Monday, June 30, 2008


I'm a procrastinator by nature. That's the unfortunate truth. So when I get grand ideas about things to do, more often than not I never can quite get going.

We have a grand plan for turning our haouse into a home, and I feel some motivation when I think of it. But it requires a lot of hard work, which does not scare me. Mostly 'cause I avoid hard work. I really want to see these plans through. Wish me luck.

My son has been watching the Little Bear videos and reading the books. Now he's calling me Father Bear... well "Fadder Bear" and my wife is "Mudder Bear". Our little one is Baby Bear. It's very charming. They are growing so fast.

More Later

Sunday, June 29, 2008


The world lost a good one today. He had a sharp wit, a kind smile, and a ton of information in his head. He is survived by his wife, two kids, and tons of family that loved him and will miss him.

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Saturday, June 28, 2008

Rainy Weekend

Why is it that when you plan on doing some yardwork and finally have a day or two to do it, it rains like there is no tomorrow?

We've been talking about landscaping around the house. Not the 'lets plant a rosebush' variety, but a 'let's replace the back wall, add a patio the size of the back yard, reclaim the wild back hill, divide the perimeter into zones because there is so much to do all around the house' kind. It's a little daunting. But things are starting to solidify a little as to what we want where. Andwhat order we should do things in.

Of course, we are still looking at the budget for such a project too, for when we can complete each phase. In the end though, we will have a much more functional home.

So, we'll watch the rain today. Maybe figure out some other things that need to be done. Sunshine has to come sometime!

More Later

Friday, June 27, 2008

Jen's Rules

State that even posting a picture counts as a post. In that spirit I offer this photograph taken by me.
I give you...
The Fish


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Long Day

You know what I'd like to do? Curl up with my wife and sleep for a night or ten.

Lot's going on here. Dying loved ones, figuring out life, crying baby, and hot, muggy, opressive weather. Flood cleanup in my home town, forest fires burning out a friend, the end of the world. But the beginning of another.

Oh, and that friend who made the comments. Had a talk with her and she assured me she was kidding. But I also told her that while nearly everything was fair game for joking about, that topic was not.

So tired tonight after two night shifts in a row. So Sleep Time.

More Later

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Loss of a Friend?


Almost a sad night at work tonight. Here's the story as it is developing.

As a new hire, I found it sort of hard to 'fit in' with any of the established friendships of the group. I was the new guy, and it took time for my colleagues to get to know me and so forth. Eventually I formed a few really good friendships. One was with a nurse who had been hired after me. I could relate with the initial not knowing of anybody and struck up a friendship with her. It was made all the easier by our shared prior military service and sense of humor. As the months progressed, our friendship seemed to strengthen. Until tonight.

I was perusing the CNN website, or maybe Time, and had an article up about Barak Obama. She happened to look over my shoulder and make a comment about how she would not be voting for him, since she was a Republican. I had already sort of pegged her for one, but political views seldom effect a friendship for me. Then she made the following remarks...

"I would never vote for a guy who was named Barak HUSSEIN Obama, or a guy who grew up with a Muslim upbringing. It's probably all a part of their plan."

I thought at first she was joking around, so I said " The Democrats?"

"No, the terrorists." she said.

Now, anyone who knows me is well aware of my intolerance of bigots and small minded people. I guess you could say I am a bigot against bigots. But this was the first time I had actually watched as the brain of someone who I had come to really like and respect actually seemed to shrink before my eyes. Like watching the heart of the Grinch shrink down. Part of me continued to probe, hoping that she really was just pulling my leg.

One of the reasons I quit when I worked at Mayo was because of a conflict between me and another co-worker when she spouted off about her distaste for anyone not white, Christian and straight. Unfortunately, my supervisors took her side in the dispute, and said I had overreacted. Long story short, I tendered my resignation to focus on Paramedic school.

