White Lightning Axiom: Redux: October 2007

Wednesday, October 31, 2007


Live Blogging Halloween ... not really

Well, here we are, the day after and my dreams of 'live blogging' are all asunder. Honestly, I had started down the path, but then realized the futility (silliness) of the whole thing. No matter, here are the details:

5:45 - turn on LED lights in pumpkins
6:00 - send out Tyrants with Mrs on their T-or-T mission
6:15 - first kid walks by on her way to a party - cat
6:20 - second lurkers : unk costume and her mom
6:30 - first gaggle : witch, thug, 2 monsters
6:40 - second gaggle : pirate, monster, baseball player
6:45 - 2 little fairies
6:50 - lamb in stroller
&;00 - firetruck wends its way though development
7:10 - witch and rag doll
7:15 - teenagers : 7 girls (DIRTY OLD MAN OOGLES INAPPROPRIATE COSTUMES and shakes head in disgust)
7:45 - bloody bride, cheer-leader, Tyrants arrive at Manor
7:55 - 4 teenage boys dressed as eemo thugs ... when are teenage boys not eemo thugs?
8:20 - 6 kids scoop out booty ... nearly empty!

So, that was that. I did get the standard flat-top haircut for the occasion and spent my time sitting out on the front porch with the laptop the whole time. That bench we had assembled in the mid-summer was a great boon for me. All in all, it was a fairly uneventful evening. Not the same as when I was a kid, you know. I remember that our neighborhood would look a lot like that scene in ET where the street was MOBBED by lemming like hordes of kids ... dressed mostly in parkas. This was Minnesota though. Oh well. Funny thing, later that evening, Jake wanders out of his room around midnight and insists that he needs 'adult company' to sleep with him because he is lonely. His sister will not do so I believe he may have seen one too many scary masks. So, he nestles in between the Mrs and myself and spends the night kicking the hell out of my kidneys. The price of parenting. I'll pay him back at TSD practice later.

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Night of Horrors


Bwa-ha-ha-haaaa. Ok, nothing going on here. Most excellent. There should not be much to talk about since it was the regular schedule. Sleep, Drop off kids, work, pick up kids, swim, karate, adult karate, sleep. Yeah, predictable as hell, eh? Big difference for tomorrow is the night of tricks and treats. I'm going to skip swimming tonight, and obviously, there will be no karate tonight. That, after paying for next months dues, the test fees (for the 10th of next month) and the price of the new staff weapons for the Tyrants. I'll be expecting them to get their green belt with little difficulty. Although, after talking with Master Smith, I have concluded that we are getting much more for our money than we would ANYWHERE else. Apparently, other institutions charge extra for self-defense forms and weapon forms. That, and we go five times a week. Except this week, where the Tyrants will be donning their Optimus Prime and Briar Rose outfits instead of the 'dress whites'. I'll have much more to talk about after tonight, for certain.

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Tuesday, October 30, 2007


On a roll ... with mayo.

Wow ... its a dull day. YES! Because of my intense and unabating dedication, I get 4 hours of 'reward' time from work and a 'under the desk' award of 8 hours. I'm soooo going to use that. The 1st 4 is going to be used by sleeping in for an hour every day this week. Mmmmm. I end up getting in 45 minutes late (15 minutes is gained by less traffic) so it will last nearly all 5 days. Every day will be the same: Get up w/o an alarm clock, drop off kids (take care of dogs if the mrs does not), go to work and slouch through meetings making snarky remarks, then pick up the Tyrants for swimming, then Karate, and then adult Karate ... dinner, bath for twins, shower for me and off to bed. Ahhhhh, normality. Of course, there is that hiccup in my plan called Halloween. Always something, eh? Oh, and the singular notable event yesterday was the celebration on the behalf of the twins for them eating their entire lunch. With all the candy floating about, it's amazing that they are not swimming in a sugar stupor.

On a completely unrelated note, a meme from Jaws

10 Reasons why 2008 will be a Better Year

10. Like cheese, wine and sweat socks, I only get better with time.
9. My POS Saturn SL1 will be over 10 years old and still running ... woot!
8. I'll be hitting the 40 mark ... my doctors never expected me to get this far.
7. The Tyrants will be finishing phase 7D-12 of the global conquest plan.
6. My normal weight is now below 190 ... I'll be working on the 1lb/month plan
5. Our debt reduction plan should bear fruit.
4. The Tyrants will start 1st grade ... which means UNIFORMS
3. We will vacation closer to home this year ... probably Hershey again.
2. The Zoysia grass is taking over the lawn quite nicely.
1. Another year with my lovely family.

