Thursday, December 13, 2018

Party! Party! Party!

I've been in the partying mood for the last week and a half.  Holiday parties that is.

I started off back on the 2nd with the Sisters in Crime/Mystery Writers of America party.  While I'm not a member of either group, an author asked if I wanted to go as her plus one since her husband wasn't interested.  I did this last year and had a great time, so I did it again this year.  There was a 15-word short story contest, and great food catered by Stonefire.  Just a chance to talk with several different authors, which was a lot of fun.

That Thursday was the official holiday party at my job.  It was in the evening near the office, so I hung out and read to kill time before attending.  I intended to stay about an hour and a half or so, but I wound up staying until they shut it down.  While I wasn't drinking, like most people were, I did eat lots of food.  They just had appetizers, but I had more than enough that I didn't need dinner.  They had some nice prizes.  I didn't win anything, but someone in my department did.  There were carolers, although the DJ was so loud, he drowned them out.  And there was karaoke in one room as well.  My record of not singing remains intact.  I got to talk to a couple of friends who work here as well as hang out from people in my department.

Speaking of my department, our holiday party was Tuesday this week.  Again, I got to have Stonefire.  (That's bragging, not complaining.)  It was during lunch time, so it wasn't anything elaborate, but it was still fun.  A little trivia contest and a few raffle prizes in addition to the great food.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Wonderful Thanksgiving

Wow!  It's been almost two months since I updated my blog.  Yes, that's pretty much an indication of how much exciting stuff has been going on in my life.

Until this weekend, that is.  I got to head up to Northern California to see my family.  I did my usual Thanksgiving trip, leaving here on Wednesday and coming back on Monday.  That was four full days up there, and I had a wonderful time.  Thanksgiving day, we were at my brother's rental home, and we hung out the other days as well.  Games were played.  Turkey was eaten.  And I even got to play some ultimate Frisbee one of the days.

The fires were a couple hundred miles away, but the air had been bad in town.  Fortunately, it rained on Wednesday as I was driving up, so the hair quality was much, much better.

And I got to stop and see my best friend and his family in Fresno on the way up Wednesday.  It's harder to connect then it used to be, and I haven't spent much time with his wife and kids recently, so it was great to see them.  I tried again on Monday, but it didn't work out.

Thursday, October 04, 2018

Gladiator Rock N Run 2018

I realized a couple weeks ago that I never posted about the Gladiator Rock N Run this year.  It was the last weekend of August, so it's been several weeks already.

This is the run I do every year at the Rose Bowl, so there isn't much mud.  In fact, they are pretty much just doing one small area of mud these days.  They do have ice water at another point, but that's about it.  Yet the mud is still enough for me to use the shower.

I did the 10K again this year, which is always fun.  I love running up to the dam and under the 210.  There is just something fun about all of that.

It starts out running up and down the stairs in the Rose Bowl.  Since I've been working in office buildings with several levels and I've been taking the stairs, my legs were in better shape for this part then normal.

On the other hand, they had us doing push ups or planks in weeds with thorns.  I skip that part.

Even with that, which was disappointing, I still had fun.  Sadly, this is my last mud run of the year.  Already signed up for Camp Pendleton and Irvine Lake next year, so I’m looking forward to them.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Men's Retreat 2018

Every year, my church has a men's retreat in September.  And every year since I started going to this church, it's fallen on the same weekend as the Survivor Mud Run.  Well, that mud run appears to be no more (which is no surprise with how little work they've put into it the last two years), so that meant I was free to go this year.

The retreat was up at Thousand Pines, a Christian camp outside of Crestline.  I'd never been there, but my church goes up there for many camps, so I'd heard about it.  It was nice to finally see it.

I left work a little early on Friday to carpool up with some other men from the church.  We got there not too long before dinner was supposed to be over, but we were in time to get food and dessert.  As a church, we occupied two sides of a more recently built cabin that had our own bathroom and lots of plugs, which was great since we all had our phones plugged in every night.  Not that I used my phone for much since I had lousy reception up there.

There was the usual camp stuff.  I never did find the pool, but they have volleyball and basketball and a climbing wall and a zip line.  I tried the climbing wall, but I only made it half way up before I freaked out and climbed back down.  The zip line looked like fun, but you had to climb the wall to be able to go on it.  Naturally, an ultimate Frisbee game broke out at one point.  I started going to this church after meeting several of the men playing ultimate after all.

The messages were good, but they could have been better.  I think that was my biggest disappointment.

I'm certainly ready to go again.  I hope the mud run is truly dead or they pick a different weekend for it if it comes back.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Parental Visit

My parents came to visit over Labor Day weekend.  We weren't planning it until that week, but it was great.  And they stayed with me, something I can do now that I don't have a roommate.  Of course, that meant I had to clear out the spare room some and really clean before they came.  I'm glad they didn't completely surprise me.

