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.:: Saturday, December 31st ::.

~ 06:42 PM ~

"...happy new year..."

We gathered all the supplies for Ellis. We are picking him up at 10AM tomorrow. Hey, I did not pick the time. We have been sleeping in to 10AM most of the time while on vacation.

We went for a walk. Neale is suffering from a sore throat and this came on yesterday while we were driving home from Oswego. She went to visit her friend Sara who was upset by the death of a high school friend. Neale was able to gather some information about our home refinancing.

Since Neale is not feeling well, we are staying in. We had reservations at Barcelona and we going to find some music but that has changed. I am watching "The Great Outdoors" on AMC (Band of Brothers marathon is over) and Neale is picking up food from House of India.

I posted pictures on the photo page of Christmas at my parents home. I will add more of Ellis when he arrives.

Our new Sandisk MP3 player is great.

Earthcam of Times Square
Kitchen Myths

.:: Tuesday, December 27th ::.

~ 09:27 AM ~

"...Yeah man, dang olí, danged if you do, danged if you donít, man..."

Neale went to a coworker's surprise birthday party and I watched the last broadcast of Monday Night Football. I had her pick me up a pizza for breakfast/lunch. Ever had a fried egg on a pizza?

My new tires installation went well. I also needed an alignment. Since, I just rolled over 60,000 miles, it was time.

We are leaving for Oswego this afternoon. We are going to visit my parents for a few days.

Mythbusters is not going to be happy...a man was shot across the border.

Top 10 Spam myths
Play piano with your balls
Unsolved codes
The Money Pit of Oak Island

.:: Monday, December 26th ::.

~ 01:02 PM ~

"...hey, look out..."

Neale is out spending her DSW gift card. I am getting new tires at 2. It is the original set and they need to be replaced.

Holiday effect

.:: Sunday, December 25th ::.

~ 07:11 PM ~


I was planning on making a pie but I forgot eggs. However, Neale stopped at a Marathon and found eggs. I made my second apple pie and it looks better.

I am watching the Bears v. Packers.

Tonight, we are watching the George C. Scott "A Christmas Carol".

~ 01:24 PM ~

"...Merry Christmas..."

We exchanged gifts. Neale got me two new button downs and I got her a gift card to DSW.

We watched "The Christmas Story" and most of "Home Alone" last night. Neale cannot be trusted to make Holiday Nog.

She watched "The Nutcracker" this morning. It was the 1977 Mikhail Baryshnikov television production. She left to drop off gifts at Britt's home. Donna Lee gave them to us on Friday and we forgot they were in our trunk.

REI Outlet
Video Detective
Leap Second

.:: Saturday, December 24th ::.

~ 06:07 PM ~

"...do you think this vehicle is road worthy?..."

I made brown rice pasta for dinner. Please do not tell anyone Italian about this. Rome weeps.

~ 02:05 PM ~

"...I'm the high you can't sustain..."

We needed to pick up our new vehicle at the airport. Bill had three cars and the Corolla was offered to Neale by Steve who it the trustee of the will and Bill estate (need a radio?). We own a 2001 Toyota Corolla and we will decide what to do with it in a few months. It is low miles and we can retire the Accord from Neale's commute. She still wants a Mazda 3 so we will use the cars as value towards that purchase. The Corolla is in great shape and Bill kept great records. Steve and Joan left this morning and left the car the airport. Neale would have had to get up at dawn to drop them so leaving the car and giving us the spot info was the best solution. I dropped her and got a carwash because I had a purchased wash but wasn't not planning to go that way before it expired. I found a new touchless wash on the Rock road. Then, I went to Dierbergs for groceries and to get Neale's gift at a nearby store. I was hungry for lunch so I stopped at Qdoba. As I walking in, Neale stopped me. We had the same idea at the same moment. ODD!

I stopped at Guitar Center to pick up a few patch cables.

Of course, we are watching "A Christmas Story" tonight.

Tomorrow, we are spending time in and I am baking my apple pie. My version of Alton Brown's Free Range Fruitcake was nicely received.

The Crushing Blow
Case mods
Santa Tracker, How is it done?
Santa Tracker

.:: Friday, December 23rd ::.

~ 06:42 PM ~


Bill's funeral went well. The service was short but well done. It is what he would have wanted (as they say). Steve did a great job planning the event and made some great remarks at the lunch. My role as a pallbearer went well. There were 6 or 7 of us performing that task. It was emotionally draining for me so I opted not to go to Christmas at Britt and Kelly's. We stayed for three hours at the lunch at the country club afterwards. So, my social energy was pretty stretched.

My Rat came and does have a range of tones. I will have to find a tone range for it so it works with the Boss SD-1 rather than competes. The two together puts out a nice tone as well. I will eventually have it modded but it does currently have a DC jack.

I Hate You Milkman Dan

.:: Thursday, December 22nd ::.

~ 09:06 PM ~

"...lie down and put your head back..."

The visitation went well. It was a relatively cheerful event and not somber. Personally, I am not interested in having a visitation at the time of my death. Despite being a sociologist and being overly aware of social norms, I find most social conventions absurd because at their base they are exactly that....social constructions and maintained on useless adherence to traditional obligations. Being an introvert does not help either. Nor does the tinges of nihilist existentialism.

For the first time, the word dumbass will be used in this journal. DUMBASS.

~ 01:14 PM ~

"...free shipping..."

Last night, we wrapped gifts and had dinner with Steve at Casa Gallardo.

