Thursday, October 30, 2008

Here we go again

Well - I'm in Bahrain again. I left home last weekend. Last time I flew direct from Atlanta to Dubai - over 14 hours in the air. argh. (I will have that to look forward to on the way home. argh) This time, however, I flew to Amsterdam, had an 8 hour layover and then flew here. Since I had such a long layover, I was determined to see something. As I was walking between terminals I ran across a tour booth advertising 2 and 3 hour tours. Serendipity struck, I whipped out my credit card and off we went. There were 7 of us in a mini-bus. The tour started at a wooden shoe factory, then out to the country where we saw various windmills and sheep and assorted waterlogged countryside. We drove into Amsterdam and around, then finished up with an hour's cruise through the canals. Despite the overcast, chilly (since I was heading to a hot climate I didn't bring a coat with me, I was in short-sleeves) and wet morning I had a good time and turned what was going to be a long and boring layover into a (seemingly) short and enjoyable one.

(I would've posted pictures, but even though blogger acted as if they uploaded - they didn't. So, here's a link to the set.)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Tag, I'm it.

The lovely (but deluded) Astrogirl426 from Notes from the Bunker has tagged me (she claims to heart my blog - I think she's been living in the woods too long) and I am to relay 6 random facts about myself. I will attempt to reveal something new about myself, but most of you have been around here long enough to know all most of my secrets.

1. I moved 9 times between birth and 15 years, living in 4 states (MS, CA, GA, TX) and 1 foreign country(Germany). I have moved 7 times since then, living in 4 states (GA, CA, TX, MD) and 1 foreign country (Greece). In and amongst all of that I have visited, driven through, or otherwise took up space in 27 other states, the District of Columbia, and 7 other foreign countries.

2. I got to fly an Air Force T-37 jet trainer.

3. I was born a poor, black child*.

4. I had a part-time job that involved moving equipment from building to building between passes of soviet spy satellites.

5. I have stood on the point from which every distance in France is measured.

6. I ran into Dudley Moore in a McDonald's in Pacific Grove, CA. He was even shorter than he looked in the movies. I ran into Stevie Wonder coming out of an ice cream store in Monterey, CA. I waved but he didn't wave back, the stuck-up b@st@rd.

As usual, I don't tag people. If any of you are game, have at it.

*if you recognize this, you're as old a fart as I am.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

There, but for the grace of God......

I have been reading "Things I Learned About My Dad (in therapy)", a compilation of essays on fatherhood compiled & edited by Heather Armstrong. I was struck particularly strongly by Doug French's essay. I remember several months ago when he went public in his blog about his impending divorce (because of it being mentioned in his essay in the book). It has always been readily apparent to me in reading his blog (and the essay) that he loves his boys very much and really enjoys being a father. Reading the essay re-awoke in me the memories of a time in my marriage when we came close to divorce. Laura had moved out. The kids stayed with me in our home as it was least disruptive of their daily routines - school, etc. Since they stayed with me during the week, they spent the weekends with Laura. During the week I was kept busy with taking care of two elementary school-aged kids, fixing meals, cleaning the house, laundry, working, etc. Then Friday afternoon the kids would be gone, and my weekends were a vast wasteland of nothingness. I had been on business trips before, a week at a time, sometimes two, but that time away affected me nothing like this did. I couldn't believe how much I missed the kids. I'm sure that it was partially due to the knowledge that this was probably going to be permanent. But whatever the reason, there was an ache that I couldn't assuage. I tried to tell myself that this was better for the kids, not having to grow up living in a house where their parents didn't love each other. They would grow up happier, Laura and I would be better parents without the emotional chaos that our marriage had turned into, etc. But there was still the emptiness inside of me, knowing they would be like so many other children having separate sets of parents, vacations divided between homes, everything having to be negotiated.

I had told Laura early in our marriage, during a discussion about how so many couples during (and after) divorce use their kids to torture their exes, that I would never let anyone take my children away from me. It wasn't an ultimatum so much as it was a statement that I would ALWAYS be there for my children, a major force in their lives. At the time I never thought we would get to where we had, living apart and discussing divorce. During that 6 month separation we never fought in front of them, and none of the fights were about them. We always put them first, We both went to school events they were involved with. We both attended their soccer games. We discussed rules for them and disciplinary actions - if they were being punished for something, the punishment applied at both homes. Despite this, it still pained me, knowing the inevitable hurt the kids were going to experience because Laura and I couldn't stay together.

Of course, we did stay together. Laura and I resolved those differences as you all know (I am assuming that no one is reading this post during their first visit to this blog!) as we are still married. But I still carry that hurt around, deep in my memories of that time. It makes me especially sensitive to similar situations when small kids are involved. Doug writes so eloquently of fatherhood and what he is experiencing during this difficult time in his life. I hurt for him, having some small measure of knowledge of what he is experiencing.

I had almost forgot.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Annie get your gun

I don't discuss politics here, nor am I going to start today. But I do want to talk about what I am learning about myself within the context of the new vice-presidential candidate of the Republican party - Ms. Sarah Palin.

I find myself wondering if I am more of a sexist than I thought I was.

I have no problem with a woman in the White House - in either job, president or vice-president. I have no problem with a woman having any job - not even in combat on the battlefield. (I've always felt that women as well as men should have to sign up for the draft - ever since I did when I turned 18. Israel, for instance, has mandatory military service, women included.)

My problem with Sarah Palin originates with the fact that she has a baby with down's syndrome and I can't understand why she would want a job that will take virtually all of her time - away from her baby. That's where the sexist part comes in, because I wouldn't have had a thought about her husband pursuing such a demanding job as governor or vice-president.

I've always prided myself that I consider women as equals. I remember having an essay I wrote arguing for equal rights when I was a junior in high school printed in the local newspaper. I always tried to instill in my daughter as she grew up the attitude that she can do anything she set her mind to. I have never subscribed to the clap-trap that women are the weaker sex and are fundamentally incapable of performing certain jobs. It upsets me that to this day women don't earn the same pay for the same work as men - and therefore have to work harder to get promoted when competing with men for a job.

But I am having a hard time understanding why a mother of a down's syndrome child would choose to work if she didn't have to. I don't know what their finances are, but the Palins don't appear to be poor. Mayors of small towns usually don't draw a large salary but have the same duties as large-town mayors. Nor does Ms. Palin appear to be a career woman who was checking off the "have a child experience" on her life's list - after all, she has 5 children and didn't run for office until after she had had several children. I have no reason to think that her husband can't take care of the baby, and I don't actually know if he isn't already taking full-time care of the child. I don't know anything about who takes care of their baby when she is governing or campaigning for vice-president, which is another reason why I'm uncomfortable with my feelings toward her and her decision to run for vice-president.

