Saturday, January 31, 2004

Get Off The Mooch List

You know who you are. You stop by the website, checking things out, but you never let me know you're here. You take and take and take. I know you've been here because I sometimes check the referrer logs.

But that's okay. I'm not disappointed in you. I want to give you an opportunity to get off the Mooch List and reveal yourself. You can leave me a comment (better known as 'guideposts' around here) or you can send me an email. In either case, just tell me that you want to get off the 'Mooch List'.

I'll even let you become an official part of this site, if you'd like. For example, if you're a Java programmer, you can become the Official Java Programmer for Journey Inside My Mind. It could be any particular office you'd like to hold, provided that another 'Official' has not already taken it. Then you can tell everyone that you are an important person, because you are. To me.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Friday, January 30, 2004


Like others (too lazy to point out specific links right now) I'm dealing with my overall motivation for blogging. One could say that there is a bit of a famine among the blogosphere. Could it really be that there isn't much to blog about? I guess it depends on why one blogs in the first place. Is it to appeal to a specific audience? To attract the attention of other bloggers?

"To thine own self be true:" I blog for myself. If someone else reads it, then that's okay. I'm recording these things in the journey inside my mind for me.

But what of the other blogs I maintain? I've always considered "Letters to God" to be personal. That's why I don't have comments or a referrer log. I don't really care who else reads it. "Streams of Consciousness" is my own creative writing weblog. I recently removed comments and the referrer log from the template. I revised the settings to make it a private blog, but I'm not sure if it's working or not.

Then there are the other two, more public, blogs. "QuotesBlog" is something I maintain because I'm a little obsessed with collecting quotations; so I guess, in a sense, it's still for me, even though I have comments, a site meter, and am a member of a quotations webring. "Get That Job!" is something I originally started for myself, and it was good timing, because, in it's 1-1/2 year life span, it's become a popular site for other job seekers.

I started these blogs for myself, and I continue to maintain them for myself. I guess I can get a bit sidetracked from time to time in thinking I need to write something that others will be interested in. After all, I'm not getting paid to write!

Almost everything I've recorded in these blogs about myself has been true; I haven't made it up. But what if I did? How would you know? I guess there are those that know me a bit more closely than others; these folks might pick up that something is amuck. So what? I ask this question out loud for myself to hear.

I feel the temptation, because I know that this blog is being read by others, to do some self-editing. I'm finding that it's hindering the creative process, so I need to change. Who knows? I may even start up another blog under a pseudonym just so that I can regain some anonymity.

Mary Kate Olsen is NOT HERE!!!!

To all visitors who have happened to stumble upon this site looking for information about Mary Kate Olsen's weight problem, eating disorder, or mental disorder... you won't find it here! OKAY!

(Did I just ensure that I would get more of the same visitors?)

Current Dayton Weather Conditions

Yahoo! Weather - Dayton

More Current Conditions:
Feels Like:-13 °
Dewpoint: -6ยบ
Barometer: 29.98 in and falling
Wind: W 15 mph
Humidity: 54%
Sunrise: 7:47 am
Visibility: Unlimited
Sunset: 5:53 pm

Tonight: Bitterly cold. Clear to partly cloudy. Low -4F. Winds W at 10 to 15 mph.
If it feels like this in Dayton, I can only imagine what it feels like in Canada! Perhaps the Official Canuck will chime in.

Thursday, January 29, 2004


I got an email from my little sister in Texas:

Hi everyone,
I just saw today's date and remembered that it was 10 years ago today that Gramps died. I just can't believe it has been that long:

Hope everyone is doing ok. Got to go I should be doing my homework.
Gramps is our maternal grandfather, aka my mom's dad.

I remembered that it happened at this time of year. I also remember I found out about it a few days before I was supposed to give a communion talk in front of church. I wound up revising what I was going to say because of it.

When I was three years old, I had a hernia, and it gave me a distended stomach (it was "pooching out"). Mom and Dad would often take me and my sister to the fire house where Gramps worked. I enjoyed trying on the fireman's clothes and sitting in the driver's seat of the fire truck. I have a picture of me that was taken from back then.

I felt proud of my distended tummy because I looked like my Grandpa.

In the years before he died, he took to wearing a "beret"-type hat, which he caled his "Go to hell!" hat. He also wore a white beard. People thought he resembled Ernest Hemingway.

After he'd died I got to see a bunch of pictures of him from when he was younger. Most of my aunts and uncles had never seen them either. There was one picture of him at three years old. This must have been in the early 1920s. I remember seeing the wedding picture of him and Grandma - what a beautiful couple!

Grandma died in 1975, when I was five years old. I don't remember a lot about her, but the memories I do have are fond. I may talk about her some other time.

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Name Statistics - How popular are your first and last names?

Daniel is the #12 most common male name.
0.974% of men in the US are named Daniel.
Around 1193150 US men are named Daniel!

