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"Ow, dad...careful, there's a thing on my neck that hurts!"

I was washing her hair, so I pulled the hair apart to examine the thing that hurt. First, I noticed a little bump -- a pimple? Ingrown hair? I cleared more of her damp hair aside, and discovered eight wiggly legs.

Destiny had a woodtick.

ICK ICK ICK ICK ICK ICK. I had them in my youth, but I lived on a farm. This one had been feeding, and had gotten a bit big. It was not happy about being bothered.

"Don't move...I'll take care of it," I said without explanation.

I got a lighter and a small metal chunk, in hopes of heating it off (that's how I remember them being removed). It held fast, despite being touched by a very hot poker.

Next, I heated up a tweezers, and grabbed it close to the head. With a little tugging, it came loose.

"Do you want to see it, or do you think you'll be scared? You had a woodtick."

"Um....I want to see it."

I had put it in a little cup, and held it low enough for her to peek in. As I explained how woodticks get around, I flushed it down the toilet. D'OH! I thought -- I should have saved it, for disease testing in case Des comes down with something. Lyme disease is rare around here, and usually transmitted by a different kind of tick. These ones can still pass disease, but it's not nearly as serious. Destiny hinted that she didn't want to hang around trees or grass anymore, but I explained that ticks not overly common, and that she shouldn't be worried about ticks everywhere. She probably picked it up at Grandma & Grandpa's today, playing in the back yard with my cousin's dogs.

Still, now my entire body feels like there's bugs crawling on it. I hate ticks. They're just....nasty.

1 comment
I'm 28 years old -- really? Has it been so long? Ten years since I graduated from high school, 6 years since Destiny was born...that's the way life goes, though. Putting things into some sort of perspective is tough when you're standing in the middle of the thing you're trying to inspect.

So, if you read 'I Am' this morning, you saw my preliminary itinerary for the day. The bike ride disn't occur -- the heat index was close to 120 degrees, something quite unhealthy for myself and a young one. Destiny woke me up at 8:30 (we went for a late bike ride last night, and were both quite worn out) and it was she who requested the rummage-saleing in the morning. She was wise to do so -- she made the best haul. Two toy horses, a white-tiger Beanie Baby, a rubber bat (of ofe mammalian sort), and more books than she could carry. All I found was a $10 Macintosh, which may be parted out and sold in the near future. After garage sales, we went to KMart and bought me more clothes. Then, we went to an antique shop and bought a couple old glasses frames, in hopes of replacing my broken sunglasses (they didn't quite work; needs more tinkering). Home for lunch, and then we took our Saturday naps. Everyone's favorite Derekfan, Busmun, left me a wonderful message on my answering machine -- I regret being in the shower, not hearing the phone ring to actually speak to him, but now I have his message recorded for posterity. After my shower, we departed for Mexican food (Destiny's choice), and to KMart to return a mismarked item and buy some more clothes on sale. With a quick stop at the grocery store, we were on our way home.

So, my birthday was quite low-key, but very nice anyways. I got a email birthday cards from two of my 'admirers,' several other birthday cards from friends and relatives. No real gifts, however, except for a bed from my parents. This leans towards the real reason for a birthday: acknowledgement from the people who care about you. It's kinda amazing, this internet: I get panglobal birthday wishes, solely because I make myself accessible. Heck, I don't know what Abi looks or sounds like, but she felt it worthwhile to send me a card. That's another level to the added impact the internet gives people - not only are thoughts and ideas passed faster, but the internet is a meduim for new threads that tie people's lives together, across greater distances.

Oh, you hear busmun mention Carl Kassel being on my answering machine. This was the prize I won on "Wait Wait Don't Tell Me." I'll save you the long-distance call and let you have a listen!

Daily Condition:

in cd player: billy idol, cyberpunk

my condition: thankful to just ignore me for the link!

1 comment
On my way home for lunch, a giant walking cellular telephone waved at me from the sidewalk.

I refused to wave back.

Derek Recommends:

tv: You Can't Do That On Television

I remember this fondly from my youth. However, looking back, I notice one major bright point about this series: none of the child actors were particularly attractive. The kids were regular, average Joes and Janes, and clearly were picked based on acting ability & charisma instead of looks (unlike every kid's show today).

