Tuesday, July 31, 2007

it's NOT west nile!

not the first time i've had strep throat, but definately the weirdest. i woke up thinking maybe i was catching a summer cold. my back was a little stiff and i felt a little sniffly. i made it through most of the day but by about 7:00pm really, really started feeling bad. i had no idea what it was, but it wasn't pretty. i'd gone to see a movie and when i got up to leave the world just kinda started spinning, my head was really pounding and i couldn't tell if i felt nauseous or not. by the time i got home i just wanted to lay down and go night-night. but i couldn't. i was burning up and layed there under a mountain of blankets shivering, unable to get warm. after about an hour of that fun i finally passed out. and woke up about 2 hrs later sweating and hot under all the layers. i figured the fever had broke and i was fast on the road to recovery.

sunday i woke up feeling pretty good, a litte headache but that was it. by about 7:00 though i was back to feeling like God's soccer ball. solid body ache, cold shivers again, felt like the back of my skull was going to blow off when i moved... at this point (being the ruff'n'tuff army guy that i am) the thought of going to the doctor still hadn't crossed my mind. i went to bed early again, and spent the night waking up every hour and switching back and forth from the bed to the easy chair, trying to ease my back pain. each time i woke up i was getting more and more troubled. something was seriously wrong and i couldn't figure out what. but it was REALLY starting to scare me. at about two or three in the morning i finally got it. the reason why my back was hurting so bad? because i'd been working my ass off! they were forcing me to stuff pillows into pillow cases and i couldn't do it fast enough. but i couldn't do it any faster. i'd worked out the fastest way to do it, laying on my side, holding open the pillow cases with my mouth while using my knees to hold the bottom of the pillowcase. then i could shove the pillows in with my hands. and what was wrong? i'd DONE alot of this pillowcase stuffing. the room should be filled with pillows. mountaings of pillows! but there weren't any pillows in the room. some damned bastard was breaking into my room and stealing my pillows and i couldn't stop him because i was so sore and stiff and tired and my head hurt so bad and what the fuck was going to do! i was already behind and someone stole all my pillows. serious panic time people!

this panic went on for a couple hours. and then came the sunrise. and somehow or another, reality. about 6:00am i figured out that i'd NEVER been that mentally fucked up before and i probably needed to go see a doctor. so i napped until the doctor's office opened at 8:00am, called and made an appoint for 11:00am and got in there. my normal doctor couldn't see me so i had this really friendly old guy who you could tell still really enjoyed medicine. to the point where he really didn't have the best bedside manner because he was more interested in the symptoms and what not. "so. your throat's really red. it could be strep. or west nile disease. but if it's west nile, we won't be able to find out for a couple of weeks. and then we can't do anything about it because it'd be virile. so we'll just treat it like it's strep. don't worry about anything." then his nurse came in and did the quick strep test, verified it and sent me on my way.

seriously? pillow thieves? scary bastards. don't try to stop them by yourself, leave it to professionals. professional pillow thief stoppers.

Monday, July 30, 2007

missing posts...

how many posts do you start and never finish? i had a couple posts about my cleveland trip planned, but now they seem kinda trivial.

the good: going to the rock'n'roll hall of fame, the class itself and learning what the military does to protect its soldiers and being treated like celebrities. we had to walk 2 blocks back and forth from the hotel to the class and everytime we walked people were honking their horns, leaning out of their windows and cheering for us, coming up to us in the sam's club and shaking our hands. i went for a run one night in civvies and someone recognized me and started honking and yelling "army strong".

the bad: more pay issues, and some frank discussions about state of mind. i'm not the only one with some anger issues. a couple of our guys have been in therapy since we've been back. and i'm not the only one who's getting considerably more aggressive the more i'm wearing the uniform and "putting my game face on". what worried me alot was one night i woke up and thought alot about death. not suicide or anything like that, but the whiney "oh, that'd solve alot of problems if..." not a big deal, but just so anti- my normal self. i'm pretty upbeat normally, when i bitch it's usually about a specific person or circumstance and i get it out of my system and then i try to fix the situation.

but this weekend alot of that became moot. one of our guys killed himself saturday night. nobody is quite sure what happened yet, if it was PTSD or stuff unrelated to the military. all i know is a poor 22 year old kid is gone and his friends and family are left trying to figure it all out. the guy was adopted and i'm sure his family is going to carry around some guilt, whether it's founded or not.

