Friday, April 29, 2005

Pardon the interruption, but here's another quick one

I just saw a poll asking this question:

"Should bloggers be held to the same standards of accuracy and ethics as journalists?"

The choices were: YES; NO; WHAT'S A BLOGGER?

I voted NO--after all, I am not pretending to be providing important information on the state of tsunami victims. I might link you to stories about that or give you my opinion of same, but I don't pretend to know what I'm talking about. Anyone who regularly reads this knows that for certain.

The results of the poll?

358 votes (17%) YES
669 votes (32%) NO
1052 votes (50%) WHAT'S A BLOGGER?

Honestly . . . do I have to do everything?!

Don't Panic!

There is a new post on WWYG?! Omnimedia regarding the new movie The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

Check it out, won't you.

(If you would like official corporate information on the film, please click on this post's title to be transported to the movie corporation's official promotional site.)

A House in Wind

Here is the latest art offering from my amazing daughter Ariel.

What you see is gigantic flowers mysteriously growing from a body of water. In the water are blue worms. A smallish house with a multi-colored roof (multi-color being a clear marker of Ariel's style) with an attached garage. Entering or exiting (?) the garage is a car which looks a bit like a Toyota Prius van or maybe an Airstream RV. Coming out of the block of blue sky are artistically rendered wind currents.

(All of this was told to me by Ariel, when I asked her to describe the picture. Naturally she didn't talk about the Prius or the Airstream RV--I took the liberties there.)

What impresses me the most is her decision to depict the wind is this fashion. I asked her if she copied this from a book or something she saw previously, but she said that she thought of it on her own.

It kind of reminds me of Kansas--contributed by the yellow paper it was drawn on. It seems sort of desolate and lonely, which I am sure is exactly what Kansas must be like.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

A few more WWYG?! tweaks

I want to alert you to a few tweaks that I have made to my blog template, things that I think might make your experience here more enjoyable, more functional, and make you think I am much, much hipper.

a.) At the end of each post I have made two "hacks."

i.) The first change affects the way you view comments. In the past, if a post has any comments you clicked on the comment link and were directed to a separate page to read those comments. Then after reading, you clicked the BACK button on your browser or the Home link to return to my main blog page. Now, to view comments, click on the comment link at the end of the post. Any comments will appear immediately below. After reading, click on the same comment link and the text will hide. I think you will agree that this is a most excellent change.

ii.) The second change is a change in appearance for the Email link. You might not even have known that each post could be emailed--maybe to someone you think might enjoy the post, maybe to someone who hasn't heard of the glories of WWYG?! Previously, the link was a little icon to the right of the comment link, designed to look like an envelope. I don't think everyone knew what this was, so I have changed the format of the link. You can now see that it very clearly says "EmailThis!" To do so, click on the words, follow the instructions on the next page and advertise away. (I and my hit counter thank you in advance.)

b.) The other change is located in the sidebar, to the right of the posts. Here you find my lovely picture, links to my most recent 10 musings, a thumbnail of a book I am currently reading, etc. You can also access my Archives here. It used to be formatted as a rather boring list of the last several months, but I have changed it to be a much more dynamic drop down menu. Click on "Previously on WWYG?!" and select the appropriate month. Want to know what I was writing about in August 2004? Go check it out . . . it was mostly set up for the Fall TV season, but it was still excellently conceived. When you are done reliving the past, hit the back button on your web browser or just click on the title of my most recent post at the top of the sidebar column.

I hope you enjoy these functionality improvements as much as I anticipate. I think they are wicked awesome and promise to keep on finding new superficial ways to gloss over my boring life and inadequate writing style.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

A great many things to discuss

I have been putting this off and putting it off, but there are many things that I want to blog about and so I will probably throw them all together into one massively incoherent post tonight.

Sorry about that.

So now I'll try to break them down McLaughlin Group style.

Issue 1: You might notice that the post below this one looks a bit different. It's an "audioblog" and that means what you think it means. Now, if I feel like it I can inflict my southern drawl upon you. You can't escape me! You can read more about the format and theory here, if you like. As to the title of that post--well, apparently everyone's favorite Wesley Crusher has also been know to audioblog. And if he can do it, then so can I. Ideally I wanted to explain all this in that post, but I am still learning how to do this new thing and so it is a bit rough around the edges. But, hey, the Model T wasn't a Rolls Royce right off the assembly line, now was it?

