Saturday, November 22, 2003

Van update

Spent 4 hours working on the van today. Pictures in the usual place.

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

My Dish Philosophy

As mentioned in a previous post, I do the dishes every other night in rotation with Peter. It's somewhat of a rivalry to make sure the other person has more dishes on their dish night then the other person.

I cook, so I make sure to use every dish in the place. He doesn't really cook, so he goes with grossness...eating things that crustify on the dishes, not running the dishes through prewash (Zeke the dog), and I swear he looses leftovers in the back of the fridge on purpose ... to dredge up the containers on my dish night.

I was nice and only made one dessert tonight - poppyseed cake with cream cheese frosting. I make it about once a year around my birthday. (I turn 20 in 9 days!)
The religious piece below reminded me of a joke:

What's the bad thing about being an atheist?

No one to talk to during sex.


Religion gives me hives.

To me, religion is nothing but the bureaucracy of spirituality. It's rules and regulations dreamed up to keep people in line, not to bring them closer to God.

Take Mormonism. They're not allowed to drink tea or coffee, because they're caffeinated. (Some mormons wiggle around this rule and drink soda, because soda is not specifically mentioned in the Book Of Mormon)

I fail to see how partaking of caffeine will keep me from becoming spiritually enlightened - or how abstaining from it will make me closer to God.

I think Religion is inherently good ...It was created as a vehicle to understanding spirituality. Kind of like a user manual and customer support for a computer, religion has a users manual (Your religious book of choice - Torah, Book Of Mormon, plain old Bible, etc) and the customer support - the priests/priestesses/annointed ones etc that you call upon to help you figure out the user manual.

What I object to are all of the insane rules created by religions (not God). I'm currently reading a book the Jehovah's witnesses gave me, entitled "Questions Young People Ask" It's a Q and A format book, with questions ranging from "Why does God let bad things happen?" to "Is Masturbation Harmful?"

Masturbation isn't mentioned in the Christian Bible. (A fact this book clearly states in the body of one paragraph.) Yes, there is that reference to Onan spilling his seed - which was him having sex with his dead brothers wife, but pulling out at the last minute so that he failed to get her pregnant.

Somehow, the religious leaders got from that or some other obscure passage in the bible that masturbation is wrong and should never be practiced. The Jehovah's Witness book I have says this about masturbation:

"Since masturbation is not directly condemned in the Bible, does that mean it is harmless? Absolutely Not! Though it is not classed with such gross sins such as fornication, masturbation is surely an unclean habit"

How do they know? Aren't they supposed to be teaching God's word, and not mankind opinion?

I think religions should go back to teaching spirituality and helping people become kinder, more loving souls....Not by putting their noses in issues that aren't even covered by their religious book of choice.

Van update and cooking

Did work on the van. New text and pictures here: Interior Design

Also new pics and text on the page one back from interior design - use the navigation menu to get there.


Mom entrusted me with a 13 pound turkey today. When I insisted I don't know how to do whole birds, she told me to look it up in a book, and left for the day.

I do the dishes every other night in rotation with Peter. Tonight is his dish night. I went hog wild in the kitchen. :-) So far I've made a pecan pie and pumpkin pie with homemade lard crusts, bread stuffing with sauteed veggies, and brewed ice tea. I've been basting the turkey every half an hour. Soon I'll make mashed potatoes, gravy, deviled eggs, and the recipe on the back of the cranberry bag - you whir up the cranberries with a whole orange and a bunch of sugar. Mmmmmmmm. I'm still undecided on bread products - what form would make the most dishes? Rolls, loaves, or maybe I'll try my hand at cresents...

Hopefully mom will feel perkier when she gets back. She's been at the hospital since 9am, getting two blood transfusions. Her iron level is 8.8 - anything 8 and under is considered to be immanently life threatening.

She's had about 20+ blood transfusions in her life. Every time she gets another, they have to type her blood and find blood that won't have antibodies that will react to all of the ones floating around in hers from the other transfusions.

Friday, November 14, 2003

Music I love

Paul Simon - The Obvious Child
The drums get me every time. I can never resist turning up the volume. Pretty much anything by Simon is a winner.

Oh Fortuna (Carmina Burana) - Carl Orff
I can only take classical music in moderation, but this is one piece I could listen to all day.

Whip It - Devo
I saw a bumper sticker recently that said "Devo was right" Hmm....

Short Skirt, Long Jacket - Cake
Cake is a favorite of mine to put on when I need some enertia.

Liberi Fatali
I first heard this one because of "Final Fantasy" (A PS2 game) It's another classical music piece with goose-bumpy voices.

Britney Spears
The Blues Brothers
They Might Be Giants
Dar Williams (I sign along to Iowa and Christians and Pagans when nobody's listening)
Kasey Chambers
The String Cheese Incident
Louis Armstrong
Johnny Cash
Harry Connick Jr.
Billy Joel
The Beastie Boys

Country is the only type of music that will come in when driving in Texas. After years of being force fed country via mom's radio choices, I've learned to like Toby Keith and Tim McGraw.

