Saturday, November 28, 2009

Tin Man and Her Sickness

So, Cora has been sick. She lost her voice. She managed to find a little of it tonight. Have a listen!

Cute, huh?

Saturday Sitting

Thanksgiving was a success. Everyone was fed and no one got food poisoning (Because I wasn't involved in the food prep). below are a few pictures.
Above we see Scott performing resuscitation and last rights to my beloved Toshi. Note the 2X4 holding it together? also note the bottom corner opposite: the plastic just came off!
Above you can see how good of a kid dog Gypsy is...she came over and sprawled out next to Emma. When Eli came over and lay down next to her, she was in kid heaven!

Below is my kid sister and me. Note how slim she is and how I have filled out... I don't see any resemblance.
Below Cora is setting out her home-made rolls...err, what's that? The bag? Oh, well, she always puts UPC labels and plastic bags on everything she makes...yeah, that's it.
I did help...a little.
Below are the kids, with Gypsy looking on, apparently bored.
my other nephew, David, who seems to shun cameras was taking a nap...he is as charming as ever...unless Uncle Jim has squeezed him too tight or scared him...

I think everyone had fun! Cora seemed to have overdone it and felt worse the next day.

And Friday we relaxed. Lots of sitting, some laying, small, small amounts of standing, and lots of snacking. Thats what we did Yesterday...Well, Cora did not do as much snacking as I did. In all it was a very good day. I spent a lot of time moving things into my new computer.

My new computer is like a rocket ship compared to my old computer. I discovered this morning that you can play music in the background while working on something else, like the internet. That is just crazy! If I wanted to listen to music on the old one, I had to turn everything else off, and even then the sound would skip or stop for a second. So, most of the time, I didn't. If I watched You-Tube I turned the sound off. Now, I suffer no such things! I shall endeavor to keep my spy-ware killers up to date and the anti-virus software smoking hot on this one!

We have had some minor changes in our fish tanks lately. I have mentioned a few. We moved Marvin our Maroon clown from his large 30 gallon FOWLR(Fish Only With Live-Rock) tank to our 16 gallon reef. Most of the books say a Maroon needs at least a 30 gallon, but Marvin seems quite content, and even happier in this new tank. The skunk clown we have in there, Flower, is much smaller than Marvin, but took no time establishing his ownership of the tank. Now, their relationship seems to be one of friendship. This morning I saw Marvin taking a length of macro algae from the corner he has been given and pulling it out to the front of the tank. I think it was his way of telling me I should clean some of it I did.
So, here are a few pictures I took of our tank yesterday. I think I did pretty good.

Today, Cora felt particularly bad and finally decided to go see the Doctor. She has Bronchitis...a precursor to pneumonia in Cora's case...last time she let it go too far and caught pneumonia. This time she realized what was going on and now she is on some anti-biotics. That should help. I made her turkey soup and she is resting under a blanket and my watchful eye.

She has lost her voice again. I usually joke about how quiet it is when she loses her voice, but I really hope she begins to feel better.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Early Morning Hostilities

The house slept in the wee hours of the morning. My cell phone's alarm went off at 3:30AM and I awoke drowsily from my slumber. I pried myself from the bed and clumped into the living room dragging my clothes with me. I splashed my face with cold water and put my contacts on. I grabbed the adds and stumbled out the door, most of my body still clinging hopelessly to sleep.

I slowly began to awaken in the car and the coffee I bought helped, even though it cost me three minutes. I arrived at Wally-World and began my trek to find the computer that I wanted. I found the line. I asked is this the line for the laptop? The checker said yes. The cheap one? She said yes. So, I wandered to the back of the line. There I quickly finished my coffee and made friends with my line mates. I discovered that there were 54 laptops available. My number in line was 47.

The hour passed slowly. Broken only by accusations of someone cutting in line or someone not in line grabbing a laptop. Don't get between women and a good deal!

Wal-mart employees told us the plan was to give us a ticket, we would buy it and then drive around to the back with the receipt to get our laptop...that sounded like a bad idea to me, but ok. A few minutes later it changed to going to the back of the store with the receipt to obtain our laptop...I managed to do it, but others had been sent to the rear of the store to buy theirs...At 5:27 AM I was hurrying out the doors and to the car with my new laptop in my hands...

This is my first post from my new computer, a shining sport scar compared to the rickety horse-drawn wagon I previously used. I will begin the process of removing necessary data from it and it will remain in storage until its utility is exhausted.

For now, the future looks bright. I have my early Christmas and Birthday gift on my lap and it has a working A key!!!!!!! Let the holidays begin!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

This will be short, as I am exhaustipated.

