Day by Day cartoon

Thursday, July 29, 2004

"Person of Interest" Not suspect...

What crap! Lori Hacking update. And her last name is starting to carry a little too much irony. The husband's still keeping himself stashed away at the U's psych unit while his story is unraveling faster every day. You can read about it here
"We learned a lot of things in his life that are not true," Detective Dwayne Baird said Tuesday. "Medical school was the pinnacle of that deception."
I was wondering about the timeline when Lori had been last seen by someone, this report says she and her hubby were seen together Sunday evening, the night before hubby called in her disappearance.

Its also being reported by credible sources that Mark Hacking was sent home from his LDS mission early- a terrible disgrace for any Mormon missionary. (Currently the link won't open to get you a quote. Sorry.) Anyway, its being reported that maybe Mark had a little trouble keeping his paws off the pretty girls he converted while in Canada and was sent home reprimanded and disgraced.

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

My Research Paper is turned in, graded and returned

Its titled, "The Second Amendment- Underenforced, Misunderstood or Simply Ignored?" If you want to read it, say so and I will gladly share it, either via email or perhaps by posting it online. If nobody cares that's ok too.

The important bit was the instructor's comments. She said:
I can unreservedly say that I've never had such a well researched essay on the 2nd Amendment. You certainly taught me a great deal.

Oh yeah, I scored 180 out of 200 possible points! That makes me very happy...

Don't I feel Special...

and not in that Nemo "special fin," let's just call a gimp a gimp kind of way either!

I did NOT attend today's staff meeting. I should have attended because since I moved over to NG, I've only managed to make it to one meeting. But staff meetings overlap with my Algebra class and the last day of review was today and the final's over the next two days- so I skipped the meeting and went to class.

And I got a present from the meeting in spite of my absence! I'm a sucker for gadgets- hey, I am a guy after all, and I was offered my choice of either a NG labeled USB 4 way splitter, a USB memory plug or a credit card sized mult-tool with a compass, can & bottle opener, magnifying glass, tweezers and two screwdrivers! Oh, and a ruler on one side.

Guess which one I chose?

I had to have the multi-tool now didn't I? Its got a compass! If it had a lcd digital clock on the front it would be completely perfect. It will never pass an alert TSA scrutiny in a carry on bag due to the pointy steel opener but hey, its got tweezers. And a magnifying glass! It makes me want to run home and play in the yard and try to locate and fry some ants!

Yeah- gadgets!

Monday, July 26, 2004

Mmm, Pears!

Well, its Terry’s fault really for putting pears and targets into the same sentence those two things reminded me of a story. I had to comment over there at Possumblog but its only fair that after dropping such a teaser, I tell the whole story.

The year is 1974, the place, my folk’s back yard in the center of the town of Alliance Ohio. I had just graduated high school. Its summer, its hot and the pear tree in the back yard has been dropping pears in the yard making a mess of things. The primary characters in this story, besides this scribe were my girlfriend, (who occasionally leaves comments around here as “BJ” and is usually referred to as the XSU), and at least 2 of my younger brothers. Tim and Mark were certainly there, I don’t recall if Pete was involved.

A little geography lesson is required in here someplace. Our house is an older place and bordered on one side by an alley that passed completely through the block. All of our parking was behind the house and off the alley and the alley from either direction was our driveway. At least we thought so. My brother Mark still owns and lives in that house BTW and it has kept him busy fixing and improving things.

Anyway, since this was 1974 and we did not yet have an internet connection or access to the World Wide Web, we knew nothing about PVC pipe potato cannons. We didn’t have any of those new-fangled electronic sparkers or multi-barreled rigs that came around with the advent of the internet. Instead, we had hand cannons! Ours were made from soda cans with the ends cut out and taped together end to end with our dad’s duct tape. (You knew duct tape was going to get into this story, didn’t you?) The can on the bottom didn’t get the ends removed, just a nail hole punched through the bottom and the normal zip tab hole in the top.

IMPORTANT SAFETY DISCLAIMER! These cannons were made from soda and beer cans back when they were still made from steel! Do not try this with aluminum soda cans! Serious injury might result. Just go drink a 6 pack of Slim-Fast, it still comes in suitable steel cans! Or experiment with PVC- its far superior.

