It’s been three months since we were in New Orleans last. I HAD to have some gumbo. My go to recipe calls for a 10 lb turkey to get things rolling. (boil, make stock, etc) Seems that 10 lb turkeys have gone the way of the 6 oz chicken breast – they happen when the bird is 4 months old, but they sell them at 8 months plus and they’ve outgrown USDA dietary guidelines.
All that to say I substituted a 7lb roaster chicken instead. Plus? It was already thawed sitting there in the grocery stores cooler. I usually use Andouille sausage too. Thought I had some. Got home to find I had 1 lb of fresh Chorizo and 1.5 lb smoked Chorizo. Worked for me. Both varieties of Chorizo were also made of chicken.
Busted out a relatively new bamboo spoon once I had the roux smoothed out with a whisk. Now I know how my favorite spoons get all black on the business end. That oil is HOT and it actually chars the spoon a bit! But I got my roux done to a nice chocolatey brown without burning myself (I have scars from hot roux splashes in the past – the price one pays for 20 – 25 minutes of stirring), and completed the gumbo without incident. Substituting chicken for the turkey and chorizo for andouille did nothing to dampen satisfaction with the end result. After all, there are how many gumbo cooks in Louisiana? Then, there are AT LEAST that many varieties of gumbo and I bet they’re all delicious. Now if I could just get one of them to send my some cryovac’d gator tail I could try another variety. Got a recipe for a smoked pork/black eyed pea gumbo I want to try too. Gotta buy some pork butts before prices go up for the summer.
Haven’t tried bowling with the new arm yet. Forgot my shoes last week and a window of opportunity never opened up this weekend. Maybe Thursday. I’ll toss my bowling gear in the truck tonight.
Oh – I need to get back to spin classes. I need to give up the late-ish nights and get back to morning exercising too. Last time I did that, once I reached my goal I backed off too much. Have to find that happy medium and the motivation to stay sub 200. I do not expect that motivation to be coming from the spousal unit either. She is just a bundle of contradictions and is her own worst enemy. Can’t get her to see that though.
Of course, last time I was super fit, I managed to fall victim to my own wanderlust too. Not a good thing at all. Oh! Sunday I was out shopping by myself, looking for vibration absorbers for the washer, when I ran into the twin of my old buddy Ms. CL. Same height, same hair, wore her jeans the same way so that her butt looked too small, posture very similar, boobs not quite the same, and her face was different, but geeze – they could be stunt doubles for each other. Got me to thinking about Ms. CL again, but she’s moved off to the next county east and is working in the eastern half of that county. Heard she interviewed for a position back closer to the city but no word on how that went. Probably just as well. (Unless she DID get that job at the college and was at Sears stocking up her apartment . . . . hmmmm – can’t go there, can’t go there, can’t go there, no matter how dissatisfied I think I may be)
I might just have to promise my innernetz girlfriends that before I start window shopping, I will be an eligible shopper. Because I clearly am not accountable to myself. (I make such good arguments to me!) We’ll see.
For the record – it was 69 here yesterday. Almost all our snow from Christmas time has melted. And? We were warmer than Southern California. In January. I don’t know if it’s global warming, but weather patterns are certainly whacked lately.
I am reading a Kindle book (free!!) that is trying to disprove the global warming theory. I’m not too far into it, but it looks like there has been some collusion amongst the weather studying community to make things look worse than they have been – at least up until 2008/2009 or so. We’ll see hat that turns out. It’s some pretty slow going though – lots of ‘facts’ being bandied about. For my money – I don’t care if there is global warming or not, there are some things we just need to stop, period.
Umm – end of lunch – I better get back to work.
Not that this is a resolution or anything, but I have got myself the new version of FitDay and am hopping back on the get my ass back to fit wagon. I’ve used the new job(s) and my arm injury as excuses to get lazy. I need to cut that shit out.
Cindy is also doing her own tracking program and is being more diligent about exercise. We’ll see how honest she is about logging what she consumes. Somehow I think she still believes the afternoon/evening toddies are calorie free.
It’ll be interesting when I get back down under the Clydesdale biking category (<200lb). I’m curious as to where she’ll be. I’m taking bets, if anyone dares. My own goal? <190 by Aug 15 (our 32nd anniversary) Considering Tour de Cure again this year, but it is difficult to train for a 100 miler as early as June in these parts. Can’t really comfortably ride outside till April, and spinning just isn’t the same. Makes me slightly jealous of all my southern compadres!
Oh!! I’m now comfortable up to 20 reps of 10 lb curls. I’m going to get myself a 12 lb dumbell and work to get to 20 reps of that. Then? I can start tossing a 12 lb bowling ball. Possibly overhand. But I’m thinking maybe the 12th or 13th of January to start working on the bowling again. Might even go hit the golf dome and hit a bucket of balls with some short irons. All good for the fitness regimen too!
Just checking in to report that things up here in western NY are going along fine. We came through the wrath of Sandy pretty well. At my own place we had little more than a few downed branches and had some leaves stripped off the trees. Sadly, the two big maples out back have lost less than 50% of their leaves and many are still green. Come on already, tomorrow is November!
We did have some localized disasters in the form of trees on houses and downed power lines, but even that wasn’t so bad. New Jersey & NYC seemed to get the worst of it, and it looks like ski season might be open for a day or two in parts of West Virginia.
So – upstate NY is fine, what we got pales in comparison to what happened to our southeast.
Did PT on my arm this morning. Confessed to me PT gal that I was cheating and doing 20 oz exercises instead of 1 pound, mostly because I don’t have a 16oz hammer. Ever try to drive a nail with one of those? Takes FOREVER! She didn’t tell me to stop, and she also didn’t tell me to stop when I was doing curls with the 1lb barbell AND the 1lb rotation weight thingy at the same time. Well, when she finished entering notes into her computer she stopped me. Called me a cheater too. Maybe next week we’ll increase weight. At this pace, I don’t see me throwing a bowling ball by January. Probably just as well.
This is a bit of a first, at least that I can remember. Looks like good ol’ Hurricane Sandy (which gender is that? Is this a himicane instead?) is on it’s way. Way up here in the western area of New York we were getting drenched by some of the outer bands of Sandy in the morning. Through mid-day we appeared to be enjoying a bit of a respite from the rain. Now however, it looks like the main body of the beast is encroaching. Looks like a solid mass of rain from here (Rochester) all the way back yo south New Jersey. Next couple of days promise to be windy & wet.
Glad we had that big 80′ maple tree removed a few years ago. With wet ground and wind out of the north, that thing may have ended up on the house or garage, or both. Still have two big maples to fret over, but they’re not nearly as big and are a tougher, more durable variety.
The spousal unit is responsible for securing substitute teachers for her school whenever anyone calls in sick, dead or, in this case, stupid. Some anonymous teacher called in Sunday evening and said they weren’t coming in Monday because they “weren’t sure what this storm was going to do and she didn’t want to get stranded at the school”
I had to laugh.
A – The superintendent hadn’t closed school. The worst of the storm was at least 36 hours off and we weren’t going to see the hurricane part of it.
B – What about ALLLLL the other teachers that were going to show up & teach like they were supposed to?
C – What about the substitute you were expecting to be called in for you?
Hard to believe someone responsible for teaching our kids can’t come up with the simple kind of reasoning. And? What a wimp.
