Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Monday, December 22, 2008

It's Elemental, My Dear

The following scientific report, along with mountains of other important discoveries, can be found at Natural News.


Lawrence Livermore Laboratories has discovered the heaviest element yet known to science.

The new element, Governmentium (Gv), has one neutron, 25 assistant neutrons, 88 deputy neutrons, and 198 assistant deputy neutrons, giving it an atomic mass of 312.

These 312 particles are held together by forces called morons, which are surrounded by vast quantities of lepton-like particles called peons.

Since Governmentium has no electrons, it is inert; however, it can be detected, because it impedes every reaction with which it comes into contact. A tiny amount of Governmentium can cause a reaction that would normally take less than a second, to take from 4 days to 4 years to complete.

Governmentium has a normal half-life of 2- 6 years. It does not decay, but instead undergoes a reorganization in which a portion of the assistant neutrons and deputy neutrons exchange places.

In fact, Governmentium's mass will actually increase over time, since each reorganization will cause more morons to become neutrons, forming isodopes.

This characteristic of morons promotion leads some scientists to believe that Governmentium is formed whenever morons reach a critical concentration. This hypothetical quantity is referred to as critical morass.

When catalysed with money, Governmentium becomes Administratium, an element that radiates just as much energy as Governmentium since it has half as many peons but twice as many morons.

Friday, December 12, 2008


Once upon a time, a lady and man decided they needed one more child to complete their family. They kissed, and 9 months later, in the spring of 1969, a bouncing baby boy was born. They named him Tom. Being typical parents, they had dreams for their child. They envisioned him reaching adulthood and settling into a comfortable life with a beautiful wife who would cook gourmet meals for him. They anticipated the day when this lovely couple would produce grandchildren and carry on the proud family name.

Their wishes were met. Kinda. The son did indeed marry, and he assures his wife often that she is beautiful. The baby puke on the faded sweatshirt doesn't detract from her smiling face. He is grateful for the lukewarm hotdogs and mushy french fries she points out to him when he drags himself home from his 14 hour work day. The children this couple created prove that the lineage hasn't disintegrated.

What the parents didn't have knowledge of is how thoroughly entertaining their daughter-in-law would find their son. Or how specifically he would learn to pray to God for needs in his life. Or how their son would grow up to be a man who truly, absolutely, without a doubt, honest-to-goodness, 100% could not care less what people think of him. Or how those three things would intertwine to present themselves available for this post.


About 4 years ago, gas prices began to increase. Tom's day job is only 6 miles away from home, but the extra jobs are a much greater distance. He was looking for a vehicle that would get better gas mileage. His prayer was for "a car that gets at least 40 miles to a gallon, and isn't more than $300".

Meet LC. Short for Little Car, she's a Tri-tone Ford Festiva. She gets about 44 miles to a gallon, and she was purchased with $300.

She came to us with exhaust needs, chipped paint and rust spots, misapplied primer, numerous scratches and dents, a glittered Jesus window decal, and a KILLER stereo system.

He threw in the pose for free.

A consultation with the local repair shop informed him that the proper requirements for the exhaust system would run roughly $300. Tom invested in some metal ductwork straps, a tomato soup can, a $30 part from Auto Zone, a few coat hangers, and an afternoon lying in the muddy front yard with his new purchase propped up on blocks.

For the record, yes I do think this is a sexy man.

He talked about painting the car. We warned him that he might come home from work one day and find himself a victim of a homemade version of Pimp My Ride, except I can't stand that phrase, so we'd have to call it something else.

But wait, you say. It's impossible to take a 4 passenger Festiva and convert it into a 52 passenger school bus. You would be correct in that assumption, as far as I know. This school bus created some problems for the good citizens of our town - and specifically our home - one sunny summer day in 2006.

Tom walked outside to collect Gabe from the school bus following his summer day program, and when he didn't return after several minutes I went to look for him. Imagine my surprise when I opened the front door and was greeted with Tom's legs - hanging out the passenger side door, car rolling backwards down the street. Attached to the driver's side...the school bus.

Apparently, after letting Gabe out of the bus, the driver was attempting to back up in the street as there was a vehicle too close to the front of the bus. He unknowingly locked on to the front left side of Tom's car. Upon realizing what was happening, Tom tried to reach in his car and put it in neutral, but the bus driver didn't wait for him, so the car, and Tom, were being dragged backward. Since the door was open when the car started moving, and Tom's weight was on the curb side, the door caught in the grass, and bent the door back. This was the point where I exited the house. This was the point where I panicked. This was the point where Tom managed to get out of the car in one piece and commence to speaking a wee bit forcefully to the driver. Which was the point I disappeared into the house to see if the kids were located within, or out of, earshot. Which was the point I began stiffling my laughter.

