White Lightning Axiom: Redux: August 2007

Friday, August 31, 2007


Fractured Family

Ok ... I slacked off yesterday. Sue me. Work has been conspicuously oppressive of late. I find a solution, it's rejected by one party. Find another solution, another party finds it in violation of their paradigm. Left hand, meet right hand. Gha. So, today, I'm spending my time with CBT courses so I can regain a feeling of accomplishment this week. Minor as it may be.

Speaking of minors ... without the kids about, things are just not the same. A counterbalance in my life is missing ... and I'm engaging in some particularly egregious behaviors. Staying up late, not getting enough exercise (well, no swimming or child TSD), eating all the wrong stuff(candy,snacks,BAD!). Who needs a parent when you need to care for a child! So, other than just being a general ruffian, I did manage to get a couple of things done right. I got a really good hair cut and I ordered sparring equipment for the Tyrants. Yes, they will start sparring now. I'm going to enjoy them going at each other instead of me. Usually, when they have a problem I ask them to solve it between each other. We have a phrase in the Haupertonian Manor: "If Daddy needs to solve the problem, NOBODY is going to be happy." Fight over a toy? Toy is removed. TV show dispute, turn off tv. You know, I'm not trying to be mean or disingenuous when I ask them to solve their own problems, I just want them to understand that they have it within them to resolve conflicts and take responsibility for themselves when the need arises. Leaving the problem to be resolved to someone else ('Someone should do something about that' or 'The government should do ....') tends to result in the same situation as what I present. Now, if they think they can solve the problem by pummeling each other (or someone else) into submission, I would like them to learn the consequences of that choice ... without a trip to the emergency room (or court of law). The next few months are going to be interesting.

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Wednesday, August 29, 2007


Roundup 20070829

Ahhh, yes ... it's been quite some time, no? My tendency to be a slug about these things has left my 'elite wordsmithy' skills a tad rusty. Typically, I would open with some sort of titillating concept and then troll through the cornucopia of MS blogs to find posts that I could tie together with a common theme. In the end, I would prance and pontificate as a closing barrage of what would have seemed like an obvious point by that time. So, now that I've laid out the mysterious workings of my usual approach, I shall diverge from it and do a slap-dash cop-out version where I cherry-pick postings from various locations I have not listed on the Cabal roster (lazy turd, ain't I?) as of yet and a few of my favorite haunts.

First, Joan at ShortInTheCord notes that when giving blood at the Red Cross, reading the fine print may be something you will have to do yourself. If you have been anywhere that has an Irritated Bovine population, you should not give. Mad Cow has been spread around the world now and honestly, unless you were a test-tube baby and raised in a vacuum, you were probably exposed. Chronic Illness isn't just for MS suffers anymore! Time to throw another steak on the grill. I wonder if those 1 pint blood iv bags have consumer warnings or nutrition content labels. Ewww.

Stephan at Electrical Disturbance has been diagnosed for over a year now and has been blogging about it ever since. Wonder why I did not see him sooner! He has a little one bouncing about so that whole stress and MS thing ... yeah, well ... wish him luck. He's taking a flight to Salt Lake city with a baby in tow. Airports, babies ... all he needs now is a kettle for all that potential stress! Wish him luck.

One of my recent favorites, Liz (yes, I'm fickle, so what!) at 'Finding Life Hard', is in the snake oil business. Cures for whatever ails ye! As a consumer of that vile business, wine, I note that her "prevention is worth a glass of warm Castor oil" quip rarely seems to be adhered to. Ah well, it's not as though she is providing the wine from which the hangovers will sprout forth, eh?

So, 'the aspiring optimist' had a few things that set her off recently. I love her blog named "MsAllInMyHead" and it's corresponding tag line. You'll have to go see what she had to deal with and nod your head in agreement. Things like this happen all to often. Ever get that urge to just haul off and let someone have a good tongue lashing!? Yeah, it's one of those things, but she seems to handle it with much more finesse and grace than I could muster.

A recent inductee into the Cabal, Sharon, has set up shop at Living Life as a Snowflake. She has a quick post up about being 'sick and tired of being sick and tired'. I believe that I can speak for all of us here and give out a big 'AMEN' to that one. She speaks of the downward spiral of stress and distress causing the MS monster to grip tighter onto our very being ... dragging you further into the muck. In the end, she asks what you do if you did not have MS for a day. Of course, that depends on how bad your MS is doing on the day before ... and if you are on the lamb from the law for stealing hub-caps off cars .... I've said too much.

Yet another one of my daily reads, Merelyme, is a very prolific scribbler. She hit that point where the denial and anger about having MS is starting to fade, and the painful introspection and exploration of a new world begins. But she is doing it with style and a who lot of fellow travelers. She sure has a lot to say, and her questions beget more of my own. If you want something to think about, make sure to visit her daily ... the comments are good too.