We had my family over for the big T-day and the food was excellent. We made too much (That should read Cora made too much, but occasionally I carried something to the table or handed her a utensil, so I am totally taking some credit!). We are both stuffed and tired. My niece and nephews were all over the house. Never in one spot for more than a few seconds. It was great catching up with my Sister and Bro-in-Law. The latter took my computer and proceeded to administer last rights. He did mange to dig some malware off that my usual program was apparently overlooking. That's why he is a genius! It is acting better, but I am still going to attempt to take advantage of the Black Friday deals and get something better. Actually, his ministrations may make it possible for me to get stuff off this computer that previously was not possible!

My computer currently operates with 512MB memory(RAM) and 40GB of hard drive. The ones that are bottom wrung out there today have 3GB memory (RAM) and between 160 and 250GB of hard drive! Their processors doubtlessly make mine look like a chariot does next to a jet fighter. I thought about netbook, but I want the capability of running CDs, DVDs and burning the same. I hope I can get lucky!

Since this is Thanksgiving, and I rarely say so specifically, I am thankful that I have such a great family, so many great friends, and such a wonderful wife! Thanks you folks for following my blog and being a part of my life!

OK, that's enough mushiness. Go eat some leftovers!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Weekend Work

We worked on the house this weekend! There was some fun, too, though. We cleaned the house but we also watched some movies. Starting Friday, we went to New Moon. Saturday, while we were cleaning we watched a few movies, too. We watched Star Trek, the new movie, for the second time in a week. We also watched some other movies, but the main thing is, I think the new Star Trek has taken its place amongst its brethren.

The house is almost there. I think we will be ready for Thanksgiving Day and a whole mess of family. Cora did some cooking and food prep and I helped. We cleaned at the house, floors and more.

I rearranged one of the fish tanks a bit, in hopes of getting the smaller Skunk Clown to stop picking on my Maroon Clown. Most sources say that Maroons are pretty plucky, but mine must be a pacifist.

I managed to contact the son of a pilot that died in an aircraft crash. I am hoping to get more information from this man concerning his father. His father was a highly decorated pilot in Vietnam. I hope to write the article in the coming weeks.

I work in EV twice this week. I am looking forward to it! Hopefully, I can pick up another job this week.

Gypsy began limping around on Saturday morning. She won't put weight on her right back leg. She did not move much Saturday, but Sunday she began to move around a bit more. Still, Cora plans to take her in to the vet to figure out what's wrong. We all hope it will be something simple (and let me honest, CHEAP).

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Animal Kingdom

I took a few pictures these past few days. Our animals rule the house. I thought I'd try to show how "in-your-face" they get.

Due to the fact that our camera is less than a photographer' dream, they may be a bit grainy, however, I believe it possible to make do. Weston made wonderful shots with what he had. Ansel Adams...well, he had a pretty good camera, we'll just ignore him, shall we? How about the guy who made those wonderful shots during the Spanish Civil War? So, really, it doesn't matter what camera you have, it's how you use it.
Our animals have a lot of personality. Above, you can see Toby very interested to have me refill his food dish. They cat had a similar task in mind. Below is Gypsy, and she was more intent in playing.

Today, for some reason, Gypsy came in with a sore leg. We have been giving her aspirin since. There appears to be nothing in her foot, and a careful examination of her leg showed no tender spots and nothing obviously out of place. She just won't use her right rear leg. We are both a little worried about our girl's discomfort. If it isn't better by Monday, we will be forced to take her in and see if the vet can see what's wrong. She hasn't moved much at all today...a worrisome turn of events.

We have been cleaning. The house is well on its way to being ready to welcome visitors. We are looking forward to Thursday!!

So, You're a Werewolf

We went to "New Moon." It was a good movie.