Bill's visitation is tonight. We are attending.

The Chappelle Theory
Microbrew guru dies

.:: Tuesday, December 20th ::.

~ 05:42 PM ~

"...nothin' ever promised tomorrow today..."

The brewing went well. I misplaced the plastic cap to my auto siphon though. I have to find the cap or purchase a new auto siphon. However, a peek over at Northern Brewer calls the part "a removable diverter piece" or a racking tube tip.

~ 03:35 PM ~

"...do you need a reaction?..."

I am brewing an amber. I used a kit from the LHBS and I added some specialty grain that I had leftover from other batches. I will post the recipe shortly.

~ 10:28 AM ~

"...Atticus Finch: If you just learn a single trick, Scout, you'll get along a lot better with all kinds of folks. You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view... Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it. ..."

Bill's obit from the Alton Telegraph.

I am watching "To Kill a Mockingbird" on AMC.

I won an auction on Ebay for a vintage Rat II. Eventually, I may have it modded.

I need to rack my IPA to secondary. I am considering what to do with the IPA yeast cake. I may brew a bitters. So, there could be a trip to the LHBS.

Unwanted births up
The God that wasn't there
Dark as the Dunegeon

.:: Monday, December 19th ::.

~ 06:27 PM ~

"...stroll on..."

I got a haircut and I went to Walgreens to pick up a gift card. Why do they have $100 gift cards for Walgreens? I HATE WALGREENS. Do you have to be 96 to work there? Does having no visible personality help? If any place needed a self-checkout, Walgreens does. I am going to have my prescription mailed to me like Neale does with her med.

I removed the "finding a dog" journal from the dog page. I will update with photos when he arrives. I am considering a web cast (streaming video) but those plans are not solid yet.

I have agreed to be a pallbearer in Bill's funeral. The visitation is on Thursday and the funeral on Friday.

Stem cells as a gift
The Slow Drug

~ 11:32 AM ~

"...pass the flavor.."

I needed to ship a package and I decided to use "Click 'N Ship" through the Post Office website. Pretty nice.

Bad tabs
Good news for Arrestted

.:: Sunday, December 18th ::.

~ 06:37 PM ~

"...just drop that..."

In a day that is full of emotions, we received word that Riley (soon to be Ellis) is our dog. He will need an involved neuterring but otherwise he is a wonderful physical specimen.

Bill's funeral will be Thursday or Friday, which could affect Christmas Eve plans. Also, Neale's work could be affected and could cause her to change her travel plans. Developing...

Bill's estate was in Steve's hands and will be dealt with according to his decisions.

~ 03:15 PM ~

"...nothing strikes you as odd.."

I made our fruitcakes. I do not have any brandy to spray the cakes today. I will pick some up tomorrow. The actual making of the cake was not too troublesome. Rather, gathering the supplies was very involved. I used Alton Brown's recipe.

I posted the holiday card photo. Personally, I think I have taken better photos.

2005 Holiday Card Photo

~ 12:18 PM ~


Neale's grandfather, Bill, passed away.

~ 12:06 PM ~

"...moving onwardly.."

Neale planned to go into work as this is her last week before her vacation. But, Steve called and needed her at the hospital. Bill was having a rough morning and Steve wanted the company.

My fruitcake materials have mascerated and I will be starting the cakes shortly. For lack of good football viewing, I am watching the Rams.

Our local breeder called and left a message she would call back. I am not sure what that could mean but it could be good news.

The Bark
Eye Tricks

.:: Saturday, December 17th ::.

~ 04:23 PM ~

"...some velvet morning when I am straight..."

I started my fruitcake. The fruit and zest macerates overnight. I am making two loaves.

I made split pea soup for lunch and it was quite good. I am going to try the vegatable and tortilla soup too.

Top Ten Useless Vestigial Organs
Top Ten Science Stories

~ 11:54 AM ~

"...that vials not god.."

Neale's grandfather (Steve's Dad) is not doing well. He was admitted to the hospital and has a serious heart condition. He is not considering surgery at this point and Steve has come to town to talk with him. Neale is with him and they are probably at the hospital. She left before I was up. Developing...

I fasted yesterday so the blood work could be done. I have to say that the customer service at the lab was lacking in personability. They needed a urine sample and two tubes of blood. I meet with my doctor next year and we will see how the condition has changed. I do not feel any different and the side effects are non-existent at this point.

Ok, enough medical talk as this is not turning into the "what's your aliment and who's got what journal"....boring!

I cleaned and did laundry. I need some rum to start my fruitcake so I may pursue that.

Although the ratings are not what they use to be and I do not anyone else that admits to watching "The West Wing", Neale and I are still fans. It was sad to hear that John Spencer died yesterday.

Who exactly is going to vote Republican in 2008? Does the Bush presidency impress anyone? It just gets scarier. Novak stated that the President knows more about the Plame leak than he should. There will be hearings starting next year.

I turned in grades and I will not be back to my office until January 10th. This is my longest break since last winter. I plan to enjoy the pleasures of sleeping late, not keeping appointments, and doing as little as possible.

I am watching the Pats v. Bucs.

Got bugs?

.:: Friday, December 16th ::.

~ 08:25 AM ~

"...what's a wonderwall anyway?.."

Neale said U2 was great. 22 songs, great lights, and good company.

I had lunch with the LCCC liberal arts faculty at Alton's Big Muddy Pub.

