Saturday, September 26, 2009

Up, Up and Away...

In my beautiful, my beautiful Balloooooooooooooon....
Prosser, Washington. September 26, 2009.
Colors at sunrise.

Cora and I went down to see the balloons. It was amazing! The balloons filled rapidly and floated away in such a short mount of time! I was completely surprised at how quickly they got airborne!

We met my Sister and her family, minus my brother-in-law, Scott (someone was too tired to get up and join the rest of us in the pre-dawn darkness, but we won't go into that :-) ).
I think I got some pretty good pictures! It was easy to get good pictures with all the colors and shapes.

below is my niece and one of my nephews watching the balloons.
My sister and my newest nephew, David! I was glad we got the chance to see them! It was great watching the kids' expressions!
We went to my sister's house and could see the balloons from a is one of my nephews watching...

Friday, September 25, 2009

Bird Flu...Floo...Flew

A personal experience with the downside of having a dog door:

I had just taken a shower. I had toweled off and gotten dressed. I picked up my coffee cup to go into the living room. To do this I would have to walk down the hallway. Just as I turned toward the hall, my vision not quite focused, something brown/gray seemed to hover passed at about eye level and disappeared out of sight. I blinked, certain I was seeing things. Then a black and white cat and a brown and white dog followed closely behind.

I followed both of them into the sewing room. The cat was in search mode. The dog, too, was intent on looking for something. I decided there must be a bird in there...why it took so long for my shower fogged mind to come to that conclusion is beyond me. I shooed the cat out, and kept the dog. Finally, after slowly venturing around the room, the dog shoving his nose into corners, something moved in the window...amongst the plants (Read two small cacti and two dead things that once were green). I didn't jump too high. Really. I shooed the dog out. I closed the door and took a step toward the bird...but the door opened again and Toby's nose poked in again. So I shooed him back out, and argued with the door for a minute. It still didn't latch, but Toby had given up his efforts to assist in the coming capture.
I began to step toward the bird, it sat watching me. I reached out my hand slowly and it flew across the room. I did that twice before I was able to grab it. I didn't have the presence of mind to take pictures until I got out in the living room. Shortly after these photos, I released him/her into the wild. He flew off. I hope he makes it.
I believe Sully was a little sulky after I stole his thunder...err, bird.

This is him last night, eying the bird feeders...and occasionally the birds. Hmm, it occurs to me that perhaps "Bird Feeder" has more than one meaning. Sully seems to have taken it differently than intended.
I may have inadvertently caused this little fiasco in the making. I am just glad it didn't happen when we were out of the house...can you imagine the horror?

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Mismatched Thursday

This morning I watched the news and noticed that they were not showing video that matched the story. They were talking about a mental hospital/asylum, and showed images of kids walking out of what appeared to be a local I thought I would experiment with it today in my blog. I wonder if you will notice whether the pictures match the blog material today. Will you prove that you don't actually read this blog by commenting on a photo that doesn't match? We'll see.
I guess it is a similar tactic to answering questions you don't like. I have at times done the same thing. I have answered different questions than were asked. Especially in a few of my History classes, on tests. If you can baffle the professor with a torrent of information, there is a chance that they will forget the answer they are looking for in the deluge of pointless and mismatched information you are throwing at them.
I was sitting here at the computer this morning watching for a job. I was getting fairly discouraged, since it was drawing nearer 6:30am. All of a sudden the phone rang. I got a job. I was ecstatic!
I taught first grade. I enjoyed it. They were...energetic. I did have one little boy tell me he wished I was his dad. I was a little taken aback. I said, "Why?" He said "'cause you have those cool glasses and you have a beard!" Oh, ok...that makes a little sense...or is that a little less sense? I decided to take it as a complement. He's a good kid who sometimes has difficulties controlling his actions...did I say sometimes? Still, he is one of the kids I look for in that school, and he brings a smile to my face with his unconditional devotion and determination to saying "Hi!" to Mr. H.
When I got home I sat in the back yard. I put bird seed in some of the little shallow bird feeder thingies I have on the fence and was greeted with the flutter of little wings. Amazing the number of birds in the back yard! They showed little fear of me!
And finally, Cora made her wonderful pork chops with quinoa! AWESOME!!!!!!!

