Friday, June 30, 2006
Swing low ...
The peas are done for. Alas, the noble struggle against the heat has come to a gruesome and final close for the sinuous pea stalks. I went in and ripped them all out when they started to display that 'withering pod' look. Like knobby, wizzend knees on an old court barrister. At that point, they start to get bitter and hard. Time to steam and freeze them. I did not do the right thing last year and got some pea sprouts in the fridge instead of nice fresh peas. Interesting enough to capture the Tyrant's attention, not tasty enough to get them to actually EAT them. The Mrs helped me pull the pods off the mountain of vines that I had piled up on the Mile Wide Deck and got a few skeeter bites as compensation. No big concerns over 'West Nile' this year since we seem to have run out of blue-jays and crows to carry the damn stuff. Been too dry till just last week for the little blood sucking bastards (the skeeters, not ambulance chasing lawyers) to mobilize and spawn.
The super saturn seems to have developed a slight oil leak. I have noticed the spotting at work where I have a regular spot and at the Manor on the CarPort pad. I never think to check the oil since the only time I think of it is after I've driven it and the engine block is still emitting Gamma Radiation. I did think to put in a quart after swimming lessons on Wednesday. The 2000 decibel racket quieted down quite a bit after that. I just need the car to last another two years or so. Then the Family Tank will be paid off and I can afford to take on more debt. Well, honestly I could afford to do so now, but at great cost to our retirement savings plan. Yeah, like my grandfather, I'm not counting on Social Security to be around when it comes time for me to collect. Now if I only lived in Alaska ... oil AND cash.
Thursday morning, the Sheriff came calling upon the manor ... at 0600. Rang the doorbell and immediately started the hounds off on a 5 minute howling/barking/cerebus fire-belching bender. That woke the Tyrants and you don't want to know what a difficult time they can make for the Parental Units of the Manor when they are prematurely woken from their coma-like slumber. Every step of the way, this 2 year old accident has been nothing but misery. I had asked the Sheriff to just leave the paperwork in the mail box like they did with the other two notices, but I guess they had to 'serve' the papers. No tip for that service, indeed.
This morning was ok. I stayed up much too late and I've been fighting a bit of a migraine for the last 3 days. Traffic was light so I have that blessing in the bag. The rain storm last night put up quite a light-show, but not much in the precipitation department. Good thing, even if it is a drought, I don't think we can handle much more water down here. I might have to swap the Family Tank for an Amphibious Unit.
Technorati Tags: Family | Children | Cars | Gardening | Law
Wednesday, June 28, 2006
grinding the bone
Yes, yes ... I've been gone for much too long. Long story short, work sucks. Mowing the lawn sucks because of all the rain. Rampant road construction leading to Bridges being closed randomly results in the work commute sucking. We have gone back to Sesame Place and it was overflowing with rather rude people so that sucked. I got sunburnt to boot ... yep, it sucked. We did get to go to see fireworks and an airshow a few weekends back. I drank too much and got a head-ache ... the parking lot was packed and there were only 3 exits. Yep, suckage. The Mrs had to be away a few time because the MIL needs to restart her chemo. Major Suckage Maximus for the MIL, Situation All Suckyness Beyond Any Reason (SAS-BAR) that the Mrs has to be away. That makes my work schedule rough. The AC was out over this past weekend so we roasted in our brick-oven Manor. One of my tomato plants croaked. Flooding of late has been epidemic. My commute to work took 2.5 hours and I'm falling behind in the project schedule. Sometimes, I just want the world to slow down or stop for a little bit. Just let me catch up. Did I mention that we are being sued for an accident about 2 years ago? Minus one day so the statuted of limitations was about to run out. They wanted 27$K, the insurance comany offered 18.5$K and their lawyer never responded to the counter offer ... FOR TWO YEARS. Did I mention that I paid tons of extra money on my auto insurance to cover us up to 250$K just for this reason? Can I get a big "THAT SUCKS!"? Of late, I've been having a few dizzy spells. Must be that Suckinator MS creeping up on me from the past.
Good news: Jake swam all the way across the pool, by himself. The kids graduated from Pre-pre-school to pre-school. New room, new teachers, new computer that the kids know how to use all too well. Alexis has not wet the bed in weeks ... she might be over that now. The Tyrannical Twins of Turmoil certainly do not suck. I'll take their floods of glee and affection any day.