Ok, I've made the final cut for my last featured MS blogger and it will definitely be Anne. You see, she is a neighbor of mine (just up the street, more or less). She is going through all the same absurd weather issues. Of late, the heat and humidity around our parts has been nearly unbearable. Even with ac (expensive!!!), it's hard to stay cool. Just try strolling out to the metal hot-box of a car and you start to feel faint opening the door! I usually cajole my Mrs when she complains about how cold it is and I retort that if I cannot feel my feet, she shouldn't either! At that point, she'll put her cold feet on my back. I won't let on that I enjoy that, of course. But back to Anne. She is going though a few issues that complicate her body's cooling capabilities so she is looking forward to winter almost as much as this old Minnesota Boy. Ahhh, give me 3 feet of ice and a fishing rod and I'll be good for a week.

In conclusion, I'll try to spend some of my time updating the blog listings for the MS Cabal, but in the mean time, go over and visit these fine bloggers. They have much to say and we all have so much to learn from each other.
So, have you complimented your MS Hero today?

Crossposted from Charles's site as a service to mankind!

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Sunday, August 26, 2007


Heart Aches

Busy weekend ... well, not really. In actuality, a lot of nothing was done. Oddly, it was more exhausting than if I had actually done something productive. Saturday was primarily spent by me waffling about in bed somewhere between a lucid state and the bizarre dreamland I love to inhabit. The Grandparents were down so the Tyrants had little interest in me. Rustle up some bacon/eggs/toast for a family breakfast. Do a bit of laundry ... bumble about the manor and then go down into the chilled cellar to fill up a cooler with beer (IPA, Victory Lager, Victory V12, Chimay, Mikes Hard Lemonade ) for a party with the Butler/Seliga Clan at 1600 hours. It was SWELTERING hot the whole time. As sure as the sun rises in the east, the pool was somewhere near freezing though. So, the Tyrants were in and out of the pool like flying fish while the adults tried to sooth their beleaguered, senses by sloshing alcohol down their gullets in a feeble attempt to either numb the screaming senses or add a natural cooling agent to the system. Not a bad night all in all though. The party was for one of the extended family who is a Philly police officer and he had his partner and a few of his work friends there. He has made it his (jokingly) intention to make sure he has the opportunity to arrest everyone in his family at some point. Great guy though. Just got a dog, a Doberman. Named him 'Thor'. Go figure.

Sunday, ugh. Too much beer. Just a bit sluggish getting up so we went to the 1000 mass instead of the 0830. Since we were on the later side of the morning, we went out to the Warminister Diner for breakfast. By far, one of the best diners we have visited. They staff did not have the effrontery to deign our order too big to serve all at once so there was very little room on the table top. It was a rather good meal but we had some problems with the Tyrants and their eating habits. Alexis, once she got her waffles, did not want them. Jake was fidgety and had problems consuming his bacon and flap-jacks. They were still a bit tired from the previous night and were a bit gummed up (given that they primarily consumed chips, dip and cheese). Their digestive system is used to more ... 'healthy' food. Jake frequently requests chicken or pasta instead of junk food. Well, that is, when he is NOT insisting we buy a brick-oven pizzeria to sate his appetite for pizza at every meal. Later that day, the Grandparents packed up their belongings and we strapped the Tyrants into the back of their troop transport. You see, they were going to 'host' the Twin Tyrants of Turpitude for a week. Genghis and Attila treated this with great gravitas and spent most of the day inquiring if everything was ready to go. They had great interest in escaping the Manor for a quieter, gentler time at the FOB. I cannot imagine their spirits being any higher once they were trundled up and slowly cruised off into the horizon. Then ... silence.

We missed the children greatly. Sure, there was no early morning battle to get everything ready and no harrowing rush at the end of the day to start the extra-curricular activities. We got up a bit later and still made it to work (Well, I did. The Lovely Mrs took some time off from work.) early. Plugged through the day and took a 15 minute trip to get back to the manor. We went off to deal with some financial fallout from the Annual Budget Considerations and then enjoyed a wonderful early 11th anniversary dinner at Savona. It was distinguished by the lack of our little heartbeats making sure we were aware of their blessed presence. Sure, I talk glowingly of them when I'm hundreds of miles away ...

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Friday, August 24, 2007


Friday Final Yard

Finally, after 4 misfires, Friday has finally ignited the primer and is flying down the tube. Good thing too ... this week has been physically draining for me. The Tyrants are all up in a riot to boot. Their Water Play Friday was canceled as was their field trip to the Crayola Factory on Thursday. Oh boy. Much pillaging and burning would have commenced if I had not agreed to let them bring toys to the last day of camp today. Jake wanted to show off his Transformer called Swindle. I cautioned him to take great care with it since the last time he let one of these gold plated deluxe items out of his hands, one of the doors (Poor Bumblebee) was ignominiously removed. I've since tried to repair it, but those movable parts are quite hard to work with. The Mrs is a bit tweaked about this too. Apparently, you can get die-cast versions of noble Optimus Prime and praetorian Megatron, but none of the other riff-raff supporting characters. I let her know that I believed the 'Golden Age of Thomas the Tank Engine' may be coming to an end. Jovial Jake now has stepped into the realm of Legos, Race Cars and Robots. They grow too quickly, they do. Fortunately, Amicable Alexis is still in the pink princess ballerina barbie (WTF! Who did she pick that up from!?) mind-set. She'll love Disney World.