Now, I sit at the computer waiting.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Sub Work

I have had two days off. Not on purpose. Apparently, some people have not been calling in for subs. Let me just say, I am against teachers going to work sick. I think as soon as they get a sniffle, they should call ME! After all, they could spread things like the swine flu and bird flu...and lion flu...and elephant flu! Oh, teachers! You should call in sick and request me for your sub! The children of the world beg of you! Just as a precaution!!

Monday, after staying up late Sunday night watching for jobs, I got up again at 5am...yes, 5am. And I sat next to the computer watching the sub-site. NOTHING! Again on Monday night and Tuesday morning...NOTHING! OK, People! You have to be sick or something!

On the bright side, I got shit done around the house.

Today, I worked. For a very short time, I worked. I found a half-day. And, by gawd, I took it! I don't usually take 1/2 days...but given the previous two days, I took it. I had three classes, of which, only two could have realistically been called classes. Still, I got paid for it. I got home a little after 11am. It made the day last forEVER!!!

I began signing up with another district, since sub-jobs are coming slow. Turns out it's been over two years since I last had my fingerprints taken by the state for education...we don't include the innumerable times I have had my prints taken for the adoption...apparently being o.k.'d by the FBI, CIA, State Police, county sheriff, and city police for adopting a child from another country doesn't work for the department of education. They need a special type of finger print! I suppose I shouldn't be all down on it, since it IS looking out for our children...and someday I might have a child to worry about. Still, did you know the price for renewing your prints with the Dept. of Ed is something along the lines of $75???? That's almost 3/4 of a day for me! I am running out of money, that's why I want to work for a different school district! Come on!

So, apart from that, there isn't much going on, except the Bishop appears to be coming to the which time our documents will take longer to go through...figures. If he could just bring BB with him, I think I could handle all the other crap! (He's little, he wouldn't take up much space!)

Saturday, September 19, 2009

ME-109 and More!!!

Today was awesome!! For more of a narrative have a look here a little later:

Goin' To A Museum!!

Most of you know that nothing makes me happier than a museum...ummm, errr, except my wonderful, lovely wife, who lets me go to museums. Well, today Cora has bowed to my whimpering and whining. We are going to go to Everett, Washington, to the Flying Heritage Collection to be there for their last fly day of the season. They fly aircraft in their collection every so often, to keep pilots current and to use the machines (keep 'em lubricated, etc.). They do this throughout the summer. I have never been, so when I discovered they would be flying an Me-109 and firing a German Flak gun...well, I had to go see for myself.

The Boeing Restoration Center is there, too, as is the Stormbirds Project hangar. I my also be able to see one of the Guppy-fied 747s that Boeing is using for their new 787! You can see some more views of Paine Field Boeing plant here, this gentleman runs a neat site.

So, I go armed with a camera and an aviation enthusiast's silly grin! Cora tags along because I told her she could stop at a store...silly girl, the only store she will see is the gift shop at the museum!!! Wah-ha-ha-ha-haaaa! My evil schemes are so fun!

Well, we might stop at a few of her stores on the way back...

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Rabid Closet Mamba Attacks Teacher!

So, yesterday, I was getting ready for work. I was all ready, just had to pull up my britches and that's when I straightened up...and died. Well, I really just burst into an intensely burning ball of pure pain. Oxygen left the room and my lungs cried in vain. My spine cracked and my innards cringed. An anguished yell escaped my lips a microsecond before all my airways stopped functioning. I fell back on the bed twitching like a freshly caught fish that no one has had the chance to conk on the head. I finally managed to roll over on my stomach, where I suddenly noticed that flames were no longer coursing through my lungs.

Cora, my beloved wife, saw the whole thing. She can describe how the rabid mamba snake came out of the closet wrapped itself round me and bit me on my ribcage. It squeezed me really hard, and looked at Cora and smiled before it fled through the window. It was an awful site, she may need counselling.

