Unlikely Improbabilities

The impossible often has a kind of integrity which the merely improbable lacks. – Douglas Adams
First I want to thank all of our friends and family for the outpouring of support we have received. We are very fortunate to have such a wonderful and supportive tribe. I’m certain that there are some people that don’t really understand what the fuss is all about and probably think “It’s just a dog.”, and I want to let you know that I appreciate that you haven’t spoken up. Not everyone gets the relationship we have with our animals, but they are a part of our family. We have brought them into our lives and try to give them a happy and healthy existence. Our commitment to them is that while we are not perfect, we will try to be good caregivers. We find the relationship with our dogs to be very fulfilling and rewarding and we hope that they feel the same way, at least to the extent that they are capable.
 
I would say that we have battled cancer in our dogs before but “battled” isn’t really the right term here. Our furry family has been decimated by cancer.
 
Pepper was the first to go, she was diagnosed right after Thanksgiving back in 2010. She was one of the happiest and sweetest dogs I have ever known. When we brought her home as a foster dog, she wasn’t particularly found of us. Not aggressive in any way, just aloof and indifferent toward us. Over time she totally warmed up to us, and my fondest memories of her are when she would climb up on the couch with me and plop her head on my chest, just under my chin. She had lung cancer and there just wasn’t anything we could do for her, other than keep her comfortable and prepare ourselves to make the call when the time came. We ended her suffering just before the New Year, and we honestly probably held on a little longer than we should have. I’m grateful to our vet who advised us that it was time to let her go.
 
Cancer 1 – Us 0
 
Tasha was the next to go, unexpectedly and very suddenly just a few months ago. At 5:00 pm she was healthy, active, and completely normal. By 1:00 am we got the call from the surgeon that there wasn’t anything they could do to help her and we had to let her go. I miss her, and the pain is still raw and fresh. At random times I am overcome by a wave of grief at her absence. Time is helping and more often than not, when I think of her I smile. I remember her incredibly gentle nature. Her fondness for paper products. The fact that I could give her a cotton ball and she would eat it like it was an awesome treat (NOT Leslie’s favorite thing for me to do). She had grown up with Kota, and occasionally the two of them would play. I have wondered about how Kota perceives her absence. Tasha loved water. Any kind, any depth, mud puddles, rivers, lakes, ponds, it didn’t matter to her as long as it was wet and she could get in it. We had hope when we took her in for surgery that we would fall into the magical 20% that meant they could repair the damage and we would get to see her wake up, that we would have a scary story about the time when she almost died. Obviously that wasn’t what happened. Even now as I type this I can’t hold back the tears. We didn’t have a chance to prepare, we didn’t get time to come to terms with losing her before she was gone. She was just gone. Her last hours were not good, she was obviously uncomfortable, weak, and probably scared. She did perk up and seem pretty close to normal when we left her for the last time. I hope she understood as much as she could (I am a little surprised how hard this is for me to get through) that we tried our best to make the right decision. I don’t know if we did, we felt she was strong and healthy enough to make it through, we gave her a chance but I know I was being somewhat selfish. I just didn’t want to give up on her, and for any of the stress and discomfort I caused her that was unnecessary I am sorry..
 
Cancer 2 – Us 0
 
Kota. No. Not again. It is not FAIR. Kota has been having some nasal issues for a little while. He has always been an excited sneezer, but since we have moved out to Oregon it has gotten a bit worse. He started sneezing more frequently, and harder (poor little bastard bangs his head on the floor sometimes, and I admit to giggling a little when it started). He then developed some wet noises in his nose, a bit of a rasp. We have been consulting with our vet about it for a while, trying different treatments for allergies, running through the typical stuff with only mild improvements. So we finally decide it is time for a CT scan and a scope to really figure out what is going on in his nose and hopefully fix it. Preliminary diagnosis was fungal infection (70% – 95% certainty depending on which vet you asked) awaiting confirmation from biopsy and blood tests. Fungal infection negative, biopsy result confirms it is cancer. No curative treatment, possible radiation therapy as a palliative option to help relieve symptoms, possibly increase survival time by a month or two. Without treatment expected survival of a few months. Radiation therapy has potential negative side effects, including blindness, damaging of the tear ducts, among others. At this time we are leaning toward no radiation therapy and to provide other types of treatments to make him feel better (pain meds, decongestants, herbs, etc). Essentially going into hospice mode where as long as we can maintain a good quality of life we will, but once he seems to be too uncomfortable, or has too hard of a time breathing, or stops eating because he can’t smell, or whatever progression the disease takes, we will choose to end his suffering. As sad as it makes me to know we only have a short time with him left, I am incredibly thankful to have SOME time. Kota is old for a dog his size (gonna be 15, and YES he is going to make it to 15) so we have been preparing mentally for something to happen. But cancer? Again?
 
