Saturday, December 30, 2006

Creationism vs. Science at the Grand Canyon

This is disgusting:
Grand Canyon National Park is not permitted to give an official estimate of the geologic age of its principal feature, due to pressure from Bush administration appointees. Despite promising a prompt review of its approval for a book claiming the Grand Canyon was created by Noah's flood rather than by geologic forces, more than three years later no review has ever been done and the book remains on sale at the park, according to documents released today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER).

"In order to avoid offending religious fundamentalists, our National Park Service is under orders to suspend its belief in geology," stated PEER Executive Director Jeff Ruch. "It is disconcerting that the official position of a national park as to the geologic age of the Grand Canyon is 'no comment.'"
Anyone is free to believe whatever they want, but using the federal government to publish and sell provable lies, as well as muzzle federal employees charged with educating the public is nothing short of utterly despicable.

Bush is on track to make himself the worst president in American history. His actions are almost enough to convince me to vote for Hillary.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Three Years Later and Still Going Strong

The Mars rovers Spirit and Opportunity are still rolling around on the surface after nearly three years and a combined driving distance of nearly 10.5 miles. The original mission was for 90 martian days.

No one is a bigger critic of NASA than I am, especially the space station and shuttle divisions. (An example of the pointless being enabled by the absurd if there ever was.) But there are still smart people being properly managed and accomplishing incredible things buried in the NASA bureaucracy.

Happenings and such

Hi Cyberworld --- we've missed you. Our server was completely dead since last Friday. It made my life kinda interesting for this week since I"m still working for my Michigan travel agency. I couldn't find a working WIFI anyplace to be able to connect remotely to the Michigan server. So, my Mom took pity on me and checked my emails for me on her computer. Plus, once a day I drove into Mayer to the public library to check things for my one hour time limit. Luckily I didn't have anything too important to do at work. I had one final called in this morning that I had to ask my inside gal to take care of the invoice for me since I couldn't sign on yet. Then after my cafe register duty for lunch, I came back to check things before heading to town again. It is finally working!!!! YEAH!!!!

Other happenings: Christmas time
We weren't able to make it home for Christmas this year. :-( I really missed the family time. Our big time out for Christmas Eve was going to dinner at a nice steak place and going to the theatre to see Happy Feet and Santa Claus 3. We had time to kill between the movies and walked around the complex some. We did finally find a REAL grocery store, it is called Fry's. Arcosanti was closed down from 1pm Christmas Eve until December 26th. This means nothing open to buy food (ie the cafe or bakery). We were able to take advantage of a couple things that happen here. First, Ron (landscaping manager) made breakfast in the cafe Christmas morning. Made to order -- omelets or burritos, french toast and bacon. It was a nice change to cereal, poptarts or bagels. Then Gin (bakery manager) had a potluck Christmas dinner at her place around 5pm. She likes turkey, so that was our main course. I really missed having ham and polish sausage!

I've been pulling more shifts in the cafe running the register since most of the help is gone. Nice pocket money. Ric is having a time in the maintenance department. The ?fun? they had yesterday was trying to unplug some toilets! One of the public men's toilet had a cell phone flushed down it!!! Ha! He still has his pool duties, even though him and another person are trying to talk the manager into draining it for awhile. (who wants to swim in 40-50 degree weather? the polar bear club is gone!)

The other big news I have is: I got a new job!!!! Beginning in January I will be working for AAA Arizona as a travel agent. I have 3 weeks of training (some in Phoenix) then go to part time until April. In April, I hope to be offered a full time position. It was interesting how this job came about. Ric and I were getting car insurance quotes one day and stopped into their office. As we were walking out, I asked the receptionist is they were hiring for travel agents. She said, they just hired somebody that was starting the next week. We walked out and I said "damn, my timing" I had picked up an application and the manager's name/number. I left her a message the next week -- about just moving in the area and my experience. I said I would drop off my resume later unless she wanted it right away. I then got a call two days after our workshop was done. She just had a part time person quit on Friday and wanted me to come in for an interview right away! WOW! I went in for the interview on a Friday and the job was offered to me on Tuesday. (pending my drug screening, reference check and criminal background check!) I was officially okayed this week --- everything checked out okay. God's timing is perfect. (Now, if I would trust Him to get the house sold.....)

Monday, December 18, 2006

You Suck!

Originally uploaded by rdfrost.
There is nothing quite so affirming as being told you suck in four languages. Written on toilet paper no less. Needles to say, my teemmate and I formed a very firm foundation for today's ping pong tournament. At least I assume that is what everyone meant when they kept telling us we were the basement.

Or was that "in the basement?"

Sunday, December 17, 2006

The Religion of Peace. Again.

Would someone please explain to me why I should have any respect for these "people"? Furthermore, can anyone explain why we let these animals into our country? Eating a pork chop should be mandatory for entering the U.S.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Some Free Time At Last

We are finally coming up for air, but only because we got out of making dinner tonight. We probably won't be working in the cafe anymore because Debbie has started working the register and I will start doing tours next week. The pay is a lot better and it is something I enjoy doing. It's sort of like teaching a class, which I love doing and really miss since losing my teaching job at the church.

We are done with our workshops. I am now a paid Arcosanti employee working 40 hours a week in maintenance. It's pretty brainless work, but that's what I really want at this point. There are several other jobs open that are a closer match to what I used to do, but I'm just not interested in sitting at a desk. At least not yet. I'm sure that at some point, assuming we stick around much past our one-year commitment, that I won't be able to crawl around under buildings and climb up and down ladders, but I'm no where near that point yet. Debbie is now working full-time as an outside travel agent for North Village Travel, plus working the odd shift cooking with me or running the cash register in the cafe. We have moved to our third temporary residence since being here. This one will be available until the next workshop comes in the first of February. It's not a bad place, but there is no heat as this part of the building is not finished. We didn't have heat in our last room either, but the difference there was that we got a lot of sun every day to heat up all the concrete. This room gets exactly no direct sunlight this time of year. Worse, because we are on the second story, the concrete floor is over a storage area that is unheated and not really all that wind-proof. That means that no matter what the temperature of the air in our room is, we are standing on a 40-degree concrete slab. We've got a couple small area rugs, which help a little, but not if you are in one place for any length of time. The worse place is the shower; bare feet in direct contact with wet, ice cold tile. Brrrrr.

It could be worse, of course. We could be stuck in Michigan plowing snow.

One side benefit of being on my feet all day is that I'm actually losing weight. I'm down to 233 pounds; lower than I've been in a decade. For the first time in a long, long time, the idea of being south of 200 seems realistic. I've been able to back off on my insulin a touch, but I haven't managed to get rid of any of my meds completely. That may not be possible even if I do get back down to 185 pounds, but I can certainly reduce what I'm taking. That will certainly help us out financially now that we have no health insurance. As things currently stand, every dime I make will go straight to Walgreen pharmacy.

On a completely different subject, I've sorted and cleaned up all our photos from 2005 and will start dumping them onto our Flickr account sometime soon. It may be as soon as tonight, if nothing else is going on. I don't think there is anything that we need to leave the room for other than dinner, so it's looking good that I can get several hundred photos on-line. One nice thing about our new room is that we have hard-wired network connections instead of wireless, meaning that our connections are more reliable, and that I can have both laptops connected to the internet at the same time. That way, one machine can just be dumping photos onto the internet, and the other one can be used for other stuff (like blogging). I was never able to get that working in our last room because of issues with my laptop, the shaky wireless connection, and the limited number of "slots" being shared by everyone else in the guest house.

Our Christmas cards and letters are out, so everyone should start getting those in the next couple days. They have our address here at Arcosanti, so everyone can send us lots of loot in the mail. Just joking; our space is so limited that anything we are sent would have to be stored in the back of the Durango anyway. But we have a nice, wide windowsill to set Christmas cards on, so please put us on your list. It's really the only Christmas we are having this year as we won't be able to get back to Michigan. This will be the first Christmas for both of us that we won't be with family. It's going to be a little strange. It is already strange as this place starts emptying out knowing that we will be one of the dozen or so people "stuck" here for Christmas day. One of the ladies here has everyone over for Christmas dinner, so we won't just be sitting in our room by ourselves, but it is going to be a very different Christmas for us.

Anyway, I need to try to get caught up with all the stuff I normally read on the internet. I haven't had much time to read blogs, news, or even Dilbert comics. More later if I find anything blog-able.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

And Even More Photos

More when it isn't 2am, but there are Grand Canyon photos and some pics from our workshop so far on Flickr.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

More Photos

Been busy cleaning up all the digital photos that have accumulated in the last few years. I have all of 2006 on Flickr except our photos of Arcosanti and our trip to the Grand Canyon last week for my birthday. I'll get those sorted out and uploaded tomorrow. There is only around 400 images to sift through, so it should be no problem to get them squared away.

Still busy down here in America's Southwest. Thanksgiving was an all-day thing starting with food at 2:30pm and ending with soccer under the vaults around midnight. Yesterday, we spent most of the day after Thanksgiving doing administrivia. We stopped at the Mayer post office to mail off a couple things, got an oil change and an Arizona license plate for the Durango, Arizona driver's licenses for both of us, car insurance quotes, and opened a bank account. That pretty much ate up the entire day.