Think I mentioned before that I am done with my arm brace. I am starting to progress into strength training. I am supposed to be limited to 1 pound curls, rotations with a 1 lb weight, and wrist curls (kinda backward-ish), again with the big 1 pound weight. Most convenient thing I could find? A 20 oz. claw hammer. Including the handle & grip, I’m probably a half pound over my limit, but it’s the one thing I can use for all three exercises.
Plus my therapist fessed up and told me that folks who push the limits (and cheat a bit) tend to heal quicker. Thing is to only push the limits a little and not go dragging them behind you. No way in hell I want to be back on the table getting that tendon fixed again. I have done a pretty good job of cheating though.
I have another PT appointment Wednesday morning, right when Sandy’s center of circulation is predicted to be directly over our heads. Have to play that one by ear I guess. If they shut the county down tomorrow during the worst of it, might be no appointment to go to. I may just have to tape a roll of quarters to me hammer and keep inching my weight up. I have a bowling ball to toss around come January!
Saw my Orthopedic surgeon today. I am very excited to share that he granted my most immediate and fondest wish.
is no longer necessary. I can also use my elbows full range of motion, or at least as much of it as I have. Which is actually quite a bit. It’s the supination/pronation movements (rotating palm up to palm down) that are causing the most discomfort. I have exercises for that though.
Barring any setbacks, I should be turned loose for full load work by Christmas. So now Ms. Kim, my PT gal, can start me working on strengthening the ol’ puddle of jello I used to call a bicep. Even bowling will be considered. Now, the boys all ready got me a full time sub for the season. I am certainly not going to get in the way of that, but I will make myself available to sub (on my own team!) after I throw a dozen or so games in open bowling. I am afraid that I may have lost a little velocity. I’ve been unofficially timed at around 25 – 26 mph average speed, but losing 5 or 6 mph might actually be a benefit. We’ll see come January when I crank it up again.
New Orleans was fun, again. Got treated for an inner ear infection the day before we left. Turns out the meds I was on were totally ineffective and I got re-treated the day after we got home. Essentially spent 5 days in Nola with an undertreated ear infection. That part sucked, but Nola was, as always, a blast.
I got to eat turtle soup, duck & chaurice hash, gator gumbo – all of which I’d never had before. Happy to report that I’d eat any one of them again without hesitation. Also got a cookbook with dozens of recipes for gumbos and soups from many of the finer restaurants in the area. Have already done a corn-tomato chowder with shrimp (awesome with fresh ingredients). Have plans to do a pulled pork & black eyed pea gumbo soon. I’m doing up 3 pork butts for little Miss Avery’s first birthday party next month and I’m saving a pound or two of smoked pork for the gumbo. Yes. I am already drooling. If you’re nice I’ll save you some. If you’re nicer, I’ll send you the recipe – just ask.
I think I mentioned earlier about how I may have hurt my elbow playing golf? After seeing my own doctor about it and then getting referred to an orthopedic doc, I got a date with an MRI machine.
(As a total tangent – when someone tells you “Hope you’re ready for it – MRI’s are NOISY!” – you have no way to prepare for the kind of noise(s) that thing makes. HOLY CRAP!)
Got the results of my MRI today. the damage is officially a partial tear of the distal biceps tendon. Reading about it, it is sort of a rare occurrence. First, it seems the proximal (shoulder) end is more likely to tear. When the distal end does tear, it is usually a complete separation, not a partial, like the half-assed job I did.
The good news is that it’s repairable. The bad news is that it requires surgery and a 6+ month re-hab. No bowling this winter. Might get back into shape in time for next golf season. (Interesting story there too)
I go to see the surgeon tomorrow for a consult & schedule the dirty deed. Sounds like they prefer to jump right on this kind of repair, so the fact that it’s been nearly 6 weeks since I injured it means they’ll want to operate pronto. I think I’ll golf with Zach this weekend for my one last fling, but the company golf tournament on the 14th is probably out. Ironically, that also appears to be my favorite day for surgery too. Now I have to hope that casts & range of motion restrictors won’t hamper our trip to NOLA next month.
This getting old shit ain’t for the weak, I can tell you that!
Wow. My Syracuse boys narrowly averted disaster again last night. But that’s what they do – just enough to win. Those Wisconsin kids shot the lights out! 14 three-pointers in one game – are you kidding? Next up is Ohio St. I think. Good thing the Syracuse crowd travels well, they’re gonna need all the help they can muster for that one. For the record it’s about a 5 hour drive from Syracuse to downtown Boston. (If I’m driving. If you’re driving? Probably about 6 hours)
After yesterdays whiny little rant, I went and bowled terrible. I blame triple atomic chicken wings. Well, ok, not really. They had no effect. I missed a shot or two early, made an adjustment based on that then spent the rest of the night trying to convince myself that the move was right. Last half of the last game I moved back to my original line and promptly pronounced myself an idiot. Done it before, will do it again. At least I don’t have to throw a bowling ball again till golf season is over.
Oh, and after bowling, what did I come home to? S.O.S. She’d gotten an update from the contractor that’s going to do our roof & siding and tried to tell me the same thing 3 times. I don’t know if she couldn’t remember that she just told me, didn’t hear my comments acknowledging her statements, didn’t hear my questions for clarification (which she answered) or what – but after she told me the third time I had to rather firmly tell her that I’d gotten it all and she was just repeating herself – again.
That, more than anything, is what drives me to working on those math problems in my head. Can’t have a conversation because she’s drunk & kinda slurring her speech. She’s too drunk to connect thoughts remember what was said and process the information. She’ll complain that we never go out with other couples, but everytime I ask her out with friends, she “needs to stay home to do her sub calls”. (i.e. stay home, get drunk and obsessively check her work voicemail) Not every night, but 3 of 4 so far this week. Not falling down drunk (like a few years ago), but drunk enough that it’s painfully obvious to me and I psychologically disconnect. Hence the math games – what would my budget be? Can I swing the house alone? Would I have to find a roomie? Do I just let her buy me out & leave? Sell it and split the equity? (Even though the mortgage payments always came out of my paycheck)
I know what my two best options are, and both of them involve me getting a new address. They both kinda piss me off, so I’m not fed up enough to actually do anything. Yet. But if there is a next time – I will get legally separated before wading into the dating pool. It’s just a mess doing it in the opposite order. Although it worked out well for the guy across the street. Maybe I need to go chat him up this weekend, hmm?
What? One comment on the 28,000 year old German dildo? That wasn’t really even a comment on the archaeology part of the post? (Hi C!!) You can go back and look now – I fixed the link too. Seems if you don’t post a lot you kinda forget how to sneak in simple html code.
Anyhow. How about a long overdue bowling update? Mostly because I bowled pretty well last night – 216, 256 & 191. That 191 game was brutal – two big fugly splits that I didn’t pick and I was still flirting with 200. Know what that means? Lots of strikes. 8 in the second came, closing with 7 in a row. 5 or 6 in the first game with a 4 bagger (the HAMBONE!!), and I think 4 ot 5 in the third game with a 3 bagger (the Turkey!) Of course, some guy a few lanes down threw a 300 last night too, the fifth one in our league this year. Bunch of good bowlers I hang out with! Bums.
Work is still kicking my butt, got a major 165+ page report to complete by 3/15 while I am leaving for that seminar near Boston 3/12. Yeah, I’m interested in seeing how that works out too. But it’s good to be busy – sure beats the hell out of the alternative.
