Category Archives: Goals
So Many Pies
I feel like I’ve got a little bit of something in everything right now. “A finger in every pie” I believe the saying goes. I’ve gotten the opportunity to dive into a few more projects here recently, and some still waiting to get done.
The Basement has been sitting in pre-construction phase for a while now. After the flood and ripping everything out, then flood 2, I’ve been a little gun shy to put it all back together. But my Dad kinda has been leaning on me to get past the fear that it might flood again, and start rebuilding, so I have. We got some drywall put up and I almost am done putting in another in-wall shelf that Andrea and I have talked about for years to go under our TV. We’ve been making some visible progress, and that feels good! We should have some help coming this weekend to finish off the drywall. That would be fantastic. Then it can really come together after that.
For fun I’ve been having some good times with the Apple IIe from the side of the road, cleaned up and restored that. Stopped short of retrobriting it because a) It’s not too yellowed, and b) I’ve seen some of those projects go bad. So I’ll leave it be. I’d like to find some junk electronics to test the process on and see what works.
Another side project is an old Dell server that I’ve absconded from work. It was taken out of service several years ago, and honestly doesn’t even have a TB of storage across all the drives. But it’s a thing I’ve been playing with, the ultimate goal is to set it up as a file server, and VM box for emulating retro operating systems. So far I have Windows 95 up and running.
I’m still studying spanish, though more passively. I need to get back to it actively, I still expose myself to spanish media, my devices are in Spanish. But I want to make another hard push leading up to the new Animal Crossing game coming out in March. I have resolved to play that game from the beginning in Spanish only. It should be fun!
Basement is the big looming thing though. I want to get that put back together to the point we can get the carpet ordered, which is still a few months away at this point with all the painting to do even after the drywall is up. So I’m trying not to look TOO far down the tunnel.
After that, it will be time to tear into Andrea’s ATV and see what’s up with the engine. It runs, but it makes an awful noise. I don’t know if it’s a bearing, a piston, or what. Won’t know until we tear it apart.
It all gets done… slowly!
Careful What You Wish For
At the beginning of this year, I wrote an entry about how I wanted more projects in my life. How I wanted to create things. So far, mission accomplished.
We finished our shelves down stairs. They turned out pretty great I think. We’ve already run out of room, but I have no regrets, as this was about as big as those shelves could fit in there.
After that I started tearing into the Wrangler, which is still up on jack stands in the garage. I have the feeling this is either going to end up being an easier… or much harder project than I have anticipated, but since the Wrangler is a bit of a toy, it’s been put on the back burner as we fired up all sorts of other things after it got started.
The biggest one has been the new floor, which has been pretty well documented on my Twitter feed @kartmaster. I’ve helped putting down flooring like this before. That snap together stuff. But I’ve never been the dude in charge before so it was a bit intimidating. Mostly because if I screw it up we have to live in it and look at it every day.
Sometimes people will say to me things like, “You should do that for other people and make some money.” Here’s the thing. This took me like a month… working after work. Taking a day off when I just didn’t feel like it. Getting mad. Nah. There’s a reason people pay other people to get this done. And if I were to fall one way or the other from the DIY fulcrum, it would definitely be the customer side.
We also sold the Cutlass and the red Jeep here this year too! I’ll got into some more detail about the emotions behind all that in another post, but selling things like that is work. I hate selling stuff, putting up with the people. Wasting your time on the flakes. But it’s done and I feel pretty good about how it all ended up.
Selling those led to getting a truck. I’ve never really needed a truck especially since we got the trailer. Almost everything we’d need to do could be hauled around there. But when we started riding ATVs, and as Luke gets older and we’re looking at getting a gas powered one for him, logistically it is going to be a lot easier to put his ATV in the truck, and the other two on the trailer. Even with his little power wheels one now, loading up is a two person job to get Andrea’s beast turned sideways on the trailer. So I’m looking forward to spending more time riding, and less time loading!
Of course days after buying the truck I was already diving into a project there. On the test drive, I knew right away the first thing I would have to fix was going to be the seat. It would slide around as you were driving like you were sitting on marbles. It lead to feeling really not in control, haha. “How hard could it be!?” Turns out, actually, for once, not that hard. I cobbled together some scrap pieces from around the shop, built some new bushings, put it all back together and it works great.
