31 July 2005

Change O-ver! (Swiiitch!)

Greetings and salutations! How is every darn thing?

Today - or yesterday, it's hard to tell - I started making the transition from Day person to Night person. To do this, I stayed awake from 1800 Friday night to 0900 Saturday morning. We went to role playing Friday night at 1900 . . . we in fact did not role-play, but instead played a board game, Settlers of Catan (with the optional Cities and Knights ruleset) until about 1240 Saturday morning (040 hours). Lots of fun was had - Karl was in rare comedic form and dinner was pizza and soda. (You can't go far wrong when there are friends and pizza). The game was okay - Cindy and I are new to it, so we fell behind early and often - and the company was great.

Then we came home, I put Cindy to bed and stayed up through the night, alternating between watching TV and playing on the computer. You can get ALOT of the Iron Maiden fan forum and Iron Maiden blog read in that time, lemme tell ya.

After that, I slept from 0930 to 1230 Saturday. Cindy went to a pre-employment screening thingy at 1200 hrs Saturday, and woke me up for lunch when she got home. I was up and about from approximately 1230 to 1500, and then played around and slept another bit, before we went off to roleplaying tonight at about 1815. We got out of there about 0100. Now it's 0200 Sunday morning. I'm about to put Cindy to bed and have another night at it. I plan to go to bed about 0900. Lots of fun until then!

30 July 2005

Showing My Web Age

John and I were talking a few days ago and he asked if I remembered the first web site I visited. I promptly said that it was Strawberry Pop-Tart Blow-Torches. I remember it well; I was at a little mini-class at the University of Arkansas on web design and the speaker demo-ed this page. Totally cool in 1994.

Today, out of nostalgia, I decided to see if this page was still up. Then I realized -- This couldn't have been the first website I visited because it has pictures. When I first started surfing the web, there were no pictures. The reason Grant, the instructor, was showing us this page was because it was the wave of the future! Up til then, if you wanted to share a picture with someone, she had to download it and then look at it with her own software on her desktop. And she was happy to do it!

Now, she'll surf to a new page if your pics take too long to load. We've really come a long way in eleven years.

JoAnn Update

For those of you who haven't heard yet -- my interview at JoAnn Crafts & Fabrics went really well. My only complaint was that the interviews were scheduled 15 minutes apart -- hardly long enough for a proper job interview! In fact, I have a feeling that mine wasn't completed. Even so, several of my answers seem to strike a cord with Kathy, the interviewer. I came home, promptly wrote my thank-you note and got it in the mail that evening, to be posted the next day.

I got a call from Kathy yesterday asking me to come in for a "pre-employment survey." I did that today. It was one of those surveys that asks if you have ever stolen from an employer or if you would turn in a family member that was stealing from their employer, etc. I hate those questionaires. I have such a literal mind that I get kind of tripped up on words like always and never.

And now it occurs to me that one of the first questions asked was, "Do you always tell the truth?" and I answered no. After all, I don't tell people that they have on ugly clothes or that it's 2:00 p.m. and I haven't taken a shower yet; I'm much more likely to say something innocuous like, "I just got out of the pool; I'll need some time to get cleaned up." Like I said, I answered no, then proceeded to answered two to three dozen more questions. Good for me!

Anyway, I should hear something either way by Wednesday. More hurry up and wait!

28 July 2005


. . . so I go into our local Verizon store the other day to pay our phone bill, and what do I find? They've done away with the bank-style line-up rope things back at the bill pay area. You SIGN A LOGBOOK when you come in and then one of the sales thugs will help you. HELLO? The sales thugs are the reason I only go in there once a month anyway. I am NOT going to deal with semi-literate mutant cell phone sales vultures! No. No no no no no. They used to have at least one disinterested thickly-accented-English sales thug assigned to the bill pay desk, but he got sent up for carjacking or something, 'cause now there's no one back there.

"You'll have to sign the book, sir. We'll be with you in a minute" one of the sales thugs said, seeing me looking at the now-empty bill pay area.

