Thursday, December 29, 2005
I repaired the cracked PVC pipe under the kitchen sink and replaced the sprayer, too. I put new batteries in the smoke detectors, called the gas company and they tightened the connection behind the stove, repairing the "miniscule" leak they found in the coupling. Dad and I glazed several window panes. The weather cooperated and I was able to paint the base of the pillars on the front porch. I even borrowed a "knee-kicker" and got the carpet laying close to the basement wall again.
And I painted.
The kitchen. The master bedroom. The back room.
As I painted I wondered.
The Building Inspection Report included a suggestion to hire a building engineer to do a structural analysis to determine if the foundation had shifted and whether the building is stable.
The buyers were scared off.
Our house was built in 1938 as a workshop. Later, three rooms were added on the east making it a small home. Later still, the basement was excavated (after the house was built!), adding two more bedrooms.
In December 2005 a building inspector comes along and wonders: "The floors are crooked, the walls aren't plumb or square and there is a crack in the kitchen ceiling. The foundation must be unstable."
So, I paint.
And as I paint, thoughts run through my mind: Is the house really unstable? As I cover each crack with a fresh coat of paint, am I hiding proof that the house should be condemned? Is my paint making me a liar?
The realtor had spoken with an engineering firm. They would do a study for $750, if requested, but if the house has been occupied for 10 years with no sign of shifting, then the house is stable.
I am not a Structural Engineer. I DO NOT know whether the building has shifted in the ten years we've lived in it. We've lived with the crooked floors and out-of-plumb walls the whole time, but is the building stable?
Then I saw it.
The joint between the back wall and the kitchen cabinets. The obvious tilt of the wall.
I remember distinctly filling that crack between the wall and the cabinet with caulk 10 years ago. We caulked LOTS of cracks as we made the house more livable after it had been "remodeled". That kitchen crack was memorable. It took a lot of caulk.
My ten-year-old job filling the crack was undisturbed.
No stretching, no cracking.
There had been no movement of the house during the 10 years we'd lived there and I had easy to point-out proof.
I'm not a liar.
I can offer my home for purchase with a clear conscience.
Now we just need to find folks who will fall in love with its character like we did.
Tuesday, December 20, 2005
You said your birthday is - / - / 1959
which means you are 46 years old and about:
42 years 3 months younger than Walter Cronkite, age 89
37 years 7 months younger than Nancy Reagan, age 84
34 years 8 months younger than George Herbert Bush, age 81
27 years 5 months younger than Barbara Walters, age 74
25 years 3 months younger than Larry King, age 72
19 years 0 months younger than Ted Koppel, age 65
15 years 7 months younger than Geraldo Rivera, age 62
12 years 7 months younger than George W. Bush, age 59
7 years 7 months younger than Jesse Ventura, age 54
3 years 4 months younger than Bill Gates, age 50
1 year 6 months older than Cal Ripken Jr., age 45
7 years 4 months older than Mike Tyson, age 39
16 years 10 months older than Tiger Woods, age 29
23 years 4 months older than Prince William, age 23
and that you were:
42 years old at the time of the 9-11 attack on America
40 years old on the first day of Y2K
38 years old when Princess Diana was killed in a car crash
36 years old at the time of Oklahoma City bombing
35 years old when O. J. Simpson was charged with murder
34 years old at the time of the
93 bombing of the World Trade Center
31 years old when Operation Desert Storm began
30 years old during the fall of the Berlin Wall
26 years old when the space shuttle Challenger exploded
24 years old when Apple introduced the Macintosh
24 years old during Sally Ride's travel in space
22 years old when Pres. Reagan was shot by John Hinckley, Jr.
20 years old at the time the Iran hostage crisis began
17 years old on the U.S.'s bicentennial Fourth of July
15 years old when President Nixon left office
13 years old when Alabama Gov. George C. Wallace was shot
10 years old at the time the first man stepped on the moon
9 years old when Martin Luther King Jr was assassinated
6 years old during the Watts riot
4 years old at the time President Kennedy was assassinated
not yet 1 year old when Hawaii was admitted as 50th of the United States
[Top 40] you are 46 years old and about:
26 years 0 months younger than Yoko Ono, age 72
17 years 9 months younger than Bob Dylan, age 64
15 years 7 months younger than Mick Jagger, age 62
13 years 11 months younger than Eric Clapton, age 60
10 years 9 months younger than Stevie Nicks, age 57
3 years 4 months younger than David Lee Roth, age 50
0 years 6 months younger than Madonna, age 47
3 years 1 month older than Jon Bon Jovi, age 43
8 years 1 month older than Billy Corgan, age 38
11 years 1 month older than Mariah Carey, age 35
15 years 4 months older than Alanis Morissette, age 31
22 years 10 months older than Britney Spears, age 24
and when these songs were topping the charts
and these events occurred your age was:
The Twist, Chubby Checker: 1
Big Bad John, Jimmy Dean: 2
Sherry, The 4 Seasons: 3
The Beatles first appear live on The Ed Sullivan Show: 4
Downtown, Petula Clark: 5
The 8 track tape player first offered in 1966 Fords: 6
To Sir with Love, Lulu: 8
Hey Jude, The Beatles: 9
Woodstock Music Festival: 10
Me and Bobby McGee, Janis Joplin: 12
ABC TV premieres In Concert: 13
Time in a Bottle, Jim Croce: 14
I Shot the Sheriff, Eric Clapton: 15
Silly Love Songs, Wings: 17
Elvis Presley Dies: 18
Do Ya Think I'm Sexy, Rod Stewart: 20
Another Brick in the Wall, Pink Floyd: 21
John Lennon is shot to death: 21
MTV makes its debut: 22
Who Can it be Now, Men at Work: 23
The recording of We Are The World: 25
Walk Like an Egyptian, Bangles: 27
Didn't We Almost have it all, Whitney Houston: 28
Back In The U.S.S.R. is released exclusively in Russia: 29
Nothing Compares 2 U, Sinead O'Connor: 31
Emotions, Mariah Carey: 32
Fleetwood Mac perform at Bill Clinton's inauguration: 33
The Sign, Ace Of Base: 35
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum opens: 36
[TV] you are 46 years old and about:
32 years 8 months younger than Andy Griffith, age 79
29 years 3 months younger than Dick Clark, age 76
27 years 11 months younger than Leonard Nimoy, age 74
25 years 10 months younger than Carol Burnett, age 72
23 years 1 month younger than Alan Alda, age 69
21 years 7 months younger than Bill Cosby, age 68
16 years 3 months younger than Linda Evans, age 63
14 years 1 month younger than Tom Selleck, age 60
11 years 2 months younger than Ted Danson, age 57
8 years 10 months younger than Jay Leno, age 55
5 years 1 month younger than Oprah Winfrey, age 51
4 years 0 months younger than Kelsey Grammer, age 50
0 years 9 months younger than Drew Carey, age 47
2 years 4 months older than Michael J. Fox, age 44
5 years 9 months older than Calista Flockhart, age 41
10 years 0 months older than Jennifer Aniston, age 36
13 years 10 months older than Alyssa Milano, age 33
18 years 9 months older than Colin Hanks, age 28
24 years 6 months older than Mila Kunis, age 22
32 years 4 months older than Madylin Sweeten, age 14
and that you were:
3 years old at the time Beverly Hillbillies first aired
5 years old when the Addams Family first appeared on TV
7 years old at the time the first Star Trek episode was televised
11 years old when All in the Family was first shown
13 years old at the time the TV series M*A*S*H began
16 years old when Saturday Night Live first aired
19 years old when CBS introduced Dallas
21 years old during the first airing of Hill Street Blues
23 years old at the time the first Cheers episode was televised
27 years old when L.A. Law was first aired on TV
28 years old at the time the series Married with Children began
31 years old when Seinfeld was first televised
32 years old in the month Home Improvement began
35 years old at the time the TV series Friends began
37 years old when Everybody Loves Raymond first aired
40 years old when Who Wants To Be A Millionaire began in the US
[Movies] you are 46 years old and about:
40 years 0 months younger than Zsa Zsa Gabor, age 86
28 years 8 months younger than Clint Eastwood, age 75
26 years 0 months younger than Kim Novak, age 72
23 years 0 months younger than Burt Reynolds, age 69
19 years 0 months younger than Nick Nolte, age 65
17 years 10 months younger than Ann-Margret, age 64
11 years 11 months younger than Billy Crystal, age 58
9 years 3 months younger than Whoopi Goldberg, age 56
6 years 7 months younger than Robin Williams, age 53
2 years 7 months younger than Tom Hanks, age 49
0 years 3 months younger than Jamie Lee Curtis, age 47
2 years 2 months older than Eddie Murphy, age 44
11 years 5 months older than Jennifer Lopez, age 35
20 years 0 months older than Jennifer Love Hewitt, age 26
29 years 2 months older than Haley Joel Osment, age 17
and when these movies were released in the U.S. your age was:
West Side Story: 2
The Sound of Music: 6
Guess Who's Coming to Dinner: 8
Midnight Cowboy: 10
The Godfather: 13
American Graffiti: 14
Star Wars: 18
Animal House: 19
Star Trek: The Motion Picture: 20
The Terminator: 25
Top Gun: 27
Planes, Trains & Automobiles: 28
Steel Magnolias: 30
Home Alone: 31
Wayne's World: 32
Jurassic Park: 34
Forrest Gump: 35
Saving Private Ryan: 39
Toy Story 2: 40
Monday, December 19, 2005
What makes up me?
