Wednesday, June 30, 2004
It has been a moderately busy day, ergo, the lack of posting. Most of my activity revolved around the problems we have been having with Amazon refunds. To date, we have over-refunded about 2000$ to about 29 customers. Ouch. That's what you get for tracking things AFTER they have been done. If the tracking fails, you just keep doing it over and over again. And over, and over ad nasuim. Money down the tubes. Nice segway to my discussion with the insurance guy. I finally got a hold of this guy and talked about the implications of the whole car accident. The final verdict is that they will 'total' the car. They indicated that the car would be valued at about 3.5-3K and they will send me a check for 80% of that this week. Then they will give me the other 20% once I sign over the title to them. What a pain. If the damn air-bags didn't deploy, the damage would be fixable for less than the deductible. Stupid air-bags. Stupid car. Stupid insurance. In any event, I will need to call my regular insurance broker and have him remove the car from the policy so I don't have to pay for it's coverage any-more. As for the other woman involved in the incident? She is visiting her doctor for the whip-lash and will be going back to him in 3 weeks for a follow-up. She does not know if she has full tort or limited tort, so she doesn't know if she wants to sue for more. What that means is she has limited tort. You have to ask and PAY for full tort. I know, I have full tort. Its a negotiation tool for me. People don't mess with you if they see you packing a insurance policy loaded with a full tort. Mmmmm, full tort. Here's the kicker, I have NEVER used that option. In fact, I have never even considered suing anyone I have ever been in an accident with. They have all been accidents, no malice or blatant negligence involved. I'm starting to fall into one of my rants. The whole litigation society thing. It makes my blood boil. Resolve things on your own, take responsibility for your actions, courtesy and respect, blah-blah-blah. SIGH
In any event, once we get the cash, I'll start looking for the Mrs's new (read: used) Ford Taurus.
In lighter news, I was reading my usual battery of blogs and sites when I happened upon a posting from Erik. Makes me feel good that I can bring some joy/happiness/non-un-happiness to other peoples lives. Hey Erik, keep up the good fight! And don't get so worked up over the neighbor-hood punks, they will be in your shoes some day. Karma or something. All it is doing for you now is making your stomach sour. Get yourself a metal mail-box that locks or something. I replaced my mail box with a new one a while back (pre-kids) and have not had any problems with it yet. Of course, it's one of those monster ones that you can park a AC130 gun-ship in. And the post is a 4x6 with 5' of it buried in the ground. Heh, it could probably stop the snow-plow that took out the other one. Stop it dead in its tracks, its blade wrapped around it like a Christmas gift. If not, the next post will be a steel I-Beam.
On the kid-front, it was a hard day. I'm back to picking up the kids in the Saturn. It's like trying to re-fill a can of worm. Jacob is doing his best to avoid me by diving from the drivers seat to the passenger side while Alexis arches her back to keep from being buckled in. They don't like my car very much, it doesn't have the vantage point for looking out the windows that the van has. When I picked up Jacob, he had a new set of clothes on. He had a little blow-out. Ever since his sour stomach bout on Sunday and Monday, his 'stool' has been quite, ummm, fluid. If you don't catch him when he soils himself, it seems to migrate out of his diaper and up his back. It's not an experience I envy. Especially with Jake the Jovial Jostler. He twists and turns and makes changing him like trying to hold a set of springs down. You let go of one leg or arm to do something and it is either in the diaper or he levers himself away from you and ZING! away he goes. Joyce was out of state at the indoctrination session so she didn't get home until about 7:30-7:45ish. I had already gotten the kids bathed and was just settling down to try to get them to drink some milk. So in the end, I pretty much ran the house till about 8:00-8:15 last night and I was dead tired. I ended up just laying on the floor for a while instead of doing anything useful. I thought I was dead tired but for some bizarre reason, I kept on waking up all night long. I don't think I got more than 2 consecutive hours of sleep. Perhaps it was too warm. Perhaps I was thinking too much. Perhaps I should have had a couple of vodka martinis before I went to bed. I'll try that tonight. Since Mrs MDMHVONPA will be home early on Thursday, I'll be mowing the lawn. Then, I will be tired.
No-Mow the lawn Wednesday
Got up late today. Well, more like 'later' than anything. Six am isn't exactly sleeping till noon, you know. Things went slowly too. I eventually got out of the house at 6:45 and to work by 7:30. Since Mrs MDMHVONPA will be at a remote site today, she will not be able to pick up the Twin Twisters of Totalitarian Toddlecracy. Which in turn, means that the weekly lawn harvest will have to wait until a later date. The remote site is in another state, so there is no hope of her shortening the commute. The class ends at 5pm, no hope of her skipping out on the indoctrination session either. So be it, I will a nice break to actually spend time with the little clever ones instead of withering in the sweltering heat. One thing that really needs to get done is going to have to wait till the Mrs gets home though. The Agricultural Sector needs some attention. The Green Bean Supplemental Harvest is becoming problematic. I've been out to the back 500 twice and I have not gotten past the first row of beans before my basket is overflowing. I end up picking the damn Japanese beetle off too and wasting my time with that. I have moved to an alternate method for dealing with those little buggers, I'm putting them in a little glass jar and setting them off to the side of the garden. Let them roast in the sun, messy, but they don't come back to continue the destruction. There will be NO recidivism
! I'm also spending way too much time trying to keep the squash out of the beans and vice-versa. Next year, I'm going to have to put up a steak line like I do for the peas to keep the pole-beans from flopping over onto the squash. The squash have completely overgrown their area and the towers I built for them to climb are nothing but a mound of vines punctuated with the occasional splash of light orange flowers. And the tomatoes have gone utterly bezerk. A victim of my own agricultural success. I'll let them go for now, they tend to be quite hearty and cutting them back in a machete-hacking sort of way doesn't seem to affect them much.
Tuesday, June 29, 2004
I stole this whole thing from Lileks. I had to, it just mattered that much. It begs the question though, why do so many damn socialists live in Minnesota! Little pricks, move to Canada already, or Switzerland, or something ...
A minor political note, if you’re interested in such things. The other day a young girl came to the door to solicit my support for her presidential candidate. I asked her why I should vote for this man. She was very nice and earnest, but if you got her off the talking points she was utterly unprepared to argue anything, because she didn’t know what she was talking about. She had bullet points, and she believed that any reasonable person would see the importance of these issues and naturally fall in line. But she could not support any of her assertions. Her final selling point: Kerry would roll back the tax cuts.
Then came the Parable of the Stairs, of course. My tiresome, shopworn, oft-told tale, a piece of unsupportable meaningless anecdotal drivel about how I turned my tax cut into a nice staircase that replaced a crumbling eyesore, hired a few people and injected money far and wide - from the guys who demolished the old stairs, the guys who built the new one, the family firm that sold the stone, the other firm that rented the Bobcats, the entrepreneur who fabricated the railings in his garage, and the guy who did the landscaping. Also the company that sold him the plants. And the light fixtures. It’s called economic activity. What’s more, home improvements added to the value of this pile, which mean that my assessment would increase, bumping up my property taxes. To say nothing of the general beautification of the neighborhood. Next year, if my taxes didn’t shoot up, I had another project planned. Raise my taxes, and it won’t happen – I won’t hire anyone, and they won’t hire anyone, rent anything, buy anything. You see?
“Well, it’s a philosophical difference,” she sniffed. She had pegged me as a form of life last seen clilcking the leash off a dog at Abu Ghraib. “I think the money should have gone straight to those people instead of trickling down.” Those last two words were said with an edge.
“But then I wouldn’t have hired them,” I said. “I wouldn’t have new steps. And they wouldn’t have done anything to get the money.”
“Well, what did you do?” she snapped.
“What do you mean?”
“Why should the government have given you the money in the first place?”
“They didn’t give it to me. They just took less of my money.”
That was the last straw. Now she was angry. And the truth came out:
“Well, why is it your money? I think it should be their money.”
Then she left.
And walked down the stairs. I let her go without charging a toll. It’s the philanthropist in me.
Ooops, the CIA found some more WMD ... darn it.
Apparently, some people out there think Nato is effectively dead. With the massive bungling in Kosovo and the obvious lack of contributions, if America decided to pull out, all you would have left is a bunch of empty offices.
Work it b2b baby
Gha, work is a bust today. While I was preoccupied yesterday, my work-world went into the shitter. I launched a product feed yesterday afternoon and after four hours of processing, it came up bust. Nada, nothing in the file. This is because a file that is supposed to be migrated between the production database and one of the staging databases is not happening.
The b2b system was in flux. For some reason, there were a huge number of rejected files in the error directory. When I looked in the processing directory, I found nothing. After a few moments of panic and a lot of searching, I found that the error files had been processed but their lack of presence in the processed directory was due to a half-assed cleanup effort. The files should have been deleted in BOTH directories.
The Knot, a wedding gift list/registry was having problems getting a file picked up and processed for the last week. Upon searching the 300 MB log file for this order in the B2B processing system, I came up empty. Not a sign of it in the transition directories or the database. Odd, so I take a peek at the feed host and finally find it in a special directory. For some reason, the downloaded file was missing a critical component and could not be converted. Why no-one was alerted is beyond me.
The day after
The week stared out rough, but by comparison, is getting better. Our ailing Jovial Joker Jacob did well last night. No Lunch Launch or Dinner Distress. He slept through the night with nary a peep. I should know, I got up no less than 3 times to check on him. Not so much that I set an alarm to get up, I was awake of other reasons. Recently, I have had a persistent itching on my back that is hard to satisfy. Partly from the pealing of my sun-burn, partly from the bizarre MS symptoms. The MS pins&needles was always there and I could ignore it, but the sun-burn pushed me over the limit. I have a hair brush with a long handle on the head board that is just long enough to reach that one area of my back I just cant get at unassisted. Stupid MS, stupid sunburn, stupid sun ... stupid daddy. One of the other wake-up calls was a pretty heavy thunderstorm. I had opened a few windows to let the hot air out of the house so I needed to run from room to room and close the windows. If it were not for the lightning and thunder, I probably would not have done it. I would probably have spent the morning mopping up the Pacific Sea in the various rooms if I had not gone through with the exercise. The Hounds of the Hinterlair were not pleased with the rain either. Their beds are situated right under the open windows. When I got there, they were just standing and waiting for me. The minute I closed the windows, they curled up on their beds and went back to sleep. Heh, I guess they are settling down a bit. Silly labs, not liking water and all.
