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.
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!
1. Have you ever peed your pants as an adult?
Nope. Always been able to find a tree to pee on.
2. Who do you have a celebrity crush on now?
Completely inappropriate, but Sarah Shahi just turns my crank.
3. Would you date someone you met online?
Would and did. Go back & read about Ms. CL
4. Do you wear underwear always?
No. Sometimes I go without, but never at work.
5. Do you hate yourself at times?
Hate? No. I can admit that I’ve done some dumb things (#3 for example), but I couldn’t hate me.
7. Do you like dirty movies?
Sure. Can’t say I’ve watched one end to end in a couple of decades though.
8. Could you believe Josha Ledet was voted off Idol?
Sure I could believe it. Of course, I never watch, so I don’t really care either.
9. When was the last time that you bought a car?
10. Have you ever been camping?
As a kid, with the Army and dozens of times with my own family.
11. How many times a day do you go on facebook?
Once or twice.
12. What was the last movie you saw in a theater?
Ummmmm – I’m not really sure. Alice in Wonderland?
13. Have you ever worried that you’d cut off a limb? At least do severe damage?
Sure. I have a chainsaw and I’m not afraid to use it. Matter of fact I have 29 Douglas Firs to cut down this summer. Need wood?
14. Where did you get your last email from?
Work colleague. Boring (to you) technical stuff.
15. Favorite website?
Oh, there are so many to choose from . . .
16. Are you down with ghetto?
Probably not. What’s the implication?
17. Will the world end in fire or ice?
Think it through – ultimately ice, although that brief period of the sun going nova will be pretty warm.
18. Do you believe in the afterlife?
Not especially. I think much of that life after death stuff is invented by/believed in people who are afraid to accept their mortality. Not saying I’ve fully come to grips with it, but where is the evidence that there is anything there? I take very, very, very little on faith.
19. Would you be upset if facebook stopped working?
20. How did you start your blog?
Started as a way to track the crazies when I quit smoking in 2004. Then it morphed into a way to track the crazies while my spouse tried to lose herself in a bottle (or a hundred) of Canadian Club. Now? I just can’t stop.
As I was pasting this here, it occurred to me there was no #6. Anyone want to ask a question for #6? You can ask anything, I reserve the right to not answer.
Oh cool! Now I’m glad I looked. Yesterday, 4/22/2012 marked 7 years 8 months since I quit smoking – and it happened to be day 2800. Apropos of nothing really, but it is a nice round number.
Nice and round, like the big, fat, heavy snowflakes that are falling right now. I’d seen the “Winter Weather Advisory” in the forecast for a few days now, but we’ve been threatened with snow all winter and only got a paltry 60 inches for the season. So it stands to reason that after several (3) days in the 80’s in March and a sultry 88 degree day ONLY LAST MONDAY that we’d be getting our heaviest snowfall of the “winter” a full month into spring.
Wanna see? (Of course you do)
Yes, those are the new house colors. Gutters were put up last Thursday and the garage doors are going on today. Picture it with flat black shutters – the same shutters I have in the garage so I could paint them. The same paint job that made it necessary for me to park outside. (but really, black shutters, black truck – whoda seen any overspray, hmmm?) And that poor flowering plum tree! I hope it warms up enough for the snow to fall off before too much more accumulates.
It was kind of a weird snowfall too. I got up around 4:30am for a bathroom break. I looked outside and saw that it was drizzling a bit, but no snow. Two hours later my truck was covered in nearly 3 inches of wet, soggy snow. Who knows how much melted before it finally started sticking? A work colleague has to drive down to Pittsburgh today too – the route is right on the snow/rain changeover line (I-90 west to Erie, hang a left and follow I-79). He could catch a break and get just wet roads – lets hope. On weather radar it looked like hugging the lakeshore would help to avoid the snow.
Got to spend some quality time with the little grandkidlet over the weekend. She is such a good natured little peanut. She and I are starting to develop some of those silly little games we play with each other. The same silly games I played with our boys when they were that age. All those years, nothing and everything have changed. (If you figure that one out, lemme know, mmkay?)
I gotta go run back to work. We are fabulously busy, the work is interesting, and I’m starting to develop a feel for the rhythm of the process. The databases are still the bottle necks (Lotus Domino interfacing with SAP on at least 6 different servers in 4 time zones – yeesh!) And I have 2 reports to upload and one huge pain in the neck one to write. Starts at 168 pages and grows form there. And the table formatting is a nightmare. I STILL have to fix the dang template. In my abundant spare time.
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 . . .
Because I’m sitting here at work and just can’t bring myself to actually get anything done besides search the on-line classifieds for job postings, I thought I’d torment you with this list o’questions.
