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Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal

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Books Humor Kids

Boxcar Children

It’s a bit odd reading chapters from The Boxcar Children to Sadie.

You see, Henry’s nickname is Benny. This comes from a combination of his having at times been called Henny, and that having been used in the song The Name Game: Henny Henny bo benny, banana fanna fo fenny, fee fi mo menny, Henny. This had us using Henny Bo Benny a lot, or Bo Benny, and thus just Benny, or Ben, or Hen-Ben. We also sing the song with Henry rather than Henny, but it was the original that stuck, when the girls would leave out the r.

In the book, there are two separate kids named Henry and Benny. It seems weird.

Humor Totally Random

Happy Anniversary

What’s the appropriate gift for a 13th? Luck, perhaps? It’s been a big 13 years for my oldest nephew and his wife. Congratulations!

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Link Dump 2

Continued from and explained in Link Dump 1.

Schoolhouse Barack

Eggless batter for deep fried shrimp (works nicely for chicken, came out just like Chinese chicken fingers but that Henry can eat, moved from this to lighter tempura style)

It’s just a draft

Efficient markets after the financial crisis

RIP Fess Parker

Do you think you love me?

Controversial propositions (some good ones! including Bobby Orr)

The shocking ages of rock stars

Ethiopian Injera recipe and another and another and a detailed post about making it

Nerd, Dork and Geek explained in Venn Diagram

The parable of the satellite dish

Alien Versus Pooh

Latters to Scalzi, Pt 2

What if the jobs are never coming back?

Shy and introverted process the world differently

Quasars don’t show time dilation – what’s up with that?

Fighting allergies by mimicking parasitic worms

The whiskey standard

How to wreck a marriage

Truth in accounting (Madoff vs Social Security)

Massive tax change hidden in healthcare law

11 Music superstars who are technically one hit wonders

Most people carry neanderthal genes (big surprise!)

S&P Priced in gold

Creating a more private Facebook alternative

Caring for woulds when medical system has collapsed

Doubt cast on many reports of food allergies

Humor Kids

Happy Anniversary

To Michael and Esther, Deb’s awesome brother and his wife. They were married just three days after us, marking six years for them, but they knew each other longer, and had a good idea what to expect even after they were in a household of their own. Very important.

They are so astonishingly good at shopping for clothes for the kids we’d be tempted to delegate them the task, if they were a postage-free distance away. At least it’s good practice for when they produce some cousins. Because our kids have just waaay too few cousins. And none younger than them.

Humor Kids

No More Hats

Looks like next year we will have to put out a stop request on all hats, mittens, and scarves. The kids have multiple each now. As many as half a dozen.

Birthdays Controversies Humor Politics

Happy Birthday

To Deb’s father!

And a buncha other people, like my friends and former colleagues Rich and Steve, former President George W. “LBJ” Bush and thanks for making Barack Wilson Nixon-Carter possible, etc. But for our purposes here, David is the one who matters most.


Is It Kim… Or Lea?

Happened across this picture yesterday (click for full original) when someone mentioned Lea Thompson having been in a movie I didn’t recognize her as having been in. Since I’ve always… admired… her, I went and looked, and here we are.

There was a secretary/paralegal at the law firm that was my big client, there forever, chipping away at college and law school on the side over the course of many years. Most people didn’t like her much, I’d say. Or some, anyhow. She could be intense. Just as I often get along with the boss or teacher others dislike, I got along well with her, and there was a bit of admiration going on there as well. Lopsided, but not necessarily one-sided, even if I tend to credit such things too little too late. Besides, I doubt it would ever have worked.

About the same time she finally finished law school, she ended up a disappointment to the firm’s owner, not sure why, and was essentially a non-person, then gone. It would have been weird for her to stay anyway, given that if they hired her as a lawyer she’d be in that new role with respect to fellow support staff with whom she’d had a sometimes feisty relationship.

Along the way, she’d mutually flirted mercilessly with one of the younger, newer attorneys, probably not helping her cause over the course of time. He got divorced at some point, and eventually the two of them ended up married.

Between the initial heat and the eventuality was a period of time in which they were not together, Kim and I were flirting, and there were regular after work outings by some of the people at the firm to the bar area at the 99 Restaurant. At the peak of that, it was almost as if we were on a date, but my actual role was, I assume intentionally, to make him jealous and get them back together. Clearly it worked.