Technorati Tags: Family | Swimming | Karate | Children | Suckage | Illness
Friday, June 09, 2006
Weekend Update 20060609-12
You know, because those europeans are terribly enlightened:
- One of the country's leading experts on medical ethics today calls for doctors to be able to end the lives of some terminally ill patients "swiftly, humanely and without guilt" - even if they have not given consent.
Len Doyal, emeritus professor of medical ethics at Queen Mary, University of London, takes the euthanasia debate into new and highly contentious territory. He says doctors should recognise that they are already killing patients when they remove feeding tubes from those whose lives are judged to be no longer worth living. Some will suffer a "slow and distressing death" as a result.
Peter Saunders, the campaign director of Care Not Killing, an alliance of healthcare professionals and others opposed to euthanasia and the Joffe bill, said Prof Doyal was confusing the withdrawal of treatment that was more of a burden than a benefit to a dying patient with actively ending life.
"Doyal is advocating the very worst form of medical paternalism whereby doctors can end the lives of patients after making a judgment that their lives are of no value and claim that they are simply acting in their patients' best interests," he said.
"The clear lesson from the Netherlands, where over 1,000 patients are killed by doctors every year without their consent and where babies with special needs are killed ... is that when voluntary euthanasia is legalised involuntary euthanasia inevitably follows."
The British Medical Association declined to comment on Prof Doyal's article. "We have a neutral position," said a spokeswoman. "We leave it to society to decide."
Technorati Tags: Children | Illness | Euthanasia
Well, the Mrs is much better now. She came home from work yesterday in the afternoon with a litany of complaints that were common to victims of radiation poisoning. Vomiting, headache, the runs, weakness. I took care of the kids in all the glory that is parenthood. Escorted them to the pool, fed them, entertained them, bathed them and got them to bed with little issue. I don't mind doing the heavy lifting, I just glad that the 'Bread Winner' is feeling better. As for my ego-puffing about the heavy lifting, I seem to have strained something in my left shoulder joint that day. Probably when I was catching the Tidal-Wave Twins when they were leaping into the pool. We had a good 45 minutes of time before lessons so there was a copious helping of that activity. Yesterday was karate and the Mrs had an appointment with our personal Physician; Dr Pam F. She proclaimed it an 'odd virus' and said that since it's over, it's over.
Technorati Tags: Family | Swimming | Karate | Children | Illness
Wednesday, June 07, 2006
- Elite special forces troops being dropped behind enemy lines on covert missions are to ditch their traditional parachutes in favour of strap-on stealth wings.
The lightweight carbon fibre mono-wings will allow them to jump from high altitudes and then glide 120 miles or more before landing - making them almost impossible to spot, as their aircraft can avoid flying anywhere near the target.
The technology was demonstrated in spectacular fashion three years ago when Austrian daredevil Felix Baumgartner - a pioneer of freefall gliding - famously 'flew' across the English Channel, leaping out of an aircraft 30,000ft above Dover and landing safely near Calais 12 minutes later.
Wearing an aerodynamic suit, and with a 6ft wide wing strapped to his back, he soared across the sea at 220mph, moving six feet forward through the air for every one foot he fell vertically - and opened his parachute 1,000ft above the ground before landing safely.
Technorati Tags: Commute | Technology
Tuesday, June 06, 2006
Okay, I had to go to a client site yesterday for a 90 minute meeting. No big deal, their location is near the manor. More or less. To save time, I decided to take the Turnpike of Doom to US1 and be there in a flash. I gave myself quite a slice of time to do so and expected to have to sit for a while since I would arrive early. Ahhh, of mice and men, so goes that plan. So I jump out of my sensory deprivation chamber and rev up the SuperSaturn. Traffic is light and the jerk/ass-wipe to driver ratio is low so my mind starts to do it's thing. Drifting on the sea of disconnected thoughts. This is a bad habit of mine. I tend to go into auto-zombie mode when I am traveling to places I've been before. My mind goes on excursions by its own fruition, uninhibited, without explicit permission. It wanders down paths of disconnected thoughts, interrupted ideas and divergent concepts ... all incomplete and only marginally pertinent. Till I find that being lost in thought has migrated to being lost in geography. Yes, I missed my exit and did not even notice till I saw the sign stating: "Last Exit in Pennsylvania". ARGH! Back-track; get even more lost. This is not an area I visit much (read: ever at all) and the maps I have marks on them where the Red Coat encampments and Patrols are. In the end, I do a giant loop and end up back at the Turnpike going West to the US1 interchange. Thirty minutes late, but still the first one available for the meeting. I did blow a couple gallons of gasoline though ... a rather high price to pay for being addle-minded.
