Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year, Or Something Like That.

It is a quarter to Midnight here on the left coast, and everyone in the house is asleep, but me. I didn't get to the gym tonight, as work schedules got screwed up. However, I did a little quick math. To lose 100 lbs in the next year, I only need to average about 2 lbs a week. When it is put in that perspective, I really ought to be losing more, but one goal at time as far as that goes. So, tomorrow, I start at 385 lbs and start working backward. I'm thinking a 4 day a week gym schedule to start, and at least for the near future, I'll continue to do a combination cardio and weight workout until I plateau, then I'll add additional days and alternate.

Tomorrow, it is a an afternoon date with Mrs. BiW and we'll go to the movies and lunch, then come home to let the boys do their worst, then off to the gym, since it is likely the only day this week that I will get to go because of work schedules.

That means I might actually make some headway on the novel if I work on it in the evenings this week. Maybe after I get the Christmas Tree down. Putting all the ornaments back in the little boxes takes about twice as long as getting them out and hanging them.

Happy New Year to my fellow lurkers in the blogosphere. You know who you are.

This was posted at the Rott.

I think the DNC probably wets itself every time they hear him speak.

Yes, it matters. Now more than ever.

Very Diplomatic...

Why this show is soooo much fun. As my friend Dick would say, "Absolute Greatness."

One of the things I miss about Michigan

The Ded Bob Show!!!!

I think Folly should look into booking him at the pub.

I just got a call...

I have a client who is in the hospital and not expected to live. This is an aspect of the job that really isn't too much fun.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

A TS & D Welcome to Mark

Who is now linked on the right. Go over and say "Hi." But be nice, he's already had his share of folks leaving messes on the carpet over there.

That's Settled.

I got two different colognes for Christmas from Mrs. BiW. I finally went to the mall today and tried them both on so she could decide which one was better on me. Although it isn't something that she would normally pick for me, or that I would pick for myself, the Dunhill Desire Blue was the winner, which means the CK Euphoria goes back.

Yeah, like you care, but guess what? Its MY blog!!!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Organization or not?

I just spent the better part of the day picking up the garage with Mrs. BiW and My Father-in-Law came over to help put some shelves together. I am dirty, sore, my eyes hurt, and I feel like I inhaled a pound of dust. And my grill is out of gas, which sucks because I have some Omaha Steaks in the freezer. I want left overs like I want a hole in the head, but that's the way we roll sometimes.

The good news is my shirt is way too baggy on me and I am wearing a pair of jeans that I haven't been able to wear in a long time.

The bad news is that the coffee is out of my system and I still have a lot to accomplish today.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Stuff for the New Year

No doubt everyone will start posting their thoughts and wishes for the new year. I've had some time to think about it, so here goes:

1. Live Boldly. Love extravagantly. Excelsior. Try things I always wanted to do. Self-check for the right reasons. Take possession of what has been promised.

2. Date more. I was blessed enough to marry the only woman I ever loved. Its long past time to do things with her and her alone that let her feel how cherished and adored she is.

3. Lose 100 lbs. Yeah, this is going to be tough. Requires mucho gym time, being very careful about what I eat, and more physical activity. But if I start getting a lot more into shape, I'll feel better, get flirted with even more at the grocery store, make my doc happy, and be around a lot longer for my family. Oh for the days when I had the time to run 12 miles a day, or cycle 100 miles a day.

4. Get serious about my novel. This is going to be a hard one also. It will mean setting weekly goals for how much to write, but thanks to the opinions of a few close friends regarding the chapter that has to be the best thing I've written in over a decade, I believe that I can actually write something that someone will want to read. Thank you to you all. You know who you are.

5. Continue working on relationships. At the end of the day, this is the stuff that matters. Things like your relationship with your spouse are the only things in your life that you ever get to have complete control over, and its time to stop settling and start building. The clients will never come and stand over my grave, thanking me for all that time I spent working on their stuff. I'd rather have the people I love tell stories about the ways I touched their lives and left memories that will always leave smiles on their faces. That means filling the shoes I have only ever looked at, and remembering the one man in my life who I felt set a good example for this: my Grandpa.

6. Make my job more satisfying or change it. There is a lot a like about my job. There is a lot more that I don't. This year, I take it and make it mine, or I move on to somewhere else. I hear Pierce County is hiring a new District Court Commissioner. Maybe I should take the path my law school comrades thought I would take and don the black robe?

7. Read a different translation of the Bible in a year.

What are you gonna do?

Ho, Ho, Ho, Indeed

"Santa" put porn under the tree and a young girl cries.

Something strikes me as not being quite right about this story.

I was told last night...

...that there was a twinkle in my eyes. I don't know the last time I heard that a smile came out through them. It was good to hear, and I liked hearing it from the person who told me.


"There's a love much stronger than everything that holds you down. And right now it says "Whoo Hoo you know its gonna be alright.""

"Count it pure joy when the world comes crashing, hold your head high and keep on dancing."

How do these guys keep reaching in to my head? Really. I'd like to know.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Slow Weeks

Pros: I can get caught up on the niggling little things on my desk that have been languishing because of higher priority pojects.

Cons: I have to spend time on those niggling little projects on my desk that are a hassle or unsexy, or out-and-out boring.

The good news? I really like one of the new albums I got for Christmas. MercyMe's "All That's Within Me." Goodbye Ordinary and Alright sound terrific blasted through my car speakers...I didn't hear the cell phone when Mrs. BiW called when I was on my way home last night.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Back to the salt mines

I used up all of my vacation time, so I am back at work today.

