Friday, February 29, 2008

My tribute to the Who

Shakey has a squeeze ball that hangs from his wrist.

It's pumping in meds because his shoulder's pissed.

And the pain is alright, with the Vicoden in sight.

Shakey has a squeeze ball just so he can sleep at night.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008


The day has come! Tomorrow morning I "go under the knife" to pull that pesky piece of broken floating cartilage out from my shoulder as well as clean up the rest of the rough spots and any scar tissue that has formed. Given how my shoulder has been ever so slowly getting better I don't think the dreaded slap repair will be needed, but we'll see.

Tomorrow morning I'll be waking up at the bright and early hour of 5:30 to get ready for the fun. To be honest, I'm kinda worried about being the first person in line. I have visions of the doc spilling his piping hot Starbucks on me while trying to get his body to wake up as he pokes at me with his scope. Second or third would have been my favorite spot to be in. The doc would have finished his Java by then and it would still be too early to be thinking about lunch and his rumbling belly. God forbid you are the last one of the day to hit the table, he's already checked out thinking about that martini at happy hour.

I'll be looking for those tell tale burn marks when I come to from surgery.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Getting cranky

Today I was reminded that while people may be trying to be helpful by taking over a task you would like to complete yourself it can be totally frustrating. What some people see as fumbling along is really just the result of not having done something before or it's just been a long time since the last time you did it.

While in the past I've managed to swap engines, transmissions, rebuild and replace cylinder heads, overhaul suspensions and done dozens of much easier tasks on automobiles and trucks, today I was denied a wrench for a much easier task on something that belonged to me.

While I may hesitate for a moment or begin making the task harder than it needs to be, give me 30 seconds, I'll figure it out. People tend to forget what kind of background you have when you are a computer geek by trade. They have not seen you crewing at a SCCA or ALMS race. They haven't seen the custom exhaust systems you fabricated, the coil over suspensions you adapted to your vehicle, the custom turbo inlets or the rest of the work you have done from simple fab work to wrenching on a half a million dollar race car prepping it for a 12 hour race.

So this was reminder for next time I'm helping a person with a project or bump in to someone working on something. I'll offer my help, but ultimately it's up to them to ask for it rather than me forcing it upon them. No matter how good ones intentions are, the resulting tension usually sucks the satisfaction out of the job. If I've done it to you in the past, please feel free to slap me upside the head. Just remove any tools, knives or blunt objects from your hand first. :)

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Clear skies

Communication, birthday Scott's and snow monsters seems to be the formula for the perfect weekend.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Prime time

Day number two, coat number two.

I've been looking around my house at things that need to be accomplished before I can put it up on the market and am trying to get together a list of priorities to get done. Right now I'm starting off on the simple and cheap, well at least the relatively simple as you don't know what you are getting into every time until you have both feet in.

Right now I'm prepping for a fresh coat of paint in the kitchen and the utility room. Unfortunately that includes priming or fully replacing the wall board where there was water damage from an incorrectly installed roof that I patched this sumer. The past two nights I've applied a coat of the wonder primer Killz to the trouble spots and they still seep through a bit, but it's becoming less. I'll give it another shot tomorrow to see if it's effective or if I'll be sawing out sections of my ceiling and doing patches.

The area over the washer and dryer are going to need the most attention, I'm not looking forward to working over the wash tub either, but it's going to need to look pretty and clean to sell.

So I'm committing to working on the house at least four days a week until it's presentable enough to put on the market. The two big ticket items I'm saving for last, living room carpet and redoing the back roof.

Anyone know a roofer that will work for home brew? :)

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Ice Ice Baby

The conclusion to a weekend long lock in.

Since I have Climb Detroit coming up next weekend and Dirty Picasso Girl will be coming down the weekend after for my surgery I figured I'd head north again this weekend for some relaxation and for us to get a little bit of downhill ski action going.

