Sunday, August 31, 2008

Wenn ich mit Menschen-und mit Engelzungen redete, und hätte der Liebe nicht, so wäre ich ein tönend Erz oder eine klingende Schelle.

Und wenn ich weissagen könnte und wüßte alle Geheimnisse und alle Erkenntnis und hätte allen Glauben, also daß ich Berge versetzte, und hätte der Liebe nicht, so wäre ich nichts.

Und wenn ich alle meine Habe den Armen gäbe und ließe meinen Leib brennen, und hätte der Liebe nicht, so wäre mir's nichts nütze.

Wir sehen jetzt durch einen Spiegel in einem dunkeln Wort; dann aber von Angesicht zu Angesicht. Jetzt erkenne ich's stückweise; dann aber werde ich erkennen, gleichwie ich erkannt bin.

Nun aber bleibt Glaube, Hoffnung, Liebe, diese drei; aber die Liebe ist die größte unter ihnen.

1 Corinthians 13:1-3, 12-13. nach der Übersetzung Martin Luthers

Song #16 here. iTunes has it also, you just have to wade through all the "Lullabyes!" - Vier Ernste Gesange, OP. 121, IV.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Boards work on tuition cost issue - Examiner, 8/28/08:
The state determined the adequate level of spending for students in grades 9-12 as $11,289 per student. The Upper Freehold Regional School District charges Millstone $12,253 per student, which puts Millstone over the adequate spending level.

U.F., Millstone, Roosevelt, Allentown focus of study - Examiner, 8/28/08:
The panhandle is the western-most portion of Monmouth County that includes Allentown, Roosevelt, Millstone and Upper Freehold. The area consists of 20 percent of the county's land area and is bounded by Burlington, Middlesex, Mercer, and Ocean counties, ...

"The Panhandle Region is the fastest growing area of the county."
With all the kids home this last full week before school starts, I took them a number of places, including the beach on Wednesday and Dorbrook Sprayground yesterday.

I had pails for all of them, no small miracle. And Ella fell in naturally with the water-play at the sprayground. It's her third time there and, since it closes 9/15, we may get another trip there even after school begins.

All my kids had fun; Ella gets around on the playground very well and loves the roller slide. But she still needs to learn not to drink the water. Yuck.

tags technorati :
There's been an administrative change: rather than purchase workbooks on site, study materials are to be ordered on-line or over the phone. Consequently, a nominal shipping charge is incurred.

This change can be due to any number of reasons, from deterring fraud or theft, to not wanting to warehouse workbooks or staff the bookcart, to the publisher recognizing site-stocked materials may contain latent defects or be obsolete, to merely seeking to build a larger corporate mailing list.

The final thing is certainly occurring as an outcome of any other reason. Perhaps the reason will be discussed at our first session. But the materials arrived very quickly. Maybe I can work ahead.

tags technorati :
Before dismissing us last Sat., Fr. Mike informed us that some people were passing out pamphlets in our church parking lot before mass. He cautioned us that, contrary to their claims, he never grants permission for that type of thing especially because we don't believe those things.

At first, I thought it was neighbors trying to convince parishioners that the proposed parish center is a bad idea. But, then, even without a sample of the tract, I began to suspect "the new church in town."

When I mentioned to my husband what bad taste it shows to distribute religious tracts in a church parking lot, he mockingly took their perspective, "Oh, but if they can save only one soul from entering that church, it will all be worth it!"

So, on Thursday night, he took the boys to Kruise Nite in Freehold, a monthly classic car show. And the son that picks up tags and scraps of paper off the ground brought home a tract ... from ... "the new church in town." The tracts are "customized" which merely means that's a spot to rubber stamp a church address or web site. "Personalized" might be a better name for it.

I can see why Fr. Mike said we don't believe those things ... ~~ shiver ~~ ... thank God for that.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


Tempting Fate by taking all the kids to Chuck E. Cheese's this last full week before school starts. Seven or eight days ... just enough time for whatever germs they picked up to fester and develop into fevers and stomach things.

