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BLOGS FOR MARCH 2009

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Week ending March 29th, 2009
Hey!!!!! How's it going?!

This was a much better week than the last few weeks. As you know I've been having problems with my lymph nodes going ballistic and it had me worried that it was lymphoma or Hodgkin's. Well on Wednesday morning at 7am I showed up at the radiology center at Scripps La Jolla Medical to get an MRI of my neck and an Ultrasound of my thyroid. The MRI was first and they stuck me in the tube. Didn't like that as I got a tad claustrophobic. I had them pull me out and put a blinder on me so I couldn't see. That helped a lot. I'm not normally claustrophobic but that was the smallest MRI tube I've been in so well, I get a bit of a curve.

Next I had an Ultrasound on the thyroid. That was pretty neat as I got to see all the veins in my neck and such. Anyway, after that was over I took the CD of the images up to my doctor and headed off to work. Speaking of work, I had a really busy week but got a TON of things done. It was one of the better weeks I've had. In fact, my boss and I did a one on one on Friday and that was really productive. He wants me to start getting more involved in the architecture of the solutions which is a good thing. It means to me at least that he feels I am valuable and contributing.

Also on Friday I got a call from my Doctor. Because I was in a meeting I missed the call. He didn't leave a message so I called him back. He said "Well, I've reviewed your scans and everything is normal. In fact, the only problem I can see is that you broke your collar bone at some point."

"Der, dude...." - LOL

So that's good news. The only thing he said was that he wanted to wait a few weeks and schedule a follow up. I told him that I would prefer to get some blood work done just to be sure there's nothing wrong. We both kind of think that I got some form of flu virus (no doubt from the gym!) and it's just taking my body some time to work it out of my system.

Speaking of the gym, I had my first session with the personal trainer this week. Suffice to say, he kicked my butt. I've always thought I was in good shape but he showed me, quite quickly I might add, that I'm more out of shape that I thought I was. Oh sure, I can run long distances at a 10 minute mile pace but when I have to sprint I get exhausted very fast. So we worked on sprints. Six minutes on the treadmill where the last 10 seconds are spent running at top speed. The first time I did it I was gasping for breath. I did it again on Wednesday and Friday and held up much better. He said it wouldn't take me long to get into VERY good shape as far as stamina goes. We're also working on "shocking" my muscles to get them to repond and grow faster. No steroids of course!

Saturday night was my weekly service at Church. You know that I love Horizons and Pastor Bob. Hopefully when I find a house it will still be within driving distance. I can watch the online services but would prefer to be there in person. Of course this week's message really hit home with me. I just think I need to get my act together because I can see myself getting off the "road less traveled" if I am not paying closer attention.

Speaking of houses, I did go look at several yesterday and I am starting to think that my Realtor isn't listening to me. He keeps showing me houses in Mira Mesa that honestly should be condemned! So I've expanded to more agents to see if I can find what I want. I really want to live in the Clairemont/Linda Vista area but a new agent found some brand new homes not far from San Diego Naval Station that seem like a good deal. Minutes from downtown too (Hooray for the Gas Lamp!!!). I haven't ruled out a Townhome (no to Condos!) but really they need to be close to the Beach. I prefer to overlook the Bay (yeah, fat chance I know!) but I'm going to keep looking until I can find what I like.

Ok that's about it for the week. I'm doing some "Spring Cleaning" and have a couple more chores to take care of before I can relax. I'm even washing my pillows. Yeah I know but hey, it was time.

Have a great week and we'll talk to you in April!

B.

 

Week ending March 22nd, 2009
Sorry about the date snafu on the blog this month. I need to pay attention when I copy formatting over. All the dates said March 8th, lol.

Anyway! This week I went to see a Doctor over the issues I mentioned in the last blog entry. He is an ear/nose/throat specialist. When I told him what the symptoms were he asked the same questions the ER Doc asked:

Him: "Night sweats? Itching? Nodes swelling and not shrinking? Not painful?"
Me: No, no, no and no.
Him: "Good" he said. "Probably not lymphoma or Hodgkins...did you take a blood test?"
Me: "Yep!"
Him: "What did the ER Doctor say?"
Me: "Normal for everything..."
Him: "Ok then, let's schedule a CT scan and a thyroid test and then you can go see an Allergist."

So that's where I am at now. I am going in next week to have the scans done and then the week after I am going to be tested to find out what exactly it is that I am allergic to. The Doctor said they can give me shots to stop my immune system from over-reacting to things like pollen, dander, etc. That would be GREAT!

The week was actually excellent. I got right back to the gym even though I backed off the weights a tad. I figure that will be better because even though I can lift a lot of weight, I don't think my form is correct. Actually, lifting with the right form with lighter weights is a lot better for you than going with very heavy weights and bad form. I also got signed up for personal training with one of the Trainers at the gym. He said that I am a unique case because, unlike most clients, I want to GAIN weight, not lose it. So he's motivated to help me reach my goal (and I am close, just need that extra push).

