Wednesday, March 29, 2006

More tidbits

A couple of quick things before I pass out, I mean go to bed. I found a couple of news items quite amusing.

First, I saw a banner on ABC's website about Moussaoui being sentenced to only 30 years for the terrorist charges and for plotting to assasinate Bush. I was happy his sentance was reduced for wanting to get Bush out of office, though I don't agree with his method. After all, that would mean Cheney would have to be the President for real.

Next, I saw that the Afghani Christian was given assylum in Italy and arrived safely. I salute the land of my ancestors for being the awesome people that they are. Muslim clerics are still calling for this man's death and that he should be forced to become a Muslim again. The Afghan legislature even debated whether they should pass a law preventing him from leaving the country, though I suspect this was more a political move than anything else. Still, it just goes to show that there is still hard core intolerence in that country.

Today was another beautiful day and I got to toss the football around with Maverick a little. I'll be damned if that kid ain't got an arm. He was throwing perfect spirals a good 15 yards. Not bad a catching either. The Wife doesn't want him playing football though since she's concerned about his size. Kind of small and skinny. Still, he hasn't expressed an interest in playing, he just likes to play catch right now so no need to worry. I've got me a scholar musician athlete here. On another side note, we talked to his teacher last week at the school open house. Maverick also enjoys playing chess and is not bad. His teacher wondered if he could handle playing two games at once so he tried it this week. Maverick took on two opponents simultaneously and beat both. Look out world, Maverick's coming.

Lastly, I want to thank my bestest blogger pal Lois for cheering me up tonight. As most of you read yesterday, I had a very annoying situation come up. No resolution on it yet, but Lois made me feel better and laugh a lot, so I've left it in God's hands. Julie once said something to the effect that the blogging community is filled with the most wonderful people that will help out and be there for you out of the goodness of their hearts. Lois is definately one of those people. A big fraternal kiss on the cheek to you, dear. And I've got to send you some pop rocks. You know, the ones with CO2 in them. Seriously, what flavor you like best?





Tuesday, March 28, 2006

I'm really annoyed

I don't want to go into too much detail, otherwise this post will be miles long. I've got like a zillion things going through my head right now that to put them all into words would take pages and pages.

Essentially, it's this. I had a conversation with someone today that is getting a bad rap. A person in a position of leadership has some misgivings about this person I feel are unfounded. The leader has a tendency to take irrational positions on some things. All of this is causing un-needed stress all around. I looks to me that some sort of power trip or mind game is going on here, and I hate both. I'm specifically being vague because I'm not sure who might be lurking out there and I don't want to name names.

Basically I'm really pissed that I'm put in a position to try and make right a situation I neither caused nor could control. I now have to waste valuable time and energy to figure out what the fuck is going on and what if anything should be done. It's annoying and I don't have time to deal with it. I've got two children at home. I feel like dealing with the grown up kind that can't play nice.

Grrrrrrrrrrrr!


Monday, March 27, 2006

Spring Training

Today was a beautiful day. Sunny and mid 40s. I came home from work and found the Wife in the yard playing soccer with the boys. Grasshopper is playing soccer this summer for the first time and she was showing him how to trap and kick. I quickly changed and joined in. I worked with Grasshopper for a while (soccer being my favorite sport) and the Wife worked with Maverick on batting.

I got to spend about 20 minutes working with Grasshopper. The Wife went inside to start dinner so I switched and started working with Maverick on hitting and fielding. He's developing quite and arm that kid. He's been going to a baseball clinic once a week at the Y and it's really helped his skills. I also pitched the hardball to him and he's getting over his fear of the ball and actually hitting. He keeps this up and I may have to change his nickname to Iceman..

I think the Wife is going to be paying for this day of fun tomorrow. She appears to have used some new muscles today and will most likely be sore tomorrow. I must remember to poke at those muscles to see if they're tender tomorrow.

This week's weather is supposed to be quite nice, 50s and 60s with sun. Spring has indeed sprung, and it's about time.


Friday, March 24, 2006

Finally the Pictures

I'm sure you've all been waiting for the pictures of our completed hallway. Sorry I havn't posted them sooner, but you know, busy and all. I am, however, posting this from the new laptop I've commandeered, I mean obtained for testing, from work. Nice brand new HP 6120 laptop. Go check out HP's website if you want to geek out about it.

