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Saturday, September 30, 2006

Jury doodie

I got a summons today for jury doodie.
The good news is that they just increased the amount that they pay you per day to forty five dollars. So if you get picked for the actual jury you could make a couple of hundred dollars. The bad news is that I will have to miss a day of work to go to jury doodie, so I will lose over six hundred dollar in pay.
I'll have to take a look at a calendar and see if I can come up with a way to work around it. That's too much money to lose.

When you look at the mail and see the jury summons, do you usually say something about duty or something resembling the word doodie?

Search terms

Did you ever look at the terms that people search for when they find your blog? That can always be fun. My most common hits are from people looking for how to clean a bbq pit, how to tell which coin out of nine is the counterfeit one (although you can do the same problem with twelve coins and it gets extremely hard), the definition of a cholecystectomy (it's a gall bladder removal), "wierd people" or "pictures of wierd people", and the word jagular.

But last night someone from Stoneville, NC found my blog by searching for the word Murkot.

I just find that to be extremely funny.

The last time I counted, there were twenty Murkots in the world. I know all of them.

But none of them have anything to do with Stoneville, NC.

So now my gears are clicking.

Someone's old bootcamp buddy, maybe? Could be someone from online doing a little bit of research. An old flame? Somebody's creditor?

Well, good luck to ya, buddy. Your best chance is to just ask what you want to know. If you are looking for a certain Murkot and don't know where they are, trust me, you will never find them. It's an uncanny family trait that Murkots can disappear right off of the face of the Earth for extended periods of time.
So knock yourself out on google searches. I've read all 896 entries on google, and none of them go anywhere.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Blogger is killing me

I made no less than six posts yesterday. Blogger at four and a half of them. It is driving me completely nuts. It's not that I had anything original or clever to write about. But writing is, in and of itself, a creative process. And why would you want to stare down and conquer the blank page just so that blogger can eat all of your words? Frustration.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

My wife smacked me about six times

For no reason, either. I don't know what got into her. I was just sitting there minding my own business and she took to smacking me. What is it with her today? Geez.

I woke up early this morning

And then went back to sleep. Now it's ten thirty in the morning and I'm just crawling out of bed and looking for something with caffeine in it. Thoughts are forming in my head, but they don't mean anything. Something about a house note.

I fired up the bbq pit yesterday. Ribs. Sausage. Pineapple.
Yes, you can grill pineapple.
I cut the top off and put it in some good soil to see if it will take this time. It would be cool to have a little pineapple bush growing out there.

I applied for, and got, a new credit card. It is my intention to figure out how much debt I can pay off by Christmas and then transfer the rest to the new one so that I can have zero interest on it for a year. Then I can worry about paying it down after Christmas.

I'm doing this because my work is usually unsteady in the winter time and I can never count on getting a full paycheck any one week in particular in between thanksgiving and Christmas.

More caffeine. I'm a little bit more awake. I seem to remember that something is due today, but I can't remember what.

I have a lot of housework to do today. We left the place a mess last night, even though everyone went to bed late. It was fun though. I put the sausage and pineapple on skewers with some tomatoes and then put them back on the grill. My wife said that she doesn't like tomatoes that way though, so that was a no-go for next time.

I guess that's the way it is though. Sometimes you cook something and everyone likes it, and sometimes they hate it. That's how you find out what you like, I guess. By eliminating what you don't like.


Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Quote of the Day

"Don't worry about dinner, Daddy. We can order out. Mommy has a credit card."

Monday, September 25, 2006


If a man stole a loaf of bread to feed his starving family, would that be OK?
I mean, what if the food makers had a monopoly on all the food and were charging way too much for it and that man's family really was starving.

What if his family was starving for music and the latest cool movies that came out? Wouldn't it be the same if he downloaded pirate copies from the internet?

(ok, it's supposed to be funny. I'm legit, and I buy my stuff legally, likely as not.)

I'm going back to bed. I really do hate Mondays

I hate Mondays.

Mondays really suck.
I hate them.
If Mondays were an icecream flavor, they would be grey.

I work three twelve hour shifts per week. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, from seven pm to seven am. I get off work Monday morning dead to the world and ready to crash.
However, my wife is a stay at home mother. So for her, she has been all weekend without me and on Monday she is tired of having no adult conversation and chasing hellions around the house. She would like to go out and do something with me. I feel like, why can't you go out and do something without me? But she's like, there's nothing I want to do if you are not there. So I'm like, can't you just go out then and do nothing? Why do I have to be there for you to do nothing?
So she's like, SMACK.

Anyhow, I hate Mondays.