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Monday, October 29, 2007


Weekend Redux 20071029

The terminus of the 'free wheeling' weekend has come to me like a lost hive of bees looking for a suitably spent reservoir in which they can deposit the fruits of their labor. I'm drained, replenish me with loads of sticky, syrupy energy plz. Of course, the terminus came but the syrupy energy did not. Instead, I have the beginnings of a head cold thanks to my two little disease carriers. Alexis has been brewing some nasty upper respiratory nastiness for some time now and Jake just picked it up. I'm starting to feel a little nasal congestion so it is only a matter of time. I think Last week's support bizarroland travels may have opened up my wacky immune system to the invasion. Stephen knows what I mean. It was nice to ditch the support phone on Friday, but I do not think I'll be able to throw off the damage it did for some time.

Let's talk about the nice things of last Friday though, eh? Yes, it was the end of my support duty till Christmas ... gha, one could hope that it goes well over that Holiday! I picked up the Tyrants early on Friday so we could do the work-place trick-or-treat thing. They loved it! Hundreds of stops for candy and all of them no more than 6 feet apart. Three buildings, thee floors each, all connected by tunnels. It's a diabetic nightmare. After the pillaging of candy-land, we went off to TSD where I was allowed to participate (NO PHONE!) and by proxy, the Tyrants had to behave or I would snap them back into line. The following day, were were planning to go to Sesame Place ... for more Trick-or-Treat activities. Mercifully, this did not happen because of the downpour of rain. We need the rain, but I need to rake leaves and mow the lawn and do all kinds of out-door stuff. So, the Mrs and I slumbered away till noon ... except when I had to get up and prepare the kids breakfast ... and let the dogs out ... and feed them. Oh, then there was that pesky lunch thing. Wait ... did the Mrs let the Cybernetic Mammoths out? Both the long term and short term memory sticky-goo was powered down to the bare minimum. I'm probably lucky I did not end up wandering the streets in my underwear, a hat and my boots.

Sunday fared a bit better. Sunday School at 1000 hours, then off to the Produce Junction to pick up inexpensive veggies for my lunch during the week. After that, Home Depot to buy a sheet of dry-wall. And yes, I actually used the stuff to patch the two holes in the wall behind the Master Bath Shower/Decon chamber. Left a bit of a mess behind, but a quick swipe with the vacuum will clear that up. Finishing that, I mowed the lawn (and thusly, cleaned up the leaves) without the power assist on the mower. I need to pick up that belt but forgot to when I was at the local Home Depot Temple. I can get so single minded at times. In the act of mowing the front pastoral expanse, one of the lids on the sprinkler system got sucked up and chopped to bits leaving a giant hole in the ground. I'll need to put something over that soon or some children will get swallowed up on the 31st. The last thing I need is for a bunch of well meaning rescue personnel to start digging up the yard only to find the previously hidden skeletons of Jimmy Hoffa, Elvis's first clone and some left-over bits of Ark. Speaking of arks ... the Mrs was so kind as to pick up the dog-dip and wash the hounds while I busied myself with other nonsense. Little stuff, like fixing the 'O' in Jacob's name on the Twin Towers , a mountain-range of laundry and spreading out the clippings in the garden. Standard fun-stuff. As a capper on Sunday, I carved out two of the 20,000 pumpkins for the Twins after they drew what they wanted them to look like. Next year, I'll insist that they carve out the guts themselves. They were less than enticed by that prospect this year. The Ever Ready Mrs took a pic of the two gored gourds, but had not posted them yet. Trust me when I tell you that the Tyrants were sufficiently pleased. And, on queue, since the jack-o-lanterns were ready, we got frost this chilly Monday morning. Perhaps I did finally mow the lawn for the last time this year. Perhaps.

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Thursday, October 25, 2007


Support Duty

The word for this week is bravado. Yes: for the customer who INSISTED that the problem was not with their network, but rather, our software. In the end, finding that their network WAS the issue, had the bravado to blame us for not finding THEIR problem sooner. For the Network guy who had the bravado to say that they have so much more training and experience in the field so our conclusion must be wrong since we are not network engineers. And to the 'Customer Advocate' who insisted we work through the night ... twice ... since we needed to identify and fix our problem for the customer who was uncooperative and abrasive. And for my boss, who told them to back off and let us get some rest. That last one was incredibly brave in the face of increasingly stentorian clamors for a solution we could not provide. In the end, when definitive proof was given that our software was working and their network was hosing up the works, the recidivist behavior of the customer almost broke my back. I'm eagerly anticipating the postmortem of the case on Monday. Since it is work, I can say nothing more.

