White Lightning Axiom: Redux: September 2006

Saturday, September 30, 2006



I've been asked a few times if I really have MS and why I don't talk about it much. It's a fair question and one that I actually do spend quite a bit of time contemplating. Much of my attitude can be attributed to my upbringing I suppose. My parents taught me though deed and word. Sometimes they were unaware of it. Really, a synergistic effect of observations of people I grew up with and actually learning lessons from my parents. I've come to believe that hard work will only get you so far, but if your gains in the world are not accompanied by earning a bit of your daily bread by the sweat of your brow, the accomplishments are hollow.

I've also learned that one should not be compelled to live as a slave to others. The bread you work so hard to earn is yours. You may do with it as you please. I choose to use my bread to feed my children and celebrate with my friends. At times, I even choose to bestow this worthy gain on others in charity under the eyes of God. And then some of my bread, it is taken by the Officials of the government. Caesar, if you will. These potentates, who say they will provide me with services and facilities, often do. Police, roads, infrastructure, protection. Things that make it possible for me to earn my bread easier. And then there are other who believe it is my DUTY to labor for their gain. The believe it is unconscionable that I should have the capability to labor, build and acquire without considering those who cannot labor. I understand that mentality. I struggled under it's weight for many years. The difficulty is evaluating who should be victimized for their ability to work, and who should gain for their inability. This is where my patience runs down and my mercy is strained. Like a satin sheet wrapped about a reeking pile of rubbish ... the stench of malice and sharp corners of distrust start to become evident.

I, a component of the Multiple Sclerosis population, (I am Legion; for we are many) know all too well the pain of knowing I could do so much more. The slow degradation of capability, the leaching away of potential. Emotional, spiritual and physical damage pile on as the 4th horseman, despair, flanks in and deals a mortal blow. Solace in the form of Family, God and Country are my only defense. Perhaps the quixotical sages of science and medicine could be of help. But they are a slow moving and sometimes more of an antagonist than a detached yet benevolent savior. No, Instead of compelling others to become my servants for they are capable, I've dedicated myself to taking what tools I have left and using them to build a better world for my children, my wife, my family, my country. And in doing this, being a better child for my God. You see, I was granted the free will to make this choice and I would like to believe that it is the DESIRE of God that I make selfless choices that do not drag others down. There are others out there who truly NEED to be taken care of. Knowing this, how can I abscond with the treasure of others that would serve better as charity? Should they chose to do so. Some day, I may be in a position where I too will require the charity of others to survive, but that day is hopefully long off and I have the presence of mind to prepare for that.

I too can be selfish at times, heaping upon my plate the sins of gluttony, sloth, lust and greed. I am by no means among the sinless. As I grow older and hopefully wiser, I am seeing that these are not sins against God, but sins against my own soul. Living for the welfare of my family, God and country is a choice I make willingly knowing full well that it will not cure my ailing body, but will certainly produce in ten-fold a bountiful harvest of contentment and happiness for my soul.

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Friday, September 29, 2006



For all you techsters out there, I've added a new FeedBurner Icon to the left ... right next to the xml feed button that seems to have a lazy side to it. Truncates the posts every so often and makes you actually have to visit the blog to get the rest of the story. How rude.

I've talked to the Understanding Mrs and she has no problems with me cramming in 2 activities a day for the Turbulent Tyrants. The exhaustion should help their appetites at dinner and their willingness to hit the sack when that hour comes. For me, it's all about squeezing every last penny of value out of our expenditures. I'm such a tight-wad. Penny wise, pound foolish. We put down good payola for the gym membership and a pretty healthy chunk every month for the Tang Soo Do training. That music training? Yeah, that might have to wait a bit till the ability to concentrate on a single subject lasts more than a gnat's life span in a temporal flux Maelstrom. For Jake that is.