I will not quit here, because this is the job I was trained to do, and a job I love doing. I worry greatly about this new and unfortunate twist. Our last conversation tonight was her asking me why the other medic and I wouldn't take the rig out to get her a snack. Not an uncommon request from the hospital bound staff here, and one that all of us grey shirts have done from time to time. And I told her flat out that I was very disappointed with her for her bigoted views, and that any requests she had of me outside of what was professionally required would no longer be considered. I was pretty sure I had terminated the friendship because of it.

So, have I lost a friend? One who is intolerant and close minded? Was she actually serious? Bigotry is a friendship ender for me, more than anything else.

How do we define friendship? A group of like minded people? Some of the best friends I have are the polar opposite of me on some things. I suppose it is like an attraction. You see something in the individual that you like, strike up a conversation, and choose to include or exclude them based on those conversations. In my mind, someone whom I find very attractive friend-wise or other, can suddenly shrink to a non-entity based on a remark here or an action there. Perhaps that is why I have so few really close friends. Those that I know I will still love regardless of their future actions. Because they have been with me long enough and withstood the test of time. They've been vetted through our conversations and hanging out together.

Hmm. I'm very tired tonight. Perhaps not the best time to choose to shut someone out completely. Here's holding out some hope that she was kidding. And wondering how to talk with her about it. Wondering how to explain to someone just how serious an issue this is to me, and wondering why it is such an issue to me.

More Later

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Should we stay or should we go?

I should have been sleeping this afternoon. But a couple of things had happened. My wife had mentioned that someone had had the popcorn coating on their ceiling removed, and that if we were to do that, we may as well vault the thing as well. Then I saw in one of my stained glass magazines a mold for creating your own stepping stones, etc. I imagined that perhaps there would be a mold for stones that could delineate between lawn and landscape around the house. So when I tried to go back to sleep to prepare for tonight's shift, I spent the time imagining what home improvements I would want to undertake if we planned on being in the house for a time.

Soon, I had envisioned decks and patios, vaulted ceilings and awesome landscaping. A backyard that became a summer kitchen/dining room/family room space. A back hill that was useable by us along with the turkey's, deer and various wildlife from the woods.

We have talked about moving more into the 'country' since before we were married. We bought our house with the thought that in four or five years we would 'upgrade' to a country place. In the process, we've both really come to like the house. The trouble starts when we consider renovations and such. If we put a lot of money into the house only to move, then we miss out living in the neat house. But if we don't put money into it, we won't be able to sell it for a reasonable amount. I've even postponed planting raspberry plants because we 'may be moving in a year or two'. Tonight we talked about what it would be like to stay in this house for another ten or fifteen years, doing the upgrades and renovations that we want over time and living in it as well. We are nothing if not really good dreamers, so in no time we had a list of 'to do's' that were either really needed or really fun/cool.

So we are sleeping on the idea of actually sticking around for a time. Making pro/con lists for the decisions, and kicking around an order for what projects to tackle when.

It is really fun to have someone to kick things around with like my wife. She's a great dreamer, but unlike me, is also capable of organizing those thoughts and make them much more probable!

Anyway, Thanks for the support from those of you reading who have been so encouraging with your comments. Welcome to my world.

More Later

Spring Cleaning

Well, the whole family stayed busy today. Spring cleaning had been delayed due to the birth of our little girl, but it's in full force now!

My wife has been diligently cleaning screens and windows, revealing the crystal clear world beyond. It's amazing the difference a little Windex makes, and just a little shocking how grubby the windows were without us really taking note of it.

The children spent the day playing with toys, watching some videos and filling diapers. Boyo for the first few, Sweet Pea for the last. Though she is recognizing us as Important People now, and will flash the most delightful smiles when she locks eyes with us. Absolutely heart-melting.

I, after surviving yet another night shift a couple of nights ago, woke at 5am, so by 11am I was ready for a nap. I went to lie down, but kept thinking of all the things I wanted to get done. 11:09 marked the end of nap time, and I went out to till up some garden, mow some lawn, and engage in other manly yard work type jobs.

