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

Merry Christmas

Friday, December 24, 2010

Very Merry Christmas to everyone!

Here is a free book
Cosmic Diary Anthology Released as a Free Book: Postcards from the Edge of the Universe (you can download the pdf at the link)

and a free audio rental
of Father Corapi's personal testimony (offer posted on this blog some time before, the offer still stands today)

first time

As far as I can remember, this is the first time that I've missed Christmas midnight mass. Gumby isn't feeling well. I asked if I could go to mass or if I need to stick around in case we need to call 911 emergency. Gumby said "I can't answer that." i.e. I don't have the go-ahead to go to mass. Since we are supposed to be in service of our neighbor, I'll miss midnight mass, stick around here tonight and go to one of the Christmas day masses tomorrow. Right now, I think Gumby is sleeping, which is a good thing.

video about Mary

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

From The Anchoress ... link was made known to me by a friend


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Check out Monastery Greetings.  Per their website:

Monastery Greetings is the only catalog-based website that combines hundreds of religious and spiritual gifts from Abbeys, Convents, Monasteries, and Hermitages. Sales of their products directly support them.
Gifting for any day for any one, so even if they're not an option for Christmas, keep them in mind for any occasion.

Here are just a few others. This is not an endorsement. I have not tried any of these products and in fact, have not even browsed their websites.

Sinsinawa Dominican Sisters bakery and gift shop
Holy Spirit Monastery Gifts
Abbey Gift Shop
Cathedral-Basilica of St. Louis gift shop (in New Orleans)
Nuns gift shop (Mother Angelica's order)
Mystic Monk Coffee
Poor Clares bread and soup (pick up at their place in Canton, OH)

listening to...

Monday, December 13, 2010
There ya go.
Ludwig van Beethoven - Sonata no. 17 in D minor, Op. 31 No. 2 1st movement

listening to...

Sunday, December 12, 2010
per the YouTube uploading author:

Ludwig van Beethoven
Piano Sonata No. 17 "The Tempest"
3rd movement: Alegretto
played by Daniel Barenboim
This is a pretty clear recording, where the bass is not muddy. I might look for the 1st movement eventually.

Christmas decorating

I spent a lot of time trying to find replacement bulbs for our Christmas mesh light. No luck. I bought a string of all green lights at a local store in hopes of being able to use those bulbs, but it didn't work out. So I ended up just packing up the one mesh and did my best to drape the new string on the last shrub. I definitely doesn't blend, but so be it.

Yesterday I spent all afternoon and evening yesterday doing some Christmas decorating inside. It's just one room we're doing, but it took a while. What takes time is going up and down the attic, unpacking and packing (trying to find stuff and pick-and-choose among what was found). At one point I had to find the cat and remove her from the attic. The attic is unfinished and has blown-in insulation -- not a pleasant place lose things such as a cat. Our 4-foot Christmas tree is up and decorated. I know we're still in Advent and the Christmas stuff isn't supposed to be up yet, but I think God understands and wouldn't mind.

dead bulbs

Monday, December 06, 2010

We have four mesh light sets that I drape over the shrubs (for Christmas decoration). I put them on the shrubs on this past Saturday and last night when I turned them on, they were pitiful; some were on some were off in alternating sections. Today I stole good bulbs from one set and restored the other three. I have at least 15 dead bulbs. I'm sure I haven't found them all since the one sacrificial set is too stripped at this point for me to see what's working and what's not. They need to be 2.5V super bright green lights. I haven't found the right ones, but I've seen replacement bulbs priced at a pack of 3 for $1.39 or $1.99.  If I need to replace at least 20 bulbs, looks like I should expect to pay approximately $1 per bulb. So I suppose the best bet is to just buy a new set ... if they can be found.

the job search

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Job searching has gotten more sophisticated. It is now recommended that you have Twitter, FaceBook, LinkedIn,, CareerBuilder, and Dice accounts at minimum, and have a blog. So I have signed up for Twitter, I just finished Monster tonight, and I already had LinkedIn thanks to Natty.

My job search is evolving since I am getting training for a new career path. As I get more and more training for what I want to do, I can slowly better define what field and what specialty I'm heading to. This translates to quite a bit of maintenance on the profiles/accounts.

And after all that, the best bet to getting a job is networking. Kind of like dating maybe, where two people meet because they had a friend in common, or at least their friends had a friend in common.

Anyhow, I'll get to FaceBook, the blog (no, not this one), and Dice another time. I'll also need to update my profile in CareerBuilder. Then I'll need to study how best to use LinkedIn ... apparently there are "how to" of LinkedIn that I'm supposed to look at.

Right now I need to hit the shower. "Good night" to those on this side of the earth.  "See you later" to those on the other side of the earth.

plumbing woes

Monday I woke up and as usual made a trip to the bathroom. It was not a happy moment when I found that the toilet wouldn't drain. Still groggy, I attempted to plunger the thing. No luck. I had never seen a toilet so stuck that plunging didn't bring the water level down. After quite some time, I had to stop since it was trash day and I need to get the trash out.

As I went about the task of collecting all the trash, it occurred to me to check the other toilet. I remembered that once before both toilets had stopped and I became fast friends with a sewer auger. Sure enough the other toilet was stopped up too. So after finishing trash duties, I washed up and headed off to rent the sewer auger again. It unclogged the sewer and the toilets.  There were other problems though that left me a little unsure that the problem was solved. But the machine had done all that it can do, and I had to head off to class that afternoon so I returned the machine and just waved it off as "done."

Wednesday evening, sewage backed up into our tubs and shower. Ugh. We called for a plumber and he determined that we have root growth into our sewer line under the house. The plumber had tools to locate the point of root growth. The solution is to excavate and tunnel under the house to replace that point where the roots are growing into the pipe then backfill the tunnel (an almost $6,000 job). Until we get that done, the recommendation was to not flush toilet paper. We took the job quote and sent him on his way with $150 payment for his services. We will get the repair done as soon as possible, but certainly not this month.

Gumby made a multitude of phone calls later that night and also the next day. One advice was to get a root kill solution from the hardware store and flush that down the toilet when we retire for the night, leaving it to work in the sewer lines overnight. The other piece of extremely helpful advice was to use RV/marine toilet paper. They dissolve quickly (wipe fast!) and won't clog. I don't know my prices well, but I think they cost more than regular toilet paper. They were easily procured from a local Wal-Mart in the sporting goods department, $2.97 per 4-roll pack in one brand, $4.42 in another brand. The more expensive one is 2-ply, so I guess the cheaper one is single ply. I'm not sure what the plans are with regards to how long we'll be using this specialty toilet paper. We're just really happy that we can use toilet paper and we won't have to ask guests to not flush paper.