Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Jack on the Move

Jack isn't quite crawling yet, but he is mobile...

video

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Yesterday I had a job interview and I lost my phone.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

End of a nice long Weekend

It grows late on Tuesday night. It was a good weekend. I finished that strange Challengers of the Unknown book. I'm going to read an Edgar Rice Burroughs book next after re-reading some comics. Got a lot of setting up done on this new computer. Cleaned up my desk area.

Went to McDonald's for lunch today to kind of celebrate Leesha's birthday, tomorrow. That's the first time I've had McDonald's food in a long long time. It will be the last time she does. She can't function well on that crap. She seemed very close to meltdown this evening. It was a good time, though. Darlene pulled her out of school to take her. Jack, Cara and I met her there. I think she had a good time. Darlene took her back to school. Next...

We went to 2nd Wind Exercise Equipment to look at elliptical. Cara's dad is contributing $200 towards one for us. I don't think he has any idea how much they are. I'm not sure his reasons for the offer, but I'm not going to complain. So we go in to look around and get up on a few. We found a nice one for $299. It seemed clear that we were not going to find another anywhere near this nice anywhere near this price. So we bought it. We have yet to figure out a way to get it home.

Later I called Jon from small group. He said he can help with his pick-up truck later this week. They ended up not going to group tonight.

I canceled our membership with Melaleuca today. I've been a member for around five years now and love the products. The problem is I don't take the vitamins anymore and can't reach the minimum point commitment and end up getting charged or whatever. So now that we are no longer members we're going to order products through our small group coach who also is a member. That way we can still get the products and also help him achieve his minimum point commitment.

Like every other Tuesday, we had small group tonight. After we were done studying Esther chapter 3 (Esther is a great book, so far) Ben came downstairs to take a look at my recently dead computer. He pulled the memory card, blew out some dust and put it back in. We plugged it in and fired it up. I expected to hear the 4 beeps like I did before. But the darn thing booted up! Well, now what?!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

BRICK

We saw a fantastic movie last night - BRICK! This is pure film noir all the way through. Some have described Brick as a cross between The Breakfast Club and Maltese Falcon. This is one of those movies that you feel lucky to find. I read about it on Wiki and asked Leesha's dad to NetFlick it and then burn a copy for me, which he did. So now I own this gem. I'm glad, too, because this one will be watched again.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Computers

So, Ben Brown is helping me upgrade or replace my computer. He was looking into upgrading the memory and asked me what kind my computer already had. So I figured I'd open up the tower and look as well as clean out the dust (which was very badly in need), put it back together and email Ben what memory I needed. Most of these things I did. Got the air spray and the vacuum and started cleaning. Found the memory card, removed it, wrote down what kind it was, and then put it back. Plugged everything back in and booted it up...

But it didn't boot. It just beeped four times, paused and beeped four more times. Nothing on the monitor. I tried re-seating the memory card, same. Tried seating in a different slot. Same, nothing. Just four beeps.

Looks like I'd be replacing instead of upgrading. Damn.

Now I'm trying to figure out how much I can afford for a new or used computer.

Then George Bush says he's going to give me a bunch of money for a computer in the form of a tax refund! Thank you, George.

After work I met everyone at Byerly's restaurant right next to the bus terminal. Everyone being Darlene, Jack, Cara and Leesha. They have fantastic food there! We left Darlene and Byerly's, buying her dinner as thanks for watching Jack so often for us, and went computer shopping! We first went to the Best Buy in Roseville to find the tower I wanted, but discovered they didn't have it in stock. We did pick up a flat HD monitor from the 'open box' shelf. Leesha, Jack and Cara went on home, I found the tower I wanted in the Maplewood store.

When I got home, Jack and the girls had stopped somewhere for a piece of pie.

Spent most of last evening setting everything up. So now I'm surfing in style. More up-to-date than I have EVER been.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

I met a geek at the Source.

Wednesday is New Comic Book Day every week. So I went to the Source today. Found my comics. Wondered on to the back of the store just to see what game books came out this week. Then I saw someone I recognized. I thought I've seen him on the internet. He looks just like that guy that reviews role playing games on Youtube. So I asked him,

"Are you Kurt Wiegle?"
"I am", he replied.
"I'm a fan of your show!"

and we shook hands.

Then five guys (who were in his group) surrounded me and one of 'em said, "Kurt, we found your one fan!". It was pretty cool. I had no idea he was from around here, turns out he lives in Eau Claire, WI! He recognized my screen name, too. Said they were on their field trip to the Twin Cities.

Kurt is the host of a show called Game Geeks that airs on Youtube almost weekly. They've covered many different RPGs and his reviews are pretty good. Check it out - Game Geeks

Challengers

Jack is always changing. He has already outgrown his gleeful chirps and squeals and replaced them with a grunt or growl. No need to search for his tooth. Anytime he grins, his tusk is clearly evident. He is just a classic little guy.

