Wednesday, August 31

Apprentice Project-Person

I give that title to myself. Yes, apprentice - not journeyman, not Master. I am only beginning. Or is that I am only at the beginning...?

Saturday morning, I spent a couple hours doing the door reversal on our fridge/freezer. Not only had I spent about 7 weeks or so, in ordering the "reverse kit" from Whirlpool, and having it delivered, but paying $11 for 4 little stickers, and a Whirlpool label.... I am not happy. Needless to say, that project was needed, and completed. Though, the rest of that day, and Sunday, I found muscles that evidently have not been participating in the exercising at the gym, as they were a bit sore. I am going to have to figure out how to fix that.

Last night, I spent a good hour plus putting in a new ceiling fan in our front room. We found a good deal on the proper size we needed at Lowes. I looked over the instructions, and it seemed fairly simple to install. What I didn't take into consideration when reading the instructions was the position I would be forced into the complete the installation. Standing on a step stool, reaching above my head, one hand on a part, the other balancing a screw on the tip of the screwdriver, trying to find the hole for it and hold the part in place. All with sweat dripping into my eyes and off of me.... Let's just say, I was not comfortable, not nice, and very hot. But it got down finally, and the resulting feel of air form the fan is wonderful!

So, two projects done in under 7 days. Sometimes, it is the small things that impress me the most. I feel so accomplished! I have a few other projects in mind - or non-normal things that I would like to get done around here. Mostly outside though. Today we have an 'Excessive Heat Advisory' as it is to be 111 today, and the mugginess just makes it miserable. No outside projects for a week or two at least. Hopefully by then it will have cooled off enough.....

Less than a week til my birtday, and I still have not made plans yet.... Can't decide what I want to do.....


Sunday, August 28

Feeling Muggy

One thing we don't associate with Arizona, especially the valley area where I live, is moisture. Right now the east coast of the US is dealing with Hurricane Irene, and in Phoenix, we are dealing with a tag-remnant of our regular monsoon season. Though, I will admit, it is feeling a bit worse than usual due to the higher range of temperatures we have been having the past week. I have been out here about 25 years, and you get somewhat adjusted to the weather patterns, and this week has been MUGGY for us. Granted we aren't having 100+ temps with 90+ humidity, but it is still uncomfortable.

We had a newer (for us) AC/Heater unit placed on the house a few years ago. Which was nice, as the AC was pretty much not working before. We had gone through previous summers with just the swamp cooler, and that was worthless during monsoons. This year, through one previous weekend with extremely record-high temps, I had to shut it down for a few hours, as it seemed to freeze up over-working. The past couple days I have tried that again, and it seems to help a bit, except the l;ate afternoon (now) when it is the hottest part of the day, and it just can't seem to get cool enough. I know 90% of it is the house is just too damn old. Needs new everything it seems.

So, I am off to take a nice shower, and see if that will help get rid of this feeling like I am soaked in ucky sweat. I know we are looking forward to going out to dinner tonight - someplace with cool air, and good food!


Wednesday, August 24

Mid-Week Blues

I been feeling a bit 'blah' this week. Not in the sense of being sick, but just ... indifferent? apathetic? bored? I don't know, but all of those, and none of them, sort of explain it. It hasn't been rainy (in AZ? you kidding?) so I know it is not the weather. Monday's weigh-in had me down 3 more pounds, so it's not that my exercise/diet are not working. Shrug. I have no clue.

My daughter is supposedly heading back to Tucson today. U of A started Monday, but I found out last week she was not attending there this year, and had transferred to a different school. I try not to pry into her school stuff, even if she is having issues. I have been trying to release that parental control and let her do things on her own, even if they are bad mistakes. The reason for a transfer was due to certain eligibilty requirements she wasn't/hasn't met to stay at UofA. I am proud she made a decision to at least transfer, instead of quitting altogether. Either way, today she should be finishing up taking things from her room her, and last night we started moving the oldest son into that room. It will be his first room to himself, and the youngest will move into the bunkbeds with the middle son.

School has been back in session for a couple of weeks now for the boys. The youngest seems to really enjoy Kindergarten. Heck, who wouldn't when you get snacks and lots of recess time, nap time, etc. The oldest had wanted to be a Teacher's Aide for his first semester, though, it didn't work out. Art was what they gave him instead, which he was not thrilled about at registration time. His sister has talked him into enjoying it though, as she is a bit of an artist herself somewhat.

