Christmas Feelings

It’s been a mix of emotions.  We,  er, I spent most of the early part of the month wraped up in the Christmas Program at church. Now that that’s out of the way, it’s time for all of the parties.  tuesday was church staff dinner, dinner for clear channel at the festival of lights, yesterday was our office party, tonight is the worship team dinner, tommrow is sonnie’s graduation party/christmas party.  I made reservations on the calendar already for a day off on sunday.  All of these events have great intentions but it’s just way to much to do.  I found myself being consumed in the motions not being able feel the emotions.  Patti gave me my christmas present early last night and we went to see Glenn Beck’s stage show, “the christmas sweater”  now.. i’ve been a fan of glenns since around the time of 9-11 when we had him on our AM station, KVNS.  He had a sarcastic humor about himself that really made sense.  kind of like arroon, except glenn had convictions.. well not to say that arron doesn’t.. but this guy has really deep convictions.   He’s never been shy about his christianity or letting the rest of the free world know about it.

Anyway back to the show, i’ve seen other christmas shows of his, but this was totally different.  an orchestra, singing, videos, snow… their was a few monents when i was trying to descretly wipe my eyes only to notice everyone else doing the same.  I’m not going to ruin any of it for you.. your just going to have to read it yourself.. but i left their with a different perspective.  a rememerance of my past christmas’.  of the times i’ve had with my family.  of driving to the ranch from bryan.  of the smell of my grandma’s cooking and my grandpa’s aftershave.  even of my dad dressed up in a santa costume for my sister and i.

i have the chance now to have these memories with my own stepkids.  my own wife.. in our own home.  memories that we’re going to have to make together.

Christmas bonus

or lack there of.
I guess i really shouldn’t be complaining. There are lots of people out their who are losing their jobs. Even in patti’s office they are talking about cutting cost. It just kind of stinks when even their isn’t even a church bonus.
It’s just kind of scary thinking of how volatile things are out their… and how quickly things can change. We’re going to have to start thinking of way to cut spending not only here at work but at home too. If things ever do get dicey, at least we can have a new budget planned out.

but is that not exercising faith? saying God, i know you will provide, you always do.. but just incase you don’t pull through the way i think you should, he’s a few alternatives?

btw- the aforementioned link is nsfw.

Fr. Joe

So i was driving home, their was a car fire on the other side of the express way so i called it into the producer of our traffic network.  On the phone he said some lady called in about some mess near the toyota dealershpi on 83 but she had no idea what direction she was going or where she was otherwise.  He asked if i could drive by their and help.  Good thing i did.. their was a big mess WB on 83 at Jackson Rd.  backed up all the way to 2nd street.  i turned off on main to go home when i got the impression to go to compusa to get a part i needed for the christmas program sunday night.  While i was their i ran into Father Joe.  Now.. i’m not catholic.  I was baptised catholic as a baby, went to CCD, grew up next door to a catholic church in Bryan.  but when we moved to the ranch, my parents went to the baptist church, which meant that i went to the baptist chuch.  When Father Joe came to San Isidro we got to know eachother.  He was a computer geek and so was i so we both got along.  I also had the chance to help the church with audio support during their christmas programs.  I also went to the wednesday night classes their.
So anyway.. years past and we lost touch but i always wondered what happened to him.  Well turns out he’s in weslaco, and of all places the church i pass by just about every day when i’m at work.  We exchanged cards.  We’ll have to do lunch some time.

check valve

back at the ranch, the water source for our community of houses was back at the ranch, about a mile from the houses.  The well had it’s own sump pump that would pump the water up to a mini water tower.  The pressure from the water tower would then force the water down the 2″ pipe to the houses 1 mile away.  Did you know that for ever 2.31 feet of elevation, 1 PSI (pound per square inch) is produced.  So if you have a water tower that’s 100 feet in the air, 43.3 PSI is produced, usualy more than enough for any city to run on.  Ours was maybe 10 feet up.  never actually measured it.  An important part of keeping the preasure was the use of a check valve.  Several were placed along the road where the water pipe was laid all the way to the houses.  These would keep the water from flowing backwards reversing the flow of presure.  Once one of those went squirly and woudln’t let water flow in either direction.  My dad had to go down the road finding all of them checking each of them.  Soon after that, they were all clearly marked along the road.  You’d be suprised how long a mile is when your digging up check valves. 

