Monthly Archives: August 2007

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Me

Yesterday, Caleb & my beloved wife Gina were talking about how well they knew me.  As a part of this discussion, Caleb listed things he knew about me:

  • dramatic
  • strong
  • uses excuses to get his way
  • a little weird
  • likes to play with me
  • lets me do stuff
  • gives advice
  • does stuff with me

Meagan, not to be outdone, decided to make her own list of what she knows about Daddy:

  • loves me
  • he’s my Daddy
  • plays with me
  • plays house
  • he’s handsome
  • wants to play Settlers of Catan
  • he loves Mama

There you have it — the most complete description of me by two wonderful people who claim to know me pretty well.  Maybe I could include this information on my résumé;  I’m sure I wouldn’t have a problem finding a job if the prospective employer knew all that about me.

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Whizbang Garden Cart

Finished!

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Caleb & I finished building our Whizbang Garden Cart and used it for the first time this morning. I decided to paint it with some left over exterior paint we had laying around. I had been, and may still be, hoping to paint some designs on it like an old hippie VW bus-van. The construction was fairly easy to follow, although at first I was following blindly until I figured out what was going on. It is very solidly constructed, well balanced, and I love the wheels.

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Unfortunately, I still live in the Valley of the Sun and my backyard is as agrarian of a setting as I can find at this point. In just a few short weeks, our Whizbang Garden Cart will be in the most agrarian of agrarian settings, when it makes it to our farm in Nebraska! I can’t wait — we are less than three weeks away!

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Filed under Farm, Farm Projects, Whizbang

Ordering Chicks

Before we leave Arizona, I want to order our day-old baby chicks, so they can arrive at our farm shortly after we do. Gina really wants some rainbow egg layers (Araucanas I think), because she likes the look of the easter eggs. I really want some New Hampshire Reds, because I am worried about our ability to protect these chicks through their and our first Nebraska winter, so some rapid-maturing, and rapid full feathering is what I want/need.

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We should be arriving at our farm on a Sunday afternoon. We will be painting on Monday and Tuesday (although Gina has a medical appointment on Tuesday afternoon). We will continue painting on Wednesday, when the truck will be delivered. Thursday and Friday we should complete the painting and start unloading some of the items off our truck. Saturday we will get alot of assistance in unloading the truck, and that is when we should finally get a refrigerator. My guess is that I won’t want those chicks delivered until after the truck is unloaded, the house is painted, and my wife is generally happy.

I am thinking that during the move-in/painting week, there should be some time for me to put together a brooder for the chicks to live in and go into town to pick up some feed and a feeder and waterer. So I am thinking that the Monday after move-in/painting week is when I want the chicks delivered.

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I had talked to Gina about the possibility of getting the Reds for the Winter, so they will be ready to lay eggs in the Spring, and then ordering some easter egg chicks in the Spring, so they will have an easier time of maturing, but she isn’t digging it. So, my current thought is to order 25 straight run (male & female) NH Reds and 11-12 Araucanas. We’ll see what Gina thinks of that when she wakes up.

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Meagan’s Memory

Gina and I decided we wanted both of the kids to have a year-long memory project — something they could memorize and be really proud of. In just three weeks of school, Meagan has already conquered hers:

A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies.

Her husband has full confidence in her
and lacks nothing of value.

She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life.

She selects wool and flax
and works with eager hands.

She is like the merchant ships,
bringing food from afar.

She gets up while it is still dark;
she provides food for her family
and portions for her servant girls.

She considers a field and buys it;
out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.

She sets about her work vigorously;
her arms are strong for her tasks.

She sees that her trading is profitable,
and her lamp does not go out at night.

In her hand she holds the distaff
and grasps the spindle with her fingers.

She opens her arms to the poor
and extends her hands to the needy.

When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
for all of them are clothed in scarlet.

She makes coverings for her bed;
she is clothed in fine linen and purple.

Her husband is respected at the city gate,
where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.

She makes linen garments and sells them,
and supplies the merchants with sashes.

