Thursday, July 31, 2003

Home of the Hamburger

U.S. Census Bureau Daily Feature for August 1:

August 1st is the annual Home of the Hamburger celebration in Seymour, Wisconsin. Just in case you have any vacation time left.

News Flash!

Placemats of the Future has returned after a long hiatus. I knew you'd be interested.

Wednesday, July 30, 2003

Federal Trade Commission - The Do Not Call Registry

I just registered. I know it won't prevent all calls from coming to us, assuming we still have this phone number by the time it officially goes into effect, but it will reduce the amount of unsolicited calls we're getting.

Isn't Reading Fun?

One of the best ways to encourage your children to read is to model it yourself. If your children see you reading and enjoying it, then they will pick it up, too. This is one thing I've loved about my Mom and Dad. They are both avid readers.

This reminds me that I need to update my reading list, which I have set up via and add it to my homepage. I used to have it here on this blog, but I thought it would be too cluttered if I kept it on there.

I'm currently reading Frank McCourt's, Angela's Ashes. I felt so lucky to have found the hard cover copy of this book at the used book store for $1. Today I found out from someone living in Ireland that the book was made into a movie. I'll have to check with the public library to see if they have it.

What are you reading?

Dating My Wife

When Jennie and I were dating in 1994, I had just moved up to Dayton, and she still lived in the Cincinnati area. We'd see each other maybe three times a week. This was before we got engaged, which is a completely different story.

We started a tradition as our dates would end:

There was a White Castle restaurant close to where she lived, and we'd stop there before I dropped her off at her house (We didn't live together before we were married; I don't think that would have been what Jesus would have done, actually.). We both liked their coffee and vanilla shakes, and we'd order one of each and then split them both by pouring half of one into the other, and vice versa. Then we'd hang out for a bit until we'd finished our "mochas." It was a really good 'bonding' time for both of us, and helped us deal with the reality that I'd be heading back to Dayton after I took her home.

As I took Jennie to work this morning, that memory just popped in my mind. Yesterday she was off work, and we went to McDonald's to order some of the McGriddle sandwiches that I used to mock. They're actually really good. Maybe that experience is what helped me to remember our dates from 9 years ago.


Carla talks about the changes to her family's life now that her husband has been diagnosed with diabetes, one of which is getting used to the needles. Last week I mentioned my blood donation, and, while I endure a little bit of discomfort, I cannot bring myself to look at the needle going in. IreneQ has said she's too afraid of needles to donate blood.

So, I guess that we're alike in this small way, too. :)

Keisha and I enjoy watching PBSKids in the mornings before she goes to school and when she comes home. Right now she's watching Clifford: The Big Red Dog. I really can't stand Jetta, the prideful girl who really knows how to create trouble. It does create a plot for the episodes, I guess. And, fortunately, she does see the error of her ways by the end of the episode.

Tuesday, July 29, 2003

Humorous 911 Calls

via email from Steve

Addressed for the Evening

Dispatcher: Nine-one-one What is your emergency?
Caller: I heard what sounded like gunshots coming from the brown house on the corner.
Dispatcher: Do you have an address?
Caller: No, I'm wearing a blouse and slacks,why?

Sandwich Emergency

Dispatcher: Nine-one-one What is your emergency?
Caller: Someone broke into my house and took a bite out of my ham and cheese sandwich.
Dispatcher: Excuse me?
Caller: I made a ham and cheese sandwich and left it on the kitchen table, and when I came back from the bathroom, someone had taken a bite out of it.
Dispatcher: Was anything else taken?
Caller: No, but this has happened to me before and I'm sick and tired of it.

Cooking Advice

Dispatcher: Nine-one-one
Caller: Hi, is this the police?
Dispatcher: This is 911. Do you need police assistance?
Caller: Well, I don't know who to call. Can you tell me how to cook a turkey? I've never cooked one before.

At Your Civil Service

Dispatcher: Nine-one-one. Fire or emergency?
Caller: Fire, I guess.
Dispatcher: How can I help you sir?
Caller: I was wondering.....does the Fire Dept. put snow chains on their trucks?
Dispatcher: Yes sir, do you have an emergency?
Caller: Well, I've spent the last 4 hours trying to put these chains on my tires and....well.... do you think the Fire Dept. could come over and help me?
Dispatcher: Help you what?
Caller: Help me get these chains on my car!

Smarter Than She Sounds

Dispatcher: Nine-one-one What is the nature of your emergency?
Caller: I'm trying to reach nine eleven but my phone doesn't have an eleven on it.
Dispatcher: This is nine eleven.
Caller: I thought you just said it was nine-one-one
Dispatcher: Yes, ma'am nine-one-one and nine-eleven are the same thing.
Caller: Honey, I may be old, but I'm not stupid.

You Talkin' To Me?

Dispatcher: Nine-one-one What's the nature of your emergency?
Caller: My wife is pregnant and her contractions are only two minutes apart.
Dispatcher: Is this her first child?
Caller: No, you idiot! This is her husband

The Least of His Troubles

Dispatcher: Nine-one-one
Caller: Yeah, I'm having trouble breathing. I'm all out of breath. Darn...I think I'm going to pass out.
Dispatcher: Sir, where are you calling from?
Caller: I'm at a pay phone. North and Foster. Damn......
Dispatcher: Sir, an ambulance is on the way. Are you an asthmatic?
Caller: No.
Dispatcher: What where you doing before you started having trouble breathing?
Caller: Running from the police.

Divorce and Firing by Mobile Phone

Reuters reports that a Muslim authority has declared that it's okay for a Muslim man to divorce his wife via a text message. Islamic law permits a man to divorce his wife by declaring "I divorce you" three times.

Amazingly efficient. It's as though marriage doesn't mean anything anymore to some people.

I read recently on emblog that a British personal injury claims firm, The Accident Group (TAG), sacked 2500 employees via text-message this past May.

Also, amazingly efficient. Paperless, too. Geez.

Update: Irene commented that the decision by the Muslim authority has been overturned. Thanks!

101 Things Removed From The Human Body

On the radio this morning, I heard about this upcoming new reality show that will broadcast on Fox starting this coming Thursday at 9 PM Eastern time. It sounds wrong in so many ways, perhaps 101 ways. I think I'll watch the CSI repeat on CBS instead.

The Fortuneteller - JOKE ALERT!

During a recent publicity outing, Jennifer snuck off to visit a fortuneteller of some local repute. In a dark and hazy room, peering into a crystal ball, the mystic delivered grave news:

"There's no easy way to say this, so I'll just be blunt: Prepare yourself to be a widow. Your husband will die a violent and horrible death this year."

Visibly shaken, Jennifer stared at the woman's face, then at the single flickering candle, and then down at her hands. She took a few deep breaths to compose herself. She simply had to know. She met the fortuneteller's gaze, steadied her voice, and asked her question:

"Will I be acquitted?"

Monday, July 28, 2003

Ian's Messy Desk

Ian has a really good post about going through trying times.

RIP Bob Hope

Tapping My Memory Resources

I have a therapist appointment this morning. I've been taking a trip through the recent blog archives to trigger my memory of anything significant to discuss with him since my last appointment.

Sunday, July 27, 2003

Family Devotional - Loving Our Neighbor

Tonight we had a family devotional about what it means to "love our neighbor." For the text, I used the parable of "The Good Samaritan" in Luke 10:25-37. We didn't use "Samaritan," "scribe," "priest," or "teacher of the law." To illustrate the story and to make it appear more real, we used some of Keisha's Barbie dolls (I think she has maybe 10 of them now, but this is not the time to go into the "Naked Barbie Woodstock" that our house sometimes becomes.):

She hasn't given all the dolls names, so I told her we would give two of the ones we were using temporary names. She, at first, had a problem with this. I assured her that we were only using our imagination and that she could name the dolls whatever she wanted, even if it was at a later date.

