Friday, December 31, 2010

Why Do We Have YouTube?

So that we can waste half an hour watching this stuff:

WIN videos, 2010: (People too clever by far.)

FAIL videos, 2010: (People too stupid by far.)

LUCK videos, 2010: (You know.)

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Daily Report: Shift

I'm unhappy with my new schedule: work coming at the end of the day. I can tell I'm unhappy because my body is slowly but surely pushing me towards my normal circadian schedule: work coming at the beginning of the day. Well, it isn't so much that I prefer to have work come at the beginning of the day: it is that my body prefers to do stuff not related to work after I'm done working, not before.

To be succinct, when I finish work at 3 a.m., sleep is the last thing on my mind. I want to read, I want to clean, I want to cook, I want to do stuff. Even at 6:30 a.m. when I finally pull the covers up over my head... it is done more out of a perfunctory need to "stick to a schedule" than any kind of fatigue on my part.

When I used to work nights in New York City, my waking hours were from 8 p.m. to noontime. That was fantastic because nothing is better than free mornings in Manhattan. I have essentially had the same hours ever since... viz Eastern Standard Time; I just moved to the other side of the world.

So, I'm going to go for it: Go back to my old hours. It will be good for me too, because I know (based on the last 15 years) that I'll get substantially more beneficial and productive things done after putting in a day's work (especially with the sun coming up and the birds chirping and the dew dripping and Peer Gynt wafting through the air) than what I do now, dragging out of bed as the sun goes down, thinking, "Yeah, I could do _____, but I've got to be working in ___ hours... so screw it."

Granted, I'm going to miss dinners and cocktail hours and other assorted afternoon/evening activities, but I'll get mornings back in return. Oh: And my lovely wife and I will be back on the same sleep schedule too. For a while now it has been kind of rubbish: I start working right as Epril wakes up, I go to sleep after work, and then and Epril goes to sleep right as I wake up. So with the new schedule we'll get that back in synch.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Daily Report: Frozen Assets

My all-time favorite quote comes from the movie Good Will Hunting, where the main character Will gives a verbal smackdown to a stuck-up Harvard student:
" 50 years you're going to start doing some thinking on your own and you're going to come up with the fact that ... you dropped a hundred and fifty grand on a fuckin' education you could've got for a dollar fifty in late charges at the public library."
It says everything to me and everything about me: I want to learn, so I just do it: I don't need to pay to learn, I don't need to sit in a classroom to get educated on a subject, I don't need a professor to hold my hand as I educate myself, and I don't need a professor to quiz me when I'm done. I certainly don't need a diploma to prove my knowledge... especially at my age.

I just need one thing: books.

It was with that in mind that I went and got myself a library card today. The first reading assignment I've given myself is two books from Huxley: "Brave New World" and "Island". (I figured I'd start with the science fiction, since that's my favorite.)

Also, here in the house is a fantastic collection of the hardback magazine, "American Heritage" from the 1960's... nothing but American history. I've read a biography of John Jay already.

I picked up some more Diet Cherry Dr. Pepper today. In addition I refreshed my supply of microwave popcorn. I found microwaveable caramel popcorn. It was kind of crap: the first bag I made burned, the second bag I took out a bit earlier and half the kernels hadn't popped. The stuff that did pop tasted fair... but my mother has a recipe to make better caramel popcorn from scratch using brown sugar and butter, I think.

The cable box / DVR is going kerput too. The picture goes all squidgy and the audio turns into this staccato nonsense. At first, unplugging the box for a while fixed the problem... then it didn't. Then, I learned on the internet how to reformat the hard drive, and for a while that fixed the problem... now it doesn't. I'll take it down tomorrow to the cable company to be replaced.

Once again, temperatures are down to freezing tonight here in Florida. And no, I'm not going to count my blessings that I'm not under 3 feet of snow up north. Sorry... I choose to be a noodge about the cold and will take some small comfort in my whiney blogging.

Some new renters moved into the house next door who come from just a way down the road from my hometown in Upstate New York... from a town called Wellsville, which is really a lovely place — just as long as you don't mind living 40 miles away from the nearest town with more than 10,000 people in it.

