Wednesday, April 29, 2009
But listening to the lunacy and pageantry surrounding the 100th day of Obamunism, while my own eyes see quite a different reality, I can't stay quiet.
What has the first 100 days brought us?
Well, "we the people" now own majority stakes in several large banks.
"We the people" fired the president of General Motors after lending them amounts of money much smaller than the aforementioned banks, whose leaders are still rewarding themselves for how clever they are.
"We the people" topped that feat by the latest news that we will soon own 50% or more of General Motors.
"We the people" can expect to see our "Dear Leader" tomorrow, announce that Chrysler is filing Chapter 11, and will end up being at least 50% owned by the good old U.S. Government. If the U.S. President is the one making the announcement, it seems that the transfer of ownership has already taken place.
What kind of sense does this make? In all 40 of my years, it's been common knowledge that if you want something done inefficiently, let the government do it. So you take an already outdated and lethargic U.S. Auto Industry, and the cure is to transfer ownership to the government? I tried for ten minutes to come up with a witty/funny/biting remark to end this paragraph, but I'm literally speechless.
In the midst of all that, we're told that the U.S. Economy is far too fragile to actually do anything about the Mexican Flu that's sweeping the world. Yes, I called it by its place of origin. Nobody gets offended by the Spanish Influenza of nearly 100 years ago, or the various Asian flu strains that have gone around for years. Dear Leader may want to call it m1h1eiei90210, but I'll settle for the Mexican Flu. Why break from flu-naming tradition?
Oh, but that economy isn't so fragile that we can't afford to invest in some quality publicity shots... Like an un-announced close proximity fly-by of the Statue of Liberty and the rest of NYC by Air Force One and a pair of fighter jets... Gosh, to the unwashed masses on the ground, you couldn't see that it was AF1, just a good old American Made 747. Flying close to buildings. Being flanked by fighter jets.
But that's okay, it was for a good cause! Surely Dear Leader would cherish a framed photograph of his main ride kissing Lady Liberty!!
Besides, it was a bargain - the cost came in under $400,000!! I'm assuming we'll all get free copies of the picture, since it was "We The People" paying the bill.
And finally, my righteous rage is bubbling over about "The First U.S. Death Due To The Mexican Flu." Never mind that the victim was a Mexican Citizen, who was brought to the U.S. by parents hoping for quality medical treatment.
I have the deepest sympathy for the parents. I can't even imagine the agony they'd been going through that led to the tragic ending.
But seriously, "The Media"... It's not the first U.S. death. The first U.S. death will be the first U.S. resident / Citizen who succumbs to this horribly contagious flu.
If you're still with me, you should definitely let off some steam by getting prepared for the pandemic that's only one-notch-away from reality on the WHO's ranking system.
Our blog-buddy Jan put together a flu-pandemic survival kit last summer, and being way better than we are at staying on top of things, her blog right now is a treasure-trove of good information and tips for weathering the storm.
Click Here for a good primer, or just go straight to her front page where you'll undoubtedly find more good stuff.
Wow, only 265 days left in this year. Wonder what "We the People" will own by then...
Sunday, April 26, 2009
But for now, here are some highlights of her last week of being 4 months old.
That last one represents her OTHER adorable new habit. Well, I guess I can't really call it "new", since the ultrasound taken 6 months ago showed her sucking her fist too... But now, along with sucking her fist, she sticks her index finger as far in her mouth as she can, and makes the loudest, cutest sucking sound I've ever heard... (ever.)
Happy Almost 5 Months, Daneekins!!
Saturday, April 25, 2009
I am generally a fan of Microsoft and their products.
When I hear their competitors and even domestic and foreign government agencies complain that they are getting far too powerful, and that Windows is too dominating, I just shake my head...
See, I grew up in a time when there were MANY different brands and flavors of computers, and nearly none of them talked to another. I had a Texas Instruments 99/4A computer, which was cool and did lots of things (including awesome video games) and I learned basic programming on that machine.
Many of my friends, however, had different computers. Some had the Commodore 64, some the Apple ][, one kid whose dad was REALLY rich, had a genuine IBM PC. All ran programs in "Basic" but all had their own variation of Basic, meaning that programs weren't really transferable from one to the other without a LOT of tweaking. Later, I upgraded to a really sweet NEC PC-8000 which ran CP/M, kind of a precursor to MS-DOS. I loved that computer, but there sure weren't many programs or other files I could swap 'n' share with my friends.