Now, the moment you've all been waiting for: The new hallway!






















Here's a shot of the hallway going into the kitchen area.























Here is the stairs going up. The color of the wall at the top of the stairs is the color on all non-red walls. The flash kind of washed it out up close.

What we didn't expect when we painted was that the hallway would be darker at night. When it was all white, the upstairs lights would be enough to brighten the entire hallway, upstairs and downstairs. Now we need to turn on the foyer light! Not that it's a bad thing since I really like how it turned out, but I didn't realize how much the white walls were reflecting.

Next step in the painting projects is the bedrooms. This weekend, however, I'm going to try and put in a natural gas line so we can install our new front loading washer and dryer. My brother ordered it for me and said it would be here in the middle of April. It showed up last Friday, after about a week and a half. So now they sit in our garage, waiting to be put in. And the Wife is waiting to be able to do fewer loads of laundry.

Have a great weekend everyone!


Tuesday, March 21, 2006

They're not making it easy on me

I had intended to do a post on my new hallway next, but I read this article today and just had to comment. It concerns an Afghan man that converted from Islam to Christianity. It appears that this is a crime, punishable by death, in Islamic law. And in Afghanistan, according to thier constitution, any secular law can be superceded by Islamic law. His main crime is, of course, to have converted and actually was found with a BIBLE in his home.

Some of the details just irked me. For example, he was sent to have a mental evaluation, under the assumption that you must be mentlly unbalanced to want to convert from Islam to any other religion. The judge felt that it must be insanity that caused him to reject Islam. Unfortunately for them (or perhaps him), we was found to be sane, though the judge thinks he talks crazy.

My favorite quote however, is from the following snippet:

The judge, however, holds hopes for a solution.

"We will ask him if he has changed his mind about being a Christian," Mawlazezadah says. "If he has, we will forgive him, because Islam is a religion of tolerance."


Forgive me while I blow a gasket here. Tolerant? Does he have some special Islamic dictionary where the word tolerence means something different than an Englis dictionary? Cause, excuse me Mr. Can't-Believe-Anyone-Would-Not-Want-To-Be-A-Muslim, but last I knew, tolerence meant accepting people that don't beleive what you do. I just could not beleive the nerve of this guy!

Which gets me to the title of the post. I've been trying really hard to be tolerant of Mulims, specifically the ones in the Middle East. But there are too many examples of people like those in Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq. If you don't believe exactly what they beleive, then it's ok to kill you. It's almost like you're less than human if you don't beleive in Islam. I'm all for respecting other's beliefs, even when I think they're stupid or crazy, but these guys take the cake. And I have little patience for those that hate and are ignorant. I mean, Islam is supposed to be this great religion, but people kill in its name far more than those that have killed in Christ's name. So someone help me here. I'm trying real heard to respect this religion and it's followers. I really am. Perhaps I'm missing something. Or perhaps it isn't the religion at all, it's just the Arabs.

Can anyone clue me in?


Monday, March 20, 2006

We Will Rock You - Again!

Friday night Queen/Paul Rodgers rolled into Buffalo and I got to be there. My seat was even better than the NYC show, about 7 rows back from the runway within spitting distance when the band came down it. There was so much going through my head that night that I'm just going put things down in random order.

My first impression was that the Queen was even better than before. They seemed tighter and more like a band. Brian did only one song solo and Roger's songs were done with the whole band. The first time around it was like there was a Paul Rodgers section, a Roger Taylor section, a Brian May section, then a Queen/Paul Rodgers section. This time it was more unified.

Most of the songs were the same as NYC but there were several new songs. Of course they did Take Love. It was very much a Paul Rodgers song. Quite good. They also did Dragon Attack which only the hardcore Queen fans would know. They also did I Want To Break Free, one of my all time faves! The absolute coolest thing was that (according to Brian) they did a song they've never done live in the US before: Under Pressure. It was awesome! Now, to be a little nit-picky, I'm 99% sure Queen performed the song live on SNL back in the 80s so that wouldn't make Brian's statement technically true, but fuck it, hearing it was freaking cool. Brian did the high parts that Freddie used to do and it rocked.

