Why I took so long? I don't know but...

Amazon.com rules! I had bought a cd off of amazon several months ago because I could not find it anywhere around here but that was it. Then last month I bought a movie, a used on. The Day After Tomorrow. Now I have bought the 2nd and 3rd Matrix movies. Total cost for both: $15. I was a fan of Netflix, but for some reason my mindset has changed and I want to own them, to build a collection. When it is large enough, I will always have something to watch. We buy cd's and listen to songs over and over, why not movies?
Well, I may still be held accountable for that mistake I made at work but I discovered today most of it isn't my fault. What is my fault is not getting the documents sent on time. What is not is that half of the needed documents in each file was not there, never provided by the techs and advisors. So even if I had sent them on time they would have, in all probability, been charged back anyways. I discovered this as I remade the copies and sent them again because I should have received some kind of response by this time. Life goes on. This company has enough issues that I am the least of their worries.
I went to Garden Ridge today as they had advertised large rugs for $18, but I ended up buying one for $24. It was larger and much nicer with alot of colors. The rug is the first step in the redeorating of my apartment. Mom and Dad gave Jess a computer for Christmas and I have to purchase a router before I will set it up. I want to move my puter table but needed a rug to cover the ethernet cable. So I will spend the weekend rearranging the apartment and then start shopping online for the router I want. Then the girl can im with her friends all she wants and I can still read my news and write about my "exciting" life!


Cracker man....

I like crackers. I have always liked them but lately I have started eating them as a bigger part of my dietary intake. I have them for my mid-day snack, with cream cheese. And I have them with dinner, usually by spreading something on top of them or with cheese and meat. I just like them and they also make eating a simpler function. I can sit at my puter while watching tv and eat at a slow pace which is supposed to be good for me too.
I am worried. For the past year or so, every 2-3 weeks I get this immense and intense pain in my chest right about where my arteries and my heart converge. This pain is strong that I can barely stand it and it lasts as long as 15 minutes or so. The pain progresses up my neck and into my jawbone and through my back to my shoulder blades. I did a bit if reading on webmd.com today and these are classic symptoms of heart disease or an impending heart attack. But it is also brought on by stress, of which I have had more than my share of this year. I will be working to reduce my stress in the coming months, one item at a time. I have attempted to apply problem solving thought process into just what I need to do to achieve this and I am going forward with it. I hope my time is not up yet as I have much to do before I go. But if it is, then I go with the knowledge that the Lord is waiting for me.
I have a new friend. She is a fellow blogger and I just want to say I think she is a very good writer. Blogging is different things for different people but it truly is a way for average working people who also happen to have writing talent to be discovered. So many people have talent but not the resources to get noticed. It is a fascinating time we live in now. Blogging has given us a first hand account of the horrible disaster going on from the tsunami. We are able to learn first hand how others live, love, and survive. We can read about someone from a different land and yet we will be able to identify with them because they experience the same emotions we do. We can learn how others react to situations encountered in every day life and possibly learn a new way of dealing with lifes "opportunities".



This was such a good day! I cannot relate in words just how much love was shared today between my parents, myself and Jessica. Sister was a pain and we just as happy to see her leave the room since she really made a point about not wanting to be a part of it. But other than that it was great! Jess cleaned up, but then she was the only person anyone cared about giving too. I had not been with her the past two hollidays and I truly learned how much I missed her. I got the Star Wars boxed set from Mom and Dad I had wanted, but I had not even paid attention about receiving gifts. All I could think about was giving to her as I don't have too many more hollidays with her as a child. She is growing up so fast and I am so suprised at her good attitude. She has her moments when she drives me crazy but what I preach to her I feel is getting through. Ever since I learned to back off a bit and be more supporting instead of demanding she is so much more responsive to what I say. I do wish I could have been like this in the past, but I cannot change the past only go forward with what I have learned. All I can say is right now Jess and I are so happy. Jess has this simplified copy of the New Testament and I have been reading it quite alot lately, small bits here and there and I am learning alot about how to ask God for the things I need and what I need to do. I truly beleive He will provide for me what I need when I need it. I also believe that not everything that happens is His will, that sometimes His plans are upset. My example is the old man on the roof during the flood that lets 3 boats pass because he believes God will save him only to find out from God that the boats were sent by God to save him. God had a plan for this man but those plans were changed because the old man could not recognize when God had sent him what he needed. You can believe in God all you want and pray as hard as you can but you must not be blind to what is going on around you or you will miss when your prayer has been answered. My van is proof of that.


What a slow day....

Work took forever! We were busy up until about 1pm and then it was dead the rest of the day. We were allowed to close at 6pm (Whoopee, one hour early!) and sure enough at 5pm someone came in for work on their car. A guy needed his remotes reprogrammed so at least we made a couple of bucks. I had some work I could have done but with it being Christmas eve no one was motivated to do anything at all. So I chatted, walked around, checked internet for the Cassini-Huygens probe seperation, chatted some more and along the way managed to book a few repair orders. But I did get in my 45 hours for the week so I am happy about that as I will get my regular check plus my holliday pay. I will use the holliday pay the next two weeks to get my savings going for Ryan's therapy. That will cost me anywheres from $550-$990 depending on how many sessions the therapist feels he needs for our reintroduction. Jess learned a tough lesson tonight. The red-hair dyed punk boy she had for a boyfriend called her up just to say "Merry Christmas Bitch". I want to beat his punk ass so bad, but I don't want to go to jail for busting up a 16yr old. She already has a new boyfriend and from what I gather, I will like him a whole lot better. But I have made sure she understands it isn't pierced earings or dyed hair, or even smoking that I am concerned with. It is drugs and respect. Drugs are bad, she has seen what they have done to her mother and I really odn't think that is going to be a problem. But respect, I have been really reinforcing to her he has to respect her and along with that me. Because disrespecting me would be disrespcting her also. I talked with my boss the other day about similiar situations and he told me a story. He married his wife at age 18, and the have been married 40+ years. He did not get along with his father in law, never did. But his father told him to never forget that the man is his wifes father and he is to show him respect for her. She is finally getting the message that there is a difference between likeing someone and respecting them. I was not very good at teaching this in the past and it cost me dearly. But I am learning from my mistakes, learning to use a different way to teach than I did in the past. I have learned what I feel was my biggest thing holding me back. My expectations for myself were very high and I expected others to meet my expectations. When they didn't I felt they let me down. I have learned better and now I do better. I am so much more at peace. I owe to the three P's. Prayer to God, Perserverence toward not giving up, and Priorities, getting them in proper order. Tomorrow is Christmas day, and to take a page from a friend, the past year has been quite a growth experience for me. I came back home with $200 in my pocket and a boat load of shattered dreams. In the ensuing weeks and months I found work with my old boss, created a budget that worked for me and has allowed me to not only pay bills early but save some too, bring my daughter home and celebrate this Christmas with a feeling I have not had in quite a while. I said a year ago when I had realized it had been seven years since my troubles had started that this was the end of the seven year of tribulation for me. This is a year of transition and it is going in such a positive direction. I am in such a good place and it is only going to get better. Faith in the Lord has really changed me and daily I read a bit of scripture in a continuing effort to right my ship. Dr. Phil said in his book "No matter how right you think you are, if it isn't working you must change" and I have done that and continue to do that. A year later and I feel I have emerged from a fog of ignorance to clear air.

A friend suggested I do this so here goes...

For Christmas I want: 1) A Nikon digital camera with a 35-70mm lens and a 100-300mm lens. 2) A laptop, top of the line P4 with built in wi-fi and a DVD burner, oh, and an extra battery for it also. 3) A lifetime subsription to all of the digital photo magazines. 4) A complete set of lamps for my photo shoots. This just about sums up what I want this year, but give me a week and I will get started on next year as well!


Only in Texas...

Mid-60's yesterday, 30 and snow today, 20 in the morning tomorrow and then back up into the 60's on Sunday! How much more weird can it get?


According to Gretchen Wilson, country singer, I am a redneck. Her definition is "a redneck is someone that is not worried about what they don't have instead of worrying about having what they don't have". If that is what I am called, because that is who I am, then fine with me.
What a perfect day I had! Everything I did turned out perfect! I went to the store to buy Jess's main gift, and it was on sale $15 cheaper than it had been. Bought it, plus some clothes, makeup, and perfume for her. Took my laptop I bought this past week to this little pc sales and repair shop I know about and had them install windows 98 on it. Worked perfect and they even through in office 97 also. Spent the afternoon watching football, Cowboys lost :(, and then went to Frye's after picking up the laptop. Spent the whole afternoon with Dad and had such a good time with him. I treasure each moment I have with my parents as I just don't how long I will have them around. Maybe 20 years, maybe 2 days, no one knows. There are several days from my past spent with certain people that I wouldn't trade for anything in the world, those days were just so perfect. This was one of those kinds of days.


Another anniversary...

Today was the one year anniversary of my employment. So much has happened in the past year, most of it good. I have accomplished my goals I had set out for myself and now I turn my attention to the next set of items on my list. If next year is anything like this past year it is going to be a good year so I will just keep doing what I have been doing. Tomorrow I will be spending the day Christmas shopping. I got my vacation check yesterday (the company pays you for your vacation in the month of your anniversary) and it was more than I had anticipated it would be so I will be saving some of it back for the future. It is going to be a fun day! that's all for now, later...


