The Speed of Rock

Not that they really have much to prove at this point, but R.E.M. hasn't had much in the way of commercial success since 1994's grunge-inspired Monster. But they are one of those stalwart bands that continues to press forward, releasing a new album every few years, even if it goes by largely unbeknownst to the mainstream.

I'll admit, I'm one of those fans that hasn't really paid much attention to their newer material, but recently, an unsolicited copy of Spin Magazine featuring a cover story on R.E.M. found its way to our mailbox. Once I got past how heavily airbrushed Peter Buck is in the cover photo, I became convinced to seek out their latest album, Accelerate.

Accelerate is what U2 was billing How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb to be prior to its release, namely, an uncompromising rock 'n' roll record. Only R.E.M. didn't get bored after four songs and fill up the rest of the album with ballads. Don't get me wrong, I do really like HTDAAB, but it just isn't the in-your-face slab of rock that Bono was promising. But I digress, this review is supposed to be about R.E.M.

Clocking in at a brief 34 minutes, Accelerate has the immediacy of an early Van Halen record. There is no room for any filler because by the time you blink, the album is over. Things get off to an unapologetic start with "Living Well is the Best Revenge," and the band quickly reel off two more three-minutes-or-less rockers, "Man-Sized Wreath" and "Supernatural Superserious," before you can take a breath.

Things only "deccelerate" a bit in the middle for "Houston" and "Until the Day is Done," a pair of mid-tempo folk tunes that would not sound out of place on Automatic For The People. After those enjoyable diversions, the pedal is once again put firmly to the metal, and Accelerate screeches across the finish line with the howling "I'm Gonna DJ." Sorry for having to resort to a terrible racing metaphor/cliché there.

Speaking of terrible clichés, why do music critics always feel compelled to declare a new album from a veteran band to be "their best since (insert career-defining album here)?" For example, I wonder if Depeche Mode ever gets tired of always having their latest album compared to Violator, or going back to U2, will their new material ever be able to escape the shadow of The Joshua Tree and Achtung Baby? So while I won't be declaring Accelerate to be R.E.M.'s best album since Out of Time and Automatic For The People, from the sounds of it, Michael Stipe & Co. are too busy rocking out to really care.


Wookiee Cookies

My sister Cheryl sent me this recipe a while back, and I finally remembered to give it a try recently. It comes from the Star Wars Cookbook, which can be found in one of the dustier corners of the Star Wars merchandise galaxy (right next to Christmas in the Stars). These may look suspiciously like ordinary chocolate chip cookies, but the touch of cinnamon gives them that special Wookiee goodness. Believe me when I tell you they are pretty much the best thing since C3PO's.

• 1 cup butter, room temperature
• 1 cup packed brown sugar
• 1/2 cup granulated sugar
• 2 large eggs
• 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
• 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
• 1 tsp baking soda
• 1 tsp salt
• 1 tsp ground cinnamon
• 2 cups chocolate chips
• 1 pinch genuine Wookiee fur (optional)

Preheat oven to 375. Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla, then dry ingredients. Stir in chocolate chips. Scoop rounded tablespoons of dough onto a cookie sheet. Bake 10 minutes, or until golden brown.

Once baked, it is up to you to decide the best use for your cookies, whether it be using them as bait for an elaborate net trap in the forest, or as the stakes for your favorite holographic chess game. Or, if all you want is to secretly eat the entire batch while you are supposed to be fixing the Millenium Falcon's hyperdrive, that's okay too.

Some of the other recipes that I am told can be found in this cookbook of wonders: Princess Leia Danish Dos, Yoda Soda, Boba Fett-ucine, and Jabba Jiggle (doesn't that sound delicious). Recipes I hope will be included in a future volume: Lan-dough, Tarkin's Grand Moff-ins, Ackbar Eye Salad...anyone else have any suggestions?

{Time to lay off the sweets Princess, you are starting to look a little mannish.}


Like Father Like Son

I promised to find some good baby photos of me to compare with Eddie, and I am a man of my word. Photos on the left are of me, and on the right are of Eduardo.

