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Sun, 07 Oct 2001

It's been a little over a week since I last wrote and there's been a lot of things happen.  One thing that will have a direct impact upon this site is actually my own review of the site.  The Whinery started out as an outlet for my own thoughts and activities.  Shortly after I was made aware that people actually enjoyed reading my writing, the focus of The Whinery shifted from my original intent toward my trying to write to please the masses as it were.  It drifted further with the tragedies in New York, Washington D.C., and Pennsylvania as I began nearly carrying conversations with individuals via my entries.  In short, it's time for me to return this journal to a journal instead of an editorial.

Just a quick note on the trip to Strawberry:  Of the six boys who were planning to go, only three showed.  So, we had five "old guys" and three young men.  Friday night we ate extremely well:  teriyaki chicken and potatoes, sticky rice, elk steaks and t-bone steak  That night as we sat near our cold fire ring (Utah is under a no fire restriction due to the drought conditions and high fire risk) under the light of a Coleman lantern, I listened to these young men express their thoughts concerning God and their trust in him.  I listened as one recounted his feelings from a trip earlier that day to the Timpanogos Temple to perform baptisms for the dead.  My heart warmed as I heard the words of these upstanding young men and the others there that night.

The next morning we located a number of dead fall trees and set about hauling them to the trailer to later be cut into useable firewood for a widow in our neighborhood.  I hope that they will realize, the boys that is, that such a simple task for us will bring immeasurable benefit to both themselves and the kindly woman whom we seek to help.

Twice a year, the first weekend in April and again during the first weekend of October, I and my family spend time listening to the General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  This conference has been full of amazing things, they always are.  However, as the Prophet, Gordon B. Hinckley, spoke this morning three things happened that I have prayed would never happen:  At 11:00 a.m. Pres. Bush broke into the programming (General Conference here) and announced the completion of strikes against Afghanistan's air defense and infrastructure.  Pres. Hinckley (we switched to a PBS station that was still carrying the Conference Session after hearing all the facts which would be rehashed over the next couple of hours) addressed the subject of the terrorist attacks but first he informed those at the Conference Center of the US strike.  Finally he said the very thing that I have been praying he would not say:  He compared bin Laden and the Taliban to the Gadianton Robbers, paraphrased the Title of Liberty and stated that, like Captain Moroni, we must defend our liberty.  The Prophet of the Lord has clearly stated that we, the free peoples of the world, must join in this battle for justice and uphold the ways of the Lord against those that would see life and liberty destroyed.  Note that President Hinckley specifically reminded us that this is not a war of Christianity against Islam (the Crusades were bad enough thank you very much) but a war between those who love peace and liberty and those who would destroy such.

O God, may the prayers of all thy children ring loudly in thy ears that this battle in the war against the evils of terror may be swift and just.  Help us as we wage another battle in our long struggle against the adversary of truth.  In Jesus' name.  Amen.

This entry authored by Tyran at 12:38

I am the father of three children, a seven year old boy, a four year old girl and a two year old boy.  Might I just say that coming from a family of four boys, marrying was the biggest shock I've ever been through for I suddenly discovered that mom wasn't weird, she's a woman.  Might I simply say that living with other men is much easier than living with women but the rewards of living with women is worth the price of giving up ease and comfort.  Let me explain:  I'm still working on the earlier entry for today and just minutes ago my daughter came downstairs to exhibit her latest discovered treasure.  She had found a rather plain piece of flint sitting on the vanity in the bathroom.  Now, an older person would ask, "How did a piece of flint get in here?" but a four year old girl with a penchant for rocks simply says, "MINE!" Now if one of the boys had done this, I could have simply requested the rock be returned to me and at worst there would have been a stint of whining and a trip to a bedroom for a timeout.  Not so with my daughter and because I refused to acknowledge her temper tantrum it continued to escalate.  Something that would have lasted with one of the boys five minutes at most took thirty minutes of calming the wailing wonder and explaining why "Finders Keepers" just doesn't work, especially when the finding is done in the bathroom!  The reward for this is, however, priceless for this marvelous daughter is now sitting on the arm of my chair with her head resting on my shoulder.

