Monday, February 28, 2005

Toilet Paper Trouble

I just spent the last twenty minutes in the men's room, mostly because the stall I was in had no toilet paper:

I found myself looking for the right moment to relocate to the adjacent stall without being caught by another coworker. When I did, I was surprised to see that, not only was it not out of toilet paper, but it had an extra loose roll!

After I had finished my business, I placed the loose roll of TP in the stall that had none. I wouldn't wish my situation on anyone, especially considering how much I, um, needed the TP.

Units begin to return from Kosovo

I received the following e-mail from my aunt and uncle in Cincinnati about my cousin. I've abbreviated the names to protect their privacy:

B. is coming home MONDAY!!!!!! (2/28/05) Please join us in prayers of
thanksgiving for his safe return. Praise God!
M.K. and D.K.
See press release below:
News Release
LOG # 05-10

February 25, 2005

Units begin to return from Kosovo

Columbus, Ohio – This week the Ohio Army National Guard welcomes home several units that mobilized in June 2004 in support of NATO peace operations in Kosovo. Public ceremonies are planned for the following units.

Times are based on anticipated arrival times from the unit’s demobilization station.

Monday, Feb. 28, 2005

2-107th Cavalry:

A Troop (Cincinnati): Approximately 75 Soldiers at 10:30 a.m., Union Terminal, 1301 Western Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45203.

Saturday, February 26, 2005

SOS for Getting Organized

SOS, in this case, means “Simplicity – Order – Steps.” I got that from a book whose title I have forgotten. I also don’t remember enough about this concept to elaborate right now. But, for what it’s worth, here goes:

  • Simplicity
    1. Take a look
    2. Take apart
    3. Take away
    4. Take another look
  • Order
    1. First things first
    2. First, now
    3. First choices
  • Steps
    1. Simple steps
    2. Orderly steps

Friday, February 25, 2005

Rappers and Bloggers - Separated at birth!

Josh Levin may have something here. Let me know if you find my matching rapper!

Rappers and Bloggers - Separated at birth! By Josh Levin

Congratulations are in Order

... for Garry and Carla. They are expecting their first child:

We found out shortly before Christmas—boy, some Christmas present, huh?—and it was the biggest shock ever. Let’s just say it was very unplanned, but obviously Someone had other ideas for us. We’ve both been going through a lot of emotions since then…but I have an excuse—I can just blame the hormones (which I do, quite a lot!), hee hee. I feel completely overwhelmed about the prospect because I do take parenthood extremely seriously and don’t want to screw this up, I felt totally not up to the job of parenthood so I guess I tried to consciously avoid it and besides, I felt OK at not having children. I just don’t feel ready for this, period.
Why not head over and offer some encouraging words?

Across the Pond!: A Very Important Announcement

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Listening to my Online Radio Station

Here is what I'm listening to on my LaunchCast station (reverse order; i.e., most recent is first):

Smash MouthAll Star
Goo Goo DollsBroadway
Nine Inch NailsSin
The PoliceA Kind of Loving
(I skipped this one)
Sam KinisonPocket Toys
(I skipped this one)
Fernando OrtegaTake Heart, My Friend
U2I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For
Michelle BranchGoodbye To You
Brian McKnightBack At One/TD>
The Psychedelic FursFlowers
Danny ElfmanBack To School
BeckAlcohol (Previously Unreleased)
MorrisseyIrish Blood, English Heart
StingChildren's Crusade

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Working in Teams: Higher Productivity or Bigger Headache

Working in Teams: Higher Productivity or Bigger Headache
New Software Application Empowers Teamwork

"Today, as we face higher demands to produce bigger, more innovative IT products, teams that utilize the gifts and talents of each one of its members will have higher success, happier employees and a lot less headaches."

Monday, February 21, 2005

President's Day 2005

Today is President's Day. Nearly all schools are closed; banks, too.

I'm reminded of this post from a few years back. It contains a quotation from every U.S. President:

Happy President's Day - February 17, 2003

Friday, February 18, 2005

Cincinnati Interview - Ready, Set, Go

My wife is on her way to a job interview in Cincinnati. We kept Keisha out of school today because she's not been feeling well. Last night we weren't exactly sure whether Jennie would be able to make the interview, considering that I needed to be at work and Keisha would be off school.

No Children Allowed at the Interview

We needed to find someone to watch Keisha while Jennie was at the interview.

I tried calling Jennie's mom last night to see whether she could watch Keisha for us. After about 20-30 rings (I lost count), I hung up. I prayed about it.

At 7:30 this morning, Jennie tried her again. No answer. Then she prayed that her mom would call back - she has caller ID.