"Okay!" I said cheerfully, moving toward the front of the store. Thinking to myself something like, "Yeah, that'll happen!" Or - gosh - did I say that out loud? I guess I did.

I moved my happy ass right out the front door, never to return.

Nice job, Verizon.

By the way, Utility Payment Center on Yucaipa Boulevard handles Verizon payments.



I have been hired by Federal Express! I go in tomorrow to do my New Hire paperwork, and I start work (I'm guessing) Monday morning. More news as it happens.

My shift will be overnights - 2:30am to 7:00 or 8:00 am. So I'm about to go into full day-sleeper Shun the Surface Dwellers mode.

Awwcomeon . . . it'll be fun.

26 July 2005


The word of the day is 'ferschlugener'. It's a nonsense Bad Word my dad uses. In a sentence: "I still can't get my ferschlugener router to share our DSL connection."

I've been to Verizon's site . . copied and pasted then printed all kinds of hints and tips and passwords and user names and network addresses, but to no avail so far. I've tinkered and poked at our devices no end, and it's just not happening.

We've just had a successful DSL service for two years, so I more or less know how to set things up. But Verizon is different somehow, and it isn't cooperating at all. An old friend from Out There in Blog Reader Land has given us a band new Linksys 4-Port router. I'll have a long talk with Verizon tomorrow about whether the Linksys is likely to work any better than our ancient D-Link, or if it's supported by anyone.

Clearly, I have more technology than is good for me.

In other news, I had job interviews last Friday and yesterday. Friday was Federal Express - I've related that story on these pages already. Yesterday was ETS Pulliam. The work would be getting data of schools' standardized test scores into a database. The work sounds interesting, and I got a really good feeling sitting there in their offices. Everyone I met was nice. The people working looked like they got along well and were enjoying their work. The interview went well - it really is true that the more of them you do, the better at them you get. It's hurry up and wait while they decide who to hire.

Not much else going on. I see Cindy has still not related her news. Tomorrow is a happening . . . she will have double the action to report and comment on. I predict: utter victory, of course!

24 July 2005

On The Road

Welly welly welly welly welly welly well!

Here I am in lovely La Mirada, my old stomping grounds! I have spent most of the day with Mr. Adam, me old college chum. We had lunch and then went computer parts shopping! Now I am on his computer while he studies his roleplaying books and plots all sorts of deviousness in the form of super-powerful rules-loophole characters!

No, I am kidding - doubtless his creation will be a totally LEGAL and VERY HUMBLE 43rd-level Titanium Lizard Dragon Wizard Undead Ninja Robot, with flamethrower accessory and run-flat tires.

Ha! The fun one can have exploiting rules loopholes.

And fun it was, our trip to the computer store and our chattering and browsing and me making my own havoc on his computer. Soon, though, I must journey back to my humble Inland Empire digs, and prepare myself for the oncoming week.

It was good to log in just now and see a post from Cindy. That's my battle buddy, Hooah!

Clearly, I have nothing to report. Except that I have been playing and playing and playing, and just having a great time.

Take care and tune in again soon for more foolishness.



Yesterday morning at about 10:30 a.am. -- eight days after I turned in my application -- I finally got a call from Valerie, the manager at JoAnn Craft and Fabrics! I go in for an interview on Wednesday at 1:00 p.m. YEA!!! I do well at interviews, so I'm really excited about this. I told John just about six weeks ago that I thought I was ready to go back to work -- or, more precisely, I was ready to think about being ready! It seems kind of fortuitous that JoAnn is hiring right as I decide to go back to work. I've been wanting to work there for awhile, so everything seems to be coming together right now.

So, why do I want to work at JoAnn's (no doubt an interview question)? As someone who is exploring her emerging creativity, the idea of working with other ceative people and with customers who are also exploring their creativity is exciting. I think that it will encourage me and that I will have something to offer in return. Additionally, being around new products would encourage my creativity, which in turn would help me to reach out to others, in their creativity. Plus the excitment of the new building they will move into February 10 -- lots more space, products, services!

