Thursday, January 31, 2008

The Best LEGO Sets in History

"To end the celebration of the 50 years of the LEGO brick, here are the best sets in history. Handpicked from Lugnet—the biggest LEGO database—based on their popularity, these 229 sets belong to the most iconic lines". Amazing selection. I had many of these and seeing them is an emotional ride. Nostalgia at its best.

read more | digg story

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Wet Dog

Last night the kids & I were in the midst of watching a movie together. About half way through, we hear footsteps on the stairs. It was Laura hold a wet Zeke. She said, "Ya know, I really prefer to take my showers alone!" We laughed.

Apparently she had taken him into the bathroom with her, figuring he could hang out on the floor and wait while she took a shower. Everything seemed fine until she closed the curtain. Zeke freaked out, and jumped in the tub with her. He curled up and laid down by her feet amidst the water, & shampoo swirling around the tub floor.

Now, you may not think this is that big a deal, but I must put this in perspective. The height of the tub is at least two times the height of the dog. He had to jump, flounder atop the tub rim, then fall into the tub. It was a real struggle for him.

Monday, January 28, 2008


Laura & I picked up our new 6 month old puppy Havanese yesterday, on the way home from our homeschool conference. So far, he's been a pain, but still lovable. I've been amazed at how much he's really taken to Laura.

We call him Zeke (Zeek).

Car Porn

"Satisfaction" is always something that we seem to be seeking. We almost never find it. It's no surprise that Corporate America can always find something that they claim will "satisfy" us; just look at the Snickers candybar.

For us men in particular, they develop something called pr0n. This usually involves videos or pictures of the item with which we desire; often women, but in this example, it's cars! Pr0n is to substitute for something we cannot have. We all know it's never as good as the real thing, but in a pinch, it'll do. In almost all cases (I say "almost" because I am not a person of absolutes) pr0n is unhealthy. To dwell on something you cannot have, regardless of reason, is just bad news. You are supposed to be content with what you have, and profess your thankfulness to God everyday.

Yes, I am thankful. I love God with all my heart. And, in various aspects of my life, I trust him 100%. But, I am human. I'm a human that lives in a modern society, albeit tainted, stupid, etc. You get the picture. Oh yeah, and I'm a man. Visual stimulus gets my heart pumping. I get a rush from imagining myself driving a machine at the edge of recklessness on a track... Heck, that's why car chases exist in movies! We want to be the guy getting chased by the cops at a zillion miles per hour, dodging all the traffic, pedestrians, & traffic cones!

My point is this: My name is Mark & I'm addicted to porn. It may only be car porn, but it's porn nonetheless. Is it still a bad thing if I love it anyway? Probably. Should I repent? Mmmm...not sure. This is probably just a substitute for something else missing in my life. I don't care. I just want to drive! (Insert sweet driving theme song here.)

Monday, January 21, 2008

It all starts with a Resume'

I realize that the first step towards a new job would be to complete/update the resume. All last week I had some great ideas that I wanted to get on paper, but it didn’t happen. Now I need to remember all those great ideas, and get them down on paper! I’m afraid if I don’t at least get that done, I’ll never get a new job.

My window works!

Yes! No more duct tape. :) I dropped the $420 to get my window fixed, and boy do I feel refreshed. I can finally wash my car.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Beloved car moves quickly down hill...

My ‘99 Grand Am is not doing well these days. There’s a laundry list of things I need to go to it, but finances prevent me from getting it all done at once.
The current problem is the window mechanism is all messed up and I had to duct tape my window in the up position last night. Luckily I had red tape to match the red car, but it’s still ghetto. I’m nervous that one big bump, and the window is going to come crashing down.
Hopefully I’ll get that done at a reasonable price so I can get all the other stuff in a timely manner. I am not looking forward to shelling out a shit-ton of moolah just to get my stupid window fixed. Ugh.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

This money-management thing is hard work!

I recently clicked on an RSS feed I hadn't read in a while. I was astounded at the amount of good articles there were. I picked up a few & posted them to my Shared Stuff page, but I wanted to mention a few here.

This time of year is always pretty tough for me. With the incessantly evil North American International Autoshow that arrives in a little while, I always get the "New Car Buying Urge." This is a result of a combination of things; the first of which is, it's in my blood.
My dad has been known for buying and selling cars like they're going out of style. He almost never is satisfied. But he uses action, where I just do a lot of complaining. He loves cars; as do I.
The weather. S.E. Michigan has the stupidest weather. It's only predictability is that it's going to change. I guess the other mainstay is that winter sucks. It's cold, and ugly with a slushy/mud mix on the ground. Oh, and don't forget the excessive use of salt that eats the cars & the roads alike. And remember, we all can't wait for the spring months when the road crews have to fill all the potholes caused by the salt & shitty weather of months prior.
My 9+ y.o. car. The last week in January marks the anniversary of the week with which I bought my car: a 1999 Pontiac Grand Am. It's a decent car, but is starting to fall apart; and it's getting worse. Here's a quick list:

  1. Breaks are having trouble stopping, I'm going to need new ones.
  2. Driver's door window mechanism is all screwed up. I'm not going to attempt to fix it. Window falls right down into the door.
  3. Power steering pump making a bunch of racket. Going to have to replace it; maybe this fall
  4. Have to replace the fuel filter. "every 30k miles." I'm at 82k... that's going to be a messy job.
  5. Transmission has trouble shifting on moderate-hard accelerations. It probably only needs a tune-up, but I still have to take the time to take it in to a trans shop. ugh.

And there's more, but I'm not going to list them...

My point? I found this article about "shaking the new car itch" It probably won't work on me once I get out of debt, but he makes some good points. I promised my wife that I wouldn't buy a car until he van was paid off in September. I intend to keep that promise. Plus, after some discussion (and some other articles) I am determined to kill off the 'ol credit card & start an emergency fund. That'll push off the new car until at least 2009. By then who knows, they might discontinue the model I want. 2009 is going to be a tough year for me, I can tell.

The first order of business though, is for me to start & keep a budget, get the car in working order, and pay off the f*cking credit card. I really have my work cut out for me. Oh, I forgot to mention: all the while keeping a happy household (wife and kids), staying true to God's plan for me (whatever that may be), teaching my children the values & eduction they need to be productive in society, keeping food on the table & gas in the tank; no pressure.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Getting started on Linux

I’ve gotten started by installing SUSE on 2 of my 3 computers. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to put my wife on Linux, but that’s another goal. :)

I’ve managed to install a bunch of applications, with only a few left to go.

A couple of key things I still need to learn are 1)how the file system works 2)basic command-line commands

Thursday, January 3, 2008

What it means...

Loving your wife with ALL your heart means, not when it’s convenient. It means when she asks you to do something, it’s not, “In a minute, honey.” it’s getting your ass up off the couch and going to see what she wants.

Try this today. Make her the focus of your attention, not all the other distractions.

Lose the Loose!

Man! The utter neglect of respect to grammar and spelling on the internets is driving me crazy! I was reading this post on the Consumerist, and saw multiple misuses of loose (vs. lose).

If nothing else people, learn the proper usage of these two words!

v 1: fail to keep or to maintain; cease to have, either physically or in an abstract sense; "She lost her purse when she left it unattended on her seat"

1: not restrained or confined or attached; "a pocket full of loose bills"; "knocked the ball loose"; "got loose from his attacker"

This is not that difficult. Make an effort...sheesh!