August 2004 Archives


| No Comments

An overhead snippit of conversation, later confirmed by Kim:

Katie: What are these? Are these steerers?
Kim: Those are your knees...
Katie: Oh, Ok.

Neither one of us have any clue what that meant.

Nocturnal 4 year old

| No Comments

Just overheard in the hall regarding our frog:

Katie, to Ellen: "See, he's nocturnal, so he sleeps during the day. That's what's nocturnal about him."

I love it when they toss around these big words that barely fit in their little mouths. katie's 4, by the way.

The cat came back...sort of.

| No Comments

We spent yesterday searching high and low for Angel, our new cat, but almost to no avail. Finally, after searching the house for an hour or so, I found her in the crawl space in the basement. She was wedged into one of the few spots in the house inaccessible to humans, which is either luck, instinct, or just a natural ability to be a pain in the ass. In any case, it was decided that no effort would be made to retrieve her for a day or so so that we could see if she knew how to a, get out on her own and b, find her food/litterbox. So, sure enough, last night around 11 when we're in bed and the lights are off, we hear meowing outside our bedroom, and there's Angel, timidly stalking around. She used her box, ate her food, and is gone again this morning. Not a problem. As long as she knows what to do, we're not concerned.

Next step: stop her from scratching at the furniture/carpet, and perhaps see her during the day time so Katie can actually pet her.

News news and

| No Comments

The last 24 hours have brought about some remarkable developments in the North Atlantic...oh, wait, that's "The Hunt for Red October".

But, in fact, a good deal has happened here. First, the sleep study. I found out some good and some bad news. The good news is that I didn't have any "obstructive sleep apneas", which are the times where you stop breathing for 10 seconds or so. That would also lead to a decreased Oxygen level during the night, and decreased O2 to the brain. None of that was the case, so rule out danger of stroke or any other serious illnesses normally related to sleep apnea.

Bad news on this front is that I still woke up, to some degree, an average of FIFTY times per HOUR. That means that my breathing was choked off just a touch, enough to wake me and preventing deeper sleep. Thus, I'm always tired.

The next step is to talk to the sleep doctor in a few weeks and see what to try, but I have a feeling I'm going to go with a very slight surgery (removing just the tonsillls and uvula), as my tonsills have been bothering me for months, and then get another sleep study. I can always do CPAP then with only the pain of the operation and the loss in time as negative results.

Now, on a totally different front, we got a kitty cat for Katie's birthday! Our first cat, so advice from cat owners is appreciated until I get tired of you all. ;) Here are a bunch of bad pictures, but at least they're a start.

We surprised her with it this morning, and I think she named it "Angel", although we'll see how long that sticks. Her original name was Olivia, which I actually like, and I was hoping she'd let me name her Cthulhu, after my aunt of the same name. I hope Kim can handle her (the cat, not my aunt), because she seems very sweet and I'm sure she'll be very affectionate once she gets more comfortable.

Bunnies from hell

| No Comments

With a title like that, how could one NOT read this entry?? Of course, this bit of twisted webdom comes from the equaly twisted Neil Gaiman. Could anyone else find the Bunny of the month club?

A long week ahead

| No Comments

Today starts at least a 7 day work week, possibly longer depending on whether I take off next monday or not. I have to work most likely all weekend, and all week getting ready for that project, so if anyone has a nice soft bed for me to crash in next week, please let me know...

Ribs, NY Times style

| No Comments

For my friend Greg.

I've made these maybe 15 times. They've been great almost every time.

Start with fresh, babybacks. It's much better. Trim off excess meat and pull of the membrane from the bottom of the rack. You'll do this in stages, the first taking overnight, the second taking about 6 hours.

1, In a large roasting pan that can be covered, add about 1.5 gallons of water, 1.5 cups Kosher salt, 1 cup brown sugar, and 4 oz. liquid smoke. The last ingredient is VERY important. Mix it all around and put in the ribs. Cover and put in a fridge for at least 12 hours.

2, Remove the ribs and pour out the nasty liquid. Dry off the ribs with paper towels. Rub a bunch of spice rub into the ribs, front and back, until it's all coated.