A few more dings and dents, but the door was still in working order.

What's a little bumper damage when you already have the license plate wired on with a coat hanger? And the window duct taped to keep out the snow? And the headlight shrouded in clear plastic to keep the rain from pelting the bulb so hard it needs to be replaced after every storm?

For 3 winters, the heater hasn't worked well enough to even defrost the windshield, let alone keep Tom warm. He finally decided to shell out the $91 dollars and get the blower fixed so now he won't freeze to death driving in the winter.

There was a new bus driver the next day. We think it might have something to do with the fact that we pointed out to his superiors that the offending driver was wearing big, black sunglasses - the kind that the eye doctor gives you after your eyes have been dilated. The kind that Stevie Wonder wears. The kind that might have drawn the attention of the police that day.

For two hours, the bus sat in front of our house while the police gathered the information they needed. A second school bus had to be summoned to finish delivering the remaining students. Our street was front and center in our quaint little town.

As for the car...well, she's still puttering around just fine. She's racked up a quarter million miles. She leaks oil. She has a fresh set of 12 inch tires waiting for her in the basement if she needs them. She even faithfully sports Ron Paul messages. She is a trooper.

And my husband...give him duct tape, xray film separators, wire and tin snips and he's a happy man. Throw in his Jimmy Buffett CDs to crank on the amazing stereo, and he's ecstatic. And he's aaaaaalllllllllllll mine.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

All I Want for Christmas Is My Two Front...

The apple crisp I made tonight is so sweet it hurts my teeth.

My baby's dimples are super cute. I think she's cutting teeth.

It was slightly icy today at Gabe's school. Preston slipped getting out of the van. (It hurt his arm, but not his teeth.)

A family of 8 monopolizes a good half hour of the chiropractor's time. (He didn't work on anyone's teeth.)

The roof salesman at my door today didn't want to take "no" for an answer. (I couldn't get over the hacking cough he had long enough to check his teeth.)

I paid for a half gallon of milk today with one dollar in change. It confused the grouchy salesclerk. I handed her, separately while stating how much of each coin I had, 20 pennies, 5 dimes and 6 nickels. She didn't believe I had 20 pennies. Then she missed a dime when counting. Then she dropped a dime and a nickel. I was in the express lane. I just stood there and smiled. (While wanting to grit my teeth.)

Now I'm going to bed. (After I brush my teeth)

Monday, December 8, 2008

Dear Santa:

I would like some exotic spices for Christmas. The kind that you say "Humph! Never heard of that one!" And you use it in one recipe and forget you have it, but if you leave it out, the food just doesn't taste the same. Maybe cumin. Or coriander. Or ones for Mexican or Italian dishes.

And some wonderful freshly ground coffee. Danish Pastry is good.

Thank you.

Friday, December 5, 2008

You'll Like the Taste of Chicken

Savannah and I absolutely LOVE to go to Seasons Coffee Bistro for Saturday morning coffee and cheesecake. If we're there at lunch time, we like the White Chicken Chili. I decided to try my hand at making some at home. If I say so myself, it was quite exquisite. One of the better soups I've made. One thing I don't understand though - why does the back of the bag of beans say to sort and rinse? I have no clue what I'm looking for when I'm sorting, but because I felt like being a sheep today, I did as I was told - I was really hoping for a gold coin, or something. Nothing! Just white beans. I suppose that's a good thing. Most likely why I needed to sort them. On to dinner...

1/2 pound Northern beans
2 large onions
1 stick butter
1/3 c. flour
1 c. chicken broth
2 12 oz. cans evaporated milk
1 T. Tabasco sauce
1 T. chili powder
1 t. cumin
1 t. salt
1 t. pepper
1 t. garlic powder
Fresh or canned green chili peppers to taste
2 pounds chicken breast (more or less depending on preference)
1.5 c. shredded Monterrey Jack Cheese
8 oz. sour cream
Prepare your beans ahead, or used canned.
I used boneless, skinless chicken breast, bought in bulk.
I cooked probably 10 pounds in the crock pot for several hours in about 3 cups of water, and shredded it.
This will make enough chicken and stock for at least 3 family size soup meals.
Freeze what you don't need for this chili.
I will make chicken and dumplings, and chicken tortilla soup, with what's left.