Here are some things that happened and observations I gathered while there:
  • I was recognized by two students standing in the foyer of the theater.
  • They were NOT attending a movie.
  • They, coincidentally, were there for popcorn.
  • And video games.
  • And they were giving their brother some time alone with his girlfriend.
  • In the car in the parking lot.
  • Talking.
  • The two students, 5th and 7th graders, said it was boring in the car, so they came in the theater.
  • for the popcorn and the video games.
  • Cora and I thought the brother and girlfriend might not be talking as much now that the little brother and sister were out of the car.
  • That might have been more interesting to the kids than talking.
  • The theater was packed, except for two seats next to me.
  • There was a lady who decided, at the last moment, to sit down next to me. She was wearing pink jeans and ear muffs (I don't know why/ she was wearing the ear muffs/ I guess she'll die[sorry, I had to throw in the song]).
  • Her boyfriend/husband was wearing a shower cap (NOT kidding! How could I make this shit up?).
  • She did not take the ear muffs off for the entire movie.
  • He didn't take off his shower cap, either.
  • There was an inordinate amount of ooohing and ahhing from the entire crowd (I am speaking of the women) when Jacob took his shirt off (As if a flat stomach and muscular body was attractive) to selflessly wipe a small cut on Bella's head.
  • Someone was humming somewhere in the theater for a good thirty seconds...and Cora didn't hear it.
  • There was a lady behind us somewhere who cackled, giggled, and might as well have wolf-whistled(forgive the pun) whenever Bella and Jake got close or Jake's clothes came off.
  • The young lady RIGHT behind us kept saying "Shut UP!" increasingly louder, but that appeared to have no bearing on the crazy lady's laughing.
  • They still ask you to turn your cell phone OFF during the movie.
  • Every person in the theater had a cell phone.
  • Each of them checked their cell phone at least twice for the time.
  • Most of them have to be ON to tell the time.
  • Ear Muff Lady AND Shower Cap Man, BOTH, had short conversations on their phones DURING the movie.
  • Ear Muff Lady confirmed my suspicions that she might be uncouth, when she produced some very vulgar language during the movie.
  • A girl beside Cora actually brought the book New Moon...I suppose to compare and contrast more readily.
We had a good evening. Now we're going to have a weekend of cleaning and cooking.

Friday, November 20, 2009

New Moon

Do you think it is coincidence that the New Moon movie is out and the real moon can only be seen by the thinnest of crescents (i.e., new moon)?

It probably was not planned, but it is an interesting coincidence that I noticed. After work today, I sped to the cinema and purchased tickets for the new movie, New Moon. Another part of the Twilight series. I have not gotten into the series...for some reason it hasn't grabbed me like the Harry Potter books, nor, long before those, the Pern books, by Anne McCaffery. Still, I don't mind seeing the movies. Cora REALLY wants to see it, so I made my best effort to obtain some tickets. It seems, after the two I bought, the theater was left with only 10 tickets. I'd say I had decent timing. That was before 3pm, too.

So, we will go see that tonight. I don't feel like cleaning...I am tired and I m getting hungry...hope the wife comes home soon.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


YAYYYY!!!!!!!! The fish (Fish, Corals, Cora, and I) will be happy! The ballast for the light in our fish tank came last night! I will install it later today and the corals in our tank will no longer be light starved.

Since the light went out I have been using a hokey little contraption to light the tank. I have been using two florescent reading lamps and our tall lamp. It has worked ok, but the whole thing is ugly.
We got two extra fish, and a third that died upon entry. These were from a good friend whom I work with during the summer. He was taking down a tank and these fish needed a home. The one that died was a lawnmower blenny...for some weird reason, our tanks seem set on NOT housing this fish species. The other two are Ocellaris clown fish, who seem to have moved in and forced my beautiful Maroon Clown into hiding...We are probably going to have to do some fish juggling to make this work. Still, the two new clowns seem to have made the move nicely.

I have been cleaning house when I get home at night. I have shampooed most of the carpet and have a few final touches to make. Now we need to finalize the menu and assign dishes and then we'll be ready for a fun Thanksgiving! I can't wait!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Music Magic

I have, for years, wondered how and why certain music brings back very strong memories. Every once in a while I hear a song and it takes me back to a specific time in my life. I am fairly sure the rest of you experience the same. I am going to list a few songs, no links or anything, so if you haven't heard them, you'll have to do the googling if you're curious.

Whenever I hear "Going Down to Liverpool" and "Hero Takes a Fall" by the Bangles, or any one of several Cyndi Lauper songs, I am taken back to a time in my young life (Circa 1984-1986) when my dad and I would travel from home to Portland taking papers for my Uncle's trucking business down to some place in the ugly part of Portland. I remember we usually left in the early morning hours, 3am or 4am. We would be in Portland by about 7am. We would deliver the papers and then head for home. Often we would stop for breakfast at a McDonalds, before the sun had even risen. A few times we stopped at Multnomah Falls or some other rest stop and went for a short hike. I believe it was on one of these stops that we walked around behind the falls. That was WAY they have it fenced off and impossible for normal people to access. As I got older (read eleven, hey! it was the eighties!), my Dad allowed me to drive. He would get tired, and at the ripe old age of 11, he would have me drive for awhile. Often he would fall asleep and I would drive along on I-84 for 20 or thirty miles without input from the Co-Pilot's seat. That was a source of pride for me...young as I was.

