greatbear: (kmfdm icons)
I guess I should post an update regarding my health sitch, it has been a while. As usual, when I am sick or hurting, I tend to keep quiet and to myself. The quiet part is up for debate lately, as not a day goes by that I am not growling if not downright shrieking at the top of my pipes in pain at least a couple times a day and/or night. The sound effects are not nearly as bad as early on in my ordeal, but opportunities do present themselves, unfortunately.

I have a surgery date set for this Monday. Originally scheduled for December 11, then moved up to the day prior to Thanksgiving, this latest date is much better, earlier relief notwithstanding. Not so close to the holidays, better chance of getting resolutions if anything were to go awry by not being up against the holidays. While not as involved as my first back surgery, I am still slated for 90 minutes of operating room time. I should give Jeff the laptop so he's not bored out of his skull waiting.

This time there are two procedures being done, a revision laminectomy and a disc fragment excision. The former is a cleaning up of scar tissue built up in the aftermath of my much more invasive laminectomy procedure from 2010. Apparently the scar tissue has increased over time and coupled with my latest injury this has put pressure on the spinal cord in that general area. The other procedure is needed to remove a "free fragment" of ruptured disc that has split off from the mothership and has wedged tightly in the spinal canal in an area where lamina remains and is pinching off the spinal cord. This chunk will be removed as well. I will see if the doc will put it in a jar for me to bring home for show & tell. Like an old car being taken in for repairs, I like to get my old parts back.

I'm hoping the recovery from this operation is not anything like the previous. There were complications apparently and it took months before I could feel much from above the knees down, and I was beset with balance problems and lots of falling down. This time the operation is not as widespread (mostly confined in a space between L3 and L4, originally was L4, L5 and S1 plus a bit above and below) and no bone saws are needed. I will most likely need a round or two of physical therapy afterward once I've healed up enough to accommodate the exercise.

I am also on track to set a new record for myself, but not for the right reasons. Once all is said and done and before I am adequately recovered, I might end up weighing less than 200 pounds for the first time since 10th grade. Normally weight loss is a good thing, especially before and after a difficult medical procedure, and this will help me out in most respects. My appetite is not the best when I am sick or hurting, and given I've been in lots of pain and taking all manner of nasty drugs since late September, my want for food is not at typical levels. Some of the drugs and side effects caused food not to taste or smell the best either, compounding the issue. This is fine in and of itself, but the yucky result of drugs and bad eating habits resulted in near constant bouts of constipation and a badly impacted colon. So there is an insult to injury at play here making me want to eschew food entirely. This is tough to do with a chef with a career in healthcare food services watching out for me, and I thank my honey for providing well in the sustenance department. Dealing with the impacted colon is a matter I took into my own hands, saving Jeff another trip in the middle of the night to take me to the ER again. I'll spare y'all the TMI. The sadder part of the weight loss comes from the rather severe atrophy of my legs and other muscles, especially the left leg which is the main target of the nerve pain. Apparently the leg pain, despite it being "virtualized" in my lower back by scrambled nerves and not a result of actual injuries to any part of the leg itself triggers a kind of wasting process the same as if the leg were somehow actually badly injured, in my case and by the type of pain, badly burned. Jeff told the doc it is if I were affected by polio, my left leg being practically a stick compared to the right, and the right leg itself being atrophied by all the non-use. I had already lost a considerable amount of muscle mass in both legs the result of the previous nerve problems and a really bad case of Achilles tendonitis in the left leg a couple years prior to that. This has caused me a great deal of body image issues in those years as I was rather proud of having very powerful and muscular kegs. This can be remedied, of course, if all goes well with the operation and I am back on my feet and can do some decent working out to bring back at least some of my former glory. Being a middle-aged old fart with too many years racking up on an increasingly creaky old body precludes my ever having 21 inch calves that doubled as a car jack in my younger days.

