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Officially, today and tomorrow are the last days of my “vacation.”  With only four days left before I go back to work, I find that I’ve done a pretty decent job of taking care of *me* without neglecting everyone else.  I think I’m ready to go back to work.  I’m well-rested, my attitude is good, and I’ve had plenty of time away from the office and all the associated bullshit.

Of course, I still don’t give a shit, mostly, about a lot of the crap there, so I can let a lot more crap bounce off me than I used to be able to, but I still care about the core things — like delivering a quality service to our users.  What is unfortunate is that the asshole director I work under PRETENDS to care but he’s really only more interested in the Gestapo politics and making himself look good to the VP.  Picture that little asshole in school that used to always ask the teacher if he could clap the erasers clean for her.  Yeah, that’s him.

I told Lisa yesterday that I’ve been seriously contemplating calling her old boss and thanking her for being such a “(c)see-you-next-tuesday” for all those years.  I’ve had Lisa here with me, all to myself, throughout my time off and have thoroughly enjoyed it.  I always hated that she had to go back to work — always felt like that job was horning in on my selfish time with Lisa.  I don’t share Lisa all that well, anyway and, to have to share her with someone who treated her so badly was especially difficult.

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There’s an interesting news article out today that describes a study that was conducted on people who suffer from Restless Leg Syndrome, finding that the RLS increases the risk of stroke or heart attack.  While they come right out and say that they can’t prove a cause-and-effect relationship, apparently the statistics point to the conclusion very well.

I can remember those RLS symptoms occurring even when I was a kid (around 10 or so).  I remember them being relatively infrequent and, through much of my adult life, I don’t remember having them hardly at all.  What I’ve always noted, with interest, is that those times when I had hardly any symptoms (in my youth and my “older” years) I wasn’t smoking. 

After I quit smoking, I gained weight and because I had become so much more sedentary, the symptoms grew worse and worse, along with an apparent talent for snoring.  Add to that the fact that my arms apparently jump around at night (according to Lisa).  What I have isn’t just RLS, it’s PLMD or Periodic Limb Movement Disorder.  I currently take Gabapentin (Neurontin) to treat these symptoms with very good success.  I’m certainly not advocating smoking to relieve RLS/PLMD symptoms, it’s simply an observation that I’ve made.  Of course, the smoking kept the weight off so it could just be as simple as the weight gain causing the increased symptoms.

All I know is that, even when I knew I had slept, I hadn’t RESTED because I’d run marathons and played tennis all night long with my limbs moving around.  I was tired all the time and was more prone to accidents, along with forgetfulness.  Now, I’m not a rocket scientist but it seems to me like not resting, which causes crankiness, fatigue, forgetfulness and other problems, would undoubtedly contribute to high blood pressure, heart disease and, eventually, stroke.

I’d be interested to see more studies on this phenomenon.

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I’m trying to find a home for two little boy kitties.  My Aunt (the one who had breast cancer) got them as babies, got them neutered, wormed and shots but has had difficulty coping with life in general since she’s had her surgery.  She’s on some meds that stop estrogen production so she’s weepy, moody, impatient, and finds no humor in the antics of these two little guys, unfortunately.  We tried to caution her about getting kittens before she was ready but…

I’m going to try to keep them together but I think the reality is that they may not be able to stay together much longer.

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We’re looking for ways to save money this year.  I think that’s our big focus. 

I’m waiting to hear from DirectTV to confirm what I think I already know.  I want to get rid of my landline phone and the only thing that has kept it active to this point is the need for a phone line for the sattelite receiver.  A few days ago I actively researched the need for the phone line on the DirectTV web site and it appears that the phone line is really only needed for ordering Pay Per View movies with the remote, and possibly the NFL Sunday Ticket.  Since I already subscribe to teh NFL Sunday Ticket and it automatically renews each year, I don’t think I need the phone line connected to the receiver.  That will save me just under $40 each month.

Lisa bought me the pressure cooker as well as the food saver and we’ve already made tentative plans to get together with my foster sister to work out arrangements for a portion of her vegetable garden that her husband plowed out for her.  Her husband is a farmer, so land isn’t an issue.  What could be a problem is that she lives about 30 miles away so it’s not like we could go there daily to weed or, when the time comes, pick vegetables that are ready to go.

What we’ve offered is a “co-op” sort of system.  We’ll come down weekly, two out of every three weeks, and do the weeding, she’ll do it one week out of the three.  We’ll get together (at her house) with the pressure cooker and canning materials (that we can locate), along with the food saver and we’ll “put up” vegetables.  We’ve got a freezer so we know that won’t be a problem — she’s planning to get one herself.  We’re all pretty psyched about the idea.

I’m also contemplating refinancing the house yet again — this time to include the balance from the home equity line of credit.  I’ve calculated that this will save us just about $100 a month.  I can actually get the same interest rate but the problem will be coming up with about $3500 in closing costs.  I could refinance and take that amount on a “cash out” basis, but in theory I’d be repaying those closing costs about 8 times over in the next 15 years of the mortgage’s life.  More thinking needs to be done there.

Lisa’s truck will be paid off on the first of March.  That’s a HUGE chunk of change that’s not going out any more.

We’re going to try to more mindful of using coupons and discounts at the grocery store and other retail locations.

The idea here is to be able to survive on just my salary and not worry about whether Lisa is working or not.  Whatever pay she can draw from our company, we’d like to put right into her Roth IRA.

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I’m just going to go ahead and apologize in advance here.  I can’t help it — everyone has their “train wreck” that they can’t look away from.  Mine?  Britney Spears.

I’ve never been a fan of hers, never liked her music, never liked anything about her — nor did I DISLIKE anything about her.  But the way her life is spiraling out of control, and her continued prima donna defiance of the courts and all things legal and right, it just amazes me. 

Her lawyers (the new firm) have quit.  They cite an inability to communicate properly with her.  I think that translates to “We’ve advised her on things, but she turns a deaf ear and does what she damned well wants anyway.”

I wonder how long it will take before we read a headline about Britney’s demise?

I tell ya — it’s a train wreck I just can’t NOT look at!

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See the pulsing rainbow heart above?  That’s going to be the only indicator that there’s a post on the new blog.  That is, if I can figure out how to get the heart to be a clickable link to the blog.  I’m not sure I’m up for that mental challenge today.

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