Saw this on several trips around the innerwebz:
1. Eggnog or Hot Chocolate?
Eggnog. Rum or bourbon optional.
2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree?
Wrapped. Not fancy, but you have to have a little mystery.
3. Colored lights on the tree/house or white?
White lights, gold ornaments, couple red items tossed in.
4. Do you hang mistletoe?
5. When do you put your decorations up?
Usually the weekend after Thanksgiving
6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)?
7. Favorite holiday memory as a child?
Getting up early and just staring at the tree/gifts Christmas morning
8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa?
Not sure. Being the oldest meant that I had to play along for a few years extra
9. Do you open gifts on Christmas Eve?
Nope. Do not open till Christmas!!
10. What kind of cookies does Santa get set out for him?
Whatever I don’t eat first
11. Snow! Love it or dread it?
It’s upstate NY. No need to love it or hate it, it’s going to come anyhow.
12. Can you ice skate?
Yes. I skated TONS on a frozen pond as a kid. Prefer hockey skates to figures skates. Those damn toe picks can kill a guy,
13. Do you remember your favorite gift?
Estes rocket model of a Mars Lander.
14. What’s the most important thing about the holidays for you?
15. What is your favorite holiday dessert?
I rarely, if ever eat dessert. Do cookies count?
16. What is your favorite holiday tradition?
Baking and decorating cookies with the kids
17. What tops your tree?
An angel that isn’t self lit, so I stick lights up her butt to give her a little inner glow.
18. What do you prefer… giving or receiving?
19. What is your favorite Christmas carol?
TSO – Mad Russians Christmas.
20. Candy canes… yuck or yum?
21. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present?
22. Favorite Christmas movie?
I generally avoid Christmas movies like the plague.
23. Do you have a nativity scene?
Two or three actually
24. What’s the most annoying thing about this time of year?
Besides stores putting Christmas stuff out before Halloween? The sheer commercialness that has crept into what should be a time of giving and reflecting.
Looks like we made national news this past week for all the wrong reasons. How about nut job that killed his sister, torched his house then started shooting at the firemen as they showed up Christmas Eve morning? Total of 7 houses burned, 2 firefighters killed, 2 others shot. They think they found what was left of this guys sister in his own burned out house. Thankfully he killed himself once police got there – saves the county the cost of a trial.
My outfit has an office in Newtown Ct – about a mile from the Sandy Hook school, so that hit close to home too. A guy I talk to frequently down there caught a huge break – his wife is a teacher at that school. That will rattle you right to your core.
‘Nuff bad stuff. New year coming, time to re-start. About time I got back on the sensible eating kick I was on a few years ago. I am NOT happy with my expanding waist land and it’s time to get fit again. Tour de Cure is in 6 months and I might be able to get into shape enough to crank out another 100 mile ride. Sure would be nice . . .
Had my 12 week follow up with the surgeon last week. His mouth said that I was free to do anything I did before the surgery – “return to full activity”. So I asked him about bowling. Apparently that isn’t covered under “anything” or “full activity”.
So no bowling until January at the earliest. I’ll also have to start out with the lightest ball I can get my hand into AND not be surprised if I can only throw a single game the first time out. I think he under estimates my desire to get back to bowling. I’ll grant him the 12 pound ball, but I think I can get through 2 games if not more. Arm might get tired, but it’ll hang in there. The doc also had a very poor idea of how a ball is thrown – thinking that there was a huge wrist twist in order in impart spin on the ball. That supination move scared him. In reality, there is no twist of the wrist – it’s all in keeping your hand behind or under the ball and bringing your hand straight up behind it. That twisty wrist stuff will got you hurt and not make your ball curve at all.
Went out and hunted Christmas trees over the weekend. Bagged a beauty. Got it all set up in the living room and prepared to trim when what did I find? Of the 8 strings of lights I have (6 of which normally get used), every stinking last one of them failed to light. Spent the afternoon futzing around with the lights. Eventually got 5 strings working fine, canabalized one for parts and have two others to fix – next year.
Tonight we get to finish the tree trimming.
Uh-oh. Just looked at my work schedule. A job I am supposed to start tomorrow is not happening in my lab. It’s happening in a university town about 100 miles away and is a two day on site design review of a clients potential new product. So much for going slow. Now I have three jobs to wrap up this afternoon (1 down, 2 to go), then I have to go home tonight and study up on the 3 new particular standards I am reviewing tomorrow & Wednesday. This is crazy.
Bad year to be me.
Lets count the ways!
1 Swimmers ear, Mexico, right side (thank god for OTC prescription level drugs in Mexico!)
2 Swimmers ear, NY, 3x right, left, right
3 Sore Elbow, right (tendonitis?)
4 Really sore elbow, right (still tendonitis?)
5 Swimmers ear, left
6 Torn biceps tendon (NOT tendonitis!)
7 Worst golf season ever (see 3, 4, & 6)
8 Surgery for #6
9 Swimmers ear, left
10 Middle ear infection, left
11 ineffective antibiotic, 10 days – 5 of them in NOLA (didn’t suck too bad)
12 New antibiotic, wiped out the buggers
13 Opportunistic fungal infection, left ear
14 Less than stellar reaction to fungal medication
15 There’s 25 days left this year – I’m still afraid.
On the other hand, good stuff happened too.
1 Got to vacation in Cancun
2 Came back from vacation to start a new, permanent, full time job with good pay.
3 Got a new primary physician in my neighborhood – not across town.
4 Quality time with the amazing little granddaughter (Monkey pants – because she NEVER stops moving)
5 Had a successful surgery to repair my tendon and really experienced very little pain throughout the entire process.
6 Got to enjoy a family reunion in Gloucester. (The bad? – we’re responsible for planning the 2103 reunion for the other half of the clan)
7 Enjoyed another trip to New Orleans, in spite of the simmering ear infection at the time.
8 Monkey pants turned a whole 1 year old and is just an amazing little thing to watch. She’s developing a vocabulary and is starting to explore developing an attitude too.
There had to be more that was good, I’m just not remembering it all. 4 & 8 ought to count triple too. Those wee ones are a trip! Oh yeah – we get to take her Christmas tree hunting this weekend. Snow or not (likely not, L)
Some pics I owe
Chicks dig scars, right?
Standing at the top of the stairs, looking down towards the entrance to my lab. I counted 19 courses of cinder block, plus probably another 8 that are hidden in the shot. How far is that?
Here’s the shot looking back up:
And a gratuitous shot of the cutest 1 year old on the planet eating her birthday cake:
Well, reports to write, part specs to scrutinize. Gonna be an exciting afternoon.
The only way I can snake a win out of last nights $580M Powerball drawing is by realizing I saved $4 by not buying a pair of tickets. That’s a far cry from the millions that will be split amongst the two winning tickets, but I can at least get to work in the morning and lament my lost opportunity. By the time I realized I was running out of time to even BUY tickets, I was 13 minutes late.
For fun, I drew up two sets of numbers. One based on family birthdays,, the other based loosely on units I served in in the Army (47th CSH, 423 Medical, 62 Med Group, etc) I hit on exactly 1 number – the 23 that came from my year with the 423 Med.
I’ve had the strangest year in terms of ear infections. 6 or so weeks ago, we got back from vacation and I headed straight to my doc. The antibiotic I was on did zippo for eradicating the infection I had. Got sent to an ENT for further diagnosis. She put me on a different antibiotic and also took a culture for good measure.
I returned to her in 10 days with the infection cleared up but I still had a feeling that my inner ear was full of goo. There was a slight pressure – like cotton balls – and the sensation that there was a tin can over my ear. She advised I maintain using ear drops for another 5 days. My infection was pretty bad and it’s possible the swelling hadn’t fully receded.
