Thanksgiving observations

–  Think my stomach is shrinking in my advancing years.  It was a couple hours before I could go back for my obligatory seconds and it was all I could do to put them away as well and have room for pie.

–  Cake roll.  With walnuts and a cream cheese filling.  One of Yes Dear’s specialties.  Can’t get enough of it.  Warning: a little goes a long way.  Especially with a glass of milk.  You’ve been warned.

–  Was microseconds from putting a crackerful of cheese dip in my mouth when BIL told me “that’s habanero dip”.  Not wanting to let it go to waste, I went ahead and ate it.  Spent the next fifteen minutes looking for milk, or a fire extinguisher.

–  Made the mistake of walking in the playroom at the SIL’s where I heard the command of an unseen Teen Nephew to “get him!” and proceeded to get promptly dragged down to my knees by no fewer than six kids ages 3-10 (five nephews and one niece).  Just stamp “Jungle Gym” to my forehead, how ’bout it?

–  Little kids walking up and down your back on their knees?  BEST.  MASSAGE.  EVER.

–  Note to Teen Nephew: Do not get into a battle of wits with your Aunt Yes Dear.  You will lose.  Badly.  Every single time.  When will you learn?

–  Comment from one of the (adult) nieces: “Our family puts the “fun” in dysfunction!”  No truer words have been spoken, girl.

–  Nephew Mark proudly announced to me that he just turned eight a couple weeks ago, apparently on the same day as mine & Yes Dear’s anniversary.  Happy belated birthday, kid.  And damn, you’re getting big.

–  As per original plan, we only took half our cooking to the inlaws, so we still had the other half for leftovers.  The only thing that can compare with a freshly cooked Thanksgiving dinner is the leftovers on Friday.  Mmmmmm.

–  Can’t stress the importance of leftovers enough.  I remember years ago with my family we did a little something different one Thanksgiving.  We decided to forego the traditional fare and make it all seafood.  Lobster, crab, shrimp, scallops, you name it.  Absolutely delicious.  But one minor problem: all food was consumed, so there were no leftovers next day.  Crap.

–  Yes Dear took some of the leftover turkey and did turkey alfredo with noodles tonight.  Yummy.

–  Two nights off for Thanksgiving, then two nights on for the weekend for twelve hours each, then two more off.  Wish I could get a normal four-day weekend like everybody else.  Oh well, will have to wait til Christmas.

–  Black Friday?  Oh hell no!  Great time to barricade myself in the house, eat and watch TV, and surf the web.  Not like we really have the money to take advantage of the sales anyway.  Besides, did I ever tell you I hate crowds?

Hope everybody else is enjoying their Thanksgiving weekend.

Brain dump 11/11/11

–  Gotta get property management to look at why we can’t get central heat in our place.  AC works, but heat doesn’t blow anything.  Space heaters help in individual rooms, but the closer to the winter months we get the more we’re going to need central heat.

–  Just got my six-month raise (substantial) just in time for the holiday season.  Yay!  Now we get to use it to pay off Yes Dear’s knee surgery, get a new bed (ours is falling apart), get the minivan fixed and registered, save money to go to my stepmother’s in Houston for Christmas, etc.  Boo!

–  What a way to end one of the most stellar college football coaching careers.   I could almost feel sorry for Joe Paterno, if it weren’t for the magnitude of his mistake and it’s awful consequences.  Assuming, of course, that he wasn’t actively involved in a coverup.

–  Need a more consistent sleep schedule.  The best time for me to go down is no more than a couple hours after I get out of work (7am on weekdays, 11am on weeknights) and get back up late afternoon.  If I stay up too long it gets harder for me to go down and stay down, resulting in zombie-like behavior at work.

–  Regarding the previous item, to Whom It May Concern:  I have no problem babysitting on the days where I didn’t work the previous evening.  And I don’t mind doing it in a pinch occasionally on a morning after I get off from work for a few hours, if absolutely needed.  But me getting off at 7am and expecting me to watch not just one, but TWO kids up to 1pm in the afternoon, and having to go back to work that night, is really pushing it.  Please don’t ask me to do that again unless there are no other options.  Thank you very much.

