Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween 2008

The girls have been hyper for 2-3 days unable to wait for Halloween. Especially Gracie. All three had parties at their schools, after which Gracie declared "It was the greatest party ever!!!". And being the wild one of the bunch, she should know.

The afternoon went by like days for them. The clock plodding slower and slower to the hour when they would don their costumes and venture out into the night. And when it came they hit the street with a fury. I don't have many pics cause they were moving too fast and I was trading sea stories with my neighbor, retired Navy.
The three girls before heading out.
This is the first time Hailey hasn't been some wholesome princess or cheerleader.

My two little princesses.
Nice shot of Alyssa.

The girls meet up with our neighbor Katie and begin to pillage the neighborhood.
Third house attacked. Missed pics of the first two, they were moving too fast.
A house further up the street. They always go all out for Halloween.
Ain't Luann a sweetheart!?!

Counting the loot.

Pumpkin Patch

The girls and I went to the pumpkin patch the other day and I forgot to post any pics. So here they are.

Gracie getting her face painted.

The girls posing by a wagon on the farm.

During the hayride out to the pumpkin patch.

Out of the wagon, you can see Gracie burning rubber towards the pumpkins.

Slowed Gracie down long enough to get some little pumpkins.
Hailey picking cotton.

The girls sitting in the pumpkin patch.
Please note, I had nothing to do with Alyssa's prop.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Halloween at Ballet

Tonight was ballet night for Hailey.
They wore thier costumes and had a blast.

The Election

I find it difficult these days to watch the news on TV or browse the news on the net because of the election. The overwhelming bias of the media has absolutely sickened me. Yellow journalism is most assuredly alive and well in the United States.

The great number of hollywood idiots spouting their mouths off in favor of their candidate. Most of them do not have any serious education, understanding of basic economics or world history. They're just following the hollywood crowd. Clinging to a few issues and mantras which are important to them.

I'm appalled at the violence perpetrated on people who disagree with the left. Damage to cars, stealing of signs, physical violence etc. It's all over the news, one just has to look it up. It's deemed as 'OK' to bash someone cause they 'disagree' with them. When did this happen?

Someone hung (as if by a noose) an effigy of Obama on the University of Kentucky campus the other day. Secret Service, FBI, State Police etc were on the scene immediately. The effigy was torn down and a full scale investigation is underway to find out who perpetrated this horrendous act of racism.

Update 10/31: 2 individuals were arrested for hanging the Obama effigy.

In contrast, someone hung an effigy (as if by a noose) of Sarah Palin in hollywood the other day. The mayor, police, FBI etc got involved, but no one took it down. Its hung there for over a week and the owners of the house say it will stay there til Saturday.

Update 10/31: The Sarah effigy is down, but no arrests.

And what about bloggers? Some of the garbage I read on the internet is scary. I can't believe people can be so ignorant, racist, sexist and vile. And these are people from the party who is supposed to be open, tolerant and accepting. I suppose those things apply, but only if you swallow the kool aid and agree with everything they say.

This election has really disheartened me. It makes me wary for the future my girls will grow up in. I am teaching my girls they can do anything they want. The media and hollywood in this election is saying otherwise. They're teaching our children that you can be a woman and do anything you want as long as you are pro-abortion, not religious, hate guns etc. If you're not a left-wing babe, you don't count.

The absence of an unbiased, objective media coupled with a power hungry political party who has repeatedly shown they will do anything to silence the voice of opposition is a dangerous path for this country and we should all be concerned.

Ok. That will be my only foray into politics until after the election.


Sunday, October 26, 2008

One Hundred Milliamps

Each Christmas people across the world decorate their homes with lights of all shapes, sizes and colors. This tradition has spilt over to the decorating people do for Halloween as well, and this is also the case at our home.

Last year we got some Halloween lights to hang outside. Some look like big eyeballs, some look like little crystal skeletons and some are just basic, run-of-the-mill Christmas lights, but with orange light bulbs. Last year we used all but the plain orange lights.

This year it was my bright idea to decorate more than usual for Halloween. Don’t know where this bug in my butt came from, but to scratch it the girls and I went to the basement and pulled out everything we have.

As with any decorative lighting activity, the first thing you do is plug them in and make sure they work. There’s nothing that makes me feel more stupid than working hard to hang lights, only to find out they don’t work.

