Monday, August 30, 2004

Now I am confused

While the puppy was here, Tammy asked me if I saw her. I said "Yeah, I saw her." She asked if I wanted to hold her. I responded, "I already held her." Now, Tammy says I 'awwwwwwed' her. I didn't awwww one time. Tammy says I 'guy awwwwed' her. This can only make sense to a woman.
I mean, Jordan rolled on the floor with her. He fawned all over her. I didn't and yet, I 'guy awwwed' her ? I know I am missing something here.
Now she says when I wrestle with my 80 pound boxer, I am 'awwwwwing' him.

I give up.

Puppies and Babies

A friend emailed me via my AOL groups page mailing list about a puppy he had acquired. It looked to be mostly pitbull, but had something else mixed in. He was looking for a home for her. Sierras boyfriend, Jordan, was here and I knew he or his brother had recently lost a dog. I asked and showed him the pictures. He fell in love. So, I told Steve to bring the puppy on over. He was going out, so he dropped it off and visited for a bit.
Ok, there are 3 females of the human persuasion here in the house. The 'awwww' factor increased exponentially. They fawned over this little runt. Everything she did was just darling. She didn't even get the usual scolding reserved for floor peeing when she decided to pee in the kitchen.
Malcolm went insane. He had a new toy. He jumped and nudged. He licked and swatted. Donovan stayed out of the way. Dude gave the puppy an obligatory sniff. Sierra and Jordan named their new baby, Reeses (yeah, like the peanutbutter cup). The air crackled with magic. There was no war or poverty anywhere in the world for that brief moment. There was a new puppy in the house.
This is a phenomenon that is shared with new babies as well. New babies in the house will elicit the same 'awwww' response. It doesn't matter what was happening prior to the baby's arrival. It doesn't matter what was going on before the puppy came in. All is gone. All sin is forgiven. All hostilities are ceased. There is a puppy/baby truce. I am thinking that there should be new born puppies at all peace negotiations.

"Mr Premiere, I would like to begin negotiations for the strategic reduction of nuclear arms in our countries, but first, have you seen these snuggly puppies?"

For more serious negotiations, there are little wide eyed kittens, or bright yellow fuzzy baby ducks.

"I know we just destroyed your country with our vast arsenal of patriot missiles, and warheads, but here is a kitten and some fuzzy ducklings."

C'mon. You know you want to say it. Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww.

Can I get a pop tart for a B ?

A school in Palm Beach County is offering students a Krispy Kreme donut for every A on their report cards. There are several issues with this. There is a nation wide child obesity problem. There are health issues. Then there is the whole reward for grades thing. What happened to a healthy sense of self esteem for doing a good job, period. We are raising a generation of kids that thinks there has to be a prize behind every door. I think we need to lock them in a room and force them to watch old "Let's make a deal" reruns. Sometimes there is a donkey or a years supply of Rice-a-roni behind the door.
I work construction, and when there is a large group of workers, there is usually a 'check pool'. For a set entry fee, you will play your check numbers like a poker hand. The way to figure the numbers varies, but the most popular is to add your check number and your net and make the best poker hand with the 5 numbers on the right. One job I was working in Northern Ohio had almost 100 electricians. The entry was $2. The number of players fluctuated each week, so the payout was different each week. I remember one Friday, some one in the job trailer yelled to the union steward and asked what the check pool paid. The Steward yelled back the pool amount. Some one else yelled, "What does second place pay ?" Just as quick, someone else yelled, "Minus $2."

That's it. There are winners and there are losers (non-winners, for the politically correct among you). Do I like to lose ? NO. Do I want my kids to lose ? NO. It is a fact of growing up. Sometimes you win. Sometimes you lose. Losing builds more character than winning. Victory tastes so much sweeter when you have lost a few times. Lay your accolades on the winners. Do not beat the losers, but do not make them anymore than they are.
When we placate those that don't win, we create a generation of blamers and whiners. Real life is going to catch these kids and body slam them to the mat. AND there won't be a trophy for laying there crying about it. The job of parents is to prepare their children for real life. When you give them everything they want, you are teaching them that life is supposed to cater to their whims. When you lose your ability to say no, you teach them that there are no boundaries. When we award the loser, we teach them that it isn't necessary to do your best. It is the job of parents, and their partners, the schools, to teach children the concept of reward and punishment.
C'mon parents. Do yer jobs.

Sunday, August 29, 2004


There are three thousand four hundred twenty-seven things that I think need to be done today. For the life of me I am trying to get motivated to do them. I went to church this morning. Afterwards, I walked with the Pastor as he showed me some electrical things that need to be done. Those will be one of this weeks projects.
As we left, I did the 'hot coffee on my legs' dance. Tammy left her (well.. Mine that she stole) coffee cup on the center console of the Blazer. Turning out the driveway was enough to flip it over and spill on my lower legs. Then it dived for the floor board in a stunning Oscar worthy performance of dying. It was flipping and falling, all in slo-mo, while it's life essence spilled out. I pulled over and was going to stop, but Tammy's heroic efforts to rescue the coffee cup kept me from hitting the brakes. Eventually, we stopped and I got napkins out of the back to soak up the coffee. Then off we went on our merry little way. Exciting, eh ?
You know ? Life is as much about how you see things as what actually happens. If you can see the humor in life's awkward or even unpleasant moments, you will be much better off. I try to think of how I would feel if I were watching this happen to someone else. If it would be funny there, it is funny here. One of my Ron-isms, of which you are welcome to get your own blog and disagree, is about truth. A truth is a truth in all circumstances. There are circumstantial truths. There are truths that are only true under certain conditions, but real truth is true, always. If it is not, then it is not the truth. That is fairly simple, I think. Therefore, if it is funny when it happens to someone else, it is funny when it happens to me.
Was that the continental shelf ? Did something suddenly get deep in here ? We were walking along in the shallow water talking about dancing dying coffee cups when suddenly without warning, we are delving into the very aspects of what is truth. Scary.

