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Monthly Archives: November 2008

Starbucks wifi virgin (no more)

So, the fam and I are in Wichita for the weekend for Thanksgiving.  It’s been a long day with the trip and all. In fact, Ivy informed us shortly after 8pm tonight that she needed to go to bed.  This is not really unusual, but it was before her normal bed time of 8:30.

It feels like it’s been a long week even though it’s only Wednesday.  We waited around this morning waiting for the Johnson inspector to come inspect our house.  He came while I was in the shower.  By the time I got out of the shower and got dressed, he was already gone.  No prob.

So, then we drove to Wichita.  I know there a lot of musicians who’ve logged way more hours on the road than I ever have, but I enjoy road trips less than ever.  And driving across the bleak, desolate terrain of Oklahoma reminds me a lot of where I grew up.  That doesn’t help matters, either.

Anyway, so we get to Holly’s Grammy’s only to realize that her phone’s battery is nearly dead and I forgot to bring a charger.  I realize that with the borrowed laptop, if I installed the phone’s software/drivers, I could charge our phones from the laptop’s USB port.  (Why did I bring the phone’s USB cable and not a charger?  I have no idea.)  The only problem is that I don’t have the software of an internet connection.  I thought I’d heard that Starbucks had free wifi, but I’d never done it before.

So, I ask the friendly Barrista about wifi, and she starts telling me I can pay for a card that I can add money to and get more time etc. etc.  which I was about to do, but then she tells me that people have been having trouble with their connection lately.  I ask if she knows any place else that might have wifi and she tells me that I might be able to pick up wifi here in the store from any number of local businesses.  So, I decide to give it a shot.

Sure enough, there’s 3 different unsecured signals and I just chose the strongest.  Turns out it’s Starbuck’s.  Then I find out that their wifi ATT and since I have ATT DSL at home, I can just log in with my regular account.  No big woop.

So, here I sit, writing a blog at Starbucks.

I didn’t even buy anything.  Take that, Starbucks!

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1 Comment

Posted by on November 27, 2008 in Uncategorized

 

sapphire bullets…almost thanksgiving 08

 

  •  (still waiting to award 1 million points to someone who names the reference to this blog entry…)
  • We’re building onto our house.  550 sq feet.  Will be moving my “office/studio” to the other end of the house soon.  They’re tearing out the wall in our living room tomorrow. It will be interesting to come home after school.  No insulation yet, so am hoping it’s not too cold for the next few days.  If all goes as planned, insullation, heat and air and maybe even drywall will be up before thanksgiving.  We’re planning to stain the concrete next Sunday afternoon.  
  • Having a good year teaching, but am really looking forward to a break.
  • Am even more looking forward to the cruise we leave for 2 days after Christmas with the Powers. (Don’t be deceived and think that teaching is paying WAY more than you thought with the building AND the cruise.  We booked the cruise way before we decided to build.   Would have preferred to use the money for the cruise on the build at this point, but I’m still really looking forward to the cruise.)
  • NOT looking forward to being away from Ivy for a week.
  • Am currently listening to the audio book for the new Ender in Exile book.  Am having difficulty finding anything else to read.
  • Spending Thanksgiving in Wichita with Holly’s fam since we won’t see them at Christmas.
  • Very glad to only have two days of school this week.  Can’t believe I’m 3 weeks and 2 days to being half way to next summer vacation…
  • Took a test last weekend that I have to pass in order to schedule my final teaching certification test/observation/evaluation.  Have no idea if I passed that test.  It was too stupid for words.
  • Ivy is still awesome.  On Saturday she started singing: “Polar Bear, Polar bear, what do you see?  I see a (unintelligible) in my ear…” The song goes on to name different animals/people and asking them what they see. Don’t know if the song is supposed to have everything they see going  in their ear, but that was what she was singing.  Call me proud pappa when she sang: “Yoda, yoda what do you see? I see a lightsaber in my ear!” 🙂
  • Joined a weight bet at school with a bunch of teachers.  Everybody throws in $20. Whoever loses the most percentage of weight by the Friday before Spring Break gets the pot.  I figure I could lose between 20-30 pounds and be about right.  Which leads to the most unbelievable bullet:
  • I bought pair of running shoes yesterday.  New Balance. I even found a workout called “From couch to 5k”.  I don’t really care about a 5k.  I just needed help getting started so I don’t kill myself.  Now, to implement…
  • I came home and declared to holly that I bought a pair of running shoes, a shirt (long-sleeve t-shirt to wear under polo at school when cold), a pair of jeans (work jeans for the rare occasion on which I do such), and got a hair cut all for under $35!
  • And to top it all off, I guess we’re getting a new dog!  Friends brought home a 4 month old basset/mix (I think basset/beagle) for their fam only to traumatize their toddler to the point they decided they needed to wait.  I was pushing for a dog last summer and Holly said we needed to wait.  Shrewdly, my friend emailed pics.  We went to meet Rhubarb.  She’s super sweet and cute and friendly.  Ivy laughs uncontrollably when puppy jumps up and licks her face.  Holly caves hard.   Now we just have to finish out the house a little more.
  • I’m being impressed with myself because I just installed an open source operating system on my mp3 player that will allow it to read the 4 GB micro SDHC card that I bought on woot a couple of weeks ago… I’m easily impressed with myself sometimes.
  • I don’t know if I can handle this much change all at once.
 
