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Archive for May, 2006
Well I am at work today, so I am not enjoying a long weekend like many others here in America, but I did enjoy my weekend. We had lots of sun, too much sun for my wife in fact ( THe Mickey Mouse and Donald duck shaped clouds were few and far between!), but the kids got to bike to the pool on both Saturday and Sunday, and all enjoyed it very much. The youngest tried to lean down out of your arms to get into the frigid water!! I tried to tell him that he can not swim and will drown, but he can not talk either so I do not think he cared about what I was saying, as long as I put him in the water. The oldest was soon back to near his comfort level of last year.
He still will not try swimming without a nodle yet, which he was able to do remarkably well as a three year old last year. Jumping into the water with said noodle, he is doing again, and he let me throw him up in the air with a float ring (tube) but not the noodle, probbly because the water was a little cold... I am sure I will be tossing him and his sister again in no time. As for that cold water, we had a lot of rain and even hail the night before the pool opened. All of that ice cooled down my pool, not fair!
I think that the others, knowing that Walt is a 'very special boy' had him draw pictures of cows, so that they could eat steak. Do you think the others are from the Dharma Initiative, or not? When they were going to take Claire's baby, they definately had a lot of labcoats and the like, not to mention the equipment needed.
Do you think Desmond's girlfriend's Dad has anything to do with the Dharma Initiative? He has the money and she was certainly looking for a geomagnetic anomaly. Perhaps she knows of the project but he never told her where it is. Perhaps her Mother is one of the others, (mother-other, heh)and she is looking for her or she turned up missing years ago last known to have been at one of the stations on the Island. If Jack was going to meet a hearse at the airport to take his father straight to his burial and Sayid also was traveling with his friend's body, where are those bodies? Could the Island, yes the Island that cured Locke's wheelchair dependancy, also cure Jack's father, Sayid's friend, Boone, Shannon, Anna Lucia, Libby, Scott (or was it Steve ) and anyone else that did not survive of their death?
I love it in the late spring and early summer, when it is not super hot yet, but also sunny and pretty. I can get the kids outside and let them run amok. This sure beats having them run amok in my house or having them be couch potatoes. My son is actulay fast enough now that if we run in a parking lot or on the sidewalk while he is holding my hand, I can not longer walk fast to stay side by side with him.
I have to actually break into a job to keep up now. My daughter is more likely to fall down if she tries to run fast, but that doesn't stop her. They both enjoy riding their bikes and my son is actually very good at it. He still has training wheels on but he is capable of riding even up the slight hills to get to the playground and the pool. My daughter is actually riding a tricycle, and she is sooo cute with her little helmet on saying, 'pedal, pedal, pedal' while I help her go. I would push her and say 'pedal, you have to pedal..pedal keep pedaling.' so now she says 'pedal pedal pedal.' herself. Did I mention how cute she is?
I love summer!!
Ok so I admit that I watch every new episode of lost. Unfortunately for some reason this season that meant I watched about 2 out 3 weeks and then skipped a few more weeks of reruns. Was it just me or did they add more commercials this season as well as less new episodes. All of that aside exactly what happened last night? Michael admits to killing Libby who gave her dead husband's boat to Desmond who crashed on the Island trying to impress his ex-girlfriend and then he forgot to push the button on time because he was killing the man who turned Sayid into a torturer, which in turn caused the plane to crash ultimately leading to Libby's death and most likely as we are to believe Desmond's as well, only to have some Russian guys in the antarctic call Desmond's ex girlfriend to tell her that they found it, and Hugo did not freak out and beat Michael down. He beat Sawyer's ass because Sawyer said he was crazy but did nothing to Michael for killing his crazy girlfriend.
Man that sounds cool when I say it all like that doesn't it. But to break it down, if Desmond destroyed the geomagnetic thingy hidden in the Island, will Rose's cancer come back? If it hurled the door with the word quarantine written on it that far away, how did Charlie survive? How come Jin always shrugs his shoulders just right if he isn't supposed to know what his wife is saying in English? If the Russian dudes at the end can detect the geomagnetic anomaly, don't you think the CIA, NASA or some other organization can as well? Were Anna Lucia and Libby killed off because the actresses were busted for drunk driving? When will Hurley lose a little weight from living on the Island in the sun with all the walking he does? I like how Claire seems to have fogotten all of Charlie's faults so quickly, like he tried to kill her baby and all, but now she is kissing him.