My economic identity is in jeopardy. No Question.
I've done all that I can to forestall the firestorm: Fraud Alerts have been issued to the three majors; the police report has been filed; the forms canceling our passports have been submitted.
Still, who am I?
When somebody uses my birth certificate or Social Security card to establish a fraudulent credit account it's called Identity Theft. That is a popular term, right now.
I am not my credit report.
The Adversary would like us all to focus our attention on his false facade of reality. My economic identity is part of that facade. I can expend energy and time worrying about what might happen. I am more concerned, presently, with spiritual preparation for the future.
I've paid the worldly dues to "protect my good name," but I refuse to let circumstance shift my focus from becoming a better husband, father and son, to undue worry about things that might or might not happen to an economic identity.
There is only time enough left to repent, forgive and be thankful. So that's what I aim to do.
Friday, December 16, 2005
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
The second clue was all the stuff sitting on the driver's seat: gloves, Brillo pad, sunglasses.
I unlocked the passenger side, unlocked all the doors, moved the stuff from my seat with a curious non-thought and got on my way. I didn't think twice because I was late to be at the hospital when my 3-month-old grand son was having his first procedure to repair his cleft palate. As it was, I arrived just after they brought him to the recovery room.
They were giving my son and daughter-in-law instructions. I was told the doctors felt Gideon, my grandson, might have a genetic problem, Cri Du Chat (Cry of the Cat) and they drew blood to test for it. As it is he has to wear arm restraints as he is treated for his cleft. He had a bad day and let us know it, in his own quiet way.
Released, we went to our cars. I got in by unlocking the passenger side first, again.
As I drove away, I heard a door wasn't closed all the way. Thinking it was the passenger door, I reclosed it. The rushing air continued and as I looked for the source, I saw the back of the Jimmy was empty. The rear passenger-side door was a little open.
She had spent the day with her sister cleaning our empty house yesterday. They had loaded the 72-hour emergency kit in the rear of the Jimmy last thing. When we took the kids to Chuck-a-Rama for dinner, we had installed a car seat for Gideon's older brother. He'll stay with us for a few days. One of the reasons for our move into to city...
When I installed the car seat, I had to move the 72 hour emergency stuff around to put up the passenger seat backs. It was all in there when we parked the car and went in to bed.
The Thieves left the box of cleaning supplies, the cords for charging the cell phones, the CDs, Fritos, and gloves.
* 1 Sleeping Bag
* 1 8-man tent
* 2 1-person 72-hour kits
* A well-stocked First Aid case
* A well-stocked Hygiene case
* My Community Emergency ResponseTeam (CERT) bag
The CERT bag contained a change of clothes, gloves, goggles, an all-in-one tool, a knife, First Aid book, a clipboard, a pen, and our personal records, including: our passports, birth certificates and insurance papers.
I called her, then I called the police.
They filed a report. They won't be out to talk to us further. If I remember more, I should call them back and refer to our case number.
When I arrived home, I called our insurance agent. He took my information. He changed our address. We have a $500 deductible on our lost property. The claims adjuster will contact us. Oh yeah, he told me that I had been released from my calling last Sunday.
Wondering what to do about our passports, I contacted an Identity-Theft Company, signed-up for their service and contacted their lawyers. The lawyers will call back with advice this afternoon.
We'd stored the emergency supplies in the back of our truck since last spring, parked on our driveway every night.
The stuff will be replaced. We'll be alert for credit and strange identity activity.
It'll be a while before I feel at home.
Tuesday, December 06, 2005
The dance went well, but there was too much "intermission". After the Ball I took Chris C. home and we passed a yellow car going the other way. After I dropped Chris off, I was going around the Bluff Woods curve and saw the yellow car perpendicular to the road with its front end in the ditch. I asked if the girl needed help and got out to push; I couldn't budge it, so I went back and got Chris to help push, and to be "chaperone" if I needed to take the girl, Laurie S., anywhere to get help. Well, Chris and I were able to rock the car but it still was stuck. So I told Laurie that I'd go try to find the sheriff, he'd be able to help. I said, "We'll be back as soon as possible." She answered, "Don't take too long." As if it were my fault she was still stuck. Well, as I drove down Warsaw Street to look for the cop I saw Justin S., and Jared and Jason H. I picked them up and took them to the place where the girl was waiting. As I got out of the car I put on my hazard lights. Well, we got the car out of the ditch, and she drove off. I was finally able to get home to bed after I took Chris and the other boys home.
At about 5:30 am my daughter fell out of bed screaming, my wife yelled and I went in to comfort our daughter. She was startled by flashing yellow lights in the front room. Of course, I realized I'd forgotten to turn off the hazard lights when I'd gotten home. Well, I went out to turn them off, and, of course, the battery had about completely discharged, so the car wouldn't start. We went back in to bed.
We woke up at 8:51 and I said to her, "We've got 9 minutes to get to the Church." Of course, I realized I'd have to get a jump to start the car. I hurried into my clothes and let her take care of the kids. We had to get to church quick 'cause the Primary was giving the Sacrament Presentation and our son had a part to give. I hurried outside to try the car on the off-chance that it might start up anyway. It didn't. So I went to Jim C.'s to see if he could help me but he wasn't home. I looked around and saw the barber pole at Larry D.'s was on. So I went down to his barbershop and asked if he could help jump-start my car. He could and did and I left the car on to charge the battery. Finally she and the kids were ready, and I figured we could still get to church before the Primary Presentation started if they’d taken extra time to pass the sacrament. As we drove through town it looked awful busy for a Sunday morning. Then I realized that the SS. Peter and Paul School was holding their Annual Rummage Sale. I said, “I thought they always hold their rummage sale on Saturdays?” Well, they did and they still do. Suddenly we realized it was Saturday.
The Friday night dance (aren’t dances usually held on Saturday?) and post-dance activities, the mid-night awakenings had all confused us. What a relief it was to realize that we had an extra day to prepare for the Sabbath, and that we weren’t really late for the Presentation. Anyway it took about a half-hour to get over the feeling that it was Sunday, and get ready to go to work.
We had a pretty good day. I made 4 batches of fudge. After work we went bowling. She scored a 47 and 70 and I scored 87 and 150. The kids never hit a pin. I was really surprised, but the lane had a really bad hook no matter how straight they rolled the ball.
We were almost late for Church this morning, but we got here before the Prelude music was over. Our son said his part real well even though he was pretending to be a Star B.
The Sacrament Presentation went real well. All the kids sang and spoke well. They were even pretty reverent.
Thursday, December 01, 2005
The deer in this case is a sister-in-law who just learned some bad news:
Yesterday we went to see a perinatologist because they were a little concerned about our baby being small. We had another ultrasound and the Dr said that there are several things wrong with Her. The Dr. thinks she probably has Trisomy 18, which is a chromosomal disorder, like downs syndrome, but more severe and more rare. If she has it, then she's likely to be stillborn or only survive for the first few months. We would greatly appreciate your prayers for Her. Thanks for your support and love.
I'm thankful for the renewed paths of communication, and have offered up prayers in behalf of my unborn niece and her parents.
Wednesday, November 30, 2005
Life went on.
We had to go to the next town to do some shopping. We packed the kids in the car. They could tell something was up, if not exactly what.
The trip down the river road was quiet. Driving along, I said a silent prayer asking that somehow the tension between us could disappear.
As we rounded a curve about 12 miles later we saw a handful of deer near the side of the road. It was a sudden, unexpected and rare experience.
I made a comment about the deer, completely innocuous. The statement was, however, neutral and had nothing to do with whatever it was we'd argued about previously. It broke the silence, it also broke the ice that had been growing between us. We began talking together.
Those deer were an answer to my prayers.
I'm looking for deer again.
Speaking and writing words that are inspired can elevate the mind and soul of the reader and listener.
Speaking and writing words that are uninspired can do irreparable harm.
My words, more often than not, are too often of the second type. Especially when I think that I am accurately portraying truth. I'm learning that what I consider truth can more accurately be described as perspective.
This ability I have to misstate has had long-lasting consequences over the years. It is one of the central reasons for my on-going surprise at her willingness to remain with me.
Her birthday had proceeded well. The dinner at Applebee's was a success: good food, pleasant conversation, fun time. My later discussion before bed-time was thoughtless and brought her to tears. I thought I was "telling the truth", but in reality was only expressing my warped view of reality.
