Thursday, September 29, 2011

Six days on the road....

It has actually been more than six days. More like two weeks. I am eager to end this road trip tomorrow night when I roll home around 2300 hours.

I am feeling a little melancholy today, as it is my dad's birthday. He would have been 72 years old. Even though he has been gone for some years now, and the pain of his passing has eased somewhat, I wish I could see him one more time. Sitting around talking politics, about the books we have been reading, drinking and talking and arguing late into the night. I wish I could hug him tightly, and tell him I love him, and to hear him tell me that he loves me, too.

I miss you, dad. And I love you.
Your son,

Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Night They Drove Ol' Dixie Down

And the people were singing.....

I am not singing tonight. Too tired. Maybe in the morning I will be singing a different tune. College football is back. In days gone by I might have been excited, reading the newspaper about the latest goings-on on the various campuses, listening to pundits on talk radio, but no more. I just can't get into it.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Everybody Hurts....

sometime. Michael Stipe had it pegged. My pain was in rare form today. I had eaten my normal granola and lactose free milk for breakfast, drove Little One to school and went to the office. I had my back brace on, and had taken my first handful of Advil for the day. By nine, though, I popped one of my prescription pain pills.

About 2 hours later a co-worker came up and was talking with me about an issue we are having with an office out west, and I apparently passed out. It caused quite a commotion. It happens every few months. Pain is trigger for my vasovagal response. I have become accustomed to these spells, but they do tend to freak out those around me when they occur.

Friday, August 19, 2011

It's the end of the world as we know it....and I feel fine!

So the process of severing the legal bond that still exists between myself and the NQEW has taken a step forward. My attorney called this morning and informed me that she is filing today. So, I would imagine that once the NQEW is served there will be a flurry of activity where she will call Little One every night and make efforts to see her in an attempt to make up for years of apathy with a few months of parenting.

It's not the end of the world, and something that I should have done realistically many years ago. But it has been a little over two years since we separated and it is time for closure.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

I found out a long time ago,

It's a long way down the holiday road.

Or so sang Lindsay Buckingham. I need a vacation. I need to take my Little One on a vacation. But it is not to be until Christmas break, probably. School resumes on the 15th of August. I am hoping we can take a weekend trip to some coastal area before it gets too cool. Perhaps September, after Labor Day.

I am nice and busy with work, but I am also trying to explore some training opportunities to more fully develop my resume in case things change. I am also considering the option of leaving the white collar, corporate world for the world of a free-lance contractor, a white collar for hire.

The current project I am on here is rife with such folks. And they are paid outrageously. In their defense, they are working without a net: no insurance, no 401k, no retirement plan. All of this they must provide for themselves. No career track, either.

Some of them eagerly jump at full-time jobs within the company if offered. Some say they want to quit the grind of business travel. Others want the benefits. Others want the certainty of a career, and not a 12-month contract and then another job hunt.

I think the lure is stronger than the reality for me. My Little One needs me at home. I need to be here for her now. Perhaps when she has left the nest I will try the traveling life and see where it takes me. For now I am content to be a company man.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


I have been following the tragic situation in Norway as I would imagine have a lot of people. I saw a string of text conversations between a mother and her daughter was hiding on the island while the shooter was on his killing spree.

I suppose this serves as a powerful reminder to let those people who are important to you know that you care.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Well I wished I was in Austin....

actually, anywhere but here this morning. It is hot and humid. One of those typical summer days in the Deep South that makes you almost wish you were up in Yankee land or even Canade enjoying more temperate weather. Actually, I was looking at weather reports from Scotland and that seemed like a nice place to spend a summer.
I love to travel. I have roamed all over the US, parts of Canada and Mexico, and a fair bit of the Caribbean. Europe is on the list to visit, but goodness knows when. I got borrowed some travel videos from the library about parts of Italy. Being a student of the Empire I think I would love banging around Rome, Ravenna, Ostia, Cannae (I know that is more of a Republican site) and other parts of the country. Modern Italian politics and their economic mess are of little interest to me. That's not entirely true - their economic mess is quite interesting, as are those of Greece, Spain, Portugal, Ireland and let's not forget Iceland.

But for now I will sweat my summer away in the Deep South, looking at pictures of blue seas and cobbled streets, imagining the gritty narrow alleyways of cities many times older than my nation.

Monday, July 18, 2011

The Black Dog (and, no, not Pupps 2.0)

So, the big, nasty cur has returned. See you when he decides to move along.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Que Sera, Sera

My life takes unusual twists and turns at times, and can seem a bit surreal. Today was one of those days. I left work at lunch time to run some errands and then work from home.

