I'm just a guy at a house

It's a long story. :)

Squirt And Squirt
Originally uploaded by DarrellH.

Brendan drinking from the water hose after soaking me, patio, plant, and pretty much everything else. It's hot today (100 degrees right now) and he wanted to play outside before we go to Little Gym. I snapped several pictures of him, and this was the best one.

Today we got a Nintendo DS Lite!!! I'm so happy! It is going to help me get thru the 6 weeks at home after little H is born. :) I'm also thinking about playing Sacred, KOTOR, Jade Empire, and XenoSaga II. I may not get around to playing any of those, but I have them "in reserve" in case I need em.

I have been saving up rewards from all the surveys that I do online and got it from Amazon. I did a printer survey that took about 30 minutes, and got $20 Amazon for it. I also did a website evaluation for someone else $10 Amazon. Plus several others that I can't recall. My rewards didn't totally pay for it, but they mostly did. I've also ordered New Super Mario Brothers. You have to have Mario for any "No Intiendo"system that you get!

I have only one game that works with it right now, which is the GBA Castlevania: Circle of the Moon. I have a few older GameBoy games, but they won't fit in the slot. I have to look around online to see if there's a hack to let me play them.

My plan is not to buy any DS games until I can get them used. Instead, I'll get some of the better of the 900 GBA games that have been released. All those GBA games are playable on the DS.

I also have to read up on the built in Wifi. I never call it Wifi; I think that's a silly name. I just call it wireless. Anyway, the info on that is at NintendoWiFi.com.

It's a nice system and I'm quite pleased! Yay!!!

Speaking of photos and cuteness, here are two recent photos of Bren.

On the way in to Jen's Dr appt. He loves those blocks right now. He plays with them continuously!

At dollar scoop Tuesday, at Baskin-Robbins

I really adore this picture. I have been trying to figure out who took it and a little back story on it, but I can't find anything. It's very cute, though. I am looking forward to having the next baby so I can take some good pictures like this. Bren is still very photographable, but a little baby will be a lot of fun too.

Here's yet another entry into the "things I'll never eat" category.


Here's a really funny product I saw at the grocery store. I'm not sure what it is, but it sounds lewd to me...I unintentionally seek these weird things out, I think.


And finally, here's something rather tasty. I grow Hibiscus, and now I can say I've tasted them too.


Hosted by LiveDigital.com!

I needs ta git me a copy a dis! Fashizzle!

Regarding my "Sick Washer" post from a while back, I'm happy to say that the washer has regained health with the help of an unqualified technician.

I researched and researched what timer to purchase, and after calls to several parts houses, and kindly older lady informed me that with these Maytag washers, your series number is as close to the first two digits of your washer serial number as possible, without going over.

Example: My SN started with 11, which makes my unit a series 10, not a series 15. Ok!

So, I finally ordered the timer from PartSelect.com because they had the best price, but the site that really helped and educated me was RepairClinic.com.

I learned a lot. It just goes to show you that if I can do it, anyone can.

Here's the happy moment when the part arrived:

Thanks to this article from Rutherford, I've been reading up on the BabyTalk Magazine cover controversy of late. I've read that magazine on occasion; Jen gets it. I also know that you can pick up free copies at the entrance to Babies R Us (we have our frequent shopper card there, let me tell you.)

I smirked and shook my head sadly at the prudishness of one Gayle Ash, of Belton, Texas who said:

"I'm totally supportive of it -- I just don't like the flashing," she said. "I don't want my son or husband to accidentally see a breast they didn't want to see."

Now let's get serious here Gayle. How long have you been married to this man? How old is your son? Do you know nothing about the male psyche? Must not! I don't think there's a heterosexual male anywhere that doesn't want to catch a glimpse of a breast. You may be saying that you are "protecting" them from the evils of seeing an exposed breast, but I think your overly conservative nature is really driving you to want to prevent the possibility of them maybe seeing something they're not supposed to. No matter what the target, everyone wants to see what they're not supposed to. If there's a tent at the circus that says "horrible sights" or something people flock to it. It's human nature, for pete's sake!

