Nixon's Memoirs: August 2004

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Blogging Iran

I'm not sure if I've ever touched on this area of my past before in my blog, but for a few years in the early 1980's, a man became a part of my life, and made quite an impact on me. His name was Rajhab (I've had no news of him in decades) and he was my mother's second husband. He was from Tehran, but in that volatile time, told any who asked that he was Turkish. He was strict, but fair, cared for my mother and I very much, and taught me a lot of valuable lessons about life. He even wished that my mother and I come with him to live in Tehran, but it was something my mother finally decided against. I may never know why/how it came to pass that he was unable to return to us from his visit to Iran, but I know he longed for something that to this day Iran still lacks. Freedom.

Iraq has it now, though the road will be tough, but Iran is still under the thumb of a cruel and vicious leader.

One of my favorite sites for this struggle, which I began visiting many years ago is www.daneshjoo.org I will add this to my links to the right as well. I have also joined the "Blog Iran" web ring to help raise the awareness of this situation. Often times, those of us in the U.S. get the wrong impression about this situation. I think it is helpful to know that there are millions is Iran who love peace, resent the terrorists who perpetrated 9/11, and who so very much want a free and democratic Iran.

I for one stand by them. For Rajhab, and all Iranians longing for freedom.

Monday, August 30, 2004

Shuffling days off (again)

Well, right on the verge of the football season, the woman who was working my Fridays suddenly needed to switch back. Luckily, I had a backup plan for just such an event, but it wasn't one I wanted to implement. So, now, like last year, I'll be working Tuesday and Thursday 3-11, and Saturday and Sunday overnight. My overnight cohort will work my Friday night in exchange for me working his Tuesday. So, no more Monday overnights with my best friend, and more time with the kids. Oh well. For some reason, this news just put me in a blue funk last night, and it was hard to shake.

On a happier note, the new Fall Season starts this week, I think. I'll have to check my local listings. Long time readers will recall my lamenting the end of the last television season.

I've added some new blogs to my blog roll, which I do whenever I find a blog that piques my interest or makes me laugh, or both.

Friday, August 27, 2004


Well, it's not quite Dukakis in a tank, but it'll do for me. Funny how this photo op never made it big in the press. Thanks to Miller's for the link. I certainly hope no small children have run down range to collect brass whilst Kerry's posing for the camera. Ease off the trigger, there, "war hero." Posted by Hello

Chicken Tossin'

We got to the ballpark today in plenty of time to get the Anaheim Angels ballcaps, and wore them inside. As is my routine, I headed to the scorecard stand to buy the $2 Travs scorecard, and enter to participate in the on-field promotional games.

As chance would have it, my name was called to participate in the Wing Stop Chicken Toss. I competed in the Chicken Toss last season when it was sponsored by Popeye's Chicken as well, but lost in a blowout to my best friend (another odd coincidence) five rubber chickens in the bucket to my lowly two.

Well, the rubber chicken spirits were with me tonight, as I tossed FIVE FOR FIVE, defeating my advesary who only managed three. My prize? A complete twenty wing dinner for two! My wife was quite pleased.

We left after the Seventh Inning Stretch because my wife was tired, and the game was tied at four. I'll be sure to include the final score in my next blog.

**UPDATE** The Travs lost a squeaker, 5-4. Dag blast it

Upcoming events

A fun night is in store as the wife and I once again enjoy some Texas League Baseball as the Arkansas Travelers take on the El Paso Diablos tonight at Ray Winder Field. Tonight is Anaheim Angels hat night, so I hope to get there early to ensure getting a hat.

Saturday will simply entail me sleeping and going to work at 7pm, but Sunday, my church is renting out all of Wild River Country for a big party and over 80 baptisms. I'm really looking forward to that, we had a blast last year.

I went to my old doctor today! (But Nixon, didn't you blog a while back about HATING your old doctor?) Why yes, yes I did. But I meant the one BEFORE him, his wife. She is now listed on my medical insurance plan, and I was able to see her today. It was fantastic! No scolding, no tales of doom and gloom. Just friendly advice, smiles, hugs, and great conversation. She really listens to me. I had switched to another doctor closer to my house, and while he was good, his office had very poor customer service.

On the political front, while I understand President Bush's need to back away from the Swift Boat Veterans, we in the blogosphere are under no such obligation. These guys haven't just crawled out of the woodwork this year, they've been against Kerry since '71 when he came back and bad-mouthed our Vets to congress, and came up with this piece of pulp trash which desecrates one of the most hallowed images of WWII, the raising of the flag at Iwo-Jima.

It's bad enough the anti-establishment hippies have taken over our colleges and universities, the last thing I want is for one to become President.

So, in the spirit of free speech, of course, Kerry and his cronies have threatened TV stations who play the ad, and have essentially gotten it taken off the air. I never even got to see the ad. So I found it here.

