Monday, September 26, 2005

Now the flies are infesting

I am the LORD OF THE FLIES!


You would think that in the high-dollar area that I live in, we wouldn't be dealing with things you'd see in a slum lord's dwelling. I think we live in the 2nd ranked slum lord's district in the rich area! We saw the 1st ranked one's last Friday. Too bad I didn't have pictures of his place.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Porn advertisement in the postal mail

Now, I don't know how my name got on the mailing list but I got an envelope with catalog and order form from Video Age.

Seriously, I do not subscribe to any of these mailings because why pay for stuff when I can view it on the internet or borrow it from a family member. AND I just moved into my current abode about two months ago. It had my name AND address on it. Postal spam is just as bad if not worse than email spam!

I'm still confused as to how they got my information. I have ordered from online stores such as Woot, eBay or Buy.com but these places say they don't sell your information.

I wonder...hm?

Anyway, this is a "gem" they put in the mailing to entice people to buy...


A signed miniature picture of Jenna Jameson.

Oh, sign me up, baby! I'm sold! Not!

Friday, September 23, 2005

The Biggest Loser

I am a fan of the show “The Biggest Loser”. I watched last season as much as I could. Basically it was decided by if I remembered the day it was on or not and if I just got lucky by flipping channels and seeing it on. I’m just too busy otherwise to remember more than my share of shows.

What I am not a fan of is that they vote off people from each team if that team did not win the challenge.

That’s bogus!

I think dieting, like alcoholics anonymous, is a team, support-group adventure. If they work their ass off and lose weight, just to have someone vote them off the show because they may not have lost the five pounds the team expected. Instead, they lost four pounds. That’s crap.

I guess in the long run though they could benefit from being on the show by taking the exercise regimen and dieting plan home with them.

I also think that telling the contestants that they will win $100,000 if they are still on the show and the winning team in the end is ridiculous as well. I mean give them something for their efforts AFTER the show reaches the final episode. Surprise them! But to tell them up front that this is their goal as well as weight loss gives them an ulterior motive to vote someone off.

Just my thoughts…could be me reading to deep into things as usual.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Email humor 09/21/2005

Wherever there is tragedy, a little humor can sometimes make things better...

The Mayor of New Orleans was asked about his position on Roe vs Wade?

He said he didn't really care how people got out of the city.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

How to react?

To see a Dallas Stars hockey game on television after such a long, long while, I just didn’t know if it was real. I had to pinch myself to prove that I wasn’t dreaming.

It wasn’t just that a game was on but that I didn’t know ¾ of the players on the team. My how one year and a new collective bargaining agreement can change things!

Alas, I was happy that a game was on – albeit a preseason game but a game nonetheless. The Stars were playing the Edmonton Oilers and won it with a score of 6-4. High-scoring game…exactly what the NHL and NHLPA want to make the game more exciting and interesting.

We’ll see.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Economics Exam I

Currently studying for my first economics exam. I went to an optional extra study session today at 3 p.m. before my hockey game but it wasn’t a big deal. She went over two word problems we’ll have to work through on the test but she had already done them in class. She seems to be repetitive about some of the stuff she lectures over and over on. I guess it’s a good thing if you learn by rote but sometimes it’s just kind of annoying.

I went to the session just to see if she’d do anything new or go over some things but she really didn’t. Turned out to be an “I was here and made an effort so take pity on me while grading my test” visit!

By the way, we lost our hockey game. It was like 5-2. We didn’t have 3 of our guys there. Sucked losing to the team we did because they are a bunch of cheating assholes! I don’t know how many times I come home from a game with them and I have scrapes and bruises from where those bastards hacked on me. Fucking referees suck but I guess that’s what we get from the “trailer-park-run” business we play.

Oh well, back to studying or sleep now!

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

In the news today -- Armageddon is upon us!

What the hell is this world coming to? Humans are a dying breed and the world once again will be run by the smart creatures – animals and insects! Here’s why…

An article in the Dallas News online says, "Reciting the Pledge of the Allegiance in public schools was declared unconstitutional Wednesday by a federal judge in the second attempt by an atheist to have the pledge removed from classrooms…the [dumb shit] judge ruled that the pledge’s reference to one nation “under God”…is unconstitutional when recited in schools."

