Monday, December 31

Two videos of chickens and cats!

I've uploaded 2 more videos to YouTube. The first one is Chickens in the garden and Suicune on the fence and the other one is More chickens and another cat.

If you'd like to earn me some points towards a gift certificate, watch them on Gather and then rate and/or comment.

Because I'm such a nice guy, I'll even make it possible for you to see them right here on Blogspot. *smile*

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Thursday, December 27

Broken van, cat in a box

Our van has a radiator fluid leak, but hopefully it's JUST a radiator hose. When we got home this afternoon there was steam coming out from under the hood, and the temp gage in the van was close to maxed out. After opening the hood I could hear hissing like there is a leak, but it's overcast and I don't have a very strong flashlight. I put some fluid and water in the radiator and started the van, and it didn't overheat. However, there is radiator fluid dripping in a steady stream underneath, but I can't see if it's a hose (which I'm assuming) or a gasket to know what's leaking. And even if I could, I don't know how the hell I could get to it :-( So I need to call and talk to our mechanic/friend and see if he can come up this weekend and help me fix it. If not, we'll be vehicle-less for a while.

Galux in a small box

This is Galux in a box that's obviously too small for her, but she don't care... IT'S A BOX!

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Our dog grooming herself

Since the last one worked, here is yet another short video. This time it's of Sugar grooming herself.

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Video of dog getting petted

Don't know if this is going to work, as I've never embedded a video using an off-line blogging program. If it does, then the video you'll see is our dog, Sugar, going from the sofa to my wife's hand to be petted.

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Monday, December 24

More cat pictures, video link, and our Yule Holiday

I don't know if I need to tell you this or not (prolly not), but just in case I do, just remember that in order to see a bigger, more detailed picture, you can just click on said picture(s) to enlarge them.

Rocky in his box

This is Rocky in his box that is on the kitchen table, that we rarely eat at/on as a family.

Creature in front of Rocky

This is Creature-Peacher sitting on the table in front of Rocky in his box.

2 pics of Moon

This is Moon in the box on the table. One when she was sleeping, the other as her peeking.

Slash in the box (from the top)

And the above is Slash in a box, from the top, with Spot sitting beside her. Spot is the bonus in this one, as I didn't even see her there until I saw the picture. Yes, those are my feet.

Me and Rocky watching TV

Last and least, this is me watching TV with Rocky. Well, he's not watching, but I was before this picture was taken.

If pictures of cats aren't enough, you can see a few of our 21, live in my very first video on YouTube by going here. I'll also be posting these on my Gather page(s). So if you want to help me earn some points towards a gift certificate, check them and others out, comment and/or rate them.

All those being shown, and I've got more but I don't feel like putting them ALL in this entry because I feel like I should do some actual "writing". I have been unable to think of anything that I feel important enough TO write. Yeah, I'm in a holiday funk and I don't know why :-( I haven't watched the news in over a week (although I have read a couple of articles on-line), and so far it hasn't helped cheer me up. What's wrong with me?! How long do I need to be news free before I snap out of this? Maybe if the weather is nice enough this coming Thursday and we get to see some other friends in Springfield, MO, that'll finally cheer me up. One can hope anyway.

All that be said (and shown), we've had a decent Yule holiday. A family of friends came and visited on this passed Friday. We sat, talked, ate brownies, drank wine, and they even brought a few presents. The main ones were for Eldin. He got a whole box of video games for his GameCube system. Which he's been playing every waking hour since. He also got the latest Zelda game (Four Swords Adventures), which he has already beaten. For us they brought some movies. They are Pirates of The Caribbean - At World's End, Transformers, and Spider-man 3, which we've watched none of because I've been watching NFL football when there was nothing else on TV that anyone else wanted to watch. Speaking of which, there's a game on tonight featuring The Denver Broncos vs. The San Diego Chargers. I hope the Broncos win!

Other than that (yeah, I like saying that. Why? Don't know, not really), just enjoying (as much as possible) the cold but sunny days of the lengthening days after Yule.

Today, so far, I cleaned 6 litter boxes, burned some trash outside, started a nice, warm fire in the woodstove, cleaned-up some cat-gak, made and am drinking my morning coffee.

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Wednesday, December 19

Why do I even bother?


And now you know why I am starting to wonder what the whole fucking point of writing in my blogspot blog is... Because VERY FEW people even read it. And who can blame them, it's not like I write on a regular basis, or when I do, it's not all that fucking well done/exciting :-(

Saturday, December 15

Cat pictures and life

This (above) is Moon laying on me wife's mouse-hand. Seems that our cats know when we want to do something besides pay attention to them.


These (above) are/were our twin cats, before Trippy passed on. Dragoon did NOT want to accept that Trippy was dead and tried to wake him up before we got him buried - poor guy. It was heartbreaking.

