Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Advance of Twilight Brings Shadows.


Cora and I began the day as we have the past few days, that is, with extreme laziness. It was nice. Finally we got moving. I wanted to leave a treasure hunt for my family and Cora came along to aid me in my endeavor. We put one out for my dad and then stopped by to say hi and drop off the coordinates. I also wanted to leave one for my sister there. Worked out perfectly.

While we were there talking with my mom, my dad called...he had been out setting up a treasure hunt for us...figures. So, we waited around and then went off on our treasure hunt after he got back.

Here are some pictures I took whilst attempting his. (It was cut short by accute darkness) I uploaded them to my photo editor program, which took FOREVER. I adjusted and prodded and, I think, improved them a bit.
This snag was apparently a VERY LARGE tree at one time...but it got burnt out...and I very nearly had a hear attack at the time. I crossed a field and was pressing through some very deep weeds when I felt the ground cave beneath me, I glanced down and saw a badger hole...my heart raced when I imagined the welcome a badger might extend to an uninvited guest. Then I realized it had not been inhabited for probably a year...phwew!! (Who knows what kinds of tea a badger would serve...and would he keep sugar on hand?)
It was in a semi-grotesque shape, apparently frozen in a moment of agony. That or it is a sculpture of a Dr. Suess fish jumping...Quite a play of positive an negative.
Then I took this one in the rapidly advancing twilight (no relation to the book that Cora is, as I write, buried in). By the time I had arrived at the next leg of the hunt, shadows had advanced across our great valley, and I retreated.
When I got home, I realized I need a bigger zoom, since the really interesting part of the photo was this:
But, our tiny camera is no low-light goddess, and I am not the steadiest bipod (you thought I would say tripod, but I am no Patrick). I think it looks better as a painting.
This has been a very relaxing holiday weekend...and I got to spend it with my favorite person...Cora!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Economic Slowdown Hits Hollywood!

The economy is hitting everyone. Even the Gustor family. If you are not familiar with the Gustors, they are the family on the TV show Psych (which is on USA network). Pa Gustor lost his Job and Ma Gustor has a gambling habit...all because of the shitty economy. Yes, I just watched the Psych Christmas special. I am totally addicted to Psych, doesn't matter when it's on. I am SO there.
Oh, I know I mentioned it, but here is the Bubble Coral we bought yesterday.
We did nothing today. Well, that's not true, we bought a heater for my fish tank. My old one had water in it and we assumed it was just a matter of time before we had fried fish. So, there it is, we did very little and are now watching TV.
Happy weekend to all and to all a good night.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Black Friday Avoided

Yesterday was nice. We had tons of snacks, some good wine, and an excellent dinner. Eating was interrupted at regular intervals to play Wii. I am still fairly decent at the bowling, but Cora wipes the fairway with my twitching remains when we golf. Molly now seems to be a Wii convert, too!

This morning Cora woke me with a kiss and we went over to her parents' house for breakfast. Then we went to town to brave the shoppers...we lost our resolve when we dropped by Walmart. Oh, the humanity! I must not be very good at shopping, since none of the deals were worth the crowds. We finally ended up going to the pet store. We bought a piece of bubble coral and a couple snails.

The rest of the day promises to be relaxing. Ahhh, just like any other weekend! Except more food!

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving, and I am sorry yesterday's post was so sappy...I get that way once in a while.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Hey, Thanks!

Thanksgiving.

It's one of my favorite holidays. No, that's incorrect. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. Yeah, I love gorging myself and I love good food (more than I should, I fear, especially given my desire to avoid exercise). Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday for different reasons than that, though. I think I narrowed it down a few years ago. It's because Thanksgiving brings up all of those very old memories and is a time we set aside for family.

Admittedly, these past few years, many of our Thanksgivings have been spent mainly with my in-laws, but that is how things have turned out, and let's just be honest, I consider them just as much family as I do anyone else. Thanksgiving is the day we get to spend with our loved ones and, even if we don't come out and say it, we know that we are loved.