Now, I usually till the garden around early to mid May, but around that time was otherwise disposed with learning about babies... again. Besides, my Great Seed Starting Venture had fizzled quite dramatically. Only half of the seeds I started actually sprouted... which I blame on the seed starting medium. I bought fancy, expensive stuff, and it was crap. Every other year I've mixed my own blend of soils, composts and such. Back to that plan. Then the remaining plants were attacked by a dig crazy chipmunk that had wandered into my shop and got trapped. I was down to about twenty plants after that, so I just put the survivors outside until I could plant them. Then came the floods of 2008. While my area was not 'flooded', we still got plenty of rain. Much of which, due to improper placement by yours truly, ended up washing out even more of my plants. So today I was able to plant 8 tomato's, six peppers, and four rows of potatoes.

Yes, yes. I know the potatoes should have gone in about two months ago. But such is life. I think this year will be marked up as an exercise in gardening, as I doubt I will get much actual produce from these plants. Ah, well...

Between the tilling and the planting I wanted to get the lawn mowed before it got to jungle proportions. For some reason, since moving in to our house, whenever my wife or I actually say the words 'mow the lawn' it brings rain sure as flies on a rump roast. So now we use the not-so-secret code MTL.

Falling into the category of deciding between the frying pan or the fire... The lawn needs to be mowed. But I am allergic to grass, and mowing usually leaves me with a head feeling like it has been plugged, filled and used as a badminton birdie, and eyes that have had sandbags worth of detritus dumped in and swished around. So after accomplishing the front yard, I was in desperate need of a break. A fresh pitcher of homemade lemonade was waiting for me, and I shared a glass with my son before we went out to plant the garden. He is quite the hole digger!

By the end of the day we were all tired and happy to have accomplished what we did. I'm getting ready for a couple of night shifts, so I'm up in the early am so I can sleep all day and rise and go to work. I still need to get the garbage to the curb by seven or so. Guess I'll go do that next.

Ah, Life in Suburbia

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Early Morning Calm

I've been told that I don't need to try and blog every day by a few people now. They are probably right. The thing is, if I don't make it a goal to write every day, I'll probably let this slip and it will become like the countless journals and diaries out there that have entries from January 1 to the second or twentieth before becoming a vast desert of empty pages. So I'll continue to try, at least.

I'm 'in charge' of the kids this morning so that my lovely wife can get some sleep in our bed. Our little girl is sleeping in her crib, our boy is eating a waffle and watching Clifford the Big Red Dog.

The sun has just come up and is shining through the trees into our front window. The world is still quiet. In no time, I'm sure one or more of my retired neigbors will have their riding lawnmowers going in their quest to mow once every couple of days. Neighborhood kids will be laughing and enjoying the summer, and our house will become a flurry of young family activity.

But for now... Clifford quietly, birds chatting softly. Pretty nice.

More Later

Monday, June 23, 2008


Just wanted to clarify that I am not anti-republican. I know and like some Republicans, and even think McCain would do ok as our next POTUS. (Not as good as Obama, naturally)

My main problem is the head Republican right now, and the chain of psychos under him.

And I'm looking forward to any President that can speak either coherently (McCain, frequently) or poetically, inspirationally, logically and with the class required for the office. (O)

Must sleep now

More Later

King George the Second


Could you BE more proud to follow this man!
Our fearless leaderer!
In these days of rampant silliness when it comes to American politics, I throw in the following link for fun.

A list of quotes from G.W. Bush. Current commander in chief, or as he likes to refer to himself.

The decider. The Commander Guy.

Fortunately for the world, and our great country in particular, we are nearly through his disastrous second term.

Now, I know that many of you may be confused on my political leanings, so let's talk politics!