Speaking of water, the meter guy is supposed to show up today. This annual activity really gets me tweaked off. They only work from 9 till 4 and they INSIST that I be present when they install the meter at the curb. There is no good reason for this. The last two summers, I show up about 5 minutes before the appointment only to find that the work has been done and the 'Water Guy' is preparing to leave. The hardest part is even getting them to call an hour ahead of time so I know when to be there.
Absurd. With a drought warning coming, I'm sure there will be water restrictions and I will have to pay 20$ a month for the meter despite the insistence that I don't use the sprinkler system. Of course, over the last 4 days we have had 2 pretty significant rain storms. Perhaps I am just fomenting over nothing. Perhaps.
UPDATE: The water guy called at 10am and let me know that as long as the sprinkler is turned off, he doesn't give a damn if I am there or not. I'm still waiting for the slackers at the Helpless Desk to call me about them calling me 1 hour before the water guy shows up after 12noon. Wack-jobs.
Monday, June 28, 2004
It was only an accident
Well, today is not a good start for the week. This morning at about 5:15, Jacob throw up again. This time, he did not have the good fortune to stay out of the mess. This time, I needed to get a bath ready while I let the Mrs try to comfort the confused little guy while his sister protested fiercely. The Hounds of the Haupertonian Underlair were voicing much discontent as well. Nobody was happy this morning. While I bathed the unhappy little guy, Mrs MDMHVONPA took care of Moi-Moi and got her somewhat satisfied. I could hear her calling from the kitchen for company. Not content to sit and watch Television alone. Eventually, Jacob was cleaned, dressed and fed. I left him in the expert maternal care of his Ma-Ma so I could attend to the dogs and let them out. They were in their right minds and did not leave an additional mess for me to deal with. I filled their bowls with munchy-crunchy oh so good food and gave them a full bowl of water. Doing that as quickly as possible, since I had dumped some scorched olive oil out back yesterday. It soaked into the soil and make it apparently very tasty to the dogs. Last time Joyce let them out, they spent a good chunk of time eating oiled dirt. Yum. Ok, Kids ... dogs... mommy ... Time to shower and shave. I got all prepped up ready to go. Give the kids something to eat for breakfast, put the dogs in their kennels. Time to go. Give everyone a kiss, hug Jacob the Unhappy Joker, and get out on the road. Traffic is light, got started earlier. Get to work at 7. Well, things are shaping up! Give the Mrs a call to see how the kids are doing. Its still to early, she has just gotten to day-care. Ok, call me when you are done, make sure Jacob is ok.
Cut to the chase, Jacob has graduated to the next room so he is away from Alexis for now. Fewer fights, less biting. Good stuff. Then Joyce Calls, with bad news. Jacob had drank a lot of water and threw up again. Argh. Not good, poor guy must have something sour in his stomach. He will become dehydrated if this keeps up. I let her know that day-care should call me and I'll go get him if this trend continues. We may have to bring him in to the Pediatrician's office. So much for getting the additional wood for phase III. Best laid plans of men and ... daddy. I resign myself to having a long and difficult week, but the day had just begun. Things were going to get worse.
Joyce calls again a few moments later. Not good, something is either wrong or she will is intending on doing some early morning shopping. Either way, I need to break from work and find a quiet corner to talk. Then she lowers the boom. "I was just in a car accident." What? "I hit a car, what do I do?" Oh no, I'm stunned. A whirl of things flash through my head, but I manage to sputter "Is everyone ... are you ok?". She replies "I dont know, my arm is banged up, I haven't seen the other driver." I tell her to call 911 and call me back. I compose myself for a couple minutes and call her back. The police have already arrived by that time and she is relaying details to them. I find out that the car is un-drivable and will need to be towed. I let her know Im on my way and I will arrange for a tow to someplace that can fix the car. Probably a Ford dealship like C&C or Kennedy. I let my boss know that I HAVE to leave and I dont know if I'm coming back. I rush out the door and start going through my PDA looking for numbers and pulling assorted details about the Taurus. DAMN. It was a 96 and it only had about 85K miles on it. I learn later that the air-bags have deployed and I worry about her ribs. I know after a bang-up like that, you don't usually feel the hurt till long after. I spend quite a bit of time on the phone with the insurance company scheduling a tow and submitting the claim. It takes a while because I'm trying to do this while rolling down the turnpike at the tail end of rush-hour traffic. Its 8:15 on Monday so there is little love or tolerance going around. I eventually get the claim and the tow ironed out and notice that I have 2 missed calls on my phone. I promptly call Joyce knowing that one of the calls came from her. Is she on the way to the hospital? No, she is at the police station and they towed away the cars from the accident site! Oh no, my tow is going to a place where there is no car and the adjuster is going to a place where there will be no car. Damn efficient Warminister police! I now have to find out where the police station is and then find where the car ended up. On top of that, the other driver insisted on being taken to the hospital in an ambulance because of whip-lash. I smell a lawsuit in the making. I eventually wind my way through the congested back-roads to find the battered Mrs MDMHVONPA standing among infant seats and other assorted possessions disgorged from her crippled conveyance. She is busily yammering away on the phone, trying to get directions to the final resting place of her beloved car. Her first car, the car I bought for her in 1996 before she even had a permit. I load my tiny little saturn with all her vehicular possessions and we get under-way to the tow-yard. It is in Ivyland somewhere and the directions we have been given are dubious.
After missing the turn twice and having to fight our way through a road-closure, we eventually find Max Million and Sons at about 9:15am. We go in and they tell us that the car is out back, but they think it is totaled? What? Totaled, how? Did you drop it off a cliff? No, its because the air-bags went off and they will cost about 2K each to remove and replace. The car, if it was not in an accident would have been worth 3K per the blue-book. The repairs will be 8K. Windshield, dash, steering column, hood, fenders, front end, radiator ... its a complete mess. We solemnly empty the car and as a final act, I remove the plate from the car. I can tell that the Mrs is near tears. She really loved that car. I like it a lot because it was easy to change the oil and filters. The filter can be reached right in front, the oil pan is right there ... and now I have a stack of filters that I no longer have a use for. I cannot even use them on the saturn or the mini-van. As we drive off towards home, I let the Mrs know that it will all be ok. That in the end, she can have my car, she could drive the mini-van or if we have enough spare cash, we could get a used car with less than 10K miles on it. She has never been comfortable in any car but her Taurus and I don't think we could afford to rent a car. She will need to use the mini-van till we make a decision. The Insurance company will probably total the car and give us a 2K check ( after tax and deductibles). After replacing the tires on the car 6 months ago, it will be of little consolation. We will now have 2 car loans, a mortgage and the expense of daycare all at the same time. Lovely. We will persevere. We must, because we have a birthday coming up! Its going to be a very long week, and the Mrs will need a bit of support to get through it.
It's already Monday. That means we have less than a week to prepare for the barbarians at the gate. As for yesterday, it turned out that Sunday was going to be a long day, a really long day. At about 5am, Jacob had woken up and was making a lot of noise. More so than his usual morning complaints. So I flop out of bed in my usual uncoordinated way and get the morning milk ready. As I bumble into the nursery, I am greeted by an overwhelming wave of stench. You know the smell, you just are unable to identify it right off. The sickly sweet smell of regurgitate milk and other assorted food-stuffs. For some reason, Jacob had thrown up and managed to not get any of it on himself. It was on the other end of the crib, covered up by a pillow. There was a lot of it and a great amount of fluids too. I quickly hauled him out of detainment center and brought him into our bedroom. He was his usual jovial self, as if nothing had happened. After he got his morning shot of milk, I got his co-conspirator and gave her an equal amount of liquid libations. I started to come to at this time and realized that I had awoken not to Jacob's protestations, but to a more heinous force ... I had a migrane. Why is it that I usually get them on the weekends? I don't know, but I rarely wake up with them. Upon making this realization, I set off the emergency flares and called in for close air support from the 3rd Vioxx Air-wing and the 101st Maxalt Artillery Brigade. I had no time for this and I was going to pull out all the stops to make sure it was finished before I was. While Joyce was entertaining the onerous offspring, I got busy with the tasks at hand. Strip down the bed, wipe down the mattress with orange scented anti-bacterial spray and throw the sheets, blankets and pillows into the wash ... extra-hot cycle. I quickly re-made the bed with sheets Mrs MDMHVONPukecleanup had gotten out. I was on a roll and I wasn't going to stop and let the migrane move in on me. I decided that since the Haupert Horde was treating mommy right, I would put up the mirrored sliding closet doors in the hallway and clean out the old office room of assorted chunks of wood and sawdust. Bing-Bang-Boom, instant guest room. Just have to raise the titanic (bed-set) from the garage to the new guest room. Oh boy, was that a mis-calculation. Mr Super-Dad had to call in the Mrs for an assist. Nancy-boy. Well, ok, I needed help so I didn't knock every picture off the wall. But that is done, so I can now move the TV from the hall-way into the room and get it out of the way. Horay! One more task down. TV plugged in, phone hooked up, bed set out, rug unfurled. Looking good. I think I'll let the Mrs take care of the bed-sheets. I've had my fill of them today.
