it's late

how late? damn late. too damn late.

congratulations are due Loren for knuckling down and putting forth a bit more effort toward his schoolwork. at the moment, as near as i can figure his GPA for the third quarter has only fallen to somewhere in the neighborhood of 2.607 (from the 4.0 everyone begins a quarter with), a marked improvement over the dismal 2.171 GPA of his last report card. he's got a long way to go to finish the school year- but i think he may be finally headed in the right direction. and i only had to beat him about the head and neck severely with a 2x4 for a few hours, threaten him with immolation and disembowelment twice, hang him from the yardarm overnight and send him subliminal telepathic messages nocturnally for a week.

in other words, by the time report cards come out, Loren will likely be sitting on a B- avg and i'll be ready for 6 months in a peaceful wooded location, seeking tranquility among others assimilating their own unique flavors of extreme personal trauma. don't worry- i'm not ready to put my head in the oven just yet....it'll take more than this to make me go Sylvia Plath on y'all.

watched The Governess tonight- i actually rented it specifically because it was the type of movie i never rent, just to "see how the other half lives" if you will....and now i remember why i give those others such a wide berth. don't get me wrong, i like Minnie Driver as much as the next guy, and her more histrionic moments, bordering on full-blown hysteria, were one of the fleeting, don't-blink-or-you'll-miss-them impressive qualities about the movie, which dragged itself laboriously through monotony after monotony.....but that's by no means an endorsement and be warned, this movie boils down to a total loss of your time. easily the worst movie i've seen in a long time. i've heard nothing but bad things about Van Helsing (except from Loren who absolutely loved it....of course everyone hated The Chronicles of Riddick (which i also haven't seen) and he loved that too) but it's still the next movie on my list, and i'm sure that after watching this totally garbage Governess flick, Hugh Jackman would have to jump off the screen and piss in my mouth to leave this bad a taste in it.

time to crash.


Happy Birthday Ethan!

well- one more notch in the little guy's belt. i think he actually carved four of 'em in it over the last week, but Sunday the Pacific NW Pelkey Clan and a large part of the Sargents got together for Ethan's 4th (and final) Happy #5 bash. Nichole and Chris have certainly done their best in accommodating all the well-wishers, and it's much appreciated. thanks guys, for setting a fine table (as always) and thanks to everyone for the excellent company- and especially to Ethan, who i think i spent more time with yesterday than i have since he was only a wee 4 year old. i decided Ethan's presents should be something both the Sargent boys would enjoy and gave him a Kerplunk! game and a Tom & Jerry video, from Loren and me. both those things were high on Loren's list of khoul stuff when he was about Ethan's age. hell- i'm 37 and i still like both those things [grin].

it occurs to me that i should hereby formally quote what i shall heretofore cite as Pelkey's Law: the chance of having money at the time of a person's birthday is inversely proportional to both 1) the degree to which one feels inclined to give a gift, and 2) the amount of time one has to shop. therefore, if one either doesn't wish to purchase a gift, or wishes to but has no time to shop, one will have plenty of money; but should one wish to give a present AND have plenty of time to shop, one will invariably be broke. this rule does not apply to belated birthday parties, nor should the user in any case reasonably expect this law to constitute a claim of accuracy. all other warrantees, express or implied, are void. actual results may vary. at participating universes only. odds of probability may be affected by local deities.

feeling too lazy right now to pick through and post selections from the 60+ pictures i took- with my current computer setup it's something of a logistical bear- but any interested parties can find them filed chronologically (as always) in my online photo album, under April 24, 2005. there are the usual so-so shots mixed in with what i consider some outstanding ones; the really good ones are labelled so, in one way or another. there's even a little bit of video of Ethan dancing around- love it :)

Loren didn't make it to the party. he had a friend spend the night (at his mother's house) and, still having company when it came time for him to leave, and being reluctant to go, i left the choice to him. i'm a little irritated that his mother didn't prepare him better to leave, and for Loren changing his mind about it between the time i left and when i got over there (all of about 45 minutes), and that i drove over to his mother's house for nothing (about 26 miles round trip) two days running (which cost me about 2 hrs of my weekend) but i suppose in the end the decision was his, and he made it. i told him today that Ethan was a little disappointed he didn't come (no surprise), which Loren anticipated. i think he truly regrets that decision- though he realizes what's done is done. Ethan asked if i might bring Loren over on Saturday this week and Loren's counted himself in for that. i should get those boys in a pool together....that might be fun this weekend.

i'm once again cellulated. someday someone will look back and try to find the origin of that term (which will have come to mean "having recently acquired or reacquired access to a cell phone") and here it will lie- though i doubt it will cause as much hype as, say, the recent uncovering of an original issue of the electronics trade mag that printed Moore's Law.

changing gears: decent day at work today....beautiful weather seems to be a trend lately- it's been in the mid-to-high 60s for most of the last week. always feel my batteries recharged when the sun comes out. i think i'm one of those "winter doldrums" people- though i always seem to like the cold weather when it comes, i think the shorter daylight hours gets to me after awhile.

talked to Loren briefly on the phone- it's getting to where he's dreading our phone conversations during the week since i invariably grill him about his school work; but i don't think now's the time to go all touchy-feely and soften up on him. i'm convinced his problem is one of self discipline, and motivating him to make the behavioral changes he needs to make is worth the effort. nevertheless i've got to be careful not to jump on him so hard he just tunes me out when he's not here. ahh, the fine balancing act....this weekend when we have more time to talk, things will get more relaxed.

time to wrap my mind around some food and laundry and maybe put a little larger dent in my book.



