Thursday, February 26, 2004

News from Life's Battlefield

Here's the latest news from the battlefield of my life:


Interview went well. Attending orientation yesterday afternoon. A lot has changed in the last 10 years or so in how the company operates. I've particularly noticed how much things have been standardized.


We got the phone turned back on late last week (for more info, read "Struggling for Financial Survival"); I updated the outgoing message to say, "you've reached the NEW AND IMPROVED home", and so on. I also added "Thanks again for calling, and make it a great day!" (I'm sure that our creditors will be glad to hear it.)

Red Light District

In other news, on the way to a men's meeting at church on Tuesday evening, I received a traffic ticket for running a red light. After getting the citation from the police officer, I had half a mind to turn around and return home. I'm glad I didn't; being around other spiritual men helped me to get a better perspective and deal with my emotions. I do plan to head to court next week to contest the ticket. We'll see what happens.

Bladder Control and Self-Image

Keisha has been having a lot of wetting accidents at school. She's been taking medicine for bladder spasms, but it does not seem to taking care of the problem. Yesterday afternoon she had another accident, and nearly all of the other kids in the classroom laughed at her.

In terms of academic aptitude, I would have to say that Keisha is near the head of her class. So much so that the other kids like to hang around her to see how she does things. Yet it's hard when she loses control of her bladder.

She came home yesterday and drew a picture of herself. The face in the picture had tears.

More to come later. My time on the computer at the library is up for now.

Wednesday, February 25, 2004

Interviewing McDonald's

I have an interview with them in a couple of minutes, so I dropped by the library to get some quick information. I'll post more later, perhaps.

Pray hard
Pray constantly
Pray like crazy

Monday, February 23, 2004

Tears Fall Down Like Rain

That's what's happening as I just read an email I got from Mom. I miss her so much (*sob*)! You can read about all that she's going through over at her blog: Me, Myself, and I. She has and always will be a true Balcony Person to me.

You probably have an idea what a balcony person is: someone who cheers you from the grandstands as you run the race. That's what Mom is to me. Somehow she always is able to encourage me despite her particular circumstances. You truly are a great gift from God, Mom. I love you 100 million thousand.

Here are some excerpts from her email:

I love you so much. I was able to catch up on your blog...

... I wish there was more I could do to help. I am concerned that you have thoughts of stealing. It's not the things you want; it's the acting out. I hope you realize that. I am concerned also about the the high incidence of mutilating again...

... I think I screwed everything up by coming back to Texas. I am sure Keisha is wetting again because of the stress and anxiety of the situation at home as it it might be about anything else. It might be easy to be indulgent of her at this time but be cautious of that. You would be harming her not helping her.

Now when you need more than ever I am not there.

I feel bad for Jennie too. She doesn't deserve to be more stressed out.

I remember when you were an infant, I met an elderly lady at a laundromat, and she told me through conversation, when I reached the end of my rope to tie a knot and hang on. I have remembered that so many times in these almost 34 years. Now I am telling you. You tell Jennie.

Jesus said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you." Remember, Satan comes to steal, kill and destroy. Don't let him. You are MY child and you are God's child. We have ahold of you. We always have and always will.

If I can survive all that I have and figure a way out of my situations, then you can too.
It may not be easy. Pull yourself up. Brush yourself off. Put your chin up. You get out there and kick some a**, you hear me?

I know you have it in you because you have some of me in you. Think back to how Mom always found a way. Maybe I made it look easy. If I did I am sorry. It wasn't easy. I guess I tried to spare you kids as a parent does.

Your family is depending on you. God wouldn't let you be in this position without giving you a way to handle it. Don't let pride get in your way. If you have to go to churches and ask for help in getting your phone turned on, do it. If you have to do it to keep utilities turned on, do it.

Then you can get the part time job. As you said in your blog, they can't call you without the phone...

...I love you all so much to allow you three to suffer without trying to do something...

...Give Jennie and Keisha a kiss and hug for me. Don't worry about me. I am going to be OK. I am worrying about y'all up there.

Love, Mom


I'm at the library, and I see that I've got a boatload of email and stuff to go through. I'd like to post about the weekend and other stuff. Hopefully I can before my 60 minutes here is up.

Thursday, February 19, 2004

A Frustrating Day

Today I woke Keisha up and we both took showers in our respective bathrooms. We got dressed: she in her school uniform and I in some dress casual clothes. We ate breakfast and took Jake the dog out as usual for a walk while we waited for her schoolbus to arrive.

Jake and I returned to the apartment after Keisha left, and I read today's edition of the Dayton Daily News. After this, I proceeded to complete applications for Wendy's and McDonald's, both of which I'd picked up last week. I made sure that the information was as accurate as possible.

