Thursday, April 28, 2005

Internet Frustration

Carol's son Rick and his family live in Utah. We don't get to see them very much, living here in the northwest cornewr of the map, so we decided to fly them up in August, when Rick has vacation. The grandkids have never seen the ocean, although you could classify the Great Salt Lake as the last vestiges of an ocean. At any rate we are going to fly them up and the can stay with us for a couple of weeks and visit and we will go to the ocean and camp out for three or four days.

So I got on the computer to book the flights up here and back home for them. I have used Travelocity for the last couple of years, and have no complaints with their service. I still have no complaints with their service, but it took me about an hour to work my way throught all of the stinking pop-ups and bullshit to complete the process.

The internet service providers are going to have to find a way to GET THIS CRAP OFF OF MY COMPUTER. And I mean for free. The public is only going to be inconvenienced for so long and then it will go back to the old way of doing things. I mean, how many times recently has someone broken in on your phone converation to try and sell you Viagra?

The ISPs had better beware, because we will only put up with so much crap before we find a different way of doing things.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

The Beemer

My daughter, Rose had this beater BMW. A 1982 320i that was pretty good transportation except for when the left rear wheel fell off (not once, but multiple times). Once I figured out what the problem was and fixed it, it became reliable wheels. Back in January, someone stole her car and trashed it. After they were through joy riding, they put a brick on the gas pedal and turned it loose. The police said it flipped five times and took out a trafic signal control box before ending up upside down in the median. The car was destroyed. Since we only had liability on it, she was just out, and since she is only 20, and supporting herself off of a job selling motor clothes at Downtown Harley-Davidson in Tukwilla, it was up to the National Bank Of Dad to come up with the money for a new beater.

She called up in a panic Monday night, because she had received a bill in the mail from the City of Tukwilla for $13,000.00 for property damage caused by the crash. I told her that she is in no way responsible for paying the bill since the car was stolen. The city is just trying to find somebody to stick with the costs. It frosts my butt that they are trying to stick her. After all, she reported the car stolen and they have the police report, so it's not like they don't know. I told her to just pass the bill along to her insurance company.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Wedding

As you can tell by the picture, we went to a wedding this weekend. My daughter Roseanna's good friend Brittany got married on Saturday. Weddings always make you stop and take a look at your own relationship. I hope that Brittany and Azel are doing as well after a couple of years as Carol and I are. They are so young (20) to be getting married, at least from my perspective. So much to look forward to, so many trials and triumphs.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Vincent

Vincent is my granson, who is 12 years old, whom I have adopted. I love him a lot, and want to see that he gets a fair start in life, but like all parents, I worry.

Vinnie just went and got "World of Warcraft" to play on the computer. It is a live interactive medieval game, and you can join with you friend on line and explore this huge on line world. Vinnie about drove me nuts tring to get the game. At first I was against it because there is a subscription fee of $15.00 for two months. I could just see me getting stuck with the subscription fee forever.

At any rate, Vinnie traded in hix Game Cube and a couple of games for "World of Warcraft" and a couple of months of subscription, so it was something he did all on his own.

He installed the program when we got home from Oregon, and he is like obsessed with the game. He would spend his every available moment playing Warcraft if we would let him. His two chores are to take out the garbage and wash the dishes, but we have to pry his fingers off of the compter to get him to do them. He was getting so obsessed that I figured I had to set some limits, so I limited him to four hours a day, ending at 7:00. His bed time is 10:00 on school nights, so that gives him a couple of hours for friends and homework and chores. I figure that's pretty fair.

I had a Meatloaf sandwich and a drink at about like 8:00 last night and went to bed about 9:00, but the sandwich and the drink didn't get along, so I tossed and turned with heartburn until about 1:00. I finally got up and went downstairs to get some peptobismal at 1:30, and here is Vincent out in the kitchen. I asked him what he was doing, and he said "Getting a drink of Water", which wasn't exactly a lie, because that IS what he was doing at that exact moment, but I looked over and saw that the computer was loggong off, so I knew he HAD been playing Warcraft. When I asked him he readily admitted it, but what I really didn't like was the was he was sneaky about it. Anyway, his punishment is no more WARCRAFT for the rest of the week, to include the weekend. That also means he can't go over to his friends, because they would just play the game over there. Next time two weeks, a third time, and I will take the game off of the computer.

