Wednesday, December 28, 2011

I'm Not Bribing These People, I Promise

This is becoming a rather regular phenomena. I'm not sure whether to be disturbed or comforted. I opened up Blogger to start working on my yearly homage to The Queen's moment of weakness in deciding to marry me; and, lo and behold, there's another shiny, new, official follower there on the dashboard waiting for me. Number 46 if Blogger is to be believed. It gives me great pleasure to welcome Odysseus from the blog By Other Means. Odysseus, thank you for taking the time to publicly shame yourself by following my little corner of insanity. I don't promise to be good or regular or consistent, but I just might succeed in putting a rational thought together once in a while.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Am I Giving Away Cash or Something?

A quick check of the blog this morning reveals another new follower. Officially, number 45 in the follower list goes to txmuziklover. Based on his profile, it does not appear that he has a blog of his own. Txmuziklover, if that is incorrect or changes in the future, let me know and I will update the rest of the congregation. In the meantime, thank you for taking the time to follow my humble home on the internet. Welcome, I hope you enjoy.

Correction from the comments:

Our new follower is The Impulsive Texan from the blog of the same name. Follow the link for more.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

More New Follower Goodness

I just pulled up Blogger for a little stat counter nosiness and discovered a slight uptick in the number of followers. With the addition of HH, the congregation of official followers is now up to 44 (although there are 50 something of you as subscribers if Google Reader is to be believed). HH does not appear to have an active blog at this time. If that changes in the future HH, let me know and I'll be sure to update things accordingly. In the meantime, welcome. Enjoy and comment to your heart's content. Just don't touch the pie in the fridge. You have no idea how much shaming and guilting of a certain niece it took to get that pie.

Update: HH stands for Heroditus Huxley, and HH's blog is A quick perusal suggest that HH's corner of the blogosphere is right up my alley. You might find it interesting as well. 

Sunday, December 18, 2011

She's a Genius

So, I was sharing some quality time with M&M whilst feeding her a bottle earlier this evening. For a we little tyke just shy of eight pounds, she chugs formula down like college freshman fraternity pledges guzzle down cheap beer. She farts and belches like one too. I am convinced she's smarter than your average fraternity pledge by at least an order of magnitude.

At any rate, I took the opportunity of our little mealtime one on one to discuss the finer points of Major League Baseball and last years World Series with M&M. The conversation went something like this.

Me: So, how about them Rangers?

M&M: [suck, suck, suck...] URP!

Me: I suppose you're right. Their performance in the series sucked so bad it would make me want to spit up too. So, do you think they have a chance at winning next year and avoiding the stigma of becoming the Buffalo Bills of baseball?

M&M: [fart]

Me: Yep, I think I have to agree. Their chances definitely stink. 

I think she's got a great future as a sports or political commentator. What do you think?

In other news, The Queen and I shared a tearful moment earlier this evening while out shopping. We were making our semi monthly, post paycheck pilgrimage to Whole Foods to stock up on food. Along the way, we stopped off at a thrift store The Queen frequents to see if a "baby coat" could be located for M&M as "The Rules" requires to have one for her. I question the wisdom of these rules given the fact that newborns spend 95% of their time swaddled in onesies and blankets. The remainder of their time is spent stark naked getting their butt wiped mid diaper change. 

While on the subject of diaper changes, if anyone can come up with a diaper changing gizmo sort of like a mechanical bidet that hoses them off, drys them and stuffs them into a new nappie, I'd be standing in line with cash.

Any stinky digression, while at the thift store, The Queen found a CD for the soundtrack to the movie Prince of Egypt. The Queen and I are suckers for animated movies. The fact that Prince of Egypt was a more or less Biblically based movie was a bonus. We even chose the song "When You Believe" as the song we had our first dance to at our wedding. I could have lived without Whitney and Mariah moaning throughout the song, but it's still a good song nonetheless. So, we get back in the car and pop the CD in to have a listen and see how M&M responds. 

