R.T.'s Blurty
 
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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in R.T.'s Blurty:

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    Monday, June 9th, 2008
    1:27 am
    Testing
    () ()
    (*.*)
    (")(")
    Friday, May 2nd, 2008
    2:00 pm
    God is a beatnik
    Watched a TV show/documentary about the "beat generation" and writers like Jack Kerouac and William S. Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg. I thought it was fascinating. I don't agree with all the philosophy that came out during that time but I love the freedom of expression that emerged.

    A lot of that way of thinking has vanished, I think. It's gone the other way. Instead of the stifling conservatism/morality that was the culture in the 50s, now we're trapped in stifling political correctness. We're intolerant of someone not tolerating our opinion. Everyone must conform or be ridiculed/ostracized.

    The liberators have become the dictators.

    I hadn't thought about this before, but actually Jesus was the ultimate rebel against "status quo". He challenged hypocrites. He exposed religious leaders that didn't know the God they were supposed to lead people to.
    He never criticized sinners and lost people. After all, you wouldn't get angry at a blind man for not being able to see. He helped people think outside of their box and told everyone the truth, the very ultimate freedom, because if you know the whole truth then you have an actual choice and
    you can see how things really are, under all that culture or lifestyle or tradition you've been conformed into.

    Groovy, man.

    Current Mood: chipper
    Current Music: "Wherever You Are" - Ulrich Schnauss (Pandora Radio)
    Wednesday, April 2nd, 2008
    10:17 pm
    Recycling
    This is what I get for not taking down the Christmas wreath right away.


    A wren took over and claimed it for his family.


    Now we have loud twittering coming from the front porch every day. Yeah, I love it.

    Current Mood: giddy
    Sunday, March 30th, 2008
    10:11 pm
    Patience
    Well, like I said, I was psyched. I still am. But EP, though looking forward to this study, has been moving forward very much more slowly.

    The study is chopped up into weeks and each week has 5 days of short lessons/observations. It is all I can do to keep from doing an entire week in one night.
    I think it has been 3 or 4 weeks total that we've both had workbooks. For one reason or another we have been unable to move forward even one week. Last week we got together and did watch one of the lesson's DVDs, but she fell asleep halfway through.

    I was getting a bit flusterated.
    But, yes, God has nudged me and reminded me that I've prayed for this study to "stick" and I think He is giving me the chance to really meditate on every discovery I make in the Bible. He is not sneaking sleeping potions into EP's coffee. He just knew how this would pan out and He's letting me know that I get to learn and practice what I've learned instead of whipping through as I am wont to do.

    So now, do you think I will be dissatisfied if EP suddenly speeds up? Will I begrudge my leisure time? Ha ha.

    Current Mood: pleased
    Monday, March 17th, 2008
    11:08 pm
    Sock it to me
    I'm psyched! EP and I are finally starting up a new Bible study. Been a few years since we last had one.

    To tell the truth, I was the one who put and end to our former lesson sessions. We'd finish one 10-week course and start another 9-week one right up. Then on to another 10 weeks and another topic.
    Guess what. None of it was sticking. I wanted to learn more about God and what He had to say and we were whizzing past it all with no lasting results.

    That's about the same time as we were having a bit of a thing going on at church and an upheaval of leadership. So, with that and for a few more reasons, I really pulled back and away from "church".
    After all, I'd been going to that one church ever since we moved here back in 1991. And I'd only become a Christian in 1990. I had to pull back and see, among other things, if I was following God or following a cultural definition of how to follow God.

    My faith in God has never wavered. But, you know, if you spend all day doing things that God never asked you to do, then what the heck are you doing in trying to please Him that way?
    Little by little I've learned how much of my life has been busy "doing" instead of "following."

    We started going to a new church last summer. I love hearing this pastor speak. It's a whole other perspective. Less about the Holy Spirit and what He can do for me and more about God, the Father, and all that's He's already done for me and will continue to do.

    And now we (EP and I) are starting a new Bible study that fits right into this whole mindset. It's about believing God rather than just believing IN Him. Do I really, in my brain and in my actions, really believe everything that He says? I'd like to think so, but why then, don't I act on it? Hmmmm.

    This is going to be great. A great chance to see things as they are and grow! Growth (and lack of same) shall be duly noted here.
    (To D: now would be a good time to stop reading this if you'd like to continue believing that I'm an angelic and PERFECT person . . . which I am, of course. Heh.)

