Monday, May 29, 2006

Look What Audio I Found!

I was browsing the channel at Odeo, and lo and behold I found this piece of mine I'd bookmarked a few weeks ago, number 3296 on the list:
powered by ODEO

Sunday, May 28, 2006

JIMM 49 - Kill My Pain

Back to a full-length episode this week. I recorded this one Friday night while sitting outside near the back of our apartment building. Not only do I share some great music, but I also talk about what's happened these past two weeks.

I also found a way to embed a player on the website, in case you don't want to download it or are not subscribed. Go check it out: JIMM 49 - Kill My Pain

By the way, if you do like the show, I encourage you to consider subscribing. You can use podcast receiving software like iTunes or Juice or any of the others mentioned at the feed link. That way, new episodes will be automatically downloaded whenever they become available. If you prefer to use e-mail, there's a way to subscribe to the show that way, too.

As always, I appreciate your feedback, good and bad and ambivalent.


Saturday, May 27, 2006

I Can See You Signing on the Phone

Mood: really good
Listening to: JIMM 49 - Kill My Pain
Eating: LaRosa's Pizza
Weather: Clear, 66 degrees F

We got a videophone for Keisha Friday. This is a useful substitute for a TTY machine. We can call other deaf and hard-of-hearing people and sign back and forth to them. In addition, we can use the Video Relay System (VRS) to call hearing people. With the relay system, we sign to an interpreter, who relays what's being said between the two parties.

One challenge for us is that our sign language is at best rudimentary, while these interpreters are really good. Keisha and I made a practice call to Jennie's cell phone, but it was weird because we weren't sure if the interpreter was talking to us or if it was Jennie. Then we realized that the interpreter was just doing her job, relaying what's being signed and said.

Our hope is for Keisha to be able to call other deaf and hard of hearing children she meets over the summer. It also serves as an alternative to talking on the phone, or Keisha trying to understand what's being said on the phone.

Speaking of the regular phone, we got an amplified receiver, and we've used it a little so far with some success. Well, if you count a 25-30 minute conversation Keisha had with her Nana - I guess it was very successful.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Hot Showers and Sickness

From 3 years ago:

The hot shower didn't seem to help a whole lot. Except, maybe, that I feel sick and smell clean and fresh at the same time!

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Misfortune and Fortune

Follow-up to earlier post...

Jennie and Keisha drove the car to her Mom's house this afternoon. They got directions to her uncle's repair shop, but apparently they got lost, and on the way back to her Mom's, the car conked out.

Fortunately, it had enough momentum to coast down the hill so that Jennie could park it in front of her Mom's house. Unfortunately, the power windows and power moonroof couldn't close. Fortunately, her Mom had some plastic to wrap around the car in case it rained, and fortunately, it didn't.

Jennie called to tell me everything that had happened, and then she and Keisha caught the bus back home. After hanging up, I praised God that I fortunately hadn't decided to take the hour-long one way trip up to Dayton. I might have gotten stranded on the highway, just as I did back in January.

This morning Jennie and I will walk Keisha to her school, which fortunately is only about 15 minutes away (Jennie knows a shortcut). We have a meeting with her teacher and the principal about her interpreting services - a topic long enough for a post of its own, so I won't go into detail here.

Jennie will call her uncle later this morning, and hopefully he'll be able to look at our car, correctly diagnose the problem, and be able to fix it without a large expense. We are so fortunate to have a mechanic in the family.

Fortunately, Jennie had last night off; she's got tonight off, too. Fortunately, I've been able to work from home this week.

As I look back over this post, I see more Fortune than Misfortune. Amen. Thank you, God!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Maybe Not

I woke up this morning, and my right ear was clogged again, and my sore throat was scratchy. Didn't I type this last week? I thought I was feeling better, but maybe not.

I got up and got dressed to go up to the office in Dayton. After eating breakfast, I took Keisha to school. I noticed, on the way there, that the coolant temperature was getting high again.