Other than that, we've both been working hard here at Arcosanti, both at our regular workshop jobs and some other odd jobs which we don't get paid for, and doing shifts in the cafe, which we do get paid for. I could start making pretty decent money if I would get off my lazy butt and read through the tour guide information and started giving tours, but I can't seem to get motivated to do it. I'll probably push on it next week and get that in place.

We've also been looking into housing options at Arcosanti, and I'll probably get more serious about that tomorrow. At this point, we have yet to get a straight answer as to just where we will be staying, so I'm going to set up a contingency plan down in the area called The Camp. Its a little run-down, so there will be work that I'll need to do before the end of our five-week workshop on December 8th.

That's pretty much all I have for now.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Photos At Last!!

It took several months, but I finally got some new photos on our Flickr account. Just click on Flickr in the Quick Links section over on the right side of this page to see our stuff. The new photos are in the groups "Disney World 2006", "Carnival Elation Cruise 2006", and "USS Alabama". In addition, I finally got more pictures into the "Wiklanksi Reunion 2006" group (thanks Aunt Mary!!).

Anyway, it's past my bedtime, but I just wanted to leave a quick note that I'm starting to make some progress. Or maybe not. We spent Saturday at the Grand Canyon, so now I have another 300 or so pictures on the digital cameras to sort through....

Friday, November 17, 2006

I got to play with cement today!

Today the landscaping department (all 3 of us!) got to help the construction crew do a cement pour today of two wall forms. I was down on the bottom (where the form is) and got to help get the cement into all the little places in the forms. Had one plastic glove to work with -- stick my hand in the cement to push down and around the rebar and wall plates and into the corners. Once when the guys were shoveling the cement in -- they got a little too enthusiastic about throwing it and covered my ungloved hand/arm with cement. Hmmmm....trying to make me part of the new Arcosanti visitor wall?! Learned today that vinegar water is helpful to get cement off you. After helping with both sections of the wall this morning -- I had cement spatters up/down my arms and on my face. I think I got most of it off me. My hands/nails are a disaster now. Mega lotion time.

Today the high is suppose to be 74 and tomorrow 78! Still cool in the mornings when we start work. They moved most departments starting time from 7a to 730a this week. Makes most sense in landscaping because the first thing the manager does is begin watering everything.

Tomorrow we are taking a short road trip -- maybe to the Grand Canyon -- for Ric's birthday. Sounds like it will be a great day to be outside.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Oh, my achey back and feet

I know it has been awhile since either of us has posted. Will kept you all up later, this will be a quick post.

Monday we started our new "workshop jobs" here at Arcosanti. Ric is in maintanence and got to start with painting the gallery. I got into landscaping. (Not my choice, I told coordinator to put me where they needed me, I didn't care) Monday, got to sweep/pick up leaves and dig rocks/stones/gravel/dirt to sift. First sore back and feet. Today got to rake/sweep/bag leaves and walk to compost bins, dig up mint and transplant and then start to clean out/organize landscaping shed. What a mess! And another sore back and feet. I lost track of counting the stairs I had to do while dealing with the mint transplanting. Hopefully all this manual labor helps to take off the weight. I have to watch how much I eat here -- buffet style for all meals -- easy to overeat.

Check out Arcosanti's website and look at Friday, Nov 10th for our group's mug shot.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Packing Again

We will be moving into our "permanent" room this afternoon, so we are packing up everything and loading it into the car. The guest rooms are only a hundred feet away from the room we are staying in, but it's also about 70 feet of vertical cliff. The only way to get our stuff down there is to carry it armload at a time down a switch-back goat path that goes down the face of the cliff, or to load it into the car and work our way down the service road. Being fat, lazy, and not a goat, I chose the second option.

We wandered into town yesterday. Mayer ain't much and most of the other towns along 69 are even less. But we knew we would be OK when we got to Prescott Valley and Prescott: Walmart Superstore, Olive Garden, Chilies, Taco Bell, Burger King, and last but certainly not least, Dairy Queen. We're saved!!!! There isn't an Applebees or a Ruby Tuesday's, so we may not be completely out of the woods yet.

We've spent the last couple days mostly eating, sleeping, and wandering around the grounds. The place is a real maze and we are still trying to figure out how to get to a couple places. By building up the face of the cliff and continuing on up vertically from there, they have managed to cram a lot of usable square footage into a very small space. The disadvantage is that there isn't always a clear path from one place to another. The ongoing construction makes it worse by blocking the obvious path, forcing you to detour around through the complex.

We continue to be surprised by some of the general clutter and carelessness of at least some of the residents. Some of it is because everything is in temporary space and constantly being shuffled around. For example, the library is mostly a pile of cement dust-covered books because it just got kicked out of its previous temporary home into a new temporary home. But some of it there is just no excuse. Litter is hardly as bad as a normal city, but there is still enough of it around to be annoying to anal retentives. It wouldn't be quite so annoying except all the lecturing in printed materials about respecting the environment, then we have to drive through a literal junk yard of abandoned vehicles and equipment to get to our room. Whatever. I have a feeling we will be ruffling some feathers during Seminar Week. That seems to be my job in life.

Anyway, today we will kick off the actual work shop, so we'll probably have more interesting things to blog about soon. And pictures. I swear I'm working on it. Honest.

Friday, November 03, 2006

We're Here! We're Here! We're Here!

(I just hope no one is trying to boil our dust speck.)

Anyway, we are at Arcosanti. They stuck us in a spare room until our regular room is ready sometime Sunday. We really pushed the driving the last couple days so we could just get out of the car for at least a day or two. At some point, we will have to drive into town to buy some stuff to have in our room for the workshop, but it isn't anything urgent.

First impressions of Arcosanti:

It's a lot smaller place than it looks on the website. When we drove up, we both had the same thought: where is the rest of it?

Don't bother coming here if you have a problem with stairs. Everything is up or down a set of stairs. Having everything on different levels is how they cram so much stuff in so small of a space, but wheelchair-friendly it ain't.

A lot of clutter. Some of that is because it is a construction site. A lot of it is just people not paying attention to where they drop and/or throw things. It seems odd that a group of people that are so environmentally conscious think nothing of leaving stuff where ever it happens to drop.

Very quiet. All the construction at this point is focused on finishing the interior of the East crescent apartments, so during the day, the place looks like it is uninhabited.

The climate here allows Arco to "get away" with things that would never fly in Michigan. For example, the windows are single pane. Other areas just open out to the outside with no discernible way to close it off. Very disconcerting to someone that lives in a climate that tries to kill you for nine months out of the year.

The desert is just how I remember it. I love it out here.

We are taking lots of pictures that I will put up on Flickr at some point. We have taken almost 3 gig of pictures and videos since we left Michigan, so it will take me some time to sort through all of them.

More later.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Getting Close

We made it as far as Flagstaff, Arizona today. Obviously, that means we survived four days at Mickey's house and our cruise. We were roasted at Disney. Orlando set two temperature records while we were there. We were both exhausted from all the walking in the heat and humidity for four days straight. But that just made it easier to stick to our plan for the cruise: sit in the sun, read books, and eat. It was glorious. We even managed to get a little tan and only a few pink spots.

We expect to be at Arcosanti tomorrow morning or early afternoon. Once we are there and get settled in, expect normal blogging to resume. I will also start working on the 3 gigs of pictures we've taken over the last couple weeks and getting them up on Flickr.

Well, it's late and I need to sleep.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

On the Road

We are sitting in a Super 8 in Perry, Georgia and enjoying seats that don't move and high-speed internet access. I have, for the first time, managed to get a connection running with my D-Link wireless router. I've had nothing but endless frustration until tonight. I plugged it in and it just worked. Heck if I know what I was doing wrong before or what I did right this time, but I ain't arguing. Anyway, just to catch everyone up with all the fun we've been having so far:

Thursday we tried to do some packing, but we had to knock off early for dinner at Pastor and Kim's. We were there late, which was fun, but not good because...

Friday, we were up at 5:30am to go get a 24-foot moving van, using it to move heavy stuff from the house to the cabin (and it was heavy; thanks Dad and Richard), then loading it up, driving it to Birch Run, and unloading it (thanks Dave, Jerrica, Tevra, Timothy, and Mom). We were going to drive back, but it was 11pm and we just couldn't do it.

Saturday, we finally rolled out of the sack around 7am, and headed back north. By the time we dropped off the truck, grabbed something to eat, and got home, it was already noon. We worked for a while, then cleaned up and headed over to my parents for dinner.

Sunday, we were supposed to be in Birch Run by noon, but we still had all our packing and the entire house to clean. Obviously, we were late. We finally got everything crammed into both vehicles and headed for Birch Run singing the theme song from The Beverly Hillbillies. We spent some time with Debbie's family and just bummed around the rest of the day.

Monday was D Day. I had hopped to eat my last meal in Michigan around 8am, but we had to fit two vehicles worth of crap into one. We chucked a lot of stuff and by filling every single crevice in the Durango, we got the rest ready to go. We started south at 4pm and almost got to Lexington, Kentucky.

Tuesday, we were on the road by 11am. We didn't make very good time; we came to a complete stop several times, and once we sat completely stationary for 20 minutes. We also had a hard time staying on the road. We were stopping every hundred miles or so for some reason. We finally stopped in Perry, Georgia, just south of Macon. We should be at Mickey's House tomorrow.

When the county name our road Swamp Road, there was some residence who wanted to petition for a name change because they felt that their property would be devalued by that name. Well, I wonder what they would have thought of the name we ran across today: Stinking Creek Road. Only in Kentucky.