Around all this work nonsense, there were a few moments where I spent time with my family. Such as Monday at Noon when the Day-Care professionals called me to let me know my Lovely Daughter had thrown up ... twice ... at lunch and I need to come get here ASAP. Of course, moments later I was paged back to work and had to bring in an ill youngling till the Mrs could stop by and pick her up. Well, that was a whole giant pile of fun, mind you. Nothing like having to juggle a cantankerous customer and a brittle child at the same time. Alexis got her mothers digestive system: "Made entirely of lace and tissue paper". I was AWOL for the next couple of days and what sleep I did get (45 min on Monday, 4 on Tuesday) was riddled with twisted and disturbing dreams. The stress backed up a bit and wreaked havoc with the REM cycle. So much over flow that it invaded Attila's dream in some sort of twisted Jungian Common Unconscious. She tumbled into our bed on Thursday morning wailing of bad dreams where she could not find Grandpa or anyone else. Her worst fear is being alone. I think she gets that from me ... I'm a fairly social animal. She is EXTREMELY interested in being attended to and prefers the comfort of what she knows over the expeditions into the dark regions of the undiscovered. My, she is an old fart at the ripe old age of 5.

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Monday, October 22, 2007


Weekend Redux 20071022

And Hellllooooooo Monday. I'm on support phone detail for the next 4 days. I'll be grumpy, irritable ... curmudgeonly, cantankerous even. However, all this flummery about my attitude means little when the change is nearly invisible to my peers and associates. Yep, happy-happy corporate suckup, I am. Enough of that incessant whining though. Let's talk about the incessant whining I did this weekend.

What was left of Friday ended up being quite mild. The Tyrants had fun at TSD practice and even more fun with the 15 last minutes being dedicated to dodge ball. One small concern was the persistent cough that Alexis first developed a few days ago. It was sticking around that that was not a good sign. She was going to get a 'sticking' on Saturday morning and if she was ill, she would not get her booster shots. So, Saturday rolls around and we are at the Pediatrician's office. We did the eye test, weight, height and all the other semi-routine inspections. Nothing note-worthy. Just two normal kids except for the Neural Implants and Cybernetic Augmentation. Then, came the shots. Jacob watched as each yard long garden-hose sized needles were thrust into his arm and the 55 gallon drums of weakened polio, typhus and other associated biological crap was emptied into his tiny body. 4 shots in all. He calmly watched with detached interest. Like watching an snail crawl over a hot driveway in the waning hours of an August day. Alexis witnessed this and became exponentially distressed at the appearance of every needle. When it was her turn, she was nearly hysterical. I could tell she got this 'needle phobia' trait from me. I am not entirely tolerant of such things. When she finds out what is involved in getting your ears pierced, I'm almost certain she will forgo the 'enhancement'. So, to through the shots, I had to restrain her in my lap and try to circumvent her 'grip break maneuvers' that we had taught her in Tang So Doo. This was extraordinarily difficult ... I am suffering for teaching her how to escape the restraints of adults. After applying the gauze and splints, and a few band-aids on her, we departed the house of pain for a house of Ice Cream and Pizza. You have to understand, we were not rewarding her for the anti-needle/anti-adult behavior. Of course, I do not have to worry about her taking any sort of illegal injectable drugs now, do I?

After the torture incident and the conciliatory pizza lunch, we returned to the manor where I commenced with mowing the front pastoral expanse and slicing up boards for the Twins to practice their Karate on. Breaking cinder-blocks is their weak link so I went out and got some fairly fragile pine boards that they could practice on. While I was puttering about the Mile Long Driveway, I spotted our Greek Neighbors and waved. It's been a bit since we have talked so we felt compelled to talk. One thing lead to another and Alexis wandered out of the Manor and spotted Gus and Irene and HAD to be involved. They have become our 'Fallback Grandparents' for the Twins. Soon enough, Alexis had disappeared into their home to go play with their piano and engage in other sorts of activity. Hours later, she had forgotten about the shots, and emerged from their home clutching a stuffed plush cat toy who she has since named 'Rose'. So now, the spoilage is complete. I think we can look forward to Alexis forming a tight bond with Irene who is quite intelligent once you have the time to speak with her in detail. Most likely a good influence in her life.

