29 January 2008

The Appointment Is Made

Less than 72 hours. I made an appointment at the vet to have Cherokee put down on Friday morning at 0830. At this moment it is more peace than regret, although it may be a little early, I don't want to be too late. He still gets around though all limpy, he can only hear the loudest sounds, can no longer see well enough to catch a treat, and hard food is, well, hard for him to eat, he is so skinny now.

He had a bad night last night, and taking care of him is increasingly difficult.

Puppy-boy in happier, stronger days several years ago.

I have a million stories about Cherokee, but the most important is this, he saved my life. Not in the jump in a river when I am drowning kind of way, but in a slower, steadier way. When I was newly divorced, in the midst of recovery, and suicidally depressed ... he was there, a reason to have to get up, someone I couldn't leave behind. Thanks Cherokee. I will have more about the life and times of Cherokee on a later posting.

Anyone who wants to stop by on Thursday and say goodbye, for your own benefit, you may. You do NOT have to come, do not treat this as an obligation, but as an opportunity. I will need the support afterwards, not before. This is for people who need the closure, I will be there with him as he passes, then I will cry.

And the circle of life goes on, mom got a puppy yesterday.

27 January 2008


Lord save us all from even more public kissing from Cornstalker and Viv. No one even go near any glassware with anything metal.

she said yes - cornstalker
I direct your attention to the shiny thing on the left hand of Vivian.

Congratulations, I'm so excited for both of you. You can see Viv's story about it here. Cornstalker had less to say here.

25 January 2008

How Smart Are We?

I am a big believer in "the more things change, the more they stay the same". I was struck by this thought as I read this article about HGH (Human Growth Hormone). Here is an excerpt below:
LOS ANGELES, California -- Dr. Andre Berger sees himself as a pioneer. Where others in the medical community believe injections of human growth hormone should be given to adults in only rare cases, Berger believes it is a crucial part of keeping people young and vital.

Berger, who has been practicing anti-aging and holistic medicine for 30 years, says he is now prescribing injections of HGH to about one out of every four people he treats at his Rejuvalife Vitality Institute in Beverly Hills...
Now it's true, I am not a physician, but I think I can recognize a conman / slick salesman when I see one. One doctor selling anti-aging to the rich and beautiful, glowing testimonials, and a lack of scientific evidence.

Besides the phrase at the top, as I read this article, I was reminded firstly of the story of Radithor, (here is the Wikipedia Reference), a medicinal product marketed in the 1920s that was basically distilled water with radioactive salts mixed in. People drank this radioactive substance as a cure all, and it was by no means the only radioactive "medicine" available. What makes Radithor interesting was that the use of it was directly tied to the death of an individual (read articles) and led to the FDA having considerable say in the manufacture and use of medicines. Of course before radioactive products were the rage, there were cocaine and opium based products.

I was also reminded of ongoing controversy with steroids, ritalin, or half a dozen (or million) other drugs and substances as well. All of this makes me wonder just how smart we are. As we recoil in horror from the drug/chemical mistakes of the past, how will our great-grandchildren view our habits of today?

Which brings me to another favorite phrase of mine "Those who are ignorant of history are doomed to repeat it..." Although in truth, even when we know history, we repeat it anyways.

24 January 2008

Worth 1k words, no make it 1M

ewe - vivian
Wow! This captures the true spirit of the OnionBoy.
Thanks to Viv for making me laugh, out loud, alone in a room, at work.


For my Facebook friends, Odd-servations comes out several times a year when I have really nothing interesting to say, but feel like writing anyways.

It's Cold
Cherokee decided it is too cold to make it out to the yard to do his business, he only got to the bottom of the deck stairs. I guess this is better than in the house.

Who is Jeff Hagstrom?
So I received a notice on Facebook that Jeff Hagstrom wanted to be my friend. Between dancing and Bible study, I know several Jeffs that I am unaware of their last names. No picture, but he was showing as friends with Jessica, so I figured it must be dancing, right? So I hit the yes button.

A couple days later I looked back at his profile. Still no picture, but we had another mutual friend now, Jenny Jitterbug. Cool, definitely dancing ... I kind of let it go, but something was still gnawing at the back of my mind. So tonight I asked SmileChild who he was, she had no idea.

So I called Jenny Jitterbug tonight and asked her. She has no idea who he is either. She added him because she saw him on mine. She also added that she sent him a message asking him who he was and did he know her, he said "...I don't know you, but I'd like to get to know you..." This is perfectly understandable someone wants to get to know Jenny Jitterbug, I mean she is cute and bubbly, but me?

One thing Jenny and I agree on, we wouldn't normally add someone to our lists we don't personally know. So, who actually knows Jeff Hagstrom?

It's Cold
Did I mention it is cold? Global warming my butt.