Then it happens. I start getting all teary eyed. I'm serious. I turned into a little puddle of sappiness. There are maple trees in Canada less sappy than me at that moment. The Queen looks at me all concerns and asks what's wrong. I choked out something to the affect that the CD is a perfect soundtrack to M&M's situation. The Queen asked what I meant, and I said that the story of Moses is one of adoption. The song "When You Believe" is all about faith and miracles. Then The Queen starts crying. Tears of joy I assure you.

M&M is our little miracle delivered through faith. I thank God for her everyday.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Super Secret Special News

It’s official. I can finally discuss the super secret special news that has been in the works. Since I have a very smart and astute group of readers, I doubt this news will come as much of a surprise to you all. But, at least now I can pay off the hints I’ve been dropping here and there.

For the last month, I have been in the interview process for what turned out to be an extremely selective company. Today, I received and accepted what I can only describe as an incredible offer. I was selected over 25 other applicants that have been invited to go through the process since May. That should tell you a little about how seriously this company has taken the hiring process.

The process started for me a month ago when I received a call out of the blue from a recruiter I’ve talked to a couple of times over the years. He had seen my resume posted on an industry job posting website which had been posted several years ago when I was trying to get a job back in Dallas to be back with The Queen during the darkest days of the mystery illness. We chatted for a bit, and he asked how things were going. I brought him up to speed on my world, and he mentioned that he was working on something but that I sounded pretty comfortable where I was. I almost shot the job down out of hand when the recruiter mentioned a certain type of claims that are anathema to me being involved with the job. Fortunately, further discussion revealed that those certain claims were a relatively small part of the job.

Anyway, the more we talked, the more interesting the opportunity became. I agreed to have the recruiter submit my resume to the company. They got back with me almost immediately to schedule an interview for the following week. From there, things have been moving remarkably fast for this type of position.

There some odd yet interesting highlights to the process. One was the spelling test. This company has institutionalized a spelling test as part of the hiring process. Basically, it’s one sheet of paper with about a 100 words on it. You have to circle the misspelled words. Apparently, if you do not do well on that small task, you don’t get to the next phase. I was told that it is amazing how many “well qualified” people do not pass the test. I was also told that I scored a 98 which has me puzzling over which two words I missed.

The other was the psychological evaluation which I mentioned previously. After the initial interview, I had to complete a battery of online assessments before meeting with psychologist in person. The battery of tests was intense. It seriously felt like I was taking the GRE and LSAT all at once. The in person interview with the psychologist was easy by comparison.

Yesterday was the final interview; and, at the end of the interview, the VP of claims and the CEO of the company said they were definitely interested in my and would get back to me with an offer ASAP. The offer arrived via email this morning; and, after a series of phone calls, we were able to come to some very agreeable terms.

So, what will I be doing? My official title will be claim consultant which is the same title I currently work under; however, the two positions are worlds apart. At my current company, a claim consultant is a frontline claims adjuster who handles claims and nothing else. At the new company, a claim consultant is part claims adjuster, part home office oversight for third party administrators and part account manager. The new company is also much smaller than my current company which means flatter management (my boss will be the VP of claims who reports to the CEO), less bureaucracy, more responsibility, etc. After the past six years with a large (30,000+ employees), old company with a huge, distant, entrenched bureaucracy, being able to literally walk down the hall and talk with the CEO to get a decision is huge for me.

Did I mention I will get my own private office with a nice view?

There is a fairly heavy, nationwide travel requirement with the new position, and one of their conditions for offering the job was that they expected me to leave law school behind. That condition alone led to several late night discussions with The Queen. We ultimately decided that I would agree to leave law school if the job were offered for several reasons. First, law school and becoming a lawyer were never “The Dream”. At most, it was a means of moving forward to make The Dream possible. Second, the money involved with this job is good enough that we will be able to get out of debt much sooner than we would have otherwise (as opposed to going further into debt with student loans). If I hate the job or the people (both unlikely after the process I’ve been through), I can stomach it long enough to save some cash back to make going back to school less of a burden. Third, I really didn’t comprehend how difficult working full time and going to law school was going to be. It really was too much. I had too many late nights. Work was suffering, school work and study weren’t as good as they could have been, and I really wasn’t able to give everything to The Queen that she deserved. If I could go to school full time and do nothing else, that would be one thing. As it is, I could probably do it, but at what cost?

