Wednesday, December 31, 2003

My son turned 18. And finally figured out what I've been trying to tell him for years.I think when I finally shut up about it is when he came he began to see the world for what it really was and decided to deal with it.He tells me he remembers things I said to him that shaped his development even though he was in the mess that is becoming oneself...I don't know if he's saying that for my benefit or not,I'm just glad he got his shit together. I'm very proud of him.

We paid off our house long before it was time to die in it. No small feat in these times.

Ann still has no job.How can this be a good thing?She has had time to focus on herself and our relationship without being fettered to a high stress bullshit job. As a result we have been poor,but rich in the sense that we appreciate what brought us together in the first has nothing to do with money or station,and we are better for that.
She hasn't turned into the model housewife (thank god) but rather has been able to invest more energy into us and that has had the reverse effect,allowing me to do the same.We are a lucky couple.

I still like my job and (most of) the people I work with.I continue to learn and grow in a area where I never imagined myself. I never imagined being able to transition from what I did (see full metal jackass for a glimpse) to what I do now. Thanks to the folks that gave me the opportunity to change the trajectory of my life some 6 years ago.It's nice to feel human.


War in Iraq...I will not repeat the never ending litany of multi-partisan reasons for why or why not we should be there. IT'S WRONG on the face of it...we were misled by an idiot from the get go. A war of lies...and we,america, are paying the price. We are hated because of this indulgence of the elite (and inept,and corrupt) of america. It's not possible for me to make a statement about how wrong we are without launching into a never ending I'll leave it at this, I predict we will be sorry...very sorry for what we have done in the middle east before it's over.

Afghanistan...remember them? A dangerous footnote in the war on terror...just ask Russia.

Saddam...We got what?He's a bad bad man...but not even in the park when it comes to the men in the bush administration...look at the record. He is the tool of the man,and was probably in that hole until it was deemed advantageous to bring him out by bush and his cronies.


Bush: Killer of man and woman...he's proved this as gov. of texas and as president.King of vacations.Corrupt...duplicitous...fake...coward...liar...a methodist axe (two faced) ; Especially where the military is concerned.
Look at our situation now and ask yourself what the world will be like if we don't vote him out and allow him and his another 4 years to reign?
If it wasn't especially dangerous to make a threat, I would...but it is,so I won't.
Instead I will remind you of what a dangerous man he is, substandard in so many ways that compromise our world reputation...he is the pinnacle of ugly in more ways than I can list.

John Ashcroft IS the anti-christ...and a threat to the civil liberties of all americans...even those who support him...that is until they realize they have no more rights and can simply go "huh"???"what happened"???"I thought he was protecting us"???

Sheep...See Bush and Ashcroft above.WAKE UP!!!!!

The good things that happened to me this year have very little to do with the current administration...even Ann losing her job can't be blamed on the bush reign,her inability to find another,however, can...and to this I say Fuck you George..thanks for nothing piece of shit.
Thanks to those who made my year family and my friends...and to you I wish a very merry and prosperous new year.

Monday, December 29, 2003

Pointless Quiz Time
Tip to Social Reject

Yep, I'd have to say that's a pretty good match for me.
My Christmas Vacation
A silly thing like not having a job isn't stopping me from taking a Christmas vacation. Actually, the fact that I have no job means that I can take a REAL vacation. Real as in a TWO WHOLE WEEKS AT ONE TIME vacation which is something I have only done once in the last 20 plus years (on my honeymoon with Rob almost 9-1/2 years ago. ) After all, a vacation is nothing more than a change in your normal routine and even without a job, it's fairly easy to change my routine.

Step one: no more job hunting every day or filling out applications and tweaking resumes to be forwarded to the black hole that exists in HR departments everywhere. I used to work in HR and the black hole for my department was located in the file cabinet where all applications were neatly filed and never looked at again because it was important to provide the local newspaper with advertising revenue by running the same ad every weekend for the two months it took the hiring supervisor to decide that maybe they wanted to actually LOOK at the applications we were receiving, but only those from the previous week (never mind the other seven weeks' worth.)

Step two: stay up as late as I want and sleep in as late as I want with no pangs of guilt about being an unemployed slacker because, hey, I'm no longer unemployed for these two weeks, I'm ON VACATION. Funny thing about this is that I'm still usually getting up at six o'clock in the morning and as a result I'm conking out before midnight. Oh well.

