Archive for the ‘Supportive Partner Woman’ Category

Last I left you, SPW and I were in Everett, Washington, taking in the Boeing factory tour. I really enjoyed the museum shop… although I’m pretty sure SPW would’ve ditched my ass in a New York second if I bought some of the stuff they were selling. See, they had some kick ass furniture that was a lot out of my price range, especially since people keep winning my lottery jackpot. There was a table made from a repurposed 707 engine… as well as a chair made from the cowling of a Pratt & Whitey JT8D from a DC-9. Together, it would’ve been about $15K and that probably wouldn’t include shipping (and I just checked… shipping would be another $787. I settled for a couple of t-shirts and a book.

Once we were done, it was back into the Hyundai and south to Seattle. I blame a lot on Beci… the whole trip to PNW, for one thing, but I really need to blame this next one on her. She suggested a room at the Edgewater Hotel in Seattle. She said SPW would love it.

She was right.

The Beatles fishing from their room at The Edgewater

The Beatles fishing from their room at The Edgewater

A little history about this hotel. It’s quirky. Very quirky. It’s built right on a pier near the Seattle Aquarium, and it has played host to many famous folks throughout the years. That would include Led Zeppelin, the Rolling Stones, Frank Zappa, Bill Clinton, and this other British band that someone took an iconic photograph of…

Yeah, those guys.

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Ferris Wheel, as well as Century Link and Safeco Fields

While we weren’t in the same room, we were still treated to some lovely views. We lit the fireplace, opened the windows and just took in the boats and sunset. Very relaxing stuff. I did a total Forrest Gump and was waving at everyone going by on a boat. Because I could.

Perhaps the best view came as we were doing some fine dining on Wheat Thins and EZ Cheeze (don’t judge). SPW (skilled photog!) managed to get a great shot as two high masted boats sailed by.boats

After the sun set, we got some sleep and even slept in. We didn’t have to be anywhere until 12:30… we were going to tour Safeco Field (Home of the Mariners). Sadly, there was no baseball being played (All-Star break), but we figured we’d check it out regardless. First, though, we had to get there. Having read horror stories about the parking, we actually opted to start walking. We realized we were hungry, so we stopped at Anthony’s Seafood and grabbed an early lunch. This made it impossible to walk to Safeco in time. Enter Uber. I had never used it before, but it is really convenient. Since I didn’t exactly know what I was doing, our first ride was Uber Select, so the guy picked us up in a Lincoln Town Car. Sweet ride, for sure. He got us there in plenty of time and we toured the field. It’s a gorgeous stadium… one of the few with a retractable roof that is simply that… a roof. Or, as our guide kept calling it, an umbrella. It’s a truly massive structure, and we went from the top to the bottom. It was fascinating to hear about the construction and the facts of the field and roof.

Safeco Field

Safeco Field

 

After we were done at the ballpark, it was time to play tourist. We summoned another Uber ride (regular, this time) and headed to Seattle Center. A little history of the area… it was the site of the 1962 World’s Fair, or, Century 21 Exposition. It’s the home of many performing arts venues and athletic fields, as well as the most iconic structure of the Seattle skyline, the Space Needle. Rising 605 feet above Seattle, the structure was designed and built in under eight months. The observation deck is a mere 518 feet above ground and is reached via three exterior elevators. Now, I should note that both SPW and I are notorious acrophobics. They manifest differently, though. I love to fly, while SPW is not all that fond of the airborne experience. The tower-type stuff is a different story. I can look, but I have a white-knuckle grip on the railing. Because, if the tower collapses, me holding on to that railing will save me. I know… I’ll keep telling myself that.

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One of Chihuly’s large scale installations

The Space Needle as seen from the Dale Chihuly Garden

The Space Needle as seen from the Dale Chihuly Garden

We bought our tickets, but our window didn’t open for another 90 minutes, so we saw there was a Dale Chihuly Garden next door that could be combined with the Space Needle tickets. It was, in a word, astounding. The glass looks alive more than anything. I managed to have yet another happy accident photograph, framing the Space Needle in a swirl of blown glass. After viewing both attractions, we took a seat by the EMP Museum and did some people watching.

Grabbed some dinner and headed back to the Edgewater to grab the car and off to SeaTac for our redeye flight back East.