–  Nephew JJ made the A and B honor roll at his school.  What really excited him was the fact that he got his name listed in the local paper, along with all the other honor students, for his achievement.  I discovered this while reading the paper at work one morning and finding his name.  So I violated one of my own Prime Directives (thou shalt not steal the workplace newspaper for personal use) and took it with me to show him.  The sad part was, while my wife and I lauded him for his achievement and shared his excitement for getting his name in the paper, there was nary a peep about his accomplishment from his caregivers.

–  Why would a seven-year-old girl get it in her head that she’s “a little fat”?  Especially a teeny-tiny waif like my niece Bea (who has smarts totally out of proportion to her diminutive size).  I forbade her to use that word about herself in my presence.  Also would like to kick the ass of whoever put that thought in her head.  A child that young has no business obsessing over her body image, for crying out loud, she’s only seven and in second grade.

–  While we’re on the subject of my nieces and nephews, a note to another Whom It May Concern:  Unless we’ve made prior plans (like 24 hours in advance) to have them over, please feed your damn kids before dropping them off at our place.  We don’t have as large a food budget as you, so our meals tend to be a little more carefully planned and we don’t have a lot of snacks laying around the house.  And we really don’t like the idea (or whining) of starving kids in our home, so we won’t let them go hungry, but too much of this means we’ll come up short foodwise before the end of the month.  And don’t use us as a convenient and free way to feed your kids just because you don’t feel like doing it yourself.  That’s your responsibility as a parent and caregiver, not ours.  We have our own mouths to feed.  Thank you very much.

–  Anybody know how to fix a car door (passenger side) that won’t open?  Oh, BTW, the window won’t come down either.  Should I just say screw it and hire someone to dump it off a cliff and collect the insurance money?  Inquiring minds want to know.

–  One thing I miss from living alone:  cooking for myself.  Not complaining about the cooking around here, but there are some things I used to make for myself that I miss.  And if I could convince The Powers That Be that I could actually do more in the kitchen than burn water and make poison, I’d like to try a few of them out.  Deal?

–  Been watching a lot of old TV shows at lately.  My latest discovery is the old Incredible Hulk series, the one with the late Bill Bixby.  Makes me wonder why we still pay for satellite service.

–  Oh, and happy Veterans Day to all our military personnel, active and retired, out there!

Brain dump 10/15/2011 (the birthday edition)

– Another birthday.  Sucks that I had to work last night and have to go back tonight (12 hours each).  But my shift don’t start until 11pm, so that gives me ample time to be taken out to dinner by Yes Dear this evening.  Mexican, something I haven’t had in a while.  Tends to be rare in this family because Yes Dear has issues with anything even the least bit spicy hot, so there are very few Mexican places she can tolerate.  Hopefully this place will be one she can.

– Yes Dear goes in for knee surgery on the 27th (torn meniscus).  Which means we’ll have to sequester AJ from her for a few days except in small doses (2-year-olds and knees recovering from surgery don’t go together well).  Fortunately PBJ will be stepping up, since I can’t afford to take any time off of work.  At least I’ll be available some during the daytime.

–  Stitches came out of my finger yesterday morning.  Healing up nicely, though it itches.  Still keeping a Band-Aid on it and wearing a glove while I’m working to protect it.  Can pretty much work with that hand now without any issues, but it still hurts if I whack that particular knuckle.  As long as I don’t bang it anymore on sharp edges.

– Work is still going pretty well.  Got my six-month review and the only reason it wasn’t quite as glowing as the first was because it was given this time by one of the jerkier bosses.  Yet even he had to (grudgingly) admit that I’m one of the more productive employees they’ve had in a while.  Raise will wait until November, but it’ll be a pretty good one.  Just in time to pay for Yes Dear’s knee surgery.

–  Looks like we’ll be headed to Houston for Christmas, to spend with my stepmother and members on her side of the family.  Yes Dear would much rather spend the holidays around my family than hers, and frankly so would I.  Don’t get to see much of my family lately, and miss them.  Been so overexposed to Yes Dear’s chaotic family that I need to be reminded what a semi-“normal” family is like.  Okay, we’re not perfect, but at least far more functional.

– Random thoughts while working: I wish that someone would invent a machine or device that could allow you to access your memories and vividly play them back just as you remember them.  Something like what they had in Total Recall or Brainstorm.  By the same token, I’d like something that could completely erase painful memories.  Of course if that all were possible, shrinks would be out of business.  Hell, we’d hardly have any reason to leave the house.  Guess there’s a reason why God don’t allow us or anything else to play with our memories.  Oh well, one can dream.