It was a long night, full of fitful sleep and deep consideration.
We're here on this planet to learn how to return to our Heavenly Parents. A big part of that deals with learning how to live in a physical body. Another big part of that has to do with learning successful human interaction. Words have a lot to do with that interaction.
One thing the Lord has taught us by His example is that half of a miracle is its timing. There are good times and bad times to talk about everything. A good way to determine the correct timing is to listen for promptings. My listener seems to be broken.
My words have always betrayed me. I have thoughtlessly inflicted more pain than I care to remember. I know from experience that the wounds I create are slow healing. Regaining her trust is difficult. I have apologized. Apologies, alone, are not sufficient.
This whole word thing has caused me problems for a long time. It's time for me to focus on this word problem. I've got to learn to hear the promptings, then act, properly, on them.
I just hope she stays around long enough to see improvement.
Tuesday, November 29, 2005
Still the same surprising girl I fell in love with 25 years ago, what a marvel that she's kept me around this whole time.
Of course, things haven't always been all sweetness and light. That's why I'm so stunned that she still seems to love me.
A dozen years ago we both were considering other possible marriage arrangements. We'd even mentioned the D word.
As we took a walk one night, the Spirit whispered to me:
You CAN get a divorce. You'll be fine, she'll be fine. You'll learn things. But if you stay with her, you'll learn more and you'll be happier.
I listened and chose to learn more and be happier. What a good choice!
The adventures we've had! The things we've learned! Sure, most times I've had to be dragged along, kicking and screaming, only to realize afterwards that those are the fun, good things that I should have been happy to do and learn.
Life is so marvelous. Always much different than I figured it should be, thank goodness. I've never had much in the way of imagination. Still, I don't need to rely on my imagination, when I have her as my partner. How well yoked we are! Pulling together, in our own distinct ways, getting the job done.
We still have loads to move into our new apartment, but it'll get done. And we WILL be able to fit it all in. We'll do it together.
Wednesday, November 23, 2005
We've taken three loads to the new apartment. She packed the first two on Monday. I packed the third one yesterday.
It is four flights up to our third floor apartment.
Carrying two 24-pound buckets of powdered milk Monday was do-able. Carrying two buckets of sugar yesterday did me in. We've got 600 pounds of wheat to move up as well as stacks of canned goods.
Not to mention books.
The furniture will come later. We won't be moving appliances. That still leaves one chest of drawers, the love seat, 9 bookcases, the kitchen table and a Queen-size mattress.
The books (and other stuff) in boxes in the garage will be re-sorted with a four-flight mind-set as a filter. I'm thinking it's give away time.
Stairs trump sentimentality.
Monday, November 21, 2005
We found a home for Batman. In the effort to relocate, finding a home for our two-year-old cat was a big concern. We didn't want to take him to the pound, that's just a delayed death sentence.
The spirit whispered to try the Harding's. After calling a couple other folks first, I followed the prompting and called the Hardings. Did they want our cat? Neutered, no front claws, but still a good mouser. They'd consider and call us back.
The Hardings have horse property and are cousins (of course).
After due deliberation they phoned to tell us the verdict. Plans were quickly made to affect the move.
Last Monday evening I loaded the truck with the cat pan (he hasn't used it for a year and a half), unused cat litter, food bowl, cans and large bag of cat food.
Minutes previously we had relaxed together on the couch, but I figure he knew something was up.
I gathered him into my arms and gave him a blessing before we started. I blessed him that he would quickly become comfortable in his new home, that he would love the people there. I began to cry as I blessed him that he would forget us. Hopefully, on the other side of the veil his memory will be restored.
She drove us around the block to get him a bit disoriented. His last ride in a vehicle had resulted in some painful and humiliating operations. He didn't like this ride.
When we arrived at the Hardings, I renewed my hold on him and opened the door. He sprang from my grasp and ran into their open garage.
We went to the front door and rang the bell. After greetings, I unloaded Batman's stuff and we talked a bit. The Bat had left the garage in the meantime. I figured he was on his way home.
To my surprise we found him in the horse yard. Meowing.
I hadn't fed him before we packed up, knowing that food might help get him calmed down. I took a can of cat food into the horse yard and lured him in. I grabbed him when he came to sniff. Picked him up and started for the house.
Stupidly, I kept the cat food in one hand, Batman in my right arm. As we got closer to the house, he began to struggle. I kept my grip tight, but lost it to his desperate wriggling after we went in the back door. He got my hand, wrist and side before he was off looking for a hidey hole.
Any move is a shock to a cat and it takes time for them to acclimate. Usually they head for a tight, dark spot to curl up in to get their bearings.
Batman headed for the computer room. He hid behind the printer. I prepared his dish with his dinner and took it in to him. We talked a bit and he had a little to eat. I put the dish on the floor, leaving him alone in the room.
We talked some more, had some pie and, eventually, we left.
The blessing was fulfilled. He hasn't been back.
We have kitten scratches on our couch, a few pictures, some itchy scars on my right hand and memories.
Our grandson had her take him around the neighborhood on a walk looking for the kitty last night. We're not the only ones who miss him.
Friday, November 11, 2005
New York Doll.
The story of a guy's life. Arthur 'Killer' Kane.
Member of a Rock Band in the early 70's called the New York Dolls, he hit rock bottom after the band broke up in 1975. The movie documents the influence the band had and how the band got together for a reunion concert at London's Royal Albert Hall last year.
The power of the story isn't about his comeback. Instead, the story demonstrates the power of the gospel in changing a man's life.
That's right. Arthur Kane joined the church in 1989. However, he testified that the biggest change came when he was called to work in the Los Angeles Family History Center in 1998. It also illustrates the power of worthy bishops and a good hometeacher.
This is a movie that you can't miss. You have to see it. It is only in limited release. It won't be around for long. I will buy it if it ever comes out on DVD.
It is playing at the Salt Lake Film Society, 111 East 300 South, at least through Thursday, 17 November. Times: 1:30, 3:30, 5:30, 7:30 and 9:30.
Go see it.
PS. Stay seated for the credits - as Arthur's bandmates perform A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief.
Thursday, November 10, 2005
Years ago I began posting obituary notices on the GenWeb site for a county where I have roots.
As time rolled by, economics of the internet interfered with my obituary posting routine. Rich websites consumed profitable websites and all sites morphed. The spot for my obituaries turned into a message board for folks to post queries about their ancestors.
Well, my obituary-posting obsession continued even with the change of venue.
As I posted, I began to check out the area to which I was posting. I noticed that the new site included the other counties in the state, displaying how many messages had been posted in each county.
Since I was posting messages that included genealogical information and not questions, the post totals for our sparsley populated county began to overtake those of more heavily populated areas of the state.
A while ago our little county moved into second place, behind the county of the State's Capitol. Goodness.
I began posting transcriptions of death records and marriage records, supplementing the limited number of obituaries I can dig up. This, in an attempt to catch and surpass that number one county.
Well, today I was on my way. Only 25 posts from tying for the top spot. I began posting more marriage record transcriptions, holding last month's obituary records to eventually surpass and keep ahead of the State Capital county. The total for which I was shooting: 1391.
Happily was I posting along, previewing each post for typos, before clicking the "Post Message" button. 1375, 1380... I clicked the "Post Message" button for what I think was to be number 1382 and the site went down.
My greedy desires to climb to the message posting mountain's summit have given the site constipation. The pages are still unavailable. I come now to my blogspot to express my sadness. I have to postpone my silly desires to help my ancestral county be the one with the most genealogical messages in the state.
The summit remains, waiting.
Tuesday, November 08, 2005
His birth has changed our family. Of course, the ripples shouldn't affect his grandparents quite as much as his immediate family.
Because Gid was born with a cleft lip and palate, he needs special attention. I've learned to carefully burp him after each feeding. I've learned to use the special nipple on his bottle (it has a harder upper half to provide a temporary palate and support and a softer lower half to provide easy suckability).
Gid also has a full schedule of surgeries planned to correct his cleft. It became quickly apparent that we might be of better service to the Gid's family by being closer to their house during the coming months.
We took advantage of the situation. We put our house up for sale. We're leaving. The house sold.
We've rented a one-bedroom apartment in the City, two blocks up from the Temple; 10 minutes from work, walking; 15 minutes from Gid, driving; 7 minutes from the hospital, driving.
We'll begin the move on the 21st.
Our grandson has infused our lives with a marvelously invigorating breath of fresh air.
Two years ago I came over here for a four-month, temporary assignment. As time passed and the assignment grew, my permanent job slot in the Engineering Division was sucked into the "Strategic Reserve".
I became temporary.
No change in pay scale. No change in benefits.
Only a couple problems:
- If my job was cut from the services offered by the Library, I would no longer be employed
- Since I didn't have a job slot, I couldn't be hired by any other Departments in the Division, because I would have to bring my slot with me as a transfer
I was, essentially, unemployable in most of the Department.