Johnson is the #2 most common last name.
0.81% of last names in the US are Johnson.
Around 2025000 US last names are Johnson!

Original IRC Log of Matthew 13

Internet Relay Chat (IRC) is a system to enable people connected on the internet to engage in live discussions. This example is ingenious, to say the least. It made me :)

found on VirusHead Random Musings

Space Shuttle Challenger - 18 Years Ago

It's been 18 years since we saw the space shuttle Challenger burst into flames during its liftoff January 28, 1986: I remember hearing about it from a classmate in high school, and thinking he was out of his mind. My dad later confirmed it as he picked me up from the library, where I'd walked after school.

AiYo: your friendly shopping network

I saw this in a Google ad for this blog, and I'm considering checking it out further.

2003 Year In Review

The long-awaited (at least for me) 2003 Year in Review post is here. This is useful for getting a bird's-eye view of last year in "Journey Inside My Mind":

2003 1st Half
RIP Buddy Hackett
Ordinary Moments
Other Big Goings On
Realtor Reality
RIP Barry White
USA's 227th Birthday
5th of July (or When I Became the Ethiopian Eunuch)
Putting the "fun" in Dysfunctional
Still around, after nearly 7 years!
RIP Buddy Ebsen
Will It Bounce?
Frustration. Despair. Anger. Bitterness. Impatience. Hopelessness. Faithlessness.
Mind Change
It's Been Raining A Lot
The Listeners Make the Playlists
Birthday Preview: Invites, Presents, and Giving Back
Update on the 'Journey Inside My Mind'
The Rains Have Come Down
"I'm a sexy beast!"
Will It Bounce? Update
Admitting Struggles with Mental Illness
House, Attorney, Open House, Dessert, Prayer
Another Migraine
Remembering the Past: Dad's Bike
Out She Comes!, Parts 1-5
Spy Kids 2 Birthday Party
Buckeye Boys State
First Day of Kindergarten
Somehow You Found Me
Prayer Request: Mom, two kids die in pileup on I-70 & the Followup
Jesus Was A Blood Donor!
Da Beard Is Gone
Family Devotional
RIP Bob Hope
Dating My Wife
Dancing with My Wife
Isn't It A Bit Early for This Talk?
I'm a funny guy!
Those Misheard Song Lyrics
Happy Birthday, Mom!
Our PC Has Come Home
Our Soon-To-Not-Be-Home
The Journey Inside My Mind
R.I.P. Charles Bronson
Officials Update!
I Really Don't Know What To Say
RIP Warren Zevon
9-11 Remembered
RIP to two Famous Johns
A Day With Low Seratonin, A Day With Self-Injury
RIP Sheb Wooley
Staying True to My Tagline
Apartment Hunting
Relics, Family Heirlooms, Souvenirs
That Which I Do Not Want To Do, I Do
Transitions: Away We Are Going!
From Wired to Tired
While I Was Out (RIP Robert Palmer & George Plimpton)
"It's not good-bye; it's good journey."
'Alias' - Back and Still Kickin'!
Time is filled with swift transition
High-Flying with the Kitefliers
Let's Give Them Something to Blog About
Winds of Change
Anti-Leech Spambot Stopper v.1.1
Continuing the Journey
Officials Update: Announcing the Official Canuck!
My Distracted Mind
On 10-8, the officer was on duty
Cincinnati Bengals 34, Baltimore Ravens 26
Return of Some Old Friends
Favorite Mixed Drinks
Happy Birthday!
Some of the More Unusual Drinks I've Made
Fall Color Reports From Around Ohio
Hernia Scar
Pets Are Good For Your Health
Democrats for Bush in 2004
So Much To Blog About
I Have a Common Last Name
Man and His Best Friend
Mind Your P's and Q's
Depressing Day in the Journey
When Emotional Pain Becomes Physical
An Overnight Visit From the Repo Man
Family Time
Bengals End Chiefs' Chance At Perfect Season
Keep in Touch, No Matter What
Work and Some Advice From Behind the Bar
Yet Another Tooth
Officials Update
Blog Notes
Logistical Issues
My Dreams Are Weirder Than Yours
An 'Alias' That Satisfies
Ohio's DUI Law
Strep Throat
News Where I Live
Love Defined (humorous)
Bible Study: Overcoming
H2 Get a Book Deal
Library Blogging
I'm Covered
Christmas Service
Prayer Request
Me Update: In Brief (as if!)
Plans for the New Year

Sticky Situations

Greetings from chilly Dayton, Ohio USA! The current temperature is a "balmy" 16 degrees Fahrenheit. We had our first big snow storm over the weekend.

Some time ago my wife and I bought a children's devotional book entitled "Sticky Situations" for us to use with our kindergartner:

The book is organized by each day of the year, with a specific topic as the monthly focus. There even is a memory verse related to that monthly topic.