As for the previous night. Next verse, same as the first. Swim, TSD, Adult-Ass-Kicking TSD. I've got the next form down, I just need to refine it a bit. The Tyrants are working their way through ... Alexis is doing better at it than Jake. He is just a little too impatient. I'll have to pay a bit more attention to him for this next one. It's hard and he tends to slop through the forms. Probably because he is a little hungry and just a bit pooped.

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Thursday, August 23, 2007


Little man, big universe.

My week days can be so banal. Wake up to obscure music on clock radio, hit snooze, wake, snooze (repeat several times). Finally realize that it's morning and bumble off to let the cybernetic hell hounds out. Cart away mountains of poo and then feed the prancing ninnies more fodder for their dirty-work the next morn. Realize *I* need to use the bathroom and look at the visage of death warmed over in the mirror. I need to put a picture over the mirrors in the bathroom. The indurate face staring back at me reminds myself that I should be CELEBRATING a new day, no accepting the indignity of being startled from some quickly forgotten gossamer dream. Little context, lesser substance, zero confluence.

After wrapping up my morning constitutional, either I go trundle the Tyrants up and get them to start breakfast, or I let the Mrs handle that variably dangerous task and involve myself with getting their breakfast and lunch ready ... along with my own daily vittles. Raiding the larder, I try to make sure they get something different every morning of the week. Invariably, it has to be something they can eat in our guest bed in front of the TiVo-TV w/o making a tremendous mess. So no liquids. Yeah, that means no eggs either. If I were not so lazy, I would get up an hour earlier and make them a good Minnesota Breakfast. You know, 12 eggs, bacon, toast, kolachies, steak, coffee, slice of apple pie in a bowl of cream ... standard 'bit of breakfast'. As it stands, we already spend over $500USD on food alone per month. So frugality (scrooge!) and sleep (sloth) prevail. That, and it prevents them from invading the bathroom while the Mrs or I are trying to take the all important "morning wake-up shower". Without that, neither of us could be described as anything close to amicable. I've bitten heads off for less. If you do not recall, at the beginning of the summer, the old water boiler krumped on us over Memorial Day Weekend. Yeah, I was a bit of a grumpy gus, but the Mrs damn near laid waste to the population surrounding the Haupertonian Manor for 'Breathing too loud, JUST STOP BREATHING!'.

Hmmm, where was I. My train of thought got derailed ... fatalities. Yes, anyways ... feed the kids, prep breakfast, shower, shave and brush teeth. I've been using the master bath (tiny thing it is) to get back into the old ways and I've noticed that the pressure is much reduced. I think the filter is clogged so we may have to call our plumber to do something about it. I would do this myself, but I have seen what it takes to replace the filter and I would rather Johnas do this. I would certainly break the damn thing and need to call him anyways ... might as well cut to the chase. Another thing about the shower ... I've decided it is my duty to try to use up all those 'single application' packets of shampoo, soap and tooth-paste that we have accumulated over the years. My coworkers are noticing too. My hair looks more 'perky' and lustrous apparently. The usual treatment of lye and burning acids to wash my body/hair have given me split ends and dulled the color. Gee, fashion plate metrosexual that I am, you think I would have avoided that! PTTTHHHH! So, every body is fed and groomed ... Pack up the 100 metric tons of crap I need to lug about every day in the POS SuperSaturn and off I go. Throw the Tyrants out of the airlock with chutes on as I rocket past the ReEducation Camp and spend my 15 minutes getting to work trying to find a song on the radio that does not make me vomit. Do this 5 days a week, you tend not to notice the little nuances every day. I must be getting old because I find this ... comforting.

Work for 8 hrs, flee the building. Snatch tyrants, go swimming for an hour, get pummeled by the lollipop guild for an hour at TDS, then spend another hour and a half getting pummeled by the Black-Belt-Brigade. Home, read bed-time story, get drinks for kids, kisses, eat dinner, kisses for Mrs, prep for next day (i.e. get out one of the 5 identical outfits I wear to work [black denim, black socks, tighty-whities{TMI?}, grey t-shirt]), last blogosphere scan; pass out. Where should I fit in the introspection? The unexamined life is not worth living ...

Shove it Socrates.

