Friday, June 30, 2006

Thanks JT

I just bought my bike!
Actually, I just bought mine, and Bob's bikes. And helmets - and a bike rack for the car. Photos will be forthcoming in future posts.
Also just got back from my first ride - in many years - and I'm happy to report that I didn't have a heart attack. However, I must admit that for a few minutes I thought I might.
Anyways, this is all a part of my plan to start living a healthier life. But it won't do me any good if I give myself a heart attack in my first week. So I think that I shall have to approach this with a little more caution. Try a shorter, flatter route to start out with.
Of course, I have JT to thank for his interest in biking. Which has, in turn, sparked my interest in biking. And that has sparked Bob's interest in biking.
It almost sounds like a vicious cycle doesn't it?

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I bid thee a fond farewell

No...!
I am not quiting my blog!
Today, was the last time I will see one of my co-workers who has become a good friend of mine. He has taken a position at one of our other facilities, and thus, will no longer be working with me. I am happy for him since it will be a much shorter commute for him. But I will miss him because we shared a rather warped sense of humor.
Good luck John!

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Thursday, June 29, 2006

Some people are too easily amused

And I, generally, am among them...
But that's not what I wanted to say today.
It never ceases to amaze me that so many of my co-workers still have no clue that I'm a relatively good cook. Case in point today; I had a leftover pork chop from the other night for my lunch today. As a side I had potato pancakes, also from the other night - but it was a different other night than the pork chops.
Anyways. One of my co-workers, who happens to be fairly new to our lunch table, saw my potato pancakes and asked "Are those homemade potoato pancakes?". I replied that they were, to which she exclaimed that her mother used to make homemade potato pancakes and that she really loved them. But she also thought that they were so time consuming to make because you have to use mashed potoatoes to start with. And she just couldn't see going to the trouble of making mashed potoatoes just to make the potato pancakes.
Of course, the idea of potato pancakes is that you have leftover mashed potatoes to work with, and not that you're starting from scratch. But I have other tricks as well. That's when I informed her that I use instant mashed potatoes...
She couldn't believe that it could be that simple. And she went on about that for the remainder of our lunch break. She was just so amused by this new revelation that it totally consumed her.
Hey! When you're a single parent you find every possible short-cut to making decent meals as quickly as possible. Sometimes I like spending some time in the kitchen to make a really good dinner. Other times, I'd much rather get it done and get to the rest of the evenings activities. That's just how it is.

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Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Finally taking shape

See my nice clean carpets? It was a Fathers Day gift from my mother. She arranged to have my carpets steam-cleaned and paid for it, too. So now the house is finally starting to shape up the way I was hoping it would.
This is my dining room as seen from what should be my living room. Of course, there's no furniture in the living room yet. And that's why I'm not posting any photos of it. But the dining room looks really great, doesn't it?

A better shot of my china cabinet. See, ~Moi~, guys don't have a problem with such "toys" (as per a previous discussion we had at your blog). I'm especially fond of my wine goblets.

And, finally, an artistic touch with a definite masculine feel to it. For some odd reason everyone always seems to be so impressed with the "crown of thorns" that I make with the barbed-wire. The roses seem to go well with it, too.

Eventually, when I can afford to get new living room furniture, I'll share photos of the living room, too.

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Quote for 6/27/06

"The most spiritual men, as the strongest, find their happiness where others would find their destruction: in the labyrinth, in hardness against themseleves and others, in experiments. Their joy is self-conquest. Difficult tasks are a priviledge to them; to play with burdens that crush others, a recreation. They are the most venerable kind of man: that does not preclude their being the most cheerful and the kindliest."
Friedrich Nietzsche

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Monday, June 26, 2006

Quote for 6/26/06

"Always remember that the future comes one day at a time."
Dean Acheson

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Sunday, June 25, 2006

Fair is fair

In all fairness to the other side of the story, this is the e-mail I received earlier today. A response to my post from yesterday. I am sharing it by her request and I am in full agreement that both sides of the story ought to be known. And those of you who know me also know that I do not shy away from letting both sides be known.

"Michael,

I guess it's not a secret that I have been seeing how you are through reading your blog every now and then. Believe it or not, I do want to make sure you're okay and happy. Even though my name isn't posted on the site - I feel that some of your friends postings are very one-sided- I realize that this is what friends are supposed to do- be there for you when things go wrong- however- I feel the need to defend myself. I feel that you are somewhat hostile over what happened between us. I can understand some of the confusion.. however, I don't think that you are giving an accurate account of everything on your blog. It doesnt matter to me what others think of me- however- it matters to me that you have such a negative regard for me at the moment. So why don't you post this email on your blog...

