Wednesday, December 29, 2010

post operatum

I was going to call this post mortem, but then figured that wasn't a good idea after surgery.

Everything went well. The Dr was running about an hour late getting there from his morning surgeries, but mine was first once he got there and it took a total of 20 minutes from when I left pre-op to recovery - not enough time for Diane to get lunch.

I have noticed no tingling at all, but my two middle fingers are still a bit numb. The rest of the anesthetic has worn off, and I am probably being a bit too conservative with my pain pills so far even though I have enough to make it through Sunday so I should be good; I have just never been one for wanting to take pain pills.

However I figure take two and head to bed in a bit.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The waiting is the hardest part

So it is 11:08 pm, 10 hours and 52 minutes before I report to the hospital for a relatively minor operation. I thought it would be funny to tweet earlier:

I just can't take this anymore. Tomorrow it will all be over with. Remember, across is just a plea for help, up and down is serious!

I have to laugh - because apparently lots of people asked my wife about it, but none at all asked me. Ok, so her friends care that I'm about to slit open my wrists, but my friends either get my sense of humor or don't care.

No, I'm not slitting my wrists. It is only the right one, and I'm having a doctor do it. Tomorrow at 10:00 am I check in for "Open Carpal Tunnel Release" surgery - where the doctor slices open my hand and wrist (ok, so only and inch or two) and snips the transverse carpal ligament in order to relieve the pressure on the median nerve and thus eliminate the tingling, numbness, weakness and pain in my right hand. The surgery should only take about half an hour, but I'll have a huge friggin bandage on my hand afterward and won't be able to use it for at least a few days (if for no other reason than there is a huge bandage on it). For reference check out this blog entry I came across :

My only experience with surgery so far (knock wood) has been a small lump of scar tissue removed from my finger when I was in high school, and my gall bladder removal about 8 years ago, so I'm not really sure how I'll respond afterward, though it does seem to take an awful lot to knock me down (consider that I'm taking 3 days off of work for this, which is the longest amount of consecutive (if not complete) sick time I've taken since the gall bladder surgery)) plus a three day weekend after it (I get January 3rd off since the 1st is a Saturday)).

I'm more worried about making it through the morning since I seem to always feel so dehydrated at night, and I'm not supposed to have anything after midnight - so that is 10+ hours. I remember with my gall bladder once I was on the pain medicine the biggest issues was I was so thirsty until after the surgery (I was even grateful for the barium sludge I had to drink for the tests simply because it was something to swallow).

I want to say that I'm not worried, just already feeling thirsty and wanting to get this over with. I always find it hard to sleep when I have something big and new the next day.

It will be nice to not have the pain, tingling and numbness anymore, and I figure that soon I'll have the left done as well (though it isn't nearly so bad as the right).

We'll see how long it takes to get back to it.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Business model

Sometimes, especially when it inconviences me, I wonder about some business models.

Take, for example, Panera Bread Company. They offer free wi-fi, so people will come there to use it. I wonder how many people are there however, sipping a latte' for hours. This is assuming, of course, that they have the common courtesy to even buy anything.

I have to wonder however, how much money they are loosing because thse people are taking up all the parking spaces, keeping other paying customers that would just like to get a quick soup and sandwich to go on a cold snowy day from being able to even get in the door.

Maybe it isn't the free wifi. Maybe they are simply so overwhelmingly successful that they don't need my business the last six times I have tried to get lunch from them. But the chinese place seems grateful for my business instead.

Hot and Sour soup and sesame' chicken may not be quite the same as French Onion soup in a bread bowl, but I'm able to actually get in and purchase the later, while after circling the lot with several other cars, I abandoned any hope for the former.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Annual Christmas Letter to Friends

December 4, 2010

Once again it is time to greet our family, friends, neighbors and whoever it is hiding behind the bushes – come out here now:

