Saturday, January 31, 2004

Wahoo! This articles says that Juggling makes the mind grow I knew I was smarter than everyone else!

"FRIDAY, Jan. 30 (HealthDayNews) -- In a discovery that could change assumptions in the world of neuroscience, European researchers have found human brains actually change shape while learning a complicated skill such as juggling."

For you non-jugglers, Juggling for the Complete Klutz is a great starter book! For other jugglers, The Complete Juggler is a "must have"! Then of course there is the end all be all of 3 ball juggling The Three Ball Digest!

I can't believe this still exists! Type miserable failure into Google. Either click "I feel lucky" or check out the first link in the returns.
This write up of the True New Zealand is very thought provoking since both my wife and I have thought "What a wonderful place it must be to live!"
* Decided to take the 13 yr old, the 20 mth old, the wife and myself to Old Navy and buy the kids some clothes. The 13 yr old of course stays in the car knowing that most shopping he finds boring and usually ends in disaster. I think he simply gets over stimulated by the crowds, the lights, the noise (particularly the noise), and entirely too much information to process at once. In this way, he and I are very similar. There are times that I just have to get away from that kind of environment.
* After shopping, (we forgot to go in the pet store) we headed to Texas Roadhouse to discover a 45-50 minute wait..this is Knoxville of course - land of more restaurants than people but somehow they are always a 45-50 minute wait..except for IHOP which had immediate seating and knows us by name. Not only KNOWS us by name but knows when the baby was born!

Stupid Tech Support This is a long read so don't try to do it at once. The next time you are on hold with some level 1 tech support person reading from a script, read some of these and remember you are not alone!

Now enjoy some great warning labels like "Do not attempt to stop the blade with your hand." -- In the manual for a Swedish chainsaw.

These come from
I am altogether too intolerant of the 13 yr old right now. Far too quick to call names and allow myself to be irritated by his presence.

Right now I feel hollow inside. I have that urge to do something but am lost as if I was in an enclosed stadium with the lights out and I'm looking for the key to get out.
* Just dropped a log on one of our wood chairs and dented the chair. I guess I should be grateful that it didn't splinter the wood; at least I don't have to take 3 hours out of my day to repair it..I just have to live with the constant reminder that I can't do something as simple as carry a log without screwing up.

Read an article that the current thinking is that we use about .01 percent of our brain. I feel like I use .0001 of mine.
* After I got over being so groggy I got to realizing how much I really enjoy getting up and working with the kids in the morning. I began to feel guilty about leaving the baby to play in her crib so long. I also began to feel guilty over the role reversal concept. My wife does so much to make sure the kids are ready for school and to hold this family together. She deserves more.

Rushed to dress from 9-9:15 went to meeting on the 13 yr old's theaputic horse riding and was there 2.5 hours. Stopped at a friend's house on the way home to discuss how we should handle the 1099's we are receiving from joint work done this past year. Found a gas station with a slopped parking lot and got gas. Must look funny to bystanders to see this guy in a dirty jeep and cowboy hat get out and put the jeep then run to catch up to it as it rolls down the hill, jump in, have tires squeal, then engine start.

Now heading for diapers and pickup the 7 yr old from a party.
A New Day!

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This Morning
* Head real heavy. Almost a dull throb. Wanted to sleep in some but the baby was crying. Wife muttered that she thought the 7 yr old had rescued her and was playing with her. Instead the entire family ignored her pleas to get her. When I got up there, she had thrown all her stuff animals and toys to the floor. I just wanted to sleep in a little one day out of the week. I know my wife probably has similar wishes (dishes, cleaning, etc) Perhaps she would trade me sone such wish so that one day out of the week (or even 1 day every 2 weeks) we do a little role reversing.

Last night
* Followed that tea with a beer
* Could not get the candle lit

Friday, January 30, 2004

Something's wrong with my head! I went upstairs to get a beer and mellow in front of the tv instead I return downstairs with a large glass of extra sweet highly caffeinated tea. (washing machine sounds like a barking dog---budget another $400)
I find it quite amusing that our heavily medicated child thoroughly enjoys Fantasia (last chance to buy for 7 years) while our unmedicated children would rather have nothing to do with it. (sic. not entirely true. The 7 yr old in stunned amazement declared "It's a cartoon!")
New fads.. If our teenage girls want to do this, is it all that bad? Britney Spears Nipples are missing!
* We decided to load everyone in the car, go to McD's then pick up the 10 yr old's sleepover friend and drop the two of them at the grandmother's...we actually loaded everyone in the car, picked up the 10 yr old's sleepover friend, had to stop the car once because the 13 yr old wasn't the center of attention and decided he needed to threaten to make himself throwup. This angered me and changed the tone in the car from fun and jovial to tense and unpleasant the rest of the trip despite many efforts to turn it around again. Found out the friend doesn't eat meat but Burger King was ok. Drove through for food. Dropped the girls off with the grandmother and returned home where the family is now watching Fantasia (on sale while supplies last then not for another 7 years).

* cat napped. stared at the computer. Then went and chopped some wood. The 7 yr old joined me. Then the 10 yr old joined me. I walked down to the creek to discover that the "entrance" to the cave has developed into a sinkhole and has gotten larger. It's concealed by leaves and debris but I'm going to have to make it a priority to see just what it has developed into. On the adventurous side, it may be an excuse to pull out the old haress and ropes and do a little spelunking. It'd be really cool if there was a half decent cave system to play around in. The negative is that the entrance is definitely not on my property which is good and bad.

The 10 yr old was in a very good mood and very helpful with the wood spliting and hauling it closer to the house.

Here's that thought process thing that gets me in so much trouble.
I can't work right now because my mind won't calm and I'm tired. I figure the best thing to do would be to remove the starter from the Jeep so that I can take it by Autozone to get the new one; however, the Haynes manual to the Jeep is awol. Could be in the garage; could be in the boxes in the bedroom; could be in my messy desk; could be somewhere else in the office. The act of trying to find the manual could lead to any of several multiple day projects. So instead I am frozen.
Tennessee Homeschooling legislation websites and
* I've reached that stage of the day where I am historically unfocused and unproductive. I have a longing to be doing something but can't put my finger on it. I definitely need a change of task for a few but it needs to be entertaining and rewarding. Perhaps this is the time to remove the starter from the Jeep.
* Ah. The baby awakes from her nap. I'm making progress on the work but its still slow going. I'll take some time to play with the baby (near 20 mths now). Let's give her a little playtime in the crib. She sounds happy.
* Back on the job
* power nap
I just stepped out on my front porch and watched 7 large military transport helicopters flying from the direction of Oak Ridge toward the McGhee Tyson Airport. Can you say "Libya's nuclear weapons"? I knew you could!

The helicopters have been VERY active these past few days.

U.S. ships Libyan nuclear components to Oak Ridge
January 27, 2004

Libya surrenders more nuclear materials to US
Daily Times Pakistan

* Continuing to make coding progress but I feel like I'm walking through quicksand. I can do better than this!
* Cleaned out spam. Going to freshen coffee then get to programming like a rabbid beaver
* Kids dropped off. Trying desperately to read paper before taking the 13 yr old to school
* I'm getting close to 0 spam. Wierd feeling.
* I need hand lotion badly!

Woodburning stoves Everyone loves a fire. Everyone loves a huge, ancient oak tree. I've come to understand that I'm moving an oak tree into my house and that those things are heavy.

* Time to take the carpool to school.
A New Day!

