Only two things.
A – I was looking at my Amex statement getting ready to pay the bill. I was bummed. A month ago I was in New Orleans soaking up all the jazz, zydeco and gumbo I could get. Never saw temps below 70. Now? I’m just waiting for the first real snow of the season around here.
B – The lab/office where I work is in the basement of a former Kodak Industrial complex. (That I worked at for many years as a Kodak employee). Since I’ve been here with the new gig, there has been much remodeling done upstairs, right over our heads. They’ve moved in the new tenants and are starting to really exercise the buildings utilities again. We’ve had to deal with all the noises associated with a big re-fit like this – sawing, hammering, skull dragging huge pieces of equipment across the floor. The last one was the steam pipes hammering – sounds like someone is slamming a big pipe with a sledge hammer every 15 seconds for days at a time. They got that one resolved a couple weeks ago after about 6 weeks of on again off again fixes.
The latest ‘anomaly’? The sewers are backing up. Six floor drains in our lab are seemingly running the wrong direction. It’s not your run of the mill roof drain storm run off either. The maintenance guy thought he had it fixed when my colleague ran into the bathroom and flushed the toilet a few times. It was obvious to Mr. Maintenance man that he didn’t have it fixed. Now we’re worried about it encroaching into our carpeted office space. The maintenance guy used a mop to get some of it – now that mop will have to be tossed. We really don’t want to use shop vacs on it – the sewer smell will stick with them forever.
We always joked that in the event of an atom bomb attack (oh shit – I hear the drains gurgling even in here!!!) we were perfectly safe, but we’d be screwed in the event of a flood. You know – working in a basement 20 feet below ground level. Little did we know that the flood would be coming from within!
Saw the surgeon this morning. He described the bicep tendon damage as a complete tear. I guess that explains the 3 – 4 mm separation in the MRI images (which I’ve yet to see. Gotta talk to the ortho guy about that – I love seeing xrays & stuff – especially my own)
Bottom line – surgery Thursday 9/13, a recovery day 9/14, plus a whole weekend to shake the anesthetic out of my head. Hopefully back to work 9/17, then stitches out 9/24 and into a soft cast.
Soft cast for up to 6 weeks post op, with simple PT starting as soon as the stitches are out. Total rehab time back to full use: 3 months. And yes, I’ll get pictures when & where I can.
I asked about anesthesia too. The surgeon said they’d use a local with sedatives so I wouldn’t be 100% out, just deep into “don’t give a shit” mode. After watching a couple of different highlight films of the procedure, I think it’s gonna hurt like a mofo for a few days after. Trimmed tendons, stretching muscle, drilling holes in the ulna & nailing (pinning) the tendon into place. Tell me that ain’t gonna hurt a bit?
The REAL downside? This is all happening in my right arm. I’m right handed. I’ve started a small list of things that will be a tad more difficult to do with my right arm in a cast/sling:
Tucking in a shirt
Zippers on pants (ever notice how the flap is on the left?)
Shifting my car (it’s an automatic, but still . . .) (officially, I think I am advised to not drive while in a sling, but I’m not walking to work)
Showering & bathing
Certain ‘other’ bathroom functions
Eating – I won’t be able to cut anything for a while and even soup I’ll need to eat left handed. I am gonna need a BIG bib.
Typing & using a mouse.
Has anyone been one handed before? One handed with the non-dominant hand the only good one? What am I missing?
We have a trip planned to New Orleans 10/6 – 10/11. Doc said the cast/sling would be no issue for TSA. Maybe I’ll have to find one with a Saints logo. Maybe I can get some voodoo done to speed up the healing!
My only other surgery – the debridement of my right shin after a nasty bout of cellulitis was on 9/16. Something bad about the teens of September. Hmmm – my mother-in-laws birthday was 9/19. Coincidence? I think not!
So I’m on a business trip, right? Made my plane reservations last Thursday – as late as I dared wait. Got a direct flight from Rochester to Detroit at 6:40 am. Sweet!
On a what, 50 seat CRJ200? Delta overbooked by 3 seats. I wasn’t offered a boarding pass when I booked the flight which should have been my warning. Lucky for me, 3 people accepted the proffered carrot – $400 in flight vouchers. I ended up being the next to last person to board.
So. Detroit – got there pretty much on time. 75% of the flight was over Canada – go look that up! Pretty odd – a small part of Canada is south of Rochester.
Anyhow. After a 15 minute hike through the airport I got to the rental car shuttle. As it was pouring rain, I grabbed the first car in my size that I came across. Wouldn’t you know I got a car with New York plates? At least it provides an excuse for looking like I don’t know where I’m going.
Trip is going well, got unfettered access to the machine I was to inspect for long enough to get a good feel for it. Now I get to write the report and incorporate the photos I took. The company that did the mods has a wee bit of a challenge ahead of them.
Best news of the day? I’m fling home a day early and won’t miss golf Wednesday night. Golf I shouldn’t be playing till after my MRI Thursday. But heck, it doesn’t hurt to golf, and my arm has improved over the last few weeks – even with golfing. Of course, next week is bowling. Wonder if I’ve run into the thing that will finally slow me down?
Ah, well. Reports to write.
Meant to post this yesterday. Oops – hate it when life gets in the way.
It’s more or less official. Stats from Quitnet
Your Quit Date is: 8/22/2004 7:00:00 PM
Time Smoke-Free: 2921 days, 16 hours, 50 minutes and 1 second
Cigarettes NOT smoked: 58434
Lifetime Saved: 14 months, 26 days, 8 hours
Money Saved: $11,921.76
So at 7pm Wednesday night (just as I’m finished up my round of golf) I will have gone 8 years without a smoke. I cannot describe how much better I feel. I am also very surprised at how not difficult it’s been. I’m even more surprised that the entire time Cindy has maintained her own habit. Maybe a failed quit or two here & there, but she’s still puffing away.
One thing to note – that money saved bit is based on the price of a pack of smokes when I quit. At the time, it was a whopping $4.08 a pack. IN the 8 years since, the price has ratcheted up to $10.60 (I think) so the money saved if likely double what is shown. Call it a $7.50 average over the years – it comes out to about $22K. And I got shit about buying myself a $400 set of golf clubs last year (Irons only – but still!)
In real news, looks like I’m off to beautiful downtown Lansing, Michigan for work next week. Have to inspect some behemoth machine being built by a local outfits operation out there. I plan to fly to Detroit Monday morning, get a car & drive to Lansing, should arrive by 11am. Spend the afternoon on-site & start the inspection that afternoon. Hopefully finish up the inspection the next day and get started on the report. Drive back to Detroit Wednesday morning & fly home in time for my 4:32 tee time that afternoon.
