Nov 19, 2009

Gap-toothed Me Goes to the Dentist.

I don't remember the last time I went to see a dentist.  Wait, let me rephrase that, I remember the last time I saw dentist; however I don't specifically remember how long ago that was.  I do remember the incident, in which during a game of what should have been "touch" football, I was involved in a sort of dog-pile, and my bridge was knocked out. 

Now that may seem like quite the serious injury or incident, but not really.  I actually have to bridges, supporting one false tooth each.  I have had these since I was about 17 (roughly, anyway).  These bridges are called butterfly bridges, or more accurately, a Maryland Bridge.  For reference, this is what a Maryland Bridge looks like:

These are inexpensive, as far as dental standards go, however they are prone to failure.  Not only that, but in my particular case, one of my teeth is decaying underneath the bridge. I found this out after my bridge failed, again, while eating a taco. 

So made an appointment to see a dentist, who was very calm and pleasant.  But I also knew, I was due for a bit of a but chewing, given the fact it had been so long since I had seen a dentist. 

After he reattached the bridge, he pulled up a chair, and said, "Now we need to talk."

So he said my teeth are a mess, and given the fact I have decent dental coverage, there was absolutely no reason I wasn't being seen at least once a year in order to get them cleaned.  On top of that, as I mentioned, my front tooth is decaying underneath the bridge. 

It should be know my parents spent a fair chunk of change on my smile.  Here is a picture of their efforts.

Now imagine, if you will, two teeth missing.  This is what I would look like then.

So, there you have it.  My sister and I frequently like to remind my father this is all his fault (after all, its his DNA that left us toothless).  My sister even went so far as to let me know I would fit in with the beaver exhibit at the Monterey Bay Aquarium (which incidental, earned her a smack across the face, and a "You deserved that" from my mother).  I should note I certainly do not endorse violence, and I was about 10 at the time.  Call it a learning experience.  I did, however, get a stern lecture from mom regarding violence and the unacceptable practice of hitting women.  But in the end, Sis had it coming.  I'll defend me stance on that till the day I die.

But I digress. I go back to see the Dentist on Tuesday morning.  A thorough cleaning and exam to make an attack plan to replace both bridges.  Yippee. 

I guess I should be glad the dental coverage we have is decent enough.  And, since its near the end of the year, we should be able to break it up into this year and next year, taking advantage of this years and the new years allowance from my dental insurance.  So this is a good thing.  I'm sure I'll have more as time moves on.

Nov 14, 2009

House Arrest and Vivid Dreams.

Its been about a week now that I have been sick.  So here is a rundown of me and my activities.

First, I don't go anywhere.  I'm pretty much on house arrest.  Wife would kill me if she know I was out among the populace spreading my germs to the unsuspecting masses. Normally, I don't mind being home and not going anywhere.  But, there has been one problem in all of this.

Anyone who has been to my home knows its not very big.  While the lot we sit on is massive, compared to others around us, the house itself takes up a relitively small amount of area.  So where do I go?  What do I do?  I have been reduced to watching TV, playing games, reading a book (which I honestly have done very little of), or sleeping.  The first two and the last one seem to be taking up the bulk of my time. Which is good really.  Afterall, I am sick, and when one is sick they should be well rested.  

I will say this:  I now firmly believe people don't really understand the importance of being able to come and go from their homes as they please.  I ventured forth to get myself a sandwhich yesterday and the simple act of getting out of the the house was one of the simplist things I could do, and quite honestly one of the most liberating (yeah, I know, I used the liberating). 

Second, I have been having crazy, crazy dreams. Normally, I can never remember my dreams.  I have actually heard this is a side effect of sleep apnia.  When the body never actually gets to the REM cycle of sleep you can never be in a state where dreams become clear and undestadable (Wife says I have apnia, but I don't know if I believe her; I have never heard myself stop breathing in the middle of the night).  Most times, after having a dream, I wake up thinking, "Holy crap! That was weird."  Then after about 5 minutes I can't remember a thing about it.  This is not the case lately. 

I remember, in vivid detail, a dream I had a couple of days ago.  I remember, in vivid detail, the dream that woke me up this morning.  And its small details, that stand out the most. 

One of the things from the other day: It started with me getting pulled over by the CHP.  The reason?  My tires extended past the fenders and I didn't have mudflaps. 

Are you serious??Why on earth would I dream about something like that??  I have never even had a car where that is an issue.  Nor would I ever even consider augmenting my car with didiculous wheel sets like that in the first place.  So why would I dream about that?? 

Last nights dream:  I was at a local Casino and stole a car from the casino floor. It was an older car, colored green, something like the old Studebaker the neighbor had who lived accross the street from me when I was growing up.  Why would this stick out so clearly?  I remember the name of the casino:  Adam Adama's Casino (Not very orrignial, brain.  Not very orrigianl at all).  Adam Adama's??  Is that the best my sleeping brain can come up with? 

So, some who are reading this are probably dissecting these tidbits and looking to find their hidden meaning.  I should point out that I have left out crazy amounts of dream material here to avoid just such a thing.  Why, you ask? Because I don't believe dreams are much more than just that: dreams.  And being sick and the amount of sleep I am getting is, in my belief, simply a catalyst for having increased amounts of dreams and more of a chance to remember them. 

So, today is Saturday.  Poor Wife is home from work today, and gets the pleasure of putting up with me all day long.  Good for her.  She also has the ability to leave whenever she wants.  She is not on house arrest. 

I, am going out to the other room and turning on a game. 

Nov 10, 2009

My arm gets a new pulse.

To begin this post, I want to refer to one of my favorite online references,

The word TRUST is defined there as: Reliance on the integrity, strength, ability, surety, etc., of a person or thing; confidence.

So, who earns trust? Well, Wife for one. She has my complete and total trust. That’s not something a person simply gives out freely or on a whim. Family has my trust. Certain friends have my trust.

And now Glenn has my trust.

Anyone reading this is probably thinking, “Who is this Glenn you speak of?”

As it turns out he is a tattoo artist (Thank goodness I broke this news to Mom a little while ago, I don’t know if she could have handled it delivered in this venue. Sis, well, sorry, but this is what you get).

For quite some time now I have had the growing desire to get a tattoo. Wife, as many people know and some people don’t, has many. Very tasteful. Very neat. And they are a part of her. They all have meaning to her, even her little tattoo of Yoda has a certain meaning that she holds dear.

OK, enough about her, lets move on to me. After all, I am the author here and this blog is all about me.

So, back to a growing desire. I have put a lot of thought into this, about five years worth (at least I can say I went into this with plenty of forethought). There were certain things I wanted to accomplish here. I wanted it to be tasteful. I will not have anything below the sleeve of a short sleeve shirt. I want it to have symbolism that’s important to me.

So, who are the two people in my life that mean the most to me? Well, obviously that would be Wife and Ben. Wife and I have been looking at the Chinese Fu Lions for quite some time. They come in pairs. They are typically found outside Chinese temples and palaces. They are male and female. The male sits on the left side, the female on the right. The male holds an orb under his paw representing something treasured and important. The female holds under her paw a cub, representing children and value of life.

This general definition fits into my criteria perfectly. So, tasteful and meaningful design has been chosen. Next on the list, to find the appropriate artist to accomplish this task.

I did quite a lot of internet searching for a proper place and person. Wife, who was extremely excited about this project (and very jealous) said we could pretty much go anywhere that would make me comfortable. So I broadened my search outside the area, and came across Triangle Tattoo and Museum: Art With a Pulse.

