AWESOME NEWS: Joe and Carol had a daughter, Hannah Clare, this morning at 6:24. Weighed in at 7 lbs. and 20 inches long. Joe’s message on my machine said that it was a relatively short delivery and that Carol did great. We are all smiles around here. Our warmest congratulations to the Kann family!

ONESUITE TURNING SOUR?: I don’t know what kind of hardware failure it was, but the entire OneSuite long-distance network collapsed last Friday night, remaining absolutely inaccessible until earlier today. Up until now I’ve gladly recommended their pre-paid 2.4 and 2.5 cent per minute phone service. As we’ve been without long distance since their breakdown I’m no longer recommending them. We plan to give them one more shot, assuming their explanation is satisfactory, but I can hardly any longer advance a lot of enthusiasm on their behalf.

THE ROOF OVERHEAD: The bar tiles on the roof just keep crackin’, and as there’s no way to get replacement tiles, re-roofing is in order. Just when this happens and who does it (and how much it costs) are among those things we’re debating right now. We’ve received an $8000 bid from a highly recommended local roofing contractor. That amount is doable, but it doesn’t include the cost of fixing any dry rot problems, and we’ve got at least two places with that problem. The big problem is that while $8k is a “go,” if we get much higher than that, we’re looking at selling stock to cover the shortfall.

I’ve had numerous friends ask me about doing the re-roofing job myself (with help). This is an incredibly tempting proposition since I believe I have a relatively good understanding of how the re-roofing would go. That said, it’s still a heckuva lot of work. If the roof will hold out into the spring, I’d be tempted to go for it—re-roofing the garage over Spring Break, and doing the house at the start of the summer. That’s a huge summer project, and hardly the way I’d rather spend my days, but it may well be worth it financially.

THESE ARE THE DROIDS YOU’RE LOOKING FOR: Those new nifty video iPods, hum baby, gotta get me one of those. Basically, the way I see it is that it’s the same cool music-playing iPod as before but smaller. Sure, it plays video (320 x 240) and people are all caught up in the TV shows on your iPod bit, but for my money, I just like that it will finally record audio at 22 or 44 KHz. It’ll need an external mic, but recording little sound bits is exactly what I’ve been waiting for. Yeah, previous iPods could record some sound but 8 KHz is hardly what most of us would call decent quality sound. I am a little bummed about the lack of FireWire, but it’s hardly a show-stopper for me. (I already have two external FireWire drives.) Assuming the roof thing doesn’t bankrupt me, I’m planning on grabbing one of these bad boys. (A white one, not a black one, btw. The black, while undeniably cooler, shows smudges and scratches much more readily than the white, and there’s no way smudges and scratches are cooler.)