I met Michael under some extra-ordinary circumstances... that circumstance being the internet. It's not a way that I'm used to meeting people- so when we first met and we hit it off- I was pleasantly surprised. We talked well into the early hours of morning- and some affectionate cuddling and kissing happened as well. Everything Michael has said about how we talked everyday, how we planned on getting together while my daughter was out of town - our get away weekend, etc.. yes it's all true. However the part that he leaves out is an important one with me making my decision to be friends with Michael. We all know that Michael has a way with words and putting them down on paper- his feelings come right out. That's a great thing to be able to do- however- his forthcomings of his emotions scared me a little since we weren't even seeing each other for a week yet. Let me back up....

Last year at this time, I was engaged to be married. I dared to let someone into my life and my heart after being alone since my divorce in 99. Grant it, I dated quite a bit, and met alot of people- but no one that I really wanted to settle down with. Until I met my ex-fiance, coincidentally also named Michael. I honestly was happy, I let my guard down and I decided to take a chance on love again. Our "courtship" was very quick- and it all happened over a period of 10 months. But I thought, "what is time when it comes to matters of the heart?" So with that we planned a wedding date, he moved in, got close to my family and became a male role model for my daughter and I became a good friend to his children as well. Then my world came crashing down around me.... 45 days before the wedding- he cheated on me. So..................

I lost a piece of myself that day. It took everything I had to move forward- but I had to- I had a daughter who needed me to be strong- and a family that couldnt bear to see my pain- so I tried to hide it best I could. I promised myself that I would never fall for anyone so incredibly fast and get caught up in the idea of love and romance. I wasn't against it happening again, and I am not punishing myself or the next guy (in this case Michael) for what my ex-fiance did- however, it did open my eyes that I needed to be more cautious and let things happen more slowly.

So you see, when after one week I am getting emails (pages of emails) from Michael expressing how I am soul mate material, how I am practically the love of his life, and how he misses me from the depths of his soul... well, I'm sorry but it all took me for an emotional rollercoaster ride and even though I was having feelings for him- I had to slow things down the best I could so we could make sure that this was "real".

I talked to Michael numerous times about how it made me a little uncomfortable but that I still wanted to pursue something -but to just keep those deep, inner feelings to ourselves right now and let things happen naturally. But that didnt happen.

I also had a genuine concern about how Michael kept telling me that he hadn't dated much and I was afraid that his feelings were just that - feelings. Feelings of missing the void of another person beside you- someone to confide in, etc. I wasn't sure that it was really ME or just the void that I was filling.

I need to be careful and cautious with the next potential relationship. And yes, we had potential. But it was too much too soon... and I promised myself that I would not go down that route again...

Michael is a good man. I can tell by reading his blog that others think that as well. I can tell by the way he treats and loves his children- that they are his best accomplishment ever and he is very proud. But I am a good person too. I did not set out to confuse his life or to give him pain. Frankly, I have to protect my heart. I think that from my past experience- and one that was so devastating to me- anyone can understand where I was coming from if they just walked a mile in my shoes.

I wish nothing but good things for Michael- and I know that his true love is out there and I hope she is deserving of him when he finds her. But please know that this wasn't a conspiracy on my part to break a man's spirit... and I'd appreciate it if this subject could just be closed."

And so I leave it up to all of you, my regular visitors, to make your own decisions about what's been posted. I don't take this as an accusation against me, nor did I intend for my previous posts to be hostile to her in any way. I was just getting my thoughts/feelings out there. And, now, her's are also here.

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Saturday, June 24, 2006

I do appreciate it

I have to say, one of the best aspects to blogging is the fact that since I've been doing it I've discovered that I have so many people to comiserate with when life is less than cheery. And I do want to tell those of you who offered comments (and I will address you each individually below) to my recent post regarding the demise of what I thought was the start of a wonderful relationship how much I appreciate that you shared your thoughts with me. Thank you for that.
I must admit that there is a part of me that wishes I could remain friends with her. Her absence from my life is quite noticable. Especially at those times when we would normally be talking to each other on the phone or IMing each other. And I do have an e-mail account that is now almost completely void of activity. Besides, there is also that part of me which is eternally optimistic that things could change between us in time. But, as I said before, I just can't do the "just friends" thing again. Not after the beginning that we had.
For some odd reason, call me old fashioned, - or just plain old - but once you spend some "couch-time" with someone "sucking face" with them, friendship is no longer an option. And when that person expresses similar feelings to those that you're feeling for several days after meeting you, then perhaps it's safe to assume that you do have something a little bit more than friendship going on. That's why it was all so painful and confusing to me.
Anyways, allow me to address your individual comments now...

