Category Archives: Personal

Life gets crazy sometimes

It seems like it’s been forever since I have last blogged, but I guess it’s only been a week since I showed off my tacos. I hate when people apologize about their lack of blogging, so I’m not going to do that. Sometimes life just gets in the way, and life always comes first.

It’s really been crazy around here lately. We’ve been busy replacing our TVs and everything else that was stolen. We have had half our house painted and are working on getting the other half painted. We have also begun getting our yard ready for a garden next spring, along with having family over the past two weekends. It’s safe to say I’ve been declaring RSS bankruptcy a lot these past few weeks.

Have you seen our TVs?

Hello internet. It’s been a while. It’s been a crazy week.

On Saturday our house was broken into. Our two TVs, XBox 360 with 27 games, and two iPods were stolen. I still can’t believe it happened. Hopefully today we will hear from our insurance company and can go TV shopping. Since it happened in the daytime, the cops, and us, agree that it was probably someone that’s been in our house and knew where things were. We suspect my Wife’s Uncle, who has been in and out of jail on various drug charges, but we have no proof. The police took prints, so hopefully they can catch the person, but chances are pretty slim. The chances of us getting our stuff back is even slimmer. We never wrote down the serial numbers. The cop said that’s about the only way to get our stuff back. Then it would only be if they tried to pawn our stuff. Pawn shops would run the serial number, and it would come up stolen. I now have the serial numbers of all our electronics in Evernote, another great use of that service. I don’t care so much about our stuff. It’s only stuff and all easily replaceable. It would be nice to see the guy get caught though. I’m so glad that’s all they took. They left all the computers, and my iPad. Those would have been worse because of the data they contain. I had find my iPhone set up on the iPod Touch that they took, but haven’t been able to find it yet. As soon as someone gets online with it, I should find out, and my iPod should then lock them out. I still changed a bunch of passwords though just in case.

So our house is in shambles, and tomorrow we are having a painter paint a few of our rooms that have high ceilings. I was originally going to paint them myself, but they estimated it at $425. For that price they can do it. I’m sure they can do a better job, and have it done faster. Well worth the money if you ask me. I hate painting.

Monday through Friday jobs suck; Goodbye Digg

I don’t know why people like Monday through Friday jobs so much. I worked my rare Monday through Friday this week and it sucked. I would take my nights and weekends over Monday through Friday any day. My normal shifts are 12 hours, and usually only two or three days in a row at most. Working five days in a row is a killer. Sure they were only eight hour days, but still five days in a row sucks, and now I only have a two day weekend. Normally my weekends off are always three day weekends.

I feel like I had no time for podcast listening, RSS reading, or Twitter all week. Thankfully I’m back to my normal schedule next week.

In other news, I logged into Digg for the first time in years, and dugg my last article. It was fun while it lasted, but like everything, it has an ending.

Remembering the football playing days

So today a Facebook friend posted a picture of the picture of our 1991 conference champion team in the trophy case at my old high school. That was my junior year in high school. We had a really good football team that year. I remember it like it was yesterday. It’s hard to believe it’s been 21 years. It’s nice to know we are still in the trophy case. My senior year playing football was a bit more disappointing. We were good, but we had a few key injuries and lost a couple of games so we didn’t win the conference. My last football game was in a playoff loss to a team that we use to always beat. To this day, not a day goes by without me thinking about it. I remember all of us bawling in the locker room. We weren’t crying because we lost. It was just a stupid game. We were crying because that was the last time most of us would be strapping that helmet on. We would never bash heads on the football field again. We would never be teammates again. Just typing that brings tears to my eyes. I don’t know what it is about playing football, but they were some special times. Seeing that picture makes me think that somewhere we are still teammates, still bashing heads, and having a great time on the field. It was 21 years ago, but feels like yesterday.

A lot has changed since then. They have a new high school, new football field, new football conference, and new mascot. It’s nothing like the “good ol’ days”, but these are the “good ol’ days” to the kids that weren’t even born yet when we were bawling our eyes out in that locker room. To them, that picture from 1991 could just as well be black and white. Ancient history. To me that picture means everything, it was just yesterday.

Verizon charging more for less

verizon-share-everything

So Verizon announced their new Share Everything plan earlier this week. Everybody seemed pretty pissed because now they are going to have to pay more for less. I was going to wait on commenting until I did the math myself.

