Day by Day cartoon

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Two tests down-

and just one to go before I'm done with my last class!

Nope, I'm not excited. Of course not. What's to be excited about?

I haven't seen the score from last night's test but I think I did well enough to pass. I'm not quite so close to being finished that I don't care about the grade...

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Surgery is complete, Mom is doing well!

I got a call from my sister, Mel about an hour ago. The surgeon had just come from Mom's surgery. She did not have to get a replacement mytral valve, they were able to fix the original one. The patch on the ventricle required some kind of high-tech fabric to cover all the perforations and make a good patch and they only did one bypass.

Overall, the Doc said Mom was doing very well and she had no apparent complications during the procedures. There's still a concern about having to re-open her if there is any internal bleeding that can't be controlled with medication. The Doc called it about a 1 in 20 possibility.

I am very relieved. I'm still worried about her but I'm relieved that this hurdle has apparently been cleared without fault. I can't wait until I can talk to her again!

Mom's surgery is today

She is having the hole in her heart, between the two ventricle chambers patched up, receiving a new mitral valve and 2 arterial bypasses. That's a lot of work going on in her chest to refurbish her pump and it is expected to take 6 hours to accomplish.

I talked to her last night and she reports feeling relaxed, confident and in good hands with her surgeon. She has placed her circumstances in her Lord's hands and says she is not afraid. I believe her.

But that won't stop me praying for her safety and protection and her medical staff's skills, all day today. If you are of a mind, her name is Joyce McCord and I know she would appreciate your prayers too.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Its Snowing!

The first no-kidding, really going to dump down snowfall of the year is making its appearance outside my window right now! Hurray! The weather guessers are expecting a storm through Wednesday with 24" of snow in the mountains and 6" in the valley where everybody lives. This is great news!

With a good enough snow dump, Powder Mountain Ski Resort may get open by the weekend so I can get out and play!

I sure am glad Noah & I installed the house Christmas lights yesterday when it was 45 degrees!

A Monday morning email

NOTE: The following is a no-kidding email I (and everyone in this organization) received this Monday morning. The emphasis is mine. I find it incredibly interesting that operating Process Teams are part of the AF's core process, not actually supporting the Warfighter. Its also remarkable that every existing meeting or IPT must be scrutinized, immediately, to determine if it can be retired to support the new IPTs being developed to support the Core Process of having meetings. Remember, when you read this, I am not making this up! These are your tax dollars at work, figuring out how to incorporate more meetings into my daily life...
Good afternoon All,
Last week at the kick-off meeting of the Develop and Sustain Warfighting Systems Process Team, which is one of the Air Force's core processes under the AFSO21 umbrella (Gen XXXXX is Chair with Gen YYYYY as co-chair), we learned that our Centers will be required to invest significant manpower to work on sub-process improvement teams during the coming months. Within a week or two, expect a memo from Gen ZZZZZZ with this tasking.

We discussed the challenges we all face in sourcing more work at this time. In an effort to help us free up manpower to work on D&SWS, I agreed to collect a list the numerous forums/boards/IPTs that are within the control of the Air Force, and offer a recommendation as to ones that we could strategically pause for about 6 months while we devote concentrated effort on getting charter, scope, schedule, and teams with expected outcomes in place for D&SWS. Then we could revisit the list and determine which ones can be permanently deleted or merged into a new D&SWS team, as well as ones that should resume. This would free up some of us and our people to work on D&SWS.
I am tasked to respond to the D&SWS Team by XX December. My POC is XXXXXX, cc'd on this e-mail. He will work with your CAGs/PEGs to develop the list and coordinate recommendations, but I wanted you to know that we are doing this. It would be very helpful if you will send this on to your action teams with your endorsement -- I would also appreciate any feedback you have for me

Thank you and V/R

Sunday, November 26, 2006

You'll shoot your eye out kid!

I don't know if anybody else likes A Christmas Story as much as I do, but I admit it; I love the movie and I make a point to see it every Christmas season. My enthusiasm for the movie doesn't hold a candle to this guy, Brian Jones. He bought the house in Cleveland where the movie was filmed!
He's unsure whether he'll make enough money to cover his $500,000 investment, but as sure as a kid's tongue will stick to a frozen flag pole, he's committed to the project.
Brian has funded some of the aquisition of his little part of A Christmas Story by producing Major Award lamps and you can get one of your own by clicking on that link. Who wouldn't want a Major Award lamp anyway? I know I want one!