Derek Is Reading:

The Stars My Destination, by Alfred Bester

Daily Condition:

in cd player: rob zombie, hellbilly deluxe

my condition: Slim Jims and Almond Joy -- The Lunch of Champions!

Daily Condition:

in cd player: rob xombie, hellbilly deluxe

my condition: Slim Jims and Almond Joy -- The Lunch of Champions!

Very intriguing - Stuck in the classifieds of the High Plains Reader is this ad:

Seeking aspiring actors/acresses, age 20-30, for independent short film. Auditions end of June, filming in August, No fake accents necessary. For more information visit

As of today, that URL has only this text:
movie auditions information...

is coming shortly. location and times will be announced soon.


Curious...I have a friend over at Yahtzeen, and I've encountered them before, so this has the potential for being pretty cool. I might just have to audition. I may get an IMDB entry yet!

1 comment
My creativity knows no bounds -- least of all, the interest of an audience. Two weeks ago, while hunting for rummage same bargains, I ran across two "talking home" unlicensed AM radio transmitters. "Unlicensed," meaning a license isn't necessary. In my testing, I got around 100 feet away before signal loss on my Walkman, but with some tinkering I should be able to get a bit more.

My artistic juices flowed all over with these machines -- they have a 2 minute looping digital recorder inside. For around a half hour yesterday, 1700AM and 530AM had me saying "ignore this message, this is a test" over and over and over. Think of the possibilities! I could read an entire page of "I Am" to it, let it loop as continuous poetry all day long. I could go absurd and record the "We're sorry, your call could not be completed as dialed. Please check the number and dial again" lady and let it play all day long. I could go so far as to hook up a computer with a text-to-voice program which reads an IRC chatroom into the transmitter (it also has a live input on it). I could set up parking-lot concerts, where the audience listens on their car radio a'la a drive-in movie to avoid noise ordinace violations.

The problem is, there isn't an audience out there randomly checking the AM wavelength. My range is barely a block, so there'd have to be an enormous coincidence for anyone to actually hear it. These transmitters are designed for sationary, constant use, like national park information, info on homes for sale, or specials for your store. These examples are all accompanied by a sign describing the purpose and presence of the station. In order for my ministation to be heard, there'd have to be quite a bit of advertisment to get an audience. Consistency would be required to keep it going - unlike my webpage stuff, there's no worldwide audience to hear my broadcasts. I'd have to rely on the people driving by my home (or office, if I can rig up a portable power supply), or hook up with some media source to promote my service and physically bring listeners to me. So, it looks very unlikely that anything will come of them.

But, man, it would be so cool!

"...and then she said, 'someone brought me a wagon!'"

Angie turned and asked, "So, what'd Destiny's father get her for her birthday?"

Presents...presents...what did he get for her -- Destiny's father? My father is her grandfather, her mother is....wait...

"But...I'M her father!"

Everyone in the cafeteria was listening to the conversation, and as such burst in to uproarious laughter at my expense.

I turned to Angie. "Derek doesn't like it when Angie speaks of Derek in the third person."

1 comment
Yesterday, I got an email from Communications Dept, saying they were sending me two posters which MUST be hung in our department, in a clearly visible area. The posters are advertising the Compliance Division, letting us know who to get in touch with if there's a compliance issue. They're trying to put a "friendly face" on the department, so that employees won't be scared to call and turn their coworkers in. I'm not sure why I was chosen for this task. They should know better than to trust me with such power.

So, I get the posters - and they're certainly putting a friendly face on their department. The poster is filled with a larger-than-life photo of the Compliance Director, and the caption is "Hi, I'm [name], Compliance Officer for [company]!"

I hung one unaltered poster in the cafeteria, but on the hallway poster I added a sign saying "Dress Your Compliance Officer", complete with with sticky cut-out accessories -- a tiara, sunglasses, a moustache, earrings, and a beret.

By the office at the end of the hall, there's a desk standing vertically on its end.

Sure, it saves valuable office space, but at what cost?

Happy birthday, Destiny.

Little D turned 6 today -- presents were opened at 6:30 am, but it was actually the third time she's gotten gifts in the past week, with more to come at her mother's tonight and more from various other relatives over the coming days. I'm taking off from work an hour early, so we can eat our cake and ice cream this afternoon, before her mother's visitation starts.