I am making it a personal goal to enjoy these last weeks with him. He is still our little man, although a bit slower and grumpier than he used to be, and I REFUSE to let this disease steal away the last good months with him. I will celebrate his life, I will play with him and make him happy. He deserves no less, and if I were him I wouldn’t want to have to see a bunch of sad faces crying over me during my last days. I can think of no other way to show cancer that, yes you are going to win in the end, but you are NOT GOING TO BEAT US.
 
Cancer 3 – Us 0
 
Fuck you cancer.
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New Job – Take 2

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So I have been offered a job working for the State of Oregon in the State Data Center. I’ll be working for the Department of Administrative Services (aka DAS).

I’m pretty excited about getting to go to work and do technical work.

I am very excited to get to work in an office with a bunch of tech geeks.  Yay! I am hoping that, since there is such a large group of people (10 or so in my team, 60 in the whole department) that I’ll be able to make some friends at work and begin building my network and “tribe” here in Oregon.

I’m a little nervous about joining a group of people that are doing tech work, since I’ve been “out of the game” for quite a while. I’m confident that I’ll get up to speed, it is just going to take some time. My focus, as I understand it, is going to be on wireless networking which is something I haven’t worked with professionally all that much. Lots to learn, which is fantastic.

I am a little concerned because I have heard some rumblings that DAS isn’t well liked across all of the agencies that is supports. I don’t know if that’s just at the high level, or if there is real tension on the ground. I usually get along well with most people, so I don’t think that will be a huge problem on a daily basis. Time will tell.

The big upside, the really big upside, of course is that I’m going to be bringing in a paycheck again. I’m not making as much money as I want, but it does pay well enough that Leslie and I will be able to get our debts paid off, re-build our savings and retirement, buy gifts for our friends and family again and HAVE FUN without freaking out about it!

Here we go!

K

 

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Top Secret #2

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**NOTE** This was originally written July 3rd, 2010. **NOTE**

Business, business, business.  We have recently reached some significant milestones.  The corporation KriSco Enterprises has been created.  Scot and I have divided ownership shares of the company such that I own 51% to his 49% and I am officially President.  Sounds pretty sexy eh?  So far I don’t feel particularly presidential.

We have put in offers on 3 retail locations that we really liked, two of them have come back with counter-offers and they don’t seem to be willing to budge on price.  This strikes us as a little odd based on the current market.  We did make some low-ball offers and that seemed to “irritate” one of the brokers.  My view on this sort of thing is that it’s a negotiation and we were trying to start it out and see what the market conditions looked like.  Her view may have been that we are ass-hats (not necessarily false), but it’s certainly nothing personal.  I would honestly prefer to sit down with the landlords, have a couple of beers and hash out the details.  Passing info from our broker to their broker to the owner is just inefficient and stupid.

We picked up a piece that we hope to use in the shop.  It’s decorative in nature, and it was a pretty good deal (thank you craigslist).  We are going to try and create a very different feel in our shop from what one typically sees, and I think the piece we got today is going to help.

The biggest challenge we are facing right now, as I see it, is location.  The locations that we like and get excited about and that fit with our concept and vision for the shop are about twice what we are hoping to pay.  The locations we find that fit into our budget, kinda suck.  We did put in an offer on a space that would be AWESOME and that has been empty for 3 years, so we might get lucky depending on how badly they want to get someone in the space.

We looked at some software today to help us run the shop.  I think that Scot was pretty skeptical when I made the appointment to get the demo.  Once the demo was over, he was on-board with getting the software and feeling like it’s going to be money well spent.  I agree.  The software isn’t perfect (ever seen any that was?), but I think it’s going to enable us to really get things organized and track all kinds of great information to help us be successful.  Amy went along for the demo as well and was also impressed.

