Too much free time

Who complains about too much free time?  Well, with no wife or kids, a dislike for many common social activities- okay let’s just go with the truth here and say no friends I hang out with outside of church, and work that takes less than the normal eight hours plus lunch per standard, I just have too much free time.  What do I do with it?  Get movies from the library, spend time on the internet, and play games mostly- what a life, eh?  In the last few days I have even purchased several games on Steam– did they have to make it so easy?  I didn’t even use steam until they had a $9.99 sale on their Orange Box collection a few months ago.  Now I have the complete Luxor marble game collection, Ghostbusters, GRID, and Osmos.  Anther service called Direct2Drive also successfully tempted me with a $5 sale a short time back.  I added no less than a half-dozen games from them including Neverwinter Nights 2 and Serious Sam Gold.  A waste of time and money really.  Well, I have been playing a lot of Serious Sam and the Luxor games, so just a waste of time in their case.  To be fair, I didn’t pay much for any of the titles, nowhere near full price, but still…

So what can I do instead?  Theatre groups abound in this area, but I know very few of them anymore- I would have to look them up again.  I have also looked a little into compassion ministries, serving those in need.  I still have to look it up on the church website as I was directed to a few weeks ago.  The obvious one in most people’s minds is the friends issue.  I have been to singles group, but it was very uncomfortable for me so I really don’t go anymore.  No friends that way.  Perhaps through the other two potential outlets?  I don’t know.  I know I have needed to schedule a quiet time with God, but I have known that for so long I wonder if I am really capable?

For now though I just sit here on the computer…

Happy Thanksgiving!

A little turkey day humor

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Ode to Thanksgiving

To our national birds
The American Eagle
The Thanksgiving Turkey
May one give us peace in all our states
And the other a piece for all our plates

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Thanksgiving Divorce

A man in Phoenix calls his son in New York the day before Thanksgiving and says,”I hate to ruin your day, but I have to tell you that your mother and I are divorcing; forty-five years of misery is enough.

“Pop, what are you talking about?” the son screams. We can’t stand the sight of each other any longer,” the father says. “We’re sick of each other, and I’m sick of talking about this, so you call your sister in Chicago and tell her.”

Frantic, the son calls his sister, who explodes on the phone. “Like heck they’re getting divorced,” she shouts, “I’ll take care of this,”

She calls Phoenix immediately, and screams at her father, “You are NOT getting divorced. Don’t do a single thing until I get there. I’m calling my brother back, and we’ll both be there tomorrow. Until then, don’t do a thing, DO YOU HEAR ME?” and hangs up.

The old man hangs up his phone and turns to his wife. “Okay,” he says, “they’re coming for Thanksgiving and paying their own way.”

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Stuffed Turkey

Baby Bruno was sitting in his grandmother’s kitchen,
watching her prepare the Thanksgiving meal.

“What are you doing?” Bruno asked.

“Oh, I’m just stuffing the turkey,” his grandmother replied.

“That’s cool!” Bruno said.
“Are you going to hang it next to the deer?”

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The Turkey Popped Out of the Oven

The Turkey popped out of the oven
and rocketed in to the air;
It knocked every plate off the table
and partly demolished a chair.
It ricocheted into a corner
and burst with a deafening boom,
Then splattered all over the kitchen,
completely obscuring the room.
It stuck to the walls and the windows,
it totally coated the floor,
There was turkey attached to the ceiling,
where there had never been turkey before..
It blanketed every appliance,
it smeared every saucer and bowl;
There wasn’t a way I could stop it;
that turkey was out of control.
I scraped and I scraped with displeasure
and thought with chagrin as I mopped,
That I would never again stuff a turkey
with popcorn that hadn’t been popped.
written by Jack Prelutsky

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HAPPY

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THANKSGIVING!


No fishing

So, fishing for comments clearly doesn’t work on this blog. The answer about the two dog videos is for one of them the owner offers the treats two different ways, palm up and palm down. The dog turns her head when offered the wrong way. In the other video the hand is offering it the same way every time, so either this dog doesn’t like our current Prez or some other form of training is going on outside of the camera.

