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culture shock

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

I've basically been sheltered from difficult people. I'm fortunate that I've never had to work for or with difficult people. So today when I ran into the ladies with the nasty attitudes at the County Courthouse, that was a culture shock. For as long as I had to wait in line, I saw no reason for those ladies to be nasty; all the clients were pretty quiet and just went about taking care of business.

I needed a certain something, and by law, I am cornered into having to go to the County Courthouse. It wasn't an ordinary thingamajig that I needed; I needed one that was X. I explained what I was there for and explained that I didn't know what the procedure was and handed over my papers. As the lady walked off to go get it, I said, "Oh, I needed it to be X." Her reply with an attitude to accompany it: "I know. I know what I'm doing."

I bet sex with her is no fun. You tell her what you want and she gets all huffy and says, "I know. I know what I'm doing." Dang, that spoils the mood.

Well, before she gives me what I was there for, she said she had to check on something. She comes back and pulls a form and tells me I have to fill out the form. This is the County Courthouse way: they give you no information over the phone (I conclude it's because they don't have the knowlege answer your questions), and they make you wait in line just to get a form. The fellow behind me knew he needed a form, but he had to wait in line to get it. So anyways, at this point, I had to leave the counter and go fill out the form. I asked whether I'd have to get back in line and the answer was yes.

I come through the line again. Now it's one of the other ladies. She asks me accusingly, "Weren't you just here?" Well yeah, was there a rule that I can't come back in the same day or something? She looks at my paperwork and asks me questions. I answered honestly (I should have lied), and she starts to tell me I can't do that. I ask her whether I can do so and so, but she doesn't wait for me to finish. I ask again, trying to see if she understood what I was asking. She glares at me and says slowly (as if to a kindergartener) "Now I've told you three times already that you can't do it that way. I don't know how else to say it to you."

My friends, I was pisssssssssed. I will have to go through this again another day. Tonight when saying prayers before dinner, I come to the part about praying for the less fortunate and my thoughts went to those ladies. What poor dried up souls they must be. I had said, "Good morning," to both, and neither was able to return the greeting. I should be exceedingly grateful that they are not healthcare professionals.

Memorial Day

Monday, May 28, 2007

It's pouring down raining this Memorial Day. I took advantage of it: I slept until 11:00 a.m.

Thank you military folks and families for your sacrifices, enabling us to sleep peacefully in our beds and party at will.

I personally know a veteran; he is "gay." Being gay doesn't automatically mean being sexually active. He bleeds the same as any soldier, and he is just as patriotic as any soldier and I'm sure he'd watch your back as much if not more than any other soldier. I know the military has a reputation to uphold and I respect that, but please don't discriminate against your gay soldiers.

In any case, thanks USN, US Army, USAF, USMC, US Coast Guard, and any other US military forces.


Saturday, May 26, 2007

I went bicycling this morning. Trying to get back into my Saturday morning rides. As I neared my starting point, the clouds looked ominous. A little while longer and the rain is splattering on my windshield. I see the group riders passing. True, in the direction they were heading, they'll be out of the rain in a little while. I stopped to get my Powerade then parked the car and waited for the rain to subside (it was coming down pretty good at this point). Twenty minutes later it was still raining, but not as heavy. So I hopped on my bike anyways, I didn't drive out here for nothing.

I got soaked pretty good but about ten minutes later, I was out of the rain. The good news is that I finished my usual 13-mile route this time and didn't feel too exhausted. Last week I didn't even quite make 10 miles. I haven't reached my usual average speed of 13mph (uh, that's slow compared to the 21mph of those on road bikes). Maybe next week, I'll extend the distance a bit more.

It was only when I got off the bike that I noticed a black collection of dirt on top of my soaked cotton socks. Apparently the rain ran down my legs and took the dirt with it and the top of my socks stopped the dirt there. It was a sight to see. I have a photo but I cannot upload as of yet, waiting on my new PC to come back. The top of my bicycle pack had a layer of dirt from the rain. Oh, I was pretty gritty myself. For the most part, the bike was dry by the time the ride ended. However, when I tilted it during a lift to put it back in the garage, water came dripping off from under the bike pack.