I guess the latest, most unexpected slap in the face came today when the surgery center called to confirm my appointment and to make sure I brought along all the recent MRI films, required paperwork, insurance cards and ID and all that stuff and to, oh, make sure to bring along about six thousand dollars for my share of the procedure costs. I mean, WTF? I guess they don't believe in billing patients after procedures anymore, or that everyone has six grand in their pockets. Granted, I live in one of the richest counties in the US (We're number two! We're number two!), but really, c'mon. I knew I would be socked with a lot of costs (again) but I never expected to be plunking down a big wad of cash coming in the door as if I were putting a down payment on a Lexus. Thanks, Obama!

I moved a hunk of money out of my normally untouched savings to deal with the health issues as well as some needed (and wanted) upgrades to the house, so the shakedown by the Piccard Medical Center (make it sutured!) won't have me panhandling, but it's the psychological hit that only added to a long punch list of frustrations, emotions, cabin fever, stir craziness, self-worth crises, boredom and a litany of mental sandbags weighing heavily on my brain of late. I am honestly doing my best to hold it all together, as it were, but cracks do appear. Luckily Jeff is only a party of a smaller portion of these, but the ones he witnesses can be doozies. My cane came out from under me as Jeff took me to the doc yesterday for the final consultation before being knifed in the back, I beat the cane on the asphalt until is was more like a boomerang. Thankfully the consultation meant everything was in line for a relatively easy procedure and we went out for dinner afterward. I get cranky when I am hurt, and I am almost completely unable to do all those little (and big) projects I love doing that keeps my mind healthy and leaves me with a sense of accomplishment. You've read about them many times. Yes, I like to relax and unplug once in a while, but my mind is far too active to shackle with inabilities and disabilities. I did upgrade the home theater setup with a new Onkyo receiver and Oppo everything-disc player in anticipation of a winter spent quite a bit more inside and in low activity than usual; Jeff and I had a few movie nights recently and it takes my mind somewhat off of other "things." I've been doing my best to keep a date we had with other friends of ours to see Jersey Boys at the Hippodrome in Baltimore Saturday evening, and I think I can make it. I can sit for a while in a seat with only a bit of difficulty, I will make sure I take Rush Limbaugh's drug of choice prior to the show to keep the pain in check. It will be good to see some of our friends who will be joining us that night, the complete lack of visitors since being hurt hasn't made me feel any better about myself, so this will do my mind some good having fun, as long as I don't run into any issues walking to and from the theater and my seat. Jeff and I did a Costco and Wegman's run earlier in the week after a trip to my primary care physician and I did quite well. Of course, I was hanging off the back of a shopping cart those times, it was my arms that gave me hell from carrying most of my weight that day. No shopping carts this time, and I have a couple undamaged canes and five lovely people that can help if needed.

Thanks for reading.
greatbear: (cirque du so gay)
Yesterday was not a good day for lil' Snickles. For his six month birthday he got taken to the local vet to be fixed and chipped. I felt bad for the poor guy. He seemed very proud of his dangly bits, and, truth be told, he's pretty well hung for a little dog. The energetic, alert pup I dropped off had become a sleepy wet rag when it was time to pick him up. I felt awful. Snickles was disoriented, confused and lethargic for the rest of the day. We had him close and kept an eye or two out for him, and he seemed to be okay, picking up a bit right before bedtime. Today he is just about back to his old self, complete with a couple attempts to hump my arm. He adjusted to having the big plastic lampshade over his head quite well, with only one moment of panic when he tried to hook his lower jaw under the collar and succeeded. I freed him, and he's been pretty clingy all day. Jeff has to work both today and tomorrow, so it is just me and the pooches, with Pinky the cat giggling at Snickles' Cone of Shame. I cut the grass at Mayhem Acres and did some yard cleaning between the rainfalls, otherwise being domestic and mucking around with the servers and automating more backups. With Jeff gone all day, I was also spinning lots of old records, taking advantage of a new phono cartridge I installed the other day. The pups don't mind as long as I don't terribly crank the decibels, and the air guitar only draws quizzical, cocked-head stares. Maybe it should be me with that cone.

