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April 2, 2007

One year down

Ninsi and I just finished celebrating our one year annivsary this weekend. I think we both agree that it was a good year. We had a party to celebrate on Saturday, and went out for a nice dinner on Sunday evening. Dinner cost more than my student loan payments, but it was very good.

We're pretty much not doing anything the rest of the month. My birthday is this Friday, but Ninsi has so much school work to do, that I think I'll let the birthday slide by without fanfare. I do plan to take the day off from work, so my birthday will probably consist of a lot of lounging.

April 3, 2007

Inexorable March

Allow me to make my friends feel old.
The Squid turns thirteen years old today. Many of my friends were in the waiting room of the hospital that day. Thirteen.
I have a teenage daughter.
Time to start cleaning out the shotgun, methinks.

April 5, 2007

Birthday

Tomorrow is my 35th birthday. So. Old.

No, I have nothing planned. Might go out to a club tonight since I don't have to work tomorrow. Might go out to a gentleman's club on Saturday. But really, that is way up in the air. Tomorrow, no plans. I think, actually, that I will mow the yard, since I will be home.

I have the best birthdays.

About the truck I mentioned a few days ago in the truck love post - I have seen that truck every single morning this week. I have been leaving the house about 5-10 minutes later than I should, and apparently that puts me on his exact schedule as well.

Randomly: I have an American Express card. So I get occassional 'offers' from them. I looked at the one for today since it said I could save up to $5000. I think it is a timeshare type thing. This is what they are selling. 5k doesnt make a big difference...

April 10, 2007

Norm

Let's see...
Anniversary ... check
House painted ... check
My birthday ... check
Squid birthday ... check
New kitchen ... check

yeah, I think that most everything is done. Ninsi still has three weeks left of school, but outside of that, things are swinging back to normal. I have time now to get back into my routines of racquetball and running, and hopefully some golf. Ive been cleaning the office the last couple days. That is mostly because I finally have time to do so. Even found a couple things that I had given up for lost.

Nothing much going on this weekend as Ninsi still has a paper to write. I may think about going to the horse races since they will be open. But it is nice not having so much going on all a sudden.

The Summer will be busier, as usual. And with Ninsi not having school for the first time in two years, we should be able to enjoy it. Yar, Im looking forward to a good Summer.

April 11, 2007

Excess

I have not played golf in months. I've wanted to, but haven't had a chance to get out to the course for whatever reason. Yesterday, I decided to at least go to the driving range. They finally opened one up on the course that it close to the house, so it takes about five minutes to get there.

$5 for a 'large' bucket of balls. That would be 60. I think it was $3 for 30 balls. I gave the guy five dollars and he gave me two tokens for the ball machine. Each token should be worth 30 balls. I walked to the range, put in my first token and it spit out some balls.

Then it spit out some more. And some more.
And some more.

It almost turned into a sit-com episode with me trying to keep a bucket under the ball spitter while gathering up all the ones that had overflowed onto the ground. When it was finally finished, and I had picked up all the loose balls, four of the large buckets had been filled. Doing the math, that comes to about 240 balls, with one token.

I knew I wouldnt be able to hit all of them since I havent played in so long, but I took two of the buckets down and hit all of them. My hands still hurt. I learned that I must get a new gloves before this weekend. Since Im planning to play on Sunday. But it was good to go whack the ball again, even if I couldn't hit with the Four iron.

4-iron = nothing but dirt.

April 17, 2007

Trapped

I had another follow-up eye exam yesterday. The last one for a couple years. My eyes are good. My vision is at least 20/20, and im very much okay with that. Maybe in another ten years I will need reading glasses. Maybe not.

After the exam, which took all of five minutes, I went home and mowed the yard. I thought I might try mowing it very short, so as to promote more dense grass growth. So, I set the mower on its lowest setting. Apparently, that was too low, because the cap to the sewage cleanout trap in the front yard did not survive my first pass. Previously, I had been able to mow straight over it without issue. The mower completely destroyed it. I finished the front yard at the low height though. And I think it is a little too short in general. So I raised it up a little bit before doing the back.

Today, I was going to try to go somewhere to buy a new cap for the cleanout. I called the City of Grand Prairie, and told the guy what I had done, and he said they would come out and replace it. No problemo. Sometimes, the city surprises me. I just wanted to know if I could pick one up from the city, or go buy it somewhere.

In other news, my mother gave me a sack full of VHS tapes a couple years ago wanted me to do whatever I needed to do to put them on DVD. Ive been not doing it for a long time and she has been asking me about it for a long time. So, Saturday, I finally decided to do something about it. If I were to take the tapes to a place, they would charge like $10-$12 per tape. I planned to get a VHS/DVD recorder combo box that would just do it. But I couldnt find one for less than $300. So instead, I found a thing that you connect to the VCR, and then connect to your PC with a USB cable. It has all the software for creating and editing the movies as well. At $100, it may turn out to be a real bargain. It works well so far. And, this will allow me to put several of the short VHS tapes onto one DVD.

Halo, your brother mentioned you had some old tapes you were wanting to put onto DVD. If you haven't done anything about that already, let me know. I might be able to save you some money.

April 20, 2007

Thievery

Got home last night from the races and noticed that I was missing a couple flowers. Someone had stolen some of my roses. They just ripped them from the stem, didnt even bother to cut them.

That really pisses me off.

April 23, 2007

Lasitude

Ninsi is just two days and two test away from being completely done with the MBA. She's had a rough week, so it will be good for her to get through with this by tomorrow evening.