Alright, that said, these cannons were normally about 4 or 5 or 6, 12 ounce cans tall. If you worked at it, you could carefully expand the rim of the top can big enough to load a tennis ball just to the depth of that first can. After that, with a splash of lighter fluid squirted in the bottom can through the nail hole and then evaporated through vigorous swinging of the whole contraption for a few seconds and a second person to strike the wooden kitchen match and hold it ever-so-carefully at the same draft hole, you could launch a tennis ball for two blocks!

Or the cannon would split apart at the tape seams.

Whatever the result, the entire process resulted in loud booms whenever the lighter fluid vaporized at the insistence of the match. Flames shooting out the top were pretty normal. It was possible to shoot a brightly colored green tennis ball straight up completely out of sight if you had a table to support your cannon vertically. And these fun little toys generate a bit of recoil, as you might imagine, so hanging on to one required some real determination.

Ok, you can probably see how these hand cannons were perfect toys for teenaged boys… Noise, flames, dangerous chemicals, things blowing up, what’s not to like?

So, there we were, the bunch of us, just hanging around the house on a quiet Sunday afternoon and complaining about the bees that were gathering over the rotting pears under the tree. “Hmm, are you thinking what I’m thinking?”

“Yeah! Go get a hand cannon!” While the pears did not fit as snugly as a tennis ball in the top of the can, they did make an ever so satisfying splat when they hit the street at the far end of the alley. In fact the pears made a fantastic juicy mess when they expired after a 60 yard flight! What fun! What terrific entertainment!

And our fun probably went on like that for 30 minutes or more. We all took turns holding the cannon and lighting and laughing and generally just relocating the mess in our yard into the street at the end of the alley.

Right up until the police cruiser turned up the alley… We grabbed our soda cans and everybody bailed into the basement through the stairs at the back of the house. “Maybe he won’t see us…” So I peaked out. The patrol car came half way up the alley, skidded to a stop and blocked our driveway access. “Hey! He’s got his gun pointed at our house! They both have their guns drawn!”

Hmm. Guess I ought to go out and see what the nice policemen want… Being the oldest, I headed out, trying to look sheepish, harmless and most of all, unarmed. “Can I help you officers?” Wow, look at that- both ends of the alley are blocked with patrol cars and there are serious looking policemen with shotguns pointed down our way.

“Show your hands! Show some ID!” Ok, I did that just as requested. “Where’s the shotgun?” “Shotgun, officer?” “Yes, the shotgun! We got a report that there were people shooting pears with a shotgun and the mess at the end of the street seems to support that call!”

Oh, so that’s what this is all about… “No sir, we don’t have any shotgun; that would be dangerous! Why, we’ve just been playing with these taped together soda cans…”

“Show me!” “Yes sir, you see we just squirt the lighter fluid in here, swing it around, hold the match…” “And that’s how the pears got in the street?” “Yes sir, do you want me to show you?”

“No! I want you to stop immediately with those cannons! No more in the city limits- none, nada, don’t you dare disrupt the peace and tranquility with those things again!”

And the six policemen put away their guns and three squad cars went away, leaving us to a quiet summer Sunday afternoon. Shooting the pears into a pond outside of town was never as much fun as it was that day in the back yard.

What a Ride!

I'm just guessing but I'll bet that the driver of this truck had a few bad words to say... I also hope his duffle with the clean boxers survived... Yikes!

Google is Offline...

I have NEVER seen that before! I suspect a horrible terrorist plot to disrupt the entire world's internet searching... Very weird.

Thousands of Volunteers Join Search for Hacking

Its not looking good for Lori Hacking- more than a week and no success at all in finding her. Even the authorities are saying that the searchers are probably looking for her body at this point.

The families are completely grief-stricken and have appointed a spokesperson and the cops aren't saying much at all about evidence in the case. There's details and pictures at KSL TV.

The whole story reeks of "the husband did it," after hearing the evidence that has surfaced last week. So far, the "eye witness' that saw Lori at her car stretching has recanted, the hubby was out buying a new mattress first thing on a Monday morning and then called the police to report Lori missing in less time than it takes to drive from the mattress store to their apartment. The police have impounded a dumpster, searched and removed items from the house and perhaps found a bloody knife.