Cara and I have been having a very hard time with Leesha (Cara a WHOLE LOT MORE than me, because she's with her a lot more). Leesha is in this phase of behavior of control. An example is if Cara tells Leesha that she would like some time to herself to exercises and not disturb her unless there is an emergency, Leesha will proceed to interrupt Cara's time with very trivial, stupid questions, and more than once. Questions we all know she can handle herself. Therefore, she is in perpetual trouble with Cara. This behavior NEVER CEASES! Its amazing how self defeating Leesha has been in the last few months. Cara is almost really at her wits end. Its also clearly a conflict between Leesha and Cara, because Leesha is almost always cool with me. Its becoming clear to me that something is going to snap because it seems to be on a downward spiral, not improving.

Anyways, I finished that Double Agent book almost a week ago. The 2nd one was better than the first book, more epic like a Bond film. Ever since, I've been reading Challengers of the Unknown which is a book based on a DC Comics series from an attempt to make some of their titles more mainstream in 1977.

Its a strange book and I'm not enjoying it a ton, but i'm pushing through it anyways since its short.

Last Saturday was fantastic. I took my change bowl to the bank and exchanged it for cash. Then dragged Cara, Jack and I to a few Half Price Books stores and picked up a bunch of cheap comics- some G.I. Joe, Doc Savage, Indiana Jones and one issue of Challengers of the Unknown!

We had small group last night (every Tuesday) and Ben Brown took a look at my computer. He made some adjustments to the settings and greatly improved the performance of it in moments. He's going to help in finding what I need to upgrade this thing. Thank you, Ben.

Friday, January 11, 2008

My Thursday

Sleep study appointment could've been done be phone. They insisted that I come in to meet the doctor since I was put on a CPAP over two years ago. Last year all I had to do was call and ask for a letter (and that's all it would've taken this year, too), but NO. They needed to weigh me and check my blood pressure and in person reaffirm that I don't have any allergies other than lactose and that I love my CPAP. Seems like a lousy way to spend money at a hospital. I'm sure this visit was not less than $100.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Drama at home with Leesha and Jack today.

I received a call on my cell phone while I was driving the school bus. I never will answer it while driving! I checked my voicemail as soon as I was clear of students. The voicemail was from Leesha. She was upset. She told how she accidentally made Jack go sideways in his johnny-jump-up and he fell out of it, hitting his head! And that she was sorry.

...

I drove to my next next parkout in a panic. My mind took off with the worst scenarios. I was convinced Jack had to be rushed to the hospital with a concussion or something! As far as I was concerned Leesha was never going to touch Jack again. I was livid.

I finally got to my spot and called Cara. Jack was fine. She said Leesha was tipping Jack in his johnny-jump-up and tipped too far. He slipped out head first down onto the floor landing on the left side of his forehead. This took place in the doorway by the kitchen and Cara was right there. As soon as it happened Cara SCREAMED Leesha's name (she thinks the neighbors might have even heard) and Jack started screaming, of course. Leesha started to cry, too. Sounds like she was terrified. Something about her grandpa Sorley saying that if Jack ever fell on his head he could DIE! Two minutes after the incident Jack was fine, like nothing happened.

I hope Leesha now got the point about being careful with Jack. This has always been a point of conflict between Leesha and me ever since Jack arrived. I guess it takes something like this to drive it home and I'm glad Jack didn't suffer too much as a result.

As for me, it was an interesting experience feeling so completely out of control and having to let Jack's safety go into the hands of God. It was also interesting to have that wave of anger towards Leesha. I'm glad I wasn't in her presence at the time.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Jack in a Box on Deviant Art

Jack's Halloween costume picture was featured in a 2007 children's pictures articles on Deviant Art. Here is a link to that article.


Sunday, January 06, 2008

Sunday

I'm still an alleged sockpuppet.

Church was fine. Greg Boyd must've been sick because the sermon was on the screens from video tape. After church we joined a lot of people at Olive Garden, mostly Keesha's small group folk and some FOCUS people (Woodland Hills singles). Next Keesha and Eric, Jack and Cara and I went to Half Priced Books. I spent $1.00 on Challengers of the Unknown comics from 1977.

On our way home we picked up Leesha from her dad's. Once we got home I changed into grungy clothes to work on the tire. Had about 30 to 45 minutes of daylight left.

This is when I discovered that the Jeep's jack wasn't in the garage at all! And either was the CRV's! We think someone broke into our garage and took them! It never stops for this weekend, does it!