I want one of these....!!

Read about it.

From my mom.....thanks mom!!

A nun, really needing to go to the bathroom, walked into a local Hooters. The place was hopping with music and dancing, but every once in a while the lights would turn off. Each time after the lights would go out, the place would erupt into cheers. However, when the revelers saw the nun, the room went dead silent. She walked up to the bartender and asked, May I please use the restroom?" The bartender nervously replied, "I really don't think you should." "Why not?" the nun asked. "Well, there is a life-size statue of a naked man in there, and his most private parts are covered only by a fig leaf." "Nonsense," said the nun, "I'll just look the other way." So the bartender showed the nun the door at the top of the stairs and she proceeded to the restroom. After a few minutes she came back out, and the whole place was hopping with music and dancing again. However, they only stopped just long enough to give the nun a loud round of applause. She walked up to the bartender and said, "Sir, I don't understand. Why did they applaud for me just because I went to the restroom?" Well, because now they know you're one of us," said the bartender. "Would you like a drink?" But, I still don't understand," said the puzzled nun. "You see, " laughed the bartender, "every time the fig leaf on that statue is lifted up, the lights go out in the whole place. Now, how about that drink?"


P is for Pure
A is for Alert
U is for Unusual
L is for Lucky

Answer's...to Selena Darkwalks

Asked of me by Selena Darkwalk (A) First, recommend to me: 1. a movie: Ocean's Twelve (currently in theaters and very good) I saw Ocean's Eleven and really enjoyed so yes, I think I will like this one too. 2. a book: Tuesdays with Morrie by Rich Albom This I have no idea who he is or what it is about but I will take your word for it and look for it at my local bookstore. 3. a musical artist, song, or album: Toni Braxton (I was very surprised to find I love her music). I have hear her on the radio and I agree with this one wholeheartedly. (B) Ask me three questions, no more, no less. Ask me anything you want. Answers will be posted this week--great time for strangers to say hi. 1) What would you do if the world were square instead of round? I would go to the very edge and peak over just to see what was on the other side. 2) If you could go anywhere in the world, or not of this world, for one day only, where would it be and why? If you mean, without regard to how I got there, I would travel to where time bagan, the big bang, just to see how it all started. Is that the moment God created the Earth? 3) What is the most embarrassing thing you did as a kid? When I was about 16 or 17 I developed a crush on this blonde girl that worked at the grocery store we shopped at. The districts were weird. I went to school 23 miles away but there was a school 13 miles away and the store was 10 miles. I lived in the the country. This girl was a cashier at the store and one day I worked up enough nerve (I have never been nor will I ever be very good at talking to women that I don't know) to leave her a note at her checkout aisle. A few days later I was there for my mother and the girl walked up and asked me if my name was Paul. I said yes and I realized she now knew who had left the note and I felt all the eyes of her co-workers gazing upon me. I felt they were all laughing at me (maybe they were or maybe the weren't) and I never spoke to her again.


I stole this from Aimee, who stole it from Celti, who stole it from Inanna, who stole it from Ang, whole stole it from Fresc, who stole it from someone at Intellectual Poison. (A) First, recommend to me: 1. a movie 2. a book 3. a musical artist, song, or album (B) Ask me three questions, no more, no less. Ask me anything you want. Answers will be posted this week--great time for strangers to say hi. (C) Then go back to your blog, copy and paste this allowing your friends to ask you anything; say that you stole it from me. After I answer this, I hope to have found my camera cord and I will regale you with photos of my new sewing room, my child's 4th birthday (this Saturday) and other irrelevant stuff.


Life's little pleasures....

I have discovered a little pleasure. I have always enjoyed a cup of hot apple cider during the colder months. A few weeks ago while shopping with Jess we were in the coffee/tea aisle when I saw a box of tea bags for just $1 so I purchased it. The idea of a cup of hot tea sounded good. The other day I fixed me a cup, with two sugars and it was ok but something was missing. I thought about it and it hit me, lemon juice! So, today I bought some and just had two really great cups of hot lemon tea. Inexpensive, simple to make and wonderfully delicious. That is the kind of life pleasure I like. I find it better than hot apple cider, although I have a feeling that combining the two will be really great also.

Arrested Development - TV Series - TV Tome

Arrested Development - TV Series - TV Tome It is just too weird watching Jason Bateman as a father! I am getting way too old!


Made my bread, it came out great for a quick pan bread and watched an old movie (1942) titled "A Yank in Libya". I bought this DVD from Walmart for $5.50 that has 8 different old war movies on it. But they are not movies about battles with soldiers. This one, for example, was about an American reporter in Libya trying to uncover a story about a Nazi selling arms to a tribe of Arabs in an attempt to break their treaty with the English. I have developed a desire to watch these old movies because there no special effects involved. The acting may not be great but sometimes it is fun just to see how it was then, a simpler time in many ways. I don't know, I just like it.


I don't know why but lately I have had a strong desire for some fresh baked bread. This is going to sound weird and I can't explain it but not for bread machine or regular loafs of bread. I want to make small portions of pan bread in my cast iron skillet. I want it hot and drizzled with honey. I have never been much of an eater of honey but I just have this strong desire to have it. So yesterday and today I gathered some simple recipes off of the internet (the 2nd biggest invention after the wheel) and bought some flour, sugar, and baking powder. I did hold off on the honey as it was far more expensive than I imagined. So I will go with my second favorite topping, butter. Sometimes you just have to live a little, even if it is just breaking some bread.
"We are here on Earth to do good to others. What the others are here for, I don't know."--W.H. Aulden
I believe this.
"The older I grow, the less important the comma becomes. Let the reader catch his own breath."--Elizabeth Clarkson Zwart
And I am just reaching this point in life!


"He who asks is a fool for five minutes, but he who does not ask remains a fool forever."--chinese proverb
I am glad I finally woke up because forever is a long time!



I am becoming bored with blogging. My life is what it is and it isn't going to change much in the forseeable future. I have decided I have a good life and no matter what comes my way I will find a way to deal with it. There just isn't much to say anymore. So I guess when something does come along that is worth remembering I will post it. Could be tomorrow as in the next few days I will find out if my mistake at work is fixed or if it will cost me my job. We shall see.


What's the big deal?

The news tonight is all about the "big freeze". Puleez, 30 degrees is just getting a little chilly! Walk to Mcdonalds at lunch with the thermometer at 4 degrees and then we will talk about it being cold! I may be a Texan born and bred, but I know the difference between between cold and merely "cool".


Today was a good day. Spent the day with my daughter. We shopped for groceries and then because we were bored we went window shopping at Target. At least that is what we were supposed to be doing. Target had a small home theater for $100 and I bought it. For a little cheap one it works pretty good. At 150 watts total it puts out plenty of sound for our little apartment. Once we get our stuff from South Dakota I will have my old DVD player so down the road I can purchase a better home theater that does not have a built in DVD player and put this little one in either my or my daughter's bedroom. I love my life and wouldn't want it any other way than it is right now.


A couple of observations....

I have a new take on the old cliche "If a tree in a forest falls and no one is there to hear it, did it make a sound?"

"If my life is going really well and I have no one to share and appreciate it with, is it really going so well?"

Second observation
Each day at lunch I read a book and today I came across something in it that made me stop and think for a moment. The guy was in a predicament (I won't go into those details) and he thought about something from his past. When he had been younger he had been attempting to join a gang. One day after coming home from another of many "initiation" beatings, bruised and in pain, he realized they didn't want him in the gang. He was just something to amuse themselves with and expend excess energy on. How does that fit in with me? I have come to realize that the female part of our society just doesn't want me. I am something to amuse themselves with for a time but not thought of seriously as a lifemate. I know I am sounding like poor pity me, but this is not so much of a pouting statement as it is a statement of fact, an acceptance of how things really are. I have friends, male and female, but that is where it stops. Just how I feel at this moment. Subject to change at anytime.


Staying humble.....

When things are going so well. That is my goal right now. Both problems with the van have been fixed, one by itself and the other with some blood and alot of Dad's help. Today Dad and I changed out the heater core. Took us 7 hours, much longer than I thought it would, but doesn't it always? It is done, and everything seems to be working fine. As for the air bag light flashing, it stopped on the way home Monday night. I found out the sequence it was flashing meant "12" as in code 12. That means the alternator is not charging or the battery is bad. Well, the alternator is charging and the van has started fine so that only leaves that the van has been sitting awhile and the battery had run down some. After the 20 mile one-way drive to work 3 or 4 times, the alternator had charged the battery sufficiently to turn the light out. So everything is looking very very good right now. And that leads me to my title for this entry. With so much going so well, and my personal feelings at an all time high despite my ongoing worries at work and my unsavory dealings with Dawn's lawyer, I have made it a personal mission to stay humble. So many people are struggling, with health, finances, relationships that I think it is important to not lose sight of these things. A terrible tragedy happened earlier this week. A mother, suffering from post-partem depression severed the arms of her 11 month old baby. The child died later at a hospital. A life barely started is already stopped. This is how I tie in the butterfly effect with God's plan. This child's purpose, set out by God, has been accomplished. We don't know what this baby's purpose was, but it is completed and she is now in Heaven with our Lord. I think it is ok to feel good about oneself if they are in a good place in their life, just don't allow oneself to feel too good.


