Tuesday, November 30, 2004

A Little Caffeinated

Mood: Tired, but a little caffeinated
Listening to: the sound of others typing on their PCs, the HVAC system
Reading: Jobfiler.com - How-To's
Eating: I had some raisin bran, toast, cranapple juice, and milk for breakfast
Watching: Nothing

I spent all night going through papers, trying to find pay stubs and other important documents. I then realized that I'd misplaced the vital paperwork I needed to complete.

Greetings from the Job Center. I had a follow-up appointment with a career counselor about getting some more training. Apparently there is some more paperwork I have to complete. I'm going to do a little bit of research here and head home via the library.

Signing Santa is Coming to Town

Mood: Tired
Listening to: a Super Mega Chillout Mix of music
Reading: finished Skipping Christmas, almost done with The Rest of the Story
Eating: potato chip crumbs
Watching: Bedroom TV has ABC News on

Do you remember that scene in Miracle on 34th Street in which Kris Kringle spoke to a child in Dutch?

[Doris is trying to convince [her daughter] Susan there is no Santa Claus]
Susan Walker: But he spoke Dutch to that girl.
Doris Walker: Susan, I speak French, but that doesn't make me Joan of Arc.
Something similar is about to happen in the Miami Valley:

On Sunday, December 12, 2004 from 3-8 PM, at the Deaf Association of Dayton on Valley Street, there will be a Signing Santa Christmas Party.

Deaf and hard of hearing kids will be able to tell Santa Claus what they want for Christmas using sign language.

Jennie, Keisha, and I have gone to two of these. The first year we got on the local news. Well, Jennie and Keisha did; Jennie was interviewed, and Keisha was just being cute.

The event is being sponsored by Fox 45 and ABC 22, who will be providing gifts.

Update: While we were at the party, Keisha got a chance to talk with the big guy.

Monday, November 29, 2004

Need some Java to Jive (aka what's up here)

Mood: Sleepy
Listening to: Prairie Home Comedy
Reading: Skipping Christmas and Paul Harvey's More of the Rest of the Story
Eating: Leftover sweet potato pie, a turkey sandwich on wheat, and some potato chips
Watching: Local news and "Another World"?

I need to get some coffee going. I'm also working on the packet of information I got from the WIA people at the Dayton Job Center. My follow-up appointment with them is tomorrow at 11 AM.

I just finished watching the movie Life as a House, starring Kevin Kline. I love all the movies he's been in, and this one is no exception.

Last night I was browsing the website for Jim McCutcheon, aka the Guitarman. Keisha's music teacher recommended talking to him because she's interested in learning the banjo. Jim has authored some great articles for parents and music educators.

In addition, I need to get some information out about the Father's Club at Keisha's school. We had initially planned an activity for December, but that's not going to happen. We also had planned a working meeting to set this activity up. I have to get the notice out that we're not having an activity and get ideas for the upcoming meeting.

Busy day, huh?

Sunday, November 28, 2004

McCutcheon Music

McCutcheon Music in the south Dayton area offering music lessons, band and orchestra instruments, guitars, amps, sheet music, accessories, musical gifts, music classes for children and more...

Saturday, November 27, 2004

Federal Computing Week Online

FCW - Your Government IT Resource:

FCW.com is the essential online resource for government IT executives and delivers more breaking news and in-depth content than any other online information source in the government IT market.
I was searching for an updated link for FirstGov for Workers (found it), and I saw a link to an article from these guys. Ah, the wonderful world wide web.

crossposted to Get That Job!

Some Holiday Lip

On the Friday after Thanksgiving the city of Dayton has a big festival to light up the Christmas tree at Courthouse Square.

Carnival rides, music, food, and a Holiday (Scavenger) Hunt around the businesses of downtown for the kids.

Keisha and I arrived downtown at 5 PM. After parking behind the public library, I put 1-hour's worth of fare in the parking meter - since the meter maids stop enforcing at 6 PM. We stopped inside the library for a bathroom break, and headed toward the festivities at Main and Third.

Upon arriving, we walked to the tent the Junior League had set up. They gave us a bag and a map so that we could go on the Holiday Hunt around downtown. Keisha and I strolled from business to business downtown, and at each stop, someone stamped our map and gave Keisha a goodie for her bag.

One of the places is the Dayton Church Supply store, which, ironically, is sandwiched between two adult bookstores. Keisha saw a mannequin "dressed up" for the holidays in one their store windows and said, "I want to get an outfit like THAT one!"

"Oh, no, you don't!" I said, as we continued walking.