Let's start the day off with a PayPal donation link:

This Morning
* Woke at 5:45 on my own accord and got up at 5:48 for a refreshing bath then woke the kids at 6:12. The baby cried out just before I went into the 10 yr old's room (which is where the baby sleeps...I want to add onto the house sooo badly) but the baby stayed asleep. She must have had a bad dream.
* Regretting not staying up all night but happy that I didn't at the same time

Today's goals: Wrap this php thing!! Create a marketing piece. Remove dead starter from Jeep.
* was going to try to pull an allnighter but I need some sleep. Nite all.
For those that don't read, here are 19 of our media idols not looking so good: Celebrity Mugshots

Thursday, January 29, 2004

* Wife and 10 yr old ran out to get away from me and buy Fantasia and Sleeping Beauty. Disney will quit distributing these movies in 2 days but Amazon will continue selling until their inventory runs out.
* Helped 7 yr old with homework (I always enjoy that).
* Cooked homemade pizzas
* Refueled fire with wood that the 13 yr old and I split. I thought it would be a nice way to get him outside. My wife (and now me too) feels I was just training him with a weapon.

* Time to go cook dinner and find out how pissed off everyone is.
* I screwed up, got mad at myself, but had an outburst at the wife. Feel like crying.
* Dropped 13 yr old at school. He was mellow but in that "I'm going to build up steam" type of way. I hope I'm wrong. Then went to the Ranch to do some computer maintenance for a friend.
* Returned home, did 45 seconds of wood spliting, got over agressive then spent 45 minutes breaking my axe handle free. The handle is intact but it is no longer in the axe head. Looks like a repair is in order.
* Weather is fantastic for removing a Jeep starter. I need to kick butt on this php then get to work on the Jeep.
Read the article outloud and put an emphasis on any word the least bit sexual. Enjoy the laughs. Remember, most things you read on the Internet aren't true. This is an obvious play on the recently Microsoft lawsuit regarding [13:39] * CFNews reports: Some kid's site sued by porn company - Article
* Wahoo! Php code is up in the staging area and the db is working. I'm not happy because I don't feel its my best work but I always feel that way. Several ends to tie before the handoff but it should be quick going now.
* Time to take the 13 yr old to school
* Kids off to school. We packed lunches and I couldn't find the car keys so we left late but still made it to school on time just not soon enough for me to take a left out of the parking lot--means I have to drive through a neighborhood which takes longer. 13 yr old asleep on counch when I returned. I let him anger me too easily. Went from jolly to having great tension in my chest too quickly. Did nothing to him other than speak firmly but not gruffly.
* Wahoo! Code uploaded. Just need to create database now.
A New Day!

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This Morning
* Woke at 5:30 feeling great. Got out of bed at 6. Kids seems jolly. What's in the air today?
* Reconsidering the format of my blog or creating one purely for creative writing
* A little stressed on my php project. Must begin uploading files now. I need an 8-5 day a couple of times a week where people pretend I'm not here.

Wednesday, January 28, 2004

0 resumes sent today; 0 interviews; 0 sales calls; 0 new contacts

Great news!

[21:59] * CFNews reports: Starting tomorrow, telemarketers can no longer show up on caller ID as "out of area" - Click for article
* Time to introduce others to the addictive practice of blogging
* Kids are down to sleep. Work is progressing well. Wood spliting has been done and the fire is burning hot. A few more large logs in a few minutes and she should be good for most of the night. Left my glasses upstairs. Fortunely they are near the fridge and there's beer in there.
* bad evening - too much anger... too much yelling..
* Bah! Nailed byMurphy! The hosting company had NOT suspended me and because I've been in contact with them was working with me through this jobless situation. What good people! Turns out the MyDoom virus is causing their mail servers grief. At least it feels good to have gotten one more late bill taken care of.
* $402 to hosting company - ouch. Budgeted $278.
* Blast. The hosting company cut us off and as I'm trying to get a payment sent paypal times out so I'm not sure if the $303 got sent or not.
* Got the 13 yr old. Some pleasant talk in car. No sniping. We were probably silent 50% of the trip. Went to Comcast and paid them $142 and change. Came home.
* At home we quized 13 yr old on his day then I went into a screaming cursing tirade that caused the wife to get on me so I yelled at her. All around bad.
* Chopped wood, re-built almost dead fire (this seasoned stuff goes quick), yelled at child some more; apologised to everyone. Feel like a schmuck.
* Email sent to client painfully explaining the STILL is not done.
* Time to go get 13 yr old from school
* progress is being made in php. 1:45 pm goal missed. Setting 2:30 goal for pretty stuff.
* $307.76 paid to Allstate (I swear I gave them a December payment)
* making good heady on the coding but the day is flying by...rear end is frozen too. I've got to make a Home Depot trip soon.
[12:19] * CFNews reports: "The illiteracy level of our children are appalling" - President Bush speech transcript -
* Wahoo! Beat the php problem! One line syntax problem. Quick break then back to wipe this out. Setting goal 1:45pm for bulk of work done and uploaded. The rest of the afternoon on cleanup and wrap-up.
* Paid Bellsouth $361 and change. Ouch. We weren't even scheduled to be cut off.
* more wood to the fire. Spliting this seasoned stuff is a pleasure! I'm using the axe not the maul.
* Computer updated and rebooted. I'm relaxed and feeling good. Incense lit. Time to bang out some code!
* 13 yr old off to school. Baby changed and fed. Time to work.
* Email sent. 1 goal achieved! Small successes are good. Time to take the 13 yr old to school--I mean daycare.
A New Day!

Let's start the day off with a PayPal donation link:

This Morning
* Slept like a rock! Some wild dreams too! The best one centered around me being near the beach with my family but taking photos with this fancy video like digital camera for an online friend of mine. Turns out I was using the camera wrong. My grandmother was even there. The best picture was of this huge classic tree almsot growing out of the water.
* Turned the alarm off at 5:45 and woke suddenly and in a panic at 6:28. Got the kids moving. The 7 yr old and 10 yr old were problem free and happy. The carpooler dragged his feet but we got there earlier than normal. The 13 yr old got up and started having breakfast before everyone left.
* When I returned at 7:30 the 13 yr old was dressed and seems excited about going to school.
* More wood to the fire (we are fighting to keep this one going...must chop more smaller pieces to get the temperature up).

Weather: Feels like a commercial freeze like at a restaurant...oh, that's inside the house.

Goals: Send email regarding quote for computer repair, php--that's it!

