The saga of the season continues... So I went down to Kristin's the
last two days. Originally, I had an invite to go visit April, and the
bulk of my time was going to spent visiting her, with a visit to Kristin
in the midst of it. Kristin herself warned me that she was pretty busy,
but wanted me to visit. Then, April dropped off the face of the
planet, and I had to change my plans to visit Kristin and stay until
plans were made with April. No big deal. On the drive down, I get
message from April with a new number. I call it, we talk, we discuss
visiting her. Then I have to hang up because I'm about to do some
complicated Maryland merging manuevers and I wanted to devote my full
attention to it. I do this, I call her back.. busy signal. Later, I
try again... busy signal. Ok, I say, let her call me back when she is
off the phone.

I get to Kristin's, Emma is asleep and Kristin is cleaning up her
room. I sit, she cleans, we talk... all is good. Emma wakes up, we
play, we visit, Emma goes to sleep, we go to the movies, we come back,
Kristin goes to sleep, I get on the phone. I get ahold of April -- her
phone was off the hook all day. We discuss meeting up the next day in
the afternoon (say around 3pm). I am to call her to get directions and
confirm a time. Ok, good.

Kristin is out pretty much the entire day the next day (I was
warned about this), but her Dad takes me to the auto parts store in
search of a piece for my muffler. I guess I should mention that the
muffler on my car, the one I paid > 500 USD to replace last year (and
didn't drive for 10 months) broke on the drive down and I had to tie it
up. Well, I was unsuccessful in fixing my muffler, but I think this
part has a lifetime warranty (Advanced Auto sells it with a lifetime
warranty for $100). Anwyays, I get some good tv watching time in, and
attempt to call April, but no answer on either phone.

Kristin returns, we socialize for a bit, and I return home. During
all this time, April did not make one attempt to call me. I'm kinda
ticked at her about that. It wasn't fair to me, and it wasn't fair to
Kristin/Kristin's family either -- playing hostess for two days to
someone that originally was only planning to be there part of one. Ai
yai yai!

Ok, currently I'm looking for plans for New Year's Eve. I'm not
planning to get drunk, and I'm not planning to do "gaming"
(role-playing) like some of my friends are either. I need to be able to
take Robin, who already cancelled one plan on the premise that I already
had plans for both of us (which I did at the time -- they fell through).
There is a quote from Rugrats where Stu says "Because I've lost control
of my life." -- I feel a bit like that after the last few days. Don't
get me wrong... a lot of good things have been happening, and only a few
annoyances here and there, but some of those annoyances are affecting
friends of mine (perhaps more than me, or maybe it's all in my head),
so... yeah. If I can't find suitable plans by tomorrow, the goal is to
create my own plans and host a movie night. The big issue is that I
have no way to watch the ball drop, which seems to be integral to the
entire new years group experience. I suppose we could do our own ball
dropping ceremony though.


Another day of Xmas gone by. Yesterday I went over to visit the family
for our Christmas and there were all told about 15 of us gathered for
the eating of food, exchanging of gifts, and catching up of events.

    A few memories that stand out in my mind:

  • The kids all in one room having their "mini" family reunion, all
    talking excitedly about what they got for Christmas, what they've
    been doing, and where they recently moved. Justin picking up
    Madeline and swinging her around, hugs exchanged... if I had a video
    camera, that would have been captured.
  • Earlier Justin (of 9 years, I think) rushing into the house
    excitedly carrying a 6-pack of assorted alchoholic beverages.
  • Everyone gathered around Manda with a various drinks in their
    hands as Lisa helped her with the syringe... I'll leave all of you
    guessing on that one.
  • All the kids playing Chicken Limbo and Twister, Manda, Justin
    and Shawn playing Twister (Shawn won on account of Manda

I took several pictures with my phone, but I don't have the cable yet
to transfer them to my computer, and it costs some amount of money to
email them to my computer (as well as a lot of button pushing, time
waiting for them to transmit), so you will have to wait on those. I'm
also attempting to gather the family's collection of photos (multiple
people, multiple cameras) and post them. During the course of the day,
my phone's battery died and I was out of contact with the world.

Went to Robin's house again and was there till just about 1am. I
arrived home about 15 minutes later or so, feeling generally in a good,
happy-go-lucky mood. And why not? This has been one of the most stress
free Christmas seasons I've had since I was a kid, I've been feeling
good about the way my business has been picking up (even if I'm still a
bit impatient and have spells of fustration), I just had two fun days
with friends and family, things are going good. So, I arrive home and
check my answering machine. A friend of mine is on there, has been
trying to get ahold of me most of the night, and sounded close to tears.
I suddenly feel like the worst person in the world. To make matters
worse, it's almost half past one in the morning, if I call her house, I
wake up parents, her cell phone doesn't work in the house... what do I
do? I im her, then I try her cell phone to no avail. I replay the
message and feel even worse.

