Thursday, June 29, 2006


      The cold continues. I am exhausted and annoyed. How was your day?
      I watched a bizarre movie Black Moon on the Sundance Channel. Please, someone else watch it and explain it to me. It's strange beyond strange.
      I'm going to bed now. That's all I do lately. Sleep, sneeze, cough and sleep some more. Yeah, it's exciting.
      Just one more day of work until the blessed weekend. I can't wait. Night!

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

What we carry

      Despite still fighting this cold, I was out in my backyard a few hours ago playing in the water. Well, actually I was cleaning my backyard fountain. My so-helpful roomie noticed that the pump was getting clogged, and it either had to be shut down or cleaned. I considered shutting it down, but the pump loses its prime easily and it's a lot of work to prime it again. The pump is also what keeps the fountain basin from becoming a haven for breeding mosquitoes.
      So I put on old clothes, wrapped up my throat, went outside and cleaned it. Naturally I got soaked, but it was a nice day outside and I didn't get chilled. Hopefully no harm will result from it, and the fountain looks nice.
      Since I was out there, I cleaned the birdbath and filled it and watered some flowers. I started to feel kind of shaky at that point so I came in to dry off and sit for a bit. I probably shouldn't have done it, but it needed to be done.
      It's that way with my fish. They're on a regular schedule of water changes for their tank. Have to have the changes to stay healthy. I had planned on changing the water and cleaning the tank Sunday afternoon, but I felt so bad that I considered just letting it go. But the tank had a strong fishy smell, and when it does, it can become septic fast and kill a lot of fish. So despite how I felt, I cleaned the tank. The fish are happy. Or I guess they are. It's hard to tell with fish.
      I grew up on a farm, and that's one lesson I learned well: Chores don't stop just because you're sick or have an event you want to go to or a ballgame to attend. Cattle, hogs, chickens, goats and sheep have to be fed and watered, especially in the winter. They depend on you, and if you let down on your end, they can die quick. On a small farm, you can't afford that.
      When my dad was so sick with cancer, he still got out there and fed his animals for as long as he physically could. That's what he did for the creatures who depended on him: He took care of them.
      It's our responsibilities that define us. What we carry and how we carry them is our true measure. Without exception, this applies to our job, our children, our spouse, our church, our nation, everything in our lives.
      This is why I get disgusted with parents who put their needs before those of their children. It seems my community is filled with people who run off with their boyfriends/girlfriends/both and leave their children to be raised by the children's grandparents or other relatives. How worthless can a person be?
      Because of a secondary business that my boss owns, I get to see quite a few people who have chosen drugs or alcohol or abusive lovers over their children. It's horribly sad, and it makes me angry. I wonder why they had children in the first place. Didn't they realize that they were given a responsibility? Didn't they realize that they were given a gift? Are they so selfish that they can't see how they're hurting their children? Or are they so far gone that they can't see anything but their own needs?
      Mind you, I'm talking about small children, babies who can't take care of themselves, who need an adult and who have had the misfortune to be born to some selfish jerks. Eventually the children end up with a relative or, God help them, the state child care system or sometimes they end up dead.
      When did responsibility become a dirty word? Isn't accepting the tasks put before you the sign of an adult? When did our culture decide that being young and carefree were the only things to strive for?
      It's time to change that. To stand up and be adults. To be mature and make intelligent decisions for our children and our world. It's time to grow up. If we fail to do this, future generations will not be kind when they judge us. But if we don't grow up politically, environmentally and spiritually, we might not have to worry about their judgment because there might not be any future generations. And that's a failure I can't bear to consider.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006


