Tuesday, October 31, 2006

In Training...

As I eluded to last week, before I go off in a wild rage to my Doctor demanding amphetamines – some of my co-workers have decided to take me on …as a project… to get me back to my fighting weight.

On Friday – I went to the gym.

Now working out is not completely foreign to me. I have at times in my life gone to gyms… granted it’s been several years.
Well, perhaps 10 years.
Give or take.
Ok, so it has been a long time – so I guess I am a rookie.

Friday’s visit was to acquaint myself with the machines.
Helloooo machine
Helloooo weese

One of my several trainers went with me to demonstrate the machines and make suggestions on their use.
She had me work on an Elliptical, and then with various weight machines.

The Elliptical was fun. Tho I had some trouble getting into a good rhythm. It has all sorts of options and flashing lights, and a heart rate monitor which I found very entertaining. Tho I think at my age and current level of inactivity, playing with your heart rate probably shouldn’t be sport.
This gym also has TV’s mounted in front of all the Ellipticals and Treadmills. So there are certainly plenty of things to do to pass the time.

I learned a few valuable tips that day.
1) Don’t wear a sweatshirt. As much as you think it will be comfy and concealing – it’s too damn hot.
2) Bring a water bottle. I got dehydrated as soon as I opened the door.
3) Tune to your desired TV channel prior to starting your workout on your elliptical device– unless you just want to be good entertainment for those working out around you.

I am going back today. Alone.

Friday, October 27, 2006

More than just Friday

Happy Birthday to ....

The Daughter!

who has just quietly
slipped past the quarter century.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Gettin' into my own pants

Shall I let you ponder that title for awhile...
(Syd... Syd... snap out of it)

Ok...enough fantasizing.

Now that I have your attention, let me say it another way.
I would like to fit into my own pants again.
I currently have several pairs in my wardrobe that are simply to 'snug' to wear right now.

I have been trying to lose weight for a little while now with no result. In fact, I see to have added more weight.
Weese is getting ticked.

My next course of action was going to be heading off to my doctor to demand medication.
ah... I don't care what kind - amphetamines... thyroid meds... crack - whatever.

But - before I put this plan into action, I have some friends here at the office who seem to feel they have a better plan for me.
Hey, what have I got to lose … well pounds and inches I suppose.

I start officially on Monday.
That would be Monday, October 30th 2006.
If this plan works, I will be 'in my pants' by Monday, November 27th 2006.

I'll let you know.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006


Women are amazing creatures. Each month we completely renew ourselves.
It’s a special time, a time to be revered. It’s a time of healing, and rejuvenation. It’s a time to center ourselves and to turn inward and feel the wonders of our powers. This cyclical process that cleanses our bodies to ready us for the greatest wonder of all is to be truly revered. As a woman in her mid-40’s this time each month is wonder….
Oh fuck it.
Where’s the chocolate.

Friday, October 20, 2006



It's still not really cold enough to warrant draining the hoses and putting them away. However, I have been caught unaware from an early overnight freeze before, and since it blew out my hose fittings I am a little more cautious now.

So at this time of year I leave the hoses disconnected. It's easy enough to attach them when necessary. For us here in New England, I will leave the hoses out until around Thanksgiving. Once the gutters have been cleaned out, they will get drained, rolled up and put into the garage for the winter.

I do keep one short hose available on an inexpensive plastic portable hose reel. That way on those infrequent warm days, I can just roll it out to wash the cars.
But be sure to drain it well... or that will be the last time it's used until spring.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Do you have a leak?

I have a leaking snow thrower that is on my list of things to get straightened out before winter. I have been putting it off because I was unsure how to approach fixing this unknown leak... I am not much of a mechanic, and we no longer have the van to transport this behemoth.

Have you ever seen this stuff?

A friend at work suggested I try this on my leaking snow thrower. I am so excited (it doesn't take much to make me happy).

But THEN... I got to thinking (which often frightens my dear wife) my car also has a small leak.