2 Comments

Posted by on November 24, 2008 in Uncategorized

 

sapphire bullets…almost thanksgiving 08

  •  (still waiting to award 1 million points to someone who names the reference to this blog entry…)
  • We’re building onto our house.  550 sq feet.  Will be moving my “office/studio” to the other end of the house soon.  They’re tearing out the wall in our living room tomorrow. It will be interesting to come home after school.  No insulation yet, so am hoping it’s not too cold for the next few days.  If all goes as planned, insullation, heat and air and maybe even drywall will be up before thanksgiving.  We’re planning to stain the concrete next Sunday afternoon.  
  • Having a good year teaching, but am really looking forward to a break.
  • Am even more looking forward to the cruise we leave for 2 days after Christmas with the Powers. (Don’t be deceived and think that teaching is paying WAY more than you thought with the building AND the cruise.  We booked the cruise way before we decided to build.   Would have preferred to use the money for the cruise on the build at this point, but I’m still really looking forward to the cruise.)
  • NOT looking forward to being away from Ivy for a week.
  • Am currently listening to the audio book for the new Ender in Exile book.  Am having difficulty finding anything else to read.
  • Spending Thanksgiving in Wichita with Holly’s fam since we won’t see them at Christmas.
  • Very glad to only have two days of school this week.  Can’t believe I’m 3 weeks and 2 days to being half way to next summer vacation…
  • Took a test last weekend that I have to pass in order to schedule my final teaching certification test/observation/evaluation.  Have no idea if I passed that test.  It was too stupid for words.
  • Ivy is still awesome.  On Saturday she started singing: “Polar Bear, Polar bear, what do you see?  I see a (unintelligible) in my ear…” The song goes on to name different animals/people and asking them what they see. Don’t know if the song is supposed to have everything they see going  in their ear, but that was what she was singing.  Call me proud pappa when she sang: “Yoda, yoda what do you see? I see a lightsaber in my ear!” 🙂
  • Joined a weight bet at school with a bunch of teachers.  Everybody throws in $20. Whoever loses the most percentage of weight by the Friday before Spring Break gets the pot.  I figure I could lose between 20-30 pounds and be about right.  Which leads to the most unbelievable bullet:
  • I bought pair of running shoes yesterday.  New Balance. I even found a workout called “From couch to 5k”.  I don’t really care about a 5k.  I just needed help getting started so I don’t kill myself.  Now, to implement…
  • I came home and declared to holly that I bought a pair of running shoes, a shirt (long-sleeve t-shirt to wear under polo at school when cold), a pair of jeans (work jeans for the rare occasion on which I do such), and got a hair cut all for under $35!
  • And to top it all off, I guess we’re getting a new dog!  Friends brought home a 4 month old basset/mix (I think basset/beagle) for their fam only to traumatize their toddler to the point they decided they needed to wait.  I was pushing for a dog last summer and Holly said we needed to wait.  Shrewdly, my friend emailed pics.  We went to meet Rhubarb.  She’s super sweet and cute and friendly.  Ivy laughs uncontrollably when puppy jumps up and licks her face.  Holly caves hard.   Now we just have to finish out the house a little more.
  • I don’t know if I can handle this much change all at once.
 
1 Comment

Posted by on November 24, 2008 in Uncategorized

 

Quote

I just found this quote and didn’t want to lose it.

“For me, reason is the natural organ of truth; but imagination is the organ of meaning.”  -C.S.Lewis

 
1 Comment

Posted by on November 14, 2008 in Uncategorized

 

And a 2 year old will make their day…

I’ve had a rough week.  I don’t know what all has gone into it, but I’ve just been in a grouchy mood most of the week.  Tonight, the three of us were sitting at the dinner table.  Ivy was very determined in trying to get the kernals of corn onto her spoon and we thought she was in her own little world.

