Always one or the other....

Having posted last month about what I believe is my failure as a father, our lives have become even more complicated by the arrest of our oldest daughter. She has been on probation for intent to sell (methamphetamine) when this past Monday she was tested by her probation officer and failed the test, for the same drug. We have just been devastated by this latest news. She has 3 stepchildren that we love and adore as our own grandchildren, a daughter that is about to turn one on Christmas eve, and she is six months pregnant. It begs the question, "WHAT WAS SHE THINKING?". We are so beside ourselves as this is just such a shock. She has been doing so well, being stable with her boyfriend and the kids. She had not been perfect, but overall doing well. And now this. Her mother is sick with feelings of failure, just as I have been about my daughter. We have two girls, that is how we see it and both of them have turned out less than what we had desired of them and we blame ourselves so much. Where do we go from here? She will be locked up for a minimum of 18 months and quite possibly as much as 24 months. These two baby girls are not going to know their momma as a family friend is going to help take care of them. She will be momma. We fear her boyfriend is going to end up leaving her. He left his first wife because she was a drug addict and drunk so how can he ever trust her when this is a repeat of that first marriage? And when she is released that does not mean she will automatically get her kids back, she may have some time at a halfway house or supervised visitation due to her incarceration was drug related and the time spent away from the kids. This is going to be a sour Christmas but we have to pray for the good that is here and will come our way.

Musical tastes keep evolving...

Just heard Kanye West sing a song on Saturday Night Live and I liked it so much I bought it Amazon.com immediately. It just goes to show that whatever an artist usually creates, they also may create something that will appeal to a totally different audience. I really don't care for rap but I like this song, which is more of a love song. The song is "Love Lockdown". Once again the modern power of the internet provided me with something I would not have been able to get in the past.


As my daughter enters her fifth month of pregnancy I have really started to reflect upon my total failure as a father. It is no small wonder that she has been as screwed up as she has. I thought I was a good father but that was just me wanting to believe that just because I put food on the table and a roof over her head it made me one. In retrospect I made poor decision after poor decision, especially when it came to the parade of women I brought into and out of her life. And following that was my basically abandoning her when she needed me the most, all for my personal needs. When I felt I could no longer take the pressure and stress I ran away. Now many years later I not only have had to face more stress and pressure but live with the consequences of my actions. I have moments when I struggle to deal with what I have done but those are the moments when I turn to God for guidance. It has been written many times that you should not have regrets in life but I do, many of them. I have made terrible decisions and the hardest part is I cannot go back and undo them. Sometimes I am blessed with a second chance but many times I am not and it is hard to balance my failures with my feelings. I do hope that I am able to impart some of what I have learned to her as she now raises her own child. I hope my daughter will see past a failed father and recognize the truth: that I love her beyond measure and as she had grown so have I.


Why young people should hold off on having children..

The discipline of religion and moral teachings kept the young people of the past (more than 125 years ago) in line as young teenage parents. A time when it was common for 15 year olds to marry and have children. But times have changed and along with it the ability for these young people to think for themselves at a much younger age. That is why society has to change and allow for the slower development of the younger generations. "Adulthood is not an event that happens on your 17th or 21st birthday," Dr. Lyons said. "It's a process that begins in adolescence and doesn't finish until the late 20s."--Dallas Morning News


way to long between posts. I finally have internet that works as I subscribed to at&t's dsl connection. and it works great, as great as charters never did. also, i reset my laptop to the way it was the day i bought it. i had been thinking of doing it for quite a while but was nervous about having to reinstall programs. turns out it was the best thing i ever did. my laptop was taking up to 10 minutes to boot up and i could not watch video or listen to music. now i can do both while surfing other sites as well. i finally have it going the way i want it to. hopefully i will get back into blogging and posting photos the way i used to. my wife's illness sure put a hold on everything i enjoyed doing. but now that she is home and feeling pretty good i finally have time for me again. got my blood sugar under control finally so very soon i will have my eyes checked and get some new glasses. today my insurance went into effect at my employer so they will pay $130 max towards glasses. i cannot wait as i sit 8 inches from the monitor to do my work. but it is ok as i don't have too much eye strain and i can see the screen clearly. so much more to write but this is a start in returning to regular posting.