sunday morning

and all's well. Chowder sleepin' in the living room. house is quiet. still dark outside and here i sit typing. cigarette burning in the ash tray. put a few more chapters of Magician: Apprentice behind me- entertaining book. fell asleep sometime yesterday afternoon after bringing Loren back to his mother's. his mom's husband, and his father, and another man were "communing with god" in their way- which involves sitting in a sweatlodge, hand-built and containing what Loren described as "a bunch of very hot rocks". watched him jump on the trampoline for awhile (while Chowder went crazy- to him the trampoline is all too exciting and he leaps bodily off the ground, to a point somewhere past exhaustion, trying to get at whomever is doing the jumping). Loren's mother was, ironically, out shopping at the Albertson's by my house- which prompted me to ask him why he didn't just have her come and pick him up when she was through, rather than me driving him all the way out there when she wasn't even there. seems it didn't occur to him. c'est la vie.

i'll be picking him up today around 2pm, to trek out to the Sargents' for Ethan's last birthday celebration of the year- i say 'the last' because he's had a few now- his folks have done their best to accomodate everyone wishing Ethan a happy #5. should be good times.

today i'll get this place back into shape (not too difficult since it's only suffered a day or two of neglect) and do a little shopping of my own, before heading out for Loren. might even get a little more time with my book before making ready for another work week.

good Sunday morning to all.


REM report

i was driving around with someone, a woman i think, on an overcast morning, on a street that may have been Seattle's Michigan Avenue. we were trying to get some donuts from a place called "Seattle's Best Donuts", which was very much like a McDonald's. i was pulling out of a parking lot, waiting for traffic to pass by so i could pull out. there was a woman in a dark blue compact sedan moving along slowly- i was thinking to myself, "cmon lady...." when she passed by i pulled out quickly, in front of a another compact sedan, this time a spendy little silver car that reminded me of a Mercedes.

i was driving along a winding, freshly paved street, avoiding the crumbling edges and potholes (?!) of the new asphalt. there was some guy on the radio talking about tax breaks and not giving up his "lifestyle", which i gathered to be something along the lines of a well-off Republican sort....whatever that means.

the scene changed to being in the home of the man, while he was on the phone with the radio station. the guy had lots of kids, all milling around the kitchen, busy with various activites, and he proceeded to name them all, the last one being Beatrice "he pronounced it "bay uh trizz". there was a string of boys of varying ages. i noticed the refrigerator was covered with 'Polly the Paint Parrot' magnets, and other homey type stuff. before long i noticed there were a lot of female children too, of varying ages, and that all the children were dressed similarly. there was a very busy mother preparing food, standing at a sink in front of a window. the family dog was pulling on her apron strings from behind, quite forcefully, and the mother seemed to take little notice of it and wasn't bothered by it. one of the girls, a heavy-set one, came home at that point, a little later than she should have (i gathered), and realizing she missed the food, looked a little crestfallen. she said something about the benefits of having friends....


nothing spectacular

to report. talked to Loren on the phone for a couple brief moments before his mother rushed him off the phone- i gathered that she needed to use it. in any case i got hung up on mid-sentence and not called back, which wasn't altogether surprising considering he'd just told me they were all leaving to go eat pizza with Loren's friend Ruby's father, who i gather is having a little birthday thing. annoying getting hung up on. hope he has fun though. wanted to talk to him about his school stuff but i wasn't given the opportunity then, and i'm certainly not going to get it tonight since it's already 10pm.

let's see....what else is worth typing up briefly.....i'm sorta just hangin' out, doing laundry, debating eating something. it was beautiful again today, 2 in a row now. i think this is the first day since last year that i peeled down to a t-shirt after work. nice to drive my truck again, i'm enjoying that. it's going to be a little more expensive overall, i'll have to keep an eye on how much i'm driving around. i've driven 100.9 miles since monday morning, three trips to work and back, and a detour to Costco. it'll probably work out to something like an extra $40/month in gas cost. growlz.

learned how to do something new with the programming of the machine i generally run at work- worthy. i'm certainly not going to get rich working for the wages i'm at, but there are things to learn there. it's nice to work at a place where everyone's friendly too- some things you can't put a dollar value on. and the commute is definitely much easier, and i'm starting to see the time benefits of spending 2 hrs/day less on the road. if my windshield had gone out in the Geo while i still worked downtown the impact in gas cost would have been enormous- somewhere around $100/month or so. i suppose one must be resigned to frugality when one considers a monthly expense in the neighborhood of $100 as "enormous". much is revealed by language.

got some new tunes floating around in my head. i've been experimenting with some drum machine beats for them- with some mild successes so far. i want to try to record the drum lines in a different manner this time around- sequence the individual drum parts in order to individually EQ and effect them on discreet channels. with the processing gear i've got locally i should be able to get some meatier sounds out of those samples in mixdown if i do- not to mention much more control in stereo placement and dynamic range. it'll be a more complicated recording process and in the end it's a quaint exercise at getting antiquated technology to do more than it was intended for, but i'm optimistic i can get some successful results. before laying anything down though i have to decide what to record next...i've got some old chestnuts rolling around in my "record queue" as well as some (for me, obviously more exciting) new ideas. the drum machine work going on lately seems geared toward the new stuff, but i s'pose we'll see what actually happens when it happens.

some more coffee sounds good. Carolan's Irish Cream Liqueur (off-brand Bailey's) is the best non-Bailey's Irish Creme Liqueur i've found in any of the liquor stores, and easily the best tasting reasonably cheap stuff. this is a considered opinion; i should know, i've tried them all. at $27 a bottle though (the big bottles- slightly more cost effective than the small ones) and the rate i pollute coffee with it, it's a reasonably large expense in itself. i wonder how difficult it is to make? that would be fun and prob'ly cheaper too....

it's becoming apparent to me that i must need to make more money so that the first issue i associate with things is no longer what it costs.

been enjoying reading Magician: Apprentice (the Author's Preferred Edition) lent me by a co-worker. i'm only about 50 pages in, but it's been slowly drawing me in and getting steadily better the longer i read. always a pleasure to find a new author to absorb. i think i enjoy picking apart how they approach and execute their craft nearly as much as i enjoy reading the stories and identifying with the characters. i lent my co-worker Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game in return, and he's enjoying it. it was an easy choice- definitely one of the best sci-fi books ever written. Ender's one of my all time favorite characters. actually- now that i think about it you could look it up on my recommended reading page and see my review of it there, so i'll get off the subject already.

