Friday, May 23, 2008


Just some thoughts I came across.

"One of the few good things about modern times: If you die horribly on television, you will not have died in vain. You will have entertained us."---Kurt Vonnegut

"It has been said that man is a rational animal. All my life I have been searching for evidence which could support this."---Bertrand Russell

"If I only had a little humility, I'd be perfect."---Ted Turner

"When I read about the evils of drinking, I gave up reading."---Henny Youngman

"Anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job."---Douglas Adams

"To get something done, a committee should consist of no more than three men, two of whom are absent."---Robert Copeland

"I'm not sure I want popular opinion on my side -- I've noticed those with the most opinions often have the fewest facts."---Bethania McKenstry

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


I guess the 100th post should be one that contains good news so here you go. I made it home fine and earlier than I normally do since my back haul appointment times were changed from 10pm Tuesday pick up to 7am Tuesday pickup. I walked in the door at home on Tuesday night at 745. Good Time.

Isaac is doing much better and thank you all for your thoughts, prayers and concerns. His sugar dropped again to 46 on Tuesday but Sheila had gone into the school and made sure that they understood what was going on and what should be done. She put a plan in place in other words. They called her and she was on her way to a counseling session with Preston so she went and picked him up and took Isaac with her the rest of the day so that she could keep an eye on him. He takes two different types of insulin. One is long-lasting that he takes at night and in the morning, and the other is fast acting that he takes before each meal. Come to find out that he had not taken his long acting before he went to bed Sunday night and so his sugar was 465 when he woke up Monday morning. He then takes more fast acting insulin to try to bring it down and it just crashed down to 37.

So we now have another plan in place. He is not allowed to take insulin without someone else watching him, just to make sure that he takes it. He is only 11 and we can't expect him to do it all the time like he should. I don't take all my pills like I should and I'm... a bit more than 11.

They're still watching our hours at work and I'm already at 44 or so, so I'm off the rest of today and all of tomorrow. Maybe I can get a nap in while Sheila gardens and finishes up the laundry. The dishes are piling up too.

She's getting pretty far behind.


Monday, May 19, 2008

Too far from home...

What do you do?

He's 11 years old. My third child. Diabetic. Not only that but the doc says he's "insulin resistant".

His sugar level crashes to 37 and he's having a seizure.

I'm 500 miles away.

Not a damn thing I can do.

He's fine now. But some days I hate this job. Not often. But some days.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Change of pace...

It seems that this week calls for a change. Being a truck driver my life revolves around time. Do I have enough time to get where I need to be? Do I have enough time off in the sleeper before the folks at whatever business I happen to be sleeping at come knocking on the door? Does the time on the toll receipt match the time on my log book? Do I have enough time to fill out the necessary accident paperwork after running over that idiot that just cut me off for the fourth time and still make it to my next stop before they close? It's all about time.

Time shot my weekend.

I usually leave for this Chicago run Sunday evening, get a few hours down the road, get up Monday, deliver all day and sleep in West Allis, WI. Then I unload in West Allis at the last stop, drive an hour or so down the road, go back to bed and pick up my back haul of magazines on Tuesday evening, then run through the night, delivering in Dayton and Columbus on Wednesday morning.

Ain't happening this week. It's 930 pm eastern time Sunday evening and I'm already sitting in the dock of my first Monday drop in Chicago. Why so early, you say. Never mind the fact that you're interrupting again like you did during the last post. I shall tell you anyway.

Kenny, my ever so friendly back haul broker, told me last trip that the times for my back haul were going to change but he didn't know what the new time would be yet. Last week I called him to confirm the load and he faxed me the paperwork. I just happened to glance at the sheet and noticed that the time looked different. Instead of 2200 hours as the loading time it said 0700. This means that I need to load Tuesday morning at 7 am instead of at 10 Tuesday night. This means that I need to be empty Monday afternoon. Which means I need all day Monday to get everything off my truck and then get back down to Woodstock, IL and go to bed by 9pm Monday evening so I can get this load Tuesday morning.

The nice thing is that I'll be driving through the day instead of all night but the bad thing is that I had to leave home by 130pm today in order to get to the shop, get my truck and get on the road so I could be here in Chicago by 9pm so that... See what I mean? It's all about time.

Anyway, it made for a short weekend.

I downloaded Itunes on Friday afternoon at home and spent a couple hours playing with that. I sure have been wanting to get me an Ipod but Not sure if that'll happen anytime soon. Father's Day is coming up though. Maybe if I'm real good the kids will buy me one.

Here's hoping.

Preston had his last soccer game on Saturday morning and he scored two goals and assisted another one. Not bad for a 7 year old. Then Sammy, an 8 year old girl we're fostering had a game as well. She did great too. Spent the rest of the day fiddling around the house, bought some solar powered garden lights for my wife since she was out working in the garden.

