Adventures of Darth Daddy

Thursday, February 17, 2005

And the tide turns once again

Well, we finally called in a pro to fix the clog. I tried everything I could think of - it turns out we actually DID need that big ass $500 sewer cleaner that the boy and I drooled over (when we went to get that piddly $24 drain snake at Lowes). The inlaws are friends with Alicia's old basketball coach, who is the owner of a plumbing company. They came out, and within a few hours, had the drain workign again. Turns out the clog was only a few feet from the city side. Figures...a few feet further, and it would have been the citys problem to fix. So, after the crew left, I reseated the potty, hooked everything back up again, and VIOLA - working potty and shower again.

DOJO NEWS: Holy shit - back the suck side again. Monday, I didnt even bother showing up. The JJ sensei had the flu, and I figured everyone else was taking it off to enjoy Valentines Day. No biggie. Wednesday sucked bigtime. The sensei is still sick, and no one (and I mean NO ONE) showed up for class. So, I ended up joining the Kung Fu class, which was a complete waste of my time. This class we had the sifu, Ms. Thang, and 2 new late teen jackasses for her to flirt with. After 10 minutes of good class, it turned to 40 minutes of a waste of my fuckin time. This was the very first class, since I started at age 12/13 that I have excused myself, and just left. I wasn't hot - I wasn't pissed...I had just had enough. I think I will observe them when I get the chance, but it's really not a wise idea for me to join in any class of theirs that the little flirty bitch wants to dominate. It's just not worth the frustration.

Logan news: Wow - he's the 2 yr old equivalent of Mt St Helens. He'll be fine for a few hours, then BAM!!! he'll go friggin ballistic, temper tantrum, yelling, pointing his finger at me yelling "BAD!! BAD!!". And it's always over simple things. "Wanna go to the park? Road trip?" He'll say "YEAH!!". "Ok, then we need to get shoes and socks on". NO NO NO NO NO NONNONONONONNOOOOOOO. -------- OR ---- He'll want to go out for food. I'll agree, we;ll start to get ready, and he'll lose it over having to put a jacket on (and it's very cold outside). I tell him "No coat - no food", and he pitches a fit. He's really testing my patience some times. I yelled at him today , in anger, and he started yelling BAD at me. ANd he was right. That little turd actually dragged me to his bedroom, made me sit on his bed, and he started up the timer (for time out). I played along, cause 1. I deserved it, and 2. I was hopign it would difuse the situation...gicin him a sense of power, and control.....the abilty to make things 'right'. It worked. Whent the timer went DING, I said "ok?"......he agreed, and I modeled fo rhim.....I walked up to him, and said "Sorry" and hugged him. And then he was fine. Coats went on, we went to eat. I wish I had that taped.

Lance NEWS: Getting more adorable each day. His new thing it to blow bubbles/give razzberries. Doign it back to him gets the biggest smile from him! Still workign on rollign over....he can get to his side pretty easily, but hasn't gone all the way from back to front yet.

Wife news: You knwo you're not gettign any sympathy (or ANY, if ya get my meaning), when the first thing out of her mouth 1. when she walks in the door from work, and 2. As the last child goes down to sleep, is "I just feel so damn tired (insert body part of the day) is killin me". So much for that back rub I wanted. She actually said today, that she feels sorry for me, in that I don't get much time to myself. It's nice to get some appreciation from time to time. (Or sympathy...which ever gets me fed first!!)

EBAY NEWS: That white belt arrived the other day - it's so old that it is turned grey. At least the auction was $4 total.

Well - 1030pm - off to do laundry, clean the kitchen, and get ready for my bed buddy (Logan has been gettign out of bed, very upset, and sleepign with me in front of the new fireplace). I don't mind the company at just sucks when you've been up with him since 7:30am, only gotten an hour break, finally get everyone down for the night, and have a deadline on when to get "things" done by. I still have to install my stereo in the truck / clean up the yard/ gut the garage / prep both Firebirds for sale, take the black hearse on a decent test run / bla bla bla.

Night all...