For the person who was beaten and robbed, we chose one of Keisha's newer dolls, named Chelsea. We chose one of her younger dolls, whom we named Ruth, to be a girl who, although she goes to Chelsea's school, doesn't want to be her friend. We had a Ken doll, who was fortunately wearing shorts, to be a jock-type who thought he was too good-looking to help Chelsea.

Keisha also has a Fisher Price man, who we chose to be the "Samaritan;" i.e., the one who does what is right in the story, and we named him John. John is much smaller than the other dolls, and we let him have the pink Barbie car for the purpose of our story. Also, John lives on the other side of town and goes to a completely different school. John is also black.

For the "bandits," Mom and Jennie used about four of Keisha's other Barbies, and their job was to beat Chelsea up, tousle her hair, and steal her coat, shoes, and purse. They did a fine job.

The expression on Keisha's face after the mugging and after Ken and Ruth ignored Chelsea was priceless. The concern, the empathy. It was great.

Then we brought out John, in his pink Barbie-mobile. Here he was, in a hurry himself to get home because he had school the next day, and he pulled over to see what had happened to Chelsea. He even helped her into his car, even though she was about twice his size! Then he drove her to the hospital, gave the ER doctor a dime (the first coin I found in my pocket), and told the ER doctor to take care of her. If there was any additional cost, he'd be by tomorrow to take care of it.

After this drama, I took Ruth, Ken, and John. I sat them down in front of Keisha, and I asked her which one was more like a friend? She rightly pointed to John.

Update, 30 Jul 2003: You might appreciate Mom's version, too.

Da Beard Is Gone - A Poem

Ad-libbed by the Danimal this day, 27 July 2003, in the year of our Lord:

The beard is gone
The mustache, too
It was just something
I had to do

For I tugged and pulled
At my chinny-chin-chin
'Twas quite a state
I found myself in

Then with scissors in hand
I moved quickly
Until my face
Not clean-shaven but prickly

To bed I retired
To my wife I did say
A surprise for you
I'll have the next day

Then waking did she
From that restful place
My eyes were opened
And I showed her my face

To work I drove her
With grace and speed
Then to the shower
Where I'd finish the deed

With no mirror to guide me
I lathered and shaved
Hoping and praying
My neck would be saved

Then finished were we
With no time to spare
Yes, even no time
To do Keisha's hair

Mom stayed behind
Her rest she did need
Keisha and I
Our bellies did feed

Reflecting am I
On this brand-new me
I've had this beard
Since before January

Son, says my Mom,
Before we handle our hunger,
Your clean-shaven face
Makes you look five years younger!

How long will this last
I sit here and think
How long will my face
Stay clean and pink?

A short time or long
The answer's not clear
I'll be me,
So there's nothing to fear

Long-distance Contact

Background: A friend and brother in Christ from our church here in Dayton is in the Air Force. He has been on a three-month training stint in Biloxi, Mississippi, away from his wife, whom I'll abbreviate as "R.", daughter, whom I'll abbreviate as "K.", and other close friends. He emailed this update:

I would like to apologize for not keeping in touch lately, in my life right now I have grown quite selfish and very unloving, letting my emotions take control, and not looking where I needed to look for peace. I really am struggling with my pride right now and allowing my hurt to control my life.

I am officially half way done. My last two scores for my block tests have been a 90 and 92. I had hoped that they would be higher but I will be grateful for
what I got for scores. I have to realize that if I tried my best that it should be good enough. The next block is all about operating systems of Windows, ah
back to something that I know about really well. I am excited and trying not to get complacent.

R. is coming down starting on Thursday, it will be a nice change of the routine of loneliness. She will be down here until Monday morning. School shopping
for K. will be interesting, I can't wait to hear what she thinks of R. and my taste. Usually she is a part of the decision making process, but this year will be different. I keep telling her think of it like Christmas, in the immortal words of forest gump "Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what your goin get." Only difference, exchange the word life and put clothes.

I have taken a week of running off, not by choice though. My ankle has been given me some trouble. I have been off for a week, I am going to give it a try

People ask how I can still lose weight, I tell them. Eat the chow hall food. It is a great diuretic. Kinda makes you not want to eat. I look forward to the weekends, that is when I treat myself to some fast food. I think I am getting kinda sick and tired of Anthony's Pizza, Popeye's chicken, A & W, and Robin
Hood though.

I don't know how people can last one year on a remote, I have only been gone for 1.5 months and I am going nuts due to the constant routine.

That is about it. I hope to hear from you soon

Take care and God bless
Proverbs 14:30

Saturday, July 26, 2003

101 Amazing Earth Facts!

Wow your friends at dinner parties or other public gatherings with this cornucopia of facts about the planet on which we live!

Desktop Replacement Laptops

This article provides some excellent reasoning why my next computer should be a laptop. After all, it's hard lugging the monitor, tower, keyboard, mouse, etc., to the coffee shop to write. And, if you ever spot me doing it, shoot me on sight. Okay, just kidding! :D

Americans with Disabilities Act - 13th Anniversary

In President Bush's weekly address to the nation, he remarks that the Americans with Disabilities Act is

... one of the most compassionate acts of American government. Since becoming law, the ADA has helped to improve the quality of life for more than 50,000 million Americans with physical and mental disabilities. As a result, it is easier today for people with disabilities to find a job, to enter public buildings, and to live more independently in their communities. These are all welcome changes in American life.
As the father of a daughter who is hard of hearing, I am very grateful for this law, along with the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act (IDEA). Because of the IDEA, Keisha is guaranteed the opportunity to succeed in school.

I am also very grateful to the individuals who have served her and us: the special education teachers and workers, the audiologists and speech therapists. I am also grateful for the wonderful help we've received from the Community Services for the Deaf here in Dayton.

I realize that no program is perfect, and there is much more work left to do. Nevertheless, I can see how God has blessed us to be able to live in a time like this.

Friday, July 25, 2003


This afternoon I wrote something on Mom's blog, "Me, Myself, and I" about this blog. This family could use a lot of encouragement. I added them to my and Mom's blogroll.

Jesus Was A Blood Donor!

Yesterday, 24 July 2003, I donated blood at the local Community Blood Center in downtown Dayton. It had been so long since I last donated that I couldn't remember when it was. I have to wait at least 8 weeks for the red blood cells to regenerate before I can donate again, which means that I'll be able to donate again on Thursday, 18 September 2003.

I first donated blood when I was 17 years old at a blood drive held at our high school. I have good veins, the phlebotomists say, for donating. For most of my recent donations, I've used my left arm, since I'm right-handed. Last night, the phlebotomist recommended I start alternating because of the scar tissue that has formed in my left arm from donating so much. We'll see.

I don't like needles, but I donate anyway. I usually am a bit nervous when the nurse pricks my finger to check if there is enough iron in it. Then, when I head back to the blood collection area, I cannot look at the needle as the phlebotomist injects it in me. My wife, on the other hand, is different: she wants to see what's going on.

The inside of my elbows are extremely ticklish. Hence, I giggle and wriggle when the phlebotomist cleans the area with antiseptic and iodine. This always makes the other staff members chuckle, too.

The entire experience of donating, from the time I arrived to the time I was finished, took about 45 minutes to an hour.