Okay, so that's probably no exactly what I'll say, but it's the answer to the question.

23 July 2005


'ow are you lot? Things are fine from this part of Saturday!

Cindy has news, but I'll let her come tell you all. As for me, I had a job interview Friday morning, and it went very well. It sounds like the Fedex job is mine if I want it! We'll see if Steve at Arrow / RES has anything definite about the technical editing position I was in for. If not, I may be a Package Handler.

My interview was with Cindy - different Cindy - one of the managers. She was very nice. She talked about how tough, physically, the work is, and how high the stress level is. Getting up in the middle of the night? Stress? Outrageous physical demands? Constant, er, 'encouragement' from supervisors? Sounds like Basic Training! All Cindy (manager) asked was that I give 100%. The two things I proved in Basic Training are that I don't say no, and I don't quit. You *can't* fail when that's your M.O.

The John and Cindy (wife, not Fedex manager) show went on the road. Friday was a trip to the Art Bar for Cindy, and I visited a friend from college. Today was a scrapbooking convention in Ontario for Cindy and free time for me. I spent my time listening to Leo Laporte on KFI and thinking about what to have for lunch. Tomorrow, we expect to go back to Art Bar and College friend. Lots of good play time and adventures before I'm off to work!

Not much interesting technical going on . . . I've half given up on our router. There's a firmware update I can download, but the descriptions on D-Link's site didn't sound like it would help the issues I'm having. But I may try just to be able to say I've tried everything. Ah, Karl suggested I get info from Verizon about their DNS addresses, login protocols, and all that, so that may be the real next step.

Oh, something kinda interesting, after all: I've had my eye on the Hewlett-Packard Jornada handheld computers for a few weeks now. A (model) 690 can be had on eBay for under $75.00 If gainful employment is as close as it looks like it is, I may be getting one as a 'back to work' prize, just to mess with. So watch this space for impressions, reviews, and a discussion of how well it runs TADS.

That's all for now. Sci Fi Book Club tonight - I'm not really involved, I just go to see me pals! Cheerio!

21 July 2005

Thurs - July 21 - O:Dark:30


Woke up at 0330 this morning, wide awake and ready to do things. There's not much to do at 3:30.

I've been amusing myself reading Nicko's Diary - Iron Maiden's drummer has regular posts to their website. It's very interesting - for instance, he never has an unkind word for anyone, and almost every post talks about him running into old friends, or having a great dinner and conversation. Some of the posts are shockingly mundane - one morning he vacuumed his carpet, returned some phone calls, then went out to find that his car wouldn't start. Gosh, the life of a big-time rock star!

I'm getting a technical support run-around. We have new DSL, and right now it's plugged straight into into the back of R5-D4 (my computer). I've been trying for a week to get it through our router so Cindy can play. (Right now, she's sharing my computer when she wants the 'Intercom'). So there have been several half-hearted calls to Verizon. Finally they said they had done everything they could, and that I should talk to the router maker (D-Link). I got to D-Link yesterday and they said the router is so old they can't support it, and they advised that I Go Away Now. Actually, what they said was to check their website for helpful tips, and be sure to see their large online technical support archive, but I know a Go Away Now when I hear one. But I did go explore, and, sure enough, there was very little of relevance. I've been talking to Karl, and he came to the same conclusion I was getting to - it may be time for a newer router.
And, being connected straight to the Internet, there is now all kinds of cyber goo in my computer. Some things Ad-Aware and Spybot can deal with, and some they can't. I'm off to Trend Micro's Housecall page when I finish this post.

In other news, I am currently up for two jobs. One is being a package-unloader grunt at Federal Express. That would be amusing, and it would be built-in PT, to keep me in shape for my Army tasks and drills. The other is - well, I'm not totally sure. It has something to do with editing technical documents. Obviously, I don't have a lot of details. It's office work requiring good typing and computer skills. The office job has regular hours, better pay, and is closer to home. But I've learned my lesson - jump on every chance you get, and see what happens. Either way, it will be an adventure.

