Always tweaking something!

The World Got Smaller (Again)

Day 1962

Gah.  Had so many entries written, edited, ready to post, then time compresses and nothing goes anywhere.

The holidays, in a nutshell, were good.  Seems like everyone got things they really wanted but wouldn’t buy for themselves.  One of my favorite new toys has a name.  It’s either Samantha, Serena or Karen depending on if I want to hear American (blah), British (ooohh!) or Australian (too grating) accents.  There are male voices too, but I’m thinking they’ll do nothing for me.  Unless maybe it’s James Earl Jones  (Darth Vader, “This . . . is CNN” and the blind guy in “The Sandlot”)

Zach, being married and having a house & all got some very neat stuff, or some very boring stuff, depending on your view point.  We did the boring thing and helped him out with new family room furniture.  Unfortunately, that was a couple months ago, so we got him some odds & ends too so there’d be stuff under the tree for him.  Eric made out pretty well, got all his wish list items and the girls got spoiled rotten too.

No bowling for the last two weeks.  Amazingly, my thumb seems to be healing nicely.  Still plenty of callous & dry skin, but nothing more than the norm for this time of year.  Finally get back to bowling this Thursday.  Can’t wait.  The last session left a very bad taste in my mouth that I can’t wait to rinse out with some good scores.

Finally got the snow blower running this past weekend.  Just in time for this weeks weather.  The starter motor is definitely shot – looks like one of the rotor windings has a bad connection.  If the motor happens to stop with the brushes in contact with the bad winding, the motor – she don’t go.  When you’re holding the starter in your hand, it’s simple to just grab the gear, pull it out and move the rotor a little.  Get it back onto a good winding and it hums along fine.  Now the starter motor is back in place, dead, just to keep crap from getting into the engine case.  Costs about $100 for a new motor.  I’m not really inclined to replace it.  Eric was able to lend his back to the pull starting effort.  I think my problem earlier was that I had completely drained the fuel.  After re-filling the gas tank, I probably didn’t prime the system enough and the fuel just didn’t fill the system.  My last attempt, after a few tries with the (now dead) electric start and a few minutes yanking the crank, I got nothing.  I pulled the spark plug to see if it was maybe flooded or fouled and smelled no gas at all.  Figured the carburetor jets were plugged. Turns out that maybe the carburetor bowl just wasn’t full.  It’s that, or Eric flashed his badge at the motor and it decided it’d better start, or else.  He got it to pop on the first pull.  I fiddled with the choke & throttle and it was up & running in two more pulls.  Nice to have strong, young backs around from time to time.  For the record?  I started the blower with one pull last night – so I still got it.  It’s just deeper.

It’s too bad the driveway saw a lot of traffic with 4 – 6 inches of snow in it though.  Now I’ve got al the loose stuff cleared out, but the main track areas are just packed snow & ice.  With a maximum temp of 28 degrees expected over the next, ohhh, forever, it isn’t really going to go anywhere fast.  As long as it stays below freezing it won’t get icy, so as I clear off the usual 2 – 3 inches a day we’re to get for the next week that hard pan on the bottom may eventually erode away.  Hey – Spring is only 3 months off.  It’s gotta go by then, right?

Geeze, hw many counseling sessions have gone by since I last updated?  I know I’ve jotted down notes on several, but I’m not sure what’s been saved for posterity (or ignominy).  Let if suffice to say that progress is being had.  Little, tiny, wee baby steps, every inch gained valuable.

We’re doing a new exercise.  10 minutes each night, one person gets to lead.  Originally, the lead was supposed to come up with 3 topics about the other person and share their feelings on those topics.  But all in 10 minutes.  I think it was supposed to be like a daily review – to force us to sit down and talk about what happened between us during the day.  Maybe.  I suggested a change though.  Rather than let it degrade into a bash-fest, I offered up thee guidelines:  1 item had to be a positive thought about the other person, 1 item could be feedback (Janine does not like the phrase ‘constructive criticism’ – I suggested growing a little thicker skin) and the third item had to be something about the relationship as a whole.

Supposed to have started that Wednesday the 30th with me leading.  My idea with this approach was to make a list of topics for each category.  I’d start with the easy ones, establish some trust and allow the skin to thicken, then start on the tougher subjects.

Well, Wednesday my list was on my thumb drive, sitting on my desk at work.  Thursday was NYE, wasn’t up to doing it that night.  Friday thru Sunday Eric & Kelly were with us, with visits from Zach & Jill, so that kind of ruined those evenings. Finally, last night, without my list, we got one in.  Well, I did at least.  When given the opportunity to share her own thoughts, Cindy declined.  That will get discussed at tonights session.  Withholding information as a means of manipulating the situation.  That may not actually be the case, but I’m going to pitch it that way because lord knows that’s been a theme in the past.  Nothing major.

Big scary moment coming up this Friday.  One of the GR’s at a local meeting has asked me to be a guest speaker at her meeting.  As a form of membership outreach for Al Anon, we came up with this idea of guest speakers for our meetings and apparently we GR’s are going to be the ones to kick this off.  Since I owe this GR a wee bit of a favor, I figured I’d give it a whirl.  Now I have to come up with something like a 15 minute ‘talk’ that maybe includes my story and a little PSA for doing service work.  I have 3 nights to compose said talk.  So far all I have is an outline in my head and a mostly free evening Wednesday.  Unless I get a better offer.

Tonight is kinda shot.  Counseling, regular meeting (where I’ll invite folks to come to the Friday meeting, just to add to the pressure to perform) and I won’t see home till 9:30.  Later if the lake effect snow bands get cranked up.  I wasn’t kidding about the 2 – 3 inches of snow a day.  It’s less if the lake bands miss you, could be lots more if one settles in over top of you.  (Oswego got 10 feet in a weekend a couple years ago.  VERY persistent lake band).  So the only writing tonight will be in my head.  Wednesday looks good, Thursday is bowling and after 2 weeks off, not much short of losing a limb will derail that.  (Well, I might get by without my left arm.  Balance would be interesting.)   Might get a couple hours in Thursday night, but can’t let it interfere with the 10-minute update sessions.   By Friday, I need to be ready to roll.  Rehearsed even.

Scarier moment?  Cindy usually attends the AA meeting that’s held at the same time, in the same church.  They’re downstairs Al Anon is upstairs.  There’s no closer to heaven or hell connotations there, it’s all based on room size.  The AA group numbers near 40 – 50 folks, while the Al Anon group is 15 or so (and that’s big for Al Anon).

So I get to tell the story of how I came to become a member of Al Anon and got all involved in service work while my qualifier is downstairs pretending to learn how to live without alcohol in her life.  I hope voices don’t carry well there.


Wonder how the squiggles will turn out?

Here it is Wednesday morning already.  I’m just popping real quick for a last look see before I post the drivel I threw together over the last few days.  Maybe tonight, after I have my soliloquy written I’ll throw together something organized.  Maybe.


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