In a skillet (cast iron preferably):
Saute onions in butter
Stir in flour, cook 3 minutes
Stir in broth and milk, bring to boil
then simmer till thickened
Stir in spices
Add beans and peppers
Transfer to crock pot
Add cooked, shredded chicken, cheese, and sour cream
Let simmer for 20 minutes.
Garnish with cilantro, tomatoes, tortilla chips, etc if desired.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

In Today's Inbox

Please allow me to introduce myself.

My name is Snopes dot com. Don't confuse me with Snape, a character from Harry Potter. (I have information about Harry, if you're interested.)

My occupation is to dispel rumors, myths, urban legends and similar problems. Some of the issues I have quite capably resolved in the past include:

Miracles Coke may or may not perform

Quotes people may or may not have actually uttered

Science experiments gone wrong...or right

Interesting scenarios for getting ripped off

Lately, though, I've been kept quite busy with a particular subject near and dear to my heart. This topic comes up regularly. It has to do with petitions of every size and shape. During political and holiday seasons, I am more frequently called upon for my wisdom. While I empathize with the feelings of people everywhere who are affected by unmentionable atrocities, please be aware of the ineffectiveness of online petitions. Your efforts at ridding the world of cruelty and injustice will be much more successful if you chose a more proven vehicle to accomplish your goals. Try elbow grease, time and money donations, education, and prayer. Not necessarily in that order.

Please feel free to visit me whenever a question arises. Most people who keep me at the top of their favorites list find that I can answer questions about myriad topics. My close cousin, the forward button, also suggests you utilize me more and cut back on using her. She's exhausted. (And a little disgusted, but she never complains.)

Thank you.

Mr. Snopes

Monday, December 1, 2008

All Joking Aside...

It's hard to take you seriously, Mr. Bush. But way to go with attempting to convince us you care, promising even more government money to fix a government-created problem and all. Spot on, sir.

Tom - "Nothing good comes when the government intervenes. I'm not voting for anyone ever again, unless he stands up and says 'I ain't doin' nuttin. Nada. Zilch'..."

It's hard to take you seriously, Mr. Bloomberg. But way to go with blaming people who obviously handle footballs better than guns with the deaths of children in the streets. Nice job, sir.

Seriously, Plaxico...perhaps just a wee bit more time at the gun range? Or a little less to drink when fidgeting with deadly objects. But I love the seemingly calm reaction reported by a witness..."Take me to the hospital"...Classy, sir.

I seriously doubt that having crowd control training would have stopped this morbid display of human depravity from occurring. People! Read Luke Chapter 2 - that's what it's all about, folks! Jesus didn't grow up playing Xbox 360 Guitar Hero Legends of Rock on a 42" Hi-Def TV Set bought at Walmart at 6:17 AM on Black Friday. Your kids will survive!

And now on to other topics...

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Sometimes I'm a Bit Spacey

If you're studying astronomy right now, be sure to dust off your telescope this weekend. You might be able to catch some pretty cool stuff.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Top Ten Tips for Sales Personnel

Memo to Store Associates Where I Will Be Shopping This Holiday Season:

(These would work well on any day, really...)

1. While I am shopping, please remain at a reachable, yet discreet, distance from where I am standing.

2. If I need assistance, I will ask you, provided you have heeded Guideline #1.

3. Please do not offer suggestions unless I ask.

4. Please do help me locate something if I ask, rather than pointing me "seven aisles over on your left past the tissue paper but before the erasers".

5. Please do not make snide-disguised-as-concerned comments about how tired my 2 year old seems because he is screaming. He is 2. He is tired. And maybe he's screaming because your makeup is freaky. I know I want to.

6. Consider not placing your clothing racks so close to each other. I need room for carts, strollers, and stretchy arms. Sorry about the hangers on the floor.

7. I do not want to open a store account. Cash still works fine. (Fiat currency that it is...)

8. Please don't get huffy with me when I argue that an item is not ringing up at the correct price. I remember my phone number from 35 years ago - it isn't likely that I'm wrong here. I'm just sayin'...

9. People manning the Jose Ebar booths at the mall - you annoy me to no end. Please drop the fake accent. I don't generally mean to be rude, but to you, I have to be - you won't leave me alone otherwise. No, you can not have a minute of my precious time. No, you can not ask me a question. I have no clue what brand my flat iron is. I bought it at Walmart for 15 bucks. Does my hair look straight? Thought so.

