Sunday, March 30, 2008

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Three-Year-Olds and Guns

So, yesterday had a bit of excitement. Apparently Elizabeth, a week shy of turning four, decided to shoot her toy gun at William's head. Mom was not happy.

Neither was Dad.

As many of you know, I carry. As in heat. Pack. As in pistol. There are exactly two guns in the house. My 9mm pistol and an AR-15. Both are unloaded and locked when they are in the house (unless I'm wearing them - which isn't often or long). My usual routine is to walk in, empty my pockets and lock/stow the gun.

Anyway, guns have been a part of my life since, well, for as long as I can remember. Shooting prairie dogs on the family farm, getting my first bb gun, killing a squirrel and freaking out. All important, gun related moments in my life. But I learned to respect guns. Not play with them. Sure, target shooting is fun and at times it feels like your playing because you enjoy it so much, but guns are dangerous. They can hurt people.

No, I'm not going to rant about "people killing people" and "guns killing people" or anything like that. Instead, I'm going to rant about how we should not have allowed Elizabeth to have a toy gun. Yes, I know, it was just a toy gun. Not even as powerful as a Nerf gun. You squeeze the handle (it's hollow) and a puff of air shoots the little foam dart.

Well, when you have a kid that just doesn't know that guns are guns, you have to live with the consequences. So today, I'm living with the consequences. After the "shooting" yesterday, she sat in time out. She's lucky she didn't an AB (that's code for Ass Beat) from Mom. The gun went into a Ziploc. Dad got home. She got a stern talking to. She almost got an AB from Dad. Mom and Dad made her throw the gun in the trash. She cried. Dad nearly cried, not from her crying, but from being so damn protective of both kids. She had no play time after dinner. No story. And only one round of music instead of two.

I don't know who to be mad at. Her for doing it. Or myself for letting her keep it. I told her she could have a toy gun when she gets older and understands how important it is to be safe with them. And I intend to do that. When she's even older, I'll teach her how to handle real guns. If she wants to.

But for now I need to do my best not to spank her bottom raw. I can only hope the punishment was enough to convey the importance of the situation. Somehow I think she'll forgive and forget before me.

Feel free to say "I told you so" Cinda.

Here's a photo of a similar gun for all you concerned parents out there. Note the age label.


Reading update

I finished Half-Blood Prince today. Read the review for some interesting comparisons.

The big news is, I'll be starting Deathly Hallows on the way home today. My big request to all (five) readers out there is: Please don't spoil it for me. I haven't read/listened to it yet.

And in other news, I am making some seriously slow progress on A Magic of Twilight. The language is hard to swallow and the characters don't really speak to me yet.

Sacrifice is coming along nicely. Ben assassinated the guy and is making his way off planet. I smell a Sith coming.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Have a good weekend everyone.

Have a good weekend everyone. I'm too pooped to post today.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Another News Roundup-edited-

If you want to skip ahead and ruin the ending, the new button is at the bottom. Otherwise, stick around.

Abuse Excuse
It appears the abuse excuse has been taken to a whole new level by this guy. Wow. Sure beats telling the cops that the neighbor's dog told me to do it.

Shorpy-like News
In this very Shorpy-like photo, we can see a bridge from the Civil War. You can read more about it in the article here.



Daddy's Shed
The permit is approved. We'll start running electrical wires soon. Once inspected and approved, we'll insulate, drywall, and paint. Then I can chillax/work in style.

Jericho
Damn. I hate to see such a quality show die like this, but at least it was a decent ending. Not like the ending of Season 1 of Witchblade (which sticks with me to this day) where she turns back time and jumps back to the beginning of the season. I was a little worried the plane would be struck by lightening and blow up. Then I was worried Chavez or Hawkins would flip and blow up the bomb in Texas. But damn. Why can't we see what happens to Beck and the other troops? ARGHARGH!!! Oh, and if you've ever wondered what the Morse Code meant at the beginning of each episode, check this out.

DC Gun Ban
Did you know that guns in DC were once legal? Even in school?

Stripper + Funeral = WTF?!
You read that right.

Snakes on a Plane
Did you guys know I'm on the SOAP DVD? Well I am. But not for reasons like this.

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-edited-

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Book News

Sacrifice by Karen Traviss
I'm about halfway through this book and it's better than the Republic Commando books, but still not as good as I'd like. Maybe I've been spoiled by some other high class reading (think Rothfuss and Abercrombie), but there you have it.

A Magic of Twilight by S. L. Ferrell
A free (and signed) book I won in a contest. I love free books because no matter how bad they are, you still make out in the end. So far, this one isn't bad, but it is a bit rougher than most getting into. I think it's the language part that I haven't figured out yet. All the ce, cu, ca, etc. before last names is throwing me back to my 9th grade French class and it's hard adjusting.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J. K. Rowling
I'm making quick work of this one. But I never remembered that this one appears to move faster than previous ones. I'm on disc 13 and it's already March or April or something. I think it was Goblet of Fire that it took half the book to get past the Quidditch World Cup.



