Wednesday, December 17, 2003

I Need A Vacation
Each year I save some vacation time so that I can skip the office holiday party.

It used to be on December 24th each year (the day before the holiday), but in recent years they have been moving it farther from the actual holiday, this year it's on the 18th (a Thursday). Wouldn't you know that I requested every day from the 19th to the 24 as vacation, although I was allowed to ask for the 18th off and I got it.

I think I will actually take off the 18th and the 19th, then come in the rest of the year.

Monday, December 08, 2003

Just an update on the Plumbing, the acid didn't work, in fact I got acid all over me in an accident I'd rather not go into. I'm just glad that I knew that Baking Soda neutralizes Sulfuric Acid or things could have really gotten messy ... and not in a good way!

I did eventually get the clog opened up, using a snake (auger).

But, to repeat myself from a few entries back, I'm not a plumber.

We have new neighbors, they seem nice. It's a man and a woman (no kids that I know of yet), we share a driveway with them.

Wednesday, December 03, 2003

I'm afraid I must once again concede defeat to another plumbing task.

This time it was the kitchen sink which has defeated me so soundly. Although I'm going to get a secret weapon tonight, Sulfuric Acid! I'd like to shake the hand of the clog that can stand up to that! {evil grin with maniacal laugh}

When you do poorly at something, you just have to pull out the big guns to get the job done (maybe that's what everybody else does and they just don't admit it!).

NOTE: Don't put potato skins or bean sprouts down a disposal, those seam to clog things up extremely fast!

Tuesday, December 02, 2003

Bad Weather

A little over a year ago a category F1 tornado went about a block and a half North of my house.

We heard the tornado sirens and got in our basement.

The rain and wind was getting stronger, then (as if someone flipped a switch) it just stopped. After a minute or so I went up stairs and everything seemed OK.

My wife went and sat in the living room looking out the window and asked, "where are all those people going?" I went out and saw some trees down a little over a block to the North, that's when we knew something had really happened.

Not the only incident
A few years before that a Micro Burst (which is almost a tornado, but the wind goes in a straight line) came right through our block. The worst of it hit about 150 feet north of us. It came out of nowhere, the weather was very nice otherwise. The tornado sirens sounded less than a minute or two before it hit.

Both of those left a very visible trail of destruction, neither of them sounded like a train.

Tuesday, November 25, 2003

I've actually been waking up earlier and feeling less tired lately ... I also have been going to bed earlier.

I haven't put on any weight since I changed my diet, but I haven't lost any more either. I guess I just have to start exercising to start losing.

I am surprised I didn't put on any weight after we stopped the last diet, I usually pack on the weight I lost + 1 or 2 more pounds real quick. I guess eating better is good. :-)

In The News
Boy, there always seems to be something for the news programs to latch on to, and they always talk about these sensational stories ad nauseam.

They have the power mold public opinion, unfortunately it's usually the only opinion of a few 'Fat Cats'. When ever there is another side of some of these stories they don't air them. That's why the govt. can't control the digital bandwidth, because the cable/satellite/TV and other media providers convinced most of America that it was bad for the Govt. to control it and it was safer in the hands of the big companies (yeah, right).

Remember, these are just my opinions. So no suing me. We are still aloud to have opinions here ... for now. 'Land of the free,' my big, fat, hairy armpits. Try 'Land of Big Business!'

And the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), that stripped away so many rights from individuals that have been proven rights through the decades. People are allowed to photo copy books, and make backup tapes of video tapes, why not DVDs and CDs?

Enough ranting, I'll see you next time. Same Bat Time, same Bat Channel.

Thursday, November 20, 2003

Healthier Than We Were
Between Andrea, Alana, Owen and I we have all been pretty healthy except for about 3 to 4 days each over the last few weeks.

Time to Work Out
Andrea's new diet seems to working out for her, she just tries to eat healthier (as do I now), and exercise about 3 times a week.

I think it works better for her because she exercises, I don't have time to. :-(

I'm Sleepy
On average I get about 4½ hours of sleep a night. My wife usually keeps me up until about 12:20 AM. My daughter usually wakes up around 4:00 AM and climbs into our bed. My son usually gets up 1 or 2 times a night and just needs a little attention to rock him back to sleep. Then I try to get up around 6:30 AM

I feel like I'm walking around in a daze.

