In Turlock…

Howdy folks! The family is here in Turlock at my folks’ house. Come on out if you’re so inclined.
I will try to finally set up Twitter to work from my cell phone so I can keep quick updates on our whereabouts.

Trio Of Droppings…

Fellow Minnesota automobile drivers, I implore you to look toward your summer selves for guidance while operating your vehicles. I know that the first snow is always a little rough, what with the plows playing a little catch-up in clearing and salting, and the rest of us drivers remembering our winter sea legs as it were. That being said, by the third, fourth, or even seventh wintery precipitation, can we all keep in mind that the lines on the road are to be driven between and not straddled like a lady of the night advertising in a red light district?


Here is how my mind rattles while shopping:

We’re almost out of vodka.

I don’t want to get Smirnoff again.

Hey look, Finlandia is on sale.

You know, I’m a fan of Jean Sibelius.

I purchase the “vodka born from the purity of Finland.”


I just went shopping at Wal-Mart on the night before Christmas Eve. EYE YAM SOFA KING WE TAR DID.

Thanks, George Carlin. I’ll always be grateful.

Eighteen Plus…

So, M decided to introduce me to a show she found this evening. It’s about a husband and wife with 17 kids and another on the way. All theirs, no duplicates.
To me, it’s really unhealthy. They aren’t laborers, the children of serfs or a pioneer family in the 17th century.


The leopard’s spots only look good on the leopard.


I can’t image being able to devote enough time to properly raise each individual child. So it seems to be a disservice to the kids. They are home-schooled on top of it, so I don’t know if that leaves them at more or less of a disadvantage. Given the choices and reasoning behind the parents, then most likely the former.

I had a guess that they were just trying to raise their own cult rather than recruit.

Given that all seventeen so far are J names (with yes, one named Jinger with a J, injenious!), I also thought it’d be damn funny if the next happened to get named Jamal after his true father.

Okay, no more holding back my own opinions: I think it’s just sick. And that’s what I said right to my wife, to which she just replied, ‘I know, that’s why I’m watching!’ I think she has a thing for train wrecks.

Thanks, photons, for keeping me wondering if y’all are waves or particles.

Tough To Take, 2…

Continued from page Friday
I finally got the kids out of the door. We were a good twenty minutes behind at this point. The lass was dropped off at daycare without any fuss. She’s a pretty easy baby to handle.

The lad and I then headed off to my work and his school. Fridays have become our doughnut days. But those morning doughnuts are contingent upon us getting there in time to get them and eat them while hanging out at my work before his school day starts. This morning, though, we had no time. We went straight to his school to drop him off for class.

In the process of driving to the daycare then driving to the school, we were nearly in two accidents. The roads were a little crummy, so I took turns and stops nice and easy. But even being smart, we nearly got into two accidents. It was ridiculous and I always get more on edge when my children are in the car.

As soon as I put the car in park, I realized I had forgotten the presents. I nearly broken down right there. I was so pissed at myself. I specifically left the presents right next to the baby’s car seat so I wouldn’t forget them. I apologized profusely to my son, and bless his little heart he said, ‘It’s okay, Dad. I forgive you.’

I collected myself and we went in the door to find all the kids sitting around the middle schoolers who were caroling in the hall. I got the lad out of his snow gear and relaxing with his teacher. Then I was off to work.

Still pissed and driving to work a block away, yet another person nearly hit me. Over half an hour late to work and seething with anger, anger at myself and anger at the suburban moms who nearly crashed into me, I quickly got up to the labs.

I’m sure I looked as though the next person to bump into me would get their neck broken. My tech comrade saw me and asked what was up. I quickly vented about the whole morning so far. On top of everything, I knew one of three of us was out of the building, and if one of us isn’t around to immediately fix thing, hell tends to break loose. He said he had my back and not to worry. So I checked my mail really fast and headed back to my car.

I drove as fast as I safely could back home. I didn’t even shut off my car as I walked right up the stairs in my house and nabbed the presents. There they were, right on the ottoman as I left them so I wouldn’t forget. Have I mentioned how much I hate my brain?

I brought them back to the boy’s school. Thankfully I got back before they began their gift exchange. I went back to work and sat at my desk, head in my hands for a bit. I did manage to sneak out later that day to get some doughnut holes. My son definitely earned them.

Thanks, indoor plumbing. You’re the best.

The Big Three, Revisited…

McArdle ‘splains the condition of the American auto industry:

The really miserable thing is that even a total bankruptcy may not be enough.   Wipe out the shareholders, cut the bondholders to the bone, shuck the gold-plated medical benefits, toss out the UAW contracts, close the dealers–and we still may be left with companies that cannot make a profit without a now-defunct financing business based on ever-growing loans to ever-poorer credit risks.  The Big Three, with the help of the UAW and all their other partners, has spent 25 years building a reputation for poor reliability and ugly cars.  Brands matter.  Once destroyed, they’re very hard to repair in the best of times.  These are not, quite, the best of times, are they?

It’s worth reading her whole post. Megan McArdle does a good job of explaining economics in English. It’s one reason I’m a big fan of hers.

Thanks, blogosphere. I’m glad to be here.