Thursday, January 22, 2009

Happy Birthday!

I woke up this morning to my birthday feeling sick to my stomach and a little dizzy. I’m 45 today. Laying down didn’t help…in fact it got worse. I went on with my morning (I was better when I was up and moving around) and gathered up my things and was walking with my 4 year old to the indomitable Speck when…there it was…in all it’s rubbery glory. A flat tire!

Undaunted by the cold I sent the 4 year old back inside (that was the intent, she kept coming out to “check on you, daddy”) and set to work. I pulled open the trunk and lifted the cover and pulled out the temporary tire. It looked a little worse for wear, but I assumed it would be OK. I went back for the lug wrench. Where was the lug wrench? That was when I saw it: the Styrofoam insert holding a screwdriver and an empty indentation where a lug wrench would go. Crestfallen, I went back to the garage and sought some tools. I saw one of my neighbors and asked to borrow his lug wrench from his Acura. Sadly, it was too small. I then saw another neighbor who owned a Honda. Bingo! His wrench fit. I managed to get the tire off and the spare on using my floor jack. I inspected the tire. Yup, a wood screw head was clearly visible. I must have run over it the day before and parked on it that night.

No matter, I thought to myself. I can take it over to the tire shop and get it patched. I tightened the lugs and lowered the car. Ugh. The temporary was almost as flat as the tire with the screw in it. I didn’t have much choice. Towing would have cost me hundreds. I put the tire in the trunk and strapped in the 4 year old. Slowly I made my way to the nearest station which had an air compressor. Natch! It was broken. I hobbled to the next station. Topeka! I filled up the temporary and took the 4 year old to breakfast. I was feeling a little better, so we shared some pancakes and sausage. I dropped off the tire at the local tire shop for repair and decided it was in my best interest to stay local since the temporary tire made a pretty bad rumbling noise. After an hour, I drove the Speck back to the shop, had the tire put back on, and was on my way to work.

Happy 45th Clark!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Inauguration Day 2009

I keep hearing how things have changed now that Barack Obama has been elected president and is slated to be sworn in today. I don't want to make my site a political blog, but I have to wonder what it is that makes him so special outside of the color of his skin. We don't know all that much about him since he is a relative neophyte in the political world (only 4 years in the senate). We don't have much of a political record on him as a result and his voting record is somewhat odd (voted "present" a lot). The right side of politics is REALLY charged up about him since they can't seem to peg him for much (no college records available...sealed up). The left side has been disappointed with his cabinet and advisory selections (Clinton redux). Still, a neophyte may just be what the doctor ordered, so to speak.

There are supposed to be over 4 million people descending upon the Metro DC area today. I purposely requested the day to work at home. Roads inside the beltway are being closed down. Hotels have been booked up for months. Some folks are offering their homes for rent for over 100K for the weekend.

My dearest scheduled herself to be off of work today too, so I suspect I won't be getting much work done. She wants to watch the Inauguration on TV. It's cold and there's a dusting of snow on the ground. Perfect weather for an Inauguration.


Thursday, January 01, 2009

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everyone!

It's been a few weeks since I last blogged. Sorry about that. Life has been pretty much a whirlwind since early December.

My oldest has been pulled over three times in the past two weeks by the local police. She's been driving the truck and doing a pretty good job, but the cops decided she needed to: do a better job of stopping at stop signs, make sure that she is doing her best to wear her safety belt, and to make sure her lights were on when driving at night. Fortunately, she received no tickets for these minor mishaps. The lesson was learned however. Still, she managed to bump into the back of a car just enough to dent the truck bumper, but not damage the other car. Weird.

Speaking of the truck, I spent three days trying to find two tires for it. Why so long you ask? Well, I purchased two tires back in September because the truck needed it. Why not four, Clark? Well, my pockets haven't been very deep lately, so I opted for two then and would pick up two more later. Well, the same tire shop, the local Super Wal Mart, was consulted on the latest tire purchase as they were the shop who did the tires in September. They have very good tire prices. However, this time I spoke with three different people who told me that the tires I purchased in September were suddenly not available there. I must order them from Wal Mart online. No problem, I said. Being Intertube savvy, I went to the site and tried to place my order. Tried. You see, the website said the matching tires were out of stock! I went back to the shop and explained my predicament and they said they would call around and get back to me the next day. The next day comes around and I get no phone call. Frustrated and concerned I would have to buy two other tires or FOUR new tires (that wasn't going to happen), I called and spoke with the assistant store manager. In five minutes he was able to determine that indeed the store did have the tires I was looking for (In fact, they had 8 of them). I was perturbed and happy all at once. Why didn't they bother to look in their inventory three days ago? The assistant manager was nice enough to discount some of the services to save me about 30 bucks overall.

I found out in December that I have diabetes. Not the really bad kind, but the kind that comes at you when you are too fat. I have to diet and exercise now. Blah. I have to give up tons of good stuff to eat and take meds. It was hard, but I'm doing OK. I've lost a little weight and have tried to step up my exercise. Since leaving my last job I've lost about 20 lbs. I think 15 of that came from having much less stress in my work life.

I've been working hard, but not too crazily. I am running around, but it's a good thing. My work stress level is near zero. I am working with nice folks who care for a change.

Christmas was pretty cool. It seemed to come and go pretty fast. The kids had a great time, too.