I’m not a complete faithful believer in a “God Almighty” because I’m just the type of person that can see “acts or miracles of God” also as scientific anomalies or coincidences. It’s tough for me to understand how there can be this compassionate God that allows certain things to happen like in the referenced articles to come. When I die, if there is a God I hope that he will understand my confusion.

These courts ruling on some things that have just always been and should always be should be burned to the ground. The Pledge has been said for years. I said it. My parents said it and probably their parents. I’m not saying it is right or wrong but it certainly hasn’t caused any harm. If the atheists don’t want to say “under God” then just don’t say it! It reminds me of an episode of "WKRP in Cincinnati". Venus Flytrap was working at the station on Christmas night and he started singing White Christmas. He sung, “I’m dreaming of a [hum] Christmas.” Simple! Move on atheists asses. There are more important issues to deal with in the world like…

Article #2 in the DMN, "A couple pleaded guilty Wednesday to torturing and starving five of their seven adopted children [ranging in age from 12 to 17], including yanking out their toenails with pliers, and were sentenced to 15 years each in prison."

Why did they only get 15 years!? Because they pleaded it out, which is BULLSHIT! This couple should have had their own toenails ripped out with pliers! They had "twin 14-yr-old brothers that weighed 36 and 38 pounds each – about 80 pounds below normal." So, there is not telling for sure how long these children suffered but the couple will only suffer for 15 years. Just crap. Oh yeah, notice it said “five of their seven”? The article says “the two children who were not mistreated were favored by the Dollars [the couple] and had no physical injuries.” So, did these little spoiled bitches feel anything for their siblings – adopted or not?

Article #3 in the DMN, "Frances Newton was taken to a small holding cell near the Texas death chamber…[she will be] the third woman executed in the state since the Civil War, and the first black woman. Newton, 40, faced lethal injection for the fatal shootings of her husband and their two children [at the time of the crime the husband was 23, a 7-yr-old son and a 21-mo-old daughter] some 18 years ago."

So, I ask, is this justice? The husband and children didn’t get 18 years to decide to die. I’m sure prison-life hasn’t exactly been peaches and cream but come on, 18 years later to be put to death? Who do you think has been paying for her 18 years of waiting? Texas tax payers who are out in the real world making a living and busting their ass to make sure Frances Newton gets a bed, a toilet, three meals a day, and exercise time. Maybe she’s even gotten some personal loving time with Big Bertha. It’s ridiculous! Even if an inmate isn’t on death row, there is no reprogramming of a serious felon. I don’t have them but there are statistics basically showing "once a criminal, always a criminal"!

Granted, on occasion, a few innocents may be exonerated for some reason over this time of 18 years but her case and many others are open-and-shut. Man, I wonder what it would be like if we just went back to hanging people like in the western and medieval days? I wonder if Newton’s health insurance pays for the medication used to put her to death. It’s probably doubtful. I’m sure that was taken from my paycheck this month under FICA.

I’m done!

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Ignorance

I cannot stand ignorance. Not the kind where someone can’t rattle off what 9 times 9 is but the kind of narrow-minded ignorance that basically says, “It’s my way or the highway!”

I don’t mean the “my way or the highway” statement of a father/mother to their child.

I mean the stupid idiots that say “marriage is between a man and a woman” or “races shouldn’t mix” or the nimrods that drive 55-60 in the fast lane and won’t move out of the way to be courteous but would rather be peanut-sized dicks!

Steve, a coworker of mine who is the Director of DIVERSITY for my department, sent an email out regarding the Women’s Center on campus seeking gay/lesbian graduate students that might be willing to mentor undergrads. He sent a general information email to the class listservs we have for our MBA programs. Some closet-case-himself—I’ve seen his picture and he looks gay!—replied to Steve and to our Assoc. Dean of MBA Programs saying that he found the email offensive since he was not gay.

What a friggin’ idget! It wasn’t sent directly to him but he seems to have taken it awfully personal. Steve replies to him politely and politically correctly and then this guy replies going on about how marriage is a union between a man and a woman in the state of redneck-fucks, I mean Texas. He said something to the effect that he does not approve of the gay/lesbian lifestyle and blah, blah, blah.