The timing was perfect since I'd just discovered a leak in my kitchen facet, so Dad and I spent some time replacing it.  The old one was so corroded in place that it took a little bit to get it out, but we only ran into one hiccup getting the new one in place.  fortunately, a trip to the local hardware store found the part we needed to hook up my old supply lines to my new facet.  And it runs well.

We took care of that on Saturday after I went to a wedding at church.  Sunday, we headed down to visit family friends in Orange County.  We got to meet a new baby and spend time playing some games and just chatting, which was absolutely wonderful.  I wish we hadn't spent so much time driving, but that couldn't be helped.

Monday, we took it easy, playing games and going for walks around the condo.

As you can see, it was a great visit.

Monday, August 13, 2018

And the Tourney Brings it to a Close

Saturday was the Summer League ultimate Frisbee tournament.  And, unfortunately, that means that summer league is over for another year.

Fortunately, the tournament was in town again, so I only had to drive 15 minutes to get to the field.

But we lost both of our games.  Games were to 13.  We actually had an impressive comeback in our first game.  The other team made it to 12, and then we scored several in a row, finally losing at 7-13.  The next game was called for time, and we ended that game 8-12.  It was our best game of the week!

I’m really sorry to see the season end, more so than I normally am.  Yes, I’m looking forward to no longer having the long drives once a week to our games.  However, I am really going to miss my teammates.  I had fun with them, even when we were losing.  And, the last few years, I’ve felt like I was more a hindrance than a help to my team, and I would think about quitting ultimate Frisbee.  This year, I didn’t feel like that at all.  It’s what comes from actually being included instead of the guy told to stay out of the action.  It makes a huge difference, and I really appreciated the change.

I think I’m going to play some more pick up here in town, at least for the next couple of weeks, in place of one of my runs.  Hopefully, that will help fill the gap in my life.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Ending the Regular Season with Two Losses

My summer league team had two games, which is unusual.  However, one of them was a makeup game for the game that was canceled last month.  They were Wednesday and Thursday of this week.

And we lost both of them.

Unfortunately, they weren’t even close.  We ended one at 6-15, and the other at 5-15.  We had almost our full team out on Wednesday night, but the guys were at half strength last night.

I didn’t play much in the first game, and I never even got the Frisbee that game.  I do think that’s a first for me all season.  However, last night, I did get it a couple of times.  I was successful all but the last time, when the disc came at me too fast for me to snag it.  So frustrating.

Last night’s game was against a team that had quite a few people I know on it.  It’s always fun to play a team with people I know well on it.  But a win would have been even more fun.

Tuesday, August 07, 2018

July Health Update

I just realized I never posted an update here on my latest doctor’s appointments.

In July I went in for my six month CT scan and blood work followed by an appointment with my oncologist a week later.  And everything came back looking great.  They didn’t see anything on my scan, and my blood work came back looking normal.


I go back again in October, and this time they just want to do blood work beforehand.

Friday, August 03, 2018

Let’s Change the Headline

Just Monday, I was complaining about my team always losing.  And then Tuesday night, we won!

Okay, so we beat a team that I don’t think has won a game all season, but a win is still a win.  And this time, the lights didn’t go out on us either – we played all the way to 15.  And it was 15-12 at the end.

Naturally, my team was all smiling at the end.  It was hard not to be so happy.  It felt good.

Personally, I was batting 50%.  I did well a few times and completely threw it away others.  I played a mix of handler and cutter, which was fun to break things up a little.  And I played more than my typical four points since we were a little down on players.

We have two games this coming week.  Our regular game is Thursday, and our make-up game from a couple of weeks ago is Wednesday.  Then the tournament is Saturday.  Hopefully, this is the sign of things to come, at least for the regular games if not the tournament.  It sounds like both of the teams we play don’t have a regular that much better than ours, so there is definitely hope we can win those games.

Monday, July 30, 2018

Triple Score Game

It’s a familiar refrain, and unfortunately, it’s still true.  We lost again last week.  But we did triple our score from our previous game!  We got six.  But I prefer to look at it as we tripled our score from the previous game.

Once again, they have my playing handler the entire game.  Okay, so I don’t go on very often, but when I do, that’s what they have me play.  They did offer me suggestions on one thing to do differently, but otherwise, they say I am playing the position well.  That’s good to hear since I am usually a cutter.  And I was able to take advantage of being poached off of several times to advance the disc.  I also dropped it and threw it away.  But on average I wasn’t the worst player on the field every time I was on the field.  I definitely find that encouraging.

I think we are all getting frustrated with losing as much as we are.  We’ve just won one game all season, after all, and that was in week two.  But I do appreciate my team because we aren’t calling names or attacking each other.  We are trying to stay positive, but with games like this, it is hard.

Friday, July 20, 2018

Worst Loss Yet

We missed our summer league ultimate game last week since there was a conflict on field space.  Fortunately, I found out before driving down there.  So I decided to head to the pick-up game here in town that night, and it turned out that a friend who has moved from the area was in town.  It was great getting to see Kevin.

