Monday, February 28, 2005

Oscar party diary

Okay, so you tuned in just at the most annoying part of the telecast . . . Adam Sandler and Chris Rock (interpreting Catherine Zeta-Jones)

By way of a scorecard, I am 4 out of 8 in the guessing category. But this is for best adapted screenplay--and I voted for Sideways. . . . I got it right and so did Ms. Jones. Finally she gets one right.

Everyone is nicely costumed tonight. I am impersonating Tobey Maguire and Raisinette, to my right is dressed as a Kinsey survey taker.

Jake Gyllenhaal just walked onstage and he looks bad--all skin-headed. Even I, impersonating Tobey look better.

Now its Best Visual Effects, will Spiderman 2 win??? YES! But I didn't vote for it, so oh well.

And now its the President of the Academy Awards and the funniest line of the night "this Tabernacle of Talent!!!" Wow, that was a terrible line.

So, since this diary sucks right now, I'll stop and start watching the telecast again.

But remember, when they announce the Best Actor winner, I may click back on, since I have a big bet going on that one--in case you haven't heard, I said that if Jamie Foxx doesn't win Best Actor, then I'll dance naked on a table at lunch.

But now I will stop because I am being threatened with pantsing.

I wrote that last night during the telecast. As you can see, live blogging is not my strong suit.
Spec put on a great event. The food was great, the conversation and all of the costumes were great. I forgot to take my camera with me, but pictures were taken by others, so hopefully I will link to images and provide costume commentary in a day or so.
As I predicted, Million Dollar Baby was the big winner, winning four of the top individual honors. Most everyone at the party was dismayed by this, but it wouldn't be the Oscars without disappointment, disillusionment, and anger.
My other predictions skills were not so great, only guessing 12 (of the 25 or 26?) broadcasted winners.
I am sure that many other websites with more time on their hands than me will give a post-show breakdown. I will try to provide some links to good ones in a few days . . . if you are interested.
In family news, Ariel and I started working on a short story book that she is illustrating and providing words for (she tells me what the picture is and I write it down). I hope to finish it with her in a few days and will scan it in for all to enjoy soon.

Saturday, February 26, 2005

More doins' in the WWYG empire!

I had a great epiphany taking a shower this morning.

(Strangely I find many good blogging idea come while in the shower.)

Currently there are two ways to post pictures on my blog--through the use of the Hello program, demonstrated in this post, or by finding an image on the web and creating a HTML link to is. Two examples of that method are here and here.

These ways are fine and work well in many situations. But there is one significant drawback that I have discovered in my months of blogging on WWYG?! What if (as I sometime do) I wish to place multiple photos to illustrate a story?

The Hello program doesn't work because it only lets you post one photo and caption at a time. I can certainly create HTML links, but that means I am limited to the illustrations that I find on the web, usually news stories or pictures of celebrities and stuff like that.

But what if I am trying to tell a personal story . . . something that involves me and photos that I took. They won't be on the web, because no one outside of my circle of friends and family care about what I do . . . yet.

But, then it hit me. I have all the power of the web at my fingertips already!

I created a new website--Why Won't You Photo--which will allow me to place my own photos on a site and then link them into the blog post that I am working on. It's brilliant!!

So, I can use it to make my posts more dynamic and give me the flexibility that I need.


For instance, I am going to an Oscar party at Spec's tomorrow night. He wants us to dress up as a character in a film released in 2004. (It was originally going to be only characters from the Oscar-nominated films--but how many Clint Eastwoods and Natalie Portmans can you take?

So, I figure I can take some pictures of people at the party, having a good time. I'll try to keep some brief notes of things as the night progresses--not the detail of my debate running diaries, but you get the idea. Then I'll post a story about the whole thing, complete with linked photos at all the best moments.

In my head, it is awesome. Whether it actually turns out that way . . . well, we'll see.

Until then (or until I have another good idea to fling out there) . . .

Friday, February 25, 2005

The Anglican split continues

Well, according to this article, the divide between the Episcopal Church (USA) & the Anglican Church of Canada and the rest of the Anglican Communion is reaching the long-expected breaking point.

Ever since the Episcopal Church USA voted to grant Eugene Robinson the right to be a bishop, those who are unwilling to accept an openly homosexual bishop have threatened to pull away. It has happened in the global Anglican Communion, it has happened in the United States and it has happened in single churches.

Tegan and I have been Episcopalian since we met in college and decided we wanted to get married. Religion has always been an important facet of our lives--her dad is a minister and my family was always active in my childhood Catholic church. We wanted to be united in our faith, hoping that our children would see it as important to us and maybe it would be important to them as they aged.

The Episcopal Church seemed to be a nice middle ground for the two of us. It is, in many respects, similar to Catholicism. There are certainly important doctrinal differences, but cosmetically it is practically identical. Tegan has more adjusting to do from her Disciples of Christ background, but she was willing to be open-minded.