I’m greatful for the built in check valve’s we have.  So many times i want to respond to someone’s smart email with a quick relpy to all with some sarcastic responce.  Just this past sunday morning.  Mark (with a K) was running the projection computer.  He can do a great job when everything is setup properly.  but pricilla sent the list.. which meant that she didn’t use a formal song name, or ccli number or author, or any way of properly matching what her list says to what she actually wants.  So the system is preset with the titles she uses.. and quickly into the service it’s obvious that the songs preloaded are wrong.  he’s not skilled enough to find the proper songs to match.  i was able to run in their mid song a few times to load up the proper one but it was a very rough service.  mona took no hesitation to come up to me in the boot and make a remark something like “was I that bad when i ran the computer?”  now.. my first responce would not have been very nice.  Fortuantly for me.. my built in checkvalve saved me from saying something i would have regretted. 

Other times i wish it had kicked in sooner.. right about the time i’m scrambling looking for the “unsend” button.. quickly followed by abusing my rights as an email administrator.

Complacient? Niave? Just don't care anymore?

So the sky if falling around me and it’s just life as usual around here.  Our economy is going down the toilet, health care cost are skyrocketing, along with fuel prices, and i could have sworn i heard my 401k make an audible thud this morning.  I almost don’t want to watch/listen to the news anymore.  Being a “news junkie” i never thought i’d find myself at this point but i can already tell you what they are talking about.  I just don’t want to hear it anymore.

Perhaps i’ve found myself to distracted and consumed by other things in my life.  Patti is still not back to her normal health.  That on top of the work she does in the real estate industry, stresses on her so much.  And i’m completely helpless to do anything for her to ease her struggles.

Even in our community we’re hearing and seeing the same thing.

The state of mind that I am in is one of little to no tolerance for ignorance (really carelessness is what it is…meaning just not giving a bleep as long as you’re happy and not inconvenienced and being content to not know the truth so you can’t be held accountable) in the body. I am frustrated (not offended as some would like to think) simply frustrated. There is a dire need in this “American way of living” for real conviction, for people who will stand up for what is right at all times, regardless of the loss of respect, friendships, family, jobs or whatever man kind deems important. This is where I am…where I have been. – Sojourner

Am just feeling like a lemming waiting for someone to jump first?  Am i just to distracted worrying about Patti?  It goes without saying that my concentration hasn’t been very.. um.. concentrated?   Maybe we should all just uproot and go to canada.  I don’t know why but that’s actually been on my mind alot lately.  Doesn’t have to be toronto… maybe one of the smaller towns.  Listowell was really nice.  Especially in the winter when everything was white.  You could come home to a fireplace, warm chocolate, basements.. sigh.



I don’t think he knows that he’s not a kitten anymore. I still remember the day i got to bring him home. He was already potty trained. He knew how to use the scratching post. I was thinking earlier how someone could possible give him up for adoption. I was even finding myself getting upset about it.. but the more i thought about it.. the more i realized that if they hadn’t given him up, i would have never gotten to know him.

He’s been such a great cat. He greets me when i get home, like he’s been waiting for me to come home. He’ll sit in my lap and just purr. He’ll even come lie down next to me in the morning to be there before i wake up.

I don’t consider him adopted.. or my son or anything like that. it’s more of a symbiotic relationship. I don’t think of myself as his dad. i’m not his master or anything. He’s just another member of the family.

On that thought, i’m not sure what type of parent i would actually be. With ozzie, all of the hardwork was done already. He came home with me ready to love, to play and to be the best cat i’ve ever known. with kids of your own, it’s up to you to get them to that point. i don’t have any idea how to do any of that stuff. i don’t know how to raise kids up.

Patti’s tubes are tied, so their isn’t really a chance of us being pregnant, but the thought does cross our minds. Not that we’re second guessing things… but just that “what-if” chance. If we ever did end up pregnant, it wouldn’t be something horrible. it would be surprising, and shocking, but not something i would regret. i think i would be most apprehensive about my own ability to take on the responsibly of someone else’s life. What if the kid doesn’t like me? What if they decide they want to play baseball or something. I don’t know the first thing about baseball or worse, what if they become a democrat?

Patti has done an awesome job with the children she’s already had. My part in their lives has all been after the fact. Even getting to hang out with the Leals. I love those kids, but again, the Leal’s are the one’s who did all the hard work. I just get to enjoy all of their company.

I know i couldn’t ever be as good a parent as Patti. I don’t have any disillusions about that. We just went to my dad’s 75th birthday party saturday. 75 years. can you imagine that? I’m having a hard enough time with the year after the year i’m currently at. and that’s not even half that. When i’m that age, what am i going to be remembered for. what kind of legacy am i going to leave.

ok i have no idea where i went with all of that. i don’t think it makes any sense. i need some sleep.