Sometimes, I when hear the Beatles' songs "Glass Onion" or "Savoy Truffle" or "Care Free Highway," and "Sundown," by Gordon Lightfoot I remember listening to the stereo with my mom when I was still an only child. It was probably the summer of 1979, shortly before my lovely sister was born. I remember my mom listened to the radio station and I danced (OK, I was only four!) and she vacuumed or did some sort of housework. I am not sure, but I think I tried to sing them to her. Still, I have strange visualizations of life as an only child when I hear these songs.

When I hear "Love of a Lifetime" or "Oughta be a Law" by Firehouse, or any number of Hair Bands like Mr. Big, or early eighties bands like Journey or Def Leopard, I think of nights I spent driving around with my best friend. Nights spent talking about girls, the meaning or life, and Star Trek ( I may have that in slightly reversed order...). We developed theories about all sorts of things. How do we get the attention of that pretty girl? How do we figure out what it takes to be cool? Why is Worf SO cool? Those were the days with my best friend. I knew they were special, but never knew just HOW special they were. I lost my friend just a few years later.

When I hear certain other songs like "No Rain" by Blind Melon, I think of a trip to the coast I took with my wife for the wedding of my best friend's widow. I remember the rain and the drive. She fell asleep in the passenger seat and we ate at a Greek restaurant in a mall.

There are some Seven Mary Three songs that remind me strongly of college and of my wife's dorm room.

When I hear certain songs by Queens of the Stone Age, or White Stripes, or Modest Mouse, I think of our time in California.

There are many others, but I am sure you get the picture. Perhaps you have your own audio memory reminders. I wonder, do we all? Leave a comment and tell me about yours.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Bouts of Inaction

So, I am going to complain about my computer some more. I have noticed that if I leave Google Chrome or the Email program up when I put it to sleep, when I wake it up again, these programs will freeze on me (didn't use to happen) and then I have to go through a whole rig-a-maroll to get them up and running again. That lost me a couple sub jobs a couple weeks ago. I have since figured out the best thing to do is to close the programs down before I go away for any amount of time (which may make me a better FB friend, since I used to leave the computer open and FB up and people would try to chat with me and think I was just an ass because I wasn't answering).

Still, this new way is not perfect. I have noticed, for instance, that every 20 minutes or so the programs freeze, my connection and everything just stops. I can't stand these bouts of inaction! When I first encountered this I would freak out and restart programs, the computer and interlace the whole affair with all too much cursing and questioning of my computer's bloodline and mother's faithfulness (which is silly, since computers neither have mothers or blood, but not wise to mention when I am mad at my computer, because that is likely to get yourself cursed at and your family lineage questioned). Now I understand that my old computer is dealing with some hidden program, probably my anti-spyware program or my security program, and has forgotten about the very important internet surfing I am doing.

I AM FINISHED COMPLAINING(for now). So, Cora and I decided to have Thanksgiving at our house this year. My sister, Scott, and the kids, and my mom and dad are all invited, as are Cora's mom and dad and any of her sisters who would like to come. It may be a squeeze, but we hope it will be a good Thanksgiving Day. This weekend we are going to concentrate on cleaning. Next weekend, I believe we will begin the cooking. Cora has some very good ideas about how to be prepared and not have to cook all day. I am sure we will have way too much food, but isn't that the entire idea of a feast? I expect we will play the Wii and some board games to ward off the sleepiness that is normally attendant with Turkey Day. I look forward to it!

I am not enjoying the cold weather. until next time...

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veterans' Day

A big Hearty THANKS to those of you who have served in our nation's armed forces! I personally have never been in the armed forces, but I have always been fascinated by the men and machines of the armed forces. I have many veterans in my family. My grandfather was in Korea, s was great uncle. A few of my own uncles have been in the military. I have had cousins in the military and several friends and co-workers. I seek veterans out in public (only those who wear hats upon their heads proclaiming such, i don't just walk up to guys and start asking them bout their military service, I have SOME tact.).

These men, their sacrifices, and their exploits should never be forgotten. That is one of the reasons I run my other blog. When possible, I enjoy a personal anecdote. I have consulted with veterans from WWII, Korea, Vietnam, and the Gulf Wars. I have learned much about the human condition from these men. I remember several of their stories. There was man that was a pilot in an EC-121 Warning Star that drilled holes in the sky just off the cost of North Vietnam while men in the back directed air traffic over that foreign land. I remember the man who rode Sheridan Tanks in Vietnam. I remember the Gulf War veterans I have talked to; the ones who stood in houses guarding the inhabitants while others searched for weapons, the ones who drove trucks, and the ones who flew overhead. I remember the stories I have sought out. I hope you will seek a (willingly given)story from a veteran today, too. Or maybe, just walk up to them and say thanks.

