Please use GoodSearch for your internet searches and select a charity (such as Dominican Sisters of Houston). Thank you.


Monday, October 30, 2006

Whizz test today. Took my lab papers to the lab. Sign in. Wait in a separate waiting area. 15 minutes. 30 minutes. I'm worried. I have a seafood and crab sanwich in the car, which is parked in the sun as there is no shaded parking space. I then ask Jesus to preserve the sanwich for me, as I don't want to waste food. 45 minutes. 50 minutes. Then it's my turn.

Show picture ID. Oh, wait, it's in the car (I hope). Come back, but the door to the lab area is locked. Everybody in the crowded waiting room watching me trying to get back in. Got back in. They open a cabinet. "Get any one of the kits." "Open it and take all the contents out." "Wash your hands at the sink, water only no soap." Take three steps and there you are in the restroom. "Empty your pockets into the lock box." House keys, car keys, cell phone, pocket prayer book, two dimes, and the little wallet I'd been carrying. "Lock it then put the key here [on the counter]." Holding up collection cup: "Fill it to just above the temperature strip. Don't flush toilet." I entered the restroom, closing and locking the door behind me, emerging shortly with the sample. They checked the temperature strip reading, poured it into a sample vial, sealed the vial with the seal that came with the paperwork, I initial the seal and signed the authenticity of the deal. Got my stuff back in my pockets and was out the door. I suppose it's not as bad as what guys go through to donate sperm.

Yes, I washed my hands before eating my sanwich. ;) It's standard procedure to wash hands with soap and water upon returning home before handling anything: refrigerator handle, cabinet doors, chairs -- nothing if at all possible. Sandwich was no longer cold and was a bit soggy in one spot, but was wholly edible. Thank you, Jesus!

restless / gripe

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Lately I am unexplicably restless. I find no satisfaction in anything. I haven't much of an appetite, and cannot be satisfied with food. I'm tired yet sleeping does not refresh me. I'm not motivated to do anything. I seem unable to concentrate. I'm listless, lethargic. The weather is absolutely gorgeous the past few days, so it's not the weather. I'm just ... ugh.
On another note, I had applied for unemployment benefits and this week the verdict came in: no go. I knew it was a long shot. This is how USA can get away with slavery. They interview you, say they need dedicated professionals who will follow through, who will put in the overtime necessary to accomplish the job. This is the nature of a salaried job. Then once you're in, they load you with work that requires 12-16 hours daily to accomplish. So if you do your job right, you have no time or energy left to look for another job. If you just do your 8 hours daily, then look, you're not doing your job. So you cut corners, try to do just enough to get by. But even with cutting corners, you are still working 12 hours daily. But it pisses me off that I am forced to "do enough to get by." If you take pride in your work, this sort of mentality is pure poison. If you work your employees to the limit, where is there room for creativity? What you have then are robots, stuck to a set and well-practiced routine -- because that's the fastest way to do anything; because it requires no time to stop and think.

If you don't quit, the other way out of a job is to get fired. It is never my goal to get fired for not doing my job. I will keep my end of the promise. And by the way, when I took the job, it was a contract for a set duration. The date came and went and yet the company did not let me go (heck, who would want to let go of a good slave?). No formal renewal contract was ever agreed upon. Yet this is not sufficient to qualify me for unemployment benefits. So the workforce commission looks at it and say, "Well, you knew the workload when you signed the contract. Also, clearly you have quit." Whatever, man. The contract also said my employment would end at a certain date and that renewals would be in writing. They were smart enough to NOT state on the contract how many hours I'd be working. I'll crawl through mud to escape slavery if I have to. Yeah, you bet I'd quit the slavery, and no, I don't need to be paid for ensuring my own freedom. But just imagine someone else who haven't the financial means to escape that employment hell.

I only filed the claim to have the situation documented. Had my claim been approved, I would have had to have been actively looking for work and making new contacts every week. I haven't been doing that at all, so I wouldn't have gotten any benefits anyways.

personal DNA

Saturday, October 28, 2006

As seen on Susan Rose's blog and Lisa's blog ...