Again call me nit-picky and a purist, but I really liked the fact that Jamie Moses, the rhythem guitar player, did most of the Queen songs with a Burns Brian May guitar. I mean, not for nothing, but if you're on tour with Queen, playing Queen songs, wouldn't it make sense to play the guitar Brian May uses to do Queen songs? I know I'd want the same guitar he uses. But again, that's just me.

Some non-musical highlights of the evening: the best had to be when one of the security guards walked by me singing We Will Rock You with the audience. He was obviously a litte older than me and was hired by the arena. I find it cool that even those being paid to be there were getting into the show. The low point was this guy who obviously moved up from a crappy seat. I had the aisle seat and about 1/3 way into the show he ends up on my arm in the aisle crowding me in so it looked like his seat was in my row. Everyone was standing and security was trying to make sure that everyone was where they were supposed to be and not getting up front when they didn't pay to get there. This guy wasy intruding on my personal space and had no right to be there. I tried to blow it off but it did bug me a little. Also very cool was a bunch of guys I think from Denmark. They all had home made T-shirts with the website www.jdke.de. Looks like a bunch of John Deacon fanatics following Queen around the world on tour. There were about 6 of them there and they were a hoot! Totally into the show. How cool would it be to follow Queen around the world for a tour? Rock on dudes!

Even though I was prepared for Bohemian Rhapsody, hearing it again with Freddie singing and playing made me realize how much I miss that guy. It still touched me deeply. Music just hasn't been the same since he's died. Who out there has his comination of musicianship, showmanship, and personality? No one.

Overall I must say that the show so inspired me. The big thing going through my mind the entire show is how I so love being a rock musician. It revived the dream of being in a rock band and just playing music. I was supremely confident that I could be up on the stage with them and so hang! While no Brian May, I could certainly fill Jamie Moses shoes. And prowl that stage to give the audience their money's worth! Damn if it ain't in me even if it isn't my calling. Seeing them again has satisfied my cravings for Queen for a while. While it would be nice to see a show on this tour again, it's pretty much out of my system for a while. Unless Queen puts out an album of new material. Then the show must go on!


Sunday, March 19, 2006

Coming soon to a blog near you! - updated

Ok, after my non-stop weekend, it's the end of the day, the boys will be going to bed soon, and I just don't have the energy to write the posts I want to write. So instead, I decided to give you a few teasers or trailers, kind of like you'd see at the movies! So, in the coming days here on my humble litte blog you can expect to see:

1. Review of the Queen/Paul Rodgers concert Friday night. I had an awesome time! So much was going through my head while I was watching the show I had to write all the ideas on a piece of paper when I got back to my car so as not to forget them. A full review will be up very soon.

2. We finished painting the hallway! The blow by blow including picutures will be next on the list! I need to take some good pics with daylight so you get the full effect. Overall, I'm pleased but it's taking a little getting used to. Going from stark white to dramatic color is a bit of a shock.

3. Anything else I can think of. Like how there was a 2 HOUR premier of Doctor Who on Friday but the TV book didn't have anything about the second hour so I didn't tape it and missed it. Stupid TV book. Or perhpas how I only spend 45 minutes at my sister's house today and couldn't get out of there fast enough with all the insanity going on. Or how puncy the Wife was with my brother. We're talking claws coming out and ripping my bro to shreds. No mercy!

So anyway, I'm just going to chill out tonight and maybe catch up on some blog reading since I missed my Friday dose. Now it's off to prep the kids for bed!

UPDATE - I really meant to check everyone's blogs last night but I was out cold on the couch by 10 pm and woke up at like 11:45. Totally zonked from the weekend. So today will be catch up day. Happy Monday everyone!


Thursday, March 16, 2006

Tidbits

Overheard at next cube over at the Office of Homeland Security by an Engishman renewing his visa:

"So where are you from?"

"Tehran."

"Where's that?"

Obviously you don't need to know about geography to figure out where terrorists come from.

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Quickest way to defuse tense situation between you and your 7 year old (dad about to kill said 7 year old and kid growling at dad): Pinch 7 year old on his bare bottom. Much giggling and laughing will ensue.

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Heard coming from mouth of 4th grade teacher in reference to Maverick:

"He's a really good kid. He helps the other kids out and is a pleasure to have in the
class."

Who is this kid and why doesn't he get off the bus in the afternoon? Talk about having someone completely fooled.