As the frozen white death falls from the sky, and the annual tradition of weeding out the broken holiday lights is finally complete, it is time to gather around the image of a fireplace on the DVD player with a cup of eggnog (ok, who drank all the rum?) and share our lives again.
So what has 2010 brought me this year?  Beer.  Really, what more could a man ask for?  My Christmas present from the kids last year was a beer making kit, and I have successfully made five batches now, and am continuing to learn about and enjoy this hobby.  Ever since I found a great deal on a kegerator from one of Diane’s clients I have been hoping to get it set up so I can have my own home brew on tap.  Other than brewing and drinking, I continue to work at The Design Knowledge Company and like it a lot.  I still am working with the band, and did another successful band camp, and still play with toy soldiers.  Yes, I’m a modern Renaissance man!
Diane’s year has not been quite so good, having been in the hospital a couple of times.  As she likes to put it, this has been her ‘rebuilding’ decade.  And she has been rebuilt.  I never thought I would be married to a cyborg, but she know has a completely new titanium knee, and is finally able to walk without pain for the first time in many years.  The Real Estate market is still down though we hope it begins to recover soon.  She was elected to be the Vice President of Membership of The Women’s Council of Realtors, and is expecting lots of trips to Columbus for meetings this coming year.
Becky took the big step of quitting her job at Coon Rapids high school to go completely freelance, and has not regretted it at all.  While still doing work for Sorenson’s video relay service, she is also interpreting at Le’ Cordon Bleu Academy, and may go full time there soon.  She and Lou are still together, and his puppy Burr-d loves her to death.   She still lives up in the snowy wilderness of Minneapolis and enjoying her life.
Jon had a bit of a rough year, with the school deciding he needed a little time to get himself together.  Luckily he took this to heart, eventually getting two jobs to pay his bills and get back on his feet.  He was able to get back in school for the Winter Semester starting in January, and is determined to get his degree (possibly in Business).  The biggest thing seems to be his head now, as he decided that heredity wasn’t working fast enough, and shaved his head completely bald! 
Katie has also had a frustrating year.  The concepts of going to school, getting a job, and being responsible for herself just didn’t seem to be coming together for her.  With a bit of tough love I told her that as once her current lease was up at the end of November, I would no longer pay ANY of her bills for her.  This finally got some action out of her, though not quite what I expected.  The weekend after Thanksgiving she was packed and on a bus to Albuquerque, where she is now living with her mother and starting a new life.
Erik graduated 7th in his class from West Carrollton High School, and in the fall started at the University of Dayton in the school of Engineering, studying Computer Engineering.  He is sharing a dorm room with Zac Reed, one of his best friends for over 10 years.  He and Emily are still dating, and he seems to really be enjoying the change to college life.
            Matthew is a junior this year at WCHS and still in the marching band, having loads of fun playing baritone.  Finally reaching 16, he traded in his glasses for contact lenses (like all the rest of the kids) but refuses to admit how much he and Erik look alike.  While he is still in scouts (only needing his project to complete his Eagle), other things are starting to distract him, such as his girlfriend Jordan.
Scout was quite upset when the kegerator required his cage to be moved, and took well over a month to go back into again.  However he took it like a real trooper, and refused to let it interfere with his busy sleep schedule.  While starting to slow down a little bit, he is not looking to relinquish his spot on the couch any time soon.
2010 has been, as always, both a good and a bad year.  Even though it is starting to get quieter in the house with only one kid left, we know that the bonds of family will always keeps us close.  As always, we wish you and yours the very best during this season, and throughout the coming year.
Wishing you a rainbow
For sunlight after showers—
Miles and miles of Irish smiles
For golden happy hours—
Shamrocks at your doorway
For luck and laughter too,
And a host of friends that never ends
Each day your whole life through!

Mike, Diane, Becky, Jon, Katlyn, Erik, Matthew and Scout

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Just some quick whining to get it out of my system

Things really are not bad.  I have a great wife, a fantastic job for a great company, and we are really doing OK.  But, in the immortal words of Joe Walsh "I can't complain, but sometimes I still do."

So just time to fire off some random bitches to get them out of my system.

First winter.  I know it is part of the natural cycle and all of that, but even with the official start to winter still three weeks away I am already over it.  It was snowing (ok, just flurries, not accumulation) this morning on the way to work.  I think I would be perfectly happy to NEVER see snow again.  Unfortunately the only way to get that is to then have ungodly hot summers, and I don't like that either.  Or wind.  Or rain.  In fact I'm just done with this whole weather concept all together.

Add to that the fact that it is pretty much dark when I leave for work and when I get home.  My hibernation instinct is kicking in - I just don't want to do much in the dark but curl up into a ball and try to stay warm.

Next is construction.  Or is it destruction.  Whatever, it is the constant banging and noise from the other side of the wall as they remodel that space for us to expand into.  And it is only going to get worse, because once they actually open up the new hallway it is going to be right outside my door.  Not 10 feet down the hall, not across the way.   My desk faces the door, and that wall with the door is going to be the wall of the new hallway.  The new opening will be about where the light switch is.

I've mentioned this one before, but it still irks me.  The human body is simply very poorly designed.  The fact that for some stupid reason my fat thinks that it still needs to save more fat on top of the huge amount of fat that it already has makes not sense.  And that it won't burn the fat first either - simply the stupidest piece of engineering ever.

