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)