I've been the only one here for a half hour now, and the phone has not rung once. I think this is going to be a slow day.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas Was Good.

So Santa Came...

And left a bunch of Bionicles and Legos...

...and Thomas toys...

And smiles...

...and fun (How many BiW's does it take to put together a Thomas Playset?)

We set a mean table around here when we want to...

Turkey, stuffing, corn, salad, rolls, mashed potatoes, pickles, olives, rice, Sparkling cider...oh my.

Mrs. BiW and I had fun making dinner, everyone was stuffed, and all got good stuff.

Mrs. BiW got a nice leather blazer, a new handbag, some movies, some movie tickets, and a big gift card to here.

I got some new shirts and ties, so I can continue to look stylish in the office, some movie tickets (for some more dates with Mrs. BiW) and a gift certificate for here. The last is especially cool since I have wanted to try it since I was a kid and spent hours watching people do it here. Yeah. I'm gonna go make glass. Simply greatness. I hope y'all had a good Christmas.

Monday, December 24, 2007

It was the morning before Christmas

The sun is making an appearance through the grey clouds outside.

The coffee maker came out of its exile under the sink so I could make a pot of Millstone Holiday Peppermint.

The honeycrisp apple is sliced up and sprinkled with cinnamon.

Heir No. One is playing with Bionicles on the island in the kitchen, and babbling ad nauseum about them in terms only he understands.

Heir No. Two has his Thomas coloring book and is trying despirately to announciate the name of the characters he wants so much to tell me about.

Maybe I'll get over to the gym for a quick workout later, before we head over to Papa and Nana's house for the festivities there this evening. There is a lot of wrapping to do tonight. I love this time of year.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Someone has waaaaaaaaayyyy too much time on their hands.

JERUSALEM - Israeli scientists have inscribed the entire Hebrew text of the Jewish Bible onto a space less than half the size of grain of sugar.

Sweet words?

The nanotechnology experts at the Technion institute in Haifa say the text measures less than 0.01 square inch surface. They chose the Jewish Bible to highlight how vast quantities of information can be stored in minimum amounts of space.

Do it with the Library of Congress, and then I'll be impressed.

"It took us about an hour to etch the 300,000 words of the Bible onto a tiny silicon surface," Ohad Zohar, the university's scientific adviser for educational programs, told the Associated Press.

Which would make them the world's fastest typists. Maybe they missed their calling.

The Technion's microscopic bible was created by blasting tiny particles called gallium ions at an object that then rebounded, causing an etching affect.

You think that's impressive? You should see who they wrote it for.

"When a particle beam is directed toward a point on the surface, the gold atoms bounce off and expose the silicon layer underneath just like a hammer and chisel," Zohar said.

Only smaller. A lot smaller.

Zohar said the technology will in the future be used as a way to store vast amounts of data on bio-molecules and DNA.

Am I the only one who is a bit alarmed by this? I don't want people writing on my DNA, thanks.

The tiny Bible appears to be the world's smallest.

The Lilliputians dispute this claim, but without an electron microscope, who can be certain?

The previous smallest known copy of the Bible measured 1.1 x 1.3 x 0.4 inches, weighing 0.4 ounces and containing 1,514 pages, according to Guinness World Records spokeswoman Amarilis Espinoza. The tiny text, obtained by an Indian professor in November 2001, is believed to have originated in Australia.

I understand the utility of a small Bible, but isn't this kinda silly?

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Christmas Meme

1) Link to the person that tagged you (SoHos and Folly) and post the rules on your blog.

(These are the rules).

2) Share Christmas facts about yourself.

3) Tag 7 random people at the end of your post, and include links to their blogs.

4) Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

Here goes:

1. Wrapping or gift bags? Depends on gift and who it is going to. The evil bastage in me likes making the boys and Mrs. BiW have unwrap stuff.

2. Real or artificial tree? Artifical. One, its easier, and two, pine pollen drives my eyes crazy even though I love the smell.

3. When do you put up the tree? Typically, the weekend after Thanksgiving.

4. When do you take the tree down? First week in January.

5. Do you like eggnog? Yes, but I don't indulge anymore.

6. Favorite gift received as a child? A CD player for my stereo set.

7. Do you have a nativity scene? Not right now.

8. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? Poop Brown slacks and matching sweater.

9. Mail or email Christmas cards? Mail, but I have been both busy and distracted this year, so no one got one.

10. Favorite Christmas movie? A Christmas Story. One of the few things I had in common with my Dad was a love for Jean Sheppard stories.

11. When do you start shopping for Christmas? The third week of December.

12. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Sour Cream Soup (When Mrs. BiW makes it.)

13. Clear lights or colored? Clear.

14. Favorite Christmas song? Mary's Boy Child...The Harry Connick, Jr. version with the funky syncopation.

15. Travel at Christmas or stay at home? Stay at home.

16. Can you name all of Santas reindeer? No.

17. Angel or star on the top of your tree? Angel.

18. Open your presents Christmas Eve or Christmas morning? Christmas Morning.

19. Most annoying thing about this time of year? Crass Commericalism.

20. What do you leave for Santa? Usually a cookie.

21. Least favorite holiday song? The Chipmunk Christmas song.

22. Do you decorate your tree with any specific theme or color? No. We have storage boxes loaded with Hallmark ornaments of all types.