The insanity of it all is that it’s easier & faster to fly to Detroit & drive than it is to fly directly into Lansing. Since the customer is paying and says time is critical – I’m booking non-stop from Rochester to Detroit. Anything else take better than half a day and is routed through Chicago or Philly – neither of which is actually between Rochester & Detroit. Weird.
Well, I gotta go get stuff done ahead of this trip. Have a product in testing right now and I hope to gather all data before I leave, then finish the report on the trip. Maybe.
Anyone want to do dinner in Lansing Monday or Tuesday night? I have a nice per diem to burn!
Spent some time thinking about my golf swing & grip. Decided to try another little tweak to the grip that would hopefully lessen the influence of my right hand and at the same time eliminate this nasty tendency I have to re-grip my club as I begin my back swing.
Buy the time I had worked through a small bucket of balls, I was pounding the ball really straight and in the direction I intended. A few managed to escape the driving range (after several bounces & some generous roll).
The happier part was that the straightness stuck with me out to the course. Too often things go well on the range but fall apart on the course. Last night at least I was consistently the longest hitter and with one exception, I was in the best shape off the tee. Contrary to popular opinion, longer is not always better.
Had one “oh shit” moment. Hit a great drive on a par 5. Felt I couldn’t reach the green in 2 because of a pond guarding the front of the green. It was 180 yards to the near edge of the pond (200 to clear it and I don’t trust my 3-wood yet), so I decided to lay up short of the pond and leave myself a comfy sand wedge to the pin. I picked an 8 iron which I typically hit 155, figuring it would leave me 60 yards to the pin. Wouldn’t you know that I hit the down slope heading towards the pond and the damn ball carried all the way to the water? I do NOT hit an 8 iron 180 yards. Hard summer fairways lie to you.
I can also confirm that while my arm feels no where near as bad as it did after the initial injury, golfing does seem to increase the tenderness. Torque-y motions are taboo, the numbness spreading down from my thumb is worse (for now) and other parts of my arm appear tired of compensating for the real injury. But I am the typical male and I will continue to golf and bowl until my doctor takes my toys away!
We’re off to a family reunion in Gloucester, Mass over the weekend. The kids get to show off little Miss Avery to many of these family members for the first time. Considering how flat out adorable she is, I will not get to spend much quality time with her – everyone else will want to gobble her up.
This is from July. She’s 7 1/2 months old and this is the day after she figured out crawling. I may be a little biased, but she sure is a cutie!
101. Name 4 things you always have with you.
When I leave the house? Keys, wallet, phone, clothes. At home? None of those are guaranteed.
102. How many SERIOUS exes do you have?
Define serious, engaged and then broke up? Had a two year affair with and decided to break it off? Ummm, 0 and 1.
103. What causes you to admire people
Above anything else, if they are true to themselves in spite of external pressures coupled with a healthy dose of compassion & honesty. (obviously, also in spite of any example I may set.)
104. Do you like sports?
Love to play all sorts of sports, don’t mind watching sports I have played. Sport is a valuable life tool.
105. Would you have sex after marriage? Why or why not?
Huh? After getting married, we damn well better be having sex. Hey – wait a minute . . .
If this is meant to ask would you have sex after ENDING a marriage, I would hope that it would actually improve . . .
106. What is your favorite male name?
I wanted to name one of our boys Isaac, but didn’t get my wish. Not even for a middle name.
107. Do animals go to Heaven?
You can’t go to a place that doesn’t exist.
108. Last time you had a great time with your dad?
LPGA tournament here in Rochester, 1993. That was the last time we really got to go anywhere. Dad and his four boys watching the ladies play golf. He was gone 5 months later.
109. What is your favorite hair style?
Long, wavy hair.
110. Do you like your name?
This matters how? But sure, I like my name. My full name (given, middle, surname) is unique at least in the US.
111. When was the last time that you quit your job?
Jan. 6, 2012. Left a contract position for my current job. Have since found out that all the contractors at my former employer have since all been let go. Whew!
112. When you wake up, what is the first thing you think?
What are the odds I might get a little this morning? (Answer – never very good. Vanishingly small in fact)
113. Have you ever pulled an all-niter?
114. What is the perfect day for you?
It doesn’t follow an all nighter, that’s for sure. Get up, hit the gym, have a productive day at work, come home on time to a spouse that’s also had a good day and we spend the evening doing something interesting to both of us.
115. Last time you cleaned the bathroom?
That’s a Sunday morning job
116. Have you ever failed a grade? Why?
Never failed a grade.
117. Have you met anyone online?
Mmmmmm. Several. One was nearly the catalyst that helped end my marriage.
118. Have you ever smoked?
Yes, from ages 17 to 45, averaged a pack a day. Quit Aug. 22, 2004 @ 7pm. Been 2,865 days now (7 years, 10 months, 4 days)
119. Do you like celebrities?
Eh. I think they get paid too much for not contributing much to society. Same with pro athletes.
120. Do you like traveling?
Love it. Have trip #3 to New Orleans book for this October. Join us @ the Bourbon Orleans on Columbus Day. We’ll hit up the Jazz clubs on Frenchman St, or hangout at the Bayou Club right on Bourbon and take in a little Zydeco.
Busy as hell. Working 10 hour days, wrapping up projects around the house. Have a trip to PA and VA planned starting Thursday. Going to go watch the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs take on the Rochester Red Wings (fantabulous prizes to anyone that can name the sport & league) in beautiful downtown Allentown, then we’re off to Chincoteague island for a hand full of days with relatives.
Come back to a nephews wedding followed closely by a family reunion of sorts. I may be scarcer than normal for a week or so but I’ll get back and let y’all know about those Chincoteague ponies.
Been a while, huh? What did I even write last? I remember starting several entries and never finishing them. Did manage to post a thing or two about the cutest granddaughter on the planet, but really, time has been tight.
Started a “year in review” post too. Here’s a bullet list of the highlights.
January – Cold. Working, driving to finish a project that has a jello-like requirements document.
February – Trip to Cancun. Trip from hell. Air travel delays, lost luggage, stolen property. Lost a day in Mexico and some valuable jewelry.
March – Notified I was being laid off, given 6 months notice.
April – start job search. Still working like a mad fool. I blame being in shock.
May – blank. Again, I blame shock.
