Always tweaking something!

it’s a baby!

OMG, you gotta see this one

This:  post from Margaret & Helen  is an absolute must read.  Go do it now.

And if you’re nice and tell me how much you loved what she wrote, I’ll share some pics of the grand kids in their Halloween costumes.

Oh – did I mention that grand #4 is officially percolating?  Had the gender reveal a couple of weeks ago.  I got a phone call from Cecily (3 year old grandkid #3) one evening.  After the “Hi Poppy’s” and “how’s my Matilda” (Cecily can’t hear if you ask her to do something.  But if you call her Matilda, she’ll turn around and announce “I’m not Matilda!”  Then she’ll actually do as asked. It’s a work in progress.) I asked her if she was getting e new little brother or sister.  She was so excited she squealed “I got a PINK present!!  I’m going to have a sister!”  Due right around Easter, plus or minus any inaccuracies in the storks flight plan I suppose.

Bowling has started for the season too.  I think the bowling alley is on a budget for lane oil, cuz geeze Louise, are they being stingy with it!  It’s that or the pattern is just different and I’m finding all the dry patches.  It’s forcing me to learn to trust a shot where one must throw the ball from the center out towards the gutter 20 – 25 feet down the lane and pray that it actually turns back towards the head pin.  In theory, it works fine.  In practice?  It’s HARD to intentionally throw your ball towards the gutter (cuz bad things happen over there).  But if you trust it and get all the little details right, it does work.  Just scary as hell for a while.  By the time I get comfortable with it, they’ll increase the oil budget and all that struggle will be for nothing.

I’m also finding that 3 advil about an hour before bowling starts helps immensely with what is either sciatica or arthritis in my left hip.  Well, it help until Friday morning, then the payback starts.  But!  in a move mandated by my need to burn up what remains of this years vacation days (use it or lose it), I am not working Fridays for the remainder of the year.  So Friday’s first order of business may be sipping a cup of coffee while getting a hip massage in the hot tub.  That won’t suck too bad at all.

What WILL suck?  Getting the yard cleaned up this weekend.  Saturday looks the best weather wise – 48 degrees and only 20% chance of precipitation.  Leaves, mowing (last time), getting the perennials put to bed.  The camper is winterized plumbing wise, but still needs a wee vacuuming & a quick mop.  Outside of the camper needs a bath too, but that can wait till spring.

Go read Margaret & Helen.  Now.


Some fast updates

Had a very nice Easter weekend. Might even remember this formula: Have “Easter Dinner” the Saturday before. Odds are better the whole fandamily will make it. We booked it to Syracuse to hang with Eric & Kelly, Zach and Jill made the trip and Kelly’s whole family was treated to a day of fun with Little Avery. I guarantee she had more energy than any 3 of the adults combined.

Having Dinner on Saturday freed up Sunday for: wait for it . . .


Eric and I got out for a round with his father-in-law and uncle-in-law. It was a gorgeous day for mid-April by upstate New York standards. Early partly sunny conditions and 50ish degrees just before tee time improved to mid 60’s and sunny by the time we finished. We played a rather challenging course (high slope rating – 128) and I managed to shoot a score consistent with my handicap on a slightly less challenging course I know very well. It was the new driver, I swear.

In baby news, we have updates as well. Zach and Jill have confirmed that their new young one will be a boy. That gives them the worlds cutest little girl, Avery, and his soon to be new brother. They appear to be ready to shut down the baby making machine after this one since they’ll have a “complete set”.

Eric & Kelly were in for her ultrasound today and also found out the gender of their new one. They both thought for some reason they were having a boy. Guess what? Not gonna happen this time. They will also be having a little girl for their first child. Only question for is will she be a blond or a red head? Blue eyes are guaranteed what with Eric being a blue eyed blond and Kelly being a blue eyed red-head.

Looking forward to September. Baby boy due in the early part of the month, baby girl coming sometime mid-month. Or whenever they are ready – we all know how THAT goes.

When it rains . . .

September is going to be utter chaos around here.

We were worried about Zach & Jill breaking the news to Eric & Kelly that they have bun #2 in the oven, seeing as Eric & Kelly were actively “not avoiding” pregnancy.


When Jill told Kelly she was preggers, Kelly got to share “Oh, then you’re only about 2 weeks ahead of me”

Yeah.  Today, one grand daughter.  Even come August, 1 grand daughter.  Come September?  THREE grand kiddies.  Unless Kelly pops out twins.  Still don’t know that.  Jill is for sure got just 1 percolating.  Kelly is having her first ultrasound this week.

