Happy Birthday honey!

Somehow I won the marriage lottery, and got the best mate I could have. I cannot be more serious: nobody else on earth understands me better, and still accepts me. Win.


As I said, win.

Happy Birthday, Honey!

Congrats Youngest Daughter

Our youngest graduated from Chapman University in Orange, California a couple of weeks ago.

Aged 20. With Honors.


Yes, a Disney Graduation hat. Not worn at the actual graduation.


We are very proud of her, as you might imagine. And she’s in California, so employment awaits. And awaits.

This does not in any way detract from our manifest pride in her accomplishment (and my thanks for graduating a year early…).

She’s bright with a similar future. Here’s to Her!

So long, pencil sharpener

I bought some school supplies when I started med school 22 years ago (has it been that long?). Index cards (used a lot of them), pencils (ditto), and a $12 pencil sharpener. Which wouldn’t sharpen a pencil worth a darn. Kept it anyway.

It mangled pencils for all the kids homework, and as we’ve all gotten more digital (and have outgrown homework, mostly) we don’t use pencils much any more.

In a recent cleanout of a desk we’re going to do without, it was re-discovered and brought to the office. Where it sang its farewell song, a perfectly sharpened pencil the first time, then it died in my hands.

I suppose it’ll get replaced someday, though for now we will respect its contributions by marking its absence. Farewell.

 

Turnaround – Think Fast Engineering | Think Fast Engineering

My brother, the Aerospace Genius, has gotten back into racing. Which he does better than me. he also blogs better, which is highly annoying.

Teamwork at the race track is a stunningly beautiful thing to behold, especially when the stakes are huge. I am forever indebted to Jay Messenger, John Fabijanic, and Dave Frietas for giving me far more help than I ever imagined I would need, and for saving me in the process. Without those golden sacrifices, my road racing adventure would have come to a bitter end instead of propelling a meteoric advance. While zigzagging toward the green flag, I told myself “I’m doing this for them, not for me.”

How does this grab you for ambition: Going straight from driver school to professional open wheel racing, with only two test days in between?

via Turnaround – Think Fast Engineering | Think Fast Engineering.

An interesting, and challenging weekend was had, with a happy outcome. Enjoy the Tale, and the Telling.

Not dead yet

All,

Sitemeter tells me people still visit this site. Probably from a sense of nostalgia, and I thank all of you for checking in here from time to time.

I’m working a lot of shifts, going to a lot of meetings, and still trying to have a semblance of a life. This leaves no time for original writing here.

The meetings: our Gigantic Corporate Overlord has graciously agreed to part with a Princely Sum of Cash, and in March we break ground on a new ED. Nice! (Figures off the top of my head: currently we have about 96 beds in 24K sq. feet and see 96K/yr, and we’re going to 81 rooms and 48K sq. ft.).

In case you missed that, we’re not scheduled to get the same number of beds as rooms, but a bunch of our current beds are hall beds. I hate hall beds. And, many of the new rooms are to be designed to ‘double up’ so we can put 2 beds in 1 treatment room, so we’re going to net more than we have now.

Additionally, 2 CT’s, an MRI, and 24 hour sono. And a designed environment rather than the hodgepodge of assumed spaces we currently have. (When I describe our current condition it sounds like I’m down on it, but I’m not. It’s functional. And our staff is terrific. Fortunately they’re going to make the move too)!

Bizarrely, I am one of three docs to work with the team that engages the architects, and it’s a fun if time consuming process. It’s fun to play ‘what if’ with these differently trained pros, and I feel like the time I’m spending there is worthwhile. I get to help design the ED I hope to retire in, and not many get to say that.

And did I mention we’re remodeling the kitchen in the homestead? No? We (had) a mostly original 1986 kitchen that was awesome 10 years ago when we moved in, but now is worn and dated. Well, was. Now it’s torn out to the walls. Our former bulkheads (fir-downs in Texas) were pulled out so we can go all the way to the ceiling, but they contained a lot of wires and plumbing (which are being moved).  It’s very expensive entertainment watching the trades do their thing, and a tiny part of me wants to be one of them. Yes, my brain, thanks…

Speaking of the trades, the electricians liked our garden trolls, and decided they needed to be fed. Heh.