We turned around to get our last two stamps. Then, all of a sudden, Keisha tripped and fell face forward on the concrete. She hit her forehead and lips. As I helped her up, I saw that she was bleeding.

In between wails, I heard her say, "I need to go to a doctor!"

"Let me see it," I said, wiping off a little of the blood. I made the sensitive decision to skip these places so that we could find a restroom where I could help her get cleaned up.

Special thanks to the folks at Skolganik's, for letting us use their restroom to help Keisha get cleaned up. I put some cold water on a paper towel and wiped Keisha's mouth. After awhile, Keisha had calmed down and felt much better.

So much better that she was up for a ride on the ferris wheel. The family in line behind us, it turns out, has a 15-year old who is hard of hearing as well. Talking with the mom and the teen about sign language and other deaf/hard of hearing stuff helped the time in the line pass by quickly.

Finally, it was Keisha's turn. It was a great ride. The lights were lit. A chill descended on the air. We were hungry and needed to pee. So we went home.

Friday, November 26, 2004

Smells Like Dog Poop

Yesterday we spent Thanksgiving with some friends from church who live in Springfield, Ohio. I'd taken Jake our dog outside before we left so that he could relieve himself, but he didn't poop.

I knew that we would be gone a long time, and I didn't want Jake to have an accident in our apartment, so I put him in his cage (what we call his 'bed').

Fast forward seven hours... we return and find that he had gotten out of his bed. Did I fasten the door securely? I guess not. I inspected our apartment. Fortunately, Jake hadn't left us any "presents".

I took him outside for a walk, and he pooped, to my relief. I brought him back inside, and we got ready for bed. Since one of the local radio stations has changed their format to all Christmas music for the season, Keisha kept her hearing aids on so that she could listen to it while she fell asleep.

About an hour later, I got up to take Keisha's hearing aids out so that her ears could get some rest. I thought she'd taken them out and put them on the floor, and I bent down to pick it up.

It wasn't a hearing aid. As I walked down the hall to the main bathroom, I realized
that I had a piece of dog poop in my hand! I flushed it down the toilet and washed my hands really well with antibacterial soap. Then I returned to Keisha's room, this time turning her light on. I saw that there were other pieces on the floor. I was so upset.

I took Keisha's hearing aids out and placed them on the window sill next to her bed. Then I went to our bedroom, where Jake was laying in his cage. I grabbed him by his collar and drug him to Keisha's room, showing him that he'd been a bad dog.

I then grabbed a wad of toilet paper from the bathroom to pick up the rest of the poop. I flushed it down the toilet and got some carpet cleaner for the floor. After all of this, I returned to our bedroom, and I made certain to lock Jake in his cage for the night.

The next morning, as I let him out of his cage, I told him I wanted him to be a good dog. And I let him outside to go poop. Which he did.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

I Know It's Your Money, But --

I suppose that if you really had several $100 to burn, you could have this done, or you could just send the money to me instead.

Individual Development Account Program

I got an email from a friend and sister in Christ with this website. I haven't checked it out yet, but it looks interesting:

Individual Development Account Program

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Free internet call waiting - No More?

Does free internet call waiting still exist? I dunno. BuzMe, whom we'd been using, just became a fee-for-service.

Maybe this link will help us:

Internet phone software, Internet Call Waiting, Free long distance, Broadband Phone, Free Cell Phone, VOIP Adapters

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Great Movies

I'm watching The Rookie on ABC right now. I love inspiring movies like this one!

Speaking of which, I've seen a lot of movies lately, including

  • Walking Tall - great action flick with The Rock
  • Fight Club - eerily reminiscent of Se7en (same director)
  • 13 Going on 30 - terrific, sweet movie with Jennifer Garner of 'Alias' and 'Daredevil'
  • Mr. Jones - the definition of bipolar/manic-depression
  • Gone in 60 Seconds - suspense/action/thriller with Nic Cage
  • Goodfellas - gangster movie with Bobby De Niro, Joe Pesci, and Ray Liotta
  • Usual Suspects - another thriller, with Kevin Spacey, Benicio DelToro, Kevin Pollack, and others - 'Who Is Keyser Soze?'
Check out the Internet Movie Database (IMDb.com) for other great movies.

Using Family History to Promote Health

Genomics|General Public|Family History|Flash

via Librarian's Index to the Internet

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Captain's Log

Biz Stone rightly notes that Captain Kirk of "Star Trek" was a blogger; every episode begins with "Captain's Log, Stardate..." Not only is that so, Biz, but Bill Shatner, the actor who protrayed Captain Kirk, is a blogger.