Sunday: Lets make it quick, eh? Sunday School - the kids love it and the New Teacher is appreciative to have someone with a bit of pluck to lead the kids in the 'wake-up' exercise. She is a bit older (Grandma status) and is not entirely keen on prancing about with a bunch of 5 year old whipper-snappers. We are talking potential broken-hip here. She knows not of my condition, which is for the best. Donuts afterwards and then back to the manor so I could finish mowing the Back Pastoral Expanse. The blanket of falling leaves make this an extended effort so I cannot go very long before I need to empty the bag. I discovered another issue with falling leaves beyond its ability to obscure the mountains of doggie-dip ... sticks. Sadly, one stick has managed to cause me an extraordinary bit of grief. One of the sticks popped up and got wedged between the belt that drives the front wheels and the central spindle that the blade is attached to. well, it snapped the belt off it's track and right into the path of the blades. So, now I need to purchase a replacement belt so that the front-wheel drive will work. It may be the last time I mow down the jungle this year .. but it would be best if I take care of this ASAP.

Other Sunday Accomplishments: Laundry, Made a pot of beef stew, Discarded dead plants, put polyurethane on the molding and some boards, fixed some letters on the CrossBeam of the TwinTower AA Platform. Then I rested. Of course, Alexis had drawn a thank-you picture for Gus&Irene that she had to present. That was a multi-hour activity, don't you know. So, there are multiple things that were not addressed on my list. This next weekend we are going to the Sesame Place Trick-or-Treat activity so we may not have time to do it then either. And I'm on pager detail this week. That, is a long and sordid tail for another post.

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Friday, October 19, 2007


Filler post on politics ...

I'll probably catch hell for this, but I don't think anyone out there would be all that surprised about my views.
Fred Thompson
Score: 41
Stem-Cell Research
Health Care
Social Security
Line-Item Veto
Death Penalty
Duncan Hunter
Score: 41
Stem-Cell Research
Health Care
Social Security
Line-Item Veto
Death Penalty

-- Take the Quiz! --

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Unusual Occurance

I usually do not post on Fridays ... mostly because I do not feel beholden to actually produce any tangible product on a day that is primarily reserved for meetings in which 'others' do their best to empty their plates onto mine. My primary task is to repel those 'time hobgoblins' at all costs. Today, it seems to have been a moderately light skirmish so I have a few spare moments to yammer about the standard banalities that my life is composed of.

In the Good News column, my upper back feels much better today, but I still feel the grumblings of malcontent in my lower quadrant. I'll try to keep that in mind when I'm attempting to do a flying 360 side-kick/back-fist combo in TSD tonight. Yep, I'm going to be attending class on a Friday. Unusual, but since I was unable to attend on Wednesday (the Mrs had a work obligation) I got permission and will take full advantage of it. Today is 'Dodge Ball' day so I'll be quite interested in what this will involve for the adult class. We have a test in a few weeks so I don't expect it to be anything too radical or extraordinarily dangerous. Of course, since Attila and Ghengis are in the Children's class ... I'll probably be the subject of a sustained attack there. Little buggers, they have a penchant for making me regret teaching them a skill that can be used in offensive maneuvers.

'Speaking' of offensive tools, the Tyrants have nearly mastered their list of 20 words they need to know. They are called 'sight' words, but we are going just a bit beyond that. I spell the word verbally to them and they figure out what the word is. We are also using flash-cards when I'm in the POS SuperSaturn. We'll be stopped at a red light and I'll pull out a card at random and they will tell me what it is. They are still having a bit of a tough time with it/is/in due to the ice-cream vs. igloo 'I' sound ... but I have faith that they will master that fairly quickly. They only have till June of 2008 though! Other words like 'Commie', 'Sycophantic Knuckle-Head', and 'Pyrrhic NutJob' were picked up immediately and used at the most inappropriate times. I'm SO going to be in the Principal's office on a weekly basis.

And, as is my custom when I have too much data rattling about in my head and not enough synapse dedicated to handling it (can you say THRASH?), I feel the urge to post a list. I do have some tasks that have been put on the back-burner due to .... other activities.

