Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Creative differences...or a bill by any other name...

In my short life span I have managed to collect numerous nicknames.  I'm not sure if its because 'Bill' is mundane, or maybe I'm just mundane enough that people feel the need to spice something about me up.  Either way, I've been called billy (my least favorite), tacoBill, illBill, 34, Chuckles, billy whiteshoes, bill sixtoes, Orville, billiam, DB, and I'll leave out the 'bad names' out.  Well this week I've been called by 3 more.  Three in one week.  Well, two of them are actually the synonymous with each other and the other is actually my favorite in quite sometime.  All three are for the same reason...water!

For those who don't know, since they moved my lab to Manhattan, there is no deionized water in my lab to fill the water pans for the insects.  So I have to push a bunch of jugs across the parking lot to fill up in the main building and push them back to the lab once their full on a daily basis, to keep my bugs biting.

So the obvious nickname is Waterboy!  Yeah, a guy called me that a couple days ago and I was underwhelmed with his creativity.  He wasn't the first person here to call me that, but it has been sometime since anyone else has (I have been doing this for 7+months).  Then he wasn't satisfied with Waterboy, so he moved on to calling me Bobby Boucher.  Thank you sir for finding one of the dumbest fiction characters out there and refering me to him.  I appreciate that.  He did hold the door while I pushed my cart through it and I almost said "Thanks Drew Carrey!"  He did have a vague resemblance, but I wasn't sure if he would take it as a complement or not, and I didn't want to deal with it, so I walked on and said nothing.

Then today, as I pushed the cart down the hallway, another guy came up behind me and said "we should call you pipeline!"  After fuming for a couples days at the stupidity of the first guy I was actually intrigued but the name Pipeline.  It sounds like a super hero, or G. I. Joe character.  And well, that more than makes up for the whole Boucher debacle.  Maybe the name will spread through the center and I'll get a reputation.

Watch people, here comes Pipeline!!  hehe

Monday, January 24, 2011

Oh ba dee, oh ba da...

I didn't write all weekend.  And I missed it.  So last thursday I pecked out over 1200 words on one of my creations and it felt great.  Then friday came and I had the day off, so first my routine was thrown off, and then there was the pressure placed on me by my wife to get something done on the sun room.  So I didn't really get anything accomplished that day on any of my projects.  And then it was time to run to the doctors to get Charleigh's shots.  That took about an hour longer than expected, though with no issues whatsoever.  And then it was saturday...

Saturday went a lot better, with a buddy coming over and helping to put up insulation and helping brainstorm future steps.  Then the same buddy (Thanks Phil!) went with me to home depot to get the require materials to drywall the rest of the sun room on sunday.  We were done with the ceiling about 5 minutes before 5 which gave me 5 minutes to get the panel lift back to Ace Hardware.  That accomplished, along with a shower and shave and it was time for church.  And exhaustion. 

And no writing was done all weekend, and now its monday and all those creative juices are flowing so I'm going to jump back with both feet and see if I can blow thursday out of the water and make up for the weekend...

Monday, January 17, 2011

I said MUSTARD...

and I love it!  There are so many different varieties.  There are three bottles of it in my office fridge.  There's Dijon for the distinguished flavor.  There's spicy southwest for something to jazz up my lunch a bit.  And there's spicy brown, which is my office-mate's mustard so I don't use it.  Not to say its any less of a mustard, because I would definitely gobble it up if given the chance.  Even the less exotic yellow mustard is rather tasty on a hot dog.  I have actually never met a mustard I didn't like.  Honey mustard on homemade pretzels! mmmmm...heavenly!  It may not be at the top of my list of things I love, but it might just be in my top ten....sadly enough.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Hello, Caption Obvious...

This is what government service is like.  They give you some responsibility and then make you take 'training' every year to make sure you remember the rules for the responsibility. I can understand the thinking behind the monotony of it all, but sometimes their trainings are little more than read and take a quiz, which is honestly better than being called into an hour long meeting to just have them read a powerpoint presentation that you could read on your own faster. 

