends page has been totally empty for a week.

Maybe livejournal isn't working, but I still want to keep up. You can read about me at http://www.babyhowie.blogspot.com/ . And I want to hear about you too. Drop me an email or give me a call. Let's keep up.
Monday, November 10th, 2008
10:45 am
Congrats to James
Weekend before last was James's Wedding Festival in Harpersville, AL. Carrie, Aubrey, and I made the drive over on Saturday. Then we had supper with Emily and Christof. I hadn't seen them since before I was married, so it was good to catch up.

Then Carrie, Aubrey, and I met up with my sister Joy and Chris at his parents house so they could meet Aubrey. That was fun to chat.

Sunday morning we went to church with Emily and Christof. Then we had lunch with them and with Laura and Adam. It was so fun to see everyone. Sorry Nathan couldn't make it.

That afternoon was the Festival. It was beautiful weather out on the farm, but got a little chilly for Aubrey later in the evening.

Aubrey did really well in her first trip out of town. We managed to time her feedings pretty good so that we didn't cause too much disruption. And it was really good to see everyone. We said we need to do this more often, and hopefully we will. I took a few pictures and Adam took more.
Monday, October 27th, 2008
1:59 pm
Happy Birthday Isaac
Nothing further - reread subject line.
Friday, October 24th, 2008
5:47 pm
thoughts on AU football
I watched the Auburn game last night and had to turn if off in disgust. I have never quit watching a game before, but it was ridiculous. I was actually excited in the first half. I haven't been a big Kodi Burns fan, but he looked pretty good. We were running the ball well and going straight ahead. We seemed to be wearing the defense out. Our defense was giving up some yards but coming up with stops and turnovers. A new beginning?

Turns out not. The second half was atrocious. The defense continued to give up lots of yards but without the turnovers. Their running back had 15 yards per carry! And that's without a huge run to boost the average. It was just 10 to 20 yards every time. We couldn't tackle. And the offense quit running straight ahead and got no where. It was disgusting all the way around.

The announcers were talking a lot about rumors that Tuberville could get fired. I talked to my former pastor who lives in Auburn and he said the talk is that it's almost certain now. I think that would be a big mistake. Number 1, he just tried to implement an all new system, so we should expect growing pains. And number 2, look at his body of work. This is his 10th season at Auburn, and so far he's won 84 games. If he doesn't win another game this year, he'll end up with an average of 8.4 wins per year. I think we can win 2 to 3 more, bringing the average up. And that includes his first year record of 5-6. The last time we had such high expectations was 2003 when we started number 6 and lost our first 2 games. The year was a bust, and Tuberville was almost fired. The next year no one expected anything, but we had all our weapons back and went 13-0. It seems like we're a fairly young team, so hopefully that scenario will repeat itself. If Tuberville is fired I think we will be worse off.

What do you think?
Friday, October 10th, 2008
8:22 am
Well, Franklin got canned. I guess I can understand because the offense has been pretty bad and someone had to take the fall. But I don't really like it. I think he should have been given a chance. Auburn hasn't been recruiting for his kind of system for the last 4 years, so he didn't have the players he needed. But if he's at odds with Tuberville, then I guess it was best to go ahead and part ways. And I didn't like how many dang penalties we had - especially off-sides. That may reflect on the coaching.

What do yall think about that?

And who would you start at quarterback? I definitely like Todd. I think he can throw it fairly well and has made some big plays. It seems like he has no time to get in a rhythm now because he's in and out so much.
Monday, October 6th, 2008
8:40 am
How to beat the Auburn football team in 3 easy steps:

1. Fall behind early.

2. Bring in unknown backup quarterback after starter is injured.

3. Watch Auburn implode.
Thursday, September 18th, 2008
5:37 pm
details on Aubrey
When I said that Aubrey's birth almost seemed easy, I think that was accurate. Carrie dilated to about 4 before getting any pain medicine, and went on to about 7 before the epidural. I know those contractions hurt, but they were very bearable for her. And it all went much faster than it could have. Carrie said she was surprised that it wasn't so bad.

But we did have a problem with the epidural. I'm sure that a medical person could correct much of this, but this is how I understand it. With an epidural, they put pain killer in your lower back area through an IV. The goal is to numb you below the waist so that you do not feel pain but only 'pressure.' They want you to still be able to move and to push when the time comes. It takes a little while to kick in. But with Carrie's the needle nicked her spinal sack, but not enough for the spinal fluid to come out so they would know that it happened. This made the medicine get picked up by by her spinal column and carried all over her body very quickly. Her legs went totally numb so that she couldn't feel anything or even move them. Her arms started tingling and going to sleep. She couldn't feel her chest. The nurse quickly turned off the IV so that no more medicine was going in. Carrie had to use an oxygen mask. She could still breath, but because her chest was numb, she felt like she couldn't.

The nurse took very good care of Carrie, and her feeling in her arms and chest returned after a little while. She was still very numb for the delivery. The nurse said basically she was ready for a C-section. But because she was so numb, she couldn't feel to push, and she couldn't even take deep breaths to bear down. So when the time came, one nurse got up on the headboard to push on the top of Carrie's stomach, and a nurse got on each side pushing plus the doctor at the bottom to get Aubrey out.

