Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Blur on you crazy line

10 points to Gryffindor house for the person who tells me what song the subject refers to...

When we were kids, there were certain jobs and activities that were set aside only for professionals; Disc Jockey, Movie Maker, Recording Musician, Business Owner, etc... Could we ever become one of these? Sure, with alot of money, alot of work, and alot of education.

But look now. The line between amateur and professional has been blurred so much thanks to technology. Photography equipment is now so advanced; the average 17 year old has equipment in his pocket that blows the pants of a pro from the 80s. We can take photos, edit them, and print them in our own home.

Video equipment is now advanced and cheap enough that anyone can pretty much make a decent movie with equipment bought at Best Buy. Even more, this person can edit the movie and add special effects on a computer that costs under $1,000.

We can now be a DJ thanks to iTunes and our iPod, we can record music with software most producers would only dream of in the 80s. More and more people work out of the home thanks to paypal, ebay, and google ads.

Examples go on for miles, so what is a true professionalism and what makes an amateur not a pro? It is no longer lack of technology, access, or money. Anyway, thought this was a neat observation... I mean heck, 10 years ago, who would have thought that we would all have a website like this? Everyone from Microsoft to the kid down the street has a website...

Friday, November 25, 2005

Hot Topic

Here is the Hot Topic essay that you guys helped me come up with. Feel free to add comments at the bottom, for they help boost my visibility on the site.

Language warning. The guys I wrote it with have foul tongues which like to curse, so if ye be offended by such things, BEWARE.

Hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Who let the dogs out, indeed...

As I sit here in my bedroom, in a house I pay a monthly mortgage for, I can hear, over the loud TV, dog barking.

I have a next-door neighbor, whom I love, who owns a German Shepard. This is a good dog, and barks only if another dog is within their property. The neighbors on my other side have two shiatsus, which bark like mad when they smell me in my back yard, but, lucky for me, they are inside dogs, and only come out to pee or poop.

The lady next to them owns a black cocker and a black lab. She lets them roam the street as they please, crapping in my yard and causing other dogs to bark. When locked up in the back yard, they too, bark like mad, at virtually everything.

But the line has been drawn recently.

The people who USED to live behind us have moved. In their place, a nice family of a man, a woman, and 2 girls has moved in. With them, come 2 dogs.

These dogs bark all the time.

At any, and everything. They hear a truck in the neighborhood, they bark, I go to my trash can, they bark, a dog in the neighborhood barks, they return with a bark. Their barking then causes other dogs to bark, in which case, the dogs behind me continue their barking.

I thought I left this crap when I moved out of an apartment complex, but I bought a pair of earplugs today. This is my house people. I should not have to buy earplugs to sleep peacefully. But last night, I assume someone in the neighborhood was moving, so a moving truck was coming in and out. This caused the dogs to bark. I was up till 11:30pm hearing the barking. I gave up trying to fall asleep and went into the living room to lie down and watch a Harry Potter movie. I fell asleep eventually and came to bed. I walk into my dark bedroom, stop, listen.. I hear barking, still. I glance at the clock... 12:30am.

I go into my bathroom and take a muscle relaxer. My muscles feel fine, but I don’t care, I will drug myself to sleep. I go back into the living room, flick around the TV for a while, then give up, and decide to go to bed and read until I fall asleep.

Sure enough, my wife tells me I fell asleep with a book in front of me with the lamp on; she turned it off at 4:30 this morning.

Friends... tell me, why do people own dogs and keep them outside?
Cattle, I understand, poultry and hogs, I understand. Goats, sure, keep them outside. But if you are going to buy your family a pet, and all you do is keep it in the back yard, you don’t have a pet, you have an animal that you keep locked up in the back yard... why? I can’t understand this???

Worse yet, if I had a dog and it barked past midnight, no one would say a word. Yet, if I go outside right now (9:30pm) and start saying the alphabet as loud as other dogs bark, I'd have the cops called on me.

SURELY the owners of these dogs hear them barking! SURELY it bothers them, or at least they consider that it MIGHT bother neighbors.

