What did you do today?

Saturday was my wife's annual all-day holiday shopping trip with her girlfriends. The kids and I took a vote, and I got to be in charge (by a very narrow margin). We had a good time, nobody got hurt, and I even managed to get some work done.

In the morning, after we all ate and dressed, we had a parade through the kitchen and living room. It started out as just the younger two (and myself following along, because Younger Daughter insisted I join). We marched around with their toy drums and... Well, frankly they were all percussion instruments, so you can imagine. But once I was in, I was all in, and decided to be the loudest one. (How often do you get asked to be in a parade? You could put me in the Macy's parade next week, and I wouldn't have as much fun.) I'm a little hoarse now, but I'm sure there's no connection.

Got a call from a neighbor asking to borrow our slow cooker. Actually she asked whether I would need it. She asked why I laughed at her. I told her she was welcome to it, and that while I probably could use it, it wouldnt come up unless the microwave was broken and our freezer was empty.

We had an early lunch because Oldest Daughter had a girl scout field trip in the afternoon. My wife had thoughtfully arranged transportation so I wouldn't need to leave twice and cut short Youngest Son's nap. I'd meant to watch THE GAME this afternoon, but I confess I lost track of the time when Older Son asked me to play with him. I admit that if I had kept track of the time, I would have tuned OS out after an hour, and that would have been a crime. He got my (mostly) undivided attention while YD got some quiet time. (Nearly four years old, and she's outgrown the daily nap, so educational TV it is.)

By the time I realized the game was on, it was halftime, and time to pick up OD at school. I also had errands to run. First to the video store to return a one-night rental: Sahara. I've rented some stinkers in my time, and this wasn't one of those. But it did require some suspension of disbelief.

Anyway, errands to run: we picked up OD and went to the local everything store. Everything: specialty groceries, tools, toys, garden, automotive maintenance, dinner plates, construction supplies, holiday goods, and the kitchen sink. They even have a dining room for one of these. But this trip was just for motor oil and filters: time to ready the family transport before our holiday drive over the river and through the woods.

Then home to see the end of the game. In the time we'd been gone Michigan got their first lead of the game, then extended it by a field goal, but the Buckeyes had come back to within 2. (Not everyone in Toledo is an Ohio State fan, but we are in my family. These things are in the blood, you know.) I watched the final touchdown drive, with only YS (just shy of 2 years old) joining me to cheer the team on.

Freezer pizza for supper. (My wife had run down the list of things available to eat in the house, should there be a blizzard between here and Detroit to prevent her from returning to buy foodstuffs on Sunday. She's very thoughtful, and knows I wouldn't think of preparing food myself until it was time to eat.) Then a quick clean-up of the downstairs -- fourth time in one day, I think. The older two were very helpful, YD less so (no snack before bed for you young lady). Baths for all, bedtime stories and prayers for the younger two. Back downstairs for a game with the older two.

Out to the garage to change the oil. I spilled half a quart of fresh oil on the floor, and didn't have enough kitty litter to soak it up (no cats, you see). So that'll be part of tomorrow's adventure. Everyone in bed by nine, and me downstairs to ensure that my office desktop will work off-network when I take it to the customer's site on Monday. Put on Return of the King (last year's Christmas present) for the first time. I'd been holding out telling myself I'd re-read each book before watching the movies again. Didn't live up to that one, though. I've still got 400 pages to go. Anyway, the computer checked out fine, and the movie still ends the way I remember it. My wife came home about five paragraphs ago, and it's almost one now, so it's time to call it a night. Thanks for reading, and drop me an e-mail some time.

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Markets work. (aka: Steve Forbes may be right)

I mentioned this a few months ago. Forbes predicted an oil price drop way back in August. Looks like it's happening. Only question is whether it will keep going.

And for the record, gas prices are back to within 20 cents of where they were a year ago, despite an increase of almost 100% from November to September. Here's the DOE stats for Ohio.

Hat tip to David at Constitutional Brothers
Coldheartedtruth asks Are those hearings helping gas prices ??
Brian at FutureWire sees a different forecast
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Joke of the day

I usually hate these in my e-mail (usually) because it's an intrusion on my day. But since you came to my site, perhaps you're looking for a distraction.

Two boys are playing hockey on a pond in a Cleveland park when one of the boys is suddenly attacked by a crazed Rottweiler. Thinking quickly, the other boy takes his hockey stick,shoves it under the dog's collar, twists it and breaks the dog's neck,saving his friend.

A reporter is standing by, sees the incident, and rushes over to interview the boy. Young Indians Fan Saves Friend from Vicious Animal, he starts writing in his notebook.

"But I'm not a Indians Fan," the little boy replies.

"Sorry but since we're in Cleveland, I just assumed you were," says the reporter and starts writing again. Browns Fan Rescues Friend from Horrific Attack, he writes in his notebook.

"But I'm not a Browns Fan either," the little boy replies.

"Sorry but since we're in Cleveland, I just assumed you were," says the reporter and starts writing again. Buckeye Fan Rescues Friend from Horrific Attack, he writes in his notebook.

"I'm not a Buckeye Fan either," says the boy.

"Oh... I assumed everyone in Cleveland was either for the Indians, Browns or a Buckeye fan. What team do you root for?" the reporter asked.

"I'm a Wolverine fan," the boy replies.

The reporter starts a new sheet in his notebook and writes:
Little Bastard from Michigan Kills Beloved Family Pet


If you're looking for content...

Sorry, but I've been otherwise occupied. We've started to partition our basement in hopes of finishing it this winter. That's been taking most of my time lately. I've got three of the four stud walls in place, with the fourth one started. This probably wouldn't be a big deal if it was something I did often, but let me tell you: I wake up sore.

Been spending some time here lately, when I've had the chance to web surf. Did you know Julie Newmar has patents, plural? Her name is given as an example search. Who, you ask? You know her.



Have you voted today?

I was voter number 21 in my ward before coming to work this morning. Our county has just purchased electronic touch-screen voting machines. As I pulled into the parking lot at the precinct, the radio was filled with doomsday reports of the poll workers not being ready 30 minutes after the scheduled opening. The parking lot was congested, but not full, and there was no apparent line (in contrast with last year, when people were lined up out the door in the rain at 7am).

I entered the building, a church around the corner from my home, and found that of the three wards in my precinct only mine had a line. Not a respectable one - only three people ahead of me. When it was my turn, I gave my name and address, was handed a card not unlike a hotel key, and directed to one of two available voting machines. I inserted the card, and finished voting in less than 2 minutes, reviewed my choices, confirmed them. I returned the card to the poll worker who'd given it to me, thanked her, and left.

Here's my problem. One of the issues on the ballot here in Ohio - Issue 2 - is intended to allow any registered voter to vote by mail or in person up to 35 days before an election. Ostensibly, this is because it's too burdensome to have to wait in line to vote in person. (Nevermind that one can get absentee ballots under existing law.) The thing is, last year Ohio had a record number of voters participate, with a near-record turnout percentage at over 71%. People were undeterred by inclement weather or by long lines. This year we're asked to pass a ballot initiative to make it easier to vote, but there will be (likely) less than half as many actual voters. Are they staying home because of the prospect of long lines? I think not.

Do you plan to vote? If not, why not?



Eternal vigilance

Tomorrow is election day. Please exercise your right. It's probably cost you almost nothing, but don't make the mistake of treating it that way.




Saint Marcy joined most of her party to support the first amendment!

Well, that would be a surprise, but it's not what happenned.

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