From my mom.....funny.......

*Health is merely the slowest possible rate at which one can die.
*Give a person a fish and you feed them for a day; teach a person to use the Internet and they won`t bother you for weeks.
*Some people are like Slinkies . . not really good for anything, but you still can`t help but smile when you see one tumble down the stairs.
*Health nuts are going to feel stupid someday, lying in hospitals dying of nothing.
*Whenever I feel blue, I start breathing again.
*All of us could take a lesson from the weather. It pays no attention to criticism.
*Why does a slight tax increase cost you two hundred dollars and a substantial tax cut saves you thirty cents?--Yeah, Mr. Bush why?
*In the 60`s, people took acid to make the world weird. Now the world is weird and people take Prozac to make it normal..
*Politics is supposed to be the second oldest profession. I have come to realize that it bears a very close resemblance to the first.


The truth.

My daughter got a dose of reality the other day. Her mother was passing through town and stopped to see her for a couple hours. Later when I talked to Jess she told me her mom was a "crackhead", she was just skin and bone and not looking very good. Jess is pretty much done with her. I have tried over the years to make sure they had a relationship but not anymore, Jess is old enough to make a decision about when and for how long she wants to see her. Jess has come a long way and is doing so well as compared to where she was a couple of years ago. She isn't perfect, she has her moments when she needs some scolding. What I am most proud of right now is the fact that when she does go outside the boundaries, she accepts the consequences without an argument. A week ago she left the kitchen a mess when she left for the weekend on her church retreat. So she had to do dishes for the week. She accepted it and did it. Well, it's gone. The Buick was finally picked up today, one of the last links I had to my previous life. In a way I was sad to see it go. Not only because of what it reprented of my past, but also because it had been a good car for me. Moving up in vehicles is a metaphor for what I have been accomplishing this past year. I still am not out of the woods as to my mistake but I will just keep working hard and praying to GOD even harder even harder. I sent my response to Dawn's lawyer today. I am so tired of battling people, especially over silly little bs things. Speaking of battling things, Jess's mom sent a message to me through Jess that I can pick up my truck anytime I want to. Only things is I have to trailer it from Arkansas so it won't be soon when I go to get it. One thing at a time. I am now discovering all the bad points to my new van. Really, there isn't too much. The heater core is leaking when you run the heater, I am going to fix that this weekend. It cost's $30 for the parts and I have someone that may do it cheaply for me. A co-worker is married to a Ford technician. I can do it myself but you have to have a special tool that I don't want to have to buy just to use one time. Also, the air bag light is flashing. I counted the sequence it was flasing in, that is what determines what is causing the light to come on and my co-worker is going to have her husband look it up for me. Challenges come with all good fortune. I read about a guy in New York who had just filed for bankruptcy. He won the 147 million dollar lottery. Now of course I would accept the challenges that come with that kind of good fortune, but still there will be challenges. People will be coming out of the woodwork wanting a handout. His privacy will forever be gone. I am just pointing out that my van is such a good fortune for me but I do have some challenges, as in getting it fixed. But I will take it.


This turned into... This
Go to pauliemacs pics to see more of my former and new rides.

Bluebook is....

$2175 - $3500 so yes I did get a good deal. :)

Just one more comment about the van :)

After reading a number of reviews, mostly positive ones, this van is considered pretty good for pulling small trailers or hauling alot of camping gear. Also, one review mentioned a flasing air bag light, which is what mine was doing for awhile, as being a switch in the steering column. If it does have to be fixed, maybe I can do it myself and save some money. South Dakota, here I come!

1990-97 Ford Aerostar Review, Rating, Prices: Consumer Guide?

1990-97 Ford Aerostar Review, Rating, Prices: Consumer Guide? Well, according to these guys, one like mine in "good" condition, which I classify mine as, has a going price of $2200 - $3100, so I still think I got a good deal. The only drawback is the fuel mileage. The stated mileage from Ford is 17/23 but Consumer Guide's was closer to 13.5 mpg. Still, can't have everything and I am just tickled to have this vehicle.


I can't believe it!!

I have been searching Autotrader.com just to compare my new van to what they go for there. A comparable van, same year model and similiar mileage goes for $5,000 or more! Either I got the deal of a lifetime or I got a car about to fall apart! Only time will tell, but I already know I can sell it as is for more than I have in it.

If there was ever, ever any doubt.....

About the presence and power of GOD, let today's events put that doubt to rest. Today was the last day I was to have use of the rental so I had started looking in earnest for a replacement for the Buick. Thursday and yesterday I started looking on Autotrader.com for a car. I had a couple of leads, I had decided I wanted a Ford Taurus if at all possible, but at the very least a Ford, Nissan, Toyota, or Mitsubishi as these are all makes that are sold and serviced by my company. That way any repairs would be at a deep discount. Since it was going to be at least until tomorrow and possibly several days before I found a vehicle I liked and could afford I was going to borrow my parents Mitsubishi. This afternoon they brought it up to my work and told me they were going to run over to a nearby Mitsubishi dealership. Dad had read that Mitsubishi was having a hard time selling vehicles and they might be willing to make a good deal. I said ok, see you later and went back to work. About a half hour later I happened to be in the shop talking with one of our detail guys when I saw my Dad walking as quick as he could in the rain towards me. Not expecting him, I darted off to meet him at the door. He told me "I have a car for you" and pointed back behind him. Idling in the rain was a Ford Aerostar minivan! We both dashed back to it (it was raining pretty good) and climbed in. The salesman had taken them on a test drive to let me see it. The guy told me it had just been traded in (yesterday to be exact) and they were planning on asking $2500 but since I had cash in hand (literally as I had been carrying it around with me, cash talks B.S. walks) he was going to try to get it out the door for $1600 (what Dad told them he was looking for) so I told him I would pay cash today of they could do that. This was about 4:30 and shortly thereafter Dad came back with his car. Mother had gone on home as her knee was hurting her quite a bit. We returned to the Mitsubishi dealer and in a matter of about 20 minutes the deal was consumated and I had me a mini-van! Now GOD would already be a part of this and all parts of my life but what makes this all the more of a miracle is about four weeks ago I was praying to GOD to help me get my things from South Dakota. I have been plodding along, paying my storage rent each month ahead of time being patient until I could afford to go back and get my things. I either needed $2000 or the use of a vehicle that would pull a small U-haul trailer. This van has a V-6 engine and is rear wheel drive so it will do the job nicely. It is green, in very good condition. It is 3 years newer and has 10,000 fewer miles on it than the Buick. Who knows? It might fall apart tomorrow but the dealer ran a carfax report on it. There were no reports of accidents (the rear bumper is cracked where someone had backed into a pole, but that is minor) nor did the report show any other complaints on this vehicle. It reported that the vehicle had been previously owned by 2 people and it also listed each state inspection and the mileage at the time of the inspections. This vehicle has had an average of 9700 miles a year put on it with the highest year have 13,000 miles driven. This is far lower than the accepted average of 15,000 miles a year. The only potential problem at this moment was the air bag light was flashing but on the way home that even quit, although this may be an intermittant problem and I will have it checked if it comes back on. Everything works, it came with a 10 disc cd changer, the dash, seats and doors look like new and it seats 5 adults comfortably (it is listed as a 7 passenger, but 2 or 3 of them better be kids! LOL). Life is so good right now, and I know that with GOD behind me I can handle anything that comes my way. If Jesus could die on the cross for my sins, surely the people and issues that confront me are not too big to be dealt with. Tomorrow I will post that final photo of the Buick alongside one of the van, for a comparison of how I am moving up in the world. Basically they gave it to me as it ws put in my name but I consider it a family vehicle open to their use anytime they need it. Both rear bench seats are removable so it can be opened up for cargo when needed. It also has a roof rack so eventually I will be able to put bikes or one of those canvas cargo bags on top for trips. I believe I got a vehicle that with maintenance and TLC will last me 2-5 years.



When in South Dakota I had the opportunity to learn about and enjoy Hardee's Burgers. We don't have them anywhere's in Texas. Tonight I read that Hardee's has come up with another monster burger. I have discovered that the closest Hardee's to me is in Oklahoma near the Arkansas border, 225 miles away. I think this will make a good day trip sometime in the near future. I could use a Hardee's burger.

This is too funny!!

