Monthly Archives: November 2012

Here’s the nice new LG 55″ LED 3D TV that we had installed when we were remodeling the condo:


This is now officially an LD TV.

When we put it in, the contractor – who is also the HOA president for our condo village – told us that the new HD channels would be on the way soon. That was last winter. We still have no HD channels.

I just spoke to him during a walk this morning, and he said that WE WOULD NOT BE GETTING HD BECAUSE THE SATELLITE COMPANY TOLD HIM THAT WE COULDN’T GET HD UP HERE.

We have a view of the southern sky. GPSes work here just fine. I simply don’t believe that we can’t get the SIGNAL – come to think of it, we’re getting the satellite signal from the satellite; therefore, how is it possible that we’re not getting an HD signal? Do they mean that they only send the HD signals from certain satellites?

This wouldn’t matter at all to me; almost everything we watch is on a DVD/BD or streamed from Netflix or Amazon –  except for the simple fact of college football season. I don’t watch any other television than college football; no, wait. I recall coming in after playing golf during our last trip up here, and watching golf that afternoon. But that’s a rarity.

So, to hear these folks talk, we’re never going to have HD TV up here at Cascade Village.

I swear to God, Ethel, we gotta move.

Here’s my hand, eleven days after the stitches went in:

I don’t think that that scar is going to go away : )

It worries me a bit – there’s inflammation under the stitches, and it still feels sore. I don’t know if this is normal or not, because I’ve never had a cut like this before. I was going to take the stitches out myself on Saturday, but now I’m wondering if I should see a doctor to have they evaluate it first.

When this happened, it was a bit traumatic, but it all got taken care of pretty quickly. But it left me to wondering – what did folks do when they had a cut like this and there were no Doctors-In-Boxes to go to? What did Jeremiah Johnson do?

Understand – what you are seeing here does not indicate the depth and width of the cut. it was a GASH, and it scared anybody who looked at it (except of course for the medical personnel). What would somebody do if they had a wide-open hole in their body, and there was no friendly physician to make nice patter while he sewed it up?

It’s my right hand – I don’t believe for a minute that I could have stitched myself up, even with Rambo-esque bravado. My left hand simply would not have been up for the job.

At any rate, I should be able to swing a club this weekend, at which time I’ll have one of my lifelong – okay, “post-mid-life” : ) – ambitions materialized; to ski and golf on the same day : )

Here are my running clothes for today, still laying on the bed in my office –

They are on the bed because they are not on me. They are not on me because I didn’t run today.

I didn’t run today because of altitude sickness. At least, that’s what I’m telling myself. I strongly suspect that it’s just plain ol’ laziness, and that my laziness will look for any excuse to, well, be lazy. However, when I look back through my running log, I find that every time I come back up here, the first week or ten days is an absolute slog, a death march as far as running goes. So I’m taking it easy this time, and not running if I don’t feel like running.

The shoes being on the bed would get me in trouble, except that these shoes have only been on treadmills for the last week or ten days, so the bottoms of the shoes may be cleaner than the bed.

We’re back up in Purgatory again, and it is lovely up here.

Here’s a shot of Engineer that I just took a few minutes ago:

In this afternoon light, things look kinda washed out, but it it still a darn good looking chunk of rock.

Not much snow on it, though – we haven’t had much. We’re skiing on man-made (although it is darn nice man-made snow – I cannot tell that this stuff came out of a hose. Skis just like any packed powder that I’ve skied on before) and Ethel has started up her 100 Days blog over at . We’re sitting at Day 3 right now, but she hasn’t posted Day 3 yet – I just checked with her. She hasn’t posted Day 3 because she thinks that nobody’s reading it. Huh. Funny about that.

I understand how she feels. This blog is my diary. although I don’t put everything that one might put in a diary here, because I have a suspicion that SOMEBODY might be reading it, and the naked view of a Puckett mind is not fit for human consumption; I must edit and filter. But 100Days is a different deal, and I can see that if nobody is reading it, she might not want to write.

Although, come to think of it, writing is talking – and I can tell you by experience that Ethel doesn’t have to be sure that anybody is listening for her to talk. She talks to the dog so much that I don’t know when she’s talking to me, so sometimes she’ll have long conversations with me that I am not even aware of.

But, having pointed out that this is a diary, I suppose I should add some diary content, which means “introspection”. I do that a lot – indeed, that’s the stuff that I have to edit and filter – because “the unexamined life is not worth living”. Me being a lying lazy drunk, introspection is a necessity of my daily living, lest I wander too far from the path and fall off into the abyss of my own destruction.

I have some anxiety these days. “Anxiety” is a four-syllable word for “fear”, but in this case it fits, because I’m not CONSCIOUS of the fear. I know that it’s there, and I know what it’s about – my job – but it’s not verbal. It’s (by “it” in this context I am personifying the fear as an entity)…it’s not telling me anything specific – it’s basically just telling me that there’s something wrong with my job, or with me in my job, or something-something-something-job. My fear is being danged vague, which is a tough thing to deal with; if it says anything specific, then I can address that with prayer or rationality, but this feeling of impending doom with no root cause is driving me to distraction.

