30 August 2002

I love network outages. Sitting here at my computer fielding calls that should really begin with "The network is down. No e-mail, no Internet, no network printing. And no, we do not know when the network will be back up, but they are working to get is up as soon as they can."

I somehow think I won't be allowed to do that though.

So I've been busy with school and paying minimal attention to the news (minimal for me that is, which means I'm still paying attention). None of it sounds good, but then none of it sounds truly awful either, so I guess things are normal. There's a definite tension I think, as people prepare for the 1st anniversary of the disasters of 11 September. I think it is partially not wanting to relive that awful day, so again be bombarded with those horrific images, and it is partially fear that something else will happen. Personally I don't think that anything really bad will happen. I think that we have the same, if not higher, level of awareness as we did for the Millenium, and nothing happened then becuase we were looking for it. Although there will probably be lots of bomb scares, and anthrax scares and God only knows what else, I don't think that there will be a major disaster, primarily because from a strategic standpoint it would be stupid. Unless of course that madman in Iraq starts something, which is possible, although unlikely. So I will spend the day nervous, and sad, but I am not expecting recurring tragedy.

Now the week before and after on the other hand, I am not so sure about.

Hmmm....Big thing to contemplate....What shall I do?


27 August 2002


Does that sum things up? Why, yes it does!

But admist that business, I've still found some amusing things. First:
This: http://www.arcataeye.com/police/ is the site of the Acarta Eye (Humboldt County, California) Newspaper police logs. We've been laughing over these off and on all day.

This site (http://complex.gmu.edu/neural/personnel/ernie/witty/latin.html) contains Latin translations of common sayings.

And this site (http://complex.gmu.edu/neural/personnel/ernie/witty/witty.html) is a random collection of "Witty and Curious Tidbits".

Just goes to show that things are never do busy that you can not effectively waste time.


18 August 2002

Background: We have a utility sink between our washer and dryer, and between the sink and the dryer, I have what could be construed as a low table, upon which I have laundry baskets into which I place clean laundry to be carried upstairs.

Me: "Michael, you might want to be careful pouring out that dirty mop water; there are clean clothes here."
Michael: "I can see that!"
Me: "Well, I just thought I'd remind you that you have clean clothes sitting right there and you might not want to splash dirty water on them."
Michael: "I can see the clean clothes! I'm not blind! Did you think I couldn't see the clothes?"
Me: "Well, yes."

This starts a discussion about him not seeing things that are right in front of him and he gets pseudo annoyed and I drop the subject.

Fast forward to the evening, and I am in the shower, and called to Michael that I had forgotten to put the bathrobes into the dryer from the washer, and could be please do that for me. Several minutes later he pops into the bathroom and I can just see through the shower curtain that he is doing something in the closet.

Me (in a surprised and gratified tone of voice): "Hey, thank you!"
Michael (in a confused tone): "For what?"
Me: "For putting away the laundry!"
Michael: "What laundry? I'm just putting some dirty clothes in the hamper."
Me: "You're not putting away the towels that were in the laundry basket?"
Michael: "What clean towels?"
Me: "Did you put the bathrobes in the dryer?"
Michael: "Yes."
Me: "And you didn't notice the basket of clean clothes sitting next to the dryer?"
Michael: "No?"

And men wonder why we women are nuts.


6 August 2002

An interesting article on the government's TIPS program is on the FindLaw website. I am disgusted, but yet unsurprised, that the government is encouraging citizens to spy upon each other, but the truly bothersome thing is, as the columnist says, that workers who have access to our homes will be enlisted in this fight. Our water meter is in the basement. Does this mean that if we gave the water company a key to check the water meter when we were not home, that they would have the right to search my house for contraband or signs that I am a terrorist?


5 August 2002

Found things:
Heard about Book Crossings on the radio a couple weeks ago, but was in the car at the time and so filed it for future reference. Found it again, and it sounds like a bizarre, and yet fantastic idea--leaving books for others to find and read. Problem is that 1) I am to possessive of my books and 2) I like to have books to loan out, and that is how I lose my books. I loan them out and never get them back. The only book that I resent losing was my hardback copy of Good Omens. Which reminds me, I can not longer who borrowed "The Belgariad" by David Eddings, so I am thinking it's about time to replace it again.
This is just kind of nifty, although I am a little bothered by the fact that Bob Mould brought up "the spice girls".
http://webster.com/ I do not know where I would be without Webster's on-line dictionary and aid for the spelling impaired.