I once said that I thought John McCain would make a pretty good president. Still sort of a true statement. But I think Obama or Clinton, H. would be better. So I'm throwing my hat into the ring with 'O' for this election.

And rejoicing that the next duly elected leader of the free world will be able to speak 100% better than our current 'decider'.

More Later

Transfers and the Eternal Soul


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The Above writing was deleted because I mentioned that I transfered a patient to another hospital, and apparently some of my co-workers who read this blog were concerned about HIPPA. Although no HIPPA information was revealed in the writing, I have agreed to remove any and all such writings from this and future blogs. Long Live Censorship.

And what about Alzheimer folks? Where do those memories go? My wife's grandmother, who I met only a few times, seemed a delightful woman who did not recognize my wife's sister, but was convinced that I was her uncle, who she missed terribly when he was away. She had memories of some things, but was pretty well lost in a dream/past world for the last few years of her life.

If we are the sum of our memories, are we less if we lose them? What about those who fabricate them from whole cloth and really believe them to be true? And since (as I study my genealogy) I know the names of my ancestors, but not really who they were, will I fade to nothing but a name to a descendant generations from now? Does it even really matter?

I saw a special on the History channel on the Mayan calendar, and their calculations that the world will be ending on December 21st, 2012. So I guess this is all moo.

you know, like a cow's opinion...

it doesn't matter...

it's Moo.

More Later

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Welcome to my Personal Space?

So, I was just talking about this particular blog space with my friend Jen. She may be the only 'reader' outside my family once I leak the address.

It came up that although I am nearly certain that nobody reads this except me, that since it is in the 'blogoshpere', it is a public place.

My wife and I have agreed, long ago not to make public any pictures or names of our kids. This is due mainly to a great mistrust of the Internet and those creepy crawlers who may be out there to prey upon cute kids such as ours. Granted, it's about a one in a billion chance that some creep somewhere would ever come across our limited web offerings, see the kids, and be able to track them down. But, why risk it?

So I'll continue to use the very bland terms of 'my wife' and 'my son, daughter, or child' and leave their extremely cute visages up to your imagination.

I also wonder, out loud right here, who would want to read about my life? I truly believe that my life is absolutely me. But there are others out there who live very adventurous lives, meet amazing people, do incredible things.

I for the most part, just gripe about my lack of sleep and extoll the virtues of my myriad of hobbies.

Maybe it's time to go climb Everest or something.

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Oh Good Lord

Catch up continues.

Turns out, my allergies this year are the worst they've been in many moons. Figures, what with the Apocalypse hitting everywhere else.

Let's recap...
Historic floods...
Earthquakes all over killing tens of thousands...
Volcanic activity in 'strange places' according to folks who study those sorts of things...

Where are the locusts? I'm sure they'll be here.

Two dogs gone in six weeks...
sick relatives...
bad allergies...

Yup, must be the end of the world.

So having given much thought to the subject, I've come up with this.

It's OK to have the end of the world now, as it has to come sometime. Live or die, history will march on, as it were. As my wife says though, don't know that I could live with the loss of either or both of my kids. But, as personal as my faith is, I do believe that God does not load us down with more than we can bear. Doesn't mean things always go swimmingly, and sometimes life is downright rotten. But I do think that we, as a human race, can pull through just about anything.

So, bring on the end of the world. At least I won't have to pay any more taxes! And perhaps we can have an end of the world party, drink some Mai Tai's (or soda for me) and dance the Apocalypso.

More Later

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Night Shift

Slept all day today anticipating my night shift.

Allergies pounding hard, headaches, red, irritated eyes, drippy nose. Meds that make me feel a little spinny and high. Not so good in my line of work.

Night Shift. got to work.

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In the Country

Tuesday was a continuation of Monday. Cut, mow, sleep, fight allergies. Watch my lovely wife take care of my lovely kids, and feel miserable that I feel miserable.