Sunday, February 13, 2005

If not one thing , then another

Well, the heat is fixed - the washing machien is it's the plumbings turn. The kitchen sicks drains fine, but the bathroom(our only potty), wont flush. Well, it's a lot sadder then just that....the main sewer pipe won't make the water go away. I spent the last 2 days with plungers, closet augers snakes), Drano, Liquid Plumber, a shop vac, and at one point, an air compresor ...and nothing. I even tried liquid dishwashing detergent, and no luck. In desperation, I uprooted the toilet, to get a straight shot at the pipe having the trouble (by this point, I had determined that it was not a simple clogged sink drain or an action figure stuck in the toilet workings). I ran a snake 47ft down that damn pipe, and accomplished nothing. What's odd is that the kitchen still drains without trouble. If ther eis one main sewer pipe going from the house to the street, then we have a clog somewhere between the bathroom pipe and the intersection of the bath pipe and kitchen pipe. Odd thing, though. One neighbor (her son actually) works installing bath fixtures, and we noticed that he had a drain snake loaded in his truck today. Then, later tonight, I saw that the other neighbors had a box at thier curb, for a portable potty. Hmmmm, I thought....maybe we're not the only ones with trouble. It was too late to pop in, but Im going to have to ask both neighbors tomorrow if they are also having potty trouble. The kids have it easy - they are both in diapers.....but the wife and I are, well, shit outta luck!

Took the kids to the mall today - the wife got a haircut / Logan played at the indoor playground / Lance fell asleep in the belly pouch. Except for having to come home, the day as pretty good!

Friday, February 11, 2005

Final note for Thursday night

Man - I just got fucked on Ebay. Auction #

Martial Arts Uniform,Karate,Judo,Jujitsu White Belt,New

The guy states UNIFORM in the title. than takes a picture of a belt next to w clear bag, with a white background. Take a look - it looks like theres a uniform in there. What the hell am I supposed to do with a $5 whitebelt? I got an entire uniform for that much (for Logan).

Always read the nice print, and how people word things. Im pissed, and embarassed at not catching on sooner.

Back to centre

Ok - finally had a really good night in kung fu. Only me and a little kid were in class, and things went great. Worked on blocking and striking simultaneously. Something that most japanese arts don't teach, or do so in limited capacity. Sifu seemed cool tonight, and there was none of the previous distractions, or feelings of being on the "outside". I found out that while Kreese is gone, he has been replaced...with an even bigger Kreese. Umteenth degree black belt, 60 yr old, traditional to a fault, judo insructor, and the social graces of a barracuda. To add more to the KREESE title, he even was an Airborn Ranger (70-73 specializing in jungle/desert warefare). He has already fulled some feathers. In fairness, gonna have to check this guy out.

The other guy they hired is apparently a superhero. Havent seen him yet, but he's a late 20's black guy who specializes (and is unbelievable at) capierro. It's an african martial art popularized by Eddie Gordo in the Tecken video game. The guy had given a few demos for the students, and Ive heard he's out of this world. I mmay be a moron, (being 34,bad knees, creaking hips, and a hurting shoulder), but THIS guy I gotta check out. I may not prefer the fighting style, but it will definietly give me the cardio I've been lacking. Even the Kf sifu is hyped about taking his class (as a lowely whitebelt). It's always a wonderful trait to see humilty in your instructors. I just realy REALLY hope that things stay nice in the KF class. I love the recommend it to anyone over karate. I just want that "Im a part of something" feeling back.

THE BOYS: Yet another wnoderful day with the kids. Por Lance has some kind of cold or something. No runnign nose, but he's slightly stuffy, and definitely has a raspy voice. WHen he cried, he cried for about 5 seconds before it turned into a high pitch kid of whistle. Almost like a Dinoroar, when you squeeze it too hard. We almost made it out o the zoo today, but it started to rain. Plus, with Lance sick, I figured it best to just stay inside.

Went to eat with the family and my mom for dinner, then headed off to the dojo.

ACHES AND PAINS: Man, i dont know what the hell I did, but Ive had a shoulder ache for almost a week now. Just the topical "got a bruise", or "maybe stretched it too far", but almost a bone ache. It's as if the pain is in the joint, and not the muscle. Only hurts at certain angles...and I can't locate the pain when I use my other hand. Weird. Ive always held the baby (Logan) in my left arm..I wonder if it's the prolonged carrying of his weight, or a recent martial art happening, or what. Added to this, my knees have been hurting like a bitch. The left one occasionally feels like a pin is stabbign in it. The right one has felt a swelled/throbbing pain, like it was hit a few days ago with a baseball bat. Can't I just get a friggin cold like other people?

Well that about it for now. Had a Hungry Man it's time to blog hop, and head to bed. I got me a nice spot here in front of the fireplace, a few kitties to keep me company, and Darth Lance sleeping in the baby swing next to me (the wife said it's the only plae he'd fall asleep at).

