Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Miracle of Life

Several things for today's post:

1. Over our front door step there are two little alcoves tucked away. For the past 3 years a couple of sparrows (at least I think they're sparrows) have nested there, and today we got to see the babies poke their heads up for the first time. It's so sweet to watch those little lice infested munchkins eat premasticated worms and stuff. :0

2. Of 43 min on treadmill, 12 min were running at 4.7 mph. So I ran almost a mile tonight. Lungs definitely not used to this level of activity. Still burning a bit, but it feels good. First it was the knees, then the feet, now the lungs. Just gotta keep on truckin, cause in January I could barely walk 12 min on the treadmill.

2. Gracie (4 yr old) today decided that carpenter bees have it all wrong. Instead of burrowing holes in wood, they should build houses. "Why do they dig holes, why don't they build a house like us?" I tried to explain that they can't drive trucks and without a truck they can't go by the Home Depot and get the workers needed to build a house, but it went straight over her head. Go figure.

3. Alyssa will not go in the bathroom after someone else. Especially me. She explained that she has a sensitive nose and it hurts. I think I should be offended.

4. Up late tonight loading code fixes into Production with one of my teams. Should be done in an hour or so, but have to be on call at 6am to verify and monitor, then of course work all day as if I had a full nights sleep. Another glorious day in the corporate world.

All for now. Have to put together some reports for tonight's activities.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Pictures

I dug out the old box, stored deep, within the bowels of the basement which has all our old photos in it. All the pre-children stuff. I had no idea we had given that much money to Kodak.

I filtered through them all and identified about 200-300 I want to scan and add to our digital library. Let's do the math here. Takes about 5 minutes per photo to load in the scanner, preview, adjust/crop, scan, label and save. Which means I have about 16-24 hours worth of work ahead of me. Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy. And there are literally hundreds more down there worth scanning, but I just picked the ones I had to scan. Including a bunch of my beautiful Vic I've taken over the years and forgotten about.

So, over the next week or so, expect to see some old pics posted here and there, sort of documenting where we've been and such. Oh, and once all the scanning is completed, I plan on doing a post devoted to all the photos my family wish had never been taken. And yes, I'll include some of my more dufus Kodak moments.

TTFN


Tonight was Bike (25 min) and weights. Not sure what I want to do tomorrow yet. Keeping my options open.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Cloverfield

Not sure what everyone else thought of it, but I watched the movie Cloverfield last night. I loved it. Thought the concept was truly awesome. Typical guy film I know, but I loved it. Can't wait for the sequel.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Father - Daughter Dance

There are firsts for everything. The first crush, first kiss, first date, first love, first child. Well, for a man with a house full of girls, last night was another first for me. The first Father-Daughter Dance.

Hailey’s ballet studio, Steps, sponsored a 50’s style Sock-Hop and I took her as my date.

We really had a great time. They had karaoke, hula hoop contests, twist contests, door prizes, caricatures, pizza, root beer floats. It was a great time.

As you can see in the pics below, Hailey was decked out in her dress and I had my high-water jeans and black converse (the most uncomfortable shoes in the world.)

The princess comes down for her date.


Just a little more lipstick for the big night.



"I sure hope my date looks as good as me."

The date arrives and the first pics are taken. Notice to the lower right we have an observer.

What an adorable couple.

Definitely going to be light on our feet.

The princess is helped into her chariot.

Hailey in the Hula-Hoop contest.

Hailey sings Hanna Montana's, "I Got Nerve."


Daddy stud-muffin after the Dad Hula-Hoop contest.


We really had a great time and it is an event I will never forget. Very special.
These pics, however, really slammed me last night. Even though I’ve lost 33 lbs I still look huge. Considering how much better I feel and how far I've come it's difficult to keep in mind I still have 70 lbs to go. Before the dance last night I did 2 miles, running about a quarter of it. So I’m keeping up the focus and drive. Hopefully I'll post pics in October from Curahee which show a drastic difference.

Vic had a pretty good day yesterday. But this morning things were pretty much back to normal. She’s trying to do without meds today and deal with it. Let’s hope she can.

Friday, April 25, 2008

The Election

Don't want to make this site political in any way, but I heard a great one today about our election. Actually, I saw it in several versions, but liked this one the best.

"Why bother to hold an election. The Democrats have a lawyer who is married to a lawyer and a lawyer who is married to a lawyer. The Republican is a true war hero married to a hot blond who owns a beer distributorship. Is there really a contest here?"

Sorry, Emotional Brain got control for a minute. :)

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Running

In my mind, there are only 3 reasons a man should run:

1. To chase down a food source, kill it and eat it.
2. To chase down a beautiful woman.
3. To evade something bigger that believes you are the food source (or who had the beautiful woman first).

Why else is there to run?
Why did cave men run?
Why did the Indians run?
Why did Forest Gump run? (ok,,,,that doesn’t quite work.)

It wasn’t for joy, sport, health, prestige, medals or trophies. It was to survive.

