"So Let it Be Written... So Let it Be Done"

The life and times of a real, down to earth, nice guy. A relocated New Englander formerly living somewhere north of Boston, but now soaking up the bright sun of southwestern central Florida (aka The Gulf Coast). Welcome to my blog world. Please leave it as clean as it was before you came. Thanks for visiting, BTW please leave a relevant comment so I know you were here. No blog spam, please. (c) MMV-MMXV Court Jester Productions & Bamford Communications

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

First day of school

Today was my kids' first day of school.

My daughter begins the 2nd grade. She was especially nervous about the first day and summer vacation being over and will she be able to handle all of the new things she'll learn, etc. But I'm happy to report that she had a great day and was looking forward to tomorrow already. There are 21 total kids in her class, which is a pretty good class size.

My son is now in Kindegarten. He was so excited that his classroom has a 'fish tank' in it. And they also have Lego's, lots of Lego's. He didn't remember his teacher's name but had fun with the other 13 kids in his class.

On a totally unrelated note, American Guy wrote a few weeks ago about old man's disease (having to get out of bed in the middle of the night to pee). It started happening to me over the past year.
I only mention this because the last two nights I've had to pee at 5:30 AM, which is horrible because I have to get up for work at 6 AM anyway. No, I couldn't hold it for that last 30 minutes, which is what makes it inconvenient. 'Cuz then I get back into bed and hit a nice zzz groove - then the alarm goes off and I hit snooze too many times. And then my perfectly timed morning routine becomes rushed. I HATE THAT...

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Loan, anyone?

Does anyone want to lend me $400?

I got this advertisement in the mail yesterday for a self study course that I want to take but don't have the up front cash needed to pay for it. What makes this worthwhile for me is there is there is very good potential for additional income after I'm done (read: a part time job that could become full time very easily). Plus, I'm good for it. Just ask everyone else I owe money to (except the credit card companies - they don't like me right now.) Just figured I'd ask, y'know.

Do you remember the charachter Wimpy from the Popeye cartoons? His line was: "I'll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today." That's what I'm thinking as I type this blog.

All the while being distracted by my (2004 World Champion) Boston Red Sox rallying for a couple of runs in the bottom of the 8th inning to tie the ballgame at 6. (Sox won 7-6)

Forgot to mention this: On the road leading to my work this morning, there were six or seven chickens in the road. Add them to the other animal life I have seen here in the last year (deer, turkeys & pheasants). We're getting quite a collection of wildlife.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Thank You for saying hello

Tonight I had to swing by the grocery store on my way home from work to pick up a few things. I go to the same grocery store all of the time and some of the people who work there recognize me.

This grocery store chain must instruct it's cashiers to always greet the people as they come through the line. Usually its a "hello, how are you?" type of thing, which is fine. Most of the time I mindlessly answer back and think nothing of it, probably because most of the cashiers sound cheerful.

Tonight was different, though. The cashier I had offered me the most unenthusiastic greeting I've heard in a while. Usually the cashiers offer a smile with their greeting. Not this time, bud. Now I know that being a cashier can be a pretty lousy job (because I've done it myself, once upon a time - but not at a grocery store) and making that minimum wage is exciting stuff (when you're 16), but at least this girl could show some enthusiasm for her job. It's not like anyone forced her to be a cashier, y'know?

Sunday, August 28, 2005

A bit of nostalgia

Later this afternoon I have to take my kids to their grandparents house where they will spend the night.

Right now they are having fun testing out one of my Atari 2600 units by playing some of the classic games. They struggled with the original Pac-Man game for about 20 minutes and now are playing Mr. Do. I love to see them enjoying the same games that I did oh so long ago, when I was a kid. Sometime in the near future I'll introduce them to the classic Nintendo machine & games that I have.

I have not spoiled them with the more advanced systems and games of today, like Xbox, Playstation or Nintendo 64. My kids have gotten a taste of these other game systems when we visit my parents house. My brother has a Playstation2 machine and they like to watch their cousin play some of the games. They have played on the N64 that my sister has.