This entry authored by Tyran at 15:21

Mon, 08 Oct 2001

Excerpts from President Hinckley's talk of yesterday morning.  The full text can be found here.

My beloved brethren and sisters, I accept this opportunity in humility. I pray that I may be guided by the Spirit of the Lord in that which I say.

I have just been handed a note that says a US missile attack is under way.

I need not remind you that we live in perilous times. I desire to speak concerning these times and our circumstances as members of this Church.

You are all acutely aware of the events of September 11, less than a month ago. Out of that vicious and ugly attack we are plunged into a state of war. It is the first war of the 21st century. The last century has been described as the most war-torn in human history. Now we are off on another dangerous undertaking, the unfolding of which and the end thereof we do not know. For the first time since we became a nation, the United States has been seriously attacked on its mainland soil. But this was not an attack on the United States alone. It was an attack on men and nations of good will everywhere. It was well-planned, boldly executed, and the results were disastrous. It is estimated that more than 5,000 innocent people died. Among these were many from other nations. It was cruel and cunning, an act of consummate evil.

Recently, in company with a few national religious leaders, I was invited to the White House to meet with the President. In talking to us he was frank and straightforward.

That same evening he spoke to the Congress and the nation in unmistakable language concerning the resolve of America and its friends to hunt down the terrorists who were responsible for the planning of this terrible thing and any who harbored such.

Now we are at war. Great forces are being mobilized and will continue to be. Political alliances are being forged. We do not know how long this conflict will last. We do not know what it will cost in lives and treasure. We do not know the manner in which it will be carried out. It could impact the work of the Church in various ways.

Our national economy has been made to suffer. It was already in trouble, and this has compounded the problem. Many are losing their employment. Among our own people this could affect Welfare needs, and also the tithing of the Church. It could affect our missionary program.

We are now a global organization. We have members in more than 150 nations. Administering this vast worldwide program could conceivably become more difficult.

Those of us who are American citizens stand solidly with the President of our nation. The terrible forces of evil must be confronted and held accountable for their actions. This is not a matter of Christian against Muslim. I am pleased to see that food is being dropped to the hungry people of a target nation. We value our Muslim neighbors across the world and hope that those who live by the tenets of their faith will not suffer. I ask particularly that our own people do not become a party in any way to the persecution of the innocent. Rather, let us be friendly and helpful, protective and supportive. It is the terrorist organizations that must be ferreted out and brought down.

We of this Church know something of such groups. The Book of Mormon speaks of the Gadianton Robbers, a vicious, oath-bound, and secret organization bent on evil and destruction. In their day they did all in their power, by whatever means available, to bring down the Church, to woo the people with sophistry, and to take control of the society. We see the same thing in the present situation.

We are people of peace. We are followers of the Christ who was and is the Prince of Peace. But there are times when we must stand up for right and decency, for freedom and civilization, just as Moroni rallied his people in his day to the defense of their wives, their children, and the cause of liberty.

. . . .

Great are the promises concerning this land of America. We are told unequivocally that it is a "choice land and whatsoever nation shall possess it shall be free from bondage, and from captivity, and from all other nations under heaven, if they will but serve the God of the land, who is Jesus Christ" (Ether 2:12). This is the crux of the entire matter-obedience to the commandments of God.

The Constitution under which we live and which has not only blessed us but has become a model for other constitutions, is our God-inspired national safeguard ensuring freedom and liberty, justice and equality before the law.

I do not know what the future holds. I do not wish to sound negative, but I wish to remind you of the warnings of scripture and the teachings of the prophets which we have had constantly before us.

I cannot forget the great lesson of Pharaoh's dream of the fat and lean kine, and of the full and withered stalks of corn.

I cannot dismiss from my mind the grim warnings of the Lord as set forth in the 24th chapter of Matthew.