23. Favorite ornament? My Hallmark Angel. Don't ask me why, but this has been "My" ornament since I was a kid, and it isn't a Christmas Tree for me until it is on the tree.

The options are decreasing, so...Alex, SoCal, "Vern" at the Suicide Help Desk, and the Barista (Hey, it would be a great Christmas present for all of us.)

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

This Week's Game.

My favorite three movie scenes:

1. This scene from Grosse Pointe explains it all, and I marvel today at how much I identify with Martin's explanation.

2. Henry's address to the troops at Agincourt before battle on the feast of St. Crispian...if this doesn't inspire you, then you are dead.

3. Down Periscope. Yes, I know it is lowbrow, but I LOVE this movie, and I watch it every time I find it on. It never fails to make me laugh.

Christmas Spirit

Is something I haven't found yet this year. I'm still wondering when it will come. At least the boys have it, so it isn't a complete wash.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Filched from the fyreman, who filched it from someone else.

Finally. A news story that doesn't make me angry.

Darkness, shadows, and darker urges kept repressed

The background noise in my brain has been preoccupied with thoughts of this nature lately. Yeah, I have a dark side. One that I have kept at bay most of my life, and has only gotten indulged by some of the gamesmanship of my profession and vicarious visuals in films and television. I don't know if I have lightened up in my old age, or if I have simply distilled it into areas most near and dear to me. By this I mean that I truly am an easygoing guy, maybe quicker to laugh than I have been in the past, and even more frightening, prone to smile for no reason at all of late. And that's all fine. You may never see my other face...unless you do something to threaten those whom I love, namely, my beloved and long-suffering wife, or either of my boys. If you present a real threat to any of them, you better pray for a miracle, because only God will be able to save you. If you actually hurt them, well, the term "treble damages" may take on a whole new meaning.

I'm starting to think that it is a very good thing I never gave free reign to my base impulses, but I'm also of a mind that it is good to have them, in case they are ever needed. Someone near and dear to me recently asked what I might be doing if I was not a husband or a father, and I could have done whatever I wanted. While slightly offended at the implication that I didn't want to be a husband and father, I set to work thinking about it, since I didn't have a ready answer. After months of considering the question, I realized that the answer was startling, and an opportunity to be thankful for the healing power of a loving wife and children in my life. The answer? "I would likely be doing very distasteful and awful things for our government, and enjoying my work." Like the nameless assassin in "Serenity" kind of work.

Thank you Iffintchka, for your love, the introduction you made on that night so many years ago, and for bearing two wonderful sons to us. Without the three of you, I'm quite sure that my soul would be blood soaked beyond redemption by this time. I thought about this last night while watching "The Shadow", in the scene when Margo asked to look into Lamont's eyes after she figured out he was The Shadow, and he replied "You can look, but you won't like what you see." I'm glad I have never had to say that. I have, on occasion, had to quote St. Garibaldi's famous line "I can dream real dark." It is why I prefer the dreamless sleep I have most nights.

Monday, December 17, 2007

More Bird Flu

This is one of my hot-button issues. There has been another outbreak in Pakistan.

Am I the only one who is worried that this is being investigated by an arm of the UN...yes, the blue-helmeted kleptocrats who can only seem to perofrm two functions adequately: Denounce Israel and the US?

It is probably only a matter of time...and then things will really suck for a while.

A thought...

I'm considering forming a modern-day version of Dorath's Company, simply because I'm sick of standing by and suffering when there is a need to Clorox the gene-pool. Thngs could only get better, right?

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Saturday Grumbles

1. Christmas shopping. I understand the almighty buck makes the economy go, which means we can all work, and get the almighty buck, but really. Is it necessary to make those of us with busy, complicated lives feel guilty because we aren't out spending like mad?

2. People who can't drive in rain. C'mon people. You live in western Washington. If you can't drive in rain, move to southern California. I'd rather have fewer cars on the road anyway.

3. Parents who let their kids go to school when they are sick. Heir No. Two sounds like a zombie from Dawn of the Dead because one of his classmates came to school with this week's version of death crud. Enough already. The adults in this house work hard all week, and spending the weekend nursing a sick three year old is not always appreciated.

4. Weekends when the the programmers can't seem to put good movies on. Is it so hard to get a good movie and show it on Friday or Saturday night?

5. Lame bitch lists like this one. I mean, if you're gonna waste the bandwidth, shouldn't you really get something worthwhile to complain about? I think so, too.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Well...Its An Eye...

Don't ask me why, the process hurt a whole hell of a lot more than last time. When they put the needle in under my eye to give me the general, I found myself unable to sink any lower in the bed than I already had. That's how much it hurt. Then, right out of the gate, I could feel what the Doc was doing. It would be polite to say he was alarmed. They hit me with more sedative and started washing a topical over my eye. I had a killer headache for the rest of the day, and I was a pretty disobedient patient for Mrs. BiW after she got home and I woke up.

Thank you for you assistance and putting up with my heavily drugged self, hon. I realize that it couldn't have been much fun. Thank you for making dinner, also.

Now its the day after stuff...I feel like I was socked in the eye, which is still so dialated that it looks like it is all pupil, light hurts, it doesn't adjust like the other one, etc. The good news is that it should be feeling right as rain in about a week. I wish I could say the same about everything else that hurts in my life right now.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Karma's a Bitch, Ain't It, Sharptongue?

