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Thursday, November 30, 2006

Unusually chilly for us Texans at the moment. Yeah, I know it's November and all. We're around freezing temps tonight. The temperature drop was very dramatic as the cold front blew in. At least it's not raining. We southerners are ill-equiped for icy conditions.

It's all relative: I've heard it said that 80 degrees F is a heat wave for New Yorkers; down here, they'd call it a cool front.

I wouldn't be too surprised if it's around 80 degrees F here again come Christmas.

Not much blogging because not much is going on. Usual humdrum of going to work, coming home and doing the daily thing, then sleep. I'm definitely not complaining, though.

I've been making it to daily noon mass, though sometimes I'm pretty much asleep through it. One day I dozed during the intercessions (we were standing) and jerked back awake as I was starting to lose my balance. That's goofy to be drowsy while standing at the foot of the cross at Calvary at our Lord's crucifixion, and again at His resurrection. But Lord, I do try; physiology just gets the better of me sometimes.

During the "Holy, holy" one day, when we got to the "Heaven and Earth are full of your glory," it occurred to me that earth was also full of His mercy.

Mass is followed by gobbling of a sanwich as I drive back. It's just two pieces of bread, mayo and two slices of luncheon meat. I don't understand the appeal of deli-thin sliced meat -- it just means that I would now need 5 slices instead of 2. I should try to remember to buy some cucumbers. I like cucumbers in sanwiches.

Pretty dang near had an accident one day. When I see cars at the intersection turning left, my logic says I can turn right. However, it wasn't that they had a dedicated left turn signal, but rather they judged the timing to be suitable for the left turn. So they were turning left and I was turning right, except that the cars plowing down the street could've hit me as the left turning cars cleared. Thanks be to God that there was room for the other cars to manuever to avoid hitting me.

Friday tomorrow. Looking forward to the weekend. Saturday we will be attending some sort of presentation at the Dominican's place. It's probably going to be way over my head, but what the heck, I haven't anything to lose. This Sunday I am free from both volunteer gigs at my parish. That means that I will be free to visit a different parish if I so choose.

birthday meme

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Seen at LAMLand

1. Go to Wikipedia.

2. In the search box, type your birth month and day but not the year.

3. List three events that happened on your birthday:

1261 - Urban IV becomes Pope, the last man to do so without being a Cardinal first.
1756 - Frederick the Great attacks Saxony, beginning the Seven Years' War.
1831 - Michael Faraday discovers electromagnetic induction.

4. List two important birthdays and one death

born 1632 - John Locke, English philosopher (d. 1704)
born 1958 - Michael Jackson, American singer
died 1968 - Ulysses S. Grant III, American soldier and planner (b. 1881)

5. One holiday or observance (if any)

Eastern Orthodox Christianity and Roman Catholic Church commemorate the beheading of John the Baptist with a feast day.


What is up with my head? I left work early on Wednesday because my head hurt. Thursday I had a stuffy head/headache as well. Friday I pretty much slept all day and had to take some pills for my head when I got up. Yesterday, Saturday, I had to take two doses of pills for my headache. Today I have the same stuffy head headache. I've just popped some pills. Much as I'd like to sleep, I'm afraid the sleep will just make the problem worse. It's as if Texas can't have beautiful weather without bringing with it stuff in the air to make you sick. The previous run of beautiful weather had everybody sneezing like crazy.

angry message

Saturday, November 25, 2006

A certain person left a phone message today. It was rather angry, calling Tonto a "worthless xxx." See, this person had been of some assistance while Tonto was recovering. This person has recently undergone some medical stuff and apparently was expecting Tonto to at least give some attention. However, we made no hospital visits, and sent no card. Tonto, however, has been of some assistance prior to this and had spoken to the spouse at length days ago.

There are some points to be made. One, it's not "giving" if you do it while counting the costs. It's not "giving" if you demand repayment in one form or another. In giving, your reward is not to come from the recipient, but rather from the source of all good: God. If you are expecting anything good, then look to God because there is absolutely no other source for "good."