And let's face facts: a breast being sucked on by a baby is not exactly the most titillating thing in the world to look at. The pregnant or recently pregnant breast is not exactly Playboy material. In fact, I don't think the breast on the magazine is even one of the baby's mother's. Not that I'm a boobie expert, but I've seen pregnant breasts and they don't look like that. That's not realistic, but who says magazine covers have to be? I expect that's heavily photoshopped, and why not? The goal is to sell magazines, after all. Well, in this case it isn't, because BabyTalk is free, but that's just a minor detail.

I think that it is a good cover and I applaud the editors for their boldness. Nothing creates interest like a little controversy, and they have certainly achieved that whether they intended to or not. As they say, there's no such thing as bad publicity.


You can find BabyTalk's website here.

They also have a really cool (I think) License to Breastfeed on their site. Texas, as well as many other states, explicitly allow breastfeeding in "any location where mother and child are authorized to be present." For once, Texas is on the forefront of law in the right direction. That's unusual! :p

I hope she has some ID on her, or it's the slammer for "John" :)

Watch the video

I ran across a new product in my Amazon Gold Box today that was very interesting. PodPresenter is software to let you run your PowerPoint-like slideshow off your iPod.


This is amazing...how old is this video?

The biggest hole in the world is located in Russia.. it is actually a diamond mine.. see the amazing photos here...

This is uber-amazing and uber-hideous at the same time. It looks like science fiction! I can't believe a hole that big can keep from caving it on itself. I'd like to see this on Google maps...

read more - digg story

Update: I found a link to it on GMaps, but unfortunately the resolution isn't very good. Oh well.

Update2: Here's a link to a good post about this from AhSoon. Thanks, mate!

I've been playing with StumbleUpon today. Kinda fun!

Their only problem is that they want me to install a toolbar, and I'm not about to do that!

I am going to put this on my computer at work as my desktop. I love it!

From TerraGalleria

Ohhhhhhhhh, as it turns out, that's one of the ones you can use as a subscriber, so I decided on Fort Jefferson, Dry Tortugas National Park instead. It's pretty too.

I've been enjoying the Anime Encyclopedia lately. It has lots of interesting things in it. Some of the entries are words or phrases, and some of those have WAV files so that you can hear the pronunciation.

Something else fun on there is "All I Ever Learned, I Learned from Anime" - an extensive list of fun anime observations.

Today we received a baby shower from my friends at work. It was wonderful! We received many thoughtful gifts, gift cards, and some very useful cash!

It is really nice to be the center of attention on occasion, but I certainly don't crave being that. It is pretty hard for me to stroll around and chat with people, but having veggies, chips, and dip helped. When I ran out of something to say, I'd just take a bite. hehe.

The cake was good, and oh my gosh, the punch was the best party punch I've ever had. I have to get the recipe. It was that good.

Jen wrote a good post about it with pictures

Before we had the challenging laundry work, we had a good time at Ingram Mall. We ate Japanese fast food at Sarku Japan in the food court. I enjoy that, but they really rushed us today and gave us crappy service. They wouldn't even give us water to drink with the meal. Tightwads. Nonetheless, it was okay. We also had fruit smoothies from my favorite place, called Fruit of the Isle. I could have one of these every day. I always get strawberry of course, but Jen floats around. She had peach today. She says it was fine, but not very strong. We tend to like strongly flavored things. Anyway...

Brendan also played in their little kids play area. It was very crowded, but he had a blast. On little girl about his age climbed up on top of the dividing wall (about 4 feet tall) and jumped off onto the carpet. Apparently she was thrilled by it, and went running away laughing, but I was about to have a heart attack. Hehe. I made sure Bren didn't follow suit.

I also saw a guy with an Autobots tattoo in his right shoulder. That was kind of cool. Wish I had my phone, but I had forgotten it at home.