I have a grocery store for my food.
I’ve already caught a beautiful woman.
The few things bigger than me also have grocery stores they can use. (and I got Vic first)

So logically, there is no, natural reason or need for me to run. Whew! I feel better now getting that off my chest.

So why am I intent on running Curahee. I could walk it. Slowly, methodically making it up and down the mountain in about 2 hours. Joe to self: “See self, you don’t like running and there’s no reason to run when you can walk. Case closed.” .

But it’s not. Aside from the health benefits, living longer, spending more time with my kids, I want to run Curahee. I want to see how close I can get this 44 year old, out of shape, lard butt body up and down that mountain as compared to the hero’s who did it 66 years ago in 50 minutes or less. How close can I get to 8 minute miles up and down that hill?

To be able to run Curahee, I have to start training for it. I have been focused for the last 3 ½ months on losing weight. Walking, biking, calesthenics etc. (With the tire I have around my mid-section running was out of the question. I’d feel like Dolly Parton at 75 trying to run.)

So what's the best way for me to train? I asked Joe Reger and Paul Kindzia the other day how they train for a big race. Paul gave me a great answer and Joe seconded it and I’ve started to incorporate his recommendations into my routine.

- Monday I added 1 minute of running into my treadmill routine. There were no cramps, no falling down needing an oxygen mask, no ER visits, so I considered it a success.
- Tuesday I did another 1 minute of running. No worries.
- Wednesday I did 2 minutes of running
- Today I did 5 minutes of running. (Pretended Kathy Ireland was in front of me and Rosanne Barr behind.)

Paul was right. I don’t have to try and run the whole routine, just little bits here and there and I’ll see improvement. I just need to keep slowly increasing the run time, not over-doing it and I'll get there.

I haven’t mapped out how fast or how long it will take me to be able to run 6 miles non-stop, but I’d like to be up to running at least 20 minutes non-stop by June 1st. We’ll see. Haven’t run in many years and don’t want to injure myself. I’d rather do this smart than let my ego get in the way. So there it is. I’ve started running. Oh yea, and the new shoes are doing great.

On the home front, no change with Vic. The treatments did not alleviate the pain, she’s still having horrific headaches. We have an appointment with a new doctor on May 5th. Thoughts and prayers are welcome.

Ok. Time to go get the ice and Motrin. G’nite.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Equilibrium

If you Google for a definition of Equilibrium you'll find something like this:

Equilibrium: condition of a system in which competing influences are balanced

This is followed, of course, by about 40 more specific definitions for Economics, Physics, Chemestry etc, but I like the main definition because it fits me best right now. My competing influences are my Logical Brain vs my Emotional Brain.

Logical brain says to count calories, carbs, protein fat. To limit total intake. To monitor when I eat, not eating after 7pm. To eat small snacks during the day between meals such as brocolli or carrots.

Emotional brain says to attack the kitchen and pantry in force, taking no prisoners, leaving no morsels. To ensure Papa Johns is on speed dial and use it frequently. To consume carbs all day long every day. Emotional brain tells me I am never full.

So, a battle inside my head rages. For the first 3 months of the year Logical Brain was the victor. For April though, Emotional Brain put up a good fight and they have now found a balance, a stalemate in the war. The price of this balance has been me working out regularly, but zero weight loss for the month.

For a normal sized person who isn’t grossly overweight this is a great place to be. But right now I don’t want balance. I want control, I want weight loss, so I have to look at where I’m at in this war and where to go from here. Where is my problem? Why can't I control my eating and snacking?

To diet and achieve weight loss one has to starve the body in a controlled fashion, providing enough nourishing food to keep the body functioning and healthy, but lacking enough to require the body to consume it’s own fat cells for energy. And I think it’s that word ‘starve’ that is the key to my problem. Demon in belly not like starve. Or is it he doesn’t like to starve too much?

To make the weight loss cycle described above work, a delicate balance (there’s that equilibrium word again), must be maintained. Upsetting this balance is what I've done. Logical brain wants to starve as much as possible, increasing weight loss for a given period of time. This will work of course, but there are two side effects (at least for me.) 1) Starving too much decreases health, strength and stamina, while increasing fatigue and recovery times. 2) Starving too much makes Demon want to come out and pillage.

I believe this is my problem: I’ve been starving too much this month. Trying to lose too much, too fast and in the end not accomplishing my goal by binge eating when I'd get hungry. The further evidence of this is my health. I haven’t had a cold or sniffle since last year, but I have a horrible cold right now. It was probably the result of all the pollen and allergies, but would I have this cold if I’d been eating healthier all month.

So, how to get around this problem? How to better control what I’m eating to stay healthy and keep the Demon at bay? With things at the house the way they are it’s difficult to schedule a menu. I can’t afford to hire a bodyguard to whack me when I go in the kitchen, although Gracie might serve this function well and there may be some volunteers out there to do it for free.

I guess my only recourse is to better control my eating through documentation and management:
- Documenting will let me visually see ‘what’ I’ve consumed during a given 24 hour period.
- By seeing what I’ve eaten, it will allow me (Logical Brain) to evaluate if I’m on track for a given day and modify the menu for the remainder of the day.
- Daily workouts are already documented
- Conduct daily weigh-ins and document as well.