Well, my latest training was on how to use and not abuse a travel card (its just a credit card they issue you in your name so you don't have to accrue business travel charges on your personal cards).  It was a 7 page powerpoint presentation and in the whole thing there was only one page with any other than words.  And it was this slide, with clipart, that grabbed my attention.  The slide is titled "Using ATM, [etc]."  The clipart along with the title of the slide appears to me to be a woman standing at an ATM.  Well, whoever made this presentation was obviously not happy with people using their imaginations (it sometimes gets people in trouble in the government) and went onto to create an unnecessary caption for the obvious piece of clipart.  "Woman using an ATM."  Not only did they write the caption but they placed it in a word bubble above the image. Its just amazing, I can picture someone back in D.C. having just spent over an hour putting all this info together in a rather mundane presentation and then thinking, lets jazz it up with a picture!  And then once they put in the picture, they suddenly feared that the image might confuse people, so they decided that a caption would clear up any confusion, even though the fact that they used a word bubble makes me wonder if the ATM is just reporting out loud what is happening as it happens or the woman is narrating her own life in the third person...

Friday, January 14, 2011

Forget fireproof...

I want to be explosion proof! 

So we have these freezers at work that say explosion proof on them.  There is one right next to me everyday while I fill up my water jugs at work.  And I have to say that I've never paid much attention to the sign. I just assumed that the fact that it was explosion proof meant that you couldn't use a bomb to open it up.  That was cool in my mind.  But the other day I was looking at it and realized that you wouldn't have to use explosives to take off the door because the hinges are exposed.  You can just take a wrench to it. 

So there had to be another reason for this proclamation.  Maybe it meant that if the building blew up, that it wouldn't blow up too.  But that thought is lame because if the building blew up and all the rubble fell on it, it would still get crushed, right?

Maybe it means that if an explosion happened inside of it, then it would be contained inside.  But why then does it say 'no smoking' and 'keep fire away' on the door?  Maybe its just trying to lull us into a fall sense of security before it really does explode. 

Dang, I think I just answered my own question.  The whole explosion proof thing just means that it won't spontaneously explode, like so many freezers before it....

Thursday, January 13, 2011

do centaurs tie their own shoes?

I easily get off track and distracted.  I'm far from disciplined, and motivation leaves me rather quickly.  And then failure always follows.  And with failure, just a desire to give up, quit, run away.  I look back and think about the many failures in my life, whether they are relationships, goals, or just some miscellaneous project that didn't get done.  And through it all, my life has still wound up being pretty, freaking amazing! 

I have an amazing wife (seriously she is amazing, I've done one load of laundry since we've been married and she's faithfully made me lunch everyday for work for over 2 years now, and those are just two of the thousands of things that make her amazing).  An awesome daughter, I think she has to be the most mellow baby in existence, probably gets it from her papa! I have a job, even though some days I hate it and would rather clean toilets at a truck stop than deal with the bureaucracy of it all.  But I have great insurance (I'm thinking about having more kids just so I feel like I'm getting a better deal on the family plan), four weeks of paid vacation accrued each year (with another 6 weeks saved up that I carry over each year), over 700 hours of sick leave saved up so that when I start having fingers growing out of my head because some science experiment goes bad in the lab, I can take paid time off to get them taken off, unless I want to keep them and just get the nails done.  Three vehicles, and we've never had more than one of them not working at any single time.  I have more money in the bank than I have had at any point in my life (other than during that season of time we were saving up for the down payment on our house).  Life is great. 

In the midst of all that I still get bitter at life.  I still get a crappy attitude.  I still get angry at stupid things.  I still find myself envious of others.  I still fail and get frustrated at myself, even though grace has ruled my life for so long.

And that's what I have to remind myself of...Grace.  I failed yesterday.  I got bored at work and started surfing the internet before 5.  And rather than beating myself up for something I knew I would fail at eventually, I gave myself grace and started anew today.  Its hard.  Its hard to get past the thought that I'll never change.  Its hard to experience grace in the midst of failure.  Its hard to start anew with hope. 

But today I do.  I know life is sweet and if its not, its because I'm flinging my bitter garbage around.  Its time to mature, and believe that I can...

p.s.  we watched the voyage of the dawn treader yesterday, and I had the question, that I posed as the title for this post, pop into my head as I watched the minotaur walk around.  hmmm..

