1/04/13 at 9:53 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

I shouldn’t post, it’s not like this is a blog or anything. Do I need to have an online diary? It would just end up me complaining about stuff, and who wants to read that? Complaining about posting about complaining? How low can one sink …

Well, maybe there’s more to this than meets the keypad.

Hot Times

6/30/12 at 9:36 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Three straight triple digit days … mmph. Kristal told me Josh doesn’t like this kind of summer and prefers winters, so he may be headed up north when he’s “emanicpated” (can figure out how to survive on his own). Once he has experienced a bad winter of snow-ice that doesn’t go away and sub-zero temperatures he might change his mind.

I’m just glad we didn’t get the damaging storms like they had up in VA. We could use the rain, though.

Yes I’m Here

4/07/12 at 7:58 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Besides breaking the silence, the title has more to do about today. The church has names for Thursday (Maundy) where we recognize the last supper and betrayal, Friday (Good) with His Passion and Easter Sunday. What do we have to say about Saturday? This day intrigues me, as it seemed to be a day without God on earth.

Only a handful of people on that day felt abandoned, while the rest did not realize the magnitude of the events. But then again, most had lived their lives feeling abandoned, wondering when God was going to do something about His chosen people. Hey, I go to temple and give my offerings. I may not be perfect but I’m trying to obey the laws as best I can. I support the Sanhedrin and even know a few of them. So why does it feel like the Romans (world) have their foot on my throat? When do we get to stomp on them?!

God sent His Son to show us a better way, but many back then as well as now didn’t believe, didn’t want to change. We choose the wrong battlefield – it’s not the marketplace, legislature or even church board. It’s our hearts. One stony section at a time, we need to yield our hearts to His crucible, allowing Him to shape it, mend it, strengthen it and fill it. His priorities directed by the Holy Spirit – God help me with this selfish fool I see in the mirror each day.

God did not abandon His people back then and He is here today. But what to call this day? Descent Saturday? interstitial Saturday? (Oops, my technical side reared up.) I’ll nominate Healing Saturday. Today should be a day of healing broken relationships, finding freedom from the things that weigh us down, hold us back and interfere in our relationships with Jesus. The sacrifice has been made, we are cleansed, it’s time to forgive ourselves and take the first step in a new day as Jesus has paid the price.

Yes He is here. Hallelujah! Even though He may be subduing the liar in the depths of this earth, He is still here. I am here Lord, fill out my to-do list.

Workin’ for the PPA

1/29/12 at 9:42 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Just to give a post for 2012 …

We (wife and I) have recently worked through the first 4 seasons of Parking Wars on Netflix. Most of the shows run the same after awhile, and like many shows of this kind it’s the human interaction and dealing with the public that makes it interessting. We both continue to be astounded at people who do not take responsibility for their actions, blaming others for their problems and the bad language they use (sometimes in front of children). People get very “possessive” about their cars, so anybody messing with them is the enemy.

It’s funny to see some of the regulars of the PPA (Philadelphia Parking Authority) become local celebrities. I suppose we’ll watch more if other seasons are available on Netflix streaming. It’s frustrating that more seasons are not available for streaming on other TV series. Guess we’ll have to get the DVD’s. Hopefully those are avaiiable. It takes awhile for recent movies to finally be available on DVD from Netflix. Blockbuster is starting to look better.

Time Postages

10/31/11 at 8:24 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

I’m going to try again, just so that I write stuff down somewhere and maybe have a chance to read it again years from now. The days fly by quickly when kids are running around and you’re trying to keep up – especially when you’re old enough to be their grandparents. I re-read my last post and I seemed angrier than I actually was. At least, I think I was.

I’ve decided on making “Time Postages”. I thought about time stamps, posting, time passages and came up with this. They will be stamps of what’s going on, on on-line of the stuff I’m wrestling with and maybe overcoming. From my last post, we’re still YMCA members, though I’m the only one going now. I’m a tai-chi disciple and take classes twice a week. It has helped me and I look forward to getting the muscle memory where I can do rather than think the moves. Tai-chi is basically a slow-motion dance, so you have to know the steps in order enjoy the moves.

The kids are still the kids. Josh has been in public middle school (8th) for about a year, but he’s going back to homeschooling this week. We can’t get a satisfactory answer from him on why he’s changed his mind, but Kristal is semi-thrilled to have him back. She was very sad to see him go to public school last year, but sometimes things have to be experienced, i.e. what it’s like on the other side of the fence. The grass was apparently not as green.

Joey has some anger-management issues. There are times where I think I’m getting a little closer to him, and then others where it’s obvious he’d rather be back with his birth parents (regardless of the safety). He saved money from his birthday last month and along with other funds was able to get a 3rd gen iPod on eBay for $100. He lost it last week when he had a meltdown with Kristal and she confiscated the iPod.

