White Lightning Axiom: Redux: November 2007

Friday, November 30, 2007



It's here. It's finally Friday. For a short week, it sure has been a real nut-grinder. Last night, there was a THIRD accident on the PA turnpike, forcing all manner of additional volume to the local roads. Delish! On top of that, the malapropos weather we have been enjoying has come to an abrupt and brutal end. It had dropped below freezing for more than one night in a row. This event has spurred me into action. I've pulled back the graphite rods in the Manor Primary Reactor Core #1A and cranked up the central heating turbines. There goes the slush-fund. Burning money ... dang. Of course, it only kicks over when it gets below 55/60F on the 1st floor. It stays a bit warmer ... more temperate ... within the upper floors. Heat rises, ya know. The next morning (Friday), I was up and rolling. Feed the dogs, kids, get every one to use the 'potty', empty fire-pit, build a new creche for the next evening's fire with the spent wood-coals and twigs. Then off to the showers. Of course, after I shook off the worst of the morning fatigue, brushed my teeth, shaved, showered and dressed, I went back down to turn on the psy-ops electronics for the hounds only to see a ROARING fire going in the stove! DAMMIT! Apparently one of the coals that I plucked out with my bare hands was not as dead as I had thought. It was warm enough to relight the fire. So, I'll have to build a new Boy Scout Fire Pyramid after Dodge Ball tonight. At least the Hounds will enjoy a nice warm fire this fine Friday Morning. Oh, and one other thing. That five pounds I gained over the vacation ... I've nearly eliminated it already. Yeay for me. Don't hate me because I am beautiful, Hate me because I'm a self-righteous prig. (insert grin here)

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Wednesday, November 28, 2007


Wed nullage - Thurs morn crappage

Nothing happened on Wednesday. We slept in, went to work, went swimming, TSD and then ate and went back to bed. I love being dull. Oh, I did squeeze in a shower or two ... you know, because a man needs to shower sometimes. Adult TSD class is filling up. We have three new recruits to fill out the ranks. And they are GIRLS! No more locker talk amongst the guys ... we have to be 'gentlemen' now. Sheesh.

In other news, there was ANOTHER accident on the turnpike on Thursday Morning. Nothing but a blip on the news, but I could see when I drove OVER the turnpike, it was backed up to friggen Italy. Apparently a semi hit a delivery truck between 309 and 611 ... and it all fell like dominoes from there. I have not sympathy today because my back-pain has returned. If I'm going to be miserable, so is everyone else!

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Tuesday, November 27, 2007



Time, time, time ... see what has become of me. I'm showing my age there, eh? In any even, yesterday was a bit interesting. At a little after 0600 this morning, the sounds of emergency vehicles wailing filled the Manor grounds ... shortly followed by an incongruous symphony of howls by the Cybernetic Hounds. It was as if they were calling out to their foundling brethren to form a gathering or quorum. I was oblivious to the flock of circling news vultures helicopters thinking it was the usual strike force training from the local Marines at the air-base. I did not realize the extent of the calamity till I tried to actually get to work. I even drove right over the scene of the incident. Turns out, the main East/West artery of Philly was severed ... shut down at 0620... oblivious.
The Pennsylvania Turnpike has reopened following a series of early crashes that closed both directions between the Philadelphia and Willow Grove exits.

Some delays remain, but motorists who were stuck for hours have probably made it through by now.

The highway was blocked by wreckage from three separate accidents involving nine vehicles, according to State Trooper Kevin Rathman.

At about 6:20 a.m. a westbound commercial tractor trailer lost control and crashed through the concrete median into oncoming eastbound traffic, colliding with four vehicles.

One of the vehicles, a pickup truck, burst into flames.

A passenger of one of the vehicles was taken to Frankford-Torresdale Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, he said.

The tractor-trailer driver was taken to Abington Memorial Hospital with minor injuries.

"No, no, no, there is no fatality," Rathman said, correcting some mistaken reports on radio and TV.

Two additional collisions occurred in the aftermath, he said. No one was hurt in those accidents.
Urk. Good thing I filled up the gas tank the night before.

Other things of note. We went swimming yesterday, but I did not participate in either Karate classes because ... I forgot my uniform. The Tyrant's stuff was packed, but I had neglected to check the supply bags before loading them into the cargo hatch of the SuperSaturn POS. Argh ... I really wanted to practice my next staff form too. The Tyrants acted up in the worst ways since I was not out there hammering them into line. This will continue all week till they get over the 'Grandparent Disease'. It's all fine and dandy that I missed the class though. I've been a bit ill of late ... AGAIN. I picked up something in the last days of vacation, most likely from the Mrs. It happens, I'm a virus magnet.

