Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Seeing Red

Struck down with Pink Eye, I've been relegated to staying home today and not spreading the joy. Conjunctivitis is something I thought only kids got, but alas, here I sit. I feel fine, but from what I've read, it's highly contagious, and so I opted out of work for the day. I go to the Doc in a half hours, oh joy.

What is it about the Dr.'s office that I've come to hate? Is it the old magazines. The viraly infected pens used to fill out the reams of paperwork? The scrutinous, personal questions the Nurse Practitioner/Doctor ask? The comfy paper gowns? The prostate charts on the wall in the room? Or is it the knowledge that it's all costing me and my employer way too much for all of it? I think its safe to say it's all of these rolled up like red cross gauze together that make any trip to the Doctor an unpleasant one.

Perhaps the most memorable trip to the Doc was a few years ago when I went in for what was later diagnosed as pulsatile tinnitus. Basically that means that I can hear every beat of my heart in my right ear in sort of a wooshing sound. (Is woosh a word?)

Anyhow, at this appointment, I had the unfortunate luck of getting an ear flushing. A test designed during and by the Hitler regime, this involves a turkey baster filled with hot water thrust into your ear. Multiple pumps are conducted which creates a sensation a little like the sound of a tornado whirling in your head. My wife calls me a wimp for lamenting about such a benign procedure, but until you've had the experience, you need to shut up. I can't begin to describe the junk that comes out of an ear during this procedure, but suffice it to say I don't know how it all got in there.

Winter appears to be waning, however 40 degrees and grey-dirty-brown-black is not exactly inspiring weather. Today it is misting and overcast. Very typical day-after-St-Patty's-day weather. Actually, very typical Home Opener weather. (April 4th).

I truly think my Dog would try to eat anything. The other day I found a chewed up pencil and a half behind the couch. My guess is the other 1/2 is in my backyard by now or lingering somewhere in doggy esophagus. Our dog also eats dirt, slippers, candy wrappers, clumps of human hair (during Dad's haircut), and of course, anything that moves is fair game too. Man's dumbest friend, so the saying goes. Or is it something else?

The whole family went to an indoor soccer match this past weekend. While we all enjoyed it, I sensed the boy element was enjoying it a bit more than the girls. I thought it was important that we do it as a family, as we rarely venture out as a group. Usually we're paired off one parent/one child.

Ben helped me fill in my NCAA Tourney bracket last night. I don't really pay much attention to BB until the tournament, so his guess was as good as mine, I thought. I picked UNC to win it all, so we'll see where that gets me. Some sleeper will probably oust them in the first round and I'll be stuck rooting for no one for the next 3 weeks. Oh well, the world will turn.

I feel a nap coming on.

Blogging off for now...


Monday, March 10, 2008

Hope Springs Eternal...34 and Sunny

Well, I got some comp time today for work I did Sat., so I am home, and the kids haven't discovered that I'm writing, so I thought I'd squeak in a few lines.

So I'm walking to work today and I came across a great subject to write on and thought I should write it down when I get to work. Of course I didn't, and of course I can no longer remember what it was. It was going to be so good. You'll have to trust me on this one. I guess you'll have to live with me writing about what I was going to write about. Getting old-ish and forgetful is a pain.

Walking home with the kids today, Ben said he could smell springtime. So cute, so descriptive, so Ben. He said he was tired of smelling ice, which I didn't know had a smell. Apparently it does. Evidently the smell of winter isn't a wood burning stove, but rather, ice. Not a smell that's found in too many foods, but probably because it's so subtle.

Saturday was a GREAT day. I started out at the Men's Breakfast at Church, followed by a service project at the Milwaukee Rescue Mission (MRM). I was assigned with another guy to painting one of the Men's restrooms. Painting is so hypnotic for me. I don't especially like it, but it is relaxing in it's own way. It always feels so good to volunteer. I plan to do it at every Men's Breakfast opportunity as well as in-between. It's a great feeling of accomplishment for me.

After the service project, I went into work for 1.5 hours to do an upgrade which, hallelujah, went flawlessly. You never know what an "upgrade" will break or downgrade.

Then, that night we went to an old friend's house with another couple and had a great time. Old friends talking old times and yukking it up. How fun is that? A great ending to a great day. It would have been just an average day to me if I hadn't of followed my gut and went on the service project. I guess I need that feeling that I'm doing something positive in the community other than just sucking resources off the planet. (To put it a bit bluntly.)

Yoga has enabled me to get through this brutal winter. If I don't feel alert, I try a few stretches and then feel much better. I'm not in a class anymore, but am doing it at home in the AM. It's all about stregnth, flexibility and balance and is not just sitting in the lotus position and chanting. In fact it's not that at all. I figure if X-million Asian and Indian men can do it, that's enough for me. I'm comfortable enough with my masculinity to deal with it. If I take up synchronized dancing or flower arranging though, y'all have the right to intervene. I would hope you would.

Did I just say y'all? Hmmm...

Well, the paper is calling my name and I'm sure the dog is starting to either fashion his own catheter or trying to visualize desert landscapes, because I know the kids wouldn't have let him out on their own. Silly Dad.

Blogging Off,


Saturday, March 1, 2008

The Ides of March

Most have probably given up hope that I'd ever write again. I know I had. It's been a busy, exhausting wintry February, and thank God it's over. March can only be better one can hope.

Where to begin...hmmm...

I think I'll start at today and work backward as far as the recall will take me. Sarah and I went out for a Dad/Daughter breakfast this morning. Denny's for a "Grand Slam" breakfast and really bad coffee. "A refill? Why yes thank you." Sarah's at that age where she was looking at the adult menu, but ended up ordering from the kids menu, the "alien pancakes" and apple juice. She's so big, yet so much still my baby girl. I love her with all my might.

Then, we went to Toby's first obedience class at the Humane Society. He was what you might call the disruptive dog. The Capstone dog, so to speak. The "No dog left behind dog." Eddie Haskell. Whining and biting his leash. Then 5 min. into class, he pee's the floor. He had moments of brilliance, coming for the instructor when she called, but for the most part he was just distracted by the other calmer dogs. We learned some good techniques, including hand cues, that we need to work on before the next class.

Later in the day I took Ben and a friend sledding and took Toby to the dog park. He was VERY good there and ran till he couldn't anymore. He'll get there eventually, he's still a puppy in so many ways.

Yesterday and Thursday was the WLIA (WI Land Information Association) conference. It was another successful, fun and informative conference. I am so blessed to be doing what I love in a field full of so many other good people.

Last Saturday was so nice out that I thought I'd go XC skiing. I had a blast, especially going down the big sled hill twice. Then, on the way back toward the parking lot I had a near-death. I was speeding down the final wind-y strech in a 1/2 tuck, enjoying the speed when a ski tip drifted out of the track. I didn't react quickly enough, and things started to get ugly in a hurry. I started to slowly, slowly slowly do the splits as I totally diverted from the main track. Then, as I approached the oncoming bushes, I bailed and fell down. Either that or I was felled, details are still sketchy.

Needless to say, after the crash, when I looked up and saw it was a thorn-bush, I thought, "Oh this can't be good." THere was much blood spitting (cut-lip) and ice/snow application to the scratches on my face. Donna said I looked like I had been attacked by a cat. It's healed up nicely now, all except my ego.

Well, we've got pizza and a movie planned, so I'll sign off for now.

Blogging off...until next time.