With the family rapidly expanding, the money was a major factor in the decision as well. The company said they wanted the very best people and compensates them accordingly. I will tell you that the money is well above average for the industry. To give you an idea, my salary was already above average for the company I’m with (and the industry for what I do) because I was allowed to keep my supervisor’s salary when I stepped down to move back home and take care of The Queen. The new company is offering a very nice pay increase (in the double digits by percentage) with a significant signing bonus which makes for a pretty big incentive to make a change.

I wish I could say that I have mixed feelings about the whole thing, but I really don’t. I’m too excited about the new position, the people I’ll be working with and what it means for The Queen and our growing little family to be anything but happy.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

New Nickname

The Queen, M&M and I had our first visit from the adoption agency caseworker last night. Everything went well. I was able to confirm that there is no harm in sharing basic information about the child via social media (i.e. you guys). So, it pleases me no end to tell you all that M&M is a happy and contented little girl. It took me all of two seconds to become attached to the little angel after she snuggled up on my chest and went to sleep.

I still can't share photos which really stinks because I've got some good ones. For now, you'll just have to settle for this photo with Spanky McCloud serving as M&M's stunt double.

Speaking of Spanky and M&M, Spanky was not real sure what M&M was at first. I think he was concerned that he might be replaced. At first, he wouldn't go anywhere near M&M. Then he'd be extra rambunctious like he was performing or auditioning to keep his job as resident cute thing and attention whore. Finally, he jumped up on the bed where M&M was temporarily sacked out and gave her a tentative sniff from a near her feet. Then he moved around to where her head was, laid down within paw's reach and gently reached out to touch her head with his paw. I have a photo of that and will share it when I can.

The Queen has a better story about bath time. Unfortunately, we don't have photos or video of this one. The Queen gave M&M her first bath at our house. Spanky decided to come check things out. He put his front paws on the edge of the basis where M&M was being bathed, reached out to touch her head and then licked his paw where he had just touched her. He did that a couple of times according to The Queen. We're not sure if he was trying to help bath her or find out what she tastes like. Next time bath time rolls around, I'll be standing by with the camera.

Finally, the punch line of the post title. The Queen has now bestowed a new title upon your humble Shepherd. I now bear the official title of Daddy Hawk. Apparently, The Queen has been immensely impressed with how I've responded to M&M and fatherhood (especially considering my lack of parenting experience prior to M&M's arrival in comparison with The Queen's vast experience with caring for children from her days as a nanny). She's commented to others about how I've been very attentive, watchful and protective of M&M. So, she started referring to me as Daddy Hawk. 

I like it. I can see it now: M&M comes home from school all sad because some boy teased her, and I will get to say, "Aw, sweetheart, which little boy does Daddy Hawk have to go kill and make it all better?" Come to think of it, I might just have to get the grips on the 1911 I plan on buying engraved with "Daddy Hawk".

To all the little boys in the neighborhood, don't even think about it. Daddy Hawk is well armed and he's watching you.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Baby Update

Well, dear readers, the baby and freshly minted foster parents survived their first night together. All indications are good that tonight will be successful as well.

I promised more to follow, and I intend to give you just as much detail as I can. Since the little one (the child’s nickname from this point forward will be M&M – a play on the initials of the first and middle names we selected should we be allowed to adopt) is a ward of the state and we are merely the caregivers (for the time being), I am limited by law and contract in what I can do with and say about M&M.

One of the main things I can’t do is post photographs. It has to do with the privacy and protection of the child. I am not sure how a parent whose child has been taken away would find a photograph of their child if all identifying information had been left off, but supposedly it happens. We are allowed to take photos for personal use (and we have). If we are fortunate enough to be allowed to formally adopt M&M, we will be free to share everything then.