Another very exciting thing from the ride this morning: R2D2 mailbox! The end of my route cuts through a quiet neighborhood. And there, on a corner, I spotted an R2D2 mailbox. You go now, USPS! I gotta tell everybody when I get back to work on Tuesday (it's near the job).

....yup, drove by there today (5/29) and that mailbox is definitely there

just do it

Friday, May 25, 2007

There are some days (like today) when I want to skip daily mass. After all, it's not required, and I'm reaaally hungry, and I would like to take a long leisurely lunch, maybe even a nap. Well, I talked myself out of that and went to mass. I'm not looking for a pat on the back. I'm just letting you know that I don't attend mass because it's a "high" for me.

Hopefully I don't attend mass because it's "required" as if it were some burden. Hopefully I don't attend mass because the priest is cute; it sure helps, I won't deny it, but I have to question my motives every time when it happens. I have a whole litany of stuff I go through to get my butt to mass:

(1) It's a privilege. (2) People have risked their lives to celebrate mass. (3) If we believe that is Jesus in the eucharist, then why the heck are we not clamoring to see Him?! (4) At mass, we are brought to the foot of the cross. Wouldn't we want to be with Jesus in his suffering? (5) Even if I'm late to mass, I'll at least get to the end. At the very end, I get the priest's blessing. If Esau and Jacob were fighting for their father's blessing, likewise I should value the priests blessing! (6) Now I know it's not true, but I might be the only one to show up for mass aside from the priest. The priest cannot say mass with only himself there; hence I am needed. (7) It's a community thing: the more the merrier.

And there's more if that list is still not enough to get me going.

I'm sorry for those who "don't get anything" out of mass. Most certainly, you need a mass that speaks to you and is life-giving. But for those situations, even if you don't get anything out of it for yourself, at least put in something for God, namely worship. Then keep searching and may the Holy Spirit guide you.


A funny at LAMLand. I love it.

window shopping

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The thing about a computer is that you keep needing to spend $ on it ... peripherals, applications, upgrades and the like. I've been trying to find some good deals.

I mentioned before.
Here is another one: and its brother,

Though some of the deals are tempting, I've yet to purchase anything. Last week I did purchase some things from local stores: CD-R, CD-RW, photo paper, and keyboard. I'd still like some DVD media, a TV tuner card, a micro-SD, a thumb drive of several Gigs and either an external drive or just a secondary hard drive. An MP3 player would be cool too.

The PC was picked up yesterday. I hope the vendor takes time to work with the box and not just rush to ship me another.

On a separate note, I am once more restless and unfocused and tired. I feel like I'm just thrashing about again. I'm exhausted and yet I can't rest...


Sunday, May 20, 2007

Oy, our brand spankin' new PC up and died. It powers on, but I cannot recover boot. I can't even reload OS ... it never gets there. I might even have lost all my files, considering that I went looking through the backup and did not find certain files. But that remains to be seen. I am now awaiting word from the vendor. I am hoping they'll have me send the PC back and they work on it.

update: I have the PC boxed up. They will arrange to have FedEx come pick it up. They promised a quick turn-around.

The first reaction, of course, is to be upset if all my files are lost (including photos). But then, things of this world are ephemeral. There are many points in life when you have to start back from square one. So get over it and get on with it.

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and decay destroy, and thieves break in and steal. But store up treasure in heaven, where neither moth nor decay destroys nor thieves break in and steal. For where your treaure is, there also will your heart be. (Mt 6:19-21)

Thank you Natty, Lisa and T.O. for your encouragement. I do look forward very much to the meeting with the Dominicans. Aside from just visiting, I do have some things I need to get off my chest.

We saw Spidey 3 yesterday. Violence balanced with a message of forgiveness, teamwork, and self-sacrifice. I can dig it. Would've liked to see it on Imax, but the drive out there would be hellacious, and we'd like to avoid hell. We went to the theatre by our house instead. Their four big, big screens were playing exclusively Shrek 3, upsetting my movie partner who prefers the big, big screens. This person is also annoyed by wiggly and noisy kids while the movie is playing. I've been tasked to find another movie house for the next movie outting, whenever that may be.

People with perfect pitch hearing are easily annoyed with wrong pitches. So too, people who have great awareness of their surroundings are easily annoyed by distractions such as kids or fidgeting. In that sense, I am blessed with being relatively immune to those things; the flip side is that I can rarely recount to anyone my "experience".