In other news, gas is now $2.29 at the Cheapola Station that pumps the gas. I wonder how this will effect the economy. A lot of prices were raised to pass the cost of fuel on down to the consumer. Now that the prices have dropped, those price differentials will now be unanticipated profit. Of course, that will also show up in collected tax revenue that will narrow the already slimming budget deficit. Wouldn't it be neat if we actually went into the black this quarter and we could start paying down the National Debt? But I digress. Here is an nice site that I find quite interesting. You can believe that the states with all the refineries (NJ, TX, LA) would have the lowest prices. This peculiar deviation is obviously a state tax issue and has nothing to do with supply and demand. If I lived in the Western states (or NY), I would certainly be considering a voter revolt.

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Thursday, September 28, 2006


Mundane efforts 2.0

A heaping plate of more nothing. With a steaming side of 'oh-hum'. Heh, this is what I was looking for. In other news, the swim lessons have been delayed yet again. For two weeks. It's almost absurd now. The reasoning was that there was a low interest level. Well, of course you blithering, fickle twits! I had to brow-beat everyone in sight just to get the sign-up sheets. No notification, just me asking every time I entered the building. If there is no notice, there will be no interest. Ghaaa. I'll wager that the Twins are the only ones enrolled for level 3. This might be the end of swimming lessons. I'm certain we could afford private lessons, but at this point the kids are quite confident and proficient in the pool. It's all icing on the cake from here on out. We are visiting the pool on Wednesday afternoon and Saturday morning now. I might consider just sending the Mrs off with the kids on Saturdays just to allow me some free time to mow the pastoral expanse and the back-50. Of course, splashing about in a heated indoor pool is hard to pass up. We paid for the whole family to have access so it would be a shame to waste it. You know what I could do ... take the kids swimming first from 1630 till 1530 and then go to Karate practice from 1800 till 1900. Hmmm.... except the lessons on Wednesday are from 1745 till 1830. I'll have to consult the Mrs on this.

On the spiritual front, I've signed the Tyrants up for Religious education on Sundays during the 1000 Family Mass. This should be interesting. I know the first few times will be a disaster. Jovial Jake will spend his time trying to hug and kiss all the teachers or girls and Antipathic Alexis will refuse to loosen her cybernetic adamantium claws from my leg requiring me to stay for the whole time. I might just end up being an assistant. We'll have to see how it goes. It starts the following week.

Oh, and speaking of Faith and Hope ... Gas was $2.33/gal this morning.

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Tuesday, September 26, 2006



Nothing of great or profound status has occurred. Hmm. Other than people running red lights and gasoline hitting the $2.35/gal mark, it's been fairly placid. Not dull, actually placid. A bit of wood chopping, some Karate ... good times. There was some activity at work that I won't write about so I'm not sure what compels me to even bring it up. Meh. Maybe something of note will happen tonight at swimming practice. First lesson at level 3 don-cha-know.

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Monday, September 25, 2006



Via lazscott:
Describe me in one word.... just one word. Comment to me and then post this message to your blog.

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Freight Train Rolling Through

Ahhh, the good old feeling of exhaustion on a Monday Morning. Not that I dreaded going to work, it was just that I was completely drained from this weekends activities. Like a flagon full of mead upon a Viking banquet table, the Twins (Freyr and Freyja??? Naw... ) drank deeply and fully of my bounty. Only the dregs of aches and pains were left behind. But enough of this lamenting, let's talk about Friday Karate Practice. You know, the night were we display our forms and then follow up with a good 15 minutes of dodge ball. The grand-parents were coming to town and we thought it would be nice for them to stop in and see for their own eyes what the Tyrants were really up to in the class. Alexis was a bit off her step ... mostly because she was a bit distracted. You know, her desire to kick the crap out of me versus the angst over not being able to go run into her Grandparent's arms. Jovial Joker Jacob had a bit more resolve, being made of squishy stuff no doubt. He lives in the moment and managed to do his usual class act of hugging and kissing every girl in sight till we were done with the session. Afterwards, we all went home where the Mrs and I abandoned the Tyrants to the most proficient care of the Grandparents of Spoildom while we went out to celebrate our 10th. I took the Always Attractive Mrs to a place called the Seafood Factory. It was once named Julies but now has a few more sea-based dishes on the menu and a few less steaks. Same place though. They dropped the 120oz cowboy rib-eye (Not happy about that) and added a bunch of shrimp and crab plates. I had the 40oz steak and the Mrs peacefully supped on a Dungeness crab. It was quite the meal. We were able to talk to each other, nothing had to be spelled out and not once were we taken off guard by the obtuse questions we usually have to field. Nor did we have to make multiple bathroom trips or remind our dining partners to eat their meal, don't wipe their hands on the clothing, stop trying to make explosives out of the household cleaners, etc... By the time we got home, the kids were in bed and we were ready for a bit of shut-eye ourselves.

