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Where The Heck Are You?

Confused in VA a Story of Adoption attempted gone wrong.

My Wife loves Greyhounds. She has for many years. Over the last few years our living situation has changed and I had always told here that I never felt right having a dog while we still lived in an apartment or in some place we would be moving out of soon. I didn't feel it was right for the dog. Still, we would attend meet and greets with some of the local Greyhound owners and she would buy books on Greyhounds.

2 Months ago we bought our first house together. It's a nice single family house in Manassas with a big yard and lots of space. She lit up when I told her that we could look into getting a dog finally.

We contacted the local group, VAGA, and submitted an application to adopt. Shortly afterward we had our initial phone interview. In the phone interview we were very upfront an honest about anything we felt could be considered problem areas. Things like the fence that surrounds our back yard was only a 3 foot chain link fence, but that we had planned to replace it with a full privacy fence. We mentioned that until the privacy fence was in place all outside time would be supervised. Also she and I both work about 20 min away from the house so during work hours we would be gone, but I have a 17 year old son who arrives home from school by 2:30pm. The phone interview went very well and we were told that we should expect to schedule a home inspection soon.
This evening my wife came in very distraught. She had been contacted by a woman on the board for VAGA who, very rudely, told her that "You say you are going to supervise outside time but you really won't do it" and "We have been told that before and the dog jumped the fence and got hit by a car". She then went on to say that my teenage son was too Irresponsible to be trusted to take the dog out for a mid day walk. She said we should re-submit when we have the privacy fence in place and have hired a dog walker.

Now, what strikes me as odd was that we NEVER had a home inspection, not one of them has met us in person or seen what our fenced in back yard looks like, yet we were told that 1: We were liars about supervising the dog, we were not to be trusted to walk the dog regularly, and that my teenage son was irresponsible. Did I mention that they had never even met us?

My wife has been dreaming about owning a greyhound for far too many years to let this one go and was extremely upset after this woman berated her over the phone. Is there anyone that could lend some insight on how to handle this situation? Since we just purchased the house, we just don't have the money to build the fence right now, it's something we are planning for with the budget.

I really feel like this woman would rather let a greyhound be put to sleep than let a loving home take care of it.


House Hunting

Yeah, that about sums it up.

Acorns and the like.

So I realize that it's been a while since I have updated (again).  The truth is that I have been keeping myself busy to the point that I always have something else to do than sit and write out an update more than like 3 lines.  I have really kind of relied on Twitter for those needs.  There have been quite a few changes in my life as of late.  The biggest one being that Sarah and I finally tied the knot!  We flew out to Las Vegas this last week and met up with lots of friends and family for the event.  Surprisingly enough, everything went off without a hitch!  Well, kind of at least.  The only major issue we found was that the package we got from the chapel included a live web-cast of the wedding.  We were scheduled for 5pm PST, but between the Limo hitting traffic and the people in the chapel taking a little extra time, we didn't really start till like 5:20pm.  But hey, if that's the only snag I count us as lucky!  The wedding was beautiful, there are lots of pictures in the gallery .  We got back home on Sunday morning and crashed out for the rest of the weekend.  I am still exhausted!

After we woke up and recovered, we checked out the vast pile of mail that was waiting for us and Sarah had a small box.  Out of it she pulled a small gift for me.  But this will need some explaining first:

So about 2-3 months after we started dating, we went down to Richmond to visit with her parents.  While we were walking back from Cary-town Sarah reached down and picked up an Acorn.  Just being silly, she handed it to me with a "Here!  Acorn!"  I dropped it in my pocket and we trudged on.  Every night, when I am getting ready for bed, I take everything out of my pocket and set it on my dresser.  The usual contents are: 1 USB fob, 1 Chap-stick, 1 20 sided dice, and then the newly added acorn.  I kept it because it was just a silly reminder that I got to keep with me.  It stayed with me for nearly 2 years!  That is, until the night of the 7th.  My Bachelor Party.  As with any Bachelor party, there was quite a bit of drinking.  I remember someone making a joke about rolling for a success so I reached in my pocket and pulled out the good ol 20 sider for  a roll.  When we were done I shoved it back in my pocket.  Later that evening, while Sarah was helping me in my inebriated state, She reached into the pocket of my jeans to drop all 4 items on the dresser, except there were only 3 items. 

"Hey, where is your Acorn?"  She knew I had kept it and thought it incredibly silly (though I know that deep down she thought it was cute)

"What do you mean?" (though this probably came out as "whaa does juuuuu meeeennnsss?"

It should be noted at this time that when someone is under the influence of alcohol, many of their emotions are at an extremely heightened level.  Usually it's not such a good idea to say something that could be depressing or saddening. 