As I was telling Deb, not the only time I’ve been used to cause ultimately a marriage that someone or another desired. In another case it was a girl in college ending up married to her adequately Catholic high school sweetheart, who she was less certain of than her cheering mother.

Tangential verbosity aside, the point of this post is that the above picture could as easily be of Kim. Spitting image, at least of how she looked at one point and perhaps with slightly lighter hair. The face is the same as I remember it. Subject to the foibles of my memory. I was amazed, and that would explain, given my thing for Lea Thompson, why I found Kim so appealing.

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New Name?

Perhaps this place should be named Dispatches from Quizblivion instead.

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American Idol Blogging (and way too much else)

Let’s see if I can sneak in a quick post around my daycare duties. They (and by “they” I mean Henry) tend to know the difference between my fingers hitting the keys for anything substantive and not, so I can type a tweet or something like a Google query or URL, but not a post or e-mail. Haven’t tried the in-between of writing or revising a resume or LinkedIn desriptions lately, but they fall more to the substantive if only in terms of concentration and here he comes, like clockwork. Well yay, he… nope, he started walking off until I started typing again. Okay, he left. And Val drew him back. Score! He couldn’t get to my lap so he gave up. Go me!

You will have noticed a distinct lack of American Idol blogging. Or other TV blogging. I mean, ignoring for a moment the limited blogging generally, which is a combination if things, partially overlapping, which see a subsequent post, if not a full explanation therein.

Sadly, for the moment we have settled into a reasonable combination of Deb working 2:00 to 11:00 PM, while I work out of the house 3:45 AM until somewhere between 6:30 and 8:00 AM, normally to just after 7:00 AM. Her 11:00 AM to 8:00 PM shift didn’t work well, though it could have if I’d set a strict bedtime for me and the kids of 7:30, and not worried as much about her getting supper of whatever we’d had not long after we’d eaten, or making her something when she arrived. In the last few months I struggled with being boxed into the role and slipped a bit, but generally I take the “feed everyone” job seriously. (On that note, Sadie says “more apple!!!” and I am called away…)

Where was I?

Right. I don’t know how I was doing the “FredCo” job well enough to be retained as permanent, because I almost never got enough sleep the whole time, and I sleepwalked through every day between shifts, which come to think of it may not have helped my enthusiasm for my domestic duties. Oddly, though, I had faith I would become perm, while Deb wasn’t so sure I’d even last the seasonal stretch. Doesn’t take so much: Don’t let anything stop me from going to work, focus, do the job well, be inexorable, try not to get so hurt I have to stop. The new policy is get to bed as early as possible and even if it were tempting to wait up for Deb, 11:30 PM would be out of the question. It means easier to have a routine that gets us there, with flexibility the 7:30 thing would not have afforded. So the target bedtime is 8:00 PM, but if it takes until 9:30 sometimes, oh well. If we are asleep at 8:30, that lets me sleep potentially as long as 6.5 hours, which is amazing. I was routinely getting 4 and under. If I got more, it was by Deb being the evening parent and the morning parent. She routinely got too little sleep, and had less time for herself than needed, let alone customary from before I had even a job tucked into a theoretically out of the way, brief time slot. Interstitial employment?

(Pause to peel another apple because Sadie wanted more. Apparently the Pink Ladies are a huge hit.)

(And he is on my lap.)

(And saved by Val needing to be wiped.)

(And finally closed door to try to finish this quick, since my solution of doing dishes to feel unencumbered went far worse than this did, with two of them mothing me.)

Now where was I?

I go to bed before Idol, and Deb works during Idol. Part of the charm was watching together. We also are too busy to tape and watch. Thus I have been catching highlights via Rickey, except for having caught bits of some of the audition rounds. I have some idea who is participating and how the competition stacks up, know some of the drama, know details of how they’ve changed things this year, and so forth, but the viewing experience? Not getting that this time.

Not to mention the TV problem

(Sadie pounded on door to roust me because Henry changed the channel and messed it up. He will not learn not to do that.)

Not to mention the TV problems we have had, which I troubleshot yesterday, resulting in a revelation as well as the expected.

The signal comes through rabbit ears, and through the miracle of cables and splitters we could record something on the VCR on one channel while watching another channel, or watch a tape. The DVD player hooked directly into the requisite red, white and yellow jacks, rather than the antenna jack.