Faith:
Perhaps it is better that she told me when she did. But, in light of what I just mentioned above, wouldn't asking me to remain her friend, knowing full well that I do still have feelings for her, be just as bad as having me "hang on for a long time"?
I know things will get better. I managed to survive my EX's behaviour, I'm sure that I'll get over this quickly. Thanks.

JT:
At the time you offered, I really didn't want to be around people too much. But you know that I won't go to a bar by myself so I was just looking for someone to be at a safe distance for me. And I really didn't want to have to relive the whole episode for becca at that moment either.

Kender:
You already know what I have to say. Sorry I had to delete your comment, but I just couldn't let it stay up. It just wasn't appropriate for the situation. I'm sure you understand.

Fred:
What timing! I appreciate the compliments. I know that in time the right person will enter my life. It's just kinda rough having to go through the wrong ones first.

~Moi~:
...
first off: I just want you to know how hard a time I have with refering to you as "Moi" because I know that "Moi" is really "Me" in french. And I'm not talking to me when I'm talking to you. I'm talking to you, even though you're Moi...
and I'll stop now before I get into a whole "Who's on first" joke about the name you've chosen as your blogger ID.
Anyways...
You hear things late because you don't visit often enough. Would it kill ya to come around more often?
Did I just channel a jewish mother for a minute?
Nevermind, where was I? Oh, right...
I'm not down on myself about this. She also used the "It's not you, it's me" line as well. So I know it's not because she doesn't find me to be worthwhile. After all, she did want to remain friends with me. Doesn't that mean she wanted me to remain a part of her life? So that must mean that I'm still a great guy. And I don't think that there was anything about me "turning her off" either. She once mentioned that being near me and talking to me were kind of exciting. And since she had asked me not to call her for a few days before she gave me the speech - so she could sort through some personal stuff - I suspect that not talking to me for a few days is what made it possible for her to even give me the "speech".
It was the toughest thing I've done in years, to jump back into the dating pool. Especially after nearly two decades of not having to worry about it. and I hate to say it, but it's going to be a bit more difficult for me to jump back into it now that I've slammed into the bottom of said pool. And there are no cute lifeguards at this pool to rescue us and give us mouth-to-mouth if we're drowning.
As for the "just friends" thing. As I said above, "couch time" and "sucking face" are not things that two friends do with each other. So once that stuff begins with me, there is no possibility of us being "just friends". I can understand dating someone and then going through the "just friends" speech. I can even understand if you've been sharing some really passionate "good-nite" kisses at the ends of those dates. I could handle the "just friends" speech if that were the case (I still wouldn't like it, but I could handle it). But I don't understand how you're supposed to come back to being friends, when you never started there.
But there's also the matter that she seemed to have the same feelings for me that I still have for her - up until last Saturady, that is. But just to put things into a bit more perspective for you, without going into too much detail, here are two examples of things that I doubt that people do when they're only interested in you as a friend. Let me know what you think.
1) She was waking up early each morning during our first week together so she could send me e-mails, and IM's in the hopes of catching me before I went to work. She even set her alarm clock early on that Friday so she could call me, just to hear my voice, and to wish me a good day.
2) Up until a few days before she gave me the "just friends" speech, we were discussing a weekend getaway to a Bed-n-Breakfast with each other, for sometime in July. Her daughter was supposed to be going away on a vacation with her Ex-husband. And we had been discussing this weekend getaway since the first week that we were together.
So, do you see why I'm so hurt and puzzled by all of this?
But you are right about why we date. It is about finding the best possible match, not trying to make the best possible match out of each date. Thank you for reminding me of that.

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Thursday, June 22, 2006

Which one is better?

Those of you who know me, or who've been reading my blog for any length of time, are aware of my love for language. I try, as often as possible to communicate my ideas in ways that stand out through both the written and spoken word. As a result of this love for language I find myself pondering occasionally over the uses of words and phrases which are common in our language. And recently I've been pondering over a couple of synonymous ideas.
We hear the phrases "always remember" and "never forget" uttered interchangably quite often. But I have to wonder if we should. In fact, I've noticed that at times I will make distinctions betwen the two without fully realizing that I'm doing it. One of the distinctions that I have discovered is the idea that "always remember" seems to indicate a concious effort to remember something because we want to. I tend to use this phrase when I'm dealing with positive memories. While "never forget" tends to focus on the idea that we should not forget something, even if we might want to. It's almost as if they represent the difference between a memory and a scar.
On a personal level, I would compare it to saying the following:
"I will always remember my first kiss."
... or ...
"I will never forget how I got this scar on my forearm."
The difference being this:
Remembering my first kiss is a pleasant memory that may become clouded over time so I might want to make a better effort to remember it. So it is something that I will "always remember" with some happiness, because it was such a pleasant experience.
The scar on my forearm, however, was from a very painful experience, one which I might prefer to forget. But, because of the ever present scar that the experience has left on me, I will "never forget" how it happened.
I suppose then, that having moments which we will "always remember" is a simple matter of memory. We can pick them up and dust them off occasionally to admire them as we wish. While those moments that we "never forget" can probably be considered to be learning experiences as well. We can examine them on occasion and possibly find out where we made mistakes that led to such painful scarring.