Grandma & Grandpa Dahlsad, my parents, showed up "unnanounced," bringing Destiny a little red wagon as a gift. Dad had an interview with Crystal Sugar yesterday, giving them a wonderful opportunity to see Des on her birthday (the first time since 1997). I knew they were coming, but Des did not -- at around 5:30 last night, there was a knock at the door. Des was closest to the door, so I told her to answer it. She paused at the sight of an unattended wagon sitting in the hall. "Someone brought me a wagon!" she announced, and froze as Grandma & Grandpa appeared from around the stairwell corner. A big smile appeared across Destiny's face; even though the grandparents were here only two weeks ago, Des only gets to see them a couple times a year, if we're lucky.

Six years -- she's a third towards adulthood, three times as old as she was when her mother left, and we've lived in this apartment over half of her life. Deestiny has started school, the training wheels are close to coming off, and she reads very well. From bassinet to crib to bed, so much has happened, and so much is left to come.

1 comment
The Poison OkiesI got an email a little bit ago, regarding my webring. Derek Dugger had visited the Receipt Site, and saw the Derek Webring at the bottom. Of course, the world revolves around me, so I don't allow other Dereks to participate in my webring. As thus, I refused to include Mr. Dugger.

However, Dugger used a long-forgotten bit of email ettiquite, the .signature file. A simple tag, his is "Derek Dugger, The Poison Okies," After tossing him my response, I was drawn to click on the link below his name.

So, go have a listen to The Poison Okies -- they're a rockabilly group from Oklahoma, and the two MP3s on their website are just plain fun. I downloaded them, I'll probably illegally burn them to CD and play them in my car, and I'll get some enjoyment out of the Okies' music. There are lots of little local bands loaded with a talent for music, and the Okies seem to be a prime example. I'm reminded of long-ago late nights spent, mind spinning from the excess of alcohol and clothes stinking of smoky bars, wandering into some no-name dump with a rag-tag bundle of friends. Orders are taken, crumpled fives and tens are tossed to the waitress, and our attention is turned to some grubby little band putting their heart into some great tunes. The music is good.

1 comment
Thanks to Wil Wheaton, who linked this from his blog, I bring you a bad simulation of Gothy Derek in the South Park world!. This was created with the South Park Studio, a snazzy little Flash applet which lets you choose from bunches of South Park options and accessories, in hopes of creating the ideal construction-paper-cutout child.

The real me, however, attracted a lot of attention today. My sunburn has, literally, turned my skin a pleasant shade of Fire Engine Red. It doesn't hurt too bad (other than around my scalp, and my upper lip), but I got a lot of sympathy. Even when touched, there is little pain on the burned areas; maybe I'm not supposed to get tan - I never have been successful, being of Scandinavian descent, in turning myself a caramel hue. Not that it's all that important to me; I'd just rather not turn a color which indicates injury.


All in all, despite nasty sunburns on our arms, necks, and faces, we had a good time at the Airsho today. Destiny got a bit bored mid-afternoon, and the noise started to get to her, but four or five hours of staring into the sky is a lot for a five-year-old. The day started with a record-setting parachute drop, which amazed Destiny to no end (although she was a bit scared before the chutes opened). I got to see a stealth up close, as close as the armed soldiers would allow. Destiny's favorite were the monster-faced aircraft. My favorite was a chromed B-25 that flew with several other old warbirds at one point. We actually followed this one (plus it's monster-faced twin) as it was towed from the showing area to the runway (watch for this pic over on mirror project), which was a fun experience in itself.

The sun was very, very bright, and people ended up camping out underneath the parked aircraft -- We sat underneath the A10 Thunderbolt II for a couple hours; another unique experience. These sort of memories can't be planned; You go to an airshow, fine, you see planes zoom around, but memories of resting under the bomb-racks of an attack craft after walking alongside a moving piece of air history, there's no replacement for such things.

The Blue Angels were the pinnacle of the day; Destiny was pretty tired, and I was interested in getting new photos. I was very familiar with the show, after yesterday's shots, so I was ready. I told Des to watch the spot right behind the announcer. A guy said "they're over there," as I faced the opposite direction of everyone else. "No, I'm watching that one," I replied, as a speeding F18 snuck up from behind. This photo resulted, the same maneuver as in yesterday's post, but from much, much closer (damn antenna), and Destiny was amazed that the planes didn't hit. She watched the rest of the show, enraptured. Looking through the pictures, she gestures with her hands "that's when they went WOOSH! Right past!"

