I am a very lucky man – I’ve got an amazing wife and am the father to three wonderful kids. Lylli was born on Halloween in 2008, Gracie was born November 2010 and although she only lived for 17 months, she will remain as much a part of this family as the rest of us, and Mickey Gray, our first son, was born in June of 2012. I’m not going to say that life has gone exactly as I would have wanted, but it is a good life and I am determined to make the best of it.

This blog is an attempt to document my quest to become a dad that my family can be proud of.

Friday, November 27, 2009

As I sit here in this vacant office downtown the day after Thanksgiving, I can't help but think of the pride that Chimo must have when as when he sees his mom's Facebook status full of Sh** boms and love of Walmart or should I say "Wallyworld".  Happy Thanksgiving everyone  

Monday, August 31, 2009

5 weeks from yesterday

It occurred to me last night as I was trying to go to bed while my eyes burned from the icy hot that I had all over my shins and calves that the Twin Cities 10 mile is just under 5 weeks away

Things are getting better my workout on Sunday consisted of:

4 miles run nonstop
1 mile walk
1 mile run
.5 mile walk
.5 mile run
.5 mile walk

For a total of 7.5 miles -- I've got a LONG WAY to go!!

Friday, August 7, 2009

I want a "Book Club"

Ok - now that I've got your attention, don't be too shocked -- I don't planning on reading anymore than I have to, but this whole book club gimmick that women have today is pretty ingenious.  There are only 4 Fridays a month and especially in the summer, most of the weekend nights (including fridays) are booked.  This eliminates the opportunity for me to do anything with my biddies.  But because book club is scheduled one friday every month -- that means that I get to stay home with the baby while she goes to one of the hens house to drink wine and talk about everything besides the book -- don't get me wrong, quality time with my daughter is something I treasure, but it makes me bitter that I don't have a catchall standing excuse to hang out with my buddies at least one friday a month.  The thing that is brilliant about this book club thing is that because they have to put effort into reading the book all month, they are emotionally invested in the book club meeting.  I'm afraid if I organized something like this - there wouldn't be that same commitment because I didn't read a book or whatever and would be difficult to skip a family obligation or something without having investing in the meeting by reading the book.  I was in an investment club briefly several years ago, but was so bad with my money at the time that I sold my part to a friend to get out --regret #7,495 from my single days  (bygones).  An investment club might have some legs -- that way I could say that I researched all month for the meeting.  I also thought of cards, but that would be lacking the investment leading up to the mandatory meeting night.  Exotic beer night - everyone could bring a 6 pack of something out of the ordinary they've found?  Brewing beer? Anyone have any ideas?  At the very least I figure, if I can't figure out a guys version of a book club, I figure I should be able to get an annual Canadian fishing trip out of this by saying -- "Hey, all I ask for is this one long weekend, you get book club all year long"      

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

the stall ninja

You know the accoustics in the office restroom are very interesting. They don't pump in the same white noise as they do in the rest of the office so when you sit in a stall you become extremely sound sensitive. Its nothing to hear someone texting they're girlfriend from three stalls away. But the guy that I have a problem with is the guy that I'll call the ninja. We've all ran into them - you sit in the stall next to some guy and as soon as you get ready to do what you had planned to do in there -- he decides to stop still in his tracks and pretend he's not there by not making so much as a peep. Your first instinct is to think to yourself -- ok, he was in here first, so you will follow suit and wait him out -- so then you both sit there in absolute silence until you realize that he has also decided that he will not finish until you are done. Normally I don't care and sometimes push even harder to make things louder as I get a little internal chuckle by making my neighbor uncomfortable, but today - I decided I couldn't wait -- got self conscience about the noise and found myself reaching back and timing a flush at the exact time of the noisiest portion of my transaction. I guess I assume that if a persons feet are facing the door, that they are doing the same thing in there as I am and there's no need for these silly games.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