Five days passed – no real change. I gave it another week – things started to improve. After another week I wasn’t noticing about my left ear anymore – it finally cleared! Then a day or two before Thanksgiving, I could feel it start to crank up again. Called the ENT, got in the Wednesday before turkey day. Got to see the doc this time, not the PA. He looked at report on the culture done in October. They found Staphylococcus Aureus – pretty normal for an ear infection, and I was on the right antibiotic for that. They also found a single colony of Aspergillus Niger – black mold. Turns out that when the antibiotic laid waste to the Staph, it opened the door for the ear shrooms. The doc took a peek in my ear and said “yep – just what I thought, a fungal infection”.
Doc got a canula, splayed a towel and a kidney pan on my shoulder and got to work. He flushed my ear canal and vacuumed out a bunch of goo. He showed my the tip of his vacuum thingy at one point and it looked like he had a chunk of Brie dangling from the end. It’s surprising how much shit you can fit in that tiny little ear canal. Surprising and disgusting all at once.
So the doc continued with the hoovering until he was satisfied with the results. Then there was a peroxide flush, a bath in boric acid and a liberal application of a lotrimin solution (gynolotrimin for my ear?!?!?) The peroxide was noisy but painless. The boric acid was quiet but burned a bit. The lotrimin was quiet, cool and slightly soothing – a very nice change.
He gave me a prescription for more of the lovely lotrimin (not the gyno variety) and pronounced me fit to share a table at Thanksgiving dinner. He was certainly sympathetic to the plight I was in and really did all he could make things better.
I thanked him and made my way to the pharmacy. Got my drugs & headed home. Later that evening I gave myself a few drops of the lotrimin in my ear, laid down for a bit to let it soak in and all was right with the world.
Thursday, I finally got to putting in my first round of ear driops early afternoon. This was a different experience. At first the drops felt cool. Then things went a little sideways. It started to burn a bit, then it felt like it got to my inner ear (I have a small perforation in the eardrum on that side) and REALLY started burning. I got a bitter, metallic taste in my mouth, my left eye watered, the left side of my nose started seeping something and my ear hurt like hell. I flipped my head over to try and drain the lotrimin out, dabbed at it with a twisted up kleenex and finally, after about 10 minutes things settled down. I did NOT do my second dose for that day.
Friday, early afternoon, I tried the lotrimin again. Wouldn’t you know it reacted (or I reacted) just like Thursdays episode? That was enough of that shit. No more lotrimin for me. Seemed like the worst of the infection was gone and I wasn’t subjecting myself to any more of that nonsense. Plus, this time I actually read the little booklet that comes with your prescriptions. The burning is a noted side effect of the lotrimin and they advise that one stop using it and call your doc.
I called the doc, he was in surgery until Thursday (today). Since my ear wasn’t in acute pain and I really only seemed to be suffering from a “tin can over my ear” I took a Thursday appointment. Fungus is slow growing and therefore also somewhat difficult to kill so I clearly need to do something to treat the fungus. But I also want to get something done to restore the hearing in my left ear. I have NO high frequency response and the mid and low ranges are severely attenuated. That’s polite engineer speak for “I’m half fucking deaf in my left ear” and really? I have been since the beginning of October.
Personally, I’d like him to peel my ear back, hoover out the goop in my inner ear, then sew the ear back on. I’ve had this annoying sensation of a post nasal drip on my left side for weeks now and I can’t help but think it’s all related. Hope the doc & I can come to some sort of resolution this afternoon.
Oh – Dawn? Yes, I really do work about 20 feet underground. We’re in the basement of an industrial complex built in the 60′s & 70′s. Someplace I have a picture of the door into our lab that I took while standing at the entrance to our building. I’ll dig it up and show you. Talk about a great place for growing mushrooms!
Only two things.
A – I was looking at my Amex statement getting ready to pay the bill. I was bummed. A month ago I was in New Orleans soaking up all the jazz, zydeco and gumbo I could get. Never saw temps below 70. Now? I’m just waiting for the first real snow of the season around here.
B – The lab/office where I work is in the basement of a former Kodak Industrial complex. (That I worked at for many years as a Kodak employee). Since I’ve been here with the new gig, there has been much remodeling done upstairs, right over our heads. They’ve moved in the new tenants and are starting to really exercise the buildings utilities again. We’ve had to deal with all the noises associated with a big re-fit like this – sawing, hammering, skull dragging huge pieces of equipment across the floor. The last one was the steam pipes hammering – sounds like someone is slamming a big pipe with a sledge hammer every 15 seconds for days at a time. They got that one resolved a couple weeks ago after about 6 weeks of on again off again fixes.
The latest ‘anomaly’? The sewers are backing up. Six floor drains in our lab are seemingly running the wrong direction. It’s not your run of the mill roof drain storm run off either. The maintenance guy thought he had it fixed when my colleague ran into the bathroom and flushed the toilet a few times. It was obvious to Mr. Maintenance man that he didn’t have it fixed. Now we’re worried about it encroaching into our carpeted office space. The maintenance guy used a mop to get some of it – now that mop will have to be tossed. We really don’t want to use shop vacs on it – the sewer smell will stick with them forever.
We always joked that in the event of an atom bomb attack (oh shit – I hear the drains gurgling even in here!!!) we were perfectly safe, but we’d be screwed in the event of a flood. You know – working in a basement 20 feet below ground level. Little did we know that the flood would be coming from within!
I have to add – the “Money Saved” is probably closer to $36,000. When I quit back in 2004, a pack of butts cost about $4. Today that same pack is more like $10.
Finally got my ass back to spin class too. What with the new job and trying to get up to speed, then messing up my arm – it’s been too easy to manufacture excuses to not go. Not liking where my pants size is going, I am knuckling down and getting the legs moving again.
For the most part, I tend to stay seated. I don’t dare do any of the ‘jumps’ or ‘jogging’ or ‘squats’ because I can’t trust that I’ll keep my balance. All I need is one slip where I reach out with my right arm to catch myself and I could be screwed. Plus, some of the out of the saddle positions put a strain on your arms too. Last night I tried getting up to a squat like I was digging hard to get up a hill and I noticed that my right arm got really, really tired after only a minute or so. The fact that my lungs & legs were screaming was of no concern – they’ll get over it (maybe – my calves are still tight!). But that tired right arm was a sign that my butt needed to be in the saddle.
Now I just ought to talk to the instructors so they don’t think I’m a rebel or something and intentionally defying their instructions.
Work is challenging. I am SO behind. I need to start coming in evenings or maybe Sunday mornings – or at least carve out 4 – 8 hours a week at home where I can work. I need an office. Hmmm – basement re-model coming up, maybe I’ll slip something in there. If I can include a work area for the sewing machine, I can include a little office space. Might have to scale back the size of the long awaited pool table.
Speaking of behind at work, lunch is over, and so am I. See y’all later.
I promise, no pictures of my new scars this time. But I gotta admit – I am amazed by the amount of scar tissue (or something) already built up under the skin adjacent to the incision. I have instructions to massage it 3 – 4 times a day and I get ultrasound treatments on it too. Still a surprise. It feels weird to touch it too. The contours are all wrong. There is clearly some work to be done.
About this hammer. The building in which I work was built in the 60’s. My outfit leases space in the basement where the original owner had their EMC test facilities. The building is heated with an industrial sized steam system. Can’t really guess the size of the building – 2 floors, each 500’ x 500’ maybe? Plus at least a partial basement. Back in the day, several thousand people worked in this building testing cameras, film processors, copiers, – much of the “apparatus” Kodak made. In downsizing, Kodak sold off this facility (this building is about the 3rd largest in a 14+ building complex with literally millions of square feet of space) and since, smaller outfits have been leasing bits & pieces of the space.