I am looking at my wife right now, she is sound asleep! Do I have supersonic hearing? Why do these dogs bother me so? Cats, suddenly, appear to be a wonderful animal to me!

So, by buying earplugs, have I caved in some way? Should a man be able to sleep peacefully in his own home without buying earplugs? I wore earplugs in the apartments we lived in, but I am in a HOME now!

What do I do? Introduce myself to the new neighbors and say "Hi, I am your neighbor behind you, your dog keeps me up past midnight every night, do something!"

FYI, I just muted my TV, the howling and barking was without pause and it sounds like I live in a zoo full of canine.

Is this against the law in anyway? Sound ordnance? I love(d) dogs, but now, when I lie in bed listening to them bark, I think of so many wonderful ways to do so many unwonderful things to the dogs....

What to do….

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Is this love?

A little WhiteSnake for your singing-in-your-head pleasure (Sorry for you younger ones who don't remember WhiteSnake... you are probably better off actually.)

I just realized what love is.

I had an ingrown hair on my neck. It was in a spot what I simply could not see well enough while looking in a mirror to extract it.

My wife, voluntarily, offers to take a needle and tweezers and get the sucker out for me.

This, my friends, is love. It has nothing to do with sex, looks, or money. If your wife is willing to perform minor surgery on disgusting aspects of your body, you, my friend, have found a soul mate!


Monday, November 21, 2005

Back to Blogging

I may have found somethin to ease my blogging woes. It's called an RSS reader. I allows me to constantly see what's been added to our blog. And it's free. can't post with it. Maybe it's not perfect, but at least it may keep me informed.

Here's how:

1) Download here.

2) Set up your options in the feed properties

3) Use this URL in the address field:

4) Press subscribe.

Friday, November 18, 2005

You're Fired

I had to fire someone today. This was not the first time I’ve had to do such a thing, so it was not a completely new experience. Yet it is still quite unsettling.

The woman I had to fire was perfectly nice. She never said a negative thing. She came to work on time, was never tardy from break or lunches. She sat in her chair and did her job to the best of her ability. In many ways she was a model employee.

Except, she was a rather terrible collector. I’m a collections supervisor for a credit card company. My employees are paid to collect on past due accounts. The gig is all about numbers: number of calls made, numbers of cardholders contacted, payments converted, and of course, dollars collected. To survive you have to play the numbers.

This is something that this woman could just not do. You could say she was just too nice. And it’s true; to be a collector you have to have something of a dark side within you. But it is more than just being mean, there are plenty of very nice collectors who do excellent work. It’s part salesmanship, part thick-leathery skin, and mostly being able to push a little, prod a lot that gets the job done.

Besides not just having the collector instinct, this lady didn’t seem to grasp some of the fundamental concepts behind the job. Simple things that most people understand quickly and mold it into their work personality, she just couldn’t seem to get.

All of this is to say that the termination could be seen from a far distance. In fact, I had a long conversation with her a couple of weeks ago, warning her that unless things really improved, I’d have to let her go. Things did get better, she did improve, but not nearly enough to warrant keeping her on the payroll.

So, this afternoon, I pulled her aside, and let her go.

Did I mention that this lady had mentioned to my boss a couple of weeks back that I “made her uncomfortable?” Earlier, on that day, I had reached across her person and logged her out of the system, using her mouse. This is something I do often, and is only a gesture meant to expedite the process of them getting off the phone so that I may talk to them. Apparently this gesture offended her in some way, enough to make her say something to my boss.

Now, she never used the word “harassment” but this is the first thing that rang in my head when my boss told me. Holy crap! Visions of lawsuits and besmirching of my permanent record began ringing in my head.

Now here I was approaching her so that I could terminate her permanently.

I called Human Resources to tell them I was none to comfortable having that conversation. They insured me it would be ok and told me to have another supervisor with me.

It went as well as those things go. I explained it wasn’t personal, wished her well and sent her on her way. She gave me the whole “I really need this job” speech, but I had to stand firm.

I hate this. She really was a nice lady, possible harassment charges and all. And here I am throwing her out, not long before Christmas and all that.