My wife doesn't know it, but I peed the bed last night

So I've been trying to follow along with the training program for the 10 mile race in October -- last night, I ran later in the day and when I got home, was very thirsty. I found the water in the fridge door quite refreshing and drank several glasses before going to bed. My baby is now sleeping in her crib in her room for two hours at a pop -- in her room is one of those noise machines - with the rain or a heartbeat or white noise, etc -- helps the baby sleep and drowns out the background noises. Mother Earth also hooks up a baby monitor from her room to our room -- If you guys have ever used one of these monitors, you know how sensitive they are to sound and Mother Earth likes to keep hers turned up so if she listens close enough, she can hear the baby breathe. This results in our room also having a noise machine - I would love to put it on the summer cricket setting, but nope -- The wife insists on the stream/waterfall setting. This despite my warning of how I told her someday this will cause an accident in my sleep. So last night - I was having a dream -- in my dream, I was helping my buddy Eric Hyovalti work on what I think was a cabin -- just the basic refurbish work that gives guys an excuse to stand around outside all day with a Miller High Life in their hands -- in the dream I had to go, so I walked out around the back of my truck and as I was yelling some smart comment over my shoulder began to relieve myself -- It felt like it was forever, but I woke to my boxers beggining to be wet -- yep, I woke up as I was starting to pee my pants -- luckily, I was laying on my back and caught it quick enough so the only thing that got wet were my boxers in which I was able to change without wifey having any idea -- hate to say I told her so, so I won't -- but now you know

Monday, July 13, 2009

I had to take a minute out of my day to let you know that Chimo's sister has a lot to do today, but just doesn't feel like doing anything

Monday, July 6, 2009

Some people never learn

well -
chalk up the 2009 Twin Cities 10 mile as another race that I have signed up for and will take a large miracle to be able to run



From: carriedelaney44@msn.com
To: delaney44@msn.com
Date: Sun, 5 Jul 2009 21:12:26 -0500

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Chimo's sister's Facebook Status update

In case anybody was wondering -- I thought I would let you all know that I found out, using facebook, that Chimo's sister is going to attempt to get some laundry done today

Friday, June 12, 2009

Chimo's sisters facebook update

I was on pins and needles beofre today's first status update letting the whole facebook world know that she was thinking about going tanning today
and you'll be all happy to know that her most recent update confirmed what we were all waiting to hear
"ahh....tanning felt wonderful!! LOL"

a drip upon my sandaled foot

I'm sure stepping one foot into my final business class (called Senior Seminar) wearing the sweatshirt and sandals that I'm wearing today would have gotten me an instant "F" or at least as big of a tongue-lashing as I got for writing my resume in pen for the class.  Several years ago I came up with a term for when something happens to me in the business world as a result of something that I do that I should know better.  I call it "Kerma" (its a hybrid I came up with combining my mentor in college, Terry Kemmer, and Karma).
Kerma got me today because I'm earing these way too casual sandals -- So today I stroll into the bathroom  -- it was like grand central station -- all the urinals and stalls were packed -- It felt uncomfortable enough to feel like I had to say something -- so I threw out the standard "Whoa - this is the place to be" -- turns out it was only a minute or so before the cleaning lady came in (I should have known because my biological clock is always in a race/fight with the cleaning lady's stall cleaning schedule at 2:15 each day).  Any way -- I didn't feel right turning around and leaving,  I felt that would show weakness, so I bellied up to the stall after a guy flushed and walked by me with a "you're up" nod of the head.  I get in and start to relieve myself when I notice the guy next to me is pushing out his stream unusually hard -- he kept looking over at me like we were racing or in some sort of a competition -- I thought to myself, this guys is too intense, when all of a sudden on the top of my foot I feel a large drop of splashed urine.  I can only hope it was mine or some condensation falling off of the pipes on the trap of the urinal.      

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

I'm a programmer?!

OK, so the many meetings that I've been in lately have got me wondering something
(now lets eliminate the smart-alec response about the hairless breeds and pretend the first statemet is 100% true)
All cats have fur -- and Cuddles is a cat -- therefore, it can be assumed that Cuddles has fur
All programmers are on the autism spectrum, are socially awkward and don't know it --Rich is a programmer --
therefore... am I more awkward than I think and just not know it?

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Slim Down to Sin Town

I must have heard on one of the KQRS Morning Show podcasts on my ipod about something juicy on their website or something. I really can't tell you why I ended up on their site. While I was checking it out, I saw that they are having a contest called "Slim Down to Sin Town" I recall hearing from many about how much fun they have in Vegas on the morning show trip, so I checked it out -- I actually filled out an entry form. Of course it was one of those long shot entries that a person fills out on a whim. Yesterday on my way to a meeting I got a call from someone that wanted to give me a phone interview. Let me go back a bit -- the contest is through Seattle Sutton and would consist of 16 weeks of free meals. They are picking only 10 people to do it, but the person that loses the most weight, wins a trip with the morning show to Vegas. When my phone rang, I answered and the person said they were from Seattle Sutton, I got real chippy with her because I had that dooped feeling that you get when you sign up to win something and someone calls you a couple days later with en elaborate sales pitch -- so until I realized she wasn't trying to sell me anything, I came across as kind of a jerk, but as the interview went on, I think it went well -- Not sure when I'll find out if I made the cut and I'm sure it's a real long shot, but if I am chosen, I will be on the air at 9 AM on June 1st for the kickoff of the contest and will check in each month until the contest is over. Keep your fingers crossed - Me with mic time? - this could get interesting!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Gap in stall #2's door is a bit too big