It might be the lack of sleep talking. Somehow, I doubt it tho.

The Saturday Post Late

It is Sunday morning. I wouldn't call it early, just early for a Sunday, I guess. I tried to post last night but the big world wide web was in a mood and decided I didn't need to post. So, here it is, my Saturday post on Sunday. It is just after 8, almost 2 hours before church time. I remember telling you in an earlier post the I was a preacher. I am no longer active in that calling. My father, who was my pastor for many years, tells me that once I am called, it does not leave. I am not active for various reasons which I will not delve into here. You are welcome to make your own judgments. Just remember that mercy/judge, judge/mercy thing. If you are not familiar with it, look it up.
Yesterday was Kyleigh-bug's birthday party. We loaded the truck up with kids and headed to Nickel-Vegas. It was a scorcher today. I think the melting actually reached 92 degrees. It was definitely one of those days I wished the AC in the Blazer worked. A few more days like this and I will be hard pressed not to write that $1000 check for the new compressor and lines. Come on Fall and Winter.
Anyway, back to the party. Kaye's mom and 2 of her grandkids were there. Brittany and Kyle are Tina's kids. Tina is Kaye's sister. They are/were my niece and nephew. I never understood that part of divorce. They are still related to my kids by blood, but no longer related to me. I am sure they still consider me their uncle tho I am equally sure they have been told that I am not any longer. Still, it was good to see them.
It is always good to see my kids, for whatever reason I can. Nickel-Vegas, where 2 of them live is about a 45 minute drive from home. It just seems there isn't enough time or schedule coincidences. I talk to one them almost every day. Audrey is always calling.(Audrey, if you are reading this, don't stop calling. I need you more than you need me.) Chasity is a busy one and we talk several times a week. (Chasity, same deal as Audrey.) Heather is 16 and a half, in high school, and always on the go. We talk more online that anywhere else. (Heather .. Well, you know.) I meet Heather's BF at the party. It was nice to meet you, Chris.
That is just what we need, another Chris. Tammy's oldest is Chris. Chasity's hubby is Chris. Audrey's oldest son is Chris. Chasity's son is a Chris as well (Ian Kristopher). Welcome to my collection of Chris's, Chris.

Well, sleep is all around me. Kyle is sleeping on the floor behind me. Chella is sleeping on the couch. Malcolm is snoring on the floor beside Kyle. Donovan is snoozing against my feet. Even Ava, the snake is asleep. Tammy is warm and cuddly in the bed, where I am headed for a little while before we begin the real Sunday activities.

Y'all have a good morning.

Saturday, August 28, 2004

Olympic What ?

We just finished watching the mostly disappointing "Whole Ten Yards" and flipped the TV to the regular channels. There we came upon the thrill a minute Olympic sport of Women's Mountain Biking. If you are a women's mountain biking fan, please forgive me. The gold medal winner from Norway, I am sure was thrilled as she could be after being on the bike for almost two hours. However, that had to be one of the most boring things I have ever seen. I am sitting on the edge of my seat for the next exciting round of Olympic Root Canal. It is coming, I am sure. Toss the idea to FOX for a new reality show. Job Olympics.
Everything in America has become a competition. Competition permeates everything we do. We all want to tbe the best at something. It begins before grade school. My son is in 3rd grade now. Last year, he was involved in a math thing thru McDonald's. He was in competition that was more than school wide, it was city wide. I just want the kid to know how to do the math. I really don't care if he can cypher better than the rest of the kids in his class. I can see it now. Olympic Math.