I am familiar, as are you, with the declarations of modern revelation that the time will come when the earth will be cleansed and there will be indescribable distress, with weeping, and mourning, and lamentation (see Doc & Cov 112:24).

Now, I do not wish to be an alarmist. I do not wish to be a prophet of doom. I am optimistic. I do not believe that the time is here when an all-consuming calamity will overtake us. I earnestly pray that it may not. There is so much of the Lord's work yet to be done. We and our children after us, must do it.

. . . .

Now, all of us know that war, contention, hatred, suffering of the worst kind are not new. The conflict we see today is but another expression of the conflict that began with the war in heaven. I quote from the book of Revelation:

" And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,

" And prevailed not, neither was their place found anymore in heaven.

" And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, call the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

" And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ" (Rev. 12:7-10).

That must have been a terrible conflict. The forces of evil were pitted against the forces of good. The great deceiver, the son of the morning, was defeated and banished, and took with him a third of the hosts of heaven.

. . . .

Now, brothers and sisters, we must do our duty whatever that duty might be. Peace may be denied for a season. Some of our liberties may be curtailed. We may be inconvenienced. We may even be called on to suffer in one way or another. But God our Eternal Father will watch over this nation and all of the civilized world who look to Him. He has declared: "Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord" (Psalms 33:12). Our safety lies in repentance. Our strength comes of obedience to the commandments of God.

Let us be prayerful. Let us pray for righteousness. Let us pray for the forces of good. Let us reach out to help men and women of good will whatever their religious persuasion and wherever they live. Let us stand firm against evil, both at home and abroad. Let us live worthy of the blessings of heaven, reforming our lives where necessary, and looking to Him, the Father of us all. He has said: "Be still, and know that I am God" (Psalms 46:10).

Are these perilous times? They are. But there is no need to fear. We can have peace in our hearts and peace in our homes. We can be an influence for good in this world, every one of us.

May the God of heaven, the Almighty, bless us, help us, as we walk our various ways in the uncertain days that lie ahead. May we look to Him with unfailing faith. May we worthily place our reliance on His Beloved Son who is our great Redeemer, whether it be in life or in death, is my prayer in His Holy Name, even the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

This entry authored by Tyran at 11:32

At 1:30 P.M. today my wife called me at work to say that the testing results for our oldest son were complete and the speech therapist wanted to talk with us about them.  An hour later my wife and I sat and listened to test scores which reaffirmed what we already know.  When we brought our son home from the hospital nearly seven years ago, we knew something was dramatically different.  ALL average babies love eye contact and usually express their enjoyment of this with smiles.  This was not so with our son until after he was six months old, to this day he still avoids eye contact to a great degree.  This is a classic symptom of a number of the Autistic Spectrum Disorders.  Eventually we had him assessed and were reassured that he absolutely did not fall within the A.S.D. range but that he also was and is not an average child.  Far from just being a round peg for a square hole, there has to be a new shape defined for him.  Today the therapist said that his profile is the most peculiar one she's ever seen.  The overall scoring shows him to be perfectly average.  The sub-tests reveal why this is not the whole truth.  His cognitive skills (reading and comprehension) are at levels indicating extremely gifted whereas his motor/coding skills fall into the realm of sever disability and everything else fairly well hovers in the realm of the average.  This comes as no surprise to us, he taught himself to read by age four.  He is a thinker who is bored with the mundane skills he needs to learn to be able to survive in this world.

I am reminded of another young child who was told at age seven that he was reading at a high school senior level.  A young boy who struggled with mathematics, who was ungainly on the playground and often taunted for his awkwardness.  A boy who recognized a vast separation between himself and his peers and who, on returning home from school, would often cry to his mother that he wished he could just be normal like the other kids.  At eight I finally convinced my father to let me read Beowulf, finishing that epic I felt that that Great Dane had freed me just as he had freed Heorot.  By the end of that year I had devoured the works of Tolkien and from there the road grew ever wider but still I yearned and sometimes yet yearn to “just be normal like the other kids.” I mentioned to my wife tonight that I also have always struggled with math and she was amazed.  I learned to make math a strength and I went from still needing my fingers to do math long after my peers to a 5 on the AP calculus exam my senior year in high school.  Other math related subjects, like the sciences, are quite beyond me.

