Slight redesign to Soapbox
I just got back from my second chiro visit. Dr. Peristeridis, my chiropractor, is really good. He did some more "adjustments" to my neck and back (by the way, the sound you hear when "cracking" your neck or back is not that of bones crunching; rather, it is the sound of gases escaping from joints as the pressure is released). After that, we looked at my x-rays. Generally, they look pretty good (the straight-on x-ray will need to be re-shot Friday, as the assistant who developed the first one screwed it up). I have retained some/most of the natural curveature in my neck, which means my rehab/therapy should be quite successful. He also pointed out what he assumed to be calcification around my thyroid gland. While my normal body temperature has always been 97.6 for as long as I can remember, I have never been diagnosed with thyroid problems (although, I do have family history of them). He wants to investigate it further.
Tomorrow should be pretty busy - we are having the farewell lunch for our office manager, who has accepted a position with Pharmacia; after work, I am going to play tennis with one of my co-workers; then after that, I have my first Kalamazoo GOP executive committee meeting to attend.
Also, I just found out, the Kalamazoo Blues Festival starts tomorrow. I think I might see about getting out to see some of it Friday night, or maybe Saturday, after Erica gets here. She is coming in some time Saturday, and is staying through the company picnic Sunday.
My apartment is steadily getting closer to being cleaned. I work on it a little bit each night. I got all the trash taken out, and the kitchen fully cleaned, which took care of any bad smells that might have been lingering. The living room is also cleaned, since I had to have it ready for the delivery of my new sofa. Really, that just leaves the dining "room" (try, nook), my bedroom (which also is mostly cleaned, since I did some rearranging with the new computer and desk), and the bathroom (which is not too bad, since I cleaned it partially the last time Erica was up here).
Q E D
MY appointment with the Chiropractor went well. As I suspected, I have some neck/shoulder problems, due to ergonomically incorrect positioning while at work. The doc made some "adjustments", explained to me what the problem was, took some x-rays, and scheduled me for eight follow-up visits - two this week, and two for each of the next three weeks. I will be taking a look at the x-rays when I go back in today. What he told me about chiropractic problems explained a lot - including the pains in my neck and shoulders, and possibly, also the pain in my left hand, which I had forgotten to mention.
I still do not know if I will be returning to Indy. As of this morning, Lilly still had not accepted or rejected Rick's proposal for me to return. He expects that they will, since this project really needs to get done. Because of my chiropractor visits, I will only be able to be down there two days a week, until the first of August.
I have spent the past two nights watching two new DVDs I bought - "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" and "Dazed and Confused". I had never seen either, and felt like expanding my movie-viewing horizons. I can see why Fast Times was, and remains, quite popular (and really enjoyed the early performances of what have become quite-successful actors); however, aside from the incredible soundtrack, nothing much stood out for me with Dazed and Confused.
Friday afternoon, I had a telecon with the people I am working for down in Indy. We were trying to figure out what needed to be accomplished yet, and what else needed to be done to get the proverbial ball rolling. As it turns out, Rick wants me to go back down to Indy for four to six weeks to act as the facilitator. I also got a copy of the revised CSV policy, which makes pretty substantial changes to the documentation I have been working on. Today, I re-submitted the revised documents.
Also Friday, the Dell service technician arrived with my replacement laptop screen cover. My screen cover has cracked identically twice in the past two months. Considering that I managed to use a piece-of-crap AMS Soundwave laptop, without problem, for five years, I am led to believe that something is wrong with the screen cover. As the service tech was replacing the screen cover, he discovered that the one he was sent was also cracked - in the same place mine was cracked. When he called to report the problem, he discovered that I had been getting the wrong part number - for both times the screen cover had cracked. He was to have the correct part delivered Monday.
My sofa was delivered Friday morning; my apartment is finally feeling like a real "home" - after being there for a year now. The next thing I need to get is a bigger bed; I have been sleeping on the same, dorm-room-sized, twin bed since high school, if not junior high.