That was pretty stressful for a little while, but ended well. Carrie and Aubrey were fine after that. Carrie isn't in much pain at all, but is definitely not comfortable.

The other stressful thing is breastfeeding. It's hard to know how much Aubrey has had to eat and if she's eating enough. Plus everyone you talk to has a different opinion - all your friends, your family, and even the doctors and nurses. So we just do the best we can.

And it's all so worth it.

Sleeping Aubrey

More pictures here.
Tuesday, September 16th, 2008
8:37 pm
I've been meaning to update with big news, but it turns out having a newborn takes a lot of time. Aubrey Noel Howie was born on Friday September 12th at 9:58 am. She weighed 7 lbs 3 oz and was 19.5 inches long.

Carrie started having contractions off and on during the day on Thursday. That evening and night we started timing them. They were getting stronger but were still irregular. We tried to go to sleep, but Carrie was hurting so neither of us slept. We started timing them again, and they were longer and closer together. They were also more intense. But still they varied some. We called the doctor's office not sure if we should go in or not. They told us to go ahead to the hospital. So we got there about 3:00 in the morning. Carrie was already dilated a good bit, and continued to do so quickly. They gave her some pain medicine so we both napped. Carrie got her epidural about 8, had her water broken shortly after that, and Aubrey was born just before 10. Almost seemed easy.

We got out of the hospital Sunday about noon. It's odd getting used to having a newborn in the house. They require a lot of work.

I'll post more details and some pictures soon (I'll try for tomorrow, but no promises).
Tuesday, September 2nd, 2008
12:36 pm
Labor Day is past and no labor yet. Due two weeks from today. Hopefully she'll come sooner.
Friday, August 29th, 2008
8:03 am
Happy Birthday Rachel. Hope you have a good one.
Friday, August 15th, 2008
8:23 am
big day
Happy Birthday James!
Friday, August 8th, 2008
2:54 pm
I came across this video which was an official promotion for the 1984 Olympics in LA. I couldn't even watch all of it.


Wow...the 80's.
Friday, August 1st, 2008
9:11 am
Dark Knight
So I assume that probably just about everyone has seen Dark Knight by now. I'll be glad to discuss the movie itself with anyone, but right now I'd like to hear yall's thoughts on its box office.

Through last weekend (only its second weekend), Dark Knight had grossed $313,781,677 which is already good enough for #25 all time. It's been breaking all kinds of records for speed - largest single day ($66.4 million), largest weekend ($158 million), best second weekend ($75 million), fastest to $300 million (10 days). So it has potential to be the biggest ever.

Right now Titanic is the highest ever with $600,788,188 and about $140,000,000 ahead of second place Star Wars, which was released twice. In other words, nothing as come close. Titanic was the #1 movie in the country for an amazing 15 weeks! Will Dark Knight have enough staying power to do it? 'Experts' already expect Mummy to beat it this weekend which would mean only 2 weeks at #1.

So my prediction is that Dark Knight will hit #2, but fall short of Titanic. I predict a final gross of $490 million. What do you predict?
Monday, July 14th, 2008
10:01 am
Monday, June 9th, 2008
1:42 pm
a dog's life
An update all about Knightly. We've been letting him in the house a little more often, and he's done pretty well. He'll sit with me for a little while but then he seems to get restless and run off to the kitchen or the back bedrooms. This I don't like because of the chances for destruction and undiscovered peeing. So then he goes back outside. But it's been fun - hopefully we can increase the amount of time inside over time.

We signed him up for the intermediate class at Petsmart which was to start Saturday May 17. But they canceled that one and said we'd start after the Memorial Day weekend since people would probably be traveling. So we went back on May 31, but that one was canceled too. Apparently they were counting the 31st as the Saturday of Memorial Day since it was in the same week while I was counting the 24th as the Saturday of Memorial Day since it was in the same weekend. Oh well.

So we finally started the class last weekend on the 7th. It went well. There is a 6 month old Boxer, a tiny Dachshund, and a Golden Retriever. The Dachshund and the Retriever are both very well behaved and are basically just there to practice socialization. The other Boxer is very docile and submissive (he literally laid down about half way through class and that was it for him). Knightly did the commands very well, but he was very energetic and wanted to play - with himself on top. So he's still a chore. We'll be practicing.

This morning, I left for my usual walk with Knightly about 6am. There usually aren't too many people around at that time so he pays all attention to me. But today as soon as we got outside the gate, he stopped and looked to the side. There was a big white lab standing in the neighbor's yard. The lab came toward us and I let him come hoping that Knightly could get some practice playing nice. The other dog didn't seem all that friendly though. He came fairly close but circled around. Knightly did ok listening to me with the other dog present. I tried to continue our walk in the opposite direction of the lab, but he would range back and forth and get in our way. Finally he went further off and we started walking.