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

observations on a fast...

So, I think I'm on day 8 of my no media before 5pm fast and I think depression has set in.  Is that a side effect of withdrawl? I get to work and during my down time I sit at my desk and feel like sleeping.  Sleep calls out to me.  It tries to seduce me into closing my eyes, but I must fight!  Its all too tempting, especially since there doesn't seem to be anything else more enticing to do.  I fasted from food for 21 days once, and I remember many times just wanting to sleep so that I could skip the empty times and get to the full time much quicker, hopefully my brain isn't trying the same thing here. 

I wish there were a mind-to-computer interface, other than my hands and keyboard, that could translate my thoughts more effeciently.  Most days I start writing and my brain takes off at warp drive and I can't keep up.  Then I get frustrated and stare at the screen and try not to fall asleep as it calls me away yet again...

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


It felt like a horribly day.  Woke up and just in a bad funk.  Got to work an hour early and the only thing I looked forward to was getting off earlier in the day.  I packed my bag and headed out the door.  Jumped in my truck and turned the key and click click click!  The battery was dead!  blegh!

One of my officemates asked me to give him a jump a couple weeks ago, but unfortunately I didn't have jumper cables at the time because I was driving my car.  But there are always cables in my truck and I asked him if I could get a jump from him.  He gladly accepted.  I think the whole truck thing actually made me feel better about my day.  I got it home and in the garage so I can test the battery and yank it if I need to.  But that is a job for another the day after tomorrow, since tomorrow DaNae and I are catching a movie she really wanted to see after I get off work, while her folks watch our little monkey girl.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Christmas is finally over!

I love real trees, but hate the stupid needles.  We didn't do gifts until last night after dinner, because we waited until DaNae's parents could arrive.  DaNae insisted that we keep the tree up even though her mom assured her it would be ok to take it down.  And today it came down!  It shed more than a dead cat, but I made it out the back door and into a foot of snow without it dropping all its needles.  SO we actually had a white christmas a couple weeks late.

Now the festivities are done and I don't have to worry about the stress-monger that is Christmas!  I don't mind it so much but sometimes the expectations of presents is more bothersome than its worth.  I really enjoy getting gifts for people I know well and know that they will really enjoy, but at some point it gets hard when you live so far from the people you are buying for.  Nieces and nephews grow up quickly and their tastes do too.  Between that and a baby arriving, it was easier for everyone involved to just give gift cards, the impersonal gift.  The only gift we gave that wasn't was a digital camera to DaNae's parents.  We spent most of the morning playing with it while I also helped DaNae's dad do some upkeep and upgrading on his laptop.  It was enjoyable, but I didn't get any writing done until now which is fine to me since I hadn't planned on getting much done while entertaining guests.  I'll be back off to work in the morning, hopefully on clear roads, and may just have to invest in a snow shovel on the way home....

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Post-grumpy revelry...

Yesterday was a bit of a grumpy-fest for myself.  So first thing this morning I apologized to my wonderful wife for my non-kind ways from the day before and it was the beginning of a bright, sunshiny day that is ending with a dark, snowy night.  Just the way I like it!

However, with church, lunch with a friend, shopping hauling in of shopped goods and socializing with friend, and of course the arrival of DaNae's parents, this is the first chance I've had at the non-verbal art of communication.

I think, however, that I find it easier to formulate my thoughts during my early to mid day times.  Right now its 10:15 and all I am concentrating on is getting to the feathery, goodness of my pillow before my head lays back on the couch.  We'll just see what tomorrow has in store since it'll be more of the same since I don't have to work, and we have guests at the Casa del Yarnell!

good night...

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Cooing, Pooing and Insulating...

I sit here feeling itchy after spending some time putting up insulation in the sun room.  It feels good to be somewhat productive today.  I got up this morning and finished the book of Luke, then ate breakfast and then wrote for a little while.  I actually scratched out about 1000 words on one of my stories.