We decided to lie to everyone, so the population doesn't get up in arms and there aren't any riots in the streets against the new found Rabid/Closet Mamba Snakes to take the government's attention off more important matters. Besides, even though I missed a day of work, I lived.

The following is our cover story: I pulled up my pants and threw out my back. I finally found a position in which I could breathe without fullfledged stabbing pain, and then crawled into the livingroom in a strange hunched waddle, where I called the chiropractor. Cora was calling her work to tell them she would be late. I went to the chiropractor and felt considerably better.

The result was I stayed home and did nothing but apply ice, heat, and stretch. I also looked for pain relievers and stuff...which I found, though in far from copious supply. I managed to combat the pain and lie very still. Overall, it was a day of extreme pain. I did, however, survive.

Tomorrow I go out hunting for that damned Mamba!

Monday, September 14, 2009

It's Been Nine Years!

On September 7, 2000, I was working at a place that manufactured wood moulding. I was working down stairs near the Hawg, a mchine that chewed up waste pieces of wood and made it into wood chips. There was a shaking tray that sensed metal. When metal hit that tray the thing would shut down. As far as I know, everyone who worked there knew how to restart the Hawg.

That night the Hawg shut down. I noticed Francis standing next to it. I inquired in normal male lingo as to why he hadn't restarted it. I went and restarted it and came back to BS with Francis, who was somewhat slower than most. His job was a simple one: use an air hose, with a small pipe on the end, called an air wand, to blow saw dust off the lot. I completed the normal male ritual of trading combined good natured insults and bluster and went to go back to work. He called my name. I turned back to see what he wanted. My position was wrong. I was too close, for he held at arm's length the metal air wand, apparently preparing to blow air in my face. The tip of the wand scrped across my eye and eye lid, knocking out my contact and causing more than a little pain.

I dropped to my knees, throwing my gloves off and searching, vainly for the lost contact. I brought my hand dumbly up to my eye and wiped it, only to find blood and tears. I went to the bathroom to inspect the wound. A scrape to my eye. I went upstairs to the bosses. I explained what had happened and that I needed to go home for my glasses. They took a look at me and told me I needed to go to the emergency room. One of them left the room. When he came back Francis had been let go (he wasn't particularly sharp and had made numerous mistakes before this. I think they were waiting for a good reason to be rid of him, too bad it took him poking me in the eye to do it.).

I ended up going to the emergency room with Cora driving, and they said I had a corneal brasion...scratched eye. That was on a Thursday night. I ended up taking the next day off. I began to experience horrible headaches. When I returned to work, I was there for two hours and the movement of my head caused me so much pain, I had to go home. I finally arranged to have the doctor refer me to an eye doctor on the advice of my aunt, a nurse.

I walked into the eye doctor's office at 8AM, a week after my initial injury. He dilated my eye and told me he thought I had a detached retina. I might need to have surgery..."yeah, right," I thought. I called Cora from the Dr. and as I was doing tht the secretary was calling the specialist in the Tri-Cities. She looked up at me and my coffee, of which I had had only a few sips. She took my coffee. "Just in case," I DID go in for surgery.

So, despite my assurances that I would be fine, Cora insisted on taking me down for my exam. We arrived for my emergency exam appointment at 11:30AM. Dr. Sung looked at my eye. He used a sonogram tool thingy. Said, yes, that's a detached retina. You'll be going in for surgery.


That was September 14. At 3:14PM, I was wheeled past the clock. Introduced to my anestesiologist, whose name I have no recollection of, and asked to count backward from one hundred. I reached 98.

That night, I awoke with the intense impression that, somehow, several fishhooks had been embedded in my eyelids. I was instructed to keep my face pointing down because an air bubble had been injected into my eye. There to keep pressure on the newly mended tear. If it were to be anywhere else, other than the back of my eye, I would likely get a cataract. I would have to spend two or three weeks with my face down. I could go on, but the important part has been covered: that surgery on the 14th of September.