That's all for today, folks! Have a great weekend, whenever YOUR weekend is. (Mine is Wednesday and Friday, hehe)


Wednesday, August 25, 2004

The Dying Computer

Well, I didn't think I'd actually get back on here today, as for quite sometime, my computer was stuck on the "Windows ME" screen. This is just one of many recent problems I've had with the computer. Another recent one is the proliferation of pop-ups, adware, spyware, and something claiming to get rid of it called "Virtual Bouncer" which has also forced its way onto my computer screen, and is more annoying than all the others combined.

So, I begged the wife for a new computer.

It will arrive at our home on September 9th. Nothing fancy, just a new 310T tower with updated memory, software, etc. We're keeping the monitor we already have.

And then my wife surprised the heck out of me.

She went on to order us a new laptop computer! The M520 (I think) Anyway, it has Wi-Fi, which is cool, because now I can take it with me to West End and surf while I hang out there.

It also arrives on the 9th, so I'm very happy!

Thanks again to all for your kind words and advice! Bloggers rule!

AM/PM

A very uneventful day. I still plan on hitting the den/exercise room today, honest! But the major event (or rather non-event) of the day happened this morning.

I had intended on getting up with my wife at 6am in order to spend a little time with her and watch Cold Pizza on ESPN2. Well, when her alarm went off, I still felt really tired, so I asked her to go ahead and reset it to 8am.

Our alarm clock has two settings, which is good since most of the time, she and I are on much different schedules. Well, she set MY alarm for 8. What she didn't realize was that it had been previously set for 6 pm, and so she just moved it forward two hours. I was supposed to be at a mandatory meeting at work at 9am, which is when I finally woke up. I called to tell my boss what happened, but got his machine, so I just left a groggy message stating that I had overslept because my alarm didn't go off, and hope I don't get chewed out when I go in Thursday.

I really hate that meeting anyway, it's held on my day off, at a time that throws off my sleeping pattern, and usually ends up being a group gripe session.

And now for something completely different:

Those of you with spouses, significant others, etc. When you share an item such as popcorn, cheese dip, a bowl of crackers, what have you, does your companion tend to eat off YOUR side of the container? My wife does this, and its one of those little things that just annoys me to no end. She even takes it one step further sometimes by taking long pauses with her hand in front of the container blocking access to the food item. Picture it, both sitting at the table, a bowl of chips, a bowl of dip, she reaches over on MY side, dips her chip, then LEAVES her hand there on my side of the bowl so I can't get to it. She does it at theatres too with the popcorn, she'll just dangle her hand full of popcorn on my side of the box for seconds on end. This is something I just don't understand. I dip on my side, I get my hand out quickly and politely leave the item available for others. Hmm, maybe this is why I always end up with a shirt full of salsa, but darn it, at least I was nice.

Thank you kindly to my new readers, the magic of the blog continues to astound me, and I feel blessed to be a part of it. I have yet to get one negative comment on my blog. (I'm sure that's coming) But that's why God made delete buttons, eh?

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

No progress, so far.

Some people may consider a few pounds lost to be significant, but when you weigh as much as I, the weight fluctuation is really nothing to get excited about. I'm currently a 383, and I still feel awful. I've started taking less to eat with me to work, which is good, but I seem to be making up for it at home. I can't seem to drag myself to the gym, and even my den, which contains a Soloflex, and some other equipment, seems less inviting than it used to. I've only been down there once since the funeral, and I spent more time playing darts than I did working out.

I suppose I can be thankful that I don't weigh 1000 lbs. like that guy from Nebraska, but even he is doing something, and that just makes me seem even lazier.

I know where this is leading, I can see it in my head, and the logic is all there. Wheelchair, amputation, heart attack, dead, and my wife is a thirty-something widow.

If I know all this, why is it so hard for me to do what it takes to correct it?

I just got off the phone with my mother, who is still struggling with her weight, and she's almost 60. She tries to encourage me, but it always just comes off as so much nagging, which makes me sad, which makes me want to eat. ARGH!

I wish I could afford to go to some fat camp somewhere where they say what you can eat, and have you exercise, and all that stuff.

Even better, I wish I could afford to have a personal chef and personal trainer come to my house and prepare healthy meals and encourage me to exercise.

Well, I know one thing we CAN'T afford right now, and thats a lot of medical bills, or a funeral. So maybe I should consider it a good investment and keep trying to get up off my fat butt and do it myself.

Maybe I can hire the band Survivor to come over and inspire me like in that Starbucks commercial.

Monday, August 23, 2004

The Punishment

For my wife, nothing, as it should be. They saw nothing wrong with how she handled the situation and laid blame solely on the children involved. I see it as no different than any other teacher preparing for the semester. Say the drama teacher has some students start on making props while she auditions, or a coach has some players put up equipment while he goes over a playbook. Teachers cannot be there every moment to monitor these students, and should have every reasonable expectation that they aren't going to break into a hockey game at the turn of a back.

The child that basically started it all, and verbally threatened to shoot another student, got 10 DAYS SUSPENSION, at which time the school will decide on expulsion.