Well, as of last month, I received a job slot.
Wahoo! I am an official employee of the Library, after a two-year temporary stint.
What a relief.
Now, as the reorganization rolls on, I've put my hat into the ring for consideration in a few different jobs. Who knows how things will shake out.
Change can be fun!
Sunday, November 06, 2005
Tuesday, August 02, 2005
Her youngest brother was married last Friday. What a strange, marvelous experience. The Spirit was abundantly manifest as the Bishop offered counsel and guidance to the young couple. The setting was wonderfully peaceful, up the South Fork of the Provo Canyon. I'd never been there before.
By the way, Tim is 3 months older than my son. Luz is 3 months younger than my daughter in law. Odd to think that I've been part of Tim's family longer than he's been alive. He doesn't have any memories without me as a family member.
After the wedding we had the fine opportunity to kidnap our grandson and sit with him for the afternoon and evening. While he was at our house he mastered a new skill. Previously, we have always used a large tote to block the doorway leading to the stairway. Friday we used the tote to keep the Bubs in the front room with us.
He learned to scale the tote and climb down the other side while visiting. It took him a couple tries to conquer climbing on to the tote and another couple tries to master climbing off the tote into the kitchen. He was thrilled with his new skills.
We'll have to pile our barriers higher now. Or just keep a closer watch on things.
It's fun to see learning take place.
Thursday, July 14, 2005
This is the way it has proceeded in the past:
- He will engage in conversation with his seat mate for a while, several days, anyway.
- He will begin sitting with her on the trip home, too. Talking.
- Eventually, he will begin getting off at her bus stop.
- They will then sit closely together.
- There will be bus-time hugging, whispering and giggles.
- After about three weeks he will start taking busses at a different time than she does.
- I won't see him for a space of several months.
- She won't be so smiley.
I've witnessed this process several times now. From him and another guy.
For the past twelve years, I've been riding the bus. At this point, I am a solitary traveler. I shower regularly. I do use deodorant. I pile my brief case and packages on my lap. I smile.
Well, a co-worker/co-bus rider told me the other day that he noticed I'd been scowling. He thought I was mad at him.
Generally, when I have a serious look on my face, I'm contemplating the silly things that I've done recently, figuring what I should do to avoid repeating the idiocy. Thankfully, the Lord is patient and forgiving.
Last year I sat to have a picture of my aura taken. The aura guy had me close my eyes and visit a safe, peaceful place. We walked around Nauvoo for a while, until I was quite relaxed. He told me, when I was ready, to open my eyes. I opened my eyes with a relaxed smile on my face and he took my picture.
The picture of my aura was interesting, but the thing that it illustrated best to me is: I don't smile when I'm relaxed. I wasn't actually scowling, but my face muscles were nowhere near a smile configuration.
My natural facial composure is much more serious than I feel it should be. Since then, I've made it a point to do my best, everyday, to greet people with a grin. They don't quite know how to figure me out.
That's okay, because I haven't finished figuring me out, either.
The website included records of family members I had never seen before, providing information as fresh as 2002. Unfortunately there was no way to programmatically copy the data I needed to add to my database, so I went through the website, page by page, and transcribed the gold I found there.
For the past four years I have tracked the number of people I have identified as members of Joseph and Cornelia's family. At the beginning of 2001 I had identified 17,405 family members.
Almost a year ago, on August 12, the total number of identified family members surpassed the 29,000 mark. Since that time the number 30,000 has been steadily before me.
The database has grown a bit unevenly over the years:
- In 2001 I added about 1,800 records
- Somehow in 2002 I added about 6,400 records
- In 2003 I identified 1,300 more family names
- Last year I added 2,300 records to my database
When I was sure that I'd extracted all I could from the website, I ran the routine that counts the number of Joseph and Cornelia's family members over 10 generations. I didn't quite hold my breath, but I was full of anticipation as the process ran to completion. The total:
Close. So close.
Where could I go? What could I dig up? My brain began running through the possibilities.
As I cast about for ideas, I remembered that I had several census records copied on my jump drive. I had copied them to take home and use to document family members. I hadn't gotten around to that activity recently, so I had a little stockpile.
I went to the first record. I'd already added the new names of children in that family.
I went to the second record. I'd already added the new names from family as well.
I looked at the third record. The family of Charles and Laura, living in Pocatello in 1920.
They had six children in their household, none of whom were yet recorded in my database.
Quickly I transcribed the record, then added the children to the family. The oldest son, Hyram, was Charles' son from a previous marriage. Even so, he's a member of the family.
Though I knew what the total would be, I ran the process again, just for good measure. My new total from the afternoon of Wednesday, 13 July 2005?
How many more cousins will I find before year end?
Tuesday, July 12, 2005
For a time he lived at our house and has visited regularly since his folks moved out.
He has reminded me:
- The veil is thin if you know where to look
- That I still know how to take care of a baby, solo
- Dirty diapers can be sweet
- Learning is painful but memories of pain fade quickly
- How fun water can be
- We're here to learn how to live in a body
- Smiles are the only communication needed, most times
- Of the joy in meeting
- Of the sorrow at parting
- Of the desire to stay awake as long as possible, things are HAPPENING! Can't miss 'em.
- Of the joy of successful parenting
He's off on his second trip to Washington. We commemorated his birthday with a trip to the zoo and the park two Saturdays ago. We can share him with his other grandparents for a week or so.
Happy birthday Bub!
Thursday, July 07, 2005
Last week I took a day off in order to replenish the supply of fresh fudge. I was confident that the candy store experience I had, almost two decades ago, would be enough for me to produce some quality cream fudge. The only thing I lacked was the final temperature to cook each batch.
My first batch turned out with the consistency of dry clay. Wrong temperature.
Luckily, fudge can be re-cooked. I shoveled that batch off the table, back into the kettle, added a half-gallon of water and melted it down.
I dropped the temperature 10 degrees and the next two batches turned out pretty well. Not perfect, but saleable.
The next day I spoke with my brother-in-law and he gave me the real temperatures I should use.
July Fourth I returned to make a few more batches. Almost my entire family came up, too. My son, his wife and his son, my wife and my daughter all came to run the shop on the holiday.
I concentrated on making more fudge. The first batch of plain vanilla ended up a touch on the soft side. The penuche took forever to set up, but was okay. The final batch, peanut butter, set-up almost before I could add the peanut butter.
It was odd. I hadn't worked in a candy store with my family around me for over 17 years. The last time my kids were with me, they could almost help out at the counters, but couldn't quite see over the top of them, they were 4 and 5. I don't have any experience running a candy store with people to help me make the product. My old habits were set when I worked by myself.
Though I was confident in my experience, still I was worried about creating quality fudge. I worried more about that than those around me. Looking back, I see that my son wanted to make a batch on his own, having helped his grandfather a few years ago during the '02 Winter Olympics.
My concentration blinded me to the feelings of those around me. Hopefully, I didn't hurt my son's feelings.
But if I did, I am sorry.
Wednesday, June 29, 2005
"Are you related to Isabella P.?" the voice on the other end queried.
"Yes," my hesitant reply.
"If you are, then we are cousins, and I have a photograph you might want a copy of..."
Brother C. was recently called to the High Council and had been given the Temple & Family History assignment. I figured he'd been looking into his roots, but never expected this phone call.
I asked, "You're descended from Isabella P.?" A little stunned, I thought I had a relatively complete listing of her descendents, all 1885 of them. She's my great great grandmother.
As we talked I accessed my database.
"Which of her children are you descended from?" I asked.
In a minute or two I had his record in front of me: only a placeholder including his last name and gender; a download from the Ancestral File.
Eventually he told me more about the photo. His mother got a great copy of it recently. It includes Isabella, her three oldest children and her mother. Her oldest child is my great grandpa.
I quickly offered to bring my laptop and scanner to his house and he began giving me directions, but soon changed his mind. It was Sunday afternoon, he has six kids and his wife probably felt the house wasn't "presentable".
He's going to get me a list of names and birthdates for his family and his brothers' families. His younger brother hasn't spoken to the family for the last 10 years.
It was an excited conversation, each of us talking over the other at times. I'm sure that he doesn't have any idea about my history or the work I do.
He called back a few minutes later to ask which of Isabella's kids I descended from. "Frank," I repeated. He seemed satisfied with my answer.
"Can you believe that?" I asked after I hung up.
"We're all related," her standard reply.
Tuesday, June 28, 2005
As the evening wound down and my thinking got slower in anticipation of an overnight trip to the bedroom, I was startled by the realization: I'd made all the updates over the weekend using the wrong database.
I'd neglected to copy my current database to my hard drive on my home computer. Oh my. Goodness.
The German pronunciation is ee-dee-oat. Idiot. That's me.
A quick check found that I had added at least 250 new records to the database since Saturday morning. The "official" database had 132 records added since the last time I'd copied it to my home computer.