The problem for me is that if I buy one of these newer systems and games, that I will waste too much time playing it. I am already a procrastinator of the highest order and I don't need any more distractions keeping me from the things I ought to be doing.

In fact, I've been in my apartment for about 10 months, and I still have boxes of stuff that remain in the boxes they were in when I moved here. It seems like I unpack one box of stuff only to compile another box of stuff in a vain attempt to clean up the place. Problem is that I don't throw much away.

One good thing I have gotten myself into the habit of doing is recycling my trash. I have a few different bins labeled paper, glass and plastic so I can separate my trash before I go to the recycling center. I usually make one trip a week there, occasionally I can get away with going every other week. As a result, the actual throwaway trash I have is minimal.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

A proactive step

I've been without a relationship for too long. So last night I decided to take a proactive step in reversing this situation. I finally bought a membership on eharmony after taking the quite in-depth personality profile test a few weeks ago. Here I hope to develop some meaningful relationships with single women and hopefully find one that has long term potential. At the very least I can make some new friends. I've had memberships to other online dating sites in the past with no success and some with disastrous results, as regular readers of this blog will know. So far I have five potential matches and have begun the initial communication process with these women. Now I await any and all responses to see where they lead. Now that I'm a member, I'll be notified by email if any new women are a match for my personality profile. The good thing about this site is that the initial communication is anonymous except for the barest details and if both parties agree, then the process proceeds to the next level. I'm sure I'll be blogging about this topic in the future, so stay tuned.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

20 years old already?

Two days ago the 20th anniversary edition DVD of the movie Witness was released. I picked up my copy tonight, not only because I'm a Harrison Ford fan but because this is such an elegant movie for a "police - crime" drama. The middle part of the movie where the action is in Amish country is fascinating. From what little I know about Amish in the US, I think this movie portrays that culture very accurately. I think it is a very powerful story and one of Harrison Ford's best roles in a career filled with them.

One thing I like about anniversary release DVDs is the documentary stuff that ususally comes with it. That was one of my reasons for buying the movie again. The other is converting my movie library from VHS to DVD (a slow process) and selling the VHS tapes (once I buy the DVD) to try and recoup some of my investment. With Witness, there is a five part documentary on the making of the film with recent interviews done by the cast, producer and director reflecting on the experience.

Next Tuesday the 15th Anniversary DVD of Pretty Woman will be released. Another must have sure to be filled with lots of extras.


Regarding work, the last few days have been frustrating to say the least. On Tuesday we set up to run a certain part with a larger barrel. The last time we finished using this barrel I started to clean it - back in June. Then I got busy and the barrel sat for more than two months only partway cleaned. So I had to reclean it last week. I thoight it was clean. It looked clean. But it wasn't as the parts I ran on Wednesday were brown and full of particulates. These parts were so bad that we were not able to save anything and shut down early so that a) I could re-clean the equipment today and b) so that we wouldn't waste excess material, which is very expensive. As it turned out we wasted about 500g or about $1000 of material on purges and 73 start up shots.

I spent a good part of the day cleaning the barrel again only to find out in the late afternoon that this particular piece of equipment was taken out of active use about three years ago for some problem. Somehow the thing got put back in use when it shouldn't have. And there was a pristine looking barrel sitting right there on the shelf that I had to swap out with the old one. This meant that I had to take the old one apart, replace the barrel and put it back together again. What a pain in the %&^$*$$##*-. That also meant that I have to re-clean all of the parts that go with it - screw, screw tip, nozzle and nozzle body. Very time consuming. The goal is to run it again on Monday.

The good news in all of this is that we have two 1,200 piece runs to make of this part. These runs were originally separated by several weeks on the production schedule. I convinced my boss to let me run them on consecutive days to avoid extra work in breaking down and setting up the machine once instead of twice. The bad news is that once I run these parts, the whole thing has to be cleaned again since we only use this larger barrel for two parts that we make and we don't make them all that often.

Oh well, at least tomorrow is only a four hour workday.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

A new look, etc.

