Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Ah, the Holidays are Upon Us!

Well, I finally met a bunch of family members I hadn't met before; we went to NC for Thanksgiving at my cousin's house. He was there, obviously, with his whole family, none of which I had met, and his sister and her husband, whom I hadn't met, either, and their folks. And you want to talk about a couple of cute little girls? Wow, are they cute! And I don't usually say that about other people's kids! I also met one of my aunt's sisters and her husband.

The dinner was excellent, and that night, we stayed up late playing cards and other games. I haven't done that in a while. The boys had a good time - I think their unlimited access to pop was a big plus when they thought they were going to be bored. They brought the Playstation and that kept them busy a lot of the time; the little ones were busy watching these two long-haired kids playing games they probably shouldn't have seen them playing (I told them to keep the blood & guts to a minimum - because they listen to me). Little Kid chased the cats all over the place. He would have chased the dogs, too, had they not been in confinement while in the house.

Friday, we got up to find 60 degree weather by 11:00; it was great. Little Kid was out on the swings with the little kids, helping the youngest one onto the slide. DH was ready to go - can't be away from home for any longer than necessary, you know - so we left and were home in about 5 hours. Which actually worked out pretty well, as that left all day Saturday for me to go to the store and get all the Christmas crap out and up, and still leave me a day to do nothing, which I pretty much did.

On December 2, Big Kid went to train with a new soccer team; DH had sent out feelers to the Dacula team earlier in the year, when we knew our Select team wasn't going to be. One of the coaches called DH and asked if we were still interested, and so I took him over to their practice facility that morning, for 1 1/2 hours of conditioning (running - BLECH!). The coach was supposed to go to Big Kid's indoor game, but no ones knows if he was there, or not. I missed it, myself, as I was in FL, but I'm getting ahead of myself.

So anyway, on the evening of 12/2, DH and I went to the Shakespeare Tavern for a performance of Troilus and Cressida. We were supposed to have gone a couple of weekends before, but we had to change the reservations to accommodate yet another soccer tournament. That was my birthday present. It was great; it always takes me a few minutes to get my ears and brain used to the way they are speaking, but once they caught on, it was wonderful. We sat in the balcony this time (we were on the floor in the back last time, for Cleopatra). We had dinner there again; I liked it, but DH did not like the very crusty bread on the sandwiches - it was tough, for sure, but it was good. And on the way home, we had No Problems finding I-85N; I finally found the damn street that has the northbound ramp, so it should be forever etched in the brain, so we can hopefully avoid all future oil pan incidents. I must be a country person at heart; it's nice to go downtown and see stuff, but there's no way in hell I could live in all that confusion and rush.

And then the ill-fated trip to Florida began last Wednesday. I was looking forward to going, if for no other reason than to hang out with my sisters, one of which I don't see very often, and we were going to try our best to see the shuttle launch that was scheduled for 12/7. Let me tell you, I-75 through Florida is B-O-R-I-N-G! God, what a long drive. And I've come to the conclusion that FL is really ugly, except for palm trees. Let me summarize by saying that we missed the shuttle launch, as it was scrubbed on the 7th, and we were at Busch Gardens on the 9th, when it did go. I got to see the town of Celebration, built by Disney, and Disney Town, where I did a bit of Christmas shopping. At Busch Gardens, we rode Sheikra, the only drop-coaster in the world, or so they advertise, and then we rode the roughest, fastest wooden coaster I've ever been on, Gwazi. That one just about did us all in, I think. I can't say as I've ever been jostled quite so much; that ride could swear me off coasters forever. The rest of our time with our mother was a true test of patience, but at the end, we were all tired, but no blood was drawn, and I think we all have a greater appreciation for the distance that separates us, but poor Ed - he's stuck. That is a trip I would not be willing to repeat for quite some time to come, unless it was just the three of us, but we'd have to be vewy, vewy quiet, so she wouldn't find out. Anyone up for a game of Spot the Loonie???? Yes, I'm leaving out the gory details, but that is to protect the innocent. Needless to say, we didn't have any margaritas with us, and that might have helped or hindered - it could go either way, I think.

And now I'm back, and so very far behind with Christmas activities. No cards this year - my card time was spent on the highways and byways of Florida. Normally, I am done shopping before Thanksgiving; not this year. I still have quite a bit to do, and one last thing to finish making, and I am fast running out of time. I finally did some wrapping last night, but that's just a dent in the pile, especially considering I haven't finished making the pile yet. And I'm running out of ideas. Hopefully DH will get a bunch of his done sometime this weekend, between the Christmas - excuse me, Holiday - Party for my work at Chateau Elan again, and work around the house that hasn't gotten done because of always being at soccer. Oh, yeah, and soccer games, indoor, too - one Friday night (Big Kid) and one Saturday morning (Little Kid's team plays the other team DH has - which is okay, because we only have one game instead of two). I just want to get through next week so I can have some down time, as I have the 26th & 27th off of work. I need it, unless we have family here, in which case I just might have to be rude and avoid doing all that stuff we'd do if family is here. I need some peace & quiet in the worst way.

I don't expect to have time to post again before the Big Day, so Merry Christmas!!!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

What the MSM Doesn't Want You to See

You won't see this picture on the evening news, but you can find it in Stars & Stripes. This child's entire family was executed by insurgents, and the child left for dead, but she survived, and can now only find comfort with this one soldier. I don't really know what else to say, other than, if you think we should just pull the troops out of Iraq now, I really hope you live to see if it was a mistake or not.

Friday, October 20, 2006

This Sucks!

If it was a choice between work and sticking sharp sticks in my eyes, I would have to give it some serious thought!

Since the girl in our Maryland office left for another job, and I was given part of her responsibilities, I've crash-coursed it, and am made up the rest as I go along. But the main problem is, the boss's boss is under the impression that this is a 5-6 hours-a-week job, and it is more like 28-35; uh, I already had a job. So it's going to be kind of a reeducation on several people's parts, I think. There are a few things seriously wrong with our process. All I can do is fix what I can, and hope it doesn't drive me over the edge. And we have a major system upgrade - Agile this time, not Oracle - which has to be tested and implemented as soon as they can get it unbroken, on top of my usual stuff. I am sore tired, boss. I've been to more meetings in the past 3 weeks than in the 6 years I've been here - it's pretty crazy.

On the soccer front, it's going good for both kids. The Big Kid is undefeated so far, has played goalie, broken a thumb (almost) and has scored several goals, 3 in one game alone. Little Kid has become the star goalie for his Academy Gold team - it scares me, but he seems to be really good at it. We were both a little surprised, but his being bossy and loud helps in this, because he gets the boys where he wants them on the field. The regular seasons are over for both the first weekend in November, then one has a tournament on 11/12 November, and the other, a tournament the next weekend. And then it's Turkey Day and the official start to the Christmas Crazies, which I am NOT looking forward to.

Speaking of the CCs, I haven't even started shopping yet, and some years, I am pretty close to done by now. I just don't feel like it, at all. I'd like to do it all via the internet and never leave my house - I definitely don't want to go to the mall, ever. I think a lot of it is just because of all the stress at work - I just can't seem to think about shopping when I'm this fried. Hopefully, when we get our hour back next weekend, I'll rebound a little, and get back to business. And I am trying to get DH to commit to going to North Carolina for Turkey Day - my California family is now all on the east coast, and it would be so nice to see them - I haven't met my cousin's wife or either of his daughters yet. And that would be one less meal I have to take care of. But Mr. Antisocial doesn't take any of that into consideration, so we'll see how that goes. He can stay here, and me and the boys'll go - I'm sure the dumbass across the street will feed him. Eh, too far away to think about now.

On the hobby front, I have been doing lots of stitching - not making a lot of progress on anything, but have been doing a lot here and there. I seem to have lost my desire to finish my Long Dog St. G, though have been making myself work on it the last few nights, which caused me to have to frog a section the other night - dammit! I am at about the 3% mark on my SQ L&U - one night I spent 1 1/2 hours and managed only about 40 stitches - all confetti and stopping/starting. Man, sometimes that is very tiring. And we have a SAL on TW's The Castle beginning in January - I have a very cool (I hope) fabric coming from Silkweaver for it, plus a group of Kreinik sparklies to add to it. And the Fantasy Triptych is sitting there, looking all abandoned - but I will get back to it, eventually - I haven't not finished one yet!

Beads - I have my huge turquoise chunk & pearl necklace set sitting almost done on the table - it hasn't been touched for weeks, while I wait for a clasp I ordered to arrive. Which is okay, since I really don't have anything to wear it with. Yet. Other than that, nothing much going on with beads. I'm waiting to see if anybody is going to want me to make any gifts - my boss mentioned it one day. That's a little extra cash I can take to Florida in December when me and my sisters go down to see Mom - I haven't been down there before (wasn't invited until she suddenly wasn't able to travel - HHHMMM, coincidence? I think not). I think we are planning a day at Busch Gardens - never been to any of them (Disney, Sea World), so it'll be fun, if we don't get rained out.

Okay, enough for now. Trying to make it through the day to get to the Gwinnett Gladiators Opening Night tonight - Go Glads!!!

Friday, September 29, 2006

What's Going On?

Well, it's been a while since I posted in here - man, things have gotten ridiculously hectic. Soccer season is in full swing - Big Kid is doing great with his Rec team (they are killing everybody, which is making a couple of mostly-Hispanic teams very unhappy :) ), but Little Kid's teams are kind of hit and miss. They beat the pants off of a team that slaughtered them last year, much to that coach's surprise. Other teams, it just seems kind of random what results we get. Out of some of the new players this year, we have a few ball hogs; they have excellent skills, but they won't pass the ball to save their lives. Part of the problem is that they are Hispanic, and their dads coach from the sidelines, and that is just their style of play - if you have the ball, regardless of your position, you are supposed to take it all the way. These parents just haven't made the connection that that is not what Academy/Select is all about - it's a TEAM of Hotdogs, not individual Hotdogs, so if they can't play as a team, they aren't going to advance to Select successfully. And now the rumor mill is overflowing with stories that none of them are coming back for Spring; whatever. If DH doesn't feel like releasing them, they can't play anywhere else, and they are still obligated to the financial commitment for the season, so they might as well show up and learn to play correctly.