Apparently I had done this before, though I don't know how long ago:

And then here are the results from today:

"Your solid grounding in the practicalities of life, along with your self-assuredness and your willingness to appreciate new things make you a LEADER. "
"Your reserved nature, understanding of the world, and faith in others make you RESPECTFUL. " short attention span is beautifully translated as "Never one to pass on an adventure, you're consistently seeking and finding new things, even in your immediate surroundings."
full results here


Friday, October 27, 2006

This has been another one of those weeks where my schedule was hijacked by hospital vigils. So unexpected was the duration of this vigil that the cats did not have food for a day or two (fortunately they have plenty of water). I was getting really irritated at how long this has been. I am absolutely non-productive when I'm having to "wait." Anyhow, thanks be to God that things are as best as can be for the patient.

Man, do I need a shower! Man, does the kitchen need cleaning!

Good news, I got the job that I mentioned earlier. I'll be back with the original career and company and industry. Fortunately, they didn't offer me as much money as I had asked for--I'd have to do some real work if they did! ;) Thanks be to God!

If all goes as expected, I should be starting on the job the first Monday in November.

Oh fudge

Monday, October 23, 2006

Tweety's schedule is kinda upside down: sleeping late into the morning then up piddling around until the wee hours of the night. Sometimes sleep just doesn't come easy for Tweety. Most folks know not to call in the morning. Well, the phone rang this morning. Turns out it was for me and they left a message. Irritated with having sleep interrupted and irritated that I don't answer the phone, Tweety hollered for me to come get the message (the machine is in Tweety's room). I got the message then proceeded to erase it. Except that the message count went from "6" to "0." Oh fudge. Man, Tweety is really mad now as we both realized that I had erased all the messages and it's unrecoverable. So I darted off to mass, leaving Tweety to simmer down and try to continue sleeping.

Sometimes I can really fudge up, and be completely incapable of fixing it. Those moments are miserable for me. Then all I can do is dump it in God's hands and hope He'll see things through. I wonder about the folks for whom these "slips" happen more often, where they seem to make more wrong decisions than right ones. How miserable they must feel! I remember a story of a guy helping to fix his neighbor's truck while the neighbor was on vacation. Well, the guy did something wrong, a fire resulted and the neighbor's house went up in smoke. The poor guy was engulfed with remorse and guilt and his sense of self-worth went to zero. Stuff happens. At least this morning's mishap is not any where that tragic.

vocation retreat invite

Friday, October 20, 2006

would like to invite women between the ages of 18-45
to join them in a vocation retreat
6 p.m. Friday, November 10, 2006
noon, Sunday, November 12, 2006
at their convent
contact Sr. Maura Theriot for more information
m t h e r i o t at ccvi-vdm . o r g

play ball

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

The company made an offer. It's lower than I expected. When I get finished with being pissed, I'll need to get my head together to play ball.


Tuesday, October 17, 2006

I don't watch much TV. However, I saw some "daytime" TV (we don't have cable or satellite) recently. I have discovered what is on the commercials during the day: advertisements for trade schools or continuing education or distance learning, but mostly for trade schools. That's pretty smart.

I don't usually see late night TV either, but I hear the commercials are of the adult flavor.

Late this afternoon I discovered something else: band. We are very near an elementary school and a major high school. From my porch, I could hear the high school band in practice. I'm not outside much, but I was coming in from an errand this afternoon and heard the band. On weekends, I can also hear the cheering noise from the ball games in the park. The schools are next to each other and together they are next to the park.

breaking windows

We have had torrential rains for the past several days and there is widespread flooding in the city. Today it is sunny, but some areas are still flooded. Yesterday morning an SUV was pulled out of flood waters and discovered inside were the bodies of two women, 37 and 16. Apparently they could not get out of their car and drowned.