Before the silly questions, 1 sad note. This is week 4 of my golf league. We’ve been cancelled again tonight for the third time. Too much *&@#$* water on the course. We’re sad to not be playing, the golf course operators are even more sad. We pay for xx weeks in advance. Our league end date keeps getting pushed out so the course operator is losing non-league revenue from the post-season golfers because he has to honor our contract.
With no further ado, the list:
Which song did you last listen to?
Current ear worm is Rusted Roots “On My Way”
What’s the last thing you ate that was red?
A piece of tomato in todays soup @ lunch time. If that doesn’t count, then it has to be an apple for lunch Tuesday. Had that after the bag of red grapes and the sweet peppers in my enchilada.
Have you ever questioned your sexuality?
Lately, considering the lengthy drought that’s happening, yeah. I’m wondering if I’m a eunuch. Oh, wait. They’ve had something surgically removed, haven’t they? So do you still qualify if it just falls off?
Have you ever lost a best friend after a fight?
I may. That dust up isn’t settled yet.
Have you ever washed an iPod or mp3 player in the washing machine?
I washed a thumb drive. It’s the one I still use to archive all my blog & job app stuff. My old mp3 player succumbed to sweat. Gross, I know.
Have you ever screamed / yelled angrily at a teacher?
I pulled rank on a lab TA once. It was at night school at RIT. The TA, 15 – 20 years my junior was being porky and coming up with some really BS requirements for a lab. I told him to zip his lips. In the real world conciseness counts and all the flowery BS he was asking us to do was a waste of precious time and he wouldn’t be seeing it from me. I got an A on that lab. (Our entire class also griped that we spent twice the time on lab homework as lecture homework, but the lab was worth only 1 credit and the lecture 3. We asked for a balance in either work load or credits. Guess how that turned out?)
Have you ever acted like you understood something when you didn’t?
Only inconsequential stuff, usually just to get the other person to shut up.
Have you ever pretended to be older than what you are?
Only when I was too young to buy beer.
Have you ever cried because you were turned down?
No, but I do have an inordinately acute fear of rejection.
Have you ever had a pregnancy scare?
Why yes. I even paid for an abortion when I was a young lad of 21.
Have you ever pretended to like someone when you didn’t?
No. I just do a shitty job of pretending to tolerate them. They usually get the idea.
Have you ever stolen money from one of your parents?
Money, no. Cigarettes, yes.
When did you last see a movie in theaters?
Alice in Wonderland? The tail end of Avatar’s run? Back around then. Sad, I know.
When was the last time you baked / cooked something?
Monday night. NY strips and grilled asparagus. My pee still stinks, but it’s sooooo good.
When was the last time you danced like a crazy person?
Kids wedding, 6/6/09
When was the last time you just wanted to be invisible?
Monday night at spin class. When I had Foot in Mouth disease.
When was the last time you got a gift you absolutely hated?
I was a kid, maybe 8 or 10. My Mom’s extended family had a Christmas gathering at the Grange Hall in Phelps, NY. There was a sort of pot luck gift exchange. I ended up with a roll of toilet paper that had jokes printed on the individual squares. It was apparently brought by some distant Canadian relatives that thought they were supposed to bring gag gifts. Never saw them again. The TP ended up being used precisely how it should.
When was the last time you had to sleep with a nightlight?
Never used one.
When was the last time you were under some serious stress?
Besides now? This impending job loss has got me pretty tweaked.
When was the last time you watched your favorite movie?
I don’t really have a favorite movie and I tend to not watch any movie over & over. What’s the point when the ending isn’t even a surprise?
When was the last time you downloaded a song?
Been a while. Still had Limewire on the home laptop before the drive crashed. Is Limewire still semi-legitimate?
What would you say is your favorite hobby?
My favorite one would be hunting & fishing. The one I see to do the most is remodeling projects.
What is your favorite thing to do when you hang out with friends?
Golf, bowl, play volleyball – almost any sort of physical activity followed by a cold beer.
What would you rather do: shower or bath?
Shower. With a friend.
What do the majority of people think of you?
Friendly, bright, humorous, eternal optimist, decent athlete, procrastinates like a mofo but still dependable.
What is the color if your cell phone, if you have one?
Black. So trendy.
Would you ever donate money to charity?
I do all the time. Want to sponsor me in the Tour de Cure? Hit my TdC button up there on the right side bar. Even $5 helps in the fight against diabetes.
Would you ever dump the person you’re with for someone cuter?
More sober maybe. But I’m over ‘cute’. Is she a good kisser?
Would you ever disown one of your relatives?
No. Limit contact, yes. Declare & uphold boundaries, yes. Deny their existence? Couldn’t do that.
Would you ever cheat on someone if they cheated on you?