The Airsho is here! Well, tomorrow, that is, but I got a good show today. My office is on the 6th floor of the westermost tall building in Fargo, which gives me a great view of incoming planes. I had an excellent vantage-point for Air Force One's arrival last year, and all day yesterday I watched the Blue Angels practice. Today, additional planes arrived:

The A10 Thunderbolt II was first to arrive (earlier than I expected; I only saw it's hindquarters as it passed by)
A large transport plane arrived next; I see them often, but this one was definitely arriving for the Airsho.
The stealth fighters arrive! For being stealthy, they made a lot of noise and showed up well on digital film.
Still, I've never seen one of these up-close before, so I'll be pleased to see it in person tomorrow.

Finally, the Blue Angels practiced their routine again.

The pic to the right isn't an illusion -- I clicked that just at the point of a high-speed pass. They're very, very close to one another.
In turning around, they cane very close to my building. Gear!
They flew around for near 45 minutes. Rock!
Destiny is excited as well; tomorrow should be a fun day for the both of us!

Agency ComPile starts out looking like a traditional "we want your money" collective of service providers, but there's much, much more to it. A lot of service-provider organizations do put their members online, but with little more than contact info and a "we do this for you when you give us money" blurb. Agency ComPile is a comprehensive resource, giving a lot of information about the clients listed in a useful way.

I ran across it when trying to find the ad firm behind the Tommy Jeans ads, but I found much more. The public relations, marketing, advertising, and media companies featured on the ComPile website have the opportunity to show how they shine. A lesser site might just give each client a place to write "We do this, and we've done this, and these people work for us," but Agency ComPile provides a lot of space for a media producer to demonstrate their work. Videos, Print ads, links to websites, PDFs of entire brochures, and anything else you could imagine are there. My favorite part, not used by every producer on the site, is the "Case History" section. Along with showing the end result of a design project, the case histories also explain what the customer wanted, what was decided upon for the final product, and what the resulted from their work. This information is very important, both for a customer and for budding designers & artists. If you can see how a firm does their work, it's more likely that you'll find a good match for your advertising needs. If you are trying to learn the ropes, having a resource full of the pro's thoughts available is worth it's weight in gold.

The site does require registration, but it's not a big deal - the only periodic email I get from ComPile is actually one of the most-anticipated messages I get each week. Like the rest of the site, the email isn't a hard-sell. The contents consist of links to some "spotlight" media pieces from a variety of marketing firms. Watching TV or reading a magazine, ads are meant to be secondary, something you catch almost subliminally and devote to memory. ComPile takes those ads and presents them as the artwork they are, complete with artist commentary and genre organization. I hope that this site does well; I think this is an excellent format for attracting clients, and the general public can get something out of it as well.

Daily Condition:

in cd player: nothing. I dismantled my stereo, but have yet to reassemble it.

my condition: tired, but I have a big, new, bouncy, trouncy bed to sleep in tonight, thanks to my parents.

Destiny takes off running towards the monkey-bars. I'm holding my camera, but I head back to the slide to pick up my camera bag.

She is sitting on a bench swing: dark curly hair, haltertop, sunglasses, curvy body. She's watching her daughter play on the ladybug teeter-totter.

Chaos rests on my right shoulder; Order is perched on my left.

Take her picture Chaos says.

Don't do it warns Order.

The woman notices I'm looking at her, and makes eye contact. I smile, she smiles back.

Just say "smile," and take her picture. It'll break the ice.

It's not the right thing to do.

What? Fuck that -- be spontaneous; women love it.

It would be inappropriate; she'll think you're psycho.

It's digital; delete the picture if you have too, but I think she'll be flattered.

She might be wearing a ring.

So? We can't see her hand from here.

So, she may be married; few single moms come here.

There's no harm in it; It'll massage her ego, you'll be pleased to have made a woman blush.

You can just say "hi" when you walk by.

This is why Andrea hasn't said anything to you in a while; you're a pussy, and you back down when you need to be spontaneous. You're too damn scared to offend a woman, so you miss all your opportunities.

Andrea just has a busy life, and so do you -- women want a polite man, someone who shows respect and restraint. If you jump in too deep, you'll just get yourself into trouble. Opportunity will present itself, without tilting at windmills.

I walk past. She's back to watching her daughter. I don't say "hi." I don't take her picture.

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