Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The Twighlight Zone

We ditched cable a while back. I was really worried about this, but it hasn't been bad at all. I've been getting caught up on my Netflix queues. I am finally starting to make a dent in the Twilight Zone. That is truly an incredible show. I have also ventured out into old TV shows like the Dick Van Dyke show and my newest favorite the Jack Benny Show. It must come with age the you can really begin to appreciate the past. I mean even my musical tastes have expanded. I wasn't into the Beatles growing up, but Now I couldn't live without their music. On the music front, my newest finding is a group called Pistol Annies. I think of them as a much bitchier Dixie Chicks. I am not huge into country music, but they have good tunes that make me laugh. Try Trailer for Rent and see what you think.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Adoption of a Burned Child

About 5 year ago, We found out the fertility treatments were not working. Which I was surprisingly OK with for many reasons. The treatments required me to give her injections daily. Not a fan of that at all. And at one point I ended up taking her to the hospital due to pain caused by the treatments. So, we decided we would adopt. By this time, we were very anxious for a child. We decided we would adopt. We went to an adoption agency and found out it would take a about 2 years and 25K to adopt. I didn't have 25K laying around, but surprisingly we still went through with it. We ended up taking some loans and managed to scrape together the money.

We did research and found that the adoption agency had a list of special needs kids. We looked through the list, and saw a little boy who had been burned in a fire. We figured we could deal with the burn issues and decided to apply to adopt the child. We continued to research the child looking for any little bits we could find. As best as we could find,  the child's family was living in a shack under a freeway with no electricity. Lighting was provided by oil lamps, little house on the prairie style. Anyways, the father came home on Christmas night drunk and angry at the wife.  They got into a huge argument and in a fit of rage the husband through an oil lamp against the wall. The shack immediately went up in flames. I am not sure what happened next, but someone.... finally managed to get the one year old child out of the house, but not before he suffered major burns.

The parents of the child were in fear, because police and fire were on the way. The police was the biggest problem as the neighborhood of shacks under the freeway was burning to the ground. The next door shack had burned with a lady and her daughter inside. The couple knew they were in trouble. They ran the only place they could, down to a local orphanage that also served as an outreach program to the neighborhood. They left the child and fled before police could arrive.

The caregivers saw the state of the child and immediately rushed him to the hospital. At the hospital, four hour into the wait for care it was clear none was coming for this parentless child. The caregivers took the child back to the orphanage and were forced to deal with the burns the they could. They treated the burns with what they had, but this meant no anesthetic. It was very painful for the child and at one point during the night he stopped breathing. The managed to get the child breathing again and watched him the many days until he recovered.

The parents of the child, the mother, did return to the orphanage. She did not ask to see the child, but was simply there to beg for food and supplies. The grandmother occasionally visited and whispered into the child's ear that he no longer had a mommy and daddy. Finally the lady in charge of the orphanage had enough, and decided to try to get the parents to sign the child away. The reluctantly signed him away. He continues to live in the orphanage until age 3 and a half. We adopted him in April 2008.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

My secret shame....

I really enjoy watching TMZ. I know you're like that show is total garbage. Yeah, I agree, but it's funny. My favorite moments are when the photog finds someone famous and doesn't know who the person actually is. The second best is when they ask a celebrity something completely ridiculous and they totally answer. The show is basically what used to exist in the workplace senseless gossip and mocking the boss. Granted on TMZ the mocking of the boss is to his face, which is even funnier. I guess the great thing about the show is it's funny when the real news can be so depressing. We all watch crap TV, I just owned up to mine.

The courage to write any stupid thing I think of....

I love Jenny Lawson. I know there's probably something wrong with her, but there is something wrong with all of us. The thing that amazes me about Jenny Lawson is the fact that on her blog she is fearless. She will literally talk about anything. My hero.