It was about as nice a weekend as we have had in a very long time. The weather was nigh perfect. So, Friday we enjoyed it by having a happy hour at Sherlock's that ran about five hours long. $7 pitchers until 9pm. Saturday was the grand opening of the Grand Prairie dog park, so we went there for a couple of hours. It's nice, but the water situation isn't very good. There just isn't easy, convenient access to water for the dogs. And the dogs cant get a drink at all with human intervention. Poor planning, that.

Later Saturday was the birthday party and Sunday was just a wasted day, mostly. Ninsi and I sat around and pretty much did nothing until about dinner time. It was a good day. :)

April 27, 2007

Suit up

I bought a new suit last night. It wasn't really my plan when I started my evening, but that's pretty much how it ended up. I have been thinking of getting a new suit, and was planning to do it later this Summer. I just happened to be mentioning it out loud to Ninsi when we drove by the Men's Warehouse. So I turned in and thought Id have a look.

A good salesman's job is to size up the customer quickly, and present them with the best options right off. The guy that met me when we went in did just that. The first suit that he showed me was pretty much exactly what I was looking for. And it fit without any alterations. Really, I had no excuse to not go ahead and buy it, since as I said, I was planning to get one later anyway. So now I have another suit to wear on the cruise in August.

In other news:
I suppose I could set up a webcam the next time I paint something and let the world watch that paint dry. It should be about as exciting as watching cheese age.

May 1, 2007

Shenanigans

Zero mentioned it on his post yesterday. Saturday did not go quite as planned. Friday went as it was supposed to go, and most of Saturday. The Old Mill Inn is really quite a unique place to dine. I do not recommend the Filet Mignon. Actually, Im not sure I can recommend the restaurant at all, unless you want chicken, or chicken fried steak.

The wait staff was very attentive. Possibly because we were one of three occupied tables in the restaurant. Possibly because none of the wait staff was less than fifty years old, and all had maybe been working there since before desegregation. Yes, there was a bug in martini. Fell in, and drank himself to death, I reckon. I didnt notice it until I was a little more than halfway done. When I pointed it out to our server, she took it away and returned me a fresh one. Though, I think I got the Tvarsky vodka on the second go-round.

Had a much better martini at the Meridian (maybe due to their having a selection of vodka that number more than three. Serioulsy, Old Mill Inn had three vodkas.) And it was leaving the Meridian on our way to the show that Zero made the realization that we had missed our show. By a full day. There was nothing to be done. It was too late to get new tickets, so we left. I felt bad for Zero. Im sure he felt terrible.

We still have a real good evening, though. Since we were all dressed up and had no place to go, we wound up at Avanti and just sat and drank for a couple hours. It was a good time. Ninsi and I are trying to make new plans to see the show. Still have details to work out on that though.

Anyway, it was a good weekend, if a little unexpected.

May 7, 2007

Karma

My cube is a popular place for the other guys on my team to hang uot nowadays. In the cube across from me, different workers alternate on a support rotation. They are on it for six months, before going back to the planes. Usually it is pregnat women that can't fly. For the past six months, there was a woman in there most days and she was just big to start. And kept getting bigger. Moreso than could be blamed on pregnancy. She would sit in the cube and speak in French to her hairdresser (though she was Italian). And she would get warm sitting in the cube, and take off her outer layer of clothes. She wasn't being indecent, but she still managed to show a whole lot more flesh than I cared to see. Her six months was almost up, and I think she gave birth a week or so ago.

Her replacement is way easier on the eyes. Way.
Other guys stop by my cube to 'talk' to me, but never actually look at me. I can't really blame them, as the new girl is pretty smokin'. I figure it is karma giving back to me for having to sit across from the first woman for so long. This one may not last six months, but I will enjoy the view while I can. ;)

May 16, 2007

Blocked

So, Im in the hospital now. Fortunately, it has a wireless connection for the laptop that Ninsi brought me this afternoon. I've been here since about noon.

I got checked in and went to get the ultrasound done. It took the tech about 5 minutes to find a clot in my shoulder. The bloodflow to my arm is fairly restricted. The tech called the radiologist, who called my doctor, who told them to go ahead and admit me to the ER. That all went fairly quickly. Once I hit the ER, everything slowed crawl.

By 1 pm, we knew pretty much what was wrong, but we didnt know the treatment, or the time, or if I was going to be admitted overnight, or for how many days, nothing. The thing that seemed to be the most baffling was that I was I was in no pain. They kept asking why I was in if there was no pain. The difference in the size of my arms was pretty obvious though.

So, Ninsi showed up a little after 1 with an overnight bag and the laptop. She sat with me while I paced around the little ER room I was in for the next four hours. Every now and again a nurse would come in and check on me, but all they really did was succeed in agitating me more because they really couldn't tell me anything. I think I probably annoyed them as well with my questions. The talked about the doctor that was handling my case, and said the attending doctor and a surgeon would come talk to me. I wasn't sure about the surgeon because the option of getting cut hadnt really been mentioned yet. A physician's assistant came by twice to talk to me, He was largely useless.

He was very unsure of himself, so did not instill within me a great deal of confidence, which only made me more nervous. At one point the nurse said the doctor was consulting with another doctor which made me thing it was even more serious. And I was also waiting on the admitting doctor to figure out what they were going to do with me. They eventually decided I was going to be admitted, and they found me a room.

But I had YET TO SEE AN ACTUAL DOCTOR. Up to this point I had been seen by half a dozen nurses, one physicians assistant, and an impossible to understand X-Ray tech. He came in, said who he was and what he did, and indicated I was to follow. I had no idea what he had said until I realized I was going into the x-ray room. His accent was just too thick.