Anyway, time for bed. We've got a lot more driving so I should hit the sack.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Short news

Hey All! Well, our newest addition to the family seems to be fitting in so far. The whole family is sitting at HOrizon Book Store in TC checking that everything works okay. The newest addition is what I'm on and works fine ... found the wireless network and surfing the web just fine. Ric old lap top and new D-Link doesn't seem to like each other. We will have to see if it can be fixed or if we will be using only mine until he gets a new laptop or figures out how to make his old laptop like the D-Link.

We are almost all packed up. Get the moving truck Friday to take a huge load to my Mom's. Then we will be heading out of Michigan on MOnday morning.

More later...........

Monday, October 09, 2006

Shoulda Killed Him

It certainly would have improved the human race marginally. I have no use for these assholes. Go ahead and sue; prove to the world what you are. It's not like we don't already know or anything.

Yea, They Disgust Me Too

I can only wish that I could come up with stuff this funny. "Statistically speaking, you'’re probably an inbred spawn of illiterate, unhygienic, penis-worshipping child molesters." I have got to remember that one the next time someone cops a bit too much attitude.


We'll Send a Postcard

This is exactly why we are bugging out for Arcosanti:

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Newest Member of the Family

No, no. Nothing like that. Today we bought a Toshiba Satellite for Debbie to use as an outside travel consultant for the company she has been working for. Tomorrow, we will be driving down to Grand Rapids to hammer out the final details and have the laptop configured by their "computer guy" for accessing the company network, e-mail, reservation system, etc. It's basic, but it should last for a while. We really don't beat up our hardware too badly. I am, after all, writing this on a laptop that classifies as a museum piece (Dell Inspiron 8000 I bought in 2000 or 2001), so I would expect the Toshiba to hold up for quite a while. My only regret is that I swore I was not buying another Microsoft product, but Windows XP is the only OS Debbie's employer will support. So off we went to Best Buy like good little lemmings and bought an off-the-shelf laptop. Ah well. As soon as the house sells, the trusty Dell will find itself replaced by a sweet little Mac Mini.

Anyway, not much else to report. Rooms continue to empty, bins continue to pile up. We are renting a moving truck on Friday the 13th (which falls on Friday this month) to drive everything that we won't be taking with us in the Durango to Florida and Arizona, down to Debbie's mom's basement. We will be back that night, stay here at the house Friday night, pack the Durango on Saturday, then start heading south. We currently plan to spend Saturday night and Sunday at Debbie's mom's, then head for Florida very early Monday morning to go romp with a giant mouse and hang out on a cruise ship. On the 29th, we are heading west and hope to make Mobile, Alabama the same day to hang for a bit with my sister and brother-in-law. Then sometime on the 30th, our trek west begins in earnest. We hope to be at Arcosonti on the 3rd or 4th of November to give us a couple days to recover from the drive, explore the area a bit, and get ready for our five-week workshop.

Sunday, October 01, 2006


Happy Birthday to the Best Mom!

She is in Vegas (no -- Tom Jones is not there this time!) Maybe she will hit it BIG and be able to retire. I'll have to figure out how long a drive it is from Arco to Vegas and meet up with her when she flys in to see Tom.

We finally sat down yesterday to figure out when we should leave Michigan to get to Florida in time for our vacation. We will be leaving northern Michigan either 14Oct eve or 15Oct am. Then plan on staying at my Mom's (please and thanks?!) until we leave Michigan Monday October 16th. If we don't get to see you all before that, BYE for now. You can keep up with our life here on the blog and also email either of us.

Brain Dump

I know I promised more routine updates once things calmed down, and you would think that eliminating the 60 hours or so spent every week working and driving back and forth to work would qualify as "calming down." Well, you be the judge.

Friday, September 22 - The Anniversary Date of our New Life.

Short day at work because a) I needed to get my butt over to the American Legion hall for the showing at 3pm prior to our auction at 5pm, and b) what are they going to do; fire me? Anyway, we were both pretty nervous about the auction. Even though we filled a 24-foot moving truck with stuff, it just didn't look like that much once it was at the hall. We were also a little nervous about what things were going to auction for. Auctions are unpredictable; if you get the right people there, you can make a mint. The wrong people, you give a lot of stuff away or take it back home. Given that we had no way to haul much of anything home, that meant giving away anything that didn't sell. Now personally, I wasn't doing this to make money. I was only interested in reducing volume. But we fronted the auctioneer $1,000, rented a truck for $85, purchased trigger locks for all the guns I was selling, etc., and it would be nice to at least make that back so we weren't effectively paying people to take our crap.

I've always had the attitude that if you expect the worst, you will live your life being constantly and pleasantly surprised. I went into the auction figuring we could consider ourselves lucky to break even and everything over that would be gravy. To make a long story short, we went home with a lot of gravy. Like, $3,600 worth of gravy. All for a truck-load of junk, most of which hadn't seen the light of day in years.

We were happy, to put it mildly, but we also didn't get out of the hall until after 10pm, which meant we didn't fall into bed until sometime around midnight.

Saturday, September 23 - Our First Day of Freedom

So of course we were up by 7am to get to one of Debbie's nephew's last football game of the season. They won (way to go, Ashton!!), which, if I heard right, made them undefeated for the season. Debbie's mom bought everyone lunch at a local diner, then we headed for home. We were planning on working on the packing, but we decided we had eaten too much and watched Fantastic Four instead.

Sunday, September 24

I was up early again, for no apparent reason. Debbie was still in bed, so I figured it would be a good time to catch up on all my internet stuff. Yea. Right. Not even close. Not only was I way behind on everything, I was working from the lowest circle of dial-up hell. So once Debbie was up, we decided to do something more constructive than stare at a computer screen upon which nothing was happening, and go into Traverse City and shop for "Arco Supplies" (everything from rain gear to finger condoms). We came home from TC, unloaded, re-loaded with other stuff and headed into Kalkaska for my youngest grand-niece's 1st Birthday Party. My sister and her husband were up from Alabama, so that was pretty much the day. We did get home in time to start watching Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring, but we both fell asleep about and hour or so into it. And yes, we realize we live a very exciting life.

Monday, September 25

I'm not sure what good it does to quit your job, then get up every morning at the same time anyway. Today we had doctor's appointments and car maintenance. After my flu shot, tetanus booster, and blood draw, I felt like a pin cushion. Once we were back at the house, we made good progress on turning the piles of debris into somewhat better organized piles of debris. We now have four piles going in the living room: The first is a pile of things we want to take with us on our first trip down to Florida, then out to Arcosanti for the five-week workshop. This pile must be very small as it all has to fit into the Durango. The second pile is stuff we will most likely take back with us when we come back to Michigan around Christmas when we hope to be in our permanent apartment at Arcosanti. The third pile is stuff we will send for once we are better situated. The fourth pile is stuff I suspect may never make it out to Arizona. We worked steady until dinner, then ran into town for a few more errands, then back home for dinner and the rest of Fellowship of the Ring.

Tuesday, September 26

Yep. You guessed it. Up at the butt-crack of dawn. We spent the entire day sorting, cleaning, packing, labeling, and stacking. We ended the day with dinner and a movie (Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers).

Wednesday, September 27

Up early and packing, but for a different reason. Debbie was scheduled for some cruise classes in Chicago on Thursday and Friday, so I figured I would drive her down there, then spend a couple days bumming around Chicago while she was in class. We were mostly packed and were just starting to load the car when I got a call from our auctioneer asking if we would come into Traverse City to pick up our check and sign some final paperwork. Of course. I can change plans pretty quickly when serious money is involved. So we finished loading the Durango, then headed for Chicago via Traverse City. We arrived at our hotel around 6pm, and spent the rest of the evening walking around the area, grabbing some BBQ for dinner, then going to bed.

Thursday, September 28 - Chicago

Up at 5am for our commute into Downtown Chicago. We didn't have any real problems other than figuring out how to get into the building where Debbie's classes were being held. We eventually found the parking area and ditched the car. Debbie headed to her class, and I hiked to the nearest bus station and grabbed a ride to the Shedd Aquarium. It's been 20 years since my last visit and much had changed and a lot of new stuff added. I enjoyed it, but I guess I'm just not one of those people that can do this sort of thing alone. I kept catching myself turning to point out something to whoever was with me only to find no one there.

I was done at the aquarium around 3pm, and the weather was absolutely beautiful, so I decided to hoof it instead of messing with the bus. It took me five minutes less time to walk than to ride the bus. Score one for the Arcosanti concept. I hung around the lobby until Debbie was done, then we were back out in Chicago commuter traffic and heading back to our hotel. Dinner at the Olive Garden near our hotel finished up the day.

Friday, September 29 - One Week Anniversary of Our New Life

And I was up at 5am for a repeat performance of annoying Chicago commuters. Instead of spending the day wandering around by myself, I just hung out on a comfy couch and caught up on some reading and making some notes for this entry. As soon as Debbie was done with her last class, we headed straight for Michigan and arrived home (at least for a couple more weeks) around 1:30am. The power was off when we got here, so we knew that the sun didn't shine much (if at all) the entire time we were gone. Is there no sun in this cursed land? And whose dumb-ass idea was it to run a house on solar power in a place that can go weeks without seeing any direct sunlight? Oh. Right.