Two, no human is ever "worthless" given that Jesus paid with his suffering, body, and blood. I am not worth "something" because I have contributed. I am not worth "something" because I am of benefit to you. Rather I am worth beyond all measure simply because God created me and attends to me and Jesus has suffered for me.

Also, it's just immature to call people names. It doesn't solve anything and it shuts down communications real fast. And finally, nobody is obligated to join in your pity party. Get a grip, man.


From the Holy Vocations blog, a link to a Time magazine article:

Today's Nun Has A Veil--And A Blog

Yes, indeed, I long to live the religious life. I worry about being too old. My financial debt is great; it will take years to pay off. I do want to be happy with my job. And those who know about my work would think it awesome to have my job. I have to remind myself every day what a blessing it is. So it's not that I'm telling myself that I won't be happy unless I'm in the convent. I do try to be happy where I am, but the emptiness I feel is real.

The person closest to me is not supportive ... "You don't have what it takes." "You'll probably be happy for a year and then you'll want something else." "Must you obsess on this nun thing?" Just little stabs. The person closest to me is also the one with the most to "lose" if I enter the convent. These little stabs only push me further. Maybe I don't have what it takes, but that's up to God. Maybe I won't be happy, but I won't know unless I try. And no, I am not obsessing on this nun thing (really, how often do I blog about it?), but it is very important to me.

I lean on the stories of the Saints: St. Jean Vianney who couldn't pass his tests, St. Francis of Assissi who was deemed a deserter and imprisoned, St. Faustina who never opened the convent that she felt called to do, St. Therese who never did the missionary work that she felt called to do ... and so on. It is my job to keep my eyes on Jesus, oblivious to what gets thrown my way.

Love that tune!

Friday, November 24, 2006

Oooh. I really, really like the song "Buttons" by Pussycat Dolls.

t-day dinner

This is another year where I'm cooking the Thanksgiving dinner. The meat, cranberry sauce and desserts were bought. The rest was up to me. The mustard greens came out too salty. The sweet potato casserole and the cornbread dressing were still too soft. But we all had full bellies nonetheless.

The logistics this year was simply not good. Mass at 10 a.m. then Tonto and I had to pick up a few folks. The meat takes 4 1/2 hours to cook. So it was done by 9 (we had to leave for mass shortly thereafter). Mass 10-11. Some socializing after mass. Then we head out north. We both went because it takes two to load the motorized wheelchair, even with the batteries out. The next person gets off of work at 1pm. So fine, we left point number two for the next pick up. Some more socializing and it's almost 2pm when we get home. Then it takes a some time to unload the wheelchair and such.

Meat has been out 5 hours now, but it's ok. I now have hungry people in the house, and two casseroles to cook (cornbread dressing & sweet potato casserole). So I put the cornbread in the oven beside the turkey. Half an hour later I remove the turkey and put in the sweet potato. I serve some time after 3pm. And dang it, the casseroles are not cooked enough and are still soft or runny(they're both edible though ... they were edible even without baking).

Oh well. In past years, these things went off without a hitch. But in past years I was able to cook continuously after mass. I have no excuse for the salty greens. To fix the problem, we transferred the greens to another pot and added more water.

I'm going to bed now. Forget the shower. I'm pooped.


Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Thank you, Lord, for a job that gives me holidays off (with pay).

Lord, please bless those who are distressed during "the holidays." May your light and love lift them up. May they have some one with whom to share, and may some one share with them.

Which reminds me: thank you, Lord, for the kindness of others.

beta blogging

Saturday, November 18, 2006

I dove into beta blogger.
Then "upgraded" the template.
And lost some content.
Because it was part of the template.

So here I sit.
Contemplating the template.
And no, this ain't poetry.

Please pardon
the disarray
the blog is not yet polished
not I am promising that it ever would be

Leonid meteor shower tonight

"Late Saturday night a meteoric sky show could break over New York, New England, and eastern Canada. The famed Leonid meteor shower ...