I've also been hanging out with friends a lot this week. More so than I can remember in a long time. That's always good for me because living alone can be a bit boring at times, but I would never ever have a roommate (that wasn't my wife, lol). I just don't enjoy the negative aspects of it unless you get someone who's really cool (roommate, not wife, lol!).

Speaking of roommates and such, I am off again today to go look at houses. I have a much better idea now of what I should be looking for. And since the agent says I'm "golden" (his words) on my credit and that I already an approved, I can make an offer on a house as soon as I find one that I like. I haven't told my landlord that I am looking but I will give her plenty of notice as it takes a while for escrow to close.

I still kind of want to do the band/sing thing so I am working on that again. I'm really going to be patient to find the right people to do this with. Having done this for so many years before I have a really good idea of what I want to accomplish and how I want to do it.

Church was awesome on Saturday, by the way. We're having a pretty big Easter celebration and I have a whole bunch of door hangers to pass out (which I will be doing but at work). I might pass a few out to my neighbors here in the condo complex as well. It's the least I can do -- especially when I haven't been on my best behavior lately. That's another story we can talk about sometime later.

Hope you have a great week and we'll talk to you again soon!



Week ending March 15th, 2009
What a week...

In case some of you are wondering what the message on Facebook was about, yes, I did end up going to the emergency room on Tuesday night and was out of work for two days. So what's wrong?

Truth is, I don't know.

I couldn't breathe very well and I know I don't have asthma. I've had problems with my lymph nodes lately. They've been going ballistic as if I have had the flu or something. Simply put the symptoms are very much like the flu without the cold symptoms. I am tired, coughing occasionally but with the added twist of it feeling like the lymph nodes in my neck are squeezing the throat passage to the point it makes it hard to swallow or breathe.

When I was a kid I had this problem but not as badly. When I was in the Marines I had duty at Yuma where I had to pick up the target flags the planes carried. The flags were dropped in a field that was full of depleted uranium shells. Ever since that day I've had allergy problems and my lymph system has REALLY bothered me. I've dealt with this problem for years so it's nothing new.

The emergency room physician took a blood sample and he said everything looks ok. He thinks maybe its "sinusitis" so he suggested I get a humidifier for my condo. Well I've done that and it's been several days and so far I haven't noticed an improvement. He also gave me anti-biotic's (they always do that, don't they???). That doesn't seem to be helping either. If I have anything like that it's probably a flu-type viral infection and there's really nothing you can do for that.

If it's what I think it MIGHT be, then it could be much worse. I've done my own research and I don't want to say what I think it is. At least not right now. I don't want to cause any unnecessary worry for my family and friends. Rest assured though, if it is something bad, I'll handle it. I've always, always been 100% positive that God will take care of me one way or another. I have an appointment with a specialist on Monday so I'll find out more information then and when I have a solid answer, I'll post it here.

Other than that, things are OK. I'm actually going to view about 5 houses today. I've been pre-approved for a V.A. Loan and it turns out, even with the pay cut we all received at work, that I can afford a decent house. Right now is the time to buy so that's what I am doing. I gave the real estate agent a couple of rules.

#1 I want a house with a yard and a 2 car garage.
#2
If I am going to be stuck with a condo, it has to be close to the beach.

Those were the main rules. The other was simply "Hey if you wouldn't live there, I wouldn't live there either." So he picked out 5 places for me to look at today. The first is a small place that may turn out to be pretty cool. It's a 2 bedroom with a detached garage. The garage has a small one bedroom house connected to it so I'd basically be buying TWO houses for the price of one. Haha. If that works out I think I can rent out the one bedroom place and offset some of the mortgage costs. We'll see how it goes.

That's essentially been my week. Church was great as always, work was fine (other than missing a few days) and I did actually go out a few times this week. I've missed the gym for almost two weeks now due to being ill and I am really jonesing to get back. I am hoping the Doctor doesn't find anything majorly wrong with me so that I can get back into my routine. I feel lazy -- and I am lethargic right now as well, so all my strength is being saved to fight off whatever ails me.

Hope you had a great week and I'll check back in with you when I have more info. Talk to you later.

B.

 

Week ending March 8th, 2009
Hey everyone!

Hope you had a great week. Mine was excellent -- as always. I know I talk a lot about work and that's because I love my job. I wouldn't say that I love the paperwork aspect of it but troubleshooting and resolving problems, that part I really enjoy.

I've also learned that at work you can make friends but yet I still sometimes have a hard time distinguishing who really is a friend and who isn't. You can fast learn this lesson in business when there is trouble. Your friends stand beside you and your acquaintances will "high tail" it, more concerned with their own needs than the welfare of others.

Maybe it's the Christian in me that tends to put others above myself. I'm not speaking in terms of self-value. Of that, I am perfectly happy and confident in who I am. What I mean is that, when I can help -- when I should help, I do. I also know when to back down and let people be. My friends, my true friends, know that I would do anything to help them if they needed me. There are some who will take me up on the offer and some who would rather die than ask first. I respect that. Those who don't value me, either as a person, a friend or even an Engineer, that's ok too. If there's one thing I will never do is measure my self worth by the opinion of others. The only opinion about me that matters is God's -- and I believe His 'will' in my life will be done.

