Monday, July 31, 2006



Lots and lots of rain.

Tucson is in the desert, last I checked. So for it to be raining for five days straight, especially over a weekend, kinda sucks. Even moreso when you have to ride a motorcycle to work every day.

I'm still in my blogging doldrums. Kind of just general doldrums overall. My self-image is dragging pretty badly right now, and I'm not sure why. This of course translates into not having anything to write about or discuss on here. I need some motivation.

Went to see "Pirates" this weekend--pretty decent flick. Had to search all over creation to find one that wasn't sold out, though. Got to see the coming attractions for "Rocky Balboa," the new (and last--I'm betting he dies in the ring) Rocky movie. I'm a huge fan, although I never even saw the last one. After watching the trailer I think its going to be a good one.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Lust Satisfied

Out of the seven deadly sins, Lust is definitely one that I have a big issue with. In a million different ways. The Lucky clan went to Best Buy the other day to check and see how much the Gateway Tablet PC was.

Big mistake.

They had one on display that damn near brought tears to my eyes. And it was only $1099, much less than I had expected it to be. To top things off, they were offering a $150 discount.

Uh, oh.

After some minor deliberating with SW (who, I imagine, saw the look in my eyes and figured she couldn't win this one) we agreed to buy it. The motivated sales rep zipped off only to come back with his head held low. Apparently they were all out. But he had great news! "You can get the upgraded model for $1499, and I'll give you the same $150 discount."


I wandered aimlessly through the store before I finally caved to the lust and filled out the credit application. It was a moot point because I just liquidated my E*Trade account that has been languishing for years after the tech bubble burst--ironically producing the same amount of money I would need to buy the dream PC. Needless to say, and oh so predictably, we walked out with a cow-decorated box.

Then the guilt set in. There is a 14-day return policy, but if the box is opened you have to pay a 15% restocking fee. Quite a bit of money. So the box sat in our living room, unopened. I debated all night but couldn'tbring myself to commit. We watched "To Kill a Mockingbird" that night--the whole time the box staring at me from across the room.

I woke up the next day and played with the monkies. Had breakfast. All morning the cow kept calling to me. I sat in front of it with my knife in hand, a tiny strip of silver reflective tape beckoning to be cut. Eventually, SW had had enough and ordered me to open the box.

This machine rocks. Of course, I really won't have a whole lot of time to play with it until my TDY next month.

So lust wins again. As she has so many, many times before.


I am unwritten, can't read my mind, I'm undefined
I'm just beginning, the pen's in my hand, ending unplanned

Staring at the blank page before you
Open up the dirty window
Let the sun illuminate the words that you could not find

Reaching for something in the distance
So close you can almost taste it
Release your innovations
Feel the rain on your skin
No one else can feel it for you
Only you can let it in
No one else, no one else
Can speak the words on your lips
Drench yourself in words unspoken
Live your life with arms wide open
Today is where your book begins
The rest is still unwritten

Oh, oh, oh

I break tradition, sometimes my tries, are outside the lines
We've been conditioned to not make mistakes, but I can't live that way

Staring at the blank page before you
Open up the dirty window
Let the sun illuminate the words that you could not find

Reaching for something in the distance
So close you can almost taste it
Release your inner visions
Feel the rain on your skin
No one else can feel it for you
Only you can let it in
No one else, no one else
Can speak the words on your lips
Drench yourself in words unspoken
Live your life with arms wide open
Today is where your book begins

Feel the rain on your skin
No one else can feel it for you
Only you can let it in
No one else, no one else
Can speak the words on your lips
Drench yourself in words unspoken
Live your life with arms wide open
Today is where your book begins
The rest is still unwritten

Staring at the blank page before you
Open up the dirty window
Let the sun illuminate the words that you could not find

Reaching for something in the distance
So close you can almost taste it
Release your inner visions
Feel the rain on your skin
No one else can feel it for you
Only you can let it in
No one else, no one else
Can speak the words on your lips
Drench yourself in words unspoken
Live your life with arms wide open
Today is where your book begins

Feel the rain on your skin
No one else can feel it for you
Only you can let it in
No one else, no one else
Can speak the words on your lips
Drench yourself in words unspoken
Live your life with arms wide open
Today is where your book begins
The rest is still unwritten
The rest is still unwritten
The rest is still unwritten

Thursday, July 20, 2006

I'm Lusting

After this.

