I Must Be Adopted

I am truly hopeful that I am adopted, and thus not as messed up as the rest of my family.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Several Quick Updates -- Wife's raise

While not in affect yet, have learned some additional information.

- Healthcare contributions will increase
- Union dues will increase

Can't hardly wait for this raise to go into affect. I do not have precise details as to how much these costs will increase, but I can't hardly wait to see.


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Wife's Car

Quick update....

The 2nd car dealership was able to identify the problem with the wife's car within one day. They affected a temporary fix, and have the necessary replacement part on order. It should be in sometime this week. They'll call when it's in, and arrange an appointment.

So far, I would have to say that the temp fix is working... Turns out there was a heat sheild loose on an exhaust pipe. Not sure what the temp fix was, but don't care... as long as it doesn't squeak.

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Sister Update

Sister came up over the weekend to visit with me and my brother for our B-Days... we are only 8 days apart. Mine was over this past weekend, and his is this coming weekend.

While visiting, she made the announcement that her and Shannon are now engaged. He proposed to her on the beach down in Myrtle Beach, SC. Evening... candles... down on one knee...

"Laura, will you marry me?"

Her response (no kidding), was "Well, let's talk about this..."

OK... Not the answer I would have expected from Traci when I proposed, but after a couple of days of talking, she accepted.

I wish them the best of luck. I may or may not have said it before, but I like Shannon for Laura. He and I don't have a lot of similar interests, but so far all of my experiences with Shannon have been good ones.

In addition, there is a very good chance that she will be accepting a job in South Carolina (Myrtle Beach area) and moving there in the next few weeks. Nothing guaranteed, but a very good chance.

Regardless, she and Shannon are purchasing a 5 acre parcel of land in South Carolina, in preparation of one day living down there.

P.S. for those wondering what Shannon looks like, he does look a little like Hulk Hogan... not a twin, but somewhat similar in appearance.

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Brother Update

My brother is now living with us. I'll give updates on this as things progress, but so far... acceptable... as acceptable as having your adult brother living in your house as is possible.

So far he is doing his absolute best to stay out of our hair.

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Saturday, May 26, 2007

For the Fallen

To honor those this holiday is meant to remember. Yes, I realize this poem was written by an Englishman and for the English soldiers who died fighting in WWI, but nonetheless, it still rings true.

For the Fallen

With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children,
England mourns for her dead across the sea.
Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of her spirit,
Fallen in the cause of the free.

Solemn the drums thrill: Death august and royal
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres.
There is music in the midst of desolation
And a glory that shines upon our tears.

They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;
They sit no more at familiar tables at home;
They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
They sleep beyond England's foam.

But where our desires are and our hopes profound,
Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
As the stars are known to the Night;

As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain,
As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
To the end, to the end, they remain.

Laurence Binyon (1869-1943)

Friday, May 18, 2007

My Todd Story

I'm TRULY hoping this doesn't turn into a Todd W transmission story.

This is the VERY beginning of the story, so it's not a lost cause yet.

About 2 weeks ago, the wife's brand new 2006 Subaru Outback started making a "sqeaking" noise at highway speeds. Nothing major, but definately annoying... especially for a car with less than 10,000 miles.

The Subaru dealership I purchased the car from has had it for 2 days. They can replicate the noise without a problem, but they can't identify where it is coming from.

It's now Friday, and we need the car for the weekend, so we are picking it up, and after a 5 minute conversation, they decided not to charge me (good luck trying) for time spent.

Tuesday we drop it off at the Subaru dealership in our town, and we'll see what they can find. I've already warned them that this has been at another Subaru dealership, and they were unable to find the cause -- just wanted to give them a heads up about this potentially perplexing problem.

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Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Update on the Wife's raise

Just got the info this morning... The raise (originally due January 1, 2006) should be finalized and in affect by July 1, 2007.

We are looking at a whopping $40 per pay period (she gets paid twice a month... 15th and the last day of the month)!

We waited 18 months, for $40 a pay period. Somehow, I don't think that's a good ROI.

P.S. On a percentage basis, the raises (they broke the total raise down into yearly increments for purposes of back pay) are decent percentages, but a large percentage of a very small number to begin with, equals another very small number.

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Monday, May 07, 2007

Work Laptop - Just my luck.

A couple of weeks ago, my work laptop began making a clicking noise... For those non-computer people out there, laptops (any computer for that matter) should not make clicking noises.

It was coming from the hard drive. It just suddenly started on this particular day. I immediately realized what the issue was, and got out my handy-dandy 1GB Swiss Army knife memory stick that was gifted to me by my employees for Christmas one year.

My plan was to transfer off my data (documents, photos, installer programs, etc...) onto the memory stick. I no sooner plugged the device into the laptop and opened Windows Explorer to start copying files, then my laptop blue screened on me. Subsequent attempts to boot the laptop ended with the "No Boot Device Found" message -- basically the hard drive had died, and I was unable to get any info copied.