On the other side of the world, Epril and Susan have been plagued by the most awful house guest, a kano who is a friend of a friend, taken in by friendly obligation. In return for the hospitality, the house guest gets fall-down drunk, walks around in his underwear, eats food (without buying any), and is pretty much a total shithead. Unfortunately, Epril and Susan are too polite to say anything. So, I will: friend of mine, you know who you are; do something about him.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Daily Report: Christmas Rundown

I'm really not a big fan of Christmas, because ultimately it seems to be about spending time you don't have by putting up decorations; money you don't have by buying presents; and sanity you don't have by planning and throwing parties... all in an effort to win the official Stamp of Christmas Approval from one's friends and family.

But then, I'm no dummy: I love getting together with family to be merry, watch the kids play with new toys, talk about things, and feel part of the greater whole of my kith and kin... and Christmas is the hub to which the spokes of our individual lives are connected that we all agree to return to. To me, the date is unimportant, the decor matters little, the presents and food graciously accepted and given but unnecessary: the people whom I see matter most.

On Friday, Christmas Eve, Uncle Bob, Cousin Bobby, and I rode to Cousin Jon's (and wife Nicole, daughter Brooke (9), son Jon Jr. (7), and Talia (3)) house, about 20 minutes north of where we live, for dinner. Cookie and Clarkie, Nicole's parents / Jon's in-laws were there too.

Food: Hot apple cider with spiced butter (which I had never had before), linguine with clam sauce, and Manhattan clam chowder. Topic of conversation: sports, especially boxing. (Uncle Bob let me drive his new Volkswagen diesel home... quite a nice car, if I do say so myself.)

On Saturday, Christmas Day, Uncle Bob, Cousin Paul, and I rode to Cookie's and Clarkie's gorgeous house (about 30 minutes north of where we live, and 10 minutes East of Cousin Jon's). I am going to adopt Cookie and Clarkie as my honorary in-laws: Two people straight from central casting. Clarkie is every bit the Brooklyn Irish father, and Cookie is every bit the Long Island Italian mother, and they are loud, funny, witty, crass, loving, high spirited... and holy shit do they love to cook and eat.

Food: A punch bowl of shrimp and crab leg appetizers... then a monstrous blue-cheese/cranberry-raisin salad... then 3 big platters of home-rolled manicotti (or "manny-goat", as Cookie insists it be pronounced)... then a 13-pound rack of braised ribs... then 4 different cakes (all cooked at home). Topic of conversation: Grandparents, getting old, remembering childhood, health.

On Sunday, Boxing Day, it was back to Jonathan's house where Cousin/Doctor Christine (a pediatrician) had come across from the East Coast of Florida with her 2 kids, Susie (10) and Tom (8) for an overnight visit. Cookie and Clarkie were there as well.

Food: A fantastic potato/bacon soup, and leftover manny-goat. Plus, Christine had bought 3 different imported 6-packs of beer for us to enjoy. Topic of conversation: Business, banking, politics... and a rather amusing devolution of subject matter into bad bowels, diarrhea, and dogs anal glands, which we all had to shout at each other to stop talking about, which left us all laughing.

I bought my web-book along on the 24th and 25th and got Epril on Skype, and she got to meet all of the relatives. She had a party back at the house in Jasaan on Christmas Eve, and there were outdoor discos to enjoy on the nights of the 25th and 26th, which she attended with her friends. (No sign of the evil M.I.L. that I was told of.)

So a Merry Get-Together-With-Family Eve, a Joyous Kids-Having-Fun-With-Toys Day, and a Happy Drink-And-Laugh-With-Friends Night when it comes around next week to you all.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Daily Report: Sipping, Nibbling, Chatting

I've decided that no matter how classy my surroundings (thanks Mom), I'm still a bachelor at heart. I'm not a slob or anything... just that I'm not one to go large with the day-to-day activities of living. Especially cooking. Even though I watch a lot of cooking shows, when it comes to meal time: it's a can of soup, or a couple of eggs, or something dead thrown in a pan and sizzled until it's the right color.

I go outside every night after work for a quick smoke... usually my third of the day. I've been watching Venus rise: So bright. Tonight, clouds were scudding along above me at about 500 feet, moving along as fast as I had ever seen clouds move, but there was barely any breeze there on the ground. I've never been one to stand around looking at stuff that is always there — my surroundings: stars, trees. Maybe that's an old person's amusement... I'm about due to start anyway.

Since I now have a bottle of Gray Goose vodka in the house along with a bottle of $8-per-gallon vodka, I decided to do side-by-side taste testing to see if I could tell the difference between low-end and high-end vodkas. I could, but I have to practice a while before I can explain what I'm tasting. Hmm... I'll bet I'd make a good bartender: I know gin, vodka, tequila, and rum. I really know my beers. (I need to practice on my scotch and wine knowledge though.) I certainly know how to mix just about everything in Mr. Boston. And when it comes to the secondary bartending role of the deipnosophist... I can chit-chat about any subject under the sun.