i didn't know the guy well. he's been on a couple of the training missions i've been on so i've been "in charge" of him a couple of times. i had high hopes for him and was pushing him a little whenever i had an opportunity to. he seemed like a good guy. he really surprised me when we flew back from north carolina a couple months ago and he spent the entire flight reading a bible.

his funeral will be in a couple days and i've been tapped for his funeral detail. on active duty i was tasked for funeral detail every year and have probably had the honor of performing in 30 or so of them. the difference with all of those was that it was complete strangers. i never knew the guy we were there for. this will be different and hopefully i don't screw my part of it up.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

if you haven't watched "shaq's big challenge" you should watch an episode. and just shake your head at the situation. nothing earth shattering, and i'm sure alot of you with kids in jr. high are already aware of what's going on. kinda eye-opening to me though.

Monday, July 23, 2007

so i had an interview in downtown denver today. i parked in a lot and walked a couple blocks to it. on the way back i could see a woman standing next to her car looking at it funny and talking on her phone, so i assumed she either had a flat or had been in an accident. i saw her from about a block and a half away and in the time it took me to get to her (she was in the lot i was parked in, about 15 feet from my car) TONS of guys walked and drove past her and no one stopped to help. when i got near her i could see it was a flat and offered to help. she was older, but amazingly attractive for her age and i was just shocked that if no one stopped to help her just to be a good samaritan that no one stopped in the hopes of getting her number or a story that they could type up and send to penthouse. what's the world coming to when you can't count on men being selfish and opportunistic? she said no, she was calling her husband, but when i got in my car and started backing up i could see her sheepishly walking to me. i got out and it turned out that her husband couldn't make it down there for awhile.

i got her tire changed. i had to guilt a heavy set guy to step on the wrench for me because they'd tightened some of the lugnuts too tight, but i got her on her way. the bad part about it was that she felt like she had to offer me money for helping. things are just weird. why do you have to pay someone to take ten minutes to change a tire for you?

moral of the story? when you get the tires on your car changed, make an ass of yourself and make sure that they don't over torque the lug nuts. they'll get lazy and just drive those nuts on with an air wrench. it's easy to get'em off with an air wrench. but when you're stuck on the side of the road it can kinda suck. you're paying them good money, make'em do their job right.
damnit. i have this cowlick that refuses to lay flat because i couldn't get my haircut because my flight got home late last night. and an interview in 2 hrs. i need hair cair products. stat!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

mac's misadventures...

i love to travel. and i usually love most of the little stuff that pops up to keep things interesting. i enjoy traveling with someone (the right someone/someones), but it's funny how upset so many people get and how much they can't take those little stresses, or can't think things through. i'd rather travel alone than go with people who get stressed and blow that all out of proportion.

today i was on my way to the airport to fly to cleveland when i got a call from one of the guys i was supposed to be traveling with. he's a little younger and was a little excited. apparently our flight got canceled. i was just a couple minutes out from the airport and when i got there he'd already called the travel agency and was trying to get them to change the tickets. they wouldn't do it until our travel orders got ammended because the alternate flights would be considerably more expensive. that's not how i would've handled it, i would've gone through the airline, but one thing that i'm big on is letting these young guys handle things on their own. he had a plan. it wasn't mine, but i wasn't going to shoot him down. it ended up not working out, so we did it my way and got the airline to arrange seats for us on another airline. so we went through milwaukee then got to cleveland. when we got to milwaukee we were running late and were supposed to switch to a little puddle jumper for the flight to cleveland that was run by yet another airline. we went to the little kiosks and it printed boarding passes for two of us, but not the third for some reason. so we had to cut in a ticketing line and piss some people to get his boarding pass and run a little but we made it.

we got to cleveland, but our bags didn't. i might have to go to military training in shorts and a tee-shirt. and i'm gonna have to go down to the counter and mooch a toothbrush and toothpaste in a minute. and the shuttle picked us up but dropped us off at the wrong hotel.

all in all, just a normal day. i didn't total a car today. serious rain storms and turbulence, but nothing to get upset about. funny how bent out of shape these guys are though. it's a big adventure for them to tell everyone about when we get home now. i mean, we're in the u.s., there's not alot that can really go wrong. maybe we would've been late for class or stuck in a hotel in milwaukee for a night, but that's definately no biggie. so they're both off the "possible traveling companions" list.

anyways. fun, fun.

hope everyone is having a good weekend. this is hopefully my last busy, busy one for a couple weeks. i think next weekend i'll be home and able to sleep late. i've got a couple big interviews next week so keep the good wishes coming. :) thanks!

