Brain Dump 4/30/2014 (The Singing Crickets Edition)

The blog muse has not been with me lately.

Some of it is due to the fact I have a full house and few opportunities for quiet private time where I can organize my thoughts into anything coherent.

A good bit of it is due to sheer, unemployment-induced laziness.

And a fair bit of it is that I’m just not big on blogging anymore, and it seems that way with a lot of people, particularly my regular readers.  I don’t have any real plans to fold up shop here right now, but for a while it’s going to be on a take-it-as-it-comes basis.  If I have something I really want to say that is able to make it onto my laptop I’ll blog about it.  Otherwise, I won’t force it or decorate up with empty fluff.

The interesting part is that I do have a few things kicking around in my head, just not quite to the point where it escapes onto the blog.  Yet.

Some of that indeed can be blamed on laziness.

But at the very least I’ll give a little primer on what is in my head right now, and other current happs in my life.  At least until the rest of the household leaves and sticks me with babysitting the kids for the evening.

–  June Bug and CJ are still with us, and will be for the indefinite future, at least until she saves up enough money to move out on her own (a while down the road).  She went on an ill-advised date with a coworker a few weeks ago and ended up with a $500 citation for being a passenger with an open container in a vehicle in a local park after hours.  She claims to have realized her mistake in dating too soon after leaving her prior relationship, but it’s disturbing how easily she goes back to old habits that led her down the path to all her previous problems. *sigh*  At least there’s been no contact recently with the baby daddy, hopefully he stays out of the picture for a good long while.

– Grandson CJ is absolutely adorable, but a handful at times.  Yes Dear & I have tamed him quite a bit when he is with us and June Bug is working, but he knows how to push all his momma’s buttons.  And as tempted as we are to step in we have to let her learn to parent, because what is she going to do out on her own with no backup?  One major exception – hitting your mother in my presence.  Big-time violation of one of Dave’s prime directives.  Did not end well for him at all, and he has since learned the error of his ways.  Not. Happening. In. My. House.  Dirpa (his name for me) ain’t kidding.

– Employment situation is still meh.  Interviews are hard to come by, and the few that I have gone on haven’t gone anywhere.  At least two of them the positions were put on hold after my interview.  Do have a contact working at a large and good-paying employer in town trying to get my name to the top of their list for an interview, so we’ll see.  Part-timing doing crappy temp work to supplement my unemployment, which’ll be mostly gone after a couple more months.  Both daughters here are working and paying rent so that helps.  But I really need to get out of the house.

– Car situation is making it really tricky to do anything.  One car that is wearing out fast (my Bonneville) and having to run people all over town sometimes makes it a zero-sum game for me to work, after you add in gas and wear-and-tear costs on the car.  Tranny for the Windstar will cost $1500, and we only have slightly over half that figure saved at this point.  Fair possibility that daughter PBJ will be getting her grandpa’s truck in the next couple months and that will help, but we’ll watch that bridge burn when we get to it.

– Eldest daughter Panda Bear getting married in July.  So far looks like they are working out okay and hopefully it’ll stay that way.  Fiance seems to do really well with grandkids, but I was pretty confident he would.  Nephew Mark was asking me what he should call me, since technically the new marital status would make him another grandchild, and I told him he could call me anything he wanted (within reason), or just call me what he always has.  He’s already calling Panda Bear Mom, which makes me uncomfortable in some ways, but given the family history is understandable, and not really my place to say anything.  (For recent readers who may be totally confused about the dynamics of the aforementioned relationship, read here for a little clarification).

– Getting a work crew together from church this Saturday to go help clean up the storm damage from Sunday’s tornado, which hit about 45mi E of here.  At one point in time we were sandwiched in between two tornado warnings, but both passed by without dropping anything.  Good thing, because our current domicile doesn’t have a lot in the way of safe rooms or hallways, and would never survive a direct hit from anything stronger than an EF1.

– Lots of news items I would like to comment on, but too many of them downright depressing, if not making me want to hurl my laptop across the room.  For starters, what is it with the recent rash of cowardly ship captains that leave their passengers to die while they jump (or fall) into lifeboats?  Another one that disturbs me (at the risk of offending a few readers) is the recent push to totally legalize marijuana everywhere.  Just to be clear, I have no issue with someone smoking a doobie in the privacy of their own home or backyard, or certainly not with someone partaking to ease the pain of chronic or terminal illness.  But I fear that we are about to open a Pandora’s box of unforeseen and negative consequences.  More on that in a future post, sometime.

