White Lightning Axiom: Redux: May 2008

Thursday, May 29, 2008


You talkin' to me!? What the Frick!?

Well, that was special. Everything has been moving along on a fairly even keel that the universe had to step in and smack me down good. Just another day of schadenfreude for the universe stomping on me ... but this time I nipped it in the bud. HAH! My a posteriori engagements with vehicular maintenance saved my but this time. It was an odd incident, but I've been having difficulty with the battery I installed in the POS SuperSaturn a few years back. Leaving the headlights on and draining the battery by natural result had weakened it to a point where turning the engine over from a cold start could be a death rattle. I was surprised by this though. I had just stopped off at the DayCare/ReEducation Facility to extract the Tyrants and head off to the Swim Club when the situation occurred. I tried to restart the engine and heard two clicks ... then POOF! Nothing. Every electronic system in the pilot's console went blank. No lights, no digital clock, no constantly beeping/dinging alert of unfastened seatbelt harness or door ajar. I shrugged and went into the trunk where I had a jump pack and tried to reanimate the critical systems ... only to find out that there was not enough juice to do the job. So, in a fit of panic, I call the Mrs and let her know that the 'Fit had hit the Shan'. She would be there within the hour. Just as I was terminating the SOS request, one of the mothers (Maddie's Mom) from the Tyrant's class was wandering by and asked if I needed a jump. I gleefully accepted her benevolent offer ... but I was parked with the front of the vehicle pointed down-hill ... against the edge of the lot. Alas, to garner her spare electrons, I had to ask the Tyrants to disembark and go play while I pushed the multi-ton bock of inert metal and fiberglass uphill, for 10 meters, with a bad back, and knee, and shoulder. EGADS! But I was determined and perseverance won the day. She pulled up, I connected the jumper cables and the POS SS sprang to life. IT'S ALLLIIVVVVEEE! Quick Egor, break out the champagne and alert the villagers to sharpen the pitchforks and distributed torches. Now, I had a choice. I could still take the Tyrants to the Swim Club but I would either have to get the Mrs to meet me there and give me a jump or leave the engine running for an hour and hope for the best. Pollute the planet and tempt the local youth with a free ride? Tweak the Mrs by having her drive all over damnation to keep the auto limping along? No good choices there. Then, there was another plan that the Mrs suggested: Go to the Uber Mechanic Chris and ask him for a battery. Well, yeah, of course! But Chris had moved his shop around the corner so I needed to pummel my way through afternoon traffic to get there. Better than going to one of the other shops miles away and ... yeah. So, I engage in mortal combat with the other harried rush-hour gladiators only to find that Chris had NO INVENTORY since the move ... but I could go up to the street where I just picked up the Tyrants where there is a Napa Auto Parts warehouse and they would sell me one with no problem. Urk ... I just slogged through that swamp. So be it. Got the battery ... dive back through the same traffic jam ... and arrive at the manor 30 minutes after initially killing my battery. I quickly changed batteries while the Tyrants got changed into their uniforms for TSD and did their homework. By 1730 (1 hour post energy death), the cold fusion battery was swapped and we were rolling off to practice. HAH! Take that universe! And so it did ... but It came back to haunt me the next day.

This morning at the late hour of 0830, I had my second PT session. This one was not anything like the first where we played the 1000 question game and did a load of mobility/flexibility tests. No, this was where we had the pleasure to forgo the usual niceties and went right into the torture session with Tiffany BoneCrusher, bugbear of all soft-tissue injuries and strained sinew. So, she twisted and mangled and pummeled my tender ligaments into a pulpy mess before shooing me out the door ... see you next week! All cheery and happy with her gristly work done, I pour myself out the door and pray that I do not undo all her machinations before my next visit.

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Tuesday, May 27, 2008


Weekend Redux : Ow-ow-owwww...

