Wednesday, March 30, 2005
  The Whole Terri Schiavo Thing...
I've been debating for weeks as to whether or not I should post anything regarding her.

I'll say this and leave the whole thing behind me. I think they should just give her a big shot of morphine and have it over with. Whether her husband is a prick or not is immaterial. No one should have to "live" that way.
Tuesday, March 29, 2005
  No Whining

We bought a "No Whining" magnet last night as a reminder to our daughter to watch her whining. She four (almost five) and is fluent in "whinese".

Last week I could have used these. I was whining to God, myself, and anyone else who would listen about how crappy my life was. I had fallen back onto some bad habits which I blamed on my circumstances. It wasn't good enough that I was getting some good transportation for free, I wanted it to be newer. It wasn't good enough that I was getting a cool little house, it wasn't big enough. I think you get the picture.

When my daughter whines, it's usually because she feels like we aren't listening or that life isn't fair. When I whine to God it's usually for the same reason. I felt like he wasn't listening to me. In fact, I even went so far as to tell some guys who prayed for me that I didn't think it would do any good, but that they could go ahead (nice of me to give them permission, huh?).

Well needless to say, they did and it did and I am feeling much better. I hereby resolve to at least watch my whining, but as my daughter said when my wife explained what the magnet said, "But it's hard not to whine." So I am enlisting all of you laddies and lassies out there in Internetland to help me with this. It's okay to voice my opinion, to be sad, to be angry, to be frustrated, but it isn't okay to whine. My friends, family, and God will all listen to my woes and love me, but this job is made much easier if I watch my whining.

Well I remember readin You're the God who never sleeps
And while I've been dreamin' You've been singing over me, yeah
Singin' about my freedom, wakin' me up to hear Your song,
And now I cant dance hard enough
Cause yesterday is gone, gone, gone!
- Chris Rice

Deuteronomy 2:7
The LORD your God has blessed you in all the work of your hands. He has watched over your journey through this vast desert. These forty years the LORD your God has been with you, and you have not lacked anything.
- Moses
Monday, March 28, 2005
  Just the Two of Us
I just dl'd the mp3 of this (does that make me sound l33t?) by Will Smith, hey it was free, and I love it. It boils down all of the feelings I've had as a father. I'm a softy, most of the time. Anyway here are the lyrics. Hokie? Yes. Perfect flow? No. But I love it.
  Holy Giant Ape!!!!

Check here for the latest Kong news from that genius Peter Jackson.
Friday, March 25, 2005
  Good Friday
Well it's Friday anyway. We got to my In-Law's last night only to discover that one of our tires was basically toast.

We spent the night here, me on the couch thanks to our son. The van went into the shop and it was discovered that our idle arms needed replacing. It has cost us about 600 dollars, well a little less thanks to the afore-mentioned family, and about six hours of time, but at least we're safe and sound.

We had a good visit and will stay at my family's house at the beach until Sunday instead of Saturday since we've been here much longer than anticipated.

On Sunday I pick up my truck and that's an Easter present that has been much anticipated. It's a 1989 Ford F-150, but it's free so gift horse and all that.

All-in-all it hasn't been too bad, but good? We'll see.

One question to my brethren and sistren out there. Why is this called Good Friday anyway? Hanging on a cross wasn't exactly the best part of Christ's weekend. Ahhh well, guess that's a question to Google later.

Have a blessed day.
Tuesday, March 22, 2005
  TV Pilots You'll Never See
Even though this is from The Weekly World News, I could see these being pitched to execs.