Jack Du Brul
He's an author, not a book. I've read all of his work and have enjoyed most of it. His co-authoring with Clive Cussler left something seriously desired, enough so that I think Cussler wrote the crap, not Du Brul. But the news here is Doubleday bought rights to the next two Mercer novels by Du Brul. Here's hoping he can keep Cussler away long enough to get some quality writing done.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Sunday Mobile

William takes a starring role in Risky Business (courtesy of Yvonne).

Friday, March 21, 2008

Another book done

Finally finished a depressing read of The Blizzard's Children by David Laskin. Which means I'm keeping pace with Paul (this was book 11 for me) and that I can pick a new (more happy) book!

Anyway, happy weekend everyone. Hope the weather holds out for your egg hunting, the dies don't stain your eggs much, and the bunny has plenty of ears to eat.

Swinging in March Video

And here are some videos of the kids swinging (figured I'd try Blogger's video interface to see how it compares to Revver's).

video

video

Swinging in March

Some new photos are up of the kids enjoying a spring day on the swing set.





You can see the rest of them here.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

To blog-mobile? I've kept blogging

To blog-mobile? I've kept blogging to a minimum as I'm busy and lack "quality" material. But I feel like I'm neglecting you. Thoughts?

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Calling in Well-edited-

-edited-

I know, I know, quit whining.

And in other depressing news.....William is slowly recovering from some sort of stomach bug. He couldn't keep anything down and we've had to scale back to pedialyte in small doses. Yesterday he was able to handle some formula in small doses, so we'll see how he does today at the sitter's.

And in more depressing news.....I'm still plugging along in The Children's Blizzard by David Laskin. Reading about kids freezing to death in a blizzard is about as much fun as reading about Nazis killing kids in Night by Elie Wiesel.

In happier news.....I've made some slow progress on scanning more family history (this time a box from Mom). No surprise, there's some depressing stuff in there, but there's also some very interesting reading material. I'm thinking this summer I'll try to keep busy at work by scanning boxes of photos.

In more happier news.....I should be getting some more feedback on a short story I wrote (that's you Paul and Stone). I'll add that to Epheros' and hopefully get a re-write in at some point in the near future (think after April 15th).

And one final depressing story.....because that's my mood right now.....A fellow Edinboro alumni died. Nobody I knew in person, but I recognized from her flights as a kid.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Weekend Recovery

I'm hoping to recover this week from our busy weekend. Busy you ask? Yes. We were this busy:

- rake leaves out from flower bed
Check. And I raked around the shed and along the tree line. And cleaned out the shed gutters.
- burn after 4 pm
Check. Plus some scrap cardboard and lumber from the shed.
- oil change at 8 am and 9 am
Check and check.
- prep/plan for yard sale/free ads
Kind of a check on this one. Not much left for the free ads, so we'll get into planning for the yard sale later.
- finish bedroom floor
Check. It squeaked. Now it doesn't.

And that was just my To Do List. Added to this we also:
- Bought clothes. Lots of new clothes. Enough to make us both go through our closets and dressers a bit and empty them out.
- Bought/Read books. Bought Before They Are Hanged, Revelation, and The Blade Itself (the non-Abercrombie version). Finished Dead to Me (which I highly recommend). Started Sacrifice.
- Buy/Watch movies. Bought The Ark of Truth and No Country For Old Men. The later was awesome. Best movie I've seen in ages and I don't know why. Purely gripping. Opposite that was Order of the Phoenix. By far the worst of the Harry Potter movies so far.
- Buy Elizabeth's new bed. She's in a Twin bed now. Kid loves it.
- Buy yard supplies. Bought some crabgrass killer, shade flowers, and potting soil.

And I'm sure there's more to add to this insane list, but I'll leave it at that. Now if today was only slow enough at work for me to recover a bit, I might be okay. Sleep was elusive last night. After crawling into bed at 10 pm, I was up at midnight (dog wanted out), 12:30 am (Elizabeth had a bad dream), 4:30 am (William was screaming from a messy diaper), 5:30 am (Yvonne's alarm went off), and 5:50 am (my alarm). I should have been an insomniac.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Sunday Mobile

Eating lunch at Red Lobster.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

New photos and video

Here are some new photos. Most are from Elizabeth (amazing to look at the world through the eyes of a three-year-old). And of course, there's a new video of William:

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Jericho

Well, after last week's upset with Bonnie's death, Jericho has redeemed itself with the asshole Getz's death. Bout damn time.

Two more episodes left.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Anton Strout's Green Haze

Bear with me while I do some explaining.

First, I was out sick yesterday, so I'll be a bit catching up on things. So if I owe you money or an email, you'll just need to wait.

Second, I recently finished reading True Colors and was very disappointed. You can find the link to me short review in my Reading Log.