Patch hole in bathroom wall(new shower head caused this)
Polyurethane Wood for shelves (killed shelves to punch hole in wall)
Cut said wood for Shelves
Nail up remaining molding
Mow Pastoral Expanse
Rake/Suck-up leaves (mowing should accomplish most of this)
Clean leaves out of SandPit/TwinTowers
Till remainder of Agricultural Sector
Plant garlic
On top of all this, the Tyrants get their 5 yr booster shots this weekend. You know ... the usual stuff: Typhus, Malaria, Flesh-Eating Streptococcus, Phage, Superbug MRSA and Polititus of the brain. Usual stuff; should be a hoot.

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Thursday, October 18, 2007


Lava Lamp!

Lava Lamp
ARGH! For a while there, I thought I would have nothing to yammer about today. Guess again. I have this habitual issue with lower back pain; I've grown accustomed to it. Of late, it has become quite a nuisance. Today, I'm sitting at the terminal and I do one of my trade-mark stretches and ZOT!!! The muscles between my shoulder-blades and neck suddenly go into a frenzy of spasms. I went through this about 2 months ago and it was not an easy problem to get rid of. I cannot understand how something like this can pop up when I do much more vigorous activities (TSD,Swimming) and have no problem. It's obviously an issue with the chair and monitor hight. I'll have to abscond some sort of ergonomic chair or start down the path of oxycontin addiction.

P.S. Like the image? Guaranteed to pull in lots of "lava lamp" traffic, no?

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Wednesday, October 17, 2007



After last week's paroxysm of activity, it's almost a relief to get back to the mundane and exiguous schedule that we keep here in the Haupertonian Manor. Soooo, Monday was consumed by sleep, work, swim, karate, dinner, bath, and bed-time story as was Tuesday with the addition of Adult Karate, Kids Homework, Word Quiz and more maladroit attempts to do something worth-while at work.

So, instead of a heap of inane platitudes and worn out bromides, I'm going to steal some snarky observations from Varifrank:

Varifrank's Laws

1. You dont get paid by how hard you work, but by how hard you are to replace.

2. A man without enemies is a man not living up to his full potential.

3. The universe is not an entirely rational construct, therefore science and mathematics have their limits as tools of discovery. Sometimes you just have to guess.

4. All great discoveries occur because of a random accident colliding the irrational persistence of a man who didnt know any better than to keep working when everyone else had already given up.

5. The worlds large monuments, such as the Pyramids of Giza were made for no other purpose than to simply keep people busy. There is nothing more dangerous to governments than well fed people who have free time, no common purpose and most importantly no need of control or organization by said governments.

6. The migration of Homo Sapiens around the planet after the end of the last ice age was fundamentally powered by the genetically ingrained desire within all members of the species to get as far away from their inlaws as possible.

7. The core idea of western civilization is the phrase "none of your business".

8. The core idea of fascist and communist thought is "you have no business".

9. There is no leftist thought, except that no matter what the situation is "America is always wrong".

10. The collapse of civilization begins when your next door neighbor takes an interest in whats on your side of the fence.

11. News is not information. News is just the airtime that exists inbetween car commercials; its only purpose is to keep you watching long enough to make it to the car commercials. If they thought they could hold your attention by broadcasting a lava lamp, they would do it.

12. The only part of the news that you can really use is given to you by the weatherman, who is almost always the station idiot.

13. You can teach anyone who can think logically how to code software, but you cannot teach anyone to think logically; they either have it or they dont. You would really be shocked at how few people think logically.

14. Most humans are sane and rational, but all human organizations are insane and irrational. The bigger the organization, the more insane and irrational. Therefore, avoid joining all large organizations the same way you would avoid making eye contact with the crazy homeless people that you see on the way to work.

15. If you cannot own property, you are property.

16. No matter how important you think you are, 10 years after you are dead, the only people who will remember you ever existed or what you looked like are related to you. Use your time accordingly.

17. Having children is the only method of time travel to the future that is allowed by science.

18. Utopia is the single most destructive idea ever invented by mankind.

19. If you find only yourself at the center of the purpose of your life, your life has been wasted.

20. If you feel the need to whine about the current circumstances of your life, imagine yourself standing on the stage of a college lecture auditorium, in the audience sit all the members of your ancestry extending back all the way in time to the stone age. Father, grandfather, great-grandfather, great-great grand fathers and mothers and so on and so on. Now, imagine trying to tell them how tough you have it and then try to imagine how hard they would laugh at you for complaining about the air conditioning on your lexus not working or your condo in florida going down in value.