June – Tour de Cure. Rode my 3rd Century (100+ miles in one day.) this year, teaming up with some friends gets us through the course in 5 hours, 53 minutes of actual “ass in the saddle” time. Time on course was closer to 7:30.
July – Eric & Kelly get married. IT was the hottest week of the summer – by far. 150 people absolutely swamped the cooling systems at both the church and reception hall. We muddled on.
August – 2 family reunions – both weekend long events. Cindy & I also marked our 30th wedding anniversary.
September – the 6th was my last day of work. 29.5 years of work in the same organization all done. Had several interviews for positions locally, but no solid leads as yet.
October – pick up contract work (12 months) with a local radio manufacturer. Pay is pitiful, no vacation, no holidays, no sick days, but the work environment is good.
November – Little Avery Jennine finally appears, making parents of Zach & Jill and new grandparents of Cindy & I. There were some minor difficulties along the way, but the little peanut came through it all just fin-e.
December – Talk about wheels of progress grinding slowly – a place I interviewed with in August wants to (finally) do a third interview. A week after the interview, they made an offer that beat the hell out of what I was making on that contract job. Put in my notice 12/23 that I’d be done 1/6. Due to start the new gig 1/16.
January - Left the contract position. Killed the week+ in between jobs by bolting off to Cancun again. This time we got caught for an extra day on the return leg. I managed to catch an ear infection (probably from snorkeling at Xelha), but in Mexico you can get antibiotics without a prescription! Hit up a local bodega for some ear drops and things weren’t too bad. Showed up for my 2nd ‘first day of work’ in 3 months and get to be “the new guy” aaaallllll over again.
And here I sit, kinda tired of reading IEC/EN/IECEE specs & regulations. My first real in the field training will be 1/24 & 1/26 where I learn to strike fear in the hearts of QA managers in local factories when I get to call them and announce that their semi-annual factory inspection is due – I’ll be there in 30 minutes.
Also need to get my ass to the gym. Haven’t been there in 6 months and it shows. My pants are a leetle too tight. Rather than buy new, bigger pants, I’ll re-introduce myself to sweating. Be nice to get ready for summer, this years Tour de Cure, maybe the Philly Livestrong ride, and tons of commuting to work.
For the record, my new place of employment is literally across the street from my gym. The new plan come spring is ride to the Y, get in cardio & weights, cool down & shower up, pedal very easy across the street and start the work day. For longer rides I’ll take the long way home instead of the very, very short (4 miles) direct route.
Will there be more & better blogging this year? I hope so. I’m trying this one from my new work laptop using Word’s direct link to WordPress. The new machine has all the spiffy new Windows 7 and Office 2010 tools. It’s taking some getting used to, but I’m starting to like it.
Better run- – more later. Really!
Day 2384 Bowling Day!!
Two whole weeks since I last bowled. Sad. Only 4 weeks of bowling left. Sadder. But golf starts soon after bowling stops. Not so bad.
About that last entry. That first 48 hours of our trip sucked pretty hard. After that, when we’d gotten the last phone call made to American Airlines Baggage Claims, things really were pretty fun. As is typical for an ex-Kodak employee, I have tons of pictures (even when measured in stored electrons!) I’ll sort through them and share the best of the best here some day soon. For now, here’s a few quickies. Maybe even chronological, maybe not.
From our first day on the beach, this is what relaxation looks like:
At one point during the day, the mother/daughter pair next to us actually both had to make a trip to the restroom at near the same time. The mom had left first and was delayed in her return. Apparently the daughter really had to go, so she asked me if I’d keep an eye on her stuff for her. Being the nice guy that I am, I happily obliged. I wonder if she was talking about this stuff:
(Yes, that was her – I kept an eye on her ‘stuff’ all afternoon)
I showed you the main pyramid earlier. Here’s the court where the Mayans did their version of the X games:
The court is 500 feet long. 2 teams, each with 5 players plus the captain. The ultimate object was to get a 0.5kg latex ball (about a pound) through one of those stone rings using pretty much any body part EXCEPT for hands, feet & head. You know, eliminate all the easy options. The winning captain was decapitated as a sacrifice to one god or another, and it was considered extremely fortunate to be sacrificed in such a way. Supposed to be quite an honor.
I think I’d be trying to field a bunch of losers every dang time myself.
The snake or serpent is very prominent in everything. How many serpent heads in the shot below?
Then there’s the fascination with death:
The ruins are just awe inspiring. The Mayans built all this stuff starting before 800BC. Because of the geology of the area, the soil & subsoil are very poor in minerals. Beyond that, there were no local deposits of any type of metal ore. We were made to understand that all of the construction was done with out the use of any metal tools. Certainly no steel, but no iron or copper either. It’s incredible to think that the masonry they did, dry fit masonry at that, was accomplished with stone, wood & glass (obsidian) tools. That is some kind of persistence.
I’ve kind of been in awe of the Mayans ever since I first studied them in the 5th grade. It’s so cool to actually get to see their old constructs.
And!! They are some tiny people. All due to the mineral poor diet they had to suffer through, but they were some seriously teeny folks. Even modern day Mayans are small. Today, on average, women are about 1.4 meters (4 foot 7 inches), men I think about 1.7m (5 foot 6 inches). We were introduced to this one lady, a Mayan, 87 years old and 1.25m (4 foot 1 inch) tall. She was selling embroidered doilies or some such. Of course we bought one ($2!!), but missed the opportunity to get our picture taken with her. At 4’1”, even Cindy (5’1”) towers over her. Not hard to spot a person of Mayan descent in a crowd either.
What’s left? Pics of the views off our rooms balcony, some shots of the grounds, maybe a few other odds & ends. Better get my butt to bed now.
Here’s a rundown of the first 48 hours of our trip to beautiful sunny Mexico. Remember that we are starting in beautiful, snow laden Rochester.
22 Feb 11
0300 – Wake up sunshine!
0315 – Actually get out of bed
0400 – leave for airport
0415 – Walk into airport (yes, we’re that close)
0416 – Go to kiosk for e-ticket, learn that 0525 flight to Philly is cancelled
0417 – Shit pants a little bit
0418 – Get in line for re-ticketing
0530 – Have confirmed seats out of Charlotte, NC to Cancun for around 1130. Have standby seating (#’s 1 & 2 on the stby list) for the flight to Charlotte which leaves around 0900.
0900 – Re-affirm that NOBODY takes a bump when flying out of Rochester in the winter. Can’t really blame them.
