Friday, November 24, 2006

New Family Project

I recently aquired what will become a new family project. Take a look!

It is a 1966 Chevy C-10 long bed truck. I actually bought it a few months ago and I am just getting around to blogging about it.

The truck is pretty much all orginal and is not missing any major parts. It runs and drives great! It has a 283 cid V8 and no power brakes or power steering. It does have factory A/C that still blows cold.

The truck was originally a metalic gold color and some of it is still visible on the firewall. The guy I purchased the truck from did a complete tune-up and recovered the seat and carpeted the floor.

There is a little body damage and the bed is in bad shape. The good thing about this year is that every part is available - everything!

Kathy and Emily are having a blast driving it and they get more miles on it than I do. This should be a very fun project. I will post more pictures as we get work done.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

What Happened to all the Politics?

You might be wondering what has happened to the political commentary that used to make up the backbone of this Blog. Do I no longer care about politics? Have I become a citizen of another country? Have I switched parties? No, no, nothing like that. I still care a great deal about politics but with all of the drama in my life for the past year none of it seemed important enough to write about.

I have been following the current election very closely and I plan on voting. I will vote correctly for all issues, candidates and initiatives. You might be wondering what my take is on this current election, and then again maybe you don't care. Either way here is what I have been thinking.

Let me state that I think the Democrats will win back the Congress and here is why this is a good thing. First, I think that Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi will make wonderful leaders and they will finally be able to solve some really pesky problems that we have been facing, here are a few examples:

1. They will finally be able to impeach the president! This is a long time coming. I know that the proceedings will be very long and drawn out but they will really help the ratings of CBS news. In fact, they will finally have a use for those documents they found.

2. We will get many more congressional investigations on just about any topic you please. It will be great! There is tons of things to investigate about the Iraq war, terrorism and the economy. We will finally figure out how the president is able to manipulate the price of gas for his political gain. We will finally get all those secret documents about Dick Cheney's meeting with "Big Oil."

3. The Iraq war will be over! If they hurry we can get our troops out before Saddam is murdered by our puppet Iraqi government and he can be put back into power. Once he is back then everything in the Middle East will be right as rain.

4. Osama Bin Laden will be released from the secret CIA prison that he has been in for years. We will offer to pay damages for holding him without due process. He will be grateful to the new Democratic leadership and end all anti-American activities.

5. Global Warming will (slowly) be solved. To be sure, there will be many congressional hearing on the issue (see #2 above). Al Gore's movie will be required viewing for all of Congress and, who knows, Al might get to do a live presentation. This will, of course, lead to important new environmental laws that will solve this looming crisis. This will be very expensive, but all the new tax revenue coming in from repealing all those tax cuts, we will be able afford it.

6. Our dependence on foreign oil will continue. Sure, we will spend a lot on alternative sources of energy, but this will take time. It will be wonderful to know that the frozen wastes of Alaska will be safe from the Cheneyites who would destroy it for our energy independence. The real solution to this issue is to use less not develop more.

7. North Korea and Iran will become our friends (again). Everyone knows that our problems with these two nations is of our own (president Bush's) making. Once the president is a true lame duck these friendly nations will be willing to talk with us about the "bomb" thing.

8. It will be OK to hate the Jews again. Israel will be mercilessly pressed into some huge concessions that only they will have to abide by. If we keep this up we can negotiate them out of existence.

9. We will stop calling terrorists "terrorists" and recognize that they are merely another facet of a diverse world. It is important that we celebrate diversity and understand different cultures. We should not try to change people. If it is normal for people to show their displeasure with the current socio-economic conditions in which they live by blowing up innocent people we should not pass judgment but instead we should feel grateful we live in such interesting times.

10. The most important reason why having the Democrats win in 2006 is that it gives us 2 years to get it out of our system before we do something really stupid like elect Al Gore or Hillary president.

Thursday, July 13, 2006


Emily had her pacemaker removed yesterday morning. Everything went well with the surgery and she was doing well enough to go home yesterday afternoon. They has originally planned on her staying in the hospital over night. She will be very sore for many days and will not be completely healed for 6-8 weeks.

Friday, June 30, 2006


Wow! It has been nearly three months without an update! Time flys. I will try to be better about posting and with all the stuff in the news lately i might even get back to opining.

On Monday we got back from 5 nights in L.A. We went back for the UCLA transplant picnic. We had a long list of things we wanted to do as well so a few extra days were required. We stayed at the Tiverton House right next to the medical center. This will probably be our home away from home from now on. We got in early on Thursday morning, the same day that the Drapers were going home. That morning the hotel was abuzz with activity for their departure.

Just a quick run-down of our activities. We went shopping at Ameoba. We ate at a lot of good resteraunts. We went to the Queen Mary and the Scorpion submarine. We saw a movie (Nacho Libre). We ate at some more good resteraunts. We went to the transplant picnic. We went to the beach a couple of times. We went to the Venice Beach boardwalk and saw the freaks.

There were only a couple of things we wanted to do but were unable to. We wanted to go to the Acker Mansion and see the collection of Sci-Fi and Horror movie stuff - no dice. We also wanted to go the the Santa Monica Peir Aquarium - no time.

Emily picked up a little ear infection and so she got to go to her favorite hospital for treatment but that also meant that she was not able to do much at the beach.

It was a great trip and I can't wait to go back - maybe we can squeeze in some of the things we missed. When we got home the cats had gone crap crazy and the house was a mess. While cleaning up that we realized that at some point during our trip the frig had stopped working and then started working (sort of) again. So, we have to buy a new refrigerator the next day! Good thing we just refi'ed the house.