My first stop took me to the office of my attorney to pay the retainer for my divorce. Finally, the ball is rolling. My next stop took me too Petsmart to buy some Gooberlicious treats for Pupps 2.0 as well as some more training pads. While I was there, Teenager called me and asked if he and his dad could come over. (So, Teenager's dad is the ex-husband of the NQEW.) I said sure, and rushed back to my place to tidy up and make sure that Little One was presentable.

The visit was fun. Teenager had spent the past two days in orientation in preparation for his first time of college. He was, as one might expect, excited. His father was equally proud.

We chatted for about an hour and a half, and thought that it was a little odd that I have become (almost)friends with her ex. But then perhaps Doris Day knew what she was singing about (and who would have thought that Alfred Hitchcock would have a musical number in The Man Who Knew too Much?).

They Call the Wind Mariah.....

Whatever you call it, it was a little windy, grey and rainy this morning. Little One made the trek to work with me today. One of my work pals, Joseph, got to know Little One a couple of years ago when the NQEW and I first separated and she and I did the kid swap daily at my office. Now, Joseph and his wife are expecting their first child, and the office crew is hosting a baby shower for them. Little One has been invited to be a hostess and she is extremely excited about helping out with the event.

In preparation, Little One laid out her clothes last night and set her alarm clock, both uncommon occurences and definitely not part of the summer routine. I did have to wake her up, because even though the alarm was sounding literally in her ear, she was still sleeping blissfully away.

We have a fairly quiet weekend planned (or unplanned). There is a trip to the library scheduled, a trip to the market, and a good chance that we will head to the ice rink.

I hope your weekend is full of fun and sunshine,

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Late Night

I was up late last night pplaying (literally) on the computer. I found a free online game called "World of Tanks" that has dominated what little free time I have in my schedule these days.

One of my college friends, the Colonel, told me about it. The Colonel and some of his friends were online and we teamed up and had a fun time chatting and rolling through different scenarios and doing battle with others online.

I haven't had the chance to speak to the Colonel often in the last year or so, but the time and the distance seemed to drop away, and it was like we were back in college, drinking beer and playing Harpoon on my old Mac.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Ice, Ice, Baby

Little One has developed a fondness for ice skating. This isn't the easiest pasttime to foster in the Deep South. We do have a very nice ice complex in town (3 rinks under one roof), but it is a fair drive across town to get there.

As of this morning, Little One has been signed up for lessons. They are actually quite reasonable, $12 an hour for group lessons. She is now going to take 10 weeks of lessons beginning in August and also practice for a Christmas ice show.

I guess we will be spending a lot of time at the rink. I see lots of hot chocolate and bruises in our future.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Summer Time and the Livin' is Easy

I suppose fish are jumping, and in those parts of the Deep South where cotton is produced I imagine it is doing alright.

Little One, Pupps 2.0 and I have been enjoying a busy summer season. Little One has spent a lot of time with Mother o' Jud. Pupps has kept me company, as have the two goldfish. And work is wonderfully busy, so I haven't had much time to get bored.

I have been occupying my time with my usual pursuits: movies on TV, reading and work. Exercise has been slow to nil lately, but it is beginning to pick back up. The 4th was uneventful. It rained most of the day and I stayed in and was quite lazy. Apparently the thunderstorms ended and the fireworks went off as planned, but I slept through them.

There is not much else to report. Work and my work is the name of the game. I am at the ice rink tonight with Little One. She is getting some exercise and cooling off on the rink while I try to remember how to blog.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

The Perils of Apartment Living

Well, this afternoon was quite exciting, and not in a good way. I was in my bedroom, tidying up my bookcases and looking for a book to re-read, when I heard voices in the breezeway. That in itself was not unusual, but then I heard a key in the lock. Very unusual. Here's why.

I have 4 house keys. I have one. Little One has a key. Mother O' Jud has a key and I keep a spare at work. Little One is with Mother O' Jud this weekend and they are not due back until tomorrow. My adrenalin started pumping and I reached for my personal protection.

I pulled grabbed my pistol from its holster and racked a round. While not the best weapon for close quarters defense, a 9mm hollow point at close range should ruin a burglar's day. As I turned the corner, I saw a pair of 20-something stoner white boys, shirtless and holding cans of beer saying "This ain't her place."

