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It's been quite a month

Sep. 22nd, 2007 | 08:53 pm
location: Sauk Centre, Minnesota
mood: okayokay
music: traffic outside, and my teenage daughter talking to #2 daughter

#2 daughter isn't having the best of times. She's at college, and on top of all the rest of the pressure, the daughter of one of her professors is paralyzed.

My understanding is that she was dosed with a date-rape drug. She wasn't raped, possibly because the alleged human being who drugged her panicked.

Paralyzed, it's unknown whether she'll recover.

Wonderful.

#2 daughter seems to be taking it fairly well, happily.

Aside from that, and #1 daughter being without a regular job, and me well into my second year of being laid off, and the microscopic small business I've got not taking off quickly, and having a teenage daughter and having a son who's going to be a teenager soon, I'm doing fine!

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It's been quite a month

Sep. 22nd, 2007 | 08:31 pm
location: Earth

I'm back, for a short while. I see I've got messages, so after attending to those, I'll be back with a micropost.

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Interesting Times for #1 Daughter

Aug. 28th, 2007 | 06:02 pm
location: Sauk Centre, Minnesota
mood: anxiousanxious

Our #1 (oldest) daughter moved into an apartment in another town yesterday, and started her first day on the job.

Today, she learned that although her new employer reported that quite a few positive adjectives apply to her, she's not a good match for the job.

We knew that the job was a temporary one, but we'd assumed that it would last until the end of the year.

I'll be following her progress with considerable interest.

(For those of you who may be curious: don't let the calm tone of this post fool you. Inside, I'm screaming.)

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Kids Moving Out, New Hot Water Heater, And Street Repairs

Aug. 23rd, 2007 | 05:28 pm
location: Sauk Centre, Minnesota
mood: anxiousanxious

I haven't been bored since my wife and I got married and started this family. This week has been less boring than usual.

My wife and the kids were in Alexandria, about 20 miles (32 KM or so) up the road, most of the afternoon, checking out apartments for our oldest. It's exciting times at this household right now.

#1 daughter has a job, and is moving out this weekend.

#2 daughter is going back to college this weekend.

Thankfully, #3 daughter and #1 son aren't going through anything quite so major right now: just back-to-school stuff.

Which isn't exactly minor, except in comparison with those moves.

Meanwhile, the household has a new water heater. That should fix the issues of having hot water for washing, and not having a funny taste in the water. Also, that puddle in the basement won't be around now.

That's mostly good news, but of course it cost money.

The street maintenance planned for later this year will, too. It's needed, even overdue, and they're going to work on the water mains and sewers. More good news. Just one problem: someone will have to pay for it.

I know the local paper wasn't trying for laughs, but I thought this was funny - "water main and sanitary sewer improvements will not be assessed against residential property owners with the city picking up the cost."

True. Property owners aren't assessed directly. But we pay, directly or indirectly, for all the revenue that the city picks up from taxes and fees.

On top of that, There's an average of $8,400 that every household on Ash Street will get to pay for having the street torn up. I'm not complaining. It has to be done.

But thinking about that, and a layoff that's into its second year, and a tiny business that isn't quite off the ground yet, is giving me the heebie-jeebies.

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Beware! Harry Potter Book Coming!

Aug. 21st, 2007 | 10:12 pm
location: Sauk Centre, Minnesota
mood: amusedamused

My oldest daughter warned me to "prepare yourself for blood and gore all over the house.... The latest Harry Potter book is in, at the library."

When we get our hands on a copy, it's going to be exciting times in this house.

I plan to spend a great deal of time on the computer.

Update

And, just after I keyed that in, my oldest daughter returned from the library.

Just inside the door, she called out a request that she not be hurt. She didn't have the Harry Potter book.

The librarian had said that her sister had picked it up, along with the rest of what the family had requested.

I think the daughter who picked the book up will have some explaining to do, when she gets home.

Right now, she's at "cousin camp," over at grandpa's. There's only one cousin there at this point. Some sort of bug is keeping at least one away. Despite the name, it isn't anything like camping: more of a get-together-with-grandpa event.

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It Could Have Been Worse: Big Wind in Small Town

Aug. 13th, 2007 | 12:33 am
location: Sauk Centre, Minnesota
mood: sleepysleepy

Very early Saturday morning, I heard something that sounded like a huge garbage can being kicked. We were having a fairly exciting storm at the time.