I think it’s great that they are streamlining their plans, but man they are spendy, and yes I’m going to have to more for less.

I couldn’t care less about unlimited minutes and messages. I use maybe 20 minutes a month, and probably 4 messages a YEAR. The data is what’s going to kill me, and it’s so hard to judge how much you are using.

I looked back six months, and some months I used .5 GBs, and others I was close to 2 GB. So what plan am I suppose to get? Plus you have to double those data uses since my Wife is also using data at about the same rate as I do. So my usage will vary from 1 GB to 4 GB, and it’s trending upwards. So that means I could probably get by on the $60 and watch my data use closely, but that’s no fun. Or I could go with the $70 plan and pay for more data that I won’t be using most months. I’m glad I’m almost always on wifi, I couldn’t imaging how much data I would be using if I wasn’t.

My current bill is $143 with $20 of that being taxes and fees that I’m sure wont be changing. If I went with the cheaper plan it would cost me $160; $60 for the plan, plus $80 for two smartphones (which is ridiculous), plus $20 taxes and other fees.

So my $143 bill will go to $160 if I want to limit my usage, or $170 if I don’t want to worry, too much, about my usage. All the commercials I have seen say the new plans will save people money. I don’t know what kind of fuzzy math they use. 

That being said, I’m not too against the plans. I like how it simplifies everything, and while the data prices are a little spendy, it’s the $40 per smartphone that kills. Why so much for something that just shares the data you are already paying for, and will probably force you into a higher plan? If all devices on the plan were $10 or $20, I would probably be totally happy with the change. You know that’s never going to happen though. What cell phone company wants or has happy customers?

Congrats to Wil Wheaton and his Kings

So the Kings won the Stanley Cup last night. Hockey is probably my second favorite sport, but with all my other hobbies, I never get around to watching it. I was rooting for the Kings because they have never won a Stanley Cup, and because it’s fun following Wil Wheaton’s tweets about them. It’s a great thing when the team you loved since you were in grade school finally wins a championship. Some kids become fans of team just because they win all the time. Others, like Wil and I, become fans for other reasons, and that makes winning championships that much sweeter. Wil’s team is the Kings, and mine is the Denver Broncos. Here is Wil after the Kings won:

That was me in 1998 when my Broncos finally won their first Super Bowl, and it puts a smile on my face. I’m so happy for Wil. That first championship is something you will never forget. I still go back and watch Super Bowl 32 from time to time. It never get old, and nobody can take it away. Congrats Wil.

RIP Ray Bradbury

This video is old, and NSFW, but fitting for today. It seems to always take a death of someone for me to realize I haven’t consumed their products enough. The only Ray Bradbury book that I have read is Fahrenheit 451, but I have been meaning to read more ever since. I haven’t gotten around to any it just yet. I need to work on that.

Vacation starts now

It’s 5:30 AM, and I’m about to head out the door for our vacation. Today it’s just a 9.5 hour drive to Kansas City to meet up with the rest of my family. Then tomorrow we will be off to my Mom’s timeshare in Branson. I will be pretty quiet here and on Twitter. I will have internet access, but I’ll be busy, so I will mostly be offline. I might post a few pictures. They’re with 1000 words anyway right?

American Idiot Musical

American IdiotSo when we were in the cities we went the the American Idiot musical. I thought it was amazing and a must see for any Green Day fan, but I see how it could get mixed reviews. If you’re offended by loud rock music, F bombs, or guys and girls in their underwear, it’s probably not for you. If you’re a Green Day fan you will love it. I found it amazing how they could tell the story with very few lines. It was mostly the American Idiot album start to finish, but not hard at all to follow the story. I never really took the time to closely listen to and understand the album, so now the album has a totally different meaning to me.

A week of hospitals

Well I arrived home last night, and it looks like winter finally showed up. I can no longer see grass in my yard. I can’t complain much. It’s been a great winter.

So where was I? I spend most of last weekend, and last week in hospitals. Early last week I was in Sioux Fall for my dads stem cell transplant. He has cancer, multiple myeloma to be exact. We actually got to sit in the room during the transplant. It was a pretty simple procedure. He was pretty drugged up, so he doesn’t remember any of it, but we just watched them drain six bags of cells into him, and that was it. Now it’s just a waiting game to see how successful the procedure was. He is pretty sick now, but he will gradually get better and after 100 days we will know if he is cancer free. Chances are it will come back. When they harvested his cells for the transplant, they took enough for two, so down the road he may have to go through this again.