I share this experience for my own benefit so that I'll remember to donate in September. I also share this to encourage you, gentle readers, to consider donating blood. I understand that there are many medical reasons why some individuals cannot. I've been ill a lot this year, and that has prevented me from donating earlier. But even if you are not able to donate, you can still send out the message to others who might be able to do so.

I titled this post, "Jesus Was A Blood Donor!" as a reminder that Jesus gave his blood so that we could be healed:

He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed. (1 Peter 2:24)
. When I meditate on his "blood donation," I am more willing to endure a little discomfort - if you could even call it that - so that someone else can get a chance to live.

Take care!

Fun In The Son

How Sweet It Is!!!!
Hershey Park, Pennsylvania
September 21

Think...chocolate covered friendship. Have communion early in the park with the church from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and then enjoy all the entertainment and amenities of the wild and delicious Hershey Park.

About Fun in the

Our goal is to help Christians experience the kind of faith building, joy generating, and memory making events that will encourage us in our relationships with each other and with God.

Our aim is to help people participate in all sorts of spiritual and social opportunities that we might not otherwise know about. We want to open up a world of options to find great fellowship and meet new friends.

Thursday, July 24, 2003

American Gallery of Psychiatric Art

Mark, the Official Iowan of this blog, says that this website is a "gallery very near to [his] heart." Mine too.

Admitting Struggles with Mental Illness - Followup

I recently received an email about my recent post. I've attached links to text in the email - where applicable - so that you can refer to them:

Hello :)
I am a Christian and struggle with depression and self-injury. I just wanted to say thanks for your post. It was encouraging just to hear someone else admit they struggle with self-injury. I admire that very much. I still have a lot of difficulties admitting my struggle with it, especially to people who have never struggled with it also. I actually found that by chance. A friend sent me a link to your blog to look at the pictures of the flood but it sent me to the top of the page where this post was instead. Kinda like God was showing me I'm not as alone as I think I am. So thanks. :)

Blogging by Numbers

According to Jupiter Research, roughly 2 percent of the online community has created a blog. More interesting stats can be found via the link to the article. Link via Metapop, July 24, 2003 post.

Most-frequently used letters?

I have recently noticed that some of the keys on my keyboard are beginning to fade; namely, A, S, E, and T. Could these be my most frequently used letters? What about R, N, and L? Well, I do know that these letters tend to be the ones that contestants on "Wheel of Fortune" (sorry! find your own link, I feel lazy and rushed right now) pick.

Adult ADHD | a difficult diagnosis

In this article from WebMD, John Casey writes:

Treating adult ADHD is fairly simple, but diagnosing it is difficult. Many adults realize they have ADHD when their children are diagnosed with it.

I've been re-reading Thom Hartmann's book Attention Deficit Disorder: A Different Perception, which I was fortunate to get used at a bookstore last year. I've shared my discoveries with my mom, who has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. She seems to believe that she may have ADHD as well.

It is not uncommon for both to be diagnosed as the other. More from the article:
In June, [Dr. Lenard Adler, director of the Combined Departments of Psychiatry and Neurology Adult ADHD Program at New York University School of Medicine,] and his colleagues released a survey of how 400 primary care doctors rated their ability to diagnose adult ADHD: Nearly 50 percent of the doctors said they do not feel confident in diagnosing ADHD in adults...

Working with the World Health Organization, Adler and his colleagues developed an ADHD screening test asking patients to answer six questions about their behavior. If they score high, they take a more precise, 18-item symptoms checklist test.
“The advantage of the self-test is that it is patient friendly and standardized,” says Adler. “We hope this will take a great deal of guesswork out of diagnosis.”
The ADHD self-assessment test, which is copyrighted by the WHO, is available online at
I took a self-assessment type of test in January/February 2002, and I scored high in certain areas, which led my psychiatrist at that time to diagnose me with ADHD.

Belated Birthday Wishes

Yesterday Keisha received a birthday card, postmarked from Michigan, from her pre-Kindergarten teacher, Miss Jean, who is celebrating her mother's 75th birthday. She was so encouraged!

Drive-Thru Wonder

As I drove Jennie to work this morning, we saw an RTA bus driving around an Arby's parking lot. We wondered what it would have been like if the driver had stopped to place an order:

Drive-Thru Operator: Can I help you?
Bus Driver: Yeah, I have 20 separate orders...
I find it so funny any time I see a massive vehicle move as though it were not.

About thirteen years ago, I worked for a company that made tanks for the U.S. Army. One week, the company was preparing for a visit from then-General Colin Powell. I had a great view of the grassy area in front of the office building. One day I looked out and I saw a tank speeding down the grass at about 40 miles per hour, when it turned on a dime. That was too cool!

Wednesday, July 23, 2003

Just Call Me Zippy Bubblechunks!

According to the children's book Captain Underpants and the Perilous Plot of Professor Poopypants by Dave Pilkey:

The evil Professor forces everyone to assume new names... Follow the instructions to find your new name.
I did it, and I came up with "Zippy Bubblechunks." I found the link via Geekqueen and blogs4God. Why don't you get a new name and share it with me?

Arnold May Run For Governor

"State officials inched closer Monday to calling California's first-ever gubernatorial recall election, as actor Arnold Schwarzenegger's campaign adviser said he is close to deciding to run on the recall ballot."

I'm Free - A Poem

I do not know who wrote the poem below. It was inside a memorial flyer we picked up at the recent visitation for a friend:

Don't grieve for me, for now I'm free;
I'm following the path God laid for me.
I took His hand when I heard Him call;
I turned my back and left it all.

I could not stay another day,
to laugh, to love, to work or play.
Tasks left undone must stay that way;
I found that place at the close of day.

If my parting has left a void, then fill it with
remembered joy. A friendship shared, a laugh,
a kiss; Ah yes, these things, I too, will miss.

Be not burdened with times of sorrow;
I wish you the sunshine of tomorrow.
My life's been full, I savored much;
Good friends, good times, a loved one's touch.

Perhaps my time seemed all too brief;
Don't lengthen it now with undue grief.
Lift up your heart and share with me;
God wanted me now. He set me free.

Little Angels

I do not know who wrote the poem below. It was inside the funeral announcement I picked up at a recent visitation:

When God calls little children to dwell
with him above. We mortals sometimes
question the wisdom of His love.
For no heartache compares with
the death of one small child.
Who does so much to make our world
seem wonderful and mild.
Perhaps God tires of calling the aged to His fold.
So He picks a rosebud before it can grow old.
God knows how much we need them,
and so he makes but a few.
To make the hand of Heaven
more beautiful to view.
Believing this is difficult,
still somehow we must try.
The saddest word mankind know will
always be goodbye.
So when a little child departs,
we who are left behind,
must realize God love children.
Angels are hard to find.


Jennie and I attended the visitation for the three people killed in the automobile crash this past Sunday. It was a heart-wrenching experience:

The line to see and be with the dearly departed extended outside the funeral home.


As soon as we got to where the caskets were, I saw Kieran. She was dressed in a nice outfit, wearing a baby hat. A baby blanket was placed over her. Sunday was her one-year old birthday. She was born and she died on the same day, one year exactly. We had met her parents before when they visited our church with Sarah and Bill. Her parents are in their early to to mid twenties, and they remained beside her casket as people came in. Kieran's mother clutched one of her daughter's stuffed toys, and both she and her husband openly wept aloud. They said they were grateful that they had her for as long as they did, but it was obvious that there would still be a lot of grieving.