While the physical resemblance is pretty striking, time will tell if he inherits my "boisterous" personality...


The Other Members of the Barton Family

Many of you have probably been wondering (after reading approximately 3800 words about Indiana Jones) what happened to me and Eddie. Eddie has spent the last week or so eating, sleeping, and having his diaper changed. I have spent the last week or so feeding, sleeping, and changing diapers. But now we're back!

In his 2.5 weeks of life outside the womb, Eddie has gained 11 ounces and grown 1 inch! He has developed a great love for our good friend, Mr. Binky (special thanks to Binks for making this post possible). He has learned how to rip yet-to-be-fastened diapers off using only his heels. His likes are food, sleep, and binkies. His dislikes are dirty diapers, outfit changes, and baths.

As for me, I am recovering quite well. In Eddie's 2.5 weeks outside the womb, I have lost 20 pounds, but haven't grown any taller. I have developed more patience than I ever thought possible (I am generally a very impatient person). I have learned how to quickly change diapers (except for when I'm half asleep and he gets those heels in there). I have also learned that Dave is excellent at getting Eddie to go to sleep, which allows me to get some rest (special thanks to Dave for saving my sanity every evening).

We will be blessing Eddie in our ward on June 1st at 1 PM. There will be treats at our house afterwards.


The Last Crusade Live Blog

With only a few days to go until Dr. Jones makes his long-awaited return, I conclude my live blogging journey with Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

After the Temple of Doom backlash, Steven Spielberg started feeling the need to make important (translation=boring) films like The Color Purple, George Lucas was busy writing and producing Howard the Duck, and Harrison Ford was starring in such movies as Working Girl. It took them five years to get their collective act together and make Last Crusade. They couldn't have fit one more Indy flick in between somewhere?

Classic Indy Moment #16 - The unofficial first episode of The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles. Is it any wonder that it was George Lucas's idea to show Indy as a boy, and how he came to be everyone's favorite archeologist?

I finally went to Arches National Park for the first time a few years ago, and I now see this opening sequence in a different light. It's amazing how Indy's troop gets around to so many of the most famous formations in so little time.

Indy's taste for bumbling companions hasn't changed much over the years.

"That's an important artifact. It belongs in a museum!" All Boy Scouts really do think and talk this way. But when they say "that's an important artifact" they really mean "that looks flammable," and by "it belongs in a museum" they mean "get the bug spray."

Indy develops a fear of snakes, learns how to use a whip, gets the scar on his chin, and is given his signature fedora. That's a lot of life defining moments for one day.

"You lost today kid, but that doesn't mean you have to like it."

Last Crusade is very much a retreat after Temple of Doom, and a conscious effort to return to the Raiders formula. The beginning of the movie is shamelessly hitting all the same story beats. While Crusade is ultimately still loveable, it would have been fun to see another sequel that dared to be as unique as Doom.

"Find the man and you will find the Grail." Some not so subtle symbolism at work.


Art historian Dr. Schneider is actually an incredibly attractive blonde. Didn't see that coming. Kristen finds it hilarious that actress playing Dr. Schneider is named Alison Doody. She must be spending a little too much time changing diapers lately.

"X" marks the spot. But wait, didn't you just get finished telling your class that "X" never, ever marks the spot? Oh Indy, you devil you.

Classic Indy Moment #17 - "Oh rats." Since I have already declared the bugs as the grossest and the snakes at the mildest, I guess that means the rats fall in the middle by default.

I love how Indy gets so excited when they discover the knight's coffin and the second grail marker, then thinks nothing of tossing the whole thing over for cover when the petroleum gets ignited.

"Are you crazy? Don't go between them!"
"Go between them? Are you crazy?"

What do these Shriners have against Indy? Wait, their actual name is the Brotherhood of the Cruciform Sword. That is almost as much of a mouthful as Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. I have a feeling we haven't seen the last of them, so lets call them the BOTCS.