It barfed a couple months or so back. Ended up having to feed antenna to VCR and VCR to TV using DVD cables, or leave the DVD cables on the DVD player. Switching between them had to be a physical act of moving cables, so it was a big deal to watch TV as it happened, or to tape it, which couldn’t be done while watching a DVD anymore. If the kids picked something we had on tape, like Mary Poppins, we’d make a proverbial day of it and watch multiple tapes, maximizing the benefit of the cable swap.

I’d meant to try the “old” TV, which is the newer TV, which is smaller, else there’d have been no reason to switch to the other.

(They just busted into my locked door. So Val could ask for help with one of her new belts she got for her birthday. Then succeeded herself. Then left him in with me, closing the door behind her, Go Valerie.)

It was fairly apparent that the antenna jack on the big TV was more or less fried, but that wasn’t beyond all doubt.

(Pause to let Henry out and stuff.)

Thus the desire to test, if not automatically, definitely switch.

I confirmed the diagnosis, leaving us a good working kind of small TV that can be used as we used to, and a bigger, older TV that isn’t good for much besides hooking to a DVD player. Which might be viable if and when it could go in a separate room for the kids, or if one of us had space and preference for it versus the fact we can watch DVD on our computers (or will be able to, in Deb’s case, once I put in the drive that I ordered), and versus the watching of Hulu that can and does happen on our computers.

Having started on the course of not being able to watch AI this season, I can’t see us suddenly starting to tape it, but at least now we could.

Except… we can’t. Not yet.

You know how Obama has an advisor on such matters who worked for a company that benefits from a delay in the switch to HD, so mysteriously a delay has in fact been invoked? That was not enough to stop Fox. Home of American Idol.

In my A/V geeking yesterday, I found that

(Pause to wipe Sadie and hand out snacks to the bottomless children and be amused at Sadie’s declaration she didn’t want to miss much of the show she was watching, ‘I’m watching PBS Kids!”)

I found that channel 64 was on an endless loop announcing you were not seeing their programming because they had switched, so get off your asses and get a converter if you don’t have cable or a new set, here’s how. That’s Fox in Providence. Channel 25 was gone entirely. That’s Fox in Boston. It’s a tossup which will come in better for us, so normally we’d watch whichever was clearer that day. Not that Fox was alone, since it appeared channels 10 and 12 were gone as well, essentially eliminating commercial network television as an option for us.

So much for the delay.

And TV watchers or not, HD transition delay or not, the coupons for $40 of a $48 converter box expire, so I will need to get one or two sooner rather than later. For an extra $8 I’m inclined to get a spare, just in case we use a second TV or one dies or whatever.

In long, that, folks, is why you have not been and probably will not be seeing breathless commentary here about American Idol this season. Maybe sometime in the season we will manage, or I will manage, to do some actual watching of it, live or taped. The “FredCo” job can’t be forever, if you ask me, just because it’s too little to be so much of what I rely on, and it’s too physically demanding. The trouble is that I have to transition to work that pays so well that daycare is not an issue, or that is “work” not a “job” and can actually fit in with the kids and dishes and stuff, either being relatively interruptable, or doable during time Deb can and will cover me as if I had left the house and was no more available than I am now Tuesday through Saturday mornings 3:30 to generally about 7:30. I’ve been interested in working from home at times in order to be available to help, but mostly that just doesn’t work. A couple of saving factors are that we live in a 24 hour, 7 day world, and that we won’t necessarily overlap hours entirely for the foreseeable future, even if I extricate myself from domestic box into corporate cubicle.

Now. I have another post in mind for here, and maybe I can put that forth today, but also I have a post I started last week, elsewhere, directly relevant to getting work, potentially to be seen by tens of thousands of people, potentially meme-setting in scope. But at least self-motivational and all that. I was white-hot inspired and then wasn’t able to work on it and lost the feel, but at least it can be done enough without the heat, so long as there’s time and permission to actually work on it.

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Curls Galore

Speaking of Valerie’s hair, we trimmed it for the first time the other day. No pics yet, but it came out fantastic. And speaking of pics, I still need to create an online card from. well, less to work with than I’d like. On the plus side, it’s not limited to the size that will look good and fit on a printed version. And speaking of limited funds, I need to get a job that doesn’t result in a new bruise – mystery or otherwise – or other injury each day, and that doesn’t pack a full day or two of physical effort into 4 hours.