Snickles needs to rock his Elizabethan collar for a few days while his tackle box heals up, in two weeks the two stitches come out. Now comes some much more intense interaction in order to train him. He hasn't quite gotten the knack of being housebroken, a point of frustration for me at times. He still makes mistakes and doesn't know how or why to make a signal that he needs to go out, despite being very observant of Kodi. He's only a pup still, and he is plainly a very smart dog, as we've both seen on many occasions. Kodi had "official" obedience training at PetSmart, a task that we actually enjoyed very much. Kodi didn't always seem to "get it" during the training either. In both his beginning and intermediate level trainings, there was a "final exam" that needed to be passed in order to actually pass the courses. Both me and Jeff had our doubts, but as out turns came up to demonstrate Kodi's newly acquired prowess, he totally floored us both and did everything perfectly. I hope Snickles does as good.
greatbear: (forearms)
I've been fixing lots of things here lately; my statement in an earlier post about being a "fixer of things and builder of stuff" was far from metaphorical. What sometimes makes me laugh is how different my tasks are, often in the same day. Take these two photos for example:


Jeff's truck needed a fuel pump, and, like most vehicles produced in the last 20 years, the fuel pump resides in the fuel tank. Rather than lifting the truck, dropping the tank and have to work with dirt falling in my face while wrestling with a heavy, fuel-filled tank, I find it far easier to remove the truck's bed. The new pump assembly required a modification to the wiring harness that connected to it, and this method made me able to stay above my work, enjoying the spring foliage as a nice bonus. It's also the better method since I had to work alone. I can finesse the heavy stuff without risking my back getting more wrenched than the bolts holding the bed in place (there are eight, by the way).


The next morning and a trip to the post office to pick up more parts I had on order, I shifted gears and went small. A recent tantrum damaged my cell phone display, so it was to the internets for a cheap fix. I installed the new display which worked perfectly until four days later, where the replacement lost the image on the lower inch or so. This is indicative of a bad display driver circuit, and I ordered up another. I can practically do this repair in my sleep now. The board at the top of the photo is the amplifier out of a big Infinity subwoofer which was given to me, albeit with a problem. I found a service bulletin online, plus found some other problem parts, and the last two (the big blue capacitors) were also waiting for me at the post office. I slapped those in first, then bench-tested the amp board as I fixed up the phone. The Lab of Mayhem has it's own THX-rated sound system. I can fairly much rock my ass off with all six channels rumbling, and the all-concrete "bunker" (really) that houses the lab keeps the sound from making its way to the soundly-sleeping Jeff in the evenings. I had totally overhauled the lab, cleaning out decades of accumulated junk and did some upgrades, so I finally have a place I can tinker and make to my geeky, nerdy heart's content. The garage is next, as I have already begun to clear out junk there as well. Tonight I had my tire changing machine apart to figure out why it wouldn't clamp rims properly. A plastic cam used to position a pneumatic valve had broke in a move, and it should be something fixable with some epoxy rather than money. I find lots of satisfaction in being able to improvise or recycle something into a repair or build, rather than spending lots of money. It's like sticking it to the man.
greatbear: (eeeexcellent)
In today's mail was a large envelope. Inside was a certificate congratulating me for my years of service with The Company That Makes Funny Looking Airplanes, as well as a catalog of gifts. Major stuff this time, watches, espresso maker, crystal, clocks, 32G iPod, big screen TV, even bicycles. How long have I been at the same gig? Thirty years. At one time I couldn't imagine myself being thirty years old, much less working at the same job for that long.

I should feel a sense of accomplishment, but it pales next to my feeling just... old. I guess it's part of my current round of spine troubles making me feel all of my years behind me pushing back.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to shoo people off my lawn.
greatbear: (Default)
I hope everyone had a nice Memorial Day weekend. There is a lot happening here at Mayhem Headquarters, mostly good, some bad. I'm letting the good stuff trample the bad stuff. I know I've been a terrible blogger of late, what with very sparse updates and little interaction. I will put forth some effort to change that as well. Some ADHD bullet points:

  • Work sucks, but I am managing.

  • Jeff has gotten good news on the status of his heart health, and can safely have his thyroid removed without fear of another heart attack or severe bleeding.

  • We are slowly catching up on things that had to wait while we dealt with our various health issues.

  • We are looking forward to some quality downtime going camping in upcoming days. Next weekend to nearby Deep Creek Lake, and in a month, not one, but two weeks in PTown. We are both stoked.