I just can't help thinking that her political career is more important to her than being the primary care-giver of that child. This is where I guess my buried sexism is coming out. I am disappointed in myself.

I don't know if she should have given up her governorship to take care of their baby. But I've always had the belief that children should be raised by their parent. In today's economy I realize that is extremely difficult - it usually takes two incomes to survive. Laura and I were lucky in that we were able to afford for her to stay at home until the kids were in school. We certainly couldn't afford to do that now, though. I have always felt that women deserve the same opportunity as men to pursue a career. I have always thought that men were as capable as women to care for infants, so no - I don't think that it is a woman's place to raise the babies while the men work. I just think that the best person to raise a child is its parents. When possible.

So, maybe Mr. Palin (I assume that's his name) is a full-time dad to their down's syndrome baby, freeing Ms. Palin to pursue her political ambitions. Or maybe Ms. Palin feels that she has a unique contribution to make to politics and has therefore a higher calling to answer.

Or maybe I am just failing to truly understand equality for the sexes and that mothers everywhere are proud to see her as their potential vice-president, that she is raising the ceiling for mothers everywhere. All I really do know is that I have a lot of thinking and learning ahead of me in order to not see her as someone who is putting her interests ahead of her baby's. Of all of the discussion I've seen in the media with regard to her being on the Republican ticket, no one has mentioned this in particular.

Please understand that I don't have a problem with working mothers. My problem is with a working mother of a special needs child who appears to have the choice of staying home if she wanted.

I am seriously wanting the unvarnished opinion of everyone who reads this blog. Have I lost my feminist credentials here? (Or maybe had I never had them?)

Monday, August 25, 2008

college days

I meant to write this last Friday as it was prompted by the most recent Poetry Friday challenge. But - I wouldn't want to start a trend by blogging on schedule, or anything. I might garner a few regular readers if I did something like that - which is anathema to my blogstyle of whatever-whenever.


I, like most folks, have done a few things that I probably shouldn't have when I was in college.

My dorm was right across the street from the chapel. Every Sunday morning for about an hour before services the pastor would sit on the front steps of the chapel and play hymns over the loudspeakers. This somewhat annoyed those trying to sleep off a Saturday night's debauchery, myself sometimes included. Well, one Saturday night we returned to our dorms somewhat worse for wear and someone brought up the hymn-playing disruption of our Sunday-morning sleep-in. During the following discussion a plan was formed that, in our inebriated state, we thought would put a stop to these recitals. We sneaked into the church via an unlocked window and pulled the cassette tape that was queued in the public address system. We took it back to the dorm and recorded some rather earthy Frank Zappa over the middle of the tape and returned the tape to the church. Alarms were set so we wouldn't miss the new music and we went to bed. The next morning we straggled out and gathered on the front steps of the dorm and waited. And waited. And waited. We sat there until services started and the music was stopped. No Frank Zappa. We retired to bed disappointed and seeking hang-over remedies.

Three weeks later I was walking to work Sunday morning, having lost the weekend work shift lottery. I was passing the front of the chapel, having just waved to the pastor, when the music hiccuped and Frank Zappa came blaring out in all his inappropriate glory. The pastor look confused, and he must have started to understand what he was hearing because he leapt up and ran inside. A second or two later the music stopped. I almost tripped over myself laughing as I continued to work.

We didn't manage to shut down our Sunday morning concerts, the hymns continued next Sunday on schedule. But I'll bet the windows were locked after that.

Friday, August 15, 2008

when I was a kid.....

When I was growing up, I lived on my bicycle. There was no sitting in front of the TV, Atari hadn't come out yet, nor had PCs, so no video games to play for hours on end. Mom would throw us out of the house and told us to go play. It was good for us (and we were out of her hair). So, we would get on our bikes and take off looking for the other kids who had similarly been unceremoniously thrown out.

We would be gone for hours. We would ride up and down the street seeing who could pop a wheelie the longest. We would build ramps and pretend to be evel knievel, jumping for distance or jumping over each other. (I once jumped 6 kids. we were uncommonly stupid then, and I had scars on my elbows and knees for years to prove it). We would search the ditches for coke bottles and go to the store, redeem them and use the money to buy ourselves a coke.

We would take off to explore neighboring communities, getting ourselves lost and spending the afternoon finding our way back home. During the fall and spring we would ride our bikes to school. We would put sissy bars on them, extend the forks to make choppers, put 6-foot antenna-like poles that had flags on (That would trip us up when trying a rolling dismount). We'd put playing cards on with clothes pins so they'd flap in the spokes and pretend this was the motor and we were riding motorcycles.

Do kids do these things today? I rarely see kids out riding bikes in my neighborhood. My bike was a ticket to independence. When it was taken away for punishment, it HURT! I was trapped - all I could do was stand by and watch the others have fun. I see kids walking down the sidewalk, one or more talking on a cell phone, on their way somewhere. I don't see them on bikes.

It's a shame, really. Within weeks of moving into a new house, I knew the neighborhood like the back of my hand. I met the kids in the neighborhood 'cause they were out riding too. Our moms didn't get together and organize play-dates or stuff like that - we just rode around and found someone else who was outside and played. It seems like these days everything is so tightly organized, all of kids' time is scheduled down to the minute.

Do kids just go outside and play anymore?

Friday, August 08, 2008

As I was saying......

Well, hello there. anyone? anyone?

I took some time off, trying to decide if I really am a blogger, or a blogger wanna-be. I mean, there are blogs that I read because merely because they are well written and invariably entertaining. There are other blogs I read that go beyond this, they are written by people I feel a connection to and I want to keep up with what's going on in their lives. These are the blogs where I feel drawn to comment and these are the ones that inspired me to write my own blog, so I could share something of myself and my experiences beyond the smidgen of space allowed in a comment.

Blogging had given me a way to join what I saw were interlocking circles of friends. People whom not only commented on each others blogs but exchanged emails, IM's, or even phone calls on the side. A very few even visited each other. For a while I experienced this myself, and felt I really had made a some new friends. And then - I hadn't. There were a few people that faded out of that circle, that moved on leaving me behind. These were people that I had regular contact with outside of the realm of blogging, one of which I had actually met. I thought I had made some real friends and it turned out I hadn't.