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Monday, October 15, 2007


Emerging from the swamps

Let's jump into the way-back machine and regurgitate the agglomeration of the last weeks events, shall we? Friday night, I was laying in bed with the twins acting as book-ends. As the mundane tv-show (animated, kid safe) droned on, I slowly slipped into a hazy state of non-lucid painlessness. The condition was impervious to the constant pinging of my Type A personality screaming that we were late for something or other. Indeed, we were. By the time I collected my wits, it was much too late to go to TSD/Karate. To compensate the loss of 'play day', we all went downstairs and played dodge ball in the Manors Grand Court/Throne Room. No damage was done to the facility and the urge to do violence was abated. For now. Once I managed to peel my self away from the barrage of missiles, I wandered off to the Agricultural Sector and collected a few loads of tomatoes and about 20+ pumpkins. We did quite well this year with the gourds; now I just need to figure out what to do with some of these beasties since the Tyrants only wanted the smallest ones. Later on the following Saturday afternoon, the Grandparents arrived along with BigLittleBrother. Over the next week, the Twin Tyrants of Turpitude would be allowed to slake their thirst for being crooned and fussed over by extended family members. Once the first hour or so of jubilant dancing was finished, we all went to the 1715 mass; we would not have the time on Sunday since we would be dropping the Cybernetic Hounds off at a Kennel and then zipping off to the Local International Airport. Sunday, of course, was the final stretch for our fantastical trip to the the land of ...well, fantasy. Of course, there was the nightmare of getting up at the ass-crack of dawn to escort the cybernetic mammoths of doom to an interim holding facility. We could not very well let them roam free on the Manor grounds for a week while we sunned our buns in the Okey-Fanokey swamp. So, at 0700 we were transferring responsibility of their care and feeding (they love to run down and devour hippies and door-to-door volcano insurance salesmen) during our absence. Thor was a mess. His sissy-like nature does not allow him to handle this kind of thing very well. Once we had abandoned them to their fate, we rallied the troops back at the Manor and began the indomitable task of loading all the excursion resources and equipment into the Family Tank V2.0. Then, off to the international airport for our 1255 departure. We got there roughly 2 years early as mandated by the TSA. I dropped off the vehicle in the 9$/day long term parking lot ... somewhere near Iowa and then had to hoof it back to the ticketing terminal. Fortunately for us, there was a 'please touch' museum exhibit at the terminal we were slated to depart from so the Tyrants had something to keep them occupied till our boarding was announced.

It was not a direct flight so we had a brief lay-over in HotLanta, GA. While landing, Jake and I had the opportunity to take a look out the window and see 2 other jets next to us apparently landing at the same airport AT THE SAME TIME. Of course, I was relieved to learn that there were 2 other runways open for landing craft. Without that knowledge, I was rather disconcerted. Once we had disembarked, we had to take a train to another terminal ... this was rather interesting for Jovial Jake. Plane, Train, Auto ... just need to get that boat and rickshaw in to complete the set. We were off again by 1600 and well on our way to Happy-Land. The rest is a blur:

Magic Kindom from 9pm till 0130am .. yes, it was open till 3am! KILLER.
We watched Spectra Magic Light Parade, Rode on Dumbo, the Cinderella's Merry Go Round, Indy Race Track, Buzz Lightyear and watched fireworks.

Check out of our hotel room (Saratoga Springs) only to find out that our new room was the same one we left. Argh. Spent the rest of the day at MGM:
Saw the High School Musical concert, got some Character pics with Little Einstein's Leo and Annie (Brother/Sister ... Apropos?), Emile the rat at the Disney Animation Exhibit along with The Incredibles - Mom & Dad. Watched the Little Mermaid show and Disney Playhouse with Bear in the Big Blue House.
Ran off to have Dinner @ Germany in EPCOT and then returned to MGM to watch the evening show: Fantasmic in the concert area. Rode the Tower of Terror with Jake (He was not pleased). The 'Magic Hours' allowed us to see Indiania Jones, Star Tours, and the Muppet 3-D Show. Result: Kids exhausted. Parents near coma.

Sleep in a bit - Head off to Port Canaveral/NASA - our expected launch of the military satellite was delayed 1 day so we went to Magic Kingdom after hours instead.