BTW, the BSU hates the movie. She just doesn't get it at all. I think its because she isn't from the Midwest. Somehow Ralphie Parker and his family seem like a symbol of the Midwest and I can see myself in Ralphie's shoes very easily. I guess its time to check the tv listings for this year's viewing!

Some interesting visitors today!

Just one block over from my house is a wooded, steep canyon, a greenspace that borders a big park and a golf course. There is a resident quail covey that lives in the canyon and frequents our neighboorhood. Its not very hard to find the covey behind the house across the street or cutting across the chuch's grass across from me. Last week they were all in my neighbor Leonard's backyard and I startled them when I let the gate slam shut. They all flew up into his trees with a swoosh and I had a good look at them and a chuckle for startling them.

Today, while I was out in the shop, I heard some odd, scratching sounds out beneath my bird feeder. I suspected that there were sparrows cleaning up from the spills but when I looked out, there were quail in my yard! There were 4 or 5 on the ground that I could see and it sounded like there were more on the shop roof. I called the spouse on my cell phone and she was able to sneak out and get a good look before the little bobble-headed birds startled and flew up into the big pine tree.

It was fun seeing the birds so closely and to watch them pecking about. I hope they come back though I may have to put bells on my cats to keep them apart!

What a nice break this has been-

Sure, I know that it might be easier to post smaller posts more frequently, and I think about it most every day- while I'm busy doing other stuff. So that explains why I haven't posted in a few days now, I've been busy, doing other stuff.

Like what? Well, there was Turkey Day preparation shopping to be done and then Turkey Day preparations to be made and Turkey Day cooking and eating to be accomplished as well. Thanksgiving was a very nice day with both my kids in attendance and one girlfriend, (not mine!) too. We had all the usual fixings in generous quantities and it was all pretty wonderful.

Friday we all went to see the Utah Grizzlies hockey team kick butt against the Victoria Salmon Kings. Final score was 7 to 3 so the train horn that blows when the Grizz score got a good workout on Friday night. It was our first hockey game of the year and we had a great time, even the spouse, which I think is just great. I love it that she is finding pleasure in getting out and doing stuff that she wouldn't have considered just a couple years ago.

Saturday was chores and errands and cleaning up my shop. The shop gets piled up and cluttered mighty quickly with all the different projects I do out there and every so often it just needs a day's cleanup and tool put-away. I also replaced a dead battery powered light on the outside of the shop entrance with a wired overhead flood light and a waterproof switch. I have a combination padlock on the shop door and I had to have some kind of light in the entrance to see to operate the lock in the dark. Now I have plenty of light!

I also ground coffee for the office coffee bar this weekend and today Noah and I put out the house Christmas lights. The Thanksgiving display of my Pilgrim kids and pumpkins came in and the camper got moved and covered for the impending snow.

I contacted an Episcopal priest, Father Emenheiser, in Travese City, and he agreed to have a visit with my mom before she goes into the hospital for her surgery on Tuesday. I asked him to take Communion to Mom and pray for her before her surgery. Mom of course, isn't Episcopalian but I knew that a priest would be better prepared to take Communion to her than a pastor from her own faith that wasn't her own pastor. So, thanks to the internet, I set up a pastoral visit for Mom. When I told Dad about it, he figured Mom would probably try to convert the priest and set him straight during their visit! Its not out of the realm of possibility.

In between all this fun, I've done 6 or 7 chapters of Accounting homework problems and researched the review material for my 2nd test that I'll take later this week.

I didn't go shopping on Black Friday and I didn't get to go skiing at Wolf Mountain that opened today. I might have gone skiing but the boy still had a paper to write that's due tomorrow, so he couldn't go.