About all for now.  Maybe I’ll post in more detail in the near future.  Then again, maybe I won’t.  We’ll see.

Brain dump 1/24/2012

–  Yes I know, posting has been getting erratic and sporadic lately.  Part of it is my usual January doldrums, but also been working six days a week (two of them 12 hour shifts), and my spare time has been taken up by sleeping or depriving myself of sleep.  And been playing way too much of this.

–  Ever since getting and playing with my precious, I’ve been getting the bug to upgrade my venerable desktop as well, which is still perfectly functional but starting to drag some with all the newer applications out there.  I’ve been looking around out there and salivating over some of the barebones systems I can get reasonably priced.  Trouble is, my MAD money has been very limited since I gave all budgeting control to my wife, and we have a lot more pressing financial matters (like adopting AJ) to deal with right now.  But it’s okay to dream a little, isn’t it?

– I know I bitch and groan a lot about work.  Management tends to be dysfunctional and unresponsive to the concerns of us production workers, they schedule overtime in huge swaths every week regardless of if there’s a need for it at any given position, they work us like dogs (seven day weeks are not uncommon at all) and tend to snipe about petty things, etc.  But the fact is that with the overtime I’m pulling in more money than I ever have before, even more than what I was doing in Georgia.  Figure that into a much cheaper cost of housing, and a dramatically reduced gasoline bill due to having only a five-minute commute, and I’m better off counting my blessings.

– As per my last post, I’m getting concerned with the Republicans not able to solidly support a candidate and having them tear each other down so brutally.  That plays right into the hands of an Obama re-election, something which I cannot reiterate enough that is totally unacceptable to this country.  Newt Gingrich’s surprise win in South Carolina just adds to my fears.  Don’t get me wrong, if the Republicans throw their weight behind and nominate Newt, I’ll vote for him.  But I’m afraid his personal baggage and blunt manner of speaking, while refreshing in a debate, will turn off too many moderate mainstream voters, and they are the ones who ultimately decide an election.

– AJ’s growing like a weed.  And acting like a two-year-old.  That doesn’t bother me too much (except when he screams outside the bedroom door while I’m trying to sleep after working all night), but it’s not the Terrible Two’s that I’m afraid of.  It’s the Terrible Threes, when they get a vocabulary and aren’t afraid to use it to smart talk you back.  That’s a problem with nephews L’il Buddha and twins ThingOne and ThingTwo (who are now five), and I dread when they start teaching it to AJ.  Also he’s discovered the joys of opening and closing doors.  Over and over and over again.

– Sort of an unofficial New Year’s resolution: I’m going to try to be a little less critical of my wife’s family on this blog.  They are who they are and bitching about them is just beating a dead horse.  Of course, I can’t guarantee that I won’t still go on the occasional rant about them (mind I did say TRY), but I’ll put a little more thought into deciding if their latest antics are really blog worthy, or if I’m just using them as filler.  Think of it as a challenge to be a little more positive about things I blog about.

– My wife’s got a nickname for that cowardly Italian captain that ran his ship aground and abandoned his passengers: Chicken Of The Sea. I call him the Anti-Sully.  Among a few other choice nicknames.

– For crying out loud, lay off of Paula Deen already.  Attacking her and her cooking habits is like attacking your favorite grandmother who loved stuffing you silly whenever you spent a week with her as a kid.  Yes, it’s not the healthiest stuff in the world.  So what?  Take a little responsibility for how you take care of yourself, but quit dictating to us what we should and shouldn’t eat, that’s none of your damn business.  Oh, and Anthony Bourdain?  Bite me.

SOPA and PIPA are dying, but aren’t completely dead yet, at least not the concept.  Keep up the pressure, everyone.

– Have to admit I’m still somewhat mixed on this subject, but ripping a beloved parental figure away from this family is heartless and cruel, regardless of their lifestyle choice.  Especially since they were approved to adopt these kids, now they want to get rid of one of them over an immigration issue?  Bureaucracy at it’s finest.  And yes, the law should be changed, or at least exceptions allowed to prevent the breaking up of families, whether hetero or same-sex.

