Saturday, October 30, 2004

Happy Halloween at Our Place

In typical Halloween tradition, I changed the answering machine message this morning. It says, in a very spooky-sounding voice

Hallow. Yoou hahve reached the hoame of Dan, Jennie, and Keisha Johnson. We ahre not able to come to the phone right now because we are out being spoooky and being spoooked. Please leave yoour message ahfter the tohne and have ah vehry spoooky day.

Jennie and Keisha went to Ace Hardware this morning to decorate a pumpkin. When they returned, Keisha and I carved hers and the pumpkin we'd already had. I put candles in our jack o' lanterns and placed them in our respective bedrooms, which overlook the parking lot. Keisha named the one in her bedroom Geri. Hmmm. Geri O'Lantern. The one in our bedroom is named Jack O'Lantern. Whatever.

We'll roast the pumpkin seeds tomorrow. That is, the ones that didn't accidentally get washed down the drain as I was straining them in the collander from rinsing them off.

Also, tonight was Beggar's Night in much of the greater Dayton area. Keisha dressed up as a purple princess. Jennie and I decided that most, if not all, of our apartment complex, comprised mostly of childless households (single and married), was not the most effective place to "Trick or Treat".

Keisha, Jake (our dog), and I walked across Philadelphia Avenue to some residences. One couple gave Keisha some candy. We then walked down Macy Avenue past the Shiloh church of Christ to a residential area across Main Street.

Keisha made out like a bandit. It was great for Jake, too, to get such a long walk. I dressed in a white oxford shirt with a red, black, and white jersey on top. I didn't even mind that I carried a bag of doggie doo from Jake for most of the trip.

As we headed back home, we stopped by the Kwik n Kold to get something to drink. Keisha got a Sprite Plus, and I got a 22 oz Bud Ice. We also got some Funjons and a couple of Slim Jims for Jake and I.

I guzzled that beer down, and I quickly felt the buzz. Jake thoroughly enjoyed his Slim Jim, and Keisha shared the Funjons with Jake and me as we paused by the bus stop to finish our refreshment.

When we arrived back home, Keisha and I sorted through her stash. She was outraged to think that there are people in this world who are so mean that they would tamper with someone's candy. C'est la vie.

She told me she didn't like the Baby Ruths, so I get to have them all. (Yum!)

After disposing of some questionable items, Keisha and I put the rest in her candy container. I then mixed it up, and she picked out a Reese's Nutrageous to have as a special treat for tonight.

Then I called my Dad for the first time in over a year. We chatted for a moment, trying to catch up on what could be caught up in such a short time. I told him I'd felt guilty for not calling him for so long, asked him to not be a stranger himself, and, after getting my sister and niece's information, hung up.

I tried my mom's number, and I got her roommate, who told me she was at work. I look forward to talking with her in awhile.

Jennie will be waking up shortly to head to work tonight. Since Keisha didn't wear the purple hair wig as part of her costume, I think Jennie might wear it instead.

Tips for Meeting Deadlines Easily - via Ian's Messy Desk

This ADDer can use all the help he can get.

Friday, October 29, 2004

Happy Birthday, Jennie!

My wife was born! Whoo Hoo!

I'd like to offer a big thanks to Jennie's mother and father for producing her. I'm also grateful to her sisters Trish, Gayle, and Bunnie, for supporting her.

But most of all, I want to thank the Lord God Almighty, who has been involved in her life from the very beginning.

Lastly, a big thank you to my wife, the love of my life, my partner and friend, the mother of our beautiful daughter, my sister in Christ.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Na-No-Blog-Mo: Submission Guidelines

Na-No-Blog-Mo: Submission Guidelines

Note to self: Do This soon. Thanks.


As if I really needed another activity to join, I've decided to throw my proverbial hat into the ring and try this out. I plan to do it in conjunction with Blogger, so more info will be forthcoming.

From the Library

Greetings from the Northtown-Shiloh Branch of the Dayton Metro Library! I just got off work and rode the bike over here to pick up some materials I'd reserved.

The library's home page contains the following links for Getting Started on the Internet:

The End of the World as We Know It

The Cincinnati Bengals win against the Denver Broncos on Monday Night Football
The Boston Red Sox win the World Series for the first time in 86 years
The moon disappears briefly on Wednesday night
Cats and dogs are living together

This can only mean one thing:

Jesus is coming soon.
Of course, we've known that was going to happen eventually, right? I feel fine.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004 - Kids Center - Kids Center has loads of cool games for Kids of all ages. I need to make sure my daughter knows about it.