Every year, scores of TV pilots are filmed -- but the vast majority never make it onto the air. And once a show is rejected by network executives, chances are that would-be first episode will never see the light of day. Here, from industry insiders, are 10 TV series that DIDN'T premiere this season:
ABDUL'S HEROES: Loosely modeled on the TV classic Hogan's Heroes, and set in Camp X-ray on Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, this sitcom pokes fun at a ragtag band of suspected Al Qaeda fighters and the U.S. soldiers who reluctantly guard them. In each episode, the bungling-but-lovable leader Abdul and his men hatch another wacky plot to escape, which is foiled -- usually through pure accident -- by their equally incompetent American captors. "The show was created as an irreverent war comedy," explains an industry insider. "Unfortunately, in the wake of the Abu Ghraib prison scandal, the pilot now comes off as an exercise in bad taste." FATHER FLANAGAN AND ME: This sitcom about a precocious, wisecracking boy from the "hood" being raised by a Catholic priest sounded like a surefire winner when it was first pitched to producers a couple of years ago. "Now -- in light of the Church sex abuse scandal -- some of the dialogue makes your skin crawl," the insider reveals. McFAGGOT: "San Francisco's toughest cop just happens to be gay," trumpets a synopsis provided by the show's producers. But the backlash against gay marriage torpedoed any chance that this series, featuring a homosexual sleuth and his feisty male mate, would ever air. SCREENERS: This drama about America's "unsung heroes in the war on terror" -- the security guards who frisk you at airports -- sounded exciting when it was originally conceived shortly after 9/11, but not anymore. "Test audiences literally fell asleep," reveals the source. THE ANIMATED ADVENTURES OF HUMPTY: A hyperactive cartoon dog who keeps humping his mistress' leg and everything else in sight made test audiences uncomfortable. McMAGGOT: "Bad guys can't kill New York's first zombie cop -- because he's already dead," is how the show is described in PR materials. But TV execs deepsixed McMaggot. THE DRILL: What's life really like behind the scenes in L.A.'s hottest dental practice? Questionnaires filled out by a test audience revealed that no one cares. WHO CUT THE CHEESE?: A reality show about five ordinary people from varied backgrounds who must share an apartment with a chronic flatulence sufferer and try to figure out which cast member is the culprit, was a real stinker, network execs decided.

Monday, March 21, 2005
  Baby Got Book

A remake of Sir Mix-a-Lot's classic with a Christian message. Remember to engage your sense of humor.
Friday, March 18, 2005
  Inside the Danger Zone: The U.S. in the Persian Gulf 1987-1988 - Review
I just read the first four chapters of this book that a long time friend is working on and it was great. I'm not a big non-fiction reader under most circumstances. I even have trouble reading the newspaper, but this caught me in a grip and held me.

These chapters are devoted to an attack on the USS Stark, something that I hadn't even heard of until I read this. My head was up my butt for most of the late 80's-early 90's, so I missed a lot. He gives a point by point account of what occurred using a deep library of sources and makes it feel like a movie. I could see the events in my head.

In the last chapter he raises some very good points about how this attack was probably anything but an accident and I can't wait to see the rest of the chapters. Who knew that real life could be so interesting?
Thursday, March 17, 2005
  Boxes, boxes, and more boxes...
We live amongst the boxes. Thanks to Chuck a good portion of the ones in the kitchen are empty. We still have a fair piece to go, but it's good (not all good mind you).

The house is really cool. I love the living room. Our upstairs lair is more than adequate, though the bathroom is lacking in the headroom department. The kids' rooms are spacious enough. The yard is desperately in need of some TLC, but spacious. In short I think it's a keeper.

Leigh is meeting with some friends tonight and I hope that I can take that opportunity to get some of the living room and perhaps our bedroom in better shape. The call of the TV will be difficult to resist, but I can do it.

As a side note if you want to help my mood you can order one of my Think Geek desires by clicking over there on the right. Or as a cheaper alternative you can click on the comments link and let me know that these bites are being read by someone other than Morse and my Mother-in-law. :-)
Wednesday, March 16, 2005
  High School Discrimination pt 2
At Morse's urging I dug deeper:
and it seems that quite a bit of abuse allegedly went on. I say allegedly because the school system settled out of court to save legal fees.