Anyway, we have our Yule shopping all done. My son and I wrapped the presents we got for my wife and daughter. Now he just needs to wrap the one he got for me, and then my wife and daughter need to wrap those that they are going to give on the 21st.

The weather is cold. It's about 35 degrees Fahrenheit outside, and that's probably going to be our high for the day. I can barely wait for spring to get here. We're happily surprised at how well heating with Poplar wood is going. It catches fire well, burns pretty hot, and I don't even need kindling to start the fire in the woodstove. 'course I have my special way of getting it started if anyone wants to know how I do it. As for snow that we're supposed to get during the day today and this morning, we only have enough to coat the ground with a thin layer, and I'm not complaining. Was hoping it would miss us all together like most storms do, but just not as lucky this time.

Let's see. Oh yeah, and the woodstove/computer game room has been re-arranged. Well, really we just put the love-seat out on the porch. Seems that a cat (probably Creature) had been using it to pee on and the room (not to mention the love-seat) were stinking. Of course we'll most likely try and find another sofa, if we can find one for very cheap or even free. Would just throw her out at night, which we were doing because she was peeing on the counter (she stopped doing that, thankfully), but we're softies and don't want her to get too cold outside. If she keeps this crap up though, she may get tossed out anyway! There are hay bales in the big shed that she could snuggle up on if necessary, just like other cats do.

I am taking a sabbatical from any hard-core news for a few days (maybe longer if I feel it's improving my depression). Just started getting too angry and depressed at "the war" news. Feel really bad for the people in Afghanistan and Iraq, but feel totally helpless to actually get our freaking, corrupt government to pull-out of either, or even one. So for a while I've got to just chill and step back, because I can't seem to do anything to get the U.S. government to be accountable to "the people" (which in my opinion means the higher-ups in the Bush-Cheney administration NEED to be impeached, but...).

Lastly, yesterday we finally brought in the clothes that had been hanging on the clothes line for four days. See, I hung them out on a day when the sun did break through the clouds, so I thought they'd dry before it got all cloudy again. I was wrong. We put some in "the smoking house" to finish drying, and hung other clothes on stuff in our bedroom. The stuff in our bedroom has been hung-up and put away, but the stuff in the smoking room still needs to be brought over and dealt with... eventually.

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Thursday, December 13

We'll miss you Tripster :-(

Trippy_Dec_07 Trippy: May 2005-Dec. 13, 2007 This is my baby, Trippy, on his death bed this morning. When we got back from our Yule shopping this afternoon, his spirit was one with the rainbow bridge. We're going to miss him! :-( Technorati : best friend, cat, death, passing, rainbow bridge, sadness, trippy

Tuesday, December 11

Energy bill 6 fails in the senate

Message I sent to the following recipients, pertaining to an energy bill 6: The bill that FAILED in the Senate :-(

Representative Skelton, Senator Bond, Senator McCaskill, President

Here's what I wrote:

December 11, 2007

I KNOW that the Bush-Cheney whitehouse are NOT going to approve anything that takes money away from their "bases" (oil, coal, corporations), but... there's technology NOW that could get people's cars to run on vegetable oil, hydrogen, steam, AIR (air for god's sake), that there's NO REASON not to EASILY reduce CO 2 and have cars getting MUCH, MUCH better gas mileage.

Like I said though, too many kickbacks from the oil and coal industries!


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Saturday, December 8

Ice storm cometh

** Correction... It was actually the NOV. storm that we weren't prepared as much for. Jan's storm was at the beginning of the month, so we were okay.

See, this is just not good. It was supposed to be in the 50s today, according to the forecast we saw on Thursday. Yeah, I know, "But it's not Thursday, IS IT?!" *grin*

Luckily this is happening closer to the beginning of the month than January's ice-storm, which happened TWO DAYS before payday and we're were almost out of 'the necessities of life', which sadly included cat food. We were THIS close to being their cat food. LOL. Anyway, we we're pretty much ready for this storm, just hope it's not as bad/severe as is the forecast. Heard yesterday that a 1/2" to 1" of ICE is possible. *sigh* Not many branches left to break off, although I'm sure if some were missed in Jan, those'll be the ones to break. We WERE planning on cutting some down today, but the weather isn't cooperating. We don't WANT to go out in the cold (40 deg), drizzly weather and "do" the branches. Of course we WILL if we HAVE to, but we don't think we will. *smile* So without further adieu, here's the forecast from today...

