Saturday, December 31, 2005

Happy New Year

Quick final post for 2005.

There was some good, bad, and a whole lot of average. Thank you to all my friends (and wife) who made the good even better, the bad more bearable, and the average a pretty nice status quo.

All we can hope for when reflecting on the last year and looking towards the improvement. We can always find find something about ourselves, job, family, or environment that we can work to better.

As for additional resolutions...we'll I'm still working on that but I find it's generally silly to make a resolution centered on this one date. They need to be ongoing initiatives, tied to achievable goals. Let's face it we all are who we are (brilliant, huh). Leopards can't change their spots. So make resolutions that fit who you are. I'm not going to resoluve to cure cancer or climb a mountain. Not going to happen. I can resolve to eat fewer fried foods. Might happen. Certainly more realistic. past resolutions tend to have a delayed impact. Resolution 2000...shave head. Didn't do it till 2003. Resolution marathon. Still waiting on that...I had been training but was derailed by the move (ah, but which move). Now, I'm focusing on maybe a half-marathon first.

Baby steps people.

And improvement. My final words to you this 2005.


Monday, December 26, 2005

The Day After

Well...made it through the holiday without anything terribly crazy or negative happening. Jess and I spent the day with her Dad's side of the family and went to a horrible Rockin Jesus Hour type church service. I can't believe it's actially a Methodist church. The service was replete with multi-media, light electronica, and fake rock religious anthems. Not exactly my cup of tea. If I go to church, and it's really not that often, I prefer what some call High Church. I like a more traditional service with the pomp and circumstance of an official ceremony. I'm sure this has more to do with the way I was raised and it's familiarity than a judegment over which is better. That said...I think the more traditional type of service puts one in a more reverential mode and in a better place to contemplate the mysteries of eternity.

After the service...there was a whole lot of nothing...just socializing and eating. Very crowded...but it wasn't too bad.

My wonderful wife remembered something from 15-months ago and got me (us) a great present. She had some cedar Adirondack chairs and foot stools made. We initially found these chairs in Sept. 2004. Now have them. We just need a house and a porch on which to use them.

Finally watched Serenity last night. I still think it's a good movie. Better than Star Wars Episode III. But let's be's not too hard to be better than that movie.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Happy Christmas

Merry Christmas and good wishes to everyone. It's started off rather nice for me and Jess. Spent Christmas Eve with Doug, Alese, and Doug's family. Watched some football (KC won!). Dinner at Kobe, a Japanese steakhouse. Then gifts...lots of nice stuff. Cool new dishes, lots of board games, some books and the DVD set of the New Yorker...every one (4000+ issues) from 1925 to 2005. Very nice. I'm certain we weren't that good. we're off to Perry and Kathy's house. Should be interesting. There will be close to 30 people...that's a lot for Christmas morning. Especially for someone who grew up in a very nuclear family and often doesn't do well in extended family situations. Also...where are we all going to sit?

Hopefully Jess approves and enjoys her gifts...that would make the day a winner.

Again....Merry Christmas.

Friday, December 23, 2005

HAPPY FESTIVUS's for the rest of us.

'Nuff Said.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Today's Word: Contrition

Contrition: Sincere remorse for wrongdoing; repentance.

Now this isn't directed at me...rather to someone else. Someone who has shown (near as I can tell) very little in the way of apologizing or owning-up to their actions (i.e. contrition). Work on it. Look in the mirror and own up to the hard truths.

On to something else...

Mike...there was a great Ken Nordine piece on All Things Considered last night. Thought of you. Here's a link to the piece.

And for Katand the language lovers out know who you are...this fun link (NPR again).

Monday, December 19, 2005

Favorite Christmas Music...

I was thinking of my favorite holiday music. There's a lot of good stuff and there is a lot of crap. It seems anyone with (or without) a voice has to put out a holiday record. My tastes tend towards the traditional. My parents loved Christmas music but favoried I associate the holidays with that type of music and delivery. I'm thinking of Bing Crosby, Johnny Mathis, Englebert Humperdinck, Dean Martin, etc.