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Who Links Here

I just want to know.

Update: Apart from the usual suspects, I found that the following blog links here:

Get The Latest Sports Injuries Updated Hourly
probably from these posts:

'Get Away From Your Pain'

That's what Keisha wants Jennie and I to do. Jennie's got bone spurs in her feet. I've got lower back pain.

I believe Keisha's words were, "You guys need to get away from your pain."

Then Jennie just piped in with, "I wonder how much it would cost to have a servant girl." lol.

Oy, My Aching Back!

I don't know what happened. I took a nice shower, and, after drying off, I walked out of the bathroom and my lower back stiffened up.

Jennie says it has to do with me picking Keisha up on Friday night. I think I would have felt it much earlier than Sunday morning if that was the case.

She and a friend from church have gone to fill a prescription I got from when I slipped and fell a few weeks ago. At the time I had some meds from the ER, but now I see the need for more of it.

Keisha, meanwhile sits at the dining room table, completing a few book reports for school.

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Ladies Night Out - JOKE ALERT

Two women go out one weekend without their husbands. As they came back, right before dawn, both of them drunk, they felt the urge to pee. They noticed the only place to stop was a cemetery. Scared and drunk, they stopped and decided to go there anyway.

The first one did not have anything to clean herself with, so she took off her underwear and used them to clean herself and discarded them.

The second, not finding anything either, thought "I'm not getting rid of my underwear..." so she used the ribbon of a flower wreath to clean herself.

The morning after, the two husbands were talking to each other on the phone, and one says to the other, "We have to be on the look-out, it seems that these two were up to no good last night, my wife came home without her underwear..."

The other one responded, "You're lucky, mine came home with a card stuck to her behind that read, "We will never forget you."found on Off The Track

I'm An Extremely Famous Movie Quote

"Show Me The Money." From: JERRY MAGUIRE.
A tough citizen, maybe even a bit of a bully.
You go out and search for what you want, and no
optsical can stop you. You may consider
yourself diligent, but rude and crude at the
same time, seeing as you would push everything
you love aside for what you want. You have your
fair share of bad qualities, like being
untrustworthy, but you also have some good
qualities, because you are great at supporting
people, and influencing people to just do what
they feel, which is very good. ^_~

What Extremely Famous Movie Quote Are You?
brought to you by QuizillaWho'd've thunk it?

Friday, October 22, 2004

Cleaning pennies with taco sauce

It's true! Actually, you will find that you can clean the pennies with a vinegar/salt mixture. So now you too can have bright, shiny pennies!

Whoo Hoo! I'm glad I found this. I didn't know what I was going to do with my free time!


I've stopped taking the Adderall. I've finished the medicine I had, and we don't have money for the prescription co-pay to get it refilled. I need to call the doctor to see if there is some other, less expensive medicine I might take.

In the meantime, I'll be looking for other, non-medicative ways of dealing with the ADHD.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Discovery Channel :: MythBusters

I heard these guys do an interview on the radio this morning. I think I'll use this site as a companion to

They examine a lot of urban legends to see whether they are true.

At a gas station, there are signs warning us not to use cell phones when filling up the tank. There is a greater chance of explosion from the static buildup that occurs when we get out of our vehicles. That's why, the fire marshals say, we should touch the metal frame of our vehicles before we start to pump - to ground ourselves.

Saturday, October 16, 2004

Friday Night with Keisha and God

Keisha and I just returned from taking Jake for a walk. It feels like November outside. I might even put my winter coat on today.

She and I are heading to the library in a little while. I learned that 10 of the items I've requested are now available. They are mostly DVDs and CDs.

Last night, while Jennie napped before heading to work, Keisha and I spent some great time together. We did a couple loads of laundry, and we started to work on a "Color by Numbers" kit Jennie bought for her yesterday. I helped her make her bed, and we ate dinner together.

While we ate dinner, we went through a "Sticky Situation" in her "Sticky Situations" book. Yesterday's situation was about seeking advice. The child in the story planned to make special crafts to give as Christmas presents to her family, friends, and teacher, but as she started to consider the cost, she realized that she may have gotten herself into more than she could handle. She didn't want to ask someone in her family for help because that would spoil the surprise.