Really, this can be anything you want, but I've had good luck with (approximately) this:

1 part paprika
1/5 part salt (or seasoned salt)
2 parts brown sugar
2/5 part mustard powder
2/5 part espresso powder (instant espresso)
a bit of cinnimon, nutmeg, sage powder, orange peel, cocoa powder (if you want)
1 part garlic powder
1 part onion powder
1/5 part fresh ground black pepper
and anything else you want to add flavor to the ribs. Remember, sweet is good, spicy is good, both are better.

3, Turn on oven to 210. Cover bottom in foil and put the rack in the middle. Put the ribs right on the rack, meat side up. Cook for about 6-7 hours.

That's it. Make some BBQ sauce and pass separately. The liquid smoke brine gives the ribs a wonderful smokiness, and the spice rub gives it whatever flavor you want to impart.

A long, scary, frustrating evening

| No Comments

Well, I'm back from the sleep center. It's a few nicer appointed rooms in a fairly nice hospital. The strange evening started with me leaving my family for the night at 7:30 PM. The kids were very confused.

Then, following their directions, I ended up driving through all of Patterson, NJ. I'm sorry to any loyal readers from that area, but let me tell you, downtown Patterson is about as bad an area as I have ever seen, and I went to school on the south side of Chicago, and used to take courses at Columbia. It's UGLY. I thought I was going to be going into a hospital there, but I kept driving and driving until I ended up in a really nice area of God-knows-where and the hospital. If anyone knows "William Patterson University", it's right there.

An odd aside, I once went to a piano sale at WPU, and as soon as I got on that stretch of road I realized that I knew where I was. In fact, I took that way home from memory instead of going through Patterson at 6:00 AM.

But, where was I...ah yes, it's a strange thing to walk into a hospital at 8:00 PM carrying a pillow. I playfully told the information woman "Give you three guesses where I'm going!" Apparently, blank stares don't count as guesses, so she gets to keep all three of hers...

Once situated, I met my technician, Cherise (sp?), who was very polite and businesslike, but a bit offputting. In any case, I got wired up like that pin cushion guy from Hellraiser and then was told to go to bed at 9. Well, not that simple, but by around 11, I was asleep with the admonition that Cherise would only come into my room for three reasons:

1, if one of the leads came off (none did.)
2, if I called her because I had to go to the bathroom or some other thing (there was a mic in the room)
3, if I snored/showed signs of sleep apnea badly enough that it wasn't really a question and she had enough data.

Guess what? 1 AM comes and she's waking me up. Apparently, #3 came true. I'm a bear who can't breathe.

*More later*

Sleeping it off.

| No Comments

So tonight I go in for a sleep study to determine if I have sleep apnea. I don't know if I do or not, but I DO know that I've been so tired lately. Even a long night's sleep leaves me feeling tired and I've been much grouchier lately than I think I normally would be.

Sorry, Kim. *kiss*

Last time I had a sleep study done, I couldn't fall asleep until around 4 AM and the idiots woke me at 6, and then claimed not to have gotten enough data. DUH. So, this time I'll make it realllly clear that if I can't fall asleep, please let me sleep in. Hopefully, they won't be pains about it and I'll go to bed nice and relaxed and drop off quickly. In any case, if I DO fall asleep at normal time, apparently the normal wake up time is 6 (ugh...) and then I am out of there by 7. I'll probably come home and sleep.

Anyway, I'm going in to SleepCare in Wayne, NJ. If anyone wants to stop by tonight, come on over. I'll be sleeping--hopefully!

Reflections of a 6 year old.

| No Comments

My mom took Ellen to Beauty and the Beast on Broadway recently, and during intermission, this was, apparently, the interaction at the concession stand:

Ellen: I'd like some skittles.
Concession guy: Sorry, we're out of skittles. Would you like something else?
Ellen pauses, thinking
Concession guy, after a minute: Is there something else I can get you?
Ellen, earnestly: Please give me a minute to reflect on my choices.
Concession guy and Mom break up laughing.

She's 6.

Who owns the signal?

| No Comments

This is going to seem trite, and already covered all over, but this article has really brought it home. Who owns your wireless signal? If I want to share my wifi signal with the entire building, what's wrong with that? I only have so much bandwidth, am PAYING for that bandwidth, and should be able to parcel it out as I wish.

Odds are, though, that these "filters" could be gotten around with a MAC address clone anyway, but the point is, should they have to be? I don't like this, and can see where it's just a fat company wanting to get fatter.

A Cool List

| No Comments

This is from the NY Times, a list of the top 1000 movies of all time.
I love lists like this, but there are some odd choices, both that should and maybe shouldnt be on the list.