Have to fess up too. Had an opportunity to buy the new MS Office via a home use plan my current employer offers. Ten bucks for Office! So I got it. Then I found out I had to have windows 7 on my laptop in order to run Office 2010. So I got it. Synched all my book marks to my cell phone so I wouldn’t lose them. Got windows installed, got Office installed, got Firefox back up & running. Have not been able to figure out how to re-synch my book marks from my phone. Don’t tell anyone or they’ll take away my nerd card! I’m a border line member as it is. Too bad I don’t have a 12 year old at home anymore. They could probably figure it out – without an instruction manual even!
Got tickets to go see Buckwheat Zydeco in Niagara Falls tomorrow night. It’s a date night weekend! We’ll head out tomorrow afternoon, check in to a hotel across the street from the concert venue (a Casino! I’m leaving my money, ATM card & credit cards at home!!), grab dinner someplace nice (Hard Rock, NF?), see the show than crash in Niagara Falls for the night & slide home Sunday. Fun weekend. If any of you would like to hear a little Buckwheat, I have some I would love to share.
Starting to get the hang of being this “childless stay at home dad extraordinaire”. Today I get to go grocery shopping, then I have to hang some durock in the new bathroom shower. Busy, busy, busy!
Last night was our final evening for the golf league. We had a multi-tiered tournament (single, double & foursome) then headed to a nearby restaurant, The Dakota Grill and had our banquet. My partner John won the singles portion and the two of us won the doubles. Then John won season low net, I won for most bogeys in a round (8) and John won for something else. Each win netted us a sleeve of balls (3) that will surely get lost during play next season. It was a good banquet. Very irreverent bunch of guys, we all take turns taking pot shots at each other and have a ball the entire time.
Which will make the transition to tonight’s bowling league nearly seamless. Is that some good timing or what? I gotta go dig my bowling ball out from under the collection of bathroom supplies I have stored in the garage. I’m kinda worried that the reactive resin will have sweated out a bunch of lane oil and I’ll have to clean it up some. I’m thinking I might have to add some Soft Scrub to me shopping list. Love that stuff for degreasing & scuffing up my (bowling) balls.
The most important update of the day comes from an email I received last night right about the time I bogeyed the first hole (on in 2 and a 3 putt!) Horrible putting last night – there was a layer of sand sifted onto the greens and it affected the speed. Well, that and the remnants of Tropical Storm Lee that was blowing through. It was like playing in Scotland in the summer time – cold, blustery & a constant mist in the air.
ANYHOW! The email It was from the recruiter from TUV. The regional manager is headed out sometime in the next two weeks and wants to do another face to face interview. When I responded to the recruiter, I asked her how many candidates the manager was interviewing this trip. Looks like it’s only me.
So. It’s either A.) this whole process is going to take longer than I thought in that they’ll need more time to line up additional candidates or B.) if I don’t screw up the interview with the manager, I’m in. Guess which option I favor?
I gotta go it the grocery store. What do you need added to my list?
To bowl, that is. I forgot how to bowl. The score I turned in for the work bowling tournament was the worst score I’ve thrown in 4 or 5 years. The good news is, everybody struggled. The guy that organizes the tournament asked the bowling center to put down the oil pattern that was used for the USBC Open Championship. That’s one of the majors for the pros. I have a new fond respect for just how good those guys are. The margin for error on that kind of oil is near zero. If anyone bowls and wants a description of the pattern, ask. Otherwise I’ll spare y’all the geeky details.
In a totally unexpected turn of events, the defending champion team of the tournament (The Spin Doctors – my own team no less) actually came in 1st place again this year. (What I said about everybody struggling was true!!). For our efforts, we each won $25. I also scored a door prize – a gift card for Olive Garden that would cover a nice lunch. Not bad for investing $15 in the tournament entry fee. Too bad it’s my last one.
Rode the ol’ two wheeler into work this morning. (Yes, I’m taking slight advantage of my shitty attitude and sneaking in an update. What are they gonna do, fire me? Oh, wait. They did.) It was a little cool (42) so I opted for the long spandex pants rather than shorts. Looked like the bass player for Def Leppard I think. And no, there will be no
incriminating evidence pictures posted of that scary sight. You’re welcome.
Never the less, it was a nice ride. This afternoon I may try out a free app I downloaded for my crackberry. It ties in with MapMyRide and records your route for you, even tracking elevation changes. Too bad it’s so flat around here. No real challenge for the GPS elevation tracker, or the biker. I’m slipping out of work early today and I have a nice route mapped out for the trip home – around 16.2 miles. Leaving here at noon(ish) I ought to get home before the rain starts.
Then I can spend the afternoon working on the bathroom, prepping for tomorrow’s big day. I need to move the main plumbing vent line so I can get one of the shower walls built. The vent needs to be IN the wall, but it involves cutting a hole in the roof, juggling some drain lines and patching the existing vent opening. Simple stuff, but needs coordination and NO RAIN!!!!
Speaking of rain, we’ve set a record for our area for rain in the month of April. We’re up over 6” now. That’s about twice the monthly average and nearly an inch over the old record. I realize that some places get WAY more rain than that on a regular basis, but here, we’re only used to 3” or so a month. Our ground just can’t hold or drain off that much water.
I do have an alternate excuse for bowling so poorly yesterday. As we were getting started, I get a text message with an attachment. Because the bowling center was actually in the basement of a plaza, the cell signal was kinda weak and I couldn’t download the attachment right away. I spent quite a while trying, then finally during the second game I was able to download this:
THAT is the first grandkids first photo op. I’m told the thing projecting upwards towards the left edge of the image is the umbilical cord, NOT an indicator of gender. Which is just as well really as the kids do not want to know gender ahead of time. You know – prolong the suspense and be surprised, just like in the old days!
Besides, It appears that on my Dad’s side of the family, about 75% of the time a couples first born child is a boy. Like my uncle, like me, like skiddy-eight zillion cousins. Ok – maybe 9 of 13. Yeah, I have 14 pairs of aunts & uncles on my dad’s side. One aunt had no kids, of the rest, I think the first born was a male in 9 of 13 opportunities. (Mark, me, Mike, Gerry, Paul, Bill, Peter, Eric, Donny, ummmm, oh yeah – aunt Peg had no kids either. So it’s 8 of 12 (and I make 9 of 13).
Now. I’m the oldest of my generation. Zach is the oldest of his generation. I’m giving it 3 to 1 odds that this kiddo will be a boy. Cindy? After having two boys of her own, and me coming from a family of all boys, she’s hoping for a girl sooooo hard, she’s going to be crushed when Jill pops out a boy.
Truthfully? I’ll be thrilled either way. It’ll be more of a challenge teaching a girl how to throw properly, but I’ll get her there. As long as I survive the tea parties & playing with dolls.
What a brutal night bowling last night. Everybody agreed that the lane conditions were very tough. Usually, the lanes are oiled such that there are dry areas on the outside 5 – 7 inches (boards) on each side. The oil then tapers to a peak in the center of the lane. This pattern can run anywhere from 24 feet (short) to 36 feet (long) or even a little longer.
