6 Minutes, 50 Years

Can I get a "Roll Tide!" When I was growing up in northern Alabama, the legendary Coach Bear Bryant was leading the Crimson Tide to championship after championship. (I eventually had to entirely forsake watching SEC football in the mid-1990's because, well, the Tide wasn't rolling like it used to and every loss turned me grumpy for days.) He was said to be such a good coach that he could switch teams and still beat his opponent with either team because he made more of a difference for victory than did the players themselves.Bear's speech to his Alabama football team before a 1974 game included … [Read more...]

Unintended Effects of the CPAP, or Conquering Persistent Acid Reflux (GERD)

I usually think of myself as a rather healthy person, with few chronic problems and those few that I do have are usually injury related (my spinal fusion for example) than immune-system related (getting sick, allergies, etc). And whenever I've had an illness, my body's first response was to make me sleep extra so that my body could fight of the virus or bacteria.In fact, that was one of the first symptoms that I had developed sleep apnea. I was sleeping so poorly that I was having a lot of trouble fighting off illness and bouncing back from injuries. It's weird how, if a problem crops up … [Read more...]

The Teutonic Knight Has Fallen

Dylan's VW GTI Was TotaledDylan did such an awesome job with scholarships this year that he got more funds than the entirety of his tuition, books, fees, room and board. Consequently, I anted up for a very nice 2002 VW GTI as his new ride.It was nicely tricked out by its original owner, with custom wheels, low profile racing tires, woven stainless steel hoses, high performance belts, cold air intack, high-pressure turbo, etc, etc, etc. It produced over 350 horsepower and even more torque. Dylan was a conservative driver and didn't abuse it or push it hard. Unfortunately, we forgot that … [Read more...]

Happy Barkday, Rachel

Rachel doesn't seem to like flashy birthdays, but she did consent to a family party with some presents.The girls helped me pick out an ice cream cake with a picture showing a ton of puppies around a cake and balloons. Showing that they now fully get the concept of a pun, they had the cake lady put the inscription "Happy Barkday, Rachel!" on their in pretty script.Happy barkday, Rachel! You're ... what? ... 245 years old in dog years?Love you! … [Read more...]

She Stuck It Out for 365 Days!

Rachel Raises a Toast - to more Liquor!I hope you enjoyed our little anniversary celebration and the chance to hear all that great music on the General Jackson cruise into downtown along the Cumberland River. The past year has gone so fast. Things that I thought might be tough have been easy and [gasp] fun. I hope it's been as fun and easy for you. Thank you for marrying me, Rachel. Thank you for loving me. Now, let's raise a toast to many more years together! … [Read more...]

Vancouver, BC

Rachel and I recently had the opportunity to travel to Vancouver, British Columbia where I was speaking at the DevTeach Conference. DevTeach is one of my favorite conferences to speak at and has brought me to Canada many times, though never to the west coast of country. Rachel, on the other hand, hasn't travelled much at all. In fact, this was her third trip by plane and her second out of the country. That passport has really come in handy! In a way though, it's a dream come true for me to be able to take a business trip to a far-away place and to take my lover with me.Things in Vancouver … [Read more...]

Puppy in the house!

When Rachel and I were trying to figure out which breed of dog to get, we knew that it's personality should match that of our family. When knew a lot about dogs, but we also knew that we wanted a dog who we'd have to vacuum around. I'm just sayin'...Jelly Bean, the 6-week old Basset HoundThese really energetic and athletic dogs - terriers and sight hounds like greyhouds and dalmatians - are great for the right people. We need a dog whose first preference is to lay around, closely followed by taking a nap. You could also reverse that order of priorities and we'd still be happy. Of course, all … [Read more...]

A Painful Month Without My Blog

Bloggers beware! Just in case you didn't know it, Goggle/Blogger.com has a policy against spam blogs. Spam blogs, as you might guess, are designed to direct its readers to some kind of commercial and/or scam site. I got snagged by this for the last month because Blogger has an automated method of detecting spam blogs. That is, they look for any blog post with lots and lots of web links. Two posts ago, I put a post with a lot of web links to cool websites. Unfortunately, the automated spam blog blocker isn't too smart and it marked me as spam simply due to the large number of web links in the … [Read more...]

Sleep Study

Both Rachel and I have noticed how I've been unable to get through the day without a nap. We'd also noticed that, even after 10 hours in bed, I was essentially exhausted upon waking up in the morning. What gives? This isn't normal, is it?Well, a night at the local Sleep Study Clinic revealed that I was indeed having a hard time getting any rest, despite the amount of sleep I was getting. The testing showed that I experienced an average of 30-40 apneas per hour and 5-8 restless leg motions per hour. The clinician said it was a wonder I was able to get up in the morning, since a night's … [Read more...]

Pussywillow Buds

So there I was, in the spring of 1971, happily coloring in the living room, minding my own business. My mom whisks into the room with an armload of flowers and pussywillow buds to create a flower-arranging masterpiece. Here's what a pussywillow bud looks like:It's about the size of a lima bean but, as you can see, it's covered with a soft, downy fuzz.Now, for some reason which only God knows why, my mother turns from her flower arrangement and says to me "Kevin, don't stick any of these pussywillow buds in your nose!" And with that she whirls away, into another rooms to do, again, only God … [Read more...]