De' fliengde Vuogtlänn'r

Observations, rants, etc. from a guy who really gets around.


All The Wrong Way Around

One of the things that's always irritated me is the way that people who should know better tend to approach a situation the wrong way around.

I contacted a guy in Chattanooga thru the church about finding housing when I get there so I don't have to go back to that temporary place I was staying at. Admittedly, I was a bit on the defensive, but only because of prior bad experiences.

Back in '97 or '98, I had taken a temporary job at McClellan AFB (outside Sacramento) and was able to stay in Base Billeting for a while on a space-available basis. But that was hardly an acceptable long-term solution. So, I asked around at church about a place to rent. Unfortunately, the first question I was greeted with was "How much can you afford?".

To me, that seems to be all the wrong question. My approach to the situation would be to ask "What do you need?". I guess I'm just weird that way.

The same sort of attitude seems to spill over into other areas. I've run into it when I've gone job hunting. Instead of offering enough money to induce me to accept the workload they want done, people want to see if they can get away with offering as close to Minimum Wage as possible. On one occasion, a guy offered me Mimimum Wage for a very complicated and back-breaking job and then had the gall to ask if that plus my Reserve pay would be enough to keep the wolves from the door.

Imagine his shock when I said that my Reserve pay had nothing to do with the job I would be doing for him, but that that wasn't the proper question anyway. The real question, I explained, was whether or not he was offering enough money for the work he wanted done. The answer, I further explained, was 'no'. Hopefully, no one is terribly surprised that I didn't get that job. Oddly enough, the agency that referred me to them no longer deals with them. Strange, isn't it?

The dating scene is no better, although it seems that people have long since given up on me. I wish I had a dollar for every time someone's tried to "set me up". Sadly, it's done more with an eye toward reducing the number of single mothers by one than with any thought as to what my preferences might be. On more than once occasion, I've been told "I know someone who'd be perfect for you". That nonsense stopped when I pointed out that although the individual might know that other person quite well, she didn't know me at all and therefore couldn't possibly say such a ridiculous thing.

At least no one in Chattanooga has asked me how much I can afford for housing. Yet.


Fitness Update -- December 2005

OK, so I haven't been doing my normal workout since leaving Chattanooga. Big deal. That's what vacations are for. Sue me.

But that doesn't mean I haven't been physically active. Yesterday, my friend Terry and I went out to my storage and pulled half the stuff out, looking for things (most of which we found). After that, Steve's firewood finally(!) got delivered, so we spent about two hours unloading, sorting, and stacking it. I think that counts as a bit of a workout.

However..... my weight is down to 186, so I can't complain. Only 11 more pounds to go.

14 December 2005

Still haven't been working out, but I did wear my leg weights for a while yesterday and will keep doing it. At least my weight is stable at 186.

28 December 2005

I still haven't been working out, except for walking around a lot, but I'm down to 184.


Bah! Humbug!

Another Christmas and no pony.

That fat guy in the red suit has had it.


Merry Christmas, New Mexico Style

Night Before Navidad

'Twas the night before Christmas and all through the casa
Not a creature se movía, ¡Caramba! ¿qué pasa?
Los niños were tucked away en sus camas
Some in long underwear, some in pijamas.

While mamá worked late in her little cocina,
El viejo was down at the corner cantina,
Living it up with amigos. ¡Caracho!
Muy contento y un poco borracho.

All the stockings were hung con mucho cuidado,
In hopes that Saint Nicholas would feel obligado
To bring a los niños both buenos y malos
A nice batch of dulces y otros regalos.

Outside en el patio there arose such a grito
That I jumped to my feet like a frightened cabrito.
I ran to the window and looked out afuera
And who in the world do you think it era?

Saint Nick in a sleigh with a big red sombrero
Came dashing along like a crazy bombero!
And pulling his sleigh, instead of venados,
Were eight little burros, approaching volados.

I watched as they came, and this quaint little hombre
Was shouting and whistling and calling by nombre:
¡Ay Pancho! ¡Ay Pepe ¡Ay Cuca! ¡Ay Beto!
¡Ay Chato! ¡Ay Chopo! ¡Ay Maruca y Nieto!