The next casket down was Sarah's. She was only 22 years old. It had been awhile since I'd last seen her. I believe it was late last summer, at their oldest son Kade's 3 year old birthday party in a park. The funeral home did a wonderful job with her makeup and outfit. Yet, for some reason, I could tell she didn't look the same. This gave me a little bit of an idea how horrific the accident was.


In the last casket was Hayden, Bill and Sarah's youngest son, 20 months old, born just six days after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. He looked different, too from what I remember. He was dressed in a "little-man" outfit.


Bill remained by his and Sarah's caskets. He said that he had been going through a cycle of emotions. I told him that I didn't know what to say. My mom had given me an envelope with some words she'd written for him. I handed it to him, and he placed it in his suit jacket.

Good Can Come From This

If there can be any good to come from this, it may be that the two babies never had an opportunity to grow up and reject God. Sarah had been a disciple of Jesus Christ, and we can pray that her heart was right with God.

Memorial Poems

Inside the memorial flyers, along with the details of the three individuals, were two poems that I'm going to post: Little Angels and I'm Free.

Clean Christian Jokes

Worth linking to.

Deck of Weasels


The Pentagon’s Iraqi Most Wanted “Deck of Death” playing cards was a huge hit with Americans:

Now, is raising the ante – with the Deck of Weasels, depicting the 54 worst leaders and celebrities who opposed America and were key members of "The United Nations of Weasels."

This hot new set of playing and informational cards – which will surely be a collector’s item – depicts the enemies of America and Iraq’s liberation in a satirical way while revealing the evidence of their hatred – their own quotes against America!

Changed Lives

"I never realized it when I was a student, but after I became a teacher, everything changed and my world was never the same." -- Ganns Dean, Superblessed, the July 21, 2003 post

After I saw this quote on blogs4God, I had to visit. Then I found out that Ganns, who lives in the Philippines, had written about his experience from watching Mr. Holland's Opus. I decided to comment:

Mr. Holland's Opus is one of my all-time favorite movies, too. I can relate with it on so many levels: the love of music, marriage/family/work balance, teaching, and I have a daughter who is hard of hearing.

I've been told by other teachers that I would make a good teacher.

When our daughter was little, and even now, though not as frequently, I would sing "Beautiful Boy" to her, but change it to "Beautiful Girl". Once I learned how to sign it, I began signing it to her. This would be a great song to help her stop crying or to help her fall asleep.

I, too, wind up in tears by the end of the movie. free and easy blogging

Tuesday, July 22, 2003

California Recall Gets Real

U.S. Newswire reports:

The unusual effort to recall California Gov. Gray Davis (D) heads into a new phase Wednesday as county officials from around the state are expected to announce that enough signatures have been gathered to set the recall election process in motion. Staff writer Peter Savodnik reports in the July 23, 2003, issue of The Hill that the move will have an impact from California to Washington, D.C. Observers are watching to see whether the unpopular Davis's travails will help or hurt President Bush's reelection prospects. "This is California," said Phil Eisenberg, a former Democratic state assemblyman who now works as a lobbyist in Sacramento. "We go through political theater every 35 minutes. We have bizarre things happen to us."

via Calif. Recall Gets Real; Election to Oust Davis Coming This Fall

Prayer Request - Followup

For those that don't know, check this post out first: Mom, two kids die in pileup on I-70

I just received this email:

I hope this finds you well... Some of you may already know, but for those who don't...

Sarah, Hayden, and Keiran (my wife, son, and niece) perished in a horrific automobile accident on Sunday around 1:00pm.

Some of you may have already seen it on the news or in the paper, but I wanted to ensure you were notified. I ask that you forward this email to anyone who you feel may need to know about what has happened.

Please keep me in your prayers, as well as Kade (my 3-year old son), and the extended family.

For those of you who are parents.................. please hug or call your children immediately after reading this.

Out She Comes! Part 5

When the doctor said, "Let's have this baby!" I was puzzled. I thought that's what we were already doing. What he really meant was that Jennie was going to start pushing. I don't remember if he increased the Pitocin dose or not -- come to think of it, he may have reduced it -- I can't remember for sure:

So, as a contraction started Jennie began to push. And push she did. I had never seen anyone go through labor before, but I'd heard that women show so much strength that it behooves a man to appreciate and respect her so much more.

Cindy was taping the labor, which we later determined to be about 21 minutes long. I can hardly imagine going through 21 minutes of pushing, but Jennie did. I recall Sue asking Cindy, toward the end of that 21 minutes, "Is that hair I see?" which I took to mean that Keisha was close.

After about 17 minutes, the doctor became concerned. Every contraction was beginning to affect Keisha's heartbeat. We weren't getting anywhere with the natural birthing, so he ordered a Caesarean section. An anesthesiologist came in to administer a "spinal" to Jennie, but she couldn't find the place in Jennie's back to inject the anesthesia. So the doctor ordered a "general" anesthetic, which would put Jennie to sleep.

Jennie was taken to an Operating Room, where they would perform the Caesarean. Because she was under a general anesthetic, I wasn't allowed in the room. I felt very saddened by it. Cindy, who manned the camera, asked me to comment on camera what was going on. I explained it to an older Keisha, who would later be watching this video.

Then I heard something that made me break into tears. I heard our baby crying behind me. Keisha was born at 10:42 PM, July 17, 1997! The nurse came out to get a port-a-crib thingy, which they would use to transport Keisha to the Transitional Nursery. She said that I could come in to see her. So Cindy handed me the camera.

Just minutes from being outside the womb, there she was: all wrapped up in cloths, crying. I was in awe. God's creation, which we'd waited for nine months, was here!

I followed the nurse to the Transitional Nursery, where I met Ms. Yvetta, the Transitional Nurse. She checked all of Keisha's vitals, and I was able to tape the whole event. It would be important, I knew, for Jennie and an older Keisha to see all of this. Yvetta gave Keisha her first bath, and Keisha cried when she got her hair washed. She still doesn't like getting it washed.

Then it was time for me to clean her umbilical cord. I was so nervous; I didn't want to hurt my baby or anything like that. Yvetta reassured me that everything was okay. Then I got to put her very first diaper on her. It was a little thing! But then again, so was my baby! Sort of. She weighed in at 7 pounds, 2-1/2 ounces, and 21 inches long.

After the Transitional Nursery, we took Keisha to go meet her Mommy, who was waking up in the Recovery Room. It was a beautiful event. I can remember holding our baby in my arms, just like it was yesterday.

Having a baby changes your life forever.

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Get Your Own, Portable Email Address

In a recent U.S. News & World Report article, David LaGesse writes:

[About $25 a year will] buy you a vanity E-mail address that works with any Internet provider. In other words, it's a portable E-mail address that will last forever. Give it to your friends, family, and associates, and it'll never go out of date, even if you decide to dump your Internet provider and switch to another . . . and another . . . and another. Read more...

Monday, July 21, 2003

Mom, two kids die in pileup on I-70

Prayer Request: Mom, two kids die in pileup on I-70

The Dayton Daily News reports:

A 21-year-old mother and her two toddlers were killed instantly Sunday when their small, light blue Toyota was crushed between two semis in a seven-vehicle, chain-reaction collision on Interstate 70 East in Vandalia, said Lt. Art Combest of the Ohio State Highway Patrol's Dayton post.
I saw this on the news last night. This afternoon, I received the following e-mail from the evangelist of our church:
I wanted to let everyone know, yesterday there was a bad accident up on I-70 and Sarah, Hayden (their 2 year old son) and Sarah's niece were all killed in the accident. Be praying for Bill and their families. We will not have midweek tomorrow night so if you can pass on the word. There
will be a viewing tomorrow night... You can call if you have any questions or if you need anything. It is definitely very emotional, lets all be there for each other and for Bill and their families.
Bill, a member of our church, within the last year had gone through a divorce from his wife Sarah, who was killed in the accident.