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Monday, November 26, 2007


Merry Monday, last day off

Today is the last day of vacation. The moaning and gnashing of teeth could be heard for miles about. Even the local bear population fled in horror. So then, we get up and load the Family Tank with everything be brought to the FOB and then some. A bit of electronics, new and old, get tossed in as well. By 1100 hours, we are on our way in the bone-cracking chill of the northern climes. It's 37 degrees Fahrenheit and raining. Deer hunters are out in force, the rain covers their scent. It becomes quite obvious that it's past Thanksgiving as we drive by the denuded cornfields. In one patch, jagged cornstalks sticking up like a 2 day old shave, was peppered with a gaggle of 20 wild turkeys, all strutting about as if they had just repelled the alien invasion of their world. Then there were the turkeys on the roads. One such fellow who needed to be served up was going over 120 MPH ... then would pull over ... and blast past again. Never understood what that was all about. Hope his comeuppance is forthcoming.

It turned out to be a 3 hour and 50 minute trip. Not too bad at all for the 230 miles we had to tread. Of course, that means about 35 USGallons of gasoline got burnt. Well, that's not quite true. We burnt about that much for the full 2 weeks. At $3+ USD a gallon, it turns out to be about 5 million euros. I had to sell one of our small pacific islands to cover the expenses of Black Friday Shopping and the stinking petrol we expended. It's a plus though since the island will be submerged after all the greenhouse gases that will be emitted from everyone and their lame dog going to the big Global Warming Conference in Jakarta. Grrr.

Oh, and we got our Real Santa Pictures done already of the Tyrants. Right after we got unpacked, we tumbled into the POS Saturn and zipped off to one of the local malls where he usually is. Our promptness was not rewarded. It was not our usual Santa. The Twin Tyrants of Turpitude were not amused. They recognized that it was not the same fellow this year as it was the last five. Sharp eye ... he is probably recovering from and organ transplant after Jovial Jacob did his flying ninja attack on him last year. Apparently, he is taking this year off and will be back next year. No matter. I'll see if I can get the Mrs to release the pictures to me and post it one of these days.

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Sunday, November 25, 2007


Weekend Postscript 20071125

Wow ... I've got a bit of catching up to do. Sunday was conducted as follows: Church, stack all the wood chopped previously, roast marshmallows, throw rocks into ravine with Tyrants and watch as Mammoth hounds ran down and pulled them back up the 50 foot crumbling cliff side (the became covered in mud in doing so), sent Alexis to bed early since she developed a 'headache' at dinner (most likely sleep deprivation) and whined a lot about my back pain. Oh, and we decorated the tree. Wimpy post, but I'm feeling lazy.

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Saturday, November 24, 2007


Weekend Preview 20071124

What a busy weekend and I'm only half way through this liquid joy. In the wee hours of the morning, I found myself watching Die Hard III (Damn, it's really starting to get silly but I do love the scene where John McClane rams a police cruiser into a toll booth so it will launch into the air and obliterate a helicopter. Any mortal would not survive throwing themselves from the cruiser, much less walk away. Indeed, the survivor in the aircraft is even more ridiculous. The appearance of Kevin Smith as a computer hacker was classic. And then there was Maggie Q. Rwawrrr! Then, I followed it up with a classic; The Dirty Dozen. Here is something that I found odd when reflecting on that bit of cinematic gold: Hollywood took the worst of the military and glamorized them 'back in the day'. Today, we take the best military men in the world (IMHO) and sully them. Of course, the war theme movies we are subjected to today are being snubbed on a colossally enormous level. Sure, they might get an award or two, but they are making ZERO money. Oh well, you reap what you sew. But enough soap-box pouting for me.

The next morning, I stumbled out into the 23 F morning air and damn near froze my nose hairs off when I took a deep breath. I proceeded to hock up lumps of frozen sputum and go to work splitting the wood from the trees we took down. Gramps and I managed to finish it all up before noon. I would have posted a picture but the absurd scale would be lost in this format. Once the pile grows over 6 foot high, it just gets hard to relate without context. This took till about 1100 it never got above 40 outside. When I tramped inside and shook the cold from my bones, I saw my son sitting at the kitchen table and he was out of his Jammies (Done with his blogging). I decided to ask him about his morning so far, it went something like this:

Me: Sooo, Jake. Did you get a bath?
Jake: No.
Me: So, you stink like a barn?
Jake: No! I took a shower.
Me: Ahhh, a shower, so you're Man's man!
Jake: Sometimes, a man needs to shower.
That's my little man.