The lesson is a story about a school-aged child who is put in a "sticky situation." The child is presented with three choices on how to respond. To help the child to make the right decision, we refer to the scripture that is mentioned. Then we discuss among ourselves what we should do in that kind of situation.

It's gotten to the point that our daugher expects this when we sit down for breakfast every morning. As I set breakfast on the table, she gets the book and a Bible. We go through the lesson as we eat.

I think that these devotionals are good not only for her but for me, too!

Monday, January 26, 2004

Livestock Show

U.S. Newswire - U.S. Census Bureau Daily Feature for Jan. 27: Livestock Show

Following is the daily "Profile America" feature for Jan. 27 from the U.S. Census Bureau:

Profile America -- Tuesday, Jan. 27. One of the biggest barnyards in the U.S. is open through February 8th at The 108th Southwestern Exposition Livestock Show and Rodeo in Fort Worth, Texas. Close to a million people will jam the Will Rodgers Memorial Center during the show for pageantry, carnival rides, entertainment and a top-drawer rodeo. They'll also get a chance to see nearly 22-thousand head of livestock including not only beef and dairy cattle, but horses, donkeys and mules, as well as poultry, sheep, goats and swine, and even llamas, pigeons and rabbits. There are 97-million head of cattle on U.S. farms and ranches, along with 60-million hogs and pigs and nearly 7-million sheep. You can find these and more facts about America from the U.S. Census Bureau on the Web at
I knew you really couldn't wait to read this.

Snow Day!

I heard on the radio about 25 minutes ago and confirmed it on the local news: Dayton Public Schools are closed today! Whoo Hoo!

Sunday, January 25, 2004

There's Something in My Water!

WASHINGTON, Jan. 25 /U.S. Newswire/ -- Following is the daily 'Profile America' feature for Jan. 26 from the U.S. Census Bureau:


Profile America -- Monday, Jan. 26. This week in 1945, the first U.S. city began to treat its public water supply with fluoride, Grand Rapids, Michigan. Now, more than 60 percent of Americans live in areas where the water is fluoridated, including 46 of the nation's top 50 cities. In the more than 50 years since the technique was first introduced, dental experts credit it with reducing tooth decay by as much as 40 percent. Fluoridation was and still is, not without its critics, who claim that its benefits are exaggerated and its toxicity underplayed. There are more than 144,000 dentists' offices in the U.S., and Americans spend an average of $214 a year taking care of their teeth. You can find these and more facts about America from the U.S. Census Bureau on the Web at

Saturday, January 24, 2004

Tony Shaloub

I haven't realized how much I've seen of this guy! He's been Alexander Minion in the Spy Kids movie series (my daughter Keisha dreams of being like Carmen at the end of "Spy Kids II: Island of Lost Dreams"). He's also played Jack Jeebs in both "Men In Black" and "Men In Black II". I loved that scene in the first movie when he gets his head shot off and a new one grows back!

But my current favorite role is as Adrian Monk, the brilliant but obsessive-compulsive detective, in "Monk." I just finished watching tonight's episode.

Book Reviews for Attention Deficit Disorder

There are hundreds of books on ADD, most of them very condescending towards ADDers. I've listed only the more positive books here. My reviews are really short because has plenty of "Reader Reviews" and a rating system for each book (click on the book title to see a synopsis and the reviews). I encourage my readers to leave their own reviews at and to let me know about any good books that I've missed here.

Friday, January 23, 2004

Currently Reading

I've updated the reading list, which you can find on 'Dan's Domain.' I'm also interested in finding "all-time favorite" lists of books.

RIP Captain Kangaroo

Bob Keeshan has passed away at 76. My favorite part of the "Captain Kangaroo" show was when Mr. Moose tricked the Captain into saying something that led to a bunch of ping pong balls dropping on him.

Dayton Metro Library Needs Your Help

January 21, 2004

Dear Dayton Metro Library Patron,

I am writing to ask for your help. Since 2001 your library has been forced to cut back on many of the services you have come to expect. Fewer dollars from the State of Ohio and no increases in local funding during the past ten years have required deep cuts in library service. Shorter hours, fewer new books, reduced staff, and delays in building updates and repairs have tarnished one of our community's most cherished resources. Without additional local support, further cuts are inevitable.

The Library has placed Issue 20 on the March 2, 2004 ballot. This issue requests a five-year renewal of the library's current 0.26 mill levy and an increase of 0.99 mills. Passage will allow the Library to:
  • return to our previous hours of service
  • buy more books, music, videos, magazines and other materials
  • update our computers, buildings and furnishings
  • restore bookmobile service to children
  • expand outreach to seniors
  • respond to new demands for services you have asked from us.
Love your library? Share this message! Sharing this message with others is one way to show your support. The Citizens for Good Libraries web site provides additional information about the levy and how you can help make a difference. Please visit to learn more about the Library's levy proposal.