By my senior year in high school (GO 1987!! WOOOOOO HOOOO!!!) the IBM PC and its clones, all running MS-DOS (or the near equivalent PC-DOS) was gaining quite a foothold in the marketplace, and for the first time, a friend could tell me about a really cool game, and then let me borrow the disk so I could try it out... and in most cases, IT WORKED!!
I was hooked.
So now, when I hear people complain that Windows is on too many computers, I realize that they're either hopeless idealists or just plain stupid. Not only are essentially all major programs written for Windows, the other side of the equation is that the diversity they so desire is already taking place.
With high speed Internet now the norm, Web based applications are finally a reality. Don't want to run Microsoft Outlook for email? Use Google's Gmail. Or Yahoo! Mail. These web-based programs have gained so much sophistication that it's hard to argue against them anymore. Google is heading in the same direction with web apps for document creation and management too.
And most of these web apps run on standard webserver components, which exist on both Windows and Linux servers. As the end user, you really have no way of knowing which operating system the server feeding you this blog is running...
So there's my stance on the Microsoft is too powerful argument. But wait, I started out wanting to write about Bloatware... And Microsoft is certainly guilty of programs that get exponentially larger with each revision, and not a lot to show for the change. Forums all over the web are filled with geektrolls crying out that Microsoft is the king of bloat.
But let's just look at some of the historical challengers to Microsoft's empire...
One of the first Anti-MS lawsuits was brought on by Real Audio. I am so happy that they're about as relevant as Dial-up Speed Booster programs. RA said that MS's Windows Media Player was just too much, and that it hurt customers' freedom of choice by already being installed on their new computer. Never mind that at the time, RA had a really good marketshare, so anyone who wanted to stream audio online, went and downloaded RA's player.
Oh, and that player... when you installed it, it would do its very best to hijack every possible area of your computer! Unless you caught it in the act and opted out, it would take over playback for ALL audio file types, as well as video, pictures and more. It would also change your browser's home page to the RA site, add a bunch of new links into your "Favorites" section, and really made a nuisance of itself. And they're saying that MS is overreaching??
Okay, that's ancient history. If you're still with me, you deserve to know what got me on this rant tonight.
I hate "Toolbars".
When I'm browsing the net, I want as much screen space as possible devoted to (shock!) browsing the net. I do NOT want a bunch of toolbars cluttering up my screen!!
Friday, April 24, 2009
(please note: for me, at this point, sleeping in means anything past 5:30am)
Let's celebrate the end of a long, hard, tiring week with a good laugh!
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Way more tired than a normal Wednesday...
Notice that there haven't been many (any?) posts up here lately? We've been busy.
From the day Danee's adoption was complete, we've had anywhere from 1 to 10 extra people staying at our house, and a lot of them have also needed transportation to and from the airport.
Don't get me wrong - I love having company over - it's been amazingly rewarding to have so many friends and family sacrificing their own regularly scheduled activities to spend time with my family!
But I am absolutely, positively, 100% exhausted now.
This past weekend really did me in...
After taking care of Cindy's brother's two boys all of last week, while their parents were in Rome for Easter, I got to pick up said parents at the airport around 9:00 pm last Thursday.
Friday evening my brother Brian, and Cindy's aunt Garnette were flying in. We had been VERY smart in coordinating their flights so that the arrived within a few minutes of each other - right around 9:00. Yay Us!!
Brian lives in Colorado. While driving to the Denver airport, he ran into a blizzard with 50 miles to go. He missed his flight. Amazingly, he was booked onto another flight from a different airline, and wasn't even charged a ticket-change fee!
That was GREAT news!
But the downside was that his new flight was delayed by several hours.
When I got back from picking up Garnette, Brian called and said that he was on board the plane, but that they had to go to the de-icing station. I'm all about safety, so it's hard to complain about that, but by the time the plane was de-iced, and finally got in the air, it was 10:25 our time, and touchdown wasn't going to happen until 1:30 Saturday morning.
