Wednesday, July 20, 2011

WHat i want is what I don't have, and what I need is all around me

I meant to touch on this last week, but was distracted by life. Last week was the last launch of an American Space Shuttle. This brings both a tinge of sadness mixed with a bit of hope. The sadness comes form not having a serious pace program anymore. It's the end of an era I suppose. I mean I can remember the days in elementary school when a shuttle launch meant the entire school stopped and gathered around a TV. This was a time before each classroom in America had a TV, so we had to gather around one of the rolling carts with the 200 lb tube TV. The limited availability of TV's usually meant we had 4 classes of kids crammed into one room. How that wasn't a fire hazard have 100 little people ina confined space I don't know??

But there we were, all wanting to grow up to be an astronaut for at least the next recess period. Some how, shuttle launches became common place to the point that the world didn't stop to watch anymore. Major networks didn't interrupt daytime TV to show a launch. Then came Challenger, and people were reminded that exploring the far reaches of the unknown was still dangerous.

The next couple of launches were heavily covered again, until once again the public became less interested again. That lasted until we'd get bad news from NASA, like the uber expensive Hubble telescope had cataracts. Or the mars lander went missing because one person used pounds in the program instead of kilos. But no one got hurt. The Columbia. And we lost seven more explorers. Another slap to remind us that somethings are still dangerous to do.

Now, America has no manned flight program. There's no ambitious plans to do anything other than hitch a ride with the Russians to the space station we built. It's like building a vacation home in Hawaii but not having airfare to go there.

BUT, lest I seem like one of hose "America has lost her greatness" people I see on Fox News, I have hope that NASA has something else cooking. I firmly believe that we've totally, as a country, given up our ability to fly a man into space on our own metal. Perhaps the current vehicle is in the hands of the Air Force and classified. And maybe it has phasers and a warp drive. :-). But maybe once we quit starting wars and collectively paying for people to not work, we'll start doing something that can be inspiring, even if it costs a little bit of money.

That's enough of that. This past weekend was me in ATLizzle. I know some of my loyal fans may feel a disappointment that I didn't spend any or enough time with them. I apologize, but I had specific plans to attend an event and see people in town from the far reaches of the earth, like Vietnam, China, and Hoboken. I didn't not call because I hate you.

But I did have a good time. Driving around town on beautiful days was so nice, even if i was delivering and shuttle about. If anything it renewed the spark to buy someplace in town there. That way I could more easily spend time with all my adoring fans. :-)

Now I need to figure out what I'm doing with myself next week. I have vacation and no plans, and a only a little $$$ i'm willing to part with.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Time in new england took me away to long rocky beaches

Looking back at my schedule over the past couple weeks, and looking ahead to the end of the month, I notices that I've managed to not work any Fridays. That equals the general greatness that is a three day work week. Except this week, I have it down to a two day work week. The long weekend ahead promises some amusement and general frivolity, and getting ti done on a tight budget has been the goal fo the week thus far. Well, the goal of the week since yesterday.

I'm fairly upset with the Avis rental car company. I shouldn't be, but I am. They've seemingly determined that I was finessing the system to get the lowest rates possible. Sure, it took a little effort, a MARTA ride, a 2 block walk through downtown ATlizzle, but would sve about $50 for a weekend rental in taxes paid at the airport. You could still drop the car at the airport and fly fly away. Well, seems they've raised the rates downtown to compensate for that, and since the airport is in "College Park" and not Atlanta, there's a one way rental fee. This is all new this month. So, it looks like I'm driving south this weekend.

Otherwise, I have just returned from a lovely weekend in New England. As in the past, I've really enjoyed the scenery and vibe of the area. And of course, I enjoy the company of my gracious host. We took Christine on the nickel tour of the area, accumulating for her five more states to claim visited.

On of the other amusing things about trips to Adri's is the randomness of places we end up, usually some one's house who's having an impromptu gathering that I seemingly crash. And this time was no different, and included margaritas, which after the lime juice was exhausted became tequila slushies. The area seems for the most part to be a slice of old Americana with roadside vegetable stands (many operated on the honor system being devoid of an owner in sight).

This was the first summer trip I managed up there, usually I tend to go during high season for the fall foilage, and the one trip during the dead of winter (I do not do well with cold). So this time, it was a lush green landscape.

Unfortunately, on Monday, Adri had to return to the grind and Christine and I absconded to Rhode Island. I think we determined that we are not fans. Rhode Island, for the most part, is guilty of blatant false advertising. They claim to be the ocea state, but it's more like the long boring road state. Which, ironically, is more a function of the scenery than the actual distance, being a tiny state. The other issue is it's not an island at all. Again, misleading the world. We finally found Newport (and the adjacent ocean) and marveled a the touristiness as well as the excessivity of the homes. Seems this is where all the rich folks from Manhattan came to get away from the city. It's hard to imagine having a second home that could house roughly the entire population of the small town I grew up in. Some were nice and tastefully kept, some were a bit over the top. I can imagine the residents of the "low rent" district of Newport having annual incomes 10 times my own.

After that, we headed to drop Christine at the train station in New Haven for her triumphant return to the Dirty Jersey (and hopefully a new swimming pool in front of her house).