Most of the higher average bowlers throw some sort of a hooking shot. Some hook it a lot, others not so much. The key is finding the right combination of speed, revolutions and path to guide ones ball to the pocket. Speed and revolutions are harder to vary with any consistency – you throw the ball how you throw it. So the thing that one must adjust is the path. That all boils down to determining where the ball should enter the dry area of the lane – that’s where it’s going to hook the strongest. Get it in the dry too soon and it’ll hook too much and fly by the head pin. Get it in the dry too late and it’ll never have time to hook back up to the pocket. Kind of a Goldilocks situation.
Some nights the conditions leave a wide margin for error. Other nights, (last night comes to mind) not only is there no error margin, there’s a freakin quart of olive oil on each lane and it’s spread pretty evenly from gutter to gutter. That makes it tougher – no dry area with which to get leverage and create angle & drive to the pocket.
One nice thing about lots of oil is that it simplifies spare shooting. Kill the lift on the ball and shoot straight at your target. I was fortunate enough to manage only 2 open frames all night (both splits), but the difficulty in generating strings of strikes made scoring difficult. For the night – missed my average by 4 pins. But on any other night with only 2 opens I’d have expected to beat average by 50 or 60. (One strike, one open, 177?? – unbelievable!)
Got 5 resumes set to go, need to craft some cover letters for them. Need to dig up 5 more over the weekend and get them sent too. Really have to push getting my
I am seriously considering getting my bike out, getting it tuned up and going for a ride Sunday. Supposed to be sunny & 46 – nearly tropical for around here. Be nice to get in a 20 miler or so. Got to build up the endurance quick. June 12 is the Tour de Cure 100 miler. That’s 6 hours of ass in the saddle pedaling, maybe an additional 60 – 90 minutes at rest areas refilling water bottles. Working up to the distance is entertaining. Get to see a bunch of the towns out to the south & west of the city. Need to find some new towns to ride to so I can add to my collection of town & village welcome sign pictures taken while cruising. Got to find my little pocket cam too. Hmmm, where’d that thing go?
Got to get back to the Syracuse game. Later!
First – my heart goes out to all those affected by the quake/tsunami in Japan. This is just a staggering event. I hope we as a country are able to offer meaningful help & assistance.
I don’t listen to enough Bob Seeger. Need to fix that. Did I hear that Limewire is defunct now too?
Wish I felt like doing something. Wish I felt like doing something about it.
Bowing last night wasn’t bad from a personal perspective. Started out slowly, missed a couple of easy spares that cost me a 200 game, but made some corrections in games 2 & 3 and came out of the session with a solid effort (609 after a 178 start). Team wise we got smoked again. We’re just having the lousiest luck. We might bowl ok but we run into a team that bowls hotter than snot. We might bowl really well, but will do it against a team that has their lowest average bowler shooting out of his mind. Or their highest average bowler shoots his personal best. Lousy timing is all it is.
Bottom line – we have a good time. Joke around with the other team, celebrate the good shots and commiserate with them on the bad ones. Every now & then I’ll throw one that’s just pure and the pin reaction will be explosively deafening. I get a fair amount of razzing for that. Last night, the league secretary was bowling on the lanes next to us. He actually got off the approach and reset himself after one particularly loud strike. I don’t think it was my fault, but 3 pins on his lane fell down after that shot. I was lobbying to get credit in my score for those pins, but there’s a rule about only counting the pins knocked down on your own lane. Too bad, I might have shot in the 230’s if I could have counted those.
Started this Friday (as you may be able to tell based on the bowling comments). Spent the weekend feeling sorry for myself. Didn’t get anything accomplished except read a couple hundred pages of a very difficult to read book. (500 down, 100 to go. Started it last month in Mexico fer cryin out loud.)
Need to make progress on an inventory step. I’ve done bits & pieces of it in my head, but I can’t be held accountable for that. Maybe I should break it (the inventory) down into a few different chunks. Analyze the procrastination (A great thing to do first!!), decide what fields I’m interested in working in, decide what I really want out of my personal relationships.
Also have to decide to kick my butt out of this funk I’m in. Now that I have my periscope up, I can see that I’ve been in this funk for a number of months now. Foreshadowing? Maybe. Truth be told, as far as the job situation goes, my input stopped at the end of December. That was the cutoff date for getting in what ever information was used to make future staffing decisions.
Now I’ve got to pull myself out of this miasma and find something new & interesting to do. I’ve proven to myself that I don’t really care for desk jobs. Better go off and do some navel gazing and see what it is I’d really like to do for a career.
Finally broke down and checked the front door gasket of the washing machine. Guess what I found hunkered down in the drippings of the last load run through the washer? Yes – my long lost pinkie drive! The little metal shield that was on the back side came unglued, but outside of that, it looked pretty good.
I dried it off, ran the little contact extender thingy in & out a few times and gave it a whirl. I am very happy to report that it seems to be working just fine. All the work data I had on it looks ok, my bowling spreadsheet is intact, even my bill paying records made it through in one piece.
Bowling Thursday night was really, really odd. Worst night of the year for me. Maybe going on vacation this week will be a good thing.
Thought I’d try and post a picture from where we’re vacationing later this week. We have a day trip scheduled that ought to provide a golden photo op – the kicker will be if I can get any phone service from where we’ll be. I won’t have a laptop with me, so I’ll be relying on phone service. That reminds me, I need to check and see if our plan even has coverage there. We have Verizon, but I imagine I’ll have to use some sort of roaming to hook in.
Oh yeah, that picture. First correct guess for location wins a fabulous souvenir prize from the area. I will offer that we aren’t going to Australia, so dried kangaroo scrotums will be off the table as far as souvenirs go. I’m sure you’re all crushed by that news.
Not a lot else to add. Busy as all get out at work trying to get ready to be gone for a few days. Have to show up tomorrow, but it’ll be tough to concentrate. Even at home Monday night it’ll be tough to settle down. Our flight out Tuesday morning is scheduled for 5:25am. That doesn’t leave a lot of time for packing and sleeping. Have to see if I got a window seat on at least one flight so I can lean against the wall and get in a little nap.
Better go print out all my vouchers too. Later folks.
I give up. Can’t find it anywhere. Someone just got themselves a sweet little 8GB pinkie drive with some of my work data on it. Good thing I only use it for transporting files and not long term storage. It did have all my bowling stats on it though. Maybe that’s a sign I’m being too anal about keeping track of bowling stats? Naaahhh. Just have to learn to live with a 2GB pinkie drive for a while. Dang it.
So, yeah. Bowling tonight. This is the next round of that In-League tournament. This rund only goes for two weeks. I only have tonight to try and qualify for the next round because we’ll be off on vacation net week. If tonight ends up stinking out loud, I may try to pre-bowl for next week. My pre-bowl scores would definitely count for the team (rather than taking my average minus ten for each game) and I might be able to apply them to the tournament too. Gotta see how tonight goes first.
Because my current league average is more than 10 pins higher than last years book average, I am forced to use this years average for this tournament too. That moved me from the “A” bracket into the scratch bracket. The scratch part is moot because there is no handicap for this tournament; everything is based on pins over average. The good part is that I ought to be in the lower range of averages in this new bracket. So some poor bastard that is averaging in the 220’s can really only bowl so far over his average. Seeing as I’m coming in at a more modest 197, I have more potential head room to exceed my average than Mr. 220. Guess moving up isn’t ALL bad, but I sure liked the idea of bowling against a 185 instead . . . Just have to bear down, stay calm and not over think things. My mantra lately has been “Less think, more throw”. The human body is incredibly good at doing what it needs to do if we can convince our mind to let it go. The most important idea I need to keep in my head is “square shoulders and reach out for the target” That’s amazingly effective at keeping things on line.