She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come.

She speaks with wisdom,
and faithful instruction is on her tongue.

She watches over the affairs of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.

Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:

“Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all.”

Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.

Give her the reward she has earned,
and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

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Homeschool PE Program

I am going to try to be more serious about our homeschool PE program this year.  Last year, we were part of a cooperative PE effort (Vision Homeschool) and I allowed that to fill the box for PE.  This year, however, the majority of the Vision Homeschool folks have formed a christian school, besides which we are moving in less than a month.  So now I get to see if I can focus my efforts on helping my children learn to love fitness.

This morning, we did a pre-test of sorts, in which I took them out to the track and asked them both to run/walk a mile as fast as they could.  I told both of them about trying to pace themselves, and it was their fourth time out to the track, although they had never tried to run four straight laps before.  The fitness test is actually made up of 4 components:  flexibility, cardio, abdominal strength, and arm/shoulder strength.  There are three basic fitness levels:  competitor, challenger, and champion.  Both kids tested today at the competitor level (meaning they didn’t reach the challenger level in all four categories.

Caleb ran his mile in 13:20 (he needs 12:00 for challenger level); scored less than zero on the flexibility (he needs 1.0 for challenger); and did not do any situps or pullups.

Meagan ran her mile in 16:11 (her goal is 15:00 for challenger); scored four inches on the flexibility test (which is what she needs for champion level); and did 8 situps and was too nervous to do the flexed-arm hang.

I hope to be able to take the time to spend with the kids throughout the year to help them improve their fitness level.  Both kids are very excited about reaching the champion level, although they also express amazement at what that would mean they would have to do (they both see pain in their futures).

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Website Needs

Gina & I have been discussing the need to set up a new website. I am envisioning a website where we will have a homepage that might have some pictures and basic facts about who we are and what we do. There would be photos of the farm, links to how to find us, and a section on how we try to help others (I would want to call it uturnfarm.com or something like that). Then, there would be subpages where Gina could blog about her hobbies, I could blog about my hobbies, and a page for my solo law firm. Maybe customers would even be able to shop on this website for available farm products.

I don’t know where to get started with something like this. I have recently subscribed to two lists hoping to learn more — Macs in Law Offices and ABA’s solosez. Hopefully I will start to understand the technology soon.

Only 27 more days!

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Job Search Blues

I had applied to Kaplan for a part-time job, but yesterday I got a letter saying they don’t have a position for me. I can’t explain to you how much of a blow this was to me. Kaplan is a test preparation service — the help students prepare for standardized tests, such as the SAT, ACT, GRE, LSAT, MCAT, GMAT, etc. I applied for the job thinking that since I don’t have a real job yet, I could combine this tutoring/teaching job with my reserve time and at least keep the mortgage paid while I try to build a client list.

On Saturday I had an audition, where I gave a short 5-minute speech. I was under the impression that I just had to prove that I could stand in front of a classroom and engage students for 5 minutes. I KNOW I can do this — I have done it at the undergraduate and graduate levels already. After the audition, there is supposed to be an interview, and I am supposed to undergo a mock exam where I prove I can score in the 90th percentile or better. I thought I had this job locked up.

But then yesterday I got a letter in the mail stating there is no position for me. Now, I am in an awkward position since I applied for a job in Nebraska and am auditioning here. But the folks at the HQ in NYC thought this would work. So I did the audition here at there advice; they wanted me to try to complete the application process so I could start training as soon as I got to Nebraska. Today I will try to figure out what happened — did I fail the audition? Or did the guy who sent the letter not understand that I was applying for a job elsewhere?

Also, I had started applying to Edward D. Jones a few weeks ago and they have really been attempting to contact me over the last couple weeks. I had started applying, but then I had some conversations with other folks and started to think that maybe I don’t want to work for a company where I would be trying to sell financial products that might not be in the client’s best interests.

I don’t feel led to recontacting Edward D. Jones right now; I did feel good about the Kaplan opportunity. What now?

Oh, only 29 more days!

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