Another issue DH is having is with our DOC. He is much involved with the Academy teams, as the DOC should be, but his ideas and DH's do not match, at all. There is no strategy being taught by the DOC - okay, they don't need a lot at this point, but all the skills in the world mean nothing if you don't know what to do with them on the field. And DH and the others will work on stuff at practice during the week, then the DOC will show up around game time, and pretty much just take over, which equates to "Never mind all that crap the coach just said, this is what I want you to do...", which 98% of the time has nothing to do with what they worked on at practice. It is pretty frustrating for DH - is he the Coach, or is he a babysitter who isn't being paid? But at least we are seeing where some of the problems with Big Kid's Select team came from, and why our club can't compete with these other, bigger clubs; our DOC just doesn't go about it the same way, so none of his hand-picked coaches do, either. I understand his goal - he wants to "teach" the game, but when all of the clubs in the state, and likely the country, are in the Win WIn Win mode, we obviously need to do something different. Teach, yes, but maybe a more rounded approach, to include strategy and shape? Just a thought....

On the work front, it has gotten totally insane. A girl from our MD office left to get a job closer to home - 1 1/2 hours in the car each way is too much - so I have picked up part of her duties. She was a Buyer, and after we had a couple of people leave here, she got stuck with the RMA/Vendor Repair process. I am picking up the RMA part, and since it is purchasing-related, it is totally foreign to anything I have done so far in all my years in manufacturing. The data-entry bit is the easy part; it's the knowing who has what when & where and what part of the process are we in right this minute with a particular piece that's kinda hard to follow. And the fact that I had to be "trained" via phone, when a specific question or process needed to be gone over, it was just that, no "here, look at this, just in case you need to know it" or any of that. SO I learned the basics, and will just have to wing the rest. I have discovered a few things, one of them being that a lot of people are doing a lot of unnecessary work; the girl who handles the receiving wanted to fax me 70 pages FROM THE OTHER BUILDING! I almost laughed right out loud, but then said, "Um, no, I really don't want to hear people bitch when the stupid fax runs out of toner. Put them somewhere specific, and I'll take a minute and walk over and get them." And the truth of the matter is, she wanted to spend 45 minutes standing in front of the fax machine doing nothing. Uh, I don't think so. It probably makes me unpopular to be calling people out already, but if somebody is doing something stupid, I'm not going to go along with it just to make people happy; we are going to do it my way, eventually, because I am a firm believer in never having to touch anything more than absolutely necessary - call me lazy that way. I also came to find out that there are spreadsheets flying around all the time, instead of someone getting off their ass and putting a MASTER in one place that all people who care have access to; that'll be fixed in pretty short order. And people spend a great deal of time rearranging the same data to fit on various spreadsheets; um, no, here's the format that has all the info - it might be more than some folks need, so IGNORE WHAT YOU DON'T NEED. I am not spending minutes, hours cutting/pasting columns. I already had a job, you know. Of course, the boss's boss, who decided I was the one, thinks this is a 5-6 hours-a-week venture, when in reality, it's 30-35 hours a week. Well, I'll get it whittled down as far as possible, as soon as I understand it all, but it's going to take some time. Job security, I guess, though I was actually feeling pretty secure before, and now I know I'm stepping on toes. I guess it depends on if I was given it so I could whittle it down; I'll probably never know. Whatever - so long as it is reflected in my next review, it's all good.

On the hobby front, I've been stitching here and there - I kinda stalled on my Long Dog, when I got to within the last 1/4 of it; I'll finish it soon, but now I'm working on a couple of small secret projects, which could turn into 4, if I feel like it when I get done with the two I am doing now. And I have the coolest bead project going right now; I got some big honking chunks of turquoise, and I am putting them together with freshwater pearls; it's going to be huge!!! Cass will hate it - it's big and showy, but it is definitely me. My only problem is, I'm having trouble finding a suitable clasp. It needs to be pretty heavy-duty, as this is going to be heavy, but I definitely don't want it to be heavy itself - the focus is the turquoise chunks, not the clasp. I have picked out a simple silver s-hook, from my supplier - a girl in my bulk-buy group may place a silver order this coming week, so if she'll add this in, that'll save me a couple of $$ than me ordering just this myself. Bad thing is, I have nothing to wear it with, yet. I really need to invest in some fall/winter things that aren't sweaters and don't have button-up fronts. I actually need a couple of blazers of some sort, with jewel-neck shirts underneath, but since I haven't gotten the boys outfitted for winter yet, my clothing needs are not even up for consideration at this time.

Well, that's the news that's fit to print, and some other crap. Back to the fun, I guess. Later.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

RockStar & a Driving Lesson

Dearest Tommy, Gilby, and Jason,
If you fellows from Supernova choose Lukas Rossi as your singer, I will no longer spend my hard-earned money on any of your CDs. He looks like a cartoon chicken with eyebrows, and about the only music his voice is suited for is anything by The Smashing Pumpkins, and I can pretty much live my life never hearing them again. Any of the remaining choices I think would be great, Magni or Toby equally good. Please choose wisely, gentlemen. And for whichever ones of the last 5, excluding Lukas, that you do not choose, please do your very best to help hook them up with a deal - I would very much like to hear more of them! Oh, and a picture of Dave without clothing on the website would be much appreciated - that, I would pay for!


Okay, on to new business. Or it might be old business, depending on how you look at it...

Dear Asshat in the stupid Aztek with the broken-off gas cap cover,
It is considered good form to actually look at the traffic you are trying to merge into, even if only by using your mirrors. To acknowledge the presence of those with the right-of-way is not only polite, but it just makes sense! And going 30 miles an hour faster or slower than the traffic that has right-of-way does not entitle you to special consideration when merging into said RoW traffic. Oh, and you could give that blinker a workout - it's looking a little neglected!
I am sure that you will give this matter your full attention, after you finish your phone call, of course! If you don't have time to get to it soon, you might want to consider installing a "How Am I Driving" sticker with your cell number on it, on your rear bumper somewhere, unless, of course, you plan on ripping that off on something, too! Thanks in advance!!

Somebody asked me today if I was in a bad mood; not really, I am just being very verbal today, I think. For some reason, many people that don't know me very well equate my verbal days with bad mood days, when in reality, it's usually the reverse. I guess I need to post a sign....

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

We'll Miss You, Crocodile Hunter

Our entire family was saddened to hear of the death of the Crocodile Hunter, Steve Irwin. My younger son was raised on his shows; when he was only a year or so old, the whole house would stop when the Crocodile Hunter came on TV, and Little Kid would not move until a commercial came on.

Steve Irwin's enthusiasm for wildlife was contagious, and he will never be replaced. He was a little over the top at times, but only because, I really believe, it's the way he really felt. I hope Terri and his children continue on; Bindi seems to already have that intuitive feel for wildlife like her dad, so hopefully someday, we'll see her making shows for our kids' kids. Our thoughts are with you, Irwin family.

Oh, somebody please double up on the safeguards around Jeff Corwin, too, okay???

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Are You More Cat or Dog?

Here's a thing I found - Enjoy!

You Are: 20% Dog, 80% Cat

You are are almost exactly like a cat.
You're intelligent, independent, and set on getting your way.
And there's no way you're going to fetch a paper for anyone!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

20 Years Gone By

Well, I had my 20th Class Reunion this past weekend. Hard to believe it has been that long. I drove up Friday, after I got my kids on their buses for their first day back to school, and I took my MIL home, as well. Well, I took her to the sister in Kentucky, at any rate. I stayed at my best friend's house Friday thru Sunday nights, and we hung out and ate some food, and bought some books, and saw a friend who opted to not go to the reunion. The first 3 hours of the event were odd - being the Most Unremembered Person of the class is a heavy burden sometimes - some people I recognized right off, others, I still can't place them. People would look at my name tag, look at my face, look at my name tag again, and then head off to the yearbook. One actually came back to me and said "Oh, Yeah!", but then we spent time trying to figure out who our mutual friend might've been. There were a few people I was hoping to see, but they didn't show up. And my buddy Gary was there; he and I had a good time getting caught up a little.

They had an 80's band, The Breakfast Club; they were okay - the music was really good, but the vocals were a little strange. The guy, who tried really hard to look like Billy Idol (I hope that's what he was going for?!?), did a Prince "WooHoo" in every song. Not bad, I guess; maybe they just need one other person to do some of the vocals, just to mix it up - their playlist has too much range to try to have one person cover it all. We danced to a few of them, I got some pictures of the crowd - a group of my friend and our class president, for some reason - you'd think they were the only ones there. It was all good, until the margaritas ran out. Which was probably a good thing, because if I'd had more, I might not have made it home on Monday, as bad as I was feeling all day Sunday. Blah!

I think there are 5 of us that were there that are in the Atlanta area; that seemed to be the highest concentration of us not still in the Dayton area. At one point, 4 of the 5 of us were in the limo together - not sure how that worked out, it just did. I didn't find out where they all were - I am betting most of them are downtown, not out in the sticks where I am. Eh, they can have it. It's too crowded where I am now, so I couldn't tolerate more.

Not a bad turnout, I guess. We had 321 graduate, and I think over 100 showed up this time. I'll count when I get my copy of the group shot. I guess I could be talked into going to another; maybe if a shorter time span, more people will remember me? It could be a good time. Or it could be very, very surreal (see Bodemiller).

Later, peoples.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

What's Wrong With This Picture II?