–  Think I found a new cryptographic code:  Offset your fingers on your keyboard one key to the right, then type.  Yjr wiovl ntpem gpc ki,[rf pbrt yjr ;sxu fph/.  Can anybody decipher what I just typed?  (answer below fold) How many times have you actually done that by accident?

–  I love the fall season.  The crisp, cooler air,  the absence of the summer’s stifling humidity, the changing of colors, the smell of burning leaves and fireplaces in the air, the inexorable march towards the holiday season, the sometimes chilly mornings, etc.  My kind of weather.

Hope everyone’s enjoying their mid-October.

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Brain dump 9/8/2011

–  September is here, finally.  And almost immediately after Labor Day the temps dropped, dramatically.  Oh, not quite that bad, but enough to where there is a definite chill in the air at night and early in the morning.  I’ve discovered that here in Arkansas, seasons tend to change almost literally overnight.  Not that I’m complaining, though.  The stifling humidity seems to have disappeared completely and hopefully we won’t see it again until next June.

–  Just remembered, Yes Dear’s birthday is in a couple weeks.  Gotta find out what she wants.  Probably just a night out to dinner for the both of us, which would be just fine with me.  The advantage of having a graveyard work schedule is that we can actually have a date at night and be done in plenty of time for me to go to work.

–  Bitch time: How is it that I can do the dishes and less than twelve hours later it looks like nobody’s touched them for a week?  There are three adults and one toddler in this house (and a nephew we watch during the week).  How many dishes can people go through?  How ’bout cleaning a little while you cook?  And for God’s sakes, trash belongs IN THE TRASH CAN AND NOT IN THE SINK OR ON THE KITCHEN COUNTER.  Is that incredibly difficult?  I mean, the trash can’s only three steps away, folks.  I don’t mind doing the dishes when others cook, but how ’bout cutting me a little slack?

–  And BTW, what’s so hard about pulling the plug in the tub after giving AJ a bath?  Obviously asking to rinse down the tub would be too much, so how ’bout this little courtesy?

–  The above rants were not directed at Yes Dear.  As a matter of fact, she shares my frustrations.

–  My sleep schedule is finally starting to match my work hours.  I still go to bed on my nights off around 11, but often find myself wide awake at 3am.  Trouble is our place is so small that my options at that hour that won’t disturb either Yes Dear or AJ are limited.  Also need some very dark curtains for the bedroom, ’cause the sun’s really getting bright through the blinds after 3 or so.

–  To my lovely wife:  I.  Want.  This.  Book.  (when it comes out)

–  Had JJ for part of Labor Day weekend (the part I didn’t have to work).  Got some time alone with him where I just let him vent about his life in general.  Some was your normal ten-year-old fifth grade angst, and some was his sadly typical home life.  I did manage to have a little discussion about gun safety and responsibility, making the point to him that pointing a gun at, let alone shooting, another human being was an adult decision that had dramatic ramifications (both legal and moral) and should never be done except in the most extreme of circumstances, which pretty much excluded just about anything a ten-year-old may experience.  In a nutshell.  Thought I’d include this last bit after my previous post.

–  Have discovered that America’s Funniest Videos are your friend when desperately looking for something on TV to entertain the kids with.  Even the youngest ones.  Besides, I love watching them laugh hysterically almost to the point of peeing themselves.

–  Gonna have to wind this up because I got babysitting duty tonight (AJ, L’il Buddha, and Bea) while wife and daughter are at a church activity.  Unfortunately no AFV on the tube, so will have to pop in a movie.


Brain Dump 5/3/2011 (the sporadic internet access edition)

As you can tell from the title, I haven’t had much Internet access lately, at least, not enough to take advantage of any blogging time.  So here’s an update on Dave’s current events:

–  First of all, unless you’ve been living under a rock, I’m sure y’all heard that BIN LADEN IS DEAD!!  (cue Kool & The Gang’s “Celebration)  Many thanks to the men and women of our armed forces and especially the US Navy SEALS that finally made this happen.  And blessings to all the victims and their families of that terrible day nearly ten years ago, that they may finally have some closure.

–  Managed to dodge the worst of the storms that’s taken such a toll on the south, but did watch a funnel cloud go past my previous workplace last week.  And until today, have dealt with nearly Biblical deluges of rain day and night.

