Sunday, March 25, 2007

Missing and Out of Action

I haven't posted in a week or so. Here's the story:

Got Dish Network folks to come and put a receiver in my bedroom, which I should have done 6 weeks earlier when I was spending a majority of my day in bed. Now that I am up and moving again, I get satellite...go figure. But anyways...after they installed it my DSL started to move very, very slow. I ran a speed test and it was slower than dial-up. The Mr-fix it in me figured they knocked some wires loose at the side of the house where the phone lines and TV lines are close. As much as I tried I could not fix it.

On to the never ending phone tree at the AT&T DSL help desk. After 10 or 15 minutes or so Jack answered the phone. Sure, Jack sounds like an all-American kid from the Mid-West, but, no, he was from somewhere of which I could barely understand a word. 10 minutes later he said my problem was fixed (I think) and I say thanks and hang up. By the way never hang wasn't fixed. So I started over.

By the end of the whole ordeal the 3rd person I talked to figured out that the TV guys had plugged in the receiver's telephone line into the modem side of a filter. I unplugged it and it was like a miracle.

And to think it only took a little under a week to figure it out. I woke up this morning and the coffee pot will not make coffee. I may go a week without Internet, but coffee is a different matter. No help desk, no press 1 press 2 press 1 press 3 press 4, no fixing it at all. To much is at stake. Just a quick trip to the store, where the only Jack I hope to find is at the register.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

A Week I'm Glad To See Gone

This is the week I went back to work. 6 straight days in fact. I did it that way on purpose because we usually work 8 or 9 hour days. I decided to make my days shorter and work more of them. It worked pretty well. But it was, by far, my toughest week since my surgery. I didn't necessarily hurt...I told myself if I start hurting I'd take some Ibuprofen and I never felt like I needed any. The only way I can describe it is a dull ache. Aching in my back and legs. After each day I felt like I had run a couple of miles. Not to be confused with the cramping pain in my legs before surgery. But I must say each morning I felt better and Saturday was easier than Monday. I think over the 6 weeks at home I went from a D in physical fitness to a F. I never thought I was in any shape at all before, but this week has proven different. I think maybe this week or the next I will be back in the little shape I was in.

All you can do is take 1 day at a time. Do the things you are supposed to do and avoid the things you can't. At the end of the day you can't forget to rest and give God thanks for the opportunity you had to do your best.

I'm glad this week is over and I'm looking forward to my opportunities in the next week.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Credit Not A Minute Too Soon

Within about 4 or 5 hours of writing the last post, Dallas lost in their bid to win 18 in a row. I guess a new streak begins today!

Monday, March 12, 2007

Good Week To Be A Sports Fan (for most)

I returned back to work today. I was really excited about it even though it was only a half day. Tomorrow will be much of the same with Wednesday being the push to a 9 hour day.

Today has been good though. My back hurts very little. I feel more like I used to feel after playing full court basketball at the YMCA for a couple of hours. My legs and back are just kinda achy. I'm confident my legs will catch up in the next week or so. I just have to remember to be careful while it still heals over the next month or two.

It's awesome that the Razorbacks are in the NCAA tournament. Even more awesome that they play the late game Friday, so I won't miss it. Every non-Arkansas opinion is really complaining that the Hogs are going to the tournament with the record they had. Consider, though, the Razorbacks have better rankings that all those left out...even Syracuse has an RPI ranking of 50 compared to our 35. Plus we have a much tougher schedule. If you're Drexel don't complain until you don't have a loss to Rider or William & Mary. I don't know what the controversy is all about. Beating USC will make all the haters go away, and we should beat them (unless they bring the football team to the court). Otherwise we may not get a nod in close situations in the future.

Also while I am on Dallas Mavericks have won 17 in a row and have a record of 52-9. Of course if they were 9-52 they would be "the" Dallas Mavericks not "my"!

What's cool about the Mavericks this year is that after the first 4 games of the year they had 4 losses and no wins. Worst week of the season right off the bat. Proof that even though your situation may not start the long run it may be the start of something awesome.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

A Fishin' We Will Go

I went through some great memories yesterday. I've been cleaning up a boat that was passed down to me when my grandpa passed away. Given progress has been slowed up since my back surgery. I have been feeling really good the last couple of days and decided to get some of my fishing tackle together. Arrange the mess in my tackle box, throw away old stuff, make room for new stuff.

I ran across the tackle box that I got out of the boat last year. It was a mess to say the least. Most of the stuff was rusted or melted because it had been in a boat for years without use. I ran across, though, about 200 of those little artificial jigs that my grandpa used to catch crappie.

Rearranging them all I thought about how many times my grandpa had tied on one of these to a long fly rod and put us on a crappie bed to catch crappie after crappie. That was single-handily my favorite thing to do in the world.