So Vic and I started plugging them in and checking for problems. Everything was fine until I got to the ‘never before used’ orange lights. On the very first bunch I pulled out only half of the lights worked. Dang!! So I started looking, one by one, at each bulb to see if one was missing or broken. I just hate it when this happens ‘cause I know I’ll end up pulling out bulbs one by one and replacing with the spare till they start working. Then, as I was pulling the strand of lights threw my hands I looked down and saw this.

I was standing there holding bare copper wires connected to a 120v outlet. I immediately barked at the girls to step away from me and for Vic to unplug the strand NOW!!!

Vic unplugged the lights and I composed myself. I didn’t want to get too excited around the girls, but WOW. That was close. It only takes 100 Milliamps to stop your heart. Way more than that was in my hands right then. I was very lucky.

We bought those lights over a year ago, so taking them back isn’t an option. I don’t even remember where we got them or who made them. I don’t even have the original box.

So let this be a lesson for everyone out there. It may sound corny, old fashioned or dorky, but before plugging in your Christmas or Halloween lights, visually inspect the strands. Look for frays, cuts or anything out of the ordinary. It could have gone very different for me today. Don’t count on luck the next time you’re decorating for the holidays.

Well that’s all for now. Glad to be here. G’nite.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Things We Can't Choose

Feeling a little punch drunk right now, having worked 20 of last 36 hours. So I decided to have some fun.

There are few things in life you can really choose. Your wife, your dog, your car, your house or your hair color just to name a few. And with the exception of your wife you can pretty much get rid of any of those without much pain, suffering, litigation, mental anguish or emotional scarring.

Family, however, is a different story. The gene pool you were spawned from is yours for life. All those aunts and cousins, brothers and sisters, rednecks and inmates are yours whether you like it or not.

And just like you can't control who your family is, you can't control what pictures I, excuse me, I mean your family shares with the world.

My beautiful neice Lindsay. Although it looks like a mugshot, I believe this was a photo she sent to this guy she's hot for.

There are just some places you can't take your Mother. Small boats 200 yds off the coast is one of them. Don't worry, I got out of the line of fire right after this shot was taken.

My cousin Laura. Beautiful, funny, sincere and oh yes, very blonde. She actually believed a Georgia State Patrol officer called her on her cell phone while tracking her via satellite to tell her she was speeding.

Although my life was threatened if I ever published this picture of my cousin Tabeth, she lives far enough away that I feel pretty safe.

Every family has their hunters. You know, those 'real' men who put on their cammies and head into the woods to shoot tasty animals. Well, these men have to start somewhere, which is where my next picture comes into play. My nephew Daniel, the great hunter.

Although my Father was in the Navy, he donned this helmet for a baby Hailey. I think he's trying to look like an astronaut.

All for now!!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Protecting the President, Vice President and Candidates

There are real people in this world who would like to do harm to any number of politicians or celebrities. Especially the President of the United States or candidates running for President. As such, these individuals deserve absolute protection. I don't care if it's Bush, McCain, Obama, whoever. The President and thier families must be protected from harm. Real or imagined.

Which is why I love this video so. Some nut jobs think they can stop Sarah Palin's motorcade in Colorado. They're obviously too stupid to realize stopping a motorcade isn't just an act of protest. It places the target here in real jeopardy. Which is why any such action is dealt with swiftly and severly.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

When I'm 80!

Monday, Oct 6th: My Aunt fell and cracked her skull. She's recovering, but has to have surgery next Monday to remove bone fragments from around the inside of her eye socket.

Tuesday, Oct 7th: My father fell and cracked his skull. Took 7 staples to stitch him up and he is doing fine.

Monday, Oct 20th: Last night my Uncle fell and cracked his skull. Blood everywhere and a few bruises, but he's doing ok.


As a result of the events listed above to my Father, his Brother and Sister, I have decided that upon reaching the age of 80 I will start wearing a helmet around the house at all times.

I would start wearing one now, but the only one I have is this one which belongs to Hailey. It's just a tad too small I think.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Depression and There's a First Time for Everything

In the Fall of 1996 when Vic and I knew we would be moving to Atlanta, we took a whirlwind house hunting trip of 4 days. In 4 days we toured almost 20 houses around Atlanta and ended up buying one in Suwanee. Looking back on that purchase it was probably a mistake. Shortly after moving in we found tons of things we didn't like, especially Vic. She wanted something bigger with a better back yard.
So, within 18 months of moving in, we were occasionally 'browsing' new subdivisions around Atlanta.