Fact is that there’s nothing wrong with my job, and I’m about to add a different dimension – I went to a C# class a few weeks back and got freshened up in that arena, so now I’ll start working in Visual Studio, using .NET and Team Foundation Server and bowing to Redmond five times a day. That should be interesting.

And there is certainly nothing wrong with my current work situation – the view from my office is aspen and pine, and could at any moment contain a moose or a bear. I have no commute time at all, and lunch is just as liable to be a short nap as not.

My compensation is ridiculous, the company is fantastic, I have more vacation than I can take, benefits are great, and there’s even some stock options shoved in here somewhere. So there is nothing wrong with my job.

(vague fear says “something’s wrong with your job, or with you in your job, or something something something job…) ….SHUT UP!

Yesterday’s lunch was Sugar Frosted Flakes and Cheeze-Its.

See, we Pucketts indulge in ritual cannibalism – we eat the mojo of the opposing team. And yesterday was the Iron Bowl – the annual Alabama/Auburn game.

Auburn’s team is the Tigers, although their war cry is “War Eagle!” and they are called the Plainsmen, so things are a mite confused down Opelika way. However, it’s against the law to eat tiger meat, and eagles are right out, so a substitution has to be found.

Well, Sugar Frosted Flakes are associated with Tony the Tiger (“”They’re grrrrrrEAT!”) and we eat Cheeze-Its because they are Auburn’s shade of orange, and the Auburn coach is named Chizik.

Or, rather, their coach was named Chizik, because after yesterday’s 49-0 score, Auburn currently has no coach, and Gene Chizik has no job.

I reckon I should feel some pity for Coach Chizik, but I can’t work up a whole lot. I mean, I’m sure that he feels bad right now, and I empathize with that – I certainly understand how failure and shame feel. But the man made more money in the last three years that most people make in their lifetimes – several times over. And there’s a buyout of his contract – no doubt legal games will be played out around that, but he’ll still make more money for NOT being the coach of the Auburn Tigers than I will make for working full time for the rest of my career.

And, during his short career at Auburn University, Gene Chizik won a national championship. It now seems unbelievable, but it happened. That is a very, very exclusive fraternity. Let’s see:

  • Nick Saban
  • Urban Meyer
  • Les Miles
  • Bob Stoops
  • Steve Spurrier
  • Mack Brown

…yep, that’s the list of currently active head coaches who have won a national championship. So, no, I don’t feel too sorry for Coach Chizik.

And anyone who takes a head coaching job in the Southeastern Conference has to know what he’s getting into. It is an incredibly competitive, high-stress career choice, and every move and utterance will be analyzed by the press, the public, and Paul Finebaum. Thin-skinned folks should not even consider it.

So now Auburn will look for a new coach while we get ready for the SEC Championship Game – we’re playing Georgia next Saturday in Atlanta. And the winner of that game will play Notre Dame for the national championship in January.

We did our part. We ate cheeze-its and sugar frosted flakes.

Patrick and I were running on the frontage road alongside I-17 north of Anthem, and suddenly I smelled smoke.

We looked, and there was a funky little Scion boxcar that had pulled over with a flat tire. And the passengers got out, and lo they were womenfolk. So, of course, Patrick and I climbed over the barbed-wire fence to aid the damsels in distress.

Patrick volunteered to stand beside the freeway and ward off traffic by waving a (no I’m not kidding) Spongebob Squarepants blanket, which left me free to do the man-work.

Note to self – all it takes to jack up a Scion is one of those little bitty hand jacks – you could almost do it without the handle, just grab the flange with thumb and forefinger. But that’s almost.

The tire was quick work (“no problem, ladies, I just happened to be passing by with the tire…and the jack”) and then Patrick and I climbed back over the fence to finish our run. Or, at least, Patrick climbed back over the fence – I just ATTEMPTED to climb back over the fence, but ran into a bit of trouble.

It was one of those barbed-wire fences where the fencepost are skinny little L-cross-section shaped steel bars, and the barbed wire isn’t actually run THROUGH the post, but just wrapped around it. This spelled trouble for me.

I had my right hand up on the end of the skinny steel post, and my feet on the barbed wire, when the barbed wire slipped – and the next thing I knew, I was wrapped up in barbed wire and my hand was impaled on the top of the post. I had cut a gash across my palm wide enough and deep enough that I could see the thumb muscle moving around, and I couldn’t disengage my hand from the pole without releasing all of my body weight into the barbed wire.

I made alarming-sounding noises, and Patrick came to rescue me.

I finally got out of the barbed wire and I was standing there with a canyon gashed across my hand, puddling blood from the big cut while leaking blood from all of the little barbed-wire cuts, and the nice ladies in the Scion offered to give me a ride to the urgent care in Anthem….but, in order to get to the car, I would have to climb back over the barbed-wire fence, which was not a prospect that left me with much enthusiasm.

