Max's Head

Seven weeks ago, on August 10, Maximus began wearing a helmet twenty-three hours a day to help to correct his plagiocephaly. Today we went into the orthotist's office for a follow-up appointment to see how he is progressing. When we were last there, three weeks ago, there had been absolutely no change in the size of his head since it had been previously measured. This time though, his head had grown. In the past three weeks, Max's head circumference has increased by 0.4 centimeters, which I was told was a good rate of increase. When measuring Max's head from its right anterior to left posterior, the measurement remained the same at 15.2 centimeters. The left anterior to right posterior measurement though increased from 14.2 centimeters to 14.4 centimeters. Ideally, the difference between these two measurements would be zero. The right anterior to left posterior measurement is still 1 centimeter greater than the other measurement. This is an improvement from before he started wearing the helmet though. Then the difference was 1.7 centimeters. The orthotist is estimating that Max will be done wearing the helmet in three weeks. If his head continues to grow the next three weeks as it did the last three weeks, he will reach the casting measurement of the helmet, 46.5 centimeters, and it will no longer fit. We'll see on October 19 if that is the case. It would be nice to not deal with the helmet anymore, although it does come in handy protecting his head.


A Visit From Bill

For the first time since we moved to Minnesota, my friend Bill came for a visit from Cedar Rapids today. He originally planned on arriving around 9:00 this morning with the hopes of using our Wi-Fi to take a test for an online class he is enrolled in. However things did not work out as planned. Because of flooding, Highway 52 was closed somewhere between Rochester and here. When Bill took the detour, he ended up getting lost, and I had a hard time giving him help since his cell phone reception was poor. Bill noticed that he was running low on gas, so he returned to Rochester to refuel his car. While there, he stopped by the Rochester Public Library to see if he could connect to the Internet there to take his test, but by the time he got logged in, he was late for his test. Bill finally arrived at the house shortly before 1:00, four hours after he expected to be here.

Neither of us had eaten lunch yet, so we went to Ho King, a local Chinese restaurant for lunch. Afterward we stopped at Target, where I had a couple of things to pick up. As Bill enjoys comic books and comic book stores, we then went to Source Comics and Games in Falcon Heights. We went there because it is one comic book store in the Twin Cities that I know of, having visited there once before when I was in the area for a business trip several years ago. We then returned back to the house, stopping to buy a carbon monoxide detector at Walmart; the one we had in the basement stopped working today, so it needed to be replaced.

Bill left to return to Cedar Rapids around 4:30. He having quite a long day, with his very long drive here. Fortunately his return trip should go much better as Highway 52 has reopened.


Business Trip to Chicago

I am currently on a business trip to Chicago. I arrived yesterday afternoon after a rather uneventful flight from the Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport. Usually on business trips we stay at an Embassy Suites hotel. This time though, the Embassy Suites was booked, so the people from my company are at the Marriott Suites near O'Hare, while our committee members are staying at the nearby Marriott. Now I don't want to sound like I am complaining about the Marriott suites. Quite frankly, I think the room I am in is the best hotel room I have ever stayed in on a business trip. However, I really miss the breakfast with the omelet bar and the afternoon manager's reception that  the Embassy Suites has. Oh well, since the after-work drinks aren't free, the company will just end up paying for them.

This is a nice hotel though. The room has two large high-definition televisions. The alarm clock in the bedroom has a docking port for my iPod. That is especially nice since I prefer waking up to music than to an obnoxious alarm. And with the iPod dock, I can listen to my own music. I always find it such a pain to find a radio station that I will like in a city I am visiting. This eliminates that need. The bathroom is also very nice. Besides the typical bathtub, there is an actual shower stall, and the shower head is actually high enough for me! There are a couple of drawbacks about the hotel though, besides the lack of free alcohol. One is the lack of wireless Internet access in the room. I have Internet access, but it is not wireless. The second is the fact that sodas from the vending machines or from the front desk cost three dollars. That's an outrageous price! However, neither of these negatives are particularly bad, especially since I can get reimbursed for my beverages when I submit my expense report upon returning home.

Now on to the details of what I have been doing while I was here. Last night, two of my coworkers and I had dinner at the Carlucci Italian restaurant that is located very close to our hotel. I had some great food -- flank steak, pasta, and lobster-stuffed shrimp! It was fantastic! The crème brûlée I had for dessert was good as well, although the flame went out before the alcohol on top was sufficiently burned. It was so big that I was unable to finish it.

Today was the first day of our day and a half of meetings. I am not going to go into detail about the meeting, but I will say that I definitely earned the drink I had with dinner tonight! Speaking of dinner, we went to Gibsons to eat. We wanted to eat in the restaurant itself, but without a reservation we would have had to wait until 9:00 at the earliest before we could be seated, so we ate in the bar instead. Finding a seat in the bar was almost as difficult. I noticed that three women at one of the tables were eating some cake, so I staked out their table waiting for them to leave so I could pounce on the newly-vacated table before someone else had the chance. While I was waiting for them to leave, I noticed that the men at the neighboring table were paying their tab. They ended up leaving first, so I procured a table for my group. I had a rib eye steak sandwich for dinner. A few of us shared some crab cakes for an appetizer. For the second night in a row, dinner was quite delectable. After dinner, we returned to out hotel where we had some desert at our hotel's restaurant.

After returning to my room, I spent a little bit of time working on a different project to which I am assigned before composing this blog posting and going to bed. I am anticipating that my committee will finish up early tomorrow, so I guess I will probably be spending extra time at O'Hare waiting for my 3:05 flight back to Minneapolis.


Crazy Vandals

I stopped by my sister's condo this morning, and when I was leaving, I noticed that a sign in the middle of her street had been vandalized.