Jen also got snagged by a survey lady (which I was hoping would happen to her or me) and got 8 bucks for trying a lip balm. She'll get 10 more bucks after a week for her feedback. I love that!

So, that's my day. Lawn mowing tomorrow is not something that I'm looking forward to, but I will enjoy it once I get started. :) We're planning to see the new Pirates of the Caribbean tonight, so I'm excited.

Since the washer is broken, we took 3 loads to the laundry today. I thought it was pricey at $1 per wash, but we had to do something. It was sweltering hot in there even thought the sign on the door proclaimed it was "Cool Inside." That must have been referring to how cool the 2 retro (read: old ass, beat up) arcade-style video games were. Or were they talking about the 3 soda machines enclosed in mesh grate to prevent vandalism. Either way, it was as hot inside as it was outside and inside there was no breeze!

In case you need a laundry in San Antonio, this is where we went. The machines were good, but I can't recommend it due to the heat and price.

Kwik Wash Laundry Inc
9055 Marbach Rd
San Antonio, TX 78245
(210) 673-3200

So, we popped the clothes in and went to Walgreens across the street. Ahhhhhh, cool inside indeed!!! We loitered in there for a while and actually bought two things: a $1 box of popsicles for Brendan, and a 48 count package of emery boards for my mother, who always complains that we don't have any when she comes to visit. Haha! We'll fix here. Those were only a dollar too.

So, back to the laundry, snag all the clothes, and home to dry em. Thank god the dryer is working!

(As an aside, I realize I'm a spoiled American because of this. I'm complaining about having clothes to wash, and the money to wash them, and a way to get there. I could have to take the bus, or do the wash in the river. So, bitch session over, and I'm really not as annoyed as I sound .)

(Hopefully the timer for the washer, which has been ordered at a cost of only $80, will arrive soon. That's a good deal compared to the $300 that Sears repair was going to charge me! They're good, but that was just too expensive. I need them more for diagnosing the problem that repairing it. I can fix that, I know I can!!! Maybe.)

Two good video links for your wee hour enjoyment:

Kevin Rose on Cranky Geeks

Bike Trick Girl

I'm going to bed now!!! :p

Is this a little on the fringe for Yahoo News?

I think it is.

Sex is on everyone's mind at swinging convention

I usually don't do this, but today, I broke the rules...and I reveled in it!!!

Plus I caught it on film. ***

Here's a picture that'll really make you go "WTF?"

Someone's logic is maybe a little, tiny, itty bit FLAWED. Hehe.

*** Since I didn't say what this is, I think it is causing some confusion. It's the dispense sensor on the paper towel machine in the men's bathroom near my office. It's a "no-touch-required" sensor, not a "do-not-touch" sensor. Funny enough, I've been playing with it to see how it works. I have to put my hand within an inch to get the towels to come out. I can put a piece of white paper in front of the sensor and have it still dispense when I put my hand up. I thought it might be heat sensitive, so I breathed on it from the side and that didn't make it dispense. I have two more experiments coming up. Jen says put a black piece of paper in front of the sensor and then try it. I also want to take a Ziploc of chopped beef barbecue that I am going to have for lunch next week in there. If I've heated it up, I theorize that holding it in front of the sensor will cause it to dispense. We'll see!!!!

Adding to the "Crap I'd never eat" file: Tofurkey.


Well, well, well...I've been waiting about 5 weeks to have my new office renovated at work, and it is finally pretty much complete. They just put the new carpet in today, at long last. They painted about a month ago. It is really not a very good job, but considering how lucky I am to get an office at all, and to get it worked on at all, I'm not complaining.

Here's the final product.


Room 109. Formerly known by all us tech nerds as "The Rat Hole."

I guess I can't call it that any more. Hehe. I may put a poster on the wall with a cartoon rat though, so people in the know will laugh.

I'm a regular reader of The Internet Tourbus, and have been for many, many years.

