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2008-02-19, 4:12 p.m.

Day 1277

Had a lengthier thing typed up yesterday. Wasn’t settling well with me, so you get the readers digest version today.

I r sore. Especially my hands & shoulders. But. Got one of the stabilizer bar links on my van replaced yesterday. Had to take advantage of the balmy 40ish degree day and crawl under there.

In theory, the replacement was relatively simple. Undo a couple of nuts, pop out the old part, put in the new part and tighten a couple of nuts. The first step took two hours. To remove those first two nuts, I had to resort to cutting them off with my dremel tool. Took 3 of those mini cutoff wheels to finally free the bolts. You end up cutting through the nut lengthwise, finally cracking it off the bolt. A better alternative would be to use a cutting torch, but I’m fresh out of those particular toys.

Anyhow. Got the broken stabilizer link replaced at least. Makes quite a difference in handling. And noise. I can’t hear it rattling around anymore. Amazing what one learns to put up with. Think I may do the second one tonight before it gets chilly again. After peaking at near 40 this morning, we’re expected to get down near the teens tonight. Apparently, it’s still winter around here. Damn.

Then Monday morning I was running later than normal for spinning, so rather than stroll into class 15 minutes late, I opted to get a different kind of cardio workout. Went back to the ellipticals. Oh boy. Know what? Concentrating on solely spinning has really hurt my cardio conditioning. I used to be able to go 10 mph for 30 minutes at a level 12. This morning? 9mph for 20 minutes at a level 10. That’s a heap big load of back sliding. Also got my butt back over to the weight machines. There’s been a little regression there too, but not as bad. Took it kind of easy too – didn’t want to get all the little used muscles all bitchy & whiny about being used again. Poor things.

Between beating the crap out of my hands on the van, then brutalizing them some more working on the kitchen, adding under worked and over utilized legs to the mess, all I can say is OW. Slacking off never hurt so bad. Fortunately, it’s not too late to get whipped into shape for real biking. Got to avoid that whole muffin top look when spandex shorts season arrives. (Good lord, I’m gonna starve!!)

Circe was remarking the other day about how she just realized how close to Canada we are up here. Point of fact, when I go to pick up Eric at school, during part of the trip I am within minutes of the border. From my house, I could be in line at the border crossing in 60 minutes. We’ve vacationed there several. Toronto is a fantastic city. Except for most of Quebec, there is really no language barrier. They have a bit of an accent to my ear (think Bob & Doug Mackenzie, eh – hoser!), but for the most part communication is a breeze.

Guys at work used to organize trips to “The Canadian Ballet”, aka full nudie strip clubs, over in Ft. Erie, Ontario. Also used to be a big deal to go to the duty free stores and stock up on real Canadian beer. At the time, it had higher alcohol content than the run of the mill American versions. Micro and craft breweries have made that rather a moot point, but it is still kind of neat to get an 11.5 oz bottle of biere every now & then.

We also get more snow than the parts of Canada nearest us, but that’s all due to proximity of the Great Lakes. We’re downwind, they’re not. I don’t think they’re (the Canucks) are complaining.

What about a Bob update you ask? Well, the doctors let him out on parole Friday. After doing every heart test known to man, they’ve decided his heart is just fine, it just has a wee bit of an arrhythmia. There is also evidence of past strokes that showed up in a CAT scan. Another reason for the battery of testing was to try and discover why these strokes happened. All it really did was eliminate most of the potential triggers. We’re left with the old “shit happens” explanation. Soooooper. Also left with the knowledge that what triggered the hospital stay to begin with was a TIA. Not a stroke per se, but an indication that another stroke MAY happen.

The dementia? No doubt caused by stroke damage and some Alzheimer’s. Any way to distinguish the two? Nope – and it doesn’t really matter. Net effect is the same – no friggin memory. The Bob’s doctor also started him on teeny, baby doses of seroquel in an effort to level out his moods and maybe stifle the anxiety attacks. We’d asked for something like that months ago, but it took an episode in the hospital Thursday night/Friday morning to convince them that it was needed. Guess waking up in a strange place and not remembering how you got there can make you lose your shit a little bit. Poor guy.

Bob spent the weekend with us too, sort of a condition of his parole. Really put the binders on making any progress in the kitchen. Trying to keep him entertained/out of trouble/engaged in life is a tough task. I’d like to be free to just dive in, but he wants to help. 10 years ago is would have been fine. Today? I try to leave a debris trail so I can have him clean up after me. Sucks, but I’m not cutting him loose with a real tool – he’d likely hurt himself. Don’t need to add that to the mix.

Tomorrow is our meeting with Bob’s estate attorney. Without Bob. Since I already have Power of Attorney, we’re basically looking for ways to lock it up so Cindy’s brother can’t strong arm Bob into signing a new PoA. We’re afraid Cindy’s brother is only looking at their Dad as a source of money. All he talks about is trying to use it up “before the nursing homes get it all”. Asshole. It’s not his (or ours) to use like that. My opinion (Cindy’s too) is that Bob’s money is there to keep Bob as comfortable as possible for as long as possible. If it outlives him, great. What’s left I will split according to the will.

I’d better tell Wayne to start filling out FAFSA forms for his sons’ junior year of college.

Tuesday morning skipped the gym, again. Felt so good to stay in bed till 6:30. Meeting tonight, so not much kitchen work going to happen. Might accidentally run a cable or two, but it’s hard to even rough in the new outlet box positions when there is still drywall in the way. Maybe I’ll work on separating the countertop from the next set of base cabinets. That’s not terribly taxing and I might not get too dirty. Needs to be done for this weekend anyhow. The focus now is the north wall – electrical, plumbing, and the biggie – moving the windows. Hoping to do that Sunday. Supposed to be all of 34 degrees. Could be the warmest we’ll see in a while so it may be go time. I’ll just close off the rest of the house as best I can . . .

Feeling all scattered. Better get back to the zoo here . . .

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