This morning, as I was walking out, Whiny Diane was on, as GMA came on. Lead story, the stuff going on in the Middle East, of course. Next, the heat wave in California, and how Lindsey Lohan passed out from it! Yeah, that's newsworthy! Screw all those people blowing stuff/people up over there in the Sandbox - how is Lindsey Lohan???

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Road Warrior

You know, I am astounded on a daily basis by the crap that goes on the highways and byways of this country. I am at a loss as to why people are not aware that a vehicle can be used as a deadly weapon, whether intentional or not. Don't even get me started on how inconsiderate people are, not just on the road, but in all aspects of daily life. What happened? When did being an asshole become the preferred SOP? Am I getting old?

There was a report the other day - I think it was on tv - about speeds & fatality crash rates, saying that since we raised the speed limits a few years back, the rates of fatal crashes have steadily declined. That may be true, but let me tell you, my instances of narrowly avoiding death have increased ten-fold. Now, part of this just might be because I live in such a congested area, becoming more so every day; perhaps if I was back in my hometown, it wouldn't be such an issue. Just as we are running out of water for all the new houses being built (app. 4000 lots within 3 miles of my house alone), we are running out of room on our roads. There's no way to keep up, I know; we have trailers for classrooms at our schools this coming year, even though they just added onto the schools year before last - already filled up. It's just crazy the way urban sprawl consumes things.

Another problem that I see very plainly is foreigners out there mixing it up with everyone else. Now, I don't want to stereotype, but stereotypes are based on a realistic sampling of people, whatever. I remember getting a driver's license as being slightly difficult, but there's no way you can tell me that some of these people out there now had the same tests I did - there's no way. Of course, I now live in a state where driver's ed is not required (how stupid is that?), so there's a foundation destroyed right there. And the huge foreign population that lives here, from all over the world, many areas of which do not have traffic laws and such as we are accustomed to. We have plenty of those who just don't understand how it works, can't read the signs (might've learned enough to pass the test, or had their translator give them the answer, but obviously didn't retain it, or know how to apply it). Jeez, we have enough problems with people born and raised here - how many times do you have problems at 4-way stops, or when the stop light is out? And then there are the people out there who are driving illegally - no license, no insurance, not supposed to be here, etc. In my area, we have a huge Hispanic population, and you can always tell the ones who aren't supposed to be driving - they are in the fast lane, doing exactly 2 miles below the posted speed limit, with 50 cars backed up behind them. Now, considering everyone here who is legal drives, at a minimum, 10 miles over the limit, this causes a lot of problems, especially during rush hour.

Yeah, I know, everyone thinks they are the best driver out there. And it is really bad to let driving upset you, let alone to react to it. But you know, when I get home most days - and not just from work, from anywhere - and thank god I got there in one piece, with my heart rate raised and sweat on my lip, it's just too much. I'm pretty sure it's nothing I'm doing; except for one speeding ticket, I have a clean driving record as long as I've been driving. Granted, I drive fast, but I do not feel that I am ever unsafe. I ensure I have plenty of room, in front and behind, if possible; I use my turn indicators religiously; my car is functioning and has all the necessary lights and such; and I follow basic road rules and common sense. I DON'T read, watch tv, eat, or that kind of stuff. I'd like to say I don't use my phone, which I didn't own until a year ago, but I have done it. But also know that if there is traffic or something going on, where I feel I cannot afford the distraction, I will not use it - I have been known to say "I have to go, so I don't get killed - click". (Of course, some people only call me when I'm known to be in my car, even though I've asked them not to, since the original reason for getting the damn cell phone was to call for help in the event of an accident. The road to hell is paved with good intentions; pretty ironic, huh?) I understand that for some, there is no other choice - get to work or not eat, but I really don't think this applies as often as people would like to think. There are emergencies, and then there are people who just don't want/care to try to do the right thing.

I'm not really sure what my point here is, other than I really wish people would take a minute to consider that they can easily kill or maim other people while in their vehicles. It can be totally unintentional, but again, some plainly don't care if they take out the person who is in their way. I really do not understand this race for everything that goes on every minute of every day. I wish people would stand back and take a minute to consider if it is worth it? Is getting to a job you hate really worth the possibility of killing people? Or even to a job you love? Is getting home so you can get your kids loaded up and to 3 different activities, with none of the proper equipment, really worth killing them, yourself, and/or others? Is being out there without a clear understanding of how to get from Point A to Point B in the safest way possible really worth causing problems for the multitudes? Is being rude and threatening, to spite someone you don't know, and will never see again, someone who just didn't have the forethought to realize you are the Most Important Person on Earth, really worth the time and energy? If you can answer yes to any of these questions, I truly feel sorry for you. I think poor driving might be the least of your worries.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006


Okay, lots going on, and I'd like to keep this short (no, really). First, I have another blog, a Multiply site, to track my stitching on - see my links section for that. So there shouldn't be much stitch-related rants here. So I guess that makes this area more for soccer and other life matters. Which kinda makes the name irrelevant, but then again, if you equate it back to being on pins and needles, then maybe it's not so far off the mark?

Soccer - I had mentioned in a previous post (Where does the time go?) about the shenanigans with our U13 team meltdown. Well, tryouts were 2 weeks ago, and it turned out to be worse than we thought; 5 boys showed up for the first night, 3 being returning players, and only us three were there on the second night. And our boys don't seem to have the option of playing up to U15, because they didn't have anybody show up, either. I am so very pissed at this whole group of parents, beginning with our "Coach" and that damn instigator from Athens. I'm also not real happy with our DOC, because we've been telling him these things have been going on for months, and he couldn't even manage to get us a coach until the Sunday before tryouts - these yuppie parents around here are all about the name, but if you don't have one to give them until the day before, well, they aren't going to wait around that long, now, are they? And I do not understand why there are no repercussions to troublemakers, only to those of us that are not willing, at this time, to drive all over the Atlanta area, looking for a place to let our kids play a stupid game.

How did this whole travel team with paid trainers and such arise? We didn't have this crap when we were kids, we didn't have it when my niece and nephews were kids - what the hell happened? Only in America do you have to pay exorbitant fees for your kids to play a stupid game of any quality (and by quality, I mean a marked difference between those that can't walk and chew gum and those with actual athletic ability). And the sad thing is, all these big clubs have a group of foreign coaches, who grew up in a system where everybody played and learned for free; boy, they're eating up this training fee shit, aren't they? Come to America, play a game, take loads of money from stupid Americans who think that is how they get quality time with their kids - you know, another thing they have bought for them - and sit back and enjoy! Man, what a racket! If there was a guaranteed college scholarship on the other end (which I think is the driving force behind these wacko parents shuffling kids around - especially the mediocre kids), then, yes, by all means, count me in. But that isn't how it works; tens of thousands of dollars later is money you could've been putting in a bank account, gaining interest (kind of), which will go a long way towards paying for further education. But no, we have to do it NOW, and then do it again LATER, and for what? Because if we don't, we are bad parents, who obviously don't want our children to succeed. Yeah, that's it; that's exactly what I want.

And if the US World Cup team's miserable performance is any indication, US Soccer will never be competitive on the World level so long as we relegate the game to the rich kids, who won't work for anything if they've spent their entire lives having every damn thing handed to them. Why did Ghana beat us? Because they wanted it more, and went in knowing they would have to work hard to do it. Okay, the bad reffing helps, but still, they had us from the beginning. And the bad thing is, this doesn't just apply to soccer; we do it with all of our sports now, which only goes to show that more people are concerned with how a kid plays a game than how well they can read, write, and do math. Great. If I had the choice to spend $1000 a year on either a game or an education, uh, gee, let me think? Education? The only hitch is, I don't really have $1000 for either, but if I did, and no more, that would cover the game, not the education. And I do want to keep the boys involved in something outside of school, because if they don't have anything else to do, that can only lead to trouble. There's a whole lot more bad stuff out there for kids now - more accessible to them might be more accurate - than there was when I was growing up, so we must be vigilant to keep them away from it as much as possible. Spending all of your waking moments in a car (SUV for the majority - another rant altogether) is one way to accomplish that, but in the end, it doesn't really work. In the next 10 years, I predict we will have the largest group of uneducated, worn out, blood thirsty, burnouts the world has ever seen. Congratulations, America! The three people remaining below the Rio Grande by then should have no problem walking right in and taking over, and then we'll all have to move to Canada - nobody wants Canada, right?

Now, understand, I know my kids are not the greatest players out there, but also, I do know that they have some modicum of talent, and a great deal of potential. There are others I have seen that do not possess either of these things, but their parents possess a great deal of disposable wealth and time, so they get the training and the exposure, and who knows? Probably the college scholarships, as well. I have often told my oldest that when the reffing is bad, he has to learn to play above the reffing; I guess that's a life lesson, not just a soccer lesson. He might just have to play around the people who have it all, and I understand how having to work for something that all of his friends are freely given could cause him to be resentful; hopefully the day will come when he sees it was better this way, but I'm not going to hold my breath waiting for that to happen. It used to matter; now, figuring out how to get around the work (system) is what gets rewarded. What's wrong with this picture?

On other matters, the website for selling beads is a bust. I got tired of doing all the work, and nothing getting done. It took 10 months to even get one page remotely close to what I wanted, and that was after very directly asking and giving a deadline, and getting a promise to have it done, and then actual surprise when I said to scrap it. The very next person that tells me they can and will do something and then doesn't follow through is going to get bitch-slapped back to the beginning of time. Especially if I give them plenty of opportunities to admit they didn't take me seriously or just don't give enough of a shit to do it. The license that I knocked myself out to get, and spent my Christmas $$$ on, is being canceled; I know now that I should just never have bothered with it - it wasn't important. Well, another lesson learned. I am disappointed, but I guess I am also relieved. That was 10 months of constant stress, for no damn reason. Next time, I'll know what to avoid (playas, for one) and as usual, the only way to get anything done is to just do it myself. You know, being reliable is a curse. Now, what the hell do I do with all of these beads laying around?