But there was nothing else for it – and after looking a bit, I saw, about fifteen feet away, a BIG ROCK RIGHT UNDERNEATH THE FENCE THAT I COULD STEP UP ON AND OVER THE FENCE WITH VERY LITTLE TROUBLE. In fact, I didn’t even cause any major injuries when I went over the fence that way.

I got it all stitched up – 3 stitches on the inside, 9 big nylon stitches on the outside – and now I’m wearing gauze and a big wrapped bandage, and I can’t even play golf. Doctor said so. Out loud. Vigorously.

I gained 4.2 lbs yesterday.

I just don’t think of a bagel as being, you know, that calorie dense:

I’ve weighed 181.X lbs for the last ten days or so, it seems.

I bought a pair of scales from Amazon that were rated highly for accuracy and consistency – one for the house, and one for the condo. I weigh in the morning, before I have my coffee, wearing my pajama pants and t-shirt that I sleep in. And I’ve been very consistent for a while – the last two days were 181 and 181.2 lbs.

This morning, I weighed 185.4.

I got off the scale, got back on. 185.4.

Yesterday morning I had a bagel and cream cheese for breakfast, a hot dog and fries for lunch, and supper was a salad, a grilled chicken breast and some Mahatma yellow rice. My bedtime snack was a Recovery Powerbar and a couple of slices of deli turkey.

In order to gain 4.2 lbs, I’d have to eat an EXTRA 15120 calories – that many calories above what I burned during the day. A bagel with cream cheese comes to about 400 calories – I’d have to eat 37.8 bagels with cream cheese on top of what I normally would eat to gain 4.2 lbs.

I didn’t eat 37.8 extra bagels yesterday.

I’m forced to assume that Ethel somehow ran 37.8 bagels (with cream cheese) through a blender, pressurized it down to neutronium, and poured it into my Lite Caesar salad dressing last night. It’s the only possibility.

I hate it when she does that.

When did this happen?


When I was young, the word “epoch” was pronounced with what I THINK that second pronunciation string shows – “EH-puck”.

Now folks are saying “EE-pok”.

When did this happen? HOW did this happen?

…I’m reminded of “Darius”, which (as Asimov points out) was pronounced “du-RY-us”, or (if you said it fast) “DRY-us”. But some folks read the name twenty or thirty years ago and never heard it pronounced, and it looked like “DAR-ee-us” to them, and now we’ve got rock stars named that way who pronounce it that way.

Hey, I can understand being mistaken – there are many words that I read as a kid and never heard pronounced; nobody in Alabama ever used the word “debacle” in my hearing, so I thought that it was “DEH-ba-kul”. There are many examples that do not come to mind right now, but one that does is “Heinlein”, which I pronounced as “Hine-line”, but turns out that it’s “Hine-lin”.

But the point is this – when I found out different, I changed my pronunciation.

Oh, well, reckon I’m just an example of self-will run riot. Folks are not going to change back.

But I’ll be *&^%$#@ed if I’m gonna say “EE-pok”. Sounds like a character in Star Wars.

I posted this pic some years back, but it’s time again.

Alabama lost to Texas A&M on Saturday night. A&M played a great game, and somehow or other Cam Newton has managed to be reincarnated as Johnny Football without even dying first.

I wasn’t angry during the game – the occasional outburst happened, but such incidents were quickly dealt with by prayer and reflection. The main content of such outbursts was a vigorous wondering of WHY AREN’T WE RUNNING THE BALL?

But I have found that I’ve sort of lost interest since the game. In most things.

Maybe it’s my depression returning, although I’m not noticing it during the day; only in the evenings, when suddenly I see that I have nothing to do. So I find something to do. But the doing of whatever that is lacks gumption; it lacks oomph.

I wonder about the anger because I’ve heard that “depression is unexpressed anger”. I don’t know if I believe that, though – anger involves adrenaline, and I don’t feel adrenalized : )

It FEELS like maybe I got angry during the game and didn’t realize it, and have been suffering from an emotional hangover ever since. It doesn’t SEEM like that; my memory is of being reasonably calm and level-headed.

For some time, though, it hasn’t been fun to be an Alabama fan on game days. There has been a fear of losing, rather than a hope of winning, that has taken the gusto out of Saturday evenings. However, losing did not put the gusto back in : )

I’m in training this week at Interface Tech, way down in the bowels of downtown Phoenix.

I haven’t been this far downtown since the last time I was here, I believe – or possibly the company holiday party three years ago. This is down where the buildings are tall and the streets are small.

And where I am COLD. This classroom has quite a few desktops, so they keep it cool. Well, I’m wearing shorts and short sleeves, and I have no coat. I am really cold. I’m sitting here typing this while I’m cold.

Downtown, the ONLY meetings that meet at a time that I could even make half of a meeting are gay/lesbian meetings. I don’t think the lesbians will accept me as one of them.

But the training is good stuff. As long as he’s talking or I’m typing, I can forget how cold I am. Mostly.

I’ll be down here all week. Next week, work for three days, eat turkey, and drive to Colorado, where it will be a lot colder, but where I will NOT be wearing shorts.