I hate when I get stuck with the stall where I have to lean to the side to avoid making eye contact with someone walking past through the gap in the door that is just a bit too big. 

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Here are a couple of suggestions for those of you responsible for the puddle I found my shoelace in while standing at the urinal today.

1) either use both hands to tame that firehose that has so much pressure that you can't control the thing or
b) shake it over the urinal and not over where it'll land in a puddle on the floor so the next guy has to stand in it

and one more thing, if you have to dig so hard to get it out that as a result you leave a goatee on the urinal ledge, you might as well go in the stall and sit down

RIP Turkey Day as we know it

So one of the big events going on in my building at work is that the owners of the building brought in a new company to run the cafeteria.  They kept "D" -- the short order guy at the grill (and by far the best around), but got rid of everybody else.  They've changed the look a bit and tried to liven things up by playing music and displaying things in a fancier way.  For the most part, I've been as excited as anybody about the change. 
Lets be honest -- no matter what company is running your cafeteria, it all comes from Sysco, which brings me to today's issue.  
For years, the cafeteria has been having "turkey day" every thursday.  Long gone were the days when my buddy Shane and I could go down there and give "grandma" that little wink, giving her permission to double up on the mashed potatoes -- grandma has been gone for years now, but the meal has stayed the same.  a couple slabs of turkey loaf (size dependent on the mood of the slicer), a scoop of mashed potatoes ( always a little lumpy, but never quite sure if they were real or instant).  Some stuffing (spitting image and taste of your standard Stove Top version), and some corn.  Next to the meal line were three containers -- one containing butter packets (that I could put in my container next to the corn allowing it to melt perfectly on my way back to my desk) another with some warmed buns and the third and most important one was a bowl of cranberries (stirred up to attempt to remove the lines from the can) along with the little condiment cup and lid to scoop in the cranberries kind of like that old mcdonalds sandwich that allowed you to keep the cool and hot pieces separate until the exact perfect moment.  I had just gotten to the point that I could perfectly space out my cranberries to where my last bite of turkey would contain the perfect sized last bite of cranberries and were pushed onto my plastic fork with the last bite of bun - and then this happend. 
Today I go down to partake in turkey day and enter into the cafeteria  to the upbeat sound of Tears of a Clown by Smokey Robinson (some might say Ironic, now that I think of it).  I order my meal which consists of Turkey - similar to the old loaf, but appears to have more muscle strands than before, in an attempt to make it look a bit less processed I guess.  The mashed potatoes were very runny and included chives and who knows what else nto to mention the potatoe skins themselves mixed in.  The stuffing was like someone threw the wet part of stuffing in with a couple loaves of wonder bread and then chopped it up, and get this, threw in some carrots (it was like a mushy sandwich).  And answer me this -- where was the corn?  There were three vegetable options -- one included corn, but was also a medley of other cube shaped vegetbles resembling the frozen vegetable medley that my grandma used to try and make me eat.  Another option was steamed cauliflower with strips of green and red pepper (are you kidding me?) and the final options were green beans with peppers and almonds slices (the only green beans I want to see on my turkey day better include cream of mushroom soup and those crunchy fried onion things on the top).  As I got to the end of the line, I realized there were no containers waiting for me containing my bun, butter, and most importantly my cranberries. 
If this is the way things are going to be, this is goign to greatly effect my Thursdays
To give you an idea of how bad this is got me going, I started typing this before I finished the meal.  Maybe I'll write them a letter, or better yet -- Maybe I'll print this out and stuff it into the complaint box!