Did we forget?

not that we’ve forgotten what happened this day 7 years ago, but we forgot how we felt that day. Those days and weeks and even months afterwords.
That day i was at church doing video editing work. Patti called and told me if i knew what had happened? I asked what channel.. she said “any channel”
She came over and together we watched what my eyes were seeing but i couldn’t believe.

in december of 02 i got to go to New York City. Anyone who’s ever been knows that you walk everywhere. We would take a daily trip each day. One day we went down to the business district, wall street, all that area. The city is always noisy. Taxis’s cars, trucks, horns.. it’s just always a town on the go. And construction everywhere. It’s not rare to see plywood and scaffold setup everywhere. As we were walking, all of a sudden it got quiet. their was an errie quiet.. and a wall of plywood around a walk way. it wasn’t until i began looking around that all of a sudden i recognized where i was. I can still remember that feeling. The rawness of not only the earth at that location but the quietness, the reverence and respect that that place had. it was like walking into a catholic church. On the last trip i took to NYC we didn’t go by there. I don’t think i could stand to see that area in any other state then when i last saw it. i don’t think i could comprehend how people could speak in a voice louder than a whisper in that area. i don’t want to ever forget.


it’s been a few days since i’ve said anything on here so here’s the latest.  I really don’t like BBVA aka, Compass Bank.

I’m sure they are not mean people or anything, and i’m sure that their banking practices work… but Patti put it best, People in the valley are backwards.  They do not work like the rest of the world.  When it comes to customer service, people in the valley are really spoiled.  (not including the customer service (or lack of) from Time Warner Cable, but that’s mostly do to the fact that their is not other cable provider willing to come down here.. but that’s another post)  I enjoy the benefits of a community bank.  I like being able to walk into my local branch, know the ladies in the lobby and have them address me as i walk in by my name.  I like being able to call a local customer service number and talk to someone who probably live near by where i live and speaks a language that i speak and fluently.  I don’t want to have to pay for extras like Internet Banking.  I like knowing that if i deposit cash, that i can withdraw that same cash the same day.  I don’t like being charged for each direct deposit i get.  just to name a few.  yeah, i guess the valley has grown on me and i’ve gotten spoiled too.  I spent a few weeks shopping around for new banks.  Frost had two neat features, 1 was a online-only bank account.  I heard about these when i was working for a bank a few years ago.  No brick and mortar banks.  everything is done electronically.  They even gave you interest on your checking account.  They also had another account that would reimburse your atm fees from other banks.  I looked at several other banks but in the end, the one we chose to move all of our accounts to was First National Bank.  It’s a pain having to change all the direct deposits and auto debits but consolidating everything has been something i’ve been wanting to do for a while anyway. 

What else has gone on… Patti, Tori and Randall are all sick.  The Flu is what they are calling it.  Needless to say, it hasn’t been to fun at home.  Hopefully they will start feeing better soon. 

Hurricane IKE doesn’t seam to be heading our way anymore.  Grant it, i love the fun of being in the middle of it all.  Putting my skills to the test.  Being away from home really stinks.  During Gustav, i got to enjoy it from the comfort of my bed, getting our Louisiana stations on their backup systems.  Our Corpus stations may encounter some trouble.  I’ll be in my pajama’s ready if they need. 

During all the research i was doing looking for banks, i saw that a few of them had some openings.  I threw my resume out there to see if i could find something closer to home.  After almost 6 years this drive is getting old.  Also not seeing any sort of raise in 6 years is also pretty despairing.  And corporate is telling us to cut even more during this last quarter.  So.. looking forward to things changing around here doesn’t seam to promising. 

the path life leads us down….

it’s going to be another long night at the station tongiht.  doing some upgrades to our music system and finalizing our change of phone providers.  i’m going to be so glad to make the final disconnects.

So in preperation for a long night i wanted to come home early and get to rest before i had to come back.  mr meek called that the AC guy wanted to go by mission and if i would open up for him… sure.  he will be their at 3, i’ll leave at 2 and get their half an hour early.  well.. it’s 3:45 and he still hasn’t show up.  driving up here i could see the mission eagle stadium.  i had a flashback moment of back when i was in highschool.  we had a teacher who lived out here in Mission.  Mr. Long.  He had a story for just about everything and if it all is true, then he had quiet a life.  who am i to question.  His son was a kicker for Mission HS.  Mr long was the teams statistican.  i know i spelled that wrong.  but being up in the pressbox he couldn’t see all that well.  he would drive me after school to the game with them and i would be his spotter up in the pressbox.  now.. i probably know more about football now then i did then.. and coming from a school who got rid of their football program my 8thgrade year, i would not in any way consider myself proficent in football lingo, but i managed.  the trips were always interesting.  the games were neat.  but i think i got the biggest kick out of listening to mr long’s stories the most.

He had 3 other kids.  I ran into the oldest daughter a while back.. had some computer problems.. of course.  that’s been the last i’ve seen of mr. long.  i may just have to drive by the old house and see what ever became of those vague 10 year old memories.