Funny Question Leads To All Evening Discussion
I got a text from SingingMonkeyGirl last night asking where a Catholic priest goes for confession. Three hours later, I had no chores done, SmileChild didn't do any homework, Ivar was questioned, Cornstalker was probably feeling mostly ignored, and I'm sure SingingMonkeyGirl didn't accomplish much either.

The conclusion, I'm a lover not a fighter.

Please direct all further doctrine questions to (SmileChild's friend) Kevin.

It's Cold
Seriously, I would just move to Saskatoon if I wanted weather like this. Hey check it out, a polar bear just ambled by on that glacier over there.

The Car That Wouldn't Start?
Twice in the last three weeks my car has not started. Both times in bitter cold. Both times the battery was so dead the car had to sit for a couple minutes being jumped before it would turn over. Drive it home, it starts up fine the next day. Last night around 0200 there was an announcement over the intercom at work to go move our cars. I went out, and the engine would not budge. Crap!

I called security, and it turned out where I was parked was fine. So I just went back to work. At 0645 I went out to double check it just to be sure before I called for a ride or jump. It started right up.

Vivian said it might be trunk light stuck on, I think she might be correct. Much thanks to my coworker who doesn't even want his first name on the internet and to Jose for jump-starting me.

It's Cold
I've thrown my sleeping bag on my usual pile of blankets I sleep under.

For those of you who don't understand what a migraine is like, here is a question to answer: you have a migraine, you go to get your last migraine pill, but you drop it ... in the cat box. What do you do?

If you suffer from migraines, you know the answer. No, it hasn't happened to me, but if it did.

It's Cold
The last time it was above freezing here in Omaha was the evening of January 13, and it looks like we have at least two and a half more days of this. No, this is not "normal" weather for Omaha, the average high even at this time of year is 32F.

22 January 2008

How much longer will I be an addict?

For those who don't know, there is an add-on to Facebook called Scrabulous, which is basically Scrabble in playable on-line form. You can play with friends at a leisurely pace, making several moves a day, or one per week. Since I enjoy playing Scrabble, it should come as no surprise that I have a few games going, um, nine at the time I wrote this.

Unfortunately, like all fun behaviors, this one will come to an end soon. Hasbro, the maker of Scrabble has contacted Facebook about removing the unauthorized program.

See the C|Net article here

Facebook will relent under threat of legal action, although one might think that they will wait as long as they can, since, according to the article, it is the ninth most popular Facebook add-on.

Hasbro won't care about that, and probably won't attempt to buy Scrabulous' software and just make it authorized, which would set a bad precedent, they will just force Facebook to remove it, and we'll have to find a new time waster.


16 January 2008

The Shell (new song)

There seems to be some prolific writing going on around here lately.

The Shell

I'm just a shell of the man I used to be,
wealth and pleasures and fame plenty.
All of it gone, broke and broken I stand,
just one possession, your loving hand

Emptied of the world, all it gone,
dejected, rejected, and nothing inside
Lord take shell that once was a man
and fill it with light by your loving hand.

Empty, broken what use can I be?
you loving Savior that's not what you see.
Fallen and broken by worldly loads,
I find myself lifted by the hands with holes.

Emptied of the world, all it gone,
dejected, rejected, and nothing inside
Lord take shell that once was a man
and fill it with light by your loving hand.

Take this shell,
in your fire renew,
make me a vessel,
in service to you,
fill it with love,
until overflow,
and never again,
this world will I know.

Emptied of the world, all it gone,
dejected, rejected, and nothing inside
Lord take shell that once was a man
and fill it with light by your loving hand.

14 January 2008

Double Shot of Comfort

There is a song running through my head these last few days that is giving me a lot of comfort, it is Who Am I? by Casting Crowns. The end of the song has one of the most comforting thoughts I know of: If God is with us, who can be against us? Romans 8:31, here rendered as "Whom shall I fear?"

Here is a little secret, I haven't heard the Casting Crowns version, or if I have, it didn't stick in my head.

What is stuck in my head is the version that is sung at Great Adventures, which at the end has SmileChild singing the "Whom shall I fear?" ... what a comfort, scripture running through my head in the voice of one of my dearest friends.

11 January 2008

Driven Halfway to Death

No controversy this time, this picture was taken in my driveway.
50,000 miles, that's twice around the earth, a quarter way to the moon, or the distance light travels in an eighth of a second.

09 January 2008

More of You (new song)

I wrote a new "song", all my guitar playing friends may have at it. I have a melody in my head if no one else is inspired.

More of You

Verse 1
Alone in the crowd I wait 'til you come,
all this indifference it makes me numb,
They say know you, and the scriptures they do
but their hearts are far away from following you

You desire mercy and not sacrifice
When they consider me, they don't ever think twice
Thrown to lions, or to the side of the road
Alone with my burdens, no help with my load
Lord my prayer in all that I do,
less of the world ... more of you.