Saturday, September 30

I actually managed to sleep in until 7am today. We took our time getting around in the morning, then headed into town to make several bank deposits, and buy some groceries and the last of our Arco supplies. We came back to the house with the intention of doing some more packing, but after looking at the half dozen piles of stuff we were planning on giving to people, we decided to spend the rest of the day playing Santa Claus. We didn't make it back to the house until after 10pm. Debbie went straight to bed, but I wasn't really tired, so I decided to do this instead.

See what I mean about "calming down?" Next week for sure....

Some random notes:

I want to know in what universe that honking your horn at someone that is sitting at a red light has ever aided in moving traffic. Every cab driver in Chicago does this. Whenever you see a street scene on TV or in a movie and there is this background noise of random honking, that's cab drivers just making random noise. The really funny part is that when they have a reason to honk, they don't. Cut off a cab and nearly run him into a parked car (which I did) and they won't touch the horn. They will loudly curse you in Arabic, but never the horn. But if you are sitting in front of one in a line of stationary cars at a red light, expect to get honked at two or three times before the light turns green. Maybe the major cities should follow the example of the town in Georgia that made punching someone for burning a flag a $50 ticket, and make punching a cabbie for superfluous horn usage a $25 or $50 fine.

While living in Flint and working in Detroit, I only wanted to get out of the city. Now that I've spent a couple days in Chicago after living in a rural area for seven-plus years, I can say without a doubt that I still have no desire to live in a city. That isn't meant as some generic city-bashing comment. I understand enough about economics to know that without the cities, the rural life I've been living would be impossible. I can also appreciate the role cities play as reservoirs of culture and science that just cannot be supported in a place like Traverse City. All I'm saying is that it just isn't for me.

Will Chicago ever finish building that damn expressway? They were working on in when I was there twenty years ago, they were still working on it when I was there ten years ago, and they are still working on it with no end in sight. This has to be some sort of all-time record for the biggest waste of taxpayer money and commuters' time in history.

Best line I heard the entire time I was in Chicago, spoken in the Shedd Aquarium by a woman my age while looking at an enclosure containing bright yellow poison dart frogs: "Look at those! They almost look real!"

A thought occurred to me watching preschool kids operating the computers used in the various displays at the Shedd Aquarium: If you think computers have radically changed things, just wait. You ain't seen nothin' yet.

OK; it's now very AM on Sunday.

Friday, September 22, 2006


This is it! I'm outa here! One more day of doing a lot of nothing and I Am Done!!!

For a little while. It's not like we hit the lottery or anything....

It says something when the your last day is the only time you can remember in several years that you actually looked forward to getting to work.

And to make life even sweeter, tonight is The Auction. Wednesday night, we almost killed ourselves loading a 24 foot truck with more crap than we had when we moved up here. Yesterday morning, our auctioneer and I unloaded it all at the American Legion hall. And that is it. I never have to touch any of it ever again. And now that the auction is out of the way, our attention can be completely focused on getting the house completely cleaned out and everything sorted into two piles: goes with us in the Durango on October 15th, or gets packed in plastic bins and stored in Debbie's mom's garage until we send for it or come back for it.

It also looks like we will be driving down to Chicago next week for some cruise training for Debbie. I'll just be wandering around downtown Chicago Thursday and Friday. I have a couple contacts there, so maybe I'll look them up.

Anyway, I need to take care of all the "last day" crap, so more later!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

About Time!

Finally, rational thought wins out over BS. The only news that could be better would be that Carson and Ruckleshaus are being charged at the Hague for mass genocide.

As you can tell from the sadly neglected blog, we are still somewhat preoccupied with the upcoming auction and relocating to Arizona. After the last week, I'm feeling better about where we are at. It will be tight, but we'll make it. Getting the auction stuff out of the house and garage will help a great deal with clearing some space we can use to unpack, sort, and re-pack what we have left after multiple garage sales, a week-long freecycle give-a-way, dump day, and just showing up at people's homes with bags of stuff that we "think they need." We started out with a volume of stuff that was simply amazing. I have no clue where it all came from, but I'm certainly glad that it's gone (or going very shortly). We are still a long way from being lean-and-mean, but we are a great deal closer than we were two months ago.

If you are in the Traverse City area on Friday, come check out the Frost Liquidation Auction at the American Legion Hall at 5pm!

Monday, September 11, 2006


We have over 30 linear feet of random stuff we are tossing into the landfill. If you think you may be interested in any of it, contact me or Debbie and we can set up a time for you to come and grab whatever you want. Anything left as of 9am on Saturday, September 16th goes to the semi-annual township dump day. I'd rather have my Saturday to do something other than making multiple trips to the township hall, so get your butts over to the house and get this stuff out of our garage!!

9 days, 4 hours, 38 minutes to go....

Friday, September 08, 2006

TWO WEEKS!!!!!!!!!

These will probably be the longest two weeks at work ever! It has been pretty quiet this week. I've already went through my old files and put info into our database (and created ALOT of stuff to shred!)

We got some more boxes to repack things up last night. Hopefully will get some more egg boxes tonite and more work done this weekend. We have the Frost reunion to go to Sat -- so not much work to be done that day.

Other than counting the days down, getting ready for the auction, and getting ready to move, not much else going on. Sorry for the boring blog for awhile.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006


This article takes the recent refusal of a plane-load of Brits to board until two Muslim-looking men were removed from the plane, as a jumping-off point to look at the larger question: Just how much crap are we willing to take from our so-called superiors? The author's answer seems to be "not much more." I have my doubts, at least here in the U.S. We sit around and piss and moan, but the bottom line is that we are just too comfortable, too distracted, and too lazy to do anything about it.

This is one of those times that I hope to be very wrong. Unfortunately, we look more like Rome in decline every day.

Very Long Weekend

Last weekend was long and not just because of the Monday holiday. We worked our butts clean off all day Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. We are making good progress, but we are still not where I would like us to be. I'm sure we'll be OK, but I was hoping the last couple weeks in town would be somewhat relaxing instead of a flurry of last-minute activity. We may still achieve that, but it's a long way from certain at this point. We still have a lot of piles of stuff as well as some dark corners that have not been cleaned out yet. It may not be as bad as I think it will be, but there is always the chance. We do have a backup plan of sorts: we can always dump stuff in the cabin to get the house cleaned out, then worry about how to get everything out to Arizona at some future point. Who knows? We may discover a whole 'nother pile of stuff we really don't need.

Anyway, expect posting to be thin on the ground, and not too thought-provoking when they do appear. Crunch mode is upon us.

Friday, September 01, 2006


How many times do people need to be told a basic truth? He who pays the piper calls the tune. If you don't want government bureaucrats telling you what to do, then don't give them leverage by taking money they control. Knowing the sort of people who work for the government, they will still try to tell you what to do, but if you refuse their money, at least you're not volunteering to be nannied.


Until we are done at our current jobs! YEAH!!!!!
Until the auction -- hopefully yeah -- lots of money!

What's new in our busy life?

Ric just got some RXs filled and we saw the "normal cost" -- ouch! I wonder how many we can go into Mexico and buy? If we both get jobs only at Arcosanti, they don't get health benefits until after A YEAR! That might be the deciding factor for me to find something else as a travel agent to get medical benefits sooner. Plus, I still like what I do (except for those people who don't know what they want!)

Still sorting/cleaning/packing things up. We found out we should repack the books and auction things in boxes we don't want back. (or make it well known our totes are not included) I stopped at two stores today and got some egg boxes. Now time to repack and label a few boxes of books. At least we have 3 weeks until the auction. It will go too fast, I know. We hope to get alot accomplished this long weekend. (Anybody want to volunteer to come help?! Stop at the grocery stores on your way here and ask for boxes!)

Had fun with strawberries and strawberry whip cream! ;-)

Thanks to Ric's Dad, I have been well supplied with fresh tomatoes. I love summer and tomatoes. I wonder how well they will taste in Arizona? I know I will miss having Koegel bologna/pickled bologna/hotdogs etc in Arizona. (At least I think they don't sell Koegel's down there)

Somebody is at it again --- drinking and cutting. Apparantely this time she cut too deep and "almost bled to death" She told Ric the reason she didn't go to the hospital was because they would probably commit her. Yeah---they would think she was trying to commit suicide and have her in the psych ward faster than you could blink an eye. She is still probably good at blaming others for what she does and trying to make them (and the person/people she tells about it) guilty.

Well---back to repacking those books. I had to come in to get a list of what was in each big tote before I started sorting down to small boxes. Tonite is the last regular Friday nite Beach Bums game and FIREWORKS!!! We will be there again. They won last night against the team that is in first currently. We play them again tonite. It should be a good game. Good teams and nice sunny weather -- grab me a brat or burger and I'll be all set!


To our GEAT-niece Zoey!!

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Been Busy, busy, busy

Hello Everyone!

No, we haven't dropped off the map yet! We've been busy sorting out all of our worldly possesions to decide what to sell at the auction next month, what to pack and store at my Mom's, what to take with us and what to give away or throw away. With at least 3 moves, who would have thunk we would have so much stuff left?!

Anyways...if you are in TC area, the auction will be Friday, September 22nd. Guns, computers, Partylite stuff, Pampered Chef stuff, oil paintings, reloading stuff, old electric stove, LOTS of books, and much more.