Monday, July 16, 2007

so. here's a question. all we do at work is complain about the handful of users who bitch and moan and complain so much and occupy the majority of our time for petty reasons and prevent us from focusing on the big things we want to be working on that would benefit the entire company instead of the couple of self-centered individuals. sprint recently fired 1000 such customers .

anyways, the question? are we the stupid ones for complaining about such people instead of being one? obviously it works most of the time. nobody in my company gets fired for it, instead it seems as if they get promoted...

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

I'm home safe'n'sound. The car is still in Kansas. The damage was worse than they originally thought. The insurance inspector will head out there tomorrow to check it out and authorize repairs locally. Apparently my stupid ass is going to have to go back there at some point in the near future to pick it up and drive it back. Yay!

Busy couple weeks. Wrapping up my last class, huge problems @ work, job hunt, Army stuff. Not sure where the end in site is. But it's fun. I'm going to drag a couple of kids dragging kicking and screaming into adulthood in the Army. There are a couple of parents out there that I'd like to kick in the jimmy for raising such spoiled little brats. It's fun to start looking out at the next chapter after the B.S. is completed. There are alot of fun looking graduate degree programs out there. And the weather's been nice. Great to ride the motorcycle daily again.

Sunday, July 08, 2007


no good deed goes unpunished. i need to repeat this over and over until i stop saying "sure" everytime someone asks for a favor. so. i'm sitting at home yesterday, happily racking up mass amounts of overtime fixing a really huge problem at work when one of my buddies calls me and asks me if i'll drive him to salina kansas today. i've been up til 2-3 every night last week, then 5 friday night, so i was a little worried about lack of sleep but said "sure".

right now the fed government is really behind paying people's travel vouchers. when i go to a school, if i have enough advance notice, i can file for a travel advance. they'll pay me anywhere from 50-75% of the cost of the trip in advance, but it takes about 14 days to get that money. usually they'll buy the plane ticket in advance, but i end up putting the car and hotel and food on my credit card, and then i file a voucher after i get home. in theory that shouldn't take too long, but right now i'm still waiting on money from february's travels. and i'm paying the interest and won't get paid back for that.

this poor guy has maxed his credit cards traveling for schools, still hasn't been paid back yet and had to go to salina today for another school. they waited to the last minute to try to find him a flight. salina isn't a really happening place and he couldn't get a flight in until after his report date. if he didn't make it to the school on time, it'd look bad on him and the unit. they told him to just rent a car. great, but no money. so he asked if i could help out. no problem. 12 hr round trip. he's a friend and he's one of my soldiers so it's just what you do.

i make it to salina just fine. had a good time actually. good music, good company. start back. still having a good time. all of a sudden it gets REALLY windy. and starts lightening. then out of nowhere seriously scary driving rain. i see a semi with hazards blinking ahead. looks like it's on the shoulder but it might be a little in the right lane. so i go to get on the left hand lane and all of a sudden the car just kicks loose and goes into a serious spin. somehow or another i miss the front of the semi. i leave the road. still spinning. and sliding. really damned fast. going down the embankment. still freaking spinning. faster. holy crap. fence posts are flying by with every spin and getting closer. i'm pumping the brakes, i'm cranking the steering wheel, no one cares. the spinning stops but holy crap i'm still sliding fast sideways. oh crap here comes a fence post. whew! JUST missed the front fender/bumper. and i'm slowing down and stopping and holy crap, the engine is STILL running. i think i really, really just lived through that.

okay, so i blame this on doing a good deed. but in reality this might've been my stupidity. instead of sitting there for someone to come along and help me out, the car seemed to be working fine, i thought i could get back on the interstate. it was raining like crazy, i couldn't see too far ahead of me, not the brightest idea. i decide the grass is too wet for me to go straight up the embankment, the best idea is to go at an angle. i'm going, i'm going and all of a sudden the car is sideways. there was a culvert and i didn't see it because the grass was so tall. just hit the edge of it, the mud gave way and i slid right off the edge of it and fell six feet.

so i'm okay. dunno about the car yet. they looked at it tonight and thought they could get it out with little serious damage, just cosmetics. but they couldn't get their trucks down there because of the water and mud. so i'm in a hotel now waiting for the morning. keep your fingers crossed that it's okay.

i'm off to bed now. night.