I will try to add some pictures soon.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Prom Night 2006

Wow! It has been nearly two months without an update. Time flys. Well, Emily's big day is finally here. Tonight is Prom night. I don't have much to say so I will let the pictures do most of the talking.

First stop today was to have her nails done.

After the nails it was time for Great Aunt Becky to get the hair and make-up just right.

She does nice work.

Next it was time to get dressed. Who knows how long this has taken? Two or three hours atleast!

Her date finally arrives!

No, I was not cleaning my guns when he arrived. That would be very rude and everyone knows I am a gentleman.

Off to the party!

I hope they have a great time!

It is nice to know that I will only have to go through this a max of 8 more times!

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Books, Music, Movies

It has been a LONG time since I have talked about anything other than Emily. The easiest way to get started on something new is to just do it! So I will start by talking about what I have been reading, listening to and watching for the last few months.


I have read a couple of books over the last few months.

An Army at Dawn The War in Noth Africa, 1942-1943 by Rick Atkinson. This is about the U.S. Army in operations in North Africa - Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco. The style is historical narative and is is a very interesting and compelling read. He makes a very good case that the North Afican campaign was critical for the U.S. Army's success throughout the war. Without this valuable experience any attempted invasion of Eurpoe would certainly have failed. A good book covering a forgotten chapter of U.S. military history.

Rommel as Military Commander by Ronald Lewin. This is an older work on Rommel but it was written by someone who fought in North Africa against the Germans. It was originally published in 1968 and makes no reference as to the importance on the ULTRA intelligence on Allied operations. It could be that the book was written before this information was made public. The effect is that the Allied generals who faced Rommel seem much more able than they actually were. It is clear that if Rommel had had the intel that the Allies had he would have succeeded in conquering North Africa and the Middle East.

I am currently reading The World is Flat by Thomas L. Friedman. More on this book later.


Mule Variations by Tom Waits. All I can say is Wow! I had heard of Tom Waits and probably even heard some of his work but I never had a chance to listen to him. This album is amazing! I am not even going to try to review this because I can't think of anything intellegent to say. Good stuff!

World of Glass by Tristania. OK, I am pretty igonorant when it comes to this band. I know they are from Europe and probably Scandinavia but I am not too sure. This is a great metal album and yet so much more. The style is very gothic with oparetic vocal parts mixed in with death vocals. Very powerful guitars are a driving force throughout the entire disk. I really like this!

Lightning to the Nations by Diamondhead. I had heard of this band long ago, I think a freind had a compilation of metal bands. When I first heard Metallica in the mid-eighties I had no idea home much of an influence Diamondhead was. I finally got a copy of this disk and I was surprised to discover that Metallica have already rerecorded almost the entire album!. Think they are short only three songs. The guitar tones are definately the inspiration for Metallica's early sound. All in all a very cool CD.


I have seen a few movies over the last few months and I cannot remember most of them. I remember seeing the new King Kong, mostly because we saw it in the theater. That is not true, I remember it becasue it was very good! A lot of people told us that it was too long and slow but I thought Peter Jackson did a great job. The entire move has an authentic 1930's vibe.

Antoher movie I really liked was The Hitchhicker's Guide to the Galaxy. I am a big fan of the Douglas Admas books but I am no fanboy. I thought this move was really well done. Very funny and captured the spirit of the book.

A movie I was really looking forward to seeing was Serenity. Everyone I know who saw this movie just raved about it, so naturally I couldn't wait. When I finally saw it I Don't get me wrong, it was a good movie but I just don't think it lived up to all the hype. It is certainly better than the Battlestar Galactica remake!

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Another Hospital Visit

Emily was back in the hospital Monday afternoon. She has continued with the problems from last week and now they are sure that this has been going on much longer. Possible that she is suffering from the same problem that put her in the hospital in December. The good news is that they have finally diagnosed the issue as the CMV virus. This is a nasty little virus that transplant patients seems to be very suseptible to.

She has started the treatment and was able to go home today. The tricky part is that she will need I.V. meds twice a day for 2 weeks at least. If everything goes OK with the I.V. meds then in a couple weeks she can switch to the oral medication. We have a home health care professional coming over this evening to drop-off the meds and give use instructions on how to administer. Emily has a PIC line in again so this will not be to hard to do.

More later...I'm sure

Monday, January 30, 2006

The State of Things

Emily got home from the hospital on Sunday afternoon. They think that whatever was happening was related to her medications. They made some adjustments and sent her home. She goes to the doctor tomorrow for more tests and an echo. She is feeling better but she is not 100%.

All of this has been really hard on her. Since she has been home from LA she has had alot of time to think. She has come to realize how bad things really were and I think the post traumatic stress disorders is setting in. In some ways she is more affraid today than she was in the hospital waiting for a transplant. It may be time for her to see a different kind of doctor.

More later...

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Long Time Without an Update

I am sorry that it has been so long without an update but life has been busy for us all. A couple of weeks after Emily got out the hospital we went to UCLA for the Pediatric Transplant Holiday Party. It was a really good time and it is hard to believe how many transplant patients the people at UCLA have helped.

Christmas was really nice this year, much better than we were expecting. Kathy and I got what we wanted(see picture) and the girls got a alot of presents!

All in all things have been going very well. Kathy and I have been working alot and family life is keeping us very busy. Emily has been feeling good for the last several weeks (though as I write this she is heading back to PCH for some tests - been feeling a little yucky the last couple of days).

I will try to to write more often and I may begin to branch out in my subject matter. There is so much going on and I am finally able to think about things other than family issues. Feels good to be able to think about the trivial again!