Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Mostly on Facebook, these days

I may still blog here when I am in the mood, but for the few of
you who read this, you should probably follow my Facebook postings:

http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#/sue.grandys?ref=profile

All my friends are over there, so I've gotten much more in the
habit of posting over there, nearly daily. For whatever you think
about Facebook, it is a more satisfying social experience than
throwing these blogs out into the void.

I feel like I'm keeping up on my friends daily lives, and I'm
enjoying that.

If I have something I want to go more into depth on, I will post
it here.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Another Adventure

So work announced this week that they were sending me off to
California, to 2 of the corporate offices next week. I'm going
to miss all the Christmas parties, and when I get back the
Company shuts down until after new years. So I get a trip and
a break for over 3 weeks. I'll for get what the office looks like!

I didn't really want to go, and then the weather here got
suddenly winterish, so now I'm sort of looking forward to it.
I will be in the San Jose area from next Sunday to Tuesday,
then it is down to Orange County until Friday. I'll be
near Laguna Beach, and hope I'll get a little time to see it.
Last time I was at headquarters there wasn't time - and it's
been 24 years since I've seen it. I loved it back then,
I wonder if it has changed a lot.

So this weekend was a little shopping, going through clothes, and
preparing for the trip. Not much time next Saturday to get ready,
so I'm doing it all this weekend.

Another Mini-adventure, and a nice break from routine!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Thanksgiving Weekend

Ah, a non-traditional Thanksgiving and Black Friday, all the way
around.

Thanksgiving day, we were going to have Sukiyaki for diner, since
it was just the two of us, and we had nowhere to go. The roomate
was off at another event (though he did bake buttermilk pies and
I had a taste, since I'd never had it. Yummy). I was going to
bake low-carb brownies.

I took one look at the kitchen (I haven't been home much with the
crazed work schedule) and had a fit. We started a kitchen clean
and reorganizing that lasted 3 days. We just now finished.

Instead of shopping for gifts on Black Friday and today, we kept
running out for more and more and more storage bins. Home Depot
had a sale on shoebox size, and slightly larger - perfect for the
kitchen.

Everything is neatly in it's place, cleaned and labeled. Cuboards
are neat and organized. I can actually find things now, if I want
to cook.

Oh, and Cayenne did make me Sukiyaki for Thanksgiving. My brownies
were so awful, I threw them away. I got the recipe off the web,
and it seemed wrong - and it was. So no desert, but I made up for
it with having some ice cream today.

I'm afraid of what I will do over the 16 days where my company
shuts down over Christmas. Most of the past ones, I've had
surgery. This time I'll probably take all that energy and
terrorize the basement. We have been in this house for over 10
years now and it really needs some major reorganization, so it
isn't always a mess.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Dreaming

Dreaming of a body that doesn't age and hurt. One that is strong
and can take me where I want to go, traveling and taking in the
world. Or one that can even last through an afternoon of shopping.

Dreaming of the ocean, living by water in a quaint seaside village.
Watching the ships and the sun sparking on the water, hearing the
lap of the waves to lull me to sleep. Living a less frantic life
full of nature and sunshine and peace.

Dreaming of creative work that satisfies the soul, rather than
stunning it into silence.

Dreaming of happy pets, happy friends, and happy me.

Is there any path to make this reality?
I can't find one, because I am running too fast.

Dreaming.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Ah Mytstic!

My legs hurt! Let's see, my knee went out slightlty this morning,
but no excuse for stopping on vacation. Drove around Mystic and
Noank and lots of harbors and beaches. Drove up to Wavery, RI
and back thorough Stonnington. Lots of stone walls, and zillions
of trees changing colors. Not the best year for tree colors, but
we have seen some.

Shopped in Mystic and got a neat hat and Chris got a ornate business
card holder. Ice cream cones at the Drawbridge Ice Cream place in
Mystic. Reslly, really good ice cream eaten by the river. Lunch at
a clam shack on Highway 1. Fried clams and really good clam chowder.
Hoping to be hungry soon, because still haven't gotten to the
Skippers Dock, a place that we liked so much last year.

Walked around the Mystic Aquarium (overpriced, but neat Sea Lions),
when through Old Mystic shopping area and got some fudge for the
next leg of the trip. Resting at the hotel before dinner.
Tomorrow - off to Staten Island, NY.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Real food, at last!

Cayenne and I left home at 6 am Saturday morning for our adventures
to the East. Drove all day to try to get as far as we could.
Passed Chicago and ended up the 1st night somewhere between
Lansing and Flint Michigan. Stopped at the only hotel out in that
dark wasteland,a basic Quality Inn.

Then up early, and off to Canada. Drove around Toronto and had
lunch. Toronto, especially Yonge street was a vibrant and rocking
place on a Sunday. Fascinating city, but oh, the traffic! The
freeways were crammed, seemingly unable to handle the amount of
people in that area.

Drove down to the Canadian side of Niagara Falls. We stayed in a
Comfort Inn. Nice enough for that kind of place, but I really should
have picked a nicer place, rooms aren't all that expensive there,
if booked online through www.bookings.com.

On Monday, we did the Falls. Took the Walk behind the Falls tour,
took a ride on Maid of the Mist, and rode the Skylor tower to the
top to see the falls lit up at night. All totally worth it. What
wasn't worth it was the food. We had had bad road food up to this
point barring one decent Japanese meal in Toronto. In Niagara, all
food costs about triple what it does anywhere else, and the quality
was awful. We mostly ate ice cream at the Casino to keep alive.

