Uncle’s Index

May 22, 2017

An index, of sorts, to our awkward uncle’s store:

  • Auntie’s Bookstore.  Auntie has inspirational and self-help books.  Books to make your life better!
  • Uncle’s Bookstore.  Uncle, being awkward, prefers the seamier side of life.
  • Cool Critters.  Uncle has a fondness for creepy-crawlies of all types.
    • Ants  –  Ant keeping is actually quite an advanced hobby.  Look up Formicarium on YouTube!
    • Frogs.
    • Sea Monkeys and Triops.  Yes, we know that “sea monkeys” are simply brine shrimp, but they make excellent fish food.  And triops are really cool.
  • Weird Stuff.  Self-explanatory, I hope.
  • Bug Zappers.  Cool ways to kill off annoying creepy-crawlies.
  • Stuff and More Stuff.  I’m not really sure what these categories are all about.
  • Edible Stuff.  Things you eat.  Yummy!
  • T-Shirts.  I suppose this is ……… T-Shirts!
  • Cool Movies.  Uncle’s choice of DVDs.
  • Cool Gadgets.  Toys for grownups.
  • Condoms & Sexy Stuff.  Stuff for a mature audience.  (18+ only please!)

Browse and be happy!

Angel, We Are So, So, Sorry!

May 12, 2017

Dear Angel  –

Yes, we FORGOT to celebrate the day you rose to heaven.  PLEASE, PLEASE forgive us!

This has been a hectic spring.  As you know, Old Grump has been working out of town, in Columbus, Georgia.  The driving back and forth, and the usual stress associated with any bureaucratic corporate job, has been getting to him, and he is ready to quit working for good.  But Sweetie had this huge trip to the Philippines planned for her, Lola, Kuya, and Dodong, the cost of which will keep the old guy chained to his desk at work for at least another year.

Expenses associated with this trip have been a source of friction between Sweetie and Grump, as you would imagine.  Add this to the stress Sweetie has of raising two young boys without her husband home most nights, and it is no wonder that she and Grump have been bickering a lot lately.

But the four of them went on their trip anyway, leaving just this past Saturday, May 6th.

So in our nervousness, anticipation, and haste to get everyone and everything ready for this massive undertaking, the 22d of April just breezed past without any of us noticing.

Please don’t assume from this that we are forgetting our Little Angel.  You will always exist in our hearts!

Angel, please pray for Lola, Sweetie, Kuya, and Dodong while they are traveling, that no harm comes to them, and that they may somehow bring a little joy into the hearts of all they meet.  And pray for Old Grump, that he doesn’t get mad one day and just quit his job before he and Sweetie have been able to prepare for his “retirement”.

How amusing it must be to look down on us as we scurry about, worrying about the most trivial of daily irritants, when in just a short instant eternity will welcome us too.  I wish you had gotten to experience this mortal life, but since you didn’t, Angel I’ll do my best to describe it to you.

Love,

Your Family on Earth

 

Letter to Angel, 15/Dec/2016

December 15, 2016

Hi Angel   –

As you know it’s been raining here for the past couple weeks, which is a big deal actually, as we hadn’t had any rain since September!

Dodong, Kuya, Sweetie, Lola, and I are all doing fine.  Dodong and I are fighting off a stupid head cold, but things like that are part of the price we pay for being alive.

I FINALLY was able to get some affiliate sales from my online websites, http://tea-universe.com and http://buyingnirvana.com/teashop.  It was less than $20.00 for the year so far, which obviously won’t change my standard of living, but it’s a start.  Wish me luck!

Working and staying-over here in Columbus, while the rest of the family remains in Macon, is not enjoyable, as you can imagine.  My goal is to survive this job for two years, after which I get a 100% match on my 401K contributions.  At that point I’ll quit, and get whatever kind of job I can get back in Macon.  (“Welcome to Walmart!”)  Once again, wish me luck!

Kuya is doing really, really well with homeschooling.  The downside is he is missing out on socializing with other kids.  At least he can play with his friend Brody every other Sunday or so, and Dodong, although a lot younger, is around every day to bother and tease.

So that’s how things are going for us, more-or-less, at the moment.  I probably spend way too much time puttering around with the PC trying to make this affiliate marketing work, but it gives me something to do while in Columbus.  I think my next goal will be to put up another page on WordPress.com to try to help give the Awkward Uncle store, (http://www.arph001.com/uncle), as unlike our tea stores it has been a dud!

Hang in there Angel!  We’ll all be with you sooner than any of us can imagine.

