Showing posts from September, 2005

First Month - Bowling

Well, the team didn't start out so hot, but we've come on strong the last two weeks to even out to .500.

Week 1: 154 243 180 = 192 average. Team: 0-4
Week 2: 147 133 192 = 157 average. Team: 1-3
Week 3: 211 189 159 = 186 average. Team: 4-0
Week 4: 212 171 151 = 178 average. Team: 3-1

So my overall average is at 178. Not bad, and I'm obviously pleased by all the 200s I've already managed, but my goal for the end of this league is to be at a 190 average. It's an aggressive goal, but goals should be. I am worried about the trend the last two weeks of starting strong and tailing off. Last week there was a reason (one of the guys on the other team was spending more time socializing around the teams than bowling, and we wound up being the last group to finish by almost 30 minutes! Everyone was tired-- and a bit cranky!), but this week I just lost my line and couldn't get it back.

I'm also very pleased with one teammate in particular. Although I'm the bes…


Apparently our viewing public is avid for some sort of update. I guess we have both been somewhat quiet since Tucson, but I’ve received some emails and in-person conversations asking what we are doing and where we are going from here.

We are making plans for me to fly back and visit her in her hometown environment over Halloween. This happens to be her favorite holiday and splits the difference between Tucson (mid-Sept) and Christmas nicely. It allows us about a week to continue figuring “us” out and getting comfortable with each other.

I’ll admit that I’m both excited and nervous. Excited because this is a significant step—meeting one another in one of our home towns. That is huge in a long-distance relationship. The safety of the anonymous internet and telephone, of the distance, and of a neutral city (although Tucson feels like home now, with as much of it as we saw!—have to go back there someday; beautiful city) are all ripped away and we are both left bare. It is a significant step…

Nephew's Birthday - Follow up

My sister just informed me that my gifts to my nephew are the hit of the neighborhood. The Spy Toys went over very well and my nephew is out with his pals spying on the neighborhood as we speak.

Yes, his birthday isn't for five days, but I'm the cool uncle that sends him spy stuff now! He can open them early if he wants to.

*big smile and puffed out chest

Now to send him the sensible piggy bank. Somehow I don't think that will be quite as well received. ;-)

Runner's High

I never thought I would say this, but I miss running. I was a good runner. I could keep up with the sprinters and did okay with the distance people. I made for a good 400 and 800 runner in High School, and did well enough at college that I was asked to join the team. Not sure why I didn't.

There was a freedom to running. It was something that was all about you, and your shoes, and the road on which you ran. I actually earned a letter in track and field by running. I don't think anyone actually knows I lettered in track.

The arthritis makes it hard to walk, let alone run. With the new meds I'm on, most of my pain is gone. However, the damage done to the bones in my hands and feet is pretty bad, and you need your feet to run. Does not matter how good your shoes, there is a certain amount of stress forced on them by pounding the trail when running.

I had to give up softball, the last activity in which I could run, because of the pain. That still frustrates me. I wasn't that …

To Whom It May Concern

I don't appreciate you calling at 3 am. What's more, I don't appreciate you calling at 3 am, not getting an answer, waiting a half-hour, and calling back.

The phone is a convenience. I will answer it, therefore, when it is convenient to me. This means that I may be standing right next to it with nothing to do and still will not answer the phone because I do not chose to.

I have an answering machine. Leave a message. If it is important, I will call you back. If I hear your voice on my answering machine and recognize it, I may pick up right then.

What were you thinking calling so late? I stay up late, yes, but not that late. Give me a break!

So don't call so late (or early, I guess). If you do, leave a message so I know who it is and whether it is important. Otherwise, get the hell off my phone line and don't call me again.


Children's Movies Today

I've blogged multiple times on movies in general. Here's a guy who I can see eye to eye with and agree 100% with his analysis. Take a read:,,1072-1786879,00.html

Nephew's Birthday

So I’m searching for stuff for my nephew’s birthday (he’s turning 8 October 2). The only item I have been informed of is a wacky food thing that allows the child to make their own food treats.

