Category: A tech’s life

Fingers crossed

As most people know, I’ve been in an interim position for the past three years. I knew that at some point they would have to post it and do a national search, but I never expected it to take this long. I’m officially a finalist for the permanent position, and I had the final interview last Tuesday. It was one of those all-day, getting escorted from group to group interviews, which are physically and mentally exhausting. It was also a bit awkward given I have been doing the job for the past three years, and one of the hour-long sessions was with my current team. Alas, I made it through, and I believe I did about as well as I could have. Reflecting on the day and all the conversations, there are of course some things I wish I would have said differently, or things I wish I wouldn’t have said at all, but that’s always going to be the case. I was told that they were going to meet today to discuss the candidates, so I’m hoping I hear something back soon one way or another.

Fingers crossed!

Another year gone

Today is the last day of year number 40 for me. I celebrated 40 at my favorite tap room, and that was basically the last time I was there. A few weeks later is when everything went to hell and COVID-19 forced everything to change. It was quite a shitty year (which I think I posted about earlier). This year hasn’t started off as great as I’d hoped either. I remain hopeful, but I struggle to stay positive.

We had planned to send the kids to their cousins for the evening tomorrow (who are basically they only people they have seen in a year besides the occasional grandparent drop-by) so that we could have the first night alone in nearly a year. Then one of my wife’s “friends” decided to be incredibly selfish and potentially expose her to COVID Wednesday night. When you live with a family that is symptomatic and has already been tested and waiting for results, why wouldn’t you mention that prior to having someone get in a car with you for longer than 20 minutes? And then text the next morning describing said family situation and that their results came back positive and she was going to go get tested. “Friend,” indeed. So, if she did have it (probable) and passed it on to my wife, today would be one of the last days where she wouldn’t be contagious. Her “friend’s” test results won’t come back until tomorrow at the earliest, but most likely Sunday, but my wife would potentially be contagious sometime tomorrow. The earliest she could get tested would be Monday. So we have to figure out if she should quarantine herself away from us or not. Of course the CDC says that until her “friend” actually tests positive, there is nothing we have to do, but in reality, that’s probably why this continues to run rampant. It’s probable that I will spend my 41st birthday separated from my wife as much as possible, rather than the quiet alone time we had planned for the first time in a year. All because someone decided to be inconceivably selfish. Fuck them.


Time to be a loser

Well, I started off my 3 week holiday break back in December with the hopes of dropping ten pounds. Instead, here I sit on January 19th UP 16 more pounds. Not what I wanted, but it is what it is at this point. I had started a wager with a friend back in November that is supposed to end March 1st. He’s down a few pounds, so I have my work cut out for me.

Rather than the usual, I figured I’d give this Apple Fitness+ thing a shot. We’ve been meaning to get a new stationary bike (our old recumbent bike needs to go) and perhaps a cheap(ish) rowing machine, so what better to spend our Christmas money on?

I started today doing one of the 20 minute treadmill runs. I’ve been running, just not consistently, and this run was still pretty rough. I would have preferred less talk and more music, but it was still enjoyable. My wife did a walk next to me on our other treadmill using her iPhone, and she really liked that as well. After our run/walk, we decided to try a 10 minute core exercise together. Since you can’t pair two Apple watches simultaneously to the AppleTV, she simply started the same workout at the same time and sat her phone down so we could do it together using the big screen. It, too, was quite enjoyable. I haven’t sweat this much in a long time (even after longer runs). I’m super excited to try out the bike and rowing machines when they get here, which is supposed to be yet this week. The 16 pound swing will be tough to overcome, but if I can get down below where I started the competition back in November, I’ll call it a win (even when I have to pay up).

Still better than 2020

Grandma passed, unfortunately on Christmas Day. We had a small family-only graveside funeral for her. It was quite difficult, and I didn’t make it as far as I thought I would before I couldn’t hold back the tears. I’m glad she is no longer suffering, but I already miss her greatly.

Then, on the first day back to work, I didn’t even make it 2 miles before a deer decides to run into my truck doing nearly $3K work of damage. Then the cyst I have on the back of my neck decides its time to get infected. So I have it looked at, and now I have to have surgery next month.

So far this year has not started off like I’d hoped, but its still better than 2020.

Goodbye, Grandma

I’m not exactly sure how I feel right now. My grandmother had a stroke last week which put her in the ICU. They didn’t think she was going to make it through the night, and while she still had no motor functions, she began speaking again, and we were all hopeful she would recover. The next day, she had another stroke, and has pretty much been out of it since. They removed the feeding tubes a few days ago, so now we are all just waiting. The only people they will let see her are my father and step-mother, with whom she was living. Tonight, my step-mom called and asked if I would want to say goodbye to grandma over the speakerphone, since they won’t let anyone else in to see her. I wasn’t even sure what to say. How do you say goodbye to someone who had such an impact on your life? The most difficult part, I think, was telling her that it was OK for her to go now. That we will all be all right, and we don’t want her to suffer any longer. I haven’t been able to stop crying since I got off the phone.