Knock on wood ...

They had a blast. The first $20 in tokens went far; I never thought we'd use 'em all.

The second $20 went much, much faster, as the younger two found their gaming groove. Tim played skeeball, a Shore favorite. I watched him sink into the 10,000 point hole twice and the 5,000 spot several times. He earned more than half of our 530 ticket-points. He'll hurl fast pitch when he grows up.

Kenny played video games, mostly Sega's After Burner but also Rush 2049. He earned 0 ticket-points but somehow talked me into spending 200 ticket-points for a four-color pen that I could buy in the grocery store for a buck twenty-five. The other ticket-earner got three rubber frogs worth 10 points each. And he lost one on the way to the car! Poor kid, what was his mother thinking?!

Promises to return, always promises to return, and next time, right all the wrongs ...

Monday, August 25, 2008

New Jersey has 594 superintendents, and their hangers-on, too many - Asbury Park Press, 8/24/08:
"It's completely and utterly ridiculous that people at the top of our education system are being paid, rewarded in fact, for a degree that for all intents and purposes comes from a fake university."

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

It's time to put my thoughts down ... mulling this news over for a week hasn't brought any insight. I have the same opinion as I did before the directive was given:

No "Yahweh" in songs, prayers at Catholic Masses, Vatican rules - Catholic News Service, 8/12/08.

Of course, the obvious joke: the expressed elation among some at the prospect of certain songs disappearing from Catholic hymnals. I'm not expecting that to happen. If they can change Amazing Grace and The Prayer of St. Francis to retain them, they can tamper with these lesser songs. The original composers seem to be still with us. Changing one word can't be too difficult. The impact this directive has on folksy liturgical music isn't my main concern.

My concerrn is the same as when Gibson's Passion came out. There was a vocal Christian minority that campaigned against the film as breaking the commandment against graven images. "Do you want your head filled with images of James Caviezel whenever you think about Christ?!" Well, one could do worse ...

But, seriously, the reply to such a challenge is that, as humans, something is likely in our minds already. It isn't a choice between nothing and something; we don't operate that way. It's a choice between one thing and another, so why not prefer something by Piero della Francesca to, say, anything from Kevin Smith?

Images may be one thing; names are another. But, even in this respect, I find no consistency. What makes it ok to utter the name of Jesus, which means "Jehovah saves," but not Jehovah? I asked this question over at Young Fogeys but I'm not expecting an answer.

Incidentally, I used to listen to Fr. Toborowsky on the radio, back in the days when WAWZ carried more programs than music. I always enjoyed his spot, airing on Sunday afternoons, and I was surprised to find more background:

Monday, August 18, 2008

It's just not a good day for driving out there ...

The light at 527 and 33 turned from yellow to red just as I approached and stopped. About 40 seconds or more to wait, so I took my hands from the wheel and looked down at them. I must have been feeling saucy because I had my right turn signal on. Aggressive drivers consider that move pure taunt.

As a small, red car drew up behind me, I expected to hear a blaring honk or two. Maybe my music was too loud but, surprising, I didn't hear a honk. Rather, where the honk should have been, I felt a jolt as her car bumped mine.

I looked up and into my rear view mirror and watched the little red car back up. I wasn't about to step out at a busy intersection, with three kids in the car ... one of them almost asleep. So, when the light turned green, I made my right turn and noticed the little car go straight through. Apparently she assessed the damage on my behalf and decided it wasn't worth her trouble.

Well, I need to scope out the sensors on my car's rear bumper, to see whether they still work. Pending that inspection, there's no obvious signs of damage.

This incident was sandwiched between two feebly-executed Jersey Lefts, both as I entered the intersection from a jughandle. The one driving the Escalade pulled so far into my lane that I had no choice but to let her through. At least she had the decency to appear mildly ashamed and to wave an acknowledgment as I gestured a "Well, get on with it" at her. The other one, driving the Land Rover, started to turn, then turned back and gestured, so I gestured back.