      A few days back, ER posted about people who were working to bring about the end of the world. (See here.) He dismissed them by calling them "crazy." Maybe from his perspective, but I disagree.
      First, I know those people well. I was raised in a church that preached from The Late Great Planet Earth by Hal Lindsey and other End Times works. These people were not crazy. They fervently believed the end of the world was right around the corner, and they needed to get everyone saved before the Rapture. Films like A Thief in the Night and A Distant Thunder only fueled their convictions.
      When I was a pre-teen, I remember listening to ministers talk convincingly about the possibility of the Rapture taking place the very next day or even in the next few seconds. And I would think and pray, "Not yet, Lord, not yet." I still had things to do. I wanted a girlfriend, a career, nice things, children, and then the Christ could return when I was at death's door in my 50's. (Fifty being, of course, incredibly old in my mind then.)
      Naturally these ministers had all sorts of theories about when the Apocalypse was going to take place. They would point out events in Bible that seemed to correspond with events taking place in world as fulfillment of prophecy. They had number schemes and hidden codes long before the Da Vinci Code ever reared its empty head.
      As far as I know, none of these people ever drank poisoned Kool-Aid or stood on a mountaintop like Homer Simpson waiting for God. But they all shared an important characteristic with the loonies: Namely that they didn't have any hope for this world.
      Let's be clear on what I'm saying here. People who passionately work for the End Times do not believe the world can get better. They believe that it's going to continue to get worse until it falls into a pit of war, disease, starvation and despair. They believe that the only hope we have is that if God appears and saves us. They have no faith in humanity. They despair. Not crazy. Despairing.
      I personally do believe in the Rapture and the End Times. I was raised that way, and I have a somewhat jaded view of humanity. However, I also believe such events are out of anyone's control, and I'm not willing to allow the eventual destruction of the world interfere with what I've got to get done here. The Bible tells us to help the sick, feed the poor, raise up the fallen and generally get off our lazy butts and work. In no place does it tell us to raise red heifers, make golden vessels or wear aluminum foil cloaks. The Bible doesn't tell us to work to make the END come about. It's more of an informative, hey, this is going to happen one day in case you wanted to know.
      It's easy to despair these days. You can watch the news and read the paper and rapidly be overwhelmed by the problems that face us. In fact, if you're not overwhelmed, then I suspect you've become so jaded that you're part of the problem. Or worse, you become angry and lash at other people. I witness this all the time from angry, vicious posters on Erudite Redneck and Casting Pearls Before Swine. I'll read something particularly harsh about conservatives on ER's blog and think, Well, that's it. I'm becoming a Republican, and then I'll read a narrow, vicious attack on liberals from a commenter on CPBS and run back to liberal side as fast as I can.
      Middle of the road. That's where I plod along. And I worry about that. The Bible talks about preferring people to be hot or cold, while those lukewarm people get spat out. I'd sure hate to think I'd end up on a puddle of spittle. I like to think that I practice a practical Christianity. One that realistically looks at the world's problems and says, "I can't feed the world, but I can work at the local food bank. I can't heal the sick, but I can work as an hospital volunteer and give money to organizations that help fight various diseases. I can't fix people's problems, but I can give them love and support so that they can find their own way." It's a backyard faith, a way of managing the world's problems by working at them locally. True change is created one person, one problem at a time.
      Practical Christianity is a way to battle despair. It's a way to channel anger into something constructive. It's a way to battle the darkness. Let the End Times come as they may. I intend to keeping doing what I'm doing as long as I can continue to do it. A few friends of mine have questioned my faith in this at times. They don't understand how I can hope and work for a better world and still hold the view that eventually the world will end in fire.
      It's not always easy. And I see many fellow Christians who don't even try. They have decided that since it's all going to end anyway and God will sort things out, then they don't have do anything except sit on their ever-expanding hineys on Sunday and nod a few amens and sing a few hymns and that's enough. It's an excuse for laziness, for being smug, for being self-righteous. However, the Bible is loaded with verses that tell us to work, to work, to work.
      Don't think it's just Christians that are lazy. I see it all the time. People who say they believe something, but don't work to make it happen. If you truly believe in something, then get out there and work for it. Love without works is dead, dead, dead.
      So my answer to despair is work for good things. Not original, of course. In fact, I think I will end this by quoting the conclusion of Candide by Voltaire, published in 1759.
      "Human grandeur," said Pangloss, "is very dangerous, if we believe the testimonies of almost all philosophers; for we find Eglon, King of Moab, was assassinated by Aod; Absalom was hanged by the hair of his head, and run through with three darts; King Nadab, son of Jeroboam, was slain by Baaza; King Ela by Zimri; Okosias by Jehu; Athaliah by Jehoiada; the Kings Jehooiakim, Jeconiah, and Zedekiah, were led into captivity: I need not tell you what was the fate of Croesus, Astyages, Darius, Dionysius of Syracuse, Pyrrhus, Perseus, Hannibal, Jugurtha, Ariovistus, Caesar, Pompey, Nero, Otho, Vitellius, Domitian, Richard II of England, Edward II, Henry VI, Richard Ill, Mary Stuart, Charles I, the three Henrys of France, and the Emperor Henry IV."
      "Neither need you tell me," said Candide, "that we must take care of our garden."
      "You are in the right," said Pangloss; "for when man was put into the garden of Eden, it was with an intent to dress it; and this proves that man was not born to be idle."
      "Work then without disputing," said Martin; "it is the only way to render life supportable."
      The little society, one and all, entered into this laudable design and set themselves to exert their different talents. The little piece of ground yielded them a plentiful crop. Cunegund indeed was very ugly, but she became an excellent hand at pastrywork: Pacquette embroidered; the old woman had the care of the linen. There was none, down to Brother Giroflee, but did some service; he was a very good carpenter, and became an honest man. Pangloss used now and then to say to Candide:
      "There is a concatenation of all events in the best of possible worlds; for, in short, had you not been kicked out of a fine castle for the love of Miss Cunegund; had you not been put into the Inquisition; had you not traveled over America on foot; had you not run the Baron through the body; and had you not lost all your sheep, which you brought from the good country of El Dorado, you would not have been here to eat preserved citrons and pistachio nuts."
      "Excellently observed," answered Candide; "but let us cultivate our garden."
      That's good advice, don't you think? I do. See you in the garden.