But that meant that it was two weeks between games for my summer league team.  Also, both of our captains were out of town.

And we lost.  We lost big time!  We didn’t score a point in the first half at all.  We did score two points in the second half, making it 2-15.  Ouch, right?

Here’s the thing, we still played well.  They have a couple of superstars, and those guys made a big difference.  We got nervous and that hurt us.  I’m sure the other things I named hurt as well, but if you watched a random point, you wouldn’t think the game would turn out quite that lopsided.

We play again on Tuesday.  Hopefully that game will at least be closer.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Toxic Coworkers (Or My Thoughts on the Trump Putin Press Conference Yesterday)

We’ve all had them.  The coworker you know better than to trust.  Oh, they may appear nice to the rest of the company.  Or they may not.  Either way, you know that no matter what you do, it will provoke them and the end result is you will be in trouble.  Maybe they will tattle on you to your boss.  Maybe they will passive aggressively react in such a way that you look like a heel.  Maybe you’ll be lucky and it will be both.

Here’s the thing – you know better than to provoke them.  You know the only way to deal with them is to smile to their face, keep your head down, do your job, and then go home and complain to your friends/roommate/significant other about them and their behavior.  If things are bad enough, you look for a new job.

These thoughts have been going through my mind since I watched and read the transcript of the press conference yesterday after the meeting between President Trump and Putin.  Yes, I can see what people are upset about.  But I think there is much more to the story.

Before I go further, I realize that I am really wasting my time with the following words.  Those who disagree with me right this second are going to think I’m an idiot.  Those who agree with me right this second are going to click away nodding their heads in agreement.  All I ask is that you read the following with an open mind and think about it.

First of all, we need to have a good relationship, at least on the surface, with Russia.  They are a major power in the world.  Unless we want to go to war, then we can’t embarrass them on the world stage.  And I for one don’t want to go to war.  We also need their cooperation with other situations in the world.  Given that, what would have been gained if Trump had stood next to Putin and said what everyone is claiming he should have said.  Putin would have gone home and done everything he could to make the world unstable.  Granted, he will probably do that anyway, but it would have been worse if Trump had attacked him at the press conference.  It would have ruined our relationship with them for a generation or more, and the entire world would have paid the price.

These press conferences are nothing but theater.  Everyone knows not to believe a word that comes from them.  Again, now back to the situation with the toxic coworker.  You are tasked with presenting something to your company’s board with said coworker.  When the time comes for you to stand up and make the presentation, do you act like you get along, or do you start complaining about everything this person has done in the past?  You act like a grown up and pretend that you get along.  The truth may be very different, but you smile and act like you are a team working for the good of everyone.

That is what we saw yesterday.  Trump, a businessman, knows this.  What he directs our country to do in the weeks and months to come will be much more telling than an hour in front of the media.  That is what he truly believes.

I get it.  I read mysteries.  I love the moment when the main character confronts the villain and says “Here is the smoking gun.  You are guilty.”  Unfortunately, that doesn’t work well in real life, especially with so much at stake.  We still have plot holes and/or red herrings in this investigation, and Trump brought some of those up in the press conference.  One thing we learned yesterday that got drowned out in the cries of treason was that Putin has agreed to allow us to interview the Russians who have been indicted.  That is HUGE!  Yes, it will be on Russian soil and he isn’t turning them over to us for trial.  But it is much more than I ever expected us to get.  I doubt we will learn anything useful from it, but it is something.  And it is something that Putin would have backtracked on in a heartbeat if Trump had acted differently during the press conference.

In some ways, Trump’s statements during the press conference remind me of Mark Anthony’s speech in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar.  Caesar has just been murdered, and Mark Anthony gives a huge speech in which he turns the mob from believing Brutus that Caesar deserved to be killed to riling them up to kill the assassins.  And how does he do it?  “I speak not to disprove what Brutus spoke.”  “Brutus is an honorable man.”  The truth was, he was speaking to disprove Brutus because he felt that Brutus had acted dishonorably, but he knew he couldn’t do it outright.  He had to be subtle and work behind the scenes.  That’s the situation that Trump is in.  Yes, that means he attacked the FBI, but there are still holes and flaws in the investigation.  How is it bad to acknowledge them?  He said one thing.  Only time will tell if he truly believes it or not.

There are other reasons I am having a problem taking this all seriously.  First is the fact that many of the people who are upset about this and calling for major action against Trump are the same people who have been calling for this for almost two years now.  On a scale of one to ten, the fact that Trump woke up this morning is a twenty-five, and any time he opens his mouth on anything we should be impeaching him.  In that climate, it is hard to take them seriously when they get upset by the latest thing he does.

These are the same people who were acting like Chicken Little just last summer when Trump got in the Twitter war with Kim Jong Un in North Korea.  Yet somehow, we didn’t get into a real war with them.  In fact, there was that infamous summit in the spring.  No, we haven’t gotten much out of it, but it makes me roll my eyes when the exact same people are now acting like Chicken Little over what happened yesterday.