Having all this information available to me will allow me to evaluate trends, performance and needs. It will allow me to manage myself so to speak. It’ll be a lot of work, but perhaps worth a try. I’ll start out in Excel at first, but a DB approach may be best long term. I’ll have to play with it for a while.

So, I’ve achieved balance and am getting ready to upset it again. I hope it doesn’t get too mad.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Beautiful Day

What an absolutely beautiful day it was today. A little cool with the wind, but otherwise a 10 on anyones scale.

Still keeping the kids busy today. Rearrangement of the basement continued, moving both treadmills, the stair stepper and the stationary bike to the large room with the TV and surround sound stereo. Then moved my office to what used to be the exercise room. Mounted speakers in the ceiling, ran wires through the rafters. Fun to be had by all.

The only major problem encountered today was a 12” woofer on one of my speakers blew. I mean it really blew. I found 3 pieces of it in the room. So I’ll have to order a replacement on-line and install. It’s not too hard, I’ve done it before.

As usual, I had Gracie help with the activities today. Well, she helped some then would run out side and play with her sisters.






Vic had a pretty good day until this evening. Around 9pm the headache came back hard and she's down again. The fight continues.

Hay has the Georgia standardized tests this week. Once again giving her a chance to prove she's in the top 1% of the nation when it comes to smarts. A pure genius in the house. Of course she get's all of that from me. :)

Here's looking forward to a good week for all of us. Hay doing good on her tests. Vic having some good days this week. Alyssa working things out with her friend at school (they had a little 5 yr old falling out last week.) And last but not least, for Gracie to stay out of trouble for a few minutes.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Saturday

As I said yesterday a busy kid is a happy kid. The phrase really originates from my Navy days, but I can’t put the original prose here since this is a family friendly site. :)

Anyway, my kids were kept busy today. Sanding, painting, rearranging the basement, cleaning the house,,,,,yep,,,,,kept em real busy today. Pics below are some of the evidence. Including one of my fat butt.




And nothing like an ice cream sundae to put an end to a hard days work.



And for those of you who don't appreciate the women in our lives, thier strengths and what they really are capable of, this story is for you:

A man left work one Friday afternoon. It was payday, so instead of going home, he stayed out the entire weekend partying with the boys and spending his entire pay check.

When he finally appeared at home on Sunday night, he was confronted by his angry wife and was barraged for nearly two hours with a tirade befitting his actions. Finally his wife stopped the nagging and said to him, "How would you like it if you didn't see me for two or three days?" He replied, "That would be fine with me."

Monday went by and he didn't see his wife. Tuesday and Wednesday came and went with the same results. But on Thursday, the swelling went down just enough where he could see her a little out of the corner of his left eye.

Yep,,,,that about sums it up for me. I knows my place. :)

Friday, April 18, 2008

Friday Update

Today is roughly day 1189 of Vic’s headache and we’re not giving up on a cure.

The pain can really be broken down into three major pains.
1) Head pain (the most debilitating)
2) Neck pain
3) Shoulder pain

The Facet Joint injections of 3 weeks ago seemed to have resolved the neck pain. YEAAA!!!! They could always come back, but right now it’s 3 weeks and counting.

The doc today showed Vic some love and gave her a big needle of cortisone and other stuff into her shoulder. She’s sore as expected, but so far pain is gone.

The head pain unfortunately is still there. Doc did another Occipital Nerve Block today. We’ll see if that works or not. If not, back to square one with the headache.

In the interim, Vic is totally medicated and horizontal again. Probably will be for at least 3 days. All we can do is ice, meds and love. Got the weekend with the girls to beat them into submission. Sorry, I mean spend some meaningful quality time with my loving children. :)

To keep the monsters happy tonight I did ice cream, popcorn, movies and soda. They passed out happy and full. A busy kid is a happy kid, so Saturday we’ll be rearranging the basement and cleaning the garage. Then I’ll find something fun for them to do outside. Pics of course will be posted tomorrow.

Thanks to everyone for their thoughts and prayers for Vic. I hope no one ever has to go through what she has for the last 3 yrs.

G’night all.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Observations and Vents

Today was without a doubt one of the busiest days I’ve had in a while, on all fronts:

Work:
VERY hectic today. Integration testing, requirements reviews, production issues, financial battles, turf wars, attitudes, process, process, process, process, process....

In my almost 20 yrs experience managing people, programs and projects I can tell you a simple fact. Process is supposed to do 2 basic things: 1) expedite delivery of a product and 2) improve the quality of a product. Anything else is pure fluff, waste and a line handed to you by an overpaid consultant or auditor. I have enough process to occupy 3 people full time. But you know what? I do my job, smile, say thank you and come home to a loving houseful of screaming kids and one hot chick. I leave work at the office.