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Almost forgot! I bought my 2nd TN Lottery ticket today. That's a total investment of $2. And I won! The prize $2. I'm even!
* Long afternoon. Wife very tense. Blames her tension on me of course.
* Returned the 13yr old from school and then after discussing plans with the wife and putzing on the computer took him to his group therapy
* After dropping him off, returned home and grabbed an accidental cat nap. I was so exhausted I had the shakes.
* Woke, chopped some wood, took 2 phone calls, one with work for me to do the other wanting to consolidate the student loans.
* Piled everyone in the car and picked up the 13 yr old then went to Sam's then Walmart then home for dinner.
* Got everyone to bed. Re-lit fire. Need a beer. I'm bushed.
Knox County Schools rot:
The 13yr old had a great day! Apparently he and his archenemy got along very well. When asked about school work, he blanked so I figure he basically was asked to do nothing. Get ready for 4 months of babysitting. Taxpayers rejoice!
* Freshened up and while I shaved, the baby brushed her teeth with her electric toothbrush.
* Gone to pickup 13 yr old
Political read of the day from the The Best-Laid Plans Go Oft Astray Warning: Tear jerker letters at the end of page 2.
* Temperature is dropping rapidly! Starting to snow outside. Wood needs to be sized and chopped.
* Feel like crap. I got a resume and cover letter sent today BUUUT had a todo with the wife and she's all ticked off so its tense around here but she's really not tense about our spat or the spill on the couch or my thoughtlessness at not bringing her a caffeinated drink this morning; instead, she is tense about not knowing how the 13 yr old is performing in school today. We've had not feedback. A call by now would have been greatly appreciated but the Knox County Schools War is yet to be properly documented. It's coming!
* Getting a long over closure done for one of those clients that paid nothing, wants the world, and is still around. This should end it though.
* I've confirmed that I've been given one last breath of air but my reserve tanks are empty. I have roughly 3 weeks to swim to the surface. I should have never gone so deep!
* Mind un-focused. Taking 25mg meclizine (placebo?) and settling in to send a resume and cover letter. Setting a 9:45am deadline for self.
* Back from taking a very calm but nervous 13 yr old to school.
* Time to take the 13 yr old to school. We begin with the search of pockets, bags, etc.
* First wave launched. The 7 yr old, 7 yr old friend, and 10 yr old have been dropped off at school. Apparently we've been arriving later than the other safety patrols because today we got there and couldn't find a place to safely park! Now need to burn a half hour before taking the 13 yr old to school. I suspect I'll be picking him up before lunch. I'm on pins and needles about the 19 mth old waking. I really want her to sleep but expect that she will wake any moment now.
* I began stretching again this morning. Let's hope I keep it up. I've never felt as good as when I was stretching 20 minutes in the morning, 20 minutes in the evening and exercising. Stretching is good for the mind and body. In the past when I'd try stretching in the beginning my mind would be racing but after a few days it became a meditative moment. I bought Bob Anderson's book eons ago when there were only 3 stretching books in the bookstore. Now there is like an entire section diguised as Yoga. I highly recommend Bob Anderson's stretching book.

A New Day!

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This Morning
Wow! The day is starting off on an incredibly positive note. ExtremeTracking confirmed in email that they cause no pops or spyware. VTech replied in email with the same answer they gave over the phone except in email it said the line voltage dropped before 24 volts instead of 21..which again, a cable problem could easily cause that.

* Woke at 3:30 to a crying baby. Fire still going. Could not motivate myself to get up and program.
* Woke at 5:45 to the alarm. Then again at 6:04. Got out of bed at 6:08. Woke the 10 yr old. The 7 yr old felt mildy warm but I'd say it was night sweat and not fever. Woke him from his 12+ hour sleep and he said "I feel fine but hungry." (skipped dinner)

Heavy Rain today!
Goals: Send resumes out, finances, fix usb port

Monday, January 26, 2004

* I know I need to stay up and work but I'm bushed. Grabbin' zzs.

[22:10] * CFNews reports: Experts see end to computer 'spam' by 2006. In other news, monkeys might fly out of your butt - Click to see Reuters article
* Time to chill with the wife then perhaps return here for some late night programming.
* Realized for the first time today that people are actually reading this blog when I noticed people have been commenting! Very cool! Sorta thought I was writing to myself and using it as a strange way for my wife and I to bridge some communication gaps :) I got a little apprehensive thinking that I'm airing too much dirty laundry but then again that's part of the fun! Enjoy the reading!
The afternoon!
* Whew lots to say! Grabbed the 13 yr old for a companion and headed out to Cingular to pay a much needed overdue cell phone bill and sweat over the food bank account shrinking. Looks like we all are on a diet! Then over to the father-in-law's for some fun fax repair work.

The Fax Saga
My two favorite things in the world are sitting on hold and dealing with BellSouth </sarcasm>

Summary: I own and highly recommend the VTech 20-2431 two line phone system. It's expandable with up to 8 VTech 20-2420 handsets each supporting both lines and no wiring required. The only thing that gets plugged into the phone line is the base. It has great features including an intercom system. This is the one feature I wish they had done differently. With each handset having a built-in speakerphone, it seems like you should be able to globally or to a specific handset just start talking--like an in-home intercom. It rings and you have to pick it up. No big deal. Anyhow, I recommend this solution to my father-in-law that needs a home line and a business line in his house. For months my 2 lines worked fine and the fax machine was setup on the 2nd line then suddenly one day the 2nd line says "extension in use" and rings busy as long as the fax is hooked up. I figure a wiring problem and sure enough, I connect a shorter cable that has not been stepped on and it works fine. Now, the father-in-law tries to connect his fax to his VTech 20-2431 and gets the same problem. Now things are getting fishy so I email vtech and begin the troubleshooting. Note: The VTech 20-2481 has a built-in answering machine but I recommend the Bellsouth voicemail over a physical answering machine.


  1. Check wiring. All in order.

  2. Send father-in-law to get new phone cable

  3. Call Vtech

  4. Sit on hold

  5. Get technician and explain problem. Tech explains "line voltage is too low. Should be 21 volts" (I always thought phone systems were 12 volts) and that I need to call BellSouth.

  6. Call Bellsouth

  7. Sit on hold

  8. Level 1 tech support schedules repair for father-in-law's house and my house

  9. Remember the new phone cord. Connect it and ta-da! The fax works!

  10. Father-in-law and I debate cancelling vs keeping service calls.
  11. Phone rings. It's BellSouth (a technician or higher level support rep) "I've been talking to my supervisor and this problem doesn't make sense"

  12. Debate in mind keeping service call anyway

  13. Tell Bellsouth that the problem is fixed and to cancel service calls

  14. Continue playing with fax to realize that we should have asked Bellsouth Techsupport how to make the Bellsouth voicemail and fax machine play nice together

  15. Call Bellsouth

  16. Sit on hold

  17. Technician answers and says they didn't used to play nice together but that there is a BRAND NEW feature called Voice Mail Premium which cost "exactly the same as the regular voicemail" (for Complete Choice customers--which we both are). Voicemail Premium allows faxes to be delivered to a fax mailbox then printed to any fax you want at a later time. It fills the void very well! So if you are on the line and a fax comes through it goes to the fax mailbox. If you are away from home, your faxes are not missed. And you don't have to set your fax machine to answer before the voicemail with some squealing in the person's ear.

  18. Added it to both houses! Feel very satisfied. Goes into effect at midnight (in hindsight I will probably have to rerecord the voicemail message.

* Next the father-in-law had me listen to a strange noise the car was making and troubleshot that as "get it back to the guys that rotated the wheels!" (metal grinding)
* Returned home to take the 10yr old selling girl scout cookies (I enjoy that a lot!)
* fixed dinner (shrimp and corn on the cob) and got the kids down then relaxed to some blogging.

* want to chill for a few and just my luck, my lenses have popped out of my glasses. I use them only when my eyes are tired and man are they tired!
I received this in email today and have not personally verified the number but have no reason to doubt them either.
Click to skip to the next post

Greetings all,
This is a long list, but if you don't read through to the end you'll miss some of the most alarming figures. Here's a prayer that we all may unite behind the the necessity of regime change here in the good ole U.S. Of A.

George W Bush and the real state of the Union

Today the President gives his annual address. As the election battle begins, how does his first term add up?

