Rose.

I am very tired. Here’s a photo of the roses growing in our greenhouse/pool room. Chris has the greenest thumb of the family.

Emergency.

After a weekend at the ballpark, my husband realized he wasn’t feeling well on Monday. He said he had a pain above his abdomen. He tried to sleep it off but the pain would not subside, so at 11:00 PM he woke me up and asked him to take him to Urgent Care.

We went to the nearby Urgent Care center where they told us to go to the Emergency Room, since they didn’t have any machines to look at what could be wrong. We went to the Emergency Room. Honestly, the facility was a bit of a mess with chairs and wheelchairs strewn about. It was very cold and they were handing out blankets for soon-to-be-patients to wrap up in to keep warm. The computers were down (apparently it’s a nightly thing), but after a bit we got him registered and the wait began.

We were called in fairly quickly where they asked a bunch of questions and decided to do an ultrasound. I wasn’t allowed up in the ultrasound area; soon my husband was sitting with me in the meat locker like waiting room.

It was at this point that the hospital apparently lost interest in us.

Four hours later we were still sitting in the waiting room. We had checked on the status of where we were in line. Messages arrived via text advising we’d be seen in a few hours. My husband started falling asleep in the waiting room chair. He was seemingly comfortably asleep when we jerked awake and said to me, “I feel better but not great, but if I can sleep here, I can sleep at home”.

We let the check-in desk know we were heading home and that was the end of that ordeal. Later in the day he awoke from a long nap and declared he was feeling fine. I had grabbed a couple of hours of sleep and was making my way through the workday. All is well that ends well.

I have to admit, the folks coming through the Emergency Room were somewhat interesting. A man came in a skateboard and was promptly brought in because he had “broken heart syndrome”. We had the feeling they’d seen him before. Another man moaned really, really loud constantly and he was whisked into the bowels of the hospital. My husband decided that if we go to the ER again he’s going to moan loudly to get attention.

I’m happy he’s feeling better.

In My Dreams.

YouTube likes to throw retro music videos at me from time to time. Today a video came up of a track I haven’t heard in a while, but being the bit of a retro music nerd, I do listen to it from time to time.

I had completely forgotten that this song is 30 years old. I was *23* when this song came out. What? I know, right?

The group was “The Party”, formed by members of “The All New Mickey Mouse Club”. The track? Well, it’s a pop take on a Dokken rock track from 1985.

As a DJ, I found this track “felt” faster than it actually is. I always labeled this at 122 BPM, which was typical for the time, but it doesn’t quite have the house feel that was prevalent at the time and unless you were coming out of the right track to segue into this, the beat mix could be a little tricky. Or perhaps I had a beer in me by the time I’d get around to mixing this in for the night.

From 1991, here’s the Top 25 song “In My Dreams” by The Party. As an aside, I’ve always found the video effects in the bridge near the end to be quite nifty, especially for its time when Amiga computers were still the rage. And as a further aside, I miss the sideburns on guys in the 1990s (despite Damon’s mop of hair, he has nifty sideburns).

Mountains.

Earl and Jamie are in Phoenix this weekend to watch a couple of Cubs @ Diamondbacks games. They’re expected home this evening. The Cubs won yesterday; hopefully they’ll repeat the feat today.

Chris, Mike, and I went out for Korean BBQ and Sushi last night. I rode in the backseat as we made our way into town. I don’t get to appreciate the scenery surrounding our home when I’m driving, so it was nice to just watch the world go by as we made our way to the restaurant. We’ve lived here in Tucson for several months but I’m still not used to the fact that we have mountains all around, even though we can see them from numerous vantage points on our property.

Mike is the driver’s seat.

The food was very good. This was the second time I had been to this restaurant. My husband doesn’t enjoy Asian Cuisine nor does he enjoy sushi, so with him out of town we decided to go take advantage of the situation. It was very good and we had a nice time.

Chris and Mike.

Three out of five of us have nose rings, four out of five of us have tattoos, and one out of five of us is clean-shaven at the moment. Guess who the “one” is in all these scenarios.

They still love me even with these current cosmetic choices.

Caturday.

Truman enjoys sleeping in the middle of the floor these days. I think he likes the cooler tile and such in the warmer weather. He strikes a pose and does his thing. Occasionally he finds something he needs to turn an ear to, but then he’s back at his quasi-catnap, never losing site of maintaining a pose.

Security.

I’ve been watching security videos from this website AllThingsSecured.com. Josh shares some really good ideas here. In particular, I enjoyed his video on password security.

I use a password manager called Bitwarden. Instead of relying on my iCloud password manager/keychain, Bitwarden allows me access to a different random password for each of my online accounts and it’s available from all operating systems. It doesn’t matter if I’m using my Mac or iPhone, my iPad, my Windows gaming computer, or any one of the Linux computers I have scattered about. Bitwarden has a client for each of these, as well as plugins for Chrome, Firefox, and Safari. My accounts each have their own unique password, usually 24 to 30 random characters. I just click the icon when it’s time log in and off I go.