We were given three scenarios for how to play the situation out:

  1. Go through as she orginally planned and cross her fingers, hoping everything works out
  2. Ask another adult, like a grandparent or a craft store worker, what they thought of her plans
  3. Give up and just buy them something
We looked at Proverbs 15:22. In her Bible, it reads:
Plans fail without good advice.
But they succeed when there are many advisers.
Finally, Keisha asked me to share about a time when it was hard for me to get advice and a time when we didn't get advice, discussing the results for each. I shared about when we were looking to buy a house: how we spent many months looking in Middletown and finally Dayton, how we asked many people from church and elsewhere for their thoughts. When we finally decided to buy it, we believed we'd made a wise decision.

I also shared about when Jennie and I went on vacation the year before Keisha was born: we didn't really ask anyone else about where to go, nor did we have the money to go on vacation like we did. Also, when we returned, we decided to go into debt by getting new furniture and appliances, which we couldn't really afford. We later had to pay more money for this debt because of these unwise decisions.

Before I tucked her into bed, I read couple of Bible stories, as she requested. The first one was about the Magi giving presents to Jesus. I emphasized to Keisha that the Magi gave Jesus their very best because they loved him and worshipped him.

The second story was about Jesus feeding the 5,000 men with only two fish and five loaves of bread. Since she's learning subtraction at school, I explained it to her this way:
Normally, two minus two is zero and five minus five is zero, right? Not so with Jesus. Somehow, Jesus miraculously made sure that everyone had enough to eat. His disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of leftovers!
She was encouraged to know that God can do miracles like this.

Before she climbed into bed, she told me, "Daddy, let's pray to God." So we did. Afterward, she told me, "I think we should do this every night when I go to bed." Okay.

I left her room, feeling convicted and inspired to see how God is helping our daughter love him more.

Friday, October 15, 2004

Being Victimized at College

Wow. I just read that a male University of Cincinnati student was raped while on his way home.

When I was in college, I was mugged while walking home from getting some pizza and pop to share with my roommates. It was my birthday. I had just completed a fast. I had even given a couple slices to a homeless man in the business district.

More to come later.

Budweiser and 9-11 Hoax

I recently received an email that described a delivery person who, after seeing Arabs at a convenience store celebrating the terrorist attacks, pulled all Budweiser product from that store.

I thought the email was curious, and I checked out to see if they had found out whether this was the truth or merely a hoax. Indeed, it is a hoax. Check out the page "This Bud's Not For You" for more information.

As we read email from one another, let us keep this maxim close:

Friends don't let friend send chain letters or email hoaxes.
I'm Dan Johnson, Jr., and I approved this message.

'Make Your Vote Count' PSAs

For the past two weeks, we Ohioans are seeing public service announcements(PSAs) on TV with Ohio Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell urging to make their votes count. The PSA provides specific instructions on how to place the punchcard in the voting machine, using the punching tool to cast one's vote.

Secretary Blackwell also urges voters to make sure that there are no "Florida Hanging Chads" on their ballots before placing them in the ballot box.

In my search for a link about these PSAs, I've discovered that there already is much controversy surrounding Ohioans' votes for this coming election. I'll let you search for these items yourself.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Political Drinking Game

I agree with Neal Boortz:

Do not ... I repeat DO NOT engage in a drinking game where you take a shot of hooch every time John Kerry says "middle class" or "I have a plan." You don't want to risk alcohol poisoning.
Similarly, although it may be so tempting, do not start drinking every time you hear or see a political advertisement. What's being said is hard enough to digest as it is.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Stella Awards - Why Tort Reform Is Needed

It's once again time to review the winners of the annual Stella Awards. The Stellas are named after 81 year old Stella Liebeck who spilled coffee on herself and successfully sued McDonald's.

That case inspired the Stella Awards for the most frivolous successful lawsuits in the United States. (I don't know who the awarding body is; nor do I know how these awards originally get published.)


5th place (Tied)