Anyway, back to the story telling. Friday started out normally enough. I trudged my way past traffic caused by a two cat pile up in the hallway, let the dogs out and settled into my morning routine. I had a conference call/webinar for a refresher course on handling claims involving Medicare liens (snoozer…hit mute and continue working) that started at 1:00 PM. About ten or 15 minutes into the call, I heard The Queen’s booted footsteps running across the kitchen through the pantry and into the TV room outside my office. She came to a skidding halt when she saw my headset on which is her signal that I am busy at work and to wait for my attention. Since she doesn’t normally run across the house to get my attention, she got it fairly quickly.

Once I confirmed that I was muted, I turned around as my desk chair faces away from the door so I can look out the window into the back yard. The Queen blurted out, “Renee [our adoption coordinator] just called. They have a three week old baby, and CPS is on their way over here now with the baby.” I had the mental equivalent of the record player needle being dragged across the record when my brain completely locked up. The Queen continued, “I need help to get the house ready. They’ll be here in about an hour.” I allowed as how I was tied up with the conference call and would come assist as soon as I was free. It took me a few minutes for my brain to process things and realize that 1) we had just received our first foster child placement, 2) the child was en route to the house right then and there, 3) The Queen needed help, and 4) everything else was unimportant and could wait until later. Once my brain had finished catching up with reality, I confirmed with the training coordinator that the power point materials would be distributed via email. With that done, I hung up and walked away from the desk to assist The Queen in the whirlwind cleaning of the house.

We finished with plenty of time to spare. As it turns out, the CPS caseworker was running behind schedule due to traffic and bad directions. Once we got her pointed in the right direction, it was only five minutes or so before they would arrive. I couldn’t stand it any longer, and I dragged The Queen outside to wait on the front porch for M&M to arrive with the CPS caseworker. I felt it important that we show CPS that we were excited and eager for M&M’s arrival.

They pulled into the driveway a little after 3:00 PM, and The Queen and I all but said, “Gimme, gimme, gimme.” when the nice caseworker lady stepped out of her car. She opened the car door to get M&M. I immediately offered to take the baby carrier, and we escorted everyone into the house. Once inside, we got our first look at M&M. Absolutely the most precious child I have ever laid eyes on. And tiny too. M&M was born prematurely, and technically should not even be born yet today. Ready or not, M&M is here now. We signed some mercifully brief paperwork with the caseworker, asked a few questions and unloaded M&M’s horde of possessions.

This was totally unexpected and, as the caseworker confirmed, very unusual. Normally, when you get a placement of a foster child, you are lucky to get any clothing or belongings. In our foster parent training, we were told to expect to have to make a run to the store for clothes, diapers, formula, etc. Not so with M&M. M&M came loaded for bear complete with brand new car seat, play pen, clothes, five bags of preemie diapers, blankets, and cases of special preemie formula which is being downed at a prodigious rate. The Queen had found a great deal a few weeks ago on a new stroller which mates up perfectly with the car seat. So, that was already here and ready to go along with the crib that my sister…the devil had used for my nieces which had been stored at Mimi’s house for the past twelve years or so. Topped off with a new, mattress obtained by The Queen, and we were set for kiddos.

After the CPS worker left at about 3:45 or 4:00, we started trying to figure out the game plan for the evening. We debated going to the store for some things, but decided we wanted to introduce M&M to the family right away. The Queen wanted to surprise her parents. So, the plan was that we would just show up unannounced. I called my mom and dad to let them know. Mom wanted to come to us, but we told her we would come her way since it was more or less in the direction we needed to go for The Queen’s folks. There was a little confusion and miscommunication on the exact order of the visits, but we got that sorted out in short order. Everyone in the immediate family except for my dad has seen M&M, and dad is planning on coming by tomorrow for a visit.