Texan as a Second Language
Not very generous
All talk and no action
We've made a brief acquaintance, but not been formally introduced.
He has a pretty high opinion of himself.
We really could use a little rain around here.
Appearances can be deceptive.
I've been around awhile.
Not the most handsome of men.
This would be me!
Slept together before marriage.
Stop arguing and do as you're told.
Rather prone to boasting.
You can say whatever you want about something, but doesn't change what it is.
Things are going well


USATODAY.com - At 73, Shatner's at 'full gallop'

"'I'm aware of the briefness of the rest of my life, so I think in terms of what I'm doing now.'"--William Shatner, 73 years old.
I am not as old as William Shatner and yet I already identify with this quote. All too soon I will be his age (I hope to be at least!) so I focus on what I am doing now. On another note, the letter from Dawn's lawyer was just some medical bills and a threat to take me to court if I don't sign the agreement he sent 3 months ago for the old bills. I will not sign it as it is worded such a way that I would be stating that I agree that I owe the money. I don't agree that I owe it, I just offered to pay it rather than fight about it. If I sign it I feel I open myself up to some time in the future dropping a pile of old bills worth thousands of dollars and tell me I have 15 days to pay them. I feel a judge would see the unreasonble nature of such an act and I have no fear of going before a judge and stating such. This is rediculous and I am just so tired of people and their games.


Nothing....and then WoW! Something!

Today the insurance settled up on the Buick. I think things worked out well. State Farm settled the claim for $1625 so I was happy about that. I already have the check and will deposit it tomorrow. It just depends on how long it is held by the bank as to when I will buy a another car. I have already been looking on the internet and have a couple I am interested. I am going to try to purchase a Nissan, but if not that then something that my employer sells so I can get parts and labor cheap. Tomorrow I will post pics of the buick as it will be gone by the time I return to work on Friday. Now for the second bit of news. After not hearing from Dawn or her lawyer for 3 months I received a notice from the post office that I have a certified letter from her lawyer. So tomorrow I will find out about this. I am looking forward to getting that process going and becoming a part of my son's life but I do hope that it doesn't interfere too much with my Christmas plans. Either way, seeing Ryan would be a great Christmas present in and of itself. We shall see.

I never know...

When God will choose to speak to me, or how. His voice comes in so many ways and forms. This morning, after dropping the girls off at school I pushed the seek button to change channels. It stopped on the next one which happened to be a well known pastor (I recognized his voice but just can't remember his name) and he was talking about patience. As I drove back home I listened to him relate some personal experiences along with an interpretation of some chapters from the Psalms in the bible. He told me that those who do the right thing always win. I have always believed that if you "do good things, good things will happen to you". He also explained that if you are patient, God will reward you. This has strong meaning for me as I have written several times that what I pray for is strength and patience, not riches or wealth. I know in my heart, and I really don't care what anyone else thinks, that this was The Lord telling me that what I am doing and how I am going about it is the correct path. He speaks to us in so many ways but you have to keep your eyes and ears open to recognize when you are being shown the way. It is the proverbial boat coming to rescue you during a flood. I have never been a very patient person before, always rushing to accomplish whatever task is on front of me. I have come to realize I did that out of fear. Fear that I would lose my job, fear that I would lose my daughter if I didn't keep up a perfect household (especially when she was very young). I have lived in fear all of my life. Fear of being alone, of losing everything I have. I have come to realize, and this mornings message reaffirms this, that I have nothing to fear. That all I need is faith. Don't rush to finish something out of fear but instead be patient, do it right and I will succeed. Part of this mornings message was about having the patience and strength to listen to our children. So many times we tell our children what to do and don't listen to them and what they have to say. "I am your father and that is why you do it this way!". Be patient and listen to our children, give them a voice and then make a decision or have a discussion. Allow them to finish. I was not this way, only now am I learning how important this is. I have always been impatient, cut into others conversations, not allow them to finish theirs. Yes, I wish I could have learned these lessons years ago, but I choose to remain positive and be thankful I am learning them now. It is never too late to learn something new. On a similiar note I had an opportunity this morning to try to make a difference in someones life. Mandy, Jess's friend we give a ride to school each morning was looking a little down. I asked her if she had her Christmas list ready. She glumly told me that the last few Thannksgivings and Christmas's were not much fun. So I just made a quick list of many things that she should be thankful for. She is a really good kid but she seems so sad much of the time. She has difficulties with her mother, her mother had her at a very young age. From what I gather, but don't know for absolute fact is her mother sometimes struggles with being a mother of a teen when she is still young herself. Whereas I used to use a sledgehammer to try to get my point across, I now pick and choose my moments to impart a bit of wisdom. I do think I am attempting to make amends for past mistakes. This is all I have ever tried to do with people around me, I just was not very good at it. The more I was tuned out the more frustrated I became so the harder I pressed and it always, always, blew up in my face. I do think I have alot to offer, but I did not know how. I will not say that I do now, but I do think I am better prepared for this. Lastly, today is the day I am supposed to find out about my car. So hopefully I will spend tomorrow looking for a vehicle to replace the buick.


Just another day...

Not much to report in Pauliemac' World today. S left work sick today so I had to cover for her as well as do my job. There are those of us at work that feel a change is going to be made soon, either by management or by those that are the subject of these meetings. K and I are stretched so thin with so much to do. I can use extra money by working alot of overtime but I just don't want to work that much. I burned out once before and neglected my daughter, I don't want to do it again. Things are going so well right not I just don't want to disrupt anything. That doesn't mean I can't deal with anything that does come my way, I just don't need to add to any possibilities. Jess talked to her Mother the other night. I told Jess it was ok for her to see her mother when she passes through town, I have never kept her from seeing her unless her mother was in a "bad" way. But I did not want to see her. Later Jess told me her mother told her she didn't care what I said, she was going to stay here (in my apt) and if I didn't like it I could go stay with my parents! Can you believe the nerve! Another person trying to tell me what I can and can't do in my own home. That is another reason I feel it is in my best interest to stay out of relationships. I don't know why my actions always backfire on me but they do. One cliche you could call it is risk management, whereby I reduce or limit the amount of risk to my well being. If Jess's mother wants to be in her life and visit her, that is fine and I encourage it, but not with me involved other than to take her and drop her off for said visits. I am done with trying to please people only to have it blow up in my face. I risk being alone and alienating people from me, and I understand that possiblilty, but I just can longer put my faith and trust in people only to be disappointed once again. I can no longer take a person at their word only for them to show me their word is worthless. Burn me once, shame on you, burn me twice shame on me. I do believe God will carry me through this period of my life and someday my faith in other people will be restored, but not at this time. The past 8 years is too fresh, I need some healing time alone before I can trust again. On a lighter note I have found the home theater system I want for Christmas. It is at Circuit City and I can't wait to get it! I have only watched a couple of movies since I returned from South Dakota as it is very uncomfortable in Dad's den and I just don't have the desire to go to a theater anymore. As soon as I get it I will rejoin Netflix. I am also going to build a vast library of DVD's. I don't know what changed in me, but as I used to never cared to watch a movie twice, I have grown to want my own library. If I have 200-300 movies, I can watch a different one each week and not watch the same one twice for 4 or 5 years. Walmart has this bin full of videos they sell for $1 each. Old movies from the 30's, 40's, and 50's. I will just grab 2 or 3 each week and watch them. I can't explain the difference but so much about me has changed. The music I listen to, how I do things and talk to people. It is as if I am a different person in many ways. And yet, there are some things that are the same. I still fart all the time! Mostly because I eat alot of beans. They are cheap and filling! Ok, time for bed, will update tomorrow if there is anything worth updating about.


Interesting end to an interesting week...

Well well well....heard from thre women that I had not heard from in a long time this past week. Last night I received a message that Jess's mother was trying to contact Jess concerning her brother. When Jess happened to call me from her retreat because she was bored I gave her the message and the phone number. She was happy to get to speak with her but sad as to what she found out. Her brother has gotten himself into some trouble. But Jess sounded much better today. I went to work for three hours then spent the rest of the day hanging out with my parents. Did the lunch thing and then just wandered from store to store. But I did find a garage sale near their house on my way over there and found some wonderful treasures. I found a small but interesting nightstand and then something that I just had to have. It is a makeup table made out of cherry wood complete with a small swiveling mirror. Upon taking it to my parents house I discovered it would come apart so I dismantled it for the trip home. I have been spending the evening cleaning and polishing it. Along one side the wood had been stripped away so I purchased some craft paint and painted over the bare wood. It came out surprisingly good. I told Jess I had a surprise for her when she called this afternoon. I know she will just love it. Tomorrow I will post a pic of it for all to see as it is such a cool thing for a teenage girl to have.

Pretty cool...


Consequences and other things...