Later in the afternoon, we went out to get a Christmas tree for the Tyrants to decorate on Sunday. As we do every year now, we got get the tree at Southview from the old Finn, Hemmo and his Mrs Patty. They are related to a man I used to work for many moons ago when I was still youthful and not quite so jaded. He talks much like many of my fellow rural Minnesotans ... makes me feel like I'm back there. Such a seasonal treat. Loves his work; crafting Christmas. Afterwards, we ran off to the library for the millionth time this week and loaded up with another bazillion DVDs. Most of them look like they were run over with a lavastone sand-paper equipped floor buffer. I cannot imagine how someone could treat public property such, so we ended up paging over the unreadable sectors. Mostly it was a problem with the newer publications ... the educational ones. I almost suspect sabotage. From there, I dropped off the Tyrants and the Mrs at Barnes&Nobles Booksellers while I make an epicurean pilgrimage to the Wine Equivalent of the Great Library of Alexandria called Northside. Did I mention that they have one of the most complete displays of single malt scotch? Hmmm? hint, HINT! I picked up a couple cases of local vintages that I cannot get elsewhere and a few bottles of imported vino ... before the price gets absurd due to exchange rates. It's already out of control so it may be a few years before things are more rational and I can afford a good Bordeaux or a Spanish Rioja. Nevermind Australian Merlot or Shiraz. Sigh.

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Friday, November 23, 2007


Vacation Day 5 (Black Friday)

So, I caved. Big time. We actually went out on Black Friday and (GASP!) shopped. Well, more like scavenged what was not already picked clean, but we emptied our savings and bankrupted our 401k in the process. Most of the goodies were for the Mrs and I. Electronics and gadgetry galore. While we were raiding the shelves, the Granparental Pair were distracting the Tyrants in the local book stores and pet shops. The pet shops in Ithaca are fairly pathetic. Mostly fish. Absolutely no puppies. I do not disagree with the policy either. We got our ... slightly engineered hounds from a breeder. Interviews and such were involved, but we did not mention the cybernetic implants we had planned. But I digress. We shopped in the less frequented stores such as Office Max, Staples and such. Mostly us geeks trolling those stores. We did make a cameo appearance at Best Buy and fled quickly with a 12$ wireless mouse. No need in hanging about that mess ... complete and total consumerist orgy with not a single brain engaged. What money we had left was crammed into the Red Kettle Bell Ringing stations by the Tyrants. Hey, even future draconian world dictators can have a soft spot you know. Don't tell, it would totally ruin their rep.

After we exhausted the possibilities for pillage and ransacking, we stopped off at the Township library. Really nice place, honestly. I felt compelled to pick up a bit of trash in the lobby and was promptly thanked by one of the wizened denizen of the reference desk. Was it some sort of test? In a fit of civic minded generosity, I let Jovial Jake drop my last dollar in their bin, even though the place is effectively run by the UAW. Go figure. We grabbed another load of DVDs and scurried home to survey them. We made a mistake of getting one labeled 'Natures Monsters'. Jake watched, unable to turn away, with a mix of horror, disgust and fascination. Alexis, cowered off behind one of the love seats and peeked around the corner with one eye ... always prepared to either leap into battle or flee to the comfort of Gram's arms. The remaining DVDs were either educational or saccharine children's programming. I nearly went hypoglycemic previewing them. Finally, I helped Gramps string up the Christmas lights on the FOB ... only to find that there were parts of some of the 1000 meters of strings that were nonfunctional. I'll have to see if we can pick up some of the LED lights at the end of this season so we need not combat that particular Holiday Bedevilment again.

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Thursday, November 22, 2007


Vacation Day 4 (aka T-Day)

Major slacking going on here. MAJOR. It's raining out so we are spending our time as an anachronism of modern family living. We sit here, watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade. We are leafing through the Black Friday ads and marking our targets with RFID and laser targeting so our assault can be done with a maximum of financial carnage. And we are Eating. Mostly because Grams is in her element and cooking everything she can get her hands on ... Gramps not included. He is busy wood smoking a second turkey because, you know, he can. And here I am, on the computer trying to stamp the devil out of my son, to no avail. Happy Thanksgiving all, hope yours is at least a fraction as filled with joy and absurd comfort as mine is right now.

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Wednesday, November 21, 2007


Vacation Day 3

Yep, you guess it, more lumberjacking! WOOT! Gramps and I wander outside to take down a very dead 80 foot ash tree. Felled it within 2 feet of where we wanted it. Not too shabby, if I do say so. The old man has a keen eye and I have the brute gorilla strength to enforce it. After the thunderous wallop of the log slamming onto the sod, we spent the next few hours of Gramps slicing it up and me lugging the rounds out back, stacking them and cracking a few apart. Then, hauling the wood up to the back observation deck of the FOB for future biocarbon heat conversion.

