Monday, February 28, 2005

No change

looks like a non working day

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Kody and Ava Posted by Hello

Cough ow cough

Saturday came and went and this thing got no better.
We had the grandkids Friday night, so we took them home Saturday morning. Something cool happened with Kody. I took Ava out of her cage to let her stretch out and warm up a bit. He loved her. He wanted to hold her. I gave her to him and he was fine with it. His mom, when I told her, was amazed. She said he is afraid of everything. He is afraid to touch a ladybug. However, here he was with a ball python wrapped around his neck. I took a couple pics. One will be posted. When we took them home, we took Ava with us. We took her travel coup, but mostly Tammy had her. When we got to Nicholasville, we went to where Audrey works and Kody went up to see his mom with Ava around his neck. Audrey took him in the store to show her friends. He was loving it. He was the center of attention. Did I mention that he is the middle child ? Well, there he was, strutting around like he was the biggest kid in Nicholasville. Chris and Kyleigh wanted nothing to do with the snake. This was all Kody. This was his crowning achievement.

His daddy freaked out as well. When we took him home, he walked into the house with Ava around his neck. He was loving the attention.

We came home and I decided not to attend the board meeting. I didn't see the need to take this bug to visit everyone else. I went to bed for a bit to rest up and see if I felt like going out that evening. Sleeping/resting felt too good. So, I continued. I was up for a couple hours and then went right back to bed. I remember getting up once during the night/morning for about an hour and then back to bed until noonish.

So, here I am ... feverish ... achy ... and figuring I better get better tonight ... We will see if that plan works.

Friday, February 25, 2005

Still struggling to speak

The throat is still sore and scratchy today, so no strenuous singing tonight.

The field trip was nice. I have worked at Toyota Motor Manufacturing a lot over the last 18 years, but this is the first time touring the plant as a tourist. I saw lots of systems that I worked on over the last 18 years. We took 45 students. There was not enough room on the bus for everyone, so two teachers rode in a truck. I, being the new guy, got to ride on the bus with the students. It was a non-eventful trip. We made it back an hour before we had planned. That means we will have a class in 5th block. It will be study time for my class, as to keep all my classes working on the same things next week.

Oh yeah, the student accused of terrorist threatening claims the material that was confiscated from his house was an English assignment about a zombie taking over the school and in no way represented him as a threat. uh-huh..

More to follow

Thursday, February 24, 2005

And then the bottom dropped out

I've seen better days ... Been the star of better plays ...I've seen better days ... Then the bottom dropped out

The days has taken a decidedly southward turn. It is running downhill as fast as it can, it feels. While driving to work, I begin to notice a scratchiness and tickle in my throat. It seems I was losing my voice. I can talk in short bursts reasonably well, but not enough to give 4 ninety minute classroom instructions on residential wiring. Thankfully, I have handouts on residential wiring. These, to be unread (I am sure) handouts reinforce what we have done in the lab. The students can and will pass without them, but my voice will not. So, they get to read, or sleep, or do other homework, or listen to their music (headphones), while I work on setting up the tool room etiquette.

Each day there is to be a student in charge of the tool room. Their duties will include, but not be totally limited to:
preclass inventory
signing out tools to students
making sure all tools are returned and signed in
post lab inventory

The advantage to being the 'tool guy' is that while the rest of the class is sweeping up the daily mess we make, he is in the tool room doing inventory.

Looking forward to tomorrow's easy day field trip to Toyota Motor Manufacturing. It is ironic. I hated going there for 18 years. I first was there when it was a dirt/mud field in April 1986. I worked on the original buildings and have been there off and on (off as much as I could manage) since then. Tomorrow will be my first trip as a 'tourist'.

Oops .. Noise in the lab .. See ya later

What the Media said ...


High School Student Arrested, Charged With Terroristic ThreateningLEX 18 has learned that a George Rogers Clark High School student has been arrested for making terrorist threats.

