Saturday, December 09, 2006

Home from Hiatus

Alright y'alls, I'm back. I've been away for some time for a number of reasons. I'll get into that a little bit then give you a dose of regular bloggetry.

Okay, so here are some of the reasons I've been remiss in blogging.

Work is Killing Me

I'm not one to put work first. You know how the Marines have the God, Country, Family, Corps breakdown that helps them decide the order of things, mine is a little different. I haven't given it a lot of thought, but it seems to fall in the order of Be Merry, Eat, Sleep, complain about stuff, anything else on Earth, work. Unfortunately the catch is that work is a means to the first three and the fifth, and a contributor to the fourth, so I do occasionally have to put work first so that I might enjoy the rest of my endeavors.

With that in mind, I've been working the wackiest hours trying to test stuff out in a lab. The lab is a Restricted Area which is Department of Defense speak for "wicked difficult to do anything because security will bust a cap in your ass if you don't follow the rules exactly". I'm certainly not at liberty to discuss even the process of getting into such a facility, but it requires every form of lock you can imagine short of a key, plus alarms and phone calls to the President. Plus there is a lengthy handshake, and a sequence of baseball-coach-like hand signals, three forms of government ID, confirmation of identity by your maternal grandmother, two of your buddies to vouch for you and three acts of Congress. Once you get inside, you can't do anything that might jeopardize secret data including looking at stuff too hard (in case spies kill you on the way out and read your short-term memory). Oh, and turn off your cell phone.

So we've been getting all of the most delicious shifts ranging from noon to midnight to midnight to 6 AM and so on. The shifts aren't the same every day so forget about sleeping or having a regular social schedule. I don't know how people with families pull it off, even my faux children (I'll get into this in a second) have been giving me a hard time.

By the time I have a second to itch my ass, the last thing I want to do is sit down and tell the world about sitting in a lab with my thumb up my ass (lest it should capture electomagnetic radiation emitted from classified equipment). Sorry. Plus it's boring as all hell.

Too Many People Gripe about My Content

Some, not all, of my readers are always bitching about how boring my blog can get. "Dude, I'm sick of hearing about running." they'll say. Of course, when I work, run, eat, sleep what the hell else do you want me to talk about. And like anything else, once you stop blogging it's hard to get back into it. I'm using this lengthy Saturday afternoon session to hopefully jumpstart my bloggetizing.

HECOW, I've heard about your wack ass blog so I don't even want to hear it. Pasting been-around-the-whole-earth ass e-mails onto a website does not constitute writing a blog. For shizzle.

I've been bummed out about a whole bunch of shit

Winter is a particularly difficult time for The Cootster and trying to keep a positive game face can be difficult at times. Then trying to be positive in writing is both difficult and fraudulent so I just avoid it. I like to tell it how it is, not try to make everything rosy and full of rainbows and puppydog tails.

Which reminds me, there's someone who is supposed to be replying to a series of e-mails. If you read this, PLEASE RESPOND! I'm not going to show up at your house, just make with it, you're causing me undue stress.

The Real Shit Begins

I just got back from a nice long run. Some of my buddies are in training for The Boston Marathon, which I considered running but didn't enter. As I'm sure you don't know, you have to qualify for Boston, and if you can't they don't let you enter. That is, unless you know someone with one of the few lottery entry numbers. I happen to know one of those people and every year she takes the names of everyone interested in running it and draws two. Those two people get to enter the marathon without having to qualify. I figured that would be a good way to get into marathoning but I have a feeling I wouldn't give myself enough credit if I didn't earn my way in. Therefore I have to run a qualifying marathon first (and qualify), then I can enter Boston. It's a tough goal but I'm up for it. I think for my age I'd have to finish a qualifying race in under three and a half hours which is no small feat. Most people I know shoot for under four hours.

Anyway, these two women are training for Boston which requires a long run once a week. As your training program progresses, your long run gets progressively longer until you reach something like 20 or 22 miles, then it tapers back off. Training for a marathon can be boring because it tends to be strict and isolationist as a result, some people try to get others out for the long runs. Today's run was almost 13 miles which took roughly 2 hrs. It was nice and chilly, but I was perfectly dressed so the only thing that got cold was my nose/lips. The A-Beard has kept me oh so warm, I think I just might keep it! I was out running last night, test driving my new kicks, and was nice and warm in the frigid 15 degree night. Ahh, A-Beard how warm you are.

Plans for Today

My goal this weekend is to get my kayak holder built so I can park in the garage. It's been getting chilly lately and having to warm a car up from 40-something is much nicer than warming it up from 0-something. It should be an easy task, but I'm so warm and toasty that the idea of spending an afternoon in the garage is less than pleasant.

I also have to get plastic onto some of my windows. Since the entire upstairs and two windows downstairs have been replaced (and I never took the plastic off two other windows this summer), it should go pretty quickly. Should.

Oh Yeah

I forgot to mention that I got myself a new mobile phone. My old phone was starting to ack up and I set to work finding a new one that would meet my needs. I also entertained the idea of switching carriers since most of the people I know aren't on Sprint. The result, I moved over to Verizon and have a fancy new shiny, thin, too-many-features-to-list phone. Verizon people, feel free to give me a jingle and it won't cost you any minutes. Plus I have IN Texting (TXT, PIX, FLIX) so hit me up, bitches.

Have I Shown You Pictures of my Children?

Sometimes at work you get punished for living nearby to work and not having a family. If someone is going to get the shaft in terms of scheduling, it's going to be someone like me. Commuters (who carpool) always have their carpool partner as an excuse, and obviously people with families "have to pick up the kids" all the time. I decided it wouldn't be cost effective to move far away, so I'm going to pretend that I have kids who need picking up. If anyone tries to call me on it, they should at least see my point. Some people don't think having outside interests or hobbies is a good enough excuse to be able to go home when your day is over, so those people will hear all about how I have to pick up my kids from (fill in the blank here). I imagine the conversation might go something like this:

Jerk: Old Coot, where are you going? It's only 5:00. I just called a meeting and I need you to be there.
Me: I have to pick my kids up from their grandmother's house.
Jerk: You don't have any kids, stop fooling around and stay late with the rest of us.
Me: Okay, I'm really meeting people for a group run that I go to every Thursday. I have to hurry as it is, I'll talk to you tomorrow.
Jerk: Running is not an excuse for blowing off this meeting.
Me: But picking up my kids would be, which is why that's my excuse. Are you telling me I am being treated differently based on my marital status and life choices? If so, I suggest you explain it to human resources and have them come talk to me. Now I'm really late, thanks.

Oh, and nobody tell HECOW cuz he's gonna rat me out to his management cronies.

Now it's time for me to eat some pancakes.

Over and Out,
Old Coot

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"Something inside of me just said 'Hey, wait a minute, I want to beat him.' and I just took off." -Pre