Issue 2: The New York Times Magazine had an interesting article this past weekend. I didn't read it since I let my NYT subscription lapse a long time ago, but thanks goes to Flip for bringing it to my attention. (Incidentally, she promises to have another post ready soon, so keep looking for it.)
Anyway, the article claims that watching TV can make you smarter--as long as you watch the right shows. (Of course, I ONLY watch the right shows, don't I?). You can read the entire article here (and a rebuttal of the article here.) I am not versed in the science of all of this, but I have watched a lot of Star Trek over the years and devoted more time that is strictly necessary to unraveling the mysteries of Alias and LOST. So, I should be about the smartest person that a lot of you know, right . . . RIGHT?!!

But, if you are feeling dumber, maybe you should stop watching crap TV like According to Jim or maybe quit reading all those emails. And I quote: "This is a very real and widespread phenomenon. We have found this obsession with looking at messages, if unchecked, will damage a worker's performance by reducing their mental sharpness."--Dr. Glenn Wilson, on a study that found that those who tried to juggle work and e-mail experienced an IQ drop more than twice that of marijuana smokers.

(I know this is all old news, but I've got to react to it somehow. I've been too busy at work juggling emails and smoking dope to blog--plus I might get fired for it, right?) Thanks, by the way, to Jam Master J for bringing this news item to "our" collective attention first the other day.

Issue #3: This one is a bit painful--and while it is old news, I've definitely got stuff to say. Jack Thunder first alerted me to this horrible bit of news last week when I was away from the office and looking after Ariel. Newsweek ran this image (see below) in the May 2, 2005 issue on p. 73.

You might or might not be able to read all of the copy in this item, so let me provide you with the pertinent information and my own reactions to that. . . .

. . .

You know what? I don't have anything to say. When I first read the thing, I thought of many witty, bitter things to say. But just now, I don't remember them. Am I going soft? Have I given up my hopes of ever convincing Jennifer to wise up? I suppose . . . I AM married (happily) you know. And even though we might have found a common link through our high school band years and our Southern heritage, anyone willing to pledge their troth to Affleck, well, they might as well be related to The Gyllenhaal as far as I am concerned.

. . .

(I take it back Jen . . . really! I'll always love you! We'll always have Rimbaldi, won't we?

Issue #4: Smallville was good again tonight! At least they didn't wipe Chloe's memory--as I was sure they were going to. But, honestly do Al and Miles (show producers) think up new ways to kick her in the teeth every week? She's getting along with CK and then Lana walks into the room, artfully backlit with a fan blowing wind through her hair . . . and Clark, who remembers NOTHING about anything (memory wipe) is struck dumb at the sight of her. Simply inexcusable on the part of the writers! I am very upset and if now for the many funny HoYay references in tonight's episode I might pledge to never watch the show again, ever! (Ok, not really.)

Now I'm just like Wil Wheaton!

this is an audio post - click to play

Monday, April 25, 2005

Stomach punch

It's always nice to start the day with a swift gut punch--something that knocks whatever positive vibes you might have woken up with right out of your mind.

That happened to me this morning--thanks to my two sweet little girls.

First Ruth refused to let me pick her up and get her dressed and then spent the entire morning preparations asking for Mommy (from toothbrushing to shoes to damn near everything).

Then Ariel similarly showed preference for Mommy while simultaneously whining about getting up, putting on clothes, not wanting to go to school--whatever.

So . . . that just left me very sad, frustrated, and pissed off.

I am not starting my day well.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Blogging--A View from the Experts?

Who constitutes a expert on blogging is up for debate.

But the good people at Business Week are committing themselves to tackling the subject.

Rather than spend about a week trying to convey the totality of their cover article on the future of blogging and business, I thought that you might profit from reading the entire article yourself, via this link.