I am turning in grades today at 2PM and I have to go to Quest Labs for my lab work.

My IPA is done and ready to go secondary. I want to do a regular ale before doing the Sturm and Festive ales.

10 Firefox must haves
Send 'em air freight?

.:: Wednesday, December 14th ::.

~ 08:06 PM ~

"...daft punk is playing at my house..."

I made Neale's office party brownies. A coworker made chocolate brownies with Andes candies pieces. Needless to say, Andes candies are to Neale as catnip is to your friendly pussycat.

I am watching "Shaun of the Dead"....not bad.

F*** Christmas
What happen to historical literacy?
Earth by Population
Black Warrior

~ 12:41 PM ~

"...you make me feel so brand new..."

Who puts ginger in an oatmeal raisin cookie? Just wrong.

Doug's Tubes

~ 08:52 AM ~

"...deep pocket shuffle..."

Neale is seeing U2 tonight with a coworker (Kathy V.) and some her coworkers' friends.

I have reading about the Blue Mic Snowball. It may have a use in my future home recording plans.

Dam breaks in MO

.:: Tuesday, December 13th ::.

~ 07:29 PM ~

"...the gift of sweaters..."

I met with my doctor and I received good news, which is I am healthy. I do have a slight blood pressure issue and I will start taking Lisinopril. I do everything I can to be healthy but I cannot outrun genetics. However, I can control what I can and that is exactly what I will do. So, please feel free to ask me once about this and I will tell you. But, this will not be an issue or condition that defines who I am. In other words, I have many interesting things to talk about and this is not one of them. I do not want to have a regular conversation with anyone besides my doctor about my minor blood pressure situation.

Evidently, NCIS is hitting bottom for scripts...a female boot camp reality show run by the US military. What?

Baby Bush Toys
Musuem of Hoaxes

~ 08:25 AM ~

"...they're made of meat..."

My IPA is bubbling quietly. I used a dry yeast with no starter. The new salesman at the LHBS encouraged me to give the yeast a try and I have never used dry yeast since the first batch. Yes, it is cheaper but I should have made a starter. However, I was out of dry malt extract so I just pitched the dry yeast. Can you tell I had not brewed in two months?

Kayne West is opening for U2.


.:: Monday, December 12th ::.

~ 04:15 PM ~

"...run at the Bears.."

We are taking our Holiday Card photo tonight.

The brewing went well. There is no activity yet but there is a krausen layer forming.

Brewing Network

.:: Sunday, December 11th ::.

~ 03:39 PM ~

"...your hair smells nice.."

Neale suprised me and bought me a replacement coffee grinder. It is nicer than the one I would have ordered from Amazon. I gave it a test and it is really nice.

We went for a walk and I replaced the chimmney shield. It blew off during the tornando/storm and a neighbor returned it. Neale held the ladder.

~ 12:12 PM ~

"..come lets play around, let each other loose..."

Neale enjoyed "It's A Wonderful Life". She is out having lunch, gathering groceries, and tanning.

We went to Schlafly and I took home a growler of Tripel. I was hoping for the Imperial Stout but it was not available (they may have not released it, it was due on Nov. 23rd).

We are considering our New Year's plans.

I am brewing my Hop Head IPA today.

My beloved and daily used Braun cofffe grinder is fading after 10+ years of service. I am in search of a replacement. Given it cost about $15 and I have used it daily, it has serviced me well.

.....the neighborhood is now clear.

Fake or Foto?
Steel Cut Oats
Arressted Development

.:: Saturday, December 10th ::.

~ 09:43 AM ~

"..kick it around alittle bit..."

Neale watched the nephews and niece. It went well. She got home after 1AM though.

I sketched out my brewing schedule last night. I am doing my IPA tomorrow, barley wine on January 2nd, then the Sturm Ale (Russian imperial stout), and a cider. I may do a bitters in between the barley and the imperial stout. The barley wine will mature all year like the last batch, which is tasting good. The imperial stout will take about three months to mature (at least). The cider is a first attempt and the person who published the recipe stated a few months to mature.

Neale went to the office for a few hours (phone calls to people not at work), I am going to Whole Foods for water, wash my car, and then we will walk. We are having dinner at Schlafly. Then, we are watching "It's a Wonderful Life".

Science of Beer
Cult films
Russian Climber

.:: Friday, December 9th ::.

~ 07:46 AM ~

"..kick it around alittle bit..."

Neale is watching our nephews and niece. For their well being, I am not attending tonight. I did attend last time though and it went well.

My doctor's appointment is scheduled for this coming Tuesday.

Winter is here. LCCC is open, which does not disrupt presentations. Class is going well. But, it is that time of the year where 5% of my students get grumpy and whiny about their grades. However, you have to remember that they have learned this behavior and it worked for them in the past (most likely). So, they think they can use it in college despite my reminders and direct directions that this is not their previous school. Overall, it has been a great semester and I managed to teach 7 classes well.

It's A Wonderful Life...in 30 seconds
Banished Words of 2005
Who needs science?

.:: Thursday, December 8th ::.

~ 05:13 PM ~

"..hot enough for ya?..."

Neale is having a haircut. I decided to help her by starting her soup.

The snow that was threatened overnight came after rush hour this morning. So, getting home from Alton was a mess. I stopped at Home Depot for new furnace filters (I use the .56 cent 30 day filters). They are easy for me to change on the first of the month because I am using the Soloflex nearby. I also picked up a hand axe for trimming logs. Next, I stopped at Target for a space heater to help in the entertainment room. I opted for an oil-filled radiator heater and it puts off a nice wave of warmth. Next, I got groceries and shoveled the driveway.

