Saturday, December 31, 2005

Happy New Years Eve

Today, this last day of the year, went very well. Early on Dianne and sensed
thew stress building, trying to meet artificial times lines and such. We stopped there and then and said, we will get there we get there and we are just going to have fun on this last day of this year going to Provo to celebrate mom's birthday. I had called Kristy, who still wanted to ride down with us and she informed us that she had Jessie and Summer to. We assured they were welcome and that we would be picking them up round 10:30.

We did OK- got the girls and headed South. Traffic was OK, Dianne drove and visited with Jessie and I spent time with Kristy and Summer—Jazzy—the two year old pretty much entertained her self. We made good time, actually getting there right on the time we had intended. Perfect timing in that there were no lines! This almost never happens in Provo where the major accepted form of entertainment is eating as much as cheaply as possible. Todays crew consisted of us, MOM and Carl and Jean( my bro and sister-in-law. We put three tables together and had a great lunch. MOM even enjoyed the gift we gave her. I got her a hundred stamps—you know the kind you buy in the Post Office. Stamp set, Walt Disney collection, and the Jim Henson. I was surprised the stamps were ad big a hit as they were. Mom was a bit upset—because she feels we are so poor to be spending money on so many stamps and for her. She yelled me but not too bad. I am sure she will get over it. Aunt Elaine came up from Santaquin and collected her sister and we all took off for home. The ride back was a bit more subdued then the trip up except for Jasmine who at this point was fighting sleep and therefore a bit out of control.

At this point in the game each day with the ancients is a gift a remarkable gift. My mom seems to be in good health but she is 94 today—even in all the very best of conditions her time is short. This maybe the last birthday celebration she may experience. I am fortunate that I was able to be part of the event. Carl and his wife were there too. He is such a good guy-we were the only kids there. How lucky is that. Really, I am so jaded most of the time I cannot accept these treasures for what they are. but I did today and this is good. A storm is brewing, the wind is blowing and showers with possible now is forecast. We are staying in this New Years Eve...safer and warmer and we have lots to do. HAPPY NEW YEARS ONE AND ALL!!

Friday, December 30, 2005

Movie Madness

Just got back from our holiday movie binge: Harry Potter, Family Stone and Rumors are. We enjoyed all moves and watched them back to back—what a way to kill an afternoon. We were even able to grab a lunch at Sargents the little restaurant close to the theater.

I think my favorite was Family Stone a bit of a “chick flick” but enjoyable—too predictable but a good romance to get lost in. I think of today's three the would I will get on DVD is 'Stone. I could really get off on the upper middle class home and life style. The house was great0-0I always imagine what life in those kids of places would be like. In fact, not too long ago when all my kids were small and I would go collect them on “Kid Day” that is something we would do is drive round the “rich” section” of town and just look at these homes and play an imaginary game of what life there would be like. “Kid Day” was Saturday. I would get my guys every Saturday so naturally the day became kid day. Divorce has a way of making everyone poor; especially non custodial dads. So many weekends it was get the guys, lunch at Mcdonalds or Taco Time, better yet, one of the places where they had free hot dogs and drink if you looked at` their furniture store. Then we were off to the “Avenues” where homes were built beautiful and to last. Brick homes, and fine wood multi-story homes with huge yards with attached garages bigger in the apartments we were living in. We would look at what at what must have been the dinning room and wonder what thanksgivings would be like, how big the turkeys would be. Would there be a separate room for the grownups to eat and another one just for the kids. What glorious Christmas' these houses must have, those were days of wonder for us. `When we are able to get together now we think back on those “Kid Days” fondly and the times we were able to spend together.
Forgive me, I have wondered a bit.

So, tomorrow it's my Mom's birthday celebration. We are doing a fast lunch at Chuckarama. Her favorite not necessarily mine. Today was the actually birthday and she went to the “Chuck” with her sister and brother-in-law. It's a forty-five minute drive and all conditional on the weather. My brother is going down as well as Dianne and me and maybe my daughter-in-law. It seems a little forced too short a visit for mom but as she says she is thankful for what she can get. At best bittersweet but the best we can do.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Caught in the middle Again

It’s Wednesday: dead center of my holiday week.  I am comfortably looking five more days of vacation.  I have done nothing the first two days of this week except read, cook and I did a little work for one of my buddy’s websites.  I have been slaving away at The Stand. Again, not a great piece of work but entertaining.  I m at the point a book when one you pick the book up to read you are lost and you  can stay lost for as long as you want or can.  This copy is considered the extended edition-has a couple hundred more pages then th edition which first hit the book stores a decade or so ago. So, even if I am munching a 100 pages a day I always have much more to read.  Plus with the gift card from one of my kids, Charles, I’ll have a new book shipped and waiting by the time I finish The Stand.  

But, like I said, it Wednesday, and if I am going to get any constructive done I had better start.  I want to get a few things for me now that I have purchased for others. Office Max has a sale going I want to check out-they have a gig storage drive for about 50.00. A gig of traveling space would be very handy—I sort of feel guilty thinking about loosing my trusty 100 meg Iomega Zip drive but maybe it’s time to step up to the new technology.  I also would like to look at  some items for the kitchen.  I could really use a stacking pyramid for pots and pans. Maybe just get out.  So  at this stage of the holiday I would liker to maybe catch a couple of movies, go out to eat at least one more time, watch Holiday Inn  and some of the other titles Dianne got me for Christmas.  I want to cook at least a meat loaf and the ham I was going to  do at Christmas but now maybe New Years Eve. I am also going to do some artwork and read.  We are celebrating my mother’s birthday on Saturday and that means a trip South but should be OK.

I’m feeling pretty good the sun is out and I have an agenda and knowledge that every day is a day  closer to  Spring . I believe this Spring will  be a glorious Spring

Monday, December 26, 2005

Please Wake me to turn the page

The day after Christmas and all through the house
we're cleaning the dishes me and my spouse,

rock and roll blaring heat turned to “high”
the shutters are pulled hiding overcast skis.