I liked that the big pile of notebooks that the Pearl station was supposed to be sending to HQ that was just building up in the jungle, pretty funny. I think Lock and Echo would have most likely checked out the other station better though. Shouldn't Desmond have told Lock that he already let the timer go to zero though considering they went through the whole ordeal of locking out echo to do something that has already been done... wierd. I understand that Desmond put the code in last time but the scary things that he saw and the way the ground shook, he could have told Lock.
Couldn't Sayid have done some tracing on the computer to find out what it did as far as if it sends data and where to. He surely could have been able to figure out how to get some data from those data tapes that are always turning in the background. At the very least Sayid could have rigged up the UV lights that would have illuminated the secret hidden map. If the Kurgan (Clancy Brown - the actor that played Desmond's partner in the hatch was the Kurgan from the movie the Highlander) knew where the other hatches were located to put them on the map, don't you think he would have checked them out at some point? And what is the deal with the statue with 4 toes?? And more importantly why were the washer and dryer newer than everything else in the hatch? Also why do they drop enough food to feed 40 survivers if there are only supposed to be 2 people in the hatch. The most important thing that they need is sunscreen, especially now without the cancer curing magnet.
Update- I think the washer and dryer are so new because the manufacturer paid the producers of the show to advertise their newest model.
My parents used that expresion a lot and I see where it comes in handy. There are many times when I see someone who fits the description but I have found the epitomy of the phrase today. Today was free BBQ lunch day at work. I got a BBQ sandwich...for free, exactly as it sounds. Now a few of the other guys on my team decided to forego the free lunch and go out to a restaurant. This in itself is a little silly but their choice in eating establishments leaves one wondering WTF...they went to a BBQ joint to get sandwiches!
I walked outside, the sun was shining the people whose paths I crossed were all smiling and the few clouds that I saw in the sky were, you guessed it shaped just like Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck. Mickey was waving and Donald was dancing to the fiddle music that the caterer's fiddler was playing. I smiled broadly as I made myself a big fat pork BBQ sandwich and also added some baked beans and a bag of potato chips as well. Oh, I heard the birds chirping and they never changed their perfect little harmony that went with the fiddle music at all. No rain on my parade today, no ridiculing from Mickey and Donald, no this was my day for a change. Now those other guys, I am sure if they looked skyward as they ate their not so free lunches, they would have seen the evil Mickey cloud laughing his cumulous ass off while Donald showed them a finger and slapped his knee with his other hand. As far as I know it may even be raining on them as they try to get back here.
I was able to get everythng on my list at BJs, the grocery store, and get gas, without going over my budget. I would not be so happy about this but I have been over budget for the last five or six weeks in a row. I even bought the rose and a few small things that were not on the list. Now if I can keep it up for a few weeks, it would be great.
I am at the grocery store yesterday, and I bought my wife a very beautiful long-stemmed rose. Usually I get a bunch of carnations or a spray rose but this time the long-stemmed rose was a little cheaper and besides the carnations are still in the tupperware vase thing from last time. I put the rose in the cart, and continue shopping. This of course is done because I needed 1 onion not a BJs sized bag of onions, pasta is cheaper at the grocery stores than at BJs, as is some fruit and I could not find popcorn for my air popper at BJs.
I am at the checkout line, getting a lot of looks from the females around me, who were no doubt a little jealous, or at the least wishing that their significant others would get them a rose like that. I man walks up to me and says 'You must have messed up,too!' He had one of the pre-packaged bunches in his basket and was obviously kidding. The females got a chuckle out of this, and it turns out it was not a random man making the comment, but a co-worker of mine. I cannot speak for him, but I do not get flowers when I need forgiveness, well I might but I haven't used flowers as a substitute for an apology.