0930 – NOW have tickets & seats from Rochester to Philly, scheduled to leave @ 1115, tickets & seats from Philly to Miami scheduled to leave @ 1430, tickets & seats from Miami to Cancun scheduled to leave @ 1920
1000 – Flight to Philly delayed, not leaving until 1345 (Yes, that makes the connection time in Philly negative. There was NOTHIING positive abut Philly that day.)
1100 – Bar at airport finally opens
1345 – Actually on a plane leaving Rochester. Per our original schedule, I should have been grabbing a Negra Modelo outside the Cancun Airport while waiting for our ground transport right about now.
1440 – Land in Philly, learn that our connection to Miami has been delayed. This is a negative thing that appeared to turn into a positive thing, but was really a negative thing all along. Don’t worry; I’ll catch you up in a bit.
1650 – Leave Philly bound for Miami.
1900 – Land in Miami (our first visit ever to Miami)
1910 – Deplane. Now we need to change from USAirways to American in 10 minutes. Check out the airport map. That lovely green line is our intended path. Those pairs of white arrows that point in opposite directions? Security checkpoints. When we crossed over security leaving the J concourse, I had a bad feeling.
That green line is the path from our arrival gate (in the red section) to our departure gate (in the blue section). I’d estimate the distance at nearly a mile, with a chunk outdoors due to construction, and a minimum 20 – 30 minute penalty phase due to security checkpoints getting INTO Concourse D.
1919 – Sweating, having left Cindy in the dust, I approach a security person at one of the Concourse D checkpoints and ask if there’s any chance in hell they can hold flight 2147 while we get through security. Her answer? A polite version of “Not a fucking chance buddy”.
1923 – Break the news to Cindy.
1925 – Get in line for re-ticketing AGAIN. This will be the 8th flight we’ve been scheduled on for this trip. Granted, we’ve only been on 2 planes, but it’s not for lack of effort.
2000 – Went all the way back to the USAirways ticket counters to see if we could get a voucher for a hotel room for the night. The ticket counter is totally, completely, 100% abandoned.
2010 – Decide to NOT leave the airport via shuttle for some unknown hotel. Instead decide to stay at the Miami Airport hotel. Just as unknown, but it avoids two shuttle rides.
2030 – Dinner at Burger King. Oh Joy.
2200ish – Collapse in bed.
23 Feb 11
0700 – Out of bed, shower, put on yesterdays clothes. Oh Joy.
0730 – In line @ Security checkpoint Delta
0830 – Through security, navigated the last quarter mile to our gate. There are NO OPERATING SLIDEWALKS in this god forsaken airport. WTF is up with that?
1015 – We are on a plane that actually has an intended destination of Can-fucking-cun.
1115 – Land in Mexico. The flight was 2 hours, slip an hour for translating to Central Time.
1215 – Through the first part of Customs. Got a Mexican visa stamp in my passport!!
1220 – Go to the baggage carousel/belt thingy to get our bags so they can inspect them.
1230 – Come to grips with the fact that our bags did not arrive. Why should anything go easy on this trip?
1300 – Finished filing claim with airlines for lost baggage. Friendly Mexican baggage agent assures us that he’ll get our bags to the hotel tonight.
1330 – Got fast tracked through the baggage inspection, ran the gauntlet from customs to the exit door, got outside & located our ground transport agent.
1333 – Got me a Negra Modelo, finally.
1415ish – At Hotel. Impressive looking place in person. Checked in, got the schpiel for how meals, drinks, entertainment, pool towels and everything else works.
1430 – Get into room, check things out. Drop my camera case, book & fleece jacket (Cindy’s too) on the bed. Go back downstairs & join Cindy in the hotel shop.
1500 – Drop $350 on grossly overpriced new, clean clothes. Basically got swimsuits, sandals, a couple of shirts each & some toiletries.
1530 – call airlines lost baggage office for an update. What did I get? “Aaaahhhhh, Meester Bikinfool – we’re not sure just where your bags are. We think they may still be in Rochester. You may not see them for another 24 – 36 hours.
1535 – Hit up the room bar for the first shot of Tequila.
1540 – Hit up the lobby bar for a Tequila & grapefruit.
1550 – Find some poolside chairs in the shade. All our biodegradable, eco-friendly sunscreen is in our suitcases, somewhere north of where we are.
The next several hours are kind of boring. Hop in the pool, get out & dry off. Sit in the shade for a bit. Wander around the hotel & grounds, get the lay of the land. Got dinner, wandered some more, had a few drinks, went back to our rooms around 10pm & went to bed. Exhausted.
2300ish – Phone rings. Unwisely, I shit my pants a little, again. It’s the front desk, the airlines have delivered our bags!!! I tell the desk clerk I’ll be downstairs in a minute.
2302 – I’m downstairs, fondling our luggage. (slow elevator). The luggage has these little zip-tie things securing the zippers to the handles, giving the illusion that they are secure. I signed for the bags and high tailed it upstairs, happy to have clean underwear for the foreseeable future.
2310 – I start to go through my suitcase and notice I am missing a brand spanking new pair of sneakers. New Balance 623’s, size 10.5 2E. Worn just long enough to make sure they fit. Gone.
2312 – Cindy notices that her digital camera is missing. Camera, case, couple of memory cards. She also notices that her jewelry has been sorted through. The sinking feeling in the pit of her stomach is the realization that a sapphire & diamond ring willed to her from her mom is gone.
2315 – Pretty much disgusted with the state of humanity right about now. Resolve to put this shit behind us for now and file claims once (if) we get back home.
Next morning we are advised by the friendly Travelocity rep at the hotel that we need to call the airlines and register a claim about the stolen property within 24 hours of either discovering it is missing or receiving our baggage. Either way, I’m on the phone again Thursday afternoon talking to yet another American Airlines Baggage Service person about another problem. I’m sure they’re tired of hearing from me by now.
In trying to make up for our lost day, we hit the beach & sun a little aggressively Thursday. Overall it wasn’t too bad, but Cindy sucks at applying sunscreen. I had a lovely stripe of lobsterness running down the right side of my back that I really only felt when I tried to sleep on it. Too bad I sleep best on my right side. To pay Cindy back, I slept on my left side and snored like a chainsaw – practically in her face. That probably explains a thing or two, come to think about it.