I just wasn't in the mood to graciously honor local custom, forgive me. They would have to steal the privilege, as I wasn't set to give it away. And, frankly, they could have stolen it, right in front of me, very easily, if they'd had any balls. I know I could have.

tags technorati :

Saturday, August 16, 2008

I'm doing too many memes ...

1. Where is your cell phone? Car.
2. Your significant other? SuperGenius.
3. Your hair? Dyed.
4. Your mother? Oakfield.
5. Your father? Dead.
6. Your favorite things? Books.
7. Your dream last night? Vague.
8. Your favorite drink? Perrier.
9. Your dream/goal? Piano.
10. The room you’re in? Dining.
11. Your church? Mission.
12. Your fear? Violence.
13. Where do you want to be in 6 years? PTS.
14. Where were you last night? Mass.
15. What you’re not? Pretty.
16. Muffins? Blueberry.
17. One of your wish list items? Grammar.
18. Where you grew up? Genesee.
19. The last thing you did? Email.
20. What are you wearing? V-neck.
21. Your TV? Sony.
22. Your pets? Pets?
23. Your computer? iMac.
24. Your life? Settling.
25. Your mood? Calm.
26. Missing someone? Mikki.
27. Your car? Red.
28. Something you’re not wearing? Wristwatch.
29. Favorite store? Macys.
30. Your summer? Disillusioned.
31. Like (love) someone? Family.
32. Your favorite color? Green.
33. Last time you laughed? Today.
34. Last time you cried? Thursday.
35. Who will re-post this? Nobody.


Friday, August 15, 2008

This evening's First Reading, Rev. 11:19a; 12:1-6a, 10ab:
God’s temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of his covenant could be seen in the temple.

A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. She was with child and wailed aloud in pain as she labored to give birth. Then another sign appeared in the sky; it was a huge red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns, and on its heads were seven diadems. Its tail swept away a third of the stars in the sky and hurled them down to the earth. Then the dragon stood before the woman about to give birth, to devour her child when she gave birth. She gave birth to a son, a male child, destined to rule all the nations with an iron rod. Her child was caught up to God and his throne. The woman herself fled into the desert where she had a place prepared by God.

Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: “Now have salvation and power come, and the Kingdom of our God and the authority of his Anointed One.”
cf. Is the Assumption of Mary in the Bible? - Taylor Marshall's blog Canterbury Tales
Can you come home early so I can go to church tonight?

On a Friday?! What's the holiday, the ides of August?

Yeah, the ides of August.


No, "Dormition." As in "Dormition Abbey?!"

Oh, right, Dormition Abbey. Yeah, I'll be there, no sweat. But, remember, there's no sleeping in church!

"The Book of the Film"

Jeff brought this home last week and I've been reading it to the older boys; Tim is more interested than Kenny. Kenny knows the movie somewhat ... and parts of it scare him. So, reading the book also scares him because it conjures up images from the film. Whatever.

I got to do an impersonation of John Cleese last night, as I read the Time Bandits's encounter with Robin Hood. It's hard not to read the text with the same inflection as the actors in the movie, except, well, where the words are different. That occurs in rare places. But mostly reading the book has helped me understand the spoken lines that my American ears haven't quite been able to catch ... over years of viewing.

John Cleese as Robin Hood: Time Bandits.

tags technorati :

Thursday, August 14, 2008

This was quick and fun ... mostly quick ... more quick than fun ... let me know if you try it:


1. Open your library (iTunes, Winamp, Media Player, iPod, etc.).
2. Put it on shuffle.
3. Press play.
4. For every question, type the song that's playing.
5. When you go to a new question, press the next button.
6. Don't lie & try to pretend you're cool.