After dropping Keisha off, I drove to the gas station to refuel, and I checked the coolant cap, and it was hot. As I drove away to start the journey to the freeway, I noticed the battery light start blinking on and off, flickering. I opted to go back home instead, remembering what had happened back in January with our other car: I got stranded on the highway, and it wound up being pretty expensive to get back on the road, with the rental fees and different car purchased, etc.

So I'm back at home, which is okay.

Monday, May 22, 2006

So Grateful

Mood: grateful, relieved, superblessed
Listening to: Jennie calling Keisha inside for dinner
Eating: spaghetti with grilled veal steaks
Watching: (later) the series finale of 'Alias'

Jennie's maternal uncle came by this afternoon and fixed our car. All that needed replacing was a fan belt, and apparently it was really easy (for him) to fix. Yay! Our car runs even quieter than it had been. And he charged us a really really really good rate for his service.

I just came back from testing it out on Colerain to Ronald Reagan Highway to Blue Rock, back to Galbraith. No problems whatsoever! YEE HAA!!!!

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Broken Car with Hidden Blessing

Mood: slightly surrenedered, tired, and still a bit congested
Listening to: 11 o'clock news
Reading: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Book 4)
Eating: bbq turkey, dressing, carrots and broccoli - water to drink
Watching: season finale of Desperate Housewives - The Complete Second Season

Our car, the 1993 Saturn we bought back in January, is broken. Fortunately, it's in front of our home. One of the fan belts has frayed and is broken, which explains why the car got overheated so quickly and the battery light was on.

So, Jennie's got a cab ride to work tonight and probably home tomorrow morning. Her uncle is a mechanic, and he said he'd call us tomorrow morning. Hopefully he can diagnose what's best for the car, and even more hopefully, it won't cost a lot to get fixed.

Earlier today Jennie and Keisha were about to go to church, when Jennie decided to come back home, too tired to make the drive. I was in bed, still feeling ill. We see that as a blessing.

Do Earaches Move?

Mood: a little groggy
Listening to: A Goofy Movie on Disney Channel in the background
Eating: hardly anything
Watching: the backs of my eyelids - a lot

I feel like I'm sleeping a large part of my life away right now:

It's just odd, being sick. Like something in me needs to die - the virus, bacteria, or whatever - could it be something else in me too? An offensive part of my character, perhaps?

It seems that the blockage is gone in my right ear, but now it's in my left ear. Maybe if I turn my head to the other side like this...

I'm hoping to feel well enough to go to work tomorrow. I hate being sick. I've hardly eaten anything - not much appetite or too much water. Maybe it's the water. I've been drinking LOTS and LOTS and LOTS of water. I have this 1 L drinking bottle that I keep filling up.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Community-wide Yard Sale and a Personal Dog Walk

Mood: restless
Listening to: Teknikal Diffikulties - comedy sketch podcast
Eating: plain bagel with spread, orange juice, 2 small frappacino (sp?) mochas, and 1 beef jerky stick (see below)

Our apartment complex is having a yard sale. Members of the community have signed up for "booths" to sell, buy, trade, whatever. Jennie signed us up yesterday, I think. The sale has been going on since 8:30 this morning and will continue until 4 PM. Most of what we're selling is Keisha's old toys, but there is some of our stuff in the mix, too:

Our booth is situated right where Keisha' bus stop is, and it's close to the entrance of the duck pond. Having ducks and geese in the neighborhood is a double-edged sword: it adds character, but it also adds mess. Specifically, we have to be on the lookout for duck and geese poop on the sidewalks and streets where we walk.

Jennie came home from work this morning, packed up the stuff we were selling, and went to the booth. I stayed in bed for another couple of hours and finally decided it was time to get up. I feel like I've slept so much these past few days, and I needed to get out of the home. Jake needing his walk also was a motivating factor. I got up, put my contacts in, got dressed, and put three plastic bags in my pocket. I put Jake's leash on him, and I began our walk.