ALERT 1 - Freezing Rain Advisory


Event Start: 6:00PM CST, Saturday Dec 8, 2007
Event End: 6:00PM CST, Sunday Dec 9, 2007

ALERT 2 - Winter Storm Watch


Event Start: 12:00AM CST, Sunday Dec 9, 2007
Event End: 1:00PM CST, Tuesday Dec 11, 2007

ALERT 3 - Winter Storm Watch


Event Start: 12:00AM CST, Sunday Dec 9, 2007
Event End: 1:00PM CST, Tuesday Dec 11, 2007

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Wednesday, December 5

Life on the homestead

Well, not a hell of a lot going on. The weather has been interesting, but not all that dramatic. Windy most times it seems, which is giving us a good excuse NOT to go around removing dead branches from the oak trees or other non-Poplars. It's not like it's an absolute "must do" yet. However, within the next couple of days the weather is supposed to mellow out and we're planning on doing it then.

Other than that, just been hanging around inside. Daughter, wife, and me spend most of our time on the computers, and my son spends quite a bit of his free time playing video games. Not to mention that he's gotten into this routine of staying up most of the morning watching on-line videos and then sleeping till sometime in the afternoon. I guess a lot of families have at least one person who's an extreme night owl and/or doesn't need much sleep.

We've decided to try enclosing our chickens in their yard around their coop to see if we can increase the number of eggs we find. That was assuming the when they were 'out' they were laying in hard to find places. Well, it hasn't made any difference so far. Yes, some of them do fly over the fence and mill around the yard. Usually a rooster flies out and then hens start one by one. Usually not more that 5-10 hens get out though, so there should be plenty of eggs, but there isn't. Eventually this year, towards Spring, we're going to look into/strongly consider getting more of a dual purpose flock together. That'd be good meat birds that are semi-good to good egg layers. If you know of such a breed, clue us in please. In order to prepare for that eventuality, we're thinking of start the cull (culling?) with the ones that're regularly getting out of the yard.

And that's life on the homestead! :-)

Just so you know, I do have some pictures of sleeping/comfortable cats and the dog, so check back soon for those.

Sunday, December 2

Not so typical December weather

So here were are on the second day of December in the year 2007 and it's almost 60 degrees Fahrenheit outside. Does that sound like 'typical' weather in the Missouri Ozarks to you? Well, for the last couple of years it is. Not only that, but it's raining instead of snowing or sleeting, which is a great. My wife told me that when her and my DD got up at 7 this morning, it was over 60 degrees. According to Weatherbug though, tomorrow morning it's supposed to drop down to around 26. However, that was from a weather station in a city that's typically 5 degrees cooler than us, which means we'll only drop to 31-ish, which is quite cold enough. Thank you very much! Since it's not my week to get up in the mornings, I should be getting up to a warm house if Rain starts a fire pretty much first thing, and she probably will. We really should be working on getting branches that've been hanging broken since last January's ice storm, and cut into pieces that can be used in the wood stove. Currently it's mostly Poplar in there. Although it lights easily and burns well, it also burns quickly. Hopefully when the lasting cold weather arrives, it won't last very long and we'll have enough wood cut into logs. I guess whether we do or not, we will be working on it, lest we freeze. I'm not going to let that happen!

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Wednesday, November 28

Kitties. Chores. Writing dilemma. Calling friends

Click to enlarge
Rocky is the big kitty (right) laying next to Spot (middle), who's laying next to Suicune (left). The reason I took this is because I thought it was interesting how the big one was laying almost on top of Spot and looking just so comfortable.

I haven't really been up to all that much. Although, I did get quite a bit done yesterday, now that I think about it. I got the load of laundry brought in that had been hanging on the line since Saturday. It was too humid on Saturday afternoon and they weren't dry, so I figured I'd bring them in on Sunday after the sun had been out for a while. However, the sun never did come out, plus we got a light dusting of snow which melted, but the clothes still didn't dry. Then on Monday it pretty much stayed extremely overcast and rained off and on all day. But on Tuesday around noon they were dry (enough) and I brought that load in. And since I had re-washed the clothes that had also been in the wash machine for 3 days, I had to hang another load out. Luckily it was a pretty nice day, and the sun warmed us up real nice (in the 50's Fahrenheit) so the 2nd load dried fairly quickly. Plus I finally got the screen-door screen taken out and replaced with the glass storm window. Since it was such a nice day yesterday, I was finally able to get the water hose thawed out. Once the sprayer had enough pressure, I hosed the porch down. It was just covered in chicken doo-doo and was disgusting. But because it dropped to freezing and below (but not much) over the weekend, we didn't even try to get the hose thawed out until yesterday. Besides, even if I had been able to get the porch hosed-off, it would just turned the surface into ice. So I waited til yesterday. But of course that was before it was feeding time for the chickens, so they messed it up again, but not nearly as bad. Although you still had to watch where you stepped. Ew! Over the fall I tried to spray it off every day, but once it got cooler and we couldn't leave the water on all the time, I kind of slacked off. *grin*