Oh – and don’t even THINK about trying to throw the ball slow – it only messes up the timing. I gotta go at 107% or things start getting out of whack.
Here’s a bad news/good news situation. Lefty won’t be bowling tonight (that’s the bad part), because his daughter has invited Lefty & Mrs. Lefty to Buffalo so they can be all excited with her about her very recent (as in this morning) purchase of her very own house (that would be the good part). I imaging being excited will consist of dinner out someplace, a nice bottle of wine or a Guinness or two and oogling over all the pictures my niece has no doubt taken (There is no doubt we are all from Kodak families . . .)
The scary part is that my niece is now the second kiddo of her generation to actually own her own place. This is really making me feel old. Zach & Jilll have had their place for over a year and a half and now the niece is getting in on the action? Probably have Eric & Kel looking at houses soon too. At least they’re waiting till after they’re married (in July) before they even consider looking.
Need to remember this for later – Saturday will be the 1 year anniversary of Cindy’s dad passing. Somehow I think that’s going to be significant in filtering through this weekend’s events.
‘Nuff for today. Gotta get back at it.
Boy, that flu stuff can really suck the energy out of a guy. Dragged my butt (and the rest of me) back to spin class Wednessday night for the first time in a week. I was really hoping to just avoid horking my spleen out on the floor once we got going. I was really afraid that my first full, deep breath was going to trigger a coughing fit. As it turns out, it didn’t. But I did notice that the ol’ lung capacity wasn’t quite up to snuff yet. It’ll come, just have to keep beating on them till they shape up.
The instructor did have a really good idea Wednesday night though. Partway through the class we do a heart rate heck. Everybody slows down, we kind of pedal at “park riding speed” and do a pulse count for 10 seconds. There’s a chart on the wall where we can look up our age & determine where we are work out wise – 50% max heart rate, 60%, 85% – what ever. For the record, I’m typically pegged at 80% or more. I just don’t know how to go slow I guess.
Anyhow. Cheri suggested that maybe we could lie a bit and say our 10 second pulse count was our age. Anybody over 30 was more than willing to play along. Problem was we never figured out a way to make it stick.
Couple of week ago, at this same point in class, another instructor (Maria) made the mistake of saying “If you’re over 30 you might want to think about easing up on the resistance a bit.” I sort of blurted out “Hey, I’m over 50! I ought to REALLY cut back, huh?” and the gal on the bike next to me, yet ANOTHER instructor, just taking the class for the work, had a good laugh (and hopefully learned something about good spinning music. Hers is, well, not exactly to my liking. Black Eyed Peas? Yuck. For spin? Yuckerer.) (Tangent much?).
Spending to much time fretting abut Cindy’s drinking, or not drinking, trying to decide if the non-social aspects of it are bad enough to call her on it. Rather than spin my wheels and get no where, I think I’ll just let it be. I’ll know when it’s bad – been there, remember the feel of the place. No fretting involved, just need to react when the threshold is hit.
Speaking of hit – I hit a few pins last night. Well more than a few actually. For the second week in a row, I was the high roller on our team. That’s a first. It’s a bit unfortunate too. The net leg of that “In-League” tournament I’m in is next week – that’s when I need to bowl out of my mind. Last night was a tad early. For the record I ended up with 246, 230, 195 for a 671. In the tournament that would be a +81 – probably enough to make it to the next round. Hope last night was just a warmer upper for next week!
Thinking of doing back to back spin classes tomorrow. The Tour de Cure ride is coming up in June, now isn’t too early to start ramping up the training. Probably ought to toss in some running for cross training too. It’s great for adding base endurance –just what you need for grinding out a 100 mile ride.
Speaking of grind – I’d better get to it.
It’s been an odd winter. DC, Philly & NYC get pounded multiple times. We in the snow belt? Eh. Tuesday, KC, St. Louis, Chicago & Detroit (to name only a few) got pounded. Here in the show belt all we heard for two days was “Watch out for Tuesday night & Wednesday! It’s going to be a doozy!”
Silly me was actually making plans to set up my camera in the garage so I could get a picture of my own bad self coming up the driveway with the snow blower, clearing away a foot or more of freshly fallen snow. Coulda been a cool shot, except instead of that foot of snow, we had maybe 5 inches.
Guess we smell bad or something. I don’t want to look a gift horse in the mouth, but you gotta know if he has any teeth, right? Looks like once again the storm track wasn’t what the NWS thought it would be. Maybe it’s Lake Erie. Something in or over the lake is affecting storm tracks and by the time the weather systems get all the way to us, no one has a clue which way they’re headed.
This one certainly missed us. Not to diminish what happened further west. You folks got dumped on and blown all over the place. No doubting that. But here in the east it’s becoming a case of Chicken Little or the Boy Who Cried Wolf. School superintendents across Western NY closed schools Tuesday night. The little ticker thingy was just buzzing across the TV screen all night with the school & business closings.
Those of us that are working today really need to thank them for keeping the busses off the road this morning. Of course, all those kids home from school necessitated many parents having to stay home too. That meant even less traffic on the roads. So this morning, I got up a little early, cranked up the snow blower and cleared the fresh snow out of the driveway. In spite of the roads looking like veins of two-track all strung together, my drive time to work was maybe a minute longer than average. That’s because I had to keep my speed down to 60 instead of my normal 70 on my 6.5 mile expressway jaunt.
Truth be told, the local weather guys changed their forecast about 10 P.M. Wish I’d seen that. I was watching Jim Cantore wax disastrous on the Weather Channel. That guy is a master at over using hyperbole to make what ever situation he’s reporting seem like it’s only seconds away from killing him. He was on Michigan Ave in Chicago saying he got frostbite! I’m calling BS on that. His skin got a little cold. If he had frostbite, next time we see him he ought to be missing the tip of his nose or something. Frostbite kills tissue, not just gets it a little cold. Maybe people acclimated to Atlanta’s weather ought to avoid reporting on northern snow storms.
We did get a little bit of snow off the lake later Wednesday. Might have amounted to another 4 inches but it was that real light fluffy stuff that big heavy duty snow blowers struggle with. Kids & teachers got a free day off, that made the commuting easier on everyone else, we all go home happy. Win – win, right?
Good ol’ Ollie the grand-pup was pretty much house broken when the kids first brought him home. The only real trick, as G.G. noted, was in training the humans to recognize when the puppy was asking to be let out. Those humans can be so dense sometimes!
In spite of how, how, AVERAGE I bowled last week, I am still excited about bowling again tonight. And actually, last week wasn’t quite average. Started out ok, after 2 games I was actually +2 on my average for the night. But that third game! Back to struggling. Missed a couple easy spares (Brain farts really, just let my mind wander during the delivery) and couldn’t buy a strike, even with a $5 bill tucked in the thumbhole. (That’s a joke – the $5 is a tip to the now non-existent pin boys – in hopes that they might help a stubborn pin or two fall over)
But this is a new week. We have a position round tonight, so we’ll get out the Kama Sutra and check out what our new starting forms are. But REALLY, position round means first place team bowls against second place, third bowls against fourth, etc, etc, al the way down to 21 vs 22. It’s important to have a good night during position rounds because you can move up or down several places in the standings very quickly. And with the prize money increasing by maybe a whole $1 per man as you climb in position, it could make or break your season. Because there’s a HUGE difference in getting $120 a man for finishing in first versus getting $98 a man for finishing in 22nd. Hew-juh! (If anybody has seen a Billy Fucillo car ad, that makes sense. – It’s a local kinda joke)
Two days to piece this together. Sheesh! Breaks over, gotta run.