Thursday, May 17, 2007

Yes, I know, I haven't done much maintenance on this blog...stagnant link list, broken links, old or missing graphics, etc.

No, I don't think it will improve any time soon.


Wednesday, May 16, 2007

I think I need a heart-to-heart with the Dominicans. I'll see how I feel in the morning.

update: will be meeting towards end of next week
update again: meeting will be rescheduled to a later date

it just hurts

Ow. The news is just so terrible. Grown man shoots an 11-year old with a double-barrel shotgun as the kid runs away. Father microwaves his baby. Ow. Ow. Ow.

When we move away from God, we lose our humanity. We forget what it means to be kind, patient, forgiving, generous, compassionate, hopeful ... all those good things that make us human. Then forgetting our own humanity, we forget the humanity of others.

sheer exasperation

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

I cannot even begin to count how many times I've run Vista Startup Repair. Many times it's heart-stopping since I can never be sure that the computer will actually boot up. It's amazing to me that Vista boot up can be so easily corrupted. I don't know what corrupted it (very possibly my ISP software). The other night I had Vista make me a backup, since I don't know when I'll just not be able to boot at all. Last night I re-installed Vista as "upgrade" since the other option, clean install, will wipe out the drive. When it finished, it had the audacity to tell me that my copy of Vista is not genuine and wouldn't let me into my computer until I do something about it. One of the options is to activate Vista online, but it wouldn't let me login. Instead, it had the option to set up a connection. I had to dig and find an access phone number for the ISP. Amazingly enough it connected, even though my ISP requires the ISP software. After logging in I dug around the internet to no avail about the authenticity thing, then rebooted and Vista seems to have corrected itself. The computer seemed to be working again. Except today I come home, boot up and it tells me I don't have a bootable device. A press of the key to reboot brings up the computer okay. The last resort is to do a clean install, i.e. wipe out the drive and start from scratch.

all cut

Saturday, May 12, 2007

I got the other five sheets of plywood for the windows last weekend. Today I've just finished cutting them. I'm whipped. I was working in the front yard, so naturally I got a few neighborly inquiries. "Are you guys moving?" and "Do you know something we don't. You have predictions?" heh heh. No. and No. I just don't want to wait until the hurricane comes to start trying to buy plywood and cut them. I still have a very narrow window by the door to think about covering, but I'm not too worried about it. And again, I haven't tried them with the Plylox clips, but at least I know the boards fit in the window casing.

the spiritual thing

If you've been following by blog for a while now (you must be very patient indeed), you're probably thinking, "Uh, what discernment? I don't see anything about discernment here."

True enough, I've not blogged much about it, or church or religion or such. I toned it down a long time ago in an effort to not obsess over it. "It" being my desire to enter religious life. Truth is that I think about it every morning upon waking. There is not a day that goes by that I don't think about it. And since I think about God most times when my mind is not otherwise engaged for other duties, the thought of religious life goes right along with it.

I don't have much of a prayer life, but it is standard for me to do my formula prayer every morning, say three Hail Marys on the drive in to work, and offer my day to Jesus. Then at night I read my usual two prayers, one for the souls in purgatory and the other to offer God my every breath and heartbeat. Now I did say read ... sometimes I'm not really into it, but I do make it a point to read those two prayers, even when I'm on the road. I try to attend daily mass during lunch but do miss sometimes, and sometimes I'm only physically there--my mind being elsewhere or I'm just outright asleep. It's been a long time since I last went to adoration or cracked open the bible.

And of course, I attend Sunday mass. This has been something of a transitional time. One of my volunteer gigs is on summer break, the second volunteer gig is undergoing some technical change, and I didn't make it to any of my third volunteer gig dates. Our pastors will be leaving the parish after Easter next year; I think they're going to try to take it easy from now onwards. Our parish has dropped one of the Sunday masses for the summer months.

I occasionally listen to one of the Christian radio stations we have in the area. I think I'm reasonably solid in my Catholicism to be okay with a Protestant program. I don't usually pay much attention to their bible teaching. Else there is some good stuff there, some food for thought. The Protestant approach is more focused on practical application--more "how to" for every day situations. The Catholic approach is more focused on worship; that is, orient your whole self to God and everything else should fall in place. Once in a while I catch some Catholic bashing on the station; that's at least a little annoying and for sure it's unproductive.