Friday was our day trip to the pyramids – a good day to be out of the sun. Saturday we managed to find a couple of chairs by the pool that were in the shade the majority of the day, so we managed to keep from really getting burned. Spent some time in the gulf – like all good northerners do when they visit the south. We are perfectly content in water that’s anything above 72 degrees, a little cooler on really hot days. I don’t know what a genteel southerners lower limits for water temp are, but I’m sure everyone in the gulf last week was from well north of the Mason-Dion line, or Europe even.
Now I’m in negotiations with our homeowners policy, Travelocity’s Trip Protection Plan Insurance Company and American Airlines trying to recoup some of what we lost on vacation. Hopefully, between the three of them we’ll recover better than half.
Of course, because Murphy’s Law is like some physical constant that can not be countered, the trip home went smooth as silk. Why couldn’t we have gotten stuck in Cancun? Totally not fair, damn Murphy.
Took a day trip to see this place. This outer pyramid was built around 800 AD. There is an inner pyramid that was built around 800 BC. All done with no metal tools.
Posted with WordPress for BlackBerry.
Edited because the Mayans did NOT build their pyramids sideways.
Sunday Stealing: The Very Late Meme (Monday Marauding?)
Cheers to all of us thieves!
1. Make a list of 5 things that you can see without getting up:
My white board, my patent, a cheesy gift clock from my employer, my coat (on it’s hanger) and my second monitor. (You didn’t care about the pile of circuit boards,
2. How do you style your hair?
Style? Parted on the left. More likely it just looks windblown.
3. What are you wearing now?
Cherry red camisole with matching thong & stocki . . .?? Oops. Hold on . . .
Black jeans, pale sagey green shirt with a black plaid pattern in it, comfy shoes. No – really.
4. What’s your occupation?
5. What do you hear right now?
a soft 3kHz ringing in my left ear, a slightly ofter 3.3kHz ringing in my right ear, the fan of my laptop, muted office noise.
6. Who was the last person you hugged?
Pat, at an Al Anon meeting
7. What is/was for dinner?
Last night? Lamb burgers & a monster tossed salad. Tonight – Beef minestrone soup.
8. What did you do today?
@work now (lunch time silly), spin after work, packing my suitcase after that,
9. Dog person or cat person?
Dog. But I’m cool with cats – especially any cat that wants to hunt moles in my yard.
10. If you had to change your name, what would you change it to?
11. What was the last thing that you bought?
A gallon of skim milk.
12. If you could afford to go anywhere in the world, where would you go?
On vacation? Alaska
Go and never come back? Bali
13. Where do you see yourself in five years?
Hopefully same place, same job, quite likely a grandparent.
14. Where’s your birthmark?
I don’t really have one. Have a few scattered freckle and some killer scars, but no map of Macedonia hidden on my back or anything.
15. What are you doing this weekend?
Last weekend? Errands, hot tub, errands, pay bills, snow blow driveway (again)
Next weekend? Roasting in the sun on Saturday, travel on Sunday
16. Which book are you reading at the moment?
Stephen R. Donaldson, “Fatal Revenant”. Have “Against All Things Ending” on deck. These are books 2 & 3 of “The Last Chronicles of Thomas Covenant”, which happen to be books 8 & 9 of a 10 book series. Book 10 is hopefully due in 2013. (The first 3 came out in 1977)
17. The last movie you’ve seen?
Red. It was very funny.
18. What are you doing tomorrow?
Getting up 3 hours before the ass-crack of dawn and heading to the airport (a 10 minute ride – maybe less at 4 effin thirty in the morning) and flying south. We’ll be in Philly by 6:45 and on our way to our final destination by 7:50. I plan to get a LOT of reading done.
Here’s the weather forecast for where we’re headed:
Gawd! That looks so boring! To think, I’m leaving 16 degrees, 20mph winds & lake effect snow squalls for that. What am I thinking?
Checked on cell phone coverage where we’re going. Dicey at best. May have to wait and post pics when we get back.
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.
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.
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.
I’m not going to re-hash every stinkin’ day we were in New Orleans. That would be boring for you and would just make me sad and want to go back. Again. Instead, I have a few pictures that illustrate what I’m taking with me for this trip.
Music. On the street. Everywhere.
See the bubbles wafting down from the second floor gallery? Click to biggify!
She’s hooked for life:
She was just sitting there, captivated, watching that band play. Too cute. I better get granddaughters!
We saw this guy last time we were in town. He does a pose with his little dog, then swoops down on an unsuspecting tourist, scares the crap out of them and incorporates them into his pose. These are a few shots I got of him with this young lad. Crowd response to this guy is great.
You don’t become a one man band without using your head, an old bass, some piano parts, duct tape, screws & glue:
Neat & creepy all rolled into one:
Quite possibly the most taken photograph in New Orleans. But how can you NOT do it?
Jackson Square & St. Louis Cathedral
Of course, no one can resist taking a shot of a stature of a rearing horse either:
After the Saints game Thanksgiving Day, they fired up the fountain at Pat O’Brien’s. It’s really quite captivating. Wish I could figure out how to get my SLR to do video.
And finally, my wishes for all of you this holiday season:
Learned a rather disturbing thing this morning just after I posted that picture of the swamp we were hunting in. Seems the land we were on was purchased by the Genesee Land Conservancy as a part of the Genesee Valley Greenway Trail system.
This is a 90 mile long trail system that starts at the very southern edge of the city of Rochester and follows old canal beds & towpaths, old rail beds and ridge lines on it’s meandering path down to the town of Cuba, NY. (That’s a curious tangent of it’s own – odd town & village names in New York)
Interesting pathway aside, the disturbing lesson was that even though we were nearly a half mile from the greenway, since the conservancy had purchased the land, there were hunting restrictions put in place. The two we were most concerned with were 1 – Bow hunting only and 2 – no permanent stands. The scary part was that the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) was through the area last week and they were VERY curious about who had built the stands Zach & I have used for the past 7 or 8 years.
Now, opening day of gun season the DEC folks are plenty busy. I doubt very much that they’d have been cruising through the area looking for us. But if they DID come through, the fine is confiscation of all weapons PLUS a $5000 fine.
We unloaded, climbed down and got the hell out of dodge. Home by 9:30am on opening day. That sucked. At home, we did a little research, found some public land we could get to that was in an area where we had valid doe permits. But there’s one very funny thing – on the DEC website, the aerial view of the area (with an overlay of the public land boundary on it) made the land look flat. In real life, the land was just one ravine after another, thickly wooded with an understory of briar, wild rose and other assorted sharp, prickly things.