I am watching "Big Build" on the History Channel.

Old Candy

.:: Wednesday, December 7th ::.

~ 07:35 AM ~

"..the day the world went away..."

I watched "The Charlie Brown Christmas Special" last night. Neale did not and she will sadly burn in hell for eternity and, oh, Merry Christmas.

Since we are in the holiday mode and watching "Itís a Wonderful Life" on Saturday, which Neale has never seen, I ordered "A Christmas Carol". Which version you ask? George C. Scott's version of course is our favorite.

We are enjoying "Sleeper Cell".

Pearl Harbor
Top Ten Reasons to Drink during the Holidays

.:: Monday, December 5th ::.

~ 08:32 AM ~

"..gimme gimme gimme..."

Neale may have a hearing today. It was scheduled but the parties may decide differently. I think it is awkward to have a hearing on a Monday, which could canceled at the last moment.

I have decided to go with NTB tires later this month. Their Sigma tires for my car are reasonable.

Upon further review we believe that the fence that was damaged was not our fence. It runs the length of the neighbor's yard behind us and our side fences do not tie into it.

Ad Awards
Rocket fired about airline?

.:: Sunday, December 4th ::.

~ 06:24 PM ~

"..here aches dissolve..."

We went for a walk, I raked the branches in the yard, Neale gathered her groceries, and she finished the tree. After I finished raking, a neighbor from two houses down stopped by and asked if the chimney cover he found was mine. I said I would check as I had not even thought the cover would have blown off. The neighbors moved in about the same time we did and I have not really spoken with them. They seem nice though.

I made slow cooker tomato soup and it was really good. Last night after the movie, we had the taste for hot chocolate and found some low-carb hot chocolate, which was good with a dash of peppermint extract.

I am making another apple pie, a fruitcake, and Christmas cookies during the winter break.

Why is Costco better than Wal-Mart?

~ 12:16 AM ~

"..this is my house..."

Neale and Debbie decorated the tree. Photos are post on the 2005 Holidays page (see photo page).

Our local theatre chain has a promotion where you bring 13 can goods ($7.99 for us each), you receive two free passes to movies before 4PM. In a strategic move by the movie house, the only adult entertainment around 3PM was "The Ice Harvest". It was simply terrible. Simply terrible.

The pyramids of Bosnia
Sleeper Cell

.:: Friday, December 2nd ::.

~ 04:59 PM ~

"...everybody out..."

Yet another happy and quick visit to Kirkwood Mitsubishi.

My Boss BD-2 came and it sounds great.

I've had this photo and could not find where to place it....

Missouri Cures
Godfrey Power Outage story

~ 01:56 PM ~

"...Well, you're where you should be all the time
And when you're not, you're with
Some underworld spy or the wife of a close friend
Wife of a close friend, and.."

I went into work to serve my office hours as my two MWF sections have "project days", or days I sent aside for them to work in their presentation groups. The presentation make up the last classes and the students have been working all semester to produce a presentation and a paper about their chosen topic. Its sociology so everything fits and I help them make it fit. The paper is 3-4 papers and the presentations 7-10 minutes, which is pretty decent for a first year student in college. Overall, the presentations are quite fun, interesting, and despite the groans, they do enjoy them. Well, after my 40 minute commute (which was good...I was listening to the new Queens Live CD), I noticed that the Alton stop lights were out and campus was empty. Alton lost power after midnight and other parts were affected later. A few colleagues were chatting in an office and as we were, the power came on but the PC network was down (which also affects our phones). So, I got some grading done and left. Oh bother.

I am visiting my dealership today.The under warranty SRS PC is getting replaced.

What did I get at Schnucks? (pic)

~ 09:06 AM ~

"...its so safe to play along.."

The tree is gone. The team arrived around 8:15AM and left moments ago. I will post updated photos and check the fence today. From a distance, it does not look as bad without the tree. I know fence supplies are sold at Lowe's and Home Depot...so, I may be the fence man of the county soon (could not resist the reference).

~ 06:46 AM ~

"...Never for all with you...It's only one for me.."

Firefox 1.5 is available

We visited our local breeder last night. The two pups were great. The pup available to us currently was a 'fluffy' type corgi and that does not interest us. However, the other pup is a possible show quality corgi that is awaiting shots and check up. If the non-fluffy pup is not medically sound (there could be a one testicle condition), then the pup will be offerred to us. We played with the pups for about an hour and discussed issues about caring for dogs. Amazingly, they weighed about 3 pounds. Their eyes were up and they were a smart bunch. The recommended dog trainer recently lost their lease so we need to find another. But, the recommended vet and pet supply is still open. In other dog news, we spent our deposit to my parents' breeder and Neale traded email/phone with the breeder. We will have news soon from both.

We got a good estimate on the tree removal and the team is coming today. After the tree is gone, I can check the fence. The fence repair may wait until spring. We may have a company fix the fence or I may give it a try.

I am requesting tire quotes and I am leaning towards NTB currently.

Ten Things
Terrible Lie
sharks with frickin' laser beams

.:: Wednesday, November 30th ::.

~ 06:24 AM ~

"..you say potato, I say cheese..."