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Tuesday, August 21, 2007



Again, a standard night. Swim went as expected, but no frolic with Miss Stephanie ... they had to be satisfied with using my cranium as a spring-board. Our two year membership probably still has a year left on it. We are making fairly good use of it ... well, except for the Mrs who only gets to dip her dainty toes in the tepid waters once every blue moon. Her raven black hair has not been bleached white (chemically, not from spousal stress) like the rest of the clan. And then there was TSD. The tyrants are quite interested in learning their next form to go from Orange to Green belt. One problem, they actually need to get sparing equipment as well. Now my sparring technique is atrocious. My universe is completely skewed by the understanding that I have not been ferociously pummeled blood yet. I've taken a few good pops from the black-belts, but my fellow under-mensch are either taking it easy on the 'Iron Crane' (I'm old, rusty and creaky) or they are intimidated by my hulking mass and do not want to be crushed when I fall on them. Either way, the Tyrants have no qualms on throwing shots at my crippled knee and are agile enough to scoot out from under my fall-zone. More on this later.

I read something today at Sand in the Gears, which is typically poignant with his writing:

I read about a writer once — I think it is Henry James — who would write a consistent amount every day. I try to do this, if only because it is like plumbing a well, and you have to keep digging into the heart of things. I write every day, but there are some days when you know the words will be fruitless, that they will be rock and broken earth, and not a drop of cool sweet water.
It makes me think that I need to do less blog reading in the evening and try to write a bit more. My past posts (beyond a year ago) were ... in my mind ... more insightful and perhaps a touch more elegant. Lately, I've been rushed and have even let my roundups fall by the wayside like abandoned hubcaps on the turnpike. I've been notified that they were appreciated and , if you can believe it, requested to be revived. Hmmm, I'll have to start moving on that soon. Time to re-evaluated my time management, it seems to be out of balance.

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Work Woes.

Work has me pinned down today. I got into work at 0745 only to find an email sent to me last night regarding an 0830 meeting on a subject that I had virtually no in-depth knowledge on. I was to be the technical resource. URK! Had to bone up quickly and in the end, the resolution was to deny the request anyways since it did not comply with the standard ... mkay, hacking the system is bad. I'll go with that.

Last night was not too shabby at all. Swimming was greeted with a visit from Miss Steph, who for some reason enjoys being assailed by the Tyrants. Hey, if she is going to be a teacher, more power to her. I wonder how long it is before she becomes jaded and bitter. Poor thing, I wonder how she will do after having kids. I notice that it seem to be a magic switch in some folks. But hey, who am I to delve into the potentially ultraistic motivations of others who serve as a diversionary target thus relieving me from being constantly dunked! Karate went well, the kids really want to learn their next form, but are uninterested in getting the first part right before moving on to the next. Frustrating for both parties, but we will soldier on. For some odd reason, Alexis suddenly had a bloody nose in the middle of the class and was welcomed into the cooing clutch of the mothers in the audience. Nothing serious, and I know the source (damn nose goblins, all sticky and stuff), so I continued on with Jake. He was less than pleased to be the benefactor of 100% of my critique. I have my own new form to learn, and it is not as simple. I've done a fairly good job at completely demolishing it every time. I might need to return to my cheat-sheets!

The cooler temps and light rainfall have been a Godsend for the grass. Not watering the landscaping here at the Haupertonian Manor was a poor choice. Looking over the parched landscape, I noticed small patches of muted green. Upon further inspection, I found that these were my zoysia plugs. They had taken root and flourished with impunity! I've just ordered a new batch which I intend on planting in spots where the 'classic' blue-grass and rye have been met with a summary execution at the hands (paws) of the fire pissing cybernetic hounds. We'll find if it is really pet-waste tolerant, now won't we?

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Monday, August 20, 2007


Monday, Monday ...

Well, let's see here. What to talk about first. Friday was fairly anti-climatic. Let sleeping dogs lay was the theme for the day. I stuck around the Home Office all day in case I needed to be called on to 'testify' for the TL9000 audit of our division. Silly stuff, so I bounced about and helped out some of my co-workers where I could. Standard end of the week agitprop greasing the slide into 5 O'Clock slackerdom. Friday is an exercise in pushing items off your plate and trying to temporize any requests that may come your way. Any meeting you come away with fewer action items than you went in with is a success. Even better, avoiding meetings where you might get something which would demolish your weekend is even better. But, you know, that's not really the team spirit, is it?