It was late. My head couldn't deal with the idea of correcting my sophomoric mistake. I turned the machine off and went to bed where I dreamed of someone walking through the tops of densely interconnected trees.
Monday morning I began the repair work. I copied the last 132 records from the "official database" and pasted them into the "home" copy. Then I linked each of the 132 records into the families they needed to be, comparing official to home, and making other modifications as I saw them. The process only took about an hour and a half, over all.
An odd way of re-tracing your steps. Not recommended.
Always, always, always keep your backup copies current.
It's a relief to have one complete database again.
Wednesday, June 22, 2005
When I awoke from a night of troubled sleep, my body was vibrating with fatigue. It's the same type of vibration you feel after a 12-hour drive. Bone-deep weariness.
The Bubs and his parents picked me up after work yesterday and took me home. Turns out they are staying the night at our house.
Her sister's family stopped in town yesterday on their family vacation. We went over to another sister's house for a visit after dinner and kidnapped said visiting sister and her youngest twin son. We all played Apples to Apples and laughed and laughed the evening away.
All the sisters then gathered for a late night together. I fed the cat and went to bed. Tossing and turning most of the warm night. I had the fan on in our room. I'm sure that this morning's vibration was nothing more than a physical manifestation of the poor rest I received.
Today I told Michael more about what we've been learning. He's concerned for me. I'm sure my explanation was inadequate to properly express my beliefs. It was a haphazard, rushed, confusing recital in a public area. He'll pray for me. I gratefully accepted his offer. He wants to know more of what I have to say. We'll be in closer touch, this next while.
Tuesday, June 21, 2005
As a result, my post was over week late, and stale to boot.
The past two weeks have signaled a percieved increase in the speed by which time is flying. It seems, to me anyway, that I am no longer able to complete even those few items I consider as normal activities in a given day any more. In fact, I didn't write in my regular journal for a week! And I'm several days behind schedule today, as well.
I do remember the conference talks where Elder Maxwell talked of a "hastening" of time before the Second Coming. I'll have to look up that reference. I thoroughly believe that hastening has happened and is increasing. Things will be in commotion real soon.
I've never been very successful at patiently waiting for the arrival of Christmas morning.
D&C 88:73 Behold, I will hasten my work in its time.
Thou speedest on and on;
And as I stand here,
My outstretched arms would grasp and hold thee close.
Each moment Thou stealest from me
Is more precious that the last.
Each one is touched with sorrow, pain, joy, or gladness--
Tinted by my own actions, my life.
Therefore, these moments are mine!
How canst Thou steal them from me? Thief!
And as I ponder o'er my grief,
The thought of a moment creeps along my brow.
Are these fleeting particles of eternity mine to hold?
Oh, where is the sign of warranty that
they may be held by man?
Is there a chance that these seconds are loaned--
Loaned to the worker, the soldier, the drone--
Each to fulfill, to dream or postpone.
Oh, bold was I to claim heirship to such as these!
Ah yes! What riches are lent me.
Time--what a treasure!
Time to work, to chat, to sing;
Time to think, to love, to dream.
Time is mine to make tomorrow more precious still.
I thank Thee, my Father, for Thy kindness,
For these minutes which I share.
Grant me strength, courage, originality to touch each one;
That it may return to Thee more precious yet
For having been loaned to me.
[penned by my father decades ago]
That left me.
I haven't soloed with an infant for quite a while.
Bad diaper rash complicated the issue, too.
The student ward held a cook-out/pot-luck in the complex courtyard as I changed the first diaper. Bub's wailed his torment and displeasure. Unfortunately, I forgot to apply the white zinc oxide ointment between diapers, so I had to take the diaper off again and renew his cries.
Eventually the Relief Society President knocked on the door to "inquire about my daughter-in-law". I gave her the no-news update and volunteered that Bubs was suffering from a bad case of diaper rash, before I shut the door and settled down on the couch with him sprawled across my chest.
Having him fall asleep in my arms brought back peaceful memories of competent parenting. Those memories went a long way to dispel the insecure anxiety I'd felt at the beginning of the evening.
Thankfully, memories of pain and discomfort fade rapidly.
The next day we visited again for some reason. The Bubs came right to me, all smiles. He even crawled, crying, towards the door when we had to leave.
He won't remember the details of the ties that have begun to bind our lives, but I certainly will.
Friday, June 10, 2005
She is more of a night person than I am. Normally, I have to be on the bus by 6:30 am, so I am in bed before 11:00 pm. When I go to bed, she continues her internet discussions and joins me later.
Tuesday night I rolled toward her and she pushed me away with a verbal "Don't Touch!" message. Hmmm. She had a bad night. Nothing could touch her feet. Not me, not the blankets, not her other foot. Odd.
Wednesday morning I felt drugged. I could not get up. I called in sick to work. I slept past 9 am. Rarely do I ever sleep past 7 am, even on Saturdays. My body is used to the early wake-up call. Wednesday was different. I was vibrating, I was so tired.
By the afternoon things were OK, so we drove to Payson to visit Bonny. Our daughter met us on the way and we all drove together to Bonny's. After a wonderful visit and dinner, we proceeded back to Orem, where she and our daughter attended a soggy outdoor performance of "The Scarlet Pimpernel". I waited at the in-laws. The performance finished sometime during the 10 o'clock news and daughter dropped her off at her parents.
After a quick recap of the evening, she decided to tell her parents about the day's activities. That included a background description of events from 2 weeks ago. Leno had already finished his monologue! Amazingly she wrapped-up her narative in record time and we got on our way home. The morning's fatigue had returned. Got to bed by midnight or so.
There was no option to forego work again yesterday, so I got up only a few minutes late, catching the regular 6:20 am bus.
After work she came downtown after work to visit the Joseph Smith Display at the Church History Museum. The bubs and his parents accompanied us. We all had chinese afterwards at the ZCMI food court, then we took them home. I had a hard time keeping my eyes focused as I drove home, but we arrived safely. Though it was only 8:45 pm, I went right to bed. I felt that I could catch-up and prayed for restful sleep.
By 2 am we were up and studying the meaning of Zarahemla. Why did it take a book by a convicted murderer to help us understand that Zarah means "son of Judah"? We looked and read and talked for about an hour and fifteen minutes. The symbol of Zarah is a red hand and circle. It all fits and that twenty year old farm boy couldn't have had a clue that it would fit so tightly.
Thank heavens I'd gone to bed a bit early. I am more rested today, than I've been for the past several, though I did have to catch the later, 6:40 am bus.
Hopefully this pattern is only temporary. I'm not at my best when I'm tired.
She checked on the machines available at the local Wal-Mart. She felt they were over-priced and non-name brand and the boxes appeared to have been opened previously. She looked on the net and found that Home Depot carried dehumidifiers. So we planned that she would pick me up after work and we'd visit Home Depot on the way home.
Since Sutherland's was on our direct route home, we stopped there first. I asked the clerk if they had dehumidifiers and he asked me, "You want to do what to your air?" as we walked to the appropriate area of the store. We saw the air conditioners, heaters, fans, and swamp coolers, but no dehumidifiers.
On to Home Depot, take a left, proceed about 10 miles south, further away from home. When I asked the clerk at the information desk where his air conditioners are he sent us into the nether realms of his store. We searched for about 10 minutes, asking other clerks for help. They didn't quite understand by what we meant by "dehumidifier". I questioned that she'd really seen something that suggested Home Depot had dehumidifiers. We finally wandered back to the front of the store. The air conditioners were placed in the area directly next to the information desk, we'd approached the clerk from the wrong side, so hadn't noticed the seasonal display. Again we found the air conditioners, heaters, fans, and evaporative coolers, but no dehumidifiers.
We figured to check the Wal-Mart in this area, but since it wasn't our town, didn't quite know where it was. As we walked out of the Home Depot, we noticed a Wal-Mart just across the street. We drove over, but found that it was some sort of Wal-Mart grocery store, not a full-service edition. Odd. We called the daughter, wondering where the closest Wal-Mart might be. As we called, I remembered that there is a Wal-Mart at Jordan Landing, another few miles south, further away from home.
On we drove. When we arrived I put the checkbook in the child seat of the shopping cart. The spirit whispered that I needed to remember where the checkbook was. So I did. It took a few minutes to figure out the set-up in this superstore. It was laid-out backwards from the one we normally frequent. We found the fans in the hardware section and they even had a dehumidifier. Pay dirt! It was a pretty little machine. One problem: it was $40 more than the one at the Wal-Mart back home.
By this time it was past dinner time, so we decided to return, pick up a machine at the local Wal-Mart and go home to the pot roast, potatoes and carrots simmering in the crock pot there. As we drove away from Jordan Landing I noticed the Sears Home Center and thought it might be a place to check for dehumidifiers, but dinner beckoned, so we drove on without stopping.