Winchester police say Xxxxxxx Xxxxx (like I was going to actually post the name), 18, was taken into custody Tuesday morning. Investigators say, they discovered materials at Poole's home that outline possible acts of violence aimed at students, teachers, and police. Poole has been charged with a single count of second-degree felony terrorist threatening. He is being held at the Clark County Detention Center.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005


Just to add a note here .. I have talked to others that are disbelievers in the power of God, or any supreme being to move on or have impact on an individuals life. I say to them, whether it was the power of an all loving all powerful God or not, it changed my life. Whether it was just me making a subconscious decision and relying on my faith in God as the reason to change or not, is inconsequential. I prayed and I changed. I asked and I received.

One simple choice

I was reading somewhere about a writing contest where your entry was to be about a life changing event. It was to be something you could look back on as a pivotal point in your life. While I did not enter the competition, it did get me thinking and the wheels churning. There are many points in my life where I stood at a crossroads and wavered, waiting for some thing or some one to give me direction or guidance. There have been great and large decisions in my life which have shaped the direction of my travel. Each decision was predicated on experience or faith. Some directed by what has always been and others by what I hoped would be. They have not always worked out as I had hoped, but all are part of the crooked path that led me to this place. There have been great and small decisions. There have been some which, at the time, seemed almost inconsequential, but later, in retrospect, proved to be very life shaping.

Friends I made, or found in junior high school still enter and leave my life. Decisions I made from the standpoint of ignorance still direct my life. One notable example was my decision to pursue a career in electricity. It was a decision of happenstance. I was working 3rd shift at a factory and sick of it. I quit and told Dad to help me get into the electricians union. It was, for me, to be a stop gap measure. I did not intend to make it my career. Now, 30 years later, I am still working within that field. That decision of circumstance has had a long lasting defining effect on me. We like to think that we are creatures of choice, and for some things, we are. However, we are led by the decisions we make more often than we are led by personal choices.

For example, If I make a personal choice to buy a new truck, then I am led by that choice to work to pay for it. Those are the repercussions of a personal choice. I lose the choice to work or not to work. I lose the personal freedom to take off a month and drive around the country. If I further choose to drink and drive, I am bound by the consequences of that personal choice. So, you see, we are creatures of personal choices, but we are often led by the consequences of those choices, whether we realized the course upon which we had set sail.

That being said ... I do remember a day when I was driving in Nawlins (New Orleans, for the tourists), and there seemed to be this sudden realization that hit me. It came to me that I was lacking in a very important area in my life. Let me set the stage just a bit. At that time, I was working in Nawlins, living in Slidell, LA, and going to church in Slidell as well. I was an ordained Minister and working as a 'mudman' for a stucco company owned and run by the boyfriend of my first wife's aunt. He was an unscrupulous businessman and employer. He underpaid his help and got them to borrow money from him. Then, when they were in his debt, he used that to treat them unfairly by not paying overtime. I was in a bad situation. I was there working to help myself get out of debt in Kentucky, not to go into debt in Louisiana as well.

So, here I was, in a bad situation that wasn't getting better, and thinking about what I needed to do to get myself out. My wife and children (2 at the time) were depending on me. The weight of the world was on my shoulders. At least it seemed like it was the weight of the world.

The realization was not about my work situation. It was not about my family. It was about me. I realized that I was completely lacking in compassion. My heart was hard. Never mind that I could not effectively minister to people without compassion, I could not be a complete human being without it. There are those that know me now, many years later, that have a hard time getting their minds wrapped around that concept, but it was true.

On a ramp, on my way up to I-10, I looked up and asked God to give me a tender heart. Remember how I said that we are more often led by our decisions made without proper consideration of all the ramifications? This is one of those times. I recognized there was a need in my life. That much was fine. I recognized that God was the one to help meet that need. That was fine as well. It was the simple request for a tender heart that was over my head. I had no clue what that entailed.