It's been too long...

since I have done regular posting. I now hope to start again as I have really missed putting my thoughts, ideas, and opinions in writing. I am finally getting my blood sugar levels down to a manageable level and as a result I have more energy and desire to do things. Also, with Tammi becoming more independent it is releasing me from so much responsibility and allowing me to do more for myself. My schedule has changed as I have been assigned the 10am-7pm shift. Since I did it for four years at my last employer it has not been a big adjustment and actually I am happier with this schedule. Everyone leaves @ 5pm except for a few of us so it becomes very quiet and peaceful. It also allows me more time in the mornings to help get Tammi ready before we leave.



After 10 years of strictly gas grilling, I took my first shot at charcoal grilling yesterday. And while it was a modest undertaking for my first time, it turned out quite successfully. Having given away my gas grill when we moved last summer, I had not had the opportunity to cook outdoors since then. Actually, I had grilled only once in the past 2 1/2 years and I really missed it. I have done a lot of indoor cooking, including grilling on this electric grill, but it was just not the same. So yesterday we purchased an inexpensive grill and a chimney starter and I started my learning process for charcoal grilling. It took a while for the briquettes to light, maybe it was the quality of charcoal or that it was a bit of a windy day but once they did light I was going. I grilled us some hamburgers which of course is not too difficult. What did surprise me was the thick pork ribs I also laid out on the grill. For what I thought was a small amount of charcoal laid out on the grill the ribs cooked wonderfully, not too fast so that the interior cooked without burning or drying them out. Long after I was done cooking the charcoal was still quite hot (too hot to touch the grill) and if needed I could have left the ribs to continue cooking. We are making it a weekly thing to go over to Mom & Dad's on Saturday evening to cook. It is the smallest of things I can do for them after all they have done for me, including dealing with my daughter. I so look forward to it now as I get good time with them and I get to cook, something I really love to do.


Musings and such...

Just a few things to update what is going on in my life right now. Work is progressing at a steady, albeit slow, pace. My immediate boss is a young woman probably 15-18 years my junior and although she is sweet and nice she is also somewhat condescending to others. I respect what she has accomplished and where she is but what I feel she does not understand is that what we do there is not that difficult of a job. I will have everything down and be proficient within a month. But there will be no rocking of any boats by me. I really like this company and what I do there does not matter to me, working for the company is what matters. For now having a non-challenging job is really nice after all the stress I have endured the past year. I think things can only get better as time goes on here. I have finally figured out what I should have become in my life. I love to learn. I love photography. I love history. I wish I would have figured out 20 years ago that what I should have become was a professor at a small college. What I would like to have become is a teacher of the impact that photography had on human civilization. Not teaching photography but rather what photography did for mankind. How it changed us. I still believe I will pursue this but now for personal gain. I have long since passed the option of being able to go to school and become what I was meant to be. We all have paths laid out for us but it is our ability to have free will that causes these paths to change course from the original destination. Maybe as an amateur I will still be able to write a short paper about the impact of photography on mankind. I know it has been before but maybe I can find a new angle or point of view to express it in a different way. Maybe not. Maybe I am just a guy on the back end of my life wishing I had done things differently, knowing that my best years are behind me and I don't want to admit that. Who knows but with the power of the internet and even this very blog, all of us can be what we always wanted to be.


Windows (you know, Microsoft) is so yesterday...