The first nurse to take my blood missed the vein. She had the needle in my arm, and was moving it around trying to get into the vein, which kept rolling. That is the first time in my life that anyone has ever missed a vein. Those of you who know me, know that my veins are fairly prominent on my arms. All told today, I was stuck 3 times in my left arm. One nurse was going to stick me in the right arm until I told her that that was the one with a problem and we'd best stay away from it.

Finally, at about 4:45, the actuall admitting doctor came by. Soft spoken, but he seemed to know what he was talking about. He at least made me feel a whole lot better about the whole thing. Was able to answer my questions and even drew me a couple diagrams to illustrate.

To sum up: I have a clot, I need drug therapy to get rid of it. They have a pill that I will take for about six months to basically thin my blood. This will prevent the clog from growing and my body will basically reabsorb it. However, the pill takes about a week to reach a good level of blood thinningness (tm) so I have to take a quick acting shot twice a day in the meattime. This will be a self-administered shot that I have to take in the stomach. Because that is where I have enough fat to accept it. I suppose my buttocks would work as well, but Im not about to stick a hypodermic in my own ass.

About 6 o'clock, they finally got me up to a room so they can observe me overnight. The nurse then went through a crapload of questions. She seemed to not believe that I am not on any medications at all. Not even 'herbal' medicines or vitamins. She also asked if I had all my teeth, whcih was slightly less off than the one that appeared to be asking if I was allergic to dentures. Though it was really just her timing and inflections.

Anyway, Im otherwise not restricted. No dietary restrictions, nothing. I have no family, or personal, history of anything like this. So more than likely, it was caused by trauma. Unfortunately I can not think of anything that I have done to my arm that would have caused it. Maybe playing with the dog a little to rough. They actually said that it was more common for baseball players to get a clot like this. In the shoulder anyway. Because of the repetitive throwing motion. That's not my case either. So the actual cause is a mystery. We'll closely monitor for the next several months after the treatment to see if anymore develop. If that is the case, it may become a lifelong pill-a-day thing. I dread that thought.

With luck, I'll be home tomorrow. Maybe Friday. Should still be good for poker Saturday.

May 18, 2007

Thinner

I was discharged from the hospital about 11 am yesterday. That gave me time to eat, go home, shower and change, and then make it to work by about 1. At no point have I felt bad, at all, so although sitting at home for the afternoon was an option, there was really no sense in it, since all it would really do is waste some of my precious PTO. In my opinion, paid time off is too valuable to be used when you arent enjoying it. So I came on in to work.

Giving myself the shot is no big deal. Pinch, poke, plunge. Done. Dispose of properly. About eight more times and that'll be that.

One thing I did notice in the hospital is that nurses are a lot more strict and pessimistic than the doctors. The doctor told me I'd probably be home by early afternoon Thursday (which I was) but the nurses talked to me like I would be there a few days. When I told the first one (Azmina, who didnt believe that I take no medications, aspirins, or even herbal supplements) that I was leaving Thursday, she said that DVT patients always stay several nights. She was a little judgemental. And when I asked the morning nurse to let me do the shot myself, she told me that they would show me how that evening, so I could do it the next day. I was long gone before that.

I suspect the nurses would also tell me to not drink at all. Good thing I didnt ask them.

I go in Monday to my doctor for some quick bloodwork. To see how well my clotting agents are being suppressed. I'll just get the occassional blood test so as to make sure the dosage of my prescription doesnt need to change.

Hopefully, by Monday, my arm will be more normal sized. It's still a bit swollen. Though, it may remain a little larger as long as the clot persists, which will be for a couple months anyway.

May 25, 2007

Houston!

I have not been to Houston since I was Eighteen years old. I'll leave that math as an excercise to the reader. Tonight, after work, Ninsi and I are driving to Houston for a day and a half. We'll be heading back on Sunday. I think the plan is to get there tonight, check into a motel, and then spend tomorrow at the beach with her dad and aunt. There's a beach house or beach trailer or somesuch.

When I was in Houston before, I was far less than impressed. I did not exactly vow to never return, but I have made a point to not do anything that would bring me to near it. Hopefully they will have made some improvements since I was last there.

That pretty much takes care of our weekend. We'll come back and should make it to Zero's on Sunday for a cookout. My blood should be significantly thinner now, but I wont know til Wednesday. And I've decided Im annoyed by the lack of physical symmetry in the veins in my arms.

May 29, 2007

Quickly

New phones are in, may change my number.

Weekend was good. Got wet.

Doc only took one vial of blood today.

Muddy track does not make for easy betting.

Lawn is getting out of hand.

June 5, 2007

Corded

Sometimes, we do dumb things.

As I mentioned last week, I had to send back my Philips Norelco beard trimmer because the dog ate it, and they said they would just replace the whole thing. I had to send in the trimmer, and the charger cord, and any other bits that went with it. So, I sent all that in last week, and am hoping to receive something from them about mid-month.

This morning, right before I got into the shower, I was debating whether or not to shave. I haven't shaved much the past three weeks. Im not trying to grow a beard, but wasn't wanting to be clean shaven either. But, lacking the trimmer, my options are beard, or clean shave every couple days. Anyway, this morning, as I was brushing my teeth, I looked at my shaver, which is also a Philips Norelco (the Spectra 8894) product, and noticed the cord was missing. Half a beat later, I realized what a dumbass Id been last week. I had sent in the charging cord for my shaver, instead of the trimmer.

I called them on my way into work this morning and explained my error. They couldn't simply send back my cord because that package goes to a different warehouse and will just be recycled. But the lady said she could just send me out a new charger! I'm really loving the customer service of Philips Norelco now. In two weeks, they've saved me from myself, and from my dog. In the meantime, my shaver is fully charged, and the charge usually will last me over a month of shaving, so I'll be fine until the cord arrives.