At about 7:45, the phone rings. It's Jennie's mom. Yes, she would be able to watch Keisha. Sighs of relief.

Getting Ready

Since I'm about halfway dressed for work already, I wake Keisha up and get her started to be ready to leave. Meanwhile the dog is whining because he needs to pee, too.

As I finish getting dressed, Jennie hops into the shower, and I call the school to let them know Keisha won't be there today. When Jennie comes out, she mentions needing to print out a copy of her resume to take with her to the interview.

I'm all on top of it. Except that the printer isn't. Streaks of black ink run across the printouts, even after running the cleaning and aligning procedures.

What to do? I offer to print some copies of it out for her when I get to work. I save it to a floppy disk and, just in case, e-mail it to myself.

As Jennie and Keisha finish getting ready, I take the dog outside for a quick jaunt around the area. When we return, I give him a dog biscuit and put him in his cage.

Money for Breakfast

We get in the car and drive to the ATM to get some money so that we can get breakfast. I pray about the day. We get to the ATM only to find that about six other vehicles have beaten us to it. So we head to the actual bank branch just down the street. Jennie prays.

I hop out of the car and walk to the ATM. I slide the card and submit the info for the transaction. Then the machine tells me our account is not authorized. Two more times; once with my card, once with Jennie's - same result.

Then I realize what's wrong: I'd been trying to get money from a checking account when all we have is a savings account! Duh!

I finally get the money, and we grab some breakfast from the McDonald's drive-thru. Keisha and I eat as Jennie drives me to work.

And They're Off!

Jumping out of the car, I head upstairs to my office. I print out three copies of her resume and hand them to Jennie, who waits while Keisha uses the ladies' room. A minute later, they're gone.

We'll see what happens.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Early Leave From School/Work Today

I'm going to be leaving work in about a half hour to pick Keisha up from school. She has a sore throat, some congestion, and a mild fever, according to the school nurse.

We've been giving her some Vitamin C and having her gargle, but I guess she really needs the rest, so that her body can do its job.

I'll stop by Wendy's to get us some lunch, and I'll get her a Frosty. That'll be great for her sore throat.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

One Less Hair

"Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows." -- Matthew 10:29-31
This morning I'm helping Keisha brush her teeth when, all of a sudden - YANK! - Jennie pulls a hair out of the back of my head! Then she hands me this GRAY hair!!

I look at it under the light, and, yes, it's a gray one. Geez.

I'm going to be 35 years old this April, and I believe this is the second or third gray hair she's found on me. They've all been in the back. I guess that's good.

Anyway, here are a couple Bible verses about gray hair:
"Gray hair is a crown of splendor; it is attained by a righteous life." - Proverbs 16:31

"Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, O God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your might to all who are to come." - Psalm 71:18

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Splenda's 'Sugar' Claim Unites Odd Couple

Mood: Relaxed
Eating: home made spaghetti with meat sauce
Watching: Keisha is watching 'Heidi'

The strangest of all political bedfellows held a news conference together on Monday to accuse the company that markets a popular sugar substitute of deceptive advertising.

The president of the National Sugar Association, Andrew C. Briscoe III, joined the executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, Dr. Michael F. Jacobson, a frequent critic of the association, to make the case that McNeil Nutritionals, a division of Johnson & Johnson, should stop implying that its artificial sweetener, Splenda, is natural because it is made from sugar.

Both the sugar association and Merisant Worldwide, manufacturer of the artificial sweetener Equal, are suing to stop Splenda from making the claim "made from sugar, so it tastes like sugar." They say the phrase misleads consumers into thinking Splenda is natural when it is actually "a highly processed chemical compound."

Source: The New York Times > Washington > Splenda's 'Sugar' Claim Unites Odd Couple

Monday, February 14, 2005

Valentine's Day Facts

U.S. Census Bureau Daily Feature for Feb. 14: Valentine's Day

2/13/2005 10:05:00 AM

To: National and Feature desks

Contact: Rick Reed or Tom Edwards, 301-763-2812, both of the U.S. Census Bureau

WASHINGTON, Feb. 13 /U.S. Newswire/ -- Following is the daily 'Profile America' feature for Feb. 14 from the U.S. Census Bureau:


Profile America for Monday, Feb. 14. This is Valentine's Day -- and while an unofficial holiday, it's one of the best observed of the year. Its origins are a mix of legends involving two Christian martyrs, a Roman fertility rite and the old notion that this is the time of year when birds choose their mates. What is sure is that Esther Howland of Massachusetts began selling the first mass-produced valentines in the 1840s. Now, Valentine's Day is one of the biggest occasions in the country's greeting card shops. It's also a busy time for the nation's jewelers, florists and candy stores. There are some 3,800 candy stores across the U.S., selling $1.2 billion of sweets annually. The average person consumes close to 25 pounds of candy a year. Find these and more facts about America from the U.S. Census Bureau on the Web at

Source: U.S. Newswire : Releases : "U.S. Census Bureau Daily Feature for Feb. 14: Valentine's Day"

Friday, February 11, 2005

Wrote a Song About It...