Had this link in my mailbox this morning. Couldn't happen to a sweeter self-serving race pimp. Mheh.

h/t to Steve, KofE

Don't You Just Hate It When...

...You're driving your favorite streatch of road, you have a good song on the radio, and the person in front of you is such a freakin' killjoy, driving less than the speed limit.

I was coming down from the Graham Plateau on the OK Highway this morning on my way into the Orting Valley...a nice twisty piece of two-lane blacktop that I like to drive down fast...had this blasting out of the speakers

and a little white Mercury Tracer crawling along in front of me. Killjoy.

I get my other cataract removed today. Soon better than 20/20 in both eyes, and only glasses to read. Yea me!

Sorry, nothing more right now.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

My Turn

OK, my turn, even if I did get them out of order.
Favorite Objects...My Dell DJ, Leatherman Micra, Pewter Coin, Parker Insignia...

...and my wedding ring.

One of the many nicknames I've had.

My age on my next birthday...

A place I'd like to go...Isle Royale National Park in Lake Superior.

One of my favorite places...Yonge Street in Toronto.

Favorite Food.

Favorite Color.

Where I was born...albeit well before the year I was born. Lovely Mt. Pleasant, Michigan...Home to the Central Michigan University and the Soaring Eagle Casino.

Monday, December 10, 2007

As Promised...

Mrs. BiW and I bought this early in our marriage at Crowley's. We got a discount on it, and I still recall it being somewhat exhorbtant for our budget at the time. It is a wonder it didn't break on the trip out from Michigan.

Mrs. BiW is quite fond of this tree skirt, although it is a little small for the tree.

These are only a fraction of the decorations. There are two and half more tubs in the garage with more. Mrs. BiW and I had a nice evening putting more on without little hands this evening. It almost feels like Christmas...except I haven't done any shopping, which means risking letting two little boys down.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

The Ongoing Saga

The Tree is completely fluffed. I let Heir No. One put on a small box of his ornaments last night. The plan is to do the rest today after lunch. Yes, I will post pictures...with all those Hallmark Ornament$ on it, how could I not? Y'all have a good one.

Friday, December 07, 2007


My head really hurts. Like "I-was-Mike-Tyson's-Sparring-Partner" hurts. I think I'm gonna shut off the lights, close the blinds, and chill in the dark for a while.

Sig's Got a Good Funny This AM

Really, go check it out, and be sure to read the caption. Thanks, buddy. You have no idea how much I needed the laugh this morning.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Validation Sometimes Comes From the Best Places

Heir No. One always has a writing assignment as part of his weekly homework. He can choose from one of three topics, then he must write about it for at least 10 minutes.
One of the topics is always whatever you want. I steer him away from this. I can only read so much about Legos. The other two topics this week were "If you could be an animal, what kind of animal would you be?" the other was "Who is the most important person in your life?"

I read the two topics to him. He said "A lion! But I wanna write about the other."

"OK." I replied. And I set the timer, thinking I would soon be perusing an essay about Papa or Mom. I scanned a few blogs, and before I knew it, the timer went off. I looked over my laptop, to where he was still busy writing on the paper on the other side of the table. This was unusual, since he normally couldn't set his pencil down soon enough when the beeping starts. I watched as I got up and turned the timer off. He finished, and when I came back, he handed it to me with a big smile on his face, gave me a hug, and went off to get ready for a bath.

This is what it said:

the very important person is my dad. he teaches me new things. love you dad. do you want to play with me sometime. I hope you will. love E****. bye bye. love E**** W.

I wish I knew what I did to deserve such unconditional love and admiration, but I am certainly glad that he gives it to me. I hope I never let him down.

I recently changed... life motto from "No Good Deed Goes Unpunished" to "Every Day Is An Adventure."

And Yes. It is. It has been liberating to consider the fact that I am not really in control, and that there is nothing I can do about it. That means I can spend my entire life getting cranked up about things beyond my control, or I can take everything as it comes, plan as well as I can, and be willing to be flexible when I hit a riptide that drags me far out to sea and away from my planned destination.

The last riptide has put me in a place where I can't see the shore, and the sea and the sky don't look quite right. I don't know which direction I'll be heading next, but at least I can thank God that I know how to swim, and that I am not too tired to do so yet. Oh look! A really big wave...

I don't get trolls, but I do get spam...

...will the African Bank millionaire scammers please stop sending me emails already? I honestly am not going to fall for this, so how about just stopping.

People Are SOOOOO Stoopid Sometimes

A man bilks people out of $800,000.00 convincing them that his wife is a government agent who can diagnose their illnesses with satelite imaging? Yeah, I can play this game too. "Thanks for the cash. Hold on a sec. Yup, you're an idiot." Amazing.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Another Favorite Vocalist in a Stunning Duet

The guy is Bobby Caldwell...and man can he channel the spirit of Ol' Blue Eyes!

One of the Most Subversive Songs In Rock History

Honestly, I laugh every time I think about them playing this song on the radio.

This Is Why I Love YouTube...

My Favorite Harry song...performed live...

Excuse me while I bask in the moment...

*wanders of singing to self* "Lovers are dreamers...I've been walking in my sleep..."

Quote of the Day

I was talking to a CPA I sometimes work with today, and she was trying to recruit me for her Rotary Club Branch. She kept hammering me and telling me that they have four attorneys, including her husband, but none of them do business law. "Come on," she said "it'll be a great way to build your book of business, and besides, you know you'll have fun going to these meetings with me. I usually sit in the back and make snarky comments while the speaker is talking...that and generally causing trouble."

