Always tweaking something!



Day 3652

As of 6:30pm EDT Aug 22, 2014, I will have completed 10 years of being smoke free.

Might even get off my butt and resume blogging on a regular basis again.

In news besides the decade of non-tobacconess, I should mention that BOTH daughters-in-law are very, very preggers. Jill, who is expecting her 2nd, is due around Sept. 3. Kelly who is expecting her first, is due around Sept. 13. But Kelly has been having some difficulties with high blood pressure of late and is under orders to stay out of work, lay low and not do ANYTHING. (just short of bedrest only for her)

If her B.P. doesn’t behave, her OB may bring her in and induce her. She’s now 37 weeks along, so the baby will be just fine popping out a little early. That brings up the possibility of the girls having their babies on the same flippin day!! Wouldn’t that be neat? Downside is that the hospitals are 90+ miles apart (one here in Rottenchester, the other in Syracuse). Going to make for a lot of driving next month.

Golf this year? Best handicap year ever. Single digits, here I come!
Bowling? Starts in 2 weeks. Might even have 2 or 3 weeks of overlap. Won’t know what to do with all this recreating going on.

Oh – we got us a little camper too. Trying to get out as much as we can before all the camps close up (Oct 15 seems to be a common goal). Got to knock off as many different campgrounds as we can, all in search of a few favorites. I see a canoe coming next . . .

With any luck I can keep y’all posted.


Day 3536


This is ugly.  I absolutely HAVE to get back into the FitDay habit again.  Record everything I eat, record every workout I get in.  Seems to be the only way to make myself accountable to my own self.  Been a little too much denial about how much exercise I get and how much food I think I’m not eating.

Getting to within 15 lbs of where I was when I originally started my diet 9 years ago will do that to a guy.  I just need to figure out how I can make use of my old library of food entries.  It’s too painful thinking about re-creating that while thing again.   I can use that library now, but it drags the entire history along with it, so it makes things slower to load, slower to run, etc.  It’s figure it out or deal with it.  Either of those options are better than ‘go without’ because I’ve shown I need a little help.

In other news – my league was supposed to start golfing LAST week.  We didn’t because of construction delays on the new clubhouse/restaurant/proshop.  Saturday we got an email from the owner.  We’ll be delayed at least 2 more weeks because they ripped out both parking lots and the road leading to them so they could re-pave them.  Now – you’d think this guy wasn’t a Rochester native because March & April around here are cold, wet & muddy.  Not ideal paving weather.  Know what the problem with the parking lots is?  Ground water seeping up  and rain/snow coming down.  It’s been too wet & muddy to get anymore done than rip out the existing paving.   Hmmmm.  Didja see what I said about March & April around here?  Might be time to have second thoughts about going back there next year if he’s going to continue to make poor decisions like that.  The owner already has everyone’s money for this year, so we’re all kind of stuck.  He (the owner) has some serious sucking up to do if he expects people to come back next year.  He does have a few things going for him.  1 – The course is really pretty good.  2 – The weather last week was lousy and the forecast for this week is worse – not likely we could have played anyhow.    But I will send them a teaser about being able to play at some neighboring courses.  Anonymously, of course.

Some fast updates

Had a very nice Easter weekend. Might even remember this formula: Have “Easter Dinner” the Saturday before. Odds are better the whole fandamily will make it. We booked it to Syracuse to hang with Eric & Kelly, Zach and Jill made the trip and Kelly’s whole family was treated to a day of fun with Little Avery. I guarantee she had more energy than any 3 of the adults combined.

Having Dinner on Saturday freed up Sunday for: wait for it . . .


Eric and I got out for a round with his father-in-law and uncle-in-law. It was a gorgeous day for mid-April by upstate New York standards. Early partly sunny conditions and 50ish degrees just before tee time improved to mid 60’s and sunny by the time we finished. We played a rather challenging course (high slope rating – 128) and I managed to shoot a score consistent with my handicap on a slightly less challenging course I know very well. It was the new driver, I swear.

In baby news, we have updates as well. Zach and Jill have confirmed that their new young one will be a boy. That gives them the worlds cutest little girl, Avery, and his soon to be new brother. They appear to be ready to shut down the baby making machine after this one since they’ll have a “complete set”.

Eric & Kelly were in for her ultrasound today and also found out the gender of their new one. They both thought for some reason they were having a boy. Guess what? Not gonna happen this time. They will also be having a little girl for their first child. Only question for is will she be a blond or a red head? Blue eyes are guaranteed what with Eric being a blue eyed blond and Kelly being a blue eyed red-head.

Looking forward to September. Baby boy due in the early part of the month, baby girl coming sometime mid-month. Or whenever they are ready – we all know how THAT goes.