Once you have read the article, you can also check out the new blog that Business Week is created to further this

Some things are mentioned in the article that I have encountered since my blogging started--the possibility of using AdSense to raise some pocket change; the thoughts on how to make your blog so "must-read" that other bloggers link to you.
(Obviously, I haven't figured out how to accomplish that second item.
Will I ever? Probably not until I start blogging on topics that most other people care about, and I guess the article is providing ways for me to find out exactly what that might be.)

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Writing--a desire or a responsibility?

I've been feeling the urge to post more entries lately, but have been internally dissatisfied with the results. My recent 3 or 4 have come off as formulaic and forced.

But, I have been wanting to write . . . but about what? Not a lot of exciting stuff has been happening--or so I think. Plus when Tegan was in Texas I was busy with the kids and couldn't take my customary opportunity to ignore the children, forcing T. to handle everything while I pursed the life of the keyboard (kidding, really). While I was totally in charge, I didn't get the opportunity to sit down and write until late at night and then I didn't know what to do.

Other people (like Flipper, as an example) only write occasionally. I don't mention as a rebuke, because when she does write, it is always worth reading. Lulu is the same. Though her new job responsibilities have greatly reduced her blogging, when she does something, it is always worthwhile. I, on the other hand, am (seemingly) more willing to just throw stuff down and leave it at that.

That is (according to Blogger's hints to good blogging) a no-no. You have to respect your readers, make sure that what you write is always good, well constructed, thoughtful, worth other people's time. I guess, if I thought that this blogging might lead to something one day, I might be more selective and more careful. But, I've got a job right? This is just a hobby . . . which makes me a dilettante (the worst kind of writer).

So, is this all a long way of saying that my stuff is crap and you shouldn't bother any more? Yeah, probably.

But, every once in a while I write something nice. And I have great ideas in my head that I don't always translate well.

But now I've got to go eat dinner. I guess to be a good writer you have to block out everything else--kids, TV, books to read, movies to plan. I guess I don't want to do that. (And I don't claim to be a writer anyway; I'm a blogger, and anyone who has read WWYG?! or its affiliates know there is a difference.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

The rest of the story . . .

Ariel was with me at home today; her fever returned so I had to take her back to the doctor. But since I wrote the day off from trying to do any work and she slept a great deal of the time, I was able to relax and read.

Tegan got back around lunchtime from her adventures in Texas focus-grouping. She is tired, but is glad to be home (and so am I).

A few days ago I wrote about the adventures we had trying to buy a microwave (because I'm too lazy to provide a link to it, you'll have to scroll down a few entries to see the whole sordid mess.

So, after I bought that microwave at Home Depot and found out that it didn't fit (on last Thursday evening) I tried on Friday after coming home from work, to return it and get another one. I wasn't going to try and find another microwave at that store, so I was going to quickly return the microwave at Home Depot and then zip to Target, get another one, and be done with it.

One problem though . . . the single computer dedicated to returns at my local HD was operating INCREDIBLY slowly and there were two customers in front of me. After waiting probably 20 minutes, I was able to get to the front of the line and get the microwave returned. But I didn't start moving any faster because Target was over on the western side of the interstate and I was travelling with the crush of Friday evening traffic. It took me another 30 to 40 minutes to get where I wanted to go and then find the microwaves, find one that looked right, and then buy it and get home. The traffic coming back was much faster!

So, my trip had now taken me 2 hours to complete--and I didn't get any dinner either. But, it was all better right? Wrong.

The microwave I had purchased was, I discovered to my horror, 1/4'' too big to fit in the shelf area above our stove. I didn't throw the offending oven through the wall, but allowed Tegan to put it back in the box. She told the quietly fuming me that I was to put Ariel to bed that night and she would take that microwave back and try again. She erred on the side of extreme caution by getting a very small microwave that indeed fit. So, that story is now complete.

The next day, the day of Lulu's party (see this morning's entry for illustrations) we had errands to run and so, decided to get the day started by going to Bob Evans for breakfast.

Well, our string of bad luck continued, as we put in our order and then waited for a very, very long time, watching people who had sat down long after us get their food and start eating. Luckily, the girls chose to be very good this day or we might have fled the restaurant in desperation. But, we finally got the waitress' attention and politely asked, "WTF??!!"