As you can imagine, this was really disappointing. It made me really wonder about myself. Had I mistaken the depth of the connection? Had I done or said something that drove them away? I mean, I realize that things can go great until a certain point is reached and then something stops clicking or something becomes apparent that causes the other person to decide to back away. But what? In some ways I felt like a teenager again - unsure of anything or anyone. So I took some time off to see if I could figure it out.

I didn't reach any conclusions with regard to my lost friendships, but I did come to a few other realizations.

I missed you guys. I shouldn't abandon this community just because I was disappointed. And - I DO have some friends out there that don't deserve my abandoning them. So, I slowly started back. At first I used my reader to lurk here and there. Then I started posting an occasional comment where I couldn't not. And recently I found myself reading all of you again - but it wasn't the same. Because I wasn't participating.

So - I'm going to stop lurking, start commenting, and maybe even start writing a post here and there. Not that I'm a great writer, or have a burning within me to impart some important message. But I am a part of this and want to share it with you. I hope that there are a few of you that still care enough to read, but if not - well, it's my own damned fault and I can live with that.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


I am taking a break from blogging. I find myself with nothing to share and would rather say nothing than ramble for the sake of posting. As this has been gradually happening anyway, I am sure this isn't much of a surprise to anyone. I have been aware these past months of a dearth of decent content here and am now formalizing the foregone conclusion.

I am also cutting back on my blog reading. I need a break. I might dip my toe into the pool every so often, though.

I am leaving the blog up for now. My email address is at the top right of this page should anyone have something to share.

I shall miss you all.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Then and Now


Spring in Paris.


deburred shoulder.

Monday, May 05, 2008

my job

I know that I was lucky to keep my job. One of the options was to outsource all of the IT department. I know that I am better off than those who were told their jobs were eliminated - at least I am right now. I know that I have bills to pay and a family that depends on me to earn a living that keeps us fed and a roof over our heads.

But that doesn't mean that I have to like the changes taking place. Where else can I bitch about it if I can't do it in my own blog?

I think it sucks that people who have worked here a long time, some over 30 years, others who were hired at the same time I was, have been told their jobs are being given to someone overseas. I think it sucks that every time I fly overseas I am making it easier for this company to shut down another domestic plant and between 300 and 400 of my friends and neighbors lose their jobs. I think it sucks that, having seen the costs associated with outsourcing production, this company could've been more competitive and kept on manufacturing domestically - to a certain degree. Outsourcing isn't inevitable.

I see those around me who are going to be leaving send out resumes and know that a difficult time in their lives have just begun, but I also wonder if the jobs they will be getting are more secure than the one I have now. Who's to say that, having made the decision to outsource part of IT, management won't decide next year to outsource the rest of it? How secure is my job?

Yes, there are things I can do about that. I could elect to job hunt myself, look for another, more secure job. I might. But I'm not right now, I'm not ready. I still feel a vestige of responsibility to the people who rely on me and the knowledge I've accumulated over the last 18 years. I'm not ready to fix my house up to sell. I'm not ready to consider a commute knowing the cost of gas and time it would incur. I'm not ready to sell myself to someone else. I'm not ready.

I can elect to have a better attitude about the whole thing. I will have a better attitude about the whole thing. Given some time to accept the change.

But in the mean time, If I've appeared bitchy & whiney in my last few posts, well, dammit, I am for the moment. I'm allowed. its my party and I'll whine if I want to.

Friday, May 02, 2008

good news, bad news

The good news is that I am keeping my job.

The bad news is that they are cutting over half the IT people and their function will be outsourced to India.

I was the only manager who told their direct reports that their job had been eliminated. The other managers left it to the director and CIO. I couldn't understand it. I had no input into who stayed or went, but these were my people and I felt a responsibility to be there when they were told.

The blow was lessened somewhat by them not having to leave immediately. The company we are outsourcing to is bringing in people to learn the jobs of those who are leaving. Some key people were given an incentive to stay until the knowledge transfer is complete. The others still have a few months before they have to leave. They say it is easier to find a job if you have one, so I really hope that they do.

I feel like absolute crap. Some of these people have been with this company 30+ years. One woman is the sole support for several of her kids and grandkids. Another's wife just lost her job too. We live in small town and there aren't that many IT jobs here, and hardly any that pay what these people earn here.

The transition plan in its current state will give those who were asked to stay their job until mid-December. But it might change. maybe shorter, but probably longer. Still - I told my people not to turn down any decent job offers. If they stay until told to go, they will get the severance benefit (one week pay per year of service (but this company in its current incarnation has only been in existance for not quite 3 years), compensation for any untaken vacation and COBRA coverage. The incentive to stay until told to go adds to this: a small bonus (about a month's pay, some more a few a bit less).

The company has applied for TAA coverage (jobs eliminated due to NAFTA) and if it is granted there will be some benefits (a tax deduction for part of their COBRA insurance dues, unemployment insurance for longer, potential tech school training and if their new jobs pay less than their current, additional compensation for some period of time.

But they only earn these benefits if they stay until the company tells them to leave. If they quit, then they quit and no benefits whatsoever.

my job sucks sometimes. I wonder who is better off - them or me.

Monday, April 28, 2008

and the beat goes on....

surgery. tah dah. Doc thinks that the impingement is what is causing the pain. so, break out the arthroscope and take a look. he anticipates griding some bone off of the bottom of my clavicle to make more room in the joint, thus reducing the impingement.

I've had a few surgeries before, but as it happened both were accomplished with the equivalent of local anesthesia (spinal blocks and twilight shots). this will be the first time I will have been put out using general anesthesia and I'm a little apprehensive. I wish I could be awake, I'd like to see the surgery, weirdly enough. I wonder if he has tivo?

Meanwhile we are still working on our itinerary for Paris. The eiffel tower, of course - but at night or during the day? eat a the restaurant there? We've decided to eat most of our meals out at lunch, as prices are cheaper. We can do a bread, wine, fruit & cheese thing for supper either out somewhere or in our room. There is the place that only serves one dish - steak w/fries - the only thing you tell the waiter is how you like your steak cooked. There is also (you fans of Harry Potter aught to get a kick out of this) a restaurant in the home of Nicholas Flamel (or named after him or something like that - Laura knows but is napping right now). There is also the restaurant in the catacombs (amongst the bones?) and the restaurant that specializes in hog knuckles (or something like that - I should have waited for Laura to wake up to write this). And, as we are staying in Monmartre, there is always the little brasserie that Amelie worked in - a possibility, especially if we take a gnome with us. Anyway - food is an important part of our trip!