If cheating on me consists of drowning your sorrows in a bottle of booze 5 nights a week for 12 years, then yes, I’ve got that one covered. Next time I’ll make a clean break. Cheating really bugged the hell out of me. The sex was great, the guilt was greater.
Would you ever consider becoming a teacher?
Would you ever give a hitch-hiker a ride somewhere?
Depends on what she looks like.
Would you ever try to quit one of your addictions?
7:00 PM 8/22/2004I quit smoking. (2,460 days ago, but who’s counting?) (See the number at the top of every post?)
Would you ever die your hair purple?
I’m having enough trouble keeping it on my head. Why add to its stress?
Would you ever try being with a member of the same sex?
Been there, done that, didn’t get a membership card.
Would you ever kill yourself to save someone else?
One of my kids I would, provided it wasn’t because they did something stupid. And by kill myself, I’m not talking putting a bullet in my head. I’m talking stepping in harms way to push them to safety.
Would you ever spend $100 for the best tasting hamburger in the world?
Nope. I’ve heard of some more expensive than that though.
Would you ever consider becoming a nun?
Not a chance. I think my dangling participle excludes me from the club.
Would you rather chew gum off the ground or kill a squirrel?
Kill a squirrel. Check.
Would you rather have a turtle or a frog for a pet?
Had 6 tadpoles. Their propulsion system doesn’t have the poop to stay out of the pond filter. Killed ‘em before their legs were big enough to harvest. Oops.
Would you rather dye your hair green or blue?
See my answer to Purple hair.
Would you rather text or talk on the phone?
Talking on the phone omits enough nuances as it is. Texting can be too damn literal. Omfg, lol. (By the way, if you ever get a text from me, it will NOT contain any of that text speak shit. I refuse.)
Would you rather spend a day with Lady Gaga or Miley Cyrus?
Really? How about someone my age?
Would you rather learn to play piano or guitar?
Guitar. It’s easier to carry.
Would you rather have a stomach-ache or headache?
I have more experience with headaches. My stomach is partially cast iron and can tolerate heavy doses of habaneros.
Would you rather be overly interesting or overly dull?
Ever told someone that your fake jewelery was really real?
Jewelry? I don’t even wear a watch.
Did you ever watch The Adventures of Alex Mack?
Who has the worst public restrooms?
Would you eat cat food for $500?
Canned or dry?
Who is the last person you smelled?
Sadly, Cindy’s fruity booze breath last night.
Name a song that got overplayed really fast.
I tend to listen to Classic Rock stations. 15 – 40 year old songs are kind of hard to over play. There’s SO MANY of them. HOWEVER – we do have a local station that thinks every other song has to be either Zepplin, The Beatles or The Stones. That gets old fast.
Do you shop at Payless?
When’s the last time you had a popsicle?
It’s been years.
2300 days with no smokes. That’s 6 years, 3 months, 2 weeks & 3 days. Or so. (If you do the math, don’t forget that 2008 was a leap year.)
On to my real subject – -
Yes, I’ve had the best of intentions.
You may have heard – the weather out here on the east end of the Great Lakes can be described with 3 words: Lots of snow. Areas just south of Buffalo got 4 feet in a single day. We didn’t get hit that hard all in one shot, but we have been nickel & dimed into our own 2 feet of snow. Four inches here, another 6 there, 6 more on top of that – my smoker looks like it’s wearing a chef’s hat.
Had a small scare the other day. Opened the slider off the kitchen in order to get to the porch (on the way to the hot tub!). Didn’t hear the comforting gurgle of the pond pump re-circulating water. It’s absolutely necessary to keep the pump running so that some of the surface doesn’t freeze. The moving water helps to exchange gasses and is critical in keeping the fish alive over winter. Otherwise we’d end up with a bunch of fish sticks.
Anyhow. Visions of buying a new pump were floating through my head – to the tune of $300 for a pump big enough for our pond. But karma was smiling on me last night. Once I waded out to the pond (through more than knee deep snow) I could see that some of the surface was indeed not frozen and even moving. Turns out that the snow that had fallen raised the level of the pond to the point where it reached the end of the pump output hose. Since the flow from the hose was entering the pond below the water level, it was silent. I was very, very relieved. I also pulled the hose up a few inches to insure that it would stay clear of the water and always provide us an indication that is was (hopefully) running.
I have perhaps 8 pictures from our New Orleans trip ready to share. It’s just more than I can handle to get them loaded & captioned & html’d up during one lunch period. Which reminds me – work has been hell lately too. Busy as all get out, then on top of that, management decided that rather than have us just write up a summary of our accomplishments for the year, they wanted all the Director of Product Developments direct reports to see Power Point presentations from each of the rank & file engineers & designers. So on top of trying to keep up with the ungodly schedule we get forced into, we all lost a day or more prepping a dog & pony show that could have an impact on our jobs next year.