Admit it. After looking at the following little graph, you ALL want to come live here every January from now till doomsday.
This little chart starts at midnight Sunday/Monday. The Y-axis is temperature (Fahrenheit no less), the X-axis is hours elapsed since midnight Sunday. That little dip in the temperature? That was drive to work time Monday morning. The bonus for me was that I have to go about 8 miles north to get to work. Normally that would suck, but since it took me closer to the lake, it was 12 degrees warmer at work than at home.
We’re headed back down to 10 or so for the weekend. I’m thinking we’ll go to Mendon Ponds and get in a little snow shoeing on Saturday.
That park is also the starting/ending point for the ADA Cure de Tour – which I will be doing again this year – but in June, not January. (It’s official too. I just completed registration. The shameless pleas for donations will commence around April)
Work has been kicking my butt. Stuff at home has been keeping me busy. Getting the final details wrapped up on The Bob’s estate. I’ll be so glad when that’s over. The details, paperwork, reading instructions for financial crap – I think they make the forms overly complex and the instructions overly vague on purpose. They’re in cahoots with the makers of Advil & booze, trying to increase sales in both.
Bowling tomorrow. Can’t wait, again. Hope our team wakes up soon. Been tough sledding the last month or so. We are definitely due to break out of our doldrums. It’ll probably happen just as Cindy & I are leaving for our February anti-hibernation trip. Which, coincidentally, will be the 2nd week of bowling I’ve missed in the last 6 years. Now there’s some dedication for ya.
Gotta run. Someone stole the ECO templates!!!
Here’s a better picture of Ollie:
It’s a camera phone pic with weird lighting, but he’s still cute.
The kids bought him up from a breeder 30 or so miles south of here. Ollie has a decent pedigree – won’t be a show dog, but for a purebred he’s at least been guaranteed against hip dysplasia and a few other odds & ends. The kids were also warned about not getting him playing too hard yet, especially avoiding any real jumping. Apparently, too much rough housing as a pup can lead to problems later in life. Only makes sense since everything on that dog will be in rapid growth mode for at least the next year.
He’s extremely good natured too. First thing he did when we met was run up to me with his tennis ball and practically beg me to toss it for him. Later on, I was lying on the floor and he walked over, again with his tennis ball and head butted me. Then he dropped his ball and looked at me with a “Well, you gonna throw that thing?” look in his eyes. Definitely a retriever, and at 12 weeks he still has that puppy smell. Reaaalllly gets the “Gee, I’d like a dog again” thoughts going.
Except that, well, in February the local schools are out for a week. So Cindy has a week of ‘forced’ vacation. Since her Dad’s estate matters are nearly settled and there’s going to be final disbursements made soon, I planted a bug in her ear about going someplace tropical for her break. She didn’t say no, so I started digging deeper. Dug to the point where I found a few nice places in an area we’d talked about visiting before.
We’ve got our reservations made. If the weather cooperates, I might just be able to pull off a mobile posting from where we’ll be. All I’ll say is we’re headed to someplace WARM for 6 days. Most of those days we intend to sit on the beach and soak up enough heat to get us through till April. But for at least ONE day, we have to head out and see the local sights. Not like there won’t be an opportunity to soak up some sun there too.
So. I’ll post a pic, you all get to guess where or what it is. I’ll collect up the right responses and let Ollie randomly choose the big winner who just might get a fantastic prize from our vacation locale. Just HOW Ollie will be making the decision remains to be determined.
Of course, compare to this morning, almost anyplace south of here would qualify as WARM. Cindy had the day off of work in honor of Martin Luther King Day. Being the nice guy that I am, before I left for work I trotted down to the mail box and grabbed the paper and brought it in for her. As I was headed down the driveway I was thinking that it was particularly cold. Cold enough that I noticed my nostrils were freezing. Now, we don’t have an outdoor thermometer, so until I got in my truck and headed to work I didn’t realize jut how cold it was.
When I got on the road, it was a whopping -60 F this morning. As I headed north to work (and towards Lake Ontario) it actually warmed up to +60 F. So you can see the effect a big old bucket of water like Lake Ontario can have on an area. Up by the lakeshore (another 5 or 6 miles from work) it was probably another 10 degrees warmer. Not to say that in February we’re going to try heading farther north to find warmth. Somehow, I think we’re limited to 35 or so out over the lake, unless of course it freezes over entirely. I saw that directly north of us on the north shore of Lake Ontario (or the south shore of the Province of Ontario, Canada) it was -130 F this morning. They can have it.
Bowling last Thursday. Oy, what a struggle. Another night where it wasn’t hard finding a line to the pocket, but getting any pin reaction was difficult. Seemed like everybody was having trouble carrying. At least on our team. The other team wasn’t sharing our struggles. Well, 2 of them weren’t. But they were playing a flatter, inside line and don’t throw the ball with any appreciable velocity. I’d worry but even though they were hot relative to their averages, we beat them scratch. It’s the handicap that we couldn’t overcome.
Team wise we took only 2 of 8 points. I felt like I was struggling all night, but ended up a monstrous 6 pins over my average. (That’s good – feel like you had a bad night but still did average.) The brothers? Rough sledding for them. I’m going to start picking on them and point out that maybe they’d want to emulate their older brother and start throwing the ball like they have a pair. Pair of balls, that is. That’s always good for a laugh or three and cuts the tension some. Whether or not it will help them bowl better remains to be seen. After all, speed kills.
Whose old enough to remember those ads? No – you don’t have to admit it either. I won’t.
Talk about moderation! I’ve had this post in draft form for two days now. Had to significantly edit it to get it current (and sanitize it some) (edited to add, I decided to screw the sanitizing) then add on last nights activities. Here we go:
Here’s one for you. Apart from putting up the Christmas tree this year, we had ZERO other decorations put up. Or out. What ever. I offered on at least two occasions to haul up the 6 or 7 totes of deorations AND the two dozen or so miniature houses (lighthouses, stores, etc.) that we typically display on top of the kitchen cabinets and other tall-ish furniture. Both offers were noticeably ignored.
We also made ZERO Christmas cookies this year. No frosted sugar cookies, no bark, no toffee or peanut brittle, no peanut butter balls, fudge or divinity. Not that I’m complaining on this one. Having none of that stuff around eliminates the need to daily (or hourly) decide that, “no, I DON’T need that right now”.
You may well be wondering how this came about. (You may well also not give a hoot, so you best close your eyes, I’m gonna tell you anyhow.) Early in 2010, at one of our counseling sessions, I commented aloud about how I didn’t understand two things. The first was why we turned the entire house upside down for a weekend so all the regular décor could be packed up and all the Christmas stuff could be put out on display. Then in a month we’d reverse the process just to get the house back to normal. I also mentioned something about every flat surface in the house having some sort of ornamentation on it. To my eye, it looked overdone, crowded, cluttered and I sorta resented the time investment required of me. I resented that time investment even more when my own input to the craziness was not acknowledged. What was my input? Besides hauling every stinking tote and box up from the basement, I was also responsible for putting all the miniature houses up above the cabinets, running the cords to them (in the last kitchen re-do I installed outlets up there!!) and very painstakingly threading the garland between, around and behind all the little *&%*@ houses, tweaking every single stinking branch. The alternative (doing nothing) makes the garland end up looking like a green road-kill squirrel – sorta flat & fuzzy. I’m very anal about it – if I’m going to do it, it has to end up looking decent.