We are definitely going to Versailles, that will take a whole day. I'd also like to spend one day in the country somewhere outside of Paris. (someplace that is too beautiful for Bob to have come from). Laura offered to let me include The beaches at Normandy, but sites such as this are my fascination, not hers, and I'd hate to spend a whole day (and possibly more) on myself. The Louvre will also probably be most of a day. We will probably go to either Sacre Coeur or Notre Dame, and most probably a ride down the Seine.

All of a sudden, 7 days is not so long after all.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

A foggy day, in London town...

....meaning it's the same-old, same-old around here.

I have these pain pills I take before I go to bed so my shoulder won't wake me up with the impulse to cut it off immediately. The pain of the amputation would both distract me from the pain in my shoulder and it at least would go away eventually. In the moments between when the meds take affect and when I drift off to sleep I write these wildly elaborate blog posts in my head, meandering from topic to topic that are so clearly within everyone's experience that I would garner many comments regaling me on my observations and my profound way of summing up everyman's life experience in such a succinct way.

And the next day you are subjected to this. dreck.

Nothing much is happening around here. All we lack getting ready for our trip to Paris next month are purchasing some cheap sunglasses that, should they be lost, won't be missed. Laura is still working on her french, she is loath to be in the same situation as last year in Versailles - having TO GO really badly and not understanding the french directions to the loo in the back forty somewhere or another. Euros were purchased last month, not in time to get ahead of the tanking dollar, but ahead of this month's tank. We bought a street map Sunday and are finalizing our itinerary. We are staying in Montmartre and going hither and yon on the metro.

As for my shoulder, I moved my next appointment up to this Friday as the cortisone might as well have been water for all of the good it did. We will see.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Round Two

***updated below***

"There is a small degenerative subchondral cyst seen at the greater tuberosity. There is marginal hypertrophic involvement involving the acromioclavicular joint consistent with marginal impingement. There is no definite abnormal joint effusion. I cannot confirm any tear of the supraspinatous tendon. The long head of the biceps tendon is intact. There is no subcutaneous edema. There is some irregularity of the anterior labrum. There could be an anterior labral injury.

I. Possible anterior labral tear.
II. Marginal hypertrophic changes of the AC joint causing marginal impingement.
III. No definitive rotator cuff tear.
IV. Degenerative subchondral cyst identified at the humeral head near the greater tuberosity. If shoulder pain persists, shoulder arthrogram and MR arthrography may be indicated.

so - off to see an orthopedic specialist tomorrow.

wait and see. got a shot and made an appointment to return in 3 weeks.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Here Comes the Party! WOOT!

My weekend: Saturday starts at 5:30 AM when I get up and head for work. We have to implement a project we've been working on since January. If everything goes well, I'll be home by 4:00 PM. Saturday night will be either British comedies on the local PBS channel or - Police Squad. My son gave me a DVD with the original TV show episodes. either way, a good way to wind down after a tense day at work. Well, that and maybe a fermented beverage or three. Sunday will be lawn day - I can't put off the back yard any longer.

Exciting, huh?

I hope everyone in blogland has a good weekend.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Q&A, part 2

I will start with the 2nd of Maggie's questions: My best life advice?

That is a difficult question to answer as it is rarely asked of me. get the best education you can afford. be curious. take the time to know, and most importantly like yourself. be as honest as you can be. travel as often as you can afford, and find a way to visit another country. read as much as you can, make time for it. look for the best in people. remember your manners especially in the face of rudeness.

De asked: If I could do anything (notwithstanding age, education, etc.) as a second career, what would it be and why does that interest me?

I would be a pilot. Ever since I can remember, I've wanted to learn how to fly. I'm not sure I can express why I want this. I've wanted to so long I don't know the reasons why. I've had a fascination with flight forever. In my mind, it is associated with going places, exploration, freedom even.

she also asked: How do I like the new music I picked up a while back?

I'm still getting to know these new albums and so far I like them all - I like to play new music several times and kinda let my feelings about it come from inside - kind of a gestalt. It's too soon to tell.

De finished with: Can I dance?

HA! I used to try when I was a young man. Now days I am obligated to once a year - at my wife's company Christmas party. I can do what my daughter refers to as the "daddy dance" which is merely designed to embarrass her. I sometimes wish I could do the typical ballroom dances - waltz, fox trot, etc. And when I'm feeling my oats - swing.

Puss asks: What's greens & cornbread?

greens are one of 3 leafs that are cooked in a way particular to the American south. There are collard greens, turnip greens, and mustard greens in order of popularity. They are typically stewed with a piece of smoked pork - a knuckle is most common where I was growing up. They are most commonly served with cornbread (of which there are MANY varieties) and pepper sauce.

She goes on to ask: Am I feeling any less depressed?


Puss ends with: Where do I stand on the naked body - show it off, or hide it away?

on a personal level, do what you are comfortable with. I think that if enough people were comfortable in their own skin we could solve a host of societal ills. Over here, unfortunately, nudity is equated with sex - so if you are showing skin you must be looking to knock boots. At a more abstract level, I think that there is beauty in the human body. And by that I do not mean solely a 6 foot tall, 16 year old waif with breast implants and a bolemic-ally small waist. Male or female, large or small, short or tall - there is something fascinating about the human form. When we are naked we are at our most vulnerable - and therefore most honest state. there's nothing left to hide, from ourselves or from everyone else.

Pat asks: a lot! He/She seems to be fascinated with procrastination and wants to know a lot about how I feel about various aspects of it.

I think that in some ways depression defines procrastination in it's extreme. At my worst, I have stayed in bed for days doing nothing but sleeping. That is the utmost in procrastination. I cannot compare the ways in which I procrastinate with the way other people do - I don't know but one or two people well enough to know how they procrastinate and therefore have no basis for comparison. I tend to procrastinate when making life-changing decisions - I, like many people, have a certain fear of change, of the unknown. I hate that I do this and am not proud of it. I don't know how to over come it.

Thursday, April 03, 2008


No new questions have rolled in for over day, so time to answer those that did.

Meno asked: What was the MRI for?

I have been having having increasing problems with my right shoulder. It's gotten so that I cannot sleep through the night, every time I roll over the pain wakes me up. My doctor suspects a rotator cuff injury. If it is torn, it'll mean surgery. I'll find out the 14th.

she also asked how're the kids doing?

Both Zack and Kris are doing fine. Zack is still working 2nd shift (3:30 to 12:30) and isn't in a hurry to change it. Kris just changed majors and is happier with school. She had already declared a minor in English, so this shouldn't set her back very much, maybe just a semester.