Step three: drink as much alcohol as I want. My vacations must include plenty of beer and I must spend at least one day where I start drinking beer the minute I wake up. I haven't quite gotten to that yet, but it's on the itinerary. And here's another funny thing. Having given myself permission to get totally sloshed each and every day if I want, I've spent quite a few of these vacation days completely alcohol free and most of them buzz-free.

Step four: do things I don't normally do or haven't done in a long time. Our little visit to the Megaplexxx store was one example. It wasn't until I read Rob's post that I discovered that I had seen a lot more porn movies in my lifetime than Rob. This is primarily due to the fact that I used to catch the midnight movies at the Dobie Mall Theater back in my late teens/early twenties. The films were usually either cult films like Eraserhead or porn flicks like The Opening of Misty Beethoven. It was the perfect cheap night of entertainment for folks on a budget since the midnight movies were only a buck or two and the popcorn and cokes were still inexpensive back in those days. If it turned out to be a porn film that was showing that night, no big deal. The difference this time is that I'm watching porn movies with my lover instead of with friends. That does tend to put a whole new twist on the experience ;>

Step five: cook less and eat out more. This one is a little harder to pull of when you're on a tight budget, but we've managed to throw in a few meals out at restaurants we haven't been to in a long time which made it feel much like visiting an old favorite restaurant at some regular vacation spot.

These little mind-game tricks have worked really well and I can honestly say that this Christmas holiday is one of the best ones I have ever had. And despite having no job and little money, I've had as much fun on this vacation as on any other.

Sunday, December 28, 2003

On a lark,after almost 10 years of marriage,Ann and I decided to go rent some adult DVD's a couple of weeks ago...this of course was after a few rounds at our hang out of choice.
We went to the "Adult MegapleXXX"...a cavernous building of the main interstate...a place we had both driven by many times in all our years in this city,but had never visited.
The place is set up like a top secret government complex...a metal detector on the only way in,another on the only way out.Parking is discreet...on the back side of the building.
Inside is a veritable treasure trove of all things "adult",and by adult I mean,well,you know what I mean.
I am no stranger to porn...the internet variety at least,but this place was something else...75,000 square feet of video,DVD, and print porn of every type you could imagine.
Toys of every shape and size,oils,lubes and some things I can't describe...they even had a bondage section...complete with the zippered mask "Machine" wore in 8mm.
It was a bit overwhelming but exciting at the same time.
We made our selections and it was time to set up our membership.Enter Mr.Moto...
This guy is your stereotypical japanese slicked back with gel ( could of been astroglide),heavy black horn rim glasses...the only thing missing was the conservative suit.But his voice and demeanor was what got me.
If I closed my eyes,I was talking to "master" from the TV series Kung Fu! No kidding!
He was polite and professional,but "master" non the less.
I kept expecting him to say something along the lines of "when you can snatch ass masters 5 in 3-D from my hands it's time for you to go"...but he didn't.
As uncomfortable as I was being there ( a giddy kind of discomfort,like I was doing something wrong) Mr. Moto put me at ease with his zen like countenance and sent us on our way with a pair of DVD's.
Getting back to the store itself...It was busy.There were people of every age and color and was like being at the grocery, name it.
I like to people watch (probably a vestige of my days as a social worker,but that's another story...not involving porn) and the thing I immediately noticed was people do not make eye contact...I tried.
You could best describe any contact as furtive wasn't like they were ashamed,it was more like they wished they were there alone,with no one else watching as they purchased the "Ragin' Hard-on" butt plug and the Jenna Jamison blow up doll...this is my business and my business alone kind of avoidance.
Sure,people were checkin' each other out,but on the was all very amusing to me.
So,we come home and watch our choices. I have seen very few porn movies in my for the 10 second free clips available online when I'm alone...Deep Throat at bachelor parties when I was very young,a couple of really bad VHS movies with an old girlfriend, and one by accident at the old varsity theater on the drag when I was in high school.
I wasn't sure what it would be like to watch them with Ann, after almost 10 years of porn free marriage...I wasn't sure what to expect.
I was pleasantly surprised.
It was fucking hysterical!Yes...hysterical...beyond the technological advances made in moviemaking since Deep Throat came out, nothing has changed...the plotlines were laughable,the acting was horrible and the sex was occaisionally exciting and erotic and passionate,but mostly it was uninspired and reminded me of that guy that puts on tires at NTB...he's been doing it for so long he doesn't remember the first time he mounted a low profile radial on a aluminum mag rim and he doesn't care. He just wants to mount,get it over with,go home and get paid when he's finished.
We watched these DVD's like we watch any our living room,and had the same kind of running dialog about any other movie we would watch.
But it's fun to critique this stuff,and it opens channels of communication in areas that people don't,as a rule,talk about.
Thank you Mr. Moto, for knocking down a barrier...and you were right...we didn't go blind:)

