sparc77


RANDOM THOUGHTS AND HAPPENINGS IN MY LIFE

Life in a North GA Cat House


Catching up
sparc77

There has been a lot going on this past month and keeping up with two boys and maintaining their FB pages as well as playing with my new toy whenever time allows has kept me pretty tied up.
When I get home the first priority is to give Jan some breathing space.  That usually means taking Corey out for a ride or walk or something.  Then when the evening feeding of Sean is over and he is snoozing in his chair, Jan goes and turns into a mermaid in the bathtub for a while.  I don't begrudge her as she has to deal with Sean and a rather jealous Corey all day long.

Finally, when Jan gets out of the tub and is somewhat rejuvinated, I get about an hour of "me time" to go upstairs and shower, then use what remaining time I have to read, play or surf the web.  Sometimes I get a longer respite as often, I have to get "out of sight" in order for Corey to go to sleep.  He associates daddy with play-time and sometimes when Jan wants to put him down for the night, she tells me to "go away".
I suspect that this is going to be pretty much the normal modus operandi for some time to come.

Sean is still getting up every 2 to 3 hours, but Jan says the he usually goes right back down after feeding.
Corey is sleeping through the nights most of the time, bit occasionally he wakes up and wanders into the living room while Jan is feeding Sean and crawls up on the sofa and goes back to sleep next to Jan.  Jan is very good about making sure I get enough sleep since I am usually up around 5 and have an hour drive in and an hour drive home at the end of the day.  I'm the one bringing home the bacon so Jan makes sure I get all the rest I can.   Bless her!  I try to capitulate by taking Corey in hand every Saturday for as long as  he can stand it (usually 3-6 hours or until he starts to fall asleep).  Jan usually tries to catch up on her "me-time" then, but until Sean is weaned off mommy, she just has to take what ever she can.

Head count at the house:
1 daddy
1 mommy
1 bug (Corey)
1 mouse (Sean)
8 cats (Stormy, Herbie, Pinky, Winkin, Blinkin, Nod, Roscoe & Enos)



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A house full of boys.
sparc77
Jan's sister is in town for a visit bringing her son and grandson with her.  Between the two of them they may be able to hold their ground, but with 4 little boys three of which are all over the place it is going to be a contest of wills and distraction.  Now the three will generally all be together playing while the baby is doing baby things.  But when the inevitable clash of wills among the three come into play, who will be the referee?
I am seriously contemplating just staying at work for the next few days.
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What a week!
sparc77

Last week started out quietly enough.  We were winding down from Corey's birthday  and a visit by Jan's brother.
Then after a long day at the office on Tuesday, I walked in the door at the house and Jan looked at me and said, "Don't take your shoes off, we are going to the hospital."

Yep, you guessed it.  Sean had decided to make his appearance 2 1/2 weeks early.
We got to the hospital around 8pm and by 930pm, the nurses had confirmed that Jan was dilating and in labor.  We phoned some friends who came by and picked up Corey for the night.  Anesthesiologist came in and gave Jan an epidural, but it didn't fully take around midnight they gave her another one.  Then we settled in for a very long night of labor.
Things began to get exciting around 430am when Jan's epidural wore off and she had to go through the final hour of labor hard core.  Her doctor showed up at about 510am and at 519am Sean entered the world.  He had a little trouble breathing at first and there was some concern that because he was a few weeks early that his lungs may be underdeveloped.  So they put him on oxygen and took him to the nursery to be monitored while Jan recovered.
After about two hours, though, Sean was off the oxygen as it turned out to just be some mucus that he had had a little trouble getting out.
I then went to grab some breakfast and pick up Corey.  When we got back, Jan was well into going through the stages of recovery and borrowed my cell phone to call her family.  Then the staff rushed us out of the delivery room down to the recovery area.  Corey was fidgety so I took him for a walk and then joined Jan in her recovery suite  where she was feeding Sean.

It was about this time that I realized I could not find my cell phone.  After some investigation, it seems that after Jan called her family she laid it down on the bed in the delivery room and when the staff cleaned up the room they just stripped all the bedding and didn't notice the phone in the sheets.  Needless to say it is gone.