To start with, PT just busted me up something fierce This past Friday. I was in no mood to do anything after that so I was fortunate in that we had company down and the Tyrants were willing to pass up swimming and Dodge Ball Friday to go and harass our guests. While I did house chores, the rest of the horde went off to do a bit of bowling at the local Brunswick Zone. Better them than me, of course. I've been laying low from TSD for the last few days hoping the issue with my chest would resolve to a tolerable level of pain if I just let it be for a bit. Seems to have worked. I'm within operating tolerances now so as to be capable of working off that 1000lb of red meat I've yorked down since last Friday. And there is this, a short piece from the Mrs this past Friday:
Jake was too comfortable this morning and wasn't too happy with me waking him up this morning. He was complaining that his dream wasn't over yet. I asked him what he was dreaming about and he said with a smile on his face "Looney Tunes" so I asked which character and he replied "The one that shoots". I told him that when he goes to sleep tonight that he can finish his dream.
That's my boy! I'm hoping he would not pick Yosemite Sam or Elmer J Fudd though.

The actual weekend was fairly busy. It started out with a birthday party at Elmwood Zoo in the morning. You may have noted that I have had low expectations of the zoo, ever since I noted this in my previous literary attempts last year. The zoo is pretty much a set of pens that were put up and anything that happened to be in the area was made to be the population. Porcupines, fox, and such. Lots of listless goats, ponies are available for e-coli incubation. The rest of the day was of a much higher caliber. We took a little hike out to the hinterlands of Pennsyltucky ... somewhere near Centralia ... to a wondrous (but extraordinarily difficult to find) place called Knobles. It is essentially the hive for carnies. A bazillion little rides that you barter for entertainment by providing little slips of paper with notations of '20 cents' or '2 dollars'. So, you get into the park for free and only pay to go on the rides. Perfect for adults who, like the Mrs, retch at the thought of turning around too fast to look behind oneself. Provided you have some vertigo lovers in the group for the shorter children, it can be a rather entertaining outing for all. I was particularly interested in the 'Hot Dog' ride. Yes, the eateries scattered about the park who would lure in patrons with a zen for high fat and super-saturated sugar beverages were never more than three steps away. I do believe I managed to hit all of them except the 'Rib Station'. Yeah, not enough time or stomach capacity. Did I mention I gained a few pounds over the weekend? Oh, and it is perfectly fine if you bring your pets. I noted quite a few dogs of every shape and size, but not too many cats. Lots of NASCAR fans, and a significantly high ratio of skin to tattoo prevalence. After wandering about whilst I ruminated upon a bottomless bag of kettle-corn, we finally exhausted our booklet of 'ride-money' and implored our Tyrants to allow us to depart. It's a 2.5 hour trip out there and for some bizarre reason, it took nearly the same amount of time to get back! Arriving at the gateway to the Domain in which the Haupertonian Empire is geographically located, we, the party of hungry little ones and adults of exhausted extremes, decided to lunch upon the fare available at the local all night diner. Heart-burn city. I had some steak and eggs with a side of bacon and some pizza fries. A few more calories than I really needed at that time of the evening, but hey, it's a vacation and I'll pay my dues later ... right? Now, of course, I'm paying for my decision to kick the can down the road and it is a heavy price to pay. But I am vehement in my dedication to shed this obstinately persistent lardage. Really! Sunday, you know, the day of rest, I conducted myself to do absolutely nothing about this 'dedication' and attended a KOC event in KOP regarding my 4th Degree in the Knighthood. So, now I am a 'Sir Knight'. I can say no more other than there was A LOT of free beer and snacks. It was nearly for naught since I managed to pick up the sheet from last year's ceremony and drove to the wrong place. The Valley Forge Convention center was about 3 miles away from the event location this year and my 'double guess jeopardy swag' allocated an extra 15 minutes for such a mishap. I called the mrs and she gave me a general direction, the whole commute was finished before we disconnected. BIG THANX TO THE MRS on that save. The whole day was pretty much shot.