Opening Credits:
 "Spreading Wings," Gabriel Yared, City of Angels

Waking Up: "Glory of the 80’s," Tori Amos, To Venus And Back (Disc 1) (Live)

First Day Of School:
 "Another Day," Wings, Wings Greatest

Falling In Love:
 "The Millionaire Next Door" (Unabridged), Cotter Smith

Fight Song:
 "Superstar," Sheryl Crow, Sheryl Crow

Breaking Up:
 "Alien Shore," Rush, Counterparts

"Red Barchetta," Rush, Exit … Stage Left2

Mental Breakdown: "New York City," Norah Jones et. al., New York City

"Too Little Too Late," Barenaked Ladies, All Their Greatest Hits 1991-2001

High school flashback: "Amazing Grace," Various Artists, Catholic Classics, Vol. 2

 "Anji," Simon & Garfunkel, Collected Works, Disc 1

Getting Back Together:
"Taxman," George Harrison, Live In Japan, Disc 1

Birth of Child: "Misery," The Beatles, Please, Please Me3

 "Can’t Stop," Red Hot Chili Peppers, By The Way

Final Battle:
 "Head To Toe," Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam, Greatest Hits of the 80’s, Vol. 3

Death Scene: 
"Hand Over Fist," Rush, Presto

Funeral Song:
 "Warning Sign," Talking Heads, Sand In the Vaseline, Disc 1

End Credits: "Beatles Greeting (Speech)," The Beatles, Live At The BBC, Disc 1: I’m Ringo and I play the drums. Eh, er, I’m Paul and I play the, uh, bass. I’m George and I play a guitar. Whistles. I’m John and I too play a guitar. Sometimes I play the fool.

via John ... I read his, uh, mom's blog ...

1 Songs familiar to me are in bold
2 In fact, it was his parents' blue Chevy Impala ... but we pretended it was a red Barchetta, whatever the hell that is.
3 Only in terms of L&D! ;-)
A more positive post from the Crunchy Con ...
I would like to invite all our readers -- Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant and non-Christian -- to join together tomorrow to pray, in whatever way you pray, for the peace of the world. Please pass this on to your prayer chains, post to your blogs, get the word out some kind of way.
You can find this discussion just about anywhere but I link to Rod's, not because I find him the most charitable on the matter - far from it - but because one of the comments caught my attention: a suggestion that lamp stands are being removed, a la Revelation 2.

That's an unbelievably chilling suggestion ...
With the DVD player in the car broken, what, goin' on several months now and Jeff not willing to kick up the quoted $2500 to get it replaced, ...
It'll just break again like it did before but without a warranty!1
... I've resorted to playing my homemade CDs.

And I take requests from the kids!

When the Three Talkers are in the car, heck, they'll build a list of six or more songs that I gotta play, in-the-order-announced, regardless of what CD they're on.
Wouldn't it make more sense to play the songs sequentially?
Tim prefers the folk music, as I do, The Kingston Trio2: "Where have all the flowers gone? Long time passing ..."

Kenny and Chris like The Coasters's Poison Ivy. What am I teaching them about women?!

Enjoying the song is almost less important than knowing the titles and queuing them up. So long as they can remember the title.

Recently, however, Chris couldn't remember and just whispered me an unsure lyric:
Can you play the song that says, "Free the muscle?"

Freeda Peeple?3
I had to admit to him that I hadn't any idea what song he wanted.

A day or two later, coming back from the beach, I wasn't taking requests from the kids but was just playing my own favorites. And Uncle Kracker's version of Drift Away came on. Chris informed me that this was the song that he had asked for on the previous occasion.
You found it, Mommy! This is the song I wanted.
And the misunderstood lyric is, "Free my soul."

Now, Kenny is the theological dynamo of the threesome, so it's not fair to compare the younger ones with him. Still, I'm appalled at their complete lack of natural inclination for spiritual things: Chris getting that lyric so wrong, and Tim asking innocently during Down in the River to Pray:
Mommy, what's a sinner?
Kenny answered before I could.

1 The warranty is a funny thing: the factory-installed player had a four-year warranty, same as the car, but the replacement player the repair shop put in two summers ago has only a 12-month warranty. That's why they'd rather replace than repair; the original warranty wouldn't be up 'til this October.