Well, I came home this evening after a hard week at work wanting to just sit down and relax. I am going tomorrow but just for a few hours. Jess was off for her retreat but when she returns she is going to have some answering to do. One of my pet peeves is people not rinsing off dishes before they put them in the sink. I do the disher around here but I expect people to help out. So she will get to do the dishes for the next week. We have a dishwasher but I only use it for a dishrack. We don't dirty up alot of dishes at a time and half of those are plastic which tend to melt and/or flop around. It just isn't worth the time and effort to use the dishwasher. So I do them each morning before I leave for work. Jess knows how I feel about this so she will suffer a consequence. Speaking of that, 4 weeks ago I had to spend $20 dollars replacing her athletic shorts and her agenda. So, for the past 4 weeks she has only recieved $5 per week for her allowance instead of her regular $10. She took it in stride and has been looking forward to the increase in funds without complaing or asking for extra, except for asking if I would pay for the dinner at her Wednesday night bible study (they charge $3 to help cover expenses) which was fine.
On a different note I have given up. I cannot explain what it is that I do wrong in life. I try to do my best, make decisions that I beleive are best for everyone involved, do my job, pick up the slack when others are out and yet I still get labeled the bad guy. I just don't get it. I was told to leave, yet I am the bad guy? I have nothing to do with the incident at work and yet when a person returns they are angry with me because I didn't do all of their job? Hello, I have my own job to do which is an extremely busy and involved position. The first 7 months there I did not feel I earned my money because the work was so easy for me. But since I have become the warranty administrator, even with my raise, I EARN my money. I give up. I quit. I have learned the extremely hard way that it is impossible to please everyone. I have written at length about that so I will not go there at this time.
For most of my life I was a person without faith. I had to know this or that, I had to be in control of my life. But that has all changed. I survived up and moving to South Dakota. I survived returning to Texas with literally nothing but the clothes on my back, a camera, and $200. I am a survivor and I have learned how to have faith. Faith in God, and in turn because of Him, faith in myself. The one thing I have always done, and have been doubted because of it, is strive to better myself. Not monetarily so much, but as a person, a human being. I am proud of that. I learned today that the lady who told me my car was going to be totaled out may have jumped the gun. I called back and was informed I am approved in the rental through the 17th but that it was not 100% approved that they were going to total out the Buick. She did tell me it "looked" as though that is what they were going to do but she could not say for sure. What I am getting at here is that there is no point in fretting and worrying about what is going to happen. I have faith that it will work out. Either the Buick will be fixed or it will be replaced. She told me I would get the rental for a few days more after we settle so that I have time to purchase a replacement. No need to stress out, it will work out. Things always seem to when you beleive.


My daughter...

I thought this would be a good time to talk about my daughter. A few years go she had some "issues" about how life was supposed to be and how to respect others. I, along with her mother, sent her to a hospital in an effort to learn how to deal with her issues. She was diagnosed as ADD and ADHD. She spent some time away, while I was in South Dakota. She eventually was released to her mother, but it was too early. Her mother was able to have her sent to a ranch for troubled youths. Most of these youths had no parents or parents that did not care about them at all. I had put my faith and trust in Jess's mother. Jess really took to the ranch and her attitude improved dramatically. She was released into my custody this past August, and while she struggles with schoolwork she has continued to improve her attitude and trustworthiness. She is responsible, does her chores when asked (does them halfass sometimes) and stays on time. She complained that she lost track of time so her Grandmother bought her a watch. She is always within 10 minutes of the time she has been told to be home. She attends church regularly including Wednesday bible study and has a downright cheerful attitude. She struggled her first month at school to find her place among the different cliques and there were some diagreements with other kids, but I wonder if the drugs she was taking had something to do with that since I took her off of them she has only improved more. I get onto her all of the time, but she is beginning to understand it is because I am teaching her about life, not because I am being mean. Now I don't want to be accused of sugar coating this because she is my daughter and I am disappointed she is not putting more effort into her schoolwork. But compared to how she acted 2 years ago, she is doing so well. Shoot, she climbs into bed by 8:30 each evening. I can't get her to stay up and watch tv with me. Around my home it's lights out by 9:00 pm.

Now for the latest on the car...

I called the insurance company this afternoon and they confirmed that the vehicle has been totaled out. Only they did not have a final payoff amount. So I have no idea what I am going to be driving in a few days. I was told to call back in 48 hours if I have not hear from them, except that would put me into Saturday and the are closed Saturday's. So she told me to call back tomorrow evening if I have not heard from them. I will post a picture of the damage soon.
I have been watching "Without a Trace", the weekly show where the FBI goes looking for a missing person who apparently has vanished into thin air. Tonight's episode is a continuation of last weeks. It is about a single mother struggling to survive, working at the "Everymart", a knockoff of Walmart. She lives in a tiny apartment in one of those pay-by-the-week motels. They showed a shot of her laying on the floor next to her son, coloring in a coloring book and laughing. I relate to that. Jess and I live in a one bedroom apartment, not alot of room and yet we are happy. We just don't let the conditions get in the way of our lives. She knows I do the best I can and she also knows it will not always be like this. She believes in me. I will never, ever again allow anyone, not her mother, my parents, or anyone else to come between her and me. I would rather be alone than allow that to happen ever again. I made that mistake too many times. At the time I made those choices I beleived I was making the right one but there is only one right one and that is to be there with her every step of the way, being what I am, a Dad. I finally have learned that it is not enough to set an example, to be a provider. I have to be a teacher, and a realsitic one at that. I have accepted that she will never be a straight A student. I now focus on teaching her how to get through life, how to be a good employee. She may never get higher than a grocery bagger, but I will teach her how to be the best one there is. I will teach her to be responsible, for her actions and for her self respect. How to be on time, do a good job, and how to get along with others. I will show her to see the bigger picture, that there is an end to the means. She is already figuring it out and I can only keep my fingers crossed.

Update on the car...

The insurance estimator came out yesterday and looked the car over. She wrote down some information, took some pictures and said thanks. She told me I should expect a call either that evening (everything is wirelessly transmitted and she said because of the cloud cover it might take all day to transmit) or the next morning (this morning). So I should know by the end of today what I will have to do in regards to the car. I really hope it is enough damage to warrant a payoff and I can find a small truck. I miss my truck alot, I have no way of hauling furniture and such. Then I can start planning a trip to S.D. so I can bring my stuff home and put some closure on that chapter of my life. All that is left is to get a divorce done. Oh, and I did finally get an email from Tam. I won't go into the details. It is just time to put that part of my life behind me and move forward. I have Jess to think about now and that is where my focus is. Speaking of Jess, she is going on a retreat this weekend with her church so I will be having the weekend all to myself. Even though this is my weekend off I am going in so I can catch up on alot of work. We had quite an incident last week; one person was fired and 3 were suspended so I have been covering for some of them and covering for others that are covering for the rest of them. Of course all of this depends on if I have to spend the weekend tearing the car apart and rebuilding the front end so I can have something to drive. My fear is that they will total it but for much less than what I can replace it for. It is not worth a whole lot but it has proven to be reliable and even comfortable on the freeway. Well, time to go to work now.



Just a quick update to the car situation. If you have ever worked out at the gym after being away for awhile you know the kind of stiffness and pain I had yesterday. Nothing major, but some neck and back soreness and stiffness. I finally got a rental vehicle, a Colorado. It is a mid-size 4-door truck from GMC or Chevrolet (same thing to me). It is ok, I mean compared to my car it is very nice but I wouldn't buy one. Wednesday the adjuster is coming out to look at my car. They just coudn't get it straight. First I was to go to the claims office next Monday, then it was this Friday and finally it was set up for tomorrow. I don't care, I just want things the way they were before that guy decided to backup without checking behind him. The damage to the car is just enough for it to be unsafe to drive because of the headlamps being busted out. I am kinda hoping it is enough that they total it and give me enough to allow me to buy another, old car. Truth be told I am hoping for enough to buy an old truck. Then I will spend the next six months refurbishing it enough so that I can go to South Dakota and get my belongings. I don't want to jump ahead of myself but the other day I was praying to God to help me get my things. Again, I am not get ahead of myself but The Lord works in mysterious and unknown ways. We will find out tomorrow just what will happen. All I know is before I was hit my car was worth maybe $800 and therefore I just don't know if they will feel it is worth sending to a body shop to be fixed. I may have to repair it myself but since there is bent metal I don't see how I can do that. I want a vehicle, not the money. Ok, have to go to work now, will update later. Also, my mistake at work that has kept me worried, I have completed that and hopefully nothing major will come of it. All the documents have been processed and sent off so who knows? Maybe things will come together after all.


Meeting the challenge....

Of life. I had an "event" happen to me this morning that has caused me to grow up a little more. I was on my way, as usual every Sunday, to the bank and then to Walmart for grocery shopping. I was stopped at the light, waiting to make a left turn when I suddenly realized the Dodge truck in front of me was backing up! Yes, he hit me. Crushed the grille and headlamps. Fortunately neither of us was hurt (of course than can change come tomorrow as whiplash takes 24 hours to set in, but I really don't think anything happened to me) and the car is driveable. Tomorrow I will call his insurance to make sure he reported it (I am sure he did, he looks very upstanding) and get a rental car. The car is damaged enough that at its age and condition I am sure they will just total it (it is at least $1500 in damage) and I will do just as Mom and Dad did, buy something for cash off of my used car lot. We shall see. But it is something that I did not need after yesterday's error. I feel it is a challenge, a test of my strenth. And so far, I have done well. Of course I was upset but I explained to the gentleman it was not him I was upset with, just that it was another speedbump in life. He felt the same as he explained he had just taken a job as a FedEx driver and he did not need this on his record. I understand that. The police officer suggested I get an estimate and the guy could just pay me straight up but I will not do that as, even though I feel for him, I need a rental car until they decide if they are going to total it or fix it or just cut me a check and let me fix it myself. Between yesterday and today I have grown up some more. I will explain to Jess that I no longer have time for her games. She needs to grow up and get serious about her life. Games are over. I either want Tam (if you read this Tam listen to this carefully) to get the divorce over with or reconcile. Games are over for me as they probably have been for you for awhile with your health. Tam has had my address (my parents home) since the beginning of this ending, yet I have no idea where she lives. Time to grow up and face reality. She ran from her responsibility to me and to her daughter. Ran away, as always. Time to quit running. The other night I was feeling really down and I smoked a couple of cigarettes. I had not since I had brought Jess back to Texas. Afterwards, I thought about what I had done. I didn't feel any different. My situation hadn't changed. So why did I do it? Two days later I realize if it isn't going to improve my situation it isn't worth it. So I threw the rest of them away. I had not intention of having them more than on night anyways but it was just a waste of money and time. I do feel that my maturity over the last year has cost me some of my innocence. I know most people go through that at a much younger age, but I am behind the learning curve when it comes to the rules of life. Of course Dad was his same accusational self so I just let him go. I just needed someone to talk to as it was going rough but they are not the ones for that role in my life. I will survive and succeed, no matter the odds. I have come too far, learned too much to let this slow me down. It will only make me stronger. It was an opportunity for me to be a man, be an adult with another adult and I did it. I was upset at first but rebounded to stand my ground (not with animosity but just as one adult another). It helped me realize I do belong in this world, that I am part of society. There will be a tomorrow.