20 January 2004
*232:* Number of American combat deaths in Iraq between May 2003 and January 2004
*501:* Number of American servicemen to die in Iraq from the beginning of the war - so far
*0:* Number of American combat deaths in Germany after the Nazi surrender to the Allies in May 1945
*0:* Number of coffins of dead soldiers returning home from Iraq that the Bush administration has allowed to be photographed
*0:* Number of funerals or memorials that President Bush has attended for soldiers killed in Iraq
*100:* Number of fund-raisers attended by Bush or Vice-President Dick Cheney in 2003
*13:* Number of meetings between Bush and Tony Blair since he became President
*10 million:* Estimated number of people worldwide who took to the streets in opposition to the invasion of Iraq, setting an all-time record for simultaneous protest
*2:* Number of nations that Bush has attacked and taken over since coming into the White House
*9.2:* Average number of American soldiers wounded in Iraq each day since the invasion in March last year
*1.6:* Average number of American soldiers killed in Iraq per day since hostilities began
*16,000:* Approximate number of Iraqis killed since the start of war
*10,000:* Approximate number of Iraqi cililians killed since the beginning of the conflict
*$100 billion:* Estimated cost of the war in Iraq to American citizens by the end of 2003
*$13 billion:* Amount other countries have committed towards rebuilding Iraq (much of it in loans) as of 24 October
*36%:* Increase in the number of desertions from the US army since 1999
*92%:* Percentage of Iraq's urban areas that had access to drinkable water a year ago
*60%:* Percentage of Iraq's urban areas that have access to drinkable water today
*32%:* Percentage of the bombs dropped on Iraq this year that were not precision-guided
*1983:* The year in which Donald Rumsfeld gave Saddam Hussein a pair of golden spurs
*45%:* Percentage of Americans who believed in early March 2003 that Saddam Hussein was involved in the 11 September attacks on the US
*$127 billion:* Amount of US budget surplus in the year that Bush became President in 2001
*$374 billion:* Amount of US budget deficit in the fiscal year for 2003
*1st:* This year's deficit is on course to be the biggest in United States history
*$1.58 billion:* Average amount by which the US national debt increases each day
*$23,920:* Amount of each US citizen's share of the national debt as of 19 January 2004
*1st:* The record for the most bankruptcies filed in a single year (1.57 million) was set in 2002
*10:* Number of solo press conferences that Bush has held since beginning his term. His father had managed 61 at this point in his administration, and Bill Clinton 33
*1st:* Rank of the US worldwide in terms of greenhouse gas emissions per capita
*$113 million:* Total sum raised by the Bush-Cheney 2000 campaign, setting a record in American electoral history
*$130 million:* Amount raised for Bush's re-election campaign so far
*$200m:* Amount that the Bush-Cheney campaign is expected to raise in 2004
*$40m:* Amount that Howard Dean, the top fund-raiser among the nine Democratic presidential hopefuls, amassed in 2003
*28:* Number of days holiday that Bush took last August, the second longest holiday of any president in US history (Recordholder: Richard Nixon)
*13:* Number of vacation days the average American worker receives each year
*3:* Number of children convicted of capital offences executed in the US in 2002. America is only country openly to acknowledge executing children
*1st:* As Governor of Texas, George Bush executed more prisoners (152) than any governor in modern US history
*2.4 million:* Number of Americans who have lost their jobs during the three years of the Bush administration
*221,000:* Number of jobs per month created since Bush's tax cuts took effect. He promised the measure would add 306,000
*1,000:* Number of new jobs created in the entire country in December. Analysts had expected a gain of 130,000
*1st:* This administration is on its way to becoming the first since 1929 (Herbert Hoover) to preside over an overall loss of jobs during its complete term in office
*9 million:* Number of US workers unemployed in September 2003
*80%:* Percentage of the Iraqi workforce now unemployed
*55%:* Percentage of the Iraqi workforce unemployed before the war
*43.6 million:* Number of Americans without health insurance in 2002
*130:* Number of countries (out of total of 191 recognised by the United Nations) with an American military presence
*40%:* Percentage of the world's military spending for which the US is responsible
*$10.9 million:* Average wealth of the members of Bush's original 16-person cabinet
*88%:* Percentage of American citizens who will save less than $100 on their 2006 federal taxes as a result of 2003 cut in capital gains and dividends taxes
*$42,000:* Average savings members of Bush's cabinet are expected to enjoy this year as a result in the cuts in capital gains and dividends taxes
*$42,228:* Median household income in the US in 2001
*$116,000:* Amount Vice-President Cheney is expected to save each year in taxes
*44%:* Percentage of Americans who believe the President's economic growth plan will mostly benefit the wealthy
*700:* Number of people from around the world the US has incarcerated in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba
*1st:* George W Bush became the first American president to ignore the Geneva Conventions by refusing to allow inspectors access to US-held prisoners of war
*+6%:* Percentage change since 2001 in the number of US families in poverty
*1951:* Last year in which a quarterly rise in US military spending was greater than the one the previous spring
*54%:* Percentage of US citizens who believe Bush was legitimately elected to his post
*1st:* First president to execute a federal prisoner in the past 40 years. Executions are typically ordered by separate states and not at federal level
*9:* Number of members of Bush's defence policy board who also sit on the corporate board of, or advise, at least one defence contractor
*35:* Number of countries to which US has suspended military assistance after they failed to sign agreements giving Americans immunity from prosecution before the International Criminal Court
*$300 million:* Amount cut from the federal programme that provides subsidies to poor families so they can heat their homes
*$1 billion:* Amount of new US military aid promised Israel in April 2003 to offset the "burdens" of the US war on Iraq
*58 million:* Number of acres of public lands Bush has opened to road building, logging and drilling
*200:* Number of public-health and environmental laws Bush has attempted to downgrade or weaken
*29,000:* Number of American troops - which is close to the total of a whole army division - to have either been killed, wounded, injured or become so ill as to require evacuation from Iraq, according to the Pentagon
*90%:* Percentage of American citizens who said they approved of the way George Bush was handling his job as president when asked on 26 September, 2001
*53%:* Percentage of American citizens who approved of the way Bush was handling his job as president when asked on 16 January, 2004

"Come, my friends! 'Tis not too late to seek a newer world!" said the poet Tennyson...We realize that we have this moment in time and space where we can change the outcome! Where we are not stuck!...this alternative vision of peace,... that this shall be a vision through which the creativity, and through which the transformational energy that will bring us this new world, can be achieved.

Come, my friends. 'Tis not too late to seek a newer world.

Dennis J. Kucinich
Excerpted from his 2003 Gandhi Peace Award Acceptance Speech

Daily Political Funny
Dishonest Dubya Action Figure
* Back from IEP. Boy was that ever a group of people happy to see us! Hate looks and tense air.
* IEP took 15 minutes to get started and lasted 15 minutes. The school system obviously does not have these children's interest at heart.
* Went to Knoxville Vistor's Center for the 10yr old's cultural project. Then home.
-Now preparing to go to the inlaws and work on a fax.
* I want the ability to buy some nice dress clothes.
* The 10 yr old got me going when I put the baby down for a nap and got in the tub he began playing his guitar loudly. We had a confrontation and I spoke strongly too him using some poorly chosen words like "you better damn well find out" in response to his "I didn't know" Which was a good lesson topic and I didn't over talk it and I didn't really yell at him. I spoke firmly. The lesson topic specifically said was "There will be many times in your life where you 'don't know' but you'd better damn well find out."
* Day quickly going to hell. If you use the Covey planning approach, you'll recognize that I struggle to be in Q2, live most of life in Q1 and too often slip into Q4--I'd say this is typical of most people. Q1 is killing me!
* Grabbed that powernap---oooohh so nice!
* Helped bathe the baby and put her down for her "not nap" (ie. she's not napping)
* Some tech support to father-in-law
* Time to get freshened up for the meeting with the school system--a bunch of politically correct pain in the butts that realize all they have to do is talk crap to us a lot and we eventually move on. I debate taking this on as a pet project to bring change to the system. It would not impact us but would certainly make things better for future special needs children. Ah, that's not the real reason--I'd just like to see a couple of idiots shit canned.
* No rest for the weary. Baby awoke as I began craving a powernap. May try to steal one anyway as wife is asleep on the couch and the 13 yr old is in his room on his Gameboy SP
A New Day!

