August 2009


Last night I woke up after a somewhat solid sleep of 2 hours. It was 1:24 AM or thereabouts, and after some water input and output I lay down to sleep again. Problem was, sleep eluded me. I reviewed the previous work day, the coming work day, and other relational obligations. I settled which things would be done next. I came to the place of thinking about nothing, which usually works to put me to sleep. Not this time, oh no. I heard the gentle, rhythmically inconsistent clicking of the ceiling fan. I felt the sweat on my neck even in the cool night air. I heard the steady deep breathing of my slumbering bride, just inches from me. I was as alert as a deer.

I grabbed up my jammies, my blankie and pillow, and tried the couch. No napping there either, might as well turn on some teevee. I heard from the late Billy Mays about his awesome auger, watched an infomercial on a tool I’ve actually used and would like to own, and another fitness infomercial about confusing my muscles. Half an episode of Cops, half an episode of Airplanes of WW2, a smidgeon of Comedy Central and VH1 Classic, and finally I was getting sleepy – only 3 hours later. I turned off the equipment, snuggled in, and sunk into a deep dreamy sleep.

For about 12 minutes.

That’s when the dog across the street really had to let it be known that there was something to bark at, earnestly.

Dogs sure know how to ruin dreams.

I drifted off again, only to be chased by a jealous husband for a crime I did not commit. He just wanted to be mad at someone, and I was his target. It came to nothing but a dream full of intimidation and defensiveness, and I didn’t much like it.

I awoke at 5:00 to the gentle caress of one I love, who was asking if I was OK. Going back to bed, we snuggled in for another attempt at snoozeville. Suddenly, the alarm rang – time to go jogging?!? Oh hell no. I stayed in bed until the last possible minute, went to work, came home, ate dinner, worked some more, and wrote this post.

I hope tonight’s better.

How’d you sleep last night?


what_the_hellIt’s time for my monthly blog post.

I appreciate the gentle and unsubtle reminders that I should write stuff. It’s just when I get done with 9 hours of working in heat and humidity that might rival the inside of the devil’s nutsack, loafing after a shower and cocktail sounds really good.

So why then would I want to become a firefighter? They deal with hot and wet times eleventy. While wearing lots of heavy clothing and carrying several stone of gear. Maybe it’s the cool factor. It may also have something to do with the excitement and indisputable importance. Could be the shiny trucks and fancy equipment. Perhaps the unique schedule contributes (24 hours on/ off/ on/ off/ on/ 4 days off). Doesn’t hurt that it offers a steady salary and good benefits.

A friend suggested I apply, and although I hadn’t considered it to be practical up until now (too old, haven’t had the proper training, etc), I submitted an application. It’s been received, because I got a ‘how to prepare’ packet in the mail. I’m gonna need to be in hella better shape by test time, which fortunately is months away. Some of the events:

  • 1 1/2 mile run in 12 minutes
  • Climb 5 stories of stairs while wearing a 50 lb vest
  • Drag a 165 lb dummy 100 feet (I wonder who they get to volunteer for that?)
  • Raise/ extend ladders
  • Obstacle courses
  • Pull ups (which I haven’t been able to do since 1986)

All of these things are timed, and it had better be like Rocky training to face Mr. T (or was it that commie bastard? I can never remember) around here if I’m to have a chance. Good thing I got a jump on it with my friends at the Shrinking Piggies. However, this morning I tested my 1 1/2 mile time: 21:12 (including 3 walking sections, for my brain thought my lungs could use a rest). Must retrain brain.


Bacashun 09 076 compLake Week was fantastic. I wish to have 3 vacations like that annually, thank you. There be a journal of activities, piles of photos, and even a video of the family band playing the theme from Wallace and Gromit. But I’ll make no promises on writing a detailed post, for I am bad at sitting to write. I will say that a week is long enough to get into the rhythm of vacation for a day or two. The Europeans have it right with 5 weeks being the normal holiday (for an entry level position). Put that together with a beautiful setting, fun things to do, plenty of alone and together time, and a family that gets along well, and it’s my version of perfect. What’s your best vacation evar, and howcome?


Today I discovered a new insect: The Industrial Machine Fly. I was using my circular saw in the aformentioned Crotch of Satan that was Raleigh outdoors, and everytime it would get up to speed a flock of great big black flies would swoop in and light on the saw. Or my hand. While I was cutting, they would get as close as possible to the noise and motion. One flew into the blade but was sadly unshredded, and flew back out. They disappeared whenever I stopped the motor, but showed up like magic when the sawdust started flying. Wonder if the sound reminds them of Mother? It’s a question for the entomologists out there.


Auditioned with a band this evening. They play a bunch of cover tunes – danceable fun stuff that everyone knows – and work a couple nights a month. We went to see ’em last Saturday and enjoyed it. Their previous bass player got too busy with another project and quit after less than a month… I’ll keep you posted on whether you can see me performing in a Venue Near You.


Time to loaf, seeya next time!