So Erin was asking me about my writing, and for the first time in years I've been thinking about writing, and stuff I have written in the past, and the whole concept of putting words in a slightly more concrete form.... Which makes me think, posting things on the web seems only slightly less nebulous than having words and thoughts floating around in one's head. Does something really exist immutably if it is not on paper or papyrus or stone? Of course when I think about it, I know that isn't so, because most cultures had oral traditions long before things were written--The Mishnah and other commentaries on the Torah were not written until relatively recently in a geologic sense, so of course things can exist through time without being written down, but even so the web seems to ethereal in so many ways. Here today, gone tomorrow--which of course reminds me of the Dada song of the same name.

Where was I?Writing about writing--foolish sounding activity if there was one.

But the music reminded me that for our last trip, I dug out all the old mix tapes I could find, and reminded myself of all the music that I never get around to listening to anymore, especially The Wonder Stuff. So I listened to The Wonder Stuff all weekend while I was sewing.
Don't you think it's funny that nothing's what it seems
when you're not looking forward?
Me, I'd like to think life is like a drink,
and I'm hoping that it tastes like bourbon.
You know that I've been drunk a thousand times,
and these should be the best days of my life,
Life, it's not what I thought it was.
Damn blast, look at my past,
ripping up my feet over broken glass.
Oh wow, look at me now,
I'm building up my problems to the size of a cow.


1 August 2002
So Mike receives a birthday card containing a letter telling him how bad and worthless he is. What kind of screwed up jerk sends crap like that? Even if the letter wasn't completely out of line and flat out wrong, it would STILL be rude and offensive. Never mind that the person who sent the letter never calls or writes Michael--except of course the lovely chain letters with blessings from angels if you send the message onto ten people in the next ten minutes or else the virus hoaxes that want you to delete useful system files. And of course these messages ALWAYS have about seven screens of headers that the sender was too ignorant or lazy to delete AND they never ever use the blind carbon copy line AND the message is typically sent to everyone in their address book, so not only does that give you two more screens to scroll through before you get to the seven screens of headers, but now every cretin in THEIR address book now has YOUR address, and the resulting spam and viruses are something else.

Not that I'm mad or anything.

No, I am not mad, I am incensed.

Get a clue! If every visit and call and e-mail contains a lecture about what a bad person you are--people are not going to want to write or call or visit! It's just one more thing that pisses me off about people who call themselves "Christians" but instead seem to have missed the point of Christianity entirely.

But I'm not bitter.


29 July 2002

Happy Rain Day!


28 July 2002
Note to self. Avoid riding in car with brother.

So Dad's surprise party is FINALLY over, and things actually went well. Everyone we expected showed up except dad's cousin Cathy and her husband. Grandmom and cousin Barbara were disappointed about that, but things do happen, and it was still fantastic that about 30 people came. And Dad at least *acted* surprised, so that was good enough for me. (grin) I was both amused and frustrated by the intricate plans to get Mike and I to the restaurant early while still not letting dad know what was happening. We really did look for fabric stores, but found none, although we found a *very* interesting Waldenbooks at the Glen Burnie mall. It was being run almost entirely by Goths, and even played goth music over the store sound system. I was quite content wasting time there. So five o'clock rolls around and I call Grandmom from Mom's cell phone, to make sure they are gone, we rush home, change into our dress clothes, and then go over to the restaurant, where we have way too much time to set up, but it's okay because Vivian and Ed were early, so we talked to them. I was actually quite surprised by the number of people who arrived early--I guess they do not share Dad's tardiness genes. Then Brian and Stacie show up, and we learn that they were in an accident on the way here. They were completely unhurt, although Brian said his neck was a little stiff. (Unsurprisingly really) Some guy (in a new car of course) fell asleep at the wheel, and rear ended them while they were driving 70mph. Stacie said it was the 8th time that car had been hit or in some sort of altercation. And of course Brian's Stratus was hit several times right after he bought it. So I think I'll avoid riding in the car with my brother from now on.

The cool thing was that I went through the pictures I had scanned with Grandmom, and got details and information about who is in the pictures, when the pictures were taken etc. I would really like to find out more information about the Klishis side of the family, and I did finally get Grandmother Klishis' maiden name. So there is another path to take. Anthony Bogdan has much information about the Bogdan side of the family (Grandmom's mother) and Grandmom knows a bit about the Laukaitis side of the family but there is little information I know or can find about the Klishis side of the family. I hope Grandmom has started recording her memories like we've all be harassing her to do, because so much information was lost with Aunt Sophie's death this spring, and even more will be lost if Grandmom doesn't record this information for us.