Animal Kingdom till 2000 hours. Watch the parade, do the Everest Expedition Roller coaster (reduced the adults to jelly) and got many, many more photos with costumed characters. Go to watch the NASA Rocket launch from Contemporary Resort while waiting to be seated for Chef Mickey Dinner - meet MORE Disney Characters. Again, exhaustion.

Magic Kingdom, met a bunch of Disney Princesses, Jake gets kissed by Belle. Then Hoop-de-doo review at Fort Wilderness.
Jake in show as the Texas Rangers, gets kissed by one of the female actors - blushes.

EPCOT - Massive fireworks. Met Mulan in China @ EPCOT, dinner at Princess Storybook Dining @ Norway: Meet more Disney Princesses
Ride the Test Track; surprised when we get up to 68mph on the return track.

EPCOT - Dinner at Coral Reef
Watch Fife & drum parade at America
Ride on Soaring and the Norway Malstrom
The Dutiful Mrs runs off to Magic Kingdom TWICE! First with Alexis to get Snow White pic and then back again to buy Figaro stuff animal (Minnie's cat) that is ONLY sold there. Argh. Back at the hotel, pay bill, check out and pack up till 0100 hours.

Up at 0430AM, just make baggage check in
Enjoy company of the TSA at 3 separate stops.
After escaping, we find that our flight is boarding as we arrive at terminal.
More TSA probing before we are allowed on.
Arrive in Philly only to get charged 1 day price at the parking lot for 15 minutes on Sunday: too tired to whine.
Managed to get the dogs by noon so we did not get charged 1 day for them as well.
Went to sleep for 4 hr after the family left late - NE Extension issue delayed their departure.
Unpacked for HOURS ... still ongoing.
In conclusion; it was a spiritual, physical, emotional, mental and economically bankrupting experience. It was hot, humid and every calorie I consumed was burned by my efforts to pound through the heaving and throbbing masses of unwashed humanity. Translation: We enjoyed ourselves beyond description.

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Friday, October 05, 2007


Heading south

Okay ... we are going to be on our way so you may not hear much from us over the next week. Disney, Port Canaveral, and all that good stuff. If anything comes up and I find access to a kiosk, I'll try to send something in.

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Thursday, October 04, 2007


Winding down

Sorry so late, but I'm having a material drought. We did the usual stuff yesterday, and I was blessed with another PERSONAL INSTRUCTION EVENING at TSD. It was just me, Master Smith and his son pummeling me into the mat. All that really means is that I get no rest between drills since there is nobody to wait for. Ummm, the Tyrants were given their homework for next week and finished it up before I got back to the manor that evening. I wonder what the beleaguered teachers think of these two. Apparently, they are getting nap time again and are taking full advantage of it. Ahhh, to be 5 again. Heck, just 5 years younger would do!

One moment does spring to mind, now that I think of it. A redoubtable gentleman saw the Tyrants and I ambling out to the POS Saturn and questioned if they attended the karate practice with me. We were all in our uniforms and I responded that yes, they did. We went swimming 5 days a week and follow it up with Karate right after wards. We then got into a 15 minute discussion of how cute the twins were, how diet and exercise are important and the whole obesity crisis in America is just an issue with a society bereft of willpower ... etcetera-etcetera-etcetera. Here come the interesting part; he starts to talk about how his son is overweight and wont do anything about it and how I deal with the kids eating habits. He then tells me his child is at an age where his metabolism is not what it used to be and getting rid of weight is going to be much more difficult. That would be 62 years old. EGADS! I thought the man was no older than 65 ... turns out he is 88 and is as spry as you would hope to be at 50! Word to the audience: Tenacity and perseverance in diet and exercise may not extend your life, but it will certainly make those later years much more enjoyable.

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Wednesday, October 03, 2007


In support of a robust economy ...

Very little to yammer about today. I'm a bit too distrait to keep a coherent train of thought, so yammer I must ... most unintelligently. You see, the Local Plumber came over this morning at 0645. I left the Manor at 0700 after the banging and such had commenced. After speaking with the Mrs at roughly 0900, I had learned that not only am I 300$ poorer, I now have two holes in the wall to repair. I'll need to stop off at the Local Home Depot Temple and pick up some Spackle to do so. Probably some sheet rock too ... and some gauze to patch up my limbs after I accidentally rend a digit from my hands or doff a pound of flesh while trying to do something foolish. At least there will be little risk to me burning down the manor with a poorly placed acetylene torch. Every time I begin a task, I flitter ever so close to that precipice which inevitably leads me to the ER and a 50$ co-pay. The upside is that the new faucet apparently allows sufficient water through so that it will scour the hide from a fully grown and grizzled water buffalo. Just like the dainty Mrs likes it. Honestly, she cranks up that shower so hot that I cannot even be in the bathroom without getting steam blisters. I think it's her tactic to keep me out of her hair sometimes. Even flushing the toilet has no effect since she is not using ANY cold water. I tell ya, she is some sort of she-demon water sprite. In a good way, of course!