"What??? You?? Causing trouble??? Gee, now my image of you is totally blown, M. Does Bob [her husband] sit with you?"

"No. I'm generally too rowdy for him. Ha ha ha ha!"

"I dunno, sounds like trouble to me."

"More than you know. I've been even more dysfunctional than normal lately."

[laughing hard] "More dysfunctional than normal lately! I'm gonna steal that for my blog!"

Kids, and the Power They Don't Even Know That They Have

Two events in the last two days have driven home to me the emotional power that your kids end up having that they do not even understand.

Yesterday morning, while waiting for my mother-in-law to pick up the boys, I noticed that Heir No. One seemed a little down. I asked "What's wrong, E? You seem a little upset."
"OK. You just are a little happier in the morning, so I thought maybe something was bothering you."
A long pause, then "Dad?"
"I miss Grandpa." "Grandpa" is my Dad, who died two and half years ago, and Heir No. One didn't know him that well. The last time he saw my Dad was when Dad was in the hospital, and it wasn't a long or meaningful visit.

"Why is that, sir?"
"Well, because he was your Dad."
"That's true."
"Was he a nice Dad?"
"Not always, but Dad's can't always be nice."
"Did he believe in Jesus?"
"Well, that's a complicated question. He knew about him, but your Grandpa and I never discussed much what he believed."
*sounding very disappointed* "That means he didn't go to Heaven."
Thanks kid, for kicking one of my own personal sore spots. I think I was the only one understanding the full impact of having his memorial service in a church, and how it was the first time in decades that he crossed the threshold for any type of service there.
Heir No. One was visibly upset, and I knew I had to turn this now if we were going to salvage his day.
"I told you that Grandpa never discussed it with me. That means you and I don't know what he believed. I'm quite sure that my Grandpa and my Aunt discussed it with him before he died. I don't want you to worry about it." No point in letting him carry baggage I don't even want.

Then this morning, I took Heir No. Two to his follow-up hearing test and appointment. Before the tubes were put in his ears a year ago, I held him as the audiologist ran through the test to establish what he was and was not hearing. I was absolutely crushed when it was evident that several tones that I could hear plain as day, he wasn't hearing at all. After the tubes were installed, he clearly was hearing better, and has continued to talk more and more, and we can even recognize some of what he has to say. This morning, even though he was REALLY grumpy and clearly did not want to be there, it was equally clear that he hear those tones today. I cannot put into words the feeling of relief I felt when I saw this. Truly. I love these guys, and the emotions they bring on sometimes only make my life richer than I could have ever anticpated.

The bonus this morning? The doc is an Ohio State grad. It took both of us to hold Heir No. Two down so he could look in his ears. He laughed, and said "How many full-grown men does it take to hold a three year old down?" I laughed and said "It's OK. I know the University of Michigan is going to have an outstanding outside linebacker in about 17 years...(looking down at Heir No. Two) unless you go to that green and white school which shall remain nameless. In that case, you're disowned."

[And I said it with love, in case anyone took me took seriously.]

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

The Minute We Let This Start to Happen with Regularity Here...

...we are toast. This deserves some intolerance.

I know Folly will love this.

Since I May Not Be the Only 'One' to Appreciate It...

One of my favorite speeches from Babylon 5...My Favoritist Telebision Show Ever....

President Marie Crain on the eve of the Battle of the Line...And the Twilight of Humanity...

Will Somebody Please Tell the Guy...

...who keeps hammering on the gutter spike in my left eye socket to knock it off already? I have work to do, and lots of hours before I sleep...and lots of hours before I sleep.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Scenes From The Best Movie I've Seen In a While

I soooo identify with Mal most days.

Reflections, part two

Once he got home, and the normal routine was filtered through, he lay down in bed, and started reading. And reading. Thoughts seemed to fly from every corner of his mind, and he started to go to those places in his soul marked by signs that said "Proceed at your own risk" or "Abandon all hope ye who enter here" or "Here there be monsters". He made it halfway through before fatigue simply cried out too loud to be ignored, and he had to shut out the light. The empty place on the other side of the bed did not go unnoticed, and he quickly drifted off to sleep with a dull ache throbbing in his heart, and tears seeping out through the corners of his now shut eyes.

The next evening, after the kids had been put to bed, and the icy silence between he and his wife resumed, he returned to the bedroom and opened the book again, reading it to completion. Closing the book, he mulled over the thoughts the text had left him with, and he prayed quietly, asking if the epiphany was real, and if it really all came down to something so simple, knowing as he did so that it was. He fell asleep alone, considering the revelation, and wondering what he might do about it.

The next morning, after dropping the children off, he began the winding drive to work that was his route every Thursday and Friday morning. Even though it was longer than the highway, it had the virtue of less traffic, and the ability to keep moving, rather than sitting for long periods and inhaling the exhaust of the cars in front of him. It didn't disappoint today. As he came down from the foothills, the winding road took him through the trees, where clouds hung low and uneven, like cotton dragged across Velcro. As he left behind the second valley town that he travelled through on his way to work, he found himself smiling for no reason at all. He couldn't remember the last time he had done so, or even if he had ever done so before. He considered this riddle for a few minutes, then he started to speak. "I get it, God. I need to put it down. The fear I have had for so long. The fear that applied to everything. That it isn't enough. That I'm not good enough. That I'll have the relationship with my kids that my Dad had with me."
He could swear that he heard a reassuring voice, with calm quiet tones resonate in his head. "I'm glad you finally get it, Son. Put it down. Walk away. Do not look back. It isn't for you. I have called you to other things. But you also have to take away all the barriers you hide behind."