The Queen and I got home late Friday night and made a quick snack while we got M&M fed, changed and put to bed. We were told to expect the child to sleep about four or five hours. M&M had other ideas. I had first shift and got up about two and half hours after going to sleep. If you want to call it sleep. After five years of dealing with The Queen’s mystery illness, I am an attentive sleeper when caretaking is required. I spent most of my sleep time listening for M&M to see if there was any distress since we hadn’t really had any time yet to get to learn M&M’s normal sounds. Feedings and diaper changes went smoothly through the night. M&M has a good appetite and no obstructions on the used formula end of the equation.

We now know quite a bit more about M&M’s situation than we did yesterday when CPS left the house as we found M&M’s hospital records in the bag o’ stuff we received from CPS. I was not amused to find out that some of the things we were told were flat out wrong, whether by design, omission or human error. Some of those things are mildly concerning as they have a potential impact on M&M’s future health. Some of those things deal with actions and attitudes of certain blood relations of M&M’s. Those little nuggets of information are the reason I am withholding some potentially identifying information such as date of birth, gender, ethnicity, etc. because there is a real need to protect M&M under the circumstances. However, none of those little factoids are M&M’s fault and don’t change my feelings toward the baby in the slightest.

For now, I am comforted to know (and I hope it will comfort you all as well) that M&M is in overall healthy condition considering the premature birth and some of the attendant circumstances leading to the premature birth. Neurological and septic issues have been ruled out. Respiration is good. There is an intermittent cardiac issue which will be monitored over the next couple of months. Hearing checked out normal. Vision appears to be okay. Eating and elimination are functioning properly as indicated earlier. M&M’s diet will have to be monitored and adjusted for the near term which is normal for preemies from what I understand. We are required by law and contract to have a doctor’s appointment scheduled within the first thirty days regardless.

So, what’s next?

According to the paperwork, CPS expects M&M to be in foster care for one year. It is possible that it could be less or more. Much depends on the birth parents actions over the next month or two as to which way that will go. If the birth parents voluntarily terminate their rights, The Queen and I would be eligible to adopt M&M after the child has been in our home for no less than six months starting from Friday. In the meantime, CPS will proceed with attempts to reunite the child with the birth family. The first step in that process is a supervised visit at the CPS offices. If the parents are a no show, additional efforts are made. However, each no show by the parents or failure to comply with the care plan (including parenting classes and other requirements depending on circumstances) makes it more and more likely that CPS will move to have parental rights terminated involuntarily. Once their rights are terminated, M&M would be available for adoption.

Though not guaranteed, it is our understanding that The Queen and I, as the foster parents, would have right of first refusal if there were no other blood relatives interested in taking the child. We have been told that there are no other blood relatives in the picture. That may change.

In the meantime, we are going to enjoy every moment we have with M&M who, so far, has been an absolute angel. This child does not fuss. Being held, lying down, riding in the car, being passed around in the musical family members game, getting a bath…doesn’t matter. The kid is as content and even tempered as any child I’ve seen. This too may change, but I hope not.

That’s it for now. I need to get a cat nap before coming back on duty at 4:15. Y’all play nice while I snooze.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

New Follower #43

In addition to the baby in the house, I awoke to discover another new follower. Welcome, Crex. I apologize for the brevity of the welcome this morning, but we didn't get much sleep last night. If you have a blog you would like me to link to, drop me a comment and I'll fix things up on an update.

Friday, December 9, 2011


As I type, there is a three week old baby in my arms and tears of joy in my eyes. More to follow.

That New Follower Smell

I am up late playing Words With Friends against my niece JuJu, The Queen and my sister...the devil, and I took a moment between turns to check out blogger and discovered a new follower hiding on the dashboard much to my surprise. Even though I now know how people find their way here (usually via other blogs), it still amazes me that people find my musings interesting enough to publicly associate themselves with my little corner of the internet. 