Thought it was chaotic with 7 of us here today.   WRONG!


Oh – on a separate note – ref’s called a terribly inconsistent came today in the Syracuse/Duke matchup and the imbalance was heavily in favor of Duke.  That charging call at the end was terrible.  That’s no excuse for Boeheim’s reaction, but the call sucked, especially in light of the one Parker got against Gbinije about 5 minutes prior on the same type of play.  Syracuse got  shafted on both calls.

Rough Year to be Me

Day 3028

Bad year to be me.

Lets count the ways!

1 Swimmers ear, Mexico, right side (thank god for OTC prescription level drugs in Mexico!)

2 Swimmers ear, NY, 3x right, left, right

3 Sore Elbow, right (tendonitis?)

4 Really sore elbow, right (still tendonitis?)

5 Swimmers ear, left

6 Torn biceps tendon (NOT tendonitis!)

7 Worst golf season ever (see 3, 4, & 6)

8 Surgery for #6

9 Swimmers ear, left

10 Middle ear infection, left

11 ineffective antibiotic, 10 days – 5 of them in NOLA (didn’t suck too bad)

12 New antibiotic, wiped out the buggers

13 Opportunistic fungal infection, left ear

14 Less than stellar reaction to fungal medication

15 There’s 25 days left this year – I’m still afraid.

On the other hand, good stuff happened too.

1 Got to vacation in Cancun

2 Came back from vacation to start a new, permanent, full time job with good pay.

3 Got a new primary physician in my neighborhood – not across town.

4 Quality time with the amazing little granddaughter (Monkey pants – because she NEVER stops moving)

5 Had a successful surgery to repair my tendon and really experienced very little pain throughout the entire process.

6 Got to enjoy a family reunion in Gloucester.  (The bad? – we’re responsible for planning the 2103 reunion for the other half of the clan)

7 Enjoyed another trip to New Orleans, in spite of the simmering ear infection at the time.

8 Monkey pants turned a whole 1 year old and is just an amazing little thing to watch.  She’s developing a vocabulary and is starting to explore developing an attitude too.

There had to be more that was good, I’m just not remembering it all.  4 & 8 ought to count triple too.  Those wee ones are a trip!  Oh yeah – we get to take her Christmas tree hunting this weekend.  Snow or not (likely not, L)

Some pics I owe

Arm Update:

12 weeks post surgery.  Scar is wider, but overall it's flatter too.

12 weeks post surgery. Scar is wider, but overall it’s flatter too.

Chicks dig scars, right?

Standing at the top of the stairs, looking down towards the entrance to my lab.  I counted 19 courses of cinder block, plus probably another 8 that are hidden in the shot.  How far is that?

25 courses of cinder block floor to floor

25 courses of cinder block floor to floor

Here’s the shot looking back up:

No, I don't know how many steps.  Too many is a good guess.

No, I don’t know how many steps. Too many is a good guess.

And a gratuitous shot of the cutest 1 year old on the planet eating her birthday cake:

You can tell she's a girl - not really messy eating that cake at all!

You can tell she’s a girl – not really messy eating that cake at all!

Well, reports to write, part specs to scrutinize.  Gonna be an exciting afternoon.

Sandy Follow up

Day 2992

Just checking in to report that things up here in western NY are going along fine. We came through the wrath of Sandy pretty well. At my own place we had little more than a few downed branches and had some leaves stripped off the trees. Sadly, the two big maples out back have lost less than 50% of their leaves and many are still green. Come on already, tomorrow is November!

We did have some localized disasters in the form of trees on houses and downed power lines, but even that wasn’t so bad. New Jersey & NYC seemed to get the worst of it, and it looks like ski season might be open for a day or two in parts of West Virginia.

So – upstate NY is fine, what we got pales in comparison to what happened to our southeast.

Did PT on my arm this morning. Confessed to me PT gal that I was cheating and doing 20 oz exercises instead of 1 pound, mostly because I don’t have a 16oz hammer. Ever try to drive a nail with one of those? Takes FOREVER! She didn’t tell me to stop, and she also didn’t tell me to stop when I was doing curls with the 1lb barbell AND the 1lb rotation weight thingy at the same time. Well, when she finished entering notes into her computer she stopped me. Called me a cheater too. Maybe next week we’ll increase weight. At this pace, I don’t see me throwing a bowling ball by January. Probably just as well.

Who Knew?

Day 2915

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.


Avery’s first day couch surfing

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!

Remember me?

Day 2710

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.

JuneTour 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!