– Apparently I missed De-Lurk day, or week, or whatever, so I’m going to celebrate it late.  Whether you’re a regular here or just popping by, show yourselves!

UPDATE:  Fixed date.   Apparently I thought it was June.  Damn brain farts.

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 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!

Brain dump 8/17/10 (and a Musical Interlude)

–  Interesting work schedule I got.  Twelve hour shifts, two days on, two days off.  36 hours one week, 48 hours the next.  Have to work every other Fri, Sat, Sun, but that means I get the following as a three day weekend.  Right now though, I have so little to do during the days off that they get boring really quick.  Noplace to go, nothing to do, and no money to do it with.  Still trying to dig myself out of the hole that over a year of unemployment has put me into.  Not to mention that in this 103 degree heat I’d actually rather be at work, because the AC there is so much better, even with all the machinery.  Also they keep you quite busy, resulting in the 12 hours going by surprisingly fast.

–  Last Friday (the 13th, no doubt) I was kneeling down cleaning out a machine when I suddenly heard and felt something go *riiiiiiiip*.  Yep, I managed to blow out the seat of my cheap pair of pants, with 9 hours to go in my shift.  Going home to change was not an option, being a 45 min drive each way, so I pulled my shirt down as low as it would go and spent the day either backed against the wall or sitting as much as I could get away with.  That’s what I get for being so cheap as to buy them at Dollar General.

–  I’ve had two flat tires in 10 days (different tires).  For some reason, flats happen in clusters with me.  So broke I had to bum money off of housemate to get it fixed, which will be my chore of the day.  And even though I can easily pay him back come payday, I don’t like asking too many favors of him, even small ones.  I don’t enjoy being indebted to him, monetarily or otherwise.  But I’d really like to know where these flats are coming from.  Don’t think I’ve pissed anyone off lately (except maybe The  Powers Above, but we won’t go into that).

–  Would like to go home to Atlanta for Labor Day (four day weekend) but not sure how I’m going to be able to swing it.  Car is not fit for any more long trips, and not sure if I can do an airfare.  Little Rock to Atlanta airfares are nothing short of atrocious, so would have to drive 2 ½ hours to Memphis and park to get anything even remotely affordable.  Would go completely bugshit stranded here for four days, and my tolerance limit for the inlaws is only a couple days tops.  Really could use another set of wheels right now.

–  Must be the time where all bloggers go on vacation.  Not that I’ve had a lot of interesting stuff lately, but pretty much all month my number of visitors have been in the teens, if not the single digits.  A couple of times the numbers spiked quite high, which I think were spam waves coming through since my spambox was collecting junk around then.

–  Just because you SOOOO wanted to know, the second bottle of honey BBQ sauce mentioned in my last post was consumed a few days ago and tasted great, with no ill effects this time.

Sorry I don’t have anything more interesting going on right now.  Maybe after the weekend.  In the meantime, I’ll leave you with a rarity – a Musical Interlude featuring a two-hit wonder:

And the next one, slightly truncated from the original but still good:

Brain dump 7/29/2010

–  Hotter than hell around here lately.  Luckily the AC on my car still works (most of the time), and my workplace is very well air-conditioned.  Just wish the house was as cool as everyplace else.

–  Speaking of work (and I’ll talk a little bit, because I think I’m past the jinx stage) seems to be going okay for now, meaning that I may actually be able to keep it more than a couple weeks.  Looks like I’ll get an extra week of training, but that’s due more to equipment issues preventing adequate training than any failure on my part (or any others in my training group).   Did ask for some direct feedback from my trainer, and she said that I was coming along fine, she just wasn’t quite ready to turn me loose on the floor, and any of us who she didn’t feel was coming along by now would’ve been cut loose.  Plus have been taking advantage of generous amounts of overtime (for now), which helps immensely with the bills that have piled up.

–  Thinking of looking for a place closer to work in the next couple months.  It’s a 40mi/45 min drive each way to work, which translates to about $10/day round trip for my car.  Adds up quick.  Luckily my regular shift (after training period) are three-to-four 12 hour days a week, followed by at least two days off, so that’ll help the gas situation a bit.  But still want to live closer, especially when rest of family makes it out.