In other news: I have an appointment with a hemotologist/oncologist next Wednesday. He should be able to determine if anything is actually wrong with me, and if so, how bad it is.

June 6, 2007

Days

Some days are just really annoying. Because of just about everything.
This is one of those days. And it is only augmented by the fact that I get to work late, and may not get home til after 10 tonight.

On the plus side, since the drs office is just one bothersome things today, Ive decided to not even bother going in tomorrow, and will just put it off for about a week.

June 11, 2007

Un-birthday

She planned it, in secret, for two months. My friends kept it a secret for nearly as long. And Saturday, I was thrown a secret Un-birthday party. When I walked into Reptile's house, and everyone shouted, I was mostly confused. They were shouting, and blowing things and all wearing funny hats. And Ninsi had put a funny hat on my head.

When I get confused, my reaction is to keep doing exactly what I was doing when the confusion started so as to give myself time to figure it out. In this case, I was walking, so I kept walking, into the kitchen to put my stuff down. That gave me enough time to realize what was going on. It probably also had the unintended effect of making me seem not surprised, because I didnt stop and say "Wha?"

It was very cleverly planned, and really, the biggest surprise is that no one let it slip for the two months they've all known. There were a couple close calls. With the biggest near miss being someone in email saying "Dont you have a birthday coming up?" There were other clues, but none significant enough in itself. Looking back, I can remember half a dozen things that I noticed as being a little off, but I never put it all together. I had no reason to suspect anything. I also have a penchant for not asking questions, which made it a lot easier for Ninsi.

But it was a good time. Which a very well done cake. Pity no one brought a camera. Thanks go out to all my friends that were able to make it happen. :)

Father's Day

When I was a kid, I spent every weekend and Summer at my grandfather's house in Eufaula. Every Summer. Every weekend. It was fun, and I did enjoy it immensly. Eventually, in my early teens, I started to spend less time there. I was busy with my friends and had other things to do on the weekends. Other things often being just 'hanging out.' I still went and spent weekends with my grandfather, just not every weekend. And as I got older, it became less often. I remember it very well.

I suspect that every father knows that one day, his daughter will no longer be a 'Daddy's Girl,' and she will stop thinking Dad hung the moon and is the coolest person ever. You hope the day never really comes, but it does. It came for me today, and it damn near broke my heart.

I was supposed to go up to Oklahoma this weekend and spend it with the Squid. The past couple weeks my mom had been trying to get her to come stay in McAlester for a couple weeks, but the Squid did not want to go. She told me that she would rather hang out with her friends for the Summer. With my mom going to Tulsa tomorrow for the day, it would have been an idea time for the Squid to come back with her to McAlester, and spend a short week with her grandmother, and the weekend with me. But she didnt even want to do that. So, for me to see her this weekend, I would have to drive all the way to Tulsa, if not Dewey, and would not even arrive until 10 pm at best. I called my daughter back and asked her what she would think if we just skipped this weekend.

She was very okay with that plan. I could tell by her voice that she was happier to stay in Dewey for the weekend than spend it with her old man. I knew the day would come. And I completely understand it. I remember what it was like.

That doesn't make it any easier.

June 26, 2007

Delivered

The mailbox was full when I got home yesterday. Full of things both expected and dreaded.

I had three new bills from the hospital and blood clinic. I'd been expecting a bill from the hospital, but was afraid of how much it was going to be. I was not expecting the bills from the clinic. Insurance didnt fully cover all the bloodwork, but it isnt too bad. I owe the clinic about $50 for three tests.

I was really concerned with the hospital bill. They charged the insurance about $6000. I knew BC/BS woudn't pay it all, so it was always a question of 'how much?' They actuall paid just under $4k. Then the hospital made an adjustment of almost $2k, so my final bill from them is only $125. I can live with that.

A few weeks back, I posted about having to send in my old trimmer to Philips Norelco because the dog ate it. Well, yesterday I received a brand new one in the mail. I also got the new earbuds for my phone so I can listen to MP3s again at work. Im debating whether or not to invest in some stereo bluetooth headsets. Then I would be able to listen without the damn cord.

Someone finally called to schedule a time to pick up the conference table. Should be taking care of that tomorro evening. And possibly getting rid of the bigass tent on Friday. I'll finally be able to completely reclaim the garage. Maybe use the funds from the table or tent to get some more shelves for it. I think one more set of shlelves is in order.

I also think Im going to have to send my wedding ring back to the guy that made it. I seem to have bent it somehow. I think it might have a lifetime warranty. I'm not sure on that though.

July 11, 2007

Too old for this

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix came out last night. Started at about midnight at most theaters. Ninsi had an inch to see it right off. So we went. I'll not go into the details. It was the longest of the books, and one of the shorter of the movies, so a lot was left out, or glossed over. And some things were down right wrong from the book. But, whatever, it's a movie. It was better than number Three.

Of course we didnt get home until about 3 am, and so I've been mostly draggin' ass today. And probably wont get home til almost 11:30 tonight. And tomorrow I have to work late for some testing. And Saturday is the party. I'm not sure when this week got so busy.

Getting the A/C on the Mustang repaired today since it decided to just quit working yesterday. Nothing makes you feel quite so good as unexpected automotive expenses. Joy.

Oh! But this is very exciting! I think FJ may have creamed when I sent her the link to the baby mammoth.

July 12, 2007

Space is limited

We are having a dinner party Saturday. We have a total of fourteen chairs in the house. Today, the number of guests jumped from 13 to 18. Four of those new ones are kids.