Thursday, February 10, 2005

I missed a funny

I was reading my last blog, and I saw where I had the chance to make a funny joke, and missed it. I said that the 13 yr old was the sole teacher....he's the SOLE TKD teacher, and the sifu is the SOUL KF teacher!! HAahahahaha

Also, in ranting about the Great Race, I mistyped that these SHOES piss me of. Meant to say SHOWS. My feet are fine.

Today was another great day in the life of a stay at home dad. Didnt get to return any work calls, but had a wonderful day with teh kids. Went to Mongolian bbq for dinner, then of to the dojo. Kreese, as I hear, has been missing for 2 weeks now, and presumed gone. There is supposed to be another instructor hired, though havent seen him (nor heard of him from the office). Office says they are looking at new teachers. They mentioed various styles, but my guess is: What style we get is like a roll of the guarentees. Had a nice jujitsu class tonight....worked techniques from the bottom up. Adam was back, so I had a partner. Some of these techniques are hard to perform on a 5 ft tall female sensei. After class, Adam left (not feeling well), so I blew of the KF instructor. No one else showed up for class. Would have been nice to have some one on one clas time, but I figure Id let him know how it was to have an expectation, and someone disregard his. I'll try to make KF class tomorow night. Im really leaning towards having a talk with him.
Tonight, the owner lady asked him where all his guys were (students). He said how most of his adult students have "issues" (no arguments there-some are downright fucked up), and werent dependable about showing up for class. I thought "Ya know, I have a kung fu teacher that way too", but kept that one to myself. I hate to sound bold, but although he's been unofficially teaching his friend for a while, he's still operating on a very basic level. Everyone else just just sucks. Bold of me to say, but I feel its true. I show up the most, I train the most, I bring the most to the class , and am constantly having to watch the class get fucked up by either "Ms Thing and the Flirts", or "RomperRoom". This stuff, (while I make no claim of mastery) is coming very easily to me...and the others are holding me back. Very frustrating. Sifu once said that we all are on our own circles(think of a globe......we are all on our own elipse). My circle wants to go faster, but these slower dumass circles are in the way. I think of KF like Leggo - I have some pieces, and now I want more. I've built what I can, and I want to build bigger and better things.

TV RANT: Saturday Night Live was never a favorite of mine, but this latest crew sucks more than they should. They seem castrated. The creator , during an interview, said that we was tired of losing talent, when they leave the show for big movie deals, and start thinking more of themselves than the show. Im guessing he's keeping this cast's balls in his office, and they have to ask or them when they leave. AND - not since the last Survivor have I seem a more uglier collection of hefers. UG !

HEATER RANT: Wow - if I only had known that a cheap heat would more efficiently heat the house (better than the wall furnace), Id have sold a poun of flesh to have it sooner. he heat is immediate, the blue fire is prety (just like havinga self contained fire place), and it heats the entire downstairs - not just the room its in. Also, it heats evenly - the old one, as soon as it turned off, you could feel the cold seep back in. Im very happy with this heater. NOW, if I can just find an air conditioner that does the same thing, but with COLD!!!

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Im so lost without my internet!!!

Let me start by saying that you cannot imagine how small my world becomes when they turn
the internet access off on me. Forgot to pay the bill, then it took 3 days to get it back on.

Things with the boys are going fantastic. No major incidents to report. Logan’s been taking
later naps, but other than that, things have been smooth. Lance has had a few bouts of “I
dont want anything, I just wanna scream”, and those are hard to deal with. But, I put him
down , and let him work it out for 5 minutes, then come back to let him knwo he’s not been
abandoned. After crying that long, he’s either calmer, or worn out enough to sleep. I feel
terrible at doing it that way, but nothing else seems to work. Diaper changed, full belly,
enough burping, warm clothes, snuggly blanket, attention, but nothing makes him happy
(during one of theses periods). At least when he wakes, he’s happy as can be.

The weather was at least 70 today, so we took the kids to the playground when the wife got
home from work. Logan had a blast, running, sliding, and of course, chasing all the pretty
girls. Lance got to sit in a stroller..and took in all the sights. Afterward, we went to Booger
King for dinner.

