Mr. Sensitive

July 31, 2010

Six Day War – Day Six

Filed under: House,Operation Mortal Coil,Six Day War — lbej @ 10:53

The girls are returning this afternoon and I declare the Six Day War to be at an end.  A stuffed Yoshi met his end in Jenny’s room some time during the week and I plan to clean up that mess, but otherwise I believe I have done all I can.  Decisive victories were won in the office, the garage, the dining room, and the family room.  Most importantly, the Army of Failure was decisively beaten and its remnants scattered or suppressed.  Operation Mortal Coil cannot be definitely concluded until I conduct the review I keep not doing, but the material phase is over.  Everything of my mother’s that could be brought to the house was brought here, and everything that was brought here was dealt with more or less as it ought to have been.  That will have to be enough.  Next week I’ll try to do a little future.

July 30, 2010

FSX Friday Update

Filed under: FSX — lbej @ 17:30

It was another solid week for the Family Stock Index as we topped 1,000 for the first time since mid-June.  This week’s closing level of 1002.74 represents a 2% rise and caps an 8.6% climb for the entire month of July.  The broader market churned through a sector rotation, with the S&P 500 all but unchanged for the week.  The FSX also saw its share of differentiation; a 3-to-2 advance/decline ratio reveals a more mixed performance than the headline number suggests.  Charlotte and Zero did the wedding thing this week and the market weighed in vigorously.  But enough with the suspense.


  • ZERO +14%  (Congratulations from the market on officially joining the Urrrs.  Zero was already in the club, but now he stakes a legal claim to the vast fortune our parents didn’t leave us.  Wait…)
  • Lisa (KID) +7.1% and Dustin (DST) +6.3% (Lucas’ vacation in Hilton Head this past week wasn’t just a vacation for him.  And he wasn’t visiting by himself, either…)
  • LEE +6.1% and Katie (CATY) +3.8% (Jenny and Reagan did the Head as well.  I swear I’m not making this up.)
  • Marcus (MCS) +4.3% (The best performer on the week who didn’t ditch kids or tie the knot.  The market reminds us yet again that untying of knots can be a positive step as well.  I suppose it all depends on who one is tied to.)


  • All four of my pets were down, albeit fractionally.  One of them peed in my refurbished office yesterday, but as I don’t know which one, all four are still alive.  The market is saying that someone is playing a dangerous game here and will be headed to $0 if he or she is caught in the act.
  • Lucas (LEI) -2.6% (He must miss his parents, at least a little bit.  My kids, not so much.)
  • Charlotte (BOOT) -6.8% (I’m scratching my head on this one, because I think Zero’s dreamy.  Maybe the market is selling the news after buying the rumor.  Or maybe the market realized that the box of Magic: The Gathering Beta boosters that Charlotte has been hiding from me for 15 years now has to be shared with someone else.  I believe we have a winner.)

Tiny numbers:


Name 7/30/10 Change
Charlotte $14.68 -1.07
Dustin $41.08 +2.45
Icarus $10.06 +0.21
Jenny $14.77 -0.16
Justin $2.22 +0.01
Katie $11.76 +0.43
Lee $2.94 +0.17
Lisa $8.32 +0.55
Lucas $2.18 -0.06
Lulu $41.48 -0.47
Machis $8.66 +0.05
Marcus $12.20 +0.50
Mario $20.02 -0.17
Marisa $19.71 -0.16
Nicole B. $16.50 +0.01
Nicole L. $57.16 +0.40
Reagan $24.19 +0.18
Wilson $5.83 -0.07
Zero $0.45 +0.06
Zondro $4.92 -0.02

Awaiting The Onslaught

Filed under: House — lbej @ 15:07
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Let them come.


Filed under: Girls,House,Six Day War — lbej @ 13:40
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I have herded everything that was on the floor, in the couches, and under the couches into the center of the living room.  Here it is:

This is about 10 days worth of Reagan.  It’s just Reagan now, because Jenny never comes out of her room.  Just Reagan.  I work hard at this, I really do.  But she’s just better at bad.  My forebears know this feeling.  It’s like I’m sitting behind the Maginot Line and not only did the Germans outflank me, but they’re in Paris, and they’re dancing with the pretty French ladies, and I didn’t even know the war had started.

Six Day War – Day Five

Filed under: Operation Mortal Coil,Six Day War — lbej @ 09:18
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The dining room has been liberated following yesterday’s action.  In addition to general organizing, tidying and cleaning, I moved comics, trading cards, and related supplies to the office, cleared the far left corner of boxes and plastic bins, and reboxed and removed the last of the papers, photos, books, and other mementos of my immediate and extended families that had besieged me during Operation Mortal Coil.  All such material that I saw fit to preserve and retain has now been sorted and boxed, and 70 percent of it has been stored in the attic here.  Charlotte has taken possession of a full 20 percent, with my blessing, presumably for use in her own version of Operation Immortal Coil.  The remainder represents material that I stored in closets or other obscure but accessible locations for reasons of my own.  Today I intend to clean and reorder the family room so far as I am able; Reagan destroyed it to commemorate herself before she left last weekend.  My effectiveness has been greatly reduced by a course of colchicine I was forced to take yesterday to stop a developing gout attack.  Perhaps I will actually undertake the OMC review I’ve been meaning to do if I’m too nauseous to do anything else.

July 29, 2010

Jenny Made It

Filed under: Comic Books,Girls — lbej @ 16:42
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Jenny did this sketch for me on one of those do-it-yourself comic covers (Witchblade #32 as it so happens).  I think she was six, so it’s time for her sister to deliver.

That’s the gold standard, Reagan.  Go get it.