Thursday, December 25, 2003

What did you get for christmas? Cool shit? Lame shit? No shit at all? I know of some people in Iraq that got death for christmas...a full metal merry christmas cap in their ass.
Death,dead,bleeding on the ground in some godforsaken place we have no business being in...can you imagine the water cooler banter after the holiday days off ? "What did you get for christmas"? " My son got his right cheek blown off and his left lower cranium was turned into a bloody boney brain tissue pulp courtesy of a "terrorist" in Tikrit with a AK-47,Thanks Santa". "Damn it!...I thought you were getting a new DVD player, gotta go check for faxes,see you later".
This may be a bit bleak for some of you...but come on.History tells us that in all previous wars,the killing took a break for is a well documented fact that protaganists in conflicts past took christmas day off,singing carols and making hot chocolate in thier helmets over sterno or burning C-4 and gathering around a christmas wreath made from the body parts of the enemy they had killed the day before.Only to resume the killing at the stroke of that santa in his sleigh?No...that's mortar fire!!!!Duck!!!
Not this reprieve for santa to fly unfettered across the land in conflict to deliver his gifts of love and peace and joy...these guys are firing on his ass at every opportunity.why?
One word...muslim,no,,wait...two words,single,,crazy...YES!!!That's it! Crazy...what sane person wouldn't have the decency to stop lobbing salvos of death into your area for christmas? A ceasefire honoring the glory of the holiday that represents peace on earth and goodwill toward man...even though they will do all in their power to seperate you from your vital organs on the 26th...the 25th is sacrosanct...can't shoot at you while your'e reading that mail from Ms. Carter's 2nd grade class telling you what a hero you are for fighting the war on "terra",but tomorrow?Look out are in the crosshairs...and it is my job to blow that memory out of the back of your head with a 7.62 mm slug.
And the administration behind this madness is spinning a that is pushing approval ratings up for the mongoloid in chief and feeding his already obscene war chest to levels approaching that of dear Mr.Creosote.
Which(kind of) brings me back to the point...the new year,an election year...where tradgedy has been spun to glorify what amounts to that redneck you hated in high school being elevated artificially to some kind of fucking god (I can't get through a post without using an f bomb no matter how I try:) ) with obscene amouts of money and fabricated press about how great he is because he's winning the war on terror....
No, he's not...there is no plan (except to make his rich cronies richer) to finish this, only more death...and heartbreak,overseas and here at home.
On a lighter note,I got a 50 dollar gift certificate to Best Buy for christmas and I have no family members in Iraq...I'm goin' DVD shopping!
With that attitude, it's no wonder they won't give up.
Would you?

Tuesday, December 23, 2003

I've never been a big fan of christmas...well,not since the ever growing pool of groups and organizations have banded together to sanitize,polarize,convolute and otherwise fuck it up for everyone but themselves and thier own interests.
There's the commercial end of it, inundating us with ads that say,essentially,unless you can fork out the big bucks for everyone on your list,you suck.Case in point...the "I'm getting a lexus for christmas" commercial...please-anyone who can afford to give a lexus for christmas has way too much money and no fucking soul.It makes me sick.Anybody who wants a lexus for christmas is shallow beyond belief.
Throughout my life I have experienced christmas on the commercial level good and bad,some years I scored big time and some I didn't...depending on the money/job situation at the time...likewise,I have been able to give at christmas with the same variables at play.
I think we can all agree that christmas is a time of giving...the division comes when we try to define what giving actually means.Again,you are facing the two predominant faces of the season: "Jesus is the reason for the season" and "what did I get/give" (determined by your you base your worth on what people gave you or what you gave to them and how did it compare to what you gave/got?).
Now, while I'm not all about this Jesus guy,I'm also not about gift competition.
What does christmas mean to me? I'll tell you...fellowship...not in that churchy kind of fellowship,but the way you gather to be together with loved ones, share a meal and company and drinks(definately drinks :) ) and to exchange tokens of appreciation expressing your love of aformentioned people whether they be family or friends.But mostly to be together to remember and celebrate the fact that we are together because we are connected...and not because of a fucking lexus.
And with that I wish you all a merry christmas.....