    Current Mood: happy
    Current Music: "Turn, Turn, Turn" - Byrds - in my head
    Monday, March 3rd, 2008
    10:27 am
    DZ's Flyin' Fingers
    DZ has been practicing with the cube of Rubik.
    Behold!

    Current Mood: impressed
    Current Music: "Freezer Burns" - Buckethead
    Tuesday, January 8th, 2008
    9:40 pm
    Politics
    Pretty much fits. I'm conservative, yet independent.

    74% Mike Huckabee
    71% John McCain
    68% Tom Tancredo
    58% Bill Richardson
    58% John Edwards
    57% Mitt Romney
    57% Hillary Clinton
    54% Barack Obama
    53% Chris Dodd
    53% Fred Thompson
    52% Rudy Giuliani
    49% Joe Biden
    43% Ron Paul
    39% Mike Gravel
    29% Dennis Kucinich

    2008 Presidential Candidate Matching Quiz

    UPDATE:
    DZ took the quiz and it came out like this! He would like to go on record that he's not planning to vote for Clinton, though.

    77% Hillary Clinton
    77% Chris Dodd
    73% John Edwards
    72% Joe Biden
    72% Barack Obama
    65% Dennis Kucinich
    63% Mike Gravel
    63% Bill Richardson
    62% Rudy Giuliani
    46% John McCain
    39% Mike Huckabee
    39% Mitt Romney
    37% Tom Tancredo
    31% Fred Thompson
    14% Ron Paul

    2008 Presidential Candidate Matching Quiz

    Current Mood: content
    Sunday, January 6th, 2008
    11:03 pm
    Fear not!
    This has always been a much more personal journal for me than my other ones. So to friends or family or complete strangers that come across this and decide "This is the preachiest blog I've ever seen!", please don't go away mad! I will probably be aiming at myself.

    Even though I can walk through the valley of the shadow of death and fear no evil and that sort of thing, doggone it, now and then I need a pep talk AND maybe a reminder to myself about what God has to say about things.

    I have no idea how long my introspective "mood" is going to hang on. Maybe tomorrow I won't need to talk to myself at all. But, what the heck, inner house cleaning is a good thing anyway.

    First of all, no, I didn't make any new year resolutions but, yes, I do have former goals that have slacked off that I'll be dusting off again. This whole exercise thing, f'r instance. Gonna be getting back to those nearly daily walks again, weather permitting. Also, DZ and I are deciding what sort of exercise machine to invest in, since we can only afford one (in money AND space to put it in).

    Current Mood: moody
    Current Music: cat fountain splishing, 24-hr. news channel on TV
    Thursday, January 3rd, 2008
    10:45 pm
    Christmas spirit
    Update on my sister:
    I'm not too worried about her prospects now.

    Just before P died, he and my sister had just paid for a Christmas vacation package to Disney World. My sister was torn, whether or not to go but, in the end, she decided that P had worked too hard for the vacation for his little girls to just throw it away.

    They were gone for 5 or 6 days. When they got back, magic! There was a lighted Christmas tree, with presents under it, waiting in the living room. The half-finished projects around their little house - the torn-up ceiling where P had taken down a wall between the kitchen and living room, the light fixtures, the old kitchen cabinets - all were finished and replaced and painted thanks to friends and strangers and donations. The front steps, formerly a couple of cement blocks, were now actually wooden steps. The kitchen has a pantry! There's a ceiling fan/light fixture in the living room.

    'Twas awesome.

    Current Mood: touched
    Friday, December 28th, 2007
    11:38 am
    Jollydays
    Hope one and all had a spiffin Christmas.

    Christmas is NOT all about the presents, but presents are fun!
    Here's what we all got:

    B - MAD Magazine Book of Star Wars, pajamas, electronic chess game (from me)
    - a desktop air conditioner, book of Scrabble puzzles (from DZ)
    - $50 iTunes card with which to download movies and music, crazy stickers the best of which say "Actual size" (from D)

    D - Nintendo Lite DS with Pokemon game, arm socks, clip-on watch (from Santa)
    - military map case bag (from parents)
    - money (grandparents)
    - 3 Order of the Stick webcomic books (DZ)

    DZ - Swiss Army flash drive (with knife and flashlight and screwdriver and, yes, a 1 GB flash drive), playing cards, GuitarPort tone rig that plugs his electric guitar into the computer (from Santa)
    - card magic stuff, $15 iTunes card (from parents)
    - money (grandparents)
    - Guitar Hero III for XBox 360, poster of Serj Tarkanian (from D)

    Me - George Foreman grill, zoom lens (from B, as well as the Nikon camera itself a bit earlier!)
    - slippers with memory foam (from DZ)
    - Pirates of the Caribbean III DVD set (from D)

    My mom gave B and me money and some candy. B's folks gave us a large flashlight.