I've taken Jake to the food mart near the local fire station before. It's only a few minutes' drive, but it's a good half hour walk. One way, that is. I brought three plastic bags because I know that if I take Jake for that long of a walk, there's a good chance I'll need them, to pick up after he relieves himself. And it's a good thing I did.

Once we got to the food mart, I tied Jake up to a telephone pole and went inside. He was very well-behaved; didn't bark or whine at all. I went inside and got 2 Starbucks frappacino(sp?) mochas and two beef jerky sticks that were a quarter apiece. One of them I shared with Jake, the other one was mine. Then we came back home.

Right now my right ear feels completely clogged, and I'm still feeling congested, but I'm going to head down to relieve Jennie so that she can come home and get some sleep.

I might bring this laptop with me so that I do some work on this week's podcast. Yes, I'm still planning on releasing one. Maybe one with very little talk, since I don't have my usual voice. We'll see.

Friday, May 19, 2006

A Trip Through the Years

Mood: medicated
Listening to: Jennie getting ready for work, Keisha getting ready for bed
Eating: turkey, dressing, broccoli, carrots
Watching: Treasure Planet

A similar post at Across the Pond! gave me the idea to do this post:

30 years ago. My mom and dad got divorced. I was 6 and my sister was 4. We moved in with Mom, and I abruptly switched school. I was in the 1st grade.

20 years ago. The Challenger space shuttle blew up. I was a sophomore in high school. My favorite class was English with Ms. Phillips. She made us write 1-page position papers. After the space shuttle blew up, I wrote a poem called "Confusion" and left it under my chair. Ms. Phillips found it and gave it back to me, showing her appreciation.

15 years ago. I had turned 21 years old. For my birthday my housemates took me out to an early dinner, and I got a martini or something to drink. I was working in the Detroit, Michigan area as part of the co-op program for engineering at the University of Cincinnati. I felt alone and needed God.

10 years ago. Jennie and I were about to celebrate our 1-year anniversary in Dayton, Ohio. We went on vacation back to Detroit, Michigan, came home and bought our first set of furniture. Later that year, we found out Jennie was pregnant.

5 years ago. I was working as a IT consultant in the Cincinnat and Dayton areas. We had moved back to Dayton after buying a house. I was working in Cincinnati on September 11th, and I wound up leaving work early to be with Jennie and Keisha.

3 years ago. I'd been blogging for over a year. I was battling another sinus infection. Dayton, Ohio was celebrating the 100th anniversary of flight. Jennie and I saw The Matrix: Reloaded.

Last year. We had just gotten a cat and were trying to get used to her. Sith happened. Things were a little subdued at work. The weather was unseasonably cold, and I was congested.

This year. I've been podcasting for almost 9 months. Our car died. I became an uncle-again. I've had some serious back pain and got a lumbar injection. Millions of people around the world celebrated my birthday by eating colored hard-boiled eggs, candy, and going to worship at the church of their choice.

Yesterday. It was unseasonably cold. I got an upper respiratory infection, and spent most of the day in bed.

Today. I went to the doctor and found out I have an upper respiratory infection and an earache. I spent most of the day in bed.

Tomorrow. Probably more of the same. Our apartment complex is having a yard sale.

Sore Throat, Stuffy Head - Now with Otis Media!

Mood: sick
Listening to: 1 Year Daily Audio Bible for May 19th
Reading: KISS: Behind the Mask
Eating: nothing - no appetite
Watching: Rocketboom and GeekBrief

Well, let's add an earache* to the list of ailments I'm experiencing this week:

Yuk. Last night while watching TV with Jennie, I felt something "close up" in my right ear. It reminded me of what I felt after going swimming, when water had gone into my ear. I tugged at my ear to see if anything would "pop back" into place. Instead it felt very painful. I tried doing chewing motions, but that didn't work either.

When it came time for bed, I wound up taking some ibuprofen and put some tissue in my ear. I seem to have had a restful night's sleep otherwise.

I've decided that it's time for a doctor's appointment - the stuffy head and sore throat were maybe viral and could maybe have been handled with some OTC** stuff, but when the earache comes - I know I need something stronger.