Bowling lately has been thrilling. Before we left for New Orleans I managed something gaudy like a 667 series with a 277 game thrown in. Had to take a week off for Thanksgiving, which kinda sucked a little, but that was more than offset by being able to watch the Saints game at Pat O’Brien’s, outdoors, wearing shorts, sipping a Hurricane. Yeah, that really sucked, not bowling that Thursday.
Anyhow, last week was another pretty decent week on the lanes. Started out ok, throwing exactly my average, 192. Followed that up with a 211 and closed with a solid 226 for a 629 series. The scary thing is that I’m getting a better feel for what my body position needs to be throughout all stages of the approach & delivery. What’s even scarier is that I’ve had some success in getting myself reset and back on track after an errant shot.
What I need to work on now is to quell the butterflies in the stomach when I get a string of strikes going. I can’t help but to get nervous & excited after throwing 4 or 5 in a row, and the adrenalin makes it harder to keep things under control. Today, if I get the chance, rather than getting all wobbly kneed and trying to avoid making a mistake, I want to maintain an air of aggressiveness – to go out and attack the lane like it owes me the next strike. The heck with this ‘avoiding a mistake’ – crank it up and throw it like you own it.
It’s a good theory. I’ll let you know how it works out.
Had a sluggish bike ride home Wednesday night. Not sure why. Maybe the wind played a part, maybe I need more or better sleep. I also have to wonder what the heck my speedo is doing. Seems like every time I look at it I’m doing 18 – 21 mph. There are a few serious uphill sections where I drop down below 15, and there’s the slow downs & accelerations at stop lights. But I have to wonder how my average gets under 18 when it seems like I spend the vast majority of the time going faster than that.
I’ll figure it out sooner or later.
Shoulda grabbed this on my 6 year anniversary in August. From the Quitnet site
Your Quit Date is: 8/22/2004 7:00:00 PM
Time Smoke-Free: 2229 days, 19 hours, 49 minutes and 36 seconds
Cigarettes NOT smoked: 44597
Lifetime Saved: 11 months, 10 days, 16 hours
Money Saved: $9,098.40
That money saved bit is using a cost of $4.08 a pack – which is what butts cost when I quit. Since then, the great state of New York has cranked up the state tax. Now I believe the same brand of smokes costs just over $8 a pack. That money saved is WAY over $9,000. Tell me again why I tolerated ANY grief from Cindy when I bought my new bike. Heck – I should have bought one with a carbon frame. (I should have bought one with a motor & stationary pedals)
So here we are at Friday. It’s been a weird week in relationship land. Not bad, just weird. Tuesday with Janine, Cindy was all “things are going fine, nothing bad to report at all” and we wasted nearly 30 minutes. I finally got tired of her not offering anything useful and brought up her trying to micromanage my time on Sunday. Then things changed a wee bit and everything wasn’t all butterflies & unicorns. That was interesting. She’s willing to do very little actual work on the relationship or herself but say everything is just peachy. But when I start to share how I feel about the real lack of progress in the relationship in spite of the efforts I feel I’m making, she’ll come up with some tripe about how I am falling short of her expectations and she’s just given up trying anymore.
If I had only 5 or 10 years invested in the relationship I’d feel a lot less compunction to stay. But after having invested 30+ years into building a relationship, family & household, I am VERY reluctant to just give it all up.
Maybe I need to make a new list. Not a gratitude list or a to do list, but an inventory. An inventory of what it would really take to allow me to live a satisfying life. Just off the top of my head, this list would have a few categories. Material, spiritual, emotional, interpersonal – something along those lines.
That list might make my ‘to do’ list for this weekend.
Rode in to work this morning. Again, it felt sluggish. I kept looking down to see if my rear tire was going flat. Turns out it was a 10mph north-northwest breeze that was supplying the sluggishness. That made it a head wind for about 5.5 of my 8.2 mile ride. And as luck (or the weather gods) would have it, the winds will be shifting to the west-northwest by drive time this afternoon. That will make for head winds only 2.7ish miles of the ride home, but the breeze will be stiffer. I’ll have to avoid riding with Perry. He’s smaller & (way) faster than I am on the flats. Add in the 300 foot elevation gain and the head winds and I really struggle to keep up with him. Can’t draft him either. He’s small enough that he really doesn’t break up the wind for a guy my size. (I have 7 inches and about 60 pounds on him – he’s like 5’5” and maybe 140. You can do the math for my size)
Office move coming next week. I have 10 tons of crap to clear out. Maybe that will help with the mindset for my new “make me happy list”. What do I need? What do I want? What have I been hanging on to that I haven’t touched in years? (Hmmm – does that include people?)