Can I rest now? Its been a really nice weekend and now the weatherman is promising heavy storms for later this week so ski season can only be days away. I'm ready for that!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

A KitchenAid saga

I tried to do a good thing last week. The BSU has a KitchenAid mixer, one of those table-top models that is a hand-me-down heirloom from her mother's lunch counter from many years ago. I think the spouse received the mixer, well used, in 1986 or 1987. I even repainted the mixer not too long after it moved into our house so long ago. And last week, I decided that I was going to replace the worn out power cord. The rubber insulation had cracked and split and was hanging down and it just looked pretty sad.

So I bought a white 2-wire extension cord on my way home from work on Wednesday last week, and after dinner, I carried the mixer out to the shop for a power cord transplant. I have changed many power cords over the years- its usually a simple task to open up the case of whatever appliance or tool that needs a new cord, disconnect the old cord from its connections and to install a new cord in its place. Not so much with a KitchenAid mixer though...

I spent an hour trying to take it apart. I could see where the ends of the cord were, I just couldn't get it taken apart far enough to access the connections. After an hour of fiddling, and after cutting the old cord off, which I had done first, before discovering I couldn't get the mixer apart, I gave up and went inside to look for some instructions. A little Googling did produce a PDF copy of the repair manual for these mixers, 28 pages worth!

It seems that to get the top cover off so that the cord can be replaced, a pin needs to be driven out and a planetary gear case opened up and all the gear grease drained out first. I decided that maybe I would find a real repair shop and let the shop change the power cord and reset the speed controller timing instead of me fussing with it.

So I did find a local repair shop and I took the mixer in to get it fixed. That was Thursday and they promised to have it back to me in time for Thanksgiving mashed potatoes and pie. On Saturday I got a phone call, the repair guy said he couldn’t fix my mixer. He claimed that the power cord was unique to KitchenAid and obsolete! He insisted tha no other cord could possibly be substituted in spite of the fact that it is just a rubber insulated, 2-wire cord… Good grief! In reality, it just sounded like the repair guy didn’t care to tear it apart either.

Monday found me telling this tale to my buddy Loc. He got busy on the KSL classifieds and found 2 mixers for sale locally. Or sort of locally, as it turned out, because the one that I wanted was down in Lehi, nearly 75 miles away. But the machine was nearly new and a price that couldn’t be ignored, so I called and ensured it was still for sale and then made plans to go get it after work.

In spite of numerous miles of backed up traffic due to lane closures and 2 accidents as we went through Salt Lake City, we did make it successfully to the home of the seller. After checking it out, the spouse declared it perfect; it is much quieter than the old one, and I paid for the machine and we headed home. We stopped for dinner on the way back home and by the time we finally got to the house, it was nearly bedtime!

The spouse loves the new machine and I still have to pick up the old one. I’m going to fix it myself, clean it up and retire it as an heirloom once I get it back home.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

There are backhoes and jackhammers outside my house!

And I'm not there to get pictures, rats! It seems we have a broken water main and at this time, from the live reports coming from the BSU, it is on the city's side of the meter. This water line break is the second one called in and being fixed on my block today. Hmm...

According to the nice lady in the water department, the city is installing some new pressure regulators in our system and the operational checkout of these new parts might cause customers to have low pressure, or high pressure fluctuations in the household water. Well, I think some of those high pressure fluctuations found the weakest links in the supply lines on my block!

Our leak didn't appear as a leak, just a humming sound in the inbound water supply line in our basement, beginning yesterday afternoon. It sounded like there was water running through the pipe so I had checked it out last night, going throughout the house and the yards looking for water someplace where it didn't belong. I didn't find any loose water, so I attributed the sound to the work the city was doing. The sound was annoying though and continued even this morning and that was enough to get me to call the water department to inquire about the cause.

And within the hour, the workers with heavy tools and motorized equipment showed up!

[This episode had nothing (consciously) to do with my comment on Terry's Wednesday One post about drinking water earlier today. Its just coincidence.]

An Ogden fatality last night-

Just 5 blocks from my house. [No link yet, I'm looking.]

There's a busy intersection at the bottom of the hill below my house. I pass through this intersection every day, as many times as I leave the house or return home. There are no crosswalks and it is in between two traffic lights, one just a block north and the next one 2 blocks to the south. During high traffic times, this is really a dangerous intersection and often the traffic flow just won't allow a left hand turn, so I end up turning away from the direction I want to travel and going around a block or two to get headed where I want to go.

