Thursday, October 25, 2007

Gallbladder Fun

On Monday I had my gallbladder removed. Kim and I were at the hospital at eight. About thirty minutes later our pastor showed up.
The nurses hooked up tubes to my veins in which they eventually injected some stuff that knocked me out. They put it in as they started to wheel me away and I wasn't quite aware that I was going to be knocked out already.
I woke up to the nurse asking me which kind of juice I wanted to drink. It took all of my strength to say "cran" and I just gave up with that. She returned with the cranberry juice and I drank it as best I could. I think they gave me some pills as well.
Eventually I was rolled to the van, only half-conscious. I slept most of the way home, I think, and then slept more when I got home. I had no idea I would be doing so much sleeping. I would wake up randomly. At one point I woke up and the clock read 8:30 and Kim was still home. I thought it was 8:30am the next day, but it was still the same night.
For pain, the doctor prescribed my oxycodone. Oxycodone is part of the same family of the well known oxycontin. I feel bad to anyone who has developed an addiction to this drug as the side effects are not fun. They make me feel tired, cranky, loopy and selfish.
They also make my senses really acute. Yesterday when Kim and I picked up Arianna from daycare, when she set the baby in the car it felt like the car tipped down about a foot. When I went to sleep last night I thought the fan in my computer was about to break. It sounded so loud to me and was driving me insane. When I asked Kim about it she said it wasn't any louder than usual. She turned the computer off for me so I could go to sleep.
Kim has been really awesome this whole time. She has had to get the kids ready all by herself in the morning and take them all to school. She has also been getting all of their stuff ready for school the night before all by herself. She has also been putting up with me. The drugs have made me really crabby. I think a combination of the pain and the meds has also made me pretty selfish. It has been really hard to be cognizant of others needs.
Today I am starting to feel more myself. I am doing my best to not take medication unless I really need to so I don't have to suffer through the side effects.
I have also been having to do school work through the week. This was much harder on Tuesday when my brain was still off elsewhere. I found it hard to use my mind too much, and when I ran in to problems it was hard to muster the strength to not just give up. I got a good amount done last night and will need to do more tonight.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Last night

Last night, after school, I planned on getting ahead in some school work. Aurora and Athena where already in bed, though not yet asleep, and Kim was itching to go to bed as soon as she could. She watched Arianna while I ate dinner (homemade pizza, sweet!) After dinner I took Arianna. She stayed up to ~11:30pm. It was clearly to late to do any heavy thinking over homework, so I grabbed the latest patches for my Ubuntu Gutsy Beta laptop and tried to hammer out a little homework. I realised while working on the first problem in my Database Design homework that I didn't understand the data presented, deleted all my work, and fell asleep (unintentially) shortly thereafter. I work up around 2:30, shut off my laptop, and crawled in bed.P.S. That baby is so sweet, even when she keeps me up really late.

Dogs attacked my cat today

Kim called in sick today because she was unable to find her keys, and she didn't notice until after I had left. So she called me crying because to pit bulls had attacked our cat, Sassy. She had heard something on our front portch and saw the two dogs out the window. A few minutes later she heard a scuffle and saw our cat in one of the dogs mouth, shaking her around. Kim picked up a ball and pelted the dog with it. This created enough of a distraction for Sassy to jet. She fled to underneath our neighbors house and wouldn't let Kim near her. That's when she called me.At work three out of seven people where out and we where pretty busy. I talked to my boss and he let me go home. When I got home Kim had already coaxed Sassy to come out and she was sitting on our bed. She looked alright, but was obviously in some pain. I gave Kim my key to the van and she and the girls took Sassy up to the vet. When I picked her up off the bed there was two small drops of blood on the sheets, but nothing major. I went back to work.Kim called me later and said that the vet wanted to keep her for a while and see how she was. She had called animal control, who found the dog that had Sassy in it's mouth. He took it back and said that whoever came to pick the dog up would be charge ~$250. This made me feel better because we often let our kids play in the front yard while we watch through the curtains. Hoepfully this will let the owner know he can't just let his pit bulls roam the neighborhood. I don't know if they are aggressive to people or not, but I'm not interested in finding out the hard way.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007


I got my blogs down to 430 left to read. I read 159 blog posts today. Much fun.


More posting for today. I just read a great post, and you can too.
I can completely relate to this state of enlightenment. I've fealt it doing certain things. House work, school work, exercise, jiu-jitsu (when Idid it many years ago), etc. When in the zone the following things happen:
  1. Life seems infinitely worth while.
  2. I am the master of my current craft. Everything is done with ninja-like precision and accuracy.
  3. What I am currently doing seems to make perfect sense.

I used to frequently be in the zone when I was a cook at Cyrstal River. I could have 20 tickets on my board averagin 4 custmers on each ticket and I could tell you what was on every single ticket and have a game plan to how each one will be cooked and in what order in a way the was very efficient. At Crystal River the cook had a packer. The packer took the food from the cook and prepared it on the plate. My roommate Joe and I where the team and could very well zone together. When he was packing for me he could do the same thing on the board and I could short-hand tell him my game plan and he knew it perfectly. I could give him a bunch of food and he would know exactly what to do with it. We could take a full house and have them all eating in no time and keep it up for hours. We could very well at any point change rolls where he cooked and I packed and it was all very fluid. The rush was very intense.