Jen asked: When was the last time I laughed really, really hard.

As it happens, I bust my gut laughing twice on Monday. The first time was while reading this. The second time was later in the evening. When I was a kid I used to love watching the Dean Martin Roasts. My favorite part was when Foster Brooks would get up to speak. Well, a few weeks ago Dad gave me 6 DVDs of these comedy roasts and I watched one Monday night. I still laugh so hard I cry when Foster does his bit. Here's a taste:

Liv asked: What's my favorite book.

the simple answer is, I don't have one. I've been reading voraciously since I was in grade school. I would participate in the summer reading programs and use 3 or 4 sheets to list all of the books I'd read. So, in lieu of a favorite book, I'd thought I'd instead list some of my favorites.

the Doctor Dolittle series by Hugh Lofting. I LOVED these when I was in grade school, I used to imagine what it would be like to be able to understand what animals were saying. I just never found me a Polynesia to teach me.

The Hardy Boys series by Franklin W. Dixon. This was my introduction to mysteries. I read every one of them (of the original series), and still have about 10 or 15 of them that were given me as presents. I always saw myself as Frank but I wasn't much interested in "his steady date" Callie Shaw - not being into girls yet. I think everyone knows by now that this series, along with Nancy Drew, the Bobbsey Twins, Tom Swift and one or two other series were all the idea of one man, Edward Stratemeyer and were written by a series of ghost writers under various pen names - Carolyn Keene for Nancy Drew, etc.

The Foundation series by Isaac Asmiov. I got interested in science fiction in high school. I still prefer those athors I found first - Asimov, Arthur Clark, Larry Niven, etc. Asimov writes in such a way that his worlds seem eminently possible. (It helps that he was an actual scientist). Ditto Arthur Clark. He was also - I prefer for the science in science fiction to be so, I don't know, inevitable, that it fades into the background and allows the story to come out. You aren't constantly thinking - there's no way that could happen.

The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien. I found these while in high school and they remain at the top of my all-time favorite list. Every few years I re-read them. He created such a complete world with complex back-stories for all of the creatures in them, why they react to each other as they do, whey they behave as they do, you get completely lost in the Third World - and mourn it's passing at the end of the trilogy.

Agatha Christie's Poirot and Mrs. Marple mysteries - classics. I think I've read them all, I still pick one up and re-read it occasionally. Part of this is that I think I am a closet Anglophile. This are the epitome of the drawing room mystery.

Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle - more classics. What can I say, I wish I had half the brains of Sherlock Holmes.

Anything by Dick Francis. He's an ex-jockey who used to ride the Queen mother's race horses. when he retired he started writing mysteries all with horse racing as their central theme. He writes of the everyman engagingly. You root for the good guy, despite his failings.

Anything by Douglas Adams - while the hitchhikers' are terrific, I think I like the Dirk Gently series better. The master of English wit, they are each so fun to read.

Anything by Terry Pratchett - those in the disc world series are my favorites, full of good british sarcasm where, unusually, I actually get most of the cultural references. Who else could name a city Didjabringabeeralong and the reader not immediately get that he's parodying Australia?

Anything by Christopher Moore - although my favorite of his is a tie between The Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove and Lamb. He reminds me somewhat of an American version of Terry Pratchett - irreverent, engaging, sarcastic to a gentle degree.

those are just the first few that come to mind. I hope this is a good enough answer because I don't have a favorite book. I've read too many good ones. Maybe that just means I haven't read my favorite yet?

Scott asked: If I weren't alive, where would I want to exist?

I am not an adherent of any religion. I don't have any firm belief in an afterlife (in heaven or hell), or a return to life (reincarnation). I don't know if I believe in alternate universes or parallel universes, or alternate streams of time - I just don't know. So - not having any beliefs, I get to pick and choose. I remember as a teenager reading Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach. I like the idea expressed in it that as you learn and evolve as a person you reach a point where you are ready for a new world/reality/dimension - one that holds new things for you to learn and new opportunities for growth.

Maggie asks: What is my favorite movie, and why?

This is as difficult to answer as the book question for much the same reason. I love to watch movies and I cannot select an all-time favorite. Also, I'm always looking for my next favorite so it's possible I haven't seen it yet. I read through the AFI 2007 top 100 and I've seen all but 11 of them. So - yet another list in no particular order:

Sergeant York - I'm not sure why I like this move so much - Gary Cooper does a great job in it, the story is clean (too clean for today's movie goer, I'm sure) but there's just something that, every time it's on TV, I watch it.

Mr. Hulot's Holiday - Jacques Tati made 2 movies with the Mr. Hulot character (that I know of). It is reminiscent of Buster Keaton wtth the heartwarming touch of Charlie Chaplin.

Blazing Saddles/Young Frankenstein - I can't count how many times I've seen them both. I can quote most of both. Two of the best genre satires I know of.

The Princess Bride - "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means". my favorite romance film.

Saving Private Ryan - I doubt I'll ever watch this movie again. it had, I can only imagine, the most realistic portrayal of war of any war movie. period. It was worth seeing. Everyone should have an idea of what war is like so maybe we wouldn't be in such a damned hurry to send our children off to die in them.

Bringing up Baby - Carry Grant and Katherine Hepburn are wonderful in this, practically the definition of genteel, slapstick, screwball comedy. I always want to see this again.

I think this is enough to plow through, so I'll save the rest of the answers for my next post.

Monday, March 31, 2008

let me have it!

Between the crud, pine pollen and an MRI I've not had much motivation to blog lately. I've just not had anything I've wanted to talk about enough to find the energy to put an entry together.

So, I'd thought I'd borrow this "meme" and take questions from the floor. Ask anything you wish in the comments and I'll write a post of the answers. Now's your chance to find out about that thing that's been nagging you in the back of your head, or stuck in your craw. Nothing is sacred although I reserve the right to protect the privacy of the other people in my life.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

wow, part 2

I cannot remember a time when I haven't been depressed. It is my status quo, my point of equilibrium. My problems reach way back into my childhood. I remember going to a child psychologist for a little while when I was about 11 years old, all I really remember is playing cards and that he/she (I can't remember which) had a neat machine for shuffling them.)

The wow that started this was the quote from Tuesday. The reason for wow has to do with almost a year of therapy that I thought didn't do me any good. This was about 10 years go, and the therapist's conclusion was that my depression was rooted in my relationship with my father. I had not received the love/support/attention/whatever from my dad that I needed. The problem I had with this conclusion was that I didn't believe it. I love my dad and respect him for who he is and what he's accomplished in his life. I just couldn't reconcile what I felt for my dad and what my therapist told me was the problem.

