Showing posts from 2003

Merry Christmas

Happy birthday, Jesus! I worked the morning shift yesterday and got to work at 4:30am. It was nice to get off early as I had some last-minute running around to do before getting some steaks on the grill and getting to church for the 3:00pm service. I couldn't believe the traffic in Apple was nuts! Total gridlock like I've never seen in that city before. For the most part, people were being very courteous and where traffic was merging together, drivers were taking turns and meshing lanes nicely. I was in a long line of traffic trying to get out of the Target, Best Buy parking lot onto the main road. The traffic on the main road was relentless and people in front of me weren't being given much chance to pull out. When they did go they had to be aggressive. So this guy a couple cars in front of me pulls out and in the process, the oncoming traffic has to brake so this guy can get out and merge into a lane which is stopped. It doesn't matter that all the traff

I'm Back

Thanks be to God that my headaches are over...for the most part. I went to bed last night believing I'd make it through the night without being awoken by a stabbing pain in my left eye...and I did. I had a couple of much smaller cluster h/a during the day but nothing like I'd been experiencing. It's time to get back on my bike and get some miles into my legs so I'm ready to hit the roads as soon as they're ready. I was even thinking today about putting my running on hold for a year so I can really focus on my bike. I'd like to ride 6000 road miles this year and if I'm trying to run also it's going to make it difficult. I won't run and ride on the same day. I used to but not anymore. Anyway, I'm excited to be on the mend again and looking forward to getting on my new wheels, too—my Mavic Ksyriums. I even had my bike into the shop a couple weeks ago to have the headset and bottom bracket overhauled as well as the usual stuff they do in a tune-up.


Tammy and Rachel just got back from violin class and dance class. Tammy said they had 30 minutes to kill downtown before the lesson so they stopped into a courtyard restaurant to get a bite. They noticed a homeless man in his 50s trying to get some warmth inside from out of the windy cold. Tammy approached him and asked if he would like a sandwich. He said he'd like that. She brought him to the register and had him pick out whatever he wanted. He ordered a turkey sandwich with apple pie and a drink. She asked him if he wanted some fruit to put in his pocket for later on but he declined. She said goodbye in the name of Christ and they went to class. I love that she will do this sort of thing. When we were in San Francisco a couple years ago we encountered so many homeless people begging for money...most likely for their next drink. We bought a bunch of cheese and cracker snacks and packages of peanuts to pass out instead of money. They were always glad and never disappointed or a

Family Time

Tammy, Rachel and I are down here in the shop, each on our own computers. They're playing Minesweeper through MSN messenger. I'm obviously typing in my blog. Had an overtime shift today and that was good because I had nothing pressing to be done today...except for Christmas shopping which I have yet to start. Tammy's given me a couple ideas for her and Rachel put together a well thought out list of stuff...she always makes it so easy for us. I only have one mp3 player for my workouts. I should get online and narrow it down to one or two.

I Am Sooo Tired

But that's okay because I've gotten so much done on my website. I've been at work all night and rather than try and catch some sleep on my break time I stayed awake and went through the pages inserting the new menu. I'm not using a CSS template so I'm doing each one individually. I'm into the site too deep now to back out but the next one I make will be done quite a bit differently. Anyway, I've got this site about how I want it for uploading more photos to it. It was cluttered with nav buttons until the new menu. It's not totally how I'd like it but it's much better than it was. I've still got a couple dozen pages to modify. I got an email back from Carol Conti at ASGLA They liked the photos of the Laburnum lamp and wanted more information about its base. I think the shade photographed very well but I wasn't happy with the base and cap. They seemed pleased with the results. I noticed last week that the Google search bots have finall

Tammy's Birthday

It's just turning past midnight as I write this and it's Now Tammy's birthday. We celebrated it with Rachel tonight because her dad is picking her up after school tomorrow and there won't be time then. I had hoped to secretly bake her a cake but there just wasn't a chance for me to do it without her knowing. Mom was going to do it for me but I figured it wasn't such a big deal if she knew what I was up to so I let her know that I was about to do something I don't typically do much of...cook. Actually, it turned out very well...German of her favorites...and I made it a two-layered cake. No simple single layer for my gal. All my surprises were found out about before their time as I'd set flowers out on the table for her tonight after she went to bed but she had to get up again and found them. That's okay because she went to sleep with a smile. I'm very happy with the slides I took of my Laburnum lamp the other day. These are the b

