Friday, September 30, 2005

God's View of Me, Part 1

Hi Avenuers!

I'm hoping that this turns out to be a cool post. It at least seems like a good idea now. I checked out Google Earth and had a lot of fun playing with the satellite views of the world. So, I thought I would take you on a tour of my life as God might see it. ;-)

I was born in a small city in upstate New York called Elmira, not to be confused with the Halloween sex object Elvira.  I'd show you exactly where I was born, but while I can drive by it, I can't find it on Google Earth. But it was at the big hospital in Elmira, in 1970. ;-)

I can vaguely remember living in one house before this (no idea where it is), and more clearly recall living with my grandparents for a time, but below is the house I would say I "grew up" in. My Dad and Grandfather and a bunch of their buddies/co-workers built this house. Two things I remember about it being built, 1. I climbed into my grandfathers truck and found a box of construction grade staples. I grabbed a handful and had about 20 punctures in my palm before I realized what was going on, and bled all over the floor of the truck. 2. After that, they gave me a small hammer, a few nails, confined me to a closet and said to pound the nails into the wall all I wanted, but don't leave the closet (there was no door at the time, just a big piece of plywood). But this is 1116 Park Terrace, Horseheads, NY. You can tell it's out in the boonies because it's right on the edge of Google Earth's Nobody-lives-there-anyway-why-bother-photographing-it edge at the bottom of the image.
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Below this, are my grandparents' house. Outside of Charlie Bucket, I haven't met anyone else who had their sets of grandparents live so close. My mom was literally the girl next door. On the far left nearer to the top is a church, in the bottom right corner is a neighbor's house. The two houses in between were where my grandparents lived. My mom's parents lived in the one with the darker roof, my father's the house with the lighter roof. The memories here are too great to number, but it was a lot of room to run around in. And with 11 cousins and a sister, we needed it! It seems odd to me that my mom's father's garden isn't there anymore. The shed is still out there, but the greenhouse, cherry tree, grapevines and sunflowers are all gone now. My aunt lives in that house at the moment. The new owners of my father's parents place added a garage to the front, and took what used to be the garage and made that living space. I haven't been in it since the new owners bought it, apparently, they've done extensive remodeling. I'd love to see what it's like now.

Unfortunately, this is where all of my grandparents are now. Looking at this really made me realize how much I miss them.
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I'm not sure what circumstances led to this, but for a brief time, we lived in the second house from the right. I believe we just rented it. Neither of the neighbors had a pool then, but I played in the field at the bottom center a lot. There was a big scary dog in the field (someone's yard) at the bottom right.
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Here is where I spent several formative years. This is Sing Sing Elementary and Junior High Schools. Despite it's ominous-sounding name, it wasn't a bad place to go to elementary school. I went here from Kindergarten through 4th grade. I remember it snowing heaviily in April here. I don't remember ever having off of school because of snow. I mean, I remember playing in waist-deep in snow at recess (granted, I was much smaller then, but that's still a significant amount). That would never happen in Baltimore, where I live now. Schools close at the mere threat of snow. I'm not sure what the green-roof part of the building is, that's an addition since I went there.

So those are the most significant geographical points in my New York life, below are a just for fun. Below is the community pool that I used to absolutely love to go swimming in. It's hard to tell in this image whether it was drained or just shone brightly when the image was taken. I'm thinking it was drained for the season, as no one seems to be there.
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Again, with an image on the edge of the boonies, below is the Arnot Mall. If you look at the post from a few weeks ago about the mall, you can see the inside back in the 60s. That part is right next to the area where the image starts to blur, running parallel to it. The other 4/5ths or so of the mall was built in the early 80s. It was a favorite hangout when I was in town. It has a big glider (engineless plane) in the center atrium, because that area is the "Soaring Capitol of the World".