Uncle Bob was over tonight for cocktails. (I've been sleeping in late, so I was actually having my morning coffee with popcorn.) After that was a bit of news, then straight to work.

Skype wasn't working tonight, so I just chatted with Epril on the telephone. She's back in Jasaan, back at the house. And no, I don't have an answer to that question... it's up to her. I've also been chatting with my friend Dave who lives in Jasaan. He's been coming by to spend time with Tyson, bless him. Tyson has not been getting a fraction of the attention or exercise that he needs since I left, and Dave is working to provide that a little bit.

Oh: Tyson bit a kid yesterday, which surprised me at first. Then I found out it was one of the annoying Christmas Carolers who stuck his hand through the fence. Tyson apparently ran up and gave what can only be considered a warning bite... since he didn't break the skin or anything. (Seriously: The kid would not have gotten his hand back still attached if Tyson was of a mind.) Actually, it really was an impressive display of just how excellent Dobermans are at guarding a property: How many dogs could use "discretion" or have "self control" when attacking?

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Spooky Coca Cola Christmas

You might not have seen the movie "Inception". All you have to know is that it is about a group of people who enter the minds of sleeping people and control their dreams... their sleeping worlds... and create strange new realities (famously tipping and bending a city back upon itself) for the sleeping people to experience.

Now... listen to the theme music from Inception played instead of the regular music of the most recent Coca Cola Christmas commercial. Coincidence or... what?

Just my suspicion: I'm guessing this is a bit of brilliant marketing work. The advertising firm first makes the commercial... with the "Inception coincidence" built in on purpose. Then, after the commercial has more or less played itself out, somebody (from the advertising firm, most likely) "discovers" the "coincedence" and puts it on YouTube and a million more people watch... really watch... their otherwise-rather-normal commercial all over again from a completely new point of view.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Daily Report: Candy Coating

I was at the checkout at Publix, just kind of staring at the stuff I bought moving down the conveyor belt. Behind my purchases, one of those plastic bars. Then comes two dozen cupcakes, a big jug of Hershey's chocolate syrup, a bottle of Mountain Dew Code Red. Then the person starts grabbing chocolate candybars off the rack and putting them on the belt. I look up and see this lady... she's half a foot taller than me, but can't weigh more than 45 kilos. Black T shirt and jeans. She looks like she's been dead for 3 days, but hasn't figured it out yet. Even though she has gray hair, I think she's about my age. She smiles at me and I see she only has about 3 teeth in her mouth. "I don't know if I bought more sugar for myself or for the kids!" Her attempt at small talk.

I've seen pictures of crystal meth addicts before... but in person, wow.

Cousins Paul and Bobby have been feeding me all the time. They get that from their father. Tonight was ribs that Paul made. The night before, Bobby was trying desperately to give me food out of the fridge when I stopped by. "Want a steak? How about a burger? I've got mango juice!" Last night, Paul stopped by with a plate of chocolate chip cookies he had made. You can't help but like my cousins: they are nothing if not earnest.

Best way to wreck a garbage disposal is to put unpopped popcorn kernels down there. They get caught in the little gap between the rotating disc on the bottom and the side wall, jamming it. I eventually overcame my fear of a mangled hand, stuck my hand down there, and got the kernels out. The entire time my hand was fishing around down there, I was staring intently at the switch on the wall as if some unseen force might suddenly switch it on and I would need to be ready.

I went to watch the new Narnia movie in 3D today. My first 3D movie. The 3D is okay but it isn't realistic... it doesn't mimic human sight at all. (First, you can't have things in the background out of focus... anything the human eye looks at comes into focus. Same for things in shadows... the movies need to be filmed in an HDR style, so that things in shadows are as easy to see as those in light. Also, the frame rate needs to be a lot higher, so that movement on the screen doesn't cause the edges of objects to blur, as that does not happen with natural sight.)

Okay... time to get to work.

Brain Dead Filipino Postal Service

No wonder everybody tells me that it takes so long to get a Filipina a visa to come to America: The inept retards at the Philippines post office couldn't get lit dynamite dipped in ebola virus and wrapped with a big plutonium ribbon out of their possession in under 2 weeks let alone a simple piece of mail.

