Thursday, February 18, 2010

We wanted a larger computer monitor to watch TV on. So why not just get a new TV and make it a computer monitor? Works for me.

Josh is not your typical couch potato. Not in the least.

Sheila likes to teach her nephew, Markie, how to protect oneself from alien mind control. Isn't she a great Aunt?

Isaac heard Vancouver was having to truck in snow for the Olympics and thought he and I might make a trip of it. Who knows, maybe we could trade snow for tickets to the Men's Figure Skating Finals.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

I have, for a few years now, dealt with an issue regarding my heart. I had one heart attack back in '07, but prior to that I started experiencing some episodes of atrial fibrillation. For the most part, the episodes will resolve themselves in just a few minutes and my heart will start beating normal again. They usually aren't that bad. But twice now, I have had episodes that I thought warranted a trip to the ER. Sunday was one of them.

Sheila and I were sitting on the couch, enjoying our new "TV", (really, that's all we were doing) and I started to feel that old familiar fluttering at the base of my throat that tells me my heart's starting to beat out of sync again. As I sat there, it started to beat faster and harder. More so than I have felt in the past. So after a while I thought I might better go lay down for a bit. That didn't help at all. It just beat harder, or so it seemed. It felt like something was going to blow at any minute, so I figured I'd better get it taken care of.

So I had Sheila drive me down the street to the ER, since I didn't want to hear them fussing at me about driving myself. When I got hooked up my heart was racing at 148 beats per minute and my blood pressure was 178/124. Not good. So they hooked up an IV and started dripping stuff into me to slow the rate down, and in short order I was down around 100 bpm. But the heart wouldn't get back into rhythm. So the doc decides he's gonna keep me so they can check and make sure that there isn't any damage. The first blood draw showed no sign of a heart attack, which I was fairly sure that I had not had one, but they said that sometimes there's a lag in the enzyme production and the second draw may show evidence of one.

All this going on and I'm supposed to be leaving for my run, Monday morning at the latest. (I usually leave Sunday evening or afternoon.) On my way to the hospital I texted my boss and told him what was going on, just to give him a heads up. Right before the doc came in to say that they were keeping me, he got back to me again and said not to worry about my run, that he had covered it with another driver, and that I should concentrate on resting. I apologized for causing such a hassle and he said it wasn't any hassle at all, get some rest. I have an EXCELLENT boss.

So they kept me overnight, came in a few times in the night to draw more blood, and in the morning, all signs indicated that there had not been a heart attack. As a matter of fact, my heart was back in rhythm about 10 pm. As I said, it usually only takes a few minutes before it gets back where it should be. I'm glad I went in. That was a long time for it to be out of sync. So now I'm on one more medicine to help keep my heart rate down and I have an appointment to see the cardiologist on Friday. There will probably be some more changes.

All in all, it wasn't a very bad episode, but it was bad enough.

So we've got more snow falling today and the kids are out of school again. Sheila's new washer is supposed to show up today and she's worried that the weather is gonna keep them from showing up. For their sake, I hope they don't keep her waiting. I pity da fool that keeps her waiting on a new washer.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Our washing machine has been slowly giving up the ghost. Notice I didn't say "Sheila's washing machine"? So we've been waiting for the feds to get up off my money so we could go get a new machine. We figured with the number of people in our house, it was important to get a large capacity washer, and since the front loaders are so much more efficient as far as water usage, that's what we went for. A Samsung Front Loader with ActivFresh and Steam cleaning. They also spin faster, which throws out more water, which lets your dryer use less energy. It gets delivered Tuesday. Sheila is excited. Happy Valentines Day dear.

Actually, I'm not that dumb. I was warned 27 years ago to not buy appliances or pots and pans for Christmas, Valentines, Anniversary, or Birthday. I have tried to adhere to that advice. And so far I have never had a black eye.

Anyway, after we paid for the washer, we went looking around the store. Now, here's something you need to understand. In my house, the kids TV stuff is in the basement. Don't worry, it's a finished basement. And Sheila and I watch TV upstairs on the computer. We don't have cable and we don't get any channels over the air since we have no outside antenna so we watch shows on and sites like that. But all this time we've been watching TV from across the living room on a 17 inch computer monitor. It's been OK but it's a little hard for Sheila to see any sub-titles at times. So we've been talking about buying a larger monitor.

So we were looking. The "standard" now seems to be about a 21 inch screen. But I've seen them as big as 26. So we're talking to the guy and I tell him that mainly what we do is watch TV on the monitor. If it weren't for sitting across the room, we wouldn't be needing, or I should say wanting, a new one. His recommendation; buy a flat screen TV and hook that up to the computer and use that for the monitor. "Can you do that?" I ask. "Sure", he says. "It's uses the exact same cord.

So we go looking at the Flat Screens. And lo and behold, they had a 32 inch flat screen TV from Samsung on sale. About $150 off it's regular price.


We now have a 32 inch computer monitor. Wow!

As a computer monitor, it's a little ridiculous. It's like sitting in the front row at the movie theater. But since it's our TV as well, it's great. And Sheila is loving it. She said last night that she was really feeling spoiled. Score more Brownie Points for John!

Work has been good lately. Same old runs. (Quit your snickering.) And we've had quite a bit of snow, not near as much as the Mid-Atlantic states have received. But so far, I've not been caught out in it. It was close last week, but thank the Lord for the Internet. I was able to see the weather coming to Chicago two days early and so I left early in order to beat it home. It's called Racing The Weather. Usually the Weather wins, but not this time. Monday night I was safe asleep in the truck at midnight in the company yard. The snow blew in behind me about 6 hours later. I left for the house about 10 Tuesday morning and stayed home with the family on Wednesday.

On a sadder note, Sheila's uncle, who lived in Maryland, passed away this week. They have received so much snow that the funeral cannot be held until the 25th of February. Sheila is definitely going to make the trip and it's possible that I may go as well. It depends on a number of things.

So that's about it. Ya'll have fun.