I took yesterday off to rest, hoping I'd feel better by today. I actually feel worse. No appetite, nausea, "doohickey nonsense"*** coming out of my nose, and now this earache.

I haven't had an earache since I was a child. I remember that I'd always get on each winter - as though it was expected. And they would be pretty darn painful.

This one doesn't seem to be quite as bad. Not good in any sense - but not as bad as the ones I remember having as a child.

* The medical term for an earache is "otis media"; hence the title of this post.
** OTC = Over the Counter; i.e., not via prescription
*** "doohickey nonsense" is a term I got from my wife Jennie to describe any kind of disgusting crap; in this case, snot and mucus.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

I Don't Know If I'm Feeling Better

WARNING: This post contains gross descriptions of being sick. Please move on if you don't wish to be bothered.

I don't know if I'm feeling better or not.

Last night, as I mentioned earlier, I rested. Jennie and Keisha had gone out for the evening, and when they returned, I felt like getting up. Besides, I couldn't sleep:

I went to the bathroom and started coughing up phlegm, and I wound up throwing up. Pretty disgusting. The coughing was so hard and it hurt so much I was crying. I decided not to use my voice for the rest of the night, except maybe a whisper.

Jennie and I flipped through some channels, and we wound up watching the movie Godsend. Very eerie. After it was over, we went to bed.

I put some vapor rub on my chest and neck, and Jennie put some on my back. I took another vitamin C pill, an Ibuprofen, and a decongestant pill I had from a prescription I'd gotten several months ago.

It rained hard last night, and I wound up waking up in sweat - more wet than usual.

I guess I'm feeling a little better than last night, but that's not saying a lot. My throat still hurts badly, and I have a little bit of congestion and the lethargy. My appetite is present, but just a little.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Throat on Fire

Mood: lethargic
Listening to: Dave's Lounge #25
Eating: hardly anything - drinking lots of water and taking vitamin C

I mentioned earlier my throat was sore. Today it feels like it's on fire. I've started taking 1000 mg of Vitamin C every couple hours, drinking close to 1 liter of water every couple of hours. I'm not completely together as I type this, so my words don't seem to make complete sense.

I've been resting on the bed, listening to an episode of Dave's Lounge, on of my all-time favorite music podcasts. If you're into chillout, downtempo, or trip-hop music, then you need to be listening to Dave's Lounge, too. It's great for listening while doing homework, studying, or usually in my case, programming. Right now it's keeping me relaxed while I rest from this bug I have.

Bye for now. Gonna get some more water, maybe a little bit to eat, and lay back down.

Prayers, comments, audio comments, are all welcome!

Eyes, Teeth, and Throat


I have an appointment this morning at 9 am to get my new contact lenses. We've tried with a different type a few weeks ago, but they seemed to get dry too easily. The optician found a different brand with everything in my prescription except for the astigmatism correction. In other words, these lenses were spherical and tend to rotate in my eyes as I wear them (did you know that happens?), but I need lenses that don't do that. The lenses I need are thicker at one edge, which is at the bottom, to keep them from rotating, because of the astigmatism.

Over the past couple weeks, the newer lenses have felt more comfortable, but it's been an issue when I've had to sit at the computer for a long time. So I'm hoping these do the trick.

I'm still planning on getting glasses, especially for when I'm not feeling well. We'll get to that later. But first...


Keisha "lost" another tooth yesterday. I use the quote marks because we weren't sure if it was really loose or not. You see, because she knows the Tooth Fairy brings money, we have suspicions that she's using this as a money-making opportunity, albeit a painful one.

In our home, as I've mentioned before, we call the Tooth Fairy before Keisha goes to bed on nights like last night*. She told me (*wink*) to tell Keisha that she shouldn't pull out her teeth until they are ready.

We're not sure how many baby teeth she has left; there can't be many more.


My throat still feels awful. I bought some N'ice(tm) throat lozenges yesterday on the way home, and those are mildly successful. Combined with my stuffy head, it's a pretty good cold.