I ask Epril to send her visa application material by registered mail. In a normal country, that would get you a guarantee that your stuff would arrive... or at least that it would not get misplaced.

But when you are dealing with the busted-ass Filipino postal system, that is way to fucking optimistic.

"Registered mail? We can't track that. It went to CDO. Then it probably went to Manila." "Phone number to call? No... we don't know any phone numbers you could call."

How appropriate that at almost the same time that Epril was being told by the post office that they couldn't/wouldn't/didn't know how to trace a piece of registered mail... yesterday afternoon... The Philippines' Labor Secretary, Rosalina Baldoz, was announcing that The Philippines has now fallen to the bottom of all Asian countries in terms of labor productivity. "We're now competing with Bangladesh," she says.

Tell me about it.

The government seems to be at a loss as to why this might be. Let me give you a hint: When you lose the top 25% brightest, most qualified, most skilled, most educated of your workforce to employment overseas, you have to replace them with what is left over... and in a country where only 52% of students go to high school... and only 31% of students who graduate high school go to college... what is left over is going to be far from the best the country has to offer.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Daily Report: Dumb Ideas

Payday Friday. I went to Walmart and bought a coffee grinder and some glass containers to put kitchen utensils in. (My mother was using a plastic water pitcher for spatula storage... figured I could add bit of pizzazz to the kitchen if I'm going to be staying here.)

I decided to try the new "do it yourself checkout counter" at WalMart. A friendly female voice guides me through the process: "Scan your first item. Thank you. Place it in the bag. Thank you. Scan your next item. Thank you. Place it in the bag. Thank you."

"Unauthorized item placed in bag. Please step back from the machine and place your hands on your head. The police have been called. Do not resist." Alarms sound.

Well... okay. It did say, "Unauthorized item placed in bag." There was a loud beep-beep-beep sound, and a nice WalMart lady came over to prove that humans actually are necessary in the checkout process. With all the people standing in lines being helped by actual cashiers looking at me steal stuff... and try to put cashiers out of a job... obviously I won't be using that dumb idea again.

After that it was over to Publix where I bought some whole-bean coffee and some sushi. Then I saw the big bag of frozen strawberries in the freezer... I had a great idea... strawberry margaritas.

It was off to ABC Liquor Store. I had actually planned on buying a martini tumbler... you know, a shaker with a spout that you pull off. The first one I found was $35. Screw that. Then I found one... the cheapest... for $22. I gritted my teeth and put it in my cart. Then tequila and triple sec for margaritas. On my way to the checkout counter, I passed a Grey Goose Vodka display: Get a 750 mL bottle of vodka plus a martini tumbler for $25. Obviously the $22 tumbler went back on the shelf... dumb idea to be selling expensive tumblers in the same store where you are giving them away for almost nothing.

Cousin Paul (Uncle Bob's son... not to be confused with Stepdad Paul) is home for Christmas. (He's up in Pittsburgh studying gunsmithery... and hopes to start his apprenticeship early next year.) He and Uncle Bob and Cousin Bobby came over to the house for cocktails. Obviously: Strawberry Margaritas (recipe here). Then Uncle Bob went out to the store and bought steaks and cooked them for us on the grill. By the time I was supposed to start work, I couldn't see straight. That second picther of margarita was a dumb idea. (So I did what any lonely husband would do when faced with a night off from work... made another pitcher of margarita and chatted with my wife on webcam all night.)

On Saturday morning, I woke up sick: It was about 50% from the booze and about 50% from the sushi... bad stomach. Supermarket sushi... I won't be trying that dumb idea again. And I really won't be washing it down with a couple of pitchers of margaritas. I was so drained that I stayed in bed all day Saturday, all the way through to Sunday afternoon.

Oh... but fortunately Sister Nancy's Christmas present arrived on Friday as well: Some good books, which kept me company in bed throughout the weekend. Good idea, Sis. Thanks!

Friday, December 17, 2010


I can't figure out which tweenie-bop quintet is sexier: Wonder Girls or Girls Aloud.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Daily Report: Goodbye Jasaan

For the time being, Epril has been forced to leave Jasaan.

You see, after I left for America, Epril really had nothing to do. So I encouraged Epril, "Invite your friends over, have some fun. Go out if you want." Second, since I was waking up at 2:00 a.m. (Philippines' time) every night... and Epril, not wanting to go to sleep before she could hear me wish her a good night, was staying up until I awoke... usually hanging out at the house (or, again: out... usually singing karaoke or something) with her friends.