2 Should I put Tom Dooley on a CD, he'd be in heaven.

3 Not a song I know beyond the kooky title but I can guess what it's about. 'Though Wiki says it was in Children of Men, maybe I remember it from there.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Some humbling, hometown news ...

"Groom charged with being too near bride at wedding" - Associated Press, 8/11/08:
BATAVIA, N.Y. (AP) — A New York state man has been arrested for getting too close to his bride on their wedding day.

Police say Timothy Cole quarreled with a wedding guest at a party Friday after wedding his ex-wife in Batavia (buh-TAY'-vee-uh).

Officers knew the 45-year-old Cole from previous arrests and realized his bride had an order of protection against him. Cole was charged with first-degree criminal contempt, a felony, and ordered jailed without bail.

The Daily News in Batavia says Cole was convicted of criminal contempt on July 1.

The Genesee County public defender's office says Cole hasn't been assigned an attorney.
Didn't they appear together when they applied for their marriage license? Should there be a check of court orders before issuing it?

Perhaps these folks are trying to live out 1 Cor. 7:11 -
(but if she does, she should remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband), and the husband should not divorce his wife.

Friday, August 08, 2008

When you haven't any accomplishments of your own ... it's nice to celebrate someone else's ...

She just finished up at WTS and leads one of the studies I'm in.

And oh, how I swore long ago that I'd never buy another book from Zondervan!

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Atticus had promised me he would wear me out if he ever heard of me fightin' anymore.

I was far too old and too big for such childish things.

And the sooner I learned to hold in, the better off everybody would be. I soon forgot.

"Scout" - To Kill A Mockingbird
Tim's day camp sent him packing today, two weeks early, for far less noble reasons than Scout's.

Tim wasn't fightin' to protect a race's dignity ... or his father's honor. I think he fought from envy.

I had hoped he'd last until his birthday next week. Kids with summer birthdays need an official celebration, don't they? Like, on or near the day. I get touchy around birthdays. Last year, twenty classmates were invited to his party and one showed up. Two years ago, Tim got beat up on his birthday. These stories are sad enough to make you laugh, right?

He told me yesterday that he would sing the theme to The Monkees in this year's camp talent show next week. The theme music is among the many songs that I play when we drive in the car. He was very excited about it. I almost asked the division leader when he told me the news whether Timmy could participate in the talent show.

I feel as if I'm taking this too well. That I ought to push back a little, advocate for him as no one else seems to. I must be the only mother in Millstone who'd accept this sort of treatment of her kid from a day camp.

Two things set him off, I'm sure. First, the decision was made that kids couldn't bring Pokemon trading cards to camp. Kids were making bad trades and complaining. Camp is where my kids got into trading Pokemon cards and Tim enjoyed trading and playing the game. Second, the eight weeks of summer camp are informally split in two. Tim's small group added new campers during the second half and I think he had a problem adjusting to it, a larger group and new faces.

But, anyway, he's done. And over the next few days, it will sink in. Reflexive comments like, "My sandals are in my bin at camp. Oh, wait, they're right here." will condense and eventually disappear. And he may stop asking where's his older brother during the camp day.
Congratulations ...

For unto us a child is born ...

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

This Friday we'll finish up a study of the Book of Genesis begun in September.

Learning the events, especially those in the life of Jacob, has illuminated allusions made later in Scripture. In a study on Hosea, for instance, it was helpful to be familiar with the proceedings at Mizpah and with Jacob's time in Paddan-aram (Hosea 5:1, 12:12).

We are cramming five chapters into the final meeting because back-to-school is looming, especially for those with children off to college.

So, I read chapter 46 last night in preparation and got hung up on its relation to Acts 7:14. If you don't know ... and you probably already do, but it's new to me ... Stephen mentions 75 people heading to Joseph's care in Egypt under Jacob but Genesis 46:20 tallies the descendants as 70. One of those perfect, symbolic biblical numbers, 10 by 7.