It will be interesting to see if we can actually get everyone seated. Reptile is going to bring Zero's folding chairs, so we should have enough actual space for butts. However, that doesn't mean we have enough table or floor space for everyone.

I'll be working on the logistics of seating arrangements on Saturday while Im cooking. I have a turkey. It's only 16.67 pounds. I fear it may not be quite enough. Granted, there will be more than ample supply of desserts. But I will probably go and buy a small ham to augment the turkey anyway.

Or I could just get a small chicken and put it on the rotisserie. hmm. That might not be a bad idea. Though, I think if I get a ham, I wont have to actually cook it. And it will probably be hot on Saturday.

Sunday, we clean.

July 20, 2007

Countdown

Tomorrow I am going up to Oklahoma to pick up the Squid. That officially starts my countdown to going to Alaska. She will be here in Dallas for two weeks, and the third week we will be on the big boat.

After Alaska, Ninsi and I really have nothing planned for the rest of the year. We will have the normal family stuff as the end of year gets closer, and I think we are planning to host a White Trash Halloween party, but that's not much. It will be nice to relax and not have anything coming up on the horizon for a while.

In a few months, we'll start planning our next vacation. It was going to be Europe, but we may take a year off from the big vacations and just go on a little cruise out of Galveston instead. Easier on the pocketbook, and the mind.

July 23, 2007

Sound advice

I went to see the doc last Wednesday. That afternoon, I had blood taken for testing. Thursday, the doctor's office called and said the doctor wanted to actually speak to me. Usually the nurse just tells me the INR and what new dosage to take. Instead, the doc said that my INR was too high (3.7). So, he told me my new dosage, and also said:

"And if you notice any blood in your urine, go to the emergency room right away."

Thanks, doc. I dont think I would have thought to do that otherwise. Because, you know, I piss red as a general rule.

July 30, 2007

Countdown

I've been lax. I know. But I've also been busy.

A mere four days until we jet off to Seattle to embark on our Alaskan cruise. Nothing left to do but pack. And that may be quite the ordeal in itself. Im not going to worry too much about that though, I figure Ninsi will worry enough for both of us.

Painted the Squid's room over the weekend. A mighty pink! It's bright. It looks good. We still have to do the doors though. They will be a nice lime green when we are done. And probably the baseboards as well. Depends on if Im feeling my oats or not when we get started.

Finished Harry Potter 7. Havent got much to say on that order.
Saw The Simpons movie. It's well worth watching.

August 15, 2007

Natural

There was a naturalist on the cruise. He was just a guy that had camped out in Alaska for a couple years or so and then wrote a book. I dont really know what kind of an expert that made him. He had buddies, and modern equipment, so I doubt he was roughing it too much. But he was on the cruise, and gave a lot of lectures. I was not overly impressed by him though. He did not seem to really offer anything unique or insightful. Most of what he said could easily have been read in a book at a tourist store.

Florence Henderson (Mrs Brady) was also on the cruise. We saw her a couple of times, and she looks great. Ninsi and I would up on an elevator with her at one point and she made elevator small talk while we rode up a couple flights. She was infinitely more interesting than the naturalist dude.

I will eventually get around to putting some pictures up on a page. I'll trim the size down so it wont take forever to load, but it may be a few days or a couple weeks still til I do that. I have put up a couple pictures from one of the formal nights on MySpace and Facebook. But nothing terribly exciting.

Nothing planned this weekend. Probably dinner with the guys that are heading to Scotland next week and that's about it. It will be good to relax. Ninsi and I are trying to figure out how to best use the travel vouchers we received from Delta for getting (voluntarily) bumped. We must use them for travel before August 3, 2008, and they are enough to fly us both anywhere in the lower 48. We really hadn't planned on flying anywhere until about September though, so we're not sure what we're going to do.

We're trying to figure out if we can manage a few days in the Caribbean with them and not cost ourselves too much out of pocket. Other suggestions would be accepted if you have any.

August 16, 2007

In sessions

School is about to start up again for the kiddies. And that is a real pain in my ass. Mainly because it will add at least 10 minutes to my morning commute because I have to go through no less than four school zones.

Going through the zones wouldnt be too bad if one of them wasn't also in a construction zone where traffic is forced to merge to one lane. Combining the slow allowed rate of travel, with a traffic light, and one lane adds up to one very long line every morning.

Something was futzed this morning already. One of the streets I take out of the neighborhood was shut down and everyone was forced to u-turn and go back to find an alternate route. From where I come, there is only one alternate route to take at that point and everyone was on it. And of course there is construction on that road as well so you lose a lane on it just in case there wasnt enough congestion already.

The next nine months are gonna be traffic splendid

October 31, 2007

Boo

It's Wednesday. And it is Halloween day.
Could Halloween seriously fall on a worse day that Wednesday? No, it could not.

We did have a pot-luck lunch at the office today, and Ninsi joined me for that. A couple of the other folk brought their kids. Ninsi brought me chocolate covered pecans. She's coo like that. Technically, they are Chocolate Pecan Caramel Clusters, of the Mountain Man variety. Because, you know, Im Grizzly Adams and shit.

Christmas crap should start appearing in the stores now that Halloween is over. I wish they'd wait til December. Too much, too soon.

Holidays are a pain in my ass, and they make me cranky.

December 31, 2007

Livin' Large

Over the Christmas holiday, we took quiet a number of pictures with the family. Even managed to take one decent one with the whole family. I set the camera timer and ran back over to get in the picture. It turned out pretty good.

I look like a giant, though. I mean, I am the tallest one in my family, but in the pictures, I am just huge. It has happened before. When I went to Wichita to meet some of Ninsi's family, we took a similar picture. In that one, I am a full head taller than anyone else.

