Friday, March 30, 2007

It's Gonna Get Ugly

The DTs are going to start soon, I just know it.

I came home the other evening, walked into the office, and there, on the computer, was...not much. It was worse than the dreaded blue screen. It was the greenish black screen, with the old DOS-type writing that simply said, "Disk read error. Press CTRL + ALT + DEL to restart." So I did. Came back to the same screen.

About that time, MFS walks in and said, "I tried that." So I turned the computer off. He said, "I tried that, too." Sure enough, when I turned it back on, same screen. We trying unplugging it. Same screen. It wouldn't even start in Safe mode.

MFS called his computer expert friend, who said it would be best to have someone look at it. But not him, he didn't think he could help with this one.

So I took it in to the shop. The guy made one of those "You Are So Screwed" faces when I told him what the computer was doing. I was supposed to get a call with the diagnosis and estimate yesterday or today, and I haven't heard anything yet.

MFS is letting me use his laptop, but he heads back to college (was home for Spring Break this week) Sunday.

I think I'm going to cry.

And I don't think my drugs are strong enough to handle this.

I'm either going to start talking to myselves, or I'll have to go shopping and spend some money.

Eeny, meeny...


Wednesday, March 28, 2007


Once in a blue moon, I receive an email from someone other than my favorite CWO. Here’s one from a friend in Colorado:

An airplane was about to crash; there were 5 passengers on board, but only 4 parachutes.

The first passenger said, "I am Kobe Bryant, the best NBA basketball player; the Lakers need me, I can't afford to die." So he took the first pack and left the plane.

The second passenger, Hillary Clinton, said, "I am the wife of the former U.S. President, a Senator from New York, and a potential future president. I am the smartest woman in American history, so America’s people don't want me to die." She took the second pack and jumped out of the plane.

The third passenger, John Kerry, said, "I'm the Senator from the great state of Massachusetts. I was my party’s last nominee for President.” So he grabbed the pack next to him and jumped.

The fourth passenger, President George W. Bush, said to the fifth passenger, a 10-year-old schoolgirl, "I have lived a full life, and served my country well, I will sacrifice my life and let you have the last parachute."

The girl said, "That's okay, there’s a parachute left for you. America’s smartest woman took my schoolbag.”


Monday, March 26, 2007

I Demand a Recount

It really irritates me to hear the Democrats talking about the mandate they received from voters last November. MY voting machine didn’t have the “Press Here To Send Mandate To Your Elected Official” option button. Did yours? Then how do I know my vote even COUNTED? There were a lot of people at my polling place, so how many other votes were missed? Aren’t they supposed to check the machines and make sure they’re fully functional?

What a bunch of hogwash. They aren’t mind readers. They can’t possibly know that everyone who voted for them did so because they wanted an immediate end to the war, consequences be damned. That would be like saying everyone who voted for a Republican did so because they like war and want it to keep on going with no end in sight.

Give me a break.


Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Immigrant vs. Squatter

immigrate. (n.d.). Unabridged (v 1.1)
to come to a country of which one is not a native, usually for permanent residence.

squat. (n.d.). Unabridged (v 1.1)
to settle on or occupy property, esp. otherwise unoccupied property, without any title, right, or payment of rent.

I believe that if you’re going to move here and set up shop keeping, especially with the idea of never voluntarily returning to your country of origin, whether you plan on becoming a citizen of this country or not, you should do it legally. If we have a problem with illegal immigration, yet we need illegal immigrants, change the laws to make it easier from this day forward to immigrate. Don’t change the law to make illegal immigrants magically legal. Don’t reward breaking the law.

As a Catholic, that’s not the way I’m supposed to think. However, for some reason, I can’t help but think as a responsible parent. I lay down the law to my kids, and I expect them to obey. I’m open to revising some of my rules, but that doesn’t mean the original rules are thrown out the window during negotiations. Ignoring the current rules, in fact, would tend to make me a little less flexible (I think it’s that stubborn Belgian again).

So, if you come to this country with the idea of staying, yet you don’t do it legally, doesn’t that make you a squatter?

I ask this because we have recently seen signs of a squatter on our land, and now I have the pictures to prove it. I just cannot believe the sheer gall of some…creatures (I’m certainly not going to call it human). Cutting down our wood. Building a home on our property. Didn’t even ask our permission. Of all the nerve!