We were up before the sun on Saturday. We had planned to get up a bit earlier so we could drive out to Lancaster/Strasburg for a 'Day with Thomas' train extravaganza. A long story short, his head nearly exploded. We did it all, the train ride, the pictures, temporary tattoos, the clowns and other short rail rides. We even got there early enough so we did not have to park in Toledo and take a shuttle bus in. Good thing since we arrived at 0830 and our train trip (all 30 minutes of it) was not till 1230. The Eveready Mrs had packed a cooler full of goodies so having to haul that around all day would have put a bit of a damper on things. Every activity we engaged in was grander and more alluring for Jake than the last. The toy store, the train tables, the Thomas Ride. He did not want to leave every one till the next activity bewitched him. The last activity was our entrance to the Train Museum across the street where there was a room set up with every possible train set known to man. And all of them were hands-on. Jake was beside himself trying to play with each one. A few hours later, we had to get a team of wild horses to drag him out. We had an engagement in Downingtown at 1730 that evening. You see, it was my friend David's 60th surprise birthday party. He and his ever gracious wife Inger are serious wine/food people and a party like that is not to be missed. As expected, the event exceeded all expectations and the Tyrants had sufficient audience to ply their machinations and manipulative ways. A good day for Jake and I, hopefully it was ok with the Mrs. I KNOW the grandparents love having the Tyrants cling to them like burrs to a woollen sweater.

And then there was Sunday. Church, was tough since the Tyrants tried to live up to their nom-de-plume of Ghengis and Attila. Well, at least Jake did. They really needed more sleep than they got. At the end of Mass, there was a brief presentation regarding a new Pre-School Religion Program that was going to start up. From 1000 till 1100 every Sunday between October and April they would be in a room getting some Churchin' while the parents worshiped in peace. It runs $50 per child for the whole year. Hmmm, math: 6 months, 4 weeks a month, 24 hours ... that is about 4$/hr for 2 kids. SOLD AMERICAN! Yep, I'm sure that Alexis will not be to keen on this so I may need to volunteer to be a participant in the program, but any bit of assistance I can buy, steal or swindle is a blessing. Ignore the obvious dichotomy of that last statement. Afterwards, I picked a few metric tons of tomatoes from the Agricultural Sector while Super Amish Dad mowed my lawn from me. The Street Wise Mrs and SuperGrandMa went shopping with the Tyrants leaving time for WOOD CHOPPING. Wooo-ho! Yeah, that was a very brief celebration till the Vikings game came on television. All in all, Sunday was not too shabby.

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Thursday, September 21, 2006


Happy 10th Hon

First things first ... I want to wish a happy-happy 10th anniversary to the Mrs. I could try to spin an eloquent and heart-rending tale of how I love her more than the expanse of the multi-verse, but it would be like a 2 year old elephant describing Quantum Physics. If we fight, it is to fight our way to a better life together. If we cry, we collect our tears and use them to moisten the soil from whence our ever growing love springs forth. Mush-mush-mush. She likes computers, I like computers. The two main differences between us are important though. One brought forth the Tyrannical Twins of Turpitude, the other is an ongoing battle between Chaos and Order. I'm Order. I love the cold. She is Chaos, it's gotta be 110F in the shade for her to be happy. I suppose the whole race, religion and age thing could be mixed in, but we barely notice that stuff. But I digress. Happy 10th my love, here is to the 90 more coming down the pike.