On Tuesday we came back to the States, and drove across New York,
and Massachusetts, to Mystic Connecticut. I couldn't get into the
Inn I was planning on, so went to the Hyatt Place. After 3 nights
of bad sleep on hard beds in cheap hotels, I finally have a beautiful
room, and a soft bed!

And better yet, we our first full meal in 4 days at Noah's in
Stonington. Fresh Scallops, Clam Chowder, big salad, and really good
beer. I feel human again! We drove around Mystic at night, and now
are relaxing in our beautiful hotel room. I highly recommend this
Hyatt. Right next to the Aquarium, the Seaport, and Old Mystic,
which we will explore tomorrow.

Really looking forward to a good nights sleep.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Its getting away from me

Time that is. The last few weeks have been a blur of overwork.
I just worked really long hours every day last week, an additional
14 hours this weekend, and with no rest am back at it for next
week.

I just have to get through 5 more days and then it is vacation!
Off to the east coast again. We are hoping to see Cay's
grandmother one more time. She is 100 1/2 and not doing so well -
under constant nurse care. We are also planning a stop in
Niagara again (on the Canadian side, this time), and maybe
back to Mystic, CT to spend a couple of days. Depends on what
happens with the grandmother.

Usually the weather is nice this time of year - but we are
supposed to get 2-3 inches of snow tonight??!!!! Unreal.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Back at it....

But I never left. Back to work tomorrow. I absolutely was going to
take this weekend off and rest up from work, but I was actually
dreaming about a problem I saw on Friday before I left.

I could not leave it alone. I kept logging back in to work and trying
things, trying to get a handle on it. I think I have some ideas now
on the cause, and can't wait to get back to try some more things.

Some people just don't know how to rest and have a good time!
I am a problem solver by nature, and will worry at a problem until
it is taken care of. I'm like that about everything in my life,
(and that is not always a good thing).

I hate failing more than anything. I really ought to lighten up....
So weird. In my 20's I was such a party girl. Who the heck am I now?

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Where is the fun stuff?

So - spent the last 2 weeks working like a maniac, trying to make
a project schedule. First deadline is this coming Wednesday. Then
comes another push. Kinda tired and stressed out. (No surprise).

I worked 15 hours on Friday, and another 9 on Saturday and I'm just
burnt out today. I should be out there enjoying this 85 degree,
end of summer-ish type day. Bleah. The couch is too comfy.....

Not much else... Saw the doctor, more hormone adjustments. We
keep upping the DHEA and it keeps going lower. I'm probably burning
it all up from the stress. I feel o.k. but not great, by any means.
I should exercise more and eat even healthier, if that is possible.

David is still in Fargo - and his cat has happily settled in. He has
a whole house to get into trouble in, and other pets to chase around.
Though I won't miss him - he wakes up at 6 am every morning and
starts crashing around!

So life continues, in a pretty normal fashion. I really could use
more fun. Vacation is still 5 weeks away.... :(

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Ugh...

So hungover. What a party it was! I had an amazing time and
so did everyone else. The Tiki drinks were deadly. The last
people left about 1 am, so we clocked in 10 hours of partying.
When will I figure out that I'm too old for this, and don't
recover as well from excess as I used to?

Our old roommate Drew is visiting, and the 3 of us are staggering
around the house moaning and cleaning up the party remnants.

We are now looking for something nutritious to eat, to help
the bodies recover. Leftover chips just don't cut it.

Now waiting for David to drop off his cat - he has to go to Fargo,
as he just found out his brother is in the hospital, and is
heading off to help on the farm. So we get a little furry guest
for some number of weeks. I'm sure he will try to help the
window replacement guys tomorrow - that furball gets into everything!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

A momentary quiet in the circus

Wow. I have 3 hours where I don't have to do anything.
I'm going to enjoy it.

I've been going non-stop this last week, and will continue to
do so for the foreseeable future.

Lets see, work was nuts - preparing for a customer visit and having
them come for 2 days. Loooong days of work, lunches and dinners
and meetings around the visit. Stressful (and fun too), but I'm
totally wiped.

I was having asthma and allergy attacks all week due to the
ragweed, so I didn't get a lot of sleep. I was a little
worried on Thursday, because my heart kept skipping beats and I
was feeling a bit faint and lightheaded. I think it was all the
stress and allergies.

Our street finally got finished on Thursday (this had been going
on for over a year). My handyman finally finished up my garage
floor and sidewalk on Friday. There was preparing all week for
the big Tiki party we are throwing today.

We have it all set up this morning, and now I can rest for a few
hours until the guests start showing up. That will go late into
the night.

Then tomorrow is party cleanup, and pulling everything away from
the upstairs windows, for the window replacement guys will be here
on Monday and Tuesday.

To say nothing of the frantic work schedule for the next 6 weeks.
Oh yeah, and then I'm supposed to go on a vacation to the east coast
immediately after that. Maybe I need more than 3 hours of doing
nothing.....

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Ragweed, Nettle and Chenopods, oh my!

I haven't written in awhile - I realized almost nothing has changed.
Just repeat my post from August 8th, and that about sums it up.