I already know it's a gasket that needs to be replaced to the tune of $250. So I figured what the heck - it's 5 bucks.

I will let you know if the stuff works.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

I am not a real Lumberjack, I only play one on TV

Not to be outdone (completely) by Suzanne-not-Susan and Wendy-the roof raker but this weekend we discovered the joys of woodsplitting.

We do not own fancy wood splitting tools and ...not that its relevant -but I am also afraid of heights.

You see, we have a wood stove, and while we do not use it to heat our home - it supplements where baseboard heat leaves off… in that my chilly wife likes it WARM…. 76° is not uncommon on our first floor.

To effectively use a wood stove you need wood. We have been very blessed when it comes to acquiring wood. We get wood for free.

Now wipe away those images of my frugal wife and I stopping along side the road and hacking up fallen trees with a McCulloch tucked in the truck.
Nope - doesn't happen.

These days, our wood gets delivered, and sometimes stacked. Yes, for free. Yes, we are very grateful. My Italian wife does supply a tray of her amazing meatballs in exchange for the free wood. (so if you do bring us wood – please expect meatballs.)
Other than bringing it in and lighting it on fire tho, that is pretty much the extent of our involvement with our firewood.
Until this weekend.

First, we have been limb’ing some trees around the yard to bring some more light down to the lawn. These were good sized limbs and we didn’t want to see any waste.
My patient wife used her loppers to trim all the branches, and then I used my circular saw to cut them into fire lengths. Right.. I do not own a chainsaw.
(Tho I am still waiting for a ‘chainsaw review’…you know who you are…)
Here is some of the wood we cut up that afternoon.

Later that day, after hours of general yard work and limb cutting, my petite wife re-discovers pieces of tree trunk from a maple tree we had removed last year.
We had asked them to leave the wood. They left us pieces from the trunk which were about 12 to 18 inches across. We just stacked them up and left them – we had no idea what we were going to do with them.

She decided we should split this wood. We had a dull ax, a sledge hammer and a wedge.
I was skeptical to say the least… ok… I believe I called her a lunatic.
She is persistent, that adorable-lunatic-wife of mine.
It was a slow start – since neither of us had ever actually split wood without the use of a hydraulic log splitter, so there was a learning curve.
But once we got the hang of it… we found it rather gratifying.
It’s a job that has immediate results. And (as Suzanne points out) it’s also great for those middle-aged triceps.

We sorta wish we had more to split. Maybe I need to tuck a chainsaw in the back of the convertible in case I see a fallen tree along side the road…

Monday, October 16, 2006

Friday, October 13, 2006



Here comes the cold weather. This weekend will be in the 50’s. Not that I am complaining mind you… Buffalo got 2 feet of snow last night.

But with the winter fast approaching its time for some planning. This weekend and possibly next weekend will probably be the last times you are going to want to be outside near any running water. So its time to get any chores done that may require your hose.
Some suggestions of watery things I may be doing over the next week or two:

□ Wash/wax cars
□ Rinse off the screens as you put them away
□ Scrub patio umbrella (I am going to put a coat of scotch guard on our this year)
□ Wash the house (washing the house frequently with your garden hose can alleviate the need for power washing)

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Don't tread on me

I got new tires yesterday.
I really like them. They seem very 'grippy'.
When you drive a car the size of a roller skate in the Northeast -'grippy' is good.

While my car was being shod, I sat in a small waiting area surrounded by tires. Stacks and stack of them. So many tires, so many treads.
They all have different tread patterns. It's fascinating really. So many different patterns... I got to thinking that it's actually someone's job to design tread patterns. Can you imagine that job?
What's talk around the water cooler like...
"Morning Ned, I heard that you came up with a really clutch rain tread last week! "
Do they have 'Tread Design Reviews'?
I wonder what the 'Tire Tread Designer' job burnout rate is?

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Rock bottom

I have heard that sometimes in order to rise above, you have to ‘hit rock bottom’ first.
I think we’re there now.

I have mentioned before my plans to have cable shut off, and to invest in an antenna for the house. TV is free you know.