Of course, Steve is gay and I’m sure he’s dying to reply to this moron but the Assoc. Dean said for him not to respond. Saga to continue if I get the gossip on how it ends.

I’m in no way gay or lesbian, although being a lesbian male would be quite interesting – I guess that would still make me straight – but in my book, to each his own. As long as it doesn’t affect me personally, let them be who they are. I’ve known Steve for 5+ years and his chosen lifestyle (as some would say) doesn’t affect our friendship. He’s a great, giving and caring person. The world would be so lucky to have more generous people like him.

I just had to rant quickly because this really irked me. Mainly for the fact that the guy had to take it so personally, like he was being singled-out as being gay because he got the email. Also, it makes me wonder how he would have reacted if it was an informative email about blacks, Mexicans or Asians. Would he have gotten bent out of shape because he is a Caucasian? Or if it came from his current/future employer? Would he have responded so defiantly?

Freakin’ idiot! Do the world a favor and just put the barrel in your mouth and pull the trigger!

Monday, September 12, 2005

Two thumbs up for Bride & Prejudice

Bride & Prejudice (2004).

Once again, thanks to the online Blockbuster movie pass, I am able to rent and watch (sometimes unfortunately but this time fortunately) randomly selected movies.

It has been some time since I added it to my queue so I don’t recall what tempted me to take a look at this movie. I basically started it not knowing what to expect. Within the first ten minutes, I thought it was a good movie. It’s sort of a musical/movie like Annie.

To me, this movie was so entertaining that I started it at 9:45 p.m thinking I’d stop and finish it the next day but I ended up watching it until the end (including the outtakes during the credits) until around midnight. I was tired the next day but it was an enjoyable movie.

That’s my take on it.


Saturday, September 10, 2005

Vampire Assassin (2005)

Vampire Assassin (2005). One of the worst, if not THE worst, movies ever made! Never, EVER rent this movie!

I had the “privilege” of renting this movie through my on-line Blockbuster movie pass. So, I probably only rented it for a dollar, which is giving this movie way too much credit that it could earn so much!

I thought I had seen somewhere before it became available on DVD that it was “the must see movie”. I think whoever wrote that review had to be on crack or was the director/producer.

The effects were so poor. The acting was heinous. The script was utter garbage.

And yes, I sat through the whole thing. I rented it. I had to watch it in its entirety because that’s just the way I am.

But I am here to warn you...DO NOT BOTHER RENTING THIS DVD o’ CRAP!


Just some random photographs I've taken

Some pink flower in our backyard area.


Some white flowers in our backyard area.


The way steak is done! Teriyaki steak that is. Had some friends come over after I cooked this and they were like "Ah! That shit is GOOD!"

Thursday, September 08, 2005

An exceptional night of men's singles at the U.S.Open

Andre Agassi   VS   James Blake


As a tennis fan, if you missed this match last night, you missed a damn good one! Check out the U.S. Open web site.

At first, it seemed that Agassi was somehow outmatched but he turned it around to tie it up at two sets apiece. The fifth set was so topsy-turvy that you just couldn't make an assumption as to who was going to win without it being shot to hell by the next game. Agassi would win a break of serve and then Blake would win a break of serve.

It was nerve-wrecking! I stayed up until approximately 12:15 a.m. watching this damn thing. I was going to go to bed but it was so close and so well played that I had to watch it until the end. I'm suffering for it now, at work, because I am tired as hell!

Congratulations to Agassi on persevering and the same to Blake. Both to come back from different circumstances and to play as well as they did is something amazing to watch.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Shawn's wedding part deux

Well, Shawn and Theresa are officially married! The wedding was pretty nice. It was held at Cross Timbers Winery in Grapevine, Texas.

Like previously posted, I had to be there by 5:30 p.m. even though it wasn't supposed to start until 6:30 p.m. We had to be there early for pictures. My wife and I arrive around 5:34 p.m. (we left the kids with Grandmama because they really didn't feel like going and we didn't want to keep them out too long). Anyway, my wife was bitchin' about me being late. I get into the place where they guys are and they aren't even finished getting dressed! They basically had their tux pants and an undershirt on. Dumb asses! Of course, I found out later that they couldn't get dressed in the room they were in because the bride’s maids were in there before and they had to wait until they were finished. Excuses, excuses!