  • We've been making time for entertainment and cultural outings. Sporting events, shows, concerts, and spending time with the extended family. Lots more of this is in the works.

  • There are some bummers along the way, I have to contend with a wrecked car, I'm behind on some repairs on the house and some other projects. If things keep on the current track, I'll get to them.

    I hope this finds everybody well.
    greatbear: (jeff and me)
    Today I took Jeff to Lutherville for carpal tunnel surgery in his left wrist. The procedure was successful, and surprisingly quick. It was not even 45 minutes before I was led back into the recovery room to see how he was doing, help him fill out paperwork and get dressed. I collected my groggy cub and took him to lunch on the way home. I then took him to get his prescriptions filled and to get some groceries, a stop at the donut shop, then home once again for more doting before I made pizza and salads with ice cream desserts. He's going to be mostly out of commission for several days before being able to return to work. Couple this extended stay at home with his vacation from last week, and he's sure to be sick of seeing my mug and begging for a return to work. ;-)

    Once he's fully recovered from the left side surgery, the process gets repeated on the right arm, this time with the ulnar nerve included. I plan on making his life just as it was today when that time comes. I gotta take care of my Jeff, he's all I have.

    Once again, Halloween was a bust, with no one coming to beg for candy. This leaves us with a big dish (on legs!) full of unhealthy snacks. Some of these will probably got with Jeff to work, unless a friend of mine that stops by on occasions doesn't dive in first.
    greatbear: (cirque du so gay)
    On Saturday Jeff and I went to see the latest traveling Cirque du Soleil show "Totem" in Baltimore. As has always been the case, we enjoyed the hell out of ourselves at the performance. This time, however, Jeff decided that we should spring for the "Tapis Rouge" ("Red Carpet" in that oh-so-French talk CdS uses so much) VIP treatment. This gets preferred parking included with the tickets, entry an hour before the show for hors d'ouvres and drinks, complimentary photos and other goodies. It's then to the show, where we had killer seats, and during intermission is was back into the VIP tent for desserts and more drinks. The food was trying it's best to outdo the performance that afternoon. OMG it was to die for. On the way out from the terrific performance I picked up some souvenirs and we went out for dinner. Since it was prime time for eating it was not easy to find someplace that we didn't have to wait forever, so we ended up at Red Robin (yummmm!). As has been the norm these days, I ended up taking half my meal home with me. This is in addition to the Chinese meal the day before.

    Today being Zombie Jesus day, we would normally have had something rather fancy here at home. We decided to get into the spirit of the holiday and resurrect all the leftovers from the fridge for lunch and dinner tonight. No brains though. We managed to push the lawnmowers around for a bit before the rains blasted us. I had been putting off working on the tractor, since the mower deck needs to come out for some work beyond just grease shots and a sharpening of the three blades and I don't feel like wrestling the 250# monster around to do the work. I got the remaining outdoor power equipment all fired up and ready instead. If the weather holds, I will finally tackle the mower and do more picking up of downed branches before doing the more outlying parts of the lawn.

    Much more trying to catch up on things and projects as my body allows it. I also have to get the travel trailer ready for action that happens in a few months. Hopefully that won't be a money pit. The vehicles get their pre-summer maintenance, and I have a box full of parts to install on the Stratus once I get some lift time at a buddy's garage.

    This week is supposed to bring temps into the 80s again, with the threat of nasty thunderstorms that always seem to accompany such unseasonal extremes. I'll see what I can make out of all that.

    Y'all have a great week.
    greatbear: (Default)
    Some big changes coming here at La Casa Mayhem starting this coming week. Jeff has a new new job, at a new place, with his old boss (which he likes a lot) at a spanking new huge facility with state-of-the-art everything and the chance to build his staff from scratch in his own way. It's a chef's woodie-inducing dream, though it will be a bit hectic and sometimes frustrating at the start, I'm sure. There's more money in it for him and no manager-on-duty nonsense every several weeks, plus no weekends. So, a major w00t for him. I just hope the stress of getting the place up to speed does not impact his cardiac recovery.