We have a new tenant above us. Some government contracting, sooper seekrit stuff. We lost our nice lobby. We lost our cushy parking spaces. We are about to lose our minds as well. Every three-ish seconds there is a loud BANG, almost like a gunshot would sound from a hundred or so feet away. With a lot more bass in it. Actually it sounds a lot like someone banging on iron drain pipes with a sledge hammer, and the pipes reverberate all over the building. Every 3 seconds. We’ve called the landlord, he sends a crew down THE NEXT DAY, they fiddle fart around with something and the BANGING stops. For a bit. They’ve “fixed” it twice once last week and once this week. The BANGING was back again this morning. It disappeared for a few minutes this morning, but returned with a vengence.
I have clients asking for test reports, but honestly? I’m having trouble concentrating on anything with that banging, pounding, thumping happening every 3 seconds. What the hell did they change last week to make this happen?
If I trusted myself better, I’d go home and work there. Alas, I know better. I’d end up doing some stupid stuff and not be any more productive than I am now.
IN completely unrelated news, my physical therapist was MUCH better about keeping her boob out of my hand yesterday. I was also absolutely focused on looking her in the eye when she was talking (or was even in my line of sight). For a woman in her 40′s she’s in great shape.
So I’m on a business trip, right? Made my plane reservations last Thursday – as late as I dared wait. Got a direct flight from Rochester to Detroit at 6:40 am. Sweet!
On a what, 50 seat CRJ200? Delta overbooked by 3 seats. I wasn’t offered a boarding pass when I booked the flight which should have been my warning. Lucky for me, 3 people accepted the proffered carrot – $400 in flight vouchers. I ended up being the next to last person to board.
So. Detroit – got there pretty much on time. 75% of the flight was over Canada – go look that up! Pretty odd – a small part of Canada is south of Rochester.
Anyhow. After a 15 minute hike through the airport I got to the rental car shuttle. As it was pouring rain, I grabbed the first car in my size that I came across. Wouldn’t you know I got a car with New York plates? At least it provides an excuse for looking like I don’t know where I’m going.
Trip is going well, got unfettered access to the machine I was to inspect for long enough to get a good feel for it. Now I get to write the report and incorporate the photos I took. The company that did the mods has a wee bit of a challenge ahead of them.
Best news of the day? I’m fling home a day early and won’t miss golf Wednesday night. Golf I shouldn’t be playing till after my MRI Thursday. But heck, it doesn’t hurt to golf, and my arm has improved over the last few weeks – even with golfing. Of course, next week is bowling. Wonder if I’ve run into the thing that will finally slow me down?
Ah, well. Reports to write.
Meant to post this yesterday. Oops – hate it when life gets in the way.
It’s more or less official. Stats from Quitnet
Your Quit Date is: 8/22/2004 7:00:00 PM
Time Smoke-Free: 2921 days, 16 hours, 50 minutes and 1 second
Cigarettes NOT smoked: 58434
Lifetime Saved: 14 months, 26 days, 8 hours
Money Saved: $11,921.76
So at 7pm Wednesday night (just as I’m finished up my round of golf) I will have gone 8 years without a smoke. I cannot describe how much better I feel. I am also very surprised at how not difficult it’s been. I’m even more surprised that the entire time Cindy has maintained her own habit. Maybe a failed quit or two here & there, but she’s still puffing away.
One thing to note – that money saved bit is based on the price of a pack of smokes when I quit. At the time, it was a whopping $4.08 a pack. IN the 8 years since, the price has ratcheted up to $10.60 (I think) so the money saved if likely double what is shown. Call it a $7.50 average over the years – it comes out to about $22K. And I got shit about buying myself a $400 set of golf clubs last year (Irons only – but still!)
In real news, looks like I’m off to beautiful downtown Lansing, Michigan for work next week. Have to inspect some behemoth machine being built by a local outfits operation out there. I plan to fly to Detroit Monday morning, get a car & drive to Lansing, should arrive by 11am. Spend the afternoon on-site & start the inspection that afternoon. Hopefully finish up the inspection the next day and get started on the report. Drive back to Detroit Wednesday morning & fly home in time for my 4:32 tee time that afternoon.
The insanity of it all is that it’s easier & faster to fly to Detroit & drive than it is to fly directly into Lansing. Since the customer is paying and says time is critical – I’m booking non-stop from Rochester to Detroit. Anything else take better than half a day and is routed through Chicago or Philly – neither of which is actually between Rochester & Detroit. Weird.
Well, I gotta go get stuff done ahead of this trip. Have a product in testing right now and I hope to gather all data before I leave, then finish the report on the trip. Maybe.
Anyone want to do dinner in Lansing Monday or Tuesday night? I have a nice per diem to burn!
Meanwhile, back in this solar system, I get to bring you some work humor.
Study this very carefully:
Yeah – in the new job, we find this little gem hilarious.
I’m in trouble, aren’t I?
This is too funny to have been made up. The neighboring city to my west (Buffalo) has a very strong Polish community. This article very nicely summarizes a little problem they’re having with our recent run of 70+ degree days. Keep in mind the daily average high temp for March around here is a whopping 45 deg F.
I thought Dyngus had a whole separate meaning.
My headspace of late? Work is keeping me comfortably busy. Maybe a little too busy. Even so, I’m finding myself playing little math games in my head. Easy ones like, what would my monthly budget look like without spousal income? Could I afford the house alone? How terrible would it be to sell the house, split the proceeds and walk away? I know it would cut me off from Cindy’s inheritance – but does that really matter?
Then there’s the social exercises – Would splitting up ruin my relationship with the kids? Would it make it better? What are the odds I would meet up with another compatible soul?
Then I wonder why I’m thinking these things when Cindy is clearly making plans for 10, 12, 15 years out – what to do, where to go when we retire – that kind of stuff.
In my sessions with Annette it always comes down to my reluctance to share how I feel in an immediate sense – both positive and negative trends. For instance – “I really like it when I come home and you haven’t been drinking -makes it easier for me to stay connected with you” or in the negative sense – “It bothers me when I come home and you’re already drunk. I can feel myself disconnect and lose all interest in trying to talk with you”.
Things like that. Just thinking of sharing that makes my mind leap to all that other crap I’ve been spinning my wheels about. Thinking that one of these times, she’ll get tired of me complaining about the same old shit. Of course, if she gets tired of me complaining about it, shouldn’t I be tired of it too? Where’s the line? When does one cross it?
Any how. On a hotter note (even hotter than our recent weather), I had occasion to visit a Quaker Steak & Lube for lunch today. It was “All you can eat boneless wings for $10″. I’d heard about them asking you to sign a waiver if you wanted to try their hottest sauces, and the guys in the office were practically daring me to try them. So off we went.
First batch? I had the “Atomnics” which come in at 150,000 on the Scoville scale, which puts them on th elow end of the Habanero range (think Scotch Bonnet or White Habanero).
After downing 6 of those, I switched over to a half dozen “Arizona Ranch” wings as sort of a palate cleanser. The waitress came by and asked if I wanted to try the “Triple Atomic” (500,000 Scoville units) too. I asked her if she had tried them and much to my surprise she had! Then I asked her if that constituted her daring me to try them. Well, of course it did and of course, I asked for a batch.
They were AWESOME! The guy sitting next to me was sweating just thinking about me eating them. Me? Got through the whole batch without so much as breaking a sweat. Hot? Oh yeah. Unbearable? Not even close.