We were drawn to our first Episcopal Church by a personal connection to a college professor of ours. He just happened to also be homosexual. The Anglican Church is well known for it liberal positions on many issues, something that both Tegan and I appreciate as it coincides with our general political views.

When Eugene Robinson was appointed bishop, we knew there would be issues in many places. It was all over the news. At the time, we were preparing to move from our previous home to our current community. Our Episcopal church in our last community was struggling to grow and had far bigger problems that devoting time to arguing about the rights or wrongs of homosexual clergy. They had much larger issues to deal with and both T and I were worn out from trying to help solve those personal, organizational issues. We looked forward to finding a new church family in our new community.

Once we began unpacking our bags this summer, we started visiting the local Episcopal church in our community. It was solidly established, full of people and programs for children, wasn't desperate for us to save it, and seemed to know what it was about. We liked several things about the church and the people were nothing but friendly. But, we occasionally got a vibe that we wondered about.

We continued to go there for about a month. But after one particular sermon from the priest, it was clear that this church, or at least its leadership, was not in favor of Bishop Robinson and was stepping outside of the boundaries of the Episcopal Church (USA) to protest the Robinson vote. Now, I don't really know what that means about this church's financial or apostolic connection to the official EC (USA), but Tegan and I knew that we would not feel comfortable going there if that was their stance.

(One of the reasons this church decided to make the move they did was because they would be unable to continue supporting a long-standing ministry in Africa. Because so much of the worldwide Anglican community is against the Robinson vote, a great deal of outreach from EC (USA) churches might suffer. So, while I don't agree with their political/doctrinal view of Robinson, I understand they want to continue supporting that ministry.)

Anyway, Tegan and I left that church and have since joined up with an Episcopal church in the next nearby community. They are without a building of their own, so they need our help more than the last one, but that is okay. They aren't desperate for us, so we can try to avoid becoming overwhelmed again. More importantly, for this story's sake, this church is not interested in taking a stance on Robinson. I don't think Fr. Rick is against Robinson, and when I discussed it with him one day, he said this church has more important things to do and "that wasn't on their radar screen."

I hope that means they don't care. I don't claim to know the doctrine on this issue. I just know that in my gut, I don't think God will condemn someone who is trying to do good in the world. A loving God looks at what someone is and what they do, not what their label is. I don't know anything at all about Eugene Robinson other than the fact that he lives in New Hampshire, seems to be well respected by the majority of the faithful in his area, and is homosexual. He is not my bishop, but I don't think that would matter.

I hope he does a good job and I am sorry that they global Anglican community is breaking down over this one man and the issue that he represents.

Thursday, February 24, 2005


Amazing things happened at Millard Filmore's Japanese Four-square today.

(For those not in the know . . . that is the slightly adjusted name of our lunch table group, and YES, it's a long story.)

We discussed our worst public fall and, as I suspected, mine was the most humiliating. Public tumbling down concrete steps at a football stadium, kicking a drink out of a shocked spectators hand, having it announced over the P.A. system (Is there a doctor in the house?) and having an old lady tell me how to walk properly . . . THAT is some awesome humiliation!

But later I did something that I haven't done in a long time. While drinking some water, Spec said something humorous/inappropriate (I don't remember what he said now.) and I chocked, laughed, and had water come out my nose. It was nasty!

But all of MFJFs got a good laugh at my expense, so it was all worth it.

And, Raisinette and Spec alerted us all to an important development on Lost!

(As an aside, the Blogger spellchecker suggests the word "flamers" to replace Filmore in Millard Filmore's Japanese Four-Square. That just about sum up my opinion of the group name, but it does have a certain pizazz about it . . . a socially-incorrect pizazz?


I blog all the sucka MCs away!

Do you believe Josh Levin's argument that rappers and bloggers are the same?

(Read his argument in the title-linked article above.)

While most people that know me know that I don't immediately bring to mind the gin-n-juice, pimped-out-ride, rapper lifestyle, anyone who saw my previous profile image knows that I can rock the phat clothes; indeed one might say that I know how to be dopetastic!

But, keep this in mind if you ever try to diss my blog. I'll bust a cap all up in your grillpiece, yo!

Monday, February 21, 2005

TC gets sloppier

Come on, Tom.

You are getting sloppier in your rampages . . . and what did Hunter S. Thompson ever do to you?
Shouldn't you really be going after Johnny Depp? He played Thompson in "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas."

And besides, any cop walking the beat can see the parallels here.

1) Hunter S. Thompson's initials are HST
2) H (which is almost Hi, the opposite of which is LO. ST (which, when combined with LO, create the name of a hit TV show--LOST.
3) On LOST was a certain crazy character, Ethan, played crazily by a certain person, William Mapother, who happens to be cousins with YOU.