Last night, this intersection claimed a victim. I don't have all the details but it was reported on the news that a woman was hit by a car as she crossed the street. There's an Albertsons grocery on that corner and many of our local people walk to that store for their shopping. I'm guessing that is what happened last night.

The BSU and I happened to see the traffic tie-up at the intersection because we were at the grocery getting some last minute Turkey Day necessities that she couldn't find at the commissary last weekend. At the time we did not know about the fatality, just that there was another not-too-unusual accident at the corner.

That must leave an awful hole in somebody's family during this Thanksgiving holiday time. I also learned this morning that a close coworker, Matt's father passed away last night after an extended battle with Alzheimer's disease. My sympathies go out to both of these families.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Finest Thanksgiving television ever!

Baboon Pirate is wishing happy thoughts to all nd offers us this classic piece of Thanksgiving television as a fun present. I couldn't get the video to download all the way tonight but give it a chance.

Its terrific! Thanks, Pirate!

Here's the direct link.

Overtired and crabby today...

What do you mean- today?

Ok, more than usual.

I 'm really feeling a bit of malaise today over work and tasks undone, new systems to learn and struggle with, and ski season not starting yet. Its cloudy outside and matches my mood.

There's tuition checks to write, Christmas is right around the corner and the title to the motorcycle hasn't made its way through the DMV yet.


Monday, November 20, 2006

New requirements! Job security, I suppose

Everybody loves getting a new requirement added to their monthly or weekly list of things to, right? I mean, none of us have enough work to do to keep us gainfully employed, right?

This morning I received notification that my big program that I am struggling to get implemented, has been entered into a new AF management program called PoPS. That's an acronym for Prediction of Program Success. This program is designed to standardize the methods used by Program Managers to report their program's status to senior leaders for management oversight. That seems like a reasonable idea, doesn't it. We should be reporting our efforts in a manner that can be easily reviewed and identified for "management assistance" when it is required.

Does an instruction manual that is 178 pages long give you any idea of the complexity of this new program? It should! Good grief! These are charts, not rocket surgery!

Of course, I have an entire week to read this manual and figure out how to get my charts in compliance with this new program… Talk about increasing my workload, this is ridiculous!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

That was quick! Mom's out of the hospital again!

Well Mom's been in, and back out of the hospital this week. As I reported earlier, she went in on Wednesday after her pulse and heart rate weren't right. I talked to Mom today and she is back to cousin Tammy's house. Seems that she got well checked out on Thursday and by Friday morning was sent home.

Mom is still scheduled for open heart surgery on the 28th, so she's not out of the woods just yet. But she sounded good today and that's good news.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Mom is back in the hospital!

I found about it today from my brother Tim who had finally figured his way to this blog and then navigated over to Sister Mel's blog. I did not get a chance to call today but tomorrow I'll certainly be calling to check on her.

Mom's got surgery planned for the 27th of this month. I'll bet that she will be staying in the hospital until time for that surgery. Right now, I'm not planning to go back to Michigan, since I'm trying to write a check for Noah's tuition for next term.

I sure hope Mom's getting better.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

This was cool!

What is it? Its a space shuttle booster engine being tested, tonight out at ATK Thiokol, near Promontory, Utah. I heard about this from Noah last night, so the BSU and I drove out to see it after work tonight. Of course, a few thousand other folks heard about the motor test and drove out there tonight too! Night time tests are pretty rare so that explains the traffic jam on a road that is usually nearly deserted.

We didn't get there in time to get around to the front side of the mountain, so this little film clip is from the back side. It was very impressive! You can see more about tonight's test on KSL News' website.

I'm expecting Jimmy Hoffa to show up next!

Our local news has been filled for a week with this story of two people lost and presumed drowned in Strawberry Reservoir. Those two people's bodies have not been located by the search crews. But
3 other bodies have been found during the search! According to this report, there should be 3 more bodies of folks presumed drowned since 1995 that haven't been located.

It is a big lake, deep and very cold, year round. Its froze over for a few months of the year. But these folks don't have to die and they might not have died, except that its known that none of them were wearing lifejackets when they went into the water!

Its a damm shame that people have to die for failure to follow the most basic water safety rules. Its dumbass is what it is!