Gumby and I talked about this a little. We can speculate that it was dark and they didn't know that the water was deep. Once in the water, the car shut down and they were unable to open the windows, which were probably electric-operated. And with the force of water on every side, they were unable to open the car doors.

Gumby habitually carries scissors in the car. These would be the heavy all-metal type scissors. I'm guessing that they can cut seat belts but I've never tried. But the main point is that we can use these heavy scissors to break the car windows. Gumby said the backup was the tire iron. I don't have scissors in the car, but I do have the tire tools. Finally, a screwdriver might work. To break the window, you need something pointy (force = pressure per area, so pointy means less area which means more force for the same effort). Rear and side windows would be the ones to break.

If you'd rather not break the windows, then wait until the car is flooded and the water is equal inside and out and try to open the doors again.

for the Latin enthusiasts

Monday, October 16, 2006

Treasury of Latin Prayers
The Latin Liturgy Association, Inc. Home Page

and while we're at it

the Our Father and Hail Mary in a variety of languages

Still on my to-do list is to learn some of the prayers in Latin and the Our Father in Spanish. Perhaps one day it will happen. I'm still working on memorizing some other things. Growing up in USA, rote memorization has been undervalued so I'm not well-practiced. It took me a while to memorize the stuff needed for mass, and I still don't know the less common stuff (exposition, benediction, mass with a Bishop, etc.)


tagged by T.O. at LAMLAND

Patience ... to refrain (in thought and action) from whacking self or others when things don't go our way

Penance ... to have to wear stockings and a dress that restricts your movements - all made from materials that do not absorb sweat; and also shoes that squish your toes, have no cushion while forcing you to walk on the balls of your feet, and which were designed to predisposition you to an ankle sprain ... and thus dressed, must invariably show up in a situation where you are to appear poised, polished and graceful

Piety ... giving God what is due to God

Prayer ... turning your consciousness to the divine and to heavenly beings

Four words for the following four friends to reflect upon:
generosity, gratitude, grace, gusto

...uh, are there actually four other people besides T.O. who visit this blog?

talking dog

Sunday, October 15, 2006

I heard the following story from a pastor many months ago. I can't remember how he tied it into his homily; there is a very good chance that he didn't.

A guy sees a sign in front of a house: "Talking Dog for Sale." He rings the bell and the owner tells him the dog is in the backyard. The guy goes into the backyard and sees a black Lab just sitting there.
"You talk?" he asks.
"Yeah," the Lab replies.
"So, what's your story?"
The Lab looks up and says, "Well, I discovered pretty young that I had this talent and I wanted to help the government, so I told the CIA about my gift. In no time they had me jetting from country to country, sitting in rooms with spies and world leaders, because no one figured a dog would be eavesdropping. I was one of their most valuable spies eight years running."The jetting around really tired me out, and I knew I wasn't getting any younger and I wanted to settle down. So I signed up for a job at the airport to do some undercover security work, mostly wandering near suspicious characters and listening in. I uncovered some incredible dealings there and was awarded a whole bunch of medals. Now I'm just retired."
The guy is amazed. He goes back in and asks the owner what he wants for the dog.
The owner replies, "Ten dollars."
"This dog is amazing," says the man. "Why on earth are you selling him so cheap?"
The owner replied, "He's such a liar. He didn't do any of that stuff."

taken from this webpage which has other dog stuff.

better metronomes

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Yo, musicians, I do love some classical stuff and for sure a Wittner metronome is a classic to own. But before you go buy a ticking machine, check out today's technological offerings. For example, I'd love to own a Boss Dr. Beat 90 (but I won't because I'm not really a musician and it's downright pricey). For one thing, it doesn't just tick, it gives downbeats--now we're talking rhythm! It has different click sounds and this model shown also has human voice counting. It's loaded with rhythm patterns already or you can program your own. And as typical of electronic metronomes, you can connect a headset to it. This model has a bunch of other features too fancy for me to grasp. Anyhow, there are other offerings with cool features like this in a wide range of prices. Check them out at your local music store (particularly if they have drums and electric guitars; probably won't find these babies at a piano store) just for the fun of it. Yes, this particular model is entertaining all by itself.