The day is still young, So I think I'll scrub the back deck and re-paint it with stain. The front deck was a real doosie because I wanted to scrub it down to the bare (untainted) wood. Here, I just needed a good soaping and let it dry out. That took very little time, except trying to move 5 bags worth of play sand in the Great Haupertonian Desert across the Deck 'outback'. With a bit of effort, I managed to get it into the corner of the deck ... looks like that part will not be treated today ... or tomorrow, or probably until sometime beyond the 4th of July. It took a while to get the whole deck done, but about the time I finished, it was time to feed the little cranky ones and send them off to a mid-day slumber. Thankfully, it went quite well. They ate some, drank some, protested, chattered and eventually nodded off. Ahhhh, some more time to ... well, do more work. Off to stain the deck! Wo-hooo! Open the can of stain and find that the pigment had settled to the bottom in a pasty, hardened cake ... argh. Just shaking this like a 8.5 on the Richter will not re-constitute this mess. But wait, I'm an engineer ... I know EXACTLY what to do. Take a bit of wood from the dowel I used for the stair-rail and make it into a mixing wand by hammering a piece of wood to the bottom. Put it in the drill and let her rip! SPLOOSH! Well, ok. It seemed like a good idea. I just need to keep the variable speed drill at a more reasonable speed other than full-twirling-dervish-speed. Friggen stain everywhere, mostly on me. Ack, it isn't water soluble either ... Thompson water repellent stuff. Nasty. Well, ok, I can survive. Lets just get the deck done and move on. Well, its about 1:30pm now and the sun is about 3 inches from the deck. Hot, hot, hot and me with bare feet. I whiz through the can pretty quickly and have just enough to finish the portion covered by the Great Haupertonian Desert when the time comes. It looks real nice. No more stains or mildew. Of course, All I was wearing was a pair of shorts. My Milky white back was ... HA-HA! I listened to the Mrs this time and she slathered my back with sun-block ... and since I was hunched over the whole time, by chest and abdomen are still a nice brilliant white. Well done on one side, raw on the other. Nice. Deck done, yet another victory ... a vindication of sorts for the Super-dad of lore.
In celebration of my victory, and given the dryness of the day, it would be a good time to, ugh, wash the dogs. Now washing Thor is akin to washing a bison. Wads and wads of fur, punctuated with the occasional goober of jelly-like slobber. He is compliant, but rather annoyed. I know not where this lab came from, but for his size and disdain of any volume of water, I really think is not a pure-bred Labrador retriever. Perhaps something more in the line of a long extinct branch cousin of a wholly mammoth. Katie is a different story all together. Washing her is like trying to shave a weasel. She too, is un-impressed with water, but will take every chance she can get to dart off and roll in the nearest mud-hole. With one hand on her mane and one on the sprayer, I managed to polish her off in half the time it took to wash her mammoth brother. Not before she got a few good shakes off that pretty much took care of the sun-block I was wearing. And the dog-hair. I will be pulling little strands of white hair out of my mouth, off my arms and from my hair for days. Once the dogs dry out a bit, they will be allowed back inside. The Mrs will have a chance to brush off some of the 2-3 hairs that are not embedded on my person and then they can go in an play with the kids when they wake up.
Okay, I'm on a roll so lets go clean up some dog poop. Yeah, my favorite. Thor, in his weirdness, likes to spin around when he relives himself. No big pile of logs for him, his centripetal force sends them flying all over the place, so I have to hunt them down and incarcerate every little lump, watching my step every for God only know where this stuff lies. Katie, on the other hand is even stranger. She will ... ummm, disposed of pre-enjoyed dog food twice every time I let her out. So, there are little piles all over the place for her. Fortunately, I mark the deposits with little orange flags whenever I notice the activity. Its just the surprise piles that catch me off-guard. I will be so much happier when we get the play-set for the kids built and I will have 600 square feet less to patrol for doggie-dip.
Ok, time for a victory lap. I walk through the garden and admire my lush tomato plants ... and then my towering peppers. Ohhh, lookie here. One of my Gypsy Sweets has produced some peppers large enough to pick! I snap one off and bite into it like an apple. It is heavenly. I then realize I am a bit thirsty. Perhaps I will go get a drink ... and then it catches my eye. My three rows of green beans are being devoured by Japanese beetles. The leaves look like stain-glass windows. This will NOT be permitted. I run into the house and grab every chemical and insecticidal soap I can find. I'm going to make Saddam and Chemical Ali look like high-school chem lab flunkies. As I gather up the armloads of toxins, I come to and realize why I have a garden to start with. Not to save money, but to have some produce that is not bathed in chemicals and other assorted compounds never seen by man in his entire evolutionary history. I set down my insect pogrom in the making and bring with me a sniper, a pair of gloves and a basket. I walk through the garden and slowly, patiently, cautiously, CRUSH EACH AND EVERY BEETLE WITH MY WRATHFUL HAND! DIE! DIE! DIE!!!! Bug guts spray everywhere and they crunch and snap between my fingers. All they way, I pluck the largest beans and drop them un-molested in my basket. After the battle, the carcasses of the enemy cover the field. Not a one was spared. I leave them behind as a warning to others that trespasses will not be tolerated. It will be rebuked with final force! Then I set up a Beetle trap on the other side of the lawn. Take THAT! And then, only then, do I fill my 2.5 gallon sprayer and proceed to drench the flowers with a layer of insecticidal soap. There will be NO survivors. While I'm at it, I get some Weed-be-gone and take my wrath to the horticultural kingdom. Weeds shall perish too! HULK SMASH! Ahem ... yes. As an act of attrition, I plant 18 mums in memory of the displaced and the vanquished. That, and they look pretty.
Sunday, June 27, 2004
Oh boy, if Bush lied, then so did Clinton. No good for the LLL!
Saturday, June 26, 2004
Ok, Yeah, I know. I'm late, but I've been pre-occupied. The weekends are the 2 days that you get to match the work that you didn't/couldn't/tried to do in the 5 days before. That and an extending time to allow you to make feeble attempts in sustaining your web of friendships, however threadbare they may be. On Friday evening, I got a call from an old co-worker turned friend. Actually, it was his Scandinavian/Nordic wife, Inger. Of all the people I have ever met, Dave and Inger have got to be the most pleasant people I know. As far as hosts go, they are surpassed by none. The dinner conversations are always engaging and the post-dinner activities (coffee, nightcap, etc...) are simple yet elegant. We had been invited to come on over to enjoy a dinner with them. This has not happened in quite some time. With the Twin Twisters of Terpitude, the ravishing Mrs Mdmhvonpa and I rarely got time to talk let alone enjoy a night out. When Inger invited us over, I quivered with anticipation of my long abandoned social hat coming out of retirement. I steadied myself and asked Joyce if she had any plans for Saturday Afternoon ... No? Excellent. So here is the plan, we leave home at 2pm and get to the BBQ by 3. The plan, yeah, ummm ... have you forgotten Mr Mouse? You know, the best laid plans of men and ... oh, nevermind. We did get going at 2:15 and we did get there at about 3:05. I had not been to their house in years ... probably 3 years now. But some crusty old synapse rose to the occasion and not a wrong turn or lane-shift was made. Flawless execution! Of course, you know that the kids only went to bed at 12-12:30 and leaving at 2 did not give them an adequate amount of time to nap. When I woke Alexis the Siren of Shriek, she gave me a glare out of one eye that would make a Special Ops Ranger wet his pants. Fortunately, she nodded off on the drive over so her ire was repressed and stockpiled for a future occasion. When we arrived, Alexis was sufficiently wary of these new people (even though not more than 1 year ago, the kids had threw up on Dave and Inger). Jacob, being who he is, rushed right in and commenced on surveying the territory. "Hmmm, what is the most valuable and most fragile? What will make the most pieces and loudest noise?" I can read his thoughts as the virtual horns sprout from his temples. I'm alert and prepared as we herd them into a room with a pile of toys in the center. Ahhh, David and Inger are prepared beyond my greatest expectations. I hand over the 2 bottles of gift wine as David and I spend some time going over recent developments for our common friends. All the while, the twins run in and out, closely tailed by Joyce and Inger. Inger, of course, was once a maternity nurse and had raised 3 boys of her own. A virtual tome of knowledge about rambunctious toddlers. As it turns out, the local neighbors had also produced twins and were expected to vist as soon shortly. They also had a boy and a girl and were nearly the same age as our children. I'm thinking quietly that this is going to be like throwing gasoline on a grease fire in a dynamite factory. The 2nd set of twins, (Ivan and Lotisha?) were raised at home with their mother. This was an interesting fact in that our darlings were at day-care since week 6. I think calling Jacob and Alexis aggressive or assertive would be like calling the sun 'rather largeish'. The contrast was shocking. Needless to say, the 'other' twins looked like they were in a coma, even though the parents insisted that they were very active. We talked, the kids played, we chased the kids, the kids laughed (at our pitiful attempts). It was fun for Inger and David to see how high our 'little monsters' could climb and that they knew how to extract the magnetic tape from a VCR cartridge. Later on in the evening, the chocolate covered sugar bombs with more sugar are passed out quickly followed up by frozen sugar fruit drinks on a stick with extra sugar and a second helping of chocolate bombs. Once the children have consumed 50% of the treats and smeared the other 50% on themselves and anything fabric or non-washable in sight. The terrible Two Tempers start to shine. It was a wonderful time and exhausting for all of us. The Neighbor with Twins and the surprise visit from the other neighbor with a two-year old and Dog ... it was all fun, but 7 adults can never hope to keep up with 5 children hopped up on sugar and frantic 'its getting late' energy. We called it a night at about 6:30 and rounded up the troops. We did our goodbye's and eagerly anticipated the cessation of hostilities from the kids once we got on the road. Withing minutes, Alexis had nodded off and Jacob went into a trance, watching the scenery go by. The evening went well. Alexis slept for a bit longer on the couch while Jacob, in his typical weird way, enjoyed his cold shower. Why possesses him to turn on the cold water and then let the shower rain the little ice-cubes down on him is beyond me. He dances and shrieks in joy as his befuddled parents watch on. The giggles and laughter wake his sister so it promptly becomes all business. Warm bath, followed by warm milk and off to bed. 8:30pm ... time for mommy and daddy to get to work. We got things to do, no matter how tired we may be. We listen to Alexis chatter for 30 minutes and we set off on our tasks. I have the memories from the evening to console me as I happily labor away to make a better tomorrow for our children.
Friday, June 25, 2004
As an ex-resident of the Metro Binghamton area (Vestal), I find it interesting when news from my old home-town comes up. Of course the news, be it what it may, is rarely very interesting or heartwarming. This however, is a tad warming and slightly interesting.
Just so you dont forget, here is a sysnopsis
of where Al is these days.
Your standard Lump-in-Throat, flag saluting posts that you have to read courtesy of Frank Cagle
It looks like the hens have come home to roost for the NY Times. In our legal system, we call this failure to disclose such evidence a big no-no. I wonder what they thought they were doing when they released it. Did they think they could slide it under our noses and no-one would notice?