Nobody was hurt, but a car dealership about a thousand feet away had a roof segment peeled off. Part of it landed down the street from us. I posted pictures over on "Last Night's Storm: It Could Have Been Worse" - a blog I maintain.

Aside from that, it was a pretty ordinary weekend.

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Bridge Disaster in Minnesota's Twin Cities

Aug. 2nd, 2007 | 12:19 pm
location: Minnesota
mood: thoughtfulthoughtful

The I-35W bridge over the Mississippi River collapsed yesterday, about 6:05 pm local time. It could have been worse, but it's a terrible disaster.

A school bus with 60 kids on board went down with one of the spans. The bus landed on its wheels, the kids disembarked, with some help, and some of them were hospitalized. Briefly. I've heard that they're all back with their folks, and in pretty good shape, considering the circumstances.

"Minnesota Nice" seems to have been the theme for the aftermath. U of M, Minneapolis, students came out of the nearby dorms to help, as did most others within earshot of the event.

My wife made a quick check when we heard what had happened. All of the extended family who might have been in the vicinity have been accounted for, and missed the excitement. I doubt they're sorry about that.

There a lot of hurting people in this area. I posted some online and toll-free contacts for how to help with blood donations in yesterday's Sauk Centre Journal entry.

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Ants!

Aug. 2nd, 2007 | 12:14 pm
mood: amusedamused

We've got ants this summer, again.

Little ones, tiny, smaller-than-a-breadcrumb things that just keep coming!

One of my kids reports that my wife, having cleared out the space under the kitchen sink, was sitting in front of the open door, with a flashlight, staring into the open space.

"Making battle plans against the ants?" she asked.

"Oh, yeah!" was the reply.

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(no subject)

Jul. 25th, 2007 | 11:28 am
location: Minnesota
mood: dubious

What a surprise? The news says, "MySpace.com has found more than 29,000 registered sex offenders" on their "social" networking site.

MySpace refused to share information about who was using their service, the usual "privacy" stuff, until May. That's when at least two states started legal action.

I've got a MySpace account. I think that they're actually trying to make some sort of change.

Starting in May, I started getting fewer 'hi, wanna see me naked?' messages and "friends" requests from improbably hot-to-trot dudettes.

Aside from the extreme improbability of someone looking like that being interested in an overweight, fifty-something, balding guy in any other than a professional capacity, the hotties used a limited number of ID photos and names, and they didn't match up consistently.

But, as I said, there's been less of that on MySpace lately. They've even eased up on their pornographic advertisements.

"Kudos MySpace?" Well, no: but at least they're making a good show of getting legit.

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Move Over Paris, Here Comes Lindsay

Jul. 24th, 2007 | 09:12 am
mood: annoyedannoyed

Looks like Lindsay Lohan is due for a third appointment at one of the better "rehab" spots: tears optional.

Just because she was chasing another vehicle in her SUV, with booze in her blood and snow in her pocket.

The real story, I think, is that the anklet that was supposed to check on her sobriety doesn't seem to have worked quite as well as hoped. In fact, the company that monitors the bracelet was surprised to learn that she had been arrested.

It is, of course, a sad day when one of this nation's leading citizens gets arrested for DUI and cocaine possession. Again.

Ms. Lohan apparently was chasing another vehicle in her SUV when authorities pulled her over and discovered that she wasn't driving so much as flying. To be fair, it's possible that she was in an enthusiastic caravan, headed from one party to another: although a interview with a police officer indicates that the lead vehicle called police for help, indicating that an unknown vehicle was chasing the lead vehicle. Also, that Ms. Lohan and the lead vehicle's driver were in a headed argument when police arrived.

It is an even sadder thought that Ms. Lohan, Ms. Hilton, Mr. Vick, and Mr. Kobe Bryant in fact are considered to be among this nation's leading citizens.

It's only a few hours after Ms. Lohan's arrest: I suspect that it will be a little later today, when commentators start discussing how disturbing it is when a role model and example for so many young people has exhibited behavior which may not be entirely appropriate.

Maybe this is bragging, but when I asked some of my kids whether Paris Hilton was a role model, I got very odd looks before being told what a dumb question it was.

I'm told that Lindsay Lohan has a decent singing voice, and has made recordings. At the very least, I hope she considers what booze and drugs are likely to do to her vocal cords.

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