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I’m Baaaaaaack!!!!!!! (again)

Friday, August 24th, 2012

Quote of the Day: “Be sure your wisest words are those you do not say.”

- Robert W. Service


This whole blog thing, it’s so, oh, I don’t know, so 2000s. (Still haven’t figured out how to aptly refer to 2000-2009! Don’t EVEN give me “naughts!”)

OK, I’m back.

What, I’ve said that before? I know but do you want me back or not? That is an interesting question since I always fake my way back and then inevitably disappoint my hordes of followers.

Both of them.

And even they have probably jumped the proverbial ship too. So I might be blogging to just myself but so what, isn’t that what’s it’s mostly to be? NO! I want millions and millions of followers so that I can get comments and emails that I will also disappoint the masses by “getting to some day.”

I suck.

But be that as it may, I need to figure out how in the bloody hell I’m going to catch up to bring me to this point? How far do I go back? So much has happened that maybe I should just go back and blog….NO!! I WILL NOT SUCCUMB TO THAT AGAIN. THAT’S WHAT GOT ME TO THIS POINT IN THE FIRST PLACE!!!

So, it looks like I will just have to work my way backwards and try to resist getting too deep into any one topic. And if any of you know me, you know that will be simple Simon for me, right?

Obviously we have some new readers over here.

I’ll try. That’s all I can promise. So here we go.

(This calls for ….. BULLETS! The favorite approach of the lazy and unimaginative…)

- I am currently a Project Coordinator for PACCAR. What does that mean? It means I didn’t quite have enough juice to be a Project Manager and am in a supporting role until I get a call to the Big Show. I am the Project Plan Whisperer and will be getting “Microsoft Project 2010” tattooed on my chest very soon.

- I was a Production Analyst for Kenworth (same corporate company) which meant I was on the production floor all day being “The Man” opressing the “Working Man.” Some saw me as this, some saw me as someone who actually gave a shit about them. Opinions vary. I did that for a year before landing a job at the IT Department.

- I am also the COO of UrbanHarvest, a startup that is building greenhouses on flat-top buildings in urban areas and growing lettuce to sell hyperlocally. No, I am not growing pot. Yes, we won the UW Business Plan Competition (the Heisman of entrepreneurialism in Seattle) and are on track to be super-successful (little known business vernacular for “we blowin’ up, yo!”)

- I bought a small hydroponic setup and put it up in my backyard. I have killed the first 4 crops but am narrowing down the reasons I am killing the innocent lettuce seedlings. Soon I might have enough to garnish. I would rather kill these guys in my backyard than in a greenhouse. My new job will be to set up the growing operation. Then it will be to teach someone else to do it. Then, eventually, it will be to supervise farmers at our different greenhouses. Do, teach, supervise. I know, crazy approach, but I want to wake up each morning NOT to go to work but rather go to my passion.

- I just finished the Insanity workout with my wife. Go ahead and finish your snide remarks… you done? OK, like I was saying, I’m halfway through my SECOND trip through this little joy called Insanity. Really? More jokes? Done? It is an intense 60 day program I do in my garage and I got through day 50 last time before forming plantar fasciitis for the first time in my life. I lost 17 lbs and gave it a couple of months rest before going at it again. I’m not much for leaving the score 0-1 with ANYTHING! So, yeah, it’s killing me but it’s killing my wife less and that is causing my killing to be of a worse variety. Kill.


(Doughy to sweaty, mmmm, sexy, I know.)

- I’m also a coach now. Let me explain that one: I wanted the shake mix they sell and it was cheaper overall to become a coach and buy it at a discount that to buy it outright so, yeah, I’m a coach. I’m not all that interested in the business side so my approach is “buy my shit or I’ll never talk to you again.” I don’t know why no one has bought anything yet.

- My daughter graduated high school on her 18th birthday last month and is now working at Starbucks’s. Yes, I get free drinks. But note that I am paying for most of her college (UW Bothell where she will be attending in the Fall.)

- OK, she won a $10K scholarship from my work to pay for her first year of college so technically, I’m only paying for EVERYTHING ELSE IN HER LIFE.

- My son is currently working as an intern at my work so we carpool every day and shoot home for lunch together. It’s not a very big deal for me, I hardly think about it. I never was the one to be sentimental when it came to my kids and riding and working with one of them is just a passing consideration.

- The last line is packed full of lies. (except for the internship.) I love my kids even more than their mother. OK, maybe that was a bad comparison (and a worse double meaning. Let me tack on “does” after “mother.” Thanks.) but you get the idea. Anyone that knows me knows I am THAT dad when it comes to my kids. I still hug and kiss my son and he towers over me at about 6’1”. But I blew a disc a few years back so, you know, he wins by technicality.