More mundane stuff: Master Ken was not at Karate today so he had a substitute. A very forward man who wanted no guff from the hordes of tykes dancing about the Dojang. A few of us bought some extra pushups for our non-compliance. The whole 'one of you mess up, all of you pay' is an age-old technique of reverse peer pressure. Gotta love it. Jake was up to his usual tricks too. There is a Black-Belt instructor named Sharon who he feels compelled to give hugs to at random moments. What a flirt. Bill Clinton would be embarrassed. If Jake ever gets to be President, his sister will certainly be the UN Secretary-General for Life. All focus. She knows exactly how to do the kicks and punches ... how to block, which foot goes first. I'm frightened. She does make me proud though. After practice, I ran (Err, not IRAN) out to chop some wood in the cool evening air. Have I ever mentioned that I ADORE the cooler evenings of September? Other than Gasoline now at $2.45, not much else to say. The Grandparents are coming to town on Friday to give the Mrs and I some breathing room, but more on that later.

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Wednesday, September 20, 2006


Liquid Languish

Nothing. Just nothing. Other than admonishing the Tyrants for throwing away food, taking them to swimming and chopping wood there is nothing going on. Work is good. I'm learning the ropes and work is starting to trickle in. The swimming lessons are going to start next Wednesday. Not Monday or Thursday as it was told to me. Fine, whatever. This might be the last of the swim lessons if this director leaves any time soon. Too much hassle ... I'll just take the kids to the pool myself and mess about. If anything interesting pops up, I'll blog about it. Oh, almost forgot ... again. Tomorrow is the 10th anniversary of the most egregious union that spawned the future dictators of earth. Yep, the Mrs and I are having our 10th tomorrow ... should be dull a uneventful. Yeah. Oh ... and gasoline here just went to $2.47/gal. Looking good!

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Tuesday, September 19, 2006



Hmmm, it's been a long weekend and I cannot recall if I actually did anything of consequence. Let's start with last Friday. It was a standard Pennsyltucky Fall hard rain day. Messy, flooding everywhere, bad traffic. I missed it all. Life is good. Karate is going well. I've actually gotten into it enough to see that Alexis is just as good on her 1st form as I am. Not hard to understand since the Tyrants have been at it for half a year now. Then there was Saturday. I woke to the sounds of my chain saw sputtering away. I had loaned it to Gus so that he could take down a couple of trees that were quite dead and dropping large branches on by-passers. The guy knows his wood ... as long as it involves a router or plane. He was in the dark about a chainsaw. Of course, that was just the opening I needed to stick my nose into his business and spend half a day helping him out. Really, it helps to have a second set of hands about when you are doing this sort of thing. Moving branches, holding logs, picking up severed limbs or digits. It comes with the territory and the guy has nobody but his wife now. He was so appreciative for the assist that he insisted that we all go out some time soon so he could treat us to dinner. I'll be nice; Carrabba's is nearby and a good deal for a good meal. Half way through the lumberjacking session, Jake sneaks out of the Manor in his Thomas PJs and stealthily makes his way down to the street. The Mrs was otherwise indisposed and Alexis figured that Jake should not have all the fun. OOps ... teaching them to open doors may be our downfall.

Sunday ... not much going on there. Hang out with Jake and chop wood. That should cover it. Monday, however, was a different story. I've gotten into a bad habit. Since my morning routine with the kids takes up no more than 30 minutes ... I have taken to spending that time sleeping. Or rather, snuggling with the Mrs. Not sure if it is a bad thing to put off work for 30-45 min, but the whole idea of working closer to home was so that I could reduce stress and spend more time with the Family. I guess I can absolve myself for sticking to my word.