Nichole wrote that Ethan started soccer on tuesday this week (yesterday)- must be summer league. should be fun getting to watch the little guy play- looking forward to yelling my brains out on the side of a field somewhere while Nichole pulls down assistant coach duties- i think that's her role, since being replaced as head coach. i believe she was relieved to be replaced, having been designated de facto coach in the absence of anyone else to run the team. my camera's itchin' for some shots of the E-man on the field- too bad it's not very good for that sort of thing. i do however have a pair of digital camera binoculars which i'm eager to try out, and a perfectly great video camera. my next generation computer (sniff sniff....i can smell it coming) is going to include a DVD burner and a video card that can do digital conversion from analog media- then the old videos start getting ripped concurrently with the old photos being scanned...which reminds me, my printer drivers still aren't installed.

wow it's amazing how much you can type when you just think out loud. or is it really thinking out loud when you're directing thoughts through your fingers rather than your mouth? thinking in public? perhaps that's a better phrase.

Loren's enjoying a little break from sports for the summer. time to get that boy in the water. gotta find out in the next few days if he wants to go white water river rafting, and how much it costs and when everyone's planning on going. i really don't know if he'd think it sounded like fun or not- i hope so, i think it would be great!

ok that's PLENTY more than enough for one post.


monday, monday

can't trust that day. the remainder of this post shall follow a brief intermission for a long-overdue picture post, which will conclude with images segueing deftly into the post-o-the-moment.

it occurred to me today that i've taken a few pretty good shots lately, and it's been awhile since i did a picture post (actually it's been 79 days since i last posted an image of any kind, and 94 since i posted anything relevant to what was going on at the time) so here goes. i've put the pictures in chronological order- they end with today's current events. i thought it might be more interesting to scroll through this stuff in the order it took place.

saturday evening a few weeks ago
Loren, Ethan and Cole, at a little celebration of Jason's birthday, at my parents' house
Loren, Ethan and Cole, last saturday, at a little celebration of Jason's birthday, at my parents' house

sunday a week ago yesterday
Chowder with his t-bone steak bone in the back yard
Chowder with his t-bone steak bone in the back yard

last tuesday evening
GFJAA Knights basketball postseason party, Loren with his trophy
GFJAA Knights basketball postseason party - Loren with his trophy

last wednesday night
Chowder lookin' up at me - wanna play...c'mon DO something!
Chowder lookin' up at me - wanna play...c'mon DO something!

last wednesday night again
great shot of Chowder tugging on my hand
can't believe i overwrote the original file with this one! #@$(*@#$(
great shot of Chowder tugging on my hand- can't believe i overwrote the original file with this one! #@$(*@#$(*

last saturday, the day before yesterday
saturday morning at home, Loren finishing his breakfast, reading a Spider-Man comic
Saturday morning at home, Loren finishing his breakfast, reading a Spider-Man comic

this morning (monday)
Loren with his notebook for school; we're about to leave to drive to his mom's before i go to work.
Loren with his notebook for school; we're about to leave to drive to his mom's before i go to work

this morning again, 74 minutes later
the completely spiderwebbed windshield of my '92 geo metro, parked after limping home from my hood flying up.
the completely spiderwebbed windshield of my '92 geo metro, parked after limping home from my hood flying up

this morning again
driver's view through the broken windshield.
driver's view through the broken windshield

i'll edit this post a little later to complete the pictures i wanted to post- i'm out of gas for now.

so, my truck's on the road- that's good. i still need to replace the heater core before i can simultaneously enjoy heat and breathable air in the cab. that's bad. got my insurance switched over to the truck so i can drive it- that's good. insurance payment is a little more expensive, and the car isn't insured now- that's bad. i was a little more than three hours late for work this morning. that's bad. i worked 3 hrs late with the rest of the guys and basically made up for it; that's good. i missed out on enough OT to pay for at least half the cost of a new windshield for the car- that's bad. went grocery shopping at Costco for coffee- that's good. spent maybe too much on other stuff too- that's bad. that's stuff's all food which will eventually get eaten and a lot of it is stuff to pack in lunches, which saves me the expense of buying lunch during work- that's good. Loren worked on his homework last night and put a big enough dent in it all to get back on track- that's good too. he also made adequate progress on a writing assignment, putting him back on schedule to finish the project in time- that's also good. he's been set up with a bedroom of his own at his mother's house- that's certainly good. his brother was the one who wanted it to happen, over his protests- that's bad. he seems to be adjusting fairly well and taking advantage of it in ways you might expect a 6th grader to- that's good. had a nice conversation with him on the phone this evening- that's definitely good. talked to my friend Elsa on the phone tonight- that's good too. dealt with one of the neighbors who had his car towed for parking in the wrong spot in the neighborhood- that's not so good. he didn't seem pissed at me personally since i didn't actually initiate the tow- that's good. i found out for him where the car had been taken- that's good. i felt bad for the guy, it looked like it was a significant source of stress for him- ironically, that's good, since i could empathize with the guy. while i was feeling a little bad for him i walked back by my car with the smashed-in windshield and thought, "everyone's got their problems, don't they." ...that's life.