Honestly I have to confess that I lied the other day.  I mentioned that I had 3 stories started, and in fact I had forgotten about a fourth one.  Its about a boy Named Earl that is later nicknamed Mad Mearl.  His mom is afraid of him and thinks he has alien roots.  The kids at his school think he is loco de la cabasa, and his new best friend actually turns out to be the crazy one.

Anyways, I'm thinking that maybe if I can finish the sun room I can escape to there to write so my wife doesn't ask me what I was planning to do when I'm already doing what I was planning to do.  Either that or I might have to start escaping to the basement.  Its easier writing when I can't hear the chatter, though it is nice listening to my daughter coo while I peck this out.  Hopefully the poo will wait til later...

Friday, January 7, 2011

wore down...

Its day three of my challenge to myself and I finally found a few minutes to write.  Its been a busy morning running back and forth across the parking lot for various chores.  Between that and it being a dreary overcast windy day, I'm feeling highly unmotivated to write.  So I'll just update you on how the last couple days have been during my 'media' half-ish (or maybe 3/4ish is more concise) day fast....

Day one:  this was probably the roughest day of the three so far.  I had a headache most of the day and into the wee hours of the next day.  I'm not sure if this had anything to do with the lack of entertainment I was suffering from or possibly the beer I drank at dinner the night before (it was my first one in quite some time and I didn't drink any water until the next day).  So for the remainder of my fast I will fast from beer as well, which shouldn't be too hard.   Other than blogging I didn't write at all, but I did get some good reading done.

Night one: once the constraints were loosed and I could surf the web and watch tv, I did just that.  No surprise, but it felt a little bit more empty than normal and my mind wandered to story ideas.  I did refrain from playing any video games that evening though since they seemed less interesting at the time.  Plus DaNae had her 6 week appointment that morning and got cleared to do all recreational activities!  So there was that!

Day two:  This day was probably the best so far.  I actually wrote more than half a story that goes into one of my stories (story in a story...confusing but its all the rage these days).  And I blogged, so i had that going for me!  And I showered and shaved before the constraints were loosed rather than waiting until an hour past bed time.  note to self:  remember to not go more than 7 days without shaving...

Night two:  watched some xfiles with my wife while we ate...after dinner I realized that we forgot to sit at the table and dine with the tv off, but DaNae got all apologetic and said it was her fault and I said no it was Charleigh's fault since she was needing food too and has a hard time feeding at the table, and with the blame easily placed on the one person in the house who couldn't defend herself, we had fudge pops and finished the xfiles before going to bed.  I think next year I will set the goal to not have run on sentences.

Day three:  its windy, which I said above (it kinda feels like April or May in Laramie, without the snow).  And I'm kinda tired.  Charleigh actually slept through the whole night last night but that honestly doesn't effect me a whole lot because I've never noticed it when she didn't sleep.  but maybe that means DaNae and I can interact more during the day rather than me blankly staring at the wall or out our new windows while she naps in the afternoon. 

Night three:  since I'm not a fortune teller, I can't tell you how this will go, but I know its the start of a three day weekend which will end with my in-laws coming to stay with us (as long as they can make it through the forecasted snow), so it can't be all that bad! 

Thursday, January 6, 2011

where to start...

Some of you know this, and some of you don't, but if you read this blog post you will automatically be filed into the former category.  I want to write a book.  A work of fiction!  I'm usually very hesitant to tell people this for two reasons!  One, I told this desire to a friend once and he laughed quite loudly and said (and this is almost verbatim) that it is a stupid idea!  Well he had his reasons for why he thought it was a stupid idea and I accepted that my dream was stupid and I was crushed.  I've grown past that and have decided that it isn't a stupid idea, but its still hard when looking for support from ones you care about and there is none.

The second reason is almost the opposite.  Its the expectation!  I've told other people about my desire to write and about some of the things I've already begone to write and they get excited and want to read it!  I either start changing what I want to write so that I think they may be more impressed by it, or I get an intense feeling of pressure and quit writing because I feel its hopeless to meet their expectations. 

Both reasons in the end are ultimately stupid.  I should write what I want to write because I find joy in it.  So after a long break I've started to do just that.  My biggest problem is deciding what to write.  Its not for a lack of ideas or inspirations but from an abundance of them that I am troubled.  I have three stories started at the moment and ideas brewing for at least a half dozen more and they all stay up there in my brain and brew constantly.  I want to focus on one but another intrudes. 

