Monosyllabic Pedantry

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Home Renovation

The work crew has installed the windows and are currently installing siding. I like the color; "driftwood". Poor Mrs Schwartz is at the end of her rope. They have been pounding on the house all day. We had some debate about whether they needed to treat the wood before putting the siding on. I will concede to their experience that there is no need.
It's amazing how fast these guys work. I would have thought the windows would take a day and the siding wouldn't even start until tomorrow. They are halfway done with the siding.

Update: They worked until after 8pm. The siding is done, except for a small area on the second floor. I expect they'll be done and cleaned up before noon. They even put siding on the door to the crawlspace! Take that, Carpenter Bees!


Friday, July 27, 2007

Separated at Birth?


Why do I talk religion at work?

We rented Jesus Camp. I highly recommend it to everybody. I was talking to a coworker about it in our break room. I knew he would appreciate the movie.

Exador: Understand that these people want a fundamentalist christian nation. They want christian laws. The woman said that "The downfall of this country is that you have to give everyone equal rights". Then she said that democracy is only the best government here on earth. The better government will come when Jesus rules.

Just then, another coworker walks in. We'll call her Andrea.

Exador: These people look forward to the apocalypse, because that will usher in the Kingdom if Heaven.

Andrea: I know I am! I'm ready to go! I've had enough time here! I'm ready for Jesus to take me!

Exador: I'll remember not to let you drive me anywhere. I don't want to be stuck, going down the interstate, and have you suddenly disappear on me.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Fighting Dogs

NPR added to the dogpile on Vick by doing a story on dogfighting. They covered the history of it from the Romans to today. The part that caught my ear, was where they mentioned that thousands of fighting dogs are rescued during the federal raids on fights. Rescued is a relative term, because the dogs are only kept alive long enough to be used as evidence in the trial. Since they have been mentally screwed up fight-conditioned, they can never be adopted.

The vet in the story said, "At least this dog's suffering will end".

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Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Major Renovations

We got our current house for a song. It cost about half what the other houses in the area were going for at the time, and about one fourth what most of the McMansions are currently going for in the neighborhood.
It's needed work, which I swore I would do. So far, I've done all the work that was really necessary and let the other stuff slide. I just hate doing that stuff.

Well, no more! I've found a great contractor, whom my coworkers have known for 30 years. I just gave hime the go-ahead on:

Vinyl Siding the whole house [it's currently wood]
New gutters
All new windows
New back deck
Two new garage doors
One automatic garage door opener

We have talked about moving to the North GA mountains, and I'm currently looking at a house that's on over an acre of wooded land. I am thinking of keeping the current house as a rental property. Naturally, being a landlord is a pain in the ass, but it's also a good way to build equity and maintain a nice income stream and safety net.
I figure I could clear about $500/month from it. That'll pay off all the renovations in about two years.

If we stay, I'll like the house a whole lot better.

Update 7-25 : Amazing! The builder dropped off the materials for the deck yesterday. They came this morning, tore off the old deck and built a new one by 2 PM.


Monday, July 16, 2007

No More Camera

I got a cool digital camera a few weeks ago from Walmart. It was only $84. It had 5Megapixels, zoom, 16M internal memory and a memory slot, big lcd display; everything you would need.
It was made by Sanyo.
Unfortunately, it seemed like every other picture turned out kind of fuzzy.
I decided I didn't want to mess with that, so I returned it over the weekend. Unless I find another one, there won't be any cone pictures.


Sunday, July 15, 2007

Christianity Explained

After half a gallon of gin, we have discovered that Jesus was raised from the dead when the Easter Bunny snuck into the cave and fed him magic easter eggs.

On a related front, Mrs Schwartz has discovered that the Flying Spaghetti Monster is actually the holy ghost.

She has always had a hangup about, "If the father is Yahweh, and the Son is Jesus, who is the holy ghost?" I know the Irish church has tried to explain this as three leaves of a clover, but nobody ever really bought that story anyway.

Christianity is actually starting to make sense.


Saturday, July 14, 2007

Zachary's Bris

On Monday, Mrs Schwartz pointed out to me that it seemed like Zachary's "Red Rocket" never went back in the silo.
She had noticed it and thought, at first, that he seemed to be excited an awful lot. When she realized that it was all the time, she told me about it. His Doghood looked like it had an infection on the end. It looked like there was a swollen, red, inflammation, right on the tip. I'm thinking, He already has football knee, now the clap?! What the hell goes on during the day?
It didn't seem to bother him at all. [If it were me, I'd have been concerned]
We decided to take him into the vet.