Brian and I got home at about 2:30 am on Saturday (after all, being out with my brother after midnight doesn't happen often, so we celebrated with milkshakes from Jack in the Box.) and crashed out. But not for long, because Ellysa had a water polo tournament and needed to be at the pool by 7:45, and the rest of us - Cindy, Brian, Heidi, Jeff, Garnette, Danee and our beloved Elder Cram (favorite Missionary ever!) had to be up in Bellevue at 10.
We barely made it, but we did make it, and it was great! We experienced a few miracles over the course of Sealing our family for eternity, and we are very thankful.
Then it was back home. And over to Gig Harbor (across the dreaded Toll Bridge!) to take The Cram home, and the rest of the evening consisted of Brian, Heidi and I re-living the hilarious hijinks of our youth.
Sunday morning, Brian was flying back to Colorado, so I was up and at 'em at 5:00 to take him to the airport.
On Monday we were happy to still have Garnette staying with us, but nobody had any energy to cook dinner, so we let Little Caesar's treat us to some Pizza Pizza.
Tuesday night was a farewell dinner for Auntie G at the Funky Iguana, courtesy of Cindy's Dad (aka Garnette's baby brother).
And this morning at 4:00, I dragged myself out and safely delivered Auntie G into the custody of Alaska Airlines for her return flight to sunny Arizona.
Then it was back home, and take Ellysa to school.
Then it was back home, and take Kaylee to school.
Then it was back home, pay some much needed attention to my blog, and then head off for work.
I'd give just about anything to head back down to bed instead!
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
We got her up and dressed in her beautiful blessing dress that my sister Linda made... Danee didn't seem to interested in posing or making her trademark cute faces....
Here she is tummy-surfing on Aunt Karen's arm...
Big Sister Kaylee and a couple of cousins waiting for Church to start...
Alicia's husband Daniel, who is terribly afraid of holding babies (thinks he'll drop them) got suckered into taking some Danee time during the post-blessing eat-a-thon...
Cindy modeled one of the home-made Snuggies that my niece Heidi made and put in the Box o' Awesome that we won from her blog a few weeks ago!
There was also a little Snuggie Junior for Danee to wear!
We didn't get any pictures of "The Horde" of guys in suits that made up the Blessing Circle, or any good pics of Danee in her pretty dress... Hopefully this weekend for the Sealing, we'll get some of her! Also, she's going to get her 4 month portraits taken in that dress, so at some point in the not-too-distant future, we'll definitely have pretty baby pictures to show...
Monday, April 13, 2009
Once there were two kinds of Mothers,
One carried you beneath her heart,
She became your birth mother.
The other carried the hope of you within her,
She became your Mom.
Two different lives shaped together
To make you one.
Birthmother was your guiding star,
Your parents your Sun.
Birthmother gave you life,
Your parents teach you to live it.
Birthmother gave you hope for love,
Your parents are here to give it.
Birthmother gave you nationality,
Your parents gave you your name.
Birthmother gave you your talents,
Parents give you aim.
Birthmother gave you emotions,
Your parents calm your fears.
Birthmother held you briefly,
parents ease your fears.
Birthmother needed a home for you,
which she could not provide.
Your parents prayed for a special child,
Their hopes were not denied.
Two different kinds of families,
Two different kinds of love.
Both a part of you, sweet Danee.
All my love and blessings, to you and your family.
Adoption day, March 27th, 2009
Sunday, April 12, 2009
After a couple months of thinking about it, planning for it, and even worrying about it, things went off very well! My niece Rachel and nephew Kevin were great helpers - Thanks Guys!!
Attendance was on the light side, what with coming out of Spring Break and heading into Easter, but the kids who were there, had a great time and the vast majority of them stayed on the dancefloor the whole night. Several of the stake leaders told me that kids were coming up to them saying "That DJ was great - you should try to get him back!"
Hearing comments like that far exceeded even my highest hopes for this first impression! My goal was to simply make a good impression, and hope that after a few times together, they'd start to like me... It was a very fun night, as this highlight reel shows!
Next up, June 27th, which is the final night of Camp Helaman, and they're expecting 500 or more kids... Plus, the theme is NEON, so there will be even more cool lighting - I can't wait!!
Saturday, April 11, 2009
Today is a GREAT day over at my beloved Woot!