More to come.

 

My neighbors can be fun

So, I started with this (actually happened):

I (well my friend) accidentally pulled his truck and laden trailer over your yard last night.

I very sincerely apologize for this. I will gladly repair any sprinkler system damage, or other damage to the lawn.

I do not anticipate this ever happening again. Both my wife I value your friendship and your being better neighbors than I am.

Apologies. Please let me know what needs repair.

I got this back:
[Read more...]

Ever want something, then realize you didn’t want it?

I have a few things I really like. Vacation trips to SoCal (nearly always to Disneyland), silly and trivial but fun events there, and a nearly Holy Grail trip to In-N-Out Burger are some of my favorites. I’m easy to please, really. Attainable fun and gastronomic happiness in one trip. Bliss.

(I’m not an expert on pleasure. I’m the weirdest extrovert you’ll meet, in that I will include everyone very happily in my public life, and by that I mean I have a blog, I tell people about all the superficial things in my life (I just had my pond filled in, and I have bored everyone at work with that), I’ve blogged a lot of things people know about, and I keep my private life and friends private. You might be surprised that things happen I don’t blog. You might not. It depends on what you know of me.)

Therefore, things I like I tend to Really Like. This explains why I go to the same places for fun. I’m sure there’s a psychological problem/answer there.

As if by magic, one of the forbidden SoCal-only objects has been deposited in my world: In-N-Out has come to Mohammed. (I’m not Mohammed, it’s a metaphor, no bombings please). My anticipation, thrill really, was shared by the family. To say we’ve followed the construction and timeline of this Parthenon of Patties would be an understatement. Never in the history of our collective, extended family has one fast food joint focused our attention so meatily.

I had the Forbidden Burger tonight! And, it was a burger. Away from its normal surroundings, the pseudo-exotic locale, it was a decent burger, average fries, and a good milkshake. (My choice is not for the calorie conscious).

I felt like I finally had a date with the Prom Queen and found out she’s a shallow, dumb person who also isn’t into me. (I’m not personalizing this intentionally, except it’s personal). I could taste the disappointment. Pun intended.

My title isn’t quite right. I wanted it, I got it, and the failure was mine. It was a good burger, perfectly adequate, served with a smile, and as close in taste as a 1,500 mile breach can be. It’s that it wasn’t eaten There, in The Place. And therefore it wasn’t right. Dang it.

Now I’ve diminished something I liked, a lot, and have learned the big lesson. Don’t screw up the things you like, and where you like things is a huge component as to why they’re liked.

I’ve lost something I’ve loved, and now at best I can like it again, in its rightful place, someday. Context matters.

That would have been a better title. I just had to work through it.

Unsolicited praise for BXpanded.com

About a month ago I bought a micro-tractor to have around the micro homestead, which is a lot of fun. (It’s a Kubota BX25, which I’d link to but their site is apparently Flash based, and therefore stinks and is unlinkable).

So, a little tiny tractor with a tiny loader and backhoe. It’s stupidly fun. I had no idea digging things with a backhoe would be so satisfying. I’m not going to give up the day job to do it, but it’s really a barrel of monkeys.

Apparently part of having a tractor is the parts/accessorizing (yes, I concur that accessorizing is probably the wrong word for a macho tractor, but I’m new to this, remember)? So, I have bought bucket hooks and a light kit for it, from BXpanded, and they’re the object of this praise.

I tried the bucket hooks a week or so ago, and they didn’t fit as smoothly as the YouTube video made it look, so I sent them an email, and I got a response within an hour. On a Saturday afternoon. With an apology for taking an hour, as he had been mowing his lawn. Also, his advice worked perfectly.

So, great, one incident, one good outcome.