Saturday DPG's immune system ended up working overtime kicking butt on something that was trying to win a struggle. Unfortunately part of being a educator is putting up with a nine month onslaught of bacterial and viral nasties. (It's going to be interesting seeing how my body adjusts to these little biological treats that DPG's students share with her. =) ) Plans of skiing were scrapped in favor of a lovely weekend of relaxing, watching movies, playing games and just enjoying one another's company with no schedule to keep or plans to adhere too.

Sunday we both woke up refreshed and DPG was feeling good enough to go do something. Skiing? Well maybe, I saw ice dripping off the roof so I figured it was really warm out, a total departure from the single digit temps on Friday night. Well, the snow may be slow but at least we won't freeze.

Upon looking out the window I realized we may not be going any place, it was raining now and ice was starting to build on everything. The more it rained the more beautiful it became as the trees became crystal. However I was a bit worried about my drive home that evening. A short walk out to the main road confirmed my worries, the roads were a sheet of watery ice. The walk was beautiful despite the heavy rain. The trees were shimmering and you could hear birds calling to one another in the icy rain. We slipped and slid along the road over to her brothers house to visit and to snag an egg to make waffles for breakfast. After a long lesson on selling collectibles on ebay, (fascinating actually) it was back to the house for breakfast and to continue our theme for the weekend for a few more hours.

Thanks Mother Nature for providing us a great, low-key Sunday morning.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Powerful words

Two of the most powerful words in the dictionary are Yes and No. One opens new doors and brings hope, possibility and future. The other slams the door shut and halts progress. This past Saturday night, the positive of the two also became one of the most beautiful words to me as well.

Last week I started scheming a proposal plan in my head when I realized that my original one may not have been the best idea, I just wanted to do better. Timing was going to be key and I needed to draft help, but who?

Out went a undercover email to Ali containing names and numbers of my friends and family as emergency contacts should something happen to me and I requested the same from her. Bingo! Back comes the numbers of her parents and most importantly, Erin and Bryce who live about 20 minutes away from her.

Tuesday night I called up Erin to see if she wanted to be part of my little plan either this weekend or next. Yay, she gladly accepted the mission and was totally stoked to be a part of it. Operation Ali was hatched! Step one, work out the day for sure and begin taking steps to make it happen. It was up in the air for Saturday the 9th or the following week, but the call to the flower shop put it all in motion. I needed two dozen white roses to fill the basket on a 1966 Schwinn Typhoon cruiser purchased for plan A that was scrapped, but they could not assure having that many of them unless I put in a pre-order with a date. Well, the 9th it became, two dozen white roses on order and ready for pickup on Saturday.

Erin got the call back that we were go, she knew I couldn't wait to do it and totally knew it was going to end up being this weekend anyhow. :)

Next I needed champagne, champagne flutes and candles, lots of candles. Off to Target to buy half my weight in votives and tea lights. Target flutes were functional but not sexy, upgrade to be looked into during stop at Birch Run. Champagne was also later procured.

The next overly giddy and excited phone call was place to Erin with the news that everything was ready to roll. The plan? Light enough candles to require sun glasses and an asbestos suit, place flowers in bike basket in the living room, toss Willow in the bedroom to protect him from certain combustion and loop Diane Krall on iTunes at my call when I could sneak away from Ali while out on Saturday night.

Thursday night, well I barely slept a wink.

Friday morning I finished packing and headed north with a car packed full of skis, candles, clothes, a kick butt Schwinn cruiser and a pretty diamond ring in my pocket. Stop one, Lenox at Birch Run, score two extra cool champagne flutes. Stop two, drop candles, champagne and bike off at Erin and Bryce's place along with a bar fund for them to hit the local watering hole and wait for the status update. The guard dog put up a good smoke screen, but I managed to get everything off loaded along with depositing a nice Cabernet for agents E & B to enjoy later.

Now it was on to super nervous task #1, go ask Ali's father for her hand in marriage. The phone call on the way over appeared as if no one was home, but I was almost there and stopped in anyway to find her father in the pole barn working on the blazer. After a bit of chit chat I brought it up that I was there not just to visit, but also to give her the ring I had in my pocket. I showed him the ring and he looked back at his job at hand and responded, "If she'll take it." Great, how's that for a vote of confidence! Well we continued to chat a bit more about Ali and how wonderful she is, he finished up the ball joint replacement and I took off down the road to meet Ali at home, and some how keep this all a secret.