Society:
Today was the day to register Alyssa in Kindergarten. Multiple forms of identification were required to prove we live 2 miles from the school and she’s eligible for school. Tax forms, Social Security Cards, Parents Drivers Licenses, Birth Certificates, shot records etc, etc. As we gathered all these papers, we realized Alyssa’s Birth Certificate was missing. We looked and looked for it last night to no avail. We had to have it today, so I planned to go to the Cobb County Vital Records Office this morning and get a copy.

Upon arrival at the Cobb County Health building I was smacked in the face with the reality of the immigration issue facing this country. The parking lot, lobby and waiting rooms were filled, wall to wall, with individuals, couples, kids and babies who only spoke spanish. (ok babies can’t speak, but you know what I mean) I was the only person there speaking English. All I could think of was why do I have to have so much proof of residency and identification for my daughter to go to school when these hundreds of people and families probably have none.

Homefront:
War with the carpenter bees started today. They are systematically burrowing through our swing set and decks. I called upon the spirit of General Patton, had the troops dawn protective gear and chemicals were deployed. A high body count has already been observed.

Ballet night was tonight and I took Hay to the studio. While she was there I decided to subsidize the Chinese economy and visit Wal Mart. As I got to the XBOX 360 game section I ran into two ladies whose girls are in the same ballet class as Hay. Believe it or not, these two demur ladies like Gears of War, Call of Duty, Halo etc just like me. Go figure. I don’t know any other women, save my sister and her room mate who play XBOX. Cool!!!

And last but not least, tomorrow we go back to the doc. I’m going to be positive and hopeful right now. We are going to find a treatment for Vic. A treatment which returns her to us, whole and without pain and suffering. It is what I pray for, and what I will never stop searching for.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

New Kicks

I made an uneventful trip back to Big Peach Running Co. this evening. I knew I was in good hands immediately because the sales guy was named Joe. We tried out about 5 different pairs of shoes, opting for a wider EEEE size. Spent about 10 min on the treadmill checking them out just to make sure there was no pain and we found a winner. A New Balance 1223. Came home and spent 40 min on my treadmill and they worked great. No foot or knee pain. Thanks Joe.

Vic's about the same as yesterday. Not much improvement. Really looking forward to Friday and seeing the doc.

Oh yes, one more thing. The survey I posted previously does provide a small monetary return for me. However, in lieu of payment to me I've opted for it all to be donated to the American Cancer Society.

G'night all.

Trying Something New

My good friend Mr. Reger has this survey site. I'm experimenting today and trying to link in with it. Please take the survey if you will so we can see if this works.



The questions are multiple choice. My selections have the '>' greater than sign next to them. Click the little space bar in the window with the black down arrow to scroll down and see my answers.

Click "How would you answer" in the lower left to take the survey yourself or "See how others answered" in the lower right to see a summary of everyone who's taken the survey.

Thanks everyone!!

Sore Dogs

Steve from Big Peach Running Co. (BPRC) called me yesterday to check on my shoe problem. (I emailed them Monday evening.) He said I may want to try a couple more miles just to make sure and if my feet still hurt, to bring them back in to the store. Possible solutions include inserts, different socks or getting a different shoe. I did 3 miles last night and my feet still hurt this morning.

I'm with Steph on this one, I think they're too narrow. I have wide feet, (which I'm sure has nothing to do with the 250+ lbs bearing down on them), so on the first trip to BPRC we tried on EE's and EEE's. I liked the EE's better, but they may have been a mistake. So it looks like I'm headed back to BPRC. This time I'm packing a lunch.

Vic had another rough day. Friday can't get here soon enough for me. I want to see with the doc says, and if another treatment is in order, let's get it done. Since she was down yesterday I had KP last night. (Kitchen Patrol for those of you who've never seen a war movie.) Anyway, I was very busy with work until after 5pm and didn't have the time to whip up another of my culinary delights. So off to McDonalds with the girls. I left a sign on the bedroom door for Vic so she'd know where we were if she woke up.

I did have a long conversation with the girls about 'puddles of liquid substances which may be on the equipment in the play room." I do not want a repeat of the pee incident. Here's some video I took of the fun.

video

Monday, April 14, 2008

A Chilly Monday

The Facet Joint injections Vic had lasted almost 2 weeks. Unfortunately the pain returned yesterday and really came on with a vengeance tonight. We see the doc again Friday and will see what he thinks we should do. From all the reading I’ve done, this may take 2 – 3 rounds of the injections to get relief. We’ll just have to wait and see. The injections took her down for 4 days last time. Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers.

This shot was taken about an hour before she got sick yesterday. The girls just had to pile on Mommy. They truly love thier Mom.


On the shoe front: I’ve tried out my new shoes and they are hurting my feet. My knees and arches have been fine, but the outside edge of both feet, about 2 inches behind the little toe hurts with each step. Not sure if this is from the pronation correction or what. I’ve emailed Big Peach to see if they have any thoughts. The shoes only have a couple of miles on them, all on a treadmill. I'm sure I'll have no problem finding my way there this time. Although, before I leave it may be a good idea to invest in some GPS technology.