We have found a workable solution to the tree situation. Our neighbors have agreed to help with our deductible and Neale will contact the removable/repair services. She did a great job talking with them as I am not the negotiator. I really appreciate her work as I lost some sleep on Tuesday about the issue and how other issues could arise as a result.

Neale had a big day at work yesterday. She has the power to issue subpoenas if a witness to an important event or a person that may know something based upon other evidence needs to appear. The US Marshals serve the subpoena and track down the person. After several attempts (calls, letters, court), she had to issue one with the help of an attorney and the person was still avoiding his responsibility. Finally, he appeared and the process was done.

Save themselves
Vegan primer
Warning Label Generator

.:: Tuesday, November 29th ::.

~ 11:36 AM ~

"..like it or not..."

I got to watch a fellow instructor this morning. She did well. She is new to the profession.

Neale is having a big day at work. I will see what I can share here about it later.

Our neighbors have not mentioned anything about the tree in our backyard, which was formerly their tree. Neale thinks they have not noticed it, whereas I believe they are ignoring it since they have to do something about the tree, the fence, and the tree in another neighbor's yard that was damaged in the incident. I lost a little sleep last night about it because I refuse to let them escape responsibility for this despite it being "an act of God". I believe there is a right way to deal with this and I know how I would act if my property damaged someone else's property. Developing....

The holidays can be stressful

.:: Monday, November 28th ::.

~ 06:38 PM ~

"..taken care of..."

It was confirmed that a tornado came through our neighborhood area.

New map

~ 07:47 AM ~


There was a storm last night. Neale heard it more than I did. We saw some lightning when we went to bed around 10:30. A neighbor's tree crashed into our yard and knocked a hole in the fence. We will visit them tonight unless they visit us first. Pictures posted.

No holmes
Illinois Mammoths

.:: Sunday, November 27th ::.

~ 08:09 PM ~

"...what the hell?..."

Your Career Type: Artistic
You are expressive, original, and independent.
Your talents lie in your artistic abilities: creative writing, drama, crafts, music, or art.

You would make an excellent:

Actor - Art Teacher - Book Editor
Clothes Designer - Comedian - Composer
Dancer - DJ - Graphic Designer
Illustrator - Musician - Sculptor

The worst career options for your are conventional careers, like bank teller or secretary.

~ 05:20 PM ~

"..big sky country..."

The weather cleared and we went for a walk. Neale did me a favor and filled my car up. I was low and was waiting because I thought I may go to Costco on Saturday. I pass my favorite gas station with a touchless car wash. However, I found a new gas station on St. Charles Rock road that is on my way home and has a touchless car wash.

I am enjoying my barley wine homebrew. I did 11 batches this year but I have not brewed since September. I plan to do an IPA before the end of the year though.

The Rams looked terrible. The highlight of the game was the Rams' third string quarterback completed his first pass to Holt, which was the first completion by a Harvard quarterback ever in the NFL.

Absinthe FAQs
German Wine

~ 11:56 AM ~

"..you brought the mashed potatos, I got the gravy..."

It is a gray rainy day here. I was watching CCIN's broadcast of the 90th Turkey Bowl (Webster v. Kirkwood). First, no one should be saying "hammertime" anymore. The broadcasters were perfect for cable access TV. Second, high school football is tough to watch.

Systweak...nice utility

.:: Saturday, November 26th ::.

~ 07:38 PM ~

"..morning announcements..."

We added the holiday cheer and posted photos (check photos page).

~ 12:55 PM ~

"...it might have been a dream..."

The tree is up and the wreath is now hung in the entertainment room. Debbie stopped by and gave us small winter decoration, which will go above or below the garage light. I am doing the outside decorations after our walk, which is soon.


.:: Friday, November 25th ::.

~ 08:58 PM ~

"...I can predict the future...everyday is always the same..."

We have a tree. Pics tomorrow after we decorate Sutcliff Manor for the winter holidays (Son of Isis display in basement). We went to Home Depot (which wasn't too crazy given the day) and looked for yard bags. Neale wanted a rake that was a scoop 'n rake combo but they were unable. But, we found a reusable tree for a reasonable price. Happy yule....oh, (royal) tannenbaum (who Died Tragically Rescuing His Family From The Remains Of A Destroyed Sinking Battleship).

I went to gather groceries and I picked up House of India food, which was excellent as always.

Crash Bonsai
No, Sensei
Recumbent bike
Mystic Ball

~ 10:53 AM ~

"...your solid gold..."

Happy Holidays.

We are going for a walk and then raking the backyard. Also, the mums will be pulled. We need to stop by Home Depot for bags and a "grabber" rake.

I had a Tofurkey sandwich for breakfast and we had one of Steve and Joan's cinammon rolls. Tasty as always.

I made a few updates throughout the site. More to come.


.:: Thursday, November 24th ::.

~ 09:23 AM ~


The Tofurkey is in the oven.

Lost Destinations
Fit Calc
Conference Bike

.:: Wednesday, November 23rd ::.

~ 01:59 PM ~

"...like warm apple pie..."

We are going to see Harry Potter and Neale picked up the recent Star Wars for later.

~ 11:23 AM ~

"...bebe's kids..."

The pie is in its last 30 minutes in the oven. The crust turned out great. Alton Brown encouraged use of a food processor, which I love to use but I opted for the most important kitchen tool....good clean hands. Next time, I will use alittle corn meal in the crust though. Pic soon.

~ 09:32 AM ~

"...really I want to..."