Terminating employees is part of my job, I accept this. But it still sinks my heart.

Post termination, I hid out in the back of the office, allowing her time to gather her things and leave the office. I didn’t want any awkward moments where she was passing my desk in order to tell her workmates goodbye.

As she left, and I reentered the floor, a coworker, decides to tell me she is sitting in her car, crying.

Yeah, like I needed that.

So, here I am feeling like a heel, and there she is without a job.

This sucks.

one wild ride

So I've been away from blogging for a while to clear my head. In the mean time I've been thinking about a motorcycle show. I hooked up with a real bike jock here at work and he's connected me to a couple of amazing links, one of which I wanted to share.
There is no need to have a passing interest in riding to absolutely love this site. The root site is a collection of adventure riding logs; this guy the striking viking is amazing. Since I got the link at 10am I've not moved from it until now at 5pm, it's been a slow day.
Breakdown man sells his farm in California, invests cash into a BMW bike, the only bike I'd ever want to own. Makes bike world worthy and ships it to Japan. I'm on page 87 and this guy has traveled on two wheels from Japan to Siberia to Germany, through the Middle East (Gaza, Palestine, West Bank, everywhere) through Nepal and now about to reach Thailand and he's far from done.
This site is full of pictures and one of a kind commentary that's just astounding.

Semen Washer

This is just funny. The last line is the best, but don't just skip to it.

Semen Washer # 7 on Popolar Sciences' "10 Worst Jobs of 2005"

Thursday, November 17, 2005

WD Forum

I may have brought this up before, but I am a member of the Writer's Digest Forums.

The forums are a place on the web where aspiring and professional writers can mix, mingle, and meet. I have been posting on there for a couple of months now and have learned more about writing, getting an agent, and getting published than I have in the last two years!

I post this not merely for information, but with the hopes that any of you guys who might be interested in writing (hint, hint guys) might go there and join the conversation. I have had my name in the newsletter, met several published authors, received a free magazine from WD, and recently even received a free novel!

The novel is a brand new book by debut author Brian Strause titled Maybe A Miracle. It was sent to me and ten other people out of the over 600 users on the forums. We are the core review/discusion group for the novel and are there to ramp-up the Book Buzz forum! This sort of thing is right up Brew's alley!

Anyway, I just wanted y'all to have a chance to come on in and join-up if you want. It's lots of fun and you'll meet many, talented, nice people.

Mr. Trips

Y'all remember my idea for a site that had to do with backyard adventures? Well, here is a site that deals with something like it. Funny thing is that one of the guys who's involved with it is the agent who's looking at my book right now! Anyway, I thought it was interesting.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Okay all you child psychologists...

I was teaching inner city last night.

Typically, the classes are anywhere from 6 to 9 students. Ages from 8 to 10 years old.

It is standard that one child acts up every class. Acts up enough to distract the other kids. This child is sent out of the class, no questions asked and the classes go on smoothly and fun from there.

Last night was no different. The rule is that no child is allowed to use the bathroom during class, and no child it allowed to get water during class. We have to do this. Otherwise, they will all ask to go, whether then have to or not. Class is only 40 minutes long, and any child that doesn't have a bladder issue can handle this. (Well, one kid has wet their pants once, but that’s a minority).

So, this one girl is clearly not pleased to be in class. So she tries the old "I have to use the bathroom" routine. It is ignored by me and the other guy teaching, because we know the drill. She persists; I explain to her that I can't let her go, why didn't you go before you left, etc... Seeing that this isn’t working, she then complains of stomach pains. Then says she is about to throw up. I almost fall for this one, until she does a very unconvincing gag. She begs again to leave to throw up, to which my other teacher (Mark D) responds "Just make sure you keep it on your paper and it don't go on the floor."

She goes on and on about this until I am finally fed up. I go to the door, open it up and say, "Get out." To which she replies by sitting still and smiling. After several attempts to ask her to get out, I finally walk over to her. I am not afraid to manhandle these kids and they know it. She then runs under the table, to where she is caught by my other teacher and 'escorted' out.

