Wednesday, March 28, 2007

One Of Those Signs That I Don't Want To Grow Up

Somewhere in the back of my head, I hear this little voice (not that I normally hear voices mind you) that says, "That's it! I'm sick of feeling responsible all the time." Of course, I tell it, "Quiet in back or I toss you out of the bus." It is true that I throw a lot on my plate and, for some reason, when I take on a project it dedicates sections of my life from then on to it. The best examples of that are the newsletter, website, podcast and writing the book.

I think that is why I surround myself with some reminders that I really am a child at heart. There's a whole section of my DVD collection dedicated to that but while cruising through the store looking for gifts for the nieces and nephew, I saw Ernie. Yes, I know there have been rumors that Ernie and Bert are ummm... gay. I don't see it but what I remember most about the character are his rubber ducky and his laugh. I catch myself mimicking it still to this day. So, I quickly threw Ernie in the cart under the guise that I'm getting it "for someone." Anyhow, he now sits up on my very crowded headboard with his new friend Mr. Raider Bulldog.

Even though there are times when I look over there and think that Ernie looks like Mr. R.B.'s prison cell-buddy (for lack of a better word), I also see something that quiets that little voice and says, "I haven't forgotten what it's like to be a child. I'm just too responsible to let it control my life." Heck, I'd love to wake up as early as possible on Saturdays to watch cartoons in the morning with my Just Right, Kix or Pac-Man cereal sitting in front of me. But as you notice from that train of thought... cartoons now are on Sunday mornings (and there are several 24/7 channels dedicated to them) and it is really hard to find any of those 3 cereals. When things change, you have to grow up and accept it... but hold that little something to remind you of those early Saturday mornings.

Friday, March 23, 2007

My Mom: The Pain In The Neck

No, I'm not calling my mother names. Mom suffered a neck injury while at work nearly a decade ago. This changed her life as she has had multiple surgeries to alleviate migraine headaches and more recently shooting pains and numbness in her left arm. Well, it seems that after all this time that they have figured out that that the bit of bone (they took from her hip) that they used to fuse 2 of her neck vertebrae (which was reinforced with a metal plate) broke loose and has been pinching her spinal cord. According to the two doctors she has been going to recently (as well as her insurance) a surgery is required to pull that bone out.

The photo you see above was taken of my parents in the early 70's. I was recently told by my mother that it actually was some photo manipulation as they had people between them in the photo. Mom likes the photo quite a bit so I decided to snap a quick shot of it from on top of our piano. Anyhow, this morning she went into surgery to have that bone removed. I called and talked to her last night while I was at lunch. I'm optimistic and I'm hoping that Mom remains the fighting spirit that she has always been. There is a strong chance (50%) of paralysis in this surgery but then again she was also told that she would progress towards that if the bone weren't removed. Essentially, having the bone pressing against it for so long is going to require so much longer for it to regain its shape.

After typing the first two paragraphs, I decided to call around a little. Since I get off work around 1am and she was due to head to the hospital at 7:30am, I opted to go to sleep as I have to work today and woke up just before typing this. After calling my sister, I tried the hospital (as grandma doesn't have a cell phone that I know of) and was having a nurse check on her status. Then my cell phone started ringing. I looked down and it said "Mom." Those were the last words I expected on the Caller-ID and the first out of my mouth as I answered. There was a long pause but it turned out that grandma got ahold of Mom's cell. According to her, the doctor said the surgery went better and quicker than expected. I'll be heading over there after the podcast tomorrow. Keep your fingers crossed.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

What About Darfur?

I've seen this commercial several times. It hurts. It's that level right above watching Sally Struthers show emaciated children too weakened (or tolerant) to swat away the flies in their eyes. As much as I would love to see the United Nations go into Sudan to investigate and halt the genocidal horrors going on there since 2003, I know that it isn't going to happen. The government (if you call it one) there will not give them the permission to enter the region.