We got the car returned, headed to the terminal, breezed through security (Thanks, TSA PreCheck) only to find that our flight was predicted to arrive in Boston 28 minutes late, giving us a whopping 7 minutes to get to our Baltimore flight.

That could be a bit of a problem, so I went to the JetBlue gate agent and asked what could be done. The captain of our flight overheard my concern and said, “I have a quick turnaround, too… we will get you there on time.” We landed five minutes early. I looked at my flight tracking app and saw we were traveling at 695 mph. In an A320. Helluva tailwind is all I can say.

I know that JetBlue has gotten a bad rap in some quarters, mostly due to circumstances beyond their control. I’ve found their agents and crew members to be very professional and I like the extra space they give you over Southwest, especially on a longer flight. We’ve not had a bad experience with them on any of our flights.

So, that’s our trip to the northwest. We met some great people and found that most folks we interacted with were super friendly. My only beef was the transportation infrastructure (or lack thereof) but you have that anywhere. I look forward to returning and spending some more time in the region, even making it to Oregon to experience some quality microbrews.

 

 

 

 

So, Supportive Partner Woman and I just returned from a new travel spot (for us).

See… we do travel to places other than Orlando.

We headed to the Pacific Northwest Mouse Meet… primarily on the recommendation of our friend Beci, but also because of the lure of 1) never having been there, 2) Disney Legends Marty Sklar and Bob Gurr, and 3) My inner aviation geek was going to see the Boeing factory at all costs.

To make a long story short, well, mission accomplished. It looked a little dicey for awhile, though.

Let’s turn the hands of time back to last Friday. We had a mid-morning flight out of Baltimore. If you’ve never used that airport, it’s actually pretty nice. The layout is readily understood and it’s clean. It doesn’t have that peculiar airport odor that you find at Philadelphia… you know, that odd combination smell of desperation and urine. The parking is reasonable and plentiful, and there are lots of flights. Before we could leave, though, we had to get out of the house. This was made more difficult when we discovered a small ant infestation in SPW’s backpack. We finally got that cleaned up and I sprayed the hell out of the living room. The culprit was apparently a lone forgotten caramel creme that had attracted the little buggers.

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Mount Rainier

Our flight to SeaTac was in two legs. First one was BWI to Denver (aka HQ of the New World Order). I actually like the Denver airport, bizarre sculpture of the demon horse aside. Sadly, we didn’t have a lot of time at DEN. We made it to the departure gate only to find they were a little behind schedule. Turns out some weather on the east coast had impacted Southwest’s flight schedule and the flight attendants scheduled for our flight to Seattle weren’t going to make it. Southwest loaded some crew on a plane from Las Vegas and they kind of got off the plane and got on ours. There was also a special needs person that took awhile to get seated. No worries, it happens. Found the only pair of two seats on a Southwest aircraft, and even got to see some beautiful scenery, namely Mount Rainier. It’s a beautiful sight to see poking up above the clouds as you whiz by at 500 mph and 32,000 feet.

For being our first time at SeaTac and not being familiar with their car rental system, I think we did OK. They have a consolidated off-terminal system, so we grabbed the shuttle, picked a car, and off we went. We knew things were tight, time-wise, but Siri said we’d just make it to Everett in time for the Boeing tour. What a liar Siri turned out to be. See, what I didn’t know was that after 2:00 PM, the I-5 around Seattle turns into a large parking lot.

I was, of course, freaking out… I mean, my aviation geek fantasy was evaporating in a cloud of slow-moving vehicles.

Thankfully, SPW (mistress of the telephone!) was along. She called the Boeing tour center, talked to some fine folks there and was able to get our tour rescheduled.

Crisis averted.

Got to our hotel in Lynnwood, which was an Embassy Suites currently under construction. No matter… they still have a yummy breakfast included. Met up with some friends, met some new friends. Observed the opening night Disney trivia contest, only to find that this is a primarily Disneyland meet. No matter… an Imagineer is still an Imagineer, no matter the coast. Also met Don, the meet organizer. Went for a late-night forage, and off to bed, as the time change caught up with us.