I need to boost my vitamin C big time, and I'll consider going to the doctor for some medicine, or some recommendation of an Over-the-counter remedy.

*Note to self: find previous post that discusses what contacting the Tooth Fairy is like.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

The Odeo Blog: Podcasting Survival Guide: Pre-Production

In order to be wildly spontaneous and brilliantly creative, you need to prepare. Check out this clip at the Odeo blog.

The Odeo Blog: Podcasting Survival Guide: Pre-Production

Springtime Sore Throat Blues

Mood: ugh
Listening to: Dave's Lounge
Watching: Grey's Anatomy Season Finale (last night)

Not feeling good today. Came home last night with a sore throat, and this morning I got a stuffy head, too. Cold springtime weather and not getting enough vitamin C are probable causes - and not getting enough rest, too, I reckon.

So, to celebrate my condition, how about some blues, which I came up with just a few minutes ago:

Woke up yestahday mornin'
Was cold inside my home
Woke up yestahday mornin'
And I began to moan

Cuz it's cold outside
And this sore throat ain't no fun

Springtime sore throat blues
Got me feeling really down
Springtime sore throat, stuffy head blues
Don't feel like goin into town

Supposed to be much warmer,
This cold givin me a frown

Springtime sore throat blues
O why'd this happen to me
Got the springtime sore throat blues
I need some vitamin C
Gimme some juice and some rest and some warm clothes
And please just let me be.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Work's Been Busy

Mood: upbeat
Listening to: DSC 387-2006-05-15
Eating: Chipotle fajita steak burrito bol with black beans, all salsas, sour cream and cheese; with a large diet coke to wash it all down

Work has been seriously busy lately. Consider this e-mail reply I got from my boss, when I forwarded him another request from our user population:

Let’s talk about this on Monday. My load should be lighter then and possibly yours as well. I actually believed that as I was typing it.

JIMM 48 - Happy Mother's Day

Latest podcast is up! It might be a bit late for Mother's Day, but, as I mention during the show, celebrating motherhood is timeless.

Check out JIMM 48 - Happy Mother's Day!

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Eyes that See and Ears that Hear God: Donna LePiors by Cyndie Imfeld

I just read this article. I've known Donna personally as well. Everything that Cyndi said is true. Whenever Donna comes up to greet you, she puts her hand on you and finds your face. She puts her thumb on your lower lip and feels under your chin

"Who is this?" she asks.

"Hi, Donna, it's Dan Johnson," I say.

"How are you doing?" she asks.

"Fine, and how are you?"

"GOOD! GOOD!" and this is always followed by an enthusiastic hug.
Eyes that See and Ears that Hear God: Donna LePiors by Cyndie Imfeld

Friday, May 12, 2006

You Know It's An Election Year When...

... at least once a week we get a recording answering machine message from someone lobbying us to contact a politician or to vote for or against something.

Unfortunately, these types of messages cannot be blocked via the Do Not Call list*.

I may record some of these to mock on future podcasts.

*Note to self: find link to post elsewhere in the blog archives. Or make a reader do it for you.

Official Podcasting Logo

Official Podcast Logo
Originally uploaded by danimal0416.
Put this feed in your ear!
Or there's the one-click iTunes subscription...


Monday, May 08, 2006

JIMM 47 - Java with Jennie

Mood: a little sleepy
Listening to: Superblessed Podcast May 4, 2006

The latest podcast is available! It's worth checking out even just to hear Ganns Dean's song. Ganns is the Official Superblessed Blogger/Podcaster of Journey Inside My Mind.

Hearing the humor between Jennie and me is also worth hearing. I recorded this while we were at the mall last Thursday for Keisha's keyboard lesson.

Any comments, suggestions, feedback, complaints can be sent in the usual modes.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Preview - JIMM 47 Outtakes

I'm still doing some post-production and editing on this week's episode, in which my wife Jennie and I are talking about different things at a local mall.