I buy flowers because I like the smile that I get when I hand them to my wife. It doesn't hurt that my kids are also very cute. My daughter sees the flowers and grins. 'Daddy bought flowers!' She yells, foiling any attempt I may have planned to surprise her Mom with the pretty plants. My Son, it trying to figure out what the flowers are for like most people. 'Why did you buy flowers at the store Daddy?' he inquires. I am not certain that he excepts my answer when I reply, 'I got beautiful flowers for my beautiful wife.' Flowers have special powers over females it seems.
There was a pair of high school girls with a video camera in the parking lot that approached me as I was returning to my car. They claimed to be doing a school project and wanted to ask me a few questions. I replied that I was already late for dinner as I had to stop for groceries and would be unable to give them my time. The girls were ok with that answer and I heard one say report to the others in the group that did not walk closer that 'the cute guy with the rose is in a hurry.' If I were not carrying the flower, she would most likely have said, 'that rude guy wouldn't stop!' Ahhhh, the power of the rose.
I am going on my weekly trip to BJs again today after work. The weekly trip occurs when we run out or are on the verge of running out of milk. I get 4 gallons of the yummy goodness, eggs, cheese, bread (bread is cheaper at Aldi's but I only go to aldi's once a month since I work in the other direction now), and fruit every week. The fruit is bananas and either apples or oranges, and frozen blueberries, for yogurt making.
Most weeks I get potatoes, again Aldi's has the potatoes cheaper, but the ones at BJs are much bigger and nicer and I get there more often. Peanut butter and beef if I get it marked down. I only buy beef if it is marked down because beef is much more expensive the last two years than it had been prior. This week I will get the ingredients required for our ice cream maker. The kids like to watch it go and we have much more control over what is in our ice cream, in addition to the savings.
I do much better at sticking to only things on the list or things that we will eventually need that have a coupon or instant rebate. I like to stock up on detergent and dish washing stuff when it is at a great price. I used to way overspend there because they always had something that I wanted to try on sale or a movie that I wanted to see. My problem is that I am given a budget goal and then a list of items to buy that add up to more than the budget!!
The more you do it the more efficient you get. You lift a weight enough times and voila you are able to lift a bigger weight. If you read enough, you are able to read faster and comprehend more. I bring this up because I think that the youth of today are losing out on valuable reading practice. With the internet so easy to access and information at our children's fingertips, why would we not give them all of the advantages that we can. Anyone who can read can learn just about anything online.
So why are so many kids sitting in front of a Television instead of a book. Spongebob is not going to prepare that child to learn in any shape or form. The wiggles, while they can get your little ones to sing annoying songs all day, will not give you child any useful skills once they are beyond the staring at a mobile in the crib stage. I am surprised by the number of parents who do not realize that their children are losing valuable potential. My Mother read to my brother and I from birth. I personally thank her and attribute this to my high reading ability. This elevated skill in reading gives me an advantage when I given given a task that involves learning something new as I am able to read a manual or similar documentation and understand.
I am not saying that a child who watches TV will not be able to learn at the same rate as I can, I am merely saying that a child who misses out of reading at a young age is working harder to catch up later in life. What the child is watching is a definate factor. As a parent have you ever watched the shows that you allow your children to spend their afternoon watching. I am fairly comfortable saying that I feel as if I have lost a few IQ points if I watch even a few minutes of Ed, Edd, and Eddie. The Rugrats are so cute and have real life issues sometimes, but they do not speak proper English. To a teen this may be funny, but to a child who is just learning to speak, this makes more work later in retraining them from mistakes that they pick up from the television. I find it humerous that my wife and I correct the television all of the time.
Yes we do let our children watch Television, mostly in the form of Veggie Tales, Blue's Clues, and older movies like Mary Poppins and the like. If one of the Veggie's says something not quite proper, usually to rhyme in a song, we will casually say that is sily he should have said Larry and I, but I doesn't rhyme with see. I suppose the mere fact that we usually watch the TV with our children and rarely let them watch it as a baby sitter, is very important here as well. To be honest if we are having company or need some time sans kids, we would most likely put in one of the shows that we know is not going to confuse them, or a Star Wars movie.