And of course the hubby's bizarre behaviour since Lori went missing doesn't help a bit.

So remember- you heard it here first. Its a Laci Peterson repeat and its going to be a sordid story when it all gets displayed in the light of day.

Friday, July 23, 2004

If you were invited over to tonight's poker game...

Its off. Sorry. The BSU just rang to say she is returning tonight. We will have to try it again when she stays out of town a little longer...

Thursday, July 22, 2004

Catching Up!

As long as I'm still sittin here I might as well fill everyone in on some of last week's adventures. I mentioned that our elderly Dalmation, Abigail had surgery on her foot; she's getting better and going back to the vet tomorrow for new bandages and a checkup. She and Sandy were both exceptionally happy to be home after I picked them up on Tuesday morning.

Vacation went well really, about 3 days to short but better that than 3 days too long. The BSU and I headed out last Wednesday headed for the Oregon coast after an overnight stop in Baker City Oregon. The trip was uneventful and pleasant and when we arrived Thursday afternoon, Noah and Lily were waiting for us and most of the family were on scene as well.

So our camper went up and we got settled in. There was tons of food and communal meals at Mary's camper and all the BSU's 6 sisters showed up but one. So its a relaxed time of visiting, catching up, eating and some trip over the sand dune to the beach to wade in the waves. Definitely no swimming for this thin-skinned boy though! This is the Pacific Ocean, not the the Gulf of Mexico, so its much to cold for anything but walking in!

I took two brother-in-laws and son Noah out one afternoon and we found a logging road where we could shoot my guns that I had carefully stashed away and brought along. That was a pleasant diversion for one afternoon, the next day several of us went down to the Tillamook Air Museum for a visit. This museum is housed in the largest wooden structure inthe world and the building and its story are truly as interesting as the airplanes it houses. The best part was the basketball backstop and hoop that was installed over the door like it was put there to while away the hours shooting hoops- its 120 feet above the floor! We all had a good laugh over that!

Sunday we pulled out of the campground and headed for the BSU's hometown of St. Helens where we got a room and spent the evening doing laundry and visiting at sister mary's house. Lots more food, left over from the weekend!

Anyway, as usual, the BSU was not ready to head home to Utah after getting her toes stuck in the Oregon dirt, so I left her there when I returned on Monday. She said she wasn't staying a whole week but she hasn't called yet to say that she has a flight scheduled... So, at least I've less distraction from completing my schoolwork! I guess she will let me know when I'm to be at the airport and expecting her. And I hope she's not expecting me to clean house like I normally do in her absence...

The kids, Noah & Lily finished their road trip on Sunday night, safely back in Ogden. They left the beach on Saturday and spent the night at the half-way point to avoid pulling 14 hours straight on the road in that Tracker. The trucklet made quite a fine showing for itself overall, I'm very pleased that it took them so far safely and with only the problem of the loose drum bolts causing a problem and delay. That's pretty commenable for a 15 year old rig of undeterminate history before 3 years ago.

I think they had a pretty good time overall but Lily may never agree to sleep in a tent again. She's a girly-girl and really prefers the luxury of a mattress and running water, but she survived. They did do much more driving than realxing and playing on the beach but it was a good trip for them overall. And a little surprisingly, they are still talking to each other upon their return! Good for them.

That's it in a few paragraphs. When the research paper's done maybe there will be more details. 'Night.

Its bedtime and I'm just beginning to blog...

My paper is officially late as of tonight and its only in the roughest of states. Three pages and while not incoherent, its not good. I've actually located more source data than I can use and everytime I dig a little deeper, I'm chest deep in reading the Federalist Papers and trying to understand what our Founding Fathers had in mind when they wrote and later ratified our Constitution.

That's right, I'm writing about the 2nd Amendment. I should be buying a paper from Kevin Baker over at the Smallest Minority or Oleg Volk at A Human Right or at the very least plagerizing their fine work but I'm trying to understand and develop my own paper. I've bitten off way more than I can manage! I'm also not trying to write this paper supporting one aspect of the 2nd Amendment over the other but rather I'm trying to show how throughout our history, the 2nd Amendment has been read and interpreted differently than the others, principally the 1st Amendment.

