06/25/2007 - Several weeks ago, I had a cock-up on my webpage here, so I've lost a bit of content on this page. I've been working on another site of mine, and I accidentally loaded the pages intended for that site to this space. So, I will try to backfill some of the lost content as well as fill-in for some of the time I haven't been active here. So, at the moment, I'm 'in between' assignments - doublespeak for unemployed - and have been furiously seeking my next gig, and trying to keep my head above water with the house and all. One project I've been working on will take me to New Jersey for an extended period. I've also been looking at possibly relocating to the greater Philadelphia area; there is a woman involved, and it would be silly, indeed, but love makes us do strange things. I'm still trying to find something permanent here in Phoenix, as I really like it here, despite this weeks' 108-degree temps. The job market here has cooled just about as bad as the housing market, whereas in Philly it seems quite robust. I know I would miss the relatively low cost of living here, though. And a few friends I have made here, as well. The little town I live in is still missing some of the comfy things, like a Wal-Mart, Lowe's or Home Depot, but we finally got a Starbucks (although it is located inside one of the main grocery stores). The cafe I have been going to here lately makes some pretty decent bagels and coffee, and free wi-fi gets me out of the house and retains my sanity. A few new restaurants have opened here in town, some good, some 'eh'...I still go to the Native New Yorker to drink my Guinness and give Melinda, my favorite bar mistress, the occasional massage upon request. Her 'huge tracts of land' must really give her chronic back problems. All innocent, friendly fun of course. Melinda and Ryan usually have a pint sitting in front of me before I can pull my bar stool up and take good care of me throughout my evening. Ryan gives me dirty looks when I quit after a couple, but he's gotten used to me being much thirstier. On Tuesday's my good friend Mike C. and the rest of our posse still have occasion to visit the Fox and Hound, where they have a lovely $2.50 pint night special, as well as half-price appetizers. My daughter turned 17 (!) last month - one more year of child support! Of course, then there will be college costs, but at least I won't have to deal with my ex-wife any longer. By the way, I must have finally shamed her about taking communion after our divorce, since I've recently received annulment papers from the Little Rock Archdiocese. One of those seemingly strange quirks of the Roman Catholic church leaves you still married in the eyes of the church after a civil divorce. This prevents you from receiving certain sacraments in the Church, such as holy communion, marriage, etc. When it's all done, I will be able to avoid going to hell. Yeah me! I really liked being married, just not so much the who. The only positive thing that came out of my nearly ten years of torment is my daughter. If I had a do-over, I think I would've gone into the service as I had planned. But I wouldn't trade my daughter for anything. Someday, I hope to get married again. I've had a few candidates in the past: Psychotic Nymphomaniac Mary; Perpetually Noncommittal Debbi; Sweet but Standoffish Kate; all could have been, but the window opened and closed. Now the Enigmatic Mystery Woman. Well, I'm still accepting applications, but my attention is currently directed several thousand miles away.

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Updated 09/05/2008
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