Thursday, December 27, 2007

A Moment To Breath

Christmas was great! We continued our tradition of reading T'was the Night Before Christmas with the triplets. This year we gave them hot chocolate in their bottles and I read the the story while they drank and tried to take the book from me. It was cute and probably my favorite highlight of the holiday.

All in all it was a very nice and low key event. My brother Cecil and his wife Sarah came, along with his mother Vera, who I consider to be a second mother to me. Everyone was extremely generous with their gifts to the kids, as they always are. We're very blessed in that regard and I would trade them for anything, I'm just proud and happy they are a part of my life.

Unfortunately there were two blips on the day that made it rough. I forgot to take my ulcer meds for three straight days and as a result the wonderfully tasting pot roast my wife made gave me no end of problems and I had to cut my eating short and let things resettle for a few hours. Then for the third year in a row my youngest sister brought her chaos into my life by calling (actually it was her husband) to ask us for gas money to get home. From my aunt's house. Meva and I toyed with the idea of not even exchanging presents this year because money is so tight, so she was barking up the wrong tree.

Last year this sister almost spent Christmas in jail and Meva and I bought and (for the most part cooked) a complete Christmas dinner for them (I think it was meant to feed about 12-14 people) by buying the turkey, a ham (I think), a bunch of sides, pies and cakes, and a bunch of cookies and fudge. If I'm not mistaken the year before that she didn't have money for Christmas gifts for her kids and was scrambling a few days before Christmas trying to borrow money to get presents.

Even though I know this will be read to my mother (which is fine), I don't think my family realizes how much this type of behavior effects me and gets me down. I love my sister and her kids, but she point blank doesn't live her life respectfully or responsibly and it makes me crazy, angry, and lugubrious. And that is only intensified when I think about her kids. In the end it causes me to be so depressed that I actually physically ache. Unless you suffer from depression, you can't understand exactly how this happens. It of course carried over into today, and if it weren't for my wonderful babies, I would have slept the entire day away.

Not too much else going on that I have much to say about. The always frustratingly fun Best/Worst of lists or the year are all over the place now. Overall I guess I like them, but sometimes it's kind of sad to see just what exactly we've let become important to us.

Again, TV sucks, especially daytime. Without cable, I am stuck with the basic local channels, so all I get are judge shows (they all suck and are redundant) and talk shows. Most of them are also filled with the dregs of humanity, so even the guests aren't interesting. I will share the sad state of my TV affairs to you all so that you can laugh with me (or at me) when I admit that watching Martha Stewart or Rachel Ray are the only shows I watch during the day--- that or the PBS kids shows!! (That Wendy on Bob the Builder is a babe in disguise!).

TV at this time of night (2amish) is equally as bad. Infomercials and Poker After Dark are what you get. I think I'd rather listen to Top 40 radio or Rosie O'Donnell. If it didn't make me so agitated I would just drop to the floor, instantly asleep.

Tomorrow I visit my bone specialist and hopefully I'll be coming home without a cast, but with a splint. Just being able to take it off to bath or let my hand and wrist breath would be wonderful and hopefully I can get back to work.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Can't Sleep, The Penguins Will Win!!

Since Thursday night my wife thinks I may have entered into a manic state due to the fact that I've slept about 8 hours over the last three days and I'm really not too tired or dragging my tail. Usually when I don't get enough sleep the migraines start flying at me at an incredible speed. Thankfully that hasn't happened yet, which is really weird.

I was adjusting my cast today when I heard and felt a nasty pop from the area in my wrist that they did the bone graft on for hand surgery. It hurt quite a bit afterwards and my hand has been more sore than normal as a result, especially in the area I has the pins sticking out of it. Everything just started acting up out of the blue. I hope this isn't a bad sign because I really want to get this cast off and move into a splint. We'll have to see how that goes.

Tomorrow is Christmas Eve and I'm really excited about spending it with the Triplets and giving them a hot chocolate bottle before we put them down with a telling of The Night Before Christmas. Meva and I have done this every year that we've been together and it's now part of our family tradition. Last year we drove home early so that we would be able to get the babies down (the were less than 6 months old then) and we sat on the floor of the nursery in the dark with a flashlight and softly read the story out loud without waking the kids. I know it's corny, but we'll never forget it.

Friday, December 21, 2007


Sometime around the end of October I got slammed with some nasty Malware on my computer through a comment someone posted on my MySpace profile. It was one of those nice ones that pretends it's Windows and tells you that it has detected spyware on your computer and you need to remove it to protect your computer. It is even nice enough to provide you a direct link to a site that sells a spyware removal program ranging anywhere from $25 to $99. The "company" that makes this program is the one that has infected your computer. I think the term that tech people use for this type of Malware is Smitfraud.

Anyways, I got one and I have spent the better part of the last two months with limited computer resources as I tried to isolate the bug and exterminate it. The final piece was a damaging file that hid itself within my firefox browser and took away all my links, distorted my display, and created a leak or something that forced me to manually shut the program off through my Windows Task Manager (pressing Ctrl+Alt+Delete). To say I was frustrated and annoyed would be an understatement.