However...I've got two big exceptions to that style. The item in the first photo is a record from my mother's childhood. It's from the 1950's. It's excellent and very out of print and hard to find. There's a mixture of traditional and new (at that time). The new songs are my favorites...Mixie Pixie (about some type of holiday fairy), I've got Eighteen Cents (the amount the singer has to spend for the holidays), and the Little Christmas Stocking with a Hole (a fine parable about giving). I have a copy but it's packed right now and I've not listened to the record in years. Once we're moved into a new house I plan to get these into digital format. The record isn't in the best of shape.

My other favorite record is Merry Snoopy's Christmas. Most of you have heard the song about Snoopy and the Red Baron. This is an extention of that including a whole WWI storyline. It's a lot of fun. Side 2 has some non-Christmas tracks from the Royal Guardsmen, including the excellent, It's Sopwith Camel Time. This is another one that is out of print and needs to be ripped.

So...What is the preferred music of your holiday?

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Here's something leftover from my days at my old job...

My buddy Garret did this. He's a lot of fun...going to miss sharing an office with him. There are controls along the side that allow you to control music and movements.

I thought everyone could use a smile.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Totally grifted...but I liked it...

Do you ever hit the fun little link in the corner....called Next Blog? I do on occasion..and come across some fun stuff.

Found this on a blog called In Training...('s grifted...but I am giving credit to my source):

The 23rd Qualm

Bush is my shepherd; I dwell in want.

He maketh logs to be cut down in national forests.

He leadeth trucks into the still wilderness. He restoreth my fears.

He leadeth me in the paths of international disgrace for his ego's sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of pollution and war, I will find no exit, for thou art in office.

Thy tax cuts for the rich and thy media control, they discomfort me. Thou preparest an agenda of deception in the pretence of thy religion. Thou annointest my head with foreign oil. My health insurance runneth out.

Surely megalomania and false patriotism shall follow me all the days of thy term, And my jobless child shall dwell in my basement forever.

So it was an interesting weekend. Friday night I went to a department Christmas party held by my new employer. Jessica and I really didn't know anyone. Slightly awkward....but not so bad. I won a nutcracker as a door prize. We stayed long enough to be seen and chat a bit though.

Saturday was the big Stroud Christmas party. Finally got some of the F'ville crew to attend. I know that I had fun (and lots of alcohol). It was great to see everyone from F'ville. I know it's only been a week but people seem so far away. It helps to think in terms of when I'll see them again (which for most of them will be in less than a month) and look forward to that rather than dwell on the distance. Additional weekend bonus...Nick and Sarah stayed with us and we visited the Clinton Museum. I still recommend it to everyone. Thank you for the ticket Nick.

Sunday was Lukas Haddock's Baptism...which I missed. Jess was able to attend...and I joined the family for socializing after the service. Lukas is still very cute. Baby Derden was there...along with my first sighting of the nearly one-year old Hester Franks. Let me just say that my friends seem to be blessed with great children...and I hope the trend continues.

It's that time of the year to post the link Beth Horton sent around last year...make your own snowflakes. If you talk to her...thank her for this bit of cheer.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Back Finally

Well...this past week ahs been rather busy. Finished out one job, moved, then started a new job on Monday. I am tired.

Also...I now have email and internet again. So I can continue posting.

The last day at the old job was, as expected, bittersweet. The team was very nice an appreciative. We went out to lunch and had cake. I did receive some nice parting gifts at a party the other night. One of my co-workers gave me a cool stack of books....geared towards my tastes. Another, who organized the event, gave me a nice grab-bag of humorous gifts and photos (thanks Cynthia).

The books:
The Greatest Stories Never Told : 100 Tales from History to Astonish, Bewilder, and Stupefy
Random Family : Love, Drugs, Trouble, and Coming of Age in the Bronx
The Closing of the Western Mind : The Rise of Faith and the Fall of Reason
How Soccer Explains the World : An Unlikely Theory of Globalization
Corpse: Nature, Forensics, and the Struggle to Pinpoint Time of Death

I've started on the soccer and the 100 tales. Very good thus far. Thank you Kelly. I'll pass on my reviews when I finish reading.

The temporary house is working fine...but Jessica and I are very motivated to get a permanent home. It's clear that Basil and Vagabond are not pleased with the arrangement.

Anyway...It's good to be back online (not ready to say that it's good to be back in LR).

I'll get some new photos up soon....including the much promised Jones soda tasting.