Monday, June 26, 2006

"The Second Coming" by William Butler Yeats

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of "Spiritus Mundi"
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?


Sunday, June 25, 2006

A summer cold

      I've ended up being sick all weekend with a crappy summer cold. I'm not happy about it. I've coughed, sneezed, ran a temp, had a sore throat, etc. Name a symptom, I've had it. And despite gallons of hot tea and chicken soup, vitamin C and zinc tablets by the handful, Advil, Contact and every other OTC med I could find, the cold is still lingering on. Very annoying. So basically I did nothing this weekend except sleep and stare dully at the TV. Tomorrow I have to return to work even though I probably won't feel well. The only bright spot is that I'm probably contagious and can spread my cold to annoying customers.
      Anyway, that's all I did. I have nothing new to share with you. I did really a couple of books. Outfoxed by the wonderful Rita Mae Brown and Writing to Change the World by Mary Pipher. The first was an excellent mystery as well as an extensive look into the complicated world of fox hunting. The second was a book that espoused writers tackling hard issues in their writing. It was long on anecdotes and short on writing info, I thought.
      I also read Death on the Cliff, A Gilded Age Mystery, by Mary Kruger. A pleasant enough book, but no surprises and it was obvious who the murderer was just a few chapters into the book. It also featured the stereotypical romance between the detective and our heroine in which they were rude and angry at each other most of the book, but as soon as she was in peril, he realized he loved her and she realized she loved him, and of course, they married even though it didn't seem like they had anything in common. Apparently this is the first book in a series. We'll see if it improves.
      So now I'm going to fall into my bed. I hope you are doing well and had a good weekend. I hope we all have a wonderful -- and healthy -- week. Night.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

What I did

       Worked all day by myself in the office. Fortunately it wasn't too busy so I was able to go home on time.
      Worked this evening on finishing the June issue of the family newsletter. Received and edited my brother's article and placed it. Called several people for the monthly Roundup. Just need to finish that and my article, proofread and correct any mistakes, print and mail. Then I go to work on the July issue.
      Called my siblings and worked on the details of a family gathering. We're planning on going to the Oklahoma Aquarium in Jenks, Oklahoma. Should be lots of great photo ops. I'm looking forward to it.
      Attempted to find a hard drive enclosure kit that will accommodate my old hard drive. No luck in finding what I need so far.
      Wrote five new pages on Murder at the Witch's Cottage and worked on marrying the new and old material. The play is coming together in a new and unexpected way. I think I'm pleased.
      Keep thinking we were going to get rain. No luck. Some wind. Lots of black clouds. No rain beyond a sprinkle. Maybe tomorrow.
      Promised myself I'd be in bed by 10:30 tonight. Gotta close now to keep that promise. Have a good night and great tomorrow. See you then.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Over the hump

      I got more sleep last night so I was less tired today and got some things done this evening instead of just staring blankly at the TV. I used a sound generator to listen to ocean waves for about thirty minutes before I went to sleep. It seemed to help. I will use it again tonight. The sound generator will also produce the sounds of a brook, the wind and a forest. So far, I find the ocean the most soothing. The generator is from Timex. I bought it several years ago, but have never really used it for anything except for a clock.
      My play Murder at the Witch's Cottage takes place on the Atlantic coast. I had wondered how I was going to produce the ocean sounds. I think this sound generator will work well. I worked on the play tonight. It's finally coming together. I think the changes I'm making produce a more coherent storyline as well as more dramatic moments. I still have some scenes to rewrite and several to write, but I feel confident that it should be finished by the end of July. Then back to Darkness, Oklahoma.
      This weekend I intend on finishing the June Gazette and get it mailed. That's my project. I still need an article from my brother. I hope he gets it to me before Friday. I'll call him tomorrow and lean on him.
      Joke for today:
      Two cannibals meet one day.
       The first cannibal says, "You know, I just can't seem to get a tender Missionary. I've baked them, I've roasted them, I've stewed them, I've barbecued them, I've tried every sort of marinade. Just can't seem to get them tender."
      The second cannibal asks, "What kind of Missionary do you use?"
      The reply, "You know, the ones that hang out at that place at the bend of the river. They have those brown cloaks with a rope around their waist and they're sort of bald on top with a funny ring of hair on their heads."
      "Aha!" the second cannibal replies, "No wonder -- those are friars!"
      And on that note, good night!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Counting the ways

