Posted by: wizmoto | September 16, 2012

Prime Time

It is Sunday afternoon, 1:30pm Eastern time. This is as prime as it gets for watching NFL Football. There are 9 games in progress. We have cable, Suddenlink, with the “Sports and Information” package.

I can find three channels purporting to show football right now. Two of them are Fox affiliates, WVNS-FOX and WVAH-FOX. A third is CBS, WVNS-CBS. Two just say “NFL Football” in the guide. The third, WVNS-CBS, says “NFL Football – Ravens at Eagles”, which is the game that I want to watch.

In the real world, the game I want to see has been replaced by the Bengals vs the Browns. Of the other two, WVAH-FOX is showing Tampa Bay vs the Giants, and WVNS-FOX is showing a rerun of “Two and a Half Men”.

So that’s two games of nine available to me, neither of remote interest.

Last week, we really wanted to watch San Francisco vs Green Bay. Our guide said it was on WVNS-FOX. What was really on was the Tampa Bay game. The other Fox channel had a color bar test pattern. Ironically, when Tampa Bay had a weather delay, they actually showed the game we wanted for about 5 minutes.

NCAA College Football has come a long way in terms of what I have available to watch. NFL Football has receded into the dark ages. At least when we only had three channels, you didn’t expect to be able to watch more than two games.

Posted by: wizmoto | December 31, 2011

Surrender Dorothy

I was driving with my family around Washington DC this week.  My younger son, Joseph, was sleeping, but Samuel was still awake, so I started relating memories from my time in the area growing up.

The one he found fascinating was about seeing “Surrender Dorothy” painted as a graffito on a railroad bridge near the DC Mormon Temple.

We had watched the Wizard of Oz recently together, so he appreciated all the references.  When we finally got near the temple, he was impressed that it really did look like the Emerald City.  Unfortunately, looking backwards towards the railroad bridge we found that the graffito hasn’t been repainted.  I don’t condone vandalism, but I miss this memory from my childhood.  But the bonding with my son was priceless, with or without the actual text.  And finding the picture above will help convince him that I’m not crazy.

Posted by: wizmoto | November 25, 2011

Failed Author

Unable to form clear, concise sentences,

uncaring about punctuation and grammar,

can’t keep a plot going,

can’t develop a character,

I turn to poetry.


Ah, sweet release!

No rules.

No limits.

No critics.

Even the critical inner voice is quiet.

Posted by: wizmoto | November 24, 2011


cold, grey rain-slicked road
hill after countless hill
light growing unnoticed

butt aching, bones creaking I arrive
to face another long week
earning food, and clothes, and shelter
like countless fathers before me
to spend every precious moment
with my family

Posted by: wizmoto | November 23, 2011


I have so much to be thankful for, that I would feel ungrateful for not saying something about it here.  What better place to share my blessings?  Oh, sure, I could tell the people involved directly, I’m sure you will say.  Well, then, I will do that too.

The biggest things – in the past year I’ve married my sweetheart and adopted two wonderful boys.  So above all else I am thankful that we can be a full and official family this year for Thanksgiving.

I have, no lie, the world’s best parents.  They help me out whenever I need, they are supportive and encouraging, and they have become wonderful grandparents.

My in-laws are similarly fantastic, helping with the boys in every way.  They have been a great, often overlooked, blessing.

My sister-in-law has been amazing.  I cannot count the number of times she has helped us out of a jam.

My brother and his wife are a great part of the family.  We don’t get to see them very much, but they are always in our thoughts.

We have jobs, a house, the cars we need, and food to eat.

Thank you, Lord.

Posted by: wizmoto | November 23, 2011


Photo by Steve Brightwell,

Strong and resilient, soft and cuddly
Fiery of temper, calm and cool under pressure
Capable, yet willing to let me drive
Sharing her inner child when it gets too serious

Posted by: wizmoto | November 20, 2011

Not going back to Southern Red’s BBQ

I went to pick up dinner for my family at Southern Red’s BBQ drive through today.  I’ve been through there once before, and it was slow as expected but no big deal.  Today they took my order fairly promptly and took my payment.  Then they completely forgot about me.  I sat there for 20 minutes before I could get someones attention.  When I did, they claimed they had already given me my food.  I explained that they had not.  They very rudely argued with me about it.  Finally they agreed, without apology, to fix my food.  After another 12 minutes, they brusquely handed me the four sandwiches, one of the four orders of fries I had paid for, and my two drinks.

My wife called the restaurant after I had gotten their attention and complained.  They were rude with her an again unapologetic.  They offered to cancel my order, which of course I had already paid for.  As I was still sitting at the drive through, I could hear them complaining about her call.

The food was adequate.  You can’t really screw up pulled-pork, but there are lots of ways to improve it that this place has not considered.

I am extremely disappointed in this place and my family will not go back.  If you have similar stories, or redemptive stories, please share.

Posted by: wizmoto | November 17, 2011

Today I Became a Father

I’ve been a step-dad for a while now, to two wonderful boys.  A few months ago, my wife and I filed a petition for adoption, and today I had the wonderful chance to go to court for the hearing.

The judge was kind and wise.  He and my lawyer asked me some questions, mostly procedural stuff like do I live in this county and am I married to the boys mother.  Then they asked my wife questions, confirming her consent to the adoption.

My parents were there, and my mother-in-law.  The boys were dressed up nicely and were so well-behaved that of course everyone loved them.  My heart was bursting with pride.

It was great being a step-dad, but today has been fantastic, and I am really looking forward to my life as a dad.

Thank you, Samuel and Joseph, and thanks most of all to my wonderful Sherry, for this chance.  Bear with me when I get impatient and unkind.  Forgive me when I err.  You already know I’m not perfect.  In return, I give you everything that I have, especially my love.

Posted by: wizmoto | November 15, 2011

Busy day

Bounced back and forth I sit at my desk all day long.  Struggling to do something, asked to do everything.  Phone rings – I cringe.  Cup of coffee equals five email in my inbox.

My life seems like an overburdened processor.  Interruption interrupts interruption, pushing the stack deeper and deeper.  Processing slows.  Malloc error.  System fault.  Core dumped.

I need a reboot.

Posted by: wizmoto | November 11, 2011

Disgraceful Behavior at Penn State


Image by sean.flynn via Flickr

In the wake of a Pennsylvania Grand Jury proceeding against an alleged child molester, Joe Paterno was fired.  Most people with a little bit of distance from this scandal see that it was necessary for him to go, and he wouldn’t go voluntarily, so they ousted him.

My heart was aching for the Penn State students, alumni, and athletes.  They hadn’t brought on anything to deserve this, and it was rocking their world.  It reminded me much of the shooting incident at my school, Virginia Tech.  I thought I would root for Penn State, a school I’ve traditionally disliked, for a long time to come.

Then the students rioted.  And it got violent.  And the news coverage is showing people laughing and cheering while violence is committed.  These students, assuming they are all students, aren’t agonizing over the ouster of Paterno.  And they don’t even seem to be upset about the atrocities committed on their own campus, let alone being supportive of the victims of those atrocities.  They’re just hooting and hollering like a common mob.  It is disgraceful behavior.

Possibly the vast majority of PSU students weren’t in the mob, and are as aghast as I am at what was done.  But unless they make themselves heard, I think much of the population of this country will assume they are all just as lawless, disrespectful and disgraced as the ones caught on camera.  Please, silent majority, if you exist, speak out!

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