We still have a big pile of "free stuff" people can go through -- what doesn't get taken will be thrown away during the free fall clean up day. Contact us if you want to come have a look/see!

We went to the Friday nite Beach Bums game last week. The rain held off during the game, thankfully. It was a great game. The Beach Bums finally won it by one run. We had 5 new people with us this time. Our nephew Matt was the BEST! His sister Courtney said he embarrassed her, but she apparantely didn't mind too much, because she really wanted him to come to another game with us. Both Matt and Ric had to sing along (at the TOP OF THEIR LUNGS!) to the Sponge Bob Squarepants ditty. I think both Courtney and I shrunk down in our seats and pretended to not know the guys sitting next to us! :-) Matt brought his glove to the game, but didn't get a chance to catch a foul ball. :-( His sister did appreciate the "protection" so she wouldn't have to dive under the seat each time a ball came towards our section. Everyone comments on the GREAT FIREWORKS after the game. The fireworks are the reason we ONLY go on FRIDAYS. This Friday (Sept 1st) is the Beach Bum's last regular home game. Come join us to cheer them on, enjoy the mascots and happenings between innings and see some great FIREWORKS.

Our great-niece (Zoey) turns the big 1 on Sept 1st. I believe Ric put some pics of her on Flickr if you want to see what she looks like with cake all over her face! We have another great-niece/nephew on its way. It will arrive sometime in February. We won't be able to run up to the hospital to see Mom and baby :-( It might be summer before we come back to Michigan and be able to see and hold the newest addition to the Hurd family.

OBTW --- we will be heading out of Michigan around 15October. If you want to visit with us before we go, let us know. We are both done with our respective jobs on Sept 22nd. We will still be busy packing/sorting/etc, but would love to see you before we leave if it can be squeezed in. If you know anybody that wants to buy our house and some acreage, let us know! We will have to winterize it before we leave and hope it sells before all of our emergency fund runs out. Our emergency fund would be bigger if some people would pay us back. Sorry -- couldn't resist that zinger! I know some plan on it -- just later not sooner. One person (whose name begins with a N) hasn't begun paying back her LARGE amount. She "refuses" to pay me, but has said she will pay Ric. But, of course, he hasn't seen a red cent yet! With the move we will get better about not loaning money to everyone. Since we won't have any money coming in for at least 3-4 months it will be really easy to say NO!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Life In Our Nation's Capital

As reported in the Northern Express "News of the Weird" column (Volume 16, Number 34):
The prime suspects (and their addresses) in a July murder-robbery in Washington, D.C., were actually known to police a month earlier (thanks to a tip from a previous robbery victim), but police didn't pick them up until after the murder, according to a July Washington Post report.

In June, the D.C. inspector general reported that the mugging death of a former New York Times reporter involved "complacency and indifference" by almost all police and rescue personnel involved, from ambulance crew to investigating officers to hospital doctors, resulting in the victim, who was severely beaten, being treated merely as a street drunk.

In June, the D.C. police's crime-solving average went down as investigators found 119 more unsolved crimes that had been originally written up only as "injuries."
Keep in mind, Washington D.C. is run by the same fine individuals that think they are qualified to tell you how to raise your children, how to build your house, how to drive, what to consume, who you can marry, and how your body is buried when you die. I seem to recall some verses in the Bible that discuss eyes and lumber that may apply here.

P.S. Blogging may be light this week as we cram to get ready for our auction on September 22. I know that sounds like a long way away, but we basically have to have everything ready this week so the auctioneer can start running ads and distributing flyers.

Friday, August 18, 2006


I'm currently reading through The Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster written by Bobby Henderson. I have to be careful reading it at work; people tend to think you're looney when you set in your cube laughing for an hour straight.

Anyway, if you would like to know more about Pastafarianism, please visit the site for the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.


Thursday, August 17, 2006

The Former Airline Industry

I seems the British airline industry is doing a SCO.

Investment tip: buy Greyhound.

Personally, I'm driving. The risk to my personal safety while driving vs. flying is much lower once you consider the likelihood that I will sucker-punch some dumb-ass TSA agent. I understand they don't appreciate that sort of thing.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Teens and Sex

Funniest thing I've heard in years: "Saying condoms will cause more teens to have sex is like saying my car having headlights makes the sun set."

Tuesday, August 15, 2006


I see Israel lost the war with Lebanon/Hizbollah. I should start a pool on how many days before the first rocket is fired from south Lebanon into Israel. I wouldn't bother to take bets out past thirty days.


EXCUSES for when you are caught NAPPING

1. They told me at the blood bank this might happen
2. This is just a 15 minute power nap like they raved about in my MBA course
3. I was working smarter --- not harder
4. I wasn't sleeping! I was meditating on the mission statement and envisioning a new paradigm!
5. This is one of the seven habits of highly effective people!
6. I'm actually doing a Stress Level Elimination Exercise Plan
7. This is in exchange for the six hours last night when I dreamed about work
8. The coffee machine is broken....
9. A man flipped out and pulled a gun so I was playing dead to avoid getting shot
10. Why did you interrupt me? I had almost figured out a solution to our strategic dilemma.

Monday, August 14, 2006


The Yard Sale, Part II went off without a hitch (other than one price-tag switcher that Debbie busted on one item, but got away with it on a second) and netted us another 6 bills or so towards the big move to Arcosonti. There was also significant volume reduction, which is at least as important as the cash. We are having one more sale on Labor Day weekend, then whatever is left will be thrown away or given away. The only exceptions will be some larger items (like some oil paintings) that will be auctioned or taken to a consignment shop. I'm still shooting to fit my personal stuff in two suitcases and a tote. If I keep throwing out clothes, that may be one suitcase and a tote. Once we get rid of the rest of the furniture we don't want, we will be down to about five pieces of furniture that we will eventually have to drive out to Arizona. I'm thinking we may even be able to cut that down further once we figure the cost of transporting some items 2,000 miles vs. just buying new once we get there.

My new goal: getting rid of stuff. I've spent 40 years as a typical American consumer seeing how big of a pile of crap I can accumulate; now I'll be shedding most of it over the next couple months. The funny thing is that once you shift from "accumulating mode" to "shedding mode," stuff just loses its appeal. I used to walk through a store thinking, "Wow, that would be cool to have!" Now, it's just something else I have to a) figure out how to pay for, b) figure out how to get to Arizona, and c) once it's there, find a place for in a 400-600 square foot apartment. Why bother? If I can't eat it, I'm not going to die without it. Let the next person spend their cash on it.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Best and Worst

Here is a description of some else's best job ever. I've had jobs that were close, but not that good. One had lots of food and alcohol, another let you wear jeans, one even doubled my pay in a single raise (of course I was making minimum wage, but still...). But I've never experienced anything like what Trix describes. You could get a close approximation of my current job by taking the exact opposite of each of the 12 points.

And Scott Adams describes the worst job ever here. I love his solutions for the middle east. My only disagreement is that he pulls his punches by saying his solutions aren't "THAT much worse than the current method." Actually, they are no worse, and probably better than what we are doing now.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Follow-up on Homeschooling

We are constantly being lectured how the public schools are the first line of defense against physical and sexual abuse at home. It looks to me like they just don't like the competition.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Christians vs. the Lions

OK, so it really isn't lions, just Michael Moore. If you are not from the Traverse City area, you are probably not aware that this week is the Second Annual Traverse City Film Festival. Michael Moore is a big part of putting the event together, and sort of hangs around town. I blogged about bumping into him last year. Last year, the religious right staged a counter-festival during the first ever TC Film Fest. I don't know anyone that went; I heard reports of fewer than a dozen people showing up to see their one film, Top Gun. That's right, folks. The religious right's answer to Michael Moore was to show a profanity- and nudity-laced, homo-erotic, soft-core porn flick.

Anyway, this year it seems Michael Moore arranged to show a documentary about a Christian summer camp. Afterwards, Magnolia Films, a Christian movie distributor, acquired the North American distribution rights and wants Michael Moore to yank it from the film festival a week before it was scheduled to start. Understand that pretty much all the movies were sold out a month ago. So the Film Festival organizers are supposed to somehow contact hundreds of ticket-holders, many from out of town, to tell them the film has been canceled and how to obtain refunds because, according to the president of Magnolia Films, "...if Michael Moore endorses it, tens of millions will automatically reject it." Well, first of all, you should have thought of that before you purchased distribution rights. Secondly, tough titty. It's not the fault of hundreds of ticket-holders for this film, not alone Michael Moore, that your major market consists of a bunch of semi-retarded pouters.

So tell me; do Christians ever turn up an opportunity to make themselves look stupid? Ever?

Thursday, August 03, 2006

My Sister's Kids

Anyone who has seen my neice and nephew's bedrooms will notice the similarity:

War in the Middle East

If you want to know why any cease fire is a waste of time, read this. It's pretty simple, folks. This has nothing to do with right-wing vs. left-wing politics in the U.S. Israel's back is literally against the wall. They obviously understand this even if the nutters we elect to "lead" us are willfully ignorant of it.

I'll make it very simple so even the mental defects that occasionally wander through here can understand:

A man is standing in your living room pointing a gun at your wife. Both of your children are lying on the floor in pools of their own blood with half their faces missing. Do you a) call the police and request a negotiator, or b) grab the .44 Mag out of the nightstand and blow the son of a bitch away?