"We are here to view the tapestries!" If I am not mistaken, Harrison Ford later used this same accent in K19: The Widowmaker.

"Nazis. I hate these guys." Bringing the Nazis back, another example of the filmmakers trying to recapture the spirit of Raiders.

Since Indiana Jones was Lucas and Spielberg's answer to James Bond, casting Sean Connery as Indy's father was brilliant. It seems like Sir Sean sure got old fast when he showed up with the gray hair and beard in this movie and in The Hunt For Red October the following year.

"How did you know she was a Nazi?"
"She talks in her sleep."

First Elsa, now Donovan. The double crosses are coming fast and furious. Only 37 more to go to match one of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies.

In a moment, Brody is transformed from cautioning father figure to bumbling comic relief.

Classic Indy Moment #18 - Fit to be tied.

Movie Glossary
Highly Flammable: Entire rooms and/or buidlings will be completely consumed by fire in mere seconds thanks to even the smallest flame of origin. Examples: The Raven Bar (Raiders), the room where the Jones boys are being held captive (The Last Crusade).

"You left just when you were becoming interesting." The interaction and facial expressions between Harrison Ford and Sean Connery during the motorcycle chase and zeppelin ride are priceless.

Classic Indy Moment #19 - Escape from the zeppelin. Like the best Indy moments, this action sequence bounces effortlessly from one death-defying escape to another. The dogfight, crash landing, into the tunnel, nearly getting bombed and driving their stolen car into the crater, and finally, Jones the elder using his wits to crash the remaining Nazi fighter with seagulls.

I never really thought about this before, but why exactly is Sallah in the movie? He was in Raiders because he was an expert digger helping to unearth the Ark. I love the character, but what purpose is he really serving other than to assure us this will not be another Temple of Doom?

The Wilhelm Scream is heard as the BOTCS attack and get their butts handed to them by the Nazis.

"Sallah, I said no camels! That's five camels! Can't you count?"

Classic Indy Moment #20 - Attacking the tank.

Another one of the simple touches that makes an Indy movie an Indy movie: the meaty sound of the punches.

How does Indy's strap get around that cannon as he gets knocked off the side of the tank? And how does it magically come unstrapped as he climbs back up?

"You call this archeology?" Crusade definitely features more memorable quotes and one-liners than the other two movies, for better or worse.

Colonel Vogel gets one of the best "falling off a cliff" deaths ever committed to film.

Classic Indy Moment #21 - Entering the mountain temple. The father as Holy Grail symbolism continues as Indy must get the Grail in order to save his dad.

"Only the penitent man will pass." The penitent man kneels (and rolls) before God.

Classic Indy Moment #22 - "He chose...poorly." The rapid aging scene is cool, though it can't quite match the shock of the face-melting, or the blatant gratuitousness of ripping a heart out of someone's chest.

I have always wondered, since Indy drinks from the grail, does that mean he is now immortal? The Knight said that the Grail couldn't be taken past the seal, which he explains is "the price of immortality," but that doesn't really clarify the implications for the individual that has drunken, does it? I suppose it matters not, Indy is pretty much immortal anyway, considering the number of times he has evaded death.

"Indiana...Indiana. Let it go." The Holy Grail is lost, but the true grail, the reconciliation of father and son, is found.

Indy and co. ride off into the sunset, providing a fitting end to the series. Wait, what's that you say? They are making a fourth movie? Who knew?


Temple of Doom Live Blog

Next up in my live blogging quest for fortune and glory is the unfairly maligned Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.

Temple of Doom was the last chapter of the Indy trilogy to get recorded off TV, so I was never as familiar with it as Raiders or The Last Crusade. When I was about 12 (I think), I was looking for good movies in the weekly TV listings and saw Temple of Doom on the schedule. I readied a blank VHS tape and set the VCR timer (those where the days). But when I turned the TV on at the appropriate time, I was surprised to see an elaborate dance number to Anything Goes. What the heck was this? I went back and double checked the listings, but when I came back, there was Harrison Ford in a white dinner jacket. I guess it was Indiana Jones after all. Well, sort of.