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This Morning
* Up at 1:30 to check on the fire
* Up at 4:30 to check on the fire (still going and I didn't need to get out of bed)
* Alarm at 6:45, got out of bed at 6:10 to get the kids up. The 13 yr old is wide awake and asking for schoolwork! Is this his last minute attempt to prove he doesn't need to be put back in the school system?
* After getting the kids going and brewing coffee, I refueled the fire

Today's goals: IEP at the school, PHP work to be completed and uploaded, Phone calls to all other web developers, calls to potential employers

Last Night
* Worked on the fire and got it going again. It's a miracle considering I had no fire starters and only wet wood.
* Watched arrested development with wife and fell asleep.

Sunday, January 25, 2004

The secret to the morning
I've finally come to realize the secret of morning hours. For our sake let's consider the wishful morning hour 4am and the realistic one 6am. Here's the progression:


Mornings are necessary for a good parking space at school. 1 hour of flirting guaranteed. The shower helps wake up.

early 20s

Too hung over. The morning hours are when you stumble home from the bars and passout

late 20s

Mornings are once again social time...only now its at the gym and you feel great. Much work gets done because you get to the office before anyone else. You think you've discovered the elixir of life!!
Post 20s

Mornings are an unachievable goal where you dream of getting to have some quiet calm time to yourself where you can do something like read the newspaper before it gets thrown away. Instead, mornings mean rushing around trying to get the kids ready for school.
* Time to help my 7 yr old memorize a speech at the last minute.
Hahaha! I just got a spam titled "Great Deal on '84 Models!" Weeelll. Let's assume they were legal in '84 at, what?, 17 years old and that would make them....47 oops. 37 (I must have been tired thanks for the comment)! So yes, you are going to get them for a steal!!
* Been putzing on the computer for the last hour playing with blog tools. Found a friend has linked his blog to mine using Technorati. That was very exciting! I begin to regret putting such a negative twist on it to begin with now that I'm starting to enjoy it so much. This has been fun but my eyes are watering and although this was relaxing, I feel I should have been doing something like cleaning.
* Wife and baby are trying to sleep. Wife fighting migraine; baby screaming to get out of crib (I will rescue in a second).
* Spoke with mother and father on the phone. I think they are going to save my butt for a couple of weeks but I've got to get a job immediately!
Enjoy the Nightmare Before Christmas by Tim Burton?

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* Whew! Debts calculated. Files in better order. Office starting to improve. Now if I can get the mess a little more under control and can get an income, things will be much better.
* Hopping out of my skin. Took another meclizine (stuck in throat) and switched to decaf tea. Back to filing and finances.
* Hopping out of my skin. Took another meclizine (stuck in throat) and switched to decaf tea. Back to filing and finances.
* Lunch break over.
2nd Mars Rover lands on Mars Looks like it landed near a subdivision! Either Mars is more similar to Earth than expected or the fake landing was staged too close to a Los Angeles residential area.

The actual article

Special note: My monitor is dying so it is darker than most. I could be seeing this picture different than you.
* Having read my wife's blog, its quite evident we have some communications problems. She thinks some things are important to me that I do not think are important and I read too much into her thoughts. I'd guess this is typical of married couples.
* Done screwing around. Time to get to work on organizing my life, finances and office.
* I feel like a disappointment. For over a year I've wanted to create from scratch some nice blogging software for the wife. Now she's moved to Her blog.
* Washing some nice calming meclizine down with some good ol' invigorating coffee
* If I am not careful today, I can tell the 13 yr old is going to get on my nerves.
What a great blog! Help Me Bubby!. Like Dear Abby online!
* I know what I need to do. Get working on the file system and accounting. Feeling unnnnn focused. Eyes blurry. Must find glasses. Take some meclizine. I need something in my ears. All the white noise in this house is driving me crazy. I want music but can't readily pop some in. I'd love our whole cd collection to be in mp3 format on the network with some bluetooth headphones to listen to it!
A New Day!

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This Morning
* I think I was up at 2am but not sure.
* Awake at 4am. Fire is still going as I can see the coals through the vents in the stove but I can't convince myself to go get wood despite knowing that it needs wood badly. Just rolled over and went back to sleep.
* 8:11 am I can't ignore the babies calls anymore. I'd really like to sleep in a little more.

Last Night
* Sheets were still wet. Dried them but wanted to go to bed. Got them dried but didn't want to disturb the wife so I just borrowed some of her covers and passed out.

Saturday, January 24, 2004

* Talked to Mom at 4:45ish and feel better. Went to pickup 10 yr old from a birthday party which always takes longer than expected. Being anywhere is better than being with the family! Dropped off ALL the kids at 5:30ish with the Grandmother and went to our first event cache which was very nice. It was fun to be just adults socializing and putting faces to the names of these people you feel like you've gotten to know just reading their log entries.
* Wife got a migraine 8ish and we rushed her home for rest. I wish I could have her back at the chiropractor and wish that I was better organized to actually fix her meals for a balanced diet.
* Went to pick up the 13 yr old and the 19mth old. Returned home with a very peaceful car ride only to have words with the 13yr old at the house. He has such a trashy mouth full of spite, hate and anger. Got them to sleep, checked email and am now here.
* All my decent pens are gone
* Time for meclizine. My mind is racing. I don't know if its a placebo or not but it helps.
* I need music. I can't get crap to play on the computers. I've listened to the same mini-discs so many times my ears want to bleed. And every CD case I own is empty or missing.
* Helped wife run girlscout meeting. Chasing baby for 2 hours was exhausting. Returned home only to have to go back because the 10yr old left her cookie order form at AC Moore. Returned home stopping for milk and gas (hope I got those in the correct containers) and then helped the 10 yr old sell cookies for 40 minutes. Returned home to work on finances (several weeks worth of work to do in 2 hours).
A New Day!

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This Morning
* Up at 7 but couldn't pull myself from bed until 7:30. I have to start waking at 4am every morning. That was a good time when I used to get up regularly at 4am.
* Painted bottle caps, got the fire re-fueled, fed the baby an eggo, painted bottle caps another 2 times at 30 min intervals, had some coffee, re-fueled the fire with thicker wood for a longer burn, fed the outside cat

mood: Feel stretched for time. I need to be working purely on finanaces and programming today but the schedule is packed!

Last Night
* In bed at 9pmish for relaxing break with intention to get up and work through the night--didn't happen, instead ice cream, a beer, chatting with the wife and some reading

Friday, January 23, 2004

* Just got back from scootering with the 10 yr old. What fun! The brake system on the 13 yr old's scooter is still messed up which has me ticked but I'm going to get it working for him.
A New Day!

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This Morning
* Got the kids up at 6 and I returned to bed until 6:30 then stayed up with them getting ready for school.
* Went to get hair cut. From there to the bank which on the way to I stopped at Autozone and poured 3 quarts of oil into the engine which ran straight out onto the pavement.
* Dropped car at Firezone for a $255 repair. then took their loaner car to the bank and home.

- Now off to phone calls

* Hellish day. Felt like throwing up many times. Had to decide between saying no to a job that I verbally said would not be a problem. I was taking it out of desperation but it would have me away from the family 5 days out of the week but only for 12 weeks. Doesn't matter if I made the right decision or not. It's done.
* Talked to father-in-law about the situation
* Talked to mother about the situation
* Took 7 yr old to boy scouts.
* Talked to mother on the phone about financial help.
* Relaxed at the tube. Woke a couple of times during the night.

Thursday, January 22, 2004

A New Day!

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This Morning
* Woke at 4:30 and could have jumped from bed but didn't allow myself to.
* Woke at 6, 6:17 (kids up), 6:30, 6:50 and 7 - finally got up
* 19 mth old awoke at 7:07 and I started warming the car in anticipation of her joining the car pool. Wife came up and got her (thank goodness! It was COLD outside).
* Ate some oatmeal, pondered the day, and read a book.
* Now need to check on the 19mth old.