So the next morning I give her a call and talk. Apparently, things
are not so bad as I had made them out to be. I played her message for
her and she was a bit surprised "Oh my.. I sound like I'm going to cry!"
she remarks, while laughing. So I feel a little bit better about that. It's still true
that if she had needed me, I would have been out of reach, but that's
life. No one can be available to everyone all of the time, and that
includes random phone calls. All's well that ends well. (Or course,
that is not to say that the ends justify the means.)

On a side note, I should explain that other people use the term
urbanite. My use of the word is pretty much my own definition -- it may
overlap other definitions
in some ways, but not truly match my viewpoint of an urbanite. Along
these lines, Kristin did not like me referring to her as an urbanite. I
pointed out that I really said that she "has urbanite tendencies", which
she did have to agree with. I guess I can concede that she has "rural"
tendencies as well and is stuck somewhere in the middle. But I stick by
what I wrote earlier, with one caveat. While it may seem like I'm
labelling people, I think of it more as "attributing". So if I
attribute someone as a party-goer, I might also attribute them as a
"4.0 gpa academic type" elsewhere.

Continuing with my holdiay season, I'm heading down to Maryland for a
few days tomorrow. Nothing really defined, but sometimes that works out


Ok, let's see.. to address an email sent to me, yes I am aware of the
spam infection on the guestbook. I have plans to a) block the spam, and
b) implement a comment system in the main page. I'm just very lazy
about it.

Ok, now for today's events (journal like for now, but then I plan to
get more rant-like later in the post.

  1. First off, went to Church this morning at 10am. It was decent
    service, but it was a bit sparse, which surprised me. I thought that
    the Christmas morning service was going to be fuller than usual, but I
    thought about and most families don't have a tradition built up of
    going to Church on Christmas morning, because it's not every year the
    the 25th of December falls on a Sunday. I'm sure some genius/looser
    out there has probably figured out a nifty formula to tell me just how
    often this actually happens (without giving it a moment's thought, I'd
    say 'every seven years, allowing for fudging with that leap year
    catastrophe', but I would be wrong).
  2. Next up, went to Greg's house to drop off their card, give Alanna
    (almost definately spelled wrong) a stuffed snake of interesting
    origins, and to see Samareh Akilah Morse, the newest edition to the
    Morse clan, born December 8th, 2005.
  3. I arrived in Bedford around 2:30pm to visit the Clarke's for their
    after-Christmas festivities, which basically involved a buffet style
    brunch and light conversation. There was a mini-crisis going on with
    one member of the family, but because of privacy and since it wasn't
    what they would classify as a "big deal", I will shy away from the
    specifics. Also, I would like to point out that veggie tales have some
    funny holiday music, even if you are 24 years old.
  4. I left there around 3:30 to go to Robin's house (second meeting
    with Robin, first visit to the house) for her family's xmas dinner. We
    had a good time and I definately feel quite comfortable with her and
    her family. I ended up staying till almost midnight having
    conversation and watching television stuff. We made some indefinate
    plans for later this week, once we all figure out just what it is we
    are doing anyways. I do have a prior commitment to visit some friends out. I was going to attempt to make it during the week instead of New
    Year's weekend. I don't want to make plans to go out to the bar scene
    this year. I'm pretty well done with the bar scene (now, if you're
    talking about playing pool, or getting a bite to eat at a bar, that's a
    different story. But going out to go out and drink is no longer fun
    for me).

Ok, so while I was composing this entry in my mind, I came up with a
quasi-philosphical/psychological question for myself to answer -- I'm
not even sure exactly what I'm asking, so this is my way of working it
out. Basically, the idea is that if something is immediately
recognizable to you, very familiar, can it mean as much as something
that you don't recognize, but must learn to understand? That seems a
bit vague, so here's some examples.