Saturday was the meet day. We hopped in the rental car and headed to the nearby Lynnwood Convention Center. It’s a nice little venue, next to a strip mall… go figure, but nice regardless. There was the usual round of get-to-know-you bingo and some welcome remarks by Don, who introduced Stacia Martin, a Disney artist and historian. Ms. Martin gave an interesting presentation of her work and her role in the company. Afterward there was some time to look at the various exhibitors and see what they had to offer. I might add that before the speakers started, both SPW (possessor of the Magic Geek Vest!) and I managed to get autographs from Messrs. Gurr and Sklar, as well as Ms. Martin.

I should explain that this was R.H. “Bob” Gurr, the man who pretty much designed every ride vehicle at Disneyland, and Marty Sklar, former head of Walt Disney Imagineering. I was fanboying like nobody’s business. I had brought along my copy of Mr. Sklar’s book to have him sign, and SPW had all three guests sign the Geek Vest. There was some great art available, as well as some authors who have written books on Disney history. One author, David Lesjak, had two books, one on the role of Disney Studios during WWII, and one on Walt Disney’s service in WWI as an ambulance driver. I look forward to reading both. Mr. Lesjak was able to sign both of my books, which is always cool.

Bob Gurr, Don Morin, and Marty Sklar

Bob Gurr, Don Morin, and Marty Sklar

Sunday, there was a Q&A session with Bob Gurr and Marty Sklar. It doesn’t take long to realize the level of mutual respect between these two men, as they joked back and forth and reflected on their long careers working alongside of Walt Disney himself, as well as after Disney’s passing. The time for this session went way too quickly, that’s for sure.

After the session was done, SPW (Most patient wife EVER!) and I headed north to Everett for our tour of the Boeing factory. A few facts about the factory… the assembly building has a footprint of 98 acres. There are six assembly bays. Each bay’s doors measure the length of an American football field (100 yards or 91.4 meters), and the newest additions actually measure 120 yards. It’s hard to get a sense of scale until you are on ground level and realize just how massive the building really is. In this building, Boeing assembles 747s, 767s, 777s, and 787s. The smaller 737 series is built in Renton, south of Seattle. Guinness has certified this as being the largest building in the world by volume, enclosing over 472,000,000 cubic feet (13,385,378 cubic meters). The building itself in around 0.25 to 0.30 miles wide. The tour starts in a theater where a short film on Boeing’s relationship with the community is talked about. You board a bus and are taken across the field to the assembly building. We were very fortunate to have great weather that day and began our tour with a visit to the 747 production area. There were two planes currently being worked on… a 747-8 freighter and a 747-8 Intercontinental passenger liner. Back on the bus to go to the other end of the factory, because that’s the fastest way to get there. This end saw us on a balcony overlooking the 777 and 787 lines. One thing we did notice was that on each assembly bay, there are representations of the tail art of all airlines they have built that particular aircraft for. The 787 that was closest to completion was the first one being built for Uzbekistan Airlines. Very cool.

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Boeing factory

Remember earlier when I was talking about size and how it’s hard to get a handle on the actual scale of the aircraft? While we were not allowed to take photos on the tour, we were close to a GE90-115 engine that was going to be attached to a 777. This engine was as tall as the tour bus. The engine itself is as wide as a 737 fuselage. That kind of puts things in perspective.

There’s a lot more to the trip, but I will save that for the very near future.

Let’s flash back, shall we?

When Supportive Partner Woman (lover of gelato!) and I were dating, I once promised I’d take her to Italy. I finally made good on that promise… We arrived in Rome on Thursday and will be touring our way up and across the boot.

So far, it’s been a lot of what I remember… beautiful art, awesome food, insane drivers…

It’s also a spot where Stubby and Wayne have decided to get ornery. It’s already cost me part of the Colosseum tour. I’m hoping they don’t cost me much more, because this place rocks.

There was some drama before we left. Somehow, my credit card number wound up in the hands of someone in Illinois. No offense to the fine Illini, but I’ve never been to Illinois, other than stopping at O’Hare to change planes. I’ve certainly never been to a Home Depot in Illinois. Anyway, the card company was suspicious, denied the charge, contacted me and said they would be issuing a new card and would send it overnight.