George Lucas mentions in the dvd extras that they thought it would be "fun" and "unexpected" to open the movie with a big dance number. I believe that was also his reasoning for including the big song & dance routine in Jabba's palace in Return of the Jedi. I don't think I need to say anything else about that.

Lao Che is definitely a worthy addition to the Indiana Jones rogues gallery. He certainly makes more of an impression than Chattar Lal. Who is Chattar Lal you ask? My point exactly. There should have a shocking twist revealed later in the movie that Lao Che was actually in league with Mola Ram and the Thuggee Cult.

Classic Indy Moment #9 - Anything goes at Club Obi Wan.

Diabolical laughter after you take a drink is never a good sign.

Let's see, scanning the restaurant...ah, flaming skewers, those’ll do nicely.

That sounded like a Wilhelm Scream as Indy goes crashing into the bandstand.

The antidote for the poison is the whole reason that Willie Scott gets dragged along for the rest of the movie. Note to the filmmakers, if you are going to create an annoying character, try to come up with a really good reason for them to be there (Cough Jar Jar Cough).

It is one of my life-long ambitions to laugh uncontrollably while firing a tommy gun. Coincidentally, it is also a life long ambition of mine to use a giant rolling gong as a shield before leaping out of a window.

"Hey Docta Jones, no time for love. We've got company!"

What car chase through the streets of Shanghai would be complete without a rickshaw gag? And was that a second Wilhelm Scream in there?

Honestly, why is Indy taking Willie on the plane? He already drank the antidote. She serves no further purpose!

Instead of emptying the fuel tank and chuckling sinisterly as they bail out, why don’t Lao Che's thugs just shoot Indy and co. and throw their bodies overboard? That seems much more simple.

The opening 20 minutes of Doom really maintains the frenetic spirit of Raiders. Just to recap, Indy has been poisoned, shot at, forced to leap out a several stories high window, chased through the streets of Shanghai, shot at some more, bailed out of a crashing plane in a raft, ridden said raft down a snowy mountain, off a cliff, and into white water rapids before eventually escaping harm's way.

The movie finally pauses to take a breath, but loses some momentum and starts to show some flashes of the grimness to come as the village shaman introduces the main plot (if you can call it that) involving the Sankara Stones.

Movie Glossary
Macguffin: A plot device that motivates the characters or advances the story, but the details of which are of little or no importance otherwise. Example: The Sankara Stones.

“Fortune and glory, kid. Fortune and glory.”

The journey across the jungle to Pankot is nothing more than an excuse for lots of gags involving Willie, with a dash of added explanation about the legend of the stones thrown in for good measure. I'm still not really sure what the stones actually do though.

Classic Indy Moment #10 - The gross-out feast at Pankot Palace. On the menu: snake surprise, cockroaches, eyeball soup, and of course, chilled monkey brains. There is actually some important exposition going on between Indy and Chattar Lal about the Thuggee Cult, but it is kind of hard to pay close attention while dry heaving.

Let the flirting between Indy and Willie begin over a bowl of fruit. Noctural activities. Mating customs. I wonder if Spielberg used some of these same lines to woo Kate Capshaw in real life.

Classic Indy Moment #12 - The Spike Room. This scene is a lot of fun, and seems to be one of the few parts of the movie that Spielberg hasn't disowned.

They are probably the least deadly, but for some reason, I think the bugs are worse than the snakes and rats. Willie having to reach into a small bug-filled hole to release the spikes is enough to make anyone squeamish.

At last we make it into the Temple of Doom. Enter Mola Ram.

“Kali ma....kali maaaaa.”