–  Internet service due to be installed at new address tomorrow, but have yet to unpack router, so it may be a little longer before I have reliable Net access.  Unfortunately the unexpected monsoon the past week has kept us from transferring very much from storage into our home, so that’s slow going as well.

–  Adding to our unpacking woes is the fact that I managed to wrench my back Easter Sunday picking up AJ.  Toughed it out for three days at work before I went to an urgent care clinic (two days before I quit and my benefits expired) and got two shots in the back and a myriad of prescriptions that succeed in making me want to sleep all the time.  Doing somewhat better now, but it’s still painful staying in one position for any length of time.

–  I started orientation at the new job today.  Despite the fact that my BIL, sometimes referred to as the Reichmarschall, works there as well, I’m determined to stake out my own career and reputation there without the help or hindrance of anyone else, family or not.  Besides we won’t work in the same departments, or shifts, anyway.

–  Did I once mention the new job is only five minutes from the new place?  HUGE plus, considering the cost of gas right now.

–  As I feared, my SIL is driving Yes Dear crazy, thinking she’s a free taxi service for her and her family, and PBJ is a free babysitting service.  We’re not ungrateful that she’s put us up the past couple months, but the time has come where she has to manage her family and we have to manage ours.

–  Will try to stay in touch more as things settle and we get our net service.

Brain dump 3/17/2011 (the St. Paddy’s Day edition)

–    Currently staying in a myriad of hotel rooms close to my work, while looking for a place with a cheap weekly rate, while Yes Dear, PBJ, and AJ stay with SIL.  Drive the 60mi trip over the mountains once a week to see them.  Hopefully in about another month Yes Dear’s cashed-out retirement will come in which will be enough, along with what I’m bringing in from the ridiculous amount of OT I’m working, to get our own place.

–    So far the arrangements at the SIL’s are working out, but the marked difference between Yes Dear and her sister do cause some stress.  Yes Dear is very organized, likes to plan things out and follow through, while her sister is extremely disorganized, chaotic, and flighty in a lot of ways.  They earn their room and board by running errands and shuttling the kids (JJ and twins ThingOne and ThingTwo) around, but all too often things are rushed and last minute, which drives Yes Dear crazy.  Plus things are a little hard on AJ, whose world has been uprooted and he’s trying to get used to all the disruptions, with mixed results.  Most of the time he’s a good kid, but has trouble sleeping at night, which in turn keeps Yes Dear up and stressed out.  Also I have to sleep in the living room when I’m up there.  because the bed in the spare bedroom (actually laundry room) is ridiculously inadequate for two adults.

–    AJ has developed an, uh, interesting habit.  While changing him, he tends to grab his little boyhood and say, “tickle, tickle, tickle”.  Not quite sure what to think, other than “weird kid”.  Not for grabbing himself, but the tickle part.  Hmmm.

–    Hate to say this, but ThingOne and ThingTwo are bonafide brats.  At four years old they have a bad habit of backtalking and arguing with everything you say, and constantly repeating questions to you long after you’ve answered them five times.  Oh yeah, and they like to hit while playing too, especially me, something which I have a serious problem with.  If you haven’t figured out already, I love to get down on the floor with the kids and roughhouse, tickle, and wrestle with them, but as an adult I draw the line at any hitting, even in play, especially towards adults.  The older kids (JJ, Mark, Bea) and even 2 ½ yo L’il Buddha understand this concept and pose no problems, but the twins can’t get it through their heads, no matter how many times they get whacked by the SIL and hubby for it.  They pull the same on PBJ, whose as fed up with the behavior as I am.  I hate having to describe any of my nephews in such a way, but my patience with them is far more limited than with the others.

–    Now that things have calmed down slightly from the chaotic move, Yes Dear & I are being somewhat more civilized with each other.  Got away from everyone else and had lunch together the other day that I wasn’t working, and have seriously discussed getting a motel room for a night together soon, letting PBJ watch AJ for the evening.  Okay, not trying to put out a lot of TMI, but quality time together is something we’ve been lacking for quite a while, even before our separation.  Nothing fancy, perhaps a movie and takeout Chinese, and whatever else may follow…

–    Another thing I miss – home cooked meals a la Yes Dear.  I’m getting tired of fast food and Chinese buffets (plus I disgusted myself getting out of the shower and looking in the mirror, need to drop some serious lard), and her sister can’t cook worth a damn.  Yes Dear actually had to take her cooking and surreptitiously season it up so we could eat it.  PBJ  managed to take over breakfast duties one morning and make a batch of  pancakes, and promptly became a hero with the kids for her culinary skills.  Poor kids, they’re deprived of quality cooking.

