Day 11/365: Just be happy

I was reading through this article and realized I do some of this stuff, but I don’t do some of the things I’d like to be doing more often.

  • Express gratitude
  • Cultivate optimism
  • Avoid over-thinking and social comparison
  • Practice acts of kindness
  • Nurture social relationships
  • Develop strategies for coping
  • Learn to forgive
  • Increase flow experiences
  • Savor life’s joys
  • Commit to your goals
  • Practice spirituality
  • Take care of your body

Life is too short to hold on to bullshit, to allow bad feelings to fester, and not take advantage of every moment to tell those who mean the world to you…well, that they mean the world to you.

Too many times we see nice quotes or cool stories on Facebook and then drop right back down into our same old bs.  Take advantage of the time you have on this earth and make a difference.

Day 10/365

So I’ve made it 10 days with a slipup here and there, but I’ve continued, so that’s good.  As I write, I’m checking for my 90 degree angles – elbows, knees, and hips.  It’s strange to sit this way, but if I want to keep doing this for a while yet, I need to sit at my computer correctly.

Went to physical therapy this morning, it’ll be interesting to see how my elbow feels when I’m done working.  Oh yeah, other thing I need to do regularly, wear my specs.  I didn’t think I needed them, but things are beginning to get a little blurrier than I like, so on with the glasses.

Need to get my license renewed today, so Fae and I might go do that and grab some lunch.

Work is good, about to clean up some stuff today that will allow us to move forward on several projects, so I’m less anxious about that.

Working out sucks.  Gillian was with a friend most of yesterday evening at a swim party at the Y.  She was toast when she got home and I used it as an excuse to not do anything.  Bleah, not feeling good today, and I think I’m getting another sinus infection, lucky me.

Yeah, this is the only thing keeping me going.  Lots of cream, lots of sugar.


Day 9/365

I know, I need to take more pictures.  I’m still trying to keep up my habit of posting daily! 🙂

Today has been pretty relaxed.  I was over at my friend J’s house talking to his son about a movie that’s coming out that I thought looked cool.  It’s John Carter, based on the John Carter of Mars books.  First of all, I didn’t realize that it was written around the turn of the century by Edgar Rice Burroughs.  Secondly, I didn’t realize it was so well written!  I borrowed the book from J’s son and devoured the first of three books.

His writing is timeless, you get drawn into the book immediately and it doesn’t let you go.  I thought I’d get discouraged by the futuristic stuff in the book turning out to be modern day cell phones, but he spends time fostering culture, and motive, and plot to such an extent that you feel for the characters and want some to succeed, and some to go down in flames.

Still nursing a bit of a sinus thing, coughing is producing…well, it’s just gross, we’ll leave it at that.

Haven’t had much time or inclination to exercise, but I think I’m going to get Gillian to do some stuff with me tonight so we can get back on track.  Had a good week, and nothing for 2 days, so I want to get back on track.

Treebeard is doing well.  I’ve trimmed back some of the small offshoots I don’t like the look of, and now that I’m done with Book 1 of John Carter, I am going to do some research on how to train it to grow in the direction I want it to.  I need some supplies and some guidance, so I’ll be posting that when I get it 🙂

Day 8/365

Okay, so I am a day behind, yesterday was pretty crazy.  Started out waking up to drive Aidan to robotics, someone stuck a dagger in my eyeball.  One of those sinus headaches that make you sick to your stomach.

Problem was, Fae was wrestling with her own cluster headache, so I drove him.  At least I could see straight 🙂

Spent the rest of the day just trying to get rid of it, and went to see a dance company at Montclair State university.    It was the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company and while I did enjoy it, I have to admit, I didn’t get it.  He was narrating from the middle of the stage at a desk while the dancers did their thing around him, but there wasn’t much connecting what he was saying to what they were doing, which I think might have been the point.  He had some cool things to say and the dancers were very good indeed.

Still had the headache when I got home, but it wasn’t terrible so I actually got some sleep after watching another episode of Spartacus (which is awesome btw).  My friend J got us a slick as hell Blu Ray player that allows for Hulu and Netflix to stream in HD.  Very nice indeed.

Day 7/365

I came across a great post by my cousin K on Facebook today and it was the YouTube video “Dear 16 yr old me”.  I didn’t realize it was about skin cancer.









You can hardly see the scar, but it’s about the length of the box.  I was lucky, I had the “Good Cancer” – basal cell carcinoma.  After being diagnosed by my dermatologist, I went to a surgeon to have it removed using Mohs procedure, where they slice away layers until it’s gone.  My problem was that instead of the mole around the size of a dime, it was an iceberg that stretched across both collarbones.

Oh yeah, this was done 2 days after my daughter was born.  Nice eh?  And the day before we signed papers to move into our house.  Awesome.

Anyway, enough about that.  I am a cancer survivor, even if it was a fairly small procedure and didn’t require chemo or anything extensive.  I’m not comparing myself to anyone else, especially anyone who’s been through melanoma or has a loved one who has been through it.

I caught it early.  The mole I had always had started changing shape and instead of brown, it was turning gray and got shiny.  My wife had been bugging me to get it checked, and when it started getting shiny, I decided enough was enough and went.

Why did this happen?  My doctor called it a golf spot because it was right where golf shirts don’t cover.  I always said I’d wear sunscreen, but I really never did unless someone nagged me about it.  I wish I had worn more.  Again, I was lucky, but I would rather have not had to go through that.