It's only 10 am here, and already I am thinking about possibly going out for lunch today. Maybe I will take the daughter along. Do something nice, like Soup or Salad, so I can eat a big salad. Not that I eat big portions much anymore. It wouldn't hurt me too much if a splurged a little though.


Sunday, August 21

Did I Miss Anything?

Geez, Sunday is here already, and I feel like I have been in limbo the past few days. Seems not too much of excitement has been happening around here. According to my calendar, nothing is scheduled for this next week either. I'm going to have to figure out something... this is getting drastically boring.


Thursday, August 18

Granny Midget Amputee Porn

You just have to snicker at the post title. I am. Of course, I mainly put it there to see how many hits happen from Google today (and in the future) because I have nothing better to do with my time.

The past couple of days, I have tried to find a topic to actually sit and write a post about, but I lack dedication to the task. Each time I sat down to throw my thoughts into words, it just kind of ... well, fell apart. Actually it was more like the thoughts just dried up like a water droplet on the sidewalk in Phoenix during the summertime...wait, that sounds like now. So maybe it is a factor of the heat affecting me. It's an excuse, flimsy, but I will use it.

We are just over halfway through the month of August, and I am dreading the next three weeks. My birthday is coming up around the Labor Day weekend. What's so bad about that? It's my 40th and I am leery of my family. When I lived at home (my HS years) the "important" birthdays (ie. 16, 18, etc) were celebrated by usually some fancy-ish restaurant, and I hated they always did the embarrassing thing of having the cake brought out and waiters/waitresses sing loud and off key so everyone within three blocks knew it was my birthday. I so hated that. I hate any birthday of mine being made a big deal of. Which brings me back to the whole 40th thing. Sigh.

I'm probably worrying over nothing, fearing some big deal being made of it. I dunno. There are so many more important things I could waste time worrying about. Oh well.


Monday, August 15

Walk Uphill, In the Snow ....

My boys started back to school today. Well, the two older ones, the youngest is having his first day. Looking forward to hearing how it went, when they get home this evening. though, the usual answer will appear, I am sure, of  "It was okay."

Nothing exciting really happened this weekend. Of course, I didn't plan on anything either. The family calendar is pretty clear as to things going on the rest of August anyways. I only have to make small adjustments to my regular daily schedule, as the boys won't be having 'Dad Days' with school in session. At least, not full days, unless I figure out a way to do it on Saturdays in a rotating schedule, when nothing else is going on.... so yeah, not happening.

I suppose the next day or so, I will be going through all the political mail-outs we have received, making decisions, and getting my ballot in for AZ.

Yeah, see how exciting it is around here?!?!


Friday, August 12

Another Phase Passes

This is the last Friday that my youngest son will have to be free before starting school. I am spending the day with him, for me to enjoy the time more so than he.

Last night we had gone up to the Elementary school to meet both his and my middle son's teachers for this year. The youngest seems pretty excited to start, though, I am sure that will change when he realizes we will be leaving him there, and not just hanging around. The oldest son went with, and was able to see some of his teachers from his younger years. Of course the usual comments about how big he has gotten were said.

Though this is a bit saddening time for me... I get a bit sentimental thinking about my kids getting older, and moving forward in their education.... that I know they will get to that stage when they will no longer feel the need to come to us for knowledge and answers. So I was feeling a bit... sorta, ehhh... I should provide a bit of back story....

Shortly after the end of the last school year (meaning early June) is when we had registered our youngest for Kindergarten at the school. At the time, his Immunization record was lacking his next series of shots to enable him to start this fall. No problem. We would get him in to the Dr. over the summer and get it completed. The school office went ahead and kept his file (the paperwork we filled out) and informed us they would start his process, and for us to just bring the updated record at the 'Meet the Teacher' night, they would add it to his file, and he would be able to start. No other contact was received from the school or the district office. Last night, we head over to the little board that had the K-grade teachers listed, with the students per classroom, searching for David's (my youngest). You would think it would be easy, considering our last name is Smith, but out of 5-6 classes, no Smiths were listed ANYWHERE.