I think that Scot and I may need to spend a day apart.  We have pretty much been around each other every day, almost all day long, since I got out here.  I found I was getting a little irritable.  It might have been because of this damn cold, or allergies, or whatever the hell is going on that’s got me clogged up and coughing.  I really need to get out and meet some people and start making friends and connections, but I can see it’s going to be a challenge when I have a budget of $3 weekly for entertainment ;)

I feel overwhelmed sometimes by the amount of crap we have to get accomplished and the time frame we are trying to get it all done in.  It is going to be a challenge, that is for certain.

We have decided on a name, we are going to be called Blue Element Scuba.  I like it, I think it sounds modern and conjures up images of the ocean.  I also think it’s going to be easy to build a theme and a cool logo around it.  We are going to use bescuba.com as our primary URL, which seems to me to be pretty clean and sweet for us.  I think Scot prefers Blue Door Scuba, but there is something about that one that I just don’t like and it’s difficult for me to explain.  I suppose a different, possibly better way to go might be to put NEW in the name somewhere, since we really intend to be a new and different kind of shop.  On the other hand, coming up with a name was a little bit frustrating and so re-entering that party is not on the top of my to-do list.

Well, it’s late and I’m tired.  I’m going to call it quits for tonight, so for all of you who will never get to read this, goodnight!

K

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Top Secret Post 1

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**NOTE** This was originally written June 3rd, 2010. I just never made it public for some reason **NOTE**

As you can see by the title of this post, the information contained within this article is completely secret, well as secret as anything on the internet is.  :)

Last week was awesome (week of 5/24 – 5/28) in terms of moving the business forward.  One thing that we are discovering as we move forward with our project, and since this is secret I can go ahead and say “Scuba Shop”, is that people in this industry are very, very willing to help us noobies.  Obviously there are people that represent various organizations (retailers, certification agencies, etc.) that are going to try to be helpful because it will obviously benefit them (salespeople!), but there are some other people that have been incredibly helpful and forthcoming with information that I’d like to mention that, as near as I can tell gain no benefit from our success or failure.

Mark Brooks @ Southern Indiana Scuba

Walt Amidon @ Scuba Set Adventure

Kippy Haefner @ Wallin’s Dive Center

Rick Rowett @ Dolphin Scuba Center

There have been others, many others in fact, that have been more than willing (I might even call them eager) to lend advice and help to a couple of doofus strangers trying to get started in their business.  This is one aspect of this industry that really appeals to me, it’s not a cut-throat competitive industry where every other shop is seen as competition.  It is more like a community in the sense that we are all in this together.  My sincere hope is that once our shop is opened, or at least once the plans become public, that the shops we are closest to are willing to have a cordial relationship, but we will see.  We really want to provide a different experience and target some different market segments than are currently being served in the area.  We feel that there is enough business to go around, but time will tell on that.

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I just watched an episode of 60 Minutes which helped to put things in a little perspective for me.  Here is my current situation…

I voluntarily left my job, that was okay, to try and start a business.  I have spent about the last 5 years or so looking and thinking about starting a business so this is clearly something I want to do.

I have moved to Oregon, a beautiful part of the country.  Why?  I wanted a change in scenery, I wanted the experience of living somewhere new and different.  I wanted the challenge of building a new life.

I have friends, well more like family now, that are here to help and support me.  They are letting me live in their house and working with me on this project.  They feed me, they put up with my incredibly hilarious sense of humor and they have allowed me to intrude into every aspect of their lives.

I have an amazing wife who also has enabled me to chase a crazy dream and who has pledged, perhaps to her own chagrin, to come with me on this insane journey.

I have a loving and supportive family who I know miss me but really do wish me the best and I know are pulling for me to be successful.

I have a group of friends back in Indiana that are helping to take care of my wife and who are helping me to maintain my sanity by just being themselves.

I have some great pups that love me even when I don’t take them to play disc golf.  Every time I come home it’s like it’s the best thing that has happened to them all day.

There are a few details of my situation that aren’t ideal, but by and large I am a very, very lucky person.  I know there are many, many people who are in much worse shape than I am who didn’t put themselves into that situation voluntarily.  I am going to try to keep that in perspective.  I am, in actual fact, living the life!