    Did some tuning up of my f-list, removing mostly people who obviously disapproved of my friending them in the first place, and a couple others. Nature abhors a vacuum, Mayhem abhors douchery.

    Angry Birds for Android was a nice addicting distraction while it lasted. I'm through all the levels and want more. Any suggestions? The Scruff app is, well, interesting.

    The weather bureaus are making noises towards there being another SNOMG Event early next week. I hope I don't have to be moving snow in the middle of the night again. I just got the deck cleared off yesterday, the front walk is still unusable due to low and fallen branches. Using the small electric snowblower to clear the deck, it picked up a small bungee cord hidden in the snow and it got wrapped around the shaft. It was too tangled to unthread, so I got a retractable knife to cut it out in pieces. Despite my being careful, I slipped and cut my one finger down to the bone. I left a trail of blood in my path from the snow thrower to the bathroom, where I performed first aid. The cut was so clean that continuous pressure for a half hour plus a tightly applied bandage not only stopped the bleeding, but the cut is imperceptible and looks almost healed up. It does not even hurt. Go me, I guess I can still heal kinda fast despite my old age. Now, for that spinal cord thing...

    The house is playing host to one of the other stray cats. Kodi made sure the poor thing spent most of the day huddled beneath a covered end table. Once Kodi hit the hay with Jeff, this one (alternately named Tigger or Tommy) popped out and enjoyed some petting time and exploring. While in the bathroom where the litter box is also kept, T/T wandered in, found his way through the anti-Kodi barricade to the litter box, and had a go. It's as if he's been doing it all this time. Either Pinky is coaching him (Pinky is the reason why we have a half dozen "visitors" these days) or cats have some sort of sixth sense when it comes to taking a shit.

    To paraphrase Sheriff Brody in Jaws, we're gonna need a bigger litter box.
    greatbear: (walken)
    So, I can't sleep, as usual. Peering outside (not peeking, doing so seems to result in a flurry of BASIC commands =D) I see it snowing it's ass off. Not good. The area was not supposed to see this until later in the day. I warn Jeff to be prepared on his way to work. He calls me upon arriving there and said all the roads are a mess despite the~2 inches or so on the roads. I think the storm caught the road crews sleeping. Anyhoo, I look outside now and the snow has become a freezing rain. Just as predicted by the weather folk, except early. It's supposed to become snow again later today. The result of all this is a slushy lasagna of difficult-to-remove mess everywhere, and two guys not able to deal with it very effectively. If the snowblower can handle it, I'm set. I checked it out last night, it started on the first yank.

    Normally, I like snow and winter in general. Recently, though, with my injuries and such, plus Jeff's health issues, I'm starting to give Old Man Winter the stink eye more often than not. At least I don't have to go anywhere today, having run my errands two days prior. Jeff has not only to drive back from work, but attend his cardiac rehab session if it's not (most likely) canceled. I have my doc appointment tomorrow morning, I hope everything is dealt with as far as road clearing 'n' such.

    In other news, it's looking like nearly everything in the driveway is needing new batteries. The new truck is showing signs of battery weakness, this is common in the diesel models from what I've gathered, and the fact that it takes two batteries is a smack in the wallet. The Mini Cooper ate it's third battery again, this makes not one, but two Optima deep cycle batteries that decided to take a crap. I hope it can be warranteed. No more Optimas for me. The Stratus was dead the other day after not driving it for about a week, I am not sure if it's Optima battery is toast or there is a parasitic draw killing it. The Strat batt took a charge and came out happy. The one in the Mini is a goner. I took the original battery out of the Stratus after 8+ years simply because a battery that old is living on borrowed time. Little did I know it would outlive about a half dozen batteries in the three years since I swapped it out. I just installed a new battery in Jeff's ride several weeks ago. It never ends. Vehicle maintenance, house repairs and now a huge medical bill, and me no worky and no pay. My poor savings accounts hate me.