(shhhh....if she finds this one out, she may turn the radio up next time she's listening to country! That happened once - she turned the car radio to the highest volume it would go, and it got stuck...we had to hang our heads out the window until the volume would go down again.)

My revenge is to genuinely like music from the 80's. She grimaces at the thought.

Thursday, November 13, 2003

Bad Blogger

I'm not a very good blogger. I get too wrapped up in actually living my life to sit down and write about it. That, and it's been boring lately. :-)

I recently checked out a 7" high stack of magazines from the library. I never knew that Kellogg-Hubbard had a subscription to Fine Woodworking! I'm in awe at the full page spreads on furniture making, stain color mixing, the different specialized machines and intricate chisels used to make these works of art. I'm thinking I'd like to make furniture at some point.

I'm very proud of the fact that I recently learned how to use a carpenter's square. Also called a steel square, it's an L shaped piece of steel or aluminum with tables inscribed into it. The tables are various measurements to help lay out hip, valley, common and jack rafters as well as braces. Once you learn how to work a square, it's pretty easy. Breaking through the initial technical jargon will give you a headache though. Example:

Fig. 8. Problem 7.

Let 37 degrees be the required angle. Place the body of the square on line FG, and, from Table 1, lay off LS (12.04) on the tongue and LM (15.98) on the body. Draw line MS, then angle LMS = 37 degrees. Line MS will be found equal to 20 inches to any angle, because the values given in table 1 for LS and MS are natural sines and cosines multiplied by 20.

I lay in bed with the book and my square past 2am, while trying to make sense of it all. That morning I went to work and banged out perfectly cut and angled valley jack rafters my first try, in no time flat. Success!

I still have no idea what sine and cosine are.

I also started putting up siding in my van. Pictures are on my mom's blog. The weather hasn't been cooperating for painting. Everytime it's nice out, I'm at work. When I'm home, it's either snowing or below 40. Tonight we're supposed to have blizzard like conditions, up to 8 inches of snow and gusting winds. I'm staying inside, baking bread, and figuring out what to do with my life.

This week I've been disgruntled with my carpentry skill level. I feel like I've reached a standstill. I want to work for a big construction company and expand my repertoire. I want to work on BIG projects. I want to learn more about framing. I want to build the perfect set of stairs. I also want to get more into detailed stuff...detailed mortise and tenon joinery, handcut dovetails, and elaborate detailing.

I've been crawling around on the internet looking for anything to do with carpentry in this area. I've called the local carpentry union and the Department of Employment and Training about their apprenticeship programs. Step-Up and WomenBuild aren't hiring at the moment, but I'm filling out applications anyway. Job Corps, Youth Build, and other such programs sound really interesting, but aren't geared towards my level.

What I really need to get ahead in life is to have my van fixed up and finally get my driver's license. I've been putting off both because I know all four brakes need new shoes, the oil and coolant should be flushed, and they may have issues with my muffler. After getting that fixed and inspected, I need to get a license. Once I get a license, I have to cough up big bucks for insurance, to the tune of $800 every 6 months.

Can I go back to being a kid again? I want somebody to take care of me while I tromp around the woods, build treehouses, and do nothing but read books and magazines for hours straight.

I guess I'll have to either work for a living or marry rich to attain that standard of living. :-) I'm too young and crabby to get married yet, so it looks as though I'll go back to looking for the perfect job.

Sunday, November 02, 2003

Van Update

Oh yes, and I worked on my van today. It's so exciting ... it's starting to look like a home! After I get it all gussied up I need to bite the bullet and take it to a mechanic. It needs some brake work before it's inspectable.

I'm not confindent in my (non-existant) mechnical skill yet to take on brake work by myself! I'd love to be in the garage while they work on it and learn a thing or two, though.

Van Update

Blog World

I finally got around to reading all of my Mom's blog. Hmmm, I just learned that she plans to follow me when I hike the ECT a year from now. Funny that she neglected to tell me this in person. Hey, we can let each other know of our life plans through our respective blogs!

Things I plan to do soon:

1) Hike the ECT starting in about a year
2) Become an apprentice carpenter to somebody and go through Step Up
3) Install a stove/oven in my van
4) "Borrow" her scrapbooking supplies and make a book about my life
5) Give Zeke the dog a haircut and paint some new spots on him. (Just seeing if she's paying attention...:-) )

Saturday, November 01, 2003

New Van Work

Yay! The weather was finally nice on a weekend! I painted the top of my van, built the start of a bed frame, and generally enjoyed the day. I'm currently hunting around for some good lettering styles to copy and use for painting my van's new name on it tomorrow...if the weather holds.

Pictures of the van work can be seen HERE