Whole Lotta Trouble

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Location: Wheatland, California, United States

I'm a mom. I'm a civil servant. I have a sense of humor, and I'm not afraid to use it.

Saturday, December 31, 2005

From My Family to Yours

HAVE A HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Does Anyone Know . . .

I have a question for the technically literate out there -

I deleted my old blog weeks ago. I just heard about something called google cache, and was wondering if it was possible to look there to see if it has pages from my old website. Only, I tried to figure out where to go and how to use it, and I'm hopelessly stupid when it comes to crap like this.

Can anyone help??

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Yes, we are insane

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas this year. We certainly did! Santa was very nice to me, and I received clothes, and jewlery, and a jewlery box, and just so much cool stuff my brain can't possibly comprehend it all right now.

The kids, as usual, made out like bandits. They get spoiled rotten at Christmas. Actually, I should clarify this - Hubby spoils them rotten at Christmas. (He also spoils me too!!!!) This year being no exception, we decided on a "musical" holiday. We've heard and read all the reports that state children who learn music tend to do better in school (particularly in Math). Well, Kidlet asked for a guitar. But not a regular ordinary guitar. Nope. Kidlet, my beautiful 10-year-old child, asked Santa for an electric guitar. Guess what? She got it. (Santa knows we like to spoil the babies, too). So, not wanting to leave Munchkin out of the whole musical experience, and considering the fact that she's fantastic at certain things (namely beating the crap out of her older sister), we decided to get her a set of drums.

You heard me right.


So, ever since Sunday morning, we've had our ears assulted with the melodious sounds of electric guitar (as played by a 10-year-old who doesn't know how to play guitar) and the BAM! BAM! BAM! of a 3-year-old who's amazingly good for a 3-year-old on a 3-drum and cymbol set. (At least it gave her something besides her sister to beat on)

So, if you happen to call our home, and we don't answer, don't worry. We just can't hear the phone.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

A bit of Christmas Cheer

Let me preface this post by stating - catagorically - that the following funny is not true of all men. At my house, I take on the following role of 'she-who-cannot-wrap-for-shit', and my darling and lovely husband's gifts look like they were wrapped at a department store by a professional. He. Is. Amazing.

That being said - a friend of mine e-mailed this to me, and I couldn't stop laughing. Enjoy!

Gift wrapping

This is the time of year when we think back to the very first Christmas, when the Three Wise Men-Gaspar, Balthasar and Herb-went to see the baby Jesus, and, according to the Book of Matthew, "presented unto Him gifts; gold, frankincense, and myrrh."

These are simple words, but if we analyze them carefully, we discover an important, yet often-overlooked, theological fact: There is no mention of wrapping paper. If there had been wrapping paper, Matthew would have said so: "And lo, the gifts WERE inside 600 square cubits of paper. "And the paper WAS festooned with pictures of Frosty the Snowman. "And Joseph WAS going to throweth it away, but Mary saideth unto him, she saideth, 'Holdeth it! That is nice paper! Saveth it for next year!' "And Joseph DID rolleth his eyeballs. "And the baby Jesus WAS more interested in the paper than, for example, the frankincense."

But these words do not appear in the Bible, which means that the very first Christmas gifts were NOT wrapped. This is because the people giving those gifts had two important characteristics:
1. They were wise.
2. They were men.

Men are not big gift wrappers. Men do not understand the point of putting paper on a gift just so somebody else can tear it off. This is not just my opinion: This is a scientific fact based on a statistical survey of two guys I know. One is my son, Rob, who said the only time he ever wraps a gift is, quote, "if it's such a poor gift that I don't want to be there when the person opens it." The other is my friend Gene Weingarten, who told me he does wrap gifts, but as a matter of principle never takes more than 15 seconds per gift. "No one ever had to wonder which presents daddy wrapped at Christmas," Gene said. "They were the ones that looked like enormous spitballs."

