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Wednesday, February 18, 2004

A recent loss
The moment is going to haunt me for a long time. Last night I went into the kitchen to clean some dishes and get dinner started. At first I thought Shoey, our 8 year old long haired tabby was just relaxing on the kitchen floor. But I noticed that her eyes were open and she wasn't moving, and that her mouth was open, tongue hanging out.
Immediately I went into shock. She was gone.
Her body was still warm albeit lifeless. Apparently it had just happened.
Now I had to break it to Wifey and Kiddo.
Wifey was on her way home, and Kiddo was watching a movie. (Scooby Doo, one of her favorites)
I moved the cat to the workshop because I wanted to tell Wifey first. I didn't want Kiddo to see the cat in the way we found her. From the look that was frozen on the cats face it did not look like a peaceful end. I was afraid it would horrify my daughter worse than it had horrified me.
Wifey had me bring her back into the house, to our bedroom, so we could say our goodbyes and have a little closure.
We closed her eyes and tried to make her more presentable before telling Kiddo. We broke the news Gently and we all had a good cry over the loss.
I'm a cat person, always have been, always will be. But this was the first time I had discovered a dead pet. Especially one that was so sweet and loving.
I performed last rites, and took her back out to the workshop where she would stay cool until we can get her to the vet for a necropsy.

Shoey will be missed, but she will always be in our hearts. Fortunately we have a lot of happy memories with her.
She was the cat with a depth perception problem. She would make a jump for the couch and miss (usually with a very sloppy landing). When she was running through the room she would run into things with her head, shake it off and keep running. She was Very soft spoken, almost never using her voice, unless she really needed to get our attention. She was also a contortionist. If it was time to brush her, she would twist and contort her body in an effort to get away. We were always afraid that she would hurt herself trying to get away. Beneath all that fur was a fragile little body. She looked like a huge cat, but mainly because of that very thick coat of long fur. It was even growing out from between the pads of her paws. Wifey would compare it to the hair growing from an old mans ears.

Monday, February 16, 2004

Here are some things I have learned over the past week

The best laid Valentines day plans wouldn't be as memorable if nothing went wrong.
When your 5 year old starts throwing up, CONTAIN THE VOMIT FIRST, then worry about cleaning up the mess.
When your 5 year old is done throwing up, BEWARE THE OTHER END OF THE KID!
When your wife is Covered with Vomit, IT IS NOT THE PERFECT TIME FOR A SENSE OF HUMOR

More on these things later

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

There are times when your spouse can get on your nerves, not because they are being mean, or vindictive. No, sometimes it's just a case of a dimwit using bad judgement.

My wife doesn't mean to deprive me of sleep. It's not intentional, but it happens. Last night she had a slight case of insomnia, so she was considerate enough to get out of bed because she knew that her fidgeting was keeping me awake. This is the best indicator that she means well.

However, at 3am I heard what sounded like Marbles bouncing on a peice of slate. I have no Idea what it was, but it was repetitive. Obviously she had come back to bed, and whatever it was she was doing was making this noise. Annoyed at this I asked "What in the F#@& are you doing?" to which she replied "Oh, I'm sorry, did I wake you?"

Wednesday, January 28, 2004

I have an incredible Daughter
Not that I need to convince anyone who knows her.

Today I took her for her Fist Dental Appointment. Going into it I thought for sure I would spend hours consoling her. But all through the visit she never once complained. The Steel pick the dental technician used frightened her at first sight, But once she realised it was not a shot, and only intended to "count" her teeth, she relaxed. Even I winced a little when her teeth were being scraped, but kiddo had no coplaints. If she was experiencing discomfort, she didn't show it. My kiddo is not shy about letting us know when she is hurt or unhappy.

She was instructed in the use of "Mr Suckie" and was all too happy to oblige when it was time to rinse.
Once she was done with the pick, it was smooth sailing from there. She insisted on Bubble gum flavored toothpaste before it was even mentioned as an option. Sheesh, when I was a kid it was bubble gum, cherry, or mint...that was it. There are all kinds of flavors now.

Looking back I think the only unpleasant thing was the Darn plastic flute she picked from the Toy box for being so good. Something about it made my head vibrate everytime she blew into it.

At any rate, Kiddos Teeth are Clean, and as promised I will take her for Ice Cream after school today. (even though it's freakin 20 degrees outside)

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

A simple plan gone terribly awry.

My daughter will begin school in the near future. In order to keep things functional in my home I have decided to make the switch from graveyard hours, to the day shift at work. You’d think this would be simple…think again.

Right off the bat and ever since, my supervisor has been very supportive. “One way or another, we will get you back on days” he said. There is, however, one slight glitch...The entire company is having a nervous breakdown now that I am not going to be here to take care of things in the evening.