Dammit! There is an ant in my coffee. Not a little, speedy-Gonzales type of ant, this is a big honker with wings. They have been falling from the ceiling all week now and this one just met it's doom by going right into my life-force beverage. I hope this is the karmic payback for my 'Good Fortune Morning'. A whole cup of coffee ... I wonder. Naw, toss and brew, nothing else will do. Working here has been interesting enough (and by interesting, I mean infuriating) without being over-run by ants.
Got a late start on the day this morning. I was watching a movie last night on cable. It was about this Anglo and an African-American who worked together to do the first open-heart surgery. They did this to save 'Blue Babies'. It was a fantastic film. The black man, Vivian', was a carpenter by trade. In the end, he was the directory of laboratories at John Hopkins hospital where he taught heart surgeons how to do things properly. All his life he wanted to go to college and become a doctor. In the end, they gave him an honorary doctorate. I couldn't stop watching it till the end at 1:30 am. That is why I did not get up till 6:30 am. I never caught the title of the film, but I can live with that. The late start was complicated by one of the dogs yacking up a bunch of chewed up rubber from one of their chew toys. I had also forgotten to unload the wash into the dryer last night and fill the bottles with milk for the Twin Twisters of Tremendous Tenacity. With all that said and done, I did manage to get to work by 7:45 and had pretty much no incidents on the turnpike. Bizarre. I'm going to pay for this good fortune down the road somewhere, I'm sure.
Thursday, June 24, 2004
Grams and Gramps
Funny thing I neglected to mention over the last few days. About two weeks ago, my parents (Amish Super-dad and Investment Wiz Memory-mom) came down for a visit. Grams helped the over-burdened (and yet alluring) Mrs MDMHVONPA managed the twins for a while as that young whipper-snapper dad of mine put up the hand-rail on the staircase. In any event, our daughter Alexis (da Brain) was keen on visiting them in the morning by running down to the room they were sleeping and spending a good hour or so cuddling and hiding their toiletries. She was very upset when they left and was in a pretty awful mood for some time afterwards. Needless to say, every morning since then, she goes down to the guest bedroom and tries to get in to find 'Grams and Gramps'. Every morning she is upset that they are nowhere to be found until I show her the picture in the hallway. Her face brightens up as she points to the picture with a squeal of delight. I think that if she was aware of temporal persistence, she would be asking when they would be down again. She will certainly be delighted when they show up for the big 2nd birthday bash on July 4th.
I got this link from Sgt Hook
today, via Brutally Honest
. Every time I think it's safe, I hit one of thoes damn sites that turns me into a sobbing mess. Thnx Sgt, Thnx Rcksteroni, Thnx Nathan Adams Elementary School.
Dollar Pint Thursday
Ahhh, I think I might try my luck and visit the Rock Bottom Brew Pub again to put down a few pints ... at 1$ each. Is that considered avarice or gluttony? Maybe both. I'm on the fence about it though. I'm still feeling the effects from LAST Thursday. A little out of practice I suppose. Mmmmm, beer. Must drink more beer. My gut is not distended enough. That reminds me, I really need to get to the Beverage Center up the street and pick up a few cases of IPA and Lagers for the 4th of July weekend. Cant be a bad host! I'll probably pick up a cube of Coors Light too, for the people who really like to drink colored weasel piss.
Speaking of Weasel piss, work has been a complete mess this week. The JDA (don't ask, I have no friggen clue what it stands for) system is pretty foo-bar with product returns and I have not gotten an update on when it will be fixed. I cant process the returns and refunds until they fix it. Not a good thing. On top of that, the Amazon store project for gift wrap/gift message is starting to get hot. No-one wants to admit what is currently in place is hopelessly hacked and kludged. Well, some people will, but are pointing their fingers at the same time. I hate it when I lift a rock and find all kinds of nasties, only to be told that I should not have lifted the rock. On top of that, the critters under the rock are pretty tweaked that I exposed their corruption to boot. There is a lot of simmering hostility here about consultants poking holes in the (broken) paradigms. Always fun.
Good news is that I only got upset at one awful driver today, and it only lasted for about 10 minutes. It helps that I passed his pimply ass as I got off the PA Turnpike at KOP, but at least I made the effort to 'forgive' his trespass! Honest!
Wednesday, June 23, 2004
Donald Sensing seems to thing that the cultural/religious/racial war of the millennium is on. I tend to agree.
Mow the Lawn Wednesday, and much much more
Well, it went off without a hitch, but yet again I failed to apply insect repellent or have sufficient refreshments available. It seems to be a recurring problem with me. In the past, I used to spend more time preparing for the task at hand than actually completing the work. Make-work. Eventually, I have drifted to the other end where I just jump into the fray. At least I get things done these days. Mostly. I think I irritate my dad with the neurotic behavior I still retain of grabbing every tool or item we set down and putting them in one location. My mother feels notices the same behavior in the kitchen with any stray fork or cup I find. A place for everything and everything in its place. Perhaps I should make some places around the lawn for bottles of water.
Speaking of water, while I was 'harvesting' my lawn, Joyce called to let me know she was on her way home. She relayed a little tid-bit of information to me that is rather disturbing. It looks like Pennsylvania is going to be declaring a drought in the next few days. This now seems to be a perennial problem here. My lawn still has not recovered from the last drought. My poor scorched lawn, I had not even got the sprinkler system turned on yet. The Water Company guy will be showing up on the 29th to install the summer meter, just in time for the water restrictions. I know that when I follow the rules, everyone else on the block will have their sprinklers going full tilt all night long. Grrr. Makes me want to dig up the back yard and put a few under-ground cisterns in that I can collect rain-water in. Like I have that kind of time/money/insanity.
More on water sports. Every night, we bathe the Twin Twisters at about 8pm. Their schedule is important to us, keeps us sane. They really enjoy the bath for the most part. Jacob is enthralled with the knowledge that he can turn on and off the water in the tub. This does not bother me too much because I turned the temperature on the water heater down to a point where if only hot water came out, I could hold my hand there with no danger of getting scalded or even feeling much discomfort. Damn oil prices. *(build Nukes, brew ethanol ... dammit) On various occasions, Jacob the Jovial Joker will pull the stopper on the water spout that will turn on the shower. The water comes down and he runs to the other side of the tub in shock. His sister is much less amused. This time, he just turns on the cold water and stands there, giggling away. He seems to really enjoy having the cold water sprinkled down on him. Laughing and dancing and shrieking away. His sister stood at the other end of the tub, scowling and wagging her finger at him 'Yi-Yi Go-Go' (Cantonese for 'Naughty Big Brother'). As far as she is concerned, bath time is all business. She knows how to take her own clothes off, including her diaper, sometimes well in advance of the actual bath. Too smart. She will stand there with a wet wash-cloth and attempt to 'washie-washie' her rubber duckie and her Go-Go or anyone within reach. When asked, she will lift one foot at a time to allow you to wash it with soap. Way too smart. The lovely Mrs MDMHVONPA thinks that she may be ready for potty training. Too soon for me, she is still my baby girl!
I was thinking about that last night. The whole children thing. Then the weirdest realization came over me. I'm a father ... a parent ... to two (mostly) helpless children. It was a strange feeling. I've been so busy 'doing' the responsible loving parent thing for almost 2 years now that I never stopped and thought much about it. Just looking at their pictures on my desk makes me feel a strange kind of anxiety. The kind of feeling that you could do so much more and you should. You must. Is this the metaphysical change people speak of when you truly become a parent? Or is this an apex in my child-rearing years that makes me want more kids just before I become jaded. It's discomforting and yet, I can acknowledge that this unease is correct. That if I felt content, I may be under-performing and shorting my progeny of their fundamental needs. I need a martini. Maybe two.
Im starting to think that John Hawkins is using his blog as some sort of Jungian "collective unconscious" anger management tool. Once again, he lays it out in a way that makes the LLL croud wail and gnash.
Seed of Good or the whole damn tree?
Anyone who things that Iraq is one giant cross-fire needs to see what Cherenkoff
has put out recently. You will NEVER see this at AP, AFP, Reuters or any of the other 'Main-Stream' press outlets. This is a MUST READ.
Road Rage And You
Ugh. I spend quite a bit of time in my car every day. By that, I mean at least an hour total. Sometimes up to 2.5 hours. It may seem trivial at first glance, but in some circles, putting 70 miles under your belt a day is considered insane. This daily dosage of petro expenditure comes at a great cost to my morality. I'm not talking about spending 20$ for ten gallons of fuel every Wednesday (mow the lawn Wednesday, of course), but my ever growing disgust at even minor personal infractions committed by my fellow motorists. I even get upset when someone engages in maneuvers I myself would do if I were in their shoes. I catch myself quite often thinking of how I will screw up that person's commute when I get the chance. I try very hard to counter this 'victim retaliation' mentality when I feel it coming on. I think this bizarre turn came to me in small steps. An infringement here and a violation there have pushed me into a place where I consider virtually everyone around me as some sort of bellicose obliviate. Their world ends about 1 inch outside their bodies or the bodies of their car. In our culture of instant gratification and the promotion of self, we are our own victims. I need to really try not to allow myself to get so inflamed by the actions of others who don't comprehend or put any foresight into the potential outcome of their misguided actions. This kind of anger will burn me up and probably end up leaking into other facets of my life. I can not and will not allow that to happen. Even now, when my turrets syndrome like outbursts are mimicked by my daughter, I realize that it may be time to become that much more a better person.
Interesting development. My wife told me that she heard that there will be new taxes on things in Pennsylvania that were previously not taxed. I thought what she said was odd, but didn't think much of it. Rendell is a nice guy, but he needs to get the cash from somewhere. Then this morning, I heard the whole story on NPR. It turns out he wants to raise the income tax in PA by 1% ... I think we are at a pretty low 2.8% or something
like that. This is a trade off to eliminate school tax which I am all for, but not having a tax specifically for school purposes will add some grief to the whole budget process. There was a counter proposal put out that maybe there should now be tax on food, clothes and pharma which is not taxed
in PA now. This would hit the people who need relief the most. As a Jacksonian neo-con, I know that agreeing with a Democrat is heresy at best, traitorous blasphemy at worst. The goof-balls in Harrisburg need to take a lesson from Arnold and just cut to the chase and do what works. Do what is supported by the population
. As it is, I now have to pay a local school tax and a local income tax, half of later goes to the school. The idea was that once we started paying the income tax, our school tax/local property tax would be reduced. Never happened, not surprised. Frog in hot water, don't-cha know.
