30 July 2006

Back Deck

I love my back deck.

28 July 2006

Stupid OPPD (part 0002) - I take it all back

Make sure you read Stupid OPPD (part 0001) for the exciting beginning of this tale.

The Culprit

OPPD showed up in a little over 2 hours from when I first called. The technician had a troubleshooting device, and we quickly found no power at the AC unit. Went inside, took the cover off the circuit breaker panel, and discovered power on the input, no power on the output of the AC circuit breaker. $11.99 + tax and a trip to Ace Hardware later, and my air conditioning is working like a champ.

What caused the circuit breaker to give up the ghost at that particular time is unknown, but we'll just let that go, and enjoy some lower humidity and temperature.

Even though I would have figured it out once I borrowed a meter from Troy, I do want to say: thank you OPPD.

Stupid OPPD (part 0001)

make sure you read Stupid OPPD (part 0002) for the conclusion of this electrifying tale.

Yesterday the weather was cool enough that I turned off the air conditioning in my house before I left to go to Jazz on the Green.

Today OPPD came and installed a new power meter.

A couple hours later, I started to get warm, so I closed the windows, and went to pop on the A/C. Nothing. I went through all the circuit breakers, checked the wiring on the outside of the house, and still nothing. The fan inside the HVAC system works, but the A/C unit outside will not turn on.

I called OPPD ... it can't be OUR fault ... I pointed out the only thing that changed was the new meter ... I have to submit a claim, maybe it will be fixed by NEXT summer.

Good thing I like the heat and am in good health.

Stupid OPPD.

27 July 2006


This comes courtesy of Gingerkid.

You are on a horse, galloping at a constant speed. On your right side is a sharp drop off, and on your left side is an elephant traveling at the same speed as you. Directly in front of you is a galloping kangaroo and your horse is unable to overtake it no matter how hard you try. Behind you is a lion running at the exact same speed as you and the kangaroo.

What must you do to safely get out of this highly dangerous situation?
Hit comments to see answer.

25 July 2006

An Interesting Thought

I don't use the term very often, but I have very positive self-talk. I encourage myself, try to keep myself in the middle, and even if it sounds funny, at least someone is talking to me.

I was just encouraging myself about not getting too down about money, and I was surprised to hear a voice in my head suggest "talk to Me" instead.


I am the answer...

Happy Birthday to me! I am now 42, the answer to life, the universe, and everything.

23 July 2006

Anonymous Benefactor

Thank you to those who wished me at happy birthday, and a special thanks to whomever picked up my tab at Corinn's big 21st birthday bash.

Billy & Lindsay's Wedding!

First the words. Venche went as my date, she looked wonderful. My camera is stupid. It was warm, but not overbearingly so, and even if it was, it was a privilege to be there for Billy & Lindsay. I did tell Mark that next life I was going to be a woman and wear a lot of sun dresses to outdoor summer events. My camera is stupid. The wedding was organized, beautiful, and creative. There were a lot of little touches that involved the bride and groom’s faces, the Billy & Lindsay water bottles, signs directing where to go, the Martini bar menu. My camera is stupid. Dinner went well, it the vans outside were an indication, it was catered by HyVee, they did well. My camera is stupid. The highlight was the dancing (of course), Troy played a big variety of music that you don’t normally here at Jitterbugs events, Venche got to find out I know all the words to at least one slow country song... The Chicken Dance: great... The Electric Slide: throw it in the dumpster, like my camera, it is stupid.

Billy & Lindsay: God Bless your marriage, thanks for allowing me to be a part of it.

Check out this nice looking group!

Brian: Can we just get right to the dancing?
Josie: If I fall, you are SO going down with me.

Billy enjoying his last few minutes of freedom.

Dad: "Is this dress made of real satin?"
Lindsay: "It sure feels like it."
Dad: "It sure cost like it is."

Arg! I be the minister for the First Church of the Pirate Goddess!

Okay, so the East Coast Swing basic in open goes like this...

(I could think of nothing appropriate to caption this with)

Billy! Don't eat the flowers!

Brian: Hurry up, we get to go dance.
Josie: Don't go so fast, you won't get in the picture.

Possible captions:
1. Dang, eating that bar of soap gave me gas.
2. Viv: "Venche, would you call my personality bubbly?"
3. Venche: "Why is my date laying in the grass in his suit?"
4. Too bad my camera is stupid and deleted the first shot of this.

Little Becky: Wait until I get my license, I am going to run you over.

Is this the line for the dessert table?

Lindsay was talking to someone else, I came up behind her put my arm around her pointed the camera at us, and *click* ... that's why I love the bride.

Billy: Now remember, Eric can't have any chocolate.

Hugh: Alright, which one of you goosed me?

Suggestions for improved captions are appreciated!

22 July 2006

A Purr-fect Pair

Look it's my babies, Zeke and Sierra, so so so bored with the picture taking process.