Sunday, September 24, 2006


I was at work and one of the nurses called in. She said that she was on her way to work and was in a car wreck so she couldn't make it. Of course, everyone was worried, but she said that she was OK.

So about ten minutes later, she called again and said that she was OK, and that her car was driveable, so she would be at work after all.

So after she called, what did I say?

"She said it turns out that she wasn't in a car wreck after all, so she'll be here."

The room went quiet as everyone's gears started clicking upstairs, and figuring that she had lied in the first place and then got stood up and decided to come to work after all.


Friday, September 22, 2006

I've been reading up on getting out of debt

I've been reading up a bit on what's the fastest way to get out of debt.
The consensus seems to be that you take all of your debts and write them all down and then arrange them from least to greatest.
You then pay the minimum payment on all of them and put everything extra on the smallest one. Keep doing that every month until the smallest one is paid off.
Then you start in on the second smallest one, only this time, you add what you were paying on the smallest one to the minimum payment that you were already paying on the second one. So each time a debt is paid off, you snowball the payments to the next debt. So then by the time you reach the largest debt, you are paying a lot every month on that large debt and it pays off quickly.
This seems to work better than taking the highest interest ones first, because if your highest interest debt has a large balance, you will still have to make the minimum payment on the smaller ones that may have a lower interest rate, so you will take longer to pay it off.

Of course, all of this assumes that you have an income that is high enough to make the payments in the first place. Some people have more of an income problem than a debt problem. If that's the case it would be time for a second job.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Update on getting out of debt

My wife and I went through the bills and decided what all to cut and what all to keep.
By getting rid of a few things we either didn't need or no longer used, plus dropping the land line and tweeking the cell phone a little bit we were able to lower our monthly obligation by quite a bit.
How much is quite a bit?
Well, I just added up my monthly savings and it comes out to a whopping $661.79 per month that we will be saving.
Pretty cool, huh?
Also, I made an extra payment of a thousand dollars today to reduce the debt load.
Not a bad result for spending a day crunching numbers.

I guess now I need to get the HTML code from somebody to put the little "how much debt I have left" thing over on the sidebar.

Google checkout

I'm kind of a math junkie.
So here's a little bit of simple math.
Paypay charges $0.30 plus 3%
Google checkout charges $0.20 plus 2%

Which is a better deal?

*Ebay owns Paypal, and so Google checkout is not accepted there.
*I guess exclusivity is easier than being competative.

Japanese Pen Spinning

Of course, it's all fun and games until someone loses an eye.


I've been getting an aweful lot of hits lately from people who are missing the file c:system32\config\system
This seems to be a popular problem.
That's a system file that your computer uses to tell what all is installed on your computer (as far as I can tell, i mean, what am I, Bill Gates or something?)
It appears that a recent windows update has been crashing some people's computers.
If you found my blog because you are missing this file, I have some bad news for you.
You are going to have to reinstall windows.
Unless you backed up your system file.
If you did, you need to go restore it by changing the name of the restored file back to system.
I had not backed mine up and I had to do a full reinstall.
But I backed up all of my zip files, so I was OK there. Just lost one or two programs.

To everyone else, I would recommend backing up your system files from time to time.
You can set a restore point by going to:
Start...All Programs...Accessories...System Tools...System Restore
And then choose to set a restore point. It will make a small file on your drive so that you can restore your computer if you lose that file somehow in the future.

The Tor Network

It has always been theoretically possible. The problem has been bandwidth.
Now it has been done.
Let me introduce you to the Tor Network.
Anonymous web surfing at it's finest.
Here's how it works.
You connect your computer to the internet.
Your computer connects to the server where the internet page you want to go to is located and that server downloads that page to you. Your computer has to tell that server where to send the information. And that is your IP address. Similar to a street address. Now suppose you are doing something fishy. Like what if you wanted to download something you weren't allowed to. Such as a copywrited song.
Ok, shame on you. You shouldn't be doing that.
But can you do it and not get caught? What if the Music Gestapo raided the server that you have been downloading from and then got your IP address from it? Then they want to show up at your house and look at your computer. And that sucks.
But the Tor Network solves all of that. You connect your computer to the internet via the Tor Network. It generates you a new IP address. And it updates it periodically. And it would appear that it relays all of your surfing to you through the network, so you never have to directly connect to the server in question.

So you un-geeky people out there who are thinking that Jagular has lost it. Please forgive me. But any geek out there who is reading this is jumping up and down with pleasure right now.

Tor. The newest version of Firefox.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Ok, I ran the numbers around for a while.

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As near as I can figure, I have left $460.40 in the bank.
I get paid in two days, so I'm doing good there.