Monday, I got things done on what is supposed to be an Armed Forces day of memorial. (Side note: Thanx to all the guys and gals out there from the Revolutionary war [in our back yard no less!] up through our deployments today) Changed the oil, filters and topped off the fluids in the POS Supersaturn SL1 ... Attila watched me and was AMAZED that Daddy could do mechanic work. Especially when I drove the car up on the ramp: "Daddy is so COOL!". I should have had the Mrs record that particular display of parental celebration, I may not hear anything like that when she gets to those nasty teen years. I did get the lawn mowed, some weeds pulled, the remaining mulch spread, grass seed planted and a bit of bamboo transplanted from the easement (where our municipal groundskeepers mowed it down) to more appropriate locations along the back-50 boundaries. Oh, and the Mrs returned the Wii that she had bought ... going to make an equitable exchange with Big Little Bro for his unused unit. I wonder if he would like a couple of Mammoth sized cyber-hounds in exchange.

Oh, and that recent dip in oil prices. Interesting, no? The price of oil goes down and what happens to gasoline prices? They go up. You think it may be that we still have a problem with speculators? W are burning less gasoline now (demand down) and oil supplies are going up so that whole semester in Macro Economics tells me that something is not quite right here.

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Wednesday, May 21, 2008



Nothing entirely exciting today. I'm a little pooped from TSD, but nothing out of the ordinary. I've still got a fairly nasty bruise from last Thursday evening where I took a back-kick to the right pectoral ... it's a wonderfully mottled shade of gangrene yellow and splotches of purple. A bit like a moldy slice of toast with coagulated jelly on it. PRETTY! I'll wager the folks at the Physical Therapy Center (Which I have an appointment on 5/22 @ 1430 hours) will see either the image of Jesus or Elvis in it. Uff-da. PT. I cannot believe that I'll be doing that. So much ignored damage to go over with them. I'm a friggen' (Rhode Island) Frankenstein's Monster. Scars, stitches and mis-matched parts. Should be entertaining.

On the road to making the Haupertonain Empire an Energy Independent Sovereign State, I stopped off at the local DMV to pick up a motorcycle learner's permit. I got there at about 1610 and it closed promptly at 1615! I was in so I got to stay ... sweet! The process itself was fairly painless given the dreaded DMV connection. I had to wait about 5 minutes and then was directed to a kiosk where I took a 20 question test where I need to correctly answer 16 questions with the option of skipping some till the end of the test. I skipped one and the test was terminated after I got to question 17 ... took all of 7 minutes. Roughly 15 minutes after I arrived, I was leaving the facility (through the unlocked side door) with permit in hand. I'm starting to think that the DMV is unnecessarily maligned. Now, I just need to find a BRC course (they are held at the local Naval Air Base) where I can make all 4 half day sessions.

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Tuesday, May 20, 2008



Woop! Slipping a bit here. Not much to really blather about. First, I thought of complaining about gasoline prices. Like, nobody ever does that. On Tuesday, when oil hit 129$/55gal barrel (Today, it got over 143), I was less than pleased. You know, when our politicians start mincing words about why we cannot drill for oil in places because it would do damage documented in the 1970's or that the oil would not be available for 10 years, I wonder what they are trying to prove. Having us spend MORE on oil is not going to give us any extra funds to spend on alternative fuel research and it is certainly not going to help the economy. Now I'm just getting cranked up here. All for naught. I've heard that we as a nation have actually used LESS gasoline over the last two quarters then the previous year. I cannot imagine how the economy in other countries are doing right now.

Let's grouse about something that I actually have some dominion over. My health. Specifically, my blood pressure, cholesterol and weight. Now, My Chatty and Extraordinarily Friendly Family Physician noted that my blood pressure was astoundingly good (so, the exercise and salt intake is not a problem), we were a bit concerned about all that nasty LDL and lack of HDL in the pipes. This morning, stepping on the scale, I found myself looking at that hard target of 183lb. Of course, it was morning and I had yet to start my daily consumption of vital worlds throughout the universe. Now, I ask myself, why is is really all that hard to loose the weight I would like. It's only 5lb and I've been railing against this last obstacle for quite a few months now. Is it the 2000 kilo-cals we are restricted to each day? Hmmm, apparently not quite true per the little counter I came across. I'm 'allowed' somewhere between 2900 and 3200 per day. So, lets look at my daily orgy of mass consumption and rank each morsel:

Now for Dinner

Yeah, add it all up and weep. About 3831 calories ... roughly 200 over what I really should be scarfing down. I'm going to have to abandon my cheese and beef dinners. DAMN!