      As I've worked with my new Dell computer, I've discovered several things I really like about it. In fact, I'm close to being smitten with it. Here are a few things about it that make me happy:
      1. The 13-in-one media card reader on the front of the computer. On my previous computer, I used an USB port and had USB cables connecting to various card readers. It looked like a Radio Shack had exploded on the top of my computer. Now everything is nice and neat, and I've retired the hub.
      2. The 8 USB ports. My old computer only had two, and they were on the back of the computer, which is another reason I had to use the hub. With an USB printer, USB keyboard and mouse combo, USB scanner, USB headphones and mike, and USB external drive, I was hurting for USB ports. Now, everything is plugged in, and I have three USB ports left.
      3. Windows XP. I know it has problems, but so far, it's worked almost perfectly for me. Of course, I was coming from a computer that ran Windows ME, which CNET recently listed as one of the top ten worst computer products of all time.. (I say almost perfectly because there's a conflict with the video driver and it won't run the pre-installed 3D Space Screensaver. A very minor annoyance. Apparently it can be fixed if I will completely uninstall in the old driver and install a new driver that came out after I received my computer, but frankly it's not worth the trouble so far.)
      4. Speed. It's a lot faster than my old computer and can handle multi-tasking easily without freezing or crashing. Last night I had my scanning program, Microsoft publisher, GMAIL, AOL and Microsoft word all open at the same time. No problems. Wow.
      5. It simply works. No restarts, mysterious blue screens, lost data or strange beeps. And that's the best thing of all.
      Time to get ready for work. I'll be back later. Talk to you then.
      It's later. Much later. Nearly midnight. I sat down tonight and took a long nap. I seem to be running on empty lately. If this continues, I think I'll schedule a check-up and make sure it's just lack of sleep and not something else.
      I haven't mentioned The Last of the Summer Wine for a while. I watched it tonight on the local PBS channel. Such a gently funny and warmly wise show. I highly recommend it. It may take you a few times to learn the characters, but it's worth the effort.
      Going to shut down now. Have a good night and great tomorrow. Night!

Monday, June 19, 2006

Postcard of redwoods & a cross post

Crystal sent me this postcard from California. Beautiful.

      I posted this on The Great Slimdown. I'm not sure who all is reading it over there so I thought I'd cross post it here.


      The Weight Loss Word of the Day is PERSEVERANCE! It's easy to start a diet, easy to say you're going to make a life change, easy to follow the latest fad diet, but starting the diet isn't the trouble for most people. It's continuing on. It's having the determination to follow through to the slim end. How do we gain that determination? Here are five suggestions that I've found helpful:
      1. Every day tell yourself these statements: "I deserve to be healthy. I deserve to be comfortable in my own skin. God made me so I have worth. My body is the temple my soul inhabits. I will not let food control me. With God's help, I will overcome." Phrase them as you like, but that's the idea. If you say these positive statements ten times a day, you'll be amazed how it will change your attitude.
      2. Avoid people who tempt you with fattening foods. Friends who push desserts on you aren't your friends. They're trying to sabotage your new life. Don't let them. Be firm.
      3. Pick yourself back up after every slip and keep going. A life change only fails if you stop. Let's not confuse this with diets. There are a thousand diets out there. If one isn't healthy for you or simply isn't workable, find another that will work. As long as you continue to pursue your goal, you will reach it eventually.
      4. Remember that you didn't gain weight all at once, and you won't lose it all at once. It's going to take time, but everything worthwhile takes time. Love, relationships, happiness, they all take time and work. Why would losing weight be different?
      5. Most importantly, remember that you have only one life down here. It's up to you to make the most of it. Approach losing weight as an adventure with ups and downs, but you have the certainty that you'd going to make it through and come back with lots of great stories and a new healthier you!
      Busy day at work. I'm worn-out. I haven't been sleeping well for the past couple of weeks. I hope my sleeping patterns will straighten out soon. Anyway, I'm going to call it a night. Take care. Have a great night and a wonderful tomorrow. Adios.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Long, long, long