Now, forget this is inner city. Trust me, white kids that age are much worse. 95% of these kids love being there, and leave having learned a real Bible story, and in some cases, a memory verse even though half of them read at much lower levels than they should.

So, what is the deal? This girl does everything in the book to get out of class, then, when given the opportunity, she refuses.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

I'm So Proud...

of my wife! Hopefully she won't kill me for posting this. I just think she's doing a great job!Check out these websites she's been building! They aren't complete, yet. But, she has really done a lot to them thus far and they look very nice and professional in my opinion.

This one is a site about kids and money management.

This one is a site for a lady who embroiders stuff on purses, clothes, etc.

Enjoy! They should be completely functional before too long!

Monday, November 14, 2005

The Agents Are Coming! The Agents Are Coming!

Well, y'all wish me luck. I have an agent who's interested enough in my manuscript to request the first three chapters. This guy has agented for Clive Cussler, Richard Marcinko, and several other big sellers. Maybe something will turn out for me! I'll keep you all updated!

Here is a link to some info on the agent.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Holy Crap!

Check this out.

Last Friday management had our weekly 6:30 AM meeting. My boss mentions that she read in the paper how a person, sharing the same name as one of our employees, was arrested Nov. 1 for stealing $150,000 from the company she worked for. We get all excited trying to figure out if this girl, and our employee were one and the same.

The ages were close, and they lived in the same town. How many people can have the same name, be of the same age and live in the same town, we wondered.

A little later, our employee didn't show up for work. We made calls to the HR department and found out they were one in the same. Since we are a credit card company and our employees deal with other people's financial information every day, we were very concerned. HR called the temp agency we had hired her out of, determined it was the same girl, and immediately terminated her.

Crazy stuff.

Thursday, November 10, 2005


Here's a little quote I had as a mantra for a while: "When you wake up one day and say, you know, I don't think I'll ever need sleep or sex again... Congratulations! You're ready to have children." (Ray Romano)

But really, I can't count the number of times I wanted to just drop the birth control pills and get pregnant. I'm so glad I didn't because now I've got Luke and we're in a situation where I can stay at home with him and not worry too much about money or anything else. I finished school. Sometimes I wonder if it was worth it, since nobody really asks you if you've got an art degree when applying for the job of stay-at-home mom. But then Josh reminds me what an accomplishment it was, how proud I can be, and that in the future I may want to get a job where it'll come in handy. And he's right.

First, let me say that I've never been happier in my whole life. But let me also say that I didn't get a full night's sleep for well over a year. Luke woke up every single hour many many nights. I (and Josh) was lucky to get 3 solid hours of sleep. I was a zombie. A happy zombie, but a zombie nonetheless. I could not have gone to school during this time even if it had been the second grade. School is different from work in two very important ways: one, you don't get paid, but you pay out to go to school; and two, the bulk of your work is done at home after-hours when you're in school. Diana, think with your head not your heart right now. I know what it's like, I've been there, and it's not easy when your womb is tugging at your heart.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Live your desires through me, my friends...

Okay, so maybe they are not strong desires...

But, think back to high school. How many opportunities did you have to stand on a desk or run in the halls and not get in trouble?


(My plan was to take many more pics doing things that were against the rules. I never got around to it. I guess if you consider the fact that we have uniforms here and I am not wearing one, thats 3 rules I am breaking)

Monday, November 07, 2005

The last of the interviews...

I think I have decided that I no longer want to go on a job interview as long as I live.

I don't know why I still seek them out and why I look forward to them. When I get done with them, I feel either:
1) Bored
2) Humiliated
3) Stupid
4) All of the above

I had one today. It was sort of spur of the moment. A gal at church has a dad who works for the toll bridge company (Not working a booth, state-wide home office is 2 miles from my house). I mentioned to her that I have applied for 2 or 3 jobs there and never got an interview. A few days later, she emails me and tells me to forward my resume to her dad. And there ya go, I had an interview today.

It started out okay. The usual call-me-in-10-minutes late routine. I think they do that just to see if you will get mad at them. And I hate walking in all dressed up. Everyone looks at you; they KNOW you are there for an interview. ARG! I HATE IT! So we sit down at a big table with who I assume to be a fellow HR employee who says 10 words the whole interview.