–    Thanks for all the support and prayers during these difficult times, but we’re making do.  And realize that things could always be worse.  Remember last year when I was staying with niece Stevie’s family and she also was rooming a mother with four kids? Well I just heard that the mom and kids got burned out of their home this morning and lost everything except for the clothes on their backs, luckily no injuries though.  I cannot imagine anything worse happening to a family short of terminal illness, critical injury, or death.  Such things make me appreciate the small things we do have, and the realization that we can always find and make a home, and stuff is always replaceable.

–    Up too late again, and need to work tomorrow.  Catch y’all later.

Brain dump 2/2/2011 (The Groundhog Day Edition)

– Desktop died earlier this week.  Has been spontaneously shutting down on occasion for a while and finally did so for good in the middle of a game of Resident Evil 4.  Now will start up for all of 5 seconds, then shuts back down.  CPU temperatures seem to be fine, but dust may be an issue.  So I’m using my venerable Dell laptop with the busted hinges which is adequate for internet and blogging, but not serious game playing.  Probably need new motherboard/CPU, but funds are hard to come by this close to moving.

– Visited mother-in-law in the hospital last week.  She’s perfectly coherent and doing better, but has profound weakness on her right side and it’s not known yet how limited she’ll be moving around yet, or what kind of extra care she may need.

– Work lately has been a lot like the movie Groundhog Day – every day is the same, no matter what I do.  A large part of my days have consisted of searching pallet after pallet for defective goods that are constantly being run by the night shifts, frustrating my boss and all the operators on my shift who have to clean up the mess.  Management could seem to care less, and I really expect the place to close down by this summer.  Desperately need a new job where I don’t feel like Sisyphus.

– Is there any lower form of life, without stooping down to the level of rapists and child molesters, than people who would steal a worker’s lunch?  I haven’t had this happen to me yet, but it has to a number of coworkers.  Especially maddening is the fact that many of these people will spontaneously offer you something out of their lunch bucket if it looks like you didn’t bring anything, stealing is totally unnecessary.  I hope to hear someday of the perpetrator being hustled out back and given a good old Arkansas redneck ass-whooping.  Or blowing chunks out of both ends from someone’s brownie stash made with Ex-lax and ipecac.

–  One last work rant:  me saying that I’ll work overtime does not mean at your whim, on a moment’s notice.  I can be a good sport and pull a little extra weight when needed, but not all the time.  Also, ask me if I’ll come in on my day off, don’t try to bully me into it.  All you’ll do is just piss me off and give me incentive to find ways to give you migraines without getting myself fired.  And never, EVER tell me I have no choice.  Bullshit, are you going to show up at my house and physically drag me to work?  I don’t think so.  I ALWAYS have a choice, and I understand there may be consequences for exercising my choices, but never think for one second you can take that choice away from me.  Don’t even go there.

–  Gotta go back to Georgia first week of March and help drive everybody and everything out here, once taxes come back.  There should be enough to put down on a place out here.  Hopefully another job close by will follow soon.  A couple nibbles last week, but nothing concrete.

– Thinking of taking JJ to the movies this weekend, if he behaves enough to be allowed out of the house.  A 3D movie would probably fit the bill nicely, I don’t think JJ has ever been to one (neither have I, for that matter).  Any recommendations for an imaginative and slightly hyperactive nine-year-old?

– Also thinking of adding a new semi-regular feature to this blog, random movie reviews of any time period that I’ve seen in my lifetime.  Some popular, some blockbusters, some obscure, and some “you have no life if you actually watched this”.   Sorta like my Musical Interludes.

– Only Mel Brooks or the producers of Monty Python could have dreamed this up:  Text Message Blows Up Suicide Bomber.  Maybe this is how Achmed The Dead Terrorist came to be?  (swiped from Leslie)

–  Okay, I’m ready for winter to end.  Anytime.  Now?