Sure enough, they shipped it, but they opted for Federal Express (who need to change their tagline to “The Postal Service for a New Millennium). That’s when the hijinks ensued.

According to the tracking data, the new card went from Chesapeake, Virginia to Norfolk, then to Memphis, TN. Then, for whatever reason, it went to Dubai. As in the United Arab Emirates. When I called FedEx about it, the customer rep said, “Uh, I’m not sure why it’s there.”

Wow. And Chris Christie wants to track illegal aliens like FedEx packages?

Anyway, they put it on a plane to Paris, then back to Memphis, then on to Harrisburg, then to Lancaster, where it finally arrived on Monday. It’s about 325 miles to drive from Chesapeake to Lancaster. My package travelled some 17,000 miles. Ahh, progress. All I wanted was the frequent flier miles, but alas, FedEx does not give them.

Anyway, Wednesday afternoon saw us arriving at the economy parking lot at Philadelphia International Airport. I opted for PHL, not because of its stellar reputation, but because it was cheaper. Plus, I didn’t relish the thought of driving to JFK. We finally found a parking spot (no mean feat) and were treated to the most horrendous, kidney-bruising ride you could ever ask for. We were in a bus, which probably hadn’t had a working suspension in years, careening through airport property, just hanging on for dear life.

We finally made it to the terminal, checked our bags with the fine folks from British Airways, and approached security. The line was insane. As we were queueing up, a young man (who looked so much like Pharrell I expected him to put on a bad hat and start singing “Happy”) pointed out that the wait for security at Terminal A East was about two minutes. We said, “Why not?” walked over and were through in no time.

We got to the gate, and started boarding our plane. I’m an aviation geek and this was my first ever flight on the Boeing 777. We had seats in the World Traveler Plus section, which was pretty darn nice. Food was tasty (a shock for airplane food), the seats had some space, and there was plenty of IFE to keep us going.

747-400s at Heathrow with 777 taking off in the background.

747-400s at Heathrow with 777 taking off in the background.

Landed in Heathrow (which is kind of like O’Hare, except it’s British and polite – also I couldn’t detect the usual O’Hare odor of hopelessness and desperation) and was treated to a view you never get in Philly. A row of 747s just waiting at Terminal 5-B. I know the A380 is larger, but the 747 is still the Queen of the Skies.

Cleared UK security (memo to SPW… only one bag of liquids allowed) and headed off to Rome. Couldn’t see much from the air due to the distance of Fiumicino from the city, and also the direction of travel. We cleared passport control and were met by an Adventures by Disney representative who escorted us to baggage claim and waited as we reclaimed our bags. The rep escorted us to a parking structure and left us in the capable hands of a Mario Andretti wannabe. After three near-death experiences, we made it to the hotel.

It’s a beautiful hotel… rooms are a tad smaller than I am used to, but it’s Europe.

We did a city tour yesterday… I maintain it’s not the walking that kills the feet, but the standing. We did a lot of that because there was a biblical rainstorm as we got to the Colosseum. The tour was supposed to include access to the underground levels as well as the third level. Due to the storm, the Italian authorities (rightfully) opted to close the areas off. We finally got to the main levels, took some pictures, then they were about to whisk us off to the Forum. By this time, the feet were starting to protest and I had an inkling as to what to expect, so I opted to head back to the hotel.

Colosseum

Colosseum

Big mistake… the folks who remained were able to run back to the Colosseum and get to tour the underground portion. Granted the run back would’ve probably killed me, but the chance to see that is rare.

rigatoniI’d also like to add that the food has been amazing so far. The first dish I had was a rigatoni in a light tomato sauce with very tasty bacon. Seriously smack your grandma good. The bad thing (or good thing) is that I’ll never want to eat Olive Garden again.

So, today we will be touring the Vatican. Maybe I should pray for less foot problems. Either way, it’s going to be awesome and I already have a foot doctor appointment for when we get back.

Ciao!

Greetings, good readers (if any of you are actually still out there)

I know I’ve really let the blog slide over the last year. Lack of focus, then the personal toll of losing my mom just really made me have no interest in a lot of things. Writing being one of them.

It’s been in my mind to start writing again, since I’ve backslid terribly in the past ten months. I’m not going to start being all rah-rah. That’s not my style. I do, however, want to discuss our latest travel adventure.