Time to get busy.
Oh yeah – door replacement this weekend. I’ll photo-document the proceedings
Miles done – 903.
Target – 1,000
Riding time left – End of October?
Brief last night, wasn’t I?
Joe – thanks for the premature congrats on the 2000 day thing. It’s unfortunate, but aren’t all guys a tad premature every now & then? Tell me it’s not just me
I’m not really going to do anything special for tomorrow. The one thing I will add now is that I hope I manage to tack on another 2000 days. 5 years, 5 months, 3 weeks. With a leap day included back on ’08. According to my little gadget thingy at Quitnet, I’ve ‘saved’ nearly a year of life and something in excess of $8,000 using the 2004 price of $4 a pack for butts. Since then, that price has gotten very, very close to $8. I only know that because Cindy is still a slave to the weed.
Joe also highlights another unfortunate event – the firewall here at work hampering my lunchtime meanderings through other peoples blogs/journals/diaries. For some reason I don’t quite fathom, D-land and WordPress sites are off limits, period. Blogger, blogspot and most independently domained sites are allowed, depending on the description in the header file. If there are naughty words or dirty thoughts contained in that header info – that site is also taboo.
It’s kind of ironic that I ended up in WordPress myself. At decision time, Blogger was locked out and WP was accessible. I set up shop in WP and the firewall flipped permissions. Must be there were ‘legitimate’ blogs in blogger and WP was mostly personal stuff. What ever. I learned the email post option (minus pictures) so if I get the urge to post during lunch, it’s possible. I can post from the Crackberry too, but typing anything longer than a tweet is tedious. Hell, I have trouble typing on a PC keyboard, can you imagine how challenging it is on a phone?
That unfortunate circumstance (my lunch time limitations) leads to yet another bummer. Web/blog surfing at home suffers from a slightly different type of firewall. It’s not Windows or McAfee or Norton, it’s Cindy. This one confuses me a bit too. Cindy has complained for years that I spend too much time on the computer. That explains (to me) why our desktop unit has moved from a corner of the room formerly known as the family room to the spare bedroom upstairs. It explains why the laptop charger is never left plugged in in the living room.
I’ve cut back immensely on the amount of time I spend on the computer at home. Even for work or Al Anon (newsletter) related things. It’s gotten to the point where I feel guilty even cracking it open to do the bi-weekly bill paying chores – although I’m told that is a perfectly acceptable use. Apparently so is on-line shopping, recipe browsing, or drooling over on-line home improvement catalogs. But sitting in the living room, doing a little checking up on news, sports or blogs while watching TV with Cindy reading a book on the couch across the room is rude, inconsiderate and borderline antisocial behavior. That also includes playing Word Mole on my phone (my high score is 10,388 so far).
I will admit to a particular affinity for web surfing, games, even working (real work kinda stuff) instead of just sitting there mindlessly watching TV. I find it odd though, that I could be sitting in my chair reading a book, concentrating just as much, in my own little zone, and that’s fine. Cindy can be sitting there reading a book, I’ll make a comment about something on TV and I get admonished – “I didn’t see that, I’m reading here!”. So she can be just as dissociated from what’s going on and it’s ok. If I’m reading a book that appears to be fine. But if I happen to do the same thing while using a computer or phone it’s a crime against humanity. What is the difference, dissociation via book vs electronic gadget? I think Cindy is afraid of the computer. Not the technology, but what it offers. After all, I met s. CL via the computer. Hmmm. Fear & jealosy.
Done bowling. What a night. A continuation of last week. 3 opens, all splits. Did spare one split, in the 10th frame of the second game. (My third split that game!) Third game was pretty smokin’. Had the first 5 strikes, took a little brain break in the middle, threw another 3 bagger towards the end. Lefty had the first 9 that game! I ended up shooting 210, 188, 245. Lefty? 263, 214, 276 or something like that. Team did great, taking all 8 from my old high school best buddy.
Cindy is off chaperoning so I have a few minutes to get in my computer time. I think she’ll be home any minute now, So I’m gonna do a hit and run here.
2000 days smoke free tomorrow. Yee hah!
Day 1983 – 1985
Can’t be missing Day 2000. Still two weeks off, but I ought to plan an extravaganza for that entry. 2000 days smoke free. Whoda thunk it? (Wonder if my operating system will go balls up when the count rolls over?)
Having more than a little trouble concentrating today. Somewhat preoccupied with thoughts relating to our counseling session tonight and just how I want to handle it. Head first dive, or a dip of the toe first? The testing with the toe seems like a status quo move – leaves room for backing out if the mood isn’t conducive to getting things done.
