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Grinding Along
2006-02-03, 12:32 p.m.

Day 530 Grinding Along

Lots to catch up on, not much time available to relate it all. In a nut shell:

Still hitting up the gym quite regularly. Making progress on the goal to accumulate 1000 elliptical miles in 2006. Had a great elliptical run this morning in fact. For some reason, my heartbeat just didn’t want to climb this morning, so the elliptical program really had to crank up the resistance to get it to move. End result was a huge expenditure of calories, probably 10% above the previous high. Might have to get on that particular machine again.

Bowling sucked big time last night. Very frustrating night. Was throwing the ball well all night long, but it wasn’t finishing strong. Kind of just limped into the pocket and hit rather weakly. If I tried to go a little light and try for the mixer I kept leaving 7 pins or 10 pins. If I drifted a little high I’d leave 4 pins. Think I also left four 8 – 10 splits on shots I thought were pretty darn good. I suspect it was because of the oil pattern on the lanes. Seemed like there was an extra little patch about 10 feet from the pins that just caused the ball to skid. Hope it’s a different pattern next week.

Oldest son’s car got broke into Tuesday night/Wednesday morning. Rather disturbing to get a phone call from the Syracuse Police at 2:15am. They were just tracing down the cars owner via the VIN. Zach still lists our place as his “home” home, at least on his vehicle registration, so we get the wake up call. After clearing the fog from our heads, we got the gist of what was happening. We gave the police Z’s apartment # and his cell phone #. He has no land line at his apartment – just his & Jill’s cell phones. Police couldn’t wake him up – neither could we. So he woke up to some messages on his phone telling him what happened. What a way to start the day.

The perps (I watch too much Law & Order) busted the front passenger window and removed his CD player. Not so nicely. At least they didn’t cut the wiring – they actually unplugged the connector. But the dash got kinda busted up. In order to keep his premiums low, Z has $500 deductible on his comprehensive, but he does have full glass. So he can get the window fixed, but the CD player and dash damage aren’t going to even make it up to his deductible. The CD player was a gift from his grandfather. We talked to Cindy’s dad and he said he’d be glad to replace it for the poor boy. So it looks like all he’ll be out is the replacement cost of the dash parts. With any luck, he should be able to track down a decent replacement at the bone yard and we can do the replacement ourselves this summer.

The Syracuse police were pretty nice to Zach once he got hold of them the next morning. They made sure he got all the info, reports, etc he needed. Unfortunately, the odds of them ever catching up with who ever did this are extremely slim. There was a second car relieved of it’s CD player, and a third was in progress when a witness scared them off and called the police. Scary part is that Z was parked right next to his building – not 10 feet from the top of the stairs leading to his apartment. This lot is also lit pretty well. These thieves got some big brass balls, busting out a car window that close to an apartment building. Could have been some crack heads, crazy for the rock.

Cindy’s dad is getting a little more consistent when it comes to realizing he’s going to have to permanently move north, and soon. It really came to a head when Cindy’s uncle (her dads brother-in-law) was diagnosed with cancer last month. Uncle Ray’s original kidney cancer has apparently relapsed and metastasized, showing up in his spine, his sternum, lung and where his one kidney USED to be. Not a pretty outlook. Odds are that Aunt Shirley will move north to be with her kids (Cindy’s cousins) once Ray has passed. Bob realizes that that move will effectively sever what ties he has to the area. This is good, because in spite of Ray & Shirley being down there, Bob basically lives as a hermit. Getting him back up here, maybe we can stimulate him a bit more and hopefully slow down the progress of the Alzheimer’s. We’re aiming at getting him into some sort of senior assisted living facility. Maybe living among (and closer to) other folks his own age, and in similar condition, will be good for him. It’s got to beat the isolation he’s imposed on himself. I think he sits around all day feeling sorry for himself. Anyhow – he’s coming north, and it won’t be kicking and screaming.

Work is not boring lately. New mini projects are popping up. New parts are becoming available, opening up new possibilities for condensing circuit boards and combining functions. We can make a good case to re-vamp our product lines system architecture, actually bring it into this decade AND reduce cost. The corporate suits love that stuff. Too bad those cheese heads just assigned a new, bigger project to our new design group off shore. They have the task of making an inexpensive, not so good scanner scan with our high end image quality (not happening) versus us trying to take some of the cost out of our high end products without sacrificing image quality. After we run our products through a cost reduction project, we’ll beat them to it anyhow. Then, after we show the corporate suits what a bad decision they made, not a thing will change.

Only 10 years till I might realistically be able to retire. Hope I can hang on that long. Better go do something about that, eh?

Updated stats:

Weight start: 206.5 on 1/1/06 (265.0 on 1/15/05)
Current weight 204.0 on 1/28/06
Target: 180 by 7/1/06
Next weigh in: 2/4/06 (It’s going to be a good one too, I can feel it!)

The Keep on Truckin goal: (idea stolen shamelessly from Marn’s Big Adventure)
Miles at speed 2/3/06: 93.14
Miles with cooldown: 102.67
Target for 2006: 1000 miles


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old habits - new tricks