Saturday, June 26, 2010

Village in the Treetops

When I'm not busy preparing lessons or reading scriptures, I like to use my breaks at work to read. When I couldn't find the third westmark book due to the mass of confusion that is my book collection, I decided to pick up an old Jules Verne that I had never read before. Supposedly, Villiage in the Treetops explores Verne's take on evolution, but forgoes the typical gadgetry that accompanies his stories. I used to be a huge fan of Verne, so I hoped to pass some enjoyable hours reading it.

I hate the amount of it I could stand to read. It's so thick with racist stereotypes, allusions, or outright presumptions of superiority that I wasn't able to get past the first few pages. Perhaps its no different than the conventions that lead him to write a servant character into 20,000 leagues who throws himself to his death rather than abandon his master to die alone. But somehow, questions of race have modern descendants that make unearthing old moldy stupidity seem even fouler than coming across non racial class boundary stupidity.
I've had to wonder, have I ever been a Verne fan or did I simply adore 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea? Around the world in 80 days is a passable story. The Mysterious Island I can't stand. Journey to the Center of the Earth is simply annoying. But Captain Nemo's nameless sense of loss and isolation from all humanity struck such a cord with me I couldn't stop reading it when I was in my teens. I've probably read the story 8-15 times. I finally had to make myself stop reading it because it was fixating me on a subject that left me quite depressed. Something of the undiagnosed Aspie in me connected with Captain Nemo. I was honestly quite disappointed to have his secret revealed in The Mysterious Island.

In any case, I recommend against reading the Village in the Treetops unless you feel ready to ignore colonialist and racist sentiments in your characters.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Mandatory overtime

So fun stuff at work.  This next week there is mandatory overtime of 6 hours for all agents.  Just another wave that comes from working with the Iphone 4.  I'm looking forwards to another big day of upgrade eligibility resets tomorrow.


So apparently Ikea has gotten so many complaints they supposedly have created a fix it kit that makes their crib work with their mattress and they are going to send us one.  I have no idea what it is, my guess is some sort of short rubber bumper to fill up the gab between mattress and railings.  So perhaps the story has a good ending after all... if they truly are sending us this kit as they say they will.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Going home, and what shall he sleep in?

So, for everybody who missed it earlier Uriel has a firm date to go home now, for a little bit, and then he's off with other family.  But we will be free to pursue our own family at our own pace now.  No more instant family add water.  It's been a dramatic move towards having a going home date, but its finally done.

In other news, I hate dealing with crib stuff.  It took us a very long time to figure out a crib to buy, and having to fuss any more than necissary with it now is just annoying.  So with Uriel going to be ending up with my in laws, they wanted us to make an attempt to transfer some of his belongings up there previous to him coming home if possible.  An obvious candidate is the crib.  We can assemble ours, move him into it, and pack up his and take it to the in-laws.  It took about 2 hours or so to put together, about what I expected given the product reviews.  Then we go and put the mattress in it and discover there is a 2 inch gap or so in width.

We had been warned in other product reviews that this crib was not quite standard sized and one reviewer had said to avoid this problem just buy the ikea mattress that is supposed to go with it.  So that's exactly what we did and still there is a gap.  According to the instruction manual its safe as long as the gap is smaller than 3 centimeters.  But their own mattress which is recommended by their own website creates a 5 centimeter gap.  What gives?  Now understanding that the people who recommended buying ikea mattresses just weren't paying attention to the actual safety recommendations, we searched online and found other people who had had the same experience only to be told by ikea that their product was designed to be that way and that if they didn't like it they should stuff a bumper pad into the gap.

Two problems here.  If the crib is designed to be this way with their mattress which exceeds the size requirements listed on the outside of the box, somebody in their design department needs to be sacked.  You should at least trying to follow the American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines.  Second, bumper pads are also stated by the AAP to be a suffocation risk.  So basically they want me to trade one risk of death problem for another risk of death problem.  Not cool.

The crib itself is great, feels very solid and I don't have any concerns about the crib itself.  I just need to find a mattress which is 29 inches wide and hope that I can return their mismatched product.  Most matresses seem to be between 27-28 inches, so finding a 29 inch one is a little difficult.  The obnoxious thing is that we are finding that mattresses between 26 and 29.5 inches all say in their descriptions that they fit "standard size cribs."  Now, if a crib is 28 inches, a 26 inch mattress does not fit it per official safety guidelines because the gap is too large.  If the crib is 26 inches a 29.5 inch mattress isn't going to fit inside unless its designed to be squishy sideways as well as up and down to the order of 3.5 inches.  So I get the impression that "standard size" cribs and mattresses is more or less an advertising claim that doesn't refer to anything terribly specific.

I guess this is what I get for doing all my research on which cribs were the best value in safety/functionality to money and just buying whatever mattress the manufacturer suggested instead of researching it out.