As an added bonus, this saves us money by not having to have the latest fad craze toys or apparel for our children. I own Star Wars toys from my youth, that recycle quite nicely. my son likes pirates and dinosaurs. A dinosaur toy is cheaper than a Barney the annoying purple dinosaur toy any day of the week. I got a cowboy hat, folded it up into a tricorner hat and wham instant pirate hat. Add wooden swords from renfest and my kids are pirates. They run around the house yelling arrrr and aye, call me Captain Daddy, and use their imagination. Much cheaper than having to buy Power Rangers toys or the talking pull the string and we can sing annoying songs Wiggles figures.
I buy a shirt that has a pirate flag on it from online store for half the cost of a spongebob shirt. I got a huge pirate flag that is mounted on my Son's wall for $10 with his birthday money. Do you know how much even a poster of the wiggles would cost let alone a 3 foot by 5 foot cloth flag? In addition to this, by not having to watch actual television programs, my children are not bombarded by advertisements. Imagine being able to sit down and talk to your son about a book that he has just read instead of what Spongebob and that silly starfish did. If he has a question it is usually something tangible that we can look up. He reads about dinosaurs and wants to know how big a Tyranosaurus tooth was, we can go online and check. If he wanted to know why some cartoon character did something on a TV show the answer would simply be 'because that is what the artists drew.' No learning there.
I am not talking about worshipping nature like a druid...I am talking about hail!! On Saturday we had a storm catch us by surprize. The day was beautiful and then five or six loud claps of thunder, a little lightning, and it was hailing. My Daughter, who is 2 years old was helping me sweep the floor. This means I am sweeping the floor and she is moving the dirt around with a little hand broom. She is able to sweep some into her little dust pan and take it to the trash can.
Well the thunder was loud and startled her. She looked a bit paniced and I told her 'I heard that thunder,too; it was loud, it may rain soon.' Mainly I did this because I do not want to further advance any fear of storms that anyone (like my mother) may have started for her. She calmed down a little and I told her that it was unexpected and startled me too. I like to use the word startled instead of scared because I don't want to teach my children fear. We continued sweeping and I saw a bright flash of lightning, it was rather close because the thunder boomed before I could prepare her for it.
She shook in excitement and then looked at me. 'I Don't want to do this anymore!' She yelled and then dumped her dust pan onto the floor. It was as if she thought that her sweeping had something to do with the thunder. She ran across the kitchen and while she was opening the door to put her broom and dustpan away, another loud crack of thunder boomed. 'I'm done!!' she yelled while picking up the dustpan that she tried to throw so hard it bounced back out of the under the sink cabinet. I was able to distract her by saying that sweeping had nothing to do with the thunder, the lightning did and that I need her to tell me when she hears it raining so that I could close the windows.
My Son said it is going to rain and wanted to close them preventatively. I advised that it was hot and the nice breeze was cooling the house tremendously. My wife and I explained thunder and lightning to them and then it started to rain. 'It is raining,' both kids yelled in unison. 'It is hailing I added while closing the window in the kitchen. After helping my wife close the rest of the windows, both children came in to see what this hail that I was talking about was. It only lasted a minute, but hail stones the size of nickles fell and bounced from the yard and the sidwalk alike.
We had an interesting discussion about how it could be raining ice while the temperature outside was well over 80 degrees. My Son got the point but I did not think my daughter did. She talked about how it was hotter outside than it is in the freezer, and I figured that she had a good idea of what we were talking about. The rain only lasted three of four minutes after the hail stopped, so I ran out and gathered some of the ice. Melting a bit in the heat, the hail stones from the yard were perfectly round and about the size of small marbles.
I took eight or so back inside and let the kids feel how cold they were. the outside temperature had dropped five degrees according to my new clock thermometer deal that I just received as a gift. I joked that the ice must have cooled the world down. It is fun to spend time talking about nature nad its power to my children, and it makes me proud when I see that they are learning and understand more about the world that we live in. I wondered just how many of my neighbors were talking to their children about the storm and the hail, and how many of them were not talking at all while their children watched Spongebob.