Turns out that Stephen got his Jewish history from the LXX which appends the following to Genesis 46:20 -
"And there were sons born to Manasses, which the Syrian concubine bore to him, even Machir. And Machir begot Galaad. And the sons of Ephraim, the brother of Manasses; Sutalaam, and Taam. And the sons of Sutalaam; Edom." (Breton)
Five more descendants. Was Joseph a great grandfather, and Jacob a great-great grandfather?!1

How do my many study Bibles account for St. Stephen's misinformation? Let's start with the most conservative, my (new) Scofield, which says on Acts 7:14 -
"There is no real contradiction. 'The members of Jacob's family' numbered seventy, but the 'whole family' would include the wives of Jacob's sons."
This note appears next to a box of enclosed text on 7:16 labeled "A Seeming Contradiction Explained," i.e., where Stephen says Jacob was buried.

Zondervan's Spirit of the Reformation Bible is next and says on Acts 7:14 -
"The Hebrew text of Exodus 1:5 states 'seventy.' But the Septuagint, [...] which Acts 7 basically follows, and the fragments of Exodus found among the Dead Sea Scrolls, read 'seventy-five.' The explanation of the number 'seventy-five' is to be found in the five additional descendants of Joseph included in the Greek translation of Gen. 46:20, which lists two sons of Manasseh, two sons of Ephraim and one grandson of Ephraim."
No gross box in which contradictions are soothingly explained.

Ordinarily, I would classify Sproul's Reformation Study Bible (Ligonier) as more conservative than Zondervan's but he actually leaves the matter quite unresolved and messy. That is, the note on Acts 7:14 is identical to Zondervan's but the note on Gen. 46:27 says this:
"Such variations occasionally occur in the Greek Old Testament, and we don't always have the information necessary to explain them."
A note on a previous verse, Gen. 46:10, reads "Perhaps an inadvertent scribal addition, this name is omitted in Num. 26:12 and 1 Chr. 4:24." Scribal additions? Two verses against the one? But Genesis is "older"?

Since I am saving the best for last, let's move now to a tried-and-true Catholic work, Navarre. This is the Pentateuch volume which I love and cherish. After explaining the problem and its origin, the conclusion is "In this as in other passages of the Bible we can clearly see that the Word of God is being expressed in human language and with the forms and devices that people normally use, sometimes overlooking numerical exactness." Oh, how poor Professor Enns might agree with thee!

And so, what does the jolly, ol' NAB say? Not much on Gen. 46, but on Acts 7, there's a blanket acknowledgment that Stephen's speech contains "a number of minor discrepancies" with the Old Testament data.

As for the LXX, this is from Karen Jobes and Moises Silva's highly accessible book, Invitation to the Septuagint:
Traditionally, the Orthodox churches have treated the Greek version as divinely inspired, although this issue is a matter of some debate among Orthodox scholars today. Those who hold to the inspiration of the Greek translation understand it to have superseded the Hebrew. An attendant theological corollary is that God has continued his revelation beyond the original authors of the Old Testament books.
Then they quote Bishop Ware:
When this [LXX - tks] differs from the original Hebrew (which happens quite often), Orthodox [Christians - sic] believe that the changes in the Septuagint were made under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and are to be accepted as part of God's continuing revelation.2
None of this bothers me, of course. What really concerns me - and I wish someone would explain - is why the popular NIV doesn't follow the MT on the names in Gen. 46:13, 16 but instead follows, as their note says, the Samaritan Pentateuch and Syriac. Surely its editors don't think, like the Orthodox, that an ancient version has superseded the Hebrew?! Just another reason not to prefer the NIV.

1 I know someone will come at me with a numerical argument, demonstrating the plausibility of Joseph being a great grandfather at a ripe, young age. I also expected to come across an argument defending 66 books in the Old Testament based on the number in Genesis 46:26. Twelve tribes, twelve apostles, OK. 66 descendants, 66 books, eh, NO.