For those of you I have not met, or those I know, but whose stories I have not begged for, thank you. Thank you.

Since today is Veteran's day, I don't have to work...for a school district. I do have to work for the wife. I am folding laundry. Now, the question is, do you see what I see?

Now, don't go looking for clothing types, the point of the picture is looking out from under the clothes.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Bad Beginning?

So, this morning I didn't have to be to work until 8:15am. That's a damn sight better than the 7:15am I did last week. This was in Wapato again, about 12 miles away. I decided I could leave a few minutes before 8AM and be there on time. As I was filling my bag with a few Pepsis and some candy bars the fish tank light started buzzing. I glanced over to find the fish tank dark. The fans were buzzing, but no spark of light at all. I shook it and I tapped it. I turned it on and I turned it off and on again. I plugged it in a different socket. Nothing. It appears to be dead. I put a smaller lamp next to the tank. And the coffee pot was empty. I glanced at the clock and I had to leave.

I got in the truck...8:08am. I jammed my foot on the accelerator and pushed the speed limit, only to follow a slow car, then I was free to speed. Then I got stuck behind a bus. And then another slow car. And this was my first time teaching at this particular school. As if my choices were not bad enough, I turned left when I should have turned right. "Ahhh, the teacher's parking lot is WAAAYYYYYY over therrrre." "Crap, I have to follow three more buses and wait for five different cars." I looked at the time, oh, 8:28m...nice and late. "Good way to make an impression."

I walked in after parking in the student drop off parking lot. It saved five minutes I am guessing. I checked in and she did not have my roster...I had to wait for that. I made it to the classroom and discovered a lady coming out. I inquired as to her nature, wondering if she was the teacher, she was the substitute for Thursday. I was scheduled for today and Friday strangely enough. I get territorial, so I was wondering why she was in my space. She did not know the Teacher had another sub today. And, apparently, there was one there yesterday, too. I thought it did not bode well.

The morning with the kids began well enough, until we got to the math was then that I realized in the intervening years since my last math class, I have forgotten a lot of unimportant things about math. The one that stumped me for awhile was: 5k+2k=42, solve for k. I was totally, like, "WTF?" These are fifth graders! Who would teach them such things!?!?!? This is just asking for Atomic Bomb Science Projects in junior high! I remember the movie "Men in Black," where Will Smith shoots the little girl in the shooting gallery and points out that those physics books are "Way too advanced for a girl her age." After a few attempts I began to remember a few things about algebra, and was able to match my work with the answer sheet. So, except f0r a fair bit of worry at the start, math went well.

I took them to music, but they were very noisy in the hallway, we stopped five times while I explained to them my expectations of them in the hallway. Over and Over. On the way back from music, I explained to them my expectations again. This time I promised to keep those who were uncooperative in from lunch recess. They complied!

The wonderful teacher left me a science experiment...yayyyy...NOT! Science experiments are usually messy, this one promised to be doubly so. We were testing several liquids for starches. The use of iodine was in order...and we all know how iodine can stain. I thought it was only a matter of time before someone took a pipette of iodine and squirted it at another. I spent a full fifteen minutes going over my expectations and veiling threats to any who might decide to try my patience. Surprisingly, I think the kids learned something (Why am I always surprised that kids learn something when I am around?) from the whole thing. Even more surprising, no one spilled anything of note. No one squirted another...I was amazed.

Then I sent them off to recess and lunch. I had my own healthy lunch: candy bars from Halloween and Pepsi. About two minutes before the kids were to come back the most piercing, sharp, intense, and painfully searing sound I have ever heard began issuing, or perhaps the better word is SCREAMING from the walls. It was a fire alarm. I usually get a little warning. People are usually just nice like that...not today. I grabbed the little emergency book thingy and headed for the place where all the hallways meet, hoping to find someone from my class.

When I got there, I found a few slightly disoriented teachers and a taller lady with a nametag that I took to be the principal. She gave me a searching look that seemed to sear into my soul. I busied myself looking through the emergency book confidently until her eyes went elsewhere. By coincidence or luck, I am not sure which, one of my kids walked by and said, "There's my teacher!" Which gave me an excuse to move out of the principal's piercing gaze.

I followed the kid out to the fence and found my class leaning against the fence looking bored. I began calling role. Everyone was there. I asked them to line up. Then I told them to line up. Then the neighboring teacher chewed out one of my students for sitting on the ground. Then I chewed him out. Then I chewed them all out for not being in a line, the whole time unsure why I wanted them in a line, but certain that was the best place for them. We finally were cleared to walk back in.