Apparently, our order had disappeared somewhere between our table and the kitchen. We DID eventually get what we wanted and the manager was nice enough to come out and apologize heartily, giving us the entire meal for free--so, we had that going for us.

Since these days, I've been hiding out in the house, avoiding as many customer/service situations as possible.

Keeping up

I have been doing a pretty good job of keeping up with things this week--as long as that doesn't count my actual job that I get paid for.

Since Tegan has been gone on a business trip to Texas, I've been watching the girls. And for the most part they have been fine. Ruth has been sleeping well at night and while Ariel was feverish over the weekend, I took her to the doctor on Monday and he have some antibiotic that has helped prevent more fever. They both cough a bit at night, but not chronically. Ariel is taking some (doctor-prescribed) cold medicine that has been helping her sleep . . ..

. . . with the exception of last night. She woke me up last night around 1: 15 and promptly threw up on the carpet. The medicine didn't sit well. But it got cleaned up and she slept in the bed with me for the rest of the night.

Today I was running around everywhere trying to get things done. Tomorrow I register Ariel for kindergarten and so I was trying to get paperwork completed--including finding Ariel's birth certificate which is who knows where. I took off during lunch but could find it in all the likely places around the house. So I drove to the city health department and they were very efficient in getting me a new one. I was expecting a terrible wait, but they handled everything very well and I couldn't be more pleased.

But, since I had effectively given up my afternoon, I came home and mowed grass that needed mowing. Then I had to make a decision on what color shingle to put on our new roof which might be going up next week--significantly ahead of schedule. Now, if only the home equity credit line will hurry up. Otherwise the payment is going on the credit card (which has enough of a credit limit and which would be paid off immediately--but only if the credit line comes available before the credit card payment appears.)

Then it was pick up the girls from daycare, fix dinner (of which they ate very little--so no dessert for them), then bath for Ruth, pjs, and bed. Ariel was occupied by "Peter Pan" while this was going on. Then she got to bed without any fuss at all (thank you God!).

And then I got to watch my Wednesday night shows. Luckily LOST was a rerun, because it took until 8:30ish to finish all of the above. But Alias was new and I am really upset with myself for not coming up with the awesome name of "Arvin Clone" for the Joey Grey character that is impersonating Sloane. But other than that, the episode was good--I am glad that Rimbaldi is coming back . . . can Spandex be far behind?

Smallville was also surprisingly good, considering that it was a prom episode. But, still . . . good, even if it felt like the writers don't think the show is coming back next year.

But, there are other things to discuss too. As I mentioned a few days ago, we had a very social weekend. How social?

So social that there were CHICKENS involved!! Yeah . . . another awesome party at Lulu's and fun was had by all.

Even though it looks like we had so MUCH fun that the earth tilted off its axis, I can assure you that NO ONE can have that much fun . . . even in this setting with these people. (Sorry everyone.)

It must have been a great party, however, because Stretch and his mythical wife showed up for the first time EVER!!

I spent some of my time playing baseball with Shirtless and Ariel. As you can see from this action shot, Ariel was working on her curve ball. You can also see that I didn't post a picture of Shirtless' wife here (though I could have). She was a great help to me and Tegan, looking after Ruth quite a lot and allowing T and me to breath for a bit by ourselves.

In other news of recent accomplishments, I am pleased to report that I can mark off several items from the list of 101 things to do in 1001 days. I realized that in the last few weeks I have getting #1 done, accomplished #s 4, 5 (unexpectedly), 11, 16, 74, and 90 (with help). I might get this whole list done after all!

Here is photographic proof of two of them:

#4 Paint guest room--notice dramatic green accent wall? I suggested that we try that!!

This is #11. Paint Ariel's room. Notice the recurring theme of the accent wall? I suggested that we continue it. Ariel picked the colors--strawberryish and a light pink. We need to do a second coat on the light pink, but it is still a nice improvement on the old color.

So, that's it for this post. If you don't like it, Ruth says . . . tough!!

Monday, April 18, 2005

More random bits with little connection

I've gone and done it (again?).

I've neglected my faithful three readers and waited several days between posts--and those posts haven't shown much quality or forethought. I shouldn't do it, I know, but I haven't been motivated enough to sit down and write about something.