Connect the dots.


Less understandable is the death this past weekend of Hollywood legend Sandra Dee . . . unless you try to say that he is acting out against John Travolta, who starred in "Grease" once upon a time and in which a song lyric mentioned Sandra Dee when discussing Olivia Newton John's character.

(At least, that was my first theory, until I read the linked obituary and noticed that her last film, produced in 1983, was entitled . . . Lost.

The unreasonable search for perfection

On Sunday I read the Newsweek cover article "The Myth of the Perfect Mother" which is accessible through the post title above.

The article, which I agree with on many points, says that the current generation of young mothers are struggling to survive motherhood because they find themselves unable to meet the expectations they have set for themselves.

Its a stereotype that is based on a great deal of fact today--the harried mother that struggles to maintain her career while reserving that valuable "quality time" for her children. In the process, they are harried at work, exhausted, and unfulfilled. The article author, who wrote a longer book on the subject, Perfect Madness, claims that women living this life are reliving the problems that Betty Friedan described in The Feminine Mystique decades ago, but reversed. It might go something like, "I work and I work; I nurture and I nurture, but what is in it for me? Is this all my life is. So much struggle and so little personal fulfillment?"

Why do they do this? Why didn't earlier generations face this issue? Warner argues that this generation of mothers grew up in the Title IX era and were told they were just like boys and nothing could prevent them from living the outside life that everyone else has. But they also grew up in the age where science tells us that children's brains are malleable--especially at a young age--and are therefore best nurtured into the ultimate childhood state of perfection.

So, these women face the pressures of the career climber and the expectations of society to be good moms--because if they don't then who will? Daycares and schools are inadequate, according to the article, so they must do it on their own. And it seems that men are of no help. I suppose they are too busy living their own career dreams or something.

I know that these women portrayed by Warner are probably living in urban areas on the East Coast and I have watched enough NBC sitcoms over the years to have a pretty good idea what it means to live there. All competitive, gymboree, Pottery Barn, and Gap, Williams-Sonoma cookwear, etc. So, their experiences as a parent are appropriate to their environment.

But, this article seems to ring a bit hollow to me--not the least important reason being that I am not the mother, right? I therefore don't have a good sense of the pressures of being a modern woman. I broached this subject with Tegan and she agreed that environment had a lot to do with the pressures these women felt.

First of all, we put our girls in daycare and while it is expensive, I have never worried that the care there is inadequate. The article says that so much of the difficulties for women is that they can't trust others with their kids. Is care better here in the bucolic Midwest . . . or are they setting standards that are too high? Are men on the East coast too career minded, or is the standard of living too high, or am I the only good father left in the entire nation?

Have Tegan and I set our sights and our expectations for our girls too low? Are we dooming them to educations in horrible public schools, state colleges, and mediocre futures? All so that we can get a decent night's sleep and spend Saturday cleaning the house rather than at neo-natal swim class and nursery age soccer practice?

Yeah, probably. But as Anna Quindlen argues in counterpoint to Warner's article, is that so bad?

I expect the pressures on T and I will rise as the kids get older. The competitions and the comparisons will increase. Their futures will become more real. Their opportunities for activities will expand. How will we handle it then?

I guess I should start worrying about it now, huh?

Friday, February 18, 2005

Microsoft drops the 411 on the kid's lingo . . . or, Why Won't Someone Monitor the Children?

Are you worried that the world is passing you by?

Do you sit on your porch and think that those rotten kids are plotting to sneak into your yard again and tear up your rose bushes?

Do you have any idea at all what "leet speak" is?

Yes to one and two, but no to three?

Well, don't worry.

Microsoft (that helpful and always understandable company that your work with most every day) has prepared a primer on the lingo that kids use today when they are talking about stuff they don't want you to know about!

So, use this handy, easy-to-follow guide to spy on your children.

You'll never be in the dark again and maybe when you leave your kid a note about how you want to discuss his marijuana habit with him, you can write the note in a way that s/he will understand. This will, undoubtedly, raise your "street cred" in their eyes and make you seem more approachable.

So, study up parents.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

101 in 1001 update

I haven't crossed any more items off of my list but I just a few minutes ago spurned the opportunity to achieve one of my lifetime goals . . . for principle!

That's right. I'm a man of high moral standards and principle.

I am staying a bit later this afternoon because I had to taken Ruth for her bi-annual ear check up. (The tubes are still in place and her ears are fine. To learn this news I spent about 2 1/2 hours of my work day driving to the daycare, getting Ruth, driving downtown to Children's Hospital, parking, seeing the doctor for . . . I kid you not 2 minutes . . . and then getting back in the car, paying for $2 parking, driving back to the daycare, and then back to work. All that for 2 minutes with the doctor!!!)