      It's been a busy and somewhat frustrating past few days. Lots of things that needed to get done, but didn't get done. Projects where I made some progress but not as much as I planned. The usual complaints.
      We had a bad storm yesterday that took down the cable and, of course, Internet access all over my town. Obviously it's back up, but they took long enough. To add insult to injury, we only got a trace of rain out of those high winds and lightning.
      I've been working the ticket booth for a play that the local theater group is performing. I have to go down there again in a few minutes. I have so much to do here. Oh well, that's what happens when you volunteer. I want off the board so bad, but I can't see how to do it and still satisfy the obligations that I agreed to do. Duty sucks swamp water, folks. But my term will be up after this next year so I guess I'm committed until then. It's not that being on the board is so bad, it's that I want time to devote to other projects, and it seems to take a lot of my time.
      My town had a fly-in this weekend. If you're not familiar with that, it's when a large number of pilots fly in to our airport to show off their planes. We had a couple of World War II biplanes and a two-man helicopter that visited as well as a lot of other planes. Very cool to look up and see them flying overhead. No hot air balloons as in the past, which is disappointing, but the fly-in was cool. I forgot my camera, though, and so no photos. Sigh. Someday camera phones will finally take a decent photo and then I'll always have a camera with me.
      I'm having to rewrite Murder at the Witch's Cottage to accommodate the local stage. Oops. Gotta go and take tickets. Be back in about an hour or so.
      Back. I'm finally cooking lunch. Or grilling lunch actually. I have a package of chicken legs on the grill and seasoned veggies in the microwave. I'm going to have some baked beans and cut up some tomatoes and carrots for a salad tray. And maybe some watermelon for dessert. Sounds good. Particularly since I'm hungry right now. Gotta go check the chicken. Be right back.
      Back once again. Chicken was done. Veggies are done. Baked beans are in the microwave. I have to go back outside in a few minutes and turn the grill off. It's still on so that it can carbonize the drippings and make the grill easier to clean. I'll have to cut the tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers and lettuce in a few minutes. It's nice just to sit down and rest. I've been running all week.
      It's hot outside today. Mostly clear skies. I was going to take a few pictures of clouds today, but I'd have to drive a while to find them.
      I think I'll go and eat lunch now. Be back in a bit.
      It's later now. Seven. Time for the Simpsons. I've been a fan for years. They're a strange, funny family, but they have that weird love that only families can have.
      It was two Simpsons tonight. One I'd seen, the second I hadn't. Typically funny and odd.
      Speaking of TV, I'm looking forward to the Stargate: SG1 premiere coming in July. They ended on quite a cliffhanger. I'm interested in seeing how they resolve it. And Jack will be back for at least five episodes this summer. They need him. The series has been suffering without him.
      If you're wondering why this post is titled "Long, long, long," I just thought I hadn't posted much lately so I decided to ramble on for a while today. Don't know if it's that interesting to you, but hey, it's something to read.
      Can you believe we're already halfway through June? The summer is rushing by. How does that work? When I was a kid, a year was a huge amount of time. It took forever for Christmas to get here. Now the years roll by faster and faster, approaching the speed of light. Really, this should stop.
      A whole bunch of music came already preinstalled in on my computer. Some of it isn't to my taste, but a lot is. It's a cool way to introduce people to new artists. I've already purchased one CD from a preinstalled group.
      I was talking about Murder at the Witch's Cottage earlier. I have to change it to adapt to the limitations of the local stage. It's going to take some work. I've decided that will be my July project. I will be able to keep three-fourths of what I've already written. I will just have to change several scenes and probably drop two -- one for sure because I know it won't be possible now -- and write new ones. In proper play format, a full-length play runs about 90 pages or so. And each page will run about a minute when performed. At least that's the idea. I've discovered, though, that I write long. I will have to watch that. The audience can only enjoy as much as their butts can endure. Long plays had better be exceptionally good.
      Well, it's late now. I'll close. Talk to you tomorrow. Have a good one!

Thursday, June 15, 2006

      Okay, a busy day. I got a lot done. A lot still needs to be done, but I'm going to bed anyway. I don't think I'm getting enough sleep so I'm trying to correct my sleeping habits. Just another project on my ever-growing list. Eventually I will be perfect, and then what will I do with my time? I guess I should keep a few faults just so I have something to do ...
      This will probably create trouble, but listen, I'm tired of all those super thin women on TV. I wouldn't date them. Except maybe to take them to an all-you-can-eat buffet. I'm not saying that women should be fat because that's unhealthy, but I prefer women who don't look they just survived a three-month death march through the jungle. Curves are good. Curves, do you hear me? Curves.
      I also am disenchanted with the cult of youth that seems to rule the TV. Frankly, a lot of young people are shallow with all the interest of bathroom mold. Admittedly, there are notable exceptions, but I think people need a few years on them, some miles on their road, a few stories in their past, to be interesting.
      I think I'm getting grouchy as I'm get older. Eventually I will be sitting on my front porch, rapping my cane on the ground as I yell at those pesky kids in the neighborhood. I'm think I'm looking forward to it.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Dizzy day

      Ever heard of Dizzy X? They're a pop/rock group I wandered across recently. You can listen to some of their music at here. You'll probably be a bit surprised by me liking them. But I like a lot of different music. Depends on my mood and what song speaks to me.
      My house is a pit. Why doesn't some lovely woman drop by and clean it for me? She could wear a little maid outfit. Hey, if she would wear the outfit, I'll do the cleaning! Or if she would wear one of those nice white nurse uniforms with the starched cap -- too much information, I'm sure.
      Does anyone really now what's taking over? Does anyone really know what's going on?
      Still listening to Dizzy X. The song is Lost Angeles.
      I may be off work tomorrow afternoon. I'm going to come right home and try to sort through these piles of files. Darkness, Oklahoma keeps growing, like some Lovecraft creature sending out paper tentacles everywhere. I need to sort it out and try to impose some sort of order on it. Or start giving it blood sacrifices. One of the two.
      Here's to the hearts in the back alleys. Here's to the dreams burned like gasoline. Here's to the friends I could not save.
      I'm in strange mood tonight. Too much stress this week. Too many defeats. Too many moments of slow suicide. Isn't that how it goes, though, these days? The center can't hold. It's run away with the spoon.
      Does anyone really know what's taking over? Does anyone really know what's going on? I'm lost and I'm found in Lost Angeles. I'm breaking some ground in Lost Angeles.
      I need the weekend. I need a long weekend. I need somewhere where I can forget all these obligations and responsiblies. Atlas not only shrugged, but he's gone to the beach.
      Remember the days when we used to try? Gone is the sweetness that's in your eyes. Here's to the souls that never will mend. Here's to the lovers who love to pretend.
      It's late, and I'm tired. I'm going to bed. You have a good night and a good tomorrow and a thousand tomorrows after that.
      I'm moving around in Lost Angeles. I'm lost and found ...