The gal interviewing me was a very nice, very slim, very attractive black lady who was certainly not a day over 26. The interview went very well until she got to a section that she described as "Standard HR questions." which typically dealt with morals and job performance scenarios.

These questions were normal at first; “What give you satisfaction in life?”, “If you work with someone who is stealing from the company, what do you do?” What aspect of your job are you most successful at?”, etc. I hate these questions too, but the worst is yet to come.

I was asked “What do you think about when you are alone?” Believe me, the first thing to pop into my head was “You don’t wanna know.” But this sweet gal turned into a professional, straight faced rock when these questions started rolling. I froze and said after about 30 seconds of thinking; “What’s for dinner…?” No smile.

The other bad question was “If you have a negative day at work, how do you get rid of the negativity?”… Again, I freeze and say “Go home, let it stew, then wash it off in the shower…” I kid you not, no smile.

At least in this interview, I did not get bored. Most companies will give you a 10 minutes description about how great their company is, how long they have been around, and all the wonderful things they do. It is at this point in the interview that my eyes glaze over and I toss in a few nods and maybe the occasional raised-eyebrows with the finger-to-mouth. They spared me this torture in this interview.
Anyway, I’ve decided never to go to another interview again, unless it is me interviewing someone. I think I want to work for myself. Help me think.

A Nice Saturday

Saturday, the in-laws came up for a visit. We decided to take a picnic lunch at the Brown County State park. Figuring this was the last weekend to catch the changing leaf colors, we hurried out even though the cloud covers looked like rain. Luckily we got no rain, and even the sun poked its head out now and again.

We had a very lovely picnic, with quite a spread. There was the organic, rosemary bread, honey roasted ham and turkey, with our choice of several fine cheeses. Amy made a little fruit bowl filled with fresh apples, walnuts and blue cheese. We had fresh tomatoes, dill pickle kettle chips, and some chocolate no-bake cookies to top it all off. A picnic to perfection it was.

There wasn’t a lot of variety in the colors of the trees; we got lots of yellows and oranges, but very few shades of red. What we lacked in variety was more than made up for in brightness.

You wouldn’t know it from the drive, but the park is actually over 1,000 feet above sea level. It is often called the “little smokies” and looking down into some of the valleys I can see why. A light fog drifted over much of the thick covered trees filling the valley and mountain side.

After lunch we took a nice 1.25 mile hike down into a valley and over to one of the two small lakes. It was a refreshing hike, and though my out of shape body was tired in the end, it felt good to be exercising again.

After the hike we drove around the rest of the park, stopping to take pictures at most of the sight seeing ledges, and headed home.

A lovely day it was.

Seminal Moments

I just had a seminal moment.

These are moments in your life that you'll always remember as turning-points.

The moment you knew you were going to spend your life with your soon-to-be wife.

The moment you found out you were going to have a baby.

The moment you became a Christian.

Today, Rachel called me and let me know how she and Luke were doing. She put the phone up to Luke's ear and let me talk to him as usual. I didn't expect him to say anything, as usual.

Then he said it! "Daddy."

In that word, I could hear "I love you more than I can express."

It was at that moment I knew something close to how much God love us.

A seminal moment of the highest degree.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

seinfeld dream

All my dreams have come true... well, okay, all my dream-wishes have occurred in my dreams...

I am seriously considering dedicating my personal blog to my dreams. I know my dreams are stupid and really don't fit this blog, but I like to share them because they make me laugh so much.

I had a dream I was in an episode of Seinfeld. I don't know if I was an additional character or a replacement of Jerry (Because I don't remember seeing him in the dream). Never-the-less, we are in Jerry's apartment. I can't remember the details, but Elaine and George have a fight and Elaine storms out.

Next scene is "the coffee shop" but looked nothing like the set in the TV show. It looked more like an Applebee’s or TGI Fridays, but painted in yellows, blues, and reds. Very bold. Elaine is sitting at a table with Kramer and 2 other strange looking men (I presumed one to be 'Bob Sacameno'). George and I walk in and we don’t even exchange looks at Elaine. George notices that Sylvester Stallone is sitting at the 'bar'. He tells me he is going to start a conversation with him.