Shrapnel

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Scribidiciousness…

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I just made up a word.  What does it mean?  Um, something about writing things and then un-writing them.  On a friend’s facebook page someone posted something and I wanted to type a response.  I typed it, but before I submitted it I decided not to.  Not because what I wrote was offensive or angry or anything, although I did disagree with someone, it was more because I was simply unable to put my thoughts accurately into words.  That is scribidiciousness (scrib – not scribe).  At the moment.

So I’m updating again because I’m not doing anything else at the moment.  Certainly not that I don’t have anything else to do, I’m simply choosing to not do any of those other things at this time.  Lucky you!

I miss my friends, I miss knowing how to get everywhere without having to think really hard about it, I miss my family.  I even miss my job, or at least the daily interactions that I had with my co-workers.  Also, apparently my leaving the state of Indiana was more than the Colts could handle and they have literally physically begun to fall apart.  Sorry kids, it turns out that this one is going to be a bit of whiny self-pity.  Didn’t know that when I started…

I am very excited to get to see my wife and family for Thanksgiving.  I am excited to get the shop open and see if people are going to respond to what we are trying to build.  I am anxious to see how I’m going to like this life I’m trying to build once we get beyond the transitional stage.  I really hope that I don’t look back and realize that this was a huge mistake.  Let me clarify something, the one thing I’m concerned about, really, really concerned about is that at some point in the future I’m going to look back at this time and really regret having left my wife right after we got married.  That may not have been the best decision ever made, although I did suggest we get married a little later than we did.  Shrug, nothing to do about it now.

I am looking forward to Monday Night Football.  I’m going to meet some new people and watch the game at Northern Lights, which is a theater turned pub.  No idea if any other Colts fans will be present, but I will be representin beyotch!  Go blue!  Don’t get hurt!

The shop is starting to come together more and more, from a physical layout perspective, but we have a ton of work to do to be “operational”.  One really great thing is how supportive everyone has been, even people (or perhaps especially) who have no real reason to be particularly supportive.

We are going to hang with our neighbors tomorrow evening, have a drink or two.  That should be a good time.  I’m kinda out of stuff for tonight.  I did update though, so don’t hold it against me that I ran out of steam.  :P

Shrapnel

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Her wish is my command…

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Well once again a month has flown by without an update.  I clearly suck at making this a priority although my wife has suggested I try to do better, so I shall try.  I make no promises because as it turns out, starting a business takes a fair amount of your time :)  When you aren’t actively working, you tend to be passively working (basically thinking about all of the things you need to work on) and when you aren’t doing either of those it’s probably because you are unconscious.  I’m really enjoying being at “The Shop” now, I feel like it is really coming together and that we are building something good.  Sometimes we tend to get a little overly concerned with minute details, such as what shelves we should have (which has been a complete pain in the ass).  We are trying really hard to build the look and feel of the shop to match some idea we have of what it should look and feel like, but honestly if I was required to describe what we are aiming for in detail, I couldn’t do it.  It’s one of those things where when we see something that “fits” we know it, and we also know when it doesn’t.

We finally have taken a big step and introduced ourselves to one of our local “competitors”, and it feels great to have it out in the open.  The owner of the shop was very gracious, and it is sincerely our hope that we can be on good terms with the other local shops.  We honestly feel that the market is big enough for everyone here and our goals have nothing to do with the other shops in town.  We are trying to create something of our own, not destroy something that someone else is doing.

I’ve been really stressed out lately and sometimes it’s getting to be a little difficult to deal with.  I’m trying to manage without snapping, but I really miss my wife.  I need her to be here, I desperately want her to be a part of this, to have input and to see what we are building here.  This is as much a part of her life as it is mine, and I can’t wait for her to get to be out here with me.  I knew that this was going to be the hard part of the “adventure”, but it’s getting to be more difficult as time goes on.  It is hard for me to look at her picture, I can barely keep it together when we talk/skype because at the end we have to say goodbye.  I won’t get to see her in person for another 29 days and I don’t know how I’m going to manage that.  It’s harder than I thought it was going to be, and I thought it was going to be pretty damn hard.  I hope it’s not as hard on her as it is on me.