Last Night
* Fixed dinner for the kids...rather gathered the kids for left over pizza and chicken pasta salad
* Called Dad to mention that the UPS should be picking up the damaged scooter. I wanted desperately to ask for help but didn't know how and he just volunteered it. I guess my jokes were taken as begging.
* Got fired going and kids to bed and watched television with wife. Was going to stay up late or all night working. She said "you're down for the night" and I was wired but ended up watching a movie from 11-1am "Hank's Heros" or something. At 1am I was still wide awake but shaking slightly; I knew needed sleep.

Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Gear shift
5:00pm -- whistle blows; no one cares about buying things or giving jobs at this point in the day. Time to change clothes and prepare dinner.
* Ran to the unemployment agency although I didn't realize that was what I was doing. Got into their job search system. Confirmed that a self-employed person cannot collect unemployment :)
* 10 yr old found out that we are trying to get him out of home schooling and back into the school system; he is pissed!

"I've been up Shit Creek so long I can't remember ever having a paddle. And my canoe is taking on water."
* I'm supposed to start work in Nashville on Monday.
A New Day!

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This Morning
* Woke wide awake at 2am. Knew the fire needed wood but could not motivate myself to get fuel for the fire. Could not get out of bed to work. Went back to sleep.
* Woke wide awake at 4am but could not motivate myself to get wood or get out of bed. Went back to sleep.
* Woke at 6am and went back to sleep until 6:30 when I got the kids up. Went back to bed until 6:45 checked on kids. Went back to bed until 7. Put small twigs on coals and acheived flame. Took kids to school. The 10 yr old had been day dreaming (my fault for not being up there) and wasn't coming outside so the 7 yr old and I left and picked up the car pool 7 yr old and return for the pissed of 10 yr old.
* Bought milk and my first TN Lottery Ticket :)
* Gave the 13 yr old his medicine and went back to bed at 7:50 to get up at 9:15 and refuel the fire.

This day is going to suck. I'll have a phone call asking if I can be in Nashville on Monday. I am going to bath and suit up and run over to a state run employment agency today for some employment counciling. Need a haircut bad. Need to work on php. Need to call people and make sure things like cell phone aren't going to be cut off. Need to work on finances badly. Need to get myself together.

Last Night
* Wife had a terrible headache. 13 yr old watched the history channel in our room with us. I massaged wife's head and neck between her running to the bathroom to vomit. If we had insurance, I would have had her in the ER. If I'm out of town on a contract and this had happened, how would this household manage. We need to stay together to take care of each other.
* 13 yr old to bed at 11pm. I read from 11pm-midnight while periodically going upstairs to tell the 13 yr old "turn out the light" "get to sleep" and so on

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

* I need my family insured badly. Tonight I need to calculate exactly what I need to make to survive and go for that. I mean, if $14/hr does it shouldn't I go for that?
* Craziness upstairs
* Cooked meatloaf for tomorrow and ordered pizza for tonight
* No real yelling at the kids today. A couple of stern voices and some cursing at the 13 yr old (will work on that next)
* Tired as all get out. Would kill for 20 minutes of peace to read by
* Interview over. Went too well. I really need a fulltime job with insurance and I want it in town. This is gonna kill me even if it is only 3 months.
Other developers make a decent living from their homes. What am I doing wrong?

* Kids are out of control. I must go watch them. Snack time anyway. Phone interview in 40 minutes.
* Worked on php site and made good progress but did not finish. bathed. dressed. had lunch. stoked fire. walked dogs. fed and watered dogs. Went to meeting about php site.
* meeting went well
* came home, changed into casual clothes, stoked fire, snack. Wife now going to sleep to take care of her migraine. I really need to get a decent job so she can see a doctor about those.
* Ah! Worked on php site some. Must make it purdy before 11. Must take meclizine. I will probably be offered the 3 mth contract on the phone today. Crap.
* Read some in Diaspora with the dictionary in my other hand. Taught the 7 yr old how to look up words in the dictionary.
* Checked the 10 yr old's homework. She had done 2 problems from one section then the last 3 problems from the previous, easier section. She got it all straightened out and didn't argue when I asked her not to erase the other work. Made sure both heads were combed and at least the 7yr old brushed and flossed.
* Drove kids to schoool. Man is it ever cold outside!
* Stopped by Pilot to pick up a free lottery ticket. Got inside and realised how ragged I must look. Haven't bathed in days. Enjoyed the scene and listened to the chatter for a second and left. Today is Tennessee's first lottery day.
* Returned home, added wood to the fire--smaller sticks, trying to bring up the temperature. Fixed breakfast and am settling in for work. My mind immediately begins to revolt.
A New Day!

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This Morning
* I awake at 5 but cannot rise. Get out of bed at 6:04 and wake the 10yr old so she can do the homework she conveniently neglected to mention over this 4 day weekend. I walk the dog, start coffee, wake the 7yr old boy and get logs for the fire.
* 19mth old wakes fully while I'm getting the 10yr old -- of course this happens on the morning I need to be working but she goes back to sleep.

My previous marriage failed because I worked too much (that's an oversimplification). Our lives are now falling apart because I don't work enough. I can't balance life and work.

Last Night
* The 13 yr old watched history channel until 11pm
* I worked until 11pm and the database still won't accept new records! php/mysql sucks.
* Read some more in Diaspora then slept at 1am

Monday, January 19, 2004

* Being overcome with tiredness
* I'm wiped. My php work isn't done but needs to be presented tomorrow. I have a phone interview at 4pm AH! That's good. The morning is open!
* I'm worried sick that my 19mth old is ill and I don't have the means to take care of her.
* php code no longer submitting to the database. Despite over simplifying the code it still doesn't work. I'm going to pull some hair out.
* While wasting my time with this php stuff the contract job is coming ever closer while no perm prospects show. The 19mth old seems to have a lump on her left breast. Of course, living close to Oak Ridge cancer fears race through my body and words like "PREEXISTING CONDITION" I am such a pathethic excuse for a provider!
* mind racing. stop. chew some gum. get to work!
* The walls are closing in
* Baby up. Boys taking ps2 break from their work. My brain is fried. I could use a nap.
* Lunch done. Baby refusing to nap. Wife tense. 7 yr old reading diligently on his assignment to learn who Daniel Boone was. 10 yr old ticked that she is having to work on her long term assignment. Me? I feel if I'm not careful I could have a snap so I must be extra flexible and strive to respond not react. Must get work done. Have suggested that the baby be left home so that the wife can have some relaxing time to herself during the 10 yr old's psychologist appointment (10 yr old full of anger and hate).
Today's transitional point

We've reached the point in the day where the focus has to change and there is more to do than the mind can grasp. What is most important? The php work. On to that. Don the headphones! Put on the blinders!
* need food
Today's goals: finish php site!!

Poo Poo Head

Now here's the kind of thing you miss out on having an office away from the house or by not having kids.

Friend of 7 yr old: "10 yr old. Come outside!"
10 yr old girl: Harshly "NO!"
Friend of 7 yr old: Shouts "Poo poo head! *door slams*

Now that's good stuff!