This isn't about playing Warcraft, it is about trust and boundaries. It is a parent's responsibility to set boundaries, and kids constantly test the boundaries. I guess it's almost a duty to constantly push the boundaries. It is a part of becoming an entity separate from the family. I sure don't expect a kid to grow up without getting into trouble, and as long as we deal with it straight up and honestly, we can get through anything. The real issue here is trust. Carol and I have to get to bed early (By 9:00) so we have been letting Vincent stay up after us, as long as he gets into the sack by 10:00. I guess we will have to curtail that, and insist that he go to bed at 9:00, when we do. At least for a while.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

New Pope

Well, the World has itself a new Pope. I am disappointed in the Cardinals and the Church. Here was an apportunity to bring a new voice and a new direction to one of the most revered and ancient organizations on the face of the Earth. John Paul had dragged the Church, kicking and screaming, into the 20th century, so now they are only a hundred years or so out of date. Here was a chance to elect a leader to bring them in the 21st Century, and they fumbled the baton.

I was raised Catholic, but I no longer am. I AM a Christian, and a believer, but I have grave issues with the Catholic Church, starting with contraception. Here is a little bit of the logic, or lack thereof that disturbs me:

The Church is against contraception, although a good number of it's Priests turn an unseeing eye to the practice, the official policy is against it. Mortal Sin, Eternity in Hell. Flash to Africa, where AIDS is running rampant. Unprotected sex is a ticking time bomb, but protected sex is a condemnation to Eternity in Hell. Talk about Damned if you do and damned if you don't.

The new Pope's stance on contraception is conservative. I wonder if he can discern the difference between Contraception and Self Preservation.

I suppose like any newly elected Official, I should give him a 100 day period of grace before I pass judgement, but the early indicators is that he is a Conservative Traditionalist that would like to drag us all back to the 17th century.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Home Again!

Just got in last night from a week on the Oregon Coast. Check out the sunset photo below. My family has a time-share Condo in Rockaway Beach, which is about 15 miles north of Tilamook. The building is so close to the beach that you can watch the waves from inside the room. The sunset photo was taken standing inside the condo with the sliding glass door to the balcony open.

The weather was typical for spring. A little bit of everything. Sun, wind, hail. We only had one day that was bad enough that we didn't feel like going out and doing anything. We hiked the Tilamook Spit (8.2 miles), went up to Canon Beach and did the tourist bit going through the shops. They have some very upscale merchandise there. We bought a ceramic plate there. Maybe I will get around to taking a picture of it. It matches very well with a plate we already have hanging on the wall. Vincent and I went out and flew my two string kite. We got pretty good at flying it. I like to fly it as close to the wind as possible, then slowly get it to come down, touch the ground, then bring it back up.

On the way out of town we went to McMinnville to the Air Museum to see The Spruce Goose. The Spruce Goose is the largest airplane ever built, with a wingspan bigger than a football field. It is almost impossible to get a picture that captures just how big it is, but I included a couple. We spent about three hours in the museum. I was impressed. I am a member of The Museum of Flight in seattle, and the museum there was a rival for the quality and quantity of exhibits.

Then we went south to Coberg, which is right outside Eugene, and spent the night with my cousin Ginger and her husbald Pat. The have a lovely home, and it is beautifully decorated. Carol was practically turning green with envy. Our place is still in midst remodel, so we are a couple of years away from where their place is.

Tomorrow is back to work, back to first shift. While I am not looking forward to getting up at 5:00 in the morning, it will be great to see Carol every day now.

SR-71 under the wing of the Spruce Goose Posted by Hello

The Spruce Goose Posted by Hello

Sunset from the balcony of out condo in Rockaway Beach Oregon Posted by Hello

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Good News!

Kinda a frustrating day today. My "baby", the 1977 Datsun 280Z, decided to quit in the parking lot of the Credit Union today. It was running just fine when I shut it off, but when I went to start it back up, nothing. Not even a click or anything. It was like there wasn't even a battery in it. After a couple of hours of frustration, a friendly tow truck driver helped me track down the wiring issue, But I was three hours late for work.

When I got to work, good news was waiting. We are going on vacation on Friday, and will be gone all next week. When I report back to work, it will be on first shift (WOOHOO!!!!!). I will never be a big fan of getting up at 5:00 to report at 6:00, but it beats the heck out of being on second shift and never getting to see Carol during the week.

Stained glass ceiling in Patzcuaro Posted by Hello

How Often do you get to pat a god on his bare ass? Posted by Hello

Carol and I walking the Avenida de los Meurtos at Teotithuacan, Mexico. Posted by Hello

This is the Tibetan Magnolia in my front yard, in full bloom. Posted by Hello

Monday, April 04, 2005

Flashback

Today is Carol's birthday, and the beginning of a hectic week, but it always brings to mind the same week, two years ago.

Saturday will be our second aniversary We met on August 24th, 2002. We went out to Jazz Alley to see Karrin Allyson. I had the new york steak, she had salmon. The show was great,a good time was had by all. It started a wild ride that culminated with our marriage on April the 9th 2003. It was quite a ride in between, and afterward as far as that goes. I won't say it was love at first site, but damn close.

In January, when we came back to my place after spending the day down at her place in Bonney Lake, we walked in to find that my house had been burglarized. I am not a person that places a great deal of value in "stuff", but there was one thing that was stolen that cause my heart do drop to the bottom of my stomach.

I had just spent weeks going to every jewelry store in the south end of Seattle, as well as a couple in North Tacoma to find the perfect engagement ring. After spending over $5,ooo.oo on an absolutely perfect 3/4 carat diamond, I was denied the privelege of asking Carol to marry me in the regular way, because she was sitting right there on the couch when I gave the burglary report to the police. She didn't have any idea that I had bought a ring, and here I was telling the police that it had been stolen. As much as it bothers me that we were burglarized, what really pissed me off was that I lost that one and only opportunity to ask her without her expecting it. Of course the fact that I had just purchased it, and it was not on my homeowners insurance was bad, but it wasn't the money it was the loss of the moment that angered me.

It is really strange, but the only thing that was recovered was the engagement ring. I guess that some things were just meant to happen.

We set a Date for April 9th. Since we are both over 50, and have both been married before, we didn't want to make any big deal of it, so we just made a date with a judge.

The Sunday before we were to be married, we were down visiting her dughter Lisa, who was seven months pregnant. When we were leaving she told Carol that somethng didn't feel right, and she was going to see the doctor on Monday.

Carol got the call at work, and the baby wasn't showing any vital signs. They would be taking the baby on Wednesday after running a bunch of tests and who knows what else. Carol stayed with her daughter on Tuesday, and I joined her at the hospital on Wednesday. I was there in the delivery room when they took little Xavier from his mothers womb, and I stood in the halway with Carol in my arms as she sobbed and wanted the know "WHY??". I held the perfectly formed little body in my hands and asked the same question. They never did figure out why he died. There wasn't anything wrong that they could determine as a cause of death. It still brings tears to my eyes when I think about it.

So we were faced with a delima. Do we go ahead with the wedding?

We decided that the right thing to do was the right thing to do, regardless of the circumstances. If you allow yourself to be steered away from the path every time you face adversity in life, you will go nowhere and achieve nothing.

We spent the night on a cot in the Hospital, to be there for Lisa, got up early, went to my place, got dressed, met the judge and got married. Grieving and rejoicing at the same time. I didn't know whether to laugh or cry, and did some of both.

In life, you can ride the merry-go-round and try to be as safe and sane as possible, or you can ride the biggest baddest roller-coaster you can find, and hang on tight in the corner, be there for each other, and scream your lungs out. I don't believe in taking the safe path.

If life is like a car race, you should come throught the last turn in a four wheel drift, jump out of the car, exhausted and thrilled to the core, and yell "WHAT A RIDE!!! What's next?"

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Sunday Downtime

Monday is Carol's birthday, so we went to Jazz Alley in Seattle to see Shamekia Copeland. Jazz Alley was voted the best Live Music Venue in Seattle in 2004, and Shamekia is a Handy award winning young (26) Blues vocalist and an excellent entertainer as well. The food was great and the show was great.
So we slept in this morning and were a little slow out of the sheets. Oh well. birthdays don't come around all that often.
I now have the veneer done on the upper half of the kitchen cabinets, and the doors done on the bottom half. After I get done with the veneer, there is still the fill and final finish to do, but things are coming along nicely. I'll publish a picture when I'm donr. Too bad I don't have a "Before" picture, although I do have one of my brothers and I in the kitchen from a couple of years ago with the cabinets in the background.
Next Friday we leave for a week on the Oregon Coast. The family owns a Time Share condo at the Rockaway Beach Resort which is about 15 miles north of Tillamook. We trade around out three weeks a year, and Spring Break is coming up so we have an oportunity to get out of Dodge for a week. A badly needed week, I might add.

Here's my sweetie, Carol. This is taken on the spit at Tillamook, Oregon, in the middle of an 8 mile hike. Posted by Hello

Friday, April 01, 2005


The two right in the middle are Carol and I. We are "Roadies" for a Christian rock band "Morning Light". Good Music, good message. good times. Posted by Hello