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Same old song

      So here I am. Finally. I had trouble again with my cable modem this evening, but I followed several procedures that the cable tech guy had explained to me, and they seemed to work. According to the tech, my computer is functioning perfectly. The problem seems to be on their end, he told me with great reluctance. But I don't really have an explanation for why it messed up. I just hope it works okay from now on.
      Anyway, not much going on here. It's hot. Muggy. Work has been rather grinding. I've gritted my teeth until I'm surprised I have any left. I think the heat makes some people mean. Or makes them reveal that they're really mean deep down.
      Still, I'm catching up on things and staying up on my work despite not having a secretary. It sure does make for a long day, though.
      Today my good friend Ms. M called me, and we went to lunch. She had surgery to remove a cancer in her breast about a month ago and finished a round of radiation for breast cancer. She's doing well. She's had a few minor side effects, but so far, everything looks good. The doctors think they got all of the cancer, and we hope the radiation mopped up any errant cancer cells. Cancer affects so many people. Someday I hope we conquer it. It will be one of humanity's greatest achievements.
      What else can I tell you? Mickey had a good birthday with a couple of parties, swimming, lots of gifts and wild times. And now he is five. They grow up fast. Because I don't see him regularly, it's always amazing how much he's grown and changed since the last time we were together. Makes me proud of him and sad that he's growing up.
      It's a month for birthdays in my little world. Besides Mikey, my nephew, my grand niece and one of my godsons have a birthday this month. I can't wait until they're all old enough to get money and like it. Well, I can wait. I do like buying toys. That's fun.
      And now I'm going to bed. Y'all have a good day tomorrow.

Up again

      Well, my cable internet connection is up again. Let's hope it lasts. Gotta go back to work now. Talk to you later. I hope.

Down again

      My cable connection is down again. I’m blogging this quickly from work. A technician is scheduled to come to the house today during my lunch. Maybe he or she can get it working. Talk to you later. I hope.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

If it's not one thing ...

      Sorry to be gone. I get a new computer, and then my cable internet goes out. Arggghhh. Anyway, once my cable modem was switched out, my connection started working again. It still seems a bit flaky, but maybe not. It's hard to tell its problems from Blogger's problems. Must be sunspots.
      Well, what have I done the past few days? Lots of writing, filing and housework. I also helped the president of the local theater group prepare and mail tickets out to our patrons. The play is this coming weekend. I'm not in the cast or crew, but may work the ticket booth for a night if they need me.
      It's been horribly hot and dry here, and my house's air conditioner isn't keeping up. It probably needs to be serviced soon. I hope I can get an appointment. This is the busy season for air-conditioning folks. I've heard that it takes two weeks before they can get to you. (I may get a small window unit for my bedroom. They're fairly inexpensive at Wal-Mart. I know a couple of people who use them, and they seem to be economical and efficient.) The central air unit on this house is at least 16 years old. What is the common life for one of them, anyway? Anyone know?
      Otherwise, not much to report. I've been using my smoothie maker some. It's okay. I figure these fruit and veggie smoothies would be better if I could put sugar or ice cream in them, but I can't because I'm on this diet. So I'm drinking their natural goodness straight. Whee. But hey, it's good for me. WHEE!
      I've been posting the Weight Loss Word of the Day at the Great Slim Down. So far the response has been less than overwhelming. I'm not sure anyone besides Michelle and Frenzied Feline are reading them. But that's okay. They've both very cool, and to have their attention is awesome. I'd just like others to particpate. I'm trying to lose weight, too, and I need the support!
      Mikey turns five this week. What a wonderful little boy he is. Such joy. A fireball of energy. Every time I see him, I want to sweep him up and run away to someplace safe where he will never have to lose his childhood innocence and joy. Problem is, I'm not sure anywhere safe exists in this world anymore. Maybe it never did.
      By the way, how much TV are you watching a week? Cut the time in half and you'll be amazed at how much better your life is. You'll get more done, spend more time with family and friends and enjoy life instead of just watching other people pretending to enjoy life. Seriously, try it for two weeks. The results will astound you.
      My favorite smoothie recipe so far is this one: a quart of strawberries, a container of blue berries, a container of low-fat blueberry yogurt, a can of diet lemonade, a container of raspberries, two cups of crushed ice. Blend them into a liquid. Drink. Loaded with vitamins. A bit strong taste, but you get used to it.
      Since I've been gone, I feel like I should ramble on, but I don't have anything to add. Maybe tomorrow -- returning to work, sigh -- will contain more things of interest, a bit of excitement, a twist of kind fate, a touch of romance ... or I could just go to work and then come back home. Either way, I'll see ya tomorrow.