I've been slacking on this thing for quite awhile now - everytime I head to the library (AKA stall #1) at work, I think about five different things that I could talk about, but never quite get around to it.  Today will be a quick one.  I know a 36 year old man has no right to be on Facebook (and addicted to playing texas hold 'em with imaginary money against 14 year old kids in India), but let's just put that aside for a moment and allow me to make a small commentary on something that bugs the crap out of me.  I admit that I have quit Facebook a couple of times because I think its so ridiculous, only to be pulled back in by curiosity and boredom.  The "Status" option on Facebook there is to enter funny, interesting, exciting updates about what's going in in your life or editorials about the times.  If you think for one second that people give a crap that you are "going to bed" or "at work" -- Think again -- Maybe its dumb for me to put oneliners in my status in an attempt to crack a smile on my acquaintences faces, but everytime I see that someone took the time to write that they are at work, makes me want to go down to their work and break the fry machine.  And another thing -- if your life is so boring that you need to spend it taking quizzes determining "what 80's love ballad best describes you" or "what color are you?" -- don't post it for everyone to see -- I don't care.  I look at Facebook to passively keep "in the know" on what's going with people that I know not too see that you're "Sister Christian" or the color "Orange"  

Thursday, February 26, 2009

FW: ta-da!

Miss Lylli learned to roll over from her back to her belly yesterday!

Monday, February 16, 2009

I just realized that its been awhile since I've entered anything on this blog. So here's a quick entry to get you up to speed. Cable guy came to install cable and couldn't because of many reasons, Bought Tivo and the wireless accessory to allow it to connect to my wireless network -- neither the Tivo or the accessory work. The new fancy wireless SD card that I bought for Carrie's camera broke -- they sent us a new one and it won't connect to my home network. I got bit in the leg by my pitbull last week on accident because he was trying to bite the mastiff and apparently I was in the way. I Ran 10 miles last week including my second 5k race of the year last Saturday -- let me tell you about that day. Got up early to get ready for the race. Had a cup of coffee and a bowl of raisin bran -- got all of my gear in order and ready to go -- I figured I'd take a shower to wake myself up a little -- I'm pretty proud of my shower -- I redid all of the walls in slate and put in one of those long armed sunflower shower heads that comes down like rain. The arm of the shower head has a couple of elbows that you can loosen and adjust so its just at the right height - unfortunately, sometimes those elbos loosen on their own causing the head to sag way down -- it had sagged, so I attempted to adjust it -- turns out that the long arm also generates quite a bit of leverage and I cracked the shower head where it is threaded into the brass fitting at the top of the copper -- of course I didn't know that until I turned the shower on and had water shoot straight out of the wall (As well as down the wall behind it) -- and to add to that -- when I put the wall in the closet on the other side of the wall from the shower head and faucet, I put an access panel on the bottom, but figured I'd never need to get to the top part -- so I got to cut holes in the wall so a plumber could come and fix it after the race. As for the race, I got to the race - stood in line for about a half hour only to find that they didn't have shirt that would fit me (what was I thinknig anyway) -- so my wife got a nice shirt from the valentines 5k. I lined up at the back of runners with the rest of the penguins -- thought I would do OK since on Thursday I managed to run 2 miles before stopping and walking. My ipod wasn't keeping my pace correctly and kept telling me I was running like 20 minute miles -- so I was struggling to keep myself from speeding up -- I stopped and walked at mile marker 1 -- walked a few more times -- but managed to finish under 40 minutes this time -- not much under, but at least it was progress -- as far as the weight loss -- still 285 -- running a lot and not losing a pound - this is great!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Last Weekend