Debt is a little harder to calculate, because I already paid all my payments this month and haven't gotten my new statements yet, so I will have to use my previous statements, although they won't be entirely accurate, because I already made the payments on them.
So I am figuring out what I PROBABLY still owe on each one.

Also, how do I calculate it? Is the house included? The student loans? The car?
I think I will just begin with unsecured credit card debt.
So the closest I can figure is that I owe approximately $9048.00 in unsecured debt, all totalled.

Next I will be working out a monthly, biweekly, and weekly budget so that I can get this over and done with in the shortest time and with the least amount of pain.

My wife and I have been working on some ground rules.
1)No skimping on the food.
2)The lights are never to be disconnected for nonpayment.
3)Christmas is coming up. It's the most wonderful time of the year. The debts will still be there after the holiday is over. So no skimping on Christmas, but also, no charging.
4)We each have a cell phone. Why are we paying for a land line? It is so out of here.
5)The maid service (once per week) is gone after this week.
6)No subscriptions will be renewed, but they will not be cancelled before their renewal.
7)Just because we are paying off our debt doesn't mean that we can't still help other people out as the opportunity arises. Do unto others.
8)Anybody who owes us money, if they haven't paid it back by now, does not have to. Anyone reading this who owes me money is free and clear. (Of course if everyone were to pay me back at once, I'd already be out of debt.)
9)No arguing about money.
10)Enjoy life.

I think I'm going to start blogging more often.

Sometimes it's just the little things that make it all worthwhile.
I think I will start blogging more often.
I always seem to have a whole lot of little things going on at once.
I always have an interesting story going on, or something interesting or unusual.
Things like doors.
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I have three of these laying around the house.
It would seem that somebody in the house has discovered how to disassemble a door.
But nobody knows who.
Or why.

What's for dinner?


Quote of the day.

"Daddy, I found something out. If someone is copying everything you do, don't hit them."

Taking stock

A good friend of mine called me during the week when he was in a jam. "I really need two hundred dollars in a hurry. If you have it extra. I don't want to put you back. I could pay you back on payday in two days."
Normally, no problem. This is one of those friends that I've had for almost thirty years who's more like a brother. Normally I would just give him the money with no expectation of him paying back.
But this time something wierd happened.
I have no idea how much money is in my bank account.
I couldn't tell you within five hundred dollars what my bank balance is.
I am clueless. I may be broke, I may have plenty. I just don't know.
So I told him that I would have to balance my checkbook and see what I have. I'll call you back in a couple of hours and let you know.
So he got back to me a few minutes later and said that he was able to get the money from somewhere else, so nevermind.
Ok, cool.

So I have been in a quandry all weekend.
It turns out that not only do I have no idea how much money I have, I also don't know how much debt I have.

I think it all started back in the college days when we were so poor. At least we would have been poor if we were not broke. Counting pennies for Ramen noodles kind of poor. Stealing toilet paper kind of poor. If you have never been there, let me just assure you that it really sucks.

After college, I started making some pretty good money, praise the Lord. And at that time I pretty much quit balancing the check book. I make enough to cover the bills and the food. I have a good idea of how much I spend compared to how much I make, so I know that there is money in the bank most of the time. If I go over, I have a line of credit with the bank to cover it. It is just not an issue in life at this time. I make money, I spend money, but I almost never think about money.
Money is not one of those things that is important in my life.
I am usually free with my money. It's not unusual for me to bail someone out of a jam or to "loan" money to someone. This year alone I have given away over ten thousand dollars in one form or another.
More than that, actually, because I built someone a ten thousand dollar computer system so that he could go into business for himself. I bought someone a high dollar camera, too.
I'm not trying to brag or anything. But I have been blessed. I think it's precisely because I am so free with my money that I am so blessed. I think you get back what you give out.

But lately I have been blog surfing through some of the blogs that are based on the "save Karyn" website. Where people get into debt over their head and then have to rework their life to get out of debt. It's a hard process.
I must have read through fifty different blogs during the last week, all of them from people who got into more debt than they could handle.
It's easy to dismiss someone like that. It's easy to say, "You made your bed, now sleep in it." But I'm more the type of person to say, "There but for the grace of God go I."
Because these are not bad people. They are not irresponsible (most of them, anyway) and they are not stupid.
It's just that they don't teach personal finance in highschool.
The common thread that I have seen in all of these people's stories is that they were doing just fine all the way up until everything collapsed. Then it's easy to burn through your savings and be not only dead broke, but hard up.
How does it happen?
Debt is insidious. Before you know you have a problem, it's too late.