The Name That Shall Not Be Named

This reminds me of the Harry Potter folk who use "He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named" and "You-Know-Who" to refer to Lord Voldemort. This case, however, involves alleged trademark infringement in Christendom, of all places.

The Door Is Ajar

This link is getting a lot of referrals lately. It's about choosing a different browser.

Heart Touchers - Day of Terror Stories

I went to a link I placed in the previous post ("Somehow You Found Me"), and I found this wonderful link.

Somehow You Found Me

Below is a sample of search words and phrases typed into search engines recently that wound up finding this weblog. I created a TinyURL for ones that I thought were provocative enough to merit a look-see:

Young Children and the Internet: Places to Learn and Play




Dr. Seuss's Seussville:

PBS Kids Homepage:

Sesame Workshop:

Smithsonian Institution - National Zoo:

Learning with Computers | Some Useful Computer Resources

  • Parents Guide to the Internet, published by the U.S. Department of Education, 1997. (call toll-free 1-877-4ED-PUBS to request a free copy, or order online at
  • The Connected Family: Bridging the Digital Generation Gap by Seymour Papert and Nicholas Negroponte. Longstreet Press, 1996.
  • The Parents' Pocket Guide to Kids and Computers published by the Family Computer Workshop, 1998.
  • Young Kids and Computers: A Parent's Survival Guide by Ellen Wolock, Anne Orr, and Warren Buckleitner. Children's Software Revue, 1998.
U.S. Department of Education's No Child Left Behind website:

U.S. Department of Education
Office of Intergovernmental and Interagency Affairs
Helping Your Child Become a Reader
Washington, D.C., 2002

I Am Somebody

This poem is something the kids at Keisha's school recite at the beginning of every day. I do not know who wrote it. It's much more inspiring than the song they sing about their school, which I personally find to be just plain silly:

I am somebody.
I am capable and loveable.
I am teachable, therefore I can learn.
I can do anything when I try.
I respect myself and others.
I'll be the best that I can be each day.
I will not waste time, because it is too
valuable, and I am too precious and bright.
I am somebody.

First Day of Kindergarten

Today is Keisha's first day of Kindergarten:

The teachers had a one-hour meeting with parents to talk about how the classes operate. There is a huge emphasis on the kids' learning how to read. The meeting conveyed a lot of important stuff for us parents, but there were a couple of times when Keisha turned to me and said, "Are they almost done?"

Then, after the meeting adjourned the kids went to their chairs and sat down. I went to Keisha and said, "I'm going to go now, and Ms. Fabian will take care of you. She knows exactly what time the bus will be coming to take you home."

Keisha smiled. I gave her a kiss, and then I left, half wishing that I could be a fly on the wall.

The Pop Up Bunch

Proof that some people have way too much time on their hands...

Web Site Design: Images

One discouraging thing I've found when surfing the Internet, is the extraordinary amount of time I'm expected to wait while a graphic loads. I'm using a dialup connection because I cannot afford a high-speed one right now. I've even had my browser crash on me while trying to load certain websites.

That is why, I urge all of us web developers, to shrink the physical size of our graphics. MeanDean talks about it in his post, which is entitled, "Father Flanders' Sermon for Sunday, July 13, 2003".

Sunday, July 20, 2003

Get More Energy!

We received this information from our pharmacy. The paper on which it came lists the source as Catalina Health Resource:

  • Get moving. Just about anyone, at any age, can do some type of activity to improve his or her health or well being. Take a short walk around the block or through a mall after dinner. The more exercise you get the more energized you become. Always check with your doctor before beginning any exercise routine.
  • Eat healthier by eating a variety of foods. Make sure you get enough of the right types of foods each day. The National Institutes of Health recommend five or more servings of vitamin-packed fruits and vegetables every day for better health. Limit most foods with caffeine since they provide an artificial boost but little nutrition.
  • Go outside for a few minutes in the sunshine. This will not only feel good, but the vitamin D in the sunlight will actually help your body process calcium, an essential nutrient for strong bones.
  • Get a good night's sleep. For more energy try going to bed a half-hour before you normally do at least one night a week.

Finally, do something that makes you happy at least once a week. Read a book; have coffee with a friend; listen to music -- anything that you enjoy and that you look forward to doing. You might find that making time for yourself is the best "energizer" of all.

Buckeye Boys State

I just found an old greeting card that the mother of one of my classmates in high school sent me. I received this in December 1987, which was during the first part of my senior year of high school. She wrote:

Danny, here is the newspaper clipping I told you about. You have a bright future ahead of you, and I expect to hear wonderful things about you. Keep in touch!

Mrs. Allen
The newspaper clipping is from a section of the paper in which they talk about what local kids are up to. It reads:
Senior Daniel Allen Johnson, Jr. held the office of bailiff for the Court of Common Appeals at the American Legion Buckeye Boys State at Bowling Green State University. He is the son of Daniel A. Johnson, Sr. of Dunraven Drive.
Finding this card today, it was like being encouraged all over again. I'll have to blog about my experiences at Buckeye Boys State sometime. The local American Legion chose two incoming seniors to go to Boys State. I was honored to be chosen as one of them.

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Saturday, July 19, 2003

Spy Kids 2 Birthday Party

We had Keisha's birthday party this afternoon. It was a great success. I'm not used to playing host to these kinds of things, and I find myself feeling insecure: Is so-and-so feeling "tied-in" with everyone else? She looks bored. You have the usual, gregarious folk that congregate together, of course.

Not everyone we invited showed up. Keisha was initially a little disappointed. But that dissipated once others started arriving. My aunt and uncle drove up from Cincinnati, with their daughter DJ, who is a little younger than Keisha's age. Also, two boys from Keisha's class in school came over.

I had grilled some hotdogs and bratwurst before the party started, and mom and Jennie set everything else up. We had all the guests help themselves to the food, and I started the movie "Spy Kids 2". After about a half hour, I could tell that some of the kids were a bit distracted ("When are we gonna have cake and ice cream? When is Keisha gonna open her presents?").

We decided to stop the movie midway to serve the cake and ice cream and for Keisha to open her presents. Once that was over with, I asked them if they wanted to watch the rest of the movie. Most of them had decided to do other things, and others had to go to other birthday parties. Eventually, the only kids left were Keisha and DJ, who were playing with Keisha's new Barbie stuff.

I decided to finish the movie, play the music video, and rewatch it with the director's commentary.

Now, I just hope there is a little bit of time before Keisha starts planning next year's birthday party. Mom said earlier that next year's color is going to be brown. That's right, folks, my daughter changes her favorite color each year. Two years ago, it was green. Last year it was pink. Now for her 6th year it's blue.

This kid practically has her whole life planned out. What an imagination.

26 Things | Construction, transport

We spotted these construction vehicles being transported at the rest stop on northbound Interstate 75 just north of Monroe, Ohio (Exit 29)

Out She Comes! Part 4

At the Wendy's inside Miami Valley Hospital, I tried to relax and enjoy a meal, while Jennie was in the Berry Women's Pavillion getting ready to have our first child. I spotted a copy of the Dayton Daily News, and I remembered that they have a section where they describe "This Day In History." Since that day, July 17, 1997, was going to be Keisha's birthday, I found the section and cut it out to keep.