My job changed in 2000 right after Hailey was born. It was an 18 mile commute each way, but it was all back roads. By leaving at 6:00am, it took 45 minutes, and each evening my commute was at least 1 1/2 hours. Something had to change. So, we started house hunting, not just browsing. And low and behold we found our present abode. Big enough for Vic with a matching mortgage big enough to work me to death. My deal with Vic was you get a big house, I get a BIG TV.

We moved into our house in Dec '01. The BIG TV (Sony 51" Widescreen HDTV) moved in before the Super Bowl in Jan '02. Life was good.

But alas, nothing lasts forever. This morning she died. Bit the big one. Sucked her last tiny electron from the local power grid. And now I am depressed. Not only did I have to work all night and this morning, but my TV died.

Being Joe, I can't take this lying down. When a man's favorite electronic device breaks down, what must he do? He has to go buy a bigger, better electronic device. I believe it's in the Man Rulebook somewhere. And this is exactly what Joe did.

First, I surfed the net, then I hit the road. Immediate replacement is necessary to prevent any harm to the Man Psyche (or however it's spelled). Being familiar with the latest technologies, products and my own desires of course, I quickly picked out the replacement product and required stand. And that's where I stopped.

We've been doing everything possible to cut back on expenses this last year due to Vic's medical bills and the ginormous pay cut I took last year. So how on earth can I justify forking over more than 2 grand on a TV. So I took the mature, responsible course of action. I walked out of the store and came home. Yep, there's a first time for everything.

Now in the family room we're using the 800lb 32" TV which was in our bedroom. I know it's 800lbs because Vic and I had to move it down the stairs by ourselves. I think the house shifted on it's foundation as we moved it. Until times get better or we win the lottery, it will be our main TV for a while. No Super Bowl parties around here anytime soon.

And how was your day.

Friday, October 17, 2008

dNeero Survey

Welcome friends, family, acquaintences, aliens and Californians. Another dNeero survey for your pleasure. Please participate if you have the time. All proceeds I get from this are automatically given to charity, so it's a good cause.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Today's Outrage

A friend of mine works in a large office and gets to see first hand the hypocrisy sometimes associated with large companies. Take for example the story he related to me today:

Over the past 2 years the constant theme of his company has been saving money. In town halls he is encouraged to come up with ideas to 'save money'. The thermostat in the building was increased to 80 degrees this summer to save money. No more free coffee is provided and the water cooler was taken away. All the lights go off at 6:00pm. Emails from leadership continually talk about cost cutting measures and reduced budgets. He gets notifications that bonus' will probably be lower this year due to the economy. Over the past 2 years he's watched wave after wave of layoffs.

BUT, today there was a gift on his desk. Yes, a gift from the powers that be. What pray tell could it be? A new communications tool to improve efficiency? A new mouse to replace the 1999 model he's currently using? A flash drive so he can share files with coworkers without clogging up email? Oh my goodness, what could it have been?!?

It was a glass trophy celebrating a new company initiative.

What?!? A glass trophy? Celebrating an 'initiative'?

Friend: "I thought we were going broke. I thought we didn't have any money. Turn up the temp, turn off the lights, layoff the workers, take away the coffee, yada yada yada. AND SOME MENTAL GIANT IN LEADERSHIP AUTHORIZED WASTING THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS ON THIS GARBAGE!!!! THAT MONEY COULD BE IN MY BONUS CHECK!!!!!"

I try to comfort my friend. I tell him we must assume someone making a LOT more money than him and probably with a much higher IQ and better education thought this was a good idea.

So I try to come up with a good reason for this to have been done, to help my friend feel better.

Perhaps it was done to improve morale? Based on my friends reaction, I don't think it's doing that. Scratch that idea.

I know, it was done to build team spirit and camaraderie. On second thought, I don't think it's helping with that either. All his comrades are in bad moods now and this thing is the perfect size for throwing. Not a good combination.

Oh I know, money was wasted on this glass paper weight and future landfill material to build company loyalty. Nah, it's not doing that either.

I can't provide my friend any comfort and no plausible reason his company would do something so blatantly stupid.

So now my friend is just depressed!!!

And how is your day going?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Joe's Haircut

It's been 8 weeks since my last hair cut. After spending over 9 years in the Navy, I got pretty used to a nice, well groomed and short hairstyle. So after 8 weeks, I felt kinda like a member of the Doobie Brothers or Willie Nelson. So, time for a trim.