I have always wondered about gay guys who say they only date straight guys. I mean at some point the straight guy becomes gay and the mystery must be gone. I thought it odd that people looked for a something that had such a short shelf life. I guess it's no worse than looking through porn to find a girl that totally didn't look like she'd do porn. You watch the video, and yep she did and is no longer interesting. What has become of us all? I guess it's no different than any other part of life. We strive to try new things, some of us anyways, and then once we've tried it.... it's no longer special. I guess the lesson here is the fun is in the search and not so much in the finding. Yeah, I know. You're like what in the hell is he talking about this time. I don't know. The first thing that popped in my head.

Oh lord, may be I'm becoming the Girl You Wish You Hadn't Started a Conversation With at a Party
y: http://www.nbc.com/saturday-night-live/video/girl-you-wish-you-hadnt-started-a-conversation-with-at-a-party/n28602/

Friday, May 24, 2013

Things they don't tell you when you're a kid...

They never tell you when you're a kid that much of what you consider family, May not be family at all. Very few of the people your close to will even be related to you. I got a response to one of my posts about death and the person was very distraught at the death of a coworker. I have coworkers that are as close to me as any family I have. You become attached to people as you move through life. I mean even looking at my family now. I am not related to any of the people in my house. My wife I am related to through marriage and my child through adoption.

I often think way too much emphasis is put on blood relation. At least for me, blood relation doesn't entitle you to anymore than anyone else. I'm close to my mom because she raised me and we're fairly similar. My sister Brandi I'm close to as well, but I think even if we weren't related we'd be good friends.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Watchout for the Vietnamese Guys with the chainsaws

My neighbor behind me hired two Vietnamese guys to cut down the trees in their backyard. I have hated the trees for years and I'm glad their coming down. They were in various states of death. I'm just afraid of what the two guys with the chainsaws are going to take with them. My yard is a disaster. Limbs and pine needles as far as the eye can see. I was planning on getting out this morning and cleaning the concrete, but now I am glad I didn't. I would have been pissed if I came home to this.


I have found as I get older the news affects me more now. I used to be able to watch the death and violence and be fine. Now it seems to take a toll. Maria is into watching it still because she writes news as her job. When something like a tornado happens, I am fine knowing the facts, but I don't really care to pour over the footage. I don't know, but maybe this all links back to 9/11. I watched endless hours of footage, and now I think it's permanently scarred me. It could also be the fact that fatherhood changed me a bit.

My dryer is a lazy bastard

I think my dryer is lazy. In the morning, it seems like it takes forever for anything to dry. Look you damn dryer we're in a time crunch here. I need to wear those clothes today so get your ass in gear. However, if I am doing some drying while watching a TV show at dinner it's the fastest machine in the house. It always seems to be a the height of the show, I hear that stupid alarm going off telling me stuff is done. Maybe the dryer isn't lazy, maybe he's just as ass.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Morning Amusement

There is nothing funny about killing animals, but .... I got some great amusement this morning by looking up novelty taxidermy on Ebay. I got the idea from the book I'm reading. The book is "Let's Pretend this Never Happened" by Jenny Lawson. She has a couple sections where her husband is freaking out when she buys taxidermy animals. I was thinking, you can't really buy that sort of stuff. Then I went to Ebay and typed in Novelty Taxidermy.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Find faith in the Netflix Queue

So tonight, I watched a documentary called Kumare. If you haven't seen it, I would suggest watching it. The main theme is not to look toward spiritual leaders to guide you. You should be able to guide yourself from within. It's basically back to basics. Which is totally where I am at right now. I believe the best that each of us can do is try to be a decent human being and don't judge others. I think this has been my main problem with religions over the years.

I remember a few years back, my father passed away. The funeral was presided over by a the preacher at my Grandmother's church. She is very religious and so is her church. Anyways, the funeral was huge. It was the largest funeral I've ever been to in my life. The reason the funeral was so large is my dad had a impact on a lot of people's lives. He didn't do so monetarily. The man never had much money. He simply helped others in need with his skills as a mechanic, and charged them nothing or next to nothing for his services. Back to the funeral, The preacher gave said his words and at the end added "We don't know where our Brother has gone." Wait, what?

