Last year on New Year's Eve I was sick as a dog and had to stay home as my wife and our friends went out and had their fun. I still have to listen to stories about that night. It seems like I missed everything, but not this year! I will be accompanying my wife and about 5 or 6 other friends out tonight.
From what I hear, we will be generally staying on this side of town. Some places within walking distance, though I think there is a plan to cart my disabled ass around somewhat in the designated driver's car. It's in the upper 40's and much of the snow is melting right now, but sometime tonight the temps are supposed to plummet into the 20's or teens so we will have to dress for it. I've obviously done none of the planning, I just hope to have fun and roll with whatever happens. I do plan on drinking, but I want to be in good shape tomorrow so I can fully enjoy the Rose Bowl!
However you celebrate tonight, be safe and have fun! Happy New Year!
I didn't post it, but last week I bent my knee 90 degrees for the first time in four months. At last night's physical therapy appointment I had only improved 2 degrees, to 92. I have had weeks where I gain a lot then weeks like this where I gain little. At least it keeps improving! I have an appointment with the orthopaedist coming up soon, I plan on taking my camera to get pictures of that day's x-rays so I can finally show you what it looks like. In fact, I have a few medical appointments this month. Not the best time to be me, yet.
Christmas is usually stressful for me, this one more than usual. I think I did okay, got the nieces and nephews decent presents and all. But yesterday's visit at my mom's was cut short, just a hello/goodbye with my brother and a short while with my Sis and her kids. The problem was that they were planning on staying the night so they took plenty of time to get to Mom's - and rightly so for their purposes. We, however, were planning on coming home that night. About an 80 mile drive for us, but we all drove similar distances. Except for us, as we were leaving Madison a familiar problem came up.
The driver's side windshield wiper does not work when I drive highway speeds. Actually the arm doesn't provide enough downward pressure so the wiper has a chance. It must actually lift off the surface. The last time this was a problem was last Christmas making the same drive, otherwise my truck is only driven in town. I remember now stopping at an open service station and buying a new wiper blade last year (didn't help). The roads Saturday were wet, so all that salty water spray leaves a film on the windshield that I can't get wiped off while driving on the highway. I took extra care, even going slower than normal (i.e. the actual speed limit), to keep from having a vehicle driving in front of me for too long. When we arrived my windshield looked almost whitewashed, but the wiper cleaned it easily while sitting in their driveway. And yes, I had washer fluid but that was downright dangerous to spray on on the highway when the wiper couldn't wipe it away.
What all this meant was that I wanted to get back on the road before the dark of night to more safely navigate our way home. Our stay was a semi-respectable 3 and a half hours, but unfortunately not the same timeline as my sib's. There were, of course, other factors in making this particular day a little extra stressful, including the embarrassment of making a mess of crackers whilst about to eat chili and having to clean up more snow before we left. Also, it's not lost on me how negative my Christmas Pic Dump was, either. What I chose to post was somehow representative of how I really feel about holidays, I'm sure. I even had a cigarette yesterday. I can only take so much holiday before the cracks start to show. I try to be good about it, really I do...
Anyway, I hope my brother, sister, sister in law, mom, mom's bf Dan, and both of my nieces and both of my nephews had a great time with their big slumber party last night. It's just not my style, I like shorter visits and my own bed. Perhaps things would be different if we did the procreating thing, too. Perhaps not.
Just a short Pic Dump for the holidays. I hope everyone enjoys it in whatever way that makes them happy. Thank you for visiting, rules are the same: More after the break, some may be nsfw and click the pic to see original size. Enjoy!
Many thanks to the fine sites in 'My Other Favorites' on the right!
I'm driving again! When we got home tonight I hobbled around my truck cleaning off two snowfall's worth of snow. I just drove around the block, pausing to reset my radio stations, then back home. But I was comfortable driving. I could probably have driven a week or two ago but I wasn't comfortable yet, meaning I didn't trust my leg to react. On the right is some random pic off the internet. I picked it because, except for the main thoroughfares, the good roads here look like that. The side roads, while plowed, are still very much snow covered, or packed. That includes our street. The snow on the side of the road, though, is about 2 feet less than what we have here. I think we had 15.7" so far this month, not including last night's blanket of snow. Which reminds me to thank my wife for shoveling the whole driveway and sidewalks again all by herself. Thanks, hon!