Thursday, May 25, 2006

What's Wrong With This Picture?

What is wrong with an entire country when the 2nd or 3rd news lead-in is about who won a contest on a reality show? For days in a row? Man, people have got to turn off the TVs. It's crap, folks, 100% crap. You can live without it. Give it a try; you might like it.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Where does the time go?

Man, I have been so busy - at work, at home, on the roads in between. At work, we've been doing testing of our next system upgrade; we finally got our part to pass, but there have been issues elsewhere, and it is now like 6 weeks behind, in which time Agile has not been getting paid; hopefully that won't come back and bite us later. We think we've got the major issues identified, but the whole point of this upgrade is to add additional modules to it - specifically, one to track the WEEE/RoHS compliance, and another QA-type module that is totally broken right now - so who knows what, if any of that, will work once we actually get the current stuff running again. Also, there have been a few product bottlenecks that have finally broken free the last couple of weeks - a new set of antennas with our logo, and two huge sw releases. So I've been jumping, waiting, jumping, waiting. I feel like I haven't had a day off since December; oh, wait, I haven't. Well, I've got one next Friday, and then to the beach in 3 weeks after that. I need it - I'm whipped!

Soccer season ended uneventfully for the little kid. DH is officially the Head Coach for the U-10 Academy boys in the fall; he's happy he's finally in. Big Kid's team had another melt down, just like last year. One of the instigators that was new to the team this year decided to let her son, who she thinks is the best player out there, and isn't, play the State Cup tourney for another team, with our lovely coach's blessing. Nobody told DH until she was standing there waiting for him to hand her the player pass. And at our last game, while we are playing the #1 team, that other team's coach is standing there with this woman, saying "Oh, yeah, I want him, him, and him, too". What an asshat! Uh, dude, recruiting during our regular-season game? I don't think you are allowed to do that. And the coach of the team we were playing knew who he was and what he was doing - that's not cool. But anyway, we still have a Memorial Day tournament to play in, and because this kid is playing the State Cup for that other team, he had to be transferred to that team - officially no longer a member of ours - and was going to guest-play back with us for the tourney, but because this was the State Cup he transferred for, the rosters are now frozen, so he can't come play with us, and we now have no subs for the entire tournament. Oh. My. God. And our lovely coach who arranged all of this already told us he isn't coming back - great, we don't like him much anyway - but didn't seem to think we'd see a problem with him coaching this last tournament for a team he's given up on. And our trainer's out, too - he wasted his time with us this season, is what it all boils down to; nobody came to practice because of everyone playing middle school ball, and he got tired of telling 6-7 kids what to do that weekend. Whatever. Sounds like a lame excuse to me. So now we have no clue what we are going to do this coming year - tryouts are the week before we go on vacation, but we don't know if there will be enough for a team, since when the one goes, the other two that came with her will probably go, too (one we hope goes far away, the other, we will miss, he and his parents). The coach's kid will not be there, and rumor has it, we're losing a couple more. Man, we worked really hard to stay in CII, and we are like #17 in the state, but if we lose half the team - 6 or 7 players - we automatically drop down a division in the fall. God, what a mess. Grass is always greener, they say; well, I hope these people enjoy driving all over the state at $3+ a gallon, taking their kids to practices that still won't guarantee their kids scholarships, or whatever the drive is behind all of this stupidness. I am not willing to do it - I can't see how it's worth it. I would be much more willing to pay for guitar lessons for the boys - anybody can get a recording contract these days - see American Idol (I hate that show).

On the Hobby Front, I have been stitching and stashing like mad. I got all of my Relay for Life bead orders done - 6 days ahead of my last scheduled delivery date, I might add - and have been stitching ever since. Sadly, I have about 6 bead projects for myself laying on the table, waiting to be done. I'm not in the mood. I am almost done with my Dragonflies - I have about 2 hours to go on it, which is a lot more than I though, because the words along the outside edge are being cross stitched over one, instead of backstitched - the backstitch just did not have the desired result, so I started on the one over one, and it looks great! It's just ridiculously time consuming! But I have been able to finally buy all the DMC for Unicorn, and it is on bobbins, and bags are marked and ready, I have oak dowel rods to use for that scroll frame, once I get the fabric sewn onto them, and basically, as soon as I complete Dragonflies, I can jump on that. I also have Vikki Clayton silk in the mail to me right now for my Long Dog St. Georges. I have a quick secret project to do - small, one color in Carrie's Threads - I might take it on vacation with me, though I don't usually take stitching with me anywhere; my stuff isn't portable. I need that before August, though it should be pretty quick.

The stash has grown tremendously in the past couple of months; ever since I joined a couple of Yahoo XS groups, I have quadrupled my freebie chart stash, been introduced to and have acquired and used silk threads, have been introduced and am acquiring hand-dyed fabrics. I just got my first Chatelaine chart, Knotgarden, though it will be some time before I even contemplate starting that; it'll be about $75-100 to kit it up in silks and beads, though by using FMG beads for the Swarovskis, I can save a bunch, and have some left over for jewelry! The seeds are a little trickier - I can't quite figure out how to translate Mill Hill seeds with the usual brands available from bead sellers. Eh, if I need to buy some Mill Hills for this, then try some from FMG, I can then do a visual cross, for later on down the road. Mill Hill wants too damn much money for their stuff; they sell the 4mm Swarovski bicones, 3 for around $1.50; I can get 44 of the same exact thing from FMG for $4! How crazy is that? Okay, if you only need 8 for your stitchery, and would never have a use for the leftovers, maybe it makes sense. But, man, that's a lot of money, especially if you need 30-40, like some of the Chatelaines do. If beads weren't popular right now, I'd probably be stuck with the Mill Hill ones, anyway, so I guess I just need to count my blessings.

I also have just gotten, as a Mother's Day present, an Anagram Diffusion chart, Sampler 4 Saisons. It originally calls out red and white, but there are several in my groups who have done it in different colors for each season, and Vikki Clayton silk has a 5-color set for it. I have her threads picked out for it, but not that set; I want to use the Dragon series she has - Earth for Spring, Fire for Autumn, Ice for Winter, and Smoke for the tree. She just doesn't have a good color for Summer, something golden/yellowy. I might have to use a different brand for Summer - Gloriana has some pretty golds. But that's a ways off still; I will finish LD St. G before I even consider kitting this one up. Well, that's the plan, anyway.

Well, busy busy busy. The boys have 2 days of school left - I can't believe they get out so early! And Grandma will be here soon to go to the beach with us; she's going to end up staying all summer, so I can take her back up in August when I go to my reunion, the day after the boys go back to school! I don't think we can afford to take 2 trips to Ohio, and I don't want to put the wear and tear on my car. And, as usual, we just mailed the vacation condo check, and the damn refrigerator died yesterday. Man, last year, we mailed it, and I had to go get a $200 tire for my car and that goofy big kid broke his hand and had a cast on it up until the week before we left, and me a $100 deductible to pay. It never fails - it's our punishment for thinking we can go on vacation like the rich folks. But DH borrowed the money for a new one from his boss, and they'll take it out of his check, $50 a check, until it's paid. That's about the only advantage to his working there; of course, if they actually paid him what he's worth, we wouldn't have to borrow money, would we? That's what I get to do this evening; new fridge. Though DH just called from home and said the old one seems to be working just fine, now. Too bad, it can go live in the garage, and I get the nice new black one. The other one is 12 years old - I was waiting for it to go, since it has developed a rattle when it runs. It's always something; new stove, next - it's the last white appliance we have, though of course, the front door is black. I need a bigger oven - more turkey room, for the day when both of those boys eat like teenagers (when I have to relearn how to cook for an army).

I will try not to wait so long between posts - too much to do, and I have a Multiply site I need to put together, too, for XS pics! In my free time! L8R.

Friday, April 07, 2006

N. GA Restaurant Review

I keep forgetting to do this - since like December.

Best New Restaurant in N. GA - Thai Dish, Spout Springs Road, Flowery Branch

We just got a little strip shopping center across from the Publix store, and out front for months was a sign saying "Coming Soon: Thai Dish". Now, I have become quite a connoisseur of Thai food in recent years, and we have an excellent one down the road in the Kroger Shopping Center, Green Tea (Patrick Dempsey eats there when he's visiting friends over in Chateau Elan), but hey, two options is always better than one, so I eagerly awaited the opening. Finally, it came; I was next door at the drug store, and I ran over and grabbed a menu to take home, and got a peek around inside. Nice dining room - colored walls, dark tables and chairs with nice accents on the tables (might've been candles - it was 4:00 in the afternoon, and nothing was lit yet). I told the guy at the counter that I wanted a menu, and that I would call as soon as I got home Friday night - I couldn't wait to try it. The guy was very nice.

I got the menu home and spent quite some time looking at it; I couldn't believe how extensive it was. Although, to be fair, I usually get Thai food for lunch, so most of the places I go for my weekly lunch out at work probably have a very limited lunch menu; one place only has 2-3 things that aren't sushi or seafood, and for those of us that don't eat seafood, that's not much variety. So Friday arrived, and after perusing the menu for the 10th time, I decided to try the Himalai - cashew chicken, with the 2-star option for hot level (out of 5). The guy on the phone was very personable, and was happy to answer my questions about the menu, and said "Okay, good, see you in about 10-15 minutes!" I went to pick it up, and it was done right as I walked in the door. They had only been open not even a week yet, so there wasn't much going on in the dining room - you know how it takes a couple of weeks for people to get to a new place. I got the food home, and opened up the little plastic box, and was pleasantly surprised; all of the veggies were julienned, and it was so pretty, and the cashews were huge! I scooped out some rice, and piled some himalai right on top, and sat down to enjoy.