Then standing up straight with his hand en su pecho,
He flew to the top of our very own techo.
With his round little belly like a bowl of jalea,
He struggled to squeeze down our old chimenea.

Then huffing and puffing, at last in our sala,
With soot smeared all over his traje de gala,
He filled all the stockings with lindos regalos,
For none of the niños had been very malos.

Then chuckling aloud, seeming muy muy contento,
He turned like a flash and was gone like el viento,
And I heard him exclaim, y es la verdad,
"¡Merry Christmas a todos! ¡Feliz Navidad!"

Ein schönes Weihnachtsfest und einen guten Rutsch ins Neujahr!


The Book of Obi-Jahn*

[* "Obi-Jahn" is my screen name on LinkUp]

Chapter One

1. And it came to pass in the eleventh month of the fifth year of the rule of George the Younger that Obi-Jahn* did arise and saith unto himself "Behold, I will go forth and travel afar to the City of the Lake of Salt and there I will make merry with my friends."

2. And behold, he did arise and gird up his loins and turn his face to the west. And after much travel and travail, he did arrive in the land of the Anasazi, even in the City Duke. And he rested from his travels and rejoiced with his friends.

3. And again he did arise and turn his face to the northwest and traveled even unto the Valley known as Happy, where he did rest from his travels and found shelter with his friend PacheMarshall. And on the morrow he did again arise and traveled northward to the City of the Lake of Salt, where he did find the abode of she who would play.

4. And he did find shelter there and much merriment with friends and acquaintences. And she who would play did show him secret knowledge, even the secrets of geocaching. Wherefore he did cry out, saying "Whoa! This is cool stuff!". And he did rejoice in his new-found knowledge.

5. And it came to pass that he did travel thru the City of the Lake of Salt and did meet with the one who explores. And they did dine together and there was much merriment and rejoicing. And afterwards, they did travel to the House of the Lord, even to the museum on West Temple Street, and were greatly amazed at the artifacts from ancient times, even the times of the Prophet Joseph.

6. Whereupon she saith unto him "Come, let us assemble this bucket, which is here for all to see. We shall make of these pieces a bucket for sap, like unto ancient times, and the people will marvel at our skill." Wherefore they did labor mightily and they did assemble that bucket for sap. And the people were greatly astonished and did marvel at the workmanship of their hands. And it was good.

7. And they did travel south through the City of the Lake of Salt and did come to the house of Denny, where they did dine in the presence of Nephi and the Daughter of Ishmael. And there was great merriment and rejoicing. And it came to pass that the sun did set and they did embrace and take their leave and return to their places of shelter. And it was good.

8. And they did make much merriment and rejoicing on the day after the Day of Thanks, wherefore their hearts and stomachs were full and the merrymakers did return to their abodes with much rejoicing.

Chapter Two

1. And it came to pass that Obi-Jahn did arise and turn his face to the south to travel even unto the city Richfield. But behold, he who was a Real Swinger had given an uncertain signal, wherefore Obi-Jahn knew not whether he should stop.

2. And behold, the Force was strong with him, wherefore he sensed the approaching winter storm and said unto himself "No way, dude!" and he did continue along his way and tarried ot in the city Richfield, lest he become entangled in the snow and must needs tarry among the forks and gnomes.

3. And it came to pass that he did after much travel arrive in the city St. George, where he found respite and abode with the man called G. And they did make merry and speak of mutual interests until long into the night. And they retired to their chambers and did sleep.

4. And when it was morning, they arose, that the man called G. could return to his labors and Obi-Jahn might continue his travels. And as he set forth upon his journey, he proclaimed to himself "What the....? How did it get this cold this far south?". And it was not good.

5. But behold, he turned his face to the south and traveled again, thru the city of Lost Wages. And the warmth returned to his limbs and he did rejoice.