It's almost over the trauma and the hype of this holiday season. We are digging out. Today is the observed holiday of Christmas, the holiday devoutly wished for by those in the workforce. This also means no mail garbage collection—that's OK it's just a limbo day. I really would rather for tomorrow or some other workday to go to the movies or back out to restaurant land. To many people because of said holiday observation. I have staqye3 up too late the last couple of evenings. Christmas Eve dianne spent with Aunie( all night) and I blog surfed to after 2:00 and last night Mark A came over and we visited till late—lots of Christmas stress going on out there. I wish I could say I was immune to the Christmas emotional bullies. Reading some of the blogs I regularly follow I see many other folks have been feeling the stress of too much (or too little)family, presents or time. Most of the blogs I read mentioned how quickly the holidays have come and gone having to return to work tomorrow. Me, on the other hand took the week off and I hope I can keep from going crazy. I took the hours because I really had too. I think I would rather be working in the solace of my office. I do have things I could be doing.


I have a ham I bought Christmas Eve, I think I'll cook the ham some time this week but remember, I took home the leftover ham from the office's catered event. So, I am kinda sick of ham, we just had roast beef and Turkey is still on hold from Thanksgiving. Maybe I should just eat salads or go out to dinner. Dianne also has a salmon stuffed in the fridge which needs some serious attention. We went to our favorite Vietnamese restaurant on Saturday and has some great food. So, thus far we have done mex, Vietnamese, we could still do Red Lobster or Macaroni Hell and quite enjoy ourselves. This would mean having to dress up or at least get dressed and socialize. In fact one of the kids gave us a gift certificate to a high end restaurant group here in town giving us all kinds of options.


So, I have started The Stand, Stephen King. I cannot say it's a great read or even good one yet—there is something about the first fifty or sixty pages which reminds me of “Outbreak” or some other disease disaster movie. I'll give the book a few more hundred pages before I make a final decision. This is the part of Christmas I really like: Long afternoons reading in over heated rooms drifting off to nap only to wake and start all over...happy holidays!

Friday, December 23, 2005

How Cheap Am I?















You see these six Santas? This is what I got my work mates. I bought them at 7:00 AM at the neighborhood market on my way in to work. I was there picking up something, anything for the staff Christmas luncheon today. I ended up by the Christmas Discount table and all that was left were these Santa clones half price and scaled to move and I got them. I did not even write cards out. I just went round and left chocolate statuettes on peoples desks and door handles. This is kinda a new low for me—we actually no—there has been years when I did not do anything for anyone. I was going through a dark period for a couple of years and sort of backed a way from humanity, as I knew it for a while. Last year I got Staff books, small literary classics from Barnes and Noble . I must have spent more then 30 dollars last year…at $5.00 a whack—man I must have been Christmas stupid last year.

I “Scrooged” this year not from lack of money but from just laziness even with all the extra time I took year I did not manage to get any stellar gifts for my work mates. It sure would be a lot easier if we could just give out bottles if liquor or wine. Mini’s would make cute and cheap gifts. Gifts with real spirit. The rest of the staff did major gifts from Santa Honey Bears to major bags of home cooked goodies. I ended up contributing a pineapple and a bag of roles to the staff menu. Ang cut the pineapple for me. I did better then I had anticipated. Claire brought in BBQed ribs, CC cupcakes, Ang Chips and dip Alison all kinds of casseroles and other offerings—there are still staff which may in bring food stuffs but the main things are here. CC is going crazy waiting for the festivities to begin laboring under the illusion of delusion that the sooner we eat the sooner staff will get to leave for Christmas.

I have but one more gift to get at the end of work, I will zoom over to the post office and get 100 stamps for Mom. My mom has everything she can have—she is old to the point where she has given most everything she has away. She has her pensions and stuff so she has money. I thought about food certificates to her favorite restaurant but that is too hard a call and it is difficult for her to get out unless all the family is there to help. So, I thought of stamps! Mom is one of the last great card writers-she has a bazillion grand kids she sends birthday cards to and other cards she mails to other family member through out the year. So, I figured why not stamps—even if she can afford the stamps she still has to physically but them so if I could give mom a stash of 100 stamps to start off her new year this might be the best present I might come up with and the cost: under fifty dollars. I think I am going to go eat.

Ang looking on.



Food offerings









More calories for today.














Blurry Claire












Andrew eyeing the table


A sweet Honey Bear


Thursday, December 22, 2005

Christmas Count Down

I know I posted something on Tuesday but I see not a trace of the post now! This is too strange. Oh well. I took today off and tomorrow is the office Christmas lunch. Everyone is bringing in something and basically eating all morning then leaving a little after 12:00 or so the plan goes. So nothing is getting done and people just milling round making sure the phones are covered if someone from Admin calls. I spent the day chasing down inner tubes for my manual wheelchair—I punctured a tire last night. I also got some work done on the van so the day was productive. The city is experiencing a “ heat” wave so it was great being out and getting the last minute things done for the holiday. I have a few things left to do then I will be done as much as I am going to get done. I may have to chase round a little Christmas but that is cool I’ll have the time. I am taking all of next week off. So I am feeling almost smug. I am a little nervous about how to make the rounds and see all the families Christmas—particularly the ancients but I suppose everything will work out. It usually does.

I don’t have anything for staff maybe I’ll blow it off this year. I did get CC ( CC is my office partner and very cool.) Maybe I’ll get the rest of the staff something when the after Christmas sales start.

So far things have been so hectic we have done little fun Christmas things, concerts, movies etc. We did go out o east last Saturday. Hopefully things will begin to slow down now. I think I’ll skip the Nut Cracker and the Messiah this year instead watch Scrooged Holiday Inn and It’s A Wondeul Life. I want to take Dianne out to eat at least one maybe two more times before the New Year. Maybe, even take some of the kids out as well.