Our waitress (cute little thing – but she’s probably younger than my own kids) was impressed enough that she mentioned in passing that the record was 30 Triple Atomics in one sitting. I’m sitting here this afternoon, trying desperately to finish up this gargantuan 165 page report, thinking that 30 Triple wings is an attainable goal. I’m more worried about the “30″ than I am the Triple Atomic. The first 6 didn’t even make me sweat (but I now have sparkly clean sinuses!!), but the sheer mass of the 30 wings might be a tougher test.
I’ll keep you posted. I think it’s do-able.
What’s gone down;
Back seeing Annette (the therapist gal). Feel better for it.
TUV job situation is DRAGGING. I called the engineers inside that I know and asked them if they were still recruiting. I called the recruiter and asked if they were still recruiting and if the regional manager was really going to visit & interview. The technical folks have a meeting tomorrow morning and my contacts there will put a virtual foot in the managers ass and see if he moves.
I’m interviewing in person at a local, big deal electronics manufacturer. Down side? 12 month contract, less than stellar pay. Up side? My foot in the door.
Had a meeting today with a local outfit that focuses their efforts on getting veterans re-employed. Very good potential here, but again, the pay could be less than stellar. Still gotta beat unemployment “benefits”
Big, big news today too. As I was leaving the re-employment meeting today, I was wondering if Zach was free for lunch. I was up in his work’s neighborhood and he knows all the good places to eat. As it turns out, he wasn’t available because he was at the Ob/Gyn with Jill, checking up on grandkidlet #1.
The official report? Baby is about 5lb, 10oz at this point. Zach was born at 5-12, and he’s over 200 now, so I think this ones in keeper range. While at the doc’s, they also got a 3D ultra sound done. From this, they learned two very important things.
#1 – Grandkidlet #1 is most definitely of the female persuasion.
#2 – her portrait looks like this:
That is clearly the family nose she’s sporting there. We have generations of baby pictures from my side of the family and we ALL have that nose. Maybe all babies have that nose and it grows more individualized as they age. I dunno.
So that’s the good news. The bad news? I’m STILL working on the damn bathroom. Almost have the shower tiled. Floor is next. I took a bit of a diversion last weekend. The weather here was Gorgeous (with a capital G), so I did some outside work. I now have absolutely ZERO original, contractor grade windows in this house. I can feel my heating bill getting lower already. Replaced 5 windows this summer, that’s some major draftiness gone.
Well, gotta hit the hay. Contractor coming to measure for some glass in the morning and it’s already 1:20am here. That leaves me 6 hours of sleep and I HAVE to make the bed before I let this stranger in the house. (The way I sleep, it’s a 15 minute job making the bed.) I’m trying to re-vamp my routine, so I ought to be getting here more often. We shall see.
Filed for unemployment benefits this morning. Have ‘waiting week’, then I can start drawing benefits. A whopping $405 a week. That’s going to make some lifestyle changes an absolute necessity – unless I can get my butt back in the working world. I owe the TUV place a call this week and I have tons more leads thanks to my former co-workers. Finding a job will be my new primary part time job.
Finishing that damn bathroom is my secondary part time job. Making progress on it, and I will be up there toiling away once I finish this little update. I need to test the shower & make sure I have the connections correct. Waiting for the hot water to make the trip up from the basement will be fun. I’ll be running the water into a 5 gallon bucket for now. The drain in the shower pan works, but letting the water fall from the shower head and splash in the pan is a mess I don’t want to think about. Once the shower checks out I can start installing the backer board and hide all the plumbing.
After that is ceiling paint, wall paint, cabinets, then floor & shower tile. Once the floor tile is in I can set the toilet and make the final connections on the tub & sinks. Oh! Once the walls & ceiling are painted I can install light fixtures too. No more bare light bulbs in temporary fixtures. Finally!
Been thinking over the weekend. Think I figured out where things at work started to slide. Several years ago I was put in an impossible situation. I was given a task that was quite a stretch for my abilities. I ended up asking for help. That help was in the form of a PhD from MIT. The particular problem I ran into was a challenge even for him. Then when we thought we had it figured out, we ran into another layer of complexity that took another month to work through. Bottom line, we finally got things figured out and had our assembly ready for product, albeit a few months late. But we nailed it.
That project gave me my first professional black eye – and it was all a freakin PhD from MIT could do to help figure a way around our problem,.
Then there was my first foray into the wonderful world of VHDL (a digital logic programming language) That provided a second black eye in that I struggled with incorporating a spatial clock signal into my image reading program. We were reading images at a 50 micron pitch. That’s 0.05mm. Most LCD screens for computers are around 0.2mm (200 micron) pitch. Again, we overcame technological hurdles but wrapped up the project a month or so later than the original schedule. Then it was determined that the technology wasn’t commercially feasible and it was scrapped. No biggie there, it happens in research. But the black eye struck again.
After that, I was left with VHDL work and cranked out all sorts of good stuff, helped fix other problems and did it all on time. I was almost comfortable. Then thins got complicated on the home front and my ability to focus on work suffered. There was Cindy’s uncontrolled drinking, her mom passing away, her drinking getting worse. Then there was my own affair, the subsequent crash and the start of a couple years of counseling. The whole time I could feel my interest in work fading, couldn’t concentrate, was constantly distracted. The end is inevitable when you just don’t give a hoot.
So here I am.. From 8 – noon I will be a job searching maniac. The rest of the time I will be a House husband, re-modeler, cook, laundry maven and blogger. With a side of bowling. We start Thursday. I just have to cancel the subscription channels on our TV package to balance out the budget.
Better yet, I’ll have time to organize the pics of the bathroom from hell project and get them posted somewhere. I gotta get to work.
Yeah, Monday was my big 7th anniversary. Quit smoking and entered into the blogging world. About half of what I’ve posted is on Diaryland someplace, don’t even know if I can get to it anymore. Anyhow, since I quit smoking, here’s the numbers I’ve racked up:
Quit Date: 8/22/2004 7:00:00 PM
Time Smoke-Free: 2556 days, 20 hours, 41 minutes and 18 seconds
(Hence the Day # in the title of each post)
Cigarettes NOT smoked: 51137
Lifetime Saved: 13 months, 14 hours
Money Saved: $10,432.56
I’d like to amend that money saved line. That $10K is based on smokes being $4.08 a pack – the price of what I smoked when I quit. Since 2004, New York has hiked up the taxes on a pack of butts at least 3 times. It’s at the point now where what I used to get for $4 now costs $9.50!! Estimating when these tax increases took place and doing a little googling on cigarette prices here in the great state of New Taxes, I mean New York, I can safely say I’ve saved closer to $16,700.
Cindy still smokes and she’s giving me shit about buying a set of golf clubs? WTF was I thinking? In the last month she’s spent more on smokes than I spent on those silly clubs (that I LOVE) (Except for the 3 & 4 hybrids. Weird.) Anyhow, that’s old news. She’s in an indefensible position and has already wasted her martyr card. Ended up cutting off her nose to spite her face.
The interview I did last Thursday at TUV was, in a word, weird. In person, I interviewed with two guys I already know and have worked with in the past. We called their manager in Boston and had him on speaker phone during the interview session. Pete, the lead engineer locally did the bulk of the questioning while his boss, the guy in Boston, really didn’t say a whole lot. At times none of us were sure if he was still on the line, so I’d ask a question that he needed to answer just to see if he was paying attention. Felt more like I was interviewing him at times.
I think my being local is a plus for this one, and I think the guys already knowing me is a plus. My weakest area is that I can’t cite the safety regulations chapter & verse, yet. I know the major points of the two that we’ll be testing to, but there are other sections of regs that I’m not familiar with. Those deal more with consumer type products (hair dryers, dvd players, toasters) not medical laser printers, imaging arrays and x-ray generators. The local office is bombed with work, they need another engineer NOW, but if they bump into someone with more experience than I have, the learning curve may kill me.