Friday, October 13, 2006

Except for attendance at a free noontime organ/voice performance by some of Gumby's friends, I've spent all day trying to load the driver for our new Epson USB printer. We've had it for months but have been using it as a copier. The scanner function works ok, but the system will not take the printer function. The previous model installed fine. This is a replacement. I don't know what I'm doing wrong, but I've been going in circles with uninstalls, reboots, and reinstalls. I really don't want to mess with the Windows registry. I'm going to go to Microsoft's webpage now to see what I can find out.

All this started because I wanted to print out the user's manual for Gumby's new cell phone in color. Again, the cell phone is several months old but I'm just now getting around to it. It seems that companies are no longer providing printed manuals. !@#$%^&*! The computer system is too old to actually use the CD that comes with the phone, but I can still access the pdf manual. Now if only I can get the color printer to install.

One of the system requirements is 256MB of RAM. I have 64MB. I'm starting to remember why the software has not been installed. Anyhow, I guess I was expecting the install wizard to actually tell me if I didn't have the right system. Well, the scanner works. I'll be able to use the printer function one day when I buy a new computer system.

Woo Hoo!!!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

I think the interview went well. It was more of a "let's just meet and we'll fill you in on what we're doing and you can tell us a little bit about yourself." Now we just have to wait for Human Resources to do their thing. It was very nice, with very nice folks.

This is a really big opportunity for me. It's with the same company that laid me off last year, but different business unit, though same work location. No $ were mentioned (that's HR business), but even if they offered my old salary, it's twice that of the job from hell if you count in the benefits. However, I'm counting on them to know better than to offer me just my old salary.

I'm excited to be back in my old stomping grounds, some familiar folks and many more familiar folks when I get to working. This opportunity is big for anyone, and not necessarily in terms of $. This is going to be so cool. There is much, much work ahead, and I'm raring to go.


Tuesday, October 10, 2006

job interview: Thursday, 11:00 a.m.


Sunday, October 08, 2006

Before I became Catholic, it was my belief that if the marriage is unhappy, sure, divorce. "Life is short," I'd say, "why stay in an unhappy relationship?"

Now I know better. Now I understand the sacramental nature of marriage. I've had co-workers who are living with their boyfriend or girlfriend. As we adults know, this living arrangement isn't platonic. "What's marriage but a piece of paper," they'd say. Ouch. They don't understand, just as I had not understood before. And indeed, if the ONLY difference between co-habitation and marriage is a piece of paper then why would anyone ever marry? If I can get all the benefits of marriage without ever outright committing myself to you, then why would I ever commit? Co-habitation cheapens marriage.

Of course the sacramental nature of marriage doesn't exist in the consciences of those who haven't embraced/developed their relationship with God. No God, no accountability to God--it's just "you" and "me." This is also a formula for unhappiness because when disagreements arise, it becomes "you" vs. "me." So when "I" concede, "you" win. There isn't the "I concede in order to do right by God" component, that my concession is not because "you" are right; my concession is in accordance to guidelines set by a God whom BOTH you and I agree is the ultimate authority. If both parties don't share the same faith, it's not going to work very well either.

Anyhow, back to the original thought. I am now no longer so flippant about marriage or divorce.

daily devotionals

Saturday, October 07, 2006

A CDP Sister (I STILL DO LOVE YOU, Sister) once took the time to detail for me the various Catholic daily devotionals available. For those not familiar, they are typically meditations on the Bible reading for the day. I still have the e-mail somewhere, either electronically or in print, but I don't know where at the moment. Here are three from memory:

Living Faith
Word Among Us

She also mentioned SHARE THE WORD but it is no longer being published, and DAILY GOSPEL 2005 by the Claretians, and LIVING WITH CHRIST which only has the readings no meditations and AT HOME WITH THE WORD 2005 often used for lectors to prepare.

