I’m trying to get better at posting, and this is twice in a week, wow 🙁  Grrr.  This is going to be a random mix of stuff I’m doing, thinking about, feeling, etc.

Getting ready to go to Kendo camp on Tuesday, should be a blast.  Aidan and I are going down to PA on Tues, should be there until Saturday, possibly Sunday.  I’ll be posting from there so you can share in all of the bruises, sweat, and just how hot it is in armor in an unairconditioned gym.  We’ll be staying in the dorms at Bryn Mawr College in PA.  Should be fun.  This is my 40th birthday present from my parents, and should be great bonding time for me and the Boyo.

Got a cortizone shot in my elbow which from a previous post some of you know, F’kin HURT! Got that on Monday and it’s Friday and it’s feeling a lot better.  Still a twinge or two, but not too shabby.  Doc said it’s not common to have this many shots so far in a year (3), but sometimes it takes time for it to really work.  Talked about possibly surgery, but for now, going to take preventative measures and be careful with it.  Hoping to not have to go back in another 4 months.

Have taken Fae in for an Endoscopy and Colonoscopy within a week to try to find out whats causing her digestive problems.  Both, thankfully, came back clean.  Unfortunately, it does nothing to tell us why she’s been having issues.  Having to be close to home for 2-3 months is really just not right.  They’re hoping with some meds, it’ll help.  They think it might be IBS, but unsure.

We’re done with a huge project, moving servers from a third party to our own data center over the last few weeks.  It’s been difficult, but we did it, and things seem to be running fairly smooth (crossing fingers).

Gillian goes to camp on the 9th of Aug for a week to Celiac Camp.  She’s excited as hell and has already started packing for it.  It’s nice for her because she’ll be surrounded by people who have the same thing (can’t eat gluten), and will spend a week not having to ask “Can I eat that?” which will be a nice break for her.  We’re thinking of buying land and starting a celiac commune, anyone want in? 🙂  That same week, my Mom is taking Aidan to see my sister and her kids in Chicago for the week, so he’s pretty stoked to go.

Which leaves Fae and I home by ourselves for a week 🙂  YAY!  I’m thinking we’ll just sleep 😉

Hope this finds you and yours well.

that f’kin hurt!

Okay, I know.  “Men can’t handle anywhere near the amount of pain that women can!”  Go ahead, I know most of the women that are reading this are thinking it.

Yes, I suck at pain.  I’m a big wimp, I don’t like it.  I’ve been having issues with my elbow since my accident.  To clear up some of the issue, my orthopedist has been giving me shots of cortizone.  Have you ever had one?  Dude.  The needle is like the size of Rhode Island, and they inject something right into the tendon.

OWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!  Okay, I’m a wimp, yes.  Holy crap that hurts, and the thing that pisses me off the most is that it always hurts more after the shot than before.

Going to stretch more, wear a brace when I work out, and go easy on it for a while.  Say a prayer. 🙂

NJ Triathlon 7/26/09

Was I ready? oh HELL no. July specifically has been an insane month. Everything we’ve got going on at work has been big projects and lots of extra time. We’re moving all of our servers, so the logistics and scheduling has been pretty crazy.

Is that all pretty much an excuse? Yeah, unfortunately. Keep in mind that I wasn’t really shooting for uber-fast times, we do it because it’s something we like to do together. He’s slower in the water, I SUCK at the run so it all pretty much evens out.

The NJ Tri is something my friend A and I did 3 years ago and thought we’d start a tradition. Things came up last year, but we promised each other we’d do it this year. Then again, I also promised I’d be in shape for it so I didn’t slow us down. Heh, yeah, good intentions and all that. So we went down to Princeton to stay at his sister-in-laws house. That worked out really well because they live really close to the park.

Got up at 5am, ate some oatmeal, peanut butter, and bananas. Yeah, it was pretty gross at 5am, but I needed the protein, long burning carbs and the potassium. Got over there around 5:30, got our gear in place and went down to check out the conditions of the swim. The lake we were swimming in was nice and warm, 78 degrees, and once I took a practice swim for a few, I knew the swim would be good. I was in the 6th wave out, we got to wear the blue swim caps, and felt pretty good starting out. Swam 500 meters in 11:41, which I would definitely like to improve on.

