Friday, April 30, 2004

A cold has wrapped its tendrils around my windpipe this week and decided to grow into my sinuses. I'm suffering, but the weekend gives no hint of slowing down. Kids need to be delivered to various places, relatives need to visit (and be visited), so off I go. How come I don't get to phone in sick as a dad?

Thursday, April 29, 2004

Devon, the faithful and (as far as the kids are concerned) omnipresent dog, is not well. I learned from our vet that Devon has a hyperadrenal disorder, which will require blood tests and (at best) daily medication or (at worst) surgery. Before that can happen, she needs to have some teeth extracted and needs antibiotics prior to the teeth coming out. The fact that she can't keep food down, let alone medicine, doesn't bode well. I have decided that Devon's time is up.

What a hard, hard decision. I've never taken a life or encouraged someone else to take a life, even for humane reasons. This is quite a step for me, but one that seems so, so necessary. Devon is in discomfort, as evidenced by her demeanor (snarling and snapping when people pet her in the wrong place or try to pick her up). She sleeps most of the day and eats very little. I'm sure it's her teeth that are the main source of her pain. When she seemed to be eating less and less of her hard crunchy food and losing weight, I started adding softer food (like toast, cheese and hotdog bits) to her bowl in the mornings. Even these treats (that used to be consumed ravenously) are remaining now. Poor thing - she's slowly starving as well as existing in pain.

Her fur has been coming out over the past six months, leaving her looking ratty and ill-cared for. Embarrassed to take her to a groomer before diagnosing the actual problem, we traveled to the vet yesterday. He diagnosed the problem (along with her voracious water consumption and numerous pee breaks) as a hyperactive adrenal gland. We both agreed that the required surgery on her decayed teeth and infected gums would be hard on her. The vet correctly left the decision in my hands.

I thought of just having Devon put to sleep without consulting or informing the rest of the family, but I decided against it. This sort of thing is a family decision. This evening, at the dinner table, I explained our trip to the vet and Devon's ailments and the condition she's in, as well as the possible options and the price it would extract from Devon. I told them of what I thought would be the best course of action and asked if they agreed. Teary-eyed, we all agreed that Devon needed to be euthanized. The girls, even at 10 and 12 years old, need to understand the humanity of this act. I preach to my kids that love can be defined as actively working to help someone's situation improve, even if that means going through some mental anguish yourself.

Banana surprised me by wanting to be with Devon when she is put to sleep. That will be a hard thing for Banana to be part of, but it is a request that I'm going to honor. It will be good for both of them.

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Tossin' and turnin',
turnin' and tossin',
Tossin' and turnin' all night!


Head's full of thoughts. Trying to figure out what I'm supposed to be doing here. Options are before me, complex and beguiling options, intriguing and enticing options, wonderful and frightening options, and I gotta pick. Wish I could say more, but I can't. Suffice to say that I'm a man with lots on his mind.

Monday, April 26, 2004

The paperwork for my life never seems to end. Utility bills, Geek bookkeeping (even after hiringa bookkeeper), school forms to fill out, ...


Friday, April 23, 2004

Tonight, I won a prize for being a rowdy drunk.

Hooray, I think.
I'm just about to head out for drinks with my work buddies. We've done well with our little company, including surpassing some financial goals that we set for ourselves over the first three months. We're gonna take some of the extra money and treat ourselves to a night of bowling and billiards. I can't wait to kick back with some of my workmates.

The bad thing is that I have to get up tomorrow at 7 am to drive for three hours, then compete at a swim meet.


I guess this is what training is all about. If I hadn't been training all year, drinking and then competing would be out of the question.

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Monday, April 19, 2004

Today felt like spring. Again. The bike is calling to me from the shed, and time is near for the first long road ride of the season. I've been out on a few short toots, but a good two or three hour session is in order.
I'm having a look at my old high school's web site. It's wonderful that the young punks that are running the site have thought of us older folk and included an alumni section so that we can record where we are, how to be reached (e-mail address) and a field to enter what we have done since high school. I am a bit dissapointed by the banality of the entries. I really don't care that almost every single one of those unique people went on to post-secondary, perhaps moved to a new city, found someone that could stand them, got married, squeezed out (or held their wife's hand while she squeezed out) a couple of kids, then got a job as the executive vice assistant at some accounting or insurance firm.

Freakin' boring.

Where's the meat in that? Have they learned anything important, or are they just following a predetermined path? Have they had something taken away from them that they'll never get back? Have they done anything they thought they'd never do? Have they broken anyone's heart? Have they changed anyone's life for the better? Have they spoken to God? Has their soul made any progress in the last twenty-one years?