They're offering up a classic, vintage, 1978 issue 4 Record Box Set of the Magical Music of Disney plus a 52 page full-colour book, for only $15.99 plus their standard $5 shipping...
This deal is ONLY available today, and ONLY until it sells out.
GO!! BUY!! LOVE!!
Oh, and if you need a turntable, they're selling one that connects to your computer at their sellout.woot site. To get there, you have to go to Yahoo Shopping and scroll down to the Deal of the Day section and click on it.
And there ya go - truly classic vinyl, and a truly modern way to play them!
Enjoy!! But don't blame me if you didn't see this TODAY (Saturday April 11) and you missed out...
Friday, April 10, 2009
Wednesday, April 08, 2009
Kicking things off... We let the kids skip school on the day of the hearing (Friday) so they could attend it with us. That afternoon, Kaylee, Tyler and I were listening to various Music Choice channels through our cable service, and settled on "Today's Country." A few songs in, we noticed that they had a thing running where you can send text messages in, and have them appear on screen - so we HAD to send in a special text welcoming Danee as an official member of our family!
So I did! And we waited... and waited... and waited some more... And then it was time for Tyler to go back up to Kent to get ready for the final show of Willy Wonka Jr, which he played in (as Mr. Bucket, Charlie's father. He had an AWESOME song and dance number!!), and when we got back home - about two hours after sending the message, I got a text back that our message was about to appear!!
So I set myself up in front of the TV, camera in hand, and waited.
And the phone rang.
And the baby cried.
Finally, as I was talking to my sister Linda about how to get to Wilson High School, and holding Danee, our message appeared on the screen! PANIC!!
Thankfully, my wife was at the ready, and saved the moment...
And with that, the mad rush of craziness was off!!
A couple hours later, we were bursting at the seams with visiting family!
Saturday morning, I went and picked Tyler back up so he could spend the rest of the weekend with us. (his performances in his play were all outstanding, by the way!) He and Cindy went out and bought decorations, I went out and bought foodstuffs, and we met back and got everything ready for our open house, with an hour to spare!!
After a brief rest, the house was open! We had a steady stream of people through for the entire four hours, which surprised us... We were worried that we had made the window too big and would have a lot of boring downtime.
Ha. Boring and Downtime are two words that we STILL haven't said in the last two weeks... I now present, The Danee Celebratory Open House!
The Donald and Elisabeth were perhaps a little tired from their trip to the zoo earlier...
Meanwhile, Jasper couldn't help but notice how enticingly Kitty's tail was dangling in front of his face...
You can almost see the Cat Caption, something along the lines of "Do I Do It? Or Do I Don't Do It?"
He Did It.
Wow, that's a lotta stuff already! I'll break Sunday's pics into a separate post...
Thanks to everyone who came to the open house!!
Sunday, April 05, 2009
And MOST days, it works.
...at least in theory...
Remember how last Sunday morning we had 17 people sleeping at our house? (Sorry Andy, by my math, 7 + 4 + 5 + 1 = 17!) Well, leading up to that company-intensive morning, the sink in our upstairs (main!) bathroom had become completely plugged. My dilemma wasn't "how can I fix the sink?" but rather "WHEN can I fix the sink?" All of my best intentions were to have its drain draining clearly before the first visitors arrived.
Instead, Sunday morning came before I'd even been into that bathroom to look at it.
I also had neglected to tell our many houseguests that the sink had progressed from "slow" to "ain't gonna happen."
My do-it-NOW moment came when we told one of the kids to go brush their teeth, and the response was "there's a ton of black, disgusting stuff in the sink!"
Someone (I think it was my nephew Shawn, who is VERY into personal hygiene) had shaved over the bathroom sink, and since the water didn't go down, the sink was full of the little dust like whisker particles that come from shaving, as well as bits of foamy shaving cream.
No two ways to put it - it looked N-A-S-T-Y!!
Since our church doesn't start until 1, I had time to just once-and-for-all, fix the stupid sink.
During my last miserable plugged-drain experience, I had bought a supercharged plunger that uses a Co2 cartridge to blast the clog away. It has proven to be one of my favorite home maintenance items EVER, and I just happened to have one cartridge left! I was POSITIVE that SuperPlunger (SP) would be able to clear our little problem.