Not to leave on a sour note ... I had an interesting discussion with Ghengis the other night. Every other night or so, I'll snuggle with the Tyants when they finally settle into bed (under pain of a set of cold feet on the back at 0300 hours). But I digress. We were talking and I asked him what he thought about the weekend trip to Sesame Place. He was happy with it all, but we a bit miffed that we saw not one Transformer in the place. I was curious about that and asked him where would we expect to see one? He affirmed that on the internet, there is a BOT CON in, of all places, Friggen Rhode Island. I was set back a bit, and countered that he had been to Rhode Island when he was 6 months old and we saw not one Transformer then. He countered that they are to be found in FRIGGEN Rhode Island. My bad, we will look into it when time permits. He is getting this data from a documentary video on the Hasbro site. This year, the conference is in Friggen Ohio.

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Monday, May 19, 2008


Weekend Redux 20080519

Late, late, late. So sorry. Really, cannot you just grasp the visceral experience of my sorry-ness just oozing from the screen? No? Sigh ... okay, yeah. So I've been preoccupied. Let's just skip all that perfidy and get down to the rub, eh? Last Friday, yes. Dodge Ball and swimming ... all good except that the pool heater had been broken all week and by the end of the run the pool temperature had dropped to something just short of freezing. This morning, the ambient air temperature was somewhere around 38F so you can imagine the blue-lip experience I was getting from all that semi-liquid wonderfulness. The kids did not mind one bit though. I cannot fathom how latitudinarian they seem to be about heat or the lack there of. Must be the Minnesota Blood I contributed to their genetic makeup. That, or the nano-bot fusion heaters running about their bodies. Either way, on top of the 'energy death' cold days, it's been raining consistenly all week so mowing the lawn had to be skipped. Fortunately, I scalped the pastoral expanse last week so I could skip this weekend without having to worry about looking for Doctor Livingston in the Darkest Heart of Africa the following week. I need to weed the Haupertonian Agricultural Sector too ... this extended cool period has really been a boon for the leafy greens and pea. Totally out of control! I've been eating salads freshly picked every night for the last week and I've got 10 bins all set up for this week (lunch, dinner). Delish! (no, I'm not stealing this from that faux personality who whores for Dunkin Donuts)

This Saturday, after a rocky start, we got going at 1000 hours for a favored destination ... Sesame Place! Nice and close, about one gallon of gasoline for a round trip. Of course, as noted, we have had a flood recently of a mostly semi-liquid slurry of liquid hydrogen and suspended dark-matter. It was concentrated in the water-based attractions and you KNOW that Attila required me to ride with her on the more vigorous rides. The ducky-ride, one of the favorites, was particularly chilly being the first thing we hit after Ghengis' required visit to the Super Grover Roller-Coaster: VaporTrail. The upside is that we never had to wait for more than 60 seconds to get on ANY wet ride attraction we were interested in. The dry rides took a bit more patience, but nothing out of the ordinary. Tea-cups, Blast-off and Flying Fish were the only lines. All in all, well worth the kidney I had to give up for the season passes. On the way to the Park, we noticed a new restaurant on Street Road just before we got onto the Freeway. It's called Ristorante Toscana 52. I thought we could stop off on the way back home (park closes at 1700 hours) for a quick bite to size the place up. Well, it was absurdly wonderful. A bit more pricey than Carrabas, but a culinary treat of surprising proportions. I think we were lucky to arrive so early since when leaving roughly 1.5 hours later, the lot was overflowing into the street and the waiting area was mobbed. Note to the wise, always arrive early. A brief tirade, but there is no reason to waste bits of your life waiting for food and service if you do not have to.

Sunday, it rained. Slacked about, folded some laundry and actually relaxed a bit. Bizarre, guilty feeling made the whole experience rather uncomfortable. My tendency towards pluripotency when it comes to activities is a hard predilection to rally against. I'm finding that imparting this trait upon my scion is a case of low hanging fruit ... if they are not doing something, they want to help me do something. I dread the day we let them start playing with the Wii. This should help us with the reward points for system usage.