Triangle Tattoo is located in beautiful Fort Bragg, CA. The scenery there is fairly similar to that of our hometown of Eureka. Port town, right on the ocean, and the weather is similar. However, if one is interested, SCUBA diving is infinitely better in the Fort Bragg area than here in Humboldt. The difference in water clarity is absolutely amazing.

So I got on the web site and did a little investigating. Triangle Tattoo has been in Fort Bragg for over 25 years (aka: well established). The head honcho, Mr. G, has written numerous articles for Skin and Ink Magazine (aka: he is well respected). Madame Chinchilla has written articles and books, and also is an artist (aka: also well respected). Over all, I could find nothing wrong with Triangle Tattoo. Time to look into artists.

After looking at their portfolios on line, I came down to two: Professor H. Glenn, and Erin Honest.

I called to make my appointment, told the friendly gal on the other end of the line I wanted to make an appointment, and then told her I was undecided about who I wanted to do the work. She asked me what I was looking for and maybe she could help with that decision. In the end, she recommended Glenn.

She was right on. I emailed a couple of pictures to Glenn. One I found on the internet of a Fu Lion statue and another I had hand drawn (mind you, this was a very rough sketch). Then I had to wait. I arranged this appointment over a month in advance, so there was quite a bit of waiting.

The day of the appointment Wife and I arrived about an hour early, wanting to get a look at the artwork in case there were any last minute changes to make. I couldn’t have asked for it to look any more like what I wanted. No revisions needed.

For the first sitting, I was in the fighting chair for about five and a half hours. Second sitting, about a month and half later, was four and a half hours. The finished product, as I see it, is something I’ll be happy to be living with for the rest of my life. Both Wife and I are very extremely pleased with the end result.

So to Glenn, I say this, “You are the man!” To Erin, who was doing an amazing piece while Glenn was finishing my arm, I say this, “I need to have you do something for me in the future.” And to Madame Chinchilla, Wife and I both say this, “We hope your tooth issues are resolved and you’re feeling better.”

Thanks to Triangle Tattoo, and especially Glenn, for putting your Pulse on me.

Nov 9, 2009

Blogging Old School. Yeah, pen and ink.

***If you have trouble reading this as it is, simply click on the picture, and open it up as a much larger and easier to read picture***

***PS - This post turned out to look exactly as I wanted it to.  I'm so proud of myself***

Nov 7, 2009

A little photo documentation.

OK, so I had planned to do this the other day, but in the end, my own laziness got the better of me and I failed miserably to follow through. 

So now, when I should be sleeping, I am wide awake and fighting a budding head cold which is making me miserable.  But enough with the unpleasantries, on with the show.

On Tuesday I was awake and it was indeed beautiful out, so I actually did grab my little camera and headed out to see some of the things I rarely take advantage of, or at least on a regular basis take for granted.  What follows is a little photo essay with some small commentaries by yours truly.  

Good looking sunrise? Check!  Camera? Check!  Off I go.  First stop was the pier at the end of Del Norte Street.  For those of you unfamiliar with this, its back behind Costco.  And for reference, I believe its the only place in Eureka where you don't have to have a fishing license.

While there I found a younger fellow tossing a crab trap over the side. In his 5 gallon polly bucket he had even had crab!

Awesome.  For those who have never had it, fresh crab is like to fillet mignon of the sea!  So tasty, and so readily available here its really a shame to never take advantage of it.  If you don't know someone with a boat who goes crabbing, there is always fresh crab for sail at the marina.

The North Coast is crawling with berry vines.  My own back yard is crawling with it, and its a management nightmare!  however, this vine here was catching a the sun just right and looked kind of neat.  So here it is.  Apparently its possible to to love and hate these crazy vines.

After hanging out here for a little while I then made my way to Woodly Island.  One of the marinas here in town.  There, one the west side of the island is the tribute to fisherman lost at sea.

Called "The Fisherman," he is a tribute to those "whom the sea sustained... and those it claimed."

So there you have it, a little photo-documentation of sights to see here on the North Coast. 

Now, over the weekend, Wife and I went to Fort Bragg to get away from life here for a day or two, and to finish a small project.  I'll be posting the trip here in the next day or two. 

Stay tuned.

Nov 3, 2009

Awake and ready to go, apparently.

Its currently 9:01 in the AM.  I am awake, a rather large accomplishment considering I work night shift, and its absolutely gorgeous outside.

This was the sunrise over my backyard this morning.  So now I am left with the quandry:  What shall I do today? 

I have the urge to get the camera and just drive around for a while and provide some photo documentation of my area and the goings on here, and in all likelyhood, thats what I am going to do (and besides, that will give me a good excuse to go to Smugs Pizza for lunch, never a bad idea!).

So, apparently this is just a teaser.  There should be more to follow later this afternoon.

Oct 31, 2009

The secret is out, I make a pretty good chili!!

OK, at the request of my adoring fans, I am posting the recipe to one of my favorite dishes: 

My Super Secret Chili.

Some of you may be thinking, "Well, if he posts it, will it not be public? Hence, no longer super secret?"

To answer this question, I refer you to one of the more simple words in the English language: Yes.

And now, presenting my Super Secret Chili Recipe!!

First, the ingredients:

1.25 lbs extra lean ground beef
1 med onion (or in my case, usually 2/3 of a large onion), diced
1 package of fresh mushrooms, sliced and diced to desired size
2 cans diced tomatoes
1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
chili powder
Worcestershire sauce
2 cloves garlic, freshly pressed
salt and pepper
EVVO (thats Extra Virgin Olive Oil)

One of the best parts about this? A one pot wonder!  In a larger stock pot, pour a little oil into the bottom.  Begin to heat on med-high heat.  Add ground beef.  Add in Worcestershire to taste (I like more than less, but thats just me).  Add in chili powder and cumin to taste (don't worry if you are afraid to go overboard before being able to taste it, we can add more chili powder later).  Brown the meat, then remove it using a slotted spoon.  There should be some residual sauce and a little beef grease left in the pan.

Add the shrooms and onions and garlic.  Begin stirring immediately, coating the veggies in the juice left over from the beef.  Next, as the onions are softening up, add in a little more chili powder, and a little more cumin.  I wish I could give specific measurements here, but I eyeball all of this, so I can't.  Once the onions cook down a little, add the tomatoes and kidney beans.  Lets these new ingredients meld flavors with the former occupants of your pot for about 5 minutes.  Once this is done, add the ground beef back in.  Let it come to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer.

I have found the longer you let it simmer, the better the overall flavor.  However!! If you let it go to long it cooks down to much and you lose some of the vital tomato juice that gives it its somewhat soupy consistency, and that is bad.  The longest I would go is about 30 minutes here.

Taste it after about 15 minutes.  This is when you can add more seasonings to suite your tastes.  The salt is added sparingly here, but I love to add freshly ground pepper.

Once its done, scoop into a bowl, top with a little cheese and a dollop of sour cream and its a pretty healthy and over all very tasty meal.

And now my secret is out.

Oct 29, 2009

Medical Issues -vs- My Notebook.

I recently attended a mandatory training class on Medical Issues in Jail. I am slightly ashamed to admit this, but after sitting there for about three and a half hours I really don’t remember what was said, except for a few snippets (one of which will be featured a few paragraphs down). I actually planned to pay attention, but the first speaker ruined this idea, and my notebook soon became a list of random things I thought about while sitting there.

