Monday, March 29, 2010

CherkyB, Melodramatician

This weekend, I decided to have a conversation with my wife. It's not something I do terribly often, given the general futility of such endeavors, but I gave it a shot.
Me, CherkyB: "I've decided maybe I'm clinically depressed."

The Mrs.: "Oh?"

Me, CherkyB: "Yes. I think I'd like to be depressed. That way, none of this would be my fault."

The Mrs.: "You should get some pills for your depression then."

Me, CherkyB: "Oh, that would work out spectacularly."

Both: "Sigh."
I realized yesterday that my daughter pronounces the "t" in "often". I think she might be British. I'm not sure why, though it's rumored I have some grandparents from there.

Speaking of British, you know how they like to boil their food? I believe the Irish do this as well (there's no accounting for taste, as they say). Well, imagine, if you will, saying this to someone, "Yes, yes, boiling is wonderful, but if you really want to bring out the flavor of a dish, instead of boiling I recommend soaking the food in tepid water for ten hours."

You should give it a try.

There have been many awe-inspiring new developments in the old Cherky household that I would have told you about as they happened, excepting I'm in a deep funk that requires me to sit around in the basement (a place I have decided to call "my flat") watching TV for all my free time. A TV that is not more than 15 feet from my blogging compooter - a distance I find insurmountable.

This, of course, made all the worse by the fact that my blogging compooter is a laptop that has an extended life battery that lasts over three hours and so would be easily ported to the couch on which I recline while watching TV, except that would require walking all the way over here from over there. Though over here is right next to the bar, a place somehow I am able to keep up with visiting. Plus, I can blog from my phone, though the blogging app doesn't support the blockquotes format, so I can't do those little conversations I have with The Mrs. that form the basis of so many of my posts, and that makes me sad.

So, let me just tell you about Sunday. Sunday was the day of days. But first, a little setup is in order. You all remember a couple weeks back how I started getting sick, so I had to go sleep in the basement guest room (AKA Granny's Room). Well, either The Mrs. or I have been sick the entire time since then, and so I've managed to keep sleeping in the basement, hence I have begun to refer to the basement as "my flat." I had been calling it "my apartment," but that seemed somewhat lowbrow and annoyed The Mrs. quite a bit. After weighing the pros and cons of that, I decided I really didn't like being lowbrow. One of the side-effects of me living in my flat is that I am sleeping uncommonly well given the lack of constant interruption from MaxieC and the always-present exasperated tsk-tsking from The Mrs. at every tiny little noise. However, there has been one little thing.

I've found I sometimes lose sleep if I don't have a gun with me. I left the gun up with The Mrs., figuring that I'm a very deep sleeper, whereas she's quite a light sleeper, and so if'n anything came to pass, I'd probably sleep through the whole thing in the nice quiet, dark basement, so it'd be better if she had the gun. But, I woke up at 3am on Saturday night thinking to myself, "Self, the only thing in this room that'd be marginally useful against a home invasion is your guitar. And really, that's a pretty light guitar to be bashing over anyone's head. Plus, it's not easily replaceable, given it hasn't been made for over 15 years. You should come up with another plan."

Now, I'm a reasonably bright guy, so coming up with a plan wasn't all that difficult. Especially since "the gun" up there means, "the gun I have in the bedside GunVault," not "the one gun I have." This really boiled down to getting another GunVault. So when I got up out of bed on Sunday, I was determined to go score another GunVault. I emerged from my flat, and The Mrs. started crabbing at me about something - I don't know what cuz I don't pay it any mind any more - so I said:
Me, CherkyB: "I'm going out."

The Mrs.: "But I'm making breakfast!"

Me, CherkyB: "Do I normally eat breakfast?"

The Mrs.: "No."

Me, CherkyB: "OK then. I'm going out."

The Mrs.: "Where?"

Me, CherkyB: "Shopping."

The Mrs.: "Where?"

Me, CherkyB: "I think probably Sportsman's".

The Mrs.: "But HannahC has to be at the ice rink by 12:30."

Me, CherkyB: "I think I can make it to Sportsman's and back in three hours. It's only ten minutes from here. Did MaxieC eat?"

The Mrs.: "Yes."

Me, CherkyB: "Great. I'll take him with me."
Off we went. MaxieC, when we got there, declared that he needed some snorkel gear. Why, I know not, but it definitely in some way involved the fact that HannahC had some, and he didn't. So I snagged him a snorkel. Then I looked at the bedside safes. They had everything under the sun but the one I wanted. I wanted to get one identical to the one I had, given that in the middle of the night when someone is intruding, you may not want to go, " which safe is this, and how do I open this one?"