There is so much to do around the house. Literally, as we are going to re-landscape the entire perimeter. We are breaking it all down into zones, and making our battle plan for how best to attack it. Of course, we also have a 100 foot retaining wall behind the house that is bulging ominously in many places, so that needs replacing too.

I'm wondering if, when we get it all done, we are going to want to move out of it?

You see... I've always had a dream to live on some acres out 'in the country', where the air is fresh and the noise is considerably less. A friend of mine lives in such a place, and on a recent visit, the loudest noise was wind in the trees. That's the life!

My wife, I believe, is more of a city girl. Although I really do believe she would love to live 'in the country', I'm pretty sure ideal country for her would be somewhere within a half hour of a city.

I love that she loves me because of, and sometimes in spite of, my dreams.

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Chainsaw Fun


The day after Father's day. And I put the new Dads day gift to good use, spending an amazingly short time chainsawing long pieces of wood into shorter pieces. We used to have a shed in the back yard. After it came out, and most of the parts were turned into other things, what remained we called 'The Ruins'. Those got cut up and are ready to burn. All of the long oak branches and logs left by the guys who took out the tree are, or will soon be, changed into smaller, fireplace sized pieces.

When they took that tree out, the guys doing it asked how long I wanted the parts. I told them we had a wood burning stove, so 12-18 inches. Shortest piece so far is over two feet. They are great at taking down trees. Not so much with the measuring.

The chainsaw performed admirably, as a new Husqvarna should. And I faded before it did, realizing that my back and arms were simply not up to doing all of the work at once.

I was loaded with Ibuprofen and allergy meds for bed. A classic combination.

More later

Monday, June 16, 2008

The weekend flew by

Fall behind, catch up. It's a vicious cycle really. I slept all day Friday and worked that night, gathering a few more interesting stories in my life as a medic. One of my co-workers generously took my call time on Saturday morning, so I went home, slept a few hours and had a nice few hours with my family. That is when I was not sleeping or fighting with my allergies.

Allergies, for those who are blessed to not suffer from them, are miserable. Imagine a world where someone has taken an air hose and blown air into your sinuses until they are raw. Then picture all of the mucus you've ever had during every cold you can remember flowing from your head, usually on an hourly basis. Add to the fun eyes that feel as if the salt and sand trucks have visited your face and coated your eyeballs with their loads. Along with a healthy dose of poison ivy or oak or some other such itch producing plant. Then you are almost... almost... where most allergy sufferers begin their day.

There are medications, of course, for allergies. And in the TV commercials, they always show miserable people popping a pill and suddenly smiling and climbing mountains and such. In reality, they take some of the edge off of some of the symptoms, leaving you feeling like you just have a miserable head cold. Not exactly the time to be climbing mountains.

Anyway. Sunday was Father's day, and it was delightful. After going unconscious around 7:30 the night before thanks to work and allergies, I woke at 4am and took our 7 week old daughter from my wife so the latter could get a little sleep in a bed. A few hours later, when we were all up and at 'em, we went to church and had Chinese for lunch (my favorite food). Then came presents. A long awaited movie from my son, a Lakota/English dictionary from my daughter, and some gardener soap from my wife. Big present of the day was a new chainsaw, and a good one at that. Best present of the day was just spending time with all of those responsible for making me a father, and being extremely grateful for their presence in my world.

There is nothing like being a father. Feeling constantly inadequate for the job of raising a little person to be a good big person, feeling in awe of their mom, who seems to be able to balance that task and many others with great aplomb. Feeling so much joy in the laughter and antics of my offspring, and that evolutionary drive to protect and provide for my clan. For all of the opportunities I could have had as a single person, I wouldn't trade any of my family life for even the best of them. In growing up, I learned to be a little selfish for my own wants and needs. Now I am selfish for my family. It is a different world, this being a dad. And I love it.