And its not like I don't have things to write about, I guess I just don't trust myself to write about them well. So, what do I do? I'll throw a bunch of half-baked ideas down tonight and be disappointed in the overall result.

So . . . get ready!

Idea #1 A few weeks ago, I received our monthly Episcopal Diocese of Southern Ohio newsletter--Interchange. I'll admit that I don't read it extremely carefully all time. But the headline on page 1 caught my eye. It read "Election postponed: ministry keeps going strong." The story announced that the upcoming election of a new bishop for the EDSO (Bishop Herbert Thompson is retiring) is being postponed. This is a direct result of the continuing fallout from the election of Gene Robinson, professed homosexual bishop in New Hampshire.

This is happening because of the Windsor Report, which you can read via this link. I won't pretend to say that I have read the whole thing or even a great deal of it, but I know that it is a reaction from the global Anglican community against the Episcopal Church, USA (as well as--most?--Canadian Anglicans) and their support of homosexuals in the religious community. The part of the Windsor Report that I know about asks that any further votes on the issue of homosexuality be postponed until the Anglican community as a whole can reach a consensus. (Never mind that it is only the North Americans who are hanging in the wind here.)

But as a result of the Windsor Report, the House of Bishops of the Episcopal Church, USA has issued its own Covenant Statement, which, in part suggests that no bishops should be consecrated until the EC, USA has its 2006 General Convention (which, coincidentally, will be held in Columbus, OH).

So, because Bishop Thompson must retire due to his age, my diocese will be without a presiding bishop for a time--all because of the issue of homosexuality in the church.

I'm disappointed and frustrated by this. I am frustrated that this issue is grinding the Church to a halt. Important work that can help people will likely suffer from this. And (while I don't claim to know with certainty) I just don't think that Jesus would approve--thought I really hesitate to bring it to that level of thinking. But, it's Church, right? If you don't think in those terms in a Church setting, you will NEVER do so in any other instance. I guess I don't like to think that way because it puts a bad taste in my mouth. I have never been comfortable being overtly religious in public and it is something that I struggle with, but I have images of what it means to say and ask that way in public--right or wrong--and I am not comfortable being "that way" right now.

A wishy-washy stance for a wishy-washy entry.

Idea #2 As I mentioned in my late-night entry last night, I have plans to post some pictures from our weekend of social activity--mostly from Lulu's very enjoyable party (and we couldn't even stay for the Christopher Guest Film Fest part). So, look for that in the next few days, if I can get around to it.

Idea #3 I realized that I can mark a few more items off of my 101 in 1001 list. Which ones, you ask? Well, you'll have to keep coming back and check to see. I promise pictures to back me up, however.

No idea The girls were pretty good for me this evening. There was some sadness from Ruth when she realized that Tegan wouldn't be there to put her down to bed. But it wasn't a whole lot of crying. Trust me, if you had seen the way she reacted to the idea a few weeks ago, you would be counting blessing as well. Up until recently, she wouldn't give me the time of day. But, forced into only having me around, she accepts it pretty well. It's not EXACTLY a ringing endorsement of me, but I'll bide my time. Ariel eventually came around to appreciating me more and Ruth will as well.

But I had better get some sleep, or at least go upstairs and read in bed for a while. If Ariel's fever hasn't improved tomorrow, I'll have to stay home with her again, like I did today.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Too late to post

I really should put something down tonight.

I had a very eventful weekend--a party at Lulu's, a birthday party for a friend of Ruth's today; Tegan leaving tomorrow for Texas, leaving me to take care of the kid's until Thursday (with Ariel unable to shake a cold).

I may not be at work tomorrow if I have to take Ariel to the doctor. There are lots of things happening this week and I will have to handle them alone.

I also have lingering thoughts on the latest fallout from the Eugene Robinson/Anglican Church fallout. This time it has directly affected my church-going life.

But right now I am trying to catch up on some neglected financial receipt entering, then I've got to get some sleep. I will post some pictures from our weekend activities later this week (once I get the kids to sleep).

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Complaints . . . yeah, I've got some

I've got stuff to complain about tonight, so bear with me.