Finally, when I combine these two items, I get a green haze. You've all heard of a "purple haze," right? Well I was in a bit of a green haze yesterday. You know that feeling of lightheadedness you get when you wake up and you feel all crappy kind of like you drank half a bottle of Nyquil the night before? And you know how you semi-hallucinate and see and think things that are just bizarre? Well, thanks to one Anton Strout, author of Dead To Me, I had an even more bizarre green haze yesterday.

Within the first 30 pages of his book, I was able to get a dose of ghosts, psychometricaly induced coitus interruptus, and peek at the workings of an unofficial government agency.

I'm sure you can imagine how my green haze went. Well beyond the bizarre.

But thanks to yesterday's sick day, I was able to make serious progress reading.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

I miss you Uncle George

I'm thinking of you more today than I have in awhile. I've been scanning some old photos that were once yours and Aunt Wilma's and, well, I miss you. You were very much an extra grandfather and an extra uncle.

Without you, I would have had a different name.

So here's to you and the good old days when we were both younger and happier.


Friday, March 07, 2008

Free E-Books

No, I'm not talking about some cheesy looking website like this one. I'm talking about real, honest to goodness free books.

So, here's a small list I've compiled so far. Feel free to add to it as you see fit.

- Project Gutenberg (basically books that are out of copyright, like say Mark Twain)
- Librivox (the audio version of Gutenberg books)
- Baen's Free Library (primarily older sci-fi and fantasy books)
- TOR's Free Books (you'll need to sign up, but it's free - so far I've gotten sci-fi and fantasy books - they just send a link in your email)
- Nightshade's Free Books (not many so far, but I'd expect to see more)
- Jeff VanderMeer's The Situation (via Wired's Geek Dad)
- Kurt R. A. Giambastiani's short stories (a very under appreciated spec fic writer)
- S. M. Stirling's previews (granted, they are just previews, but, I read half of Sunrise Lands before buying the book)

So there you have it, a short list of free books. Feel free to add to it with anything you find out there. I've used all of these with varying degrees of success/satisfaction. Right now, I'd say the free books from TOR are the best as they come right to me and are easy to download and read. Baen's appears to be the largest, but also the oldest (in terms of original publication dates). And yes, I know Stirling's site just has previews, just like every other author out there. But I wanted to draw attention to it since it is a great place to read more than just a sample chapter. In some cases, quite a few chapters.

The Deaf

So last night I had one of those dreams that, well, disturbed me a bit. it wasn't scary or anything, just odd. My father-in-law was working as a bus driver for the deaf (and not really a bus, more like one of those airport transport thingies). He knew sign language and everything. He's pick up kids, grown-ups, anyone that was deaf and drive them around to do things. Odd.

I think I just have deaf people on my brain. Likely due to the fact that the deaf girl on Jericho was killed this week. Damn. Why her? She was so nice. Guess her brother will go on a rampage against the new government? I hope so. I really want to see that Ravenwood guy get his ass kicked, but I get this funny feeling that he's the stranger on Hawkins' phone.

And in other news, I think I finished my short story. I'll be sending to a few of you readers out there for your feedback. I know it stops abruptly, but that was kind of the idea (plus I wasn't sure where to go from there).

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Pizza the Hutt

Eating lunch with a little girl that doesn't have a temperature anymore.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

It's getting hot in here

So, yesterday the weather was nice at a balmy 67 degrees (give or take a few degrees). I, however, didn't get the chance to enjoy the sun as I had to stay home with William and Elizabeth. William was running a temp of 101 in the morning that eventually came down to about 99 before disappearing by this morning. I figure it was due to his three shots he got on Thursday.

And this morning, when all looked like it was getting back on the normal routine, Elizabeth looked a little green around the gills, didn't want her breakfast and barely touched her milk (despite being thirsty). Checked her temp, yep, 101.

So, Dad is watching Elizabeth today while William is at work. Hopefully she'll feel better watching Noggin on my nice, LCD, full HD, newly anchored to the wall, 47 inch television.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Weekenday Update-edited-

Yesterday was a weekenday for me. Yvonne was proctoring another SAT test (scary that kids these days can't write in cursive, even scarier that one fell asleep during her test). Which means I got to babysit. After getting the kids up, fed, and dressed we headed to the local Home and Craft show. Saw lot of jewelry, hand sewn bags, builders, and real estate agents. Way too many people for Elizabeth and I, but we survived. I snapped these on the way out.





After that, we headed home for a steady stream of Noggin while I worked on chores when William was napping. Once Yvonne was done, we headed to town to do some shopping. Nothing terribly exciting, but I did pick up Dead to Me by Anton Strout to add to my ever growing Reading List. We also ran into a former classmate/-edited- of mine. I actually went to high school and college with her before ending up as her -edited- for a few months. It was great to catch up on things and hear that she's doing well.

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