Another reason is the history.  For the last 20 years, we’ve had Presidents who I’ve felt have treated Putin better than he deserved.  Please follow this link and read it carefully and thoughtfully.  I’m not going to retread all this well documented history.  But look at how Presidents Bush and Obama treated Putin and then read the comments quoted from Trump at the press conference yesterday again in the context of that history and the questions that were asked.  Again, those quotes in context are at the same link.  It provides a different context, one we aren’t getting on the news right now.

As long as I'm providing links, this essay says what I'm thinking better than I'm saying it.

Do I think that Russia, under Putin’s direction, attempted to meddle in the last election?  Yes.  Is this something we should take seriously?  Yes.  Is this something that could have been stopped by one press conference yesterday?  No.  As the cliché goes, you attract more flies with honey than vinegar.  If Trump is going to deal successfully with his toxic coworker Putin, he can’t attack him on a public stage.  It’s what he does behind the scenes that tells the real story.

Do I like what he said yesterday?  No.  But then again, I haven’t liked what Presidents have said in Putin’s presence for the last 20 years.  Trump is no different than them.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Up, Down and Dirty for a Cure

I did a last minute mud run this weekend.  Okay, so I had heard about it a couple weeks ago, but I didn’t sign up until this last Thursday.  I just couldn’t resist signing up when I heard about it since it was raising funds for the American Cancer Society.  Obviously, that is very near and dear to me now.

The mud run was over in the Riverside area, and their latest wave was earlier than I normally like when driving that distance, but I went.

It was okay.  There is no way it was the 5K distance they promised me since I was done, cleaned up, and changed in an hour.  Okay, so there was hardly anyone there, which made it easier, but still, I don’t feel like I would have finished that quickly.

Then again, there weren’t a ton of obstacles, which usually slow me down.  And what they had wasn’t that challenging.  There were really only three muddy spots, and they were more liquid than thick mud.

However, I know if I were to ever organize a mud run, it would wind up looking at this, so I can’t complain too loudly.

The best part of the trip was getting to have lunch with Julie, one of my Trixie friends who lives in the area.  I haven’t seen her for a while, so it was fun to chat.  We probably could have talked for longer, but I wanted to get home.  It was about a two hour drives back, and it was Hallmark’s ornament premier, and I wanted to go spend some money and get home to rest.

I got an e-mail today that they are working on doing it again next year.  I’m not sure if I will be back or not.  It will depend on many other things.  I wouldn’t rule it out, but I also wouldn’t set my calendar around it.

Monday, July 09, 2018

Two More Losses

Yep, my summer league team is continuing our losing ways.  We had another blow out two weeks ago.  We did well in the second half, but with the hole we’d dug for ourselves, it was still a 7-15 loss.

Last week, our game was on Tuesday, so we had a lighter turn out.  That also means I played much more than I usually do.  I did fairly well at that.  Actually, I’m feeling pretty well about how I’m doing in summer league overall.  I think it’s because I’m not feeling super pressured each time I’m on the field.  I’m relaxed, so I’m doing better.  What a difference the team makes, right?

Anyway, even though we were low on numbers, we did well.  We still lost, but it was 13-15.  We tied it up multiple times, and we were even ahead late in the game by one point.  It would have been wonderful to pull off a win, but it didn’t happen.  There’s always this coming week, right?

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Anniversary Party

Exactly one week ago was my parent’s 50th anniversary.  So I went home this last weekend.  I actually headed up on Thursday and came back on Monday.  And Saturday, my brother, sister-in-law, and I threw them a party.

It was a fairly simple thing, an open house type of party but many of the people stayed much of the time.  That was a good thing since some of the actual events didn’t take place until the second half since some family coming from way out of town got stuck in traffic.  But no one seemed to mind since they were having fun talking to each other.

We had put together a quiz, and we had some fun going over the correct answers to that.  The my uncle, a retired administrative judge, put my parents on trial for being in love.  Yep, we all found them guilty as charged.  He called up family and friends to be witnesses, and it was a lot of fun.

We used a multi-purpose room at my brother’s church for the event.  It looked great thanks to the decorations my sister-in-law had made and a few I had bought as well.  And we had Cheesecake Factory cheesecake for dessert, which was a huge hit.

Most importantly, my parents had a wonderful time.  Mom was grinning the entire time, and I could tell Dad was enjoying himself as well.  Everyone seemed to think it went well.  I’m just thankful for my brother and sister-in-law in all of this.  They live in the same town as my parents, so a lot of this fell on them, and they did a great job of pulling all of it off.  Not to mention they have much more experience with this kind of thing than I do, so they were able to use that expertise to make sure we had the correct amount of everything.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Summer League Game 3

Monday night was the third summer league game of the season, and the only one not an hour drive away.  I was pumped since I didn’t have to spend so long fighting traffic.  We had another great turn out, and the other team was small in numbers.