When they saw me, they started to apologize. When they saw the pistol in my hands, hammer back they raised their hands and backed away. Pupps 2.0 went nuts, barking and running around their ankles. They explained that they were trying to find some chicks apartment and had no clue why the key worked in my door. I didn't either, and they apologized again and headed out.

As they beat feet down the stairs, my shaking hands called the complex management. I called the emergency maintenance dude and had him come and re-key my locks. They responded quickly, but I must say I am still a bit rattled. I think I will be loading the coach shotgun with shome #4 shot and keeping it bedside tonight, just to ease my nerves a bit.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Looking Ahead to the Holiday Weekend

One of the nice things about not being married (or at least being separated) is that your social calendar is yours to manage. That can also be a negative. The NQEW is a social animal and she would have made plans for the family for the holiday. Going camping, heading to the lake, getting out of town, going to (insert acquaintance's name here)'s home to grill out, etc.

At times I appreciated the structure and not having to worry about the planning, organizing, etc. I just had to get dressed, round up the kids and gear, and then go. As a single parent, I am busy enough with work and chores and the Little One that I rarely thing very far ahead with social plans.

As I look forward to the Memorial Day weekend, I really don't have any plans. I have some plans. Saturday morning Finicky has offered to help me change the brakes on my car. But apart from that, I have made no plans. I suppose Little One and I will chill by the pool and maybe make some BBQ. I think we will also make a library trip and I will get some more work done.

I hope you have more exciting holiday plans.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The American Civil War - A Presentation

Little One has volunteered my services at her school to give a presentation on the American Civil War. In particular I will be discussing the events in and around Alabama during that time to a room full of 4th graders.

My father was a re-enactor, so I have his old uniform and kit that I plan to take as show and tell items. I am debating whether or not to wear the uniform or just have it on hand. I won't be bringing any firearms, per state laws.

I am also going to develop a Powerpoint presentation with maps, some images of locales, and some statistics. More to follow.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

"What's up with that?"

This was how he posed the question to me this evening. It struck me as odd. I suppose some context is in order.

Today has been a bad weather day for my corner of the Deep South. After midnight on Tuesday, high winds and a few tornados had left hundreds of thousands without power. Little One's school had no power, so no school. My office, some 20 miles away, was also in the dark. Thankfully we had power at home, so I was able to telecommute and get some work done.  By noon, it was a pretty day, but the forecast was ominous.

Late in the afternoon the local TV stations abandoned their "regularly scheduled programming" to start tracking the severe weather. And the weather today lived up to - hell, exceeded - the warnings of the weather folks.

The live news footage of a tornado that was estimated to be almost a mile wide was horrific. And it was tracking towards the metropolitan area where I live, and to the specific neighborhood where I live. Even though the storm was moving quickly, waiting for its arrival seemed to take a very long time.

Little One was playing in the apartment with one of her school chums. The Neighbor Kid's phone rang, and her mother wanted her to come back home. So Little One and I walked Neighbor Kid home. On the way back, Little One ran at a sprint to get back to her 'safe area'.

I took a more leisurely pace, and encountered a man in the parking lot. He was watching the skies, as were a number of my neighbors. He asked if I had been following the weather and I responded in the affirmative. He spoke of the video of the large tornado that was reported to be heading our way, as well as the 4 or 5 other tornados that were also being concurrently tracked in neighboring counties. He remarked that he couldn't recall  a time when we had so many large, destructive tornados at one time. Then he asked 'what's up with that?"

I don't know if that was a real a question, or merely a rhetorical one, and admittedly I was little confused. Could something about my mode of dress led him to believe that I possessed some sort of expertise in looking at clouds and explaining the weather? My shorts were old, and stained with the paint of our prior residence. My flip-flops weren't special either, and my t-shirt, too, was rather mundane.

And yet he waited for a response. My mind fumbled for an appropriate answer. Being in the Bible Belt should I toss out some theological reference about God smiting us for our wayward behavior, like beer drinking, dancing, Coke zero, and the designated hitter rule? Should I offer up some pseudo-scientific explanation, or go with some banal global warming sound bite?

After what seemed like forever, I shrugged my shoulders and said "I don't know."

Thankfully the storm passed a mile or so to the north of where we live. That said, per the 10 o'clock news there were 53 confirmed deaths in the state with more expected. What's up with that?

Sunday, April 24, 2011

A day Made for a Picnic

Easter Sunday. For Christians, this is the holiday. The day the marks that marks victory over death, and the promise of eternity, redeemed from all sins.