Knowing how George can ruin a situation like this, I discourage him from doing it. He says "trust me" and I follow along with him. He sits to Stallone's left and I sit to George's left. George orders a drink, then says to me (in a way that Sly can hear him) "Yeah, I sure love hunting in Iraq!". In the dream, we have the knowledge that Stallone loves to hunt in Iraq, so I follow his lead. Sly then turns with a curious smile and says to George "So you like hunting in Iraq?" and from there the conversation goes on; "What kind of gun do you use?", "What do you hunt?", "What month do you usually go in?" and so on...

Sly excuses himself and says he enjoyed talking to us. Amazed at George's performance I congratulate him on how non-gushy-fan he sounded (albeit, he was lying the whole time) and George is congratulating himself to no end.

(Here is the funniest part of the whole dream.) As we are leaving the 'coffee shop' we hear Elaine and Kramer discussing something. Elaine appears to be a bit upset at something and as we walk out the door I hear her say loudly "Hold the Huggies $h!t"... said in a way that we might say "Hold the phone!" or "Hold up just one minute!"

I had never heard this phrase in my life, but found it quite hilarious after I woke up. I assume Huggies to be referring to the diapers. Sadly, today is Sunday, and all day that phrase has been popping into my head. I suppose I could coin this phrase but change it to "Hold the Huggies crap!". Then, of course, it would blossom on its own to include the "S" word... What say ye? Will you help me start this phrase? If it gets big, you'll know I started it!

Spell checked and ribbed for your pleasure...

The Hot Topic

For the last several weeks I’ve been writing a group article with some pals from Blogcritics. It’s called the Hot Topic and we basically discuss anything and everything. Kind of like we do around here, but it’s way more organized, and we publish it to a world wide audience.

Each week, one of us comes up with a topic and kind of a thesis statement. Then the rest of the gang chimes in with their perspective and we go from there. So far we have discussed, Buying Music at Starbucks, the Death of Cooking, and Favorite Scenes. My turn to come up with a subject is near, and I need some help.

So, I’m soliciting ideas on what I should present as my Hot Topic. I want to stay away from politics and religion because those topics can go sour so quickly, but anything else is up for grabs. Me being me, I’m thinking of something along the lines of movies or music, but I’m really up for anything interesting.

To get you started, my idea for the moment is something along the lines of foreign films. Too many people, including my mom, hate foreign films. Don’t like to “read” them. But there are so many brilliant films out there that happen to be in a separate language. It’s a shame to miss them. Problem with this topic is that I’m not sure how much discussion I can get out of it.

So, bring me your ideas, or expound upon my own.


Total Update

I know the Subject may be misleading, but in a since I'm going to catch you guys up.

Jodi's car was totaled. We found out about a week-and-a-half ago. For the past two weeks it has been my responsibility to take Alexandra to and from school (aka: day-care). Other than the traffic, I have enjoyed every moment of that experience. We'd talk, play, and groove to the music. She loves dance and pop music. She also loves to jabber (speaking of which. I'm doing that now).

During this past week Jodi has been taking as many opportunities to test drive and look for her next vehicle. Yesterday (Saturday) we dropped Alexandra off at a friends house at 8:30 a.m. (we were hoping to be back by 6 p.m.). And we set out to take a slow path that would eventually lead us to B-ham (actually Hoover).

She had decided cars and vans were out. She wanted an SUV that was on a car chassis . That list includes the Honda CRV, Toyota Rav4 and Highlander, Lexus something or another, Chevy Equinox, Buick Rendezvous, Saturn Vue, etc.... Needless to say we test drove many vehicles and were very tired by the end of the day. Well the whole reason we ended up in Hoover was that was the only place that had used Toyota Highlanders. Jodi had driven a new one but was not interested in a new price tag.