Friday, August 27, 2004

Looking back over the early part of the day, there isn't much to see. It has been a lazy day around here. I spent the morning writing and fine tuning some writing. The whole idea of getting random thoughts down on paper and then connecting the dots between them has always thrilled me. I firmly believe that the mind spews random facts of importance into our subconscious in an effort to guide us subliminally. That is why we are more readily accepting of some outside notions and more resistant of others. The opposite or match is already there in our subconscious. Have you ever flatly rejected an idea or person without knowing why? It is because, at some level of your consciousness, it comes in direct conflict with a known or unknown ideology. My dog is terrified of my son. Chris has never done anything to Malcolm. For some unknown reason, Malcolm will run or hide anytime he hears Chris' voice. Something in his memory, something about Chris, triggers each other.
This is what happens with my writing. Ideas that I cannot get my teeth around have come out. They demand to be expressed. It can happen anywhere, at any time. I can be driving and I have to pull over and write. I can be sound asleep, and wake up suddenly with words flowing. Even here at the computer, it can happen. When I start writing, it rarely ends where I thought it would. It is difficult for non-writers to grasp that. They do not understand the pleasure and pain of words tearing themselves out of your heart and head. Some things are like splinters to your soul. Tearing them free from the flesh is painful, but necessary for healing. Some feelings are like an acid, some etching, some burning, some destroying. They must be released.
I am an electrician, by trade. I have been 'bitten' by high voltages 3 times (that is 3 times too many). After I was released or got free from the current, I had to admit that it felt good. The feeling of electricity coursing thru my body was not unpleasant, but it would kill me, eventually. Writing is like that. Sorta. The words are conduits for feelings that feel good while you are experiencing them. Anger feels great while you are angry. You feel so alive. Hatred, pure and unbridled, is electrifying to the soul, while you are expressing it. Left alone in your spirit, they will kill and destroy their host. Without a victim, they turn on the possessor. Writing releases these things from my soul, even when the pain of digging out that splinter causes anguish.
I do not harbor anger or hatred. I try to avoid holding negative emotions. That is not always possible. Sometimes it can get in there and hide. You get into an emotional state about something and this thing flares up that you didn't even know was there. THIS is my release.
Hatred and anger need a host to live. Exposed and free, they die. Love is the opposite. It yearns to be free. It begs to be expressed. It feeds and grows on freedom. It is one of life's great mysteries. The more I give out love, the more I have. So, here, have a little love. I've got plenty.

Wow. I didn't meant to write all that, but that is just how it works in my ramblings ..

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Pruning the Bush

It is time to prune the Bush. While in court last week, the Judge asked me about work prospects. I explained to her that it was simple. The Democrats give tax incentives to manufacturers to increase production. Increased production means building or expanding. This feeds the construction industry. This puts me to work. The Republicans take that tax incentive away from the manufacturers and give it to the wealthy 2% of the nation. The idea is that it will trickle down to me .. Eventually. It is called 'Trickle down economics". I told the Judge that "I would have trouble finding a job until I voted George Bush out of office." She smiled and told me that I would be helping her then.

Today, I read an article about the increase in the number of people in this country living below the poverty level. It included the numbers on the number of Americans without health care. Those Americans living below the poverty line increased by 1.3 million to 35.8 million. The number uninsured increased by 1.4 million from 43.5 million. It was the third straight annual increase for both categories. Add it up. 3 years of increases and 3 years of Bush. Remember the words of Bill Clinton in his campaign against the elder Bush, "It's about the economy".

Americans will argue about abortion and gay rights. They will debate the right and proper way to fight terrorists. They toss around the noble ideas of conservatism and tolerance. However, get into my wallet and we are gonna fight. This President is taking bread off of my table. His under funding of education is taking bread from the tables of my children and their children.

For those interested in the issues, there are stark differences between John Kerry and George Bush, but in the ones that many Christians seem to hang on, there is little difference. Both oppose gay marriage. Both seek to promote tolerance of homosexuals. George Bush is opposed to abortion but does not think we should reverse Roe Vs. Wade. He further says that their stance on the abortion issue is not a consideration when he chooses appointees for Government and Cabinet positions.

It is time to prune the Bush


My daughter, Chasity, brought me some posterboard this morning when she dropped off Ian. She is a daycare teacher. We babysit Ian one day a week to keep close. She brought the poster board cuz she wants me to do a little drawing. She is doing a sea wall. She wants me to draw some jellyfish, some fish, some eels, and a shark. That shouldn't be any problem.
I decided to go to a shark site to refresh my memory about shark details. AOL popped up with site about 'how to avoid sharks' AOL Research and Learn: Now You Know .. It just ran thru my head that I am in Kentucky and I think staying here is a darn good way to avoid sharks. I can't remember the last time I saw a shark driving down I-75 or I-64. So, to sum it up. Stay away from where sharks are known to be. You know, the ocean, aquariums, daycare walls, etc. I can scan the news here and never come up with a local shark attack. I am about 500 miles from the closest ocean and therefore about 500 miles from the nearest location where I might have to be concerned.

Ian hasn't seen us for 2 weeks. Tammy was being tortured last Thursday. He has been a little fussy. It took him a little while to get used to seeing me again. He has some kind of fear of my beard. I don't know if a beard attacked him somewhere or not. It might have been a bearded shark attack. Who knows ?

Wednesday, August 25, 2004


I just noticed

I didn't write in my blog on Tuesday. The shame is almost more than I can bear. I will have to give up my Blogging Green Belt. My Sensei will be dishonored. Families will starve somewhere. This will be because I was lax in my blogging duties. The problem is that I do not even recall not writing (of course I don't remember it, I didn't do it). I recall not getting home from Georgetown until 1ish. I recall driving half way across town to meet Tammy whose car wouldn't start. Then I called her and was informed that she got a jump start and was on her way home. I had my phone on silent from earlier. I recall that we went out to Todd's where I massacred a few new songs. We got home to discover that Tammy had left her purse there. Sure, Saturday night while nearly blitzed, she remembers her purse. Tuesday, after drinking a diet coke and a water, she forgets it.

There is the real sense of how my day or lack thereof went.

Happy Birthday Kyleigh-bug

Happy Birthday Bug .. Kyleigh Morgan Smith is 2 years old today. She is a delight (don't ask her Mom). She will readily tell you that she is one of the cutest demon spawns around. I just love it. The sweetest revenge any parent can have is when their children have children that are exactly like they were as children. Tammy frequently wishes twin ADHD girls on Sierra.