Setting aside the religious nature of the holiday, and even its historical significance and fascinating tale, today was a beautiful Spring day. Pupps 2.0 and I headed to a friend's home for a picnic. I had the top down on the Swede, and we were enjoying big band music as we rolled up.

M. was ready for us, a quilt spread out in the soft grass in the sunshine. We unloaded our edibles and sat down to eat. The menu was simple, ham, cornbread, hoppin' john, green beans, mashed potatoes and champagne - yes, an odd mix indeed.

We laughed and dined, listening to tunes on playing softly on her cell phone. Pupps 2.0 frolicked in the yard. It was hot, though, and after eating and cleaning up our messes she brought her dog out and we sat in the swing. Some of the neighborhood kids came up and played with the dogs and told us about their latest adventures.

Soon, though, it was time for Pupps and me to hop back into the car and drive off into the sunshine. Full on our lunch, friendship and good times.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

And the award for worst haircut goes to....Jud!

I needed to get a haircut this week. Like many men-folk in their 40s and beyond, my hair is receding and thinning, and what is left is turning grey. I have come to grips with that, I think, but even so I am a little vain about my appearance, and do prefer to have a haircut that I believe flatters my mediocre features.

The haircut started going badly. In a fit of frustration, I instructed the tonsorial technician to just "cut the rest of it off - the damage has been done." So, now my ears look even larger than they did before. As one co-worker and Little One have both noticed, I look a lot like the fellow in this photo.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Easter and Easter Island

Not too long ago Little One and I had a date to see the film "Hop." I can't say I recommend it, but that is neither here nor there. In one of the early scenes of the film, a camera flies towards land from the seaward. As the rocky shoreline comes into view, so too do the large stone monoliths of Easter Island. The location appears on the screen, and an animated rabbit ("EB") is sunning himself on one of the silent statues.

Little One leaned over and asked me, "Is Easter Island a real place?" I answered in the affirmative, and was proceeding to explain that the island is not command central for the holiday nor is the island overrun with rabbits, but before I could get my verbose explanation onto my tongue she had lost interest and was engrossed in the movie.

What little I know of the island comes from Leonard Nimoy shows from the 70's, the occasional kids book, and perhaps some library volume on vanished peoples of the earth. Jared Diamond had been the most recent to offer me an explanation of the island and its inhabitants, via sketches in "Guns, Germs and Steel" and more thoroughly in "Collapse."

As the Christian holiday approaches, I am thinking of candy, and bunnies, and warm Polynesian islands....

Monday, April 18, 2011

A Poem and a Picture for Monday

by: W. B. Yeats (1865-1939)
      HY should I blame her that she filled my days
      With misery, or that she would of late
      Have taught to ignorant men most violent ways,
      Or hurled the little streets upon the great,
      Had they but courage equal to desire?
      What could have made her peaceful with a mind
      That nobleness made simple as a fire,
      With beauty like a tightened bow, a kind
      That is not natural in an age like this,
      Being high and solitary and most stern?
      Why, what could she have done, being what she is?
      Was there another Troy for her to burn?

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Jud's Rules to Live By, part 51

In no particular order;
 - when fighting with an important woman in your life, you need to determine if you would rather be right or be happy.
- when in doubt, lightly grease the cooking surface.
- don't even take a clock at face value. You might be disappointed with the movement.

Monday, April 11, 2011


In the L4-L5 area. Feels like a steak knife has been inserted between my vertebrae. Not loving life so much tonight.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Cookies, Little One and Mother o' Jud

I am very fortunate to say that I have a kind, helpful, caring and loving mother. She is getting older, and is bit forgetful at times, but nothing dangerous (yet). I had to work late last night on a project and she volunteered to drive the 1.5 hours or so down to my home. pick up my daughter from school, take her to the dentist, bring her home, make dinner, do homework, etc. When I came home late I also discovered that she had straightened up the place and made a huge batch of some of my favorite cookies. (Known as 'Ranger Cookies' because she learned the recipe from other National Park Service wives in the late 60's, they are a varietal of oatmeal cookie with pecans and coconut.)

Little One is all about MOJ. But then I was, too, as a little feller and so was Teenager when he was little, as was my nephew (The Scientist). Jud falls by the wayside in the presence of MOJ, known in the vernacular as 'Nana'.

Pupps 2.0 seems to have taken a shine to her, too. I think it has something to do with crumbs and leftovers that occasionally hit the floor when MOJ is around.