One would think that my experiences would prepare me to help my son succeed even more than I have.  While it is true that I do know some of what lies before him, it is that same knowledge which some days makes me almost wish that he were indeed autistic.  Safe in the isolated world of the autistic from the burdens that are to be his in the future.  I only hope that I can help him find a Beowulf that will vanquish the Grendels before him and show him a Loth Lorien where he too can forget the weariness and emerge renewed.

This entry authored by Tyran at 20:55

Fri, 12 Oct 2001

This morning as I drove to work I heard a news report that officials here in Salt Lake are more concerned about violent protestors than they are about a terrorist attack.  The official speaking on the radio said that these protestors are just poor misguided souls who are taking their First Amendment Rights much too far.  I just really have to ask, what is the difference between violent protestors and terrorists?  I see no real difference and hope that any that would disturb our peace with violence will realize that such actions will only serve to galvanize public sentiment against whatever cause they claim.  Not to mention that the warm welcome we're putting out for the world will quickly turn formidable for such miscreants.

The time for peace has passed.  I know that there are those that still believe otherwise, I just have one question then?  If war is not the answer, then what is?  Ussamah and those supporting him want nothing more than the desolation of the free world.  How can we live with such hate?  As well ask if a family can live with a viper loose in the living room.

This entry authored by Tyran at 19:31

Sat, 13 Oct 2001

Phew, busy day morning.  It started off with a service project to clean-up two of the city parks here in town (Chrisville and City Parks) and clearing weeds along the west fence of the new lots at the city cemetery.  Afterwards I got a call to run over to my brother-in-law's and fix their DSL connection (just needed to be reset thankfully).  Now my wife is off to the county lock-up to see her brother and I'm herding the most of the children that live in our neighborhood.  Now I'm kicking back and watching MiB.  On a side note, while I was working on my in-laws machine, I discovered that IE 5.x doesn't display this page correctly, I really wish that browser developers would get with the program (no pun) and actually build their applications to comply with W3C standards.

Dave Ross's commentary yesterday morning was basically on what can you or I as an individual do to aid in this our fight against terrorism.  Here's some of what he said:

Osama is right about one thing: America may be powerful, but individual Americans are very vulnerable.  Most of us wouldn't have a clue about how to get food without a grocery store.  Or how to keep the lights on during a blackout.  Or how to do without gas.  Or how to keep working if you can't get to work.  We need a plan B for all these things.

A little alternative power wouldn't hurt.  Small farms near population centers wouldn't hurt.  Getting to know the neighbors wouldn't hurt. and having a smaller car handy that doesn't need a lot of gas wouldn't hurt.

So what exactly is it that we're supposed to do?  Stop being so cynical, so suspicious, so untrusting.  Love your family and go for a walk in the evening.  Greet your neighbors by name, something you can only do if you take time to learn their names.  In short, stop living isolated, lonely, miserable lives and start living like Americans.  Living like a people who understand and cherish the freedoms that we have.

This entry authored by Tyran at 13:51

Pooh Bear, you were a dirty, ornery old thing but I loved you and will miss you now that you're gone.  The only good thing about your passing is not having to worry about you nipping at the kids.

Well, the short story from my wife on her brother is that he's finally doing better (he's in on drug related charges, long story short:  He wouldn't stick to his court order rehab program so he's behind bars doing his rehab time) and at the end of the week he should be headed to a sixty day in-patient program.  Now if we can just manage to keep his lying, cheating, spend-thrift, addict wife out of the picture for another two months he'll even have a fighting chance of staying clean this time 'round.