There are also times when I'm in a slush. This is the opposite of the zone. I felt this last night while doing laundry. It didn't matter how much I worked at it, the laundy took forever. I finally got everything folded, sans matching socks, and then I called it quits. When not in the zone it seems that no matter how hard you work at something you make no progress at all.

This happens at times with homework. I can spend two hours writing a paper that seems simple enough and find I'm not even half way done, but I am completely out of ideas. Very much like that SpongeBob episode. Argh!

Parent/Teach Conference

I just had a parent/teacher conference with Aurora's teacher. They are doing a conference with all Kindergartners parents to let them know what is going on.These things are really kind of embarrassing because when it comes to Aurora it's just a matter of listening to the teacher brag about how awesome she is and us bragging back. The same thing happened at preschool. We told her teachers at orientation that she is really smart and going to be beyond the other students but they didn't listen. Weeks later they just told us everything we told them. This was the same thing. As she went over each point of what they do in class she was just dumb-founded at how well Aurora is doing in each area. Math, science, reading, behaviour, etc.I really feel pretty conceded with all of this, even though I know that it's only part my doing. It's not my fault she is naturally so intelligent. I do play a role though because I do what I can to feed her desire to learn. I am just lucky to have a little girl who is such a sponge, and I can't take credit for that.I certainly hope Andrew is out there being proud of her. I know he always was and would continue to be so. She really is a gem.
Back to normal

So I finally got back to doing phone calls at the help desk. No special projects for me right now, save some very small stuff. I started the day with over 550 posts unread in my RSS feader. Lots of reading to catch up on. I also need to catch up on reading posts at I also need to catch up on relaxing and taking it easy at work. I'm quite looking forward to it. By the end of next week I expect to be bored again and ready for a new project. For those in management a whole lot of other stuff has blossomed and will be keeping them busy and on edge.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Some random thoughts (in no particular order)

Work craziness has finally calmed down. My big project is nearing it's end and all of the super important things have been taken care of.
For many of the people I had been working with on this project the craziness has kept on as more stuff has cropped up that I all hush hush. I'm glad I'm not in their my pay. If I was payed what they where making I could endure this for much longer. Pretty soon I will be back on the phones talking to people who don't know anything about operating a computer and surfing the internet.
Last weekend Kim went to work and the girls where pretty bad almost the whole time. Athena was awesome, but all she wanted was to be held, which made doing anything pretty difficult.
I did manage to separate laundry and hang up all of our pants and shirts.
I tried to get the girls to play inside as being inside too much can promote more crabiness. Aurora came inside after about 10 minutes and told me it looked like it was going to rain. There was an overcast, but nothing screamed eminent rain. I told her to go back outside, but stressed to her that it was very important to come in side if it did start raining. Five minutes later she was back inside swearing she felt some rain drops. None where to be found so I put back out. Five minutes later she was back in, so I let the girls come back in.
After lunch I made them lay down. Athena was sleeping too so this gave me some free time.
I folded some laundry and put it away. I also just recently got my record player hooked back up to my PC so I can record them to digital ogg files. So I then spent the time removing pops & click and cutting the individual tracks out and saving them as well as adding tags such as artist, song, album etc.
I have been trying out a program called Amarok. I tried it about six months ago but found myself immediately back to using Rhythmbox. Rhythmbox is the default music player in Ubuntu. I don't think it's changed much in the last six months, but I have noticed some lack of functionality in Rhythmbox that Amarok has. Amarok is not quite so light on the resources, but on a good machine I think it is worth it to run over Amarok.
Amarok will automatically find album covers for you, lyrics to the song you are listening to, and embeds the wikipedia article for the band you are listening to.
It has many other cool features as well that is making it the staple for my desktop computer.
On my laptop it runs a bit sluggish. It has a noticeabley longer load time, and clicking on buttons has about a quarter second delay. So for my laptop it is still Rhythmbox. In fact, I think I'm going to try to search around for something even more light-weight.
School is going pretty well. I think I have two A's and a B. It will take making an A on my next test to bring the B back up to an A. I think my percentage in that class is 81% so I'm cutting it pretty close.
Out of my three vehicles I only have one in good repair, the red van.
The truck has a flat and has been stuck at work for the past number of days. There is a metal part I need to stick in a shaft to remove the spare (which is a full tire, not a spare) but I do not have that metal piece.
The gray van is having break trouble. While reaching back last week I had my foot on the break and didn't realize I was pressing down hard on the break. Something gave a little and now the Break light is on and breaking is not as good.
I need to drive the gray van, with the whole family, up to my work. The gray van has an air
compressor built in to it. I could then fill up the truck tire and we could drive both of them home. I am worried someone is going to notice that truck sitting there so long and have it towed. That would be very bad as I have absolutely no money to reclaim it if necessary. I don't even have the money to have the tire patched.
For Aurora's birthday we will be having two parties. She wanted to have her party at the Junior Museum so we reserved that, but we can only get in 25 people with the money we payed. So we will have her friends do the Junior Museum and then have friends n' such over at our house afterwards. Her last two birthday parties I was really bad about calling up all of my friends, but this year I finally buckeled down and did it. I still have a few more people call, but for the most part everyone has been called.