And then I read the wow passage and it slapped me in the face. I didn't have to defend my feelings for my dad by denying what the therapist told me. It wouldn't be a betrayal to acknowledge his role in my emotional state.

I don't know if I agree with my therapist, even with this realization. But I really wish I could have read this back then, I might have been able to get something out of therapy other than a huge bill.

I have a lot to think about.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


I just read something.

"It never occurred to me that I can examine the past and accept that my childhood was not normal without being vindictive or resentful toward my Mom and Dad. They screwed up a lot; so do I. It doesn't make me love them any less fiercely than I do and it doesn't make me think for one second that they were bad parents."

I wouldn't say that my parents screwed up a lot, but SOMETHING SOMEWHERE caused this constant, unrelenting depression that NOTHING has been able to relieve.

Maybe life can be a happy experience?

Monday, March 10, 2008


okay, here's what was ordered:

Wilco - Sky Blue Sky
Amy Winehouse - Back to Black
The Killers - Sam's Town
The Dandy Warhols - Odditorium or Warlords of Mars
Ok Go - Oh No
Feist - The Reminder
U2 - How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb
John Coltrane - Blue Train
Susan Tedeschi - Hope and Desire
Madeleine Peyroux - Half the Perfect World

a mix of new(ish) stuff and older standards. Thanks for all of your recommendations. I wish I could've ordered twice as much - but I still wouldn't have been able to get all of the new music you've shared with me.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

I don't know about Omnipotence

Daisy has tagged me for this meme and I guess as she commands, I obey (kinda old-testamenty vibe here).

1) If I were an all-powerful being and ruled this world, I would:

Make sure every child was raised in a safe and happy home; well fed and educated to the extent they are capable. This would solve the majority of the problems in the world within a generation.

2) If I could be all-knowing, I would want to know:

The reality of all of the mysteries of the past. Did Nero burn Rome? Who was Lucy’s ancestor and descendants? Was Mary Magdalene Jesus’ wife, the “head” disciple, or camp follower? What did the seven wonders of the world really look like? Did Oswald act alone? Did Atlantis really exist? How is my first love doing? Where are my missing socks?

3) If I could move the heavens and the earth, I would:

Give people the wisdom to peacefully coexist.

4) If I had the power to shift time (or move through time) I would:

Go back and watch the world come into being. Watch the first spark of curiosity in mankind. Watch my children being born. Give people the opportunity to really see their what ifs……

5) If, in my infinite wisdom, I were able to bestow anything on anyone, I would:

Give everyone the ability to be happy.

6) If, looking back, I realized I had goofed when I made the world, I would fix:

How easy it is to hate.

As usual, I won't tag anyone - but if you feel compelled, take this up and link back so we can see.

Monday, February 25, 2008

who remember's 78's?

Having been recently reminded of my neanderthal music collection, I am considering taking up a music's club periodic offer on discounted discs. The implication being that I need guidance in this area, in order to make sure I get an adequate sampling of current music, I am asking for suggestions. If you feel so inclined you could tell me why I should choose this over that - but it isn't necessary to justify your suggestions.

Please share some of your favorite music with me. Don't limit your suggestions to something you think I might like - I have an eclectic range of interests and am always open to new experiences.

Even if it took me 10 years to accumulate more CDs than I had records.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

every day, in every way

"And then it happens. She steps into a permanent spot formed by his embrace, the years fall away...."

Saturday, February 09, 2008

okay, so maybe it isn't impossible

but near enough.

I've been thinking about this all day today. I guess I should say a bit more than I did last night.

Oh, The Joy's post was titled "I don't hang out with your husband" and ended with "I just can't make friends with another woman's husband!" She then appealed to her readers to back her up "against" K, who didn't understand why this was so.

Now, I admit that in the post itself she says that it would be okay for her to spend time with the other dad - within the context of K being there and the dad's wife being there. J also explained further in her comment to my post that it would be possible for a married woman to be friends with a married man, but only if the friendship first developed within the context of the couples spending time together so the spouses could be part of the growing friendship and be comfortable with it. J goes on to say that a strong friendship between a married man and married woman could be misinterpreted.

K didn't understand this. Why did J have to have all future contact via the mom? Hence the appeal for help from her readers. The responses were interesting. At the time I read through all of the comments today, out of 86 comments, 62 agreed. (all but 5 of these were women). Only 9 comments disagreed, with 15 undecided. So - 75% of her readers whole-heartedly agreed. Some "chuckled at his (K) naivete", one mentions that "men are so clueless", one states "our men need a little help sometimes", one wrote "score you 1, hubby 0", one would mark her husband so other women would know to stay away, one mentions K needed "a manual on men & women" and the rest said mostly - yep, you're right. I talked to Laura about this at lunchtime. Where she works the staff is predominately female and she agreed that the majority of those women would feel the same way.

I take from all of this that there are two reasons why it isn't a good idea for this kind of friendship. 1) That the spouse would not understand or like it and 2) that the community wouldn't understand the platonic nature of the relationship.

Point 1: I contend that this is a matter of trust between the spouses. Laura and I have discussed this, she is fine with my female friends and feels no need for her to be involved in the friendship. I have no problems with her having male friends. I trust her. She trusts me. Maybe this level of trust is unusual, seeing that some of the 75% of J's supporting comments mention this. Maybe this level of trust comes after a certain amount of time - we've been married over 23 years. I know that Laura will honor our vows of fidelity. If a friendship of hers turned into an affair, that tells me that our marriage had problems in the first place that caused her to look outside it for whatever she didn't get from me. Me preventing her from having unsupervised contact with another man doesn't fix the inherent problem in our marriage. As for how the spouse of my friend feels about the friendship - that isn't my problem. That may sound blunt, cold, uncaring - but I am not responsible for her marriage. It is a matter for them to work out. It isn't my actions causing the problem - it is her behavior that is causing the problem with her spouse and it is up to her to deal with it. If she chooses to deal with it by ending our friendship, then that is her decision and I respect that. Julie Pippert mentions (my paraphrasing) that I should have respect for their marriage by being careful of the friendships I form with married women. I feel that the utmost respect I can have for someone's marriage is to recognize that they have the power and responsibility for maintaining it and that I don't. I have heard something to the effect that communities have a role in maintaining the marriages in it. I don't know that I agree with that - if the marriage isn't strong enough to prevent infidelity then all of the chaperoning by the community won't fix the problem, it will merely perpetuate a bad marriage. In other words, just because I didn't cheat on my wife through lack of opportunity doesn't mean I didn't want to - and it is the wanting to that is the problem, not the actual doing. A lot of people made fun of Jimmy Carter when he made his famous statement about lusting in his heart but what he was trying to say, in my opinion, was that it wasn't just the act itself that is considered cheating, but the desire to also.