After this, I began to be a little restless and unfocused. I knew I needed to head to those places to drop off the applications, but I delayed in doing it. I spent about a half hour playing the acoustic guitar and looking for other job-related information. I finished reading a book about getting organized and becoming goal-oriented.

Lunchtime came, and I had a banana and a bowl of chocolate ice cream. This, after looking through the refrigerator and deciding that anything else was a waste of time.

Eventually, I left home with the applications in hand. I arrived at Wendy's first and gave my application to one of the crew members. She told me the name of the hiring manager and when she would be available for me to talk to her.

I then took the McD's application to the shift manager there, and she gave me a "What If" Situations test-thingy to complete. I had to evaluate what I thought were appropriate behaviors in various situations I make get into while on the job at McDonald's. I handed the completed What-If thingy, along with my application, to the shift manager. She mentioned that the hiring manager would be in next Wednesday to look at the application.

I went to Subby's, and completed an application there, even though they are not hiring. A bar named Frog's is situated nearby, but no one answered when I knocked on the door. So I stopped by the Blockbuster video to fill out an application. Their application process is electronic, so I sat down and completed the application for the next 50 minutes or so. I also got to hear the last 45 minutes of "Agent Cody Banks" playing in the background.

One thing that has me frustrated and anxious is that our home phone has been disconnected. I feel like I'm in a Catch-22 situation: I need a job to make money so that we can get the phone bill turned back on. But in order to get the job I need to have a phone so that the potential employer can get a hold of me.

I've spent a lot of time picking at scabs today. Make that the whole week/month. Scabs on my scalp, scabs on my arms, scabs on my left leg.

I also found out today that our daughter Keisha has been very incontinent (having a lot of wetting accidents) at school. It's very frustrating and embarrassing for all of us, not the least of which is Keisha. So we're going to meet with the school nurse tomorrow and provide a medical release form so that she can discuss Keisha with her pediatrician.

Jennie has been having a rough time at her job. Overwhelmed, overworked, underappreciated. Some of this has to happen in every job, I suppose, but it seems that this one is burning her out. Hopefully she can talk with an HR person or someone else in management soon.

The library is a great resource. They are having a levy issue on the March 2 ballot. If passed it will allow them to continue and expand the existing services. I hope it does. I know I need to rely on it more now.

I wish I had a PayPal account or something like that through which people could send donations, if they so wished.

Wednesday, February 18, 2004

Parenting Moments to Remember

A couple nights ago, Keisha, our kindergartner, shared something that falls into the category of "the darnest things". She began commenting about how much she liked her backside... because it's "huge". Then she proceeded to show us.

Jennie and I, while glad of her healthy self-esteem, see the need to rein it in a little bit.

Also, last night, our dog Jake got into the trash and tore up some stuff that was just "disgusting". I took him out for a walk while Jennie and Keisha took care of the mess. After returning, I was sure to let him know that getting into the trash was being a "bad dog". He was sent to his "bedroom" for the night.

Where is that file?

I have realized that I need to be able to store documents I need for my job search in a place other than my home PC. Go figure, huh?

Job Seeker Class: Reflections

I'm at a computer kiosk at Sinclair Community College. The Job Seeker's class I'd been taking had its last session today. Generally speaking, that experience has provided me with the desire to set some goals. I have not been one to do that. In interviews, when asked about my career plans and goals, I've often said that I haven't really made any clear plans, given the uncertainty in the working environment these days. It was a cop-out. I admit it.

I have a hard time focusing on what is really important. Also, I tend to think in abstract generalities and have difficulty getting to the concrete specifics. I think sometimes I just need to have someone get up in my face and tell me what I should do!

Actually, that was what one of our friends did last week. She apologized if she came across as prying too much, and then she told me exactly what she thought about our family's life situation.

Yesterday I cancelled the internet service we'd had at home. The computer's broke, and we only really used it to connect to the internet anyway. Perhaps if/when we get the computer working again...

Monday, February 16, 2004

IRS Free File Home - Your Link to Free Online Filing

Whoever said there is no such thing as a free lunch may have been right. But for millions of eligible taxpayers this year, there is Free File. Free File is online tax preparation and electronic filing through a partnership agreement between the IRS and the Free File Alliance, LLC. In other words, you can e-file... free.

A Weekend of Silence

Because our phone has been disconnected, we haven't been getting phone calls from bill collectors. We've also been reading a lot more on our own.

At the library now, and they are closing in 5 minutes. Need to check email. Maybe I'll check in here tomorrow.

Keep praying for us...

P.S. Happy President's Day! (see last year's wonderful post - Presidential Quotations!)