Last Friday, the wife and I closed on a great rate refinance on our house -- Closings have come a long way -- we were able to do the whole closing at our kitchen table and used our wireless network to sign some of the paperwork electronically. Way better than closings I've had in the past. Yep, after 7 years of living in my house, I've paid off $2000. I'm so glad they talked me into that negative amortization arm loan and 2nd mortgage. Good news Is that the new loan is good enough to get me back on track. My sister-in-law agreed to stay at our place and watch the dogs for the weekend, so we loaded up the car and headed to the in-laws cabin. Its just over an hour away, so after a stop at the grocery store, we got up there just after 9. We turned on the water, turned up the thermostat for the furnace, sat by the fire for a bit and then went to bed. I woke up the next morning, grabbed a couple of coffee, and tried to wrap my head around the fact that I was going to try to run a 5k race that morning at 10 AM. I wasn't quite sure how I would pull it off because I hadn't run since Jan 5th and it wasn't pretty then either. After my cup of joe, I went into the bathroom to take care of the standard morning three S's - two of which are shower and shave. On completion of the first S, of which is not specifically mentioned in the previous list, I leaned on one cheek to take care of things and at that moment, another monumental event happened to me letting me know beyond a shadow of doubt that I am a very fat man. Yep -- apparently shifting all of my weight was more than the seat could handle because I cracked it right in half. After my embaressment, I headed to the winter festival where the race would be conducted -- As I studied the crowd, I quickly realized that I was the guy that everyone looked at and said "whew! At least I won't be last". It was sort of fitting as the sun cast across the hot air balloons being launched on the lake nearby the start of the race, I could barely tell between my sillouette and that of the POW/MIA and American Family Insurance hot air balloons. The race was not pretty, lets just say if they turned the list of the results upside down, I'd have finished in the top 10. But I finished it -- and was easily the heaviest guy there by 50+ lbs. I said only 50 because my stepbrother was the next heaviest and he was quite a bit heavier than most of the other people there. My brother-in-law-to-be pulled way ahead of me before we got to mile one, but it only took about a quarter mile for my step-brother to do what I can only imagine it would look like if her were to be hit by a long range sniper while in stride - holding multiple body parts in agony as he struggled to keep it to a trot. So I basically ran/walked the race by myself - of course I got to talk to lots of senior citizens for a few seconds at a time as they passed me. Once the race was finished, I made my way back to the car and swung into Menards to buy a shiny new toilet seat for the bathroom upstairs at the cabin. Fortunately they were on sale, but at $6, I waited until the end of the weekend to replace it just in case the cheaper seat was not rated for a fatty like myself.  We got home early on Sunday so I settled in and watched one of the best Superbowl's that I've seen on the 15 inch TV in my living room.   

Bodey and My Shoes

Our dog, Bodey, has Cerebellar Hypoplasia.  I must admit that I let me heart get in the way of my head when it came to adopting Bodey.  He is a very happy dog, but I did underestimate the amount of work it would add to our already dog extensive household.  Two of his sisters have the same issue and live at the Rolling Dog Ranch in Montana (A real cool sanctuary for blind and handicapped animals).  To give you an idea about life with Bodey, these dogs are so involved that they changed their policy and will no longer take dogs with this problem.  Many people see Bodey and feel terrible for him when they see him try to get around -- The truth is that he loves people, doesn't know any different, makes due just fine, and has a pretty happy life.  I don't know if its boredom or what, because he can't exactly play fetch, but Bodey has perfected the art of chewing my shoes.  There is not one pair of shoes that I have that does not have some sort of issue because of Bodey.  I was running late this morning and am dressed too casual to wear the black boots I would normally wear (which I need to add are all chewed up around the top) -- so I grabbed an old pair of sketchers that he got too awhile back -- managed to pull the one surviving lace from a different pair of shoe that he ate at a different time, and pieced together a pair for the day --  I was sitting in a meeting this afternoon and realized that my shoes stink (I'm guessing as a result of the tooth lubricating slobber it takes to eat a shoelace while it is still laced in a shoe).  So I'm sitting at my desk with a stinky pair of half chewed brown sketchers with one dark brown lace and one tan.   Real Professional...     

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Lylli pics


I finally got to park in the garage

It was a monumental night last night at the Delaney household.  The Rolloff company picked up the 20 cubic yard dumpster I filled with junk that was in the driveway for the past few weeks.  I, for the first time, was able to park Kermit the car in the second garage stall.  It felt so good.  This morning was the standard morning -- Mother Earth running around trying to get the baby and her gear into the 5 different bags she carries (no pun intended) with her each day while I stay in the bedroom with the dogs as late as possible to stay out of the way becasue I'm not a morning person.  The wife and baby left for the day, I let the dogs out, jumped in the shower, got dressed and went out to get the dog food and start up the car -- I hit the garage door button with pride and hopped in to start the car, hooked my arm over the passenger seat, swung my head around, started to back it out and suddenly - CRUNCH!  Turns out Kermit won't fit through a nine foot garage door with the drivers door wide opened -- yep -- forced it open about 6 inches further than its meant to.  I pulled forward, backed out of the garage and looked at the damage -- didn't look too bad - I thought I got away with one and was int he clear until I started the drive to work and although closed tight and still safe, it now sounds like the window is cracked while driving down the road  

