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    Friday, August 31, 2007

    My New Toy

    When I was working my temp assignment, one of my old co-workers had just returned from vacation in Colorado. Prior to going, he had purchased a new digital camera at a shop in Cedar Rapids. He was quite taken with the camera, and had some great pictures. The kicker was, the camera was very reasonably priced. So, the day Ethan was scheduled to come back, I went up to the shop in Cedar Rapids and picked one up for myself. Camera (an 8-pixel Canon A-630 Powershot), 2 G memory card, and case were $300. Well, actually, $300.59.

    So far, I'm loving the camera. Here's some shots I took this afternoon at the Family Fun Night at Coral Ridge Mall.

    And we'll see if this uploads, but the camera even takes digital video. (Note: The video was huge - 37 M - and after an hour of trying to get it to load, I gave up. But it looks great.)

    Wednesday, August 22, 2007

    Grand Theft Doggo

    It's amazing how far video games have come. I mean, look at this old Atari cartridge I found lying around the house.

    (Made with the Atari label maker. H/t to Dave's Long Box.)

    Tuesday, August 21, 2007

    More Open Letters

    To The Lady In The Silver Gray Corolla In Front Of Me At The 965-Commerce Drive Intersection:

    If the light turns yellow and the rear tires of your car are already in the intersection, you don't have to stop. Indeed, at that point it's probably for the best that you keep going forward, because the person behind you waiting at the light has probably A: seen the light turn yellow, B: seen your car in the intersection, C: assumed that you weren't some sort of idiot who was going to hit the brakes and back up out of the intersection and therefore D: gunned it in order to make it through the yellow light, thus resulting in a near collision.


    The Guy Who Almost Rammed Your Car This Afternoon

    Even More Admissions You Don't Expect Rachel Ray To Make

    "I've got a pound of sweet sausage ready to go."

    So do I, Rachel Ray.




    Saturday, August 18, 2007


    My son is now in the "Why?' stage of life. Almost everything he gets told is responded to with a "Why?" It's an interesting stage. On the one hand, it's an opportunity to educate, to inform, to teach. On the other, it's incredibly annoying. Plus, after you've said that the sun is hot because it's a flaming ball of gas, there really isn't a satisfactory answer to the question "Why is the sun a ball of gas?" other than "Because". Still, it's nice to be regarded as someone who knows everything, because I know it won't be long until I'm regarded as someone who knows nothing.

    Where's The Beef? In MY Pants!

    Man arrested after trying to shoplift two steaks from John's Grocery by stuffing the steaks down his pants. Film at eleven, story in the Press Citizen.

    Iowa City police arrested a man Thursday after trying to steal two Angus ribeye steaks from the meat cooler at John's Grocery at 401 E. College St.

    But the defendant, Earl Scott Surette, 47, of North Liberty didn't just try to walk out with the steaks. According to police, an employee at John's saw Surette stick the two steaks down his pants and walk out the front door without paying.


    Police reports state Surette had red, bloodshot and watery eyes, slurred speech and smelled of alcohol. He also had an open container of alcohol and "directed profanity at officers." The police report also states Surette had "problems with judgment."

    Problems with judgment. Good thing that's not a crime.

    Monday, August 13, 2007

    So Where Were We Part Deux

    Okay, I'm pushing violating my own "You must post at least once a month" rule, and I'm sure we're all tired of that You Tube post by now. So where were we?

    Oh yeah, I had just been punted from my job. What have you been doing since then, Dweeze, you're all wondering. My, you're a nosy bunch. But I'll tell you anyway.

    As for the job search - well, let's call it more of a job scan. I haven't really put much effort into it yet, for a variety of reasons. I did just finish (last Friday) a temporary assignment at my old employer. It wasn't in the department I was in when I got canned, but the department I was in 10 years ago. It was strange doing work I used to do, work I was good at though didn't really love. It was also strange working with people I worked with a decade ago. Indeed, aside from three people who were new, everyone else was still there from when I was there last. That struck me, and continues to strike me, as rather bizarre. It's an operations department, the people are all very smart, and only a few have left for greener pastures. The rest have stayed.

    It was very nice and yet very wierd. It was nice because it offered me some small shred of dignity after getting tossed out unceremoniously after 15 years. Nice because of the number of people who stopped me to tell me how shocked they had been that I got let go. I got told several times that "If you could get re-organized out, no one is safe." Very nice words to hear. It was weird, in addition to the situation described above, because I feld sadder leaving last Friday than I did the day I was canned, and I feel emptier today than I did the first day after I got canned. I'd say it was because this time I don't think I'll ever be back, but I didn't think I would ever be back last time. No, it's because when I left last time I was in shock, and I stayed in shock for a week or so. No shock this time. Just the sensation of being unemployed.

    Still, it has it's benefits. Chief among them is the fact that later today I will see Ethan for the first time since March. He'll be here for a few months, and me not working means I can spend much more time with him than I could if I were employed. So that's a benefit, and I'm sure I'll have more to say about it later.

    Another benefit has come healthwise. I was going to make this another post, but that was a couple of months ago. Shortly before I was let go, I had finally decided to go to the doctor. I hate going to the doctor, but I was having pains in the chestal area, and I don't want to ever catch Landru in the "Major Cardiac Event" category. This, however, wasn't enough to get me to go to the doctor. The tipping point came during AED-Defibrulator training, when I realized that I didn't want to be a statistic. The doctor did an EKG, and the heart was normal. No worries there. My weight, on the other hand, as well as my blood sugar, cholesterol, and blood pressure, were extremely high.

    I've been put on medication for the blood pressure and cholesterol and I'm watching the diet and exercising for the blood sugar and weight. I'm down over 20 pounds in two months time, and the blood pressure has dropped considerably as well. As much as I want to credit what I've done, it's more what I haven't done - without vending machines to go to, I go all day without snacking. I briefly shot up the first week of the temp assignment, then forced myself into a strict no-sweets policy during the day, and I'm back almost to where I was when I began the assignment. So that's a positive. I had been at 283, I had gotten to 258, and right now I'm at 262. My goal by the end of the year is 220. Ambitious, yes, but worth it if I can get there. For one thing, those chest pains? Gone. I don't know if it was related to carrying the extra weight around, but they're gone.

    One other positive thing. The casino in Riverside is having a $100,000 guarantee tournament Labor Day weekend. Seats are $600, or you can win a seat in a $30 qualifier tournament. Guess who won a seat? Yep. There were over 70 people in the tourney, 6 people won seats, and I was one of them. Later that week I went to a cash tourney, made the final table, took tenth place, and won $65 from a $30 entry. In three trips, to three different tourneys, I've made the final table twice. Not bad if I do say so myself.

    Anyway, that makes for a nice catch-up post. I'll do my best to keep posting. Or posting more regularly. Or keeping regular. Something like that.