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

I met Ann at El Mercado after work today, a place we used to spend so much time we had our own booth and knew all the staff by name,socialized with them,went to the christmas party...blahblahblah.
We carried away some friendships from the place we continue to this day...they no longer work there and we haven't been in the place for probably 5 years.
After brief conversation of current events,we jumped into the way back machine and rehashed the events occuring during the time we frequented the place.
Memory is an interesting time goes by the stories remain essentially the same but the details are measured by time.The motives and conclusions are skewed to the experience and insight gained over almost ten years passing since it was our sanctuary.
It was fun to revisit those look at how it was then to how we see it now...and it all boils down to the passing of distance distorts the patina of events or adds a clarity you'd somehow overlooked when you were in the moment.
An opportunity to look back and TRY to remember what was important and why.
As I looked across the table at Ann and remembered the past, I was reminded of the decade I've spent with her...the ups and downs and mostly ups of our time together.
To look back at the tumult of past events and come to the present and see the same person sitting across from me is a source of great comfort...
A realization that we have built a life together...ten years in the making and it isn't over yet...we are still moving forward.
And that's all that share a past,present and future together without bullshit is a wonder.
A wonder I am happy to have.

Monday, December 15, 2003

So...they captured Saddam...woo-hoo.Big fucking deal.Does this change things?Maybe,nominally.His capture is greatly overrated in terms of what it means regarding the "war" and our people who are dying over there...but right on the money in terms of "pull the wool" factor for Bush II.
As a nation of sheep, undoubtedly millions of americans have renewed respect and admiriation for the Bush "administration"...bolstering his chances to win another four years to really break it off in our collective rectums.
Our people will continue to be killed...and I suspect it will get worse for awhile. Saddam became insignificant when we blew his country to shit and killed his kids...let me say that again...we KILLED HIS KIDS...granted they were assholes,but they were still his kids...and I imagine he loved them,and thier deaths finished him spiritually. This effectively ended any chance of regaining power.
So...who is the real enemy? I imagine there are people loyal to Saddam,but they are unable to act in any sustained, meaningful way.It's all those other crazy fucks from the surrounding countries that have a large american presence in close proximity to bomb,kill and maim.That's who the real enemy is...muslim extremists who have a vested interest in nothing more than killing us...forget about Iraq and Afghanistan (remember Afghanistan?) it's all about "destroying the infidels".They haven't figured out how to hit us here at home (yet) again,but they take advantage of the fact that thousands of us are deployed in enemy territory like a duckhunt jihad.
Just like we would if the shoe was on the other foot.
Imagine what it would be like if it was them invading us here at home...there would be many pockets of resistance...loyalists to our standing government,militias sane and bent,racist extremists, and people already sick of being fucked around by our own government/economy just happy someone finally showed up they could shoot without fear of consequence. It would be an amalgam of variant national pride.
That's what were up against...a convoluted violent response with as many reasons and motives as there are groups to fire off rounds and blow shit up.
Saddam is the small plush toy you win at the carnival for hitting around the target,but missing the bullseye.
It's nice to feel like a winner,but it doesn't take long for the feeling to wear off.
This is not over by a long shot.

Friday, December 12, 2003

Ann's week in review
Nothing about the world/US/local news in this one since I don't watch it, listen to it or otherwise hold up my end of the democratic process by staying "informed" when it comes to the media. Why waste my time with that crap when I've got Rob to keep me up to date? He's far more engaging than Dan Rather and tailors my nightly "newscasts" to those topics he knows I'm interested in. And with Rob as my reporter, you certainly can't called me "sheltered" ;)