There's nothing like the feeling of a fresh hair cut. You can feel the wind on your neck and ears again. Washing your hair is faster and easier. Combing this wirey substance on my head is simplified. Yes, I love a hair cut.

And I'm not particular either. After enduring an endless supply of good and bad barbers in the Navy, I found I wasn't real picky about the cut. Just short please. Think Ron Howard from Happy Days and cut away. I can't remember any barbers or stylists I ever disliked.

So, after work today I head to the local hair salon for my trim. I was immediately greeted by a comedic, stereotypical, southern hair stylist. I don't mean to be mean or offensive to any highly educated, Rhodes Scholar winning stylists (if there are any). But I felt as if I'd left the quaint metropolitan area north of Atlanta for a trailer park in southern Mississippi.

The gem of a gal who greeted me was half blond, half roots and had a thick redneck accent. Not the nice, polite southern accent associated with tea parties, church socials and SEC Sorority girls. I'm talking the blunt, trashy redneck speech associated with uneducated white trash. (If anyone who reads this has family you consider to be white trash, I apologize now. I'm sure this woman was far worse than any of your kin folk. You're obviously to hard on your kin.)

Where was I, oh yes, the stylist. You may be thinking: "Joe, why are you being so hard on this poor southern woman." Well let me share with you some of the pearls of wisdom she shared with me:

- "What size clipper do you want me to use. If'n you don't tell me I'll shave ya head."

- I told her I just wanted a cut, I'm not the stylist, I don't know clipper sizes. To which she responds: "Ok, it's your head. Yell if it looks too short."

- "I don' t tell my husband I love him cause then he won't appreciate me no mo."

- "I don't let my children near the computer. It's the devil." (I'll never be able to watch Waterboy again and not think of this woman.)

- "I'll be married a lot longer than you. Me and my husbands got true love." (Note: She's been married 15 yrs. Vic and I have been married 21 yrs. Seems she has a math problem too.)

- "I can't believe the hard time they's giving Sarah Palin's daughter for being pregnant at 17. I had my first kid at 16 and look how I turned out."

- "Computers are evil and the main problem with this world." (Note: This was after I told her I worked in software development, and of course, after I explained to her what that was.)

- "There's nothing wrong with gettin pregnant at 16 and being a single mom. Builds character."

And believe it or not, when she was done I looked like Eddie Munster. I couldn't believe it. I hated what she did to my head. I hated it so bad I didn't ask her to fix it, I just wanted to leave.

I actually came home, grabbed Hailey's craft scissors and cut my own hair in the bathroom. Vic thought I was crazy.

I must say, I look much better now.

Never again will that woman cut my hair.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Update on Pop and the Girls

They let Dad out of the hospital this morning. No problems with the ticker and heads all patched up.

I did forget to mention one other thing which happened last night. When we called to speak with him, he was telling us about the car hitting the ambulance. Then just off the cuff he said: "I guess she forgot to hit the 'A' button."

Took me a minute, then I got it. He was talking about what Gracie said a week or so ago.

That's my Dad, took a hit to the head and still sharp as a tack.

In other news, Hailey had her second trip to the Orthodontist. Today they installed her 'expanders'. She's in a bit of discomfort and minor pain right now, but I've no doubt she'll be tough and get through this.

At Pre-K today Gracie took a little side trip. She decided to visit the little Boys room and see what was going on in there. She emerged an enlightened young woman, proudly proclaiming little boys pee'd through thier belly button.

And how was your day?

My Fathers Day

~7:00am – Sister calls: Dad (84 yrs old) has fallen and gashed opened head. Blood everywhere. EMTs are working on him, but he started having chest pains. So they’re loading into ambulance for 25 mile ride to hospital.

~8:30am – Sister calls: Some bimbo rammed into the ambulance. Condition of occupants unknown. Additional emergency vehicles have been summoned.

~10:00am – Friend calls: Dad at hospital. Wreck caused no injuries in ambulance, but Dad and Mom had to be loaded into another ambulance due to damage.

~1:50pm – Sister calls: Dad received 7 staples and is resting comfortably. No issues with heart.

And how was your day?

Monday, October 6, 2008


Thanks for the Birthday wishes. Hard to believe this picture was taken almost 30 years ago.

Happy Birthday Joseph

Happy Birthday to the greatest father and husband in the world!!
How's it feel to be 35 for the 10th time!!! oops did I say that....
Love you with all my heart!