Friday, November 07, 2003

Andrea's grandmother had to go through her operation to replace the mechanical valve in her heart on Wed Nov 05, 2003, they had less than an hour's notice. They had to take her or risk losing use of her kidneys or she could die.

Her first Doc backed out in the beginning, the second one (supposedly the best in the country) backed out the morning of the 5th (neither of them wanted to do it with out using blood).

Finally a resident at the Cleveland Clinic did it "against his better judgement." It took 2 hours less than they said it would, and there was "minimal blood loss" and it went "as well as they could have hoped."

The next day (11/06/2003) they said she was the healthiest person on the recovery floor, I guess people who do not have blood administered recover faster. She even got some functionality of her kidneys back.

Tuesday, November 04, 2003

Pet List (2003)

I just thought I'd list the pets we've had (in reverse order [newest first]):

<2008 -="" .02.09="" begin="" edit="">I needed to add the following...

Sprinkles (Beta Fish)
5 Nameless Hermit Crabs
Spinner (Parakeet)
Debbie (Girbil)
Eeyor (Girbil)
Piglet (Girbil)
Sally (Parakeet)
Pinky (Gerbil)
Ben (Girbil)
Goldie (Beta Fish)
Sophie (dog)

Koko (dog)
Nameless (fish)
Cosmo (congo african grey parrot)
Spike (cockatiel)
Picasso (sun conure)
Buttercup (parakeet)
Peanut (parakeet)
Baxter (dog)
Zoe (dog)
Daisy (cat)
Elwood (cat)
Jake (dog - started as George's)
Shadow (cat - George's only)

I'm done with pets! When Koko is gone, I don't think I'll be getting any more. Don't get me wrong, I love them, they are just a lot of work!
It's about time to give Koko (our Bichon Frise) a bath.

They say that the Bichons do not smell, like other dogs. They also say not to give them baths more than once a month.

I'm here to tell you that those two statements are wrong. They do smell like other dogs, and you need to give them more regular baths to prevent it. It does take longer for them to get that dog smell, but it comes.

Since Koko likes to be outside, he smells like a dog sooner than most other Bichons. I think we need to get on a weekly bathing schedule for Koko.

Monday, November 03, 2003

I'm not sure if Andrea's grandmother would have gotten sick even if she had finished her antibiotics.

They have to replace the mechanical heart valve she had put in about tree years ago, it was supposed to last the rest of her life.

They are going to be putting in a "biological" heart valve (one plus with this is that she won't need to be on anti-clotting [is that a word] medication) when they can get her blood count up to 37, she's at 35 right now.

They want to get her blood count up so they can perform bloodless surgery on her.

One of the doctor's at Cleveland Clinic refused to do bloodless surgery on her.

The doctor they have now is supposed to be the best in the field and he will do the surgery. I don't know if he works out of Cleveland Clinic or if he's coming in just to do the surgery.

My own opinion is that a doctor who cannot perform bloodless surgery is a hack, and they need the blood because they aren't as skilled at surgery as they should be, or they aren't as up-to-date on the latest techniques in their field as they should be.

Friday, October 31, 2003

Andrea's grandmother was just taken to a hospital today, she has a bad infection due to her not finishing her antibiotics the way they were prescribed. She stopped taking them after she started feeling better.

I've noticed this kind of behaviour from other people as well, all of them were older (60+). Andrea's grandfather only takes 1/4 of his blood pressure medicine. My father, after a major surgery, didn't want to use the morphine that the doctor had him hooked up to because he thought he would get addicted to it.

What is it with that generation, do they think they are going to get addicted to the drugs that the doctors prescribe to them?

I hope and pray for the best out come for my wife's grandmother.

Wednesday, October 29, 2003

Our silly dog (Koko, a male Bichon Frise) loves to stay outside, we sometimes have to trick him to get him to come back inside.

He also loves to dig, our back yard looks like a mine field with several craters.

Today he found a way out of the back yard I think he dug under the fence.

When I get home today I have to look around the yard to see where he gets out, then I have to fix it so he can't get out that way anymore.

I already have the perimeter of the fence lined with landscaping timbers, bricks and other items. That seemed to do the job for several months.

Ah, the joys of pet ownership! :-/

Saturday, October 25, 2003

I think that we are all healthy at the same time, for the first time since mid July!

I'm not sure what we should do, isn't that strange?!?