Unfortunately, as Filipinos are the worst gossips on the planet, the rumors immediately began flying and pretty much the entire town of Jasaan was making up stories about Epril and the things going on at my house (drugs, orgies, you name it)... and accusing her of not "acting like a married lady" by going out all the time. (Of course, the fact that she was hanging out with other married ladies and/or ladies with children at home didn't stop those rumors: Since the married mothers Epril hung out with were from better-off families, the lower-class gossip monkeys didn't spread rumors about them.)

I told Epril to ignore all of this, and pretty much she did. Unfortunately, her mother, who is a long-term sufferer of paranoid delusions that demons have possessed various people around her — especially people who associate with her children — could not ignore the gossip... believed it all. She came to the house yesterday, barged in, and assaulted Epril and her friends. (Fortunately, nobody is going to press charges.)

Epril and I decided that it was best if Epril just left town before her mother's mental condition further deteriorated and more violence ensued.

So, like I said: for the time being, Epril is going to be staying away from Jasaan. We're figuring out what to do with the house. Older sister Susan is still there as well as a kano friend of a friend who is staying at the house for a while.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Daily Report: Sunday Showers

It probably would not be fair to accuse me of having brought this arctic weather (today with a frigid ictus of rain) with me, given where I arrived from. No matter how much I puff my cheeks and blow at the gray clouds, they aren't going anywhere: three weeks now with temperatures hovering in the low 60s during the day and low 30s at night.

I realized that Florida is a lot like Pattaya Beach or The Philippines: a tropical paradise filled with an insular, immigrant, affluent, educated community of retirees. There is here also an indigenous population that is — based on my limited excursions into their midst — much of a different type: I saw the morbidly-obese, near-death-at-40 masses feeding themselves at the Chinese Buffett; at Walmart I listened to the slack-jawed, vacant-eyed kids mumble "iwandismom" to their nonhearing, tight-leggings-sequined-shirt bleach-blond mothers pushing carts of nachos and Miller Genuine Draft; I watched a family of jaundiced rednecks at the Eagles Club line dance like automatons with cigarettes hanging out of their mouths. All these people are so blunted and featureless, just watching them makes me feel equally blunted such that I want to join the crystal meth craze sweeping the country as a pick-me-up. Although I focus my sights on this peoples' weight, class, and manners, it is the aura of lassisitude and lethargy emanated that ultimately puts me off. It is as if the Florida sun has turned the native population into mental and physical prunes.

I could easily hang out and have fun with people who eat too much, dress funny, or know more names of Nascar drivers than names of countries... but these particular people appear to treat life like a barely-tried puzzle that they have given up solving; that they now just kind of stare at, not interested in any further effort. After years of being surrounded by planners, builders, founders, explorers, dreamers, and doers while living in Asia... these people here are static and stagnant.

(I'm looking forward to my cousin Jonathan, who lives half an hour north of here — and most definitely does not fit the above description — introducing me to other living people in the area.)

Mom and Paul left for New York to celebrate Christmas today. They are driving the new Toyota north, have left the new Dodge Grand Caravan here, will drive back down in their old Kia in a month (which will be mine to drive), and then will drive the Dodge back north in April. So I'm here alone. I plan to spend my solo month entirely nakie.

Work has been great... or had been great, until last night when work ran out leaving me to sit and watch The Military Channel and drink vodka martinis. My company was running a "3-cent-per-line" special over the weekend and it looks like everybody took advantage of it leaving me nothing to do at 8 p.m. I get paid by the line, and not having any work last night at the end of the pay period was a killer: I get 8 cents per line ("cpl") base pay. Add to that 1 cpl for working nights, then 3 cpl for the special weekend "incentive", and the 4-cent-per-line overtime that I was on, and that would have worked out to 16 cpl, and I do about 300 lines per hour now... totaling $48 per hour. Before, in The Philippines — before this new account — I was doing about 175 lines per hour with just the base 8-plus-1 rate for $15.75 per hour on average. (I'm also simply working more: 6 hours of work per day used to be a gargantuan task; it now goes by with barely a sweat.)

Unfortunately, I don't have my lovely wife here to rub my stiff neck. (Oh... that might be something she could do when she gets here: massage therapist. I know my massages, and Epril really does have amazingly strong and effective little hands.) The more I work, the more my neck gets stiff (and my culo too — I need to by a softer office chair) and the more I need my wife's tender ministrations. (I miss you Sunshine.)