  • I had the same wallet for about 8 years. The thing was beat up,
    falling apart, money placed inside it got wrinkled, it didn't hold any
    of my cards properly, but I really liked it. I decided I would keep it
    until it became pretty much physically impossible to use it as a wallet
    anymore. I knew it inside and out, I put up with its problems, and it
    was a part of me. When I lost it recently, I searched high, I searched
    low. Even after admitting it lost forever, I still held out hope of
    finding it again, and eventually I did. However, when given a new,
    very nice wallet for xmas, I got rid of the old wallet. So while I
    thought I cared for the old wallet greatly, when something new
    presented itself, something I am still "adjusting too" in some ways, I
    moved on. This is a bad example because the fact that the new wallet
    was a gift made it much more special than something that I had
    purchased on the spur of the moment 8 years ago.
  • I am used to a certain type of gloves -- leather work gloves/shells, and the
    occasional knitted inserts. I can pretty much interchange between many
    different sytles of these gloves, so long as they are instantly
    recognizable to me. You could say that I don't have loyalty to a pair
    of gloves because I can just as easily move on to another pair that
    seem close enough. However, if someone were to buy me a pair of nice
    leather gloves, or some other style outside of what I'm used to, they
    would most likely just find their way to a box. This is a pretty good
    example, but not close enough.
  • Joseph Grizone (hopefully spelled right) rights a series of books
    about a man named Joshua living in modern times. Essentially, it is
    Jesus come again as a simple carpenter, affecting small towns out in
    the middle of nowhere. In the first book (aptly entitled "Joshua"),
    Joshua gets hired by two different churches to make a statue. For the
    first Church, he makes a sculpture of Jesus washing Peter's feet. For
    the second, he makes a sculpture of Peter standing in full power and
    authority. The pastors of each church arrive to pick up their statues,
    coincidentally arriving at the same time. The pastor for the first
    church, dressed in an expensive suit, immediately goes to the statue of
    Peter in full power and authority. The other pastor, dressed in a more
    casual attire, goes to the other statue. They each immediately
    recognized the message in each statue. They actually had gone to the
    wrong statue for their church. Joshua told them that if they paid the
    amount agreed upon for the statue he carved, and then wanted to switch
    statues, that was up to them. The pastors agreed and did so. A few
    weeks later, the pastors called each other up. Since their statue had
    very familiar message to them, it fit in too well in their respective
    church and conveyed nothing. So they switched the statues back and
    because the message of the statues weren't quite as familiar, it had
    more power and presence in the mind of the congregation. This is a
    counterpoint to the last example.
  • Additionally, I want to touch on two different type of people, one I'm
    familiar with instantly, the other I'm not. I'm talking of what I call
    "urbanites" and "rural types". I'm not saying either one is better or
    worse than the other. I'm mostly familiar with the rural types. With
    rural types, you go in, they don't apologize about the mess (unless
    they don't know you), and you don't even notice the mess. Your first
    couple times, you're offered a drink, food, etc... After that, you're
    offered refreshments when you arrive, but you are more than welcome to
    the fridge. Mi Casa Es Su Casa. I something think of this as function
    over form. Urbanites are just as friendly, but the word "proprieties"
    comes into play more often. During the course of your visit, your well
    being and status will be checked on often, as well as your desire for
    refreshments. This is perhaps even more polite than the rural types
    who might only ask if you want something while they happen to be in the
    kichen area. Being accustomed to "rural types", I feel out of place
    when someone who is not necessarily getting something for themselves
    asks if I want something from the other room. I can simply go fetch
    for myself and offer to grab something for them (goes back to Mi Casa
    Es Su Casa) while I'm at it. If I say "yes, I'd like a glass of water"
    and they get it for me, especially if they're not getting anything for
    themselves, I feel a bit like a jerk, while they're feeling that
    they're being a good host(ess) to get this for me in their house. If I
    say "no", then I would feel ackward getting a drink 5 minutes later.
    Also, I know all this in my logical brain, but logic often squares off
    with emotions. Conversely, if an urbanite is visiting me, I offer free
    reign over my fridge, but I feel the need to act urbanite, lest they
    think me rude for not offering them something to drink an hour after
    the first question goes by. Because.. I also know that they're not
    comfortable going into my fridge, looking through my drawers for a
    spoon, or peering into my cabinets.
  • Finally, it's easy to see that I don't understand these "urbanites"
    that well, and might feel somewhat out of place among their dwellings.
    My sister Lisa married an urbanite and adopted the urbanite lifestyle.
    My friend Kristin comes from an urbanite family, and is fairly urbanite
    herself, but I have put her in 'rural type' settings and she enjoys
    herself, making me think that she could potentially convert (but
    probably won't, especially if she has no reason to). My other friend
    April is fairly urbanite to my eyes, but seems out of place in 'rural
    type' environments. So (while I'm not thinking so much about Kristin
    or April when I ask this, they're just examples), I wonder which type
    would be a better match for me? Immediately, the rural type is the
    most familiar, the easiest to start a relationship with, and would be
    the most straightforward. A relationship with an urbanite takes longer
    to get accustomed to, would have many ackward starts, and would require
    a great deal more work to get to the same level you would achieve with
    the familiar type. Which would mean more to me in the long run
  • The answer is of course that it all depends on the individual and
    you can't tell if a relationship is going to work based off a label
    that you made up. That is the plain and simple truth, but I definately
    enjoyed pondering the question, and I will ponder it still because my
    answer doesn't actually directly answer the question.
  • <



    Hmm... what's new? Well obviously it's (for many people) Christmas day, unless your Orthodox Christian, in which case that's (I might be wrong on this) January 6th. Anyways, per tradition, my family is having their celebration on Monday. I'll be spending today drifting from family to family, spending time with friends.

