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I'm All Moved BUT.............
Thursday October 30th 2003 - 3:53 PM MST

As I mentioned  in my blog entry of September 23rd  I stated that I was moving.  Well, that day has come and gone, but it has been ANYTHING but uneventful and FULL of hitches (none of which are to sneeze at either!).  :-(

First, I bust the case of my VCR (and probably in all likelihood the VCR itself) as I was moving the TV from the old apartment to the new one in preparation for the cable installer.  What's even worse is that the VCR was also doing double duty as the cable box as well (I only have Expanded Basic cable service and  Comcast, oiur local cable company,  is tossing out the old analog cable boxes in lieu of the ones for Digital Cable.  :-( ).

Next, the cable installer shows up, but NEVER CALLED ME IN ADVANCE!!!  So, as I'm playing "traffic cop" as I direct the mover helpers where to put each piece of furniture, I'm also on my cell phone talking to a service rep from  Comcast, our beloved local cable company .

They tell me they "don't do call-backs" and that I would have to re-schedule.  I explained to them in an earlier conversation that I wanted them to call me in advance so A). I could let them into the building when they arrived and B).  I could move the power cords for the PC and cable modem down to the new apartment (I had been sitting up in the old apartment as that's where the furniture was at the time and was beat).

Luckily though after about 10 minutes, they call me back telling me that the installer would be here in 10 minutes.  By this time, I was just finishing with the move of the furniture (with MANY thanks to my helpers  :-)) and had told them as much.  Apparently this got to the installer, who basically dragged her feet by doing the neccessary work on the outside of the building before coming in to hook everything up.

With a busted VCR, I directed the cable installer to route the connection via the CD/DVD Player instead.  She did.  She also hooked up my cable modem and made sure that was working (which it is, but there's a catch to this, which I'll go into later).  After she hooked up the cable modem and made sure it was working, she gave me some numbers I needed to know and then left.

Minutes later, I went to turn on the TV to catch  The Fox Report With Shepherd Smith as that's my favorite network news program, only to find that my TV can't even receive channels like Fox News  because I'm not using a conventional analog cable box or a VCR (remember, the VCR got busted the night before.  Try to keep up with me on this if that's even possible).

So I called  the local cable company AGAIN and told the rep. what my situation was.  He suggested that I power cycle my TV by unplugging it for about a half hour.  Figuring he knew  what to do, I followed this suggestion even though I had never  had to power cycle  my TV for any reason whatsoever in its entire 20 year life.

Anyhow, as luck would have it, it would be an hour before I could try again (I still had some more stuff to move).  I tried again and got the same result.   So I called the local cable company - YET AGAIN!!!!  It was then that I actually got someone who knew what the fuckin' hell they were doing!!!  As brutal and as bitchy as she was (her communications skills could easily be likened to a mother talking to her child in a parental manner), she told me the only way I could remedy the situation was to A). Go down to the  cable company's local payment center  and see if they had any analog cable boxes left, B). Get a new VCR or C). Get a more modern cable ready TV (the set I have now already is cable ready, even though it's 20 years old).

I opted to call Mom & dad to see if they had a spare VCR I could have.  Luckily, they have one and Mom told me I could have it.  :-)  I told her I'd be down (hopefully!) this weekend when I return a backpack carrier she loaned to me earlier this week (even though I didn't need it when I went to borrow some food from them).

On to the Internet - Where OH WHERE do I begin to explain this........

TO BE CONTINUED....



Columbine Video Release:  Logical Move Or Dangerous Precedence?
Friday October 24th, 2003 - 9:43 PM  MDT

Okay folks, I just know I'm gonna have a VERY hard time keeping the expletitives out of this one, though I will try.

As you probably already know by now,  Jefferson County  officials released a video which show Eric Harris & Dylan Klebold showing off some of their weapons at a nearby rifle range.  However, it's not the fact that they released it that irks me (although it does since a Federal judge ordered the tape, and anything else associated with the Columbine massacre DESTROYED), but it's HOW  the  Jefferson County  officials are releasing it that makes my blood BOIL (and it should makes YOURS boil as well).  :-(

They are charging $20 and are SELLING copies of the video to ANYONE who has the $$$ who wants a copy.   Heck, why don't they just put up a BIG HUGE display at  Blockbuster Video  or  Hollywood Video  or something?  This way, they can sell HUNDREDS of copies.

