Friday, June 28, 2013

There's a Monster at the End of this Book

Hi there. Remember me? No? Well, that's not too surprising. I haven't had much to say lately and I'm sure to the casual observer it would appear that I've been swallowed up by the internet or completely lost interest in this whole "blogging thing" or worse, that I've been sitting around doing nothing and not having any adventures or any fun at all.

Well... I've kind of been busy with The Not Fun Thing. Everybody has a Not Fun Thing, some have many. I'm talking about the one that pays the bills and keeps me busy for far too many hours during the week. I don't hate it. I'm not miserable. But it is patently Not Fun. About a year ago I was bored at the Not Fun and I took up a different set of responsibilities and that lead to many adventures and learning how to fly and being irradiated for the Security of the Country. I put my feet on the ground further north than I have in my life and saw more snow than I've ever seen. I talked to strangers in transit and made unscheduled stays in a hotel (twice). For a short time it was almost fun. Nothing will make a man feel, at least for a while, important in his work like putting him on a giant aluminium bird and sending him hundreds of miles off to sleep in a strange bed and eat in strange restaurants.

...but things change. For very boring reasons I won't be taking any business trips in the near future. And that's just fine. What I will be doing is being much busier than I have been in my little cubicle for some time. A month ago I reached out and put my arms around some new things and those things lead to other new things and it all just really amounts to more work for me.

Other things have changed at work too. Last Wednesday there was a big layoff and my department was reduced by half. Org charts were torn asunder and new org charts with dotted lines and dashed lines replaced them. The cuts came at the top, middle and bottom of the pay scale. What this all means, as it always does, is that those left behind will be doing more work than they were before.

All this kind of put a funk on my Thursday, which was funky enough already. For days I've been sort of watching the pages of the book of my 30's flip past me, every time being warned by some gravelly voice in my head "pleeeeeeese don't don't turn that page! Don't you know that there is a monster at the end of this book?!?!"

No matter what I did, no matter how hard I wanted to not turn the pages...

...there was nothing I could do but turn the pages. On Thursday I turned the last page and there I was, a lovable blue forty-year-old furry monster. Maybe not so much the blue part, but the "furry" is spot-on. 

Anyway, this is my way of saying that I've been in a state of minor old man depression for a month or so and that's why I haven't been blogging. As in all things, I've used a book form my childhood to explain this to you. Next month I'll tell you about my battle with male-pattern baldness using pages from "Hands, Hands, Fingers, Thumbs" which will be followed by a reading of "The Berenstain Bears" and how it's a portal into my childhood and abandonment issues. 

In the mean time, here are some things that we did while I was dealing with my mid-life-crisis:

May 3rd: Today Esther and I celebrated our 16th wedding anniversary! Today we also received a copy of our marriage license and discovered that our anniversary is really on May 2nd and we've been celebrating it on the wrong day for about ten years. We walked around Southern Accents in Cullman and I took pictures with my fancy camera app.

All the pictures are at THIS LINK HERE.

I swear, I'm happier than I look.

On the week of May 12th we spent several days at Clear Creek Recreation Area in Bankhead with our friends and our multiple campers and tents. I did not bring my laptop and I did not do any work at all. Highlight of the trip was playing with phosphorescent goo from light-sticks in ways not approved by the FDA.

All the pictures will be revealed if you click ON THIS and also ON THIS.

May 27th we tossed ourselves into the Ocoee River and rafted through the rapids with our adopted cousins the Lackeys. Sadly I do not have pictures from the actual rafting trip, but I did get a GPS tracklog of us going down the whitewater. Special thanks to the guides and staff of Quest Expeditions for our awesome day.

More pictures RIGHT HERE.

On June 9th, Esther and I wandered around the yard and took pictures of flowers and stuff. Also Chan and I ventured into the Guitar Center and returned with a ukulele! 

Photographic PROOF.

This is not a bee, it's a fly in bee's clothing
Girl and her uke

On June 22nd, we enjoyed and little Superman and Supermoon at the same time while catching a double feature at Boogie Bottoms Drive-In with all the Lackeys and couple of Woodseses.

The Lackeys, not having learned their lesson, went canoeing with us the next day at Grundy Lake - part of their free Summer Ranger Programs. Let me say that again- FREE Ranger Programs. Tennessee, I love you. We also hiked down to the bottom of Foster Falls where I took some pics of the kids.

Pictures of turtles eating pizza crust and more RIGHT THERE.

Sadly, it was this canoeing trip and resulted in the loss of my camera. It was my own stupid fault. I took it on the canoe with me (along with my phone and my GPS) like I've done a dozen times before and for the first time ever in my life I managed to tip a canoe and land in the lake. I have the camera here and its only problem is that it now refuses to recognize that the SD card is not locked in read-only mode. It's a crying shame that Canon wants to charge me $150 to send it in for out of warranty repair when the camera is worth a fraction of that. Boooo, Canon USA. Boooooo. Frankly, I would have replaced it with a Nikon if not for one single feature that the Canon point-and-shoots in the same price range (less than $200) have that the Nikon does not: MANUAL SETTINGS. Once the "bridge" Nikons that do have manual settings drop in price I'll probably move to them after my replacement dies. In the meantime, I'm saving up for an DSLR; something I've wanted for a few years now.