On the other hand, I find myself grating my teeth at the thought that Cindy is somehow controlling the course of the counseling by dragging her feet, withholding information, basically utilizing her denial of her own situation and blame shifting to deflect everything (blame mostly) over to my side of the street.
In the interest of stirring the pot and getting things moving again, I ought to call her on it all. But Janine deserves a heads up first. Maybe, if the ladies take a pee break during the change in sessions, I can corner Janine and make my pitch. If not, I may have to just make a run at it anyhow and hope Janine catches on and keeps pace.
Of course, all of that angst is compounded by the fact that I have an appointment with a periodontist immediately prior to the counseling session. Unfortunately, to get to the periodontist I have to head south and east from work about 12 miles. The counselor? 15 miles due west of work. The time I’ll be travelling from one to the other? 5 – 5:30, smack dab in rush hour, and OF COURSE, the stretch of expressway I need to use to get from the tooth doctor to the head doctor will be a parking lot for a 3 or 4 mile stretch, open up for a few miles, then plug up again out at the western end. The surface roads aren’t much better. Between the river and the canal traffic is funneled onto several high use bridges which, in the end, isn’t any better than parking on the expressway.
Found a cool picture. First & foremost, it is of a naked woman, but isn’t pornographic. The image starts at a point safely south of her navel and highlights her torso & arms. The woman in the picture is heavily tattooed, but even if she wore a skimpy bikini, all of her artwork would show. Well here, let me show you:
See? Not so bad. Now, as far as I know, getting tattoos is not without some small bit of pain. Not having one myself, I can’t say for sure just how much pain. Probably not like getting a skin graft or anything. Well even that didn’t hurt till the drugs wore off. That daily debriding of the wound was a sumbitch though.
Anyhow. What with all that girls tat’s, up & down the arms & legs, down the side of her breasts, along her ribs – some of that had to hurt. But how much did it hurt getting that tattoo through her armpit? That just seems like a particularly tender area. Shaving might be one thing, but 60 zillion little stabs with that needle? Even if it didn’t hurt, wouldn’t it tickle? Or worse – both? How do you DO that?
(For the record, I’m not a big fan of tattoos, but that gal looks REALLY interesting, luscious even)
Tempus Fugited (again)
Well, Tuesday’s session was interesting if not a little uncomfortable too. Started slowly, chatting about innocuous little things then we started to slide into some deeper ‘stuff’.
Let’s summarize by saying I had an errant behavior pointed out. Nothing egregious, just missed an opportunity to interpret that I was asked a question. The lack of an answer in my response was deemed ‘a bad thing’.
I pointed out that I’ve had some questions laying on the table, unanswered for 4 months. I also brought up a bit of a perceived double standard. Cindy’s poor behavior gets dismissed, explained away, negated, unacknowledged (by her), but if I exhibit the same behavior, I get raked over the coals (like Tuesday)
I can further summarize by adding that I have responses to my questions. Finally. But only responses, not necessarily answers.
Bowling tonight too. I need the stress relief.
Day 1739 Da Bomb!
I has pichurs!! Remind me to bust them loose before the end of the post wouldja? (No Q, no HNT stuff for you. Yet. Maybe.)
The weekend was productive. That was helped immensely by the gorgeous weather we enjoyed up here in the north east. That was our payback for a shitty winter – we got nice holiday weather. Temps in the 70’s, mostly sunny, light breeze – great painting weather.
Painting the porch occupied the vast majority of the weekend. Finished priming, got the first coat complete on the outside. Got some pictures of the progress. It’s really looking nice. Even managed to get some of the foundation planting in. It’s a little earlier than I’d like, what with some painting left to do, but potted plants just don’t do well. They require so much more watering. Of course, now we’re in for 3 or 4 days of rain so no worries there (figures!).
The weekend was not without it’s drama too. I’ve mentioned here that Cindy has been ‘slipping’ of late, and I think she thought that my not mentioning it meant that everything was peachy. Well. Friday evening, I refused to go out to dinner, opting to order in instead. My reason? She’d been sneaking drinks all afternoon. She wasn’t totaled, but she was at that point where she couldn’t stop offering information, thought she was being so open & friendly and couldn’t shut the fuck up. Plus she starts to adopt this fake Delaware accent (yes, they have an accent there, at least compared to us normal folks) and you know motor skills degradation is not far off.
So I just suggested we order “to go” from a local joint. She was pissed, but considering she was drunk, I didn’t much care. By Saturday, she was over it. We also worked our butts off Saturday. Sunday I got to painting early, putzed around with the pond a bit, and put ribs in the smoker. Had the whole fandamily coming over for a picnic that afternoon, to finally properly christen the porch. When my mom rolled in, I put the paint brushes away, showered up and got ready for the clan. Cindy? Was already priming her pump.