Some time back I downloaded a copy of Puppy Linux as I read that it was a pretty good version of Linux and it was designed to boot off of a cd disc. I did boot up with it but just never had the time to really see what it could do. Well, this weekend I finally got around to really getting into it and I have to say I am very impressed. the whole operating system is only 99mb in size and yet I have been able to everything I could do with Windows. Now I have attempted to connect external items such as printers and scanners (it does come with a built-in pdf print driver) yet but that is the next step and I am quite confident I will be able to get them to work. The really good part about this system is whenever I watch video or listen to audio I don't get the broken sound and pictures like I do with Windows. My laptop is at the lower end of todays systems (1.4 Celeron, 1 gig memory) and I usually have to wait for the video to load before I can decently watch it. Not so with Puppy Linux, the video loads quickly and plays back flawlessly as it is loading. As I type this right now I am using Puppy loaded directly into ram without installation to the hard drive. I am now sure just how much better this can get and it boots up on less than a minute (compared to 6 minutes with windows) and shuts down in about 20 seconds. That will mean 6 more minutes of battery life if not more due to less power consumption ( I am not sure if that is true or not but I would think less processing power need would equal less power usage but I am not sure about that). I already know that all of my pen drives work with it including my 120gig portable hdd. Even though it comes with a full suite of office-type programs I primarily use Google's online documents tools so that is not a problem either. I did download what I felt was a better music player than the one it came with but that was a minor detail. Overall I feel it is a very strong alternative to Windows XP and I am quite sure I will be using it more than I will use Windows. Well, after 2 1/2 days on the job I am very pleased with it. I wish I earned more money but don't we all. I am having to start over on the ground floor but I really feel there is room for advancement and earning potential at this employer. It is a fairly large company owned by a really large company so there is plenty of ways to go. I believe that if I work hard and perform at a high level the rest will take care of itself. The benefits as a whole are better than I have ever had before so I am looking forward to that part of the deal. My medical will be paid for, PTO time earned at a good rate and more holidays off than at any point in the past. The work is not all that hard, booking and warranty administration had more to remember than this but that is not to say there is not a lot to learn. Within an month I will be proficient at my job and by the end of my 90 day's a s a Manpower temp I will be quite proficient. I like the people I work with, it is a good, stable company to work for and they really seem to like my attitude and work ethic so it should work out quite nicely. Air conditioned without air hammers going off in my ears all day and without worry of grease getting on my clothing. Almost everyone there wears jeans but I like wearing slacks and dress shirts so I will continue for the time being.


A new beginning?

Possibly. I spent the majority of today at a prospective employer's office. The manager of the facility wanted me to get a feel for what they do and let them know if it was something I might be interested in. Aside from the fact I need a job I did feel like it was something I would be interested in. The job is not the most glamorous but it pretty much used a lot of what I have learned over the past 20 years or so. In short, I need a job, I can do this one, and it is in a very well air conditioned building (something I have not had in a very long time). And it pays more than I was earning along with being strictly Monday-Friday. What more could I ask? Oh yeah, it is 5 miles from home and did I mention it pays more than my previous job? I am very hopeful that it comes through.


An ending and a beginning....

I was fired today (Thursday 2/7/08). So that is the end of a chapter of my life and the beginning of a new one. Tammi and I discussed and then decided we would not look back. We immediately started making decisions for the future and what the next step was/is. End of a job, end of my time at a certain company but not the end of my life. No looking back. On a separate note my sister was admitted to the hospital last Sunday and she is not doing to well. While death is not imminent, she is very sick and has a long ways to go before she is well enough to come home. And she is not out of the woods by a long shot so anything can still happen with her.


So this explains it....

Why are commercials so LOUD? Compression. Advertisers use compression so that everything in a commercial is about at the same (loud) audio level, close to the maximum allowable levels. This way, you can still hear their pitch even if you get up to go the kitchen or bathroom. SCI FI does not turn up the volume on these commercials — they're just recorded and mixed that way. Most of our shows, however, are not in an audio-compressed format so they generally have a wider dynamic range than the ads. Since we can't go back and add compression to our shows, the ads tend to sound a lot louder than the programming.

What I too have been doing..

I have been going down this very bad path over the last year. If what I read here is correct, I am doing a lot of harm to myself and I had better change my ways.
clipped from www.nytimes.com
Lost possible selves, some psychologists call them. Others are more blunt: the person you could have been.
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