Yesterday, after a particularly stressful week, I found I just didn't
want to move at all. It was gorgeous out, but I'm not sure I ever got
up off the couch. My head was confused and felt like it was filled
with cotton. I was headachey, sneezy, and exhausted. I think it was
equal parts stress and allergies.

For lo! Ragweed season is upon us. I started feeling worse on Friday,
and that was when the Ragweed, Nettle and Chenopods on the daily
allergy alert went to high. I think it is the Ragweed that gets me,
but I kind of hope it is the Chenopods! What a great word. I'd much
rather be allergic to Chenodods. Ragweed is not so glamorous.

Today I am much recovered. Ran errands for many hours and went to
a lot of stores. Getting ready for the big annual Tiki party here,
next weekend.

Monday the guy comes to replace the sidewalk, and next Monday the
window replacement starts. The house gets a face lift, and a pretty
old girl she will be! (If we ignore the needed paint job.....)

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Stunned Saturdays

My weeks are getting too much the same. Monday through Friday are
a frantic pace at work, trying to somehow pack in everything that
needs to be done. Then when Saturday comes, it is a stunned
moment where I don't HAVE to do anything. (And I usually don't -
I haven't much energy left). By Sunday I recover a little, and
try to pack in all the house or errand stuff that should be done.
And then it is Monday again.

I dream about doing nothing but what I want to do.
I used to think it would be boring, but I'm not so sure anymore.
A guy at work died this week (he was younger than me) so I've
been thinking a lot about how little time we all have on this
planet, and how little may be left of my life.

I want to enjoy it, and not let it blaze by in an exhausted fog.
But it is amazingly hard to change one's approach to life and
what you do on a day to day basis. I have been asking myself when
I am doing things, "Do I really need to be doing this? Do I
want to be doing this?" Maybe just being more aware will help.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Windows Ahoy!

Well, I did it, and now I'm officially broke. Wiped out my savings
to buy something as unglamorous as replacement windows for my 2nd
floor. Yes, they cost about what I thought they would (a lot!).
Well, at least they do if you have an old house and are trying to
maintain the charm of an old house.

But they are ordered and will be installed in 4-6 weeks. I'm glad
that is over, and now I have to start saving to have the house
painted next year. I don't when (if ever) I'll have enough to
replace the 1st floor windows. But they aren't as critical as
the 2nd floor.

Darn houses, you actually have to maintain them!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Windows

I've been obsessing over replacement windows for my house for
the last week. The ones I have are finally annoying me enough
to want to do something about them. The storms are all
disintegrating, the windows are painted shut or have broken
sashes and broken panes, and the 2nd story ones are filthy,
as we can't reach them to clean them. And my heating bill is huge,
as drafts just blow through the house in the winter.

I've done a ton of research on replacement windows on the web,
and am going to have someone come give a quote on what I want.
This is going to be a MANY year project. Windows are fricken
expensive, so I'm thinking maybe I could afford 5 or 6 a year?
I'm not really sure how much they will cost. The down side is
I have 33 windows!

Maybe I should just do it by floors and by sides of the house
so they more or less match, and go for the most critical ones
first. So many decisions. So much money! And what a boring thing
to have to spend money on - when they are in, they will look
pretty much like my other windows, only they will work.

Went to Pella showroom today, and found that I want the most
expensive, or course! Double hung tilt wood windows with cladding
to match my house, and grills to match what I have, plus
upgraded hardware. The estimator is coming on Thursday, and
I'll probably find out I can only afford one window......

I like spending money on vacations and toys a lot more than this!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

1 year to the day

After 3 years of doing the Uncomfortable Questions show, I posted
the last one 7/19/2008. And then took a "little" break. Somehow
a year went by.

And unplanned, I posted the interview with author Steven Brust
today - exactly 1 year to the day since my 3rd anniversary show.

So go get the new show already!
Interview with Steven Brust.

He is a love, and it is a good show.... but then I say that about all
of my shows. All my babies are beautiful - even if they all look like
Edward G. Robinson.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

"Life is not a trial run."

I saw that quote on a twitter message a couple of days ago:
"Life is not a trial run".

It has been haunting my mind since. I realize that I've been
living my life as if it were a trial run. There have been
times in my life where I was 100% engaged, or passionate about
things, (usually due to out of control hormones :) )

But the rest of the time I'm indifferent to it, I'm just
passing time until something better comes along.
I realize what a waste of a life this is, and I really
should have done a lot better with it.

I'm sad that I only realize this when I'm old.
Even now, I don't know how much I can change the way I
approach life. I just wish I could connect to it better than
I have. Really commit and go gung ho on everything I try.
Hmmmmm. They say it is never too late. I wonder.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Recovered

Today is the first day I have felt human since the convention.
I was rather a zombie at work and went to bed early every
night and slept a ton. I must be getting old - it shouldn't
take that much out of me!

Struggling with food this week. I had the food intolerance test
done, in hopes that it would help my asthma and allergies.
There seemed to be something food related going on. Sadly, I
get an inflammatory response from many of the foods I eat
every day. Lots of healthy stuff like tuna, chick peas, berries,
and a component of grains. The only way to tackle that is go
on a gluten free diet. No wheat, oats, rye, barley, or millet,
in addition to about 30 foods I am intolerant to.

However, I still need to do low carb to fight the diabetes.
Gluten-free stuff tends to be high in carbs, so I am rather
befuddled at what I can eat. Since I cant figure it out, I
don't eat much. I suppose I'll lose weight because of it,
somewhat unintentionally...