Surveying the rest of the world .. Hold onto your hats. I (actually) went out and worked some this morning. Before you faint, it was just a couple hours helping a friend who's home was damaged by the tornados some time back. Tammy had a job interview which went very well. Now all we need is for Einbecker to get off his workers comp collecting behind and give us the MMI (Maximum Medical Improvement) statement so workers comp will settle and allow Tammy to return to the work force.

I continue my court ordered 15 job apps a week job hunt. Alas, I am so un-hireable. See my tears!

Jordan and Sierra have a date tonight. He is taking Tammy's car (yes, I paid the insurance premiums). They are going to one of the family's favorite restaurants, Cheddar's Casual Cafe. We recently had a chat with them about sneaking around. We told them if they wanted to be alone together, they needed to tell us. I told them that sex is an adult activity. If they were going to engage in adult activities, they needed to act like adults. Tammy and I cannot stop them from having sex, but we will not facilitate it. We will not assist them. They will have to supply their own means. Sierra said it was one of the best talks she had ever had. Nice, but she is 15, the big talks are still out there looming.

Chelsea has tonsilitis. Kyle is 8 year old annoying. It looks like a normal evening.

Monday, August 23, 2004

Arrrghhhhhhh, it's Monday

The cruel master of our lives spoke angrily this morning. It said, "Get up. Get up. Get up!!!!" The only thing worse than the alarm going off on Monday morning is when you forget to turn it off and it goes off on Saturday. On Saturday, it says, "Get up. Get up. Get up!!!!" For a second there, while it was going off, I contemplated the possibility that there had been a temporal time shift and everything had slid backwards in time two days and that it was actually Saturday all over again. It didn't work. I could not convince myself.

So, I rolled over, curled with Tammy, and wished her a Happy Birthday. It is angry water, breaking walls, and turning wheels day. The plan is to limit her doing much around the house today. I have put a load in the washer and a load in the dryer. She took Kyle to school (necessary, cuz she would be cleaning house if I were gone to do it). Chelsea is up, but achy, so we decided to force her to stay home from school. She did her litter box chore and then did the dishes. There is still a little more laundry duty for me. Is everything supposed to be pink ? I couldn't resist a little 'men don't know how to do laundry' humor. I mean, everyone knows that we do that just to be tossed out of the laundry room.

Of course, we can't stop her from doing anything. That would be a great birthday present. Happy Birthday honey, and for your birthday we want to show you how much we don't need you by doing it all ourselves. Here is your gift wrapped piece of worthlessness. So, in a twisted sort of way, letting her wash my dirty underwear gives her a sense of worthiness, a sense of being needed. Please, no accolades. It is the least I could do.

Guys, don't sweat the laundry stuff. They know we know how to do laundry. They do the same trick with the helpless act about fixing the sink or the toilet. It is all part of a healthy relationship. Fix the toilet. Be the hero. Screw up the laundry. Just go with it, man. Here is another shocker for ya. They can open jars too. (You didn't hear that from me.) Far be it from me to go against the traditional roles set thru the ages by men and women far wiser than I. Of course, there was that 5 year period when I lived alone. I did my own cooking, cleaning, laundry, toilet fixing, and jar opening. Fortunately, Tammy came along to save me.

The angry water, breaking walls, and turning wheels, by the way, is a trip to Comfort Suites in G'town (can't get too far away in case the police are called on the kids). The room has a jacuzzi whirlpool tub and the walls break away to make it part of the room. I won't extrapolate on the cost. I will just say it is sweet to have a son-in-law in hotel management. Thanks Chris.

Sunday, August 22, 2004

Picnic Sunday

Here it is .. Picnic Sunday

Let me back up to the Birthday celebration. Last night was a blast. We went to Todd's Karaoke to celebrate a few birthdays. Tammy's is on Monday. Lisa's is on Tuesday. Crystal, Cynthia, and Shawn's are on Wednesday. Tammy bough her first and last drink. The four in the middle were bought by others wishing her a happy birthday. She was lit. I drank my usual, water. We sang, laughed, hugged and kissed everyone around. We made it home shortly after one AM. Tammy told me she was gonna take advantage of me but by the time I got to bed she was passed out. She owes me one.

We got up this morning and started the preparations. Tammy went to the nursing home to get her mom. We take her to all the picnics. She loves getting out. I sliced onions and tomatoes. I filled up the Mayo, ketchup, and mustard bottles. It was so exciting. Tammy came home with Mom. She was in rare form this afternoon. We think she has begun hallucinating. Talking to her is like coming in in the middle of a movie and trying to catch up. You never know who is lurking in the corner.

We picked up the charcoal that we forget to get at Wal-Metropolis-Mart. Jordan rode his bike here. By the time we were ready to leave, there were 9 kids on the porch wanting to go to the picnic. We packed a few into the Blazer and the rest into the Lincoln and away we went. We got to the park and there was not one picnic table available. Two of the picnic attendees went searching. They found a couple sitting at one of the picnic tables reading. They were not using the grill, so they asked the if they minded giving up the table. I was not there. I do not want to know what intimidation techniques they used, but, they got the table. The picnic was on.

It was good. I grilled 40 burgers and 24 dogs. We had sweet and sour cole slaw and deviled eggs. There were bags of chips and pop on ice. It was a hot Sunday afternoon filled with good food and good friends. It was one of those 'kinda make ya think things are alright' days. Feeling good is a scary thing. I hope it lasts.