I remember the Thanksgivings spent in my youth with cousins and aunts and uncles and grandparents. My dad's mother was never, now that I trully appreciate cooking I know this, a very good cook. At least, not when I was a kid. I did not know any better then, but I do now, and having had her cooking, appreciate good food even more. Do not get me wrong, My Grandma H. was a great lady, with a soft spot for me, and I for her, but her cooking was halfhearted by the time I was of an age to remember it clearly.

My other Grandma, though...well, lets just say she was a very good cook. I can't get into the semantics and the differences in kitchens or cooking techniques, because I was a boy and, quite honestly, did not spend more than the required time in the kitchen to gulp down the turkey and rush off to play with the cousins...as soon as I was permitted, in any case. The Turkey was always great, but, I think it was Grandma's Turkey Gravy that made Thanksgiving Dinner SOOOO good.

Beyond the cooking, though, there was relaxation and family. After every dinner, there was a period where the triptofan kicked in and everyone just sort of laid about the house wherever there was room. I like that lounging part.

And, as for family? At my Grandma H.'s the grown-ups sat around and talked and we kids did not get out for awhile. Still, there was inevitably going to be a wrestling match between my dad and my uncle or one of the others...my dad's chest hair seemed to always come out the loser...ok, TMI.

At my Grandma C.'s, the kids could go out in the acre of evergreens that my grandfather had planted. He had passed away in 1976, and so any plans he had for them were long gone. Still, it made a great playground for playing army or hide-and-seek or any other games we came up with. Sometimes, I would just go out and try and imagine my Grandad alive.

I think the strongest memories I have of Thanksgiving, though, are after my Grandma H. had passed and just before we lost my Grandma C. My mom's sister and her husband had bought a place in Cle Elum...up in the Cascades. It was a three or four bedroom house that they got as a place to get away from the hassles of Seattle...or that's what the story was. It was old, a veterinarian had originally owned it. I was driving and had my own car. I also had my camera, a Pentax P3N SLR.

It was, as it turned out, the final Thanksgiving we would have with my Grandma C. Just about all of the local family was there. When it got too hot in the house, or just too crowded, we could go for walks, or for me, I could sometimes go for a short exploratory drive. I took my camera. I now wish I had been more generous with film and had taken more of the family, but at that age you simply know that family members have always been there and they always will. I still have warm memories of a simply furnished home with, then new (to us), halogen lighting. We then might play games, usually Uno. Ahh, what memories can do.

So, Thanksgiving. I want to give my thanks for my family, both on my side and my wife's. I am always glad to see my niece and nephews. I think know they are the best kids around. I am glad that my sister and her husband, Scott, are nearby, and doubly glad they like the GPS as much as I do...if not more. I am glad that my parents remain, by and large, healthy and alive. I am glad that I have gotten the chance to become as close as I am with my Father-in-Law and Mother-in-Law, they are really great people who seem to accept me for what I am (A wonderful guy, if there is any doubt out there). I am thankful that I can consider my sister-in-law and her husband, Ryan, friends. I am thankful for my other Sis-in-Law and Brother-in-Law, too. I am also thankful that I have been able to call Cora's Grandmother my own, too. It's always good to have a grandmother around, not only are they useful, but they are always good for a hug, too!

Mostly, though, I am thankful that I have been able to spend so many Thanksgivings with Cora. I doubt I could love anyone as much as I do her.

I have a job that I enjoy. Friends and family (mostly family who double as friends). Good food and fine pets. So, yeah, I have much to be thankful for. Happy Thanksgiving to you all!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I Love The Smell Of Fresh Turkey In The Mornin'

Music: Ride of the Valkeries...

Pan shot: Dinner plates, looking for all the world like helicopters, come in low over the carpet.

Each plate fires a knife and fork at the oven...

Tight on the Oven: Oven door bursts open! Smoke and steam come out.