This came as a slap in the face to him. The barriers were there for so many things. Their efficacy had been dubious of late, as emotions continued to spill over and around them, even as he still sometimes tried to hide from them. The sarcasm, which was an automatic defense for so many years had lost its edge, and it seemed a chore these days to wield it. Still, it was like being asked to give up a limb. The bargaining began. "OK. How about this one?"
"No. Put them all down."
"OK, not that one, but you really don't mean this one? Or this one?"
Sigh. "I want you to put all of them down. Every last one. You need to live without them for awhile. Someday, I might let you have a few back, once you learn a few lessons that are going to take some time. What you will get back in turn will be as liberating as it is instructive. It won't be easy, but it wasn't easy for you to get here, either. Remember that in the days that will come."
"OK. I get it. Thank you for letting me see this."
"Thank you for listening. By the way, this doesn't come without a price. You know what you are doing Sunday now, right?"
Feeling like a chastised child, but still smiling, he said "Yes." as he came around the blind corner by the old power plant.

So many things had happened since then. The strained trip to California, where he wanted to have fun and really connect with her again, but there seemed to be a wall between them that he could not breach, no matter how hard he tried. Alone, on the flight back, he wondered if that was the face he had presented to her for so long while he battled his own demons.

Then came the chest pains, that seemed so real, but were simply anxiety. The diagnosis of his eyes. The growing distance and the increasing absences. The nights alone in the house after the kids went to bed. The bizarre encounters two weekends in a row that left him feeling bewildered and valueless. The announcement, and the open contempt and hostility that came with it. The continuing emotional blows, that brought the disappointing discovery that yes, he really could hurt more, even when he didn't believe it was possible. And through it all, the faith that God would carry him through when he didn't think he could walk any further. Then came the pain.

As he lay in bed alone one evening watching TV, he wondered why he felt the very real physical pain he felt. He mentally reviewed the last few days. There was no reason why he should feel this way. He considered it for a few minutes, and realized that he had been feeling this way for a few days. Alerted, he turned on his laptop, and after a few keystrokes, his eyes poured over a list of symptoms on the screen that sounded alarmingly familiar. He performed a physical exam and realized that they matched his own very closely. Regret hit him like a ton of bricks. He did not want to leave the relationship like this. He had come too far, learned too much, and was still too in love to let it end in failure. He couldn't accept the concept. Then the thought of his children filled his mind. Now that he was certain he had something worthwhile with them, and had forged a relationship that they would cherish far more than the one his father had built with him. The thought of their last memories of him being of him wasting away in a hospital was too much to bear. He fell to his knees, sobbing silently as he leaned against the bed, and eventually fell asleep there on the floor. The next morning brought the confrontation with her about it, and the departure before she could see the tears welling up in his eyes as he headed out the door on his way to the Doctor's office. He had already shed too many before her in the previous weeks. He selfishly harbored the belief that these were his, and his alone. The confrontation itself was borne of the simmering stew of emotions that had been prepared over the previous weeks. It wasn't fair to her, and he knew it the minute he started saying the words to her. The words came from a place of deep pain, a wound that was resisting all attempts to heal. The doctor's lousy poker face and marked change in attitude as he wrote the referral for more testing did nothing to alleviate his dread.

The testing was likewise terrifying. After a 45 minute exam that left him in more pain than ever, the focus on two areas in particular, and the technician's repeated question "Are you here for any other tests today?", he had no words. After cleaning up and dressing, he walked to his car, got in, and mechanically drove up the hill to deposit his paycheck, then, got back in, and drove to an empty area of the parking lot, and in the rain and gathering darkness, he shut off the engine. A text message from a friend in another state flashed on his cell phone. The joke didn't make him laugh. He shut his eyes for a minute, then started crying. He wanted only three things at this moment. A drink, a steak, and three to five hours of uninterrupted, passionate, messy sex. As he slowly came back into control, he looked at the message again, and laughed. He called the friend back, and let him know that what he was suggesting didn't happen, and that under the circumstances, it probably was a good thing. They both laughed as he told his friend what he wanted most right now. His friend was reassured by the list that nothing at all was wrong with him. He looked at the clock, saw the time, and ended the call. Instead of proceeding to obtain the items on his list, he met up with his father in law, and took the kids to the elder child's psychologist for his scheduled appointment. Afterward, he took them to McDonald's to buy both children dinner before heading home. As they headed to the restaurant, a text message flashed on his phone.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

It Was A Very Good Birthday

The boys and I got back from church today, and I was greeted by the most beautiful woman I have ever known, looking stunning in a beautiful marbled cream and brown zipper neck sweater, brown skirt, and brown high heel boots. Breathtaking, to say the least, and I was absolutely flattered by the fact that she wanted to spend time with me.

We made sure that the boys were set with lunch, and we hurried out the door to the show. On the way in, she held my hand. Sure, the pavement was wet, cracked, and uneven, and we were walking downhill, but I still savored every minute. I didn't even care if she could notice the quickening of my heartbeat. In the darkness of the theatre, I reached out. She let me hold her hand again. I couldn't take the smile off my face if I tried, and enjoyed the show immensely.