It is the holiday season - and god do I hate the crowds.

At least the elections are over, so we don't have to hear the constant political commercials with the politicians all lying to us about how they are not going to screw us over.  Now we just have to wait to see the true extent of the screwage that we have elected for ourselves THIS time.

And finally, people with stupid personal blogs who don't update them, and then when they do don't have anything even remotely interesting or funny to say, just a list of complaints without any solutions.  What a bunch of losers.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Stepping up

What ever happened to personal responsibility in our society? To people admitting that they, and no one else, is responsible for how they act.

It doesn't matter one bit that it isn't your fault. I don't care who said something that hurt your precious feelings. The world isn't waiting to kiss it and make everything better.

When you make a commitment you follow through, and if you can't you find a replacement.

During my divorce, the ex filed a (trumped up) restraing order against me. I was the coach of my son's OM team, and now could be within 100 feet of him. Did I just walk away? No, I found someone to replace me.

I've made mistakes, but that did not mean I did not have to keep my committment. Again during my divorce, I coluld have walked away from my responsibilities; instead I fought tooth and. Nail for custody of my four kids. Were the years of being a single father easy? Not at all, but I did not give up.

Keep your commitments. Follow through. Step up and be a man.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A new bra

Dr. Calvin Rickson, a scientist from Texas A&M University has invented a bra that keeps women's breasts from jiggling, bouncing up and down, and prevents the nipples from pushing through the fabric when cold weather sets in.
After the news conference, announcing the invention, a large group of men took Dr. Rickson outside and kicked the crap out of him.
(ok, I actually got this as an email from my wife, and I don't know where it originated.  Still funny)

Friday, September 10, 2010

Feeling old

A colleague of mine has been bringing her newborn into the office about once a week for everyone to see (she still has close to a month more vacation / maternity leave ). My own youngest turned 16 yesterday. My oldest turns 26 in November.

It just got me thinking a bit. My kids are starting to become adults one by one, and how many more years are there before I become a grandparent? Still a few away, but definitely out there.

I look back at when I last held, fed, bathed and cared for a baby, and I'm a bit surprised at how much I do not miss it. I like being a father, but as my kids are leaving home, it seems that the being with kids part is going with them.

A lot of the pelople I interact with are parents of young kids, and it is really surprising me that while I'm happy for them, I don't need to share it. I don't have any desire to hold Jessica's baby, and honestly most young kids of other parents I know are more annoying than cute.

On the one hand I find that I'm one of the "cool" parents that my kids friends all like (even to the point of soon runnikng yet another Pathfinder game for Matt and his friends), while on the other I don't want to be bothered by a bunch snot nosed rug rats. When did I get this old.

Now get off my lawn!

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Intelligent Design - NOT!

A while back there was some furor over Intelligent Design - with a bunch of people calling it a scientific theory (because they had obviously never looked up the definition of a theory, as opposed to a scientific lawm or even a hypothesis).

The whole idea is rubbish, on so many levels. A classic argument is the eye, which sends images to the optic upside down. Obviously not designed, at least not with any intelligence. Or the classic joke about the placement of human sex organs (i.e. putting a recreation area right next to a toxic waste disposal site).

Lately I'm more concerned with another completely back asswards human design problem. Our bodies are set up so that any excess calories are stored as fat for when we don't get enough. A good idea. But what happens when you don't get enough to eat then? Do we use those same stored calories, that fat that we were saving for a hungry day? Hell no. If you don't eat enough then you hoard the fat, and instead start breaking down muscle. So once food becomes scarce, our bodies make it even more difficult to obtaqin more. And when we get more does it go back to replenishing the muscles it just broke down? Of course not, that would be an intelligent decision. It goes back to storing it as fat.

There is no such thing as intelligent design. If we were designed at all, it was by a commitee of idiots.

Yes, diets make me cranky, you want to make something of it? I'd smack you, but I'm too weak from hunger while my fat belly just seems to grow.

(And you thought I wouldn't find anything to complain about :-) ).

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Rule by the minorities

One thing I have noticed the past few years, and that I have been curious as to when it happened, was the end of majority rule in our society.

It seems that everything is now based on taking care of the minorities - no matter how small they might be. We can't have anything that might adversely effect even the smallest percentage of people, even if it stongly benefits the vast majority.

The main example I remember is an article about new public toilets in NYC. They were from Europe, and were small, self cleaning, and efficient. The problem was that you couldn't fit a wheelchair in them, and when you made it big enough to do so, homeless people ended up moving in and sleeping in them. I believe in equal rights, and giving reasonable access to the handicapped, but in this case it was not possible. And because this small percentage of people could not use them, the city was sued, the project scrapped, and NOBODY got them.