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Tuesday, November 20, 2007


Vacation Day 2

A little late here ... should have posted this last night but I was rather ... umm, busy? No, that is not entirely accurate. Mostly, we spent the day watching DVDs with the Tyrants and then went back to the Library to return the ones we had seen so we could borrow more. I spent a bit of time collecting the rounds of wood that we had left laying about the previous day and stacked them under the survey deck off the back of the FOB. That was about it. The Tyrants did get to make noodles with Grams though. We are expecting to have some left-overs and chicken (turkey) noodle soup is definitely a future meal. Nice Italian Pasta maker that goes by the name 'Deluxe Atlas Pasta Queen' ... by Marcato for Himark. Nope, no lead formed parts from China or child laborer bones from a sweatshop located in some God Forsaken hellhole. So, noodle away little ones ... just be careful of that damned bleached flour and the antibiotic infused eggs!

On a note entirely in line with the thread, I found a meme about things to be grateful for via Joan at A Short in the Cord. Here are mine:
1) Power Tools - HOT DIGGITY! Chain Saw ahoy!
2) Wood burning stoves - Carbon, shmarbon ... its a renewable resource.
3) The Military - be it ever so maligned, makes my plush life attainable.
4) TiVo - I'm not a tool of 5th avenue bullet-heads.
5) Internet - better than cheese, brain-cheese that is! (wink-wink)
6) The Mrs - best friend I ever had, no matter how much we bicker
7) The Tyrants - Changed my life more than MS
8) USA - best damn country in the world, by extension, see #3
9) TSD - exhausts the kids, helps me keep MS in check
10) Stem Cell Research - Not what you think! See here and here.

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Monday, November 19, 2007


Vacation Day 1

Huzzah! I watched dvds, got up late, gave the kids a bath, played board games and contemplated assisting Gramps with house-hold activities. We did actually install four electronic thermostat controls in the FOB. It was a bit miserable outside so the Christmas lights would have to wait for another day. The clan headed off to the Township Library to check out some DVDs ... minus Attila because she would not finish her lunch. She can be so fickle at times. I stayed with her and started a fire to keep the place above the nominally uncomfortable ambient temperature that had settled over the region. Slack-o-rama.

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Sunday, November 18, 2007


I'm a lumberjack ... and I'm OK.

Hey, wow ... look at me posting and postulating on a Sunday night! Yes, yes, after my many transgressions I should at least pretend to try and comport myself with dignity and restraint. PPttthhhht! After Friday night, that illusion has dissipated into a fine mist. Friday night, I stopped off at the Bent Elbow around 1615 hours and spent nearly the next two hours drinking a lot of scotch (about 10 or so snifters) and a few plates of deep fried 'happy hour'. That was my undoing. Damned crispy lard chunks ... soo tasty but oh so nasty for the arteries! I met my party, ranted a bit (she is a Democrat, I'm a bit to her right) and was assaulted by the Dos Equis XX girls till about 2100 hours. Got a hat out of the deal ... but mixing the pure pleasure of a single malt scotch with the poison of South-of-the-Border polluted water is not really a smart move on my part. Yeah, an early evening for me. And a late morning as well.

We spent most of the precious Saturday packing up the Family Tank v 2.0 with a month's worth of supplies for the week. Then, we proceeded to trail blaze our way from noon till 1600 hours to get to the FOB. Along the way we saw the landscape go from a gloomy grey and brown muck to the wintry wonderland of lake effect snow. Standard Norman Rockwell Thanksgiving image. Pine trees, snow, Grandparents, turkey ... and a roaring fire in the fireplace. And let me ask you this ... how do you go about getting a fire going? Well, with wood ... and that means chopping down trees! Oh yeah, Gramps and I hauled out the ropes, chain-saw, axes and medical kits so we could go about taking down a few dead-stands. Oddly enough, we did not need the ice buckets to keep dismembered appendages till they could be reattached ... or the tourniquets. Nope, not a single cut, bruise or scratch. Go figure. We managed to spend most of Sunday afternoon hauling chunks of wood about with all the vim and vigor a couple of mid-century boys could muster. Tomorrow, we will work on stringing up the Christmas lights. Mmmm, more ladders, heights and slippery precipices!

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Saturday, November 17, 2007


8 things about me ...

Well, Sharon da snowflake tagged me. Tagged me real good. So, what things can I dig up that I have not squawked about yet?

1) I'm one of those EEEVILLL NeoCon Republicans you hear so much about. Just ask my Tyrants; Ghengis and Attila. Carl Rove fears us; we may conquer the world before he gets to it.

2) Most people who meet me in real life SWEAR that I'm a vegetarian ... until they see me in action on the weekends. Meat Train Collision! I once ate a 220 oz cowboy ribeye steak in one sitting.

3) I've never left the US ... except twice to Canada. That's like kissing your cousin though, really does not count.

4) I used to run marathons, triathlons, teach aerobics, lift weights ... now I mow the lawn and incessantly chase my children about. I get more exercise that way.