* My wife has shared that she is "having a crappy morning" (duh!) but refuses to tell me how I can help or share what is going on. Today is one of those days where a working man could "disconnect" himself from family life at an office and have less stress.
* resume off. Meeting with the php work scheduled for tomorrow. He called and wanted it to be today but that's physically impossible. Damn vaporware!
* Royal pain in the rear. Got the resume modified. Not terribly pleased.
* with crossed, fingers I've got the art computer working with MS Word. Mouse is crappy and frustrating
* Wife is doing that "she's mad at me but won't give me a hint" thing. It makes my heart turn into a 20 lb weight. I feel like someone has put lead in my chest.
I can't keep MS Word open for more than a second. DAMN! Why me?! Every tiny thing has to go wrong for me!!
* worse yet. I haven't put a keystroke toward the php work that should have been completedly already. Really, it should have been less than a day's work.
* Computer's are refusing to play nice. Can't edit the word document that the recruiter needs.
A New Day!

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This Morning
* up at 7. Walking dog. Watching trash truck drive on past us (I've got to get them the $90 I owe!). Reading the paper (today's cypher was ridiculuously easy). Breakfast (oatmeal). Getting the baby (new diaper and breakfast). Phone call from recruiter.
* Now trying to get word doc modified but MS Word is crashing. This is going to look bad to the recruiter.
* I am trying to run a website related to the Tennessee Lottery and am a year behind schedule. I comment that "I should have been collecting articles and putting them in a folder" and my wife responds "why!?" Does no one understand the research side of creating a successful business model? I could create a successful business model selling mudpies with a decent capital seed and the right amount of effort.

Last Night
* Took the brainbench test on CF 5 and scored 4.82 out of 5 which according to the results is better than 99 percent of people who took the test.
* 10:15-10:30 trying to get to the bedroom to watch a movie at 10:15 with the wife. This time is stoking the fire and preparing it for a long, low burn (the room is sooo much better now!), getting the kids settled and getting a snack.
* 10:30-midnight moview
* midnight to 1am reading--bout of insomnia. Had lots of energy but couldn't focus it. Should have programmed all night.

Sunday, January 18, 2004

* I'm wound like a watch spring right now. Wife wants me to watch a movie at 10:15 which I'd love to do but I'm so worn out that I just want to go lie down right now and sleep. I have to do this proficiency test for the recruiter and if I wait much longer I'll be too tired and make silly mistakes. I need a job badly. The 19mth old seems to have a lump on her left breast and a persisting rash on her inner left thigh and I have no insurance to take her to the doctor with.
Explemplorary Chaos

Here's the type of thing that most DINKS miss out on. I am trying to have some calming time to myself after a totally depressing day with some reading on Diaspora by Greg Egan and playing the guitar when the 7yr old and his friend tell me I am taking them to the store for snacks then the 13 yr old declares that he has dog poop on his shoe after walking the dog 15 minutes ago. That's 15 minutes of tramping dog poop through the house. I'd like to require shoes be removed at the front door but I personally like keeping my shoes on.

* 10yr old dropped -- nevermind.. I should quit trying. Should have gone to Memphis.
* between the blogging and the web programming my left wrist is taking a huge hit. Popping and hurting. Pulling out the weights.
* hungry. Getting some meclizine and some more coffee. I'm calmer now and need to supervise upstairs so the wife can have some calming time.
* I'm just causing problems upstairs. Going to retire down here, put on some headphones, and just work on the computer all day today. They can do without me for one day.

* Last night I got my Meclizine refilled. It is the generic form of Antivert used to treat dizziness. So I the pharmasist puts warning stickers on the documentation including "May cause dizziness." I about died laughing.
* back hurts
* forgot to add in the "lousy father" report. Went upstairs this morning and the hall gate is open for the dog (a puppy that is staying for a day or two) to romp and chew up all kinds of things. The door to the 10yr old's room (where the 19mth old sleeps until I can get on my feet enough to build an addition) is wide open. The 13 yr old and 7 yr old are playing ps2 in the 13yr old's room. Without as much as a "good morning" I jump on them. The 13yr old should have brought down his medicine when he got up. (that was all he got) The 7yr old has been told repeatedly not to eat food on the furniture. He's munch right out of the cereal box. And they aren't supposed to have food in the bedrooms at all since we tried it and it didn't work out. He left the gate open. And left the bedroom door open after "going in to check on the baby" (which is terribly sweet but if that door squeaks she wakes). Bad dad! bad dad! I had a 2nd voice in my head saying "back off" "its no big deal" "correct your tone" and after that initial instinctive "jump on them for this" I pulled in the reigns.

I have to learn "7 yr old boys have their brains turned off" and that our 13yr old is really a 7yr old in a big body.
A New Day!

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This Morning
* Up at 4am rearing to go but allowed myself to lie back down. Up again 7:45ish and have walked the dog and put fresh, but wet, wood on the fire.

Dream: Dreamed that some goofball kids were surveying my lot with very little care and that in doing so I lost 1/4 acre to the neighbor. While I was inspecting the markings, they were in the house (went in basement side where my son was playing ps2). Looked like grifters to me.

Dream: An earlier dream began with me trying to rappel down a dangerous cliff or building onto some railroad tracks. It went horrible wrong. The dream changed to be in some kind of building observatory. It was glass domed and on the glass some impossible distance about the earth was this strange object. It was raining. As we got closer, it turned out to be 3 large sea turtles on sitting on the outside of the glass. We were then attacked by aliens that had come to collect the turtles. Our group packs into an elevator and an alien gets one blue lazer shot off hitting a compatriot in the arm. Fortunately he is wearing a protective suit and it does nothing more than throw him backwards. -- that's enough. It goes on and there is much more detail but unless I'm going to turn it into a novel it is silly to continue.

Last Night
* Finished watching Chicago on DVD.
* read some more in Diaspora
* found a DEEEEP sleep afterwards

Today's Goals: php/mysql (kill it), finances, clean house

Saturday, January 17, 2004

* made a chicken pasta and a curry chicken for dinner (recipes to follow later)
* watched Chicago with wife and 7yr old fell asleep while spending some time with us. Good guy!
* Nite all!

State of me
Not dizzy (but Meclizine may be the reason); tired but know that I should put in a few hours on this computer. Overall, happy and mellow. But can flip that like a light switch to cranky and snappy.
* fire looks stable. I think the chill in the room is already gone. Off to get a cooking pot of water to help humidify the air.
* Woodstove lit. First time in 2 years. I cleaned it decently first. Now that's a danger to the baby!
Dizzy Report

*Cleaned the roof. No dizziness. Inspected the flue for the woodstove and its clean enough to eat off of! Fire tonight!
* I've been reading Greg Egan's Diaspora and am amused that I am understanding it so well. It is science fiction packed with science fact. I have just finished Alice in Quantumland by Robert Gilmore which explains Quantum Physics quite well. Fortunately (recognising this in great hindsight), I had a great science teacher in the 7th grade that imposed some of these lessons on us. I recommend both books but read Alice first--its a tough read.

At this exact moment I want to do:
- Go up on roof and inspect chimney myself so we can have a fire
- Get Tommy's scooter out and fix it
- Get mad at scooter company for not returning my calls
- Work on php/mysql website
- Write detailed blog entry for this morning
- Add book references with my Amazon store to the blog
- Figure out why my eyes don't seem to want to focus today
- Sand, patch, paste and finish gate repair upstairs
A New Day!