(lol - that famous line from "In Living Color" many years ago)

I wrote a song over 13 years ago, when I first became a Christian, but I never had a chance to put it to music because I didn't know how to play the guitar.

Last night I should have been in bed, but I wasn't sleepy because I drank some coffee with Jennie before she left for work. I hammered out some notes on the guitar and figured out the chords. I typed up the lyrics and added the chord names to it.

I'm pretty fired up about this because it's an original song, and I look forward to playing it in front of others.

Originally done as a Mail-to-Post feature, but I got impatient waiting for it to show up. (Blogger Status: "Mail-to-Post is currently slow to post...")

Dad's Club and Some Congestion, Too

Mood: congested with a scratchy, sore throat
Listening to: music on the computer, Bob and Tom audio
Eating: Halls Mentho-Lyptus® Honey Lemon (almost like candy)

Ready? Here goes:


Last night my daughter and I went to a Dad's Club outing at her school. We played "Around the World," a basketball game in which you advance to different areas around the "key" with each successful shot. I had a lot of fun, and Keisha was so happy when she finally made a basket!

Afterward we went to McDonald's (ba-da-bup-ba-ba) and got a medium chocolate shake, which we shared. We also got Jennie a chocolate raspberry coffee.

When we got home, Keisha read a couple picture books to me, and then I read them back to her. She's getting really good at reading out loud. I always try to read "in character" to make it interesting.

After that I went to bed.

Some Congestion
I woke up this morning early with a scratchy throat. I took some Vitamin C and went back to bed. This happened awhile later, and I decided to wake up. I also took some Naproxen for pain.

On my way to work this morning I stopped at the ATM to get some money, to the United Dairy Farmers to get some gas, some Welch's grape juice (high antioxidants), and the Halls Mentho-lyptus. I've had one of those lozenges, and I'm about to have another.

Wish me well. I'm goin' in...

Thursday, February 10, 2005

How to Write Killer Blog Posts and More Compelling Comments

B.L. Ochman writes:

While basic writing talent is innate, many of the skills for writing compelling blog posts and and salient comments can be learned. The basic guidelines: keep your copy lively, factual, tight, clear and short and search engine optimized. Here are basic blog style guidelines to follow:
What follows on that post are some tips to write better blog posts. Check out the entire article:

B.L. Ochman's weblog - Internet strategy, marketing, public relations, politics with news and commentary: How to Write Killer Blog Posts and More Compelling Comments

Three cheers to Bene Diction, the Official Canuck of 'Journey Inside My Mind', for the link! (Hip Hip Hooray! Hip Hip Hooray! Hip Hip Hooray!)

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

I Smell Feet!

Actually, it's the footer for Dave's Grab Bag:

This is an optional footer. My footer has fungi. If you detect some funky fumeage, it could be my fantastically fungus-infested footer.

Wednesday - I Feel Fine

Jennie and Keisha picked me up from work at about 4:30 PM yesterday. When I got home I changed into pajamas, took 1500 mg of Vitamin C and som Echinacea, and went to bed.

About an hour after that, I woke up, and we ate dinner. At about 6:30 PM, I helped clean up some of the dinner stuff, and I went back to bed. I decided against taking Ibuprofen or some other pain medicine, acknowledging that the soreness I was feeling was from my body's immune system at work.

I'm much better this morning except that my back is a little sore from laying supine all night. I took some more Vitamin C, Echinacea, and stuff before coming in to work.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

I Wanna Go Home

Mood: Achy
Listening to: sounds in the office
Eating: leftover homemade Mexican food

I just called our home and left a message for Jennie, asking if she could come pick me up from work. I look forward to getting home, loading up on some more Vitamin C, Echinacea, fluids, and getting some rest.

Blue Tuesday

Mood: Depressed
Listening to: Music on the computer
Reading: the usual
Eating: bagel, yogurt, juice, coffee
Watching: 'Monk' First Season on DVD

My joints are starting to feel sore - yuck! Also, we ran out of St. John's Wort at home, and I can tell it's affected my mood.