5) Given the choice of cold weather vs hot ... I would prefer to live in 60 degree Fahrenheit and would be ok down to -60. Ice fishing anyone?

6) I'll eat anything, but I'm not a big fan of olives, swiss cheese and pickles. Pass the haggis and an extra helping of fried jelly fish please.

7) I'm 6'10" tall and 190lb of Adonis bronzed muscle with long locks of golden hair cascading down my muscle-bound back.

8) I'm an unabashed and chronic liar ... good skill set for bloggers and politicians.

Who to tag ... who to tag?
Joan, Maggsbunny, Dave, MsShad, and Jaws

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Friday, November 16, 2007


Shades of tonights activity ...

Got this from Deb-Deb ... she taught me a lot about drinking ...

Looking for payday loans?

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Rolling up the cells ...

Well, crap! This is not good:

ATLANTA — A mutated version of a common cold virus has caused 10 deaths in the last 18 months, U.S. health officials said this week.

Adenoviruses usually cause respiratory infections that aren't considered lethal. But a new variant has caused at least 140 illnesses in New York, Oregon, Washington and Texas, according to a report issued Thursday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

CDC officials don't consider the mutation to be a cause for alarm for most people, and they're not recommending any new precautions for the general public.

"It's an uncommon infection," said Dr. Larry Anderson, a CDC epidemiologist.
< ... >
Some adenoviruses have also been blamed for gastroenteritis and cystitis.

"Normally, it can cause a common cold, intestinal infection and conjunctivitis and then it goes away," said Rahimian. "But this (strain) causes severe respiratory syndrome and 5 percent of people die from this infection. So this is much more agressive. This is something we need to be concerned about and monitor very closely."

There are no good antiviral medications for adenoviruses. Patients usually are treated with aspirin, liquids and bed rest.

Some people who get infected by the new bug probably would not suffer symptoms, and some may just feel a common cold. Sick people should see a doctor if they suffer a high fever or have trouble breathing, Anderson said.

In the CDC report, the earliest case of the mutated virus was found in an infant girl in New York City, who died last year. The child seemed healthy right after birth, but then became dehydrated and lost appetite. She died 12 days after she was born.

Tests found that she been infected with a form of adenovirus, called Ad14, but with some little differences, Su said.

It's not clear how the changes made it more lethal, said Linda Gooding, an Emory University researcher who specializes in adenoviruses.
< ... >
Rahimian said people can protect themselves from the virus in the following ways:
— Regular hand-washing
— Disinfecting. and using antibacterial gels
— Stay away from people who are sick
Ok, not to heckor any of you folks out there ... but be careful if you have a compromised immune system. You KNOW who I am talking to, right?

In other 'not so alarming' news, I'm taking the night off. The Mrs is going to take the kids to Karate/Dodge Ball tonight and I'm going out to a local bar to try and kill off whatever I've contracted with scotch and vodka. Seeing some former coworkers from centuries gone by. And then, the next morning, with a full-blown hang-over, I'll be driving the Khan Clan (Kubla, Attila, Ghengis and the Mrs) to the FOB where we will spend the week feasting on grandma's tasty vittles. I will try to post, but there are NO guarantees.

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Wednesday, November 14, 2007




Standard day: Wake, get kids up (pee first) and let them watch 'I Spy' on TiVo, let dogs out, feed 'em, get kids breakfast ready, feed 'em too, empty wood stove, set up firewood in stove for the evening (all the Mrs needs to do is toss in a match), shower, drive kids to school, drive to work, work ... work ... go pick up tyrants, go swimming, go to Karate, do kick drills with tyrants, run through adult Karate class, go home, kiss tyrants goodnight, eat, shower watch 'The Tick', go to bed. Deviations; It was foggy this morning, and I'm learning a new form in Karate: Pyong-Ahn Oh Dan. The part of the form where you leap through the air, twist, and then land with your legs crossed with a low 'X' block? Yeah, that's going to be rough on the old knee.

Oh, and as for that image above ... NICE! I'm talking about the gasoline price ... $1.09 ... wow.

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Tuesday, November 13, 2007


Ack! Ptttht!