I borrowed a jack from Mike who lives across the street and has two Jeeps. Brought it over, jacked up the vehicle and loosened the wheel. The darn thing would not come off the Jeep. No matter what I did, it was stuck. Finally called for Mike's help. He brought over a couple of mallets, some 2x4s and a blowtorch. A combination of all three and we finally got it off.

Never woulda happened if it wasn't for our neighbor, Mike. Thank you, Mike.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Strange Day

I've been, little by little, adding rpg setting information to the Wikipedia file about Top Secret/S.I. (Orion Foundation and WEB, the good guy spy agency and the bad guys, respectively).
Its fun and I haven't seen this information anywhere else on the internet. Checked my emails and what-nots to find that my articles were marked for deletion by some guy. So I go to a couple of Top Secret/S.I. forums and ask for some help about it. Whatever. Kind of pissed me off. Not a big deal. Here's a link to the interesting discussion about the nomination to delete my articles.

I was done getting ready to go to Patrick's house for Rob's final session of his current D&D game. I had everything ready to go, turned to turn off the light which hangs naked from the ceiling- and broke it. This is one of those new spiral shaped fluorescent bulbs so when it broke, it remained in one piece. I carefully unscrewed it so that it wouldn't fall... But of course it reached the end of the threading exactly when I let go to turn it again. Bulb falls to the floor exploding. But I have to go now! So I warn Cara and Leesha not to go downstairs without shoes because there is glass everywhere and I can't clean it up before I go.

So I go.

Rob's game was great. We've been running this campaign, the Heroes Three game, for over a year. I don't remember exactly when it started, but it ended today. The story has been about our characters dealing with a vampire cabal who are trying to defeat a network of dragons. Today's finale was pretty much the final battle with the big bad Red Dragon and that combat took up most of the day. Patrick's character fell with a fabulous ending as Paul's and mine survive. The random treasure results ended up crazily in our favor with the ability to bring Pat's character back. It was a lot of fun. Paul is up next with the next game in three weeks. This game will go until all the characters are dead and each of us have 4 characters to go through. Should be fun.

Paul, Rob and I were saying our farewells when I noticed my driver-side rear tire was very low, pretty much flat. No problem, I can put on the spare. Only my jack is missing for some reason. Ok. Paul gives me a ride to a nearby gas station to pick up some tire fix kit that you spray right into the tire. Then right back to the Jeep because I left my wallet there. Back to the station, picked up two cans, back to the jeep. The kit seemed to work pretty well. I made it home with no problems. Thank you very much, Paul. You saved me!

I made it home.

I'm leaving the tire for tomorrow when I can see.

First thing I do is clean up the light bulb.

Then I checked my email and my articles to see if they were still there. They were, but now I was accused of being a sockpuppet! A sockpuppet is someone who creates multiple wiki accounts to add votes to an ongoing debate or something like that. This infuriated me! I wasn't mad about being accused, really. But that the guy who did it accused an acquaintance of mine (who I respect a great deal) of being one as well. It has been a long time since I was THAT mad. I literally couldn't see straight. Check out this fascinating discussion about me. We shall see how it ends.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

First post of 2008. Last year I clocked in at 104 posts.

For New Year's Eve we did nothing. We stayed home and took it easy. Actually, this was the one and only day we didn't have something planned or meet with someone else for company or eating or something like that.

For New Year's Day we got up relatively early and got all dressed up for warmth and went sledding! Cara, Leesha, Jack and I met up with the Brown family (Ben, Emily, Timmy and Suzanna) and soon after, Laura Beth arrived and finally Eric. It was loosely a small group event. It may have been a bit too cold for sledding, but that didn't stop us.

We chose a hill by one of the schools I drive for. I was a very steep incline that came to a nice flat area ending near an apartment parking lot. Down towards the end was a lip that kind of became a ramp from plowing the parking lot. It was the goal of the day to hit the jump and land on one's feet. I was afraid to try because I don't have health insurance right now. Ben tried twice and failed. Eric tried a couple of times with no success. We attempted a sled chain. I lead with the anchor weight, Ben was 2nd steering, Eric was next and even Laura Beth jumped on at the last second. However, half way down, we lost Eric and Laura Beth! Ben took little Suzanna down a couple of times, but Timmy wasn't up for it. He kept riding down the plowed snow pile with Emily and Cara. Suzanna even rode down with Eric once! Leesha tried a small train with Ben. She went flying on that run! Then one time I went down the hill. I figured on going down like normal, veering to the right to avoid the ramp. But then my mind said, heck, go for the jump and before I knew it, I was launching off of the ramp! And then I landed on my feet in a full run! First attempt and only success off the ramp and on the feet all day. We called it a day and went home shortly after that.

Cara's parents came over for homemade curry for dinner. Good food. And a game of dominoes after. David and Darlene had never played dominoes before. I caught Leesha cheating, however.

So that's how Willis East started 2008.

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