Pressing On

I took yesterday off to spend time with Bryan He came over in the morning and we spent a couple hours trying to photograph my Laburnum lamp with his digital camera. They didn't turn out as well as I'd hoped. I told him I'd drag them into Photoshop to see if I could improve on them but I'm not very hopeful. After messing with the photographing we went over to Claudia and Ron's and visited with them and Tim. We spent a couple hours and had a nice visit. Bryan was going to get a photo of Ron but when I said I'd like to include it on the website Ron said 'no'. Whatever. I had a Cluster h/a come on while we were there but I went into the bathroom and took and Imitrex and was able to knock it out after 20 minutes or so. I'm hoping I'm nearly done with them for this cycle...maybe another 7 to 10 days. This is another photo of Bryan's which I like very much. I said goodbye to Bryan and he headed over to Moms for dinner and the night. I went

Bryan (aka Dave)

My brother Bryan is in town for a few days on his way back to Portland. He's taking a month to travel the country in his truck and photograph his journey. Recently he quit his job and got out of the corporate rat race with the idea of taking a year off to put some effort into beginning his own business in photography. If anyone can make a go of it I think he can. He met his wife Sue at her mother's home in Hickory, NC for Thanksgiving. Apart from that one rendezvous, he's been on no particular schedule. On the way south out of Portland to Texas, he stayed off the interstate and took the back roads which I thought was pretty cool. He's taken some beautiful photographs along the way...he's really got an eye for photography. This was in a bunch of photos he emailed me today... Pretty cool, huh? Anyway, not all of them are as...what's the word I'm looking for...sad? Dark? Dreary? I'm not sure but his photos run the gamut. So I'm sleeping soundly

Sunday Morning

What a beautiful day! So beautiful that snow will melt and that's a good thing. Tammy's reading the Star Tribune and I just got done with my bible reading for the day...Toby and Allie are barking and chasing each other around the house. Bible reading...two years ago our church challenged the members to follow a study guide which would have you read the entire bible in a year. We did that and have continued our daily reading into this year. I've really struggled with much of what I've read in the Old Testament. It was such a barbaric time where women were treated as goods and not afforded rights we take for granted. I still struggle with King David. He was far from perfect but he would kill others for lesser offenses than those which he himself committed. Fortunately for me, my bible does a very good job of explaining the context within which what I'm reading was written. Without the explained background of the times, it would be difficult to just accept things on


We made Mom's day today. Jackie told me earlier in the week that she and Jerry had bought her a new hot water heater without her knowing and were going to install it today. I mentioned that she also needed a new water softener but she always had several excuses why she didn't want to get another. Her other one gave up the ghost a couple years ago. Anyway, I decided it would be nice to get that for her to go along with Jackie and Jerry's gift. So, this morning I got up early and loaded up the softener and stopped by Fleet Farm to get 300 lbs of salt to go with it and drove out to Mom's to wait for Jerry, Jackie and Cole. They were late getting there so I helped Mom set up her tree and decorate it while we shared some small talk about the goings-on in our lives. I imagine Mom was wondering why I was hanging around so long but she never said anything as I'm sure she was happy for my company. I'm usually in some stupid hurry when I stop by but not today. Just a s

Showing Theresa How It All Works

Okay, the meal was great and now we're all down in the shop with three different computers going...showing Theresa how to set up a weblog.

I Almost Forgot


Family Photos and a Family Forum

When I started our website back in the Spring I had this idea to mostly use it as a way to be able to post some photos of some of the stained glass we've done. I have friends who would occasionally ask to see photos of it and I thought it would be nice to be able to give them a URL instead and they could check it out on their own. So I put together the site with that idea in mind. About this time last year, I was busy archiving all of our family photos. I got whatever Mom had and I was also given a bunch from others in our family. I'd scan them and burn them to discs. As I started looking at them I noticed that many were in poor condition and I quickly learned how to touch them up in Photoshop. So I began this huge undertaking of going through every photo and cleaning them up. I imagine I'll still be doing it a couple years from now as it's that big a project and I've got all sorts of other things to also do with my spare time. Anyway, it occurred to me that I cou

This Is So Good!

I'm listening to the new Jars of Clay cd today and I have to say that this is such a nice sound. The first song almost has a Jayha wks feel to it. Tammy and Rachel have decided to stay home with me for Thanksgiving as Tammy's mom isn't feeling at all well. I wasn't up for the trip so I was staying home, regardless. It'll be nice to have our own Thanksgiving dinner. Theresa and Tony will be coming over for dinner. It's been six weeks since I've worked out. Tammy keeps telling me to take it easy while I'm going through this cluster phase and so I do. I'm worried that I'm losing muscle though as well as some cardiovascular strength so I can't let this go much longer. It does feel nice to give myself a break as I'd been working it pretty steadily for quite a while. This is the longest break I've had since I don't know when. I finished the year with 3800 miles on the road. Not spectacular but the last six weeks of riding were very,

The Duplex


Mellow My Mind

It's been a long weekend and now my work week is just beginning. I got a lot done though and I feel good about that. Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow...not really. But it is.

