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Just shoot me...

December 28, 2001

So then the mighty Clanchief was laid low by a single cough. He applied heat and rested for the evening but the pain did not diminish. Even the slightest cough would bring him to his knees and God forbid he had to make a mighty cough. He went to an Urgent Care center (without prompting or nagging from anyone, thankyouverymuch!) and they did take several x-rays. Of course it took them three hours to get around to it. The end result though was negative on broken ribs (although there may be a fractured one) and negative on bloodclots in the lungs. Still the pain is great so the doctor gave him a prescription for some powerful drugs for the pain and sent him on his way. He finally arrived home at 1:30 am and tried to lay down for some much desired rest.

~ 7 coins donated


December 27, 2001

...and then he coughed one too many times and it felt like his side exploded in a blinding white-hot spray of internal organs.

*sigh* -- ouch.

~ What's your 2 pence?

Christmas Morn'

December 25, 2001

Before the flurry of wrapping paper...

The first present (K'NEX roller coaster)

LEGO Soccer field

Daddy got me a telescope!

AND an X-Men jet!

Playing with Power Rangers


I want to wish you a....

December 25, 2001

Merry Christmas!!

All of you who made the GOOD list are to proceed directly to the tree and collect your presents.

Those of you who are on the BAD list may go directly to the Clanchief's room and await your punish... er, gift.


~ 3 coins donated

Clanlad's Birthday

December 20, 2001

There is a tradition in my family that whenever someone has a birthday that person gets to pick a restaurant and is taken out to dinner. I think it probably started because my brother and I always wanted to eat at McDonald's. Eventually we graduated from fast food though and started picking restaurants with metal silverware and no napkin dispensers.

Yesterday was the Clanlad's birthday so as tradition dictated he got to pick where he wanted to eat. No fast food for this lad though, he chose to dine at Ramono's Macaroni Grill! Admittedly it was because they cover the nice tablecloth with a sheet of paper and give each table four crayons. Still, the food was very good even though the service was slightly lacking. My iced tea came with no ice and we didn't get our bread until after all the main dishes had been served. Knowing how yummy their bread is, this had led to speculations of food theft while eyeing the table next to us.

After dinner a couple of waiters came over and sang "Happy Birthday" in Italian to the lad. He blushed and sank down in his chair before regaining his composure and blowing out the candle in his ice cream.

On the way home, we drove through our neighborhood to look at the Christmas lights. There were plenty of very tasteful light displays but by far the best one was a huge red arrow on a rooftop pointing to the chimney. When we finally arrived, there was a birthday cake decorated with dinosaurs, palm trees and a volcano of frosting waiting. After another round of "Happy Birthday", blowing out his candles, and scarfing down some blue icing the Clanlad got down to the serious business of opening his presents. I won't detail all of his presents here, but I got him a minature planeterium.

For Christmas, I'm getting him a telescope. Shhhhh...

~ 5 coins donated

Christmas Traditions

December 19, 2001

When I was but a wee lad (yes, it's true. At one time I could be described as "wee". Stop laughing.) my absolute favorite part of the Christmas holiday season was setting up the Christmas tree. More specifically it was the preparations to setting up the Christmas tree -- as in pulling out the boxes of decorations. Because that meant that I got to crawl back into the dim recesses of the storage area underneath the stairs.

My parents bought a split-foyer (as opposed to a split-level) suburban house in 1978. At some point during the moving in process the crawlspace underneath the stairs was designated as "Holiday Storage" and I, as the eldest male offspring, was appointed "Holiday Storage Retrieval Agent". Except that I made those designation up just now because I wasn't all that clever at the tender age of 11. I did however, with the help of my brother, turn the crawlspace into a rather nifty hidden fortress. We cleverly devised a way to close the covering from the inside and would sit in there pretending to be pirates or knights or robbers or hide-n-seek. That really didn't last long because we eventually grew bored with it and it got to be too crowded as we got bigger.

So anyway, every year we would pull all the coats, boots, tennis rackets and assorted junk out of the downstairs hall closet and gaily toss them onto the hallway floor. At the back of the closet is a three-foot square opening covered by an stray piece of the dark wood panelling that adorns the downstairs living room. Once that was removed, a dark, cobweb infested land of adventure awaited. Armed with only my trusty flashlight, I would crawl into that dark cavern and push out cardboard boxes of varying shapes and sizes out the waiting hands of my father.

This year the torch has been passed to the Clanlad who has been asking practically every day since Halloween when we were going to get out the decorations. I explained to him how I used to do it for my father and now it was his turn, not mentioning the part about how my brother and I had made it into a clubhouse/fort. As soon as we finished getting all the boxes of decorations out, the Clanlad looks up at me, his eyes sparkling, and says "Daddy, we could play hide-n-seek and I could hide in here!"

I just sighed and replied, "Let's go put up the tree, son."

~ 3 coins donated

Scenes from a Helpdesk (Part I in a Series)

December 17, 2001

Dumbass User: "I got a .pdf file as an email attachment. How do I open it?"
Me: "What happens when you double click on it?"
Dumbass User: "Oh. That worked."
Me: *banging my head on the desk*

~ 2 coins donated

Bubble, bubble. Toil and trouble.

December 12, 2001

So how do you like the winter look for the castle? I know, I kinda wimped out and just used a snow font. I thought about doing more, but honestly I haven't had the time.

Lately I've been feeling sort of torn. Like I'm being pulled in too many directions at once. It has settled down for the most part, but there is still a lot of pressure on me right now. Some of it is self-imposed, I know, but some is work related. Some of it is the general hubbub of the holiday season. A lot of it is money related.

Last week I installed Quicken and entered all my financial data, which truth be told wasn't all that much. Quicken is actually a software program designed to assist you with your Federal and State taxes. Since I really don't own anything of value, I've always gotten away with using the EZ forms. I don't know that I will be doing my taxes through Quicken, but I'm definitely using the reminder feature and trying to keep track of my spending with it. With the exception of an unprocessed check (grrrrrrr...) that screwed up my initial figures.

I also realized that I came dangerously close to a full blown bout of depression. I don't know if it's the season or all the obligations that I have building up and bubbling over. I've even put some things off until January (like being more active with regards to the Breast Cancer Walk). There's just so much going on in the next few weeks and... YIKES! Christmas is only two weeks away!

Then last week there was also the little matter of the Clanlad doing his utmost to singlehandedly bring about the Apocalypse. When I was in grade school we either got sent home with a sad face or a smiley face to show how we had done in class that day. The Clanlad's school uses "lights". Green, yellow and red. Last week he got two yellow lights and one red. *sigh* The stress of trying to figure out exactly why he was misbehaving so much and what to do about it shoved everything else into the background. He's been better this week though. *sigh*

I think I need a nap.

~ 3 coins donated

...and we're back!

December 8, 2001

Wow. Well, that certainly sucked, didn't it?

One or two of you may have noticed that your favorite castle had disappeared for about a week. I could tell you how an army of Fairies came swaming out of an ancient stone circle and with unknown spells and incantations made the seat of Clan MacDobhran vanish in a mystical fog. I could tell you that but I won't. Of course it's a lot more interesting than what actually happened. Actually the registration for my domain expired.

I know, I like the fairy tale better too.

~ 2 coins donated