The others involved got varying degrees of ISS or Dentention, and the one band officer involved will lose her office.

Eleven days until the first game of the football season. It's a home game, thank goodness, last year they had three away games before the first home game. That also means twelve days until the Sooners take on Bowling Green in Norman. Woo hoo!

Things are going well in the Nixon household for now, so, if you're asking me: Vote for Bush, Praise God, Michelle Malkin rules, Chris Matthews drools, Go Cubs, and BOOMER SOONER!

Sunday, August 22, 2004

Gettin yer hair did.

I got home this morning, played around online a bit, then went to bed. At 5pm this afternoon, I am greeted as I'm lumbering out of bed by my wife, who is quite upset.

Again, long story short, she went to a salon appointment today, and the woman there said she needed to do it at her residence, because she wasn't feeling well. Halfway through the process, the woman says she's going to run out for a couple of errands. Two hours later, my wife finally leaves.

So, we go to our small group bible study, which is currently on the topic of the occult and false religions. Today we studied the Church of Jesus Christ (LDS) AKA the Mormons.

After the group, we went back to this woman's apartment, and talked with some guy (a "baby daddy" I believe) who very kindly stated that I was "cooler than a m...f....". Whatever I shall do with such high praise, I'll never know.

FINALLY, my wife's hair is done, and it looks good, and she's going back NEXT WEEK? I'm a guy, I guess I'll never understand it. I went to our local Sport Clips over a month ago, and figure I'm due back in another week or two.

I recently joined this "Alliance of Free Blogs", oddly enough, most of them share similiar views, or at least very interesting ones. I can't guarantee their quality or content though, so click at your own risk.

I'm off to work soon. It seems that no matter how much sleep I get during the day, I'm struggling to stay awake at night. I start chugging coffee and have daydreams of crawling into bed, usually starting about 3am. Oh well, it could be worse.

Saturday, August 21, 2004

The contest resumes...

What contest, you may ask?

Every year, during high school football season, or "marching season" as it is known to my wife and other high school band directors, I arrange my work schedule so that I can get Friday "off" to assist my wife in chaperoning the band kids.

And so, every week, I would personally compare how her band students behaved compared to my residential treatment kids. Most weeks, my kids would be the better behaved. Not entirely fair, I know, as the adult-to-child ratio is not the same, but then again, all of MY kids have documented psychological issues and most have criminal records. Also, for the first two years, my wife taught at a Little Rock public school.

Last year, she moved to a much smaller district outside of Little Rock, and for the most part, these children were far nicer. Most weeks, her kids would win.

Flash to today, my wife calls, sounding very frustrated and almost to the point of tears. Today was supposed to be the annual "Check out uniforms and clean the concession stand" day. Well, to save some time, after the first few students had checked out uniforms, she sent them to the concession stand to get started on that. To make a long story short, which is what I made her do, the kids couldn't stay out of trouble, and ended up throwing paper towells at eachother, spraying eachother with cleaner, and eventually it seems, it turned to fisticuffs.

Then, the parent of one of the children came out. This parent has, in the past, been one of the most fantastic band parents we've had. She has been single-handedly running the concession stand and attaining volunteers, served as a fellow chaperone on the bus, and been to every band parent function. Well, her son was one of the students involved in the incident, and she made it worse by coming up and insulting the other students, and telling my wife that if she didn't handle the situation, that she would go straight to the Superintendent.

That's the last I heard of it. My reccomendation to my wife was to contact her Principal, and come up with an appropriate discipline, which I suggested should be expulsion from band. She may end up doing something less drastic, but the whole situation could end up falling under the new strict anti-bullying rules, and possibly violate terroristic threatening rules on the part of one of the boys. (There were four boys and a girl involved.)

So, we haven't even had the first football game yet, and already, my kids are winning. :D

Seriously though, this situation could be serious, and I certainly hope it doesn't have any serious implications on my wife.

*Update* My wife called the Superintendent herself (good move) and was assured that her job was not in jeopardy. The students will be given the proper punishment on Monday.

Friday, August 20, 2004

Oh what a night

No, not in the sweet December of '63, but tonight.

The wife and I went out to eat tonight, as it was her payday, and she got a nice raise starting this month. We went to a place we had never been called Sesame's. This hyperlink doesn't really do the place justice, as we found it to be much more delightful, and had no issues with timing or service like Jennifer Christman apparantly had when she wrote the review. The cheesecakes were awesome. After dinner, we just sat and drank coffee and went through the monthly bills (all of which we are paying EARLY now.) We plan on being monthly visitors to this place, and highly reccomend it to Little Rock residents and visitors alike.

After dinner, we went to the brand new Wal-Mart Super Center on Chenal in Little Rock. For those not familliar with Little Rock, the West Little Rock/Chenal area is the wealthy area of the city, and this new place fits the bill. It is super-clean, super-neat, super-friendly, and I had absolutely no fear of being accosted, mugged, or offered stolen merchandise in the parking lot as I always had at OUR neighborhood Wal-Mart.