45 minutes later we pulled in to the parking lot at our local Wal-Mart. As I got out of the car, I realized that I didn't have the checkbook. Doh. Immediately I remembered leaving the cart in the aisle near the dehumidifier at the Wal-Mart in Jordan Landing. I'd even felt a little guilty leaving the cart behind: somebody would have to return it to the front of the store. I hadn't remembered to take the checkbook out of the cart.
In I went to the Service Counter, where Angela helped me. She called the Jordan Landing Wal-Mart to make sure they'd located the checkbook. She helped three other patrons while she was on hold, waiting to talk with the hardware clerk in Jordan Landing. She was a true example of helpful service with a smile. Eventually, they found the cart and our checkbook. Angela told me the checkbook would be stored in the "Cash Room" for us. I gratefully thanked her, letting her know that she was an angel in deed.
We went home. I changed clothes and we enjoyed a pot roast dinner before we had to drive 45 minutes back to Jordan Landing.
Back to the other Wal-Mart, I went to Service Counter and asked for our checkbook. The clerk called in to the folks in the Cash Room. Apparently, the Cash Room is the inner-sanctum of each Wal-Mart. The Cash Room attendent asked for a description of the checkbook. I replied, brown leather about this size, last name on the checks... My description qualified me as a possible owner, so the attendant eventually passed the checkbook through a sliding security drawer to the clerk at the Service Counter. Without being asked, I showed the clerk my ID, matching that on the checks, then I went on to identify the baby pictures of my son and his son. At that point she waved me away. I thanked her for her efforts in our behalf.
The checkbook was undisturbed. No one had seen it in the cart. All my wife's cards were inside. There was no money in the pocket, but that is the normal state of things, so not a cause for concern.
Since we were back at Jordan Landing, we decided to stop in at Sears to see if they had dehumidifiers. We found a helpful clerk in the appliance area and asked him about dehumidifiers. He had no idea what we were talking about, but was looking for a sale anyway, so he looked up "air dryer" on the Sears website. That brought back entries for hair dryers and washers and dryers but no dehumidifiers. He searched for "de humdifier" but that brought back no hits. I suggested that he take the space out after "de". He did, and we got three hits to the query. He was surprised. I noticed that each of the dehumidifiers was more expensive than the one at the Wal-Mart next door. The salesman then went to the store's inventory computer to check if there might be any in stock. I didn't really want him to bother, but check he did. Nope. Nope. Nope. No items with that stock number were available locally. I thanked him and we drove home.
At 9:45 pm I walked in to our local Wal-Mart, bought the $118 unit, loaded it in the Jimmy and drove home. By 9:55 pm it was unpacked, plugged-in and sucking moisture from the atmosphere in our damp basement.
Moral: When the spirit whispers, LISTEN!
1. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) (100%)
2. Jehovah's Witness (100%)
3. Mainline to Liberal Christian Protestants (84%)
4. Mainline to Conservative Christian/Protestant (83%)
5. Bahá'í Faith (81%)
6. Eastern Orthodox (71%)
7. Roman Catholic (71%)
8. Orthodox Judaism (66%)
9. Orthodox Quaker (64%)
10.Liberal Quakers (57%)
11. Seventh Day Adventist (56%)
12. Sikhism (56%)
13. Islam (52%)
14. Hinduism (51%)
15. Unitarian Universalism (48%)
16. Christian Science (Church of Christ, Scientist) (47%)
17. Reform Judaism (43%)
18. Jainism (40%)
19. Neo-Pagan (36%)
20. Mahayana Buddhism (36%)
21. Theravada Buddhism (30%)
22. New Thought (28%)
23. Secular Humanism (26%)
24. New Age (25%)
25. Taoism (21%)
26. Nontheist (20%)
27. Scientology (17%)
Take the quiz
Monday, May 30, 2005
This morning we awoke to rain, thunder and lightning. It continued for hours. I thanked the Lord for the marvelous experience as I shoveled hail and bailed gallons of water away from the house. It was cold, cleaning out the gutters.
I exulted, shouting, "Let 'er rip!"
The Lord has used water to cleanse the earth before. The final cleansing won't be by flood this time, but it appears that it will be a precurser to the final cleansing.
I'm thrilled that the cleansing will actually start soon.
"Upon my house will it begin."
I wait with anticipation for the long foreseen events to unfold.
Meanwhile, I'm vacuuming up the water from the carpets in two basement rooms. We'll pull up the carpet when my son gets here. The pattern was set in Nauvoo: live as if you'll be here forever, up to the day you leave. Plant the flowers, clean the messes, cut and trim the grass. Paint the walls. Leave your house in order. Continue your life as if things will continue this way forever, being prepared at all times to answer the call to flee to the wilderness.
We ran a preparatory test last weekend. Other than some more medical supplies and camping utensils, we're ready to go. Not as ready as some, but as prepared as we've been prompted to become.
There are wonderful events soon to come.
A steady rain continues.
Bring it on!
(Doctrine and Covenants Section 112:23 - 26)
23 Verily, verily, I say unto you, darkness covereth the earth, and gross darkness the minds of the people, and all flesh has become corrupt before my face.
24 Behold, vengeance cometh speedily upon the inhabitants of the earth, a day of wrath, a day of burning, a day of desolation, of weeping, of mourning, and of lamentation; and as a whirlwind it shall come upon all the face of the earth, saith the Lord.
25 And upon my house shall it begin, and from my house shall it go forth, saith the Lord;
26 First among those among you, saith the Lord, who have professed to know my name and have not known me, and have blasphemed against me in the midst of my house, saith the Lord.
Sunday, May 22, 2005
20 Questions to a Better Personality
You are a WRCF--Wacky Rational Constructive Follower. This makes you a Paul Begala.
You are unflappable and largely unconcerned with others' reactions to you. You were not particularly interested in the results of this test, and probably took it only as a result of someone else asking you to.
You have a biting wit and intense powers of observation. No detail is lost on you, and your friends know it--relying on you to have the facts when others express only opinions. You are even-tempered, friendly, and educated. Foolish strangers may mistake your mildness for weakness--they will be surprised.
You entire approach to life is enviable. You will raise good kids.
Of the 124616 people who have taken this quiz since tracking began (8/17/2004), 4.7 % are this type.
Here's the link, if you want to give it a try:
She didn't like her profile, but I thought it caught a good partial view of her complex makeup [Wacky Rational Destructive Follower - a hacker type, only 2.7% of those tested had this mix].
The internet is an odd place.
Thursday, May 19, 2005
The odd part of the experience came a little later. My wife told me that after the nurse had walked me out to the waiting area, she joined me and we went into an office where the doctor gave me a clean bill of health.
Well, I remember falling asleep, waking in the recovery room, following the nurse's suggestions, having my IV removed and being told I could put my clothes on. The next thing I remember is walking out of the building with my wife.
No walk with the nurse. No visit to a doctor's office. Certainly no discussion of fudge, though she says he mentioned fudge twice in the 5 minute conversation I don't remember.
I don't like holes in my memories. I spent time last night trying to recapture the lost moments. I almost remember putting on my clothes. I do remember asking her when we were driving if I had put on my under shirt. Putting on clothes is an important activity. I wasn't in a hospital gown when we got to the truck, so I guess I had successfully performed that task.
It would be disquieting to have holes in my memories regularly. Since that is one of the reported effects of adult beverage consumption, I'll continue to consume childish beverages.
Wednesday, May 04, 2005
For over a decade I carried my data around on diskettes. Then I got zip disks and eventually a CD burner.
Recently I heard a missionary in the Library talking about his thumb drive. Missionaries are somehow always at the front edge of technological change. Figure that out.
Anyway, the portable USB drives arrived. I bought my first 128 mb drive, then upgraded to 256 mb.
As time has passed, I've been interested in the various names the new storage media have been given. I'm compiling a list:
- Thumb Drive
- Flash Drive
- Quick Key
- Key Drive
- Jump Drive
- USB Key
- Memory Stick
Meanwhile, I've found out how durable this new media is.
When she was gone to visit her sister, I did the laundry. (No, I do the laudry regularly, her visit is only a reminder of when the incident happened...) Anyway, I was loading the wet clothes into the dryer when I noticed it, there on the bottom of the wash drum. My thumb drive.
My newly washed and sparkling clean thumb drive.
Oh, my data.
How much had I lost?
Careful examination showed that the inner workings looked . . . clean. No intimation that damage might have occurred. I said a silent prayer.
When I went to bed, I put the drive on my nightstand, hoping against hope that a thorough air-drying might prevent anymore damage. I mean, it had gone through each wash, rinse and spin cycle. Zoiks!
As I got ready for the day, I put the thumb drive in my pocket.
At work I hesitated before plugging the drive in to my computer. Before my fears could completely articulate themselves, I jammed the drive in and tried to access it.
Can you say, stunned?
It was all there: my documents, pictures and master data base! No losses at all. I am still awed by the fact that my thumb drive went through a complete wash cycle and came out no worse for wear.