I would like to give a shout out of CONGRATULATIONS to author Patrick Crispen, one of the drivers of our beloved bus, on his impending marriage.

May it be long and fruitful!

Today has been the day of working on our sick washer. We had a Sears repairman over this morning who decided that the timer (a.k.a. the brains) was out. Repair cost: $300. Oh no! Service call cost: $65 and he was out the door. So, I'm an ingenuitive sort, and I figured that I could buy one much cheaper online and install it myself. Boy has that been a mindbender. Working on computers is nothing compared to this baloney!

First, I can't get the timer out of the control panel. I twisted, and pried, and turned, and cussed all to no avail. Finally, I went searching on the net (and with Jen's help) found diagrams to help. It took me a long time studying those diagrams to figure out how to get the timer out (clue: screws hidden behind the plastic ring with all the cycles listed on it) but I finally did it. Whew!


Now, the other problem is figuring out which timer to order. Some sites show me 2 matching this model of washer (Maytag LAT9316AAE) and some sites show me 4. Oh what to do, what to do?

I plan to call one of the parts places tomorrow and see if they can help me!

FO, you'd be proud of my appliance surgery! I've text'd you a couple times, but not heard back. WhaChuDoin'?

I don't think this is entirely historically accurate, but it is worth reading. I think the entomology of the phrase Eff You is somewhat different than explained here, but it certainly has humor value!

The History Of The Middle Finger

Well, now......here's something I never knew before, and now that I know it, I feel compelled to send it on to my more intelligent friends in the hope that they, too, will feel edified. Isn't history more fun when you know something about it?

Before the Battle of Agincourt in 1415, the French, anticipating victory over the English, proposed to cut off the middle finger of all captured English soldiers. Without the middle finger it would be impossible to draw the renowned English longbow and therefore they would be incapable of fighting in the future. This famous English longbow was made of the native English Yew tree, and the act of drawing the longbow was known as "plucking the yew" (or "pluck yew"). Much to the bewilderment of the French, the English won a major upset and began mocking the French by waving their middle fingers at the defeated French, saying, "See, we can still pluck yew! Since 'pluck yew' is rather difficult to say, the difficult consonant cluster at the beginning has gradually changed to a labiodentals fricative F', and thus the words often used in conjunction with the one-finger-salute! It is also because of the pheasant feathers on the arrows used with the longbow that the symbolic gesture is known as "giving the bird."

I saw this scary monster the other night in front of Chopsticks Chinese Buffet. They have a ton on neon, fake electric palm trees, and a Vegas style sign with the name. It's over the top, man. The desserts are good!!!

You know I've been playing FindthePinkSpoon.com, right?

Well, by gawrsh, I found it! And Jen found it too!

We went to Baskin-Robbins because we had a coupon for BOGO sundaes. Piece of advice: don't bother with sundaes - there are too many flavors in them to really enjoy any one taste. Get a single dip and wrap yourself around it and truly enjoy it.

That's actually when Bren and I did last night. Every Tuesday night from 6-10, you can get a single scoop for a dollar. WooHoo! I got Truffle in Paradise, which is a chocolate ice cream with choco flakes and some thick brownie-like bits, and Bren got Rainbow Sherbet. Their site describes Truffle as "European chocolate ice cream with chocolate chunks and chocolate truffle pieces" and Rainbow as "A trio of sherbets: orange, pineapple and raspberry". I describe both as "yummy-licious"!

I highly recommend BR on dollar scoop night!!!

What the heck is this?


Does anyone know?

I saw the URL on the side of some kind of a repair truck...

I saw this game the other night at Blockbuster and thought I'd look it up once I got home to see how it rated. Good thing I did!!!! I don't know if I've ever seen a game rate this low. Gamespot gave it a 3.1 (Bad). Ouch! I won't be going back for that one even at the bargain price of $14.99.

Instead, I found KOTOR at Target on clearance for $9.98. Woot!