We had plans to see a movie tonight, but after the delightful meal, and the leisurely shopping trip, we came straight home and decided to stay.

The one low-light of the entire day still turned out nice. I finally broke down and called the A/C repair guy, who came out, and discovered what was wrong with the A/C. A TRIPPED BREAKER. Dag blast it, I had actually gone out and CHECKED the breaker box, I'm not mechanically inclined, but I'm no idiot either. But, silly me, I checked the breaker box that had the big pipe leading to the air conditioner, and not the OTHER breaker box, which was what tripped. So, we paid $64.50 for this guy to drive out and flip a switch. But hey, it's 74 degrees in here now! YEAH!

All-in-all, a very good day.

Ah, sweet rain!

It rained and thundered last night, and I've never been so happy. Probably because I wasn't driving in it, but it also has lowered the in-house temperature to a very reasonable 81 degrees this morning.

I worked my first 3-11 shift in a couple of weeks yesterday, and had to get used to the routine again, which includes actually interacting with and giving consequences to the kids for things other than poor journal work while they sleep. I think I got right back into it, as I lit up the kids for virtual hours of room time. Yeah me! Of course, we now have them convinced that when we give them room time, its because we care. So now punishment=love! Yes, this is our theory, and I think it is a good one, as the only time these kids were punished in the past was when they brought mom the wrong brand of cigs back from the liquor store. (Stereotyping, but not far from the truth for some, and even worse for others.)

My boss seems to like to torment me by hiring cute young girls in their early twenties to work in our house. It's a full time job fending off both the kids and the other staff members, who are mostly single men in their late twenties. But, the youngster that worked with me last night had a wry sense of humour, and appreciated mine as well. We got along quite well. She's a feather in the wind, however, as she has moved ten times in five years, and already has plans on moving to Colorado in December, stating she hates to stay in one place. Oh well, didn' t need the headache anyway.

Essentially, last night I was working with two "sub-pool" persons, and one new hire, which made me the responsible, experienced vet of the bunch. Scary. I tend to be more of a follower than a leader, so when I'm placed in positions of authority over other adults, I become very nervous. I get few complaints, though.

This is perhaps the most incoherent, unattached, relentless stream of conciousness blog I've produced to date. Oh well. It made me feel better.


Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Tales of sweat, and a plug

Ugh! I've about had it with this heat. My Little Rock readers may say. 'Gee, Nix, it hasn't been that hot.' But let me assure you, when the temperature IN your home is equal to or greater than the temperature OUTSIDE, it is indeed hot.

Our A/C broke down a couple of weeks ago, and we have lacked the finances to even consider fixing it or replacing it. Luckily, the recent mild weather helped, but it has been slowly crawling back into the 90's this week, and we are feeling it. It's only positive side effect has been that my wife is now walking around the house in less clothing, a practice I certainly encourage. :)

I would like my regular readers, if they feel so inclined, to visit my cousin's new blog, and offer her encouragement and comments. She is new to blogging, much like I was a few months ago, and I want this to be a positive and rewarding experience for her, as it is for me. She is one fantastic woman!

Now, if you'll excuse me, it's time to go stand in front of the freezer. Currently 87 degrees in here!




Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Do you want fries with that?

I left for work last night sans a carbonated beverage, not because they are unhealthy and that I should stop drinking them, but because we had managed to down the last few remaining "Sam's Choice" colas on our trip to Oklahoma. So, my wife casually suggested that I stop on the way for a drink.

This suggestion becamed engrained on my brain, but the two open convenience stores on my way to work were, per usual, littered with loiterers who's intentions appeared to be bad.

So, I went to "Wendy's" , which is further down the road, and in a much better part of town. I intended only to get a soda, but while waiting in the drive-thru line, I started craving the dang freedom fries.

By the time I got to the Order-O-Matic, I had also garnered a hankering for some French (chicken) nuggets. So, I ordered both, along with the Diet Coke, and made my way to work. This in itself wouldn't have been all that bad, but I already had an overnight meal prepared. At least I didn't pull my old trick of "Three 1/4 Double Stacks w/cheese..." Baby steps, as NerdGirl has warned me.

School starts Thursday, and that renews my least favorite part of my job. Walking the kids to and from school. The school is less than half-a-mile from the housing unit, and there are busses available, so I personally don't see why we couldn't transport the loveable little fuzzballs that way. But NOOO, company policy is that they walk, and never has such a short distance felt so LOOOONG. If you think walking 12 adolecent boys in a straight line, who have a smorgasboard of conditions, including ADHD, sounds easy, then you'd be sorely mistaken.

But hey, that's why I make the big bucks. (chuckle.)

Sunday, August 15, 2004

Bad wax and whining.