To begin with there is one customer that has relied on someone to be here in the evenings in the event that they need assistance so late in the day. Well, their service contract is up for renewal, and we finally negotiated a compromise.

Now there is the issue of the ghost. OK people, he's friendly so don't worry about it. His name is Phil and all you have to do is ask him politely to not spook you out. He is very respectful. He's actually quite nice.

Security, I've been setting the alarm for so long nobody else remembers how to do it.

Several people are forced to change their hours so they won't be left in the building alone, others are worried the shippers won't arrive to pick up in time. Even in my own home three was a little confusion on exactly when the switch would take place and how we would handle it.

What a lesson huh? Hundreds of lives are being affected, my employer, one of our biggest customers, and several other people are all coming unglued. Its Crisis management like you’ve never seen, all because of a 5 year old girl, who just needs structure and more time with her Daddy.

Wow, I guess I'm pretty popular.

This is slightly off topic
It has occurred to me that advertisers are not much different from cockroaches.
Sooner or later they will make it into your house. They adapt to new forms of keeping them at bay and continue to annoy you with new ways of getting into your home.

In truth I think the executives of most ad agencies are actually Highly evolved Giant cockroaches who have learned to disguise themselves as humans.

I came upon this revelation as I was looking at the options of the Weather Channels Desktop Weather.
tangent: You geeks out there reading my post will no doubt try to tell me about a different program or a hack that is better. SHUT UP. I like the Weather Channels desktop program.
end Tangent.
I can choose to accept the ads with the free program, or I can pay $30 per year for additional features and no ads. This is tempting, but let's analyze this briefly shall we? Are the advertisers losing $30 of revenues just because I don't want a thousand advertisements for Allegra? I mean, sure I have allergies, but just how much is their cut of what I spend on allergy medication per year. Mortgages? If Fannie May can't do it, I sincerely doubt if some "fly by night" Schmuck can.

So I can safely say that the weather channel will not be recovering any advertising revenues if I were to pay them the annual fee. I am actually considering the better version for the improved features.

I just want advertisers out of my life. They are worse than the paparazzi. The invade areas of my life that should remain sacred. But they don't care. They just have to sell me something.

We used to buy or rent Video tapes so we could avoid the ads and enjoy movies without advertising....Remember Ad free rentals? I do. But now when I get a new DVD, be it a rental or one I buy, there is about ten minutes of ads before the menu or feature presentation. If one is not savvy with the DVD player remote they cannot avoid these ads. In some cases they have disabled the "skip ahead" button in order to Force you to watch the ad. "Cockroaches!"

The advent of pop-up blockers has helped when surfing the web, but they have a new improved pop-up that now appears over the content of certain web pages it cannot be averted or closed, and it stays on top of the page. Say it with me folks "Cockroaches!"

There is now also a new technology, although I have yet to encounter it myself, that allows my cell phone to be detected in the immediate vicinity of certain businesses so that a digital coupon will be sent to my phone by way of text message. Say it again "Cockroaches!"

The Telezapper...What a freakin joke! Supposedly it would answer with the initial "invalid number" tone causing the telemarketer to flag your contact information as no longer valid and therefore your number would be deleted from their files. They caught on to that one right away making the telezapper completely useless. "Cockroaches!"

The infamous "Do not call" list that millions of people signed up for across the nation is not being observed due to a moratorium put into effect because the telemarketers complain that it will put them out of business. And what idiots let this moratorium happen? Certainly not my friends at Black flag, or Roach Motel... "Cockroaches!"
(My Wife had a very creative solution to telemarketers. When our daughter was only about a year old, she would give the phone to her and let them try to sell her something. After about 10 minutes they would finally hang up.

They will continue to find ways into our lives, and they will continue to annoy us, because it makes them money. Yes, They get paid to Piss you off. Kind of makes you want to stomp on a cockroach now doesn't it?

Friday, December 05, 2003

My Beloved is a non-conformist
Truth is, My wife has taken non-conformity to all new levels. Even most other non-conformists think she is too weird.

The Phone/slave thing. Sometimes she just doesn't answer the phone. This isn't because she is mad at anybody, nor does she fear a call from a certain individual. She has caller ID, so for the most part, she knows who is calling. It doesn't matter.
Her Explanation for this is that she doesn't feel like she should be a slave to her phone. OK, fine, I can understand that. I wouldn't ask anyone to be a slave to an electronic device, But there are times in our increasingly complicated lives that a phone call is necessary.
Another explanation is that she was taking a nap and if people would stop calling then she would answer their calls when she wakes up, but she isn't going to take any calls when she is trying to sleep. (can you see the paradox in this?)
Trying to meet her halfway I have asked her to let me know when she plans to take a nap and I will wait to call her unless it is absolutely necessary. There has been, however, some paranormal activity that subverts my idea. One minute she is wide awake at her computer, and the next minute...*poof* she's asleep on the couch. (I can only speculate that some magical force is responsible for this since I am not at home to witness this phenomenon when it occurs)

At this point it might benefit you, the reading public, to know that we are a wireless household. We have escaped the tyranny of Cincinnati Bell and do not have phone service to our house. Instead we each have a cell phone which has proven to be more affordable and easier to maintain. All of our other services normally associated with the phone are acquired through alternate providers, internet through our local cable, and so on.