We’re still wrestling with stealing/lieing problems for Sandy. She is still of the mind that if she sees something and wants it she’ll take it, denying everything if caught. She can also bring such joy too. She is going to public school (2nd) and has to get up early to catch the bus at 6:35 am! She’s been very good at getting up and ready, and it’s given us time to share together. I actually got a spontaneous “I love you” from her the other day. We still have a long uphill battle with her, as she’s very headstrong and immature.

One day at a time.

Hard Times

5/31/11 at 9:07 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Nobody likes to hear people crabbin’ on a blog, but (and there’s always a but) who else is going to listen? The legions, or should I say throngs, to this site would surely grant me this tiny exception. I’m posting now to keep my monthly pace, though my heart is not in it. I found out a few months ago about a site called spudlets dot com, knew what they did (shill for office supplies) and that I had someone scamming my Web-name, yet it seems to be bothering me more now then it did back then.

Several years ago I spent the money and had that site registered in my name. I enjoyed blogging back then and thought I could stake a little puff of the cloud. Life interfered, things got dropped, interests changed and I let the domain name slide. I don’t know how someone thinks spudlets is a good name for an office supplies site. Maybe they saw some returns on google based on all of my previous internet “work”. Anyhow, it’s sticking in my craw, as I felt like I had established the name for myself. Goes to show you what happens in the unregulated WWW – long may it stay free (unless you want to register a domain name).

Hard times now are courtesy of my “brood”. If it’s not the teenager testing us and complaining about his “lack” of everything, it’s the girl lying and misbehaving or the younger boy having a hard time getting along with his brother or sister. We recently joined the Y and thought we could take advantage of the family swim night. I don’t like to swim in the pool, but Kristal wanted to take a water aerobics class while the kids swam. It turned out Sandy was the only one swimming as the boys wanted to go to the racquetball court (and me chaperoning). Apparently Sandy needed more supervision, as she was spitting pool water on some lady, and kept on doing it even after the woman told her to stop.

After we got home we had the “family meeting”, and unfortunately both Sandy and Joey (who got in some trouble as well) decided they didn’t want to listen, so I had to discipline them. They were sent to bed early, and through the crying they hollered that they don’t want us to be their parents. After over 4 years we’re still getting this sh*t, and it’s very discouraging. I’m tired of the little misbehaviors, having to repeat myself, and at the least we will have children who behave. If it means I don’t get love in return, then that’s the cost. I get a better appreciation of how God our Father pours His heart out to us and we stomp on it in return.

I feel like the worst parent in the world. Hopefully tomorrow morning new mercies I’ll recieve.

Post-Easter Ponderins

4/28/11 at 7:17 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

I had a heck of an Easter weekend, but after seeing what happened in Alabama I should be counting my blessings. Three hundred dead from one storm system – just incredible. About two weeks ago a storm system caused extensive damage in NC. Fortunately the bad storm cell stayed south of me, swinging up into Sanford and then Raleigh. My in-laws live south of Raleigh, and one of the mobile-home parks hit bad was about seven miles from them. All of this destruction makes you wonder what’s goin’ on …

Last week the son of a friend from work and church was killed in a car accident. He was 33 and left two small children and a wife. Attending the funeral last Saturday was one of the most difficult things I’ve done. Not only did I feel terribly for the friend and what she is going through, but it caused me to visit the fear I keep locked away, the fear that parents avoid talking about. I know God would not want to hear a suggestion from me, but if I had to nominate another commandment, it would be “Thou shalt not be made to bury one of your children”. Not only did a mom have to bury her son, but he also left behind grandparents. I can’t imagine that anguish either.

I know we live in an imperfect, fallen world, and we celebrate Easter as Jesus giving us victory over death. It still hurts.

On Sunday we had a ham baking in the oven while we were at church. Due to my bad planning, the pan holding the ham was not quite deep enough, so some stuff spilled onto the bottom of the oven. We came home to a smokey house and had to scramble to get a proper lunch ready. The weather was OK to open the doors and air out the house. I decided for supper to not take a chance so we went to Wendy’s, topped with a Frosty dessert. Yum.

Earlier that morning my lovely and talented wife placed eggs (that we had filled the previous night) out on the front lawn while still in her nightgown. She claims nobody honked. The kids also got a basket of candy, and I instructed them on the proper chocolate bunny technique: you have to nibble off the ears first so they can’t hear the screaming as you get the rest of ’em.

For now I’m looking forward to resuming our normal Sunday School routine with the road to Emmaus, and asking them: What happens next? It’s the question of a lifetime.

He had to go …

3/31/11 at 9:39 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

No not me, the cat. About a fortnight ago I had to be the heavy and get rid of a heavy cat. Smoky was brought into the Taterbed in spite of my protests. He was brought in gradually about a year and a half ago. First he was fed outside but stayed outside, then he was brought in when the weather was bad, and then he was made a “house” cat, even though we already had one in the house. Once in the house he was taken to the vet and “de-toed”.