They needed to clear their table before heading back to class, so I walked in with them to the cafeteria. The Principal was in there...looking severe. While my kids busied themselves clearing off their table I introduced myself. She smiled warmly at me and I figured out why she had been so searching. I told her today was my first day subbing in her school...She explained that this was her first year as a principal and their first real fire drill. She had thought I was the fire marshal guy, beginning to check off how bad her school was in his book. I thought she just didn't like subs. We snickered over that and then my class was ready and we left. She seemed like a really nice lady.

It was nearing the end of the day and I had managed to mangle nearly everything, yet it all turned out o.k. Then this lady walked in the door. She said she was going to grade some papers in the back, and not to mind her. I said, "By all means!"

She asked how the day had gone, I said, "Fine, apart from the fire-drill." She asked how the science lesson went. I said it went extremely well, even though I had expected a mess and a cluster. She laughed and said, "Sorry." It was then that I realized she was the teacher.

I chatted with her while the kids did their thing. Then I began to get them ready to leave. I joked with one of the kids and then called them to attention and reminded them of my expectations in the hallway. I came back to get my stuff and the teacher asked me to leave her my contact information because she liked the way I interacted with the kids. She said my approach was nicely balanced. I was laid back enough to joke with them, but I was stern enough to get them to do what I wanted them to. I think I may have blushed.

I enjoyed the rest of the day! To top it off, Cora had a good day, too!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Visit With Sister And Teaching!

Saturday, my sister had a Scentsy Open House. Cora and I drove on down. We only planned to smell the Scentsy and drive home. My sister invited us to stay for dinner, though. Her chili was really good! I'd say the party stunk, but it didn't...the party goers, however, smelled. Some of them just sniffed. It was really fun. If you are interested in some Scentsy stuff send me an e-mail me, I cn get you in touch with her and she can get you some really good Scentsy stuff. I am partial to the Camu Camu...
My niece is NOT afraid of heights (Just like her uncle, seems to love heights). This is her on a ladder...look, no hands!
Cora and I got a few pictures of ourselves.
I love this picture of Cora...she is so pretty!
We got a picture of Scott...I think Eli too this actually, or maybe it was Emma...Sorry, Scott, it was the only one we got of you this weekend! Well, there was the EXTREME extreme close-up, but I thought you'd appreciate this one better.
Cora got some good Aunt-Niece-Time.

and, we really enjoyed ourselves. I don't usually post back-to-back, but the first post sort of lent itself to a story line, and I hope you will check it out, too.

We really had a fun time, Thanks Sis! We had fun! Can't wait for next time.

Today, I subbed at WHS. Freshmen, all day. It was fun. One girl in there...I think I have had her in almost every class I have taught there...cannot say the word "Obnoxious." I have taken great pleasure in using that knowledge. If she is getting noisy in class all I have to do is say, "Daisy (not her real name), you're obnoxious." She automatically tries to say the word and usually comes up with something like "ognop-shus." It's great, because it changes her focus from talking to friends to trying to say a specific word. Not only that, it is entertaining. Turns out she can't say biscotti or spaghetti. That kid is too fun.

I have a mark under my eye. Kids sometimes point to it (no, kids are still as cruel as they were when you were in school, I just am not bothered by it) and ask what it is, rather than saying it is a birthmark or liver spot or whatever the heck it is, I say I had a tattoo removed. Usually, there is some kid in class that somehow knows that convicts usually put a tattoo of a tear about there if (and I am not sure which is right) they kill someone or have lost a friend. They often whisper about that possibility. Rather than set them straight, I will say any number of things that might lead them down paths of reasoning that may not be true, but perhaps will gain a little "street cred" with the kids. I will say things like, "I am glad to wear real clothes and not those one-piece orange jobs." "I'm not supposed to talk about the tattoo, I want to keep my job." "I had to get rid of it to work here." The more evasive I am about it the more they are certain I was in prison. "I'm rehabilitated now, but I used to get so angry." It is hilarious to have one kid have another ask about the mark. When I give them a noncommittal answer, they turn to each other and whisper about how it makes sense, or something like that.

It's frickin' hilarious! Some kids catch on. They look at me with a calculating eye. These, I usually give a conspiratorial wink...then they know they are in on the joke and they go with it. I did the whole prison tattoo removal thing in front of a teacher the other day, and she laughed about it and said, "They don't believe I got this in a knife fight, either." She showed me a scar on her throat...apparently a surgery scar. It's things like this that make it worth going to work. I love being a role model. I LOVE being a role model...Life is good.

Oh, and check out my "story."