So, without further ado, here they are (and I even wrote down the times I made these observations and thoughts, just to show a chronological order of events):

0805 hours: The first speaker started five minutes early (a major faux pas is you ask me). He has been speaking for nearly ten minutes and I haven’t heard a word he has said.

0810 hours: Someone should tell this guy when speaking to a group of people it is completely ineffective to do it all sitting down.

  • Further thoughts on this: An hour and half lecture on suicide and he does it seated? Is he trying to get the rest of us to kill ourselves? This guy is a fairly respected Mental Health Worker in the county, you would think he would know the disaster of a class he created by teaching us about suicide in such a fashion.
0815 hours: Holy crap, its only been ten minutes since I first realized I haven’t heard a word he has said and I still haven’t heard a word he has said.

0830 hours: The guy next to me is a little high strung. He asked a question, and his body language made it more like a challenge to fight the instructor. Seriously, the he took off his glasses, leaned forward, used the arm of his glasses to point at the instructor, and his tone of voice simply said (in not the same words), “Hey buddy, if you think this is helping us you got another think coming! And if you don’t like what I have to say we can meet at the bike rack at lunch!”

0840 hours: Some people really seem to lack common sense (this thought is directly related to the previous thought).

0910 hours: Today’s USA Today Crossword is pretty difficult.

1000 hours: The RN who is teaching the section on communicable diseases obviously understands the concept of standing when speaking to a group.

1020 hours: The RN just made one of the most amazing, and unforgettable statements I have ever heard on the subject of tuberculosis: “When in close proximity to a person with this disease, if all else fails (referring to not having a mask available) hold your breath.”

1030 hours: So far, the best presentation of the day has been the shortest.

1045 hours: I wonder if anyone is planning on going to the brewery for lunch??

Ok, so there it is. Did I take anything of note from the training? Not really. It was all review as far as I could tell. But we are mandated by the state to have continual training in certain areas, and “Medical Issues” is one of them.

Fortunately, I will always remember, if I think a guy has TB, I can just hold my breath.

Oct 22, 2009

Attempted Transition and Reconciliation.

I’m a little disappointed in myself. Why you may ask? What has happened to cause such a drastic feeling?

I attempted to move my Blog to Wordpress and in the end was disappointed with the product and have returned to my beloved blogger.

Here is what happened:

I was sitting in front of the computer the other day and messing around with my blog. All at once, and with not sort of warning what so ever, I suddenly felt a weird sense of disassociation with my blog. It was a rather surreal moment altogether. Like when I realized my favorite sweatshirt was no longer wearable because of all the holes in it. Did my sweatshirt do anything wrong? No, but I sure felt like it let me down somehow.

So what was I to do? Well, a few other blogs I frequent are through the Wordpress application. So I though I might give it a try. They present a fairly smooth interface. They present a fairly slick image. They even present a pro’s and cons of their own application. And to boot, they have an importing tool for bringing my blogger account over. Fantastic.

So I tried it. I even went so far as to import my entire blog’s worth of postings. And then I started playing around with it. And I eventually though to myself, “Hmm, apparently the grass isn’t always greener.”

So to my good friend Blogger, I’m sorry. I’m sorry I strayed. I’m sorry I forgot the things that have brought us close these past two years. And I’m sorry I have let our relationship falter. In fact, I realize now you were always there for me. It was I who let this relationship stagnate.

So I am going to my part. I will pay more attention to you. I will make use of the tools you provide me with to better my presentation.

I’m sorry my friend. Thank you, for welcoming me back with open arms.

Oct 19, 2009

A quest for a broader range of readership.

For a while now I have had a growing desire to somehow increase my following. As I have said before, I started this whole blogging ordeal in order to keep up with family. Over time, though, it’s slowly evolved into a whole different animal of its own.

My following, such as it is, is fairly limited; some family, some friends, and a few people who I have actually come into contact through other friends. And that’s about it.

So I ask the question, “How do I expand my following?”

This is not an easy task. It’s not as easy as simply just saying, “Hey world! Check me out!”

Or is it?? After all, I am publishing written content on the Internet, the Information Super Highway. Why can’t I just scream out to the world? The thing here is knowing what venue would spread my wandering thoughts to the masses. 

My personal choice of blogging is Blogger (a Google web-based application). As far as I can tell, there are generally two widely used applications, Blogger and Wordpress. Overall, they function generally the same. Each has its own pro’s and cons, and which application a person chooses would simply be whichever really appeals the user. I ended up with Blogger, and I have been perfectly happy with it thus far.

Blogger has what is called a “Blogs of Note” section. There is an extensive list of various blogs complied for the purpose making these otherwise somewhat obscure blogs available to the masses.

Wait, isn’t that what I am looking for? Or is it? Do I simply want to put my thoughts and ramblings out there, in a directionless sort of way? Or am I looking for something more focused? Not sure really. I wonder if there is some sort of application process to Blogger in order to get myself noticed? Should I start some sort of internet-type crusade I can start to get myself noticed by blogger? This certainly bears some further scrutiny.

My other thought? Why none other than the NaBloPoMo web site itself. Here, people who are focused on posting daily can actually post to this site as well as their own personal blog. As I type this, there are currently 13,307 members of this site. I certainly couldn’t go wrong posting here and there on the NaBloPoMo site.

And, although I have already been publishing my isms to the world at large already, I’m now on a quest for a larger audience. Will it pan out? Will I succeed? Or will I be putting out all this hype only to be likened to a straight-to-dvd movie?

Only time will tell.

Oct 15, 2009

The 10 Truisms of Adam (Not the Only 10, But a Good Start)

Ok, so the challenge of being true, not only to myself, but to my readers at large, has arisen.

The truth to be told, you ask? Ten; count them t-e-n (oops, I spelled that). I don’t know how many people here have ever attempted something as bold as this, but it’s actually quite difficult. How honest should I be here? Where do I draw the line between simple honesty and a complete and total bearing of my soul?

Ok, perhaps that was a bit over dramatic? I think so. Ok, lets get this started.

1.  I actually spent an unbelievable amount of time trying to decide if should start this thing at one and count up, or start at ten and count down. This is indicative of my nature to seriously over think things. For example, my thought process was such:
  • If I started this accounting of self-truisms at ten and counted down, it would imply I was leading to some grand finale, something everyone would either find ridiculously funny or completely amazing. I have nothing like that going on here. The sad fact is, there is a very real possibility by the time I get to number ten I’m going to be reaching pretty deep and the actual description of this end-all truth might be rather boring, and in turn a big let down.
2.  I am a total geek, in certain areas of my life at any rate. Mainly because I love all sorts of techie-type gadgets. I’m always looking for the next little gadget to add to my arsenal of electrical equipment that really serves no purpose in life other than to entertain me. But in my quest to find the next technical wonder that will turn my life around, I read every review I can find. I scour the internet for various user opinions and thoughts. For example, CNET is one of my favorite places for technical reviews. I feel like Bonnie Cha and I are close friends by now (she’s a senior editor for It’s to the point where I affectionately call her Bon-bon (that’s a complete lie, and since this is all about truth I felt compelled to come clean; but at least it gets the point across).

