Sunday, September 23, 2012

Miscellaneous Stuff

I thought I'd take a few moments to share a few things completely unrelated to foster children. 

Traveler Pro Tip #1
At a busy airport like, say, Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson Interntional, DON'T hold up the security theater line by getting redressed at the baggage X-ray roll off area. Grab your stuff and move. As suggestion, those thoughtfully placed benches 10 or 20 feet away are perfect for putting on your shoes, belt, jacket, rolex, wallet, etc. Mr. i-am-so-freaking-important-you-must-see-me-putting-on-my-designer-trash. The other 50 or 100 people in line behind you would like to get their stuff too.

Traveler Pro Tip #2
That bin that was holding your stuff as it trundled its way past the TSA X-ray, don't leave it sitting on the rollers to clog up the works of the other 50 or 100 bags coming through behind it. I promise you won't miss you flight by taking a whole two seconds to put it on the conveniently place roller cart or identical bins at the end of the line.

Traveler Pro Tip #3
While amusing to some, escalator luggage bowling can be dangerous and embarrassing. On my recent trip to Atlanta, I was coming down the extra long escalator from the airport train to the rental car center at which time i accidentally knocked my suitcase over on its back (where the handle hides) and it went scooting down the escalator and shot off the end another 15 feet or so. Got a thumbs up from one guy. The lady in the wheel chair and the British chick at the bottom of the escalator where not amused. I decided not to bow.

Rental Car Pro Tip #1
Chevrolet places the Onstar button in the exact spot where 99% of the population puts its thumb to flip the rear view mirror for day/night deflection. I have no idea how good Onstar's service is as I was able to hang up before the call connected.

Brief Rental Car Review
The 2012 Chevrolet Cruze I rented was better than the Chevy Cobalt that I rented a while back, but that's not saying much. The B pillar keep hitting me in the butt on ingress/egress. The rear view and side mirrors were not especially helpful. Acceleration was adequate if not exciting for a four cylinder engine. I am a firm believer that a four cylinder engine requires a manual transmission to make it halfway fun to drive. Turning radius was sub par.

Marital Dating Fail
Assuming that your spouse will be excited to go to an evening at the gun range for an intro to handguns class after you've told her that you have a surprise for her when she is stressed out and dealing with allergies is not a marriage enhancing move. Selecting said class on the basis that it was a HUGE deal on Groupon is also guaranteed to lead to the class being overbooked thus diminishing whatever pleasure might have been had from said experience. Salvaging the evening with all natural frozen yogurt at Pinkberry barely avoids a night in the dog house.

I should note here that my assumption was based on an early date we had before we were married. It was her birthday, and I set up a "testosterone" evening since she was very competitive. We started the evening at the gun range and rented a select fire H&K MP5 9mm submachinegun. We ended the evening driving go karts. Outdoors. At night. In January. Hands. Cold. Noses. Running. She said she had a great time. Me thinks she was trying to make me feel good.  

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Welcome And Other Good News

Before I get on with my good news and after you get over your heart attack from the realization that, yes, I am still alive and remember how to work this keyboard thingie, I'd like to take a moment to welcome new follower Joey. Though his profile does not indicate so, I believe Joey is the mastermind behind a relatively new blog entitled Senior's Mess. Joey, if that is not correct, please let me know so I can edit accordingly. Otherwise, y'all feel free to check out Senior's Mess. I really enjoyed his intro post, and I look forward to seeing more of his writings. 

Now, for the good news. As many of you know, since it's about all I talk about here anymore, the M&M saga has been a real roller coaster ride. Well, we can finally see the end of the ride from here. We got a call from the caseworker yesterday, advising that it would not be necessary to bring M&M to her regularly scheduled visit with the bio parents. It seems that they recently decided to up and skip town for good and have relocated to another state out west. 

[Brief pause for the happy dance]

The Queen and I think they have actually been gone for closer to three weeks as there was a hearing at the end of last month the net result of which was that the court ordered them to complete the CPS services plan. Violating said order is one of the many grounds for termination of rights. After some last minute shenanigans by bio dad's attorney and a failed, last ditch effort by CPS to identify any potential family member viable enough to take M&M (did I mention that bio mom's mom was deemed non-viable due to health issues?), we think the bio parents finally saw the writing on the wall and decided they have nothing left holding them here (aside from bio dad's two kids from a prior relationship...has to make them feel good...but I digress).

We can't celebrate yet (and won't even plan a party until the ink is dry on the adoption papers), but it appears that it is no longer a question of "if" but is now one of "when" we will get to adopt her. Timing of said adoption remains up in the air. The bio parents could make everything easy for everyone by voluntarily relinquishing their rights which would allow us to proceed pretty much immediately. Thus far, they have not made anything easy. So, we are not holding our breathe for that outcome even though their doing so would be beneficial for them legally in the event of future children.

Door Number 2 would be to wait six months at which time the court would declare M&M abandoned, and we get to adopt her anyway.

So, to recap: no viable family members available to take custody of M&M, bio parents skipped town, hurry up and wait while doing the happy dance.