I love this time of year for one reason and one reason only. The sun is positioned just so, and at about 10am, I can cross the breezeway from one building to another at work and see this Re-dick-ulous collage of fallic hilarity...

Mwaaa hahahahahahahahah!

I know Scott Adams doesn't like it when people put Dilberts on the net, but this one is so damn funny, that I can resist.

Just to give him 100% credit, please go visit his site, Dilbert.Com. This was the strip from 7/12/06.

We went to Sun harvest, our local natural food store, the other night. I saw a magazine cover that talks about how tough my wife is...

...and some lewd sounding water...

...and some, well, I don't know what the hell this is...

...it was a fun trip!

...the sordid tale of an iPod, a student, and a buttload of money spent...
published in the Chronicle of Higher Education

A clogged sewer line beneath the Arts and Sciences Building at Santa Clara University had workers flummoxed for more than two months, says Eugene Bowers, an assistant maintenance supervisor. When a fiber-optic sewer-cam was put down the pipe, they discovered the culprit: a pink iPod. Workers tried to break the device into pieces using a sewer snake, says Mr. Bowers, but the sturdy iPod broke the cutting head. So a plumbing company blasted high-pressure water through the line, sending geysers from toilets on the second floor but dislodging the iPod. It landed near a sewer-cleanout opening, where workers speared the device with a sharpened piece of iron. The owner of the iPod, an unnamed Santa Clara student, confessed her role after hearing that Mr. Bowers had contacted Apple to trace the serial number. "She was apparently listening to it while she was doing her thing, and somehow the iPod got snagged and fell in," says Mr. Bowers. "She saw it in there and she thought, I'm not going to pick that up, so she flushed the toilet and it went down." He estimates that the ordeal cost the university as much as $7,000 to resolve. The student faces no discipline or fines.

I'm so happy! I got a visitor from the United Arab Emirates!

See this from my GeoVisitors map?

I wonder if they found me after seeing a link to my Palm Islands post?

I'm a huge fan of Kitaro, so this note that I just got in my email is very exciting!

For all of you Kitaro fans and new visitors to the world of Kitaro music. We have created some custom designed goods in the Kitaro section of the shop. There will be sale notices of items in this area as well of limited editions so keep looking out for our updates!

Link to CafePress

It's really a sign of the times when the Whitehouse's website* has a choice for Spanish.

A lot of "good ole boys" these days don't think we should accommodate speakers of other languages, and a lot of other people want to accommodate everyone, but I personally am on the fence. On one hand, I can see the benefit of telling things to people in their own language, but on the other hand, I see the monetary cost associated with doing so. The white house has to have staff to write and proof the Spanish version whereas before they only had an English staff. But the cost to society without that is that a large part of the population don't get access to the information that might help to inform them.

Tough call...the jury's still out on this one.

*That's whitehouse.gov, not .com. Whitehouse.com used to be a porn site, but it looks like that's gone away and now it is just one of those "helps you search" sites that I hate.

I've been playing this game at Baskin-Robbins' website again today. It's not too hard (if you have Google as your partner) to find the spoons and get points toward prizes. We're playing for the trip for four to Australia and $2500 spending money.


So far, I have 36,179 entries for the grand prize. Yahoo!

Gorditos Burritos in Seattle makes huge ones, according to this article from the Seattle PI. I was just enjoying the April 11, 2006 (about Alton Brown) episoide of the On Food podcast from that site, and that's how I found this picture of the gargantuan burrito. Could it be real??? And does the baby eat it after the photo shoot? He sure is eyeing it!

Hiddengold.blogspot.com - Girl can draw!
Troutfactorynotebook.blogspot.com - Nice Japan pictures

"Did you know that an orange can change the volume on your iPod? The iPod Click Wheel is not heat sensitive like many think. This article explains how it works."

This is one of the best articles I've ever read from this site, which I lovingly refer to as "HowShi*Works.com". I also love their "How Diesel Locomotives Work" article and have read that one a couple times. I printed it out several years ago, and put it in my bag to show my friend at work, and it is still in there, not yet shown to him. Hehe.

read it - digg story

Brendan's Beach Magazine
(click for the bigger version)

I just love this picture. It was made with the wonderful tools at Flagrant Disregard.