After a few days in Sioux Falls, we drove to Minneapolis. My mother-in-law was still in the hospital after her heart transplant. She had a little bit of a bleeding problem caused by the blood thinners they gave her because they were worried about a few clots that they saw. She had to have two more surgeries because of this bleeding, and it was a little hairy for a few days, but she is doing good now.

I’m glad to be home. A week of hospitals, and hospital food was more than enough for me. The Wife is still down there, and plans on staying a couple more weeks.

Bacheloring it

Three weeks ago when my Mother-in-Law had her heart transplant the Wife left to be with her. She took a leave of absence from her job and plans on staying with her Mom until she is able to be on her own. She is doing really well, and out of the hospital now. She just has to stay in a nearby apartment for a few more weeks before she can go home.

So I’ve been bacheloring it!

It’s still hard to get use to how quiet the house is. I did finally turn the TV on last night for the first time since the Super Bowl. I have a lot of Netflix that I’ve been meaning to watch for a long time now. I always seem to find other things to do rather that sit on the couch. I’m actually looking forward to doing it again tonight.

As for housework, I do most of it anyway, but my underwear drawer is getting low. Laundry is the one chore that I never do. I don’t think I have done it since 1999. It’s on my list of things to do tomorrow. Wish me luck.

New heart

Last night, at eight o’clock, my Mother-in-Law got the call. Five hours later doctors were cutting her open and giving her a new heart. We’ve been full of mixed feelings. On one hand it’s scary. She has been doing really well with her LVAD in. She is stronger than ever. The transplant will put her through a lot again, and may add some complications. I guess it’s a good thing though. The LVAD isn’t a permanent solution. It’s probably good that she got her heart now when she is strong. She should be able to recover from the transplant baring any complications. I had a coworker that had a lung transplant last year, and she was too weak, and didn’t survive.

My Wife and most of her family headed down to the hospital this morning. I stayed back to take care of the dog. I haven’t heard how she is doing yet, so I’m assuming she is doing fine. She has been out of surgery for eight hours now. It’s going to be a long few weeks of recovery, but it will probably be nice for her to not have to carry around her LVAD battery packs anymore.

I’m amazed by our scientific knowledge. It’s pretty amazing that we can cut someone open, remove their heart, and put in someone else’s heart, and they survive. I’m not going to be thanking a miracle, or some imaginary god, for her recovery. The reason this is possible is because of science, and the amazing doctors.

Then there is the sad reality that someone had to die for her to get her heart. We’ve been looking at the recent deaths in the area, and are curious as to which one was the one. I’m sure we will never know, but to that person’s family, thank you. And to any of your who aren’t donors, why the hell aren’t you?

Amateur Astronomy

It’s killing me that I haven’t been able to try out my telescope yet. We’ve had a beautiful winter so far this year, but the few nights that I have had off work it’s been too cloudy, and now I think winter is probably here to stay. It’s below zero now, and our high for today was only 7 ºF, not really good outside weather.

One thing that has got me really excited to try out my telescope has been Fraser Cain, from Universe Today, and his Virtual Star Parties. They are something that he is just starting to do using Google Plus, and they are totally awesome. He gets amateur astronomers to hook up their telescopes to Google Plus, and we all can see the various objects. Last night I watched his first two Star Parties, and learned a ton. Someday I’ll have to catch one live. I’m so excited to keep on learning, and maybe be able to actually call myself an amateur astronomer one day.

It’s been a long time since I started a new hobby, and it exciting to learn something new. There have been a few hobbies that I have wanted to start, but never wanted to spend the time or money to get started. Maybe it’s time to start a few of them. Three hobbies that I can think of now that I wanted to start are home brewing beer, learn to play guitar, and amateur astronomy.

I haven’t even used my telescope yet, and I have already found a few I want to upgrade to. I think I will hold off on them for a while, and get a good pair of binoculars first. That’s what most people say to start with. They say you can see more than you would think, and it’s a great way to get started and find out if the hobby is for you before spending a ton of money.

Spinal cord injuries, can we get a cure?