I’m thankful to be able to do these sorts of things. Thankful for Youtube mostly. No matter what my problem, I’m NEVER the first person to have it and there’s almost always an ingenious way to fix it that I never would have thought of myself. I’m thankful to have a wife like Andrea that trusts me to take these things on. She used to ask me, “Are you sure we can handle something like that?” back in the day when I’d bring up a project. Now she knows that… it may not go like we planned, but we’ll figure it out.
To be honest though, I’m ready for a break from some projects for a while. I’m ready to get out and play. We haven’t been riding at all this year except on the dirt roads around the house. I have tools and piles of wood, or tires, or supplies everywhere. I need to return to a normal resting state of existence for a while. Careful what you wish for I guess.
Since downloading Wii Fit U I’ve been trying to stay fairly regular with my workouts. That’s gone to all hell this week since I’ve been doing the morning show. Pretty much the only moments I’ve had to myself this week have been while I have been sleeping. But prior to this week, I’ve really been enjoying my workouts.
It’s nothing fancy, and it’s far from a hardcore workout. But as out of shape as I’ve been it’s probably better that way. I pretty much focus on Cardio to get my heart rate up and mix in some strength training routines in between like pushups, rowing squats etc. Probably the most brutal so far is the “Single-Arm Stand”. It sounds like something that would require you to balance on one arm. But what really happens is you hold one arm straight in the air with the Wiimote. Then you have to lay flat on the ground and get back up. All while keeping that arm completely vertical. It’s actually somewhat intense after I do about 12 reps with each arm. Wii Fit U is definitely enough to make you feel the burn and the soreness the next day.
That’s good though, that’s what I need it for. I’m not trying to be a fitness nut or anything, but I’m just trying to be more healthy.
One thing I’ve noticed is I pay a lot more attention to what I eat. Not because I’m trying to diet or anything, I just don’t want all these workouts to be for nothing! It’s definitely made me more aware of what I’m putting in my body. I wouldn’t say I’ve given anything up, but I watch my portions more closely than I used to.
The Fit Meter is pretty cool. After you’ve used it for a while, you can set a daily calorie goal. If you meet that goal while wearing the Fit Meter it will play a little fanfare tune for you. It tracks your distance and altitude and you can take fit meter challenges to put your daily activity in perspective. I’m currently working my way around the Island of Oahu.
Do I feel better? I can’t really tell. Maybe. Sometimes when I’m playing with Luke on the floor and I get up, that involuntary grunt isn’t there like it used to be. I’ve noticed when I do my 10 minute “run” during my workout, I’m able to push harder for longer. For the first time since I got the game, my Body Test said “Normal” instead of “Overweight”. So the needle is moving a bit. My goal is to get my BMI down to 22, but I definitely think I need to work some more activity into my day to accomplish that. Spring will help quite a bit with that, I’m sure!
Tomorrow is the last day for the free trial if you want to try it out. You’ll need a balance board though. We picked ours up on the local classifieds. Then if you purchase a Fit Meter for $20 the whole game is yours forever.
Preperation and Organization
Good morning. It’s been crazy around here lately. But that’s the new normal I guess. Spent the week doing all the normal work, but also had to spend a good amount of time working on computers for people on the side. I am so lucky to have a job that pretty much lets me come and go. I make it clear to all my computer customers that my radio job comes first. So sometimes they have to wait a bit for me to get there. But it’s nice that people on both sides are pretty understanding.
I ended up recording 25 shows this week at the radio station. Usually I’m only doing my daily show for Great Bend and Junction City, then some weekend shows for North Platte. But this week I did daily shows for North Platte and Hutch in addition to all that. The extra money is nice though. And since I’ve taken to actually prepping out some of the show, they go a lot quicker, as I’m not sitting there thinking… “Okay, so what am I going to talk about now?”
That has kinda been my theme lately. It feels like life has been getting so busy and a little bit out of control, so I decided I wanted to take back some of that control. And it’s just come down to preparation and organization.