If you have questions, please ask them. I am confident that if you know the facts you will support Issue 20.


Tim Kambitsch,

Communication: The Key to a Strong Marriage

Jennie and I agree that this is a weakness in our marriage right now.

Battling Dirt

Jennie had today off, and she dismantled part of the vacuum cleaner, cleaned it out. She just put it all back together. Now she and Keisha are doing battle with the dirt that is on our carpet. Man, that thing is loud, though!

"Yoga, you seek Yoga!"

Strange News - AP >> Man Sentenced to Yoga Classes for Slap

HOUSTON - A man convicted of slapping his wife has been sentenced to yoga classes.

Judge Larry Standley said yoga should help James Lee Cross with his anger management. Cross was ordered to take the class as part of his yearlong probation Books: Doga: Yoga for Dogs
I first spotted this book last month while doing some holiday shopping. At first I thought it was a joke, but I think that the author is serious.
I think Mike should know about these things. He maintains a yogablog, by the way.

Facilitating Instruction

One of my roommates in college, who was also in my wedding, is a teacher. He put together a simple website for the work he does, and I'm linking to it because I can.

Thursday, January 22, 2004

Eclipse Crossword

This looks like a really neat tool! You have the ability to create a crossword to be solved online, or you can print it out to give to others.

I must check this out some more. - The Age

More news from the land Down Under!

They like Bush, and they are not stupid -

Caroline Overington discusses why most Americans like George W. Bush as President. I found it very interesting, especially since it's from the perspective of someone who is not from the US.

Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Ohio Cops Add Twist to Booby-Trapped Car

This morning one of our neighbor's cars was broken into. An article like this one is worth paying attention to:

[Columbus, Ohio's] so-called "bait car" is now rigged to play the theme from the television show "Cops" when officers remotely disable the engine and nab the crooks.

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Genealogy Blog

From a recent post:

Genealogy is a hobby about the past. Here at Genealogy Blog, we like to also point out the aspects of about our modern technology, culture, and laws that will have on future genealogists and historians. Yes, the time is coming when we will be the ancestors.
Found on Weblogs.Com: Recently Updated Blogs

U.S. Census Bureau Daily Feature for Jan. 20: Fad Diets

WASHINGTON, Jan. 19 /U.S. Newswire/ -- Following is the daily "Profile America" feature for Jan. 20 from the U.S. Census Bureau:


Profile America -- Tuesday, Jan. 20th. A lot of attention is being focused on dieting this month, probably as a result of all the tempting goodies that surrounded us during the holidays. The thrust of many of these observances is to promote a healthy lifestyle. But today's is a little different it's "rid the world of fad diets and gimmicks day," concentrating on the down side of the desire to lose weight -- diet products that defraud, disable and even kill. The annual "Slim Chance" awards will be given for the worst weight loss products of the year. Just over half the people in the U.S. are at least 25 percent over their ideal weight. More ominously, about 1-in-5 are considered clinically obese. More men are overweight than women by a large margin -- 65 percent to 48. Find these and more facts about America from the U.S. Census Bureau on the Web at

Monday, January 19, 2004

Upromise - The Way to Save for College

MLK by U2

Sleep, sleep tonight
And may your dreams be realised.
If the thunder cloud passes rain
So let it rain, rain down on he.
So let it be.
So let it be.

Sleep, sleep tonight
And may your dreams be realised.
If the thunder cloud passes rain
So let it rain, let it rain
Rain down on he.

Saturday, January 17, 2004

Happy Birthday, Benjamin Franklin

There once was a young schoolboy who was instructed to write an essay about Benjamin Franklin. He didn't know much about the life of the early patriot, but did know the essential details. He squirmed around on his chair for a little bit, chewed on his pencil, and then wrote

Benjamin Franklin was born in Boston, but he soon got tired of that and moved to Philadelphia. When he got to Philadelphia he was hungry so he bought a loaf of bread. He put the bread under his arm and walked up the street. He passed a woman. The woman smiled at him. He married the woman and then discovered electricity.

"The Romance of Christmas", Creative Help for Daily Living, Nov/Dec 1983, Norman Vincent Peale, p. 22, found in this blog's archives from Thursday, September 5, 2002

A Dog's Prayer

by Beth Norman Harris

Found in the "Dear Abby" column of Dayton Daily News, January 15, 2004, p. E5.

Treat me kindly, my beloved master, for not heart in all the world is more grateful for kindness than the loving heart of mine.

Do not break my spirit with a stick, for though I should lick your hand between the blows, your patience and understanding will more quickly teach me the things you would have me do.

Speak to me often, for your voice is the world's sweetest music, as you must know by the fierce wagging of my tail when your footstep falls upon my waiting ear.