The porch christening was a smashing success. I had a few beers, my brothers had a few beers, the girls (SIL’s & nieces) had a glass or two of wine, my boys and their girls had a beer or two. Cindy pretty much kept up. But. She made sure her cocktails looked like iced tea. She had her wine out of in pewter water goblet (so did all the wine drinkers actually) and she wasn’t bashful about having a beer later on in the evening. I said nothing about it at the time. No sense calling her out in front of a crowd.
But. Monday morning we had our couples therapy session. Scheduling-wise, Cindy had her 1 on 1 first, I chilled out in the waiting room doing the crossword puzzle (Monday NY times, in ink, thankyewvurymush) and reading. When I got called in for the couples part is when the Enola Gay took flight.
Janine (the counselor) asked hw things were going. Cindy offered up a “pretty good” while doing a good job of being cheery & upbeat. When it was my turn, I turned to Cindy and said “Do you know why I decided against going out to dinner Friday night? It’s because I didn’t want to spend a meal sitting in a restaurant with someone that had spent the afternoon drinking. I really don’t care to spend my time that way.” From there, I brought up how I’ve noticed she’s been drinking with increasing frequency, citing very specific examples. I mentioned how it made me feel uncomfortable and fear that she was headed right back down the path that would land her where she was (WE were) 2 years ago, and I didn’t want to go back there.
You can imagine the kind of awkward silence that followed. There was no outward denial. I never mentioned how much she drank, what she had, where her stash was hidden or how I could tell. I really didn’t force anything, just stated what I knew, how it made me feel, what it made me afraid of.
I think it hit pretty hard. After the dust settled, Cindy & Janine spent some more 1 on 1 time while I went back out to the waiting room. After a few minutes, I heard the outer door close and Janine asked me to come back t her office. Once there, she re-assured me that what I had done was ok, necessary and done about as gracefully as possible. (No small thanks to Annette and her reading recommendations.) Janine also mentioned that when working with couples, she normally sees each individual in one on one sessions to get a sense where each of them is coming from. Even though I’m seeing Annette, I agreed to at least one session with her, just to let her get a feel for where my head is – or what is (or isn’t) going on inside.
So that’s what I did on my Memorial Day Vacation. Painting, planting, ponding and protecting. As in protecting my boundaries. Cindy and I have talked about the simplest of things since then, but she’s ignored the provided openings into discussing what went down that morning. To the plus side – she’s been to meetings every evening since (including tonight). I’m trying to speed read a book titled something like “7 conversations to have that are key to a successful relationship” (or something like that) in an effort to figure out how to get a meaningful conversation started. Seems like it shouldn’t be so hard to do, but we are both at rather heightened anxiety levels and it’s difficult to talk about anything without worrying about hurting feelings, what the others reaction might be or even just being interested in engaging in something like that. (Did that make sense? Felt rather like a vowel movement.)
Subject change. Went to quitnet.com and looked up my not-smoking stats. Because I’ve been popsting so infrequently I actually forgot how many days it’s been. Here’s what they look like:
Quit Date: 8/22/2004 7:00:00 PM
Time Smoke-Free: 1738 days, 13 hours, 12 minutes and 46 seconds (as of 8:13am EDT 5/27/2009)
Cigarettes NOT smoked: 34771
Lifetime Saved: 8 months, 25 days, 14 hours
Money Saved: $7,095.12 (that’s at the old price of $4.08 a pack for the generics I smoked back then. Now, Cindy is paying closer to $7.50)
Stole this from Q, over there at <a href=”http://hookedonquack.blogspot.com/”>Hooked on Quack</a>. It’s from TMI Tuesday, and this is really too much. (Like the last page or so wasn’t too much already) Read on:
1. Before the industrial revolution, most people never traveled more than 30 miles from their home. How far from your birth place do you now live? From the house my parents lived in at the time, 3.7 miles. From the hospital in which I was born, 6.1 miles. From the house where I grew up, 5.4 miles. I G00gle mapped it. Furreels.
2. What is the farthest distance from home you have you have ever had sex or an orgasm? 1432 miles. What is there farthest distance you have traveled from your home to have a sexual encounter? For the specific purpose of getting it on? 11.7 miles. Unless you count coming home on leave while in the army, then it’s more like 2680 miles. (This is tough too. When in the service, I was 2680(ish) miles from home, but that was ‘home’ at the time – so I’m not really counting escapades there as far from home)
3. How many states (or Canadian provinces or your country’s geopolitical division) and counties have you had sex and/or an orgasms in? Fl, Wa, NY, Cn, NH, Vt, Va, SC, Pa, in the US, Ont. and BC in Canada. Nothing in Europe, darnit.
