Sunday, March 25, 2012

New High Speed Stuff

Looks like Tuesday will be the day we finally step into the high speed, smart phone world that we have ignored until now.
We'll start with dumping TMobile in favor of Verizon and two Samsung Stratosphere phones with text, data and phone capabilities. The link below takes you to the Verizon details. Can't figure out how to cut and paste pictures off websites using the command C for my MAC.

Then I went to Best Buy today to get the necessary stuff to dump ClearWire and hook up to Comcast cable internet. A new modem and router are required. I got a Motorola Modem and a NetGear router. The router has superior encryption to our current system. So looking forward to faster downloads and actually watching some videos as the load. And internet TV....

Yeah for me...

Friday, March 23, 2012

It's Friday

Well, for some of you it is Friday. I am scheduled to work tomorrow so my Friday is tomorrow and today is Thursday. It is all so confusing. Some changes in personnel in my department have given me an opportunity to participate in counter work and I really enjoy it. One of the reasons I got into the parts business is because I enjoy interacting with people. But people can be difficult at times. Occasionally we get the person who might not be particularly happy on the given day that their vehicle decided to cause them an issue and regardless of how hard you try you can't make it better for them. I empathize with them and try to get them to feel better but sometimes it just doesn't work. And sometimes the customer thinks we are the reason they are having an issue with their car and they decide to attack us. It is hard to not be defensive it these situations. But, I still enjoy working the counter and it looks like I will have an opportunity to do so for a few more weeks.

I have staggered days off next week so I will not get too much accomplished on Sunday. Looking forward to warmer weather so I can de-winterize the trailer and start visiting the park on the weekends. Yesterday I awoke to snow falling, followed by the sun coming up and a cold but sunny day. This morning things are once again frozen and I can't yet tell what the day will bring. It was nice to see the sun yesterday and I hope it plans to stay around for a couple of more days.

Have fun out there. For now my focus must be work, but I can't help but look forward to the day (1103 from now) when Mia and I will begin to seriously prepare for our road trips.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Another Doctor Visit

I had what I hope is my final appointment with a doctor for sometime to come (unless my shoulder doesn't stop hurting). I spent some time in the urology department at the local med center having my "elevated" PSA number explained to me. After an examination it was determined that my prostrate is no bigger than what would be expected for a person my age. There are no lumps, bulges or deformation. This was good news because you would expect someone in the urology department to have slightly more experience feeling these things and know what is or isn't abnormal. As far as this doctor is concerned we should wait to see if the PSA goes up or down over the next three months. So, sometime in June I will visit the vampire lab once again to have blood drawn and see where we stand. For now, I am not going to worry about it.

The weather here in the great Pacific Northwest has been one of change, sometimes within minutes. The old saying in Seattle is, "If you don't like the weather now, wait a minute". Well, the past few days we have seen snow, rain, lots of rain, sleet, hail, snow blowing sideways, high winds and just damned dreary weather. It is getting old. I am ready for spring to pop. Bring on the birds and the bees. Sun, where are you.

Monday, March 19, 2012

The Plans of Mice and Men

Got the brackets attached to the wall in the appropriate place only to learn that they are not strong enough to hold the screen. They bent immediately and sent the screen to the floor. So it is back to the drawing table.

Spent some time with Verizon and Comcast today. It appears they have gotten into bed together and are giving some pretty interesting options for high speed internet access as well as two new smart phones for Mia and I.

I have a couple of more questions but from what I can tell after I cancel all our other systems, it will only cost forty or fifty dollars a month more, for a whole lot more access.

Took Honey for a walk this afternoon and spent some time with her and my camera. This is a face a mother (if we knew who she was) would love....

Mid March....Really?

I have today off and had a list of projects that I wanted to get done. I got up and looked outside and found it is very white (frozen) and only 36 degrees. This is a picture of what I can see from my new computer desk in our spare room. So nice to be able to look out upon the world.

I mentioned a new computer table. I had been sitting at the dinning room table using up eating space but yesterday we picked up this student desk at a local office supply and it is a perfect place for me and my MAC....
One of my projects involves a can of this:

And two of these:
Unfortunately it doesn't look like we will reach the mandatory 50 degrees required.

Today I hope to get to T Mobile to see if I have any further contractual obligations, then Verizon to see what they can offer me, and on to Comcast to get rid of our old wireless and get something much faster. It should be an interesting adventure.

Then back to the projects. I am waiting for Mia and Honey to come home from their morning walk so I can see how high she wants this screen off the floor. I have some brackets made and drilled that will hold it up on the wall behind the couch.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Countdown Begins

I found a countdown gadget this morning and added it to the website. It is counting down to March 31, 2015 when I hope to shed this mortal chain and leave the world of full time employment and begin my adventure across the U.S. to see the sites, smell the smells, hear the noise and finally admire many of the places I have been reading about in my blogger friends tales of their travels. There is so much to see that I sometimes wonder why I am in such a hurry. It is very likely that we will not get to see everything.