We rode 11.5 miles in 46:38 which I can definitely improve on. Nice flat roads, slight inclines, but nothing to be seriously concerned with. Definitely could have kicked it in faster, but I wanted to save some for the run, which I knew I was going to totally suck at.

We ran 3.1 miles in 37:19 which I walked a good mile and a half of. This was where I knew I would have the most problem and I wasn’t surprised. Hip is killing me right now. This is where I can really shave off a lot of time, plus by training for the run more, my endurance will increase as well as cutting down on the fatigue I was feeling during the swim.

What is the lesson here? Train Train Train!!! Attaching some pics we took at the finish line.

just after we past the finish line
just after we past the finish line
Me and my kids
Me and my kids

Generosity and just being a good neighbor

Fae’s been under the weather lately, and will be going in for an endoscopy and a colonoscopy. Most of the problem is everything running right through her. Figured it was anxiety, lack of exercise, flocks of birds flying by. Who knows. Finally went to see a good gastro doc, who gave her something to help settle things, which helps a little, and who wants to do a scope from both ends. Yeah, probably more than you all really wanted to know 🙂

Anyway, I’ve been taking up the slack lately, mostly because she’s weak and spending a lot of time in bed. Not a problem, makes life interesting tho when my elbow is killing me and I need another cortizone shot. Anyway, beyond that.

One of the things I love about our complex is the way it’s laid out – it’s beautiful from the front entrance all the way to the back of the complex. Trees, rolling hills, winding streets. I love it. The one thing I don’t love, is how transient it is. Just get to know folx and they leave to get a house or to another town. Needless to say, I’ve really been missing the camaraderie that I grew up with, when everyone knew everyone, and there were PACKS of kids running around the neighborhoods all day long.

So the Mom of a friend of Aidan’s was talking to Fae about everything that’s been going on, having worked through similar issues a while back and marveled at how helpful everyone was. Two days later, she shows up with a big tub of curry. Goat Curry. I know, sounds weird. DUDE. It was amazing. She’s from Haiti, her husband is from Cuba. When “Mister Papi” heard that Fae wasn’t feeling well, he said “They need some home cooking” and starting quizzing his wife about where we were from and what kind of food we liked. The next day, as I’m marvelling over the curry – YES, Goat is delicious – she shows up at the pool, asking if she can bring over more food. I smile and rub my tummy, cracking her up. I go home later with the kids and she’s there with Fae and they start giggling when I walk in.

“Go look in the fridge” she says, trying not to laugh.

I look and it’s packed full. You ready for what was in there?
Pork chops(that you can cut with a fork) smothered in onions and spices along with home made perogies(which I’ve never had).
Wait…there’s more 🙂
Pork Paella – pork, saffron rice, onions, and chorizo.
And to finish??
Homemade Flan.

I’m in heaven:) I tried to go over and thank him in person the other day but he was asleep, so I stuck some money in the wife’s hand, demanding that she take it.

I know he did it out of the goodness of his heart, the fact that he knows I love good food, and because he’s a damn good person. Nor did he want anything in return. You know what tho? I can’t accept this without contributing something. Made me feel better and I’m glad she took it.

It’s THAT kind of neighbor that I’ve missed for a very long time. He did it because he thought it was right that we had some homecooked food while Fae’s out of commission. All I can say is Mister Papi? Thank you dude.

Now pass the homemade mac n cheese with bacon. Yeah, I think he brought that over today 😉

these kids today…

So is it just me or are there a lot of kids that have little or no respect for their elders, much less each other?

Don’t get me wrong, we’re trying to bring oiur kids up the best we can, trying to learn from both mistakes and successes of our parents. It just seems that the next generation is too full of themselves, to used to expecting that someone else will give them everything they need, too busy to be bothered working hard for something.

Granted, I probably sound a lot like my grandfather right now, and I know that there are a lot more good kids out there. Its just the ones that make me think this way are so obvious and downright obnoxious that it makes me wonder if they have parents who never set any boundaries or wanted to be their friend more than their parent.

Am I making any sense or do I just sound like a crotchety old man wanting the ‘good old days’ to come back?