Today was the beginning of the rest of Ariel's life. Kindergarten is coming in the fall and it really isn't that big a step from there to high school, boyfriends, college, marriage, whatever.

But there is some time before all of that occurs. So, tonight Ariel and I had a quick meal and went over to the neighborhood elementary school to pick up the registration materials packet and schedule the actual registration for next week. (Unlike the other communities of some other parent friends, my area does this in a two-step process.) Ariel and I waited in line for a bit, collected the necessary forms (immunization records, proof of residency, etc., etc.).

After that I thought that we would run over to the Home Depot and pick up a new microwave oven. Our old microwave has been problematic for a while now. It had a bad habit late last summer of tripping the fuse every time we turned it on. That fuse also controlled the lights in the kitchen. It was rather annoying to get started cooking, and then have everything shut down, then traipse down to the basement, switch on the breaker, and then start over.

That problem got better when we switched the microwave's power plug to another outlet, which isolated it from the rest of the kitchen's electricals. The microwave still occasionally trips the breaker, but at least it doesn't take the kitchen down with it.

But now the microwave itself is growing decrepit. The rotating carousel is broken; the actual floor of the microwave seems cracked; it's all just nasty and sub-standard. So, I figured that I would take Ariel, pick up a cheap microwave, and that would be that. Of course you know that if I am bothering to write about this, then it wasn't that simple.

When we got to the HD, we went back to the kitchen design/appliances area. I found the 8 models of microwave ovens they had available (including, luckily our old brand) and got to work. I asked Ariel what color (white, black, stainless) she preferred and I perused the dimensions of our old model to make sure I picked one that would fit in the cubby shelf above our stove.

I fended off one helpful sales associate who was nice enough to acknowledge my presence as I approached the area (something that simply NEVER happens in these big box stores), but he wanted to convince me to spend more money mounting the micro. oven with a vent hood, yada, yada. I wasn't interested in spending that amount of cash right now, as we just signed a contract to spend about four grand on a new roof. But, hey, at least he acknowledged my existence.

The sexy, sleek, stainless steel looking model was nice . . . but at a price ($140). Plus I knew from looking at it that it wouldn't fit in the space, as it was too wide. The rest of the ovens available were plasticky white or black things. Not great or stylish but around the $49 to $69 that I felt comfortable spending. So I eventually decided to get the same model that I was replacing at home. It was serviceable, I knew it would fit, and it was cheap.

Unfortunately, this particular Home Depot didn't have one in stock and a second sales associate told me that the display model wasn't for sale. (Why don't they remove the display, I wondered to myself.) Sales ass. #2 did, however, check his computer and find that a store on Cleveland Avenue might have one or a store in Powell. He called both stores while I continued to wait.

I decided that I wasn't going anywhere else that evening and decided to find a second model that this HD had. After S.A.#2 got off the phone, I asked him to check the computer and see if they had model #2 available. They did, he said, so he pulled out his big ladder to find it for me on the top shelf.

During all this time, I was also trying to keep Ariel entertained as she wandered amidst the kitchen cabinet displays and tried to convince me that we should take home various sample pieces of brightly colored countertop material, drawer pulls, whatever. I kept up with her wanderings while wondering what was taking the S. Ass. so long to locate my microwave. He kept going from shelf to shelf, having little luck, apparently. (Also, during this time, another customer wanders into the area and set up his own vigil.)

Finally S.A.#2 gives up the search and informs me that the computers must be wrong. He did, however, note that he saw another similar model up there which he thought would work. He showed me the model. I was a bit worried that it might be too tall, but gamely set my hopes on choice #3. S.A.#2 climbed the ladder again to retrieve the microwave; I located our wayward shopping cart and noticed that I couldn't see Ariel.

The associate delivered the microwave; I put it in the cart and started checking the aisles, looking for Ariel. I didn't panic, didn't call out, just walked slowly and tried to pay attention to all the spaces where she had been, might be.

After about a minute of this, some random customer caught my attention from ten feet away and asked if I was looking for a little girl. I guess I had "that look" on my face? He said that he had taken her to the front registers. I thanked him and started wheeling my cart to the front. At the same time the PA announced "Will Mr. or Mrs. _____ come to the Special Services desk up front?" When I arrived, Ariel was being comforted by a very nice sales associate. Ariel was a little scared and was crying a bit. But she calmed down fast and we paid for the oven, loaded it in the wagon and headed home.