It has taken me more than a bit of effort to get this out. I've not been sleeping all to well of late and that is really putting a crimp in my usual loquacious writing persona. Indeed, my mercurial writing has slowed to a clumpy mass of semi-viscous sludge ... much like how I feel. So as for my absence from commenting on all your blogs, I'm so sorry. I'll get around to it. The plague has laid me low. The up side to all this is that I did not register much discomfort during the TSD test last Saturday. The Tyrants did well, for the most part. Attila had her usual 'stage fright/prima-donna melt down' act for 15 minutes before the test started. Ghengis was as excited as a little boy could possibly get. In the end, they both earned their promotion to Green Belt and spent the next three days bragging about it. It came to a point where I had to expound on the idea that no matter how good you are, there is someone out there better than you who will kick your lilly-white ass up around your ears. Alexis chimed in that that it seemed to her the arse-woopin' job belonged to Daddy. Not this weekend. After getting fully overrun by the nasty bug the Tyrants had infected me, the events really started to drag me down. It was all made better by greasy, cheesy pizza after the test. Ghaa ... talk about heart-burn. I spent the rest of Saturday napping, doing laundry and fixing the airflow fans on the wood-burning stove. Yes, we have yet to turn on the heat and rely primarily on the stove. So what if I have to use an ice auger to drill a hole in the ice formed over the toilet bowl! Since we spent a whopping $100USD on utilities last month, we would hope to continue that revenue retention behavior instead of using a shovel to throw our income into the fire as we gesticulate madly at the Oil Speculators.

Sunday: Yep, day of hypocritical rest. Took the Tyrants to Sunday-school ... got trapped in the bass-ackwards parking lot till nearly every single car but the 4 blocking me in had left. Then, after gnawing on their tires, we sped back to the Manor where I proceeded to pull down the tomato cages and strip off the greenies that were not frozen in the last hard frost. Oddly enough, the carrots all seem to be doing quite nicely still. Resilient buggers. Then, while the Mrs ran off to resupply our larder, I got down to the business of fixing the lawnmower drive belt, putting slices in the karate wood so the Tyrants can break them easier and then fixing the splitting maul that had a muffed-up handle. Trying to split rounds of wood with the handle instead of the head tends to do that. So, I have the handle cut loose, but I need to clear out the eye. Can't just drill it out since there are metal chits in it. So, with a ball-peen hammer, I go to town trying to force the remainder of the handle out. Everything was going quite well until I mistook my fleshy hand for the tempered steel of an axe. It did not give off that signature ring of steel on steel, but rather, the squishy/crunchy sound of bone and sinew being ground together by unforgiving force. The sharp pain soon gave way to an unabated ache ... but no apparent damage. It was the bone between the wrist and first knuckle of the thumb that took on the laws of physics ... and lost. So, I did what any rational man would do ... jump up and down while bleating out profanities and cradling the throbbing appendage to my crotch. You know, because that always helps. The cursing part, that is. And then, I took a nap ... only to wake up hours later when the pain and swelling in my hand were too much to let me remain sleeping. A few ibuprofen and some quality time with the family, all was right with the world. It's now two days later. Managed to get my flu shot on Monday morning, but said nothing of my illness since I know it is not the flu. Just another upper respiratory nuisance. Let me tell ya, my hand still hurts more than the shot, but I'm certain it is not a fracture, just a bone bruise. Next time, I'll just throw the damn axe head in the fireplace and burn it out.

Oh, and gasoline here in Pennsyltucky is nearing 3$/us gallon. And the newly elected politicians are talking about adding a NEW road use tax so they can fix the bridges that they let go to rot when they appropriated the funds allocated to that to ... build more roads and bridges. Dumb-asses.

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Friday, November 09, 2007


Weighty Issues

So, it got cold last night, really cold. I mean it was so cold that my nipples got hard enough to cut concrete! I really should sleep with some sort of clothing on. Now that I've damaged your fragile psyche with that atrocious visual (everyone thinks in pictures, right?), let me tell you why a simple dip into the 40's makes a difference to a molasses blooded northern'r like myself. You see, the Mrs is a Manhattan girl and the Tyrants are half-n-half. A bit of cream and a bit of lutefisk. So, as it turns out, my son looks mostly like me and got a bit of the Mrs's genetics with his eye shape. I'm finding out that he did not get his tolerance of cold from me. Last night, I sacked out fairly early and actually fell asleep. Of course, sometime in the wee hours of the morning (he had to go wee, thus the phrase?) he got up and tunneled into the Mile Wide Bed. He starts out by snuggling with the Mrs and engaging in his most affectionate act so as to get her to let him stay. She is the gate-keeper ... the bouncer. After he has ingratiated himself with her, he will slowly work his way over to my thin slice of acreage and start siphoning off as much heat as possible from my overactive metabolism. Of course, he will stir a bit and reflexively beat the bejeepers out of my internal organs. Must be some sort of hex the Mrs cast on him so that I can share her experience of carrying him (and sis) for 9+ months. So, my hopes of a solid night's sleep was rended asunder. This series of events has had two distinct impacts on me ... one is that I have become more interested in getting the heat distribution fans installed/fixed for the wood burning stove. Priority on now that the ambient temperature in the Manor is now akin to a cryogenic preservation tube. The other epiphany, is that I am sick. The Murphy Factor hit me hard regarding the Flu Shot Fiasco this past Monday. A few days later and I'll be getting my shot ... I have a TSD test this Saturday ... OF COURSE I'll catch some nasty little genetically engineered virus from the Tyrants. Of course, since my body chemistry is out of whack, I'm trying to plow through a class 2 migraine as well. OF COURSE, that calls for brain-chemistry altering medication ... and we all know what that means ... 'DA FOG'. Present in body, but not quite all the way in mind.