When I was heading back to the Manor after skirting responsibility all day, I was about to load up the POS SuperSaturn with my wheel barrow of work related paraphernalia when I discovered that I had neglected a complete a critical task that morning. You see, the squirrels have been destroying my crocus bulbs in their quest to dig up the emerging 7/21 year cicclids. So, they happen on my bulbs and think: MMMMM, this might be tasty. Argh. Go eat the damn bird seed you tree rats! In any event, I've been trapping them with live traps and relocating them on the other side of the turnpike. No chance that they will find their way back. Now I'm not trying to eradicate the population, I know better. Won't happen. I'm just trying to remove the sub-class that seems to have the gumption to dig up my flower beds in spite of the defensive perimeter claymore mines and the cybernetic hell-hounds leaving their acrid scent everywhere. So, I caught on this past morning and dropped the chattering little bastard into the trunk of the SS, cage and all. And there he sat, all day. Gitmo could have learned something from me. It was a relatively cloudy and cool day so he did not end up roasting to death, and when discovered ... was still filled with piss and vinegar about being trapped. I let him loose and he bounded off towards the near-by military base. Probably to pick up some plastic explosives and assault weaponry to get back at me. He disregarded the contract I had him sign saying that he would denounce his former 'anti crocus' ways. Damn tree rats.

Tyrants behaved as they usually do. All uppity in the pool and such. Don't want to go swimming, want to go to karate till it's time to get out of the pool. Then they want to swim and not go to karate till I remind them that it's dodge-ball Friday. Fickle little turds. Jake is still a bit under the weather and had a mini-meltdown in class. We cut that short! His 'tantrum' is usually him clenching his fists and screwing his face up into a whiny scowl and emitting a high-pitch screech ... like a wind-up to a major explosion or something. Usually I just have to bark out his name and he cuts it short. I've only seen him do it twice, but I let him know that it's not a behavior that I'll let go unchallenged. He is starting to learn that he will not get his way all the time and there are more ... proactive ways of resolving conflicts. This one will not work.

Saturday: do nothing but sleep in with a cruddy migraine and slum around all day. Pick some veggies, clean up the Master Suite a bit. Hang with the kids. Since the lawn is a perfect beige color now, mowing is not required. I'll certainly make sure that the sprinklers are turned on next year, the lawn looks like hell after this summer. The garden isn't much better off, but we do have about a dozen pumpkins that are looking quite spectacular now. A basket of very intense tomatoes too. Very flavorful due to the limited rainfall.

Sunday: more of Saturday's activity. We were planning on going to Sesame Place again, but forecasts of mid-day thunderstorms and a general malaise with the Tyrants but the kibosh on that. Genghis and Attila took turns napping on the Iron Maiden (New non-Hydraulic Master Mile Wide Bed), desperately trying to shake whatever NEW virus they managed to pick up. That, or the old virus mutated in both of them and they gave each-other a new bag-o-crap ... which I'm now coming down with. Nice. Indeed, each had a bit of a fever and the hacking cough prevalent in the Haupertonain TB Ward. The phlegm and snot runneth deep here, mind your step.

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Friday, August 17, 2007


Zip v4.75

Nothing fancy today. Mostly zip and sip. Well, I did go out to the pub last night, but the light-weights cut out at 1930 after I had started my 3rd pint of pigiron lager. So, instead of swimming and karate, I had a brief tour of the western frontier of my domain. I'm a dullard. I did buy 5 gallons of gasoline for the SuperSaturn POS and put the repaired tire back on. Woot!

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Thursday, August 16, 2007



Well, so far today has been quite ... trying. I got up this morning, in a rush. Got things to do and places to go, don't ya know. So, I rush through the morning prep and start to load up the POS SuperSaturn with the usual supplies only to find out that the front passenger tire is FLAT. ARGH! Not again, and on a day where I need to be everywhere on the eastern seaboard. I need to go out to Exton to set up and IRA for my old 401k at noon. I have plans DAMMIT. Plans that cannot be adjusted. Given the crap that is going on with the stock market, it is imperative that I get this taken care of tut suite! So, I lump it and go to the local gas station to refill the tire in the hopes that this is a sloooow leak and I'll be able to deal with it at a later time ... like tomorrow. Well, tomorrow waits for no man and I learn this as I return to the vehicle. When leaving the administration building of reeducation camp complex, I heard and hissing noise. You know the sound. It's the one you hear at 0200 on a backwood road in Afghanistan among the Taliban infested thickets. Then I saw it, plain as day. A screw head the size of a hub-cap firmly stuck in the tread of the tire. It would not hold out on a 30 mile trip in the afternoon. I would certainly find myself trapped in a flaming wreck of twisted steel if I attempted to make the trip. So, I stopped off at Uber Mechanic Chris garage and plopped down 10$ and my tire. He said if it were more than just the usual bullet hole that he would give me a call. I'll have the Mrs grab tire on the way to picking up the Tyrants tonight since I have an after-work engagement with some coworkers for a send off at a local establishment called Iron Hill Brewery.