Arriving home (about 1.5 hours after we initially left) I immediately worried that the oven was too tall to fit on our shelf.

After getting the kids bathed, pj'ed, storied, prayed, and in bed Tegan and I sat down to watch last night's tape of Smallville (pausing to watch tonight's CSI) and then finishing Smallville. Since I had already stayed up late last night watching the episode (so I could discuss with Shirtless) I started unpacking the new microwave. Tegan paused the tape to help me and we eventually got it out of the packaging and up on the shelf.

To our delight, it DID fit, but we immediately noticed that there was a crack in the bottom of the plastic oven door!!

So, back in the box. Tomorrow back to HD to return and then I guess we'll either head to Cleveland Ave. or Powell to get the model that we wanted all along.

Provided I can even remember which one that is at this point.


Sunday, April 10, 2005


It was beautiful beyond belief today.

Luckily Tegan and I took the girls to the Alum Creek park beside Otterbein College today. They had fun running, playing. We simply had fun being outside on a gorgeous day. I always feel like I have wasted time and let the family down if we don't get outside on days like today.

I also mowed the grass today for the first time in the season. There are things that need to get fixed on the mower, but it got the job done today.

In other blog news, see WWYG?! Omimedia for a long post on LOST.

I hope to play tennis tomorrow . . . first time since last fall and first time since the surgery. Any problems I have will be related to my lack of practice and not have anything to do with surgery.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Peter Pan at the Palace

Ariel and I went to the Palace Theater this afternoon to see the Cathy Rigby performance of Peter Pan.

It was very good. Ariel did a very good job of staying quiet (mostly) and paid attention. Only once during the first act, I think during the first song, did she get me worried.

She started saying that she "didn't want to see it." I was afraid that she was going to insist that we go outside. But after about a minute of trying to get clarification, I reminded her that Tiger Lily's first appearance was about to occur. That helped settle her down and she was fine from then on.

The performance was just as I remembered it from the video we borrowed from the library back in January. And we had great seats as well. If you take a look at the seating chart for the Palace Theater provided on this website, you can get a better idea. We were sitting in row T in the lower box, section 2. So, we were at stage level under the beginnings of the lowest balcony. We had a great view of everything.

After the show was over, we walked up to the orchestra pit area so I could show Ariel were the musicians were hiding during the play. She said thank you to the remaining musicians who were packing up their stuff.

After the 3 hour performance, we braved the souvenir crowd to get a commemorative program ($15) and a flashing PP pin ($10). As we left the theater on a beautiful day and walked around the block to the parking garage, we thought about waiting in the long line that snaked down the side of building and around the back corner. As they announced during at the start of the show, Kathy Rigby was signing purchased merchandise after the play was over. Ariel didn't want to wait (good thing, since it would easily have taken another hour) and headed up to our car. We did look down on Rigby from the parking deck. She was sitting with (her?) dog and talking to the many kids that were coming up to get stuff signed.

It was a great time and all the performers did a great job. I hope that Ariel got something out of it. I certainly enjoyed it.

Friday, April 08, 2005

I cringe slightly and then stand firm in the face of danger!

I am a rebel! Oh, yeah . . . didn't you know? I'm breaking rules left and right! I use corporate resources to sometimes post on this very blog!!!

What's that? You don't think that is a big deal? Well then, maybe you should read THIS!!!

Scared yet?

In all seriousness, this link and a gently worded warning/reminder was sent around the department on Monday. But I am not worried. I have only spent brief moments at work placing short posts about 10 times in the course of almost a year's worth of blogging. And I take great pains not to bad-mouth the company, mention it by name, provide state secrets, or start a separate website entitle "________ Sucks!.com" so I don't think I am in grave danger.

All of my fellow blogging coworkers talked about the email briefly and agreed that we have been keeping our noses clean. If any of us were to be fired, it would have to be on something other than blogging.

So, keep your noses clean everyone!!