Then today, another problem. Their light kit looks terrific and went on well, but I couldn’t find the work light wires on the tractor. They’re on the wiring diagram, but I couldn’t find the wires. I called the dealer that sold it to me, and their service department gave me the wrong answer (‘it’s the power outlet’), so they proved their worth. Inexplicably I sent an email to the BXpanded folks, and then bothered to look on the innernut.

Yes the answer was there, and I hooked their nice kit up, and of course it worked. And as I parked the tractor there was a voice mail on my phone. (My sig line on emails from the phone has my cellphone number in it). It was the BXpanded fellow, who wanted to help me find the wires.

Yeah, the BXpanded guy called me to help, though I only sent an email asking for a general hint. It doesn’t get any better than that. And, the lights helped me a bunch tonight while using the backhoe.

So, BXpanded.com, recommended highly.

There is a minor downside to having a micro-tractor: My wife has taken to calling me Mr. Douglas. Yeah.

My wife objects to the venting of our whole-home dehumidifier into the laundry room

I can’t imagine why:

Yeah, Africa Hot. But worse, except not in Africa. So, better! What’s the problem?

Many congrats to Bob

Bob’s my son, and today most of the family got to witness his swearing into the Texas Bar by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court (along with about 400 new colleagues). It was a good, brief ceremony, and as we didn’t get to see him graduate from Law School this was our Graduation event for him.

Afterward we had a nice lunch, and I beat the odds by driving home without my mother in law giving me driving tips.

Life is good!

Employment rocks

It’s a bad economy and a poor employment situation, especially for lawyers. It has been for a couple of years, but for my son the drought has broken, at least temporarily. A job! In law! And in Fort Worth.

The job does not pay a ton of money, and since law firms aren’t stupid it’s for a ‘trial period’ (pardon the pun), but it’ll get him some experience, some income, and get him some contacts in their world. So, winning!

Kudos to Bob!

My Son passed the Texas Bar

I had little doubt as he’d already passed the Florida Bar, but today he got his Texas results.

We’re as proud of him as we can be. Now, about that legal job you have waiting for him…

Happy 50th Anniversary to My Parents

Dear Mom and Dad,
thanks for not throttling me when I deserved it, and for letting me find myself. I literally wouldn’t be where I am today without you.

It’s our (your Sons and our families’) pleasure to help celebrate your Marriage.

Happy 50th Aniversary!

Happy 50th Aniversary!

Solstice eclipse family fun

Our family is odd.  Avert your eyes if the idea of a family joke is too harsh for your gentle retinas.

So, tonight came not only the Winter Solstice but additionally a lunar eclipse.  Astronomic fun.  Not enough fun for the family.

The responsible party will rename anonymous, but it was decided: Darling Daughter (DD) will be brought to believe the following:

  • the solstice and eclipse are tonight (true)
  • the eclipse is visible with the naked eye (true)
  • doing so is dangerous due to the excess of UV rays bouncing off the moon during the eclipse (false)
  • viewing the eclipse is made safer for the eyes by wearing sunglasses (false but funny).

A comically large cardboard box with a pinhole in it (to be worn on the head) was initially thought to to be the tease, but was eventually discarded for the more practicable sunglasses.

DD was initially very hesitant to believe, but the other four of us, wearing our sunglasses, proved too much even for her highly developed skepticism.  So, she happily donned her shades, and we all watched the lunar eclipse together.

At some point, a photograph was in order (we were in on it, that’s why we’re shadeless):

Live long, and prosper.

About 5 minutes after this we let her off the hook, but not before the pic.

Showing good sport, DD insisted I blog this as “It’s really funny.  Mean, but funny”.

Nobody loves you more, sweetie.  Thanks for playing along with us.

Think Fast! book gives interview

Yes, he’s my brother, the smart one. Here he gives an interview to GoRacing TV (new to me) about his book, and why you should definitely buy one for Christmas. Oaky, he didn’t say that, but it’d make an appreciated gift to an aspirng racer…

The interview starts at 1:10

goracingtv on livestream.com. Broadcast Live Free

The book can be ordered through the web site or through Amazon. (I get nothing from the book sales except satisfaction that my brother the Aerospace Genius has achieved his career dreams).