You can catch him in the David E. Kelley drama "Boston Legal" (Sundays, ABC, 10 PM Eastern), playing the eccentric lawyer Denny Crane, the role for which he recently won an Emmy. He plays the eccentric Denny Crane. Check out Shatner's recent "Mind Meld with Denny Crane."

Monday, November 15, 2004

What She's Really Saying

Keisha and Jennie are in the kitchen, making dinner.

Jennie mentioned that she was feeling hot, obviously from being around the oven. Then Keisha said she felt like a "Hot Girl". Jennie asked Keisha, our 7-year old first grader, if she knew what a "Hot Girl" was. She said she didn't know, so Jennie sent her to see me.

I knew I'd need to explain it to her in a way she could understand without being overly coarse. So I told Keisha that a "Hot Girl" is someone who is very, very beautiful.

"Like me!" Keisha said.

"Usually it's like someone you would want to marry," I said.

"Oh, like Jennie!" she said, referring to her mom.

"Absolutely!" I said.

Then Jennie said, "Who are you calling, 'Jennie'?" Keisha chuckled.
This girl, who you might recall, is hard of hearing. This means that, even though she wears hearing aids, sometimes words don't come in that clear. Like this afternoon, she said that she wants to grow up and become a "Tick Tock" dancer. Then she proceeded to give us a demonstration, busting a move.

"Oh, you mean like in those music videos?" I said. Jennie didn't understand. "Those where they play the 'tick tock' music?" I smiled. Jennie understood.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Never Too Old To Tease And Be Teased

Yesterday Jennie, Keisha and I went to Kroger to buy some ice cream. We three had just gotten a half gallon of chocolate and an half gallon of strawberry when Keisha said she wanted me to get her a bottle of water. "No," I said, "you already have a water bottle at home. Besides you can get a drink from the water fountain here."

She then elbowed me in the stomach, and I bowled over, holding my side. I wanted to give Keisha an opportunity to come over an apologize. Jennie came to my side and asked if I was okay.

Looking at Keisha, I said, "You go with your Mommy. I need a time out from you." She could tell I was upset with her. Jennie and Keisha went to the hair care aisle to get something while I started for the checkout lane.

I arrived behind two middle-aged ladies. I found out soon that they were identical twins, but what was more interesting was how obvious - aside from their appearance - that they were sisters.

Here these two ladies were, arguing about whether to keep something or to take it off the conveyor belt. The one placed her arms over the items, so as to prevent her twin from pulling them off the belt. It was amusing.

Keisha and Jennie rejoined me in the checkout lane. Keisha saw some Christmas decorations nearby and asked if she could go over to see them. I told her "No." She had a grumpy face. I motioned for her to come closer to me. "Did you know that you hurt me earlier?"

"But I'm SORRY!" she said.

"Well it's good to finally hear it from you," I said. "As to whether you can go over by the decorations, the answer is... y-y-y-- no." She wasn't happy. "Oh, yeah, by the way," I began, "no." I teased. I taunted.

Jennie observed how similar the drama betwen Keisha and me was to the antics of the middle-aged twins in front of us.

Friday, November 12, 2004

On Having the Moody Blues

Okay, so here's what's up. I've been off my medicines for almost a month now. The co-pay amounts for them are more than what we have been able to afford. Specifically, we're behind on rent, phone, and utilities. We've barely been able to keep food in our home.

I thought I was doing okay moodwise until these things came to a head last Friday. The phone was turned off, and our rental complex notified us that they wanted to kick us out for nonpayment of rent. I checked our bank account and discovered that we were overdrawn for the amount of my paycheck.

That's when the anxiety and depression really kicked in. Right before I had to go to work. I set aside a bunch of boxes to bring home in case we needed to pack up and move over the weekend.

Jennie picked me up and told me that she'd talked to the management and made an arrangement to pay our rent in halves, once she got paid.

So this past week has been really challenging. I've gotten upset at home. Monday night I was so upset that I had to excuse myself from the dinner table. I went to our bedroom, turned the radio on as loud as it could go, grabbed a pillow, and cried out to God as loud as I could, using a few choice words.

My voice is still a little sore, but it's getting better every day.

I recently checked out this book entitled "The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Healing Remedies". I hope it will lead me to some non-medicative methods of treating the depression, anxiety, OCD-type, and ADHD-releated behaviors/symptoms I have.

So Angry I Was Speechless

Ever been so angry you couldn't say anything?