Real post coming soon- watch this spot. 😛

Conserva-pups

I had a little laugh out of these videos.  Now let’s all forget about that dog-training stuff we all have read about or seen on Animal Planet and the like, and just imagine these dogs are as conservative as their humans. 😉

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Okay, I tried to get you to suspend disbelief for a moment- did it work?  Anyway, one of these videos has a definite giveaway on the training- can you find it?  The other one I’m guessing is happening off-camera unless I missed it.

zero tolerance = zero brains

When my nephew was in 5th grade, he accidentally brought his pocketknife, the onetime staple of just about every american boy, to school.  Naturally, he got suspended.  So was he caught showing it off to his friends?  Victim of a random search?  Nope.  Realizing he did something wrong by bringing it to school, he walked up to his teacher, handed him the knife, and told him he accidentally left it in his pocket and didn’t mean to bring it to school.  He might as well have been showing it off for all that confession got him.  Thanks to zero tolerance, motive could never be considered in his punishment.  My brother said at the time his teacher should have just kept it to himself, but realistically he would have been fired if the principal somehow found out, also thanks to zero brains tolerance.

Flash forward to today, and history repeats itself on a larger scale, at least where consequences are concerned.  And to a military veteran no less.  This former soldier found a black bag in his garden, took it inside, and found a gun inside.  Being a good citizen, or so he thought, he brought it in to the police who promptly arrested him.  He has since been convicted by a jury and now faces a minimum five-year prison term.  From the article:

Prosecuting, Brian Stalk, explained to the jury that possession of a firearm was a “strict liability” charge – therefore Mr Clarke’s allegedly honest intent was irrelevant.

Just by having the gun in his possession he was guilty of the charge, and has no defence in law against it, he added.

But despite this, Mr Blackman urged members of the jury to consider how they would respond if they found a gun.

He said: “This is a very small case with a very big principle.

“You could be walking to a railway station on the way to work and find a firearm in a bin in the park.

“Is it unreasonable to take it to the police station?”

Paul Clarke will be sentenced on December 11.

Judge Christopher Critchlow said: “This is an unusual case, but in law there is no dispute that Mr Clarke has no defence to this charge.

“The intention of anybody possessing a firearm is irrelevant.”

Is this crazy, or what?  It happened in the UK, but with the way liberalism is taking hold in this country we won’t be far behind.  While we have the NRA fighting against such gun-possession laws, all it would take is a single rogue judge to interpret the 2nd Amendment the wrong way and we will be a giant step closer to life in the UK.

Oh yes, click for the entire article:

Ex-soldier faces jail for handing in gun

Priceless dog therapy

Okay, those are two things mashed together in the title describing events of Wednesday, my only day of subbing this week (though I am still trying for some Friday work).  What happened to Tuesday?  Well, I had to push my Monday photo work to Tuesday due to that annoyance to the daily routine known as jury duty, or in my case non-duty.  Fortunately no driving was required for this civic duty as the location was Chicago.  In fact, I would just not show up rather than drive there due to the ridiculous traffic.  Fortunately, the train stations are within walking distance both from my home and the courthouse in the city.  I also was glad this was the civil court instead of the criminal one- I don’t know how people are able to serve on juries for criminal trials that can often take weeks to complete.  I realize jobs can’t fire you for jury duty but they don’t have to pay you, and that lack of pay would be a huge problem, at least for me.  You noticed, I’m sure, that I wrote “non-duty” earlier.  What actually happened was my group got called down (while I was in the bathroom no less) and we went down to a courtroom, only to wait and be told that the two parties came to a settlement so no jury would need to be picked.  So we went back up to the jury waiting room in case we might be needed again.  About an hour later we were called up again, jury trial take two, or so I thought.  However, this time we were given our checks and sent home- I guess being called up once can count as our civic duty even if we didn’t make it to jury selection, let alone trial.  We did have to wait until they were sure we would no longer be needed though.  With half the day still left, I stopped for lunch since the next train wouldn’t depart for another 45 minutes.  Unfortunately, with the light leaving us earlier these days I was not able to go to even one of the dealers since I couldn’t be sure how long it would take and didn’t want to make a wasted hour round-trip anywhere.  Yes, I could have blogged Monday, but I just wasn’t up to it.