Brain dump 11/20/2010 (The weekend edition)

Been either too busy or too lazy to post, so here’s another brain dump.  Though I’m wondering why I called it the weekend edition, this is my three-day work weekend so right now weekends mean nothing to me…

–    Good news:  I got a raise at work.  Better news: I got retro pay back to last month for my raise.  Bad news: the raise amounted to the princely sum of 22 cents.  Frigging cheapskate company.

–    Worse news:  I have to work a full shift Thanksgiving Day.  7 to 7.  Company thinks what they do is so important they can’t shut down for a holiday with family.  Better news:  I’m scheduled for the next three days off, and my shift isn’t scheduled to work Christmas weekend.

–    Y’know, I believe I do have a pretty lively sense of humor and love to laugh.  But when I’m focused on something important, trying to get things done (particularly at work), and not taken seriously about something I’m serious about, my sense of humor takes a marked plunge downhill.  Also, I do not consider humiliation funny, to myself or anyone else.

–    Ever have to work with or deal with a person who can annoy the living hell out of you, only to realize that such person tends to think and act an awful lot like yourself?  Yep, I work with such a person.

–   And while I’m beating a dead horse about work, I might add that if you want me to come in on my day off and work overtime, come talk to ME directly.  Don’t ask my partner to ask me, it’s not right to put such things off on him since I’ll pretend he didn’t ask and I didn’t hear him.  At the very least, ask my immediate supervisor to ask for you, she gets paid more to deal with the crap that people like me put out.  You never know, I might even say yes.

–    Interesting, I find store-brand Kroger pop tarts and even Dollar Tree pop tarts better than the original brand name.  Too bad I forgot to pick up milk…

–    Been sleeping way too much on my days off.  A few days have consisted of little more than sleeping until late in the afternoon, interrupted only by eating, bathroom, and the occasional computer game.  Think the cooler weather is triggering my hibernation instinct.

–    Y’know, I really do get a lot of good ideas for blog posts.  Trouble is, all to often by the time I sit down in front of my computer the ideas either desert me, or look like a big pile of crap, or I get distracted by the TV, or a computer game, or dinner, or another nap…

–    I’ve come to the realization that I make a much better uncle than I did a dad.  Probably because as an uncle you can always hand them back to their parents, or step back and take a break.  More likely because you can swear to yourself that no matter how trying they get, you will NOT yell and verbally rip them apart like you used to do with your own when you got fed up, and actually be able to keep that promise.  Even if it means you sometimes have to disappear without a trace briefly to keep your churning frustrations under control.

Brain dump 11/4/2010

–    Finally, the 2010 mid-term elections are over.  And the Repubs and Tea Party won a major victory, but not as complete a victory as they could have by failing to take control of the Senate.  Probably not enough to reverse the damage already done by O-Hole, Reid, Pelosi (*cough BITCH C**T cough*) and Co., but hopefully enough to prevent any more ruinous policies to be passed over the will of the people (cap and trade, anyone?)  Now it’s up to the people we voted in to prove their worth and not self-destruct and hand O-Hole a second term in office in 2012.  A significant battle has been won (one that HAD to be won), but the war is far from over and a great deal of work has to be done to ensure this victory isn’t squandered.

–    A piece of news that I’ve kept my eye on, but my mouth shut about:  The Arkansas Supreme Court has ordered new hearings for The West Memphis 3, thus paving the way for a very possible overturning of their death-penalty verdicts and new trials.  Now I haven’t studied this case in great detail and I’m not totally convinced of their complete innocence.  But I am convinced that they were railroaded by small town justice that demanded someone, ANYONE, pay for the brutal murders of three little kids, even if it meant using flimsy and incomplete evidence.  There is a veritable mountain range of reasonable doubt in this case, and on that basis alone they should absolutely get a new, fair trial.

–     It’s only been a couple days, but I think I’ll like my new job working in quality control, even though it means more accountability without any pay raise.  I’m doing enough different things to make the twelve-hour grind go by easier, and actually getting a chance to use my head.  I work with a more experienced partner, who previously had to do all the QA duties on shift, so splitting the workload will benefit both of us.  Just hope that I can still get occasional overtime, especially on my short (36 hour) weeks.

–    Halloween was a bit of a bust this year, since it fell on a Sunday and many people around here split between doing trick-or-treating on Sat or Sun evenings.  Went out with SIL and nephews Sat night (JJ, Mark, twins ThingOne and ThingTwo) and found only a handful of houses handing out candy.  Did find the local fire department handing out candy and giving brief tours, including a chance to sit in the driver’s seat of the fire engine, something that Mark immensely enjoyed, the highlight of his evening.  Speaking of Mark, he’s expanded his vocabulary somewhat: he called older brother JJ a “jackwagon”.  Someone’s been paying attention to the Geico commercials.  Thank you, Gunny Ermey.