Back to the topic of discernment: it's ongoing. I have plenty of moments of doubt and discouragement. But for all my discouragement, I can't drop the idea either. On the one hand, I'd be disappointed if religious life is not for me. And on the other hand, I have to remember that ultimately what I want is for God's will to be done. If God deems that I should go to hell, then I hope to willingly enter hell in obedience to His will. So on a lesser scale, If God deems that I should not enter religious life, then may I find joy in following His will. I don't think that I'm hanging on to the idea, I think it's just persisting. If God sees fit to send something to displace this idea (such as a love interest, a handicap, or an illness, etc.) and give me something else to chew on, then may His will be done. Until then, I seem to be waking up every day with religious life on my mind.

two deals

Friday, May 11, 2007

Logitech G5 laser gaming mouse (up to 2,000 DPI) for $25 at Dell. (via Gizmodo via Slickdeals). I have an A4Tech laser mouse that can do up to 1,000 DPI and it's nice. I bet the Logitech at 2K DPI would be even better. I'm not getting it though, being that my current mouse is OK.

Office Depot will have the
Microsoft Comfort Curve 2000 keyboard for $9.99 next week (sale starts Sunday 5/13/2007). At least it's true for my area. You can also check your area and the Office Depot website.


Thursday, May 10, 2007

I have royally screwed up my e-mail. I went down the path of screwing with stuff that I didn't quite understand. I think I can kiss all my e-mails good-bye. I've spent huge number of hours trying to recover. Results are unsatisfactory.

Update: I seem to have recovered most of my old mail. But whatever was in my Inbox is gone forever.

where is JC?

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

hmm...where is Jesus? If he sent the Holy Spirit to do the work, does it mean he's chilling out in a hammock under the shade of a coconut tree on some tropical beach? Jesus...not limited by time and He in the tabernacle quietly waiting my visit? Is He helping the soldier concentrate, comforting the patient in pain, keeping the shut-in company, helping the crop grow, blessing a baby, admonishing a priest, correcting a nun, inspiring a poet, giving hope to the poor, encouraging a war-torn people, pleading at the right hand of the Father? Is He right here helping me find the almonds in an unfamiliar store, is He averting an accident that could've happened? Is He listening with mild amusement at my whining? Is He forever there and forever here, ever patiently waiting for me, waiting for my attention, waiting for me to know that He loves me?

hey, you're spending too much time on the computer

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Last night, it was pretty difficult to get to the keyboard with this thing in the way. I did try to work around it. It was slow going, fishing for one key at a time.

Into Great Silence

Friday, May 04, 2007

Someone sent me e-mail about the movie Into Great Silence. Looks interesting.

German web site It has the trailer, English page doesn't have it.


less than half a million

Just for fun, I decided to see what I could buy with the amount of money I owe in student loans.

I am happy to report that the amount owed is NOT enough to buy any one of the following (any model):
Aston Martin

But the amount that I do owe would be enough for me to outright buy just ONE of the following:
2007 Infiniti QX56
2007 Lexus GS 450h
2007 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class
2007 HUMMER H2

Well, at least I don't owe half a million. In fact, I owe less than a hundred thousand. How about that.

nominations needed (top posted)

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Sr. Anne of Nunblog posts the following (cut and pasted here for your convenience):

Keep helping NOLA!
Just a reminder that Burger King is doing a promotion-cum-donation event that will determine which organizations in New Orleans and Baton Rouge get what percentage of the "pot." I have been going on every day to "nominate" Catholic Charities and then clicking on the New Orleans button so that the points will add up in its favor, and I invite you to do the same! Here.

take it easy with those stones

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

I was listening to a talk about Islam. It was supposed to be informative. Some folks wanted to turn it into an Islam-bashing session. Um...and these were Catholics. You'd have thought that they've not ever heard of Catholic-bashing. Someone gasped, "How could they believe that?" in regards to some of the Islamic beliefs. What?!!!! Well, if you think those beliefs are ridiculous, let me tell you what Catholics believe! And heck, I'm Catholic!