I mean, does the county not see the potential for copycatswho could be more successful here??  Obviously not.  Look at the case of the two teenagers in  New Jersey  The SCARY part of that is they didn't have access to a video or whatever.  I shudder to imagine what could happen when such a copycat does get this TRIPE of a "video".

This is NOT "entertainment".  It isn't even "Reality TV".  It is a GLAMOURIZATION of the actions of A PAIR OF KILLERS and their so-called "friends".  Plain and simple.

Now.....Having said that, I sympathize with the parents' desire to have all the information on the Columbine investigation disseminated (sp?), but THIS IS NOT THE WAY.  Moreover, this video should be DESTROYED.  The judge's ORDERS were VERY SPECIFIC.  They contained NOTHING which gave Jefferson County ANY LEGAL RIGHT WHATSOEVER to "Sell" ANYTHING related to Columbine for profit.  For this alone, I hope the judge takes Jefferson County TO THE CLEANERS.

But has ANYONE thought about those who LIVED through that massacre and survived??  NO!  Has ANYONE even ASKED them?  NO!  It's as if these people don't have rights or something because THEY SURVIVED COLUMBINE and have told about it.  That IN AND OF ITSELF is a cryin' shame! :-(

If there's one VOICE THE PEOPLE of  Jefferson County  still have, it is by way of THE VOTING MACHINE.  If *I* were a  Jefferson Countyresident, *I'd* call for sweeping changes across the board.  This would mean that NONE of the  incumbents  in  Jefferson County races in 2004 wwould get a "free pass".  They all would have lost MY vote a LONG time ago.

If they wanna make a profit, that's fine.  BUT NOT ON MY DIME.  And certainly NOT with this TRIPE of a "video" which is marketed by  Jefferson County as if it were an  Arnold Schwartzenegger action movie.

Just my opinion.

Cheers for now  :-)

Pat



News From My Brother In Missouri
Friday October 17th, 2003 - 5:56 PM MDT

On a much lighter (not to mention HAPPIER) note, I also received an email from my brother Lyne (or Leonard as he prefers it today), who's NOW a LICENSED MINISTER in Kansas City, MO (He moved there from Waxahachie, Tx after receiving some sort of degree while in TX).  He's married and is expecting his first natural born child in a couple of months (his wife, Suzanna is 7 1/2 months pregnant and they have an adopted teenage daughter).  He's younger than me (he's 33 and I'm 37).  Anyhow, his email was full of news (some of it I had heard before, but never blogged about it till now) so I'll try to summarize some of the things he said in his email.  :-)

First off, Suzanna is 7 1/2 months pregnant, but they're kinda hoping for a New Year's baby as that would just make the event just that much more special.  I can just imagine him spending ALL of New Years Eve in the Delivery Room of the local hospital doing the same song and dance of Bill Cosby's "Push 'Em Out....Push 'Em Out....Push OUT" while she's gasping for air.  :-)

Okay, maybe that's putting it on a little thick (and it probably won't happen like that anyway given the odds of being so lucky to have a New Year's baby to begin with), but you get the point.  :-)

The only downer to this is the fact that it's a high risk pregnancy.  Out of deference to her (my sister-in-law I have yet to meet I might add), I won't go into why this is.  But she's made it this far, so I think it's reasonably safe to say that she's a real trooper who'll wait it out until THE day comes.  :-)

Three days before they found out she was pregnant though, they purchased their first home in the K.C. area.  They did this as they were pressuring their Ministry goals.  My brother also has an "ordinary" job working as a marketing person for Cingular Wireless (Not sure what kind of marketing he does though).

