Monday, September 26, 2011


It's been a busy month so far.  A big project going on at work, and major changes in the in-law arena.

In-laws first.

My father in law went from being a contrary, way too ambulatory pain in my wife's ass to a vaguely responsive nursing home resident that spends his days in a wheelchair.  This is not really unexpected, as he has finally had a definitive diagnosis of Alzheimers, but this all happened in the space of 10 days.  Gayle had to call an ambulance for him, as he'd fallen multiple times in one day, and was slurring his words, and she was afraid he'd had a stroke. He was in the hospital for about 5 days, then was placed in a nursing home in Paducah.  We're trying to get him a bed in the western Tennessee Veterans Home, which is a VA approved nursing facility, and only about an hour and a half away from Memphis.  We're hoping to get this done before medicaid kicks in, and they put a lien against all of the family assets, as the mother in law will still need resources to live, etc.

At work we're to the point of pushing the new Pacs client out to the xray techs to start getting used to.  As I've written before, Pacs is the generic term for xray/mri/ct/etc image storage and manipulation.  We're full on nearing the go-live portion of a project that has us moving images from 2 older systems to the new, and redirecting all of our xray/mri/ct/etc devices to store their images to the new servers.  All in all, it's been actually fun.  This is the part of IT that I really enjoy, so its been fun no matter the frustrations.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Well grounded cat

Ok, I really try not to fill this blog with pictures, especially of the boys.  But this one was just too good to pass up:

this is Mikey hanging on to a PC grounding strap that is actually clipped onto the metal fireplace insert.  I use it during the winter, as my cloth covered recliner builds up enough static electricity to stop your heart if you're not careful.  I guess it just makes him feel safe and secure from static buildup!

How old?

This past Wednesday was my 55th birthday.


My drivers license picture was taken on September 11th, 2001. In the 10 years since, I've gone from weighing 175 pounds and having brown hair with a touch of gray to 195 and a touch of brown in the dull gray.  Obviously, I'll be getting a new picture this year.  At least it'll match my carry permit picture.

Such birthdays tend to have you turn a bit in introspective, and so I've started writing up  a kind of profit and loss sheet on where I am in my life.  That being said, there's not a chance in hell of me allowing anyone to ever see that particular document. Such things are, while inevitable, something that should be only for the writer and maybe their therapist.  If you're honest in such a document it'd be an exercise in sadism to allow anyone to read it.  Maybe there's someone on this planet that are 100% satisfied with the decisions and random chance that has brought them to where they are in life, but I've never known them. On top of that, this sort of balance sheet is by definition the author's opinion, which may or may not have that much connection with reality.

I'll finish this post by saying that while birthdays are a good time to review where you've been, make sure that it's equally a good time to review where you're going. The time to admit that you are finally old and should pack it in is when only the past holds your interest, and the future is just something to endure.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Oh, yeah....tropical storms

My travels to and from Dragon*Con took me from Memphis to Oak Ridge, Tennessee, then to Atlanta.  The return trip was the same in reverse...all to pick up my sister in east Tennessee. The trip back took me into tropical storm Lee about the time I hit Nashville heading west. Heavy rain and wind wasn't helped by heavy traffic.

I bought a pair of clip on sunglasses a while back that are yellow tinted and mainly used on the shooting range.  Well, I'm here to tell you that they work just fine to see through the spray and haze of heavy rain on the interstate. Even with their help, I probably had a good 15 mph cut off my average travel speed.  However, as the rain was needed in most places, I can't really complain, especially since I made it home safely.

Dragon Con, Tendonitis and Tropical Storms

I went to Dragon*Con with my sister Lynn this weekend. Mother of all the gods, what a madhouse! From what I've been told, this was one of the best run Cons ever. That being said, if that was well run, I'd rather run naked through cactus than go to a poorly ran con.

Actually, it wasn't that bad...just huge crowds, the occasional rude behavior, and a lot of drunken behavior as the evening wore on.  The costumes were amazing (including an Elvis Sith Lord!), and the panels I went to were entertaining.  I sat in on panels with Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy from Harry Potter), the cast of the webcast "the Guild", the cast of SyFy's version of "Being Human", all of which were fun.  I hadn't been familiar with "the Guild", which is the brainchild of Felicia Day.  I guess now I've got to start watching.

I also watched a performance of the Atlanta Radio Theater Company doing old fashioned radio shows.  I really enjoyed this (all comedies, of course), and it reminded me of the comedy troupe that I used to love to listen to...The Firesign Theater.  They did the same type thing, with maybe just a touch more professionalism in the writing. I highly recommend their work.

I'm really not that much of a squealing fan type person, but here's a partial list of celebrities that I saw...
James Edward Olmos, Wil Wheaton, Nana Visitor, Nicole de Boer, Lance Hendrickson, Brent Spiner, Nicholas Brendan, Christopher Lloyd, Carrie Fisher, and a bunch more that were sitting around the celebrity room.

The only real downside to this weekend was that I had flair ups of both  my tendonitis and sciatica, mainly Saturday morning during the DragonCon parade. I then discovered that I was on the wrong side of the street during the parade, and couldn't get to the main Con hotels.  This was very annoying, and I'm sorry to say I kinda took some of it out on my poor sister.  However, since this is the first Con she's been to where she got to go to all of the things on her "must do" list, she took it well. Once I was able to get off my feet for a while I got better, and finished the con on an upbeat note.

Without further ado, here's some pictures of the Con...

Sister Lynn as random Elf

Sister Lynn as Professor Trelawney (Harry Potter movies)

Darth Vol

Sister Lynn in Prof. Trelawny costume walking in the parade next to Voldemort