    On Christmas morning, we didn't exactly have breakfast. There was a SPREAD. We munched on 3 different types of crackers with cheeses and cheese spreads, summer sausage slices, pumpkin-flavored cream cheese, or garlicky hummus. We also had cookies, pretzels, German gingerbread and cookies, and cashews. Num num.

    Since we had the large turkey with fixin's dinner on Christmas Eve, Christmas dinner was from the Crockpot. That way I could throw everything in and laze around all day like everyone else. Aaaand, everybody loves the chicken crockpot stuff even more than turkey feasts.

    There's a tradition here that, a month before Christmas (or before your birthday) no one is allowed buy anything for themselves. So, the day after Christmas, you know what that means. Yup. Off to the bookstore!!! And the day after that, off to another bookstore! Whee! I've already gotten 5 calendars (because I am crazy, that's why)!

    Current Mood: cheerful
    Current Music: dryer tumbling DZ's multi-zippered pants
    Sunday, November 25th, 2007
    8:58 am
    Memorial today
    It's Sunday morning and I'm getting ready to do the three hour drive to the County. The memorial service for my sister's husband is at 2 this afternoon. I have no idea what to expect.

    Be back here tomorrow. Not really getting a lot of time to hang out with my mom, but maybe next month.

    Current Mood: thoughtful
    Tuesday, November 20th, 2007
    8:33 pm
    Brother-in-law killed
    My sister lost her husband this morning. He was killed in a "traffic" accident.


    Motorcycle rider killed in collision

    — A motorcyclist was killed when he collided with a car that was heading out of a driveway this morning.

    He was Phillip H. Jr., 34. He was driving his motorcycle on N.C. 55. The passenger car was driven by L. U., age 17.

    “She was driving head-first out of her driveway,” said Highway Patrol Trooper Rink. “It was foggy. She said she did not see the motorcyclist.”

    Rink said U. had her learner’s permit to drive. Her grandmother, who is properly licensed, was in the front seat next to U.

    He said U. and relatives in the back seat were on their way to Pamlico County High School.

    H. was thrown 83 feet from his motorcycle.

    (From Sun Journal)

    My sister is inconsolable right now. Her two little girls are staying with friends. I don't know if they know about their dad yet.
    Wednesday, October 3rd, 2007
    11:04 pm
    Happy happy
    Oops, I haven't updated about the anniversary thing. I'll get to that pretty soon. Really.

    Just wanted to write about DZ's birthday, which was yesterday.

    Since B wasn't going to be here, he gave DZ a gift when we met him in Orlando.
    DZ had been eyeing a bunch of trick card decks for a long while but they were pretty pricey for cards. B ordered 6 or 7 different decks plus a special "flying card" trick and had them delivered to his hotel. DZ's eyes almost popped out of his head when he opened the package. It was a great surprise.

    And, as it turns out, a very fortunate choice of birthday present. Yesterday, I gave DZ the rest of his gifts. One is a computer game. The other is a Generation 3 iPod Nano. Ordinarily these would be deliriously wonderful. But DZ's computer has CRASHED. Yes, and no one knows what's wrong. DZ can't fix it, B couldn't fix it long-distance (usually he can, you know), and the computer repair place tried, returned it to us unfixed, and is trying again.
    Sooo, fortunately, DZ has the cards to practice on and fiddle with while he waits for his beloved computer.

    Yup, DZ is eighteen now. Today, he got onto my computer and filled out the online Selective Service form. Yikes.
    He's also printed up a voter registration form. Cool.

    Current Mood: chipper
    Current Music: Nightline story about commercialization of Paddington bear
    Monday, August 6th, 2007
    4:16 pm
    Stumped!
    ARG!

    It's official. B and I are the most boring people ever. We, together, cannot come up with a way to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary!

    If I'd read that from a friend, I would have laughed and teased them for weeks . . . or MORE.

    He's like, "well, would you like jewelry or something?" and I'm like, "no, stuff isn't good 'cause we should do something special together." But, since we already do fun stuff together whenever he can get time off of work, we are out of ideas.