2: I don't know what to say about how the community could misinterpret the friendship. This could be your neighbors or your church congregation or your book club, I guess anyone who knows you and sees you with a man other than your husband who might then think you are cheating on your husband. I cannot control what other people think. I don't really care what other people think - other than the spouses involved. I've addressed that in point 1 above. Worrying about how others think is instilled in us at an early age and is done so that we would conform to the local morays. Society protects itself by means of urging this conformance. But at what expense? So we can all live in the same house, all have the same 2.5 children, all go to the same church, all belong to the same lion's club or kiwanis club or jaycees, etc, etc, etc. At what point are we allowed to be individuals without the fear that if I don't go to the right church or belong to the right club I'll be outcast. Well - if the price of belonging means that I'm not allowed to be who I am then I don't want to belong.

Mir's take on this issue (and my post) was that 1) I was overreacting (yeah, probably) and that 2) that this kind of friendship wasn't impossible - that some women simply have more in common with women and so that's where their friendships are. I totally agree with her. But that isn't what J's post is about and it isn't what upset me. J said that she liked the dad but wouldn't hang out with him, be pals with him, have lunch dates (or pedicures) with him - because it just isn't right, it just isn't done.

Liv commented here that she (in effect) agreed that it is a matter of trust, but her comment over at J's post was that J was right, that "we've been through this! You must do it your way" Which, if I relate this to J's comment here, Liv is being consistant - there has to be trust between everyone. Maggie's comment reflects this attitude also. Okay, I accept that there must be trust - but for me the establishment of trust isn't between me and her husband, it is between me and my wife. It is up to my friend to have the trust of her husband.

Slow Panic, over at J's, agreed with her but over here has had another think at it and seems to agree with me, but made what was to me an interesting and somewhat ambiguous statement: "i guess i was thinking of hanging out with them like i hang out with the girls-- like going out and stuff. i don't know". So male friends are okay, but you still cannot "hang out" with them like you would "the girls?" Why not?

At first I didn't quite understand De's comment over at J's, except that her last statement about K being naive made me understand. Her comment here consolidated that understanding. my response is - How can jealousy exist if there is trust? I find them mutually exclusive. So, to prevent jealousy I have to make friends with both the wife AND her husband? And Laura has to make friends with him too? I don't know about other people, but how likely is it that I will meet a woman I want to be friends with and ALSO find that I feel the same about her husband? I find that unlikely and unreasonable. How many potential friends am I losing if I had to stay away from couples that I didn't like equally?

Julie Pippert was one of those wholly supportive over at J's, she mentions that it just doesn't look right and all friendships have to include both spouses. Which she refines here to say that you have to be "careful of the dynamic and respectful of their marriage" and goes on to say that most people have run into problems with this type of friendship and goes further by saying that trust isn't the issue here. I have to say that I disagree, it is all about trust. I also made my position clear with regard to having to be responsible for their marriage - I'm not. She concludes by saying that she personally doesn't have time for these relationships, her life is full of other things - and she lists friends as part of those things. I am left to assume that these are female friends.

Jen - you were one of the very few who disagreed with J and you've repeated that here, in your own succinct way. It is nice to know that I'm not the only one.

Lee - that's a cop out, girl. Take a stand! Join the fray.

I want to close this novel by saying one more thing to J. She was really nice to say in her comment here that she didn't mean to be discouraging me and that I should continue to form friendships where I can find them. I appreciate that, but I can say that even after having thought this through, If I accept what you and your readers are telling me then I have a really hard road ahead of me. As I have said to others and also here in other posts - I have a hard enough time finding people I want to be friends with without having these extra hurdles to overcome. I guess I will have to treasure those friendships I make even more because there will be fewer of them.

Friday, February 08, 2008

that seals it

I give up.

read the comments. I guess there really isn't any - or enough - trust in marriage for friends of the opposite sex to be possible.

I'm so fucking tired of wondering why, and now I know. Even if everything else is there for friendship, I'm not allowed.

so I'm not trying any more.

Monday, February 04, 2008


Just exactly how is someone supposed to feel when they are being interviewed by someone whose goal is to replace you?

The company I work for periodically hires a consulting firm to review our operations and to recommend changes that would improve it. This has happened at least 4 times (maybe more that I'm not aware of) since I've worked here. Let's review their performance. When I started this company had @40 facilities and we were the 2nd largest textile firm in the world. Today we have 1 production facility and 4 distribution centers (domestic) and 1 facility overseas. I guess I shouldn't blame the shift of manufacturing in the US to off-shore totally on them, but I am not in the mood to be fair. Anyway, this round of consulting resulted in the recommendation that we (the collective "we", i.e. this company) should review the Finance, Customer Service, and IT areas.

So, the implementation of this recommendation is to hire the company that we have already outsourced our A/P function to to study these areas - ostensibly to prepare an objective recommendation of how to cut costs in these areas. This same company that provides services in these additional areas.


So, any doubts as to whether our company will implement the recommendations that we've paid so much for?


So I was interviewed two weeks ago now by someone from this outsourcing company. He asked all of about 6 questions, with a few variations on the theme of those questions. No searching questions about my day to day responsibilities, no deeply analytical questions about the system I support and it's role in the running of the company. No questions about who uses the system and their role in this company.


Today I am to complete a list of (currently) outstanding tasks, their scope, and the time it would take to complete the work.


Any guesses as to my next writing project? My resume.


Wednesday, January 23, 2008

a meme is a meme is a meme

as I lie here on my deathbed, up to my eyebrows in used tissues and empty packets of @#$%$!@$%good for nothing cold remedies I am reminded I have been tapped on the shoulder for the two's meme. As I have been reminded that I don't turn down courteous requests (read: sucker for a pretty face and easily susceptible to flattery) I hereby present my answers:

1) Two names I'm willing to answer to: Bob and Robby

2) Two things I'm wearing right this very minute: t-shirt and flannel lounge-wear.

3) Two things I want in a relationship: honesty and loyalty.

4) Two of my favorite things to do: be with Laura, spend time with my friends.

5) Two things I want very badly at the moment: access to the cure for the common cold, the willpower to do what needs to be done.