But this morning I got a lead on where to look and after a lot of digging around, I found the file and deleted that sucker. Everything looks to be back in working order and I am a very happy man once again. I hope this means I'll be able to post and resume my normal computer activities.

It's late and I should already be in bed, but I just gad to share this bit of good news!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The Best Plans

I was entering into this Holiday season preparing to pull out all the stops with baking, decorating, and trying to spread joy and peace as far and as often as I could. Honestly, I started doing research and organizing lists of things I wanted to accomplished and everything that I would need to make it so. Of course we all know what happened in October, I had my left had reconstructed after several years of intense pain. With just a week to go, I've got to face the facts and give up. I did the best I could, but my plans were huge and I just couldn't get a break when I needed one. In the end:

  • There won't be a super special Christmas card like last year before Christmas for everyone.
  • My plans for baking treats to share with everyone have been greatly reduced, possibly to two, maybe three things
  • I didn't get the garage organized and as a result couldn't find all of our Christmas stuff that was packed away for the move that never happened.
  • I am ashamed of my outdoor decorations. They are just sad.
  • My special gift packages that I wanted to give to my loved ones didn't happen, and I really wanted to get those done and distributed.
  • I have misplaced my Hardrock, Cocoa, and Joe DVD, and depending on how well you know me, you know this one hurts.
  • The interior decorations didn't happen either, at least not to the extent I wanted them.
  • My special gift for my wife didn't work out again.
  • I haven't gotten pictures of the triplets yet in the snow, with or without snowmen.
  • I have always wanted a Christmas train to go around my tree or something significant, and this was going to be the year it happened, but that too was derailed.
On the bright side of things, and yes there is positively a bright side to all this, I now have 53 weeks and one more after Christmas Special to get my act together for next year! I am stoked about that, I really am. I don't care if I have to channel my inner Martha Stewart, bond with our kitchen-aide mixer, and get attacked by the Bumpus' dogs, I will have things planned, organized, and completed next year well in advance.

The cool thing about this year is that I've had the chance to spend time with people that are steadily becoming very good and important friends to Meva and I, and we also were able to meet some fantastic people that are very interesting and fun to be around and who show the potential to become good friends also.

Did I mention I also got to eat some baked brie cheese with cranberry jelly? A law should be passed making that a mandatory part of all meals during this time of the year.

And did I mention my children? They won't get even half of it, but they're going to experience opening presents ) and potentially trying to eat the wrapping paper. But of all the things they won't get or can't yet appreciate, the three kids, Meva, and I will all sit down and read The Night Before Christmas on Christmas Eve, just as Meva and I have done for the last 7 years. In fact last year Meva and I sat on the floor of the nursery with flashlights at 3am and read it to our 3 sleeping newborns.

I speak only for myself, but that is the spirit of the holiday for me. This simple tradition has become the essence of Christmas for me as I slowly impart it to my children, in the hopes that they do the same with their children. At the risk of sounding morbid, when I die, this will be image I take with me into the beyond.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Seeing New Things

It's now been six weeks with a cast on my hand and I have to admit that is has gotten steadily worse each week. The pain has been a constant (let anyone try a bone graft, two grindings, three fusions, inserting a permanent screw, and adding to pins) and to add to the fun the would has been infected much of the time. Trust me, it's more fun than it sounds!!! LOL

So anyways, I got the pins removed. One of them had sunk low and a good deal of skin grew over it. The doctor had to give me some shots so he could slice up the hand without me feeling it. Being the curious sort, I watched as he literally jammed the needle-nose pliers about 1/4 inch into my hand and pulled out the 2 inch pin. It was really cool to see and very there was blood everywhere. Once he took out those pins I felt extremely nauseous and light headed and needed to lay back down for a few minutes.. But the good news is I should be out of the cast, and probably in a splint, in two weeks time!

Everyone around the house is on the mend and starting to feel better and get back to normal routines, although I'm having trouble sleeping, but that's not really new. But being that it's now 4 am, I think I'm going to his the sack.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Viruses All Around

Virus. It gas come to dominate my life of late. Everyone but Ryan is fighting a stomach virus here, lots of fevers, aches, and vomiting throughout the house with everyone else. That little Ryan is a badass, he just refuses to let stomach viruses get him down. I think I'm going to use him in a fashion similar to coal miners and birds in mine shafts. When Ryan goes do, I'll know that some new strain of the Mutaba or Shanti virus has come.

On top of all this, my computer has come under some nasty attacks of spyware and malware. I think I finally got the whole malware issue solved and fixed after about a month, but now I'm having trouble with Firefox. One of the add-ons I had with it screwed things up and my link toolbar has gone completely blank, my bookmarks are missing, and I have a large gray area at the bottom of the browser that's just doing nothing. I've tried the forum at Mozilla, but so far every suggestion has not worked. I'm getting to the point where I am considering reinstalling XP from scratch. I think I've just got too many problems and I might result to purchasing Norton System works.