Off to Gold Bar to check the trailer this morning. Have a great Sunday. Hope you didn't drink too much green beer yesterday..

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Happy St Paddy's Day and More

Happy St Patrick's Day. A few years back you could have found me sitting in a place such as this enjoying a green beer today. Not so much anymore.

We have a lot of stuff to accomplish today and there is the one year old birthday party for our grandson, James. Hard to believe it has already been a year since he arrived on the scene.

Then tomorrow we'll head up to Gold Bar to see how our trailer is surviving the nasty weather we have been having.

Monday I have the day off so I suspect I will try to accomplish some of the many projects I have sitting around waiting to be completed.

Hope everyone is doing well.

Have a great weekend

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Can't We Just Get Along?

On Meet the Press this morning the question of Civility in Politics was discussed....In fact, civility in society was the main discussion. John F Kennedy was quoted as defining civility by saying, it is not a sign of weakness. Wouldn't it be nice if we could all agreed to disagree???

Saturday, March 10, 2012

What Kind Of Traveling Companion It That?

We took Honey for a short (85 mile) ride in the backseat of the Silverado and while everything seemed to be going well, apparently there is an underlying issue.

She spent the entire trip in the back seat on a blanket. She prepped the blanket and then laid down for a majority of the trip. Only once or twice did she attempt to get into the front seat. Both times she was told no and she settled into the back seat. She seemed to be okay with that and laid her head down but didn't sleep.

When we got to our destination we found that she had upchucked all over the passenger side of the back seat and of course the blanket wasn't covering the area. I cleaned as best I could and when we got home later in the day I tried to finish the job but it appears to be stained and she had managed to upchuck again. The second dose was on the blanket she was laying on and wasn't quite as big as the first batch.

So what kind of traveling companion is she going to be?

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Whew, That's Over

All the final results of all the tests I took have returned and overall it looks like I am in fairly good health. My blood pressure is 112/62 which is down from early in 2010. Of course I take medication for this. When I first started going to Group Health I weighed 234lbs with a body mass index of 28.48. This last trip I was 221lbs 12.8 oz and the body mass index was down to 27.01 and that leaves me with a little more work to do. The index for my height is 19 - 24 so I need to get myself down around 200 - 205 lbs. Overall the blood work was very positive and the aortic scan showed no evidence of any issues that would cause me to suddenly bleed out.

There is one tiny little issue and one continuing issue that needs to be addressed. I have made another appointment to visit the urologist. Seems my PSA is elevated. One point above the normal high. The concern here is infection or prostrate cancer. As I understand it, there are many things that can elevate the PSA and several of them are not harmful. I went through this once before ten years ago. The PSA was really elevated and my doctor thought he felt something abnormal on the prostrate so he sent me to a urologist. After a lot of probing and a biopsy it was discovered that my prostrate was fine and something else must be causing the issue. A couple of months later another PSA test was normal. All have been within the normal ranges until this last one. Not too concerned about it.

Then there is the left shoulder pain. Got to get a final answer about this one. I have had a couple of friends endure some pretty dramatic surgery to correct issues with neck vertebra that have lost fluid and collapsed around the nerve that serves the shoulder. I hope that isn't the case with me.

So, there you have it. Looks like I'll live on to annoy everyone I know.

Sunday, March 4, 2012


I went to the doctor this past week to be probed and tested for the annual check up. Turns out I might actually be fine. I have one more task to complete before I get a clean bill. I can't believe how much blood they draw for the testing. Tomorrow morning I have to be in Tacoma very early in the morning for an ultrasound scan of my abdominal aorta. Seems this is the largest artery in the body with the most pounds per square inch pumping though it. The concern is an Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA). Basically, if you smoked during your earlier years or still do and you are 65 and older there is a chance you could have an aortic aneurysm. John Ritter died from this. Essentially you bleed to death internally and there isn't time for anyone to help. Doesn't sound like a fun way to go. I don't have any blood issues but I still seem to have some numbness, at times, in my lower legs which may be circulation issues. I guess we'll find out sometime later this week.

I certainly hope that anyone who is in the mid-west is safe and still has a place to live. It is still amazing what mother nature can do in a short period of time. I hope she is done for a while.

I had a really good week at work and accomplished most of what I set out to do. There are some personnel issues and we are working on them, but overall, things seem to be improving as we move into the new year. We are attracting more customers and hope to continue this process as the we move ahead.

While I am looking forward to my retirement I am very excited to take the department to the next level and leave it on a high to a new manager to be named in the next year or so.

Life is good and we are looking forward to getting the trailer unlocked from the winter and start visiting Gold Bar on the weekends. Long walks with Honey in the neighbor have been interesting and we look forward to taking her to the woods and watching her reaction.

Hope everyone is safe.