–    And speaking of jackwagons, JJ went on a rant (privately, to me) about his papa, the Reichsmarschall.  Something I could see building in him for a while, and he finally poured out his frustrations nearly to the point of tears.  I kept my mouth clamped shut as he vented about the insensitive unloving SOB, and at the end all I could say was, “It sucks when you feel like no one listens to you or tries to get to know you”.  It was all I could think of, but JJ nodded mightily to my comment, so I must’ve said the right thing.  I refuse to foment rebellion by the children in someone else’s household, but I find myself inwardly cheering for JJ.

–    Want to hear Dave’s definition of a beautiful day?  Waking up yesterday morning to dreary skies and a cold, wind-blown rain tapping at the windows.  And going back to sleep, because I had the next two days off from work.  Priceless.

Gotta work the whole weekend after today, so TTFN.

Brain dump 10/11/10

– After having worked six days straight (8hrs last Wed and Thu, the rest 12 hour days) I finally get a day off.  And I can’t tell you how much I love the idea of getting a Monday off and sleeping in, while the rest of the world has to start a whole new workweek.  Makes life just a little more bearable.

– My trip to Georgia last weekend was too short.  Yes Dear had to work a good bit of the time, and AJ took a little time getting to remember me.  I have to soon become a permanent fixture in his life, not just a guy that shows his face every few months around him.  It’s getting harder and harder to leave every time I go back.

– PBJ needs to get her own life real soon.  She’s tragically bored right now, and spends much of her time caring for AJ while her mother is sleeping (remember she works nights).  Unfortunately there are no jobs close enough by that she has any transportation to, there’s only one car, and she only has a permit, not a full drivers license.  Her boredom and frustration is starting to cause clashes between her and her mother.  She wants to go to school and do something with herself, but she also needs to learn how to live on her own and rely on herself.  Not that we want to kick her out of the house (not yet, anyway), but she can’t stay at home forever and not better herself.  Hopefully once they move out here we can find more opportunities for her and encourage her to take advantage of them.

–  During my trip to Georgia last Friday, I made a stop at a local Atlanta mall for a bit to kill a little time while afternoon traffic cleared.  Managed to get myself a 20-min chair massage while I waited.  After ten hours of driving through three states, the experience was heavenly.  These guys could make a killing if they were to set up shop in truck stops.

–  I swear that cruising the interstate at 3:00am, sharing the road with only truckers, other night travelers, and the occasional state trooper, is a spiritual experience all by itself.  My mind (the part that isn’t focused on the road) tends to go deep and ruminate about all sorts of things about life, death, and everything in between.  If I drove long enough (without falling asleep of course) I just might achieve total spiritual enlightenment, much like Buddha did.

–  Possibility coming up of some movement within my job.  I put my name on a sign-up sheet to work in the QA (Quality Assurance) department.  Probably won’t mean any more money, and I’m sure it’ll have it’s own share of headaches, but I figure a position in a QA department would make good future resume fodder.  Plus any movement within a company looks good, something I was unable to do at the last job I held for eleven years.  Interviews are next week, so stay tuned, and cross all proper body parts.

–  TMI of the month (possibly the year):  Found this article on about certain, uh, challenges that professional athletes face that the public doesn’t think about, and for good reason.  Warning: I’m not kidding on the TMI, so don’t read while eating or enjoying your favorite snack.  Consider youself warned.

–  Does anybody know how to keep from dreaming about work and your coworkers?  I swear there are some nights when I go to bed and feel like I’ve never left work.

–  Another great article from Single Dad Laughing about the curse of bullying, as well as an update on why we should love the bullies as well as the bullied.  Okay, I understand the concept of reaching out to the bullies as well, but it’s really hard when you or one of your kids are the victims.  Perhaps we should reserve our enmity for the parents of these bullies, who often refuse to do anything about them.  Definitely some food for thought.

– Speaking of food for thought, discovered that the local Moe’s Southwest Grill has a burrito, chips, and drink special for only $6.50 on Monday evenings.  I think it’s suppertime!