Thursday, January 29, 2009

The world wants me to be fat

I think everybody around me wants me to be fat to make themselves feel
better. Anytime I go anywhere, the "food" person always makes sure that
I get more than a normal helping of everything. I admit, it doesn't
take much for me to cave, but it doesn't help when someone scoops the
last of "you name it" on my plate at the end of every meal just because
its hardly worth saving that much. I was going to have the standard
turkey dinner downstairs today, but figured I'd skip the gravy, before I
could say anything, the guy behind the counter with a little wink, gave
me extra turkey loaded the gravy on everything -- do people not
understand that doing this to me is not doing me a favor because I'm
never going to make him redo the plate. Then just a few minutes ago,
the woman that sits across from me made sure I knew that the Target by
my house is selling huge bags of peanut M&M's for 75 cents -- now
explain to me how I'm supposed to drive by there on my way home with all
of that chocolate and peanutty goodness for pennies on the pound? That
would be like Lange driving by a liquor store selling Copenhagen and old
Milwaukee for $1 each.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

I'm at a loss

Yesterday, I ate oatmeal, and brown rice, and fruit all day - no soda, just water and a cup of coffee.  I had to leave work and go straight to New Horizons Academy in Blaine because the wife wanted to check it out again to make sure baby D's current daycare is the right decision.  I'm pretty sure that after our tour that she felt it was too institutional and wants to stay in the at home setting she's currently at.  It was getting late and neither of us were in the mood to cook anything, so we decided that I would swing into a fast food joint on the way home and pick us up a couple of grilled chicken sandwiches without the mayo -- not a perfect meal, but still much healthier than the Triple Angry Whopper (seriously a new item on the menu).  I ordered up the chicken sandwiches and some diet cokes and I swear to God, I had a 99 cent double cheeseburger ordered and down my gullet before I could even think twice about it.  So I gulfed down the burger and drove straight home, like the drone that I've become, and ate my grilled chicken sandwich pretending that it was an adequate meal -- kind of ironic that as I finished my fries (of which I convinced the wife were ok to order because we ordered the chicken and I'd eaten good the last couple of days) that the Biggest Loser theme music kicked in.  I'm no longer a weight lifter, certainly not a runner and I love to eat and drink -- I'm completely at a loss of what to do! 

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

5 Hour 5K???

Its been awhile so I thought I'd send along an update. Life has been
busy, but not super exciting as of lately. I shouldn't say that, its
been exciting, but probably more to just the wife and I as we watch
Lylli grow and learn new things every day.

I've got that dumpster in my driveway almost full and my dreams of
parking Kermit the car (the green station wagon) in the garage may
actual come true some day. Of course the process of filling it has been
tough, including an episode with a three hundred pound cement and rebar
table top that I figured I could get over my head to throw into it --
the fingers on both hands are still healing from smashing them between
the dumpster and the cement in the below zero weather. I got it in
there, but I thinks its time to admit that I'm no longer a power lifter
and maybe ask for help on that sort of thing in the future. This is how
my life works -- I see two homemade concrete table tops on craigslist
and have the vision of making cedar table bases for tables on my
patio/deck, so I drive to Woodbury and pay some guy $20 for them. I
hall them back home and leave them in the back of my truck for a couple
months because it got wet back there and froze to the carpet -- I then
finally get them out of the truck and leaned against a wall in the
garage -- a year later, I decide they won't work and throw them away.

Last weekend was busy, Saturday, we went to my mom's for lunch and then
participated in a true Anoka County baby shower at the bar. I managed
to talk mama into buying a Carbone's pizza -- I think that was my reward
for leaving early and not making her sit there all night and watch me
drink. I have been watching my eating during the week and have finally
gotten into the 270's -- that's like throwing a bone to a starving dog,
but at least it's a start. My grand illusion to become Prefontaine has
not been going so well. I have not run since Jan 5th -- that is funny
considering, my step-brother and brother-in-law-to-be are running in the
Chisago City 5k on Saturday at 10 AM. After the run if I don't get
checked into the hospital, we are heading up to the cabin to go sledding
and hang out for the night. Should be a good time

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

How Many Delaney's does it take to change a light bulb?