3.  My first experience with swearing was walking to school one morning with friends whom I can’t even remember. The one thing I do remember is the thrill of doing something I had been told all my life (which at the time was only 8 or 9 years, and on top of that I don’t really remember the first four or five; so it was a relatively short span of time when I really think about it) was oh-so-wrong. “Damn.” “Shit.” Oh yes, I experimented with them all. This whole culmination of events ended with me and a bar of soap in my mouth after a passing car received a hearty, however completely unprovoked (unless you call driving a flashy corvette through our shabby, middle-class neighborhood a provoking action), “F**k you!” I don’t actually remember this event, but my mother retells it often and finds it quite amusing. I doubt, at the time, I did.

4.  I am scared to death of heights. Seriously, looking over the railing from the second floor of an indoor shopping mall gives me the willies. I know, that’s rather pathetic. But its true, and this post is all about truisms. Lets take Knott’s Berry Farm for example. There, in southern Cal, is a ride called the Supreme Scream. In essence, they take you into the air an astounding 254 feet (for those of you who can’t really imagine 254 feet as anything tangible, think of it as being on the roof of a 25 story building), and then it drops you. The distance to travel before the seats come to a halt allows you to attain speeds of 50 mph or more. Holy S**t that’s fast. I have actually ridden this ride. And I whined and complained to my friends they entire time while we waited in line. They, in return, made a show of how proud they were of themselves after convincing me to ride. Selfish buggers.

5.  I love video games. So what? It’s a great way to pass time. Now I don’t spend all my spare time sitting in front of the TV vegetating while being sucked into some mindless activity such as “fragging” my friends in a Halo Death match. However, I have at times done just that. I also love puzzle games, and those that actually challenge the brain a little. I own an Xbox 360 and a Playstation 3 (however, the PS3 was purchased mainly as a Blu-ray player, thanks to the review from CNET, which to this date still rates it as one of the best Blu-ray players on the market). Am I a geek? You bet. Do I mind? Nope, not at all.

6.  I do all the cooking in the house. However, I don’t wear an apron. I do like to cook. Its an enjoyable hobby. However, I am not a very adventurous cook. I generally stick to a few certain recipes that I have down pat. For example, I make a pretty mean chili that is extremely health conscious. Perhaps I should post this simple recipe for others to enjoy? Or perhaps I should simply hint at its goodness and leave others to wonder.

7.  Reading is something I do for enjoyment purposes only. I have never really been into true crime, or historical accounts. I like fiction. I like to read something that could simply never be, for the sole purpose of escaping the monotony of regular life and losing myself in something that could only be seen in my own brain. This sadly, leaves me with a very limited selection of books. Over all, I find the science fiction and fantasy genres hold my interest the most. I have tried others, but in the end all this leaves me with is a bookshelf full of books that I will never finish. As a side note to this, I am a book hoarder. I can’t get rid of them. I don’t know why. I can’t give them away; I can’t sell them, nothing. Fortunately, I’m still able to cram all my books into a smaller bookshelf. Eventually, though, I will need something bigger.

8.  I’M A LIBERAL. Yes, that’s in capital letters and yes, its in bold on purpose. Over the last 15 years my views in life have certainly changed. And slowly but surely, I’ve come to the realization being registered as a republican is a lie, and somewhat contrary to my statement made here on number eight. My friends in general are decidedly conservative. This makes me a quiet liberal. Remember people, “If don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”
9.  As a guy, I want to believe that I can do anything. This was never proven more wrong than when I attempted to teach Wife the sport of downhill skiing. She wanted to set me loose on the slopes for the morning while she attended some private lesson with a guy whose name would obviously be Sven and would resemble Fabio in general looks. However, I thought I would be able do the job. In the end, I knew things were going horribly, horribly wrong when I had finally talked her into getting on the ski lift and she looked at me, with a tear running down her cheek, and said, “I hate you.” Lesson learned, I can’t do everything on my own. Next time we attempt this, I’ll be looking for Sven.
10.  I’m on a continual quest to be more organized and efficient. I started with a Palm TX, hand held organizer. Palm, the old stand-by in PDA’s, didn’t disappoint. With what I would call superior calendar features (something of which I find pretty important) and lots of software extras, I found myself overall pretty pleased with it. Soon, though, I found myself annoyed by carrying the PDA and my cell phone. Seriously, two different devices? So the evolution of my own organization and productivity has taken an unexpected turn. I bought a small zip binder and printed out a calendar. Strange. All this technology and I find myself completely motivated by the use of good, old fashioned paper and pencil. Figures.
So, in the end I don’t think I let slip anything that would leave me feeling like my ass is hanging out too badly. But there are some truths here.

Take them for what you will.

Oct 14, 2009

Over indulgence without the guilt.

Over-indulgence.  We have all been there.  Perhaps your favorite, decadent food.  Maybe a certain sweet.  Or perhaps a favorite drink.  At any rate, you choose your poison, indulge, and spend the next few days wondering what you have done and if your palate will ever recover in order to enjoy your favorite whatever.

My over-indulgence?  Blogging. 

Crazy, huh?  But its true.  I went for a personal best.  30 straight days of posting.  Sadly, I only made 21.

Actually, its not sad.  In fact, its pretty amazing.  What amazes me most is the fact that very few posts were of the "post something, anything" variety.  And while some posts were wordy, others were not, some had substance, others were fluff, it was an exercises in Patience and evolving my thought process into tangible and coherent sentences. 

So do I feel bad for not completing my first attempt at blogging daily?  Nope, not one bit. 

Do I plan to try it again?  Yep, you bet.

Am I taking a break after a long indulgence and savoring the taste of a little something different?  Absolutely.

Oct 4, 2009

NaBlo what??

Holy crap. My goal of posting something every day for a month fell flat on it's face.

Here is the rundown.

For nearly 22 days I managed to post something. And surprisingly, a lot of these posts were more than just a simple "I have to post something so I am posting this pathetic one sentence post in order to meet my requirements" post.

So what happened? I stayed awake for nearly 27 hours.

On Monday I got home from work in the early morning. I did a couple of things around the house then jumped in the car to make the 5 hour drive to my home town of Vacaville and see my son for a few days. Usually I go on a 4 day weekend, however circumstances dictated a 3 say visit instead. So I figured rather than waste a full day by sleeping half of it then driving down later, and getting there sometime after dinner, I would be leave early and get there before he gets out of school. I figured I could take a small nap before he got home.

Well, I managed to get to my parents house, my preferred place to stay when I visit, around noon. This would have allowed me nearly 3 hours to nap. However, I chose to have a rather lengthy conversation with my parents (which will be the subject of another post sometime in the near future) and in the end, the nap never happened. Bummer.

The boy's mother dropped him off around 3:30. By this time I had been awake for about 24 hours.

Anyone who has never been awake for that long of a period of time, let me suggest you continue to live in ignorance of the effects it has on your body and mind.

Let me try and describe it:

About half way to my folks house I was beginning to really feel the effects. Muscles start to ache, the eyes feel like raisins coated in sand in your eye sockets, speech becomes somewhat impeded, and your hands become rather shake (this last symptom might possibly be more associated with the copious amounts of caffeine I had consumed to simply get myself to a state where the other symptoms became so readily apparent).

I get to may parents, long conversation ensues, and soon I'm not sure of I am going to make it. My eyelids feel like two ton weights, and every time they close it became increasingly more and more difficult to reopen them.

The boy arrives and while we are sitting there talking a little and engaging in generally pleasant conversation I suddenly realize I have absolutely no idea what has been said in the last 20 minutes (either by my ex-wife or by me). Was I talking? Was she talking? why am I drooling on myself??