More Later

Friday, June 13, 2008

Cast Room

Wednesday was a very exciting day! Our four year old had an appointment in the Mayo cast room to check his little leg. Everything is healing nicely, so he was able to have the full leg cast removed and a little walking cast put on! He chose red and blue for his cast colors, and a good time was had by all. Along with the removal of the full leg cast was the removal of the 'no walking' policy. This is great, as he has wanted to be an active four year old!

He's quite the trooper. I can't imagine having my knee immobilized for three weeks and the achy discomfort that must come with being able to move it again.

My dear wife mercifully let me sleep in the afternoon to get ready for my night shifts. She's quite the trooper too.

Well. I'm all caught up. I really want to be able to document the stories as they happen rather than days later. Fresher memory will lead to better documentation I hope!


More Later


After sleeping well into the morning after the most enjoyable code yellow ever, I awoke to find my lovely family all in the living room, enjoying a visit by my sister in law and her two kids. They had arrived on Sunday night on a mini-vacation of sorts, and I had wondered about taking them to Oxbow Park and Zoo. Our little family visited for the first time a few weeks ago and had a ball. The zoo there is very well kept and has many critters not found in Minnesota.

But I had slept late, and then there were the cloudy, rainy skies to contend with. Instead we visited with each other. I played a few games of chess with my 10 year old nephew, who had just learned the game a week before. He was pretty good for a newbie.

Then I mentioned a new 'hobby' I have recently picked up...Geocaching. It's sort of like treasure hunting for the masses. Someone places a little treasure chest or 'cache' someplace, marks the GPS coordinates and posts those on a website. Then others can get the coordinates and the hunt begins! We've been doing them sans GPS, just printing out a map from Google Maps of the location. This seems much more piratey and easily justifies the term Treasure Hunt for my four year old. The 'loot' is usually little trinkets and toys, and there is almost always a logbook to sign. It really is quite enjoyable, and the price can't be beat!

So my 17 year old niece, my nephew, my son and I all ventured out to see what we could find! After two hours of searching around a local lake, we came up empty. But everyone said they had a good time. Upon returning home, we all decided to go to dinner. The kids and I set forth one last time to look for a different cache before we ate. Finally success! I think they might get hooked on this 'sport' too. It really is a lot of fun.

After dinner we went home for more talking, chess and general family bonding.

More Later

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Holy Backtracking Batman!


So, by my own rules, I need to post for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Today was covered by the last post, but Friday is approaching rapidly! This could get ugly if I put things off much longer!

So... Monday.

Monday I was originally scheduled to work a 3pm to 3am shift. But one of our medics got appendicitis and I was called a few days before and asked if I could do an 11am to 11pm shift with call until 3am. No problem!

Then on Sunday night my boss called and asked if I could come in at 7am instead. It seems that the town I work in was flooding, and things were hitting the fan. Again, it was not really a problem.

I woke at 4am, showered, dressed and went upstairs to kiss my wife and kids. I saw my nice new camera sitting on the counter, but decided not to take it, as I was just going to work! Big mistake. I was diverted going into work through town, and crossed over the river. It was higher than I had ever seen it! Would have been amazing pictures. Grr.

The day was mostly uneventful. We had to cross a bridge that was closed to everything but emergency vehicles. The bridge washed away a few hours later. That was about as close to 'danger' as I got. I was stationed at the hospital, which declared a 'code yellow' or disaster, for the entire 16 hours I was on. My gratitude and respect goes to those who were out filling sandbags and evacuating folks who needed it. Those are the heroes of the day.

Guess I'll sign off now and wait until past the midnight hour to work on Tuesday and Wednesday. Only ten more minutes, but since I'm at work and 12 is 12, it is lunchtime for me!

More Later

Not Jen

Not nearly. I think perhaps that blogging is meant for singletons or stay at home parents. Between working, taking care of my family, and readjusting from day to night shifts and back again, I find that blogging every day is tough!

Hats off to those who can.

