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(no subject) [Jan. 4th, 2010|12:59 pm]
So, now I've been drug and alcohol free for twenty-three years.

And this year, I actually remembered on January 4th, which is the actual anniversary date!

Happy New Year, everyone.
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(no subject) [Apr. 23rd, 2009|07:51 am]
Hmm, I wonder if losing my driver's license and a major credit card at the same time this week puts me at increased risk of identity theft.
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Heroes Producers Fired [Nov. 3rd, 2008|11:43 am]
From scifi.com (http://www.scifi.com/scifiwire/index.php?id=61856):

NBC's Heroes fired co-executive producers Jesse Alexander and Jeph Loeb, who had been with the show since its first season, on Nov. 2 in a surprise shakeup, Variety reported.
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The insurance adjuster came by today. [Oct. 10th, 2008|04:04 pm]
The insurance adjuster came by today.

New roof, house and garage.
New ceiling for upstairs game room.
New carpet for upstairs game room.
New ceiling in downstairs bathroom.
Repair ceiling in kitchen.
New paint, ceiling and walls, several rooms.
New screens, 3 of them.

That's pretty much it, and it's more than I expected or hoped for, so I'm happy.
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How Long Could You Survive Chained to a Bunk Bed With a Velociraptor? [Oct. 9th, 2008|03:39 pm]
I've never seen this one before, and happened to run across it in a Google search.

I could survive for 44 seconds chained to a bunk bed with a velociraptor

Created by Bunk Beds Pedia

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Here's a picture of me! [Oct. 2nd, 2008|10:19 am]
Here's a picture of me, taken by my 6-year-old son Robert, the day before Hurricane Ike.

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Pics before and after Hurricane Ike [Oct. 2nd, 2008|09:59 am]
I just uploaded before-and-after-Hurricane-Ike pictures of my house and some others from my neighborhood to my flickr page, at http://www.flickr.com/photos/jrthro/.

Nothing especially dramatic, since I live in Northwest Houston and the damage around here was not nearly as bad as it was farther South.

Now, in only 8 more days, the insurance adjuster is supposed to finally pay us a visit.
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The power is ON!!! [Sep. 21st, 2008|03:44 pm]
Power came back on in my neighborhood at about 10:30 this morning, after 8 days and 7+ hours.

There was another brief 20-minute outage at 2:30 this afternoon, but so far so good after that.

It's amazing how my mood improved with the restoration of power, and it was amazing how my mood plummeted again during the 20 minutes when it was off again.

I must truly be a creature of 20th/21st century industrialized society.

On the dimmer side, the insurance adjuster won't be making it out to my house until October 10th, a full 27 days after the hurricane.
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(no subject) [Sep. 18th, 2008|09:16 am]
Still no electricity at my house or in my whole neighborhood, 5 days after the hurricane and counting.
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Hurricane Ike [Sep. 17th, 2008|11:01 am]
Hi, all,

I'm back at the office this morning, so I finally have Internet access again!!!

We lost power at my house around 3:15 last Saturday morning, and it hasn't come back on yet.

The hurricane stripped quite a few shingles off the roofs of my house and garage, and water was dripping from the ceiling in 5 rooms of the house, on both the second and first floors. The sheetrock is all still in place, though some of the tape between sections came loose due to the water.

There were shingles scattered on the ground all over my neighborhood. As far as I have heard, the most significant damage was loss of shingles, sometimes down to the bare wood on some people's roofs, then water damage inside some houses. In some cases, people's ceilings fell in due to the water. Several people have ripped their carpet out and have it sitting outside, waiting for trash pickup. Outside my neighborhood but in the general area, we saw many sections of wooden privacy fences down, as well as lots of tree branches and entire trees. We saw some cars smashed by big trees, and some trees fallen onto houses. My neighborhood is new enough that none of the trees are big enough to cause much damage even if they had fallen on something.

My wife Mary cooked as much food as she could, and one of our neighbors (who is an Indonesian immigrant who does catering for the Indonesian consulate in Houston) kept coming by and dropping off food that she'd made. But we did lose some food to spoilage. On Monday, we drove up to Mary's sister's house (between Normangee and Madisonville, east of College Station) to do laundry, drop off two turkeys that had thawed out in our freezer, and leave our three kids with her. She offered to take them off our hands for a while, since she has electricity and all the trappings of modern civilization. Also, she lives on a small lake and there are woods there for the boys to tramp around in. Then we drove on to Mary's brother's house in College Station (or it could be in Bryan), and picked up a small generator so we could power our refrigerator, at least intermittently. We spent the night at his house.

On Tuesday, we filled the gas tank of our van and bought 15 ten-pound bags of ice in College Station and headed home. When we got home, we gave some of the ice to our neighbors who wanted/needed some and used the rest ourselves. Then we cleaned out, and then thoroughly cleaned, the refrigerator and freezer. Also, we stopped at a nearby Lowe's to buy a ground wire and steel ground pipe to ground the generator. When we got home, my wife said, "Isn't the A/C unit grounded?" When I went to check that out, I remembered the ground rod that's there for the whole house (duh) and just connected the generator ground wire to the existing ground rod.

Starting the generator was a bit of a chore, or at least keeping it running was, until I realized that I had the fuel switch in the "off" position instead of "on." Apparently I can't read or interpret pictographic symbols very well.

Anyway, things are very slowly returning to normal, though it may still be days or weeks before the power is back on everywhere in the Houston area. My family and my neighbors are very fortunate that any damage we suffered, and any inconveniences were currently dealing with, are minor in comparison to those that people in Galveston and areas south of Houston are dealing with.
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