Altering Habits

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Nuttin New
2007-09-05, 4:35 p.m.

Day 1109

Good reading here. Dad Gone Mad . Itís a quickie view on how corporate America is conditioning us & our kids. Heís usually more comedic, but on occasion does some more serious pieces. Regardless, the writing is always excellent. If heís not already on your regular reading list, add him. You wonít be sorry.

I could rant and rave (wait, rave is good right?) So I could rant & whine about the latest transgressions Cindy has committed but Iím going to resist that and go on about something else.


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Ok then.

I was a lazy bum this morning. Skipped the gym entirely. No Patty doing Wednesday morning spinning anymore. Itís Maria now. Donít get me wrong, Maria is a very good instructor. Sheís just not Patty. Now to get my Patty fix Iíll have to go in at 10:15 on Sundays. With fall & winter coming that may not be so bad. But in the summertime? Iíd really rather be outside. Doing windows or something.

Have a circuit board redesign to do. Minor changes, just increase the available current drive for a laser and get rid of some hand placed, second operation kinds of things to save money. Then we realized this board hadnít been scrubbed for lead free components. Oops. Iím glad this is a small board. 30% of the components are currently lead free. 43% have lead free substitutes readily available. The other 27%? Gonna require some digging. At least with the redesign, Iíll have the freedom to make changes if need be. I just wonder what the overall impact will be price wise. This particular board currently costs around $65. I was aiming to get $20 in cost out of it. Now Iím not so sure. ^$*(% lead free initiative. About as friendly as the Health Information Privacy Act. Pain in the ass. At least itís creating work.

Cindyís latest transgression? More slips. Or another slip. Or how about sheís just not really trying the AA thing at all and instead is just getting better at hiding her drinking? Except Iím not going to tell her how I know. I can tell you though. This is also an indication that Iím nowhere near getting better yet. Still have this compulsion to check on things Ė no doubt due to a serious lack of trust. A lack that is being earned by Cindy, but still . . .

Anyhow. Meeting last night. Nice meeting. We got off topic a bit, which isnít always a bad thing. Ended up talking about my kids generation, their seeming total dependence on electronic gadgets (cell phones, computers, video games, etc.) and how it might hamper their ability to socialize. Eh Ė it kinda relates to Al Ateen. But most of the gals at the meeting were talking about their grandkids, where I was relating to my own kids. I hope I offered them a decent perspective. Gadgets arenít all bad. Also Ė whatís considered basic knowledge today is different from when I was a kid and WAY different from when all my Al Anon girlfriends were kids. (Stell is pushing 80!!)

Speaking of off topic!! So last night I worked a bit late, grabbed a leisurely bite to eat and headed to the meeting. Upon returning home, I saw that our bedroom light was on and the downstairs was pretty much dark. I popped open my garage door and spied Cindy scooting back into the house dressed in her pjís. She was apparently just getting back in from her last smoke of the evening. She did not stick around to say hi Ė rather just slunk back into the house and disappeared. I had an empty can of diet soda I needed to toss in our bottle return bucket (*&#(*@# $0.05 deposit on EVERY carbonated beverage container). I got to where we keep the bucket in the garage and noticed that there were more ginger ale bottles in there than there was the day before. (Thereís the sickness Ė I know how many freakin ginger ale bottles were visible in that stupid bucket!) Before, there were 5 20oz bottles visible, along with one 2-liter jug. Last night? One additional 20 oz bottle and a 1-liter bottle had been added. No one in our house drinks ginger ale on itís own. We rarely drink pop period. Only one place that ginger ale got used Ė as a mixer for Cindyís medication of choice. The clincher? Later last night as I crawled into bed (too late to get up in time for spinning apparently), I caught a whiff of her breath before she rolled over and faced away from me. No doubt. Shit.

How many times will she hit me over the head with the same 2x4? Good thing I have a thick skull. No less than 3 times now I have told her that I will not consider her to be willing to work on any of the issues between us until she gets her drinking under control. Control as in no more drinking. Three times now she has not verbally answered me, but has Ďslippedí within days of hearing this.

I didnít want to make this all about her drinking. Now, I see no way to make it about anything BUT the drinking. On the one hand Ė I canít control what she does. On the other, Iím tired of living with a person that can show up drunk at random, increasingly frequent and inappropriate times. (Really, is there an appropriate time to be totally shit faced? A little tipsy maybe, but plowed? No.) Do I need to establish new, harsher boundaries? Does it come down to sober or so long? Itís been a month and a half. She has yet to go a week (or even 3 days) without slipping. Granted, some of her slips have been minor and she hasnít been totally wasted. But she denies having them, lies about her drinking, and is committing other serious judgmental errors (prying into Jillís dresser Ė in Jills apartment, snooping through her wallet and being caught both times?). Iím embarrassed to be associated with her anymore.

I need to broach the subject of separation with the kids. See if itís something they suspect will happen, see if theyíll even understand. I think they will. I donít know if I understand it yet though. Maybe they can explain it to me.

I gotta go work a bit. &*$% lead free initiative.

Later on, back at the ranch . . .

Ok, so the lead free initiative sux worse than we all thought. Logistically, itís a nightmare. Say Iím using this part that might contain lead or some other deadly material. I need to get it off my circuit board. Sometimes, in our parts library, thereís a substitute readily available. Easy. Other times, thereís no substitute that we have library files all set up for (for things like part geometry, simulation data, vendor, all sorts of crap), but if you check the manufacturers website, you can find the part you need in like 3.7 seconds. Problem is, I need to get that part (usually differs by a single character in the part number) either included on the existing internal data base, or have a whole new internal part number created and go through all the crap necessary to get usable CAD models built so I can finish this schematic by Friday. I need to do this for no less than 12 parts with a fast library turn around of 2 days minimum. With that many parts, itíll be longer. So Iíll be late, just to get the damn lead (and antimony, rhodium, cadmium, mercury, beryllium and a few other nasty metals) off my flippin circuit board. (&*W$^% Europeans and their lead free initiative!!)

So I have a polite request in to our parts library guru asking him how to best handle this. In the mean time, all I can do is compile a stack of work for him to do, once he decides how best to handle this. Fun. Then? Then I get to go through the schematic, item by item and do the substitutes. I am so glad this is a small board. So glad.

Referencing comments from yesterdays (9/04/07) post:

Gretchen busted me a while ago. Went and raised the BS flag. Circe has a point too Ė escapism. And yes, we seem to be willing to stay mired in the status quo, ignoring the freaking obvious Ė the ship is taking on water, fast. I donít think Iím addicted to sex (yet), but the addiction to alcohol exists. It doesnít excuse the affair that I clearly remember saying wasnít going to happen. The affair DOES fill a void that had been left open & aching for the last, ooohh zillion years or so, but everybody, absolutely everybody, saw it coming. I never stepped out of the way.

So what am I still waiting for? Itís like Gretchen said. Each is waiting for the other to blink. We want to be able to point fingers and say ďit was his/her fault, not mine!Ē Truth be told, weíre both at fault, maybe even me more than Cindy. Iím thinking I mentally checked out long ago, itís just this last month has brought things to a head. But now the thought of losing half a home, half a pension, wondering what the kids will think, wondering what everyone else will think (like this would be the first separation in the history of the world), and yet Ė none of it has to happen, or IS it too late?

Enough rambling for now. I gotta go cook dinner. Minestrone if anyone wants some. Very low cal, low carb, low fat. Very tasty too. Itís the pesto thatís added right at the end. Yum.

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