Recent Posts

Friday, September 30, 2005

Rollin' to the Weekend

Last night went well. The Theatre Class went smooth as silk, and we (probably) picked up 3 volunteers for the coming season. Linda did a nice job of putting it all together, and it was (sort of) fun.

I built (on the quick) a prop detonator, and it came out really good. I might just use it (slightly modified) for the actual prop in the show.

Tonight (and the rest of the weekend) I'm sanding and re-staining the deck. 's gonna be a lot of work, but I don't think it'll be too bad, and I'm counting on having it complete by the end of the day on Sunday.

Yay weekends!


Pretty cool stuff:


Go to Google and click on the images link. Type in the following and post the first (or your favorite) picture the search engine finds.

- The name of the town where you grew up
- The name of the town where you live now
- Your name
- Your Grandmother’s name (pick one)
- Your favorite food
- Your favorite drink
- Your favorite song
- Your favorite smell

My First Town:

My Current Town:

My Name:

My Grandmother's Name:

My Favorite Food:

My Favorite Drink:

My Favorite Song:

My Favorite Smell:

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Why am I like this?

You know, I'm in another mode of having just way too many things to do, too many projects to which I'm committed ("being committed" being the operative phrase).

I don't know how this happens.

Well, yes I do, in fact. I'll agree to do something when I do, in fact, have the time to do it. Then I put it off until I no longer have any time (and 9 other things I must do).

I agreed to write church software back in the spring. I got a nice start on it, then let it simmer (and fester). Now, of course, it's overdue; I won't be able to do as good a job on it as I wanted; and I have a kabillion other responsibilities. So this software is a major stress to me right now, and it needn't have been.

I absolutely hate being a procrastinator, yet it's the most salient (and unappealing) feature of my psyche. Yuck.

I sometimes (often) wonder if, on some unconscious level, I procrastinate with the specific purpose of making myself feel stressed and unhappy. I sure don't like to think of myself that way, but I'm not too sure that it's not completely accurate.


Wednesday, September 28, 2005

I could use a day, rare

Last night I went right from work to a meeting at Border's (re: a theatre class I'm helping to teach on Thursday night). No problem, and we were done within an hour or so.

But I realized (as I hustled from home to Book Heaven) that I really never just spend a whole evening at know, where I go home from work, relax a bit, eat dinner, and then relax some more in my own home. When I say "never", I mean it pretty much literally....I get nights like that maybe once a month....for sure not as often as twice a month.

God, no wonder I look so old.

Of course, I am old, so there's that.

Tonight? Rush home, scarf a small dinner, and then go to choir rehearsal. Tomorrow? The theatre class.

On it goes....

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Days and Days

There are days in which I'm fully committed to daily productivity, when at work and at home I intend to accomplish (and do accomplish) lots of good and worthwhile things.

Yesterday wasn't one of 'em.

I did meet the guys for a soda pop last night, though, and watch a little Monday Night Football. Nothin' wrong with that.

Today might be ugly at work -- coupla personnel issues to deal with -- but I'm sure we'll all survive. Nonetheless, I'm not lookin' forward to it.

Indians were idle, but the White Sox lost. We're only two games out now.....gotta love September baseball!

Monday, September 26, 2005

Fantasy Update

My teams went 4-2 this weekend. Not bad.

Man, my team at work is bad, though. I may not win another game.

Got a little lucky in one league (which is nice). The Killer A's put up a fairly weak score, but played a weaker team, and got the win...and I'm the only 3-0 team in the league. Not a bad start for a team whose starters are suspect and whose bench stinks.

On the other hand, the Maulers, who are not weak (in my (obviously disturbed) opinion) put up another mediocre score, and lost. We're now 1-1.

Overall, I'm 11-5, which ain't bad. So far. So far.


Friday night, both(!) kids were gone (Mackenzie at a sleepover; Michael at a campout). Jan and I had dinner and saw a movie, with no clock ticking and no one to answer to.

Yeah, it was pretty nice.

Saturday, I finished (finally) digging the trench for the wiring of the outside lamp post. Back got pretty sore, although what would a 50-year-old spectacularly-out-of-shape guy expect. The light works, that task is now off my shoulders, and life is good.

Saturday night, Mackenzie and I went out on a date, something we do periodically. We had dinner, and then went on a 'road trip' (her idea). We ended up at Crocker Park, and just wandered around and did some shopping. Afterwards, we sat on the merry-go-round at Malley's and had ice cream for dessert.

Yesterday morning I sang with the choir for the 8:15 service, then ran (for the first time) the projector/powerpoint show for the 9:45 service. I was a little nervous about it, although it went smoothly, painlessly, quickly by. No biggun, as they say. Well, as somebody says, anyway.