Which leads us to the topic of the title, my sub-job Wednesday.  I had to get up at 5:30 to start looking since it is near impossible this year to get a sub job in advance for some reason.  I somehow managed to secure one at a nearby school in their mentally-impaired program.  I must remember never to show up any later than 10-minutes early at this school.  I was right on time, but ended up about ten minutes late because they closed the lot by the front doors due to buses meaning I had to ask where the other lot was, wait in traffic to get to it, suffer leagues of parents dropping off their kids in the very same lot, find a spot, then walk a quarter mile back to the front doors of the school.  I did note there were still spots left in the front lot as I headed to the doors.

So I eventually made it to the classroom, somehow still before the kids arrived to the class (though I still had to work my way around several at their lockers).  Being a MI class there were of course teaching assistants so I was able to cool down from the hassle of my arrival.  They showed me the schedule for the day, but being Vet’s day that schedule was just made to be broken.  Instead of an hour of guided reading, for example, they had maybe 20 minutes before heading to their 2nd-grade buddy class.  That teacher talked a little bit about Veteran’s Day, and then a couple of soldiers came in to visit- one from the Army, the other a Marine.  Both had served time in you-know-what part of the world (the marine couldn’t tell us where- essentially saying it was classified, but the army soldier had been to Afghanistan).  They talked a little about what they did, what life was like with their respective units, and their families.  The 2nd-graders had written several questions to ask them during their visit.  It was quite interesting.  Once the principal came in and whisked them to their next class to visit, we headed back to our own room for snack time.  The next schedule change came during this time.  Just as they finished eating and sat down to read silently, in walks a vet.  Okay, she wasn’t a vet but I just had to use that play on words.  Notice how I didn’t capitalize the word this time?  That’s because this person was a pet therapist, if not a veterinarian.  Both work with pets, though for different reasons- oh never mind.  So my pun didn’t work- sue me. 😉

Anyway, the therapist reminded the kids how to handle the dog (apparently she had been here before), making sure they let this lap dog sniff their hands before they could pet him.  She also taught them how to give the dog treats (in an open hand, because the dog could bite your fingers if you hold the treat by the thumb and forefinger).  She also had the dog do some tricks.  The kids one at a time rolled a die and the dog would jump through a hoop for the number of times it showed, then later they did dog bowling where the kids would hide a treat among foam pins, and the dog would knock a number of them down to get to the treat.  Cute.

The kids got their silent reading in, and then we skipped math to do calendar in the short time left before lunch.  This is where the next part of the title comes into play- the look of surprise on a 5th-grader’s face when you sneak up behind him while he’s eating lunch and ask him a question in a place he does not expect to hear or see his church and summer camp leader as he turns and recognizes me.  Priceless.  As I talked to him, two more kids from my church got up to talk to me- one of whom I was going to talk to next, the other a surprise to me.  What was funny about this encounter was the girl who I had worked with in church drama last year didn’t know what to call me since she only remembered my first name, which is what I use at church- Mr. Derek.  She had clearly been taught to not use an adult’s first name at school.  Maybe I told her last year, I don’t know.  I didn’t know the third one came to this school, but this school being the closest to my church means several kids do happen to attend school here.  I know of three others in the junior high area who I know I have mentioned before (two are the girl’s brothers, twins whom I have also worked with at church).

The rest of the day was pretty mild.  I had an extra half-hour off due to the kids going to music, and when they came back we scrapped writing for some reason to watch part of a movie.  You know, I don’t think I have ever watched 101 Dalmatians before even though I kind of know the story.  We only watched a little bit of it before getting ready to go home, where I rested up until choir rehearsal, where I just want to mention that another pair of twins I taught a few years ago are regularly a part of- they finally came down to the tenor section after singing alto for the last couple of years (hey, they were 12-13 at the time!).  I can even name a couple more sets of twins and a set of triplets too.  I don’t know why, but they are not all that uncommon at my church.  Well, if I can think of some story to write about them sometime I may say some more.

Site update

I finally added a link to Mare-Mare’s site under friends on the right, and she’s right at the top of the list too (nothing to do with alphabetical order or any such nonsense like that now… 😉 ). Maybe now I will remember to visit her site more often. 😛

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