The next day, she called me to tell me that her Jeep wouldn't start because she left the door ajar and the dome light had been on for days.
When I got home, I jump-started it and drove it around town for a while to charge it. When I was driving it around again, I noticed that the voltmeter was showing 19V. Weird, but I hoped it would magically be ok the next day.
The next morning, she called me at work to tell me that it wouldn't start again.
I called a mechanic. The next morning, I jumped it again and we dropped it off at the garage and she took me to work and took my truck. This would be Thursday.

She called me, hysterically crying.

The vet said that he had a malignant, cancerous tumor on his Doghood.

It turns out that he had a Mast Cell Tumor, and that this is a very common form of cancer for older dogs. He said that it looked like Zachary would need to get the tumor, and some part of his Doghood, removed. He would then require reconstructive and plastic surgery. He also said that we would need to go to a specialist because it was beyond his capabilities.

But first, he was going to anesthetize him for a closer look.

After that, he called us back and said that it looked like the tumor was only on the surface and had not gotten into the organ itself, but he might need to take a little of the foreskin off.
He said he could do the surgery and it wasn't nearly as bad as he had initially thought.

So we left Zachary there [Thursday night] and he had surgery Friday afternoon. He called us afterwards and said that everything went well, but he wanted to keep him for observation for the night and we could pick him up Saturday.

So we picked him up this morning. [Mrs Schwartz has been driving me up a wall]. He came bounding out, as usual, all happy and goofy. He had a cone on his neck. The bill called it an Elizabethan Collar, I shit you not. It was $18.
At first, they said he needed to wear it for 7 days. Then they said he only needed to wear it when we weren't watching him, so it looks like he will only have to wear it at night.
We took it off him when we got home. He has finally settled down enough to sleep. We made a bed for him [and Mrs Schwartz] in front of the couch.

Zachary's shaved leg
UPDATE 7-20-07: We heard back from the pathology lab. The bad news is that his tumor was made of lymphoma-type cancer, which is a very bad type, and is the type that killed his brother. The good news is that the tumor has "clean edges". This means that the doctor can easily determine the extent of the cancer cells, and "get all of it".


Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Sweet Jesus, AGAIN?

This freak accident is getting to be not-so-freaky.

Minneapolis A 6-year-old Edina, Minn. girl has been hospitalized after a horrific accident at a swimming pool.

An ambulance rushed her to Children's Hospital in Minneapolis. Several hours later a surgeon said Abigail was lucky to be alive."The suction had caused a two-inch tear in her rectum and had basically disemboweled her by pulling out her small intestines, almost all of it," said Taylor.Her father said a search of the pool filter turned up Abigail's intestine. He said Abigail was seriously wounded because the cover of the drain had been removed.

Abigail will have to be fed intravenously for the rest of her life and will have to have a colostomy bag.

Since 1990, 170 people, mostly children, have been caught in drains and 27 of them have died.


Friday, July 06, 2007

Mr Rogers Made Your Kid a Brat

The Wall Street Journal has an article on why kids are getting more and more obnoxious.

It's all Mr Rogers fault.

It turns out, 'those in the know', are rethinking a few of the child-rearing strategies of the last few decades.

  1. "You're special." Mr. Rogers spent years telling little creeps that he liked them just the way they were. He should have been telling them there was a lot of room for improvement. ... Nice as he was, and as good as his intentions may have been, he did a disservice.

  2. "They're just children." When kids are rude, self-absorbed or disrespectful, some parents allow or endure it by saying, "Well, they're just children." As an excuse or as justification for unacceptable behavior, "They're just children" is just misguided.

  3. "Call me Cindy." When a child calls an adult Mr. or Ms., it helps him recognize that status is earned by age and experience. It's also a reminder to respect your elders.

  4. "Tell me about your day." In America today, life often begins with the anointing of "His Majesty, the Fetus," From then on, many parents focus their conversations on their kids. More of today's parents are better educated and more in touch with the world than ever before. So why do our kids see us primarily discussing kids' schedules and activities?
    Parents should talk about their passions and interests; about politics, business, world events. Because everything is child-centered today, we're depriving children of adults. If they never see us as adults being adults, how will they deal with important matters when it is their world?


Thursday, July 05, 2007

You win...Valtrex!

I'm not sure why this cracks me up, but I guess it's all over the web that the producers of the TV show, The Bachelor, are having a hard time finding women because all the hotties in Tinsel Town have herpes.


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