Friday, July 30

Someday, I May Learn

I came home tonight. Late, sorta. I mean, I was before midnight, which is really good considering I was out drinking. And I didn't go out drinking, until I had accomplished what needed doing by me today.

I and my oldest son, Ralphd00d IV, were off late this afternoon to register him for junior high. Normal affair, they just don't do it until like starting 4pm. I think half of that is due to our AZ heat. Though today, it poured down some rain in the middle of it all. Too much too fast for the ground to soak in, so it all became like flood waters streaming from every drainage/wash/etc etc.

Anyways, we got him squared away with the fees all paid for his PE outfit, yearbook, and of course, school pics. He walked out with his schedule, and an ID card. Over the next few days I plan to spend some extra time with him explaining how Jr High is a bit different from grade school, aside from the regular differences he knows. When I brought up about PE class, he was a bit surprised about how you have to use locker rooms. He is a bit chubby like I was (though his is gonna be grown out of it in about 6 months I think) and is really self-conscious about it... I know I was at that age. I think some fatherly advice, about how to use that towel for the best snap, and how to dress in 3 seconds flat, are in order. If nothing else, teach him that duct tape only hurts when ripped off fast, but it is the best way to remove it. Oh yeah, and those other rules, like don't bend over to pick up the soap. We are giving him a soap on the rope, so he can hang it about his neck while in the shower.

Sounds bad, but c'mon guys! Y'all have been there. Some stories are worse than others, and we all remember stories we were told prior to being there. At that age level, endowment plays a big part of "masculine acceptance and dominance". Well, he don't need to be on the jock team.... in fact, I would rather he play for the underdog. He has a great sense of unrighteousness, and knows when someone is being treated unfairly and has mentioned this several times to us. I always tell him, "Well, what do you think the right thing for you to do in this situation is?" Don't always get the best answers, but it is a start as to how he is going to handle things.

So it is almost 1:30am here, and I should rattle off some ending to this. Got other websites to see since I am busy not joining the wife in bed. Seems we have had a bit of a disagreement this evening, and though I have apologized, for any way she could have misunderstood me, she still is not happy. If I had known this prior to leaving the bar, I would not have left. (sigh) Such is life.


Wednesday, July 28


It has been a pretty mellow week so far. It is Wednesday, and nothing much is planned. Tomorrow evening I take the oldest son to "register" (read pay them money) for Jr High. Includes picture fees, yearbook, gym clothes, etc. Plus he will get his schedule and find out if he got some of the extra classes he wanted (like Band).

Nothing exciting in the job market. No leads as of yet.

Thats it for today.


Tuesday, July 27

That Was Quick...

The weekend came and went so fast, I hadn't realized it had taken place until last night. I hate it when that happens!

So, nothing new and exciting. The three older kids have dentist appointments this morning (previously had been re-scheduled by the Dr. office due to a sudden death of the hygenist. I am thinking maybe afterwards we can grab a late breakfast, or early lunch.

Finally was able to get the camera from the Wife. Facebook will have quite a few of the pics up later today, so if you know me on there, find them. Otherwise, I am sure I will throw up what I think are some of the better ones up on here.

After I get back from the brunch, I think I may go looking for info from the ComicCon that just ended. I already caught a couple interesting pieces for some of the new movies coming out ("Cowboys & Aliens" to be more exact - with Harrison Ford). I also started up at and have been trying to set it up so I can catch the newest episodes of my TV programs, without having to wait for specific day/time.

Job search is back on since vacation is over. Been through the past three weeks worth of ads online and off. Still nothing. I actually called on one that was vague under General. Turns out it was yet another telemarketing place. I get so frustrated at times trying to find something I can do even part time without it being telemarketing. I would be happy even with part-time right now.

Come back tomorrow... I may have more drivel.


Wednesday, July 21

Getting Back in the Groove

Things have seemingly gotten back to normal already around here. Got the van out from the shop Monday evening. I was right, $1500 in cost. New AC compressor, serpentine belt, etc. They could find no leakage for the oil, or any explanation as to why. They asked that I bring it by every 2-3 days so they can check the fluid level and whatnot, to see if they can see any difference. Of course, the driving we do at home, is minuscule compared to 7 hours plus on the freeway we did on the trip.