Its not possible to discuss this issue without talking about guns but I'm really trying to instead consider what our Founding Fathers meant when they wrote about "militia" and about "people." Then I want to compare the uses of those definitions as they are applied to other amendments.

Its interesting, and challenging but it is making me nuts! I'm just really having a hard time finding my voice in this paper. Anyway, its late and I hate that. The instructor will accept it through Saturday night without penalizing me so I will get it finished. I may not do much else until its done, but I will get it done!

Sounds Like Lacy Peterson all over again...

and here in Utah this time... Missing woman's in-laws: Son lied about medical school
Police: 'Probably foul play involved'

The parents of a missing pregnant woman's husband told reporters Wednesday they had just learned that their son lied about being accepted to a medical school in North Carolina.

Mark Hacking has been questioned by police about his missing wife and authorities have impounded his car. He is not under arrest.

"Mark Hacking is in a safe place and we've been talking to him," said Salt Lake City Police Detective Kevin Joiner in a phone interview with CNN.
Local news today reports that Hacking is under psychiatric care and it sounds like a suicide watch as well. But his story about going off to medical school is completely bogus. He apparently doesn't even have the Bachelor's degree that his inlaws had been told he received from the University of Utah!

Needless to say this is getting major attention from our local news agencies. Elizabeth Smart's family has jumped back into the news as well with offers of instruction to the family to help deal with the media. There's going to be much more to this story in the upcoming weeks.

There's more here.

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

No dirty words in our books!

Today there's this bit of wonderment from behind the Zion Curtain: Library user cutting 'bad' words from popular book series By Lori Buttars- The Salt Lake
Davis County library officials are facing a mystery that only Jessica Fletcher could solve.
It seems a library patron has been busy crossing out the "hells" and "damns" in books based on the the popular ''Murder, She Wrote'' TV series and changing them to "hecks" and "darns."
Layton library workers are at a loss as to what to do about the self-appointed censor who is blotting out the purple prose with a purple pen.

The best part is the librarian's plan to halt the offender-
"Our best hope is that this individual has a moment of revelation and desists."
Yeah, right.

Still too busy to play...

Impending algebra finals and an as yet unwritten and due Thursday night research paper are getting in the way...

I did notice that Anna's returned to blogging over at Primal Purge. Check her out if you've missed her unique take on life.

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

I'm Back!

But busier 'n a 3 legged cat in a litter box. No time right now to explore the new Blogger toys or to fill you in on all the fun details that can be packed into 1829 miles of driving in just 6 days!

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

That'a IT! I'm Outa Here on Vacation!

We're leaving as soon as I get the truck loaded up, the second dog dropped off at the vet, the firewood picked up, groceries bought and the BSU's sneakers come out of the dryer. What the heck is she doing that for? Might as well throw cinder blocks into that rotating drum!

So, lots to do before we pull out. We are on our way to the Oregon coast for the 3rd annual Sister's weekend camping trip. The BSU has 6 sisters and a plethora of hanger-on cousins and nieces so this camping weekend turns into a pretty big deal. We will be traveling as far as Nampa, Idaho tonight or maybe Baker, Oregon, spending the night and finishing the journey tomorrow.

We will be traveling back next Monday and in between we will be resting, eating, walking on the beach and generally catching up with familial gossip. I will be trying to to some Algebra as well.

The kid's are safely out at the beach having driven all the way up to Astoria, Oregon and are now apparently enjoying more beach and less driving. I'm anxious to hear the details when we catch up tomorrow afternoon.

And I will not be posting live from the beach, so you will have to catch up after I return. This will be a comletely analog weekend, no laptop, no digital camera and no wireless internet connection. So go visit the rest of the blogworld and check back next week!

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Abigail the dalmation is in the hospital right now

She's our elderly and beloved spotted dog. She had surgery yesterday to remove a torn toenail. We thought the vet was actually going to remove the entire toe but instead he simply removed the broken toe and part of the nail bed. She also had a number of skin tags removed from her eyelids, a tumor removed from the same foot as the injured toe and her teeth cleaned.

We stopped in to see her last night after her surgery and she seemed to be doing pretty well. She stayed there though since the vet will be boarding her and the other dog Sandy while we are away later this week. I made certain that her tag on her cage got marked for a bed-time Milk Bone because she really likes her Milk Bones.

