Always tweaking something!

NOT smoking

Missed an Anniversary!

Day 5123

Well, two anniversaries actually.  Way back on the 15th of August, the spousal unit & I marked 37 years of wedded bliss.  Or at least hard work towards that end.  No point in breaking it down into discrete levels of satisfaction, right?

The other anniversary was on the 22nd – my 14th consecutive year (now 5123 days!!) of being free of the evil weed (tobacco that is).  Now if I could just get my weight back to behaving again.  Thing is, I am not working out anywhere near as much as I used to.  This getting old nonsense is rough!  Ruptured tendons, arthritis, there’s a Morton’s Neuroma in there someplace, still.

Maybe I’ll break down and get the neuroma fixed, then I can at least get back to biking.  Right now it just feels like a giant dead spot on the ball of my foot and it isn’t comfortable at all.  Did find some treatment options other than cortisone shots that had a 2 day recovery period.  Now to find out if my foot guy can hook me up.

I keep promising pics of the grand kids.  Welp – here we go.  First, we have the oldest two, and their parents.  That bearded guy is our eldest.

Z J and kids

This was from a hot air balloon festival in Letchworth State Park here in upstate NY.  Behind and below (400 feet below!) them is the Genesee River, cruising through the gorge it’s cut out of the bedrock over the last  who knows how many years.  This is downstream from 3 sets of waterfalls that drop the river to the level you see here.

Logan up there is 3 (he’ll be 4 next week) and Avery is 6 going on 16 already.  She hits 1st grade next week.

This is the other two –

favorite red heads

My two favorite red heads.  Cecily is also 3, a whopping 4 days younger than Logan and little miss Corinne joined us March 1st.  No doubt she’ll also have red hair just like her mom.  Good thing we have some red heads in the family so our son could contribute too!

Anyhow, there’s the wee ones and a couple of the not so wee ones.  We’ve got us back to back birthday party weekends coming up, so there’ll be plenty of quality time spent with aaallll the kids.  Ought to be a blast.

Also getting closer and closer to the tipping point regarding getting back to Al Anon.  I know it’ll be a good thing.  I just have to suck it up, be a little selfish and not worry about the ripple effects of me admitting I need to go there again.  It’s kind of hard to hide the fact that one is headed out at 7:30 on a Tuesday evening.  Answering the question “where are you going?” is the pebble that starts the ripples.  To finish that metaphor, it’s time to decide when to toss the pebble.




Day 4756

That’s one duration – 4,756 days or 13 years and 1 week – how long its been since I quit smoking.  For real.

Here’s another one: 21,440 or 58 years, 8 months and 12 days – how long I’ve been hanging around in this life time.  Significant only in that it is also the same amount of time my dad had before he passed away.  Massive heart attack that was really a complication of diabetes.

There’s another duration, length as yet unknown.  That is how much longer I’m going to put up with a certain persons poor choices when it comes to drinking.  I need to get my butt back to some Al Anon meetings.  The ones I frequented before were all on the west side of our county.  I live there, worked there, found meetings close to work & home.  It helped.

Now, I still live in the western side of the county, but work has been re-located to the far eastern side.  On a good day it’s a 30 minute commute, not the 5 – 10 minute jaunt I had become used to (or the 25 minute bike ride that was such good exercise!)  The first meeting I ever found started at 5pm, took me 15 minutes to get to and was easy to pass off as “working late”.  Now?  Not so lucky.

Maybe I should just say the heck with it and go back to the group where I spent the most time.  Meets at 8pm.  I’ll just have to tell that certain person I’m off to a meeting.  That cold hard slap in the face might actually help her.

To publish or not to publish?  Eh, she doesn’t even know this places exists.  Publish.

Tis the season!

Day 3519

For the uninitiated, that Day #### is how many days since I gave up the evil cigarettes, cold turkey but with a plan. It’s one of the main reasons I started this blogging nonsense in the first place – 9 years, 8 months and 19 days ago. But who’s counting?

The real reason for this post is to finally welcome spring to the snow belt. Even the largest piles of snow in the parking lots are almost gone, the creeks are all way over their banks in typical spring flood mode, you can’t look outside without seeing a robin, and as some others have noted, you can’t look anywhere inside and not find a wad of cat hair sticking to something.

Plus, it was in the low 70’s when I left work yesterday. I just happened to have my golf clubs in the truck, so I swung by the driving range to test drive my spankin’ new driver & three wood (3 fairway metal? There’s no wood in these things anymore). Boy, have I been depriving myself hitting a 20 year old driver and 45 year old 3 wood (actual wood – persimmon).

The new driver got a name. Hank.

Why Hank? Because he hammers the CRAP outta the ball. So he’s going to be known forever more as Hammerin’ Hank. Well, at least until I get older and can’t swing like I’m trying to jump out of my shoes anymore. Thought that was going to happen when I hit 50. But last year I was still out driving the younger guys in my league with my 20 year old driver and 54 year old back. Now with the new gear? Hah. Yesterday I was aiming at the 250 yard flag and getting the ball there on the fly. Used to be doing well to carry 230 and rolling out to 260 or 270. Those 20 extra yards are going to help. There’s the added benefit of having a larger sweet spot on the club face too. That just makes the club more forgiving of less than perfect hits (of which I have plenty!), so even bad shots won’t be as bad. All this will hopefully add up to a better, more competitive year of golf.

Of course, then there’s this:

You see that?  79 Monday and 39 Tuesday?  For daily highs?

You see that? 79 Monday and 39 Tuesday? For daily highs?


Monday evening looks like it’s going to be a doozy!


Day 3000

Quitnet site stats on my first 3000 days of non-smoking

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.


Day 2923
Meant to post this yesterday. Oops – hate it when life gets in the way.
It’s more or less official. Stats from Quitnet

My Stats:
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!

Sunday Stolen

Day 2829

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?

August 2009

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?

Not really.

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.



What a Difference 10 Days Makes

Day 2801

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)

The view, Friday the 13th - house completed.

The view, Monday, April 23rd. "Winter Weather Advisory"


Poor Plum!!

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.