I hope all of your Christmas plans are going on as planned and that all your schedules are met.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Oh Christmas Week

Its late Dianne and I have`been working on the systems all evening and I have to get to bed.'ll write more tomorrow.

Calories Gone Wild

I am posting this with yesterdays posting and image but the sentiments are quite the same calories around this place are quite out of control. Amee brought in this whole can pop corn: three types. The Vicky brought in huge Heresy Symphony bars and the boss brought in cookies and it goes on and on. I noticed the caterer left huge sacks of ham and turkey from yesterdays meal( please reference the image). I finshed off the ├ęclair this morning with my morning’s coffee. I just don’t have a chance even working half days.

I was trapped in my van yesterday early in the morning. I drove to work and finally pried the lift gate free with a stick I found on the back seat. The trick is to leave the lift deployed. If I do not the lift goes back into place and sticks. Then I have to wait round till an able bodied person comes round and yanks on the gate so it will deploy. So, today I am taking off a half day and driving to Sandy where my buddy Justine can look at the lift and hopefully get the lift working again. I have to keep nursing this lift along until I can find a used lift to replace this lift. I will find one I just have to be patient and not mind getting trapper in the lift time to time.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

ITS SNOWING !



I just looked out my window and its SNOWING! It's a fine snow but the temperature is cold enough and there is enough of the white stuff to begin lying down all over the grass and the ramp. I know the accumulation's will be minimal. Come on guys I live in a desert. I am always surprised we get as much moisture as we do. Regardless its snowing and I feel more and more like Christmas. I , of course, still have tons of shopping to do. I have started though—yesterday I took Dianne out and we got the camera for her. Her own digital: four MPX, and comes with 256 meg card. I got the gift cards sent off last week. I just have to get items for locals now...actually Dianne has already done a lot of the shopping and we just have to wrap and deliver.
We have a week. I think we can get it done.

We stopped at out fav restraunt after shopping. The head cook is also the owner. He's a great guy, David. David is young for owning the place. Actually, I think David and Rosa , his sister, took over the place from their folks before out time in the neighborhood. Anyway, he looks up just as we enter and sign in. He waves I wave back and we are seated. The place is crowded for a Saturday afternoon. But, we get a place and the powerchair is for the most part out of the way. We are looking at our menus and plate of hot ground beef and cheese nachos show up just like that! This was a meal in itself...we always forget, that if we just ordered this small dish we would probably be just fine. We ordered big anyway. We we felt great and special that David sent over this treat, free like a Christmas present. I guess a small price on management's part to ensure we return. And we will. Smart Dave.

Last week I got the family Christmas cards so last night I attempted getting out those cards to close friends—the folks you have not seen for twenty or thirty years and think “ I'll either google or Dex” up their address and write a fast card and drop it in the mail tomorrow and boy, won't they be surprised? There is this one guy I have not seen since the 60's—a weird duck but one of my buddies. I have totally lost tract of him. No matter what I tried I could not find any traces Dennis or his family. Then, I tried to locate some of the other strange ones which made up the crew I belonged too. Nothing there either. I did find one website which led me to a phone number. But it was too late by this time last night so I called a few hours ago. I got a hold of Duncan who seems the only one left of the crew and he really had no information to give. This group just vanished. I have a couple of other ideas but they are long shots at best. Two things amaze me: 1. How easy it is to find someone if you really want to, and 2.how some folks just completely vanish; just gone. I hope the now is falling where ever you are.
I just looked out my window and its SNOWING! It's a fine snow but the temperature is cold enough and there is enough of the white stuff to begin lying down all over the grass and the ramp. I know the accumulation's will be minimal. Come on guys I live in a desert. I am always surprised we get as much moisture as we do. Regardless its snowing and I feel more and more like Christmas. I , of course, still have tons of shopping to do. I have started though—yesterday I took Dianne out and we got the camera for her. Her own digital: four MPX, and comes with 256 meg card. I got the gift cards sent off last week. I just have to get items for locals now...actually Dianne has already done a lot of the shopping and we just have to wrap and deliver.
We have a week. I think we can get it done.

We stopped at out fav restraunt after shopping. The head cook is also the owner. He's a great guy, David. David is young for owning the place. Actually, I think David and Rosa , his sister, took over the place from their folks before out time in the neighborhood. Anyway, he looks up just as we enter and sign in. He waves I wave back and we are seated. The place is crowded for a Saturday afternoon. But, we get a place and the powerchair is for the most part out of the way. We are looking at our menus and plate of hot ground beef and cheese nachos show up just like that! This was a meal in itself...we always forget, that if we just ordered this small dish we would probably be just fine. We ordered big anyway. We we felt great and special that David sent over this treat, free like a Christmas present. I guess a small price on management's part to ensure we return. And we will. Smart Dave.

Last week I got the family Christmas cards so last night I attempted getting out those cards to close friends—the folks you have not seen for twenty or thirty years and think “ I'll either google or Dex” up their address and write a fast card and drop it in the mail tomorrow and boy, won't they be surprised? There is this one guy I have not seen since the 60's—a weird duck but one of my buddies. I have totally lost tract of him. No matter what I tried I could not find any traces Dennis or his family. Then, I tried to locate some of the other strange ones which made up the crew I belonged too. Nothing there either. I did find one website which led me to a phone number. But it was too late by this time last night so I called a few hours ago. I got a hold of Duncan who seems the only one left of the crew and he really had no information to give. This group just vanished. I have a couple of other ideas but they are long shots at best. Two things amaze me: 1. How easy it is to find someone if you really want to, and 2.how some folks just completely vanish; just gone. I hope the now is falling where ever you are.
I just looked out my window and its SNOWING! It's a fine snow but the temperature is cold enough and there is enough of the white stuff to begin lying down all over the grass and the ramp. I know the accumulation's will be minimal. Come on guys I live in a desert. I am always surprised we get as much moisture as we do. Regardless its snowing and I feel more and more like Christmas. I , of course, still have tons of shopping to do. I have started though—yesterday I took Dianne out and we got the camera for her. Her own digital: four MPX, and comes with 256 meg card. I got the gift cards sent off last week. I just have to get items for locals now...actually Dianne has already done a lot of the shopping and we just have to wrap and deliver.
We have a week. I think we can get it done.