Later, despite good intentions of doing lots of hard work on the deck, et al, I mostly sat around with Michael and watched football. Yeah, that was pretty nice, too.

Friday, September 23, 2005


The Indians keep rolling. I love September baseball.

Perhaps I've mentioned it before. If I haven't, well, I love September baseball.

I feel like the luckiest guy alive. Tomorrow night, I'm taking Mackenzie out on a date. We'll probably get dinner, see a movie; maybe play a game of putt-putt. It'll be really nice, but that's not really the point.

The point is this: she's 14 years old, and she still likes spending time with me. A lot of 14 year old girls -- probably most 14 year olds -- don't want to spend time with their (old) (stupid) (boring) dads. Maybe that day will come for us too -- I suspect it surely will -- but for now, I'm reveling in the closeness of the relationship we have.

Recently, at school, the kids were given an assignment to write about the person they most admired. They both -- both! -- wrote about me. Of course, that little voice inside me screams that I don't deserve to be admired by them (or anyone), but that's peripheral to the fact that they think of me in such a light.

I feel like the luckiest guy alive.

Thursday, September 22, 2005


Travis Hafner hit two last night (including a 9th inning bomb that completely salted the game away). He hit 4 home runs in the 3 game series, with 10 RBI's -- he had 7 extra-base hits. You think Pronk took this series a little personally (since it was that punk Buehrle from the White Sox who hit him in the face in July)?

Just to be able to watch meaningful games in late September is a privilege, and I'm pretty pumped.

Last night was another choir rehearsal, and it was pretty satisfying again. Ron is such an inspiring and excellent director -- I'm learning so much about singing technique and music directing.

Before choir, I made more progress on digging the lightpost wiring trench. Fun -- in the same way that sleeping naked amongst mosquitos is fun.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005


I met with the director of "The Foreigner" last night, and discussed the set design. It went from something that will be daunting (but do-able) to something that will be absurdly easy. We're going to use most of the set from "Deathtrap", so this will be a piece o' cake.

The Tribe is still rolling -- beating the White Sox and moving to within 2 1/2 games of first.

I will admit I became pessimistic (and a little depressed) when the Sox took the lead. "Why do I bother caring?" I asked myself (said pessimism borne of 50 years of Cleveland sports heartbreak).

Luckily, the Tribe wasn't as pessimist and depressed, and they came back to win in exciting fashion.

Go Tribe!

Monday, September 19, 2005

And the slogan they rejected was.....?

I saw a work truck on Saturday. On the side was painted the company name and phone number: "Bill and Ed's Plumbing".

Below that was the company slogan:

"Our goal is your hole."

Yeesh. One hopes they didn't pay good money for that bit of marketing genius.

I assume the company works on septic tanks, although I'm not sure of that. Even so, "Our goal is your hole" juuuust may not be the advertising ploy they were seeking.

Fantasy Update

Week one in Ted's Fantasy Football World:

4 teams got me 4 wins....4-0 so far. Not bad (especially considering that I don't like my teams much).

I added two more teams this week, and it looks like I'll (probably) finish 5-1 with my 6 teams. At worst, I should still finish 4-2 for the week.

I'll post the finals tomorrow.

Tuesday morning update:
Well, I've been here before: last year, Michael and I had the second-highest scoring team in the league for 6 consecutive weeks -- and lost 'em all. We played the highest scoring team all 6 times.

This year, in our first week of the Family Fantasy Football League, we had the second highest scoring team...and lost.

Overall, I went 3-3 this week....but should have been 4-2 (see note above). One of the teams that lost is still pretty good, so I don't feel bad about it. The last one (which is my team here at work) is just flat-out bad. My fault -- I drafted badly, and my second RB and my QB got injured.....and I have nothing on my bench. For that team, it's going to be a looooong season.

Sports R Good

As a sports fan -- rephrase: as a Cleveland sports fan -- weekends like the one just past are rarer than glitch-free software.

First, on Saturday, I got to go to The Ohio State University football game. This is the first major college game I've ever attended, and I was awestruck by the pageantry and passion. As much as I love the NFL and the Browns, I've never quite felt anything like this. As the best damn band in the land formed the script 'Ohio' before the game, you could feel the electricity pulsing through the stands...and as the tuba player dotted the 'I', I quite literally got goosebumps.

Driving home from the game, we got to listen to the Indians beat the Royals in a squeaker -- and Chicago lost, moving the Tribe to within 3 1/2 games of first.

Sunday, Mark gave Michael and me spectacularly good seats to the Indians game. We were maybe 3 seats to the left of home plate in the lower section, row 'T' -- so we were (maybe) 60 feet from Victor Martinez. Best seats (by far) I've ever had at the Jake. The Indians dominated/crushed the Royals, too -- making up for the bad games we endured earlier this year, and keeping us in the race for the division lead. The Yankees lost, so we gained a game on them for the wild card.