I've decided to give you a little preview by sharing these outtakes. The file is about 4 minutes long, and should hopefully help you get your fix or maybe increase your interest in the entire episode, which will come out in the next day or so.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

The Four-Hour Nap

Whew. Keisha and I just woke up about 25 minutes ago. We fell asleep on the floor in our living room. I think we were asleep for about 4 hours. Dang.

We're hungry.


One of my Favorite Books of the Bible

Mood: waking up
Listening to: Daily Audio Bible for May 6
Reading: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Book 4)
Eating: nothing yet
Watching: green leaves on trees, birds flying outside, blue skies

After hearing today's episode of the Daily Audio Bible, I realize that I like the book of Ruth so much. It's a quick read and has so many good lessons.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Focus is cash in the economics of attention | 43 Folders


Decisions made in cluttered environments can yield an increase in high-confidence errors.

File this in the ADHD section of this blog.

Focus is cash in the economics of attention | 43 Folders

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Rolling Stone 'has brain haemorrhage' | the Daily Mail

Apparently the incident with Keith Richards is worse than they initially thought:

Rolling Stone 'has brain haemorrhage' | the Daily Mail

Tips for Effective Non-fiction Book Reading

I remember, some time ago, reading on how to get the best out of reading a book; more specifically, a non-fiction book. So, I'm writing these words here to share how I read:


The first thing I do is look at the copyright year. Information and technology are changing so rapidly that it behooves me to get a frame of reference based on when the book was written.

For example, I recently checked out a book called Time Management for Dummies, and I found out it was written in 1995. That makes sense when I see one of the sections called Top Ten Reasons Why You Should Be On Compuserve. Back in 1995, eleven years ago, CompuServe was it.

So some of the ideas presented in this book might be out of date, but some principles and practicals are probably still useful. That's why it helps to know when a book was published so that you can get a proper frame of reference when reading what the author is offering.


I also read the front and back cover information to get a preview of the best things the book has to offer. Then I look at the inside front and back covers.


Reading the Table of Contents is also essential, because it give you an overview of the book. I look at the main topics first, then the next level of topics, and so forth. It helps me get the flow, and is another way to be able to read what the book is about.


Another good way to see what the book is about is to browse through the index, if there is one. I think that most non-fiction books DO have an index.

But it's useful to see which topics have the most pages associated with them. A topic with a large number of pages signifies that the topic is more emphasized than a topic with only one or two pages, for example.


If there is a glossary of terms, then it's a good idea to read through this list. These are some potentially unfamiliar terms that are going to be used throughout the volume.


I approach reading chapters by reading the summary first, then going back and looking at diagrams, tables, and charts. After doing that, I scan through the chapter, reading the headings, similar to what I did with the Table of Contents earlier. Then I'll read any bulleted lists.

Once I've finished with all of this, I'll finally get down to skimming through the text. I figure that, by this time, I will have repeated the information so many times that it will help me to remember.

I guess that's all I have to say about that.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

A Rolling Stone rolls off in Fiji

Apparently Rolling Stone Keith Richards has been airlifted to a New Zealand hospital after a fall from a palm tree at a Fiji resort:

No word on whether he gathered any moss*. - Hotel Hotsheet: Archives

* Get it? It's supposed to be a joke.

Provisional Voting

Mood: great
Listening to: Perry's Podcast #3
Eating: cereal with milk, black coffee, and water
Weather: NOW - Cloudy, 57 F, HIGH - 70 F with thunderstorm possible, LOW - 50 F

I was feeling a bit ashamed that I wasn't going to be able to vote today for the school levy I mentioned yesterday. Then this morning, as I'm taking Jake for a walk, Jennie had stopped by Keisha's bus stop on her way home from work. I wound up getting back home before she did, and I got everything ready to head to the car. The only problem was that Jennie hadn't gotten home yet.

So I called her on her cell phone, and I found out that she was inside our rental office, voting. She told me that they'd let us vote with a provisional ballot, since we didn't get registered at our current address in time for this primary.