Went to another family reunion over the weekend. I showed up all the young ‘uns and won the family golf tournament AND got named most athletic individual for the weekend. I think it was the basketball & volleyball in the gym Friday night, the golf and MORE volleyball Saturday that shocked people. Heh. They got to learn why the other half of the family nick named me “wheels” on a volleyball court. It has less to do with running and more with watching the opponent’s eyes and getting to the gaps they are aiming for. I have to admit, it is really fun getting to shots the other team thought were heading to open space. Their frustration is its own reward. Can be a little rough on the elbows & knees, but I really love the all-out style of play.
My attitude at work sucks. I’m skipping a core team meeting at the moment. They’re planning for the future. I’m planning to be elsewhere. I don’t know exactly where, but certainly not here. One thing I think I absolutely must to is take advantage of the time and get my ass and what ever else follows back to the gym. Long bike rides, weights, cross train with running. It’s time to start fit day again and get very particular about what I eat. I’ll have time to prepare decent meals, I’ll have time to work out, I’ll have time to pound the job search. Might even finish that damned bathroom.
Speaking of bathroom – it got primed last night. Tonight I’m going to clear out everything but the essentials and get the underlayment put down. Then I can think about dropping the shower pan in place, getting the Durock up and getting the waterproof membrane installed. Ceiling paint, wall paint, cabinets, couple of little plumbing details – all that stuff might get crossed off the “to do” list by the end of the weekend. Gonna be busy, but it’ll keep me out of trouble.
Speaking of trouble, I need more primer. Later folks . . .
One more reason why I’ll be glad to get the hell out of here – my supervisor is an ass. Want to know who I met today? My replacement. The poor, reckless project manager I am currently working with stumbled into introducing us today. My supervisor scheduled a meeting with me Friday (which I declined but offered up some time on Thursday, which HE declined and settled on Wednesday) where I presume he intended to fill me in on the details. Oops – he was only a week late. This is the bozo that supposedly went to bat for me in the ranking process earlier this year.
Now they want me to do the equivalent of the Vulcan mind meld with this guy so he can get up to speed on what I do. Good fucking luck. Fire me instead. I’ve had several people tell me they are impressed with how well I’m holding up given the circumstances. I tell those same people they can’t believe how incredibly bad my internal attitude is. The new guy – well hell, I can’t take it out on him, but he isn’t going to get a lot of help from me. I have 2 ½ weeks left to work. That’s a little more than one paycheck and a couple day of earned vacation (that I get paid for). They could walk me out tomorrow and it wouldn’t make a whole lot of difference.
On a lighter note, check out the disappearing car video:
Love the peoples reactions! So gullible.
Now. Here is an interesting list. It’s the top 100 banned or challenged books
Looking through this list, I’ve read these:
1. Harry Potter (series), by J.K. Rowling
14. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain
19. Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger
36. Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
46. Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut
49. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, by Ken Kesey (actually saw the movie, didn’t read the book)
69. Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury
90. A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeline L’Engle
Some of these are childrens (or young adults) books fer crying out loud! The remainder makes a great list of books that I probably ought to try and read.
Now this list is a list of challenged classics. This particular version of the lost only includes titles for which the reason for the change of ban are known & published. You can see those reasons down below the list.
What I’ve managed to read off that list:
2. The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger
4. To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
8. The Lord of the Flies, by William Golding
9. 1984, by George Orwell
15. Catch-22, by Joseph Heller
16. Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
29. Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut
33. The Call of the Wild, by Jack London
40. The Lord of the Rings, by J.R.R. Tolkien
45. The Jungle, by Upton Sinclair
I wonder about the ones they didn’t list. Also think that the ones they did list that I haven’t read yet ought to be on that list of things I should read. Looks like I’ll have some free time coming up soon(ish)
Update on the TUV job is on hold. The recruiter I was dealing with has been out the last couple of days and hasn’t gotten me scheduled for that group screening. I’m trying to be earnest in asking for updates without becoming a pest. I’ve held off replying to her “I’ve been out” email so I can use that as an additional reminder Wednesday morning. This is a difficult balance to achieve. The job is critically important to me, but I don’t want to piss her off. Perhaps I’ll find a tactful way to mention that in my response. Any ideas?
Heck, it’s 4:15, only 15 minutes before my official end of the day. Guess I’ll post & scoot. What are they gonna do, fire me?
(Updated because I hit “Publish” instead of “Preview” and I apparently forgot how to add references to other schtuph! But it’s better now. I’m not, but my tags are.)
TUV interview went well – I was just chatting with their national recruiter. She’s only been with them for 6 months, so it was pretty easy to sound like I knew a bunch of stuff about safety specs. Next interview (hopefully Thursday of Friday) will be with their Northeast Region Tech specialist (or some such title – at least I know his name). He’s the guy I need to impress. If that interview goes well, he’ll come out here (he’s in Foxboro, Mass – I’m in Rottenchester) and we’ll do a face to face.
Wonder if I can use any of the guys in the local office as references? If it gets that far I’ll have to ask. It certainly couldn’t hurt – I’ve known one of them for 10+ years and have worked with 2 or 3 others in the past.
For the uninitiated, TUV is actually TUV Rheinland of North America. It’s a German outfit that performs safety testing if new products. The job is for the local office which is about 4 miles from my house and literally across the road from the YMCA I go to. Talking to the recruiter, it sounded like they weren’t getting many applications from local folks. Just have to wait & see. The best news is that the salary range for this job will keep my in the life style to which I have become accustomed. It’s literally within a couple thousand a year of what I’m getting today.
The job could be fun. We get paid to blow shit up. Well, on the good days. On the so-so days, we get paid to investigate a products safety, stress it a little bit and offer feedback to the client on how to make their product safer for the end user. Not all bad. No relocation, no pay cut, I already know some of the guys in the office AND they have free coffee in the office!! That fancy (but not always so great) Keurig single cup stuff. (Jitters is right across the road too – next to the Y)
Golf last night was decent. I didn’t shoot great, but I must have displaced a really horrible score from my handicap calculations. Team wise we’re doing really well. June 30th we were in 11th place (out of 12) with a combined handicap of 33. After last night we’re in 6th place with a combined handicap of 24 (that’s MUCH better) 182.5 points (in 15 weeks), and only 4 points out of 2nd. First place is out of reach I think. Plus, we’re in a playoff format that has us playing the middle 4 teams for the next couple of weeks – kind of hard to move up that way.
In news relating to the reasons why I started this blog thing, I am steadily approaching 7 years free of smoking. When that day comes, I’ll have a nice summary of stats. The numbers are a little mind boggling.
In other news related to the origins of this blog thingy – I am watching a slow but steady increase in someone’s recreational drinking. This past weekend at the family reunion I think she had a of two glasses of wine – performing well in public. At home? Not so much.
Last week during golf I got a text about picking up bray’s on my way home. Since we had mentioned bratwurst for dinner earlier in the week, I assumed “bray’s” was a typo for “brat’s”. I stopped at the grocery store and got brats & rolls on my way home. Oops. Turn out “bray’s” was a worserer typo for “Arby’s”, so when I rolled in with brats I got the big “WTF?” look. Dinner was still delicious.
Last night, I got another text inquiring as to my dinner desires. That meant Cindy wasn’t fit to cook anything on the stove, if you know what I mean. I suggested Applebees or Arby’s. I got back a correctly spelled “Arby’s”. In jest, I responded that since she spelled it correctly, she’d be rewarded. When she asked what the reward was, I responded “dinner from Arby’s” which didn’t really impress her. So I then suggested a little nooky in the hot tub when I got home. Her response to that was surprisingly positive. So then I was thinking that dinner may be delayed a bit while we spend some quality time in the hot tub before we dive into our Arby’s sammiches.