There are also these seasonal ones:
The Little Blue/Black/Purple/White Book

book instead of journal/mag like those above (the book list can get really long so I probably won't maintain a book list):
People's Companion to the Breviary 2 volume set published by the Carmelites of Indianapolis (thanks Natty)

If there are others, I'll be glad to edit this entry and add them to the list.

morning mix

Pooh is in need of some legal advice. Locally there is a volunteer lawyers program. Since we don't have the finances to outright hire a lawyer, we went to check it out. Volunteer lawyers would show up at certain community centers on certain Saturdays. Fortunately, today it was at a community center that wasn't too far away. We spent the morning and some of the afternoon waiting for our turn. We were late getting there and almost didn't get in (they have a cut-off number of how many people they would see). Pooh's file was next to last.

I was trying to read my book but it was futile. Pooh started talking to some of the people around. The first guy just rambled on and on and neither Pooh nor I understood his thick accent ... something about worker's compensation and lower back pain. When we moved to the next room we got separated from the guy and ended up at a table with some other folks. One guy had his legs shot up from a drive by shooting, but he does manage to walk with a walker. Another lady had one side of her face smashed with a baseball bat; she looked ok though because she has had reconstructive surgery done. The guy at the far end started (and won't stop) talking about the Messianic church he attends and was inviting all to the feast of tabernacles they were celebrating.

The guy that was shot up started quoting bible verses and expounded on them. I didn't have much to say. I can neither quote bible verses nor expound on them. The lady next to me, in reply to something Pooh said, asked if Catholics read the bible. Well sure we do. King James? No. What bible then? Most likely Douay-Rheims or the New American Bible. I went on to say that the King James version would be considered a protestant Bible and that Martin Luther had thrown out some books from the Old Testament, namely the ones in Greek. She said her husband and kids are Catholic, but they never read the Bible. The Kids are all grown now.

Well, it's good to see folks excited about Jesus, though I don't quite know what to make of it. I won't say much more than that lest wander into being offensive.


Friday, October 06, 2006

I like this stuff. When I go to the grocery store just around the corner from us, I usually reward myself (for running the grocery errand) with one of these cans. It's just water, soybeans & cane sugar; no carbonation. Actually, the can I have is labeled "Soymilk" and is 10 fl. oz. but the can looks like this one. It think it was $0.69

I think I like the Soya Bean Drink as well but it isn't what is sold at this particular store.

hopefully the folks won't sue me for borrowing their photo


Thursday, October 05, 2006

Well, I broke down and applied for jobs at my old industry, my original career. I got a call this morning and we spoke briefly. No interview yet but they'd like to set up one for next week. I'll have to wait for that call. But hey, it's a start.

Dear Lord, if this is for me, please help me get there. If this is not for me, please don't let it be.


Tuesday, October 03, 2006

I consider myself to be quite adaptable. But maybe it's not so. Rather, I'm task-oriented. I can be quite single-minded/focused. For example, if I set out to cook dinner, and find that the kitchen is a mess, I don't take a detour and clean up the kitchen. Instead I'd find a way to cook dinner despite the condition of the kitchen. In the job previous to this last one, the rules were rather fluid but instead of complaining about the changes, I'd take it in stride and just jump over the hurdles because my intention is to get to point B.

What makes me reconsider my adaptability is that I can get easily disoriented. I remember spending a week with one of the orders one time, and it took about a week for me to get back settled into my old routine when I came back. Even with spending a day with the Dominicans recently, it took conscious effort to settle back into daily life. A few years back, we had the living room and kitchen floors re-done. Everything was in disarray. Unbeknownst to anyone, that really messed me up; my psyche didn't like at all.

At this time, I am having to get re-oriented after spending six months on a job that took 12-14 hours of my day. I'm having to remind myself what day of the week it is, how to structure my day and my week. I get confused occasionally, like what the bleep am I doing [in the big picture of things]. Starting tomorrow, I will try to attend mass daily. That should give me a constant from which I can then attend to everything else.