I ended up leaving the client site at 1615 ... by that time the worm-hole had collapsed and I was left to my own devices with regards to getting back to the manor. I thought it was going to be a lost cause (from my earlier experience) and alerted the Mrs that we may need to invoke the back-up plan 10 from outer space. Sans mormons though. For certain, some spark of genius came down from the ethers and wormed it's way into my head via the cell-phone and lead me to the Day Care/ReEducation Compound. I'm not sure how, but I made it in 30 minutes. I recognized nearly none of the roads I traveled and only survived by my wits and a 12 inch hunting knife on which I roasted the bloated bodies of wood grubs. Odd. Not the knife and grubs part, but the random-walk though which I managed to succeed in my endeavor. So I spend a butt-load (I'm getting my vocabulary from my daughter these days) of time with the kids before we go to Karate practice. Jake is performing perfectly and Alexis is mortified to be there. Roughly 30 minutes into the class, her angst evaporates and she begins to participate. Vacation is rough on her schedule. One thing to take note of, I ran into a woman who I had met at the Swimming Lessons. Odd in that I cannot remember her name. Eva, Anna, something of that sort. Her daughter was in the swimming lessons with my kids and I guess that my rave reviews of the class had enticed her. Now I have someone who I can talk to. She seems to like my reading selection and is a pro-nuclear power advocate. Ahhhh, like minds.
Oh, I did not mow the Amazon Upstart in the front expanse ... I'll pay for that decision later, in spades.
Technorati Tags: Family | Karate | Children | LOST
Monday, June 05, 2006
Working in a coal mine
My brain is still on vacation. Doing an IPL on the old grey matter is taking a bit more effort than expected. I had to get up early today and get a few hours in at work since I'll be driving to another galaxy for a client meeting. Fortunately, I'll be able to use a worm-hole to get back home since the meeting is over at 1600. At that time, I hope to mow the pastoral expanse which now looks like more of an ancient rain-forest ... with mean nasty critters laying in wait. I'd comment on the swimming except that it is the same as usual. Kids getting better at walking on water and enjoying every minute of it. Did I mention that I finished the Ayn Rand book I was reading? Now I'm going to try for a 700 pg book, Fountainhead. Heh, no rest for the wicked conservative libertarians.
Technorati Tags: Swimming | Vacation | Children
Sunday, June 04, 2006
I've been tossed back to earth as a reject from heaven. Morningstar, curse you for setting the protocol. Indeed, it was a splendid time. Split Rock Resort in the Poconos was an excellent choice on the Mrs's part. We visited the Crayola Factory, Cabelas and Steamtown. We went swimming inside and out, there was miniature golf and various hiking opportunities. The kids even got a chance to do a bit of fishing sans hook and harvested a bounty of aquatic weeds. Having the grandparents at their disposal was a boon for the Tuckered Out Twins as well. On multiple occasions, they slept well past 0900 ... most enjoyable for the Mrs and I. Having Uncle Paul down was one extra set of hands and vocal cords to keep them in line too. Lots of playdough craft and coloring in the evening hours kept the combat situations to a minimum. It was certainly a target rich environment, but the supplied distractions were sufficient to defuse them promptly. That and copious naps in the Family Tank between destinations.
In the middle of this, the Mrs and I had an excursion planned to return to Philly for a wedding reception given for a co-worker of mine. He is an ex-rock star of local regional fame and he 'married up' with his spousal selection. Given this, the Father In Law (Very connected in Philly Politics) was going to show everyone that it was business as usual. Some of my former co-workers had been invited and there was much merriment to be had. Somewhere between the open bar with the Vodka Martinis and the cigar bar with the 18 yr old Glenlivet Scotch and Montecristo cigars, I lost track of my drink stats. Indeed, waking up in the middle of the morning to feel the yet undisturbed sloshing of alcohol in my stomach was an ill omen. Needless to say, the pastoral expanse did not get mowed as planned. I did, however, manage to harvest several heads of broccoli, lettuce and a bucket of peas. Fresh veggies, the anti-alcohol.
Technorati Tags: Family | Vacation | Children | Fun