Before long, I found myself crying at movies. Other people would be talking about events or hurts in their lives and I would feel that hurt. I could feel the pain. I didn't know this was part of the deal. I realized. Some years later what had happened as the result of my simple prayer. What is it that makes a spot on us tender? If we rub or continually hit (lightly or hard) a spot, it becomes tender. What I had unwittingly ask for, was to be touched or rubbed by the pains or joys of others. That was how my heart would become tender. I was blessed with an empathy. I hurt when others hurt. I sorrowed when others sorrowed. Conversely, I rejoiced when others rejoiced. I laughed with the joy of others. Unfortunately, all too often, people are more willing to share their sorrows and keep their joys private.

Still yet, knowing what I know now, I wouldn't take back that elementary prayer. It was a turning point in my life. Although much else has changed in my life, this has remained constant.

One simple decision.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005


I am still at school. I am between. My school day ends at 3:30 with classes over at 3:05, but tonight is a school board meeting and open house here at the school. The open house begins at 6 and the board meeting at 7. So, I am in my classroom, after cleaning up, waiting.
It has been a good day production wise. We, my classes and I, nailed over 100 nails in the boards mounted on the walls of the tool/material room. On those nails we hung side cutting pliers, channellocking pliers, crimping pliers, stripping pliers, hacksaws, fish tapes, and hammers. The welding class is making a rack of my design for the tape measures and for the ladders. This place is starting to get in good shape to actually do some work.
Yesterday, while having no students, the Principal and I went to Lowe's and bought $1500 worth of tools and materials. Graybar delivered today. We have stuff to do electric stuff. Finally a break from the classroom. Finally, boxes to mount and romex to run. There are lights and switches. There are outlets. There are wall and ceiling boxes.
Now, for the hard news. One of the students at the High School, which is also a student here at ATC, was arrested today. It seems he has been contriving a plan to enter the school with weapons and take out teachers and students. He had detailed drawings of camera locations and entrances for the best impact. He had facts and figures about the local police response times and amount of force he could expect to encounter. Although all of his plans were concentrated on the High School, it is still a concern down the hill. There is also the fact that it is suspected that he is not working alone. We have been cautioned to keep our eyes and ears open and to report any suspicious conversation.
My Principal told me, "Welcome to education."
Life goes on.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Ugh !

Sunday is crashing to a close.

I was still feeling the queasies this morning, so we stayed in. Later in the afternoon, we took Carol and Chelsea and went shopping at Meijer. I needed an electric can opener. They were having a huge sale. After saving $128 and spending $101, we made our way to Dad and Mom's lace to check his camera in his cell phone and pick up some mail there. We visited for a bit. Chelsea discovered knitting. Mom gave her knitting needles to get started. She was surprised to learn that I knew about knitting. From there we took Carol back to the nursing home. More and more, she considers it home. That is a good thing.

We hung around the house the rest of the night.

It was a good time. I love spending time with Tammy. Kyle and I had fun as well. He worries that I will stop loving him someday. I explained to him (numerous times) that I will love him, and do, even if I do not repeat it to him every time he tells me (at least a dozen times a day). To me, it can become a catch phrase and then lose it's meaning. When I say it, I am feeling it and mean it. Still yet, he is a nine year old boy still feeling the repercussions of his parents divorce.

If yer reading this, Kyle, I love ya.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Saturday Jukin'

We went out singing for a few minutes this evening. Carol is with us. She wanted to hear us sing.
The day started with Tammy, Kyle and myself going out to get some breakfast before going to pick up Carol at the nursing home. We tried Bob Evans first. It was way too crowded. We made our way down the restaurant crowded Richmond Road. There were no good restaurants to get breakfast along the way. We discussed, as we were driving, what would be our next plan of action. We passed the Hooters on Richmond Rd and I kidded Kyle about wanting to go there.

We decided to go pick up Carol first, then we went to Richmond (the city) and had lunch at the Hooters there. Tammy divulged to me that girls do actually like Hooters as well. We went to Richmond because Tammys uncle Deanie lives there. He is Carol's Ex's brother. We took Carol to visit the family. We had a good time visiting after having a good time at Hooters.

My evening was good albeit wrinkled with an upset stomach. I am not sure it it was something I ate or just some viral thing going around. Either way, we closed the evening out a bit earlier than usual. Still, we had fun. We saw Christy and met Lisa. Donna and Kevin were there. Gary stopped by for a beer and to pick up the power cord I had for him. Roy showed up and shortly after, his sister, Andrea came in. It was grand to see everyone that we hadn't seen for a while.