Permanent Rank

Filed under: Girls,Imperial Army — lbej @ 10:45
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It has often been the case in the military history of the U.S. that an officer would hold a rank within the regular/peacetime/standing army different from his rank within a force created to wage a war then ongoing.  For example, a West Point cadet and prospective career officer would be given a commission in the Regular Army upon his graduation and could advance irrespective of whether or not the United States was at war.  In that sense, hierarchy within the Regular Army functioned like that within any other profession, with promotion based primarily on length of service and secondarily on performance.  When the United States went to war, however, the government would create an Army for the purpose of waging the war.  Thus we have the Continental Army during the American Revolution, the volunteer forces during the Civil War, the National Army during WWI, and the Army of the United States during WWII.  An officer serving in, say, World War II, would have a rank within the Army of the United States separate from and in addition to his rank within the Regular Army, with the former based on his current role and the latter based, as previously mentioned, on past service.  Like brevet/battlefield promotions, promotions within the Army of the U.S. were temporary because the Army of the U.S. itself was temporary.  Once the war was over, the Army of the U.S. was dissolved and its officers reverted to their Regular Army ranks, or were decommissioned altogether if they were not Regular Army officers.  My grandfather (Mom’s father) was just such an officer during WWII, albeit in the Navy rather than the Army.  He was given a commission and eventually commanded a ship despite having been been a civilian prior to 1941, and when the war was over, he returned to civilian life.

The point of all this is to explain how and why Jenny and Reagan are promoted repeatedly and, it would seem, redundantly.  When I, in my role as généralissime of Imperial forces, undertake a new operation, I typically create an army specifically for that purpose.  Thus the Army of the Upstairs, the Army of the Party, the Army of Thirty-Nine Boxes, and so forth.  These armies are separate from the Regular Army of the Empire, and officers in the temporary armies can be drawn from the Regular Army, or not.  So I might create a temporary army in which Regular Army personnel (Jenny and Reagan) are commanded by, say, an uncle or aunt by virtue of the latter’s rank within the temporary army and irrespective of the fact that he or she is not commissioned in the Regular Army at all.

As of this writing, the officer corps for the Regular Army of the Empire includes the following:

  • Jenny, holding the Regular Army rank of Colonel (NATO code O-6).  She has held a temporary rank of général de brigade (brigadier general), which is one step above her permanent rank.
  • Reagan, holding the Regular Army rank of Major (NATO code O-4).  She recently earned a brevet promotion to colonel, but after I dissolved the Army of Thirty-Nine Boxes she reverted to her permanent rank.

My own rank is whatever I decide it is. The title maréchal général, conferred upon me by the Empress, is an honor and an office rather than a rank.  I am subordinate to no one, which is all that really matters.  I would summarize it like this: while you’re here, whatever yours is, mine’s one more than that.

Six Day War – Day Four

Filed under: Operation Mortal Coil,Six Day War — lbej @ 09:26

Efforts continued last night well until past 9 p.m. with better than anticipated results.  I now consider my mother to have been diluted to a safe concentration.  The last of the clothes, books, and pictures are gone, and thus my mother’s Army of Failure can never again pose a threat to the integrity and momentum of my own personal enterprise.   I will review the Operation Mortal Coil aims and objectives list once more this morning with a view towards a formal settlement at the weekend.  But it was not just the Army of Failure that I faced this week, but a coalition between it and the artifacts of my own disarray.  With the greater threat neutralized I see the lesser as an opportunity to be seized more than as a challenge to be faced, much as Austerlitz represented for Napoleon not only the necessity of a check against the Russians but also the opportunity to put Austria in her place once again.  Many foes I had forgotten (An unwieldy iPod speaker system?  A hand-crank radio?  A midget slow-cooker?) were seemingly unleashed with the emptying of the office, the master bedroom and Jenny’s room, and they are now arrayed in the dining room.  With the Army of Failure knocked out of the conflict altogether, this Army of the Unnecessary is all that stands between me and total victory.  I have the whole of today to force a decision.

July 28, 2010

Pet Nasty War – VO Day Declared

Filed under: Pet Nasty War — lbej @ 14:34
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I am declaring today Victory in the Office Day.  From the doorway it looks like this:

And from behind the desk it looks like this:

(The display case on the left holds my collection of figures representing historical American military units, and that’s my replica U.S. Constitution by the door.)

The Pet Nasty War is ended in this theater.  Any animal elimination in the office will henceforth be considered a Crime Against Peace as defined by Principle VI of the Nuremburg Principles, and will be punished accordingly.

Day Three Update

Filed under: Operation Mortal Coil,Six Day War — lbej @ 12:44
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Today will be the final drive of Operation Mortal Coil.  My flag shall fly above the Reichstag by nightfall or I will have turned it all into ash.  It was overcast this morning, meaning that I could expect the garage to be 80 degrees or so rather than 95.  That would be the difference between having two or more hours of fight in me rather than an hour or less, and as much as I hate to attack where an attack is expected, I could not eschew such an advantage though it should mean meeting the enemy’s main force head on.  So for two-and-a-half hours I hit him with everything I had.  It was not enough, but I had not expected it would be.  I need a second bulk pickup to finish it and we only get the one per year.  Furthermore, it’s difficult to switch back and forth between bubblewrapping and smashing, requiring a degree of operational dexterity I lack.  However, I have reached the point in Operation Mortal Coil where I am more interested in lacking things I have than having things I lack.  If I broke something I didn’t mean to break I certainly didn’t mean it less than I wouldn’t have meant it two months ago.  Now at midday I’ve done what I can do in the garage.  I’m content to have neutralized the breakables for now, and I will await reinforcements before I attempt to crush them.  Or rather, attempt not to.  Now I shall have meat and Cheerwine before I renew the attack.  The hammer will fall either in the upstairs hall or in the dining room–let the enemy flummox himself guessing at which it will be.

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