Monday, November 11, 2013

The codeine hasn't kicked in yet.

On Friday, I started getting a tickle in my chest, which turned into some interesting percolation type noises upon expiration.  By Sunday, I had a fever of 600* and cold chills, generally achiness, enough nausea to dread it, savage headaches, and felt almost deathly.  Not quite food poisoning bad (that's the worst evar), but quite sickly.  That SO ticked me off seeing as I work for Barack Obama I had Monday off, and was planning on going on a nice long mountain bike ride at Shawnee Mission Park before the weather crapped out.  So much for that, but thank you to all of our Veteran's.  I wish we'd stop getting into so many wars and making veterans, but then that wouldn't be American.  At least of the last 40 years or so.

Anyway, before this turns into a geopolitical summarization from an idiot savant, life has otherwise been pretty good.  Penny got really sick, but she's nearly on the up and up.  Kieran is working through a cold, and AB is healthy except for the fact he was playing football and ran into a retaining wall.  He's trying to take after his old man.

Apart from the sickness, life has been good.  I'm thankful this is all the sick we all get, and that in a week or so we're all back upright and taking names.

Speaking of thankful, Penny has been leading us at dinner every night where we each state what we are thankful for.  AB is always thankful for sports, but tonight he was thankful for friends.  Kieran is often thankful for things that may or may not exist in this plane of reality.  But that's why we're blessed.

So, I'll be riding again soon enough, and trying to get some leg muscles again, and we'll all be ready for T-Day and Christmas.  At the risk of sounding bah-humbug, why in the world do people have Xmas lights up the day after Halloween.  As if Christmas wasn't struggling enough with capitalism...

That's it for now.  I probably should hit the sack and hope for some decent, sweat-less sleep.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Wild weekend

I hardly got out to ride this week.  Today was my first and only ride, although it was a bit short it was great.  Allow me to rewind to Monday first.  This work week was a hell week if there ever was one.  Firewalls constantly failing causing outages and for some reason I got stuck with both a Juniper and Cisco TAC case working on these pieces of junk.  That's still not resolved, but I think things are stable enough.

At least I had Saturday to look forward too.  My friends are in this really.  They needed a sound guy and I clearly knew nothing about so I decided to volunteer.  That led to a 1:30am practice Friday morning, which so boosted my productivity that day.  I was also getting antsy since I was going to sit in for "Simple Man" by Lynyrd Skynyrd.  My playing is ok, but I was banking on all our friends being mostly inebriated before I hit the stage.  Therefore, I would sound just like Jimmy Page.  Er, I mean Gary Rossington.

My nerves were getting a little amped for the solo, but fate hadn't played her hand yet....

A few hours before sound check, Penny got a text from a couple of her friends that the lead singer, (Coach) Brad, had been in a car accident.  Turns out it was pretty bad, and he ended up staying the night in the hospital.  So the show was cancelled, and now I can go back to plunking solos out in A minor.  I think he'll be ok soon enough, his body took a pounding though.

Since we didn't go out and subsequently I was in pretty good shape (no hangover to recover from), I went out for a BuRP ride, and had some decent legs and cleaned a few technical parts of the trail I haven't cleaned in quite a while.  So that was good.  I gotta get some more miles in before October is over though so I can earn a Strava badge (250k in October).  That's pretty lightweight for some people, but that's a lot for me, especially since the back is still occasionally bothering me.

That's it for now, I'm already getting tired.  The boys are all amped so I know they won't go to bed easily...sigh.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Riding, and an old video worth a re-look

I left work a little early yesterday to get a few road miles in before the crappy weather hit this weekend.  I figured between the bad weather and the soccer games my riding chances wouldn't be very good.  So I got a solid 24 or something like that, and it felt great.  I pushed into a headwind the whole way out, and I bet I went at least twice as fast on the way home.  Something about flying along like that makes it so fun.  I ran out of gears a few times, which either means the tailwind was strong or I have some easy gears on.  Probably a bit of both.  My legs are definitely talking to me today, and I love that feeling.

Penny is really sick, she's on a z-pak trying to stave off pneumonia or something like that.  She's had a fever for a few days, and has a nasty cough too.  I've been sleeping in the guest bedroom and trying to keep my distance while still taking care of her.  It's a lot of work trying to keep up with the house and kids, but Lord knows she takes care of me the other 361 days of the year.

AB's last fall soccer game is this weekend, and it's going to be frigid.  I bet it'll just be me out there.  I'm going to have to bust out my thermals, wool socks, and winter boots.  It'll feel like cyclocross except for the lack of cowbell.

