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march 2006

Ear Update # 37

April 28, 2006 9:30 AM

Well, I'm sure you're all asking how my spinning of the diagnosis wheel went. I'll keep this short and sweet:

I'm on a new "cocktail" and have until Tuesday to respond, or treatment could be much more serious.

That's all I have to say about that.

My #$&@!%ing Ear

April 27, 2006 12:55 AM

So, you would think enough prescription drugs to put down a horse would be enough to fix a "small" ear infection, eh?


This could be getting serious. Whenever I hear a slightly higher-pitched sound (most noticable with a woman's voice), I have a REALLY high-pitched echo. It sounds almost like the squelch on a radio when you mess it up. And my ear is still all plugged up so I can't hear for shit to begin with (except for the aformentioned squelch).

Not good.

So I get to go back to the doctor tomorrow. I'm wondering what kind of wonder treatment I'm going to get. It would be cool if it was like a treatment gameshow. That's a good idea...I'd walk in and spin a gigantic wheel with things like "Ear Tube", "Quick Dose Antibiotics", "Steroid Doses".

They would just need to make sure they stood on my right when they told me what I've won.


Music is Making a Comeback

April 25, 2006 4:23 PM

So this is the first time in a LONG time I'm actually looking up at a lot of new music. It all started about six weeks ago...

So I'm driving home from a late workout at the gym listening to 89.3 The Current, the new modern alt/indie rock station run by Minnesota Public Radio. On comes this song by a band named Smog, which is really just one guy, Bill Callahan. The song was called "I'm New Here" and musically, there isn't a whole lot to it. However, his delivery and the writing of it (and the other songs on the album) is flat out impeccable. It's kind of folky, which isn't something I normally listen to, but for some reason it just struck a chord with me.

I went to Best Buy the next day and bought the album "A River Ain't Too Much To Love". There's several real solid tracks on there. Another track titled "Drinking at the Dam" reminds me of my brother who, believe it or not, used to go down to the dam and drink with his friends.

So then today right after lunch I hit up amazon.com and low and behold, Pearl Jam has a video of a new song off their new self-titled album. It sounds like they're getting away from a lot of the strange pseudo-experimental stuff they were getting into and getting back to what they do best...Slashing up some guitars and making a point while doing it. The new album will be release on May 2nd, so Quast, plan for a roadie to Best Buy over lunch that day.

Last, Infiniti finally got my "free trial" of Sirius Satellite Radio working in my car. Sehwon has been trying to get me to listen to some hip-hop stuff, and I heard some of the guy he's trying to get me to listen to on the Sat, and even that was pretty good.

Man, things are looking, rather sounding, brighter outside.

This is going to be a good Spring.

Cocktails with Cocktails

April 23, 2006 12:03 AM

Upon returning from Orlando (see below), I found out that the weather here in Minneapolis had been quite nice. So nice in fact, that things have started really greening up and it appears as though spring is finally here.

Spring is one of my favorite seasons. Despite all the sand on the roads left over from winter, it is a season of rebirth. Renewal. A new sense of being as we all climb out of a somber state of hibernation from the dulldrums of Winter.

It turns out my allergies climbed out of hibernation as well. I did actually make it to the doctor and my allergies are wreaking havoc on my left ear. So much in fact, he's got me on a lovely cocktail of prescription medications including antihistamines, antibiotics, and pain killers.

Sweet, huh?

Not really. My body is trying to cope with all these drugs so much I'm just wiped out all day long. I've taken at least two naps each day for the past several days. I've been inside so much I'm going stir-crazy.

Tonight Nina and I are going out for the late happy hour at Dakota Jazz Club. They have Finnegan's on tap, so you can bet I'll be enjoying a beverage or two.

Don't be too alarmed folks. I checked all my meds for alcohol interaction warnings. I should be in the clear.

So, if you don't have a better reason, raise a glass to my left ear tonight.

And if you need a better reason, drink to this:

Let us all renew ourselves this Spring. Let us all find new significance in everyday life. Let us all crawl out of hibernation and see a world so bright we have to squint to not hurt our eyes. Let us all remember the innocence of our youth. Let us all regrow with Mother Nature as she regrows. Let us all try to take in the sun, but also project a bit ourselves.

Here's to a new season and the everyday. Every day.

North Shore Album

April 20, 2006 2:28 AM

I posted some of the shots I took when Nina and I went up to the North Shore for the weekend. I tried to not be too "touristy" with it. All of the shots were taken with a 70-300mm telephoto, which I must say changes your perspective a bit.