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Friday, May 16, 2008



I had started this posting earlier, before I was Crushed by the oppressive boot of the universe. I have not a faintest whiff of umbrage that my 'out of scope' activities brought the hammer of the 'Great Economies of Spoon Deficit Spending' down upon my thick skull. I am not extremely parsimonious when it comes to regulating my daily endeavors and this is a long and lowed tale of such an incident.

It had been a fairly dull weekend up till Sunday. There was the usual Swimming/Karate with the Tyrants. The dictate so far is that one would suffer the pain of mortal punishment should we miss Friday Dodgeball at TSD. It was a nice class actually. Jake did as he promised this evening and tried quite hard to be a good little tyrant for daddy. The opportunity to peg his sister with a ball after her harassment in the pool may have been the impetus for that though. Since it was raining all day, I was in no hurry to get home and lounge about. It was laundry day and I had a few loads to take care of. Instead, I cooked 4 fillets of Tilapia and we had a bit of broccoli soup with a side of carrots ... and they finished it up within an hour this time. Gotta love Fish Fridays.

Saturday morning was an early one. Both the Mrs and I had appointments and the Major Medical Complex where I spend way too much time in the emergency room. We both had blood tests but her's was in the Northern most branch of the complex on the 100th floor or something. Mine was in the Lab in the Polar opposite so I hauled the tyrants off, dodging the various organ transport droids and skulking vampires (called Hematologists?) along the way. I had to wait amongst the unwashed masses while the Mrs was fortunate to have her own private sitting room and a bevy of attendants. Harumph. By the time I get called to the blood-letting chamber, the Mrs has finished her procedure and was sitting along with the reset of us in 'stowage class'. Of course, my own fluid divestment went quickly.

With that behind up, we rocketed off to Staten Island for a day-long co-ed baby shower. I'll not deride your sensibilities with the mental torpor inducing details. Long story short, we got home shortly before midnight after much merry-making and child scolding. Sunday morning was the usual with a good measure of lawn-mowing and general yard-work chores tossed in for good measure. I was busily spreading 80lb bags of garden soil about the back-50 to reseed areas exfoliated by the cybernetic hounds and their Agent Orange urine when it hit. That little tingling in the frontal lobe and the small visual disturbances ... like little fairies of light prancing about reality, only visible through a gossamer veil of exhaustion. I had not my wits about me or I would have realized the indicators of my eventual downfall. Flash-forward to the next morning, I was paralyzed with nausea and existence rending storms of grinding suffering. All other ailments were thrust aside as this new fresh brand of hell intruded upon my blissfully perfect life. The next two days were a marathon session of gulping pills and retching till I was finally able to cast off the worst of the symptoms late Tuesday afternoon.

Returning to work, I found myself challenged with piles of work. Added to this was the back-log of personal activities (doctor's visit?) that I needed to deal with. Apropos to the topic, my Talkative and Extraordinarily Friendly Physician had my blood results and noted some anomalies: Cholesterol was just a hair above 200, Triglycerides were through the roof and the HDL/LDL was skewed due to low HDL readings. Peculiar because of my diet and the amount of exercise I get. She referred me to a lipid specialist because of the oddities but we both agreed that since my diet is within standard operating parameters and physical acumen for exercise was above par, no drugs would be useful at this time. Looking down at the site where the last gallon of blood was siphoned off, the buick sized bruise invokes feelings of apprehension should this vaunted expert require yet another sample.

Oh, gasoline ... yes. It's at $3.77USD/g right now. I'm considering the alternatives.

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Wednesday, May 14, 2008


Back in the saddle


Been out sick for the last few days ... will post shortly.

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Friday, May 09, 2008


Ahh, the end of the week ... and not a day too soon. The doctor's visit last night was entertaining ... right up till we got to the part where I had to broach the subject of the Southern Exposure. Yeah, I'm a bit on the shy side when it comes to that area, but my Female Doctor assured me that at a ripe old age of 45+, she is pretty much seen it all in the GP business. So, she had a few moments to have a conversation with the sentient being now evolving back there, she wrote me a prescription for some nuclear balm to burn the little bastard out. It was telling when she proclaimed "OH! You poor dear! I've owned CARS smaller than this." and let me know that it seemed to be one of the lesser variety that would not require any incisions, ligation or firing squads. While she had the pad out, she wrote me a script for physical therapy (bad back) and a referral for a wad of blood tests. She asked if I needed anything for the ripped ligament in my chest wall (oxycontin, tylenol-3, percocet, opium) but I declined. She and I run with the same pack with regards to pain: If you numb it all out, you'll never know if something is horribly wrong.