19 July 2006

Tennis Anyone?

The bottom temperature was the official high at The Lazy Onion Ranch for Wednesday, July 19.

P.S. By the way, I renamed my house to The Lazy Onion Ranch.

18 July 2006

A Question

This comes from a conversation with a friend who asked me if there were bugs in the garden of Eden or if they were a consequence of the fall of Adam and Eve.

Answer me this question, what is the first (most important) quality in being human?
  1. Being a creation of God or
  2. Suffering from the fall of Adam and Eve.
I would argue that it is #1, we are first creations of God. So are bugs. Like it or not, so is being irritated and frustrated.

The true nature and disaster of the Fall is that we have been removed from His immediate presence, this is the penalty for the knowledge that Adam and Eve gained, to be removed from Eden and Him. Although our newfound knowledge causes us to focus on the loss of paradise, the actual loss is that of the physical presence of our Creator.

We are removed from God.

Fortunately He has given us gifts of faith and forgiveness, and also the gift of Himself in Jesus, and we can be set straight with Him, and after a short while of suffering and/or joy in this life, re-enter His presence.

Surgery Update part 000D

What? Crap! Isn’t it a little late for this?

Okay, so, surgery date: April 18. Current date: July 18. Hold on, let me do the math, that’s um, carry the six, multiply by two pi, add Fibonacci’s age, divide by W’s IQ ...oops, that operation is undefined... (20 minutes later) it has been three months.

So I am sitting in my car this afternoon when wham! I get the heebie-jeebies about the surgery! I mean I got the shivers and was just plain wigged out. It’s been three months, I am 98% physically recovered, in fact, since I am not having as many headaches now, I am more like 125% back to normal (run that through the math machine).

I was fine leading up to the surgery, I was fine through the surgery, I didn’t even get grossed out by all of the, um, excess mucus after the surgery ... but now, 91 days later, I, in the words of The Cure, shiver and shake. The whole thing only lasted a couple minutes or so, and then it was gone.


17 July 2006

Quit reading and sign up!

sciam may06

2006 Cowtown Jamborama. Sign up. People are coming from Hawaii, so you've already lost that excuse, so sign up now.

15 July 2006

Smokin' Hot

The Prairie Cats playing in a parking lot on a sunny day in the middle of the day in July. It doesn't get much hotter than that.

Disclaimers Don't Work

Next time I put a disclaimer on a blog posting, it will be size bajillion font.

That being said, thank you all for your kind words of encouragement.

13 July 2006

Expert? Jack of Trades?

Warning: although the following may not actually be funny, it is meant tongue in cheek.

So... I am talentless. This is what has been floating around on the top of my brain for the last couple of weeks. Or more to the point, I find myself in a group of friends (who I am NOT giving up), in which my talents and areas of expertise are not exactly right at the front of being needed.

I look at some of my friends, like Nate (from 88 Improv), Billy, or Suzie, and they have that combination of talent and vision that makes them absolutely amazing to be around. I have more friends, like Nate (from Jitterbugs) or Dan, who are so knowledgeable and passionate about certain subjects that they are a joy just to listen to. Those are the kinds of things that I wish I had ... talent, vision, knowledge, passion.

Or more to the point, I wish I was recognized for it.

Sort of. I made a decision long ago about the part that I liked to play in society. I like to be the trashman or recycler, give me the tough stuff no one else can handle. The unthanked jobs that need to be done. I'll do it, hopefully without complaining. I can be very tenacious, focused and determined... but who knows? Nobody, because I am fairly unambitious by societal standards, I'm not really a self-promoter, and the jobs I like to do are not noticed.

So do I have talent, vision, knowledge, and passion? YES! Well after all, God leaves no person purposeless. My talent is discernment, my vision is for fulfilled human beings, my knowledge is how to be with and talk to people who need someone there, and my passion is human beings.

Okay, I know a little about baseball, golf, and construction too...

There is no way for me to be recognized for the differences I have made, because let's face it, some of the things I've heard are not for public consumption. I believe, however, I am appreciated, and that will have to be enough for me.

My talent is for people.

Too bad when you put me in a crowd of them and I think I have to perform.

12 July 2006

Lara Croft was here...

Actually I'm not writing anything about Lara Croft, I just thought it would get your attention and make you read this, you know, the old blog & switch. This is really just going to be a random thoughts post.

You all are missing out on some big fun when you don't come to Spanky & Mae's Tuesday dance party. It's way more than a dance party, in fact it is pretty much as random as it gets. Last night we chowed down on cinnamon breadsticks, danced, went to Menard's to research mirrors, danced some more, and watched two episodes of Farscape. The only thing that is a guarantee there is fun will be had by all.

I'm kind of bummed that I bought that new lawn mower, and haven't had a chance to use it hardly at all. I got over an inch of rain this week but I don't think it is going to be enough to make the grass grow significantly.