We stopped at out fav restraunt after shopping. The head cook is also the owner. He's a great guy, David. David is young for owning the place. Actually, I think David and Rosa , his sister, took over the place from their folks before out time in the neighborhood. Anyway, he looks up just as we enter and sign in. He waves I wave back and we are seated. The place is crowded for a Saturday afternoon. But, we get a place and the powerchair is for the most part out of the way. We are looking at our menus and plate of hot ground beef and cheese nachos show up just like that! This was a meal in itself...we always forget, that if we just ordered this small dish we would probably be just fine. We ordered big anyway. We we felt great and special that David sent over this treat, free like a Christmas present. I guess a small price on management's part to ensure we return. And we will. Smart Dave.

Last week I got the family Christmas cards so last night I attempted getting out those cards to close friends—the folks you have not seen for twenty or thirty years and think “ I'll either google or Dex” up their address and write a fast card and drop it in the mail tomorrow and boy, won't they be surprised? There is this one guy I have not seen since the 60's—a weird duck but one of my buddies. I have totally lost tract of him. No matter what I tried I could not find any traces Dennis or his family. Then, I tried to locate some of the other strange ones which made up the crew I belonged too. Nothing there either. I did find one website which led me to a phone number. But it was too late by this time last night so I called a few hours ago. I got a hold of Duncan who seems the only one left of the crew and he really had no information to give. This group just vanished. I have a couple of other ideas but they are long shots at best. Two things amaze me: 1. How easy it is to find someone if you really want to, and 2.how some folks just completely vanish; just gone. I hope the now is falling where ever you are.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

500 pm and its dark















This guy looks pretty disgusted but taked pretty good.




5:00 pm and it’s dark outside—dark and cold. Just a few more days till
winter solstice and on to spring. I am so excited I can hardly stand myself. Today however, was spent doing things Winter namely Christmas. Dianne and I went to town and shopped. Cold but fun, stopping at the Asian market and the Hispanic market. Great fun, great prices and great people; We also got some ethnic too. I just love going to these places you can get personally with your food, but hunks of meat right off the carcass. I do not do this as much as Dianne does-- the day was truly an adventure. I got my Christmas bonus thanks the Mack—my buddy who lets me do his web page. I did not charge Mack at all this year taking the whole payment at one time. Since I do not work for a private sector organization where Christmas bonus’ exist this counts as a bonus to me. I got the whole thing in cash—almost $1000.00. I plan to spend it all on Christmas and Christmas celebrating. We stopped at Morellias for dinner on the way home and Dave the owner sent us out a couple of treats—just a very nice day.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Ho Ho Ho!!!



I was not feeling in the best of health but went to the Independent Living Center anyway and played my roll as Santa. This is not roll I relish but one which helps me keep my place among the people I have served and worked with over the years. I was particularly by a couple old farts, very close to my age, showed up. I believe both are now in long term care facilities. Looking much older then either of them deserves. One is Tom a peron who has` had MS for the past three decades. I gather Tom could have been quite the businessman had things in life gone different. But, MS being a respecter of no person came on Tom when he was in college allowing to to graduate but dooming Tom to live the rest of his father life with his dad then in long term care. Tom uses a power chair for mobility and is barley audible. His sile remains though and I genuinely like seeing Tom when I can. I should make more time Tom and I might.

Dave is the other old fart. Dave had a head injury, also decades ago. Dave actually had a life for a short while before the accident broke his skull. I first met Dave when I ran a men's group at the Center. I am sure Dave was a bit of a rascal in his days. There were glimpsed of his old self which peeked through when one took time to talk with Dave, He had grand though and is funny as heck just does not have much of short term memory or common sense—even though you would swear there was more there. It took a couple of months for me to realize that ol Smile'n Dave was just a little short but a hell of a guy to hang round. Dave was hemi-plegic from the accident. His right side was pretty messed up leaving Dave ability to ambulate by lurching forward dragging his right foot after him all the time clutching his paralyzed right hand in left. Dave would have been a perfect extra for Night of the Living Dead. Dave had that 1000 yard stare to his face but was able to twist his face in to a grin when the time was right. Time has thrashed Dave's body severely. He uses a` power chair now too. His hands and feet have atrophied way beyond function. I am amazed that both of these guys are still alive. They seem happy and glad to be among the living. Sometimes that is the best you get.

So it's over for another year, my playing Santa. It's hard to believe the thrill lot of the consumers get just to have their image taken with me. This is the big deal. I sit for two hours with a Mrs Clause as consumers, kids of consumers and staff file up face the camera an snap. Many of them know it is me, but they suspend their belief for a few seconds so they can have undeniable proof that one: Santa doe indeed exist, and two: Santa is my personal buddy.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

IM BACK

The Consumers Hat


After a totally insomniac I am back at the office in station and taking calls. I feel much better even with the poor sleep I got last night. I have to admit however, that I drove my van all the way into to work—no train today. Now that I ponder this; what I have done the past couple of years that at about this time of the year I go back to driving my van just because the temps are so cold. I hate to be so weak but maybe this is something to do with being an old guy. One cannot be too careful.

No traumas waiting for me at the office on my return. Luckily I had “dialed” into my email account and already dealt with the most pressing issues. I even took off over my lunch break and went to a real restaurant and had meat loaf. The meatloaf was OK but not my meatloaf. But remember, this is holiday schedule now. I am off tomorrow and Friday. Actually tomorrow, I play Santa Cause at the Independent Living Center. I have done this for I cannot remember how many years now. I cannot seem to get out of the job. I keep getting call backs I should be pleased. I will see if I can get an image taken for posting.