Thanks Mom o' Jud. I love you.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Here Comes the Sun....

It has been a very grey week. It has been brightened with a couple of bits of news, though. First, Little One made straight A's on her report card. This is quite an accomplishment for her as she struggles with math. Let me say rather that it hasn't come easily for her and she really had to work at it as opposed to other subjects that are much easier for her to grasp and master. Also, I had my annual review yesterday at work and they recognized and rewarded my efforts. In this economy, I am even more thankful for having not only a job, but one that pays well and that I enjoy. Being respected and appreciated makes it that much sweeter.

And, late in the afternoon on Thursday, the sun is beginning to burn through the clouds. The forecast calls for some showers in the morning tomorrow, then sunny skies and a warm weekend.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Unavailable

I have been this person. Emotionally unavailable. Withholding myself from others, especially those who love me or tried to love me. And in some ways I am attracted to people who are unavailable, perhaps secure in the knowledge that when things go South that it was inevitable, and not someone rejecting me.

But what the hell do I know?

Monday, March 28, 2011

Home Again, and Back to the Routine

The ride back to our corner of the Deep South from Carolina wasn't too bad. Although it was a cool, grey day, the rains left us alone until we were safely home and unpacked.

Pupps was generally docile, with online occasional bouts of crankiness. We stopped a little too frequently for my taste, but I needed a lot of coffee to keep my eyes open and to drive with some measure of skill and safety. Pupps also needed frequent stops, too.

More later

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Road Trip

Friday, Pupps 2.0 and I picked Little One up from school and headed out for parts east.

We hit the Georgia welcome center and let Pupps stretch her legs and water the grass. Little One was asleep in the back seat. We made good time through Atlanta and made it by to see the ex-in-laws. Soon it was bed time. I didn't sleep well at all, my back was giving me fits from driving.

Saturday morning we were on the road early and had just crossed into the Palmetto state when the heavens opened up. It slowed us a little, but we made it to my sister's house just fine.

We've had a good visit. After brunch in the morning we will be off on the road again, headed back home.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Sleep, Sleep, I know I'm only dreaming....

My sleep schedule is way out of whack. There are several things that contribute to this that of which I am aware:
- drinking too much water in the evening. In an effort to drink all of the water I have been suggested to, I have to get up a couple of times a night to void. (Isn't this an exciting post?)
- my aching back
- medications. The meds make me sleepy sometimes, and then I fall asleep when I get home, then get up late at night, and then try to sleep some more, etc.
- keeping the TV as company. I have read that this is a bad situation. I generally am not watching it, but I like the noise. Maybe I will switch to the radio channels on satellite. At least it will be dark in my bedroom then.

And it appears that all of these issues (excluding the back) are within my control to change. Looks like I have some work do.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Roam if You Want to....

Lines from another song that I have enjoyed for a long time (Roam, by the B-52s). The album this was on was released in 1989, my second year in college. And I enjoyed my college years immensely - and intensely.

In the summer of 1989 I had worked in Washington state as a firefighter with US Forest Service. I made the trip by driving from the Deep South to way out West. I loved the drive, the scenery, the people, the dawns, and the sunsets.

As a child we moved a fair bit, and I have never quite lost the wander-lust that was instilled in me. Moving brought a sense of loss, leaving friends and familiar surroundings; but it also brought a sense of adventure. I can't thank my folks enough for raising me that way. I still want to roam today.

As an adult, though, my desires to travel and be a free spirit are tempered by the realities of my daily situation have thus far prevented that. In the last two years I uprooted my daughter. She has handled it okay, even though we only moved about a fifteen minute drive from the old place. She changed schools and moved away from the only home she had ever known. She still gets melancholoy at times. The needs of my daughter for stability (or perhaps it is just a desire) and my need need for financial stability have keep me in one place.

This is further complicated by the fact that I want to be close to the NQEW (not-quite-ex-wife). Not that I have any desire to be around her, but that I want my daughter to be able to see her mother. My mother lives about ninety miles away, and while that is not next door, it is close enough that she often helps out as a sitter, when illness strikes, and for family gatherings. I also have my social network here, however limited it is. And my job, which I really enjoy and it pays me well, is here.

So I don't roam much anymore, even though I want to get out and see the world and experience it more than I have for a while.  It's time to start planning some weekend getaways, I think.

I Don't Like Mondays....

Perhaps you recall this song from 1979 by the Boomtown Rats. Anyway, I like Mondays, generally. Now this may seem to be going against the grain of the American working class of which I am a member, but it is true. I like the routine of the work day as much as I enjoy the freedom of the weekend.