So, anyway, staying late.

I'm here and at 4:57 the PA comes on and the receptionist (greeting administrator?) says that the elevator is closing down between 5 and 5:30.

But, I didn't do it.
Because I have principles, remember?
If I purposely got stuck in the elevator, it wouldn't meet the sitcom standard of cliche that I am shooting for.
So, I stood firm. I remained at my desk.
When it happens . . . someday . . . I won't be looking for it. I might have a bag of groceries with me. (I'll probably be living in New York by this time and will have just walked around to the corner grocery story for a few salad fixins' and a nice crusty French baguette to go with a new bottle of wine.) Maybe that neighbor that I have grown to hate will be in the elevator with me; maybe we'll become closer friends due to the unexpected ordeal that we shared together.
Who knows?
I just know that today was not the day.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Saving ST: Enterprise? I doubt it.

(Click on post title for CNN story.)

Will this work? I doubt it.
Will the Sci Fi Channel pick it up? Why would they if they have the awesome "Battlestar Galactica" to fill the science fiction slot. Of course, Sci Fi could dump the awesomely bad "Stargate SG-1" and maybe even "Stargate: Atlantis."

But, I think "Star Trek" needs some time off.

So, let it die. . . for now.

Crazy like me?

Christopher Columbus
John Winthrop & Roger Williams
Alexander Hamilton
Andrew Carnegie
David Selznick & Louis B. Mayer

What do they all have in common?

Well, they are men. All helped "shape" the United States in some fashion. Are all discussed in a new book. Might possibly be crazy. Were all successful. . . wait, what was that? Crazy?

Sure. The thesis of John D. Gartner's book The Hypomanic Edge: The Link Between (a Little) Craziness and (a Lot of) Success in America, argues that these men and, by extension, Americans in general are successful because they are a bit off.

Provocative idea; one that will get you press--(Click on the post title in order to read "Crazy Rich - Are Americans successful because they're nuts?" by Daniel Gross.)--but accurate or provable?

I don't know. But it makes for an interesting idea. Maybe I'll read the book sometime.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Happy Valentines Day! (Now quake in fear!!!)

There is a Russell Stovers candy commercial currently running in my broadcast area.

It embodies much that I HATE about Valentines Day.

All it shows is normal, American guys, talking to the camera about how they had better not come home on Valentines Day without that Russell Stovers box of candy. They don't want to think about what will happen if they don't come home without that box with the signature bow. Dude, if they come home without that chocolate, they are totally sleeping on the couch!

That is the thrust of it. . . FEAR!

Is Valentines Day the only holiday marketed through fear and ignorance? Probably not, but this commercial makes it seem that way.

I am not afraid to wish my wife a very happy and hopefully calm Valentines Day.
She doesn't belittle me or make me afraid of her. She is very loving, a wonderful wife and incredible mother. She is the best thing in my life along with my kids. I wish we had time to really celebrate this awful holiday in the way it should be celebrated . . . without the fear and belittling.
Thanks for everything, everyday T.
I love you.

Friday, February 11, 2005

The Baby Name Wizard

Doesn't this sound like I am promoting myself as an infant-naming savant?

Well, though that might be true . . . if I were given the opportunity . . . this post is really a vehicle to show you something that I found very interesting on the web this afternoon.

Click on the post title and enjoy the Java-applet to which you will be directed. Via an elegant, yet dynamic design, you can see historical popularity for a great variety of common names.

Want to know the percentage of people named . . . oh, I don't know . . . David in 1965? Got it. How about Evangeline? (Maybe.) Or possibly Steve? What about Joseph, or even Josephine?

How many people were named Lyndon in the 1970s?

Did Richard see a plummet as a result of Watergate?

All these questions and more might be answered if you inquire within.

Happy sleuthing.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

I need your help

(Some might accuse me of stealing Lulu's idea to garner a lot of hits by soliciting comments. The timing is unfortunate on my part, but hey . . . I was planning to write this about a week ago and just didn't get to it until now.)

Tegan and I are celebrating our tenth anniversary this summer.

We are marking the occasion a bit early by taking a trip to San Francisco during the first week of April. T's parents are looking after the girls, so for a week, the two of us will be flying solo.

Neither of us have been to SF, so I am looking for suggestions on what are good things to do.

We will be in the San Francisco for about three days (hoteling in the Fisherman's Wharf area) and will be spending two days in the Napa area.

So given those basic parameter, what would YOU do?

Feel free to leave a comment via the link at the end of this post, and THANKS for your assistance.
We'll take pictures and post some when we return to prove that your help did not go in vain.
The person who suggest the best experience will receive an (as yet) undetermined prize of indeterminate value and importance.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

A provocative debate . . .

A nice and thoughtful debate is going on over at Lulu's blog.