Unfortunately, they had great players, who played very well.  It was never really super close, with them beating us 15-7.  It’s hard to point at any particular thing as several people seemed to have off nights.  I know I was about average.  I connected well on a couple of points, and completely threw it away the last time I had the disc.  However, I appreciate the fact that I am getting the disc when I am on the field.  For too many years, I have been ignored, so this is a very positive development.

Our next game is Tuesday.  I think we are due for a win then, right?

Monday, June 18, 2018

Irvine Lake Mud Run 2018

Yep, back to back mud run weekends in June.  Saturday I was down at Irvine Lake for their mud run this year.  They were proudly talking about it being the tenth anniversary.  Sadly, I missed the first one, so I’ve only been going there for nine years.

The weather was cool.  Not so cold that I was cold before or after my shower at the end, which is wonderful, but much cooler than it was the week before at Camp Pendleton.  Usually, it’s the reverse.

The crowds were once again smaller than they used to be.  But that meant the cleanup time at the shower was easier since I didn’t have to wait as long.  And it meant I had less of a walk to and from my car, which was a blessing since the people who were supposed to run the bag check never showed up, so I had to stash my stuff in the car.  I was not happy about that at all, believe me.

But the run itself?  Fun as always.  I love the mud slide, which I went down twice.  They don’t have quite as many mud pits as they used to have, but they have plenty to get us good and muddy.  And the setting is beautiful even if the lake has gone down due to the drought.

Afterwards, I went to hang out with some family friends.  I actually took some back roads to get there, and they were only 20 minutes away.  We grabbed lunch and then watched a couple of movies.  It was a lot of fun to hang out with them.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

A Win!

My wish actually happened.  We won our second summer league ultimate Frisbee game, which means we are 1-1.

I actually showed up lateish since I got distracted running errands in town and didn’t leave on time.  I was about 20 minutes late, but we were just getting started.  The game was super close.  We were only behind a couple of times, and then only by one point.  We were ahead at the end 12-10, which was the biggest point gap we had all night.

Yes, games are to 15.  But the lights went out right at 10PM, so the game was called on account of darkness.  A win is a win.  I’ll take it.

There were some truly epic points that went on and on and on.  I wasn’t on the field for any of them, but they were tiring to just watch.  I can only imagine if I’d been on the field.

I played my four points, all of the in the first half this time.  We scored when I was in, and we were able to take advantage of them leaving me poached to get the disc and pass it on.  I don’t remember being involved in any turn overs for a change, too.

All in all, it was a great game.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Camp Pendleton Mud Run 2018

This past Saturday was the Camp Pendleton Mud Run for 2018.  It was a blast!

The weather was warm.  I really can’t believe it was only upper 70’s because it felt hotter than that.  Yes, I was running, but even just from walking beforehand, I was very hot.  Still, it was better than last year when I froze the entire time I was waiting to start.

The course itself was pretty much the same as always.  They did add a couple of new things that prove I’m not good at hitting targets, at least on the first try.  We were supposed to through fake grenades in a box, but I came up short.  And I missed at the targets they set up in combat town.  Oh well.

My left hamstring has been bothering me some off and on for the past few months, so I took it fairly easy.  I walked more than I might have, for example, especially since my desk chair at work is giving me fits.  I didn’t want to push it and wind up injured.  Still, I finished in roughly 1 hour 45 minutes, which beat my time last year and is fairly average for me.  I’m quite happy with that.

And, honestly, I’m thrilled I was able to do it at all.  I had signed up before I got my cancer diagnosis, and I spent a couple of months thinking I wouldn’t get to do it at all.  When they confirmed I had stage one, I immediately put this back on my calendar.  I didn’t feel I was as trained as I wanted to be, but I guess I was wrong about that.

This was year nine in a row.  They’ve already announced that next year it is on June 8, and registration is open.  I need to jump on that to get the lowest price.  I am going for 10 years in a row.

Friday, June 08, 2018

First Summer League Game

It’s the first week of June, so that means it is time for summer league to start up again.  Can you believe it?

And I bet you can guess how my team did in our first game.  Yep, we lost.  7-15.  Seems like I’m going to be in for another long season.

It does sound like we have several women who weren’t there who are very good.  Nothing against our women who were there because they were very involved, but it was obvious that the majority of them hadn’t played much before.  Again, this is how you learn, but too many new players on the field at the same time makes things a little difficult.  Still, as I said, they played very well.

And overall it seems like it will be a good team.  Which is a good thing since there was some drama getting me on a team this year.  Even though I requested Mondays off, I got put on a team that had the majority Monday games.  Fortunately, they were able to switch me to a team with a majority of Tuesday games.  We have just one Monday game, and it actually works perfectly with my schedule.

I just would really like a winning record.  Is that too much to ask?  Or even a break even record with enough victories at the end to go out on a highish note.