And now for something completely different!  Sheesh, I'm gone from testing for a month or two and BCM goes gold!  Actually, I'm thrilled and can't wait to be able to get my hands on the CD so I can finally head back out among the stars!

This entry authored by Tyran at 17:03

Mon, 15 Oct 2001

Yesterday was, as usual, extremely busy.  The morning started off with a meeting of the Welfare Committee at 7:30 AM.  I was amazed to learn of three new babies, all delivered by C-Section, within our small neighborhood.  One was full term but tipped the scales at only two pounds!  Both mother and baby are doing well, though.  The mother has returned home already and the baby gained over a pound the first two days.  Although my actual involvement with this committee is usually fairly small (I'm there in more of a support role to lend the helping hands of my young men where possible), it's a great feeling to be involved with a group who's sole purpose is to help those in our immediate neighborhood that have a need. 

After my meeting finished, about 8:30 AM, I scurried home to pickup my wife and children for regular church meetings.  It was then that we discovered that our large, about 2.5' high by nearly 1' in diameter, pumpkin had been stolen from our front porch.  The other five pumpkins there, all perfect size for throwing, were still sitting right where they had been left.  My personal opinion is that someone visiting our little cul-de-sac decided that our pumpkin would be perfect for carving (which it certainly will be) and that they needed it more than we do (which they certainly do not).  My wife and the children were rather upset by this (great way to start a Sunday) and my anger meter peaked somewhere around “Let me introduce you to A. Battery” but quickly calmed back down to a low simmer.  By the end of the day that low simmer had left a sickly tar at the bottom of my heart.  The world is so full of thoughtless people ranging from those who give no thought to human life and hail mass murderers as heroes to those who give no thought to anything other than satisfying themselves regardless of the expense to others.  Have you ever read Dune by Frank Herbert?  At one stage Paul is tested to see if he is human.

“You've heard of animals chewing off a leg to escape a trap?  There's an animal kind of trick.  A human would remain in the trap, endure the pain, feigning death that he might kill the trapper and remove a threat to his kind.”

It's a very harsh scene in the book but I believe it illustrates a very important truth.  I had hoped that there would be a tremendous awakening in the aftermath of Sept. 11th and to a great degree there has but it is obvious that it was not a universal thing.

This entry authored by Tyran at 05:17

Tue, 16 Oct 2001

Ramble:  What is God like?

Yesterday morning as I walked from the train station to work (I wrote yesterday's entry on the bus) I saw a magazine with a head line of “What is God like?” emblazoned upon a starry sky.  Since my relationship to God is something I hold very dear, I thought I might share some of my thoughts about Him with you.  Do I have an ulterior motive, a hidden agenda in posting this?  You had better believe I do!  I hope that by sharing what I feel and know about God that someone will gain even just a little peace and comfort in these trying times.

The interesting thing is that this specific question “What is God like?” has never really crossed my mind; not because I am unconcerned about His nature but because I believe that His nature is quite obvious.  A brief overview:  Firstly, He is perfect.  Secondly, He is a man with a perfect, immortal, physical body and with perfect emotions.  Most importantly, He is our Father and we are His children.

He is perfect, what exactly does that mean?  Two things come to mind, one is from “Illusions” by Richard Bach.  There he says that if we believe that being perfect is to be unchanging, fixed, done, then we must also believe that perfection is stagnation, heaven is a swamp and God is a swamp cookie.  Look at the sky, he writes, it's always a perfect sky but it is also always changing.  Our common concept of perfect is that it means something that cannot be improved.  I believe that this is a misconception on our part; just like infinity, perfection being improved is a concept that we just can't fully grasp.  Another example of this is our universe.  Science suggests that it is infinite in size and yet it is also expanding.  Wrap you mind around that one and you'll understand how perfection can be improved.

