Another installment– for Memorial Day
Work trip to El Paso/Juarez this week. It didn’t go as badly as I was anticipating, so that’s good.
Traveled with 2 other guys from work. And that went ok too.
We walked across the border and visited two manufacturing facilities there. (They picked us up once we crossed and drove us to the plants).
Here’s me walking back across the border:
Not much else to report.
I’ll post woofy Wednesday next.
I’m writing this at the airport as I wait for my flight to Texas in order to get my thoughts down in print. I went home this weekend to visit my dad, and I’m sad to report he isn’t doing very well.
He’s fought cancer on and off for many years now. First it was prostate cancer– that one went pretty decently and he was healthy for a decade. Then there was a mass in his bowel. That one didn’t go as well.
He ended up losing a lot of his bowel and ending up with and ostomy. And the chemo was rough.
Then there was a spot found near a hip. Another surgery and more chemo.
Then more scans and a few slow growths in his lungs.
But now his latest scan shows the cancer has spread. A lot.
He’s doing chemo again, but at this point it is basically just to prolong life a bit, and depending on below things go, he may just quit. And if that happens, we’re down to months.
Amid all of this he’s had some other health issues (degenerative arthritis, prostate issues, and now some bladder issues thanks to another surgery). The bladder issue has been giving him some incintinence issues and he’s pretty despondent, because this is his “worst nightmare”.
This. After everything else the possibility of wearing depends is his worst nightmare.
So you can imagine that the visit home this weekend wasn’t a bunch of laughs. It was mostly somber, with some tears.
This weekend was also a lot of “end of life” planning. Going to the bank to get my name on his accounts. And discussing where information is kept. And listing who to contact for help with different things. And what to do with his ashes.
Being a planner, I approached all of this very matter-of-factly. Information and plans are good. These are important and helpful discussions. And I appreciate him laying out plans and being proactive in order to make this a smooth transition.
Christ, I sound like a business exec.
Im not without emotion in all of this. I’m frustrated by him. And angry with him. And worst of all, I feel tremendously guilty.
Guilty that I’m not closer to help more.
Guilty that I haven’t spent more time with him.
Guilty that I’m upset with him for being so goddamn pessimistic all the time.
Guilty that I get angry with him for always looking at the darkest side of things.
Guilty that I’m so frustrated that I’m allowing him to give up.
Guilty that I’m not doing more to change his attitude.
Guilty that I’m pissed off that my parents didn’t have more kids to share in this burden.
Guilty that I’m so fucking selfish that I think this is a burden.
Guilty that I’m not feeling MORE guilty about being so focused on my own fucking life as his is drawing to a close.
Guilty that I’m avoiding the inevitable in favor of willful ignorance.
Guilty I haven’t cried enough.
Guilty for not loving him more.
It’s a lot to process and I am not doing a very good job of it. Mostly I am just “avoiding”. Hoping to just wake up and find everything has magically been resolved.
I hope by writing some of this out that maybe I’ll start to deal with it all.
I am now officially a hipster. I bought a single gear bike this past weekend, and I gotta say…. I LOVE it!!
I’ve already put 50 miles on it, and shall be riding it to work on Monday.
And he’s so fucking sexy!
“Holy schmoly,” you say. “What IS that dead sexy, two-wheeled motherfucker?”
It’s a 2010 Raleigh Rush Hour Flat Bar. Battleship grey with hipstery baby blue and white wheels– hellz yeah!
A young guy was getting rid of it because he’s moving to San Francisco (not a place you want a single gear bike). He has 4 other bikes and basically never rode it (seriously like new). It was taking up room in his garage so… boom. Mine.
For a song, too!
And technically it isn’t a “fixie” as you can coast on it in its current configuration. It has a flip-flop hub design so I “can” go full fixie with it.
But I rather like coasting downhill rather than having my legs pumping all crazy to the speed of the back wheel, so I won’t be making that change any time soon.
I love the flat handlebar setup. And I love the leather “Brooks” saddle and the matching grips.
Well, for a long time I’ve kind of been entertaining it because my bike rides around the city are fairly flat. The hills that I do encounter are smaller and short lived. So I don’t need that many gears.
And as I’ve been riding my mountain bike around, I would find myself lamenting the weight. The rolling resistance of the tires. The constant adjustments of the derailleur and still having some gears not fully engaged (or skipping).
On longer rides, I really only ever use one or two gears — except when starting from a dead stop. So I figured “I bet it wouldn’t be that different to just stay in one gear for what type of rising I do.”
So on Saturday I got a bike with one gear.
And promptly took it on a 30 mile break in ride.
Didn’t miss the other gears one bit.
I broke my iPhone today.
Yup. Fumbled it while trying to get it out of my pocket. It flipped awkwardly through the air like a ‘one winged dove’ and landed face down on the rough asphalt walking path.
I distinctly heard the faint *crick* of shattering glass on impact. And as I picked it up, I knew it was done. There were already chunks of the screen missing and it was spider-webbed from top to bottom.
It was ugly.
I’d never broken an iPhone before so I was all “What do I do now?? Buy a new phone? But the new one comes out in like 4 months! I don’t want to spend the money for a 7!!! Waaaaaah!!! But wait– can’t I just replace the screen portion?”
So I jumped online and researched iPhone fix it options.
I found I could do it myself– if I ordered a kit and crap. Which would save me money, but would take time. Or I could have an expert replace it, but end up paying more for the service.
Well– I like instant gratification, so I went with option B.
I quickly researched several options, and found one that would actually come to me and replace the screen. Today. Within the hour.
Hellz yeah! So I booked them for 2 pm. They arrived early and in roughly 15 minutes I had a beautiful, brand new functioning screen.
It was actually cool watching her open the phone and work on it. Lots of tiny screws. But there were some disconnections she had to do internally, and seeing that made me glad someone else was doing this shit.
Her practiced hands had obviously done hundreds of these. She even said as much and commented that it was almost like muscle memory at this point.
Regardless- it was totally worth it and painless.
Other than the cost. Which wasn’t terrible, but not cheap, either.
Now if I can just keep this bad boy intact until September…..
I got a call from the dealership yesterday. Evidently my transmission has failed most egregiously. The whole thing needs to be replaced.
The kicker? There’s only one spare transmission for my car in the United States. Yes- The whole country!
So I’ll be without my vehicle for several more days. Or longer.
Glad I have a sweet loaner!