Today I came home early from work. I was so angry I found it hard to put it into words. For a few minutes.

Then I started to type. On the computer. Because if I don't type on the computer, I won't be able to see what I'm writing, of course. Oh yeah, and I don't have a typewriter, too.

But seriously, folks, I was hot. Stuff happened at work, and I was frustrated, upset, angry, and I felt fed up.

I haven't looked at what I wrote, and, since I'll have to go back to work tomorrow, I'll probably need to remind myself of what I wrote.

Where to Seek Help for Mood Disorders

The links included here come from the section of the same name in a book I'm reading entitled "Conquering the Beast Within : How I Fought Depression and Won . . . and How You Can, Too" by Cait Irwin. I don't know if these links are valid or not, but I include them here anyway:

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Message to Hotmail

Dear Hotmail Staff,

You provide a substandard free email service with only a little amount of storage while other, better services (Yahoo, GMail) love me more. Your spam filtering sucks.

I've ported all the messages I wanted to keep to a different account. I don't need you anymore.

Two words: You're fired.

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Emotions At This Moment

Note: During church service this morning, I wrote this.

I'm feeling emotional right now, struggling with depression. I've had passive suicidal ideation within the last couple of days. I know I need to be careful how much I let the "convicting" passages of Scripture affect me. To use a bicycle analogy, my mind is "out of true" right now.

This morning on the way to church I saw a large, full trash bag on the side of the highway. This led me to think of a great escape plot point for a story: person hides inside of laundry bag, bag rolls off truck as it travels down highway, protagonist claws his/her way through to escape.

Income ideas: sell books, CDs, videos, DVDs
sell blood plasma
odd jobs
put in job apps to BW-3 or Tumbleweed for bartender/server-type job
put in job app to Salvation Army for musician to attend kettles at donation points

God will not give me more than I can handle (1 Corinthians 10:13)

Anxieties, pressures of life:

  • Car
    • registration/title/insurance -- no $ for it; what if we get pulled over or in accident? Car impounded, arrest, sent to jail, fined, court, bad reputation?
    • coolant - seems okay - not leaking now, fortunately, but must continue to monitor
    • Front brakes/driveaxle system: will tire come off axle like on Mom's car? Why does it stop/start again? What if we have an accident while driving? No $ to have it looked at/fixed
  • Keisha
    • bladder control issues - frustration at her many accidents. I've been short with her, emotional with her, disappointed. Why do we have to continue to pay $ for pull-ups, which we could be using for something else to take care of something she should be able to control herself? I'm angry she's having so many accidents. H2 get her to stop wetting the bed. So much extra laundry to do.
    • Keeping up with her school work - frustrations with her frustration as she has difficulty grasping new concepts
  • Rent, phone, electric, water: Continued cycle of getting behind
I wish I had a job like I used to - it paid a significant salary so that we could pay our rent, etc., on time. I don't feel like my skills are what they used to be.

Self-loathing, self-doubt -- thoughts of worthlessness. How can I sell someone else on me when I'm not convinced myself? So I go back to what's easy, comfortable, even though I know I'm worth much more.

I have difficulty focusing enough to do a job search. I wish I had money for prescription co-pays. I'm frustrated and angry that I cannot pay for anti-depressant and ADHD meds I used to take. I've been off them for over a month now. I'm frustrated and angry that I have to deal with depression, anxiety, OCD (scab picking), and ADHD at all.

It's hard to see what's good about it at all.

So I head for distractions - outside activities to help lighten the atmosphere:
movies, DVDs
music: recorded and my playing
spending time with my wife and daughter
drinking coffee to stay stimulated (caffeine is a legal stimilant)
walks with the dog
drawing and coloring with Keisha
bike riding

more to come later, perhaps...

Friday, November 05, 2004

Google Search: help stop scab picking

In previous posts I've described my struggles with compulsive scab picking. I currently have a couple scabs on the back of my left hand, some larger scabs on the right side of my scalp, one almost the size of a quarter just above my left eyebrow, and some on my back side.

Now that I've got that out in the open again... I found that someone came to this blog via Googling the phrase "help stop scab picking". I decided to check it out myself, and I've learned a couple of things from others that may help me.