I got some gluten free bread, but it gave me a bad response, as
it turned out to have chick pea flour in it. Grrrrr. Back to
reading lots of labels and more research on the web.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

WOW, I mean WOW!

I am home from the local 4 day SF convention. David took care of
our pets and house so we could get a room at the hotel, and
immerse ourselves in the con - and boy did we!

So many wonderful memories - the Steampunk fashion show, the live
performance by the Mustache Rangers where I laughed so hard my
face hurt, the immensely entertaining panels with the MST3K
cast, sitting in the bar drinking tall beers with wonderful music
pouring out of the cabaret and a ceaseless parade of people in
colorful costumes, the huge amount of free glow sticks that fans
adorned themselves with in amazingly creative concoctions and shone
under the black lights at raves that went all night. The costumes,
the new friends the old friends, the high energy fans that partied,
and partied and partied.

It was intense, colorful 3 ring circus - not for the weak! I think
I'll have to go into serious training for the next one, just to
survive the grueling pace. It is a shock to be home, in the quiet.
I'm missing my 3800 new-found geek friends!

Monday, June 29, 2009

I Accidentally Did a Show!

With no intentions of doing another interview show for
Uncomfortable Questions, I just did one after being away
from it for a year. I ran into the author Steven Brust who
was in town for a few weeks, and when I told him about my
show, he offered to be interviewed. I couldn't pass that up!

I knew Steve a long time ago, and hadn't really seen him
in about 16 years. We went to the park, (with his very cute
new puppy), and did the interview. It was lovely and I
remember how much I love talking to people.

Now I have to find some time to edit it, and get it posted.
Do I plan to return to doing the show? Probably not - as
work shows no signs of letting up. However I can always
be tempted out by an especially interesting guest. So there
may be others in the future if life hands me someone irresistible.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Summer with a Vengence!

It hit 100 today! And something like 98 yesterday. For here,
that is pretty darned hot. I was glad to be at work in the lab
that is always too cold.

Things are pretty quiet otherwise. Took care of David's cat this
weekend. The little bugger is trouble on 4 wheels, but he keeps
the other pets lively.

I decided to buy an iphone and a new bed with my bonus this
year. Of course I have neither in my hot little hands (how
do you hold a bed?). Both are on order. The bed will be here
Friday and I plan to sleep all weekend, just to make sure it
works!

It was time to upgrade my phone and renew my contract, but
the iphones were all sold out, and they don't know when mine
will show up. Somewhere between 3 to 14 days. What fun is a
toy if you don't have it? I did spend some time looking at
all the delicious apps on the itunes store for the new phones.

I blame the folks at work for my frivolity. Only me and one
other person in my group don't have an iphone - the rest of
them that didn't have one pre-ordered them this time around.
I hope they are as cool as they look!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Summer Sets In

After a cool spate of weather, it looks like we are back up into
the 80's for the next week. It feels like summer again.
We have 2 barbecues to attend today alone!

I am absolutely not going to eat anything. All the supplements
and thyroid are finally working. I'm losing weight with
glacial slowness - but I'm down 7 1/2 lbs. Which for me lately,
is monumental.

I'm feeling a lot better, and exercising almost every day. The
thyroid seems to have brought me back to life. Ah bodies. They
are ridiculously high maintenance.

Lots going on, but boring stuff - re-financed the house, payed off
the credit cards, looking at getting the sidewalk replaced, and
maybe painting the house. Ah life.
It is also high maintenance. :)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Can you hear me now?

The Whisper Room arrived yesterday on a truck. All 15 boxes and
700 lbs. of it. Which Cay and I had to carry off the truck, carry
it all up to the 2nd floor of the house, and then assemble it.

I think I pulled every muscle possible. I sort of layed on the
couch, moaning, for the reset of the evening. The sound booth
turned out beautifully and Cay now has a real cool place to
record. Now if only the voice jobs would pour in!

But if not, I've done my job as a patron of the arts - assuring
his copious shows keep rolling out to entertain one and all for
free.

Next year for his birthday he is getting 1 lb of chocolate,
or air - whichever is lighter.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

This and That

Oh my, June already. I seemed to have misplaced the last couple
of weeks. The party was great fun, as always, and then back to
slaving away at work.

I had hoped for a quieter June, before the next big project, but
things are already nuts.

If we got our bonuses this year, I promised Cay that I'd buy him
a Whisper Room for his birthday. Well it is ordered and will be
here Tuesday. It should help with his show and recording a great
deal. We live on a busy street and near an airport - and recording
can be pretty impossible. He is pretty stoked about it!

After failing all the diets, I am trying out a new multi-modal
approach from the Life Extension Foundation. It seems to be
working somewhat - I'm down 6 1/2 lbs, but I've been stuck
for the last few days. It is a bit pricey, involving their
supplement with Irvingia, Green Tea, carb blocker, and a
seaweed extract. In addition you also take the Alli fat blocker
and tryptophan.

I've played with all these supplements separately, but never all
together. Their current theory is you have to attack it on all fronts.
It does seem to be working, lets see if it continues!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Poised on the Edge of Party

Everything is ready for the big Memorial Day Barbecue.
We've been buying for it for over a month, and have been doing
set-up things for it for the last 3 days. We've been watching
the weather report for days, chanting "don't rain, don't rain".
(It looks like the rain will hold off until after midnight.)
It all starts in an hour and a half. Cay went to get ice and
chairs, and I'm sitting in the quiet house, preparing for the
whirlwind of a day.