Monday, October 20, 2003

Know Your Limits

Here are two things that I've learned about myself over the years:

  1. I am not a plumber.

  2. I cannot start a camp fire without the assistance of some kind of accelerant.

Friday, October 17, 2003

Not again! Now Andrea (my wife) is coming down with the cold the kids had!

I don't know what to do, it's impossible to plan anything with everybody getting sick!

At least the kids seem OK for the moment.

Thursday, October 16, 2003

OK, we are now "between diets", wich means we gave up on Atkins diet (which was working, but it was too restrictive for us) and we are getting ready to start another diet.

About our son... We thought he was getting another ear infection, but it seems to just be his cold and a really bad sore throat. Today he seems happier than he has been for a while, I hope that means he's almost better.

It's been months since we had a full nights sleep, I can't wait unil everybody is better and sleeping through the night again.

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

OK, now my wife (Andrea) wants to get off of the Atkins diet (after I lost 7 lbs so far), it's too restrictive for her (and I wouldn't mind eating some good Italian pasta meals [buca di beppo, yum yum!] again).

She wants to get on a different diet that isn't so restrictive. We'll see what happens, so far we will stay on the diet until she can find something better.

Monday, October 13, 2003


I can't beleive it, just as my daughter was getting better, my son came down with her cold!

That's about 3 months straight that we've had at least one person sick in the house, I can't stand it!

Thursday, October 09, 2003

Here I am, in my sixth day of my Atkins Diet, so far I've lost 5 lbs (that's about 2.27 kg for you metric people). My wife put me on this diet to make dieting easier for her (so she can make the same things for both of us), not that I don't need to lose a few pounds. In fact, I am hoping to lose 54 lbs.

This isn't the 1st time my wife put me on this diet. The 1st time was about 2 years ago, when she was done breast feeding our daughter (Alana), and we were losing weight pretty good. But then Andrea, my wife, got pregnant and we got off of the diet (for the health of the baby).

Now that Andrea is almost done breast feeding our new son (Owen), she's ready to start losing weight again.

We are also coming up on our 10 year wedding anniversary!

10 years! That's a long time for a marriage to last in today's society. Although, being Jehovah's Witnesses, we have a lot of friends who have gone far beyond the 10 year mark and are still going strong.

The worst thing about the diet is not being able to eat as much pasta as I would like, I'm half Italian (and half Greek). The next worst thing is staying away from sweets (I love chocolate). But it's not as bad this time as it was the last time: we knew what we were in for and planned a little better, even getting low carb sweets (some of which is very good).

A few tips for anybody who wants to go on a low carb diet:

  • Get rid of the foods you can't eat any more
  • Do research to find out what you can eat (you may be surprised)
  • Check out a few health food stores and WalMart to find good prices on some of the things (low carb bars, candy, vitamins, etc.) you'll need.
  • Use Splenda for a sweetener (it's made from sucralose and tastes better than the others, plus there's no aspartame)
  • Get Diet Rite and Crystal Light bottled (not mix) to drink (it satisfies your sweet tooth)
  • Get lots of different meats to eat, the variety helps to hide the fact that you're on a diet.

Just a side note: The Atkins bars are great!

Wednesday, October 08, 2003

Well, at my house there has been at least one person sick since mid July, that's going on three months!

First we all got sick, then I stayed sick with a sinus infection that I had for over 3 weeks (I went through 3 antibiotics to get rid of it).

Then the kids got sick, then they got ear infections. Alana's ear infection went away after her 1st antibiotic. It was Owen's 1st ear infection, so they started him off on the lowest antibiotic, that didn't help him, but the 2nd one seems to have done the trick for him.

Just as he was finishing his antibiotics, Alana got a cold and that's where we are now.

Sorry to go on like that, but I just needed to say something about it.

Friday, March 14, 2003

9-1-1 Testing

Well I have to do some 9-1-1 testing today. 

I hope it goes well, considering the Dispatchers are going to be moving into their new center on Wednesday!

Wednesday, February 26, 2003

Efficiency at Work

At the moment I am doing a resize of our uniData database files using a program that I wrote that reads through a stats file that is generated each night and follows it's recomendations for resizing.

Resizing our database files used to take us 4 to 6 hours per server, with this program I wrote it brings that time down to less than 2 hours (depending on the size of the files that need to be resized).

Hello World!

Hello world!

This is my 1st blog, I'm trying to see what all the hype is about and also trying to see if I can somehow get this to be helpful at work.