25 July 2002
Busy! Busy! Busy!

I know, what a surprise. But things look good with the house! My doors are done, the bedroom is done, and today I painted the last section of basement floor. Yippee!

Have been listening to the news, but have been to much to pay a lot of attention. Was pleased to hear that it looks like things will be changing regarding US Cuba relations. Of course the president will probably veto any forward measures, but I still think it's important step forward.

Another busy weekend coming up. We're going to Baltimore for my dad's birthday on Saturday, and then Monday it's down to Charleston because Mike's grandma is visiting his mother, so we'll get to see his mom and grandma as well as Doug and Shawna and Wilson, who has to be huge now, and we have not seen him since Christmas.

One nice thing this past two weeks, is that I've been able to e-mail Erin on a more regular basis. (Hi Erin!) Which I have not been able to do much over the summer, since she has been busy with her internship and this unable to waste time on the computer--I know, what an amazing thought! But she is an awful lot of fun, and entertainment it always good. Especially when you're bored.

Also, Mike's birthday went well, other than my brief cranky episode, and he REALLY likes his GPS. I pick him up and when we get home I tell him that he package arrived, so he immediately sits on the sofa and starts playing with it. next thing I know he is standing on the front porch. In his socks. In the rain. Trying to pick up satellites. So I tell him that if he wants to skip his class, we can go driving around so he can play with the GPS. On the way out to my parent's house (they after all helped me buy the GPS and in fact paid for most of it) he not only told me my latitude and longitude, but also how fast I was going. And that the roads didn't exist on the GPS, but we were driving NEAR the road! And LOOK! The RIVER was on the map too! This precipitated a long discussion as to how you spell Monongahela river versus Monongalia county. From here, we proceeded to stand outside (at least it was only barely raining now) and then walk up the road to my brother's house, while along the way Michael keeps telling my mother "Watch the compass move when I move!" Eventually Michael and my mom end up at the end of the road, while I'm back and Brian's house talking about pruning plants, where we see my dad pull onto the road and stop to talk to Michael and my mother. Next thing I know Mom is driving dad's car and Michael and my dad are walking back from the end of the road--dad said the road was a quarter of a mile and the GPS said it was a third, but he had meandered while walking, and wandered around a bit while talking to my brother. Eventually we reach my parent's house and determine that yes, the IS in fact only a quarter of a mile long, and look, we can also get the longitude, latitude and elevation! At this point, I start mentioning how hungry I am, and after calling my grandmother, having a discussion of where we wanted to eat, and then calling my brother, we leave to go eat. Along the way, Michael informs my dad that, according to the GPS, he is driving off the road and needs to move over to the left to get back on the road. This went over as well as you would imagine.
At the restaurant, things are typically ridiculous. Michael orders a Killian's and we harass him about ID. The bartender asks him for ID. Everyone else orders Ginger Ale. The waiter comes back to tell Michael they do not have Killian's, so he orders something else. The bartender leaves, and then comes back to tells us they are out of Ginger Ale. We order different drinks. The bartender comes back to order, and I ask if they are Maryland style crab cakes or now. He doesn't know what Maryland style crab cakes are. We explain. He leaves to ask the kitchen. No, they are not Maryland style crab cakes. I order something else. My dad then wants to know if he can have what he wants over linguine instead of rice. He'll have to ask the chef. luckily, we calmed down after that, or it's possible we would have been wearing our food become you KNOW that we were, of course, laughing the entire time.

And that was Michael's birthday.


18 July 2002

15 July 2002
In a debate with Steve, I was reminded of something I read several weeks ago which piqued my interest, but which I had not bothered to find more information until now. Apparently in a poll of children aged 6 to 14, given by the World Almanac for Kidspolitical and religious figures edged out sports and entertainment figures, with the only "celebrity" to make the top 25 being author J.K. Rowling. I personally think that is pretty fantastic.

Regarding me, I was very busy with the house over the weekend. I should be able to put the last coat of polyurethane onto the last door this evening, which is just great as far as I am concerned. I should also finish up painting most of the basement walls (one small section under the stairs where there is a LOT of junk will not be painted. I was actually surprised at what a difference painting the walls made. The dry lock is light in color, but I used a white high gloss enamel paint, and it really makes the basement brighter. And of course it is much brighter in the areas where there was green paint. (Not sure why that color was chosen, but most of it is gone now.) Plus we picked out paint colors for the bedroom that match the quilt, and that will be next weekend's project, which means that this week I have to remove the ugly "chair rail" and wallpaper and spackle all the holes. Yippee!