Saturday, August 21, 2004

Rapid Run Saturday & Wal-Mart

Myth: a person or thing having only an imaginary or unverifiable existence

Myth: Abominable snowman, Greek gods, Bigfoot, Loch Ness monster, slow Saturdays

We have been running already this morning. Tomorrow is our bi-weekly picnic for about 60 people. So, we have been on a supply run. Sierra has to be at work at Sonic from 6 til 9. Chris has to be at Eureka’s Pizza from 4 til 11. He worked last night until 11 at eureka’s and then went to work at Tolly Ho’s until 7:30AM. We have to be at Todds at 8:30PM for a Birthday get together for Tammy and some other friends that share close birthdays. Run. Run. Run.

We went to the local Wal-Mart Metropolis-Mart for our picnic supplies. This place is the size of a small third world country. It definitely has a greater economy. I believe Wal-Mart’s are built on large metaphysical vacuums. How else does one explain the constant stream of shoppers flowing thru their doors? On your first visit you are abducted by aliens and injected with a highly addictive shopping drug. The lights at Wal-Mart produce an eerie iridescent glow which feeds the addiction. It soothes the burning in your mind. Only there are you truly at peace.

Wal-Mart knows that all they have to do is get you in the store. You find your car mysteriously turning into parking lot anytime you are driving by, as if drawn by some magical source. The “vacuum” has you. Nothing real exists outside of the Wal-Mart. You think that you went home after your first visit, but you never left the store. You are strapped to a large bank of bodies, sharing thoughts, experiences, feeding the ‘vacuum’. Your mind fights but it is too weakened by the intrusion of the shopping drug. Listen to me. On aisle seven is a little old lady giving free samples of Fritos. Find her. She has the key to your escape. The antidote is in the sample of the Chili Cheese flavored Corn Chips. Free your Mind !

Friday, August 20, 2004

The plotting thickens

Ok, here we are, 3 days from T-day. The plotting thickens. I have involved more people in the plot and left a few red herrings around to throw the dogs off of the trail.

One part of the Birthday present has arrived and been given to Tammy. There is a sick and twisted hilariously funny website that we visit regularly. It is ::ill will press::. One of the characters at this heinous site is pilz-E. He is an ADHD squirrel with a love for little purple pills with the zzzzzzzzzzzz's on them. From this site, I ordered a shirt for her with Pilz-e on it and a caption which prescribes "extra medication for all". She loves her Pilz-E shirt.

The rest of the plot and present involves the kids, hers and mine. I am thinking when all this is said an done, the Ron stock will see a dramatic improvement in the market (not that the Ron stock has suffered any). I will give you a hint, but only a small one, because she reads my blog, as any good wife would (lol). I am seeing angry water and breaking walls. I am seeing wheels turning. (Of course, you know this is for her .. right now she is scratching her head going, "Huh?")

Oh yeah, it is raining here. Donovan has less hair. Malcolm is under the desk being blessedly gas free (so far). Ava escaped last night/this morning, but only went as far as behind her aquarium/terrarium. Dude tempted death by peeing on the bed sometime yesterday evening. Milenko is out of sight/out of mind. There was no school today. They took the kids for 4 days and then spit them back out at us. The great Kyle was excited. He was going to stay up so late. He was conked before midnight last night. That's the news that is the news.

oooooo tainted love

I have just come from a monstrous cavern of despair where I faced an evil life sucking vampyric ogre and her minion. Not, it was not the endless pits of despair of Algerspits. It is not the bottomless pits of Everland. Nooooooo. It is the family courts of Fayette county. My Ex had me there for the third time in three months to debate the great child support debate.
Here is the rub. My income is approximately one seventh of what it was last year. Her income has doubled from last year. Yet, she and her minion has asked that I be imputed with wages 33% higher than I made last year. She has asked that my child support be almost tripled.
In June the Judge lowered it but insisted that I put in 15 job apps per week. I did and still do. Next month, in July, she doubled it plus a little bit because I was working a short call. This month, she was in a quandary. The minion of the vampyric ogre was insisting that I have wages imputed to me as if I were making $50K a year (which I am not making anywhere close to) and that my CS be based on that. The judge didn't buy that. She said she believed I was looking for work. My Ex said she believed I was looking for work. Every week, 15 new people believe I am looking for work.

(Any lawyers out there wanna take a pro bono case ?)

We settled on a monthly amount that I do not have. The judge promised not the throw me in jail today for not having it. We come up for review on November 19th. We shall see if the monster of the quagmire gets me or not.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

I won't .. I will .. I won't

OK .. Here I stand with cyber egg on my face. It seems that Iraqi cleric Al-Sadr has decided to change his mind once again and die for his cause. He has been quoted as saying, ''Either martyrdom or victory." He is now prepared once more to give his all for his Jihad.

Don't get me wrong. If you want to die for something you believe in, by all means, die for it. This country (America) was built by men and women willing to give everything for the very idea of dying free. The War between the States (You remember it .. The one everyone thinks was about slavery) was fought on both sides by men and women willing to die for their cause. That is the American way.