We went to dinner and came home. On the drive home from the restaurant I remember seeing the hills that separate Fairfield and Vacaville and how the somehow resembled some painting by an impressionist who has done entirely too much acid in his or her lifetime. All the lines seemed to mesh and intertwine in weird sorts of ways. Everything else was somewhat blurry and distorted. The brown colored hills and the many oak and walnut trees that adorn them looked to be mountains and mole hills all at the same time.

We got home and I sat on the couch. I was through. It was nearly 27 hours awake and I could take it no more.

I remember waking briefly to find Ben practicing his saxophone right next to my head. Apparently he felt it was worth a try to attempt to wake me by his own rendition of Mary Had a Little Lamb. This proved to be an exercise in futility.

The next thing I remember was waking next to him, who was also passed out and curled up in a blanket. He was cozy, at least (its amazing the weird positions children can be in and still fall asleep).

So thats how it went.  Its now too late to even rationalize a continuance. I guess there is always next month.

Sep 28, 2009

What? Oh, this is really nothing.

Ok, seriously, I am cramming this one in at the last second. 

I'm to see the boy this weekend, which means very little sleep today.

I'm going to be a disaster.

More later.

Sep 26, 2009

Grace Cathedral, the Labyrinth, and an Overly Closed Mind Opened a Little

(This post was inspired by a friends Facebook status.  Thanks M)

When I was just out of High School, I dated a girl named Jennifer.  I'm pretty sure my mother never really liked her, but dad thought she was alright.  For those of you who don't know, I was raised in an LDS household, something which still holds a place in my soul for making me who I am (however, this is not a piece on religion, so feel free to keep reading, those of you who are squeamish at the word "Mormon"). 

On a date, Jennifer and I went to San Francisco.  At her urging, we wet to Grace Cathedral, hoping by chance we might find the boys choir singing (apparently this is something to really behold; I have never heard them, but they are world famous).  Go figure, they were not singing that day.

But the Labyrinth was there, and Jennifer wanted to walk it.  Those of you who are not familiar with the Labyrinth, it is a maze that is inlaid in lime stone.  The masonry work is absolutely beautiful. 

Not to mention that Grace Cathedral is one of the most beautiful buildings in San Francisco (and quite possibly on the planet).

 So, the-then GF talks me into walking the Labyrinth. 

It is required of you to walk this Labyrinth, or maze,  with your shoes off.  What strikes me the most, looking back, is how closed minded I was to the idea of walking the Labyrinth under the roof of an Episcopal Church.  I didn't even want to take my shoes off (OK, I should really say Birkenstocks.  I haven't really worn shoes in my off time since I was a sophomore in High School.  And Birkenstock has always been my favorite choice of footwear).

Was I that closed minded?  Was I that jaded to the ideas of others that I couldn't accept the ideas of another faith as helpful in my own life?  Why was I so against this idea of introducing myself to something that was somewhat foreign to me, and in the end only designed to help me gain a better understanding of myself and the world?

In then end, I took my Birks off (after all, I had to get the girl in the end).  But then I walked the Labyrinth.

Grace Cathedral's web site has this to say about the Labyrinth:

There are three stages of the walk:

•Purgation (Releasing) ~ A releasing, a letting go of the details of your life. This is the act of shedding thoughts and distractions. A time to open the heart and quiet the mind.

•Illumination (Receiving) ~ When you reach the center, stay there as long as you like. It is a place of meditation and prayer. Receive what is there for you to receive.

•Union (Returning) ~ As you leave, following the same path out of the center as you came in, you enter the third stage, which is joining God, your Higher Power, or the healing forces at work in the world. Each time you walk the labyrinth you become more empowered to find and do the work you feel your soul reaching for.
Is this really so bad?  Even for those whose ideals don't exactly believe in God, there is nothing bad going on here.
It goes a little more to say this:
Quiet your mind and become aware of your breath. Allow yourself to find the pace your body wants to go. The path is two ways. Those going in will meet those coming out. You may "pass" people or let others step around you. Do what feels natural.
And in doing so, my mind seemed to focus on a million different things all at once.  I can honestly say I don't think I have discovered and more peaceful act than simply walking a curved path toward a central goal.  Was I in tune with a higher power?  Was I tune with my self?  Probably yes. 
It certainly helped me later in life, and I find myself far more open and interested in the ideals of others, at the very least.  But lets take a little more of a deeper look of walking the Labyrinth itself. 
Do you pass others?  Do you move to the side and let them pass?  Do you find both of you move aside for each other, and find yourselves at an impasse?  There are so many implications here, I don't even think I have the where-with-all to actually delve into them after the night I just had.
So in closing, I say this:  Jennifer, where ever you are, you helped me in a rather unexpected way to open myself up to the ideas of the world at large.  And for this I thank you, even though it a few years over due.

Sep 25, 2009

A little recognition and the Great Dish Disaster of 2009

First, apparently all a guy has to do to get a little feedback is simply complain that he is getting no feedback. Perhaps, in the quest for my completion of NaBloPoMo, I forgot the effort it actually takes to sit down, to not only post but, to comment as well. 

I am relieved to see my audience is still around. 

Second, the great Dish Network Disaster of 2009.  This is a little more of a meaty subject, and I might even be going on so long I will have to make breakfast mid-diatribe (todays word of the day, compliments of Yours Truely).

A while back my father switched from the old stand-by, (insert your local cable companies name here).  He chose to use Dish Network.  Its been a few years since he made this switch, and has been so happy with his service the only changes he has made over the last few years is to simply upgrade his equipment and spend more money on his service. 

To this I say, "Congratulations, Sir.  I am glad your experience has been a pleasant one." 

Now, I have a friend locally here in Humboldt (OK, I actually have "friends" [note the inclusion of the s], however this part of the story only includes one).  He is a subscriber to DirecTV.  Both my father and friend use an over-the-air antenna in order to acquire the local TV stations.

And both are able to use a DVR and schedule recordings at their leisure.  To them I say, "Congratulations to you gentlemen.  I envy your superior satellite service."

So with this in mind, we decided it was time to jump ship and make the switch from cable to satellite. 

This proved to be a complete disaster. 

First off, when I called to simply get a price quote, I ended up speaking with someone whose command of the English language was limited, to say the least.  To say that we didn't understand each other would be an understatement.  In end, she signed me up for a package I didn't want and scheduled me for an installation appointment I didn't even know I had, then hung up on me. 

The only reason I even know about this was because I called back to officially sign up after I consulted with Wife.  It was then I was told I was already signed up for an install appointment. 

So it begs the question, "Why are companies putting people who speak limited English in positions where they really need to have a fairly good command of the language here?" 

On a later phone call, I again experienced this type of interaction.  The guy I spoke to this time, said word for word, over and over again, "I'm sorry this is taking so long.  Please be patient as we work through this process."  I can only assume this is a tag line he was forced to memorize as part of his training as a phone sales person. 

Now, I don't want to seem biased, or discriminatory. In the end, its simply a exercise in patience when you have a lot of questions and the only thing the person on the other line says with any clarity is, "I'm sorry this is taking so long. Please be patient as we work through this process." 

So install day comes along. The guys who were there to install the system were decent enough.  But already I knew something was wrong.  The order wasn't as I wanted, but I made do, thinking it was something I could deal with later.  After all was said and done I sat down to peruse my new Dish Network channel selection.  Again, this was not as I had ordered (thanks allot person who doesn't speak a lot of English).  And after about 5 hours of trying to make it work like I was told it would, I called customer support. 