On the bright side, my vision has returned to it's former glory, albeit, after correction.

On another note, our phones should have internet on them today!!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Toby, Via Phone

I am forever amused by my Jack Russell Terror. I took him shooting yesterday and he made friends with some wonderful people from Enumclaw...who came to the valley for fruit, and to shoot. They were amazed to see him rocket up the hill about 1/4 mile and then come back and then do it again. They were pleasantly surprised to see him drink out of my water bottle...relatively efficiently, I might add.

Cora bought a pillow for BB's room. We moved a small bed into his room and we were looking through some of the things we may want to tke with us to Burundi, when Toby wandered in. He quickly determined the most comfortable spot in the room, and lay there. We found him too cute to move. It takes a lot of energy to charm strangers.
I eventually covered him with my shirt...he is not spoiled in the least. I took these with my phone.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Teeth Cleaning 101

OK, some things to clear up before hand: 1. I am NOT a dental hygienist. 2. I do NOT know what actually goes on at dental hygienist school (They DO have a school, right?). 3. These are merely suspicions that I am voicing, if they are wrong, please don't bother to correct me: if I don't care enough to Google it, I probably won't bother to put much effort into reading your comment. That said, let me get to today's post.

I went to have my teeth cleaned today. I don't enjoy it, but it needs to be done. I often have a problem remembering...unless a tooth is killing appointment. To prove this, I missed the appointment I had last week. I called and rescheduled. I went in today. I did not see the hygienist I normally see. This was a new one, but she left me wondering about a few things.

1. What is the percentage of patrons that return to a hygienist that gives them lectures about tooth care? I am betting not high. I know I have poor hygiene, why do you think I am having you clean my teeth? OK, not the best argument. I have poor eating habits, poor drinking habits, poor driving habits...and there are many more habits I have that are poor..., yet, a guilt trip never fixed those. I don't need a guilt trip and I don't need lectures. Did they teach you to do that in school? Probably not, huh? you came up with that one yourself, didn'tcha? I will be returning to my normal hygienist, thanks.

2. (I've mentioned this before, I know) What makes you think I want to talk? I think it is bad enough that the person that cuts my hair wants to talk about everything. Is it REALLY SOOOO rude if I just want to sit quietly and let you do your job in silence?* Did they tell you to talk incessantly during the cleaning in school? You DO realize it is difficult to give more than 'yes' or 'no' answers when someone has sharp tools digging in your mouth, don't you? You DO get cleanings of your own, right? Haven't you noticed that? OR MAYBEEEEE, your hygienist doesn't ask you stupid questions! Here's an idea: If you HAVE to have an answer, just make the question answerable via sign language! Oh, and keep in mind I only know curse words in sign language!

* Is it REALLY silence if you have a radio station different from the rest of the dentist's office playing? And the humming! Do you realize that humming is bad enough when you do it in tune, but, you took it over the edge when you managed to screw up the harmonics, tune, AND tempo. Also, your sounded like you were gargling broken glass...well, sand.

3. Leave the billing questions to the billing ladies. I will take my insurance card, which seldom sees the light of day, out when they need it. Do NOT expect me to remember all the details on it...that's why I have a card! "Is this still your insurance?" I don't know! It's on the card! Our insurance has changed several times over the years. I gave up trying to keep up with unimportant, seldom used crap like that years ago...I have that information on a card somewhere, dammit!

4. Those sharp metal thingies...didn't they use to tell me not to put sharp metal objects in my mouth? Ok, Mom told me not to do it...but, you know what I mean. Still, are you sure you should be doing it? Fine, maybe they teach that at your "SCHOOL." But do you have to make it feel as though you are prying my bottom front teeth out with an ice pick? I am definitely NOT enjoying THAT!

5. This last one is for dentists in general: that suctiony tubey thingy. Do you ever change it? I know you have extras in your drawer (I was nosey when you left), but I have never seen you put a new one on...and it seems to have old tooth marks on it...are you re-using sucker tubes? I think I would be more comfortable if you took one out of your drawer when I walk in and put it on the sucker-hose. It could be a dirty one, but at least you would put my fears to's all about how you sell your product: in this case, it's hygiene.