We love you!

Help An Old Grump Retire!

October 15, 2016
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An Old Grump on a Recent Business Trip

Hey Y’all   –

How would YOU like to help out an Old Grump, his patient-but-suffering coworkers, and his family, at absolutely NO COST TO YOU?

How can you do this?  By simply going to Amazon via his affiliate link!  Then if you order any products from Amazon, he will get a tiny commission.

Your cost will be absolutely the same as if you went to Amazon directly.  In fact, you won’t notice anything different at all.

His family, his patient-but-suffering coworkers, and the Old Grump himself sincerely thank you!

 

—-> Go to Amazon now! <—-

 

 

Letter to Angel, 06/October/2016

October 7, 2016

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Dearest Angel  –

I am so sorry I haven’t written you in forever-and-a-day.  Please forgive me.

I saw the above picture on Tumblr, and thought you would like it.  Much like the balloon, your brief life got tangled up in branches, and you never got to soar on the winds of existence.  But you do live in our hearts, dearest Angel.  I know you know that.

As I hinted at in my last letter to you, a lot has happened in this past year.  Grump quit the insanity of the Lizard Pit, and got a new job two hours away in Columbus.  It hurts that he is aways from home many nights, but the Lizard Pit was beginning to suck the life out of him.

Besides Kuya’s experience with the bee, (actually, most likely a yellow jacket), poor Dodong had an awful reaction to fish.  Now we can’t eat fish in the house.  Phooey!

The good medical news is that Sweetie’s allergy shots appear to be helping her considerably.  She isn’t going through a box of kleenex a week anymore, and she has more energy.  (Which attempting to home-school Kuya immediately sucks out of her!)

Lola has done a great job with the gardens this year!  We’ve harvested some monster sized camote, which despite their size are tender and delicious.

Thank you so much for watching over all of us, and keeping us safe.  And please let Lolo know that finally next spring Sweetie will make a trip to RM, and visit his grave.  (Yep – we’ve already purchased the airplane tickets!)

Angel, I’ve been thinking about what people want out of life, and I’ve come to this conclusion: what people really want is to belong to something that “matters”, something that is bigger and more meaningful than their own brief existence.  For me, family helps fill some of that role.

I want you to know, Angel, that you will always be a part of our family.  Please don’t ever feel you are alone, because we love you, and want you to be a part of us.

Don’t get tangled up in dead branches of despair.  Let our love set you free, and fly on our sweet Angel!

 

(P.S. – I hope you like Jimi Hendrix!)

Letter to Angel, 22/Apr/2016

April 23, 2016

Dearest Angel  –

Today is the anniversary of the day you ascended to heaven.  For your balloon this year, we chose one that says, “Happy Birthday”,

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We all went outside to release your balloon.

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Kuya, Sweetie, Lola, and Dodong prepare to release Angel’s balloon

Happy Birthday Angel!!  We pray that you’re doing well, wherever you are.

Angel, we could really use your help now.  As you know, your older brother Kuya recently had a very unfortunate encounter with a bee or some sort of wasp.  PLEASE pray for him, and help keep him from being stung again, as he is apparently so sensitive to those insect’s venom.

Please also pray for Old Grump as he drives back and forth to his new job in Columbus, Georgia, on the other side of the state!

We love you Angel!

Letter to Angel, 2016/Feb/28

February 29, 2016

Dearest Angel   –

We FINALLY were able to get Lola to the church to light a candle for your Lolo, who as you know died last year.

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Lolo’s Candle Burning Bright

I wonder if you and Lolo are ever to meet?  Or are you both “lost” to the ravages of time?  Of course, as long as we live you continue to live in our hearts, but once we too are gone ….?

As you know, I’ve been trying once again to start an online “business”.  I created an Amazon store webpage, http://tea-universe.com, and have been trying to promote it.  Please put in a good word for me, Angel, and help me make my store a success without being yet another internet spamming “nuisance”.

Life is full of all kinds of anxiety, Angel, yet we living creatures cling to it with all our strength.  Is there a better existence beyond the grave, or are life’s trial and tribulations the best that we ever get?

We love you Angel!

Letter to Angel, 24/Jan/2016

January 24, 2016

Dearest Angel –

I am so sorry I haven’t written you more.  Please don’t think we have forgotten you, as we will NEVER forget you, or that we will only write to you in times of anxiety or sorrow.  We want you to share the JOY in our lives as well!