This is Brendan's debut to the print world!!! :)

Often when I think about space, it reminds me of the beloved Mars Rovers that I have followed since their initial landing on the Red Planet.

Today's news is that an ailing Spirit Rover is working hard to reach the proper location to weather the Martian winter. With 1 of 6 wheels out of commission, it is having a challenging time getting to the target destination. I'm hopeful!

I like this graphic from their website that tells what's going on with the Rovers.

It took me a while to figure it out, but I think that it is dark at Meridiani and light at Gusev at the moment. Congratulations to Spirit for working on Mars for 900 "sols" or Martian days. It's wonderful! Spirit must have the Maytag logo on it's butt.

From this article on Yahoo! News, I've just gleaned that NASA has developed transporter technology. Soon, we won't have to blast off an expensive space shuttle to get to the International Space Station! Well just call and say, "Beam me up, Mr. Vinogradov!" (That's the name of the Russian cosmonaut from their Federal Space Agency, Roscosmos. He is Commander of ISS Expedition 13 which is in flight right now.)

I wish!

An interesting article...from MSN.

Married couples may have more sex (approximately 98 times a year vs. singles’ 49), but singles have better sex. According to a recent study published in the British Medical Journal, married women are significantly more likely to report problems with their sex lives than single women. “People who are dating have better sex because it’s novel,” says Davis. “Married people have to relearn how to play. It’s natural for singles because that’s the nature of a courting relationship—they tease, they experiment, they explore.” Nature lends a helping hand, too. According to researchers at the University of Pisa in Italy, raging testosterone levels in both men and women makes the sex hotter during the first two years of a relationship. After that, other hormones take over—most notably, oxytocin, a bonding chemical, kicks in. While getting connected and comfortable is a positive step in a relationship, long-term lovers have to work harder to keep things hot in the bedroom. Singles, however, sizzle just the way they are.

Look! It's my name in Japanese!

You can do yours too thanks to Philip Ronan's Website.

Oh my gosh!!! Look at this wonderful machine that my friend Darren and his mates built. It's awesome!!!

If you don't have a Yahoo account, you may not know this, but Yahoo users can create an avatar to represent them online in their Y! Messenger and Mail screens.

Here's mine. I call her Avatara. Pretty original, eh? Heheh. That's A like in apple - vuh - tar like what's on the highways - uh. She's partially named after a college friend Tara S, with whom I've lost touch but would love to hear from again.

You may be asking "Why a girl?" at this point and there's a good reason.


All my adult life, I've played female characters in my video games when at all possible. For instance, in Dungeon Siege II that we just completed, I was Daria. That's my common character name. Incidentally, I also had a pet scorpion in that game named Pokey. Another original one, I know.

So, I always play the girl. If I have to play a male character, it's always Darius, or Alfradden-Lyr. That last name I inherited when I started playing him in AD&D during high school. I am really quite fond of it, but I don't use it often any more.

When I was playing RuneScape, as you can see, I played a girl and was thought to be one in real life by many of the people I played with. It's fun being something you're not. I make a good girl. I can flirt! Hahaha!

Today's Little Gym was an OK one, not excellent. He participated in the first part of the class, but kept coming out into the lobby after the halfway point. He wouldn't go back in and cried and cried because he had to sit on my lap while in the lobby. You see, the rule is that if he isn't in the gym playing, he has to sit on my lap rather that do whatever he wants to in the lobby. I don't pay all that dang money so he can play in the lobby after all. :)

Anyway, Jen went in and sat by the wall to keep him in there (bless her!) and he'd run over and high-10 her every few minutes. He was really an approval-seeker today. Here are a few pictures. I have to start taking my real camera...

He rarely stays sitting at the "Watching Wall." As you can see, he's rebelling here while all the other kids (well most) are sitting.