Yesterday was work day around the house. Since Vic was in bed most of the day, me and the girls did some maintenance. I fixed some loose molding in the kitchen and replaced an exhaust fan that had died. Then all of us went ‘nail pop’ hunting. Hailey had the hammer, Alyssa had the sandpaper, I had the spackle and Gracie was our spotter. We didn't get to paint yesterday, but will get that done this coming weekend.

Alyssa sanding in the family room.

Gracie sanding in the kitchen.

Gracie sanding in the play room.

Alyssa with spackle dust on her hands.


And here's a pic from the other day when Gracie was channeling Elton John.


All for now.


Saturday, April 12, 2008

American, a Veteran and Proud of It!!

I can only ask that you be thankful for that which others fight so hard to protect.

US Navy's Latest MOH Recipient.





Mistakes are like Rabbits

I mentioned my knees and feet hurting on Thursday, with the most likely culprit being my shoes. Well, after some brief edumacatin’ emails from Joe Reger I had a mission for today. Go to Big Peach Running Company (BPRC) and get a pair of shoes personally fitted to my feet and walking tendencies.

So, this afternoon, Hay and I jumped in the little rig and headed south to Marietta. Although I’d never been there before I had mapped it out on the internet and had the directions in hand, so there’d be no problems finding the store whatsoever.

- I75 South to Exit 265
- Left onto N. Marietta Parkway
- Left onto Roswell Road (RR)
- Right on to Johnson Ferry Road (JFR)
- BPRC is at 1062 Johnson Ferry Road (JFR)

Now those are pretty darn simple directions wouldn't you say?

We had no problem getting to I75s, and as further evidence of my truly awe inspiring navigational prowess I got off on exit 265 and turned left onto Marietta Parkway. It’s a nice little 4 lane highway and there is little traffic. I’m staying in the left lane because I have to make a left turn up ahead.

First mistake: Up ahead there is an exit coming up fast. “An exit!?!” I wasn’t expecting this, I was expecting an intersection, which is why I was in the left lane. There may only be a few cars on the road but they’re all right behind me and beside me in the right lane. Too late, we passed the exit. No worries I tell Hay. We’ll circle back around.

A few miles later we come upon an intersection for Lower Roswell Road (LRR). Hmmmm,,,,Lower Roswell road. It must connect with Roswell Road (RR) somewhere since it has basically the same name, and since it’s going in the same direction as RR it must cross JFR as well. So Hay and I turn left on to LRR. (Man logic is a terrifying thing sometimes)

LRR is a little 2 lane road with lots of curves and hills. A lot of subdivisions are on this road. A few stop lights here and there. Oh look. More subdivisions. Another stop light. Another curve. Another hill. Hay, look at the size of that house. Another curve. Another hill. This went on for what seemed like forever.

Second Mistake: After about 15 min of driving, from the backseat I hear Hay say, “Daddy, we should go back and find that road you missed.” This was a direct challenge to my Man Logic and exceptional sense of direction. No worries I tell her. I’m convinced I will find my way there, so we press onward. Kind of reminded me of that scene from European Vacation where they keep driving around in circles and Clark says a hundred times: “Look kids, Big Ben, Parliament.”

Third mistake: After what seemed like an eternity, I knew we were lost and called Vic to pull up the map and direct me to my destination. She happily agrees to help a Man who’s lost and can’t find his way. It was right then we came upon JFR. Although my instincts were spot on, my sense of direction infallible and my navigational expertise proven, I had reached out for help. What’s worse, I’d reached out to a woman. A direct contradiction to Man Rules.

Fourth Mistake: I gladly thanked Vic and tried to salvage the embarrassment by gloating over my sense of direction finally getting me to the right road. And while gloating I turned Right onto JFR. But alas, I was much farther south than I would have been if I’d taken RR, so I was going in the wrong direction. I realized this after about 10 minutes and made a U-turn.

Fifth Mistake: Traveling north on JFR I was looking for street address 1062. I see 1000 and tell Hay we’re close. Then I see 1100. “@#%” We passed it, how did we pass it? “@#%” We pull into the shopping center with the 1000 address. It has a Publix, some Biscuit restaurant and a bunch of other things. Maybe it’s in here. So I drive around.

Sixth Mistake: I drive thru the lot heading south and I get to this gray looking building which is having some construction done on it. Instead of driving further to see the front of it, I turn around and head back toward Publix. Hey, there may be nails or something in the parking lot from the construction. I’m not driving in there with new tires.

Seventh Mistake: I call Vic again to get the number for BPRC. I’ve obviously lost all shame. I tell her I saw 1000 and I’m in 1100 but no 1062. Vic is very courteous and helpful, but behind that sweet voice I know she’s laughing her butt off. She gives me the number and I call BPRC. A nice girl named Carolyn answers and tells me I’m just down the street from BPRC. Gives me a landmark, and off I go.

Eighth Mistake: I bop on to JFR again, this time headed south. “@$#%@ THERE IT IS!!” I missed it already. We were that close. So Hay and I have to turn around yet again.