We don't know how many people are coming - somewhere between 40
and 60, I'm guessing. We've been doing this for many years now,
it seems to be the traditional kick-off for the summer. I can't
believe fun is that much work, but it is always great fun, and
worth it.

Ah the strange human celebrations of the passage of time -
burning large amounts of meat and swilling large amounts of
home brewed beer. And then, voila! It is summer.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Horseshoe Falls - Canadian Niagara


The money shots!

The boat sat in the middle of the Horseshoe Falls on the Canadian
side, for quite awhile. It was the coolest thing I've done in years.
Cay got these next pictures, my battery ran out at one of the high
points of my life. O.k., though - I got to just stare at the falls
(while getting very wet and clutching the flagpole, to keep from
falling over - water was rough). The pictures only show a small
part of the giant horseshoe of falls surrounding you.

On the "Maid of the Mist" boat, at Niagara Falls

And now the highlight of the trip

This next photo is from the Maid of the Mist boat that I rode on.
It goes along the base of all the falls, including the huge
horseshoe falls on the Canadian side. It was gob-smack awesome!

Everyone is issued a blue rain poncho, and you do get wet!

NIagara - American side falls


This is just a very small part of the Niagara Falls!

Erie Canal


I've never seen it, and there it was along the
way. I can't believe they dug that thing. It goes through
a lot of upstate New York.

Mystic Seaport - Connecticut




I love Mystic, CT - for the name, if nothing else.

The amazing 100 year old woman


This was the birthday girl at her party. I could only hope to look
that good at 100. She partied the whole day, well into the night.

Pink Elephant with Glasses?


At some gas station - in Wisconsin?
I loved it - and want it for my yard. This was a full sized elephant!

Vacation Pictures!

So after my last post I got motivated and loaded up the pictures.
I'll post some favorites from the trip - in order of events.

No time for boredom...

I thought I would be sad to be back from my trip. I haven't even
had time to think about it. Caught up on my sleep in my wonderful
bed and got unpacked.

Back to work for the final push on the big project I've been on
for the last several months. Looks like we pushed it out the door
today. Whew! Things should be quieter for about a month and then
on to another crazy project.

Also getting everything ready for the big Memorial Day Barbeque
that we throw every year with our friend Joel. It is always a
big affair and a lot of work. This year we dubbed as "Burger Fest
2009". We're going to make every kind of burger that we can think
of with fresh ground meat made from chuck and sirloin steaks.
We got the recipe for making your own hamburger off of the show
"Good Eats" many years ago. It makes insanely good burgers!

I also stopped off at the garden center after work and got a
zillion flowers to put in pots for the yard. They had a sale on
a flat of snapdragons, so I got one. We filled 3 large pots full
of snapdragons - a flat goes a long way. Lots of petunias, pansys,
begonias, and a lovely hardy rose. The house looks very cheery.

And I had to weed the existing plant beds. Yech! I hate weeding -
I always pull something in my back or hamstrings. Not a motion
I do much.

Darn, I still haven't loaded up the vacation pictures. I'll post
some, as soon as I get to that. We're having clam chowder for
dinner tonight. I miss the chowder from the trip out east. Can't
get anything like that here, though - so it is a token gesture.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Still Traveling

So many sights and experiences, on the road.
Friday - got to Staten Island, NY. Spent some time with the relatives.

Saturday - the big party for Cay's grandma's 100 year birthday.
90 people showed up, a lovely catered event in a tent in the
backyard. Then went out until 1:30 am with a couple of Cay's old
buddies. Really good times!

Sunday - drove up to Mystic Seaport in Conneticut. Ate dinner at an
amazing restaurant on the ocean. Best Clam Chowder, ever!
Drove into the middle of Conneticut. Gorgeous!

Monday - Drove through the Adirondack Mountains, and then on to
Niagara Falls in New York. Walked along the falls
at night - they have them all light up. It was quite the sight.

Today - Explored the falls. Rode the Maid of the Mist boat to the base
of all 3 falls. Had to wear a rain poncho, because the water was
everywhere. Probabaly one of the coolest sights I've ever seen!
Then, sadly, started back. We are in a hotel somewhere in Indiana.

Tomorrow it is back through Chicago, and on to home. It will be good
to be back in my own bed, and to see the dog. But I will miss the road.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

On the road again...

We hit the road in MN at about 6 am. Pretty early for me!
Drove for 15 1/2 hours and finally crashed near Cleveland, Ohio.
We were in 5 states today!

Roads were good - not too much road construction, except near
Chicago. The weather was good. No rain this time - the last time we
made this trip, it rained hard the entire time. It was sunny, humid
and 80 degrees today in Illinois.

We stopped at Mitsuwa marketplace near Chicago, and had a nice
Japanese lunch. That is a fun Japanese marketplace but it is full of a
lot of rather overt anime fans. Now I love anime too, but I try not to
be a big geek about it. But the Japanese people there probably think
I'm a mondo geek too.

Stopped at a lot of rest stops and roadside Oasis, but the only
picture I took today was at a gas station that had a life sized
pink elephant with huge glasses on. Not sure why - it just was
there with no explanation. I'll post pictures when I get back -
I forgot my camera upload cable.