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This Morning
* rough start
* much movement and baby crying all around 7-7:30. Baby crying stopped so I hid under the covers (later to find that the 7yr old "rescued" the baby and was playing with her..very nice!)
* Got up again around 10 or 11 from a sleep of the dead

Last night
* sleep 10ish. Washed down 25mg meclizine with 1 Guinness

Friday, January 16, 2004

* Computer flipping out. Sorta appropriate

good karma
* Called the bank and although I have checks bouncing left and right it doesn't sound like they are poised to close my account yet but I have to correct things quickly
* After turning down the Memphis job, another agency has called with a 3 mth contract in Nashville
I am such an ogre to the kids. I've got to change that.
* I'm working but I feel like I'm walking through waist deep mud.
* sound of screaming children could be in the music I'm listening to. I turned up the volume to drown them out and at regular intervals the screams--nevermind, that was definitely a child
* I'd kill to have my 2nd monitor back
* over tired 7 yr olds now fighting. I see the advantage of working at an office. My urge is to go upstairs and help.
* created visual aid to encourage the 13 yr old to Respective, Have a positive attitude and be productive. However, he only cares about himself and it won't make a difference. He's up there banging on the table again and acting retarded.
* 13 yr old now stomping on the floor directly above my head while I try to work. 19mth old awake.
* 13 yr old really trying hard to make us angry. Making noises, trying to irrate and engage us
* It's done. I've finally achieved the possibility of a 4 day work week.. A long time goal and I have turned it down. The damage to the family would be far to great. I feel like an idiot.
* I feel horrible for losing my temper.
* Beef jerk on dehydrator
* Working on php/mysql - time to don the headphones
* 1 hour to decide on the 11mth contract. They've asked if I were to do a 12x4 (Mon-Thur) if that would make a difference. Crap crap crap! I could have a paycheck by next Friday.
* 9:27 wife still in bed with a migraine. I should be calling my client to say I'm done but I still have some solid work to do. Baby is unwatched. 13 yr old is trying to have a fight. I haven't been able to bathe and get dressed. Sears has called and I uncomfortably wrote them a check for 2/7. Employment agency called and asked if I could do 12 hours a day Monday - Thursday to make the contract happen. * Proceeded to go upstairs and do battle with the 13yr old. I reverted to my old forceful ways and handled him wrongly. I've been doing so much better. I am very disappointed in myself. I pushed him into the bathroom causing him to scream and disturb the 7yr old and his friend, the baby staring in confusion, and wake the wife. He refused to do anything but sit on the floor screaming so I pushed his 170+ pounds half way into the tub and began watering his head down. I left and when I returned he still refused to make any move so I put him in the tub and turned the water on where he proceeded to simply sit and let the water cover his jeans. -- I shouldn't take my anger and frustration out on others. Yes, he was picking a fight since he woke up, had several times baited me with yelling and anger but I should have more tolerance. Turns out he is in a bad mood because the other kids have today off but he is being made to do schoolwork today since he really didn't work this past week as hard as he should (and he has it pretty easy).
A New Day!

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This Morning
* The 7yr old and friend were up at 7:30. The 19mth old was up at 7. I really wanted to sleep in. Brought her upstairs 7:30ish for breakfast and tv babysitting.

Last Night
* I was up at 1:45am and ready to go. Should have stayed awake and worked. The 7yr old and his friend sleeping over were still up.

Thursday, January 15, 2004

* I just flung white glue throughout the innards of our nicest dvd player.
* Always have focus problems in the afternoons. I should work like 4am - 1pm. Wife at store with the girls. 7yr and 3 friends were upstairs. We are now down to 2. Kept the 13yr old from them but have released him to do whatever he wants now.
Hey! That bridge is a burnin!

Turned down an opportunity to work for Fedex. I'm in shock. I've chosen family. "No success at work is worth failure in the home." What if I fail to cloth, feed and house my family? I'm nearly shaking.
* turn down $39/hr and no benes or not??
* 7 yr old and friend home. 13 yr old's school work is magically complete.
* just wasted an hour watching the 13 yr old practice handwriting. He was pissed because I wouldn't allow him to use old work as "I just did this" and I made him actually do the assignment correctly. Lots of yelling from him but I kept myself calm, quiet and to the point.
* visio docs created to get a hold and rope in this php/mysql project
* time spent lecturing 13 yr old trying to convince him that school and more importantly the concept of "caring" is important. How in the world do you instill "caring" into someone that really has never considered the concept beyond vocalizing "I do too care!"
* Ate omelette for lunch. (Let's see how many times we can misspell taht[sic])
* working again
Wahoo! Good Karma!

Despite missing the last payment, the student loan is coming out of default and is being reconsolidated under a new loan with today's interest rates. Balance should drop from roughly $46000 to $40000 because they are going to waive all but 18% of the late fees. I just need to be able to say I have income (real soon!).

* coffee break over. Wife says I'm dressed like a pirate today :) Or Michael J Fox from Back to the Future. I can't wait until our debts are paid down and I can get a new wardrobe.
* Sliced and marinated the brisket for beef jerky (see Dietrich's Jerky Recipe Found that salt has no shelf life unless its seasoned salt
* Fixed wife omlet
- I love to cook!

Dietrich's Jerky Recipe
note: In college I think I used to pride myself on never actually letting anyone "get to close." I had tons of friends but I made myself feel as if I was not close to anyone. In reality, I had more close friends than most people probably accumulate in their lives. Dietrich was a close friend with some great outdoors skills. Also introduced me to Oakley sunglasses...thanks for the expensive habit :)

recipe: Get a cut of brisket from the store with as little fat as possible. Cut into strips. For chewy jerky cut against the grain (my preferred method) or for less chewy jerky cut with the grain. [I recommend doing this by hand to appreciate the art but after a few times get the butcher to machine cut it. You'll end up with more fat but its less work. I personally find the cutting an enjoyable and relaxing.] In a tupperware dish or baking dish lay the strips out and sprinle lightly with garlic powder, and kosher salt. Marinate in Dale's Steak Seasoning for as long as you like. I usually do it overnight. Then dehydrate. Method 1: oven. Cover your bottom rack with aluminum foil. Clean the middle rack then lay your strips of marinated brisket over the rack. Put the oven on the lowest possible setting and dry the meat for 14 hours. Method 2: Using a dehydrater, dry the meat for 8 hours (give or take depending on the dehydrater and your preference--the jerky can be over dried and is horrible when it is). Just like the old cowboys you now have a preserved meat that does not need refrigeration, is tasty, and filling. Enjoy!

Warning: It's habit forming!

* coffee break
* talked to staffing agency. led them on a little to be able to get the guts to turn them down. Will call this afternoon and explain I had lunch with the inlaws and ... something from there.
* disturbing noises upstairs - ignore ignore ignore
* taking 25 mg of meclizine. Not dizzy right now but anxiety is too high. Feel ill.
* calmed with some reading..well..didn't calm far. Gave me time to think that "I need to feed both cats" "MUST cook today..need pineapple" "money" "balance books" and other todos
A New Day!

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This Morning
* Worked with the 7yr old on a spelling practice. Had he taken the test without practice it would have been his worst. He may still not fair well.
* Worked with the 10yr old on addition and subtraction of fractions, and improper fractions. I enjoy working with the kids.

state of being
* I am angry with myself. I've had some great domains relating to the Tennessee Lottery for a year. I could have been promoting them and had so much traffic to them by now (the first tickets go on sale in 5 days) that I would have been solicited by the commission in some way (lawsuit, partnership, payoff..whatever) or at least been making money in advertising sales. It may be too late to recover. I need to be working fulltime on it but that doesn't make money plus my life doesn't really permit it. I have to start sleeping less!
* On the positive side, I began my stretching exercises again today. Those make me feel great and help me find a meditative balance in my life.

today's goals: Finish (completely) the php/mysql project that I started [hopefully receive payment before the 19th], work on personal lottery related website [this is also a training exercise to bring me up to speed with css and rss-my skillset is starting to feel aged to me], some kind of marketing effort [hmm. I should be specific.] table toppers to several businesses, call employment agency and turn down Memphis job (they will quit working with more bridge on fire), COOK!

Last Night
* found sleep near midnight
* woke from deep sleep and jumped out of bed resulting in a dizzy spell so strong that it floored me (literally)