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Painting of the hallway begins tomorrow. Pictures will be posted when complete. Please notice updated picture of the Wife in left sidebar. She is currently happily snoring in her chair but is not yet loud enough to really make me laugh. But I'm sure she will be soon.

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Happy St. Patty's Day to all my Irish (and Irish for a day) readers out there! Have some corned beef and cabbage and wash it down with green beer! Unless you're Catholic. Then make sure you get dispensation first. It is lent you know.


Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Only Wednesday?

I woke up this morning and realized that it's only Wednesday. There's been so many activities crammed into this week it seemed like it should be Friday already. And there's no end in site. Open house at school tonight, karate for Grasshopper tomorrow, painting and Queen Friday, a birthday party to take one of the kids to Saturday, and my dad's birthday along with Church Sunday. When did my life become so insane? Thank God for outlook and PDAs to keep it all straight.

Before you pat me on the head and say "Poor baby!", I did manage to find some time last night to finally watch the 90 minute season finale of Battlestar Galactica, which was awesome. And Friday I start taping Doctor Who. I've probably seen every episode of the original series. There was many a Saturday night at the Wife's parent's house spent staying up late and watching it. It would come on PBS at 11 pm and the shortes episode was 90 minutes, many two and a half hours. Usually the Wife (then the Girlfriend and later Fiance) would fall asleep halfway in. Nowadays, of course, she would never even make it to 11 pm to watch. I'm very much looking forward to Daleks saying "Exterminate! Exterminate!" and then getting killed!

Anyway, I'm going to assume most of you are as buys as I am since I've noticed recently that many of us are not posting as frequently. Hopefully you're lives are not as crazy as mine, cause right now it's totally hectic.


Sunday, March 12, 2006

The Wife 2.0

The Wife went very daring this weekend. She's been wanting a new hairstyle for years now, but hasn't been brave enough to do it. Well, this weekend she did it. I think she looks awesome. So now we introduce the new and improved Wife, version 2.0!!!!














Wednesday, March 08, 2006

I need a Do-Over today

What a day. It began by getting woken up early when my on call pager went off. Three times in 15 minutes. Over something stupid. I'm not a morning person as it is and when you mess my morning routine up like that, it makes for a very cranky rocker.

I spent most of the at work day getting a server application upgraded. The details aren't important but I was big time stressing on it on the way home today. I walked in the door and started telling the Wife about it. She cut me short very quickly and said, "Leave work at work." I try to do that all the time but today I needed the reminder.

So I tried to let it go but I was having trouble with it. Then, the Wife and I had a minor disagreement on something small and I quickly forgot about work. Cause now I was all pissed off about trying to do something helpful and fucking it up. So now I'm in a bad mood. So I decided to use the treadmill and do some meditating on Scripture. During Lent, we have a Little Burgandy Book with daily meditations. I had a hard time concetrating on it, but something did strike me. More on that in a bit. I then opened my Bible and just read whatever first hit me. This actually got me thinking of just quieting myself, which led to me writing a chorus for a new song I've been working on.

Now, before you start all patting me on the back, saying way to go, and all of that trying to cheer me up kind of stuff, let me tell you what struck me from the Burgandy Book. The theme is stewardship. The main lines that hit me are now in my Something To Ponder section to the left. What really struck me is that we are stewards of God's gifts to us. And I don't think I've been a very good steward to some of the gifts I've been given. I may even have been a rather poor steward. What I really need from all of you is your prayers that I can take better care of all the gifts I've been given.

I will say that after taking some time to reflect and talking to the Wife, I'm a little more at peace tonight. But as the title says, I really need a Do-Over of this day. Can I take this turn over please?


Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Channelling Aretha Franklin

Due to the "big blow up" in the house this weekend, we have a new buzz word in our family: respect. We've been using it on the boys for just about everything: "Is that a respectful tone?", "are you respecting your mother with that tone?", "are you respecting your things by leaving them on the floor?" It's amazing how versatile that word is. We've only just started but we're going to beat it into thier heads.

On a lighter note, Maverick said something yesterday (as reported to me by the Wife) that probably wasn't too funny, but for some reason made me crack up and not stop laughing. You know, the kind of laugh where you're totally stressed out and someone tells you a mildly amusing joke but you just can't stop laughing after that?