Jumping up I ran over to check the status of my beloved acorn only to find that it was indeed gone.  (I believe I only tried to jump up, fell back on the bed and Sarah assured me that it was indeed gone, but I like to remember it the other way)  It was at this point that I started to freak.  Sarah was quick to calm me down/distract me, but I will still pretty upset.  For the next week it was very depressing to only pull out the three items from my pocket instead of the four. 

So when we got back from Vegas, Sarah hands me a small, very heavy, bronze acorn.  Apparently she had set about scouring the Internets for an acorn substitute and found one.  It got there while we were gone.  The casting on it is beautiful and it is certainly a reminder that I have it in my pocket.

So I leave behind the dating and engagement with a fragile and light acorn, and venture into married life with a good solid permanent Nut!


Originally uploaded by wizzer2801
Finally it's snowing!

20,000 even Gamerscore!!

20 000 even Gamerscore!!
Originally uploaded by wizzer2801
yet another flat even gamerscore!

Expanding my online presence

So I have been noticing that a number of people that I stalk follow on a regular basis have been using Twitter a lot more often. Xbox 360’s own Major Nelson tends to give away free things via his twitter. So I have finally caved in and signed up.

Let’s see now, that means I have a:

And now Twitter

I am sure that Lee will have me signed into Linkdin soon too.


This is the one where I talk about politics a little. As anyone who knows me will testify, I don’t really talk about politics very much but this past election, I don’t know how one could get away without talking about it. For starters, I was raised right. (No one show this to my parents or they will get swelled heads). The President of the United States is the Commander in Chief. Whether you agree with some of his policies or not, he is still in the office, he got there through the democratic process and deserves a little respect because of that. Sadly I believe a lot of people have forgotten about this. (To include my parents) When I am out on my travels I head people all the time talk about how horrible Bush is and how he is screwing up the country. While in Vegas I saw people in the wax museum flipping off the wax statue of G.W..

Now, I have a very unique view on how government should be run. I claim to be neither liberal nor conservative, Republican or Democrat (or green or any of those others). I don’t like the labels because they don’t represent what I truly believe in. I am all for the death penalty, the prisons are overcrowded and we are wasting money on keeping scum fed and housed. On the flip side, I firmly believe that same sex marriage should be allowed. Their lives don’t have any effect on mine, why should I deny them the happiness of marriage? I live in a very high cost area, and because of this, I have to make a lot of money even to just survive and pay rent. The amount I make would be a fortune if I lived in BFE Iowa, but I don’t. Because of this, people look only at the amount I make and say “You are upper class and make too much”. (In the area I live, I can assure you that I am in the middle class section.) Under certain tax plans, this means that I will see a tax increase, which means that I will be taking home even less money.

We have a new President Elect now. There are some policies of his that I do not agree with. There are some that I do. Likewise with McCain, there were things I agreed with, and some I did not. Regardless, Mr. Obama has won and he will be my President. Just like Mr. Bush was my President.

What bothers me is all the hype and hoopla I see in the media, and even in some of my friends who believe that Obama is the second coming of Christ and that we are doing away with the corporate Satan. The thing is, While Bush was in office, he wasn’t the only one making decisions. While Obama is in office, he will not be the only one making decisions. We should not place all the blame on a single person. We have the Senate, Congress, and our own state Representatives that all provide input on important issues. There is a process in place for you to deal with the issues you dislike. There are plenty of people that we elect to help fight against the things we disagree with.

If we just sit and bitch about the person at the top, and ignore the process and the people that are presenting that person with the options, then we accomplish nothing. There was a time early on when Bush had an incredibly high approval rating. He was voted, by the people and for the people, into office, not once, but twice. Now the American people have spoken again. Apparently the choice made by them is looking for change. If that is what the American people want, then I will abide by that choice and accept our new President. But I will remind those who flipped off the Wax figures and called our current president names, be for warned that there are those who are not as open minded and respectful as I am, and that there will be people who do the exact same, or even worse to the new President. When that happens, remember that you have lost your right to be upset with them. This is America and they have every right to do exactly what you had the right to do. The goal in this life and this country is to evolve and accept that you don’t need to do such things.

In the next 4 years (and maybe even 8), I will not be looking for Changes, I will be looking for choices. Mine, Mr. Obama’s, and everyone else’s. Let’s hope that we all make the right ones.


Originally uploaded by wizzer2801
It only took an hour and a half but I am done!

DragonCon Wrap up!

Wow, so this was kind of a whirl wind DC for us. Let’s just jump straight to the highlight reel shall we?

We drove down on Wednesday to avoid the rush. A Big thanks to Cheeky Monkey Boy for letting us crash at his new house! Thursday was much easier because of this. We got up, had breakfast and made our way to the hotel. After checking in and parking the car, we did the annual ritual trek to the Hard Rock Café to get my DC pins. (I bet Robert forgot to go back for his). Then it was off to registration.