Corey played and got lots of activity that day so when night came he and I went home and he was tired enough that he fell asleep with very little trouble.  The next day was more of the same as because Sean was a bit early and had had some trouble at first, they decided to keep him a few days and since Jan was breast feeding, she had to stay too.

That night, however was very rough as Corey had now gone two nights without mommy and was not at all interested in going a third.  So we slept very little.

Friday finally arrived, though and by 3pm we were home with Sean.
Saturday came and the new baby got to meet his grandparents for the first time.  Then on Sunday, Sean got to meet his other family, his spiritual family, and they all raised a fuss over him.

Now the new week begins and I am on vacation until Wednesday morning when I go back to work.  There is some rearranging of the sleeping accommodations and we are working with Corey to help him adjust to sharing mommy.  Corey and daddy are spending a lot more time together doing things.  We hope this will help Corey accept that mommy is no longer exclusively his.


Movie Review: Despicable Me 2
sparc77
With the baby almost here and Corey passing his third birthday with no sign of slowing, The movie watching has slowed to a crawl.  Still, Jan knew I was wanting to see this one and so she gave me a night off to take a few hours to myself.

Usually, a successful movie is followed by a desperate attempt to recapture past glories and capitalize on name recognition only to fail miserably.  This is not one of those cases.  Despicable Me 2 manages to entertain by building on the environment established in the first movie.  Grue is raising three daughters and is more or less retired as a super-villain.  The minions are quite domesticated but still getting into mischief.
The real fun starts, though, when Agnes, Edith and Margo decide that their dad needs to start dating.and begin trying to set him up with local women.  Then out of the blue, the Anti-Villain League recruits Grue to help track down a super villain who has come out of seclusion.  Grue is partnered up with a dingy AVL agent named Lucy.
The usual slapstick partners of opposite gender comedy occurs and Grue and Lucy find themselves falling for each other.


The makers of Despicable Me 2 learned a valuable lesson from the success of the first movie and its small spin-off video shorts by giving a much larger role dedicated to the Minions.  The Minions really get involved this time around and steal a few scenes of their own but do so in a good way that does distract from the plot.

A great show for the family.  Worth the price of the ticket for numerous laughs and a memorable night out.
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A week to remember
sparc77
It has been a good week and a bad week.

Unfortunately we lost Charlie this week.
His health had been deteriorating for several months now.  He was getting thin and sluggish.  He was starting to mope about almost as if he was waiting for death.  We really don't know how old Charie was.  He came to us as a feral cat and at the time he was nothing but muscle.  After a year or two he had more or less adopted us and would sometimes sleep at the foot of the bed.
We knew something was wrong, though one evening when he didn't come in for dinner.  He was a good plate cleaner and when he missed his nightly ritual of licking the platter clean, we feared the worst.
Sure enough, the next day while I was doing some chores outside I found his body.  He had curled up under my workbench in the nice cool shade and drifted away.  By all accounts it looks as though it was a peacful passing.  I gave Jan a few moments to say "goodbye" then I buried him next to Comet on the hill.

On the good side, tomorrow is Corey's 3rd birthday.  Some of the local families have set tomorrow aside to meet us in the park around noon for a cupcake birthday party.  Corey still doesn't understand things like "birthday" or "Christmas".  But that is ok.  He just loves to get out and be with eveyone and everyone loves to be with him.  We'll be sure to get lots of pictures for FB.

Can we just get along?
sparc77

So the Zimmerman trail is over and ends in an aquittal.

The news media fed off this thing like a bunch of sharks in a feeding frenzy whipping up emotion and rage and discord and relishing in the limelight as all eyes turned to them for news.
The press is fond of hiding behind the old saying that we should not shoot the messenger.  But the messenger is supposed to do nothing more than report the message.  When the messenger profits by the way the message is presented, then the messenger's credibility and integrity must be questioned.

Nobody denies that there were racial overtones in this case, but there was a point that struck me as important.
In the original call to 911, when Zimmerman was reporting the suspicious person, the initial description to the dispatcher never mentioned race until after the dispatcher asked Zimmerman if he was black.  You can actually find this conversation online and listen to it.  Zimmerman didn't bring up Martin's race...the dispatcher did and Zimmerman simply answered the question.

Could all this have been avoided?  Yep.

If Zimmerman had decided to take a different route on his patrol, they may never have met again.
When they did meet again, if Martin had just kept on walking and not confronted Zimmerman nothing would have happened.