I’m starting to see the end of the path of things we know how to do and have control over and the beginning of the part that throws in a lot of unknowns.  That is a scary prospect.  What we are doing now, while it takes a fair amount of time (and a shit-ton of money) is relatively easy stuff.  The hard part, from a business perspective, hasn’t really started yet.  Once we are open for business, well I just have no idea what that is going to be like but it’s a bit scary.

I clearly need to find more time for myself to have a little fun.  When I get burnt out and overstressed I get a little bitchy.  I’ve seen that happen a couple of times and I try to take a step back and relax but it is difficult.  Scot and I went out for dinner on Friday evening and had a few beers, we spent an hour or two just shooting the shit and not talking/thinking about the business at all.  It was great and definitely helped me unwind.  I need to make sure I find time and a way to do that.  I need to interrupt the constant barrage of thoughts going through my head about all that needs to get done.  I also need to try to find time to make some friends.  Our neighbors across the street are great and we are going to try to hang out this week at some point, I met a couple today up in Portland and we spent an hour and a half chatting away, and I met Amy’s friend tonight.  It’s great getting to hang out with some other folks (not just Scot and Amy – no offense guys).

It appears that most people who meet Scot and I think that we might be gay/bi/more-than-friends.  I told him I could feel his desire.  Turns out it was a desire to hit me.  ;)

I am saddened by the lack of crap I got from the people I do know out here.  Last week I posted some stuff on Facebook talking smack about the crappy football teams they have on the west coast.  That very week, my Chicago Bears got beat.  By Seattle.  In Chicago.  NOBODY GAVE ME HELL FOR THAT!  I totally deserved it!  Also, the Bears lost again today.  At home.  Bastards.  Apparently my absence from the state of Indiana has caused the Colts to completely fall apart physically.  At the rate they are getting injured we’ll get to see Peyton Manning making sacks instead of taking them.  Ick.

I have a heating pad on my bed now.  Warm…

Shadow and Pepper are doing pretty well.  We haven’t had any more incidents between Pepper and Marissa, so that’s excellent.  We took all four dogs out to play disc golf the other day.  Marissa ate through one of the flexi-leashes in about 200 micro-seconds.  That is her third leash, and apparently she has also chomped through two harnesses.  You can only HOPE to contain her!  I kept Pepper on leash and we practiced her sit-stay and down-stay, she did really well for 1) not having been asked to do that much sitting and staying in a long time and 2) for not actually getting any treats as rewards.  Next time I’ll remember some yummies for her.

I’m trying to read another book by Terry Pratchett, this one is called The Light Fantastic.  It’s slow going because I usually read at the end of the day and by about 5 pages in I’ve fallen asleep.  I don’t *think* that’s a commentary on the writing so much as a comment on how exhausted I am by the end of the day.

I have a variety of *life* things that I should be taking care of, but I don’t want to take the time and I don’t want to spend the money to do them.  I need to go establish a new physician, eye doctor and dentist but yick.

Well, that’s my heavy duty update for now.  I’m going to make an attempt to do more frequent updates with a bit less content from now on.

Shrapnel

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Hey kids, a lot of things have been happening in the last month (since my last post).  Here is a summary…

1)  The “secret” is becoming less and less of a secret by the day.  Which is great and will be a huge relief once we make an announcement and get it out in the open.

2)  I got so pissed off at a driver the other day I gave chase and stuck my head out the window and yelled and challenged the guy.  At that moment I was ready to beat him to death.  It has been a long time since I felt that kind of pure rage.  Was it really that big of a deal?  The guy called me an idiot because I didn’t go when he wanted me to or something.  My reaction was completely irrational and atypical (I hope at least).  This told me that I was very stressed out and I wasn’t really handling it well.  It was an eye opening moment, and frankly embarrassing.  I’m glad the guy didn’t get out of his car because that wasn’t going to be good for anyone.  I owe him an apology, but this is going to have to suffice.