Certainly, everything was trucking along fine but that butter-fly wing batting on Monday is now winding up it's Saffir-Simpson Scale 5 hurricane power. In the good-news column (as lengthy as it is) his morning, when I stepped on the scale, I found that I'm holding steady at 185 lb. Not too bad, considering that I threw myself on the candy-bucket to save the kids from the evil sugar monster. Now, all I have to do is survive the holiday season (Grams is an exclellent cookie/peanut brittle source, Gramps is going to possibly make that date roll I eat too much of) and perhaps avoid another round of mutated virus ... tall order, eh?

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Thursday, November 08, 2007


Safe at third, out at home.

So, not much to talk about today ... sliding into third base Thursday here. I made it to the Adult TSD class last night, in spite of my massively bruised 'chopping hand'. As I gaze down upon the mutilated appendage dancing over the keyboard, I marvel at the fact that it does not hurt more. Red, white and blue ... well, purple-ish blue. Hopefully, my dedication to not doing what I did to it in the first place will ameliorate the situation before the test on Saturday. Of course, I'm an unabashed recidivist when it comes to matters of personal safety. I'll have to redress that matter before it catches me in the shorts.

Speaking of shorts, last night SUCKED for sleep. I laid awake till nearly 2am ... just unable to nod off. Not sure why, but I am certainly tired enough now. It's been going on all week. I'm going to have to ask the Mrs for a 'night off' where I can just come home and go to bed ... or something like that. This nonsense will certainly impede any progress I hope to make this weekend with various chores and activities about the Manor. And no, I will REFUSE to take medication for this. Perhaps a supplement, but I do not need another raft of pills in my life.

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Wednesday, November 07, 2007


Unspecified Damages

Well, that was interesting. Apparently, my daughter had a rough night or a tough day at school yesterday. She did eat all of her lunch, but when she was doing the typical 'goof-off' routine at karate, she was reprimanded and awarded a punishment of 10 push ups. Instead of acknowledging that she was goofing off and just enduring her punishment (she does better push-ups than her brother, it's how I reprimand them), she chose to invoke the 'Hollywood Defense'. She turned on the water-works. Unfortunately, I was there and the other parties involved have learned that (in spite of the effectiveness of this approach on television) this modus operandi is a blatant attempt of Machiavellian manipulation. After the push ups and a good 15 minutes of loud sniveling and sobbing, she aborted the exhibitionist attempt and moved on. Yes, it broke my heart. Yes, I'm a big meanie. Yes, I'm her father first, then her friend. I have no moral or ethical ambivalence about this. Given this, I took the Tyrants home and skipped the adult class.

This was a predetermined course of action since I wanted to help the kids with their board-breaks. I had set aside a stack of board for this. I proceeded to perforate them with a small-bit drill so it would be easier to break. They could not do it without my help though. I had to wrap my hand around theirs and help them with the follow through. Their fully rigid chop is no longer than my palm and first knuckle so my fingers encompassed most of their hand on the palm side. Since my muscles were not tensed, I ended up breaking the boards with my bones ... and that particular bone in both of my hands has been broken and has healed with an inward bend. Lots of extra calcium there. Lots of extra ouch was involved here. Yes, yes, I don my ashen sackcloth and bemoan the unfairness of it all, but I'm only reaping the bitter harvest of my past transgressions here. We plow through 3 boards with each child and every break fractures the board not on the perforation, but on completely different faults. Friggen ouchius maximus. I need to buy Ghengis and Attila some of the plastic break-boards so I can preserve my money-maker hands.

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Tuesday, November 06, 2007


Happy Local Elections Day!

Normally, Tuesdays are just a small set of stepping stones in the long climb towards the weekend. Today, the stones were spaced well apart and there were an exceedingly large number of them. So, last night I picked up a few finished boards from the Home Depot Temple and cut some shelves for the Mrs. She was happy with them. The Tyrants ate their lunch, enjoyed swimming, listened in karate and ate dinner quick enough to have some play time. I got them into their bath and then dried their hair before the Mrs read them a bed time story. Within what seemed like seconds, of course, after a restless night it was time to wake up again. Over the last week, our phone answering machine has been an electronic bugbear spewing out line after line of mud-slinging political messages. It is election sign season here and the balkanized nature of pennsyltucky politics means that you have to elect virtually every damn person down to your garbage man! I am gleeful that this will be over soon and the signs will slowly decay (what massive FILTH bespots our landscape, they just lay there for weeks) and eventually, be removed by forced labor details. So, to do my civic duty, I scurried off to the polling location I'm assigned to and brought the Tyrants with me. It was a miserable morning, 49 degrees Fahrenheit and drizzle from the low-hung grey clouds coating the leaf strewn streets. Accident fodder. I take it slow and get there at 0715 ... and there are only polling officials. I'm in, I vote, I let the tyrants push the 'VOTE' button and we are gone again. All of about 30 minutes between the departure from the Manor to drop off at the ReEducation/DayCare center. Not to bad ... I'll have to make sure I do not try to show up early next year ... standing in the cold, wet November mornings with the Tyrants (who desperately want to assault everyone else in line) is not worth it.