Not only have I started preparing my show better, but Andrea and I are doing a better job of looking and seeing what expenses are coming down the road. We’ve always done monthly budgets and set aside money for things like, food, gas, etc. But if we took a trip to Wichita and a trip to Cimarron in the same month, it would really put us in a crunch at the end of the month. So now, we plan those out weeks or even months in advance. So going into the month, we know what we have to work with AND still be able to do what we want. Money has definitely been far less of a stress since that happened. Of course it helps that we didn’t end up having to spend $1,000 putting a new motor in the Jeep!
As far as organization, well, that’s just one thing at a time. It’s physical organization, with stuff around the house. It’s really hard to be organized if you don’t have a “place” for something. So that’s when it ends up just laying around. So I’ve been trying to come up with stuff in the garage for instance, that helps those little things have a place to go. I’m trying to organize my time better. It feels like I have so little of it that, it’s important not to waste any of it. For instance yesterday I knew I had more work than I cold get done from 8 to 5, and rather than stay late and miss time with my family, I just went in at 4am. I still got off relatively close to 5pm, and it was still a long day, but at least I was away from home while the family was sleeping instead of when they were awake. Of course I ended up passing out on the floor of the computer room at 10:30pm. Haha.
Anyway, for now. Life seems a bit calmer. It helps that we aren’t running around every weekend like we’ve been known to do. So I’m taking advantage of this time. Hopefully will be a fun and productive weekend. The next thing I need to tackle is my gaming backlog. How to get some of the games I really want to play, played, but still play some Guild Wars 2 which has had me reeled back in and hooked here the last couple weeks. My best idea at this time is just pick different days of the week to play certian games. Especially since a game like Guild Wars is a game that I will never truly “finish”.
Sorry I have neglected the blog… again. I aim to work more writing back into my life as well. It’s beneficial for me to get these thoughts out of my head, so I look forward to doing it more often.
It’s Not Dead Yet
Hells yeah. The Toronado is BACK! If you missed it, the Toro has been out of service since September 2012. A bracket that secures the output shaft busted so there was no way to hold the passenger side axle in place. Thus, the car wouldn’t go. After spending a few months hunting around for parts, I finally took the broken part to Dad to have him weld back together. A couple weeks ago I got the part back (a long with a bunch of old work shirts to securely pack it) but I haven’t had time to put it all back together until today.
In the process of getting everything lined up, I sliced open my thumb pretty good. Not enough to need stitches or anything, but I could have helped out the Red Cross with all the blood that came out. The above is the best I could do bandaging it up with one good hand. Andrea was able to help me later get a better wrap. After this I almost considered calling it a day. But I wasn’t going to let it beat me. I figured if I gave in, it would see my fear and know it could get away with muscling me around. I wasn’t going to let that happen.
There’s not much to report as far as the work that went into it. It’s all been documented here before in more detail than anyone besides me cares about. The only part that matters is when I got it all put back together, it works! HUGE thanks to Dad who was able to do what I wasn’t in welding up the old part.
It took quite a while to start up. The carb was dry from sitting so long so it took a while for the fuel to get all the way up from the tank. But once it started, it was as smooth as always. I put the car in gear, just waiting for a gruesome noise and for all my work to be for naught. But it firmly grabbed. I lightly gave it some gas, and it moved! Like a grand ocean liner sliding from its ways. It was a good feeling! So quiet, so comfortable, so smooth. Ever since I got that car, it always had this feeling about it that it could almost drive itself. Everything about driving it feels so effortless. I drove it around town for a bit and really wanted to take it out on the hiway, but the thing hasn’t been tagged or insured since its been out of service. So I reluctantly drove it back and parked it, right where it’s been for the past 8 months.
So now that it’s running, here’s where I’m at with the car….
We don’t need it. We’ve got two cars and a pleasure car already. What we really need is an old work truck. But I can’t really justify getting one of those when we’ve got so many things with an engine already. If it weren’t around, that might make room for something like that.
It’s not worth anything. Realistically I figure I might get $500 for it. It has 260,000 miles, hail damage, rips in the seat, and the vinyl is really starting to show its age. It’s just an old car. So considering it’s worth so little, I just as well keep it around. I DO really like the car. It’s comfortable, until the axle busted it was remarkably reliable. So right now the sentimental value outweighs its intrinsic value. I wasn’t motivated to get rid of it when it WASN’T running. So I’m even less now.