My wife's parents decided that they wanted to come over and see the baby last night. That is cool, and they also offered to bring dinner, which was nice. As we waited for them to arrive I flipped on the front lights and both the light on the hosue and the one on the pole in the yard did not turn on, so I shoveled the steps and walkway in the dark and grabbed a couple of light bulbs to swap out the obviously burnt out bulbs. I started with the one attached to the house -- pulled the globe off and had to put one of those goofy flourescent spiral bulbs in it because those are the only ones Mother Earth allows in the house these days. It worked fine. In my sorel boots, I forged a path to the pole in the middle of my snow covered yard. Once there, I noticed that the metal piece that covers the glass globe that makes the fixture was gone - this allowed snow to fall onto the bulb. So I removed the globe and started unscrewing the bulb when, because of the cold and the fact that the melted snow caused when the light worked once it refroze caused it to be frozen in the fixture. I tried to work it out and must of spun it too hard, but it snapped off the wires causing it to short out and tripped the breaker which also runs the tv in my living room as well as the garage lights and openers. I went down to the electrical box and the wires must have been touching because every time I flipped the breaker switch, it would trip again. So, I found myself in the middle of my yard with a flashlight in my mouth and of course it was too cold to get the screws undone. I eventually had to rip off the fixture and the cap on top of the pole and fish way down into the post to find the wires. I snipped off the wires and put wire nuts on all of the exposed ends. Luckily this worked well enough to be able to flip on the circuit without shorting it out. That should look nice to the appraiser next week when he looks at my front yard and sees a black pole coming out of the ground with no light on it.

I can't win with Mother Earth

Mother Earth aka "The Wife" has an issue if, god forbid, a car is started and warmed up longer than necessary.  This ticked me off this morning.  My boss has specifially told me that she wants me in the office from 8 to 4:30 so I can be around to answer questions since there are others that come in and leave earlier.  This was presented to me in the hiring process and is quite clear.  I am not a salaried employee, I am a contractor, so I am only approved to bill for 40 hours per week, so it does me no good to come in before 8.  My wife, on the other hand gets up at 5 and leaves at 6:30.  One of the reasons she got a new car this past summer was because there were several times last winter where her car didn't start.  I would end up having to get it towed after days of trying to get it started only to have it start once towed to a shop.  This happened at least 3 times last year, not to mention countless other times where it wouldn't start in the morning, but would in the afternoon.  Yes, this is the same wonderful car that I get to drive these days, a green '96 Honda Accord station wagon.  Because of this, and the fact that its 20 below zero in the morning, I figured the last couple of days that I would get up at 5:30 to try and start the car just in case it doesn't start and I would need to get a ride from the wife, which would mean she would need to leave 20 minutes earlier.  I figure I would do it at 5:50 because it would set the pace earlier instead of trying to start it at 6 and causing a mad scramble to get ready, feed the dogs, and leave early.  Unfortunately, this means that the car is started for close to an hour, but I don't want to chance shutting it off and not having it start again because I am still new and a consultant at Wells Fargo and not going to work is not an option.  This morning, Mother Earth pulls her car out of the garage to start it and notices my snow covered car in the driveway running and has the nerve to come in and say "You serioulsy are letting your car warmup for over an hour?".  This is what I get for trying to be considerate and not inconvenience her.  This did not make my crabby morning dimeaner any better, so for the second day in a row, I find myself in the office just after 7 AM because I wouldn't want to let my car warm up too long.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Time to Refinance and oh yeah, Weaver's skinny

After several long talks, the wife and I have decided that we would take
it in the shorts too much if we were to try and get our house ready to
sell and find something else. Because of the market, we'd probably only
get what we owe on the mortgage, and that wouldn't take into
consideration the 10's of thousands of dollars it would take to get to
ready to sell, not to mention the $50+ thousand I've put into it. I was
looking around and there is literally not one wall in that house that
has not changed since I've lived there. I have a pretty specific place
in mind that I want to live in, so once we move, we will be there for a
long time, if not forever.

So, since we could get a rate in the mid 4's, we have elected to
refinance our place on a 20 year loan and stay there for awhile since
the rates are so low. Its no wonder that everyone got in trouble with
their mortgages, even in this economy when they say that its tough to
get a loan, my wife and I qualified for well over $400,000 loan if we
wanted it. I'd be afraid to go over $300,000 on a mortgage and I make
OK money. No wonder everybody is losing their houses.

