Schmit Family
Welcome to , , , and virtual front porch. This web site is just that; a place to visit for family, friends, and anyone, who are too far away, to stop by in person. Pull up a chair and stay a while....

31 January 2004 5:48 pm

Out the Looking Window (reprise)

As I look out the window of my English room
Wishing that the day would be over soon.
I see the concrete and the brown sod
That make up this nature -- a material quad;
The fiber optics that run through the pipes;
The phones on the poles and the flickering lights.
No sun, nor stars, do I observe;
Just the gray haze of Cleveland that I don't deserve.
I yearn for white snow, crab grass, and stars,
But here the night's dark with the smog of those cars.
Eyes to the ground, I walk back through this hell.
Back to my house where I work and I dwell;
To hope my dreams, like a childhood song
Take me back home, to where I belong.

Cleveland, OH

While working on my computer engineering degree at Case (formally known as Case Western Reserve University whose motto actually was "a tradition of excellence even longer than our name"), I was required to take a single English course, technical writing. I think one of the early assignments was to write something, anything. Again, at the time, I probably thought it ironic to write about looking out the window of the classroom. I also probably thought it ironic to write a poem for a technical writing assignment. Regardless, this is the Cleveland version of the "Out the Looking Window" poem. Cleveland has a lot to offer, but it can't compare to upstate New York for me.

Posted by geoff at 17:48 in /poetry

29 January 2004 8:08 pm

Out the Looking Window

As I look out the window of my English room,
Knowing that the day will be over soon,
I see the sparrow and the chickadee
Dance on the branches of the big oak tree.
I see the chain fence that imprisons the dog,
The squirrel sitting on the log,
The grass that sways in the gentle wind;
I see the clouds that look at you and grin,
And the old large home on Green Street,
And in the background the waving wheat.
Then I hear the old school bell ring,
Ending the happiness that the window brings.

Cazenovia, New York
1985 or 1986

So far, I've been posting poems in reverse chronological order. I'm deviating from that pattern since this poem is somewhat of a prerequisite for the next poem that I will post. I wrote this poem as an English class assignment in sixth grade. At the time, I probably thought it was ironic that the topic is about looking out the window during English class.

Posted by geoff at 20:08 in /poetry

28 January 2004 2:52 pm

First Doctor's Visit

We survived.

Today was Dylan's first visit to the doctor. At ten days old, he has surpassed his birth weight by almost half a pound and has grown 3/4". His head circumference is also 1/2" larger. Lengthwise, Dylan ranks in the 90th percentile; he's in the 75th percentile for the other two measurements.

In spite of our attempts to plan Dylan's daily routine around the visit to the doctor, chaos reigned. The nurse made all the measurements of Dylan just fine. She then inquired about the strength of Dylan's cry. Dylan felt compelled to demonstrate just how strong his cry could be. Understandably so, since he'd been in the doctor's office about a half hour and it was approaching feeding time. While waiting for the doctor, Dylan dutifully demonstrated all of his other bodily functions, including his first leaky, messy diaper - right on Mom's lap. We then started feeding Dylan, just as the doctor walked in the room. At least Dylan was somewhat comforted while we first got a handful of information from the doctor. When the doctor started to examine Dylan, he showed off once again by spitting up a bit.

So, to sum it up, Dylan passed with flying colors, Dad took lots of notes since Mom was preoccupied with Dylan, and Mom is just fine after a bit of cleaning up after returning home.

Posted by geoff at 14:52 in /family/dylan

28 January 2004 4:01 am

"He's So 'dorable"

Kerri, Dylan, Jordie, and Jessi Jessi, Kerri, and Jordie visited Dylan; Pete was at his fly-fishing club tying flies so he has something to use when teaching Dylan to cast. Jordie was very excited to see such a small baby. More than once, she commented "he's so 'dorable." Jessica was a bit more shy, but she still enjoyed the opportunity to hold Dylan. According to Kerri, Jessi talked a lot about Dylan after they left. Kerri also had her time holding Dylan. And for the first time, I had the baby handed back to me when he started fussing! Fortunately, Dylan did settle down on my shoulder. We took some pictures of the visit, since Dylan probably won't remember it.

Posted by geoff at 04:01 in /family/dylan

27 January 2004 9:27 pm


In the end what is there?

Is its expression nothing more
   than billions of birds in flight illuminating the phosphor plane as they escape forever?

Is its thought nothing more
   than a sustained stream twisting and turning through the silicon canals?

