Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Tick tock. Tick tock.

Not sure what bomb threatens to blow behind my eyes, but I feel each painful tick and tock as it counts down to an unseen zero. It distorts my vision. Affects my balance. Even throws off my posture.

Survived a major upgrade at work. And two power hits from a massive thunderstorm. But couldn't workout. Could barely see straight.

Oddly enough, I'm not sure how much (if any) of this is being caused by my ear. It is barely ringing today. One of my better days, from that perspective.

Maybe it is the weather. Maybe the stress. Or lack of sleep. Or too much work. Hopefully it doesn't continue through the night. Can't handle too many days like this.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Night night.

Another crushingly long day. Usual adventures at the office. Then some time at the gym (abs and yoga.) Cindy's upset because I didn't come home early enough. Liam wants to play the cello. Meg is a glorious, radiant angel, the shining light in my long dark nights.The girls turn in early. Liam falls asleep on the sofa, his arms flying, his legs draped across the Ottoman. I try to turn in early, but read for hours and get upset about all the other things I could have been doing.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Long Day

Another one of those non-stop days at Chateau McDougal. After maybe four hours of sleep, I had to get up and wrestle with the kids to get them on schedule for school. Meg wanted to watch TV. Liam was having stomach issues. Fortunately they made it to class on time. Grandma has a sucessful check on her heart. Jason has an adventure in Jackson, MS. Trying to talk my father into prolotherapy for his back. Usual suspects at The Office. Chest and triceps at the gym afterwards. Non-stop calls for the other projects. BBQ place was closed. Quiznos was closed. More calls. Had a discussion with Liam about the importance of school. Learned the results of Meg's recent tests. (Hint: WOW!) Fixed the new monitoring box. And then a whirlwind of Debian updates on The Mothership, resulting in a cool install of EHCP (thanks to Brother Ron!)

Seventeen hours later, I'm winding down for the day. Everyone else is asleep. I'm catching up on the DVR. And I'll get maybe 4 - 6 hours of sleep before starting all over again. Love these long days.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

20 Ways I Use Math

First day of school. Cindy returns from her trip. And Liam surprises me by saying, "Daddy, YOU have homework!" with a chesire grin stretched across his face. Seems like he enjoys putting me to work!

So I thought I'd share the outcome of my assignment:

Twenty Ways I Use Math Each Day
by Jon McDougal
  1. In the morning, to quickly figure out how many more minutes I can stay in bed before affecting my chances to be at work on time.
  2. On the way to work, to divide my miles per gallon into the cost of a gallon of gas so I know how much I pay per mile. Then multiply that cost by the number of miles I drive to work, so I know how much I spend just to go to work.
  3. On the way to work, to guestimate out how long it may take me to get there on time, based on the traffic density on HW90.
  4. If I’m possibly running late, I have to calculate how much faster I have to drive in order to make it to work on time.
  5. If I’m possibly going to be early, I estimate how many extra minutes I can chill in the car while listening to old 1980s heavy metal music.
  6. At lunch, I subtract the cost of the meal from the amount I’m paying to sure I don’t get ripped off.
  7. At lunch, to multiply the cost of the meal times 15% so I know how much to tip. That is, if the service is good! If the service is bad, I have to use my math skills to get the value of a 10% tip.
  8. At lunch, to figure out what portion of my recommended daily caloric intake is being used by all the fatty, fried foods I’m eating. (Have to save some calories for dinner!)
  9. At lunch, to figure out how many spoonfuls of sugar are in the drinks or cookies I really want to have, but don’t end up getting them because they contain enough sugar to feed an entire class of fourth graders.
  10. After lunch, dividing the cost of the meal into my hourly pay to determine how much of my day has just gone into my belly.
  11. During work, to multiple the numbers of big computers I have to upgrade by the time it takes to do the upgrade and get a sum of the total time I have to spend on that one thing.
  12. During work, if a big computer blows up, I have to figure out if it costs less to replace it or fix it. So I multiply the cost of having no computers for an hour by the number of hours to fix it versus the cost and time it takes to replace it. Once I know which costs less, I know which way to go.
  13. During work, if I have to make a choice of doing something very disruptive during the day or doing it late at night when I should be sleeping, I multiply the number of people affected at the time by the amount of yelling each person is going to do. If the amount of yelling is less than amount of time I have to spend working on the issue after-hours, I do it during the day. If too many people are going to yell too loudly, I do it at night.
  14. After work, when deciding on asking Mommy to cook or just buying some food, if the amount of drama I am going to receive by her cooking exceeds the cost of me buying something, I buy it. If she is in a good mood, though, don’t buy.
  15. After work, add up the time each kid needs to spend getting ready for bed and then making sure they start soon enough to double that amount of time and still get to bed when they are supposed to be in bed. If they are early, that is a bonus!
  16. After work, add up the number of times I have to ask kids to get ready for bed without yelling. Once the number has reached three, the yelling must begin.
  17. After work, use simple math to add the amount of time it usually takes each child to fall asleep to the current hour so that I know when to go and turn off the lights, TVs, and video games.
  18. On the weekend, figure out which activities result in the most happiness for the least amount of money. Movies? Bowling? Renting something? Always get a maximum return on my investment.
  19. On the weekend, determine the amount of time I have to spend working on projects before Mommy lets me do something fun.
  20. On the weekend, subtract the age of the children from 18 so that I remember that I only have a few more years to enjoy their company and affections before they run off to college and start calling me for money.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Double Digit Dude