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Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Quote for 6/21/06

"Nothing in life gives a man so much courage as the attainment or renewal of the
conviction that other people regard him with favor; because it means that
everyone joins to give him help and protection, which is an infinitely stronger
bulwark against the ills of life than anything he can do himself."
Arthur Schopenhauer.

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Monday, June 19, 2006

Quote for 6/19/06

"He that can have patience can have what he will."
Benjamin Franklin

Sometimes I truly believe that, other times I wonder how much patience one must have to have what one wills.

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Saturday, June 17, 2006

Not what I was hoping for

So much for a relationship...
"I like you, but only as a friend."
This is my curse. And once again I have fallen prey to those dreaded words from someone that I thought really had some deep feelings for me. But I just can't do the "friend" thing anymore. I've heard it too many times in my life, and I'm tired of hearing it.
I have to admit that I have a great deal of respect for her for not leading me on and making me believe that there might be a chance for something more. Even though it did seem like things were just slowing down for awhile, until our schedules started to work out better. But she finally told me that she just didn't think we were going to make it as a couple. Although I really did think we had a chance until tonight. So, if I seem confused by all of this it's because I am.
Ladies? Could one of you please explain this kinda crap to me!
None of this makes it hurt any less since, as I said in previous posts, there was some really incredible chemistry between us. And she seemed to think that I was a really great guy and a great kisser. Apparently such things aren't enough for some women.

Oh, well. I guess I start over - all over again. And once again, I'm not looking forward to this dating thing. Especially after this episode.

Anybody feel like getting a drink with me? I could really use one right about now.

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Friday, June 16, 2006

A startling revelation

I'd have to say that Journey's Greatest Hits was not the best choice of CD's for me to listen to earlier today.

If you are even remotely familiar with their music then you know that they have a multitude of songs that deal with every aspect of a relationship. From the wonderful beginnings, to the bitter break-up - or the happily still together - and every phase in between. Which means that when you find yourself in a relationship that is being complicated by awkward schedules, you also find yourself missing the person with whom you're in that relationship, but seldom get to see. And wouldn't you know that Journey has a few songs that only intensify that feeling.

That's all I have to say about it...

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Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Explain the logic to me

So there is a move in congress to raise the minimum wage from $5.15/hr to $7.25/hr.
OK, somebody explain to me how any law can possibly do this. Not, "How can a law force employers to pay their employees a wage that has been mandated by government?", but "How can the law make a person's labor worth that minimum wage?".
I understand the force of law in this matter, but I don't see any logic to this particular ideology. If there were any logic whatsoever to it then why not just raise the minimum wage to $20.00/hr so everybody would be in the middle class? Seriously, if it's that easy for the government to dictate the value of an employees labor then why not simply declare all labor to be the same value?
Oh, wait...
That was tried in what used to be called the Soviet Union. Whatever happened to them?
That's right, they went bankrupt!
Once again our politicians are trying to act like economists. Why don't they just stop before they hurt someone? It's not like they're doing a very good job of managing the tax money that they've taken from us. What makes them think they can run the businesses any better? Morons!
Of course I know that this is all just a giveaway to the unions. Most union labor contracts are tied to increases in the minimum wage. Whatever the percentage increase there is in the minimum wage, that is the amount of the increase to the laborers wages. Just a way of securing votes for the next election cycle.

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Monday, June 12, 2006

Quote for 6/12/06

"A man's dying is more the survivors' affair than his own."
Thomas Mann

This is in retrospect to today being the second anniversary of my father's passing.
Excelsior!

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Quotes from 5/2006

Is that so?

OK, ladies. I'm looking for your honest opinions on this data. What do yinz think? Where do you stand on these?
Yes, I will be asking my lady for her opinion too.