It is supposed to rain a bit tomorrow in Ohio and Pennsylvania. Pooh.
I'd like to see the Alleghney Mountains for once when the sun is out.

I'm going to get some sleep now - got very little last night.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Magnolia marker of spring

Leftover winter picture - Pet truce

Road Trip Ahoy!

The mad dash at work continues - 3 weeks to go to deadline.
I worked until 10 pm on Friday to get the weekend run of tests
set up. (Keeps me from having to work this weekend.)

Leaving for the driving trip to New York on Thursday, so spent
today shopping and packing a bit. I need a road trip! We are
so looking forward to this. We are going for a week, stopping
at Chris's homestead for his grandmothers 100th Birthday.
Wow. I only wish I could live that long....

But considering how much the body is falling apart at half
that age - there wouldn't be much left by then. My current
hope is that I'll make it to 80. Hey, everyone needs goals.

Our friend David is going to stay at the house and watch the
pets. Hopefully they will miss us a little, but they love
"Uncle David". He is bringing his cat, which our dog thinks
is the best "toy" on the planet.

I hope to have some good pictures to post when we get back.
We are thinking of stopping in Niagara Falls on the drive
home. I've been there as a teen, but Cay has never seen it.

Open road, here we come!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Ugh!

Can't sleep. Too wired. Strange since today was a complete
burn-out day. After doing mail and bills, I pretty much played
my DS all day long. Didn't feel like doing anything.

I had a nummy cheat meal, and then biked for 1/2 hour to keep
the blood glucose down. And then played my DS some more, until
I kept getting my ass kicked by a boss. The frustration woke me
up. Pooh. I should be getting lots of sleep, so I can handle
the tough load at work.

I'll try to get motivated to actually do something... tomorrow.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Speed Report

So much for keeping up with my blog. I've been working like
a fiend, even last Saturday. Big project delivery date only
a month away - and so far yet to go! Haven't had time to do
much of anything else. Quick report on everything:

Health = moderate (though stressed)
Arm = better after 3 mos. physical therapy (but not perfect).
Remaining dog = still very happy to be an only dog. (lots of
attention and treats).

And back to trying not to be at work!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Acceleration

Every day seems faster and faster.
I'm accelerating down the runway... and then what? Take off?
Hmmmm, not a good comparison - one could say you accelerate
through life, and take-off is death. How depressing.

Each day at work seems to blur by faster, we are so busy in the
race to get the projects done. It is a race to the weekend, where
I rest up as fast as I can, and then back to another week.

I read somewhere that to make life seem slower, you should pack
more into each day. Somehow your perception then sees that since
you did more, it seems like life is longer and more full. I think
I'm finding quite the opposite is true. The more I do, the faster
it goes.

I'm thinking if I just sat and stared at a wall until I got bored,
it would seem longer :)

Thursday, March 26, 2009

To change or not to change...

Everyday is so much the same. Fight my weight, work too much,
get stressed out, try to get some sleep. Over and over. I've
probably even written this same thing in my blog.

How to break out? How to change? I always mean to, with all my
heart..... and nothing changes.

Humans are so weird - we crave change, and yet spend all our
effort making routines and tradition. We are comforted by the
same and the known. Change may be exciting, but it often is
quite uncomfortable!

I feel like I am running out of time to make the changes.
That it will be just like this for another 20 years, or until
I die. And that makes me uncomfortable too. Great, so I'm
uncomfortable if I don't change, but change is uncomfortable.
A dilemma for a comfort hound....

I really do like comfort - not to be hungry, cold, stressed,
to have a nice bed, and nice things. I suppose a good portion
of my life has been in the pursuit of comfort.

And yet, somehow that in itself is not enough.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Whupped

It seems like work is escalating more every day. Wouldn't you think
it would reach a point where it couldn't get busier? - and yet it
does. I was running around frantically all day trying to bludgeon
this product into test. I'm not sure if I won, or not.

I had a pounding headache by the afternoon (and I almost never get
headaches). But driving home and seeing the snow is almost entirely
gone, made everything better.

The good part is the thyroid, adrenal rebuilders and DHEA must be
helping. In the past, after a day like that I would crash on the
couch, unable to move. Now I still have a bit of energy left over
to work out, and do a little gaming or movie watching.

The whole rest of the summer promises to be this crazy. I guess I'd
better get used to it!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Warm :)

I would be interested to see the retail numbers for March for
Minnesota. It was above 50 yesterday, and 56 degrees today.
The half of the population that wasn't walking around the lakes
with their dogs, were shopping. All the stores and parking lots
were packed.

I've not seen that many cars, people, and dogs in a long time.
This city goes a little crazy when the snow melts and it warms
up. It's like everyone has been huddled in their houses all
winter, and all burst forth in a big mass when the sun shines.
We even saw 2 teenage girls walking down the street in shorts,
tank tops and bare feet. Pretty brave, as there are still melting
piles of ice and snow everywhere.

Tomorrow it is supposed to be 60 - it will be hard to keep
everyone at work!

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Adjusting

Getting used to not having the old dog around. It is lots quieter,
and a LOT less work and care-taking. The remaining dog is very
happy and amazingly well behaved. He really likes being an only
child. We suspected he would, he is really competitive, and hated
being in 2nd place in our attentions.

Now that we have more of our lives back, not taking care of the sick
dog, we are thinking about taking a road trip in May to the east
coast.

