So I've updated my blogging software to the latest and greatest version. I've already encountered one bug which has been worked around until such time an actual bug fix is released. Feel free to tell me about any other glitches you find! I'll be turning comments back on, and look forward to the resultant slew of spam.
Well, it's not quite new year's eve yet, but I figure what the hell... here's a wrap-up of 2010.
2011 has been a bit of a mixed bag for me. At work, it's been one stressful project after the next. I've managed to deliver each project to spec, on time and on budget, but the stress levels are out of control. I'm not a project manager, but I've somehow fallen into the role. In between projects, I've done a lot of business travel, which has been disruptive for work and home life alike. I think I'll stick at it for another couple years, then take my long service leave and move on.
I met Comedian on one of my commutes and he's turned into a semi-regular commute buddy. It's been nice to have someone to share the ride with when I need to go into town for work.
MaxBabe and I celebrated our seventh anniversary in June. We had a nice sushi dinner, then came home to the news that her brother had died earlier that day. He was 49. That whole week is a bit of a blur for me. Travelling to Gladstone for his funeral, being with the family under such difficult circumstances, trying to give MaxBabe whatever support she needed. The whole thing was really sad.
In September, I once again rode in Cycle Queensland. This was my second CQ, and I felt much stronger than on last year's CQ. What a difference a year makes. I attribute the improved performance to the fact that I did much more bicycle commuting this year than last.
I attended my high school 20th reunion this year. It was nice to see so many nice people again, and to see how so many of them have changed. I'm told I haven't changed a bit, which I don't believe, but which was nice to hear anyway.
I missed 20FLT (now 220SQN) AIRTC's 50th anniversary celebrations. Very unhappy about that. Learnt about it after joining facebook (in aid of the high school reunion). But also managed to find some of my old Cadet buddies, so it's not all bad.
I got myself the commuter bike I'd been promising myself for the last twelve months. It's everything I wanted in a commuter, and I'm really happy with it! I'm looking forward to more commuting in 2011.
MitchellMutt had pancreatitis earlier this year. He was so stoic about being unwell. By the time we realised something was wrong, he was very sick indeed. He spent a week in hospital in April. He recovered, and with a change in diet, really improved. The vets were a little concerned about some abnormal results on an ultrasound. They saw swelling of his liver but couldn't identify whatever was causing it. In early December, I travelled down to Sydney for work. During that week, he was out of sorts and started coughing. MaxBabe took him to the vet, who suspected pneumonia. I came home that weekend, and went to see him. He was happy enough, but obviously unwell. The vet couldn't keep him over the weekend, so we took him to the local specialists for hospitalisation. They took one look at his lung x-rays and said it wasn't pneumonia. Ultrasound confirmed he had growths in his spleen, liver and lungs. He had cancer, and the prognosis was 3 months at best. We said our goodbyes and put him to sleep. He was six weeks shy of his 13th birthday. I miss him like crazy.
This was the year that MaxBabe finally realised I'm not like her exes and won't run off with a floozy or steal all her money. She's finally realised that maybe buying a house with me isn't a bad idea. We're on track to have a deposit saved, ready to buy late next year.
The day we had Mitchell put down, MaxBabe's dad had a heart attack. The twits at Gladstone hospital told him he was fine and sent him home. Two days later, he ended up being flown down to Brisbane for treatment. The problem was atrial fibrullation, which the doctors resolved by way of a cardioversion. However, in the process they discovered that his aortic valve had reached its use-by date (it had been replaced 7 years earlier) and needed to be replaced. He had surgery two days ago for the AVR and is doing really well. He's in good spirits and his outlook is good. MaxBabe is a theatre nurse in a cardiac surgery unit, so she knows and understands every little thing about his condition and his treatment. She's been on the phone non-stop to his family ever since he's been down here.
So... 2010 has had its share of ups and downs. I'm in a bit of a downswing at the moment, and I really feel like I could take a bit of a break from everything. I'm looking forward to 2011, purely so that I can officially see the back of 2010. Here's hoping for a few more ups!
... is a motorist who assumes a lane is clear instead of actually checking.
Mitchy came home today. Pets in Peace cremated him and he's in a box with a picture frame attached. My friend Adam is fixing up a photo to fit in the frame.
It's so nice to have him home, but sad too. I miss him.