Saturday, I picked up my suit pants and dress shirt from the dry-cleaners, got a quick bite to eat, and then headed down to Angola to pick up Erica. We got down to the church about an hour early, so we went to get a drink at Arby's. When we got back, quite a few more people were there when we got back to the church. I was surprised to see Scott Wisker - one of the guys I graduated high school with, and who also played in the band with me, was at the wedding. He now lives in Mississippi, and happened to be back up this way visiting his parents. As it turns out, Scott, Troy Fox, and I were the only guys from our graduating class who were able to make it.
The wedding was a really nice ceremony, and Denell looked beautiful in her dress, which had one of the longest trains I have ever seen. They rode to the reception in a horse-drawn carriage (Yellow Rose, the same company Erica and I used for my birthday). The reception was held at Primo's, and while there, I got to spend a lot of time catching up with Troy, as well as a couple of our old junior high teachers.
Erica and I stayed Saturday night at the Holiday Inn Express near the banquet hall. After I woke up Sunday morning, I found out that Market Square Arena was imploded that morning; Channel 8 had a lot of really spectacular video footage of the event. The weather was gorgeous that morning, but I knew it was destined to change drastically, as the over-charged nature of the atmosphere was pretty evident.
We drove down to Shelbyville to go to Town and Country for church. It was really good to see everyone there again, as I had not seen them since about Labor Day last year. I grew up in that church; going there for most of the 17 years that we lived in Shelbyville. As the service - led by the youth - was ending, the skies just opened up to the ensuing deluge. The rain - strong in certain cells, would last all afternoon, and would make the drive back north a bit tedious at times.
After church, Erica and I spent the afternoon with my Uncle Don and Aunt Trish. We had lunch, and then spent time just visiting. My shoulders were hurting, so Erica gave me a back massage. She wasn't having much luck taking care of the problem, so I decided that it was time to look into going to see a chiropractor. (This morning, I made an appointment for tomorrow, to see one of the chiropractors in our PPO network.) We then headed back north; I dropped Erica off, and got back home around ten or so. I called my parents when I got home, since we always talk Sunday evenings. I especially wanted to find out about their experience with the freak storm over the weekend, that beset Myrtle Beach, SC, where they had been vacationing for the past week.
As it turns out, they were on the golf course when the storm hit. They waited out the storm in the clubhouse, and took note of the extensive damage on the drive back to where they were staying.
My dad will be traveling to New Hampshire in the early part of this week, and my mom will finally get to transfer to a new job position - something she has been wanting for some time now.
The Dell service tech called me back this morning to let me know that he had been sent the wrong part, and that he should have the correct part tomorrow.
I called Bruce this morning, to discuss with him the idea of me returning to Indy. He was fine with it, as I expected. Since he was on his way to Indy at the moment, he was going to discuss it with Rick, and then he is going to call me back this afternoon, to let me know the final decision.
Q E D
So, after I got home from work Tuesday, I ate a quick dinner, called Erica, called my aunt and uncle, and then planned to get ready to head to South Haven. Well, for some reason, I started feeling really tired, so I thought I would rest for a couple minutes before leaving; BIG mistake: the next thing I know, I'm waking up, everything is dark, I look at the clock, and it's one in the morning. So, by the time I got up the next morning, I had gotten lots of sleep, which was good, but I missed the beach, and the fireworks, and hanging out with everyone, which was bad.
So, my plans for yesterday were to put my bookshelf together, to clean the apartment some more, to do some laundry, and to get a sofa. First, I got the bookshelf done, and put in place. Then, I got my living room rearranged for the future sofa. Then, while I was eating lunch, Andi IM'd me, asking me if I wanted to go with the group to Holland, for more beach fun. Especially since I missed the night before, I thought it would be a great idea to go. So, I showered and headed out to buy my sofa. I decided to go to La-Z-Boy, since I already had two of their recliners. I ended up getting a gorgeous, garnet-colored, really cushy eleven-hundred dollar sofa for just about half-price. It will be delivered some time Friday.
I then went back home, changed for the beach, and headed up to TGI Friday's to meet everyone. I took Andy, and followed Jason and Carl, since I had no idea where I was going. Brett, Andi, and the rest of the group would be following us up after a stop at the grocery store.