Starting off, the Holiday Inn in Ft. Smith did absolutely nothing to win back our patronage Friday evening. We stayed there on our way to grandmother's funeral due to the fact we had the gift certificate for a free night's stay, and it cut our trip to Enid, OK. in half.

The first thing I wanted to do once in the room, of course, was call my mother and tell her we had arrived safely. We had a calling card, so I attempted to dial the TOLL FREE number to access the calling card. It wouldn't allow it. I finally talked to the front desk, and they said they required a $20 deposit on the phone, and that TOLL FREE calls cost... FIFTY CENTS. So, I attempted to find the pay phone, which was hidden back by the conference rooms, and had no luck there, eventually running the calling card to empty.

So, I went to the ATM, took out $20, and slapped it down on the counter. I wasn't about to put down my debit card again. This ran me $1.90 in fees though. So, the next day, we checked out, and got $14.05 back, meaning my few short phone calls cost us $5.95.

We ate in Ft. Smith at a place called Cucos, it was in a out of the way area in Ft. Smith in a practically empty former mall-looking place that contained only this eating establishment, and an indoor skate park. I started thinking of all the potential of that place for the right investor, but then again, it was probably empty for a reason. I didn't overeat, and we had plenty of leftovers.

Saturday morning, it was off to Enid, the last information we had was that the whole family was to meet at a church in Enid around noon. We arrived at said church at 12:20. There was NOBODY there. Not knowing what to do, we went to the funeral home, who let us know the family had gone to Golden Corral. So, we met the family there. I was very good there, eating peas, green beans, carrots, two hot wings, and a roll, that was IT.

Then, the funeral.

The service was officiated by a man I knew well, as he used to pastor the church I was baptized in, which I attended often with grandma. As he read off the "survivors" we discovered that grandma hadn't updated her address book in a while, as it had all of us in locations from about ten years ago. No biggie.

The biggest dissapointment of the whole service though was how they prepared the body. The woman in the casket looked NOTHING like my grandmother! Never in my life had I seen her without a smile on her face, and they had prepped the body to look as though she was practically scowling. But, we were comforted with the knowledge that grandmother wasn't in that casket, she was in heaven, and surely she was still smiling there. I was a pall-bearer, but we only moved her about ten feet, so it wasn't that big of a deal.

It was so wonderful to see the family again. The highlights for me were talking with two of my favorite cousins (I love them all, of course.) My oldest cousin, who is six months my elder, was an absolute pleasure to talk with. She is also now a reader of my blog. (Hi!) Her younger brother also connected with me there, as we agreed whole-heartedly about the way grandma looked in the casket, and had a good cry over it together.

That night, we drove back as far as Tulsa, where I was BAD. We at at a place called Fuddruckers, which is famous for there 1-ton hamburgers. (Okay, 2/3 lbs, but close enough.) I polished off one of those, and a regular order of onion rings.

We stayed Saturday night at a Tulsa area SUPER 8 (which was fabulous, and DIDN'T screw up our checking account.) We also rediscovered one of the greatest conveniece stores in America known as Quick Trip. These guys are FANTASTIC! Clean restrooms, amazing drink choices, great newspaper and magazine choices, interesting food. I wish we had one in Little Rock.

Speaking of things we wish were in Little Rock, we stopped off at the last Braum's in Alma, AR, and picked up a Bag O' Burgers. Braum's will only put stores as far out from their farm as a truck can travel in one day, to maintain freshness. So, no Little Rock Braum's. (Waah)

We arrived back, and I went to sleep, as I work overnight tonight.

It's good to be home!

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Funerals and fatness

Well, it hit me hard this week.

Not only the sadness over the loss of my grandmother, but some other factors this week leading me to a not-so-good place.

This Saturday, the whole family will gather to honor and remember my grandmother's legacy, and while yes, I realize it's not about me, this unfortunate and unexpected 'family reunion' will once again find me very unfit.

At last step upon my specially-purchased scale, I weighed 385 lbs. This is just five pounds shy of my all-time heaviest.

My cousins, mother, friends, and yes, even my now deceased grandmother have all warned me for YEARS about my weight. And each time I took what they said with a grain of salt, along with several hundred other grains of salt, piled onto various fried foods.

For YEARS, I've used flimsy excuses like a broken foot when I was 18, poor metabolism, genetic disposition, depression, carb addiction, anything that made it sound like it wasn't my fault.

I AM A FAT, LAZY PERSON AND IT'S ALL MY FAULT.

There, that feels better, very Republican of me I think.

I am ready, and hereby publicly declare that I will do everything in my power to overcome this.

Stay tuned, Memoir-Maniacs, the revolution will be BLOGGED.

Okay, a little over-dramatic, but what the heck.

Monday, August 09, 2004

The last grandparent

Elsie passed away last night, she was 83.

I knew her better as "Grandma", of course, and she was one fantastic woman.

In 1948, my mother was 3 years old, and her parents were driving her when a drunk crossed over the center line, throwing my mom clear of the car, breaking her father's legs, and killing her mother.