So… what the Toronado might do, is help preserve the Cutlass. I figure, especially during the winter, when the weather is nasty, the roads are all salty and idiots are sliding around, I’ll take the Toronado. It will keep the salt from eating up the Cutlass and if some doofus slides into the Toronado, so be it.
In the mean time. There’s a few things it really NEEDS done before I can confidently drive it out of town. 1.) Ball joints. The lowers are SUPER worn out. Might as well do the uppers at the same time. They’ve probably been like that for a while, but now that I’m aware of it, it really bothers me. 2) I need some thread lock on some of the fasteners I used. I have deduced that the reason the bracket broke in the first place is that one or both of the bolts came loose. Then as the torsion caused the axle to wobble, eventually the bracket broke from the vibration.
Then there’s the long list of little stuff that needed done before all this.
At any rate, it feels supremely good to have it mobile again. If we want to play basketball in the driveway, all we have to do is move it. It’s not just a broke down old car any more, it’s an OLD CAR again! I love old cars! And I really love that old car. It’s been the best car I’ve ever had. And having it going again is like being back home after a long vacation. It’s… comforting.
The time change totally kicked my butt yesterday. I vaguely remember my alarm going off at 5AM. I’m pretty sure I remember hitting snooze, but definitely don’t remember finally dismissing the alarm. Sure enough I wake up and look over at the clock which reads 7:07 AM and a notification on my phone that says, “You missed an alarm ‘Get Up & Go To Work'”. Whoops. So that means I slept through 10 minutes of my alarm going off before my phone finally gave up.
So I resolved to make some changes. I updated the alarm on my phone to be louder. I also picked a new song as my alarm sound. I’ve found that I can’t use songs that I like as my alarm. Because after a couple days of that song waking me up… I grow to hate it. It totally ruins the song for me. So I try to pick a song that I sorta like so it’s still pleasant to wake up to, but I’m not too attached to. Thus I arrived at Frank Sinatra – “Summer Wind” as my new alarm.
I made a point to set up the coffee maker the night before and set the program. So that when I wake up, piping hot coffee is waiting for me. (Which I am enjoying its full robust flavor now). It makes it a lot easier to get out of bed if you have something warm and waiting for you rather than knowing the first thing you have to do when you get up is a chore.
The third change I’m trying to make is getting cleaned up and dressed right away. Usually I lounge around in my bathrobe until the last possible second before I have to actually start getting groomed for the world beyond my front door. And I’m usually groggy and lethargic all morning, until I actually start getting dressed, then I feel like I finally wake up into “day mode”. So I thought, “What if I just get dressed right away?” So far… seems to make a difference.
The final change I made is the most foundation rocking one of them all though… I disabled the Snooze feature on my phone. I am a chronic “snoozer”. I will literally hit snooze for an hour in the mornings. I just hate waking up. HATE it. Once I’m up, I’m good. But if snoozing is an option, it’s an option I take every time. So I decided to take that option away from myself. Today… it worked.
But it’s going to take weeks to see if this move is successful. “Sleepy Me” is a sneaky bastard. I have been known to solve the two compound equations that my phone requires to turn off my alarm, go into the other alarm on my phone and set an alarm for T+1 hour, and go back to sleep. Sometimes with only vague memories of it even happening. “Sleepy Me” is committed to not giving up on the night.
All I really want is to get a reasonable amount of sleep each night, but not sleep more than I have to. Sleeping is just time wasted in my book.
Does anyone actually wake up feeling refreshed and energized with a zest for life? How do you do it? I’d love to know your secrets.
Things that are today’s goals:
- Spend time with my family
- Don’t forget lunch
- Get a head start on tomorrow
Things that are long term goals:
- Pull stone posts from the yard
- Save for a house
- Lose 10 pounds
Things I want:
- Quality Microphone
- Pickup Truck
Things I remember:
- Video Chairs
- Bill Elliott Telephone
- Top Loading VCRs
Things I appreciate:
- Everything Andrea Does
- Broadband Internet
- Job Security
Things I miss:
- Getting Summer Off
- Cruise Control
Things I DON’T miss:
- Only having one Production Room at work
- Tile falling off bathroom walls
- Hoodlum Neighbors
Too late to blog
Aye carrumba. I think that’s how you type it. It’s far too late to be up doing this. 1am in fact. Tomorrow I’ll be staring at the computer screen at work, eyes glazed over and thinking about how my eternal goal of setting up some kind of Utopian sleep schedule may never be attained. Though if it where attainable, it wouldn’t be Utopian then would it. Oh should I have such clarity of mind tomorrow at 3:17pm.