Anlther case - some steakhouses used to have peanuts on the tables. There are some kids with peanut allergies - serious enough to cause hospitalization or death. To me the reasonable solution is, if you are allergic the DON'T GO THERE. But no, in our minority rule society the restaurant instead removes them - taking them from the vast majority who enjoy them for the sake of a small minority.

I won't even get into politics and the current approval ratings for our so called 'leaders'. They don't seem to represent the majority anymore.

To me it seems ridiculous to ever think everybody can have everything. Just because I can't do something should not mean that nobody can. Of course I'm in the minority for believing this, and it is the one case where the minority is ignored - go figure.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

I can't complain, but sometimes I still do

As the classic Joe Walsh song goes, "Life's been good to me." Well maybe not all of the past, but my present is in pretty good shape. I have a great wife that I love very much. I have a fantastic job that makes decent money, and where I get to do new and interesting things, and where everyone is treated with respect. None of my kids are on drugs or in jail (we won't go into school/jobs for some :-) ). I'm not out of debt by a long shot; however I'm not over my head either.

So things are good, and therein lies the problem. I've got little to write about. My old job made me feel like the guy working with monkeys. Horrible, but something to write about. My first marriage was a long period of emotional abuse from which I will always have scars, but it generated great stories.

People just don't appreciate the hard times. It is from these that all stories and lessons in life come. You never heard your parents talk about living a block away fcrom school and walking over when it was mild and 70. Nobody makes a movie about the guy who goes to college, has a few good jobs, a nice wife, raises a family and retires to Florida to fish every day.

Not that I want to have something bad happen, but things going well doesn't make for exciting writing.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Not like the other kids

Something that I finally realized after forty years is that I don't fit in. I match no demographics, and seem to always be on the far side of any bell curve. This isn't intentional, but it seems to be the way it is.

I never set out to be different; and truthfully it still amazes me that I am. Take politics. I registered as a democrat many years ago, and haven't bothered to change it. However I have voted republican for the past umpteen presidential elections - because as much as I disliked the republican candidates, the democratic ones were worse. I haven't liked a candidate for president in 20 years or more.

I am a fiscal conservative but a social liberal. I believe the smaller the government, the better. I believe in helping people, but only those who are actively helping themselves.

I believe in personal responsibility. That alone seems to set me apart from so many in the US.

More than anything I believe that decisions should be based on rational thought, not emotions. I doesn't matter if my leaders can feel my pain, I want someone who can think about the issues.

It is time to quit trying to make people feel better, and instead make some good, rational decisions.

But that is just my opinion, and I keep finding out that it is the only one.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Still alive, still boring

Yesterday was the first time all summer I took a walk for lunch, simply because I was working off site where there was no place to get lunch within walking distance. It occurred to me then that I missed the time that I spent thinking when I walked. Not deep thoughts usually; I'm not that profound. But I had missed.

It turns out that with things actually going pretty well lately, it was those walks that gave me any ideas to write even this little bit. So now that I'm back at the office I hope to update more often, even if it is from my new Droid (that replaced my Blackberry) while I walk (like right now).

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

One of THOSE days

Yeah, it has been one of those days. To start out I wake up, and my alergies give me a good kick in the groin to get going. Ok, maybe more of a poke in the eye, as my eyes are horribly painful and bloodshot (so much so that Preston makes a pot joke whne I see him and that is five hours later). They at least feel slightly better (not like they are full of sand - thank Zrytec!)

Then I drive in to work, having to stare half the way at the stupid water filled dildo the city of Dayton is erecting on the horizon. Once I get there I see a cop taking notes - it turns out our building was broken into last night, and the other side offices were also broken into. It doesn't look like they got in my side at least, though we are still missing several laptops and ipods at least. To top that off, turns out there is also a registered sex offender working in the building - nice.

But the kicker comes when Diane gets home - and finds that where we were noticing some leakage from the upstairs bathroom into the kitchen - well now we have a hole in the ceiling where the new drywall we had put up two years ago has collapsed - but we can definitely see the drip!

And looking down from the access panel in the upstairs bathroom - you can see the corroded valve, and twisting just right, the kitchen sink down below.

Yeah, one of those days.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

To whomever picked that particular design

To whomever decided to pick that particular design for the new watertower being erected on Smithville road;

Did you intentionally pick that design, or are you simply over compensating for your own personal shortcomings?

My commute eastbound on US-35 every morning was simply never complete before I was forced to stare at your construction thrusting itself out of the trees, rigidly pushing its way into the empty skyline around it.