At any rate, I'd like to give a warm welcome to Country Life Dreams (or maybe The Agrarian Homesteader...not sure exactly which) to the congregation. It does not appear that CLD (I hope you don't mind the abbreviation...if you don't, let me know) has a blog of his or her own. If that's not correct, I hope they will let me know in the comments so I can correct that. In the meantime, enjoy the show. There's bound to be a train wreck sooner or later.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Entertainment Weekly

As The Queen will attest were she to take an interest in this blog after encouraging this outlet for my creativity, I am the last person you would ever want to ask about anything related to the entertainment industry. I could not care less which celebrity is being arrested for molesting doorknobs while driving under the influence of Chihuahua flatulence this week. I stepped off the "I give a flying flip at a rolling donut" pop culture bus sometime in the '90s and haven't really missed it. 

Don't get me wrong, I still enjoy watching television and movies. I can normally identify major actors and their significant filmography without too much stuttering and "What's his name again?" I'm just not emotionally invested in the people or the goings on of Hollywood beyond the characters they portray. To borrow a phrase from another blogger (Jennifer...I think), just shut up and dance monkey.

So, for me to actually feel like something from the entertainment world is important enough to waste time and pixels to comment on should say something. The reason for this detour into gossip columnist territory is the Discovery show Sons of Guns. 

SOG ended last season with a cliff hanger.  The show's comic relief and heir apparent to the title of chief monkey, Kris Ford, was seen asking permission to date the boss' daughter, Stephanie. Without getting into the dynamic of fishing off the company pier for a moment or the attractiveness of Ms. Stephanie, let's examine the a) lack of gray matter between Kris' ears, or b) the size and composition of his family jewels. He asked his BOSS, a retired MARINE and maker of some serious WEAPONRY with access to untold acres of SWAMPLAND in which to HIDE a body, if he can date the BOSSman's daughter who is a gun nut in her own right. Either there is a "for rent" sign occupying the space inside Kris's skull or he has titanium armored, depleted uranium core cajones living in his boxers. 

After having watched all episodes of the show so far, I would have to say that Mr. Ford is not stupid. He may be insane and/or be a love sick puppy, but he has too many cool ideas to be a world class moron. That leaves....

At the end of last season, the bossman, Will Hayden, gave Kris a choice: the job or the girl. I have to admit that I've been waiting for the answer for several months now, and last night was the pay off. Kris, in what I think was an excellent display of respect and humility towards his boss/father of the girl, chose the girl. I don't care who you are, it takes guts to be ready and willing to walk out on a dream job in this economy. To do it for someone you care about, should tell that person and anyone else volumes about your priorities in life. 

I hope she appreciates it, and I wish them the best of luck dealing with the pressures of dating in the company pond and the fish bowl of national TV. I'll be watching.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Welcome New Follower - Part 41

This is becoming habit forming...and I like it. I received a comment from SciFiChick earlier today letting me know she had made the dubious decision to follow yours truly. Welcome, SciFiChick. I'd offer you some coffee, but I can't stand the stuff. Your options are bourbon or iced tea.

According to her Blogger profile, she is currently involved with four blogs all of which appear to be focused on the prepper movement. Is it really a movement or is really just something we should have all learned when we grew up but failed to because we were indoctrinated by public schools? I Digress. Her flagship appears to be Bacon and Eggs. With a title like that, what's not to like? Oh, and if that's not enough, her post for today is a recipe for Hillbilly Pie which I am going to have to try. I can't resist a good dessert recipe.

Anypie, go check her out. Since The Queen and I have been feeling the need to become more self sufficient here lately, I plan on watching SciFiChick's blog for more recipes and information on what I should have learned 30 years ago.

One Down, How Many To Go?

Well, as of 10:15 PM last night, my first semester of law school was done for better or worse. Now the wait for grades begins. Will he be allowed to take a second semester, or will he have his law school career tragically cut short by abysmal performances on the all or nothing finals? Stay tuned. Same Bat Channel. Same Bat

I have two words to say: KNOB CREEK.

Nine year old small batch bourbon in your backpack makes one very popular after an exam. Just sayin'

I never thought four hours would seem like too SHORT of a time for a final exam, but I and several others discovered that time is of no importance until it involves a law school final. I actually ran out of time on the Torts final and finished the criminal law final with only 15 minutes to spare. It felt more like 40 minutes instead of four hours it went by so fast.