I mentioned that I need to convert my old 401k to an IRA, no? And I need to get my but out the the agency that set up the 401k. It's out in Exton ... somewhere near California. Fine ... but when I gazed at the market quotes this morning, I was stunned. My mortgage company was having 'issues' ISSUES!? Look, I have issues with people who don't screw the cap back on catchup bottles correctly. This is a FRIGGEN NIGHTMARE! Not only is this my mortgage company (who I owe a whole heap of dinar to), but this sub-prime market nonsense is really putting the screws to the value of my retirement account. How the hell am I going to retain value if I buy HIGH and sell low!? Fortunately, I can keep the funds I am in with the IRA, but still. ACK! I know, I know ... don't panic. I'm just a bit consternated about this whole thing. The Mrs and I are always a bit perplexed about people who think that living on a revolving line of credit and having to declare bankruptcy when they have a Lexus SUV and a BMW parked in the driveway of their McMansion when the borrowing against their 401k has left them destitute ... well ... you know where I'm going with this. I'm driving a 10 year old car not because I like to. Call me Scrooge. I'm paying for the financial sins of others.

After my IRA inquisition, I have a 1500 meeting at Comcast regarding an announcement about the back-office software release recognition ... or some other 'feel-good' propaganda nonsense. I'm a good corporate stooge so I'll be there with a big toothy grin on and a well greased hand for shaking. Never mind that it's actually SNOT (see previous post) and not elbow grease. Then there is the 1700 drunk-fest. THAT will prove to be a bit more productive provided I can keep my imbibing spirit in check. Given my current health, I'll try to keep my liquid libations to Shirly Temples and Roy Rogers.

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Wednesday, August 15, 2007



Last night, I did a snatch-and-run with the twins on my way back to the Manor. No swimming, no karate, no nothing. I even let them watch TV and eat candy till the Mrs got home. I spent my time thrashing and groaning in bed with a raging fever and an commensurate volume of nasal congestion. Even the cries of hunger from the bellicose Tyrants could not make me budge from my quilted coffin. Apparently, this is a summer bug going about. About 36 hours later I should be ok, but since Alexis got it too ... I don't know. She'll probably tweak the virus a bit and chuck it right back at me. She was good about it though. She crawled into bed and slept from 1800 till 0600 and was abnormally perky when she ambled into the Master Suite this morning. Sheesh, now I know how much my room-mates detested me when I would get up at 0500 go go jogging when I was young.

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Tuesday, August 14, 2007


Sick ...

Yes ... again. Jake picked up some highly engineered cross-breed of EBola, West Nile and Bird Flu which he dutifully passed on to me. He picked it up on Friday, by Monday Evening, I was starting to drag. Ugh. Snot Factory of DOOM. He just has a runny nose, I have the whole gamut of undesirable immune reactions. Sore throat, fever, head ache, sloughing off of epidermal layers and expulsion of internal organs. You know, standard stuff for me. I'll get the wet-works boys in the sub-basement 3C to boil me up a replacement vat, but this just sucks. We had the first day back at Karate and Jake was in the worst possible place while I was diving into an unrecoverable tail-spin. Alexis is starting to show signs, but she is so damn resilient that she is more upset about the sunburn on her scalp than she is about the 'nose goblins'. Next week, I'll be heading up a development group (I'll be the scrum master) so I'll be buried again for 3 weeks. Always a challenge, it is, durned work.

In less grumpy news, the Ever Practical and Frugal Mrs and I are reviewing the annual budget for next year. Gha.

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Saturday, August 11, 2007


Weekend Recux #UNK

Behind the 8-Ball again here in the wonderful world of Haupertonian HyJinx. Friday was an abnormally mundane day. It got A LOT cooler around here so I could mow the lawn with little consequence. On top of the lack of measurable rain, the non-use of the sprinkler system of biblical proportions has resulted in a very un-healthy lawn. I did not need to empty the clippings till I had finished the whole front pastoral expanse. I could see every spot where I planted the drought tolerant zyosia grass though. Looks like it is spreading exactly where I wanted it to. I'm thinking about buying another sheet to fill in those 'less healthy' areas. Next year, it should really start taking over like some sort of alien kudzu. Saturday, I slept in till nearly noon. How I managed to subvert the Mrs into letting me get away with that, I cannot remember. I'll wager I signed a contract in blood that involved me surrendering a critical part of my anatomy at a nebulous future date. Hrmmmm ... I'll bet she mind-wiped me while I was sleeping. I'll have to take a look at my cerebral log files to see what happened. She is trick though ... probably edited them too. Ungh ... getting a headache thinking about this ... some sort of ... synaptic virus ... REBOOT, REBOOT! .... [static]