To give you an idea as to the kind of person he is, here's an excerpt from the email he sent describing their marriage and their adventures so far (DISCLAIMER:  I have permission to blog about the email and he chose to have me not leave anything out, though I won't quote the entire email as it's quite long and redundant  :-))
 
Our marriage is strong and has proven itself to be quite an adventure. However, life as you know has its ways of throwing "curve balls" and Suzanna and I have not been exempted; especially as it relates to medical issues. Shortly after we were wedded I contacted vertigo or what is more commonly know as dizziness. Of course the doctors put me though a serious of tests in attempts to find the answers. From CAT scans to ENG, EEG, MRA and two MRI of my head and all they found was a great mind, ah, ah, ah. In the course of this past year they sent me to just about every kind of specialist they could find, neurologist, ENTS (Ear, Noise and Throat Specialist), and two inner-hear specialists. After a year of suffering with vertigo I was final sent to an inner ear surgeon. He re-did some tests and did some more new ones this past mouth. These tests finally revealed a definable problem. The doctor said, "it's all in my head" (ah, ah) or to be more specifically it's in my inner ear. I have a type of Meniere's disorder called "Cochlear Hydrops." This diagnosis is very consistent with my symptoms: episodic dizziness and ear pressure, hearing loss, passing out and "tinnitus" (ringing in my ear). CH or Cochlear Hydrops in English is simply an abnormal amount of fluid build up in the inner hear. This fluid in turn is pushing against my vistibular nerves. It's these nerves that help keep our body in balanced, which explains why I'm dizzy. My dizzy condition is propitiates as my body heat rises. Meniere's disorders are very tricky to diagnosis and it's still a possibility that I may loose my hearing in my right ear which is where the Cochlear Hydrops problem was found, but it's still in the early stages so the doctors are hopeful about their ability to help me. Treatment of all of this is the same as all other forms of Meniere's disorders. First of these treatments are medication and diet (no salt, no caffeine) to see if we can get my body to heal itself. If this dose not works then there is one of three surgical procedures that can be done. This means there is still a long road ahead for me in this area. Our lives have been seriously altered as a result of this issue and have caused much stress in our lives as we both prepare for the new family arrival. But in the mean time continue to pray for God's healing power.

Can ya tell he doesn't write email very well?

He's been married for over a year now, but guess what he got for a One Year Anniversary "Gift", courtesy of some IDIOTIC COOK from one of the local Applebee's Restaurant ....

A One Way trip to THE EMERGENCY ROOM after an ALLERGIC REACTION to honey which was put on the ribs that he ordered (he didn't order the honey) which triggered his asthma (sp?) that almost caused him to have a NEAR FATAL HEART ATTACK!!!! I told him in a reply email that he should consider taking LEGAL ACTION against Applebee'sbecause they put his health in danger.

I have yet to hear a response to my reply email, which I sent yesterday.

Suffice to say, since he has been married, neither he nor his wife are strangers to the Emergency room staff.  Though, as anyone who's spent time walking in their shoes on a similar basis would imagine, IF they had to visit the Emergency Room, THEY WOULD RATHER NOT BE THE PATIENT.  :-)

So indeed, life as a married person has been an adventure for him in his first year, although there are many things he would just assume forget.  :-)  Here's to hope that his 2nd year of marriage is filled with more joyous adventures than not. :-)

Well....That's the good news for today.

Cheers for now  :-)

Pat



Some REALLY BAD  News
Friday October 17th, 2003 - 4:21 PM MDT

Events of this past week have all hit within the last 24 hours, so as such, I'll be making seperate blog entries for each event.

We begin with some REALLY BAD news.  About 24 hours ago, I learned that my 72 year old father has a urinary tract problem of some kind.  If his doctors can't identify and fix it, he may have to undergo surgery to have a catheter permanently implanted inside him.  We should know by Monday just how serious his condition is and if surgery and/or hospitalization is required.  We're praying and hoping that it can be treated without surgery OR hospitalization.  I'll post another blog entry regardless of the outcome.

In the meantime.....Cheers for now  :-)

Pat



TAXI......TAXI......
Friday October 10th 2003 - 8:01 AM MDT

Well....I see it's Columbus Day.  *WHOOPIE-DOO!*

Had to do yet SOME MORE running around last night (geez....Am I *ever* gonna catch iup with myself?).  This time it was Grocery Shopping - Round Two.  The place - The usual.  Albertsons on Alameda & Broadway (for you  Colorado Bloggers out there  :-)).