Easily irritated, frustrated, and impatient: Keisha's hearing impairment; the dog peeing on himself while he's pooping - real classy; the gray, drizzly weather; my daughter's urinary tract infection and it's side effects: yucky medicine, frequent accidents, more messes to clean up

Because my wife is using our car today, she played chauffeur to Keisha and me this morning. After we dropped Keisha off at school, we went to CVS, and I got some St. John's Wort. I took some as we rode to my job. I'm hoping for it to kick in soon.

Monday, February 07, 2005

The Best Darn Superbowl Ad - Period

Watch the Anheuser-Busch ad honoring our military that aired during Superbowl XXXIX.

Thanks to Roy for the link!

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Website Updates

There are a few things for me to mention today, so here goes

  • The Skinny on Mr. Big
  • Dan's Links
  • Becoming More ""
  • Post Titles
  • Expandable Post Summaries
The Skinny on Mr. Big

Mood: Upbeat
Listening to: "INXS of U2", a playlist of INXS and U2 music I brought from home
Reading: check out the reading list at Dan's Domain
Eating: pizza that others in the office have purchased - thanks!
Watching: The Stepford Wives

Dan's Links

I've updated the Dan's Links page to include links to local radio stations. Click on the station's logo and head over to hear radio in the Dayton area.

Becoming More ""

In addition, I've indexed posts in the 2004 Journey Inside My Mind archive from July through December. I plan to do this with the entire blog's archives. The posts are labeled with various tags, and you can click the link to any of the tags to view a list of posts and other web pages I've bookmarked accordingly. Right now the tags with the most links are "family" and "humor" respectively.

Post Titles

Moreover, I've begun traversing through the archives, from the First Post to this blog, in order to provide the posts with titles. At the time I wrote them, I gave the posts a title and made the text bold, but that was before Blogger started giving users the ability to create Title tags (or whatever it is they call them).

One side effect of this is that permalinks used in later posts may no longer be valid. If you happen to discover one of these instances, please let me know. I'd like to avoid linkrot as much as possible!

Expandable Post Summaries

Finally, many of the posts are long, so I've taken advantage of "expandable post summaries", i.e., the "Journey Further" link you see on the bottom right-hand corner of each post. (Did you know, by the way, that not every post is set up this way, even though every post has that "Journey Further" link?) What I like about having these is that you're able to condense the amount of text readers see on the main archive page and provide a link so that they can continue to the post page for the rest of it if they want. Hopefully I've set up the expandable post summaries in a way that it's intuitive to readers.

For more information on how to set these up within your blog, read the following article: Blogger Help: How can I create expandable post summaries?

Update, 2/14/2005: I've tagged most of the posts from November 2003. I also revised that month's archive to have title tags for each post. As for 2002, where I began, I'm up through June's archives. That is to say that I've revised that month's posts to have title tags and expandable post summaries.

Update, 2/23/2005: I've finished going through the September 2002 archives. I'm also checking the referrer log to see which posts are being read, and revising those posts accordingly.

Moreover, as I see a post referring to another post that also needs revising, I'm revising that one as well. Clear as mud? Good.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Groundhog Day 2005

Groundhog .org - the Official Site of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club

Six more weeks of winter?! Yes, that's what Punxatawney Phil predicted today.

Instead of letting that get you down, why not find the little varmint and try out one of these groundhog recipes. I've heard they taste like chicken. Or, you can watch the hilarious 1993 movie starring Bill Murray: Groundhog Day (1993).

Jamie Simpson, chief meteorologist at Channel 7 (WHIO-TV) here in Dayton, asks, "Is Groundhog's Day groundless?" In his article he relates how the tradition behind Groundhog Day began. Perhaps the furry rodent is smarter than we'd like to give him credit.

Saving Nome

Profile America, Wednesday, February 2nd.

It sounds like a movie script, but some brave sled dogs and their drivers saved many lives in Nome, Alaska, on this day 80 years ago. A diphtheria epidemic had broken out in the town, and the weather was too bad to fly in the needed serum. So, a relay of sled teams made the almost 700-mile journey in 50-below temperatures, in just 127 hours. When the serum arrived and was thawed, no more deaths occurred. The two lead dogs, Togo and Balto, became national heroes, and a statue of Balto was erected in New York City's Central Park. In 1925, there were some 1,500 people living in Nome -- today, the population of Nome and the surrounding area is just over 9,000. Find these and more facts about America from the U.S. Census Bureau on the Web at

Source: U.S. Newswire : Releases : "Census Bureau Daily Feature for Feb. 2 Saving Nome"
Also, check out the 1995 animated feature in which Kevin Bacon voices Balto.

Speaking of Balto, Dayton Daily News columnist Leigh Allan is searching for some Johnny Carson jokes that have "Balto, the Wonder Dog" in the punch line: read "Seeking the rest of the jokes"