You remember that kid in grade school ? He/She tormented you. They may have even threatened you. When you got close, they said, "I was just kidding." You back off and as you are walking away, they attack, verbally or otherwise, but it is still an attack.You wheel on yer heels and head back. "I was just kidding." It just gets old. Not to mention that fact that all the wheeling around is hard on the ankles. Make up yer mind. Are you going to die for your cause or not? Make up your mind before we make it up for you.

In Washington, the Bush administration said al-Sadr needed to match words with deeds. ''We have seen many, many times al-Sadr assume or say he is going to accept certain terms and then it turns out not to be the case,'' said National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice. OK .. A public official that says he will do one thing to elicit a measured response and then when time comes to pony up, he reneges. Look over your shoulder, Condoleezza. This guy has a great future with the Bush Administration.

The pressure is ON

It is just after 9:30 AM and the pressure is rising. No, not the barometric pressure (Well, it may be rising, but it isnt what I am talking about).

Let me back up just a bit. It started at 7AM this morning. Alarms going off, demanding that we get out of bed and do the responsible thing and send the kids off to school. It was slap slap and 9 more minutes of cuddling. So, we get up, get the kids up, and begin the day. Today is different. Tammy has an appointment with her Physical Torturer .. er .. Therapist. She is having an assessment done on her wrist to determine the eventual usability for Workers Comp (she was injured at work by a client). She is taking Kyle to school and Sierra is going with her to the DR. I am taking Chelsea to school and Chris to work. Simple enough. No pressure.

She is out the door. Chelsea is dozing and ready to go. Chris is getting dressed. We are out the door at approximately 8:15 AM. Chella has to be at school no later than 8:30. Still, no pressure. I drop her off in plenty of time. Chris and I swing back around the circle and head to Eureka's Pizza. As we are driving past the house and approaching the stop sign just half a block from home, it happens.

The radio is on 98.1 FM, The Bull. There is some chick giving her gossip report on country music singers, as if it is the be all, do all, end all, of the world. Nothing is more important. I can hear her droning on like faint background noise when she wraps up her report. She says, and I quote, "Have a good rest of the day." There it is. Now I have to worry that my day, or the rest of it, will not be good. She could have taken it easy on us and told us to have a 'good rest of the morning'. That would be easy. It wasn't yet 8:30. The rest of the morning was only a few hours. NO ! She felt compelled to make it the 'rest of the day'.

Who teaches these people to apply this kind of pressure. Tomorrow, I will be up. The radio will be on. I will hear her voice droning again. It will be different this time. This time I will be researching my memory to be able to assure myself that the 'rest of my day' yesterday was good. It is almost 10AM. There has been no cake and ice cream. There have been no naked dancing girls. Tammy is off being tortured, so there is no cuddling and loving. The day is going downhill and I am still under the gun to have a good rest of the day.

Why ? Why ? Why? Why did I have to choose to listen the the radio? There are many CD's in the truck that would never dream of applying this kind of pressure on me. I could have had it off and been enjoying quiet quality conversation with Chris. We were talking. Not about imortant stuff like saving the world, protecting the envirnoment, or whether Brittney Spears is truly happy. It was just supposed to be back ground noise. Now, here I am. The walls are closing in on me. The sun is screaming thru the window. The traffic is humming out side. All of them, turning the crank, applying the pressure. I cannot take it any more. I am out of here.

Oh yeah. Have a good rest of the day, bastard.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Political Free Zones .. order yours today

Please, can we vote tomorrow?

I am so sick of all the political ads saturating every air wave of every medium. There is no politically safe place. THAT'S IT !! We need a political free zone. There has to be some place where a citizen can go where they will not be bombarded with leftist/rightist propaganda. At various locations throughout the city, there should be a place where no ads can be seen, no radio can pick up a signal, no TV can broadcast, and giant mutated armadillos with 5 inch fangs attack anyone mentioning a candidate or political party. When you are feeling overwhelmed by your morning commute, you can rush to one of these Political Free Zones. They will replace the small smoking sections outside of restaurants. They will become PFZ's. In every bathroom in an office building, there should be a PFZ stall. Ohhhhhh, the humanity.

Can we write in "no-one" ?

I will fight to the death .. Or until you get close

I have been reading the news of the world, the one outside of my door.

It seems that Iraqi Cleric Al-sadr in Najaf has decided that fighting unto death is no longer a good idea. Once troops got close enough to actually carry out his wishes, he decided that he needed to sign a peace accord. In the terms of this accord, he will remove and turn over the militants hiding in the shrine. Not only is he surrendering, but he is turning over those under his command or protection. What happened to the day when a person vowed to fight til death and did it. "I will win or get close to death trying" Just doesn't have the same menacing ring, does it? "I will defy you until you almost beat me up." Oooooo, scary !. "You wont get my lunch money .. Unless you threaten me a whole lot."

Kids playing in a grown up world with grown up toys. They will be the death of us all.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

The Rest of the Gang

It is time to meet the rest of the gang.