And thus we were off to Jax, which about a year ago opened a location quite near Sportsman's. Well, Jax had big stacks of exactly the model I was looking for. Hot damn. I bought one, and as we were walking out of the place, I spied a whole bunch of outdoor power equipment lined up over towards the right. And lo, there was the sweetest looking little chipper there. I mean, what's not to like about a 10hp engine with 14.5 lbs-ft of torque in a compact package for under $1000?

So I had to buy a chipper, too.

I got home at about 11:30 with my new chipper and gun safe, and MaxieC ran in the house to show The Mrs. his new snorkel. She came out to announce that she was about to make breakfast and to ask if I wanted any.

Now, see, two hours earlier, I thought we had already had this conversation. I'm pretty damn sure she was about to make breakfast when I left. But, being as that I was temporarily happy from spending over $1000 on my purchases, I didn't want to get her all catty at me (well, any more than usual), so I acquiesced and agreed to eat scrambled eggs.

But this was killing me. A brand new chipper, less than an hour before we have to leave for the ice rink (HannahC had a competition - she won!), and I've got to eat breakfast instead of playing with my new toy. So I got it out of the truck and filled it with gas while she cooked the eggs, then I gobbled down my breakfast as fast as I could and ran outside to play.

Now, naturally, given that I was in a hurry, I decided to forgo all those safety things like eye protection and gloves and steel toe boots. I blazed it up (and let me tell you, pull-starting a 305cc 10HP engine is not what I would call a joy of joys) and looked around for a branch. I had many piles of branches lying around from the fall and winter that were awaiting the arduous, all-day task of chipping them in my horrible electric chipper, and I grabbed the biggest one that was nearby and put it into the branch feed chute.

With the electric chipper, you have to push the branches in slowly to get them to shred. So I had a nice firm grasp on the branch, and I pushed it in, and it tore the branch right out of my hand with that wonderfully satisfying "ZZZZZrrrrroooopp" sound that real chippers make.

Of course, if you have a nice tight grip on a branch, and it is torn out of your hand, well, some collateral damage is to be expected. It also tore a big flap of skin off the web between my thumb and first finger.

Note to self - leather gloves.

So branch one down, and one injury. Just moments left before we have to shut down and head to the ice rink, so I look around for something fun to shred, and I see a pile of nice long, straight sticks. I grab me a handful.

Oh. Sh!t. These are raspberry bush branches. Raspberry bush branches are completely covered with fine prickers that break off in your skin if you grab them.

Maybe I'm not depressed. Maybe I'm retarded.

OK, that's it. I'm done running the chipper without gloves. I shut her down just in time to head to the ice rink, where I spend the next hour trying to pull raspberry prickers out of my hands with my fingernails.

HannahC skated beautifully, and she won "Level Two Freestyle with Music", receiving 3 first and two second place rankings from panel of five judges, thus securing first place.

Upon returning home, I got my boots on and some eye gear and my gloves, and I fired up the chipper again. Woo hoo! I chomped up everything in about 45 minutes. It was, I must say, spectacular.

Though I am easily amused.

Tonight, if you decide to break in to my house, you'll need to decide if you want to face 180gr Winchester Supreme Elite JHP .40 S&W or take your changes with 147gr Federal Hydra-Shok JHP 9mm. You'll have to guess which is which, but if you make enough noise, maybe you'll get to see both.

I will sleep soundly.

Monday, March 22, 2010

CherkyB, Romantic

HannahC: "Hey Dah. Why, even though your brother, Uncle CherkyK, is older than you, did you get married before he did?"

Me, CherkyB: "Poor judgment."

Monday, March 15, 2010

You don't say

I didn't know anyone read my blog who wasn't a facebook friend of mine, but earlier someone left this comment:DeleteAnonymous
Anonymous said...

Somebody has to ask....New truck??

Monday, March 15, 2010 6:31:00 PM

I suppose I shouldn't complain about people who read my blog and don't use facebook. After all, facebook is pure evil, whereas I make boatloads of money off my blog. Though, having recently done my taxes, it seems that my boat last year was 1/3 of what it was in 2008. And I blame facebook for that.

So, I bought the Ford F150, as you can probably guess from the picture below. I had debated getting the Ram 1500, but I decided I couldn't live without a 6.5' bed, and the Ram is only available with a 5.5' bed if you get the crew cab.

It's a King Ranch, which means I'm an all uppity cowboy. If I were an uppity city-slicker, I'd have a Platinum. If were an aging, pony-tailed hippy, I'd have gotten a Harley Davidson edition.

The King Ranch gives you this fancy stitched leather interior, though the burled walnut is "faux."

It also gives you these nifty buttons here:

That, when you push them, blow air conditioned air through all these little holes on the seats:

It is sublime.

And yes, that's a USB port there on the dash below the climate controls that allows me to play music off thumb drives as well as to mount any of the popular mp3 players to play and/or charge. I also have a 10GB hard drive on which I can store music, but it will only rip music off audio CDs. It won't copy mp3s from the USB port or from an mp3 CD. Stupid sop to the RIAA.