I also wrap gifts, but because of some defect in my motor skills, I can never COMPLETELY wrap them. I can take a gift the size of a deck of cards and put it the exact center of a piece of wrapping paper the size of a regulation volleyball court, but when I am done folding and taping, you can still see a sector of the gift peeking out. (Sometimes I camouflage this sector with a marking pen.) If I had been an ancient Egyptian in the field of mummies, the lower half of the Pharaoh's body would be covered only by Scotch tape.

On the other hand, if you give my wife a 12-inch square of wrapping paper, she can wrap a C-130 cargo plane. My wife, like many women, actually LIKES wrapping things. If she gives you a gift that requires batteries, she wraps the batteries separately, which to me is very close to being a symptom of mental illness. If it were possible, my wife would wrap each individual volt.

My point is that gift-wrapping is one of those skills-like having babies that come more naturally to women than to men. That is why today I am presenting:


Whenever possible, buy gifts that are already wrapped. If, when the recipient opens the gift, neither one of you recognizes it, you can claim that it's myrrh.

The editors of Woman's Day magazine recently ran an item on how to make your own wrapping paper by printing a design on it with an apple sliced in half horizontally and dipped in a mixture of food coloring and liquid starch. They must be smoking crack.

If you're giving a hard-to-wrap gift, skip the wrapping paper! Just put it inside a bag and stick one of those little adhesive bows on it. This creates a festive visual effect that is sure to delight the lucky receipt on Christmas morning:
YOUR WIFE: Why is there a Hefty trash bag under the tree?
YOU: It's a gift! See? It has a bow!
YOUR WIFE (peering into the trash bag): It's a leaf blower.
YOU: Gas-powered! Five horsepower!
YOUR WIFE: I want a divorce.
YOU: I also got you some myrrh.

In conclusion, remember that the important thing is not what you give, or how you wrap it. The important thing, during this very special time of year, is that you save the receipt.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Where's Rudolph when you need him?

Well, it looks like Santa's going to have to bring ole Glow-Nose out of retirement. For our neck of the woods anyway.

The picture above is about as close as I could find of what it was like driving to work this morning. Now, take the visibility in the picture, and reduce it by about 75%, and you have a close approximation. My eyes hurt from straining them during my hour-long drive to work. I could have sworn at some point, they were going to start bleeding.

Lowk and I moved to our current home about 2 years ago. It's a nice place in a small community, and we chose it for just that reason. We knew we would have a commute, but there are more important things than that when considering where you're going to raise your children.

My commute is about half freeway, and half back country two-lane roads. Normally, I love driving the back roads. If it's a light commute day, I can usually get the poor little Neon up to about 80 or 90 mph. Fun stuff. However, on days like today, when you can't see 10 feet in front of your car, it's probably one of the most nerve wracking experiences I have to live through. I could only do about 65 or 70 mph. I mean - jeesh! I felt like I was crawling!

Now, imagine if you will the place where I get on the freeway. There is no "onramp". I have a stop sign. When there's enough of a break in the Northbound traffic, I get to floor it across two lanes of freeway, make my left hand turn to go Southbound, and try to merge into the fast lane. Try doing that when you cannot see oncoming traffic. Woo boy! That's a good way to get your blood flowing!

I haven't even told you about the best part of my commute! On those little two lane back roads, we have a handful of one-lane bridges. Normally, whoever's closer to the bridge has the right-of-way, and the person travelling in the opposite direction pulls off to the side of the road and waits. Try doing that when you cannot see the other side of the bridge. I think I have about two dozen more grey hairs than I started out with this morning. And one more thing - to the idiot who flew past me as I was coming off one of the bridges, who didn't even try to slow down, and just took it for granted that people would get out of your way - the next time I WON'T SWERVE! Got that, asshole? Either your ass is gonna swerve, or you'll just have to pay through your (hopefully broken) nose to repair all the damage you're going to cause. Fucker.

