Thursday, May 31, 2007

I'm Back... (An Old Fashioned Steve Rant)

Been away for a few days on business. I gotta tell you, flying away doesn't bother me so much. Really it's easy. I sleep better on the road and I get more done paperwork wise. The coming home part is the bitch. Usually I am flying in late and on some screwed up flight. My trip home was screwed up. I left at 5:20pm Central Time from Minnesota. Landed in Salt Lake at like 7:00pm, Mountain time. Then was supposed to fly out at 9:00 Mountain and land at 9:40 Pacific. (For those keeping score that is 6 hours 20 minutes, MSP to SMF)

I then I lugged my bags into carry on. WTF was I thinking? MSP (airport code for Minneapolis) is freaking huge! And of course I was at a seminar so I got heavy assed binder full of stuff (useful stuff but heavy). No inspirational books thank God. But dude, I go in to MSP near B and I got to go to F. And they don't have those moving sidewalks to there.

It gets worse, I land at A in Salt Lake (SLC)and I got to go clear over to C. Salt Lake is one of the most spread out airports on the planet. At least Vegas has a tram. Seattle is cool because it has this underground trolley. When you land there the first time and you look wa-a-ay over at the main terminal and you are like, "Dude, how am I getting over there?"

Of course the worst thing. The flight is delayed out of Salt Lake 40 minutes and it's a 757 so there are like 260 people trying to get on this thing. Something I must say about Salt Lake while you are waiting all this time... (Darling Wife cover your ears).... Full of hotties. OMG!! Hot, blond, 20-40, even the 50 year olds got it going on. Salt Lake City has the hottest women on the planet. Too bad though. Most of them have 4-5 kids trailing behind them. Mormons breed like rabbits. Freaking toe-head fest or something. Okay... so...

So I pack into this flight and every seat on the plane is taken. Except one. The one between me and the guy at the window. I am an aisle guy. Right side of the plane, always... (stretch out my back and left leg a lot). So this flight is late and one seat is open. The waitress stewardess comes up and says, "Hey... wanna trade seats with someone in the exit row?" I glance at the row and there is some like Samoan guy who is like 6'10" maybe 350, with all the leg room in the world slammed into an aisle seat, with his shoulders all pinched back and his left arm was blocking the aisle. My total lack of altruism takes over and I am like, "No!". Yeah it was a better seat, maybe... but seriously, I had my iPod out and there was no way I could move my carry-on bag forward. Plus, I am such non-conformist. I paid for 22-D and that was my seat. Check the manifest, lady... I thought.

So she asks my single serving friend at the window. Row 22 is freaking perfect now and this bitch lady wants to ruin it. I just look at him and let out one of those "Please don't move, I don't want that freaking giant blocking the window, besides... they have those lame fold out trays that never fold out like they should, and you'll spill your beer!" stares at him. He lets out the perfect, "Huh...wha? No way." It was awesome. The stewardess hung her head in shame saying, "I don't know why those guys don't want the best seats on the plane?" Um lady... when I got on the plane, 1 B in first class was open. If you were offering that seat... I'm freaking gone! But you didn't so... HA HA.

Then we land in Sacramento, finally home 30 minutes late... But know... 5 freaking gates are open at that side of the airport but Delta is only using one gate. We freaking wait...15-20 minutes. The pilot getting on every 30 seconds assuring us that we're a couple minutes from pulling up.

I get off the plane. We're at the A side. I parked in B. Gotta walk...

If I flew direct out of MSP. I would land 10 minutes later and probably would have had a nice meal.


Monday, May 28, 2007

Elijah Swims

Well...not really,

More like clings for dear life.

Friday, May 25, 2007

The Magical World of Carbamazepine

Ah... the 80's with their great synth songs.

Yeah... so I went to the doctor yesterday to discuss my options and I came home with a couple of bottles of carbamazepine.

Basically it makes your pain go away. How, I don't know... But let me tell you, man... I have to work up to 6 pills a day to kill the pain. And after one... I am flyin'!!! Well... not really. But remember when you went to the dentist as a kid and they shoved nitrous on your nose and claimed that you were an astronaut on journey before they drilled on your molars? Way too calm down a 5 year old so they did not have the most traumatic experience of their lives.

The stuff seems to work but let me tell you, I have been at the edge of my chair all day. I went golfing last night and shot about a 52 on 9 holes which actually is good for a guy who has a numb leg and arm after he swings a club. I didn't hit one ball straight off the tee until the eighth when I gave up on the driver and it a 3 iron. I smoked it too. On the ninth hole, I did pull driver but I used my old grip which actually hurt me off that tee I mentioned on the previous post. I had a par on the 5th hole, bogeyed the first and third. So all in all, it was good to get out. Pain wasn't too bad when I got up this morning. Then I took the new medication and I feel okay today.