A chunk of my week was spent working on a website. *Insert plug:* I'm no graphic artist and haven't received any artwork or graphics for the site so it's pretty plain and utilitarian at this point (much like this blog.) I also didn't get anything in the way of content and quite frankly, I'm not the marketing type either, so I did the best I could with the limited amount of information I was given. It's not a paying job so I don't know why I'm so obsessed about it, but I've never been one to be happy about doing something half-assed. And this is definately half-assed at this point. I was also disappointed to discovered I'd forgotten exactly how to do all kinds of things with CSS, MySQL and PHP. Basic HTML and fancy layouts using tables I can code in my sleep, but I guess I didn't use this newer stuff long to burn it into my brain before I ventured off into network administration. It was nothing that a few cheat sheets didn't take care of since I knew the basics of how to, just couldn't remember the details. Stuff along the lines of do I use <> or !==? Is it IF, THEN or just IF? Is it SORT BY or ORDER BY? That kind of thing. Very annoying. *kicks brain for remembering dumb stuff like Loverboy song lyrics instead of more important things like this*

I did make time for blog reading this week, but didn't get around to commenting on much. Rest assured, if you are over there in my blogroll, I DO read your blog. Regularly. Otherwise, you wouldn't be listed. Ignore the sort order. I was trying to put the news/politics blogs at the bottom, the people I feel I must read daily at the top and the middle sorted by how often someone tends to post in their blog. It didn't work out. I tend to work my way through the entire list a couple of times a week anyway so it doesn't really matter.

Other than that, I can't think of much else that happened this week. Special K once said that she learned there was no such thing as a boring life, but I think I might be the exception.

...Twin baptist ministers get hard time (26 and 14 years) for beating the fuck out of a 12 year old with a tree branch for misbehaving in bible verse class. This Austin Texas case was interesting for a number of reasons,but what struck me was a couple of baptist zealots hired a jewish attorney and tried to put the blame on the parents...baptists hire a jew and lie...who'd of figured?...hey thompson twins...can you say "my ass hurts"? You will.....and you deserve it.

...Williamson county sheriff resigns before they go forward with a trial that would expose him to be the drunken buffoon he is...and a hypocrite.You DON'T want to get stopped for anything in wilco...they are the third reich of Texas,you do jail time for farting in think that the head of law enforcement is a slovenly drunk who allegedly bit a titty dancer while crawling around on all fours and barking like a dog was enforcing the law in such a hardcore super right fashion while at the same time shooting at and hitting all time lows of behavior is ,to say the least,ironic.He should beat his ownself with a nightstick...good riddance you piece of nazi shit...

...Bush shuts out countries from rebuilding contracts in Iraq...then he asks them the next day to forgive Iraq's debt...Even I have enough sense to know this was done in don't break up with someone and try to get in their pants after.How much more proof do we need that this bush guy is a dumbass?...

...People continued dying in Afghanistan and Iraq ... for no good reason...

...Al Sharpton is James Brown...

...I tried the "Queer eye for the straight guy" baseball cap brim in the coffee cup shaping trick and it worked...perfectly...thanks Carson!Hugs!!!...

...Ahnold decides he doesn't need to follow up on the claims he is groping sexist pig,like he "promised" he would,proving he is a lying piece of shit who could give a shit about anyone in khali-fornia but himself and his minions...

...Rush is still free and on the airwaves,proving the double standard that exists yet everyone ignores...(sidebar: I would like to kick his ass) further proof of how fucked we are when it comes to justice in this country...

...Gore endorses Dean and all the other democratic (lets all laugh together) "hopefuls" jump his shit...Lieberman especially...what a putz...hey...Gore can endorse who he wants, you bunch of losers...Two words:where's McCain?...

...Kerry drops the F-bomb...Good for him,and us...Bush has fucked it's the truth and the truth hurts,don't go all puritan on him for speaking about focusing on what a dillweed peckerwood we have running the country?...there's a concept...

...Our general manager is a "faux-cheese snob"...correcting me on the pronunciation of Gouda...he loves cheese,yes he does...

It goes on and on...for more go to harpers weekly review and god help us all....