–  Quite likely I’ll be looking for new wheels before the next month (August) is out.  Inlaws know of reputable cheap used-car lot in town that’ll work with limited budgets and destroyed credit (like mine), so may talk with them.  Favored candidates are: (1998-2005) Chevy Impala, Dodge Stratus/Chrysler Cirrus, Ford Explorer, Ford Crown Vic/Mercury Grand Marquis, Buick LeSabre/Pontiac Bonneville.  Around $7000 spending limit.  Prefer medium to large cars, minimum 20mpg (mostly highway driving).  Would love a Honda, but hard to come by at affordable price without lots of miles & wear.  Anyone have any experience with above list?

–  Now that I’m finally drawing a weekly paycheck (yay!) may go to inlaws this weekend.  Will try to see if I can spring JJ for a day and take him swimming.  Hopefully his Reichmarschall (papa, aka the grandfather) won’t find some trivial reason to imprison him in his room again.

–  About 2 1/2 more weeks and AJ turns one.  Hard to believe almost a year has passed since he entered our lives (a little more backstory for any new readers that care to follow).  Sadly won’t be present on his birthday.  Do have four days off for Labor Day weekend and am debating on going home to Georgia or visiting my stepmother in Houston.  (Keep in mind that it’s a good day’s drive to Georgia from here, slightly less to Houston, and I won’t see another four day weekend for quite a while.)

– Feet…hurt.  Despite New Balance shoes.  Now I find out that work requires non-skid shoes, so will have to hit up Walmart or maybe Payless.  And will have to get gel soles, or maybe invest in those $40+ customized soles from Walmart  that their foot machine tries to sell you (anyone know what I’m talking about?)

–  And will leave you with this before I say goodnight.  Anyone remember seeing this stuff for sale at Spencer’s Gifts?

G’night folks.

Brain dump 6/22/2010

–  After four days of temp to perm work, I’m unemployed again.  But this time it’s somewhat of a relief.  I was working the kind of job Mike Rowe would have been proud of – dirty, repetitive, and hotter than hell.  About the only thing I liked about it was the fact that the day went by quick from all the work.  I wasn’t picking it up fast enough to their satisfaction – too many things to keep track of while keeping production going on a machine, and they had a very short time frame to train someone.  Oh well.  At least I left this time with my dignity intact, and the manager praised my attitude and work ethic, and even said he’d consider using me again in the future for something else.  So back to the drawing board.

–  I sent an email to my previous boss (the place I was terminated from in February) asking what kind of reference he would give me if a prospective employer inquired.  I have too much space on my resume between now and my last full-time job, so I’m hoping to fill it with something.  The worst he could do is tell me he wouldn’t give a good reference, or ignore me.  I did leave on reasonably good terms (as the circumstances would allow) so I’d like to think he’d help me out a little.

–  This weekend Yes Dear, PBJ, and AJ are all coming out for two weeks and staying at niece Stevie’s.  Probably spend most of my time with them but will be on call for any work that the temps may have for me.  Likely have something going on for the Fourth, and have two nephew’s birthdays coming up as well (JJ and L’il Buddha).  Probably will balance seeing the kids with keeping our heads low enough to avoid the maelstrom of dysfunction with the family.

–  Speaking of dysfunction, apparently the Chunt’s at it again.  Her latest game was to threaten suicide because she can’t see her kids.  Of course, virtually everyone ignored her (including even her fiancé) except her grandmother and mother, who had to drop a whole day’s plans to take care of her.  I’m hoping they got her committed or on psych lockdown for awhile, and have a plan to not give in to her inevitable games.  Unfortunately with two kids’ birthdays coming up (see above) I can see the very real potential for more efforts on her part to disrupt things.  Yes Dear has vowed to remove her from the premises, physically if necessary, if she tries to crash the birthdays (and she’s very capable of doing it).  Hopefully it won’t come to that, but it would be so like the Chunt to show her unwelcome face.  I’m just afraid she’ll threaten suicide in front of the kids (or worse yet, try it) and I don’t need to explain how devastating that would be to them, particularly JJ.