So, with the steadily increasing body count from Strawberry Reservoir, can Jimmy be too far behind?

UPDATE: The bodies of the missing Roundy couple have been recovered. Their funerals are set for Monday.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

I haven't tried this for a while-

But I've noticed in my visitor log that I'm getting a semi-regular visitor from Haughton, Louisiana. This visitor is coming to see me from Possumblog and I don't know who it might be, so, I'm asking you to say hi in the comments and introduce yourself.

I'm a former Haughton resident myself, having lived out there with my family in 2 different places when we first moved to Utah in 1989. Its a nice little town with lots of big pine trees in the yards and it was pretty rural while we lived there. I'm reminded that we had a resident woodpecker in our neighborhood that would intently hammer on the metal mailboxes like he was getting paid to make noise. He obviously wasn't banging to dig bugs out of holes so we were pretty sure he just liked the attention.

Anyway, Haughton visitor, don't be shy. Jump in and leave a comment or two and tell us what you like here at Wasted Electrons.

Take a message, I'm blogging

Want to see what the world famous, prehensile tailed author of Possumblog looks like at work? Click here to see the video! Sadly, the toast burning guy does not make an appearance in this episode.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

A ticked off Tuesday post

I've tried to write a post for Ticked Off Tuesday but it just didn't work so now, I'm really &^%&$$% pissed! Grumpy might be a more accurate description but none the less, I've just deleted a really boring post.

It all has to do with reorganization, and as soon as I figure out a decent way to write about it, I'll try again.

So, what am I not cranky about? Mom is doing well out of the hospital and healing up, wating for her surgery. She has even been getting out of the house once a day for a walk at a grocery nearby and she got a permanent in her hair on Saturday. So that's good news. She does still need open heart surgery in a few weeks, so she isn't out of the woods just yet but she seems to be getting better.

Dad surprised Brother Mark by showing up at his church Birthday Breakfast unannounced! ou can read about his fun and adventure and his cough that he brought back with him. Its a good story.

I'm just about half way done with my last class, Cost Accounting and I got a 95% on last night's test. So with a couple more weeks of cranking on accounting, I'll be done!

And now, its late. Time to quit.

Vatican calls US-Mexico border fence "inhuman"

From Reuters today, a report from the Catholic Church's World Day of Migrants and Refugees that takes the world, and the US in particular, to task for trying to protect and defend national borders.
A senior Vatican cardinal on Tuesday condemned the building of walls between countries to keep out immigrants and said Washington's plan to build a fence on the U.S.-Mexican border was part of an "inhuman program".
Sadly, I noticed no mention of the Vatican's imminent plans to tear down the walls surrounding their well-protected portion of the planet and open up their city to all the world's refugees and asylum seekers.

But I'm certain that's just an oversight and that the church will lead by example by tearing down their walls in the very near future. Right?


If not, these funny-hatted, robe wearing intellectuals needs to shut the hell up!

Monday, November 13, 2006

I need a garden tractor-

Twice a year, I need a garden tractor. I need one with a front mounted 2" trailer ball so I could attach it to my camper and move it from the winter position, behind the carport, to the summer position, in front of the carport.

Normally, I use the truck but that beast is so long and big, and it has to be backed, that it just makes the entire effort troublesome. The camper's too heavy and ungainly to be moved without 3 or 4 guys and negotiating the gap between my carport and Leonard's garage is too tricky to be messing about without enough power.

So I think that's the solution, I need a tractor. Or an ATV. An ATV could be the right tool and I could plow snow during the winter months to keep my driveway clear.

Send money, ok? Lots of money!

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Busy, Busy, Busy!

Friday was my day off and I spent most of the morning doing homework. In the afternoon I put a new roof on my workshop, one I hope will be just enough more water-tight to keep the leak from letting water in during the winter.

Obviously, since I got it done in just an afternoon, I took short cuts to get my roof done. I just rolled on 30 pound tarpaper, over the shingles, overlapped it and nailed it down with roofing nails and roofing nails with plastic flanges.

The best thing I did yesterday was buy a set of those carpenter knee pads while at Home Depot! I couldn't have gotten that job done without those knee pads! But I did get it done before dark and hopefully I'll have a drier workshop this winter.