Friday, February 18, 2005

Lady, your babysitter is teaching the kids bad habits

As I was driving to work this morning, I passed a car that had a screen hanging from the headrests of both front seats. The small kids in the back seat were placidly riding to the daycare or babysitters so mom could go to work. It was just a brief moment or two as we passed each other a few times on the bypass between the lights.
I think technology is great. I think it is wonderful that we have phones wherever we go, and TV's in cars to entertain kids on long drives or over the road trips. It just got me to thinking about how many parents, when they have something to do, plop their kids down in front of the TV and wander off to do whatever it is that they have to do. The 'babysitter' never complains about the long days or late hours. It never worries about overtime or how many kids there are. It just does it's job ... Or does it ?

While you are in the kitchen preparing a fine meal for the family, the babysitter is in the room with the kids and showing them violence and sexuality. If you think there isn't violence and sex in morning cartoons, you aren't watching. Even the most innocent of cartoons has overlain sexual innuendos in it. You can say that the small kids aren't getting it, but they are. They may not understand it fully, but they are curious because the babysitter says it is okay.

One of the cartoons that Kyle (9) watches in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. It has changed a lot since I watched it with my kids. There is one thing that drives Tammy and I nuts about it too. They are always saying, "What the shell ?" or Let's get the shell outta here." It is borderline and we are not alarmists. It is a clever cute way to preprogram (not saying that is the intent, but it is the result) your kids for profanity. If it is the intent, it doesn't matter. My job as a parent is to deal with the results. Kids these days have the foulest potty mouths I have ever seen. They think nothing of lashing out with a string of obscenities, regardless of who is in earshot, and are unapologetic, even if called on it. BECAUSE the babysitter says it is ok.

Is that an over simplification ? Possibly. However, we, as parents, need to be more aware of what the babysitter is doing when we are not watching. We would never stand for a babysitter that cursed or used sexual innuendo in front of our kids, but, here we are, plopping them done in front of the TV night after night. I do not allow my kids to spend the night at anyone's house until I have met them and know they are safe. How much more do I need to be careful about who I allow to come into my house, via TV, and influence my kids.
Mom, the babysitter is cussing !

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

It finally caught me

The funk has finally caught up to me. As I drove to school today, I could feel it growing in my stomach. By the time I got there , it was just a formality. I told my principal that I was going home. I went to my room and fixed the lesson for the substitute and made a few notes. I stopped again at the principals office before leaving. Then I drove home.

When I got here, everyone was asleep. Kyle didn't go to school. He was still sick. Chella got up puking, so Tammy didn't send her to school either. Tammy was in the bed as well. I closed the door so not to disturb her.

It sucks. It isn't so much the being sick. I miss work. I have sick days. I won't miss any pay, but I miss the students. I miss the teaching. I miss the light.
It has been only a month and a half and I am hooked. I like this a lot more than I cared to admit going in. I kept the distance in my head. I protected myself from disappointment. It is not an easy job. It is every bit as challenging and then some, as my old job working with the tools. Then, I had a job to do and one apprentice to train. Now, I have one job to do and 22 apprentices to train. That is 22 minds developing at different paces. 22 different ideas about how to do, or not to do, what needs to be done. My job is to group them and mold them, collectively and individually.

I have been teaching in one form or another for the last 30 years. It still thrills me to see a student catch the idea. It is a drug. I am hooked.
One day missed, and I am crashing, lol

Monday, February 14, 2005

And then there was Kyle ..

Hey, it's Valentines Day !
My Valentine plans for Tammy fell through all over the place. I was going to blog from school about a dozen times to let her know I was thinking of her today. I got to school and the network was down. No problem. I call the computer technologies teacher and a strange voice answers his phone. He is out sick today, so no one to fix the network. There went that romantic notion.