The other half of the deal (the cookies) presented a different problem. We had dozens upon dozens of cookies. We gave quite a bit to the kids & neighbors, but there were always tons left. If I broke down and had some (regularly), Cindy would peck at me about eating all the cookies. On the flip side, if they weren’t eaten they were thrown out. To me, this begs the question – why make shit just to throw it out? Why make it, then give me a hard time about eating it?
When I brought both items up in counseling last year, I offered a compromise. Take note of what cookies got tossed (toffee & white bark mostly – too sticky!) and don’t make any of that stuff. For the rest – make about half of what we normally make.
As for the decorating, I was willing to compromise with just doing a little less. Lets not cover every flat surface with something. Maybe acknowledge that other people invest their time & effort in decorating too. Just yesterday I thought of another compromise position – pick a theme and use decorations that fit the theme.
But. What we got this year was the results of a decision Cindy made long ago. She’d decided (probably when I first brought it up) that she would just not do ANYTHING for decorating or cookie making this year – in hopes that it would elicit some sort of response out of me.
Careful what you wish for, huh? Cindy & I talked about the situation some in between real Christmas and our family celebration. She admitted that she denied herself her own pleasure (going absolutely bonkers with the decorating & baking) in hopes that the lack of it all would bother me and I’d react somehow. Silly girl. All those years in Al Anon have helped me to recognize when my buttons are being pushed. Best reaction to a button pusher? Don’t rise to the bait. Her plan to irk me only made her a martyr to herself and actually went a long ways (too far really) towards giving me what I wanted all along.
This issue is far from resolved (it’s also not a deal or marriage breaker). Personally, I think Cindy’s reaction was misguided and immature. I haven’t told her that, but I have told her that I just didn’t understand her motivations. Her main point? I (and apparently everyone else) didn’t appreciate the effort she was making FOR US in doing all the decorating. In reality, it’s not that I didn’t appreciate it, but I would appreciate it MORE if there were LESS of it and my own efforts were acknowledged and appreciated.
Janine’s position is that it’s once a year, Christmas is obviously really important to her (duh – I knew that), just let her have it. Help out & step out of the way. Well I have, for 20-something years. It’s just been getting crazier, so I decided to offer up my opinion. I have learned (possibly incorrectly) that sharing my opinion often results in odd behavior from the receiver of said opine. Maybe it’s my delivery? Hell if I know.
Bowling tonite. I so excite!! (Read that with a SE Asian accent) It’ll be nice to bowl tonight knowing that I won’t collapse from lack of energy in the 3rd game like I did last week. Oh, the potential last week had! It was one of my higher 2 game totals of the year and typically the third game is my best. Ah well. There’s always this week!
Oh!!! Years & years ago, Cindy & I discussed going to an all inclusive resort in Cancun some year. Well, she has February break coming up soon. I’m thinking a trip is in order. Did some research, prices for all inclusives are scary but considering you never have to pay for a meal or a drink – maybe it isn’t so bad. I need to get a passport (For Mexico? Sad. Can I just use the passport card? Anyone know? Bueller?)
Now we’re at Friday lunch time. Well, I am – I don’t know WHAT you’re doing. Shouldn’t be working, should you? Hmmmm.
Bowling last night was challenging. As a team, we took it on the chin and lost all 8 points. I an clearly claim that A – it wasn’t MY fault, B – the other team just bowled really freakin’ well. For the record, I was the only guy on our team to hit or beat his average for the night. Matter of fact, I beat it by enough to up the old average by another 0.6 pins, so on the league stat sheet I will show up with my highest average ever next week – a whopping 197.1 Keep in mind that my youngest brother, K, is averaging 204 and Lefty (D) was sitting at 230. Until last night anyhow. Early in the season I was at 182 & K was a gaudy 235. Told him I’d meet him at 200 by the end of the season. It’s gonna be scary close.
Couple of oddities from last night. Had 4 open frames all night. Also had 4 splits, but converted one of them. That cancels out the silly single pin spare I missed. The other oddity is that probably half of the strikes I got last night all came in the 10th frame. Struck out (3 strikes) in the 10th of the first & second games and had 2 of 3 in the third game. 2nd & 3rd games also had strikes in the 9th, so there were some big, fast finishes. Too damn bad the other team was so far ahead of us. Just couldn’t close the gap.
Oohh! I have that lovely 5 gallon batch of Irish Stout (think Guinness) to bottle this weekend. In another 3 weeks I’ll be sampling it. Kinda looking forward to it.
Granted, the last time I ‘graced’ these pages WAS last year, it wasn’t quite a year ago. Maybe a week, no? What’s happened since then? Plenty. Brief rundown:
Tuesday. Dead. Snorted Afrin, gulped Advil and set up a Robitusin IV. Still went to couples counseling that evening because I had to pick up the gift certificate for the massages. That kinda blew the surprise aspect of it. Cindy was going to let me beg off on going, but I needed to be there to get and pay for the certificates. It’s hard to communicate a need to be at a counseling session that is so great it trumps a cold. I think Cindy thought I was going to lower the boom on something and she was a little withdrawn till we got there. Then she figured things out and my surprise was shot. Ah well. At least there’s a massage coming out it of all. Eric & Kelly rolled in about 11pm – went & soaked in the hot tub for a bit with them.
Wednesday. Not dead. Snorted Afrin, gulped Advil and refilled the Robitusin IV. Feeling well enough to tackle some chores around the house. Also?!? Zach called, wondered what we were doing for the day. Seems he had the rest of the week off while his Jilly-bean was slaving away at work. When I told him we were getting ready to brew a 5 gallon batch of Irish Stout, he couldn’t get showered and over to the house fast enough.
So, yeah. Started a batch of stout. Fun process. We did ok, but certainly made use of having 3 people around to manage the process. Got to figure out a 1 person process soon.
Anyhow – got the carboy loaded, cooled the wort and added the yeast. Then found a nice cool dim spot in the basement to park this thing for a week or so to let the yeasty beasties do their thing.
Jilly-bean came over after work and we started our Christmas-ish celebration. Had a big sleep-over so we could start early Thursday morning.
Thursday. Not dead. Decided to skip the Afrin (well ALL medications) for the day. Besides, 3 days on a decongestant like Afrin (or its generic substitutes) is the limit. I was there.
I was first up, got a pot of coffee going. Cranked up the oven so we could get the strada in while the carnage of present opening was going on. The presents were all well received. Kids were thrilled with their stuff, Cindy liked her watch & perfume, but the jury is still out on the massages. We’ll see. I got only 1 material gift all day, but it was a goody. Actually, it’s out in the garage now – my big new tool cart. Yep, I have soooo much
shit stuff in the way of tools, I need a second cart to contain it all. Maybe now I can fix my original cart too.
Bowling Thursday night. What a chore. Started out pretty good, 204 and 215, but seriously ran out of gas in the third game. Couldn’t keep the ball speed up where it needed to be, so it hooked more than usual. Anything I tried to allow for more hook seemed to make it hook even more, which is nice info for later, but wasn’t helping out much at the time. Ended up over my average for the night, but it really felt like it could have been a better night overall. Still have 6 weeks to get into a groove for this tournament thingy. I still like my chances.