When I was a small child I wore glasses to correct a lazy eye. I went to the eye doctors a lot and therefore thought that may be a good career choice for me. I actually had bifocal lenses when I was only 5 years old to help strengthen the muscles in my eyes. After a while I changed this chosen career to a dentist. This was good until I really stopped and thought about it. A dentist spends all day in other people's yucky, infected, cavity infested mouths.
Dentist was out scientist was in. I got this from watching all of the Godzilla movies. The problem with this was that although I practiced quite often I could never really master that art of speaking while my mouth did not match the words so I had to pick again. I still watched Godzilla movies and had an interest in science but needed a new goal.
Maybe I could be an astronaut and go in space like Buck Rogers or Captain Kirk. Then one day I saw Kirk and Dr. McCoy drinking some kind of blue drink, and I realized that there must not be any chocolate milk in space!! Kirk, Bones, and Scottie never had chocolate milk. Neither did Buck, Apollo, Starbuck or Mr. Cartwright. Luke Skywalker drank blue milk but not chocolate milk, so if living in space meant no chocolate milk I had to find a new profession.
I thought that if I practiced running enough that I could be really fast. I could be a football player if I were really fast. This went well until my Brother ruined it for me. He said that running all the time would not make me faster, it would only make my legs stronger so I could jump higher. This would conflict with my fear of heights, especially after I had a few dreams where I could jump up really high and see all over town. I stopped running so much and put more thought into what I really wanted to be.
I could go back to science and be an evil mad scientist. I was smart, clever and did not overindulge in the greed that ultimately did in many mad scientists on TV. Giving it a little more thought, I noticed that these guys did not get paid, and their evil plans to take over the world were always foiled by said greed, or their inability to eliminate their enemies. If your arch enemy, the one person who can stop you, is handcuffed to a railing overlooking an erupting volcano, with nothing but a pack of gum, his watch and a helicopter six feet away, do not assume that he will be burned to a crisp, lava induced end. Shoot the helicopter with your cleverly designed mini laser pistol, shoot him, or at the very least take his gum. I figured I could overcome the obstacles where my scripted counterparts could not because I was smart enough to put a password a little more secure than 1 2 3 4 5 on the big red button that could cancel my master plan. If I did rule the world what would I do? There was not much fun available if everyone hated you.
If I were a chemist, I could use my powers for the good of all mankind. Everyone would want to hang with me and I would probably have a robot friend to boot. It was perfect. Perfect it is until I went to the local college for a week in 5th grade with the gifted program. During this time, in a cool physics class where we made a rocket, we gathered around and talked about what we wanted to be when we grew up. The boy sitting across from me said that he wanted to be a chemical engineer. I had never heard of this before but I certainly could not say that I wanted to be a lowly chemist now. After I dittoed the chemical engineer, a dozen more kids repeated it as well. That local college eventually grew up to be a University.
I majored in Chem E while attending Penn State University. After 3 years, I transferred to the University of Pittsburgh and changed my majoy to Computer science because I was lazy. I was good with computers and the classes were easier for me. Looking back to my childhood, they did have some really big computers in those Godzilla movies, so I guess there is a tie in between what I wanted to be and what I am.
From the article:
There are 4 main excuses given for not reducing debt.
1. I am in control of my debt
2. I do not have enough free money each month to make a difference.
3. I am waiting for a windfall to pay my debt off all at once.
4. Something always comes up.
Where do you fall?
My father has just retired at 59.5.
That is the age when you can begin drawing on your 401K. He set himself up pretty good and was able to retire in good health and relatively young. I hope to be able to do the same but much younger. Well I guess I don't want to retire I just want to author novels or write scripts or something else that gives me lots of free time to spend with my family and friends while still earning enough to live comfortably. The savings and frugality make that comfort level more affordable and hopefully easier to attain.
