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22 Aug 08
I got the bass out the other night and noted that I'll need to get my calluses back. Fingers sort of turned into all thumbs as well. May take awhile to get going again, but it was good to hit some random notes post Munky. It has been a serious blow to me musically being fired from that band. My recovery probably won't be well underway until I get on with another band, or get a band together myself. Lots of ideas abound, but other things are taking my energy for now. Case in point it's been another long week at the office, coming off of a hardware replacement for one of our servers in the computer room last weekend and then electrical work during this week, complicated by a/c problems after turning power back on. Wasn't very pretty. So with overtime spent with this, I planned to take today off as comp and head down to Menard to finish up my job of getting primer on the back of the house where I'd spent time prepping it the last few weeks. I ended up nixing the trip after waking up this morning feeling like crap. Not sure if I'm getting some touch of a crud going around or if I was just spent. But after laying around for the day feeling mostly cranky, I did finally manage to get out, get needed work done on the van and get groceries. The groceries were good since I was running out of nearly everything again. I still have hopes of getting down to Menard this weekend to finish up that job, but we're playing with a chance of rain now. Not ideal conditions to be painting and be surprised by raindrops. May be summer doldrums and other issues, but I'm not very happy with the way things are going at the moment. So for now I cross my fingers and hope for better soon.
23 Jul 08
It was good to see the fireworks return to Lake Nasworthy for this year's 4th of July celebration. Despite my leanings towards the Democrat party (which most small minds would call unpatriotic) I consider this holiday to be one of my favorite ones. And I needed something to feel good about (as well as patriotic, for that matter). I came into July feeling a bit rough. I was also disgusted and frustrated with the way things went down with the fearless leader of my now former band. I have piped down though and am somewhat at peace with it for now. It'll blow over and I hope we can stay friends. However if I ever get invited back, I would probably respectfully decline. Despite wanting to get back on board, my answer should be no, since I don't care to go through that again. Besides things would no longer be the fun loving 'happy family' they were to me before. I do wish our fearless leader well in this continued endeavor but I made it a point to be out of town for the first gig sans me. I spent that time with Nancy, who helped me scrape paint off the back of my old house in Menard. This is the part of the back wall where another building had been attached, and is now exposed to the elements. So the goal is to get it prepped and put a good coat of primer on and then paint it to match the rest of the house. Easier said than done. Scraping some of that old paint is like scraping limestone (and will dull a paint scraper blade nearly as effectively). We got the worst of the old paint off and also did carpentry work, replacing rotted wood on the corner. One or two more days of work and we can get primer on it. I also got the property surveyed and discovered, contrary to my beliefs, that I didn't own all the way down to the river. It was both a rude surprise, and nearly a relief, too. I'm glad I haven't paid anybody yet to clear out river bottom that wasn't mine. Now if I can get the city (since it's really their property) to clear out this jungle of a river bottom, I'd be most happy. I hope we can get it to look like the park under the bridge. Speaking of parks, my next topic is distantly (quite literally distantly) related. The naturally formed travertine lakes in Afghanistan, known as Band-i-Amir has finally been declared a national park by the Afghan government. Not sure how much clout (or other distinction) this may bear to protect it, but this has been in the works since 1973. When I saw the place as a kid back in 1973, I noted a sign designating the area as a 'national park'. So this should at least be good for a new sign. It is an amazing place and when I make it back to Afghanistan, I'll need to see it again. That is a big desire of mine to go back. Us former AISK students do in fact have another trip in the works sometime. I was pretty bummed when I wrote my last blog, so I want to end this blog entry on that hopeful note. More later.
3 Jul 08
As we hit the midpoint of this year, the road has become rocky again. A little more than a month ago, our new church group (I'll talk about that soon) lost John Hines, one of its key members, leaving a wife and children. He was just in for back surgery and had a massive heart attack while in the recovery room after a very successful surgery. The church group is working on healing from that and we are doing all we can for his family. Paradoxically, in his obituary was the newspaper's first mention of this new church. John kept pushing that we need to get the word out. And we all joked in the way that people do in contending with a loss, about how that finally happened. I also have mentioned my situation in trying to help out Greg Sleutel, my co-worker last year who ended up having to leave in October due to ALS. Greg went to a nursing home back in May. We were expecting him to not last much longer, but it was a shock when I got the phone call a week and a half ago. It was probably a mercy that he passed on, considering his situation. Nancy helped put together a memorial service last Saturday, with the med group and a whole bunch of us assisting. I read a tribute from my time working with Greg as well. I'm hoping the rest of Greg's family can heal and move on now. Now there is a situation with a person in Nancy's family, who has been contending with throat cancer. A session of radiation therapy was finally unsuccessful as this person ended up losing his larynx, and he is now recovering from surgery to remove it. Prognosis could be better and we are all praying very hard. As we look at things like this, I guess it is somewhat relative, which makes my situation with my band last week seem pale in comparison. Still, for the record, I have been fired from the Funky Munky.
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