Showing posts from July, 2005

Pack Rat

I am on a cleaning kick. My lease is up at the end of September and I have decided to clean now like I am moving. This involves making the tough decisions on what to throw away and what to keep.

As I move through my apartment, I am surprised at what I find. Sitting on the floor near my working PC is another PC that just needs to be plugged in to function. I open my closet in my bedroom and there are two more PC cases with most, if not all, the requirements to be working PCs. In the coat closet inside the front door are two boxes with enough parts in them to make each of the other PCs function (if they donĂ‚’t currently) and likely at least one more PC out of scrap parts. I am fairly certain I have at least one skeletal PC case down in my garage into which these scrap parts could go.

I have, so far, given away four large trash bags of old clothes that I no longer wear. I have sitting beside me right now two smaller bags of clothes to take in to the nice girl whose mother cleans and mends …


I am not sure in which class I picked up the following idea, because I am fairly certain it is not unique to me, but I have used it to great effect and the people who have tried it have had moderate to profound results.

Get a timing device, a mirror big enough so that you can see your entire face, a well-lit room, and a comfortable place to sit. Set timing device for three minutes. While sitting in well-lit room in comfortable location, spend the three minutes looking at yourself in the mirror. By looking at yourself, I mean try to look yourself in the eye but, if you find this uncomfortable, then move your eyes across the rest of your face and back to your eyes. The point is to look yourself in the eyes for as long as possible until the three-minute timer goes off. This is not a staring contest, so remember to blink.

Simple, right? Wrong.

This exercise is designed to break down your self-image and rebuild it with truth. Most people seem to have a mental image of themselves at what they …


My mother left for PA today for a nice long visit with my sister and her family. They both made comments that it would be nice if I could join them. Man, that would be nice!

I love where my sister lives. It is verdant and bucolic. There are enough big cities that you can do serious shopping yet pastoral enough that you can drive for miles in nothing but wooded valleys and hills. They have real seasons and the people tend to be more small-town minded.

Where I live is part of one great big megalopolis. From San Diego to the north of Los Angeles (and beyond), and as far east as San Bernardino, there are few places left with actual Nature visible and untamed. You can drive most of the trip on the 5 freeway and rarely will you be out of sight of buildings and humanity's urban sprawl. While it is true that there are many advantages to living in such a mega complex, there are drawbacks too; increased crime, increased pollution, increased prices, increased distance from the natural world.

I …

The Hazards of Work

So, I agreed to get a project done, all five documents, by July 22, even though this was a very aggressive due date. This would give my resources a few days to review the docs and me a few days to make edits and get the manuals published before the client's drop-dead due date of August 1.

Well, I managed to get over 300 pages of documents written, with first edits from another resource included, and compiled by July 18! I had to ignore many requests and secondary work, and work like a fiend, but I did it.

On Friday (the day this work was actually due), I get an email from my main contact with the department with which I am working. She provides me some edits on three of the five documents and then says she would forward the other two docs to others to review while she is gone on vacation next week. What? Excuse me? You are on vacation next week, the only week you originally had to edit all of this work?

This is very frustrating. First, because I bent over backward, ignored many other…


I am SO ready for some football!

With most teams reporting and starting their practices over the next two weeks, the smell of football is in the air.

Of course, as a life-long Detroit Lions fans, I have high hopes and low expectations. Can Harrington come through with all the weapons he has now? Have they improved the defense enough? Will the so-rightly named "Black and Blue" division once again knock each other around and wind up missing out on the playoffs?

Will this be the year they make it back to the Big Show (they last won a title in 1957-- before the creation of the Super Bowl)?

And why can't Barry Sanders stay young and playing for the team forever?

Thursday Thoughts

Many non-artistic types think that artists have control over what they do. An artist wants to paint, so he picks up a brush and applies paint. He wants to write, so he picks up a pen (or fires up the word processor) and begins to deliberate. An actor picks up his script and starts to memorize lines and blocking. A musician strums a few bars. As far as it goes, that is true. But the art has a say in the matter too. And the art can sometimes take the artist to unexpected places.