Man, it was absolutely perfect! The veggies had the perfect crispness to them, despite how thin they were cut; the chicken pieces were all tender and had big bits and little bits, and the cashews, well, they were huge! I love cashews! The hot was perfect, too - I hate food so damn hot that you can't taste anything; I like spice for flavor, not with the intent to burn all taste buds beyond recognition. After a few bites, my nose was running, and my lips were burning, but my mouth was in heaven! I went back to the box for seconds, and then the boys walked in; I had to let them have a little, but let me tell you, I wanted to eat the whole thing.

We have been back several times since, and have not been disappointed yet. We have added Thai sweet & sour to our list of favorites, and I've sampled a soup or two - all delish! I want to actually eat in the dining room one night, just for atmosphere, if nothing else. They seem to have a full house now on Friday and Saturday nights - that's good. If I had any complaint, it would be that the portions could be a tiny bit bigger for the $10 price tag on most of the entries, which come with only steamed rice. But that is part of why I want to eat in, to see if the dining room portions are more reasonable; carry-out containers only hold so much, and I'm sure they don't want people complaining about spills and such if the pack them.

So if you find yourself in the Flowery Branch area, and hungry for something different, stop by the Thai Dish - there is sure to be somehting on the menu to please anyone's appetite for adventure!

Rating: 5 Margarita glasses out of 5 (perhaps they should be sake cups?)

Today's Pollen Count: 3120

Not much going on lately - soccer games, end of quarter/end of year fun & games at work, etc. Indoor soccer at the Boys & Girls Club finally ended; we are the Champions, and we didn't get booed this year. The Final game went down to a shootout again, just like last year; man that was a good game. We're glad it's over, though - just too much going on. School soccer will be done this time next week - we have 1 more regular game, Monday, then the school tourney; I bet we'll be out of it pretty quick.

It was pretty embarrassing this past Saturday. We had a game way the hell down in Peachtree City, and I had my usual tag-alongs. Well, they finally won a game, and to celebrate, Monish invited the whole team over to his house to hang out - his dad is an oncologist = cool toys. So Big Kid piles into their van, along with 6-7 others, and there are 3 kids left that won't fit, so I volunteer to haul them back and take them to Mo's. It was my two Mexi kids, plus the Canadian kid. Apparently, I have the Foreign car. Anyway, on the way back, my two regulars I guess have absolutely no fear of being themselves in front of me, so every time we had to come to a stop, and there happened to be another Mexican in a car at the same stop, they would hang out the windows and yell "Hey, Beaner! Beaner, Beaner!" (as well as writing their cell #s on their hands and waving at all the girls). I couldn't believe they were using the word beaner - I haven't heard that since my cousin used to always make beaner and wetback jokes. I guess the Hispanics use that word to each other like black people use the N word. I was trying to not laugh, and I told them not to do anything to get the Driver shot - they said "That beaner ain't got no gun". To which I replied "This is Georgia - everybody has a gun". It was an odd hour and a half. Oh, and the Canadian kid played drums all over the inside of the car on the way back.

I have been getting my Relay for Life orders done and delivered; I did all of the single strand sets (5) and to their owners last week, then got 1 set of Twisters done and delivered this week. I was almost done with the 2nd set of twisters last night, but the margaritas were calling so I stopped; she will be gone all next week. Crap - I should've just finished up and brought them in today, so she'd have them. Oh well, she'll get them when she gets back. As soon as I get those done, then I have 3 multi-strands to do, and Relay for Life orders are complete.

On the stitching front, I haven't really worked on anything except stash enhancement - been beading. I have two of Patricia Allison's Seasonal dragons coming, and 2 Long Dog Samplers, and I joined a silk thread-of-the-month club - I got my first order the other day. I love silk - threads, clothes, whatever. I also joined a hand-dyed fabric-of-the-month club form Silkweavers, and got my first delivery of that - it is the perfect piece of fabric, in shades of blue, to do a dragonfly design I just acquired. I am going to add some of the new DMC Light Effects flosses to it, too. I am seriously considering, now, doing my Scarlet Quince unicorn with DMC floss; I don't have time or energy to drive all over GA, looking for needlework shops that have selection, to do my DMC-to-silk conversions, and the cost would just be so very high. It's nice if I can add silks to these smaller projects, but something this big, especially with my concerns of keeping it clean for the massive amount of time it will take me to complete it; if I do it in DMC, I know I will be able to wash it, with no worry of bleeding, since I have never had one do so yet. And I really just want to start it; the fabric is gridded, just waiting for a frame to put it in and me to kit up the threads. I really need to finish the Castle first, though; maybe once I get this little Dragonflies...Oh My done, I can switch back and forth on the castle and unicorn, until I get the castle done. Depends on how swamped I get with beads this fall. I haven't put in a stitch for 2 weeks because of beads, so this fall might never see me stitching. We shall see.

I have been wrapped up in a couple of Yahoo stitching groups - they are the reason for all of this stash enhancement I have been doing. I cannot believe that I don't know anybody else personally that stitches; at least, thanks to the internet, I can talk to people who are even more obsessed than I am with it. I have this one particular designer, Martina Weber of Chatelaine Designs, whose work I just absolutely love; her designs are so unique. But she uses so many different kinds of specialty fibers and beads (oh, yeah, I need more beads); her kits are $$$$. A couple of the really intricate ones are over $200 for the whole deal - chart, fabric, fibers, beads. I just can't justify spending that much money on something I don't have time to work on. They are beautiful when done, and I will eventually have at least one, but it might have to wait until I'm not having to buy cleats every 12 weeks, and school clothes, and all that. I have also added a Multiply site to my list of web ventures; one of the groups created a Multiply site so we could post pictures of our works all in one place, but I want to get my page together, as well, just so I have another place to put pictures & stuff. Webshots is getting full, and if I ever get my retail site up, a lot of that content will not be anywhere but on the retail site. In my spare time.

As you can tell from the title of this post, Allergy Season Has Arrived. WHOOOPPPIIIEEE! It doesn't bother me too bad, though there was something out there week before last that hasn't been around for several years that had my head totally messed up, and achey and fatigued. It's gone now, whatever it was, but Little Kid's trials with pine pollen are just beginning. Fortunately, it is raining every few days this year, so far, so hopefully we won't break the 6000ppm mark this year, and maybe we can squeak through one more year without him turning into a giant booger with hives. It's hard on the kid that likes to be outside that outside is poisonous to him for 6 weeks out of the year, especially when we make him stay in so he can stand to go to practice or a game. Maybe he'll grow out of it before long - they say people's allergies are constantly changing, so it could happen. Come on May!!!

That's about it for now. A lot going on, but not a lot worth relaying. Soccer, beads, thread, laundry, dishes - SSDD.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Death in the Family

I hate our neighbors. When we bought our house, the builder told us no one would ever build on the lot next to us, because the whole subdivision drains into it. SO of course, a couple years after we were there, another builder bought the land and put a house on it. Then a huge family moves in; mom, dad, group of kids, animals. And they have a school bus. Ordinarily, that would not be a big deal, but you have to realize that this driveway is so steep, I do not see how that bus is ever going to come up out of there, and daily? I guess they managed it, but I don't know how many times they had to replace the transmission in it during that time.

Right after they moved in, the dad planted a whole bunch of little pine tree seedlings along our property line. And then he began this huge garden structure along the length of his driveway - you know, the timbers and raised planting beds and all that type of stuff. The shovel lived in it for almost a year, and he only got about 15'long and 5' high when he quit the first time. A couple years later he finished it, but to this day, there is like one lone lily living in all of it. And the pine trees are all grown up to where the power line comes off the pole at the street and runs to their house - he planted directly below that line, and I'm sure he will be quite indignant when the power company comes and hacks all of his stupid trees down.

The dad knows almost as much about mowing and lawn mowers as he does about flower gardening; there is a spot of grass out by the street, where the storm drain is, that is the only flat spot in either of our yards. 85% of that spot is on our side. He has his mower set to the lowest possible setting, so basically leaves just the dirt when he's done - you know, so he only has to mow 2-3 times a summer - and he butchers that spot down to the dirt. We leave ours pretty tall, so it stays thick (if you can get grass to grow on a hill made of GA clay, you better not mess with it more than necessary), so Grass Slayer next door leaves this huge bald spot in our yard every time he bothers to mow. And he has two dead riding mowers in his yard - I guess he can't push them to the garage.

They also have a mini van that they use for storage. It hasn't been tagged for years, and he'll park it up on the street, in that flat spot which is mostly ours, until Hall County Sheriff stops to remind him you can't have unlicensed vehicles parked there. Then he'll get it back down in the kudzu, until the next time he tries to sneak it back up to the street. And they have a huge white 1970's Cadillac in various states of disrepair; it is now home, after spending a few days on the side of the interstate - it parks where the bus used to be. I don't know why they just don't put a big-ass sign out in their yard that says "Hey, we're BLACK!!!!"

Their oldest child was selling drugs out of Wal Mart - he always seemed to volunteer to go out and get the carts and bring them in - usually after receiving a call or page. Don't know where he is now. Their other son is a member of a gang, became a teenage father, and may or may not be selling drugs when he is over there (I assume he lives with his gang/mother of his child?). I thought the daughters were okay; they were very involved in their church and school (they are Jehovah's Witness, BTW), and they were always pretty friendly towards us. I have no idea where they are now - I assume at least one still lives there, but we never see anyone over there, so who knows? A grey Mazda is sometimes parked on the flat spot when the van isn't being stored there, and I did see her try to get out of there without rolling it down the hill once, but that was a while ago.