Turkey plops out onto a serving platter...

Humans descend.

Turkey writhes in pain...fade out...

The End.

OK. I watched a few too many Vietnam War Movies when I was younger...Sorry.

I had a good day. I got paid for a full day, even though they got out early! Cora got off early too, so we went shopping together. Sopped over at her parents and had dinner and spent the evening with one of her sisters...Molly. It was a nice evening in which we introduced her to the vagueries of Wii...I think she will be addicted now.

Tomorrow promises to be a nice relaxed day! I look forward to it! I hope you ll hve a nice T-day too.

Jimh.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Teaching Post That May Bore Most Humans

I love sixth graders. I taught at the intermediate today. An entirely different batch of sixth graders than before, but nevertheless, I enjoyed being around them. Sixth graders seem to be such a different animal than the others.

I have now taught each grade level. I appreciate the Seniors in their advanced classes, and the kinders are the cutest to be seen. I like third graders, but fourth graders seem to be a bit more effort. I like Fifth graders, but Sixth graders just seem SO THERE in the learning. Seventh and Eighth graders are in between being children and becoming young adults who basically don't know who they are anyway, and so take everything so seriously, unless it's learning...and then it's full-hearted-half-heartedness.

We had a read-in today. It was the last day of the quarter. They have a program in-which they read a book, answer questions related to thtbook on computer, print it out and gain points according to how well they do. It seems pretty simple. The kids do well. We spent most of the day reading. It was fun.

What made it better was the other sixth graders in the hallways calling out to Mr. H. asking when I would sub again for them. Then, earlier, at the beginning of the day, I was walking through the teacher's lounge and one of the teachers was talking to some others. She looked at me and asked my name. I said, "Jim." She said, "No, Your last name." I told her. She said, "you're the one!" Apparently she and her daughter had been talking about subs. One of the subs at the intermediate had fallen asleep yesterday, and she had brought this up to her daughter. Her daughter said the best sub of all was...me.

I later found out who her daughter was. It was a girl whom I thought did not think alot of me. It is always interesting to find out who likes you...often it ends up being the person you think does not care much for you. Weird.

Good Lord, this post make me sound like some sort of ultra-awesome guy, but the truth is I am not ultra-awesome, I simply tell the kids the way it is and have fun doing it. That last part, having fun, is, I think, the part that makes me a good sub.

I am sorry this post is not more interesting. I guess it might be interesting to teachers...but even then, well, it's a close call.

On a more happy note, far from me boasting, Thanksgiving is creeping nearer! One more day, as Cora's clock indicates. See her site for the cool countdown she has on her site.

Oh, that's another thing: Teaching sixth graders makes me want to be a Dad THAT much more.

Did I mention my beer is done? It tastes more like Cider than beer.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Laser Designator and LEDs

What to say? We were exceptionally lazy this morning, but, looking back at the past few Sunday posts, I think that just may be our norm. We did eventually roll out of our chairs and get dressed. We even cleaned the house (a woman screams and swoons in the back of the audience). Now, now, don't get your hopes up, we vacuumed and picked up (moans) a little(more moans).

We did go to town. We found some sales and bought a few Christmas presents(I hope you ll want Toilet Paper for Christmas!). I also found some battery operated LED lights...my mind flashed(get it?FLASHED? LIGHTS?) to my model spaceships. So, tonight, I worked at building a ship that might incorporate these nifty little LEDs. What do you think? This is an engine nacelle:

The deflector of the starboard engine has not been glued on yet, so it looks, um, not quite right. Actually, you will need to use ALOT of imagination at this point. Trust me, it WILL look like a spaceship...eventually.
Yesterday, as I related, we found some treasure left by my BNL and Sister with our GPS. One of the pieces of treasure was a combination laser pointer/flashlight. I played with it for a bit, then Cora noticed it and stole it. She then proceeded to point out every little thing to me. "Jim, I want you to tke THAT bottle of wine and refill THAT glass." Everytime she said THAT the laser was designating it, in good military fashion, as though a laser guided bomb might be coming in. Unfortunately, she was not worried about "friendlies," and actually seems to prefer to designate frindly targets. "Look, THAT's a camera!"