In other news, my hometown of Cedar Rapids is flooded! National news flooded. My family is fine, but seeing pictures is tough, as those were the streets I grew up in. I'm giving serious thought as to how I can help with the cleanup once the floods have gone.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Lost in the Flood


Yesterday I left for work at 4:45 am. Good thing I left early, as the community I work in was flooded by the recent rains. I had to take a detour in to the hospital thanks to the flooding, and within a couple hours, bridges were closed, a disaster was declared, and we were busy! When I got done at midnight, I realized I had not blogged for the day, and was too tired to do so.

So I owe another blog today. But I'm going geocaching with my son, niece and nephew now, so I'll write again when we get back!

More later

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Our First Baseball Game

Today we went to a baseball game between the St. Paul Saints and the Wichita Wingnuts. I've never been to a 'big league' game. I guess I still haven't, but it was the next best thing! Now, I'm not really a huge sports fan. I like watching highlight reels on TV, as the actual games are never quite interesting enough to hold my attention for too long. I'm also quite selective about the highlight reels. Baseball, Football, Basketball, Hockey, some Olympic events. Those are alright. But unlike so many of my American male counterparts, I can't stand NASCAR. It seems utterly pointless and wasteful for a bunch of cars to drive around in circles all day. I've been told I'd like it more if I went to a race. Well, I do standbys at local races, and they not only bore me to tears, but give me a pounding headache to boot.

I thought it would be the same way going to a live game of any of the sports I do like, but much to my surprise, I rather enjoyed myself! It could be that we only stayed for six innings. Or that I spent the second and third innings standing in line for food. We had General Admission seating, but traveling with a six week old and a four year old with a broken leg tends to slow us down these days. When we arrived, we were a little late. We spent the first inning trying to find seats in the overcrowded General Admission bleachers, and some of the second trying to find an employee. When we finally found one, she informed us that after the third inning, the reserved seats were up for grabs. So we made our way over to the pricey seats and found an empty row four rows up from home plate! Great seats!

The Saints stadium folks do a good job of entertaining between innings and such. That was part of the fun too. Very amusing characters to entertain us, lots of very enthusiastic fans. The hot dogs were tasty and the lemonade was very refreshing!

We left in the middle of the bottom of the sixth, none the worse for wear, and still not fully caring about the game of baseball. But at least with an appreciation for watching the games live. It's something I'd actually consider doing again! We're going to look into our local triple A team too. Maybe even get a shirt with the logo!

More Later

Saturday, June 7, 2008


There are tornadoes around where I live right now. My wife is at a wedding for a friend. That is frustrating, because I'd love to go tornado hunting. That's another goal I have on my list of things to do before I die. Get some good shots of a tornado. Now I realize that many people would consider this to be a tad silly, and may even lead to being the last thing I do on that list. But still, as I've said before. If you don't chase your goals...

This is ideal time for photographing tornadoes though. You can generally see them in the daytime. I'd never go hunting them at night.

Lazy day here otherwise. With my four year old still in a cast up to his thigh, we can't really run around too much. We were going to do a little planting in the garden today, but alas, too much rain.

Ah well.

More Later

Friday, June 6, 2008

Discouragement and rethinking

So I got a new camera recently. A Nikon D60. It is AWESOME! (Jen- note the caps and exclamation point ) It has been a goal of mine to get a story published in National Geographic or some such magazine along with phenomenal photos. I used to be pretty good with my old film 35, but never really had the time to pursue a story. Well, I still don't have the time, and according to the research I've been doing on submitting stories, it is very hard to break into photojournalism. So I've decided to do some 'practice stories' here and for friends and family.

The good part of this project is that I'll be able to 'pursue' my journalistic ambitions. The downside is, well, it is yet another unpaid hobby that I have.

Still. If you don't spend some of your life following dreams and aspirations... well, what's the point?