It is a tribute to your engineering and architectural acumen to have this monument to your masculinity stand out so highly on its own.

Seriously though, am I the only one who thinks that new watertower looks like a giant penis?

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Do you believe pt 3

This actually ties back to my posts 16 months ago. Tonight I am taking Diane back to see Lisa Williams again - it was her birthday present. This time in Ft Wayne, IN, about 2 1/2 hours away (as opposed to Cincinnati last time)

So going to see a psychic perform. Basically it is "cold readings" - a technique often used to simulate psychic powers. Last time was entertaining - but it doesn't change if I believe or not.

She did a "Meet & Greet" before the show - and the cynic in me can't help but wonder how much information she gets from these for the readings. It was funny, Diane mentioned to her that she had met her before, and she said she didn't remember her name. But for psychic shouldn't she know it?

Like a magicianI'm just going to tey to enjoy thor Diane's sake, knowng that while it may look amazing, none of it is real.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Mutant Marsupials Take Up Arms Against Australian Air Force

So I'm sitting here trying to think of something witty to set as my status this morning and get my brain kickstarted, when I receive the following email from a colleague to do that very thing. The amazing part is it is both funny and relevant to work - you don't see that much.


The reuse of some object-oriented code has caused tactical headaches for
Australia's armed forces.
As virtual reality simulators assume larger roles in helicopter combat
training, programmers have gone to great lengths to increase the realism of
their scenarios, including detailed landscapes and - in the case of the
Northern Territory's Operation Phoenix - herds of kangaroo's (since
disturbed animals might well give away a helicopter's position).

The head of the Defense Science & Technology Organizations Land
Operations/Simulation division reportedly instructed Developers to model the
local marsupials' movements and reactions to helicopters. Being efficient
programmers They just re-appropriated some code originally used to model
infantry detachment reactions under the same stimuli, changed the mapped
icon from a soldier to a kangaroo, and increased the figures' speed of

Eager to demonstrate their flying skills for some visiting American pilots,
the hotshot Aussies "buzzed"
the virtual kangaroos in low flight during a simulation. The kangaroos
scattered, as predicted, and the visiting Americans nodded appreciatively.
then did a double-take as the kangaroos reappeared from behind a hill and
launched a barrage of Stinger missiles as the hapless helicopter.
(Apparently, the programmers had forgotten to remove that part of the
infantry coding.)

The lesson?

Objects are defined with certain attributes, and any new object defined in
terms of an old one inherits all the attributes.
The embarrassed programmers had learned to be careful when reusing
object-oriented code, and the Yanks left With a new found respect for
Australian wildlife..

Simulator supervisors report that pilots from that point onward have
strictly avoided kangaroos, just as they were meant to.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Winners don't have to worry about things like sportsmanship

A colleague of my wife posted the title as his facebook status this morning. I immediately wanted to comment, however my Crackberry doesn't have an app that allows me to, at least not correctly. Any normal person would thus just blow it off and forget about it - but then if you have reading this for any time at all you reallize that I am far from normal; that plus twenty minutes to wait before the presentations start means that I'm phoning this one in.

I really don't think of myself as a liberal - especially compared to those in public office. And while I may be a registered Democrat, it is more because I see the Republicans as much evil, while the Democrats are just ignorant. But when I saw this all the liberal alarms went shrieking off in my head.

This statement translates to the win at all costs mentality in my mind. Did you make an illegal move that injured another player - no problem if you win! Did you lie, cheat or steal to suceed? Good for you because you suceeded! Screw them all to get ahead. It isn't personal after all, it is just business.

With this attitude, we should be applauding the Kenneth Lay's of the world - look at all the money they made after all. Oh, an they managed to ruin lives doing that? Big deal.

Sportsmanship, which in life translates to moral character, is so much more important than winning. Doing what is right, even when no one looking, is truly what is important in life. Sportsmanship is not for losers, it is for everyone. It does not prevent you from winning, but it enhances the win.

In my professional life, I have worked for a company whose owner is solely dedicated to his own personal success, with no regard for his employees nor his customers. I have also worked for a company that truly embodies the idea that the employees are the essence of the company. The first is struggling, losing customers and firing employees, while the second is growing and hiring.

In the end we all die with nothing, leaving behind only the relastionships we have made, and how we have influenced the people we have encountered. All the money in the world, all the victories in sports, aren't going to buy one more breath when it is your time to go.

Me - I'd rather leave behind memories of how I was kind and fair and just, even if that means I didn't win at business or sports or games.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry