Friday, December 29, 2006

Feelin' better, feelin' bad

I heard fromm R yesterday. She is actually getting her stuff together. She has been in touch with Social Services, has gotten a health card, got signed up for food stamps and a temporary housing thing.

Finally she is doing somethng positive for herself!

I felt a little better yesterday, so I took V. down to the Mall so he could spend his Christmas money.

I bought a couple of CDs. Eric Clapton/JJ Cale. It's OK but nothing to get too excited about I'll know better after about the 10th time I hear it.

The other is a Charley Musselwhite (Delta Hardware Co). I am listening to it now, and it sounds REAL good so far. If you like blues harmonica.

Which I do.

Musselwhite is coming to town in Feb, and I have tickets.

After eating a soft beef taco, V. and I went to see Eragon. Pretty good movie. V. was disappointed because they left out a lot of the book, which he absolutely loved. But if you went into it without any expectations, it was well put together and entertaining. A couple of hours went by real quick.

Some of the special effects and animation were pretty damn skookum.

On the other hand, the virus is whacking the snot out of me.


I was supposed to go over to my Mom's today and hook up her new phones, but I didn't feel up to it, and when I called she told me to just stay away until I got better.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006


I had plans. Big plans.

I was going to do stuff and go places. Really I was.

But the fact that my nose was leaking, my eyes were watering, I couldn't breathe without hacking up a half a lung convinced me it was better for civilization in general if I stayed home today. Who knows, if I had gone to the Mall, I might have infected hundreds of people, who would havve infected hundreds of others until the whole of ccivvilization as we know it would have been brought to it's knees. I just couldn't risk having that on my conscience.

I got up with Mrs A. this morning and sent her off to her serfdom at BECU, but I slithered back in bed and slept until 10:00.

My Mom had asked for telephone equipment for Christmas, so that's what she got. I was supposed to go down and install it all today. I called her up and even before I could tell her I was sick, she up and says "You don't sound so good, are you sick or something, cause if you are don't bring it down here to me!"

So I confessed and begged off until Friday. I took Molly for a walk and got the mail, and that was the only two times I was out of the house all day. I feel a lot better tonight.

I better be, cause I got things to do. Big plans.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Home remedy

The Jambalaya is cooking on the stove. The wonderful smell permeates the house. I haven't made Jambalaya from scratch in a long time. Ever since I discovered Zatarains boxed mix. It is almost as good, and a whole heck of a lot easier to make.

Jambalaya is my all purpose currative. Good for dang near anything. Just spicy enough to get you to break out in a light sweat. Cajun Penicillin.

There was a time that I subscribed to the Cowboy Crud Remedy: Put your hat on the foot of the bed. Drink until you see two hats. Blackberry Brandy seemed to work best, but now that stuff is way too sweet for my diabetic body.

Monday, December 25, 2006

It's Christmas!

Today was a very quiet day. Mrs A. and I are both not feeling well. She gave me a little something special for xmas.

It came in a very small package.

It is called a virus.

She seems to be doing better now that her native mosses have been rehidrated. Unfortunately, she has to go to work tomorrow.

I have all of next week off. I don't like having all of the time off lumped up now, because it means after the Hollidays, I don't have an official day off until Memorial Day.

Nice quiet day at home. We talked a lot and cleared things up. I made clear to her my commitment to her, and things are a lot better.

Never heard from R. She is off doing her thing, whatever that might be. She told me she has no friends and nowhere to go. Maybe that ought to send her a message.

The bottom line is that what she needs, I can't give her.

I need to take care of myself, and Mrs A and V.

Next Christmas will be better.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Christmas Eve Eve

Mrs A. is home at last. I missed her terribly while she was gone.

She has a miserable cold or sinus infecction. She sounds terrible, but I'm still glad to see her.

So she wasn't at the family Christmas Eve party. Neither was one of my nephews and his wife. They were sick, as was his younger brother.

And of course R. was not around. Her last words to me were "I'm going to go get a gun and blow my brains out." I told her to go check herself into a clinic, that the kind of help she needed, I couldn't provide.

This will probably not be my favorite Christmas ever.

On a more positive note, I tasted Turducken for the first time. In case you dont know, it is a deboned chicken inside a deboned duck, inside a deboned turkey. It was good, but to me personally, not worth the time and expense.

Have one for me if you're having one,.

Christmas Eve

Well, Christmas Eve morning, acctually.

Yesterday was another challenging day in a string of challenging days. Today will be better. It had better be, or I want my money back.

Mrs. A flies back from Utah this afternoon. She managed to catch herself a dandy of a headcold or sinus infection. The cold dry air went straight to her sinuses.

It's going to be a busy morning. Yesterday afternoon, I made a batch of egg rolls, but I need to cook some of them up for our family Christmas Eve celebration. It took me about three and a half hours to roll 123 egg rolls, but then I didn't have anything better to do.

I am typing this on my new laptop. It's a HP with a 17" widescreen, full size keyboard and 10 key, and wireless internet card. Now I can blog from just about anywhere.

My family celebration starts at 1:00, and I have to clean the house, do some laundry, take Molly for a walk, and cook eggrolls, so I can pick up my mom at 12:30.

To quote Tigger, that Icon of instability,


Thursday, December 21, 2006

Batchin' it

Mrs A. is with her son and his family in Utah now. She called last night after she got there to let me know things had gone fine. She was so proud of herself. Five years ago I don't think she would have been able to travel by herself. I just hope I haven't help create a monster.

It was so wierd this morning. I mean, our mornings are so ritualized. She gets up at 5:15, goes down and watches Joyce Meyers, lets Molly out to pee, and comes up to take a shower. I get up at 6:00, and she will just be getting out of the shower. When I get out of the bathroom, it's downstairs to take my medication, collect my badge and cell phones. Kisses and out the door.

Except that this morning it was all different.

I stood there by the front door with a vague feeling of discomfort because a large piece of the morning ritual was missing.

Molly, the Shi-Tzu, is neurotic. She is "sensitive". If she sees the suitcases come out, she gets all wound up. When I took Mrs A. out to the airport last night, when I got home, the dog had been sick, pooed and peed inside and looked like she was expecting to be beaten. We don't beat the dog, ever.

So I sat down in the recliner, and she jumped up next to me and lay down and didn't budge for at least an hour. After an hour of reassurance, she went and got her toy and brought it too me, and we played for about 45 minutes, at which point she pointed out that her dish was empty. She followed me around all night, no doubt making sure I wasn't going to disappear on her.

Whe Mrs A. and R. had their fight, Molly spent most of the next week hiding behind the speakers in the Music Room. She kept barfing and developed diahrea, and we ended taking her to the vet. I think it was just nerves.

Today is the winter solstice. The shortest day of the year. up here in the Northern tier, that translates to about eight hours of daylight.

It is also my last day of work this year.


Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Tranks a lot

Mrs. A. is leaving for Utah tomorrow night, and she is as nervous as a long tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs. She can hardly sit still. She is taking off a half a day today, and her flight leaves tomorrow at 3:00.

This will be the first time in her life she has travelled by herself, and she is a little intimidated. No, make that terrified. We have done a quite a bit of travelling since we got hitched, so it isn't as intimidating as it used to be, but she is still VERY uncomfortable. I honestly believe that five years ago she would have been unable to do it.

I will just advise her to just take another Zoloft and float through the whole thing. Or if I can get through Security, we will check in and go find a cocktail lounge and I will buy her a couple of stiff ones to settle her down.

But I think one way or the other she will need to be tranquilized.

Monday, December 18, 2006


The storm was on Thursday, and today is Monday. There are still 1/4 million people in the Greater Seattle area without power.

Plus the temperatures have dipped into the low 30's and high 20's, and it is expected to stay cold for the next couple of days.

It is very hit and miss as far as power goes. You'll be driving down the street and there will be power on one side of the street, none on the other.

There are no generators to be bought anywhere. We were out and about on Saturday, and just out of curiosity I asked everywhere I went. They had pretty much sold out first thing Friday morning.

The check I was expecting came in Saturday, a couple of days late to do me any good. I had Mrs A. deposit it this morning. Vinnie and I may go down to Fry's tomight. For Christmas he wants to get RAM for the computer. I am going to get a new computer with part of the money, so my old computer will become his. He plays a lot of WARCRAFT on it, and has a problem with lag. We will go talk to the computer geeks and see if upgrading the RAM will improve performance. I think that once it is his, if he gets rid of the thirty shortcuts on the desktop, it will improve the performance. I am trying to decide if I want a desktop or a laptop Each has it's advantages.

I understand that my two brothers are still without power. I guess that's what happens when you move out far enough where there are trees all around. They have generators, so they will get by. At least as long as they have gas...

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Back in The 21st Century

Our power came back on this morning about 5:00. Last evening was a travel back in time. By the time I got home from work and checking to make sure my mom was OK, it was dark.

People were crazy out there. Gas lines were a block long, traffic was bumper to bumper, and tempers were short.

A lot of people seem to operate by the Chicken Little Philosophy. Every little bump in the road is the end of Civilization as we know it.

We had purchased three wind-up flashlights for our trip to Mexico last Summer, and they served us well to get the camping gear out and the candles and all that. I have an 1890s oil lamp that I keep ready to go for just such times. It works just fine.

So I broke out the Coleman two burner propand stove to cook with, the hurricane lamp to see by, and a battery powered rado that does AM, FM, CB, and TV. We sat and listened to the TV news on the radio, talked, and Mrs A. wrapped Christmas presents by candle light.

The only problem was that we had no heat, but early to bed and a good down comforter took care of that.

Two bodies in close proximity sharing heat both stay warmer, as well as providing all sorts of entertaining possibilities.

I have been intending to buy a generator. I sold some shares in Boeing and have been waiting fot the check to come in. Of course the check came in today.

I will probably go ahead and buy a generator, thereby guaranteeing that the power will not go out again for the next ten years.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Blown Away

Contrary to what you might have learned on the news, the entire Greater Seattle area has NOT, I repeat NOT been blown North into Canada. Some of the landscape has been rearranged slightly, however.

Right now there are over a million people in the Puget Sound area without power. My house is one of them. I don't know where the fault is, but it is probably a tree across the lines somewhere close.

Mrs A. asked me if I was going to work. I replied "It is dark and cold here. At work it will be warm and lighted and I can get a hot cup of coffee."

We are opperating on about a half crew today. The work hasn't slowed down, just the available bodies to do something about it.

Gotta run. Work beckons.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Bobbit Update

In a recent news broadcast, it was announced that Lorena Bobbitt's sister Louella was arrested for an alleged attempt to perform the same act on her husband as her famous sister had done several years ago. Sources reveal the sister was not as accurate as Lorena. She allegedly missed the target and stabbed her husband in the upper thigh causing severe muscle and tendon damage. The husband is reported to be in serious, but stable condition, and Louella has been charged with.....

A Misdewiener! !

You know darn well you're going to send this on to somebody

How Far Would You Go?

Aimlessly wandering around the Internet I came across a story about how the worlds tallest man was used to rescue a couple of dolphins.

The dolphins had ingested some plastic and were in gastro-intestinal distress. Conventional means of removing the plastic had failed. So they enlisted the worlds talles man to come in and reach down their throats and retrieve the plastic (At least I assume that was the shorter route).

Good thing it wasn't a whale.

So, how far would yo goo to aid an animal in distress?

Wednesday, December 13, 2006


I can't believe I ate the whole thing..........

Well, it was all you can eat.....

Our counseling appointment went very well yesterday afternoon. We both got something we needed, and Mrs A. got some insight into her own behavior that really struck home. The Therapist provided us with some suggestions which were very helpful. He always provides a perspective from a little outside the situation, so his insights are always useful. As always we left feeling more focused and positive. He helped us through a couple of things that had been causing friction between the two of us.

So afterwards we went to Todai's for all you can eat. And we did. Mrs A. isn't a big fan of sushi, so she stuck with the Tempura and coconut shrimp and teryiaki chicken and that kind of stuff. And went back for seconds. And the dessert section.

My first plate was the hot foods, like Mrs a, except I also got a couple of spicy dishes, and yakasobe. The second plate was the sushi. And yes I did get several that featured raw seafood. I really like the octopus and the spicy tuna roll. The third dish full was dessert. Fruit danish type stuff, chololate/coffee cheesecake, cheesecake with blackberry topping and a couple of others that I can't remember.

A 22 oz. Asahi Super Dry with dinner helped the food slide down.

We both groaned with pleasure while they rolled us out to the car.

My blood sugar was still through the roof this morning. I don't think I will need to eat for a couple of days.

Oh well, its what you do every day that determines you health, not what you do on one day.

But it may be the one day that determines the quality of your life.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Feast Day

Today will be a grazing day.

Both Mrs. A and I have Christmas thank you feasts today at work. Hers is a lot more elaborate than mine, but there willl be no shortage of food. We will both graze lightly at the pastures at work, but only because we will do out serious eating later today.

We have a session with our Counselor this afternoon, and as always we will be going to Redmond Town Square afterwards for dinner.

Ever since I got together with Mrs A. I have been trying to get her to go to Todai's. It is an upscale all-you-can-eat sushi restaraunt. At first Mrs A. didn't want to go at all, because she thought that sushi meant raw fish. The raw fish stuff is sashimi, which is a kind of sushi, but not all sushi is raw. I bought her a couple of types of cooked sushi, and much to her surprise, she liked them.

Occasionally, she will pick up a sushi platter at the store, so her attitude has changed some.

I still wasn't able to get her to go to Todai's. Mainly because the restaraunt doesn't open for dinner until 6:00 and out appointments were always at 2:00.

Our appointment tonight is for 5:00, so we will be hitting Redmond Town Square at the right time.

At the Christmas party we went to last Saturday night, one of her friends was raving about Todai's, so that settled down her anxieties about the menu. I can't wait. Sushi and an ice cold Asahi Super Dry. YYUUMMMM!

So do you go for sashimi, or think it should be used as bait?

Monday, December 11, 2006

Eye of the Draft Horse

Not Eye of the Tiger.

Hunched forward, with our shoulders firmly planted in the harness, head down, we plod forward.

Our task is never triumphantly complete. Each day brings another task, remarkably like yesterday's task.

Maybe there will be an extra potion of grain in our feedsack tonight. Maybe a well earned night's rest. Maybe not.

Our engines do not race the clock for time and distance.

Through sheer determination we plod. Through intertia we plod.

But behind the dull eye of the draft hourse, there is a beach..........

Saturday, December 09, 2006


Today we have an event which threatens the very core of civilization! An event so disturbing it may shift the magnetic poles and alter reality!

OK, so maybe that's a slight exaggeration.

I am working both days this weekend, and that is a rarity. I considered it a personal success story when I could live off of my 40 hour a week salary. There are people here that work every available hour so they can buy all of the toys. Newer truck, bike, quads, boat. Upgrade the spouse.

What I don't understand is, if you are working all those hours, when do you get to play with the toys? And if you can't play with them, what good are they?

So I avoid ovetime whenever I can. But people get busy this time of year, and so I got thrown in the frying pan for this weekend. This is only the second time this tear, so I can handle it.

We have a Christmas party to go to tonight, but we will have to leave early, cause I have to get up at zero dark thirty tomorrow and rattle my chains out in the factory.

Not only do I have to be here, but they EXPECT ME TO WORK.

I can feel reality crumbling around me even as I type this............

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Still Getting the Busy Signal

I sat down last night and typed up the Rules Carol and I wrote the other day, and printed them up . One copy for R. one for L., one for the refrigerator, and one to take to the therapist.

It's good to have everything all defined and set out.

I sat V. down last night and made a deal with him. He can play Warcraft, but I have his solemn promise that he will not be going over his time or getting up in the night and sneaking into the computer room to play. The agreement is that if he does it again, the game will be removed from the computer, and he will NEVER be able to play it again.

This isn't about playing a stupid RPG, it is about trust, and I explained to him that the implications go way beyond the computer. He will be eligible to get a drivers license (shudder) about a year from now, and if I can't trust him, he sure as hell can't take my car.

I have also broached the subject of Christmas Day with Mrs. A. I want to see all the kids and grandkids at Christmas, but she is still recovering from all the crap. She isn't nearly as resilient as I am. We have tabled the discussion until we go see the counselor on the 12th.

Things at work are pretty hectic as the first 737-700ER runs through the factory. They are even talking about bringing in extra support on the weekend.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006


Haven't had a lot of time lately to visit my blog or yours either.

I got an opportunity yesterday to buy a drill press for $50.00. A genuine industrial size 200 lb. five foot tall drill press. I have always wanted one, but they have always been a couple of hundred bucks, so when this one came up, I grabbed it. Vintage 1940s. but in perfect condition.

Today I had a meeting first thing in the morning, then the first 737-700ER loaded in Final Assembly today, and I am the designated point of contact for Electrical Problems. First of a customer/first of a model always means some emergent manufacturing problems, so I will be busy from now through at leaast the 20th, when it is supposed to roll out the door.

Gotta run, I need to put together a report on how the first day went.

Monday, December 04, 2006


Here's what is wrong with this country. A little crASS commercialism gone awry. A special occasion brew, crafted in England for the Holidays, will not be allowed by the State of Maine to be distributed because they find it's label either objectionable, or they feel that it would appeal to minors.

I know that living way up North the way they do, it must be difficult to find things to do this time of year, but rejecting this beer for its name or label smacks of Puratinism, you know, the comcept that somebody, somewhere might be having some fun and it's not a good thing.

When I brought up the plight of the importer up to my fellow workers, they wanted to know if I had ever had any Santa's Butt. I had to admit that I was not that close with Santa.

By the way, special occasion beers are generally stored in large oak barrels called "Butt"s, so the name is a sort of twisted pun.

That's probably why it appealed to me.

Sunday, December 03, 2006


It was really nice seeing the Count Basie Orchestra on Saturday night.

If you like big band jazz, it was a real treat. Yeah, the music was of a different age, but it was the best there is at what it is. We had a great time. The food was good, and the music was world class.

Just what the doctor ordered.

I got out and did the repairs to my Z this morning, so it will be back on the road tomorrow. I love driving that car, and I have missed it.

Friday night Carol and I sat down and wrote out all the rules of the house. If the kids want to come here, they have to abide by the rules. It was a good exercise for us to sit down and write things out. We have discussed this a lot, but a thought is never complete until it is written down. It is also unfair to expect someone to respect a set of rules they have never seen.

So, we got it done.

Today R. came by to get some of her stuff, and I made her sit down and read the rules. Needless to say, she was not pleased. She told me she didn't love us any more and never would, she was going to change her name and move out of state.

Sounds like something a 12 year old would say.

Tough love isn't just tough on them, it is tough on us too.