More Later

Redefining Rules

So good reader,

Sometimes I find I am not at a computer during a day, thereby making blogging rather difficult day to day. To make up for this, I'll post once for each day. For example, I missed yesterday, so I'll blog twice today to make up for it. May not be kosher for the hard core 365 bloggers, but I don't care!

Last night we had some wind. It knocked down a tree in our back yard that landed on our roof with a resounding thump. After the house finished shuddering, we went to see what had happened. No major damage, but a nice tree is now resting on our roof, waiting for the insurance guy to come take a look. It could have been worse, so I cannot complain.

More later

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Jobs, careers, or just getting by

Ever spend life wondering just what it is you are supposed to be when you grow up? I do that a lot. In real life I've held a multitude of jobs. A brief list of employers and jobs, in no particular order.

-Pizza Hut
-Zoey's Pizza
-Usher's Ferry
A pioneer village where I was among other things, the town blacksmith.
-Seed Saver Exchange
I was a seasonal laborer!
-United States Marine Corps
Field Artillery
-EKG tech at Mayo
-Volunteer EMT in Zumbrota
-Over the Road Truck Driver
-Cook at a Mexican restaurant
-custom entry carpet maker
-line worker at a factory

I'm sure I'm forgetting something. There are so many fun jobs out there that I still want to try. Photographer, craftsman, artist, astronaut, author. If I could get paid to simply experiment with jobs I would. I do love the job I have now, though stressful at times. It is still one of the most rewarding I've had.

How does one decide on a career and stay in it for years and years? Perhaps I'm just not programmed for that. Why is it that people feel trapped in their jobs? Especially in this country, where we have the freedom to succeed or fail based on our own merits. Slightly confusing.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

My Dog Shoba

My Dog Shoba was a black German Shepherd. She was beautiful and soulful. She never judged, even when we did crazy things. She never left me for something better, though I often wondered why. She was my constant companion for over a decade. March 23rd, Easter Sunday, I found her leg swollen and sore. She couldn't stand on her own without pain. I took her to the vet first thing on the 24th. X-ray showed the beginning of bone cancer. Around 5:30 that afternoon she was gone.

She'll need many entries to capture a fraction of what she meant to me.

Then there's work. I respect and admire many whom I work with. Of them, one is a blogger here, and a writer of no small talent. She and I share a few common traits. Profession, depression (though mine is a speck compared to the plank in her eye), similar grandmothers, night shift talks. It seems she's involved in some great Internet project to blog every single day. While I have not the savvy for joining groups and navigating my way around this virtual world, I do think that writing daily might be a fun exercise to get my brain functioning. Or at the very least, clear some of the crap out of that attic so I can have some space to work in.

I made a promise to Shoba once. Long ago, on a frozen Wisconsin night, when we were huddled together for warmth under four blankets because I had forgotten (again) to have the damn fuel oil tank filled, I promised her that someday I would write about her so that people would know of her. This seems a logical place for that. Shoba would be proud, I think. Not just because she loved me without question. But because her grasp of the English language was so much greater than my own, it would do me well to practice.

So for Shoba, Karen, Steph, Dad, Jen and the other writers in my life...I'll practice by blogging every day this year. Today, the 3rd of June 2008 will be my New Year Day. And it is resolved to at least try to stick to this project!

So tired after two nights of work, that my brain cannot seem to stay focused on a topic. This is more like the ramblings of the insane. Just what you want in your paramedic when you're having an emergency. But by blogging now, I've succeeded in completing Day 1 of this blog adventure.

Don't know who would read this. Not sure whether I should care or not. If nothing else, I'll have a record of the year. So much going on, it would be nice to have something to look back upon. Here's a few things to look forward to in future posts.

More about Shoba Marie, the greatest dog to ever live.
Starting a business.
Being a father.
Being a husband.
Life with peripheral friendships.
Gardening and eating veggies.
Life as a medic.
Depression and insecurities.

Too tired to think. must rise and do something else, or fall into a deep sleep.

More Later