Living with us at the house is a menagerie of pets. The oldest of these is the boss of the house, Dude. Dude is a male cat. He was born at my old place and has been with me since his birth (mostly). He was 4 years old in May. I came home from work one day to a squirming bundle of kittens, a gift from Bob, their mom. This gets tricky. I got a cat and named her Allie. Later, the kids came home from a trip with a friend to see him race, with a solid black purr-ball. We named him Bob. About nine months later, Allie's balls dropped and shortly thereafter Bob was pregnant. Don't ask me to determine your cat's sex. Cat gender is not my bag. Well, bob had 5 kittens. I gave most of them away and gave Bob away as well. Allie decided he didn't want to hang around anymore. As I was giving the kittens away, one of them would mysteriously disappear anytime someone came to pick one up. Chasity named her 'Doodles'. Well .. As you might suspect .. He wasn't a her .. and I was not going to have a male cat named 'Doodles'. So, doodles became 'the Dude'. He is definitely a cat with attitude. My friends say he has 'personality'.
About 5 months ago, Dude decided to leave. He hung around the house but would run whenever anyone approached him. Then just as suddenly as he left, he appeared on the porch seeking entry. He walked in as if he had never left.
There was one small change. That small change was a miniature Pomeranian named Donovan. Donovan is about 3 years old. Leonard (who gave us this gay dog) told us he was house broken. Let me tell ya, always suspect this statement from anyone trying to give you a dog. I mean, do you really think they will tell you that the dog is going to crap every where, and you will still want it? Anyway, Donovan weighs about 5 to 7 pounds. He is a registered Champion Stud dog. He is scared of everything in the house except Tammy. Every noise causes him to jump, run, and hide. Every now and then, he will come to me and stand by my leg looking for attention.
Now we are at Malcolm. Malcolm was born in May of 2003. He weighs about 80 to 90 pounds. He is a registered Boxer. He is a smart goofball. He takes to training quite well, but walks into doors and walls. We have only had him for about 2 months, but he is already a member of the family. He sleeps by the bed at night. He tries to sleep in it from time to time, but that doesn't work with his size, his nails, and our waterbed. He loves rough housing with the kids. He would never hurt them, except by accident.
Now we are down to Ava. Ava was born in May of 2003 as well. She is about 22 to 24 inches long now. Ava is a Ball Python. She is friendly, but her once a week feeding of a live mouse reminds you that she is first and foremost, a predator. She love wrapping herself around Tammy's wrist in what Tammy calls a snake-let. She is growing and getting stronger all the time. Her growth will be controlled by her cage size. Right now, she has much room to grow.
Temporarily, Chris has a white rat, Melinko. He has it in the room, but there isn't room in there for the cage, and the other room inhabitant does not like it at all. There will be discussion when he comes home today as to what we are going to do about this. There is no other place in the house to keep Melinko. Time will tell, and so will I.

Monday, August 16, 2004

The Aftermath

The dust is settling. The kids have returned from their fast paced first day at school.

Kyle gets out at 2:50 at one of the worst traffic situated schools in town. You are not allowed to park in front of the school to wait for your child. You can park across the street if you want to arrive at 2:00 and wait, or you can try to park in the crowded school parking lot with just enough spaces for the staff. The problem with this is that the kids come out at the other end of the school. It was a source of constant fun last year when I would go to pick up Kyle. I would 'stop' in front of the school. They would come out to tell me that I could not park there. I would (politely, of course) explain to them that I was not parked, as my truck was still running and I was still inside it. This is known as stopping and not posted as an illegal activity. They would tell me that the police would write me a ticket. OK, let them. I would be the one to pay it and that too would be no skin off of their backs. They have decided that it is a waste of time to tell (threaten) us anymore.

Chelsea gets out of school at 3:40 at a school with just a slightly better parking/traffic situation. We meet Chelsea about a half a block from the school on the major street the school shares a corner with. It is just a parking bad dream, not a full fledged nightmare.

In the middle of those pickups, Tammy had to pick Sierra up from work. Her boss has scheduled her for starting at noon, several days this week. It has been explained to him that this has to be an only time deal. Her work cannot/will not interfere with her education.

Kyle is excited to be back in school. He has limited friend interaction here at the house. Most of his interaction is with friends of the older kids that visit. While Kyle is sometimes smarted than these visitors, he still needs friends of his own age to play with. Chelsea spent the day in the library or cafeteria, as the school has not gotten her schedule finished yet. Sierra is fussing with Jordan (her boyfriend) about being invisible. Yes, things are normal here.

First day of Hallelujah

Here it is, the first day of Hallelujah. It is more commonly known by parents and children alike as the first day of school. I am sure the kids have a different name for it as well. Back to alarms going off early and kids complaining in the morning about clothes, books, and breakfast. Hallelujah !
It has been a long and eventful summer around here. It began on the last day of school for Kyle. Ronnie, Tammy's ex, was here to pick up the kids for his month visitation during the summer. A day later they were all headed to Florida and the house got deathly quiet. It was a creepy feeling, but one that rapidly turned to silent jubilation. Don't get me wrong, I love kids. I love my kids. I love Tammy's kids. Still, there needs to be times when, for extended periods of time, adults can be alone. This was our time. One month of no children.
The month passed quickly, as they often do. Before we knew it, it was the fourth of July and time to go to Florida to pick up the kids. Tammy went while I worked 12 and 14 hours days here. The following month and a half of summer, the kids were here. Let me explain. They are not bad kids, they are not good kids, they are just kids. During the summer, they tend to stay up all night and sleep most of the day. They live a life without structure for that time. Any time, day or night, at least one of them is sleeping and at least one of them is awake. Then, add to this the coming and going of friends in varying numbers. It makes for some interesting evenings.
Two weeks ago the summer took a decidedly sad turn. Two friends of the kids were involved in a shooting. One shot the other, then shot himself, as far as anyone knows. David and Tommy were arguing when David shot Tommy, then turned the gun on himself. Tommy died the next day. While the kids knew both boys, they were much closer to Tommy. He was one of the adoptees. He was broken kid from an ignoring family. He latched on to us. Tammy took him in like she does all the other stray kids. Like most, he called her 'Moms'. His funeral was last week. The kids are still reeling from this.

