White Lightning Axiom: Redux: Barker

Monday, October 02, 2006



Another lazy weekend. Yep. Friday was good though. The double-header of Swimming AND Karate went over well. One hour in the pool and an hour at Tung Soo Do really did a job on me but did not seem to exhaust the Tyrants as I had hoped. Such are the plans of men and mice I suppose. Either way, I'll most certainly continue this practice as long as schedules permit. Not that the Tyrannical Twins are going to make any great changed to their routine.

But I digress, no? Saturday was laid to waste by a impromptu birthday party for one of the Tyrants experiments Class Mates. Poor AJ, he is such a friendly kid but his parents decided to rely on school for attendees for his party. There were 4 from his class, a 9 year old cousin and a 2 year old toddler. The greatest tragedy was the location. It's called Happy Times and is just on the other side of the air-base from where I now work. It's a poor Chuck-E-Cheese knock off. It doesnt even have the Urine Soaked Ball Pit of Innumerable Communicable and Highly Infectious Disease. No less, you had to pay a bazillion dollars just to play on the indoor jungle gym. Urk. We lasted a couple of hours before calling it quits. Of course, the twins did not want to leave. Any play time is good play time. No matter what cost. Of course, since their concept of money is still a bit teneous, I cannot fault their bias on the matter. Afterwrds, we head off to the Giantic Membership Wholesale Warehouse called BJ's (yeah, if only they had though of that before settiling on the name). I've been an 'Inner Circle' member with a green sticker for my lifetime of loyaty since '94. You know, back in the old century. Sigh... Anyways, I filled up the FrailSuperSaturn and the supplemental tanks at a mind-boggling $2.25/gal. At 2700 gallons, it makes sense to make the effort rather than filling up for $2.31 at the el-cheapo we-pump down the street. Go Capitalism!

Sunday was a bit more active than usual. I had planned to mow the pastoral expanse, but with the Mrs out shopping, there was nobody around to prod me into action. Instead, I chopped a bit of wood and took Jacob to church. Alexis insisted on staying with Mommy since she was going shopping. Alexis is pretty sharp about that. She knows that toys and candy come from the store and if you go to the store, you get to PICK what candy and toys are purchased. Next, she will learn that the the Victor writes the History. Ohhh boy, Stalin was a lightweight. Back to Jovial Jacob and myself. Jake spent most of the Mass writing his alphabets and spelling his name, much to the amazement of the Father with 3 kids and no wife in attendance in the pew behind me. I could feel my chest puffing up with pride as each malformed letter was scrawled across the paper. Every time I glanced down at Jake, the Fellow Father was wistfully gazing at Jacobs Literature. Afterwards, I went out to the foyer to meet up with some other KOC guys to hock raffle tickets to benefit a scholarship fund. We had a lot of competition that day so I only managed to sell 5 books of tickets. No matter, I'm sure some of the other parish drives will make a few more sales. I bought a few tickets myself though. Top prizes are two cars, a wad of trips and cruises, a computer and a Plasma TV. If I won anything, I would prefer the lower prizes. Strange priorities; cars are such a liability and when would I have time for a cruise!? There was also a consignment sale going on in the school gym on the other side of the Parking Lot of DOOOOM. Jake was a bit edgy after mass ... he needs constant distraction and sitting about trying to sell scraps of paper was not cutting it for him. I told them there might be hot-wheels cars over there and if he sat still for a few moments, we would go over and check. His single track mind immediately switched over and he was pulling me towards the gym with all the strength he could muster. In the end, there were no cars but I did pick up a large pirate ship complete with pirates and a full action cannon. For Alexis, I got a set of 'Golden Books' with Disney Princesses ... when she saw them her eyes grew three times their size that day. Both Jake and Alexis spent the next few hours haveing battles between the Pirates and the Army Men. Jake got army men from the Faux-Chuckie place from the tickets he won. I swear it cost us 100$ for a handfull of poorly pressed plastic forms. Alexis's particiapation was mostly stating that her Princess Lai-Lai had been kidnapped by the pirates and needed saving. They can play so nice together sometimes. Of course, it might have just been simulated war games and the ship was a space faring Harvester Drone they were constructing.

Sometime in the mid-afternoon, the door bell rang. Not a common occurance in the Haupertonian Manor. Getting past the Attack Droids and the anti-personell mines is a fairly difficult feat. It was our neighbor, the Animal Lover Sharon. She has a bio-print on file so that explained how she managed to get to the front portcullis. Apparently, she was at her wits end and came to us for help. Recently, she had a new refrigerator installed and the copper piping for the ice maker had been leaking. Now, the leak had become a raging torrent and it was no longer just leaking through the floor ... it was flowing from beneath the unit and across the kitchen. The plumber would come out if they ponied up 250$ just to show up. The people who installed the fridge were not in the office. Rightly, she came to the guy with the tools who was chopping wood all the time. It was simple enough to trace the line to the vampire tap where I could shut it off. It would not be an expensive fix either ... the compression cap for the tube connection was corroded and needed to be replaced. It could wait till Monday now that the immediate threat of having to pull out Noah's ark from the Subterranian Haupertonain Wharehouse was over. The were exceptionally thankful for my assist, but it's all in a day's work for a good neighbor. She needed a break too since she had just brought her Husband home from the hospital. He was given 3 months to live after his kidneys were removed. That was a year ago. In spite of his troubles, he still insists on drinking and smoking. I can see his point. Back at the manor, I decided to do a bit of plumbing myself. For no good reason, the kitchen hot water had slowly gone from it's usual gushing pressure to a gnat's piss off a low step. I was fearful that it was the Water Heater going south but the pressure in other faucets was just fine. I had to shut off the lines to the kitchen and disassemble the sink to get a better look at things. It turns out that there was a bunch of shards of calcium deposits that had broken free and clogged the line leading to the connector pipes to the sink. Strange, but required no parts to be replaced. It would have cost me 50-100$ if I had called the plumber. Not that I want to take food from his children's mouths, but I'll wait till I need some soldering done before I call on him. That reminds me, I have a leaking faucet in the kids bathroom that needs a new washer.

Speaking of home-maintainance, I was reading Lileks and noted something a bit funny. He apparently has a Tivo along with his other AV monolitic constructs. He was talking about using the telephone jack to update his Tivo programming every so often. I'm a bit shocked knowing that he is a big Tech-Head. We have done our Tivo updates via our wireless intranet ever since we did our first upload. Here is the neat thing about that protocol, we can download programs from the Tivo unit to any other desk-top in the Manor running the TivoDesktop program. Ok, with that done, we have freed up additional space on the Tivo (we only have 20000 Terrabites of space) and the Tivo can still see the downloads on the destination desktop if you leave the Tivo application running. SWEET! This is a new thing in the recent programming we uploaded last month. It makes me think we may need to set up a uber-disk-farm in the super-computer room and have a dedicated Tivo server. Mmmm, nothing like spending wads of cash purely for entertainment. Saving for college? Retirement? Investment? Naw, we have more computers than the Liberian Department of Defense and they are only here to save episodes of Scooby-Do from 1969.

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