The dog has become a fan of cop docu-dramas and is familiar with the laser pointers attached to SWAT guns...see how he attempted to play dead?
Cora did some laundry and decided to play Ghost, but she is NO Patrick Swazey and we don't have a clay turning wheel...at least she did not sing "Henry The Eighth I Am." This is as good as it got:


See the strange orbs in the next photo? I think it's proof of dust, but Cora considers them ectoplasmic in origin. (I am going to stop recording Ghosthunters!)
Instead of dinner, we chose to try some of the cheeses I purchased on Thursday, and little bit of BBQ pork. One of them was APPLEWOOD smoked and handrubber with Paprika! Mmmm-mmm good!!! Note, Toby is just outside of the range of my kick...he's a smart one.
Thus, it has been a nice, relaxing day. As ever, Sunday is TOO short, but that, too, appears to be the norm.


Saturday, November 22, 2008

GPS Fun And Family

My dad and I had arranged to go geocaching together for awhile today. He came and picked me up. We went up on one of the hills and began looking. We trudged through underbrush and through a stream and through underbrush and up hills and through underbrush...did I mention the underbrush? I am convinced that the wild rose vines were there just to snag parts of my anatomy. My dad came away with some scratches on his cheeks that at least he could explain away as cuts from shaving. I, on the other hand, came away with scratch NOT easily explained by shaving. One does not normally (at least to my knowledge) shave their forehead...

We still did not find it, and we should have, because it was supposed to be a 5 gallon bucket. I found it five years ago and it is still listed! It has to be there, but after a few too many close calls with thorns and slippery leaves, we surrendered.


We finally gave up. My dad had not been up in that area, and so I drove him along next to the firing center...which is where he rolled down his window and we stopped. The guys at the firing center were shooting what surely was a .50 caliber machine gun. Awesome! Have a listen, you may need to turn your sound up! Oh, and you may hve some trouble determining the difference between the machine gun fire and the wind...who knew?

video

Then we went and found a cache that actually existed! This one was at an altitude of 2800 feet and it had a gorgeous view!



While my dad and I were up there, though, my beloved sister ad BNL (Brother-in-Law) were busy. They had laid a series of geocaches for Cora and me. My dad headed for home and Cora and I began our trek.

At one of the points, we were looking all around a bush on the side of the road. A lady came out of a nearby house and said something. She finally came over and asked if we were on a scavenger hunt. We said, "Yes..." She told us her husband had seen some people looking suspicious and went to see what they had left in a bush..it was a bottle wrapped in tape. He thought it might be drugs and called the sheriff...who came and opened it. When he found no drugs, he kept the bottle and left. Bastard. So, we called my sis and got the appropriate coordinates from her.
Cora is always beautiful, see!??!
When we finally got to the park to look for the next one, we noticed some familiar faces. My BNL and the kids were there. We said, "Hi." and kept looking. We eventully ended up coming back to the park two more times! We criss-crossed the entire town several times. The final cache was in the back alley. They had us confused and going the wrong way a few times and we even inadvertently did two twice, thinking we had not done them yet...yeah, vengeance will be fun! It was fun, though. We had a great time. The sweets at the end and the laser pointer were great!

Cora and I went and got a couple burgers for dinner and are now relaxing, coming up with great ways to get back at them...MWAH-HA-HA-HA!!!!! Ahhhh, Sweet Revenge! I think it was our fault we got confused...some of the clues got separated from the coordinates...but the fact remains, we gotta get even...right?

Friday, November 21, 2008

Pizza Particulars

Cora has been waiting to make some sort of homemade pizza for the past week, but due to her audit she has not felt up to it. So, tonight she took the kitchen from me. She began by spreading out the dough, the other particulars involve what goes on top. This is a Bacon pizza. Well, there is bacon on it. There is a sundried tomato alfredo sauce on it. Spinach, sundried tomatoes, olives, and garlic make up the rest of the ingredients. It should be out in a few minutes...and I can't wait!

