Beggars’ night

Beggars' Night

Maly and Elise in Des Moines for Beggars’ Night.

47 other states don’t really know what Beggars’ Night is, many Iowans included, so I’ve been told.

It’s Halloween to me and it’s all I’ve ever known – a Pagan holiday where we celebrate the dead. I’ll be embracing my secular spirituality and remembering and honoring those that are no longer with me.

Regardless, I think my daughter is a cutie as Cinderalla, or “Cirellellella”, as she’s know in our house.

I want my $20

As I crossed San Jacinto St. this morning a stranger approached me.

“Excuse me, sir!”

I avoided eye contact and kept walking. He called for me again. I stopped, turned and he began to speak. He told me that he was a staff sergeant in the Air Force, stationed in San Antonio. He went on to tell me he’d run out of gas at the Social Security Administration and needed some help. My instincts told me to just say, “sorry” and go about my way.

Without recounting the entire exchange, I allowed myself to be sold. I escorted him into the building and walked to the ATM where I withdrew a crisp $20 and handed it over to him.

He asked, “how am I going to be able to get this back to you?” I handed him my card and said, “call that number.”

“Josh, I really, really appreciate this.”

I have a tendency to think that I’m a good judge of character, hence me handing a $20 bill over to a complete stranger in exchange for nothing. He seemed very sincere.

He told me if I’d be at that number in an hour. I told him that I would.

He never called.

I don’t mind so much that I’m out $20. I mind that this is what our society has become. I mind that I’m raising an innocent daughter who is a beautiful person and will have to enlighten her by teaching that not everyone is beautiful.

Although they should be.

Mr. San Jacinto Street Scammer, I don’t want my $20 back. It’ll find its way back to me somehow.

At the hip and loving it

A month ago I seriously thought my child hated me and wanted to have nothing to do with me. I didn’t really let on to anyone, but that situation was seriously breaking my heart. It got to the point where I really didn’t want to come home from work just because I knew of the reception that I would receive.

Now it’s the complete opposite. This weekend my Maly was my little girl. And tonight when I got home from work, I couldn’t leave her side. It got to the point where we actually had this conversation:

“Okay, I have to go to the bathroom. You go get your Lincoln Logs and I’ll be in your room in a few minutes.”

“You go to bathroom?”

“Yes, daddy has to use the restroom.”

“Okay! Let’s go. I hold your hand.”

To which I couldn’t object, so she grabbed my hand and walked me to the bathroom. She walked me right up to the toilet, let go of my hand and waited.

“Okay! Daddy go potty! You have to poo poo? You go poo poo in the potty?”

“Well… ahem… umm. You see, Sugar, daddy has performance anxiety and I really need… Hey! Go get your Lincoln Logs in your room and I’ll be there in a few minutes.”

“You go poo poo in the potty and flush the poo poo!”

And this went on for a few minutes. Finally I had to get Elise to help me out so I could tend to business. Maly freaked out and insisted that she be with me.

I think in the long run, I spared my daughter an experience that’s not necessarily noteworthy, but the cool part is that my daughter loves me again and I’m experiencing an excited and smiling face when I get home in the evenings. That’s something that I’ve longed for for what seems like an eternity. And I’m cherishing the hell out of it for as long as I can.


I sat in a large conference room at the Attorney General’s office this afternoon. It was a very, very good meeting. Hopefully I can divulge more later.


I got ooma setup in 20 minutes last night, just as advertised. All I can say thus far is that I love it. I called ooma support today to request to have our current landline number ported to ooma. They sent over a Letter of Agreement for me to fill out so ooma can have the number ported from Time Warner and in 3 weeks, I should be able to able to cancel Time Warner phone service.

At $250 for the ooma hub, in ~5 months, ooma will have paid for itself. If ooma’s around for 6 months after that, I’ll call this a pretty damn good deal.

The things that I like most thus far are:

  • simple design
  • easy to use
  • simple to setup
  • responsive/fast customer service
  • free phone service
  • the ooma “lounge” where you can configure services and check voicemail from anywhere

So far, I’m really like me some ooma. The $40/month we’ll be saving on phone service is going, yep, you guessed it, straight to the student loan.

Garage sale post mortem

The garage sale came and wet. Elise and I both work up at 6 a.m. this morning and got to work. We managed to sell 75% of our junk for a cool $300 and the other 4 neighbors did really well as well.

I’ve already managed to spend our “profit” by buying an Ooma, which will save us some cash in monthly phone service fees in a couple months.

A perfect way to watch Texas football

[flv width=”500″ height=”375″][/flv]

78 degrees outside with a gentle breeze out on the deck and a cute little two-year-old saying, “Yay! Texas football!!”

I’m surprised eBay is still around

I used to be an avid eBayer — more of a seller than a buyer. It was a few years ago when selling on eBay just became a pain in the ass. In the good ol’ days, I would simply select the category in which to list my item, set a price, drop in my nifty HTML page template with my nice photos and click submit…

Then there became a lot more options. Too many options. eBay became too complicated. There were just too many mouse clicks one had to endure just to sell a single item. It might have been worth it if I were selling a big-ticket item, but if it’s a $5 item, it just wasn’t worth it anymore.

I avoid eBay at most costs whenever shopping now, too. It’s not so complicated to buy, but you have to be wary of scams. And you can’t easily find a sought after item without paying out the ass for shipping. Why would anyone pay $20 for an item that could be shipped in a regular envelope? I guess people do, so sellers take advantage.

Anyway. Elise has been shopping for a Cinderella dress for Maly’s Halloween costume. This has been a week-long endeavor. She finally won one of the auctions tonight. She called me while I was driving home this evening to share in her joy of winning her auction. She was going to pay for her purchase with PayPal. She asked me, “How do I pay with our credit card if we don’t have any money in the PayPal account.” To which I told her that our credit card should be our backup source of funds. She quickly noted that this wasn’t the case.

I came home to finish making the payment of Maly’s Halloween costume. That was a pain in the ass.

I had to go to eBay, then to Paypal, then to some new service called Auctiva, then back to PayPal to make a $20 purchase. That’s ridiculous at best. I’m a savvy guy and I was borderline confused with how many different steps I had to go through in order to purchase a costume for my daughter.

I give eBay a year.

Long live craigslist!