Computer Issues

My work computer is finally working again! On Monday I had a major issue with it. I tried restarting my computer after some updates were installed, but the computer would not start up. I was able to get a spare computer at work to use while mine was being worked on. That's a good thing, because it is pretty hard for me to do much of what I need to do at work without a computer. Yesterday, the computer technicians returned my computer to me. It was running a lot faster than before and, except for losing some files since I hadn't backed anything up lately, I was pretty pleased. That was until I got home. I had intended on getting some work done at home last night, but my computer wouldn't connect to our home network. Well, I got that working today, which is very good since I will be out of the office for nine days beginning next Monday. Also, it's nice to know that I can connect my computer to the work network from home in the event that the weather is too bad tomorrow to get to work.


Crappy News

I just read an email that my wife sent from work. It seems that one of her coworkers was fired today and because of that, Mel now has to work on Christmas. That really sucks! I don't know why they even have to be working that day. I would think that yeast production could decrease for the Christmas holiday, but I guess I am wrong.



I really hate being sick, especially on a holiday weekend. Both Mel and I have been sick all day. We had been planning on going out to dinner to celebrate our wedding anniversary which is tomorrow, but I guess those plans have changed. Hopefully we'll feel up to going to Mel's grandmother's house for dinner tomorrow.


Putting Up the Christmas Tree

Before heading out to the Amana Colonies for dinner tonight, Mel and I worked on setting up the Christmas tree and the other Christmas decorations. I am finding that we have a lot more ornaments for the tree than will fit on it. We actually have two Christmas trees; we each had one of our own before getting married. A couple of years ago, when we lived in Waterloo, we put them both up -- one upstairs and the other one downstairs -- but that just seems like too much of a hassle. Besides, our basement doesn't have as much room as the basement in my previous house.


Happy Thanksgiving

I want to wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving day. Mel and I began our Thanksgiving weekend having dinner at her aunt and uncle's house in Waterloo. Tomorrow we continue gathering with family by celebrating my great uncle's birthday at the Brick Haus Restaurant in Amana. Then on Sunday, we go to Mel's grandmother's house in northern Iowa for another Thanksgiving dinner. I've been trying to watch what I've been eating lately. Hopefully I don't pick up a lot of extra weight this weekend.


Shocking News

I just found out that a former student of mine was killed in Iraq. It was a student who I had some issues with in class. I had both him and his younger brother in the same class, and they often caused problems, but sometimes he was helpful in getting his brother to get to work doing what he was supposed to be doing. It seems like he was trying to do something useful with his life and in the role he chose, he wasn't just focused on himself, but he really was thinking about others. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family.



I have come to the realization that I just don't read as much as I should. It takes me a very long time to finish a book. I just don't take the time to read, and when I do read, it's usually just a Star Trek novel. I think I am going to resolve to read more, and not just Star Trek books. I have added a few books to my Christmas list, and some are not at all Star Trek related.


Alone This Evening

Mel had to work this afternoon and this evening. I took advantage of the time she was at work to go shopping for her anniversary present. I'd tell you all what it is, but she read my blog, so I guess I'll just have to keep it a secret for now. I was amazed by how busy Lindale Mall was though. I guess people are getting an early start to their Christmas shopping.

After doing a little shopping, I stopped by my friend Bill's apartment. I spent a couple hours there playing the game "Worms" on his PlayStation with him and his friend Jason. That was a fun game. I might look into whether or not it is available for PC. Eventually I had to leave Bill's place so I could get the grocery shopping done.


Spending the Day in the Cedar Valley

Right now I am sitting at the computer in my mother's condo in Waterloo, Iowa. Mel and I drove up today so she could go to the bridal shower of my cousin's fiancee. After leaving Mel, I did a little shopping. I wasn't off to buy anything, I just needed some ideas for my Christmas gift list since people have been after me to let them know what I would like for Christmas. I looked around a bit at University Book and Supply in Cedar Falls for some UNI clothing. While I was there, I decided to wander around the UNI campus. I hadn't been inside Maucker Union since it was remodeled. I spent plenty of time inside that building when I was a student at UNI since I worked at the Hardee's restaurant that was located there. The Hardee's is no longer there, having been replaced with a few other dining options. Aside from that, the inside of Maucker Union looks much like it did when I was a student at UNI. Anyway, now I am awaiting the arrival of Mel and my mother. My mom wants me to hook up a VCR to her TV, so I suppose I should get on that.


It's a Girl!

At least that's what the ultrasound technician said this morning. We are now 20 weeks along, at least we will be on Friday. That means the pregnancy is half over. Here are a couple pics that we got today. The first one is of the whole baby.

This second photo shows the baby's legs. This is the photo which led to the conclusion that the baby will be a girl.