–  On a more upbeat note – ever think that once in a while God sends his angels to check up on you, in disguise?  Had an encounter with an elderly woman wandering around at the laundromat yesterday.  She invited me to sit with her and talk.  It pretty soon became obvious she was suffering from some dementia and possibly Alzheimer’s, but she was sweet natured and harmless, so I lent her my ear.  After a few minutes of chitchat she patted me on the back, gave me a hug, and told me that God loves me.  I could have easily dismissed her as a hopelessly senile crank, but something told me she was there for a reason.  I only hope she found her way home, or whoever was in charge of her found her (tried to get a little info out of her about where she lived, but couldn’t get anything that made sense).  But I left the laundromat in a more positive mood than I’ve been in a while.

–  Remember my post on forgiveness? Like to direct you over to Shannon’s place for an even more inspirational post on the subject.  More focused towards her life experiences, but well written in her inimitable style, which I love.

–  Today’s random thought – anyone remember the cheap prizes that used to come in a cereal box?  Remember dumping the whole box out or rifling through the contents to find the prize?  Or fighting with your siblings to get said prize, or getting up in the wee hours of the morning before them so you could get the goods first?

–  A Firehouse sub is sounding really good for lunch today.  Care to join me?

Brain dump 4/17/2010 (the Georgia edition)

– Made it down with my father-in-law Monday.  Stopped by the hospital to see Yes Dear, and pick up PBJ to go to the new house.  Stayed at the hospital Tuesday night and got Yes Dear released the next morning.  Her pneumonia is responding well to antibiotics, but the low white blood cell and platelet count are a concern and need to be monitored.  She’ll be out of work another week.

– Good news: everything’s cleaned out of the old house.  Bad news: the new house is a disorganized disaster.  Was all I could do to clear room for the father-in-law in the living room.  Or make breakfast for Yes Dear.  Or for myself.

– AJ is turning into a real butterball.  As well as a very happy baby.  Eight months old, and he’s trying to bypass the crawling and go straight into walking.  Getting more vocal, loves giggles, tickles, and kisses.  Have to post photos soon.

– Panda Bear stopped by today and brought Baby M, our granddaughter who I got to see for the first time today.  Absolutely adorable, and I wish I could’ve gotten pictures with her, but the chaotic mess in the house made it very difficult to maneuver, let alone get decent pics.  Got to see KK as well, who’s at the perfect age to get into everything within reach, which made our house a 17-month old’s paradise.

– It’s official: I can’t multitask worth a damn, especially while toting around a baby.  Don’t know how the moms do it.  Especially when trying to find things in the mess of our house.  Was fortunate I found the last diaper and last baby wipes today.

– Talk about an unproductive day.  Got the gas turned on, only to find out the pilot light on the water heater won’t work.  So looks like we’ll still be boiling water through the weekend.  Also needed to replace the brake pads and rotors on Yes Dear’s minivan, only to end up stripping one of the bolts holding on the rotor on one wheel.  So will have to borrow the proper tools from friends tomorrow.  Sucks when all the tools you have are 640 miles away in the trunk of your car.

– Still waiting on the unemployment to break loose.  Did get a little moola direct deposited from a one-day temp job I did last week, so I’m not completely penniless. But this is getting old.

– Baby monitors at night can be creepy.  Very, very creepy.  Has Stephen King ever looked into this as possible fodder for a story?

– I’ve really tried to understand and at least partly defend my BIL’s behavior, but it’s getting harder and harder.  Walking into his house is getting to be like touring a prison camp, with him as the Waffen-SS commander.  Engaging him in any meaningful conversation is like watching paint dry, and his treatment of the kids, particularly JJ, is appalling.  My SIL and JJ are about the only ones in that house worth visiting anymore, and his jealousy is becoming so much more pronounced that it’s all I can do to stay there more than fifteen minutes.  Thinking of a new blogname for him, maybe the Reichsmarschall.  Any suggestions?

– Probably will be back in Arkansas early next week, hopefully with some money.  And hopefully after leaving the house, if not completely organized, at least an improvement over when I first arrived, so Yes Dear can work out all the fine details.  Planning on coming back toward the end of May for PBJ’s graduation.

– Going to hate leaving my family again.  Looking at a tentative 6-month timetable to get the employment situation back on track in Arkansas, or will likely be coming back here.

Keep in touch.