I have been contemplating blogging for the last couple of days. I just could not get in 'the mood'. Kept thinking, "The things that are happening in my life are just so insignificant compared to what's happening in the Mideast and other parts of the world, and also compared to what the current U.S. administration is doing to our civil liberties, rights, and to those in other countries" (eroding them quickly), that I just couldn't think of anything "exciting" or "important" enough to write about. My wife and I talked about my dilemma this afternoon and she reminded that when times are complicated and uncertain, people want/like/need to hear about normal things. So here I am :-)

Called a friend today, that'd lost our phone number and was confused because of a returned/undeliverable email to/from my now discontinued gmail addy, that she wasn't sure how to contact me. So she commented on my MySpace blog, I answered with my phone number, plus I called her. Her, her hubby, and their kids will be coming over Friday evening to share some wine, cake, ice-cream, and brownies. Why? Because Friday is my birthday. WOO-HOO!

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Saturday, November 24

Laundry fun. Survivor on-line. Lego winner video

Haven't been up to a lot, but I have managed to get a few things done. Oh, like I brought a load of laundry in off or the clothes line that I hung out yesterday. Yes, it took that long for things to dry, and it didn't help that we got a skiff of snow sometime after midnight this morning either. 'course didn't stick to anything, but it happened. Also got 2 more loads washed. One is hanging on the line 'til tomorrow sometime, and the other is waiting for the line in the washing machine. I noticed fairly quickly how much slower they dry when it's cold and cloudy. Wind helps, but not a whole lot. *grin* I'll tell ya what, it's a little time consuming when you have to keep stopping to warm your hands up before hanging the next thing up.

I also watched this passed Thursday's episode of . If you missed it, you didn't miss much. All they did was show all the highlights of the season so far. Next week it's back to the usual, 'cept they're gunna tell/show us why they had to stay at the place they vote someone off.

Speaking of videos, have you seen the one the father of the girl who won the "most creative" contest for Lego? You should check it out if you just happen to be against war and Bush. It's called "Bush is Gone!" There is a choir singing it with the tune from John Lennon's "Happy Springtime".

Oh yeah, I also emptied the clean dishes from the dishwasher and put them away, then proceeded to reload it with what was left from last night's supper. *smile*

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Friday, November 23

Wonderful Thursday

Had some family friends come with a turkey that they cooked the night before, with sweet potatoes, and some soda. Meanwhile deciding when the best time to eat would be, we stood and sat around talking while the kids did their own things. Had some chips, dip, tomato pickles, turkey, sweet taters, and drinks.

After they left, another family donning turkey, bread (regular and corn). Rain made a pie, brownies, and cookies, all of which I didn't get enough of. *g*

K and myself then worked on getting the other/fast computer running, but it was deemed that the motherboard wasn't working for whatever reason, so the computer was taken apart so we'd have some spare parts (RAM, hard-drives, cables, etc). Thanks K! Now THIS computer is sporting TWO hard drives, although trying to max-out the RAM caused it to not boot-up. But hey, it's a little better than it was, only with more memory to store programs and stuff. *smile*

Monday, November 19

Iraq's genetic future over. Sorry kids.

See what our beloved (not by me) government has done to the Iraqi's and other middle-eastern countries. And this isn't a war crime? Are you fucking kidding me? -Todd



By Sherwood Ross

By firing radioactive ammunition, the U.S., U.K., and Israel may have triggered a nuclear holocaust in the Middle East that, over time, will prove deadlier than the U.S. atomic bombing of Japan.

So much ammunition containing depleted uranium(DU) has been fired, asserts nuclear authority Leuren Moret, "The genetic future of the Iraqi people for the most part, is destroyed."

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Sunday, November 18

Wrist-pads, computer stuff, season to...

Well, I made myself a wrist-pad for my keyboard (computer. Is there anything else.*g*) to see if that would help me hit the correct keys on a regular basis. So far, so good.

Speaking of computers. The black, ribbed part of the backrest was looking kind of ratty, so I decided to 'pretty it up'. *cheesy smile* Yep, because the chair as a whole was just so damned pretty to start with, with that nifty seat cushion. LOL.

Today we got an email from a friend who we hadn't heard anything from for almost a month (guess). They're fine. And a public "Happy Birthday T" from this family.

Haven't been up to much. Since it became 'close to needing a fire every morning' season, just haven't been real motivated. But now, it's not quite that season yet, so theoretically it would be a good time to do outdoorsy stuff. Oh, I don't know, things like target practice with the bow or something. *grin* Mostly just been walking back and forth between the smoking house and the main one. Laundry gets done as needed. That usually means when the bathroom hamper is full. That's where we put most of the clothes we wear regularly right before showering. Today it's not full. YAY!