Anyway, here's me and the fam... (click the pic for the non-stretched version)


January 31, 2008

Goodbye Granny

My grandmother passed away this morning. There was about a fifteen minute gap between when she was last seen talking and doing fine to when she was found. So it was fairly quick, however it happened. Probably a stroke or aneurysm. Now she can go to her house on the hill and does not have to hobble around on broken hips any more.

Goodbye Granny.

February 22, 2008

Campaign promises

Michelle Obama, wife of presidential candidate Barak, has called our house twice in the last week. She keeps telling me to press the number '1' on my phone. Im tempted to do it just to make her stop calling. At the same time, Im wondering how many times she will call if I dont. Or even if pressing it will stop the calls.

Ive been starting to listen to Pandora a lot more at work. Probably will until they tell me to stop.

My mind is too muddled with various work issues to think of any of the things I meant to write about this week. Ive been planning to blog all week. Just haven't had the time. And really dont have time as I write this. But I was not about to let the week end with just one entry.

I think the Oscars are coming up soon. If I could care less than I do, I would.

March 26, 2008

Return

Ah, back to the blog again. I pretty much totally forgot about it over the last week, since I was mostly hanging out at the house. When I wasnt hanging out at the mall with the Squid while she shopped.

We had a good time. Her cousin came down with her, and they kept each other entertained most of the time, so it wasnt too rough on me. Did some shopping, some Six Flags, and some cooking. We made pizzas last week, and I'll have to post the picture of Ninsi's. It's pretty special looking. Gotta work on the dough a little bit, but otherwise, the pizzas were good. Ninsi made another one last night which looked much much better.

I took the Squid back to OK last Friday. That same day my older brother got married. And also on that day my great aunt passed away.

So, that's three relatives Ive lost in about a span of six weeks. Let's hope that is over and done with.

Ninsi and I are supposed to go do the delegate thing this Saturday morning. And outside of that, I dont think we have anything planned until next week when we have our 2nd anniversary. Followed a few days later by my birthday. I'm starting to get up there a little bit.

It is almost time to start thinking about getting some tomatoes into the ground. So i may start working on that this weekend some. Maybe I'll have better luck than last year when the whole operation was a failure, except for the one that blew away in a windstorm and took root under the deck. It just did it too late. It produced fruit, but it started to freeze again before any could ripen.

I think I'll spend some time at the home improvement store, for sure. May not buy much, but there are spring projects on the horizon that I have to start thinking about. mmmmm Spring.

April 1, 2008

Cotton

Today is our second anniversary. The traditional gift for the 2nd year is cotton. It's not easy to find things that are worth giving, and also are fully cotton. Next year is leather. Woot! Ninsi and I are going out for a nice dinner tonight, and that will be the only thing we officially do for the anniversary. This weekend, we will be having our traditional April party, which encompasses both my birthday this year, and our annual wedding/anniversary celebration.

Luna came out surgery yesterday and is doing just fine. The vet has recommend that we put her on a prescription dog food that would help to prevent the future formation of stones in her bladder. We will probably do that. Maybe. Im actually thinking we may mix the prescription with their normal food. Since the prescription food costs roughly double what their normal food does.

We have a copy of the X-ray showing the stone. I will post it later when I get a chance. Im not able to upload anything right now. It's a lemon sized stone. Not much smaller than the bladder itself. I'll try to get it up by this weekend.

April 7, 2008

Ancient & Aged

Yesterday was my birthday. Saturday we had a party to celebrate my birthday as well as our second anniversary. I think it went fairly well. I think I have already outlived the current life expectancy for someone in Zimbabwe. But they are seriously messed up right now.

Reptile and I went out last night to a club for a while. Stayed out a little past one and got up this morning to come on in to work. It is not as easy as it once was to get up after staying out. Though, I suppose it is something that I can still do it at all. "Sweet Dreams" was playing at one point at the club, and some guy came up to Reptile and me and asked us who was singing it. I told him it was the Eurythmics, Annie Lennox. And he went away. Im guessing he asked us because we were the only ones that looked old enough to remember when the song came out.

The worst part about going out to a club is the kids can make you feel real old, real quick.

April 16, 2008

Casted

Ninsi was late getting home yesterday. She had a 5pm appointment with a doctor. When she did finally make it home, around 7pm, her right hand was in a cast. Her right wrist, actually, and most of her thumb.

The thumb had been bothering her for about a month now, and last week she went to get it X-rayed. Nothing was broken, so she went to the specialist yesterday and was declared to have a torn ligament that needed to remain stationary for at least a month. Hence, the cast. She's right-handed, of course, so it will be an annoying month for her while she tried to make do with the less coordinated left hand and no opposable joint on the right.

Overall, though, that is not too bad. I can say that because I have had a cast over about 70% of my body. So I speak from experience. I may not get hurt often, but when I do, I do it up right...

May 15, 2008

I married a wench

Grand Prairie has a minor league baseball team now. They started playing this week, and the home opener is tomorrow. Ninsi and I went up a month ago and bought tickets to opening night. While there, she filled out an application, hoping to get a job behind the bar in the restaurant. They called last night, and want Ninsi to be a beer girl. So she's going to do that. She's officially a wench now.

I also now have a spare ticket to the game.

We put in our low-ball bid on a 15 year old truck yesterday. I went fairly low because I dont *need* a truck. I just could use one about 4 times a year, and that just isnt often enough to spend a lot of money on one. But it is a blind auction, so I just gave a number. If I get it, go me. If not, then it isnt a big loss. Im not sure where I would actually keep a truck anyway. The City will not let me just park it on the grass, and the gate is too small for a truck to fit through in order to park in the backyard. So, if I do accidentally wind up with a truck one of these days, I will have some logistic issues to hammer out.