How quickly things change...

Today started out well, I was feeling good about my present and my future when "it" happened. I ran some reports that only come at the beginning of the month and that is when I discoverd my $20,000 mistake. That is correct: $20,000! Each month Nissan sends a report requesting several claims to be returned to them for review. I had not seen one in a couple of months so I was under the false impression that no requests had been sent. In all my past experiences, these reports had been presented to me. But as I checked over the past few months reports in the que, sure enough there they were. So I spent the majority of today pulling files and making copies. Kris, the Asst Mgr and previous Claims Administrator (my big title, small authority!) assured me that this money can be recovered. I will go with faith in her and belief in myself. This was a very good opportunity for me to test my reactions now compared to before. Even though I jested with a few people that I had made a mistake likely to cost me my job, I did not feel that way. I remained calm, worked the problem and will just let the chips fall where they may. I am proud of myself. On another note, I have not received a response as of this time to my email to Tam. I admit it was short and probably very cold sounding. Following is what I sent to her: 1. When are you going to file for divorce? 2. When are you going to send me my key? (To my storage unit in South Dakota. I had asked her to keep it just in case the owner needed someone to open it or to check on it. She reluctantly agreed. Now I wish I had not left it with her as I fear her daughter or someone else may have entered it and taken and/or damaged my things.) I then left my current address for her to send them to. Of course I care and wonder how she is doing. She had/has cancer (I don't know the current state of it right now) and is diabetic. I may be a bad person but I just can't be her friend if I am not her husband. Just the way I am. I don't know if I am weird or different, but I am a very, very deeply emotional person. My short term memory is horrible (I make lists for everything because I can't remember to p/u a loaf of bread to save my life), but my long term memory, that is another thing altogether. When it comes to events in my life, things that "happen" to me, they burn in my memory. I remember so much about so many people that have crossed my path that sometimes I wish I couldn't. I remember all the taunting and teasing from grade school all the way until I graduated. I remember details from relationships long past. Miniscule details, mind you, as everyone remembers a certain amount of events in their lives. But I remember the smallest details. And it usually hurts. When I should be smiling when reliving a special moment, I am sad because it was a special moment and now it is gone. I don't know why I have these feelings of sadness. I will admit they are lessening in intensity and I am smiling alot more these days. I also know being alone and lonely for companionship feeds these negative feelings also. When I am with someone I live in the moment and enjoy life so much. This was especially true being with Tam, she was the first to love me just as I was, not telling me what to do or how I should dress. Not that those that came before were mean or cruel or controlling, they were not. But they did let me know what they thought I should do and I don't work well that way. So here I am, in a limbo of sorts as far as relationships go. I live with my memories, but they hurt. I have no guarantee there will be a future with someone. I am enjoying my time with my daughter. My kid has no idea how much fun I am having being her Dad right now. She has issues, and it is going to be a hard challenge to get her through the next 3-5 years, but it is one I welcome and embrace. So that is what I focus on, her and my job. But those memories, they haunt me, enter my thoughts constantly. How can I enjoy what was but no longer is? I don't know how to do that. The cookies, ducks, her Mama's house on a cold Sunday morning, a fire burning making the house all warm and cozy. These are things I never want to forget yet they hurt so much to remember I want them to go away. It is a twisted life I lead and all I can do is keep going forward, one day at a time.


It is done...

Well, I just sent Tam and email asking when she was filing for divorce and when she was sending my key to me. It has been over a year since I left and eight months since I last received and email from her so I think it is time to get this over with. I have been told to "move on" but I can't as long as I have an attachement to her. I just want to put this past me once and for all. Enough crying. Enough sorrow and self-pity. The other day I was making breakfast for the girls and I suddenly realized I was "happy", whatever that may be. I was feeling a small bit of euphoria, for lack of a better description, at where I was. I have a note posted at work, another of Dr. Phil's quotes that says: Be committed, Do what it takes, and you will have what you want. I believe this whole-heartedly. I am committed to my daughter and my job right now. I want to be the best father I can be. I have been a good provider but not a good teacher. I took my daughter on camping trips and spent time with her but I did not teach her. She is ADD and that is something that cannot be cured. I see myself in her. I now understand I am also ADD and have been since I can remember. So, while it is not a handicap such as blindness, really it is more along the line of diabetes, it is something you can live with but you have to learn how. I am now committed to teaching Jess how to live and thrive with it because I do not have the kind of income to afford the drugs used to treat it. I am also unsure of why she was being given mood stabilizers when it was not and is not her mood that is the problem, rather it is her hyperactivity and inability to stay focused on the task at hand. She has changed alot. She is so respectful of her teachers and administrators. She attends church regularly. So, to get back to my point, I am happy with my place in the world right now. It is time to get on with the future and stop wishing for a past that is never going to come back.


Getting close...

To emailing Tammi and asking her why she has not filed for divorce by now. Why she has not sent me my storage key as she said she would. I will always love her, will always wish things could have been different. But they are what they are and I am tired of thinking of her, of wishing for a different ending. As Dr. Phil would say, I need to get real. She isn't going to contact me, she is not going to reconcile. Today I implemented my 2005 budget using the formula and spreadsheet I developed about 6 months ago. What I saw from that was a very encouraging outlook. I don't know why I never figured this out before but I have now and it works. Supporting my daughter and myself, paying my child support, which includes and additional $125 a month for some arrearage for when I moved to and from South Dakota I am still going to be alright financially. Now mind you that is still a fragile thing as it depends on how the car holds out, whether I can keep Jess healthy and alot of other things. But I only deal with what I know and can control and will cross bridges as they come. Which leads me back to Tam. I almost sent her the email today. I know within a week or two I will send it. If there are those out there that do know her and read this as "Kiki" alluded to, tell her it is time her or her "boyfriend" pay for a divorce. She said she would, now it is time to step up and do it. What kind of man allows his girlfriend to remain married when he could pay for the divorce. Yes, she was married when we got together, but after a few months of being together, when we had decided we wanted to be together I encouraged her to file for divorce from Alton. Almost 9 months ago I had my last contact with her and she stated she wanted me to move on, that she no longer wanted what we had. Well, I am ready to move on with my life. I have 4-5 years to finish getting Jess to adulthood and that is my focus. As much as my testosterone wants me to press flesh with a female, my mind knows that is not really a wise thing to do. I have never been one that really likes one night stands, I prefer to love the woman I make love to and I am just not inclined to trust someone with my heart right now. My problem is I have been disappointed, rightly or not, by those around me. That includes parents, siblings, children, co-workers, girlfriends, wives and just about everyone in society. I have had to learn to accept that the way I choose to do things is not for everyone. I just want to put this behind me, move on with my life. I have rebuilt my life once again, only this time I have finally learned a few lessons and but some critical thinking into what I want and where I want to be in 5, 10, and 20 years. Tam could not or would not stand up to her daughter, my daughter and just about everyone else around her. I thought she would gain strength from me and grow strong. I was wrong. Now she needs to be strong, file for divorce and move on with her life. I don't know if she understands that while we are married if one of us was to die, the other one inherits bills, debt, and personal belongings. She has family heirlooms that by law would be mine, not her daughters, just as mine would belong to her and not Jessica. I don't want her to have any of my debt and I don't want any of hers. I want my grandmother's furniture to go to my daughter. I don't mean this in a bitter or hurtful way, just merely stating facts. If she has indeed moved on, with or without someone else, then make if final and official. I have hurt so much and wanted so bad to hear her say she wants to try again, but lately, I think because enough time has passed that the fog of pain has lifted, been thinking about all the reasons to not be with her. I love her, always will, but I now wonder if I really want to be with someone that is weak. I mean if she can't stand beside me, as I told her so long ago that is what we do, not in front or behind, but side by side and make an issue important to her because it is important to me, then I really don't think she is for me. I have done all I can do up to this point to better myself. Sometimes you make the right decision and sometimes you make the decision right. I did not want my time with her to be a wrong decision so I took it upon myself to learn why this keeps happening to me. I am older, wiser, stronger. I want to be free. Because you can say all you want this is the path you want to go (meaning no women in my life right now) but really, how much control over our lives do we really have? Not much I believe. You do what you know and when you know better you do better. I am doing better because I know better. So who knows when I might meet someone. I absolutely will not do the internet personals thing again. If I am ever to meet someone again, it will be the old fashioned way. Fate.



