Wednesday, March 30, 2011


Sunny and 40 today – just right for a quick walk. No push-ups, though I did get down the ground to take this picture.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Rosetown Zombies

First it was Community Theater, and now I unleash myself on the film world. What’s next?

OK – it’s not Oscar material, but it is my film debut. It’s a video starring some of us Rosetown Playhouse folks (including Maria who opens the elevator door) produced to encourage auditions for their upcoming summer production of The Wizard of Oz. The entire premise of the video was a bit “sketchy” (Maria’s favorite word) at the time of filming, but I can wear make-up and take orders as well as the next guy. (Whoa – that last bit sounds awful.)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Home Again

[Back on the walking path - where the temp had not even risen above 20 at noon. But the sun! That's a spring-time sun out there.]
294 emails – where to start?

Unlike some, I don’t approach this with any real methodical plan. It’s usually hit and miss, cherry picking out ones from key people, grabbing the newest ones, maybe going back to Monday morning and trying to start at the beginning, only to be distracted by incoming emails. In the end, most will get answered. Some will be missed. Were some of the missed emails important? Likely, but most will turn out to have been unimportant or related to some “fire drill” of the moment, long since extinguished.

Perhaps email programs should have this selection: “Click here if you want to delete this email from the inbox of any recipient who is out for more than 3 days”.

A few pictures from the trip:

After Monday's balmy hike in Gooseberry Falls, winter hit us head on Tuesday. We were probably the only crazy people hiking through the woods at Cascade River State Park Tuesday with temperatures in the mid 20s, flurries, and winds coming off the lake - gusting easily to 30 MPH.

With so few others in the park, the deer thought they had the run of the place. We encountered deer galore, and bald eagles soaring overheard. It was a very nice hike - even if the Dude had to stop at every set of tracks, pull out his Animal Tracks of MN and WI book, and try to determine which creature left the tracks. The thaw and sudden re-freeze left some very nice tracks.

After the hike we hit the indoor swimming pool at Blue Fin, then it was off to dinner. The Dude was not that keen on fine dining so I let him bring his iPod and wear his ear buds to ward off boredom.

[My dining companion.]

Monday, March 21, 2011

Traveling North

[Looking back from where we came.]

Despite fear of snow mid-week, winter is losing its grip up here in the north-land. One the first day of our spring break, the Dude and I stopped off for a hike at Gooseberry Falls, north of Duluth. We had been here earlier, with the Rock World trip, and subsequent family adventure. Despite the treacherous footing, we followed the Gooseberry River from the falls down to Agate Beach where the river empties into Lake Superior, snapping a few pictures along the way.

[Agate Beach.]

We arrived at Blue Fin with time for a swim in the nicely heated outdoor pool before dinner. Nothing helps you laugh at winter like spending time outside in a swim suit.

[Seagulls on a snowy boulder at Agate Beach.]

Don’t tell Shana but we are sitting in our room watching the Disney Channel – we do have the shades open to the stunning view of the Lake and you can’t help but hear the waves crash – even above Disney.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Spring Break Escape

Holy cow - this should work just fine. The Hobbled Wife booked a studio (not bad for a studio if you ask me) at Blue Fin Bay Resort for the Dude and I next week. It's time for our second annual Spring Break father/son vacation. Last year it was DC. This year the North Shore. It's only a 3 day deal but it beats having the Dude sit at home and stare at screens all week. The Hobbled Dad intends to enjoy himself!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Buy Me Crickets!

Patches is always a little onery. She meows at us humans, and hisses at Duke anytime he comes within 3 feet of her. Come to think of it - she doesn't even get along that well with the 2 other cats, Reggie and Roscoe. Maybe it's feline stress?

I might just try this, at least for the entertainment value,

Living indoors, the cat’s catness had been stifled. Chasing feather toys and getting loaded on catnip only worked for so long. Eventually, the urge to kill became too much to ignore. This conflict between essential cat nature and artificial environment caused tons of stress. Now, my friend briefly considered making him an outside cat, which would give him access to wildlife and adventure, but that comes with its own set of risks, especially in high-traffic West Los Angeles. He didn’t want a dead cat. What if he brought the prey to him?

A quick trip to the pet store and three dollars later, my friend had several dozen large live crickets in a box. Crickets are agile, crunchy, inexpensive, not nearly as messy as rodents, and packed with protein and minerals, making them attractive prey for a bored house cat. He figured setting a couple loose and letting his cat have a go at them would make up for the hunting deficit and possibly reduce stress.

Source, Mark's Daily Apple.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Meanwhile . . . Over on Facebook

The parties are substantially the same, in both actions, where parties in one action are in privity with parties in the other action.

(pssst.... It's National Book Week. The rules are: Grab the closest book to you. Turn to page 56. Copy the 5th sentence as your status. Don't mention the book*. Post these rules as part of your status.)