We spent 4 hours trying to find someplace to post up where we had clear view lines that were more than 100 feet long. Zach found a nice area to hoe up for a bit. Any area I found with an open view only had it because there was a ravine in the way. There was no way on earth I was going to take a shot at anything on those slopes. I just didn’t see any way humanly (or humanely) possible to get anything out of those ravines in one piece.
But we did get one helluva work out. My legs are killing me. Today was something biking your ass off just can’t prepare you for. Ow.
Looks like we’re starting the Christmas season a little early around these parts. One of our favorite all time concert events is tonight.
Who last put out this album:
Are playing in beautiful downtown Rochester tonight.
Unfortunately, Ms. Anna Phoebe
Is no longer touring with the Orchestra. We’ve heard Roddy Chong play with them in past concerts. He’s a fine, fine violinist, but from a male point of view? He’s no Anna Phoebe.
Aaaaaannnyhow. Before the show we’ll be trying out this place:
for dinner. (Go ahead, check out the link & their menu, I’ll wait . . . . . . .)
I think they may be having a little identity crisis, don’t you?. They claim to do Cajun cuisine, but isn’t Beale St. a famous BBQ strip in Memphis?
Maybe I shouldn’t be so picky and just shut up and eat my Jambalaya or Etoufee, or maybe even just a shrimp po’ boy.
Before all of that though, I really have to stop by the sporting goods store and get my hunting license for this year. Opening day is the 20th. I have that weekend and Thanksgiving morning as guaranteed hunting days, but it would be VERY prudent to be legal first.
I gotta cut lunch short so I can get some pesky work stuff out of the way. I’d love to sneak out a little early tonight.
If I manage to grab some decent shots of the show I’ll post them over the weekend. Say a prayer for my ears!
Some images from our Trip to Charleston
Looking south, towards the harbor, from our hotel room:
Walking through town, near Rainbow Row. Open shutter, hidden kitty.
On the flight down. Upstate NY from 30,000 feet.
No step. No shit!
It’s been just a mess around here lately. Between the rush to get ready for the trip, the trip itself and now the rush to get caught up from taking the time off, it’s hard to find the bandwidth to just sit and chill.
So. A little catch up time. The Monday before our trip (this would be the 4th) the water heater died. Got that replaced. Glad I can do that sort of thing, because the price of the water heater alone caused my bank accounts to shrivel & pucker!
The weekend immediately prior to that, I replaced our front door. Mostly. Yes, the old door unit is out, the new door unit is in. But none of the inside trim work is complete, and the outside trim only got painted this past weekend. I still really want to replace the shingles that butt up against the door frame, but that’s more work than I want to tackle at the moment. There’s plenty more stuff in the wings with higher priority at the moment.
There are 500+ pictures fro our trip to sift through. They should be sorted, categorized, weeded out, etc. I just don’t know when that’s going to happen. I do have a few to share here, but even that will have to wait a bit.
Got flat tire #4 on my bike. That needs fixing too, but there’s that whole bandwidth thing. I’m 85 miles short of my goal. That’s just less than 5 round trips to work. The problem now is weather. If it isn’t raining, the temps are only in the 40’s early in the morning, and light is an issue too. I can light my bike up like a Christmas tree, but that doesn’t always repel car bumpers. Plus there’s counseling sessions on Tuesday and bowling on Thursday. Those are guaranteed no ride days. Opportunities are few & fleeting.
Bowling. Did so-so the night before our trip. Ended up maybe 20 pins over average for the night. The latest Thursday (the 14th) was insane. I bowled 40 pins over average, as a team we bowled right around our average overall, but we got our butts handed to us. The other team was bowling insane. As an example – for the 3 game set I bowled 600 on the dot. That was the low series on our pair by 30 pins. It’s pretty rare that a 600 gets left in the dust. (Unless you’re bowling against Lefty who ended up shooting 708 or something like that, but I’m used to it.) Teamwise, we started the evening in 1st place, but after the pounding we took, it’s difficult to say where we’ll wind up this week. I have made a few discoveries that seem to have helped my first shot accuracy and pin reaction. Instead of my usual 10 – 12 strikes per 30 frames, I was up to 19 last week. The downside is that mistakes lead to splits. Splits lead to open frames, and those do not help your score. But more strikes is hard to argue with. Just gotta keep it up.
Autumn here in upstate NY is a gorgeous time of year. But this year has been odd. Our young-ish sugar maple in the front yard has already finished dropping it’s leaves. Other folks sugar maples are only just starting. The big green ash in front is just starting to turn, but the dozen or so ash trees in Zach’s back yard are nearly leafless already.
Possibly the most bizarre occurrence so far are the colors showing up on one of the Norway Maples in our back yard. In the past, we were lucky if these guys managed to crank out a nice golden yellow hue. It usually seemed that the leaves would just turn a flat, pale yellow/green and fall to the ground.
This year we are being treated to a rainbow of colors. Here’s a sample:
Nice spread for one leaf!
Here’s a sampling of leaves:
All from one tree! That bronzy color is a real treat, as are the purple tints. I’ve just never seen this tree do all these colors. I’m guessing that it’s at least partly due to the ginormous Silver Maple being gone. This tree is now getting tons more light and that may be accounting for the new color display. If it happens next year, I may actually start to believe it. (The green leaf? Normal summer coloring. Really!)
Here’s a little shot from our big burning bush:
These bushes typically go scarlet every fall. I had just never noticed the little orange berries before. Wonder how many of these will be processed by the local birds and left as little gifts on my truck windshield? At least it’ll be colorful!
Reader submitted questions this week!!
Asking you guys to submit questions is like THE smartest thing I’ve ever done in my 4X–no, wait—4X + 1 years.
I wish I could link each question to its creator, but I realized as people copied and pasted the links would not copy anyway, so if you would like to visit the person who created the interesting question you’re answering, please see the comments section of yesterday’s post. Clear as mud?
Anyway, thank you all. Happily, I received more than enough questions for this week, so I’ll have leftovers for next week! Whee! If you are not included this week, please look for your question next week.
1. From “Men Are Dumb ….”: If you had a theme song that played whenever you walked into a room full of people, what would it be?
Last year, at Zach & Jills wedding reception, I was requesting songs all evening long. At the end of the evening, the DJ called for any last requests. I ran over and whispered my request in his ear. What I later found out was that in honoring my request, the DJ had skipped playing the song Jill had wanted the reception to end with (Journey – “Don’t Stop Believing” or “Faithfully”, I forget which) and instead played what I whispered in his ear – “Enter Sandman” from Metallica. (It’s a lullaby, really!!) Jill was rather upset, but was won over by the reckless abandon with which her cousins, my two boys (Zach included) and me all thoroughly enjoyed that last song. There may be pictures.