Anyway, I hate it that she's not feeling very good right now.

My latest religious artifact has arrived!

Its the Stevens Favorite 22 rifle that I mentioned in a previous post. Of course Bob the gun dealer called me while I was in the truck with the BSU to tell me of the arrival.

So I'm on the phone and I'm making plans to come by and pick it up and get the BCI check accomplished, and before 7PM when the BCI quits each day, and do I want to pick it up on Tuesday, all while the BSI is listening to just my side of the conversation.

"Who was that?"

"That was Bob, from work."

"Who's Bob? Why is he calling you?"

"He wants me to look at some things."

"What things?"

"Just some religious artifacts. He's a dealer in religious artifacts."


"He's a gun dealer. Its about guns. Leave it alone."


Heh! I Didn't tell her it was already bought and paid for...

Sunday, July 11, 2004

The Gospel according to Cyclic rate.

You must go read this! Its absolutely hysterical. And, of course, I want to be a member. Its only proper since I live just a couple miles from St John's home and I've already visited the shrine of his honest-to-goodness, workshop which is almost directly west of me in the Union-Pacific Station museum. Here's some highlights but go read the whole thing. And make sure to see the comments too! Thanks To Kevin at Smallest Minority for pointing me to it.
For, in the beginning, God did give a great gift upon Saint John Moses, and He said unto him:
"Go, John Moses, and create what I have designed for you to create. Create Holy Artifacts for the just and righteous to carry by their side, so that they shall not fear wherever they roam for all the days of their lives."
I've gotta get me one of those artifacts just as soon as I can...

Kid's Road Trip- Day 4

Well they didn't call home last night and the phone call we made went directly to the voice mail- again... I'm pretty certain the phone itself is at fault.

Anyway, they spent the night in Eureka California, I know that because I'm watching their ATM activity! Eureka's at least 100 miles north of Ft Bragg, so apparently they got the wheel nut and lug problems fixed and got back on their way. Good for them.

They are nearly out of California and into Oregon. I hope they are finally starting to relax and anjoy the trip instead of stressing out over the details as they have been so far. Noah did say that they stopped and played in some tide pools a couple days ago so they must be having a little bit of fun along the way.

Saturday, July 10, 2004

Spiderman II, I saw it too

and I agree with Citizen Smash! I hadn't really thought it though as well as he did but I think he is spot-on for his commentary. I didn't even see Spiderman I but I really liked this current movie. The BSU hated it, told me afterwards that she almost walked out to find something else in the cineplex to watch. But I really liked it. Its a great summer blockbuster movie and I think that Smash's commentary is terrific.

And so is the movie.

A couple things that have made me laugh out loud

First there's this one and then this one and finally this one.

One more!

Kid's Summer Road Trip Update- Day 3

The kids are in Ft Bragg California, though son Noah says he saw nothing passing through the first time that indicated there was an Army base there. They actually were further north but had to retreat to Ft Bragg as the Tracker has developed a problem.

Seems the nuts that hold the brake drum to the hub on one rear wheel have worked loose and they were in danger of losing the drum and wheel! Noah of course, as is his usual, called to say that the entire rear axle was about to fall out of the car, when it reality it is some loose and now damaged lug bolts and nuts.

This is especially aggravating because I just had that brake drum off the car last week! I did use the impact gun to run the nuts back on tight, though I admit I didn't come back along with a breaker bar to double check the torque on the nuts. For some reason, this Tracker has been harder on lug nuts and studs than any vehicle I have ever owned. I've replaced all the lug nuts at least once and most of the studs, either in the drums that secure the wheel or the hub to drum studs. (The parts are all the same.) Anyway, it has been a continual problem and it has resurfaced on this trip.

They actually had to creep back into town they were so concerned and Noah found a hotel room right across the street from one of the few auto repair shops in town. Hopefully he will find some competant assistance this morning and be back on their way soon.

Noah sounded pretty stressed when he called, he's sounded stressed from the first night when he called. I'm guessing that he is thinking that he bit off a little bigger trip than he expected. He suggested last night that Lily might be a fine Valium candidate right about now... Well, they wanted to be grownups and have an adventure so I guess this is working out just about right... Traveling is tough and finding your way on unknown roads and figuring out where to find a place to sleep and managing automobile breakdowns is all part of the adventure. I just hope they relax long enough to let the fun part soak in.