An interesting note with the doctor's visit ... I had to come directly from TSD practice with the kids so the Mrs was there to take over. I left at about a quarter to seven for a 1910 appt. I needed about 15 of the 20 minutes I alloted for the commute. So there I was in my DoBok when the nurse/physician's assistant walked in. She eyed me up and asked: "Are you going to give me any trouble?", to which I responded "Hardly none mam. Yourself?". She chuckled (in that knowing way that sadistic nurses do) and we moved on with the interrogation. The Doctor was quite happy with my diet and exercise routine and she commiserated with me about how her Husband was less than enthusiastic about such pursuits. She has a fairly bubbly personality and it tends to loosen up the patient-doctor relationship quite nicely. Of course, she noted, she would rather spend time in the room with me rather than the next patient ... troublesome case. Indeed, not so much the ailment as it was the person. No doubt, she will fare well and we will indulge our interest in small-talk on my follow-up next Thursday.

Other small tid-bits: It's raining this fine Friday so I'll not be mowing the Expansive Pastoral Expanse today. The SuperSaturn POS was pinging away so I had to add a quart of oil ... damn thing burns more oil than gasoline! Ghengis and Attila are having issues with Lunch ... they tend to want to play more than eat so when they are picked up, they are full from their 1600 'late' lunch ... that makes dinner a challenge. I honestly believe that they have NEVER suffered through true hunger yet. Snack adjustments are in order. Oh, and gasoline prices are steady at $3.60USD/g ... till Memorial Day. When do you think we will get to $5USD/g?

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Thursday, May 08, 2008


Grumblings unheeded

I'm cranky today. Yep, status quo, don-cha know. Spent a good chunk of time in the back 50 waiting for CyberHound Thor to do his business. He spent his time snooting about and generally acting as if he was not entirely interested. He was not, since he completed his daily constitutional exploits the evening before. It was lightly raining at the time and I was out there in my slippers and boxers. CHILLY! All for naught. That set me off on the wrong foot for the rest of the day. I made a few appointments with our Family Physician; one for this evening and one for a week from now. The first is to discuss the various ailments I'm trying to beat into submission ... and generally failing. The back ache, muscle spasms bizarre pain in ribs and that OTHER issue. The following appt is just an annual 'kick the tire' exam. Of course, there is the added fringe benefit of a potential PSA and ... umm, a lower intestinal polyp expedition. Family history and general precautions dictate such an extreme measure. Difficult month, statistically speaking, on the health battle front.

Work is work, swimming is nice (yes, it feels nice to soak in a warm pool) and TSD is starting to tweak me since I have not had an opportunity to start on my next 2 forms since I have been unable to attend the adult class (or focus on much else for that matter). The news about how high gasoline prices is having a secondary effect of slower/more cautious driving habits is interesting. And there is this as well. Okay, that's it for today ... I need to recoup my gruff mannerisms and cantankerous reserves.