Yeah, there is NFL Football on, but I just can't seem to get into it. Hence why the 'puter tunes are on and I'm blogging. Already read what email had came in, everyone else was still asleep or taking naps, and I needed to "connect" with someone. Lucky you, eh? *snicker* But now my wife and daughter are up, so I should spend some time with them. See ya later!

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Thursday, November 15

Tomgram: As the World Burns

Tomgram: As the World Burns

How Dry We Are

A Question No One Wants to Raise About Drought
By Tom Engelhardt

Georgia's on my mind. Atlanta, Georgia. It's a city in trouble in a state in trouble in a region in trouble. Water trouble. Trouble big enough that the state government's moving fast. Just this week, backed up by a choir singing "Amazing Grace," accompanied by three protestant ministers, and 20 demonstrators from the Atlanta Freethought Society, Georgia's Baptist Governor Sonny Perdue led a crowd of hundreds in prayers for rain. "We've come together here," he said, "simply for one reason and one reason only: To very reverently and respectfully pray up a storm." It seems, however, that the Almighty -- He "who can and will make a difference" -- was otherwise occupied and the regional drought continued to threaten Atlanta, a metropolis of 5 million people (and growing fast), with the possibility that it might run out of water in as little as 80 days or as much as a year, if the rain! s don't come.

Here's a little summary of the situation today:

Water rationing has hit the capital. Car washing and lawn watering are prohibited within city limits. Harvests in the region have dropped by 15-30%. By the end of summer, local reservoirs and dams were holding 5% of their capacity.

Oops, that's not Atlanta, or even the southeastern U.S. That's Ankara, Turkey, hit by a fierce drought and high temperatures that also have had southern and southwestern Europe in their grip.

Click here to

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Tuesday, November 13

trip to "The House" that we don't live in

A pictorial trip to "The House" that we don't live in

As I was headed out with my coffee to get a nicotine fix, I decided that it 'might' be interesting for y'all to 'see' the house/breakroom that I've talked about several times lately. Welcome!


Looking out our door to the place we're going to be shortly.


We're half way there :-)


We are SO close that the anticipation is killing me!


What mysteries lie within that door? *spooky*


This is the FIRST thing I see upon arriving. Got me a place to sit, some tunes, and smokes. What more could a guy want? *smile*


"The other side". Or as some might refer to it... 'The Guest Sofa'. But as of right NOW, it's 'The Kid's sofa'.


King, Queen, and special-guest place to be comfy.


It's such a small room, this heater is all we need, and at times it's too much heat.


The view from my 'usual' spot when Rain is with me, and I'm not looking at her. Or, where we were.


The view out the other window.


Case for the CD that I was rockin and dancing to.

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Monday, November 12

Working camera and cat picture

(click to enlarge)

Up until this afternoon, my camera didn't work, and hasn't for a couple of days. Why? Don't know. I just know that it would NOT come on. I changed the batteries a couple of times without success. Then today I decided it was finally time for me to shave and make my goatee look somewhat presentable. However, the electric, battery powered trimmer needed new batteries, so I got out the pack of batteries and put a couple in. No increase in power. Bad batteries? I put two more in and that did the trick. After shaving I decided I would change the camera batteries one more time just in case the "new" ones I had put in were really bad after-all. Just in case, I tried turning the camera on. Surprisingly, it came on, and at full power. The above picture was taken just to make sure it would work. As you can see, it does, or at least did. We'll find out when I put the film card back in. If it still works, that'd be so cool. Just in case it doesn't last, and because we thought it had finally bit the big one (it's a '98), we bought a $10 dollar Wal-Mart special on-line, which should be here by the end of this week.

It been cloudy and rainy pretty much all day, but in the high 60/low 70's, so no real work has been done. Therefore I have nothing else to say. *grin*

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Saturday, November 10

Tuesday is gone. Launchcast music, done, picture

"Tuesday's gone... WITH the wi- Indddddd...", sang Lynard Skynard. And ya know what? It's true. Which totally makes sense, since it's like, Saturday :-) For some reason the music on the FREE LaunchCast of Yahoo's keeps stopping. Is there some sort of time limit I'm not aware of? Yeah, yeah, yeah, I'll be looking at the FAQs here in a little bit.

I've gotten a few things done. Like brunch for E & I. The dishwasher emptied and partially refilled. Parents called and messaged (answering machine). I've been thinking of calling them off & on for a couple of weeks, but I finally did it today and they ignored me. I know they're not REALLY ignoring me, and that they're just busy doing something else, but I'm just trying to (continue) to sound pathetic. LOL. Oh yeah, and I finished drinking the coffee out of the coffee pot, that my wife had ready for me this morning. Plus I've made a second pot, which I'm drinking now. Well, not RIGHT now. *grin*

And guess what, I cleaned the litter boxes. They're now free of cat shit! :) Now THAT is some information you needed, eh?