The six students got a total of $560,000 and the lawyers got the rest of the $1.1 million. (Now I can see why Morse is in law school ;-)) The school also training and meetings to its itinerary.

Now I know the suit wasn't worth it. The students got a pittance for their pain and suffering. The lawyers got a chunk of change. The school, which admitted no guilt, added something to its program which cost the taxpayers more money and in all likelihood won't prevent the hatred.

It does make Kerry look better in my eyes though. If you want to make a change don't go through the courts. Take a stand and form a group that might make a lasting difference.

As a side note, I can't STAND the ACLU.
I just had to endure a bone-numbingly boring hour long meeting at work. After getting about five hours of sleep on my couch last night, this is NOT good.
  High School Discrimination

This particular blog is in response to this entry at CodeMorse.

I can certainly understand the anger Morse feels. I hate it when people get picked on by a bunch of ignorant imbeciles. And Kerry did the right thing for standing up for what she believes in. She formed a club to stand up for diversity, not just homosexuality. I wish her much success in her endeavor.

One thing in the article caught my eye though, "Last year, six gay and lesbian former high school students won a $1.1 million settlement against the school district in Morgan Hill, Calif., for discrimination they suffered while students. They were verbally and physically abused by other students, according to the suit. "

I was verbally and physically abused by other students for being different. Where can I sign up to sue? High School students (and unfortunately some adults) will latch on to any difference and try and make your life Hell because of it. Is suing the answer? I mean I understand taking legal action if a school tries to block the formation of a club, but being picked on and bullied? That crap happens and always will. Doesn't make it right and if the principal is notified and does nothing then take it higher, but suing for damages seems a bit extreme.

Now this, "I just don't think it's right to have a club like this. It ain't in the Bible," said Gary Colwell, 18, a brick mason who grew up in the area. "We see them walking around holding hands, and it makes everybody feel uncomfortable." this does annoy me. We aren't a Christian country. Some of our founding fathers were, but just because something isn't in the Bible doesn't mean it shouldn't be allowed. Wake up Clem.

I say good for Kerry's parents, for supporting her. If one of my kids were homosexual I would hope that I would support them as well.
Tuesday, March 15, 2005
  McDonald's Call Center
Okay so it's old news but,

"The world's largest restaurant chain wants to cut down on the number of mistakes at the drive-thru window. The chain's chief financial officer says a "heavy percentage" of complaints come from drive-thru customers who got the wrong order. Call centers would help process orders faster."

Have these people ever called anyone for tech support? If this reduces errors then I'm the queen of Sheba.

I mean what does someone sitting in Denver care if I don't get my Big Mac with cheese. This is a ploy to cut costs. Rather than pay someone minimum wage to sit at a window, they'll be someone in Tajikistan asking me if I want to supersize that.
Monday, March 14, 2005
  Willy Wonka Trailer

I have my reservations. One maybe two sightings of what might be Oompah Loompahs. Looks like Mike TeeVee is a video game addict. The Bubble Gum girl and the fat German kid are there. Depp looks suitably creepy and yet whimsical. I'm wondering if he'll sing. The color palette of the whole thing is dark and rich, like good chocolate. It seems to be a straight remake of the movie from what 30 seconds tells me. I am ashamed to admit that I haven't read the book. Don't get me wrong, I'm excited, but not as excited as I should be?

The sets seem a little cramped. I'm hoping WW isn't too dark. It's a Tim Burton flick so it might be a little too kooky. I'm mostly worried because I love the first one so much. Oh well, only time will tell.
  Brain Droppings
Okay George Carlin's people, please don't sue me.

In an effort to make with the content instead of this JUST being my daily rant on what a hard row our life has been like lately, I will proceed to lay some free writing on you people.

I made the promise to Leigh this morning that I wanted to stay at Ciba for the next three years at least and that's a promise I intend to keep inasmuch as anyone can keep such a promise. I really enjoy computers and all of the fun they bring and the people here are cool so it shouldn't be too hard.