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Wednesday, May 07, 2008



Okay, sometime after the TSD test on Saturday and the bout of food poisoning, I was the unwitting recipient of a new malady that I have not had the pleasure of being associated with. HEMORRHOIDS ... wtf! No, really Whiskey-Tango-FoxTrot! What trademarked brand of fresh hell is this! So, being an educated suffer, I took a spin on the amalgam of misinformation called the internet. My previous research expeditions have led me to be a contrite consumer of banal blather, but I was desperate. Things were riotous in the South Lands and being that my job insists that I spend a serious chunk of my active hours planted on this fomenting 'pile' of pain, I needed SOME sort of resolution or treatment. This is certainly not one of those Durned MS things that I can dismiss with a wave of a hand. I did find this:
Self Care:
Most hemorrhoids heal on their own in a week or two. Hemorrhoids have a tendency to return unless something is done to prevent them. The most effective preventive measures are:
* Eat between 25 and 30 grams of fiber a day. [HAH! That's per meal for me]
* Drink at least 8 glasses of water a day. [Does coffee count?]
* Increase your amount of daily physical activity. [THAT'S UNPOSSIBLE!]
* Add stool softeners or laxatives to diet. Consult with the doctor regarding the prolonged use of stool softeners and laxatives. [Does 16oz of celery a day count?]
* Lose weight. [BITE ME you foppish twit!]
* Change bowel habits. Respond to the urge to defecate and stay relaxed to avoid straining.[Yeah, failed that with the bout of food poisoning ... should have just slept on the throne...]
* Exercise the buttocks muscles. [Errmmm ... ok, but can I wait till this resolves?]
* Practice good personal hygiene. Keep the anal area clean and avoid using rough toilet paper. [Okay, this is a problem. We have 'Sandy Wipe' at work that is mostly made of steel wool and fiber glass]
They were so kind as to make some recommendations regardin 'comfort measures'. They are not entirely within the realm of the possible for me:
Looks like I'll have to stay off the TSD mat for a bit, but I'm certainly going to be spending a bit of time in the pool.

I would like to just complain about gasoline prices ... but thinking of gas right now ... oh, DAMN!

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Tuesday, May 06, 2008


Weekend Redux 20080506

I'm completely spent from the load of disparate chores and events I pursued over the past few days. Friday night's halcyon hours of light supping and TiVo viewing were all too soon replaced with Saturday morning's scurrying and panicked preparation for the dreaded TSD test. The Twins were necessarily kept calm so as to not arouse Attila's Stage Fright nor Ghengis's penchant for light-speed hyperactivity and subsequent flubbing of forms. As things would have it, they did just fine and were rewarded handsomely for their efforts by the Mrs. Transformers (Brawl) for Ghengis and anatomically correct dolls for Attila to promptly strip and waterboard. Now, I also passed my test but I was not feeling all too well. The night before, I had that particularly uncomfortable itch in the back of my throat that was the portend to a cold. Indeed, the following morning my nasal passages had been blockaded by the Snot Revolution and my uvula was a bright red beacon of swollen rage. Yeah, I had a bit of a rough go of it, but I managed to drag through and then we went off to the default pizza party after the last of the 1000 pushups had all but become a distant memory.

The pizza party was fine and we had a relaxed time ... well, in between admonishing the Twins for not eating enough. Right from there, we departed to the Family Friend Seliga's home for a First Communion Party that lasted well into the evening hours. Mostly, it was because of the Flyers game. (WOOT! Great Game!) Just as the last drops of perseverance were being squeezed from my once bottomless reservoir, the mrs got a call from one of her co-workers who ... carries a support beeper. Apparently, one of their servers went down and the first round of beepers did not respond. So, we were stuck for a bit while the Mrs 'dialed in' to survey the battle field. Not too long though, she just commanded her minions to storm the server room and commit an IPL on the offending machine. Like HAL 9000 singing his final rendition, it went down into that long dark night and we were off. Back to the manor to put the Tyrants right to bed. They had been going full tilt all day long and were now in the process of turning the humidity directly into energy via fusion process. I could not keep up since my genetic blueprint did not include such wondrous organs. Durned Retro-virus, all picky about what pluripotent cells it will work with. Sheesh.