Tuesday, June 05, 2018

Bowling for Rhinos

A month ago, back at the beginning of May, I got to go bowling again!  My friend Angelique recruited me to be part of her team at a fundraiser for rhino care all over the world.  The only down side was that it was the final week of beach league, so I had to race home, shower, and then race down to Glendale.  Otherwise, I might have hung out at the beach.

That aside, I had a lot of fun.  It was crowded with other things going on like raffles and a silent auction.  I didn’t participate in any of them, but I had had fun bowling.

We only got two games in during our assigned times.  The event is so popular they have three different shifts, but a group of kids bowling earlier.  My scores for the two games were 134 and 109.  Once again, started out well and then dipped.

But I had a blast.  I got to meet a few members of Angelique’s family, and they were very nice.  And it convinced me I needed to find a way to bowl again on a regular basis.

Monday, June 04, 2018

Job Update

I’ve almost abandoned this place, right?  Not on purpose, of course.  I’ve just gotten lazy about updating it.

Which is ironic since I wasn’t working for two thirds of May.  However, I have finally been able to start at the job I was waiting for.  It’s a temp job with the possibility of getting hired on.  I’m filling in for someone on medical leave, and since I was out on medical leave myself earlier this year, I fully support them keeping the job open for the person.  (Plus, it’s the law, of course.)

I haven’t been here quite 2 weeks yet.  And I’m in the middle of my first close.  So far, it seems to be going well.  I haven’t had to stay as late as I thought I might, which is wonderful.  And I love my commute – across town again.  That’s one of my biggest desires in a job is not having to commute south of town.

We will see how it continues to go.  I’m hopeful it will turn into a good situation for me to stay permanently.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

End of 2018 Beach League

I haven't posted about the last couple of weeks of beach league.  Honestly, there isn't much to report.  We ended the season with a perfect record...of losses.  Yes, didn't win a game all season.  Second time I've been on a team like that.

On one hand, I certainly did enjoy the time at the beach.  I don't make it down there enough, and this gives me several weeks in a row to go.  On the other hand, it would be nice to win an occasional game.  Is that really too much to ask?

Wednesday, May 02, 2018

LA Times Festival of Books 2018

April 21st, I skipped beach ultimate Frisbee and headed to the LA Times Festival of books.  I haven't missed this event in years, and I wasn't going to start now if I had a choice about it.

The day was pleasantly warm.  It felt like it was going to get hot at one point, but some clouds came in and cooled it off.  It was great to be outside enjoying the pleasant spring weather.

I got lots of hugs from authors who are friends.  They were so happy to see me and see that I was doing well.  That definitely made me smile.

The day's still not quite what it was.  The fact that fewer bookstores participate or are even around to participate is the reason why.  Still, I bought a few books and spent the time talking to authors, so it was fun.  Left earlier than I would back in the day, but I'm glad I went for sure.

And, of course, I got to spend the day with my friend Angelique, which always makes it well worth while.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Great Health Report

It’s been three months since my surgery, and last week, I had an appointment with my oncologist.  Actually, I’d had another MRI scan the week before that, so we met to go over the results and talk about how I am doing.

And the great news was, I’m still doing well health wise.  The scans showed nothing new, and the spots that had concerned them before haven’t grown at all.  He agrees my symptoms seem to be gone, so all told.  He wants to see me again in 3 months, but after that we will probably space them out more.

Naturally, I couldn’t be happier about this news.  I’m praising God for such a great outcome.

Monday, April 16, 2018

And Two More Games in the Books

Saturday was week four of Beach League, and we kept our perfect record intact, losing both of our games.  Not too surprised looking at my teammates.  We are the slow team, so it stands to reason we can’t win games.

But the weather!  It was glorious out.  My phone only ever said upper 70’s, but it sure felt like lower 80’s.  The sun was shining and there was a small breeze.  You couldn’t have asked for nicer weather.  In fact, I stuck around after our second game and finished my book on the beach before heading home.

Might not have been the smartest move, however.  I got one of my famous unevenly applied sunscreen sunburns.  Still hurts.  I’ll definitely have to be more careful with the sun screen going forward.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Week 3 of Beach League

We’re almost ready for week 4 of beach league (tomorrow), but I haven’t talked about week 3 yet.

We were at a different location.  There was a beach tournament going on, so they moved our location to be next to it.  I’m not sure why exactly since it wasn’t like anyone stayed around when we were done.

It also meant I had to pay for parking.  Normally, I park several blocks away and walk down, but since I’m parking in a neighborhood, it is free.  In this case, I was running late, so I had to park somewhere I knew I could park.  It wasn’t as bad as the lot right next to the beach, at least.

I wasn’t in trouble for arriving late since I was our second sub.  Two teams still had decent sized teams, but our team was very small.  For our second game, we were down to one sub, and we played the other team that only had one sub.