Dodong continues to grow.  He is slowly learning to speak, but I’m sure he’s confused, because while Lola and Sweetie, with whom he spends most of his time, speak Bisaya, Kuya and the Old Grump most assuredly only speak English.  Most of his words are English, but he does speak some Bisaya phrases, such as “ali na”, which means “come here”.  (Or something like that.  Google translate gives the Cebuano of “come here” as “din hi”.)

Kuya is doing well in his new school.  As you know, we had to pull him out of his old school because he didn’t seem to be getting on well with his teacher.  He spends lots of time now playing on the iPad, and a little bit of time practicing his piano lessons.

Sweetie is her normal sweet self.  She and Lola take good care of the rest of us, and we deeply appreciate it.

Old Sweaty Grump has, miraculously, remained employed.  He hates his job, and grumbles about it practically nonstop, but he is financially supporting the rest of us, so we accommodate his grumblings as best we are able.

Lola is phenomenal.  She works all day, takes turns watching Dodong with Sweetie, and never complains about a thing.  (Grump appears to have used up all his complaining allotment, and most of hers!)  Many times we wonder just what we would do without Lola.

For a more recent description of our activities, you can check here:

A VERY COLD trip to Stone Mountain

Visiting Kuya’s school

A visit from your cousins

Visiting Grandma and Grandpa

Christmas!

Bless you, Angel, for all the health, strength, and happiness you send our way.  We hope that, through our hearts, you too experience the joy of living and being a part of this family.

We love you, Angel!

Letter to Angel, 27/August/2015

August 28, 2015

Dearest Angel   –

We turn to you once again, praying for your love and protection, this time for a very young child.  Mama Sue and Pastor Jude’s youngest daughter gave birth to a baby boy yesterday, (Isaiah is his name, I believe), and he was born a few weeks too early.  He is very small, only 5.75 pounds, and he is being monitored for some issues, such as low blood sugar.

We pray that you intervene on his behalf with the powers-that-be, and help this newborn recover quickly from such a rocky beginning to his life.  We will do our part too, helping the family however we can.  All our combined love will possibly sway the actions of a potentially indifferent universe.

I’m sorry if I sound a bit negative, but I get very upset with God, (or “the gods”, or the “Higher Powers”, or whatever term and image(s) you may use to refer to a greater purpose of life), when children suffer, particularly infants.  It makes me feel that God is either incompetent or a jerk.  And no, I don’t presume to judge God!  Of course I am just a finite mortal possessing an infinitesimally teeny bit of intelligence, (assuming, of course, that I have any intelligence at all!), and God is omnipotent and perfect.  But it is within my flawed mortal nature to recoil from pain being inflicted on any living form, especially an infant,* and so I can’t understand or accept how a perfect, omnipotent God would allow this to occur, and I probably never will.

There is a purpose to this existence, even if we humans have to create it**, and this purpose does NOT involve the suffering of the innocent.  That suffering is, to put it bluntly, a fuck-up.  As the universe and intelligence continues to grow and evolve, suffering will diminish.

Sorry if all this sounds nutty, Angel.  When dealing with concepts such as God, (and you!), it all gets so confusing!  God is the most real thing ever, but the hardest to …. well, define, measure, or prove.  But as surely as language exists, a Higher Power exists, even if this Higher Power, like a language, comes into being via human activity.**

I’ve strayed off the subject because I’m tired, and because the subject itself is such an emotional one that it short-circuits my poor brain.  Cover this young infant with the love we still feel for you, dear Angel, and let the healing power of love help him grow up healthy and strong.

And bless you for all the health and strength you infuse into our other two children.  (You, dear Angel, being our “third child”.)

We love you, Angel!

 

* – mosquitoes, ticks, venomous snakes and spiders, and other nasties being excluded from this, of course!

**  –  this is kinda hard to explain, and I certainly don’t want to say something as simple, (and wrong), as, “God is a human creation.”  I guess what I mean is that the concept of God may be something that we discover, or create even, but then that once the concept is there, God by necessity exists, (and then always has existed).  Sorta like gravity: gravity has always been around, but the concept of a gravitational force wasn’t developed until a few hundred years ago.

 

 

 

Ramblings #001

August 6, 2015

This is being typed on an iPhone. Ugh!

What has happened is that the powers-that-be where I work have got a bug or two up their collective asses and gone on a “punish any employee browsing the Internet” witch hunt. So yours truly is staying off the web for a while.

Good Lord – trying to type using this cellphone is a royal pain in the arse! Now that I have an extra exclamation point, how do I get rid of the damned thing?

!