Looks like we're heading to teh Ren Faire early Saturday. We have to go in the morning because the wife has wench duties to perform on Saturday night. And Sunday night. And Monday night. I hope she makes good tips.

May 19, 2008

Truckin' dreams

My dreams of being a truck owner were shattered today. Last week, I put in a bid on an old truck in a blind auction. I wasnt really expecting to win, but it would have been nice to get a full size truck fairly cheap.

The bids were due on Friday, and today, Ninsi called the office and found out that the winner had put in a bid that was three times greater than ours. They bid closer to what the truck was actually worth. I didn't come anywhere near it. I did not want to though. I wouldnt mind having a truck for hauling stuff around, but I will not pay very much for it, since I probably won't use it more than 5 times in a year.

Yesterday we went to the Scarborough Ren Faire with Reptile and his wife. We were there a few hours and it was pretty much as I remember it being last year. And the year before. I really don't see a reason for going more than once every other year. Turkey legs are good to eat, but not worth the drive and price of admission by itself.

They need to get new talent.
I need to find another cheapass truck to try to buy.

July 16, 2008

Nothing going on

It's mid-July now, and we just finished our Fourth Annual mid-July thing wherein I cook a bigass turkey and we exchange gifts. Reptile and his wife got the worst of it, I think. He was the recipient of the things we got from Somethingstore.com. Almost feel sorry for him. Almost.

With the conclusion of the turkey fest, Ninsi and I now have pretty much nothing left to do until we head to DragonCon at the end of August. I will probably make a trip up to OK sometime before then, but outside of that, i think that our weekends are totally open. Which is really kind of nice. Normally I would look forward to getting some stuff done around the house on those days, but I really dont have a lot to do. So I may start looking into that wet tile saw some more. It's about time I bought myself a new power tool anyway, and the saw would fit the bill nicely.

Of course, I also need to build a deck railing. I should do that before I start tiling the bathroom.

Dark Knight starts tomorrow at midnight. Probably wont make the midnight show. Getting too old for that.

July 29, 2008

Compete

So, sometimes I run. I run from the house, up to the park, and around the mile track there a couple times. Then come home. Because it is so very hot outside right now, I do not run the whole time. I run some, then walk some, the run again. Mainly so I dont give myself a heat stroke. And there is no real reason for me to try to run the whole thing.

The problem comes in with all the other people that are out walking or running as well. Especially later in the evening. There are a few dozen other people on the track as well. I have issues walking when other people can see. I'm there to run, so they shouldn't see me walk. This makes me run more than I really should, given the heat. And it also makes me run faster than I really should. So it takes considerable effort for me to stay with my schedule and walk part of the time. But the whole time Im walking, Im annoyed at all the people I perceive to be staring at me. I mean, they are walking slow, or pushing baby strollers and shit, so it's not like they are actually caring what I am doing. It's just all in my head. And it is probably going to cause me to have a heat stroke because Im going to wind up running too far, too fast, when it is way too hot.

My competitiveness is my albatross.

November 6, 2008

Absentee

It has been over a week, I think, since last I wrote. I've been meaning to. I always mean to. I just often do not do it. As with many things, I tend to think about doing it when I am driving, or otherwise unable to actually do it right then.

Since the last time? Halloween happened. I had a four day weekend for that, and it was very good. Not having to worry about work for a couple extra days really felt nice. It has caused me to already start looking forward to my Christmas vacation which will be for almost a two full weeks. I'll be taking a couple days at Thanksgiving, of course, but not too many.

Tuesday night, Ninsi and I went up to the hospital to visit our friend, Khuul. He has been battling cancer since last October. It is starting to look like he may lose that fight. It is tragic, it is terrible. It is a great many things, and it pisses me off mightily that there is not a god damned thing any of us can do about it. Miracles have happened before, be they of science or nature, and that is what Khuul now needs.

I really do not like thinking about it, but it is impossible not to. Segues are forced, but necessary. So, Ninsi and I are going to see the King Tut exhibit tomorrow night. We bought our tickets many moons ago. And at least twice, we have forgotten when we were supposed to go. I'm still not sure of the actual time, but I think we're going to go around 8 pm. Mummies, gold artifacts, and a cash bar. Nothing bad can come of that...

November 10, 2008

Khuul

Last week I mentioned that our friend Bill Arpin, known online as Khuul was battling colon cancer. The outlook at the time was not very good, and we were expecting that he would have a couple of months left. As it turns out, he only had a couple days. We received the phone call Friday evening that Bill had passed on.

By the time he was diagnosed with cancer last October, it had already spread to his liver. And it was those tumors which ultimately caused the biggest issues.

I am grateful that Ninsi and I went up to visit him last Tuesday while he was still coherent, instead of waiting for the weekend. His passing felt sudden to me, since it was not expected for several more weeks, at least. If you live long enough in these modern times, you will get cancer. I pretty much accept that. I do not consider 37 years 'long enough', not even by half.

Bill Aprin was my friend, and he will be missed.

March 16, 2009

Squidvasion

Yesterday, Ninsi and I took Lucas up to Oklahoma and met my mother in Durant. We gave her the dog, and in return, we brought home the Squid and her cousin.

So now we have a pair of 15 year old (almost) teenage girls in the house for the week. Im at work today and tomorrow, and then I'll be taking off the rest of the week and doing stuff with the girls. Since the Squid's birthday is coming up in just over 2 weeks, I think Wednesday will be a day spent shopping. I should probably just drop them off at the mall and let them at it. Otherwise, Im sure they'll wear me out.