Classic Indy Moment #13 - The heart scene. Need I say more? Well actually I do have more to say. It’s probably a good thing I didn't see this movie when I was any younger because it most certainly would have given me nightmares. The chest pillaging antics of Temple of Doom somehow manage to top the shock of the face melting scene at the end of Raiders. Hello PG-13! Ah hahahahahaha!

Kristen just jumped about a foot out of the love sac when that "Thuggee thug" popped up from behind the rock to capture Willie and Short Round.

More exposition about the stones as Mola Ram interrogates Indy. Apparently having all five stones will help the Thuggee Cult become all powerful and rule the world. I don't think Mola Ram really knows what the stones do either, other than providing some nice ambient light while inside his oversized novelty skull.

I bet the Maharajah had been wondering if he was ever going to get the chance to put his leather jacket and fedora clad voodoo doll to good use.

As he is overtaken by the black sleep of Kali, Harrison Ford channels how it felt getting unfrozen from carbonite in Return of the Jedi.

"Borum. Borum. Borum subidum..."

Phew, that fire snapped Indy out of his trance. It's definitely for the best as Harrison Ford just isn't very convincing at being evil. That's more like it, he is much more at home beating up on bad guys with a big stick.

I need to remember to include a handy trap door under my throne that I can slip through while laughing maniacally if I ever get around to building my own Temple of Doom. You know, as a summer home.

"Indy, let’s get out of here."
"Right...ALL of us."

The movie begins to emerge from the darkness and gets back to being Indiana Jones as they set the slave children free. A little known fact (that is probably actually a well know fact)—the Slave Master that Indy battles on the conveyer belt is the same actor that played the burly Nazi soldier in Raiders.

In addition to causing Indy excruciating back pain, the Maharajah's Indy voodoo doll also has the power to prevent the Raiders March from kicking in on the soundtrack.

After giving it some serious thought, getting pulled into a stone crusher would definitely be a worse way to die than getting chopped up by a propellor. Much more drawn out.

Classic Indy Moment #14 - The mine car chase. Why has no one ever made a rollercoaster based on this scene? I'm pretty sure it be better than the E.T. ride, even if E.T. does call you by name at the end.

Classic Indy Moment #15 - Crossing the rope bridge, with what else but hungry (and frisky) crocodiles waiting below. This scene features many of the most memorable quotes from the movie:

“You are in a position unsuitable to give orders!”
"Drop them Dr. Jones. They will be found. You won’t! Hahahahaha!"
“Hang on lady, we going for a ride.”
"Mola Ram...prepare to meet Kali...in HELL!"
"Indy! Covah your heart!

Oops! Indy’s harness is clearly visible as Mola Ram falls and lands on him from above.

The betrayed Shiva causes the Sankara stones to light up and set Indy’s handbag on fire. As Mola Ram grabs one of them, he gets burned, loses his grip on the bridge, and falls to his death. So, does anyone know what the deal with these stones is?

Was that an unprecedented third Wilhelm Scream as Mola Ram gets chomped by the frisky crocs?

Indy manages to safely climb to the top of the cliff while saving the last Sankara Stone. We won’t see this much gratuitous giggling again until Frodo wakes up in bed at the end of Return of the King.

“Now you can see the magic of the rock you bring back.”
“Yes, I understand its power now.”

Glad someone does.


Raiders of the Lost Ark Live Blog

To gear up for the theatrical release of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, we are currently rewatching the original Indy trilogy. For some added fun, I am trying my hand at keeping a running journal of thoughts for all three movies. First up is Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Raiders comes right in the middle of an impressive 10 year run by Spielberg and Lucas where they could do no wrong. Just take a look at this string of blockbusters: Jaws (1975), Star Wars (1977), Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1978), The Empire Strikes Back (1980), Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), E.T. (1982), Return of the Jedi (1983), and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984).

Indy needs a guide to help him find this idol about as much as Qui Gon and Obi Wan needed Jar Jar to guide them through the planet core in Phantom Menace. Don't worry readers, I will try to keep the Episode I comparisons to a minimum.