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The OTHER Hero of Canton

Humor News Politics Quiz or Meme

Equal Opportunity Polling

I did a poll of who Barack Obama would be like in practice as President, which was fun and snarky and all, but why leave McCain out of it? Looks like on the other one I neglected to point out that I was including alt history/fictional options for entertainment value. Otherwise, I was trying to stick to Presidents/dictators of the US, though I see in the prior post I phrased it as “remind you of” who, rather generic sounding. Anyway, here you are…

What other President will McCain be most like if elected?
Dwight Eisenhower
William Henry Harrison
Mike Dukakis
George W. Bush
George H.W. Bush
Teddy Roosevelt
Ronald Reagan
Lyndon Johnson
Other (hey, there’s comments) free polls
Birthdays Humor Job Hunting Money

For Deb’s Birthday…

I got me a job.

I start Tuesday at 1 AM for a seasonal, part time package handler job in a local distribution center. Normally it’ll be 3 AM to 8 AM, peaking starting a little earlier, and usually ending earlier when it’s not peak. Preferably I can stay after 8 AM if there’s an emergency, like a truck delayed by traffic. I’d expect that to be rare, and hope we can handle it by Deb having some flexibility and/or being able to bundle the kids to someone, or have someone run down to watch them for a little while.

Ironically, they called while I was taking the kids to hang out with Sharon and their cousins while I did a one-shot spot of computer work worth about three days of package handling.

It’ll help. Plus the structure, exercise, and if I land something else I may be able to keep it and just be extra busy for the last bit of the year. If it really works out, there’s a chance of it going past the season. We’ll see, as it’s a rough, cannon fodder kind of job. Being slightly less worried about money for a while will help. It’s incredibly annoying to be in situations like right now, where I can afford $29 to have the car inspected, but that leaves a buck to buy and mount the two 14″ tires it needs.

Kids are making unpromising sounds in the other room. Off I go…

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Presidential Poll

No, not who will be elected, but who you might expect Barack Obama to remind you of should he be elected. Annointed? Sprung forth like a mighty oak from a mere ACORN? Anyway, for your amusement…

What other President will Obama be most like if elected?
Jimmy Carter
George W. Bush
Warren Harding
Woodrow Wilson
Nehemiah Scudder
John F. Kennedy
Richard Nixon
Franklin Roosevelt
Al Gore
Other (Comment if wanted) free polls
Birthdays blogging Humor

Looks like Glenn…

Is adopting my birthday blogging thing. Indeed, happy birthday to Todd Steed.

Food & Cooking Humor Quiz or Meme

No Wonder Deb Usually Likes Me…

You Are Oregano

You have are charming, funny, witty, and smart.
You love to party – and people love to party with you.
You are always friendly and warm. You are able to help people get along.
What Spice Are You?
Humor Kids

Eek! A Kitty!

Yesterday I took the kids to a birthday party at a house with a pool, so Henry got hist first swim, however brief. With me alone with the three kids, and fewer people than might normally have been around to help keep them from drowning or exploring the woods, it was interesting.

Valerie, for instance, took off into the woods, followed by Sadie, to explore, and I became aware of this in “but they were nearby a minute ago” fashion when one of the other adults went chasing after them. No sign of poison ivy yet. I ended up down in a hollow, carrying Henry in one arm, fetching Valerie and carrying her out in the other arm, while cautioning Sadie not to come down there after us. Valerie is our naturalist, totally drawn to vegetation and woods, and even things like rocks and bugs.

Sadie starred in one of the most comical scenes I have ever seen. She wanted to use the bathroom, so we dried off and went into the house. In the kitchen, near the bathroom, there was a big gray cat. She shrieked and yelled “a kitty!” Before you could blink she was standing on a chair, cowering in fear and screaming. I told her it was just a cat, quite amused, and said “see, hi kitty” bending down to offer my hand to the cat, who decided it was time to leave the room.

That was probably an expectations and startlement thing as much as, say, fear of cats. She then couldn’t bring herself to go, especially given it was a regular toilet with no insert, since I forgot to bring it. Which didn’t stop Valerie in the least, when we were in there to get suits on. On the way out, I pointed to Sadie the cat’s food dishes that were a sign of, you know, a cat living in the house.

It was just so funny.