I don't want that to happen to me. So I think that this is a good time to take stock. I need to balance my checkbook, which I haven't done in almost five years. And I need to figure out how much money I owe and to whom.
After that, it's my intention to start paying everything off. I intend to pay it all off as if I really were in debt trouble and then stay out of debt for good.
It's just not worth it.

So my project for the week is to see where I stand and then make a budget of sorts to get out of debt.

Won't that be fun.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

I hate waking up

I think the thing I hate most out of every day is waking up. It's probably because I am not very good at it. If I was good at waking up, I'm sure I would like it a lot more, but as it stands, I hate it. I lay there dreaming about forklifts backing up as the alarm clock blares.
So every day when it's time for me to get up for work, someone will come in and make sure that I wake up.
Today is was my five year old daughter.

"Daddy, it's time to wake up and go to work"
"I don't wanna get up"

"Daddy, here's your choices:
Get up and go to work. And... Get up and get in the car, and go the heck to work.
And here's your not choices:
None. And... Stay in bed."

So I got up.

Oh how quickly they grow up.
Just the other day I was changing her diapers, and now she is excluding nulls.
Soon she'll be married and gone.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Nobody does football like Houston


If you buy three thousand dollars worth of furniture today and the Texans beat the Colts, you pay nothing. That's all there is to it.

Gallery Furniture really will Save You Money.

I saw a bumblebee today.

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Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Recent Happenings.

I love my wife.
I really do.
I just don't really understand her.
She came up to me the other day and let me know (in no uncertain terms) that she needs a new computer. Not that she doesn't have a computer, mind you. She has a rather nice computer. Not too bad, anyhow. But she needs a new one.
That's what I don't know. I think it's because I built 7Bates a very nice computer earlier in the year. But I'm easy. So I asked her, what kind of computer do you want?

A blue one.

That's it. I just don't get it. The answer is supposed to have to do with function. Or at least with performance. Or something. Not a color. Couldn't I just paint your old computer? Couldn't I just take the guts out of your old computer and put them in a new case? No. That wouldn't be a new computer. That would be her same old boring computer. She wants one that's new. And spiffy. And blue. It has to have lights on it, too. And some sort of dial or digital readout. And it has to be new. And it has to be blue. So I asked her if it could be Old and Borrowed, while we were at it, but she let me know that that isn't funny.

So I have to build a new computer for my wife now.
Not that there is anything wrong with her old computer.
It doesn't have to work.
It just has to be pretty. With a dial on it. And it has to be blue.

You see, I just don't understand women at all.
Men are easy. Here's what it is, here's what it does.
Women? They just have no grasp of the functionality of an item.
I don't think they care about functionality at all.

Here's the proof: doilies.
Now what the heck is a doilie for? I'm not exactly sure what a doilie even is.
In fact no man in the world knows what a doilie is.
(Ok, I know, some guy out west is going to read this and reply and let me know that they are a guy, and they know what a doilie is. Ok, buddy. I gotcha. But lay off the soy products. The soy converts to estrogen in your body.)

Now I would never buy a doilie. I would never look at something and say, Hmmmm, needs a doilie. Or a slipcover, for that matter.

But I could use a wrench set though. But then again, wrenches are functional.

So there's my new project. A pretty blue computer.

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Monday, September 11, 2006


They say that time heals all wounds.
But I don't believe enough time has gone by.
I still remember.
Like it was yesterday.
I am still in disbelief.
I remain awestruck at the scope of the tragedy.
And I am still angry.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Quote of the day

"Unix, DOS, and Windows....The good, the bad, and the ugly."

-Shamelessly stolen from some website somewhere or another.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Gas prices are falling

I filled up the tank this evening at $2.39 per gallon.
That's the lowest I've paid in a year. That's about thirty cents lower than I paid only a week ago.
Not too bad. But did you notice that every time the prices go up due to some disaster or summer driving season or winter heating or whatever else reason they always seem to have, when the reason is over with, the prices never go all the way back down to where they were.
What's up with that?
I mean really, it gets expensive after a while.
First off, I have to drive a van so I can haul the wheelchair when we go out as a family. So my milage isn't that good to start with.
And then I have to drive almost thirty five thousand smoots to work. And that's just one way. It's almost a seventy thousand smoot round trip. And at 14,000 SPG it gets expensive. I have been paying over two hundred dollars a month for gas lately.
Anyway, I'm glad the prices are falling. The highest I paid was 2.99 per gallon. So I never did break three bucks. I heard that on the left coast it was closer to four bucks.
Now that's just outragous.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Here's a poll

When you use the ATM, do you look at the receipts that people left on top of the machine to see if they have more money in the bank than you do?

Monday, September 04, 2006

Mad as Hell

I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore.

Friday, September 01, 2006

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