I know that I’m hard to live with when i’m grouchy, and I wanted to Holly to know how much i appreciated her taking care of me in spite of me.  The conversation went like this:

Me:  (to Holly) “I love you.”

Holly: (to me) “I love you, too.”

Ivy:  “I love you, too, guys.”

(I know it really doesn’t translate to the blog that well, but it was a great moment for our little family.)

 
2 Comments

Posted by on November 7, 2008 in Uncategorized

 

ignorance

More than anything I am struggling with shock and horror at Arkansas’s overwhelming passage of 

PROPOSED INITIATIVE ACT NO.1

AN ACT PROVIDING THAT AN INDIVIDUAL WHO IS COHABITING OUTSIDE

OF A VALID MARRIAGE MAY NOT ADOPT OR BE A FOSTER PARENT OF A CHILD LESS THAN EIGHTEEN YEARS OLD.

I’ve bit my tongue in a lot of conversations over the last few months and tried to be very tactful and listening to opposing views about our recent election, but I am overwhelmed at the sheer indecency of this initiative and struggle to find words other than “evil” to describe my evaluation of it.  I also realize that my soapbox is a little pointless because it’s already passed at this point.  I am as much shocked at my own naivete in not realizing it would be passed so overwhelmingly.

Here are just a few of my thoughts:

This initiative bans ANYONE from being foster or adoptive parents that are not a man and woman legally married including single people or divorced people.  I don’t know for sure, but the way it reads to me is that common-law married couples would be banned as well.  

Jesus Christ would be banned from being a foster parent or adopting a child.

The initiative was instituted because there was already a law banning gay couples from fostering or adopting and it had already been deemed unconstitutional.  Oh, well then, let’s re-write it to limit even MORE people from being eligible for taking in children who need homes.  Good idea.

The supporters of this initiative submit that children are better off in a home with married man and wife parents.  I believe that the absolute best thing for a child would  be to live in a loving home with a mom and a dad.  No duh.  Congratulations, you’re a genius.  

But are you really going to try to tell me that a child bouncing around in group homes as a ward of the state is better off than being adopted or receiving foster care in a loving home from qualified, evaluated people if they’re single parent, co-habitating couple, common-law couple, two mommies or two daddies?  Give me a freakin’ break.

I can’t find it now, but last night I was reading about the Family Council of Arkansas’ position on this and they actually had the audacity to say they hoped this initiative would make more families make themselves available as foster/adoptive homes.  How the hell does that work, Sherlock?  Ban more people from being foster/adoptive parents and we’ll get more kids into foster care/adopted…good plan.  you fail.  

I know I’m just blowing steam because a) the initiative has passed already, b)I don’t even know what I could do about it.  It just seems so ignorant and wrong and horrible that this has happened.  I understand that many who probably voted for this didn’t take time to think about these implications, but were reacting to the “gay agenda” as it’s been characterized to us by any number of conservative groups.  I’m not not even trying to open that can of worms.

It just seems shameful to me that a family advocacy group would push this political position without realizing that the ones who are going to feel the most effect of this initiative are going to be the motherless and fatherless children of this state who have had their opportunity for a loving parent(s) and home diminished just a little bit more.

A loving family, however it may be defined or made up is preferable to no family.  And I’m not sure anybody would ever be able to convince me otherwise.

 
2 Comments

Posted by on November 7, 2008 in Uncategorized

 

hope > cynicism

It’s over.  We have a new president-elect and regardless of how you voted, it is impossible not to acknowledge the historic implications.  I know some are cynical, som are angry, and some are afraid of the days to come.  

To those who are afraid, I would tell you that you need to have a little more faith in the statements that “God is in control” and the prayers that you prayed that God’s will would be done.  One of the things that I will always have to acknowledge a former pastor for teaching me is that fear is not of God.

To those that are angry, I can only speak for myself in that I have no desire to gloat. (My vote didn’t count anyway, because Arkansas went to McCain.)  I felt that McCain’s concession speech was profoundly gracious and wisely determined to urge his followers and party toward unity of purpose for our country.

To those who are cynical, I encourage you to latch on to hope however you can.  As the biggest cynic I know (most of the time) I know that cynicism is not going to help anybody make anything better and we might as well just give up.

 
2 Comments

Posted by on November 7, 2008 in Uncategorized