Just one additional obstacle remained... The stopper in the sink is the kind that hooks to a lever on the faucet, and I was afraid that the blast from SP would push the stopper down and prevent the force from getting to the clog.
So, being resourceful, I asked my nephew Jeff (one of the 17) to help out by holding down the lever and forcing the stopper to stay up.
We both got into position, and I checked and re-checked that I had a good tight seal at the base of SP... Check!
Jeff grinned as I counted down from 3 to 1, and pushed down to activate the charge.
MAJOR TACTICAL ERROR!!!
Our bathroom sink, like most bathroom sinks, has an overflow protection vent near the top.
I had completely forgotten about that vent. If I had not completely forgotten it, I would have thought to PLUG IT.
Since I didn't plug that vent, the full blast from SP went down the drain, hit the clog, then said "Hey wait - there's a much easier route up there!" and erupted like a sludge volcano (sludgecano?) all over the sink...
all over the bathroom (splish splash, indeed!),
and all over Jeff and me.
So what happened next?
Well, the toothbrush you see in the first sink picture, as well as others that had the misfortune to be in the blast zone, were thrown away.
Jeff and I took a bucket of hot water and Mr. Clean and cleaned up the bathroom.
Jeff and I also laughed at each other, as not just our shirts, but our faces were splattered with the sludge of a million clogs.
Oh, and the sink was still 100%, completely plugged.
The bathroom, however, LOOKED like it was ready for use again - and other than the sink, it was.
Yesterday, I finally had time to pull out my plumbing snake and attack the drain for real. There was so much long, stringy, sludgy hair that came out... I nearly lost my lunch! But I was victorious, and finally, only one week later, that sink is open and ready for business.
...as long as the business doesn't involve brushing long hair over (and into) the sink. I don't think that should ever be allowed again!!
Saturday, April 04, 2009
She couldn't breathe and was gagging on the ick that was running down her throat. I had no choice but to put saline in her nose and use a nasal aspirator. Can I just tell you how much Danee hates the nasal aspirator? LOTS! After she realized I wasn't trying to hurt her, she gratefully drank a bottle...
After a nice nap she gave us a couple of these!
Boy, do I love this little girl!
Friday, April 03, 2009
It's one of the longest, and one of the best books he's ever written - click this link to read Secret Agent Stick!
Wish I had... But a girl has to do what a girl has to do, and this girl has to work!
Tuesday we went to the Point Defiance Park.....
We fed the ducks and enjoyed the play structure, we also enjoyed our sack lunches and froze to death in the wind... o-well these Puddle Jumpers take the good with the bad!
Wednesday we enjoyed the park down the road and played a little basketball.
Today is Friday, I am glad... A great week for sure.
I am ready to relax this weekend and feed my spirit by watching General Conference in my Jammie's. You can enjoy it to, just click the link
What are your plans for Spring Break??
Wednesday, April 01, 2009
Sorry about the complete lack of posting this week.. We have been way beyond what I would normally call "really busy."
But here are a few quick updates to help you keep up with The Brinkerhoffs...
- The adoption hearing was great!! We got LOTS of pictures, which will be posted up later...
- We had a ton of company over the weekend, starting Friday night. In addition to the Brinkerhoff Seven, we had the DeCoursey Four and the Sorenson Five plus One. To me that sounds like 17 people at our house, but that seems impossible, so I'll just not add it up.
- Saturday's open house was a big success! We had a steady stream of visitors from 4 to 8, with no dead times, and no times where it felt like we were overcrowded. Thanks to all who came!!
- Sunday's blessing was also a big success - in that I didn't drop her, and managed to speak clearly and not drop my cue card more than once... Also, right after we sat back down and Danee was snuggling Mommy again, she let out three REALLY LOUD burps - kinda nice that she waited until there wasn't a live microphone right over her head...
- After the blessing, the rest of Sacrament meeting was largely taken over by Brinkerhoffs. It was an almost overwhelming, and very humbling experience.
- Monday I started my new job, heading up Biz I.t. Pros, the "Managed I.T. Services" division of Skynet Broadband. If anyone wants excellent outsourced I.T. Services, I'm your man!
Here's all of us with the judge...
And here's Danee after a long, exciting, overstimulating day!