Anyway, after 4 months of not driving I get to drive in this. I'll do just fine, it just stinks is all.
It has been a while since I sat down and tried to type something meaningful, so instead I will just type my usual drivel.
I have been doing a lot of shopping online this month. Much of it for Christmas presents and some for my wife's birthday in January, and I couldn't resist getting a few things for myself. First off, from my wife I got a new floor desk mat for under my chair in front of the computer. The old one was cracked and getting worse all the time, now my chair rolls freely. For my wife I got a new camera to replace the dinosaur digital camera we had. It worked well but 12.2 megapixels is better than the 3.1 we were working with. So, Christmas is already done with us.
I got all my presents online this year, a first. I think I did pretty good with the kids (the most important presents I buy), except for maybe one. I'm worried now that he's still too young for it. My problem is that I buy what I would have wanted when I was a kid - and I like spoiling my nieces and nephews a bit. I can't mention what the presents are yet, of course. Though I saw some last night, the kids will get their presents at my mom's next weekend. Other presents heavily confused my dad and brother at my dad's get-together last night but the other half is being sent to them and I will send them an email today with some links that will explain the Mangrates further. For myself I got Sean Yseult's book and The Big Four DVD, both heavy metal stuff.
Though I haven't made a lot of progress with my knee bend, I hope to actually try driving this week. I'm trying to plan it around weather a bit. I'll let you know here when I'm (auto)mobile again! As for regular mobility, I have not used the walker in a couple days and have been making myself get used to the cane around the house. I just ordered an ice grip for the cane to prevent disasters when I use it out and about. It's kind of hard to believe, but it has been almost 4 months since I busted up my leg. I had hoped recovery would go faster, but the reality is that I really effed up my leg and still face months of physical therapy. Godammit. I hate not ending on an up note, re-watch this.
In keeping with the holiday theme of postings lately, Udo Dirkschneider and some staff from EMP, a large European merchandise seller, got together for versions of Jingle Bells and Balls To The Wall in the video below. A merry heavy metal christmas to you!
In two weeks I have increased my knee bend from 65 to 73 degrees. I may be able to drive soon. I tried to fit in my truck when we got home this afternoon and while it is awkward getting in and out I do fit in the driving position. My knee bends enough that my foot can now hover over the pedals and move in between the brake and gas. I shall have to practice soon. It has been over 3 months since I've driven!
Yesterday I had an appointment with the neurosurgeon again. Still, nothing can be done until after the first of the new year because I was off so long for my leg. I have an appointment for a new MRI followed by another appointment with the doctor just a few days into January. Then maybe I will finally see a light at the end of this particular tunnel.
Are you getting ready for the holidays? They always sneak up on me (mainly because I try to ignore them). This year we have been mainly shopping online, so almost every day for about 2 weeks we have come home to a package or two. I'm almost done, yet I never know what to get my wife. She deserves diamonds for taking care of me but I'm sure she doesn't want me to spend that kind of money. She does the finances so she would find out right away. She says she'd be happy with a practical gift but I'm not buying it. I'd be happy to listen to any other ideas!
I'm up late browsing Youtube watching recent live videos of W.A.S.P. when it occurred to me to check to see if there were any vids posted yet from the show I saw earlier this year at Scatz in Middleton. There were two, and here they are:
W.A.S.P. - On Your Knees / The Real Me (great sound!)
As promised, the first snowfall of the season arrived late last night and flurried out today. I'm not sure of the official total, but my wife said it looks like we got 4 inches. I didn't take many pictures, in fact this is the only one I took when Kate just started shovelling. Unfortunately my leg and required use of crutches, walker, or sometimes cane prevents me from doing it myself. Believe me, I wish I could.
We bought a bag of hay at Ace the other day to cover the strawberry bed for the winter. You can read more about it at my garden blog. Probably the last post there for the year. I only mention it here because nothing else has happened this week.
We are expecting our first snowstorm of the season tonight. I've heard anywhere from 2-6 inches, starting tonight and ending tomorrow night. This is the beginning of no-fun time for anti-winter people like me. Alas, I manage to deal with it, year after year.
I'm 50-ish, happily married and child-free. My wife and I have a home near downtown Madison, Wisconsin since 2009. I am not on farcebook or other social media, only this blog. If you wish to reach out to me you may email me at email@example.com. I check it when I think of it, at least monthly.