Tuesday, June 22, 2004
Next time Rather or Jennings or Kopple or any one of those crack-heads spouts how we are universally hated, think of this.
had a link to this this guy Drill Sergeant Rob and his rant about our 'disease within'. All I can say is that it is good to see that America still lives within the hearts of some of our citizens and soldiers.
Vhere are your Papers, Citizen?
pointed this out on slash-dot to me this morning:
"Today the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that anybody can be compelled at any time to identify themselves, if a police officer asks. People who refuse to identify themselves, even if they are not suspected of a crime, will be arrested. Sound Orwellian? The Supreme Court also said people who are suspected of another crime might not be subject to arrest for not revealing their name. On this latter point, someone will have to bring a separate case. And the SCOTUS is at liberty not to hear any case it doesn't like. The case is Hiibel v. Sixth Judicial District Court of Nevada [pdf]. Previous Slashdot story here."
Hey, yeah. I heard that on NPR on the way home last night. It is a very dangerous precedent for personal civil liberties, but I don't think that the 'long slippery slope' is going to suck us down into an "authoritarian hegemony" (did I abuse that phrase?). This particular law has been on the books in many states for a very long time now. The thing not noted here is that the request must be made in conjunction with an on-going investigation. Meaning that, a police officer may not just walk up to you and ask for ID, he must be actively acting on a complaint or investigation to do so. (i.e. disturbance report, theft in the area, etc...) Here in Pennsylvania, driving at night without your headlights on is 'Attempting to conceal oneself from authorities' and can be punishable by a good amount of time in jail. This is almost never enforced. The case this is based on was by a man who acted pretty belligerently towards a patrol officer who was looking out for the best interests of the public.
Good Morning Mommy
It was a good morning today. Even better for Mommy. I woke to my alarm clock at 5:15 and promptly snoozed it till about 5:30ish. I could hear the starting of the morning complaints from the Haupertonian Hounds of Hell and the Tremendous Twin Twisters of DOOOOOM. I bumbled out of bed and made my way into the bathroom to confront the stranger in the mirror. That guy is getting pretty haggard looking, worse every day. Poor slob. We brush our teeth, skip the floss and rinse in down with a shot of listerine. I slowly start to regain my limited dexterity and began to shave. I love my electric shaver. I used to dry shave with a rusty machete, but found that it cut too close and left me combating the periodic festering ingrown hair. Yeah, yuck. The electric leaves just enough stubble to alleviate that but not too much to make me look like Homer Simpson. I checked the upstairs fridge and found that we had not prepared bottles. Oh, yeah, I forgot. I insisted on washing the bottles last night so they are down in the kitchen. So I waddle downstairs and let Katie and Thor out for their morning constitutional. The are always so happy to see me in the morning. Thor will thrash is tail about, reducing down-town Tokyo to rubble in the process. While I am busy watching Thor do his 'Oh MAN do I have to pee!' dance, Katie will flank me and tag the back of my knee with her nose. Nothing like cold dog snot on the most sensitive part of you leg in the morning. I tell them to calm down and sit ... then let them loose upon the lawn. I traipse out after them to collect their deposits. You have got do that, rain or shine. I let it go once and regretted it. It was like someone had let a herd of buffalo loose in my back-50. Dog Drops as far as the eye could see. Enough of that thread. I get them their food and some water as they slavishly look on. Good pups, go get it! They dive into the food with the ferocity of starving hyenas. I make my way to the kitchen and prep the bottles ... and go back up to the master bed room suite. Joyce is still sleeping in spite of my alarm clock going off. Its just classical music so she ignores it and persists to sleep on. I set down the bottles and get the diapers and pants out for the day. As I walk into the nursery, I do minor 10 second chores on the way. Move this, unplug that, turn that off, open this ... lots of little things, nobody notices. Except me, typical type-a. I open the door and Alexis pops her head up. She is full of pep this morning, she usually sleeps in a bit and wakes after Jacob. He is out cold. I hoist her out of bed as she snuggles in closer to my chest and pats my back as I pat hers. She knows the drill as I set her down on the water-bed and DEMANDS that she has her fortified milk NOW! Joyce, starts to stir and pours out of bed. I go back for Jacob who is actually still asleep. Weird. I rub his back and he slowly comes to. Not quite awake enough to do anything, but reflexisvly grasps at my shoulder. The sun-burn still hurts, but its ok. I deposit him on Joyce's recently vactated territory and hand over his beverage of choice. With them pre-occupied, the changing of sodden diapers and donning of daily garb goes much quicker. As I finish up, the groggy, yet alluring Mrs MDMHVONPA glides out of the bathroom and slides between the two tiny angles. Yeah, they are angelic in the morning. I think I know why Joyce prefers doing the morning shift. While they are busy taking in sustenance and watching Pooh on the tube, I shower up and get myself in order. Minutes later, I'm back and it looks like the little bottomless pits have drank enough milk to sate them. I look at the bottles and cannot imagine drinking a similar amount based on size. I would have to down a liter of warm milk to simulate their appetite. Offtah! I lug Alexis downstairs to the kitchen and put her in one of the 'restraining chairs' and let her watch the TV there and give her a hand-full of Kix for her to munch on. Back upstairs, Jacob is doing his best to be cute and snuggly with Mommy, who is eating it up. He lays his head and arms on her chest and nestles up to her, periodically giggling and cooing. He is going to be trouble with the Ladies out in Minnesota, I can tell already. Eventually, Mommy surrenders the love-fest to necessity and takes him downstairs. I can tell that she wanted that to last all day, and I wish she could have had that. It's those precious moments between Mother and Son that make the bond so strong. Unbreakable strong. She will teasure those gracious minutes until her grandson repeats the 'Mommy Maneuver'.
Monday, June 21, 2004
What the hell! I cant ... No, it isnt ... how the ....ARRRRGGHHH! Ok, Michelle just sent me off the deep end with that one. If you want to vote in this friggen country, be progressive enough to become a damn citizen. For crying out loud! Argh! I'm choking on my own vitrol.
It looks like Mr Hawkins is pretty tweaked, and he has said some things that I would probably say if I were not so emotionally drained/jaded about this whole "capture and behead" program of the TERRORISTS. Yeah, I said it .. not militants or freedom fighters or le resistance'. Friggen walkin' turd terrorists. Oh boy, I feel it welling up inside me ... getting angry ... very angry ... GARRRRRR! AMERICA SMASH!
Oh no ... oh, God, no .... I cannot believe this. No one had better complain about my collecting of dripping from bacon from now on. At least I use it to fry eggs in, not cover it in chocolate and EAT IT COLD. . I suppose it takes all kinds.
Looks like SpaceShipOne
has completed 50% of their requirements for the X Prize!!! Oh, and I failed to mention this
. Thank you Mr Allen ( the good side of microsoft).
Hi-ho, hi-ho, ...
Time to rewind and set the work-week back to Monday. Ah yes, Monday. The day we look back at all the stuff that happened at work over the weekend that needs to be 'adjusted'. I typically spend a good two hours digging through logs to see what went amiss. Sometimes it is file space or i-node restrictions. Other times, the database or network is unavailable. Even more rare, its data that has been corrupted by some innocuous source and falls outside the designed parameters. In any event, something always happens and needs attention. I'd like to think that somehow I could have done something better, smarter or more robust to accommodate this. It always seems to be something that we didn't consider or something that fell outside our pre-ordained scope due to (limited,incorrect) information relayed to us. Oh well, I guess I can equate this to parenthood somehow. This is much more trivial than parenthood. More like a test or training course for being a parent. You only have so much control over what you have nurtured and can only hope to be there, consistently, to pick up the pieces when things don't go the way you had hoped. Damn, I'm morose this morning. Need some coffee I guess.
Sunday, June 20, 2004
Beginning of the End (of the weekend)
Happy father's day, eh? Well, not so bad actually. Got a little work done on the stairs by adding the cuffs at the bottom of the posts for the hand rail. Added a trap door for the laundry chute. Heh, that last one was kind of funny. The previous owners of the house decided that it would be really neat to blow a hole in the floor of the closet and tack some card-board into the closet below it to make some sort of 'half-assed' attempt at a laundry chute. It has nails and jagged edges that would shred anything you put down it in short order. We never used it and considered it a hazard to the kids, the dogs, and ourselves if we were not fully awake. In any event, I put a little hinged door over it to alleviate Joyce's concerns. It was a real bugger to get in, the little brass screws that came with the hinges were about as resilient as frozen butter. Snapped off one head almost immediately. And that was with a plain old screwdriver. I'm not THAT strong so I tossed the screws into the 'screw oblivion' pile in the tool closet and dug around for some more meatier screws. After finding a set of completely different looking screws, I completed the job and puffed my chest. Mr fix-it dad, that's me! I spend a good deal of time trying to get one piece of chair rail to stay in place at the bottom of the staircase. This one 2 foot piece has been my bane. Either the wall is curved outward or the wood is, or both. Either way, the single stud that I nailed it to is the only place that there is full contact. The thing would spin like a propeller on a b-52. So I got out the trust tube of professional fast-curing wood glue and goobered up the wall with it. Wedging a shower curtain rod between the stair post and the wall, I got it to stay in place. In the process of doing this, I pretty much made the stair case into an obstacle course. Oh well, its only for 24 hours. I say that now because I must have tripped over the darned thing 24 times. Once that was set up, I played with the children for a while and let them be their completely adorable selves till nap time. Then I convinced Joyce that it was really nice outside and she should spend some 'me-time' out on the deck. While she did that, I proceeded to weed the garden. About 30 minutes into that, she commented that I should probably put on some sun-block or put my shirt back on. My pasty whiteness was blinding her. No way, I'm super dad today, I don't need no stinking sun-block. Thirty minutes later, I was glowing red. Dork.
