Category: A tech’s life

The perfect game. Finally.

Last night at bowling, on the last official day of the league, on the last game of the evening, I finally bowled my first 300 game! In the first game, I had opened the first frame with a split, 9 spare, opened on another split, then threw the last 9 in a row for a 244 game. Then in game two, as the oil shifted, I struggled hitting the pocket. I changed balls and moved lines, and then in the 8th frame I decided I would forget about this game and try to find something that works for the third game. As it turns out, it was just one board over from my game one line with my AstroPhysiX.

I opened with a Turkey, which I didn’t really think anything about, other than I was happy to finally be back in the pocket consistently. I walked back to the bench and said, “Gobble gobble, bitches,” to my wife who chuckled. I also had to pee, but I didn’t want to jinx myself, as I almost always pulled the ball after going to the bathroom and washing my hands regardless of any powder I used afterwards. Then after the first six in a row, I went back and repeated this the same line as after the first turkey, which, again, made my wife laugh. After the seventh strike the thought of a 300 game crept into my head and I started getting a little nervous, but I’ve thrown seven in a row quite a few times in my career and I quickly tried to forget about it. All I really wanted for the last day of league was to hit my average overall (which would be a 606 series as I have a 202 average) as I haven’t been bowling the best lately. After I threw the 8th strike, I realized that I already had more than enough pins given my first two games to do so, which made me think to myself despite what comes next, I’ve already accomplished what I had hoped to do for the night, so I wasn’t going to be too disappointed when I inevitably thew a bad shot in the ninth frame, which has historically been my nemesis. I can distinctly remember grabbing my ball and thinking to myself, “Elbow in, follow-through. If you can get through this frame, you’ll have another opportunity to finally do it.” It hit a little light in the pocket, but they all went down. I walk back and immediately start thinking about it. My nervousness must have shown as I stood there looking up at the screen, as my wife looks at me and said, “Hey, that’s another turkey, where’s the gobble gobble?” This certainly helped, as I repeated, “Gobble, gobble, bitches!” Only this time I added in the Pete Weber crotch chop, which made a few other opposing team members chuckle as well. Then Lacey kept trying to keep my mind off of it by doing things like commenting on my terrible penmanship, which I didn’t realize at the time, but certainly appreciate now.

I let the new guy on the other team go ahead of me, as I was fairly confident he didn’t understand the protocol for someone walking up with the first nine strikes on the board. I was pretty nervous, and as I finally placed my feet, I repeated to myself, “Elbow in, follow-through.” And, of course, I failed to do the first thing and tugged it. The ball missed my mark by a good 4 boards inside and went Brooklyn, though they all somehow fell. I heard the cheers, and laughed to myself. I thought, “Ok, there’s my screw up, now I have nothing to worry about.” When my ball came back, I picked it up, wiped it off on my shirt as I had done before every frame this game, placed my feet, and said to myself, “Elbow in, follow-through. You have to get one before you get two.” This time, the ball rolled over my mark and hit the right side of the pocket. Eleven in a row. Now the cheers are getting louder, and with it, the nerves. As I waited for my ball to return, I tried to refrain from looking at anyone. I tried telling myself that this is what I’ve been waiting for. This is why I’ve worked through the nerves of numerous no-tap 300 games in the summer so that I would be used to throwing 11 in a row. I was in a similar spot back in 2017 in the my first adult league after taking 15 years off, in a child-adult league with my oldest, the last game of the year. In that instance, I tugged the ball, it hit Brooklyn and left the 9 pin. I was so nervous before that shot that I didn’t want to take it. This time, I was ready.

I picked up my ball, wiped the oil on my shirt, and took my stance. As I stood there looking at my mark, I couldn’t help but smile to myself, realizing that everyone around me was quiet and watching. Some hoping I hit it, and probably some waiting for me to choke. One last time I said to myself, “Elbow in, follow-through.” I kept my elbow in, I was balanced when I let go of the ball, and followed-through. The ball missed my mark by a few boards right, which I knew was going to hit light, but at least I didn’t pull it. I just stood there, holding my follow-through as I watched the ball hit its break point and start heading towards the pocket. As I expected, it hit light, but the pins fought, and in the end, there were none left standing on the lane. The cheers erupted. I turned around to see Mitch jumping up and down and everyone from the surrounding lanes heading my way to congratulate me. I was so pumped! I had done it. After 17 years as a YABA bowler, one year on adult league, a 15 year hiatus, and then 5 years on adult leagues, at age 42, I had finally done it.

After making my way through the crowd and kissing my wife, I started to walk to the bathroom, as I really had to pee now. But as I was walking up, the league secretary was already there with the paperwork and told me to go get my ball. As we sat down and she started explaining everything, I think she realized that I was shaking and told me to take a few minutes and then we can work on getting everything filled out. So I told her that I’ve had to pee since the first frame but didn’t want to jinx myself, and went to use the bathroom in the bar as she started writing down the serial number of my ball and filling out her part of the form. As I stood there alone, I started to tear up, as what just happened really started to sink in. I freakin did it. I finally bowled a real, sanctioned perfect game. Now there is only remaining milestone left for me to aim for: a sanctioned 800 series.

Welcome, Roxie.

I was pretty certain that I didn’t want another dog after Queenie passed away last year. I still tear up thinking about her. We check the Humane Society website occasionally and look at all the puppies, but quickly talk ourselves out of it, as we don’t really have the time to train a new puppy, and I still couldn’t bring myself to replace Queenie. Then last week, while waiting for a meeting, Lacey was browsing Facebook and saw a post on the Humane Society’s website that they had rescued 42 dogs from South Texas. She texted me the link, and while I was scrolling through the pictures I saw two puppies that reminded me of Queenie. I fought my instincts to immediately drive over there for all of 30 seconds, and then did. I ended up taking one of them home, and we have all been in love with her since. I haven’t enjoyed the house training, but she’s just so stinking adorable, and I know things will get easier the older she gets (she’s only 3 months old). We have to take her back in to get fixed at the end of April, when they will complete the adoption process.

Welcome home, Roxie. Please stop pooping in the house lol.

November

I can’t believe it’s already November! Summer went by far too fast, as it usually does, though this year seemed to go by faster than ever. I’m not terribly disappointed, though. Other than some anticipated holiday drama, I’m actually looking forward to the holidays this year. Our youngest is scheduled for her first vaccine shot today, the other two have been fully vaccinated for quite some time, and Lay and I both have our boosters already. I’m hoping with the youngest finally able to get vaccinated that it will relieve some of the stress of people wanting to get together again.

I also expect to finally begin the continuation of the adventures of Tom and Jerry, as Lay and I are flying down to GA tomorrow for a long weekend and much shenanigans with Tom and his family. It will be the first time flying since the pandemic began, and I’m not really looking forward to it, but I’m definitely looking forward to getting away for a few days. The weather is not expected to be terribly warm, but beer helps with that 🙂

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.

Cheers.

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.