Now for the video, or "The Rant"...

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Riding again

I've been riding a bit more since I have this extra time off thanks to Congress (I'm furloughed).  I had a great ride at Minor Park today, and hopefully can get some more rides in this weekend but it's pretty action packed.

Doesn't get much better than this...

My legs/lungs/heart are in sad, sad shape.  I guess that's what happens when you take 10 months off or so.  But I feel like they are getting a little better.  There are few joys in my life greater than when I'm going fast on a bike.  It's so invigorating and liberating.  Especially when you are riding well and in the zone.  Awesome.  I've gotten a few short bursts of that since I started back up, and it's pretty addicting.  I do remember when I was in decent shape a couple of years ago and was an ok racer.  I had some speed, some handling, but there clearly was a large gap between myself and the guys who rode 100+ miles a week.  Not to belittle my efforts and accomplishments, but that's a TON of work to keep yourself in real, competitive race shape.  Like you need to be on the bike 6 days a week.  It just didn't mean that much to me and I got tired of being tired.  But now I'm round-shaped and ready to get back into some other shape.

Enough about that.

AB lost his 3rd tooth a couple of days ago, I tried ripping it out of his head but that just ended in tears.  He woke us up at 3am that night to let us know it came out.  We've been waiting at least 4 months for that thing to finally wiggle out.  It is his top front tooth, and has been loose for as long as I can remember.  The other top front tooth has been loose about the same amount, and hopefully it'll pop out here fairly soon.  Not that I'm anxious to go visit the ortho, but I'm interested in seeing what kind of budget trauma we'll have to sustain.

AB wouldn't open his mouth to show off his gappy tooth, so Kieran volunteered

We are going to see the Miami Heat tomorrow night, and then a bevy of soccer games, swim lessons, and AB is getting his 3rd grade bible tomorrow.  I think it's one of those things that he might not appreciate for awhile, but the most important thing I could ever teach him is that the world is much, much bigger than him, and there is something real that binds it all together.  The sooner he appreciates those two facts, the sooner he can find lasting happiness, which is what any parent wants for their child.

There is always more to write, but I felt I should at least write something since it's been a bit, and I haven't had a good excuse not too.  I've more or less enjoyed my time off, but it's about time to get back to work (which is going to be a disaster of epic proportions), and I want to make sure we get back paid.  We have some float, but I'd just as soon use it to cover something we did, rather than congressional ineptitude.

Friday, September 20, 2013

I was wondering where Fall was...

I had a feeling if it didn't show up soon, that the snow would be flying in a matter of weeks and we'd get gypped out of what is KC's best season.

After the crazy looking storms last night, we have some gorgeous weather ahead.  I know summer was fairly mild, but 90 degree air temps are pretty over-rated.

My mom had her 60th birthday, and we hosted the party last weekend.  That was a lot of fun.  Penny cooked like a crazy person all weekend long between that and K's 5th birthday.  She put me to work too, so don't think I got off scot free (or is it Scott?).  Had to look that up...

go scot-free and get off scot-free
to go unpunished; to be acquitted of a crime. (This scot is an old word meaning "tax" or "tax burden.") The thief went scot-free. Jane cheated on the test and got caught, but she got off scot-free.

There you go, you learned something today.  So let's see what else is going on.  We've both been working way too hard.  I'm getting perpetually frustrated at my job when I look up from my little part of the gov't and see how we're being managed (or not managed).  It's funny when you get the private sector people in a job in the gov't and they walk around thinking that so many of their lazy/inept co-workers would be fired in the private sector.  Kind of sad, really.

I shouldn't go on a diatribe about my employer, but it's tough not to sometimes.

Let's talk about something else...K went to the doctor yesterday for his 5-year checkup.  He is on all kinds of prescriptions now.  Allergy stuff in the morning, different stuff at night, and Amoxicillin because he has fluid behind his left ear drum.  When does he not have fluid behind his eardrum?  Maybe if that kid would stop picking his nose and putting everything in his mouth and he wouldn't get sick.  Just a thought.

AB is doing great at soccer, and K is as well.  We had a tourney a couple of weekends ago and some of the refs were commenting at what a stud AB is at playing keeper.  The last team we played were some beasts, and AB only let them score 1 goal in the half he played at keeper.  I think he scored in that game too.

K's soccer team is a calamity of errors, and it's a lot of fun to watch.  K plays pretty good, there are a couple of naturals on his team, which make everyone else look not quite as good though.  The games are usually 5 kids madly kicking at the ball with one kid off to the side spectating/staring off/not quite sure what to do.  Lots of fun!