Wednesday, December 10, 2003

I sent this email to my credit union today:

Dear UHCU,
I recently applied for a home equity loan in the amount of 50,000.00 against a free and clear equity of almost 123,000.00 and was declined,because of a poor credit rating (we were short five points of meeting your 640 points required to quote us a rate).
Our damaged credit is the direct result of todays wife has been unemployed for over a year and prior to that, I was unemployed for nine months.Given the choice of paying our creditors or having food,lights and a roof over our heads,we made a choice.And while that choice damaged our credit,we were able to pay off our home mortgage and managed to not default on the car loan we have with you.
To clarify,I wanted the loan to pay off our car loan,some outstanding bills,medical and personal and do a bit of remodeling on our home,reduce my monthly payment and get a better interest rate.
Please understand that I accept full responsibility for our credit situation,but I'm confused on a couple of points here.
I'm finally in a position to satisfy my debts and begin moving forward,but I'm told by your loan department that you have strict requirements on loans so you can offer your members the best rates available.I can appreciate this but at the same time WE are members.
My family has had an account with you for many years,probably close to 30 (our account # is 410).My wife has had an account with you for close to 20 years.
I wonder how much in interest and fees that adds up to?
So,here I sit with 123,000.00 in equity,attempting to turn the corner financially and get back on track using the financial institution I've trusted and done business with for years and you can't help me.
UHCU has been there for us in the past and even this experience,though very disappointing,was handled by your personnel with professionalism and courtesy.My faith was damaged,but not my dignity.
We will continue to pay our car loan in good faith until we secure a loan,and when we do, we will pay it off,close all of our accounts and sever our relationship with you.
Please understand that we have valued our relationship with you over the years and regret that you couldn't do something to help us in our time of need.
Rob Clattenburg

I probably won't get a response...but I had to say it.I am reduced to shopping around and so far,all I'm finding are brokers who come across like Tom Cruise's character in rainman,predatory lenders whose reviews read like a nightmare that I wouldn't touch with a ten foot pole.
I'm discouraged by this because I can remember a time when banks and credit unions were willing to take a chance on people,ordinary, middle class people Who would turn down a chance like this? If for some reason I default they stand to gain 73000.00 in property!
I'm trying to improve my station,and the Bush economy won't let me.


Tuesday, December 09, 2003

As usual, there are no presidential candidates that I want to vote for
Just tried the presidential candidate selector quiz mentioned over at Interrobang?!. I took it a couple of times, tweaking my priorities a bit trying to get at least one real candidate above the 70% mark. Dean eventually scored 71%. Meh.
New sign picture
Finally got a better picture of the "Diving is Dangerous" sign. If you've ever wondered what the fine print says, click on it (opens a new browser window.)

Monday, December 08, 2003

Ho Ho Ho
I haven't decorated my house yet, but I decorated my blog. Does that count?
email woes
The depthmarker email has been down for a while. This is one of those problems with outsourcing because if I'm not running the server then I don't think about checking to make sure things are working correctly. To make matters worse, I use a proxy filter between my email client and the servers so error messages from the servers are not always passed to the client correctly. "connection closed - 0 messages" should have read "hey dumbass, there's no mailserver for depthmarker here" (the mx record got changed to the same IP as the @ record.) So if you've tried to email me and got a delivery failure in the past, it should be fixed now. At least until the mystery glitch that hosed the DNS records occurs again.