But. (You knew it was coming right?) A certain someone’s sobriety level, or lack there of, kind of put the salt in the peter and any anticipation that built up was drowned in a puddle of ethanol. Sadly, this is happening more frequently lately. Feeling that I’m in a bit of a precarious position, I’m keeping my mouth shut until the job situation is resolved. Once I have those feet firmly on the ground again, I’ll offer my opinion on the drinking situation again and re-establish some boundaries. Ought to be a blast.
This place looks familiar – kinda like I’ve been here before. Have I posted stuff here in the not too distant past? Seems like it. May as well try again, eh?
So yeah, we’re all suffering a bit from the post wedding let down. All that built up excitement & anticipation and now it’s all over. I’ll tell you what’s weird though – seeing Kelly’s new name. We are, of course, Facebook friends and I see her updates pretty regularly. I am STILL not used to seeing Kelly “mylastname” in print. I’m sure it will become as normal as seeing Jill “mylastname” is now.
Taking bets on a few things now too.
1 – How long before Kelly is preggers (preggers IS TO a word. Now. I added it to my spell check. You can too!)
2 – How many of their kids will be red heads.
3 – How long till She hooks up with a nursing job.
My guesses? Job – less than a month. Preggers – couple years. Red heads – 1 of 2, or 2 of 3 – depends on how many little bundles of joy they decide on. My mom’s side is peppered with red heads, but my generation has none. Come to think of it, none of my generations kids are red heads either. Kelly comes from a long line of red heads so oif Eric has the least little bit of recessive red head in him, it ought to come through.
Enough about the kids!
Golf last Wednesday. My partner couldn’t make it, so I had to tackle the other team all on my own. I ended up walking 9 holes in 90 degree heat. It happened to be my partners turn to get the cart and I didn’t know he was going to be a no show until 10 minutes before tee time. My fault – he left a message on my work voice mail, I just wasn’t in the office all day.
Anyhow. No partner, no cart. I kicked me some booty. Beat my opponent on 7 holes, tied one and lost the very last hole. So I earned 7.5 out of 9 points. My partner, using his worst outing of the year as a default score even managed to take 2 points and as a team we took another 5 points. So a one manned team took 14.5 out of 27 points from a two man team. I managed to shoot my best round of the year by a wide margin. Had the low net sore for the week and now hold the league record for bogeys in a round with 7. Three or four of those were nearly pars – I had several putts and one chip miss by two inches or less. Matter of fact – the mot bizarre (and best) hole of the day involved a drive than went MAYBE 40 yards (it hit a tree 100 yards out and bounced back), a recovery/positioning shot that covered 180 yards, a shot to lay up short of a creek that travelled 145 yards, than a lovely 75 yard wedge shot that hit short of the pin, bounced past it, did a U-turn and dropped in the cu for a birdie. (For you non-golfers – that’s fuckin’ amazing!)
Saw my partners truck in the parking lot at work today. That in itself is a good thing, but I didn’t get a chance to see him and see how he’s doing. The condition that kept him from golfing last week might not be healed enough to allow him to golf this week. How long does it take to resolve bleeding ‘roids? (Man, this getting old shit ain’t for the faint hearted, is it?)
Bathroom? Coming along. Spent the weekend mudding the walls. First coat took 4 gallons. Now I have a new gardening bucket. Started the second coat on all the flat joints and they look pretty good. Tuesday night I’ll do the corners and Thursday I’ll either set the shower pan or do a light sanding on the drywall joints. Depends on how lucky I feel.
Slow goings on the job front since I interviewed last Tuesday. Have one more decent local lead to follow up on, and then I’m thinking it’s head hunter time. Might give up a percentage of my pay for a while to cover their fee, but it would beat the hell out of unemployment. I’ll have some time to work on it Tuesday too. Company is having their annual summer picnic from 11:30 till whenever. All things considered, I’m calling it an afternoon off. What are they gonna do, fire me? Oh wait – they did. Screw ‘em then.
Have a meme thingie to share for tomorrow. Might be interesting.
Recovered nicely from the little faux pas I committed on the golf clubs. Sat down, hashed it out, made everything better. Wasn’t a money thing, it was more a thing about a lost opportunity (it was SO HARD to not mention the anniversary presents Cindy has gotten me in the past – like NONE) and a little breakdown in communication. Now she’s going to go play martyr and not get herself anything for our 30th anniversary next month. I’m certainly not getting her anything because the last thing I got her (a ring with 3 diamonds set up in a band on our 25th, to replace her engagement ring that had lost its diamond) she took back to the jewelry store and tried to exchange it for some fucked up idea of a ring she wanted that even the store clerk told her was a bad idea. (Run-on sentence much?)
So yeah, she wants to play martyr after she said (in front of witnesses) that she was going to get this ring for herself for our anniversary and use it to replace the one that was stolen out of our luggage on the Mexico trip. I am not touching this one – even with some one else’s hand. If she wants to be a martyr – let her. I will enjoy my clubs.
Bathroom project has advanced to my favorite (NOT) phase – mudding the walls. I quit yesterday around 4:30. It was so hot & muggy upstairs that I couldn’t drink water as fast as I was losing it through sweat. Have the first coat of mud on in the bathroom proper, but the closet & re-work done in the bedroom need some attention. Maybe tonight.
Know how hot & dry it’s been here since the beginning of June? It’s so dry, the weeds are wilting. Grass has gone dormant (& crunchy), we’re down to watering the foundation plantings & shrubs and the odd tree that needs a drink. We walked over to the ice cream place behind our house and noted that this big patch of goldenrod & sheeps quarter was all wilty. That’s the first time I’ve ever seen weeds shrivel up like that without using Round-Up or some other ethyl-methyl-deadly-shit on them. Of course it’s raining today.
In the irony department, I saw a little article out of Syracuse a couple weeks ago. There’s been a grass roots movement rallying to repeal New York’s motorcycle helmet law for literally decades. (I remember them riding en masse in protest back in the 70’s). Well, a couple of weeks ago during another mass ride protest, one of the riders was involved in an accident and smacked his (unprotected) head on the road, or car, or phone pole. Ultimately? Died of severe head trauma. I snorted a little laugh when I read the article. Cindy asked me what I was laughing at. I told her. She called me mean for laughing at the poor bastard. I argued that I’m not mean, I just recognize irony when I see it. Now karma – she’s one mean bitch!
Yep! Only 11 days till Eric & Kelly officially tie the knot. I think all our deliverables are in place:
Rehearsal dinner reservations made & menu selected.
Tux rented (I know, I know, pictures.)
Dress selected & altered.
Hotel reservations made, because the parents of the bride and/or groom should NOT be driving for a minimum of 18 hours after the pre-reception cocktail hour.
Due to some odd assed logistics, we’ll also have both our vehicles there. The Friday before the festivities, the Best Man (that’d be Zach) wants all the men of the wedding party to gather for the “Bachelor Party”. What are we going to do? Get in a round of golf. They want to start around 9, get in our 18 holes and have time to freshen up before the rehearsal (at like 5??) That’s all well & good, but technically we can’t check in to our hotel until 3pm or so. And Cindy REALLY doesn’t want to spend all day hanging out in Syracuse killing time until the rehearsal starts. So? I’ll head out at 7am-ish, meet the guys at the golf course and Cindy will follow along after lunch.