My partner just called from the pharmacy letting me know that she was not coming back to work today. I really think she wanted me to tell the boss but I tried to patch my partner through so she could do the job. But something happened to the phone when I transferred the call and I saw the light blink out. I thought it was a pretty short conversation so I called the boss and asked her if she had just gotten a call. Sure enough the minute the doc picked up the phone her line went dead. So, I ended up advising the doc that my partner was not coming back from “lunch”. I should have just told the boss in the first place. Makes me wonder however, why my partner did not call back.

I am waiting for five o clock-p0actually, I am waiting for a consumer who called moments ago to let me know she had knitted a hat and wanted to give it to me tomorrow. She was crest fallen when I told her I was out of the office tomorrow and Friday. So, now she is in her power wheelchair heading down to this office, in the freezing cold to give me a knitted hat. God bless every one

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Im Up

Dianne has been baking cookies all afternoon
this is a ginger snap and very good.



Today is the first day out of bed this week. I have not gotten the disease as bad as Dianne has but I got it bad enough to put me down. I plan on going into work tomorrow to see how I do. I should be off after tomorrow with the exception of making some meeting I promised before I scheduled my Holiday leave. I still have shopping and posting to do and this illness has really cut into my plans. I have to running now just to get things done in time.

We still do not have our LAN line installed so we are living off our Cells and this is not too bad. I have even called by my stately mother—so if she can reach me via the CEL then I know anyone can. We have the cable connection for the systems so maybe we don’t even need a LAN connection for the phone use any longer. I have to move forward. There is nothing anywhere which states you have to have a LAN connection to real. Having a LAN connection just feels good like foursquare, like owning land or having money in a regular bank account not a “Money market” “High Risk” or what ever. Just a solid account. Something to think about and consider.

I zipped into my State mail account a few minutes ago and everything looked OK. No “bombs:” that I can see at this point. No emails from the boss labeled “see me”. I hate the “See me” message weather on tests( when in school) or emails in the work world. They are always bad news. But none today. Work is grinding to it’s Holiday halt—this year it seems the whole senior State echelon of the State work force is retiring so there are more farewell notices then usual. I have a couple of meeting requests in the email and the usual electronic Christmas Cards, jokes and State announcements and threats but nothing deserving my immediate attention. I noticed on my blog visitation page that visits are down considerable from my high point of 10 visits a day to 4. I am wondering, because I have been ill and not checking my blog as I usually do, the higher numbers are generated by extra visits to my blog to check it out when I post.

The days continue to be cold and dreary; just a few days before solstice now. The inversions seem every to be with us now but today a reprieve with a front moving through and scouring the air but then tomorrow a High is build up and then inversions will be back soon. Even, though Solstice is a turning date and the first “real” day of winter—I always use Solstice as the end of Winter. I know this is strange but true with me. As the amount of daylight lengthens each day following Solstice so do my hopes the advancing Spring with swift sand unusually warm

Sunday, December 11, 2005

How long Have I got




How long Have I got, Doc?

[Sick as a Dog]
Well, the flue, which has been dancing round the edges of my reality, has decided to settle in. I feel like a Nyquil commercial. Nose is runny and my head is stuffed up and I feel I am witnessing the world through transparent cotton. I went two days with out my regular hot peppers and I am convinced that going with out the peppers was my down fall. I had a couple today but I think “too little too late.” I am only scheduled to work two days this week but maybe I’ll call in sick tomorrow if this disease gets any worse.

I got in a weird cleaning mood this morning when I settled in my computer room to write out the Christmas cards I have been trying to get to all week. I actually wrote out the ones to all my immediate family which is major for me. I have to do nieces and nephews next as well as close friends—this may or may not happen. I do have to get my gift cards out. Shelly called the other night and she was interested in seeing what the local housing market was like. So, Dianne was out at the market last night and was able to get a bunch or real estate magazines. You know the kind which are in the free dispenser round the front door to markets, convenience stores and the like. Since a majority of the gift cards are also going to the same address I plan to stick them in the same envelope of box. I just hope I will be able to get them in the box, labeled and metered and out in time for the big day. So, I am in the computer room cleaning up. I spent the major part of the morning filing. I tend to let things like bank statements, cell phone and credit card bills just pileup till I cannot stand the bills being everywhere. I probably would be much more concerned regarding timing of the bills but I maintain all of these expensed via the INTERNET. I do not have the courage check th box which states that I no longer wish to receive “hard copy” of the bills. I would be so much smarter to go paperless. Like I said—the bills bill up and then one day I file them. I had I not used the image from “Fantasia” a blogs ago I would have used the image of the relentless brooms filling the tub. It’s like the never ending statements from everywhere—especially the banks and credit card companies. The credit card “come ons” is pretty bad too. This really pisses me off. Its not enough to just throw the credit card applications away—you cannot do that identity thieves—so now I must save everything into one pile so some day in the near future I can waste a couple of hour shredding the brochures and applications up. Maybe, I can pay Auni a dime for each envelope she does the deed to.

Sick or not I have been busy today. I put a roast on earlier, read a couple chapters of Stephen King and got the card written and addressed and it’s only 3:30 pm

Friday, December 09, 2005

Typical


Typical

1951 image of my hard working Dad

I should really know better then to think I will be able to take Annual and enjoy the vacation. I of course am sick. I am sure I the same disease process which has been running round the office and home. I believe I held off the malaise very well. I have it now though so bad that I missed a Christmas party with the Russians last night and blogging yesterday. I seem to be oK in the morning but as the day wanders on I tend to deteriorate. I was out in the sever cold yesterday too and I sure that has something to do with the deterioration. Oh well, I m just going to have to eat my peppers, Vitamin C and use the Essential oils and hope for a swift passage.