MaxBabe took Mitch to the vet on Friday morning. He'd been out of sorts for a couple days and was starting to cough. The vet gave him fluids and antibiotics, which seemed to help. They did an X-ray on Saturday and found something in his lungs. The vet felt it might've been pneumonia. She recommended we move Mitch to the local veterinary specialist, as the vets are not open on Sundays and therefore couldn't keep him overnight. So we took Mitch to the specialists Saturday afternoon. The specialist took a look at the X-rays and basically said it looked more like cancer than pneumonia. She recommended an ultrasound to see if there were any other abnormalities.
The ultrasonographer found a large growth on his spleen, and growths in his liver and lungs. The vet called and basically said that it was cancer. If it was a treatable cancer, the outlook would be 3-6 months. Otherwise, it would be much shorter.
We spent the night weighing up the options. We decided that we did not want him to go through a prolonged decline. If possible, we'd bring Mitch home so he could be in familiar surroundings. Then, in a couple days time, take him to the vet to be put to sleep.
With that in mind, we went to visit Mitch yesterday morning. Even after 2 days of round-the-clock care, it was clear he was struggling to breathe. There was no way we could bring him home. We decided that it would be best for him to put him to sleep straight away. I did not want for him to struggle to breathe any longer. The vet confirmed he would never get better, only worse, so that was that.
We spent about an hour with him, cuddling him and giving him lots of pats. When it was time, we called the vet in. My puppy died in my arms.
He was 12 years and 10 months old.
Mitchell fell sick on Wednesday. Long story short, it's cancer. The prognosis is not good. Assuming it's treatable, he'll have 3-6 months at best. MaxBabe and I decided last night it would be best to put him to sleep ASAP.
MaxBabe received a call this morning to tell her that her father's had a cardiac event and is being sent down to Brisbane.
Could today get any worse?
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So - I decided it was time to replace the flat on the Cannondale. This flat mysteriously appeared a week or so ago. Anyway, I removed the back wheel, pulled the tyre off with the help of only one tyre lever (yay me!), and set about picking out glass and other miscellany from the tyre. I inflated the tube but couldn't find the site of the puncture. So I let it sit, and sure enough it was deflated within half an hour or so. OK, so the tube is definitely punctured somewhere. I reinflated it and finally found the site of the puncture. I tracked it back to a chunk of glass in the tyre. Satisfied that all was well, I decided to install a new tube and get the wheel back onto the bike.
I replaced the tube, and set about getting the Gatorskin back on the rim. Sweet merciful crap, it's a bastard to get back on. I used my levers and my Koolstop tyre jack, and finally got the bloody thing back on. I squeezed the tyre all round, manipulating it to make sure the tube was definitely inside its borders and not jammed between it and the rim. Satisfied, I half-inflated the tube. I pushed, I prodded, I checked to make sure there was no pinching. All good. I inflated to full pressure. No exploding, no hissing, everything was great.
I spent the next HOUR AND A HALF trying to get the back wheel back into the flipping dropouts. I've never been good at this, but even for me, this is some kind of record. Seriously, an hour and a half. I swore. I cursed. I whinged. I jammed my fingers in the derailleur. I almost cried. But I persisted, and finally the axle was in the dropout, the chain was installed, and all was good. I tested the gears. They actually changed up and down as they're supposed to! Even better!
Then I turned the wheel and noticed an oddity. There seemed to be something of a flat spot on the tyre. I turned it some more. Yes, definitely something not right there. The tyre appeared mis-shapen. I'm sure it wasn't like that before, so it was probably something I did during all the fracking about with the tyre. Sigh. So I left the wheel in place, and deflated the tyre. I squeezed, I prodded, I inspected to make sure the tube wasn't bulging anywhere. I reinflated. It got to 20 PSI, then all the air came flying out of the tube, and that was it.
I'm assuming it's a pinch flat, but like hell I'm going to try to fix it right now. The bike, the tyre, the tube, the dropouts, the axle, the derailleur and everything else I've touched today can all go and get fucked.
Our schools are populated by illiterate, inconsiderate, disrespectful baboons.
My mailbox has a sign on it: "NO JUNK MAIL". It's an unambiguous sign. I've just come back from pulling my dog away from a kid, his siblings and his mother, who felt it was a good idea to come up to the mailbox and stuff it full of advertising material for the local school.
Are you people dumb? Or just arses? Is it too much to ask that you teach your children that unsolicited advertising material does, in fact, qualify as junk mail? And that said junk mail shouldn't be put into a mailbox that is clearly labelled as NO JUNK MAIL?
If it weren't for the fence separating you, my dog would've enjoyed snacking on your kid, lady. Maybe I should've opened the gate and let him have at it, eh?