When it is cold and wet, please take me inside, for I am now a domesticated animal, no longer used to bitter elements. And I ask no greater glory than the privilege of sitting at your feet beside the hearth. Though you had no home, I would rather follow you through ice and snow than rest upon the softest pillow in the warmest home in all the land, for you are my god and I am your devoted worshipper.

Keep my pan filled with fresh water, for although I should not reproach you were it dry, I cannot tell you when I suffer thirst. Feed me clean food, that I may stay well, to romp and play and do your bidding, to walk by your side, and stand ready, willing and able to protect you with my life should your life be in danger.

And, beloved master, should the great Master see fit to deprive me of my health or sight, do not turn me away from you. Rather hold me gently in your arms as skiled hands grant me the merciful boon of eternal rest -- and I will leave you knowing with my last breath I drew, my fate was ever safest in your hands.

The Passion of Christ

There is an interesting discussion about Mel Gibson's upcoming movie, "The Passion of Christ" at Josh Claybourn's Domain. Here are my comments:

I saw the trailer on one of the entertainment news shows. It looks to be pretty powerful.

I agree with others that most theatrical depictions of the suffering Jesus went through don't do what really happened justice.

I've often held that, for it to be anywhere close to the real thing, it would almost have to be close to a "snuff film". I keep thinking about Isaiah 52:14, for example:
Just as there were many who were appalled at him -
his appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any man and his form marred beyond human likeness
Hopefully this version will be much closer to what really happened. I remember some particularly graphic scenes in "Braveheart", for example.

Let me know what you think!

Friday, January 16, 2004

OLGA - The On-Line Guitar Archive

Cool tools. Thanks to Jenny for the link!

U.S. Newswire - Unveils State of the Union Scorecard; Site Offers Facts, Comments from Diverse List of Political Leaders, Groups

WASHINGTON, Jan. 16 /U.S. Newswire/ --, the nation's leading online public interest journal, today unveiled a scorecard for the upcoming State of the Union address on Tuesday, Jan. 20. The scorecard is free and available for download at

The scorecard focuses on six important issues: Health Care, Jobs & Economic Recovery, Funding Education, the Environment, State & Federal Spending and the War on Terror. "How straightforward will the president be with us about the real state of the Union?" asked executive editor Nick Penniman. "We think all Americans should be the judge." The scorecard has three options to choose from when rating the president's presentation of the issues: Acknowledged, Ignored, or Spun.

The Web site features government-backed facts, as well as quotes from some of the nation's leading political figures and organizations concerning the president's record on these issues. Users are encouraged to download the scorecard and rate the president's performance during the State of the Union address Tuesday. Following the State of the Union, users are invited back to the Web site to fill out a survey and share their results.

The following individuals and groups have submitted comments on the president's record as part of the project: Gov. Howard Dean; General Wesley Clark; Senator John Kerry; Robert Borosage, co- director of the Campaign for America's Future; John Sweeney, president, AFL-CIO; Lawrence Mishel, president, Economic Policy Institute; Gloria A. Totten, executive director, Progressive Majority; Bethany Little, associate director, White House Domestic Policy under President Clinton; Karen Wayland, legislative director, Natural Resources Defense Council; Gerald McEntee, president, AFSCME; John Podesta, president and CEO of the Center for American Progress; and Mark Karlin, editor of

Added Penniman, "It is clear from the participation of these leaders that we are not the only ones concerned about how accurately the president is going to portray the health of our nation on Tuesday." is a nonprofit, nonpartisan Internet journal. Since 1999, its online content and ads have been praised by Rolling Stone,, the Columbia Journalism Review, Chicago Tribune, PC Magazine and many others.

Yahoo! News - Prison Officer Wins Bin Laden Joke Case

I didn't get it. Maybe you had to be there. Then again, there's a lot about British humor that I don't seem to get.

How We Tamed the Big List -

These are some great practicals for time managment. Thanks, Ian, for the link!

Extreme Haiku

Bene Diction, the Official Canuck of this blog, seeks some extreme weather haikus. One way to deal with the arctic temperatures we're facing this winter and the sweltering temperatures in Australia and New Zealand.

Haikus are typically written in a 5-7-5 pattern: 5 syllables for the first line, 7 for the second, and 5 again for the last. Bene D quotes some computer error message haikus from Connexions.

I searched through the archives of my blogs for haikus I'd written, and I found some:

Presidential Haiku is a great blog, containing haikus about U.S. Presidents.