    Going back a bit in time, traveling up to the present... I met a nice young lady online about a week ago (this is becoming a theme now, isn't it?) that is actually local. I mean... wow. But it doesn't end there. From initial conversations, she not only says she is Christian, but seems to be so. Furthermore, she's single, in college (going for a nursing degree), and seems rather intelligent, has the many of the same ideas as I do concerning non-dating/going out (and while this shouldn't really be mentioned like it's a priority, she's also pleasing to the eye).

    So Robin (yes, that's her name, try to keep up will you?) invited me out to their 11pm service on Saturday (which is yesterday for those of you reading this without a calendar), and that went pretty well. It was a Lutheran candlelight service, which is rife with tradition, but contrary to popular belief, I'm not actually against tradition, and I was pleased with the service, as well as the meeting with Robin. We didn't get much time to talk, but after I got home, she caught me online before going to bed and invited me over for xmas dinner, which I gladly accepted.

    So... all in all, a good week. I won't really get into the Toys For Tots thing our unit did last weekend, other than to say it was a decently good weekend, I was exhausted at the end of it, and that's about all I'm going into. Hmmm... this site is tourning more into a journal than a rant site, isn't it? I'll have to change that back. Also, I will be sticking with the Marines for another month or two on "non-obligated" status, which means I can quit/walk out at any time. I am definately not going with them on AT come June, so I will be quitting before that comes.

    Ok, and with that, I am off to bed.


    Oh, why am I one of the few that love winter, loves snow, performs best in cold weather? We've had our second snow storm of the season (yes, winter hasn't officially started yet, I know -- work with me here). I've had to shovel the parking lot three times so far. I'm not disliking that activity as much as previous years. In fact, it's a great excercise -- but I'm usually left standing outside in a t-shirt sweating profusely as the wind whips around me. People think I'm crazy, and they are right. Anyways, this year I traded my VW Fox for a Wizard snowblower. I had to put a new spark plug in it, and I didn't quite understand how the choke worked on it. On lawn mowers, the choke is part of the throttle, and regulates the engine speed. I have to fully open the choke on this to get it going (some of the time), and then I must gradually lower it and close it. Until I got the hang of this, it kept shutting off on me every couple minutes -- very annoying. Anyway, the thing will blow snow, but will not blow the packed ice at the bottom of the parking lot, which I must pick up and move with the shovel to one of my piles, which could be as far as 20' away. Even with this, I still am enjoying the winter season once again. It's so nice to walk outside and feel the crisp air moving across your face -- everything seems very fresh and very exciting. I do miss my Jeep though.

    My last post reminded me of a Bible verse, so I went ahead and looked it up. Matt 23:24 "You blind guides, who strain out a gnat, but swallow a camel!".


    Come home Sunday, walk to my room.. neither the microwave or the fridge are running. So, I check the power strips, unplug, plug back in, no love. Down to the basement, check all the breakers -- only one is turned off. I can't flip it on. Back upstairs, I notice another device plugged into the same circuit, I unplug everything on the circuit and try again. Still... no love. Hmmm... the breaker seems a bit loose in the box, so I turn off power to the building, fiddle with it, turn power back on, the breaker turns on, yet no love at the plugs. Again fiddle with the breaker, nearby breakers, still no love. A friend comes over and we both fiddle with the breaker box. By this point, I want to see if the breaker actually works or not, but I can't find my multimeter. The next day, I call someone to see if I can borrow their multimeter. They stop by later that evening look at the breaker, then they ask about this other breaker near the top that is turned off. This other break near the top that is turned off? I turn it on, check the plugs, they work. The breaker I was playing with... terminates into nothing later on.

    Nothing like having someone else point out your inability to see the completely obvious. My only defense is that there was something more obvious drawing my attention, and in my opinion, that is even worse.



    (17:19:33) anotherordinaryperson: ring
    (17:19:40) anotherordinaryperson: ring
    (17:19:50) anotherordinaryperson: hello
    (17:19:53) anotherordinaryperson: hey
    (17:19:54) anotherordinaryperson: good
    (17:19:59) anotherordinaryperson: how are you
    (17:20:01) anotherordinaryperson: that's good
    (17:20:10) anotherordinaryperson: why are you typing what i'm saying?
    (17:20:14) anotherordinaryperson: ali called you a dork
    (17:21:05) April logged out.


    More pictures are up now.. basically I just grouped all of November's (except the ball) into one album. Umm.. not too much going on, I feel like I've put my life on pause as I try to finish up some projects I've committed myself to. However, I am getting some good stuff accomplished that will help me out down the road, which is good.