That's it for now.  I'll have to post some pics up too.  I think we have some from here and there.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Here's a thought

I'm up super early for me; I had a really rough dream.  I thought about sharing it here, but then again I wouldn't mean as much if I put it down in words.  As I was up going about my morning business, I had an excellent moment of clarity and summarized the dream in a rather catchy phrase.

At some point in your life, you'd give away everything you have just to have what you have now.

Think about that for a moment, and then think about what you are going to do about it.  That's it for now.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

quick notes

MRIs were performed, and my disc is slightly blown out.  It's getting better, and although the doctor is recommending an injection, I think I'll save my $1400 and just do a few more manipulations and get back in shape instead.

AB just made me proud.  La Grange by ZZ Top was on our Sonos player, and he turned it up.  He looked at me like he was going to mute it, then he smiled and cranked it up.  That's my boy!

Lots more to talk about, but short on time.  Always seems to be the case these days...

Friday, July 12, 2013

Piriformis of despair

$10 says this is the most visited post I'll have all year.  Not because it's the most interesting, but because the topic hits so many people.  So, let's jump in the wayback machine and travel begrudgingly to late January, when it was still cold (which almost sounds nice).

I hadn't been cycling much at that point, nor doing anything really.  I decided it was time to get back in some sort of shape other than round, and was doing well at that point.  The weight was coming off nicely and I was feeling good about things.  Somewhere towards the tail end of January, I felt like I had a tight left hamstring.  Not like a stage 3 separation, just tight enough I didn't want to try and run on it.  Since hamstrings are notoriously slow to heal, I gave it 6 weeks of gentle stretching, and by the end, it wasn't any better.  In fact, it was really rough at times.  Particularly when I was getting into my car the side bolster would stretch my hammy as I sat on it and then slid into position.  Sometimes that got REALLY painful.  Generally the pain was manageable, but would occasionally flare up.  I got frustrated and decided to go see my chiro.

He's a great chiro, and will adjust me as few times as possible and get me back into the swing of life.  He said my pelvis was rotated and shifted, causing a lot of tightness, with a bunch of other things going on.  I saw him for 4 visits over the course of about 3 weeks, and it wasn't getting any better.  Just a little different, but still in pain.  Further frustration led me to Brian Holdemann, who is chiro but does more soft tissue work.  He's an excellent doc who's treated quite a few Wizards/SKC players as well as working with the U. of Oklahoma.

The first visit seemed to confirm to him that I have piriformis syndrome.  I won't go into great detail, but the piriformis is a pear-shaped muscle underneath your glutes, and it helps with rotation of the leg.  It connects the femur to the tailbone.  When it gets tight/inflammed, it can push on your sciatic nerve, which can cause a myriad of issues.  It was causing my hamstring to tighten, as well as my calf, and if I sat for awhile, my butt cheek, er, glute, would squeeze tight when I stood up.  Not much fun.

Dr Holdemann worked with me for nearly two hours, and I was drenched in sweat.  Not because it was hot, but as Paul Sherwen would say "he's putting him in great difficulty now".  That was some serious pain.  He stretched my muscles in ways that you can't do by yourself.  Nor would you want to.  The majority of stretches were accomplished with him digging his thumb through my hip, holding the muscle still, and then stretching it my moving my leg in various directions.  We also did some TENS therapy, and that probably helped a bit too.

So that has been going on for awhile, and the pain is changing (which he says is good as various muscles release), but it's still there.  It's the worst in the morning right when I wake up, and it's usually pretty good during the day.  Sometimes it gets sore, but it's mostly ok pain wise.  However I still can't do athletic movements very well, as either the muscle is just completely gone or it's learned to be slow to avoid injury.  I'm really surprised it isn't all better yet.  I think I've been good about doing my stretches on my own, but it's just not there.

We did ride our bikes for a short jaunt up to First Watch, and that really compresses on the piriformis, but that didn't seem to hurt it too bad.  It was sore for about 10 minutes at the restaurant, but ok after the ride home.  That was probably the first time I had ridden a bike in 7-8 months.  Kinda sad really.

So here are some of the stretches I've been doing...

I've also been using one of these:

That gets pretty intense, mainly because it is so easy to find the piriformis and just knead the crap out of it.  That makes for a fun Friday night!

As my treatment plan progresses, I'll post updates.  No really, I will.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Sorry, I didn't mean to do that!