Side story, I don’t believe I posted about this but about 3 weeks ago I sprained my ankle…..again! I have been staying off it the whole time and pampering it so I could enjoy DC but it was still bothering me when I arrived. In an effort to preserve it I decided to use the wheel chair we brought for Sarah’s Oracle costume on Thursday. I knew I would be standing a lot in the Registration line. We had Ticket master tickets so I figured the line wouldn’t be that bad. It wasn’t, until I got pulled out of the line into the handicapped line! They assured me that it would be much faster and I should take advantage of it (even though I told them I was fine and it was just a sprain.) Seeing the world in someone else’s “wheels” is eye opening.

After registration, we headed back to the room and I put on my Jayne costume. This only lasted a few hours as we were due to pick up all of our Battle Star Galactica stuff that evening. After that it was BDU’s all night!

Friday was again a BDU day. We took this time to venture through all the dealers rooms and the walk of fame. We even got to meet Edward James Olmos and Michael Hogan! It was amazing meeting Adama and Tigh while in our BSG costumes! We wandered around until the late evening and then changed into Batman and Poison Ivy for the late night crowd. We did end up calling the evening early because we were doing the parade in the morning.

Saturday morning. This was a long awaited day for me, and an un-known surprise for Sarah. First of all I got the time mixed up and we were an hour early. The parade was at 10am and we got there around 8 for forming up. Sarah was dressed as Oracle from Birds of Prey and I was Nightwing. The Parade runs along one of the many Peachtree streets in Atlanta and bends right at the Hyatt. The whole way up to the bend I tried to speed up and give us a little bit of a gap because right at the bend I dropped to one knee and gave this to her:

You can see some of the pictures and guess her response.

For the rest of Saturday she was in a state of shock. We walked around in a daze and checked out a few things. Honestly I can barely remember much of the day after that. In the evening we prepped for and attended the BattleStar Galactica Colonial Fleet party over at the Sheraton. It was amazing! Late into the party, all the stars showed up and EJO got up on stage and talked about the Fandom and the show and ended with a rousing “SO SAY WE ALL!!” I get goose bumps even now!

Sunday morning we woke up and went off to a Photo shoot with the League of Heroes for the DC Universe. Sarah got to debut her Speedy costume and I went as Batman. The pictures looked amazing but the sun was beating me to death! After that we went for a goodbye breakfast (Lunch) with Lee and Missy. While there, Justin and Nicola joined up with us and we went on one of our very few visits to the Hyatt to see the art room. We had been avoiding the Hyatt like the plague because of all the crap from last year. There were a few incredible artworks including a 4 piece painting set of the seasons that was $25k each.

We were in need of a break so we stopped in at the High Velocity bar and sat in the glassed in section so we can watch people go by. We must have sat there for about 2 hours and chatted with friends. It was a great place to hang out. We eventually headed upstairs to hang out in Matt Nargi’s room to watch the Masquerade. We drank, ventured down to the Bar, Drank some more, even spent a few minutes drinking with EJO who happened to be visiting the bar himself.
Finally at a late late hour we turned in because the morning was already calling us home. We woke up at around 8am. Sore and tired we poured ourselves into the car and drove home.

If I find more pictures I will try and post them.

What a rush.

Mapping the Awesome Cat Genome.

Odds are, if you know me, you know my cat. Charlie is so much a part of my family that even Sarah admitted that she thinks that, if it came down to her or the cat, I would choose the cat. Charlie is the most awesome cat I have ever owned, and many people who have met him have fallen instantly in love with him. We got him at a shelter in Denver back in 1998. He was the loudest cat in the place and one of the most loveable. Whenever we take him to the vet or even just out in public every makes comment about how he acts and how he looks. It’s how he looks that drew a little extra attention and proves that Charlie really is one in a million.

So if you look at Charlie’s coloring, he looks a lot like a Tortoiseshell cat. He has a mix of black and white all through him. Well, for starters, to get a Male Tortie, the odds are 1 to 3000. Now you add in the fact that Charlie has no orange in him. Wikipedia has a great article on Torties.

Enter the internet. Sarah posts on a pet forum pretty regularly and in a bout of showing off cool looking pets she posted a picture of Charlie. One of the other girls that posts there got in touch with Sarah regarding him. Turns out that she is a part of a study on the Feline Genome and they are currently trying to map out the gene that produces the color Orange in cats. When they saw pictures of Charlie they were extremely excited. You see, since Charlie is very obviously a tortie, but has no orange. By looking at his genetic makeup, they can compare with other cats and it will help them significantly in their research.

Don’t worry about Charlie through all this. They only need a small blood sample, fur sample, and cheek swab. They offered to pay for the vet visit and even help out with any medical problems with Charlie while the study is underway! We are very excited about this project and can’t wait to see the results!

My big question is if they can use his DNA and start cloning him! The world needs more Awesome Cats!

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