I looked around and wondered silently what the other people in the restaurant were doing at the hospital. How many, for example, were there because of a baby being born, too? After I finished my meal, I returned to Jennie's room:

Cindy had set up the video camera and was offering Jennie some ice chips. We heard two sets of beeps: one was Jennie's heartbeat, and the other was Keisha's! We saw some instrumentation that showed how intense the contractions were.

I set up the tape player to play the "Lullaby" tape I'd made for Keisha a month before. It consisted of lullabies from around the world. I was able to record the entire CD on both sides of the tape. We would play it for Keisha at home before going to the hospital, and we hoped it would be a kind of "welcoming sound" for Keisha as she was born.

Jennie was a trooper, and my respect for her was about to grow 1000%. We'd do the breathing exercises we'd learned at the Lamaze classes to help alleviate the pain, but after a few hours, Jennie wanted some relief. She asked for Nubain. The doctors increased the Pitocin to help the contractions along, and we waited for a little while longer, before the doctor came in at about 8:30 PM to say, "Let's have this baby!"

to be continued...

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Friday Funk

I've been in a funk for almost the entire day today. I woke up reluctantly, and strained to keep my eyes open as I took Jennie to work. I returned home and laid back down until the alarm went off at 9:30 AM, when I needed to get Keisha up and ready for her speech therapy appointment. We each ate some toast, took our medicines, and by 10:30 AM we headed to Children's Medical Center:

Keisha's speech therapy appointment went well. I spent most of the time reading, but I felt like I could have just napped. After her appointment, Keisha and I returned home. I persuaded her that we needed to lay down for a nap until PBS Kids came on at 1:30 PM. At 1:30 PM the alarm went off, and I turned on PBS for Keisha. I reset the alarm for 2:30 PM, since I'd needed to pick Jennie up from work.

Jennie and I returned home, and I laid myself back down for another nap. We received a phone call from our realtor stating that someone wanted to see the house this afternoon at 5:30 PM. So we all decided to head to Kroger to pick up some food supplies for Keisha's birthday party tomorrow.

Then we came home and ate dinner. After that, I sat on the couch to watch the movie Enemy at the Gate, with Jude Law and Joseph Fiennes. Good movie. Then Jennie and I came down here to head to bed.

I hope that tomorrow I feel much better. Maybe it's the medicine, the nutrition, the sleep, the weather, or a combination of all that created the physical/emotional funk.

Tomorrow is Keisha's "Spy Kids 2" party, so blogging may be light.

Thursday, July 17, 2003

26 Things | Scape

The gorgeous view from our home on Mayfair Road

Out She Comes! Part 3

We had taken "Lamaze" classes at Miami Valley Hospital about a month before Keisha was to be born. It was good for us, especially since this was our first child. One of the big reasons we chose to have Keisha at Miami Valley was the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). That hospital was the only one in the area with an NICU.

I cannot remember if there was a full moon that day or not, but there were so many women in labor when we arrived that there was no room for us in the regular triage area, so they placed us in a high-risk maternity room. The main focus at this point was to see whether or not Jennie was, in fact, in labor:

So we waited for a little while, chuckling about the fact that so many other women were giving birth today at the hospital, too. Jennie told me that she definitely would like to have the baby while we were already at the hospital, so we were hoping for the triage nurse to see things that way, too.

When the triage nurse finally came, she took a sample of the fluid that we thought would indicate that Jennie's water had broken. She determined that it was amniotic fluid, which meant that, yes, Jennie would be having the baby. The hospital staff then led us to a "birthing room," and Jennie was given some Pitocin to help start the contractions.

We also called the two women she wanted to be present: Cindy and Sue. Jennie had been at Miami Valley when Cindy had given birth to her daughter Emiko. Sue was a close friend from church.

Then, I had to make another important phone call. Jennie and I had decided that living in the apartment we had in Fairborn was going to be too expensive once we had Keisha, so we were searching for another place that was cheaper. She had made an appointment for us to go see an apartment in Dayton for the afternoon of the 17th. I called our future landlord and left a message, saying that we would not be able to make the appointment because we were, um, having a baby.

When Cindy arrived, she told me I should go get something to eat, because Jennie was going to be okay for a little while. Miami Valley has a Wendy's restaurant inside, so I went there.

to be continued...

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Living Underneath the Air Show

The 2003 Vectren Dayton Air Show is going on as I type this. I drove to pick Jennie up earlier, and I saw planes above, doing aerobatic loops and such. Then, while waiting in the parking lot, I saw at least 5 Navy planes fly across in a V-formation. It's pretty impressive to see, from this perspective. I'm sure it's even more impressive at the airport.

Need an Exit!

While browsing Matrix Essays this afternoon, I saw the link to, which promotes a Christian interpretation of The Matrix. You even have a choice: the red pill or the blue pill. I'm reminded of Joshua 24:14-15.

Out She Comes!, Part 2

I had been an emotional wreck the entire month of July 1997. Pressures from work, anxiety about becoming a father for the first time, and other responsibilities at church and elsewhere, meant that I had to spend a lot of time in prayer. I remember at least one nearly all-night prayer time along the Great Miami River in Dayton, begging God for the strength:

As I filled up the gas tank in Sidney and headed south on I-75 on July 17th, I continued praying. Thankful to God, but greatly nervous about what was going on. I think I was concerned for both Jennie and Keisha. I really wanted to make it to the hospital in time. Fortunately, I had an hour's worth of drive time.

When I got home, I rushed in to find Jennie all ready to go. I grabbed the suitcase with her clothes. I also had a tape recorder that I had been using for about a week to record the thoughts that were rushing through my mind.

We left for Miami Valley Hospital, and I spoke to the tape recorder, describing what was going on. I then asked Jennie for her comments. She said something like, "I think Daddy is more nervous than anyone right now." It was the truth.

We arrived at the hospital parking garage and headed for the admission area. We completed all the paperwork that was necessary. Because Jennie wasn't in active labor -- it was later determined that, when the doctor said her water had broken, it was a "slow leak" - otherwise things would have been different.

to be continued...

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Out She Comes!, Part 1

During the last month that Jennie was pregnant with Keisha, we would go to the doctor’s office every week to see how far she was. The next appointment happened to be on Thursday, July 17, 1997, at 2 PM:

We woke up that morning just as we had done in previous mornings. After eating breakfast and studying my Bible, I drove the hour-long drive from Fairborn to Sidney, Ohio, where I worked as an Environmental Engineer.

I had been struggling with getting the Release Prevention Control and Countermeasure (RPCC) Plan finished. Also that day we had a water-based paint waste pick up, which I was required to supervise.

At about 11 AM, just as I had finished all the paperwork for the waste shipment, my pager went off. I looked down to see what it said: 431-0014 911, which was the code Jennie and I had agreed upon to indicate that it was time for me to take her to the hospital. Could it really be THE time? I thought.

I walked over to the Shipping and Receiving office, which was located nearby and called my wife.

“I think I might have had my water broken. I called the doctor’s office, and they said that I shouldn’t go in for my appointment but instead that we should go straight to the hospital.”

“OK,” I said. “Let me go back to my office so that I can drop off my stuff, and I’ll be on my way.” As I hustled back to my office, I told all my other co-workers that today was the day. “We’re going to the hospital!”

When I got to the car, I noticed that – of course – I was almost out of gas. Remember that we lived an hour away from where I worked and Jennie’s water had just broken.

to be continued...

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Happy Birthdays!

Happy Birthday to my daughter Keisha and to my friend and brother in Christ Amir! Blow out the candles!

Wednesday, July 16, 2003

Quite a Contrast

"Her hell before dying" is a story reported in the New York Daily News about an 8-year old girl whose body was found in a sanitation dump in Queens New York last week. She was in the foster care of a woman named Renee Johnson.