Now I gotta confess, I kinda screwed up last week. Cindy had mentioned how she wanted to get a ring for our 30th anniversary next month. He even pretty much had the setting & stones al picked out in her mind – a single diamond surrounded by 3 red sapphires (or rubies maybe?). Sort of a replacement for the ring she got from her mom that was stolen on our trip to Mexico in February. When I heard that, I piped up and said “Well maybe I’ll buy myself a new set of irons for our 30th”, which she said, OUT LOUD, sounded like a good idea.
Well dummy me got the idea in my head that I was getting new clubs. I started cruising E-Bay, researched iron sets on-line and sought out opinions from fellow golfers. Pretty much had my mind made up what I wanted to get (Adams Idea A7 irons, 3H, 4H, 5 – PW). Much to my surprise and pleasure, I saw a set on sale at a local sporting goods store. Having done the research, I knew the price was indeed a good deal.
Here’s where I stepped on it. I went to the store, tested out a few of the clubs in the set and bought them on the spot. Impulse buy? Sorta. But I researched the crap out of it, knew a good price when I saw one and jumped on it. My mistake? Not clearing it with Cindy first. She found out through the kids. This past Saturday they said “Hey dad, lets see those new clubs you got” and Cindy replied, “Yeah, dad’s thinking about getting himself a new set for our anniversary” to which I responded, “Already did.”
Do you have any idea how dead I was when I said that?
Now, my commission for being executor of my father-in-law’s estate is sitting in the bank, earning a whopping 0.5% interest. That’s MY money, for me to do with as I please. When Cindy asked how I thought I was going to pay for said clubs I told her I was taking it out of my executor’s commission. (For the record, my commission was over 4 figures, but not so high into 5 figures that it’s going to cause any real damage tax-wise. Especially if I don’t find a job soon . . .)
So getting a good deal on a bargain set of clubs is going to do diddly squat to that account balance. The ring Cindy wants? Probably cost 4 – 5 times what those clubs cost. And she can STILL get the ring because percentage wise that will have less of an effect on what she inherited from her dad.
I need to find a way to apologize. I don’t thin it’s totally a money issue – I think it’s more that I ruined any sense of surprise or any sense that she was ‘giving’ me anything. She’s pissed. I don’t know if she’s right, I was certainly wrong, and I don’t know how to make it better.
I avoided getting into the whole “well, YOU did XXX and then you did YYY . . .” as a way of justifying my own actions. But I’m still bothered that Cindy expects behaviors out of others that she doesn’t always do herself. She also doesn’t treat other people the way she expects to be treated. I don’t know how to fold those points into the current situation – and maybe I shouldn’t. But they need to be resolved. Yes, she thinks I haven’t changed, but I have news for her – neither has she. Al in spite of hundreds if not thousands spent in counseling.
Don’t mind me. I’m jut bummed about the whole job search deal. Age discrimination is illegal, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen to me several times a day. Fuckers.
Did I tell you about our fiasco in switching our house land line from our original carrier over to our wireless carrier? And how our DSL service got knocked out in collateral damage? We’ve been trying to get our DSL back, but DSL only packages are riDICKulously expensive.
The tech guy was out today to explain all this crap to Cindy. (a full week after we originally lost our DSL). Well, tomorrow, MAYBE, we’ll re-join the civilized world, can our wireless carrier for the land line, get a new to us phone number for our old fashioned land line and still save $40 a month.
When the wireless carrier tries to bill us for early termination we’ll just tell them to eat it because of how they royally effed up our internet service. Don’t know what that will do to our cell phone plan, but we’ll have to risk it.
So, these last two days at work? Pounding the job applications out. Six yesterday, 12 today. One local job flipped me out. The contact person for the job is a guy I went to college with for my Associates degree way back in the last century (1982 actually). No way I am confusing this guy with someone else – he has a VERY unique name.
There were only something like 12 of us in the program back then. I am hoping that seeing our school name and graduation date will fire off a few memory cells and it will hopefully work in my favor. I had a higher GPA than he did though – hope that doesn’t work against me. Maybe he forgot that little detail over the past 29 years.
One thing (of many, many things) I really dislike about current job search protocols & techniques is when the application asks you what your salary expectations are for a given position. I will usually try to answer something like “fair and reasonable for the position and geographic area”. Unfortunately many sites are set up to accept only a numeric response to that question. From what I’ve learned, one is NOT supposed to mention salary so early in the process. Some places even advise that the first person to mention a number is in a weaker position.
I know what I make now. I can look up what houses comparable to mine cost and gauge the cost of living in a given area. But what if the number I guess for salary is too far out of line with what a company is prepared to offer? How can this NOT turn into a bidding war? Three people with similar experience aren’t equal if one of them guesses $10K lower on the pay scale.
Then there’s the another facet. That job I interviewed for locally (well, in Penn Yan, 58 miles away “local”). Great job, right in my wheelhouse, I could have been up & running at that job in a few weeks. Problem is it only paid $28K less than I’m making now They didn’t make me an offer because their pay scale was so out of whack with the rest of the state (and they admitted that and said they were working on correcting their wage scales)
The way things are going right now, if they make me that offer 8 weeks from now, I’d take it. I’m keeping them on my radar screen. And I hope one of the dozen and a half apps I’ve put out in the last two days hits a compatible recruiter.
16 days till The Wedding V.2!! Eric is getting all anxious & hyper. It’s kinda funny. I have my tux, Cindy has her dress (finally!), hotel and rehearsal dinner reservations are made. I think the wedding party guys, including the dads, are going on a golf outing the day before (7/22). That’ll be a blast. And yes, I’ll have pictures of the festivities to share once I recover from the festivities.
Now I have to go and clear out 160-some odd emails that have been piling up thanks to our little internet snafu. dammit.
My bike is a Trek Pilot 2.0. Aluminum frame, triple crank in front, 9 speed cassette in back (27 speeds. No, I have NOT used them all) I ride on 700mm rims with 25mm wide tires. Got the nice brake lever/shifter combo controls. Carbon front fork and seat post. The carbon saves a few ounces of weight so my dainty 220 lb frame has less to drag up hill. (I need a sarcasm font.)
Nice bike. Does what I need, mostly. But I think it needs a shrink. (no sarcasm intended here) Last rode it Sunday 6/12 for the big Tour. Haven’t touched it since. How does it thank me for a week off? Two flat tires when I tried to ride in to work this morning. Thinking that perhaps each was caused by a leaky patch, (and after all, I did ride 70 miles on a patched front tire last week) I figured I’d just pump them up and see how things went. Got each tire up to 110 – 120psi in no time flat.
Before I left, I noticed that I forgot my water bottle. Went in, found my bottle, filled it and headed back out only to find that my rear tire was flat, again. Mere minutes after I pumped it up!! (Front was still good) I did a cursory check and found a rock chip impaled in the tread, again. The new, thicker, more flat resistant tread.
So? 1 more day without riding. Tomorrow is golf (lightning permitting) so no riding then. That leaves me with Thursday & Friday to ride, should the weather allow it.
In job news, I got a phone all asking for an interview for a local job. I need to go call that HR rep and get it scheduled.
On a separate note, this is just plain creepy and wrong. How on earth could her parents approve this? Are they Mormon or something? I just can’t see marrying a girl young enough to be my daughter. We live in a weird world.
In other news – we know the gender of our first grand kidlet. I was shocked is all I’ll say right now.
I had the best intentions. The part up to “phone interview at 3pm” is from Friday. Everything after that is current-ish. It starts here:
Driving to work this morning I saw the oddest thing hanging in the sky. This thing made it difficult to see traffic lights when heading east, but the warmth radiating from it made me not mind the temporary blindness. I know I’ve seen this thing some time in the far distant past, seems like it was in a different country even. I’m sure that in moderate doses it will do no harm, but I fear I will have to buy something to protect my eyes. The mole people I am living with will just have to adapt to this new way of life.