I like my job. It is not without its frustrations and bureacracies, but generally I think that work I do is important to the company. I am working on some large projects with team members from across the organization and even from across the globe. I think I am well compensated. I have flexibility with my schedule to attend functions with my Little One at school, work from home as needed, and occasional business travel.

I also enjoy the comraderie of the workplace; the buzz around the coffee maker, the communal nature of an open office and collaborative work.

So I am enjoying my Monday, firing off emails, reviewing project timelines, updating executive management, coaching employees, and debating with colleagues.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Sunday Morning Comin' Down

Well, not exactly. There was nothing to 'come down' from, save two glasses of cabernet. This morning I had an appointment at 0745 with the Red Cross. I waited for them to open the doors so I could do my pheresis donation, but they were running late. I was already pushing my schedule because I had to pick Little One up from her sleepover. So, after waiting about 10 mintues I left.
I stopped off at the local quickie mart and purchased the Sunday paper. When I got home I put on some water for a cup of tea, and in a few minutes I was sitting on the patio enjoying the first morning of spring. It was pleasant. My herbs are all planted now, and I surveyed my 1/10,000th of an acre (comprised of 2 window boxes, three small round pots and one larger one).

I had to pick Little One up by 1000, so I headed out to far side of town to collect her. Her friend from school had a sleep-over at the Embassy Suites. There were about 8 littles girls, two moms chaperoning, and the birthday girl's 3-year old brother. The hotel, I think, is one of the nicer national chains. This facility is probably not more than a few years old, and was clean and bright. But the clientele on a Sunday morning wandering the lobby and into the restaurant were a sight to behold. I haven't seen that many pajamas on people in a long time. Seriously? Let's remember we are in public, people. The restaurant looked  like a Shoney's on  a bad stretch of interstate after a convoy of teamsters had stopped to fuel up at the buffet.

There were a number of Georgians at the hotel. Apparently the hotel had served as the resting place for the UGA Gym Dawgs, at least informally. There were a number of folks in their UGA attire and a few ladies that looked like co-eds. I didn't see any ladies that had the build of Division 1 gymnasts.

Now, I am home with Little One and Pupps 2.0. Little One is settling back in, making some maps and talking very rapidly. Pupps is alternating between gnawing on a raw-hide stick and her Puppy Love pillow.
It is such a gorgeous day I foresee a trip to the park this afternoon,

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Saturday Night in the Land o' Jud

It is the final weekend of Spring Break. Not for me, but for Little One. She spent the week at Mom o' Jud's (MOJ) house. I met MOJ halfway between our residences, and then Little One and I ran some errands.

Little One is at a birthday slumber party tonight. One of her school mates is having a pool party at a local hotel (they have an indoor pool). After I dropped Little One off in the late afternoon, I drove down the road and wandered around the indoor double-decker halls of commerce with lots of other consumers. I spent a few dollars on birthday cards, but that was all.

I made it home at about dark, ate a sandwich and cracked open a bottle of cabernet. After a couple of glasses and a little web surfing, a text message rattled my phone to life. A work associate was letting me know she was bored. I found this a little odd. I have known this gal for some time, but the total of our interaction has largely been chats around the coffee maker and going out to lunch one day about a month or so ago.

This lady is my age, single and likes to dance. She is not unattractive, and has striking Incan features. She shared with me that dancing is one of her passions. Now, I have my own hobbies and interests, and dancing is good exercise and I can certainly understand why some people like dancing. I, however, am not one of them. First, I suffer from the White's Man Dancing Curse - no rhythm and the only steps I know are tripping over my feet and stepping on my partner's. Secondly-fourthly, most of the places where people gather to dance are open late, have music that is waaaayyyy to loud and enough cigarette smoke to make Big Tobacco put another quarter in the jukebox.

So, I declined her subtle hint that she would like to go out. Heck, it was almost 9 PM. A little late to be going out on Saturday. (If you are under 40, you may be scratching your head trying to make sense of that statement. Try and follow along, despite how odd it may sound.) I told her maybe if she wanted to go around and see some sights one weekend afternoon maybe we could get a group of folks and go. Then I went to bed.

I was roused from sleep about 2 1/2 hours later. Unable to quickly return to slumber, I potted some plants I had purchased at Home Depot this morning and played with Pupps 2.0. Now I suppose I will unload the dishwasher and clean something until I get bored enough to fall asleep again.