His dang cell phone continues to act up, working some times and burning up the minutes in huge chunks, then not working at all. I think it is actually the phone, which you might remember, I tried to save from the landfill by reusing. Now I'm catching hell from him and the BSU about cheaping out! Its a "dammed if I do, dammed if I don't" situation so there's nothing for me to do but ride it out.

Friday, July 09, 2004

Kitten found swimming 3 miles offshore in Gulf of Mexico

How in the hell did this happen?
But as the boat got closer and slowed down, she found it was a tiny, apricot-colored kitten. Nine inches long and screaming at the top of its lungs, the cat was paddling furiously.
The story mentions 40 other boats in the general vicinity of where the kitten now named Nemo was found. I hope the kitten in the water was an accident and not an act of cruelty.

Thursday, July 08, 2004

My Hot Wheels paper from last week?

I got an "A!" Hah! The BSU bet me that it wouldn't be that good. And I showed her! The instructor was very pleased with the paper and my writing style. I didn't get all the punctuation in that she thought should be there and I forgot to list my sources on the works cited page alphabetically. Somebody out there should have called me on that!

Anyway, the instructor liked it and had good things to say about my ability to make a subject that she would normally have ignored interesting and readable. Now I just have to get to work on my 2nd Amendment paper...

Kid's Road Trip Map is Online!

You can see it here. All I know for certain is that they spent the first night in Wells, Nevada and the second night in Colfax, California. No idea where they are tonight.

No phone call yet tonight and the phone still goes directly to the voice mail when calling them from home. The BSU is most unhappy with the lack of phone calls to let her know they survived another day. I still think the cell phone battery has either failed or hasn't been charged, even though he assured me that he had the charger in the pile of wires that was part of the portable cd player pile.

What do ya bet he left the charger behind? And he hasn't figured out where to buy one yet?

UPDATE: He just called. On the cell phone. It seems to be working perfectly tonight. Anyway, they are staying the night in Bodega Bay, a little ways north of San Francisco. So far everything seems to be working ok though he did manage to heat up the Tracker's clutch while climbing some of the famous hills in San Francisco today. He reports high spirits and Lily's cooking skills improving!

Very Cool Photos of Space Ship One

A friend sent me this link to 49 photos of Scaled Composites exciting space ship and the leading contender for that million dollar X Prize. There's much better pictures here than I saw on the news sites when they flew into space a couple weeks ago. Check it out!

Update on the XSU's current BSU and his medical Condition-

He's healthy! At least he is cancer-free which was the big concern after he had lymph nodes removed last week. The first set of pathology results were inconclusive and the sampled cells were sent on to Johns-Hopkins hospital for review. Today he got the good news that he is apparently cancer free!

I'm very certain that a large cloud of concern has been lifted from their household and I'm reminded that prayer, properly applied, can be a very good thing. The XSU send her thanks to any or all of you that put her hubby & family on your prayer lists since last week.

Kid's Summer Road Trip- technical note

Just as soon as I get a few more free minutes I'm going to try to upload a picture of the map of the kid's route. I got started yesterday on this, it didn't go as smoothly as I expected and then I had to get back to the paying work.

I thought a route map with each day's stop might be fun to watch.

Kid's Summer Road Trip- Day 2

No phone call last night from the kids, so the BSU called his cell phone. He answered and was just able to tell his mom that they had made it safely to California and were spending the night in some trendy little town. Then the connection died.

He didn't call back. And when the BSU tried to hit redial to call him back, she was directed straight into voicemail. Hmm, Technical difficulties. I of course caught unholy grief from the BSU for "cheaping out" on the cell service that I bought off the internet and not setting the boy up with reliable service.

But I figured it out. I'm willing to bet that he was carrying around a cell phone with a dead battery! I'm certain that he didn't have it plugged into any car chargers since at least Thursday. And I'm also certain that he didn't have it plugged in during yesterday's travels because he's using a portable cd player that uses the only power point in the car!