The question I bring to any of you that are reading is, how do you make your job into a ministry? That's what I want to do here and it was something I struggled with forever before I left to go to the Children's Home.

I guess my thoughts on that run along the course of, you don't hide your faith under a bushel for one. I think everyone here knows I'm a Christian and hopefully it shows in my work ethic and the words that come out of my mouth. Now I'm not perfect and those words can be hurtful and that's something I'm working on. But that's something else that is important. I try and let people know that I don't expect them to be "perfect" and I try to not ever judge someone.

Also along those lines, there's a prayer group that meets here weekly and I think that starting/participating in such things is important. Having a faith community at work is really important. You need to find those believers that really try and live the faith. In America we have an abundant supply of Cultural Christians that have a thin veneer of religion. These may be babies in the faith or they may be paying lip service. Either way they won't help you grow. You need to find hard core brothers/sisters.

Of course none of this addresses how to approach others. Is that appropriate at work and how do you go about it? That's where the real struggle is. I don't want anyone to feel threatened, but at the same time I can't be scared to share my faith. Any suggestions you proud few?
  A Work in Progress
Well, we had a lot of help this weekend (a shout out to Mark, Cecil, John, Rob, Pete, and Dan) and got most of our stuff in the Pod. The old house is kind of a wreck. We still have some things in our room, the kids rooms, and the basement but it's all non-essential. Now comes the unpacking.

P.S. I shot our new address out. If you didn't get it and want it, email me @ capteucalyptus@yahoo.com.
Friday, March 11, 2005
  The Big Load
Tomorrow we load the rest of the Pod. Sounds like we'll have enough help and some pickup trucks to load the odd shaped stuff. I'm excited about being moved not so much about moving.
  Chronicles of Narnia
Here's a little snippet from what WETA is doing with The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe and all I can say is OHHHHHH YEAH!!!!
Thursday, March 10, 2005
  Spiritual Battles
I firmly believe that Satan attack us spiritually and physically through his agents and BOY has he been bringing his guns to bear on us. Didn't update yesterday as Leigh was sick with a fever and sore throat and I stayed home. Kennis screamed most of last night and that resulted in Leigh and I crashing in our living room. I had hit an extreme low the other day but after a chat and a prayer with Mark (thanks brother) I felt renewed.

Packing is carrying on. Hopefully we're on schedule for this weekend. A couple of people have offered help and even if we just get a couple of guys who can give us a few hours I think we'll still be able to make it happen.

Those of you that pray can use that to keep old Scratch at bay while we complete this part of life's journey.

James 5:16
The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.
  The Templeton Prize

It's sort of like the Nobel prize for advancement in religious studies.  The prize (over a million dollars) goes to one of the men that invented the maser and the laser, Charles Townes.  Townes said, “Science and religion have had a long history of interesting interaction. But when I was younger, that interaction did not seem like a very healthy one.”

Here's to a healthy marriage of the two.  Both seek to explain the universe and our place in it.

From http://www.templetonprize.org/townes_pressrelease.html

In nominating Townes to the international, interfaith panel of nine judges that awards the prize, David Shi, president of Furman University, wrote, “He points out that both scientists and theologians seek truth that transcends current human understanding, and because both are human perspectives trying to explain and to find meaning in the universe, both are fraught with uncertainty. Scientists propose hypotheses from postulates, from ideas that ultimately cannot be proven. Thus, like religion, science builds on a form of faith.”

Shi added, “Charles Townes helped to create and sustain the dialogue between science and theology. Thus he has made a profound contribution to the world's progress in understanding - and embracing - the wonder of God's creation.”


  The Great American Prison

American Prison

Maybe this is really old news but basically our government is making law
abiding aliens who are seeking asylum in this country live under house
arrest. This REALLY pisses me off (apologies for the extreme word but
that's just how I feel). Granted if the person is a flight risk, and
being an alien shouldn't automatically qualify you as one, then I could
understand. But this is supposed to be the land of the free.