Here are some cold weather Haiku's I just came up with (impromptu):
Welcome to Dayton
"Balmy" 3 degrees outside
Time for a sweater

It's so cold outside
Winter's chill felt in my bones
Makes nose hairs shiver

Winter, you bully
Knocked me down and beat me up
And stole my lunch money
Remember, in the Empire Strikes Back, when Obi-Wan Kenobi appeared to Luke Skywalker as he escaped the Wampa's lair? This one is reminiscent of that scene:
Dagobah system?
Hope it's different than Hoth --
I'm about to freeze

Thursday, January 15, 2004

Now that I have your attention

I'm thinking of my own views on death. I don't really know if "views" is the exact word for which I'm searching. As an amateur detective, someone who, for whatever reason, decides to unravel the mystery behind someone's death, I can see that so many themes can be used. What I'm trying to do is to identify some of those about which I feel most strongly.

Death is not the end.
In death the departed leave something behind for all of us: memories, character, legacy
Christ died for mankind.
The substitution death; i.e., someone else died and it could/should have been me.
Death is a kind of justice in some ways
Death as the relief of suffering
Death as the inevitable end to all of our lives here on earth
Man's struggle to stay young, to cheat death; e.g., search for the Fountain of Youth
Death as the great equalizer for all of us; worldly status ultimately means nothing as we all become dust

The My Own Data Journal: Essays on Writing for Self-Development and Education

I found this website after browsing the the Themes to Write About in Your Journal: Topics for Writers page.

Skin Picking: a disorder in search of a name

This article describes what I'm dealing with much better than I can, and I recommend it to anyone who wants a better understanding.

Somehow You Found Me

Checking the referrer logs, I discovered that this blog was among the results of some interesting searches, two of which are as follows:

The first search showed me how much I'm not alone in my struggles with self-injury. The second intrigued me because it contains a link to the Deafness/Hard of Hearing Blog archives at THAT link identifed a link to a book of sign language crossword puzzles. Who'dve thunk it?

"I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up."

I made that statement yesterday at a gathering of other job seekers at Sinclair Community College. A brief history of my education and experience:

  • I have a Bachelor's degree in Civil Engineering
  • I was an Environmental Engineer doing environmental management for a manufacturing company
  • I was a programmer/consultant
  • I am a bartender for a hotel and conference center
I remember when I met with the guidance counselor in high school, he told me that he could see me doing a number of different kinds of jobs, based on the talents and aptitude he'd seen in me. I had dreamed of becoming a Renaissance Man back then. I don't know if I've found something that fits just yet. To quote U2, "I still haven't found what I'm looking for."

At the same time, I realize that no job is going to be a perfect fit. There are always going to be times when the passion wanes, when there is other "non-fun" work to be done, too. I guess it's a matter of seeing whether the benefits outweigh the costs, evaluating the trade-offs. For example, I have a friend who designs cars for a major automobile company. He loves that part of his job so much that he is able to live with the long hours and the long drive to and from work.

I guess I want to find something in-between, too.

crossposted to Get That Job!

The dog, the car, the guitar, and the daughter

One of those multi-topic posts...


Yesterday we bought Jake his license, so he's legal -- just stay off the roads! *wink* Seriously, though. In Montgomery County, Ohio, pet owners are required to purchase a dog license annually. Not only is it a source of revenue, but it also helps us in case Jake happens to get lost and is later found by someone from Animal Control.

I am not sure if licenses are required for other kinds of pets. I would think that it would be hard to fit the license on a snake, for example.


Maxine (Mom's 1983 Nissan Maxima) is desperately needing some new brakes. I'm also looking for the other windshield wiper; on Christmas Eve I had to install a new one on the driver's side. We need to get another spare tire, too.

Last week when we had a cold snap, the left rear door wouldn't close. So I had to sit in the back and hold onto the door as we drove to and from the laundromat. Jennie and I reasoned that the mechanism that makes the door stay closed must have gotten frozen. On the way home, we stopped at AutoZone and got some silicone spray, which I then applied to the door mechanism. It still wouldn't stay closed.

I used a screwdriver to disable the button that triggers the inside car lights when a door is open. I also shut off the voice alert that constantly told us, "Left door is open." Finally, I found an old swing assembly, which we'd obtained when we bought Keisha's Baby Tenda™ before she was born. It consists of chains and some springs that would hook onto her chair. I rigged the assemby up so that the door would stay closed. Fortunately, the next day was warmer, and the silicone spray worked. We've decided to keep the assembly handy in case we'd need it again.

When I talk to people about the car, they are just as surprised as I am that the car has held up for so long. I don't know of many 20+ year old cars that are still up and running.


If callouses on the fingertips of my left hand are one way to gauge progress with the guitar, then so be it. I've been going through some books and a video I found at the library. I still have a long way to go before I'm proficient, even to the slightest level. Yet I am able to see progress.

My main reason for wanting to develop skill with the guitar is to be able to play to encourage others and at church. I've been going through the songbooks we have at home during practice. Most children's songs have repetitive melodies(e.g., "The Alphabet Song", "Twinkle Twinkle", "Baa Baa Black Sheep")so I'm trying to get the chord progressions down for those. I'm also learning songs that we sing during church services, too.