Wha? Oh, yes Saturday. Watched the kids play on the driveway while I was busy with the wee-eater in the back. Trimming some of the areas that the mower could not get at. Fixing up little things with the Twin AAA Towers in the Sand pit and mucking about in the agricultural sector. Typical puttering about type tasks that seem to gather en-mass towards the end of the week. We did have a minor outing to the Local Home Depot Temple to see if we could pick up the beveled mirror doors for Jake's closet. Much to my disappointment, they no longer carry the preferred product in stock ... it's a Stanley Special Order item now. GRRR.... We decided to make some measurements back at the manor and get doors for the other closets as well so we would only have to go through the red-tape again. It is getting harder and harder to make purchases for these type of 'big ticket' items. I think the Usurper Lowes is really putting a hurting on LHDT (Local Home Depot Temple). Dejected and disgruntled, we went off to Giant and picked up some butchers discount stew meat. Yeah, it was probably getting 'ripe' but since I have an iron gut and I intended on using it for shishkabobs on Sunday, I had little worry about spending 7$ on the 3 packs. Sunday: in short consisted of an early mass with the Twin Tyrants, the habitual stop at Dunkin Donuts and a early departure for Sesame Place. We got there by 1030 hours (it opens at 1000) so the usual line of cars leading out of the lot had dwindled considerably. Now, you would think that with a full parking lot we would have to contend with a horde of eager masses at the entrance. Indeed, there was a MONSTROUS gaggle of unwashed population queued up. We have a season passport which has a special line. It took us about 5 minutes to clear the gate. Oh yeah! (Doing a chair dance, stirring the pot, etc...) We then spent the next 7 hours getting roasted because we were about 3 feet from the sun all day long. Alexis broke out of her shell and went on the 'Giant Ducky Ride' as well as the big tube ride twice. It was a very good trip. We ate beef jerky on the way home and I made the kabobs with the garlic sauce marinated meat. A fitting conclusion to an untypically awesome weekend.

Oh, and gasoline is now at USD $2.59/gal. Not perfect, but getting better.

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Thursday, August 09, 2007


Sweet Sleep

Last night, since I was not getting my rear-end trounced at TSD practice, I spent some time setting up the beds for the Tyrannical Twins. Yes, we do not have the bed frame supports yet, so I was content to just set the mattress and box springs on the floor and disassemble the toddler beds. Much of the furniture had to be removed from the room as well, but that would have to be done anyways. Getting the porters lined up and busy lugging away the tons of granite pyramid blocks now instead of a later date when I did not have all this surplus time would be what some call 'proactive'. When the Tyrants surveyed their new full sized sleeping arrangements, they were satisfied that it was adequate for the barbarian royalty. Well into the night, my
diaphanous slumber was left undisturbed. Only the whisking of the ceiling fan and the drum of crickets outside could be heard. Neither of them woke in the middle of the night to use the toilet either. This anomaly continued till well into the morning when I had to pry them out of the beds with explosives and heavy construction equipment. This my have been a fortuitous expenditure for the Mrs and I. She, of course, was dealing with the indescribable comfort of sleeping in the Iron Maiden ... it was like being in the middle of the Pampas ... not a soul to disturb her.

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Tuesday, August 07, 2007



Work, sleep, eat ... not much new outside of getting a week off from Karate since the Master is on vacation. Sure, we go swimming every day and the Mrs is breaking in the new bed ... but there is nothing of great consequence to those loaded ideas. I'm still acting as a remote sentry in the guest room in case the Tyrants wander in during the early morning hours. Tonight, I'll be setting up the mattresses and box springs w/o the bed frames ... just so they can get a taste of sleeping in a more comfortable bed (which is not the one that the Mrs and I are trying to sleep in).

Then there is this. I'll tell you what, if my migraines could be eliminated this way ... wow.

UPDATE: Fixed Link ...

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Taggage courtesy of Maggs-Bunny:

This is the What’s In A Name Meme started by Two Moms In A Blog. I was tagged by Maggie from Maggsbunny.

My name is: Mark

MARK [Pronunciation - Mmmmm Arc ... like a dog with a hair-lip]
It means: From the God Mars
Its origin: Latin
Additional info - English form of Marcus. Saint Mark the Evangelist is traditionally believed to be the author of the second Gospel (Gospel of Mark) and a companion of Peter. A famous Roman bearer of the name was Mark Antony (Marcus Antonius), politician and general, also the lover of Cleopatra[Ed The Mrs is not going to like that!]. In the Medieval tale "Tristan and Isolde", King Mark is the aged ruler of Cornwall to whom Isolde is brought as a bride by Tristan. His name though was presumably of Celtic origin, perhaps derived from the element march 'horse'. This was not a particularly common name in the Middle Ages but was more frequent use by the end of the 16th century.[Ed. GHAAA ... that was a bit much!]

I am tagging: pb; MsShad; BrainCheese

If you have been tagged, copy and paste all of this - from the image to the end of the instructions - into a blog post. Then, change the information to match your name and tag three other bloggers. If you don’t know what your name means, you can try looking it up on Baby’s Name World.

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Friday, August 03, 2007


Ahhhh ....

Yep ... it's been nearly a week since my last post. When I'm good ... I'm really good. When I'm bad ... oh, boy, stand back! So, let's crank up the 'way-back-machine' and take a peek at the comings and going in the Haupertonain manor over the last few days.