I actually did Christmas shopping yesterday. I got the kids who are out of town gifts. I am so shamed that I sank to the level of gift cards but the holiday deadline is coming so fast I cannot get all in I need o do—even with the extra time I ‘m taking this year. GIFT CARDS, the gift from someone to lazy to input the shopping effort; that’s what I did though—gift cards from Target. Sometimes I just disgust myself.

Now, I just have to get the cards mailed out and I think I can do that. I have to get gifts for those fam and friends close by included but not limited to, fam, work associates, neighbors (usually some sort of food stuff). I am holding off though till my buddy pays me some money for the website. This is cool though. I am just glad he can pay. I am only invoicing once this year and it’s all going to be for Christmas.

Speaking of Christmas, what would I like for Christmas. The kids always ask me, just like I used to ask my folks…I could never figure out what they might like to get. Money was always an issue to. So we always defaulted to socks and handkerchiefs , belts or what ever mom indicated would be a decent “dad” gift. I would like to get a “ feeling” of Christmas. Anything which give me a feeling like a scene from Holiday Inn or The Sound of Music. I would like something magically to take me back to 1969, when a couple of years after my accident my older brother cruised me round Boise on Chrismas Eve in his Mustang 2+2 just before he “elected” to go to Viet Nam. The other night Dianne asked me what was my favorite Christmas morning, I had to tell her none of them. This sounds crude but I always seemed to be disappointed with the gifts they got. Mom tried so hard but we were a large family with little money. We had food, warm place to live and family and that is what I remember. Although I was not consciously aware of those values then. Christmas happiness for me was Christmas vacation, sleepovers with friends and cousins and endless games of Finance. For the longest time we actually had a potbelly stove which we would play these games round as our socks dried from being soaked from ice skating or hunting. So Christmas happiness for me is the concept of Christmas, looking for the miracle and enjoying the extra special food, friends and family which comes with the holiday. Now if I can just get healthy I will have it made.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Me and My Knife





I just got back from a scheduled meeting which was supposed to be in Farmington a small community about 15-20 Interstate minutes to the North. I dutifully left my office with more then enough time to make the meeting. I dutifully drove to where my email said the meeting was to be and no one was there. Actually, there was tons of people there the place as a county court house: attorneys, Sheriff types, and convicted felons and felons to be until proven innocent But no Meadowlarkmark types. The meetings location had been changed and I had not been notified, at least notified well enough.

I zoomed into the court house parking lot in my van ( I drove to day it’s the coldest day of this year). Parked and down loaded and zipped to the front door. I felt out of place by the amount of uniforms and suites and gangsta boys hanging. I always pack a backpack with everything I think I might need at any given time. A couple of days ago I bought this great xacto type knife to sharpen my square art (sketch) pencils. Looks great and works great for the pencils. I had forgotten I had slipped the knife into my wallet until I swung my backpack up to be examined. I drew the deputies attention to then knife which he immediately confiscated and at least gave me a laminated card which I could trade in for my knife when I left. The metal detector door way( like the kind in airports) was hilarious. My power chair made this security device sing like a canary. I think I may have had a rookie, I was on my way though the doorway for the third time when and older but wiser deputy pulled me a side and ran the “wand” over, front and back. I was so compliant I made myself sick. I mean I could have been sitting on twenty pounds of C-4 and wondered right into the facility and turned the whole place into the 5:00-0-clock news. I pulled over to the corner and started making calls on my cell like mad( cell phone that is). I then found the meeting had been actually changed to the city I had left from place. I was just happy to find the right place and they indicated they would save lunch for me. The deputy guarding the door had overheard my conversation and said he thought I was taking the whole event much better then he would have. I uses I was but I am just that kind of guy.

By the time I finally got to the correct building my chicken was cold as death, the rice and middle Eastern potatoes were pretty good all things considered and I was having to scarf my lunch while everyone else spoke to the issues. I really looked like a Third-worlder. I like my membership on this Board. The board meets every four months or so and the project director takes great pains to insure that we have a tasty hot lunch. The meetings are low key and the subject matter is interesting, work related and unique among other State programs. The Foundation is one of the few things I do during the week which doers or can make a difference in a person’s life.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Christmas Miracle... Again


It’s the little things, which catch my eye, that seem to force me to write on them later on. This morning on the train coming into work, the car was crowded and quiet. One of those almost eerie rides where there is almost no conversation, just the sound of steel wheels running on steel rails. People were reading their scriptures, newspapers or fiddling with their ipods, radios or their digital music devices. I would have been reading too but in the anxiety to leave the house this morning I left my Stephen King on the dining room table. Again, on days when I forget my read I cat nap into the city. But today, I was just staring toward the back of the train. I saw a small Indian kid( as in from India) about 10 or 11 he could not have been much older. He was actually riding in the stair well of at the rear of our car. Thee were other kids in the area he was in but did not seem to be with him. He seemed to be riding by himself. I am seeing more of this in the trains: kids riding by themselves. The kids are in transit to another school district from the district they live in. Parents are sending their kids to better school districts public or parochial. There is not a flood of kids but I am seeing more and more riding unescorted thru the city. We pull into 4500 South Station the doors open and close, some folks exit the train and a few more climb a board . The doors are shut and the warning alarms are sounding down the seconds till the train eases out of the stop to the next station down the line. We are about ready to pull out and I see a small brown hand reach forward and press the button which opens the doors. The little kid’s hand presses the button then the kid turns and disappears into the crowd on train. I at first think ‘ what a snot he is just trying to hold the train up’ but before I can finish my thought I see a gloved hand of a senior holding on to the doorway of the car, struggling to pull himself up the stairs. The old man slowly pulled himself into view as he climbed the steps onto our car. The old man’s face flushed from exertion looked like the skin from a pomegranate. He wore a woolen cap with flaps, which hung down over his ears and he gently wheezed. The old man reached the floor, turning to face the front of the car grabbed hold of the bar and the doors closed. He must have been running for the train as the doors first closed, the Indian kid saw this and pressed the door button and left. True this was a little thing, costing hardly any effort, and I do not think anyone else saw the old guy making for the train if they did o one cared. This little guy did. He took action saving the old guy from having to stand out in the cold for at least another twenty minutes. I doubt the old guy was even aware that someone had held the train up, had made the difference. I am pretty cynical at this stage in the game but every once in a while, something as simple as this action on this morning’s train gives me hope.