- My wife is no longer working at Spank of America which is good because they suck. She left to work for the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund. Basically, the fund collects donations and distributes money to Marines in need who were wounded in combat. Carrie is a caseworker, works from home, and is basically a professional Guardian Angel. You know when people say you should do something for a living that you would do for free? She does. And has. She volunteered for the same program when we lived in San Diego years ago. She rocks.

- We have a new dog. Buster died and I can prove this because I have his ashes in my living room. Hey, calm down, they are in a vase! Toby looks similar and we claim he is a curly-tailed wiener-beagle. In reality, we don’t know what he is because we got him for free at a 7-11 (no, not on the shelves, it just happened we met a lady who was trying to find a home for the little idiot.). Boy, did he get lucky. He is treated like a king, of course. He’s an idiot.

- My brother lived with me for 7 months but now he has his own house and I have my office back. Never underestimate the value of a man-cave.

- I’m trying to get back into Getting Things Done (GTD). The irony of trying to get back to productivity is not lost on me. But I am still making lists and reading books like “168 Hours.”

- I cracked a molar clean in half, exposing the raw nerve from the side while eating a freedom fry when my wife and I were eating a celebratory rib dinner (new job!). The kicker is that we have no dental insurance because we dropped mine when she got better coverage at Spank of America. But she left that job and not only does her new job not have a dental plan, but the enrollment period for mine does not start until the new year. So it’s during that time period that my tooth decides to just fall apart. Good thing it didn’t hurt that much. Only enough to make me writhe in pain. I went to the VA hospital the next day (why not try?) and was witness to the saddest collection of heroes imaginable. VA hospitals are not anyone’s “Happy Place.” They put in a temporary filling that I hope will last until early next year. That daily uncertainty of immediate and debilitating pain at any moment is just a little slice of joy for me. Life goes on…

- I’m studying Management Science (optimization based on constraints and such.) It was a class I LOVED in grad school a decade ago and now reared its potentially ugly head again. With the right tools and knowledge, I can optimize UrbanHarvest growing cycles. This will allow me to become independently wealthy and do things like … study Management Science-like stuff. Wow, sometimes looking in the mirror is a bit scary.

- My father-in-law and son helped me build a cover for half my backyard deck. OK, let me correct that: my son and I helped my father-in-law build a cover for half my backyard deck. We did a lot of work, he did more, and being the master craftsman that he is, he did it all without a single drawing. We now have a $700 deck cover that is worth many more times than that if you figure in what the labor would have cost if I had not met a beautiful young lady in 1987 and fooled her into becoming my Long-Suffering-Wife.

- I’m moving my wake-up time back a little bit each week. Now that I have sane hours at work (8-5), I can get up and have a morning time block just for me. First week was walking the dog and sipping coffee in my peaceful backyard. Second week is the same but 15 minutes earlier (0615) and a longer walk for the idiot. (Toby, not me. Well, I guess I am walking too… this went bad, quick.) Soon, I will probably incorporate a short run and maybe some reading and writing.

- I am wearing reading glasses now. Turns out I am not immortal. Who knew?

- In the last two weeks I have watched the following movies with my kids because they had never seen them and that is pretty much a crime: Rudy, Batman (first Christian Bale offering in prep for the 3rd in the trilogy coming out), and last night, Fight Club. I think every red-blooded American man wants to be Brad Pitt in this. Certainly not Meatloaf with bitch-tits.

- My Microsoft Outlook email stopped working so rather than going through the red-assing of fixing it, I made the move to Gmail. It was more than a little scary. I imported all my old mail, my sent mail, my calendar, and my contacts. It’s really werid to be totally on Gmail now. (FYI, my email will still look like it is from and to so don’t’ be confused. Too late? Dang.)

- I burned my arm with 2nd degree burns taking a turkey, gravy, and mashed potatoes Smart One out of the microwave last week. More irony.

There are tons and tons and tons that I have not let you in on but that is the reason I need to get this blog going again. Too much passes by without ever being captured and then it is lost in the sands of time. Like I always said, I need to record as much as I can because when I get old and senile, this will all be new shit!

Oh, yeah, and I am a returning Christian again so I am working on the language, outlook, and overall approach to life. I like to run in the desert but I don’t like the prospect of, you know, burning in Hell for eternity. And most of what I have outlined above all came about when I finally made an effort to return to my Christian roots.

If you are still reading this, you might need help. I have been known to be a little …. verbose. But that’s what rocks about writing blogs: you can write to your heart’s content and if people want to read it all, fine. If not, fine. But for those who stuck with me, let me just sum up how life is going right now.

Life is good. As a family, we started almost 25 years ago with nothing, spent over 20 years working our way up the military ladder, fell from grace a little when the economic downturn ate our lunch as we got out of the Service, and are now skyrocketing up higher than we ever imagined.

Now if I can just stop burning my arms and cracking my teeth apart…..

Free Advice for Today: “Don’t insist on running someone else’s life.”

- H. Jackson Brown, Jr.


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