We actually had no reason to take trash to the curb today. I checked the trash bin this morning (trashmen usually come around 10AM...yard waste earlier) and there was one bag and 2 small pizza boxes from last night. Oh well...

I started the pie crust. It is resting for a half hour. The fail safe plan is still in effect as the grocery store is open and a great bakery is a few blocks away.

I doing a mountain of laundry as Neale overpacked (as usual).

We may go for a ride as the temp is good (62) but the wind is high (15-21 mph). Later, we are heading to see the lastest Potter.


.:: Tuesday, November 22nd ::.

~ 12:33 PM ~

"...what are you doing?..."

I picking up Neale around 4PM. She is flying American Airlines.

I was playing guitar and stumbling around the Internet while watching an Ebay auction last night. I finally found a Boss BD-2 on Ebay for less than $40. Great deal. I also found a nice utility for Firefox called Firetune.

I got some grading done so I taking a break and playing chess against a PC.

Thinking Machine
Cost of Living

.:: Monday, November 21st ::.

~ 08:21 PM ~

"...my empire of dirt..."

No pie was made. Tuesday?

~ 12:47 PM ~

"...its all in the reflexes..."

I called Neale. She said she would call me last night but she did not. She forgets about me. Her excuse was she got back late to Portland and would have called me about 11PM STL time. LAME! Is this a vacation from me? On a more positive note, she saw the Space Needle and Pike's Market (yes, where they throw the fish). It was not her first trip to Seattle but Britt had never been.

My chili was quite good. It simmered in the slow cooker for eight hours.

I decided to sleep in this morning so I will work out this afternoon and make the first apple pie, which could become dinner.

As some may have heard, Howard Stern is leaving traditional radio. So, there is a reorganization of our "new alternative" radio station (105.7 The Point). Luckily, we are not getting Mancow or David Lee Roth or Adam Corolla. We are getting Rover, who is based in Cleveland. We heard his show for a short time while we lived there. I give him six months in STL.

He can fly
Senses Challenge

.:: Sunday, November 18th ::.

~ 03:13 PM ~

"...sponsored by the Wing Kong Trading Co...."

I called Neale and she is in Seattle.

My desire to do yard work was drowned out by the gray sky. Also, I did not feel like going to Home Depot for bags. So, I have been blissfully lazy. I have been playing guitar and stumbling around the Internet. OUCH! The Rams are losing....BIG. My chili is bubbling nicely and I made grilled cheese for lunch.

Hotel Surplus
Big Trouble In Little China

~ 10:32 AM ~

"...feed a hole and I'm never goin' home..."

Bucks won!

I dropped Neale at the airport around 7:30 yesterday. I was actually at the grocery store around 8AM...quite empty. I got my supplies and ingredients for the pie, which will take shape soon. I am using jonagold apples. I want to do a test pie before unleashing my creation on family and friends. There is also a toffee and chocolate topping (made with Heath bars). I came home and waited for Costco to open (9:30) and I went to Dierbergs again because I realized we do not own a pie dish and Costco did not have shortening. We usually use aluminum pie tins for quiches. All this was planned so I could watch the game uninterrupted. I made pizza for lunch and did a quesadilla for dinner. I used my leftover salsa from Qdoba, which I visited on Friday. I had not been there is a few months (March?). Neale called in the early evening and said everything was going well. I was watching "Crash" (Cronenberg version) and I had a fire in the heath.

I found a copy of TV Guide for Neale. When did TV Guide get big? There are 3D glasses in this week's copy for NBC's Medium. I really do not enjoy 3D anything. They are also easy to make I found out.

I may remove leaves from the backyard and pull the mums. The front yard still looks great and the neighbors have cleared their leaves as well.

It was rather late last night but I believe I saw a short segment on the character "Ralphie" who is a producer nowadays. Yes, he looks the same.

Cancellation is best
Top Cars for Women

.:: Friday, November 18th ::.

~ 07:46 AM ~

"...behind a pole..."

Neale is packed. She has a day in court enforcing a court order. Meanwhile, I am talking about urban legends and leading the general chaos that my sociology experience. Pure horror show brothers, viddy well...

In order to properly battle the winter wind, I purchased a black wool balaclava. Next year, we should have a treadmill though. We will have some funds available for that as the living room, dining room, and Soloflex will be paid off (at least that is the word from general accounting). A boy can dream.

Tomorrow, I am taking Neale to the airport, gathering groceries, and watching Michigan v. OSU @ noon. I like our chances.

StumbleUpon FAQs
F*** Corporate Groceries
Scariest Movie Scenes
Social Influence

.:: Thursday, November 17th ::.

~ 04:07 PM ~

"...a thought for..."

I had no cavities.

Neale's brunch went well. She returned the bacon I bought. I was stopping at the store and my bacon buying skill is rusty....in fact, I had never bought real bacon.

Neale got a manicure today. It may be pic worthy.

MO parks
Fralin Pups
Black Flag

.:: Wednesday, November 16th ::.

~ 08:23 AM ~

"...four stars..."

Neale is having a brunch at work. I believe it is a reward for their fundraising activities as an office.

Neale gave "My Name is Earl" a try last night and liked it. I have seen a few episodes and it has had some laughs. "The Office" follows and that is just getting better.

It is "project day" at work so I will get caught up on grading. The exams have also been released so I will have that done soon.

We walked last night. The cold I can deal with and I have a layering system that keeps out the chill. But, the wind was just brutal. I remember we walked in the middle of January and that was better than last night. It was rare but it does remind us on how we need to invest in a treadmill for those occasions.