Then, because I knew that Tammy was driving Sierra, and they were delivering flowers to help a friend at a florists shop on their busy day, I was going to have it set up that their last delivery was going to be daisies to our address. Daisies are Tammy's favorites. They were supposed to be working until 4. I called Tammy about 3:30 and they were already done. Romantic notion number two shot down.

Not to be empty handed and armed with a vast knowledge of 'Tammy favorite' things, I stopped on my way home at the RiteAid. I knew I could find a few things there to express the tip of my iceberg. I found a small heart shaped box of Russell Stovers Chocolates, wrapped in red cellophane with a small dark tan teddy bear attached. Tammy loves chocolates, but has to use caution because of her surgery (gastric bypass .. for those that do not know) in how much she eats. Unfortunately for her, she has little willpower when it comes to the demon chocolate. So, a small box was great. She says she has plenty of will-power. It is won't-power that she lacks.

Then, there was the small stuffed teddy bear. She told me some time ago that she had never gotten a stuffed animal from anyone in her life. So, shortly after that, she got two from me. She got a biggun' and a littlun'.

Then, there was the matter of a card. We are both writers. It is hard to find a card that expresses us as well as we can express us. I did write a few things this afternoon (which would have been in the blog), but didn't bring them home. Fortune smiled on me. I found a great card that started saying what I wanted to say. It said, "I am my beloved's and my beloved is mine ..." (Song of Solomon 6:3). Solomon was a serious love poet. Read him sometimes.

What was hilarious, was ... while I was just about to walk up to the cashiers at the RiteAid, I look down the aisle, and there, just noticing me, was Tammy. I went to the cashier at the photo dept, made my purchase, stopped by the line she was in, grabbed a kiss, and scooted out the door. The card and gift was on her pillow by the time she got here.

She gave me a stuffed monkey, with a compass and a 3 musketeers. The candy was for all the sweetness I have brought into her life. The monkey was for the cuddling we do. The compass was so that I could always find my way back to her. Ain't she so sweet?
Anyway, she fixed me a great dinner. I added memory to Gary's computer so he can have AOL 9.0, and here I am. It looks like the start (once again) of the next great American novel.

Y'all have a great VD (thanks Stacey)

Oh yeah, the Kyle reference is there because he asked that I mention him in my blog. Kyle, you have been mentioned ... Three times even.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Still kicking

Well, here goes another weekend. Is it just me or do they seem to be getting shorter?

Anyway, here is how it transpired, as best as I can remember. Friday night, we went to Friends & Co. for dinner. I had the sirloin and Tammy had the Chicken fried steak. They were both great. The only drawback to that part of the evening was a guy at a nearby table that insisted on talking as loud as possible about his adventures. If you ever feel the need to know about the time he bumped a girl with his car or got cold cocked in front of a school, let me know. I know the 'inside' story.
After Friends, we went to Todd's Karaoke and had a great time. We stayed until after midnight (which we haven't done in a while). Russ was there. We laughed and laughed. He is a card and brings out the funny in me. He started some things that he tells me are not to be allowed as blog fodder. Other than that, we had a wonderful time trying to convince one of the bartenders to take off her shirt. We had donations, at one point, of $4. I told her that was $2 per nipple and that was good money anywhere. She didn't buy it .. or sell it .. for that matter. She enjoyed the humor. Aurora, Cynthia, and Johnny came by. It was great to see them. At one point in the evening, I helped Aurora hold up her breasts. They were getting heavy and causing strain. I am helpful that way.
One thing that was quite noticeably missing was the porno pic guy that wanted to say a word or two to Tammy and myself. Such is life.

Saturday came around in her usual fashion. She likes to make her appearance much later in the day than the regular weekdays. Tammy permed Chella's hair, an interesting one handed (mostly) feat. Russ came by and got his hair cut. From there we just mostly hung around the house. Tammy touched up her hair and got rid of her 'fictitious' gray. We got a couple movies and finished out the night cuddled on the couch watching "Mr 3000".