6) Two people who I think will fill this out: Idon'tknow and Idon'tcare

7) Two things I did last night: go to the grocery store, blog

8) Two things I ate today: chicken fingers with rooster sauce, Beef & vegable soup.

9) Two people I last talked to: Laura and a perky co-ed from my alma mater wanting money.

10) Two things I'm doing tomorrow: ordering rebuild kits for the faucets in our tub and sink, write a weekly status report at work.

11) Two longest car rides I've ever taken: well, if you define this as longest continuous car ride (no overnight stops) then it would be the 15+ hour drive between here and Kansas City last year (several times last year) and the 14 hour drive between Baltimore and Kansas City. If you include overnight stops, then from Georgia to California when I was ?10? and from California to Texas when Laura and I first married.

12) Two most favorite holidays: Thanksgiving and Christmas, they are both celebrated with family.

13) Two most favorite beverages: a cold pitcher of beer shared with my best friend, a bottle of Brut champagne shared with Laura.

14) Two people no longer living I'd like to talk to: My great grandfather - he was born in the 1880's and lived until the mid-'70s. I'd love to have him tell me what it was like to live through world-war I, the roaring 20's, the depression, world-war II, etc. all in rural Georgia. Thomas Jefferson - he was one of the last true renaissance men. He was a man, a husband, a farmer, a slave-owner, the author of the declaration of independance, an ambassador, a governor, a president, his library was the kernel of the library of congress, an architect, a vintner, a lawyer, a ruthless politician, a man who thought there should be little if any central government but was the first president to consolidate power into the presidency - I could go on, and I see that I have gone on for far too long.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


This past weekend was our (flexible) Christmas meet-up with my best friend and his LONG TERM girlfriend (for those of you accusing me of hiding eligible bachelors from you). We met at a restaurant in Lithonia armed with bags-o-presents. Although I had seen David several times last year this was the first time since our last holiday get-together we had all been together so we caught up on all of the goings-on of each other. Laura talked about her trip to Europe last May, I talked about my trip to Bahrain, Iris about her daughters and other family and David about David. After several hours we exchanged gifts and when it came time for mine, David and Iris both were watching me, rather intensely I thought, and when I opened it I saw why. It was in a small box, in which was a leather drawstring bag, out of which I pulled a silver pocket watch with chain & fob. My breath caught in my chest. It. is. beautiful. It has an intricate engraved pattern, and the dial features the day of the week at the top and date to the right. David explained that he had been wanting to do something special for me, for being there for him when his Dad, and then his Mom passed away. He almost started crying and I had to fight from starting. I mumbled something about what are friends for and then the moment passed and we went back to chatting about this and that.

David and I met when I was a freshman in college (we can't decide if it was late '80 or early '81). He was a few years ahead of me. At the beginning of my sophomore year we became roommates. He would occasionally invite me home for the weekend and so I met his family. His father and uncles were the 2nd generation of craftsmen making furniture. David would take me to the shop and once in a blue moon I would help them on a project - I've helped glue-up desks they were refinishing for the Georgia Senate, I've helped David pull pews out of a church for them to fix and refinish. His father spoke slowly & deliberately, and had a wealth of knowledge at his fingertips about almost anything you cared to talk about. David's mom was as sweet as they come. From the beginning she treated me like one of her own children. When I visited she'd tell me - you know where everything is. Help yourself, you're not company, you're family. When I met and married Laura and brought her to visit, she was welcomed as a new daughter in the family. Through the years when passing through this part of the world we would always visit - and there was always a place for us in their home.

David lost his parents within a year of each other. In both cases, he was living with them, taking care of them. In both instances I took some time off of work and went up to be with David. I didn't do anything special, just hung around and kept him company. I wanted to do more, but didn't know what. I miss his mom and dad, they were among the few constants I've had in my life of moving around. They were always there, glad to see me. I wish I could've done more for them, been there more often but daily life got in the way, raising a family and earning a living - Conyers was always just too far for a spontaneous visit.

At each of their funerals I was reminded of how much they had meant to me and how much David means to me. No matter where I've lived, nor of all of people that have come and gone in my life he's always been my best friend. We were talking Sunday about how we'd be telling each other years from now all of the different ailments we had and what pills we were taking instead of what concert we'd like to see or what bar to visit and I realized that - we would. That no matter what the future held for us, we'd be a part of each other's.

And the pocket watch will be a reminder of that - as if I needed one.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Happy New.....well, luke-warm, no actually cold like a dead fish new year

Sorry for the absence, but I kinda took a break from writing this blog when we went on vacation to spend Christmas with Laura's family. We had a great time, (almost) everyone was doing great. I got to meet my new nephew and he is quite the handsome young man I must say. His sister is a precocious two-year-old who likes PINK! Everything must be PINK! She wanted a train set for Christmas (PINK!) but Santa didn't find it until after, so it will have to be a birthday gift (if she remembers that long).

All in all our trip to KC was great. There was lots of snow (great) but a good bit of ice (not so great) and lots of family (super-great). We got to see everyone and still had time for the new museum addition and BBQ! Twice, even. Laura and I celebrated our 23rd wedding anniversary while there (I'll have to check, if I haven't related the tale of our wedding I'll have to do so sometime). We're a bunch of old farts, all we did was go out to dinner (japanese steak house, the only part of which Laura talks about is where they were tossing shrimp into the upturned mouths of customers). We are planning to make our 25th an event with a trip to Greece (where our marriage took off and the kids were born). Anyway, we had fun in KC and left it as we found it - being snowed on.

After we got home I almost immediately got sick. AGAIN! The nerve of those cold bugs, hitting me before and after Christmas. This time it is even worse. I went from having a sore throat to thinking I was going to die from the pain every time I coughed, to loosing my voice (some people count that as a positive!) to being a lethargic, unproductive lump up until today, when I am a merely partly productive lump. I am attempting to work today (although I don't know if my boss thinks so or not) but I am not sure I will last the day out. To top it off, one of the meds the doctor gave me is playing havoc with my prostate and urinating has become somewhat a chore. (I know, TMI, but if I'm suffering, so will you) So, who knew the price to pay for getting my voice back was restricted water works.

In brighter news (and not so personal) this weekend I am meeting with my best friend and his clan (or maybe just his girlfriend - I don't know yet) to do Christmas/New Years/birthday(his). No drunken debauchery as we both are driving but I think we'll manage to have fun.

I'm sorry for having dropped off of the face of the earth, I don't have but a few readers as it is to risk losing them for lack of presence - I promise to do better. cross my heart and hope to... well, no need to go that far.