The Ides of April?

Day 3523

The government made me do it, I swear!  Figuring I owed on my taxes this year, I postponed the inevitable until the last possible weekend.   I didn’t think we’d even have enough deductions to itemize them this year.  College loans are paid off and  it’s been years since we could claim the kids as dependents.  Heck – those same kids are working on dependents of their own now.

We (the spousal unit & I) claim zero exemptions on both federal and state taxes and it seems that’s never quite enough to keep the scale balanced.  Last year I made a sizable contribution to an IRA since I wasn’t eligible to start on a 401k yet.  That actually helped quite a bit at the time.   This year, even with the 401k started, when the dust finally settled we were deep in the hole.  Comfortably into the 4 figure range with the Feds and we’d have to toss another couple of hundred to the state.

What’s a guy to do?  Seeing as I was using my banks on line tax software, I played with some numbers.  (No – not a mysterious large donation to some charity)  I wasn’t maxed out on my 401k contributions (quite), so I looked at the IRA options again.  Using the tax software I was able to compare the effects of various contributions to my IRA account.  Finally settled on a number that reduced my federal taxes owed to a much more modest amount and even got me a return from the state.  Net effect?  I’m out about $100 to the various governments in tax payments and I’ve padded my retirement nest egg by LOTS of rounds of golf for my future self.  In essence, the government used my distaste for sending them money to force me to make investments for my retirement.  My new motto?  10 more years!!  That’s when I get to use all this money I’m putting away.

On a separate note – it’s been interesting reading blog entries about recent weather.  Sitting here on the east (Right!) coast, it’s sort of a weather forecast for us.  So all that nasty shit we saw happening in the Rockies and then in the Midwest has arrived here.  Yesterday we peaked at something like 82 degrees – 3 degrees short of the record for the day.  That followed an 80+ degree Sunday too.  So yeah – 82 yesterday afternoon sometime, obviously WELL before 5pm because when I crawled out of the cave here and got back above ground to go home it was already down to 59.  This morning on the drive in it was 37 and the temps aren’t going to stop until they bottom out at around 18 later tonight.  As part of that transition, we get this:

Ides of April

Yes, I’m under that upside down raindrop thingy, which is appropriate as it’s raining here now.  The pink that’s juuuusssst to the west of me?  Ice & freezing rain.  Lunch time ought to be fun.  And of course, the blue behind it is the inevitable snow.  After this latest finger of the bi-polar vortex slides by, we’ll return to more seasonal temps by Thursday.  Maybe.  I hope.  Trying to make plans to golf in Syracuse this weekend, even temps in the 50’s would be tolerable.

The cat would like some warm weather too.  Our back porch is sort of a roofed, screened in deck.  Nice sized.  If you count screen, it’s completely enclosed.  Well, Diesel (the cat) got out there over the weekend.  Good lord, he loves it out there.   If we leave the slider open we may never see him in the house again except for trips to the litter box.  When he’s not on the porch, he’s really enjoying sitting in front of an open window keeping an eye on the bird feeder (Cat TV)  got to make sure all the birds are sharing the food nicely.  He’s bumped his head into the glass several times thinking he’s going to pounce on a bird.  Hope the screens are stout enough to keep him in.

Guess all my docs have uploaded.  Better get back to cranking out reports.

Tis the season!

Day 3519

For the uninitiated, that Day #### is how many days since I gave up the evil cigarettes, cold turkey but with a plan. It’s one of the main reasons I started this blogging nonsense in the first place – 9 years, 8 months and 19 days ago. But who’s counting?

The real reason for this post is to finally welcome spring to the snow belt. Even the largest piles of snow in the parking lots are almost gone, the creeks are all way over their banks in typical spring flood mode, you can’t look outside without seeing a robin, and as some others have noted, you can’t look anywhere inside and not find a wad of cat hair sticking to something.

Plus, it was in the low 70’s when I left work yesterday. I just happened to have my golf clubs in the truck, so I swung by the driving range to test drive my spankin’ new driver & three wood (3 fairway metal? There’s no wood in these things anymore). Boy, have I been depriving myself hitting a 20 year old driver and 45 year old 3 wood (actual wood – persimmon).

The new driver got a name. Hank.

Why Hank? Because he hammers the CRAP outta the ball. So he’s going to be known forever more as Hammerin’ Hank. Well, at least until I get older and can’t swing like I’m trying to jump out of my shoes anymore. Thought that was going to happen when I hit 50. But last year I was still out driving the younger guys in my league with my 20 year old driver and 54 year old back. Now with the new gear? Hah. Yesterday I was aiming at the 250 yard flag and getting the ball there on the fly. Used to be doing well to carry 230 and rolling out to 260 or 270. Those 20 extra yards are going to help. There’s the added benefit of having a larger sweet spot on the club face too. That just makes the club more forgiving of less than perfect hits (of which I have plenty!), so even bad shots won’t be as bad. All this will hopefully add up to a better, more competitive year of golf.