It is about the issue of Intelligent Design, Creation, Evolution, etc. You can read her original post and the several excellent comments from my coworkers here.

For more information on the Intelligent Design debate, click on the title of this post to be directed to a recent Newsweek article on the subject.

In other web items (and mostly for Jack T.) , here is a link to more reaction to the Budweiser "patriotism" ad that you queried me about the other day. I must have been getting more lasagna to eat or trying to track down Ariel, as I didn't see the ad run during the game.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Captain's Blog; Stardate 02.04.05

[Click on the post title for a link to this story. Props to Spec and Dr. Actually for suggesting the title--much better than my original idea.]

It is not really a surprise, is it? Ratings haven't been very good and the move to Friday night was seen by many, including me, as a death knell.

Love or hate Star Trek, this will mark the first time since 1986 that there won't be a first-run, ST-related series on television. That's 18 years, folks!

So, goodbye Picard, goodbye Sisko. So long Janeway, and good riddance Archer. We knew you all so well . . . all your foilbles, all your negotiation (and sometimes fighting) styles.

Goodbye teen-boy eye candy--i.e. Troi, Seven-of-Nine, and T'Pau. Goodbye skin tight suits and enhanced breasts.

Goodbye to dancing green Orion women, to Klingons, to Romulans, to Cardassians.

We will soldier on . . . another ST TV show will come someday. There is at least one more ST movie, I think.

We will carry on. We still have the new Battlestar Galactica (Friday nights @ 10 on the Sci-Fi channel; check your local listings). It is good, kind of reminds me of Firefly, and Starbuck is a GIRL . . . SCORE!

State of the Union

It back by my own choice (rather than popular demand or anything), a running blog commentary on a political event . . . in this case, the State of the Union address.

(One note on methodology. In order to get a rough gauge on how much of the speech time is devoted to endless clapping and shouting rather than speechifying, I set a regular digital kitchen timer to 60 minutes. I note when the speech begins and start the timer. Ever time POTUS stops for applause, I stop the timer. When the speech is over, I note the time. I subtract the chronological time elapsed for the speech and subtract the elapsed time according to my kitchen timer. The difference give a rough estimate of applause, in minutes only.)

9:00 Is Peter Jennings reporting from the Blair House or something? It looks awful Victorian with the frilly window shades and such. Come on Peter, that multi-million dollar media center you call a studio in NY isn't good enough? Now that your the BMOC among the anchors, you can do whatever you want?

9:01 The Invisible First Lady appears, wearing baby bluish?

9:02 The Cabinet begins to enter the chamber. (You can't tell anyone without a program.) Random notice #1: When Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton nods, her helmet hairdo bobs vigorously.

9:03 Peter Jennings hints that the First Lady is supposedly going to be put in charge of something this term? I wonder what it might be? Since I don't watch the news much these days, I really don't know what this is going to be.

9:04 POTUS enters the chamber. Note that he is not wearing a crown and sporting an ermine cape.

9:06 There are signs on the seats that read SENATE and HOUSE. Do these yahoos not know where to sit?

9:07 Dennis (Don't Call Me Denny!) Hastert announces the POTUS . . . more applause ensues.

9:08 And . . . start! He comes out swinging with mention of democracy on the march around the world--Afghanistan, Palestine, Iraq! Booyah! Booyah! Booyah! (I might have added a booyah.)

9:09 "The state of our union is confident and strong." That's a wrap, good night everybody!

9:12 First view of Senator Hillary Clinton (D, NY). She doesn't look well. Is she still recovering?

9:14 W just made an extremely weird face. His mouth was all lined up and grimacy. Very odd! And then he lashes out with one of the weirdest State of the Union non sequitors I have ever heard . . . frivolous asbestos claims? Can someone give me some background on this one?

9:17 And we have the first "nucyoolur" reference! Plus Cheney's smirky face is already irritating.

9:18 W wants us to be less dependent on foreign energy. Great, but wasn't that why we went to Iraq? Or is Iraq an annexed territory now, so it doesn't count as foreign? Oh, forget it, I'm rambling.

9:22 Somebody find that yahoo that clapped all alone when the W mentioned that "Social Security benefits will rise dramatically in the next decades" and have him thrown out by the Sergeant-at-Arms.

9:23 Longest bit of sustained speech, during W's discussion of the long, slow death of Social Security. Even though the Democrats visibly murmur when he tells them that it will be bankrupt in 2042.

9:27 What is that glow over there? A shining light? Oh, its the first Barack Obama sighting!

9:30 Marriage should not be defined by activist judges. (But it should be defined by me.)

9:33 John Ashcroft certainly agreed with something. I wonder if he will break out is joyous song?

9:34 Awww Yeah! The First Lady is down in the hizzouse, yo! She'll get down in the mean streets and scare those gang bangers straight, my brother, cause she's got the mad skillz, boy! (She's gonna be the one to clean up gangs? Hmmm.)