I was disappointed to see what happened to Eldridge Park. It doesn't appear to really be there anymore. There was a roller coaster and a ride where you sat in a car that had this big wood or metal flap/sail thing. It spun around and you moved the flap to catch air, and it made you sail out further over the lake. It was cool. There was also a haunted house that I never went in, etc. Basically, the closest thing we had to a theme park. I was hoping on the next visit to maybe take some photos of the broke-down old place, but that seems impossible, now. *sniff*.

So, that's a brief history of my first ten years of life. Stay tuned for the following 4 years, known as the Houston era...


Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Douche the right thing

It's only too funny. I have a Miniature Schnauzer, he's a great little dog with the heart of a wolf, at least in his mind. We call him our "alarm dog" because while he is great at making a lot of noise and acting vicious, when the danger actually gets close enough to do damage, his mantra is "Do what you want with the humans, but leave me alone!"

Anyway, ever since we got him he has bad problems with his ears getting infected. His ear canals are very small and very full of hair, which leads to said infections. Usually when they start to get serious, he starts thumping at his ears with his hind legs. He always seems to find the hollowest parts of the floor to do it, and usually it's very close to my son's room, and almost always while my son is asleep.

Well, he didn't seem to be going after his ears any more than normal, and when we had him groomed, the groomer said he had a yeast infection in his ears. Ick. I cleaned them out, and just tons of brown blech came out. I felt horrible. But the groomer said the way to take care of the infection was to 1. Clean his ears with the liquid that comes in douches for women, and 2. Treat with Monistat 7 guessed it...7 days. I learned far more about "female problems" than I ever intended. Mrs. Dave was quite concerned that people might think she's some kind of filthy ho with all the female stuff we bought for the dog. It's no wonder "douche" has become such a funny word. Say it again and again...douche, douche, douche. Little Douche coup...I'm laughing at the mere mention right now!

But we are 4 or 5 days into it now, and I must say, it has worked splendidly. It may seem silly, but it's actually good advice if your dog has a problem with ear infections. Like Ripley said...believe it, or not...


Oh, I'm still working on my Thomas and mini-train photos, I've just been busy working on my resume and shiz.


Monday, September 19, 2005

Poddy Training

I'm going through poddy training. Or my iPod is, because it WIPED itself clean. Everything gone, *poof* just like that. No formalities or emotional goodbyes, just gone. Gone.

I don't know if the problem was in iTunes or in the iPod, but I got a little pop-up warning about iTunes.exe being corrupt (even though iTunes was still working). While we were out this weekend, when we started our trip, it was fine, but the next day I couldn't get the thing to access any menus. I could fwd or go to previous songs in the list, but that was it (of course, stuck in my son's playlist). There was the coicidence of my getting a Kensington FM transmitter for my iPod (totally kick-ass, I was pleasantly surprised), but I don't think something like that could creep in and skunk the software without rendering the whole thing useless. We'll see. I reformatted the iPod and now I have to put all my music back on there. It's just a PITA, but I'm glad to have it working again.



Friday, September 09, 2005

Lookie where I'm headed!

This is where I'm going to be spending next Friday night (16th)! Not that I would normally stay at a place like this, much less be excited about it, but we are taking my son to the A Day Out with Thomas (the Tank Engine, for those of you without kiddies) at the Strasburg Railroad in Pennsylvania. He doesn't really know that he's going yet. We told him about it a while ago, but have learned better than to get him hyped up for something before the day of the event. He has trouble sleeping, etc. like any kid might. But it should be fun. I mean, can you think of anything more exciting than to spend the night in a caboose so you can see a real Thomas the Tank Engine if you were 3 years old? No way!

I hope to take some better photos than those on this site, I'll post them when we get back. I'm looking forward to it, just to see how he reacts to Thomas life sized, etc.

I really like Thomas the Tank Engine, too. I love the way the stories are told so that they teach some important lessons to the kids without using a sledgehammer to drive them home. They are subtle, but the kids still get the idea. Some shows are just so blatant about their message that they lose any sense of fun. I hope one day to write stories in that vein. Stay tuned, I'm hoping things turn out just ducky or something like that.