Is its legacy nothing more
   than a landscape of peaks and valleys preserved in plastic; ever awaiting the light of the laser sun?

I sit watching the birds fly through the plane,
   imagining the streams flowing,
      listening to the landscape spin beneath the sun,
         and yet there is nothing to touch, to feel, to hold...

So I go outside and splash barefoot in a babbling brook,
   feeling the cold crisp water and the perfect pebbles between my toes.

San Francisco, California

A number of my poems are influenced by science and technology. This one reflects on the dichotomy of my technology-focused aspirations and nature-focused inclinations and on my difficulty in finding a balance. I wrote this poem on a napkin in the Thirsty Bear brew pub, whose beers and tapas I would highly recommend, during MacWorld San Francisco.

Posted by geoff at 21:27 in /poetry

26 January 2004 4:53 pm

Dylan's Room

Border in Dylan's Room While Dylan won't be the topic of every entry, he does still get to share this one. Last summer, we purchased a house and decided to paint all three bedrooms and the upstairs hallway. The room that we started with, but that was finished last, was Dylan's. It was pushed back in the schedule so we could paint our room before we moved into the house. Dylan's room was finished a week or so before Thanksgiving 2003, and we took pictures at various stages of re-doing the walls and ceiling.

Posted by geoff at 16:53 in /house

25 January 2004 1:25 pm

kittle lid

big belly bulging
kittle lid kicks, pokes, punches
we three wait anxious

Naperville, Illinois
October 2003

I wrote this for Carolyn for our wedding anniversary. Obviously, Dylan was the inspiration. Since we didn't know if Dylan was a boy or a girl, we called him "kittle lid." I'm not sure if that name came from the Capitol Steps' Lirty Dies or my high school Spanish teacher.

Posted by geoff at 13:25 in /poetry

25 January 2004 2:22 am

Baby Pool at Work

Congratulations to Dave! I won't publicly state which Dave, since the other did not fare quite so well. I will state that one is an engineer and the other a chemist, so it shouldn't be too tough to figure out who prevailed. Even with my inside information, I only placed fifth out of seventeen.

It was a low scoring game, with the winner only getting 49 out of a possible 80 points. Three out of four incorrectly predicted that Dylan would be a girl. Dylan arrived sooner than all but two predicted. All but one person predicted that Dylan would be lighter than he was. The twenty points allocated to time were the toughest to get; only two people scored more than ten. And, yes, there was a spreadsheet to calculate the scoring and indicate the winner.

You'll all be glad to know that bribes did not work in this case. My boss, who had many attempts at "voo-doo magic" (Nick's words, not mine) actually finished the day in last place. (Nick should be glad to know that the guesses he offered on Friday 16 January would have put him in a tie for first place.) Perhaps now I should start thinking about some peace offerings before raise time!

Ime eftihismeni.
Geoff? Eftihismenos.
Dylan? Kourasmenos. Poli.

Posted by geoff at 02:22 in /family/dylan

24 January 2004 10:21 am

Next-Generation Rocker-Glider

Dylan's First DaysI've been spending quite a bit of time in the newest chair in our house. While the rocker-glider is an excellent piece of furniture, I've had time to contemplate some features that I would request for the next model. Of course, some are just wishful thinking, but innovation has to start somewhere.

The rocker-glider that we have is a Shermag and has the accompanying ottoman. The chair rocks in a sort of gliding fashion. Unlike some models that we tested in the store, it doesn't rock back so far that I'm afraid of falling over backwards. There is the feature to lock the chair in a number of positions, reclined or not, so that it doesn't rock/glide by using a simple lever on the side of the chair. The ottoman also has the ability to glide with the chair. Basically, when one's feet are on it, it moves with the motion of the chair. I've been using it in the fixed position. There is a nursing footstool built-in to the chair, which is basically an inclined surface on which to rest one's feet. This is the mode that I've been using it.

Sounds great, huh? But, it could be so much better! And I've had plenty of time to ponder some features that I would incorporate.

Foot controls for all the current and future features are essential. When I am sitting in the chair, my hands are full. Currently, it is still an effort to get something within reach or to adjust the position of the chair. As more features are added, a system to easily use them will be important. This doesn't need to be too sophisticated. Think trackball or other mousing device for the foot. Or simple voice-activated commands; however, this mode might be tough depending upon the noise level coming from the little one.

One common theme to many of my proposed features involves storage and retrieval of items.

First, a blanket holder. This can easily be located behind the chair and swing out within reach on demand. It definitely needs to have space for more than one type of blanket or burp cloth. And to allow easy selection of the blanket desired. It would be nice if the holder was also a positioner so that I wouldn't have to free one hand to place the blanket on the little guy in my lap or on my shoulder.