I taught HS yesterday. When I was done I went into town to partake in a "Wine nd Cheese" sale. I got a very good deal. At an average of 30% off. I got some inexpensive wines, but also a few that I would not normally buy because of their price.

I opened a good bottle of wine for dinner (Portteus, Rattlesnake Red). I visited their winery last summer, but the choices were too dear for me to buy. Most of their bottles were in the $40-50 range, their cheapest were in the mid to high twenties. I love good wine, but I am also a big fan of money.

I rented Tropic Thunder and Wall-E, Tropic Thunder is good. Cora's Pizza was EXCELLENT! And the WINE was FINE! I'll keep you posted on the other movie. I hope everyone has a good weekend!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I See Children

You know, this is the third day I have not subbed...ouch. However, tomorrow I sub at the HS! I know because the kids told me I would. No, not the imaginary kids in my head, the real ones, who seem to take extreme advantage of my good nature. I was at the HS again doing the electrician's job in the gym. The kids in PE kept runing by and saying, "Hey, Mr. H, see ya tomorrow!" "You'll be in MY class tomorrow!"

So, now the kids are as well informed as I am...obviously the teacher has told them, but it is interesting that they listened and stored that little piece of information away AND were capable of retrieving it.

Ah, HS Science tomorrow...freshmen. Smartass freshmen...good thing I am just as much of a smartass...it is a good defense!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Disappointment Haunted all of My Dreams...

Day two, no sub jobs. Stupid schools and conferences. I did work today, just in the maintenance department. It was a good day. I am tired. I helped the electrician replace many florescent light ballasts at the HS. I then used my metal detector to find the cap to some 20,000 gallon fuel tank that they plan to dig up, but did not know exactly where it was (It was more luck than metal detector finesse). And then I mowed a lawn.

I got home and was pooped. Dinner? I opened the fridge and let Cora choose her own leftover. I had carrots and dip. Also, I was suddenly and inexplicably cold. The temperature in the house was soon set at 75 and still, under a blanket I was chilled.

I finally got warmed up and felt like a little more to eat. I mixed up some asian style mustard, poured some sesame seeds, and sliced up some barbequed pork. We both had a drink and we were getting comfortable for the night watching TV and surfing the blogs. Then it happened.

Our agency director chose that moment to send us an e-mail.

Not just any e-mail.

A disappointing e-mail. Seems like we don't get any other.

Oh, and let me just state, there are only about four families waiting on Burundi. Obviously making a personal phone call was out of the question, due to the logistics of calling SO many people. (Maybe he was just nervous that difficult questions might be raised...or maybe he has a bad long distance plan. Maybe I should tell him he can call collect... )

And what was this news, you ask? Well, to understand it, you'll need to know this: A week or so ago he announced (via this convenient e-mail thingy) that, in about three weeks, the Bishop from Burundi would be coming to the angency office and he would probably be bringing dossiers! We were both very excited!

Maybe we will become parents afterall!!!?? Maybe we won't be in a nursing home when our kids graduate!! Hurray! A ray of hope!

How cool would it be to spend Christmas in Burundi? We spent a week or so thinking good things. (Yeah, I didn't mention it on the blog, but, I am male and these things need time to ruminate in the back of my brain. I don't need to expain this to other men, they just grunt and get it...[this explanation is for the girls])

OK, the bad news (I am going to use a blogger technique I have seen recently that appears to call attention to each word, therefore making the statement somehow more meaningful, I hope it works, as there seems to be no way for me to communicate my anguish. ): The. Bishop. is. NOT. coming.

Should have known. Disappointment is such a familiar emotion around here in the kid department.