He is a man.  If He is the Father of Lights, the Father of our spirits and if the Christ is His Only Begotten Son, then it follows that He must be a man.  Our bodies and our emotions resemble His but again He is perfect and immortal and we are not.  Glasses, arch supports, twisted bones, illness, just to name a few common problems and He has none of them.  Anger, love, joy, pleasure, grief, all of our emotions are but reflections of His.  We all like to remember His perfect love for us but most like to forget or even deny that He also embodies perfect anger.  There is a great difference between Him and us:  Everything He does is for our good.  There's a whole book in that one sentence alone, so I'll let it stand by itself.

He is our Father and we are His children.  This is, to me, the very most important thing to know about God.  Throughout the scriptures there are references to this very basic relationship between us and God, as it has been said “For we are also his offspring.”  Now, if we are His children, His offspring, and are created in His image and likeness then exactly what shall we be when we grow up?

This entry authored by Tyran at 21:14

Thu, 18 Oct 2001

Old Friends

This week I heard from an old friend, a mighty emperor from the far reaches of space whose race skips about the stars like Dancers in a cosmic ballet.  If you've ever played Stars!, you know the thrill of the hunt, the chase and the bluff.  If not, well the link is right there and Stars! is a great way to eat up an hour or two of your day!

As I was saying before fits of grandeur took over, I heard from an old friend this week.  I always worry about calling someone a friend, it is not a casual word to me.  A friend is someone who will stand by your side at all costs.  Being a friend does not mean that you must agree on all things, if two people truly are friends they will not allow their differences to destroy their relationship.  Too many friendships are of the fair weather breed, fleeting and useless.  True friendship requires work to achieve.  Two friends long parted do not, when they meet again, mark the occasion with recriminations but embrace and stand on equal footing as they enjoy the reunion.

I met this friend while attempting to conquer the universe in a Stars! game.  Our respective empires struck a tentative alliance and a lasting friendship grew out of it.  I was sure that I was dealing with someone who was, like me, middle-ageish and I was quite surprised to learn otherwise.  This was of little concern to me though as I grew up with only one or two friends my own age, the rest had grandchildren or great-grandchildren older than I was.  Anyway, my friend and his wife were passing through the area around last Christmas and so we spent a wonderful evening together.  We discovered or rather we rediscovered that we have differing views (but strikingly similar in practice), differing stations in life and other “differences” but these quickly faded back into triviality because before all our differences, great or small, we are friends.

I must admit though, that I am not the best of friends to have.  The reason is that I am willing to let friendships fade with time and distance.  It is a failing of mine, one I recognize and am working to improve.  I know why I do this, along with the joys of friendship comes pain.  Just as friendship allows one to share in the joy of one's friends, it also requires one to share in the pain and even, occasionally, to share in grief.  The one thing I don't handle well at all is emotional pain and so to protect myself against this, I shy away from friendship.

Well, I've rambled on enough tonight and I have to be on the bus by 5:00 AM (it's 10:00 PM now) so until I whine again, good night.

This entry authored by Tyran at 20:51

Fri, 19 Oct 2001

Fear! An Open Letter

“All we have to fear is fear itself.”  As Dan Rather said yesterday, “Our biggest problem today is not anthrax.  Our biggest problem is fear.”  Other than the initial shock and terror which was rather universal during the first few days after Sept. 11, I've not been fearful but defiant in my mood.  Last night, for a very short period, I felt abject terror and the firm grip of panic on my heart.  Why?  What had happened to so quickly turn my emotions from defiance to fear?  I watched 20/20 with Charlie Gibbson and Diane Sawyer and their reports on anthrax.  If this broadcast was, in anyway, meant to reassure the public or ease troubled minds; it was not only a failure but a complete disaster.  If, on the other hand, it was meant to sow further seeds of fear, distraught, and panic . . . Ding, Ding, Ding, we have a winner!  In fact, I only found three items of hope in the whole thing:  People in top health (generally those under 24) are able to fight off a pulmonary anthrax exposure without medical assistance so my children are safe from the most lethal form of infection.  That there has only been one death from anthrax this year (and indeed for a number of years) in the US whereas 20,000 die from the flu each year.  The thing of most comfort, however, was Dan Rather's comment quoted above.  Those words made me realize what was happening to me and I put an immediate stop to it.