I write this from an eighth-floor hotel room in Denver, Colorado.

Yes, Colorado.

A state with no obvious Disney presence.

See? We do go places other than Orlando!

I write in the title that getting here was half the fun. Let me enlighten you.

We had booked this trip many months ago. Supportive Partner Woman (Sports Editor of Great Acumen!) is a member of AWSM, or The Association of Women in Sports Media. She noted that their annual convention was in Denver. I said, “OK. Let’s go. You can convention and I can see a game at Coors Field.” I found a decent airfare on Delta out of Harrisburg, PA, which is only 25 minutes from my house. I jumped on it. It was perfect… left around 10:00 AM, no getting up at the asscrack of dawn, etc.

Delta then changed the flights eight times. EIGHT FREAKIN’ TIMES!

Finally, we were leaving at 6:15 and getting into Denver around 10 AM MDT. I went on StubHub and scored club seats for the Rockies-Giants game at 2:15. Even got a great deal, although I’m pretty sure that since the Rockies don’t have a stellar record, that helped a lot.

We arrived at MDT (Harrisburg’s in-the-know airport code), got checked in, got boarded, they closed the door, the jetway pulled back and nothing. The pilot came on the intercom to inform us that there appeared to be some damage to the cabin door and they needed a mechanic to check it out. They then said it would be at least an hour before they could get a mechanic there to even look at it.I looked at SPW, said, “We only have an hour layover in Detroit… we’ll never make it.”

We deplaned and got in line to see our options. The gate agent was not very helpful. There was a guy in front of us in line trying to get to Spokane, and as he would try to explain what he wanted to do or ask questions, she would rudely cut him off.

After waiting patiently for around 10 minutes, I finally realized that the device in my pocket wasn’t just for looking at videos of cats, it could actually make phone calls. I dialed up Delta’s toll-free number, expecting to get “Too bad, so sad” from the person on the other end.

Instead, I got to talk to Kitty. I am not making that up.

Kitty, in a word, is awesome.

I explained the situation to her and she put me on hold as she looked to see what she could do. Her first option was a later flight on Delta, which I would have grudgingly accepted since it would have meant we would miss the game. I told her that it really wouldn’t work as I had tickets for the 2:15 game. She said, “Let me see what I can do,” put me on hold, and came back a few minutes later with the word that she had gotten us on to an American Airlines flight that would be getting into Denver around noon. She also would be refunding our seat and baggage fees.

Perfect.

We made it to the American gate about 10 minutes before boarding and we had managed to ask Delta to pull our checked bag and take it to the American gate. The agent at American, Don, was super helpful, got our bag on board (and didn’t charge the fee), got us seats together and we also got priority boarding. Plane left without incident and we got to O’Hare almost 30 minutes early.

That is a big damn airport.

We did the O’Hare death march and arrived at the new gate and got seats assigned. Toward the back of the bus, but c’est la vie. Got boarded, closed the door, jetway pulled back and pilot came on the intercom to tell us that there was an indicator light fault on the cabin door and they had to have someone look at it. Luckily that was fast, as O’Hare is a major American hub and mechanics abound. I was starting to feel cursed.

Two different cities, two different airlines, two different airplanes, issue with the same system. I’m suspecting sabotage by Disney because we weren’t going there. More on that later.

The flight gets to Denver International Airport, otherwise known as the headquarters for the New World Order (I am not making this up) without incident. Favorable winds, I guess, but we got there around 20 minutes early. Deplaned, got the luggage, which had miraculously accompanied us, and grabbed the rental car shuttle. It started to rain a little.

By the time we arrived at the Alamo lot, it had begun to rain rather heavily. We grabbed the first car in our row, which was a Nissan Altima, and headed to the exit gate. As we were being checked out, it started to rain in earnest. Along with some hail.

We hit the road for the hotel, and as we travelled the 25 miles to the city, well, the storm reached biblical proportions. Monsoon rain, thunder, lightning, hail, black clouds, water in the streets six inches deep… Ugh. Basically, it was like Noah, except I was in an ark built by the same company that gave us the Pulsar. I was not particularly confident.