I think what hurts me most isn't just the rape, murders and savage disfigurement of the indigenous people by the Janjaweed militia. It's the fervent calls to action inside our nation for George Bush to go in there and fix it. Over half of the United States is upset that our country went around the U.N. to form a loose coalition going into Iraq. Yet, many of those same people that are against that action are screaming for us to act somewhere else again without the consent or backing of the U.N.? Are our troops supposed to be the ones to go where the U.N. fears to tread? Personally, I'd like to see the United Nations grow some testes, investigate and secure the region. But, calling Bush into action gives more ammunition to other nations (especially Venezuela) who already believe we are imperialists that go impose our will at will.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

St. Patrick's Day 2007

It was pretty odd that the podcast landed on a holiday. I was trying to figure out what to babble about this week (I've been doing a lot of that.) After much thought, I decided that it was a good chance to talk about the musical contributions made by the Irish. Of course, U2 are pretty much the top of the heap there but many other acts helped shape the musical landscape. A few of my other personal favorites: Enya, Clannad, the Pogues, the Virgin Prunes and My Bloody Valentine. Sinead and the Cranberries had some moments also. You should be able to hear a little of what they sound like in the featured clips areas of each link.

That aside, I finally moved over to the new Blogger. Why did I take so long? Well, I really liked having a big archive on the side to remind me how long I've been typing up my thoughts and so I can check in on them easily. Maybe, labeling may make this even easier. Don't know. But, I also knew that Teri is having trouble replying and that could be due to me not changing with the times. We'll see how it works.

Feeling a lot better now and over the course of this, I've dropped some weight. This is a good thing. My eyes know that my stomach can take in more food than it should. Usually, I lose my appetite when I get sick and I've used that as a way to correct my portion control issues. It also seems that my family is getting together in September to do a family photo. This means that I could actually have the first decent photo of myself with the kin folk since grade school. Got my fingers crossed.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

The Everything Test

I'm not big on these weird little tests but for some reason, I couldn't stay away from this one. Funny that it pegged me pretty well. I do worry about the phrases: "more concerned about self than concerned about others," "more atheist than religious" and "more lazy than workaholic." Then again, if I had 49% score in answers dealing with selflessness, religion and workaholism (?) then I guess they could be right. Hard to believe a test that can't spell adventurous, though. (Too bad the test is too wide to fit well in the our blog template. I did try to shrink the width to little success but don't think that will stop me from putting it here anyways.)

The Everything Test

There are many different types of tests on the internet today. Personality tests, purity tests, stereotype tests, political tests. But now, there is one test to rule them all.

Traditionally, online tests would ask certain questions about your musical tastes or clothing for a stereotype, your experiences for a purity test, or deep questions for a personality test.We're turning that upside down - all the questions affect all the results, and we've got some innovative results too! Enjoy :-)

You are more logical than emotional, more concerned about self than concerned about others, more atheist than religious, more loner than dependent, more lazy than workaholic, more traditional than rebel, more engineering mind than artistic mind, more cynical than idealist, more leader than follower, and more extroverted than introverted.

As for specific personality traits, you are adventurious (100%), romantic (86%), intellectual (73%), horny (72%).

College Student100%
Old Geezer83%

Life Experience

Your political views would best be described as Libertarian, whom you agree with around 79% of the time.

Your attitude toward life best associates you with Middle Class. You make more than 0% of those who have taken this test, and 28% more than the U.S. average.

If your life was a movie, it would be rated R.
By the way, your hottness rank is 64%, hotter than 90% of other test takers.

brought to you by thatsurveysite

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Project DIY: Bathroom Renovation

Ok, now that I'm feeling a bit more like myself, I have projects to get started on. I even made a little list last night. One of the big ones will be taking out the shower/bathtub in the hopes of converting the area to a full shower. It should be easier than when I converted the landscape outside, right?

You should be able to click on the photos to get a better look but essentially what is currently there is the original basic shower/bath. After my first few years in the house, I noticed some cracks in the tile on the side wall (zoom in to the mold on the bottom right.) I tried to do some of the repair myself but I came to the conclusion that water may have gotten back there. So, that requires a bit more renovation. I don't even use the tub in there as there is a second bathroom that looks just like it in the house. So changing over to a nice shower has been on my mind for the last year now. (I think having room to stretch in there is a good thing too.)

Before moving in, a co-worker gave me a bunch of boxes containing glass block. I expect to integrate that into the shower wall facing this way. I may also be replacing that window above the shower as it is useless (the contractor building the home put those in to avoid placing air vents in the bathrooms.) This means that I'll have to add ventilation to the remodel. But it should be a good project. I'd like to do the tiling myself and subcontract out the plumbing (I'm not even going to attempt it.) But first thing will be removing and cleaning the area. It'd probably be easier for me to screw it up and just call DIY To The Rescue. I really watch too many of those shows.

Oh, the other things on that list? 1) replace missing roof shingles from last storm 2) take crappy printer back to Costco 3) return bad peanut butter to Wal-Mart 4) send out new interview requests