... The whole thing should last for only about a half hour centered on 11:45 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on November 18th.

... Any Leonids you see will be coming from the northeast. Be patient. "

-- from the Skytonight website.

tired as usual

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Tired. As usual, I feel tired. Then I think back to the times when my resting heart rate was measured. Those taking the measurements were always impressed. You see, if you have a really good heart, it doesn't have to work as hard while you are resting. So a lower resting heart rate indicates a healthy heart, and a faster rate indicates that the heart is working really hard just to keep you sitting upright. Apparently, mine is a lower rate than average. "Do you work out / exercise?" is what they'd usually ask me. "No," is my usual answer (sometimes the answer is, "Not on purpose.")

I suspect my lower heart rate is not so much that I've a healthy heart. Rather, I think my system somehow fails to tell my heart to output a little more. I yawn alot on any given day, and my legs get tired if I sit long. Ever since I can remember, I've always had a need to fidget my legs when sitting in class.

I can just fall over and snooze right now. The cats would love it. But I've still to take my shower. Mass at 7:30 in the morning; fat chance I'd get up early enough to shower so I'd better do it tonight.
I was out for while this afternoon, at a trendy mall for a quick go-in-get-out errand for Gumby. Traffic sucked. There is so much to see, but the traffic was so bad I just wanted to go home. The holiday madness has already begun. And I'm already tired. I need clothes, but I haven't the energy.

Dinner with the Dominicans tomorrow eve. Looking forward to it.

settling in

Friday, November 10, 2006

OK, I think the adrenaline has worn off. For much of this week, I was unusually peppy at waking up in the morning (despite my irritated stomach making me get up at 5 or 5:30). But this morning I was back to being sluggish. I still got to work by 7:30 as usual, though ... thank goodness.

Daily noon mass has been a compromise. I'll attend but not take communion. I'll sit at my desk and nibble on some junk from the vending machine between 11 and noon. Then at noon I make a dash for the 12:15 mass (I've been a little late getting there each time). Mass is over around 12:45 and I make a dash back to be in the office at 1:00. I may play around with that arrangement. Maybe I can get the vending machine junk and leave it in the car, then nibble on it after mass on the drive back, therefore I'd be able to receive communion.

I wonder how much longer I'd be allowed to walk around with this "lost" look. My co-workers are probably expecting it to wear off. Little do they know that it is practically a permanent "feature" of mine. Anyhow, there is so much that I need to learn for this job! Did I already say it's a complex task? (God help me!)

day two

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Not to worry, I won't continue counting out my work days.

Today I finished all the corporate compliance training modules (there were 7 or 8 of them). I'm sure there is more to come down the line somewhere. I also now have some six or so documents to read or at least peruse. Hey, I'm a returning employee, I should be able to hit the ground running. This thing that we're working on is quite complex. And we're in the early stages. Kinda scary since we're setting the stage and I have a part in it; what we put on paper now is going to have long term ramifications. I'm trying to get an understanding of this stuff. I should remind myself to pray more often.

I ran into some more familiar faces today. Pleasant surprises.

Gumby and I did early voting last week.

I don't know if my physical problems are from the flu shot received on Sunday, or from the food I ate, or some combination of both. Sunday night I was very fatigued and went to bed at 9 with no dinner, and got up at 6 with no appetite for breakfast. Else I seemed okay Monday; I ate lunch and dinner. I woke up early Tuesday morning with an irritated stomach, feeling bloated with gas that doesn't go anywhere. So my second day at work I've got this uneasy stomach all day, and some diarrhea to go with it. Hopefully I'll feel better tomorrow.

first day

Monday, November 06, 2006

It was a good first day. They had a cubicle with telephone and computer for me. Not only that, I was able to logon to the company network. Hey, that's awesome. I don't have access to everything yet, but that is to be expected. An old friend stopped by. Wow, I didn't even know this friend was there! "I thought you wanted out of this business," says my friend. "Yes, but this is xxx." I replied, "Who wouldn't want to work on xxx?"