2 Does any Catholic believe that where the Vulgate differs from the Hebrew or Greek, the Vulgate is inspired? While the view given by Ware, Jobes and Silva might not be universal among the Orthodox, I think a potential convert would have to seriously consider this understanding before "crossing the Bosphorus," as they say.
I think you can get the gist of Fr. Martin's "caption" just from reading 2 Cor. 1:241.

But work through a translation if you will ... and let me know if I'm wrong!

1cf. a German version.
Tim's reading class through Rutgers Continuing Education ended two weeks ago but he had a make-up class yesterday.

Since the two nearest locations for make-up were roughly the same distance from our house, I chose the one I was more familiar with: Monmouth University. Kenny and I had seen a concert there last fall.

We arrived thirty minutes early, enough time to walk to Wilson Hall which was open! A wedding party was shooting pictures in the back garden. We didn't disturb them, but then, nothing could disturb them. They were definitely self-involved.

Tim insisted on climbing the grand staircase to the second floor. When he asked to go to the third floor, I reminded him that his class would start soon. I asked whether he'd like to live in a house this big and he said yes. But I think more for the adventure of discovering than for the luxury. 'Though there was plenty of luxury. I can't imagine how the rooms were filled ... back in the days before big-screen TVs. There's only so many upholstered chairs and couches that a room can hold.

At the top of the stairs, at the end of a hallway there was an organ. Tim traipsed across the wood foot-pedals once as I yelled at him. The wood carvings on the organ of harps and lutes were so "of-the-period."

We left the building and, even if we had the time, I knew the Guggenheim "cottage" across the street that houses the university library would be closed.

On our way to Wilson Hall, I had noted two handwritten signs marking the way to the reading class, one posted on the Student Center placard and the other on the door to the very room itself! So, on our way back, we entered that room and waited for 20 minutes but no one showed. We started to leave but Tim had to visit the WC, so we entered the Student Center. A woman dashed out, carrying an envelop marked "Rutgers Reading Program" and I asked her whether she was the teacher. She said yes and that she was late. I said that we would be in the room shortly as soon as Timmy was ready. She said, "OK, you know we're in this building over here" and I said yes, that we had been waiting there already.

When we came out of the Student Center and returned to the assigned room, it was dark and no one was around. In fact, the campus was deserted, as you might expect for a Sunday afternoon in early August. The other door to Edison Hall is card-access only. But I went around the other end of the building and found doors propped open. We entered and found a class, Tim's class, in full session. I was more than a little exasperated. I asked why they weren't meeting in the assigned room and she countered, "Where you here last week?" No, this is a make-up class for us. "Well, we agreed last week to meet here." I told her about the signs and she denied putting them up.

After that rocky beginning, the class was fine and worthwhile. It's really more for me to observe how Tim behaves in class and, I'll say, that when he has something to do, he does it. Trouble is, he finishes quickly and then gets bored and starts fidgeting. So the teacher, whoever she is, must keep him busy all the time with something or other. But he was also one of the few who raised his hand and waited patiently to be called upon. I think, given his apparent energy level, the teacher was surprised that he wasn't jumping out of his seat with a Horshack Ooh, ooh, ooh!

I understand why they moved the room, to be near drinking fountain and restrooms. And I can understand how she missed passing the signs on her way from the parking lot.

After class, I took Tim to the computer center but he wasn't too impressed. There is a lab there that says, "Closed until further notice." Maybe all the systems are loaded up with a buggy Microsoft OS. Tsk, tsk. I would have taken him back to the Student Center, to view the computer clusters there but it was time to go.

Monday, August 04, 2008

He waited in line for two hours at the Apple store in the Freehold Mall late last week.

At some point, a young female clerk came out to announce that the 8 gig was sold out.

One ill-informed man began complaining to those nearby, "I wanted the bigger one. I don't want the small one."

His companions assured him that the 8 gig is the small one, that only big ones are available. He thought the sizes were 3G and 8G but, well, you know.

I've seen it once and held it once but he keeps it to himself. I'm sure he doesn't mind when I call him and he's in a meeting.