*Since this isn't Facebook I will "mention" the book (see photo above).

Signs of Spring

This picture is not a sign of Spring - but it's a nice shot of a jet making it's way across fly-over land - and our house. I snapped it after walking Duke this morning.

Later however, I saw a true sign of spring. On my noon-time walk I saw a caterpillar crossing the walking path. It was small and gray, against the asphalt path. Probably wouldn’t have shown up well on the Blackberry camera but I regret I didn’t try.

Monday, March 14, 2011

49 is the new 9

Move Along Now, Nothing to See Here

OK - I’m feeling better. When I last posted, I was probably suffering from a combination of disappointing health news, very bad head cold, and end-of-the-week exhaustion.

I think I’ll cease with the navel-gazing posts about my personal health for a while.
But if navel-gazing is off the table, what will I blog about then? Both kids are beyond saying “cute” things – and they can read the blog anyway.

I was out for a quick walk at noon – Oh – and 25 push-ups. There were lots of folks on the walking path, but I was able to sneak those in without discovery. It was sunny but only 18 degrees out. Come on – it’s mid March. I expect another snow storm or two, but enough with the January temperatures.

Special bonus points - my 4:30 conference call cancelled at 4:25.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Crabby Birthday to Me

Disclaimer: I’m not fishing around for sympathy with this post. This is merely an attempt to blow off steam. When you wake up mad, that’s never a good sign.

I’m still digesting the news from my physical exam yesterday. The damn cholesterol is up – again – after it seemed in control.

I reproduce the numbers below for those medical professionals who read the blog - mainly the various in-laws:

Total Cholesterol = 273 (last year 193)
HDL = 76 (last year 60)
LDL = 185 (last year 123) The “bad” cholesterol
Triglycerides = 59 (last year 50)

I guess I’ve slipped a bit in my eating habits – reintroducing the occasional bag of chips at lunch, along with a bit of dessert after dinner, usually something with chocolate or cookies (home-made only). Beyond that, nothing much has changed. I challenge you to find another 49 year old suburban guy who eats more damn vegetables than I do.

Oh well, we check again in 6 months. If it’s not down she will prescribe a Statin – which I would probably refuse. Even the doc says she doesn’t like the side effects of Statins which is why she is avoiding prescribing one now.

In addition to the cholesterol, the doc referred me out to an ENT to dig a little deeper into my Tinnitus (ringing in the ears) which has gotten worse in the past year. I now have trouble hearing the kids when they talk to me from across the room – if there are other background noises present.

And – this is my last complaint I swear – my thyroid appears enlarged so I’m going to have an ultrasound. I’ve been on thyroid meds to deal with my hypothyroid (low thyroid production) for several years now. Those levels were great – so the medication is working fine – but it appears my thyroid may be enlarged. Even I can feel it now that the Doc pointed it out.

Other than that I’m exhausted from the head cold I’ve fought all week. Work is a zoo, and it’s snowed again last night, it’s windy and cold. Happy birthday to me.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

One Down - One to Go

M had her braces removed yesterday and she has updated her Facebook photo to sport the new look.

Now that she's done - it's time for the Dude. He has already had "spacers" and is getting 4 teeth out this month in preparation for future braces.

Early 1970s – Oh Yeah

True confession – I still love this song.

Sometimes it’s an electronic wasteland out there, then sometimes you stumble upon the coolest stuff – at just the right time. Ahh – I needed that. The actual live version – not lip-synched.

Just checked Wikipedia – holy crap I was 10 when this was released. Same age as the Dude. Do you suspect 39 years from now he will wax nostalgic about something from Lady GaGa?

Monday, March 07, 2011

Rolodex - Oh Yeah!

Here's the latest addition to my collection of cast-off office supplies. It's a geniune Roledex, left behind after a colleague's departure. Too bad it's not one of the older classic models. All this black plastic seems so early-90s - but still.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Drop and Give Me 10

True Confession: I do push-ups on the walking path. I know – not a big deal really – Some employees don running clothes and do laps during the lunch hour (there is a “secret” shower room in the basement of World Headquarters.) Still, I live in fear of someone rounding the corner and catching me pumping away.

When I first started here, a colleague was known for doing push-ups in his cube. It was a phone job so you needed to stay put and I think push-ups preventing him going stir crazy. That guy was considered eccentric – at best. So from the beginning I got the message, cubes are for sitting and slumping in front of a computer – not for push-ups.

Still what’s the big deal? Out on the walking path I’m demonstrating the fact that I desire fresh air and exercise; a few push-ups should be no big deal.

Today I did 3 sets of 12, and some stretches. What a geek!

Maybe if I ask nicely the Facilities folks would install some chin-up bars?