Anyway, we finally started the guys' pictures around 6ish. I think the wedding ceremony started pretty much on time but I really wasn't paying much attention to the time while waiting for it to start. Judith and I were the last to walk down the aisle before the bride and her parents. I get on the stairs to the gazebo and I have to face west. Which to my luck just happens to be the way the sun is setting and I got to bask in all it's glory for the entirety of the ceremony - about 20 minutes. Talk about getting shafted!

So, the ceremony was over but we had to go into the barn and take more pictures. I forgot how painful weddings are when you are in them and not just an attendee. On the schedule, the food was supposed to start at 7:30 p.m but we didn't get done with pics until closer to 8 p,m. The crowd was getting restless and some even left. I think most of those that left were elderly but I'm not sure. I wasn't out there and I just heard that people were leaving.

Near the end of taking pictures, they asked for the Garza family (Theresa’s family) to enter the barn for a family picture with the bride and groom. That emptied the outside of the barn with the exception of about 10-15 people. I think there were like 30 “Garza-family” members.

Once the pictures were done, we were able to eat. It was catered by Wilhouette’s – a place Shawn and I had been to many times in the past. It was pretty good eating: cole slaw, potato salad, barbecue sausage, barbecue brisket and barbecue chicken.

After eating, it was the traditional first dance then the dollar dance (where you pay a dollar to dance with the bride and/or groom). My wife paid two dollars – one dollar to dance with each of them. My wife was a little tipsy, too much wine and not enough dancing. The DJ was free – a previous student employee of Shawn’s – and he played music like he was doing it for free. Shawn told me that the mother-in-law was pressing him for Tejano music. I asked him, “like Selena, Christina Aguillera or Shakira?” LOL! He said, “No. Real Tejano music.” Well, that’s what they played. Shit Tejano music. The Mexicans that were there, and there were a lot of them, didn’t even dance to the music. Occasionally, there would be the same one or two but not anyone else. Theresa’s father, Armando, danced. He danced quite well and my wife danced with him because I told her I didn’t want to dance. Partly because I don’t like to dance but mostly because my wife tends to want to lead. That tends to irritate me and then it’s not fun for either of us. My friend Keith and his wife, Tammy, came to the wedding. They have known Shawn for a long time too. They didn’t like the music and Tammy wanted to dance as well. Oh well, I guess you can’t have everything when it’s not your wedding although what the point of the Tejano music was when no one danced to it I’ll never know.

The wife and I left around 11 p.m. She was very tipsy and all the guy friends were saying, “You are getting lucky tonight, dude!” What they don’t know is that I know my wife and she’s either going to be passing out on the thirty minute ride home or the buzz will wear off by the time we get home. It was the previous. She wasn't feeling well, almost like she was going to throw up, because she had her head out the window on the drive home. I thought it was amusing.

We get home and Grandmama was ready to get home. It was really late for her although she was asleep for some time before we got home. The wife said she had to use the bathroom but I knew she was probably just being safe and not wanting to puke anywhere else but the toilet. My mother-in-law asked if she was going to be alright and I said, “Yeah. If not, she’ll live and learn.” I went to check on her and she was hugging the toilet with her cheek resting on the toilet seat. I knew she was gone because I know she wouldn’t touch the toilet with her face if she was sober. I’m so loving, I went to get the digital camera took take her picture. She moved positions a bit by the time I got back to snap the shot but it was still good enough to show and poke fun of her later.

I checked on her a few more times within an hour before I went to bed. In between checking on her and getting my tennis stuff ready for the next morning, I was picking fleas off my legs, smushing them and putting them in a bowl so I could show the landlord or exterminator that the flea problem is a REAL pain in the ass!

I guess that’s about it for the wedding recap!

Monday, September 05, 2005

Fleas

What the hell is the purpose of the flea? Not the drummer from the Red Hot Chili Peppers. But the common "household" flea. Who named it the "household" flea, anyway?