Sunday morning arrived with Tammy not doing much sleeping thru the night. I was up at 7. Tammy finally went to sleep and instead of waking her for church, I decided to let her get some of the sleep she needed. We did make it to Stamping Ground, KY to pick up the dog cage. It was good to visit with Mel. From there we came back to town and picked up a disk from James for the computer I got for Gary on Friday. (oh yeah, I got a free computer for Gary, one of our close friends and the best man at my wedding.) I worked on installing an OS on it. My niece came over and we did her taxes while I also installed AOL on the computer for Gary.
Now, here it is, after 11, and I am about to go snuggle against a soft warm woman, my Valentine.
Y'all have a good night. See, Russ .. no mention of the fodder not for the blog. Well .. Until now.
"Good night Seattle .. Baby I hear the blues a calling .. but I don't know what to do with these tossed salads and scrambled eggs .. They're calling again."

Friday, February 11, 2005

Contrived or Contrite

A person that is (now a former) part of a group to which I belong, recently, in a fit of anger, sent compromising pornographic pics of his former girlfriend. In a few incidents following, he admitted to doing this, even going as far as bragging about it. He even bragged about sending said photos to her parents.

Now, a short while after the incident, he has sent a letter of apology to the group through another member. In this letter, he claims that a friend with access to his account sent the before mentioned pictures. He further claims that he has 'kicked the ass' of this individual. The letter was a seeming act of contrition. however, upon closer examination, it seems to be an act of contrivance.

The story is just too convenient. He claims that he was talking to this friend and telling him that he should do that. His friend took it to the step of completion. He is merely the innocent victim of a friends misconception of his intent. He further claims that he has made amends with the girl in question.

There are several problems with this story.

Most of the people which got the pics and the letter of apology do not believe the story. This has outraged the sender. He is wounded by our disbelief. In the words of one writer, "Methinks he doth protest too much." He is a people user. He expects now that he has decided to walk back into the midst of the bunch that all should be forgotten. It has not, nor will it happen, and that angers him. That is just further evidence that he is not contrite about his actions.

Everytime he talks, he convicts himself all over again. The girl he used to send his apology email refuses to allow him to use her any more. Now he attacks her. He tries to hurt her feelings. Yes, he sounds contrite .. NOT.

He has contrived a story to make him the victim here.

He claims that the girl has forgiven him and they are straight. OK. If that is true that is fine, but his violation was not only of her. He violated everyone that received his email. Therefore, that contrived apology has to be accepted by everyone on an individual basis. I for one, do not accept his words. They are like the dust. They cover everything and touch nothing.

Now, he says he wants to meet with Tammy and I and tell us a thing or two. I say, bring it on. I am not violent and I can't see anything that he can do to change that. He will only succeed in making a bigger ass of himself.

We will be at Todds .. let him know ..

Not sure how it is supposed to work ..

Let me lay a little ground work here. The students at the high school have two periods and 3 blocks.

The periods are first and second and last approximately 45 minutes. They run from 8:00 to 8:45 and 9:00 to 9:50. The majority of my student are here the the entire time. They are with me from 8 until 9:50. Two students leave at 8:45 and one student arrives at 9:00.

Then comes what is known as third block. It runs from 9:56 to 11:22.

Fourth block begins at 11:50 and runs until 1:28.

Fifth block begins at 1:40 and ends at 3:05
As you can see, there is a greater time period between forth and fifth blocks than there is between any of the others. This is called a break. The students are given a 12 minute class exchange time. This is for them to relax, I guess.

Here is the confusing part. It seems that about 50 of the over 1500 students at the high school have problems getting to class on time even with this extra time. So, the administration decides on a daily basis as to whether they will get any or all of that break. For the past two weeks or better, the break has been shortened are cancelled completely. Every day on the PA address, the assistant principal announces that they didn't do well again today and so break will be shortened.