In his email, a man from New York writes:

I wanted to get a look at this woman, put a face to the name, you know? I entered it into my Yahoo search engine, and would you guess what I stumbled on…your daughter's home page. God works in mysterious ways. I just thought she was adorable instantly. I also liked the design of the web page and assumed that her parents had set it up for her.
I was blown away!

July 15, 2005 Update: removed reference to an obsolete link from Yahoo!

Updating the Guestbook

Yesterday (Monday) I got an email message stating that our guestbook was almost full. I figured out how to create a guestbook archive page, so I moved all the previous entries to it, and then updated the guestbook so that recent entries could be seen.

Tuesday, July 15, 2003

Remembering the Past: Dad's Bike

I cannot remember exactly how old I was, but I know that I was in either junior high or high school when it happened. Dad would let me use his bike to ride around during the summer. It had a bike chain lock on it. I loved riding that bike. My dad and stepmother would let me head off for the entire day as long as I showed up in time for dinner:

One of the things I liked doing was going to the Service Merchandise store on Colerain Avenue, across from Northgate Mall. I loved looking at the electronics, especially the keyboards. Well, on this particular day, I didn't lock Dad's bike up because I thought I'd only be in the store for a short time.

In typical ADHD fashion, I wound up spending at least an hour, fixated on all the stuff that was inside the store. When I came back out to leave, the bike was gone.

I think I called home to see if June (my stepmother) would come pick me up, because I was pretty far away from home to walk. I felt so terrible, and I knew I was going to get it from my Dad. I went to my room and waited until he came home from work.

I didn't know what to say, except to tell him what happened. I think I was grounded for a little while.

A few years later, still feeling a little bit guilty about the situation, I had enough money from a part-time job, and I bought two new 12-speed bikes: one for me and one for my Dad. I gave him his bike on Father's Day, and I used mine when I went to college.

I don't remember him using it that much, though. I think my younger brother Jason wound up using it.

Another Migraine

I was just sitting outside reading, and I felt the headache coming on. Could it be the change in the weather, the new ADHD medicine I'm taking? A combination of both, perhaps?

TGFI: Thank God For Imitrex.

Gotta go lay down.

House, Attorney, Open House, Dessert, Prayer

Our house is on the market to be sold as a "short-sell", which, in simplistic terms, means that the mortgage company agrees to let our house be sold for less than we owe on it, based on our financial situation:

On Saturday, while we were at the park, our realtor brought someone through the house, and this individual has made an offer.

We had a very brief meeting with a bancruptcy attorney yesterday. I like this guy. He came out in his white socks; i.e., without any shoes on. His office was huge, too. I had had an ADHD moment, in which I originally wrote down that our appointment was at 4PM in two areas of my planner, but when I transferred it to the daily page, I wrote it down as being at 4:30PM.

So, we had to reschedule the appointment. This was a good thing, since we still have much paperwork to go through. I only went through the upstairs mail yesterday. We have an entire table and then some to go through downstairs. I told the lawyer that I'd been in denial, and he replied that my behaviour was typical. He encouraged us to continue going through the mail... that the mail cannot hurt us... that there's no such thing as debtor's prison (it was done away with 200 years ago - thank God!).

The attorney also gave us a more realistic understanding of what our options were, including some stipulations that are present with us doing a short-sell.

After Jennie and I came home, we took Keisha to her new school, Valerie Elementary, for the open house. It was encouraging to see all the parents there, to meet Keisha's Kindergarten teacher, and to see some parents and kids we'd known from Gettysburg, the school Keisha attended last year. I think it's a bit of an understatement to say that Keisha is excited about going to Kindgergarten, and I think we're all going to enjoy it with her.

After we came home, Keisha did something that was just so sweet. Entirely on her own, she pulled out 4 bowls, 4 spoons, and made sure that there were 4 cups. She then went to the freezer to get the two half-gallon containers of ice cream and made us all dessert! No one told her to do that; she decided to do it on her own! That's MY daughter, people! :D

Then, after Jennie and Keisha headed downstairs, I walked outside to talk to Mom. I asked her if she wanted to pray together with me about all the stuff going on with us, along with some specific prayers for certain individuals. That was just great. I love my Mom!

Those Jersey Folks

(just kidding, Kate! :D)

Kate from New Jersey mentioned that she plays a game called Bonkos (or Buncos). I asked her what the heck it was, and, well, she responded:

Monday, July 14, 2003

Admitting Struggles with Mental Illness

On blogs4God today, I read where Ben had shared his thoughts on admitting his struggles with depression.

I felt compelled to share from my own experiences. My comments:


I struggle with chronic depression, anxiety, and I have ADHD. I've noticed some tendencies toward obsessive-compulsive behavior, too. Finally, I self-injure -- I pick at scabs, because the physical pain feels better than emotional discomfort I may be feeling.

I believe that a lot of this is biological. Some of it is within my control. I currently see a therapist and a psychiatrist. I take medicine for depression, anxiety, and ADHD. I've seen benefits.

I recognize that there are aspects of how I feel that are within my control, and there are other aspects that are not, but are more to do with what's going on inside, from a physiological perspective.

I've been able to see this, I believe, because I talk about it with others in person, at doctor/therapist appointments, and in my writing.

I've seen aspects of myself in the demon-possessed man we read about in Mark 5.

I've learned more about God's grace and mercy, and I've struggled with a low self-esteem (Why do I have to deal with this? Why are certain things harder for me to deal with than it is for other people? Why did God make me this way?) I encourage myself with Psalm 139 - recognizing that I am fearfully and wonderfully made; i.e., God don't make no junk.

These are just some thoughts. Feel free to contact me to share about what you're feeling, along with any comments you might have about what I've said.
I hope that by me sharing my own experiences that it builds mine and others' faith. Also, I would love to correspond with anyone else who struggles with these things.

Will It Bounce? Update

No one took me up on my offer to bet whether or not my prescheduled car payment would bounce or not. I received a notice from the bank today. The account was overdrawn, but the payment went through. We were charged $29. Fortunately it was only that amount.

Perhaps another "Will It Bounce?" game to be played again some time soon.

Crazy Cleanup Conundrums

We have an appointment with a bancruptcy attorney this afternoon, and I've been frantically going through papers in the house to find the stuff we need. I need to find my Social Security card, among other things.

It's good to cleanup, but I wish there were more of me.

Will update later.

Sunday, July 13, 2003

Sunday "Busy-ness"

I'm too tired right now to blog about what today was like. I may do it later.

"I'm a sexy beast!"

Well, maybe not. I just thought the Austin Powers quote was a good title for this post. I just took the BBC's Tech Jargon Quiz, and I got the following results:

You got 7 right!
Have you thought about entering the competition to find the sexiest geek alive?
Austin Powers, look out!

Inventing Flight: Harrison Ford Coming to Town

On-screen, Harrison Ford has piloted the Millennium Falcon and taken the helm of Air Force One.

In real life, Ford’s passion is for flying his own airplanes, which “range from little two-seat taildraggers to a 12-seat TurboProp aircraft,” plus a helicopter, he said. more...

The Rains Have Come Down

... and the floods have come up. That's a line from a children's song we sing at church. It's about Jesus' parable of the Wise and Foolish Builders. Now that I've said that, remember last week when I'd mentioned it had been raining a lot? Here's a bit of an update:

I spotted this Flood Emergency story from NBC22. Most of the crops in the farmlands located in the northern Miami Valley are under water. A picture in the Dayton Daily News last week showed that Grand Lake Saint Mary's spilled over into the surrounding area.