I just don't think I can justify spending $1500 on what, essentially, is a toy. I am going to Florida for five weeks for a school and the thought of being sans internet access is giving me chills.

We talked about getting a laptop a while ago. Of course that was before a $3000 dental bill.

I'm looking everywhere, but am coming up empty. I am dying for a tablet laptop. It's either that or a long hiatus from blogging. And reading. And gaming. And photo editing...

Blue Crush

I found this cool widget over at Canadutch's place. Essentially you put in the names of three peeople you dig and it spits out your compatibility. I put in SW, Briegh, and some girl from high school. I'd like to say that the results were good, but maybe it's just me.

Anyway--it's just a game anyway. Try it out.

Crush Calculator

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

School's In

The school district that we live in does year round school. What that means is that the monkies get half the summer break that I did as a kid, but they get multiple two-week breaks throughout the year. It's a little bit of work for us now, since it tosses even more chaos into our already chaotic schedule, but it pays back when they (and we) get a break a few times a year.

They had their first day of school on Monday. Princess seems to be an old pro at this now, although we're not too crazy about her teacher. She just seems a little too high-maintainence and self-absorbed to be a second-grade schoolteacher. To top it off she loaded Princess up on the bus on her second day, even though we filled out the forms and explicitily reminded her to not put our kids on the bus. So SW spent yesterday afternoon stopping the busses before they left the parking lot to pull Princess off. To add to it--the teacher tried to lay the blame for the debacle on us, by saying that we hadn't filled out the correct information on her nametag.

Cowboy's a different story. We went to great lengths to get the teacher we wanted, and to get him in the same class as his best friend. My first impression of her is an awesome one. She seems to be great with kids and Cowboy loves her so far. I was hesitant as to how he would handle going to Kindergarten, but he took it in stride and barely said goodbye to us.

SW seemed to handle dropping Cowboy off without any problems--I managed to hold tears back somewhat until I got in the car.

He still looks like a baby to me.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Bandit Three Six

Bandit Three Six is a blog that I've read from time to time. He's deployed to Iraq and is blogging from the Green Zone. His current posts are a slap back in the face of the MSM who says that we're losing the war.

Well worth checking out.

Peeped Out

Well, that was fun while it lasted.

After four days I finally got booted off of 25peeps. That was three days longer than I thought I would last. At the very least, one of the new contenders that bumped me off was Briegh from Canadutch. You can check her peep out here and pass on some of the luv.

I'd like to do it again--I think I would need a better, more "clickable" photo, though. I'm open to any suggestions that people have regarding what I should put up.

Don't forget, I'm a guy--so boob shots aren't a player.

I've been conspicously absent for the past couple of days due to some serious buffoonery on my part regarding what is classified and what is not--I accidentally sent some sensitive info across an unsecure computer without realizing it. No harm was done, except for the fact that the had to sanitize my computer at work all day...for two days. I was starting to get the shakes from not being able to get online.

I need another hobby.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Superman Returns

Superman. Abso-f*cking-lutely rocked. Mind you, I've always been a very big Supes fan--I loved the movies in the late 70's and early 80's. So to have the same theme music come crashing through the theater speakers was a trip, to say the least.

It was kind of a chick-flick, but not really. Just a little touchy-feely, but I think it was necessary to build up the characters for a new generation of movie goers. But the special effects and action scenes were phenomenal. Like let-out-a-yell-in-a-crowded-movie phenomenal. Princess, I think, was a little bored--but Cowboy was completely beside himself. In the movie the bad guys figure out a way to hurt Big Blue and the beat the snot out of him. For a while you think he's dead or dying. As the scene was playing out I could hear my five year old Cowboy sniffling in his seat beside me. I looked down and he was crying his eyes out, but didn't want to make any noise because he was in the theater.

Man, he's a great kid.

Anyway--I'll probably take Cowboy to see it again, because this is one that is definitely better in the theater. I think it sucks that it's not doing so well, because I am dying to see a sequel.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Martial Motivation

I've won quite a few things in my life. Lost more than I've won, but I have quite a few plaques on my wall. Well, ok, they're in a box in a clset since SW doesn't want them all over the house. But I've won them nonetheless.

One victory that I had was when I was a teenager taking Karate with my Dad. The organization we're all in now, ATA, has tournaments out the wazoo. The organization I was in then, Fred Villari's Studios of Self Defense, didn't have them that often. So in the whole time I was taking it (about 2 years) I only entered one tournament.