Its kind of like when I go to Gillette to visit family and friends.  Most trips I am there for a short time (a couple days) and there are a dozen different people I want to see and hang out with and it just doesn't happen so I pick a few and know that others will possibly be hurt from my inattention. 

So out of the three stories I have started, one of them I hold most dear and I'm most delicate with and the other two are more passing flings.  But I struggle with articulating the thoughts in my head and translating that to paper and know that only with practice will this get better.  So I want to waste more of my drivel on the flings and share the true inspiration for the highly prized one.  And then there are the other stories which want out of my head and I force myself to hold them back a while longer so I can at least finish one of the other three. 

So I guess I might as well just pick one and get started...

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


Some habits are hard to break even if you are trying to be ultra aware of them.  Case in point:

My job has a lot of hurry up and wait action in it.  I put down screens and add water to the rearing pans and have to wait for the pupae to float up to the top of the water so I can pick them.  Also, currently I have to push a cart of jugs across the parking lot to another building to get deionized water for insect rearing and once I've gotten it there I have to wait anywhere from 3 to 15 minutes for each jug to be filled to the brim.  Usually during these moments of down time I start up sudoku on my zune (yes I proudly use a zune) and pass the minutes until its time to proceed with picking or pushing the full jugs back across the parking lot.  Well today after I dutifully avoided jumping on the internet to puruse all my news sites and going straight to work I fumbled.  I had a down time and rather than finding some other little task to do or even meditating on something meaningful I played some sudoku and then went back to work without even noticing the slip up. 

But I've repented of my ways and am now on to bigger and better things and if this headache would go away I might be able to focus on something else.  I wonder if its from withdrawl or something more hideous like a worm crawling through my cranial cavity.  Hopefully time will tell!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

who you calling addicted...

So I saw this:

and realized I might have a problem.  There really is no 'might' about it actually.  I have a problem.  Now the question is do I go cold turkey or ween off of my media cravings.  To do what I want to do I have to give up something that comes far too easily.  Games and TV.  They have to go.  Slowly or quickly, its like a band-aid stuck to hair.  I think I should conduct a scientific study to determine which method of removing the band-aid is truly better.  It might just be personal preference.  I remember a few years ago I got inoculated for smallpox and had to keep a band-aid on the scab for a couple months and the whole section of my arm swelled up.  I had to rotate the band-aid each time I changed it so that it wasn't stuck to the same area of flesh as the one I had just pulled off.  Not fun at all, and honestly that's totally irrelevant to the matter at hand.

So what's my action plan?  I need to have an action plan and it has to be written down and I need accountability or else it will all go the way of the dodo or Milli Vanilli.

I'm just sitting here staring at the screen not wanting to commit, so I'd better just do it.  Here's my plan.  For the next 40 days, thats January 5 through February 13th, I will not consume any media (internet, games, tv...exceptions being audio, gotta have some tunes, and my blog since it doesn't hinder my wanting to write) before 5pm.  Morning, lunch, after work, the whole shebang.  And no watching the tube during dinner.

There it is!  The challenge has been made! It'll be a battle of the flesh vs. the will.  a duel to the end.  hopefully the will succeeds because thats my name and I like congratulating myself on a job well done!  

I'll keep you all posted.

Monday, January 3, 2011

forget last post...

I didn't write today.  Epic Fail!  But i did record the amount of time I wasted on games and tv.  so i accomplished half of what i wanted to do today.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

down with failure...

One goal for the new year is to write on a daily basis.  Now I'm not normally one of these people who makes new years resolutions, I usually think that if I find something in my life that needs changing I should just go ahead and make the change when I discover it!  SO setting a goal for the new year gives me something to shoot for. 

So this goal is simple and will hopefully be something I can achieve.  All I have to do is write something each day.  It can be a blog, a real letter to someone, journal some thoughts or continue writing one of my stories which I've neglected for a couple years.  And here it is 9pm and I haven't written anything yet and I stand on the verge of the precipice of failure yet again in my life.  Now if I miss a day its no big deal.  If I miss ten days, well I'm really no worse off then before. But this is something I want to do and I want to succeed. 