Dayton is situated downstream from where this heavy rain occurred. Hence, as the water recedes in the northern area, some areas of Dayton are sure to get flooded. One such area is Island MetroPark, which is about 5 minutes from where we live. We were actually thinking of having Keisha's birthday party there next Saturday. Based on pictures from the Dayton Daily News and our own experience from driving by, I'm glad we changed the venue to our place.

I'm sure there will be more.

Update on the 'Journey Inside My Mind'

I had appointments with the psychiatrist and therapist this past Thursday:

Medicine Management

I've been taking 10 mg of Lexapro, an antidepressant, and 1 to 3 mg of Diazepam, generic for Valium, for anxiety. I told the doc about all the stuff that's been going on with our family recently. I believe that most of my depression and anxiety are situational or circumstantial. For the most part, I said, I believe the medicine is helping. He asked about how things have been going with me picking at scabs, and I told him that hasn't changed. He's decided to increase the dosage of Lexapro to 20 mg a day.

I asked him about my feeling tired a lot from the medicine. He told me that Valium has a long half-life, and that he had prescribed it awhile back because it was less expensive. Now that our family is on CareSource, he said, perhaps I could try a different one with a shorter half-life. Not at this time.

ADHD Symptoms

But, the big development... I told him about ADHD symptoms I and others in my family have been noticing. I explained to him how my previous doctor came up with the diagnosis - there was a standardized, self-assessment test that I took (I don't remember the exact name; perhaps it's in the journal archives for January or February 2002). Based on how I scored, my doctor at that time diagnosed me with ADHD and prescribed Adderall for me. I told my current doc that it had worked for me, and he decided to get me started on it again.

Not Exact Sciences

Psychology and psychiatry are not exact sciences. It's not like when you go to your family doctor, and he or she examines your ears, nose, throat, and says, "Aha! You have a sinus infection. Here's this antibiotic that should clear it up after a few days." I guess realizing this difference helps me to have a bit more patience (no pun intended).

Redneck Check!

If your daughter pulls her pants down to use the bathroom in the middle of a public park where others can see, you might be a redneck. (This happened to us this afternoon.)

Vacations Used to Be Relaxing

Not so the case with Carla and Garry's trip to Canada. Please pray for them.

Birthday Preview: Invites, Presents, and Giving Back

Keisha will be 6 years old this Thursday, July 17th. She was also born on a Thursday. I'm reminded that, every 6 years, the date and the day of the week are the same. This phenomenon makes sense when you consider that there is a leap year during that time; otherwise it would be 7 years.

We've been planning a party for next Saturday, the 19th. It will be a "Spy Kids 2" movie party. Ever since Keisha and I went to see the movie at the theatre back in January, she's talked about having a "Spy Kids" birthday party:

Keisha's inviting friends from school and from church. She's got a terrific memory. The bus that would pick her and her schoolmates up for preschool would stop directly in front of the kids' homes. She's been wanting to invite a boy named Vernon, but we didn't know exactly where he lived. Keisha knew where he lived, so today we drove to the apartment complex, and she pointed out his apartment building. No one was home, so I left a note, indicating that Keisha was inviting him to her birthday party and to call us for more information.

She also wants to invite her former teacher, Miss Jean.

Jennie has printed up tickets for the kids to have, and she bought the DVD from Wal*Mart last week. She'd never seen it, so we'd planned for her to watch it before the birthday party so that she could have a clearer idea of what it was about.

We agreed that Keisha could get the movie today, and we all could watch it tonight. Here's how I went about doing it.

We originally planned to preview without her knowing about it, so I unwrapped the DVD and placed it high on the bookshelf, inside a boardgame box lid. We told her that she could have one of her birthday presents tonight, but she'd have to find it. So, I led her outside, in various rooms of the house, to search for this present. We even gave her a hint by describing what shape and size it was, but we didn't tell her it was the movie.

I knew that she would not be able to find out where I'd originally hid the movie without some intervention. When she went to the laundry room to look, I took it from its hiding place and put it atop of her bookshelf, which is situated close to the stairs.

She returned from the laundry room, stating that she couldn't find it. I told her that maybe it was upstairs, and we headed up the stairs. I hesitated and turned back to her bookshelf. "Did we look everywhere down here, Keisha?" She saw where I was looking and this excited, giggle-happy expression came over her face. I handed her the DVD, and we went upstairs to watch the movie.

After the movie, while I was watching the special features (a ritual I always have to perform when watching a DVD for the first time), Keisha came to me and said that she'd made a card for me. She told me I'd need to find it. It was basically going to be a similar hide-and-seek game like we played when she found her movie.

Imagine my surprise to find that she'd made, not just one, but TWO cards for me!

God has truly given us a gift in Keisha.

Saturday, July 12, 2003

My Imood and Reading List

I used to have them here on this blog, and since I've revised the layout, I have yet to put them back somewhere on my website. Perhaps on the Links page.

Remind me to tell you about...

  • The two times I got free beer from restaurants
  • The time I got to make a fool of myself at the Dayton Dragons' baseball game

Wings and Brewskies!

Tonight our family(Mom, Jennie, Keisha, and I) went to B.C. Rooster's just up the Main Street for some wings:

The three of us adults each had a Killian's, while Keisha sipped from a ROOT beer. We ordered our usual 10 garlic- and 10 donkey-flavored, but instead of barbeque we ordered teryaki-flavored. Donkey, by the way, is like three levels lower than the hottest. In addition to the wings and beer, we had celery and bleu cheese. Keisha ordered her mini corn dog meal, which included french fries.

Then, about an hour later, I headed to Middletown, Ohio, just south on I-75, to the Fricker's. A good friend and brother in Christ is getting married on Sunday, and we had his groom-honoring/bachelor party there. More wings and beer. This time it was a Bud Light. Lots of fun, and the Cincinnati Reds won! Whoo hoo!

The Listeners Make the Playlists

I just completed another music survey for K99.1 FM. This is the third time this year that I've done it. It's interesting how they are introducing new songs and playing older songs.

I used to work for the Institute for Policy Research at the University of Cincinnati, conducting telephone surveys. I was intrigued by how the questions were worded.

My nature in taking these and other surveys tends to wondering why I'm being asked the particular question, and wondering how my response will affect the decisions those using the results will make.

Friday, July 11, 2003

I know this guy personally, but I've never spent much time at his website. I should. Maybe you all will like it, too.

The Age: You probably think this song is about you

After reading the article, I'm confused. What if you like them all?

What are YOU doing this weekend?

How about an old-fashioned, wild horse stampede?

Commuting and Housing Data for 13 Metro Areas

The U.S. Newswire reports that the U.S. Census Bureau released new housing and commuting data for 13 metropolitan areas:

The 2002 American Housing Survey, sponsored by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, includes statistics on such journey-to-work topics as mode of transportation, departure time for work, travel time and distance from home to work. Also included is information on housing topics: for example, presence of refrigerators, microwaves and air-conditioning; number of rooms; housing deficiencies.
Dayton-Springfield was not on the list. Neither was the Greater Cincinnati area.

My Blogger Code

I haven't done the Geek Code thingy, but I saw that Pega had done this, so I tried it:

B5 d- t- k+ s u f i o x-- e l c-

26 Things | Signage

Misworded sign: the Ohio Direction card is the current version of the food stamp program. I think they meant to say "accept."

Thursday, July 10, 2003

26 Things | New

Keisha shows off the new sweater she got for her birthday from Grandpa and Nana Linda Posted by Hello