After, we went to the mall to walk around. The blowing rain in the parking lot caused her to walk a little closer, and she held my hands on the stairs. We walked for a time, window shopping and talking. We made a trip to the music store, where she found a copy of the movie White Christmas for a great price if we made another purchase. We looked at the music. They had the new Jars of Clay Christmas album, but it was more than I wanted to pay, even if it was my birthday. She found a three disc set of the old Time-Life Christmas music. A lot of memories for us both. I decided we'd buy it. Shortly after that, we left. She plugged it in the player in the car, and we enjoyed it on the ride home. We stopped long enough to get some take and bake pizza, and we got home, made it and got the boys fed.

After they went to bed, we watched the film, sharing popcorn, and I rubbed her feet. It was a terrific day. I hope a day to build on.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Reflections, part one

As he drove the winding road, his eyes were following the twists, but his mind was a million miles away. The snow was falling in huge flakes, the song of praise turned up loud enough to drown out any road noise that might make him more than slightly present in the cabin of the car.

It had been such an emotional year. The very sound of the word 'emotional' resonated in his head in a way that he simply did not expect, and was still getting used to as the word continued to take on a new meaning in his life. And there was still so much that he was processing now, days, months, and even years distant from so many events. The insights had come fast and furious, starting with a slow roll from a stint in therapy at the beginning of the last fall, when it had been suggested that he had been "stuffing" his emotions, and from the sound of things, had been doing so all of his life. This was the reason for the explosive eruptions of temper, that while not really physical, were still powerful enough that he himself had been disturbed by their intensity. While the therapy had been brief, as the busy lifestyle had intruded to the point that continuation at that time was impossible, the consideration of the conclusions continued. He didn't mind. The part of his brain that usually occupied itself with more trivial matters like the name of the actor in the old movie he had watched the other night actually had something of consequence to do. The fact that he no longer was waking up in the middle of the night with the sudden remembrance of such pointless things proved to be a serious comfort as well. The net result was that he was constantly examining his actions, and those of the people around him and pondering the question that he had started out hating: "How does this make me feel?" Consequently, he had started to react differently toward his children. Persuasion and understanding soon ruled where only hegemony by force had reigned before. He wasn't a pushover, and had come to master "the look", which spoke volumes the right way without saying a word. The understanding meant coming to grips with his oldest child's condition, and realizing that he too, had certain characteristics of it, and that perhaps his own father had a very serious case of it. This understanding allowed him to draw on his own childhood experiences in a way that helped him to help his own son with his day to day struggles with social interaction. Along the way, he noticed that he started to feel more than two or three emotions. He also reflected on how unusual his own childhood was.

Of course, there were other troubles. A long abdication of any real responsibility in his marriage had created strains that would not stay hidden any longer. More work and exploration was necessary. He fell back on the one method that had always worked for him. He read. Relationship books filled his days and nights. The fiction that he had escaped into for so many years simply faded into the background. He made more discoveries as he worked through the books piling up next to his side of the bed. Some were very startling to him. One such revelation had to do with what communicated with him most effectively. Apparently, physical touch spoke directly to him in ways he never anticipated. In retrospect, it seemed like a big "Duh!" might have been appropriate. It explained the appetite for sex, and the feelings of dissatisfaction after. It wasn't that he didn't like sex. That really wasn't possible, but he'd spent so many years centering on it, when it wasn't what he really needed. After a childhood in a home where such expression "just did not happen", he was startled to find out that such a basic thing was so primary to his everyday needs.

Things were starting to come together. He was constantly surprised by the emotions he experienced daily. He felt like a man who had only been able to see in black and white; each emotion was a color, and his days were crowded with vibrant hues. The only thing he wasn't ready for was his own reactions. Feeling was a two way street, and he found it harder to shut out the emotions he didn't want to have. This made day to day living far more interesting than he would have liked at times. What he didn't see was the last piece to understanding lying in wait, like a predator, ready to strike him down.

Things were not good at home. One night, he stayed late at work, but found himself unable to concentrate. He left and went to the local outlet mall, hoping that the walk would sooth his troubled mind, the same way it always eased his anxieties. After rounding the building, he found himself standing outside the Christian bookstore. In the last few months, he had found himself getting more serious about religion, making church attendance a priority, and returning to daily reading the Bible. God had been a nebulous concept in his life for a very long time. Having grown up in the irreligious part of a very religious family, he knew about religion, but it was really more of an intellectual exercise rather than a grounded belief that affected his behavior or outlook. This continued until a conversation one night in bed with his then girlfriend, now wife, in which she had managed to convince him that it really didn't matter what man planned or did for himself, because it simply would not prevail against God's plans. After they were married, they attended a strongly Bible based church. A spiritual awakening of sorts had taken root in him there, and his study of the Bible and application of it to his daily life made him feel very spiritually empowered. Yet a shadow fell, and he started chasing things that he thought he needed, rather than being the spiritual leader of his household. He fell out of the habits, and they lived a life less fulfilled, without ever really understanding why. The power that was so real to him, that seemed to come from every pore, faded quickly and except for the guilt that this created, it became as a dream, fading in the rays of the morning sun. This previous intimacy that had been absent for so long was now slowly returning, and he pondered this as he stood outside the store, looking in at the patrons perusing the shelves. He finally went in. He started leafing through a book he had recently read about, and was surprised at how much it was speaking directly to his feelings, and the places in his life he was still reluctant to approach. He purchased it and left the store.