Friday, February 13, 2004

Stream of Consciousness Blogging at Library

I'm at the library, and they'll be closing in 20 minutes. I've just spent the last 10-15 going through email, and I think I might have a little bit of time to blog here. Bear with me; it's going to come pouring out without much organization: stream of consciousness, if you will:

Struggling for Financial Survival

Our family is struggling to survive, financially. Today we had our phone disconnected again (last time was in December). Some friends from church are helping us pay our water bill so that it doesn't get any further behind. We have electric heating, and the bill for our 2-BR apt is approx. $230 per month. I feel like we're just flushing money out the door with that kind of bill. We may be late with rent again this coming month.

Stress Effect on Mood

Yesterday I went to the therapist. It's been, shall I say, an emotional two weeks? Wednesday night I was so upset and stressed that I opened every single scab on my body - just because.

I'm tempted to feel like such a failure - worthless. I get down on myself so easily and hard.

Giant Paperweight

BTW, the home PC has become a giant paperweight for now. I'm going to have the internet service disconnected. Blogging and email -- web access, will have to happen sporadically as a result.

Searching for Income

We've gone through a lot of papers we've had lying around. Much to throw away and/or destroy (those important papers). We've also found some other important stuff.

We hope to get some substantial money back from our tax returns, which we still need to do. I may look at doing it electronically, based on what the printed info from the IRS says.

We also have some money in a 401(k) accout I have through a former employer. We may decide to liquidate that, and pay the tax penalties - just to have some income around.

Serious Job Stresses

Jennie has been feeling a lot of stress with her job. It appears that there is a serious management crisis there.

I need to get a part-time job; even if to just make some money to help out a bit financially. Something within walking distance, even just during the lunch rush.

Wives' Appreciation Night

Last night at church we had a Wives' Appreciation Night. Nice dinner, soft music, great fellowship. During the evening, wives won prizes. Also, husbands got up to share about their spouses. I sang and played an original song on the guitar for my wife, called "I Love Lovin' You". Let's just say that people were moved by my boldness, heart, etc. I'd warned them that it was going to be a little rough since I'd only been playing since December. It worked, though. Jennie cried.


Mom's been getting to know herself better on her blog. Check it out.

Pleas for Prayer

Pray for us! Pray that I and the rest of my family doesn't lose hope! Pray that the money will come!

Speaking of which, I've found myself tempted to steal lately -- just the thoughts of doing it. Envious, too, of those who have better things than we do.

Those are some other things I need to have prayer for.

I guess that's all for now.

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

Jury Duty

Remind me to tell you about this.

User-Friendly Resource Increases Public Access to the Science of AD/HD

LANDOVER, MD. -- Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD) has unveiled the first and only online library dedicated to research and science-based resources and materials on AD/HD.

The online library ( is a project of the National Resource Center on AD/HD (NRC), a collaboration between the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and CHADD, the
nation's leading advocacy organization serving families and individuals affected by AD/HD.

"Now more than ever, people need help sorting through the overwhelming amount of information available on AD/HD," said CHADD National President Mary Durheim. "The NRC's online library allows CHADD to make accurate, science-based information about AD/HD more accessible to parents, educators, clinicians, government officials and individuals who often are left without a reliable source of information about the condition."

Users can browse or search the library with ease using a variety of search methods. The online library includes books for parents and teachers, resources for adults with AD/HD, and reference books and scientific articles for health and education professionals and researchers. Summaries of all resources are provided, and full text
articles are available on the most relevant topics in the diagnosis of AD/HD, treatment options, school challenges and guidelines, and parenting tips. The library also offers full-text articles from "Attention Research Update," a well-respected electronic newsletter written by David Rabiner, Ph.D., a Senior Research Scholar in the Center
for Child and Family Policy at Duke University. (Information about "Attention Research Update" is available at

"We are pleased to be working with the National Resource Center on AD/HD and CHADD to help bring information on AD/HD to all those who need it," said Edward Brann, M.D., M.P.H., director of the Division of Human Development and Disability at the CDC's National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, which directly funds the NRC and other prominent disability resource centers. "We look forward to working with the NRC to help grow this valuable resource in coming years."

The new online library is part of the NRC's mission to improve the health and quality of life of individuals with AD/HD and their families by expanding their knowledge and understanding of issues related to AD/HD and raising public awareness about AD/HD through outreach and the dissemination of information.


The National Resource Center on AD/HD is a proactive response to the CDC's 1999 Public Health Perspective Conference, which called for the development of:
  1. a resource for both professionals and the public regarding what is known about the epidemiology of AD/HD, and
  2. an avenue for the dissemination of accurate and valid information and materials related to the diagnosis of AD/HD and the availability of
    evidence-based interventions.
According to the May 2002 CDC Vital and Health Statistics report, there are 1.623 million children with AD/HD (approximately 7 percent), ages 6-11.