Incidentally, I found out that two of our group from church have had car accidents in the past week - both Carl and Alexis; Carl totaled his truck, and I have yet to find out how bad Alexis damaged her car.
The drive up to Holland - about an hour to get to Holland, and another fifteen minutes to get to the State Park where the beach is - was pretty nice; yesterday was perfect for going to the beach - sunny and hot. We got to the beach around five, walked out to the pier, and then back to our "site" where we had all the drinks and food. Jason, Carl and I played football for what must have been almost two hours - which, in the sand, was some really good exercise. After that, we got something to drink, and then went back out to the pier. We jumped in to get cleaned off; the water was probably between fifty and sixty degrees, which I assume is pretty normal for Lake Michigan this time of year. I thought it felt really good, but the other guys thought it was too cold.
By that time, it was almost eight, and I needed to be heading back, so I could get to bed on time. We walked down to the volleyball courts, so I could let Andy know I was leaving. He wanted to stay, and Brett had room for him on the way back, so he grabbed is stuff out of my car, and I headed out, not really knowing how to get back home. I got directions back to M40, which got me back to M89, and from there I knew where I was. I left around twenty after eight, and was home by nine-thirty, so, really, I made good time.
I grabbed something to eat, and deciding that two hours running around in the sand was exercise enough for the day, decided not to hit the exercise bike. I went to bed right around ten, and when my alarm went off this morning, I was really tired, so I decided that I would get my exercise bike time in during lunch, and slept for almost another hour and a half, then got up, showered, and headed in to work.
Q E D
After work yesterday, I started planning the big meal I wanted to cook for Erica's birthday today. I decided that I really would not have enough time to cook what I wanted to, and still be able to make it to South Haven to see the fireworks over Lake Michigan. So, I thought that I would just take her to a nice restaurant in South Haven, and cook for her tomorrow. I went to the grocery store and got some New York strips for dinner, plus some chicken breasts and burgers for lunches this week. I grilled the burgers and chicken, and then made the steak - crusted with freshly ground coffee and peppercorns.
After dinner, I called Erica, since she had called me Sunday night while I was at church. She told me that some of her family had planned a birthday party for her tonight, so now I won't get to see her at all, until this weekend, when we go to Scott&0039;s wedding. Needless to say, I was disappointed; but, I guess that's life.
One of the guys from church had invited me to go see the fireworks anyway, and since I won't get to see Erica tonight, I called him to let him know that I could go with him now. Since his group is leaving here around 4 or so, I will have to meet them. The drive takes about an hour with traffic, so I'm going to meet them around 7 o'clock.
Even though today is Erica's 21st birthday, as well as our eight-month anniversary, I can't really complain that I'm not getting to see her. I will see her this weekend when we go to Scott's wedding, and then to Town and country - my home church - Sunday. Then, I'll see her the next weekend, when we go to my company's summer outing (a picnic), and then I will see her the weekend after that, when we go to Chicago for the Chicago Pro summer picnic at Six Flags.
I tried to give my aunt and uncle in Shelbyville a call, since I will be in town Sunday. I always try to get together with them when I'm in town. They were not home, and I talked to my cousin. They weren't back by the time I went to bed, so I will call them back this afternoon, or tomorrow.
Since I'm getting back into my routine, I went to bed at 10, so that I could be up by 6 for my morning workout. I rode my usual 15 miles in 30 minutes, and then showered and headed in to work. I really wasn't hungry when I left, so I didn't eat breakfast.
Work is going well; I am about two weeks ahead of schedule - well, the schedule I set out for myself. Basically, I have 16 documents that I have to submit for approval in the next six weeks (I have been working on them for the past two weeks), and I made a schedule of when each would be submitted for review, and then when each would be submitted for approval. I have 10 of them in for review already, and possibly the last six will be in by the end of this week, which would put me a full two weeks ahead of schedule for document review.
Q E D
So, once again, I haven't managed to get around to writing in the past week; however, I have been pretty productive in that time. I've been trying to get my apartment cleaned, since, not being there, I didn't have to clean it at all since the beginning of March.