2. From Pam of “Alert And Oriented x 4″: Which of your shoes are your absolute favorite, and which are of the object of your most painful shoe-buyer’s remorse?
Faves are my butterscotch colored Square Toed Oxfords. They’re like slippers. My most painful shoe buyers remorse was caused by a pair of Avia cross trainers. I thought I could get a pair of “D” widths to stretch to my “EE” feet. Eh – not so much.
3. From Susanne of “Living to Tell the Story”: Tell about your favorite birthday celebration that you’ve personally experienced.
I really don’t have one. My birthday is only a week before Christmas and usually gets caught up in all the holiday hoopla. Cindy’s birthday is only 2 days after mine (but she’s a whole year younger, at least!) and we generally just go out for dinner on the night in between.
4. From Lori of “Just me and My Life”: If you were a flavor of ice cream, which would you be?
French Vanilla, drizzled with honey and dusted with a light sprinkling of cinnamon.
5. Cindy Swanson of “Notes in the Key of Life” asks: Have you ever had a crush on a movie star? Who was it, and are you still crushing?
Movie star? Not really. Actors in commercials? You bet. That girl in the York Peppermint Pattie spot? I can’t explain it. (Plus she’s waaaaaayyyyy too young for a dinosaur like me)
6. Jill from “Jill Boyd’s Place” inquires: Glasses or braces–if you had to wear one, which would it be?
Braces. I have glasses, but I could use braces.
7. Nel from “Fasteneau Facts” asks: If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
I’d like to head back out to the Pacific Northwest.
8. Thena from “Patiently Waiting” wants to know: If money were no obstacle, what would be the perfect birthday gift to receive?
A 401k that generates enough income to let me retire to a golf course community in Washington, starting tomorrow.
9. From “Life Through Bifocals,” LynnMarie asks: What is your favorite birthday meal?
Sine we usually go out for our birthday dinner, it’s what ever tempts me on the menu. I do love to order a swordfish steak when we’re out at a steak house though. Something about searing a swordfish in all those leftover beef juices on the grill . . .
10. Debby at “Just Breathe” checks in with: Do you still send hand-written thank you notes?
When I need to, yes. I suppose I could invent a need to do it more . . .
11. Linda from “Mocha with Linda” poses this question: What is something you’ve done that you never thought you’d do?
Sadly – had an affair.
12. Jewel, my homegirl from Indiana who writes at “Musings from the World of Jewel,” is very insistent that we answer this: Mount Rushmore honors four US Presidents: Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, and Roosevelt. If you could add any person to Mount Rushmore, who would you add and why?
This is going to sound odd, coming from a white anglo-saxon protestant like me, but I’m thinking Rosa Parks or Martin Luther King. Rosa’s defiance and MLK’s vision did a lot to shape the country back in the mid 20th century.
Door is in, water heater is in. Both are working as designed. I do have to say – I suffered a bit of sticker shock when it came to the water heater. Out last one we had installed because I had never messed with a natural gas appliance before. Last nights tab for just the heater was more than the heater and installation cost 10 years ago. Glad I learned how to work with gas appliances!
Heading off to Charleston, SC for a long weekend. No specific plans yet, but I’m sure we’ll tour a lot of historic sites, take in the local cuisine and just unwind for a few days. The hardest thing we’ll have to do is figure out the local mass transit system.
If anyone has favorite restaurants or tour suggestions, drop me a line. Trying to develop a list of “must see” and “try to see” places.
Not too sure I’ll be convinced that grits are good food, but I will try. The rest of it (crabs, greens, BBQ) I’m pretty sure I’m going to like juuuusssst fine.
Got up late Saturday morning. Didn’t make it to the early spin class. That was oops #1.
Did make it to the 9am class. Unfortunately, I rolled in on my bike only 5 or 10 minutes before class. The wind this morning was brutal. Easily 15mph with 25+ gusts out of the west, which is of course the way I need to go to get to the Y. I figured to get my payback on the way home. I had NO idea what was in store.
Spin class was good. Had a substitute instructor, but she’s been a pretty regular sub and she does an excellent class. This gal kicks some serious booty. Even better? Except for the very highest resistance bits, she does everything she asks the class to do. Gotta respect that. I can barely breathe after some of the big pushes. The instructor not only has to breathe, but they have to talk too. Need to be in some kind of shape to pull that off.
Anyhow. After class I stopped to grab a cup of coffee. Turns out that was a mistake. I take my little demi-tasse cup of java and head outside to get my bike unlocked and get situated for the ride home. Stowed my towel, keys, water bottle & cable lock. Finished my coffee, donned my brain bucket and headed home. At the first intersection (a “T” actually), I had to stop and wait for the light to change. At this particular junction, there are 2 left turn lanes and one right turn lane. I am straddling the line between the rightmost left turn lane and the right turn lane. Light turns green, I push off. The car in the lane to my immediate left prevents me from cutting the turn short. I have to swing wide, and I know there’s a mess of broken glass on the shoulder pretty much in line with my path. I slowed up, let the car (finally) pull ahead of me and steered clear of the glass.
Or so I thought. As I was heading due east with a stiff wind at my back, I was amazed at how difficult it was to get up to & stay at around 23 – 24 mph. As I made a right turn to head south, I learned why. Flat rear tire. Suh-weet! Being that the trip to the Y is only 4.2 miles and I’d rather not have to wear a back pack, I have nothing to help me. My towel takes up 95% of my saddle wedge. My keys, tire levers and an unused headlight take up the rest. What do I not have? I do not have a spare tube, a patch kit, a pump, CO2 cylinder OR A CELL PHONE.
So there I was at mile 1.1 of a 4.2 mile ride. Had no option but to start walking. I figured that Cindy would be by soon and she’d stop & pick me up. after all, as I was leaving class she was up front gassing with the instructor. She was surely still behind me.
Know when I saw Cindy? About 45 minutes later, just as I was turning into our street. She left the Y while I was getting my coffee. She not only wasn’t behind me, she was so far ahead of me I couldn’t even see her tail lights. She’d gotten home, turned on the TV and watched the end of one show on HGTV, then watched another complete 30 minute show when her curiosity & concern finally got the better of her and she started to backtrack our route to the Y. I ended up getting a much better workout than I had planned. 5 miles of biking, 60 minutes of spin class and about a 5K walk. Heckuva morning.