I don’t know how much national coverage it has gotten, but last week a Minnesota high school hockey player suffered a horrific neck injury, and was paralyzed. I couldn’t imagine what it would be like to be sixteen years old, and know you will never walk again. Being paralyzed is probably one of my worst fears along with being burned. When I played football in high school I always made sure I made tackles with my head up, and hit with my shoulder. I feared hitting with my head like so many players do nowadays. One awkward hit with your head could change your life forever. The coaches I had taught that, and I listened.

I’ve never played hockey, so I can’t really relate to the injury and how it happened and if it’s something that can be prevented in the future. I just feel horrible for the kid. I hope someday these kind of injuries will able to be repaired by surgery. How great would it be to repair all neck and spinal cord injuries? That and a cure for cancer are two thing I hope to see happen in my lifetime.

My favorite Christmas present

2011-12-27 at 13.15.05

So Christmas is over for another year. Things are starting to slow down and get back to normal around here. It feels weird that winter really hasn’t gotten here yet. I hoping it hold of for a few more weeks so I get a chance to play with my favorite Christmas present.

I got a telescope for Christmas! I’ve always wanted a telescope, but never thought I would use one enough to justify buying one. As a kid I loved my microscope, and chemistry set, but I never had a telescope. It’s just an entry level telescope, but that’s all I really need for now.

Monday night would have been a perfect night with Venus and the Moon to the west and Jupiter still in the east as I left for work. Tuesday it was cloudy, and last night it was raining. Rain in December? WTF? Today when I got the mail it really felt like spring out. It’s really going to suck when winter finally gets here. I hoping to be able to try out my telescope tonight, since my next night off wont be until January 2nd, and winter might be here by then. 

My favorite Christmas song

I originally had a long post about the stupid argument between “Happy Holidays” and “Merry Christmas”, but you know what? It’s Christmas, who the hell cares? Maybe ignoring that stupid argument will make it go away.

Instead here is my favorite Christmas song, “White Wine in the Sun”. Enjoy.

Here are the lyrics to “White Wine in the Sun”, and if you don’t understand the title, Tim Minchin is from Australia, and Christmas is a summer time holiday down there.

I really like Christmas
It’s sentimental, I know, but I just really like it
I am hardly religious
I’d rather break bread with Dawkins than Desmond Tutu, to be honest

And yes, I have all of the usual objections
To consumerism, the commercialization of an ancient religion
To the westernization of a dead Palestinian
Press-ganged into selling Playstations and beer
But I still really like it

I’m looking forward to Christmas
Though I’m not expecting a visit from Jesus

I’ll be seeing my dad
My brother and sisters, my gran and my mum
They’ll be drinking white wine in the sun
I’ll be seeing my dad
My brother and sisters, my gran and my mum
They’ll be drinking white wine in the sun

I don’t go in for ancient wisdom
I don’t believe just ’cause ideas are tenacious it means they are worthy
I get freaked out by churches
Some of the hymns that they sing have nice chords but the lyrics are spooky

And yes I have all of the usual objections
To the miseducation of children who, in tax-exempt institutions,
Are taught to externalize blame
And to feel ashamed and to judge things as plain right and wrong
But I quite like the songs
I’m not expecting big presents
The old combination of socks, jocks and chocolate is just fine by me

‘Cause I’ll be seeing my dad
My brother and sisters, my gran and my mum
They’ll be drinking white wine in the sun
I’ll be seeing my dad
My brother and sisters, my gran and my mum
They’ll be drinking white wine in the sun

And you, my baby girl
My jetlagged infant daughter
You’ll be handed ’round the room
Like a puppy at a primary school
And you won’t understand
But you will learn someday
That wherever you are and whatever you face
These are the people who’ll make you feel safe in this world
My sweet blue-eyed girl

And if, my baby girl
When you’re twenty-one or thirty-one
And Christmas comes around
And you find yourself nine thousand miles from home
You’ll know what ever comes
Your brother and sisters and me and your Mum
Will be waiting for you in the sun
Whenever you come
Your brothers and sisters, your aunts and your uncles
Your grandparents, cousins and me and your mum
We’ll be waiting for you in the sun
Drinking white wine in the sun
Darling, when Christmas comes
We’ll be waiting for you in the sun
Drinking white wine in the sun
Waiting for you in the sun
Waiting for you…
Waiting…

I really like Christmas
It’s sentimental, I know…