So of course it was my fault for not foreseeing the need and providing a power point duplexer so that he could listen to his music and charge his cell phone...

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

The Kid's Road Trip- part 1

At 1:45 this afternoon they finally pulled out of the driveway and headed out for their own version of the Great American Road Trip. As they pulled out they hesitated just for a moment and as they turned into the street son Noah flipped something out the open window, something red and looking like paper. Yup, a wrapper full of lit Black cat firecrackers to celebrate their kickoff went bang in the street! So off they go on a trip of 2300 miles and 12 days adventure.

They did dawdle about and overpack like crazy and I stood around and directed and duct-taped and double-checked the oil levels. They were planning on two Korean fleece blankets for the tent! King size ones! I did insist that one would be more than comfy in addition to the sleeping bags, pads and multiple pillows that went along.

Remember, they are traveling in a 1990 Geo Tracker. Its a little bitty trucklet. We did remove the back seat and the seat belts in the back to increase the storage capacity but its still plenty crowded in there. I insisted that there be an emergency tool kit packed, its in an ammo can. There's also a first aid kit, 2 quarts of oil, a gallon of coolant, a gallon of green tea, lots of food, a camp stove, a battery powered lantern and two bulging bags of clothes.

The food box has cereal and lots of canned stuffs, Beef-A-Roni and boxed rice and noodle dinners. Fresh stuff they can get along the way and no doubt they will be hitting some of America's finest fast food joints for some variety too.

The first night's stop was supposed to be Reno Nevada, but that ain't happening with such a late start. Its 556 miles to Reno, all the way across Utah and all the way across Nevada, so with a 2PM start and a 70 MPH speed limitation, its just not practical. Winnemucca maybe or Battle Mountain will be better stopping places for the night.

I did give them one must-see suggestion for the trip just before they pulled out. One of the places they want to see is San Francisco, so I told them they had to go to Haight-Asbury. These two think of themselves as hippies, its apropriate they go visit the birthplace of the hippy movement.

Lastly, they have strict instructons to call home every night so we know they are safe. I'm jealous...

A New Look over at Across the Atlantic!

Lady Shel and the fine gentleman Lionel have upgraded and moved into some new blogging digs. Seems they have dumped Moveable Type for Word Press software. Its a nice look too so go check it out and say hey while you're over there.

Well then, where was I?

When last I wrote, you might remember, I was being spirited off by the BSU to resolve her hunger issue. I promised to be back to finis my weekend update, and, as my weekend has extended into today already, I guess I can continue the weekend update.

I'm not at work today. I was supposed to be but I called in this morning and took the day off. Or at least most of the day, I do have a phone conference at 1 that I really need to participate in so I'll try to get to work in time for that. In the mean time, already this morning I've met a guy and bought a Tracker motor from him, dropped the Tracker off at Les Schwab's Tire Store for an alignment, stopped by the insurance lady's office to add son Noah back onto my auto insurance policy, had breakfast at McDonalds and unloaded the motor out of my truck. Its 9:55 as I write this.

I've also got an Algebra mid-term test that is supposed to begin at 11:30 today, the Tracker won't be off the alignment rack until 11 and I still have to do some banking with Noah & Lily before they load up and depart on their "Around the Northwest in 15 Days" tour. So I'm just relaxing, can't you see?

The kids are heading out today as soon as they get loaded up. they plan to be in Reno tonight, San Francisco the next day and spend the remainder of a week cruisisng north up the Pacific Coast Highway. They've got a new tent, new stove and lantern and enough groceries to last weeks if they get stuck going over Donner Pass. They also have a cell phone and enough money so that they won't be resorting to eating berries off bushes beside the road and brushing their teeth with bent sticks. They have maps and driving directions and an ATM card so they don't need to carry very much cash.

This does promise to be an exciting trip for the two of them. It willbe interesting to see if they are speaking when they get back! We will be meeting them a week from Thursday in Nehelem State Park in Oregon as we join up for the spouse's family weekend campout and get-together. It should be fun as always though the BSU is having fits about her sisters not approving of Noah & Lily's shared sleeping arrangements. Oh well!