I figured we could get local broadcasting with our snazzy new antenna so we wouldn’t be too out of touch. Then we could sign up for something like NetFlix for say 20 bucks a month, and watch movies and most series on DVD.
This would save us over 100 dollars a month.

Then we got HDTV. I like to think of it as our ‘gateway’ drug.
Yes, I became addicted.

Standard television broadcasts were no longer enough. I needed HIGH definition.
Most programming that we watch is now broadcast in HIGH definition.

However, we ran into some issues when the fall season started. There were some overlaps as well as the problematic 10:00 show. I say problematic because often times we are tired. And staying awake just to watch a show on television (even in HIGH def) just doesn’t make sense.
So we started taping. Sometimes we would tape a 10:00 show if we were feeling sleepy. Sometimes we would tape an overlapping show upstairs and watch something else downstairs. There were tapes in the VCR upstairs and tapes piling up in the TV cabinet downstairs. Sometimes I would write on them, though sometimes I would forget. Often taping over something we hadn’t yet watched. It was very confusing. Not to mention … the quality. O, oh ohhhh the quality.

I just couldn’t do it anymore.

And so folks, we added HD-DVR to our menagerie of cable options.
Actually – at this point, I doubt there is a cable option we don’t have.

But let me just say…from deep down here in the cableTV dredges, that HIGH definition DVR is …

Friday, October 06, 2006



I am not sure how or why this works or if it will work for everyone - but I was so tickled that I had to share.

My driver’s side headlight has been out for a couple weeks. Well, you know me - I am handy enough to buy a light bulb and install it myself, and normally I am quick to a minor repair such as this.
Admittedly, I was procrastinating. It seems that on my VW replacing the driver’s side headlamp often involves removing the battery to access the back of the headlight.
Added degree of complexity means… hmm, drive less at night?

Well, wasn’t I just thrilled this past week when The Daughter’s bo’ evidently noticed my headlight impairment as I was backing out of the driveway. As he is walking by my car he bangs the headlight with his palm, waves and continues on into the house in one fluid motion.
My light came on instantly, and has been on ever since.

So the tip for today… sometimes things just need a good whack.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Due Process

Had I only know 'Due Process' took soooo long...

The trial is over and the verdict is in.
I however, as Alternate Juror #2, did not get to participate in the deliberation or the decision.
I was released just after the closing arguments. The judge made it clear however, that I was still part of the jury until the decision had been made. It made me feel loved. He, His Honor, actually did take some time to thank me, and to tell me how important my role was, and that I should be proud to have served.
I was proud, and a little sleepy. This was not a riveting trial.
The court clerk, an adorable, extremely well dressed young man, called me this afternoon to 'release me' and to tell me that my juror-mates had decided in favor of the defendant.

This was the only right decision to a case that really should never have taken up any of our time or tax dollars.
It is our right as American citizen to a trial by a jury of our peers. But this fellow could have saved everyone alot of money and time if he just ran it by me first.
I could have told him not to bother. There was no way this guy was getting any money out of any jury.
America - the land of the free and the brave and handful of greedy idiots.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

If it pleases the court, Your Honor

I like to eat at noon. 12:00 is when I eat lunch everyday.

Evidently, they eat lunch at 1:00 at the Superior Court.
From 12:00 to 1:00 I heard no testimony, no witnesses, no objections...nothing.
I heard my stomach.
It was unhappily grumbling about the time change.

Other than that, jury duty is going swimmingly.
I cannot discuss the case... but I will say the process is maddening.

Monday, October 02, 2006

My civic duty

I served my first day of Jury Duty on friday, this is the day where you are potentially selected to sit for a trial.
Now I understand why school buses need all those flashing lights and moving objects.

I was actually selected for a trial which will begin tomorrow. I look forward to serving my country.
I am 'Alternate Juror Number 2'. This basically means I get to sit quietly through the entire trial, then when it comes time to actually make a decision I go home instead. I suppose unless someone on the active jury gets sick or say... goes missing suddenly.