What, then, was happening?  I originally began my schooling with the intent of becoming a psychologist.  During my studies I learn something very interesting:  The more frequently a person is exposed to any specific stimuli, the more that person will believe that the subject of the stimuli is also a frequent occurrence.  Under 100 people have tested positive for exposure to bacillus anthracis spores and of those only nine have actually been infected.  Two of the nine contracted pulmonary anthrax and one of those died.  The other seven contracted cutaneous which is the most treatable form of the disease.  Again, only one person has died.  That's one person out of 281,421,906 (Census 2000).  That's a whopping .00000036%!  I'm sure the numbers will increase but even if they go up 1000% then nearly a thousand people will have been exposed and only ten people will have died.  Even then, we are still talking about something which is extremely rare and isolated.  Yet this rare and isolated event is sending out shock waves of fear and even panic.  Why? because the media is doing the very thing that anthrax alone cannot:  Spreading the disease, the disease of fear, like wildfire.  Every newscast of any type has something about anthrax in it and because we are a nation infatuated with news we are seeing/hearing/reading these reports eight and nine, if not more, times a day.  Because we're exposed to it so frequently, we begin to perceive it as being a frequent thing and viola! fear creeps into the heart of America.

Again as Mr. Rather said, “Our biggest problem today is not anthrax.  Our biggest problem is fear” and the cause of our fear is the constant bombardment of facts and speculation we're receiving from the media.

Taken from the Department of Bacteriology at University of Wisconsin-Madison.(link)

Things you can do to protect yourself from bioterrorism

  • Stop worrying
  • Stop smoking
  • Don't drink too much
  • Eat right
  • Exercise
  • Stop worrying

What?  What does that have to do with bioterrorism. [sic]  All of the above will build up your immune system.  And besides, if you have to be scared into taking care of yourself, so be it.

This entry authored by Tyran at 05:30

Tue, 23 Oct 2001

Have you ever had one of those days when you just feel tired?  I went to bed at 21:00 last night and slept until 05:00 this morning, maybe that's the problem too much sleep.  All I know is that I feel very weary today.

LOL, my youngest son just came stomping into my office wearing a denim jacket over a tan sweatshirt and gray sweat pants and his sister's pink feather high heels!  Absolutely priceless!

This entry authored by Tyran at 16:45

For those of you familiar with my wife's back, well it's back.  For the rest of you, my wife has had severe sciatica and lower back pain.  Her doctor prescribed a cortisone epidural and specific exercise which includes walking three miles a day.  The walking has helped trim off nearly all the “baby fat” that our three children so graciously gave my wife.  Anyway, the pain is caused by one slightly bulging disk.  On Saturday that disk appears to have held a wild party complete with drinks and pain killers because her left leg went numb from butt to toe and has had a nasty hangover ever since.  She finally has an appointment to see the doctor again, the appointment's on Halloween.  She mentioned last night that she could live with the pain if need be and it broke my heart to have to tell her that while she may be able to live with the pain, the kids and I cannot.  She's unable to physically express her love for the kids as much as they need:  Little kids need to be picked up and hugged and bad backs just don't allow that.  Does this mean that I would abandon her to her pain?  No, that is something I could never do.  However, there are times when parents must ignore or minimize their own needs to insure the health and well being of their children.  In this case that means my wife must face her back problems and do whatever is needed to correct or mitigate the situation and that I must be willing to prod her into taking such action.  If we don't both do these things, she'll end up like her father who will only find true relief from his chronic pain on the day he passes away.

This entry authored by Tyran at 22:28

Fri, 26 Oct 2001

Life moves at a faster and faster pace and although I don't want to be caught up in the tide, it's nearly impossible to not be swept away.  - For example, I just realized that it's Friday today! -  So much to cover since I last wrote, let's just dive right in then.