way past time to MOVE AWAY from the computer. PEACE

looks like i've got some time to kill

between this moment and the time i can go to the auto parts store....to get hose connectors and possibly a hose to redirect the flow of coolant from the heater core. normally at this time of day i'd be firing up my machine at work, getting some production going. drove to Loren's mom's this morning, brought the boy back before school. i had no problems until the drive from there to work. then a very large truck passed me in the opposite direction on SR92, which compromised the (obviously) tremulous hold the hood latch had on the hood itself, which then promptly flew up at approx 50mph and smashed the crap out of my windshield. scared the bejeezus out of me! it spiderwebbed the windshield impressively (i took a pic or two, i'll add them when i have more time). tried limping it home, but it flew up twice more in the process- smashing the windshield some more. eventually i got it home. tried calling in to work (6:40am) but no one was there yet. got in my truck, realizing that it's still spewing forth copious antifreeze smoke from the heater core- figured i could tough it out to work for a day.....but no, i find i am unable to willingly poison myself like that. went to the auto parts store to get hose pieces to bypass the heater core for the moment, until i can replace it (much effort involved in that- have to remove the entire dashboard, etc); they're not open yet, so here i sit waiting on parts. and how was YOUR morning?

out for now


almost time to get back on it

it's about 11pm, and Loren's off to bed, and i've got a few minutes to myself before i head that way too.

another weekend come and gone. i grilled up the remaining steaks from Steve's visit (marinating for a full WEEK now....cook 'em or toss 'em) and we ate them with some fresh broccoli and mashed potatoes. again, the marinade made the steaks a bit salty for my taste (admittedly hard since i'm pretty much a salt afficianado) but Loren loved it- cleaned his plate.

watched the entire 3rd DVD of Star Trek: Voyager, season one, and half of the 2nd DVD of Full Metal Alchemist, while a rare thunderstorm dumped rain and hail and rumbled and flashed- we picked a good day to watch too much TV. Chowder got completely drenched and muddy, and got his entire ventral side and all four legs hosed down but good before being allowed back in the house. he took the indignity patiently, as always; good dog.

finished going over Loren's unfinished work for the past week with him- he seems to be operating under the principle that nothing needs to be completed until it's due, and that's not going to work. after going over the list in detail with him i found out that he'd yet to start on his reading log (a brief account and description of what he's read over the past week) and yet to do half the work he should have completed by now on a paper he's writing. the reading and writing classes are two of the worst grades he received last time and the ones i'm most concerned with. the other was his advanced math class, which he left himself much room for improvement in. the math work seemed complete, if he's answered my questions honestly / correctly. this may very well turn into my kicking his butt all the way to the finish line, but i hold out hope that his maturity will eventually catch up to his level of responsibility and he'll make a good show of effort under his own motivation eventually. negative reinforcement only goes so far. today he told me, "You've been insulting me a lot lately" (about his school performance, in reference to comments i made to the extent of "it's not your ability that anyone's questioning but your work ethic" and "The problem isn't that you're not smart, but that you're lazy.") and i told him i wasn't insulting him, only telling him the truth that he needed to hear. i tried hard to leave an encouraging face on the matter when he'd completed his work this evening, and told him i was proud of him when i put him to bed. he doesn't seem upset with me, so i'm pretty sure he's assimilated what i had to tell him in the spirit it was offered.

time to move along home, the next shap awaits. i hope those who know that reference are amused; everyone else i leave to ponder it at will.

house full of kids

the neighbor boys have invaded. every time these kids come over it's like a toy barter session- but none of them have stuff as khoul as Loren's so i generally have to nix the trades to keep him from screwing himself out of something good- or something that he'll miss later because it was a gift from someone. a little redirection....and now they're all seated around the kitchen table to play a DBZ trivia game. nice that there're kids around for him to play with. right now he's attempting to show them the rules to the game. whoever wins gets to claim the title of DBZ Expert (for the moment anyway).

hmmm....i seem to have some time to myself....what would be the most constructive thing i could use this time for....

ahhhhh....the weekend

saturday has come and gone, i suppose. not a bad one by any means. Loren read a bunch of Spider-Man comics i got him last Christmas. his "grounded" friend came over and borrowed some DBZ movies from us. Loren watched some amusing flash cartoons- this week's Loren Recommended Viewing includes the many episodes of "Radiskull and Devil Doll". i'm not really all that impressed with it, though it's some original work and certainly amusing. Loren however is bowled over as usual. maybe these guys just have their finger on the pulse of the 6th grade crowd. we had a late lunch and watched the third DVD of Deep Space 9, season one. that's 9 episodes under our collective belt. this DVD included one episode ("Vortex") which i hadn't seen before- first time in a very long time i can say that. i know for sure there's one episode of Enterprise i missed this year (4th and final season)- it's the last episode they played before entering a period of reruns, the resolution of a storyline in which Dr. Flox (sp?) is kidnapped by Klingons to aid in their pursuit of development of Klingon augments. irksome. however, there's a good chance i'll be able to catch it in reruns before UPN trots out their new lineup.

i was wrong about Ethan's birthday party taking place this weekend, it's actually next weekend and his actual birthday is Monday.

made my house payment this morning over the phone, for an extra $15. wish i'd known earlier that i wasn't going to get paid last Monday, i wouldn't have paid up other bills that could have waited a little longer instead. learned my lesson though. if my pay dates are going to fluctuate, i'll be more careful about making sure the money for the house payment is first in line.