Friday night was nice and relaxing, but parts of it are still a blur as I was so nervous that night and just wanting to do it right there and then. The ravioli from Fogarelli's was perfect, the vino from Black Star was just right and it was a great romantic evening in itself. Having enough of the wine made it possible for me to sleep that night.

Saturday was so nice and relaxed, but I kept looking at the time and wondering when the plan would start to roll. We ended up leaving the house around 3:30 and I sent agent Erin a text message that we were heading to TC and we had dinner reservations at 8:00, she informed me the rose pickup went as planned. The movie was long, creepy but captivating overall. Dinner at 310 was fantastic, and right after the desert order I headed to the bathroom to contact agents Bryce and Erin, it was go time.

While Ali and I worked away at a wonderful warm brownie covered in chocolate and ice cream, agents E & B headed south to unleash enough BTU's via candle power to keep the furnace from kicking on for the next two days. Ali and I made a quick stop at the grocery store for beverages and headed back out to the slippery roads. The stretch down the last north/south road felt like it was taking forever. I was getting so nervous at that point that I could barely take it. We crested the last hill and I could see the red flasher in the distance, we were almost to the house.

When we pulled up I could see nothing but candle light glowing out all the front windows and out the door. Certainly she had to notice, but she didn't' say anything as she was more confused than anything else. Nothing seemed to make sense to her until she saw me start to go down on my knee, remove my hat and pull the ring box out of my pocket.

I still can't remember the exact words that came out of my mouth, it had something to do with me wanting to spend the rest of my life with her and of course "will you marry me?" Between my shaking and her gasps came that beautiful three letter word that opens doors and creates new beginnings and opportunities,
Yes. Yes to a wonderful future with a person who never ceases to amaze me with her caring, her wit, her charm and her overall love for life. That yes only re-affirmed that we have many, many good years to come sharing our lives together.

And the word no you ask? Unfortunately it's just not a happy word so I'll refer to it in this entry
no more after this sentence. :)

A huge thanks to agents Erin and Bryce for making proposal perfection possible. And I vow to redeem myself at Scrabble in the near future!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008



Want to feel full? Just eat half a 2+ pound butternut squash lightly buttered and peppered.

Tonights dinner is totally herbivore style after having way too many calories at lunch enjoying a nice big serving of Kamo Nanban Soba from my favorite sushi place. The squash and light butter probably only racked me up another 350 calories max, mostly from the butter. :)

Once this knee starts feeling normal and I can work out again I proceed to eat like a human being once more. Until then, it's lots of veggies for me!

As for other fun facts, it's probably not good to eat a cup of butter!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

The weekend in review

Good: getting a surgery date to get my shoulder back to normal.

Bad: having to wait three more weeks.

Good: Poker night with father and friends.

Bad: Sampling bargain $3.59 per 12 pack beer. Just say no to Josef Hoffbauer.

Good: Almost breaking even and not staying up way too late.

Bad: Getting paged for a single user trouble issue after hours by a director trying to throw her weight around during said poker game.

Good: Having a reasonable support tech downgrade the ticket as he realized I was two time zones away and one person not working out of 35 was not going to kill their operation.

Good: Sleeping in on Saturday.

Bad: Cleaning up the prior nights mess.

Good: Awesome time trial interval trainer video at the shop.

Bad: Drinking a few beers the night before said video, body was in state of shock.

Good: Playing rock band with J and P and having a couple more beers Saturday night.

Good: Waking up sans hangover.

Good: Cheering on team mates at the Livonia indoor triathlon.

Good: Food at East Side Mario's afterwards.

Good: Nap to recharge on a Sunday afternoon.

Good: White Chocolate Peppermint hot cocoa.

Bad: Missing DPG.

Synopsis? A cool weekend for me while I stayed in southeast Michigan tethered to my pager.