In other news, gas prices are going up. You know, because speculators are betting on a long, cold, hard winter and the need for heating oil. Again, I hope the bastards loose their shirts. Jerks. Gasoline went from $2.50USD to nearly $2.90USD in a matter of weeks.

And just so you all know, the end 'Daylight Savings' is the official start of the Depression Season. Do what you need to stay in good spirits. Seasonal Mood Disorder is a nasty little nit and not very helpful if your health is on the fringe.

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Monday, November 05, 2007


Weekend Redux 20071105

Hoookay then. Another weekend under the belt to make me wiser and older ... more of the second than the first of course. For all the plans I made earlier in the week, having the Grand Parent Patrol about helped out a bit. Friday night, of course, ended with Dodge Ball and there was much fun and pummeling to be had. And that was the extent to which things were dealt with on Friday evening. Application of force. Little stuff like plastering & painting the wall patches, cutting and putting polyurethane on wood, nailing up molding, clearing leaves, harvesting the last of the veggies, tilling under the agricultural sector, running telecommunications wire, installing break-out boxes ... none of that got done. Although, when Gramps did have some spare time, we managed to replace one spigot in the rear of the manor that was leaking and the closet space that needed 'dressing up' was completed. Most of our time was spent shopping at the Local Home Depot Temple though ... which had it's own tales. We managed to visit on a day where they were giving away free hot-dogs and 'sliders' (greasy cheese burgers) so that made it worth the trip right there. Nothing like hot dogs with Düsseldorf mustard at the depot. So, the mrs almost has her closet space ready (I still need to cut the shelfs to length) and we have one spigot that may need 'professional' attention. It's right above the electrical circuit breaker box so I'm a wee bit wary of cracking that open right now. Next weekend, I may get that Telcom wire run though. It's cool enough to visit the attic without bursting into a puddle of sweat. In fact, I started up the wood burning stove this weekend. Yes, the crisp chill of winter has finally made itself known ... in the inviolate sanctuary of our Master Suite. Makes it really tough to get up in the morning, don't ya know. So, that made the Daylight savings sleep-a-thon a delight. I managed to get that hour back AND make breakfast before heading off to our church for some Sunday Morning Catechism. Then, the day ground down to a fine powdery residue as Grams cooked up a fine dinner and Gramps confiscated the 'indoor green-house' for growing God-Knows-What at his Agri-Bio-Tech company. Me, I just planted garlic among the seedling hybrid willow trees for next year's harvest.

Final note, I was supposed to get my flu shot this fine Monday morning but due to a change in policy with the subcontractor who does these things, I now need a note from my doctor that it is ok. You see, because I have a neurological disorder, that makes me a high risk factor. Just the ppl you want getting the damn shot. So I called the doc, went to pick up the script, and by the time I managed to wend my way back, the sub-contractor had closed up shop. I had to reschedule for next week. Gha!

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Friday, November 02, 2007



Not much ... it's Friday after all. I try to make sure that this final day of forced labor is as quiet as possible with the exception of dodge ball. And yes, there will be swimming too. Speaking of swimming, Mrs Gwen stopped by the pool yesterday. She was concerned that she had not seen us for so long. She is awfully attached to the Tyrants. They seem to have that peculiar ability to attract adoptive grandparents. On that topic, we had another attack of 'How cute and devilish can I be' from the Haupertonian Scion. Jake invaded our bed again last night, but had the good sense to climb in from the foot of the bed instead of over my head. He let me get some sleep and siphoned heat off of the Mrs instead. Vampires have to let their prey (stock?) recuperate between feedings, you know.

And now, for the progeny of the title for this post. I found this at Varifrank and could only think 'about time'. Like flying cars, zap pistols and faster than light space ships ... it is a 'taste' of the future. Yes, bacon salt. Not only does it make food DAMN GOOD, it will protect your from islamist terrorists! I'm going to talk to the Mrs about quitting my job and becoming a QA Specialist in charge of the bacon salt production line. Oh, and they have a blog too! Boy, wouldn't this stuff make and awesome Christmas present. Eh? EH?

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