Mom and Dad came up and took Loren and me to dinner this evening. always nice to see them, and especially nice to have them here. dinner was on them, Mexican food at a place in Frontier Village- thanks, guys, it was great. Loren ordered a virgin lime marguerita and they accidently brought him a real one. he took one sip and realized it didn't taste right. Mom took a sip and thought there might be tequila in it, but wasn't completely sure. i took a sip and there was definitely tequila in it. of course Dad had to try also, and he thought it tasted like a marguerita to him- by which he was inferring that it didn't NOT taste like a normal marguerita. everyone else might have been guessing but i wasn't- definitely tequila. the watiress and another guy (possibly the owner or manager) were appropriately mortified and brought him an actual virgin one. Loren tasted it and immediately said there was tequila in that one too- but there wasn't. my tongue proclaimed it liquor-free. Mom squished his lime in it and then it tasted right to him. dinner was good and Mom and Dad came back and hung around for a little while. it's obvious to me whenever i have company that this place is definitely not tailored for it. i only have a couch in the living room, no chairs, and it's bisecting the room (for practicality) and pointed toward the television. the whole layout isn't conducive to more people than can fit on the couch (three at the most) and nothing's arranged so that people can face each other. some kind of semi-circular inward-facing layout would be better for company, but it's impractical with the TV stuck where it is (by the only available cable outlet). sooner or later i need to run coaxial cable to another wall.

there are some real improvements it would be easy to implement here, but there are some limiting factors that would be monumentally difficult or impossible to change- access to the backyard in a manner other than through the house or around the block being the most prominent of those. it's a limitation of the unit's "middle unit" placement in a multi-unit building. in the buildings in this development the end units are single floor dwellings- they're sacrificing something also by not having a second floor. i'm not sure why this was done, other than to create more affordable places. there's no other practical reason for not building the end residences to the full height of the building; i'd think it makes it a slightly more difficult build, adding two lower sections of roof instead of continuing the existing one to the ends. there's certainly no reason the existing second floor plans couldn't have been used on these end residences. maybe the contractors were simply lowering the cost of the project.

i guess i'm done jabbering. congratulations to the intrepid readers who got this far.


let's see....friday night, 9:20 pm PST

worked 10 hrs t'day, then went and picked up Loren. driving home from his mother's house someone in a little Toyota pickup just locked up his brakes for no reason....4WD pickup with good disc brakes vs my lil' metro....no contest. one more smashed in spot on the front end. the guy said he wasn't worried about it, i bet he had no insurance- he knew he caused it, even though he blamed it on someone else just locking up their brakes in front of him who "took off up Highway 9". my right front signal light is shot- some of the pieces are on the road, some are still stuck in the front end. this one's not going on the insurance, and it's not getting me another $128 ticket for "failure to stop" or "following too closely" (neither of which i was doing, nor speeding, for that matter). regardless....the Geo is getting less legal to drive all the time. i need to fix my truck and get it back on the road. this little car seems to be bad luck lately.

got home, threw in a frozen pizza for dinner....which promptly started melting through the oven rack....not the first time i've seen that happen, though it's fairly unusual. tried to peel it out from between the rungs of the rack with a spatula....but pierced the crust instead. hoping it would bake up ok and i could eventually get it out, i let it be; it promptly dripped melted cheese all over the element and sent up smoke signals....or at least one large signal. off goes the oven, pry out the pizza....which fell to pieces and dropped down into the crack between the oven door and the oven....what a mess. very annoyed now. clean up as best as possible as quickly as possible so as not to miss Enterprise (which i'd planned on eating pizza and watching, rather than cleaning up one pizza and cooking another and missing).

forgot in the hubbub of work to call in a house payment today...this will be the first one i've missed the grace period on....ever. thanks to getting paid late. i paid up the rest of my bills slightly before they were due, counting on getting paid monday...but it didn't happen until yesterday. i tried to deposit my check in the bank in Everett, but they closed at 5, so i had to high-tail it over to Snohomish and hope they were open till 6- which they were. i tried my mortgage company's "pay by phone" option last night but it was unavailable for unexplained reasons. hoping to resolve the matter today, i took my information in to work with me, but managed to forget about paying the bill. overall at this point on a scale of one to ten i'd have to rate this day as downright shitty.

still, if i wasn't so tired (and honestly: grumpy) i'd be in a better mood- which is like saying if i wasn't so short i'd be taller. on the bright side, Loren's here (currently inhabiting the bathroom upstairs....which gives me time to vent here. which i've now done.) and i'm ready for a little Dad time...it's been too long, again. it's always too long. and the time he's here is always too short. and i can't jump over the moon.



are in order for Loren, who received a trophy after completing his first basketball season, with the Knights, coached by Sally & Bill (may they forgive my forgetfulness of their last names). it was an occasion to get together with his teammates away from the court, their postseason party at Alfy's in Granite Falls this evening. overall, though losing a resounding majority of their games, the team played competitively, with Loren predominantly holding his own on the floor with teammates generally more experienced than he. i'm very proud of him- for the effort he always showed during games, and for showing up for practice and the effort he showed there. his competitiveness and drive weren't always readily apparent during practices, but there were certain times he focused and motivated himself, and pushed beyond his own perceived limitations. sometimes there's a look in eyes like a clenched fist, that says, "I will not fail," and very often he succeeds. seeing him sink a basket, look right at me from the basketball floor and clench his fist in the air in satisfaction, or beat a teammate down the floor in a race for a starting position, or focus his attention on defending his spot on the floor against multiple offensive players, or launch into a crowd of taller players to rebound the ball, is, for just a moment, witnessing a man's heart beating in a boy's body. for those things and others, i hope he feels the pride in himself he's earned.

expecting to be paid today, i told Loren's mother i'd catch up on back child support (last month and the present one). computer problems or something of that nature prevented getting paid today, so for the second month running i'll be forced to pay my mortgage payment through an online bill paying service which costs extra. annoying, but unavoidable. since the house payment is going to squeak in just in time anyway, it might as well wait for the paycheck, so i paid up the child support instead. only a couple more bills to catch up on before i officially break the surface of the water. here's hoping my air holds out until then. so far, things are going (are you ready for it?) swimmingly. (groan at will).

got some good pictures of Chowder and of Steve when he was here; they should be added to the online photo album soon- apparently the timekeeping programming in my camera is not good enough to compensate for the transition from Daylight Savings to Standard time, so i'm forced to adjust the file information manually. always more minutiae. or is that mundania?