That's it. I'm tapped.

peacher-creaturePeacher-Creature being cute in our kitchen.

(click to enlarge)

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Friday, November 9

Ball-joint, alignment, adapter, chocolate and other carbs, and news

Took our van in for an alignment this afternoon. Had planned on stopping by the feed store for a bag of chicken chops and grocery store for some meat. Well, they wouldn't/couldn't do the alignment because the front, driver's side ball-joint needed to be replaced. *sigh* What ELSE could go wrong?! So $113 later, we've got an alignment AND a new ball-joint installed. Needless to say, that money was needed for groceries (meat specifically) that we can no longer afford. Consequently we only have $160 for everything until next month, and it's only week 1 of November. Granted it's the end of week one, but still. Want to call the place (if we can find one) that has commodities and see if they've got anything (like meat) that they give out, or I guess we'll accept whatever they offer. *sigh*

While we were out and a boot we walked over to the library and checked out several books. After 45 minutes there we walked over to an electronics store and got a jack for the computer so that we've now got the choice to listen to 'whatever' through the desktop speakers or headphones, without having to disconnect one to have a place to connect the other. Which isn't a big deal, just inconvenient.

Once the van was done we went to the grocery store and got some CHOCOLATE/Oreo cookies, a bottle of cola, a newspaper and lottery tickets. Next was home and it was time to feed the chickens and refill all the waters (for chickens, cats, and the dog).

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Thursday, November 8

Fleetwood Mac - Tusk. DemocracyNow, and other stuff

Good afternoon boys, girls, men, women, and others. Hope this finds all doing well. I don't really have anything mind blowing to say, just so you know. *grin* In fact, if you've got other things to do, I won't be upset if you just stop right here and move on. *smile*

I was just outside in "The Smoking Room" and rocked out to the song "Tusk" by Fleetwood Mac on the CD titled, "The Dance". What an awesome song! :-) I mean, I even did 'the seat dance', a couple of times. LOL.

Prior to that I watched the news on DemocracyNow! And I must say that I am happy that there are congress people trying to find a way to get all the Militia groups like Blackwater out of Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere with the S.O.S. bill. Because they aren't helping matters, but making them much worse in an already horrendous situation by killing unarmed, unprovoked people. Plus they (BW, and possibly others) were given immunity for pretty much anything they do. How freaking stupid was that?! I'm also happy that the "Impeach Cheney" resolution (H Res 333) is moving forward.

I should probably eat some brunch since it's 1:12 p.m., but I'm just not hungry. Then again, I often have to kind of force myself to eat, otherwise before I know it I'm getting irritable and headachey. And I've got laundry hanging out on the line that needs to come in. Well, I suppose I probably should get something done besides computering, coffee drinking, and cigarette smoking done.

By for now.

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Tuesday, November 6

A van fixed, and luckily we never crashed

Got up this morning with one thing in mind, taking the van to a friend's shop in Urbana, Missouri called ** "Righteous Motorworks". The van had almost always (it seems anyway) pulled to the right when the brakes were applied. When I talked to Alan he thought that it might just be that the front brake pads needed changed. Then about a month ago (maybe more) we started hearing rumbling in the back of the van when we drove anywhere. Asked one friend who also knows how to work on autos and he suggested that the rear crankcase might be low on fluid. I had mentioned the rumbling to Alan a month ago and he thought it possible that some dust or sand got into the brake drums. Well, today we went to his shop around noon for him to look at the front brakes. We had bought some pads for them a few weeks ago when he suggested that might be our pulling problem, and figured if that's what was needed we would have the parts. As it turned out, the pads were fine and didn't need replaced. But even before he really saw the pads, he wiggled the driver's front wheel, and it wiggled A LOT. He took the tire off and immediately saw the problem... A REALLY BAD TIE-ROD. And I do mean BAD :-( So bad that we're lucky that we didn't hit a bump/curb/or anything just right and have the wheel just do a free-turn when the tie-rod came loose. In other words, it was an EMERGENCY and CRITICAL that it be replaced immediately! Of course he looked at the passenger side front as well, and although it wasn't as bad, it needed to be replaced as well. He replaced them both for us. He said that the tie-rods were SO warn, that they've probably been worn for a long, long time. We had the van aligned a few years ago and they (a different mechanic) didn't mention that anything was loose, but Alan thinks they probably were at least some loose even then. We also had the front tires replaced last month, and THEY didn't mention anything either. The rods were bad enough that they SHOULD have noticed. *sigh* He said he had never seen tie-rods in such bad shape and the people still driving the vehicle! Then I took him for a test drive so he could hear what we heard rumbling in the back-end. It WASN'T low on crankcase oil (at least not low enough to cause a rumbling noise), it was much worse. I thought something might be wrong with the driver's side rear wheel when I was climbing under there looking for the bolts and nuts that'd have to be taken out in order to take the back seat out, when I noticed the inside of the tire was oily. Anyway, what he found was that the rear bearings and seal had gone bad and started leaking oil that got on the tire. He had me start the van and put it in gear to make the rear wheels spin, then asked me to put the breaks on. When I did, the passenger side stopped, but the driver's wheel just kept spinning! The brake pads on the driver's side had so much oil on them that the brakes didn't work on that wheel. So he took the rear axle out to get a better look at the bearings and noticed that they had caused a pretty significant groove on the axle, which has been known to cause the wheel to just fall off if something (like a pothole or curb) was hit too hard. YIKES AGAIN! He called the part store to see if they had the bearings, which luckily they did. Alan said that was lucky, because they usually have one of the parts needed for a vehicle, but since it's a small town part store, usually don't have any more, but today they had EVERY part (bearings, crankcase gasket, 2 tie-rods) that we needed. Thank goodness!! He of course fixed that too. Then he even helped me loosen the nuts on the bolts that were holding the back seat down/in-place. On our way out he reminded us that a front-end alignment NEEDS to be done ASAP. Good thing we have a little extra put aside (or did have) so that we got today's fixes done and also have the money for an alignment. Tomorrow (or before we go somewhere. Tomorrow's supposed to be colder than today) we can remove it and increase our hauling capacity to that of a pickup, or close to it. That's where we spent all afternoon. On the way home we stopped and got a few things at the grocery store, and now we're home (have been for a couple of hours). Plus our new and best mechanic has won a lifetime supply of my wife's famous (among our friends anyway) brownies!!