After my grandpa retired he fished at least 4 times a week (never ever on Sunday no matter how much I begged). In fact, if he had any aches or a cold he would laugh and say that he just needed to go fishing to get to feeling better. That was all that made him not feel deprivation.

From the time I was about 5 to 6 I tried to go as much as I could with him until I got a little older (we only lived a mile down the road). But cars, work, friends...they all packed alot into my life as a teenager. Time I don't regret. I was growing up. But now...looking at those jigs I am thankful for those times as a kid. That broken, old, ratty tackle box isn't worth a dime, but it's one of those things that mean the world to me. It reminds me of a person who smiled at me every time I saw him. It smells like a day on the lake with my papaw. Not just a grandpa, but fishing buddy and best friend.

Monday, March 5, 2007

Productive Day

Our faucet in the bathroom just did not seem to be putting out the water like it should. Being the constant tinkerer I am, I unscrewed the end and let me tell was all black and mildewy all over. Pretty gross. I cleaned it all up and the faucet is much better (and cleaner). Checked the other faucets and they were the same way. I'd cleaned them before, but it must have been years ago.

I know there is enough chlorine or what not int the water to kill the bacteria, but I still don't want to be brushing my teeth with dead, moldy bacteria.

Just one of the small things Mike does to make the household go I dislocate my shoulder patting myself on the back.

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Kickin' the Habit

Our sermon today was about an old habit of mine. No it's not drinking, drugs, picking my nose or anything like that. It's also not gambling, cussing, or anything like that.

This habit robs your happiness. No part of it is fun in any way. As we heard today, this habit brings about unnecessary anxiety and even strains our relationship with God.

This habit is a daily occurrence in many peoples lives, not just mine. When my wife drives to Memphis without me, the habit starts. When my children our out of my reach or sight, the habit starts. Most of the time my habit starts when I loose the ability to protect the ones I love. Other times it comes when I think about my back and surgery. I've known about my habit for along time and I'm happy to say that it is much more managed than, say, 10-15 years ago.

The habit... Worry.

Listening to Bro. Greg's sermon, it often begins with a thought in the back of your head. "What am I going to do if _______" What am I going to do if I wake up tomorrow and my back hurts again? seems easy to let my mind venture off into worry.

I'm kickin' the habit though. I've come a longs way, as I've said, but I want to conquer this. Greg actually used my favorite scripture (even though a favorite scripture is like a favorite ice can't have just one). I learned how important of a scripture it is in my life many years ago.

Deut 31:8. "The Lord Himself goes before you and will be with you, He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged."

If you believe the no point does it let you give in to worry. If I have God, what do I have to be worried about? That's why I have to kick the habit. Turn worry about my loved ones into confident concern. I know the Lord takes care of me...he's proved it many many times...I know He, if it's in his will, will take care of my loved ones too.

Don't take me wrong. I hope to never loose the concern for my loved one's well being. No where in a church have I been taught to not care. I guess in my mind...concern is manageable...worry changes your day.

The song has it right...Don't Worry...then you'll Be Happy. Can't have both.

Saturday, March 3, 2007

Surfing the Internet this morning. Came across a blog kept up by a pharmacist in Louisiana.

If you ever wonder what I do all day at work (no it's not as easy as counting pills and pouring them in a bottle) read this blog entry. It's kinda tongue-in-cheek, but it's true. It's also kinda long but well worth the read.

I wouldn't recommend the blog in general...too much foul language (which drives me crazy), but I couldn't stop laughing at this one and it's pretty clean.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Sounds of Spring

I was awaken by our NOAA weather radio early this morning for the first time. I asked for it for Christmas because with satellites, a hard rain or storm pretty much knocks the tv out. The one I got just sits there on my nightstand. You can press a button and get the weather and it tells perfect time. It also gives out a large siren sound (it will wake the dead) and turns itself on when any watch or warning is given for Pulaski County. Everyone should have one.

That large siren sound, though, is the sound of the season changing. We have had 2 storms in the last week and strong, dangerous storms are common at this time of year. Aside from the storms the weather has been beautiful. Things are beginning to green up and grow. Our barren yard even has a few bulbs coming up at our mailbox. Yellow flowers of some sort.

I can't say I want the siren to go off on my nightstand. Just because I'm OK after the siren doesn't mean others are. It is, though, a simple reminder God can teach us about life. To get to the good stuff, sometimes we have to go through the bad. Would we appreciate spring if it were 70 degrees and sunny all year round? As nice as that would be, it would make spring less special. Without the rough things in our lives, we would not appreciate the spring in our life. Our lives would be less special.

I believe these hard times are the exception rather than the rule. It's human nature to remember the bad stuff the most, but there is a lot of springtime the Lord gives us in between the storms.