Maybe we should just buy another damn dog.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Mondayday

The Sub Daze came to an end today. I was unable to obtain a sub job for the first time in almost 2 months. I was disappointed, but put the day to good use. I am still waiting for one for tomorrow. Cora reminded me that this is conference week at several of the schools and subs are unlikely to be needed for that...SIGH.

I cleaned at the house, premade dinner, did dishes and laundry, and finished some of the outside work. I mowed for the last time and put additive in the mower gas tank...I will be damned if this one finds the same fate of the last one. I also cleaned out some of the dead plants from the pots out front. I should have done more.

I went to town. I fueled my truck and did some running around. I also stopped at a hobby store and bought some "trusses." you know, the latice-like costruction on bridges? Well, this stuff is only an eighth of an inch wide and about 4 inches long and made of styrene. See, I have been having visions of my next spaceship...

I talked to my sister for awhile and got some ideas for Christmas. I also discovered tht they are REALLY into Geocaching. Sounds like my brother-in-law has now got three geocaches to his name, that is, ones he has set up for other people to find. I also found that my niece and nephews are geniuses, of course, I knew that already. My niece is four and is reading words...well ahead of others her age. My nephew is only three and seems to be into taking things apart and figuring out how they work. Geniuses, I tell you!

Oh, and surprise, I actually found these rectangular things called drawers that Cora has been talking about...apparently you can put clean clothes in them. I tried it out...they work well for that. The problem is that the coffee table continues to acquire new clean clothes. I had it almost cleared off for a time today, but I folded more clean clothes and it is now covered.

Oh, and I am watching "The Big Bang Theory" tv show for the first time...that is a fricking funny show! They talk about Star Trek the way my friends and I used to real nerds do. They also argue over technical items like transporters that my friends and I would I never would. Still, even though they are nothing like me, it is fun to watch.

Oh,and I made a good and healthy snack today...which could be a meal.

*Take the remainder of a tri-tip roast like they sell at Costco (pre-seasoned) cut it into 1/2 inch cubes.

*Take onion (as much as there is tri-tip) and cut into similar sized pieces.

*Dice up a few (2 or 3) garlic cloves.

*Sautee in tablespoon of olive oil and a tablespoon of Bacon grease until onion is translucent, then add as much fresh spinach as seems suitable (1 1/2 cups to start) then cook till it is wilted.

*Serve, add a dash of salt and as much feta cheese as you like.

YUMMY!!!!!!!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

It Must Be Kittens!

So, we were sitting watching TV on Thursday night and something strange happened (Us watching TV in itself is not strange, we do that almost every night). I had my laptop on my lap, Cora had hers on hers. We both heard a noise from the TV stand. We glanced over our laptop tops, and at that moment several DVDs fell out of the side door. Cora, without pausing or missing a beat, said, "It must be kittens."

I laughed. who in their right mind expected kittens to be in our TV stand? Well, apparently Cora. Anyway, so we kind of shrugged it off and did not get up to reposition the DVDs or close the door. A few minutes later, there was another noise and we both looked over our laptop tops (OK, I admit it, I like writing "laptop tops") and a couple more DVDs came out and the door opened wider. Cora, again at the top of her game, cried, "It's Kittens, I tell ya! Kittens!" I married a comedian.

Kittens I tell ya!!

Oh, and I hope everyoe will tune in and watch Jeff Dunham's new Christmas special tonight, on Comedy Central!

We began the day with a nutritious brakfast of powdered donettes, coffee, and bacon. I think it is the beginning of good day.

We have some groceries to get, some house cleaning to do, and maybe we will even stop by the pet store to replace our dead fish...oh, by the way, our clown goby disappeared. Should be a good day!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Jeff-fa-fa Dun-ham


So, we went to the Tri-Cities and had dinner at the Bonefish Grill...OOOOOOOOOOOOH MYYYYY GOD!!!!!!!!! It was awesome. The best fish I have ever had...in a restaraunt.