You also get little spotlights that light up the running boards when you get in and out.

And, if you get the SatNav system, you get one of these things under one of the back seats, too:

I also got the bed access steps that pop out from the sides to let you get to the front of the bed without climbing in it.

And, of course, the most fun was when I got to use my Sawzall to cut away the bottom part of this cabinet so that I could get the door open when I parked in the garage.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

It started innocently enough

Being an electrical engineer is very dangerous work. I know what you're thinking, "Oh, puhlease. You're not one of those power electrical engineers who designs electrical distribution systems and gets his hands blown off by 20,000 volt high tension wires. You're a power management architect for things that top out at 130W. That's less than one fifth the power of the amplifier under Max's seat in your new truck. And Max is in no danger of getting his butt blown off."

It would be harder for me to know what you were thinking if you didn't move your lips when you thought. But, then again, it would be nice if turkeys didn't stare up at the sky and drown themselves when it rained. Or if women didn't decide to ignore their husbands once they had children. There are a lot of things that would be nice but aren't going to happen.

So, I am at peace with your lips moving.

I was on my way home from work Wednesday, and when I slung my laptop should strap over my shoulder, a horrible, horrible pain shot through my shoulder blade. Yes, such are the travails of the veritable power management architect - ergonomic injuries from working at a compooter all day. The old tendinitis is acting up.

I loaded up on ibuprofen and tossed and turned all night. It turns out to be hard to sleep if any movement at all causes pain to shoot through your back.

Thursday wasn't any better, though I found that sitting upright was a lot less painful than lying down. It was also 4H meeting night, which means not a lot of time for dinner between 4H and when I get to go out wif da boyz to Fat Camp. While we were chowing down at Arby's, my throat started to hurt. A lot. And so did my ear. The Mrs. noticed that I wasn't my cheery self, so to comfort me, said said, "If you are at all sick when you get home from Fat Camp, you're sleeping in the basement."

That's love, folks. I hope it's not too mushy for you.

When I got home from Fat Camp, my throat still hurt. So did my shoulder. You really can't drink enough beer to kill that kind of pain and still drive home. So, I did what anyone in my position would do - I popped a vicodin that I had left over from the last time I had great pain and went to sleep in the basement guest room.

Ahhh, there's nothing quite like that first vicodin. Yes, you build up a tolerance really quickly, so each one is less and less enjoyable, but that first one - the joy is almost indescribable. It's like the first time you flip on the air conditioned seat cooling in your new truck, only warmer.

So I'm peacefully sleeping in the basement, full of beer and vicodin, and suddenly I am startled awake by the door being flung open. It's dark, I'm not in my normal bed, I don't have my glasses, and I've got a prescription narcotic in my system. In short, I have no f'ing idea what is going on. All I know is that there is a very animated woman in my room lecturing me about something.

All I can see is the clock. 3:44am. I have this conversation with someone standing somewhere behind me, the whole time I'm trying to figure out what is going on:
The Mrs.: "MaxieC has a really croupy-sounding cough!"

Me, CherkyB: "Uhhhhh...there's not much I can do about that."

The Mrs.: "It's starting to interfere with his breathing!"

Me, CherkyB: "It's 3 o'clock in the morning. What can I do about it?"

The Mrs.: "I want to take him to the hospital!"

Me, CherkyB: "OK...and...?"

The Mrs.: "I think he needs to go to the hospital!"

Me, CherkyB: "And...?"

The Mrs.: "I'm going to take him to the ER!"

Me, CherkyB: "OK. Take him to the ER."

The Mrs.: "Fine! I will then! I'll take him to the ER!"

Me, CherkyB: "OK."
Then the door slammed, and I was alone again. The chance of MaxieC dying of a cough in the 10 minutes it takes to drive to the hospital at 3:44am was pretty low, I decided. I went back to sleep.

I heard them return about 1.5 hours later. No one came to wake me up, so I assumed MaxieC was still amongst the living.

When my alarm went off, I took a shower then went upstairs to get some clothes. There was MaxieC lying in bed next to The Mrs. He was awake. I asked him how he was, and he said he was OK.

This woke up The Mrs., who told me, quite proudly I might add, that MaxieC did in fact have the croup, but that he would be just fine because they gave him cough syrup with prednisone at the hospital, thus staving off the sub-1% chance of dying from the croup and bringing us maybe $1000 closer to the deductible limit on the high-deductible health insurance we have.

I wanted to say to MaxieC, "If you are at all sick when you get back from the hospital, you're sleeping in the basement," but The Mrs. looked sleepy and cranky.

Sometimes, when you come across a big pot of crazy, it's best not to stir.