If I were filling these entries by category I would file this one under Miracles of Christmas. It may be just me but I am sensing more miracles this year then I have ever noted before or maybe because I am blogginng I am seeing more this which are miraculous.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Boob Smasher Where Art Though?

Boob Smasher Where Art Thou?

If you are a person with a disability in this town or any I an afraid, your chance of getting any type of serious medical treatment is “if” at best. As you all know run an information line for people with disabilities. So I get all the interesting if not difficult questions. Today, I got a call which brings home again the lack of qualified medical services to people with disabilities.  This guy calls from the rural center of our State wanting to find somewhere, anywhere in the State a women can get a mammogram sitting down.  Since all the mammogram machines are built for someone who is mobile this raises a great question. Where are all the women in this State who cannot stand or get on the table for the “boob smash” going?  I  sure did not know so I called one of my best resources in this area Julie.  Julie is a great friend of mine who also uses a wheelchair for mobility and is a prime candidate for a question of this nature. Younger then I am by at least ten years I figured she had been through procedure. Not only because her age dictates that she submit for the squashing evaluation but her personal property demands that she keep her assets in the best, tit top physical condition. I WAS SHOCKED WHEN SHE INFORMED ME SHAD HAD NOT SUBMITTED. Julie had intended to but when she started calling round to find somewhere she could have the procedure done everyone she spoke with just sort of scratched their heads. This, of course, was just enough of a deterrent- since this was something Julie really did not want to do anyway, for her to put off and shove out of her mind until I call to remind her. She thought she may have heard of a place though a hospital in one of the local suburbs.  I of course called there but the person who would know was not available. I left messages and a note to myself to try calling again tomorrow if the person did not call me back.   I even called the American Cancer Society and they gave me some information but very sketchy at best. They just kind of shrugged their shoulders. Too  weird. I am sure I am going to find some practioner who will accommodate my caller from the center of our state.  If and when I do he is going to have one hour maybe two (one way) to get the job done.  The next issues he will have to deal with is: will the institution accept Medicare or Medicaid? This is a whole problem.

I first ran into this problem of dental and medical guys refusing to accept second party payers  a couple of years ago when one of the older dentists, one of the few who would accept Medicaid/medicare clients retired and turned lost a bunch of developmentally disabled consumers loose in the community with no dental support.  This took months and a law suit before these guys got services and even then the service they got was crude and regressive. You know yank the tooth rather then just filling it and saving the consumer all kinds of grief.  

I am afraid little has changed—if you are a person with a disability in this state. So enjoy you teeth and you boobs while you have them because things don’t look good for folks with disabilities.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Sundays are for TCM



Sundays are for the Turner Network. If I ad my way I would just lock my self in y room and watch Ted Turner classics all Sunday long. Years ago when I was single and did not have a vehicle that was all I could do on Sun- days. The public transportation system shut down on Saturday night and did not start again till Monday morning. In the winter it was really too cold much my wheelchair anywhere I didn’t need to go so I would stay in wash clothes and watch videos I would rent Saturday night. This worked just fin and kept me , I am sure out of lots of trouble. Now I have cable and TCM but I don’t have the time to recluse. Today, we did take tie to watch one whole Turner Classic
Imitation of Life. This was a great movie! Lana Turner and other done in 1959—just as the “Age of Happy” problems was beginning to grind to a halt. One movie was all I had time for it’s Brooks birthday so there will be a dinner at Bridget’s later tonight. Dianne will be fixing one of brooks favorite Chicken and Dumplings two batches. I have a hard time with Chicken and Dumps but I suppose I’ll go. It promises to be a long afternoon since Dianne will be fixing the whole mess at Bridget and Gabe’s. I am such a puss though. This means not only dressing up warm, “because it’s cold outside” but leaving my fine wheelchair accessible house to go to a place where I must be drug up the steps in terror then be cloister in a home with no accessible bathroom for hat seems hours…OH! It will be hours. I better prep stopping taking fluids now. Oh well, it’s be good to socialize a little. It’ll be good though( do I sound as if I am trying to convince myself?) It’ once a year—sorta if I don’t count Christmas and Easter. In the Summer it’s not o bad with the events usually being out of doors. Then I just have to worry about the bathroom. I can do this.

Well I did not get to the Christmas cards last night but I did have a shot of Jagermeister. I am sneaking up on the Christmas card project—they’ll get out I a assure you. Speaking of Christmas deadlines; I have decided cop out on trying to send gifts this year to go the . I really hate to do this but I am going to send gift cards: that ubiquitous piece of plastic that says I am too busy or lazy to shop, box and send. The gift card also says I have lost touch with you to the point I don’t know you well enough to risk purchasing you a gift that you may not like, so, I am going to make you do it yourself. Am I too much a of a creep or what? Next year, I am going to do everything early. Next year I swear to be the best father gift giver ever. No Walmart, Target B&N shop cards next year. Life was so much more simple when all I had to do was wash clothes an watch Ted Turner Classics.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

I should be writing Christmas cards this afternoon as the snow falls outside my window. It's cold out there I was out doing the grocery and some other shopping earlier. But, I am done with my outside business now, shoes off and getting ready for an evening in, doing some TV, blog surfing and getting into the Christmas mood. The Christmas card sit in there boxes though untouched as I wait to be inspired. There are at least ten cards I must write: brothers and sisters. Then I should write card to various office mates. I don't count the cards I write to other private non profits round the city. I count these card as “outreach” and I can justify office-time for writing those even though these outreach cards are going to what friends I have in this town.