Verse 2
They'll quote you the world, but live in shell
don't want you to disturbing where all looks well
If I lived on the street, they'd say what a shame
Someone else should help old whats-his-name.

You desire mercy and not sacrifice
When they consider me, they don't ever think twice
Thrown to lions, or to the side of the road
Alone with my burdens, no help with my load
Lord my prayer in all that I do,
less of the world ... more of you.

Captured by your love
enthralled by your Name,
Your my one love affair
despite all my shame.
At the end of my days,
your judgement at hand
to the golden paved streets
or to the firey lands
Show my Lord
salvation to win,
and that loving too much
was my greatest sin

that loving too much
was my greatest sin.

You desire mercy and not sacrifice
When they consider me, they don't ever think twice
Thrown to lions, or to the side of the road
Alone with my burdens, no help with my load
Lord my prayer in all that I do,
less of the world ... more of you.

08 January 2008

Norfolk, USA

The very first time I visited I visited Norfolk, Nebraska there was a large sign as you drove into town declaring it to be the hometown of Johnny Carson. Maybe I missed it, but I didn't see it the last two times I went there. I think it's kind of sad.

Anyways. This post is not about Johnny Carson, or even Norfolk, Nebraska, it is about visiting with friends in Norfolk. Saturday I had nothing going on, I finally got hold of InsaneElf, and I decided to put together a spur of the moment trip to meet RockinRobin and family in Norfolk, which is more or less halfway between where I live and where they live.

Have I ever mentioned that organizing my friends is a little like cat-wrangling?

After approximately 46 phone calls, we had it together. I would pick up Mae, go and get InsaneElf, and head to Norfolk to meet RockinRobin, Tim, and Baby Daniel at the Super Buffet at the west edge of Norfolk. Bonus! Tim's friend Amy was heading to O'Neill to visit them on Saturday anyways, so she would meet us there too.

InsaneElf expresses her feelings when I told her no, I would not drive backwards down the expressway.

We got there early, and I somehow got sucked into a shopping extravaganza with Mae and InsaneElf. The Elf did not buy this hat, but she did get some cool felt bottom shoes. Mae got one of each of everything in the store.

Daniel thinks "Chicks dig me!"

Amy gets a little to close to the scruff, and she spent the next 20 minutes itching her face.

Daniel knows who is the bestest uncle ever.

InsaneElf and RockinRobin try to outduel each other for cutest smile.

After we finished dinner, we crashed the local Culvers for ice cream and a quiet game of Apples to Apples in the corner.

The best part of the trip was this was InsaneElfs first chance to see baby Daniel. Amy came up with the idea of us all crashing a hotel in Norfolk and spending the weekend, watch this space for a future adventure.

07 January 2008

First Zoo Trip of the New Year

For those of you who are readers of my blog who don't live in Omaha.
  1. No, I don't live at the zoo.
  2. Yes, Omaha has an amazing zoo.
  3. Yes, there is more to do in Omaha than just the zoo.
Last Thursday SmileChild and I took went to the zoo as an excuse to hang out and talk about life, liberty, and the pursuit of God.

This picture was taken to taunt, I mean put a smile on the face of ErinOneDay while she was at work.

Viv is still not friends with this guy.

Photo 47 of 51 / Christmas break - smilchild
SmileChild is friends with this guy.

Photo 43 of 51 / Christmas break - smilchild
Softshell Turtle? I'd hide too.

Photo 45 of 51 / Christmas break - smilchild
I like to feed the peafowl. I won't feed them by hand, cause I figure I'll get pecked, but I will put a piece of bread on my shoe watch them nervously come and get it. I put a piece of bread on SmileChilds shoe, and was so entertained by it that I made a bread crumb trail going between SmileChilds legs to see if I could get one of the peahens to follow it ... she did, much to our mirth. The peacock pictured was hanging out in front of the aquarium door trying to get into the building.

Photo 46 of 51 / Christmas break - smilchild
Sugar gliders are so cute, SmileChild actually said "aw" out loud, but then again, she also likes the naked mole rats.

If you look in the upper right hand corner of this picture, you will see a webcam that is controllable. Guaranteed to be about ten minutes of fun, until you get bored with it.

Photo 50 of 51 / Christmas break - smilchild
This picture is for YouGetALife, there are two sea turtles in the "shark tank". There was a funny moment when the two sea turtles were swimming in opposite directions and almost collided, one turned sharply into the underbelly of a shark. I guess they don't have good eyesight.

Photo 51 of 51 / Christmas break - smilchild
Time to say goodbye!

Thanks to SmileChild for some liberal lifting of copyrighted material.