4. Have you ever had sex in a vehicle? 2 months ago . . . While the vehicle was moving? Well, yes, but not according to Bill Clintons definition of ‘having sex’ . . .
5. Do you have any travel related fantasy? Not especially. If so, share, please. Isolation, outdoors, no bugs, tropical – this IS a fantasy, right?
Bonus: On holidays that honor our military do you tend to remember those currently serving or veterans of military service? I honestly considered those who are serving, those I served with and those who have gone before. Many of us just trudged along, doing our jobs. Many others paid the ultimate price. It feels so inadequate to be able to only say “thank you”.
Now for the pictures:
Oh yeah – the wedding favors are done. Programs are done. Flowers are set. 9 days to go. Starting to get REALLY excited.
Wow. Lots to write about. Not. So I’ve opened this here document and will jot down the random pieces of flotsam & jetsam that float through my head during the day. I won’t get them all recorded real time, but will really try to remember as many as I can and get them down here during lulls in the day.
Truvia – the new fake sweet stuff. Normally here at work I use Splenda because our coffee fund splurges and spoils us. At home I use the generic ‘pink stuff’ as provided by our local grocer. This morning, here at the zoo, I noticed someone left a box of the new Truvia by the coffee machines. So I tried it. One packet in my 10 or so ounce coffee cup – same as I use for the pink, blue or yellow stuff. Right off the bat, it seems to have either less after taste or a different after taste, not sure which. I may have to resort to blind side by side taste tests, without clouding the issue with my usual hazelnut or vanilla creamer. Hmmm. I have blue stuff stashed away in my desk (emergency supply in case the bowls here run dry), pink stuff at home, and the yellow stuff and new stuff available by the coffee pots. I ought to secure samples for testing. That might also make a slightly less than boring photo-essay type entry too, ya think? A true test of fake sugars. No Q – NOT a good HNT entry! Although with 4 coffee cups, one could hide all the “R” rated areas, couldn’t they? Oh wait – guys only have one. Well, that might take 2 cups anyhow. Ok – enough of that train of thought.
While saving this, it’s occurred to me that I have my day numbers mixed up. ‘Scuse me while I go log onto http://www.Quitnet.com and check my widget.
Here’s the skinny:
Your Quit Date is: 8/22/2004 7:00:00 PM
Time Smoke-Free: 1654 days, 14 hours, 21 minutes and 25 seconds
Cigarettes NOT smoked: 33092
Lifetime Saved: 8 months, 12 days, 18 hours
Money Saved: $6,752.40
So as of 7pm tonight it’ll be 1655 days. I was wrong – I WAS right. For a change.
Those butts not smoked are based on a pack a day, which is pretty near what I averaged. More if driving a lot, and also more if drinking. Money saved is based on a pack a day and $4.08 a pack, which is what my bargain brand cost back then. The crap Cindy smokes (a name brand – not generic) is currently running closer to $7.50 a pack. I’m sure my generic brand has risen in cost. There’s been at least $1.50 PER PACK in additional taxes added since I quit. Gotta love New York.
Hmmm. Out of that money saved, what have I done with it? Membership at the Y. My bike. Bike shoes, jerseys, shorts. Bowling. (One condition on my returning to bowling was that I stay a non-smoker. What ever works!) I need to analyze what I’ve saved and where it’s gone. Maybe I have a good excuse to upgrade my bike this year!!
Appraisal day at work. Knew it was going to be a rough one. The phrase “appears cool calm and collected” as well as the word complacent were used. Apparently my even keel got perceived as not acknowledging a sense of urgency. Well shit. So much for being unflappable. In spite of this, I have been offered an opportunity. A very complex, critical and high profile project within our larger project. This can go two ways. If it goes well, I make progress towards a promotion. If it goes poorly, I make progress towards the door.
What’s the project? Well, you know how most computers and a whole host of devices are wireless these days? Our next product, which has officially been announced but I won’t go into details about here, will have a wireless option. We have a feeling it’s going to be popular. Clinical trials are going really well. Customers are going to be reluctant to give us back our prototypes. And I just inherited the wireless part. That is NOT going well. We think the big bump in the road is past, but I now have 3 calibration fixtures to learn, move, reassemble, operate, write procedures for, then instruct others to use. All with radio boards we don’t have yet. And because of the frequencies involved, operation of these boards is ruled more by black magic than science. And I am apparently banking my career on it.
Ugh. Late. Gotta go sleep. Gots lotsa stuff to start learning tomorrow. Bowling day too. And I’ll be spending a good hunk of it on the wrong side of the county. Hope the boss doesn’t mind if I drive. After I sleep.
Oh yeah – my sample of Truvia for this weekends test has been procured. This might be interesting.