    DZ told us to take a cruise. Yeah, he just wants the house all to himself. Heh!
    Besides, there isn't THAT kind of time.

    Nice dinner in nice restaurant . . . do that all the time.
    Trip to art/history/science museum . . . done that.
    Riding around/walking thru park/ midnight star-gazing . . . ditto on the done that category.
    Big fun shopping, shopping, shopping . . . only fun for me.
    Big fun going to the movies . . . only fun for him.
    Big party, lots of friends, food, fun . . . no, no, no.
    Motel, "toys", orgy . . . no, no, no.
    Lying about, yawning and scratching, in front of TV . . . I hope not!

    Just wanna have some fun together. Must think!

    Current Mood: hopeful
    Current Music: "Learning to Fly" - Pink Floyd (iTunes library)
    Saturday, July 7th, 2007
    11:36 am
    Frictionless
    Note to self: Do not wear sandals to the mall again. Where there is floor, and not carpet, you walk like a stilt-walker . . . only without the stilts. Wear sneakers for traction from now on!

    Picked up the above wisdom after traversing the mall simply looking for an alarm clock. DZ wanted a clock with a loud alarm. Not a radio or CD player or nature-sounds player or iPod station or weather radio.
    We'd checked Wal-Mart and Target before with no luck. Yesterday, we went to Best Buy. Nothing.
    Happily, after sliding around in Sears at the mall, we wandered to the Radio Shack and found clocks hidden away in a corner. DZ found one labeled SUPER-LOUD ALARM. It was. We got it.

    Current Mood: awake
    Current Music: DZ playing Oblivion (madmen, giant insects, heroic music)
    Friday, June 15th, 2007
    12:15 pm
    First step
    D is majoring in sequential art at SCAD.

    That includes storyboarding, illustrating, and comicking. That last one is the one D is most interested in. But the truth is, it's mighty hard to get into established comic book publishing (DC Comics, Marvel, etc.) There are some indie comic companies but, again, they offer very limited opportunities.
    D is also interested in concept design and she's hoping there are more classes (even a major?) on the subject at SCAD soon. But her first love is still comicking.

    Soooo, D is thinking of concentrating on web comics. She's very practically come up with the economics of comicking vs. web comics (no printing costs, for one thing). She explained many things to me that I have completely forgotten now. It was quite sensible and I wish I could reproduce it here. Bleh.

    Anyhoo, it really is possible to make a living at it, eventually. One big key is exposure. Most of the professional web comic artists get a booth at various comic cons (fan conventions) to spread the word about who they are and where to find them. Comic cons are also great places to shmooze with others in the business and take workshops.

    D has a great opportunity this weekend (!) to attend the HeroesCon. She's going to be helping out at the SCAD booth on all three days! What a great chance to get her feet wet before she actually has to do this sort of thing on her own. She got the invite from her professor, Tom Lyle. Duuuude.

    She's only required to work a three-hour shift each day, so she's free to take various workshops and to chat with people who are making a living doing what she wants to do. How cool is THAT?

    Current Mood: excited
    Current Music: Craft show on TV, making purses or something
    Tuesday, June 5th, 2007
    9:51 pm
    Dancin' time
    Went out shoe shopping with D and DZ. This is not a simple outing, folks. This the the combined challenges of finding a size that will fit on DZ's feet and finding a shoe (of the myriads which will EASILY fit D's feet) that D finds acceptable. Yesterday, at the mall, we checked 2 or 3 places. Nothing in DZ's size. Nothing that looked good enough for D.
    To be fair, I didn't care for most of the women's sneakers that were offered. Most were pink or pale yellow or bright white with pale Eastery green or other pastel colors. bleh.

    Tonight DZ suggested that we go out somewhere. It was 8:30. I looked up the local shoe warehouse-type place. They closed at 9:00. So we whisked off to look at the close-outs and odd-lots of shoes. Whaddaya know? D tried on two pairs of shoes. The first weren't comfy. The second were juuust right and cool-looking. I went over to the men's department. DZ tried on a pair that were not comfy. Then we found another pair and they were juuust right and cool-looking.
    And just like that, we were in and out in 15 minutes with a couple of pairs of shoes! D's were normally $69, down to $39. That's cheap for any good pair of shoes but these were Nike running/walking shoes. Too cool. And DZ's were New Balance, normally more than $100 (if you can even find size 15, which you can't) and we got them for $36!!! Oh, happy day!