Last day of summer vacation and Liam is officially a double digit dude. He turned ten today. And isn't looking back on his first nine years.Cindy is up in Jackson, MS, at a Nurses' Conference. But we are all celebrating at the gym.

Lisa Mooty's daughter was born today. Obama marked his 48th birthday. And racer Jeff Gordon's celebrated as well.

Onward and upward, little dude. You'll get there before you know it.

Monday, August 03, 2009


A day filled with adventures for several lady-folk,
  • Cindy departs for a two day event in Jackson, MS. Nurses thing, she says. Break from the norm, I says. Glad she has some time off from us and I can spend more time with the kids. 
  • My friend Lisa is having her first child. If everything goes as planned, her baby and Liam will share August 4th as their birthday.
  • My old college friend, Meredith, looked me up on Facebook. We haven't spoken in more than 15yrs and I'm excited to catch up with her.
  • Meg, my baby bear, was recently accepted into the gifted program. That makes it official: the kids got their intelligence from their mother. Hopefully my sense of humor rubs off on them.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Recovery & Dad's Kitchen

Thankfully, I don't appear to have sufffered too severely from yesterday's collision. My neck is stiff and I can feel something different, but it doesn't HURT. And no affect on my range of movement. However, in my experience, it could take a couple of days before the damage comes into the light. I'm happy, but not overly hopeful. On a good note, I slept great last night and took a surprise nap after lunch. Great energy levels. Fairly good mood, too.

Following my unexpected nap, I went to Dad's house. Renovating his 30yr old kitchen. New counter tops. Thankfully, not granite. So we were able to demo the old counters and put the new ones in place without too much trouble. A first for both of us. But it went surprisingly well. And he was happy with our handiwork. So I spent time with the family and was productive at the same time. Always a good way to end the weekend.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

The Collision

I saw the truck stopping in front of me. Applied my brakes. Stopped in time. But I wasn't expecting the collision. Supposedly she locked up the brakes and skidded into me. I couldn't say otherwise. It was over so quicly that I barely registered the hit. And I didn't realize I had been thrown into the truck in front of me.

The drive was out of her car in a flash. Running up to my door yelling to see if I was okay. Actually, I was pissed. My initial thought was, "You didn't see me stopped in front of you?" But her concern quickly erased my negativity and I said I was okay. How about her? She was fine.

And immediately pulled out her cell phone to call everyone except the cops: her dad, her mom, her brother, her friend with a tow truck.

The guy in front of me called the cops. I checked out all the vehicles. The one in front wasn't damaged at all. His trailor hitch had sucked up the impact. And subsequently pierced my front bumper. (A red arrow marks the hole in the second photo.)

Meanwhile, it looked like the girl had actually gone somewhat UNDER my rear bumper (scraping it all up (red circles in the third picture) and threw me forward into the first guy. Her car took most of the damage (first photo.) Her hood was buckled. And we couldn't believe her airbag didn't deploy.

Nobody was hurt. That is all that really matters. Car parts can be replaced. Necks and spines can not. I was able to drive home without any problems. And I hope I don't wake up tomorrow to feel differently, but right now I feel fine. We'll see what tomorrow has in store for me.