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Home Schooling

I haven't touched on this in a while probably because I don't have that much contact with kids who are being home schooled anymore. One of the constant criticisms against home schooling parents is that they are not "qualified" to teach. This is certainly anecdotal, and everyone knows a single data point does not make a trend, but I ask again, just how hard is it to educate kids? How "qualified" does one need to be to teach basic math, reading, cursive and/or print handwriting? (Personally, I think cursive should go on the dung heap along with quill pens; if you want to write "pretty" buy a calligraphy set.) If that is all you ever teach your kid, combined with a library card and internet access, and restricted access to mindless entertainment like movies and the vast wasteland of cable TV, they will know more at 18 than 80% of the graduates from your local high school. Throw in algebra, geometry, and hard-core writing classes (which can be had cheaply or free through dozens of internet sites or your local community college, if you yourself don't know those subjects) and they will know more at 18 than 80% of the college graduates from your state university system.

Don't turn your kids over to the brain-suckers. Home schooling is hardly ideal, but given what our public schools have become and the outrageous cost of private schools, it's the only answer for most families.

Hotter in Michigan

Just a tidbit of info ... it is hotter today here in TC area than it is by Arcosanti (Arizona)

Thursday, July 27, 2006

More on the Middle East

In order to increase my "right-wing" bona fides, I give you this. Money quote: much as we have wanted to believe otherwise, they have no interest in building their [Arab] homeland. They only care about destroying ours.
This is what the West must get through its thick, drug-addled, sitcom-addicted brain. The Arab world's collective goal is the extermination of the state of Israel and as many Jews as they can get in the process. There are no "moderate" Arab governments; every last one gives some combination of money, weapons, training, and safe haven to Arab terrorists.

Either we accept that reality, or be prepared to see mushroom clouds in the middle east.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Life is a Beach

When the Huygens probe landed on Titan, initial images suggested a rocky beach on the shore of a hydrocarbon lake, but later analysis showed that to not be the case. Now it looks like Cassini has picked up radar images of what looks a lot like lakes in the north polar region of Titan. If this pans out, it would be sweet: the only off-Earth lakefront property in the solar system. The climate is a bit chilly, and it is a lake of methane and/or ethane, but if you want to get away from the crowds....

Monday, July 24, 2006

My Job

Everyday, I find myself falling further into Wally-land:

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Traverse City Beach Bums

Ric and I went to our first TC Beach Bums game last night. This was the first minor league baseball game I've been to. It was kinda fun with ALL the goings on between innings -- wacky contests, yelling for free stuff, best dressed beach babe/guy, etc. The TC Beach Bums won the game 8 to 1. They ended the game for the night with a double play. What a way to end the game. Then the perfect way to end the night ---- FIREWORKS!!!!!

They were fabulous -- not just a couple small ones, but big ones and it lasted for awhile. They are like -- right in front of you! We were kicking ourselves for forgetting the camera in the car. Pictures would have been great ... we are planning to do another Friday Fireworks game nite and will definitely remember the camera. Who all wants to come with us?!

It is worth the $10 chairback seat admission -- even the $6 lawn admission isn't bad. No bad viewing area in the place. The stadium is great ... lots of food/drink vendors around the place. We didn't partake this time, but have heard the prices are reasonable. Some of the things walking by us certainly smelled delicious and the ice cream in the plastic ball caps were so cute. Suntan and Sunburn -- the mascots kept things hopping with their antics -- they are real crowd pleasers -- ready for that hug and handshake or picture at any time. The only thing to watch out for are the foul balls! One foul line drive looked like it injured somebody ... it was a few sections over from us, so we couldn't really see, but lots of commotion. Hopefully it wasn't too bad of an injury. That was the only line drive, the others were popped up in the air and caught or over the stadium roof to try to hit a car!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

More on the Middle East War

Just because I think drive-by comment posts are so much fun, I thought I'd say a few words about the latest Middle East war.

1) The United States is obviously interested in increasing the numbers of "civilian" casualties on the Lebanese side. Israel's primary objective is to destroy Hezbollah's missiles and launchers. I know Bush just pulls stuff out of his posterior, but the rationale for one week as opposed to one day, or two weeks or six months or one year, would probably keep late-night hosts in material for several weeks. And once again, why is the pressure being put on Israel? Why not a one-week deadline on Lebanon to get control of its own territory, or we will green-light Israel to do it for them?

2) Once again, why is Israel under international pressure and not Syria or Iran? Why are they given some sort of get-out-of-jail-free card? I don't get this. Of course, I don't get a lot of things.

3) Hezbollah wants a ground war. Israel, being very wise in my opinion, is steadfastly refusing to give them one (in spite of the alarmist headline on the linked article). Make no mistake, Israel would eventually prevail assuming they were allowed to do what was necessary, which would likely be a scorched-earth policy. But right now, they have the limited and very defensible objective of eliminating the missiles that the blue-helmeted pussies were supposed to keep out of south Lebanon in the first place. Occupying Lebanese territory is diplomatically tricky, even while being perfectly logical.

Well, that's enough "hate filled" ranting for one day.

Attention for Attention Seekers

This is hilarious, largely because it is so spot on. The western world has invested billions in the technology that makes the internet possible, and what is its primary usage? Shaved apes playing "me too!"

Tuesday, July 18, 2006


Hi Cyberworld! How is everyone out there?

This weekend went so-so. I was able to finish painting the closet in the master bedroom and start taping off the floor in the hallway to paint on the main floor. Ric and I went shopping Sat and got the paint to repaint the hallway white. This way whoever buys the house can chose their own colors. Easier to paint the hallway area back to white -- then to paint the whole other area the velvet beige that still isn't right! Finally found the hardware to go with the basement handrail -- so that is another project that needs to be done sometime. Ric and I did dinner then went to see the newest Pirates of the Caribbean. (Now we have to wait to see the third one!!!)

Sunday morning was not so good. I climbed up on some stacked wood in the garage to get some more chairs for a picnic we were having later and went BOOM! I'm still not sure if I stepped out of my sandal or misstepped or ..., but I fell off the wood and on the garage floor. I really hurt my ankle and right side -- knee/hip/arm. Somehow on the way down I got a long scratch on my back. Sunday I was in so much pain. I hobbled around most of the day. My ankle kept stiffening up -- I was almost ready to go get it xrayed. By Monday nite my ankle felt better, by this morning, the bruises are starting to come out!

Today I had a dentist appt (not my favorite activity) and then was suppose to have another counseling appt. Guess what?! She had to cancel, she was home sick with the flu. Maybe she and I just aren't suppose to be in counseling together?! She will have to call my back to see if she can find a 6p or after appt for me in the next week and a half -- her secretary didn't see anything that late.

After finished at the dentist and half my mouth still numb, I headed to TC to go shopping. I still can't find what I am looking for at any of the stores up here. I'm hoping when I'm down at my Mom's in August I can find some things in BR or Flint. I did find a couple things on sale, but not what I was looking for. I took in another movie .. Lake House .. it was a good chick flick.

Got a call yesterday that I need to go back in the end of this month to have my boobs squished again. They, of course, won't say if they saw something, or it just didn't turn out. All they told me is this is not unusual to have to come back for more. I will keep you posted how it goes, they are suppose to keep me there and read them and tell me the results that day.

Good few days with book sales. Check out our link at the side if you haven't. Most books are 75cents each -- hardcover and paperbacks! I have a order from one person for 7 books. Thanks for the multiple orders ... you save on shipping that way and it gets rid of books faster for us.

I will be heading to Miami in August for a Carnival Executive FAM trip. I will be doing a few ship inspections and sales seminars. This is another step towards my ACC (Accredited Cruise Counselor) status. I still have about 5 cruises to book by the end of November and some classes to do and I'll be done. (Anybody want to book a cruise?!)

Some bloggers!

I really don't believe the anonymous blogger that left a message earlier. Why would you bother to hit the next blog to read somebody's blog and than leave a nasty comment anonymously? If you don't like what you read ... don't continue to read this and go on to the next blog! If you have something to say ... sign your name and where you are from! Don't hide under the anonymous name.

More on WWIII

Seeing as I am a member of a hate-filled family and to be pitied, I thought I would allow others to speak on the preliminaries to World War III:

From Kip Esquire:

Perhaps He Meant "Shi'ite"?
On the Israel-Lebanon Conflict

And the view from Jerry Pournelle, always worth listening to.

Now excuse me while I will go join my family and get busy hating everyone.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

I'm Melting! I'm Melting!

Almost hit 100 degrees today. We did a family cookout for lunch (because the house was already 90 degrees, so we were not turning on the oven), and take-out pizza for dinner. I have consumed a gallon and a half of ice tea and am brewing up the next half-gallon as I type this. Tomorrow looks to be more of the same.

I call it conditioning for Arizona.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Middle East War

Some random thoughts on the current Middle East war:

1. It's has been 30 years since the Jews taught the Arabs who is boss. I don't expect Israel to stop until they have exacted the full measure of revenge. The Jews care not one whit what the cheese-eating surrender monkeys think, or what the wine-guzzling surrender monkeys think, or what the castrated bears think, or what the leaders of the country whose very name is synonymous with "queers" thinks. For thirty years they have put up with Arab cowards raking their children's' school buses with gun fire, blowing up pizzerias, and firing rockets into Jewish cities, all with the full acquiescence of the international "community" including the United States (who, you will recall, refused to allow Jews fleeing Nazi Germany admittance to these united states, thus aiding and abetting Hitler's attempt to exterminate all Jews; oh yes, Jews are, like the Kurds and others foolish enough to believe and act upon our promises, fully aware of what kind of "friend" the United States is). I expect to see Israel in control of large chunks of real estate when this is over.