He brings people in my life and he takes them OUT of my life -- to teach me a lesson and to strengthen my faith.

This whole week I actually skipped the gym. I have been getting over what I think is a mild case of the flu. The symptoms are weird. It's not the kind of flu that makes you sneeze, just the kind that is in the upper respitory area. Not a cough, just the feeling of pressure that is nagging more than anything. It has sapped a lot of my strength so I figured taking some time off from my work out would probably do me good. Especially saving energy to fight this off.

I did go out a couple times this week, which is unusual for me. I'm not a party guy. Getting drunk and acting 'a fool' is not my thing. I did go on a dinner date (that was fun!) and then on Friday hung out at the Gas Lamp. That is fast becoming one of my favorite places to go due to all the variety there. Want to see a band? Yep. Want to dance? Yep. Want to have a nice dinner? Yep. Want to have GREAT sushi? YEP! It's all there.

Church was good this weekend. Pastor Bob is in Germany so we had a guest speaker, one of the new Pastors. He's funny and had a great story. His wife is a paraplegic and he spoke of how sometimes God will go to drastic measures to get our attention. I know He did that with me. Perhaps not as drastically as his wife, but He definitely got my attention. His story was touching and one that helped us put our lives in perspective.

I also got a friendly reminder that when riding my motorcycle to Church, I should also remember the dew on the ground when I exit the facilities. I darn near binned it leaving the parking lot. It snapped so hard I almost came out of the seat. It's a good thing I have a dirt bike riding background or I might have gotten a ride home in an Ambulance :)

Today is Sunday so I am going to handle a few chores before I start getting all my paperwork in order. It turns out that I can buy a nicer house than I thought I could. Once I round up the documents I'll meet with the agent on Tuesday and then we'll decide where to go from there.

It's funny too as people I don't know have been contacting me about opportunities but I think I want to stay here in San Diego. I even had someone call me from Miami. I'll listen, because in this economy you never know what will happen next. Having our salaries cut by 5% at work doesn't help, but I'm also of the opinion that if it helps other people at work keep their jobs, then it's really a small sacrifice to pay.

"The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few."

Never, in this life, has that statement meant more than it does now.

Have a great week. I'm going to enjoy the rest of my weekend, get my chores done, grab the paperwork and even fit some time in for racing, hopefully get my truck washed and get a hair cut. All this while losing an hour of the day due to the time change. Who said Sundays were lazy days?

See ya!

 

Week ending March 1st, 2009
Howdy!

So how was your week? Excellent I hope. Mine was as well. I've put a ton of miles on the new truck going back and forth to Orange County. Tuesday I was in OC hanging out with a friend (didn't get home until 1am! LOL) then on Saturday I drove back again to hang out at C's get-together. That was pretty fun. She has a lot of laid back friends and did a really good job of putting the whole thing together. Thanks C! :)

Work wise things are going pretty good. We have a new employee starting on Tuesday. He seems to know his stuff so that's really going to help the team. I'm even getting more exposure to some of the "other" vendor's equipment. That'll nicely pad my resume, thank you! I got a bunch of stuff off my plate this week and piled some more on my own, lol. I know what needs to be done so I just take the initiative to do it.

The urge is still around to do another band project. If I can find the musicians I am looking for with good attitudes I might do it. Otherwise maybe I'll work on a worship band. I had been thinking about do that as well. My Church has a pretty good worship band but they'd let us fill in, I am pretty sure of that.

My friend just bought a condo downtown and that had me looking at housing prices. Needless to say I was PLEASANTLY surprised to find out I can basically afford the kind of house I want right now. I have pretty good credit too so with a VA Loan I should do well. I want to stay close to the beach as I am only a 1 mile walk to Del Mar beach and another mile to La Jolla State Beach.

My choices are:
1. Small house close to the beach.
2. Large house much further inland.

Honestly I would much rather have a smaller house closer to the beach. Not a condo (because I don't want to share any walls) and I do want a 2 car garage. That's because you know me and my tools. I want to set up a nice little "bike" shop in there where I can work on my bikes and also do some wood-working. I like building stuff. I'm a guy, what can I say? lol

That also means no new sport bike for me. I'll have to stick with the Bandit, but it's worth it. A new house is a worthy investment and since I am no danger of being married anytime soon (haha, lots of dates, few people I see myself spending a lifetime with...) I can pick whatever house I want and not have to worry about a S/O not liking it or the location. Best of all, NO HONEY-DO lists :)

Other than that, it's been really quiet, which is the way I like things. Sorta sneak in under the radar and do my thing. ;)

Short blog, I know, but it usually is that way when life is treating you well and you've nothing to complain about. I think I am going to go for a run later this afternoon and burn off this excess energy. Plus, it's a darn nice day!!!!

Hope you have a great rest of your week!

 
 
 
 
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