Cool to be a fan

So I’m watching TV the other day, and I realize that the All-Star game is on. I watch the first few innings, missed the President throwing out the first pitch, but I catch it in the highlights. Then they go to the broadcast booth where Joe Buck and Tim McCarver are and who is sitting between them in a White Sox jacket?

President Obama. Dude. That is probably the coolest fuckin thing I have ever seen. Even if you’re not a baseball fan, even if you’re not an Obama fan, having a President sitting in the broadcast booth talking to the guys is cool. Having a President who actually knows and can talk about baseball is just about the coolest thing ever. I know that Dubya and some other presidents have thrown out pitches at other games, but for some reason, this just hit me as so damn cool. Granted, he JUST made it, but still. A southpaw president, throwing a decent pitch. Very cool.

Interested in seeing if they can top that for next year at Angels Stadium.

It’s the little things that make life cool

Fae has Juniors training tonight for Gillian’s Girl Scout troop so I worked from home today. First of all, the extra sleep I get not having to commute to White Plains is awesome 🙂 So I woke up an hour later, got the kids ready for camp, dropped off Aidan, then drove to the other side of town to drop off Gillian. Aidan’s taking techcamp – they’re teaching him computer animation, flash, and html stuff. Hey man, I didn’t sign him up, Fae did!!! Not that I minded 😉

Gillian is at Girl Scout camp that she earned most of the tuition for selling over 300 boxes of cookies. It’s a beginner horse training class – how to care for them, a bit of riding, and swimming and crafts. All in all, very cool. Her camp is until 5, his is out at 11:30. So I went to pick him up at the middle school to bring him home. So we stopped at the library and picked up some books and an audiobook for me. Then to Rita’s for an italian ice. Then we went for a swim in the pool, just me and him. It was empty so I swam 10 laps and then proceeded to show him how to do all of the various strokes, and how to squirt water by closing your fist, and how to whistle with your fingers, and how to make a REALLY big splash doing a canopener just by leaning back a little more, and other stuff. We splashed around for around an hour and had some good guy time. I miss hanging out with just him sometimes because I work so far and get home later than I’d like.

So just spending an hour or so with him, being together, goofing around, sharing bites of Italian ice made me love the little knucklehead even more, which I didn’t think possible.

Take some time with your kids or a loved one and just be together. It’s so special and so necessary.

Beep beep beep

the alarm goes off on a Sunday morning at 7:30am. “Man, you have got to be kidding me” I think to myself. Then I remember why it went off in the first place. “Gotta get to class” my brain says. “Gotta get more rest” my body says. I manage to move one hand to the covers and the fight’s over, brain wins, as it usually does on the sunday class issue. I roll out of bed and the movement wakes Fae up enough to where she smiles and rolls into my spot. She’s partially awake, kisses the air to me, and falls back asleep. 7:30am is a four letter word for Miss “Bring me coffee at 9:30″ 😉

I get dressed, wet my hair to get rid of the bedhead, brush hair and teeth, and roll out the door with a glass of OJ and a bagel or something carb-loaded. I drive 45 minutes to my class in South Jersey and pull up in the driveway. I am welcomed by the big black dog who has a frightening bark but almost wags his tail off once he recognizes my smell. Great black lab. I put on my gi-top, tie my white belt, get my weapons and set them against the wooden fence in the back part of the yard. Sensei and I talk about things for a few minutes, the conversation including the people showing up for the class until it’s just about 9 and he has us line up to bow in.

We do some light aerobic stuff, stretching, and some breathing exercises before we work on sword. By this point, the nice shady backyard has become a lot less shady and our black uniforms are starting to absorb enough heat to make us all sweat lightly. We go through our kata in order, each of us dropping off to the side as we pass the kata we have learned to practice on our own. Sensei moves around helping people with finer points or even teaching a new kata. Repetition is the key, and it’s compounded by the fact we are not in an indoor dojo, so we have to adjust for rocks, roots, sticks, even downgrades or upgrades in the yard, making training regularly essential.

We work on that for about 20 minutes and switch to bo staff. These are paired drills, not full force or full speed, but focused on the position of the staff, body, and focus so that if a situation did arise, it would simply be a effort of speed to utilize these in defense or attack. Sometimes we learn kata of staff vs sword, sometimes we next work on hanbo which is a much thinner staff around 36″ long. Wicked for in close fighting.

