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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