A Story

Once upon a time, there was a little girl, a little boy and an Aunt. Everything was great until...
Their mother got a little look in her eye, and they knew it was only a matter of time...
before she turned everything...and everyONE on there heads!
Her insanity was contagious, though, and soon her brother caught the insanity as well...
And her daughter...

and her brother was scared!
But, everyone, eventually, got better. Even Uncle was better. In fact, he was happy to be better.
and the little girl got better too, she became a beautiful little girl...
and everyone was happy...THE END.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Stupid Post But Great Espanol!

Since about a month ago, I had been agonizing over a post for my airplane wreckchasing site. I had great big plans for it. It was my first post of a B-29 accident (For those of you who don't know, the B-29 was my first favorite bomber, and if you aren't a male, then you had just better go back to your Barbie Dolls and leave us men folk alone because you'll never understand it) and I wanted it to be special. I did a lot of reading. I read about the engines. I read about the economic, political, and military events of the era. I read about B-29. Then I read and reread the reports. I then wrote my post. Then I posted it, only a day late for the 62nd anniversary of the crash. I suppose it is acceptable. Given my other posts, I believe there to be fewer typos and mistakes, so all-in-all, it is a decent post. Still, sometimes you just want something to be more than it is.

So, what's next for that site? Obviously, I will try not to post anything before it is ready. I ordered some more information regarding the B-29, but I don't expect to see it for several weeks. I guess I will keep the posts just a little shorter. I like to post on that site a few times a month, but because that stupid B-29 post wasn't right, I put off posting to that site for over a month. Pathetic, huh?

So, I subbed in Wapato most of the week. It wasn't bad. I got stuffed into a Sped room on Friday when I was expecting to teach biology. It turned out to be a pretty good day, though, so I don't begrudge that change of plans.

I got complemented on my Spanish accent when I speak Spanish. Apparently I sound like I speak it better than I do...or possibly can. I have difficulty rolling my "Rs." One of the people I was working with asked me if I spoke Spanish, I said, no, very little. She seemed surprised because of the way I speak it. Cora suspects it is because I have learned a lot of my Spanish from kids who are native Spanish speakers. I suspect it is just 'cause I am...AWESOME!

The sun is shining outside. I suppose I had better get moving.

Friday, November 6, 2009

I'm Only a Violent Person When I Drive.

One of my pet peeves is people who go UNDER the speed limit. I am not talking about people who are confused about where they are going, I am talking about people who think they know what they are doing and simply cannot drive. The ones who look at you like you are such an ASSHOLE when you pass them, when THEY are the ones with a mile long line of cars waiting to get the heck around them!

I have found myself wishing for missiles, or machine guns, or laser canons, or phase weapons, or tractor beams to clear my way of the idiots that seem to crowd the road. For those of you who have met me, I am sure you might find this difficult to believe, since I am usually a very friendly and amiable individual in person. However, if you put me behind the wheel, I am a madman! For example, take my reaction to parking situations.

I also hate people who park in the wrong place. And by Wrong Place I mean where I want or need to park. I am not EVEN talking about the grocery store...I don't care about that. I am talking about in front of my damned house! I have exactly 50 feet to park two 20 foot long(roughly) vehicles . Oh, and let's not EVEN begin to mention what it looks like if I have company at my house! One neighbor is in the same fix, so I bear him no grudge. The other has a whole corner! The visitors to that neighbor always seem want to park in my tiny spot! Never mind that there is another 200 feet of parking space that wraps around the corner. I got home today and someone was completely in the spot where I usually park my truck. I know it seems petty, but, seriously, it is more than irritating, it can be a major inconvenience. Still, because I want to live in harmony with my neighbors, I have yet to say anything.

Oh, and I hate traffic. Can't everyone see that I (That's a capital ME) want to be somewhere? I am a very important person, dammit. MY time means something to me!

So, I decided to go somewhere this afternoon and the moment I turned the corner, thereby shutting off a few choices in navigation, I got stuck behind someone who should not be behind the wheel. I am not saying they were a hazard, weaving in and out of traffic, but it was the kind of person who is so timid that they let everyone at the stop sign go before them. They look both ways 26 times before they are certain it is safe to continue. So, she was traveling down the lane at a good 23 mph. I was kind of in a hurry. Don't know why, just was. So, I am a brilliant navigator and planner of routes. I decided that at 32 mph (which is what I figure she would travel on a road with a 35 mph speed limit) she would not have a chance of beating me if I took a slightly longer route at roughly mach 2. At the end of the road, she went left and I went right. I slipped the truck into afterburner and reached the next intersection by the time she had completed her turn and was beginning to speed up to 32.