So as you can see, I've changed a few things around. Changed the template and the name of the blog, since this has become more of a journal than anything else. That's why the old blog name has now become a place for real brain farts. That blog will be more topical and perhaps controversial if you don't agree with what I write. Click on the link at the right to see my other blog.

Bonus points for you if you can guess the movie that this blog title comes from and who said it. More bonus points if you can guess the correct year of release for this film. Even more bonus points if you know the real life name of the baby featured prominently at the beginning of this film.

Monday, August 22, 2005

A disturbing trend

Gee, I thought I didn't have anything to write about today....

Over the last two days I have been hitting that "next blog" button at the top of the screen and I've noticed some things.

To wit: there is other intelligent life out there in bloggerland ((besides me, of course, ;>) )) as I've read some other good blogs.

There are also a lot of blogs devoted to advertising crap and it is annoying. Like we don't have enough of that on television and radio and other web sites.

But the most disturbing thing I've noticed in reading other blogs lately is that there are people who comment on blog posts who are doing so only for the sake of advertising another website (blogspam) and not really commenting on the content of the post. So to combat this I have added to my introduction a warning that such blogspam comments that find their way here will be summarily deleted.

I have also prohibited anonymous commenters. If you are going to comment on someone's blog, have the moxie to be held accountable for it.

Ok, enough of the rant for tonight.

PS American Guy put up a link for a cheese web site. And by clicking on it I am excited to learn that I can sign up to receive cheese news in my email!!!! As if I don't get enough junk email as it is....

Sunday, August 21, 2005

On bikinis and pierced navels

Today my kids insisted on going swimming in the pool, even though the water was a bit cooler than it has been recently. Even though I did not go swimming I sat nearby watching them and all of the other people who decided to lounge by the pool today.

Amongst one group of women was one wearing a bikini who was noticeably pregnant. She looked like she was about ready to give birth, actually. Even though the woman was only moderately attractive, there is something to be said for the sexiness of a pregnant woman, no matter what she is wearing. And there is a definite difference between a pregnant woman wearing a bikini and an obese woman wearing the same, which is truly an offensive sight. At my apartment I have now seen both.

I have also been noticing the number of very attractive women who live in the apartment complex that wear bikinis when they use the pool. Even though they all seem to be married, it makes going swimming an even more enjoyable experience.

Though I must confess and don't understand why some of these women wear incredibly large navel jewelry. I have no problem with a pierced navel. However, the jewelry worn there should be small to moderate in size to enhance the look instead of large and obnoxious, which has the opposite effect, in my opinion.

Ed. Note (8/22) This is not meant to be a sexist post. It just reflects the sad fact that I am a single man who has not had a meaningful relationship with a woman since my separation and divorce occurred.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Only because I had to do it

About a year ago I suppose it was, I needed to add some oil to my car's engine when the hood release lever broke off. I decided that since the car was so old that I wouldn't get it fixed - that I would just use pliers to pull the wire to open the hood. Two weeks ago I needed to open the hood to add some oil and I could not do it. I tried so hard that I actually broke off most of the wire. I could tell that the engine was low on oil because I could hear the engine ticking. Yesterday I was forced into actually getting the hood release fixed or risk seizing the engine.

When I brought the car in I told them to fix the hood release and also change the oilthey told me they would call before they started any work. When they did call they told me they couldn't open the hood and would have to do "surgery" to get in and weren't sure how much damage they'd cause. They also told me that they would bill me by the hour for the labor (at $77 an hour!!). Since I had no choice, I told them to do what they had to do.

Turns out they had to go thru the grill to open the hood and it took them an hour to do it. The part cost about $55 and an hour to install it. Then
add in the oil change and the total bill came to $242 and change. But the scary part was when they took the oil dipstick out - it was dry!!! I had almost no oil in the engine.

I really hate sinking money into that car....

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

One of those days... was today

Every time I go to the post office to check my mailbox I take the back roads to get home, mainly to avoid rush hour traffic on Route 101A. Also because there are some residential neighborhoods in that section of Nashua that have absolutely gorgeous houses, which I love to oogle at and wish that I could afford to buy one. Some day, perhaps.