Haven't been on a road trip in a couple of years, and really have
the itch to go! Hopefully winter is over by then... it seems
eternal at the moment. More snow and cold forecasted for this week.
Brrrrr!

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Murphy - R.I.P

Its over....

The old dog finally went this evening.

He was a couple of weeks past 15 years old.
It was astonishing he lasted that long.

He was always very much his own dog, and did everything on his
terms. He was also an annoying, pushy bast*rd, but he had one
fine pampered life, full of treats, travel, adventure, and comfort.

I guess that's all we could all ask for.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Where does the time go?

I excitingly spent today paying bills, balancing the checkbook and
refinancing the house. Now it is 4 pm and I haven't done anything
but that. Yesterday was very similar - by the time all the computer
fixing and errands were done - it was night.

What happened to resting and having fun on the weekends?!
I'm good at getting all that kind of stuff done, but it makes me
crabby because it uses up anything I have resembling free time.

I still have the tail end of my cold after 2 whole weeks. I just
worked out for the first time in weeks - not because I feel great
but because I'm so sick of physical inactivity.

The 1st warm day, I'm going for a walk, for sure! My foot is finally
healed up enough to do a little walking after 11 months. However
it just snowed 6 inches last week, and it was -1 F. last night.
Not a promising start to March.

I'm toying with the idea of doing a couple of more Uncomfortable
Questions shows. I've taken time off since July, and it might be
time to try another. My shows are still getting about 1000 downloads
a month, even without putting up anything new. It means there is
still an interest in it, so it would be fun to get something new
out there.

However, with my work schedule between now and September (read
insane), I don't want to take on any more work. Hmmmm maybe I'll
do one, and take my time editing it. Or maybe I'll wait until
it's warmer out!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Almost Human

Today is the first day I've felt reasonably o.k. after getting that
darned cold. It made me very, very tired for about 11 days. I only
missed 1 day of work, but it was hard to keep going all that time.

My physical therapy on the 2 tears in my rotator cuff is actually
working, much to my surprise. I have about 85% of the movement
back in my arm. Yay! Looks like I'll get to skip surgery this time.

Winter drags on - everyone is thoroughly tired of it, but we probably
have another month of it to go. Work is ramping up big time, and
I'll have way too much to do this year. I suppose that is a good
thing - job security in tough times...

The old dog is now 15 and hasn't noticed he was supposed to die
a year ago with his heart condition. He is bugging me for a treat.
Life goes on.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

What is good?

I was driving home after an exhausting day at work, my head cold
still in full force, and I suddenly asked myself "Am I a good
person?"

Maybe it was because of my head full of congestion, but I wasn't
sure I knew the answer. I've always considered myself a good
person, but then I started wondering what "good" meant to me.

Lots of people consider themselves good, even the worst of the
religious fanatics, or corrupt politicians. Does good only
matter to the individual, or is there really a higher standard
we should consider ourselves against?

I'm generally harmless, I try to be nice and helpful to people.
But I haven't really done anything great for the world. I
don't do volunteer work, I just work, buy things, and mostly
stay out of everyone's way. But that could hardly be considered
"good". Mother Theresa, I'm not.

So now I'm left wondering what the heck I am here for?
I really don't expect an answer, I just wish I had done a little
more for the world. And maybe even done a little better taking
care of myself.

Hmmmm. Weighty subjects when one is full of snot.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

And for Valentines Day, I got:

A cold. Glub.
Woke up sick this morning. This is not a good prize!

February is racing by. Work is so busy that I get to work, and
it is time to go home, it seems. I'm setting up for the next
big project and there are a million details to deal with.

My arm is getting better, I may be able to avoid surgery. I have 2
rotator cuff injuries, but one may have been an adhesion of scar
tissue. After no progress for weeks, my physical therapist got
in there and kept pressing and digging at one of the areas.
It hurt a lot, but an hour later I could lift my arm straight
forward and up. I hadn't been able to do that for months.
There still seems to be a problem with another area, I cant lift my
arm sideways, but now we can focus on that.

The old dog is still alive. He probably officially 15 years old now.
He was born sometime at the end of February, but as he was a farm
puppy, I never did get an exact date.

I went back on a strict Atkins diet, and have lost only 2 lbs in
almost 2 weeks. Though my blood sugar is better. Cay, of course,
lost over 7 lbs in the same time. Grrrrr. Never diet with a guy.

The worst part is now that I have a cold, I can't take NyQuil because
it has way too many carbs. I don't want to have a cold without
NyQuil :( Cay did find some sugar free TheraFlu for Colds, and that
helped. (That and his amazing garlic/ginger laden chicken soup made
with shiritaki noodles which have virtually no carbs. Mmmmmmmmm).

So a Happy Valentines Day to you all. Spread more love in the world!

Saturday, January 31, 2009

A Quick Thaw

The temperature shot up to 46 degrees F. today! We drove to a
drugstore further away than usual to buy shampoo, just to get
outside and driving around in the sun. We passed one old guy
shoveling snow in a t-shirt, and another guy was wearing shorts.
Minnesotans go a little nuts when it warms up in the winter. I
just put on a lighter jacket.

Everyone else had the same idea as we did, and the streets were
crowded. We drove around one of the lakes, and longed for spring.
It is supposed to be -5 degrees by Monday night, so you enjoy it
when you can. The snow line did drop noticeably, but there is still
a couple of feet of the stuff still on the ground. We drove by
our dream house on Mount Curve, another favorite sport around here.
Driving around the lakes, picking out the beautiful house you will
buy if you win the lottery. Winter makes dreamers out of all of us.