I got a person on the line whose first language was obviously English.  What did I learn from this person?  That the system isn't designed to work the way I was told it would.  They were unsure why I was told it would work the way I wanted it to, and apologized for the inconvenience.

An inconvenience?  Thats a fair understatement.  I just signed a two year contract with them and and they call their own peoples short-comings an inconvenience?  It should suffice to say I canceled my contract.  They at least had the decency to not charge me a penalty.  My only obligation is to mail everything back to them (at their own cost too).

So now we are back on cable.  For now.  Until then, I will begrudgingly pay them their extortionist's fee and submit to the fact they are holding my local channels hostage. 

But I will not relent.  I will find a way.  I already have a new plan, but that is a whole different story I will be saving for later.

Sep 24, 2009

A little note wich is big on complaining.

Two items of note:

Had the dish people come over and install the satalite. Did it work like they said?  Nope.  Did I try all afternoon to get it to work before I called and they told me it wouldn't work?  Yep.  Was I a frustrated person?  You bet.

On another note, I think I might be the onl y person who is actually spending any time here.  Bummer.  I seem to have lost my audience. 

And now, its bed time.

Sep 22, 2009

A small reprieve and a bit of thanks.

Its been a long week. I am now faced with two whole days off. The only saving grace to this torturous week is spending the next two nights with Wife, and knowing Oktoberfest is around the corner.

Now, on to something a little more meaty. 

One of the hard parts about my profession is knowing that even though you don't always get along with others you work with, you still have to be there to watch each others backs. Wait, its not really that hard; its actually one of the easiest parts. 

Case in point:

Last night we were faced with a fairly emotional and somewhat unstable subject.  In a rare moment, I even raised my voice to this person, and even issued out a bit of an ass chewing.  In the process, another co-worker came to stand by (even though he was on a break). 

Did he have to do this?  No.  Did I expect him to do this?  No.  Was I grateful for this?  Yes. 

It was simple thing he did, really.  And it simply did my heart good to be reminded that we are all there for each other.  Were I in his shoes, I would have done exactly the same. 

We are a close knit, if somewhat dysfunctional, family at work.  Its good every now and then to remember the things that really make us functional.  I'm grateful for the people I work with, who have the clarity of thought and the where-with-all to realize that something as simple as a raised voice usually signifies something out of the ordinary (especially when its coming from me).

Even though 95% of the people I work with will never read this, I thank.  I appreciate them.  And I will always be there when they have need to raise their own voices. 

Sep 21, 2009

Glorious Meat and a complete and utter failure.

Over the weekend, I had one day off.  Saturday.  In one sense, it was a pretty good day.  In another sense, it was a day of complete and utter failure.

So, on with the good and the bad.

The good:

Wife and I seem to rarely get  a day off together.  This is for various reasons.  The fact that I work graveyards has a lot to do with it.  For what usually amounts to more than half the week, our schedules conflict and we don't see each other for more than about an hour a day.  Top that off with being in the morning, while she is getting ready for work, and it equals out to less than an hour.  However, we had Saturday off.  So after I slept most of the day, we decided to go out for dinner.

Where you ask?  Why the AA of course.  Now the AA, at its best, is still a bar.  The fact that they charcoal grill steaks is simply an added bonus.  Its even More than a bonus, its nye upon a pearl in the rough.  Looking at it from the outside, it looks a little shady.  Its right across from the county hoosegow (and yes, according to the dictionary, that is the correct spelling for a slang work referring to a jail).  Its underneath a set of downtown apartments that generally look like only those on probation and making use of some sort of assisted living fund live there.  But when you walk in to the place, there is a whole different feel. 

The floors are all hardwood.  The spacious, polished horseshoe bar has nice stools around it, and a polished brass foot rail to boot.  The center island, while surrounded by your typical bar-type accoutrement's is topped by a large fish tank that is always immaculate and lively. 

Then there is the food.  Might I suggest the ribeye?  A solid choice.  Always cooked to perfection, and you really can't beat the char that results from the charcoal grilling.  Sure, you might get some of the average rif-raff that comes with a bar setting, but if you manage your times and simply eat a little earlier in the evening, its well worth the effort.

After a tasty dinner we came home, and watched the season openers of Bones and Survivor.  All in all, a quality evening spent with the one I love the most.

 Now for the complete and utter failure.

I failed to post on Saturday.  Apparently, my idea about posting during my waking periods fell slightly short and somehow I completely failed to post on Saturday. 

I have no excuses, I make no excuses.

But I do wonder....

Does a double post on the 11th absolve me this heinous crime against NaBloPoMo?  Is there a governing board I can appeal to?  Do I need to fill out an appeal form, in triplicate?

I would, you know.

Sep 19, 2009

Talk like a pirate you scurvy dog! Arr!!

It is September 19th, 2009.  And for those of you that don't know, it is:

And hence, you land lubbers, I be talkin' like a Pirate, arrr!

I actually attempted to type a little, as though I were talking like a pirate, but that proved to be a little tougher than I thought.  It also looked as though I am  completely uneducated.  Which is something I can't live with, as I have worked hard for the little education that I have. 

The following this "Holiday" actually has is quite astounding.  Were a person to google International Talk Like a Pirate Day, you would get about 18 million results.   Sadly, I doubt there are 18 million web sites actually dedicated to the trivial pursuit of talking like a pirate, but there are plenty, thats for sure.

Talk Like a appears to be the official web site.  Here you can find plenty of information on the subject of being a Pirate.  For example, there are translators for converting the English language into Piratese.  There are engines for generating your ships name, glossaries, and quizzes to determine what kind of swashbuckler you are.  Its all there.  Wikipedia also has a rather lengthy section, detailing the history of Talk Like a Pirate Day.  I have taken a couple of these, just for the entertainment factor.  Here are the results:

My given Pirate name:

Dirty Sam Vane!! 

I am feared on the seven seas, the kind of Pirate others want to throw overboard (not because of silly ideas like mutiny, but because of the smell I produce). 

Yeah, Dirty Sam Vane.  Heck, if this name weren't attached to Pirate Quiz I would have thought it was more like a porn star name.  Of course, I could never be in a porn movie (much to my mothers relief, I'm sure), for multiple reasons which I won't be getting into here. 

Hmm, I appear to be digressing here.  Lets get back on topic.

So, talk like a pirate day.  Now lets get back to the amount of people who follow this crazy tradition.  Based on the available links that are attached to Talk Like a Pirate Day, I would assume there is quite the following.  I would assume there are are those like me, who make a few jokes, make use of the Pirate Name Generator and then blog about it to their friends.  There are those who might even go so far as to be able to hold an entire conversation in Piratese without a second thought (much like those who know Klingon).  Then there are those who take ti to extremes.

Costumes, home decorations, party games, books, pictures, the list could go on and on.

For example, look at this guy.  He has really gone the distance to look the part.  Not only has he gone the distance, he clearly has a lot of free time on his hands.  

We have all seen these types.  This is the type of guy who goes to conventions, and has different costumes to compliment the given themes for the event.  This is way beyond me.  I can't even put on this type of garb on Halloween, let alone to parade myself up down the street in front of spectators and fans of the Pirate genre. 

So this begs the question, can I start my own day?  Is there an application system for this?  Or is it as simple as finding a niche, getting the word out?  Somehow, I doubt there would be any interest in a day like "Adam is a fine cook" day, or maybe "Lets take it easy and watch TV" day.  Perhaps this could use some more thought.