** Righteous Motorworks
65 Hwy & D
Urbana, MO 65767

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Monday, November 5



This is the best picture so far of 'Kilala'. He's so funny, he really only likes to eat on the cat food table if he has a human watching and keeping him company. Silly boy.


And this one is 'Creature' in a basket. We've been throwing her out before our bedtime every night so we don't wake-up to anything that's plastic, peed on. Ew!


Gallux is the one in the box, and the original reason I got the camera out, but then I decided to go ahead and capture Drigger. They're only two of the small cats we have right now.


Ever since she tracked the scent and cornered a Opossum last week and got praised, she's suddenly become a pretty good watch dog, at least when it comes to scary creatures lurking around.


And this is what used to be a storage room. Before that (previous owners) it was an art house. And for this winter it's our 'smokin' house'. Next spring it will then become our 15 year old daughter's bedroom and hang-out place.


Everyone's gotta have a "smokin buddy", and Dally is ours. Almost always joins us when we go in there day or night.


And last, but definitely not least, this is the wood I brought in this afternoon because starting tomorrow morning it's going to start cooling off. But by Thursday the morning lows are predicted to only be 50's (Fahrenheit). YAY! Come on SPRING!

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Friday, November 2

Visit. Writing. Errands. Tomatoes

On Wednesday some friends of ours came over to celebrate 'just because' it was a holiday, basically just an excuse to get together and have fun. While here they watched the end of Kid Nation with us. Then we just talked, laughed and ate snackfoods such as Chocolate Rice Krispy Treats (bars of them made with R.Ks. and marshmellow to hold em' together), pretzels, and Coke. Had a WONDERFUL time! Can't wait to see them again. Well, I will, but it'll hardly be easy. *g*

I've been thinking about writing and what exactly TO write, for a couple of hours. *g* See, it all started when we were ready to head out to do our "payday errands", when I decided that I would defragment the C:/ drive because I installed 128 Mbs of RAM. Only when I clicked the 'start program' button, I got a message saying that my "free space is down to 11% and you need at least 15 to run the program... would you like to defragment anyway?" So naturally I said, "Well yeah, duh!". I mean, why would the programmer even give you the option of continuing if it wouldn't do a "complete" defrag? Started it and left for the day. When we got home it was complete with the message 'Not all files were defragmented.' So, I've been trying for the last couple of hours to figure out which programs are taking the most space and could I live without them (it) once uninstalled?, instead of writing. Gosh, I don't have a lot of 'dispensable' programs, only the ones I think I need the most. Remamber the other day I uninstalled Firefox? Well, I've since reinstalled it because I LIKE the option you get with it to enlarge the text size on pages more easily and better than IE7. But do I HAVE to have it? Would it make enough difference in 'free space' to matter? Well, kinda-sorta on the 'have to', my eyes haven't exactly been the same since the 1999 Optical Neuritus that go me a definite diagnoses of MS to yank me out of my denial. And since I can't afford an eye exam, and even if I could I couldn't afford the glasses or contacts anyway. So, I really appreciate FireFox's page-text resizing. But, IE loads faster when I click the 'little blue e', and other than only a few sites that don't work well with it, I miss FireFox (could it SAY one more time? lol).