Even if it’s only for a few days. Looks like we get a reprieve for 3 days, then it’s back to more rain for Monday & Tuesday. Golf got canceled again last night. The ground is just too soggy to even consider playing. That’s two weeks straight. Next Wednesday’s forecast is calling for sun, but that’s 7 days off. The forecast could change 14 times (at least) by then.
I goofed last night and took my PC home. I did make use of it in going through my job search emails and getting caught up there, but I now have to pay the price. I just am not comfortable with the thought of carrying my laptop on my bike. It’s pretty big as laptops go (17’ monitor), the laptop alone barely fits in my back pack leaving scant room for a change of clothes. I don’t have a cargo rack and wouldn’t trust a PC on one anyhow.
So taking my laptop home negates any possibility of riding my bike to work. With todays gorgeous weather, that’s just plain unfortunate. Forget the fact that it’s only 47 degrees at 9:30am – it isn’t raining!! I am down to 5 weeks to train for the Tour de Cure and my longest ride this year is a whopping 11 miles and less than 40 minutes long.
Combining my miserable, piss poor work attitude with a need to get some work done in that bathroom, another phone interview scheduled for Friday afternoon (!!!) and an urge to get some biking miles in, I am taking Friday off.
My workout plan is to ride to the gym tonight for a spin class. Friday morning, while it’s still chilly, I’ll go through my search engine results and get a minimum of 5 applications put in. Late Friday morning I would dearly love to head out for a 30 – 40 mile ride. That’s something I can do in under 3 hours and it will go a long ways towards establishing some sort of mileage base. After the ride I can putz around in the bathroom, maybe put in a wall or something, than I have this phone interview at 3pm
Up to current times now!
What went as I planned? Very little. Managed to ride to the gym for spin class. Friday was a bust. No bike ride. Cindy ended up taking the day off too because she has personal time to use up by July or she loses it. Personally, I think she just wants to keep an eye on me. I did get a wall put up in the bathroom Friday, and did that phone interview thing. That turned out to be a recruiter working for a local-ish company. It was more like a coaching session by the recruiter and less of an interview. The end result is that I owe the recruiter an edited resume and 3 references on Monday. And the feces hit the rotating blades on two projects here at work. I guess current job has to trump future job for now. After lunch.
Some other things that got accomplished this weekend include getting an old pluming vent moved. It did NOT go as I planned, and I ended up burning half a day and 45,812 brain cells until I came up with plan “D” that I am now semi-confident will work. I even have a picture of the plumbing to share:
You see, I had to move that one vent (hi-lited in green) because it was in the way of the future toilet drain. There’s only 7.5 inches of space to play in vertically and sadly, drains are constrained by the law of gravity. There is no way to just willy-nilly run them where you have space.
That other big white drain pipe that appears to be suspended in space is now gone too. Still have to get up on the roof and patch the hole, but the forecast is pretty good for the next few days. I’ll slap a shingle up there for now and do a formal patch this next weekend. Maybe.
Heard of a very distressing event over the weekend too. A bike rider was held up at gunpoint on a section of bike trail (Erie Canal Bike Trail) just south of where I enter the trail (northbound) when I ride to work. Two guys, one of whom was brandishing a 20 gauge shotgun (think bullet the diameter of a nickel, or worse – birdshot) held up a biker. The biker gave up what he had and high tailed it back to a main road & contacted a sheriff. The sheriff’s were able to track down the jerks who pulled off the hold up and arrested their stupid asses (and the rest of them too I assume).
I rode that northern section of canal path this morning and gave every pedestrian (only one this morning) a wide berth. A lot of people use that path – cyclists, walkers, roller bladers, people walking their dogs, guys out for a little man-on-man action too (kinda creepy, but at least they’re lovers not fighters). Now we have to worry about idiots trying to rob people at gunpoint? That’s the downside of having the path so close to the city I guess – it attracts the wrong elements for the same reason it attracts the legitimate users – privacy.
Oh well, I’m not going home that way tonight. I have to head for the Y and take in spin class. Or maybe I’ll skip Lori’s class (sucky music) and go for a 90 or 120 minute ride instead. Hmmmm – get a Payday bar & a bottle of Gatorade and hit the road. Tempting except for that damn backpack. Ah, well. Sucky music it is.
First, todays big news: Osama Bin Laden is dead. Supposedly. I didn’t stay up late enough to catch the Presidents speech last night and bailing out of this mornings bike commute (again) cost me what little news time I get in the morning.
So Bin Laden is gone, buried at sea in an attempt to follow Islamic custom and bury the body as soon as possible. Nice. No evidence. DNA verification inside of 20 minutes? That proves exactly what to whom? I’ve yet to see pictures of him with bullet holes in his head.
Even if we DID finally get him after 10 years, what now? The Taliban has already signed up to avenge his death, surely others in his organization will step up, what about the possibility of dozens of sleeper cells being planted with instructions on what to do in case of this very circumstance?
I don’t know. I can’t see how killing Bin Laden has really solved anything. All those millions of dollars spent trying to find him and not one of the people he is responsible for killing has been brought back to life. Granted, he will kill no more, but his minion will. Glad I don’t live in a big city with lots of targets.
Friday’s bike ride home was a bit of a disaster. I got out of work, early, with the intention of taking the long way home and getting in a 20 – 24 miler. That plan got changed when I got out to my bike and found the rear tire flat as a pancake. In and of itself, this is no big deal. I have the tools & skills to repair a flat. But this is the 5th flat I’ve had on this particular rear tire in about 1,000 miles of riding. Ridiculous.
I flipped my bike over to its back side, took the rear wheel off, got out my tire tools and pried one side of the tire off the rim. As I was rotating the wheel freeing up the tire, I picked 3 pieces of rock chips out of the ‘tread’ of the tire. (‘tread’ because I ride tires that are slicks pretty much.) Each of these chips worked through the tire itself and had an edge poking through into the tube area. 3 pieces of freaking stone!!! Worse, I saw ALL the evidence of prior cuts, some large enough to make me wonder hoe the tube wasn’t poking out through the tire tread.
Long story short, it was an hour before I could actually start the ride home. Add in some sprinkles, drizzle and a nasty head wind and I was content with getting in just 11 miles. (Not really, but I have to make some headway in that bathroom project).
Saturday morning I snuck in a freezing ride to the Y (380), got in a spin class and a very slightly warmer ride home. In the afternoon I managed to get one wall of the bathroom squared up, moved a heating vent that was in the way of a new wall, and got all the prep work in for securing that new wall. This week I’ll putz around with that wall then hopefully net week I can get the plumbing vent moved and get the drain plumbing situated.
No real update on Lefty’s condition. Learned some new words though. “Idiopathic Interstitial Lung Disease” is the doctors way of saying “you have a disease in your lungs and only your lungs that is of unknown origin and we don’t know wtf to do about it yet”. A more invasive biopsy is scheduled for Thursday that will actually involve a 2 or 3 day hospital stay. The niece that we helped move 2 weeks ago? That’s his daughter and he’ll be in the hospital for her birthday. That sucks. So we’re going to take the niece, SIL and other brother & SIL out to dinner to help forget that shit for a bit, then go back & invade the hospital and try to make Lefty feel less bad about having to be there.
Yeah, that’ll work. Hopefully he’ll be on enough pain meds he’ll sleep through the visit. Even after the biopsy it’ll be a minimum of 5 days before any results are in. Why can’t this be an episode of “House” so we can have 5 doctors dedicated to figuring out what this weird shit is?