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Fri, 14 Dec 2001

Wow, has it really been that long?  Two and a half weeks without an entry but then again life has been busy, too busy.

As I mentioned in my last entry, I'll post some screen shots this afternoon of the most incredible game I've ever seen (if I can find time to even start it up, seems like the only time I have to play is during lunch and after 11 PM).  I wish I had more time to devote to BCM, the thing is so addictive but other than last night I've only had time to listen to its sound track as I work on other projects.

Speaking of other projects and last night, it appears that I'm in the dog house as a result of those projects and my playing last night from 10:00 until 12:00.  There are two things which make me quite angry about the whole thing.  First is how I discovered I was in the dog house, a co-worker asked if I had read Shan's blog yesterday or today.  No, I've been rebuilding machines at work (my own as a matter of fact) and too busy at home to even realize she had posted.  Not a pretty read, let me tell you.

The other is the cause of the post.  We've been trying to get our finances under better control (way out of whack due to two summer fiascoes) so we can expand from three to four children.  The big hold up is the five seater car, the poor kids can't even wiggle as it is, well that and Shanna's back of course.  As a result, I've taken on some side work to help supplement our income to the point where we'll be able to pay the car down to or below it's blue book so we can get something larger.  Before I did this, I went over what this would require:  Time and lots of it.  My commitment to Tuesday night youth activities would have to end and I'd have to work pretty much from the time I get home until I crawl into bed.  That's going to be a sticking point with the kids because they'll have a hard time understanding why I'm home but unavailable.  I knew Shanna would be fine with that because she understands that sometimes we must give up what we want for a short time (year?) to gain what we're after.

Sunday I discussed my plan with Shanna and she seemed behind me 100%.  At church, I informed my bishop that I would be unavailable during the week and why.  He agreed that family must come first and that it sounded like I had a good plan to meet at least part of our goals.  A huge weight felt like it had been lifted from my shoulders, I know the feeling and it signals having made a great decision and it also always signals troubled waters ahead.  I figured that the trouble would be the kids but I had worked on how to deal with that for two weeks already and was prepared.

Monday night came and with it family home evening.  I gathered everyone around and told them that we want to have another child and that to make that possible I was going to have to become a bit of a workaholic for a while.  That meant that I would work from the time dinner ended until I went to bed with a break to put the kids to bed each night.  I would not do any work (meaning web design) on Saturday, Sunday or Monday so I could be fully involved with the family on those days.  That is what I've done since Tuesday night.  Unfortunately, as I look back I realize that that is not what Shanna heard me say.  She heard me say that I would not do any work those days period.

One of the household tasks that I'm trying to take on is laundry.  I'm also trying to be more helpful around the house.  Obviously, being locked away in my office doesn't lend to doing either except on Saturday, Sunday and Monday.  As Sunday is a no work/chore day anyway and Monday is family home evening, I only have Saturday to do any household chores.  Of course, that makes me an evil cur because I promised to do no work those three days.  It makes me an oath breaker because I'm not a changed man overnight.  Worst of all, it makes that irrational part of me wake up and smirk as it says, “Tell me again why marriage is a good thing.”  It's a discussion I always win but one I never enjoy.

This entry authored by Tyran at 11:38

Thu, 20 Dec 2001

First things first.  Life seems to be back on a even keel, Shanna and I have conversations like the one Friday three or four times a year but usually they occur in our home and don't float through the ether for all to see.  Not sure which one I like better!  :o-)  As usual, we worked things out, it's all about communication in the end.  If Shanna and I weren't willing to talk to each other about anything, I'm quite sure that we wouldn't have lasted more than a year together.

This entry authored by Tyran at 08:00

The Lord of the Rings!

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.  Go and see this movie, now.

Note that names listed below are the archaic names of the characters where possible to avoid spoiling the movie for those who have never read the books.

I first read The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings when I was nine.  Twenty-one years ago I shivered with fright as the Nazgűl tracked Frodo through the Shire, rejoiced at finding Bilbo in Rivendell and sobbed at the fall of Olórin in Khazad-Dűm.  The only other time I have felt these emotions (and others) as strongly from this tale was yesterday as I sat in the theater.  At times a deathly pall came over the audience as we held our breath so we wouldn't give away the location of the hobbits to the Nazgűl.  A heartfelt cheer went up as Aragorn slew the Uruk-hai archer.  My throat ached as Olórin fell to his death.

Originally I was very skeptical of the movie.  Now I would easily hail it as the best movie that I have ever seen!  My biggest gripe is that I now have to wait until 2002 to see The Two Towers and 2003 to see The Return of the King.  It was simply marvelous.

This entry authored by Tyran at 12:00

Mon, 24 Dec 2001


Alright, I've held off on this one long enough.  The local Wal-Mart's have a new concept in paying for your merchandise that is fairly dangerous in my opinion, I'm not sure if we're just a test area or if this is something that is nationwide but either way it's a tragedy waiting to happen.

The last time I tried to buy something at Wal-Mart, the cashier ran my check and handed me a slip of paper to sign.  That paper authorizes Wal-Mart to convert my paper check into an EFT (Electronic Fund Transfer).

When I asked if I had to sign the paper, the cashier happily informed me that it was just like signing my check.

If that's so, why do I have to sign the paper when you already have my signed check?

Because the paper turns your check into a debit card, isn't that great?

No, if I wanted to pay by debit card, I would have one.  Will they or will they not accept my check?

No, you have to sign the paper.

Then I prefer not to do my business with Wal-Mart, give me my money back.  Her eyes just about popped right out.

Now, why is this a problem?  When you sign that paper, the cashier hands the voided check back to the customer.  What if that customer has stolen my checks and forged my signature?  What proof would I have that I did not make that purchase?  The thief still has the check, Wal-Mart has the signed slip; I can't prove that the check number is one of those I reported to my credit union, I can't prove that the signature is not mine and so I am screwed.  There is great safety in having a neutral third party holding all my canceled checks (my credit union) as I can have them independently verify my signature to prove whether I purchased that new computer/grill/what-ever-it-is or whether someone purchased it with a stolen check.  With Wal-Mart's new and improved check processing practice, I lose all that safety.

This entry authored by Tyran at 10:28

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