6. And after much travel, he did arrive in the city Kingman, where he did rest from his journey and gather fuel for further travel. And he did cry out to she who is Sweet and Mirthful and Profound and said unto her "I arrive by the setting of the sun. Arise, put on your finery and we shall make merry." And she saith unto him "You got it, dude".

Chapter Three

1. And it came to pass that Obi-Jan did travel to the Valley of the Sun. And because she who is Sweet and Mirthful and Profound did give him good counsel, he did find the way and was not lost among the back streets.

2. And it came to pass that he arrived at the house of RigaTony and found she who is Sweet and Mirthful and Profound. And they did embrace and rejoice that he had finally entered into her presence. And they did dine on fine food, even to fullness, and did make much conversation. And there was much laughter. And it was good.

3. And they did arise and go forth unto the abode of she who is Sweet and Mirthful and Profound. And they did continue their merriment and conversation. And Obi-Jahn saith unto himself "Yea, verily, this is one awesome chick". And she was indeed delightsome and full of merriment.

4. And they did retire to their chambers to rest from their merriment. And it was good.

5. And it came to pass on the next morning that Obi-Jahn did arise and did greet she who is Sweet and Mirthful and Profound as she took her leave and departed for her labors. And as evening broke, she did return, and again they made merry and rejoiced in their friendship. And so great was their joy that they did make a record, engraven in pixels on plates of silicone. And it was good.

6. And again, they retired to their chambers. But it was warmer this night, wherefore he did not freeze his buns off in his caravan, but remained warm. And as morning broke, he did arise and depart.

Chapter Four

1. And it came to pass that Obi-Jahn did arise early, as is his wont. And with a heavy heart, he did turn his face to the east and departed on his journey back to the City Duke.

2. But behold, there was much wickedness and iniquity in the land. Wherefore slothful servants had not properly marked the way and he did wander from his chosen path and found himself in the city Thatcher and came not unto Springerville, where he would fain have gathered fuel for his journey.

3. And he became exceedlingly wroth and cried out, saying "Behold! Who are these morons who have done this abomination? Bring them hence, that I might smight them with the rod of mine anger!". But the people were sore afraid, and durst not speak to Obi-Jahn, lest they provoke his wrath.

4. But behold, there was one who was wise and saith unto him "Yo, dude. Thou hast totally taken the wrong road. Thou must return a ways and travel the road 78. Then shalt thou come unto the road 180 and mayest travel unto the city Springerville." And his heart was softened and he thanked her greatly and proceeded on his journey.

5. And it came to pass that a sign was given to him, which sign saith "Reserve". And the Force was strong with him and he sensee that the road to Reserve might be more favorable, that he might not tarry so long in this strange place.

6. And he did consult with his charts and discovered that the road thru the city Reserve did also lead to the city Datil, where he might continue his journey through the city Magdalena, even unto the city Socorro. And he did set out upon this new course and in due time came unto the city Socorro, where he did rest from his travels and gather fuel.

7. And it came to pass that Obi-Jahn did continue his journey and arrived safely in the City Duke. And there was much rejoicing. And he did cry out to she who is Sweet and Mirthful and Profound and saith unto her "Rejoice with me, for I have arrived safely in the City Duke." And she rejoiced.

8. And he did make inquiry concerning her labors and she did tell him that she had found favor with her overseers inasmuch as they did reward her with an increase. And his heart was full that his friend had fared so well.

9. And he did rest from his travels. And it was good.


The Christmas Quiz

Test your knowledge of Christmas lore with this brief quiz.

1. The first Christmas was held in:
A. Rome
B. Salt Lake City
C. Bethlehem
D. Nazareth

2. The Christmas tree was invented by
A. Bill Gates
B. Ronco
C. the Germans
D. Al Gore

3. The first announcement of the Savior's birth was to shepherds in the hills of Judea. What were the shepherds doing?
A. Watching a Britney Spears video
B. Playing Texas Hold'Em
C. Guarding their flocks
D. Flogging the guards

4. Who made the announcement to the shepherds?
A. Geraldo Rivera
B. Dick Clark
C. A chorus of angels
D. the Mormon Tabernacle Choir

5. Who delivered gifts to the newborn infant?
B. FedEx
C. Certain wise men from the East

6. Shortly after the birth, the family was visited by travelers from the Orient. Legend has it that their names were:
A. Larry, Darrell, and Darrell
B. Luke, Han, and Chewbacca
C. Kaspar, Balthazar, and Melchior
D. the Joker, the Riddler, and the Penguin

7. What gifts did they bring?
A. Fruitcake, chocolate chip cookies, and egg nog
B. Pajamas, some socks, and a tie
C. Gold, Frankincense, and Myrhh
D. An official Red Ryder BB gun with a compass in the stock.