My grandfather, 39 at the time, was rushed to the hospital, along with my mother, and were well attended to and nursed back to health by a pretty young 26-year-old German nurse by the name of Elsie Suderman.

Florence Nightengale anyone?

My grandfather married that gal, and went on to have four children with her, and she was mother to my mother as well.

As well as the only maternal grandmother I ever knew.

She was generous, sharp as a tack, super-friendly, a good Christian woman. She also loved trying new things. I remember in the 80's driving down the road with Elsie singing "Sunglasses at Night" together. That was pretty cool for a grandma. She also let me drive her car once, and we had a wreck, which she never told my mom about. She also expressed worry for my health up until our last conversation a few days ago.

Her husband passed in 1983, my grandfather. My father's father passed in the mid 80's, my step-father's father passed in 1989, the day of my High School graduation. My father's mother passed in 1991, and my step-father's mother passed two years ago. So, goodbye Elsie, the last grandparent, you will be missed, and heaven has a fine new resident.

Say hello to all the 'grands'.

And still I smile, and sing, for I am happy.


Sunday, August 08, 2004

What's mine is yours...

As is evident from my last post, I have little tolerance for thievery, and believe that thieves should be punished to the fullest extent of the law.

However, after reading the emerging details of the sextuple murder in Florida, it is now painfully obvious that this philosophy can be taken to dangerous levels of extremity.

A 27-year-old ex-convict hired three teenagers to beat to death SIX people connected with a 22-year-old woman who allegedly STOLE HIS X-BOX.

Granted, I whined to my wife a few times until she finally caved and let me upgrade to a Nintendo Gamecube (which we paid $24 for after trading in my Gameboy Advance and some computer games.) But, were it to be whisked away tonight while I am at work, and the thieves caught, I would simply wish upon them a year in jail or probation, and want my Gamecube back.

Where in this man's development did his brain decide that killing six people was a just consequence for the theft of a toy? But wait, there's MORE! If you murder now, we'll throw in some stolen CLOTHES at no extra charge!

And what did these three 18-year-old (legally adult) geniuses think would be THEIR benefit from all this? Free X-Box gameplay? A shirt a piece?

All four of these animals deserve to be put TO DEATH, and none to soon. They can no longer be classified as human.

Saturday, August 07, 2004

What's mine is mine

All due refunds hit the bank this morning, so I can finally stop blogging on the boring topic of my personal finances.

So, today I share the following local news item, courtesy of Today's THV reporter Chris Shaw in Little Rock, AR. I have edited the story here, the complete story can be found at the above link.

Benton police released dramatic new video Friday of the purse snatching that started a two county police chase ending in Little Rock a day earlier.

Maybe the only thing more amazing than what security cameras caught on tape is the 69-year-old woman's fight to hang on to her purse.

The video shows Margaret Lambert walking to her car in the Benton Wal-Mart parking lot. She has her back to the security camera and to the man in a truck whose about to steal her purse. "My eyes probably followed his arms up and realized he was stealing my purse," Lambert says of the moment she felt her attacker.She says her instinct kicked in right away, and she wasn't letting go.

Neither was the man in the passenger seat. From another angle, you see Lambert disappear and for several seconds the car is dragging her through the parking lot. "[The man in the passenger seat] was telling the guy next to him-go, go, go. And I was screaming, help, help, help." Until finally, she couldn't hang on any longer.

Amazingly, the 69-year-old was able to walk away from the attack with only a few bruises, and a few skid marks.

"She could've been pulled under the truck, ran over or even killed," Sgt. Lisa Wylie says.

Police say Lambert hanging on, was about the worst thing she could've done.

"If you're confronted in a situation where somebody is trying to steal your personal property, by all means give it to them," Wylie says.

But Lambert says that's a lot easier said than done.

“What's mine is mine. And I worked hard for it and I don't believe in people like that just taking what you have," Lambert says. "And would I do it again? Yes, in a New York minute."

All I can say is "Go Margaret!" Of course, I'm glad she wasn't hurt, and I also believe she should not have risked her precious life over a purse, but the ones who crossed the lines of common sense were the thieves themselves.

Now, instead of purse-snatching charges, they face attempted murder (I hope). They risked killing a woman over a PURSE. What did they expect to find in this purse, millions in gold? An unlimited credit card? A trip to Hawaii? Good grief, you morons, it was an elderly woman at a WAL-MART! You'd be most likely to find $30 and some breath mints, if my grandmother's usual purse contents are any indication.

But, what Ms. Lambert says here rings true with me, what's hers is hers, damnit, and it makes me want to puke reading what these two did.

Throw the book at these two, and give Ms. Lambert a medal for standing up for her rights.

"Thou Shall Not Steal"- Exodus 20:15

Friday, August 06, 2004

As of today...

Still no actual refund from Holiday Inn, merely the promise of things to come. They claim to have credited our account for the entire stay, and state that a gift certificate for a future stay is also forthcoming.