I checked my vicinity to see that I was clear for a high speed turn. I completed my turn getting ready to really open up the throttle and realized... there was a cop in front of me... about a quarter of a mile away traveling in the same direction. Crap! I reduced my speed to roughly the speed limit and followed along, hating the cop for his presence every moment! I got to a place where I could see my destination and that it was closed for the day and that I was just too late. I decided to turn back home. So, I pulled up next to the damned cop, smiled cheerfully and waved. He was turning right, I went left...I only had to wait for the damned slow-lady to go by at 32 mph...yeah, this was a good trip...NOT!

I got home and parked behind the neighbors' stupid car, leaving 3 inches between our bumpers. I decided I could do what I needed to do at home. I proceeded to the back yard. I got my table saw going and a couple pieces of wood and a drill.

My beloved Laptop, old and frail as it is, continues to get more and more frail. The latest issue has been a terrible habit of the screen to just start flopping. I need something to stabilize it. This stupid thing will not stay open, or if it does, it wants to open all the way...thereby making it difficult to read the screen and type. I figured out the fix!
Notice the wonderful groove I put in the wood!
I think it is a wonderful thing!
What do you think? Pretty, huh?

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

"Voluntary" Donations My Butt!

So, I managed to get a job early in the morning yesterday. It was not a bad day. I happened to be subbing in the some area as Cora works, so I dropped by after work and said hi to her. Her office has been enjoying some electrical problems, there was electrician working on a plug. I decided that was a good time to tell the electrician joke my electrician friend told me: "Did you hear about the electrician that was SO dumb the other electricians noticed?" I think he either did not get it or he did not think it wise to laugh while his hands were so near live wires...maybe he held it in for later.

I then went and renewed our license tabs for both vehicles. I had withdrawn $100, expecting each to be around $40. After some difficulty getting Cora's car's license plate number totally incorrect, I had to call her. Then the lady said it would be $102!! I said, "Huh?" (I am well known for my quick wit and being well spoken, I think this episode is a very good example of my keen use of language to express myself ) I told her, "I only have $100...," holding up my five twenty dollar bills and waving them weakly. She said, "Just a moment." She did some more typing...similar to that airlines lady in "Meet the Parents." after A LOT of typing, she said, it will be $92. Continuing with my witty comments, I said, "Huh?" And she explained how Cascade Licensing (or is it the state) charges a "voluntary" parks and recreation fee of five dollars for every license renewal. She simply took that off. I'd love to know how this is voluntary if they don't tell you about it!!! I don't mind offering five dollars here and there for parks and rec., but sneaking it in on me makes me a little irritated, and I thought voluntary meant you knew about it. So, if you live in Washington and renew your licenses at one of those handy little places...make sure you know what they are charging you for...maybe you don't want to "volunteer."

Today I have two half days at different elementary schools...should interesting getting from one school to another quickly.

Tonight we get to see the new version of "V" on tv. I remember the first one in the early 1980s...My mom wouldn't let me stay up to watch the whole thing. I DO remember the baby alien lizard delivered by C-section though...I always have that visual when people say a baby was delivered by C-section...thank you 1980s television! I hope this new version has better effects! I would also like the story line and the lines the character speak to be stronger! Oh, and hopefully the background music is a little less like "CHIPs." Actually, we watched a couple of the old ones last night, and I would say the best description would be CHIPs + Synthesizer. Remember synthesizers? Wow! I must be getting old...none of the kids nowadays know how cool synthesizers were in my day.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Pumpkin Executions, 2009

So, Halloween was yesterday. Cora and I had been meaning to carve our pumpkins all week. We finally got to it yesterday. These noble gourds met their fates under our blades yesterday! Here you see Cora gutting hers. I'd already scalped mine.
Here is what our front porch looked like...still does. Looks all nice and Fall-y, doesn't it?
I think Cora's was a very classic look. It complemented our porch very nicely.
Given the shape of our other pumpkin (Thanks Mom and Dad) we decided to attempt a Frankenstein-esque carving. I looked for some on-line but decided to make my own, based loosely on some I found. Unfortunately, none of our Facebook "Friends" recognized it for the genius it was...Have a look. I think I did ok.
See the bolts in his neck? I think it's genius, really. Still, not everyone recognizes fine art when they see it.

We DID do some grocery shopping. I got the ingredients for Fajitas and began making it when I realized I had not picked up a fajita seasoning packet. I quickly got on-line and found a simple recipe. It turned out wonderful! I made REALLY GOOD steak fajitas.

Cora made pumpkin seeds...well, she didn't make them, she roasted them. I was amazed at how good they turned out! WOW!! I won't eat store bought if I have a choice, now!

No big plans today, I might do some cleaning. Cora is probably going to be working on a dress.