Finally, the Browns got their first victory of the year over the Packers.

I know, I know -- it's only sports. 3 billion chinese couldn't care less.

More's the pity for the 3 billion -- 'cause I had a great weekend.

Friday, September 16, 2005


The kids go to Kelly's Island today on a field trip. It looks like midnight out there, though, with fat droopy clouds everywhere. They will be wet. I just hope they manage to make the best of it.

To their credit, they usually do.

Tonight is my final fantasy football draft. It looks like we'll only have 6 teams (which is a shame (and utterly my fault)), but we'll make do and have it anyway. I'll be glad when it's done -- this has been a bit of a stress for me.

Now if I could only get that Novus software completed.....

Cool Tech

I installed a cool piece of software last night -- Roxio's Easy DVD Creator. I want to use it to build the Eagle Scout slide shows. Rather than building individual video tapes, I can build slide shows for each scout and put 'em all on one DVD. Quality promises to be better, and it'll be a lot less goofin' around just getting them onto a distributable medium.

Well, it turns out that this piece of software does everything I want -- animated menus, importing of slides, smooth transitions, audio even has a (very good!) audio editor, which makes aligning the musical cues with the slides so much easier.

And then when I burned the DVD and dropped it into my DVD player, it worked perfectly right off the bat. Very mondo cool. I was/am almost giddy about it.

Remember, even though I work in I/S, I'm pretty much a luddite....but this is extremely cool to me.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

School work

Last night was open house at the kids' to meet Mackenzie and Michael's math teachers (which, for some odd reason, seems to be the subject posing the biggest problem for each of them). Felt much better after talking to them.

Michael's biggest problem, I believe, is just that he's easily distracted -- and never before has he had the slightest problem with math. Distraction didn't use to prevent him from nailing A's; now (maybe) they do. Still, he's gotten mucho betterer in the last week, and his teacher didn't seem too concerned (although, admittedly, last night was Open House, not Parent/Teacher Conference).

Mackenzie's math teacher seems very nice too, and she didn't seem too worried about Mackenzie's occasional inability to grasp things. Neither am I, frankly. What does concern me is the way she will sometimes (like, um, the last two nights (more on that in a bit)) just shut down her brain when she doesn't quite get something. She knows she isn't getting point D, but when you try to back her up to point A and walk her through the steps to D, she simply cries "I don't get it", and has a hard time getting through the steps.

Last night (and the night before), she was having trouble with circle graphs. So, I tried to make sure she understood the basic concept of percentages....but she claimed to be lost by them. So, I backed up and tried to make sure she understood basic fractions -- you know, "what is one fourth of eight?". She claimed not to know....and proceeded to throw another homework tantrum.

I let her do it for about 15 minutes, then I made her sit down next to me and do each step....translating "one fourth of eight" into 1/4 X 8 into 1/4 X 8/1....after a few of those, we translated those into .25 X 8....then we translated .25 into "25 percent"....then translated "25 percent" into .25....and finally, translated a circle graph statement of "68 percent" = .68 X 360 to calculate the degrees of angle.

She did each step no problem (and, obviously, she knew (most of) the steps already)...but I was just trying to find a way to make her break through that give-up-mentality. Remains to be seen if it'll help tonight, but at least last night got her through.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005


Yesterday was as typical as typically typical days can, dinner, cart kids around, read a little, fight with Mackenzie over homework.

Actually, she tried on her homework, but got progressively more frustrated with something she didn't understand (circle graphs, which I know she can handle -- she just got tired and frustrated). Anyway, she just couldn't make herself work on it any more, and we finally agreed to work on it this morning (at 5:30 (at her suggestion)). Yeesh.

This morning at 5:30, she said she didn't feel well....and while I knew it was pretty much just an excuse not to have to deal with the work, tired me was just as happy to agree to that and go back to bed.

Of course, I didn't sleep any after that....but then, I don't sleep so very much any more anyway.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Gettin' Old

Last night, after stopping to change (yet another) flat tire on the way home from work, I shoveled a quick dinner into my (overly ample) belly, and then took Michael up to the Rec Center to play a little basketball.

Had a great time -- he beat me at HORSE, though, the little snot -- but then I just ran out of gas.

This has been happening to me a lot, lately, and I hate it. I feel up, and full of energy, and ready to roll...then I hit a wall and just want to sit down (or lie down). I nap more, too -- used to be that I napped maybe two or three times a year. Now I find myself often lying down on a Sunday (or even Saturday) afternoon.