DOJO NEWS: Things got interesting on Monday. I was the only student to show up for
jujitsu. Sensei and I got a chance to go over some higher level stuff, which was a nice
change. Before class, I overheard a mother complaining to the staff about lack of a
conpetent instructor. he 13 yr old was running class..and while he’s a decent student, he’s no
where near being an instructor. And at 13 yrs old, he shouldn’t be being placed in an
instructor position. Not just for the sake of those he’s teaching, but for his own as
well...that’a a lot of responsibility to ask of a 13 yr old. Anyways, the mother was raising
hell about how the kids just “played” for an hour, instead of learning martial arts. I thought,
finally, somone is catching on, and seeing the man behind the curtain (Wizard of Oz
reference). The only people this woman had to yell at was a 17 yr old girl , who is an
office/day care person, and (as fate woudl have it) the other person was the father of the 13
yr old blackbelt instructor. Theres just no way to tell a proud black father that , while his
son is nice and all, he’s not qualified to be the sole teacher in a TKD class. Wonder if this
lady will cause any ripples in the dojo pond. THEN, again, I must have missed the ghetto
newsletter - cause I was the only who showed up for Kung Fu again. No sifu, so other
students..just me. Im going to miss the goo ftimes, when this guy gets fired for not showing
up for work. I understand that shit happens. Wifes cars break down coming back from NY,
whatever. A person has a resposibility to their family. On the same foot, I have a
resposibility to MY family as well. $85 a month to learn martial arts. ANd clearing my
mind of the day, so I can start the next one fresh and focused. Ok, a bit corny sounding, but
I really do feel centered after a good martial arts class. I have better “next days”.
(Hey Adam - where were ya buddy?)

TV RANT: Chris and John coem in 2nd in the great race. BULLSHIT!!!! GOD, these
shoes piss me off!! They got screwed by AMERICAN AIRLINES, who were more
interested in making a buck than providing creditble information. Then, a friggin train
blocks them from making a mad dash for the finish. Bullshit! Chris and John were my
favorite..they got along, played the game fair, and.ok., I admit it...they were long distance I figure, maybe I stand a chance when John blows it. Chris is such a cutie. In more great race for me. And I’ve had enough Survivor for awhile too. But if
the KF sifu keeps fucking up Thursday night classes, I might end up at home, right in front
of the boob tube. We’ll see.

OK - enough for now. Im off to get some brownies, some Koolaid, and watch Pet Cemetary.
ONe day, I gotta read the book. I knwo Im missing out on so much, just seeing the
move..but King pisses me off too. I usta read him alot, but he’ll spend 3 chapters, going in
detail, about someone who dies, and was inconsequencial to the plot anyways. Best thing to
do if reading any King novel,....start reading about Chapter 3.


Sunday, February 06, 2005

All's well on the western front

Had a very nice day. Woke up beside the heater/fireplace. Logan was curled up next to me, with his spiderman blanket over him. The wife made a small breakfast, then headed over the inlaws to visit (with Logan and Lance). I headed over to my mother's house. She has an old washing machine in her backyard that we never threw out, and I canablized the piece I needed to fix ours. Went to lunch with her, and the time really flew. No arguments or anything. It's been too long that we've been able to just talk, and not agrue.

I also picked up some covered foam from her garage. I used to manage some girls, and we'd do "female jello wrestling" at a local bar. The interest dried up, and I still had this makeshift "pit", made of high density foam. It more than paid for itself, and I've always feared throwing it out, cause I knew Id need it for something. Well.....seems that it'll be perfect as a throwing mat for the jujitsu class. It's a bit dirty, from age and being in the garage, but I figure if I throw a tarp over it, it'll be just like new. I hope I can get it looking nice for really cheap. Then the non-jujitsu people can eat their heart out. And if they ask if the dojo can use it, I'll offer to donate it - in exchange for 1 years worth of free tuition. Don't mean to sound stingy, but it's a shame when you get the same lame ass story about items being "backordered", and they never come in. Throwing mats, training items, 3ft long name it. All on "backorder".

To account for the day, I spent time with my mom, cleaned her garage a bit, fixed the washing machine (and washed 5 loads of laundry!), didn't blow up the house (hurray!), got the foam for a thorowing mat, didn't blow up the house (I know - I know...but after that last time, Im really proud not to have done that again), and put the baby and Logan to bed. I think I've accomplished a decent amount for today. Time to eat, pop in a dvd, and see what tomorrow has to offer.

DVD ALERT: The first season of Miami Vice is coming to dvd Tuesday. Seems like has the best price, when balanced with all the good reviews they have. I found 2 places cheaper, but people gave them shitty reveiws. Maybe it really IS all about the "O"? heheh


Friday, February 04, 2005

The Grudge and Almost blowing up the house

Ok - we went to HomeDepot, got a gas heater, and brought it home to install. I had to disconnect the old heater first. I thought I had turned the gas shut off completely off. The rest went something like this....