12 July 2002
Very amusing thing on the radio last night. Apparently some woman in NY has invented a car alarm that uses bird song. They have what the alarm actually sounds like if you visit that link. I think that's just fantastic!

Read an interesting article about knee surgery. Apparently all this arthroscopic surgery that is being performed is basically useless, since a "placebo surgery" (and interesting concept in and of itself) was just as effective in alleviating pain. Good to know what our insurance money has been buying.

Speaking of health news, they stopped the portion of the Women's Health Initiative that was looking at hormone replacement therapy (or HRT) when they discovered that the costs and dangers of using HRT did not outweigh the benefits. Which doesn't surprise me, since it seems like they are always willing to try new therapies without first thoroughly testing them. If you are interested in more information on Women's Health, I would suggest some of the following sites:
The National Women's Health Information Center
Women's Health Interactive
Women's Health Information Center from JAMA (the Journal of the American Medical Association)
Society for Women's Health Research
Other than that, one door left and that portion of the house is done! We'll be painting the basement next I think, including the floor. That should be loads of fun. Never mind that I still have not painted the bedroom--perhaps I should consider that as well.....


5 July 2002
Much to the surprise of pundits everywhere, the 4th passed without major incident, which was a pleasant surprise. Sometimes it's good to be wrong.

Yesterday was typical for a Morgantown summer day--hazy, hot and humid. Not as bad as Washington, though pretty uncomfortable. We spent the afternoon and evening in Fairmont. My only comment was that I'll definitely try to avoid fireworks in Fairmont in the future. They were not on par with the Hill's fireworks of my childhood--I don't think anything could be that bad, but they not worth a return trip.

The fireworks did, however, did give me pause for thought. For once, I was reminded of the reason behind the 4th. Michael said that he had never thought, before, of the reason for the fireworks, of the violent past and battles that lead not only to the creation of the United States, but also of the many battles fought to keep our independence. I think what bothers me most, are the people who wave the flag, and rant about "Under God" belonging in the pledge, but who can't even properly care for the flag, and who don't seem to care much about their fellow man, except more as an abstract concept. It just, to me, seems more hypocrisy than patriotism, and it bothers me. But I suppose there may be some good, if it brings about patriotism in those who are now children. But I fear that instead we'll just have a further destruction of our civil rights and liberties.

Perhaps I am just feeling overly pessimistic today.


2 July 2002
Happy belated birthday to me!

A pleasant day I had yesterday. Went out to lunch with friends, went out to dinner with my family--what more could one want from a birthday? Well, I'll refrain from answering that one...

Bought some books for myself from Amazon--now I just have to wait a week (or so!) for them to arrive. Found several books on folk tales that looked very interesting, and with Amazon's free shipping for orders of $50 or more, how could I resist? I am getting: "Norwegian Folk Tales From the Collection of Peter Christen Asbjrnsen, Jrgen Moe (Pantheon Fairy Tale and Folklore Library)"; "Russian Fairy Tales"; "Chinese Fairy Tales and Fantasies (Pantheon Fairy Tale and Folk Lore Library (Paper))"; and "The Complete Fairy Tales of Charles Perrault". I am especially excited about the Russian Fairy Tales, and am hoping they are different from what I have previously read.

On the home front, I was a little disappointed with the doors. They are NOT interchangeable, so the door that did not turn out as well, one that I wanted to go on a closet, is on the bedroom. I may decided to re-do it again. But the others turned out okay, so that was good. I have one door in the basement that has been stained and now needs polyurethaned, and then on Thursday probably I'll strip the bathroom door and maybe the bedroom door. Oh the excitement in my life!

Regarding the state of the world--I keep thinking that perhaps I should just take a break from listening to the news, because nothing good seems to be happening anywhere. Yuck. Though I did discover that the infamous Kathleen Harris is running against a dog for the Florida congressional seat. I heard the dog is running with the slogan--haven't made a mess in the house in the past, won't make a mess in the House in the future. Very cute.

Received a couple of interesting e-mail messages today. A quiz to test your consumption quotient from the PBS website. And a History of the Pledge of Allegiance from the ACLU website. Interesting reading both.

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