2. Israel has a right to exist as a viable sovereign entity if for no other reason than the right of conquest. You take that away, and the existence of every political entity on earth is suspect. Indeed, the very existence of the human race becomes suspect, at least in Europe where Homo Sapiens Sapiens' genocidal campaign lead to the extinction of Homo Neanderthalis. Given that not one single human isn't where they are due to displacing someone else, just how far are the liberal yapping dogs willing to take a "right to return"? Why do I think that the line will be somewhere just shy of the point it begins to personally affect them? Israel has a right to exist. Israel has a right to do whatever is necessary to secure a place to exist in, including the outright massacre of "civilians." Given that there doesn't seem to be any such thing as a "rational Arab", the Jews are fully justified in their actions.

3. The news media seems to take great delight in recounting every Arab "civilian" death, yet never speaks in such shocked tones about the hundreds of rockets that continue to rain down on Jewish cities. The rockets are not targeting military installations, Jewish leaders, munition depots, or even infrastructure. Yet the international "community" says nothing. But the quee... uh, I mean Greeks think Israel's response is "excessive."

4. Don't forget about Iran and their nuclear ambitions. I guarantee Israel hasn't. If you need reminding, this was Israel's response the last time the sand niggers tried to build a nuke.

5. Don't forget that Israel has its own nukes. If the Western nations abandon Israel, expect to see Mecca turned into radioactive glass. I don't know how many nukes Israel has, but personally, if the UN (meaning the United States) won't allow Israel to have defensible borders, a mote of radioactive glass would make a decent substitute. Ask yourself; when is a wild animal at its most dangerous? If we truly don't want to see mushroom clouds over every major Arab city (and personally, I could live with that: I am as tired of the sand niggers in the middle east as I am of the other variety that inhabit our inner cities) then maybe the Western world should shift some of its political weight off of Israel's back and on to the Arab world. If Americans have become so historically illiterate that we don't know how to do that (and given our pathetic performance in Iraq, that "If" is completely rhetorical), I'm sure there are those in Britain that remember how India was transformed from literal savagery into a modern nation. I refer you once again to Rudyard Kipling. To be effective, an animal trainer must learn to "speak their language." Never mistake a middle-east Arab for a human; they are animals in need of training and we need to start speaking their language.

OK. Is there any ethnic or national groups that I haven't insulted and pissed off? If you feel left out, please feel free to leave a comment and I'll rectify the situation immediately.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Panic Attacks

I found this on another website when I googled depression. Just some FYI.

"Panic disorder often coexists with other disorders, especially depression and substance abuse. About 30% of people with panic disorder abuse alcohol and 17% abuse drugs, such as cocaine and marijuana. Resorting to drugs is an unsuccessful attempt to reduce the distress caused by their condition.

The exact causes of panic disorder are unknown, but heredity and stressful life events are likely to play an important role."

I know I've had panic attacks before ... mine were caused by "restrictive clothing" combined with a seatbelt...most of the time in a car, a couple times on a plane. Ric understands in the car when I start stripping, but other people really don't LOL. Usually if I can get my mind off the "feeling" I can calm back down ... I usually need somebody to just talk to me and try to focus my mind on something else. If you (you know who I'm talking to now) needs help, just call. I'll talk to you or drive over to be with you. Whatever I can do to help, I want to!

I'm feeling funky again tonite. I have to get out and do something. I tried Ric's cell and he didn't answer. The downpour has stopped, but it is SO muggy out. I don't want to try a bike ride, I'll probably be gasping for breath by the first hill.
Maybe I'll just drive to Mancelona and visit the DQ! That sound good ... more later

Take Down

Dr. Dino has run out of luck. Everyone from the local sheriffs department to the IRS have grown tired of his belief that the laws that govern everyone else somehow don't apply to him. I'm sure we'll see every church in America denouncing his unbiblical actions over the last 17 years. Totally confident. Any minute now.

Any minute....

Private Enterprise in Space

Everyone said Bigelow was nuts. Having had personal contact with him, I wasn't completely convinced they were wrong. But he did it. Within a couple decades, expect a Budget Suites in low earth orbit.


Just got a call from our realtor. We thought we had somebody really interested in our place. He emailed over a dozen questions Ric had to answer and then finally looked through the house yesterday. He decided not to make an offer. His reasons he gave: 1) furthur away from his place in Detroit area than the others he is looking at 2) too much work to be done to finish up 3) doesn't like the solar/electric -- doesn't trust it? 4) didn't like the oil/gas drilling rights -- even after explained we have two already and won't get anymore drilled. Darn. Come on all you rich downstaters ... come on up and look .. make us an offer ... lots of land (100 acres - if you want it all), lots of deer for you hunters, lots of trees, and lots of quiet!

Another disappointment from first thing this morning. I drove all the way into TC for an appointment that nobody was at the office. This was a reschedule from the last appt she messed up and didn't put in her book. Luckily that day I had called earlier in day to verify what time that night the appt was....otherwise that would have been another wasted drive to TC. 45minute drive, gas, my time ... how much is that worth?

Thursday, July 13, 2006


Well...I had the priviledge today of having my first mammogram. It actually wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. I agree with one ladies perspective ... rather have a mammogram than go to the dentist. I totally agree with that! I hate going to the dentist. Maybe I hate it since I have so many fillings and caps. (Remember to harvest the gold caps and fillings once I'm dead!)

I finally got my Doctor to do two things I've been asking about almost since I moved up here. I got him to order an EKG finally. Heart problems run on both sides of my family and it was suggested when my Dad died that us kids all get "base line EKGs" at that time. Of course, being the young stupid kids we were, I think we all blew it off. The second thing I got him to do was give me something to try for my restless leg syndrome. I want to do some research on it first, but willing to try it. Taking aspirin almost every night is bothering my stomach and starting to take more and more aspirin more often to help. Does anybody out there have any suggestions about restless leg syndrome? Before this time, the only things the doctors would tell me (besides it was all in my head) was to lose weight. This Dr today did tell me the same thing again! He didn't even congratulate me on losing the 30+ pounds I've lost so far....nice guy. Just said the RLS, acid reflux, stress, and depression could be solved by my losing weight! I am so tired of hearing this. Don't ASSUME all my problems are because of my weight. Yeah, some of it could be, but not all of it and not the only reason.

Traverse City's second annual film festival looks like it is off with a BIG BANG! Tickets went on sale July 7th. By the time we looked at things online Monday alot of shows were already sold out. The other bummer for me is I will be on a trip to Miami for the last weekend of the film festival. We are going to try to squeeze in one of the free "open space" movies in before I head out. I think it will be neat to sit outside and watch a movie.

Next week Ric and I hope to go see a Traverse City Beach Bums baseball game. I think I want to go on Friday night when I've heard they have fireworks after the game. I've never been to a minor league baseball game ... it should be fun.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Marriage Reno Style

Over the weekend, Scott Adams attended the perfect "guy wedding." I would love to see a study on the longevity of Reno weddings vs. "traditional" weddings. There would have to be some way of filtering out couples that are clearly inebriated to the point that they will have no recollection of getting married the next morning on the Reno side, and shotgun weddings on the "traditional" side, but I don't think that would be too difficult. Someone has to have done a study like this. I'm striking out on Google, but that may be a function of not using the right combination of terms.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Bob Seger

Everyone keep your eyes and ears open ... the rumor is Bob will be touring again. If you want to hear his radio interview from this week go to: and click on the Radio interview on 6/21/06 .. it will take you to a page that you can listen to that day or the July interview. Possibly in Sep or Oct for the tour!

Let me know as soon as anyone hears anything definite. I want to get tickets! I"m hoping it is before mid October so it doesn't mess with our vacation and moving plans.

More news

Thank you to all my family and friends that care about me. I know what was written in the comments was your concern for me. I know it angered you to think I was thinking about suicide because of Ric. I AM DOING BETTER! The reason I went off the deep end was I had a chance to read some old stuff that brought up the mess again in a bad way. It felt like it was happening all over again and made me question what was really happening now. The things I read really hurt me and I hurt all over again with my heart breaking once again. (It was my choice to read it, knowing it was "old" thoughts/feelings/happenings.) I will be okay and thanks for the offers of places to go to try to get my head on straight and figure out what I want.

I do truly want to make my marriage work. I want it to be better than it has been in the past. We ARE working on it slowly. Like I was told, it didn't fall apart overnite, and it won't be fixed overnite.

We will be pulling out of Michigan in mid October. I pray that the house is sold before that, but if it isn't, we will winterize it and tell the realtor to keep trying to sell it. We both registered for the 5Nov workshop at Arcosanti. It lasts for five weeks. Then we will try to get jobs onsite first. If neither of us can get something ... we will wing it.

Saturday, July 08, 2006


I am grateful for my Mom. Tonite I had to call her to just talk before I did something stupid to myself. I was starting to go crazy with thoughts of just ending it all. Between talking with my Mom and getting an email from a friend (yes, you Melissa!) I'm doing better. I am still wondering what to do with my life.