Again, it was a great weekend away. We always seem to eat so well and meet such interesting people up there.

Now this weekend, I'm heading south for a wedding and associated festivities that accompany a Lewii visit to the ATLizzle. Not sure what's all on the agenda, but I'm sure sleep will be the lowest priority. Then I have a week to figure out how much my budget for the impending vacation week is, and how far it will get me.

In medical news, the bills are rolling in. Woohoo! And My latest doctor visit has found my enzyme levels back closer to normal (40 points high in one case, but down from 300 points high). Still no clue why the elevated, but we're gonna keep going as is. S i'm done with medical visits for a month (hopefully).

In political news... I'm over it. I'm looking for a nice banana republic I can move onto a beach and start my own bar and airline to provide service to said bar.

Otherwise, it looks like August is going to be a slow month for travel, mainly because i have to pay for July (in both money and paying back days I owe for working 3 day weeks all month. I know some of you out there think I'm always on vacation... but it's not completely true ;-)

I suppose i should get busy getting ready for the trip south. Apparently no matter how long i wait the laundry won't wash itself and then jump neatly into my suitcase. Later!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

A window on the world.

I seem to have lost the urge to write frequent and interesting blogs. I'm sitting here this morning thinking about possible things to write about, stuff that's on my mind. Most everything that comes to mind seems like a bunch of whining the more i try an lay it down. I mean I have a couple "problems" that really are just ridiculous that I think of the issues as "problems", like where to go on a vacation. Part of the annoyance is I have so many options, part of it is I can only reserve free seats on our planes on certain days. Yes that's write, I'm seriously bitching about how many days a week I can fly free to foreign lands, and having too many potential options to choose from. Who wants to come slap me now?

The mre serious issue is monetary. I have money to take a frabjulous trip somewhere, but some time in the last month I became a little miserly. I do have plans for the cash I've saved, and of course I'm worried about the potential extended medical leaves (though that seems less and less likely). ANd there's this more recent phenomena that involves me not wanting to go to exotic, if slightly less savory, locations. WTF? What happened to being adventurous? That being said, once I get my head out of my ass and get over these non-issues I'll probably take off somewhere interesting.

So, I'm doing some people watching this morning. I've got a fairly nice panoramic view of the street, with the occasional interesting mix of characters passing by the window. The one thing I do enjoy about Louisville has to be the eclectic mix in my neighborhood. For instance, a middle aged couple in their Sunday best just parked their red Porsche (that I'm seriously thinking about stealing) and are attempting to cross the road, only to be nearly taken out by a shirtless, inked up youth on a skateboard.

Or the young girl who just nonchalantly jabbed a syringe in her leg while sitting at an outside table. I'm assuming it's most likely a medically required injection. But whens the last time you watched some one, in the middle of conversation, pull out a needle, inject themselves, put it back in a case, and then continue to drink her cappuccino?

Then across the street, at the Irish pub, a bicycle club has just finished their ride. Their all decked out in neon spandex, and drinking water or coffee (I'm guessing since alcohol cannot legally be served before 1 PM). I think the most amusing part is they've probably road miles on the bikes, only to load them in the backs of SUV's and minivans to drive home. I find that amusing for some reason.

OK, subject change. In medical news, I' seem to be doing ok with the previously known issues. For instance, I'm not having any new back pains, the numbness seems to be waning ever so slightly. A second blood test revealed my abnormally high enzyme count as normalized, and I don't have any liver diseases or hepatitis (which given the places I've been in the past it was actually possible... I have now been vaccinated against Hep AB to make sure that' not an issue in the future).

However, a recurrent issue has popped up over the last week. About 4 year ago afte a particularly painful week I was diagnosed with gout. For those who don't know it's a type of disease cause by a high level of uric acid in the blood, and it essentially feels like some one jamming a a spike heeled show into the joint in my foot. Through the reading and research and doctor visits, I found out that certain foods can cause it. Also, beer is a big cause. There's also some lifestyle factors. But there's a lot fo we don't know factors (for instance people with high levels of the uric acid never have gout, and people with low levels do... weird). It wasn't long after this episode that i started my fitness quest.

Well, this past weekend I had attack number 2. I'm blaming the oysters I had Friday night (and not the beer, since I've been drinking beer for 4 years with no problems and shellfish are known causes). SO, after a week, my foot still hurts, but it's manageable with drugs. But seriously, can I not be well for a month straight? And yes I know beer is a high causal factor, but I've actually i the last month cut back on my consumption. I have a theory that alcohol is the thin filament that holds my body together, and going for weeks at a time with out a drink is causing me to fall apart.

Now for the agenda for future weeks. I'm spending this weekend in Louisville, doing nothing really. It's a holiday weekend, and that in itself makes nonrev travel tougher. Combine that with my temporary gimpyness and that I'm planning to be gone the next 2 weeks at least, possibly the next 4 depending on my vacation plans it just seemed like a good idea to stick around the place and catch up on my DVR and netflix.

Hopefully getting out the next few weeks will help the restless feelings I've been having... or the urge to get the hell out of this place.