I think on Thursday we will do some indoor rock climbing. I've never done it, but there are a couple places in the area that have large walls, and it isn't too expensive. It'll be a good workout for my arms as a bonus.

The Squid has become a vegetarian. She has been since December, and has adhered to it. So that is affecting what we eat somewhat. My goal for the Summer will be teaching her how to cook for herself, so that she doesn't have to depend on someone else cooking for her. No one else in our family is a vegetarian, so she will have to learn to fend for herself. Last night was stir-fry. We'll also do pizza and tacos this week, and probably eat out a time or two.

I just dont comprehend the whole no-meat thing. Meat just tastes good.

April 2, 2009

Third

Yesterday was my third wedding anniversary. So, Ninsi and I celebrated by overeating. We had reservations for Nick & Sam's. We arrived a little early since traffic to Dallas was light, but our table was already set for us. They had sprinkled rose petals on the table which was the signal that we were on an anniversary.

Ninsi and I ultimately elected to split the 48 oz porterhouse steak. It is prepared bone-in and they slice it and it is nicely presented when they bring it to the table. The thing to note about the porterhouse is that on one side of the bone is the tenderloin fillet, and on the other is the sirloin cut of meat. The sirloin was really, really good, but it just couldn't compare to the tenderloin. Ninsi and I ate our fill, and had them box up the rest of it. Along with the bone, so the dogs could enjoy our anniversary as well.

They also had a chateaubriand that looks excellent. It's also meat for two people. At least. Im not sure if I want that or the 'Flintstone Rib Eye', which is a rib eye on a huge bone. The one thing that we would probably have to pass on again is the Kobe beef. They have both California Kobe and Japanese Kobe. It's sold by the ounce. I think it was $15/oz for the California Kobe, and $32 or so per ounce for the Japanese. I'll have to save up for that.

We have already given our anniversary gifts to each other, so we are fairly well set until next year. The bonus to the fourth anniversary: the traditional gift is fruit or flowers, so I may get off relatively cheap on that one...

April 6, 2009

Aged

Today is my birthday. Number 37. I forget that I am that old sometimes. Im fairly sure I dont feel like Im that old.

We had a birthday/anniversary party this weekend. I think it went rather well. I cooked a lot of pork. And a totally sweet cake. I should post pictures.

The party was the last big thing we have planned for a while. Memorial weekend is next month, and I dont think we have much to do between now and then. There are things going on though. Neither Ninsi nor myself has work this Friday, so it's a nice four day week. And her mom is coming down Thursday night for the long weekend. I think we are going to be going to the Ren Faire on Saturday.

Next weekend some friends from college will be in town and there will be party festivities. There's also an Irish band playing that we are going to try to go see. And a Lollie Bomb show as well. I am also in a training class all next week, so won't actually be at work. We have nothing planned for the last weekend of the month, so it might be a good time to try to play poker again. That's the current thinking.

Apparently I talked someone else into being host for that, but she doesn't remember why she agreed. Drinking is bad if it makes you too agreeable. But what is done, is done. Next time, she'll know better. ;)

Im gonna go be awesome for a while now...

May 1, 2009

Jobby-job

Got a call from the Squid last night. She is coming down for pretty much the whole Summer this year, and wants to get a job. Totally all for that, am I. The problem is her age. At only 15, not very many places will be willing to hire her. And of course, there are not a great lot of jobs to be had since the economy is in the crapper.

But I am going to see what I can do. I have about a month. It would serve a two-fold purpose.
1) She would get some extra spending money
2) She wouldn't be stuck at the house all day all Summer.

Got some free tickets tot he Rangers game on Sunday. We'll be in foul ball territory and ESPN will be showing the game. Will I be on TV? doubtful. Unless I get beaned by a ball because Im not watching the game. Do I want to be on TV? Definitely not.

August 25, 2009

School Daze

The Squid started school yesterday as a sophomore. Most of her classes are AP. But she's in a regular English class and came home saying most of the other kids in there seemed dumb. Including the one person with whom she has more than one class. They call him 'Turtle' because he is slow. I told her to talk to someone today about trying to move into AP English, if it will work with her schedule. The only reason she isn't in that class is that she did not have the list of books to read over the Summer.

There is a total of 10 kids in her Latin class. And that class is Latin I, II, and III. She may be the only one in the class at all by the time she's a Senior.

Ninsi also started her new class yesterday. Which leaves me as the only one in the fam not currently in school. Maybe I should teach myself something new. Though, I am learning to build deck railing, so that should count for something.

DCon = T minus 9

October 15, 2009

Milestones

Yesterday, the squid took the written test for her driving permit. 'Written' is perhaps not the right word. It was done on a computer with a touch screen. I had to take the test on a piece of paper, but I doubt that has been done much in the past two decades.

She has been learning to drive at home, under my tutelage. So far, so good. She passed the written test, so now we can begin the actual driving portion of the learning. It's a regimented program that we are following, and I intend to follow the book pretty closely.

I took the morning off to go to the doctor this morning for a check-up. Had not been in a couple of years, so figured it was about time. Pretty much a routine physical. Turn, cough. They took some blood. I don't know if it is my doctor, or Texas, or what, but the nurse and then my doc asked when my last tetanus shot had been. If it has been so long you don't remember, they will give you a booster. They are apparently trying to get all the adults immunized as they come in. So, I also got a shot in the arm this morning after they took the blood.

They also took my picture as part of their new system. The whole thing is managed in a database now. It was all installed about two weeks ago, and they are still getting used to it. Which is probably why I was there for about two hours even though I was the second person in the door.

I suppose the tetanus shot was a good idea, as I have a propensity to walk around barefoot a lot.

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