The Tyrants had a dentist appointment Monday night. They actually LIKE going to the dentist. It's about 3 or 4 miles up the street from the manor so getting there is a snap. It's strange, I've always had a pretty healthy loathing for the dentist. The first thing that comes to mind other than oral pain is the Movie with Dustin Hoffman. Is it safe? Is it safe? shudder No wonder they opted to entice men to come in by hiring the most attractive dental hygenists they could find. No, no problems for the twins, they brush their teeth every night. Besides, cavities don't appear till you get your adult teeth. Then they rush in like the mongol hordes.

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The wages of excess

This morning, I just drove past the local 'Cheap-ass Gas' station where they pump your gas and do it with a smile. The price today was $2.49 USD. Yep. I'm thinking that this (old, 5 days is a long time in the blogosphere) article from Seattle of all places might be right on the money:

Yep, the guys making all the mess are the dudes running about the various stock-exchange floors waving slips of paper and sucking down 10$ Quad-Mochachinos with a little extra crack for that mid-afternoon boost. Nice to see them get their due.

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It's been a while since I've been cursed ... figures it would be the Maleficient Alex!

Were you born before the end of the first Gulf war?
Yes. Oh, wait ... did you mean the First Gulf war?

Childhood nickname?
"Get off my Lawn!"

Historical person you have the biggest crush on?
Condi Rice ... dude, she is totally going down in history ... rwaaar!

How about admire?
Well, all things considered, there are 3 ppl who managed to generate a pretty good legacy: Plato, Abraham and Paul Bunyon. What? Oh, ok. Just 2 then.

Favorite type of candy?
Canada mints. Grandma would give them to my brother and I. Tasted like pepto bismo but they bring back such great memories.

Favorite foreign country?
Holy Bohemian Empire.

Fish or chicken?
I'm from Minnesota, must you ask?

Do you have your own perfume line?
Akin to Alex, it's called 'Pull my finger'.

Have you ever written a children's book?
Counting this blog? No.

Have you been in a movie based on a book?
Maybe. As an unwitting extra on the streets of NYC. Always a damn car up on the curb ... can't Movie Policemen park their car like regular citizens!? Sheesh.

Ever posed nude for a photo?
Unwittingly, yes. Mom took it.

Guiltiest pleasure?
Beef Jerky ... by the bag.

Your best nonguilty pleasure, then?
Chopping wood.

What are you allergic to?

Worst pickup line you've heard?
"Uppy! Uppy!"
My kids say it every time they want to be picked up. Works almost every time.

Were you bar mitzvahed?
Errrr, I'm a Goy.

Have you ever cried during a TV interview?
You are confusing me with someone who is not a sociopath.

If they made a movie of your life, who would play you?
Deep Blue. Queen to Rook-7.

Pet peeve?
People ... Yeah, that about caps it.

If you weren't doing what you do, what job would you like to have?
Parent to world dictators. Oh, you said "like to have" ... not "will be doing".
Either way, it's inevitable.

Place you will never be found?
Holy Bohemian Empire.

Why did you participate in this tagging?
Blind loyalty.

Tagerisms:hmmm .... Tyron, Toni and Deb-Deb. Yeah, spread the pain.

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Friday, September 15, 2006


Attack Force Omega

Rain, rain, rain. Left the car windows open last night and got a SuperSaturnSoaking for my trouble. One of these days I'll learn my lesson. I do, however, remember to close the windows in the winter. Snow in the driver's captain seat is distracting. Ice on the steering wheel is even more so. Just call me Soggy Bottoms.