9:37 First mention of 9/11/01.

9:38 ". . . the al-Qaeda terror network still has leaders" (in Iraq! I shout sarcastically; Tegan chimes in, Yeah, Like Osama! Remember him?)

9:41 the next "noyooclear" reference

9:43 "the U.S. has no intentions of imposing our government on anyone else and want governments that reflect that nation's culture." So, if Iraq sets up an Islamist state, is that okay with you George?

9:44 W mentions Secretary of State Condi Rice, and does NOT call her "my wife."

9:46 Cheney is fidgeting, adjusting his tie, chews his mouth, and apparently considers the bit of bagel still stuck in there from breakfast . . . seriously, is he having problems? Are his clothes not comfortable enough?

The story about the Iraqi woman (special guest of FL Laura Bush in the balcony) that decided to go and vote this past Sunday, even though there were mortars going off. W says that Americans recognize that spirit of freedom.
Do we really? In this country, we roll over and hit the snooze on Election Day. In this country, people decide not to vote if it is raining too hard. That's a good model for democracy.

9:58 Switched off the rest of the speech to watch Smallville, in which Clark's (superpower) secret is revealed to Chloe. His other secret remains safely hidden with Lex.
(See what I mean about not caring about democracy? I'd rather watch a TV show about a teenage Superman.)

During the 50 minutes of speech that I watched, approximately 16 minutes was taken up by clapping, jeering, boisterous "yeah, yeahing," and other partisan vocalizations.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

101 in 1001

I know . . . a while back I said that I didn't do New Year's Resolutions.

But, these aren't exactly resolutions. It's just a really, really long to-do list that I have to get done in approximately 3 years. And they are a combination of goals for me and Tegan. Tegan's list is in red.

Anyway, I thought ya'll might benefit from seeing the idea. Start one of your own.

(And, yes, I borrowed the idea from another person's blog. Sue me. No . . . don't really.)