Today was Andrea and I’s 3rd wedding anniversary. It was astoundingly unremarkable. We had plans of going out to eat in Hays and making a deal of it. But after we got home following a few kinks in the plan… it just seemed so forced to me. Whether Andrea felt the same, I’m not sure. But we decided to postpone the festivities. We had a really awesome “breakfast for supper” and spent some time together just talking. The whole time I was thinking about how this wasn’t really an anniversary, it was just another day… but BEING on our anniversary I couldn’t help but think of how much I LOVED being with her… every day.
She drifted off to sleep early, busy growing a baby, you know. And I had some things to do. I was waiting on some video to encode for work and somehow stumbled upon this story. I had forgotten I’d even written it, and forgotten most of the things I had written about. As I read through what was an unusually coherent story for me, I really reflected on where I’ve been. Where I am now. And how much I have (and haven’t) grown up.
You know there aren’t any chapters in life. It’s all such a slow process that you don’t even notice the time that’s passed until you lift your head up from the page you happen to currently be writing and look at everything you’ve already “written”. And you have that “holy crabcakes” moment where you think “I’ve been so deeply consumed with what’s been right in front of me for so long I’ve lost track of all that I’ve done“. It was amazing to read that old story and think that that really was me. And to recall those decisions I made at that time having no f’ng clue what all would happen in the next seven years.
The sobering thought for me is that I had a plan then. Probably a plan with even greater clairvoyance than the plan I have now for life. Remarkably much of what was planted back then has blossomed now and continues to grow. Andrea and I are married 3 years, and Luke could conceivably be here any day now. I’m still in radio after quite a bit of adversity and some really scary job moves. If you asked me if I am where I thought I would be by now… I probably couldn’t give you a straight answer. I’m somewhat where I expected to be, but got here ENTIRELY unlike anything I ever dreamed of. Certainly a path I couldn’t have planned for, yet somehow walking distance from the original course.
As I read that it brought back a lot of personal thoughts about myself of the sort you never really share with people. Not the dark or embarrassing kind. The kind you don’t share because when people ask “How you been” they’d really rather not know anyway. “Doing well” is efficient and expected in these encounters. Had they or I been up for it, I could have opened with the oft overused, “I HAVE been pretty shitty and confused, but right now I feel quite effervescent so please don’t feel awkward. I can only hope you are better than you have been as well!”
I feel like I’ve grown… A LOT in seven years. More mature, confident and determined than the clueless kid with a positive attitude I was back then. But you ask me where I’ll be seven years from NOW, and I feel just as apprehensive, courageous and positive as I did back then. I’m still intimidated about how I’m going to provide a living, now not just for myself, but my family. How to grow in my career as to be a more valuable team member, and how to expand my skills should god forbid something unforeseen head my way. If history is any indication you can be assured it will. As intimidating as it all is, knowing what challenges have already come and gone, and how even the monstrously tough decisions did little in the way of straying us from our original path, it’s hard to be scared.
What I love about today, is how exciting tomorrow sounds. Know I can’t wait for tomorrow, to see what happens. And to be there when it does!
Finally Disabled Facebook
This isn’t a huge thing since rarely am I ever on there. Occasionally I’d get an e-mail that I have a friend request or someone sends me a message directly, but unless prompted I never got on just to see what’s going on. Over the past few months I’d been getting friend requests from some of the most random people I’ve ever met. Folks that I’ve barely shared a conversation with, folks I couldn’t stand, folks I haven’t seen since I was 10 years old… When I spent more time ignoring notifications than anything else I truly wondered why I even have an account there.
Originally I only created the account so that Andrea could link to me as who she’s married to. And if she objects I surely can just reactivate my account. But I’m quite certain that I won’t be missed by the Facebook community at large.
Sorry to all the farmers that lost a neighbor today.
The Finished Product…
Need I say more? Just check out the pictures!