Since we've moved into our new place a little over two months ago, I have track marks from on my feet up to my calves on both legs! We don't own ANY animals except for my two children. The previous tenants had a cat. My assumption is it was an indoor cat but I'm not for sure. For all I know, it could have occasionally made it outside. The landlord had the carpets shampooed before we moved in but obviously it didn't make a damn difference.

About a month ago, I noticed a "death" smell when I came through the front door. It really wasn't anywhere else, just when I opened and walked through the door. I don't know if it was because I was getting used to it while I was in the house or it was something dead over there door entry area.

A few days later we realized we were basically infested with these little fucks called fleas! We called the landlord and told him the problem with the smell and fleas. About a week later and after calling the day before he came with some guy, he shows up. Turns out, the neighbors in front of us (we live in a duplex, remember) were having flea problems too. The asshole landlord didn't bother to mention this to us. I guess when you are rich and own tons of property, you don't have to be cordial to your renters. Asshole! I mean he seems like a nice enough guy but when it comes to answering to our renting needs, he sucks!

They did come in and spray a day later. They couldn't find the dead thing in the attic which I knew they wouldn't because I spent about an hour looking up there the day before they came to look at it before they sprayed.

So, it's been about ten days since the initial spraying. The landlord said to remind him to come back in ten days. I put a note on the envelope I put in his mailbox for this month's rent saying it's time for a respray since it's been ten days.

At the time of this typing, I think it's been fifteen days. The smell is back but not as strong as before. Maybe it is a smaller rat this time. The fleas are still fairly annoying. I picked and smashed about twelve of them last night after I got home from the wedding and before going to bed. This morning I went to play tennis since most of they guys that play Saturdays and Sundays are off so they played today as well.

Anyway, I drove in my Jeep to the courts with the doors off, meaning it was windy, and when I got to the tennis courts, which is about a thirty minute drive, I looked down to fix my socks and what did I see? One of those blood-sucking, skin-biting little fucks hanging on for dear life on my shin. I proceeded to pick it off and rub it between thumb and pointer finger until it was a grind up mess!

I get home from tennis and I go up in the attic once again to see if I can find a carcass to put with the smell but to no avail. The rats or whatever elude me in death just like in life.

Now, besides the fleas and the smell, I have killed and flushed seven horse flies in the past hour. I have no idea where they are coming from. We haven't been outside since about 2 p.m. and it's been dark since around 8-ish. Typically, I've noticed the only pests that fly during the night are mosquitoes or june bugs. Hardly ever have I seen flies, much less horse flies, flying at night..inside a house...coming from somewhere. All I can think is that they are around the dead carcass and smell up in the attic and are getting into the living space by a vent or something.

Hopefully, the flies will still be around tomorrow during the day so I can see them hovering over and converging onto the area where the dead thing is so we'll know and be able to remove the blasted thing! We'd be so lucky!

So, it stinks again by the front door and the fleas are still an annoyance and now I have horse flies invading. Hopefully, they'll show for the respray tomorrow or sometime soon this week. I think we'll have to burn dozens of candles for the fowl smell!

Note to self: If God really exists and I get to go to Heaven, ask to see his book on why in Hell he created the flea, what purpose it serves and why would you make it procreate faster than the Mexicans and Chinese!

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Shawn's wedding

I'm about to start getting ready for Shawn's wedding. I have to be there by 5:30 p.m. for pictures but the ceremony doesn't actually start until 6:30 p.m.

The things I have to do as a friend. Sometimes it royally sucks!

I'll type more when I get back, maybe. It depends on how long we stay out. I've got to stop now though because I have to go empty my poop chute!

The Katy Trail...and a random image

This is the view at the end of the Katy Trail that winds through the outskirts of Dallas - a nicer section - to just outside of downtown Dallas by the American Airlines Center where the Dallas Stars and the Dallas Mavericks play.




This could be my logo "The Big Driller!"

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Fanny pack, in or out?

So, I'm not one to critique what people wear - okay, I am but I'm no expert.

But anyway... I was flipping channels and I came across the show "Hogan Knows Best" on VH1.

I started watching a little of it and I saw The Hulkster walk out of his house to get the paper from the front lawn and what do I see around his waist. A black fanny pack. Not that I care but I thought fanny packs went out of style.