Managed to make it to the hotel and get checked in. I might add that I was running on three hours sleep (I don’t sleep well on a plane) and SPW was working on whatever she managed to grab on the flights. I figure the game was a loss, but as we arrived at the room, the weather started to clear. SPW checked the Rockies Twitter feed and sure enough, they removed the tarp from the field. First pitch was scheduled for 4:25. Since the stadium is only 3/4 mile from the hotel, we opted to hoof it. It was windy and overcast, but dry.

Coors Field main entrance

Coors Field main entrance

Got to our seats, grabbed some grub along the way. A slice of Marco’s pizza did wonders, as our only food had been a Subway breakfast sandwich at Harrisburg. We sat down, the skies darkened, and the rain came. Again. This time, we had ponchos, and sat through it. Our patience was rewarded with what turned out to be a beautiful, albeit cold, afternoon. Thank God for fleece.

At any rate, I’ll be sure to update you all on the remainder of the trip.

Thanks for reading!

Had a follow up with my surgeon on Tuesday. He took the first post-op x-rays and pronounced everything in order. I see him in two weeks and he said, “Bring a regular shoe with you.”

Wha-wha-what?!?!?

I might be in a legit regular shoe in two weeks?

Feels like Christmas has come early.

It gets better, though. As I changed the bandages yesterday, I realized that fir the first time in nine months, I felt no blister or no ulcerations of any kind. I can’t look at it too well as I don’t want to put any torque on the toe that might cause problems with the healing of the bone, but damn it felt good. I ever noticed that my mood was greatly improved, just with that little news. I might even be able to do the Troeg’s 5K, albeit while walking. I don’t want to risk reinjuring the toe in any way, shape or form.

Wayne's x-ray... note the two "Plaples"

Wayne’s x-ray… note the two “Plaples”

The x-rays look kind of cool. You can clearly see the plaples (combination of plate and staple) that are holding the tip of my toe onto the rest of my foot. The surgeon told me he went that route because he didn’t want an issue with a screw that might work its way out of the bone. I am appreciative, that’s for sure.

Note the "Shoe of Embarrassment" in the background

Note the “Shoe of Embarrassment” in the background

It was a combo appointment, though, as Supportive Partner Woman (badly sunburned!) had a small procedure done to her foot to drain a ganglion cyst that was causing her problems. SPW’s compression bandage should be off today. She says it feels a little better, which I take as a good sign. Or, she could be not minding it due to the sunburn. I guess having the cyst done the way she did beats the old school way, which was to slam it with a heavy book. Ouch.

Other than that, things are moving along.

We also did the local flea market on Labor Day. It was crazy humid and the turnout wasn’t quite as good as we hoped (it was too freakin’ hot), but we managed to unload stuff and didn’t come home with anything extra. That’s a good sign. I know I’ve mentioned this before, but there are some incredibly cheap bastards out there. I understand wanting to get the best deal that you can, but don’t expect me to give it away. Case in point, a woman wandered up to our tables, picked up a barely used (literally, less than five times) T-fal griddle pan. She asks how much it is, we tell her $3. Rather than attempt to haggle, she slams the pan down on the table and storms off. I would’ve taken $2 for it, but I guess she wanted it for free.

It’s good to want, chump.

At any rate, there’s always going to be idiots. It’s not against the law.

Sigh.

The foot right after surgery

The foot right after surgery

And no, I’m not referencing that annoying BareNaked Ladies song. It’s been one week since Wayne went under the knife.

Now, Wayne has been a problem child since January’s 5K. He had the blister that would not heal. The blister wasn’t even totally healed in time for surgery, but once the pressure was taken off, he’s all but closed up… five days later.

What Dr. Barbacci did was to open an L-shaped incision over the front toe knuckle. He took the ends off the joint, removed the cartilage and used two staples/plates to fuse the joint together. He also added a little twist, given my gait that will hopefully combat any blistering.

Much smaller

Much smaller

The sad thing is that I’m in a different Boot of Shame for at least four weeks, perhaps as much as 6 weeks. This is necessary so the bone can knit properly. The effect of titanium on airport metal detectors is unknown to me… a question for the next appointment. Speaking of which, that’s next Tuesday and they take the stitches out. I had the bandage changed on Tuesday… after a few days, it was all bunched up and, as Dr. Barbacci noted, “It looks like a loaf of bread.” The current bandage is much smaller and sleeker looking.