We finally do a U-turn and pull into the BPRC parking lot. That’s when I realize the building and parking lot is the same one I almost drove into before. (See Sixth Mistake). We had gotten within 20 yds of BPRC almost 20 minutes ago. Oh well.

Went inside and met Carolyn who proceeded to provide me a high-tech fitting of my foot. My feet were scanned and my step was monitored on a treadmill. Turns out I have an Over-pronation to my step. No worries, she’s going to hook me up with some shoes to correct the problem.

I try on about 12 pair, but finally get a pair of Mizuno’s that fit and feel the best. I’ll be trying them out tonight and will let you know how they do.

Thanks Carolyn for the excellent job.
Thanks to Joe for the advice.
And thanks to Vic for the directions, the phone number and not making fun of me. (at least not out loud)

Oh, and the drive home was much easier. No wrong turns or embarrassments

Til next time.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Knees and More

My entire life I've never had problems with my knees. Then just because I pack on a hundred pounds or so, they start hurting when I'm working out. Go figure.

By the way, getting up at 4:45am to work out is SOOOO much fun. I just have to encourage everyone else to try it. But, I made a commitment to keep this up for 2 weeks. I'm almost through the first week and I'm going to stick with it.

But right now two questions are going thru my brain.
- How tight should you tie your shoes to keep your arches from hurting
- How many miles can you get out of a pair of shoes before they're not supporting you well anymore.

I think my shoes have had it because my arches are hurting a bit. Got to look at a new pair this weekend I suppose.

Hay's having a sleepover tonight. So instead of 3 screaming little girls I have 4. And it isn't like there's only 25% more screaming. It's like 10 times as much screaming and 10 times louder.
Yep,,,,,I had me a good, loooong work out in the basement tonight,,,,,,,,,followed by a nice loooong,,,,,,stretch,,,,,,,,,,hmmmmmm,,,,,,,did you hear something?

Oh well. Gotta get some sleep. More tomorrow.

And So It Goes

When I was a kid, I yearned for the day I could be like my Dad and Grandpa and get on the riding lawn mower and mow that yard. I wanted to drive around, cutting the grass, in command, in charge, the master of my little domain.

Then one day they let me mow the yard on that riding lawn mower. Taught me all about how to use it, change gears, adjust the deck height, maintain the machine and most importantly how to mow the yard so I could do it my self. I was in command, in charge, the master of my little domain and I liked it.

As the years went by this turned into a nice little business for me to make extra money. I'd mow our yard and my Grandpa's yard. I'd use the riding and the push lawn mowers and eventually the weed eater. I was in command, in charge, the master of my domain and I liked it.

Yesterday amidst a pollen count of 1 x 10 to the 35th power I had to weed eat and mow my yard. I don't have allergies, but the dust and pollen and who knows what other crap that was thrown into the atmosphere nearly killed me. I wanted to turn my headlights on and it was still daylight. How I was able to breath during this is still a mystery and this morning my lungs feel like they're full of saw dust. BUT, I'm in command, in charge, the master of my domain.

And so it goes.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Lost the battle, but not the War

The invading hordes from the kitchen out flanked us and tried an attack from our rear. They attacked through the girls bedroom window.

Vic saw them earlier today. Thousands of the littler buggers coming in through the 2nd story window. She showed them no mercy. The troops dawned protective gear and chemical weapons were immediately deployed. The death toll was catastrophic, tiny lifeless bodies were all around the windows. Patton would be proud. Better killing thru chemistry.

Needless to say, the girls will be sleeping in another room for a few nights. And I will be scheduling some professional bug killing services. I guess we could call them mercenaries. All I need now is to hire Halliburton.

On a different note, it was my first day of twofers. A little painfull I must say. Wouldn't have been so bad I think if I'd gotten more sleep last night. At 2am, Hay's alarm clock went off. Not sure why, but it brought me out of bed like a shot. Then at 3am, Alyssa and Gracie got cold and wanted Daddy to pull thier covers up on them. Then my alarm went off at 4:45am and it was off to the basement for the morning routine. 20 minutes of excercise tape. Did another 34 min this evening on treadmill and stairstepper.

Going to work out a good plan for this which alternates muscle groups and such to keep from over doing legs and hurting knees. Have enough trouble with them already. Motrin and ice, motrin and ice.

Speaking of Motrin., at this pace of usage, I should be pretty buff soon. Joe Reger had a post the other day about it building muscle mass.

Anyway, that's all for this evening. G'night all!!

Twofers

Started twofers this morning. That's the way I spell it by the way. If you can show it to me in a dictionary I'll be glad to correct.

Anyway, started doing mini-workouts in the morning. And will do main work out in the evening. Will see how this does for a few weeks. Nothing too stressful in the morning, just getting the body started and blood flowing. Trying to keep around 20min or so.

Had some nice blog chats with people yesterday. Since I've started this blog in fact, I've met some very nice people and hope the trend continues. Paul K, Nat, Lala and Steph to name a few.