This was really nothing more than two wrong people being in the wrong place at the wrong time.  It was a perfect storm that resulted in one young man dead and another set to live the rest of his life looking over his shoulder.

If there was any crime (metaphor) here it was that this case was not going to be brought to trial by the DA due to lack of evidence until the politicians got involved and bowed to political pressure.  It was a trial that should never have been tried.

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daily exercise
sparc77
For the last month of so I have been engaged in brain exercises.  At first I was a bit skeptical that these carefully designed puzzle games could be of much help, and that it is just a scam to get a person to pay money to play the games, but so far I haven't had to pay anything and I have noticed some improvement in my scores even with 40% of the games inaccessible (because I won't pay money to play).
I admit the games are kind of fun and some are a bit challenging.  That damn penguin gives me headaches (you'll know what I mean if you play that game) but I am getting pretty good at it.  And I have noticed a significant increase in my peripheral perception (it's the bird watching games).
If you have the time (I take about 15 minutes a day before work to get in my morning brain exercise) give it a try and see if it helps.
Have fun.

http://www.lumosity.com/

YA #101
sparc77
Epic Salvation asks:

Seriously if God exist why does he not show himself so we all don't argue and debate over it?

My initial response:
Seriously, God doesn't want robots who have no choice but to obey Him, He wants children who love him. Love has to be voluntary and by free choice. This is why God asks us to accept Him on faith alone.

Remember when you were little and your dad or mom taught you to swim? When they beckoned you to jump in the water, you did not demand that they prove to you that they would save you, you just accepted it because you trusted them. This is the kind of relationship that God wants to have with us.



At this point someone named "Mojo" decided to interject.

sparc77, yes, but you could clearly see your parents standing there watching you. And your parents have protected you in the past. That's called statistical faith. We assume our parents have our best interests in mind based on our own past experiences.

On the other hand, none of the gods have ever shown themselves. To have 'faith' in any of them is blind and ignorant. So, what we get is a person simply telling me gods exist. Why am I supposed to believe that person on face value? Because of a book? Be serious.


My Reply

For Mojo:
God has revealed Himself physically many times in the past in both the Old Testament and the New Testament of the Bible which has accumulated an enormous amount of credibility in accurately recording historical accounts. Every historical account listed in the Bible which can be verified through other surviving records has been shown to be true in either a literal or metaphorical sense. Prophesies which were meticulously recorded have come true just as they were predicted (with the exception of those end-time prophesies whose time has not yet come). This establishes ample grounds for "statistical faith". So by your criteria, we have a recorded historical account of God's appearance as dictated by a book with an unprecedented record of accuracy.
Yes, I am serious. The truth has been revealed to you. If you choose to ignore and not believe, that is your affair and you can answer for your own decisions.


Again Mojo stated

sparc77, yeah, none of the gods have physically been within my eyes' range, nor have they given me a reason to put my faith in them. Even the Christian god. Again, characters from a book will not save anyone from drowning. That's just silly.

My Response

Mojo, you never met the author of an instructional book on how to swim, but the characters of that book can save your life...if you're willing to listen.
If you pause and think, just how many people have "never appeared before your eyes" and yet have made an impact on your life nonetheless. Your position--that unless you can see something, then it has no effect on you--is what is "just plain silly".


Mojo countered

sparc77, the person who wrote that swimming instructional guide exists somewhere on this planet. I'm sure you could even find out where they live if you look hard enough online. That's where statistical faith comes in. I assume the swimming guide will be correct if it is written by a so-called 'expert' who is flesh and blood and lives on earth. I assume the people who wrote all those bible stories also lived on earth. However, I don't believe in supernatural beings.

On the other hand, if (IF) there is a being that somehow invented all of this (earth, the universe, etc.) I doubt it's anthropomorphic, it's probably indifferent to its 'creation', I doubt it writes books, and I certainly don't have faith in it. Why? Because it hasn't made any effort in revealing itself wholly, which brings us back to the premise of the main question.