    Why no posts of a more personal nature in a long while? It's not that I don't have a lot going on, relatively speaking. I just seem to have lost the desire to talk about stuff online. Perhaps I'll be more in the sharing mood in the future, if I don't abandon personal posting altogether. I'm just not feeling it any longer. It's "social media overload" for me, or maybe more of a pushback. I have no idea who reads these things ♠ (the cat managed to walk across my keyboard just now and made that spade sign, I decided to share it) beyond those on my f-list, and some days I feel like some crazy dude mumbling loudly on a subway platform. I'm finding myself reverting to my old, quiet self in the past several years. Rest assured I value my friendships and like to chitchat, but I'm a wallflower by nature, and a wilting one at that.


    Jan. 25th, 2011 01:13 am
    greatbear: (Default)
    I'm still here.
    greatbear: (seasons greetings)
    It appears my preparedness for the snow has apparently scared it off. Just a light dusting out there.

    Now that it's almost 364 shopping days until Xmas, I don't have to worry much about it for a while. Jeff and I had a relaxing few days. While we did not pimp out the house with lights, we did get into the spirit of the big day by going to see Dickens' A Christmas Carol performed at the Olney Theater on Christmas Eve. Olney Theater is a wonderful local outfit that has been around for decades, and every show I've seen has been very well done. We were in for a little surprise with this show, as it was performed entirely by one man. And if you ask me, it was probably one of the most engaging performances I've seen of the classic. Both of us enjoyed the performance greatly, afterward we headed to our favorite local restaurant/bar Looney's Pub for a nice, (very) informal dinner. A good day overall.

    The Big Day was almost as low key, Jeff make our little dinner whilst I tinkered with stuff. I had ordered a new (overkill) video card and (really overkill) power supply for the crazy quad-core PC I had built early in the year but basically flung aside while I took care of house- and garage-oriented projects until my body gave out. If I desire, the new mega-PC can support a hee-yooge desktop/workspace across no less than six displays. While such an endeavor is highly unlikely, I would like to eventually set up a two- or three-display desktop using monitors in portrait configuration. When funds free up, though.

    Today we braved the oncoming non-blizzard by taking a quick trip to the grocery store for some goodies, then I occupied my time in the basement workshop doing wiring and installing the new heater. The heater is a definite help, but not as effective as I would like since it basically has to try and heat the entire 36x48 main basement area that the workshop is part of. I have been wanting to wall up the various areas and have been making progress with other upgrades and such that needed to be done before such an undertaking. Perhaps this coming year will allow me the chance of clearing out a huge amount of cruft and beginning the creation of actual spaces rather than one big outrageous mess.

    Tomorrow both Jeff and I have medical and financial bizness to take care of. The lack-o snow and accompanying driving insanity will make this happen much easier. This week will be one of more recovery for us both, and we both hope to be somewhat productive around the homestead as well.

    I hope everyone reading this had the past few days at least as nice as we did. And here's hoping for a good '11.


    Just stuff

    Dec. 6th, 2010 09:16 pm
    greatbear: (Default)
    It might be a blustery, cold evening here, with temps in the mid-upper 20s and some insane winds, but the house is nice and toasty with the woodstove cranking out the heat, and with a nice bonus of a loaf of whole wheat bread baking, making the nice warm house smell like absolute heaven. A few minutes and the bread is done. Jeff has been on a bit of cooking and especially baking binge the last couple days, and tonight is no different.

    I'm currently taking new meds to deal with the nerve damage left over from the spine surgery. It's toned down the electrical storm that has wracked my body since the day my vertebra were sawed up, and I am able to plop myself in bed and sleep like a baby for a most part. I'm still plagued with the numbness, but that might not be quite as bad. The tasering feeling is much diminished, but still there too as well as weakness and occasional loss of control. The only side effects are a slightly loopy feeling and a bipolar appetite.

    Still taking it easy and holding off on building the roof window light shafts into the living room. I'm spending the time doing little tasks for the most part, and have been cleaning/lubing hand and power tools while not using them. I have almost a quarter mil invested in tools and machinery (really, it even surprised me) and I try to keep things in good working order. It's tough to find decent tools these days, and good ones are seriously expensive. Most of what I have will easily outlast me. Tools are something special to me. They are a way one practices their craft, earns a living, helps others out, creates and fixes. Tools are an extension of a person, and deserve the same respect. During the recent times I have not been able to use my tools I saw them filled with history and work. Taking some time now and then to exercise some TLC on a lot of my tools was a relaxing and fulfilling task. Since the surgery I've sorta jumped the gun to get back into some work, and it was it's own sort of therapy. I guess I'm one of those who has hands-on work burned completely into my very being.