(Apropos of nothing, I wanted to pass along a brief PSA to my fellow Blogger members. Next time you are on the dashboard, notice the news item about recovering lost posts. I know that Flip has experienced this problem and I would bet that others have as well. You will notice that a new "Recover post" link is available on the new post composition screen. It might help you retrieve something that you spent time writing--as long as you don't spend your work time doing it!!)

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Serving the gifted and enjoying the weather

The last few days (specifically Tuesday and Wednesday) I have been attending an OAGC conference (the Ohio Association of Gifted Children). In my role as a creator and shaper of educational materials, I tried to gather information about how teachers are trying to strategize the teaching of advanced learners and how such strategies and current theories can be adapted to the materials that I help create at the Hill.

It has been interesting and a welcome divergence from the traditional daily grind of the office. I don't really know how much actual concrete stuff I learned that is directly or even partially adaptable to our products, but that is up to me to be creative and suggest a few ideas that I came up with.

The best thing about the last few days is the fabulous weather that we have been enjoying--mid 70s, a slight breeze, sunny, pretty much perfect. Unfortunately, I decided to wait one more week before I try out the tennis court again, but hopefully next week will be fine weather as well. The conference has been clearing out early in the afternoon and so I took advantage this afternoon when I got home early and Tegan and the girls were enjoying the zoo with Nana and Papa (who are visiting) and I took a bike ride.

I have been meaning to try out the bike trails that snake throughout our community ever since we moved here last summer. But, I initially lent my bike to Perk and didn't get it back until this past winter. So this was my first chance to really ride. And man, was it fun.

Hearing the wind whistling, the chain squeaking, the tires rubbing rhythmically against the asphalt. The click of the gears, sounds of kids playing outside as I zoom by. It was a very enjoyable 30 minutes or so as I picked a trail and just took it north and west for a while. I eventually turned back, but it was a great feeling. I hope I find time to do more of it as the weather continues to be good.

In other news, Dr. A pointed out to me a clipping from the local newspaper on Monday. In the interest of full disclosure, I present it here for your edification:
Columbus is providing the backdrop for the latest project for documentary filmmaker Morgan Spurlock, who gained fame--and weight--throughout Super Size Me.
Spurlock and his fiance, Alexandra Jamieson, are working minimum-wage jobs in the city for one month as part of 30 Days, an unscripted documentary-style series.
The couple, who arrived March 6, rented an apartment, then entered the job market.
He is getting assignments with a temporary-staffing agency, and she is washing dishes at a downtown eatery, producer Alan LaGarde said.
A small camera crew accompanies them through their daily routines.
The footage, LaGarde said, will be edited into a one-hour show exploring whether the two can survive in an "average" U.S. city.
Spurlock, who is directing the Columbus installment, will host 30 Days, which is expected to premiere in June on F/X, network spokesman John Salberg said.
The six hours planned--each with a different subject--will include one in which a South Carolina fundamentalist spends four weeks with a Muslim family in Michigan, he said.
While making Super Size Me Spurlock gained 25 pounds by eating every meal at McDonald's for a month.
He wrote, produced and directed the 2004 movie, which won a Writers Guild of America screenplay award and was nominated for an Oscar as best documentary feature. (--Ellen Dempsey)

Monday, April 04, 2005

The creeping danger of cheering

Bryan Curtis of Slate has a story (see title post for link) on the evil cheerleader. Thank God we have the state of Texas to tell the rest of us when we are becoming dangerously close to burning in hell for ever.

My favorite line in the story comes in the first paragraph when Texas representative Al Edwards explains that the modern cheering style is too sexy . . . "they way they're shaking their behinds and going on, breaking it down [italics mine]." You go, Rep. Edwards! Show that you have done your homework by droppin' that lingo on us. (May I suggest you consult the website, Gizoogle for more helpful translation?)


In other cheering news, see this story about the annual college mascot tournament. There is more references to shaking behinds in this story, but I don't know if the aforementioned mascots "broke it down." One mascot was, disturbingly described as "submissive" however. Maybe we should get some legislation underway?

Incidentally, I heard that the U.K. Wildcat won the tournament this year. Too bad the men's team couldn't take some pointers from him/her/who knows?