And, we lost both of our games.  Again.  I know, I could have just led with that and been done with it, right?  But it was a warmer day on the beach, so I’m not complaining.  And, at this point, I’ve pretty much given up on us winning.

Since we had so few subs, I got lots of play time.  And my hamstrings were very sore when I got up the next morning, so I didn’t play pick up last Sunday.  Still went out and enjoyed the weather for a little while, however.

Friday, April 06, 2018

Hamstrings Getting Better

I mentioned my hamstrings being a problem when I was running.  Not that this has kept me from running.  I have the Camp Pendleton Mud Run coming in two months, after all.  However, what I’ve found has really helped is soaking them in the bathtub after I run.  Between that and stretching, they aren’t bugging me nearly as much between runs and when I am running.  I definitely have to keep this up.

And I have been running.  I jumped back up to my 3.3 mile run pretty quickly, and I’m wondering if it was too quickly.  I’m really struggling to get through it.  I am doing a slightly longer run as well, and it is a struggle, too.  But I’m holding my distance for at least another week and hoping that helps.  I will be adding distance after that, but slowly.  I have a feeling I won’t be setting any speed records in June, even for me, but I am confident that I will get through the mud run, and that’s what counts.

Monday, April 02, 2018

Beach League Week 2

We kept our streak alive and went a perfect 0-2 in our second week of beach league.

And, honestly, the games weren’t that close.  Oh, they started out close, but I think the most points we scored was 6 to the other team’s 13.  We were down a few players from last week, but a few who hadn’t been there the first week were there including my friend Russell.  We wind up on the same team quite a bit, and it never really goes well.  Not that we don’t get along, but our teams have better records when we are on different teams.

It was also cool.  We’d had warm weather here most of the week with temps hitting the mid to upper 80’s.  As a result, I didn’t even pay attention to weather predictions before heading out, and I showed up to foggy, mid-50’s weather with only shorts and a T-Shirt.  Definitely should have brought my running pants and a sweat shirt.  I was okay when I was running, but when I stopped I got cold quickly.

Because we were down in numbers, I did wind up playing more than I might have.  I did okay.  One drop due to miscommunication (I didn’t think the guy was going to throw it to me).  A couple of times they threw it over my head due to wind.  But I also caught a few, and every one I caught I successfully passed on.

Not the best day of beach league, but I was at the beach, which is always a plus.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Beach League Week One

Yes, beach league for ultimate Frisbee started up this last Saturday.  And I’m well enough to play – at least from my surgery.

The Sunday before (a week and a half ago), I had gone to pick up for the first time since my surgery, and I played so long my hamstrings started to bother me.  Not sure if they are sore or what, but it made me take it easy on the sand on Saturday.  After all, running on sand is harder than grass or concrete.

As usual, we only played one game on the opening day.  We played pickup while the captains picked the teams.  I’m on a team I think I will like personality wise, but I’m not expecting us to win much.  Another issue?  One of the guys I regularly guard is one of my captains.  There goes one potential person to guard, and I need all the help I can get right now.

Not surprising, we lost that first game.  I think it was 6-13.  Maybe we got higher than that.  I played only a few points, and I did reasonably well.  I was happy about that for sure.

It had been cold and rainy last week, so it wasn’t super warm at the beach, especially with the breeze blowing.  I went down by the water to read for a little while but the wind was too cold to stay for long.  I’m sure it will warm up as the season progresses, however.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Keeping Busy

Wow, it’s been about a month since I updated this blog.  I should fix that.

Not that there is much to talk about.  Things are winding down at work.  We have completed our last close, and we are now working on transitioning everything over to the new company.  Then we’ll be packing up the office.  That last close was crazy, but things have finally leveled out.  I don’t expect any major crisis to come up from this point.

I’ve been getting back into running.  After all, I’ve got two mud runs coming up in June.  My longest run was just over 2 miles on Thursday.

Well, until yesterday.  That’s when I went back to ultimate Frisbee for the first time since before my surgery.  I played most of the time they were playing.  I was definitely getting tired, and then my hamstring started to bother me.  I’d injured it in the fall, and I had hoped that it would have healed while I was off the last couple of months.  I should have stopped sooner, obviously.  I’m a bit sore today, but not too bad otherwise.  Hopefully, it will heal enough not to interfere with my running and with beach league, which starts Saturday.

Other than that, I’ve been keeping busy.  I went to Glendale Centre Threatre twice in one week, once for Godspell and once for Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.  I got to see Aladdin when the Broadway touring company was in town.  I got to hang out with Dave Duron for about an hour, a friend I haven’t seen in over a decade.  And I visited my friends Luke and Sarah this past weekend and their new daughter.  All of them were great times.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Back to Work – For Now

My surgeon gave me four weeks off to recover, which means that I was back to work on Monday.  I was rather tired that day, but I’ve been doing better sense then.  It’s good to be back, although I miss all my free time to read and watch the Olympics.  I was watching a whole lot of the Olympics.