His old phone was a piece of junk.
"I'm a loser and I've lost someone who's near to me.
I'm a loser and I'm not what I appear to be"
- John Lennon & the Beatles
I was as prepared as such short notice made possible: blanket, baby books, jacket, phone and a couple of credit cards. Or so I thought.

I made moderate use of all those items, except for the credit cards.

CentraState's ER has streamlined their procedures, perhaps because we are "in their system," i.e., they know where we live, so I don't have to pay on-the-spot for a visit. I guess they figure being their patient is enough of an ordeal without having to settle the bill before leaving. I don't mean that in a bad way. Well, you know ...

So, Ella and I were out in under an hour
and the boys got to see her again before they went to sleep. I went a day without thinking about my credit cards. But, as grocery-shopping day approached, I started to ask myself, "Now what did you do with those credit cards?"

I found one but not the other. Thinking that I left it in the ER, I called hospital security but nothing had been turned in.

"It probably hasn't been discovered yet," I figured, as the crew seemed to be having a slow night when we were there. As a precaution, I called to report the card lost.

When I was able to think clearly about it the next morning, I thought of one more place to check and, well, found the card. But it was already too late: the card issuer was sending out a new number, etc. So, what recurring charges are assigned to this now-defunct account? The long distance and my cell phone, garbage pickup and the newspaper. Not as hefty as when our bank accounts changed a few summers ago.

Still, it took about a week for the new card to arrive. When it did, I logged into the long distance service and submitted the update. AT&T has had online billing for more than ten years; they're old pros, right? Well, you know what's worse than an unsuccessful update? An update with an uncertain result. The server request timed out but when I refreshed my data, there was a message that an update was in progress and no further changes could be made for 72 hrs. or whatever. So, I called them and made the change over the phone.

Since the LD bill was just paid before I reported my card lost, I can afford to wait a few days and check back before the end of the billing cycle. Same with my cell phone.

The garbage and the newspaper were different situations, since they were coming due. The newspaper recently went from monthly to bi-monthly billing and I think it was due 8/3. But I called them this morning with the new number because their account online was down all weekend (and still seems to be down). Garbage, I haven't any idea about the billing due date but I also called them this morning as they don't offer online billing.

Oh, well, I guess it's good that I didn't really lose my card. And it isn't one of those numbers that I have memorized, so no loss there either. I just have to learn the last four digits so that I can recognize it.
The cabinets arrived late Friday afternoon and we got them upright and unpacked.

It was a real challenge because the tall ones measure 90" high and the ceiling is 8' or just under. Resting on its 2' side, we needed more clearance than we had. Jeff got the bright idea to rotate the box onto its 3' side, and it worked. The ceiling just needs some touch-up.

Jeff worked hard Saturday getting the tall cabinets in. Reaching above and behind wasn't always easy.

I was out most of yesterday, so Jeff did what he could without my help. He started on my desk area which is next to the window.

What's left to do? That base cabinet needs to go in. And there's another wall cabinet to go along the top. The tall cabinets have four pull-out drawers each, but two arrived damaged and must be returned/replaced. Obviously, the doors and drawers need to go back on and knobs put on.

There's a showroom in Hightstown with countertops but when I tried to get information about hard surfaces from the shopkeeper, well, the conversation went a little like this:
I'm interested in a countertop for my pantry area.

I don't do kitchens.

This isn't a kitchen, it's more like a laundry room.

I don't do any industrial surfaces.

This isn't industrial; it's residential. It's a desk in a laundry room.

I only do bathrooms. I can only do 22" in depth or less.

This is 21".

I only do 3/4" thickness. My 1 1/2" granite comes with an integrated bowl.

And, of course, his accent is so thick that I can't understand "integrated bowl".

So, you can't help me ... or you don't want to help me?
And I left his store.

On the other half of this room is my washer/drawer ... and this whole space was our garage until last summer!

I added a construction set at Flickr because I can have more sets now! Thanks to someone!