Sunday was a mess. I ended up sicker than ever and still had things to do. Now that Sunday School is over, I can assist with other endavours ... such as assisting with the KOC program to collect donations for Mentally Disabled Children. At the 0700 mass. I did the early mass since most of the older crew cannot make it at that hour and get all set up. I also helped out with the beginning of the 0830, which was greatly appreciated. When all you manage is a buck or two from each parishioner, it takes a bit of smooth talking and flattery to fill that bucket! I was their eye candy and I could also open the heavy metal doors! Heh ... and I wonder where my son get's it from. After the third collection, I stopped off at the local grocery store to buy the Mrs some roses and the Tyrants some donuts. I also had to pick up some salves and medical potions for myself. Gha, I'm such a wreck. Arriving home, the Twins were in the guest room in their jammies, watching the TiVo and the Mrs was blissfully snoozing away in the Master Suite. Who am I to buck the system? I shed my Sunday Finest (work day clothing with a nice sweatshirt) and slipped in between the sheets. Nice! Hours later, I was up again, puttering about the Haupertonian Lands and mowing the lawn while the Twins re-enacted the 100 year's war in the sand-pit. Not too bad of a Sunday, but I did not get the cooking done for the week and did laundry instead. Just 6 loads, but still, it had to be tended to. As for the rest of the day, I spent the twilight hours trying to be and erudite consumer of blog postings that I had been neglecting since Friday. Too much though. Monday morning, I got up a bit late and arrived at work at 0635. I'll need to do better next day (not!) but since the ENTIRE DAY was either preparing for meetings or attending 6 hours of meetings, I missed very little.

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Friday, May 02, 2008


Whine and grouse


Whew ... that was a close one! Nearly had my 'Curmudgeon' License revoked for having a sunny disposition and all. It's meeting day so I'll be spending my day fending off 'action items' and on top of that, it's the end of the SCRUM Sprint. We need to meet with the Product Owner and the Customer to have a Retrospective about what we have accomplished over the last four weeks. Quite a lot actually, but since we are merely a bug fix team, we are not adding any new functionality. Just reducing Technical Debt. Not entirely glamorous, but I'm a blood-n-guts sort of guy so it suits me fine. We need only let the interested, or captive, parties know that we are continuing to improve product quality and ensure that future efforts will be boot-strapped by our efforts ... then skedaddle!

Speaking of quality and time, the Mrs fell asleep last night while snuggling with the Twin Tyrants of Turpitude. It is a fore-gone conclusion that they will ask for an innumerable number of things to avoid going to sleep every evening: Story-Time, Hugs-n-Kisses, Drink of Water, and as a last resort - snuggles. Now the Mrs is more than happy to comply when she does not have an evening teleconference with her Subversion Agents in the Pacific Rim Theater, but she must have been extraordinarily tired and thusly, was incapable to remain awake till Ghengis dropped off. Now I'm not above indulging the other with similar privileges, but after a night of TSD I tend to stink of sweat, blood and fear. It sluffs off me like a bank of fog rolling up into valleys from a greater mount of volcanic venting. So, in the early morning hours, the Mrs stumbled into the Master Suite and plopped her semi-somatic form into bed, jolting me from my usual light slumber. It took a bit of time for me to reacquire the sufficient calm to return to the dreams of angst I usually spool through. With that, of course, I had a difficult time getting out of the ever-calming embrace of the Mile-Wide Bed. I was running about 10 minutes late and paid for it on the way to work ... the Reading Railroad crossing was occupied by a rather lengthy freight train. So, it took me 17 minutes to get to work instead of 13 ... part of which was induced by missing the 6am Perfect Harmonic Light Sequence. I had to stop at THREE red lights. There goes my mpg rating!

Speaking of gasoline: This. Interesting, eh? And, with that: This. Given that only 25% of existing farmland is actually being used to produce any type of crops and the acreage we ARE using is producing more than ever, all this nonsense about food shortages seems like fear mongering to me. Can you guess what country produces the most rice? How about corn?

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Thursday, May 01, 2008


The pendulum swings back ...

Nothing new today, unfortunately. Got up a bit later, but made nearly every light on the way to work so spent about 15 minutes on the road. Sweeeet. It seems that I have entered a realm where my usual jeremiads and lamentations are evaporating like that last puddle of slush on a brisk May morn. Fear not my intrepid readers, the TSD test is this weekend and I'll have many tales of woe and misery as I recount the various damaged systems and crippling blows I am forced to withstand! Oh, I nearly forgot, since we did not go swimming yesterday (the pool is closed for a large swim class), I got my hair cut. Human again, thank goodness. And gasoline, well, now at $4.63USD/g. Feh, that 5g/week thing is saving the budget, but jeeze! I remember .81/g back in the early '90s. Sigh.

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