The worst part has been that I feel the staples in my bones. Maybe that’s just my head talking, but the nice thing is feeling something in my toes.

The one thing that was missing was that I felt I should call my mom and let her know that the procedure went well. See, that was pretty much a standard. She always wanted the doctor’s report. Somehow, she knows, though.

I was pretty much awake for the surgery. They gave me a “twilight” cocktail (and no, I didn’t have to watch those shitty movies starring Shovelface and Mouth Breather) so I had a vague sense of awareness. I do recall Dr. Barbacci coming into the operating room and saying, “Do we have that vasectomy kit ready?” I thought he switched specialties.

At any rate, one more thing to share. You can tell it’s summer when the nastygrams start arriving from Wanda, evil bitch queen of the HOA. This time, Wanda got her panties in a bunch about a tree along the road (that we didn’t even plant) having branches hanging within eight feet of the ground. Now, I was under the impression that those trees were their responsibility, since I remember an “arborist” waking me up to move my car because they had to trim branches. Regardless, I’m in no shape to trim trees at this juncture, however, our totally awesome neighbor trimmed it for me. Huge shout out to Kirk for general awesomeness. I still loathe Wanda, though. I’m pretty sure she’s paying kickbacks to the HOA president. Otherwise she’d be out.

At any rate, I’ll try and keep you all posted as to the progress with Wayne. I was going to take a picture, maybe I will on Tuesday before the stitches come out.

Song of the Day: Guardians of the Galaxy soundtrack – Various Artists

Currently reading: The 6th Extinction – James Rollins

I’ve noticed something over the four years I’ve been doing this blog… whenever I let the blogging lapse, the weight creeps back on. Curious cause and effect, but it bears looking into.

I had a visit with Dr. McPhee today. He challenged me to avoid all processed carbs for a month and see what happens. I was expressing my discontent at the fact I’m pretty much sedentary due to the foot issues and he says he has patients that have found success with this approach. It’ll be  a challenge, since I do like my pasta and crunchy snacks. He managed to ease the blow by saying I could have some corn and potatoes. Not tons, but it’s a start.

I immediately enlisted Supportive Partner Woman (fellow lover of carby goodness!) who agreed to go in, just not right away, because we have a LOT of that stuff in the house and it seems a shame to throw it away. I can respect that… food is expensive, after all. I did start today and made a very yummy lunch… cedar plank roasted Copper River salmon with an ear of fresh, quasi-local sweet corn and some steamed broccoli. I was amazed at just how much protein is in the salmon… MyFitnessPal calculated 26.2 grams in a portion slightly less than 4 oz. That’s some serious protein.

I added something to the kitchen arsenal this week, as well. I finally got a food grinder attachment for the KitchenAid mixer. This thing is AWESOME! I took a nice sirloin, ran it through the grinder and made some caramelized sweet onion burgers for the grill. The meat was probably a little too lean for the purpose, as the burgers were a little dry, but the taste was spot-on. I’m looking forward to grinding my own turkey, since the stuff you get at the store is kind of nasty. I think it will make for excellent turkey meatloaf and turkey burgers, not to mention it can be cheaper to buy the whole piece and grind it yourself. Woot!

Other than that, there’s not too much going on. I find myself getting sad when I drive by the trailheads because on some of these lovely days we’ve been having, it would be nice to go out and take a walk/run/wog. Alas, thanks to Wayne being obstinate, no dice.

This pretty much sums up my feelings on soccer

This pretty much sums up my feelings on soccer.

In other news, many folks around the world are watching the World Cup. I realize I’ll take some heat for saying this, but I just don’t get it. I mean I respect the athleticism and skill, and I respect the fact that a lot of people love the game, but, on the whole, I’d rather watch hockey or baseball. I know, you people are saying, “You like baseball and you’re bored by soccer?” My usual response is to say that there aren’t many other sports where you can fail 70% of the time and be considered one of the greats.

At any rate, that’s going to do it for this post. Expect to see more in the coming weeks as I rededicate myself. I’ll also let you know how things go with the no processed carbs challenge.

Now where can I find some meat?