Those guys at Lexar Media know their stuff. I'm not much at product promotion, but if they ever need a testimonial, they can use this post.
Last year I bought a refurbished laptop. Sometime (I'd have to consult my journal) in the intervening time, my Dad gave me his old desktop machine. Since the desktop had a larger hard drive, I began using that one at home.
Meanwhile, I had my 256 mb thumb drive to keep my current documents and I was given a 40 gig pocket drive to use at work. The pocket drive has everything on it: data, music, documents. My whole library.
Long story short: I began leaving my laptop at home.
Oh, the guilt.
Last month the thought occurred to me: maybe the refurbishers would do a two-for-one trade, my desktop and laptop for a better laptop.
I let the idea roll around in my head for a while. Eventually I began to think of it as a good idea and mentioned it to her. Even she thought it might work.
Two weeks ago I called the computer shop. I made my pitch. Vic thought he could do it. He even mentioned a 17 inch screen on my upgrade. Ooooh, baby.
Two Saturdays ago we took the machines in to the shop. I had to remind Vic of our conversation. He still thought it'll go. Said he'd probably have something for me by Tuesday. Last Tuesday.
Well, I was out of town 'til Thursday night, last week. I called Friday. Vic hadn't been able to find a suitable upgrade for me. Call again Monday. I did.
Monday he said he'd found a couple of good possibilities. I asked him to order one for me. I've been without a computer at home for over a week. I'm going into withdrawal.
Thank heavens my folks and my sister had given me a tough puzzle to put together, "Picky, Picky": 1000 pieces, close-up of a mound of multi-colored toothpicks. I've been able to work on that instead of computering. I put in the final 20 pieces of the puzzle last night.
Monday evening I even told my dad what I'd done with his computer.
I'm waiting for a call from the shop.
Thursday, April 21, 2005
As I waited for the unsuccessful test to run, I watched a patron. He had his red plastic box of diskettes open on the desk next to his computer. As I watched, I felt the urge to smile at his reminder of my old activities: carrying my storage containers of multiple diskettes holding my precious genealogical files.
Quickly I realized that the urge to smile might have been a prideful symptom of the superiority I felt at the patron's expense, because I have a thumb drive and pocket hard drive and he doesn't. The new technology is more convenient and replaces the need for boxes of diskettes. Still, I keep my thumb drive with me at all times, a high-tech security blanket.
I offered a silent prayer begging forgiveness for my vanity, arrogance and pride.
As I continued to watch the still unresponsive computers, another patron sat down nearby. He put his work station in order, reminding me of a virtuoso pianist preparing for a concert performance. He expertly adjusted the keyboard tray; took apart the mouse and cleaned the track-ball system; modified the resolution on the flat panel monitor, then opened and resized several windows. Finally, he began his work.
My silent enjoyment of his finesse reminded me that repentance for pride can be an on-going struggle; that pride can manifest in many different ways.
I'm thankful for the Lord's long-suffering and patience.
Tuesday, April 19, 2005
As we entered town I looked up with a start: there were no mountains. Suddenly I was in upstate New York. The afternoon was bright, with heavy cloud cover. The clouds were high, but apparently low enough that no mountains were visible. At all. It looked like a typically overcast day in the suburbs of Rochester.
The lack of a mountainous back-drop changed the entire feel of the town where I live. I was comfortably at home, a feeling over ten years in manifesting itself. It was a fun change of pace.
As the clouds lifted so did the home-like impressions.
Thankfully her love for me provides a home where ever we live.
Friday, April 15, 2005
Some Time Ago
I said to him, “I never put that foundation in.”
“No,” said he. “The foundation is built on revelation. The four corner stones are faith, repentance, baptism, and laying on of hands for the Holy Ghost, and upon these you raised the building.”
He said, “When you was baptized and confirmed you wanted every person to believe. You was ordained to the office of a Teacher. Here you began to build upon the foundation. Then you was ordained to the office of a Priest, and went and preached the Gospel and baptized some. Then you was ordained an Elder and preached the Gospel. Then you was associated with the Bishopric, and here you put the doors and windows in, and built the first story. Then next you went into polygamy. Here you commenced the second story. Come and let us go in and see.”
We went into the building. It was most beautiful and white. The second story was one large room the size of the whole building. I saw on the wall in letters of gold, “Banquet Chamber.”
I said to the guide, “This is a large room–too large for my use.”
“Not so,” said he, “Your family and friends will fill it.”
We went up into the third story.
“You have been in the upper room of the temple,” said he, “And you understand this,” pointing to three chairs.
“Yes,” said I.
“This is your life’s work and I congratulate you in having it finished.”
I replied, “Yes, but it is empty and as it took my life to build it, it will take another life’s work to finish it.”
“Not so,” said he, “You have wives and children, also friends who have passed away. They are laboring continually to get it finished by the time you will need it. You have many friends in the Spirit World whom you caused to be released, by your labors, from prison. They wish to show their love and gratitude to you and are helping to prepare for your arrival.”
“That’s nice,” I replied, “But I would like to know how this rubbish came here. It is not the same material as the building.”
He smiled and said, “You was very zealous when you were teaching, preaching and exhorting, and you said things that were not true. Therefore those things you taught would not mix with the building but crumbled down and became what you see around and your work now is to clear it away that the truth may shine.”
So I went back to the shovel and commenced shoveling away, when I awoke it was 5 o’clock.
Thursday, April 14, 2005
I'm not the only one to feel a powerful emotional response to Card's book. John C. Snider's review at scifidimensions.com states:
"And it's not all dry politics punctuated with high-tech bloodshed. First and foremost, Shadow of the Giant is introspective and emotional - the last quarter of the novel is as tear-jerking a denouement as you're likely to read in a science fiction novel."
It has been a long time since I've had an experience like that.
Each year I am hired to go to Washington, DC, with the eighth grade class from Clinton, WI. where I grew up, to video tape their trip. I greatly enjoy visiting our nation's capitol, and each year I take some special memories back with me. This fall's trip was especially memorable.
On the last night of our trip, we stopped at the Iwo Jima memorial. This memorial is the largest bronze statue in the world and depicts one of the most famous photographs in history -- that of the six brave soldiers raising the American Flag at the top of a rocky hill on the island of Iwo Jima, Japan, during WW II.
Over one hundred students and chaperones piled off the buses and headed towards the memorial. I noticed a solitary figure at the base of the statue, and as I got closer he asked, "Where are you guys from?"
I told him that we were from Wisconsin. "Hey, I'm a cheese head, too! Come gather around, Cheese heads, and I will tell you a story."
(James Bradley just happened to be in Washington, DC, to speak at the memorial the following day. He was there that night to say good night to his dad, who has since passed away. He was just about to leave when he saw the buses pull up. I videotaped him as he spoke to us, and received his permission to share what he said from my videotape. It is one thing to tour the incredible monuments filled with history in Washington, D.C., but it is quite another to get the kind of insight we received that night).
When all had gathered around, he reverently began to speak. (Here are his words that night).
"My name is James Bradley and I'm from Antigo, Wisconsin. My dad is on that statue, and I just wrote a book called "Flags of Our Fathers" which is #5 on the New York Times Best Seller list right now. It is the story of the six boys you see behind me.
"Six boys raised the flag. The first guy putting the pole in the ground is Harlon Block. Harlon was an all-state football player. He enlisted in the Marine Corps with all the senior members of his football team. They were off to play another type of game. A game called "War." But it didn't turn out to be a game. Harlon, at the age of 21, died with his intestines in his hands. I don't say that to gross you out, I say that because there are generals who stand in front of this statue and talk about the glory of war. You guys need to know that most of the boys in Iwo Jima were 17, 18, and 19 years old. (He pointed to the statue)
"You see this next guy? That's Rene Gagnon from New Hampshire. If you took Rene's helmet off at the moment this photo was taken and looked in the webbing of that helmet, you would find a photograph...a photograph of his girlfriend. Rene put that in there for protection because he was scared. He was 18 years old. Boys won the battle of Iwo Jima. Boys. Not old men.
"The next guy here, the third guy in this tableau, was Sergeant Mike Strank. Mike is my hero. He was the hero of all these guys. They called him the "old man" because he was so old. He was already 24. When Mike would motivate his boys in training camp, he didn't say, 'let's go kill some Japanese' or 'let's die for our country.' He knew he was talking to little boys. Instead he would say, 'You do what I say, and I'll get you home to your mothers.'
"The last guy on this side of the statue is Ira Hayes, a Pima Indian from Arizona. Ira Hayes walked off Iwo Jima. He went into the White House with my dad. President Truman told him, 'You're a hero.' He told reporters, 'How can I feel like a hero when 250 of my buddies hit the island with me and only 27 of us walked off alive?' So you take your class at school, 250 of you spending a year together having fun, doing everything together. Then all 250 of you hit the beach, but only 27 of your classmates walk off alive. That was Ira Hayes. He had images of horror in his mind. Ira Hayes died dead drunk, face down at the age of 32...ten years after this picture was taken.