In August 2002, CDC awarded CHADD $750,000 to establish and operate a national clearinghouse to disseminate science-based information on AD/HD. The Center is now fully staffed with healthcare experts, including specially trained information specialists, who respond to public inquiries in English and Spanish via the National Resource
Center (NRC) website,, and the toll-free number (800-233-4050).

Since its inception, CHADD has worked to improve the lives of people affected by AD/HD through collaborative leadership, advocacy, research, education and support: CHADD CARES. The NRC allows CHADD to maintain its role as a family support membership organization, while simultaneously creating new initiatives and free information clearinghouse services that benefit families, providers, policy-makers, educators, researchers and the general public.

For additional information about AD/HD or CHADD, please contact the National Resource Center at 800-233-4050, or visit the CHADD website at

News From CHADD is a free electronic newsletter providing the latest federal action alerts, legislative and policy updates, and CHADD press releases.

Contributions to support CHADD are welcomed and can be made online

or via mail.

Make checks payable to:
8181 Professional Place, Suite 150,
Landover, MD 20785

or through the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC #2555)
Thank you.
[via News from CHADD, Volume 4, Number 2, February 6, 2004]

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

Library and Other Stuff

Not much time. Briefly:

Keisha's to get her new blue hearing aids today.
Jennie and I had to walk to the gas station to buy gas because the car ran out at home.
Moved things around at home; got rid of lots of papers. Ultimately, this will help us manage our finance better -- at least to be a bit more organized with them.

Home PC is on the fritz: library blogging, as a result. Monitor "broken?". Console not booting up properly.

This Saturday will be 11 years since I first asked Jennie to be my girlfriend. We've been together ever since.

Posted several quotations at QuotesBlog.

Check out Mom's blog. She's got some great stuff over there.

That's all for now!

Saturday, February 07, 2004

2004 Reading Jamboree

Keisha and I are at Sinclair Community College. We enjoyed the Reading Jamboree, even though there were so many people that it was hard to navigate.

Keisha would like to type something now:

pop ;;;;;;;;mmmk dad mom I am 6 years old. I love you!

I wish I had a cat. lljij8jj9

hl bmkkkljk

Friday, February 06, 2004

So, this is what DSL is like

I'm on a friend's computer. I've just finished setting up her computer with SBC Yahoo! DSL. Pretty cool setup that.

Thursday, February 05, 2004

exclamation mark: The Return of the Official Iowan of 'Journey Inside My Mind'

Welcome back!


WASHINGTON, Feb. 5 /U.S. Newswire/ -- Following is the daily "Profile America" feature for Feb. 6 from the U.S. Census Bureau:


Profile America -- Friday, February 6th. Occasionally, when someone hits a tremendous golf shot, a partner will exclaim "out of this world!" The first and only golf shots really made out of this world occurred on this day in 1971. Astronaut Alan Shepard brought a six-iron he had stashed away aboard his Apollo spacecraft down to the surface of the moon and swung at three golf balls. He whiffed the first swing, but considering the bulkiness of his spacesuit, his others resulted in good shots. None of them went into orbit, however. Here on earth, nearly 27 million people play golf every year, making the rounds on some 15,500 courses, about two-thirds of them open to the public. You can find these and more facts about America from the U.S. Census Bureau on the Web at
Now you know.

Since I Had The Opportunity

Greetings from Sinclair Community College! I spent the past couple of hours going through an assessment process to better identify what I want to be when I grow up (*grin*). On the way out, I saw an empty computer, so I thought I drop in, check email, and blog.

Wednesday, February 04, 2004

Discover's Guide to the Top 100 Science Stories of 2003

I haven't checked, but is the visit by Mars last summer on the list?

Tuesday, February 03, 2004

Hectic Beginning of the Week

At the library right now with Jennie, my wife, who is off work. Not much time left for this session, so I'll try to be brief. I may be more thorough later.

We left a Superbowl Party early Sunday night because Jennie was not feeling well. Contacted the nurses at her work to inform them that she should stay home on Monday. The supervisor and a coworker recommended that she be taken to the Emergency Room (ER).

It was a little after 10 PM, but we all loaded into the car and went to the ER at Good Sam. They'd done a lot of remodeling, and it was an overall pleasant atmosphere. We brought a pillow and a blanket for Keisha.

Jennie is okay.

Power shut off yesterday, to be turned back on today... sometime.

I've Heard They Taste Like Chicken

Officials Update!

At his request, and, since the office is currently vacant, I have appointed Paul as the Official Dirt Track Photographer/All-Around Missional Redneck Chaplain of 'Journey Inside My Mind'! - A Spirituality Web Directory

I received an email asking me to submit this weblog to their database. I figured, why not? So I signed up in the category I thought was the best match. Look for this blog to be listed here: - religion/christianity/protestant

Sunday, February 01, 2004

Visited States

In my short life, I've visited 19 of the 50 U.S. states, as shown below:

create your own visited states map