One of the events was sparring. Essentially you and another dude would put on gloves and go at it. You face each other and a referee raises his hand from between you to start the fighting. You got points for making contact in the head or body area, when a judge would raise a red or white flag to signify the hit. Once a point was scored, you stopped, reset, and did it again. This went on until someone scored five points.

I entered my one and only tourney as a blue belt, roughly halfway to Black Belt. I kicked ass in another event--even won a trophy--but it was sparring that I really wanted to do well in.

I faced off in my first real match, my Dad and high school sweetheart sitting in the stands watching (can you say "Karate Kid?" Hey--it was a good movie). We went back and forth for a while, and he was a hell of a lot better than I. He scored three, then I scored three, then he scored his fourth, and I scored my fourth. Next point wins.

I'm still not sure why I did this, but when the ref's hand went up I yelled as loud as I could a threw myself (all 190 pounds of me) through the air at him, with no hope of landing on my feet. As I sailed by I shot my fist out and bopped him on top of the head. I went crashing by him into the crowd standing nearby like a bowling ball and landed on my back, out of the ring. When I looked up, both judges snapped red flags (my color) into the air.

The crowd (my Dad and girlfriend, but it felt like the crowd) went wild. I won my first match.

I actually went on to get trounced in the semi-finals, so I never won a trophy for it. But I tell you what--I have never had such a great feeling of triumph (ok, maybe I have--but not in sports) since then. It was, to be a teenager for a moment, so cool.

That's one of the reasons we're taking this completely insane adventure right now as a family. Not only do I want that feeling again, but I want the monkies to have it to. I want them to go further in the sport than I could due to circumstance. Those two years have stuck with me ever since, and I desperately want it to be a part of their lives.

I'm Famous

At least I will be for a few minutes.

Breigh (Bree-Ah) from Canadutch dropped me a line to say that she had found my site through 25peeps today. 25peeps is a website that you upload a single picture, and if it gets enough hits you move up a list to eventually be in the top 25. I think I uploaded mine about six months ago. Well, apparently I've made it to the big top 25, because when I went to check it out--lo and behold, there I was with the monkies.

My pic will only stay up as long as people click on it--so help a brother out! Drop by 25peeps and click on me...

Ok, enough beggin'...back to my miserable week.

UPDATE: YOU GUYS ROCK. By day's end I have moved up into the top couple of spots...beaten only by the guys that made their ass look like a great set of knockers (wait a minute...)

Thursday, July 13, 2006


I love the Israeli Military.

I like the country, the government, the loyalty they have shown--but I love the military. Once they are given the green light, they clean house. Every time. And it has hurt for me to watch over the past few years as Hamas has summarily executed thousands of innocent people in that country, while the military was (for the most part) held at bay.

Wizbang had a great article on the current situation in the region and what's going on. It's worth a look.

So, while it may not be politically correct to say so, I am ecstatic that they are finally steamrolling through the bad guys. Hezballah wants in? Cool--we'll steamroll them too.

Go get 'em boys. Protect your women and children.


This week has sucked.

In addition to my normal issues at work, a plethora of other issues have been dropped in my lap, and my co-worker has elected not to help in any way. Couple that with the car issues (more on that below) and not being able to get around, and life just kind of generally sucks here.

This has been the first week we've been able to try to do the TKD schedule with the monkies going at one time, and us at another. Plus SW is working from 0900-1400. For example, Tuesday's schedule. Mind you, we live 35 minutes from town:

0700: I go to work
0830: SW goes to work
1400: SW Dentist appointment
1430: I leave work early to go back home and get the monkies
1510: Me and the monkies go to TKD
1610: SW arrives at TKD
1645: We leave in 2 cars to go home, I stop at Walgreen's for medicine for MIL
1730: I get home
1810: SW and I go to TKD
1945: TKD over, we go home
2015: Cook dinner
2045: Eat said dinner
2130: Pajamas and get monkies ready for bed
2200: Collapse in a heap

That is how it's been for us for a while now. The singlemost largest mistake we made was living so far from town. Tonight we get to go to two different schools (a fine example of Arizona's politicians failure to support the poplualce in their explosive growth in the last few years) for the monkies two open houses. The first is at 1730, the second at 1815, and we're supposed to be at TKD for me and SW's class at 1840. Oh yeah, we still live 20 minutes from the school. Not sure if we'll make that one.