So I did wind up voting. I don't care about the partisan crap; I just voted on the issues. It was really easy because, for us, there was just the one school district levy issue. It took more time to do the paperwork for the provisional ballot than to cast my vote.

And I learned that our precinct is the rental office in our apartment complex. I wonder if that's common for apartment complexes. Anyone have any thoughts to share? Anyone?

Monday, May 01, 2006

To the Library for some Bookish Stuff

Mood: alert, but with tired eyes
Listening to: cars driving on wet pavement outside the window
Reading: see below
Eating: spaghetti with sauce, mushrooms, and chicken steak, and steamed broccoli, with some Miller Lite to wash it down

I went to the library on my way home from work. Going to a different branch than I normally go to from time to time is nice. Different surroundings and different selections.

I'd called the branch when I was still in the Dayton area to see if they had a DVD of Mr. Holland's Opus, one of our family's all-time favorite movies.

I dropped off

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Book 3),
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2-Disc Full Screen Edition) (Harry Potter 3), and
some other children's book Keisha had checked out
I then browsed the non-fiction section for a book on personal finance for dummies, idiot's guide to personal finance, or K.I.S.S. guide to personal finance, but didn't find anything like that.

Instead I wound up checking out
Mr. Holland's Opus,
Cats for Dummies,
Time Management for Dummies, Second Edition,
The Complete Idiot's Guide to Magic Tricks, and
KISS: Behind the Mask - Official Authorized Biography

The movie, as I mentioned earlier, was one I had the librarian pull for me. The books I found while browsing the shelves. Here's why I picked each book:

Cats for Dummies - we know our cat Zoe talks to us and communicates to us with meows and purrs and other actions, but we're not exactly sure if we understand what she's saying

Time Management for Dummies - in the past I've gotten really into this kind of thing, but I got it this time more for browsing, not sure if I'd make the time to really read it. Who knows?

Idiot's Guide to Magic Tricks - one of my recurring hobbies, maybe I'll find something simple to do to thrill Keisha or one of her friends

KISS: Behind the Mask - when I was 7-9 years old, I was a KISS fanatic. I remember tracing the album cover of "Rock And Roll Over" on some notebook paper. My friends and I would pretend we were members of the band whenever we'd play together and listen to the music together. I remember Jamie was Gene Simmons, Rob was Ace, Gary was Paul, and I was Peter Criss. We were so good. I think David, who actually DID play the drums, doubled for me as Peter Criss sometimes.

At one time I owned a lot of their albums, including a blood-red Dressed to Kill LP. I wound up destroying them all once I had become convinced by other adults that KISS stood for Knights In Satan's Service. I regret having done that now, but I'm over it. I'm thinking of buying some tracks from iTunes. But for now, I have the book.

Vote for our Community Tomorrow

Tomorrow, May 2, 2006, is primary day in Ohio. Our local school district has a very important levy on the ballot: Issue 5. Over the past several months, the district has reached out to the community through various activities. Some of the activities we've witnessed at Weigel Elementary School are as follows:

Donuts with Dad
Free Squeeze Play Dance Concert
Moment with Mom

Then, yesterday, we attended the Colerain High School Activities Festival at the high school. This was a time for middle and elementary kids to see the kinds of extra-curricular activities that are currently available at the high school.

Keisha spent most of the time in with the "Show Cards," the dance troupe, learning some moves. I spent time listening to the jazz band play "Birdland" and "Shake, Rattle, and Roll". Later on, we heard the marching band play in the hallways.*

Many of these activities, as I understand, will have to be eliminated if the levy fails tomorrow. Bussing will be severely limited, too.

We've gotten phone messages from Anthony Munoz, a former Cincinnati Bengal who has remained active in the Cincinnati area, and from Hall of Fame Cincinnati Reds baseball announcer Marty Brennaman, urging us to vote for the levy.

* For me it was like being back in high school, playing on Friday mornings in the fall before our football games, when we'd play as fellow students arrived. We'd jam so hard in the lobby of the school.