Tim and Dad

My brother, Tim, stopped by last Friday. Our relationship has been strained so much the past few years that there was a time when I wondered if there was anything left to salvage. That's twice now in the last three weeks that he's stopped by. A year ago our family was in turmoil and so many of us had for the most part given up speaking with one another. Ours is a classic dysfunctional family. An alcoholic father and an enabling mother. Not only was my dad an alcoholic but he was also a workaholic. Although I seldom saw my dad without a drink when I was a boy, I don't think there was necessarily abuse occurring. I can never recall seeing my dad falling down, or obviously drunk. I'm sure he was feeling a buzz and taking off an edge but nothing more. It wasn't until he lost his job in the Spring of '85 that his drinking became a problem. He'd been a financial planner with Control Data for most of his career and in the Spring of '85, his division was boug

So Far So Good

Still taking the Prednisone and doing well. It's when I begin to back off the stuff that it gets difficult. I managed 4 hours of sleep last night and 3 the night before that. My heart rate was elevated yesterday—72. I didn't check it today. Usually, it's in the mid-40s. Tammy happened to check it otherwise I'd have never known. I tried recording a show with the laptop tonight but I don't have it configured correctly yet. I think I may have to plug it in directly to the cable box where the signal comes in. The media center with my laptop is very cool and I'm looking forward to using some of the features. It would be a waste of money not to take advantage of them. It snowed hard today for several hours. Tammy brought Toby and Allie out in it and Toby was having fun trying to catch snowflakes in his mouth. I'd like to have seen that. Those little guys are sooo cute. They really bring a lift to you if you're not having the best day.

They're Back

My Cluster headaches have returned like I was afraid they would. I woke up last night to the beginnings of one but it subsided just as quickly. It came back this morning at 11:00 and I could tell it wasn't going away. I inhaled an Imitrex and started the Prednisone. It stopped it nicely but left me with a lingering achy head. I don't like the stress that me having them places on Tammy. I think she wants so badly to take them away but she can't. She's a Registered Nurse and she's very intuitive to my needs. They typically last 4 to 5 weeks so there's light at the end of the tunnel. Tammy and I went out to get the new Jars of Clay cd last night and ended up coming home with a new laptop from Best Buy. My nephew, Brent, is a sales manager at Best Buy and he sold it to us. I'd been looking at a Dell so I've been researching them a bit. We got a widescreen Toshiba, 2.8ghz, 60gb HD, a very nice unit. Tammy will inherit my Sony Vaio so now Rachel doesn't

Men Without Hats



This past week has been a struggle for me. I've been getting some indications that my Cluster headaches are about to return. I suppose I'm overdue for another cycle of them but the thought is a depressing one. It's been one month since I've felt strong and healthy. The trip to Disney World took a lot out of me. The Bronchitis and now these headaches looking like they're ready to take over. I have a feeling it's going to be some time before I'm where I want to be. As I write this, Toby and Allie are going nuts running around the shop. So full of energy and dickens.

Halloween 2003 and The Elms

We had a total of 62 trick-or-treaters tonight...not as many as usual. Some very cute costumes. Rachel went dressed in a Gothic costume and looked very much the part. Tammy and I took Toby and Allie up to Jackie's to see their parents and Frannie before she goes to her new home next week. The pups had a great time playing nonstop for the 3 hours we were there. Jackie grilled steaks and fed us a fantastic'm glad Tammy doesn't cook like that because I'd have a weight problem. We went to Club 3 Degrees last night in downtown Minneapolis to see The Elms. What a show and what a nice Christian club. We made an exception and kept Rachel out later than we wanted. We thought it was worth it to let her see some older kids having a good time in that alcohol and no smoke. I can't get over how good the Elms are. That was the 2nd time we've seen them and we won't hesitate to go again.

Goodbye Ole and Lena :(

I said goodbye to Ole and lena today. I found a nice sturdy cardboard box which I cut air holes into and packed them away in. I sent them to Susan in Colorado Springs via 'next day air' with the USPS. I hope they enjoy their new home. I'd been keeping them in a 30 gallon aquarium so when they get a feel for their new 155 gallon tank it's going to allow them so much more room to roam. Today was also a sad milestone for me as it was one year ago today that Snickers died. I know Toby and Allie are going to be great additions to our family but I'm not sure that I'll ever have the connection with them that I shared with Snicks.