To make a long story short, we ended up with a "Salsa Red Pearl" 2005 Toyota Highlander with 11.5K miles. We had two dealers duking it out and ended up with a good deal even without a trade-in.

BTW: no job update for me this week.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Smoke em if ya got em...

I had one of the most enjoyable nights this past Thursday night. Ironically, it cost virtually nothing and involved sitting in one place for a long period of time.

The Sip and myself have our Thursday night jam session as we always do. Sip has taken up the stand-up bass and I must say, must be a natural at this thing. He has played it maybe 3 times and you can hardly tell he is there because he never misses a note or a beat, just blends right in...

Anyway, I had brought my little box of 2 cigars, pipe tobacco, a corncob pipe, and my lighter. After practice we headed to Sips home. We went inside first, grabbed some ice water, and I took two Dove dark chocolate pieces and tossed them into my smoke box.

We headed out to Sips "outdoor living room" which is quite relaxing. A small fish pond with an ever flowing fountain, a comfortable bench, and a sip-made table to prop your feet on. There were some candles in the house so I brought two out and lit them and sat them on the table. It was very cafe-esque.

We lit our popes and just sat and talked about anything and everything. Before the night was over, both of us had urinated outside. We took a small walk around the backyard, which was dog-crap-free and returned to the bench to refill our pipes.

We swapped weed. The general consensus is that my weed was more desirable than Sips. After our smoking, we washed it down by letting some dark chocolate melt in our mouths and them some ice water.
Not much more than that. Sounds pretty romantic don't it? But we didn’t have any "Sex-shu-al re-lay-shuns" but it was a nice time with a good friend.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Accountability to God and Child.

This week Isaac came home with a two inch cut on the inside of his upper right arm. I was somewhat shocked by this until I he told me how this happened. “Kayla Pearson scraped me with a wood chip.”
This is not an easy place to get a cut and had to have required some effort. This did not surprise me because a few weeks ago Isaac developed a black eye which lasted some two weeks given to him by Kayla Pearson. There is a new incident every week that has her name on it which has included hitting, kicking, shoving, spitting and other various forms of nuisance.

So after the cut and Isaac getting two sad faces on his daily report one which was prompted by him and Kayla bugging each other Jules and I sat down with our oldest boy and told him that if he shouldn’t play with her any more. We explained they always get in trouble when together or Isaac comes home and tells us about her hitting him or otherwise receiving some sort of injury.

Today as I dropped of Isaac Kayla Pearson was sitting near the door playing, by herself. There have been many mornings that she’s already sitting at the teacher’s desk because she’s done something; it’s not even 9am yet mind you. As I say bye to my boy the tussled hair and blue eyes of Kayla look up at me as she asks, “Why did you tell Isaac he couldn’t play with me anymore?”
My first thought was “because you’re mean” but I thought better of it and leaned down to try and give her an answer she might understand with a bit of tact.
I ended up telling her that she and Isaac are always fighting, he is always on the receiving end of getting hurt and that if they can’t play together nicely they shouldn’t play together. I then recanted my newly enforced no play rule and said they could play as long as they didn’t hit and hurt each other.

I said bye to Isaac and left. The short walk to my car rattled in my head as this little girl was stopping me in my tracks because of actions I’ve set upon my son. She was holding me accountable for my actions and rules as they pertain to Isaac. Simultaneously I was realizing that someday I will be looking to the thrown of God and have that exact type of question, though on a much grander scale, being asked of me.

Last night we went looking for some shoes for Isaac, he found some rain boots or “fireman boots” but they were too small, he wanted those and daddy said no, insert meltdown. I got cranky and bothered because I didn’t like the way he was acting or the way I was acting. His excuse was that he hadn’t eaten dinner yet and mine was that sometime I’m a cranky old ass.

Later my thoughts turned to God and his ability to overlook the times when his kids are fussy, hungry, and crying while laying in the floor of K-Mart (I’m boycotting Wal-Mart). In the reflective face of God I’ve got to relax a bit with my boys.

There is an amazing grace in the heart of a child. I know that today people consider the thoughts of a child to be very refreshing while still not placing a lot of stock in those little minds. For those of you who have smaller kids there are moments when the giggling faces twist and contort and push you to the edge. Amazingly enough those same faces pull you back in obviously in parallel with Gods grace.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Where myths come from.