Prices for most of the items I regularly buy returned to normal (hence NO 10 for $10 for cans of soup  :-( ).  Got the usual amount (Eight cans to cover the next week; I wonder WHY I'm still using that number).  The nice bonus though was a half gallon of Heath Toffee Bar Ice Cream for $3.50 or 2 for $7.00

Anyway....Got all checked out so the store knew I wasn't stealing anything and called a cab so I could get my stuff home WITHOUT breaking my foolish neck in the process.  I asked for a van from Metro Taxi

While I was waiting, I spotted an old friend and we talked for a few minutes until her taxi came.  Was sitting out front with three HEAVY bags of groceries (good thing they were those big cloth ones) waiting for my taxi to arrive.

20 minutes later, my cell phone rings.  It's Metro Taxi saying "Your cab has arrived".

I'm like Okay....I'm sitting outside in front of the store with a clear view.  WHERE IS IT??  I don't see it, so it OBVIOUSLY hasn't arrived yet.

After a minute or two of this, GUESS WHICH taxi shows up.

THE VERY SAME TAXI WHICH TOOK MY FRIEND HOME!!!  A car.

The reason why this is significant is because I order vans due to the extra head and leg room they have over the cars as I'm a tall man.

Anyway, I send the man on his merry way after telling him I ordered a van.

So NOW  I figure GREAT!  Not only am I with a half gallon of MELTING ICE CREAM, but NOW I've BEEN KICKED OUT OF THE METRO TAXI SYSTEM TO BOOT!!!

Needless to say, I call  Metro Taxi  AGAIN to RE-ORDER the van (or double-check to see if my order was still in the queue, which it wasn't).  They assure me they'd get one out to me "on a priority" (whatever the hell that means).

20 minutes later, I call them AGAIN because the cab I had re-ordered had still not arrived.  The man tells me that cab 142 had left six minutes ago to pick me up.  He also said there were NO VANS in my area.  I said GREAT!  you're sending me ANOTHER CAR!   He assured me that wasn't the case.  I said "okay" and hung up.  Two minutes later, my cab FINALLY pulls up.

But the cabbie DOESN'T KNOW THE AREA!!!!

He told me he normally does business in the SE part of town (didn't say where, but it was obvious he didn't know the streets in my area too well, but he eventually figured it out).

The fare came out to $2.80 so I gave him $3.00 and we called it even (afterall, what can you do with 20 cents these days?).  After the better part of AN HOUR, I finally got my stuff home and sat down with my ice cream (which MIRACULOUSLY hadn't melted as much as expected), Diet Pepsi, and glass of water.  :-)

Ahh.....Nothin' like unwinding for the evening.....  :-)

Cheers for now  :-)

Pat



Platonic Friendships -  The BEST Intimate Partners??
Wednesday October 8th, 2003 - 12:25 AM MDT

Boy, my day yesterday was one I'd just assume FORGET!!!  :-(  More on that in another blog entry.  :-)

But if there was a silver lining in an otherwise dark cloud, it would have to be a copy of last week's edition of  Time Magazine  In it was an article by Pamela Paul on Platonic Friendships, which i felt was most interesting.

Although the article profiled three happily married couples, one of the most interesting statistics was that One In 10 25 to 34 year olds say their BEST FRIEND is a member of the OPPOSITE SEX.

Speaking from some personal experience, I am a HUGE fan of platonic friendships.  Not only that, but I believe that, in a day and age where the divorce rate in this country (and abroad) is higher  than the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center were before 9/11, it's ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL to have a plutonic friendship for couples to fall back on in case marriage doesn't work out.

Now, of course, I'm no expert on the subject, but it seems to me that people tend to be quick to rush to the altar FAR too quickly these days.  OTFS, some would argue that some of those platonic friendships would amount to long-distance relationships, which don't work either (just ask my brother Bill who thought getting married BEFORE shipping out to join the  United States Navy  was an absolute "brilliant" idea. - NOT!).