On December 31st, Joanne, the audiologist at Children's Medical Center made some new impressions of Keisha's ears to make some new earmolds. Keisha wears Oticon Behind-The-Ear (BTE) hearing aids in both ears. The earmold is the "rubbery" part that fits into her ear. The way that the aids work is such that a microphone on the aid amplifies the sound and transmits it to Keisha's ear through some small tubing.

At that appointment, Joanne also tested Keisha's hearing - aided and non-aided. It turns out that Keisha's lost more hearing in her left ear, and the majority of the hearing she is getting with her aids is coming from her right ear. The current hearing aids are no longer adequate.

So, after talking with the audiologist at Keisha's school, she's ordered Keisha some new hearing aids. So, very soon Keisha will have blue earmolds AND blue hearing aids. These new aids will apparently have three programs: a "normal" program, a louder program, and a program to be used with the FM system.

An FM system is great in that it doesn't use the typical amplification methodology. Instead an FM signal is transmitted to receivers, which are attached to the hearing aids. This FM signal overrides ambient sounds. It's best used in a setting where you want to make sure that she is hearing what's being said. Her teachers use it at school, and we use a different one at home.

I guess that's enough of the audiology lesson, LOL! I know that I probably have not been completely accurate in describing how things work, but hopefully you get the general idea.

Monday, January 12, 2004

It's Not Really Been Cold

I've realized this year that I don't consider winter to be my favorite season at all. Last week we had what some around here (i.e., Dayton, Ohio USA) would call a big cold snap. We put two pairs of socks on, two pairs of pants, tee shirts, long sleeved shirts, sweaters, coats, gloves, and hats. The wind chill was strong.

But not as strong as it is in Canada. Bene Diction, the Official Canuck of this blog, describes what Canadians do in true cold weather, like -47C (-52.6F).

I am glad that the days are getting longer now that winter has begun, though.

Sunday, January 11, 2004

An 'Alias' That Answered

Tonight's episode cleared up a lot of things -- the major ones -- the ones we've been waiting for since the end of last season. Yet in typical fashion, some new questions and zingers were introduced. Ugh!

Friday, January 09, 2004

Ohio Revised Code Online

The laws of the land of Ohio.

How can I help find missing children?

I'm doing research for becoming a mystery writer, having loved the current popular mystery dramas in books, on TV, and in the movies. One book I'm reading pointed me to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC).

Below is the answer to this very important question, from the FAQs and Statistics page:

The best way to help National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) is to take the time to look at the photographs of missing children in the many venues, including ADVO postcards, at Wal-Mart® stores, in federal buildings, and report any information about those children to NCMEC’s toll-free Hotline 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678). You can also help by keeping up-to-date photographs of your own children. After all, one out of six of the children featured in this NCMEC's photo distribution program has been recovered as a direct result.

REFERENCE: To become more aware of ways you can help find missing children visit the "Get Involved" area on this web site.
Here are some encouraging Missing Children Success Stories.

Wednesday, January 07, 2004

Why I'm Blue

My updated imood says that I'm feeling blue. Yesterday was terrible in oh, so many ways, which I'll list briefly:

severely cold weather
locked car doors
burglarized apt downstairs
oh, so many things wrong with the car
doing laundry
missing a men's meeting at church
the continuing financial woes, too numerous to mention here
several episodes of self-injury to my arms and scalp
the lack of vision I feel I've been having

I'm actually feeling better today, though.

Teachers' Poll Calls for Alternative Assessment and Standards for Special Education Students

WASHINGTON, Jan. 7 /U.S. Newswire/ -- The following statement by the American Federation of Teachers on the "Quality Counts 2004" survey was released today:

Teachers believe that many students with disabilities can meet rigorous academic standards when they have individualized or adapted instruction and appropriate supports, according to the newly released Quality Counts 2004. Not surprisingly, teachers polled for the report recognize that not all special education students should be forced to conform to the same set of standards that general education students must meet. Special education students often require alternative instruction, and it follows that the most accurate way to measure their achievements would be through alternative standards and assessments.

The report also makes clear that a "one-size-fits-all" approach to standards and assessments would clash with the goals of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. States, policymakers and educators should use this report to avoid setting up special education students for failure, and to ensure that quality public schools aren't punished just because they serve a high percentage of special education students. What teachers and parents want is early intervention for students and more comprehensive training for teachers, both of which will contribute to the ultimate goal -- higher student achievement.


The AFT represents more than 1.2 million pre-K through 12th- grade teachers, paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel, higher education faculty and staff, nurses, healthcare workers, and federal, state and local government employees.
I'm interested in this because our daughter, Keisha, is hard of hearing.

My Dreams Are Weirder Than Yours

Last night I dreamt I went to Canada for an outdoor concert. I was encouraged to see signs that stated that Bene Diction was the organizer. I eagerly hoped that I'd be able to meet the Official Canuck of my blog.