We are having our first hard freeze tonight. I cut back my roses but plant #1 was still trying to get out one more blossom. I may dig out the mums this weekend. Since Neale is leaving for a few days, I have planned a lazy weekend...plus OSU v. Michigan is on this Saturday.

Beat box harmonica...you feel me?
Witch Trials
Deep Fried Oreos

.:: Tuesday, November 15th ::.

~ 01:44 PM ~


Decent day. It started out by being woken by thunder/lighting in the early morning hours. It stormed for hours. The drive in was ok given the weather and the construction on my route. Sun has finally come out though. We walked in the rain last night and had to cut it short. We spent several hours together last night because Neale took off early (she is low on cases).

Hops is good

.:: Monday, November 14th ::.

~ 07:28 AM ~

"...I got no ideas..."

Dinner was good. We went to Trader Joe's market afterwards and I picked up my tofukry.

The Turkey Run photos have been posted.

Arrested gets axed
Small Wonder...still fascinates me

.:: Saturday, November 12th ::.

~ 10:01 PM ~

"...you're so physical..."

We went to Turkey Run and Mogger's. Photos soon.

We are playing tennis and going to P.F. Changs tomorrow for Jack's birthday.

Mystic Celt
MO Parks

.:: Friday, November 11th ::.

~ 04:23 PM ~

"...doing things..."

I have this odd feeling. I left an auto dealership happy. I actually had two recalls done. I did not receive a note about the "fan speed" update and my previous dealership never mentioned it. My airbag light came on and I mentioned to the service manager. Luckily, I mentioned it in time as my warranty is up at 60,000 and I would have to rolled over that soon.

Neale got a set from Matt. She is watching episodes of the BBC's "Office".

I went to Global Market on the way home. Great store for ethnic food items.

It's bad...its nation wide...in red
Wine Country
Veg Cooking

~ 08:41 AM ~

"...me and my back door moves are no more..."

Thank you

Neale is playing tennis with Matt. We are playing Sunday probably. I am using the Soloflex and walking. Later, I have to visit Kirkwood Mitsubishi to get an emissions recall taken care of before the offer expires. Yesterday, I donated and got an oil change. We are done with the dealership since the "tires for life" offer was invalidated by a nail on the highway.

My pressure was high (134 over 90) at the Red Cross yesterday. This was the third or fourth time in a row so I am going to our physician to have it checked out. I can find reasons why it would be high but I am not going to use that as an excuse. I am not one to ignore issues and I deal with everything directly. I am not happy about the high pressure (if it really is) and I really do not want any jokes at my expense about this. I try to do the right things and some are quick to take a shot at my expense to validate their disrespect for their own bodies. Yes, we are all going to die but you make choices along the way. If you would like to find a moment or event where I made you feel less than you deserved, let me know. I do not enforce my lifestyle or beliefs on you. If you want to know, I tell you. If you do not, I do not make a point to mock you or condescend to you. So, if you want to laugh at my expense do not expect me to stand there and watch you.

What Pets Do When You're Not Home
Wine Dimple
Horror Movie Survival Guide

.:: Tuesday, November 8th ::.

~ 07:37 PM ~

"...hot and in a maid's outfit..."

I am watching "NCIS" and enjoying some green tea. Neale is having dinner and enjoying "Good Will Hunting".

We went for a ride. It was 80+ degrees. However, we spent 40 minutes in traffic on the way home though. Worth the wait.

My forearm and wrist are sore. The forearm I noticed after tennis and I think I tweaked it more using the Soloflex Monday morning. The knee is better. I am using the hot/cold method. Hot being Icy Hot and cold being an ice pack. Our ice pack collection is nice because I saved the ice packs used to ship my homebrew yeast.

I am donating on Thursday. I also need an oil change and replace my headlight bulb. We are taking a daytrip this weekend. We are going back to Terre Haute for a visit to Turkey Run and dinner at Moggers.

Greatest Internet Moments
Orcale of Bacon
2001 Explained

.:: Sunday, November 6th ::.

~ 01:35 PM ~

"...cause of confusion..."

Maui has been rescheduled. We were able to get a better deal on the length of the trip. So, we are going in July of 2006.

I painted the insulation in our nonfunctioning (which is a good thing) heater in the entertainment room. My quest to seal the house to save on heating/air conditioning lead me to place some yellow insulation in the heater to stop drafts. It worked but Neale noticed the yellow. Now, it is black. The heater is disconnected and broken (we got credit for it so we could buy Mr. Slim). The heater will be removed and the space insulated when the room is drywalled next summer. I also painted the spot in the basement wall that was bothering me. I wanted to see the difference between the white and the basement gray. Well, there was a legitmate difference and the spot was clear to me. So, I reprimed and painted the spot. It gone.

I was able to track down info about my new shoes. They are more comfortable than my previous pair and they should last longer.

We are making chili. It seems to be that time of the year when chili tastes just right. I have made three batches in the last two weeks.

Sociology fun

~ 11:03 AM ~

"...caught up..."

Yes, its my birthday...33! Other folks sharing my birthday: Ethan Hawk, Rebecca Romijn, Thandie Newton, Mike Nichols, Lori Singer, & Sally Field.

I have been alive 1,044,051,300 seconds.

Neale is trying to find brown shoes, then groceries, and we are going to play tennis later today.

We had a storm last night so the backyard is covered in leaves. We tried.