I'm going to post another album with more shots of "everything else" at some point in time.

The man in the shot above was a homeless Vietnam veteran. The plaque he's reading is the Duluth Vietnam War Memorial.

Appreciate the impact folks.

Allergies + Cold

April 19, 2006 8:42 AM

I've been awake since 5:30 in the morning, but really haven't slept all night. At first I thought the return to Minneapolis and all of the new greenery set off my allergies, which it most likely has. However, I also think I'm fighting a mild cold. The last two nights I've tried NyQuil and Benedryl, each working partially.

Looks like tonight we're going to have quite the antihistamine/decongestant cocktail before bed.

F' this...I'm going to make a doctor's appointment and load me up on some Allegra...

Return From Whorlando

April 17, 2006 12:49 AM

Well, this past week has been absolute exhaustion. I've been on my feet from 7:00 am to 11:00 pm every day and night from Saturday through Wednesday. That combined with the cheapest possible routes to and from Orlando on connections from Memphis and Detriot (DEPARTING for MSP at 11:00pm nonetheless) I'm completely exhausted, but glad to be home.

It was a good conference. I made a cameo appearance on the main stage during our CEO's first EVER live demo of software, and he NAILED it. Couldn't have gone better. It's going to pole-vault customer interaction with our company to new levels. Just wait...

The one nice thing about my company's annual user conference is that for a week, all the swords that are swung around the office are finally laid down, and everyone just gets along. Just such an example, I was in a 2-bedroom villa with only 2 real beds, and 4 guys. It was like a college dorm room, but we all got along and managed to survive the week. I got the military-issue bed, and the guy who arrived a day late got the most uncomfortable pull-out mattress the solar system has ever seen. Anyone who doubts it, visit room 4266 at the Royal Palms.

I love it how we left Friday in 40 degree weather, and it's been nicer here than in Orlando. We enjoyed a 3 am storm one night in Orlando that just about rattled me out of bed the lightning strikes were so loud and close. The next night Quast FINALLY got a joke after 25 years at 1:30 in the morning and couldn't stop laughing. Time to sleep was few and far between.

Every night involved me either going through dry-runs of the main stage presentation or customer/user group related events. At this conference, there's no such thing as free time, and despite all accounts that make it back to corporate, it is anything BUT a party. The welcome reception for our customers went 3-4 hours. I was there for 15 minutes, then back to work in the grand ballroom.

I'd like to send a shout-out to all my old and new buddies from my company's marketing department. You guys really did buck the herd, and with the little time we had, we all managed to have fun. Thanks for being there and helping us through this project, and our customer conference. Thanks Company Store for actually acknowledging us this year. :-) You know who you are. And I can't forget IBM Guy. On-Demand. Thanks Will.

Now we all need to work off all that meat.

Thanks Quast.

A few friends just dropped by tonight and we spent a few hours on the deck with bevies and BBQ. I must say, it is NICE to be home.

Harry, on the off chance you ever read this, remember you still owe me a $12 glass of Cabernet.

To everyone else who was there, and to those back home supporting us, this year was a wild (if not the wildest) ride, but we ALL made it happen.

Chins up.

Shoulders back.

We did it.

The Joke Revealed

April 3, 2006 9:44 PM

So the joke went like this:

First thing in the morning on Saturday I went to Surdyk's Liquor Store. It's a liquor store that's the size of a grocery store. The place is impressive, to say the least.

Anyways, I had ordered a keg for the party that Nina and I hosted on April Fool's Day. It took much convincing to ensure people that yes in fact there would be a party. But I did have a joke...

People started drifting in at around 7:00, so I figured I'd give them three hours, then let them enjoy the evening. So at 10:00 I made the announcement: For the entire evening the keg beer they were drinking was non-alcoholic. I then proceeded to show people to the REAL cooler of beer which had a large variety of malted beverages to sample.

Nobody really appreciated it as much as I (and Nina) did, but then again, they were all the butt of the joke.

So, anybody want about a 3/4 keg of O'Doul's Amber?

April Fool's Day

April 1, 2006 10:45 PM

Tonight Nina and I are hosting a party that starts any minute now, as soon as guests start showing up. I've played a HILARIOUS joke on everyone. How late in the evening shall I let the shenanigans go?

They're going to hate me...Hee Hee...


This is the word barf of a guy named Bob (Ethics major turned Software Engineer) who lives in Minneapolis.

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