10. Follow these simple suggestions and you and I will get along supremely.

Thank you.


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Christmas


I guess I can skip Menards and Lowes this Friday - and all this time I thought that Cordless Drill set would be perfect!

How I Feel Today

I have even more success with brownies.

Monday, November 24, 2008

There Comes a Time...

When no matter how darn cute the little ones are...

with all their paraphernalia...

that seems to have...

no end in sight...

and some of which...

you just get plain sick of seeing, to be perfectly honest...

that ya just hafta take a break! The big kids love the little kids, but there is a definite difference of opinion when it comes to what the older kids find amusing vs. what the younger ones find amusing.

You can get amazing deals on hotels at priceline dot com. We take advantage of the bidding option a couple times a year, and manage to stay at super-nice hotels quite inexpensively.

One of the other foster moms offered to provide respite care for Baby T. and Mister D. got to spend the weekend with his older siblings at their home. Gabe camped out with Kim and Chass, with cousin Emily covering the sleeping hours. This gave Tom and I the chance to spend time with Savannah, Bucky and Preston having fun in Toledo.

Savannah prepares for a belly-smacker.

Bucky wasn't allowed to take his cell phone, but he still managed a quick call back home to his friend Jarrod...he can't liiiiiiiiiive without talking to Jarrod, for some reason...

Preston was not at all happy with the results of the game on Saturday. I was! Go Bucks!! Sorry, Preston. Go play for the Wolverines - I will be the biggest, idiot fan that team has ever seen. I promise. Remember you said you wouldn't admit I'm your mother? That's how big of a fan I will be for you! But not unless you play for them. Until then, I am a Buckeye.

We spent the weekend eating less-than-perfectly-healthy food, watching football, cruising the mall, and watching people - all without smelling like baby milk!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Angel, Part 2 - As Told by The Angel

(translated and typed by Mom)

My name is Gabe. I'm 14. I like to smile. I'm mostly a pretty happy guy. I don't talk 'cause I have Angelman Syndrome. That means I'm missing a little bit of chromosome 15 in my DNA. The doctors don't know why it happens. Having Angelman Syndrome means I have to do some things different than other kids. Mom takes lots of pictures, so I'll show you what I mean.

I have tons of toys. I like to stay on the floor where I can get to them easy. When I make a really big mess, Mom goes around the house yelling "Where's Waldo?" We have a Waldo book - he gets lost in junky places a lot. I get her point. But my name is Gabe, not Waldo, so I don't answer.

I like to dump all my toys out and hide in the toy tub. Lots of times, I fall asleep inside. Sometimes it's the only quiet place there is in our house!

I do goofy things like scratch my nose when I'm sleeping. Mom gets mad at me. She thinks I do it on purpose right before holiday picture time.

I amuse myself with all sorts of odd toys. Flipping over cheap cardboard tables is pretty entertaining.

Being in the water is one of my favorite things to do. The last time we went to Florida, we stayed at a house where we had our own pool. I had a blast!

I love going to the beach in Florida. The water is fun to watch, and the sand blows all over my face. One time I had to go see my doctor, and he found sand way inside my ear. That was months after we got home from Florida!

I LOVE the water! For some reason, most kids that have Angelman Syndrome love water. Sometimes I get to go see my friend Matt at his work, and he helps me in the therapy pool. Those doctors think I'm working, but I'm really just there for the good time. But maybe they do know what they're talking about, because when I'm in the pool, I can walk all by myself!! All over the place! It's the weirdest thing! I wish I could walk when I'm not in water. Mom told me she'd buy me a big barrel and fill it with water and stick me in it - I think that's just her being weird again. I'd roll my eyes at her, but I've seen Bucky do that and get grounded, so I just smile and wave

Sometimes I irritate my mom because I won't sit still for pictures. How's a guy supposed to concentrate on the camera when he knows there's presents behind him? Jeez!

I like to look at Christmas lights. Mom doesn't put lights up outside very often, but when she does, I make sure I watch them. I like to drive around at night with my family and see which houses do the best job decorating for Christmas. Going to the zoo at Christmas time is lots of fun, too, even if it is freezing cold.

My mom says I'm a goofball. She's always kissin' on me. I like to sit on her lap and rock. She says I'm getting kinda big for her lap. I'm not real tall, but I guess I am kinda heavy.