Kathleen Robertson of Austin, Texas, was awarded $780,000 by a jury of her peers after breaking her ankle tripping over a toddler who was running inside a furniture store. The owners of the store were understandably surprised at the verdict, considering the misbehaving toddler was Ms. Robertson's Son.
5th place (Tied)
19 year old Carl Truman of Los Angeles won $74,000 and medical expenses when his neighbor ran over his hand with a Honda Accord. Mr. Truman apparently did not notice there was someone at the wheel of the car when he was trying to steal the hubcaps.
5th place (Tied)
Terrence Dickson of Bristol, PA, was leaving a house he had just finished robbing by way of the garage. He was not able to get the garage door to go up since the automatic door opener was malfunctioning. He could not re-enter the house because the door connecting the house and garage locked when he pulled it shut. The family was on vacation and Mr. Dickson found himself locked in the garage for 8 days. He subsisted on a case of Pepsi he found and a large bag of dry dog food. He sued the homeowner's insurance claiming the situation caused him undue mental anguish. The Jury agreed to the tune of $500,000.
4th place
Jerry Williams of Little Rock, Arkansas, was awarded $14,500 and medical expenses after being bitten on the buttocks by his next door neighbor's Beagle dog. The Beagle was on a chain in its owner's fenced yard. The award was less than sought because the jury felt the dog might have been a little provoked at the time as Mr. Williams, who had climbed over the fence into the yard, was shooting it repeatedly with a pellet gun.
3rd place
A Philadelphia restaurant was ordered to pay Amber Carson of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, $113,500 after she slipped on a soft drink and broke her coccyx (tailbone). The beverage was on the floor because Ms. Carson had thrown it at her boyfriend 30 seconds earlier, during an argument.
2nd place
Kara Walton of Claymont, Delaware sued the owner of a night club in a neighboring city when she fell from the bathroom window to the floor and knocked out two of her front teeth. This occurred whilst Ms. Walton was trying to sneak in the window of the ladies' room to avoid paying the $3.50 cover charge. She was awarded $12,000 and dental expenses.
1st Place
This year's runaway winner was Merv Grazinski of Oklahoma City, OK. Mr. Grazinski purchased a brand new Winnebago motorhome. On his trip home from an OU football game, having driven onto the freeway, he set the cruise control at 70 mph and calmly left the driver's seat to go into the back and make himself a cup of coffee. Not surprisingly the RV left the freeway, crashed and overturned. Mr Grazinski sued Winnebago for not advising him in the owner's manual that he could not actually do this. The jury awarded him $1,750,000 plus a new Winnebago motorhome. The company actually changed their manuals on the basis of this suit just in case there were any other complete morons buying their recreational vehicles.
via email from Brian

That Pain in the Groin - Update

Last week I mentioned I was heading to the doctor because of some groin pain. I had thought it was a recurrent hernia. At the doctor's office they determined that the pain was from strained muscles in that area.

I had not mentioned in this blog that I slipped and fell at work. We believe that the muscles pain was related to that injury.

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Check 21 - Get Ready For Fast-Clearing Checks!

If we ever needed a reason to bone up on our personal finances, this is it!

CBS Marketwatch reports that banks in the U.S. will soon be able to process checks much faster than they have been. Check Clearing for the 21st Century Act, or Check 21, which goes into place on October 28, means that the "float time", i.e., the time from when the check was written to when the check clears, will become virtually zero. Customers have been able to use this float time to allow them to buy things and later make sure that the money is in their accounts.

Advocates for Check 21 say that this new process is more reliable and secure. They also say that the faster check clearing will allow banks to detect fraudulent checks and catch the bad guys who write these checks sooner.

Consumer advocates say that since the banks will clear checks sooner, but not make faster deposits to consumer's accounts, banks are the only beneficiaries. They also say that faster clearing of funds to cover checks will increase the number of "bounced checks" and the fees for these to consumers could rise by as much 20 percent.
As this process rolls out, check writers and their banks face a difficult adjustment period from the end of October through the end of December. Here are six tips for dealing with the new check-clearing rules:
  1. Write only what you can cover
  2. Check your statement more often
  3. Request the new 'substitute checks'
  4. Use direct deposit
  5. Get an overdraft credit line
  6. Use credit cards for larger purchases
Check out the companion article by Chuck Jaffe, entitled "Better Start Balancing The Checkbook"

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Web Server Error Messages

Webopedia describes those annoying error messages we sometimes encounter. Wanna know what 404 means? Or how about 502?

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Inguinal Hernia - Topic Overview

When I was 3 years old, I had some operations related to an inguinal hernia. I don't remember a lot of what was going on, except for some pain associated with pulling out catgut stitches. I had an allergic reaction to them, and it was the most painful experience I have ever had.

I bring this up because, within the past few days, I've started to feel pain in the same area. Ugh!

The only remedy for this is surgery.

Monday, October 04, 2004

Martinis, Persistence, and A Smile

Lawren is a blogger after my own heart! I happened to spot her blog listed in KateSpot's blogroll.

More about Lawren, from one of her first posts: "Welcome, friends, loved ones, and newcomers"