Springtime will see me replacing the entire roof I suppose.

Today was yard cleanup day and I did get the front yard mowed and the leaves cleaned up. Neighbor Leonard was working on his yard and filling his trailer with leaves so I helped get it filled up and then emptied at the Green Dump drop-off station. I've got all those garden hoses put away and the power equipment treated with Sta-bil. Leonard couldn't get his creaky old RV started and its blocking part of the driveway, so I still don't have our camper tucked away for the winter, but maybe tomorrow I can finish that job.

Finally tonight, I bought a new printer for the computer. Our old one, a Canon, needed a new printhead and the only way to get one was through mail order from Staples and cost $50 plus shipping. I shopped around a bit this morning and tonight we went and spent a little more than that to buy a new HP printer. This one prints and copies and scans so I retired both the old printer and my clunky scanner too.

Now, tonight, I'm tired and stiff and sore all over! Tomorrow, more schoolwork!

Its Veterans Day-

While I was out running errands this morning I just happened to be in the right place to see 4 F-16s from Hill flying over town and then perform a Missing Man formation. I might have held up traffic for few moments while I sat in my truck and watched. If I held up your shopping for few minutes- tough.

Tonight while surfing through my bloglist, I found a Veteran's Day tribute over at Cowboy Blob's that is so moving that it deserves to be shared. Its A Pittance of Time, and its worthy of your time to spend two minutes and watch it.

Last night, the BSU and I went to the movies and we saw Flags of Our Fathers in keeping with the thoughts of Veterans on this weekend. It is a fine movie, touching but not too sappy or over the top. It is a good story of the fighting in the Pacific during World War II and how the lives of some and so many were affected. It is a sobering story of the men that fought to secure Iwo Jima so that the war could be won and ended. It was the perfect movie for this weekend.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Did I mention the motorcycle?

No, I didn't think so. That's ok really because the deal's not closed just yet. The paperwork is screwed up and the seller and his dad are fixing it. When that gets done and money gets exchanged- then there will be a motorcycle to talk about...

Sure, I voted.

The electronic voting machines? Easy. A piece of cake. Are they infallible or piratable for vote rigging? I don't know. I just know that using it was easier than the paper ballot machine I've used every time before.

Lines to vote? You folks live in the wrong precinct! The spouse and I walked over to Taylor Elementary school, signed in, received a card and waited, ohh- 3 minutes, max. Actually, I suppose its best if you folks keep living in your precinct and waiting in hour long lines so you aren't clogging up my line...

And then, I was in bed at 7PM! I thought I was just going to take a little nap but it turned into all night and late this morning, since I didn't set the alarm. I ground a few pounds of coffee for work and then I cleaned handguns that needed cleaning from last weekend's trip. When I sat down it was 6:30 but I decided I just didn't feel too well and maybe a nap was in order. Next thing I know, the cats are pouncing the bed, anxious for their breakfast.

Raining today- the snow is coming!

Which means for me that the scooter has been tucked away into the workshop for the winter, its gas tank topped up and treated with Sta-bil fuel stabilizer and the battery tender plugged in to keep the battery warm.

Ski season is rapidly approaching and I'm pretty excited about it. Noah and I have our ticket checking job again this winter at Powder Mountain Ski Resort and I'm hoping to be welcoming guests at the bottom of the new Hidden Lake Express lift. We need some really good storms in the next couple weeks to really get the ski season kicked off with a good start. Tonight is a Warren Miller movie with Noah up at his school, those movies are always fun and they really get the urge to go out and play in the snow cranked up.

I'm still waiting on the paperwork to get cleared up before I start telling any more about the motorcycle. Maybe next week...

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Did I mention the motorcycle?

No, I didn't think so. That's ok really because the deal's not closed just yet. The paperwork is screwed up and the seller and his dad are fixing it. When that gets done and money gets exchanged- then there will be a motorcycle to talk about...

Mum's the word around the spousal unit!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Family updates-

Mom's doing really well after being released from the hospital. SHe's ensconced at cousin Tammy's place and she'll be staying there until she goes back into the hospital for open heart surgery in a few weeks. She seems to be in really good spirits though I think she would gladly avoid all the attention she is receiving.