Morning was orientation. Got a big fancy binder of documents, a pen, notepad, a company freebie item, employee badge and access card. After lunch I was shown to my desk and left to set up my computer stuff. After a while I went looking for the ladies room and had to ask for directions. Later on I went back to another area to meet a colleague, who then proceeded to e-mail me some 4 documents related to the work, and a reference document to assist in learning the lingo. Looks like I won't be bored. I'll also have a handful of corporate compliance training "courses" to complete at my computer over the next few weeks.

Oy, it was comfortable. Everyone was welcoming and pleasant. I can certainly work with these folks.


Sunday, November 05, 2006

I think it does a man's heart much good for him to lay eyes on a beautiful woman. So ladies, you can do a ministry of "beauty," but do keep it pure.
I think one of the joys of being single is that you don't have some one in your ear telling you that you've made a mistake when you make a mistake.
I am in need of new clothes, but I do so dislike shopping. Shopping for clothes is particulary bothersome becuase I have to try them on and I have to figure out if they even look good and I have to figure out what shoes can be worn with them. Unfortunately, sneakers don't go with everything. I'm tired of T-shirts; I've a gazillion of them, none of which were purchased. They all came from various charity events or company celebrations. I think I'm ready for solid tees, at least they look a little more polished than the billboard t-shirts overwhelming my closet. My jeans are all worn. I really can't remember how long ago I purchased these clothes I've been wearing. As for my casual dress shoes (only two) ... I think they're from my college days.
First day of work tomorrow. I hope to get my life back into some sort of schedule. With any luck, I'll be able to attend daily noon mass again. I might have to go without eating lunch (trade mass for lunch). But I suspect that in the beginning, I'd need to do social lunches.

not fair (of course)

Thursday, November 02, 2006

I just watched a TV show that revealed that entrance to some of America's elite universities can be bought. That is, if you have the dollars, you too can be an ivy-league student. What's more, you can edge out an academically superior student for the spot. C'mon folks, please tell me that no one is surprised by that. Fairness and equality is a myth. Is that not one of the first lessons you learned: life is not fair.

No two persons are the same, hence it wouldn't make sense to treat everyone the same. So okay, supposing that two persons are equal, hence they should receive equal treatment. Then I ask you, are two persons ever equal?

The relevant question, I suppose, would be "Is this justice/injustice?" Is it injustice that an academically superior student is edged out by a relatively academically inferior but financially superior student? That sort of rejection is pretty much the same as saying "We don't want your business." That's like showing up at a posh hotel only to have them say, "We have no rooms available" then watch as the next person gets checked in. Personally, if I were qualifiable for an ivy league university but they turned me down, I'd say "your loss" and seek a more mutually beneficial relationship with another reputable university. For others, it's the principle of the matter.

verdict is in

Yay! I received word late this afternoon that I have passed the pre-employment screening. I'm set to report for work on Monday. Tomorrow I should receive details on when and where to show up and what to bring. This is comforting to know, since I'm already spending major $ this week.

My trusty steed has over 82K miles. It has been in the shop the past few days for significant maintenance work including new timing belt and drive belt, new PCV valve, new spark plugs, transmission system flush, brake system flush, power steering fluid flush, rear brake adjust and clean, and of course an oil change with new air filter. Since this is some major $, Smurf got them to throw in a complimentary car wash as well. Fortunately, these are not "major repairs" -- work that would require tearing apart the car.

I think it needs new shocks as well, but I'd rather a tire shop take care of the suspension system. I do look forward to getting my steed back tomorrow.

Other major work that we need done include repairs on Smurf's car and dental work for Smurf. We have no dental insurance, and what dental insurance exists in this state all suck anyways. We'll figure this out in the near future.

go there

It's worth a stop by Sr. Mary Martha's blog for a look at all souls day.