Next on the list of Lucky's woes is the car situation. We need three modes of transportation: car for SW to get to work, Harley for me to get to work, and car for monkies to get to school. A while ago our Durango started overheating when the temperature topped 95 degrees. I replaced a couple of things and flushed out the radiator, but we eventually had to take her in. After a $340 bill on Friday, the damn thing overheated again last weekend. So now we're minus a car while the guys at the dealership have been trying to figure it out for the last few days. The monkies start school on Monday, so we really need this to be handled.

Continuing the beginning of my financial ruin is SW's dental woes. She cracked a tooth while she was preggo and couldn't go to the dentist until Odie popped out. When she finally got in, the diagnosis was grim: two root canals, two crowns and a bridge. While the military generally does a good job at taking care of its people, one place they fail miserably is dependant health care. The insurance that we have is abysmal. So, all told, we got a $3000 bill dropped in our lap this week. This is two weeks after we spent $1700 to go see the grandparents in St. Louis.

I'm trying to tell myself "one thing at a time" over and over, but it's not working very well. I'm at the brink of being overwhelmed at this point.


Tuesday, July 11, 2006


I'm scared.

I was watching the President this morning giving a speech about the economy that he has given a dozen times and I got the feeling that, at this point, noone is taking him seriously anymore. I got the feeling that so many people are so tired about the war and this administration that the outcome of the elections this fall, and the next Presidential elections, will be disasterous.

The President's support is waning day by day. I used to read political/military blogs almost exclusively and these days it gets hard for me to stomach them. Politics in general were always hard to stomach--I honestly don't think a "changing of the guard" this fall will have any noticable effect whatsoever--but the national "mood" and opinion is getting difficult to watch. There's nothing like watching the Spirit of a nation deteriorate, especially when that nation is the one you've sworn your life to defend.

My fear is that by the time the next presidential election rolls around, if significant progress is not made, the voters will go for anyone who can end this. And, much like Vietnam, we will be pulled out with our tail between our legs. And all those solider's lives will have been lost in vain. There is so much self-preservation in politics today, that the greater good or greater goal is lost in the duststorm. The people of Iraq need us. The people of Iraq WANT us to help them, because they know that if we bail, then what is already is horrible place to be will become the truest version of hell on earth.

I can't imagine what being in the US Military would be like, if the anti-war side wins this one.


Monday, July 10, 2006

Why I'll Never Be in a Harley Gang

Yesterday was a quintessential man day for me.

Woke up and was working on the yard before 9am. Fired up the Craftsman edger and weed-whacker and manicured the lawn shirt-off in the 100 degree heat. Monkies in the pool by 1100. Cleaned the garage. Cut wood to build some bookshelves. Built a stool for the kids. Half a case of Bud and Boston cranking on the garage stereo. No shopping, no errands, no nothing.

All in all an awesome day.

I usually fire up the Harley on Sunday nights just to make sure it's good to go for work the next day. Plus screaming eagle pipes sound great in the garage. The monkies usually come out and watch me rev the engine and fill the driveway with exhaust. Cowboy doesn't love loud noise so he usually covers his ears--I convinced him last night not to. After witnessing his bravery, I decided it was time for my five-year-old to take a giant step towards manhood.

I picked him up and put him in front of me on the tank, with his legs safely balanced on non-hot parts of the body. He had to stretch, but I put his hands on the handlegrips. He's seen me rev the engine a million times, so he knows the drill. He nervously turned the throttle a little at first, but in a few minutes I had him gunning the engine and waking up the neighborhood.

Princess was next, but since her legs are too long she couldn't sit on the front. So, also taking a giant step toward her adulthood, I put her on the back and she held on like we were going down the highway. I might take her for a spin around the neighborhood soon.

By now SW and the mother-in-law, Odie with them, had joined us for the show. I sensed a photo opportunity and plopped the baby on the tank between my legs. It was funny how he'd jump when I revved the engine. We took some pretty awesome pictures that I'll post on here.

Towards the end I had him sitting up and I was trying to postition him so that we could take a hand-shot with his fingers on the handlegrip when he hiccuped. As Princess let out an "ewww" I knew what had happened.