As I sat down, I saw and overheard part of a conversation involving someone who was none other than Bene Diction's brother! I tried to get closer, but all I could find out was that his name was something like Jorgé Diction (??!!??), maybe with another Hispanic name, though.

I later called my Dad, who was upset with me when I told him I was in Montréal, Québec. I actually had been staying in the house of a former landlord. Some of my friends and I had spent some time partying there.

Not much more I can recall, (un?)fortunately.

Great Stuff from Curt

Curt, one of the contributors to Get That Job!, recently wrote:

When you're exploring passion's potential, one of the keys is capturing the ideas and inspirations as they come. Ever had that flash of brilliance, only to have it fade into nothing because you didn't write it down?
I emailed him a reply:
Last year I began to use a pocket-sized notebook solely for collecting quotations that I would later add to my QuotesBlog. I found that really successful, except for the latter part of the year when all hell broke loose in our family.

I also have a Franklin Day Planner and a couple of hard-copy journals. The only issue I have with them is that I can type about as fast as the ideas come, so the blog becomes a better way to capture idea-gems. My handwriting isn't that fast, and lately I've noticed that I've let some great ideas fly away because I was too lazy to write them down. That is something I want to change.
He also has an intriguing post that talks about River People and Goal People. I, too, have seen myself more as a River Person of late.

In addition, there is a great link on his blog to something near to my heart: How to Quit Your Job to Write Full-Time.

Two Years Into the Journey

Two years ago, on January 7, 2002, I began this blog with the following text:

OK. This is the first time I've done this. I thought is was a good idea, based on what I've read elsewhere. I am so new to web-building and web publishing, and I am so happy that a forum exists for me to type what's going on inside my mind.

Question: Is it possible to identify how many websites are actually available on the Web?
Last year it took an extra day for me to remember that I'd had a blog birthday. I also included a link to the 1st Year in Review. I have yet to do the same thing for 2003; I did a 1st Half Retrospective, however.


Somehow, after over a week of being shut down, I was able to boot the home PC up without any problems. This post (and the several that follow) is originating from home.

Monday, January 05, 2004

Reading List Updated

I just updated the list of what I'm currently reading. You can see it on my homepage. I use a free service from to manage the collection.

A lot of it relates to guitar methods and creative writing, both of which are hot interests right now.

I love mysteries/thrillers. Yesterday I finished reading Jeffery Deaver's Speaking in Tongues in one sitting! Also, yesterday at work we had TNT on the big screens, and I saw, The Net, Conspiracy Theory, and The Pelican Brief. I love how all of these involved "amateur detectives".

Bright Ideas

To fight two speeding tickets emanating from the same police camera in a 60km/hour zone, Carlos DeMarco, 39, went to the trouble of commandeering a 70km/hour sign and affixing it to the pole underneath that very speed camera, then photographing it to show that he was not speeding. In November, the judge in Parramatta, Australia, detected the clumsy nature of DeMarco's work and fined him another A$1,000 on top of the A$246 in tickets (about US$880). [News Ltd. of Australia (, 11-7-03]

via Chuck Shepherd's News of the Weird, week of January 4, 2004

Saturday, January 03, 2004

Mild Winter, So Far

The weather here in Dayton has been mild, too. I remember last year the meteorologist saying that if we get mild weather during this time of year, to count on it being rainy and gray outside. We look forward to having some snow.

How We Spent Our New Year's Eve

Jennie, Keisha, and I made some homemade banana splits, played "Go Fish" together, and went to sleep. Jennie and I watched one of my all-time favorite movies, Regarding Henry. Nothing really big, I suppose. At midnight, we heard the sounds of gunshots (Jennie and I think that's what they were) around the apt complex. I guess that was some other people's way of celebrating. whatever happened to banging pots and pans, huh?

That reminds me of the scene in the Brad Pitt/Julia Roberts movie The Mexican, in which Brad Pitt's character, Jerry, is in Mexico trying to get this other guy into his car. All around them these guys are shooting their guns in the air celebrating some festival. The guy Jerry is trying to help gets shot and killed by one of the bullets on its way back down.

Jennie and I are glad we stayed home.

Friday, January 02, 2004

Home PC, Guitar, Weird Dream Blues

At library. Home PC still not working. Low E-string on guitar broke today; too much tightening.

Weird dreams: guitars, women, ants in the basement -- multiple days.

More later, I hope.

Previously entitled "More Me"

Ant & the Grasshopper Booksellers

I know the couple that runs this store, and I'm excited to see that they are online now. I believe that the Aesop fable from where they obtained their name was partly the basis for the movie "A Bug's Life" by Pixar. Find out more...

Thursday, January 01, 2004

Happy New Year

... to all the readers of this blog! And best wishes that it's even better than 2003!