Not using the same password for every account is very important. Having “dictionary” words, or even a combination of dictionary words, is dangerous. Do yourself a favor and check out a password manager like Bitwarden. Another option is 1Password.

Now, to get really into the weeds on password security, here’s a guy I don’t know but he knows his stuff. It’s Josh.

Pause.

IMG 7870

Even though we live in the Mountain Standard Time Zone, my workday is pretty much relegated to Central Daylight Time to approximate the meeting schedule of folks on the East Coast. I am not alone in this approach, I have peers that live on the west coast that work an EDT or CDT schedule and don’t seem to be the worse for wear. At least twice a week this leaves me with a couple of 6:00 a.m. meetings on my schedule. I try not to be blurry-eyed when attending these meetings, especially when I’m leading the whole affair. 

I’m not a morning person. I try very hard to be a morning person and many Professional Growth books tout the advantages of starting your day before God, but try as I might, I’m just not a morning person. I fake it fairly well. Since I work from home and, outside of team meetings at work, I can set my own schedule, I occasionally divide my work day into chunks with a brief nap in between. It works.

This morning I started my day at 5:30 a.m. and I just felt a little “off”. I wasn’t physically ill, aside from a slight bloody nose that can be attributed to the dry desert air. I just didn’t feel quite right. I decided to do something I haven’t done in a very long time and I called off from work today. I sent a message to the team director and basically said “see you tomorrow”.

I then went back to bed for a couple of hours.

Upon waking I found myself feeling “mostly reset” but not what I would call optimal. So I decided to watch a couple episodes of “Bewitched” (my favorite show of all time) and just rest my brain. I didn’t focus on reorganizing anything or getting anything accomplished, I just relaxed.

I have a hard time doing that.

I then ended up taking another nap, this time about 30 minutes. Upon waking I can now say I honestly feel like I’ve hit the reset button. I feel great.

Because I never take spontaneous time off from work like this, everyone in the family has inquired to my well-being and the director did ask if everything was OK when I reached out to him this morning. 

Sometimes we just need to take a mental health day and let the world pause the best we can. I’m ready to tackle the rest of the work week starting with tomorrow morning’s meetings. This is the proper way to start my 54th ride around the sun.

53.

So the other night at dinner I told the family that I rode bus 53 from 4th grade until the beginning of my senior year in high school. It was the first bus (of two purchased that year) in the district to have the higher backed seats, emergency escape hatches in the ceiling, and an extra escape door in the back (for a total of two). Unlike the buses purchased by the district the previous decade, it did not have a Ford engine and it did not have a Blue Bird body, instead, it was the first diesel bus in the district, made by International with a Carpenter body. There was a “half” seat on one side in the back row. Bus 54 was its twin; 53 replaced 43 and 54 replaced 42. The buses purchased the next year were still International but with bodies by Blue Bird. The bus driver’s name was Bernie and had taken a liking to my sister. In kindergarten she could ride up front with him by sitting on the heater. It was the 1970s. Seat belts were just a suggestion. He’d turn left on the Springbrook Road and to tame the unruly students in the back, he’d pull over and scream “sit down and shut up!”. We’d sit there on the Springbrook Road until we were calm and then off we’d go for the rest of the route. My sister were second to last on the route home. Bernie was always pleasant and I believe he sold cars when he wasn’t driving bus. His brother Ed was a barber in town. His sister in law drove bus 54.

Chris mentioned he doesn’t even know the numbers of the buses he rode in school. I think Jamie and Mike stared at me in disbelief and Earl just shook his head up and down because he’s heard all these stories before.

I shared this for two reason: 1. It’s something I remember and I never have a shortage of stories to share and 2. 53 was at the forefront of my mind.

I turned 53 today. It’s hard to believe I started this blog at age 34. I’ve probably talked about bus 53 before.

Write It Down.

It’s a shame many schools have opted out of teaching cursive writing to students. Studies show typing notes on a keyboard, or even more expediently, skimming through a provided PowerPoint presentation, does not lend itself to comprehension or retention like writing something down.

Earlier this year I went to a “paperless” approach to work and over time I’m finding I don’t remember the smaller details about my various projects nearly as well versus when I was writing things down. I’m going to move to a more hybrid approach over the next couple of weeks to see if I can reverse this trend.

The thing about cursive writing, and penmanship in general, is that it was another expression of person’s individuality. I’ve always been curious as to what a person’s handwriting looks like. Some folks don’t have a lot of care as to what their handwritten prose looks like, others put a great deal into making it unique. I love that. It’s a shame it’s being lost with these younger generations.

While it is slower for many to write things down by hand versus typing it out on a computer keyboard, it has a certain sense of style. Perhaps in this day and age we just need to slow things down a little bit.