When they moved in, they had a huge black dog, all hair; looked like a black Irish Setter - Gordon Setter? Something like that. That dog lived in the crawl space under the house for a while, and then they put it on 2' of rope and tied it to a tree in the woods (no water, that I could see). Then I didn't see that dog any more. Then they got one of those stupid ankle biters, a Pomeranian? One of those fru-fru dogs. She always ran lose, and always went in our garage and ate the trash if we left the door up. Then something happened to that dog, and they got another one. That dog ran lose almost all of the time, unless they tied her up to a tree in the woods. Then they got what was supposed to be a Golden Retriever; she might've been, but not totally. Her name was Maggie, and she became very good friends with our dog, Otto. Over the past few years, she probably spent 80% of her free time in our yard; Little Kid was always playing with her, and she would wait with him every morning to get on the bus. She barked at the cats, she ate all of Otto's food and drank all of his water. We are pretty sure she had a litter of his puppies, too - she had somebody's, anyway (there was a strange black dog hanging around for 2-3 days, and got in a couple of really bad fights with Otto, then we never saw him again, so I assume she was in heat then). We don't know what happened to the pups - we never saw them, just her with her teats hanging down to the ground and looking a little worse for wear. She was probably more our dog than theirs, since we paid attention to her, and she to us. She played with all of us, but I couldn't actually pet her unless I was sitting on the deck and she would come up there; if I was out in the yard, she would bark and pounce at me, but I couldn't actually touch her - Little Kid could, and think DH could, but not me. Anyway, I just started calling her our "other dog" or our surrogate dog. I even thought several times of either asking them if we could just keep her, or sending them a bill for dog food.

One day last week, as I left for work, and got up to the main road, there she was, and she just about got smashed by a bus. I rolled the window down and told her to go home, and she headed off that way. That night when I got home, she was out in the yard waiting for us, and as soon as rolled the window down and said her name, she trotted after us down the drive to the garage, which she just kinda started to do one day. She was all over the neighborhood all weekend - she supervised us packing up for games, carrying in the groceries, etc. The cats didn't even make a big deal about her anymore; she'd become a fixture. Yesterday morning, the phone was ringing just as I was starting to get dressed; DH called to tell me Maggie had finally gotten hit, up on the main road, and was dead. I hate those people. All they had to do was take a little bit of care with her, or any of their animals, for that matter, and they didn't, and now our other dog is gone. I'm not even mad at whoever hit her; she was totally stupid the way she would just run out in any road, though our street is not quite as bad as the main road. She chased cars, just ran for the heck of it, whatever; her time was coming to get hit, but I fully expected her to get hurt on our street, not killed outright up there on the main road where people fly at 50 or better. I hate those people that live next us.

She had been moved by the time we got home from work yesterday, but I really can't believe it was our lovely neighbors. DH thinks it was one of the guys at the shop on the corner - she was laying right by their parking area. I just can't see our neighbors taking the responsibility of moving her, although, I have no idea what happened with all of the other dogs, either. I was looking for a dirt patch in their yard, but since it is pretty much all dirt, I didn't see anything fresh-looking. I really hate those people. They are unofficially known as the "Black Jehovah's Witness Redneck Gang-members", BTW; now I need to figure out how to work in Animal Neglectors and still have it roll off the tongue nicely. I really hate those people; if they hadn't already done it once, and I could get away with it, I'd burn their house down, and maybe they wouldn't come back this time (the last time, they caught their house on fire because the builder failed to actually connect the fireplace to the chimney all the way up, so the fireplace/chimney went up - the second time they had ever used it, and they got a whole new top level on their house. They were gone for a year, waiting for that mess to get completed. It was nice then). I really want to know who took care of my other dog, and where she is, and I really want to go over there and tell them "No more animals". I would've called someone on them several times before, except that our dog isn't exactly "up to code", either; he's never been to a vet, for anything, and is probably the healthiest animal in the county. We haven't done the required shot(s); if he was an indoor dog, he would be "maintained", but as he's a smelly old outdoor dog who never leaves the yard (he's gotten lose 10-12 times in 12 years, maybe), we just have never bothered. You know, like in the old days, before Animal Rights people started dictating everyone's daily lives.

I hate those people next door, and I miss seeing that old yellow dog running around the yard. Now, if Big Kid won't go out in the woods with Little Kid, who will? She looked out for him, and Otto would probably just take off (he likes the school up the street when he's lose - lotsa kids there to play with). He's too old to train now, and we really don't have that kind of time. I want my other dog back.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

When Seasons Collide

Surprise, another soccer post. It's just that soccer seems to be all-consuming right now, even though it has really just started. Big Kid has not yet finished his indoor soccer league, is in his 3rd week of Middle School ball, and has completed the season-opening tournament and Week 1 of club. Little Kid has completed Week 1 of Academy.

Big Kid is sick, as am I, but I am getting over it, slowly; I don't know if he is, or not. He whines every morning about everything hurting, but he seems to be okay to play and to be on the phone and the computer. HHHMMMM. It's a cold - suck it up - what doesn't kill you makes you stronger, right? Of course, if the person across the hall from me at work would have the courtesy to 1) stay home when sick as a dog, instead of coming in here hacking all over the place, and 2) wash your hands, frequently, especially when sick (she tells people she doesn't believe in it - you know, like other 15-16th century peoples). If she hadn't contaminated the whole damn place, I wouldn't have been sick twice in 3 weeks, and I wouldn't have taken it home with me. I was really hoping, being in a new building with new air, we'd all stay well this season; apparently, I was expecting too much of my co-workers.

Back to soccer; Big Kid was out of school for 2 1/2 days last week, missed his Friday school game, but played both club games this weekend. We had no subs Saturday - were almost having to play one short, because we have kids who are hurt/going through the growth spurt knee pains thing. We played our toughest team Saturday, and held them 1-1. Sunday, we should've walked all over that team - they sucked - , and we were up 2-0 at one point, but we fell flat. The boys were all exhausted and couldn't run anymore. That game ended up 3-3, when it should've been 3-0 or more. We all got in trouble for letting the boys all play school ball. The stupid thing is, our coach said way last fall that he was going to call each coach himself and clear it so that they only participated in the club practices on those 2 days - not school and club both. But he didn't call any but his (surprise) and then with 5 schools to deal with, half of the scheduled games are occurring on practice nights, and if they try to make up the practices on other nights, then there are games for others on those nights. So basically, the games are okay at this point (that may change), but the boys are not supposed to be going to any school practices at all. It's way too much. One of the boys played 3 school games last week, after our 3-game tournament weekend, then 2 game weekend; that is entirely too much. But he also enjoys playing school ball more, so maybe he needs to decide if he comes back for tryouts this summer. I'm just curious what other Select teams do with the boys who want to play for school, too - surely they don't all disallow it? I have no idea, though I could see it at some of those bigger clubs. As far as soccer goes, college recruiters look at clubs, not schools, so to disallow school play makes sense; but do they? Maybe some school systems are a little more understanding and tolerant of the "real" soccer, and can accommodate the requirements; several counties don't have soccer in the schools (yet), so maybe that's the difference. I guess we'll think more about it next year, if we survive this year.

On the Hobby Front, I am now official - I got my business license last week. Now if the website was done... I only owe a couple more pieces of data, but they aren't relevant to the business part, so they can wait until what I've already done is up and published. I'm going to be really pissed if I have to renew the paper in December and haven't made enough money from the site to cover it. I had a show at work last Friday, taking orders for Mother's Day gifts, with 15% of the sales going to Relay for Life; it wasn't quite the turnout I was expecting, and I don't know if it was because the outside vendors that were in here a few weeks back turned every body off, or if there just wasn't interest. No idea, but I'm suspecting that it wasn't worth the time/trouble to organize; they'll end up getting $60 out of it for RfL, unless I top it off a little more - it depends on how much it will cost me to get all of the stuff in. Oh well, at least it was a tiny bit of exposure, and a few days later, people are still commenting about it. And I should be able to open the necessary business bank account, so I can get the website PayPal account verified. In case he ever needs to put the PayPal info up there. In case he gets that far.

In the meantime, I really want to be stitching, but I just have not had much time, being at games 4 out of every 7 days. I did join a monthly silk floss club from Stitching Bits and Bobs - I didn't get in on it in time for the last shipment, so I have to wait until the end of this month to get the first one - I cannot wait! Once school soccer is over, I see a lot more time for stitching, if I can ever get a handle on the laundry. I did manage to get my Scarlet Quince Unicorn fabric gridded; I've never done that before, so we'll see if it was worth my time - I don't see how it couldn't be, but with the projects I have done so far, I've managed without it. I would just assume that this being the long project I expect it to be, at least the gridding will help me figure out where I left off if I put it down for periods of time, as I am sure to do. Some of these folks have rotations with tens of projects going; I wish I had the space to do something like that, but just the amount of time taken to switch everything out, even once a week or every couple, is more than I feel I can spare now. I don't have room to keep stuff organized for more than the 1-2 that I have going now. That's a goal for when I am independently wealthy, I guess. I sure hope that's soon.

Little Kid turned 9 a week ago Sunday; we had just us together, after the day's soccer was over, of course, though Big Brother's team got a few Birthday whacks in before he managed to wiggle free. Big Kid's day is coming up - 16 days from now. I haven't gotten him one thing yet. I haven't had time. I don't even know what he wants, besides more games that he doesn't have time to play. I want him to get a haircut, but I don't see it happening. And an attitude adjustment; his teenagerism has been especially bad the past few days that he's been sick; well, I haven't been particularly pleasant, either - that's what happens when everyone around you is deaf and you have to repeat everything you say, when you've only got enough air for the first time. And no sleep.

Enough - I don't have time for this idle chatter! Games to watch, laundry to do!!!

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Where does the time go?