06 January 2008

Happy New Year (pt3)

Party Party Party. I'm going to party like it is New Years Eve, um, because that is what it was. The evening started off with a trip to the Great Adventures 80s in 08 party.
IM004129.jpg - me
I lived through the 80s, and remember it. There were some bright colors, but I don't remember my eyes hurting so much from it, fortunately there are three pretty faces to look at.

Jenny rocking out - Cornstalker
This is the true spirit of Jenny Jitterbug. Last seen dressed up as Madonna.

IM004131_1.JPG - me
Rock Band is the toy. Here I am giving a try at singing. Anyone want to guess why I don't have a voice right now?

Photo 10 of 34 / 80s in 08 - smilchild
Katie and SingingMonkeyGirl got the look right, which is odd because I don't know if either was alive during the 80s.

Photo 14 of 34 / 80s in 08 - smilchild
Azur & Bethany are doing something here, I think it's posing for a picture.

IMG_6460 - Cornstalker
Here is one of Viv's New Year traditions, caught on film last year too.

After a couple hours there, a quick change of clothing, and I headed over to the Jitterbugs ball.

IM004131_1.JPG - me
Viv was looking so nice.

100_6488 - cliff
Little Debbie tried to wear a long dress so no one could tell she had her dance sneakers on. Almost.

100_6454 - cliff
Of course Spanky doesn't care who sees what shoes he is wearing.

IM004131_1.JPG - me
Takashi sang, but it wasn't Mack the Knife, it was Splish Splash, and it was fantastic.

100_6523 - cliff
The balloons came down at midnight.

IM004152.JPG - me
Well most of them anyway.

100_6523 - cliff
Hey, it looks like this charming young lady is looking to plant a New Years smootch on some good looking older man ... um, like Dan or Cliffo.

After all of the balloons had been noisily popped, it was over to Spanky & Maes for some more...

IM004155.JPG - me
... um ...

IMG_6471.JPG - Cornstalker
Rock Band!!!

IMG_6482.JPG - Cornstalker
When our fingers started to hurt and we were hungry, we went upstairs and played a game called
Last Word. We let Little Debbie read the rules and then played how we wanted to.

IMG_6484.JPG - Cornstalker
The results were predictably hilarious.

2007 was not the best year I ever had, but I am just blessed beyond blessed with so many good and beautiful friends who were there with support and prayers ... you are the reason I love life.

Happy New Year

Much thanks to SmileChild, Cliffo, and Cornstalker who lent me pictures to tell this tale.

03 January 2008

Happy New Year (pt2)

It was a rough holiday season this year for me. All the changes going on in and around my life. Having to spend my saved up Christmas money on new tires for my car. The general feeling of disconnectedness I have had from the church, all left me kind of blah. So I guess it wasn't so rough as it just wasn't special like it has been in the past few years.

That being said, I still managed to cram in some fun. I did the traditional (for me) visit to Vivian's parents house.
Viv says "I don't care how tired you are, you can't use my lap for a pillow, you, um, drool."

They put these out for snacking, I think they are the larva of giant fruit flies.

Using the Strengths Finder quiz, Viv found out one of her strengths was "Includer". Here she is trying unsuccessfully to include herself in this picture.

After dinner and gifts we played Cut Throat Solitaire, and amazingly I did not win, however there may have been some confusion about the rules by the winner of the game, so it could have been a tainted win.

We also did the "stocking" thing that is a tradition in Viv's family. I think it is growing on me, I enjoyed it this year. The meal was wonderful, as was the company, much thanks to Viv and her parents for having me over.

02 January 2008

Happy New Year (pt1)

Happy and Blessed New Year to All.

I have a little catching up to do ... it's true, I'll have some pictures of the holidays up soon enough, but in the meantime some news.

Christmas Eve I was hanging with Spanky while he played Mass Effect on the X-Box, and I could not stay awake. I kept drifting off, and then pop awake and wonder what I missed in the plot-heavy game. I went home about 2:00am and, naturally, I could not go to sleep.

Well it has lasted over a week. Since that time I have slept longer than three hours exactly twice. Last Thursday evening from about 5:00pm to 9:00pm, and last night from about 2:00pm to 9:00pm (finally). Most of the time I have been sleeping from 90 minutes to 2 hours and then waking up. I can't go back to sleep, so I just get up. I try again in a few hours, so I've basically been taking two or three short naps a day for a week.

Since I've mentioned on my blog before that not sleeping is my freak out, one would expect me to be a wreck. I'm not, I am functioning surprisingly well. I will admit to being spacier than usual, but nothing bad. Everyone has been very helpful and concerned about me asking questions about stress and diet, giving sleeping tips, and sharing personal experiences. This is been much appreciated, however nothing seems to have made a difference. All of my sleeping tricks work, but I don't stay asleep.

Hopefully, if last night was an indication, I will have no more troubles.