Another week and I need to register the oldest son for Jr High. No idea what we do about the middle son and grade school. I think they send out some kind of contact, but I have not seen anything yet. Daughter will be going to UofA soon for a few days, then back here until like the 18th. She is excited about meeting her roomie. I guess the school gave them contact info for each other, so they have been emailing a little, telling each other about themselves, and planning together what they are bringing and can share, etc. Wife is back to work, and I am here trying to finish up some loose ends like getting the daughter insured, and her car switched over to her name as well. Need to start looking for some kind of work prolly next week. Not holding my breath though.

Guess that is it for now.


Monday, July 19

My Ruby Slippers Have Tap-Tap-Tapped

Saturday night we finally made it home from our trip. Barely. I'll explain more about that in a minute... We all had a great time visiting family/friends while back in the IN/MI area, and the kids got to do some things they never have before. Lots of pictures were taken, and I don't know when I will get around to posting them. I still need to get them off the camera, and I just don't see that happening today. Today I am busy trying to get the van to the garage and taking the kids to dental checkups. Yeehaw.

So why would I need to take the van to the shop? Especially after the previous visits and money spent earlier this year? I wish I didn't.

We started out our trip from Phoenix and drove straight through to Amarillo, TX the first day. I was a bit tired, so we checked into the hotel, then decided to find somewhere to eat. It was about 10:30pm TX time. After driving around for about 15 minutes, with no luck finding somewhere open, all of the sudden, the power goes out on the van, and I am unable to start it up. After a few minutes I am able to get it started and back to the hotel minus lights and other power items. The front desk had no clue where any auto stores were, and luckily the daughter brought her laptop so we could google Autozone.

The next morning, Sunday, July 4th, I was apprehensive. I did call the Autozone and they were open!! We were able to get the van started and drove the couple miles to the store. There we have the battery and altenator tested. Battery had low charge. Altenator was not charging battery. They were great in trying to help find a garage to get it fixed, but NO place was open that day. We ended up staying an extra day in Amarillo, til Monday then got the altenator replaced, plus the belt tensioner. Garage fees of a bit over $500.

Trip continued as we had decided to drive the remainder to Indianapoils "straight through". About St Louis, I was hearing an awful rattling from the engine. Turns out there was no oil, though I had just had an oil change done on Wednesday. Two quarts were added - rattling stopped.

We visited a couple days in Indy area, and a friend of the Wife's in Martinsville. Then headed north to Frankfort. There we spent the night and visited with my sister and step mom. Had a real nice downpour, so strong, we couldn't see across the street. The kids were like "Whoa! Never seen rain like this!" I laughed. Next day we headed on up to Elkhart for the weekend.

Saturday was our reunion and it was fun. That night, my Grandpa (84 yrs old) went into the ER. For a week prior he had been having bad bowel movements. Well, the van starting having issues starting up again. We made it over from the hotel to my grandparents place. There my uncle and I did what we could to determine the prob. Cleaned the terminals, found no loose wires/connections. Oil was low again, so 2 more quarts added. Figured the corrosion on terminals was it, and would charge on our drive north. So we went on to visit Grandpa at the hospital prior to heading to MI. He was released later that day. Turns out he had some dehydration and a stomach bug they prescribed meds for.

Reached MI and immediately tried to start the van again. The starting problem was worse. My friend knew a garage nearby and we took it in the next morning. Turns out now the battery was bad, and wasn't taking the charge form the new altenator. Another $100 for a battery. While there we did Lake Michigan and the kids loved it! As we readied for the trip home, another quart of oil was added.

Wednesday we started home. First night in St Louis, on the northside of town (270 bypass). Added another quart of oil in the morning. We headed on to Bunceton, MO, where another friend of the wife lives and stayed the night at her place. The next night was we made it to Tucumcari, NM, before stopping. Saturday, we started out knowing we would make it home that day.