I’m not going to argue, though. Look at the size of this thing:

You probably can’t tell from the pictures, but the tail is wrapped around like a cat does, and it’s as long as the body. I don’t want to get smacked around by that thing. And this isn’t a busy beaver, either. I don’t think he does much but chow down on the fish and lounge in the sun. I swear it’s getting bigger by the day. Maybe he’s a she that’s gonna be a we.


Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Customer Service

MFD and I stopped by A Fancy Burger Joint for an early dinner one day last week. The daily specials were written on a dry erase board and included a soup and salad combo. One of the soups offered was Potato Soup. I love Potato Soup. So I ordered the soup and salad with Potato Soup. I’m not quite sure how, but the Female Employee got a little confused with my order. She eventually seemed to have the correct order, MFD ordered a burger and fries, and I paid for our meal.

We got our drinks and sat down at a booth, and soon FE arrived with our order—or part of it, anyway. She handed MFD her meal, then my salad and dressing. Then she asked if there was anything else she could get for us. Before I could say anything, she said, “Oh, your soup.” Yes, thank you, that would be nice.

Several minutes later she came back with the soup and the comment that “they said it hadn’t been ordered.” Silly me decided to look at the order slip, and sure enough, it HADN’T been ordered. Or paid for.

I looked back at the counter and there were a few people in line, so I waited a little bit. A second employee, with “Bubba” embroidered on his shirt, was finishing up with a customer, so I got up from our booth. “Bubba” had picked up an order to deliver by the time I got to the counter, so I was left behind a family with several children that FE was waiting on.

A few minutes later, another “gentleman” got in line behind me, then when “Bubba” came back, he moved up to the counter to order. I patiently wait behind the family. FE finished with the family before “Bubba,” but just barely. I walked up to FE, handed her the order slip and my credit card, and showed her that the Potato Soup she brought me hadn’t been ordered or paid for. Again with the confusion, until “Bubba” walked behind her and explained that “I think she wants to pay for the soup.” Yes, thank you, score another point for A Fancy Burger Joint.

As I am paying for the soup, FE tells the crew behind her not to fill the soup order on Number 365. “Bubba” is filling drive-through orders, and he reiterates not to fill the soup order.

A while later, Third Employee comes out to the dining area with a tray, looking lost, checking at tables for someone that ordered soup. I asked her if it was Potato Soup for Order Number 365. She said yes, so I told her it was probably my soup that I had received earlier, and they had been told not to fill that order. Then she offered us the soup, saying it would just be thrown out anyway.

[sigh] I’m so glad I went through all the trouble of paying for nothing.

As I told the Store Manager in my letter, that bowl of soup cost me $1.71. It caused confusion for several employees. SM still lost the price of that second bowl of soup that wasn’t paid for. AND, SM lost my business.

That bowl of soup cost more than it was worth. When I went up to pay, any decent manager would have said, “That’s ok, don’t worry about it. The soup’s on us.” (Baby Sister, who is a McDonald’s Store Manager, said that’s exactly what she would have done.)

I could have saved everyone a lot of trouble by ignoring the fact that I had received something for which I hadn’t paid, since it more than likely would have gone unnoticed. Except the employees wouldn’t have seen that there ARE still honest people out there, and I wouldn’t have set a good example for and received a high five from MFD because I did the right thing and paid.

I told SM that maybe next time, the employees would have been taught to reward such conscientious customers by thanking them and telling them they didn’t have to pay—especially since it was the employee’s mistake to begin with, for not charging correctly.


Saturday, March 17, 2007

Happy St. Patrick’s Day, I’m Back—Sort Of, and Look What You Made Me Do

No, that is not make-up, although our waitress yesterday did tell me it was the prettiest black eye she ever saw. Too bad I don’t have that shade of purple for the other eye.

No, I was in such a rush to get back to my poor, loyal...abandoned…readers.

Actually, I was impatient. I know, I know. I’m supposed to have the patience of a saint. Well, not Tuesday.

Hubby was going out of town, and I was bound and determined to spend the first night in the new house with the bed all to myself. And I did, by golly. Except for Miss Ellie. She was one happy little Sheltie, getting to sleep with Mama.

So, we have a Sleep Number bed. Air. No big deal, right? Air isn’t heavy. I got the mattress downstairs and loaded on the truck. I got the plastic foundation downstairs and loaded on the truck. I got the metal bed frame downstairs.