So, the preacher was judging my father not by his life and his deeds, but by his attendance at church and belief in God. I was utterly shocked. I asked my grandmother and she said "We are not judged by our deeds, but our faith." I love my grandmother and think the world of her, but..... I think that's a load of malarkey. If you make it through life and were a total shit, but you had a strong faith in God you go to heaven. Really? You can see how I lost faith in churches.

So any ways. I would like to believe that if there is a God, he is a kind and merciful God. He is not a God that is so vain as to care whether or not you worship at his feet. He is a God which set you on this earth to prove your worth as a human being. He could care less about your faith. He cares about how you treat others and the impact you have on those around you. If that God doesn't exist, I'm fine without one.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013


A while back, we dumped cable and we went to a mix of antenna and Netflix. So far, things seem to be working well. I've been watching Southland, and it's a great show. I really like Regina King and it doesn't hurt that John Wells, Mr. West Wing, is involved.

Tonight I watched Searching for Sugarman. I really enjoyed it. I can't imagine been a failed rockstar only to find that you're really not. If only we were all so lucky. I haven't failed to many times on a major scale, but I'm sure my day is coming. Just got to keep my head up and be prepared to learn from it when it does happen.

Monday, May 6, 2013

The Amazing Race

I think the thing that is the most amazing about The Amazing Race is.....

These people have done all of these legs we watched over the months in 21 days. I went to Sri Lanka for work a few years back. The flight with layovers is about 25 hours. I can tell you now, I did not come running off that plane. I was so damn tired I'm surprised I mad it to the hotel.

If you've never been to Sri Lanka, It takes forever to get your bags. Then you spend a while clearing customs. After this, it's out into the heat of Sri Lanka only to be mobbed by crazed taxi drivers competing to get your fare. On the Amazing Race, this is where the pampered folks start to cry about heat, filth, and poverty. Once in a cab, you're off to the hotel. The streets are dark and people and animals dart across out of nowhere on foot. I rode to the hotel half awake, and in awe of all the religious statues adorned in crazy flickering lights.

When I was in Sri Lanka, the war with the Tamils was still brewing. There were military checkpoints everywhere. Streets were closed at random to make it harder for terrorism. It also made the trip to the hotel a lot longer. The checkpoints were a bit brutal. Don't get me wrong some of the guards were nice and wanted to talk about living in California. The other guards leered at you as if you shouldn't be here.

Once at the hotel, I was ina bit of culture shock with the food. The hamburger I ordered arrived with a fried egg on it. This taught me a great lesson, stay away from western food. Once I learned this, the food was amazing. Some of the rice and meet dishes were spicy and wonderful.

I will never be able to run the Amazing Race, and my trip to Sri Lanka was as close as I am going to get. I had to go there twice. I really learned to love the people and the place. Plus, on the way back I got some free time in Thailand which is a cool place to visit.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Mother's Day

I didn't know what to get anyone for Mother's day this year. My mom and Maria's mom, I went on Etsy and found some nice homemade quilts. That worked out pretty nicely. My mom got hers and said it was really nice. With the Grandmothers out of the way, I could focus on Maria.

Maria is not a typical woman when it comes to gifts. I mean she does love getting Ugg boots and the occasional jewelry. She lit up at her Mother's day gift this year. The funny thing on Friday she was saying how the other girls wanted shoes or purses from their husband. My wife got a sword. I got her a nice display sword of Excalibur. It was nearly as her, and I don't ever think I've seen her more delighted to get a gift.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

It feels like summer today

It's warm here in San Diego today. It has been in the mid eighties today. I am sitting at the computer as it's getting dark with the nice sound of crickets outside chirping away. The only thing that could make this any better is a cold beer and box fan. I assure you the beer is coming soon. The box fan, I would have to dig out of the garage.