By Albequerque, the AC had quit working in the van. When we reached Grants, NM, we heard a rattling/scraping sound, which I realized was the AC compressor pulley wheel starting to go. Not knowing what else to do, we decided to push on and get as close to home as we could before this part would freeze up and snap the belt. By Flagstaff (our last fuel up) the noise is horrible, but I know we got 2 hours to Phx so press on.

RM's prayers for our safe trip is one of the things I am beginning to think that got us home. As I am criusing I-17 into Phoenix, I go to get off at our exit, and stop at the light to turn left. Light turns green, I go to turn left, and realize the steering wheel is not moving. The Power Steering had just gone out! With a mighty heave I got thru the turn. We dropped the daughter off (meaning, we slowed down enough for her to jump out) at my in-laws so she could get the extra car, and drove the 6 blocks on home. As I put it in park and shut the engine off, you could hear a rush of fluid draining. Sure enough, there was a good gallon or so of fluid running from under the engine. It is like 8pm, and I am not looking at the damage until Sunday. We unload and head to bed.

Sunday. Sis and BIL come over and we pop the hood. The serpentine belt had snapped (evidently just as we exited freeway) so explained PS loss. Fluid is probably radiator due to hot engine and the belt not working the waterpump. AC compressor is frozen up. We put about 11 quarts of oil in the damn engine over the whole trip. So I get to contact the garage about all of that. I am thinking $1500 for repairs easily. Not happy about that at all.... and not knowing how we burnt thru all that oil... with no leaking.

We did break 100,000 miles on the trip though!

Ok, more later. The shop is now open and I need to call them.


Friday, July 2

It Never Fails ....

Here it is, the eve before leaving on a two week road trip. The Wife had to work late due to getting things squared away prior to leaving on vacation. She's a physical therapist so it is kind of important. So, now getting final packing done (her, kids, miscellaneous extras, etc) is delayed. To top that off the youngest (4 years old) has been running a temperature all day, so Grandma has been giving him Children's Motrin (or equivalent). Worse, as of the Wife finally being able to leave work (3 hours later than normal) his temp has risen to 102.9 and parental worry has set in, since we are leaving tomorrow.

Okay, the ER is basically going to prescribe the same care he has had all day, but would be able to detect if it is due to an ear infection or another cause. We usually go to an UrgentCare facility near us, but they had closed at 8pm. The Wife remembered a nighttime pediatric care place, and I did the quick internet search to find a location. Currently she is there getting him checked, and I am waiting to hear.

She did drop off the older boys so I could at least get them packed. They now have clothes packed and ready minus the bathroom necessities. Backpacks are packed with books, DVDs, some small toys and puzzle books. One Gameboy is on the charger, and the other will be on before the night is gone. I am pretty much packed as well - have been for a couple days now.

The daughter is at some pool party at a friends, and I expected her home before now. It is almost an hour after the time she said it ended. She says she is packed minus her bathroom stuff.

So now it sit and wait for the Wife, then wait for her to pack her and the youngest's stuff. I would help, but I can't match clothing good, and she probably has ideas what she wants him to wear anyways.

I am just hoping he has some small bug that flared his temp up and it is not something we need to get extra meds for to help. Ear infection on a road trip does not sound like fun to me.

Hoping to hit the road by 8am tomorrow. Don't know if that will happen or not. In the meantime, have a nice two weeks!


Last Post For ... I dunno, maybe a couple days

I loved it. The RM commented on the last post I threw up this afternoon. My bro, Stuman, and his family is out of town for the 4th, and we are leaving. RM has posted her need to spend time with grandchildren, and that leaves Sis' kids. I hope RM spoils them. I wouldn't want that with my kids, ya know I don't condone that sort of thing. But then, ya know I lie a lot, too. Hell. Deal with it.

I had a big surprise today. It's Thursday. In Prep for our big trip, I was trying to nail down the last things needed today. I took the wife to work, so I could take the minivan into the garage. I had the oil change done. Check the air filter, replace as needed, check the transmission fluid, power steering. Top off, or advise as needed.