Well, time to get cleaned up and hit the road. 28 miles of Atlanta traffic to get thru this morning.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Sunday

Workouts:
Overall the workouts this week weren’t real good. Otherwise distracted and couldn’t get the time needed to do it. Should be able to get back on the stick this week.

Kids:
Last night I was talking about cleaning the car and Alyssa got all excited. She wanted to get the hose and sponges out and have a blast. Hailey told her we couldn't do it because of the drought. If you don’t know, the Atlanta area is in a drought and we've had an outdoor water ban for over a year. Anyway, Alyssa didn't understand. So Hailey tried to explain.

Hailey: “We can’t wash the car outside cause we’re under water restrictions.”
Alyssa: “Aw man, I don’t like water itchkins.”

Movies:
We took the girls to see Horton Hears a Who today. It was the first time Gracie had ever been to a movie theater, for good reason. I told my Mother today she wouldn’t last 15 minutes. Well I was wrong. She lasted the whole movie, didn’t make a fuss, no one got hurt, it was really nice. The movie was so-so, but there was one thing which stood out for me. The jungle was run by a busy-body, tyrant Kangaroo. During one fit she threw in the movie all I could see on the screen was Hillary Clinton. The screeching, the whining, the shrill voice,,,,the producers had to have done it on purpose cause it was just too close to the real thing. When she finished one tirade near the end of the movie I said out loud “It’s Hillary Clinton.” At which point some guy across the aisle started laughing. I hope he didn't snarf his popcorn and soda.

Border Control:
Once again the lack of proper control on our borders has resulted in the continued invasion of our sovereignty. Yes, it’s happening again. Little black ants have crossed the border between nature (outdoors) and civilization (indoors). I know it’s not because of the high paying jobs in our house, I’m too cheap to pay the buggers. And besides these little buggers aren’t looking for work. They’re looking for a handout. It’s just a few right now, but I’ve taken action to improve border security. That’s right. Chemical weapons. They’ll be deployed tonight. I can’t tell you when due to operational security, but I guarantee you these invaders will be gone tomorrow. I’ll love the smell of Raid in the morning.

The rest of today’s been pretty low key. No excitement. Installed a new HD in my main PC. The Vacuum cleaner died so we got a new one. Vics still in quite a bit of pain, but we’re still hopeful.

Anyway gotta get some sleep. Night all.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Random Thoughts

#1. What it was, was football.
Not sure how many of you have heard the classic Andy Griffith routine, "What it was, was football". It’s a classic tale of an ‘uninformed’ man staring straight at something and concluding it’s something completely different than that which it really is.

A similar situation unfolded for me when I took Hailey to ballet class the other night. Vic was down again, so I had the 2 little ones with me as well. For the 1 ½ hour class I decided to take them to McDonald's and slide in the slides and get a nutritious dinner.

There were a lot of kids around, I’d guess ages 2-6. They all screamed, ate, slid, screamed, Gracie picked up a little boy and body slammed him, they screamed some more,,,,,all was good. Then it came time to leave.

Gracie of course, did not want to leave. So I had to haul my fat butt about 6 feet up the tube slide to drag her out. I got her and Alyssa to the table and began to put Gracie’s shoes on when I noticed her socks and legs were soaking wet. “Gracie, where’d you get in water, is it leaking up there?” (It was pouring rain outside.) She looked at me and gave me the Coast Guard salute. (for non-Navy types this is a shoulder shrug). Then Alyssa chimed in, “That’s not water, that’s pee.!”

You’ve all had those moments of realization haven’t you? I’d liken it to how you feel seeing a police cars blue lights in your rear view mirror. Time stands still. You’re floating, flying, trying to comprehend and then slowly start slipping back into the reality of the situation.

Joe: “IT’S WHAT?!?”
Alyssa: “Its pee.”
Joe: “WHERE’D IT COME FROM?”
Alyssa: “The slides.”
Joe: “I KNOW THAT, IS IT GRACIE'S?”
Alyssa: “No.”
Joe: “@#$%! WHO’S IS IT?”
Alyssa: “Some little boy.”
Joe: “HE PEED UP THERE?”
Alyssa: “Yea, he couldn't’t make it.
Joe: “SO HE JUST PEED UP THERE?”
Alyssa: “Yep. Gracie splashed her feet in it like a rain puddle.”
Joe: “##$%%. DO YOU HAVE ANY ON YOU?”
Alyssa: “No. I don’t play in pee, only Gracie does.”

So, what it was, was pee.

#2: Headphones.
Working from home is sometimes difficult with 3 little girls. It’s not that they bother me with constant needs, questions, problems, fighting, screaming, punching, playing, yelling, fighting, screaming etc, etc. They’re just basically loud.

So to escape I sought my iPod and the wonderful music therein. Found the iPod, but couldn't find my headphones. Looked in cabinets, breadbox, backpack, drawers, desk, counters, entertainment center, backpack again,,,,,no headphones. Then in a fit of stupidity I shouted to the house “$20 bucks to whoever knows where my headphones are!” I just knew they were somewhere in my stuff. Bad mistake.