I looked over the side of the engine to see a huge mouthful of regurgitated formula now sizzling on the chrome finish of my prized machine. Photo shoot was over. Someone who worshipped Harley's would have had tears in his eyes but I just let it burn there. Hopefully it'll come off when I wash it but if it doesn't, oh well.

It'll be a Daddy battle-scar.

Friday, July 7, 2006

Off Our Game

We went to our third TKD class last night. Any pretense that I had that this was going to be easy since I've done this before (which was supported by the first two classes not being difficult) was quickly dashed across the rocks. I think that doing back-to-back classes may have had something to do with it. Actually, I think that there are a lot of factors.

SW wasn't on her game, either. So far, once we start yelling and kicking, I kind of zone out and don't even notice that she's there. Last night she almost fell during a kick and clearly was tired from work and Odie. So I got preoccupied with that. I missed a few of my targets, which I hadn't done yet, and it just kept getting worse. For the first time in class, I glanced up at the clock to see how much time was left.

Mind you, we're spending HUNDREDS of dollars on this joyride.

Oh well. We don't have class until next week now. Maybe the motivation will pick up by then.

Wednesday, July 5, 2006

Daddy Blog Monthly Post

I posted my latest monthly post to "Dad Bloggers" the other day, but failed to put a link to it on here. It was a dissertation of what it is like trying to take three kids under seven to a Catholic Church once a week.

Read it here.

Monkey Speak

Princess is at the age that there is no other entity in the world as desireable as attention.

As the thunder crashed around last night, she recounted the crisis from the Fireworks SHow with great detail.

"And it was burning and burning and Momma was dumping water in my face and I was lucky I didn't go blind. Then the storm hit and we almost floated away and almost died from the lightening. And now Daddy went outside and he almsot died from the lightening and we'll be lucky to survive the night."


"God Bless America." And she sauntered off.

God I love kids.

Fourth of July

We had a hell of a Fourth.

Tucson's under fire-watch "severe" this year (as, I imagine, they are every year) so quite a few celebrations were cancelled. The base, however, took it upon themselves to have their own celebration, touting it as a "family event."

Once we got there, monkies in tow in two strollers, we figured out that "family" may have been a little ambitious for them. The heavy-metal rock band (music I like, but not music I would listen to with my children) used more language in the first five minutes than my kids have heard in our house since I gave it up following a few select repeats by Princess. Once they got off the stage (thankfully) the lights went out and the monkies were sitting happily playing with their long-sought-after glowsticks. That's where the fun started.

As the National Anthem began to play in the dark, I caught a glance over at Princess, who had been sitting happily in her stroller-seat. She was twisting and bending her glowstick. A moment later she let out a little yelp and her hands, shorts, legs, and the new stroller seat were now covered in luminesence.

We had glowsticks when I was a kid. I remember being told over and over again how dangerous the chemicals inside them were. Now said chemicals were coating my firstborn. A quick reaction from me with a towel and it appeared to have not been a big deal. Until my nurse wife saw a tiny drop on her eyelid.

Princess started to howl.

So here's the scene--SW is on the blanket holding Odie, who has decided that it's time to eat and is crying. Cowboy is scared of the soon-to-come "BOOM" from the fioreworks which are starting and is running around in circles with his hands over his ears in fear. Princess is desperately crying and trying not to put her chemical-soaked hands in her burning eye. And I'm in a panic now, because I'm afriad that my daughter is about to go blind. The whole time SW is shouting for me to flush her eye out with the bottle of water we have, which is precisely the point at which I figure out that I'm clueless as to how to flush an eye out.

Mind you, this is all in the dark.

Eventually, I took Odie and SW sprang into action, dumping a whole bottle of water into Princess's face. She held a towel to it and had finally calmed down by about the halfway point of the fireworks show. Eventually everything returned to normal, and Princess can still see just fine. But I tell you what--I was pretty scared for a minute there.

As we made our way home, the sky was lit up by a monster thunderstorm directly over our house. I've been hit by lightening in the air, twice, and this scared the hell out of me. Once home and everyone inside, I went back out to save the strollers from the back of the pickup. As I turned back to leave the garage a bolt hit not 100 yards from the front of the house. It blinded me and the instant thunder almost dropped me to the floor. SW came running out just to make sure she still had a husband. This went on all night, with the monkies on our bedroom floor in their sleeping bags.

Happy Fourth of July.