Tuesday morning, I had a follow up appointment with my surgeon.  She is thrilled with my progress over all.  She told me to wait another couple of weeks before I start any serious exercise again, so I have to wait to start training for my mud runs, but they are definitely still on the agenda for this summer.  I was having a small problem with one incision, but that seems to have been resolved now, too.

While I was out, my company was sold.  I actually knew this was coming since they’d announced it back in October.  The sale itself is what went through at the beginning of this month.  While I was out, they also announced when I and my co-workers will be let go.  So I am back to work, but only until the end of April.  Fortunately, I am well, so I can now concentrate on finding a new job.

I’m glad God is in control because the last few months have been very stressful.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Latest Update

Just a quick update on my health.  I am slowly healing up.  I’m doing a little better every day, but healing up from major surgery like I had takes some time.  Fortunately, I am still off work for another week.  Not that I want to go back to work next Monday.  Having all this time off has been nice, especially with the Olympics on.  (You might have figured out I enjoy watching them.)

My oncologist agreed that I don’t need any chemo or radiation, which is huge.  I’m going to have an MRI in 3 months and another CT scan in six months to make sure they don’t see anything else.  And they are still doing some testing to see if they can figure out what caused it in the first place.  But I’m concentrating on healing up and putting this behind me.

After all, I’ve got two mud runs to do in June.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Home from the Hospital

There were no further delays, and I had my surgery on Monday.  The surgeon is quite happy with how it went and how quickly I seem to be recovering.

I am home from the hospital – I came home yesterday in fact.  I’m still very sore and taking pain meds, which isn’t a super surprise.  My brother was down for a couple of days, and my parents are still here taking care of me.  I am just taking it very slowly, trying not to leave my recliner too much since I am comfortable in it.

But I got the best news yesterday right before I left.  The pathology report had just come back, and the results are great.  It was stage 1 cancer, and they got it all out – nothing in the lymph nodes or anything.  The surgeon said I was cancer free, in fact.

So now, I need to heal up, which will be a slow process, but then I can put this all behind me.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Surgery Scheduled

Yesterday, I had an appointment with my oncologist. The MRI wasn’t as conclusive as he hoped, but he still doesn’t think the cancer has spread to my liver. So we have rescheduled my surgery for Monday morning. It can’t come soon enough.

Tuesday, January 09, 2018

Roller Coaster

The last few days have been a roller coaster of emotion.

Last Thursday, I had the CT scan.  Friday, I got the results – they found 5 legions in my liver that they thought were probably cancer.  As a result, they canceled my surgery for Wednesday, and wanted to have me do an MRI and a liver biopsy to make sure.  If it was cancer, then they would be giving me chemo to shrink the tumors before I had surgery.

Naturally, the news hit me hard.

My parents came down Saturday to be a support, which meant scrambling to clean out the spare room since my ceiling was finally fixed.  We spent time Saturday night when they arrived and Sunday afternoon doing that and getting them situated.  Dad has already started fixing the issues with the master bathroom, which is wonderful.  The only thing that’s been working is the shower.  And it means they got to be at church on Sunday when the elders prayed for me, which meant a lot of all of us.

However, at 4:30 Monday, my oncologist called again.  In comparing the CT scan from last week to the ones I had in 2006, they noticed two of the legions are in the same place and the same size.  Now they are thinking that this may be something that happens in livers with blood vessels.  Unrelated to the cancer completely.

As a result, they don’t want to do a biopsy, but they think the MRI will be enough to tell what they are dealing with for sure in my liver.  I have that schedules for Thursday afternoon.

Yes, I’m still bummed that the surgery isn’t happening as planned since I was ready to start dealing with the cancer.  But I’m also so relieved with the most recent news.  I’m trying to tell myself not to get too excited in case they go back to deciding I do have cancer in my liver, but the rest of me is drowning out that part of my brain.

Meanwhile, we are praising God for the Monday afternoon news and praying that the MRI Thursday will confirm it.

Wednesday, January 03, 2018

Plot Twist

Apparently, 2017 needed another plot twist.

On December 15th, I was diagnosed with colon cancer.  I still don’t have more specifics than that because the doctors don’t have more specifics than that.

I am scheduled for upper and lower CT scans tomorrow.  They will be looking for any signs of cancer anywhere else.

Assuming those come back clean and I stay healthy, I will be having surgery a week from today on 1/10.  They’ll be removing the tumor, a portion of my colon, and the lymph nodes around them to see if the cancer has spread to them.  I won’t have the results of that back from another couple of days.

Once the doctors know more, then I will know for sure what stage it is and what kind of treatment beyond surgery I will be facing.

What the doctors don’t know yet is they are on a deadline.  I’d already signed up for two mud runs in June, so I will be healthy enough to run them.  In all seriousness, I’m planning on beating this and getting back to my life quickly.

Along those lines, I would truly value your prayers.

I’ll keep you updated as I know more.