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Storm? Not Here.
2007-04-17, 12:07 p.m.

Day 968

First - my heartfelt condolences go out to all those affected by the events in Blacksburg Va. yesterday. I just can’t understand what makes a person snap like that and hurt so many innocent people. It’s also hard to find fault with the university or first responders for their reaction. Who goes into a situation expecting something like that? It takes time to assess a situation and wrap your brain around what’s going on. What happened was so far outside normal (duh!), it shouldn’t come as a surprise that it took folks a while to grasp what was really happening. The whole thing is just beyond comprehension and a senseless waste of lives.

Well then. For those of us here in Rochester, it was ‘The Nor’easter that wasn’t”. Officially, we got a whopping 1.7” of snow at the airport. Considering I live all of 2 miles from the end of the main runway (perpendicular to it, thank you), I figure that 1.7” is also what ended up in my yard. Just 30 miles South and east of us, where the elevation is a bit higher and the warming effects of Lake Ontario aren’t as strong, they got more in the 10” range of snow. Checking my van thermometer through out the day, I never saw temps below 34 degrees. Makes it hard for snow to stick when it’s that warm. Looking around this morning, there’s no evidence that we got snow yesterday at all. Plenty of rain for sure, but the frozen stuff is gone. If it had been 3 or 4 degrees cooler? We’d be buried. Guess that’s the bright side.

Taxes. Ugh. Stayed up late last night, listening to the Sabres game on the ‘puter while I toiled away at taxes. Got both kids state taxes finished and finally got started on The Bob’s Federal taxes. His were kinda complicated this year. He has income from his pension, Social Security, a couple of 401k’s, and a few other investments. Total of 6 or 7 sources. Then there’s the sale of his Florida house last year. Good thing there’s that one time exemption for capital gains. He also has a curious situation happening with his pension and Social Security payments. There’s hardly any taxes withheld from them. Federal or state. I need to find out what forms to submit, and where to get that corrected. I know one I need is a W4-P for the pension, but the Social Security withholding has me stumped. Any accountants out there know what the deal is?

As a consequence of staying up too late last night (officially 11:32pm when I hit the timer on the TV in the bedroom), I skipped the gym this morning. 5.5 hours of sleep just wasn’t going to cut it and quite frankly, my legs are still feeling a little rubbery from Saturday & yesterday. No chance of going tonight for a make-up. Got those damn taxes to finish and an Al Anon meeting to get to.

One of the things that Cindy & I have agreed to lately is that I would take a more, hmmmm, proactive I suppose, role in dinner planning during the week. I already do the bulk of the cooking during the week, and I’m fine with that. It allows Cindy to get to the gym after work and not have to sweat getting dinner on the table. Sweating on the treadmill ought to be plenty, really. During the weekends we share cooking duties more, but during the week, it’s all mine. I just need to run meal ideas past her to make sure she can get her diet needs met.

Because I really, really want to get to that meeting tonight, I broke down and actually asked the kids for a little help instead of expecting them to pick up on my brain wave patterns and figuring out I was in deep tapioca. Turns out to be much easier this way. Who knew?!? Jill has a favorite way of doing pork chops, so she gets that job. It’s a quick pan sear, then they’re plunked in a small crock pot with a can or two of the low fat, low sodium cream of something soup (usually mushroom). Delish. Zach gets to stop at the store and get the soup we need, plus some fresh green & wax beans for steaming. Well toss in some carrots, add a tossed salad and do up a pot of rice pilaf (maybe with almonds & golden raisins). Because of the new sous chefs, we’ll actually be aiming for hitting the table a whopping 30 minutes sooner than normal. That will make for a more leisurely meal, and a much less frantic clean up. Might even get out the door for the meeting soon enough to avoid driving 75mph in an attempt to get there on time. That’ll be a new concept too.

It’ll be kinda fun for Jill too, I think. The girl can cook, she just doesn’t much because either Cindy, Zach or myself will come in and just sort of take over. I think she gets intimidated a bit by how certain we are about just how to do things. Even about how to slice carrots for a salad!! (Control freak much?) This will be nice for her, because it’ll just be her in the kitchen, all by herself, doing what she needs, how she wants too. None of us will be there with the “you should try . . .” or “why don’t you . . .” and you know what? I bet the chops will turn out just fine with out our help. Might help us all to let go just a bit too.

In the small world department, Zach & Jill went to the gym last night. (Actually, this could be filed in the “who’da thunk it” department too). Jill’s mom had a little chat with her over the past week, like only a mom can talk to her daughter I suppose. That has spurred her to get to the gym. Zach – well he could benefit too. Anyhow, they picked up on my interest in the cycling classes. They’re a great way to burn off a ton of calories and improve your cardiovascular health. As an example – for my body size (still too big, but we’re working on it), a one hour session in cycling will burn from 800 to 1100 calories, depending on how hard I go at it. That 2:45 marathon session Saturday? 3100 calories. That’s more than I eat in a day – all torched off in under 3 hours.

So. Got the kids all talked into hitting the intro to cycling class on Monday night. Checked the schedule and saw that it was Cherie doing the class. The same Cherie that does two of the Saturday classes I did. Told the kids that they’d like her, but be sure to tell her they were new to studio cycling so she could help them with the bike set up.

As things turned out, Zach knew Cherie. She’s the mom of the girl he took to the Senior Ball way back 5 years ago. Donielle and Zach were really good friends all through high school, and both kids knew each others parents really well. Somehow, Cherie still recognized Zach (even with the goatee, ear rings and an extra 20 lbs) and also figured out I was his dad – probably because he mentioned my wanting to do the Tour de Cure and trying to get training in for it. In my defense, Cherie and I only met once while the kids were in high school, and that was the night of the Senior Ball. Cindy & I went over to their house with Zach to get pictures of them (yet to be scanned, but coming soon)> I didn’t see much of Cherie that night because she was running around behind the scene trying to help out Donielle with some ‘support issues’ she was having with her ball gown. Seems girls with her particular attributes shouldn’t trust strapless bras under a gown with spaghetti straps. I understand there was duct tape in use. A real MacGyver solution apparently.

Now – as a result of all of this, Cherie and I will no doubt have a good laugh come Saturday morning, especially considering our kids were nearly inseparable from 6th to 12th grades and each knew the others parents so well. College sorta did in their relationship, but they’re still on friendly terms which is always nice. Besides, I think Zach has found a perfectly fine match with Jill. Besides, do you know how much fun it is to say Zach n Jill all the time? Well, it’s getting old now, but it WAS really fun at first.

Hmm. Better save some for later, huh? Of course, there’s always Cindy’s reaction to my heading out to the meeting tonight to use as tomorrow’s inspirational theme. Can’t help but wonder how anesthetized she’ll be when I get home. I know I shouldn’t put expectations on things like that, but we learn from history, don’t we? I’m only looking at what has gone before, preparing for what may come along.

Ooh – better run. Meeting to attend.


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old habits - new tricks