    During this post the bread had finished baking and we sampled it warm and fresh. Yeah, a little slice of heaven.

    Have a great week, everyone.
    greatbear: (monorail cat)
    The cats that visit and hang out around the house, garage and yard are an endless source of entertainment for Jeff and I and, especially, Kodi. The cats (four regulars and a couple skittish visitors) know that Kodi will give chase at a moment's notice, and they've learned some tricks to send Kodi off on a wild goose cat chase when they are not up for it, but will indulge him now and then. I've figured a way to ensure a peaceable kingdom when it's feeding time. Everyone gets their own little pile of cat food, even Kodi. One of these days I gotta have my camera ready for one of these food fests, as everyone looks like part of the same litter.

    All is not peaches and cream with these kitties, however. They've been clawing up the deck posts, one or more of them bit holes in a coiled hose that is used on the deck for watering plants. I was sitting on the deck in a funk during my Great LJ Blackout a little while ago talking situations out with Jeff. I noticed the hose full of teeth marks, and when I turned the water on, it was spraying everywhere. I figure since this is also where we get the water for the little varmints they figure they would try to get their own drink. The spigot is in the same area where we feed everyone. Ah well, one more thing to be replaced.

    The kittehs put up with my silly playing, and they are great company. They all have been subjected to various LOLcat indignities (holding them like Longcat, smooshing up their faces like Serious Cat, asking if they want cheeseburgers, etc.) and they take it in stride. In fact, the more they get handled, the more wanting they become. But something strange happened the other day, and it proved a theory I had as to how one of the skylight screens got messed up a month or so ago.

    A couple weeks ago Jeff heard a loud ruckus in the sunroom. He found TiggerToo meowing in the room. Thing is, all the doors were shut. The skylight screen was on the floor, now with a bent frame. The cats know how to easily get on the roof (jump up on the railing, then from there jump on the canvas pergola roof, then onto the house roof) and Pinky scared the absolute crap out of me while I was working on the skylights earlier (I should not have been on the ladder, but it had to be done). So, in my twisted little mind, I could see what TiggerToo was up to that day.

    (TiggerToo climbs up on roof, finds open skylight)

    TiggerToo: Guys? Hey guys! (nothing)

    TiggerToo: Hey, I got a new LOLCat for you, since you like them so much! Guys? (nothing)

    TiggerToo: Oh well, you'll love this anyway, here goes... (climbs into skylight)

    TiggerToo: "Ceiling Cat is watching you maAAAAAAAAAHH!!!" (screen falls out of skylight, T2 rides it all the way down)



    Kitteh was not harmed, though the screen frame is kinked up pretty bad. More work for me.

    Tonight, despite being in a serious world of hurt earlier, I managed to get into the garage and finish up part of a project I had going, putting larger wheels on the huge portable generator. I needed to make a new axle, make up spacers and bushings to fit the larger, one inch bore bearings, and mount everything up. The 400+ pound monster is next to impossible to push across lawns and soft ground with the dinky wheels it came with, so I rectified that. I will put the final touches on as much stuff as I can and attempt to change the oil and a couple burned out bulbs in Jeff's truck before my surgery. Everything else after that will have to wait till I recover.

    I had company while I tinkered, it was T2, alone this time. Since I am stuck sitting on the floor, the cat insists on getting in my lap and pushing his face into whatever I am doing. I did notice something though, after I picked him up by the scruff of his neck to move him like kitteh moms do when they are kittens. T2, already purring, mewed a bit and started purring louder, then slowly wanted back in my lap, this time, he was nuzzling under my arm and burying his face in my lap, quietly kneading with his paws. I guess I brought back some kitten memories. Come to think of it, I had picked up each of these cats like this early one to determine the he- or she-ness of them, After doing that, they all seemed to like me even more. Must be a cat thing.
    greatbear: (dr evil)
    I presume everyone had a decent Easter Sunday, aka Zombie Jesus Day. It's the day where Jesus arose from the dead, most likely saw his shadow and proceeded to feast on brains. The latter can be seen in action to this day in backwater megachurches as the congregants submit themselves to all manner of brain destruction in his name.