Alfred Molina sighting! He's a good sport in his first movie appearance, getting covered with spiders and employing a lovely Spanish accent. His reaction to that unexpected skeleton was a little over-the-top though, screaming and biting his fist. He is probably just doing some early prepping for his eventual scenery chewing role as Doc Ock in Spider-Man 2.

Where does Indy find these scrubs? Seems like “can you confidently swing across a bottomless chasm using a whip?” would be part of his jungle guide interview.

“There is nothing to fear here.”
“Thats what scares me.”

Classic Indy Moment #1 - Swapping the bag of sand for the idol.

Classic Indy Moment #2 - Trying to outrun a giant boulder. You know Indy, it would have been so much easier had you just waited for that giant boulder to roll past you instead of running right into its path. Maybe I am overthinking this.

“Again we see there is nothing you possess that I cannot take away.” The suave yet morally bankrupt Rene Belloq is the perfect foil for the rough and tumble Indy.

I wish Harrison Ford had been my Archeology teacher in college. That would have made that class much more interesting. Maybe not quite interesting enough to write “I love you” on my eye lids though.

Porkins (aka William Hootkins) makes his first appearance. For a fun little easter egg, after his meeting with Indy, they should have had him start to fly away in an X-Wing, then quickly get blown up.

“An army which carries the ark before it...is invincible.” I wish my Bible had that cool illustration of the ark shooting fire and lightning out of it.

Movie Glossary
Instant Sobriety: Anyone who is so drunk they are stumbling around or are close to passing out will quickly sober up if required to contribute something to the plot. Examples: Jeff Goldblum (Independence Day), Tom Cruise (A Few Good Men), Karen Allen (Raiders of the Lost Ark).

"The bar’s closed."
"We are...not thirsty."

Is there another villain as weasely yet absolutely terrifying as Nazi interrogator Major Toht?

Sure that monkey is cute, but he is hanging out with a guy that has an eye patch. I smell trouble. Right on cue, the monkey sells out Marion.

This basket chase scene is vintage Spielberg, packed with little punchlines and featuring playful John Williams underscore.

Classic Indy Moment #3 - Shooting the swordsman. I think the swordsman shot first, that must be why Indy felt okay firing away.

Did that monkey just say "uh oh?"

Let’s see, I’m trying to remember where in the Old Testament that it says the Ark is "a transmitter, a radio for speaking to God” It must be in Leviticus or Numbers, I always skip those ones.

"You want to talk to God? Let's go see him together, I've got nothing better to do."

Classic Indy Moment #4 - The Map Room.

"Daaaaa naaaa naa, daaaa naaaa naa... " The Ark Theme gets its first big moment to shine in the Map Room. The Raiders March might be the most famous cue from the score, but the Ark Theme adds the perfect blend of epic mystery to the action. What would these movies be without Johnny Williams? I don't even want to think about it.

Way to pick the Ark over the girl, Indy. If it was Kate Capshaw I would have understood.

Memo to Nicholas Cage and the makers of National Treasure: You should have to dig at least through one sunset and well into the night before finding what you are looking for.

Classic Indy Moment #5 - The Well of Souls.

"Snakes. Why’d it have to be snakes?" Between the snakes, bugs, and rats, I’d say the snakes are the least squirm-inducing of the grotesques from the original trilogy. What's it gonna be in Indy 4? My guess is George Lucas's double chin.

That is the most sinister coathanger I have ever seen. Seriously, is there anyone more evil than Toht? To paraphrase Mike Myers, he's so evil that he is E-vil.

Meanwhile, back in the Well of Souls, once again what was briefly Indy's is now Belloq's.

Those skeletons harrassing Marion sure are lively, you know, for skeletons. But not to worry, Indy finds the back door in the nick of time. Why didn't they just go in that way in the first place? Sorry, overthinking again.

Here's a riddle for you. Do you know what happens to a burly Nazi soldier that comes in contact with a moving propeller? The same thing that happens to everthing else.