Last night we discovered that we were charged $60 for two overdraft charges from the bank (one for the draft from Holiday Inn, and a second due to the fact my monthly $3.99 Yahoo! Launchcast payment came out right after the unexpected Holiday Inn draft put us in the hole) which I've asked Holiday Inn to cover as well.

Oddly enough, during this whole mini-crisis, my bank also proved to be quite unhelpful, which is not something I would have expected from Bank of America. They stated that even if I said Holiday Inn made a mistake, and Holiday Inn said they made a mistake, it would still take them up to 45 DAYS to complete an 'investigation' of the matter. Wow, they must have a regular Sherlock Holmes on staff! I'm sure it takes a true financial sleuth to figure out the case when BOTH parties say a mistake was made!

On to bigger and better things. It's almost FOOTBALL season!

Why, my regular readers may ask, is a baseball freak like Nixon excited about football season? I will tell you. No, it's not the overpaid, whining hulks of the NFL that have me jumping with glee, I still save my cheers for the overpaid, whining Boys of Summer. So it is not the Sunday and Monday games that I long for, but Friday and Saturday instead.

My wife is a high school band director, and at this very moment she is dillgently instructing her young group of musicians in the art of the half-time show. I have specially redesigned my schedule so that I may spend Friday evenings with her this fall. Plus, her school just moved down from 3A to 2A, which means they have a good chance of improving on their dismal 2-8 record of last year, with one of those victories by forfeit.

And then, on Saturday afternoons, I will be afforded the opportunity to cheer on my beloved SOONERS to victory in the midst of fans all pulling for the local favorite Arkansas. It becomes a daunting task where any SEC game trumps any other game on the television and other local media outlets. Thank God for the internet and ESPN Gameplan.

Gentle readers, I have added some new and worthy links to the right of my blog. Lileks.com has been a favorite destination on the web of mine for years. Michelle Malkin is a new find, but this incredible young woman is a blatant GENIUS, and reading her puts me in both awe, and shame for not being as well versed and gifted as she. Also, Mr. Netiquette is quite an amusing fellow.

Of course, I encourage visits to ALL my links, or they wouldn't be there.

Blog on!

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

The least they could do...

Holiday Inn just called and left me a message (Yes, Middle America, they called while I was in the restroom) stating that they were going to refund the cost of my wife's ENTIRE STAY.

This is, in fact, the least I expected of them. I think perhaps the use of the words "criminal negligence" in my last conversation with them might of been the persuasion they needed.

Thankfully, no checks have bounced yet, so other than my wife's inconvenience yesterday, no further harm has occured from this.

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Holiday Inn and empty gas tanks

I've been doing my absolute best not to complain about the following situation, so rather than view it as a complaint, think of it as a "consumer alert." Yeah, that'll work.

The Holiday Inn in Fort Smith, and now Holiday Inn Corporate in general, have stolen from us.
No, they didn't sneak into the room and make off with jewelry, but what they have done had the potential of being even worse.

As I mentioned before, my wife was in Ft. Smith for the Arkansas Bandmasters Association conference, and she stayed at the Holiday Inn there. She reserved the room on our Visa Debit Card, but when she and her friend arrived, they suggested that they could save some money by holding the room on an actual credit card to avoid some sort of fee. So, my wife's friend gave her regular Visa.

Upon checkout on Saturday, the lady at the counter asked if they wanted to keep it on the Visa, and they replied yes, asking for the bill to be split between the two of them. When my wife arrived home, she realized that they had accidently charged our debit card for the entire amount. She called, told them what happened, and they said they would correct it. This resulted in a THIRD charge being placed on our Debit card, which draws directly from our checking account. By the time Monday rolled around, they had managed to charge us FIVE TIMES for the room! Calls to corporate did no good, and seemed to just make things worse.

Last night, I car-pooled to work with my friend Dale so my wife could take my vehicle to her school since it has air conditioning (It's Band camp week). She intended several times to stop at a Citgo station to use a Citgo Cash card she won at ABA, because she knew that our Debit account was in chaos due to these charges. But, she was unable to find a Citgo.

Well, needless to say, she ran out of gas on the way home, and ended up having to walk over a mile. (I had given her my keys, and she had taken HER keys with her as well, so I was unable to go get her, and besides, I was asleep this whole time due to working graveyard.) After getting a gas can, and getting my car to a Citgo, we then found out the Citgo Cash card she had won was EXPIRED, but that's another story for another time.

I am LIVID at Holiday Inn, both in Fort Smith, and in at the company in general for RISKING MY WIFE'S LIFE due to their INCOMPETENCE!

How hard is it to reverse a charge, really people? I told them I expect full recompensation, if not more. And now, I have done my civic duty as a consumer by sharing this injustice with my fine readers.

Equal Time

Finally got to the T.V. yesterday morning with plans of catching the last 15 minutes of The Price Is Right, but there instead of Bob Barker was President Bush. So, I sat and listened to what the man had to say, because he is the leader of the free world afterall. I find it so amazing how the press have depicted our President as being such a simpleton, but he handled that press conference very well.