We'll just have to keep trying and keep working on him!

Two funny cameraphone pix:

You can't read it, but this says "Aggie Chainsaw" - See the chain, sparkplug and wire? Hahahahahah!

Here's something that I saw today at Dollar Tree. I needed some seasoning for my soul - it was getting pretty bland...

A few days ago, a fellow I used to work with who is now at USAA called me up. Now, I hadn't spoken to him since he left our place of work about 3 years ago, so this was an unusual thing. He told me that he was in the IIS and Exchange support group and that they had an opening. He asked if I was still looking, to which I gave my standard reply: "I never close my eyes to opportunity."

He said "Good," and asked that I send him my resume right away so that he could give it to the team to look over. I asked what the job was all about, but he said he didn't have a job description to give me right then. He said that it was my kind of job, though - Microsoft Exchange support. He told me to just send my resume and he's send back the job description later. Okay, I'll bite, I figured.

As it turns out, it was just my kind of job. Good pay, and benefits, not to mention that USAA is consistently listed as one of the top places to work. It was my dream to work there when I first started college in 1993, so I was fairly excited but also a little apprehensive. I had heard that USAA was a fairly high-stress place to work. I was also worried that maybe the time wasn't right to change jobs considering baby H2 is arriving in not long at all.

Jen and I talked it over at length, and after asking my friend some more questions, I finally decided that the time just was not right. I emailed him my regrets. This last part was today, in fact. Concurrently with emailing him (roughly) another fellow from there called my house to talk to me. Jen phoned to let me know and gave me his number. I phoned him back and left a message, which was answered by a phone call about 2 minutes later. He sounded fairly excited and told me that he thought my resume was very strong and that they wanted to set up an informal phone interview with me as soon as possible. I regretfully and sadly explained to him that I'd decided not to apply for the job, how I was about to have a baby and didn't want to start a new job and then ask for time off. He said that he respected that and understood. However, he also said that he wanted to keep my resume and that he might call me again sometime - "People change all the time over here," he said.

I thanked him and told him I really was sorry that I had to pass up such a good opportunity, and we hung up.

I was fairly sad about that, but Jen and I had really decided that the time wasn't right. To change jobs and risk not being able to get off work was just not worth it. I am planning to take 6 weeks off under FMLA when the baby is born and that's just not something you can do right after you start a new job. For one thing, I have that much sick leave saved up (and more) at my current job and I'll get paid for the 6 weeks. Also, I was kind of afraid of the high-stress environment I've heard so much about at USAA, which I'm not at all used to. I also know that when business turns down, layoffs are not at all unusual. I don't know if I could deal with being laid off. That would be crushing.

Oh well, there goes opportunity, but I'm sure that I made the right decision. Aren't I?

Enter your date of birth to discover what song was at Number One!

Here's my list for years 1 thru 10-

1975 On your birthdate the No. 1 single was Rod Stewart - "Sailing"
1976 On your 1st birthday Abba - "Dancing Queen"
1977 On your 2nd birthday Elvis Presley - "Way Down"
1978 On your 3rd birthday The Commodores - "Three Times A Lady"
1979 On your 4th birthday Cliff Richard - "We Don't Talk Anymore"
1980 On your 5th birthday Kelly Marie - "Feels Like I'm In Love"
1981 On your 6th birthday Adam & The Ants - "Prince Charming"
1982 On your 7th birthday Survivor - "Eye Of The Tiger"
1983 On your 8th birthday UB40 - "Red Red Wine"
1984 On your 9th birthday Stevie Wonder - "I Just Called To Say I Love You"
1985 On your 10th birthday David Bowie & Mick Jagger - "Dancing In The Street"

read more or see digg story

Ever wanted to know just when you're gonna bite the big one, kick the bucket, or leave the mortal coil? Well, now you can find out at DeathClock.com.

