Hello again. The date and time of publishing is a lie, but if you are reading this chronologically (why? there’s so much better enterainment to read out there) than you know what’s going on.

During this commute home I’ve been, for whatever reason, insisting on using my iPad to do these entries. I’ve got a cover that also doubles as a keyboard, so it’s not like I’m trying to auto-text this entry (although that may be a fun thing to try to do from the Android phone, without fixing any errors try to swipe-text an entire entry). I don’t know why I’m doing this when I also have a laptop that isn’t much bigger but has a bigger keyboard. It may be the geek in my driving this, I don’t know. I do know that using an online platform to do it isn’t practical, and I should really write them up somewhere else (maybe bust out the Hanxwriter…) instead of having the lag that can sometimes come from using this setup in this manner. It doesn’t help that this thing seems to also be cutting in and out just in this text field, you know… the place I’m trying to do all the typing (first world problems fo’ real).

I do have to appreciate, however, that we live in a world where I can almost replace a computer with just a tablet. That’s probably the reason that I’m insisting on doing the entries this way, this is the stuff that I dreamed about as a kid. A little tablet that I can access all this cool stuff from. It truly is nerd-vana.

Train rides done!


Still a Cry Baby….

Yeah, another day of not feeling well leads me to another day of trying to come up with an original thought to write about when all I did the day before was to sleep while having episodes of Workaholics play un-watched through my medicated eyelids. It was either this day or the next where all I did was sleep until close to 2 PM. Those days are frightening to me because the medicated sleep can just go on so long. I can’t even imagine what people on hard core medications must have to deal with.

In the entry for yesterday I said I was going to go back and see if I did write about the weekend traditions that we have. I didn’t look back yet though because it spawned another memory/thought just now. I’m sitting on this here commuter train at nearly 44 years old and there is a possibility I’ve sat on this very same train when I was countless different ages. I don’t think there has been a decade in my life where I haven’t used BART in some capacity.

This means I could have been on this train when I was 9 years old and riding out to spend the weekend with my Dad. Could you even imagine putting a nine year old on a train for an hour in this day and age? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying it was bad for my parents to do this. It was a different time, somehow. Kids would walk to the nearest park or store on their own. Parents were OK with sending their children out into the world on a nice summer’s day and only expected them back for lunch and “before the street lights come on.” Sorry, where was I?

So I’ve been on the geography of this train system many different moments in time and space. I’m sure, speaking theoretically with taking the theory of the ever-expanding universe, I’ve never truly been on a train at the same spot at a different place in time, but I’ve ridden this bit of geography quite a lot in my life time. Noticing these types of things are the dangerous thoughts, I have to wonder if they are the mid-life thoughts? “What else could I have done with the entire time I’ve spent on these trains?” I’m going to say right now that those are also the stupid thoughts because  they can’t ever be answered. I’m going to say that those thoughts are also stupid because every trip took me to where I needed to be so I could be at this moment right now.

Moral of the story? Don’t think on the train. It’s better to take a nap. I’ve never looked back on my life and regretted the naps.


Cry Baby…

Yeah, so for more days than I cared for this week I wasn’t having a healthy time. I now have discovered the other folly of trying to have an entry for every day of the year: when things are busy or aren’t going well this is going to become an after-the-fact entry like this one, which is being written as part of my commute on Friday, 1/23.

In trying to look for the silver lining in things I have to say that one good thing about taking the meds that I do when these kind of things happen means that I get a lot of sleep, because if you are taking anything and it tells you it’s the non-drowsy version… they just mean it won’t flat out knock you down. You may stand a suffering, stubborn chance of not sleeping when you take it but, yeah, really you are going to be sleeping sooner rather than later if you can find a comfortable position to be in for longer than two seconds.

The one nice side-effect of dealing with this situation as well is being able to spend more time with my wife and kids.  Just like those little traditions I talked about before (wait, did I talk about that yet or not… this is not a good sign) it is the quiet and simple moments that I’m starting to treasure when I’m smart enough to actually stop and enjoy them.

Anyway, yeah, moving on to see if I did or didn’t write about doing stuff as a family…



Where Does the Day Go?

Sundays are an absolutely mystery to me because I have no idea where exactly the day goes. I feel like the average Sunday starts around 9 AM and after breakfast I blink and it’s 10 PM already.

One thing I don’t mind giving up time for on Sunday morning’s is the watching of the DVR’d SNL. Yes, the writing can be hit or miss on skits but it has now become a tradition with my wife that this happens.  I know I need to spend more time in life noticing the moments that matter, and this joined viewing time with my beautiful bride is one of those moments.

Another thing that happens as a weekend tradition is the driving to the Starbucks drive-thru to get the coffee that is usually consumed while watching the SNL. This trip has become a tradition with my daughter, as we will also load the miniature pincher (Jack) and the miniature dachshund (Lily) in the car as well. I drive a Honda CR-V (2001 because I keep it REAL, son!) and the back seats are typically just folded down so there’s a full area for them to move about the cabin as well as gives them a bridge from one half-open window to the other. Jack absolutely loves this tradition, Lily tolerates it at most.

Stop and notice your own traditions and habits that form that help bond you to the people that are important in your life. Savor them, since each one is unique when it happens.


Water Heater’d

As I indicated yesterday I was hit with a nasty bit of the vertigo. The world toss’d and turn’t and was generally unkind. This morning things weren’t much better but I was able to at least get up the gumption to shower. I figured the luxury of steaming hot water running over the back of my head and neck might provide some balance and relief.

I was in the shower for a total of about two seconds when I realized something was very, very wrong. The water that was spraying down from the nozzle was neither luxurious nor steamy. It was warm at best, and getting a lot colder. My heart dropped as I realized three very quick bits of reality:

  1. The water heater isn’t working, and
  2. We’ve got a baby in the house so no hot water is not an option, no matter how dizzy I am, and
  3. Kiss my Saturday good-bye.

After trying one time ignite the pilot light I did something I rarely ever do, I called the customer service number on the water tank.

*   *   *

If you go out on the Internet right now you’ll find that the opinion on Whirlpool water heaters isn’t very good. People are very un-fond of the gas/temperature control unit and how it is a complete piece of crap. I pretty well share their opinion since I was now falling victim to this contraption for a second time in owning this water heater.

I can tell you, however, that for me their customer service is stellar.

*   *   *

After working with a really nice guy on the other side of the phone we were quickly able to determine that either the temperature controller or the warming something-or-other (scientific term) wasn’t going to work. They offered me waiting until Tuesday for replacement parts or getting a redemption code to get a new water heater for free today. The nice man on the phone told me that the Lowe’s will either require the entire water heater or just the label off of it, to call them, and take my redemption code to them for the new water heater. Great experience.

After getting off of that phone call I then called Lowe’s and they informed me that I would need to bring the entire water heater in to them. This wouldn’t be bad news but the hard water in our area has all of the hoses I own bonded to water they are connected to. It also turns out that, I believe, the water softener puts a crystal saline sludge into the water heater, which I wasn’t aware was there and kept clogging every hose I used. I threw in the towel, got another hose, and finally worked out this clogging issue.

So, at around 11:30 AM I discovered that the hot water heater was dead, by 4 PM I had the new hot water in place and by 6 PM I was heating water again. I wouldn’t exactly call that an entire loss of day, and not a bad turnaround time. The only thing that does bum me out is not getting the stuff I planned on getting done in that time window now has to be pushed back.

I knew I planned on writing about trying a psuedo-Bullet Proof Coffee after making it tomorrow, but I’ve got a few hours of work ahead of me still today so I think I’m going to go try to brew some right now.


Ramblings from an Absent Mind