More to the point. One of these neighborhoods that I traverse frequently has an intersection with a four way stop sign. There is never any significant traffic here, so I usually do one of those rolling stop and tap the breaks kind of thing through the intersection. I always think to myself that one of these days I'm going to get pulled over by the police for not stopping properly. Well, today was that day. As soon as I went through the intersection in the customary manner, I hear the siren and see the blue lights of an unmarked police car pull up behind me. Oh, great, I'm thinking. Just what I need.

The officer comes to my window and asks me if I knew why he stopped me. I told him I did and I gave him the reason. He then asked me where I was going. So I told him. He then told me that they had been monitoring that intersection for the last four days and everyone they pulled over failed to stop at that intersection and that most people, as I do, use that neighborhood as a cut through. He also told me that the residents have complained about people like me not stopping properly. I gave him my license and registration and so he could go back to his car and write me up. Five or so minutes later he hands me a ticket for $100.00!!! Ouch! Like I just have extra Benjamins lying around. Very painful to the budget conscious.

I must have gone through that intersection hundreds of times improperly over the last 9+ years. So I've gotta look at it like a $1.00 fine for the last hundred times I've driven through there illegally. But I tell you, I'd rather be pulled over 100 times and fined $1.00 each time than once at $100.00!

If there is a bright spot to the whole thing - I have 30 days in which to mail my fine. And I'll be using most of them. Believe you me.


On another unrelated note: Our main customer at work is coming for a visit at the end of the month and the owner of my company wants to make a good impression for them. I was talking to my boss about the visit and he told me how badly the landscaping has bcome. I had to agree with him.

So I left with him the next week one of my brother's business cards. Actually I left the owner with one, my boss with one and the HR manager with one. My brother owns a landscaping company called Capital Lawn Works. So last Thursday he came out and met with my boss' assistant (she wears so many hats that I don't know what her actual job title is) to give an estimate for the proposed work. Friday the estimate was accepted by the owner, and for the last two days my brother and his crew have been meticulously cleaning up the property. Wow!! Let me tell you - everyone paid me compliments for the job he and his guys did. And I know that the front office people told him they did a great job too. I told them from the beginning that he would do a good job and I was right.
They're even considering hiring him for the winter to plow the parking lot during snowstorms.

Now I have to talk my brother into throwing a bit of commission my way for getting him the work.... We'll see how that goes....

Friday, August 12, 2005

Peter Jennings (1938-2005)

I need to pay attention to the news more often. I just found out today, while reading the tabloids in the checkout line at the supermarket, that ABC News anchor Peter Jennings died last Sunday of lung cancer at the young age of 67.

He was my favorite of the big three network news anchors. I can remember watching the news with my parents as a kid when Peter Jenings was the chief foreign correspondent reporting from London. Then he took over the anchor desk from legend Frank Reynolds in 1983. He brought a lot of integrity to ABC News and was a voice many people trusted. Here's one of the many links I found relating to Jennings death:

Peter Jennings, 67 (1938-2005)

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Reaching around the world

Intelligent Design v. Evolution

Thanks, American Guy for bringing this article to my attention. Never would have known about it if you hadn't.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Vacation with the kids part 2

Well my vacation is over. Tomorrow morning it's back to work. Back to reality, unfortunately. I really enjoyed sleeping late for the past week.

I brought my kids home to their mom's house tonight after a wonderful week of them staying with me. This was the first time since the divorce that I had them for an extended period of time. It was great to just spend time with them. We did not visit Camp Wonderland as I had wanted to. They were all excited about going until they learned that visiting there involved an approximate two hour car ride. They decided that swimming in the pool here was a better option. Frankly, I agreed. Camp isn't going anywhere. I will have plenty of time to take them to my old stomping ground some other time.

So what did we do for the remaining days of the vacation? Nothing much, really. Except swimming in the pool and an occasional visit to the grocery store. I will miss them this week and they will miss me also. But they will be back this Friday - resuming the regular schedule.