I don't know how much of it is my age, how much of it is my out-of-shapeitude, and how much (if any) is caused by other factors (thyroid, f'r example). I'm going to try (try!) to push myself back into at least some semblance of shape, and see if my energy picks back up. If it doesn't, I might see a doctor about it.

Of course, if I do, he'll simply tell me to suck it up, old man....

Monday, September 12, 2005


Besides wiring the afore-mentioned outside lamppost, the weekend was full(ish).

Friday night, Jan and I had a nice time at Houlihan's, sipping on lemonade and splitting an appetizer. The waitress kept trying to sell us dinner (or at least dessert), but we passed. The kids were at "Rockin' at the Rec", and we used the rare time alone just to chat.

Saturday, Mackenzie and I swam at the rec -- starting (hopefully) a once-a-week (at least) swimming session...will be good for both of us (will help her in next summer's swim team, and will help me look less like buddha). Saturday night, Michael and I let Ohio State break our little hearts as they lost a game they should have won.

Yesterday, the Browns looked horrible, but our hearts remained unbroken (mostly because we pretty much expected them to lose).

Last night, the power went out from about 8:30 until about 11:45. The power goes out at our house with some regularity, for some reason (what, are we living in Appalachia?)...and every so often it goes out for an extended period like this. It's odd, too -- when this hits us, there are 7 neighbors that also go dark. That's it -- just 7 of us. How are we wired that only 7 houses share the same transformer (or step-down (or spasmatic egorkle (or something)))? Odd.

Still, the night was gorgeous, and we sat out on the porch, lit by the light of a couple of Tiki Torches. Very pleasant, if truth were told.

Keeping that thing you love

My brother-in-lay, John, wiped out on his bicycle yesterday during a bike race. He's been riding for a while now, and is utterly hooked on it....but yesterday, he got tangled up with other riders, and ended up with a concussion and a broken collar-bone and various and sundry other dings.

The thing is this: he loves riding. He rides a lot (and for long distances). It's been a long time (if ever) that I've known him to be this happy with something, seen him this thrilled with an activity. Most of us, I would propose, never find something that brings us this much joy.

So. He got busted up, and while that sucks, he will recover. What I'm more concerned about is that he doesn't give up riding. I hope he keeps doing it forever (or as close to forever as people our age (which is much more chicken than spring) can).

Let there be....

The lamppost works.

Well, I'm re-wiring it (which consists of correctly bringing power from the house and correctly hooking it up (done!), and burying the wired in an 18" deep, 70' long trench through the front yard (partly done)).

The thing is, digging stinks. Even if you're in shape (which I am extravagently NOT), digging uses different muscles (and makes them, um, mondo-sore).

So. The wire is half-buried; and my back is all sore. Still, this project has been needling me for over a year, so it's good to (almost) have it done.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Easy Night

Last night, I went home from work and stayed home. No choir or scouts or or or....anything. I helped both kids with their homework, watched a little football.....

....spent an ordinary night like regular people.

What a treat that was!

Thursday, September 08, 2005


Last night, I had my first choir feels so good to sing again.

I don't think I sang particularly well -- and Ron has me singing tenor, which might be a stretch for this sore voice...but I'd rather stretch it than simply let it linger in limbo, so I think singing tenor is the right thing for me.

And yes, it does hurt -- quite a bit, in fact -- but I'm thinking that is as much muscle soreness as anything. I'm therefore thinking some (if not most) of the pain will go away in time.

Even if it doesn't, if I can regain some of my singing voice, I'll be so thrilled to be able to sing that the pain will be worth it.

By the by, Ron is an absolutely brilliant director, in my estimation. His musical sensibilities are always right on, and he has a terrific way of getting this group of amateur singers to fulfill his vision of the music. It's a joy to sing for him.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005


Another season of nerd-obsessive-stat-sports is upon us -- otherwise known as Fantasy Football.

I've now drafted three teams, and I don't like 2 of them. I very much don't like 2 of them. I don't know how it happened -- I spent as much time as I usually do preparing -- and in fact, I think I did just fine at ranking my players and preparing my draft lists.

But somehow, during 2 of the drafts (Eric's league, and my work league), I managed to let the teams get away from me.....round after round, I was losing players I had slotted, and was drafting players I didn't like much. By the end of Eric's draft, I was straight-out bummed about my team.

Now, the caveat here is that I'm almost always bummed about my teams after the draft (and on the rare occasions I wasn't, the team was usually bad). Still, I can't remember being this down on my team before.

The exception seems to be The Maulers. I love this team -- I love our starters, and I love the way we configured our bench. Which means, of course, this is the team that will go straight into the dumper.

By the way, here are my team names:

"Excruciato" (my work league)
"The Maulers" (Joe and my team)
"The Killer A's" (Eric's league (there's a little bit of a story behind that name)).