Happy Birthday to Me

My big thing was having coffee. This morning I met with fellow LC and IB Jaybear at Starbucks and we sat and talked about a lot of things. It was nice to get some perspective from a brother who has had his own trials and to understand that sometimes, you just can't analyze what is going on in your life; sometimes you just have to live it and deal with things as they come.

Other things I got from the couple of hours we camped out there?

We really need to have a Northwest Rottie Fest. There are enough of us like-minded souls here in this part of the country...Jaybear, kwongzu, Useful Idiot, Ranger 6, DJ, the was nice speaking with a fellow conservative white male who is tired of the intolerance of the "tolerant" lefties so prevalent in this part of the country.

I wouldn't mind having one of those cushy chairs from Starbucks here in the house...I swear I didn't realize that 3 hours blew by.

We really gotta get together for a game of golf this next year.

Thanks for the coffee, the ear, and the perspective Jay. I really appreciated it.

Another Quiz I Filched from the Admiral...

1. When you looked at yourself in the mirror today, what was the first thing you thought? I gotta get that crown fixed. It looks like crap.

2. How much cash do you have on you? $3.25

3. What’s a word that rhymes with DOOR? Core.

4. Favorite planet? Venus...draw your own conclusions.

5. Who is the 4th person on your missed call list on your cell phone? My Wife.

6. What is your favorite ring tone on your phone? Sunrise.

7. What shirt are you wearing? A burgundy three-button polo shirt.

8. Do you label yourself? Yup, and its too long to repeat here.

9. Name the brand of the shoes you’re currently wearing? Reebok.

10. Bright or Dark Room? Bright. Spent too damn long in darkness.

11. What do you think about the person who took this survey before you? I think we could have a few beers and swap a few stories.

12. What does your watch look like? Bright Yellow Face, Stainless Steel Band.

13. What were you doing at midnight last night? Reading the Bible...the book of Hebrews.

14. What did your last text message you received on your cell say? "Yes."

15. Where is your nearest 7-11? Corner of Meridian and 152nd.

16. What's a word that you say a lot? Well...

17. Who told you he/she loved you last? My oldest son.

18. Last furry thing you touched? My slippers.

19. How many drugs have you done in the last three days? Does Asperin Count?

20. How many rolls of film do you need developed? 3. They are all rolls of XP-2. I can't get it developed correctly just anywhere.

21. Favorite age you have been so far? 35. It has been the hardest year of my life, but I finally figured a lot of things about myself out, and have taken control of a lot of things that I can.

22. Your worst enemy? ME.

23. What is your current desktop picture? My Wife standing with Mrs. Incredible at California's Adventure this summer.

24. What was the last thing you said to someone? "What do you mean "You smell like Daddy."? What does Daddy smell like?"

25. If you had to choose between a million bucks or to be able to fly what would it be? The money. I have a few bills I'd like to pay off.

26. Do you like someone? I like a lot of people. If you're looking for more, you need to define it clearly.

27. The last song you listened to? "Stainedglass Masquerade" by Casting Crowns.

28. What time of day were you born? 5:35 am. Talk about setting a bad precedent...

29. What’s your favorite number? 147. No, I don't know why, so don't ask.

30. Where did you live in 1987? Scenic Burton Michigan, home of the Bentley Bulldogs.

31. Are you jealous of anyone? Right now? I don't think so.

32. Is anyone jealous of you? Not that they have told me about.

33. Where were you when 9/11 happened? I was asleep. I had just moved to the left coast a dozen days before.

34. What do you do when vending machines steal your money? It depends on how badly i wanted the item.

35. Do you consider yourself kind? Now? Yes. A few years ago? No.

36. If you had to get a tattoo, where would it be? Right Shoulder.

37. If you could be fluent in any other language, what would it be? Welsh.

38. Would you move for the person you loved? Yes, and I can now say that I would do it gladly.

39. Are you touchy feely? Yes...its one of those things I figured out.

40. What’s your life motto? Everything is an adventure.

41. Name three things that you have on you at all times? Pen, Cell phone, leatherman micra.

42. What’s your favorite town/city? Toronto, Canada.

43. What was the last thing you paid for with cash? Sausage McMuffin with Egg.

44. When was the last time you wrote a letter to someone on paper and mailed it? Yesterday. (But it is part of my job...)

45. Can you change the oil on a car? No.

46. Your first love: what is the last thing you heard about him/her? I haven't heard.

47. How far back do you know about your ancestry? Jamestown far enough?

48. The last time you dressed fancy, what did you wear and what did you dress in? Grey suit, burgundy shirt with silver tie with burgundy accents and black cap-toe shoes.

49. Does anything hurt on your body right now? Yes.

50. Have you been burned by love? Hell YES. All the way to extra crispy.

Look Who's Back!

I was reading on the Count's blog yesterday and saw the blogsis blog-whoring! That's right, the blogsis--Dori aka Lady Heather has returned to public blogging from her walkabout in the world of private blogging. Go on over and say hello!

Now THAT'S funny!

Today's (Saturday's) Day By Day cartoon is great. I've been reading it for over a year now, but today's was great.

Oh yeah, Sig's gun post this morning made me choke on my apple. I'm not dead, but I'll be cleaning my screen off for a while...