In less expensive news, I finally got around to updating the Haupertonian MS Cabal blogroll on the side bar. I've been adding folks to my RSS feed for some time now, but neglected to semipermanently ensconce them on the list. Too many to mention here ... I'll get to that later. This year ... maybe.

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Tuesday, October 02, 2007


cruft elaborated

Lots to jabber about since I waited a few days to blog. Weekends are like that, you know. Anyways, to the meat in the meal. Standard Friday Dodge-Ball smack-a-thon. Kids have fun, I stay off to the side and keep them from smashing full tilt into the walls. Of course, by the end of the evening I'm dripping with sweat anyways. More so since I've taken to protecting the masticated toe from any further damage. So, after I get home and take care of business (laundry, other such sundry tasks), I head off to take a shower. Wash away the grime and visceral remnents of work from my labor wracked body, eh? Well, the shower head was directed straight down from the previous evening when I let Jovial Jake take a shower. He likes it so much ... just sitting in the warm spray and soaking up the relaxing sensation. So I reach up and ... CRACK-SNAP! I rip the head and leader pipe right out of the wall. DAMMIT! There I am, standing in the stall with the shower head in one hand, soap all over me and a bewildered look on my face. Time to call the plumber because this is not something I'm going to fix. We needed the filter in the faucet handle replaced since the flow was restricted from the chunks of water heater I had to replace on Memorial day. But this .. ghaa! We are planning on having the shower stall fitted with a 'shell' like we did in the kids bathroom, but not till next year. The budget is not loose enough to afford that till the following summer. Best laid plans of men and mice. Looks like we'll be showering in the kids bathroom till after our Master Plumber gets some time (Wednesday at 7am) to look at the mess I made.

Saturday was mostly lawn work and prep for a party at the Policeman Butler's home in the afternoon. The kids enjoyed it, I drank too much. Ate tons of junk food, hung out with the Philly Cops ... good times. The weather was nice and there were TONS of kids so our little tyrants had a splendid time. Sunday: The usual. The kids are now registered for Sunday School even though I'll miss the first 2 weeks. the 7th and 14th ... we'll be out of state and all. (Hushed whisper) We are going to Disney. I fully expect the Twin Tyrants of Turpitude to fully explode. They know that the Grandparents will be down next weekend, but our mendacious ways are obscuring the real machinations behind this visit. On top of that, BigLittleBrother learned of a NASA rocket launch scheduled while we are down there. Then, the fireworks will REALLY get going. But, I digress and have said too much. The rest of the day of rest included mowing the lawn, cleaning up leaves, repotting house plants and potting some herbs from the garden beds. Added bonus, mosquito bites. Much itching ensued. So now, I have 4 different rosemary plants in the manor, some lemon grass and a lemon tree set to come in and 2 more pots ready for the French Tarragon and lavender. I have yet to collect the seeds from the hostas (plantation lilies), garlic chives and morning glories. So much to do, so little daylight. I think I need a 3 day weekend instituted. Re-arrange the whole damn calender while we are at it. 360 days in a year, 30 days a month, 4 weeks a month, 20 work days, 10 'other stuff' days. You think it'll fly at the UN? I'll bet Hugo Chavez would go for it. Such a fickle twit would love to abrogate a universal standard. A pronunciamento of this nature would certainly fit in with recent bombastic rants. He is starting to sound more like me every day. Of course, the Mrs has to deal with the fall out of this kind of thing, think Microsoft and VCR times. Yeah, major suckage.

Speaking of suckage, on Monday I found the HP-Hostile woman had parked her car in the slot again. The kids asked me if I were going to write her a note. I said no, that would be like putting lipstick on a pig. A lot of effort and it would still be a pig. I'm kinda hoping they repeat that if we see her next time. But I'm not going there right now ... I think I'm going to have a talk with the staff there and see if they are interested in putting up either a HP sign or a no parking sign ... or even a sign stating that parking here will result in a fine, towing or application of some really gaudy lipstick.

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