Friday was a general day of levity. The Mrs had woken me in the very early morning when she came to bed which resulted in a woefully poor night's sleep. I just had a very hard time falling back into my usual fitful slumber. The result was a Friday of Bleck. Since it was 'Water Play Day' at the reEducation Center cum Day-Camp, I was not going to take the kids swimming. Just to give me a chance to make it through the day without completely draining my batteries and going into a spoon deficit. The skipping of a dip in the pool did not parse well with the tyrants though. The previous day, they were gleefully engaged in water torture with Miss Steph ... one of Jacob's 'Girl Friends'. She is studying to become a teacher some day and seems to have a natural affinity for my little Tyrants. If she can woo these two into complacency, she will be an extraordinary addition to the ranks of those we call Teachers some day.

Another strange event last week was my introduction to a man who had brought his child into Karate as a new student. Nicky, the child, is half asian-half white ... and his father has MS. And he is a 'lapsed' black belt as well. We had a brief discussion and found a great deal of mirroring in our experiences. For some odd reason, when confronted by mortality we tend to become rather 'evangelical' about something and our enthusiasm in our pursuits is quite obvious. I'll probably be having some quixotic discussions with him in the future.

The parents came down Friday night. Good thing; the alternative would have been a jeremiad of unparalleled proportions. You see, we had a karate test at 1000 Saturday morning and I was not in a good place. Unknown to me, something was brewing my my immune system that would slowly build up to a crescendo a precious few days later. So, the kids did exceptionally well in their test ... they are both now Orange belts and their rewards of a new toy and a pizza lunch were graciously granted. Beaming faces were the rule of the day. What could top new toys, pizza and grandparents? Why, mommy and daddy going deeper into debt by laying out the cash for new full sized mattresses and box springs for everyone! Gramps had his Big Black Truck down so we were able to loot 'The Dump' and cart off a massive wagon-train of booty. It was fortunate that we made the purchase when we did though. The items we wanted were either the last one in stock or, as with one of the beds, not in stock at all. We just happened to be rewarded with a mattress set which had already been purchased by someone else. Ooops! To the quick and daring go the spoils, I suppose. Of course, had we been on the loosing end of that transaction there would have been blood spilled and the Twin Barbarian Fury unleashed upon the entire hamlet of Langhorne would have been legendary.

Sunday: A day of rest. Truly for me. The Grandparent Patrol was on duty and took the Twin Tyrants to the 0830 mass, giving me a precious 60 minutes of extra slumber. This was capriciously squandered though. After I had returned from the 1000 family mass (and able to witness the unmitigated suffering of other fathers with toddlers about me), Hero Dad and I set to completing the chair rail and assembling the New non-Hydraulic Master Mile Wide Bed. Henceforth, it will be named the 'Iron Maiden'. By far the most firm bed we have had since the Mrs and I left college some two decades ago. The Mrs has since slept on it twice while I occupy the old guest bed. We have not transfered our alarm clocks and such ... and the Twins still come to the guest bed in the middle of the night so I need to be there to redirect them to our new location ... which is about a foot higher off the ground. They need a boost to get up there at 0300 hours.

Monday: The bell finally tolls for me. After a weekend of excessive activity, I am struck down. My spoon deficit has been called in ... I have to pay the piper now. Everything hurts for no good reason. Well, for very good reason, but it's still a crappy thing to have happen. I spend the entire day immobilized in bed with the Mrs staying home to make sure I do not crump-out on her. God bless her, I would have tried to subsist on Doritos and Mt. Dew otherwise. She fed me OJ, Gatoraid and Pasta with chicken. I'm in a much better place today, but being bed-ridden for fear of moving (and enduring nonsensical pain) is quite the frustrating predicament to find oneself in.

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Thursday, August 02, 2007


Angels at work

In my home state of Minnesota, at any time I could have in residence; 28 Aunts&Uncles, 150 cousins and an innumerable horde of second cousins and shirt-tail relatives. The awful tragedy of 35 year old bridge collapse yesterday at rush hour, I'm working with the 'No news is good news' paradigm. To date, there are 4 confirmed fatalities and 30 reported missing. There were 50 cars and a school bus on the bridge at a time. That school bus had 52 children on it. I grieve for the wayworn commuters greeted with a watery end beneath the brackish waters of the Mississippi. Then, 52 children NOT dead.

UPDATE: Take a close look at this image.

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Wednesday, August 01, 2007


Zip ... again

Today, there is nothing. Some traffic on the turnpike that I was not driving on. The usual load of political nonsense on the world stage in the news. A trickle of me not getting enough sleep, work being hard, not getting the bed rails boxed up, getting ready for the karate test. Blah-blah-blah. No great moments of epiphany or a salient statement of deep introspection. Just ... nothing. Some blogger I am, eh? Oh, I'm considering the new BioDiesel TDI VW Passat again as my next vehicle. That or a big ass truck with dualies ... fickle beast am I not?

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