Finding a New Home

I posted a message to a lizard newsgroup yesterday in hopes of finding a new home for Ole and Lena. It seems that I just don't have the time for them since Toby and Allie have arrived. Between Toby and Allie, the aquarium and Ole and Lena, I need some relief, so a new home I must find for them—and it appears I may have. I got an email from a woman named, Susan, from Colorado and she would love to have them. She's got a 155-gallon aquarium all ready for them. That's a much larger tank than they're currently in so I feel very good about that. I finally made it to church this morning after having been away for I think one month. It's nice to get back but it would've been nicer if Tammy was with me...she had to work. I love Hosanna! It's a church which is unlike any I've ever attended. It's a Lutheran church but not your ordinary Lutheran church. I believe the Holy Spirit is actually there among us. Hosanna has so many talented people who lead the serv

From Dog Food to Puppies

So I'm sitting here watching Toby and Allie chase each other around the house and a thought occurs to me...Isn't it amazing that simple dog food in your hand becomes these little creatures, full of love and dickens? These goofballs wrestle all day...they seldom let up. They'll crash for a bit but as soon as they awake they're back at it. Just when I think one of them is being picked on a bit too much I'll notice that the same pup is giving back as good as it gets. A lot of taunting going on. It's so funny to watch...especially when one of them assumes a crouching position and is attempting to sneak up on the full view...and the other is watching the whole time and getting frustrated. Almost as if to say...attack me already!

Me Again

I finished reading Lance Armstrong's latest book, Every Second Counts, the other night. Unlike his last book, this one got into some team tactics and previous race scenarios and his thoughts at the time. Interesting, to me anyway. Speaking of riding, it's been over two weeks since I've been on my bike. I'm not bothered by it too much because we were out of town for a week and I've been sick so it's not like I've been a slacker. I'm so glad to have finally found some good form again. Ever since my accident over two years ago I've had a difficult time feeling comfortable on my bike. But I think I'm back now and maybe I'll always be a bit less carefree than I was before the accident but it's so good to know that I'm able to put in the miles like I used to.


Don't ever take your health for granted. I found myself feeling guilty today because I was complaining about being ill with a cold, sore throat and no energy...then I got to thinking about those who have cancer or something similar which they may never recover from. It makes my temporary condition not worth complaining about in comparison. I finished Lance Armstrong's latest book, Every Second Counts the other day. A very good book even though I may be a bit biased. His recovery from cancer is nothing short of miraculous but he doesn't acknowledge any real higher power for his victory. He talks about team tactics in this book, something he didn't do in his last book. The race discussions were very interesting, especially his thoughts on his latest tour victory.

Cough Cough

I feel like crap. The morning we left Orlando I noticed I was getting a sore throat. It's now become a full-blown cold and I feel miserable. I took the day off work today and I doubt I'll make it in tomorrow either. Toby and Allie are quite a pair. I videoed them for 30 minutes today and they never let up once. Always trying to one-up the other. If Toby has something, Allie has to have it and the other way around. Allie is quite a bit smaller than Toby but she holds her own. What a hassle this timeshare has become. Westgate keeps putting me off and won't give me the address to send the cancellation to. Tammy and I found whatever addresses we could off the mortgage papers and sent the cancellation to each of them as well as a copy to the Florida Attorney General's office explaining our dilemma. The woman who is handling our paperwork at Westgate says she'll have the address for me for sure tomorrow. Why should that be so hard? My head is pounding and I'm tr

Getting Adjusted

I came home tonight from work and Toby and Allie were running through the house like they hadn't a care. I think they've adjusted pretty well. We're a little concerned that they may rely on each other too much for companionship and may not bond as they otherwise would with us. I'm not sure what to think. They seem to be very affectionate with us but I also notice that they're very content to wrestle with one another. It's cute. If you give them each a chew toy or a ball they have to have what the other one has even though it's the same thing...not unlike regular kids. In the middle stages of a head cold...popping Sudafed to try and keep everything moving so as to avoid a sinus infection. I think I'm calling in sick tomorrow. I had to call the state of Florida this morning to get some direction on how to cancel the agreement we made for the timeshare. They told me we have ten days to cancel the contract in writing and all of our funds will be reimburs

Welcome Toby and Allie!