So, in the end I say this, "Avast ye land lubbers!  And prepare the meats in the galley, the crew is hungry!"

Sep 18, 2009

A Paltry Post to simply post something.

In the spirit of NaBloPoMo I am posting something. 

I am tired.  I am going to bed.

I have nothing more to say.

Adam, out.

Sep 17, 2009

Norm, a complete stranger, comments on my horrendous spelling skills; And I thank him?

I did something tonight I have tried very hard not to do since I started this blogging endeavor: I wrote a small piece, posted it, and have now deleted it.

Here’s the deal: A rather lengthy conversation led to some thinking, and even a little introspection and self-evaluation. This led to some goals I set for myself, which I realized not too long afterward were way out of my league.

So, I decided to forgo these goals, for now. Why the sudden change of heart? Well, I can thank Norm.

Who is this Norm? Where did he come from? How no earth did he end up on my little corner of the internet? Fortunately, he was kind enough to post a link to his exploration of the blogging world. This is what he had to say:

“So today I decided to really hit up some blogs. Looking for some inspiration, some laughs, or even a kick to the chops. I didn’t know. I decided to start at one blog read the first entry. Leave a remark or not, then Click one of that blogs links….

“Scrolling down the links there, one caught my eye A Guy, a Girl, Three Cats and a Dog, so I clicked it. With a name like that……The first post was a little short so I ended up reading three. Good stuff. Addicted to crosswords? Sending a letter to your Elliptical Glider? Hehe ok someone with a slight askewed sense of humor. I like that. Gonna have to check them out more.”

So, I became famous (in my own mind anyway) by sheer luck, a semi-catchy title, and by the fact I was already linked on a friends blog.

So where does this leave me? It leaves me a sense of needing to a little more adventurous with my own blogging. When I started keeping a blog it was really about keeping tabs with the Family; Mom and Dad, and my sister. The parental units live a scant 300 miles away. Sister, on the other hand, lives a whopping 1,036 miles away. And lets face it, when I lived a mere 10 minutes from the folks house, I still only talked to them once (maybe twice) a week. Add a few hundred miles distance to that relationship and I might as well live in Saskatchewan. Now, over time, this blogging thing has taken on a whole new feel. I’m not even sure when the last time I posted a pictorial post was. I’m note even sure when I last commented on the general goings on here on the Lost Coast.

So in essence, thanks to Norm, I think I have found the direction I need in this NaBloPoMo. I need to branch out. I need to find other areas of inspiration and information.

So, this is my goal (and believe me, this will be easier to achieve than the ones I set previously this evening):

For the next 5 days I will be exploring blogs outside my normal circle (which also extends out of my own personal comfort zone). I’ll be commenting on this here for the next few days.

And to Norm, I say this: Thanks for stopping by and having the audacity to comment on a complete stranger’s horrendous spelling skills. It might have been the small kick in the arse that I needed here as I have been somewhat floundering in my own textual stagnation.

Sep 16, 2009

Posting to simply post.

OK, so technically its still yesterday for me. 

Right now I am simply posting something, anything, to make my quota for the month long ordeal I have signed up for.

Having said that, I'm home from the gym, I'm tired and I stink.

Time for a shower, and then bed.

I'll make an effort at being more prolific tonight.

Adam... Out.

Sep 15, 2009

An admission of an addiction

I'm not entirely sure where the addiction began. Its all kind of fuzzy, really. Its just seems like yesterday I was not so hooked, and now I can't go a full day without a fix.

Its hard to admit really. Of course, there is the old addage (a little more on this word later), "Admitting you have a problem is the fist step to recovery."

But do I really want to recover? Do I really have a problem? It doesn't affect my home life. In fact, it really only affects at work. Don't worry, my supervisor knows of this issue. In fact, I think he is as hooked as I am.

Perhaps you are wondering what malady could afflict me so that I must blog about it?

Its a slight addiction to Crossword Puzzles.

In some of my wildest dreams I didn't ever imagine I would be addicted to crossword puzzles. This was for retired people, who sit around their kitchens in the mornings and drink coffee and talk about the weather and such.

But here I am. In fact, before I started this post I printed out todays crossword from USA Today's web site.

Yeah, I'm hooked. And Addage, as I promised I would discuss a little futher, is one of the words I have become more familliar with over the last couple of months.

And now, my crossword calls to me. And no, I don't have a problem, really.

Sep 13, 2009

A personal letter

Dean Elliptical Glider,

We have been together for a full week now. I remember, like it was yesterday, our first encounter. You looked so innocent, and yet somehow kind of easy. With your oversized foot platforms and easy to grip handles, I figured I was wasting my time getting to know you. In fact, I even felt foolish, to a degree. Almost even embarrassed. Was I settling for less with the attraction of possibly getting some mediocre mileage? Was I cutting myself short by opting for what seemed like the easier route?

I used to have a thing for Treadmill. But oh, how I have come to loath her and love her at the same time. In the end, she always hurt me. Sadly I knew this, and still I had returned for more and more abuse. But I can’t take the hurt any longer. I am stronger than that. I am smarter than that.

And so it was with trepidation and hesitancy I stepped on your spacious footpads and began turning your gears. And all your lights came on. You practically talked to me, letting me know it would be OK. You were there for me. You cared for me.

You asked me some personal questions, though, and this took me somewhat aback. You want my age? My weight you ask? Surely, these questions should be saved for a more prudent time? But here, in front of all these people? But again, you urged me to trust you, and so I told you. Then with the push of a button you promised me a few things.

I would reach my target heart rate. And when the going might seem like it’s a little tough, you promised you ease up. And if the going got to be a little too easy, you promised you wouldn’t let me slack. And so I began. I turned the wheels at a pretty good pace. And true to your word, you kept track of me, your helped me along, and together we achieved our goals. But, there where things you didn’t tell me.

You didn’t tell me it would take longer and longer to achieve my goal. You didn’t tell me you would make it harder and harder to achieve my goal. You didn’t tell me I would actually have to work. You led me into your den of tranquility, only to later turn on me and force me to succumb to your wily ways; that or be forces to give up a, go home.

But I will be strong; I will not be overcome by the adversity of this relationship. And I won’t give up on you. I know you mean well. Perhaps we need to learn to communicate better? Perhaps some counseling? Either way, Elliptical, I won’t be leaving you. I’ll stick by your side.

Love, Me

Procrastination and Rationalization.

Procrastination, and Rationalization.

To skills I have honed to perfection.

Anyone who is paying attention to the dates attached to my posts will clearly see there is a date missing.  September, 12.  However, I do not believe this counts as a failure on my part to post at least once a day.

Hear me out (or rather, read a little farther).

Most people define their days by their waking hours.  When they awake and when the go to sleep, it is routinely the same day.  I however am constantly awake when the date changes.   My day starts in the late afternoon and ends in the late morning.

So technically, its still the same day for me. 

And so I continue to post, once a day.

