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Showing posts from December, 2011

Nara-Fuji Road & The Trip Home from MA

By Steve Frenkel, 2009 We arrived home from Massachusetts a day ago, and this picture describes how I felt during the car ride home rather accurately.  While it took us 19 hours to drive to Plympton, MA, it took us over 23 hours to drive home. Why?  Blasting in Virginia, construction in South Carolina, and Godzilla in Pennsylvania (because there was no other reason for us to sit on the road forever there).  The delays added between three and four hours onto the already too long drive time.  Luckily, the kids kept themselves entertained as I tried to sleep off the medication and infection (see previous blog post for details). Now, I slog through emails and snail mail, trying to figure out what I want to do in 2012. First, I decided to post on my blog daily again.  I like presenting my ideas, thoughts, and such to the world, even though I know not everyone agrees. Second, I will have at least one novel on Amazon by the end of the year.  Actually, I want to have my NanoWr

My Winter Travel Diary: Now, A Word from The Dentist...

I apologize in advance if this particular blog post makes little sense, but currently I am taking vicodin for pain and I feel a bit floaty. Why, you ask, am I taking the medication made famous by Dr. House? Because the day after we arrived here in Plympton, my teeth began to hurt.  I assumed that I clenched my teeth too much, so I spent most of Monday trying to relax against the rising tide of pain.  But by Tuesday morning, with the left side of my face swollen up, I admitted defeat and went to the local dentist office (name gained courtesy of my wonderful in-laws).  I learned that I had an abcess in one of my teeth - a fairly large and painful abcess that required a root canal.  So, the dentist drained stuff from the bad tooth, packed it with antibiotic paste, gave me a massive amount of amoxicillan, and two prescription - one for more amoxicillan and one for vicodin.  Last night was a nightmare.  I alternated vicodin and Advil, but when time ran out of either medication my face ac

My Winter Travel Diary: Getting to MA

Greetings, from Plympton, MA!  You might be wondering why I'm here.  Here's the story... Last winter, my daughter was lamenting that she never saw her Patterson grandparents on her birthday.  Looking ahead at the school calendar, I realized that the children got out of school the Friday before her birthday.  So I dutifully called my in-laws, and we arranged to spend the winter holidays with them.  Oh, joy!  Oh, bliss! Then in a completely underhanded move, four members of the Cobb County school board changed the school calendar for this year, making the kids go to school through December 23rd.  Disaster!!  If the kids were in school through December 23rd, we would not have enough time to even drive there! I felt angry and betrayed by those who put their own personal needs and agenda above those who voted for them.  Then, I decided that life is way too short to let the pettiness of those people ruin our plans.  Therefore, I thought, screw the last week of school.  We're g

The Post Office Dilemma

December is a busy month for most people, as most run around getting ready for the holidays.  Even the post office overflows with people sending packages around the world. Unfortunately, the post office desperately needs the business this year.  Due to a bad decision in how the post office runs, the entire organization is going down in flames, with a debt of billions and no solid path to get back to running in the black. The bad decision I refer to is the decision to let Congress determine how the post office runs.  Every change must be run past a body of politicians who have nothing to gain by helping out; instead they act as though they have much to gain by not acting, or acting poorly.  Sometimes I think that Congress wants the post office to fail, though for the life of me I cannot understand why. What the post office officials need is the power to manage themselves without daily Congressional oversight.  They need to change according to the economy, the real current economy

Picture: Piracy

Wordless Wednesday - I Want You...

Hanging Out with Their Hero

Portal Pirate, Jonathan Coulton, and Blue Butterfly Last December, we took Portal Pirate and Blue Butterfly to see Jonathan Coulton in concert.  They had a marvelous time - hearing Paul and Storm for the first time, finally seeing Jonathan Coulton perform in person, meeting all the wonderful patrons in the audience.  But nothing beat after the show.  Someone at the theater gave the kids extra concert posters, and they got autographs from all three performers.  Then, even though it was after midnight and everyone looked exhausted, Jonathan Coulton smiled for this great photo. Rock on!!!

A Google A Day Keeps the Neurologist Away... least if the current theories on stopping dementia are correct. Yesterday, I discovered a new game from Google called A Google a Day .  If you go to the website, it will look like a regular Google search page on top, but there is a separate section on the bottom.  Every day, starting on December 1st, Google puts up a new question in the bottom section.  The point of the game is to use Google search to find the answer to the question.  If you guess wrong, click on "Hint"and the game offers you hints.  If you just cannot find or figure out the answer, click on "Full Answer" and the game tells you not only the answer, but also the search terms used to find the answer. I realize that Google wants to help people increase their Google fu * , but I find this particular game, well, fun.  I love learning new information, and so far I have learned something interesting about the Muppets, NASA, and crocodiles in Europe. The only problem I've encountered is th

"Relocation Specialist" by Steve Frenkel

"Relocation Specialist" by   Steve Frenkel

Book Review: "Reckless" (Reckless #1) by Cornelia Funke

Reckless by Cornelia Funke My rating: 3 of 5 stars "Reckless" by Cornelia Funke begins with a young boy angry at his father, who disappeared one day and never returned. The boy, Jacob Reckless, haunts his father's study at night looking for clues. In the very first chapter, Jacob finds where his father might have disappeared - inside of a Mirror World. The discovery changes Jacob Reckless' life forever. Ms. Funke uses this book to explore the themes of family, relationships, and love. I find her exploration to be a tad on the obvious side; the reader expect Jacob to regret his actions when they lead to his brother, Will, getting infected with a curse and for Will to be angry at Jacob for keeping the Mirror World secret. The reader also expects Fox to be in love with Jacob, even though Jacob seems to be unaware of her feelings. Of course, Ms. Funke might have include that to offer sympathy to all the teenage girls out there in the same predicament. I only