BTW, the engine that I bought- $255 off of EBay and the seller lived just 70 miles away but had to pass through Ogden this morning and offered to bring it along and drop it off. So Noah and I met him at the truck stop and in 5 minutes time I was the happy owner of a spare Tracker motor. You might remember that I searched all the used engine providers in a 70 mile radius just a few weeks ago. The best price I could find was $850 for the same engine I just bought for $260. That's a much better price in my book! The guy selling really did goof I think by running his auction over the holiday weekend and ending it mid-day on the 5th. There was at least one other guy bidding on it but probably not very many others. And I sniped it like a bandit, holding off on my bid until just 20 seconds remained before closing! The bid jumped from $205 to $255 in those closing seconds and it ended up with my bid being the winning bid! Hah!

So, I gotta run. Guess I need to email my Algebra prof and tell him I'll be late or absent for today's portion of the test. Then its off to get the tracker off the alignment rack, finish the banking and kick these two kids down the road on their big adventure. More later. Maybe...

Monday, July 05, 2004

What a weekend it has been!

I'm tired, can I go back to work now?

Its been kinda like that athough not totally incapacitating. Son Noah and I did finish the transmission replacement on Lily's car on Friday evening. Everything's good with it except that it needs an alignment to get the front wheels pointing the same direction and the steering wheel turned into its normal position. The alignment is scheduled for tomorrow.

And the Tracker has to go into the alignment bay right after Lily's Subaru since we replaced the shocks and struts on that car on Saturday afternoon. But not until after Noah and I went to the in the morningCashe Valley Cruise-In. This is the largest car show in the state and it really is a must-see if you like automobiles of nearly any flavor. Not too many brass lamped antiques but lots of hot rods and muscle cars and customs and trucks and imports. The fairgrounds gets packed and its hot but boy oh boy its a car show to see. We went early, so we left early and when we stopped down the road a couple miles for sodas I was able to give away my still not cashed in entries for the 57 Belair that was being given away. Another customer stopped in to inquire about directions and I was able to not only point him in the right direction but to pay his way and his partner's into the show. Good karma I supose.

What else? I mowed the yard on Saturday too and cleaned out two flower beds on Sunday. One of them needed some dead rose bushes removed and the ground cover succulent that was threatening to take over my yard thinned out.

Sunday afternoon was a matinee of The Terminal with the BSU and the boy and the ever (still) present Lily. The movie was very enjoyable thought the love interest bit with Catherine Zeta-Jones didn't really work very well. It just fell flat and that might have actually been the point but I thought it was the only part of the movie that didn't work for me.

NOTE: The BSU just walked up and announced that it was time for me to take her to dinner. Did I know we were going to dinnner? Nope. So more later.

Friday, July 02, 2004

Trying some file uploads today, here's my Hot Wheels paper.

And so far, I've managed to upload my finished research paper. Give it a read if you like. I'd love some feedback.

I've got a couple other things to try uploading over the weekend. They might end up here in this post or in their own new posts depending on how succesful I am.

Thursday, July 01, 2004

Sgt Mom hits a grand slam homerun!

Over at Sgt Stryker's Daily Briefing. This is a remarkable commentary about Texas stereotypes, immigrants to America and attitudes from "Old Europe." I especially like this comment about those that look down their nose at the immigrants to this country.
Their children and grandchildren have been and continue to be elected to office, invent the next big thing, write the literary sensation, make the next scientific breakthrough, command an army. That flaccid pink thing those descendents of political and economic migrants are handing to you? That would be your ass, and no need to thank us, the pleasure was all ours.
Go read the whole thing and compare it to this Michael Savage article that presumably is also about immigration.

I just had to read "Daisy Chain Immigration Destroys America" as a writing class assignment and write a critical review. The title of my review is "Who Publishes This Guy? And Why?

Did I mention it was a critical review I was supposed to write? I had a ball writing this paper! What an awful load of dreck this guy writes. My final paragraph is:
If I were Mr. Savage's long forgotten 10th grade English teacher, I would give this paper back to him with a big red F on it and expect him to fix it. As his editor, I would be calling Human Resourses to fire up the interview process for look for his replacement. And as a reader or listener, I would toss this article in the trash as litter with no further thought to his arguement because his sloppy work completely overshadowed his message.
And then I would hire Sgt. Mom for her intelligent, witty and thought provoking commentary to replace him.