    I'm going back later in the week when there's more time. I'll be looking for some summery shoes . . . sandals or slip ons or something different from the black sneakers I'm wearing everywhere now.

    More happy, happy, joy, joy - I got a new pair of jeans this afternoon, just like a pair I've already got, but this time, one size smaller. Sweet.

    Current Mood: chipper
    Current Music: Washer/dryer working hard in the background
    Saturday, June 2nd, 2007
    12:05 pm
    Finished
    Ahem.
    Well, instead of finishing up the month with a flourish and a bang, it sort of fizzled out, didn't it? But that's okay. I got tons done this month and it was actually fun doing it. In fact, I'm feeling a bit lost right now without all the planning and swirling possibilities to think about.

    Alright, on the last day of May I tossed 9 lbs. of trash and carried 16 lbs. of stuff to Goodwill. I put a new grill on the vent in the little bathroom, 'cause the old one was rusty.

    There was lots of clean-up, too. All the piddly little details got finished up on Thursday and yesterday. The hearth in the living room is now box-free. The top of the TV cabinet has been cleared of stray things. The spot on the floor in the LR, where I stuck things I wasn't sure what to do with, is now a clean spot on the floor and all the things have places. Etc., etc., etc. Result - a pretty decent presentation of the "new" house when D walked in last night! Whee!

    Now that she's back, I can also tell some secrets . . . DZ primed and painted an "accent" wall in the main bathroom. Now, instead of sickly peach, it's blue! And he's also primed all the upper "cabinets" in the kitchen. And the thing he put together for me (from UPS on the 24th) is a new, smaller dining table. Yay, I've got a table in the kitchen again! The bigger table that we already had has been transformed into a desk, for me!

    On the day that we shopped for fridges, we got a new fridge - stainless steel finish, black trim, with side-by-side doors and the ice and filtered water dispenser. Saving $40 a month now, not having to buy the bottled water.

    Finally, B replaced our old computer and now we've got an iMac! Yowza, this thing is quiet. No fan, no big CPU tower, no spaghetti of wires everywhere.

    Photos will come, but the problem with switching from Microsoft stuff to Apple is that I can't use Paintshop Pro to do my photos right now and I'm trying to learn this new thing.

    So, there you have the May Makeover. Good fun!

    Current Mood: chipper
    Current Music: "Don't Fear the Reaper" - Blue Oyster Cult (iTunes library)
    Wednesday, May 30th, 2007
    11:24 pm
    Big stuff and nit-picking
    Been majorly purging yesterday and today.

    Carried 43 lbs. of stuff to Goodwill. Also our old Pioneer stereo cabinet. You know the kind where the turntable goes on top and underneath is a cabinet, with shelves, and a glass door (with magnetic clasp) over it all? We used to have the tuner and graphic equalizer and dual cassette player all hooked up to huge speakers. It's all long gone but I've been keeping the cabinet as a sort of storage place in my walk-in closet. But now the stereo tower cabinet (50 lbs.) is gone, too.

    DZ tinkered with the fluorescent light over the sink, we got new bulbs, and now it works! It hadn't worked in about a year, maybe two.

    Went out and bought some fabric to make a wall hanging for the living room. We'll see how that works out. 'Tis bright and orange-y.

    Other time-consuming activity - finding places for things. In order to keep the place looking nice for a long time, I need to create actual places for things and KEEP THEM THERE . . . the ol' place for everything and everything in its place idea. Whew. When you're used to just knowing where stuff is by the pile it's in, this is a big job.

    Current Mood: busy
    Monday, May 28th, 2007
    11:22 pm
    Relaxing, with cats
    Okay, slow start in this zone.

    *Put new drawer pulls and knobs on drawers/cabinets in the kitchen and main bathroom.
    *Tossed another 11 lbs. of trash, this time from my room, and boxed some things for Goodwill.
    *Puttered around in D's room and carried a few boxes of stuff out of there (my stuff).
    *Picked up shredded paper. Yes, Puddin' and Boo crashed into my shredder and made it snow. The shredder doesn't make long shreds of easily gathered paper. No, it makes millions of paper diamonds that are juuuust big enough so that the vacuum cleaner won't easily slurp them up.

    Current Mood: determined
    Current Music: Dishwasher - whirr, slosh, splish, hummm
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