I have had an idea for a poem floating around in my head for awhile now. In my mind’s eye, this was a bucolic poem filled with pastoral scenes of a wood nymph dancing around her tree and captivating those who see her. Not my usual arena, but the image stuck with me and kept solidifying. For whatever reason, the seed of that poem finally germinated long enough that I began to write it last evening.

The first two stanzas turned out the way I expected; pleasant and pastoral. Even the desire to go with a meter and r…

Worst Fears

I used to lean Republican, but am now definitely in the middle with some strong Liberal as well as Conservative leanings depending on the subject. I am not a fan of the current President, but I realize he will be out of office soon, never to return thanks to our two-term limit on that office.

However, I am very afraid of President George W. Bush getting to elect even one Justice to the Supreme Court-- probably the most important body in our country-- let alone two. With Justice O'Connor's shocking resignation and now Justice Rehnquist's failing health, President Bush may be able to stock two ultra-conservative leaning Justices on the Court for years and years to come.

Justice O'Connor was a pivotal swing vote for many issues I lean to the left on, women's rights, the environment, etc. Justice Rehnquist is one of our best judges in that he can divorce himself from his own politics and rule without much bias on many issues.

My one hope is that most judges seem to unders…

Which Movie are You?

Who comes up with these?

Thanks to Terri-Lynn's site for this one.

What Classic Movie Are You?
personality tests by

Ordained Minister

Okay, I admit it. I’m a loon. I’m crazy. Anyone who knows me well will give me that patient smile and slow shake of the head I’ve gotten so used to seeing when they read this one. I’m sure mom will have some interesting comments as well.

Awhile back, I stumbled on a web site that proclaimed it would legally ordain me as a clergy person for their church for free. For some reason at that time, I thought that was cool. So I filled everything out and expected to hear back immediately from them (they claimed “instant ordainment” after all). Nada. Nothing. Zilch. That was long ago enough that I had forgotten all about it.

Today, as I’m sitting at work, I get an email notification. I open it and it is from the church. I have now been ordained by the Church of Spiritual Humanism to perform religious rites and ceremonies including marriage, baby naming, funeral services, invocations, and holiday ceremonies as permitted by the laws and regulations of my state and country. Not valid in Canada (the…

Movie Music

There are certain songs that cause an urge to watch the film in which the song is found. This urge becomes a compulsion that is hard to ignore.

For example, every time I hear Fiona Apple singing “Across the Universe,” I need to seek out my copy of Pleasantville and watch it. Hearing the Beatles performing that song does not trigger the same need; only Apple’s version does it. Luckily, the DVD has the video for the song— sometimes I can get away with that instead of watching the whole film. Phil Collins’ “Against All Odds (Take A Look At Me Now)” results in a strong desire to watch Against All Odds. Did Rachel Ward ever look better than when she is standing there at the end, looking at Jeff Bridges as she cries? I think not. “Wind Beneath My Wings” makes me pull out my battered copy of Beaches. I always immediately think of when Bette Midler is jokingly saying that her memory is long and she remembers everything and Barbara Hershey turns away and whispers, “I’m counting on it.” Hearing …


I liked these.

You are Kermit the Frog!! You are loyal to your
friends and don't really know how to say No.
No matter what you were doing, you would drop
it in a second if a loved one was in trouble.
You are also a born star. Everyone loves you!

Which Muppet are You?
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?? Which Of The Greek Gods Are You ??
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Birth Year

You Were Actually Born Under:No worries, you're not really pig-like in your personality.
(Though you have been known to have a healthy appetite!)
You are highly intelligent - forever studying and gaining knowledge.
You have a heart of gold and you are appreciated by many.

You are most compatible with a Rabbit or Goat
What Year Were You Born Under?

I chose to eliminate the "Year You Should have been Born Under" section.