3)  Preceding the “car incident” I had been pretty down, ever since I left Indiana this last time.  I think it’s that I know it’s going to be a long time (close to 3 months) before I’ll see Leslie in person again.  I’m also missing my friends, and missing significant events in my friends’ lives (Congratulations to Mike and Brooke on getting married and it looks like your wedding kicked ass!).  I also realize that part of my problem is that I don’t want to share my doubts, fears, frustrations, etc with Leslie when we have our webcam chats or talk on the phone.  I think there are two reasons for this, first that we don’t get to chat nearly as often as we used to so each moment is precious and I don’t want to ruin them by bringing up negative feelings, and second that I have CHOSEN to put us in the current circumstances so I don’t feel like I am allowed to have negative feelings about what’s going on.  Leslie and I have talked about this stuff a little bit and when I did get some stuff off of my chest, that definitely helped.  It’s a process and we are working on it :)

4)  We have hit a bit of a roadblock in getting the business up and running.  It’s not a deal breaker, and I am confident that we can come up with a solution, but it’s definitely slowing us down and causing us some stress.  More about this in a future post.

5)  Money.  That’s going to be a problem from now on, or so I’m guessing.  Time to play the lottery.

6)  Shadow is mad at me because we haven’t been out to play disc golf since I got back.  She gives me grief about it just about every day ;)

7)  Why am I doing a numbered list?  I don’t know.

VIII)  Ha!

9)  I read a book by Terry Pratchett thanks to a recommendation (and book loan) by my new friends and neighbors, Johnny and Lauralyn (sp?), and I loved it.  I am anxious to read more of his work, but not sure when I’ll have time.  I read The Color of Magic on when I was traveling recently.  He definitely has the irreverent and whimsical style that I enjoy so much, somewhat not entirely unlike Douglas Adams.

10)  Leslie really wants a new dog that she can start training in agility.  I don’t blame her and I feel bad that she can’t really get one right now because of finances and the impending move and all that is currently going on.  I want her to be happy and I know she is putting that on hold for me.  I can only hope to repay her someday for the way she is supporting me in my foolish endeavor.

11)  I got to experience the joy of the Oregon DMV for the first time.   I walked in, took a number (66) looked at the number board that said they were now serving 22 and went crap.  I then ran to Best Buy to look for an USB – IR receiver (didn’t have one) and ran home to grab my phone.  Got back and they were up to 54!  Not bad.  I registered my new motorcycle (wink, wink, Kat) and my Jeep, plus I got a new drivers license.  It turns out I had to take a written test to get my license in Oregon.  I grabbed their book, studied for about 20 minutes and then took the exam.  I scored 85% and needed 80% to pass so I was happy, especially since I hadn’t taken a test about driving in close to 20 years.  Bah, just writing that made me feel old.

11.1)  At the DMV here in Oregon they only accept cash or check.  I know this because they have it posted EVERYWHERE.  On the windows, on the doors, on big signs and little ones, at every customer service station, on their website.  I literally read it 18 times before I spoke to a single person in the building.  While I was up “doing my business”, a woman came up to the counter next to mine and tried to pay with a credit card.  HOLY CRAP!  I can only surmise that this person was illiterate, which is sad.  The upside is that the DMV thought ahead, and much like a strip club, has an ATM on the premises.

11.1b)  The DMV here does allow you to smile (so suck on that Indiana!).  However they don’t create your plastic driver’s license on site, so you get a paper temporary one, which is a little odd.  Also, when you update your address, you don’t get a new license, they PUT A STICKER ON YOUR DRIVER’S LICENSE.  Can you imagine using your driver’s license in Indiana with a sticker on it?  No way that’s going to be a problem.

12) I have a strong desire to upgrade my vehicle, which is funny since I’ve got no money.  I keep looking for a Grand Cherokee that’s a little newer than my 98 (ideally a 2001) and with fewer miles (mine has 178k) and in a little better shape.  Probably not going to happen anytime soon, but it’s a nice thought.

12b)  The Motorhome is still in the shop.  It took them about 3 weeks to find a place to order some parts from and it’s going to take another 3 weeks to get the parts in.  The upside is that I basically get to store it there for free.  The downside is, well, nothing really.  I was going to register it as well but it was going to cost over $300 just for it.  I’m going to hold off on that one for a little while longer.

13)  Every time I’ve made a trip back to Indiana, I’ve gotten to see my mom.  I think I’ve seen her more since I moved out to the West Coast than I did when I was living in Indiana.  Funny how that works.

14)  Apparently we are just at the beginning of fall/winter here.  It’s started being a little rainy and overcast.  I rather like it right now, I think we had it so dry for so long that just getting to see some rain is rather pleasant.  I sat out on the back porch this morning, after having coffee with my wife, and just watched it rain.