Sep 11, 2009

Remembrance and Appreciation

      I hadn't planned on posting something else today, however, that plan has changed.  And so begins a little focus.
      This morning, while at the gym, the two TVs on the wall, which are always on the news in the morning, were tuned to CNN and Fox News.  These two television news stations could not be any more diametrically opposed to one another.  Fox News is ridiculously conservative, and certainly favors a right-wing rhetoric.  CNN is far more liberal, and suits my taste far better.  Despite my own personal convictions, over the last week I have found I actually like seeing them both at the same time.  They can report on exactly the same thing and as a viewer I can get two different sides to every story.
      This morning, though, was different.  It wasn't about who is right, or who is wrong.  It wasn't about why President Obama is a complete failure or why he is a complete success.  It was about remembrance, respect of the fallen, and looking toward an ever better and safer future. 
      I remember September 11, 2001 very clearly.  I was camping at Pinecrest Lake with a then girlfriend and some other friends.  We had just gotten up and were busy with preparations of making breakfast.  Eggs, bacon, biscuits; the standard fare for camping.  I remember seeing the campground host hastily driving from site to site and stopping to talk to every single person who was up.  When I first saw this I assumed he was reporting something like a bear sighting, or something like that, and was making the obligatory warnings to would-be hikers and swimmers.  However, when he came to our site he made us aware that in the course of about 20 minutes, while we were away from general civilization and completely unaware, the world had changed forever. 
      Two large passenger planes had crashed into World Trade Center and they had collapsed.  Thousands were presumed dead. 
      How could something like this happen?  One plane, we thought, could have actually been an accident.  Two? Obviously a more diabolical plan was at work.  Our friends had a small portable TV with an antenna, and we quickly turned it on and did our best to get some sort of reception.  Being where we were, we couldn't get a picture, all we could do was listen to anonymous voices filled with sorrow and shock as we stared at a screen that was nothing recognizable. 
      It wasn't until two days later when I got home that I saw the images on the news.  I was saddened, I was shocked, I was angry.  I can see in my head, still clear as the day I saw it then, seeing a body being hurled from a broken window as the pressure from the collapsing tower forced it into the air from unknown stories above the street.  Along with the many people who lost their lives by simply arriving on time for work, hundreds of Fire Fighters, Police Officers, and EMS personal were lost in effort to save any and all they could. 
      I grew up in a very police oriented family.  My uncle worked for the Berkley PD, and my father worked for the Vacaville PD.  I think, I never truly understood the kind of sacrifice that this may have required of them because I never really saw what results could come from such sacrifice.
      Every day people put on a uniform of some sort and go work, and sadly, we really only hear about their labors when some drastic event happens and public cries foul on the part of these fine people.  Thankfully, every now and then (although sometimes by way of horrific reminder), we are reminded what these people really do for us.
      As a child I remember thinking, "How cool is it that my dad is a cop?"  Now, I am 33, and I still think the same about my father.  In high school I would make a point of stopping by his office on campus (he was the supervisor of the youth services division, and had an office on campus), visit with him and Beverly (I think that was her name; I don't remember for sure, I just know she had a desk when you first walked into the office) and then bum a couple of dollars to get something to eat since I rarely took the time to pack a lunch in the mornings.  Did I truley appreciate what he did then?  Or did I simply appreciate the cash that always seemed readily available?
     Later as I got older, I would never hesitate to stop by the PD, visit and see how things were going.  I knew many people there and all were always friendly and welcoming.  Again, though, did I truely appreciate exactly what these people were doing?
      So, many years later, and maybe a little too late for some (sorry Bob, it took me a long time to say something like this), I am thankful for them, one and all. 
      To my father, who served his community for 30-plus years, I want to say something I don't know that I have ever said. 
      Thanks, Dad. 
      Not only were you, and still are, an example to me of how to live my life, but you were willing to make that sacrifice.  I thank God that it didn't take the loss of your life to bring this out, because our lives would have been empty and dreary because of it.  I am grateful for the service you provided, and I'm sorry for taking too long to truly appreciate it for what it was.
      We love you Dad, and our lives wouldn't be the same without you.

The need to focus is sudenly becoming clear.

Is it cheating if start my post before midnight?  I don't really think so , since I work all night.  And as I have often said in the past, I seem to always be way more inspired to write something when I am working.  I'm sure this has more to do  with me not wanting to work over any sort of late-night inspiration.  But in the end, it is what is it.  You know?
So, I am on day 6 of my goal to post something every day.  One thing this has certainly done is point out to me, more than anyone else, is without taking a day or so to sit and think, and edit, and think, and edit, my writing seems to be horriby unorginized.  My thoughts, which are seriously random, seem to bounce from margin to margin.  There are no filters, there are no boundaries.  Its a free for all. 
So I need some direction.  I need a sort of Blogger's GPS.  I need a goal and path to get there.  Now what happens while traveling this path is completely up in the air right now.  So for for now, I am looking for a theme. 
NaBloPoMo has a specific theme for the month: Beautiful.  Yeah, not really my topic.  Is this shying away from the challange?  Perhaps.  But if I am in my infintile stages of me one post a day, should I really challange my own determination?  Or is it I am being realistic, and recognizing my limits given my current mental conditioning?  Of course, I am a fan of the latter option.  It makes me seem more self aware.  And how can that be a bad thing?

So the hunt for a theme begins.  I wager I'll come up with something soon.  But the need for focus is clear.  Right now I don't even know how I will implement this whole idea.  Remember, infantile stage here.

More to follow, I'm sure.

Sep 10, 2009

I dig in... to the cat boxes.

If there is one thing that comes along with pet ownership, its cleaning up after said pets.
Lets take a look at our household, for example.
There is Bear (the dumb-as-a-rock dog), Ubu (the I'm-and-cranky-but-you-better-love-me cat), Tia (the I-got-teeth-fixed-and-now-I-can't-stop-eating-so-I-weigh-ton cat) and Chimo (the I'm-a-curious-kitten-who-hasn't-learned-how-to-control-my-claws-very-well-and-I'm-sorry-about-the-puncture-holes-in-your-lip kitten).
For todays post, we are focusing on the cats. 
Cats obviously have their own personalities.  Fortunately, all the cats have decent ones.  Wife would argue that Tia is horribly annoying and wouldn't miss her if she were gone, but I can see through her facade.  Deep down somewhere, she cares. 
Now, these cats have the run of the house.  Even Bear is a little weary of them most of the time.  And of course, they have litter boxes (after all, responsible pet owners don't let indoor cats outside, right?). 
Cleaning the little boxes is a task that has fallen to me.  I can't say I really mind this, but it seems like such a chore to simply get in there once a day and scoop out a little mess.  This simple act would cut down on mess and smell to great extent.  So why is it I can't seem to get myself to this?
The cats, are obviously grateful when the boxes are cleaned, as evidenced by the fact they jump right in and enjoy a clean potty. 
Who knows, really.  I do my best, which sadly some would say is not very "best" at all.  But cats are happy, thats for sure.  They certainly aren't left wanting.  Sometimes I wonder if we are taking care of them, or its the other way around?  But perhaps that is a thought for another time.

Sep 9, 2009

A minor set back, and renewed determination.

It’s currently 10:15 pm.  I was afraid I wouldn’t make my quota.
I got home this morning after spending the better portion of my night hacking, coughing and sweating.  I got home, thinking I would make myself hot cup of tea and get all hopped up on cold medication.  However, that didn’t pan out for me.  I laid down on the bed and promptly fell asleep a few minutes later.  I woke up a short time later as Wife was saying goodbye.  Then I didn’t wake up again until about 4 pm. 
How great is that?  Nearly 10 hours of good solid sleep.  Obviously, it was needed.  Today, I do feel a little on the better side.  I certainly feel better rested.  But sadly, this small invasion of virus-type intruders has set me back a little.  There was not gym trip this morning.  And, as evidenced by my late and rather hasty post, I nearly fell behind in my NaBloPoMo. 
But I will not give up.  I will not relent.  I will torture myself tomorrow at the gym.
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