Well, I just have to put down something about what my boys and some of the girls did on Tuesday.  We had a combined activity, an activity that involves all the boys and girls 12 -18 yrs old, that night and for some reason it had a Halloween theme (sort of).  - Note:  Teenagers + knives + pumpkins = messy, messy, messy. -  They carved pumpkins, made carmelled apples and performed some impromptu skits.  When all was said and done, we had 15 - 20 pumpkins (carved and uncarved) still without homes (the kids just couldn't bear to take the ugly things home ;o-).  Partly as an excuse to stay out together longer and partly because they really enjoy doing good things for people, they asked (pleaded actually) for us to let them go do some drive-by pumkinings.  Now, “traditional” pumpkin drive-bys involve smashed pumpkin bits and angry neighbors.  The Tuesday drive-bys involved no smashing but did involve much head scratching as the targets tried to figure out just exactly what the carved pumpkins were supposed to be!

Wednesday night was a neighborhood meeting/soiree at my home at the behest of my wife.  We talked about problems with mail delivery (substitute mailman) and the need to be a little more cautious when dealing with the mail now.  We will try to have a street light installed at the top of the cul-de-sac, that should be an interesting battle given that we sometimes have to call the city just to remind them that our street also needs plowing when the snow flies.  We'll also be starting up a formal neighborhood watch program sometime in January.  Vandalism in nearby areas, the pumpkin thefts (three homes now) and a general desire to keep our little neighborhood quiet and safe inspired that move.  It also looks like we'll have an Easter egg hunt with a daytime bon fire come spring and a summer bar-b-que/street party.  Along with the stuffy business, we all had a very good time rubbing shoulders and munching on punch and cookies.  I had such a relaxing time of it that we'll be having a Christmas open house followed up with carolling at everyone we can find home.  Good neighbors, they're priceless.

Have you ever had one of those days when the whole world tries to come apart at the seams?  Let me tell you about yesterday.  Three hours of futile attempts to migrate historical data, a phone call to tell me that my daughter (4 yrs) decided to swallow three pennies and that, because she complained that she was in pain and the dispatcher decided she must be a one year old child, the paramedics, ambulance crew, two patrol cars, the fire chief (lives one block away and was worried about neighbors in trouble) and two concerned neighbors all showed up to talk with my wife in her pajamas and watch my daughter bask in the attention.  That should have been enough but my oldest son's sixth sense appears to have kicked into high gear and warned him that he too should get in on the action.  Accusations (which are true) were made, fingers were pointed, phone calls were made and I headed home early to “Kill the Boy” as Bill Cosby's wife put it in his routine on all children being brain damaged.  I had a long talk with my son about making choices and what kind of behaviour is expected at school.  Of course, just to add some spice to the otherwise dull day, the car decided to misfire which caused the service engine soon light to jump to life when I went to lunch (fourth time it's done this) - great, just great.

This entry authored by Tyran at 06:54

Mon, 29 Oct 2001

What is it with drivers that have no clue about cross walks?  Last time I checked, a pedestrian in a cross walk means that traffic needs to stop and let those on foot cross the road.  Utah law seems fairly clear on drivers' responsibilities toward pedestrians:

If a pedestrian is crossing the street in a "marked" or "unmarked" crosswalk, you must yield the right-of-way until he/she has reached safety. In addition, any vehicle crossing a sidewalk must yield to all traffic on the sidewalk.

I am forgetting, though, that Utah has a corner on the super-idiot market, you know the type:  Those who believe that they are above “the petty laws in this backwards state.”  I love the irony of living in a state that is known for it's great family environment that also seems to attract the kind of morons that don't mind mowing down a family as they cross the street from a hospital to a special needs school for a Halloween carnival.

“And now for something completely different.”  I'm quite tired of being so serious, so I'll be rerunning and completing the duck series in the Daily Whine.

This entry authored by Tyran at 21:45

Wow, I've noticed that a lot of people are visiting the Whinery because they done a search on beaded curtains.  I had no idea that so many folks are still interesting in