Without front claws he had no way of defending himself, so he was supposed to stay inside but would sneak out whenever given the chance. I should back up – he was one of the cast-offs from a neighbor who keeps outdoor cats and does not believe in fixing them. Smoky’s brothers/sisters occasionally visit. A few months ago, with winter in full force, it was too cold for him to sneak out, and the kids did a better job of stopping him.

I think he got a little pissed off about being cooped up. Even though he had free reign of a litter box, he showed his displeasure by pissing/pooping in Joey’s closet as well as any blanket or coat that happened to be left on the floor. It got to the point where I was not going to put up with the stink, and Kristal agreed. Unfortunately Joey took it very hard (the other two got over it fairly quickly) and it took him several day to stop crying about it. Joey has a soft heart when it comes to animals, both stuffed and living.

My #1 rule of the house (but not Kristal’s!) is “the less animals the better”. I think Kristal is getting sufficiently tired of litter boxes and pet hair that she’s starting to come around to my side, though she loves animals. She still will state her wish to have a “big” dog like a Great Dane every now and then. I’m guessing the next critter in the house will be a low-to-no shed animal, once the other animals are no longer breathing.

Movie Reviews Feb_11

3/01/11 at 12:11 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Didn’t make it out to the movies/cinema this month, and the TV was down for a week (much to Kristal’s delight). We have a 50″ DLP, and after three years the bulb finally blew. The replacement (~$150) bulb took awhile to arrive, so we had to be content with computers and … um … whatchamacallits, oh yeah, books. I read a quick biography on Teddy Roosevelt, and mister we could use a man like TR again. Obumma is like the anti-TR.

Well, back to movie reviews. We watched the second half of the Valentine’s Hallmark movie with Betty White and long-neck Love-Hewitt. It had its moments, but I’m glad I only saw half of them. Betty White sobbing over a coffin was a little distressing. Otherwise, the Netflix DVD shipments were light, where we are still working through the 4 disc collection of Bugs Bunny cartoons. It was neat to see the kids laugh at some of the same things I watched at their age.

Julie and Julia (stream Netflix) – This turned out to be much more entertaining than I had anticipated. Streep did a great job portraying Child, as she was literally larger than life. It would have been easy to “parodize” Childs as many are wont to do, but she portrayed a joy of life that touched nearly everything Child did. I also knew well the tears she gave when she found out her sister was pregnant, as she and her husband never had children. The other part of the movie, Julie cooking the recipes of Julia in year, was OK, but not nearly as engrossing as the Julia parts of the movie.

Lawrence of Arabia (library DVD) – I had previously viewed this movie several years ago, but this was the first time on my big screen TV, and the cinematography was stunning. Peter O’Toole played it over the top, but the movie kept your interest for most of the 3 1/2 hours. I found it interesting to compare how things are now in “Arabia” as compared to what was portrayed in the picture, and how big a player the Turks were back then. Most Americans have little appreciation for how the tribalism has shaped that society and affects the choices they make, both in the past and now.

State Fair (library DVD) – This was overdue so I had to hurry and watch it on a Saturday afternoon. It’s a very enjoyable musical, great for the whole family though most kids will lose interest after about ten minutes, unfortunately. We’ll probably get it again as Kristal did not get a chance to see it this time, though she has seen it before.

Dune (stream Netflix) – Finally stayed awake through the whole thing. It has some interesting moments, and the symbolism/comparison to Christianity is a little “unsubtle”. The story also had me relate spice to oil, and how much we depend on petroleum yet have little control on the supply. Wonder if the book is any better? (Please don’t answer, I was trying to be a little funny.)

Dreams of Reclining

2/23/11 at 10:29 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

It’s been a couple of months, but I (or should I say we) got rid of my recliner a few months ago and still have not replaced it. Yet. Kristal got it for me on Father’s Day a few years ago. It was big, red and somewhat sturdy, though the pull mechanism for releasing the footrest did not last long. She probably found it somewhere for a reasonable price, and it was OK. It did not match anything in the living room.

We still have a “love” seat and sofa for sittin’, but they are not very comfortable. I suppose it’s just as well, as if I had someplace comfortable to recline I would spontaneously nap. I’ve always advocated that home is where the lazy-boy is at, so it has felt like a time of drifting for me. We’re discussing the acquisition of a sectional, combining a recliner or two with a sofa. I would just like to be able to put my feet up and be comfortable after a hard day in the server room. Whew, those server rooms can take a lot out of you 😉 .

Hopefully Uncle Sam will still have a little money left to send a tax refund my way, though with the federal govt. shutdown looming, I may want to get the form in the mail pronto. Ah heck, they just print more, so why worry?

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