OK I’ve been a big fan of various mythological whatnot for a long time. I love the fantastic idea that someday I’m going to happen upon some diminutive creature that is going to take me to some other world to meet other amazing creatures. This stems from a rich and nurtured imagination and the more mature desire to understand why people believe what they believe.

For centuries myths of all types have circulated across the globe and I think that they are actually truthful. At least they are rooted in some sort of truth. I’ve linked a story which is from a Ripley’s Believe it Or Not episode about a boy born with a “tail”. They them selves make a comparison to a Hindu god many worship.

Have you guys ever studied such myths and considered their origins? More so, have any of you done side research to find such abnormal human examples of modern explainable situations that could have been predecessor’s that years later could have had a mythology developed around it.

There are children born with one eye or no eyes: Cyclopes, multi-headed humans and animals like Cerberus the mythic dog guarding the gates of Hades, tailed children, reflecting Hindu gods. Autism and savants who have complete and total recall of a situation or prodigy like traits.

It’s strange to consider that some time ago if such a child were to survive they could be deified where in modern times they would have been in a freak show or medical mystery.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Users are losers and losers are users; So don't use drugs...

This may not entertain anyone here since none of ya'll really work in the tech support industry. However, over my many years in this field, I have narrowed the main types of users that there are. There are many many more than these 3, but yesterday, I carried a heavy computer from the one end of campus to the other (the furthest distance you would have to walk) and got stopped by 3 of the folllowing users...

1) The "follow up in person" user. This user will get an email that is pretty straight forward, then reply to you. Typically, the transaction is finished here, however, when this user sees you in person, they find it the perfect time to continue the email conversation as though it has not yet stopped.

Example: I send out an email to all users warning them about a new danger in AOLs instant messenger. I referenced a web link and told them how to avoid getting the virus. One user replies (Even though no reply was needed) explaining to me how she doesn't use it at work but does at home. Confused, I tell her to be careful at home. A day later I am lugging a heavy computer and we cross paths, I nod, she waves. Then I hear her call my name from behind. Surely this is an emergency, she certainly sees me carrying this heavy load. Oh no, not so. She says "What's the deal with that AOL virus thing?" Befuddled by the question, I ask "You read my email...?" She replies "Yes, but I have used AOL for years and never had a problem." I literally stumbled over my words, while trying to keep the computer held up in my hands... she stood resolute, waiting an explanation to which I reploed "Just don't click links that people send you in aol." and I walked on.

2) The "I know you are busy but I just have one quick question" user.

Sure, all questions are quick, but when everyone stops you in the hall while you are carrying a 30 pound box, there is no such thing as a quick question...
"If I bring a printer from home, can we put it on my classroom computer?"
"Sure, no problem, just email me to remind me"
"I was just about to do that! Thanks so much!"
I'm thinking "So had you not seen me in the hall, you would have never had the opportunity to ask me this question? And if you were about to email me, and saw I was busy and straining to hold up this computer, why did you stop me?"

FYI, I have yet to get an email from her...

3) The "Pick up where we left off" user...

Occationally, teachers will solicite me to fix thier personal computers. I am cool with it as long as they bring it to me and I dont have to come to their house. About a week ago, one teacher come to my office explaining a problem she was having with her PC at home. I told her to bring it in and I would look at it. The day I was carrying this computer, she stops me and says (No joke) "Yeah, i called dell and they couldnt figure it out..."
"sweating, and straining, I readjust the computer in my arms and look at her confused and say "What are you talking about again...?"

she refreshes my memory...

Needless to say, yesterday about 9am (about 24 hours after this long haul) I pulled a muscle in my back from literally doing nothing... it just hit me. $20 doctor copay and a $20 pharmacy copay later, I have muscle relaxers in my bathroom....

I almost want to send out an email saying "If you see me carrying something, please dont stop me in the hall. I have pulled a muscle in my back due to such actions this week." But of course, I wont...

Workers comp?