15)  I defeated the carpet, but it did take it’s toll.  I have a little soreness in my everything.  One of my knuckles won’t pop anymore, although I hope it’s only temporary.  My fingers and one of my knees are swollen.  I told Amy yesterday that I was built for data, not labor.

16)  Pepper is still doing awesome with the allergies and whatnot.  She clearly missed me when I was gone, which was nice to see.  I missed her and Shadow both.

17)  Winston isn’t losing weight like I think he should be, I’m beginning to suspect he may have a thyroid or glandular problem.

18)  Marissa is insane.

19)  I’ve actually started being able to drive myself around town without getting too lost.  I haven’t even been taking Maggie (my GPS) with me most of the time.  That’s a nice feeling to start being able to navigate around.  I may not take the most efficient route to get where I’m going, but I can usually get there.

20)  Today I’m home by myself, Scot and Amy are both off doing other things.  That means it’s robe day!  :)

21)  We (Scot and I) went Kayaking recently with a group called Oregon Active.  It’s a neat concept, they try to do adventure type things (kayaking, bungee jumping, hiking, etc.) and get people together to go do them.  They are building an adventure park with ziplines and whatnot, so that’s going to be awesome!  Good group of people, or so it seemed.  Plus there was beer (PBR and Widmer)!

22)  Long Beach California probably won’t impress anyone.

23)  Fuddrucker’s closes at 9:00 pm.  9!?!?!

Pi)  Cheese pizza on thin crust is yummy.  Pepperoni pizza on thin crust is pretty good.  Double pepperoni on thin crust is TOO DAMN FAR!

25)  Apparently when it rains kinda hard in Portland, the sewers over-flow into the Willamette River.  Not just the storm sewers, but the sewers that are full of everyone’s butt juice.  We went kayaking on the Willamette.  Poop.

26)  Keurig makes a kick-ass milk frother.  It costs about $70.  That’s fucking crazy!

27)  I’ve been watching Top Gear and it’s like car porn.

28)  The Colt’s lost their season opener against the Houston Texans.  It’s my fault, I forgot to wear a Colt’s Jersey.  The games start at 10:00 am here, and no I have no problem drinking a beer that early.  Football and beer go together like penis and vagina (or other penis, depending on your persuasion).

29)  I was able to watch 3 games simultaneously on Sunday, two on my laptop and one on the TV.  New England won (shit), Colt’s lost (double shit) and Bear’s won but they shouldn’t have (last time they had a season where that happened a lot, they were in the Super Bowl, so yay).

30)  I have to pee after having 3 cups of coffee and a glass of water.  Bye.

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Okay, so I’m slightly addicted to Wipeout on ABC.  It’s the less funny american version of the old show called MXC (Most Extreme Elimination Challenge) which was a Japanese game show dubbed into english (who says there isn’t anything worthwhile in Japanese culture)?  It’s an obstacle course where people, um, wipeout?  Funny stuff happens and sometimes it looks very painful, double bonus!

I’ve become slightly frustrated with my weight loss, I’ve been vigilant about tracking my calories and staying below my calorie goals about 90% of the time.  I’ve also been trying to be more active, so we have been playing disc golf every other day or so, we went diving this past weekend, and if we don’t play disc golf I try to make sure and take the dogs for a nice long walk at a good pace.  I dropped from 188 lbs down to 178 pretty quickly, but now I’ve stalled out in the 178 – 180 lbs.  Not sure why I’m not dropping the weight anymore, but I’ve hit one of those so-called plateaus.  Maybe I need to drink more scotch!

I’m missing my friends from home pretty bad these days.  I haven’t really met too many people out here yet.  On the one hand, I’m a little busy but I definitely have time to meet people.  The biggest problem for me, I think, is that I don’t have any money.  Lots of things that I think of to go do cost money and I don’t have any.  I’m going to keep looking for things to go do that don’t cost anything because I really need to make some friends to hang out with other than Scot and Amy.  Don’t get me wrong, we are still getting along and having fun most days, but I had a few hours to myself today and it was FANTASTIC.  I am going to get a good chunk of me time this weekend as well.  Amy’s parents are in town and the fearsome foursome are going to head to the coast for the weekend.  I’ll probably take the dogs to the park, or to play some disc golf.