I am very happy after seeing how hard my father worked - he did a lot of carpentry, electrical work, and general hnadyman work for the neighborhood while being laid off periodically in the 70s and 80s and then when the steel industry came back he worked a lot of OT in a not so friendly environment, that he is finally able to rest. When he first started at the mill in 1973 they had probably 20 men per shift plus a dozen steady daylight and several specialists. One man for the coiler and one each for the front and rear motor rooms, a welder or two per shift crane repair personnel pipe fitters wire gang etc. Now they run about 4 per crew and have one or two pipe fitters to cover the entire day. My Dad's department were all trained or supposedly trained on the coiler the motor rooms, crane repair and so on to absorb all of those lost men. I can imagine how much hardr those 4 men are expected to work.
Some of it ended up being pretty cool. For instance he was sent to welding school and later used the skills that he developed restoring his truck. I know for a fact that he could have lived without ever answering a crane call though. I learned a lot about electricity and mechanics from watching and talkng to him. I hope that he continues to use the welding skill, maybe on a new vehicle to either add to his collection, or to sell to increase his pension income.
I also hope that he knows how glad I am to have a Father like him to look up to all my life, to learn from, have a positive role model and know what being a Father should be like. I would love to be able to retire early and have that same positive impact on my children that he had on me. As a side note, both of my parents and quite simply their being happy and loving with each other, my brother and I, and our children, gives such a strong root to our family tree.
Picture of said truck to be added, stay tuned!
My Father's mantra when I was growing up was to take care of your things that way instead of spending your money replacing broken or worn things, you can buy new things. ok....his other mantra was that 'there just aren't enough hours in the day.' He was a workaholic, working all the OT he could get in the Steel Mill to counter the periods of unemployment, plus doing all of the handy work, carpentry, eltrical, mechanical, plumbing, landscaping, painting, roofing, washing, scrubbing, cleaning, welding, fixing, and maintenance at our house, both of my grandparents houses and for some of the neighbors as well. He would work all day and then in the evening, when my mother would make him stop to get showered and spend time with my brother and I, he would recite his famous litergy.
At first I thought yeah Dad is right, if there were more hours in the day, I could play more each day, watch more TV, relax more, sleep more, and do my homework slower. As I got a little older and interested in things like the Solar System and NASA and the like, I decided that if I lived on Pluto the day is over six times longer, but it is really cold there. On Mercury, it takes 58.7 Earth days for the planet to rotate once, man you could do a lot on a Monday there!! Then again a Mercurian Year is only 88 Earth days.
At eight or nine years old I thought this would be cool, because the school year would only be about 50 or so days, but if I aged every 88 days, which using Mercurian days would actually be less than two days, I would die of old age in less than 25 weeks!! Who wants that?? I had these kind of thoughts a lot, I was a weird kid. Come to think of it, I grew up to be a wierd man. And here is where the story evolves. As I grew into my college years, I remember telling my friends that there are not enough hours in the day. This of course came from the fact that I only had 5 hours a day to split between homework, studying and sleep.
Then I got married and wanted more hours each day to spend with my beautiful wife. After our first child was born, I needed more hours to spend watching him learn and grow, spend with my beautiful wife, and take care of the things that had been moved to the back burner, like cutting grass, washing cars, and the like. Two more children later and I REALLY REALLY want more hours, not for me but for my beautiful wife!! She needs more time to be able to take a long hot shower, get plenty of sleep, relax while I take my turn with the laundry and still have time left to spend with me.
Finally we reach the and son and son part. My eldest, a child with the mental capacity far greater than his 4 years, is figuring out how things work. I loosened light bulbs in the bathrooms to be frugal as per my other story, and when we are in said bathrooms, the little genius tells me 'Daddy has more money to buy steak' as he points to the unilluminated bulbs. He gets the water pitcher out of the refridgerator and tries to close the door quickly saying, 'Daddy does not want to spend his money on the electric bill, he wants to buy milk and things instead.' And, after realizing that we can not go to the park, the playground, Target, and his Uncle's house on the same day because there is not enough time between his sister's nap and bedtime snack to accomplish all of this, he showed me that he truly understands when he said 'Daddy I want the days to be longer.' I asked what he meant having a good idea already and I smiled broadly when he said 'more than 24 hours, so that we can do more every day.'