Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Nothin'... waking up at 3:14am and having a toddler, under gastrointestinal distress, upchuck all over your arm and down your side. Today we're experiencing some of the joys of parenting and CP was even nice enough to pass a little bit of her fun and games on to me. The tiny slobbery smooches were worth it though.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Sleep Number

This past weekend, the LW and I struck out on a mattress and pillow hunt. The pillows were relatively easy to find. The Sears right down the way had a 2 for 1 gig going on and we got some nice pillows for what they probably should cost anyway. Little did I know however, what a dramatic effect this would have on the way that most of my torso now feels when I wake up. If you'd told me that just getting a pillow that will support my head properly when sidelying would have made my neck feel this much better, I'd have suggested that you put the crack pipe down.

We both picked up a little bit of comfort, but a little bit of worry came with it. While we were at the store (cavernous department type), CP decided that she would run around and hide from us. Yayyy! Just what I wanted to do was to be "that guy" walking the isles of a store trying desperately to find my runaway progeny. Evidently she thought that it would be cool to disobey her mother's order to stop and instead head out of the area at high speed. This wouldn't be a problem at Costco or something that's laid out on a grid, but this was the home decor/curtains/bed pillows area of the store where everything is everywhere. She quickly found her way into a back hallway and through an open door into the stock/warehouse area. Just as we were about to get really wound up, a kind store employee came out of this area with her. All of this took place in about 45 seconds, but I think that I shed a few years off of my life in that store.

After this, we were off in search of a new mattress. A friend of ours works at a furniture place, so we shopped around a little before buying one from him. We found out later that all of the folks in there selling furniture work for 100% commission. On selling our bed, he made $4. What a bite in the arse. The LW and I found out that our coil spring sleep number is 380 + 8.1%. Geez, I hate to part with that much money for a mattress, but we need some really good sleep and I think that this will help. We'll know more on Friday morning....early.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Stop Loss & Taxes

Paying quarterly sales taxes and city taxes today. Fun stuff. AZ has a website that allows you to file online and pay online as well. It's pretty simple as long as you have your online sales stuff setup correctly. Photoreflect has a page where you set up your taxes and stuff, but if you let it, it will collect taxes for every county and municipality in your state - not what I want for basically point of sale stuff here in my town. Folks will argue, like I did down at city hall, that the photos are purchased from the web and shouldn't be taxed, but when it comes down to it, the photos are being paid for here in town from me and printed locally, so I'll pay, support the good and the bad that come from my little bit of tax revenue and go on.

The war stuff topic came up when I was back in AR with the parents. They said that they had recently seen a movie called "Stop Loss". They couldn't believe that the military could actually do something like that. When they told me this I just sat there for a minute...stunned. I couldn't believe that after what's heading into a decade of the wore on turror, they had no idea that this was and had been happening. Heck, I was worried about that crap happening to me in the first gulf war debacle. They argued that I could go into downtown Durrrdanelle and stand on a corner asking people if they'd heard of it and that my percentages of positive answers would be really low. All of this from pretty smart people who have a "Support Our Troops" magnetic sticker on their over-sized SUV. They also mentioned seeing "Rendition", and couldn't believe that stuff either. I think that I asked them if they'd been under a fkn rock, then (again) told them to turn off Fox News.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Home Again

The recent trip to Arkansas went pretty well. We stretched the driving into two days on the way there instead of the usual two. It was a bit tough in the last hours with CP, but not too bad. We didn't have to stop on the side of the road anywhere and put on boxing gloves and that was a plus. This trip started out a little rough with all of the car parts and maintenance stuff. I was unsure about what a 100k mile cam and lifters set were supposed to look like and the fuel injection timing was a little goofy. The injection timing was well within specs though, so off we went.

We found New Mexico to be just as dirty and filled with strange folks as the last time we went through there. With a 600 mile fuel range, food and bladder space were our only limiting factors. Texas and Oklahoma were equally dirty and filled with strange folks, but Oklahoma took the prize for overall nastiness by a slim margin. We pulled in to what appeared to be a brand new pizza place in Okema to use the restrooms since we were traveling with a newly potty trained toddler - it was worse than some truck stops that I've seen - disgusting. (for reference for those who don't know me, I was in the Navy for six years and I've seen some really awful toilets..and countries that seemed to be just one big toilet.) After rolling back and forth through Oklahoma a couple of times, we figured that it must be really hard to get any kind of service employee - especially janitorial service folks.

We made it to Grandee's just after they had arrived home with CP's cousins from Kansas City. They were all happy to see each other and we were glad to be out of the car after 25 hours. We had a wonderful few days with just my folks and the cousins. It was good fun with play and pool time in abundance. My brother's kids are growing up fast and it was a joy to see how they are as little people. By Thursday, folks started showing up from all over. We got to hang out with relatives that we haven't seen forever and some that the LW has never met. My folks had a house full of people, but managed to keep everything running along smoothly. We visited and just got to be. Of course, my dad, in keeping with his genetic heritage, repeated the same stories several times (without the benefit of volume feedback from a hearing aid), but we all just smiled and nodded...again. My brother took all of the kids to the new pool up on Mt. Nebo and it was a big hit. There were some tired kids that night.

The day after we made it there, the LW went out to take the car over to the library at Arkansas Tech. Wouldn't you know, it wouldn't start. I started sweatin' about this, and literally too because it was 104 degrees by noon and 75% humidity. My dad and I started checking things over and I was worried about the timing. I did some reading on the web, which is a chore on dialup, and found that the o-rings on the TDI's diesel filter can leak air after a while and cause all kinds of crazy problems. Well, the filters that I buy, don't usually come with new o-rings, but that will change soon. Luckily, the OReilly auto parts place there actually had one of the filters in stock with the o-rings. After that, it was running like a top, but we adjusted the timing anyway. Later, I installed the Panzer skid plate (aka JackRabbit deflector) for the trip home.

In a blink, it was time for everyone to head home, and for us to begin the long trip back to Tucson. It was a good time, but maybe next time we'll head there when it's cool and the leaves are changing colors. On the way home, we split the trip up into three days and CP had a much easier go of it. We learned that if needed, she can handle a 13 hour day in the car with us and that she's good for 120-150 miles between potty stops. Also, the car got 44 mpg on the way out and roughly 48 mpg on the way back. P.S. If you're ever in Shamrock, TX, don't stop at the Dairy Queen won't treat you right.