Saturday, June 19, 2004
Sultry Summer Morning
An aesthetically pleasing day, filled with mundane work and house chores. Today, I've decided to halt most of the improvement work and focus on making the house presentable for our guests who will be coming at the end of the month. Yes, it will take that long. My inexcusable lack of diligence with performing routine house-cleaning chores have left us with quite a mess. First things first, we cleaned out the foyer and the receiving room for the kids today. We had to remove the TV, but I think we can live with one less boob-tube plugged in. The result of that was that we had the cable laying out on the floor. I had not put a panel in for the cable, so it just comes out of the wall, about 6 feet of it. I pushed all but the connector back into the wall and figured that nothing would come of it. Of course, Jacob and Alexis, somehow got their DNA manipulated by aliens and they spotted the connector right away. Every time we left the area, they would home in on the cord and pull it out of the wall. After the third time, I had to go get the panel and install it in the wall to keep the cable secure. Man, persistent and patient. The only reason I know they are my kids is their penchant for pop-corn and their unending supply of destructive energy.
Friday, June 18, 2004
Ok, this woman is completely offensive, but incredibly funny. She reminds me of Hunter S. Thompson meets Dr. Strangelove.
Polls in action
Heh... see this for some interesting polling
data. Yeah, it's pro Bush, who would have figured that from me?
So the terrorists have finally figured out that we wont quit when they blow up our buildings, kill our citizens and persist in spite of the traitorous behavior rising around us in our allies or amongst us in our cities. They figured out that we don't care how much we need to spend to achieve our goals. This is now mute, they have decided to turn to our economics to try and stifle or efforts. If you think 2$/gal is high, just wait till they start in on the oil refineries over-seas. PLEASE, Please, please Mr Govt-Man, please start to push the ethanol gambit. We have half the oil we need in domestic production. If we could use ethanol for autos/semis/etc and nukes for electricity, we would be secure. Save the oil/gasoline for the tanks and the jeeps and such. Make the surly motorist use a domestic fuel source. Why pay foreign entities for our life-blood when we can pay our family farmer to grow corn. CORN, for crying out loud. You want a good use for all that Genetic Engineered Corn that the EU wont buy, there you go. Ok, end of rant.
Yesterday was tough ... I mean, really tough. I went out with the crew for a two pint lunch and it went downhill from there. I have not been drinking much beer (read: 1 bottle) for about 4 months now. This outing hit me like a cruise missile. I was groggy for the rest of the day at work and my trip home was a test of will. The heat and humidity acted like an intensifier of the effects of little sleep and the profound exhaustion I felt. I had to shake off the slumber no less than four times on the way home. It was more irritating than frightening. I was particularly useless when I got home too. Just barely managed to do my evening routine (let dogs out for potty time, prep food for kids, get out clothes for kids bed-time, empty water from AC in kids room, get my lunch ready for the next day, pick up mail, get my clothes ready for next day). Today, I had some laundry to shuttle about as well. The activity was good, it kept me awake. So I got done what needed to get done and went off to grab the kids. My wonderful little packages of love and beauty. Who were fighting all day. Apparently, Jacob bit 3 other kids today. Now what the heck am I going to do about that! We try to let him know that it is an un-acceptable behavior, but I don't think he gets it yet. Alexis does, she is a smart little cookie. Smart enough to know about revenge. It was funny, I was walking the kids out to the van in the rain and I was holding Jacob's. I asked her to hold Jacob's other hand and she tried really hard to do so. He kept resisting, she kept persisting till he caved and we all strolled out together in a tidy little line. Such a good girl ... at the moment. We got home and had dinner and they played for a while. I was soo tired. I did everything I could to stay awake. Finally, Joyce got home at 6:30 and gave me hand. At 7:45, they were fomenting so we gave them a bath and sent them off to dream-land. I went to bed shortly after that, around 9:30, but still could not sleep. What is with that! Ghaaa.
Thursday, June 17, 2004
Mind your Ps & Qs
Urk ... ok, this is why I stopped going to the Dollar Pint Lunch with the Mod Squad at work. My liver is swimming. The IPA is a killer at 15.3 and follow that up with a North Star pilzner with a measly 12.9 will certainly do you in for the day. Fill your gut with a foccacia bread sandwich and a bowl of chili and there is no turning back. I am completely and profoundly lethargic now. Virtually every movement or action requires a G8 commission treaty among my higher brain functions just to make a resolution to get on with it. I most certainly need some kind of agitation or a motivational element to make it through the day ... perhaps a cup of oolang tea will do the trick. Tune in later to see if I fall into a deep slumber on the way to the cafe'.
Hmm, other than the 9/11 report
, every car in Iraq exploding
, Iran building nukes
, the Army admitting to keeping people (militants/terrorists/etc) incommunicado
, wads of domestic terror supporters getting really long prison
sentences, and black ops blogs
getting published, not much is going on. I think I'll go out today with the crew to the local Brew Pub and put down a pint or 2 at a the great price of 1$ each. Its a good thing. Someone wake me when something ... oh, wait ... here is something: it looks like commercial space flight
is on the brink of fruition. Nice to know humanity can try to do something besides "kill you to death".
I'm stunned, this
is the first real case of Arab Outrage that makes sense to me! Of course, Jordan seems to be a bit more reasonable then the rest of the crew over there. Probably one of our least hostile recipients of aid, next to Morocco and Egypt.
It was outrageously stifling last night. I got up, opened a window, went back to bed. Sweat for a bit, get up, turned on the ceiling fan, go back to bed. Get up, open another window AND the shades, go back to bed. GET UP, GET A DRINK OF WATER, GO BACK TO BED!!! Arrrgh. I cant sleep because it's too muggy/hot/stuffy/sweaty/blah-blah-blah. I could feel the little droplets of perspiration trickle down my scalp and neck, coming to rest beneath my shoulders. I listened to the baby monitor for a while as Jacob the Jovial Joker coughed and complained a bit. I could hear the Portable AC and Salvation unit humming away in the background. My kids have it good. I considered sneaking into the nursery and bedding down there for the night, but then we would pay for that selfish pleasure. My alarm would go off, Joyce would shut if off and we would not wake up till well after 7am. By that time, the kids would be awake and upset that I have not gotten them out of their cribs. Jacob would commit to his morning BM and we would have to go through that drill. You see, his urine detention unit is usually pretty full in the morning, no space for any more, let alone a little extra solid matter. It would make its way out and we would have a bath situation on our hands ... which would make us even later. Can you believe I contemplated all this while laying in a puddle of my own sweat? It was a very long night.
Wednesday, June 16, 2004
More slacking power needed
The porch is finished ... really, this time ... mostly. I think. Well, I'm fairly sure that the hard stuff is done. Anyways, I did mow the lawn. It was a cathartic experience. After watching pretty much every drop of water and some other fluids evacuate my body, I began to see the world for what it was ... a playground for pixies and sprites, all dancing upon the shell of a turtle, balanced on the back of elephants ... or something like that. Next time, I think I should prepare a set of cold drinks and set them out strategically about the lawn. I like mowing the lawn in the spring, I DREAD it in the summer months.
Charles Tiffany is coming out with his first book ... the publisher First Page Publications
will expect the book out in September. Title: "ALTERNATIVE HEALTH OPTIONS AND FORTY YEARS OF MS". Look for it. Buy it. Read it.
Heh, because I love Sen. Joseph Biden, D-Del THAT much!
I cannot believe this guy
... no, monster ... made it out of prison alive. And then someone has the bile to want to hire him!? To be a reporter/intern!!!! I can believe he was an attorney before he was locked away, but this just lowers my opinion of reporters that much. Dog puke.
And this is how baseball should win its way back into the lime-light. Not the 'Stealing candy from a baby' part, but the part where Reggie Sanders says "In my heart, I thought I should do something, It's all about the kids." That is why baseball is the all American sport, sticking up for the little guy.
In response to an email I received:
Thanks for writing I'm always amazed when people read my page. Certainly a double-honor that you linked to my page! I'm sure the "fascination" will wear off and I will move on with life but I figure I might as well Blog while I am interested
If you don't mind me asking - what specifically made you decide to stop taking the injections?
Why did I stop taking Injections? Well, lots of reasons actually. Mostly because they were worse than the MS. My immune system was just a little to robust to be suppressed/interdict by the ABC medications. I would start on one, and within 6 months I would begin having horrible reactions to it. It would always start as low-grade fever and site reactions, then get worse from there. Now that I have had MS for 10-12 years now, things have stabilized quite nicely. I try to eat lots of 'dark' skinned fruit (blue berries, black grapes) to reinforce my blood-brain barrier and I take 3 capsules of GLA a day to help out with reconstructing the myelin coating. It seems to be working as I have not had any real incidents in quite some time. Reducing stress and keeping to a schedule helps. My diet (I eat tons of everything) helps too, a pint of tomatoes, grapes, blueberries, a banana, apple, apricots, yogurt and tomato juice for lunch every day and lots of meat for dinner. I eat loads of carbs and bread with olive oil and a marginal amout of fat. I work my ass off with the heavy chores so exercise is covered. I usually don't fall for the homeopathic bunk, but I think a good attitude is pretty helpful too. My mom has had MS since 1978 and she is going strong today. She has had her problems, but no-one would notice. And there you go, why I don't do the injections anymore.
Belmont Club's daily ponderings has given Old Europe another poke to see if it is dead yet. Not quite, but getting there. See my prior blather on this
. The second half of this article talks a lot about Iran and it's greedy eye being cast across Iraq.
Tuesday, June 15, 2004
It was dark and stormy night. Well, not quite dark and not quite night, but pretty soggy none the less. I got antsy and decided to stain the front porch despite the rain. It would not have taken long except I spilled about a half cup of stain on the cement step and had to scrub it out before it set. It was the typical MS snafu where I didn't know where my hands/feet were and ended up tripping over the can. To brace for the fall, I put my hands out and one went right into the paint tray I just filled with stain ... "SPLORT!", all over the place. Fortunately, I had that gallon jug of deck-soap on hand with the wire scrub brush ... splash-scrubba-scrubba-scrubba. It doubled the time necessary to do the actual staining, but there you go. I'll probably put a second coat on the planks tomorrow before I mow the lawn, just to be sure that it didn't get washed away in the rain. When I was finished, it looked pretty snappy. All clean and woody. Nice! I spent the rest of the night playing with the kids (getting them all hyped up for Mommy) and some other non-work related activities. Kind of nice to take a evening off once in a while. I still need to get out to my Most Favored Nation, Home Depot, and pick up more wood for the master-suite (you know, phase III) and perhaps another can of polyurethane. This weekend, I'm going to try to start the prep work for the new play-set we (we being Hero Amish Dad and myself) intend on building for the kids. This thing will probably make the Eiffel tower and TashMa hall look like hack jobs!