Another problem with the phone paradox is this: Because she is the one who is usually home during the day, The utilities, cable, phone and so forth, are in her name. So if they need to call for any reason then it is her number they will call and (in a perfect world) she would be the one to answer and I wouldn't be bothered while at work. But if it's necessary to call one of these service providers for support, to pay the bill...etc, She will sometimes call me at work and ask me to call them. I'm busy at work, she's playing solitaire...and I should be the one to call them. Makes sense right?

Her perception of time and punctuality is another conformity problem. (although we are working on it)
One basic scenario to explain this goes a lot like the following: We need to be someplace at 4:00. at 3:00 she lays down to take a nap, she tells me to wake her up at 3:30 and we'll get on the road. It takes 30 minutes to get there. I wake her up, and by this time I've gotten myself and the Kid ready to walk out the door. She needs to have a cup of Coffee and a cigarette to wake up before we leave.

Side topic...
Now, the sleep issue is another thing we are working on. It is beginning to get through that if she would just sleep at night (having gone to bed at a reasonable hour) it wouldn't violate her non-conformist honor code. This way she can wake refreshed and begin her non-conforming at an earlier part of the day. If she just gets an earlier start at her non-conforming duties she might just catch people who also are just waking up. That would be a time when they need that stability of normalcy and she could do the most damage to their psyche. She could really make large strides if she just gets an earlier start.


...Back to the scenario:
While having her cigarette and coffee she sits down to her computer and begins to play solitaire. When the Solitaire game is over she realizes she hasn't checked her email. Now, This person who refuses to be a slave to her phone, just HAS to check and respond to her email at a time when it inconveniences absolutely everybody we know.

Never mind what a conformist would do, she won't play into that little trap of mediocrity. No no!

4:45 she starts to get ready, and realizes that she has nothing to wear because the laundry hasn't been done. So she starts a load of wash. While the laundry is getting done she tells me to not just stand there but to do the dishes or something. My rebuttal of "but we are supposed to be there already" falls on deaf ears.
None of this really measures up to the most incredible thing to happen throughout the process. We actually go to wherever it was we planned on going, (4 hours late but nonetheless we go)

Thursday, December 04, 2003

Wifey was just filling out a form to hand in at our daughters preschool. (she didn't do it the first time so she had to repeat the assignment.) hehe
In filling it out we were musing at some of the questions they asked. It's not that they were difficult or unusual questions. It's more that we were having fun recalling our daughters stages of development in her infant and toddler stages.
While filling out the form Wifey asked me to recall when she uttered her first words. It seems like AGES ago, but I estimated 12 months. She didn't think I was right, (I'm always wrong) so she asked me to get online and look up a child development chart. This was not an argument or disagreement mind you, just the need to intellectualize that it was possible for her to speak at that age. "Hagabuh" didn't count.

Her first Word Hagabuh, was the first word we remember her saying with the intent to communicate a thought or idea. She was roughly 6 months old (give or take a month) and we were getting in the car to go someplace. I had just gotten her fastened into her car seat and we all settled into our seats, (Wifey, Myself, and Firstborn). Just before starting the car she erupted with the single word "Hagabuh!"
She Had just commanded our attention. Now it was a matter of elaboration, which unfortunately she was incapable of at the time. I think even this 6 month old child was able to realize that as an attempt to communicate, it didn't go very well and was going to take a great deal of practice. It did, however, lighten things up and give us something to laugh about so that was OK in her book.
We never did figure out exactly what it means and we may never know. But it was a moment we haven't forgotten. As parents you mark such occasions in your memory.

Back to the matter at hand. I looked up 2 development charts on my own, somehow not realizing that I must have been doing even that wrong, she intervened and told me to go to a more specific development chart that SHE was more familiar with. It said the same thing the others said.
We remember her having a relatively normal development as an infant and toddler, and tracking it more fervently as we did in those days, the development charts seemed to mirror her development quite well.
This is not to say that my memory is failing and that I don't remember my child's attempts to communicate in her early stages. The "hagabuh" incident is my case in point.
My wife is able to concede that I am right from time to time. It just takes a panel of experts to verify it.

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