"Hey hon, I cant get this damn thing to budge - any idea where my hack saw is?"
Wife" Nope"
Me " Ok - AURGGHGHHG - I think I got it"



Turns out the old shut off valve was decptive, and I turned it open instead of closed. Good thing I didnt find that saw! She grabbed the kids, and ran out the front door, into the van. I grabbed vice grips, and hauled ass outside to the mainshut off valve. It was stopped immediately. We confirmed that it was safe, vented the the house, then brought the kids back in. After that, installation was a snap.

The new heater is much quieter than the wall furnace. No blower fan, yet it warmed the house very very nicely. There is a blower fan you can buy for $35, but they were sold out. We may not need it. Today, when I was partialy disassembling the old wall furnace, I saw that holes had been rusted into the vent shaft, which explained the smell we were getting in the living room. Good thing we made the decision to replace it. With both kids playing tag team on me, I didnt get much done, but I got enough done that it shoudl be easy to remove tomorow. Biggest fear is that I dont know how much of a hole in the wall I'll have to replace. Good thing is, with such a big hole, it should be easy to build an inset for the new heater.

MOVIE REVIEW: I bought The Grudge. I fiured any movie with Sarah Michelle Gellar in the shower can be all bad. It was. I liked The Ring, which people compare this movie to, but this movie sucked eggs. The bigest moment IN the movie happened OUTSIDE of the movie. A small boy in the movie is a ghost. Logan was woke up, crying, so I paused the movie, and went in to calm him. He was sitting on his bed, facing away from me. For a moment, I thought "This better not be a small japanese boy". But, putting fear and terror aside, I calmed him, layed next to him, and got him back to sleep.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

The day after Happy Day turned into Crappy Day. But..the following day (wednesday), Logan woke up with a fever. He was a bit cranky most of the day, but did have moments of calm. For the most of the day , he just wanted to cuddle and watch tv with me. Poor dear. I gave him Childrens Tylenol in the morn, and that seemed to help him a lot. Broke the fever in about 2 hours. He was still awake when I got home from the dojo tonight - so I fed him, and he fell asleep next to me on the floor. A little bit ago (1am) he woke up and started crying, but went right back down after I tucked him in. Im suprised he isnt more restless and waking more....but Im glad he can get some sleep.

Having decided to invest in central air, we've decided that tomorrow, we will get a replacement for the faulty heater. Fearing carbon monoxide, and the house catching fire, we're getting a cheaper/smaller heater "till we get the big stuff". Best I found ( for price and installation) is a natural gad wall heater for about $160 at Lowes. $30 for a around $200. Not pocket change for us, but well worth the cost if it prevents our house being torched, or not waking up in the mourning. And, I figure , once we go the central air/heat installed, it wont hurt to leave the gas one installed...for those imes we just want to heat 1 room, and not the entire house.

Dojo news: Ya know, it's hard for me to believe that there are so many people taking martial arts, and so few Bloging about them. I wanted to srat this blog as a journal for my kids to look back on....or just to vent...andnow I feel a bit of a responsibility to mention dojo stuff, cause of the lack of good martial arts blogs Ive found.

Tonight, we had a good jujitsu class. I still have to go over moms, and see if I can convert my old jello wrestling mat into a judo throwing mat. We decided not to take anymore classes with Kreese, starting tonight..but he wasnt there anyways. So, after class, we worked on a few limited moves--very nice learning environment. It also gave us time to explore variations. I looked over, and saw that the kung fu class had kids and Ms. Thang in it,so I decided to skip it. Think I overheard them discussing my discontent at the sifu not showing up for classes sometimes. I admit to not having hears them say anything outright (at laest not to me), but.....In honor of Black History Month...let me say that I believe the pot is not calling the kettle black. Inthis, I mean that sifu and the assistant seem to have this pompous attitude that the study of any art (other than theirs) is worthless. This is he same atitude (mind you) that they critisized Kreese and every other major martial art about. Guess it's just a matter of time before any teacher starts to get a big head.

Here's one for you --- a previous blog I follow asked if we expect too much from our teachers. They are, after all, human, and students of the art(just more advanced). But what do you do when you lose faith, not in the art, but in the only avaliable teacher. It's like KNOWING that math is the universal language of the universe, but having a suck ass math teacher (and he's the only one in town). THis really bites...I want to study kung fu further...but question my sifu's ability to teach. On a broade perspective, it seems it seems the dojo is getting pretty good at hiring artists (martial artists) who are good at their craft, but cant teach worth shit. Thank heaven for Sensei Lang. At least we have one sensei who can not only perform techniques, but also has the abilty to teach them.

Well- thats it for tonight. Gonna get a bottle ready for the youngest prince, and crash for the night.

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