Friday. Actually, I need to back up a wee bit. When we replaced our old font door unit a couple months ago, the big push was to get the exterior finished before winter. Got that done. Then the priority shifted to getting the screen covers done for the back porch, along with a trip to New Orleans, a trip to Massachusetts and getting in a few days of hunting. With all THAT out of the way, it was time to consider getting the interior of the door finished. You know – moldings, painting – the kinds of things that make a project look complete. So that was a biggie I got to cross off my ‘honey do’ list. Moldings are u & painted. Took bits & pieces of four days, but considering I’ve been at “work” work only 4 days in the last 15, there was ample opportunity.
The weekend was kind of a blur. Didn’t really do much, not even a trip or four to the gym. Last night was my first spin class since the Wednesday before Christmas. I know this was the season of giving, but I think everyone in spin class appreciated me NOT sharing my cold virus. Once the contagious phase passed, I still didn’t have the energy to consider pedaling for an hour. Plus, any sort of real exertion triggered a lovely little coughing jag and the tightness of the chest to go along with it. Spin class last night was tough. My legs seemed to have the energy, but the old lungs just weren’t quite up to par yet. The fact that there were 35 of us in the studio didn’t help either. It was so hot & humid in there we had the walls sweating, in spite of the 3 ceiling fans, two giant-assed floor fans and an open door. The Great Salt Lake could be found right under my bike – and that was before I wrung out my t-shirt.
That brings us to today, the 4th day of a new year. A new year with the theme of “Moderation”. Moderation as in get my exercise regimen UP to a moderate level, my food intake DOWN to a moderate level, and in general curb bad habits and encourage the growth of positive habits – even if I have to resort to flossing every day in order to succeed at the “encourage the growth . . .” part.
On a “being a big boy” note – I finally made the call and got me a new primary care physician. Hoo-boy are we going to be busy! My periodontist has a battery of tests she’d like to see me get and sine I haven’t had a physical in 2+ years, there’s THAT whole battery of testing to do. I expect some of the results to be less than stellar, so that whole moderation thing? Gotta get started, PRONTO!
Weird Christmas here this year. Eric was stuck working Christmas Day. Seems the county doesn’t want the inmates running the jail even on Christmas. No presents for them. (Well, if you’re in jail, you’re at least suspected of being bad, right?)
Because of this scheduling (and behavioral) anomaly, our family physically relocated Christmas to Thursday, Dec. 30. Technically, there are still 3 shopping days left till Christmas!!
Cindy & I still managed to open ONE present apiece the 25th. Well, ok, 2. Cindy got a briefcase thermos to replace her current piece of crap. I swiped it to go hunting one day last month and was rewarded with ice cold coffee after only 3 hours afield. If I’m going to steal a thermos it’s got to be a good one, so I replaced her dinged & dented old war horse with a new one. Pretty friggin romantic, no?
I also let her open one more present – a towel warmer. Big enough to hold two bath towels. True – I benefit from this too in that I might have a nice warm towel waiting for me on the porch after hopping out of the hot tub. But Cindy could decide to put in a towel and robe for herself and leave me (literally) out in the cold. (In practice – we filled it with a towel for each of us)
Later this week, Cindy will also get a nice new watch, a 4 oz bottle of Opium (the perfume people, not the poppy extract) and a gift certificate for a couple of massages. Other than the watch, she really only wanted to re-do the master bath. That’s a little difficult to wrap and put under the tree. I also feel it’s an inappropriate Christmas gift, hence the massages and perfume (a known favorite).
What did I get? A 6 gallon carboy with a bubbler, hygrometer and bottling rack. I’ll throw in the fermentation bucket as an additional hint.
What I have now is a more serious beer brewing set-up. I tend to favor having a few well crafted beers versus swilling down case after case of inexpensive mass produced flavorless beers. The set up I have now will let me brew about 2 cases of fine, artisan style ales every couple of months. That’s about a 6-pack a week which is more than I currently consume, so there will have to be some gifting going on. I have to admit, I’m also a little leery of getting a gift like that from Cindy. Considering our recent past (say the last 6 – 8 years), I wouldn’t have expected anything alcohol related. I accepted it graciously and enthusiastically (at least I think so), and will move forward with equal parts excitement and caution.
At the very least I can crank out an unending supply of Vanilla Porter so I’ll always have my Friday nite pint for the hot tub. But the first batch to be brewed? Irish Stout. (Think Guinness). Hard to go wrong with that.
Ironically, I learned that a guy I went to high school with (I dated his sister even) passed away last Sunday. He was all of 53 years old. From what I understand, he died from complications of diabetes, brought on by his inability to put down a beer in his younger days. Harsh lesson.
That gets me to thinking about my theme for 2011. It’s simple really and can be summed up in one word:
Moderation in all things; dieting, exercising, work (where I can). I would like to try moderation in an effort to find a balance. I think I will know when I get there. Might even know when I get close. Don’t expect to get there next year, but I’d like to start the journey. For now, that is enough.
Plus, I got a LOVELY head & hest cold over the weekend and I am miserable with a capital grouch right now. I was supposed to work tomorrow, then be off the rest of the week to enjoy the kids, but I just emailed myself in dead for Tuesday and adjusted my time sheet accordingly. Maybe I can rest up enough tomorrow to feel at least partially alive by Wednesday & Thursday. Especially Thursday – since that’s Christmas in these parts. (It’s bowling day too, but that shouldn’t count)
Speaking of bowling, the next round of that “In League” tournament I entered starts Feb. 14. That’s the bowling center finals. The top 6 from each bracket in each center move on to the regionals in March. What ever hot streak I have going right now, I hope to ride it out to at LEAST February. The focus now is to identify what-ever-the-hell-it-is that’s going right and clone it, bottle it, get a friggin picture of it, SOMETHING, but just be able to get it back. The fact that my average is up 12 pins from lat year might be an indication that what-ever-the-hell-it-is has been integrated into my muscle memory. I hope.
I gotta go snort some Afrin or something, my head feels like it weighs either 48 tons of 48 grams – depending on how I tilt it or if I’m moving (wheeeee – free head rush!!)
I clearly need to go lie down.
Bowling last night:
198, 222, 253 –> 673 for the night. Team took 6 of 8 points with only two of the three of us bowling. It helped immensely that as a team we had only 3 open frames all night. Good fortune to not leave many splits (1), good concentration bearing down on every shot.
A little repeat from our New Orleans trip, but I’d like to leave you all one thing (click to embiggen)
Have a safe & Merry Christmas everybody.
Cindys great aunt passed last weekend. Nothing to be too sad about – after 98 years, 4 months, life doesn’t owe you a thing. We’re headed to Massachusetts foe the weekend for the service/wake/celebration of life. Weather cleared just in time.
Bowling Thursday evening – 174, 207, 245. +47ish on the average. Figured the lanes out midway through game two. Nice to finish well, makes you want to come back. Especially when the last 6 frames were a 7 bagger and a ringing 10 pin.
Gotta go pack . . .
Posted with WordPress for BlackBerry.
Edited DAYS later because I finally noticed the funky mistakes I made because of the Crackberry’s keyboard. And I learned to have fun with tables.