Well the hiatus between posts got exponentially longer.  I have to go change a tire on my wife's car, so I figure I'd procrastinate by writing a post instead.

I think I'm going to have go about recounting the last 6 weeks in reverse chronological order, and cover them pretty sparsely.  Otherwise it'll turn into a thesis since we've all been BUSY.

First things first, I'm typing this on a new iMac.  I finally bought into the Apple ecosystem, half out of curiosity and half out of the false hope that my singular purchase would rebound AAPL into the stratosphere.  I'm only down $120 a share.  /sigh  For once I'm glad I'm not really rich and own like 10k shares.  That would be a big pucker factor, although I'd probably be a bit more active in managing my stocks.  Anyway(!), I am enjoying it pretty well, and getting used to the Mac way of life.  It's not terribly different.  Just a different ways of doing things on the keyboard and the same goes for the o/s.  It pays to be a genius.

I'm not sure what happened before that, so I'll just cover all the musical stuff.  I've been to several concerts, Gov't Mule, Tedeschi Trucks Band (my wonderful father's day present), and me and boys are going to see Tab Benoit at the end of July, and then in August, Penny and I are going to the Guitar Circus with BB King, Sonny Landreth, and Peter Frampton.  That should be pretty cool.  I wish I could have seen BB 10 years ago, I hear he doesn't play too much anymore since he's getting up there.  It's great he still tours, but it would have been great to see him closer to his prime.

The opening act for both Gov't Mule and TTB was the Revivialists out of NOLA.  I've really enjoyed discovering their music.  They got a great sound and are a very talented group.  They play a diverse range of music as well.  I'll post up a vid at the end of this post.

Also out of NOLA is Tab Benoit.  I'm learning a couple of his songs right now, and they are really fun to play.  He has a great old blues sound without being too cliche.

Let's see what else...

Ah yes, Father's Day was spent out in the woods at Bear Camp.  I was hesitant about the weather, but it ended up being a great time.  AB had a ton of fun, and I think he's enjoying his summer quite a bit.  He just finished up soccer camp at Rockhurst, where they had Seth Sinovic from SKC up to pep talk the campers (and recruit for his alma mater).  AB is a slab of muscle, and I can scarcely believe it.  We were wrestling yesterday and it's unbelieveable how strong my little 8 year old is.  Time for old dad to start power lifting and juicing otherwise I'll thrown through the wall in the next few years.  Jeesh!

K is wild as always, although he is growing up quick as well.  AB and K play together so well it kind of catches me off guard.  AB can be pretty selective about who he hangs out with, so it's surprising how much he likes his irritating little brother!  K loves to come in first thing in the morning and get some cuddle time in, so that's a nice way to start the day.

I was considering writing a op-ed on the NSA "scandal", but I'll save that for later.  For now, enjoy some tunes!

First up, getcha some Mule!

Next up, the Revivalists...

And the incomparable Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks

And last, but certainly not least, Tab Benoit!

Friday, May 10, 2013

His brilliance is a little brighter than mine

Last week I went to go see one of my favorite bands with one of my favorite guitar players in the world.  I mean Gov't Mule with Warren Haynes.  I'd like to talk about that.  But I just watched something else that I think would be more beneficial for me to share.  I don't think Mr. Haynes will mind.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Samantha Fish at Llewellyn's

Got to go see Samantha Fish two weekends ago, I've been remiss about posting about it.  Not sure why.

If you haven't heard of her, you need to check her out.  I won't recap what's easily found via Google, but she's a KC girl about ready to go big time (she's well on her way, imho).  I love her style of music, kind of swampy rock/blues.  More blues than rock.  She's accessible too, answering a few of my questions on FB, as well as chatting for a bit when we met in Dec.

She plays in KC usually a half dozen times a month, usually at Dirty Lew's, Trouser Mouse, Knuckleheads, or BB's.

She packs the house and I can't say enough about her.  If you get the chance, check her out!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Make up your own title

Things have been going pretty well, despite the rest of the country having issues.  We had two friends in Boston, but both had thankfully finished and were around the corner when the bombs exploded.  I'm thankful that they didn't have to see that kind of carnage.  That would be impossible to get out of your head.  I have varied feelings about the whole issue.  When this kind of thing happens, I wonder what ever got the terrorists to do that in the first place.  I don't agree with a lot of things this country does or how it goes about it, but why would you take that out on the innocents?  Seems a strange way to cause a change, if that's really what you want.  I realize some people just want to hurt others.  That makes me quite sad, sad for the victims, but also sad for the perpetrators.  I wonder what kind of life they would have had to lived to get them to the point that they wanted to hurt so many people.  Victims on both sides of the bomb, I suppose.