Sunday, December 07, 2003

My trip to 7-11
Rob and I are sitting around thinking how nice it would be to have some beer to wind down our Sunday evening so I head up to the 7-11 because the local corner store prices don't fit our budget and I figure a big chain like 7-11 will be cheaper. Was I ever wrong about that. $12.99 for a twelve pack of Shiner Bock? Jeez, it's not like the stuff is imported from France or anything; it's made right down the street (actually about 80 miles down the road, but in global terms that's just down the street.) So I'm shaking my head and thinking no way when suddenly the store is full of people that seem to be of the Pentecostal faith. I'm not dissin' the Pentecosts here, rather, it struck me as odd that I immediately jumped to a conclusion about their religious persuasion just by looking at them. Plus I noticed one of the young women's long hair had obviously had a trim and questioned my judgment which made me decide that I definitely had too much time on my hands to be wondering about such things in the first place. Maybe they are from some new religion that requires the women to wear long polyester skirts, but lets them trim their hair. I don't know, and quite frankly I don't give a hill of beans what religion someone practices unless it's one that tells them to kill me (I don't think too highly of people who belong to such groups, religious or otherwise.) So why was I even thinking about such things in the first place? Is it just human nature to categorize? Do we have some built-in instinct or need to put things and people in little boxes based on our first impressions? I've watched my parents get more and more judgmental as they get older and I fear I'm walking down the same path. Maybe it's the price of experience and you eventually get to the point where you decide that since 80% of the people you've ever met that looked or acted a certain way means that ALL people who look or act that way must fit into the same little box. I hope not. I definitely don't want to turn into the kind of person that makes those kind of snap judgments about people.
Vision is a strange thing
My vision started going south again about the time I turned 40. I say "again" because I had such a lazy eye when I was a kid that I wore an eye patch for a while and then wore glasses from the age of four to age thirteen. I was able to enjoy glasses-free vision for almost 30 years so I'm not going to complain too loudly about have to reach for the magnifying glass to read a great many things these days. No, what I'd like to complain about is... well, I don't know how to describe the phenomenon, but let me give you an example that just occurred. I'm sitting at my computer reading someone's blog and movement catches my eye and draws it to the window that is behind my monitor. It's dark outside and the window are dirty, but I can see a blurry version of the giant tree of lights that the neighbors across the street have erected in their front yard. The movement that caught my eye turns out to be a very small moth fluttering it's wings on my window. I have to squint a bit to figure this out since the moth is a dark colored one. This happens all the time. Every time a car drives by I notice it even though I'm staring at the computer screen and not out the window. My eyes might be glued to the screen, but still I notice people walking by, dogs running loose, the wind blowing a page of newspaper over the lawn, the leaves falling off the trees. If a spider crawls across the wall to the right of me, somehow I'll see it. People used to tell me I had eyes in the back of my head, but of course I don't. However, if you are trying to sneak up on me and move into my peripheral vision just one smidgen, then you're bound to get busted. So my complaint is that this aspect of my vision hasn't changed at all. In fact, it's worse because now I tend to stop, look, squint and think about what that blurry moving shape might be instead of just dismissing it outright. I guess I need to either get some glasses or move my computer away from the window.
Budget cuts
We're ditching the cell-phones next week and I'm trying to remember what life was like before I had a cell phone. I'll just have to learn to use our landline for something beside the internet connection and remember to always have change for the payphone when I'm out and about. We're also making a pile of musical equipment that we plan to sell off. We've decided the drums can go as can the Sovtek 100 watt head, the Vox cabinet, one of the PAs, and some of the studio recording equipment though I think we'll keep the DAT recorder for now so we can still listen to our DAT tapes. The list goes on but does not include any of Rob's guitars so if any of you lefties out there have had your eye on his G&L, forget it. And left-handed bass guitars are too hard to come by so I don't think I'll sell any of mine either. After all, a miracle could happen where someone actually hires me for a job that comes with a paycheck, but I think the odds of that happening are about as good as my winning the lottery these days. Fortunately it doesn't cost as much to apply for jobs as it does to buy lotto tickets so I can continue to spend my time filling out job applications and sending resumes to the black hole that appears to exists in every HR department in this town. I hope billy has better luck now that he's officially a job seeker.

In addition, Ornata Originals' crappy bCentral website has got to go and Depthmarker's doing a little fund-raising drive with the inventory. Donate $15 and get a short-sleeve tiedyed t-shirt or donate $20 and get a long-sleeve. Free shipping to US and Canada. Possibly free shipping elsewhere if I can make sense of the customs regulations and the postage doesn't cost more than the shirt. Let me know your size/color preferences or pick a shirt from one of the pictures I hope to post later (got to find a spot on the web to put them first.)