Saturday, before heading out to pick up Kenny, Dad, who lives in Florida, called me on my cell phone. Nothing too unusual there, we talk most weekends. But when he calls, it sounds like there is a party going on in the background, that's unusual. Then he says, "There's somebody for you to talk to," and hands off his phone. Next thing, I'm talking to Brother Mark, but he lives in Ohio! Seems Dad decided to break his "Not Above the Mason-Dixon line after Labor Day" rule and went on a road trip to see Mark for his birthday! And there was a party going on, a birthday breakfast at Mark's church. So they are having a great time though Dad did say he was under-dressed for the weather in Ohio!

Weekend's done!

And its been a doozy! Friday night was a date with the beloved spouse, to Chili's first for supper and margaritas, then to the movies to see Flushed Away the newest animated movie to hit the big screen. The movie's a hoot! Sure, its a silly story about talking mice living in London's sewers, but its a hoot. The harmony singing slugs are perhaps the funniest characters in the movie. Its a movie worth the ticket and popcorn costs, go have a laugh.

Saturday was a trip to the desert with Kenny, though we nearly chickened out due to rain when we looked out our windows. The weather guessers had called for only scattered sprinkles though-out the day so we took a chance that the skys would clear as we reached our destination. And we guessed right, the skies cleared and the trails were dry where we wanted to be. We burned up plenty of ammo, first doing just a little rabbit hunting, then setting up some paper targets and did some shooting from a (lousy) bench. Mostly what we both figured out was that we need lots more practice! It was an extremely pleasant day out and probably our last for this year since winter is bearing down upon us.

Today has been accounting homework, morning and evening and in between I got some winter preparation done outside though there's more chores still waiting. Kye brought his car up to the house for some repairs that he needs to pass the state's safety requirements and he and I worked on those projects for a bit. We changed a tie rod end and some brake light bulbs and one headlight bulb. Noah showed up from college later in the afternoon and he saved the day on the leaky exhaust by welding up the cracks well enough that replacement shouldn't be neccesary. While Kye cleaned the glass for the first time in years, I took a Mother's Mini Powerball and some polish to the plastic headlights on Kye's car. THat little tool really cleaned up those faded headlights in just a few minutes and he should be seeing at night nuch better from now on.

Later we had all 4 of us sitting down to a home-cooked dinner, the first time in many months. It was really pleasant. Kye has headed home with his car fixed up and Noah's going home in a few minutes with clean laundry. I've sent both boys home with some fresh ground coffee.

So I think I'm caught up with my schoolwork and I had a productive and pleasant day with my boys. That makes for a really great Sunday.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Mom's leaving the hospital today!

Just about just as I write this, Mom should be changing her address and moving out of the hospital. She has had a few more tests and the Docs have determined that she is strong enough to leave and get into a more relaxed setting. She won't be going home to Alpena for several more weeks but staying in Traverse City at a cousin's house.

This is very good news. Its also a big relief to Mom as she just didn't want to be in the hospital setting if she didn't have to. Her sister will be staying with her while she recovers so she won't be alone should any crisis arrive.

Another milestone towards her healing is passed. Good!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

November already?

What's happening this month? Let's see...

Brother Tim's birthday was today.
Brother Mark's birthday is tomorrow.
Dad's birthday is sometime later this month.
Grandma Manning's birthday is this month too.

Veterans Day often means the first skiing day of the year.

Thanksgiving means good food and too much of it...

Finally, National Ammo Day is the 19th of November. Kim's extending the holiday for the entire week this year and hopes to see 1 billion rounds of ammo go home with American riflemen. One billion rounds of ammo in one week? Yikes!

Actually, the goal is to get everyone that can to go out and buy at least 100 rounds of ammo. I'm pretty certain I'll be able to do my part... After all, I'm down to less than 300 rounds for the SKS and there is a gun show this weekend.

Honestly, if I could buy my 7.62X39 ammo by the pallet load, I would. Why? Every case of that commie ammo I buy is a case that isn't shipped to one of the countries where people are shooting it at American troops. So yes, if I could, I would buy much more than I really need.

So, its going to be a busy month!