Lost & Found

I was lost in my town
living in back alleys
of lost youth and wasted time
until you found me

I wandered aimlessly
from one love to another
all just as sad empty
until you found me

Blind to important things
my light taken by ashes
with sorrow as my friend
until you found me

until you found me
I didn't know
how a real kiss (sweet and sharp)

until you found me
I didn't know
how true passion (sweat and shouts)

until you found me
I didn't know
I really wasn't

Until you found me.

Copyright 2006. All rights reserved.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

A young man's fancy

      I'm listening to music on my new computer. I'm typing this on my new computer. I've been downloading programs on my new computer. I've been installing programs on new computer. I think I'm in love with my new computer.
      It's like every new love. I can't see any flaws.
      I'm dazzled by its speed and its charming screensavers. I like how it looks, all shiny white and silver case. I like how it turns on and how it actually works. My old one didn't do that. My old one didn't do a lot of things this one does.
      It's like every new love. I love its quirks.
      So far it has taken every piece of data I've installed without a hiccup. No weird restarts or failures to read CDs. It just runs the programs. I don't have to worry about whether or not it will die and take everything I've written.
      It's like every new love. I find myself wanting to spend all my time with it.
      I've discovered that I have quite a few programs that will run eagerly on XP. I've discovered a couple that run better and have more features when installed with XP. If XP is as stable as it’s said to be, I foresee a long and happy relationship.
      Of course, this honeymoon won't last. Eventually I'll find its flaws, get annoyed at its quirks, resent the time I spend with it. It's probably not true love, but hey, it's okay.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

It's here!

      I'm here online with the new computer! I've worked on it all evening, trying to figure out how to manage XP and get my printer, scanner and necessary software programs installed. It's been ... ah ... interesting. Yeah, that's the word. But it's going to be okay. I just have to learn what I'm doing. The computer itself is much faster than my old one with a lot of new features.
      My thanks to everyone who helped me get this new computer. I promise to write on it until its keyboard falls apart and the hard disk catches fire. But not tonight. Tonight I'm actually going to bed early. Y'all have a good evening, and I'll see you here and at the Great Slim Down tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Bad day

      It was a very bad day at work. I got yelled at by five different customers. They were mad at my company, nothing that I had done, but I was the recipient of their rage and rudeness. After the fourth one, I seriously thought about just locking the door and walking away. But I have debts, responsibilities. I was taught that a man just didn't do that. So I didn't. As a reward, I got yelled at again. Sigh. Well, it made coming home even better.
      But there was good news. My computer is on the way! It shipped this morning. I've been following its progress across the country with its UPS tracking number. It might even come in tomorrow, but probably it won't be here until Thursday or Friday. Or early next week. I'm ready for it to arrive.
      I've added a new blog to my blog list. It's Rainy Day Wonderings. Check it out. It's well-written and interesting with a lively take on art and life. I think you'll enjoy it as much as I have.
      I got a smoothie maker this weekend on sale. Does anyone have any good smoothie recipes? It's definitely the time of the year for cool fruity drinks.
      Well, it's been a long day. I'm going to finish reading another book and then go to bed. I'm one tired fellow. Hope your day is good tomorrow.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Rainy Monday