Desperately Seeking Susan? Should any Madonna movies be on a list like this?
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Kahn? I loved it, but I never thought it would make a critic's list.
Starman? The goofy movie with Jeff Bridges as a really confused alien?

As Greg just commented, though, "Um, well, 1000 is a lot of movies :)"

I've seen 238 of them, or 23.8%. Geez, I'd have estimated that I've seen more, but there you go.

This one's for Kim...

| No Comments

Check out this weather-by-phone resource.

A free call, apparently, and you can get any weather info you want. Now, would you pay a little bit to get it RIGHT, though?

....imagining a phone call...

P: What's the weather in my area?
Them: Go outside.
P: Ok.
Them: are you wet? If you, I believe with a high probability that it's either raining or snowing. Thank you for calling. *CLICK*
P: *grumble..*

Can't WAIT

| No Comments

I so totally can't wait for the HitchHikers Guide to the Galaxy Movie. Here's the first "Teaser trailer" i've seen. Not much meat, but better than nothing!

Huple's cat

| No Comments

For those familiar with Joseph Heller's wonderful book Catch-22, you might remember a scene where Hungry Joe keeps having nightmares about Huple's cat being on his face and suffocating him. Then he wakes up to find that it's true. Well, in that spirit, Kim told me that she woke up 2 nights ago, trying to catch her breath and being unable to. She felt like there was a huge weight on her chest.

Turned out that Katie had popped into our room at some point, crawled into bed, and lied down right on her chest. After a short while, her 40 lb weight started to take it's toll, untill she finally popped up, gasping. Katie slept right through it--as did I.

So much for Huple.

Not so roth!

| No Comments

My 6 year old is a piece of work. She never ceases to amaze me, and frequently just cracks me up. The other day, Kim and I were horsing around with the kids, especially Katie, who loves playing rough and tumble, and Ellen joined in. However, it quickly proved to be too rough for her, and she started whining and asking us not to play so rough. It quickly degenerated to her throwing a bit of a fit because she felt excluded, blah blah blah...

But, the point of all this isn't that. The point is that the next day, she shows up with the following...campaign slogan, for lack of a better term:

Now, realize that she wrote it on her own, with no help, so the spelling of "rough", which is amazingly hard, came out "roth", but that's her slogan. She came up with it, and handed it out.

Vote not so rough

Sadly, she couldn't raise a simple majority, so her measure was defeated...but she ran a nice campaign.

They should be embarassed

| No Comments

The "Show Me State" just showed me that they're 70% idiots.

Let me see here. Amendment to the constitution. Um, my reading on that is that it's all about the state, right? All about what changes we should make to the running of the government?

If that's the case, why would this:

Vicky Hartzler, a spokeswoman for the Coalition to Protect Marriage in Missouri, which pressed for the amendment with church functions, yard signs and a "marriage chain" of rallies across the state, said she hoped that the outcome would send a loud message to the rest of the country: "Here in the heartland we have a heart for families, and this is how deeply we feel about marriage."


In Ladue, Lindsay Goldford, a 20-year-old college student, said her Christian background and beliefs were the basis of her support for an amendment. "When you look at marriage, it's between a man and a woman," Ms. Goldford said. "Biblically, homosexuality isn't in the plan."

And this:

Mary Klostermeier, 77, said she saw the need to bar gay marriage. "I guess I'm in the old school," Ms. Klostermeier said. "I'm just a very religious person."

Be relevant? It's nice that Ms. Klostermeier is religious. Good for her. However, what does that have to do with an amendment to the state constitution? I sort of remember reading something about the separation of church and state. Or was that a different democracy we live in? The one where a marraige is a legal union between two people, regardless of whether they do it in a church, temple, mosque, town hall, or on an ocean liner heading for Darkest Peru.

The continued meddling in secular institutions by religious groups is one of the most irksome parts of what goes on in law in this country. That the impetus frequently comes from the highest lawmakers in the nation just make matters worse. If there's a SECULAR reason to ban gay marraiges, let me hear it. If not, and this is addressed to all of you religious zealots who would meddle in the affairs of others that you consider "morally corrupt"...


Thank you.


Powered by Movable Type 4.32-en

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from August 2004 listed from newest to oldest.

July 2004 is the previous archive.

September 2004 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.