The last part of the class, which is usually as close to an hour as possible, is jujitsu. This is the meat of our style, and up until I restarted class, my least favorite part of the class. As someone who is 6’2” tall, close in fighting is not my best approach. With long legs and arms, I want to keep people as far away as possible. Plus with the twisting moves and times when I have to duck under an arm, it’s a question of “How low can big man go?” most of the time. Thankfully, there is one guy who is a little taller than me so I get a break sometimes (as does he). The thing that I have learned which has really changed my perspective on jujitsu, is the application of the technique and how doing it a 100 times over the years has trained me to react without thought. One of my friends sons is getting bigger and thought it would be funny to grab my wrist and try to pull me under in the pool. I had my arm free and had countered it before I even thought about it. I also withheld all of the strength from the technique before I could hurt him.

His wideeyed expression told me that I not only had I surprised him by getting out, but shocked him by turning it back on him. “What did you just do?” he said, his eyes still big. “I didn’t do anything, my body did” I responded with a smile, letting his wrist go. So what did he do? He grabbed me again, and this time I just shoved him underwater 😉

When asked why I take classes, why I study martial arts, I usually answer the same way – to be ready for anything. Do I think I’m going to have a sword handy, or a staff? No, but if I did have something similar, I’d know what to do with it. Knowing the hand to hand, that’s the applicable stuff, and something I’m having a much better appreciation for.

Why did I get out of bed on Sunday morning at 7:30am? Besides being a place to workout some of my stress, I did it so that I can always be ready. Knowing what I could do is the important thing for me, and something that makes me feel better as a provider and protector of my family and what is important to them. Do I feel the need to hurt people? No. Do i like throwing people around and being thrown? Hell yes, at this point, it’s almost a necessity.

What do you do to get your excess energy out or what gets you all fired up?

Crazy Busy

I’ve been trying to get better about posting here, but the last several weeks have been pretty crazy. I’m migrating a server from Wisconsin to our Data Center and today is the go live date. I’m waiting for the phone to start ringing (knock on wood) and I’m hopeful that the worst I’ll get are some password resets.

I’m really appreciative of the help I’ve gotten from several people that I work with, but I won’t go into details or give names because I promised myself I wouldn’t put any work stuff here. It’s just such a big project, I’m glad it’s almost done.

People I like to read…

I’ve been blogging for a while now, but it’s only in the last year or so that I’ve really started READING a lot of blogs. I have to say I’ve found some really cool people. Feel free to suggest anyone in a comment that I don’t have on this list, and if you’re not on my list, it’s not because you suck, it’s because I haven’t added you to outlook RSS feeds yet because I’m a lazy bastard 🙂

This list is in Outlook alphabetical order so it’s not a judge of who is the coolest, tho the first one is pretty darn cool;)

  • Cheaper than Therapy–Musings of a Mom of 3 – really got me into posting pics (tho I’ve been really bad lately)
  • Half-Past Kissin Time – an inspirational teacher who makes me want to do good! SuperLady!
  • MammaDawg – Twilight Addict, nuff said 😉
  • My Life As It Is – great, but, ahem, needs to be updated!!!! 🙂
  • Raging Dad – moved from Minnesota to Oregon. Oye. Currently back home visiting, so not posting much. Twitters a lot 🙂
  • Suburban Musings – almost scared me away from her blog with her awesome Farrah 80’s doo 🙂
  • Terri Terri Quite Contrary – someone I found from Mike’s blog – see Unraveling below – and a co-author of a story we’ve been writing.
  • The B.S. Cafe – who wouldn’t love reading someone who came up with a blog category called WTF Wednesday?
  • This New Place-good thing I put this together, I didn’t even realize she moved to a new blog!
  • Unraveling Life’s Mysteries – Cigar smokin, republican, Halo’s fan. Wait, why do I read this guys stuff again? 😉

So these are some people that I read on a regular basis and I think you should as well. Besides, they’re all paying me 50$ to promote their blogs here. And flying me to europe. And….um…paying for my kids college, yeah, that’s it. Seriously – they’re some damn interesting people that I think you might like as well.