Also, according to the article,  Match.compolled 1,514 of its members and found that 83% believe that men and women can be just friends.  In a way, this isn't much of a surprise.  I mean, when you take into into consideration of  Friendsand Seinfeldand the success and the chemistry the cast members have among each other, it should be of little wonder that people would want to "mimmick" what the cast members of those shows do.  It also wouldn't be surprising if there were ROLE PLAYING groups (I didn't find any on Yahoo! Groups) whereas people act out the roles of the various cast members either.

Some have even found that marriage even strengthens the bond that makes a platonic friendship work.  I'm a true believer that relationships don't work very well without a platonic friendship to back it up.  But then too, I'm not the expert on the subject.  I'm just your average, ordinary blog writer sitting in front of the computer who also spends some time making friends with others on this massive "Information SuperHighway" who also just happens to be SINGLE and in his THIRTIES. :-)

Author Michael Monsour was quoted in the article as saying that the different sexes of TODAY have MORE IN COMMON as they go through the life cycle.  This couldn't be further from the truth!!  As women have (professionally) evolved into almost anything and everything from Astronauts to Zoologists, we AS A SOCIETY are finding out that men and women DO have more in common than we thought.

And as *I* continue my own search to find that special someone, that "Rock Of Gibraltar" (sp?), that one person to turn to when life gets rough, I look forward to experiencing much of this and anything else like it that life throws my way.  :-)

In the meantime....Cheers for now  :-)

Pat


Forgetfulness
Wednesday October 1st, 2003 - 9:00 PM MDT

Do you ever have just one of those days where you'd probably forget your head if it wasn't screwed on right??  Well guess who had one of those days.....

Yep!  You guessed it.  ME!!!

For starters, I had taken some forms with me to fill out while I was out earlier today cashing my check.  But, as luck would have it, I forgot to BRING A PEN with me so I could fill them them out (I had planned to fill them out while at the local Subway sandwich joint after I ate).

CORRECTIVE ACTION TAKEN - Scrap the idea.

Next, I got to the local Albertsons grocery store where I would borrow one of their two electric buggies and go up to the Customer Service counter where I would cash my check.  Every thing went normal there except for one tiny little detail.

I LEFT MY KEYS IN THE ELECTRIC BUGGY WHEN I LEFT THE STORE TO GO TO SUBWAY.

What's worse, I didn't even realize this until I checked my pockets while at Subway.  Luckily I had planned to return there to do some grocery shopping anyway.  So I thought it wasn't a really big deal.

Ahh.....But this was on a day in which Lady Fortune WAS NOT smiling at me.

Anyhow, I return to the store, only to find the buggy is in use.  So I walk up to the same customer service desk I had been at not even an hour earlier and ask the clerk there if someone turned in any set of keys matching the description I gave.  He told me no.

Now I'm REALLY freaked because NOW I don't even know WHERE the keys are.

Bur then I figured what goes up must come down(OR IN THIS CASE, what goes to the back of the store must eventually make it's way back to the front of the store where the buggies are kept).  So I decided to wait a few minutes for the buggy with my keys (which I STUPIDLY left in the buggy's ignition) to return.  But then I decided that this was like wsiting for a watched pot to boil.  So I got another key from customer service and used the other cart.

Just as I was checking out, I spotted the woman in the other cart.  I tried to get her attention, but could do little more than to verify that the keys were still left in the ignition as she passed by in front of me.  Fortunately they were.  I knew I could then breathe a huge  sigh of relief knowing that all I had to do was wait for her to check out and bring the cart up to the front.

10 minutes later, she did just that.  I kept the other key in case she needed it as then this way, we could just simply swap keys (some of the store clerks let people have a key of their own, but it's not neccessarily something they "boast" about).  Luckily, after some explaining, she was very understanding and we swapped keys and waited for our taxi cabs to arrive.  She was about my age and could understand what it's like being in my position.  :-)  We enjoyed a nice conversation while we waited.

I suppose the day wasn't a complete disaster.  I've had worse days than this.  But after nearly leaving my Subway Twister cup behind after taking my groceries over to the bench at the front of the store where I would wait for the woman to appear, I said to myself that I'd forget MY HEAD if  it wasn't screwed on right as I walked back to retrieve my cup.

Just thought I'd share this with you.  :-}

Cheers for now  :-)

Patrick