Boring Day at Work

After a fairly busy week at work the past two weeks, today was fairly boring. Aaron spent most of his day writing his performance appraisal. Where Aaron works, employees write their own appraisals, then their managers review them and edit them. One of the requirements of the appraisal is that it is to be written in the third person, so Aaron had to struggle with that much of the day, although it does get easier with time. Another thing that Aaron found difficult with writing his appraisal was in writing about the great things he did without sounding too arrogant. Of course, being written in the third person makes it sound less like he was praising himself, but rather that someone else did.


Utter Crap

While I was on my way to do my grocery shopping this morning, I heard the newest single from Fergie, "Fergalicious." I had thought that her previous release, "London Bridge," was bad, but this song makes "London Bridge" seem like a work of art. I can understand why people like Fergie, but I can't believe it's for her "music." Now, despite the fact that I think this song is awful, I am putting the video here so you can judge for yourself.


Trying to Get This Place Organized

I am trying to get the basement of our house more organized. Specifically, I am trying to organize the desk. I came home from work early yesterday afternoon because of the weather. It wasn't too bad, but one of the people who I carpool was driving up to Cedar Falls after work to see Joan Baez at the Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Arts Center on the UNI campus. She wanted to be able to get there before the roads got too bad. Anyway, once I got home I had additional work to get done, so I plugged in my work laptop computer at the desk in the basement, and I realized that with all the clutter, there wasn't much room to work. All I really need to do is to dig through the papers stacked on the desk and file away the important ones. The rest can probably be thrown out. Once the top of the desk is cleaned off, I'll be able to tackle the contents of the drawers, but that can wait for another day.

Also, in organizing the basement a bit today, I finally got around to hanging up the autographed photos that I have. That is helping to make the basement look nicer. Now I just need to figure out where to hang the Mr. Spock Heineken ad that I have! I do have a few other things to hang on the walls, but I have a spot already picked out for them.

You may recall that I painted the nursery for our baby a couple weekends ago. Well, this morning I replaced all of the outlets and cover plates. The outlets that were there had been painted with the wall's previous color and I didn't want to paint them, so I replaced them all with nice new white outlets. Besides, some of the outlets in this house, haven't worked very well. The plugs fall out of some of them. Now I just need to hang a Winnie the Pooh wallpaper border around the room. I have never hung wallpaper or wallpaper border before, so I hope it isn't too hard. Maybe I will get around to doing that tomorrow.


Not Smart, Mathman

Last night I was bringing in the birdbath from our back yard. My father made it the week before he passed away. The top of the birdbath is shaped like a large leaf. He used a rhubarb leaf as a mold for the top. The bottom is a cylinder that measures about 21 inches high with a diameter of 7 inches. The entire thing is made of concrete. Well, I got the top of the birdbath into the garage from the back yard alright, but I took a bit of a shortcut with the base. We have a fairly sleep, although short, hill at the side of our driveway. Instead of carrying the heavy base all the way down to the sidewalk and then back up the driveway, I tried to carry it down the hill. While going down the hill, the weight of the base caused me to fall, twisting my ankle. My left ankle and knee are still quite a bit sore today. Fortunately, the base survived the fall, so we will be able to put the birdbath out next spring. I better get limping off to work.


Feeling Good

I'm feeling pretty good today. I am pleased with how the election turned out, although I am surprised that James Leach lost his bid for a sixteenth term in the House. I thought that the Democrats would take control of the House of Representatives, but it looks like they are going to be the majority in the Senate as well. I think that a lot of the seats they won were not necessarily because they had the better candidate, but because people were dissatisfied with Congress and the president. If these democrats don't get their act together pretty quick and start getting things done, I fear that they are likely to lose their majorities in two years.

On a similar note, President Bush today said that Donald Rumsfeld's resignation from his position as defense secretary was actually in the works before the election, even though Bush had recently said that he planned on Rumsfeld staying in that role through the end of his term in 2009. Today he said that he "didn't want to inject a major decision about this war in the final days of a campaign." That sounds like a bunch of bullshit. Bush had been campaigning hard for Republican candidates for ten days before the election. I am sure he hoped for Republicans to maintain control in the legislative branch, and if thought this would have helped to win the election, he would have done it beforehand.


Midterm Election

Well the day is almost here. The midterm elections are being held tomorrow. I've made up my mind about how I am voting in almost every race on the ballot. I still have to decide who I am going to vote for for secretary of agriculture and how I am going to vote on the public measure on the ballot - whether or not the number of members on the Linn County Board of Supervisors will increase from three to five. One race that I have decided on but am conflicted about is for the second congressional district. I am going to vote for incumbent Jim Leach's challenger Dave Loebsack. I think Congressman Leach has done a good job in Washington, but I think it is more important right now for the Democrats to take back control of the House. I think Loebsack will be able to do an adequate job if elected and his getting elected can help return power on the House of Representatives to the Democrats. Whoever wins the elections tomorrow, I'm just going to be glad that the political ads on TV will be done for a while!