I can’t help feeling upset. Pissed, rather, at all the people who are so self-centered that they can’t be bothered to even wear a freakin mask. Pissed that I can’t give her one last hug because we are still struggling through this pandemic. The thing that keeps making me cry, though, is remembering all the amazing time I spent with her growing up. The countless nights my sister and I slept over at her house. All the times she took me bowling. Picked me up from school to take me to get my allergy shot, then to Sports Cards Plus to buy me baseball cards. Watching her watch “her story” at 1pm during the summer while I played with marbles, followed the Tigers whenever they were on TV. Convincing her to go pick up a friend so they could stay with us, too. Riding in the back of the tiny little Dodge Omni. Watching her get hair permed. Setting the timer on her exercise bike and then running and hiding when it went off. Helping her pick vegetables from her garden, and grapes from her vines. Playing lawn darts with her (the real ones), then going into her screened-in tent to play Yahtzee when it was too hot to be inside. Sitting at the dining room table listening to Randy Travis with her, and singing Diggin up Bones as loudly as we could. I can remember her telling me the story of meeting my grandpa when he was on leave during World War II, and when he left, her turning to her sister and saying “I’m gonna marry that man.” I really could go on for days.

My step-mom said that when I started talking to her, she turned her head towards the phone. I stopped over to my dad’s house just a few weeks ago on my way back from dropping off some things to the landfill. Even with my mask on, she still recognized me and called me by the correct name. I can very clearly remember the last time I saw her mom, my great-grandmother, before she passed. She had no idea who I was. While I understood, it was still painful. I’m so thankful that the last time I saw her, she knew who I was, even without seeing my whole face. And I believe she knew exactly whose voice that was a few hours ago coming through the speaker.

Waiting for the call the last week has been rough. Saying goodbye and telling her it was OK for her to go was worse. Now I’m back to waiting and praying. Hopefully being able to tell her goodbye, even over speakerphone, will help make it easier when she does finally pass. I can’t stand to think that she is in pain, and while I would love to see her again, I don’t want her to suffer any longer. So, I hope that call comes soon. When it does, I’ll try to continue remembering all the wonderful times I had with her, and know that she’s with grandpa once again.

EOTW Update

Well, we made it to the end of another week. This weekend hasn’t been terrible. Lots of video games and beer, but I’ve been able to get the yard basically ready for winter, which was really weighing on me. Now, the garage is clean enough to park both vehicles in (I really wish we had some way to cover Jillian’s car, but oh well), the kitchen is basically done, and the upstairs is relatively back in order. The basement family room needs a lot of TLC, but without heavy pickup happening, that might be a while. I’ve been enjoying the little theatre area we created downstairs. Looking forward to relaxing a little today while watching the Lions play. Given past experiences watching the Lions, it will probably be less relaxing that I’d like, but at least I’ll get the yell at the screen. Until then, I think it’s more 7d2d, and perhaps some HacktheBox. Also, November 4th can’t come fast enough. I just want this to be over, and for something good to come out of 2020. I think it’s past time for Mr. Wonka to gather up the missing factory workers, if you know what I mean.

2020 – WTF?

It’s been quite a long time since I posted anything to this site. It popped into my head a few days ago as I was driving to work, considering the possibility of writing things down helping me deal with the utter sh**show that has been this year. Yesterday, I received the domain renewal notice, so I took that as a sign to log back in. After spending 15 minutes trying to guess what my old password might have been, I was finally able to log in and begin cleaning up the crazy amount of spam comments waiting approval. I’m also moving domain registrars, so this site will probably be down for a bit during that process, but I doubt anyone (including myself) will actually notice.

I don’t even know where to begin. Beyond the pandemic and government-related garbage everyone has been dealing with this year, I’ve lost a step-brother, had my hometown destroyed by a flood, and have had some recent family issues that nearly pushed me past my breaking point. Perhaps I’ll talk more about those later, but for now, I just can’t.

After going through old posts here, I found my earliest one from 2008, where I had mentioned that my old hosting provider royally screwed up a backup/restore and lost everyone’s data and that I was starting over. That pushed me over to the Wayback Machine to see what was stored there. I purchased this domain back in January of 2003, and the first snapshot taken by the WBM was in August of 2003, where my earliest posts revolved around our trip to Texas to visit the in-laws and to celebrate our three year wedding anniversary. Just seeing the old site made me smile. It was my first experience with PHP and MySQL (and apparently scrolling marquees). I remember spending countless hours on it, getting programming help from friends, and adding fun things like the “Unobtainable Goals for the Week” section. I’m really considering bringing that one back. Reading though some of the old posts really brought back some great memories. In one post, I told the shortened version of how my wife and I got together, and how on December 21st, 1995, I finally worked up the nerve to call her and ask her out, with some goading from a friend staying over of course. Then on December 5th, 1998, I asked her to marry me.

With everything going on right now, it was nice to read, in my own words, stories about what was going on in my life and how I was feeling back then, both the good and the bad. It provided some much needed perspective. It provided the motivation to come back here and begin writing again. Though given my track record on things like this, it will most likely be short-lived, but so be it. Perhaps when I’m on the back side of whatever crises I’m currently going through, it will provide the same temporary relief I’m feeling now. At the very least, it allowed me to put off adulting for an hour or so.  🙂