      More rain, thank God. Not a lot, not even a half inch, but it's some moisture, and we need it. Some thunder and a little lightning. It's supposed to clear off later today, more's the pity.
      You may have realized that I've been mentioning the weather a lot here lately. This is tornado season here in Oklahoma, and a lot of us watch the skies these days. Of course, you can have tornadoes at almost any time of the year, but when it gets really hot or really cold, it's almost impossible.
      I don't have much else to add this morning. I blogged last night, and frankly my life isn't all that exciting. I am reading an interesting series of books about a wizard in Chicago, written by Jim Butcher. I've read Storm Front, Fool Moon and just started Grave Peril. If my computer doesn't arrive soon, I will have made my way through the pile of books waiting to be read.
      I'm hoping to get out with my camera this weekend and take some photos that I will post here. I keep seeing things that I think would make good pictures.
      If you read last night's post, then you know the local theater group will be doing my play Murder at the Witch's Cottage in October. I guess I will be directing it. I had hoped to get someone else to direct it, but no one stepped forward. The group seemed quite content to have me do it. That means the month of October will be booked solid for me. And naturally I intend on doing National Novel Writing Month again in November. So that's another month booked. And I will be directing the Easter play The Vigil in March 2007. Three months down. Somewhere in there, I want to finish Darkness, Oklahoma and Dragons Gather. And I want to put together a book of my humor pieces, something I've already started on. More poems, of course. And I've got to continue my weight loss program. Throw in church activities, the family newsletter, poems, this blog, the Great Slim Down blog, the 100 or so emails I send a week, my fish, my plants, books I intend to read, Stargate SG-1, Lost, Stargate Atlantis, the theater group web page upkeep and changes, laundry, housework, my job, lunch with friends, my indoor and outdoor plants and a few other miscellaneous things and you have my life. Seriously I don't know I get it all done, but somehow it does.
      I got asked a few weeks back what I thought the secret of happiness is. I said and believe it’s a relationship with God and family and friends, but there’s a lot to be said for being busy, too. For working hard for something good, whether that’s a book, a play, a poem, a new recipe, a cake, a marriage, a civic group, a charity, your life. Sometimes I think people put too much emphasis on leisure – although I’ve noticed people run themselves ragged on their vacations – without acknowledging the power and worth of work.
      Well, now it’s time for me to get ready for work. Talk to you later.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Short Sunday

      Is it my imagination or is the weekend getting shorter? It seems the week drags, then Saturday sails and Sunday soars. Sigh. I want longer weekends.
      I also want my new computer to arrive. It's supposed to ship on Wednesday. Maybe I'll get lucky and it will ship sooner than that. It would be so cool to have it next weekend. Won't hold my breath, though.
      It looks like the local theater group will be performing one of my plays in October. Murder at the Witch's Cottage is a go. It's a suspense play with a supernatural element. Not too much of one, but just enough -- I hope -- to give a few shivers.
      I meant to write more, but I need to do a few things before I go to bed. I hope your weekend was good and long enough. Talk to you tomorrow.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Clear skies Friday

      Good morning. The skies are clear today, the clouds and rain having moved on through. We only got a half inch of rain -- we needed more -- but every bit helps. The air was astonishingly fresh this morning. We are fully into spring now, and green dominates the landscape everywhere you look. Absolutely wonderful.
      I'm mostly over my angst of last night. Buying the computer is a good purchase for me. It will get lots of use and give me hours and hours of enjoyment as well as allow me to continue to write as much as I do. Naturally I wanted to save the money, but this purchase is, at least, justified. Yes, it is, Dave Ramsey. Get off my back!
      Do you have plans for this weekend? I'm mostly going to putter around my house. I will be clearing a space for the new computer and figuring out what parts of the old one will be useful in the new one. I'm wondering what to do with all the programs I have that won't run on XP. (I'm currently using Windows ME.) I have probably forty or fifty games that are meant for 95, 98 or ME only. I haven't played any of them in years. I need to try to sell them in a garage sale or just throw them away. It doesn't make sense to keep things I'm not ever going to use again.
      I'm looking for a new template for Harbor Street. I'd like to continue the nautical theme, but so far, I've not found anything that I like better than the one I have now. Still, don't be surprised one day if you visit and everything looks new. Change is good sometimes. Keeps us from being bored. I try to remind myself of that when life takes an unexpected turn.
      Did you visit the Great Slim Down and learn the Weight Loss Word of the Day today? You haven't? Well, git over there now! We are resolved to be slim and trim, and we're going to do it together. Join us.
      Well, I need to post this and get ready for work. Y'all have a wonderful day.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Rainy Thursday

      Well, I ordered my new computer this evening. Pardon me while I go and throw up. Why the angst? Because I didn't want to spend the money. I had worked so hard on another solution, but I couldn't find a way around it. My old one couldn't be repaired -- in fact, I couldn't even find anyone who could tell me why it didn't work. I spent literally hours and hours on trying to repair it. The one I'm using now wouldn't run the programs I need to publish the family newsletter or any of the photo software I need. And by buying now, I took advantage of several special offers. But ... but ... I've worked so hard to reduce my debt. To finally get these credit cards off my back. I hate to divert money from that goal.
      Well, it's done. It's ordered. And it's going to be faster than my old computer with better software. With luck and care, it will last another six or seven years. I'll raid the old one for as much stuff as I can. I can use a DVD writer that's on it. And the graphics card. And the sound card. I'll take both hard drives, too, and use one as a secondary drive and the other as an USB back-up.
      The new one will arrive in about three weeks. I didn't want to pay for any faster shipping than that. I hope it will serve me as well as the old one did for most of its life.
      How did your day go? Did you have a good one? I hope so. Did you drop the Great Slim Down for the Weight Loss Word of the Day? What did you do today? Anyway, it's late, and I have to be at work early tomorrow. Talk to you then. Night!