Hmmm, that's weird. Well, maybe because they didn't have his immuno record updated yet. So over to the office we go, wait in line (behind several adults that didn't speak English) to be told, for starters, that David was not even entered into the system since his FULL file was not there (lacked immuno record). We explained what THEY had told us to do 3 months ago, and that if that was the issue, why were we not contacted - even as a reminder to provide the updated records by a certain time, so that this all could be avoided. Of course, they have no idea. Then, they can't  even locate his file that has the paperwork in it already. We overhear them asking each other, "Oh, have you seen this (name) person's file?" with the inevitable denial, because why would one Anglo name stick out from all the mexican names...especially one such as SMITH.

As those of you know me, I get impatient when it comes to dealing with stupid people. But I had been biting my tongue, letting the Wife do the talking. They made a copy of the immuno record for his file (whenever they find it). My Wife asks about since they had the info now, what class/teacher was he being assigned to for the year. In a non-caring way, the lady says,"Oh, we can't assign him to a teacher. Only the Principal can do that, and she is not here. They will have to do that later." Wife: "Well, what is the purpose of telling us to bring this document this night, if we are not able to meet his teacher as well?" Lady: "Oh, I don't know, but we can't assign him. Only the Principal can do that. He'll have to come Monday and find out where to go."

Note: One reason we had wanted to meet his teacher, is to explain how he is to be picked up from school. My In-laws usually do it, and we wanted to make sure she knew that they could not come to the classroom to pick him up, since it would be difficult with my FIL having Parkinson's, etc. So, defeats the purpose if they don't let us meet his teacher on Meet the Teacher night.

My patience was at its end. Raising my voice (which, might I add, I do VERY WELL) I inquired "So, not only can you not find his file, which we were told he would be int he system. You have the paperwork you require, that we were told to bring tonight - not anytime earlier this summer. We have followed YOUR instructions, and yet you not only do not have him in your system, assigned to a teacher/class, but you are telling me that *I* have to take time out my day additionally next week to come here to assure that he is assigned to a teacher, and to meet them." Here she nods at me, and starts to mutter about only the Principal - I interrupt in an even louder voice  - "This is nothing but a clusterfuck. I expected nothing better from this school." Then turned and walked out the office door.

Within 5 seconds of thought, I realized I shouldn't have used that language (kids all around) but I was pissed. I knew the Wife would not be happy either. I stood there talking just loud enough, so passing parents would hear, about how the administration has always been screwed up in dealing with regular White people, because we are the damn minority. Yeah, I got quite a few mad glances from all the mexican parents, and the blacks. Fuck them.

The Wife comes out of the office, with some lady (an Anglo - wow!) who is telling her something. As she walks away, the Wife says let's go meet the other son's teacher, and as we walked to the other side of the school, I asked about what that was about. It turns out that my statement was heard in a backroom of the office, and this lady was going to make an effort to locate the Principal (who was on campus) and get our son assigned ASAP. I wasn't holding my breath.

We met the other son's teacher, who evidently was new to the school, so I have nothing to say bad about him. At least he is white, and doesn't appear to have to use his class as an ESL (English Second Language) room. On our way back across campus, we stopped and talked a few to some of the kids' past teachers that we liked. As we neared the office, The one lady approached us to say that David had been assigned to such-n-such teacher, and we could just tell the teacher he was a late assign to her class. We finally got to meet his teacher and the room where he would be. So all ended up fine, and we went out to dinner.

I have no solution to our education system. Seemingly, no one has. I think the first damn thing to do is to get rid of the fricking illegals that are bringing down all our systems. This whole ESL shit is retarding the learning curve - not just for AZ, but for almost every state. Unfortunately, the only fix-all I can think of, is going to cross damn near every other problem we have as well, nationally. Healthcare, poverty, education, employment, government spending... hell, who knows how many more. Get rid of the damn illegals...

Sigh, okay, off my bitch box. School starts Monday. I am out to spend time with my son.


Tuesday, August 9

Back When the Dinosaurs Roamed the Earth ....

Today is the Reverend Mother's birthday. I won't put her age, or birth year, though it would not embarrass her, it just is not the polite thing to do for womenfolk in this day and age. But needless to say, she has been around for over half a century, and then some.

Out of the three of us siblings, I am probably the most distant when it comes to family. I know I have posted about my parents divorce, and that I lived with my Dad several years, before living with my siblings and Mother again. I think that many of the traits I picked up were during those years with my Dad. One surprisingly being about not associating with family much. I think distance was the main factor I saw it more often than not. Though most of my Dad's family was only about 2-3 hours drive away, we didn't see them as often as we possibly could have. Mom, Sis, and brother were across the country from me at that time as well. Even once reunited, I was in my mid-teens by then and it just wasn't the same... that 'closeness' that siblings get from growing up together.