Man, the past couple of weeks have been total chaos. I don't really have much to show for my efforts, either, which is pretty annoying. Work has been hectic, but it's been a bunch of testing for our planned system upgrades. I hate testing, because it is so open-ended; you start with a plan, and something breaks, then you wait for days for somebody you've never seen to fix it, then you either repeat the exercise, to prove it's fixed, or move on to the next step, and then it breaks again, and so on. There is no closure, no "done" to the process; even when the system upgrade is done, it's just a few weeks before somebody somewhere decides we need to add more stuff, so we get to test that against what we just figured out. Man, I hate it. It just seems like such a huge waste of time to me; I know it isn't, it has to be done, but it definitely is not my thing. It's a never-ending pile of failure. Sadly, I have the skills for testing and troubleshooting that kind of stuff, but I do not have the patience for it. Part of it is, it trickles down to me from the boss, but the actual communications about what is going on don't; 9 times out of 10, I don't have all of the information I need, so I either do 4x more than necessary, or totally not enough, or start in the wrong place. And all of the communications come out of the California office, so we have this huge time-delay thing that we have to contend with, and it just drives me totally insane. I am just such a do-it-now, don't-stop-until-you're-done person, that a 3-hour wait time is just about more than I can bear most days - and 3 hours is the best case scenario, and rare. Whatever, I guess; I get paid the same whether I am sitting and waiting for something to do it's thing, or actually getting something done.

I have been trying to get website stuff together and done the last couple of weeks. We are making progress. I have given my web guy a bunch of data; he just has to figure out how to put it up there the right way. I have some more to do; for some reason, I seem to be having trouble writing a bio for myself. The one here on the blog is okay, but I need something more detailed for my site, and I just can't seem to build on what I have. I need to do it in such a way that I toot my own horn without appearing to do so, which is tricky, and success probably depends entirely on the reader. And I want to tie in my cross stitch and AF stuff without distracting from the BUY MY JEWELRY message. Gee, I don't usually have trouble talking about myself (as I am sure people will agree); this ought to be a no-brainer.

Also, I volunteered to have a jewelry show here at work in March, to take orders for Mother's Day gifts, with 10% of each sale going to Relay for Life. So I've been planning that, which kinda goes in conjunction with getting the web stuff together; as I plan to be organized and open for business for this show, that gets me that much closer to having the finer details for the site worked out. I need to take an afternoon off in the next couple of weeks to go get my license done; what a big cash layout for a stupid piece of paper. And I need to get a PO Box, for contact info on the site, but I don't have the funds right now - they aren't cheap. That will come after the show, I hope. I have been making color samples for the show, which will also be photographed, as soon as I figure out how to display them. The multi-strand necklaces have a huge color choice - like over 100 colors, so that'll have to be a doc, which I made; I need to get some good glossy card stock to print that out on. I'm going to try the printer at work - my printer at home doesn't do the orange and reds very well, though the blues and greens look great. HMMM?? I figure this show will be a good indication of whether or not I'm out of my mind to try doing this business-thing. We'll just see what happens, I guess. Hopefully I'll get some interest in it, but also hopefully not more than I can possibly handle. We'll see.

I joined a new Yahoo cross stitch group, BAPXS, and let me tell you, I am one of a very few stitchers that only has one project going at a time. So, I have begun my Scarlet Quince design, Maiden & Unicorn: Sense of Hearing (sm). Now, by beginning, I mean I have bought the fabric - 22ct white Aida (hardanger fabric, I believe) - and have almost completed the gridding of it, into 10x10 squares - 1308 of them, to be exact. I have never gridded before, but I think it will probably prove to be a very useful tool; maybe if I had done that on my carousel horse, I wouldn't have screwed up the leaves in the border. Of course, I can't find that mistake anymore, so I guess it doesn't matter. If I can get it done tonight, I will put a picture of it up in my Webshots album. I am going to bring it to work so one of the girls can zig-zag the one long edge, since my machine just won't, and I don't feel like struggling with it to try to make it. Then DH will have to get my scroll frame built for it - none of the bars I can find locally will accommodate this huge thing. Then I will have to make extra-special effort to get to a needlework store, so I can start looking at threads; I really want to do this in silk, but I will have to do the conversion from DMC myself. My group has given me lots of insight on what to look at, it's just getting to a store that has what I need, since I don't have one in less than an hour's drive from home. It will have to be a "trip", and as outdoor soccer officially starts next weekend, I need another trip in my future. But it can't be done in any way other than in person, so hopefully one of the games will get me near a shop, and they don't mind boys in cleats being bored out of their minds for a couple of hours. If I can get DH to let me stay long enough to take care of it. Maybe it'll be a game where I am with Big Kid, and he's with Little Kid, and all I have to do is listen to Big Kid bitch and moan. Not sure that's better....

Speaking of soccer, we are already ridiculously busy with it. Big Kid made his middle school team (of course), so he is practicing that and outdoor Club soccer, and his indoor season isn't over yet, either, though they aren't practicing (everybody on the team is too busy at their other practices). The school team practices are good, in that they are doing things we aren't doing at the club, but our particular coach is working on his Master's, so on Thursday's, he can't have practice after school, so it is before school, at 6:30 am. So Big Kid gets up around 5:30, goes to practice, then school, then gets picked up and goes to practice with his dad and brother, then his practice is at 6:30 pm, and ends at 8:00. That is a long day, and hopefully he gets some homework done in there somewhere. And a lot of his games will be on Fridays, so with that practice schedule, he's going to be really tired for his "real" games on the weekend - he's on the school team just to get his picture in the yearbook, and the girls, I guess. Because he needs more girls chasing him around. My god, my son is a jock; how did that happen? I guess since I didn't really fit in any one particular niche in school, that it was possible I could produce a jock; it's just weird. And who knows if Little Kid won't follow right behind him; he might. Well, anyway, 4 months, and we'll be over for a few weeks. I look forward to the games themselves, but all the driving, and waiting, and weather, I could skip all of that. I assume it will be arctic next weekend at our big tournament; as usual, we have 8:00 games on Saturday and Sunday both (we have never not had the first game - do we have a sign over us that says we all like to get up and leave the house at 5:30 am on game day? I don't think so), so we'll go out and break up the frost for everyone else. Of course, maybe we'll be out there before the wind comes up, too, but standing on frosty ground for 2 hours sucks - once the feet get cold, the rest is lost. Oh, and by arctic, of course I mean 40 - anything below 80 is intolerable to me, you know. That's why I don't live in Ohio anymore....

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Winter Work

Geez, it's been a while since I was in here for a post. Work has been pretty hectic, and I'm managing to keep busy at home, as always. I have been making great progress on my cross stitch project, TW's Castle Triptych; I've tried to spend at least an hour a day on it, though haven't the last few days, as I have a seed bead multi-strand necklace for myself, and one for someone at work, to get done. I just always see so much progress after having put a stitchery down for awhile then picking it back up. I guess when it gets to be slow, it is good to put it down for a bit and work on something else.

Soccer updates: Little kid's regular season is over after tomorrow night's game, then he has a championship tournament; I think they are sitting in 3rd right now. Big kid's indoor just started 2 weeks ago, and it is becoming quite the controversy. He plays at the Boys & Girls Club, with one of our Select players' dad's as the coach; we played there last year, and had a really good time. The issue is, we are the only team that plays there that has any white kids on it. It's half-Hispanic, including our coach and his son (sons, last year - his younger one was just not big enough to play with us this year, since the Big kids are starting those growth spurts), but literally, we are the only white people in the building, ever. And we are dominating, again. Last year, everything was okay, right up until the awards ceremony, where our goalie won an award for least goals against, and he got booed, and the team got their second-place trophies (our season was undefeated, but the championship game was late Sunday, after we all raced across Georgia from our 3rd game in the season-opening Outdoor tournament - we were wiped out, so lost by 1 to a team we had crushed during regular season play), and they got booed again. SO this year, as soon as we walked in, they knew who we were. It's been kinda tense, and after our first game, people were demanding, because of all of our training (available to anybody who wants to put up the money), we had to play up an age group. Well, Coach RC got us out of that, but last week, we played a team that were the champs last year, one age group below us, who are playing up this year so they can get some competition. They saw us, and tried to play their 7 against our 5. They got talked out of that. They lost, but at half-time, they found a really big kid to play defense, and second half, they dropped our goals from 9 scored to 3. He didn't help them score, but he did help keep us from scoring so many. So Sunday we got a call from RC, and he has to produce everyone's birth certificate now, even though they are all on record in order to register for the team. Whatever. I guess I can understand it to a degree; it is their turf, and we should probably play where the rich kids are playing (where Little Kid plays), but since half or more of our team is from their community, are they just being poor sports? I don't know. Something about bringing a gun to a knife fight comes to mind, but not sure what to do with that. Only time will tell, and if it gets rough, we will just not go, I guess. Outdoor and Middle School are about to collide, anyway; I see February being absolutely crazy, with Big Kid playing 3 places, and Little Kid playing 2 (when outdoor practices start). I'm praying for a few rain-outs - is that wrong?

I got my big memory card (512Mb) for my camera in the mail this week, so now I can go kill my battery and play with it. I loaded a bunch of my jewelry pictures to my Webshots account; my website has made no progress, as my IT guy has been home sick for 2 weeks. I finished my turquoise and coral piece, and redid my earrings once; I'm still not really sure I like the earrings - they are monstrously heavy. Sadly, I really have nothing to wear my turquoise with. Just incentive for me to find something, I guess. Western wear is supposed to be big this year, so I should be able to find something. Something other than boots; I can find those all over the place, and they aren't cheap. I could have a different pair of boots for every day of the week (including boot-style shoes). DH got me a cool pair for Christmas a few years ago, but I don't wear them very often because they have almost 4" heels on them. I can't even drive in them, and I can't wear them with him, because then I'm taller than him, and we can't have that. I wear them to work occasionally, but 9 hours is a long time in heels like that (foot cramps suck). If they were 2-2 1/2", I'd wear them a couple times a week, at least. Maybe I'll get another every-day pair this year. Dillard's has the best shoe department out of any store I've ever been in; they have better stuff than just shoe stores do, including DSW. How did I get from memory card to boots? Oh, never mind.