After leaving the laptop sit, undisturbed for a period of time, and after securing another laptop on which to do my work, I was able to boot my original laptop up. I had nothing to lose, so I took the hard drive out, and smacked it around a little... I'm not kidding... I smacked it a couple of times. I figured it was a mechanical failure (the clicking noise), and that smacking it, might temporarily loosen / free / move whatever physical part froze or broke.

You may laugh, but it worked. The laptop booted, and I was able to transfer all the data I wanted onto the memory stick. Realizing that the hard drive was in no way suitable for dependable operations, I purchased a replacement hard drive from eBay.

"It's a work laptop, why would you purchase parts yourself?" The answer to that question is easy. Until now, I have successfully avoided having the laptop Comcastrated -- meaning Comcast's IT department hasn't touched the laptop, nor removed my admin privileges for the laptop. Not only do I need admin privileges to do my job, it's really annoying to not have them, PLUS (and ask any ex-Suscomer), anytime Comcast IT touches your computer, just plan on spending the rest of the day saying "I don't know... They came over to do X, and now it won't boot."

Got the new hard drive and installed it. Installed Windows XP, and all the programs I needed... The laptop is back in business.

Now, here's where my luck comes in... When I insert the memory stick into the laptop to copy the data off, the message says:

"USB Device Not Recognized. One of the USB Devices attached to this computer has malfunctioned."

It's not just this laptop... I get the same message from every computer this thing get plugged into. I can't even format the stick and start over... it's broke.

Just my luck.




Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Summer is here...

I don't care what the calendar says...

I don't care what people think...

I'm sitting here drinking my first milkshake of the season from the friendly neighborood Mr. Frosty truck.

Summer is here.


Brother's Visit

Last Thursday, my brother came up for a visit/dinner/other things...

At any rate, at some point during dinner, the conversation some how turned to "stupid groups of people." He informed me that there is a group of people who believe that the Earth is flat. Today... Right Now... There are people out there who believe the Earth is flat!!!

So, half believing him, I google it... and sure enough...

Wikipedia Entry
Interview with Charles K Johnson - leader of Flat Earthers. He died in 2001.
Official WebSite

If you are a FEer (I assume FE stands for Flat Earth, but who knows... remember these people think the Earth is flat, so FE might stand for anything), please contact me... I really need to understand how this is possible.

The next day, while talking to a friend, I discover another group of people who believe the Earth is hollow. Apparently, the lost tribes of Israel, after having escaped the Assyrians, migrated to the inner Earth. These tribes are highly advanced and peaceful.

The HEers (Hollow Earthers) are launching an expedition to the North Pole in 2008 to find the hole at the North Pole. I can either try to remember to give an update here, or you can follow the adventure yourself by tracking it on their website:


Other topics of dinner conversation:

- David Gilmour v. Roger Waters... which side do you fall on? The wife is clearly in Gilmour's camp, as she refers to Waters as a Opportunistic Backstabber. I, however, am a realist, and fall in the Waters' camp. I like Pink Floyd's music better with him.

- Greatest Bands ever. My brother contends that Nirvana is among the top 5 bands, and that there is some countdown show on MTV that agrees with him... Not that I like all of these bands, but off the top of my head, I can think of: The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Metallica, Aerosmith, Pink Floyd, Led Zepplin, The Grateful Dead... Nirvana... Nope!

- Greatest Philosopher -- Socrates v. Plato. My vote would be for Aristotle (even named my snake for him), but given the choice between only these two... Socrates. I mean, he was the first... the mentor to Plato, and indirectly Aristotle. Plus, without him, we wouldn't have the Socratic Method. And after all, isn't the cornerstone of Western Philosophy and Culture based upon the Socratic Method? (once you google Socratic Method, you'll get this...)

- Friedrich Nietzsche - Talk about a pessimist. Being that Nietzsche is an atheist and holds similar views as my brother on other subjects, the wife gave my brother one of Nietzsche's books to familiarize himself with.

-XBox Elite... so what? Nothing big here, as far as I'm concerned.

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How do I become a contestant

OK... I missed this past Thursday's "Smarter than a 5th Grader", because my brother came up for dinner / visit (see previous entry), but I recorded it. I watched the recording last evening.

Short version, I knew all the answers, save one, however, the kid on the show had the right answer, so I would have been saved. I even knew the answer to the $1 million question -- and for the record, I told the wife before I saw the question, that I would have gone for the $1 million dollars. Basically, if the final category is either math or astronomy, I would go for $1 million.

After watching the show (and I have to admit I like watching the recorded version, because I can skip through the commercials and filler and just get to the questions), I visited FOX's website to see how to become a contestant... Are there try-outs? Do you mail your name in, and perhaps get drawn from a vast list of names? How do you get on the show?

In short, I can't find the answer to that.

If anybody knows how to become a contestant, I want in. I'm convinced that I would be much more nervous once on the show, than I am sitting at home; and I'm curious as to whether I would do as well on the show, but what the heck... I'll try.

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