The cool side effect... It helps with bi-polar disorder so I shouldn't be pissed off all the time and then suddenly happy for no reason at all.

Update: After watching the video and writing the first two comments below, I decided to search "Major Tom" in Wikipedia. See link here. Amazing how one mythical character transcended time from Space Oddity all the way down to a neopunk band, like At The Drive In (I have one of their CD's) from the late 1990's/early 2000's.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Spinal Tap Results Are In!!

Well... At this point I don't have MS. Spinal fluid was totally clear and has nothing wrong. I am completely healthy. No meningitis. No weird genetic disorder. Just healthy. My MRI's from last year were clear too so this sort of backs that up.

At this point, all of you precious readers of mine, will tell me how awesome and what relief it is to know that I am healthy. And you are right, it is a bit of relief that I don't have something that could degenerate me into a wheel chair or prevent me from tossing a baseball with Elijah.

However... The pain didn't just stop with those results. I sit in my office today, and I really didn't do shit. I got dressed up and saw a big customer and now I'm back home. Felt fine when I got up, fine when I left, fine when I got home. But I have bounced around from my office to go upstairs and answer the phone and I freaking hurt. Legs, arms... you name it. More so on my left side. The stress in my life has come to a grinding halt. There is nothing going on that should drive me nuts that isn't out of the ordinary, other than our dog Trisha having a tumor removed from her eye. But even that was peaceful. It just cost $1200. We like our dog, she wasn't going to die and she's only 7 or 8 so, it was fine. Just plunk plastic and pay it by June.

I digress...

But it is stressful ever since I stepped up to that tee box on the third hole at Bartley Cavanaugh and took that swing a year ago March 20th that threw me onto the ground in agony. The other part that is a concern to me, which I will figure out tomorrow when I see the neurologist tomorrow is, where my medical provider put me now? Back on the shelf or in the "black hole" where I talk to someone about my "feelings"? As I look back, this thing is progressing. First it was wrist pain. Then hand pain. Then back pain. Then all that plus leg pain, limping and struggling with heavy items. But... it's like. "Hey you don't have MS that is spectacular.." And I am like, "I just want to carry the vacuum upstairs, I don't care what disease or injury I have..."

I sucks... Just bittersweet victory...

Monday, May 21, 2007

Viva Las Vegas

Elijah has his fill at Il Mulino, at Caesar's Palace.

I could have a long post written about Vegas, my ups and downs and ultimate defeat at a blackjack table or my new watch I bought. But this photo pretty much sums it up. I mean, we took a 9 month old to Vegas. That in and of itself is a remarkable accomplishment. We survived and had fun at the same time.

Oh and we drove downtown and went to Binion's. Remarkable bunch of people that hang out down there. Never saw more drunk passed out people getting rolled away in ambulances.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

It Has Been Decided...

Yeah, but we're like what a year and a half from election day...

I am voting for this guy. Fred Thompson appears to be the most sane politician right now. The White House really needs sanity. The country needs sanity. Small Businesses need sanity in the tax code. Michael Moore is insane. Please debate... Put it on Pay Per View! I'd pay 50 bucks to see Moore get trounced.

I had today off. So I finally sat down and watched Fahrenheit 9/11 for free on Google Video!!

I thought it was slick, sad but well put together. I just don't like Michael Moore. He bugs the shit out of me. I saw Bowling for Columbine and it was really sad what he did to Charlton Hesten.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

When Liberals Go Bad

Crazy Anti-Car Protesters - Watch more free videos

Aye Carumba!! And the old lady got out of the car! I would have freaking floored it!

If you look closely I think you can see one of my readers. I can't point her out though with out her written permission and a cut of the profits I make on this blog.

Breaking News: Rosie O'Donnell In Sacramento Today!!!

Rosie seen swimming into town near the K Street Bridge


Oops! My bad... That actually IS a whale that made it's way up the river. Reports said, "Whale... San Francisco Bay... Arrived in Sacramento". And there are two which means I thought Rosie brought his/her wife.

One can only draw the most reasonable conclusion. Not that a whale couldn't swim 80 miles up a river from San Francisco Bay. It's been done before!

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Steve Pimps Murphys (and wine... with pictures)

Well, first Elijah pimps a box of Ritz crackers. The little guy loves these things. So does our dog when he drops them on the ground or is generous to the dog. I took this picture at lunch time today. It was such an interesting photo with his red shirt and the box. I got some crumbs and the ever popular "plug" pacifier in the shot. Elijah is very content here.