I'm not really looking forward to the end, but it looks like I have 57 years and change left...That'd make me 87. Not too bad, all things considered. Lots of fun to be had in those 57 years, and I plan to get after it!

I've been playing with Flickr this evening while Brendan watches Finding Nemo...

It's a lot of fun just refreshing flickr.com/photos/ and seeing what you'll see.

Gotta leave comments to get comments! :]

I've been enjoying reading some of Tim Buckley's Ctrl+Alt+Del Online Today.

Good stuff; I have to go back there...

This is so luscious and delectable looking, that I have to make it. I saw the photo on Flickr and had to find the recipe.

Strawberry Charlotte by Bea (aka La Tartine Gourmande)


Today, I did two experiments on myself. I've never been able to open my eye under water, and in fact have very rarely gone under water willingly, but I was trying to do that today. I tried repeatedly to open my eyes under the water in the shower, but was unfortunately unsuccessful More testing necessary.

The second was I wanted to see how cold I could stand to get the water (ala Buddhist Monk style.) Also a disappointing result on this one I'm afraid. I can only stand to turn the water 1/3 of the way to full cold in the shower. I gradually worked my way up to that, too. I don't know how cold that was, but it seemed pretty cold at the time. It probably wasn't. :)

I also worked on the Tomato garden today. We have some kind of itty bitty bugs on some of the plants, so I removed the worst infested one and trimmed off the bad parts of two others. I did leave the root and some stem of the mostly removed plant, just to see if it will grow shoots. Now that I think of it, I probably should have left at least one set of leaves, but I didn't think of that. That may be my downfall on this. Oh well, those bugs had pretty much killed the plant anyway. I have some super spray that I have to put on all the plants this evening to see if I can persuade the bugs into abandoning the good ship Tomato Garden. We'll see...

Well, I'm back to Lynne & Tessa this morning. They have another good video that I hadn't seen, which can be enjoyed at Google Video. They're so funny!

Someone told me lately about their website, which is pretty good too. They list all their videos on their site so you can watch em all!!!

I saw Pixar's Cars and enjoyed it immensely; I just saw the trailer for the Xbox game, and it looks like fun to me. This is definitely one I have to pick up from GameRush or EBGames. Used, of course. I'm sure there will be people who sell it off, and in a year I can pick it up for 10 bucks. I don't guess you could call me a bleeding edge kind of gamer...I'm more of a bleeding wallet kind of guy.

I was just admiring the Cars website and it is great! I was particularly interested in this video that talks about real, life-size versions of Lightning and Sally. I wish I could have seen them up close! It's on the website too if you don't want to download it, but I can't link directly to that cuz it's in flash...

I just put several Lightning and Mater McDonald's toys on my Ebay watch list - we have the whole set EXCEPT those two and by gosh we're gonna get em!!!

This post from Julia- Here Be Hippogriffs has got to be one of the funniest things I have ever read. Jen read it to me, and I laughed so hard I cried. Then I had to read it myself and I ROTFLd again. Julia, you are one heck of a writer.

Here's a funny little blurb about Microsoft Office 2007 from a e-newsletter that I get:

It looked like Microsoft, with Office 2007, might actually ship something in a timely manner. Unlike Windows Vista, which has more issues than Mariah Carey, Office 2007 seemed stable, complete and more or less good to go -- but not good enough for Redmond. Citing performance problems, Microsoft is pushing back the shipment to late this year or sometime next.

Office 2008, anyone?

In my short series of ads for my blog, here's another one.

Originally it was an old postcard for National Geographic's website that I enjoyed. This is a parody.

Click for a larger version. Maybe I should animate him or add slurping sounds. That would be funny.

I enjoy watching Sumo wrestling, by the way. If you've never seen it, there are lots of videos here at Banzuke.com

Me, briefly

My photo
North Texas, Texas, United States

This is the story
of a man named Darrell
who was working
and bringing up a family.

This is the story
of his lovely family
with 3 kids and wife
all at home.

We're a happy family!
Yes, we're a happy family!


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