What are you thankful for? + Pay it Forward

Turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, friends, family and relaxing times.  Everyone can hopefully enjoy some of those things during the last few times.  For some of us, more than once.  Leftover Triptophan highs anyone?? 🙂

What am I thankful for tho?  I’m thankful that I can share in the bounty of my own hard work, that I can go and share good food and nice relaxing conversation with people I love.  I’m thankful that I have a roof over my head, a regular paycheck coming in, kids and a wife who love me and don’t mind my farts too much…

I’m thankful for so many things I feel guilty when I bitch about what I don’t have.  In these times of more more more, we need to try to appreciate what we do have and stop striving for that new car, or that more expensive phone, or the stupid toy that your kid isn’t going to play with but will be cooler than his/her friends because they’re the first with it.  Here’s a suggestion that might serve well as a lesson and something fun for the family to do.

Get a big box, and have the kids decorate it with holiday themes.  It’s the “Giving Box”, and the kids (and you too if you want) need to go through all of your stuff and find things that are still in good condition, but can be given away.  You’re about to pack their rooms with mountains of crap, it’s a good way to get rid of some of their old stuff, and teach them a lesson about giving to people who can’t afford the mountains of crap.  When it gets closer to the end of December, find a place that will accept the gifts – firehouses, churches, red cross maybe – and bring the box to them.  Call them first, trust me, I had a HUGE box in my car one year for a week.

It’s a little piece of Pay It Forward, but give it a shot.  Let me know how it works.

mens room etiquette

So I was thinking that there are several things that are done or not done in the mens room, I wanted to see if anyone else noticed this as well.

  • Never make eye contact, unless everything is zipped up and you’re standing at the sink.
  • Always look straight ahead when at the urinal.
  • If there are three urinals and someone is using the one on the left, always use the one all the way on the right.
    • if someone is using the middle one, there’s obviously something wrong – use one of the stalls.
    • If 2 of the three are being used, obviously, use a stall.
  • If you’ve just had indian, mexican, or really bad chinese food – you have an obligation to courtesy flush at least 3x.
    • some people don’t know about the courtesy flush to begin with, so my expectations on this one are low.
  • If you have an upset stomach and need to go, several things will ALWAYS go wrong:
    • as your going into the stall, you’ll see someone you know and you’ll have to hold it in until you think they’ve left the bathroom.
      • 9 times out of 10, it’s your boss or your employee
    • the periodic air freshener will be beeping, telling you it needs to be changed
    • All of your courtesy flushing will not do a damn bit of difference and either your boss or employee will walk in the minute you’re coming out of the stall

Anything to add?  Men or Women…. I’m sure the womens bathroom etiquette is totally different.

Why Bother?

Someone mentioned to me that they couldn’t understand why I blogged.  “You can’t talk about work, you can’t say anything bad about your wife or kids or home life, you can’t even tweet as openly as you’d like to.  How do you bitch about things without everyone knowing it?”

Well, it’s a mixture of things.  I like blogging because it makes me write, it makes me think, it’s an exercise in organizing the millions of unrelated thoughts in my head into something that may have a chance of being coherent somehow to someone.  I don’t blog to bitch, tho I do sometimes do that, but it’s mostly about me, not about someone I’m arguing with or don’t agree with.  Would it be great to bitch about so and so and how they really pissed me off?

Not really.  There are blogs that do that, but mine’s not one of them.  My blog is for me more than anything else, but there is a current I listen to that sometimes makes me share things that I’ve experienced or come across because if I think it’s cool/weird/neat, who wouldn’t?? 😉  When I posted the stuff about Fae, she had actually been the one to tell me I should write about it.

So why do I bother?  I bother because it allows me to sometimes order just a small part of the maelstrom rushing around inside this skull, and make sense of just a little bit of that chaos.  And sometimes when I share, it helps someone else, or it helps someone else understand me a little better.  And to answer the original question, How do I bitch about things outside of me?  Why would I?  Yeah, I occasionally throw out the “I wish people would learn to drive” or “someone cut me off I hope they get a flat”, but I keep it so that it doesn’t effect my relationships with loved ones, friends, and co-workers.

Back from Florida

Ever prepare for something for a really long time, and it comes off without a hitch?  Yeah, that’s what my trip to FL last week was like, totally psyched.  Then again, I wasn’t really worried about my presentation because it’s something I’ve been working on for about 9 months and got a lot of positive feedback, suggestions and a few oohs and aahs 🙂  Those were nice.

My company has an annual conference to bring all of the facility administrators, regional folx, and a lot of the support staff all to one place for a few days to rub elbows, compare notes, and just hang out.  I learned a LOT not only from the talks, round table discussions, and vendor speeches, but also from just hanging out with people who are much deeper in the industry than I am.  I also got to hang out with some REALLY cool people for a few days who wouldn’t give me the 1000 yd stare when I started talking about techie stuff that would help them.  2010 is going to be a very cool year if I have anything to do with it 🙂

Missed the kids and Fae horribly, but after a crappy flight down and an even worse one home, it was a really good experience.  We did some cool team building events, one of which I’ll leave you with to see if you can figure it out.