A 360-degree mirror. Or perhaps a small video camera. A fiber-optic one. If they can use them for viewing inside of plumbing systems, they can't be too high tech these days. There were many times when I would wonder whether Dylan's hair whirl is clockwise or counter-clockwise. Unfortunately, these times were all when we were both in the chair with him facing me. When I had the chance to look, other issues were more pressing. Another important use of the mirror is to see Dylan's face when he's on my shoulder burping. It's feasible, although not easy, if his head is turned toward me. It's impossible if his face is turned away from me. The mirror could be located anywhere around the chair to look inward. By the way, for those who are now wondering, he has a clockwise hair whirl.

Beverage holder. The concept here is quite similar to the beer holder hat. You know, the one that has room for two beverages and has a tube that can run directly into the wearer's mouth. Mine would contain multiple options for beverages. My current preference rotates between orange, apple, and grape juices. A small refrigeration system should be incorporated to keep the beverages cold.

Book holder with page turner. We're not yet a paperless society. And I doubt that the day when the hospital sends you home with information on an electronic device rather than paper is coming anytime soon. So, this device would hold books, pamphlets, papers, etc. and position the item. Of course, adding the option to view web sites on the main control monitor should also be included to allow access to more references. As we learned, there are all sorts of questions that new parents have!

Built-in speaker phone. I'm awake anyway. But in our current set-up, it's not feasible to use the time to call family and friends. Enough said.

CD player. Or MP3 player. Again, making use of the main control center and foot controls to select desired music for the moment.

Well, I'll continue to ponder.

Update: Oma wrote, "The proposed chair certainly sounds like the next generation of rocker gliders. Since you do not have all these attachments to occupy your time, contemplate a similar chair for retirees. Now I could use one of those!"

Update: Ker wrote, "Don't forget the button that zaps Geoff to wakeness in case you need emergency help or just for fun!"

Update: Grandma wrote, "You really don't want too much. Sounds like quite a system-but maybe an invention you two could conceive. I enjoyed reading about it."

Posted by geoff at 10:21 in /family

20 January 2004 11:38 pm

Dylan James Schmit

Dylan Arrives Home On 18 January 2004, at 2:22pm CST, Dylan James Schmit was born. He was seven pounds, fifteen ounces and twenty and three quarter inches long. Mom and Dylan are both doing great. We took some pictures of Dylan in the hospital.

Posted by geoff at 23:38 in /family/dylan

20 January 2004 9:33 pm


Snowdown A cold wind blows rain;
walkers, heads down, slowly climb
up to Eryri.

Stretton, Staffordshire, England
January 2003

Dad, Mom, Grant, Carolyn, and I climbed Snowdon (Eryri is the Welsh name), the highest peak in Wales, on New Years Day 2003. It was cold, cloudy, and windy all the way to the top. The sun finally broke through the clouds as we were heading back down.

Posted by geoff at 21:33 in /poetry

20 January 2004 5:56 pm

Bush in 30 Seconds

The winners have been announced in the Bush in 30 Seconds content sponsored by The ads are great. The winning ad is suppose to air during tonight's State of the Union and the Superbowl. Well see about tonight, but CBS has reportedly refused to run the ad. Another example, like not airing the Reagan mini-series, of the "out-of-control liberal media." Good thing we don't have to worry about the homogenization of the media infringing on free speech; or, in this case, even not-so-free speech.

Posted by geoff at 17:56 in /politics

20 January 2004 5:03 pm


Welcome to Carolyn and I have set up this site to share news and photos which family and friends.

On the left side are links to various categories of photo albums: family, vacations, and woodworking. Each category contains an index of albums. Below the categories of photo albums are categories of journal entries: family, hobbies, poetry, and soapbox. Most of the journal entries will be topical except for the poetry category in which I will post, over time, various poems I have written in the last 20 years.

This entry is posted under the hobbies journal category since this web site has now become a hobby of mine. For those who may be interested, this web site is powered by Movable Type, Apache, MySQL, and Mac OS X. Content is created in BBEdit and iPhoto with the help of BetterHTMLExport. All content on this web site, unless otherwise noted, is licensed under a Creative Commons License. This web site's markup should validate as valid XHTML; its layout, valid CSS; and its feed, valid RSS. If you have a modern, standards-compliant browser, and this site look odd, please let me know.

Posted by geoff at 17:03 in /web