For now, the best I can do is climb into a hot shower and let the stiff water beat down on my neck. (It doesn't really help, but the vodka martinis do.)

Friday, December 10, 2010

Thoughts On Assange And Wikileaks

When Wikileaks first came out, my first suppositional impression was "If somebody can leak the illegitimately classified or concealed wrongdoings of the world via this website, then somebody can also leak the legitimately classified goings-on of the world via this website."

Obviously that is exactly what happened.

When Julian Assange first started making news, my first suppositional reaction was "He might be an iconoclast who wants to expose the illegitimately classified or concealed wrongdoings of the world via this website — then God help him — but more likely he is an anarchist who just wants to stir shit — and then God damn him."

Obviously that is exactly what happened too.

This was generally obvious, but it really wasn't until Assange captured and released pretty much every greasy diplomatic cable of the last decade, essentially the entirety of the world's governments' private gossip about each other, that Assange really began to show his true colors.

(Christopher Hitchens said it best: "One of civilization's oldest and best ideas is that all countries establish tiny sovereign enclaves in each other's capitals and invest these precious enclaves of peaceful resolution with special sorts of immunity. That this necessarily includes a high degree of privacy goes without saying. Even a single violation of this ancient tradition may have undesirable unintended consequences, and we rightly regard a serious breach of it with horror.")

But, finally, it was when threatened with arrest... when Assange threatened to release all of the previously redacted documents in their unredacted states, putting lives and governments unquestionably at risk, that the rest of the world who were not already convinced of this man's perfidy could finally see.

It is an unfortunate fact, though, that Assange will never be prosecuted for being part of what is essentially a spy ring: First Ammendment rights are well established on the subject that receiving of and publishing of (as opposed to theft of) state secrets is not a crime. Add to that the fact that Assange would be standing at the defendants table with his co-publishers at The New York Times, The Guardian, and Der Spiegel and you can see the impossibility a prosecution would be. Senator Joe Lieberman may be a bit of a dingbat, but his assertion that not only Assange but those newspapers as well might be guilty of violations of The Espionage Act, while inaccurate in the legal sense, is quite accurate in the logical sense.

In other words, the actions of Assange were indeed an infamy, but there is little under the law that can be done about it.


"Sarah Palin shot a reindeer on the last episode of her show. You don't typically see politicians shooting reindeer to death two weeks before Christmas.

Between the made-up words and wildly shooting at anything with four legs, Sarah Palin is turning into Elmer Fudd."

Jimmy Kimmel

Daily Report: What's Going On?

I'm afraid that I have to admit defeat: My life is now so boring that even I — who can find writing fodder amidst the most mundane events — have nothing to write about.

What is going on? Every day, I wake up at about one in the afternoon. I have some hazelnut coffee, a bite to eat, and say goodnight to Epril via webcam. Then I watch my Tivo'ed television programs ("Good Eats" and "Doctor Who") for a couple of hours mostly, plus perhaps a once-every-three-or-four-day trip out of the house for a bit of shopping — or a documentary or something if an excursion does not materialize. (And shopping excursions consist mostly of trips to Walmart, if you are interested.)

At 5:00, it is out to the back porch for cocktails (only one booze drink for me as work comes later on... after that is diet Dr. Pepper) and pretzels, watching the puppies Gracie and Martini play together, and chatting with Mom, Paul, and Uncle Bob.

Then Uncle Bob goes back home and Mom, Paul, and I have dinner. (Dinners have been great, I must say.) Then, the dishes get done after which the three of us sit in front of the TV and watch the evening news. Then I sit down in front of my computer at about 7:00 in the evening, read stuff on the internet for a while.

Epril usually wakes up about this time and we chat some more. Then I get to work (which is going even better than expected: I'm literally back to where I was 4 years ago in every aspect, overtime and all... though I've been warned that this will only last for another year or so) at 8:30 and work through until about 3:30 a.m.

Then I get a beer, climb in bed, channel surf on my bedroom TV, read my book for about 30 minutes, and turn off the lights at about 4:30.

That's my day... that's every day, in and out.

Epril has put all of her required documents in the mail to get her visa and that should be arriving here in the next few days hopefully. That's all the news I have about that.

Oh... and it has been mighty fucking cold here in Florida, with temperatures dropping below freezing at night all this week. (I don't know what I did to deserve that.) Fortunately, not only does the house have central air, but central heating as well.

So to you, I offer my apologies that things are not more interesting. I must say that everything is going fine... great even, all things considered; it's just not not worth writing home about.