Saturday, December 06, 2003

My blogging absence
I just posted out of the blue after a long absence and it occurred to me that an explanation might be in order. Well, first Rob started his rock-n-roll star series and I didn't want to interrupt that. Then I had a bout of illness. Nothing major, just a allergy that progressed to an ear infection, then added a sore throat, then added a upper and lower respiratory infection, which then moved on to a oh-my-god-I-think-I'm-dying-and-I-don't-have-health-insurance panic that lasted for a few moments until I remembered that 99% of all my doctors visits over the years have resulted in things that I could have done myself with a little common sense (bed rest, aspirin, etc.) and old family remedies. This time I managed to heal myself without spending a dime, imagine that! Well, I must confess that I did spend $7 for some homeopathic eardrops that turned out to be no better than plain old olive oil for an earache. Live and learn, but if you've ever had a major earache as an adult you will understand why babies scream when they have one and why adults run to the doctor if they have the money. For a cough (and I had a nasty one), I'm a big fan of Robitussin cough syrup (generic is fine too), but I don't think it's really any more effective than the old whiskey, lemon and honey recipe that was a family standard when I was a kid. It's just easier to grab the Robitussin while you are at the grocery store than it is to make a special trip to the booze store for Jack Daniels. Although, I find that my Robitussin has usually expired by the time I need it again and the Jack Daniels just gets better with age if you can resist the temptation to drink it when you are not sick ;->
I hate it when this happens!
Someone called and left a message on our answering machine. They were looking for me, but since Rob's voice is on the message, they just said "if were or are married to Ann, call me at [some phone number]". Rob punched the number into the phone while listening to the message, but got a fax or computer. Maybe he punched in the wrong number or maybe the person gave us the wrong number, but we'll never know because Rob didn't promptly push the save message button on the answering machine so the message is now gone forever unless I pay some forensic recovery place to un-erase it... argh! Have I mentioned before how much I hate our answering machine? Or, rather, how much our answering machine hates us since this incident was actually a rare example of the machine operating as programmed; normally it exhibits rather bizarre behavior that might be explained by voltage surges on our power lines or who knows what else like solar flares or poltergeists, but all the same, please, someone, give me a job so I can afford CallNotes again where a momentary lack of action on our part results in the message being SAVED rather than being ERASED.

Wednesday, December 03, 2003

I went to probate court yesterday as planned, and although the outcome was good,I am not impressed with the judicial system anymore than I was before this experience.
Apparently probate court is either focused on A: details and verbage of documents or B: emotional impact in the event of a lack of details and verbage (paperwork generated by the lawyers involved or the lack of a will).
I was witness to both extremes involving other parties as well as my own case...and I must say-I was not impressed.
My sister and I were asked the same questions four times in different contexts by my lawyer and the ad litum lawyer based on the fact that there were two wills.While I appreciate the attention to detail in regards to protecting the estate,keep in mind that the estate involves a run down house, from some unknown person suddenly making a claim to was really kind of silly.
My sister and I were quizzed about declarations made by my parents of children they had without our knowledge, or persons unknown claiming to be children of my parents they had neglected to recognize,or I guess mention to us in passing..."oh,by the way...we had a baby in england that we forgot about and left at the airport and after 40 years in the Heathrow airport's lost and found, might want some payback".
These possible events were characterized as occurring at holidays, birthdays and other special events.(People really do watch too much television...specifically USA network, the WE,Oxygen and Court TV)
While it's funny now,when we were there in real time it was a stress exercise...There was the lawyers/judge conferences in the hall we were excluded from, my poor sister looking back at me when she couldn't remember details of our parents passing...come on!: were talking about almost 6 and 12 years since they passed and life goes on,but the reality here is your parents are gone,it doesn't matter when they died , they did,and that hole will stay with you forever regardless of your ability to recall the exact date your heart was broken.
The existance of the original will's that brought the procedings to a temporary grinding halt...we were litigating with copies,when I told the judge I had the originals at my house he demanded that I produce them but allowed the case to go forward pending reciept of the originals.I had almost screwed the pooch by telling the truth and shame on my lawyer for not knowing the originals vs. copies could be an issue.
The probate court clerks for being so anal retentive that when they fart,only dogs hear it...pretending they know more about the law than the lawyers (maybe they do) but,unable to work as a team (egos) the communication skills of the court are confused by this and while, obstensibly, these qualities should enhance the "smooth operation of the docket" they end up creating a situation I will refer to as "The docket is a clusterfuck,deal with it because we can't". This, they can enhance, and they do, in a manner that enhances violence in less controlled people and maybe crackheads.
But,in the end I got what I set out for...title to our home.
I believe it hinged on my "disinterested witnesses" responses of "yes" , "no" and "that's correct".:)
A bonus: the ad litum attorney only charged me 400.00 , leaving me with some cash that Ann and I spent on dinner and drinks at Maudie's and a 12 pack at the house where we listened to loud music,taking turns inflicting our favorite CD's on each other...
It was the most fun I've had in a long seemed easier too, a load has been lifted...(and,to quote the Band Cracker, the light at the end of the tunnel wasn't a train...ok....a paraphrase really - but you get the point).