In looking on Amazon for this toy, I stumbled across some really neat toys. A company called Wild Planet has created spy toys that mimic the favorite tools you see in cartoons, TV, and movies. One is a Spy Pen that can turn into a motion detector, a magnifying glass, and has a secret storage compartment. Another is a Spy Kit that includes a long-distance listening device and a telescope.

Now this is something Uncle John can get into giving to his nephew! It does two things that I always liked in toys when I was a young boy growing up: enhanced my level of play with cool extras but did not get in the way of my own imagination.

I look at so many of the toys today and I wonder where the imagination has gone. The toys do everything for you, it seems. Many of the video games and similar electronic toys …

The Other Days

Day 2
We visited a desert museum in the Saguaro National Park which, while interesting, was not what we thought it was. Turned out there was more than one desert museum in the park! The one we visited was filled with many dead, stuffed critters, which was sad, but did have a live tarantula in an enclosure. So she got to at least see that while in Tucson. :-)

After this museum we found the visitor’s center, met a park ranger who was from Bangor, Maine and knew the Saint John area, and then went for a walk in the park. I’ll leave it to her to tell you exactly what she said, but I’ll say this: we found a temperature that is “too hot” for the lady who loves hot weather. And make sure she shows you the picture of the “park;” any concept of grass, trees, and nicely placed walking paths are wrong!

Shopping—and then some! We hit a variety of stores and I got to experience “the look” firsthand that she gets in her eyes while “on the hunt.” I stood out of her way and in awe of her prowess, even i…

The Farter

Forgot to mention one of the funnier moments. We had finally gotten squared away and were almost back to her resort when she suddenly said, "Did you see the back of that truck?"

I said, "No."

She said, "I think it had a sticker that said 'I Love Farting.' I was hoping for confirmation."

At the next intersection we pulled up behind the same vehicle. Sure enough, a large sticker spanning the back of the window on the SUV said in big, red letters for all to see:

I Love Farting!

You never have a camera in hand quite when you want it.

Day 1

The drive went better than I expected. Except for a creepy feeling at the rest stop I paused at about halfway (why do only the weird ones stop at rest stops… wait, what does that say about me?), the drive went smoothly. My Saturn VUE, on its first long trip, held up admirably. I made it nearly 400 miles before I chickened out on the far side of Phoenix and gassed up for the last 90 miles. I’m still not sure it wouldn’t have made the majority of that, but I was in the final 1/8 of a tank of gas and didn’t want to do something stupid. Not today!

And I know everyone is reading the blog to know about the drive. Yeah, right.

The Date
We met about 4:30pm after both showering and getting dressed for the date. After a long travel day, you need to refresh!

She was wearing a devastating blue dress and looked absolutely smashing. We found an Olive Garden at which to eat (and noted Target on the way—she needs Halloween adornments so that will be a must-stop location either tomorrow or Saturday). W…


Okay, I admit it: I'm feeling the countdown. Thursday cannot come soon enough. I'm excited and nervous. I can't wait, but at the same time I need way more time to get ready.

I'll be fine once I'm there. But all the energy up until then will be hectic!

Plus, let's be honest: no matter how maturely we approach things, expectations are high. Hopefully not too high and hopefully we'll relax and let things flow naturally. But the expectations are bound to be there. Just have to take it slow. This doesn't have to be the end-all, be-all. Maybe it is just the first of many smaller steps.

And there is still so much to do before then; maps, directions, lists, packing, breathing. Yeah, can't forget to breath. Very important.

Oh yeah, I'm just a little excited and nervous.

The Land of Cubes

In my previous job I was in a two-person office. While it was true on occasion we grated on each other’s nerves, for the most part we got along just fine and I spent nearly 6 years with that roommate.

When I came to my present employer, I entered the land of cubes (cubicles). Initially, I found myself in locations that weren’t too bad; fewer cubes total, fewer people in the region in general, and the people with whom I worked were pretty conscious of the others around them.

I have since moved upstairs, where the concentration of people is greater, the cubes smaller and closer together. While most seem to be concerned with noise and their neighbors, it does not matter; I am now privy to the ins and outs of many lives. And some people are just naturally noisier people. You can hear phone conversations and listen to work conversations.

This company has done something right; it provided us with the taller cubicles. While sitting, you cannot see out of your cube. Many places get the short cub…