I know during the time I lived with my Dad, and before Mom and all moved out West, there are memories lurking around my head of things I said, events that happened, that colored much of my opinion about my Mom. She wasn't always a Reverend, and I am never the nice Prince all parents want their sons to grow to be. To this day, I am still pretty distant when it comes to family stuff. Granted, since having children of my own, hurdles have been leapt, long-standing records broke and re-made, when it comes to getting together with family, or just spending time with them.

Mom has become pretty obstinate over all them years she has been through, and still prays for me everyday, that I change my wicked lifestyles, and come and find the Lord. Heh, that ain't nothing coming from a religious parent. I think they all do that for all their children. But I give her credit for tenacity.

So, I guess in a way I should just get it out. I don't do it enough.

Happy Birthday Mom. I love you.


Monday, August 8

In-Between Birthdays

Yesterday was my middle son's 9th birthday. I think he had a wonderful time. The family had gone out Saturday night for dinner at a place of his choice - Peter Piper Pizza. A pizza place that has games, etc for the kids. Then last night, The RM and PT took him out to dinner as well. He scored some money, and a few presents.

I got to feeling a little down last week. I had been doing pretty good I thought, as the whole losing weight thing. A little each week on the average. Getting to the gym for exercise on a regular basis. But last week's weigh-in just brought all my good feelings to a halt. See, last week, I weighed in at a gain of 3.5 pounds. Yeah, not good. I was getting about 1-2 pounds a week (averaged out) and all of a sudden there is a gain - one of that much. I don't know how. The week prior I had been to the gym, actually MORE than I regularly go. Oh yeah, I went to Sis' to hang out Saturday, and ate quite a bit of carne asada. But still, not enough that would show that kind of gain 2 days later, I would think. Either way, last Monday I knew I needed to really start watching the eating, and continue working out. By Thursday, I was feeling lower. I was starting to get that 'I don't care anymore' feeling. I didn't even bother going to the gym Friday morning. From Thursday on, I didn't watch what I was eating. I ate what I wanted, in the portions I wanted. This went on through the whole weekend.

Sunday night, I actually though about returning to the gym. I felt pretty bad at myself, for just 'letting things go' in regards to eating and not exercising. Sure, many people have lapses, I thought, using a common excuse people use. I'm never going to get this weight down. This morning, I woke up feeling tired, not wanting to go to the gym. I forced myself. Literally. Talking to myself to get dressed and get off my ass and out the door. At the gym, I debated, should I even bother to weigh myself today, as I do every Monday, after the gain from the last weigh-in, and letting things go and eating..... I am sure it isn't going to be good.

I stepped up to the scale, and set it to what I weighed last week. It didn't move. I thought, great. It's worse, just like I thought. I moved the slide over to about 3 pounds heavier. Still no movement. Crap. Over about 5 more pounds. Still no movement. Then it hit me. I was moving it the wrong way. The scale was reading that I was lighter than the weight shown. Back to last week's weight, then a pound the other way... a little more.... Oh my! I need to move the bottom weight back a 20 pound spot. End result - I am down 4 pounds from last week. So I gained 3.5 at last week's weigh-in, and lost 4.0 pounds as of today. Sigh. Roller Coaster ride of the weight-loss fad, I guess. Now I am in better spirits because of it, and had a really good feeling workout.

That's how my Monday has started. hoe yours is going as good.


Friday, August 5

Finishing Out the Week

It is Friday, though I feel only half the week has gone by. I think most of that has to do with the fact that I haven't accomplished much this week. Today I am spending the time with my youngest son. The plans are: 1) a run to the bank, 2) grab some lunch from McD's and 3) play on the computer. Yeah, real quality time with Dad, huh? But, it is what he asked to do today. I don't mind. It keeps him entertained while I do whatever else around the house.

This Sunday is my middle son's 9th birthday. We will be going out to dinner Saturday night to the place of his choosing, though he won't open gifts until Sunday. Luckily, last week the youngest & I got out to do some shopping for the occasion. The Reverend Mother will be celebrating her birthday and wedding anniversary pretty soon as well. Still have no idea what to get her... (RM, you can always email me some ideas).