Alyssa strolls up to me and proudly proclaims she knows where they are. “They’re in the back seat of the car.” In an arrogant, know it all mind set, confident they were not out in the car,,,,,,I went and looked.

There they were,,,,,,in the back seat,,,,,,,right where she said they were.

A defeated Joe, carrying his headphones walked back into the house to the joyous screams of my 5 yr old. ‘WHERE’S MY $20 BUCKS!?!” Over and over again.

I’m a man of my word. So I gave Alyssa an option.

Joe: “Honey, do you want to take this $20 dollars and open a savings account like your sister and save for your future or go out and blow it on a cheap toy?”
(Ever since Hailey opened her savings account last year Alyssa’s wanted one so I was sure she’d take the smart option. Obviously this wasn’t my day.)

Alyssa: “The future is now. I want to go spend it on a toy.”

I know she got that from her Mother.

#3: Movie Night:
One of my favorite things to do with the girls is have movie night. We pick a DVD and watch it on the big, wide screen TV, enjoying popcorn and soda, sometimes pizza. It’s usually Friday or Saturday night.

I asked the girls to get a bunch of DVDs together and let’s choose which one to watch. They all attacked the CD/DVD holders, each picking out what they wanted to watch tonight and brought them to me so we could review and choose.

Out of the stack of 30-40 DVDs they brought me, Gracie’s stack contained one I’ll never forget. One of the DVDs she brought me was a lens cleaner. Gotta love her!!


#4: Stamps
Little kids diggem. Givem some stamps and paper. They’re quiet and occupied for at least 10 minutes.


And sometimes stamps can tucker out the wildest of 5 yr olds.

All for now. Will post more this weekend.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Time Will Tell

The nurses told Vic yesterday that today, she'd feel like a tractor-trailer had hit her. She's really upset with them, because that doesn't begin to describe the pain she's in from those injections. Stiff, sore, pain, unable to move, stiff, pain, sore, etc etc. As a result, she was pretty medicated all day, but was up and around some this evening. Just have to wait and see what tomorrow brings.

Gracie got bored in the basement while I was working out and decided to join me. I have several old video work out tapes a friend loaned me. They're great for flexing other muscle groups. I've read before that if all you do is do the treadmill or bike, your body adjusts to that and can't do anything else. So it's good to mix up your routine and do different things.

So, I was doing a video workout and having a good time. Gracie sees the video and watches me do it and becomes so excited she joined me. Now, I wonder if you can guess what exercise tape would catch Gracie's attention so fast and so completely?

If you guessed the kick-boxing work-out called Tae Bo, you'd be correct. Sure as cow-pies wouldn't be Richard Simmons. Not violent enough for her. Unfortunately I had no cameras in place so I'll have to get photo's next time.

What I do have is a photo from this afternoon. Alyssa wants to read so bad she started the Reader Rabbit games on her PC. She loves it and worked so hard she wore herself out.

I said something to her from across the room and there was no answer. I looked and this is what I saw. I love that girl!!! Oh and yes, I did pick her up and carry her to the couch so she could catch some sleep.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

It'll Feel Better When It Stops Hurting

Vic's headaches started in early/mid January, 2005. Not sure of the exact day they started, but she's had one 24/7 since then. Sometimes the pains a 3 sometimes a 10, but they never go away.

Assuming Jan 15, 2005, that would mean 1,171 days in a row she's had a headache. In that time she's endured 3 MRIs, unknown number of x-rays, cat-scans, 1 ENT, 1 Optometrist, 1 Dentist, 1 TMJ Specialist, 2 Chiropractors, 4 Neurologists, 1 GP, 15+ Prescription Drugs (3 with adverse reactions), Physical Therapy, Yoga, Trigger Point Injections, Massages and no relief. And of course all these doctors and treatments were free.

Which leads us to the present, today in fact. A new doctor and new approach. Facet Joint injections and an Occipital Nerve Block. Or to us lay people, the sticking of HUGE needles into the spine.

So far this therapy shows promise in helping her. We'll know for sure in 3-4 days. Right now she's in misery from the shots, horizontal and medicated. So don't call the house!!! Wake her up and I'll let Gracie come spend the weekend with you. :)

Chef Joe made another appearance tonight, trying to make up for the environmental hazard created Saturday. I tried a brand new French recipe normally reserved for only the very best and skilled cooks. Le Shakey de Bakey. Went very well with the green beans and Mac'n'Cheese. Hey, no one keeled over in pain so I consider this a huge success.

A few pics below to keep Mother-in-Law happy (and at bay). :)

Me and the girls spotted a tree full of yellow birds right in front of the house. This was the only good pic I could get.

Hailey showing of the AR Star slinky she got a school today.

Alyssa and Gracie bouncing on the couch. This pic was snapped just as Gracie began to fall.
Don't worry, the couch wasn't damaged.

A close up of Gracie's attire this afternoon. A Kool-aid covered shirt, socks as mittens and a cheesy Jim McMahon headband. Hey, she's 4 years old, plenty old enough to dress herself I say.