I washed all of my dirty dishes. My dishwasher/sink had been acting up for a few months before I went to Indy - whenever I run a dishwasher load, the right side (where the garbage disposal is) fills up with the dirty dishwater, and sometimes even overflows. I really need to get that looked at, especially since my garbage disposal no longer works, either.
I decided that the little desk my new computer is on just was not going to cut it, so I bought a build-it-yourself computer desk at Meijer. At the same time, I got a new floor lamp, and also an office chair - one of the little forty-dollar chairs, but it works. With the desk, and the computer desk, I effectively tripled the desk space in my room.
Also, I was running out of bookshelf space, so I bought another build-it-yourself bookshelf, matching the one I bought a while back. I will put it together tonight, so that I can finish getting my living and dining rooms cleaned up. While I was in Indy, I bought about 20 books, and have gotten a few more since then - mostly political books, cookbooks, diet/nutrition books, and Star Wars novels.
Speaking of politics, some political figures attended the "God Bless America Day" service at my church yesterday. Among them were Dale Shugars and Jerry Van Roost - a Republican state senator, and a Republican state representative (and party whip). They both (along with a Democrat representative) spoke briefly during the service, and I introduced myself to them afterward.
The picnic yesterday afternoon was a lot of fun. I never did make the Caesar salad, but the barbecue sauce was well-received. I got in about an hour of sand volleyball, then went to help out with the closest-to-the-pin golf chipping competition. I had the exciting job of collecting balls and measuring distances - which meant I got to play dodgeball for about an hour. No left-handed clubs were available, so I decided to take a couple shots right-handed. I'm proud to say that my very first shot actually ended up within about ten feet of the pin, from a distance of 30 yards.
I also got to do some jousting, which I had not done since some time in college, at a similar spring festival-type event. Of the three guys I faced, I beat two of them, and lost 2-1 to the third. The guy that beat me was undefeated the entire day, and I was one of the only people even to knock him off once. The thing with jousting is balance - the goal is to keep yours, while throwing off your competitor's. You need to be able to keep your balance with your legs, while simultaneously attacking your competitor using arm strength. The guy who beat me definitely hit the hardest of anyone I faced - I must say that the 15 miles a day on the exercise bike that I've been doing really helped me stay upright. I realized his weak spot - he would leave his face open. The time I knocked him off, he started in an attack stance, leaving his face open, so I started in a defensive position, with my jousting implement pointed right at his chin. A quick, hard jab right into his chin threw his head back, brought his whole body up, and a following shot to the side of the head (while withstanding his first hit to the side of my head) threw him off balance. A final jab to the chin landed him on the air mat. The biggest problem was that the jousting platorms were not stable - they rotated, and rocked about five degrees in all direction. Keeping your balance after a stiff blow, only to fall backward because the platform moved, could be quite frustrating.
After the picnic was over, we had the grand opening for the coffee house. A band, of which my friend Brett is a member, played for a couple hours, and we all hung out enjoying the evening. I left around nine to head home.
The start of my weekend was eventful, too - Friday night I went with Jason and Lex to Milennium Park for a 19 Wheels concert. I had never heard of them before last week, but apparently, they are quite popular in this area. As it turns out, they were pretty good; I am surprised they didn't get any/much airplay in Terre Haute. They reminded me a lot of Ben Folds Five. After the 19 Wheels concert, we went to Club Soda to see Shaffer Street - the band put together by former Why Store lead-singer Chris Shaffer. I liked their style of music - bluesy/jazzy/alternative - more than I did 19 Wheels' alternative-pop style, though both were enjoyable.
I spent all of Saturday cleaning around my apartment, and building my new furniture.
That pretty much sums up the weekend; nothing terribly eventful happened through the week.
Erica will be coming over tomorrow, so I need to finish cleaning tonight, as well as buy food to cook her a special dinner. I think I want to cook her dinner, and then take her over to South Haven to watch fireworks over Lake Michigan.
So far, I have no plans for the Fourth - I think, if nothing else, I am just going to enjoy being able to be at home, relaxing for the day.
Q E D