The media seems to play the same tricks that Michael Moore does with his movies, taking something based in truth, editing it, adding things here or there, and coming up with half-truths and fabrications. It reminds me of David Letterman's "Words of Wisdom w/ Dr. Phil" where he would take a small edited snipet out of context and play on the air. As you may recall, Dr. Phil turned the tables on him on one of his visits to The Late Show. Basically, if the press wants someone to look bad, they can make them look bad, and I should know, I majored in Journalism.

So, of course, yesterday afternoon, the French-looking Democrat nominee gets himself some "equal time" on the air, once again spouting off what HE would do if elected, which from what I saw included calling Congress back into session right away.

O.K., Senator, say he follows your advice, then arranges it to where you're required to be there well past November? Kind of hard to campaign when you're supposed to be voting on vital legislation. Oh, nevermind, that hasn't stopped you so far.

Now for the surprise comment of the day from me. I actually admire the fact that the Kerry/Edwards campaign is holding open forums for their speeches, which allowed for the "Four More Years/Three More Months" incident with ketchup lady. While I understand the security logistics of it, the fact that Bush/Cheney speeches are requiring Social Security numbers and pledges of undying loyalty to all things Bush makes me kind of ill, and reminds me of the infamous German-accented "Papers please" line in many an old war film.

That all being said, I've still never voted for a Democrat for any office higher than State Secretary of Education in Oklahoma, where I thought at the time Sandy Garrett was doing a fine job. I don't imagine I ever will, either. The issues are too important, and the moral gap much too wide for me to ever consider it. I would sooner be persuaded to convert to Islam than register as a Democrat.

Sadly, a lot of Democrat friends I've talked to in the past can't even tell me WHY they are Democrats, other than their parents were Democrats, and somehow they think the "RICH" Republicans are screwing them over, even if they can't identify what that means. Screwing you over how? By making lots of money? You do realize that YOU TOO could potentially earn a lot of money, if you have the talent, skill, dedication, and sometimes good fortune to do so. I don't anticipate myself ever being rich, however, because I never forsee people paying $100 a ticket to watch me steer a kid away from a life of crime and drugs. Oh, if only I could throw a football 70 yards instead. But, by no means do I fault those who can. Nor do I fault the "Rich" who contribute so much to our society.

A liberal friend of mine in college once told me that with America's wealth, everyone could afford to live in a $200,000 home if it were evenly redistributed. Wow, great for me, living in campus housing at the time, but I think Bill Gates would object. Plus, even if through some Kerry-sponsored legislation you DID manage to evenly redistribute the country's wealth (except Teresa's, of course) it would all go back to where it was originally anyway. Gates would still be a computer genius, people would still buy his software, people would still shop at Wal-Mart and make all the Walton's rich again, and those that had the drive and ambition to earn their wealth before, would do so again. It's like an ant farm, shake it up and what happens? They all go right back to work to build again.

Republicans are the ants, working hard for their reward.
Democrats are the grasshoppers, refusing to help until the very end, then wanting to reap the same benefit with no work.

Nobody wants to help MAKE the bread, but everyone wants to eat it.

"nor did we eat anyone's food without paying for it. On the contrary, we worked night and day, laboring and toiling so that we would not be a burden to any of you.For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: "If a man will not work, he shall not eat." -2nd Thessalonians 3:8&10

Monday, August 02, 2004

A whole new blog!

OK, it's really the same one, but I love the new look. The links are back up in as well an order as I could get them after a graveyard shift, if any of my gentle readers feel left out, please respond here with links! And now, they are "on the right" (as it should be.) :D

Sad tidings last night, as my wife found out that her mother and step-father are seperating, and the news came at such a time as I was not able to stay and console her much, as I had to get to work. Hopefully, I will get that chance this evening. Luckily, she has her work to keep her busy, and I guess that's helpful.

I went to work grumpy last night due to this situation, and the trivial fact that I had forgotten to pack coffee filters and my video tape of The 4400 and Dead Zone, which I will have to watch next weekend, until one of our nurses came in telling us about her 17-year-old daughter who has numerous cancers, and was going to have her long hair cut very short so she'd have plenty of her own hair later on for wigs after she starts radiation therapy.

"I cried because I had no shoes, until I met a man who had no feet."

Peace and Good Cheer, Blog-friends.

Sunday, August 01, 2004

Template Tantrum

My little additions kept screwing up my blog apparantly. I'm about to go off to work tonight, but will work dilligently in the morning on re-adding my Blog Roll and links. It appears from looking at other Blogs that the George Bush News item was causing some errors. (I fear a vast Left-Wing conspiracy.)




Laura Ingraham Show

Michelle Malkin




THIS WEEK'S SERMON FROM CHURCH @ ROCK CREEK



Lileks.com



Michael Eubanks
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