My Rebuttal

Mojo, your assumption that there is a single person who wrote the instructional book is itself a bad assumption. In most cases of textbooks, it is usually the efforts of many persons and is based on their experiences. A single individual may be responsible for the compilation of the information, and the result of that effort is the tangible book you hold in your hand. That is no different than the Bible. It was written by people who are flesh and blood and were inspired to do the writing. It was written by more than 40 individulas spanning over a thousand years. The final version was compiled of the existing texts and results in the manuscript we have today.
Historically the Bible has been shown to be accurate in its accounts of verifyable events. It is supported by non-biblical writings of the same time periods wherever they exist albeit some descriptive deviations and metaphorical devices may be involved.
This gets back to the establishment of credibility. Statistically (since you place so much emphasis on the matter) the odds are against such agreement between the contributions of individuals and at the same time being so historically and prophetically accurate. This in itself increases the credibility of the Bible.
Summarily, (and since this gets back to the original question) the Bible delivers an enormous amount of evidence supporting its claims but falls short of providing direct proof. The reason for which, I addressed in my opening response.
Ultimately it is your choice whether or not to have faith. You, apparently have chosen not to, and you get to reape the benefits and consequences of your choice.

But consider this: what things can you not prove that you actually believe in? Are there any? If something you can not prove today was to be proven tomorrow, would that mean it did not exist yesterday?


Mojo elected not to respond any further.  I apparently won the debate as my answer was selected as best.
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YA #100
sparc77
Sometimes I actually make a difference...

Lemon_arsonist asks:

What's with all the judgmental Christians?

First off, I'm a Christian myself, so this isn't so much of a hate-rant as much as it is a frustration-query.
Anyway though, there are all kinds of Christians that believe that all atheists go to Hell, and that their faith alone will save them. I just don't see how they can't take a step back and see that all their judging and invertedness is actually hurting their cause of converting others.


My Response:

We are ALL condemned by the smallest infraction of sin. It doesn't matter how good you have been or how bad. If you have sinned at all, then you are condemned.
The ONLY way to avoid that condemnation is through forgiveness of your sins, and the first step in obtaining that forgiveness is repentance.

It is not a Christian's place to pass judgment on others. We are all condemned and we have no power to judge others. But we do have a responsibility to WARN others of the path that they may be on.

If I tell a child who is playing with a candle that they are going to get burned, it isn't passing judgment on the child, it is warning them. Think back. Have you ever told someone something in order to help them or protect them? Were you passing judgment on them?

When I see someone who is on the wrong path, and I urge them to change their ways, it is not to be a judge over them, it is a genuine attempt to help them out. But in this modern era, people all loathe being told what to do or being told that something we like or enjoy is wrong, and so the natural instinctive reaction is to become defensive and cry out "don't judge me". And they will keep right on doing what they are doing until the day they die...then they WILL be judged.

So remember the next time you see or hear someone say "you shouldn't do that" or "you will go to hell for that", ask yourself is this person judging or advising?


The parting Comment by Lemon_arsonist:

Although I'm not sure if I 100% agree with this one, it's better than the other answers and made me think.

Let's chalk that one up as a victory...it is about as close to one as we usually get.

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This summer.
sparc77
Memorial Day is upon us and that signifies the traditional start of the summer season (not to be confused with the summer solstice which starts the calader summer) which will run until Labor Day.

This summer I have chosed as my annual projects to continue the work on the walking path along Week's Creek across my property.  I have floated the idea past my neighbors and they seem very receptive as long as it doesn't cost them anything to extend the walking path across their property too.  I have also considered talking to the other land owners along Week's Creek to see if they would like to band together to make the walking path a community thing.  One of them is a lawyer and he is looking into the legal ramifications.  Essentially we are taking the position that we have no problem with people who want to take a walk along the creek to cross our property as long as they stay on the path and understand that they do so at their own risk.  After all this is a wild area with bears and snakes and such.

The other project is to clear out some of the area behind my house to make a "yard".  We have put aside some money to purchase a swing set for Corey and the baby (we are still leaning toward Sean Alexander for a name).
Already I have cut down all the trees that I plan to cut.  The next step is to trim the small limbs off them and burn them.  Then I have to dig up stumps.  Finally we will rent a wood chipper and use it to grind up the trunks and spread the wood chips along the walking path by the creek and up to the house.

I also plan to put an A-frame swing on the bluff overlooking the creek.  It will give us a place to sit and relax as we watch Corey play in the water this summer. 
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