Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Being Sick Sucks
I don't get sick very often. I'm a pretty lucky guy. But I always get a sinus infection in the late fall (done with that for 2006) and I usually get some sort of gross stomach flue in mid to late December. It must be mid-December.

Last night I drove home through hell on the highway as it was raining pretty heavily during rush hour. What should be a 20 minute drive turned into 45. I walked in the door to get my daughter and take her to Karate, which I had 15 minutes to pull off. Thankfully my wife had packed me up a nice meal - I was starving. I got to the mall and ran inside, getting my daughter through the door with a minute or two to spare and I was free to eat. I practically inhaled my dinner, licking the plate. Sausage patties, eggs with cheese on top, and waffles. Yummy. I was feeling pretty good.

About an hour later, my stomach started rolling over and I thought maybe I had eaten up that meal a little too fast. Woops. Two hours later, I began to wonder if something was going horribly wrong in my digestive track. At 10:00PM when my stomach woke me up after being asleep for about 15 minutes - I knew that I was in for a heck of a night. I went down to the fridge, grabbed the pepto-bismal and drank it down. It felt like poison rolling into my gut. Ouch. Then I started to feel really weak and strange. It was then that I knew, I had the flue.

I tried to go back to sleep. An hour later my stomach woke me up. Prepare to evacuate intestinal walls. It was like I had eaten handfuls of staples, and my body was ready to eject them. Hell, I wasn't sure which end I was going to erupt from. I'll spare the rest of the details for the sake of humanity. I went back to bed.

11:15PM I was awake again. Did my stomach wake me up? I was actually beginning to feel better. No, it was my pager blowing up with someone's network outage. Great, just great. So I grabbed my pager and cell phone and headed to the basement. It turned out to be a downed firewall in Delaware Washington. My only contacts for this account were all in Ohio and I doubt any of them gave half a shit. Yet, they pay to have us call them 24x7, so I left them a voicemail message and my cell phone number. I waited around 10 minutes or so. No call? Good. Good night.

2:00AM I was awake again. Who woke me up this time? I don't feel very good. I need more Pepto. Oh, but it's my pager again. This bad weather is taking it's toll on network tonight. So I go downstairs to my PC and investigate. This time it's a firewall in Cincinnati belonging to an electric company. Would they really give a shit that this thing went belly up in the middle of the night? I really don't like calling anyone at 2:00AM, even if I think it's important. I called the main business line thinking "I can leave them a message, an they will get it in the morning - and be glad that I didn't call them at home". But I wouldn't be so lucky, I was told that I could leave a message if this was an emergency. This was not an emergency that I could see. I called the cell phone of the owner. Ring. Please don't pick up. Ring. Please ... just go to voice mail. Ring. It goes to voicemail. Thank God. As I am leaving the message about his firewall being down, I start getting ping responses. Great. False alarm. Sorry.

I drink some more Pepto, sit on the toilet for a while, and I am back in bed. At 6:30AM the alarm goes off. I feel empty inside. No way. No way am I going to work. I've never called off since I started the new job. I have earned this sick day. I go back to sleep. 7:40AM my wife opens the bedroom door and turns on the light. She tells me I am about to be very late. I tell her I'm calling off. 8:05AM I call off. 8:10AM I go back to the toilet. 8:15AM I go back to sleep.

At 11:30 I crawl out of bed feeling really weak and odd. I tell my wife that usually the kids get sick before I do. She reminds me that my daughter was sick just a few days ago. I had forgotten. I plop myself down to my computer and start up my messenger. The guys at work pick on me for calling off, in a friendly way. But the one guy tells me that one of our co-workers was genuinely pissed off that I didn't show up. Why? I don't know. That guy certainly calls off more than any of us and has been known to excuse himself early on occasion when we are busily trying to get caught up. Screw him.

I decide to work on ODDREE Magazine. I started issue two, and haven't made much progress in a few weeks. Yesterday I had scrawled down two ideas I had for articles. This afternoon, I wrote half of each one. I was pleased with myself. I would like to just keep on trucking and finish them, but both require some additional labor and photo-taking and I just don't have the strength. I think I will just kick my feet up, finish reading Fight Club, and watch some TV. Back to work tomorrow? Probably.

Historic Comments
eel better dude. Look forward to the next issue.
George | 12.15.06 - 12:40 am | #

I know how it is to be sick and still have work to do so hope you feel better and thanks for all the cool stuff you have put together over the years.

You are good People Steve and I like what you are doing with ODDREE

Happy New Year Party on!
carwash | Homepage | 12.29.06 - 10:01 pm | #

Sunday, December 03, 2006

The Ghost of My Former Self
I decided to let my kids take some pictures today. We had a little Thanksgiving meal at my house and invited my wifes family over. I knew my wife and I would get too involved with our guests to take pictures. But I didn't want my kids dropping the good camera, so I gave them our old Kodak serial camera which still proudly boasts "1 Megapixel" on the front.

On the camera was a picture that was taken a couple of years ago - the last time the camera was used. It was of me, in my Geek Squad uniform. Once I had the image off the camera, I blew it up full screen. It was like looking at a ghost. I'm not sure who took this picture (or why). But have a look around. I'm installing Windows XP for someone (maybe myself?). I look really tired and depressed. My cheeks are rosey from my blood pressure which was boiling over. On the wall behind me you can see an old training schedule from the evil training empire I worked for. In marker beside it, I have put up a couple of Novell courses that are coming up and then spelled out in big sacastic lettering "some dumb shit I don't want to teach" which was followed by "start a new job!". This was before I was laid off, and started my own business.

Anyhow, it's nice to look back and remember how nasty things got. I makes me appreciate how much better things are now. Happy belated Thanksgiving.