So, yeah, the only reason I return...well, it's because all the other ladies are so nice.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

She'll Be Coming Around The Bend...

So, Cora and I thought it would be fun to go to the outlet stores at North Bend and do a little necessary shopping. We went around the house getting ready. This seems to be something the dogs recognize as a change from normal, because Gypsy walked out the front door and jumped in the car.

She does not normally do this willingly. In fact, she often plays dumb when I want her to get in a vehicle. She walks around the vehicle asking me with her eyes, "What are you trying to say to me? I hear words, but they are unclear. Do you want me to stand UNDER the tail gate and wag my tail? Perhaps you would like me to walk all the way around the vehicle? No? Hmmm, let me lay here and consider what you have said with your words and your waving hands. Seriously, you should stop waving your hands at the truck. Why are you pulling your hair out? Are you cursing at me?"

So, when she willingly got into the car, we both chuckled and thought it was funny. Cora went to coax her out of the passenger seat, so she moved to the driver's seat. Here you can see her, plainly ignoring us and ready to begin the drive.
We finally got her out of the car and got on the road. It was sunny, as you can see from the photo above. When we got on the pass, however, the clouds moved in and the rain came. It was with seriously impaired vision that we rocketed down the other side of the pass. And yet, the camera seemed to see more clearly than we could!
We got to North Bend and the outlet stores. We did our shopping (a few Christmas gifts for a certain niece and some nephews, who shall remain nameless) and in general had a great time. I even got a couple pairs of jeans.

I think Cora mentioned it once, but most people don't know that I asked Cora to marry me at Snoqualmie Falls about 11 1/2 years ago. It was actully in front of this tree that I asked her. It was smaller then. And moments later, a hummingbird hovered inches from this branch. There was nothing there for a least not to our knowledge. It hovered there for what may have been minutes, but was probably only 10 or 20 seconds. We took that as a good omen.
I don't usually hold omens in high reguard, but I have been wrong before. Our marriage has been going strong for almost 10 years. I have put on a few pounds and discovered how to grow facial hair, but, as far as I can tell, Cora has remained the same beautiful, intelligent, caring individual that I asked to marry me eleven years ago. Hummingbirds, though perhaps not capable of remembering the words, do hve good judgement.
Here is a picture of the waterfall.
Here is Cora getting into the car with a smile after I asked her to say "queso." (She likes cheese)
We drove through the torrential rains and made it home high and dry. Below, you can see the sun coming out from behind the clouds as we dropped down into Selah. We came home and it was all DRY!
So, there you have it, proof for those of you who think ALL of Washington is ain't...just that tiny, insignificant part of the state we all the "West Side." OK, maybe it isn't insignificant...most of the population seems of live there. Still, everyone seems to forget about us folk who live in the deserts of Washington.

Saturday, September 5, 2009


I have not posted much lately. I guess I have just been lazy. Well, we DID get our phones, and at least one evening was spent tying to get them to cooperate with us. I finally figured out how to connect it to the computer. I can now transfer files from the phone to my computer and back again. HURRAY!

When I went in and picked them up on Wednesday, they told me I could not get the data plan. Well, not until the end of the billing cycle. Otherwise we would get charged for the entire month of data usage...they don't pro-rate...which totally sucks. So, we are stuck with hones that are just phones...well, not really, our phones are also video cameras, still cameras, PDAs, and hand held gaming devices. On a really bad day, they could even substitute as a throwing weapon...

I promised the boss I would work the first week of school for him in maintenance. I did not expect any teachers to be sick the first week of school...boy was I wrong. I got requested to work the entire week by one teacher. I think there was a death in the family and I felt bad that I could not help. Oh, well, in the long run, at least I am working!

We got some news on the adoption...mostly good, in that it is progressing, but no specific time table, which is not good.

Today we are just sort of relaxing. I think we'll go into town today and probably go to North Bend to get me some new clothes for teaching sometime this weekend.