"The next guy, going around the statue, is Franklin Sousley from Hilltop, Kentucky. A fun-lovin' hillbilly boy. Franklin died on Iwo Jima at the age of 19. When the telegram came to tell his mother that he was dead, it went to the Hilltop General Store. A barefoot boy ran that telegram up to his mother's farm. The neighbors could hear her scream all night and into the morning. The neighbors lived a quarter of a mile away.
"The next guy, as we continue to go around the statue, is my dad, John Bradley from Antigo, Wisconsin, where I was raised. My dad lived until 1994, but he would never give interviews. When Walter Cronkite's producers or the New York Times would call, we were trained as little kids to say, 'No, I'm sorry, sir, my dad's not here. He is in Canada fishing. No, there is no phone there, sir. No, we don't know when he is coming back.' My dad never fished or even went to Canada. Usually, he was sitting there right at the table eating his Campbell's soup. But we had to tell the press that he was out fishing. He didn't want to talk to the press.
"You see, my dad didn't see himself as a hero. Everyone thinks these guys are heroes, 'cause they are in a photo and on a monument. My dad knew better. He was a medic. John Bradley from Wisconsin was a caregiver. In Iwo Jima he probably held over 200 boys as they died. And when boys died in Iwo Jima, they writhed and screamed in pain.
"When I was a little boy, my third grade teacher told me that my dad was a hero. When I went home and told my dad that, he looked at me and said, 'I want you always to remember that the heroes of Iwo Jima are the guys who did not come back. Did NOT come back.'
"So that's the story about six nice young boys. Three died on Iwo Jima, and three came back as national heroes. Overall, 7,000 boys died on Iwo Jima in the worst battle in the history of the Marine Corps. My voice is giving out, so I will end here. Thank you for your time."
Suddenly, the monument wasn't just a big old piece of metal with a flag sticking out of the top. It came to life before our eyes with the heartfelt words of a son who did indeed have a father who was a hero. Maybe not a hero for the reasons most people would believe, but a hero nonetheless.
We need to remember that God created this vast and glorious world for us to live in, freely, but also at great sacrifice. Let us never forget from the Revolutionary War to the Gulf War and all the wars in-between that sacrifice was made for our freedom. Remember to pray for this great country of ours and also pray for those still in murderous unrest around the world. STOP and THANK GOD for being alive and being free because of someone else's sacrifice.
Tuesday, April 05, 2005
Things were going along pretty smoothly. I'd been able to answer several questions with little problem.
A lady came up and asked if I new of an expert on early temple records. I asked, "Can I help you?"
She stated that she wanted to verify an ordinance date from the 1920's and that she wanted to look at the Family Group Record that had the original stamp on it.
I reminded her that Family Group Records were used to submit temple work from 1942 to 1970.
She was sure that the record she wanted was on a family group record, so I pulled out a listing of the microfilm collection of FGR's and suggested she find the film that corresponds to her family name.
She asked for another reference consultant by name. I found the consultant list and saw that the consultant she'd asked for didn't have a shift today, so I told her where the consultant's office is located.
At that point I felt it necessary to establish my credentials. I told her of the positions I'd had previously, in charge of the system used to store ordinance data.
I don't do credentials very well. Never have. I have a tough time selling myself. Not that I am not qualified, I just don't do self-promotion well.
I especially don't like to bring up my capabilities when my credibility has been challenged. The main reason being that I don't hold my emotions very well in that circumstance. The lady knew that I was miffed. I tried to cover over my feelings by suggesting other resources to check, but the damage was done.
She soon left and I didn't think to apologize until some 15 minutes later, after she was long gone and I'd helped another patron.
Now I have to apologize the hard way: make sure that I am always helpful and try not to challenge another's assumptions. That last will be a long row to hoe. Especially when I want to help teach folks how to get their answers efficiently and effectively.
Pride is a difficult master to overthrow. It manifests in far too many subtle ways.
Monday, April 04, 2005
Time to get this thing going again.
I've been going through a period of intense contemplation. Much too personal to include in this forum. Sorry.
But, despite the continued gray days and marvelous precipitation, I'm content and pleased with things over all.
Family is a blessing.
So is music.
It was good to see the Pope released from his labors. He'd been going since I was on my mission 26 years ago. I've had several different occupations since that time. He's entitled to a change. I'd love to sit in on his PPI with Father. It would be an interesting discussion.
Conference time is always a time for introspection and renewed efforts to implement the counsel we've heard. The prophet looks and sounds more robust than he has in some time. Light bulbs always burn brightest just before they finish their jobs. Pray for the prophet.
Monday, March 07, 2005
The date on each file was from March 1995. Time capsules. 10 years. An eternity in the computer industry. The floppies are from a different technological epoch.
The TSRs had an old computer down there that still has a 5 1/4 inch drive in it. The computer took 15 minutes to boot up. It's hard drive is beginning to fail, causing the slow-down. We had to boot it twice.
Patience is a virtue.
Finally the little task was done: I copied the files from old technology (5 1/4 inch diskettes) to new technology (my USB JumpDrive). A quick look through the files reveals clues that will help me track down more cousins. The information persisted a decade and is still viable.
Current thinking in the Computer Science realm suggests that the media on the diskettes should have gone bad years ago. Tiny electronic miracles still happen.
On another note: Today at the cafeteria, as I fumbled with my wallet, the lady in front of me got into her purse, bumping my tray. The plate holding my sandwich, flipped into the air and landed, all a-clatter, on the floor. The plate didn't break, oddly enough. The sandwich, of course, split in half, hitting the floor with both slices mayonnaise side down. I tried to rescue my sandwich (I was in a bit of a hurry - 10 second rule and all), but folks said, "Go make another one..." I still smell like mustard and mayo.
Early in my life I heard the story:
"The Doctors all thought you were a girl before you were born."
The story was repeated often enough that the thought occurred to me as a child: "What if I really am a girl?" I never voiced the question. It was just there. By the time I knew the difference between boys and girls, there was no question left: I really am a boy.
According to current popular thought, with that early questioning of my gender, I should be gay.
I'm not. Never have been. I've always been thoroughly enamored by the female form. I've never had a desire to dress up in women's clothes; to kiss a man. I do vaguely remember trying to walk in high heels as a child and wondering why you would do that.
My feelings towards the female form have lead me down dark paths, but never towards homosexuality. I have struggled long and hard with my own demonic habits and addictions, so I know what a waste giving in to any temptation can be.
The opposition creates counterfeits of all things. Homosexuality is probably the best example of counterfeit love there can be.
Over the weekend we watched "Angels in America". It had been recommended as a well-produced bad film. We sat through all 6 hours expecting something better. It was a wonderful example of societal propaganda. There were a few entertaining moments, but the whole thing was pretty shallow.
Through the years we've developed the habit of analyzing everything we watch: looking for subtle lies and hidden truths in the media we view; looking for meaning that shapes public opinion and attitude. This movie has a long laundry list of lies and untruths. Very little of the production had truth in it. I will not go wading back through that fetid swamp of a movie to compile lists of the good and the bad. The movie is not worth the effort. The good and true is there to be seen, but completely overshadowed by the monumental lies the producers want you to swallow. Any truths in the movie are insignificant.
Joseph said something along the lines that the devil would use a thousands truths to help you believe a lie. This production took that idea and reversed it.
Over the years my wife and I have tried to gain an understanding of the Gay Lifestyle. We've tried to cut through the haze of misinformation and propaganda that abounds in this subject area. We've formed our own opinions about the subject:
- Intimate relations outside of a marital relationship is wrong.
- Whether or not that act is with someone of the same gender, or with someone of the opposite gender, is irrelevant.
- Homosexuality is sad, a waste.
- Making generalizations about sexual motivation is nearly impossible.
- Political acceptance of sexual orientation is a blind: just one more way to acquire power, influence and position.
Watching the movie "Angels in America" left a void in our home. Things were somber when we finished. It was not an uplifting experience. Unfortunately, it made me wonder about the reasons why the movie had been recommended in the first place. I don't recommend it to anyone. It doesn't include enough truths, hidden or otherwise, to take the trouble to watch.
That being said, it's no wonder that the film won acclaim. It is a wonderful, self-serving vehicle to promote the gay lifestyle. The vehicle demanded controversial fuel. Using "Mormons" as leading characters was but part of that fuel mix. Knowing how "Mormons" have been portrayed in the media is still not justification enough to watch this film.
The treatment of Mormons and Mormonism in the film is neither fair nor unfair. It is just shallow. The "Mormon" characters were fuel. They moved the story along. They were chewed up, used up and spit out.
No one needs to see this film. It's not worth 15 minutes, not to mention 6 hours. I am ashamed to have wasted my time with it.