Sleep is one of things I have not been getting enough of lately. Between work, school, and family there simply are not enough hours in the day to get everything done. My typical day:
Wake up at 5:45, leave by 6:30. Drop Aurora off and be at work by 7:30. I get off at 4:30 and head to school. On Monday and Wednesday I get out at 8 and on Tuesday and Thursday I get out at 6:30. When I get home I do laundry, dishes, and general clean up. Each of the girls get two books read a night and that can take up to 45 minutes. The girls need lunches made and clothes picked out for tomorrow. It also helps greatly if I get my shirt ironed at night, so I don't have to worry about it in the morning.

This all sounds like the usual adult-trap so many people find themselves in, but I am really not unhappy. It just sounds worse than it is. Aurora and I have great rides to school. We usually rock out to Black Sabbath and go over some educational stuff, such as spelling words, counting by 5's, 10's, and 2's. We've also been trying to work on nouns, verbs, and adjectives. She is so smart like you wouldn't believe. The stuff the teacher sends her home with is way below her. In a way I feel she is being short changed but not being properly challanged. Well, she is. But she has her unending love of education and parents that are willing to feed her hunger when she is not at school. Even though most (not all) of the material is below her level she really enjoys being at school. I wish we could afford to send her to a Montessory school where she would be allowed to accelerate at her own pace, but such is life.
Athena keeps getting sweeter and sweeter. She gives my hugs and kisses all of the time. Sometimes I have to scold her because I am trying to get stuff done and she won't let go of me, even when I try to be nice to her about it. She has such a beautiful smile and personality. She is 100% kid.
She also possesses my stubbornness. This is good and bad. It means when she makes up her mind, breaking it can be a real event. But I also think it means she is likely to be independent minded. I think my stubbornness is a huge defining point to who I am, so I don't mind if she is born with a good chunk of that, even if it does mean lots of struggles through the coming years.
Arianna is the happiest baby you could ever hope to meet. The only time she is fussy is if she is hungry or tired. It seems that there really are not times that she is inconsolable. She interacts very well too. If you pick her up and play with her she will talk to you and smile and laugh and kick. Aurora is very good at playing with her. She will make up songs and sing them to her and grab her hands and dance with her. It is very sweet. Arianna absolutely loves it.
I am doing my best to bond with her every chance I get. Aurora and Athena both went through stages where they wanted nothing to do with me. This stage lasted months and was very hard for me. It is probably wishful thinking, but I am hoping to keep her on my side for as long as I can. It is hard as a Dad because the mom has a huge head start. The 9 months of carrying the baby around and the breast feeding create a bond between a baby and it's mother that is hard to break in to. It seriously is a hard bond to match a father. It took both Aurora and Athena three years to look at me equally. Even when Aurora was very young and I took her on bike rides to the park and played on the ground with her as hard as I could, she would still prefer Kim who just wanted to sit on the park bench.

One of the most unfortunate parts of being in the computer industry, is that computers primarily exist in office settings. So most computer jobs are in office settings. I hate the office setting. I hate dressing up for work, and having to remember to shave often. I hate the boring feel of the office. The long hallways of non-ending offices and/or cubicles. I hate codes of conduct and people with large salaries who know less about IT than I do. I hate sitting down all of the time and spending the whole day clueless about what the weather looks like outside.
I do love computers though. I love helping people out who run in to problems or need assistance. I love programming and finding the solution to the task you have put forth. I love to run the program or script and trying all possible ways to make it break. I love configuring PCs to work in the most efficient manner, and running applications that make boring repetitive tasks easy.
I wish there was some way I could merge the two. Maybe working on computers over hot firey grills. Or maybe computers out in a field of crops. Maybe there could be a way that I had to four laps to get to the PC and fix it. I like to work on computer, but wish I could somehow meld it with the pleasure of being outside and working hard.
One thing I think I would enjoy is teaching computers at a community college. This way I would be standing up, and moving from class to class. I would need to move from building to building. In stead of implementing upper-managements policies, I would be creating my own lesson plans and implementing them.
Another possibility, and one I've kind of worked for, is doing on site IT help for small businesses and individuals. I do have one client, a local art museum/shop/school. It is three different buildings, and two are two-stories. Working on their needs I sweat, I have to think and solve problems, and I get to help them make important decisions about how to meet their needs. This I really enjoy, and would like to do more of.
At my current job I work with a lot of nice people, and I am put on different projects that I am banking on helping me gain experience for future jobs.
My last job at Convergys gave me lots of experience that I think is a big help in me training to make a career in IT. I think this job is giving me even more experience, in other areas, that will help take that even further.
I do enjoy my job, the people I work with, and I enjoy going to work, but it's not my long-term career of choice.