A well-placed plane wing to the lid on the side of the gas tanker there. Everything that can go wrong does go wrong when it comes to Indy.

Classic Indy Moment #6 - The desert truck chase. Indy grabs on to the hood ornament and it slowly bends and breaks off. The beauty of this movie is in the little details like that. The Wilhelm Scream also just made its token appearance, courtesy of a Nazi soldier getting tossed off the truck.

“It’s not the years, honey, it’s the mileage”

He may be sinister, but Toht sure didn't think through things when he selected his desert trudging attire. Meanwhile, eagle-eyed Kristen just spotted a fly that lands on Belloq's face and crawls into his mouth as he calls Indy's bluff. Intentional?

Classic Indy Moment #7 - Opening the Ark. Note to self, when necessary, to avoid the wrath of God, close your eyes.

As Roger Ebert points out in his Great Movies column about Raiders, the young Jewish kid in Spielberg must have relished the chance to "blow up Nazis real good."

I have often contemplated how the face-melting scene would have turned out if the wonders of CG animation were available at the time. Too bad this wasn't George Lucas's movie, or we could have found out in a Raiders of the Lost Ark: Special Edition (cough).

Daaaaa naaaa naa, daaaa naaaa naa...

Classic Indy Moment #8 - The Ark getting boxed up and wheeled into an endless government warehouse. The best finale out of the trilogy, and proof that Spielberg once knew how to end his movies. Previews for Indy 4 show a return to this warehouse. Hopefully they don't ruin the mystique of it, ala the Midichlorians. Oops, another Phantom Menace reference.


What's in a Name?

When you pick a name for your child, everyone always wants to know what inspired the choice. In Edward's case, there really was no specific inspiration, we both just really like the name. That hasn't stopped people from guessing and speculating though. Here are some of the most common people/characters we did NOT name our baby after:

1. Edward Scissorhands
Contrary to popular belief, our baby wasn't born with scissors for hands, for which Kristen is eternally grateful. Nor was he invented by Vincent Price, although that sure would have been cool.

2. Edward Cullen
Word on the street is that Edward is soon going to be a very trendy baby name, thanks to Stephenie Meyers' wildly popular Twilight series. We must be trendsetters then, because we liked the name long before this really, really ridiculously good looking vampire was setting teenage hearts afire.

3. Eddie Van Halen
While I do enjoy the musical stylings of Van Halen, to say this legendary guitar hero has issues is putting it midly. Plus, I don't want David Lee Roth camping out in our front yard, always asking when the next tour is.

4. Ed Wood
What parent hasn't thought about what path their child will take? As a wise man once said, "we are all interested in the future, for that is where you and I are going to spend the rest of our lives." But as we contemplate our ambitions for Eddie, being the worst movie director of all time who also happens to cross dress isn't very high on the list.

5. Cousin Eddie
I would like to apologize in advance to any of Eddie's cousins if, in the future, he ever happens to show up unexpectedly at your house for Christmas driving an RV.


Yellow Belly

We took Edward in to the pediatrician yesterday for a quick check-up. He was starting to get a little jaundice, so they tested his blood, and his bilirubin levels were high enough that he gets his very own mini tanning bed. He was not happy when we first put him under the lights last night, but he gradually got used to it, and is already looking less yellow this morning. He has to stay in there except when being fed and changed until Thursday morning, when they will test him again.


Introducing Edward James Barton

...born May 3, 2008 at 6:32 pm. He weighs 7 lbs even, and is 20 inches long. More photos are sure to come, but now that we are home, but we just wanted to get a few up for those that haven't had a chance to experience lil' Eddie's cuteness in person yet.

The early consensus seems to be he looks like me, especially his eyes. I'll have to try and track down some good comparison shots of me as a baby.

Swimming in his first little outfit.

Between his daddy and his Grandpa, I think he is already getting used to being photographed.

Mommy helping some of those uncomfortable burps out. He was actually quite content in this position.

What can we say, Kristen and I never thought we would be able to make something so perfect.