Now the metal bed frame was just a tad heavier than the rest of the bed. But it’s only a few rails hooked together. And why unhook everything just to hook it back up a few minutes later? Except that it disagreed, and as I took a minute to catch my breath at the bottom of the stairs, it chose to disassemble itself right before my very eyes and come crashing down on me. Kind of like MattG’s coffee pot that jumped off the top of the microwave and on to the floor.

I’ve seen things like this happen before, and it’s never a pretty sight. You wouldn’t believe some of the stories I’d hear in the emergency room (I swear, Nurse Flo, it was like the knife had a mind of it’s own and sliced my finger right off). I didn’t, either. I’m a believer now, though. Knives, coffee pots, bed frames. It’s a dangerous world out there, folks. You never know when it’s going to be your turn.

And WHERE was Mr. Abandoned Ambulance Driver in my time of need? Gallivanting around Boston, wasn’t it?

So I had to settle for Hubby, Mr. “I think you better sit down while I stitch up your son’s head because you’re turning green.” I managed to get the bleeding stopped, took Tylenol, and was icing down the ping pong ball sized lump on the side of my head by the time he got home.

But I’m ok. I survived. And MFD and I had the new house to ourselves that night.

Hopefully, the luck o’ the Irish will be on my side for the rest of the ordeal.


Sunday, March 11, 2007

We Interrupt This Program...

…to bring you a special message. You might want to sit down, this is going to be difficult for some of you. Take a deep breath.

Ok. Ready?

I’m going to be gone for a while.

I’ve been out spending lots and lots of money for the house the last several days (I really would enjoy it a lot more if we actually had the money), so I’m behind in my reading and writing. Tomorrow the people that hook up TV and phone and other wires are supposed to be here to hook up the Internet connection and they need the little box. So I have to tear down my computer and equipment and move it.

Hopefully, it will all be hooked back up by tomorrow, but everything else will be half here and half there. I have a feeling I’m going to be rather disoriented for a while, and all my voices are going to be arguing back and forth until I get things semi-stabilized at the new house. It will take a while to catch up, but I’ll be back as soon as I can.

Take care.


Wednesday, March 07, 2007

TPTB and Manipulation

According to Google, my ad account doesn’t exist any more because of an unapproved application. Maybe you’re not supposed to say “DON’T click on this ad.” Just in case, I removed the post about You Know Who that I don’t like and don’t want to support. There was supposed to be an email sent with information about the unapproved application, but I didn’t get it. I’m checking and we’ll see what The Powers That Be have to say.

Hubby has decided to go into the dirt business. He has a rather large mound of dirt in the back 40 from when he and MFS dug the pond/lake. He’s been talking about this and talking about this and he wants to buy this and he wants to buy that. The buying involves a dump truck, something else for smaller loads, and an aerator or some such that fluffs the dirt up (I guess even dirt wants to look nice). They are all rather expensive, so I’ve just been nodding my head and saying “Sure, Dear. Whatever you want.” Kind of like I did when he wanted to get started on building the house.

He calls up this morning and says he’s sold several loads of dirt. Weeeelllllllllll, it’s going to be a tad difficult to deliver, seeing as how we don’t have the dump truck yet. So guess what he’s looking for?

Do you see what happened here? I do, although it’s taken me 20 years to figure it out. But I’ve got his number now.

When we moved back up here, we bought a 160-acre farm. Even before we got married, we talked about having a farm—with horses. When you live on a farm, of course you have to have a farm truck. And a tractor. And a baler, to bale up the hay that you sowed and cut with that other machine that cuts and crunches it up. And you have to rake hay, did you know that? And that takes a special machine, I think it’s called a … rake. With all that hay, you need something to eat it, and you can buy a lot more cows than horses for the same amount of money. Of course, when you buy cows, you have to give them all kinds of shots, and if they get pinkeye, they need antibiotics. The way to do all that is to build a pen (with supplies that you had to buy) in 24 hours, and bring them down the chute that leads to the headgate (that you had to buy) to hold their head while you administer whatever it is you have to administer (that you had to buy) with the special equipment (that you had to buy). Have you seen the size of needle and syringes they use on cows? And of course the vet had to come out (and you had to pay him) because you’ve never given a subconjuncitival injection before.

Talk about holy cow! I could go on and on with the expenses, but I think you get the picture. And it all just kind of happened. One of those deals that once you get started, you have to keep going.

Which is exactly what happened with the house. You see, we bought the land years ago. We wanted something smaller (land-wise) and closer to civilization (read: Wal-Mart). In the midst of building a driveway and digging a lake and having house plans drawn and pouring footings, Hubby gets deployed. Twice. He comes back and wants to build the dream house, the huge one that was designed when the kids were still going to be around for a while.