So, you tell the Hulk-a-mania man that he's out of style!

Just a side note, Mrs. Hogan is an ugly-ass woman with big boobs! She's still living in the double-wide but it's in the shape of a castle in the town of Belleaire, Florida.

Shawn's wedding rehearsal

The wedding rehearsal was a luncheon not a dinner. The wedding is going to be outside in a gazebo at a winery in Grapevine, Texas. Afterwards, we'll eat and visit in the winery barn next to the gazebo.

Rehearsal was good.

I saw Wes and Donna - Shawn's stepfather and mother. I saw Theresa's parents - I don't recall their names.

The luncheon was on Main Street in downtown Grapevine at a place called Big Fish. It wasn't too bad food. It was actually pretty good because it was free for us. That's about the extent of the rehearsal recap.

We got home and I had to return a bike I bought for the wife because the back tire wouldn't hold air. After that, we went for a bike ride on the Katy Trail with the kids. I'm pretty impressed with the family. The wife and kids both made the four mile bike ride (2 miles going, 2 miles back). Mainly because the wife hasn't ridden a bike in a long, long time and the kids are, well, kids. They did great! Very proud and impressed at their stamina and determination to make it to the end and back.

We got back home and the kids bathed and then played while the wife and I watched "The Upside of Anger" and "Monster-in-Law". "Anger" was slow to start and turned out okay but "Monster" was pretty good and funny. We heard a lot of people didn't like Monster but that could just be the "anti-Jane Fonda" people being bitter.

That's about the extent of our day.

Friday, September 02, 2005

How many years were burned from my life?

After class, I was walking back to my office across campus when a fire department M.I.C.U. vehicle crossed about two feet in front of me. I kept walking as it passed and inhaled many lungs full of toxic diesel exhaust! I think I burned a hole in MY internal ozone.

Two days, two mansions

Catchy title, huh? Too bad the blog to follow probably won't live up to the hype!

In two days - well one night and one hour of another day - I've been in two HUGE ass houses in the area working on people's computers.

I don't mind the money (I typically just charge $75 an hour, so if you are in the Dallas area hook me up with some business!) but you would think these rich people could afford technical/customer service with their computer purchases. I guess that's what I am, huh? DUH!

So, I made $150 off mansion number one and $75 off mansion number two. With possibilities of returning for more work because mansion one needs it on one of their computers and mansion two is purchasing a new machine so I'll be needed to hook her up to their DSL connection.

I could buy that Creative Zen 20GB MP3 player I want or even an iPod if I wasn't so stingy with my moolah.

Moolah is good. Easy moolah is better. But free moolah is best!

If you know it could happen, why bitch about it when it does?

Associated Press: "...this bowl-shaped, below-sea-level city [New Orleans], which is wedged between Lake Pontchartrain and the Mississippi River."
This was from an article, that has since expired, titled "Guardsmen greeted with applause, anger".

My first thought is, this quote says it all. What do you typically use a bowl for? To catch water. Why would you be mad, upset or whatever if you know that the place you live is 1) close to the ocean/gulf and 2) it's in a freakin' flood zone? You moved there. You knew it could happen. It happened. Now you are pissed. Americans are such whiners!

Second thought, why are people mad at the soldiers?! They are given orders and they follow them. They don't decide when they are shipped to help provide aid, relief or protection to a disaster area. That is the President's job!

So, take your whiny asses and shut the hell up! I'm not there so I don't feel the need and urgency like survivors but take a step back and be mad at the man YOU elected into office. He sucks at maintaining peace and he sucks at providing quick, efficient aid. Was Bill Clinton ever this slow, even while getting a blow job? I don't think so!

Third thought, what the hell is wrong with the people looting, lighting fires and causing explosions?! Bunch of friggin' dumbasses!

There's my rant. I have to go back to working now.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Mothertrucker!!

I just typed a shit-load of stuff about today by clicking on the "blog this" icon and when I hit POST, it said, "you have just posted to Absent-Minded Jay". But when I went to view my "posted" blog, it wasn't freakin' there!

Gawd, blogger sucks!

I guess I can retype it later but we'll see. It was a lot of shit! Dammit!

I found the post! Yippee!