101 in 1001

1. Reroof house. DONE 5/11/05
2. Replace gutters on house.
3. Visit California. DONE 8/17-24/05
4. Paint guest bedroom.DONE 4/14/05 by T.
5. Lose 5 lbs. accomplished with laid up in hospital . . . promply gained it back, so still pending?
6. Ride my bike once a week (in good weather, of course). [Nope, definitely NOT turned into a regular thing.]
7. Read one book each year (for pleasure). [Still not doing this one either. Too much TV watching and blogging.]
8. Fix lawnmower. (5/1/05)
9. Take kids to July 4th fireworks. 7/2/05
10. Enroll Ariel in piano lessons. [What was I thinking when I chose this one? Nope, not done.]
11. Paint Ariel's room.DONE 4/15/05
12. Paint Ruth's room. [Yep, we DID do this one, but I don't remember when it was done. The colors are purple.]
13. Paint out bathroom--apparently Tegan doesn't like that orangy-red color or the rooster wall border. (You just can't understand some people.) [Yes, we also did this one, painting the bathroom a much more pleasing shade of deep, deep blue. We even bought a bedspread that mimics that color, but I don't know how much farther down the line of blue we're planning to go.]
14. Paint deck. (Man, there is a whole lot of painting going on!) [Tried to strip old paint and start over and then decided to rip up the deck and put down a patio. We haven't done it yet, of course. Next spring?!]
15. Plant boxwoods beside deck. [Probably should be omitted since we are choosing to eliminate the deck. But, the fact remains, not done.]
16. Remove tree beside kitchen window.DONE 4/20/05
17. Watch four good foreign films . . . and I am willing to take all suggestions. 10/05--City of God . . .
18. Do some sort of physical activity as a family once a week--swimming, bike riding, walking . . . looks like painting is a strong contender in this category. [Why are all the physical options a failure? Again, not done.]
19. Join church activity--a new one each year. I started teaching Sunday school 9/05
20 Call family members at least once a month--not a problem for Tegan, but something that I should be working on. [They'll tell you . . . not done.]
21. Have at least three summer cook-outs for my friends. [I had some cookouts, but it's true that the frequency of them has dropped off in the last year or two. Sorry guys.]
22. Frame the family caricatures. DONE 2/22/06
23. Play scrabble once a month with Tegan instead of watching whatever bad movie happens to be on television. [Nope. No Scrabble games have broken out. And this one wasn't even an exercise thing.]
24. Teach Ariel to swim. Made good progress this summer. Not finished yet. [I think she's pretty well there. As she gets older and stronger, her technique will improve.]
25. Make decision about having or not having another child. Tabled for now . . . [Well, as you know, this came off the table in 2007. Child #3 is imminent.]
26. Remove junk from basement utility area--old paint, crappy metal shelving, other odds and ends. DONE sometime in summer of 2007, or was it 2006? But the basement was cleaned out and is now more organized than it used to be.
27. Purge junk from garage--stray wood, other bits of crud that is just bad looking. Amazingly, this was another organizational job that I got DONE in 2007. The garage is more organized than it has ever been, though it still is trying to hold more than it should. I need to get the bikes up of the garage floor and hanging from the wall.
28. Replace mulch beside house with rocks--better to avoid water wicking against the foundation. Still mulching. . .
29. Get rid of ivy beside house . . . we already killed it off near the swingset. Yes, DONE!
30. Drink the champagne that we got when we closed on the house--over half a year ago! Don't we have anything worth celebrating?! DONE at some point . . . but I don't remember when. Must have been a helluva party?
31. Teach Ariel to ride her bike. She made progress this summer, but not finished yet! [End of 2007 update--she's gotten better, but is still using training wheels.]
32. Limit myself to three desserts a week (that is going to be a hard one. HA! Getting nowhere here.
33. Find a place to hang Ariel's and Ruth's art boards. DONE! 1/4/05
34. Put drawer guides on oldest dresser. [I think we just moved the old dresser down to the basement. Out of sight, out of mind.]
35. Paint dressers. [See above.]
36. Get new family picture taken. [Well, we are going to get this updated when Hannah arrives. . .]
37. Take more pictures. Appropriately vague goal that is vaguely accomplished?]
38. Frame more pictures. I put up some good family pics and frames some of my favorites from our trip to San Francisco. 2/22/06
39. Display more pictures. Well, I'm posting some on Flickr . . .
40. Plan Spiderman 3 event . . . if I plan it now, it will be really good when the movie is ready! [Sigh . . . if only the movie has been worth it.]
41. Take Ariel to a baseball game in Cincinnati. [Nope, not done yet.]
42. Get promoted (Burb and Tegan). [Yes and yes.]
43. Develop new record storage system for home files, and get rid of the beat up filing cabinet we are using now. Nope, we're still using the beat up old filing cabinet.]
44. Develop some better organizational system for the main floor play room. [Done sometime in late May or early June.]
45. Play golf 4 times a year or hit golf balls more often at a driving range. Actually played in November! Thanks to Shirtless's efforts, I've played more in 2007 than in previous years.]
46. Cook a French meal.
47. Eat at the "Refectory."
48. Visit a new state--not counting California, since we are going there on an anniversary trip in a few months. [We did go to Arizona last summer.]
49. Sell the Escort. [Sure enough, that was done October 2007.]
50. Teach Ruth to swim. [She's taking lessons . . .]
51. Teach Ariel how to tie her shoes. She can do this now, but I forget when I happened . . .
52. Go camping.
53. Buy a desk for Ariel's room.
54. Write an update letter to Dr. Hew Joiner and let him know how we are doing.
55. Buy some new luggage to replace the enormous black thing we call the BFL. (That stands for Big F*%@$ Luggage--an adaptation from the monogram on the second-hand suitcase. That thing is just TOO big.) DONE! 1/8/05
56. Go to UK basketball game in Lexington sometime.
57. By a nice cast iron skillet. [Got one from Lynda's mom.]
58. Use aforementioned cast iron skillet to cook steak once a month.
59. Get a new grill for outdoor cooking. [Got that for Father's Day 2006]
60. Get rid of old toys in basement and clean up the toy clutter. Started on 1/4/05
61. Remove wood by backyard fence.
62. Buy and install shelves for bedrooms and den to display pictures (see # 39).
63. Purchase some Keen sandals to replace the ones that I currently have. (My mom swears by these sandals.) DONE on 5/1/05.
64. Set up a new savings account. [Yep, we did that sometime in 2006]
65. Alert Social Security Administration of new address . . . something we should have done before now, I am sure. Not a problem . . . as of the weekend of 5/1/05
66. Get trapped in an elevator during a power outage. Seriously! I really want this to happen to me sometime. [I've had some close calls, but nothing yet.]
67. Get rid of weird spasmodic cough . . . It seems to be slowly going away (1/22/05)
68. Begin reading The Chronicles of Narnia to Ariel. Started! 1/9/05
69. Get my new pajama pants hemmed before I trip on the hem and fall down the stairs . . . for the SECOND time--that's right, I did it a few Saturday's ago and nearly DIED!! DONE! (thanks Tegan!) 1/17/05
70. Get iPod! [Accomplished in mid-June.]
71. Get a new CPU instead of getting a new laptop. [Also done in mid-June.]
72. Transfer all programs and files from old CPU to newer one--conditional on accomplishing #71 of course. [ALSO done in mid-June.]
73. Get a faster Internet connection--this dialup is just too slow, and since we aren't getting a new laptop, we can probably afford it. [6/18/05]
74. Do taxes for 2004. DONE 4/10/05
75. Do taxes for 2005. [Finished before April 15, of course.]
76. Do taxes for 2006. [Yes, of course I did. Otherwise, I'd be blogging from jail.]
77. Finish this LIST!!!! (2/2/05)
78. Build snowman with Ariel and Ruth. #1 DONE 1/29/05
79. Paint a mural on the stairwell going down into the basement. [What? No, I haven't done this. Insane!]
80. Repair driveway.
81. Fix sidewalk.
82. Get faucet in guest half-bath repaired. DONE! 1/17/05
83. Get water heater repaired. DONE! 1/17/05
84. Get my project at work completed . . . PLEASE! I am ready to move on to something new. [Yeah, I got moved on to something else all right! Can you say "King Copyright"?] [2007 update, moved on again and again.]
85. Eat more soup. [Sort of . . .]
86. Eat less chocolate. [Come on, you know the answer to this one.]
87. Seriously, finish this list already! (2/2/05)
88. Do something nice for Tegan on Valentine's day (and again, I am open to suggestions). [I am sure whatever I did was nice, but I'll be switched if I can recall what it was.]
89. Use the movie tickets. [Used them yesterday afternoon on Tegan's birthday. We left work early and both saw Batman Begins.]
90. Fix TP hanger in kid's bathroom.DONE (thanks to T's dad) 4/13/05
91. Put good shelving in garage to better organize in there. [Well, I reused and rearranged the existing shelving out there. It's not new, but it works okay.]
92. Do more dusting and vacuuming around the house. [Won't admit how badly I do at this.]
93. Clean the bathrooms more. (Which is violating a marital agreement that we set up a long time ago. But, I was young a foolish then. I am a better person now.) [I've done it some, but not enough.]
94. Visit the Used Kids CD store.
95. Give
96. Up
97. With
98. This
99. List and
100. Move
101. ON! Sadly caved in and posted on 2/2/05
Does this diminish the list to end on such a pathetic note?