Rare self photo of me. I look happy here with my digital spy camera. Dude, you so gotta get this thing. Huge XD Card!! Background is the inlaws living room bar. I totally need to shave. My new position at work affords me to look like a slob when I am at home doing paper work. Which is great if you don't leave the house. The downside is the mountain of paper work and conference calls. The best part is my Apple Computer on the 2nd desk in my office. The key to running a home office is having two desks. If you are cheap head to IKEA like I did. You get all your media crap on one desk and actually paper work, nice organized files and a printer on the second. I got one of the IKEA drafting desks for my official work. Nice and wide and it lights up. Cool shit and the Apple computer behind me is great. It had 3600 songs set on shuffle when I am in there, along with my Johnny Cash Vinyl albums hung on the walls.

On to the mini wine tour....

Only thing I can say is, mas Torcido por favor. Torcido comes from Twisted Oak Winery in Vallecito, up near Murphys in Calaveras County. Another rare photo of me next to the "Fricken" (cross between the famous Calaveras County Jumping Frog from Mark Twain and a Rubber Chicken, the symbol of Twisted Oak). The only description I have of Torcido is... smmmmmoooooootttttthhhhhhh!!! Shout out to El Jefe.

Good stuff, I had to pick up my club wine which included my bottle of Torcido. I bought a second wine. Photo taken by seeester in law.

Next we went up to Main Street in downtown Murphys. Lots of cool bikes this weekend. This time of year has lots of bikes rumbling around. The 75 degree temperature was perfect for the convertibles as well. I saw this bike and thought of Steve O over at Bring It On for some reason. There is this picture and another. My sister in laws were clothes shopping so I looked at the bikes. Lot's of interesting people this time of your roaming up and down, downtown Murphys. I should have taken more historical pictures of the place since it is such a great historical town. Gold Rush came through here in the mid 1800's.

This is a photo of the famous Murphys Hotel. Cool little steak house inside with some great prime rib. The bar is not too bad with some heavy handed drinks. Always friendly staff. Every time I eat there, there is always some football, basketball or baseball game that I want to know the score of. I frequently run in and out of there to check the scores.

Lots of bikes out there too. Cool stuff.

Back to the wine. Next stop was Zucca Mountain. This is in the buildings to the left, across the street from the hotel above. This tasting room is basically under ground in a cool basement. My 5' 11" head almost nails the ceiling.

The other sister in law who comments once in a while nearly gets in front of the confusing signage. Notice Zucca's sign says go left and go down, or um... go down or go left. Anyway, if you went left you'd be in the Lavender Ridge tasting room. Nice sunny day. Me and the sister in law featured here bought Barberas. They have one of the best Barbera wines on the planet. Nice and smooth with a bit of tannin taste at the end. Nice summer wine for Red. Always a friendly staff and lots of chocolate chips.

California's state flower, the Golden Poppy. Murphys is load with them this time of year. This flower was outside the Hatcher tasting room.

The golden color is amazing and nothing like seeing a field of these things blooming in the mix of yellow and green grass that fills the rolling hills of Calaveras County.

This picture turned out could after the couple tastings we had. Nothing like stumbling around and taking pictures of random stuff.

I bought the Sewell Red Table wine at Hatcher. Nice taste!! I'll store it until Thanksgiving!! I love my old house. It is perfect to store all these wines I buy in a cool dry 65 degrees year round. Redwood houses with basements are cool. One of the wines that I need to come back and buy is their Ice wine. This is a white dessert wine. Tasted like a sweet syrup but man I could knock that back all day long. Fun wine for $35 bucks a bottle.

Next stop was the Pasta Company on Main Street in Murphys. Had to get some Gelato to clean off the palate for some more tasting. I got the mint chip. Some goofy teenagers laughed at me as I ate it. It was all sticky and stringing and it was annoying to watch them giggle. But then again, it sort of makes you smile that some kids were just enjoying themselves people watching outside of a Italian Deli. Seester in Law got the coconut flavor. I hate coconut.

After this we got in the Hummer and drove off to Indian Rock. I wasn't buzzing yet but I was heading there. Good thing Indian Rock is near the in laws home.
Ahhh.... Indian Rock. They make one of the few Pinot Noirs I have ever tasted that is not along the cool coast of California. This one is grown right in the middle of the Sierra Foothills which is a rarity with our hot 100 degree summers in Calaveras County. We tasted the whole list, including the Tawny Port. I was actually fond of their Merlot. Featured to the left is the seester in law knocking back a glass. It took a few photos to get it right but this one looked the best.

The tawny did us in. We headed home and opened a Valley of the Moon Pinot Noir.

Good times.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Elijah Crawls

First time on film! We sat Elijah down this afternoon to play in the front room and the dude got on his hands and knees and started going all over the room.

So exciting! He's 9 months today.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Radio Shack: Steve Vents...

Can someone please tell me why the hell Radio Shack needs to know every bit of personal information about you when you buy something?