Thursday, August 4

Told Ya I'd Do It!

Last night's karaoke finals went off without any problems. I won it it hands down. I am now the proud owner of a $400 home karaoke system, that will probably never be used. Why? Because I just don't have the urge to do karaoke in my home, or invite people over to party and karaoke. So why did I bother trying to win? Simple. To win. To be the 'best' for that moment of time. Besides, it may make a gift for Christmas for someone, or can be donated to some charity that can raffle it off or whatever.

Other than that, I am feeling a bit groggy today. Yeah I was drinking last night, but I am not lying when I say that I didn't drink nearly the amount I usually do. I just can't figure out why I would be feeling so groggy today though. Maybe it is my allergies, as the wind was blowing dust like crazy last night. My sinuses are acting completely pissed off at me.

Well enough about me. I would switch to another topic, but today I just don't have one.


Wednesday, August 3

And The Winner Is .....

Thanks to all the nice comments you readers have made as to the changes on the blog. I appreciate it!

Wednesday is here again, and due to the 'mind in the gutter' type of thought process I have, I smirk at the thought of Hump Day. Of course, that rhymes with bump, and I can think of a couple things that are kinda like that, too....
Yeah. Anyways.... down to a week and a half until school starts up. I am still taking the boys one day a week to spend time with them. Today is the oldest son's day. Of course, it works out that I need to take him for 8th grade registration this afternoon too.

This evening also brings around the Karaoke Finals that I had competed in a few weeks back. I am a Finalist, and tonight I hope to bring home the $400 Home Karaoke System. Though many people say I do sing well, the contest isn't based on talent, crowd applause, or even judging. You sing, you get your name entered into the drawing, and they draw late at night. That's how you become a finalist, and also how of the finalists, they choose a winner. Yeah, pretty crappy. Only upside, is in the 16 weeks of qualifying, you can win more than 1 week, so it helps knock out other potential people. I had won 2 weeks this round. This will also be my final time trying for the prize. It just isn't worth all the drinking and time every Wednesday to do the contest.

I can't believe I said I didn't want to be at the bar. Well, it is true. I have been trying to cut down (and hopefully soon completely quit) the drinking. Like a bad habit, it has its good parts where I go several days without. Then its bad days, where I just crave. Definitely a day-to-day process.

Welp, nothing much else new to add.


Monday, August 1

More Change A-Coming!

I was a bit surprised this morning. My only readers had actually responded to the changes I had made on the blog. And because the masses have spoken, I have made additional changes. Well, not because they had spoken up, but because they had valid points. I thank you all for the input, and hope the changes I made this morning are not only more visually appealing to you, but ease any possible eye strain in reading my drivel.

August 1. What many of us consider summer is disappearing fast. My boys start back to school in 2 weeks form today. My daughter back to college in three. The start of school signals the end of summer vacations for many. Families will put their luggage into closets and storage, parents will be taking their kids out to stores to try on what the kids consider to be the geekiest outfits, to replace last years clothing that they have outgrown. Shorts and tank tops (for many kids) will be put away for T-shirts and jeans. Stores stock up aisles and aisles of supplies for academic achievements, putting out for the public eye any new trendy-type apparatus that will guarantee your child will go on to win the Nobel Prize and become President.

Thoughts of Autumn come drifting to mind. The leaves of deciduous trees changing colors, the slight crispness in the air, signalling the approach of the cooler months of winter. Jackets appear on the racks at stores, and hot chocolate sales increase (and marshmallows, too!).

Yeah, brings to mind a few different times when I was growing up. Maybe later today I can get one of them written out and share with you.

In the meantime, I need to get headed out to the gym. Today is another weigh-in Monday, and I am feeling apprehensive. I don't feel like a couple pounds (or hopefully more) have dropped off me, though I have added a couple days to the exercise routine. I think I am going to have to start actually measuring amounts of food I eat, rather than just 'eyeball' the amount reduction. I'll think about that later. Also I need to take the three boys to the dentist today for their cleanings. For the second attempt to get the 5 year old to cooperate and get his first one. The Wife is going to meet me there if she can get off work early enough (late afternoon appointments) to help convince him, and be there for her baby's first cleaning. (Rolls eyes) Which probably means she will have the camera taking pictures.

Okay, off to get the day started!