Not much else going on; have a group bead buy going on, but I'm not getting very much. I am going to do myself a pearl and coral design, and other than some string and a couple of clasps for stock, that's about it, this time around. I've told a couple of people at work that I'm doing a buy, so if they want anything in particular, let's plan it now. There's a bead show here next weekend, but I don't really have any money to spend, so don't know if I'll bother, or not. Maybe just go look around; is that even possible? Just looking forward to reading books, cross stitching, and doing beads here and there. And waiting for warmer weather.

Oh, yeah, I started taking Pilates here at work. Since I have never done any organized exercise outside of Basic Training (almost 20 years ago), it's way past due. The very first day, I was a little achey, and today, I'm feeling it. Or to be more specific, my ass is feeling it. It's only been a couple of weeks, and though I don't feel my abs are much improved, I can already tell that I don't jiggle in some of the places that were jiggly before. My abs feel improved on the inside, but there is no outward appearance of change yet. Imagine a couple of months of this; I might actually make a difference. Once I get some groundwork with Pilates, and we get a trainer on staff, I'll start doing some weight training to compliment. But I will never, NEVER, walk on a treadmill. OMG, how boring can that possibly be? Why not just go outside and walk, where there's something to see? I could just never walk in place (and running is out of the question - I am not built for speed, I am built for cruising. Hello! I joined the AF instead of the Army for a reason). Anyway, just another thing to incorporate into my schedule, though this class is at lunch, so pretty good deal; no shower required after. Because I need a few more things to do each day before I go to sleep.

Now, just trying to keep everyone well. Little Kid went to the doctor last week; he said he got punched in the stomach the Friday before last, and was kinda whiney about it all that weekend, but we didn't really think much about it. Then he got sick, once, in the middle of the night on Monday (tomato soup - how do you get that out of carpet?), and was whiney each morning about it, and if his brother was picking on him. Again, we didn't pay much attention. Then Thursday, he was in tears shortly after I got him up, so I brought him to work, thinking I would get him in to the doctor as soon as I could get an appointment. As soon as we walked into my office, he threw up in the trash, so we left again right after I made his appointment. The doc thought he just might have a trauma to the sphincter muscle at the esophagus, so treated it like reflux - with Zantac - and it would either get better or worse. Well, by Saturday, he had diarrhea, but so did his brother. So was he really hurt from the punch, or did he just have a bug and it took that long to go through his system in all its forms, or both? I have no idea. He's been well the past 3 days, so whatever it was appears to be over. And pollen season will be here by the end of February - last year was rough on Little Kid, and we switched some meds around, but still didn't really find the magic combination. A couple more years of this, and we will be forced to move away from here; misery for 2 months is just not worth it, a lot of days. My back hurts all the time, but other than that, I think I am pretty healthy; I don't like to be around sickly people. I don't seem to have a lot of sympathy; genetics, or just can't relate?

Until next time, C-ya!!

Friday, January 06, 2006

What is News?

What passes for news in this country is getting totally out of hand. As I was watching TV last night, waiting for the new CSI to come on, our local CBS news shrunk the regular programming down, and added a second picture, of a church fire somewhere in Atlanta. This picture was larger than the regular program, although, thankfully, there was no one talking over the regular show, as well. About every 10-15 minutes, they would do that, updating the fact that the building was still burning. 1) What is the significance of this particular fire? Things catch on fire every day, but we don't see every fire covered on the 6:00 news, let alone as "Breaking News" during primetime. I'm not sure if maybe they weren't trying to go back to that church fire 30-some years ago, deliberately set, where those girls died, or more recent church fires; that's fine, but what if it was just a plain old fire? Do we really need to make controversy out of it as it's happening? 2) To what purpose do we keep getting updates? Are we all supposed to rush down there and help take care of it? We can all plainly see the fire crews doing their work in each of the live feeds; I'm pretty sure 98% of us would have nothing helpful to add. And the other 2% are likely to be in the way. Assuming any of us could even find it - I have no clue where it was. 3) The text continued to say, during each update, that the fire will be fully investigated. No shit? Wow, investigating a fire; what a concept! Uh, Retards, I think they pretty much do that with EVERY fire when we don't know how it started. I would assume someone DID NOT call 911 and say something like "I dropped a lit candle in a trash can, and now the church is on fire - please help!", so yeah, it's going to be investigated. Thanks, Captain Obvious. They did that another time, when there was a huge wreck on the interstate, and lanes were shut down (which, BTW, is pretty much a daily occurence here). First, the people that might need to know what's going on are sitting out there in the traffic and probably don't have TVs (unless that was what started the wreck, in which case, well, you had it coming, didn't you?). Second, in case someone somewhere was waiting for someone to get home from work, and they were really late, is it more likely they were in front of the TV than to be near a phone? Since I was like one of the last people in the Greater Atlanta Area to get a cell phone, I'm pretty sure 95% of the people involved were in communication with someone. And again, what was the point of broadcasting it, repeatedly? Are the cops and emergency people in need of assistance? Considering the shitty traffic, it's pretty unlikely that I would be able to get to them in time to help. I suppose I could have phoned in some help, if I knew who to call - "First, get the injured people out and off to hospitals. Second, have cops take pictures, talk to witnesses, collect what evidence you would ordinarily collect from a wreck, then get those vehicles moved off the road. Get traffic moving. WOOHOO - that'll be $500, consultation fee. Plus I want to be on TV." And how do they cover the cost of the fuel for the chopper hovering over it for 3-4 hours? It's called SAT-UR-A-TION, or my more favorite term, Maximum Density. Enough, people.

Then, after CSI was over, DH started flipping (as usual), and came across one of the news channels covering the mining disaster in WVa. Up on the screen was one of the notes one of the miners wrote to his loved ones in his final hours (I have no idea if it was by the one survivor, or one of the deceased). I about threw up; that is nobody's damn business! OH. MY. GOD. What bastard "newsperson" thought that would be a nice touch, to add a personal touch to the story? And what money-grubbing redneck family member sold out, and how much did they get? Getting new wheels for the doublewide, are ya? Going all out and getting the JD instead of the Mad Dog 20/20 or Thunderbird? WTF? And the other morning, when my favorite, Diane "I whine for money" Sawyer was covering the survivor story, they of course cut over to one of the bereaved family members, and the sound bite they decided to go with was her (didn't get a tooth count, though I'm pretty sure I saw some gaps) yelling "I'm gonna sue!!!"
Now don't get me wrong; I am very sorry that it happened, and the whole fiasco about the wrong news getting to the waiting families was inexcusable, but that's kind of my whole point here, isn't it? If somebody would have shut up for a minute, thought about what they were doing before they just had to pick up their stupid cell phone and start talking about something that was still unclear, as though it were clear, then maybe those families could have been saved all of that emotional distress. And why is it, when anything happens to anybody anywhere in this country, the first damn words out of everyone's mouth is "I'm gonna sue!"? Who knows, maybe were I in their shoes, I would do the same thing. No, I would probably wig out, but suing someone would not be my first impulse. In fact, I would probably have to be talked into it, and god knows I hate when people try to tell me what to do. Hello, they were coal miners, digging big freakin' holes in the earth, you know, underground. Cave-ins happen, and not everyone gets out alive. It's called an ACCIDENT. Now, if the mine could have been made safer by the owner, then yes, they do have some responsibilty to those families, which shouldn't take a lawsuit to settle. And by settled, I mean a dollar amount equivalent to the expected earnings of the deceased, had he lived and continued mining, plus some compensation for the loss. In the service, it's called Life Insurance and Hazardous Duty Pay; you know, those people that volunteer their lives every day, so dumbass hillbillies can sue people for their husband having to have a crappy job and an accident that just happens to be a very real risk to that job. Too bad service members can't sue the government every time one of them dies (you think the nat'l debt is bad now?). It's time to get a grip, folks. And thanks to the dumbass with the McDonald's coffee, who started all of this. If you have to be told the coffee you just ordered is hot, then you are too stupid to live, or drink coffee, for that matter, and should be shot immediately; your parents, too, and any siblings. I would say the same thing to those that use hair dryers in the bathtub, but they usually take care of themselves. Retards.

On the lisence plate of a Lexus SUV this morning: HYGENIE. What, exactly, does this mean? I'm sure, if the owner explained it to me, it would turn out to be quite clever, but on it's own? Are you actually a genie, who's name is Hy? Are you a dental hygenist, and thought it would be "cute"? You're driving a Lexus, so maybe you are a stereotypical dental hygenist who does tricks (if you know what I mean)? Vanity plates aren't cool if you are the only one who gets it. And they wonder why road rage has become so prevalent. Another one, this on a powder-blue Chrysler convertible: PRNSSS. I should note that this car, which I have seen weekly for about 2 years on the way to work, is driven by a middle-aged woman; she might be 40-something, maybe older (I drive too fast to get a good look), with the short, curly, frumpy hair, always high-necked clothes, big owl glasses; you know, librarian-looking. Okay, do you really want to be referred to as Princess? Maybe you actually are a princess, and have been exiled from your country, and are currently residing in Hall County, GA, waiting for the evil dictator in your country to either be overthrown by your personal Freedom Fighters, or choke on his dinner one night? Maybe it's just me, but I think that once you are old enough to... uh.. get a driver's license, you and others should not refer to you as Princess. Let me guess, you are divorced, and searching for Prince Charming, but all you are finding are frogs? I bet you talk about yourself in third person, too, don't you? Retard. Nice car. I have never seen the top down - doesn't want to fuck up the hair, I guess, even though I'm betting she has it washed and set twice a week, using Dead Man's Hairspray. Talk about being old before your time. Gotta run the air all year round, so that shit doesn't melt. Probably likes eating in cafeterias, too. Kill me if I ever get like that, even if I am indeed old, okay?

Turn off your TVs, read a book (try something written before 1970), and do not, under any circumstances, go out there. They are everywhere, and they may not know it, but they are out to get you. You will be assimilated!!

(Yeah, I'm a geek; you didn't already know that?)