I received permission slips in the Tyrants folders yesterday. Something about going to Quantico for training regarding communication listening devices or some such nonsense. Compliance Requirements states that all future world dictators must complete their 'Oppression Techniques' in accordance with their Personnel Management Objectives. No matter, the paperwork is filed, in triplicate. Mauve form went to accounting, Beige to inter-cabal distribution chain, Cyan to the 'Division that will not be named for it does not exist-wink-wink' and finally the transparent copy goes to the obfuscation dept where it will be shredded, re-shredded, thrown down the memory-hole and denied that it ever existed. The satellite instruction camp is also known as the Pennypack Environmental Center for funding purposes. If the Mayor of Philly only knew, he would probably stop harassing the Boy Scouts. It's odd though that they did not go to the Churchville Nature Center instead since it is only a couple miles away. Must be the Sarbanes-Oxley nonsense.

I met with another AC guy and Talked to NextDoorRob again. In the end I'm finding that because of the 6 TON BLOWER in the heating unit, there is no way in this reality that we will qualify for the 300$ tax credit. Damn. It seems as though I'll have to back down to a Trane XL14i and take my lumps there. You want to know how much that will run. Do you. You want the truth!? Yeah, I couldn't handle the truth either. No wonder Trane offers a 0% financing package. I might as well pay off the National Debt, at least I would have some money left over to buy a coffee. I wonder if I could just get someone to chip off a large chunk of an ice flow from the north pole and haul it to the back-50.

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Thursday, September 14, 2006


Cooling Planet

Yep, skipped a day. Sorry about that. Things have been a bit busy of late. The whole HVAC escapade is sucking up a lot of my time and energy. Tuesday night, a Salesman from Engle came over and gave me the treatment. All the usual fear inducing lines about the prices of units going up. I KNOW that they already have the units in shop so the prices should not change any within the next few months. I was not pleased. The price he quoted, 3700$ was nominal but I wondered if he was selling me a unit using R22 Refrigerants or the new R410-A. Either way, the next guy we'll call Next-Door-Rob was much more forthcoming and informative. He was also a local. I mean just up the street kind of local. Nice thing about it is that he is apparently friends in a round-about sort of way with our new neighbors across the street. Funny about living in one place for more than a few years, these sort of 'Kevin Bacon' associations start to pop up more frequently. Hmmm, Kevin lived in Philly, I live near Philly ... One DEGREE! Anyways, I have one more visit this Thursday evening and then I'll make a decision. It'll probably be NextDoorRob even if he costs more. We spent most of the 2 hr babbling about house repairs and computers and such. It's good to have a rapport with your service personnel. Tally: Local Mechanic, Local Electrician, Local Plumber, Local AC guy. Now if I could get the Dentist and Doctor to move in we would be set!

What else ... what else... Hmm, the damned squirrels are digging up my grass plugs. The recent spat of cool and moist weather is helping the plugs take root very well though. I need to plant the last sheet yet. I'll stop by home depot or Lowes to pick up some potting soil just to prod it along. Maybe I'll go to Sears Hardware since it is along the way. The commute has been going well for the last few days. I'm on the road between 0655 and 0705 so getting to daycare has been a breeze. We are usually the first there. No problems with school zones but the busses are EVERYWHERE. I just have to stay out of the right lane and things go better ... except for the Sunday Drivers in the left lane. Some of these folk, I swear, left the turnpike just to drive me nuts. Swimming and karate went well. I'm thinking of picking up some comfort pads like the floor they have at the Dojang so I can work with the kids on their first form. Maybe a bit for me too so they don't pass the test before me and then I have to bow to THEM! Egads. What an ironic twist of fate that would be!