Have a nice day.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

But . . . but . . . I said I was "cute and flirty!"

hmmmmm . . . somehow I don't think this fits. But hey! It's got a cool picture.

Take the quiz: "Which beautiful Sorceress are you?"

Dark Sorceress
You depict the Dark Sorceress! The evil beauty of the bunch, you use your magic for manipulating minds and preying upon feeble beings. The night is your sanctuary and the moon is your guide.

Friday, December 02, 2005

In other Harry Potter News . . .

The Forbes Fictional Fifteen
Lucius Malfoy

David M. Ewalt, 12.01.05, 6:00 PM ET

THE NORTH SEA - When Lucius Malfoy was sent to jail over a year ago, the business world assumed he'd slip into poverty, obscurity and eventual madness. Azkaban prison has a way of destroying its detainees, and few observers figured he would be able to remain solvent.

But instead, Malfoy has prospered. The ivory-haired devil’s fortune increased nearly 30% over the last year. It's a major vindication for the 51-year-old wizard, and an indication that Malfoy's portfolio--and his mission to destroy Harry Potter--still has lots of life left in it.

Much of Malfoy's gain can be attributed to surging commodities markets. The price of gold is at its highest level since 1987, up 16% since January alone. Malfoy's stores of gold galleons and silver sickles--among the purest mintings of those metals known--have appreciated significantly.

His stock portfolio has also fared well. Most wizards eschew "Muggle" markets, preferring to invest in Goblin mutual funds or Niffler futures. But Malfoy bucks the trend, holding shares in a variety of companies, including Wal-Mart Stores (nyse: WMT - news - people ), Microsoft (nasdaq: MSFT - news - people ) and Halliburton (nyse: HAL - news - people ). "I am constantly on the alert for opportunities to exploit you filthy Muggles," he told us nearly seven years ago (see: “Malfoy’s Malicious Methods” Forbes, Mar. 21, 1999).

And the value of Malfoy's personal possessions has appreciated significantly. Since the return of Lord Voldemort, artifacts and tools of the Dark Arts have become hugely popular, trading briskly in secondary markets like eBay (nasdaq: EBAY - news - people ) and Borgin and Burke's. As the patriarch of an ancient family, Malfoy is reputed to hold a wealth of valuable objects. Despite repeated searches of Malfoy Manor, his home in Wiltshire, the Ministry of Magic has been unable to find any prohibited items--but sources close to the family say they still possess countless treasures.

Despite these material gains, it’s clear Lucius' imprisonment has been personally painful. His wife, Narcissa, has reportedly begun making midnight visits to a "family friend," a tall, thin and greasy-haired professor at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. And Draco, Lucius' only son, disappeared this year following the murder of Hogwarts headmaster Albus Dumbledore.

"The whole lot of 'em are rotten," says Alastor "Mad Eye" Moody, a former dark-wizard hunter, or Auror, for the Ministry of Magic. "I tell you, it'd be better for the rest of us if they were all turned into ferrets."

More than anything else, Malfoy's stint in Azkaban has affected his political standing. In the past, Malfoy was one of the biggest contributors to political campaigns and causes in the wizard world; a major supporter of the conservative Gurdyroot PAC, The Black Cat Foundation and Ghouls for Better Government. Officials ranging from the merest bureaucrat to the Minister of Magic himself have owed their position to Malfoy--and have been forced to support his pure-blood, anti-Muggle positions.

Now, as a convicted felon, Malfoy is banned from making contributions to political causes. And since he's been positively identified as a Death Eater--as Lord Voldemort's most ardent followers call themselves--it's likely few politicians will continue to associate with him.

But don't count out this cunning conjurer just yet. With Voldemort's power on the rise and the future of the wizarding world very much in question, it would be naive to dismiss the possibility of a comeback by Lucius Malfoy.

"I don't know how long Azkaban's going to hold him," says Nymphadora Tonks, an Auror who was present the night Malfoy was arrested breaking into the Department of Mysteries. "I expect we haven't seen the last of that git."