The next thing I know, we’re signing a contract with his buddy to be our builder, taking out a loan, and ordering materials. For the huge house that was designed when the kids were still going to be around for a while. The kids that have magically gotten older, and one is even off to college now.

I may have done some things differently, but I wouldn’t change living on the farm or the house we’re going to move into one of these days. However, I do believe I’m catching on to how all this evolves, and his little system isn’t going to work anymore. No more pacifying him, no more telling him what he wants to hear just to make him feel like he’s actually going to get what he wants.

I’m still waiting for my horses.

In the meantime, would any of you happen to know where he can get a good, used, dirt-cheap (pun intended) dump truck?


Monday, March 05, 2007

Angels Among Us

Every once in a while, my favorite CWO forwards something that touches my heart (as opposed to something that makes me want to wash his mouth out with soap). This is one.

Kids' view of angels:

I only know the names of two angels. Hark and Harold.
Gregory, 5

I hear angels all the time in my dreams. And I'm sticking with that no matter how many people tell me I'm crazy.
Molly, 8

Everybody’s got it all wrong. Angels don't wear halos anymore. I forget why but scientists are working on it.
Olive, 9

It's not easy to become an angel! First, you die. Then you go to heaven then there's still the flight training to go through. And then you got to agree to wear those angel clothes.
Matthew, 9

Angels work for God and watch over kids when God has to go do something else.
Mitchell, 7

My guardian angel helps me with math, but he's not much good for science.
Henry, 8

Angels don't eat but they drink milk from holy cows.
Jack, 6

Angels talk all the way while they're flying you up to heaven. The basic message is where you went wrong before you got dead.
Daniel, 9

When an angel gets mad, he takes a deep breath and counts to ten. And when he lets out his breath, somewhere there's a tornado.
Regan, 10

Angels have a lot to do and they keep very busy. If you lose a tooth, an angel comes in through your window and leaves money under your pillow. Then when it gets cold, angels go north for the winter.
Sara, 6

Angels live in cloud houses made by God and his son, who's a very good carpenter.
Jared, 8

All angels are girls because they gotta wear dresses and boys didn't go for it.
Antonia, 9

My angel is my grandma who died last year. She got a big head start on helping me while she was still down here on earth.
Katelyn , 9

Some of the angels are in charge of helping heal sick animals and pets. And if they don't make the animals get better, they help the kid get over it.
Vicki, 8

What I don't get about angels is why, when someone is in love, they shoot arrows at them.
Sarah, 7


Thursday, March 01, 2007

How I Get Gray Hair

So, did you hear the one about the college student distraught over his grades and claimed to have anthrax and had planted a bomb? Yep, sure did, right at MFS’s college.

I get a call from Lainy, asking how MFS is. I said, “I’m sure he’s absolutely fine as always, he never calls his mother, you know.” She said, “Seriously, is he ok?” I said, “What are you talking about?” She said, “You haven’t seen the news?” I said, “What, did they have more tornadoes or was there another fire?” (It’s been a rather interesting year for the school. Bad storms a while back with tornadoes, but the campus was fine. Not long ago a fire broke out in one of the dorms, the one MFS is in, but it was on the other side of the building and there wasn’t much damage. Of course, I hear about all of this after the fact, and not from MFS.)

So she proceeds to tell me about the student that said he had anthrax and was going to blow up an engineering building. Ok, well, it’s an engineering college, most of the buildings are engineering.

I go looking around the internet and find some information. Turns out it happened at 0230 and they believe the white powdery substance was powered sugar. Twenty three people were decontaminated just to be on the safe side. Bomb squads and even Homeland Security were called in. That also turned out to be a hoax.

The graduate student is in custody and “may” face charges. His name has not been released, although it has been said he is an international student.

Even Lovi called later, wanting to know if I had heard from MFS. Of course not. I ended up calling him later myself. “Gee Son, thanks for keeping your poor mother informed about what’s going on. It’s been on national news.” He said, “Really? I didn’t know that. It really wasn’t a big deal.” “Uh huh, and you didn’t call your mother because……it wasn’t a big deal? Or you were in isolation for exposure to anthrax?” “Well it happened two in the morning, I wasn’t anywhere around.” “I see. And a bomb couldn’t be set on a timer for when students were in the building? Do you have classes in that building?” “Yeah, that’s where I have calc every day.”

Lord, give me strength.