Anyway, I don't want to focus on that, and neither should anyone else.  Parts of me think a small percentage of humans are always going to hurt others, and nothing is going to change that.  It's always been that way and will continue to be that way.  Moving on (again)...

We had a busy weekend, and it was a lot of fun.  AB kicked butt all weekend long.  He took 2nd place in his age group at a 5k, then played a soccer game and had baseball practice.  He had a 2nd game on Sunday, and scored 4 goals.  What a maniac!  I'm proud of him, to say the least.  He's running a 4-mile race this weekend with his mom, and he's already raised the bar for his effort.  He ran an 8:30/mile at his 5k, which is nearly a minute faster than any race I've ever ran, and he even beat his mom by 30 sec.  That's amazing.  Especially with how big he is, I figured long-distances wouldn't be his forte, but he sure loves it.

K is talking up a storm these days, more and more with every passing day.  He's funny to talk to, and it's quite a hoot to hear him vocalize what is going through his mind.  He's still pretty wild, but I wouldn't change that for anything.  He had a bad ear infection a week or so ago.  I had him in the doctor's office when his eardrum ruptured and then he proceeded to ooze for the next 3-4 days.  It was startling how much came out of his head.  I can't imagine how much pressure that was before it popped.  Dang.  I suppose we'll need to get some tubes in his ears again. We were trying to avoid that, but I think he still needs them.

I went for a nice walk last night, and have been stretching a fair amount the last few days.  If I hammer the ibuprofen and stretch out my IT band/hip flexors/hamstrings/lower back, I can actually feel decent.  I actually ran about 5 yards with K on the soccer field, and was able to put equal efforts between each leg.  I can't remember the last time I was able to do that.  It's been long enough that it felt noticeably weird.  Hopefully I'll put this behind me soon.

That's all for now.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013


I am pretty sure I'm going to throw a leg over my bike and immediately fall over.  That's how long it's been.  My good intentions were worth anything, I'd tell you that I've been intending to get back into shape, but my back/pelvis/hamstrings have been all sorts of jacked up.  I've been going to the chiropractor, and I'm feeling better.  If I remember my diagnosis correctly, my pelvis twisted, and some other part shifted over and then started pinching my sciatic nerve.  On top of that, my one of my 3 hamstring muscles was pulling on the pelvis trying to get it to move back.  Weak core, tight hamstrings, tight hip flexors, tight IT bands, no cardio, no lungs, no legs, no nothing.  Sounds like a recipe for disaster and I got a big dish of it.

So, today is the best it's been in awhile.  After seeing the chiro I went out with AB and played catch (can't throw very well without pivoting on your pelvis, and can't catch wild throws because I can't shift direction nor jump), and then went and played basketball when he beat me.  He came at me so hard it got me laughing and that about took me to the ground.

He is such a competitor, but so am I.  And I'm ready to get back at it.  I need to start running and getting back on the bike.  Maybe I'll try and walk/shuffle/run tonight.  It's a long road to go, but I've done it before and I'll do it again.


Monday, April 8, 2013

Gary Clark Jr

Man, I love this song.

I hope the pendulum starts swinging the other way so the radio stops pushing shitty music out there, play some more Music, you know, with musicians.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013


Sorry for the interruption.  I'm not going to say that I'm firing the blog back up and things are going to be coming out with great rapidity and consistency.  I tried that last time and it failed.  Miserably.

I haven't been riding.  At all.  I think there's a correlation between cycling activity and riding activity.  Maybe because every time I get on a bike, I can clear my head and get some good blog stuff.  Maybe.

I'm quite sure that my writing will be worse than usual, seeing as I never write.  I write commands in firewalls, but no one wants to read "show interfaces terse | match reth".  At least I don't.  So my usually sparse, broken, conversational writing style ought to be gibberish for awhile.  So enjoy that.  In 50 years no one in this country will be able to write what we consider normal English anyway.  It'll be some mutilated form of English, Spanish, and texting.  I'm sure there's a name for the language/symbolism you write with whilst texting.

Anyway, the coffee isn't working right in my brain so I'm just going to write down some topics I've been meaning to write about for awhile, and we can use this as a list going forward.

eating better in this country
guitar playing/music
societal issues
the search for more coffee
mad people
Johnson County
mad people in Johnson County

That's it for now.  No promises!