Tomorrow's goal on top of my daily writing is to journal my activities and see how much time I waste on watching television or playing games or doing both.  Maybe if I can see the time actually spent it'll be easier making a change.  Change is what its really all about....

Saturday, January 1, 2011

what can possilby follow that...

2010 was a huge year.  It was a year of abundance, especially in the arena of change.  I'll try listing the big changes even though most everyone has probably already heard of them...

1) Moving.  Its amazing how exciting and heart wrenching moving can be.  In the last 14 years, I've lived in 9 different places, but they were all in the same city (if you don't count those summers I went back to Gillette during the college years).  Over those years, Laramie became my home.  Even though I didn't like the weather much, I knew that i could handle the fact that it would be cold and miserable 7 months out the year and then it would change to cold and bearable for 2-3 months, and the rest of the year would be quite comfortable.

I could go to the post office and knew two of the guys who worked there and be greeted almost every time I walked in the doors.  I could go to walmart and catch up with any number of old friends who happened to be walking the aisles.  I had friends who I could call up and within hours be doing some bocce ball, halo carnage or eating with.  I remember once taking my wife on a date to a restaurant and while we waited for our food to arrive some friends of ours showed up celebrating their anniversary, and they joined us at our table, then shortly after that some more friends showed up mourning a loss in their life and they joined us at our table too.  There's something comforting in the ability to mourn and celebrate accidentally with friends.

Of course I'm sure that after 14 years of living here it'll be somewhat the same once again.  Its been a good move, just somewhat lonely at times, but that seems to be changing with each day.

2) Home ownership.  Out of the last 14 years, I've only lived one of those years in an actual house and even then I only rented a room.  So now I own a whole house which needs grass mowed, leafs raked, painting, plumbing fixed, and the list goes on.  I miss the lazy nature of apartment living for the mere fact that I didn't worry about any of those things, including not worrying about paying for all those extras.  But the benefit of owning something should hopefully gain value makes it worthwhile.

3) Fatherhood.   Over nine months of the year I grew to accept that I had some responsibility to this bulge that sprung up in DaNae's abdomen.  This growing bulge garnered our love and was named Charleigh.  It was strange after her birth to hear a nurse talking to her and call her Charleigh, all I could think was "hey, thats what we named DaNae's bump!"  

Everyone warned me that I would never sleep again.  No one warned me that my heart would be so easily attach to her.  I get plenty of sleep but enjoy sitting around holding her.  Poop filled diapers bother me just as much as I knew they would but I'll still change them in order to serve my wife and daughter.  

In all of the this I think I miss date nights with my wife.   We've had one since she was born thanks to some friends who gladly watched her.   We may not be able to do the weekly ones but with our friendships growing here we should be able to do once or twice a month.

2010 has been a major growth year for me, but I find myself stuck in some ruts that I had hoped I would've overcome by now.  So with that I have decided to make some new year resolutions (which I won't get into on here just yet) and writing this blog is a  major step fullfilling one of them.    SO, with all of this I'll list some of the things I've learned through all this change:
1) Sink springing a leak right before a date is not an excuse to have a bad attitude.
2) Living in a hotel room and eating out every meal for two months is a quite way to pack on the pounds.  and isn't as fun as it might sound.
3) If your daughter is crying while your wife is holding her and she passes her to you, and she quits crying, its a good idea to quickly pinch her so that your wife doesn't think she is a horribly mother.
4) Your own child is far cuter than anyone elses.
5) Scraping paint sucks, never do it!  (I should've learned this lesson in 2006)
6) Going to the store to get a christmas tree isn't as fun as hiking through waist high snow to cut one down.
7) facebook, the internet and anything attached to my tv consumes too much of my time.
8) Boobs are no longer playthings once they have a purpose.
9) You shouldn't close the flue on a fire place until all the wood has stopped smoking.
10) Finally, its ok to be proactive! 

2011 may not be AS adventurous as 2010, but I'm excited to see God has in store for us this year.