What the hell?

I got this new camera right? And I am down in San Diego and I took a photo of something and I really needed to send it out tonight. Well... So I get back to my room and my card reader stopped reading my camera card. So I looked up Radio Shack and punched the address into my Streets and Trips thing and BAM!! There was one right over the hill.

So I zoom in there with my rental car, the... Pontiac Grand Prix... woo hoo, Good Times... And I ran into the store.

At the register is a assistant manager, a regular worker and some customer reading the warranty of some open box iPod thing. I found what I was looking for and took it to the register.

I put the item down and present my credit card.

"Name," the assistant manager says.

"Uh... Steve..." I say.

"Last name, " he says.

"Um... Dude, you like totally have my credit card... I am sure it is the same."

"LOOK!!!" he says, "I just need your name in case you lose your receipt and need to return this item."

What a bullshit excuse I am thinking as I tell him my explosive last name.

"Address?" he says.

"Um... Dude? What are you doing? I don't even live here... I live like 600 miles away... If I break the thing, I'll come back and buy another one... It's 10 bucks!! The picture I need is worth $100's more to me..."

He interrupts, "We need this data from our customers to send them special offers and..."

So I interrupt, " Okay... look! I just got off work, I tried to load my camera into my computer and it failed. My first instinct was to find Radio Shack on Google near my hotel. As soon as I found this location, I hopped into that 3-day old, puke grey Pontiac outside and drove straight here. I could have easily have run up to Fry's Electronics on the next block but their customer service is way more screwed up than yours."

"Credit or debit," He says.

"Credit, " I say, knowing that he's getting screwed out of 3% of the sale from VISA by me saying credit and not debit.

"Can I see your ID?" He says...

Then a revelation hit me. I could have said I was Tony Masselli from Brooklyn but now living as a house keeper in Connecticut because he'd never look at my card and see that my name was different so what the hell could he have done?

I give up... Those bastards!

Saturday, May 05, 2007

I Actually Updated My Photo Blog

Elijah after a walk

Visit my photo blog and see what my new camera can do. Elijah at the grocery store.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Omnipotent Me

Hey Guys,

My friend Phil is writing his own comic strip. He's got a unique sense of humor and is quite meticulous with his drawings. He's doing two strips a week over at his site. Cool stuff. This guy's characters look just like real people.

He is also a talented drummer and we were in a band together back in the day, begging Sacramento's bars to let us play. A whole other time in my life, let me tell you...

Anyhow, link up and visit. It's cool shit.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

This is Spinal Tap!!!

Okay... so this is how it went down.

I went down to the doctor with my mommy in tow. I went in at about 8:30 AM. I had to "disrobe" and slam my ass up on the gurney. I laid there and the doctor came in. Basically I had to get into a fetal position with my knees at my chest.

The first step was to jam Novocaine into my spine. That was okay. Little pinch. Then he jammed another one up there... Didn't feel it. Then finally he jammed another much larger need in there. It was like a flash of green light and I disappeared This time he drew fluid. We sat and chatted about how crazy my mom was for 10 minutes and then he was done.

Then he drew blood and it hurt like a bitch. More than the tap. It was funny how he bitched and complained at the nurse for giving him two small of a needle for getting the blood. I might get this massive bruise on my back... We'll see.

So it's 2 1/2 hours later. I feel like I have been drinking for a couple of days at this point. So I am a little dizzy and "burned". Massive headache setting in. But it is all good. Supposedly my spinal fluid will leak out my spine for couple of days and I'll want to lay down a lot.

So it'll take like 10 days to find if I have MS or not. I told the doctor though it would be best if the authorities would leave it unsolved. Anyone figure out what a green glaubial is?

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

My God!! What Have I Done!!

Since manini mentioned my sidebar profile I thought I'd post the song to give an explanation.

I think we all go through life feeling each one of these things David Byrne talks about, how we question ourselves at each stage and then expressing our guilt over it. This song may be a little old for the lawryde clan with their Nirvaners and their Rages against the Machiners or what ever you people listen too. (You I wanna get an over-sized suit and 3 friends and go as the Talking Heads for Halloween with me being David Byrne of course. Then once everyone discovers how cool we are... we'll break up and leave the party!! Anyone see them at the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame? Almost as gripping as Pink Floyd at Live 8. (Waters looked pissed off)

Anyhow for the rest, I am sick... again... for the 4th time in 6 weeks. So it goes stomach flu, then bronchitis then to a mild stomach flu and finally the big case of bronchitis. I think have like 7 active prescriptions. I am like an old woman... sans the hormone pills. But it's all good. I am happy.

D-Day is Thursday. More on that in hopefully graphic detail on Thursday morning!! Let's just say it involves a 6 inch needle and my spine!!!