I don't understand. It is obvious that shortening or canceling break is not working. I am not sure what the solution may be, but I am getting a darn good idea as to what the solution isn't.
If it is 50 students that are creating the problem, then punish those 50 students. There is no accountability to the rest of the student body. Are they supposed to somehow cause those 50 to 'toe the line' ? Are they to influence them because they are losing break time ? It is obvious that rules mean little to these offenders. I remember being in high school. I don't think it would have worked in 1975 either.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

The material arriveth .. sorta

Just after the students had left the building, one of the suppliers shows up with a truck of material for the class. This is an exciting thing. We are almost ready to begin the actual working part of the working class. The way we had to split up the orders makes it nearly impossible to do much before all the orders arrive, but we can begin making a stab at it. I just need to let the other suppliers know to try and get here during student times, you know, the nearly free labor. One of them asked me yesterday if they were going to get paid for doing the wiring on the storage building. I told them that they sure were. It wasn't going to be money. It was going to be a grade. However, as I have explained to them before, a good education is money in the bank.
Another supplier says they should be ready to deliver this week and the second says they will call me to let me know the status of their shipping date. Then, Joe and I will make a trip to Lowes with a list and a state credit card. I think the fun will be ramping up a notch, quite soon.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Rubber bands

I have been reading several of the blogs I try to read on a regular basis. One was lamenting the end of a relationship and wondering how it got to the point at which it broke. I have been in several relationships which didn't work forever. I don't know it all, but I do know a thing or seven.

A relationship is like two people walking with a large rubber band holding them in sync. There are times in the relationship that the rubber band is stretched tightly between the two but that gentle (or sometimes not so gentle) pull of the band keeps either from straying to far from the other. As long as both progress in a fairly mutual pace, the strain is minimal. That kind of give and take is normal in any relationship.

The problem in most relationships is when one stops progressing or decides to go in an opposite direction. That strain will cause the rubber band to snap and break. That generally leaves one or both parties somewhat confused, as each sees the direction they are taking as the normal progression of their inner actions. They cannot, for the life of them, understand why the other would be confused or surprised.

It can never be stressed enough in any relationship (family, work, romantic, or otherwise) that the key is, and will always be, communication. Why are we surprised when some action of ours startles those around us? It is because we have not been communicating our feelings or intents. When we are shocked by the actions of a loved one, it is because there has been a break down in communication.

The communication level between Tammy and I just amazes me. We talk about anything and everything. We talk online (email), on the phone (cells when we are at the same store in different parts .. Sometimes), in person, and through longing looks and glances. We rarely miss any opportunities to talk. That is not to say there aren't times that she or I will hold back some insignificant piece of info or something that one does that bugs the other, but most of those are minors. Eventually, minors get promoted to majors if they are left unrelated. Fortunately for us, very few minors are ever allowed to become majors.

Even our perfect (or so y'all say) relationship has its bumps in the road. But communication makes a great shock absorber.

Just my twisted take.

Monday, February 07, 2005

Commercial shine time

I didn't take the time last night in my blog to go over the commercial ads during the super bowl. Some of them were quite humorous. Some were just regular commercials, which, in and of itself, was not a bad thing, but to pay $2.4 million for 30 seconds of time to share a regular, uninteresting commercial is rather strange. I guess the payoff was for the total of viewers watching them. Some of the more notable, in my humble opinion, were the "I work with a buncha monkeys", the P Diddy Pepsi truck, and the Busch "welcoming soldiers back home" ads. The one that got my vote for best of the bunch was the returning soldiers.

Other notables were:
Shameless sex selling:
Cleverness: (the monkey copying his hiney)
Repeat Appeal: the Clydesdale Donkey and other applicants
Lost on the non TV watchers: The hunk with the Pepsi being followed by the "Queer eye for the straight guy" star (I learned this this morning reading reviews)
Comedy: The Biker dude touting the "better salad bar" down the road a bit.

There were others that caught my eye: The pilot jumping after the beer, the zero to 60 in under 5 second Cadillac, and others.

The McDonalds Lincoln fry was a total miss, as were the Pepsi "music in your bottle", and Olympus music/camera ads.

Other than that, it was a great football battle. After the game, some reporter cornered an Eagles coordinator and asked how the loss felt (DUH). He talked about how disappointing it was after all the hard work that everyone put into it (DUH, again). It was a football game. Here are the facts: One team wins, one team loses. Both teams worked hard. Both teams thought they had winning strategies. Both teams wanted it. Both teams gave their all. BUT, when the dust settled, only one team was a winner.