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Friday, June 09, 2006

Quote for 6/9/06

"Age does not diminish the extreme disappointment of having a scoop of ice cream fall from the cone."
Jim Feibig

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Thursday, June 08, 2006

Another milestone

My darling daughter. Doesn't she look so happy.

Some of her friends. I don't remember their names. But she looks a lot happier now.

The moment we thought might never get here.

Thank you, thank you, no applause, just throw money.

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Milestone !

I tried to post this yesterday, but Blogger was down while I was trying.
Seems I hit that milestone of 10,000 visitors yesterday. Hooray for me and my blog!
Somehow I thought it'd feel different. Still it's no small task for someone who's been blogging for less than two years.

Also wanted to apologize for not keeping up with my posting, but it's been very busy lately - and not just because of my having a girlfriend. There's been a lot of stuff going on in my life that has been keeping me occupied. Some of it good, like Aliesha's graduation, others not so good, like the Eventually-To-Be-EX having not filed our divorce papers like she orginally told me she was going to do 2 months ago (try explaining that to a new girlfriend - she took it well). So forgive me, and bear with me as I struggle through some of the turmoil. I will be posting pics from Aliesha's graduation later on. I would've done it yesterday, but as I said earlier, Blogger was down.
Later all...

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Tuesday, June 06, 2006

06/06/06

Well...
If you're reading this then you must've noticed that the world hasn't ended yet.
But the day is still early!
I suppose that some of you are expecting me to say something about any of the theological significance to today's date. Truthfully, I got nuthin...
Actually, I do have something to share, but I don't know how important it's going to seem to everyone. But here goes anyway.
The significance to the number 666 as "the mark of the beast", or the Devils number, is really only to warn us about what the devil truly wants. 666 is not "the Devils number" but is the representation of the un-holy trinity, the anti-God, the culmination of Satan's plan for the destruction of humanity. It is the exact opposite of God's plan for the redemption of humanity.
Christ came to serve, the anti-christ will come to be exalted. God wishes us to be healed, Satan wishes us to be destroyed. In any event, they both desire for us to worship them to share in their eternity. For God, it is to share Heaven with us. For Satan, it is to condemn us to his own fate in Hell.
But here is one further observation. In discussing this matter with my son he asked me if we'll know that "the mark of the beast" is "the mark of the beast" when it appears. So I told him "Yes, we will".
I am convinced that the scriptures clearly show us the depraved nature of humanity (thus the reason why God must provide a plan for our redemption). As such, I am convinced that mankind will be so thoroughly corrupt by the time the anti-christ rises to power that people will know, and still not care. I am persuaded that people will take "the mark of the beast" in the full knowledge that it is what it is. They just won't care.
The last time I heard anything about belief in God in this country the percentage of people who consider themselves to be Christians was somewhere between 75% and 85%. It would seem to me that if 75% - 85% of our population were truly Christian we wouldn't have quite so many problems in our society as we do. But people don't really know what Christianity is. So they create this vague ideology from the buffet of religious beliefs and they call it being a Christian because they don't really know what else to call it. To such people it does not matter how you live your life as long as you're a "good person". And, of course, being a "good person" means being good by their own standards - as long as they haven't killed anyone, they're still a "good person". You can cheat on your spouse, you can live your life as a few hours each day between drunken binges, you can rip-off your business colleagues, you can live promiscuiously, you can ignore the poor and the sick, etc... and you're still a "good person" as long as you believe that there's a god, of some sort, out there somewhere.
The anti-christ will simply come along and tell us that everything is fine just the way it is. And since everyone already wants to believe that, he will be hailed as our greatest leader. Because it's easy to belive someone who's telling you what you want to hear. It takes a real commitment to believe Someone who's telling you that things aren't so great, and we're all a part of the problem. Nobody likes to hear that. People who tell us such things end up getting crucified. Right?
Just something to think about today

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Saturday, June 03, 2006

Still playing with fire

That's right. JT and I had our Bi-weekly BBQ today.

Yes, we got to play with fire once again.

And the food was great, as usual.

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Some pretty decent shots

Some good shots from our walk this evening.

The George Westinghouse Bridge. I Just loved the cloud formations in the background.

I liked this shot from above. I don't know why, but this one just looked so cool.

A fading memory of what Pittsburgh used to be famous for.

There aren't many operational steel mills in the greater Pittsburgh area anymore.

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A couple more photos

A decent shot of East Pittsburgh.

A view of the other side of the George Westinghouse Bridge.

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Some of the odds and ends again

Bob decided to give himself a haircut last night while I was out...

I told him he looks like a fuzzy bowling ball.

Ya gotta wonder what happened here !?!?

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