Then we went to the show. Jeff Dunham is simply AWESOME! I strongly recommend watching him in a live show...if you can't do that, then watch him on DVD or watch him on Comedy Central or on You Tube! Awesome. We all had sore cheeks I am sure. I did. Here is a short clip from last night...

This is Peanut, Jeff, and Jose Jalepeno On A Steeeck. Peanut does not understand Jose's accent...


video


Thursday, November 13, 2008

In The Still of The Night...

We will be laughing our asses off! Tomorrow night we will go to see Jeff Dunham! I can't wait; the guy is hilarious! I have seen his show several times on Comedy Central. His dummies are great. I hope to see Walter and Peanut!



Yesterday, I taught some wonderful first graders. Today, I taught HS Home Ecc...and some other stuff...childhood development, HEALTH.

I am lucky I didn't get there earlier, because there was a test on the teacher's desk that they took yesterday on the female anatomy...the majority of the classes were female...yeah, that might have been...uhm... awkward!

The female substitute that was next door was not so lucky! She had to give that same test to her class...heh heh heh!

Oh, and I want to give a shout out to Kim! I love her site and the shirt she showed on her site the other day. She received a mean spirited comment and I just want to show my support! Go Kim!! Have a look at her site!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Space...The Final Frontier...


What began as a silly little enterprise and a bit of a challenge, turned out to be pretty fun and ended up being pretty neat. I mentioned a few posts ago that I had visited a few blogs that detailed how to take everyday items and make them into model spaceships. I thought it would be a fun thing to do. I was right.

I began with a superglue bottle and some styrene. I then glued it together with several different materials. One of those was the plastic string holding my earplugs from work together. Other things were the brass thingies from a Home Depot lock keying set and the thingy that reacts with the peroxide in my contact case.

Finally, last night, I got around to painting it. I think it turned out pretty cool.
Stupid blogger turned it vertical...stupid blogger. On the other hand, please imagine that the hand in the next photo is invisible...

Now, imagine flame shooting out of the ass-end of tht thing! Awesome, huh?

Not bad for my first time, I think. What do you folks think?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

300th and 11th


Ninety years ago in the cold days of November, a great war was winding down. It was signed into stillness in a railcar. It was the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 18th year of the new century. Since 1938, it has been celebrated as an official holiday. Given the large number of men and women who have fallen in the service of the United States, I think it a necessary, if small, gesture to remember them on one day a year.

Today is Veterans’ Day. Today is also the day of my 300th post. I humbly dedicate it to those men and women who have served or died in the service of this great country. Thank you all.

I have known many veterans. My grandfather served in Korea. My great uncle also served in Korea. Another Great Uncle (the exact relation is probably unimportant) was a B-17 pilot in WWII, and was shot down and captured on his first mission. My wife’s Grandfather served in World War II. I know of at least a few of my parents’ cousins who served in Vietnam. I personally have a cousin who served in Iraq during the first Gulf War. I have known many acquaintances who have served in several conflicts and still others who simply served. I worked with one guy who had been in Iraq shortly after we returned there for Saddam. There was another who served aboard the USS Coral Sea in the 1970s. Another who was a Sea Bee. And still another who served aboard the USS Missouri.

And then there are the few men I have met in passing. One gentleman was aboard the USS Enterprise CV-6 in WWII as a Radar Operator. He remembered the fmed fighter pilot Butch O’hare. I met a man who had been on the Destroyer Preston, sunk in the Second Naval Battle of Guadalcanal. He remembered the natives rescuing him and crewmates from the waters of Iron Bottom Sound. He also seemed surprised that I was familiar with the battle and his ship. I was simply honored to have a few moments with him. There was another who was aboard the USS Colorado. And one who was aboard the USS Arkansas. I have met men who served in other wars. One was in tanks in Vietnam. He remembered the M-551 Sheridan with fondness. Others have served in aircraft. Two gentlemen I spent an hour with in the cockpit of a EC-121 waiting for a rain storm to fade. They each remembered different phases of the Vietnam Air War from respective tours. I have been honored to share the presence of many servicemen, I hope to continue. I am thankful for them all.