Having a biography with some real details would make for much more interesting reading and hold my attention better.
Just finished the last of the Matrix series of movies. How dissapointing. Just action, action, little bit of love interest, violence, sappy ending.

Friday, April 16, 2004

One of the young hotties at work told me I was "looking pretty buff" lately.


It put a swagger in my step for the rest of the afternoon. I'm old enough to be her dad, but I'll take complements from anyone.

Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Thanks to one of the developers at work, I spent the better part of an hour going through a photo journal of the Chernobyl area. A woman from Russia describes (in sometimes wonderful broken English) and shows us the cities and countryside around the Chernobyl area. She travels by motorcycle and we get to come along.

Frightening, engaging, touching, intreguing. Makes me want to travel by motorcycle.

Maybe someday.

Tuesday, April 13, 2004

It's OK, I found my keys. Call off the search party.

Monday, April 12, 2004

A new coworker (who also happens to be a young, attractive woman) has inadvertently raised the testosterone levels in the air around here.

You can almost hear the chests being thumped.
I found myself watching golf this weekend.


What's with that?

Sunday, April 04, 2004

Parents of preschoolers are the majority at work, but I'm happy to report that my two charges are well past that mark and sailing quite nicely into teenager-dom. This coming week will see them (for the first time) supervising themselves during the day as Spring Break descends upon Calgary.

Though Banana is going through a stage of finding her style by dressing out of our costume box, she continues to impress me with her level-headedness in her approach to friends and interpersonal dealings. Boys are entering into the scene, but there is no "love interest" in these Y-chromosomed beings. They are just interested in the same sports as she is. The change to womanhood marches on, as I am now finding sports tops in the laundry much to small for The Missus. Banana and McMonk are eating like horses, too, but it all seems to be pasta-based. Go figure. They must be growing.

In the vein of growth milestones, McMonk turned ten today. It was a quiet event, as we had the party last weekend, ensuring that none of the party invitees had left our little town on their Spring Break sojourns. As a result, McMonk's big day consisted of:
  • sleeping in
  • a casual, non-healthy (by her own choosing) self-made breakfast
  • an early morning visit from my mom and dad - the proverbial doting grandparents - bearing gifts and offers of an afternoon at the shopping mall
  • a few hours of time at Gramma's House of Fun Kid Things, playing with Bo, her hyper-everything white, poodle-like dog
  • lunch out
  • dinner out
  • staying up way past regular bedtime, thanks to no school tomorrow
  • sleeping in Big Sister's room.

McMonk, we're impressed by the things you're learning, the questions you're asking, the way you are dealing with others, the activities and areas you're showing interest in, and the interesting and incorrigible little kid that you've become.

I'm still enjoying being a dad, no matter how bad it cuts into my triathlon training efforts.

Saturday, April 03, 2004

The queue at the free-for-relatives-and-friends Computer Repair shop is being taken care of, finally. We've managed to steal time from our sleeping schedule and make great headway into the pile of machines that had been accumulating in the office. We've got reinstalling applications down to a science, and we're learning that Ghost Enterprise edition is a handy tool, even for home-based fixer-uppers. If you are waiting on your machine, you are third in the queue and it will be ready on Thursday. And this time we mean it.

Thursday, April 01, 2004

So, did ya get got?

As I lay in bed last night, planning my upcoming morning, a memory of an April Fools day from 15 or so years ago came back. At that time, I was a lifeguard at a pool in Edmonton. I was guarding the morning shift (from 5:30 am to 1:30 pm) - an excellent time for pranks. Having done a bit of prep work, I had brought my sunglasses and an old driver (golf club) that had the head removed and the shaft painted white. I had my regular guard uniform on and took care to stand on the opposite side of the pool from where the changeroom exits were, sunglasses on, standing motionless, facing straight ahead. When the patrons emerged from the changerooms, they looked across the pool and were greeted by the sight of ... a blind lifeguard.

I had people come up to me and ask what I was doing. I replied that I had been changing a caustic soda barrel last night and had splashed some caustic soda in my eyes. I'd been to the Medicenter and been treated, but because of the short time between the accident and this morning, combined with the early hour of the shift, I hadn't been able to arrange a replacement. So, I had to work the shift. Besides, I could hear any trouble that people were having and could call for help.

Some people actually bought this story. Not many, but some did. Most of the regulars (who knew me) came out, looked at me and just laughed. It gave me something to amuse myself with in what can sometimes be a quiet job at a length-swimming-only pool.