still haven't achieved the motivation to make yet another attempt to install my printer drivers. i've never had a problem before, but this time nothing seems to be able to make the computer sense the printer exists- and of course the printer/imaging device driver install routine chokes and quits. i've said it before and i'll say it again: Hewlett Packard: great hardware, terrible software. what a shame.

watched "The Last Samurai" this evening. it was an entertaining but somewhat too lengthy film starring Tom Cruise as an American Civil War / Indian conflict veteran who's hired by the Japanese gov't to train their army in modern warfare, by which process modern factions in the Emperor's council hope to eliminate the Samurai, who oppose the modernization of the country. i've heard it reviewed as Cruise's "Dances With Wolves", a surprisingly fitting summation. it had its ups and downs, and many well choreographed fight scenes, but the actor who played opposite Cruise as a noble Samurai who, impressed by his fighting spirit, first captures Cruise's Nathan Algren character, then befriends him, easily stole the show. it's a good film, but not a great one.

ok it's much too late and time to get some sleep before work tomorrow.


good times

went and hung out with my friend Matt Friday night, caught a handshake from my friend Shane too. good to see those guys- it's been a long time.

ThatDude Steve trekked up from waaaay down south to kick it at my place Saturday. we got a ridiculous amount of food, grilled some steaks, had a little salad, red potatoes and gravy, broccoli.....it was a less than stellar cooking effort but with food as good as all that it's hard to go too wrong. listened to a ton of music and watched a little basketball, but mostly just caught up and talked about as many things as two fairly talkative people can cram into about 12 hrs. hard to argue with that. thanks for the company to Steve. sorry that Scott was under the weather and couldn't make it- maybe next time.

Loren called me all morning; i slept through his calls. got up around noon and he called me again, wanting to know about going to Ethan's birthday party (with a bunch of kids Ethan's age). they were getting to wrapping things up by the time i called; would have been well over with by the time i could go get Loren and bring him there- looks like he missed this one. Ethan's also having a party with family, next weekend- gotta make that one for sure, cuz that's MY chance to tell Ethan happy birthday. let's see....what's a good present for the E-man.....

Loren went roller skating in Marysville yesterday, sounds like he had fun. he's been spending a lot of his newfound time rolling D&D characters. at least he's writing something down- maybe it'll have some small effect on his handwriting LOL.

i guess that brings everyone up-to-the-minute....time to get something going for the day. PEACE


slowly climbing out of my hole

today (Thursday, yes it's after midnight when i'm posting again) i paid up all the bills and i'm noticing the new job is enabling my cash flow to take a turn in the right direction. there's light at the end of the tunnel, and it's no longer a train. crashed out after work for a while this afternoon. i remember seeing old guys do that stuff when i was a kid and wondering how they could just zonk out in the middle of the afternoon or early evening. now i know- it's called exhaustion LOL.

Loren called to tell me his mother bought him a Marvel Universe Encyclopedia book at Target. he read me about 1/2 of the text on the phone i think- grinz. i told him i wanted him to write an entire page of conversational writing (complete sentences) for every day he was off school this week. the first two days he did it no problem, but then he went back to his mother's house, where she promptly told him he didn't have to do it. leaves me wondering how the hell i'm supposed to have any influence on the boy's education, if she's gonna shoot down the things i do to force him to improve. writing is his weakest thing, and i specifically gave him something to do that made him practice it. this is the same woman who gets upset when i refuse to carry over a specific punishment for something that happened at her house. there's some flexibility in that policy- i don't automatically disregard her punishments, on the contrary i usually uphold them- but i reserve the right to make my own judgements about what punishments and for what offenses. it's clear Loren needs to do some extra work as far as writing goes, it was his worst grade. grrrrr. maddening. when i asked Loren if he did his assignment today he told me his mom said he didn't have to then handed her the phone to explain it to me herself. so i just ended the conversation by telling her i didn't want to argue about it. i'll spend some my own time with him having him do extra writing.

gotta run- laundry's dry and it's time to crash. PEACE


tuesday come 'n gone

well okay, not quite gone, but by the time this posts it will be. not too early a morning this morning; got out of the house at about 7:05 expecting significant traffic on the way to the Nichole & Chris's. conveniently, the traffic was really light, and we got there eith enough time to spare that i actually got to visit for a few minutes. nothing like dropping in on yer homies' morning routine. it was an added bonus. Loren spent the day with Aunt Nichole, Uncle Chris, Ethan and Cole, and i gather Chris' father Jerry was there also. Nichole took them all out to the park for awhile. Loren rolled some D&D characters and worked on his 'dad assignment' for the day (namely telling me all about the characters he rolled). he made 8 less errors than last time, it was an improvement overall. he had a good time again, that's three days this week he's gotten to spend with his cousins, two days he's spent some time with Melissa & Jason, one with Chris & Nichole, and one with his grandparents- all in all, a heavily Pelkey beginning to his spring break. we've come home pretty soon after i got off work every night and spent the remainder of the evening watching Dragonball Z, playing games, reading our book, and generally chummin' it up. it's been a great 5 days for me, and he seems really relaxed; i think he's gotten as much out of it as i have.

had another relatively easy day at work today, and fairly productive, although there's been a bit of a bottleneck on material. suits me fine however, since i've had Loren in the evenings and going for broke leaves me with very little left in the tank after work- i tend to leave it all out on the field as much as possible. tomorrow will be an early morning and they're anticipating a larger amount of material to machine, so tomorrow could be a long one- we'll see. it'll be what it'll be. got some chores i've neglected the last few days to catch up on, so if it turns out to be an 8 hr day i'll be alright with that.