Anyway, we went to the library and dropped off 3 boxes of books we no longer need. Then I dropped some things off at the free place. Stopped in to Pizza Hut for our 'payday meal splurge' and used a coupon (koopen) for a free personal pan pizza, that we got at the parktacular last Saturday. The kids and I had the buffet, so Rain ordered her pizza. Only, for some reason the waitress thought the pizzal was a 'to go' and set it in back to keep warm. We didn't find that out until about 15 minutes had gone by and the rest of us had eaten at least one go-around of the pizza bar. So, to make up for her mistake, she didn't charge us for the salad bar. Which was nice. But when we got the ticket, it said only 2 buffets, which means we got a free salad bar AND a free buffet. Awesome! We're always willing to accept help to pay for a meal. *g* And now we're home and I'm FINALLY writing in my blogs (1,2,3, Gather, and Zaads. Which goes a LOT faster with high-speed. *duh* Still lovin' it, and NOT missing dial-up at ALL. *smile*

maters.JPGThese are MORE green tomatoes that Rain is going to make some pickles of, make some ketchup, etc. However, we've already got a TON of tomatoes, and just about out of room to store more AFTER she processes these.

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Wednesday, October 31

What we did for Halloween before Halloween/Samhain

Appearing and solidifying

This is my son in his Halloween costume. The left picture was edited to add light, and then I decided to "enhance" it to make it obviously different then the one on the right which I didn't have to edit. To give my manipulation of the left photo legitimacy, I like to think of it as "when he first arrived from the ethers and then completed his clear manifestation (right)". Or make up your own story. *smile* We're not doing the trick-or-treat thing this year, so this costume isn't for the actual day of Halloween, it was for the Parktacular thing at the Buffalo city park on this past Saturday evening that was for "safe trick-or-treating". Meaning that there were some vendors who decided to set up booths along a path where the kids could just stop and get their candy. We do like the t-or-t'ing in neighborhoods, except for two things in our area. If we go to Buffalo, we have to drive around and just park at one end of the street, do the t-or-t'ing, then drive to the next block and do it again. Or we could go to Lebanon, a bigger city, but it's 20 miles away. This year we decided to save gas and avoid all the traffic in Buffalo, MO tonight and do Halloween early.

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Sunday, October 28

Sunday, bloody Sunday. Email fix. High school

Okay, so there hasn't really been any blood today. *smirk* I have spent pretty much all day downloading and re-installing AVG. Why? Because it wouldn't start after I restarted the computer. Plus I uninstalled FireFox because it loaded slower than I.E., and even that, on this Pentium II, isn't what I'd call quick. *sigh* Oh, and I figured out why I couldn't receive email on this computer, or send it on the other since we got DSL (I just love saying that. LOL). Wanna know why? It was the connection setting in AVG. It was still set to "dial-up" on both computers, even though I ran the set-up disc I got from the phone company's technicians, hence why I didn't check that for some weird reason. Anyway, it's set to use the "LAN" setting and everything's cool. *YAY!*

Plus I've just been kind of fidgety, and easily distracted. So I'd been outside to smoke several times (will be quitting again on Nov. 1), and even took the trash out and burned it.

Rain set our bedroom clocks back an hour before bedtime this morning. My DD got up at 7, or so she thought. Then when the computers and TV (the TV itself and Dishnetwork) said it was 9 a.m., I went and woke Rain up, only to see that our clock said it was only 8 a.m. What's up with that? She said that she's seen other people say that their time changed. As far as I know, Missouri does "do" daylight savings, so we're a little confused as to when it stopped recognizing it. *shrug*

Still haven't heard back from any of our friends, neither in email, IM'ing, or phone. So, since we got a hold of DSL, we haven't been able to "talk" to them. Still concerned about the message I got about their phone being "either disconnected or no longer in service", so yeah, I'm a little worried. *frown/shrug* Like, I don't really know why they would disconnect or change their number, and her DSL-email isn't bouncing. So?

Anyway, not really into football today. Maybe because it's sunny and over  60 degrees? Could be.

Oh yeah, and our 15 year old daughter is thinking about whether or not to try public high school. She's thinking she could meet more people/friends if she did. We have explained that there would be "placement test(s)", which a friend already told her about. We're also going to see what the requirements for the Missouri G.E.D. are so she can see what she'll need to know to enter high school. It's kind of hard though, because she's been home schooled via child-led education and we're very used to having her around all day. We've also explained that she'd be able to get a part-time job in Buffalo to meet people as well. However, she's more against working than she is about high school, so we'll see. My baby is growing up. *whah*

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