It started in Rapid City. I started looking at the bigger picture of things. I had realized that for years, when driving, all I saw was the road in front of me. I never noticed the larger picture down the road. But while I was living in Rapid City I would look, not just down the road, but would widen my viewpoint. I would notice mundane things like the power lines, the direction the road would turn, winding back and forth. I started seeing so much more than I ever had before. Now, more than a year later I am learning how to be an "observer", someone who watches, sees the larger picture while at the same time notices the smallest details. Maybe it is coincidence, but a few weeks ago I started reading a spy novel where the hero of the story calls himself the "Close Observer". Reading this fictional book has taught me something about reality, how to observe small details about people and life. Because of this I have started another journal dedicated strictly to observations I make in the world around me. Is it wrong for me to call it "The Close Observer" since I found that name in a book? How many newspapers have the word "observer" in their title? I don't want to be perceived as a plagirist, but I like that name as it fits this part of me really well. I don't know how often I will publish there as I want it to be filled with quality, interesting posts concerning observations I make in the world around me. I will be using it as a way to develop and nurture my my observational skills.


"There's only one way to have a happy marriage and as soon as I learn what it is I'll get married again."--Clint Eastwood
Me Too!!


Which one now?

Take this test. This was my result:

Your money personality is: Balanced
People who exhibit a balanced money personality style enjoy making and managing money. They may view budgeting and investing as a game of sorts. Money is viewed as a tool that is used to achieve ones goals. While they often have a budget, Balanced persons do not become overly uncomfortable with the occasional unforeseen expense or in purchasing the occasional luxury item. Balanced persons often feel that diligence, research and effort will reward them in the end. If they invest, Balanced persons tend to have balanced portfolios and are often comfortable seeking advice from financial managers.
I was not always this way but along with other things, I have been studying budgeting for the first time in my life and it is really paying dividends. (pun intended!)

A little test from MSN

(My scores in bold) 1. When a friend announces a new relationship, you think: # Good luck, you poor sap. (Score = 1) # Hope it works out better than my relationships usually do. (Score = 2) # I guess stranger things have happened. (Score = 3) # Maybe this time, hope will trump experience. (Score = 4) # Are you nuts? (Score = -1) 2. You see a hottie across the room. Your reaction is: # I pity the fool you take home tonight, but it won’t be me! (Score = 1) # Why bother? (Score = 2) # Looks harmless enough, but I’m sure she's/he’s hiding something. (Score = 3) # Maybe this one will be different. I’m going over there. (Score = 4) # Where’s that little Ninja hiding the knife to stab me in the back? (Score = -1) 3. How much baggage are you carrying around from past relationships? # A boatload of bad feelings. (Score = 1) # Several suitcases of self-pity. (Score = 2) # A backback filled to bursting. (Score = 3) # Not much. I’m learning to travel light. (Score = 4) # I’ve had to rent a storage unit. (Score = -1) 4. Your theme song could be: # Janis Joplin’s version of “Take Another Little Piece of My Heart.” (Score = 1) # Willie Nelson’s “Crazy.” (Score = 2) # Orson’s “Already Over.” (Score = 3) # Jon Brion’s “Trial & Error.” (Score = 4) # Alanis Morrisette’s “You Oughta Know.” (Score = -1) 5. When it comes to love, you’re: # Sick and tired of getting hurt. (Score = 1) # Jaded. (Score = 2) # Learning to love being single. (Score = 3) (Until a few months ago it would have been the first one, but I am healing.) # Confident you’ll find love eventually. (Score = 4) # Convinced that anyone you’re attracted to will break your heart and suck the life out of you. (Score = -1) Less than 0 You’re bitter, baby. You’ve been kicked around by love, but with an attitude like yours, it’s hard to believe you’ll get the chance to give love another go—not that you’d want to. Learn from the past and then let go of it. You’ll feel better, I promise. 0-5 You’re a cynic. And while that can result in an entertainingly acerbic wit, you’d be better served by remembering that you get more bees with honey than with vinegar. 6-10 After your bad experiences, it’s normal to be a little jaded. But don’t let your attitude develop into cynicism. Instead, focus on feeling hopeful about a future that includes a good relationship. 11-15 You’re making an effort, and it’s probably starting to pay off. Being skittish isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Just guard against letting your prior experiences keep you from trying something new. 16-20 Congratulations. Despite a painful past, you’ve been able to put them behind you—hopefully with some valuable lessons learned.


The past is merely the representation and the individual translation of what we thought happened.

Time Passages

Two years ago today, tonight, I was finishing my first day in Rapid City. One year ago today, tonight, I was preparing for my last day in Rapid City. Where will I be and what will I be doing one year from today, tonight? I just hope and pray I am still here to find out.
The "200 things" list... (bold are things I've done) 1. Bought everyone in the bar a drink 2. Swam with wild dolphins 3. Climbed a mountain 4. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive (A Corvette is the best I can do) 5. Been inside the Great Pyramid 6. Held a tarantula (had a swarm of them invade my encampment) 7. Taken a candlelit bath with someone 8. Said "I love you" and meant it 9. Hugged a tree (I don't remember why!) 10. Done a striptease 11. Bungee jumped 12. Visited Paris 13. Watched a lightning storm 14. Stayed up all night long, and watch the sun rise 15. Seen the Northern Lights 16. Gone to a huge sports game (Well, A Dallas Cowboys game is HUGE to me) 17. Walked the stairs to the top of the Leaning Tower of Pisa 18. Grown and eaten your own vegetables 19. Touched an iceberg 20. Slept under the stars 21. Changed a baby's diaper (My daughter, I raised her) 22. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon 23. Watched a meteor shower 24. Gotten drunk on champagne 25. Given more than you can afford to charity 26. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope 27. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment 28. Had a food fight 29. Bet on a winning horse 30. Taken a sick day when you're not ill (After 5 weeks straight, 7 days a week, I needed a day off.) 31. Asked out a stranger 32. Had a snowball fight 33. Photocopied your bottom on the office photocopier 34. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can 35. Held a lamb 36. Enacted a favorite fantasy 37. Taken a midnight skinny dip 38. Taken an ice cold bath 39. Had a meaningful conversation with a beggar 40. Seen a total eclipse 41. Ridden a roller coaster 42. Hit a home run (Does sandlot ball over the roof count?) 43. Fit three weeks miraculously into three days (How I fell in love with South Dakota) 44. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking 45. Adopted an accent for an entire day 46. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors 47. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment (Just today) 48. Had two hard drives for your computer. (this one right now) 49. Visited all 50 states 50. Loved your job for all accounts 51. Taken care of someone who was shit faced 52. Had enough money to be truly satisfied 53. Had amazing friends 54. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country 55. Watched wild whales 56. Stolen a sign 57. Backpacked in Europe 58. Taken a road-trip (Love them!) 59. Rock climbing (How I discovered I don't like rock climbing) 60. Lied to foreign government's official in that country to avoid notice 61. Midnight walk on the beach 62. Sky diving (I have hung from a helicopter while it was flying) 63. Visited Ireland 64. Been heartbroken longer then you were actually in love (Just read my blog and you will know I will be for a long, long time) 65. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger's table and had a meal with them 66. Visited Japan 67. Benchpressed your own weight 68. Milked a cow (and a goat) 69. Alphabetized your records 70. Pretended to be a superhero (I am to my daughter) 71. Sung karaoke 72. Lounged around in bed all day (It was a beautiful day with her!) 73. Posed nude in front of strangers 74. Scuba diving 75. Got it on to "Let's Get It On" by Marvin Gaye 76. Kissed in the rain 77. Played in the mud (Don't all little boys?) 78. Played in the rain (Part of falling in love!) 79. Gone to a drive-in theater (The new generation doesn't know what they are missing!) 80. Done something you should regret, but don't regret it 81. Visited the Great Wall of China 82. Discovered that someone who's not supposed to have known about your blog has discovered your blog 83. Dropped Windows in favor of something better (I will in another year) 84. Started a business 85. Fallen in love and not had your heart broken (Not yet, but maybe someday) 86. Toured ancient sites 87. Taken a martial arts class 88. Swordfought for the honor of a woman 89. Played D&D for more than 6 hours straight 90. Gotten married 91. Been in a movie 92. Crashed a party 93. Loved someone you shouldn't have (That is why I am hurting now) 94. Kissed someone so passionately it made them dizzy 95. Gotten divorced 96. Had sex at the office 97. Gone without food for 5 days 98. Made cookies from scratch 99. Won first prize in a costume contest 100. Ridden a gondola in Venice 101. Gotten a tattoo 102. Found that the texture of some materials can turn you on 103. Rafted the Snake River 104. Been on television news programs as an "expert" 105. Got flowers for no reason 106. Masturbated in a public place 107. Got so drunk you don't remember anything 108. Been addicted to some form of illegal drug 109. Performed on stage 110. Been to Las Vegas 111. Recorded music 112. Eaten shark (Once, thought it was good, but for some reason have not eaten it since, don't know why) 113. Had a one-night stand 114. Gone to Thailand 115. Seen Guns N Roses live 116. Bought a house 117. Been in a combat zone (Fortunately, we were not in a war when I was in, so it was all just practice for me) 118. Buried one/both of your parents 119. Shaved or waxed your pubic hair off (Makes sex better!) 120. Been on a cruise ship (Been on a Navy ship) 121. Spoken more than one language fluently 122. Gotten into a fight while attempting to defend someone 123. Bounced a check 124. Performed in Rocky Horror (I always watched the others go down to the screen) 125. Read - and understood - your credit report 126. Raised children (Still am, she is 15) 127. Recently bought and played with a favorite childhood toy 128. Followed your favorite band/singer on tour 129. Created and named your own constellation of stars 130. Taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country 131. Found out something significant that your ancestors did 132. Called or written your Congress person 133. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over (Read my blog and you will know this how I ended up back in Texas) 134. ...more than once? - More than thrice? 135. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge 136. Sang loudly in the car, and didn't stop when you knew someone was looking 137. Had an abortion or your female partner did 138. Had plastic surgery 139. Survived an accident that you shouldn't have survived. (Possibly. When I was about 6, we were hit by a car on my door. No seatbelts used back then. Head slammed in the dash. To this day I can remember exact moment before impact but no memory of the ambulance ride or hospital stay afterwards.) 140. Wrote articles for a large publication 141. Lost over 100 pounds 142. Held someone while they were having a flashback 143. Piloted an airplane 144. Petted a stingray 145. Broken someone's heart 146. Helped an animal give birth 147. Been fired or laid off from a job 148. Won money on a T.V. game show 149. Broken a bone (Another childhood accident, hit in the face with a bat. Shattered cheekbones and nose structure.) 150. Killed a human being 151. Gone on an African photo safari (Hope to someday as photography is my great love, besides my wife and children) 152. Ridden a motorcycle (Can't wait to get another one!) 153. Driven any land vehicle at a speed of greater than 100 mph (Yeah, and it was stuipd of me too!) 154. Had a body part of yours below the neck pierced 155. Fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol (Grew up hunting) 156. Eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild 157. Ridden a horse (They don't like me much!) 158. Had major surgery (Face reconstructed, see #149) 159. Had sex on a moving train 160. Had a snake as a pet 161. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon (Been to the edge) 162. Slept through an entire flight: takeoff, flight, and landing 163. Slept for more than 30 hours over the course of 48 hours 164. Visited more foreign countries than U.S. states 165. Visited all 7 continents 166. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days 167. Eaten kangaroo meat 168. Fallen in love at an ancient Mayan burial ground 169. Been a sperm or egg donor 170. Eaten sushi 171. Had your picture in the newspaper 172. Had 2 (or more) healthy romantic relationships for over a year in your lifetime 173. Changed someone's mind about something you care deeply about 174. Gotten someone fired for their actions 175. Gone back to school 176. Parasailed 177. Changed your name 178. Petted a cockroach 179. Eaten fried green tomatoes 180. Read The Iliad 181. Selected one "important" author who you missed in school, and read 182. Dined in a restaurant and stolen silverware, plates, cups because your apartment needed them 183. ...and gotten 86'ed from the restaurant because you did it so many times, they figured out it was you 184. Taught yourself an art from scratch (I am an artist at my job!) 185. Killed and prepared an animal for eating 186. Apologized to someone years after inflicting the hurt (Have not had the chance yet) 187. Skipped all your school reunions. (Probably will skip the rest of them) 188. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language 189. Been elected to public office 190. Written your own computer language 191. Thought to yourself that you're living your dream (When I was in Rapid City) 192. Had to put someone you love into hospice care 193. Built your own PC from parts 194. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn' know you (Do movies count?) 195. Had a booth at a street fair 196: Dyed your hair 197: Been a DJ 198. Found out someone was going to dump you via LiveJournal 199: Written your own role playing game 200: Been arrested (Only once and never again will I) I've done a lot of stuff...