I got a bill for $35 for the oil change, air filter needed no replacement. Power steering, and Transmission fluids were fine. They did recommend that the front 2 tires were looking a bit worn on tread (knowing I was going on a trip). I said thank you! Paid the bill and left.

I went shopping after that. Nothing like a fat guy, who has problems walking without a cane, cruising thru Wal-Mart. Geez, who ain't seen photos of people we don't wanna meet there. I almost felt like one.

I got me a new hat. New T-shirt (though RM would not approve, but she weren't shopping with me), and a couple books my oldest been looking for, a new one for me ("The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo" heard it is really good the 3, now going on 4 book series, movie made in them Norway-ish countries.... Heck, the author is from there, glad they made the first 3 in English too).

Hmph. Either way, I helped prep for the trip, in my own way.

I ended up getting 2 new tires, too. Ran through Discount tire. Had them check all the wheels. The back ones they said were fine, and I had the double check pressure on them, as well as the spare. All is good they said.

The daughter has a computer, the only one going along on our trip. It has what they call WI-FI capability. And if it does, I may post another post. Or, I may only get to check my mail, or less than that. It is the DAUGHTER'S computer, and she may not share with myself, or her mother, who needs to put her fishies in Fishworld on hibernation. That part, about her mother, was strictly nothing more than my own opinion. Truly.

But all you don't care. It's all about... what can I bring you.

Tell you what. SLAM me with comments, as to what you wanna see, whilst I am upon my holiday, include your email, for, maybe, those more humane, may not want to see that, though I am not committing to anything yet...... Surprise me.

My biggest regret.... I admit this honestly. This is the first time, that time is available to me, to meet the one blogger I most want to meet (hint: Hoosierboy) but due to my Wife's machinations (read: desires, wants, and her friends are more important than my online ones) I can't drive the small distance South outta my route, to have a beer/lunch at a neutral place. That just bites me in the ass. Ya know what, F that. HB, I am sending a personal note, maybe I can still make it work.

Kees, man, outta country is just too far for me. But I still love ya!


Thursday, July 1

Catching Up

Yeah, that getting up at 5am today is starting to really catch up with me. I am tired, but still got more stuff to do. No rest for my wickedness, I suppose.

Picked the boys up, and one is getting ready for the computer, the other is hunting for his Gameboy he misplaced somewhere, and some books/puzzles to bring on the trip. Told them both I need that stuff tonight so they only have to worry about clothes to pack tomorrow.

Did some van stuff. Got the oil changed, topped off the power steering and transmission. Air filter was good, so need not replace. Took it in and got the front tires replaced as well, as they were starting to look pretty worn out. The back ones we had done a year ago, and they said still looked good. Had them check pressure on all and the spare to be sure was good.

I got me a couple new pairs of jean shorts, suspenders, hat, some boxers, and a couple misc stuff for the trip (disposable daily little toothbrushes, notebook, puzzlebooks for kids, etc). I found a couple books in the Percy Jackson series the oldest son is reading and got them for him.

Thats it for now. Family Meeting tonight about the trip, what's expected for behaviour, etc etc.


(Yawn!) Another early day

Welcome to my early Thursday, where it is one of those days that I beat the sun up. Lately, the wind has been blowing here, and aggravating my allergies bad enough I actually will take a pill or two to help out. Only problem is the pills make me sleepy, so I catch a nap during the day. Which of course, makes it harder for me to sleep through the night. Sometimes I feel I just can't win.

Two days until we leave for a trip. Today I am taking our van in for an oil change and new air filter. Have them check the transmission fluid and top it off if necessary. The younger son will get his last turn at WoW before we leave. I also get to go shopping for some sandals, or some kind of slip-on shoe for me.

The boys have been enjoying a "water week" event at the church this week. for a few hours each day, they attend some water event at the church to cool off in the summer. The daughter did a trip to Tucson yesterday to turn in some thing - I never understand what is going on. No one tells me until after the fact it seems. She is due back up in town today.

That's all for now. I might be able to get a rant in tomorrow before we leave. Who knows.