I will be making a trip back to Bloomington next week.  We are going to have a huge yard sale coming up, so I’m going to help get that ready.  We need to ditch a good bit of stuff before moving Leslie out west.  I cannot wait to get her out here.  There is so much going on here that I want her to be a part of and that I want to share with her.  Very, very soon now the “secret” is going to be unleashed on a somewhat suspecting public.  We are hearing more and more rumors about things here locally, so we aren’t going to be able to keep it under wraps much longer.  I am going to be very relieved to get it out in the open.  Keeping such a secret is very difficult and stressful for me.

Okay, well that wasn’t a great update, but at least it was an update so quit yer bitchin.

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Ok, I clearly suck at keeping my blog updated.  Sometimes it’s tough to force myself to actually sit down and type what I have to say.  Sometimes I’m just lazy and don’t want to take the time.  Other times I think I don’t really want to write out what I’m feeling for various reasons.  But not today by golly, not today!

So we have taken a huge leap forward down the path to getting our little project up and running.  I think we are going to begin to see some tangible results very soon (weeks and not months at this point).  The “secret” is starting to spread and there are whispers here and there.  As we continue to move forward we have to tell more and more people about what we are up to and so we are just about done with keeping a lid on it, whether we are really ready or not.  The interesting thing for me at this point is that every significant step we take, opening a bank account, starting a company, whatever, is that I simply feel like I’ve removed another barrier to starting to get the real hard work done.  It’s not really like I’m accomplishing anything, just putting myself in a position to be able to accomplish something.  It sounds weird even to me and doesn’t necessarily make a ton of sense, but I know what I mean dammit!  ;)

Same old story on the wife front.  I miss her terribly, I’ve put a huge burden on her that probably isn’t fair (no real probably about it) and she is doing a great job of keeping up the house, the dogs, and running the home front while I’m out “chasing the dream”, whatever the hell that means.  :)  I’ll never be able to repay her for her support.

Some good news, Pepper is doing awesome with her new medication.  She pretty much ignores her feet (no chewing) and scooting her but on the floor is way, way down (much to Scot and Amy’s delight).  Shadow is also in pretty good shape, she tends to sleep in bed with me and usually lets me have almost half of it, which is quite generous of her.  They both continue to shed fur like CRAZY and no matter how much brushing I seem to do is slowing it down.

I’ve gotten back into playing Disc Golf a little bit.  I really needed to get out and be active and so I thought I would check out the scene here in Salem.  It is quite popular here, they have a really nice 18 hole course with baskets that is close to Petwerks World HQ, so we can stop and play at lunch or on the way home.  I also managed to get Scot to try a round with me and he really enjoyed it.  So much so that this weekend he found a course that we went and played (and introduced Amy to as well).  This course was very cool and very challenging.  I’m not anywhere near as good as I was when I was playing several times a week, but I’m not as bad as when I first started either.  Leslie is going to send me my discs so I’ll have the ones I’m used to throwing instead of the used ones that I picked up for $5.

I also discovered I had put on a few more pounds than I wanted, so I’ve been working on that.  I put an application on my phone that tracks my calorie intake for the day.  I’ve been able to manage between 1100 – 1500 calories per day since I started using it and I would say it hasn’t really even been that difficult, at least it hadn’t been until tonight.  We got pizza to celebrate the specific milestone that we achieved today and I ate a little more than I should have (exceeded my goal by about 200 calories).  For the most part I’m eating what I want to eat, just less of it.  The biggest change is that I’m not getting the 500+ calorie coffee every day.  I tried the “skinny” version and while it only contains about 200 calories, what it lacks in calories it makes up for in suck.  I’m switching to making my own coffee at home.  I can get away with a coffee that is pretty good for about 100 calories, maybe 150.  When I started I was at 188 lbs and my end goal is between 170 – 175.  I had gotten heavy enough to notice a difference so I’m going to slim down.

As for the project, I think that we will really start testing how well Scot and I are going to work together.  We have a lot of decisions we need to make and we are not always going to see things the same way.  Scot is used to getting it done the way he want because he hasn’t had to work with anyone in the way that this project is structured.  It is going to be interesting, that is for certain.

That is all for now.  Maybe I’ll post again in a few days (yeah, right).

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