Busy Weekend

Mel and I thought that we'd be having a pretty uneventful weekend this weekend. We had originally planned on just staying home, but Saturday morning, Anita, one of Mel's coworkers and a former student of mine, came over to use our computer. She told us that a couple other coworkers were planning on going out to dinner and we were, of course, invited. So, instead of eating at home Saturday night, Mel and I joined her coworkers Anita, Penny, and Mel (yes, Mel works with another Mel) for dinner at Granite City. The food is good there, but a bit pricey, and the serving size of my entree was smaller than I expected it to be. We wanted desert, but we wanted to go somewhere a little less expensive, so we went to the Village Inn for desert. After dinner and desert, we all took a trip to Target and then we all ended up back at our house. We played a couple games, Scene It and Scattergories. That was a lot of fun.

Today, my in-laws came to visit. It was nice seeing them and they hadn't been to our house in a while. We went out to lunch with them to Ruby Tuesday. It was our first visit there. The food was good, but I thought that Red Robin had a much more variety in the burgers on their menu. We may end up going to Ruby Tuesday again. It probably would not be my first choice for a casual dining restaurant, but the food was still good.



With a movie coming today featuring the character Borat Sagdiyev, played by comedian Sacha Baron Cohen, I have been seeing Borat show up on talk shows and other television programs a lot lately. Am I the only person who does not think this guy is funny? It just seems so stupid! He gets laughs by playing of cultural stereotypes of people from Kazakhstan, a country that I would bet very few Americans know anything about. It's no wonder that the Kazakh government has a problem with this guy. For those who are not familiar with Borat, I have included this YouTube video.

Fred MacMurray?

Today at work, I was talking with some of my coworkers and one of the managers said that he thought I look kind of like Fred MacMurray, the dad from My Three Sons. Now, I don't really agree with that assertion, but I'll let you be the judge.


Fred MacMurray

MeMarc Price

This reminded me of a time in high school when my homeroom teacher, Mr. Weld, said that he thought I looked like Skippy on the TV show Family Ties. I didn't take that as a complement then, and I still don't, although I don't have any hard feelings about that comment.

Sophomore Year

Marc Price

Me, Sophomore YearMarc Price

Congressman Steve King

It was reported in the Des Moines Register and on his own website, that Congressman Steve King from Iowa's fifth district has accused Secretary of State Chet Culver, candidate for governor, of violating state law by posting voting materials on the official Secretary of State website in languages other than English. On his website, he calls on Culver to remove the alleged violation of law and explain that he understands Iowa laws. Perhaps Congressman King should pull his head out of his ass and actually read the law he authored as a state senator.

The law that Steve King refers to is Chapter 1.18 of the Iowa Code. The law does state that English is the language of government of Iowa. Stating:

Except as otherwise provided for in subsections 4 and 5, the English language shall be the language of government in Iowa. All official documents, regulations, orders, transactions, proceedings, programs, meetings, publications, or actions taken or issued, which are conducted or regulated by, or on behalf of, or representing the state and all of its political subdivisions shall be in the English language
Now, if King would read subsection 4, he would see:

4. This section shall not apply to:
h. Any language usage required by or necessary to secure the rights guaranteed by the Constitution and laws of the United States of America or the Constitution of the State of Iowa.

Now, as the Constitution of the State of Iowa states that
[e]very citizen of the United States of the age of twenty-one years, who shall have been a resident of this state for such period of time as shall be provided by law and of the county in which he claims his vote for such period of time as shall be provided by law, shall be entitled to vote at all elections which are now or hereafter may be authorized by law
it seems to me that voting is a constitutional right, and therefore the English-only requirement does not apply. And while Congressman King may have written the law, it is not his job to interpret it!

The Daily Show on John Kerry

Here's the Daily Show's take on the recent John Kerry botched-joke controversy.



Tonight, my good friend Homercles and I went to dinner at Bennigan's. We have been taking each other out to dinner for our birthdays for the past few years, and as my birthday was last week, it was about time to go to dinner. Bennigan's has been our traditional birthday dinner destination. I enjoy having time to catch up with Homercles as he is often quite busy with school and other matters. We really must get together more often.



I just watched Jeopardy! for the first time in quite a while. Ever since starting my new job in June last year, I haven't watched it much. I used to tape it and watch it every day when I got home from work, but with not getting home from work as early as I did when I was teaching, I just haven't had the time. The DVR that we have hooked up to the TV makes it a lot easier to record the show and to find the recording of it to watch later. Hopefully I will be able to find more time to watch Jeopardy! in the future.