The kids. Let me introduce ya to the kids.

Kyle is 8 and starting 3rd grade this morning. He was so excited to be back at school, he almost didn't wait for the car to stop before he was trying to get out the door.
Chelsea is 13 and starting 7th grade. She too is excited about going back to school. Perhaps not so much that she would jump from a moving car, but excited none the less.
Sierra is 15 and homeschooled. She has ADHD, ODD, and is bi-polar. Public schools around here are just not able to teach her. Year before last she attended Crawford Middle School. Their idea of handling her was to put her in the back of the classroom and ignore her. This did not work. Last year, we homeschooled her with great success. She excelled in learning. With Sierra, the keys are to keep her on task and limit her frustrations by taking the time to explain and teach her.
Then .. There is Chris. Chris is 18 and trying to get his GED. He can pass it all except for a part of the math. The trouble comes with estimation. He figures the answer quickly enough that he doesn't need to estimate. Then he tries to guess what the estimate should be by taking the number closest to his answer. That doesn't work. He begins his new job at Eureka's Pizza on Wednesday.

Back to the Hallelujah reason. In my humble opinion, kids require structure. They need patterns of events and behaviors. School provides that for them. The house being empty for afternoon sex is good as well. You know, we are still honeymooning.
I'll let ya know how their day went when I get the reports back.

Sunday, August 15, 2004

Finally .. Or not

Well .. Here goes .. I don't know if anyone is reading this or not, but that is not important (a lie). You know, the important thing is that I get my feelings and words out of my head (ok, almost a lie). Things get a little jumbled up in my head at times and it is better to slap it down on cyber-paper than to just leave it up there to interact with other nonsense and serious thinking stuff. Since this is the first post here, I will allow y'all a brief glimpse into my head. It might be scary. It might be enlightening. It might be like trying to swim in the shallow end of the pool. I am not sure that I think on a deep level all the time. I might be drowning in my own thoughts, but that doesn't necessarily mean they are deep. Right about now my deepest thoughts are how I begin a new paragraph. 'Enter' does not seem to work.
My sister, now approaching 50, skipped school once while she was in High School. She went with some friends to Boonesboro 'beach'. OK, in Kentucky, we don't have real beaches, but we call this sandy spot on the side of the Kentucky River a beach. Sue us ! Anyway, she was enjoying her day away from school, splashing around in the water, when she fell. Underwater, she went. She came up, gasping, and down she went again. Once more, she broke the surface, gasped for air and dropped into the murky deep. She was drowning (a curse from God for her sin of skipping school). She was going down for the last time when a kindly gentleman walked over to where she was dying, and told her to stand up. She was drowning in water that was knee deep.
That could be the case in my head and in my thoughts. My drowning in them and the depth of them are not necessarily related. I promise I will try not to drown in the knee deep thoughts of what color the bathroom should be painted or which side of the roll the toilet paper should unroll (the back/wall side or the front side). This is not to say that these things are not important to someone on some level, just not blog material, or so I think.

Oh yeah, and I figured out the new paragraph thing.

So, lets go for a ride in my head. The basis for much of my thinking will originate from my upbringing and outcoming. My father was a church pastor from the time I was 3 years old until a few years ago. I am running headlong now toward 50 myself. I do have the brief stops at 47, 48, and 49 to go. My mother is a full blooded German mom. Dad was stationed in Germany during the Korean conflict, where they met, fell madly in love and were married. They have been married just over 50 years now. I was a rebellious teenager in my own head, even though I have only smoked one pack of Marlboro's in my life (around the time I was turning 16), I have never (yes, never) been drunk, and I have never been high (heck, I never smoked the wacky backy).
I got married at 19 after dropping out of college. I joined the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and began my apprenticeship a month before the wedding. My pay dramatically increased from $2.65 to $4.25 per hour. Around 21, I 'accepted' the call to preach and began working in the church pastored by my father. My father worked as an electrician and pastored the church as well. Until he was in his 50's, he never accepted any salary from the church. What is interesting is, when I was a boy, dad would ask me what I wanted to be when I grew up. My answers varied, but the one thing that remained constant was that there were two things I never wanted to be. Those were an electrician and a preacher. How funny life is can only be topped by how funny life is.
Twenty years, three beautiful daughters (Audrey 24, Chasity 21, and Heather 16), and miles of water under the bridge, after Kaye and I were married, we divorced. We remained friends (mostly). My daughters are grown and growing. Two of them are married and have children of their own. Now is when I learn if those parenting skills (or lack thereof) actually worked. The divorce was 6 years ago. Kaye remarried, divorced, and remarried again since then. About 28 months ago I met Tammy, a beautiful lady who eventually (Oct 2003) became my wife. She and I, and her four children make our home in Lexington, KY.

That is the shallow end of the pool. Later we might venture into deeper waters, but for today, I think I will retreat to the safety of my cozy beach towel in the warm sand. Try not to block my sunlight while ya read.