Maverick and Grasshopper get off the bus together. Yesterday, Maverick came up to the door but Grasshopper was nowhere in sight. It seems that Grasshopper was talking with a friend and wasn't paying attention. His friend had to tell him it was his stop. The Wife was wondering where Grasshopper was. When he got off the bus, Maverick says, "Boy, I'm glad Grasshopper's not dead." I found that just incredibly funny. I could just imagine the carefree way in which he would have said it. The Wife was not as amused as I was.

Perhaps later this week I'll relate a story which the Wife found incredibly funny at the time and I did not.


Monday, March 06, 2006

What a Weekend

This has been an overall frustrating weekend for both the Wife and I. I'm on call this weekend and I swear that my pager has beeped more times in three days than in the last year I've been doing it. We went to the auto show Friday since the boys are so into cars right now. The pager went off just before we walked in. And of course I didn't have any of my contact numbers. Over 30 mintues later it turns out it was basically nothing. So while the Wife and the boys got to enjoy the show, I spent the whole time there stressing out about work and didn't really get a chance to look at cars like I would have liked.

Saturday was the schedule from hell. We had baptism prep class at 9. I had to drop the kids off at my parents before 8:3o so I could run to work and disable the alarm for a software upgrade going on the run home to pick up the Wife. The class ran over to about 11:15 so we had to run out very quickly to pick up Maverick to take him to a baseball clinic we signed him up for at 11:45. Then I ran back to work to re-alarm the building since testing was done, then run back to pick up Maverick. We decided to stop out for lunch so we got home around 2. Then Grasshopper had a birthday party to attend at 4:30. Our day was finally done around 7 pm with almost nothing accomplished at home.

Sunday the Wife went crazy with housework while I did the church thing. The boys have been particualarly frustrating today. Lately they can't seem to get along and argue about everything. Or they get their mouths running and just won't shut up for like hours. The try to talk over each other and interrupt and generally make us crazy. It culminated in Grasshopper pissing off the Wife at bed time so she didn't tuck him in. I tell you there are days when having two boys with developmental issues just makes you want to bang your head against the wall.

The weekend has had it's good points too, but we're both too tired to appreciate it right now.


Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Out of town

I'm sitting here in my hotel room now. Today and tomorrow I'm in Schenectady, NY on business. My company merged with another company recently and some of us are meeting with our conterparts. Luckily, its a 3 hour drive from home and only an overnight, so it's not that bad a trip.

The rooms we reserved are awesome. We're staying at the Stockade Inn, in the historic part of Schenectady. It's a big colonial bed and breakfast kind of place, but with a 4 star resteraunt downstairs. I went to my room and the first thing that seemed kind of odd was that the door was louvered. When I opened it, I found the room door on the other side. It was a double door, with one on the outside jam and one on the inside jam! I needed to use my KEY - yes a metal key that looks like you'd use it to get in your house, to open the door. The room is decorated in colonial style with a HUGE king size bed. The main light in the room is a chandelier and I have a REAL WINDOW that slides up that overlooks the street! This place is so freaking cool!

This being Ash Wednesday, fish was in order for dinner. Dinner was planned by my peer on the server side of the business during the drive well before lunch. We had seafood and white wine decided upon before we even made it to Syracuse. To say he is obsessed with food is an understatment. We began with crabcake appetizers. The crabcakes came topped with veggies in a honey/wasabi sauce that was sweet and spicy at the same time. For the entree, I had an awesome dish called a seafood bake, with scallops, crab, lobster tail, and shrimps all in a butter sauce, surrounded by whipped potatoes. Simply scrumptiouse. I even had a glass of white wine. For those that don't know me well, I'm one of those weird Italians that really doesn't like wine.

My food loving buddy tried to coax us into dessert, but I was way too full. He asked for a finger of tiramisu and got a piece that was easily 6 inches by 6 inches. It was huge! Much as I wanted to, and despite the fact our waitress brought 4 forks (one for each of us) I just could not bring myself to try any. I was that full. It's 2 hours after dinner finished and I swear I could not eat another thing.

In other news, my brother is having a mechanic buddy of his look at my car to figure out what's wrong with it. More details on that once I find out the damage. I figured since I was going to be out of town, now was the time to get it fixed. Tomorrow we have meetings all day then the drive back. Supposedly there may be a big storm coming so we may leave a little early depending on the weather.