My hand is apparently not doing well. The bones haven't fused as well as the doctor wants so I gave to get some bone stimulator to hook up to the hand so that it will assist bone in healing, but after 6 weeks in this cast, I'm still under a great deal of pain that most people would be screaming and crying about, But I don't have that luxury. To make matters worse I see, to have developed a nasty infection in the wound around one of the pins that are still sticking out of my hand. It must be pretty serious because the doctor wants me to travel to Indiana on Monday to get it checked out in case the infection is in the bone, which I'm told is serious. I am so ready for this to be done and over with.

The news has been over-filled with my favorite type of event; a mass murder shooting held in a mall. We got to hear everyone's story and see irrelevant photos that serve nothing but increased program ratings and the the go on and give the dead nutcase the spotlight that he wanted, which I once again predicted would serve as inspiration to the next asshole. Sure enough I hear there was another shooting instance in a different mall somewhere else today. Sometimes I think it's time to begin controlling the free run the media has on content and have the government step in and oversee some of what is reported on. They could be called the CRC, the content relevancy commission and have the power to impose fines and sanctions for violations that are against common sense and promote potentially dangerous threats to the citizens. Yeah, I know it takes away from some of out 1st amendment rights and it's a very conservative stance by me, but the irresponsibility of the media really frosts my ass.

Just thought I'd share!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Gravity Is Working

I found that out the hard way today. I fell off the roof of my house hanging Christmas lights and cleaning out the gutters. Having only one good hand I really had no good reason to be up there, but the lights needed hanging and the weather for the rest of the week didn't look promising, so I had to tackle this today. I lost my grip on things with my bad hand due to the cast slipping, and when I over compensated that was all it took to send me pitching over the top and straight onto my gravel driveway. I fell forward and landed on the back of my head. The only thing I hurt was my ego.

I was initially concerned about getting a concussion and worrying my wife, so I originally said I fell into the bushes, but I figure it does no good to handle this with a lie, so I came clean. It's been about 7 hours now and I've only got some sore, achey back muscles and a slight headache. That's pretty good for an old man.

Despite those follies, I spent the day working around the house until Perrin got sick and then it was all about holding him and making him feel better. I must not have done a good job of it because he threw up all over me and himself, so we both got a nice bath out of it and then he seemed to improve somewhat, but he was running a fever.

Well, it's late and I need to sleep. I just noticed my clock on our TV is about 3 hours off and I have been up way tooooo late.

Monday, December 03, 2007

The Idiot

Yeah, that's what I feel like. Sunday was just one of those days where I just seemed to be in a fog and just kept making mistakes after mistakes.

I left the dome light on in the car, so the batter was dead and I had to jump it with the van. Once that was all done I shut my flashlight in the hood of the van and spent 15 minutes in the biting cold trying to get the damn hood of the van open without any luck, before I remembered that I needed to go back inside the van and pop the hood!! I was so frustrated with myself that I pulled out the rod that keeps the hood of out other vehicle up. I wasn't even paying attention and grabbed it the wrong way and the whole damn thing just came completely out of the frame.

The Bears let me down today, no surprise. The better be the offseason of the offensive line, both in the draft and in free agency, because what they have out there just isn't doing the job. And that doesn't even cover needing safteies and upgrading the wide receviers. There is a lot of work to be done.

I spent mot of the day avoiding the world and processing everything that happened yesterday with the meeting I had with my Dad. It really took a lot out of me and I was spent and exhausted the whole day. I felt listless and useless. Luckily I have the best wife in the world and she worked his behind off today all over the house. It's nice to know I have someone I can rely on. She's truly amazing.

Sunday, December 02, 2007


Although I've been silent around here for the last week, I've been doing everything else that I normally do, except updating this thing. The holidays have certainly claimed more of my time of late, but what's mostly kept me away is my counseling. It still goes well, but it's really hit the first serious crux on my road to getting through all the crap that bothers me.

There's still a part of me that hates the fact that I am in counseling and that I couldn't come through everything on my own. Maybe I'm just too infatuated with the old "tough guy" persona of Hollywood that I was spoon fed as a kid, but sometimes it makes me feel like less of a man. It's really a silly notion, but it's a part of the whole "process" I fight and this week it was more prevalent than usual.

Without going into much detail here, I met with my father today for the first time in almost 4 years. There are a lot of issues that I have with him from childhood to today and I need to find resolution and a way to let go of my anger. I showed up uninvited and unannounced, and I didn't know how things would go. I was prepared to walk away and cut all ties with the man. Instead I got to talking with him and I realized this would not be a one meeting process, it's going to take a few. There were many new issues that came up as a result of this meeting, and processing them will take some time. I expect this week to be a difficult mess, trying to get the house set for Christmas, just dealing with the babies, and working through what happened on Saturday.

I'm going to try and get a few hours sleep before that kids wake up so I have the energy to take hold of the day. If you don't hear from me for a few days, now you know what's going on.