We did also go to church today. When we go, they attend their age appropriate Sunday school class while I go to the regular service. I mention this because today was a bit unusual. Today the pastor held believer's baptism during the morning service. Usually he does baptisms on Sunday night, about once a month or so. Once a year though he does it during the 10:15 service. There were seven people who were baptized today, ranging in age from 5 years old to, I'm guessing, 60 or so. It was very nice. Each person had to say a little something before they were "dunked", as my parents call it. It brought back the memory of my baptism last fall, on October 17. I've been a Christian for a long time but never had the opportunity to be baptized before last fall because the church I grew up in does not practice baptism. Being baptized is not something that you have to do but it is something that you have to want to do. It is an outward profession of faith. Anyway it was very moving to see.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Looking ahead and dreams

I just found out by poking around at amazon.com that Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith is due to be released on DVD here in the United States on November 1, 2005. My favorite television series Alias (the 4th season) will be released on DVD a week earlier, on October 25, 2005. This is good news and gives me something to look forward to.

Another NFL season is almost here. The two time defending Super Bowl champion (and winners of three of the last four Super Bowls) New England Patriots have begun training camp in preparaton for the 2005 season. Preseason games start tomorrow. Two games this weekend and then a full slate next weekend. The Patriots first preseason game is Friday, August 12th. The regular season begins on Thursday, September 8th when the Patriots host the Oakland Raiders at Gillette Stadium. Another thing to look forward to.

I don't remember many of the dreams that I have. In fact, I often do not even recall having dreams on most nights, though I'm sure I do. But last night was weird- I did have a dream, this I know for sure. What the dream was about I do not remember. But I do know this - that I have had that exact same dream on several occasions, and not recently, either. This I'm also pretty sure of. It may have been months or years since I have had this dream, but I can't be sure. It's almost like I'm dreaming a story (that I'm in, not just with me as the third person narrator) that needs to be written down at some point. Probably I should keep a notebook and pens by my bed so that I can be prepared. So the question I have is this... does anyone out there recall having the same dream multiple times? Not on consecutive nights but over a period of time?

UPDATE: If Thursday night's experience weren't weird enough, Friday night's was more weird (weirder?) . I had another dream that I don't remember the specifics of. When the dream was done I saw the dream two more times. The second time the dream was expressed as HTML code and the third time was as if a storyboard artist drew each frame in exquisite detail. I don't know HTML and I can't draw very well, either. Go figure. Maybe these other two experiences were simultaneously going thru my head while I was experiencing the original dream...

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Vacation with the kids part 1

I have been on vacation this week from work. A much needed break. I have also had the privelege of having my kids with me for the whole week. This is unusual for me, since I only usually have my kids on the weekends. We have not gone anywhere special so far.

Monday was a pajama day, where we spent the whole day being lazy, watching television and movies and just spending time together. I taught the kids how to play a board game called Pay Day. This is a game that came out in the mid 1970's, that my sister and I got for Christmas one year when we were kids. While I was reading the rules, my daughter was bored and did not think she would like the game. Oncw we started playing, however, she got into it. We played a four month game which my son won.

Tuesday we did some errands, grocery shopping and a trip to the post office to check the mailbox. I took them into my work so that they could see where I spend alot of my time. I introduced them to my co-workers and bosses, and they got to see me dress up into my clean room costume. We only spent about a half hour there but I think they enjoyed the little tour I gave them.

Today we played a six month game of Pay Day, which I won over my daughter by a mere $170. It was great fun. After lunch we went swimming in the pool. My kids discovered the fun of jumping into the water from the edge of the pool. Once they realized how much fun it is to do they enthusiastically kept doing it for the rest of the afternoon, even in the deep end of the pool. I even got into it with them. We had a wonderful time.

Tomorrow it looks like thunderstorms will be the order of the day but Friday looks really hot. Friday we will go to visit Camp Wonderland in Sharon. Mass., where I spent many summers as a kid. We'll go swimming in the lake there and I'll take them on a tour of the grounds. They will get a chance to play on the many playgrounds. I hope they will enjoy it. I know that I will. I spent the summers from 1973-1988 there and really have not been there too often since.