My dad is pretty cool. I had donuts instead of birthday cake one time, and he helped me blow out the candle. I think he likes donuts because Homer Simpson likes donuts. Dad and I like to wrestle on the floor, and then take a nap together.

My friend Kim picks me up from school most days. Kim lets me help her with her filing. That's lots of fun - she has papers she doesn't need, so I get to shred them to pieces. She takes me on long nature walks around town. We sit on a park bench and talk to people when they walk by. (Well, she talks - I mostly smile.) Kim fixes my supper and gets me ready for bed. She helps my mom keep our house clean. That's a really big job 'cause we have a really big family. On Sundays if I skip church, Kim and I sweep and mop the floors and dust the furniture. We live by railroad tracks and a farmer's grain place, so our house is pretty dusty. After we're done with the housework, we camp on the floor with blankets and pillows and watch movies. Sometimes Kim takes me to her house to see Mr. Lee and the dogs. Mr. Lee feeds me bread sticks and spaghetti. I really like going there.

I have lots of people who help me. I need help in the bathtub. I need help feeding myself. My friend Chass is really cool - she has very long hair, and sometimes she lets me play with her pony tail. Sometimes I try my hand at being Hairdresser to the Stars.

Preston is my oldest brother. He takes really good care of me. When I first started having seizures, Preston would get me out of bed in the morning and put me in my chair, then go find Mom and Dad and tell them to get up so I could eat breakfast and take my medicine. Preston and I watch movies together a lot. Mom says I'm old enough now to watch the cool guy movies like the Mummy movies and King Kong.

Savannah plays with me a lot. She feeds me, and gets me ready for bed sometimes. She also wears my clothes! She's younger than me, but darn it, she's about 5 inches taller than I am! She likes to go walking with me and Kim. She makes sure I'm wearing cool clothes and my hair is ok.

My brother Bucky is super cool. He picks me up and carries me when I'm too tired to walk. He lays in my bed with me and watches movies. He keeps me lookin' sharp, too.

Then there's the dog! I love torturing her! I drag her all over the place with her leash. Mom says I have an evil chuckle that I use when I'm doing something I'm not supposed to do. Like strangle the dog.

One time I bit Frannie on the nose. Everybody laughed about it, but I still got yelled at.

Sometimes in the summertime, I'd like to go outside more, but since I have Angelman Syndrome, there's a couple reasons I can't. People with AS sometimes have problems with their body temperature, and that's me. I don't sweat, so when it's really humid, I have to stay in air conditioning all the time or I get sick. The medicines I take for my seizures make it even harder to sweat, so I'm stuck in the house on hot days. Besides, mosquitoes really like me for some reason, and they're really bad around our house during the summer, so I just stay inside and watch movies.

This is my very favorite blanket in the world. I take it everywhere. It was Preston's when he was a baby, then he gave it to me. It's been to lots of different hospitals with me. It went to Texas with me to see my cousins. It went to Florida with me twice. It went to Tennessee with me. It went to Michigan with me. It went to Missouri with me. It is my best blanket! I like to chew on things, and this blanket is very small now because I pull strings out of it with my teeth.

Mom takes pictures all the time, and sometimes a guy just gets tired of it!

Kids with Angelman Syndrome have problems staying asleep at night sometimes. So we have to make up for it any way we can. When I was littler, I used to stay awake all night and sleep all day. Since I go to school now, I sleep better most of the time, but every once in a while, I still have to catch up on my rest.

If I'm tired, I'll fall asleep anywhere. I even sleep standing up sometimes!

We've been to Disney World twice. It's hot in Florida, but we go in October when it isn't so humid.

Kennedy Space Center and NASA are way cool! You get two days for the price of one - a good deal, according to Mom and Dad!

I don't always cooperate for family pictures...

But sometimes I do...

Then again...

You get dibs on first rides when you have a wheelchair. At Disney, we never had to wait in line long, 'cause they have special entrances for people in wheelchairs. Besides, my mom tends to have problems with those turnstyle things.

My mom likes this picture, so she stuck it in here.

My dad is a pretty ingenious guy. I needed some kind of bed that I could take with me when I spend the night places, so he designed this kinda like my bed at home. I have to have sides so I don't fall out. Dad and Mom sewed this up, and now I can sleep at places other than home, without sending my mom into a panic that I might hurt myself.

Like I said, I'm a pretty happy guy...

I'm a normal boy that likes to have fun...

I figure God gave me this smile for a reason, so I might as well put it to good use...

I hope you enjoyed learning more about me.

To find out more about kids like me, go to this place.