Another anniversary

Since this is the time for anniversary's for me here is another one. It was two years ago tonight that Tam and I arrived in Rapid City, SD to begin our new life. We came with only our hopes, dreams, and prayers. Over the next year we succeeded at working and building our life. Then, in a fraction of a moment in time, it was all gone. We move on, but never forget.
"Happiness is not a horse; you cannot harness it." - Russian proverb.


Wave from Typhoon Tokage clashes against a seawall in Beppu, Oita Prefecture, in southwestern Japan. By Takuya Okabe, AP

This is awesome!! I hope the photographer was ok. Posted by Hello
"An expert is a person who has made all the mistakes that can be made in a very narrow field."Niels Bohr

Well, in the very narrow field of relationships, I would now be the worlds leading expert! HaHa!


Who we are...

I watched a show tonight that affected me with some deep emotions. The theme of the show was accepting people for who they really are, no matter what others may think. This is why I fell in love with Tam. Not only did she allow me to be me, but she joined in with my silly fun. We had been together for awhile and I knew just how I felt about her, but she did something that sealed the deal. We used to "play" by leaving little plastic critters hidden for each other. For some background, each summer I would get a nest of mice in my attic. Never in the house, mind you, just in the attic. I was always terrified I would lower the attic door and one would fall on me. One Saturday while she was at work I lowered the door to put some things away when a grey long tailed "rat" fell upon me! It was Ricky the Rat, a plastic rat that we used to scare each other with among our zoo of critters. She had placed it on the fold-up stairs so that as I opened the door Ricky would fall on me. And did it work!!! I jumped so hard I pulled a muscle in my leg! Then, when I realized what it was and who was responsible, I immediately called her. It was at that moment, more than any other moment, that I knew I wanted to spend my life with her. That was how this show I watched tonight was. When the love of his life died, he never looked for another. The guy stated you only get one shot in life for that absolutely true love. I had my shot and it didn't work out. I was told life is too short, get out and do things. I am. For the first time in a year I actually enjoyed going shopping. No sadness, no sighs about what no longer is. Just good memories, like the one of a plastic rat.


This is nasty but cool!

ken and barbie

Another day...

Today was a good day for me. As stated in a previous post about cookies I am finally coming to grips with myself, where I have come from and where I hope to go in life. Did some shopping today as I have really done well with my finances and I just wanted to pamper myself a bit. So what did I buy, you ask? A new antenna for my tv and three shirts from my fav thrift store. This past week I had seen an advertisement from Sonic for a patty melt sandwich and I have been thinking of that all week. So I went to my neighborhood Walmart and bought me some Texas Toast bread (I have been using that for Jess's breakfast and I just love it!), hamburger meat and some Monterray Jack cheese. All I have been doing since then is surfing the net and watching tv. About 8pm (I also had purchased some frozen fries) I made my patty melt and fries and relaxed. Jess went to the state fair today with a friend and she is sleeping over so I have the place to myself. While at Frye's Electronics I salivated over the mp3 players but I am not going to buy one yet, for two reasons. One, I think they will come down in price more once Christmas season is fully here, and 2 because Jess will want to use it and I don't want her to. She will just lose it or have it stolen because lack of responsibility. So I will wait until the right time and I will get her and I some kind of music players. I had envisioned her and I getting the same things but I don't feel it is wise to spend $100 on her for something she will end up losing. So she will get a cd player of the lower quality type, as long as it plays mp3's and I will get the fancier flash player. I will also keep it with me at all times so she will not be tempted to use it. Seeing as I only slept aproximately 5 hours last night I will not be staying up for Saturday Night Live tonight. In fact I don't think I will be up much more than a few more minutes.
Look for and acknowledge the everyday miracles that happen in your life. Now, "everyday miracles" might sound like a contradiction, but they are indeed real -- it's all a matter of your perception.


I want to preface this entry with the following statement. I understand and accept that my marriage is over and has been over for more than a year. I just continue to write about my feelings on this subject as this is a major turning point in my life. This is not just a situation where I am moving from one relationship to another. I will turn 40 in 3 months and my daughter is just a few years away from being on her own. So this past year has not been about "moving on", but rather about what I need to do to completely change the course of my life. I have no interest in pursuing a new relationship at this time. I have finally reached the point where I can think of something Tam and I did together and I remember it as a good thing instead of something that causes nothing but pain and anguish. Now I can put those memories into words and read them from time to time, allowing a smile to play across my lips as I do.

Cookies. Tam would make me cookies almost every night. I never was much for sweets such as cookies and cakes but she made them anyways. She made them, I believe, as a way of saying thank you for the things I had done for her. Her job was alot harder than mine and she made more money than I did so I tried to make up for it by cooking dinner, doing the laundry, shopping and anything else I could do in an attempt to make her life easier. We would be relaxing, watching tv and she would get up and leave the room. I would hear some rumaging going on in our kitchen and about 15 minutes later I would smell this warm, delicious smell emanating from the kitchen and I knew what was going to be coming my way soon. I miss the cookies.