off to check the email. then ZZZZZland for me. PEACE people-


once more unto the week

midnight. so Monday went off as planned. up and out of the house by 6:09- a few minutes late, but managed to get Loren to Aunt Melissa, at the Sargents' house watching Ethan & Cole, in time to get to work by 7. had a fairly productive day at work. i'm not too sore overall, much less than normal. got paid; picked up Loren from Aunt Melissa's house, went to the P.U.D. and paid my overdue electric bill to avoid a service interruption, deposited my check, went to the grocery store for stuff for dinner. tomorrow we start work late, at 8:30am, a mixed bag. a little more sleep-in time in the morning, a little more traffic to deal with so a little longer commute. Loren will be spending the day with Aunt Nichole and Ethan and Cole; Plan B. he was going to stay at his Grampa's house but Dad's gonna be a little too busy tomorrow to accomodate it. looks like everyone's playing it by ear. made tacos for dinner, gave Loren some chores to do while i cooked. he finished his 'Dad homework' that i assigned him during his spring break. a little extra effort on writing in general and handwriting specifically. i had him write an entire page on whatever subjects he chose, so long as it was conversational and in coherent sentences. he made some punctuation errors (possessive apostrophes) and capitalization errors, and a couple spelling mistakes, but overall it was pretty good, and he finished the assignment without complaint. i fell asleep still sitting at the dinner table while we watched some Dragonball Z, but woke up a couple times and dragged my butt over to the couch, where i dozed some more while he took a shower. i finally managed to rouse myself at about 9:15 to complete a D&D adventure he'd set up. he likes to be the DM, and i played a couple first level characters he rolled plus one of my own. i nearly got us all killed being stubborn attacking some orcs at a bottleneck in his map- we barely escaped with our lives, but gained a (very) little experience and a couple gold pieces. let him have a donut and some hot chocolate for a snack and read some more of The Wishsong of Shannara, and he fell asleep while i read to him. it was my turn to rouse him this time, and got his teeth brushed before putting him to bed. and that brings us up to date on the mundania of the day.

it's been great having him here for a little extra time during spring break- too bad i had to argue with his mother about it. it's always an argument, every time a holiday or a school break comes and it's time for me to get a little extra time with him. Loren's mother always calls me selfish when i try to assert my parental rights; this time she had the nerve to tell me that she just assumed he was going to be at her house over spring break "because i had to work". of course i have to work, and since when does that change anything? she has this habit of getting down on me because i have family in this area and "have all this help" where she doesn't have any. she has this train of thought in which she should be treated as a part of my family. i've pointed out to her time and again that she was a part of this family and she chose not to be, and my (and my family's) responsibility for her ended when she left, but reason will only get you so far against her temper. when she's made up her mind about something, that's the end of the story, and anyone that disagrees with her better be prepared to pay the price. yesterday she became very upset that Loren wasn't going to be at her house to watch Phoenix while she attended her classes- never mind that she was the one who made the decision that Loren was going to be at my house for the beginning of his spring break week. Loren chose to spend the day with his Aunt Melissa (today). i mentioned to Melody (out of kindness) that possibly Melissa would be willing to watch Phoenix also, and that i'd be happy to ask her- which i did. Melissa was already watching Ethan and Cole though, and at Nichole's house at that, and with Loren on top of it, she didn't feel comfortable with Phoenix coming too. this left Melody in a bit of a bind, which brought on the whole 'you have help and i don't' argument, to which i said, "you have a husband; what's he doing to help take care of his son?" hard to argue with that. dealing with her is maddening at best. some people refuse to see when someone's going out of their way to be nice to them. i think the thing that really steams me the most is her assertion that i'm being selfish anytime i try to assert my rights as far as the time i'm scheduled to spend with Loren. since when is trying to be a good parent and live up to your obligations (as well as reap the benefits that go with them) being selfish? i shouldn't have to justify any amount of time i try to spend with him. it's a given; he's my son, i want to spend as much time with him as i can. i'll be glad when Loren's old enough to just come here whenever he wants; i'd lay heavy odds he'll spend more time here than he does now when the choice is his own. he seemed to enjoy today quite a bit and i'm happy for that. he's a good kid, he deserves to have some fun.

guess that's about it for now. a little minutiae, a little rant, a little account of some good times. i'd say that strikes a pretty fitting note for today.


happy birthday Jason

yep- it's after midnight, so technically Sunday. Saturday went decently....and quickly. this afternoon Loren and i made it down to Mom and Dad's for a small birthday celebration for Jason. Melissa and Jason are staying at Nichole & Chris's house, watching the boys for the weekend while Nichole & Chris took off for Whistler for some alone time. hard to tell who was enjoying it more- Melissa or the Sargent boys. Mom & Dad had a full house, what with Loren, me, Melissa, Jason, Ethan & Cole. we ate some pizza and some mud pie for dessert, and Mom & Dad got Jason a smoker. Loren and I ordered the new Harry Potter book for him but won't be able to give it to him until it comes out in July. I got some decent pictures, which will soon enter the online album. it was a lot of fun playing with the boys; and since Loren was there watching cartoons it was pretty interesting to see them glue their eyes to Fairly Odd Parents and Static Shock. Cole seems to trust me a lot more since i shaved off my beard. came home and read some of The Wishsong of Shannara with Loren before bed, and had a nice long talk- i love the evenings with him, when everything that's going to get accomplished for the day is done with, and there's nothing left to do or anywhere to go. when the distractions of the day aren't present, and there's quiet in the house, and we each have the other's undivided attention, we actually manage some meaningful conversation- i think more politically correct people might call it 'quality time', but i'd just call it 'good times'. he's a good kid and i'm proud of him.


another week of work in the can

which reminds me i need to update my spreadsheet- gotta keep track of those hours. Loren came today; he'll be staying through the . we watched the 3rd DVD of season 1 of STTNG. he got his report card Tuesday this week, and his grades went downhill again. he scored a decidedly lackluster GPA and got an F in language; i'll spare him the public embarrasment of posting his entire report card online. suffice it to say he lost his video game priveleges until the next report card comes out. we spent an hour pouring over his recent past performance leading up to that report card on his school's website. i didn't realize until talking with his teachers on parent-teacher conference/report card day that all his grading and work-due information was available online. i'll be keeping an eye on his performance. his teachers all beamed and heaped praise on him for his manners, politeness, citizenship, etc- and reluctantly repeated yet again that he has too much missing work. organization is definitely his downfall; at least it's a fault he comes by honestly.