You have 11 squares that 10 people are standing on.  Imagine they are 1,2,3,4,5, free space, 6,7,8,9,10.  What you have to do is move all 5 people(1-5) to the right, and (6-10) to the left.  You can’t jump over someone who is moving the same direction, and you can only move around one person.  The easiest way to do it is to take a piece of paper, print the numbers 1-11 on the paper leaving the space free in the middle and use pennies, 1-5 heads, 6-10 tails.

Good luck 🙂

My Anemic Wife

Fae saw our general practicioner on Wednesday, who sent her to a blood specialist on Thursday, and was set up immediately for iron infusions, which began today.  The hematologist ordered Benadryl and a low dose of Prednisone in her IV drip just to make sure she didn’t have an anaphylactic reaction.  I’m *so* glad she got right to the hematologist and had her do further bloodwork after our general practitioner freaked out about her iron levels… He did basic bloodwork, and the hematologist did more that was in-depth. Her  Ferritin levels were insane.   This is the measure of platelet – making chemical in my bone marrow. (her platelets are way too small right now, and there’s not enough oxygen in her body, which is why she’s been *so* tired). The average healthy level in the Ferritin spectrum is 150, and hers is 4. Let me say that again. Average: 150. Her level – 4. The doctor said she could eat all the spinach and beef in the world, but nothing but an iron infusion would work.

It ends up that most people who have undergone a gastric bypass end up needing iron infusions…gel tabs, SloFE, prescription strength meds, nothing works.

Sucks, but treatable.  She’ll go for infusions once a week for 5 weeks or so and then once a month.  They’ll keep on track of what her levels are and hopefully within a few weeks she’ll start having energy again.  I’ve gotten her back emotionally and mentally, now we just need to get her back physically. 🙂  YAY MODERN MEDICINE!

Now that explains something…

Fae’s been sick for a while, whether it be emotionally from trying to work with the right anxiety and depression meds, or side effects of them all, or sinus and flu the past week or so.  This summer was a disaster, but thankfully the doc and Fae realized that certain kinds of drugs, SSRI’s, don’t work and just mess up her functions.  Sept was so much better, and October was even moreso, having Fae back in spirit, if not in body.  She’s been tired, and when she gets moving, gets winded and tired easily.

So when we had to get a refill on one of her antibiotics, the doc wanted to see her and do some bloodwork.

Long and short of it is she’s anemic, and pretty bad.  So much that the doctor made her promise to see a hematologist today.  So now we know part of why she spent so much time in bed over the summer, or at least part of the reason.  She’s at the hemotologist right now trying to figure out specifically what’s up.  Hoping for the ‘big ole shot of Iron’ route rather than the transfusion route.  Me?  I have veins like a freeway.  Fae’s veins roll and hide and have had her on occasion need 2 different people to get something into her vein.

Send a thought, good feeling, prayer to her.  She’s been through so much crap over the last year, I just want her back and healthy.  Plus she’s at the doc right now and she hates them 🙂  Me too for that matter.

Maybe 4 hours

If I was lucky.  That’s the amount of sleep I got on Saturday night.

So it’s 6pm on Halloween night, and Gilli’s first friend shows up.  I”m already realizing this is going to be a long night because she’s a) afraid of our cats, b) never had a sleepover, and c) has never been trick or treating before.  Yeah, I know, she’s 10.

I’ll give the 1$ version instead of going into lots of details.  They all got there, made buttons for their candy bags so they could tell who’s was who’s, went out trick or treating with my wife for about 2 hours – IN THE RAIN – came back, ate pizza, watched some movies, and finally crashed at 12.

The only problem with this was we couldn’t let the cats out for fear that her one friend would scream bloody murder and wake them all up.  So what did I do?

After listening to them for about an hour, I booted my son into my bed, grabbed the cats with food water and litter box, and suffered through 7 hours of scratching at the door, meowing, and generally trying to get out all night.  Finally woke up around 6:30 and made the girls pancakes.  They all ended up leaving by 10 or so, and I started cleaning up for friends coming over that afternoon.  Yeah, I know 🙂  That’s why I left Fae to sleep, so someone would be coherent for our friends coming over.  Tho I had a bunch of coffee and was mostly okay.

That little girl will never know what I went through to make sure that her first Halloween, her first sleepover was as positive as possible.  The most important thing was to make my daughters first sleep over a positive experience, and by helping out her friend and losing a little sleep, I think I did it.  She even came over and gave me a cheek-kiss at one point.

“What was that for?”
“I know you didn’t get a lot of sleep because you wanted my friend to not be scared.  I really do have the best Daddy.” and hugged me.

I truly understood what fatherhood is all about, and losing a little sleep was well worth a group of happy little girls, especially the little one that was sitting in my lap at that moment.