Of course, then there’s this:

You see that?  79 Monday and 39 Tuesday?  For daily highs?

You see that? 79 Monday and 39 Tuesday? For daily highs?


Monday evening looks like it’s going to be a doozy!

X’s & Y’s

So. When did I last write? Was it around the “Blizzard of 2014″ time? I put that in quotes because, really, to excite anyone around here ya gotta deliver more than a measly 14 or 15 inches of snow.

Then there was the little surprise we had this past weekend. Something like a combined 12 inches of grauple/sleet/freezing rain/mostly snow. That stuff was extremely heavy. So glad I got a snow blower after the boys went to college! But since Sunday we’ve had a couple days in the 50’s so all that stuff is almost gone now.

Bowling season ended last week. Missed my target average by a whopping 14 pins. I needed 14820 pins over 78 games to hit that magical 190 average. Ended up with 14806 and a 189.82 average. So NEXT year we’re aiming for a 195 average.

In baby news, that little Avery is still the cutest thing on the planet and has more energy than 3 Energizer Bunnies. She never walks anywhere. Hop, skip, run, bounce, but no walk. Incredible. And her parents (Z & J) decided to find out the gender of their #2, due Sept. 3. Looks like Avery is going to be a big sister to a little brother! The important bit was that yesterdays ultrasound showed that everything was progressing just fine – head looks good, spine is in good shape, fingers are flexing – all good stuff. The fact that it’s a boy is gravy – we all would have been thrilled either way.

In a couple of weeks E & K have their next ultrasound (well, mostly K. E will be there for morale support) and they too will be learning gender. Their due date is 9/13 – like the baby cares! But September promises to be pretty thrilling.

Then, last night I learned that my nephew & his wife down in Tennessee, who originally declared they weren’t having kids because this was a horrible world to bring children into, had a little announcement of their own. Apparently they’ve had a change of heart about the whole bringing a baby into this world bit. Turns out they are having twins and are due just after the bunch up here.

So here’s my poor mom, who right now has 1 great grand child. By the end of the year she’ll have 5! Somehow that makes me going from 1 grandchild to 3 sound not quite so bad. And? I’ve been telling my nieces & nephews (all 6 of them) that I am a great uncle. You know, great, as in a jolly good fellow kind of uncle. Now? I WILL be a Great Uncle. Thanks to Z & J, my brothers already enjoy that status. About time the older one gets to join in, eh?

I gotta run. There are 5 other kids in my son’s generation that are technically capable of having kids. Granted only one of them is married, but at the current pace, one never knows who’s going to get knocked up next!

Blizzard? What blizzard?

Yeah, so the blizzard of 2014 came and went. I scooted home early from work, then sat at home logged on to the corporate server plugging away at my report writing. There are decided benefits to working in a basement and being unaware of the goings on in the great outdoors. Can’t count the number of times I looked out the window and thought “wow – I can’t even see the trees across the street!”.

Ended up doing my own driveway twice, did my neighbors twice too. They were away on vacation and it just seems to me that an unplowed driveway says “hey look here, no one home, come on in and steal everything!”

Neighbor on the other side of me had an 80 foot tall black cherry tree crack about 10 feet up. It fell over and got caught on another tree, so there was no immediate damage. But with 30mph winds, gusts to 50 and the fact that everything was leaning towards his other neighbors house, he wanted to get it down under some semblance of control. Turns out the other neighbor is an arborist and specializes in just that kind of work, so he spent a few hours up in the tree trimming and dropping branches. Eventually got the whole thing down and kept it out of his kitchen. No – I didn’t go watch. Way too cold to make that a spectator sport.

All told we ended up with 16 inches of snow in the 24 hour span of the storm. Most businesses closed early Wednesday during the snow (even the local malls shut down at noon), the snow slacked off by midnight and by Thursday morning things were pretty much back to normal. Our plow crews did their typical top notch job and we all got to go about business as usual.

No news on the pending grandchild glut. Both gals are chugging along growing their babies. Just don’t have confirmation that Kelly is for sure having only one. With twins on both side of my family, in every generation currently living, it is a small concern. However considering that my family is contributing on the male side of the equation, seems like there might be less influence. I don’t know for certain, but I would think it is the egg bearer that determines that kinda stuff. Maybe Google knows.


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