I am so tired. Tired of myself, the masks I wear, the spineless person I am, the low self esteem, the extremely jealous wife I usually am. I need help and the counselor I"m seeing doesn't seem to be helping me in the way I need. Again .. spineless person that I am .. can't say .. forget the marriage problems and lets work on ME! I WANT TO BE FIXED! With one mask I have on, I don't feel comfortable trying to tell what I really think/feel to one of my friends. I have so few friends, that I don't want to lose who I have. They are accepting me with my masks on -- even if one close friend is constantly chipping away at it. Sorry, I can't let it all go.

I am tired of the lies. The lies to me, the lies I tell, the lie I'm living at the moment. How do I know what to believe anymore????? What you tell me or what you write? One minute this happened, the next it didn't. No wonder I don't know up from down anymore. I feel like I'm just drifting along right now ... waiting for the ax to fall ... or somebody to pick me up, hold me and tell me it will all work out.

I am tired of not being strong enough to look inward and see what I FEEL. I've blocked my feelings for so long. I don't know how to be happy. What is happy? Why won't the person that is suppose to be the closest to me understand that I need help to overcome things that happened earlier in my life that may be the key to why I am the way I am. Like my counselor said, I try to be the quiet person, don't get noticed, maybe people will let me stay around them if I don't make any waves.

I'm tired of being locked inside of myself. I'm screaming to get out. I want to be HAPPY, I want a good life. I think I don't deserve to be happy. Why is that, you ask? I don't know ... I have refused to think about it and really decide why I believe that. I don't want to be the jealous b.... that my husband is tired of. I'm tired of that jealous person also. I hate her. I hate the destructive me. I'm tired of hurting the people that I love. I am sorry for all my family and friends that I've hurt with my words/actions. I don't mean it. I can't seem to help, but I want to stop and change. I need you to help me. Please?

I tired of not remembering everything. I know I block out alot of things. I've also heard or read that part of not remembering things is about having no emotions. I can believe that. I"m tired of someone not remembering the whole story...just the part they want to so they can justify what they are doing.

I am just so tired of everything tonite. I'm too chicken to end my life, but I certainly think about it. It would solve one or two of Ric's problems -- does he care? I think we are working towards a common goal -- I hope it is the same thing. I hope it is not all lies and another smokescreen.

Well...thanks for listening to my doom and gloom. Sorry if I hurt anybody with this, sorry if you don't want to be my friend anymore, I hope somebody understands this was a long time in coming. I still don't know what I really feel or want in everything. I still think I love you Ric, even with all that was done that hurt me.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Views of the Universe

A couple of illustrations that show the absurdity of our inflated sense of self-importance:

An Atlas of the Universe

The Size of our World

And I just realized that I have not posted anything to our Flickr account in months. I need to get on that this week.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Happy 4th of July

Monday, July 03, 2006


We would like to officially thank all those who gave up their hard-earned cash this weekend in exchange for junk from our storage room. If you missed out, don't despair! We will be selling more of our junk in the weeks and months to come as we continue our quest to eliminate the non-essential. If you are into efficiency, you can just send us money and we will throw a corresponding amount of junk into the landfill, thus bypassing several steps in the normal process.

(If no one has noticed, I'm not a big fan of garage and yard sales, although I have recently become a fan of the money I can part from various fools using the pretext of a yard sale.)

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

The Power of the Marginal

Paul Graham has an excellent essay on why innovation comes out of people's garages and basements rather than from corporate committees. I love this stuff:
A world with outsiders and insiders implies some kind of test for distinguishing between them. And the trouble with most tests for selecting elites is that there are two ways to pass them: to be good at what they try to measure, and to be good at hacking the test itself.

One way to tell whether a field has consistent standards is the overlap between the leading practitioners and the people who teach the subject in universities. At one end of the scale you have fields like math and physics.... At the bottom are business, literature, and the visual arts, where there's almost no overlap between the teachers and the leading practitioners. It's this end that gives rise to phrases like "those who can't do, teach."

It's kind of strange when you think about it, because lord-of-the-flies schools and bureaucratic companies are both the default. There are probably a lot of people who go from one to the other and never realize the whole world doesn't work this way.

The lives of the eminent become scheduled, and that's not good for thinking. One of the great advantages of being an outsider is long, uninterrupted blocks of time.

The very skill of insiders can be a weakness. Once someone is good at something, they tend to spend all their time doing that. This kind of focus is very valuable, actually. Much of the skill of experts is the ability to ignore false trails. But focus has drawbacks: you don't learn from other fields, and when a new approach arrives, you may be the last to notice.

As well as being more comfortable working on established lines, insiders generally have a vested interest in perpetuating them.

Responsibility is an occupational disease of eminence. In principle you could avoid it, just as in principle you could avoid getting fat as you get old, but few do. I sometimes suspect that responsibility is a trap and that the most virtuous route would be to shirk it, but regardless it's certainly constraining.

The word "try" is an especially valuable component. I disagree here with Yoda, who said there is no try. There is try. It implies there's no punishment if you fail. You're driven by curiosity instead of duty. Which means the wind of procrastination will be in your favor: instead of avoiding this work, this will be what you do as a way of avoiding other work.

But the best thing of all is when people call what you're doing inappropriate. I've been hearing this word all my life and I only recently realized that it is, in fact, the sound of the homing beacon. "Inappropriate" is the null criticism. It's merely the adjective form of "I don't like it."

Good stuff.

Recovering Our Stories

I just finished The Acts of Jesus: What Did Jesus Really Do? by Robert W. Funk and the Jesus Seminar. I think the final paragraph says it all:

Redeeming the myths

The Fellows of the Jesus Seminar are profoundly cognizant that human beings do not live by the bread of facts alone. We live by our stories - by our myths, which is only a fancy word for story - and these fictions are supposed to make sense out of a complex universe of meaning mixed with nonsense. Myths are not true or untrue; as one Fellow puts it, they are either living or dead. Literalism in biblical interpretation in tandem with scientism has helped strangle the myths of the Christian tradition. Historical criticism like that practiced by the Jesus Seminar is intended to release the gospel stories from their literalistic burden. Exposing them to historical assessment relocates them in the realm of story and myth, so they can recover their proper function. When we move them back within that perspective, perhaps new mythmakers and storytellers will once again find voice to celebrate the simple yet enduring story of Jesus of Nazareth.
The Fellows of the Jesus Seminar are, as one would expect, widely regarded in Christian circles as heretics. None have yet been burned at the stake, but it's not from want of desire on the part of evangelicals in particular. It's all about power, of course. Groups like the Jesus Seminar liberate believers from the institutional church, which, in the view of leaders of the institutional church, is a sin more serious than blasphemy.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Busy Time

Hey Cyberworld!

We have a busy weekend and will have a busy week getting for a busier weekend. This past weekend I drove down Sat am to meet my Mom and head to a bridal shower. Then Sunday met up with Ric and headed to Flint for a combined birthday party for his Mom and one of his Aunts. Got to see a lot of relatives/friends we haven't seen for awhile. (Of course, some of them we should see next month at the Vargason reunion)

This week we are trying to get organized for a yard sale we are having to start downsizing. No, we aren't having it here. I would hate to have to explain in a newspaper ad how to find our house! We are having it at Ric's sister's house in town. Much easier to find and right on the way to TC from the expressway. So...lots of fudgies can stop and buy our stuff! :-) Everyone is invited! We will have lots of books and videos and some furniture and other stuff. I may even have a set of Beach Boys tickets to sell at cost for August. I have two things scheduled ... the concert at Interlochen and a wedding in Breckenridge area. I don't think Ric and I can be in two places at one time. Oh was a good thought for an anniversary present. Sorry to spoil the surprise Ric!

Thanks for all the good thoughts, prayers and talks from family and friends. Ric and I are working on things and it looks promising ahead. We really need our house to sell and that would be a BIG obstacle out of our way. (anybody want to buy a house a couple miles past the middle of nowhere?! -- we just reduced the price) of my favorite songs lately...time to go sing...Live like you were dieing.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Global Warming?

Thanks to Al Gore, everyone is convinced the world is going to end in a couple years. First, take a deep breath and relax. Then read this.

Bottom line: yes the earth is getting warmer. No, human activity is not contributing to it in any substantial way. No, there isn't a lot we can do about it, and why would we want to? We just came out of a mini ice age. Do we really want more years without summer?

Global warming is about politics. Period. Never forget that.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

My Days Are Numbered

I just sent the following e-mail to my PHB:

After 7+ years at Munson Medical Center, I've decided it is time to move on. With everything in the queue, I wanted to give you as much notice as possible. My last day will be Friday, September 22, 2006 (end of pay period 20).

This decision should in no way be taken as dissatisfaction with the people I have had the privilege to work with and for while at Munson. It is simply a reflection of the fact that I have been in the IT field for 22 years, and it has become obvious to me over the last year that it is time to do something completely different. So my wife and I have decided that we will be relocating to Arcosanti ( in Mayer, Arizona to live and work.
There was more administrative blah blah blah, but this is the important part. We'll probably end up living in a cardboard box in some Phoenix ghetto, but at least it will be something different.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Fred's At It Again

Fred Reed once again demonstrates what a waste of time a college education is becoming. If your little tad wants to go into one of the hard sciences or math, go for it. If they want to pursue a degree in the social sciences or Diversity Studies, then you would be better off flushing $40,000 down the toilet.