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Monday, September 11, 2006



Well, the AC was leaking gallons of water all over the basement floor. A veritable flood. Fortunately, there is a sump-pump in the room where the central AC unit is housed so I just had to slosh the water towards the sump and mop up the left-overs. Monday morning, I called the AC guys and they had a slot open for me in the afternoon. We really will not need the AC for the rest of the year. It has been dropping to below 60F each night. When I got a call-back, they said they could be at the Manor by 1445. Swell, I'll just skip on down the road, disable the anti-personnel mines, round up the cybernetic attack Mammoths and power down the perimeter defense drones. Well, you would think. They called at 1430 and it took TWENTY MINUTES to get home. The horror, the horror. In any event, his conclusion jived with my suspicions. The drain valve for the condensation collection tray under the cooling coils had become plugged with 'cruft' and needed to be blown out. It was simple enough to do if you knew what the issue was. It took all of 20 minutes to find and resolve the issue. That cost me 100$. Urgh. He did mention that our 20 year old AC unit was probably on it's last legs since the power draw on the Amperage was at 150%. The old comressor was giving out and the cost of the replacement and labor would probably exceed the price for a new unit including installation. We seem to spend an awful large sum of money keeping the Manor kept up and all of it's subsystems operating within acceptable parameters. Spewing excess fluids is outside of those parameters.

I returned to work to make my 8 hr day ... no biggie. Back again to take the Tyrants to Karate practice. Jake is just dancing about most of the time but Alexis is busy watching me to make sure she is doing the right moves. Ohhh, she'll get messed up trying to cheat off my page. I'm lucky I have not planted my rear on the mat trying to keep up with these kids. Funny thing, they know their first form (10th Gup?) much better than I could hope to with my 2 weeks of training. I was drilled on the Axe Kick and it is not for the feeble. I had a young Red Belt working the daylights out of me and man, he had no mercy for his age. Given my ignorance, I've taken it upon myself to look up some data on Moo Duk Kwan Tang Soo Do and to at least attempt to try to learn some of the terminology that is being slung about.

After practice, I chopped a bit of wood, took out the trash and got ready for the next day. I want to get going early to avoid the busses and trains and the assorted 15mph school zones along the way. Three schools and two train crossings. Strange that I never noticed that before. Must have been the Short Commute of Glee blinding me to the obvious shortfalls. No matter, 15-20 minutes is still a grand victory.

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Sod-Master 2000

Standard weekend, nothing extraordinary. Friday Karate Practice was unique though. I actually was thrown in with the masses to do my best. I did ok till they started doing combinations and then all bets were off. Punches, blocks and kicks going EVERYWHERE. Not entirely graceful but at least I did not end up on my duff. Of course, I was sweating like a Texas hog in August (that is, if they do sweat at all). In other news, Saturday was not too exhausting. Slept in after proclaiming that I would get up and mow the lawn early. Instead, we packed up and spent 5 hours at Sesame place. Heh, blame it on the kids. It was crowded but Jake and I stood in line anyways for a few of the dry rides. He was itching to get at the Cargo Net maze though and he managed to scurry though it with little difficulty. That left me to dart between the different towers to keep an eye on him and his potential escape routes. Around 1600 we called it a day and the Tyrants fell asleep in the car till I shouted out that there was candy waiting at home. That woke them right up! The rest of the afternoon was spent with me mowing the Pastoral Expanse and the Mrs cleaning leaves out of the sand pit. The Tyrants took to their watch towers and glared at us menacingly till the sun set.

Next morning, bright and early. Jake is up and is commanding us to get out of bed because the sun is up. Urgh. We go back outside so I can mow the Back50 and pick a couple trucks full of tomatoes. All by myself too, no help from the local illegial immigrants. Durned tomatoes, we got more from the volunteers (growth from discarded fruit) than we did from the regular plantings. I'll have to consider saving seeds from those guys for planting next year instead of the lack-luster crapola I paid good money for at Lowes. I managed to plant quite a bit of the grass ... only one sheet left and I've already dug 50 holes for planting it. A sheet is supposed to produce 150 plugs ... but I find that hard to imagine unless you put each blade in a separate hole. No, I'm okay with a 33% return on this. If it all works out I'll have more than enough to harvest from next spring to plant in other locations.

