Saturday, January 23, 2016

Springtime can tend to take the long way around

Well, it looks like Winter decided to catch up with all the bad weather we've missed over the past few months.  Tonight, using a semi-scientific method (stabbing at undrifted snow with a yardstick, then going and fishing for the yardstick because CRAP that's a lotta snow) it looks like we got ourselves about 34 inches of the fluffy white stuff, more or less.  I'd like to say I spent a productive afternoon shoveling out the neighbor's walks and stoops as I've done during previous years, but this year was different.

This whole thing with the lower back has really put a spike in my wheel.  Seems I have a few disks in the lower lumbar that are not disk-ing anymore, and are either torn, squashed, or have officially left the building mostly.  On medical advice, I've been going to physical therapy for a few weeks now to hopefully strengthen my spine for what lies ahead.  Surgery is looking more and more like a thing that needs doing.  I'm not looking forward to it at all.

A wise acquaintance of mine once said that if he'd known that so many things would slow down, break down, or just quit working altogether he'd never have agreed to get old in the first place.  I'm with him, personally.  This last spill off the bike really did me in this time, and I'm not bouncing back at all.  Besides cramping my riding, it also makes a lot of chores around the house a lot harder to accomplish.  Like laundry, groceries, and dealing with the metric crap-ton of snow that just dropped in our yard.

Still, I did manage to scoop out the area around the heat exchanger -- it was quite literally buried just past the top and was making all kinds of "NOT LIKING THIS NOW" noises when I got out there.  Much shoveling, grunting, grousing, and flat-out cussing commenced.  At the end of which I had a nice wide trench thirty-four inches deep (scientific measurement number two -- measure the depth of the snow by using a yardstick against the bank you've just carved out).  I knocked the ice and snowmelt off the sides and there was a WHOOSH of snow that came roaring out of the top.  Back in business.

It's started slowing down, finally, and from the front window the roads look crappy yet passable.  Passable for this former Nebraska boy, anyway.  One who was taught that any accumulation below the knee was deemed a nuisance, and you weren't expected to engage in social discourse about "all the snow" until it was decently above your hocks.  Of course, back there it started in mid-October and pretty much ran through until April some years.  Plenty of opportunities for conversation nonetheless.

We've had a very mild winter, but we're making up for it today.  Like the Stones said back when, seems like Springtime could take the long way around.

Until next time,

Ostensibly Yours.

It sure been a cold, cold winter
My feet been draggin' 'cross the ground
And the fields has all been brown and fallow
And the springtime take a long way around

Friday, January 22, 2016

Hello There, My Old Friend

It's been a while, hasn't it?  Almost four years gone since last we spoke.  There's been a lot of challenges, changes, heartbreak, successes, failures, love, madness, sin, forgiveness...  just a lot of life in all it's horrible and magnificent nature.  Many things, indeed...

I thought it time to start talking to you again, my unknown reader, as a way of working things out in my head -- to try and figure out what's happened, what needs to happen, how to find a way forward.  It's been a challenging few years and we've much to get caught up on.  My mother's passing.  My father's illness. My wife.  My kids.  My self, for that matter.

So once again, I'm attempting to reboot this blog.  Set aside time each day to talk to you, to see if there's interest in what this Elder Geek / Motorcyclist / Homebrewer / Father / Husband / Son / Engineer / Professionally Bemused person has to say.

I've said it before, but what the heck -- this time maybe it will stick.  Stay tuned to this space for updates.

Ostensibly Yours.

Hello there, my old friend
Not so long ago it was til the end
We played outside in the pouring rain
On our way up the road we started over again
You're living our dream, oh you on top 
My mind is aching, Lord it won't stop
That's how it happens living life by the drop

Monday, June 18, 2012

The Kids Are Alright

Well, graduation is here at last, and Carolyn is finally getting to walk across the stage.  Amanda took her turn across the boards earlier this week down in Virginia Beach -- more on that in a bit.  It does feel strange to me, having two kids leaving High School behind and heading off into the world.  I'm excited for more than just the usual reasons (like getting some lebensraum back in the house).  It's pretty cool to see the end result of so many years of work, both on our part as parents and theirs as students.  It's been a journey fraught with challenges, none more than in the past four years.

Like I mentioned earlier, Amanda graduated last week down in Virginia Beach.  No invitations sent, and only phone calls to Mom when she finally DID decide to invite us.  Part of the problem lies in the toxic environments -- the one she creates, as well as the one that is already down there.  Way too much drama for me, and way too much drama for Kelley.  I have work this week that cannot be missed, and Kelley had a few must-meet medical appointments.  So no, we did not get to go.  I don't feel bad for myself or Kelley at this point.  Mostly I feel sad for Amanda.  She's still trying to manipulate and run her games on her Mom.  The major reason she wanted us there at the last minute (as far as I can determine) was that her Aunt and Uncle backed out at the last moment, due to some real or imagined slight.  Nothing like being someone's second choice...  My only hope is that someday she'll start to figure out that letting your temper lead your thinking is a sure-fire way to end up with a lot of regrets in life.  I know personally that it's true -- and there are a few situations that I would dearly love to do over.

Carolyn's excited for graduation, and getting ready to go on with life.  Her plans are to go to NoVA (a local Community College) for the next two years to pick up her lower division, then transfer to James Madison for her upper division.  Staying in-state is cheaper by far, and with the pretty much 1:1 acceptance for credit hours with Virginia universities getting her Freshman/Sophomore stuff done at NoVA is a smart plan indeed.  Extra bonus: she'll be hanging here rent/board free as long as she's in school and pulling down the Good Grades.  I don't count it as a "Failure to Lauch" at all, rather a pleasant opportunity to continue to hang out and do cool things .

My job as a parent and as a father, has been to prepare them for living on their own in the real world the best that I can.  It started back when Kelley and I first got married, and I took on the responsibility of raising two (later three) small girls.  Years of running back and forth between elementary school and child care, a few years doing the Home School thing when we were stationed on Bolling AFB, dealing with the advanced nastiness that a sudden re-immersion into the public school system at a High School level brought us.  There's been any number of challenges over the years, and for the most part I've tried not to lead with my chin too often.

Still and all, I'm proud of my work, and proud of my girls.

Ostensibly Yours,

Friday, March 23, 2012

Oh,The Weather Outside Is Frightful

 It's cherry-blossom time again here in Northern Virginia. A time when the warmth of Spring is first felt... OK, this year we've had an extraordinarily mild Winter and Spring actually showed up a tad bit early. Like mid-February early.  A sad disappointment for those wishing for a White Christmas or another Snowpocalypse, a blessing for those of us on two wheels who prefer their pavement nice and dry, thank you. Not that I wouldn't mind riding on snow if I were appropriately equipped.

As mentioned, it is indeed cherry-blossom time.  A time when the very first Tourists of the season are spotted in the Tidal Basin area, forcing most locals to flee the area cursing and seek shelter in the nearest pub, wine bar, or other watering hole.  Living away from the DC area has its benefits: not having to deal with the annual influx of confused and lost out-of-towners driving in random directions, and not having to deal with the irrational and self-absorbed residents of the District who also tend to drive in random directions.

So when Kelley and I looked out of our window earlier this week, we both said at the same time, "Wow! It looks like it's snowing out there!"