I'm about done with my breakfast (little box of cereal, glass of OJ and granola bar) and I'm back to bed for a nap before I have to take the ol' jam jar (Nicko slang for 'my car') in for service.

Talk to you soon.

See you later, Be well, Hooah, or Up the Irons - as appropriate.

18 July 2005

Another Monday Night . . .

. . .but no Football yet. Instead, I've been: listening to MP3's (Right Now - Iron Maiden's Caught Somewhere In Time); tinkering with POV-Ray, a program to render 3D images; thinking about Allison Janey, my current in a long line of horsey-faced Celebrity crushes; wondering if I'll get our DSL modem to talk to the Intercom through our router (or vice-versa, or whatever); NOT 'studying' for my skills test and job interview tomorrow; checking with my wife to see if I can use the word 'lesbian' in our blog; eating Altoids Citrus Sours; and thinking about how ironic it is that over the three days I've been testing my new Instant Messaging app there's been precisely ONE message - my online pals are all lost at sea, it seems.

So that's what's going on. My wife (I say that like I've forgotten her name) - Cindy - is in the other room doing art.

I'm not concerned about the job stuff. The Army taught me to Keep Going, so I will either succeed now, or I'll succeed soon. Those are the only two answers.

I'll go now - I'll use our blog space for something really interesting.

No Phone Calls Yet . . .

It's a little after noon, Monday. I turned in job apps late Friday afternoon and neither JoAnn's nor Michael's have called yet. Not that I seriously expected them too; Monday's are pretty busy days for department managers and store managers.

Still, it's going to be a long couple of days while I wait . . .

15 July 2005

Another Light Bulb Joke

Some people won't think it's funny, but for those of us who love light bulb jokes, here's one to end your day with.

Baby Steps, Really

I've been thinking about going back to work for a couple of months now. The idea totally fills me with anxiety, however. I haven't worked in four years and when I did, stress was a real issue for me. Being bi-polar isn't easy on the best of days; work -- just the day-to-day stress of it -- made functioning almost impossible some days.

About a week ago, I stopped in the JoAnn Fabric and Craft Store that I shop at regularly and noticed a "Now Hiring" sign. I picked up an application -- an anxiety producing act, itself. But I did it, and it felt good, as well as scarey. I didn't do anything with the application until Wednesday or Thursday, but I eventually got it filled out and turned it this afternoon. The sign is still up, so I know the position hasn't been filled . . .

Then, I took another baby step. I picked up an application while I was at Michael's for a framing associate trainee. This application was more intimidating, but I filled it out, a few questions at a time. (Sometimes it is so hard for me to remember that I used to be the Executive Director of a battered women's shelter/rape crisis center. How ever did I do that job?) Anyway, I got that app completed and turned in, too! Maybe by this time next week, I'll be gainfully employed!

Wish me luck!

My Profile

Well, John having complete his profile encouraged me to work on mine. It's by no means complete, but at least I've started it. There will be movies, books, and music to add as I think of them later ... although you'd think favorites would be right at my fingertips, huh?

14 July 2005

New Profile

I made myself a Blogger profile. I think it's pretty funny. Check it out by clicking my name at the upper right of this page (under 'Contributors'). Also, it lists Cindy as my 'team member'. Hooah! I think that's a cool way to think of it. In life, I mean, not just for blogging.

Greetings, Readers and Posters!

Hi everyone! Welcome to The Lantier Family blog! Many thanks to Cindy for setting this up. That's my wife - she's pretty cool.

Blogging Again!

Now that we've gotten our internet straightened out (we switched from earthlink to verizon), we've decided to start blogging again. I decided to go with a Blogger template while I take my time designing something custom. I miss doing HTML work, but I didn't want to wait until I had something suitable to start writing.

This will be the third blog I've attempted -- hopefully, since John will be playing too, we'll keep it interesting -- or at least ongoing. He has lots of Army stories still to tell and I have the occasional art piece to share.