Mom said "Television will rot your mind".
Looks like newspapers will too! Or so this
says. I'm not going to taint the article any more than I have (because I am biased - I hate TV News and Newspaper in general) but the quote from Joe Carter in the comments is approve:
"The man who reads nothing at all is better educated than the man who reads nothing but newspapers." - Thomas Jefferson
Rubber Hose and Spot Light
is an interesting point. I dont think anyone can dispute this, however, I'm not exactly in the 'Take off the Gloves' camp yet. Im still not sure why we dont use the sodium pentathol route with these guys. It seems to me that it would be significantly more 'humane' and quite a bit more expeditious.
Well, this makes perfect sense. We have about 30 gallons of potable water in the basement and a closet full of various OTC medical supplies, but nothing as organized as this. Makes me think that I aught to get a few kits together for the cars and organize our 'emergency supply cache' at home. Just in case, you see. As a former boy-scout, there is nothing more noble than being a pack-rat and given the phrase: "Remember, it isn't being paranoid
, it is being prepared
.", it's justified
Monday, June 14, 2004
Scruba-scruba. I got the urge to clean up the front porch and paid the price. I started scrubbing the planks with a wire bristle brush at about 6:15 pm and didnt finish up till about 8:30pm. Im still picking the slivers and cruft out of my fingers. It was humid as can be as well. Pretty close to 100% humidity. I nearly drown just trying to catch my breath! Saw a fish swim by my head, no, a school of fish ... I swear! At least the hard part is done, now I can just put a few layers of stain on there and it will be looking pretty good for the BIG #2 BIRTHDAY PARTY comming up on the 4th. Wow, two years. I never imagined myself in this place when I got married. Its wierd to look back at the years before the House, kids and dogs ... before the wedding rings and such. So much simpler, but devoid of direction or purpose. It almost feels as though it is someone else's life. Of course, it was a time before MS and any responsibility too. I guess it is someone else's life. A much more shallow and incomplete person. Go figgure.
Ohhh, this is kind of neat. Someone will probably come down on me for this point of view, but I really do think that we could use two classes of citizens: Citizens and Residents. Citizens can vote, Residents cannot. There are other various sundry distinctions between the two, but I feel that if you are going to be a citizen, you damn well better vote. How do you become a citizen? Participate. Be it in the military or some other governmental function. Excel in academics, etc... You cant just pop out and expect to be given the world on a platter for NO EFFORT. Given this (bizzaro) point of view, I'm a resident. Sure, I vote. I bitch to my elected officials. However, I don't think (other than THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS) I've really given my country much in return for what I have taken.
Ok, I think the drugs may have altered my perception a bit. This twist is just a bit too bizzaro for me to support. Interesting fiction, bad social science.
Its all in my head
Ack ... I feel a migraine coming on. This is not a hard one to deal with, its the ones that sneak up on me in the middle of the night and wake me from my blissful slumber that are the devious ones. Nasty, tricksy migraines. The bugger about those is that they are usually accompanied by an MS attack. The upside to that is the fact that I have only had one or two of em in the last few months. That's the downside too. All things considered, I think I'm doing damn good in spite of the choice I made to abandon the drugs and needles. Oh, the needles, I just couldn't do THAT anymore. The Auto-Inject was no better. The long silver lengths of steel, piercing my skin ... Ok, ick .. but do-able. It was the damn interferions making my immune system go all wacky (more than usual) and chewing up the injection sites that made things unbearable! Stupid immune system. Stupid drugs .... stupid migraines. Where is my Vioxx
Holy SMOKES! My dad and I really worked our rears off this weekend. Didn't seem like much, but we managed to get the new handrail and spindles in place. It was quite a bit of work in all honesty. This 'solid' oak hand-rail had to weigh somewhere between 50 and 75 lb. The posts themselves were a real bugger when we tried to install them. It didn't seem to matter what order or method we tried to install them, there was always some obstruction that made it hard to screw them into place. Once we got them secured, they looked like something you would see on a battle-ship. There were 33 different screws used to make the post 'permanent', and they were all within one inch from the bottom of the post. The angle for the spindles was a real treat too. They where somewhere between 40.5 and 39.5 degrees. And yeah, one degree does not seem like much until you see it. A little gap here, a bit of a shift there. There was NO room for error, or at least, errors that could not be disguised or covered up with copious amounts of glue or putty. In all, it took about 10 hours of work to get it in place, with breaks for allowing the kids to sleep and meals. This was certainly more than a two person job, but we managed. There was no way that I could have done this without the help of the man who I still consider my hero. My dad. Hey dad, happy father's day in advance. See you on the 4th!
Friday, June 11, 2004
I kind of like this article about dogs. It makes perfect sense in hind-sight. We kennel our Hounds of Hell every day primarily because they are people dogs. No people around == Insane Dogs doing Insane (read:destructive) things. Katie and Thor are very happy dogs these days. Every thing is scheduled and predictable for them. And the added joy of getting scraps from the kids makes them so doting its comical. In the beginning, their behavior was an anathema for me. After a while, I just needed to shoot them a cross look and they would fall into line. Giving a backhand to the poor goobers never really did anything except bruise the crap out of my hands. I'm fairly sure that Thor's skull is solid titanium. Now, we understand each-other pretty well. A cross look or one shout from me and they stop cold, sit and then lie down. Of course, when Joyce is alone with them, all bets are off. Good cop, bad cop stuff. They will stroll into the kitchen if she is in there in the evening, only to slink out when I wander in. They never got the invite from me so they know that fun-time is over till I say so. Ego trip you say? Perhaps, but then again who is waking up who at 5:30am to go pee?
I should consign my self to read one of these a week. Maybe I'll stop simpering about the humidity or my hangnails. Maybe Koppel, Brokaw, Rather and Jennings (anyone I missed?) should do the same before they dig into their morning meal of vitriol and bile.
Holy cow, no wonder the 'Old Europe' labels us as fat, dumb and arrogant. They hate the fact that they fall on the lower end of what we consider affluent. Of course, their poor folk are not all that poor either. Socialism in play? Probably.
Rainy Days Make Me Smile
Friday, got up early, mild traffic and it's raining! Ahhh, my perfect day. It could only be better if it was pay-day. Not that I fixate on money or live hand to mouth mind you. Im not sure what makes that little kernel of zen inside me burst out into an all encompasing calm when it rains. It could be the Minnesota Farmer Virus that makes me feel good when it is gently raining. It could be the cooling effect it has here in Philly if it manages to rain for more than fifteen minutes. Usually we get a big thunderstorm rolling through in the middle of the day just to dump a load of 'swamifier', making it that more muggy and uncomfortable. The rain makes the other commuters sleep in a bit so traffic is light, maybe that is it. The Agricultural Progress Zone in the Western District of the Haupert-Woo Independent City State could always use a little rain to make it easier to exceed the production quotas. I guess I could just drop the feeble attempts at analysis and enjoy it. Sounds like a plan, just need to get a cup of coffee and watch the drips of water slowly make their way down the pane of glass. I guess its a simile of life making you become more intospective. I think I'll call that drop at the top "Sebastian".
Thursday, June 10, 2004
Burning Dollars for Fun and Profit
Today was a bust at work. Get in and the dev servers are down because the server room was too hot. They didn't come back up until I had been there for two hours. Then I go on to try to push an Amazon ELIZC order through the internal AS400 test systems and the damn thing gets wedged somewhere in the pipes. The JDA staff claims they cant see it till I have someone give them a step-by-step to show them that it really is there. The reply is that 'well, looks like the system is broken' and we go live tomorrow. Nice. Bitch-n-moan, bitch-n-moan. After nine hours of getting nothing accomplished, all I have to show for it is that my employer gets paid for 9 hours of consulting. Ghaaaa! So my alarm goes off at 4:15 and I charge out of there like a ball of lightning. The minute I get out the front door, the wet heat of Philly slaps me down like an old rag doll. Bleck. The evening gets worse as I try to finish up the wood work in the garage. I get half way done and the kids start assailing Joyce because it is bath time ... now! So I have to drop that and get my but upstairs, sticky hands and all. The keystone kids are in a prime mood because they didn't want to eat dinner tonight. Joyce and I finally get them settled down and I run back downstairs to finish the last few spindles. By the time I finish, its nearly 9pm and Joyce has already sacked out. I feel bad about not being very helpful this week. Once I get this darned rail in place (with mucho helpo from dado), things will improve in the core family. Maybe I'll make joyce some rice pudding or Bohemian Goulash.
I wish people would stop posting stuff like this
. I'm getting really tired of welling up at work. Big sissy that I am. At least this
makes me feel a little more manly.
I read this somewhere, and now cannot find it (someone out there is getting ripped off):
When you are young, if you are not a Liberal, you have no heart. When you are older, if you are not a Conservative, you have no brain.
Well, this makes a lot of sense. The military 'pull-out' from Korea pretty much deflates the NK bitching about us planning to attack them (I think we will get China to take care of that problem for us in a more devious way). Save a few coins and move our bases where we are more appreciated/needed. Heh, I wonder if Taiwan wants us on their soil? Darn tootin! I'll wager that our Australian buddies wouldn't mind us setting up shop in somewhere in the bazillion square miles of outback they have sitting around. And you KNOW that the Afghans would love the additional income from a few well placed bases. Kuwait would have been nice, but that is another story.
It looks like the Iraqis have had enough of being blown up. Now that the liberation and the end of the 'occupation' are well on their way, some of the more aggressive supporters of the American Model are coming out to help in their own special way. I like their name ... 'Black Flag' movement. Terrorists (not militants or freedom fighter, ya LLL apologists) check in, but they don't check out. I wonder if we could get Henry Rollins to do a fund-raiser for them! Or get a sponsorship from Raid? I'm smiling big time right now.