  • Keep nails short
  • Clean open scabs with hydrogen peroxide or other antiseptic right away.
  • Have hand lotion available to use to keep hands busy
  • Minimize looking in the mirror so as not to be reminded of the scabs on face and other exposed areas
  • Bandages might help
  • Fake tatoos may help, if one feels the need to scratch something off
  • Topical antihistimines may help with the itching
  • Antidepressants (SSRIs) may help
  • Hypnosis might help

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

'Read my story from my experience yesterday as a Poll Observer'

Got this from my friend and brother in Christ in Cincinnati:

Hi all,

I participated in yesterday's election as a Poll Observer (aka Challenger &
Witness) and stayed from the Poll Opening to the Poll Close and until the
ballots left the building sealed in their bag with a one use lock with the
serial number recorded (just to assure the courier fulfilled the transfer
without any further handling of the ballots). I've written a blog entry of
the day at the "Command Post", a large web blog environment where grass
roots news is collected and distributed. You can read my story at the
following links:



At the precinct I watched for 14 straight hours over 288 ballots cast; a
record turnout (previously the most was 175). There were lines as long as
30 minutes and the weather was cold and rainy but still the voters kept
coming. Now as our country waits for the tally and results my hope is we
can maintain civil discourse to resolve these matters. Please help to
encourage "cool headed" thought and reason and direct your friends, family
members, and others to participate in this important time if not by means of
this online weblog, than through similar open environments. Please consider
praying on this as well so that our country moves forward united and does
not become embittered and divided.

Regards from Ohio,


Tom Daschle Is Gone - Thank You South Dakota!

Tom Daschle, master of doublespeak and divisive partisan politics, is no longer a U.S. Senator. During his time in office this last term he was responsible for the death of many bills that would have helped the U.S. economy. He also prevented several appellate judgeships from happening.

Shortly after 9/11, Daschle stated he supported President Bush, and was even shown hugging the President. This photo came back to haunt him, as did the tax break for his mansion in Washington, D.C., where he said he called home.

Thankfully, the voters of South Dakota had their say:

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

The Quest

This particular post from The Quest contains the testimony of Rio Diaz, who, through the grace of God, was able to endure cancer and get better.

I found this post because someone came here, looking for the devotional "Streams in the Desert". I checked the search results page from which this blog was listed, and I found the post from "The Quest".

When you read it, I think you'll be inspired.

A-Voting We Will Go

It's almost 9 AM Eastern time on Election Day, Tuesday, November 2, 2004 in Dayton, Ohio USA. As I took the dog for a walk, a neighbor told me he'd already been to vote this morning. Our precinct had already seen a good turnout from our apartment complex, he said. He also mentioned that lines were already beginning to form.

The three of us - Jennie, Keisha, and I - are heading to the poll in a few minutes. No, we're not going to let Keisha vote, LOL! We just want Keisha to see what's going on. As it turns out, we'll probably just have enough time to show her what it looks like before taking her to school.

I'm supposed to be at work at 10 AM, so I'll probably head straight to work from the poll.

I am still a bit undecided.

Monday, November 01, 2004

Sites tell you what candidates are really saying

Hey, all you Undecided voters!

This post comes verbatim from ClarkHoward.com's show notes from 25 October 2004:

Many claims people make in the political world are simply gross fabrications and lies. The Internet has become a source of rumor as well as a source of correction for many of these claims. Factcheck.org, for instance, offers a truthful explanation for many of the misstatements and distortions made by candidates on both sides. It's really hard to separate fact from fiction in the heat of these campaigns, and these sites don't hold back when it comes to what candidates are really saying. Another site is Campaigndesk.org. It takes the extreme comments candidates make and tells you what they really mean. Snopes.com and urbanlegend.com are two other sites that have been around for a while and offer a truth serum for lots of claims, including political ones. If you?re undecided about whom to vote for, these sites may help you decide.

This Ohio Voter Longs for the End

I am eager for this coming Wednesday, once the election stuff coming our way via radio, TV, and telephone is over.

We must have received close to 10 telephone messages over the weekend related to the upcoming election. Examples:And here is the rest of it.

First Lady Laura Bush
Actress Sarah Jessica Parker, who also happens to be from Cincinnati, Ohio
Volunteer from the Bush campaign
Volunteer from the Kerry campaign
Someone from the local Republican party
Someone from the local Democratic party
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger urging us to vote for Bush
Comedian/Actor Chris Rock, who says that if we decide not to vote, we're crazy, among other things
Yesterday, Sunday, is a day when I'm more apt to answer the phone. I got a call at about 3:30 PM, answered it, and heard the beginning of a recorded message from the Ohio Republican party. I could tell it was a recorded message because it started to skip, like a CD sometimes does. I simply hung up.

I also would like to thank the local campaigns for cleaning up their campaign signs from the roadsides on Wednesday. And I have some beachfront property for sale.