    They'd be far better off eating thirteen year old Corn Flakes. ;)

    Was a nice day outside, but blustery and cold. I had wanted to do some outdoorsy stuff, but instead did more work in the basement. Two trash cans filled with junk, and a wheelie bin full of paper and cardboard got set roadside today. I will be giving one of my workbenches to Jeff's father, in it's place I have a smaller maple table top and some steel legs to assemble into it's replacement. The top needs refinishing, but should be fine for use once that's done. I'll finally be able to attach my woodworking vise that I've had for years (longer than the corn flakes!) because the construction of the current table would not allow it to fit. Plus, I finally get the table top out of the garage where it's been taking up space. I've decided to make use of things I have hanging around or get rid of it. Find useful homes for the stuff when possible, or trash/recycle it. There are boxes of stuff that have not been touched since moving to this place 20 years ago. I'm sure I will have some memories flooding back when I get into some of the items, but I will either use it, give it away to a good home, or toss it. My stuff has clogged up my life long enough, it's time for a bit of freedom.
    greatbear: (cirque du so gay)
    If Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, James Dobson, Sean Hannity, Bill O'Reilly, Ralph Reed and all their friends were in a hotel room during one of their wingnutian orgiastic hate fests and there was a sudden, fast-moving fire in the room, I would hope the door would be easy to find and to open. To that end, the door should have this simple door chain lock installed:

    Just the thing to slap ol' Rushy out of his Oxycontin-induced fog.

    (Lock brought to you by the folks at Art Lebedev, purveyors of phenomenally designed (and phenomenally expensive), uh, stuff.)

    In other news, things have been busy, but what else is new. I hope the weekend give us a chance to take it easy somewhat. Gotta cut the grass and do some yard work though, it's that time of the year again.

    Happy dog

    Dec. 20th, 2008 01:01 pm
    greatbear: (Default)
    More from the Garage of Happy: Picking Kodi up from the groomer. He looks awesome and smells nice and clean. He's really missing Jeff though, barking and mumbling while looking outside at the empty spot on the driveway. He wants Jeff to see how utterly fierce he looks.

    I can now go back down to the garage and continue my tinkering there. The alarm system gets a new battery, the old battery was shot, and just recently totally came apart at one of the terminals. No more looking at the flashing battery warning. I also am going to work my tech-fu on the new door opener to try and allow other controls aside from the multifunction wall controller to interface with it and not throw the wall control into kernel panic every time the other control activates the opener.
    greatbear: (fuzzy)
    Cut, split and stacked about a cord of firewood Saturday, it was great to finally get rid of the huge pile of logs and debris that's been taking up space at the corner of the driveway. Did a lot of garage-type stuff that day as well, and getting stuff in line for the upcoming improvements to the house and garage. Jeff had a sudden online test show up for his school work, and got stuck doing that for a couple hours in the evening. After that we headed off to see Transporter 2. Like the first movie, this one is mindless action entertainment, with a gay subtext so huge you can park an aircraft carrier on it. If you havent seen either movie, go and rent/buy the first one and enjoy one of the most homoerotic fight scenes (trust me, it's hawt) then go and see the new one. While not necessary, it helps put characters and ideas in perspective.

    Today found me doing car work of different sorts and more work around the yard trying to get ready for fall/winter. The weather has been great and things are getting accomplished. Accomplishments = happy me.

    Speaking of happy, Jeff so far seems much happier at his new job. Being able to take a relatively short run to his 'rents and the rest of his family has made everyone much happier there too. While it puts a bit of a cramp in our style, the overall effect is positive. The distance is not that great between us (about an hour and a half at my driving speeds) that we cant do things on a whim, and our weekends together are high quality (and the sex is great).

    This will be a busy week for sure. Painting, yard work, runs between garages and my everyday work at NG. I have some thoughts regarding the latter to be posted soon. This time, it's mostly good. Inspiring even.


    greatbear: (Default)

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