For me, there is just something soothing about the way the old box fans sound. I find it completely soothing. My wife on the other hand like to sleep without fans and if she does use one prefers it to be whisper quiet. I am not sure why but my fans have to be a little loud. I have a Patton metal fan in the shed out back that could blow the pictures of the wall. As you can imagine, I can only use it on special occasions like painting or cleaning carpets.

It's funny, when Maria and I were first married her father constantly told me I shouldn't sleep with a fan on. He then told me that's how his father died. My first question was "Did it catch on fire or something?" Maria's father firmly believes some of the old wives tales. Which I always found a bit odd, but many of the old folks are that way.

Game of Thrones Addict....

OK, I admit it. I am totally addicted to Game of Thrones. Currently, I am watching season 3 thanks to a family friend and listening to the audio book of season 1 in the car on the way to work. If you don't know, my daily commute to work generally runs 45 minutes to an hour each way thanks to traffic.

My favorite character in Game of Thrones is Arya Stark. Which even I find a bit strange. She has a great story though. She's the high born girl who never wanted to be a princess. She'd rather learn to be a badass little killer. She's tiny, but doesn't take any crap off anyone.

I will admit, it is a hard show to watch. Mostly because the story is so intricate, it's hard to keep up with the details. The audio book is helping a great deal to understand the characters.

The house and religious sayings are awesome. I am rather fond of Winter is Coming, but my favorite by far is The night is dark and full of terrors. Ain't that the truth, and I would also say the days aren't much better sometimes.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

The never tell you when you're a kid.....

They never tell you when a little kid you're going to deal with a lot of people dying. A few years ago, I lost one family member a year for about 3 to 4 years straight. At that point, I think you really just stop processing the deaths. One of my good friends, Jennifer, was there at every one to keep me company. I can't thank her enough for being there. Although, I did try to run her off each time. I think that was mostly me saying, You shouldn't have to be here, I wish I wasn't.

Dealing with so much death in such a little time definitely makes you think. I am not afraid of dying. I think it is mostly because I think death is going to be like someone switching off a light. You're there one minute, and the next your not.The thing about the death that bothers me the most is the thought of leaving family behind. I have seen death splinter families and forever change the landscape of peoples lives. That scares the shit out of me. Granted my family here in San Diego is small. It's basically just Maria, Joseph, and I. Maria's parents are nearby, but it's really just the three of us most of the time. I can't even imagine Joseph and Maria without me. That is the scariest part of dying for me for sure.

Now you're all thinking, damn this is morbid. I think it was mostly on my mind because we watched the movie The Impossible this week. It's a great movie if you haven't seen it, but it's rough to watch. It's set during the tsunami that hits Thailand. A family is there for Christmas, loses track of each other. None of them think the others have survived. Maria said after she saw it that she didn't know if she'd have the strength to make it through a disaster. I have no doubt I would. Simply because the alternative is unthinkable to me. I would have to know that everyone was OK and safe.

Life of a Software Engineer

Sorry, I didn't write anything the last few days as I was recovering from the weekend of moving. Anyways...

Works this week has been stressful. People are feeling panicked due to the customer changing their requirements. The part of the system I work on is in jeopardy as well as my job. I am not going to worry too much about it as it is totally out of my control.

So, what do I do? Well, I am a software engineer for a defense contractor. My job for the last ten year has been building map based software for estimating and displaying the effects of bad this. Chemicals and other nasty business that could kill people. I always tell people most of what I do was learned at an early age. Most of it is exactly the same things you learned with connect the dots and color by number. The only difference is the numbers are x and y coordinates on  map.

Why do I love my job? Well, my job and I have a love hate relationship. I often get stuck on hard problems that can take days or weeks to solve. These problems leave you utterly frustrated until you solve them. Solving one of these problems is probably the greatest drug ever. So, I guess you could call me a problem addict.

My personal belief is that the most important thing to being a software engineer is persistence. If you're not willing to put in the time and be frustrated constantly, you not going to make it.