I shot the sheriff . . .

Ok, so picture this.

Tegan, the girls, and I are heading home tonight after our weekly bible study at our friend's home in Hilliard. We pull out of their community onto a connector road about 9 pm. It's dark, no traffic. They Might Be Giant's NO! is playing softly into the back seats where Ruth and Ariel are bundled and beginning to get sleepy.

T and I are chatting about our upcoming anniversary trip to San Francisco and the plans that we have made or desperately need to make. I pull away from a traffic light flashing red and accelerate into a left turn.

Halfway down the connector road we see a police car, going the other way. It turns on its lights, slows, turns, and settles in behind us.


Busted . . . for speeding. 49 in a 35.

As I pull over, remaining very calm (and secretly hoping that the bucolic nature of my passengers--it's Rockwellian, if you recall--will encourage the officer to give me a warning) I think back to the two previous times that this has occurred to me.

First, while a sophomore in college. I was rushing back across the pinewoods, coastlands of eastern Georgia, going from my home in Tifton to my school in Statesboro. It was a Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday, so I had spent the extra day at home. But my laundry had taken longer to finish than I though. I had to get back to campus by 7 for a Monday night English film that I was required to see. None of that would have been a problem, but twice while crossing through small Georgia towns, I was stopped by MLK, Jr. parades that halted all through traffic on the GA state routes I was on. So, halfway to Statesboro, I was hauling across a really long bridge over a river gorge and a trooper noticed he. I think I was doing 50+ in a 35. Anyway, I had to pay that one. Being a single college student is NOT Rockwellian in nature and therefore deadly.

The second time was also in college. My roommate, Rampant Fox, and I were on our way back to school from Atlanta, just having enjoyed Paul Simon's Rhythm of the Saints tour stop at the Omni. It was about 2:30 or 3 in the morning. I woke up from a car-induced doze (RF was driving, naturally) to see the flashing blues in the rear-view mirror. I don't remember if we got off with a warning there or not--I was probably dozing again, and might have (on current reflection) seemed a bit suspicious in such a state.

Tonight, however, T and I sat patiently as one of Hilliard's finest took my "operators permit" and proof of insurance and did whatever voodoo he do in his cruiser behind us. I noticed that (for some, still unknown, reason) another police car pulled up behind his. I suppose they chatted--maybe about getting coffee and donuts after dealing with me? But that ended. I kept hoping that none of the cars passing us were the other members of our bible study group . . .

The officer came back and only gave us a warning (yeah!). But, it was a nice lesson for Ariel, who mused that they only "put bad people in jail." We reminded her that laws are like rules that mommies and daddies set or that the teachers at school have. Even good people sometimes break them and the policemen are there to enforce the law and give out punishment when necessary.

So, next time I'm in Hilliard, I'd better watch it . . . I've been warned. No more lead-footing for me.