I just got a phone call from Mae asking me for some help. I am not going to say what she asked, but any doubts I might have had about being a member of her "family of choice" have been put to rest... I have officially reached brother status.

My car has the stupid "check engine" light on.

Cherokee keeps vascilating between being deaf and hearing okay. I don't quite understand it. I suppose that a visit to the vet is in order, but he is just fine in every other way but his hearing.

09 July 2006

Dumb Test

This one comes from GodWasAMonkey.

Intelligence Test Part 4.

I got nine total in about five minutes. I haven't taken the time to really think through them all. Acording to GodWasAMonkey, you can be her best friend if you get #2 & #17... which I did.

08 July 2006


Crap, I'm not a kid anymore. I was dancing with little Becky last night and I did a move that she was supposed to counterbalance me on, we've done it before, well she missed it or something, and by the time I figured out I was going down, her 90 pounds was NOT going to support my 180, at least not with a head start towards the floor. I couldn't even fall well because I might as well been ice skating, my feet just kept slipping out from under me, so I hit the floor pretty hard.

Last fall I had that hurt was the ice skating fall, it might be on this blog somewhere. I'm not exactly over the hill, but I am getting old enough to understand why the elderly have such a fear of falling.

So ouch! My shoulder hurts. I need some heat, some tiger-balm, and some TLC... and NOT from Kevin. :-)

03 July 2006

Keep your math skills handy

Signs seen while shopping for fireworks last night:

Spray Fountains:
$2.22 each / $6.79 for a 3 pack

Roman Candles, 10 count:
$1.23 each / $6.19 for a 4 pack

I spent less than I could have.

Spanky, Mae, and I set them off in the street, I bought a lot of little things, they bought fewer things that were cooler (read more expensive). Spanky got one piece, it looked like a big box of crayons, and it shot off the little missiles in rapid succession, it was very cool. Mae got the same sort of things I did, but different because I didn't buy the same things they did. Fountains and flowers and "Dragon Rising". My roman candles came complete with fire-proof fuses and a need for viagra... Maybe I should have tried the four pack.

We are individuals, not members of a subgroup

My mother was a hippy. I was brought up by her to believe in the equality of every human being, regardless of whatever sub-group of people you or I want to attempt to shove them into or attempt to pull them out of. I have attempted to embrace this philosophy, with various degrees of success because I, like everyone else, am mostly only capable of seeing things through the eyes of my cultural upbringing and cultural choices. Generally, it works out to this, if I like you, it's because I like you, take it personally, if I don't like you, well take that personally too... it's not because you are ____ (you fill in the blank).

I love you my friends, not because you are ______, but instead because I value you as human beings. I am not going to like all your choices, and I may not be able to publicly or privately support you in them, but I am not going to abandon you if it becomes convenient to do so.

So, what's my point? A couple of things I have seen from otherwise intelligent, rational human beings lately drives me CRAZY!

Blindly supporting your best friend can be risky enough. I certainly hope none of you do that for me, and I'm not even sure I like the explanation "oh, that's just Eric". If I am being a moron, than I am being a moron, and I need you, my friends, to help reign me in. I hope I do this for you.

So if this is risky behavior, why would anyone publicly throw their support behind someone they A) don't know, B) has questionable situation, motivation & reputation, and C) is in obvious crisis? Especially when you work in a field that day one of your training had to be about staying rational about people in C? Not guilty is not the same as innocent, and no one is/was.

Hating half the human race? This pendulum swings both ways, because I've seen it from a number of people on either side. Heterosexual men who hate women and heterosexual women who hate men. What is the freakin' issue? Some of you evidently aren't aware of this, but we CAN all be friends. I think it especially odd because I have seen this type of behavior from people who would absolutely rip me to shreds if I made it clear that I didn't like gay men because I felt threatened, yet they feel so threatened that they are unable to maintain or desire (I don't know) a relationship (lover, friend, acquaintance, person at the checkout counter) with a person of the opposite sex.

You won't find a fulfilling relationship (lover, friend, acquaintance, person at the checkout counter) with someone of the opposite sex while you are running away from every one of them you meet.

Seriously I could go on for hours about a bunch of things, but really it boils treating everyone as an individual and realizing your issues are YOURS, not everyone wants to share them.

Thanks in advance for any well thought out responses.

01 July 2006

Sweaterbugs Night Out

It's a tradition that I didn't know about... at least one summer night a year the air conditioning has to be out at JNO.

Since I like it hot, and I think sweating is good clean fun, I thought it was great. I got enough warning on it to get some gatorade, but not enough warning to wear shorts and a light shirt. So I sweated and danced slowly, and got plenty to drink. I didn't even think it was really that hot.

People were leaving left and right, and center calling it too hot. Maybe 40 people stayed, the hardcore dancers :-) it was fun.

Nothing else was interesting, although in a rare feat I pulled a Maegmariel and snuck out without saying goodbye to anyone.