8. Joseph was warned in a dream that Herod sought to kill the infant Jesus. He took Mary and the baby and fled where?
A. Florida
B. The French Riviera
C. Egypt
D. The Houston Astrodome

9. Santa Claus lives at:
A. the South Pole
B. the West Pole
C. the North Pole
D. the East Pole

10. Santa's sleigh is drawn by:
A. a 457 turbo-charged V8
B. Warp drive
C. 8 tiny reindeer
D. a 1974 VW Bus with a coat hanger for a radio antenna


Like An Old Shoe, Part II

The original impetus behind my trip to Utah was to visit one of my on-line friends I had never met in person. I was really flattered that she had added to my list, as she made it a point to not add anyone she hadn't met IRL. Cool.

In the midst of making the arrangements, I mentioned it to another friend (about whom I've previously written) and she said there was a remote possibility that she, too, might be in Utah around Thanksgiving. Cool; a "two-fer".

So, I get up to Salt Lake and go over to meet the first one. Lots of aggravation trying to find the place, as well as find a parking spot (she went thru the same thing). Get to the restaurant and find Dora right away (you couldn't miss that smile at 100 paces). Had a great lunch, and we had already planned to go over to a museum west of Temple Square.

At the museum, there's an exhibit about the life and times of Joseph Smith (early 19th century), including artifacts. One of the artifacts was a bucket used for collecting sap from maple trees. It was in pieces, with a diagram showing how to put it together. We took the challenge.

Several eons later (OK, it was more like 15 minutes), we get the thing together and take a couple of pics. Nice job. On the way out, I ask the lady guide how many people successfully put the bucket together. "not many", she says. Big feather in our cap.

As we head back to our vehicles, I notice that it's time to head down to Sandy to have dinner with a couple other on-line friends I hadn't met yet, so I ask if she wants to come along. Yes. Cool.

We head south on I-15 and get there 15 minutes late (Mormon Standard Time?). No biggie, 'cause the other two are even later. Anyway, we have a great time at dinner and part company. I head back to where I'm staying and crash. Fun times.

At the end of my stay, it turns out that Deb wouldn't be making it up to Salt Lake, so I suggest that maybe I could return to Albuquerque via the "scenic route" (i.e. thru Mesa). No problem.

So I head south, by-passing Richfield, where I had planned to meet up with another Linkster I had never met and maybe even crash at his place. Storm moving in, so I move on and drive to St. George, where I meet up with another Linkster I had met for maybe 10 minutes back in March. We managed to have a good time without anything life-threatening happening. (You'd have to know this guy to get that one.)

Next morning, I head for Mesa. (I have a much longer post on this whole trip, but that will have to wait for later.) Lots of drama trying to find the neighborhood. Finally, we meet up at a restaurant and have dinner together.

Once again, there's that odd feeling of Gemütlichkeit, like we've known each other for ages and do this all the time. After dinner, we went back to her place and watched "Madagascar" (and I fell asleep halfway thru!). Then I crashed in the Jahnmobile for the night.

Woke up the next morning and thought about the previous evening. It's rare that I feel that comfortable around someone I had never met in person before. But it was a nice feeling.

Kind of like an old shoe.


Things To Do In Albuquerque When You're Frozen



Travel Daze

I tried to u/l a post here, but my friend's A: drive isn't working. I'll have to find another machine to use.

Meanwhile, I'm back in Albuquerque from my trip up to Salt Lake and down to Mesa. Hella fun. More later.