Roust the Rooster
Oh baby, I'm da man! Managed to haul my sorry but out of bed this morning at 5:45am. Finally exhausted enough to sleep through the night. Nothing like a solid 5 and a half hours of sleep. Ghaaaa. It was pretty stuffy in the bedroom when I got up, and I had 2 windows open all night. I let the dogs out and quicky determined that it was hotter outside than inside. Bleh! I wonder if I could spend the rest of the simmer ... errr, summer I mean, in the basement. At least the TPK traffic was fairly light, no major back-ups. Got to work at 7:15am only to find out that all the development servers were shut down because the server room was over-heating ... go figgure.
Wednesday, June 09, 2004
Six O'Clock Slacker
Ok, drenched in sweat, covered in grass clipping and smeared with swatted gnats. Mow the Law Wednesday turned into Antagonize the Homeowner Incessantly Day. I never remember to put on any insect repellent. My shirt got so sodden I ended up taking it off. Damn near blinded my neighbor with my pasty whiteness. I got to be such a mess by 7:30 that I had to take a cold shower just to stop the sweat from doing the mass exodus from my quickly dehydrating body. I don't think I am in the mood to finish the wood-work tonight. I thing I'll go find a quiet corner in the basement and cool off for a few hours. MMmmm, nice cold basement, my Fortress of Solitude
. Maybe I'll make some dinner, or even better, graze off of what Joyce is having for dinner while she is not looking. <insert evil laughter here> I should get back to my cooking again. It was one of the things I loved the most, but miss so much now. I'm sure Joyce wouldn't complain too much about me spending more time in the kitchen (as long as I cleaned up my own mess). I have some chicken bits I could make a nice soup out of, or maybe a stir-fry. Start simple, work my way back up to Creme Brulee.
Heh, there is a logical fallacy in here somewhere:
Ridiculous item of the day. I heard on the radio this morning an ad that started off with the sounds of someone coughing and hacking. Then the voiceover said it was the sound of global warming. Asthma is increasing, said the ad, and the fault lies with global warming.
You have got to be joking. Why do more kids have Asthma today? Because we don't let our children suffocate to death anymore. And then the genetic trait is passed on. I'm no fan of eugenics or Spartan infanticide (God knows that large trunks of my own family tree pruned long ago). People have to understand that because of our advances in medicine and science, the perpetuation of undesirable traits has become more commonplace.
Fall is On its Way
Ack ... Lileks put out a his traditional Minnesotan moaning that Summer is almost over now that it has started:
It's time to panic, people: summer's begun -- and that means it'll be over soon. We're halfway to the middle of June, at which point we'll be halfway to July; then the Fourth, a day immediately followed by the colossally depressing sight of school supplies at Target. Six weeks after that, the Oreo fillings in the grocery store displays will turn orange, signaling the start of that great sodden wad of holidays, Hallowthanksmas Eve.
Well, he does have a point. Just the other day, I picked my first green pepper out of the garden. It was a 'Gypsy Sweet Pepper'. Yeah, sure, it was a bit small, a tad green and not all that sweet. But hey, it was the first pepper and dammit, I'm going to pick it, eat it and enjoy it no matter how acrid tasting it is! The tomatoes are well on their way to producing a good batch of fire-cracker 100 cherries so I'm pretty happy. The basil and other assorted herbs are well on their way. My creeping thyme is conquering some more territory off to the side of the slate-rock patio (that Dad - the working maniac he is - helped me install). So all in all, the summer veggie festival is well under way. Of course, there are some disappointments. The onions look pretty pathetic and the peas are sparse. Oh well, I have 2 rows of carrots and 3 rows of Green-beans to make up for that. The squash is presenting itself as 4 enormous mounds of green (with 1 volunteer zucchini plant, which will probably take over the whole squash interdiction zone). Things are looking good for the Agricultural Progress Zone in the Western District of the Haupert-Woo Independent City State. So while there is predicted snow and Ice-Age temperatures in Minnesota, I'll swelter away here in Pennsyltucky proudly surveying my horticultural dominion.
Whhooooo-Hooo! Well, I woke up with a migrane. Nice. And I was sweating so much I soaked the pillow and sheets. Not a great way to wake up. But hey, just 1 Vioxx and a Maxalt and I should be my usual 'Happy-Go-Lucky' self in a matter of an hour or so. And you know what, it worked. I had some time to fret that it may not be working, but by the time I got to work, things were under control. It did make me take my time getting to work, driving in the slow lane and all. Not too bad. Had the window rolled down, letting the wind cool me down a bit. It would have been nice if there wasn't a virtual piece of re-bar sticking out of my friggen skull. I shouldn't complain though. Ya know why? Well, it's "MOW THE LAWN WEDNESDAY!
" And since Im now feeling so darned spanking good, I supposed I'll put that last coat on the spindles for the stair-case as well as the other assorted pieces of wood that Im treating. You know, this whole polyurethane thing is a real pain in the rear. Every day this week, Im scraping the stuff off my fingernails and I smell it ALL THE TIME. I still have a few more coats to go on the hall floor and stair case to be done with phase II of this ever-lasting gob-stopper project. When I finish off the master bedroom and the room that will become Jacob's Den of Destruction, I will be happy if i never see another drop of the noxious stuff. Of course, phase III will be closely followed up by phase IV where I refinish the bathrooms, but that will be yet another saga.
Tuesday, June 08, 2004
OOftah! I'm not sure what hit
me this afternoon, but I feel like someone slammed me in the stomach with a 5 lb sledge, threw me off a building and then dropped a Tanker Truck on me just to make sure. I try to be a pretty chipper guy (with a heaping helping of sardonic wit), but man do I feel awful. Must be the lack of rest, most certainly the lack of rest. I'll try to get to bed before the day is over, but I'm so addicted to work! Bleh. I do plan on slapping another layer of polyurethane on the spindles for the stair case though. Hopefully I'll feel a bit better tomorrow.
WOW, I don't know if it's a grief thing or if the French and Germans finally figured that they might as well play ball, but our 'Allies' are starting to back us. Maybe they figure that since we have not played the 'Collusion with Saddam' card on them, they are out of the woods. Maybe it was the D-Day memorial. Who knows. Im just glad that the farce in the UN will no longer be fodder for the LLL.
That damn Daniel Schorr on NPR got me all pissed off again. He was very busy 'Deconstructing the Reagan Myth'. I really hope he understands that years from now, when he is dust in an urn, packed away in some attic somewhere, people will still be praising RR for his Herculean feats. Gha, I need a vodka martini. Make that 2.
Here is a link to the Rondal Reagan Memorial site. Make a vist.
Hmmm, interesting post from this Democrat gentleman. He makes some pretty interesting points about the one-upmanship going on in modern American politics. Kinda gives you the impression that the LLL/Democrats are becoming just as embarassed by their 'Attack Machines' as we (we, being the GRWC/NeoCons/Republicans) are.
Monday, June 07, 2004
Not much happened today, washed the dogs (what a treat!) and did a lot of wood work. I'm too damn tired to blog right now ... maybe tomorrow. Yeah, tomorrow.
I saw this and just could not resist, God Bless Regan:
You and I have a rendezvous with destiny. We will preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on earth, or we will sentence them to take the first step into a thousand years of darkness. If we fail, at least let our children and our children's children say of us we justified our brief moment here. We did all that could be done.
for your fill of greatness.
It has got to make you wonder what people think about when they propose that a major segment of the population should be exterminated based solely on some misguided generalizations:
No U.S. president, I expect, will ever appoint a Secretary of the Imagination. But if such a cabinet post ever were created, and Richard Foreman weren't immediately appointed to it, you'd know that the Republicans were in power. Republicans don't believe in the imagination, partly because so few of them have one, but mostly because it gets in the way of their chosen work, which is to destroy the human race and the planet. Human beings, who have imaginations, can see a recipe for disaster in the making; Republicans, whose goal in life is to profit from disaster and who don't give a hoot about human beings, either can't or won't. Which is why I personally think they should be exterminated before they cause any more harm.
Michael Feingold!? You would think he would know better.
On Sunday morning, we get up a little late. Sevenish is a little late, ugh. We have plans to drive up to Long Island, Syosset township. The drive up there is always fraught with traffic jams and pot holes. We got a good start at about 8:45am and things went very well in spite of the dreary drizzly weather conditions. For the first time since we got the mini-van, I actually had the foresight to stock the center console with my CDs. Its the first car that we ever owned with one of those new-fangled CD players built in. It was a blissful trip across the PA Tpk and up through NJ. Things went well as we jaunted across Staten Island from the Outer Bridge crossing and to the Verrazano. Have I told you that I LOVE EZPass? After the bridge, things got ICKY (tm). The Belt Parkway has never been a particularly nice road to travel, and this was no exception. I can only imagine that the 'Road To Hell' is not paved with good intentions, but rather, chunks of asphalt kicked up from this dastardly passage. We drag our caravan of lost (and sleepy) souls across to Van Wyck and on to the LIE. In record time and with minimal vehicular damage. It only took two and a half hours. Ghaaa. Why? Because we are going to a surprise 40th birthday party of Joyce's cousin's wife. I think she had alternative motives though, we ended up retrieving more child cast-offs to bring home (toy chest, storage bins, etc.). In any event, the Twins of Terror completely ruled the house. The balloons meant for the Birthday girl ended up being the most incredible toys. So much so that they decided to skip their afternoon nap. I would have gladly taken over the napping duty, but that was not in the cards. We spent a good deal of time chasing them about the house and trying to keep them from utterly destroying our guest's home. Due to their 'liveliness', they were quite popular and some of the other smallish children did not know what to make of these mini-tornados of shriek & shred. Towards the end of the day (5:30ish), they were showing signs of attitude deterioration and we decided to call it a day. It was time to sound the retreat and try to make a strategic withdrawal back to Philadelphia. It only took three hours to get back home, but it seemed like forever. For me and for the Hounds who were very eager to destroy my back yard. The evening proceeded as scripted. The kids didn’t sleep much on the trip home and were not very interested in releasing their balloon booty. Eventually, after craftily reducing them to one balloon each, I traded them some ice for the last balloons. Cookie, yeah, sure ... it’s a cookie. They got their baths and off to bed for the two ... I think I know why they look like angels when they are asleep: it’s the only time the poor angels can catch up with them! And then with the kids asleep, the wife and I can work till 12:30 am doing all the stuff that we didn’t today. Thank goodness for Monday!