My goal is to move before the kid turns 10. The place I want will be on
some land so it will not be in the same school district. I think it can
be cruel to make kids change schools after, say fourth grade, so my goal
is to use this new % rate on my loan to aggressively try and pay it down
in the next 10 years while creating a list of must haves and build my
dream home when I'm in my early to mid 40's. That said we have decided
to carpet the downstairs and fix up some other things. I went to The
Home Depot to price out carpeting -- what a rip-off -- they want around
$2000 to put around 500 sq feet of mid level carpeting in my basement
and 11 stairs. I was blown away -- I was thinking $2 a sq foot max for
carpet, pad, and installation. I mean, its my dingy basement and I have
dogs, I'm not even sure if carpeting will work in the long term - I was
prepared to take a gamble for $1,000, but for twice that, it better
work!! Tomorrow I am having a 20 cubic yard dumpster delivered to my
driveway -- the Delaney's are doing their spring cleaning in January --
I plan on throwing away everything that is not nailed down -- we have so
much junk, not too mention the sheetrock and studs, shower stalls, etc
that I tore out while doing some changes to the bathroom and laundry
room in the basement. Hopefully, I'll be able to park my car in the
garage, too when the dumpster is hauled away.

Oh yeah, and this running thing is not going well. I am signed up for a
5k on Jan 31st and only ran once last week and it was tough. I better
do something, this Facebook craze has gone too far -- I was starting to
feel a bit better losing a pound or two a week and then I got a message
one of those hey, long time no see emails on Facebook from Weaver -- He
was this big red headed lineman that I played football with in college.
Huge fat guy back in the day, and of course, he looks like he's lost
about a hundred pounds -- Yep, he's skinnier than me -- great for him,
but it makes me feel even worse -- what's next Gunkel?

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Monday Morning

So Monday morning I was so proud of myself as I got up to make it to the
YMCA just before 6 AM. I gathered my clothes for work and narrowly
missed leaving the house without a towel. I got there and walked/jogged
around the track around 2 1/2 miles. It was a pretty tough workout
because my lungs were still congested from the bad cold I had last week
(not to mention the morbid obesity). I got done with my workout - my
ipod said I burned almost 600 calories, so I was feeling good. I went
to the locker room and took a shower, but on my boxers, shirt, and
t-shirt and was feeling really good until I realized -- NO PANTS! I had
to put on my sweaty running pants and drive back home.

Monday, January 5, 2009


Friday, January 2, 2009

Happy New Years

Well in true Rich fashion, things didn't work out as planned, but they
still did work out in the end. Tuesday night saw some significant
snowfall -- The wife and I didn't feel right asking my sister-in-law to
drive to our place from Burnsville on the slippery roads when we were
simply a few miles from home. I planned on going to work on Wednesday
anyway, so I went home to take care of the dogs and get ready for work
the next morning, etc. I also had been getting progressively more sick
as the week went on. I got home, spent some times with the dog, picked
up around the house, got clothes ready for work, etc. I figured I'd go
watch some TV in bed and turn in early. As I walked down the hallway, I
thought it felt cool in the house -- sure enough the thermostat read 58
degrees, but it was set at 68. I also noticed that the thermostat was
showing the fan was blowing, but it was not. I Changed batteries and
tried a couple of other things to see what was wrong -- well wouldn't
you know it, the furnace was broke. Luckily we pay for the service plus
plan -- I called the gas company and they were able to get someone there
just after 11. turned out to be the igniter which was an easy fix, so I
was able to get to bed around midnight. Despite being sick and
exhausted, I had a hard time falling a sleep knowing that my kid was at
the hospital hooked up to machines and I wasn't there with her. I woke
up the next morning and there was no way I was going to work -- I was
sicker than a dog -- called into work, felt really guilty, but there was
no way I could have done anything, I was a zombie. Not to mention that
its sort of frowned upon to come into an office with recycled air when
you are sick because colds spread like wildfire in that setting. So, I
went back to bed for a couple of hours, woke up, showered, went to the
drug store for some cold medicine and headed back up to the hospital
when my wife called and said they had seen the doctor and she had
decided to let Lylli go home. We waited around for the final paperwork,
etc and were finally checked out around 3:30. The wife and I were so
happy to be home -- our New Years Eve was spent napping and in bed early
-- I think we exchanged "happy new years" when it was midnight in New
York based on the TV that was in the back ground. Lylli is in the clear
besides nebulizer treatments every four hours and the removal of mucous
from her nose every few hours. I spent New Years day in bed - I was
literally probably only out of bed a total of two hours from the time I
went to bed, on new years ever, until I woke up for work this morning.
I normally would never have come into work based on how I feel today,
but considering it will be the only day this week I'll be in the office,
I figured I'd try and tough it out since its Friday and I can rest the
next couple of days.