We opened some windows to let the fresh air into the house, I'd been
sneezing all morning from the dust and pet hair that is building up
from the the house being all closed up.

Oh well, back to winter after today - at least 2 more months to go....

Sunday, January 25, 2009

January Stasis

I think I've finally thawed out enough to type. It is all the way up
to -4 degrees F. Last week wasn't quite as bad, and next week looks
promising - back up to the 20's (above zero!).

It's been a pretty dull January - lots of interesting work, but
outside of that - physical therapy (arm isn't getting better yet),
reading, watching stuff, experimenting with supplements to balance
the blood glucose readings. I had a normal reading this morning, so
now I have to repeat what I did yesterday, and see if that nails it!

The highlight of today, a new couch is being delivered. The younger
dog (who is nuts) tends to rip up the couch, so they don't last very
long. Thus, we just buy the cheapest, but most comfortable couches
we can get and just assume we'll have to get another one in 4 to 5
years. Hopefully this ends the flurry of replacements I've had to
do on various goods in the house recently. (Now I have to pay the
bills on it all. I'm such an American...)

And it is time to start finding all the paperwork to do the taxes
again. It seems like I just did them a few months ago. Where did
an entire year go?

We are talking about Japan a lot lately. I sense another urge to
take a trip building up. Our current goal for Japan is spring of
2010 - we can't pull it off this year. That gives us a year to
lose the weight, get strong, to say nothing of saving up the money
and studying our Japanese. Its a goal, though it seems so far
away. This year, maybe a trip to the east coast in the spring?
It will depend on if the old dog is gone by then. His medical
care is too intensive to foist off on someone watching the pets.
Ho-hum.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Holy Cr*p, Its Cold!

Something like -20 F last night and tonight. Would have been
bearable if not for the -35 to -40 degree wind chills.
I can't seem to put on enough shirts, down vests, Irish
sweaters, and heavy overcoats. I might as well be carrying
huge weight packs. It should make me lose weight, except
the farthest I walk is to stagger to the car, and hope it
starts.

So far the cars have started, but the windshield wiper fluid
lines froze on both cars. Not good, I have to scrub the windshield
with snow before I take off, extending my exposure to outside
for a few more seconds than I like.

Someday I want to be rich and go somewhere warm for the winter.
Ah, said like a retiree. Oooh, I am getting old!

I had physical therapy on my arm (with the possibly torn rotator
cuff) today. It made my arm ache all day. I thought it was
supposed to make it feel better!

Old dog is still alive! He will hit 15 years old in 1 month -
I'm betting on him making it. Otherwise life has been just
work, and survive the cold. The thyroid medicine has made me feel
100% better, but still having problems with the balance on
other drugs - blood sugar still too high in the morning, more
experimentation to be done. Not a very exciting existence....

Sunday, January 04, 2009

So Not Ready

This is it, the last day of my glorious 16 days off from work.
Yeah, so it was enforced time off, but great just the same.
I really didn't do much of anything, and I needed to do just
that.

It is back to the real world tomorrow; the commute, the cold
weather, the sprint to gear up for the next project, dentists,
doctors appointments, gotta make an eyeglass appointment, and
a tax appointment. How unfun is all of that?

Report on the Irvingia - inconclusive. I weigh exactly the same
as I did 4 weeks ago when I started taking it. However, getting
through the holidays at exactly the same weight is promising.
I don't go crazy, but I do relax my strict diet regimen in the
holiday season. I almost always gain 5 lbs or so. The real test
will be when I get back to normal routines.

I also started a touch of Thyroid medication yesterday. I think
I feel better already, with a little bit more energy than normal.
We will also see how that goes.

On the disconcerting side, my left shoulder has gotten worse,
and I'm having trouble lifting my arm to the front and the side.
Sure seems like a tear in the rotator cuff. I had the right side
operated on awhile back. I so do not want to go through that
again. If was pretty grueling. I go to physical therapy on Friday,
maybe I'll know more then.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Forgotten photos from the year: Hoover helps set up the tree

Forgotten photos from the year: Hoover's new toy


The dog couldn't see anything when he carries around his new toy, and crashes into everything! Very funny.

Forgotten photos from the year: Cay as Joey Ramone for Halloween

And another one bites the dust....

2009, eh? I remember when I thought the year 2000 was soooooooo
far away. And now we're 9 years past that. Ugh.

2008 wasn't the best of years - another foot surgery, long recovery,
poor health for the first half of the year, a lot of research and
experimentation to fix that with a new hormone/anti-aging doctor,
a lot of work at my job, and not much in the way of fun or travel.
This needs to be remedied.

I need a plan to make 2009 a much better year. Do I have one?
Well, no. I keep hoping inspiration will strike me out of the
blue.....but it will probably just mean a lot more hard work to
slowly improve things.

How do you suddenly change who you are, and how you approach
life? I tend to put my head down and plod ahead and hope I
end up somewhere. Mostly time just passes, and I realize I could
have done everything a lot different. You would think at my
age I would have figured this all out by now.

The new year started at a lovely party at a friends, and I saw lots
of the people we've hung around with for the last few years. It is
the current family for me. We drank and danced and hugged each
other.

Very comforting. It is good to have friends.