Next we saw a woman (about my age) walking a small poodle. She was on our side of the street and about 6 houses away. She crossed to the other side. Right about the time we got even with her, the white lab showed back up running up behind her. She started screaming "OH LORD JESUS! OH LORD JESUS!" over and over and ran out into the middle of the street. That of course was straight toward me and Knightly. She turned and saw us and tried to turn away from us, still yelling the same thing. The lab came up to her poodle, so she ended up running up into someone's yard, still yelling. I didn't really know what to do since I couldn't really approach her with Knightly with me. She was definitely hysterical - she didn't try to pick up her dog at all and didn't even go in a single direction (like toward home) but was just going in circles trying to get away from Knightly and the lab, still yelling. I told her it was going to be ok and tried to get between her and the lab. The lab started paying more attention to Knightly, and she ran off. The last time I saw her she was running down the street. It looked like she was trying to dial a cell phone with one hand but couldn't get it. In her other had she was holding her iPod - she had dropped the leash but the earbuds were wrapped around it so she was pulling her dog by her iPod.

I went the opposite direction. I hope she made it home before the lab showed back up. A very exciting morning. Hopefully tomorrow it will be back to quiet.
Tuesday, June 3rd, 2008
9:07 pm
Last week we went on vacation to Navarre Beach, FL. It was wonderful. A nice laid back type of vacation. We'd sleep till 9:30 or so, and then I'd read for another hour before getting out of bed. I'd have a little snack/lunch, and we'd go to the beach for 2 or 3 hours. I agree with Adam that the beach can be boring by itself. So I built sandcastles, dug tunnels, collected shells, swam, rode the buggie board, and went on walks. Mostly I was playing with Carrie's younger brothers while she was laying out. She'd lay in the chair on her back and then dig a hole in the sand to lay on her stomach. It still wasn't too comfortable for her.

(Carrie is still doing great by the way. A few more aches and pains, but everything is going wonderfully.)

Then we'd go back to the house where we were staying and shower and hang out. Sometimes we cooked in and sometimes we went out. We'd watch TV or a movie. One day we went into Destin and did some shopping.

All in all a very relaxing trip. But now I'm back to work in the grind. Kind of sleepy.
9:33 am
book review
Last week I was on vacation at the beach with Carrie and her family (more on that in another post). While I was away, I read Black Hawk Down. It was fantastic, and I highly recommend it.

It tells the story of the US Army activity in Somalia in the mid 90's and specifically of the events of 2 days when two Black Hawk helicopters were shot down and a team of soldiers spent the night in the city before fighting their way back out. The book is actually written by a newspaper reporter with no military experience, but he really did his homework. There are 6 full pages of sources. He interviewed every member of the team that would talk to him plus the families back home and the military bureaucracy up the line. He even traveled to Somalia and toured the streets where it all happened and interviewed people there. Another unique thing about this battle was there is full color video of most of it from helicopters overhead and all the radio communication is recorded. So he was able to directly quote a lot of the dialog.

But not only is it factual, it is very readable. I think that his lack of military experience made it an easier read because he makes sure to explain things. And he does a good job of reminding the reader of who the people are as he talks about them so that the names don't all run together.

So I recommend it. Let me know what you think if you read it or have already read it.
Tuesday, May 20th, 2008
10:20 am
dang digital camera
Carrie got a digital camera for Christmas. It works great. Well, you know how when you transfer the pictures to a computer it numbers them something like 100_0001 and so on. Well we got up to about 100_0713 and the next time I copied the pictures over, it started the numbering over. And since I was using the same folder, it named them stuff like 100_0001(1). So then the pictures weren't in order any more. But not too bad. I started copying into a different folder. Well we got back up to about 100_0150 or so and it's done it again.

It's the same camera and same memory card, so why is it doing that? I know that this isn't that big a deal, but I like to have things organized and in order. Why would it suddenly change the numbering?
Thursday, May 15th, 2008
2:14 pm
if everyone else on LJ posted a quiz, would you do it too?
Comment. And I will:

1. Tell you why I friended you.
2. Associate you with something - fandom, a song, a color, a photo, etc.
3. Tell you something I like about you.
4. Tell you a memory I have of you.
5. Ask something I've always wanted to know about you.
6. Tell you my favorite user pic of yours.
7. In return, you must post this in your LJ.
Wednesday, May 14th, 2008
10:58 am
first time
Last night was my first time ever to cook out on a grill. I've seen it done a few times and assisted once or twice, but never done it myself. My parents aren't much for outdoor activities and have never even owned a grill since I've been alive, so I've just never been taught.

"English side ruined. Must. Use. French side. 'Le gril', what the heck is 'le gril'!? Ohhhh!"

But it actually went fairly well. I cleaned my little grill off and piled the charcoal in there. The first time it didn't stay lit, so I used more lighter fluid. It heated up pretty good, and the meat was great (due more to Carrie buying good meat and seasoning it well than to my cooking ability). The only problem was that it took about 3 times as long as it should have. Our sides were ready long before the steaks. Oh well - I'll do better next time.

But now I don't know what to do with the burned charcoal. Will that light again, so I should save it? Or what do I dispose of it in - let it cool and throw it away? That seems like a silly question, but I just don't know.
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