What's even scarier is that this is part of a "pilot program". What's
next? Visit America and along with your passport stamp you get a piece
of jewelry that tracks your every move. I mean after all people who are
here on vacation could present a greater risk.

I suppose it's better than actually being detained and then
mistreated but not by

Tuesday, March 08, 2005
  The Sniffles
I thought packing was bad. Packing when your nose won't stop running is that much worse. Got almost no significant work done last night. Leigh and I both feel like crap. I'm working though I'd rather be almost anywhere else right now. I look around and KNOW that there's no way that we're gonna fit everything that needs to go into our POD. I pray that we'll have enough help to make moving by Monday/Tuesday realistic. And lately when I pray, it feels like I'm talking to an empty sky.

Mk. 9:24 "Immediately the boy's father exclaimed, 'I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!'"


No, I'm not talking about that nasty email that no one wants.  Eric Idle is realeasing a Broadway musical version of Monty Python's The Holy Grail as a musical.

Now I'm a HUGE fan of the movie and can quote it as well as my swiss cheese brain will allow, but do we really need a musical version of it?  Shouldn't Idle be doing something fresh and original as befits his history.  I know that the Circus borrowed liberally form a host of predecessors, what artist doesn't, but to just turn out a Broadway musical adapted from the movie seems a bit lazy at best and greedy at worst. 

Granted there are new songs and no doubt a fair sprinkling of that … odd British humor we know and love, but couldn't he be doing something original?  I dunno, maybe I'm overreacting.  I'll tell you this, I'd go see it.

  Chewer Web Logs

I put blogs from people who post on CHUD over on the side bar. I haven't perused them all but these guys seem pretty cool all the way round. Anyway proceed at your own risk. ;-)


I can now update my blog via email. 

Hopefully this will make updating easier/more frequent.  Later today I want to throw some of my fiction up and maybe some biting social commentary.  Keep checking back and hope you enjoy.

Monday, March 07, 2005
  Life and curveballs
When life throws me a curveball I am usually able to duck it but sometimes I get hit and on an even rarer occasion I knock it out of the park.

Today the van wouldn’t start due to a dead battery. I’m an infamous battery killer. I’ll leave a light on in a second and forget that I did. I left the interior light on allllll night so it was deader than a doornail. Thanks to a really good friend of mine I got a ride to work and he went and picked me up a replacement after taking the dead one to Wal-Mart. THANKS CHUCK!

I did get a lot of work done on the whole packing thing. That was also thanks to a good friend of mine who helped me move many boxes and pieces of heavy furniture. It’s good to have friends.

My wife’s back is out which makes it hard for her to do any lifting. She told me today that she’s going to soldier through it. I hope she doesn’t hurt herself any further. I want to have as much done by the weekend as possible so Saturday and Sunday can just be loading and arranging.

So it looks like I dodged a few curveballs today, but not without the help of friends. I guess that’s what they’re for.
Thursday, March 03, 2005
My family and I are moving which is a hateful thing. Our house is a complete disaster and neither of us feel like doing a blessed thing after she has the kids all day and I work all day. This is also not a good thing. Today I’m really overusing the word thing. I liked Thing in the Adams family (the tv show and not so much the movie which is weird because they’re both only disembodied hands after all). I didn’t really care for the remake of The Thing, though the special effects were nice and it had Kurt Russell in it. But I digress.

The upside of all of this moving business is we are using something called a PODS unit and it is waaaay cool. We are also going to get a fair amount of help from the folks at our church and that’s cool too. I guess in the balance of things it’s going to be a good experience. I am definitely going to enjoy being back in Winston Salem and our new house will be fun. If we can just barge through the next two weeks and emerge on the other side all will be good.
  First Shot
Here's my first blog.

I found my new favorite website. www.thinkgeek.com

I really need more sleep.

I hate moving.

That is all.

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