Best part was that I can laugh about it. Completely my fault. Should have been better prepared. I take everything I need to fix a flat on longer rides, and I always make sure to take my phone. I guess that now, even for short trips I ought to pack all that stuff.
On the plus side, I found a patch of Pampas grass that is seeding out now. The awns have this gorgeous burgundy hue to them. I need to stop back by that place and cut a few dozen stalks to bring home. Dried, they will make a great arrangement for filling in a dead corner in the living room. (I know – I totally embraced my inner gay guy with that. Scary, huh?)
Off to tackle weekend chores. If I can get a lot accomplished today I can save tomorrow for skinny dipping in the hot tub. Hope the neighbors are headed to their cottage!
I’m going to cheat a bit and post a few (7) hours early.
1. What is your favorite fair/carnival food?
Honestly don’t know. The prices are so outrageous, I usually don’t bother eating much at these things. If I have to declare something, it would be one of Rochester’s white hot dogs.
2. Are you holding onto something you need to let go of?
Why, yes I am. Letting go requires equal amounts of trust & faith. I am a little short in both categories.
3. What is your favorite gift to receive?
Time. It’s so versatile. I can share it, keep it for myself, even give it away to another.
4. When was the last time you tried something new?
Sunday I tried a Greek Patty Melt. Kind of out there for me. Ground lamb? A sort of hummus/pesto made with roasted red peppers & walnuts? A bit of a stretch, but totally worth it. I linked to the recipe in the previous post.
5. What is your favorite and least favorite book genre?
Memoir, Mystery, Political Intrigue, Romance, Humor, Historical Fiction, Historical nonfiction, Chick Lit, Self-Help, Other
Fave – Science Fiction
Least – I’d say bodice rippers, but I’ve never read one. So I’ll have to go with text books.
Oh. There was a list? From the list then:
Most fave – Mystery
Least Fave – Chick Lit (I even think the name is a little derogatory)
6. Silver or Gold?
Gold. Warmer color. Won’t tarnish.
7. What makes you sigh?
Mild exasperation or wishful thinking (on my part)
8. If you didn’t know how old you are, how old would you claim you are?
Based on my sense of humor? I’m a 9 year old male. Based on activity level, athletic ability and everyone around me, early 40’s. Honestly, people have given me funny looks when I tell them how old I am. I think that’s a good thing. (I can’t look like I’m 60, right?)
9. Would you break a law to save a loved one? To protect a loved one?
Depends. Maybe. If it’s for DUI or DWI? No. But if it’s for something where they’ve done no wrong, I’m there for them.
10. If you had to teach something, what would it be?
Early arithmetic skills to grammar school kids. The math skills I’ve seen in some kids is pathetic.
11. You’re having lunch with 3 people whom you respect and admire. They begin to criticize a close friend of yours, not knowing she is your friend. What do you do?
Been there. I offered a defense based on what I knew and encouraged the other people to look a little deeper.
12. Which of the 5 Love Languages is your prominent means of experiencing love?
Acts of Service
Words of Affirmation
I actually know what this is! I’ve even read the book, or most of it. I can say beyond a shadow of a doubt that my two primary love languages are Physical Touch and Acts of Service.
Cindy left for Delaware Tuesday afternoon so she could attend the funeral service for her aunt. Work demands make it impossible for me to miss two days of work, especially after a lengthy vacation. I’m a bachelor for one whole night and most of tomorrow. Whoopee! Once again, the hot tub is open (sorry, suits required, I have neighbors ya know) and I’m doing the cooking. I’m still craving a nice batch of jambalaya and you’re all invited.
1. What is your favorite dessert?
Not even a close call. Peanut butter cheese cake. Unfortunately, it’s kind of rare and usually must be home made. Worth the effort though.
2. What do you wear to bed?
As little as possible usually. Typically just my underwear, but if it’s really hot, I might wear less.
3. Do you get regular manicures/pedicures?
During bowling season I trim my nails religiously. Even for a guy, it’s hell getting a nail snagged on the edge of a bowling balls finger hole. If the edge of the nails even start to get close to the tip of a finger they are at risk. Well, at least the middle & ring fingers of my right hand. In a pinch, I have trimmed just those two nails. Looks weird.
4. Did you play any sports in high school?
Ran Varsity Cross Country, played intramural basketball, played softball on a Mens Industrial league team (yes, as a teenager. I could out throw any of the guys on the team) and played football for an independent youth group (my school had no football team)
5. Do you have an iPod?
iDon’t. But my phone (Crackberry) has 8G of flash that I use to store tunes, then I can Bluetooth to my truck or laptop and listen to what I want, when I want.
Found this at Never Growing Old. Short, sweet, nice writing prompts and I like the idea behind the name of the blog.
Yesterday, the 15th, Cindy & I celebrated our 29th anniversary. It was a nice, lazy day. We’d stayed up late Saturday night talking, took a late nite dip in the tub, talked some more then slept in till 10 in the morning. Sunday was a very lazy day. For dinner we test drove a couple of new to us recipes. The first was a Greek Patty Melt that we paired with a Tortellini/kielbasa/Cannellini bean/Kale soup. (I can’t link to because its’ out of a Feb. 2002 Bon Apetit magazine.)
The Greek Patty Melts we’d seen Sunday morning watching a Bobby Flay show. One of his Sous Chef’s (Miriam Garron) came up with this recipe. It gets two thumbs up from us. You could substitute gruyere or Asiago for the Kasseri cheese and save a few dollars. We also served the burgers on toasted ciabatta bread rather than the grilled pizza dough. Switching to the prepared bread was more of a time & effort saver. They were really, really good. For the ground lamb, I got a hunk of butterflied leg of lamb (I got the least expensive cut I could find), then ground it myself at home. If you don’t have a grinder, I’m sure the store butcher would grind some for you.
One of Cindy’s aunts passed away this weekend too. I think she was 78-ish, life long smoker, finally succumbed to lung cancer. Cindy will be travelling down to Delaware for the service and be away Tuesday evening & Wednesday. I’ll be stuck here at the zoo, holding down the fort and trying to stay out of trouble. Any of you want to come up & babysit are more than welcome. I’d be happy to cook, and we can make good use of the (swim suit mandatory) hot tub.
Won’t be cooking up any more lamb burgers for a while, but I’ve been itching to do a batch of jambalaya. Just give me an excuse, please!!
I can’t go to Delaware because I’m so busy at work. Better cut lunch short and act like it!