Imagine how dull and boring it would be if there could be no loser. If it was just the means to establish records in rushing, passing, touchdowns, interceptions, penalties, and so forth. How much fun would it be if one of the two teams were not going to walk off of the field defeated. What would be the gamble? What would be the reason to play?

It sucks to lose. It sucks to not be the winner, but that is the chance we take whenever we take the field. It is the understood risk.

Viva le' Risk !

Sunday, February 06, 2005

The weekend ends ..

Sorry to miss a blog chance on Saturday. My apologies to my regular readers (two of which reminded me tonight at the Super Bowl get together).

It is the closing of the weekend for me. We went to church this morning. When we got home, I attacked the kitchen. I made my "NUCLEAR CHEESE DIP" for the get together. One of my favorite bars (which sounds funny from a non drinker) tossed a party where they supplied a party sub and attendees provided side dishes. Let me give you glimpse into the interworkings of the NUKE DIP.

Ground beef
Hot breakfast sausage
Hot banana pepper rings (diced)
Jalapenos (diced)
Cayenne pepper
Habanero sauce (Dave's Insanity)
Hot Pace Picante
Onion (diced)
Extra Hot Rotel (diced tomatoes & green chilies)
One box of Velveeta

Mixed just right and served hot or cold ..

Tammy took one bite and went for the milk chaser. Then, later at Friends, she tried to overdose on it. It was a hit at the bar. Russ took the remains home with him.

Oh yeah, the Patriots won. yea team !!

Friday, February 04, 2005

Thursday, February 03, 2005


OK. I think I have responded to all the commentators on the posting of the pornographic pics on one of the website groups I host/own. It seems a MORON that assumed his EX GF had done some real or imagined hurt to him, retaliated by posting pics of her in stages of undress and performing oral sex on him, to a list of over 200 members of the chatroom which they both frequented. It was a reprehensible act.
He violated the trust she placed in him by allowing him to take said photos. It was as heinous as a rape might be. It was not a sexual act. It was one of power and retaliation. It was the act of a coward. I hope she prosecutes him to the fullest extent that the law will allow. I have removed him from said Groups page and reported his actions to the ISP.

I must correct myself. It isn't as heinous as a rape, it is a rape. He, without permission exploited her sexually. He violated her. His was an attempt at degrading her. He is trying to ruin her in the eyes of her friends, family, and acquaintances. The thing he cannot and will not ever understand, it that he cannot change the opinion of those that know and care about her. Those that will allow their opinion to be swayed were not really friends at all. Her family will draw her closer. Her friends will lift her higher. While, he, will be cast down and dejected. He has shown his truest colors.
I hope, in time, that she may, just as foolishly, trust someone else.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

New van ?

We are buying the van, albeit for $200 less than was asked. It is a refurbished 1985 Chevy Astro cargo van that has had bench type seats added, that lay down to make a bed. It has the heavy duty transmission. It has just a touch over 160K miles on it. The engine is good and strong still. The body is rust free. It has been garage kept and well maintained. The owner says until he purchased a new van he used it to go to work, which included some highway driving. Tammy was concerned about windows that go down (one of hers won't) and up (one of hers doesn't).

Look for the stunning red head in the chocolate mini van.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Slowly .. from the pit of my stomach ..

It seems the churning is catching up to me. This funk that has been running through the family is trying to encroach on my health. I have steadfastly refused to take this thing, but my stomach is doing some strange flip floppy thing. So far, I am still holding out.

We went out and looked at a surprising van this evening. Tammy saw a van when she was taking some things to dad. It was an '85 Chevy Astro. The body was great, no rust. The motor had been well maintained. The asking price is $800. We do need to replace Tammy's Lincoln. I think it will work nicely .... for $700 .. lol
What is that? What is it about haggling that makes ya think you can make a good deal into a great deal? Is it just something in the blood? Who knows ? Who cares? It is just a 'gotta try' thing.
There are school things that need to be attended to .. see y'all later.