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Friday, September 08, 2006


Slackerific v2.0

I did not get as much done last night as I had hoped. Only planted part of a sheet of sod. My back muscle between the shoulder blades was acting up so I had a rough go of making holes and clearing competition for the new grass. I made a feeble attempt at chopping wood and found even that was too much for me. I'm quite sure that Karate practice will be a blast. It's odd, but I think I pulled the muscle when I was stretching out after taking several CBT courses at work. Urg, ironic. Swimming was fun with the kids. Found out FINALLY that the classes will start on September 18th. I'm not sure how much longer we are going to send the kids to classes. At this point, the goal has been satisfied and they can fend for themselves in the pool. I suppose a year or so more of swimming instruction would be in order, but from then on out it will be for recreation. Then we can focus on other educational opportunities.

My commute took 19 min today ... school busses, trains, traffic. The horror, the horror. I need to get up earlier though. Or at the least, on time. I need to hold my feet to the fire, but I'll cut myself a little slack since I did not sleep well. Damn back. No, I got to work at 0745 because I left the house at 0725 and spent time feeding the Tyrants. They really need to be done with breakfast and in the cat by 0655 or so. They were both up jabbering away in their Detention Cell till 2300 last night. Night owls, just like daddy. Crabby as hell in the morning too when I haul them out of bed and plop them on the toilet. A Dictator-Daddy's work is never done ... and thankless too!

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Thursday, September 07, 2006



Hmmm, yes. Yesterday was a learning experience. When I picked up the Tyrants, they were in the Exercise Yard of the ReEducation/DayCare center. The Manned Observation towers followed my every step with High Powered Rifles loaded with Tranquilizer Darts. You can never be too careful with these two. They, the twins, have found multiple ways of escaping and enjoy demonstrating their Houdini-like skills when I arrive knowing full well that the Handlers will have no recourse. Indeed, in one of Alexis' (Attila) exploits, she managed to get a deeply embedded sliver which required an rather touchy extraction procedure by the Mrs and I. Much howling and tears were produced in that operation. No nip of daddy's nano-teeth would stem this invasion; the sliver was fractured by a sloppy and novice attempt before I could get to it. Although the tweezers did the job and no blood was lost, Alexis made sure that "It hurt us more then it hurt her". She is getting prepped for her Teen-Age years already.

Karate practice was KILLER for me last night. I've been raked over the coals by my 5th instructor and they have progressively introduced me to muscles and tendons which I had long forsaken. I thought they had atrophied and withered away, but no. Back with a vengeance that no insurgent or Che can hope to muster. Men, especially of my disposition, are not built with hips that allow some of the maneuvers that were entrusted to me. I do not believe my flexors nor inductors will ever be the same. The 30 minutes of calisthenics is child's play (hey, it's the children's class after all) but the actual forms and component drills are going to be the end of me!

The commute this morning ... bliss. Up at 0615, out by 0655, drop off at 0705, exit strategy completed by 0712, at work by 0730. Gasoline is now $2.69 with my 10 gallon capacity lasting roughly 2 weeks. It would last longer except that half of my drive-time is now taking the twins to swimming or karate. My plans for their eventual exposure to fire-arms will not happen for probably another year or so. The range is just up the street from their day-care facility but we'll probably do it on the weekends. There will be much 'Aversion Therapy' and Behavior Modification involved. No bullets for years to come. I've learned by being a range instructor at a Boy Scout Camp that some children are just not informed enough about firearms to be near them AT ANY TIME.

Last night, I managed to cut up about 1/2 of a sheet of the zyosia grass and plant it along the north side of the Mile Long Driveway. It got impossibly dark quickly which forced me to abandon the effort. If everything goes as planned, I'll be able to finish up a sheet or more tonight after swimming practice. I've abandoned the idea of planting it in the Back50 and have resigned to installing the plugs in the Pastoral Expanse of the front yard where it will not be massacred by the Hell Hounds and their Acid Urine of Fire. If it works out, I'll take plugs from the established carpet and transplant them to the Back50 or just buy a few fresh sheets. I'm hoping this grass lives up to it's reputation.

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