Of the three classes they allowed us part timers to take, I feel the best about last night's final even though it was criminal law in which I have zero personal experience. As I told some of my class mates, I won't loose any points for not trying. I answered all the questions and made what I thought were solid efforts on both essay questions (one of which involved a jury instruction exercise for which I was out of town when it was covered in class).

The Torts final...well...who knew an open book, open outline test could be SO FRICKIN' hard? I answered all of the multiple choice questions and feel like I did fairly well there. I answered all but one of the nine short answer questions (the one I didn't answer should have been a full blown essay question). Unfortunately, I ran out of time during the dreaded essay question. It had a ton of issues to address, and I had spent way too much time in the short answer and MPC sections to cover it all. I had roughed in an outline, but I know I'm not getting full credit on that section.

c'est la vie

I really don't want to talk about my legal analysis, research and writing class.

In other news, the thing which I'm not discussing in detail yet should come to a final resolution sometime middle to late next week. I think. Gory details to follow when they become available.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Welcome New Follower

Well, well. Three posts in one day. That hasn't happened in a while. 

The reason for the trifecta post of the day is to announce and welcome a new follower to the congregation. PISSED of The Feral Irishman has kindly decided to reciprocate my early decision to follow his blog. Welcome. We have a cookie recipe posted around here somewhere. 

He has the distinction of being the fortieth official follower. I'm not sure that means anything numerologically, but I thought I'd point it out anyway. 

At any rate, his blog tickled my funny bone a bit today. Your mileage may vary. Be aware, somethings posted there are marginally safe for work and probably very educational to small children and adolescent males. So, you have been warned.

Grumble, Grumble...

The Queen: Honey, I'm sorry to bother you, but I have a flat tire.

Me: Where are you? [location received...close by fortunately] Okay, I'll be there in a few minutes.

...frickin'...grumble, grumble...tire sized chunk of asphalt...$$*I&%$#$@!!...missing from the side of the road....grumble, grumble...and The Queen manages to hit it...[snort, spit] 50 miles per hour...D'oh....

Great. Just what we needed. I would have felt better about a nail or something like that because I keep a plug kit in the car.

Fortunately, The Queen was safe and close to home so that I could assist quickly. The bonus, see there is a silver lining, is that she was able to pull over in a very wide median cross over which gave me a safe place to work.

Sanity...Oh Sweet Fleeting Sanity

It might amuse you, my dear readers, to know that I had to take a full blown psychological assessment for reasons that will hopefully become more apparent in the near future when I am a little freer to discuss the reasons for same. In the meantime, I thought you might find parts of one of the assessment exercises interesting. I was asked to do a sentence completion exercise. I have no idea what insight this exercise gave them into my psyche, but apparently it didn't trip any major alarms.

Following are some of the more interesting questions/responses (set up in bold, completion responses normal):

  • If I were given complete and absolute freedom and the means to do it, I would restore a vintage DC-3 or PBY Catalina and fly it all over the world to visit places I’ve never been, learn about other cultures, do things I’ve never done and help as many people as I could along the way." 
  • The 4 traits in people I dislike most are a) dishonesty, b) bad table manners, c) stubborness, and d) abusiveness to other people or animals.
  • Most people don't know that they are blind to their own ignorance.
  • People in business generally want to stay in business.
  • Power is dangerous.
There was three pages of that kind of stuff not including the four or five other online assessments including advanced numerical reasoning (math geekery - which is greater? 1/59-1/95 or 1/37-1/73), pattern analysis (think Rohrshach ink blots meets Sesame Street "which one of these is most like the other"), personality inventories, etc. It was an evening of fun and self discovery for the whole family. Not did take the whole the office. It was like taking the GRE and LSAT all over again...with the full knowledge that someone was going to use the information to make a recommendation about my "suitability".

Missed dinner too.That made me a little grumpy the next morning (woke up with a headache) when I was supposed to meet with the head shrinker in person.

More to come hopefully in the next week or so.