"What's this for?" she asks.

"So you can garden at night of course." I answer. "Duh. It needs a lot of work and I don't think you can get it all done during the day. And I don't want you stabbing yourself in the foot with a shovel just because it's dark out."

Some times my own thoughtfulness frightens me.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Child rearing

Some of you know that my wife and I have been fostering children now for a few years and in an attempt to maintain the appropriate licensing we are required to undergo a specific amount of training every year. Some of this training is very worthwhile and some of it is just common sense.

But one thing I have noticed is that they always use mnemonics, a memory aid used to help remember some child rearing skill.

On that note, I thought I might share with you one of my favorite mnemonics regarding the raising of children. Goes like this.



Let me walk you through this. Let's say that you have a child who is having a particularly hard day. And let's say that you need that child to complete some chores around the house; dishes, laundry, wallpapering, drywall, things like that. And let's say that this child decides that he/she doesn't want to do these itty bitty chores and decides also at this point that he/she would rather throw a fit or protest in some other childish manner. The Mnemonic COPING will help you remember the appropriate way to handle this child, or others like him/her.

Always maintain control. Above all else, make sure that you are in control of yourself. And even more important, make sure you are in control of the child. Don't let the child have any control. This will only exacerbate the problem and the child will actually respect you less. If necessary use a restraint move or even handcuffs. If you cannot gain control over the child, order Chinese food. When it arrives the child will ask for some. Just say No! Again, it's all about control.

Orient is where Chinese food comes from. This will help you remember that even though there are more oriental than non-orientals, they are not in control. We Americans are. And we will remain in control. So it is with children. There are more children, like orientals, but they are not in control. We adults are.

Look for patterns in your loss of control. Maybe you can't maintain control over the child only on weekends, or during your monthly cycle, or on Tuesdays between 6:00 and 6:10. If this is the case, give up and get a job at 7-11 or McDonald's. Children need consistent adults.

Investigate your options for overpowering the child in a crisis situation. This means that you need to look for subtle ways that you can maintain control over the child. Withholding food or sleep works well with teenagers. Little kids, not so much.

This is particularly applicable to foster parents. Learn to negotiate for larger a per diem with the agency. When there is an upcoming visit with a case worker, it helps to get the child "riled up" and angry just before the case worker arrives. This way you can point to the behavior and tell the case worker that the "therapeutic level" of the child needs to be raised and therefore you make more money. Of course, if the case worker doesn't show up, then you can just lock the child in his/her room until he/she calms down. (See Investigate)

Give the child control... "Wait" you say. "All this time you've been saying maintain control over the child and now you're saying to give the child control?!" Just be quiet and let me finish. Why do you always interrupt like that? You should learn to be more polite like your brother. Sheesh!
As I was saying, Give the child control but only when they are getting ready to leave your home and go somewhere else. Make sure that the child knows that wherever they go next, be it on their own or another foster home, or even juvenile hall, they, the child, is? are? the boss. This will give them a small amount of self-esteem. Not too much though, since that would be dangerous. Let the child be in control around someone else.

I hope this helps. We don't claim to be experts but between us we have something like 439 years of experience. I think we know a thing or two.

Saturday, May 3, 2008


When I was a young man growing up I used to go to this summer camp in Virginia. It was a church affiliated camp and I would always try to weasel my way into staying longer than I was supposed to. Many years I was quite successful. When I was 13 I was their for 7 weeks as opposed to the usual 1 or 2. I started going to this camp when I was about 8. I am now 45. If my math is correct, and it should be because I used a calculator, that was 37 years ago.

I can honestly say that this camp provided me with the best friends that I have ever had. Bar none. Friends who accepted me for who I was. Friends who told me the truth even when it was uncomfortable. Friends who sang with me, who played with me, who prayed with me.

One summer at this camp, I was working on senior staff and one thing we looked forward to was to go into Front Royal while all the campers were in bible class. It was a way to get away when there was little time to do so. One very good friend went into town with some of her friends and I went with another fellow. Not planning on meeting these girls, just going our separate way. Me and my friend went by the general store and wandered around. When we came out there was a note under the windshield wiper that basically said, "Hi there good-looking guys" "sure would love to meet you"and such stuff. Little did we know that our close personal friends who would never dream of hurting our feelings, were inside another store watching us and snickering at our confused looks. You know who you are.

But I would trade nothing for these friends. They let you spend a few days with them in their own home, take you out to fancy mexican restaurants,
let you help them hang fancy plate hangers, (most people just put them in the cabinet), show you thousands of pictures of when we were younger, skinnier, less gray, and wonder where the time went. And they don't even get mad at you when you accidentally bleed on their sheets. Nuff said.

Friends like this are hard to come buy. These pics are just a couple of them. There are so many more. What can I say but thank you for being my friend. I don't deserve friends as good as you.