My family is scattered all over the United States so I should write the cards either today or tomorrow for sure. Writing and posting them now will make sure they will get the cards will before Christmas. I suppose I could just email them cards which are offered at various point on the INTERNET. The fam all have computers except for one but you know, an email Christmas card is just not the same. An email Christmas card is like trying to read a book on line. It's just not the same if you cannot feel the card in your hands and you cannot tape the card to the wall or cut them up after the holiday to be used for bookmarks. I always have leftover cards from the previous year too. Then I run the risk of sending the same card to a family that I sent last year. Like they would remember the card I sent from a year before. I think they just open the envelope, see a car and the inscription and make a mental note. Meadowlark rememberer, cool. So, at some point tonight or tomorrow I will have to get to my
big” system, crank it up and find the file I have the address listed in. Print them out and begin writing the card. Maybe, I'll put Holiday Inn in the VCR maybe even break out the rum, heat it up and write the night away.

Dianne picked up some Canadian bacon a couple weeks ago and I have been pondering making a pizza ever since. We have everything I would need for such a project—nothing is better then homemade pizza. The snow has stopped and the sun has actually come out. Maybe the snow is deone for the day. Not enough to really worry about. Maybe I'll write th card next week—who know..It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas.


Ingredients

Scale ingredients to servings

1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp butter
1 jigger rum
4 cloves



Method

Place the sugar, butter, rum (light or dark) and cloves into a mug. Fill with boiling water, and stir.


Remember, please, please drink responsibly.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Cable Guyz



I wanted to go to movies today but then found out the cable guys were coming today. The cable guys are backed up more then two months so we figured if we wanted cable before Christmas and New Years we were going to have to do it today. That's cool though I have lots of time before the first of the year. Actually, we are switching cable providers. Dumping Comcast and going more local. This is a bit spooky computer wise but the cost for more service is significant.

The house is in a low a low state of chaos so Dianne has elected to take a huge bath till the operation is complete. Letting me take on the manly roll, showing and telling the guys where to drill an install. Dianne did not consider though this is a four hour operation. She is going to look like a prune when this is over. I hate being the manly guy when these kind of other guys are in the house and there is nowhere in the house I can escape to. We are doing the phones, both TVs and the main computer so the guys are all over, drilling, stretching cord and installing. The house has the doors open and the December air is rushing in freezing th snot out of me. I can barely type. So, you see, there is no escape just having to sit here with my “guyface” on looking tough and semi-confident like I know what I am doing. I just pray the guys don't ask anything like “Where is the 220 outlet” or “ we need another drill...where's your drill?” I never have the answer these guys need. I know when I have had to have my next door neighbor Al come over and of course Al does ask those very questions and I cannot immediately , if ever, lay my hands on a working flash light or a ¼ spat or even know where the fuse box is. Al just shakes his head in disappointment and walks back to his house where he has everything laid out in perfect order to get what he needs to come back and finish the work on the disaster.

It's now the middle of Friday afternoon and school is just letting out and all th neighborhood carpools are driving by looking at the house like it is a crime scene. The cable van is parked out front with all the doors open and ladders and cones out all over. Spools of cable and black plastic bags are all over the lawn like bodies after the shootout. Cable guys walking in and out the front door . I am invisible hunched over the laptop with my stocking cap on trying to conserve by body heat. Dianne has the jacuzzi rebbed up up to full throttle cooking away while I am up here freezing my shoes off. The furnace is just humming away pushing more heat out out the open garage. I am sure the gas meter is just spinning away recording every BTU for a glorious present to come in January's mail.

I am sure the guys are working as fast as they can and I keep telling myself this will not last for ever. It'll all be over by tis evening and I will be warmly watching the Food Channel. Just shut the damn door.!


Thursday, December 01, 2005

SMOKE EM IF YOU GOT EM


(image placeholder)SMOKE ‘EM IF YOU GOT ‘EM

The Transit Authority called today informing me they have completed the bridgeplate project. The bridge-plates have been manufactured and installed; the Authority finished the project of bridge plating the “dog cars” a couple of days ago and the and all Trax being used now are accessible to people with mobility issues again. Actually the only reason she called me was that she was returning my call I had placed earlier in the week when I noticed that the time of the project’s completion must be getting close. If I get lucky-or unlucky enough to have access to one of these cars I will try to click an image to post. Stay tuned.

I am having a hard time sitting still—I have tomorrow off. In fact I have am taking 11 days of Annual this December. I hardly ever take Annual which is part of a problem and the problem I am having currently. I have too much Annual accrued . The State I work for is currently implementing a new use of annual policy. Essentially the State will no longer “roll-over” earned annual from one year to the next. So, it’s either used or loose time. I am “spending down” enough annual hours that I should be ok this next year. I am taking off the last two days of the week before Christmas and then taking the days between Christmas and New Years. This is a “boatload” of time and kinda makes me uncomfortable being away from the office this much but I sure do not want to give away my hours. Am I being selfish? I will have over three hundred hours of Annual going into the new year and I will accrue four hours a pay period so it never stops-sorta like the brooms in the Soccer’s Apprentice the Annual just keeps on coming. I should not complain—I have earned the time, the time is not a gift. I just have difficulty using the time. Maybe I have deeper issues I am not fully aware like if I am gone too much then maybe I will not be here at all. Essentially, if I am always here it will be that much more difficult to get rid of me. OH well.

It's December ! Officially in my mind- Christmas Season. I have tons of shopping to do, cards to write people to see and just plain be festive. I do not need to go to the liquor store, since I still have all the booze I got last year, unless I have to get a few gifts. I have found out that if I really want to get into the Holiday spirit all I have to do is visit the State Liquor Store. I have found that folks who really have the “Christmas spirit” are at the “Glass House” buying booze by the crates. These folks are all smiles, spending real money of presents they know will be appreciated by the receiver. There is a warmth at the State dispensary that I do not feel anywhere else in this state during the yule-tide. You know I would consider a part-time job there just to be round that much mirth and holiday cheer. “God bless us. Everyone!”