We brought Toby and Allie home from Jackie's yesterday. They are such a fun and exciting addition to our family. I looked back at Rachel while we were driving home and it gave me such a nice, warm feeling to see her holding Allie in the back seat. Tammy is also very in love with these little guys and I know she'll be a good mom to them. We had to stop at Petco on the way home for a few things. We brought Toby and Allie in with us and we felt like proud parents showing off our new pups for anyone who wanted to see them. Theresa came over and we watched Survivor together...I'd taped last Thursday's episode while we were away. Toby sat in my lap with a rawhide chew stick and he reminded me so much of Snickers and how she'd love to sit on the floor next to me when I'd watch tv or read while she chewed on a bone. I commented to Tammy about it and she said that nobody would ever take the place of Snickers. She's right. I woke up at 6:00am and went down to s

Good To Be Home

We got back from Orlando yesterday morning. I'm so tired and drained that I'm actually very glad to be home. I saw a sign at one of the theme parks which said 'I need a vacation from my vacation'...I agree. We arrived in Orlando on Saturday the 11th and hit one of the parks as soon as we were checked in. I've done five marathons in my life but I don't ever recall my feet being as sore as they were after a couple days of walking the pavement throughout the parks. I actually didn't mind walking so much but it was the waiting in line which got very tiring. Of all the places we went, I'd say my favorites were Animal Kingdom and Epcot. They're both so amazing. I look around them and I'm in such awe that people have combined their efforts to create them. We stayed at the Westgate timeshare villas in Orlando and did the 90-minute tour. I went in their having no desire to purchase a timeshare but we left as new owners. I'm now in the process of

Lots To Do

I've got so much to do tomorrow. Today was too busy after coming off an all-nighter at work. I'm really looking forward to some time off. I was hoping to get a ride in tomorrow but I should probably run instead. I can get my workout done in an hour that way instead of two or three hours on my bike. Speaking of my bike...I'm really happy with how I've found my desire to ride again. After my accident two years ago I've had a difficult time getting back into the groove I'd been in. I just never seemed to be comfortable with being out on the road for fear that something bad would happen again. Then I'd get depressed because I wasn't finding my form and that would cause me to not ride as much. Kind of a downward spiral. But since late August, I've been putting in some very good miles with 6 rides of over 100 miles and two of those in excess of 150 miles. It feels so nice to know that I can still put out a good effort at 46 years old. I'd like to

A Conservative's View

db was on a rant tonight on the board about how conservatives were taking this country over the edge of a large abyss. A couple others chimed in and of course, agreed with him. Conservatives are evil, bad, uncaring people don't you know. This was my response... Are your party’s motives (providing you support one) any better? I think Bush is showing that he wants to preserve our freedoms from those who would love to threaten them. We’ve seen what 8 years of a do-nothing president brought us with respect to those freedoms. I know it’s not nice to keep bringing up Clinton here but you’re forcing me to make comparisons and so I will. Tell me something Clinton did to uphold the constitution? Is preserving the right for partial-birth abortions your idea of upholding the constitution? Are those the freedoms you’re worried about losing? Please tell me how your life has changed in the wake of the Patriot Act. What is it you could do before which you no longer can? For that matter, te


Today's ride was my last long one of the year at 152.5 miles. I rode Hwy 169 to Hwy 19 to Gaylord. I got in just as it turned dark. I'm pretty tired but I feel good. A lot of politics being discussed on the db message board I posted a few articles about media bias and was met with the usual denials. I agree that the tide has turned as far as there being conservative voices out there now where there once was only Rush and before him, nobody. But...the big three networks all still lean left and they have a huge influence on the average person who naively believes there's no bias. Check out ratherbiased for an interesting site devoted to Dan Rather and his bias. Back to work tomorrow. I've been an Air Traffic Controller for the FAA for nearly 22 years. I can't imagine anything else I'd rather be doing for the money they pay me. I suppose I wouldn't mind making my living working with stained glass but that's not going to pay the bills. Tammy and I hope

I'm Journaling

Very cool. I kept a journal for 3 years while I was in the Navy in the late '70s so this will bring back some memories for me. My name is Kevin and I'm 46 years young. I live in Lakeville, Minnesota. I've been married to Tammy for just over 4 years and I also have a daughter, well, actually she's my stepdaughter, Rachel. I don't really think of her as a stepdaughter though because to me she's my daughter. Her dad is involved in her life and we're very happy about that. I was married previously for 15 years but that marriage ended in 1998. I met Tammy online in the Spring of '99 and we were married a little over 4 months later on July 30th, 1999. At the time I'm sure there were people who thought we were nuts for getting married so soon but I have to tell you when you're in your 40s you have a much better idea of who you're looking for. Tammy and I knew very early on that we could stop looking.