I did not have to work today, on the down side, I do not get paid for it either. I began the day by waking to my lovely wife bringing me coffee. I took her some coffee at work in return and did a little grocery shopping. I am now home with the intention of doing some of the housework we seem inclined to sometimes ignore always ignore.

We have not had steaks for awhile, so I got some. They are presently marinating. I look forward to putting them over some hot coals this evening and using some wine to wash them down. A monumental salad seems to also be in order.

So, here’s to you and your Veterans! May we always be free to celebrate this day!!! Happy Veterans’ Day!! And Happy 300th Post.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Scrubbed, Miffed, and Torqued

I am a bit miffed. I was Screwed out of three days work. The teacher called last night, and when she found I was busy today, she asked me if I would take her class for the next three days (Wednesday thru Friday) and I said yes.

This morning the secretary asked me if I could do those days. Yes, I would be happy to. She added that it was because I was familiar with the sixth grade reading curriculum. I went through my day and, as I headed out, I stopped at the office to verify those days. The secretary said it was all set up and handed me my confirmation numbers. I walked out happy that I would not have to search for jobs tomorrow!

I was home no more than ten minutes, just long enough to confirm that I had those days on the computer. The phone rang. It was the principal. (This is the same one I mentioned months ago, who called me "maintenance guy" and the other sub "lawnmower guy." This principal is not my favorite) He said, the "Guest Teacher,(Just call him a sub, that's what we are!)" they had today said he was available for the rest of the week and "they" (I suspect "they" is the "Principal.") had sort of told him he could work it, and the principal did not think it was right to go back on what "they" had told him... I should have said it, but did not think to, "what about the fact that the teacher asked for me and promised me???" But, no, I was respectful and polite and explained that I understood...I should have told him: "NO!!!! ITS MY JOB!!! YOU ASSHOLE!! I WANT IT!! I WANT IT!!! I WANT IT!!!! I LIKE THE SIXTH GRADERS!!!" Its not fair.

Oh, well, I already have a job for Friday. Hopefully I can pick up a couple more.

I came home and began making Split-Pea Soup. Cora has a recipe, but our Ham was bad, so I used bacon...turned out pretty good.

Oh, and did I mention? We are going to go see Jeff Dunham on Friday night!!!

I know it is a long video, but watch a couple minutes of it anyway...He's hilarious!



I am a big Jeff Dunhm fan...well, I like watching his videos on Comedy Central! It will be tons of fun!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

The Animals




I think I mentioned in a post a few weeks ago that my sister and I have been trading these animals back and forth for years. It is a practice that continues to this day.


It started when I won these stuffed animals at the fair in the 7th grade. I grew out of them and assumed my sister would like them and I hate to throw things away. Astonishingly, she did not want them and threw them back in my room. I threw them back in hers when I found them. It continued, each time we grew a little more creative and began hiding them in sneakier places. Finally, I moved out and found them in my place while at college.

One time I sent them to my aunt in Colorado for my sister to find waiting for her at her birthday dinner. She retaliated. Eventually, Cora got into the gig, as has Scott, my brother-in-law. My sister gave them to us on a plane to Florida shortly after our wedding. They found their way into my sister's basement when she had an open house. They made their journey California. They made a few trips back and forth from there, actually.


This is the latest incarnation. A couple weeks ago I was searching for my coffee cup, which had ome up missing. I finally found it under the seat in Cora's car...but there was something fluffy next to it...turned out to be one of THE ANIMALS! So, it has been hard keeping it quiet the past few weeks, because I wanted her to think I had not gotten them. That way I could unleash this series of photos on her, when she was least expecting it.

This is what she will find today when she gets to the end of her treasure hunt:










Look how surprise Cora is!







We took photos on the way down...



this is my sister's mailbox...

this is her house...


Now the question remains...where are they?