Back in 1972

.:: Saturday, November 5th ::.

~ 09:51 PM ~

"...wax and wane..."

If they make a Mini Cooper hybrid, I am owning one.

We raked/vaccumed the backyard and the grass looks good. Yes, I will need to add seed in the spring. We are experiencing some nice weather but it will turn soon.

We went for a walk and then out to buy shoes. My black and brown shoes for the fall are exhausted. We found a suitable black pair. Then we went to Casa Gallardo for dinner. Neale has been to all five (really, six...North County closed) so we called it the Sombrero trick. YOU COME UP WITH SOMETHING BETTER!

Always room for jello

~ 09:24 AM ~

"...kinda I want to..."

When I was leaving work yesterday, I took a different route out of the building. A woman exited the dining room and walked on the same path towards the parking lot. We were walking in unison as our strides matched. After walking side-by-side for 30 seconds she turned to me and introduced herself to me. She was going to work (working a 6 to 6 shift) and she asked me what I was doing. I told her I was done with work and she did not realize I was an instructor (I was wearing a black button down and my orange jeans). In sociology, we refer to people occupying the same area (sidewalk...elevator...aisle) and politely ignoring each other/respecting personal space as "civil inattention". She broke the norm but it was a good thing.

I went to Costco and Schnucks for groceries. I believe I saw a free sample person giving out single trash bags at Costco. At Schnucks, the self checkout person was bothered by the line of people at the front of the store; it was people signing up for a flu shot. She was threatening to hit somebody soon so I sympathized with her plight. They must have been asking her too many questions or causing trouble for people exiting the store. In the lot, the cart guy almost knocked me over with a line of 10+ carts. I almost became a parking lot causality....where is my personal injury lawyer?

I had one of those times in a class where it just comes together perfectly. In my 11AM Intro class, we discussed chp. 20, which is education. It is a subject that I always fretted over in presentation because we are in a classroom and we are discussing school. In the past, I kept it pretty close to the book and did not consider it one of my "A list" presentations. My strong areas are the inequality sections (class, race, age, gender) and the social psychology/symbolic interactionist aspects of the course (group dynamics, interaction, role/status). So, I was considering how to do it differently and that process usually starts when I get up in morning and have atleast some coffee in me. The thought processes really do not fire up until I get in the car and assault my ear drums (alot of NIN and SRV lately). Since I am teaching my education class (EDUC 233: Cultural Conflict in the Classroom), I have more information to draw from these days. So, the education discussion/presentation is now a "question and answer" session. The 11AM class had great questions and we covered many important topics. It is what I refer to as "hitting my spots and corners". Good times.

We watched "Spy Game" last night. I missed the last 20 mins. However, I watched most of "The Thin Red Line" this morning. I remember watching that is Akron when Neale was in DC. I got home and called her to encourage her to see it. Great film. The love story in the film really got to me since I was living in the little black hole of the King Apartments.

We are probably going for a ride and I will remove leaves from the backyard. I want to get a good look at the grass growth. It looks good so far.

"....Demon is up in the attic to the left
My eye turns to the left to say, "no"
You said, "First, I am the special one."
I never hammer my mind out..."

Kurt's Equipment
An arrow of time
High Speed Photos

.:: Friday, November 4th ::.

~ 06:52 AM ~

"...22lbs. of gunk..."

Neale had fun with her coworkers.

It took me about an hour and half to vaccum the leaves. When we work together, it takes about 45 mins. I rake and she uses the vaccum. Domestic goodness....

It is my birthday weekend and we have no plans....perfect.

I am gathering groceries and stopping by Costco for a few items (i.e. vitamins).

360 View from the Eiffel Tower
Marvelous Crooning Child
Top 25 Noir

.:: Thursday, November 3rd ::.

~ 02:08 PM ~

"...we're in this together..."

It is quite windy but I am going to use the lawn vaccum and clean the yard. Neale is going out with friends after work.

Thank you everyone for the birthday cards. You are all quite generous and I appreciate the thought.

Global Gallery
Spot of tea?
Gotta go

.:: Wednesday, November 2nd ::.

~ 08:19 AM ~


My knee is alittle sore. It is right below the right knee cap so it maybe bursitis. I iced it last night. No big deal.

We Shall Overcome
Remembering Jim Crow
Historical Census
Rock History
Funny Cats

.:: The Real Tuesday, November 1st ::.

~ 06:49 AM ~

"...c'mon its free..."

Halloween was a success. We had about 12 kids total despite the cold damp conditions.

PJ Harvey
Henry Earl

.:: Tuesday, November 1st ::.

~ 06:55 PM ~


Ok, things have picked up alittle. The first kid was dressed as Vader and he did not say anything. I opened the door to a small individual with a glowing red lightsaber. Next, a kid (bit more timid than Vader) dressed as Nixon. Why a child of 12 or so would dress as Nixon is beyond me. Finally, a group of five very young kids. It is still raining by the way.

~ 05:46 PM ~

"...broadcast excellence..."

Still really not Tuesday. I have a bowl of candy and no visitors. So, my students will be getting free candy.

I remember Halloween 1994 was on a Monday. I was at Butler in my apartment (@ Jef's house) and I was filling out applications to grad school. It was raining and the Packers were on Monday Night Football.

Carve a pumpkin
HBO's Rome Help

~ 07:55 AM ~

"...your'e approved..."

What? Is this a trick?

US Census: Halloween