my hands are killing me. i've been working at Crown Enterprises for about two and a half weeks now. every day i move thousands of little pieces of steel around multiple times, always twisting and pulling and grasping. my forearms and hands have ached nonstop since i began working there, and my fingers are generally numb, and hurt when they're not. i think i'm probably doing permanent damage to my arms, but there's not really a lot of choice in the matter for me. you take the work you can get. the money's alright (nothing spectacular....i'll certainly not get rich doing this job) and the commute is downright reasonable, especially when compared to the insanity of living here and working in downtown Seattle. there's also the factor of stress- working for this small family-owned (and predominantly family-operated) company is much less stressful than working for trade-marx (i swear Don's gotta be bipolar or something) and dealing with his megalomaniacal lowbrow attack monkey Bart Haynes. did i mention how big a jackass Bart "don't cross me cuz no one but me knows anything about this business" Haynes is? just wanted to make sure i got something on the record about that pathetic bastard with delusions of grandeur Bart "i just might lose my temper at any moment, grab you bodily and haul you around by your coat" Haynes, since he's such a prick and all. wonder what the guys in the shop are up to these days.

don't think i mentioned before that my mom and dad got robbed in plain daylight two weeks ago. while they were out working in the yard someone just nonchalantly strolled into their house and walked out with Dad's wallet and Mom's purse. Mom and Dad got their purse and wallet (respectively) back this morning; someone discreetly put them in a plastic baggie and returned them unscathed, although lighter by a credit card and a bank card (also respectively, and cancelled anyway); the returner placed them in a visible location sometime Thursday night, as if someone wanted to somewhat atone for the damage done without incurring charges pressed against them or theirs. it's nice my folks got their stuff back, i know how hard it is to get robbed. tomorrow Loren and i will make the trek south to visit with all the local Pelkey (and neo-Pelkey) clan extant in that vicinity and celebrate Jason's birthday. that's about all the plans i have for the weekend so far.

so it's 12:45am and time for me to wrap up and get some ZZZZs. i was going to say tonight's moral was "don't get me started on that fool from trade-marx" but while that was apt, i then thought it probably ought to be "don't go work at trade-marx" which is good advice in general for people who hate working with pricks, but upon further consideration i thought "hey, i've got a job that's payin' down my debt but it's hell on my arms and hands" would be fitting also, but although a true statement, it's really not overtly moral in nature, so i found myself back at the drawing board from which i eventually settled on "typing gratiuitously long run-on sentences into your blog may provide fleeting satisfaction but is ultimately meaningless", but that too lacked that certain i-don't-know-what, at which point i realized "BIG SMILES :) Loren's here until Wednesday sometime" is, of course, the best of them all.

post labels

1979 480p a perfect circle accountability ADSR adventure age progression AIDS AIG alfred molina alternate geography alternate history america animation anxiety apology apprentice array instruments art crimes attention spans audioslave avatar bad weekend bailey's bailout beach beavis being broke benefits beverage big three bill the cat bitching black and white blogger blogging blue screen bob marriott book bored brinsley schwarz bus schedule butthead c.s. lewis cable coiler car crash car repair carolan's cartoon cate blanchett charles darwin charles van doren chloe moretz choir chores chowder chris cornell christians christina ricci christmas christopher mintz-plasse chrome cigarettes cinnahoney cinnamon class envy coding coffee comcast comedy commuting contact list cooking crime da vinci code dakota dan brown daylight savings time deconstruction display resolution dodge dog park domino dozer dream dreamworks drinking driving e.t.a. economy edmonds edmonds marina electricity elvis costello email england epic escape ethan everett chorale evolution fabricate facebook fantasy fiction film trailer first post fitness test flag flash flickr font ford fotomorph free hugs free market freedom freedom of speech freeware friends futility galapogos geology GFHS girl glitch GM good will google gratitude green screen hallmark version handwriting happiness harley harry potter harry thompson harry turtledove HD headache healthcare hershey hershey's syrup hip hop history of knowledge HMS beagle hollywood lights honey hosting HTML human rights IE immigration indispensable opposition intelligentsia internet explorer interview Ira Glass irish cream irish whiskey it got big jakob dylan jason jenny lewis job hunting journalists julia navarro junk kalimba kansas kick-ass kitty knights templar la fete nationale lacking motivation last airbender lego lineman live looseworld loren love m night shyamalan malacandra malaguena manifest destiny mark millar marriage martha stewart mbira mcafee megamind melissa memorial mickey microsoft monotony montreal music music video my life my music mystery natural philosophy naturalist new car new chair new computer new TV new zealand nick lowe nicolas cage NSFW obama old friends opening atlantis opinion opus organ out of the silent planet overheat peace performance pic post picasa polygons PUD puget sound quebec qwest field racey radiator random realD 3D realism recipe redletter media reggie watts reginald veljohnson repairs reunions ridley scott robert fitzroy robin hood robin williams robot rockstar russell crowe sarcasm science fiction sea voyage seahawks shroud of turin sick puppies siphon smoking sorceror's apprentice soundclick south america special effects speech spring starling stats suicide summer sundome syntax error syphon taking offense tesla test the atlantic the bus This American Life thriller tim hawkins tokyo plastic toni basil trade-marx train trouble turning 40 TV UAW understanding unemployed unions vacation video vimeo virus vundo W3schools walter lippman water pump wayward son web design weekend whiskey white house windows 7 windows live mail windows vista wordpress work writing xmas xmas spirit XP yakima yourfonts zoey deschanel