The point of my post?  WEAR SUNSCREEN!!!!!!  It’s worth it, and it’s not that big of a deal to put on.  Also –

Check yourself regularly.  And watch this video.


I’ve been trying to post things on my blog by writing them ahead of time and publishing them on specific days.  You have to hit okay when you set the publish date or it won’t publish 🙂

Woke up late so Aidan was scrambling to get up and get out.  Thankfully he made his bus so I didn’t have to drive him to school.

Okay, I’m going to break in here with something kind of funny/nasty.  Why is it that cats wait for you to come downstairs or get out of bed before they use the litter box?  I have two cats, and they’ve nailed me twice already.  One when I first came down and emptied the box – “Oh look a clean box, we can’t have that!”, and the other once I cleaned that out so I didn’t choke.  I guess they just want to go in a nice clean box.  Little bastards.

So the kids are both off, and I’m sitting down to work, so I’m going to go now.  Today should be fairly stress free, plus I have a physical therapy appointment today so I’m hoping she can massage some of the knot out again.  It’s feeling SO much better today I can’t even begin to tell you.


Went into the office today, traffic was slow as hell, so I stopped at my bagel place.  I’ve been at this job for about 6 years now and my friend A and I stopped there on one of my first days to grab a cup of coffee and I’ve been going off an on since.

They have snickerdoodle coffee, which is by far my favorite flavored coffee.  I also get a sausage egg and cheese everything bagel, but we’re not going to discuss that 🙂

It’s about halfway to work from home so it’s a good stopping point.  Did I mention that my commute is 1.5 hours long if I’m lucky.  Yeah, each way.

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Generally I don’t mind it, I’m so lost in my audio books that I don’t even notice the time, but yesterday was rough.  I dropped Gillian off at before school Band practice, so I didn’t leave town until around 7:50.  Got to work around 9:30 and went straight into like 3 meetings in a row.

Came home after accomplishing a lot and hung out with the kids helping them study for tests and watched some TV with Fae before I crashed.


I had my first physical therapy appointment today, and it isn’t going to be as bad as I thought.  One of the things I am bad at is posture when typing (jesus, I’m doing it right now).  I tend to hunch my shoulders up into my neck and lean on my elbows and it’s just a mess.  This was my second surgery, my left elbow was done 2 yrs ago and has healed up really nicely.  It was only as I was getting ready to think about going back to martial arts of some sort that my right elbow started complaining.

My right elbow isn’t healing as quickly as the other one tho.  I have a feeling it’s because I am using it a lot more because I am right handed.  The physical therapist confirmed that last night.  I’ve been feeling a lot of tightness in the muscles that are connected to my elbow, so I was worried, but the surgery site felt fine.  The tightness wasn’t pain, but it was pretty uncomfortable.

So Mary, my physical therapist, put me through the motions and pretty much concluded that while the exercising that I will do would help, what she wanted to try was massage first.

Let me take a minute to describe Mary and me.  I’m 6’2″, about 230.  Mary is about 5’2″, maybe 110lbs.  She started massaging my forearm and quickly found the knot.  “This might take a few sessions to get rid of, I don’t want to hurt you.”

“Mary, I live for deep tissue, bruise me.”  She laughed and started digging, eventually getting to the point where she used her elbow.  Painful?  Engh.  Uncomfortable as hell is a better word, but not painful.  It’s feeling a lot looser today than it has in the past, so I’m hopeful.  I have another appointment on Thurs and Fri and two next week so far plus some exercises that will stretch things out in the affected area, and will consequently loosen up my shoulders and neck.

A new friend: 2/365

So my wife is a lot more perceptive than I could ever have asked for.  I’ve been trying to find something to help me turn my brain off.  I work from home 4 days a week, and I’ve had some trouble turning off after I’m done, so I wanted to find a hobby.  I went to the library recently to pick up something to read, and for once, didn’t pick up a fantasy novel.  I grabbed one on Tai Chi, and a pair of beginner Bonsai books.

I haven’t touched the Tai Chi one, and picked up a few more on Bonsai, interested in the different varieties of tree, and how some are easier than others, and other things.

I wasn’t even try to lay out a hint or anything, I’m just not that subtle.  So the day before my birthday, my friend J comes over with his son to wish me a happy birthday, he was flying the next day and wanted to be there to wish me a happy birthday.  I came downstairs, and he and my wife have a cheshire grin between them.

Funny thing is, I saw it at his house a week or so before and remarked on it.  He gave me some kind of non-committal answer about it, and I forgot all about it.

 So this is Treebeard, and you can see, he’s pretty small 🙂  That’s Pluto, my cat from hell sniffing around him.  It’s a Mt. Fuji Serissa tree.







 As you can see, it’s roots are elevated from the soil, and you can really see through them.  It’s about 7 yrs old now, so it’s a pretty sturdy tree already.






There are several trunks to play with, I’m going to go to a gardening center nearby to get some tools (and advice) on how to train it.  IE: bending the branches to move them into a more separated structure.

The neat thing about this tree is the fact that it has multiple blooming periods, so there will be small white flowers on it during the year.

Right now, I’m just going to concentrate on trimming it back for now and watering it properly and we’ll see what happens.



So here is my post for day 2 of this year of my life. 🙂