Turns out it went to my photo blog instead of this one. I'm stupid but I have recovered. Here's the post...

I had to take the day off today to get some car maintenance done on my van and Jeep. Not only did it cost me a vacation day but it cost me a pretty penny.

The van has had it's series of problems. About a month ago, we had to get a dealership part replaced. It runs the air conditioner, rear window wiper and wash and rear window defrost. Luckily with the hot ass weather in Texas, the air conditioner still ran and it was fairly cold so the kids could remain cool and comfortable while riding. Anyway, that part was around $450.

We also had to get the brake master cylinder replaced which was $150. Sucks! Today, I took it to Midas Brakes. They did some work on my van about a year ago but it seemed like 3-4 months ago. The damn brakes kept squeaking. A high-pitched squeal. It was friggin' annoying. I pushed it off as long as I could because it wasn't squealing all the time. Some days it would happen every time we drove it and others it would happen half the time. We had the mechanic who did the electrical part and master cylinder take a look at them so I could go back to Midas and tell them they suck because I have a lifetime warranty on my brakes from them. The mechanic said we had plenty of pad but sometimes certain pads just don't like or work well with certain rotors. So, I finally couldn't take the squeal anymore and took the day off to run around a get things fixed.

We took the kids to school and then dropped the van off at Midas. We decided to get breakfast at this little place called Bread Winners Cafe and Bakery. It was a decent meal and it had been a while since the wife and I had a meal out together, alone.

Afterwards, we decided to drive to see if I could get my Jeep inspected. That was half of what I needed to do to my Jeep. The other half was to get an oil change before the inspection. They say the vehicle will run cleaner if you change the oil before it get's inspected. So, we're driving down East Mockingbird Lane and I don't see the place I took my Jeep to get the oil changed and inspected last year. Oh by the way, inspection was out yesterday - 8/31/05. Anyhoo, it turns out that the place I got inspected at last time changed companies and looks. I think it was a Penzoil place before and now it's Mobil. I had to make a u-turn to get back to the place because initially I passed it. Luckily they weren't busy. They changed the oil and turns out that I've been driving for a year without an air filter. I was wondering why my Jeep smelled funny occasionally - like it was leaking gasoline. They replaced that and then we moved onto the inspection.

While I was waiting on the inspection, Midas called to quote me the charges. They figure that the cheap pads I had on the van needed to be upgraded to newer, better ones. They do a 45-point vehicle check and he said that my battery needed to be replaced. He quoted me $269 for brakes (front only), replace rotors and the battery. I told him to forgo the battery and give me the costs. He said it would be $159. Hell yeah! That's much cheaper so we went without the battery. I can get a cheaper one from Wal-Mart or something. Fucking $120 car battery? Will it launch the space shuttle for that price? He told me he'd call when he had it done.

Back to the Jeep inspection. All passed but it idled high. They phenagled it a bit to make it run lower by putting it in 1st gear and running the test. That was cool thing number one the guy did. Next thing was my gas cap. The gasket around the cap was frail and cracking. The guy asked his wife, who just happened to work there too, to get a new cap. They couldn't find one to replace my old one so the guy took the gasket off one cap and put it on mine. That worked to let it pass and he let me keep the gasket. Pretty cool guy, huh?!

We went home after that and sat in the air conditioning because I have none in my Jeep.

Around 2pm, Midas called to say the van was done. We went to get it about 2:20 p.m. and were back home by 2:35 p.m.

I went to get the second child by 3 p.m. We sat in the library until child number one got out at 3:30 p.m.

We went home afterwards and I helped child number one with math homework. I already helped child number two with homework in the library.

Around 6pm, the wife had to go to the school for meet the parent night while I watched the kids. I grilled chicken and hot dogs on the grill for dinner. The kids took their bath and went to bed because they weren't completely behaving.

Wife came home around 8:45 p.m. and gave the still-awake children hugs, kisses and prayers for bedtime.

I've been watching tennis while typing this. It's over now. James Blake beat Igor Andreev. That's about all to watch so it's bed time for me. I have work to return to and class at 9 a.m. with a quiz. I haven't studied. Hopefully, it won't be that hard. So, I'm outta here!